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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 2022 Europa League.

We will be starting our campaign 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 he 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 FC Lahti, and once more there were plenty of goals. Estonian 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
https://i.postimg.cc/26nkC5tw/Veikkausliigan-Logo.png

June 2021 Monthly Awards


Another set of monthly awards:

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/43DbQDG7/Veikkausliga-June2021-MOTM.png

Not a sniff of winning this one, but a second successive triumph for Henke as he won every single league game in June.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/9f7y0L9W/Veikkausliga-June2021-POTM.png

A third place for young Martti in the Player of the Month award. It's been a very good month for the young left-back as he has been one of our most consistent performers; capped by scoring his first two goals for the Club.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/wTrtNhg3/Veikkausliga-June2021-GOTM.png

Nothing much to write home about here, but I did think that Martti's curling free-kick at home to TPS might just have gotten a mention.

Team of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/DyRZ0nPX/Veikkausliga-June2021-TOTM.png

Three of our players got the nod in the Team of the Month, only one less than RoPS who had four. So huge congratulations to goalkeeper Johannes Lukknanen, Martti and winger Daniel Garcia.
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
2nd place all to play for dude.
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
https://i.postimg.cc/qqDRbwrP/Ilves-Web-Page.png

30/06/2021

Eight games in July are scheduled for the team, which would leave us with just one final round of 11 left. Time to kick on and finish as high as we can.

Thursday 1 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/ht5DnYdG/Ilves-1721.png

Sunday 4 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/FzNmG52T/Ilves-4721.png

Monday 12 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/GmHRXj5n/Ilves-12721.png

Thursday 15 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/cHVTNdsc/Ilves-15721.png

Sunday 18 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/2yQdRv9z/Ilves-18721.png

Thursday 22 June 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/BQC5mT1p/Ilves-22721.png

Sunday 25 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/4dtVVVgz/Ilves-25721.png

Thursday 29 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/gcH6pYkk/Ilves-29721.png

The game on 12 July 2021 at KPV has been selected for live TV coverage, our second appearance this season following on from the opening day 2-1 at AC Oulu. Hopefully we can win this one too? With a four point gap between ourselves and third placed in-form RoPs; it's imperative we keep on winning and keeping that gap as wide as we can whilst maintaining an unexpected title challenge against leaders and back-to-back champions SJK. Any changes will be advised accordingly.
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
2nd place all to play for dude.

Indeed so buddy, keep reading on as we head towards the conclusion of what could be an even more memorable season. With the Finnish FA Cup in the bag so to say, can we add the Veikkausliiga to it? If we do, more history can be written.
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
Am sure you can be confident in the run in. Looking forward to seeing how you do
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
https://i.postimg.cc/26nkC5tw/Veikkausliigan-Logo.png

July 2021 in Review (Part 1)


As we have played eight games in the month of July, I have decided to split the monthly analysis into two parts. Who wants to read a long winded post right?
Thursday 1 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/CKHFWf6N/Ilves-1721-Result.png

We started this match packed month by hosting KuPS at Tammeln, and came away very happy indeed. It took us until five minutes from half time to break them down but vice-captain Tuure Siira was the man that did it, slamming home from a Jusif Ali pass. Just before the hour, it was 2-0 when right winger Daniel Garcia got on the end of a Martti Haukioja corner to net from six yards. We put the game beyond any reasonable doubt in the 70th minute, Siira curling in a free-kick and Ali heading past the outstretched grasp of Otso Virtanen.

