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https://i.postimg.cc/yYNcksw0/suomen-cup.jpg

March 2021 in Review

Could we get the point we sought to make the second round of the Suomen Cup?
Wednesday 3 March 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/vBWXcCtn/Ilves-3321.png

What a bore draw. Neither side wanted it to be honest; so we got the point that secured our place in round two. Did we get a nice draw though? Well...

https://i.postimg.cc/wjwDbg0F/Suomen-Cup-R2draw.png

Only the current league champions! Oh s**t. That's the expectation to make the quarter-finals right out of the window unless we can pull off a major surprise on Sunday 25 April 2021. Could be my death knell in Finland.

Four friendlies to be played now before the new Veikkausliga season starts on 10 April 2021 away to newly promoted AC Oulu. Player management support is an unexpected high of 33%, am I winning them over?


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/yYNcksw0/suomen-cup.jpg

February 2021 in Review


One win and one loss in the Suomen Cup qualifying group as we entered February. Two more games coming up, could we get into that top four. We started the month in fifth place but only on goal difference. Each one of the teams from second to fifth had three points, KuPS were the sole side with a 100 per cent record.

Wednesday 3 February 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/zGNmp0Kj/Ilves-3220.png

Game three in the qualifying group saw us on the road to Western Finland and to face KPV in Kokkola, a 190 mile journey. We made an horrendous start when former Ilves player Multanen netted inside 25 seconds. I feared the worst after this. However Lauri Dalla Valle provided a composed finish to level ten minutes before half time. We had two goals in the latter stages, first of all our captain Matias Ojala put us after 78 minutes when he reacted first to a loose ball despite me shouting penalty as he appeared to be baulked before he put the ball into the net. But they always say you're at your weakest when you've just scored a goal and we only went and proved it. Jani Tanska turning a cross into his own net, and denying the team what would have been a massive away win.
Wednesday 10 February 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/9fX6H0xw/Ilves-10220.png

The penultimate qualifying game was against newly promoted AC Oulu. They had to change their side drastically as three of their loan signings were from us so they couldn't play, plus they also had a cup-tied player in their ranks too. Just before the half hour, left-back Martti Haukioja curled home a brilliant free-kick, shades of what Craig Thomson used to do for me all the time at Edinburgh City. The lead was doubled in the 61st minute when Jack White took a touch from a Daniel Garcia pass before confidently finishing. Onugha pulled one back for Oulu in the 79th minute but we held for an impressive win. The win was good enough to virtually confirm our place in round two, a point against KuPS would definitely secure that.

We also played a couple of friendlies to close out the month. These ended as follows:
Saturday 13 February 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/LsTZhCB0/Ilves-Friendly-13220.png

For both friendlies, I took the opportunity to give some of the fringe players in the squad some game time whilst resting a lot of the first teamers or not letting them play the full 90 minutes. The first friendly was at part-timers Salpa and we were two ahead after half an hour thanks to Colombian winger Daniel Garcia and Tanska; who headed in at the right end this time. Atakayi pulled one back with quarter of an hour left but then a comical own goal and one from Tiemoko Fofana made it 4-1 with ten minutes to go. Atakayi scored his second in the last minute but it made no difference in the final outcome.
Saturday 20 February 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/L8VzZ8mT/Ilves-Friendly-20220.png

Another much changed side played the second friendly at Division One FF Jaro. We took a 14th minute when English midfielder Alex Bradley slammed home from twelve yards off the post and in. Yet we didn't kick on and put the game to bed, and paid the price when they equalised seven minutes from time. They were reduced to ten men three minutes after that equaliser but we couldn't find a winner. A very disappointing performance.

So all in all, February wasn't too bad a month. My player managerial support has increased from 19% to 27% but I just know I'm living on borrowed time. Jobs back in the English leagues are being applied for but Ilves are asking for too much in compensation and as a result, the move never happens. I might just have to quit just to escape this Finnish nightmare, and perhaps then I might find a club that I can start to rebuild my career. This is a move that's turning sour but it was worth a risk in the early stages in the career. Good managers have a bad spell somewhere, just ask Sir Alex Ferguson about his ill-fated spell in St.Mirren in the 1970s. If that's not motivation, what is?


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
Hoping to post another update later tonight or in the morning.

Have things got any better? Tune in and find out!
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
Looking forward to your next instalment @tongey - suspense is killing me lad.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/yYNcksw0/suomen-cup.jpg

January 2021 in Review


The weird thing about managing in Finland is that the Finnish version of the FA Cup starts in late January but the actual league season begins in April. Still there's a chance to have European football if you go and win it. Just ask FC Inter Turku who won it last season. We have been placed in a qualifying group with TPS Turun, FC Lahti, AC Oulu, KuPS and KPV with the top four teams in each group qualifying for the second round.

Wednesday 20 January 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/mDJkkWMy/Ilves-20120.png

This was the ultimate 1-0 hammering to be honest! We dominated this game from the first whistle to the last but only had one goal to show for it. That goal came six minutes from time when two substitutes combined. Jack White with the left wing corner, Tuomas Rannakari heading home from six yards out. The perfect start to the new season. It was my fifth win in just six games at Ilves, taking my win percentage there to an amazing 83% - not bad for a manager who is undervalued by his players and are trying to force him out.

