KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory

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    Hello all, this is my first FM story. I decided to start with KuPS because they are a team which have struggled to consistently do well in the Finnish Premier League.
    Here is a wikipedia link for those interested in learning about them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuopion_Palloseura

    In short, Kuopion Palloseura is a team based in Kuopio, Finland. They were founded in 1923 and they hold the Finnish club record for most consecutive seasons in the top flight, 1949 to 1992. Recently they have not done well and have had the same kind of form as West Brom, constantly being relegated and promoted. They play at Magnum Areem which has a capacity of 5000 (2700 seated) and they play in yellow and black.

    They finished 2nd in the Finnish Premier League in 2010 which earns them a place in the Europa League Qualifiers. The Finnish season starts in January with the Finnish League Cup. The Finnish League Cup Final is usually contested in April. The Finnish Cup starts in March and the final is in October. The Premier League itself starts at the end of April and ends in October.


    As for who I am, my name is Nick Heighway. I was born in the States on 10/3/1972, LA actually. My mom was from there, my dad was from Lahti in Finland. I took my mom's surname. My dream was to become a footballer who would be compared to the likes of Marradona, Pele Souness, etc. I was lucky enough to be asked to enter the academy of LA Galaxy where I broke in to the first-team in 1992. I played there until I retired in 2009. It was a descent career in my opinion, won trophies here and there but I never played for America or Finland.

    I moved to Finland last year because I enjoy the lifestyle there. It was a rather laid-back kind. I am currently engaged to a girl here from Finland but I am looking for employment. As an ex-footballer, football naturally became my trade so I decided to look in to management.

    American Ex-professional replaces Pekonen as manager of KuPS

    It was a shock to many KuPS fans as Pekonen retired. "The stress of managing a football team as big as KuPS is too much for me. I thank the staff, the players and the fans for their support and I wish the club well for the future" - Pekonen says to a reporter from YLE (Finnish News Broadcaster)

    Nick Heighway signed a contract worth an estimated £650 oer week untill 31/11/2012.
    "I look forward to managing KuPS and I thank Ari Lahti (the owner) for giving me such an opportunity. I have a chance to make KuPS in to a formidable team in Europe and I will be doing all I can to reach that goal. Transfers are likely but the squad here is very good. My goal for thi season is to finish in the top-half of the league." - Heighway during his first press conference.

    Here is the club overview


    I hope that you all will enjoy this story. Apologies for the lengthy post but there was so much to cover. All comments are welcome.



    2011 Season Overview


    League
    Position: 1st
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Ilja Venalainen - 11 Goals (19 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Miika Ilo - 25 Apps - 6 Goals - 10 Assists - Ave. 7.27

    Cup
    Round: Champions
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Antti Hynynen - 3 Goals (4 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Antti Hynynen - 4 Apps - 3 Goals - 1 Assist - Ave. 7.64

    League Cup
    Round: Champions
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Miika Ilo - 6 Goals (8 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Miika Ilo - 8 Apps - 6 Goals - 5 Assists - Ave. 8.14

    Europa League
    Round: Finished 4th in Group Stage
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Ilja Venalainen - 3 Goals (4 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Etchu Tabe - 10 Apps - 2 Goals - 1 Assist - Ave. 7.43



    2012 Season Overview


    League
    Champions (by a 21 point margin)
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Abdoulaye Sylla - 10 Goals (17 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Antti Hynynen - 20 Apps - 7 Goals - 9 Assists - Ave. 7.34

    Cup
    Round: Champions
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Miika Ilo - 2 Goals (3 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Miika Ilo - 3 Apps - 2 Goals - 1 Assist - Ave. 7.60

    League Cup
    Round: Qtr Final
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Abdoulaye Sylla - 7 Goals (5 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Abdoulaye Sylla - 5 Apps - 7 Goals - 0 Assists - Ave. 7.90

    Champions League
    Round: 3rd in Group E
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Ilja Venalainen - 4 Goals (7 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Stefan Strandberg - 7 Apps - 1 Goal - 0 Assists - Ave. 7.36

