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After a long hiatus Mark is back with a new story. Where will it take him?

Discussion
Thanks @Dan - who knows what I can achieve next?

https://i.postimg.cc/26nkC5tw/Veikkausliigan-Logo.png

May 2021 Monthly Awards


Time to find out who won what in the Veikkausliiga monthly awards.

Manager of the Month: Finished third this time behind actual winner Henke Larsson and second placed Jani Honkavaara. Might have stood a chance if I hadn't had that 0-0 draw with KPV. Still maybe one day right?

Player of the Month: That went to HJK's Argentinian attacking midfielder Matias Zaldivar this time around. None of our players made the top three, not Niklas Jokelainen who has scored some very important goals for us this month.

Goal of the Month: SJK's Aristote Mboma took this particular award which was a decent effort after all. What surprises me that the Tuomas Rannakari's screamer against IFK Mariehamn didn't make the top three, it was an exceptional strike from Tuomas. And what about Jokelainen's half volley against HJK? Something suspect here.

Team of the Month: Three of our players were named. Therefore big congratulations to goalkeeper Johannes Luukkanen, left-back Martti Haukioja and striker Jokelainen, well deserved lads.


https://i.postimg.cc/ZqVc28G7/Veikkausliga-May2021-TOTM.png
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
Updates are possibly not going to be as frequent in the next few days and weeks ahead. I'm moving house soon, but the story will continue even after that. Kindly bare with me...


https://i.postimg.cc/zGtQ70yG/friendlies.png


So we had a couple of friendlies in June for my Welsh starlets. However, the squad I had named was completely changed to what I wanted to name. Most of the names I would have called up were on Under 20's duty in Toulon..Hopefully, I'll have a better squad to name when the European Championship qualifiers start again in September. Yet it will give me an insight into seeing some future stars take their next stages in their international careers.


Tuesday 8 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/Gh5XW9jc/Wales-U21-8621.png

We were completely on the back foot for the whole 90 minutes in this friendly at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. The biggest surprise was that England only scored once against our much changed side. That goal came in the 21st minute when left-back Sam Edwards was adjudged to have fouled Arsenal's Emile Smith-Rowe in the area, Angel Gomes (who was born in Portugal but chose to play for the Three Lions) drilled the kick into the far corner. My England counterpart Aidy Boothroyd won't be happy with the final score, but I was quite content considering the patched up side I fielded. Just to show how much a result it was for us, England had Rhian Brewster, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Greenwood on as substitutes but none of them could beat us.


Monday 14 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/zvjTq2Wm/Wales-U21-14621.png

Quite an entertaining game to be honest in Wrexham for the encounter with Greece. I changed a few players around but still stuck with the 4-1-4-1 formation I've been adopting for a while here. For 36 minutes we had offered absolutely nothing, not even a shot on their goal but we then woke up and realised we were actually there to play a game of football rather than admire our visitors. All the goals came in the second half; we took the lead four minutes after the restart when Joe Adams headed in unmarked from an Anthony Hartigan cross. They levelled in fortunate circumstances six minutes later when Brandon Cooper diverted a left wing cross past David Robson whom I had started the game in goal with. It got better for them four minutes after that equaliser, Giorgios Antzoulas heading in from a corner. Yet we got a draw out of it with an equaliser four minutes from time; Jamie Evans' shot from the edge of the area striking Giannis Vlaseros and finding its way into the net.

So with these games over with, it's back to Tampere for more Veikkausliiga action.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/QdsnkVhS/Eurosport-Finland.png


Ilves might have a job on to keep hotshot Jokelainen

https://i.postimg.cc/0NyWF36w/Niklas-Jokelainen.jpg

By our special correspondent.
16 June 2021


Reports from Finland seem to suggest that Veikkausliiga surprise challengers Ilves Tampere might have a tough ask to keep star striker Niklas Jokelainen at the Club.

The Finland Under-21 striker, who has hit 11 goals in 18 games this season, is rumoured to be looking at moving onto a bigger club with his current deal expiring in November this year. Jokelainen, 21, has been a pivotal reason why the Tampere based side have defied all expectations this season so far but has apparently told his manager Mark Duell that he is wanting to test himself at a higher standard of club football.

Obviously Ilves will be hoping that the poacher does not follow through with this and will be a key player for them when they start their Europa League campaign next month.

The front man has an apparent release clause of £375,000 (€419,408) on his contract. However, there have been no suitors yet to test Ilves resolve to keep the striker. But that could change should he continue to light up the Veikkausliiga as much as he has this season so far.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/qqDRbwrP/Ilves-Web-Page.png

15/06/2021

After a break in the programme, we play another four matches and are almost at the halfway point of the season. Forty points is usually the magic number to ensure survival, let see how many more we can accrue.

Thursday 17 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/zXThGKX0/Ilves-17621.png

We return to action with the last of the first round of league fixtures. Our opponents in Tammelnstadion are TPS, who resume their league programme in 9th place and six points clear of the drop zone. The last encounter was in the Suomen Cup qualifying group, and we dished out a 1-0 beating on their own patch, with Tuomas Rannakari scoring the winner just six minutes from the end. A win at home will certainly keep us pushing SJK for an unexpected Veikkausliiga title.

Sunday 20 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/sXtmGWQK/Ilves-20621.png

Three days later we're on the road and a trip to Vassa to play struggling VPS. We hosted them in the second game of the season and came off victorious that day with a 4-2 win over them, helped by a brace of goals from Colombian Daniel Garcia and them going down to ten men so early on. VPS haven't registered a win in the league going into the restart, so one can only hope that this run continues for our sake. Their manager is under pressure so the team might have a point to prove, hopefully we will have other ideas.