Wednesday 27 January 2021
https://i.postimg.cc/43MsbbdJ/Ilves-27120.png

What is about FC Lahti and Ilves? Twice I have played Lahti and twice they have beaten us, in fact they are the only side to inflict defeat on us during this Ilves career. Must be holding some kind of Indian sign over us. The game winner came in the 34th minute when Sténio found the back of our net. We struck the bar, had shots well saved but just couldn't score all night. It certainly felt like we had been jinxed, a tough loss to take.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/Pf3rXDP2/SkySportsHeader_V1.3.png


Mixed bag of groups for national youngsters

Last Updated: 04/01/2021 11:00am

https://i.postimg.cc/jSM2rr25/SkySportsHeader_V1.1.png

The draw for the 2023 UEFA Under-21 Championships was made this morning, and it was a bit of a mixed bag for all the home nations.

England's youngsters will face an interesting group. They will face Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan and Lithuania. With the only group winners guaranteed to make the Finals, Adrian Boothroyd's young lions face a tough ask to finish top of their particular pile. The Irish have qualified for this year's Finals in Denmark so Boothroyd knows he will need to have the team at their best if they are to make the 2023 Finals.

Wales, who missed out on making the Finals this year, have a tough group of their own. Mark Duell will be hoping to finish above Denmark and Bosnia and Herzegovina to avoid the lottery of the play offs, but it's likely to be a new blood of Welsh starlets that begin their campaign on 1 September. The group is completed by Malta, FYR Macedonia and Norway.

Scotland face a real tough assignment as they are grouped with Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Moldova and San Marino with the first three all capable of winning that group. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland will have to contend with defending Under-21 champions Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and the Faroe Islands.

The 2021 Finals start in Denmark on 15 June when France take on Iceland in that opening game.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
Maybe a move away wasn't the best choice!

Feels that way mate, but we'll bounce back. All good managers have a blip now and then.

You probably should've stayed at Edinburgh City.

Nah bud, I felt I had definitely gone as far as I could have with Edinburgh. This was because the ECFC board were being unambitious at Scottish Championship level (i.e. refusing to go full time) so it was time to seek a new challenge elsewhere. Unfortunately Finland doesn't appear to be the right option, well at the moment. New challenge elsewhere methinks.
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/Pf3rXDP2/SkySportsHeader_V1.3.png


English boss feeling the heat abroad

Last Updated: 13/12/2020 11:00am

https://i.postimg.cc/jSM2rr25/SkySportsHeader_V1.1.png

Reports are emerging from Finland that Ilves Tampere are set to dismiss their English manager Mark Duell within the next few days.

The Englishman only joined the Veikkausliga side in September after a two year stint in Scotland at Edinburgh City, and managed to keep his new side in the Finnish top division by winning four of his five games at the end of the season. It was a great achievement considering Tampere were looking to be drawn into a relegation scrap when Duell was first appointed, the team finishing eleven points clear in the end compared to just four when he was appointed.

However, sources in Tampere are hinting that despite turning around the club's fortunes: Duell has little to no support in the dressing room and Ilves chairman Tomi Erola might be forced to dismiss the manager. This could pave the way for Duell to return back to British shores and Sky Sports sources believe there will be a number of willing suitors in the English divisions looking to take on the man who also manages the Welsh Under-21 squad.

Neither Erola or Duell were available for comment on this story.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/6pwxHTgr/Uefa-U21-Championships.jpg

We got the short straw as far as I was concerned with the play-off semi finals, drawing the highly technical Portuguese side. We didn't have our strongest squad available either with Mitch Clark being called up for the senior squad, plus injury ruling out both Ryan Astley and Mark Harris.

Friday 13 November 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/Gh0z2dqN/Wales-U21-131120.png

So our much changed side travelled to Lisbon for the first leg, hoping we could get a result which would keep us in touch when came to the second leg. It looked very bleak indeed when FC Porto B striker Fabio Silva scored twice in the first 25 minutes; the second from the penalty spot. But we reduced the arrears within a minute of that second Silva goal when Bury's Joe Adams latched onto a well flighted Rabbi Matondo cross to silence the home crowd. They pushed for a third but we stayed resolute and left Lisbon still in the tie and with a vital away goal under our collective belts.

Momday 16 November 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/kMRkkt30/Wales-U21-161120.png

The second leg was back in Caerdydd three nights later, and we had to make do without Leeds' Tyler Roberts who was suspended after picking up a second yellow card in the tournament. Roberts was booked in the final eight minutes of the first leg. But we had done ourselves and the nation proud. The mountain became harder to climb after just five minutes when Dinis picked up a loose ball inside the penalty area and fired past Sam Reed. We showed some passion but found their defence a tough nut to crack. The tie was put behind us midway through the second half when Fernando Almeida headed in from close range.