Sunday 4 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/8CDGBzPr/Ilves-4721-Result.png

Could we make two wins out of two with an away triumph at fellow title challengers RoPS who have been in terrific form these last few months? They look an early lead when striker Vahid Hambo scored his 10th of the season and then doubled it with a very contentious penalty ten minutes after half time which was converted by Georgian attacking midfielder Giorgi Gorozia. Skipper Matias Ojala pulled one back for us in the second minute of time added-on but we couldn't find another to get a point. As a result of this loss, we slipped down to fourth place in the Veikkausliiga table,

Monday 12 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/23pMk01B/Ilves-12721-Result.png

Game three of July was a live TV game against bottom placed KPV. Predictably we dominated the match from start to finish but it took us until first half injury time to open the scoring when Lauri Dalla Valle; now recovered from injury; headed home unmarked from a cross. A second followed just two minutes after the restart, Jyrki Saarinen dispossessing a home player then perfectly spotting the run of top scorer Niklas Jokelainen who was in the clear before blasting the ball home. Jokelainen scored his second and our third after 63 minutes when he headed in a Tuomas Rannakari left wing cross from six yards. Welshman Danny Barrow reduced the arrears with a consolation after 73, but Siira made it 4-1 four minutes from time with a powerful effort that went in off the bar. Two TV appearances, two wins.

Thursday 15 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/rwTygJfm/Ilves-15721-Result.png

We were fully expected to take the points again when we hosted FC Honka at Tammeln just three days after the TV game. After 17 minutes, we took the lead when Haukioja crossed and Garcia netted unmarked at the far post. However we didn't put the game to bed as we should have done so, and paid the price when Saku Savolainen shrugged off a challenge and placed a shot beyond Johannes Luukkanen for his 10th of the season. Two points dropped I felt at the end, but the result was good enough to send us back to the top of the table by a point but having played a game more than second placed RoPS. Still only two league losses all season though.
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
Not a bad few games there, top of the table but its all about seeing it through now!
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Not a bad few games there, top of the table but its all about seeing it through now!

Finnish squeaky bum time mate as you will see in the table very shortly. Depending on what happens, decides my future, as I'm out of contract at Ilves come the end of November.
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

July 2021 in Review (Part 2)

The second batch of four results in July, how would these fare us?

Sunday 18 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/jqJWYNBf/Ilves_18721_Result.png

With ten minutes to go in this game, we were looking to see league defeat number 3 on the records but that changed dramatically. We had taken a lead in the 25th minutes when star striker Niklas Jokelainen poached another this season but two goals in seven minutes after the restart put the hosts in command. But we bucked our ideas up and Mariehamn collapsed like a deck of playing cards. In the 80th minute, some accurate passing saw central midfielder Tuure Siira slam home the leveller from just inside the box with a little assistance from the crossbar. After 83 minutes, left-back Martti Haukioja was upended in the area and Jokelainen made no mistake from twelve yards. Two more goals in the 86th and 89th minutes sealed the deal as they say, and both came from substitute Tuomas Rannakari who again excelled in a central midfield role. A massive win for us, on what could have been a banana skin.

Thursday 22 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/rwgsN9RB/Ilves_22721_Result.png

Two late late goals secured us another three points against a HJK side who had sacked former Liverpool and Finnish internationalist Sami Hyypiä just a week before. The opening goal of a chance-fest; 36 totalling between the sides so no short on entertainment, came with 11 minutes to go. Young striker Jack White, Finnish born despite the name, teed up Lauri Dalla Valle and he placed his shot into the far corner past Allan Roden. Then with HJK pushing for an equaliser, Dalla Valle turned provider and Jusif Ali provided the finish. Two wins on the spin and this time against a potential title challenger.

Sunday 25 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/MZRybh6g/Ilves-25721-Result.png

A tough game in Turku followed as we visited struggling TPS. Although we had the majority of the chances, only one goal decided it. That goal came as early as the 15th minute when Siira played in Daniel Garcia and with the help of a slight deflection and the woodwork; found the net. It proved decisive to make it three wins in three but came at a cost when Ali and Garcia both picked up yellow cards which would keep them out of the trip to Oulu four days later.

Thursday 29 July 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/sXJ33jPt/Ilves-29721-Result.png

A potential banana skin as we travelled to Oulu and play the hosts with a much changed side. We were missing star striker Niklas Jokelainen (more on later) and the suspended Ali and Garcia but we made the perfect start after just five minutes play when Dalla Valle headed in perfectly from skipper Matias Ojala's right wing cross. The lead was doubled in the 40th minute, a White corner was headed back into the path Siira by Ivan Belikov. The midfielder struck the post with his initial effort but blasted the rebound home before Oulu could deny him. White got the scoresheet in the 48th minute when he was in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball away after Dalla Valle had nodded Belikov's cross to the far post back to the youngster. Oulu grabbed one back in the 65th minute but with six minutes to go White was tripped through on goal by Borodin (should have been a red I tell you) we secured the win with a perfect penalty from Haukioja. Four wins on the spin, is something special brewing?