Thursday 24 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/SQHQjxZs/Ilves-24621.png

Newly promoted AC Oulu visit the Tammeln for the first, and only, time this season in our next game. They certainly made us work for an opening day win when we played them a couple of months ago, Therefore another a tough game is in prospect. They have acquitted themselves well so far on their return to the top division so we need to be on our best form to see them off once more.

Sunday 27 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/65zHYyD6/Ilves-27621.png

We finish the month of June with a trip to face old foes FC Lahti. Mark was so happy to beat them in the league game at Tammeln as he couldn't, before then, manage to get the better of them. The gaffer thought he run over a black cat which is supposedly an unlucky omen so he says. Now this monkey seems to be off his back, he will be hoping to conclude the middle month of the year with another three point haul. But knowing Lahti, they'll be out to surprise us again.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/qqDRbwrP/Ilves-Web-Page.png

26/06/2021

IT'S OFFICIAL, IT'S OFFICIAL!

The Club have today received confirmation that it will be playing in the Europa League.

We will be starting our campaign next month in the First Qualifying Round, with our opponents yet to be confirmed. However, isn't just fabulous that European football is on its way back to Tammeln Stadion?

More details about opponents will be released in due course.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
https://i.postimg.cc/26nkC5tw/Veikkausliigan-Logo.png

June 2021 in Review


Four more league games played in June, we're almost at the halfway stage now.

Thursday 17 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/XvMkGPmP/Ilves-17621-Result.png

We resumed the Veikkausliiga programme after 23 days break with a home game against TPS; and thus completed the opening batch of 11 league games. TPS surprised us though when they took the lead after just 11 minutes through Estonian striker Albert Prosa. The deficit wasn't for long, seven minutes to be precise. Baba Mensah; in for the rested Jani Tanska; heading in a Daniel Garcia free-kick at the far post and into the opposite corner of the net. A moment of magic won us the game, left-back Martti Haukioja curling in a sublime free-kick and leaving the TPS keeper with no chance whatsoever. TPS right-back Joel Helén saw red with 12 minutes to go, seven minutes after Haukioja's goal, for two bookings in quick succession but that didn't upset the outcome. Another win in the books.

Sunday 20 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/mkhmNHwp/Ilves-20621-Result.png

A difficult game followed on the Sunday in Vassa. There had been a bit of mind games before kick off but it seemed to affect us rather than VPS as we were terrible for the first hour or so. Slovakian born, now naturalised Finn, Matej Hradecky put the hosts into the lead after half an hour, a lead doubled by central defender Eero-Matti Auvinen five minutes before the interval. Promising young Brazilian striker Wendel Raul added a third just after the hour and we were being absolutely humiliated. I told the lads to buck their ideas up in no certain terms and we pulled one back in the 72nd minute when Jyrki Saarinen headed in Haukioja's delivery. Suddenly VPS realised they might have a bit of a wobble on their hands and it really did wobble when Tuomas Rannakari made it 3-2 with a couple of minutes left. Could we complete an amazing comeback? Sadly not as time ran out on us and we ended up suffering our first league loss of the season. Star striker Niklas Jokelainen had yet another quiet game, worrying times.

Thursday 24 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/dDPGkkSy/Ilves-24621-Result.png

We needed a bounceback, but knew that newcomers AC Oulu wouldn't make it easy for us. However we went out and produced one of the most comprehensive performances I have seen so far ever, we simply let Oulu know that we didn't want to lose again as we tore them apart. Jokelainen, who had been really quiet since his transfer demand, exploded into life with two goals in three minutes! In the 15th minute, he pounced on a rebound after Jusif Ali's initial shot was parried and then added his and the team's second from the penalty spot after Sofiane Ahmed Kadi had handled in the area. It capped a bad start to the game for the Oulu winger as he saw a penalty of his own saved by Johannes Luukkanen in the eighth minute. A rasping drive from Tommi Jyry reduced the arrears just before half time but I didn't feel we were in any danger.

We really put the hammer down with four goals in the last twenty minutes. Jokelainen completed a splendid hat-trick when poached home another rebound before skipper Matias Ojala made it 4-1 with a well placed effort in the 72nd minute. Rannakari made it 5-1 with a confident finish ten minutes from the end, before Kadi's bad got worse when he was dismissed for two yellows in the 82nd minute. Oulu's Lassi Viholainen pulled one back for them a minute after that red card but we had the final say in added-on time when Ali netted our sixth. With SJK losing for the second successive game, we went back to the top of the Veikkausliga table.

Sunday 27 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/rwvz8X3D/Ilves-27621-Result.png

June was finished with a trip to our old foes Lahti, and once more there were plenty of goals. Henri Anier gave them a 50 second lead, racing clear behind our defence, to slam it into the top corner. However, we hit back with three goals in five minutes to lead 3-1. In the 19th minute, Ali equalised with a deflected shot that wrongfooted the Lahti keeper, Naatan Skyttä put us ahead in the 21st minute and then Haukioja headed in Garcia's corner after 24 to put us in a very good position indeed. But Lahti came back into an absorbing contest with two goals late on. First of all Ainer scored his and his side's second in the 69th minute and then fate conspired against us and Luukkanen in particular when a Fareed Sadat shot hit the post and then hit the back of the legs of our keeper and in. Cruel! Neither could find a winner, and with SJK getting back to winning ways, we dropped back to second.

So the table at the end of June is as follows:
https://i.postimg.cc/C52dzzmV/Ilves-Table-End-June2021.png

The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

https://i.postimg.cc/8zZN8Q5R/AJSig.png
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