We had given our best but unfortunately fell short at the final hurdle. The lads were disappointed and dejected as they came off the pitch. I really felt for them.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/bJg5BxtY/Sky-Sports-Header-V1-2.png


Wales Under-21 squad announced for Portugal double header

Last Updated: 04/11/2020 12:00pm

Mark Duell has named his squad for the crucial two-legged European Championship Under-21 play off against Portugal. That squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers:
Nathan Evans (Liverpool)
Scott Reed (Swansea City)
Ryan Ramasut (Derby County)

Defenders:
Brandon Cooper (Swansea City)
Jamie Evans (Lincoln City)
Trystan Jones (Cardiff City)
Jacob Jones (Swansea City)
Neco Williams (Liverpool)
Cole DaSilva (Oldham Athletic)

Midfielders:
Anthony Hartigan (AFC Wimbledon)
Elliot Tipton (Sheffield United)
Dale Fisher (Swansea City)
Ian Harrington (Stoke City)
Terry Taylor (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Lloyd Holden (Aston Villa)
Rabbi Matondo (Ipswich Town)
Brennan Johnson (Oldham Athletic)

Strikers:
Joe Adams (Bury)
Issak Davies (Cardiff City)
Tyler Roberts (Leeds United)
Mark Harris (Scunthorpe United)
Matty Argent-Barnes (Bolton Wanderers)

The first game will be played on 13 November 2020 in Lisbon with the second leg to be in Cardiff three days later.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/dtxxhJdc/rufcstadium.png

Stick or Twist once more?

Although I have only been in Finland for a couple of months, I'm seriously wondering if this is the job for me.

I might have only managed Ilves for just five games, winning four of them to ensure they survived comfortably, but I just wonder if this team is good enough to go onto the next level. For me, that means transforming a team that is supposed to be relegation candidates into becoming a top six side ahead of maybe challenging for European places. Can they do this? Part of me thinks not. Furthermore, my support within the dressing room isn't great considering I turned the season around completely.

One of the current available jobs is at Sky Bet League One side Rotherham United. They're looking for someone to get them in the right direction and make the play-offs which is something they could do. It's a club that's a bit closer to home. The current favourite with the bookies is Mark Robins who has managed the team before.

Added to that, the world reputation of the leagues sees League One to be better than Veikkausliga. Stick or twist again...

EDIT: I didn't apply after all, and they appointed Kevin Nolan instead as their new manager!


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
http://i67.tinypic.com/28im5fn.jpg

Current Managerial Career Snapshot


Manager Jobs:
https://i.postimg.cc/9FMgXzpq/scottishflag.png Edinburgh City: 8 July 2018 - 28 August 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/NMgvy51f/welshflag.png Wales Under 21: 9 August 2020 - present
https://i.postimg.cc/C55yNXP3/Finland-Flag.png Ilves Tampere: 28 August 2020 - present

Awards Won:
2018-2020 (Edinburgh City): Manager of Month - 7, Trophies Lifted - 2, Manager of the Year - 0*
2020 (Ilves): Manager of Month - 0, Trophies Lifted - 0, Manager of the Year - 0

* - No Manager of the Year Award issued at Scottish League One and Two level.

«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/26nkC5tw/Veikkausliigan-Logo.png

October 2020 in Review


Two final games to end the 2020 Veikkausliga season, my first foray in managing outside the UK. Can the team end the season on a winning note?

Sunday 18 October 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/J4fHVqQV/Ilves-161020.png

HJK Helsinki are probably the best known team in the Veikkausliga, having won the league title more than anyone else. They're the only team I have probably heard of, and were still in the title race when we played them in the capital city for our penultimate game of the season. We made an absolute flying start, Lauri Dalla Valle playing such a sweet pass into the path of top scorer Niklas Jokelainen who provided the ice-cool finish. After that it was backs to the wall as HJK threw everything including the proverbial kitchen sink at us but despite losing Keaton Isaksson to injury, we produced a great rearguard action to take all three points.

This game also saw Colombian winger Daniel Garcia make his comeback as a second half substitute after injury.

One game left to go, three wins on the spin maybe?

Sunday 25 October 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/QNWW6wpk/Ilves-251020.png

Our final game would be against mid-table KPV, and it also marked the final game for veteran goalkeeper Mika Hilander. I had early in the week tried to persuade him to carry on for another season but he politely declined. KPV took an early lead but we've got a bit of spirit about ourselves now and levelled midway through the first half when Jokelainen superbly directed a header beyond their keeper from a delicious Jusif Ali cross. The winner cane just after the hour, KPV couldn't clear the lines from a Jyrki Saarinen corner and Ali lashed home a volley despite the rain, thunder and lightning. We saw the game out well and it was real nice to finish on such a high note.

The final table was follows:

https://i.postimg.cc/k5zgKMhr/Ilves-Table-EOS2020.png


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
Yeah an unexpected twist there @Dan - just felt I had to do it if I want to go on and improve further. Edinburgh City was quite a ride.

https://i.postimg.cc/6pwxHTgr/Uefa-U21-Championships.jpg

The qualifying campaign drew to a close with a home and away series against Azerbaijan and Cyprus. Would we qualify? We entered the games in third position but only three points behind the table toppers from Italy. Winning the group was still a possibility for us but making the play-offs wouldn't be too bad a consolation prize. Here's how things unfolded.