The table at the end of July is as follows. Not too bad, eh?

https://i.postimg.cc/7L3NPd5F/Ilves-Table-End-July2021.png

RoPS and back-to-back champions SJK are going to be our major threats I'm convinced. HJK are too inconsistent to challenge I feel but they have just replaced Sami with former Belgian international Jan Ceulemans as their new manager. Could be interesting.
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/Xvsgmhp4/SJKWeb.png


Kerho snap up sniper Jokelainen

29/07/2021
https://i.postimg.cc/0NyWF36w/NiklasJokelainen.jpg

The Kerho are pleased today to announce the signing of striker Niklas Jokelainen.

The 21 year old, who has banged in 18 goals in 27 games for rivals Ilves this season, has joined us on a three year deal. We were able to sign him after activating the minimum release clause on his Ilves contract. That fee was £325,000 (€364,176).

Jokelainen will wear the number 14 jersey and is line to make his Kerho debut on 1 August when we travel to TPS.
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

July 2021 Monthly Awards


Another set of monthly awards:

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/Ss386bt1/Veikkausliga-July2021-MOTM.png

They say if you don't succeed, try try again. At the fourth time of asking this season I'm the Veikkausliiga Manager of the Month.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/1X0t8xxq/Veikkausliga-July2021-POTM.png

A double celebration for the team as Tuure takes the Player of the Month award. He's been brilliant in midfield for us, doing everything from being a ball winner in the centre of the park to chipping in with vital goals.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/7PXrZPdN/Veikkausliga-July2021-GOTM.png

None of our guys got a mention here, perhaps I should tell them to shoot from long range more often now?

Team of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/d15FpqKn/Veikkausliga-July2021-TOTM.png

Places for keeper Johannes Lukknanen and midfielder Siira in the team of the month. Considering we finished the month with four straight wins, I'm surprised that nobody else got included.
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Good run of form in July, thankfully that loss to Henrik's RoPS hasn't derailed you. KIU!
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Am sure you can be confident in the run in. Looking forward to seeing how you do

Thanks mate, we're going into August and I feel we can push for the "double" now. It's been an amazing first full season so far, but how far can I take this lesser known light of Finnish football? That's the ultimate question.

Good run of form in July, thankfully that loss to Henrik's RoPS hasn't derailed you. KIU!

Yeah 4 wins on the spin has really helped us with RoPS dropping points. The big worry is of course the defending champions who are in 3rd at the moment, but if we can have a good August then we might stand a very good chance of doing the unthinkable. Keep tuning in buddy.
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31/07/2021

A five game month which will leave us with just six to play in the final couple of months.

Sunday 1 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/5t4bhRj2/Ilves-1821.png

Thursday 5 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/8590dtYH/Ilves-5821.png

Sunday 8 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/Gm3nmSn8/Ilves-8821.png

Sunday 15 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/bwVWNyRW/Ilves-15821.png

Sunday 22 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/43r0VWq1/Ilves-22821.png


This is going to be a huge month for us and it starts with a real banana skin game against a team that we've only beaten once under Mark's tutelage. Whilst the games against VPS and KuPS are winnable ones, there are two massive games to end August. If we can avoid defeat in both of those games then maybe that title dream is not a dream after all. Keeping them both at bay is what we have to do.

How many points would you be happy with us taking next month?

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Hopefully you can get maximum points from those first three games, especially with two being at home, then at least you could afford to drop a few points against RoPS and SJK.
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13/08/2021

Haukioja signs new deal

https://i.postimg.cc/PxpLsSf0/Martti-Haukioja.jpg


The club are pleased today to confirm that attacking left-back Martti Haukioja has signed a new three year contract with the Tupsukorvat.

