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Lauri Dalla Valle: Using social media to get closer to Fulham fans

Forget the Rolex and the flash motor, in 2012, you're just not relevant as a Premier League footballer without a social media setup.

QPR captain Joey Barton and Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand are leading the way on Twitter, while Barcelona star Lionel Messi favours Facebook.

But for young Fulham striker Lauri Dalla Valle, it's about everything online - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even his own blog which he runs with girlfriend Juuli Vaajaniemi, the Finnish model.

"It was launched 22.10.2011," Dalla Valle told tribalfootball.com. "We didn't think about it too long! One evening we were just talking about blogs and then we thought maybe having one together could be fun and later on the same day we had one! So it happened quite quickly."

Dalla Valle, like so many of the Premier League now on Twitter, recognises the benefits of being able to interact directly with fans, so avoiding the filter of the media.

The personal touch of Lauri and Juuli is clear as soon as you visit ldvandjuuli.com. They're both happy to bring the visiting fan along for the ride as Lauri's career takes him from London to Dundee and back again.

"The response has been great," he continued.

"We do get a lot of good comments about people enjoying reading it. I think it's a great way to interact with the fans. They can get to know the player much better by reading the blog. For example, how did my career start, what type of person I am, my social life etc... I think it's an easy way for the media that they can read about experiences and thoughts on something without having to do an interview."

Dalla Valle admits being on Twitter and interacting with fans is now part of the culture of being a Premier League footballer.

"I think it is nowadays.

"I think I joined Twitter in March, 2011. It started through Nike actually, they asked if I'd thought about having a Twitter account and after that I started one.

"As I said before it's a great way to interact with the fans."

Indeed, it was fans visiting ldvandjuuli.com who were first to get word from Dalla Valle about his loan ending at Dundee United last week.

Now back with the Cottagers, Dalla Valle has spoken with manager Martin Jol about his plans for him.

"My goals is to try and do my best to break into the Fulham first team squad. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to succeed in that.

"One thing I can say is that it's fantastic to be back at a great club like Fulham and at the moment I'm enjoying every day."

A constant throughout Dalla Valle's career in England has been Malcolm Elias, who first spotted him while in charge of youth recruitment at Liverpool. Soon after Elias' departure for Fulham, Dalla Valle was following him to Craven Cottage as part of the deal which took Paul Konchesky to Anfield last season.

"He has been a really important person in my career," says Dalla Valle.

"Before my move to Liverpool at the age of 16 I had other options as well. He played a big part in me deciding to go there.

"And before my move to Fulham I asked him about the place because I knew that I could trust him. He only had good things to say so that made my decision easier to come to London back then."

The Finn admits he feels he has a chance of more first team football at Fulham under Jol - particularly after making his debut in the Europa League this season.

"It was great to get my debut at the start of the season! It gives you even more motivation to work hard to get to the top."

On Jol, Dalla Valle adds: "The change has been really good. Training is very good and the players are enthusiastic. He likes to talk a lot to the players which I personally think is really important."

Amongst those chats was the prospect of getting out on-loan again - though for now that's on the backburner.

"Yes I had a good chat with him after my return. Lets see what happens in the next few weeks," said Dalla Valle.

And you can be sure the first to know of any move involving Lauri will be those visiting ldvandjuuli.com.

 To keep up-to-date on Lauri's career make sure to visit: ldvandjuuli.com

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

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