Thursday 8 October 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/wvCpscDd/Wales-U21-81020.png

This was quite simply, a 1-0 hammering! We had no less than 23 shots on their goal in the 90 minutes but were goddamn wasteful though. Out of those shots, less than half of them were on target which goes to show our profligacy. They on the other hand, didn't have a single shot all game so if they had brought their shooting boots with them: we could have been in some serious bother. The only goal came as early as the 10th minute when the impressive Cole DaSilva crossed and Leeds' Tyler Roberts headed in from six yards out. With Sweden and Italy sharing a 2-2 draw, we leapfrogged the Swedes into second place.

Momday 12 October 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/hGQZ7Fsf/Wales-U21-121020.png

Win or bust! That's what was facing us as we kicked off in Nicosia. We knew full well that neither Italy and Sweden would slip up as they both had winnable home games against Azerbaijan and bottom placed Andorra respectively. What I got from the team was a performance that can simply be described as perfect. Wingers Mark Harris and Joe Adams both scored twice whilst Roberts added the other one. The final shot count was 31-2 in our favour, they simply couldn't live with us and also the way we actually knocked the ball around was so pleasing to watch. There's some serious talents in this squad.

The final table is as follows:
https://i.postimg.cc/Cx3HXRCx/Wales-U21-Table1020.png

So who would we draw in the play-off semi finals? We got this:
https://i.postimg.cc/qMY86N5x/Wales-U21-POSFDraw.png

The toughest of them all. Norway play the Republic of Ireland in the other semi, wish that had been us instead of the Norwegians.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
Yeah it was some result against Henke's RoPS side @tongey. Beating Honka was absolutely massive, it actually secured our top flight status for another year as the bottom placed team goes down automatically and the 11th placed side goes into a promotion/relegation play off series. Hopefully we can finish this season with a flourish and go into the new season with renewed confidence. Keeping them up can only but help improve my reputation a little bit more.

https://i.postimg.cc/bJg5BxtY/Sky-Sports-Header-V1-2.png


Duell announces his latest Wales Under-21 squad

Last Updated: 01/10/2020 12:00pm

Wales Under-21 manager Mark Duell today named his squad for Wales forthcoming European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Cyprus. The squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers:
Nathan Evans (Liverpool)
Scott Reed (Swansea City)
Ryan Ramasut (Derby County)

Defenders:
Mitch Clark (Southend United)
Brandon Cooper (Swansea City)
Ryan Astley (Everton)
Tom McCarthy (Cardiff City)
Trystan Jones (Cardiff City)
Jacob Jones (Swansea City)
Neco Williams (Liverpool)
Cole DaSilva (Oldham Athletic)

Midfielders:
Anthony Hartigan (AFC Wimbledon)
Elliot Tipton (Sheffield United)
Dale Fisher (Swansea City)
Ian Harrington (Stoke City)
Terry Taylor (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Lloyd Holden (Aston Villa)
Rabbi Matondo (Ipswich Town)
Brennan Johnson (Oldham Athletic)

Strikers:
Joe Adams (Bury)
Tyler Roberts (Leeds United)
Mark Harris (Scunthorpe United)
Andrew Berry (Swansea City)

There are recalls for Southend's Mitch Clark and Scunthorpe's Mark Harris who missed out last time through injury. AFC Wimbledon's Anthony Hartigan is also recalled despite not fully recovering from his bruised jaw that has kept him out for a few days after he'd recently returned from a three week hamstring strain. Jonathan Letheren of Swansea City and Jordan Conway of Fleetwood Town make way for Clark and Hartigan whilst Harris is seen as a direct replacement for the unlucky Issak Davies of Cardiff City who is sidelined with a sports hernia.

Wales will play on 8 October 2020 at the Cardiff City Stadium against Azerbaijan before the squad travel out to face Cyprus in Nicosia four days later to conclude their qualifying group stage.


«This comment has been edited»
The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
Give my story a read - Now I would walk 500 miles...

http://i67.tinypic.com/fo14oy.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/26nkC5tw/Veikkausliigan-Logo.png

September 2020 in Review


Five games to go when leaving Edinburgh City for Ilves Tampere. I'm now in a relegation fight for the first time in this career and the odds are really stacked against me and my new charges. Although I have had a wage increase, the board have made it abundantly clear that should the team be relegated then they would consider sacking me even though it's not my fault. Can I keep them up?

Sunday 13 September 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/SQrBQbgk/Ilves-13920.png

My first game behind the bench at Ilves was an away trip to RoPS who are managed by Celtic and Sweden legend Henrik Larsson, and they are challenging for a European place which made our task hard. It got even harder when our Colombian right winger Daniel Garcia was injured in training a few days before the game. So with no other options available, I had field Jusif Ali in the right wing role, Ali hasn't featured much for the first team at all but there was no other option. However we produced a performance that really wasn't in the script.

Ali gave us a 57th minute lead when he prodded in his own rebound after the keeper couldn't hold the initial shot. Yet our defensive frailties were exposed a minute later when Fred Opuku equalised for the home side. You would have expected them to kick on and take the points afterwards, right? Wrong, it only seemed to inspire us more. Lauri Dalla Valle, who was once signed by Liverpool, restored our lead with a close range finish in the 69th minute and then with ten minutes to go: Ali netted his second of the game to wrap up the points. Henke wasn't best pleased. A major step towards survival for us.