The 21 year old came through the Ilves academy and has now made 128 appearances for the senior team, scoring 5 times and those goals have all come this season. Tupsukorvat Head Coach Mark Duell is very happy to have such an important player pledging his future to the club:

"I'm delighted to see Martti sign a new deal with the Club. He's been exceptional all season, and has been an important player in our results. When you want players to step up and be counted, you can always rely upon players such as Martti.

He's a player with an amazing future ahead of him, and we hope this future is with us."

The defender is also happy with his new deal.

"I'm delighted to have penned this new deal today. The only reason I have signed it is down to the manager, he's inspired me so much this season and is making me a better player day in and day out."

The full terms of Haukioja's new deal have not been publicly disclosed.
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Wales Under-21 squad announced for Under 21 qualifiers

Last Updated: 26/08/2021 12:00pm

Wales Under-21 manager Mark Duell has named his squad for the upcoming UEFA Under-21 qualifiers against Denmark and Malta respectively. This squad is as follows, and sees the return of a few familiar faces who missed the games England and Greece in the summer.

Goalkeepers:
Scott Reed (Newport County, on loan from Swansea City)
Nathan Evans (Sutton United)
Ryan Ramasut (Derby County)

Defenders:
Jonathan Letheren (Swansea City)
Neco Williams (Liverpool)
Sam Edwards (Swansea City)
Trystan Jones (Cardiff City)
Ryan Astley (Everton)
Brandon Cooper (Swansea City)
Jamie Evans (Lincoln City)
Tom Lewis (Coventry City)

Midfielders:
Jordan Conway (Fleetwood Town)
Ian Harrington (Luton Town, on loan from Stoke City)
Anthony Hartigan (AFC Wimbledon)
Lloyd Holden (Aston Villa)
Elfion Tipton (Sheffield United)
Joe Adams (Barnsley, on loan from Middlesbrough)
Rabbi Matondo (Rangers)
Gwyidon Astley (Chester)

Forwards:
Matty Argent-Barnes (Bolton Wanderers)
Andrew Berry (Wigan Athletic, on loan from Swansea City)
Luke James (Swansea City)
Aaron Davies (Hull City)

The game against Denmark will be played 1 September 2021 at Portland Park, Aalborg, with the home game against Malta to be played five days later at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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Hopefully you can get maximum points from those first three games, especially with two being at home, then at least you could afford to drop a few points against RoPS and SJK.

Would be ideal yeah, update coming shortly.
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August 2021 in Review

Five more important games as we continue our push for an unbelievable double.

Sunday 1 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/ZYQyx7zG/Ilves-1821-Result.png

A game that we could have lost easily against a team that always seems to do well when we play them. Young striker Jack White continued to lead the line for us after Jokelainen's departure to SJK, and it was he who gave us the lead after 18 minutes but it was all down Lauri Dalla Valle. A corner for the visitors was headed out to Lauri who took a touch then picked out the run of White who ran on before passing it into the corner. Delightful. However Lahti came roaring back, and went 2-1 ahead just after the hour thanks to a double from young Russian striker Alexey Yevdokimov (his second a penalty) and we were wobbling. I urged the team to push forward and we got an equaliser seven minutes from time to get a point. Santeri Hostikka pushed Sandro Garattoni in the area, and up stepped Martti Haukioja;now our new designated spot kick taker; to find the bottom left hand corner despite the keeper almost getting to it.

Thursday 5 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/jdJngHsL/Ilves-5821-Result.png

Four days later we faced VPS in our second home successive home game, and we made hard work of them to record another three points. We took the lead after 31 minutes when Dalla Valle headed home at the far post from a Garattoni cross right on his head. The game was clinched eight minutes from time, and it was another strike for Haukioja. Aubrey David was adjudged to have fouled Daniel Garcia just inside the area, and Haukioja made it two penalties in succession with another confident finish into the same bottom left hand corner.