Sunday 20 September 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/764RDK75/Ilves-20920.png

Could we build on this with another three points in my first home game against FC Lathi who are also battling for survival. If I didn't know how inconsistent this team was before, I sure as heck know it now as we produced a performance that was the complete opposite to the one the week before. I had warned the defence that Lathi had a striker with an eye for a goal but it didn't sink it. Afore mentioned Brazilian striker Vitor Naum poached in the first and then Estonian strike partner Henri Anier added a second to leave us two behind with half an hour left to play. Tuomas Rannamarki pulled one back with a rare goal for the left winger but we were done for when Naum scored his second and Lathi's third moments later.

Sunday 27 September 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/Dy0M2JWP/Ilves-27920.png

That result against Lathi had ensured they would survive but we had a chance to ensure our own survival when we hosted another relegation candidate in Honka a week later. It wasn't a pretty game with Honka picking up yellow cards like confetti and trying to foul their way to the points. It was going to take one goal to separate the teams, thankfully we scored it. The goal owed a lot to our highly-rated right back Ari Laitinen; who has been watched by Serie A teams in recent weeks. Laitinen charged at the Honka defence and although he couldn't get a shot away, the ball rebounded into the path of the recalled Niklas Jokelainen and he made no mistake. We are staying up! A fantastic achievement.

The league table is as follows:
https://i.postimg.cc/76b2YS4k/Ilves-Table-Sep2020-End.png


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There's silverware coming soon @tongey - I can sense it.
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So the Under-21 role began with games against our Italian and Swedish counterparts. The Azzurini are the team to be beat in my eyes, whilst the Swedes are managed by none other than Zlatan (yes, as in Ibrahimovic). If we can finish in the top two then I would be more than happy.

Thursday 3 September 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/DZ7Wn2SL/Wales-U21-392020.png

Two goals in as many minutes sealed the win for the hosts. We played a 4-2-3-1 defensive formation with Leeds United's Tyler Roberts leading the line. Naturally they had the majority of the chances, despite both teams being equal in possession. They took the lead when Lazio's Sandro Tonali picked out the top corner with a superb strike from the edge of the area. The win was secured shortly afterwards when Palermo's Alexander Scaramazza marked his debut when he headed in a Luigi Pili cross.

Monday 7 September 2020
https://i.postimg.cc/tRZ1bmTr/Wales-U21-792020.png

That defeat in Empoli gave me a reality check on how different international football is compared to club level. Four days later, we hosted Sweden and I changed the formation to a 4-1-4-1 as I felt it would help us more. We looked a lot more confident in this game, and took the lead in the 25th minute when Stoke's Ian Harrington played a nice one-two with Villa's Lloyd Holden and the latter advanced to place a nice shot into the corner. Sweden equalised in the 57th minute with a swift counter attack goal but we went back in front with 20 minutes to go; some nice possession football from our lads and Oldham's Cole DaSilva's low cross was turned into the net by substitute Issak Davies in front of his home crowd.

It was 3-1 in the 83rd minute, Harrington and Holden again combining (good signs indeed) for the latter to score his second of the game. They headed in a second in the fifth minute of injury time but we had done enough by then to come off winners. My first win at international level!

The table is as follows, with two games to go:

https://i.postimg.cc/0QZCqXy5/Wales-U21-Table0920.png


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Third time lucky indeed.

Lower league management is great, gives you a real challenge ahead. Keep it up fella...
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Duell announces his first Wales Under-21 squad

Last Updated: 29/08/2020 12:00pm

Newly appointed Wales Under-21 manager Mark Duell today named his first ever squad for the forthcoming European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Italy and Sweden. The squad is as follows:

Goalkeepers:
Nathan Evans (Liverpool)
Scott Reed (Swansea City)
Ryan Ramasut (Derby County)

Defenders:
Jonathan Letheren (Swansea City)
Brandon Cooper (Swansea City)
Ryan Astley (Everton)
Tom McCarthy (Cardiff City)
Trystan Jones (Cardiff City)
Jacob Jones (Swansea City)
Neco Williams (Liverpool)
Cole DaSilva (Oldham Athletic)

Midfielders:
Jordan Conway (Fleetwood Town)
Dale Fisher (Swansea City)
Ian Harrington (Stoke City)
Terry Taylor (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Lloyd Holden (Aston Villa)
Rabbi Matondo (Ipswich Town)
Brennan Johnson (Oldham Athletic)

Strikers:
Joe Adams (Bury)
Tyler Roberts (Leeds United)
Issak Davies (Cardiff City)
Andrew Berry (Swansea City)

The games will be played on 3 September 2020 at the Carlo Castellani Stadium in Empoli against the Azzurrini, and on 7 September 2020 at the Cardiff City Stadium against the Swedes.




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29/08/2020

Ilves Tampere can today confirm the appointment of Mark Duell as the new First Team Manager. Mark replaces Marko Rajamäki who was relieved of his duties 19 days ago.

The 38 year old joins us from Scottish Championship side Edinburgh City where he has transformed a team of part-time footballers into the second tier of the Scottish football league. During his tenure there, he has lifted two consecutive league titles and promotions so we are hopeful he can work his magic here in Tampere.

Mark is also the current Wales Under-21 manager and will be combining his role here with the part time one in Wales. He comes very highly recommended and with five games to go, we hope he is the man that can keep us up.

His first game in the dugout is on Sunday 13 September 2020 when we travel to RoPS. Please give him a warm welcome. #WelcomeMark
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It was a massive result @Dan mate, but get ready for the surprise coming....

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Brown: We might lose Mark
24 August 2020

https://i.postimg.cc/y8xrTb5V/JimBrown.png

Edinburgh City chairman fears that he might lose his highly rated manager.

Jim Brown, who has been Chairman of Edinburgh City since May 2017, has conceded that the Scottish Championship part-timers might lose Mark Duell sooner rather than later. The Englishman has been a revelation since being appointed by Brown in the summer of 2018, leading the Citizens to two successive league titles and to the Championship which was just a long distant dream beforehand and Brown knows Duell could be appointed elsewhere:

"I am under no illusions that we are really punching above our weight at the moment. It's like a scruffy no hoper being seen with a supermodel on their arm.

Because of this we have a manager who is being courted by teams home and abroad. The more than Mark (Duell) achieves, the more his stock rises and we will have a job of our own to keep him. Of course we would like to retain him for ever and a day, he's done remarkable things in his short time here, but sometimes good things don't last forever. If you want to be one of the best out there then you have to look at improving yourself elsewhere. It's the nature of the beast.

Mark recently approached us with a couple of things: one was to request the Club became a full time team to compete with the ones in the Championship and also to improve the youth facilites. Unfortunately I had to turn him down on both requests with a heavy heart. We run a very prudent ship here and the funds are not just not there for us to do so. Therefore if he thinks he can achieve better things elsewhere, we will not stand in his way. He's doing what is right for himself.

Mark is a bright young manager who I think is destined for massive things; after all you don't get the international role which he also holds without being a bit good."

So will the City fans making the trip to Tannadice on Saturday see their popular manager in the dugout as always, barking out his instructions? Or will he on the move? As Jim Brown says, Edinburgh City will not stand in his way if he decides to leave Ainslie Park and the team know he's being wanted elsewhere. If he goes, his two season legacy will be remembered for a multitude of right reasons.

https://i.postimg.cc/1zrKD0HG/Illves-Announcement.png
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https://i.postimg.cc/Kj3Q0cMF/Game-Header22820.png
Attendance: 931 (399 away


Team News: It’s a basement battle at Ainslie Park as Edinburgh City take on an Inverness Caledonian Thistle side still looking for their first points of the season. Skipper Blair Henderson could make a return to the starting line up after passing a fitness test on his twisted knee. However, Andy Black (twisted knee), Josh Peters (bruised thigh), Louis Appéré (pulled hamstring) and Regan Lumsden (damaged foot) might not be risked. Caley, who could go above their hosts with a three goal winning margin, will be missing central defender Coll Donaldson who is recovering from a damaged shoulder that is set to keep him out for a further three weeks.

Match Report: Edinburgh City recorded their second league win of the season and climbed up to 7th in the Scottish Championship table when they saw off Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Ainslie Park. It wasn’t a classic by all means with Thistle resorting to foul after foul to try and break down any home attack. In the 69th minute, the visitors were reduced to ten men when central defender Michael Rose was dismissed for a second yellow card for deliberate handball. The home side capitalised and scored the winner with a quarter of an hour to go, Graham Taylor hammering a loose ball into the roof of the net and proved to be enough.

Man of the Match: Clévid Dikamona (Inverness Caledonian Thistle)

Edinburgh City Team: Jamieson – Thomson, Allan, Devine, Kennedy – Stewart (Hall 58), Muir (Bain 83), Taylor – Humphrey (Handling 65) – Hurst, B.Henderson. Unused Substitiutes: L.Henderson, Reid, Shepherd, Antell (GK)

Next Game:

https://i.postimg.cc/Bv47fFKY/Game-Header29820.png
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Page set to name first senior squad

Last Updated: 22/08/2020 11:00am

Wales manager Rob Page is gearing up for the announcement of his first senior Wales squad.

https://i.postimg.cc/0yvRKFTr/robpage.jpg

Page, 45, who was appointed to the hot seat when Ryan Giggs resigned in the summer after the European Championships: is set to name his first squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Germany and Turkey. The Germany game will be a poignant moment for the manager, as the game will be played at the Principality Stadium on his 46th birthday. Page will be watching this weekend's games with interest as the squad will be announced on Friday 29 August.

The same announcement day will also see newly appointed Wales Under-21 manager Mark Duell announce his first ever squad at international level. The youngsters will be facing Italy and Sweden in Group 3 of the Under-21 European Championship qualifiers. Duell, however, will be without Southend United right-back Mitch Clark who is still recovering from a torn hamstring and the games might come too soon for AFC Wimbledon midfielder Anthony Hartigan who is currently on the sidelines with a hamstring strain.
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Attendance: 1353 (750 away)


Team News: Edinburgh City will be hoping for second successive Championship win but they face title favourites Dundee in another testing encounter. City will definitely be without the suspended Matty Allan after his appeal against his sending off at Hearts was upheld. Young striker Regan Lumsden is also sidelined as he continues to recover from a damaged foot. Meanwhile the game could come too quick for Andy Black and Blair Henderson as they both recover from twisted knee injuries; and Louis Appéré isn’t likely to be risked from a pulled hamstring. Dundee’s Billy Clarke is their only absentee due to a pulled hamstring, otherwise they are at full strength.