Sunday 8 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/mgfz0PDV/Ilves-8821-Result.png

Another stuttering performance came at mid-table KuPS as maybe nerves were starting to kick in. The home side took the lead in the fourth minute when Rasmus Karjalainen found the back of our net. We got a point, which was merited in the end, with an equaliser just after the hour. Ivan Belikov angled a ball into Dalla Valle who hit an unstoppable effort from just inside the area which the keeper had no chance whatsoever with. The game also saw Tuure Siira and Matias Ojala pick up bookings which would keep him out of the following week's crunch game against second placed RoPS at Tammelin.

Sunday 15 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/FKhfHw0L/Ilves-15821-Result.png

We were treated to an absolute classic in the game against RoPS, who could only name five substitutes for this crunch game. It was the typical game of two halves with us dominating the first, RoPS dominating the second. We made a blistering start with two goals in the first three minutes which absolutely delighted me and the home support. White opened the scoring when he took on a pass from Belikov to beat Walter Viitala, a keeper I had considered signing once, at the keeper's near post. It got even better with our next chance, Haukioja with the corner and Issa Thiaw nodded it into the path of Dalla Valle who volleyed it first time into the roof of the net. Ten minutes from half time, we scored a third. Another corner, taken this time by White, was headed in by Naatan Skyttä. It was 4-0 at half time, Jyrki Saarinen was impeded by Sylvain Deslandes and it was the same result from Haukioja: bottom left corner and goal. What a way to celebrate the new contract signed the week before.

If we had the best of the opening 45, Henke's side had the best of the second 45. Simo Rolha, another player I tried to sign, pulled one back after 49 minutes but surely no need to panic from that right? Well when Ibrahim Olowabi scored his first ever RoPS goal just before the hour, my heart skipped a beat. Imagine how the home spectators were feeling? There was still 26 minutes left to play when Rolha scored his second of the game to reduce the arrears further to 4-3 and start a fair bit of squeaky bum time on the bench and in the home support. Thankfully for us, we got our heads back on the game and resisted them further. Close for comfort? Yes. However, a massive win against a title rival.

Sunday 22 August 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/YS8vG8xy/Ilves-22821-Result.png

Another massive game followed a week later to finish off the month. SJK have won the last two league titles, and despite some inconsistent results, they were still harbouring dreams of a threepeat by time we rolled into Seinajoki. After a goalless first half, we were ahead five minutes into the second half when White's header was parried by Jesse Öst in the home goal straight back to the young striker who fired it across the keeper and into the far corner. Former striker Niklas Jokelainen started on the bench for SJK, which surprised me, but I just knew he would have some kind of say in this game. So it proved when he equalised for SJK with 14 minutes to go, a classic case of the old boy coming back to haunt his previous club. Still there was time for yet drama after that.

With four minutes to go SJK midfielder Matti Klinga was shown a straight red for kicking out at our substitute Timo Furuholm. Could we take advantage? Well I said there was more drama to come, and it came as we entered time added on. Siira's effort was parried by Öst onto the post, and Furuholm marked his debut with a dramatic winning goal. Cue mass celebrations from us all of the away persuasion. Another absolutely massive three points, and enough for SJK to sack manager Jani Honkvaara 24 hours later.

So this is how August ended, six games to go. Can we hold on?

https://i.postimg.cc/4dSnwdq6/Ilves-Table-End-August2021.png

Definitely all in our hands, I believe two wins from our last six games will clinch it. That said, all isn't rosy as skipper Matias Ojala is moaning again. The skipper was upset when we reluctantly sold Jokelainen and I promised him that I would bring in reinforcements. On deadline day, I brought in two strikers and a winger. Ojala still isn't happy though. What does he want, jam on it?

Contract renewal for myself discussions are on hold at the moment. I really don't know if to renew or move on.
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August 2021 Monthly Awards


Another set of monthly awards:

Manager of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/0y28bSVV/Veikkausliga-August2021-MOTM.png

They say things sometimes come like waiting for buses. Second Manager of the Month gong in as many months for me. Could get Manager of the Year at this rate.

Player of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/90h2Vw4t/Veikkausliga-August2021-POTM.png

Second placed for Lauri in the Player of the Month awards, surprised that Martti didn't get a mention though.