Match Report: .Two late, late goals clinched the win for Championship favourites Dundee at Ainslie Park but once the home support could be pleased with their team’s showing. Dundee took the lead in the 8th minute when Jon Bakero flicked on a pass to Euan Valentine who was unmarked at the far post to slot home his first goal for the club. However, City levelled in the 21st minute with a well executed counter attack and Josh Peters followed up on his hat-trick with another calm finish into the top corner for his sixth of the season. Denny Johnstone had a second chalked off for Dundee for offside which Steve Evans was raging about to the officials, before those two late strikes.

In the 83rd minute, experienced midfielder Andrew Surman sent Spanish striker Bakero racing clear and he beat Darren Jamieson at his near post. Then the same player put the game beyond the home side two minutes from the end; converting Tom McLelland’s pull back from six yards out.

Man of the Match: Jon Bakero (Dundee)

Edinburgh City Team: Jamieson – Thomson (Bain 74), Devine, L.Henderson, Reid – Stewart, Muir, Taylor (Handling 65) – Humphrey – Hurst, Peters (Shepherd 48). Unused Substitutes: Glover, Kennedy, Hall, Antell (GK)

Next Game:

https://i.postimg.cc/Kj3Q0cMF/Game-Header22820.png



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The Man formerly known on SUSIE as Poolie Exile
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Aye, it was definitely some game against the Jambos @Dan - reckon we might have won it if we had been a full time outfit. But we got some serious income out of it though. Whatever we do in the Cups I'm going to take as a bonus, staying up is the main achievement and that as I've said before...won't be easy. It's like climbing Everest!

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Allan suspension upheld

https://i.postimg.cc/rwR5VVKk/Matty-Allan.jpg

City will be without central defender Matty Allan for tonight's Scottish Championship home fixture against title favourites Dundee.

The 24 year old was sent off in the Betfred Cup at Hearts this weekend, and City appealed against it as they felt the decision was harsh. However, a Scottish FA disciplinary panel has ruled that the referee made the right decision and the red card stands. The suspension is for one game. Manager Mark Duell is understandably disappointed with the decision:

"We've learnt this morning that Matty (Allan) has had his appeal turned down, and has to serve a one match ban for his sending off against Hearts.

We felt as a Club that it was a harsh call made by the referee on the night, as the striker was nowhere the goal and milked the challenge a wee bit. But we're obviously not on the same wavelength as the referee and the disciplinary panel.

It's a blow to us but we've got to take it on the chin and deal with it. Like we always do."

Details of his replacement has not been leaked but Liam Henderson, Lewis Macari and Scott Glover are all in contention.
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Irn-Bru Cup opponents confirmed

https://i.postimg.cc/0y5HfXKV/elgincitystadium.jpg

City will face League Two Elgin City in the second round of this season's Irn-Bru Cup.

This was confirmed after the Black and Whites defeated non-league Huntly 3-1 at Christie Park in their delayed First Round tie. Attacking midfielder Bryan Clark led the way with a double, and although Paul Napier pulled one back: winger Marc Scott secured the win with eleven minutes left.

Tickets and travel for the second round tie at Borough Briggs will be on sale from the Ainslie Park Box Office from Monday.
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Attendance: 12426 (445 away)


Team News: It’s derby night in Scotland’s capital as Premiership Heart of Midlothian host Championship newcomers Edinburgh City at Tynecastle Park. Hearts will be missing right-back Cammy Kerr after the new signing had appeared already in the competition for previous club Dundee. Also absent, but through injury, are veterans Alan Hutton and Christophe Berra (long term hip injuries) plus fellow defender Tyler Blackett who has a fractured cheekbone. Hungarian midfielder Dominik Nagy is rehabilating from sprained knee ligaments whilst Serbian David Milinkovic is still recovering from pulled knee ligaments.

Edinburgh City themselves will have a different look for tonight’s game. Loanees Scott Glover, Ryan Muir and Aaron Reid are all ruled out by cup-tie clauses invoked by their parent clubs. They will also be without skipper Blair Henderson (twisted knee), winger Louis Appéré (pulled hamstring) and young striker Regan Lumsden (damaged foot). Goalkeeper Darren Jamieson could earn a recall after being rested for the midweek win at Airdrie.

Match Report: The Edinburgh Betfred Cup derby ended up being an absolute classic as Hearts edged past Edinburgh City by the odd goal in nine after extra time. It was a game that had everything as both sides finished it with ten men. After being under the cosh in the early stages, it was City who stunned the large crowd inside Tynecastle with two goals just four minutes apart. Striker Josh Peters, recalled to replace injured skipper Blair Henderson, did the damage. After 14 minutes he latched onto a Kieran Stewart through ball and beat Zander Clark at his near post, then did the same four minutes later with Graham Taylor this time providing the assist. City were reduced to ten men in the 25th minute when Matty Allan was dismissed for a late challenge on Hearts’ Uche Ikpeazu. It certainly looked a harsh decision made by referee Stephen Finnie.