Goal of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/59B1ggGP/Veikkausliga-August2021-GOTM.png

Don't know why we bother mentioning this award, we don't do long range worldies here at Ilves.

Team of the Month:
https://i.postimg.cc/HkhCnhcL/Veikkausliga-August2021-TOTM.png

Just Jack gets a place in the Team of the Month. Again I'm surprised that Martti isn't included.
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Huge 6pts over RoPS and SJK!
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A new UEFA Under-21 campaign began and started with a testing away trip to Denmark before returning home to face some young Maltesers so to speak.

Wednesday 1 September 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/3wt0k7jv/Wales-U21-1921.png

I was expecting this game to be tough, but in the end it proved to be a nice and fruitful to the country that brought us Carlsberg and speedway legends such as Hans Nielsen and Erik Gundersen to name just two. All the goals came in the second half, and ours came as a result of an inspired substitution. After 54 minutes I decided to replace Andrew Berry with Matty Argent-Barnes to try break the deadlock. Within six minutes, it had worked an absolute treat. Liverpool's Neco Williams provided the cross from the right wing, and Argent-Barnes got up between two Danish defenders to plant his header into the net.

Denmark levelled with 16 minutes left when Johnny Green, born in Denmark but with an British sounding surname, drilled home a low effort beyond Scott Reed. Yet we regained the lead with four minutes to go. Rangers Rabbi Matondo picked the ball up on the left, cut inside, and then curled his effort about the outstretched grasp of the home keeper. We sealed an impressive away win in added on time, substitute Lloyd Holden sped past the left back like he was not there and then centred for Argent-Barnes to steer home his second and our third from close range.

Monday 6 September 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/tJxsvxK3/Wales-U21-6921.png

I rang a few changes for the visit of Malta. Derby's Ryan Ramasut made his Under-21 debut in goal whilst Argent-Barnes was rewarded for a Man of the Match performance in Aalborg with a start in Cardiff by replacing Berry, Holden also started in place of Joe Adams with Matondo moving to the left wing. We made an excellent start with two goals in the opening four minutes. In the third minute Ian Harrington's flighted free-kick was met by Ryan Astley in a crowded six yard box and he headed in. Almost immediately afterwards, we made it two: Harrington flicked on a Holden cross and Matondo headed in unmarked. It was a one sided contest throughout, and we added a third In the 22nd minute. Harrington produced a defence splitting pass for his third assist of the night and Argent-Barnes outstripped the visiting defence to finish confidently.

Our fourth arrived four minutes before half time. With the rain lashing down, Williams provided a deep cross to the far post and although Pellegrino in the Malta denied Matondo initially, he couldn't hold onto the ball and dropped it back to the Rangers wide man who tapped it into the empty net from an acute angle. Number five came nine minutes after the restart, Holden with a low shot that skidded off the wet turf and through the grasp of Pellegrino to complete the nap hand. Could we match the tally against the same opposition done by Bosnia and Herzegovina five days before? Yes we could. With eight minutes left on the clock substitute Berry dispossessed a Malta defender, skipped around him and then crossed for Matondo. Pellegrino denied the winger with a good save from a fierce effort but it landed at the feet of the afore mentioned Berry who made no mistake. Job complete.

So two wins out of two, the perfect start. No wonder national team boss Rob Page was purring with delight in the stands.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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07/09/2021

The penultimate month of the season, could we be crowned as League Champions?

Sunday 12 September 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/bJjVw7Pk/Ilves-12921.png

Sunday 19 September 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/76m1rdZx/Ilves-19921.png

Thursday 23 September 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/13wp3f37/Ilves-23921.png

Monday 27 September 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/vmvf5k9W/Ilves-27921.png


Looking at these games, each one of them is a winnable one. We only need to get to 65 points to send those champagne corks popping for a second time this season as our nearest challengers can only get to a maximum of 64.

The game against Mariehamn will be on live TV. Tickets for the crunch are on sale NOW! With your superb support, we can do this.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

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https://i.postimg.cc/RVhZC8XW/Ilves-Champions-2021.png


Champions!
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