Ikpeazu reduced the deficit with his first of the night with a strike four minutes before half time. However, in the 68th minute, the visitors stunned the home crowd again with a third goal when Taylor slammed home the rebound after Clark could only parry a Calum Hall shot out to the stand-in captain. Hearts were rocking and needed something special to rescue them. With seven minutes left, young City defender Adam Devine turned the ball into his own net under pressure from the giant Nigerian striker. Then with the last kick of normal time, Ikpeazu managed to steer a low shot into the net and force extra-time.

The drama wasn’t over then. Four minutes in, and Kevin O’Connor curled home a delightful free-kick for his first Jambos goal and put Hearts ahead for the first time. Hearts themselves then went down to ten men after 101 minutes, winger Graham Carey seeing red for a two footed lunge on Peters. But could the visitors respond? Yes they could as Peters got on the end of a Chris Humphrey pull back to make it 4-4 in the 104th minute. Then as the teams looked to end the first period of extra time level, Hearts scored the ninth goal of an absorbing cup tie. O’Connor with the corner, and defender Sean Raggett headed it goalwards for defensive partner Tommie Hoban to touch in from close range. City couldn’t summon up anything more after that, they were dead on their feet, and Hearts scraped through by the skin of their proverbial teeth but the visitors had done themselves extremely proud in a game that most had thought would be a home walkover.

Man of the Match: Josh Peters (Edinburgh City)

Edinburgh City Team: Jamieson – Thomson (Shepherd 98), Allan, Devine, Kennedy – Stewart (Bain 68), Black (Hall 45), Taylor – Peters, Hurst (L.Henderson 25). Unused Substitutes: Handling, Macari, Antell (GK)

Next Game:

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Double injury blow rocks City
13 August 2020

https://i.postimg.cc/xCg7DRPg/louisappere.jpg

Edinburgh City have been rocked by a double injury blow ahead of this Saturday's Betfred Cup Second Round tie against local rivals Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle Park.

Already without highly-rated young striker Regan Lumsden, City picked up two injuries in last night 2-0 win over Airdrie at the Penny Cars Stadium in Lanarkshire. Joining Lumsden in the Ainslie Park treatment room are winger Louis Appéré and club captain Blair Henderson. Henderson of course is a major loss due to the goal threat he presents and the talismanic presence he provides on pitch.

Former Dundee United youngster Appéré limped off after 58 minutes following a late challenge and the Club have confirmed that he has suffered a pulled hamstring as a result. This is set to keep the winger out for at least a couple of weeks and is a blow to the player's plans to establish himself after following his summer switch from Tannadice. Henderson had only recently recovered from a twisted knee, and although he managed to make it through the whole 90 minutes, he has suffered a reoccurrence of that very same injury. City manager Mark Duell had this to say on this double injury whammy:

"As good as it is to record a nice away win, it's been tempered today with a couple of confirmed injuries.

Louis was clattered just before the hour last night and in the resultant impact, damaged his hamstring. Hamstring injuries are very delicate to deal with and can be much worse to deal if you don't let them heal properly. Rush a player back from one of those and it could go again leading towards a prolonged spell on the sidelines. We will have to be careful with Louis and manage his recovery well. Hopefully we can see him back in action in the near future.

It's also disappointing to see Blair (Henderson) break down again with a knee injury, the same injury that sidelined him before. He felt before the game that he was ready to step it up and complete 90 minutes. However, he felt it go again in the closing stages, but in typical Blair fashion he decided to carry on and see the game out rather than leave us finishing the game under-strength. That's the measure of the man. We're going to wrap him in cotton wool for a bit and allow this to heal, only when we know he's ready then he'll back involved. Blair will want to be back sooner but we're not going to rush him back. He's a massive blow but we have options in our squad to cover for him. Whoever steps in, will do us a job."


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An away day in Round Two

https://i.postimg.cc/1tw0vwTg/irn-bru-cup.jpg

City today learned their opponents in the second round of this season's Irn-Bru Cup.

After disposing of League One side Airdrie last night at the Penny Cars Stadium; thanks to goals from Greg Hurst and Graham Taylor, City will be on the road again in the next round. They will be playing the winner of the Huntly/Elgin City tie which will be concluded this Saturday, 15 August. It's a draw that manager Mark Duell thinks couldn't have been any better:

"Well that's not that bad a draw is it?

Ideally it would be nice to play the next round at home but to get a draw which is as decent as this, well I'm not complaining at all. It's a winnable encounter and gives us the chance to reach the last sixteen. Of course whoever we play, will be up for it. After all, they will be playing a side that is higher in the league structure than them. We will be the favourites for sure but we need to guard against complacency and not think that our place is already guaranteed.

Who knows where this Cup journey can take us? We will keep the enjoying the ride."

The second round tie will be played on 5 September 2020 with a 3:00pm kick off. Details for tickets will be released as soon as our opponent is confirmed.


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