    Europa League
    Round: Last 16
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Raymond Fafiani - 2 Goals (3 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Raymond Fafiani - 3 Apps - 2 Goals - Assist - Ave. 7.43



    2013 Season Overview


    League
    Champions (by a 8 point margin)
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Raymond Fafiani - 7 Goals (5 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Stefan Strandberg - 29 Apps - 4 Goals - 1 Assist - Ave. 7.33

    Cup
    Round: Champions
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Abdoulaye Sylla - 3 Goals (4 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Abdoulaye Sylla - 3 Apps - 3 Goals - 1 Assist - Ave. 8.20

    League Cup
    Round: Champions
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Ilja Venalainen - 4 Goals (3 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Ilja Venalainen - 3 Apps - 4 Goals - 4 Assists - Ave. 8.00

    Champions League
    Round: Champions Play-off (vs FC Basel)
    KuPS Top Goalscorer: Stefan Strandberg - 3 Goals (4 Apps)
    KuPS Best Player: Stefan Strandberg - 4 Apps - 3 Goals - 0 Assists - Ave. 7.87

    Europa League
    Coming Soon

    This post was edited by The FM Rookie (2012-10-20 18:10, 3 years ago)

    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    All the best, dude. Hope you succeed!


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    Go for it! Going to be following your story.

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    The first day in the job is usually the most crucial and Nick Heighway knew that. Let's just say things did'nt happen as he would have liked. He arrived to fins that the senior squad contained just 16 players. There were some quality players there for sure but there were holes. He needed a new 'keeper, a new left back, at least two new centre mid's and a right winger. When he arrived to his office he found a note on his desk. "Welcome to Kuopion Palloseura! I have decided to give you a transfer kitty of £12k and a wage budget of £6500 to reach our expectations. The current wage bill is £6400. Good luck, Ari Lahti."


    Key Players:

    Etchu Tabe - The best defender in the league



    Ilja Venalainen - The talisman striker





    After some shuffling, Heighway had no transfer funds but £8200 for wages. He promoted Aleksi Paananen to the senior team permanently due to Aleksi's potential. He then went about looking for some new players.


    Aleksi Paananen - The next "Jari Litmanen"?




    Squad




    TRANSFERS


    Heighway signed 3 midfielders to strengthen his squad



    Miika Niskala - The midfield dynamo (Free Transfer)



    Jonas Emet - The Hotshot Playmaker (Free Transfer)



    Eetu Muinonen - The creative winger (Free Transfer)




    My New Squad Report


    Also released scout Samie Mietinen and replaced him with former Finnish international Ville Nylund.


    Fixture List


    Will update after first game and then update monthly or after key games. Feel free to comment. Stay Tuned!

    This post was edited by The FM Rookie (2012-07-30 21:42, 3 years ago)

    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    KuPS sink VPS in Heighway's First Game


    VPS 0-2 KuPS
    Well, we did it. It was a textbook performance and a textbook victory. It was a pretty even opening with both sides creating and defending. When captain Ilja Venalainen got injured in the 21st min things looked bad. However, his replacement Abdoulaye Sylla, scored one of the greatest goals seen in Finnish football in the 44th min. He skinned no less than four players in quick succession before beating the 'keeper with an exquisite plaaced shot accross goal. 1-0! From then on we dominated. Abdoulaye Sylla then played Eetu Muinonen through with an exquisite through ball and Muinonen failed to dissapoint by burying the ball in to the back of the net. 2-0 after 69 mins. The rest of the game was pretty even though and VPS got a late chance but missed.
    MOTM: Abdouyalle Sylla






    Formations


    Player Ratings


    Can KuPS continue on from this great result? Stay tuned and find out when the February update is posted.


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Hi guys. As I'm currently on vacation in Kuopio, Finland, I will not be able to post the February update until Friday. While I'm in Kuopio I will be going to watch them play Bursaspor on Thursday in a Europa League Qualifier. Stay tuned.


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    KuPS Eases Through February


    KuPS' 1-0 shock win against Bursaspor in the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Rnd 1st Leg at the Savon Saanomat Areena (previously Magnum Areena) tonight motivated me to play this story even more. Since arriving home from the match, I played the entire month of February and I'm dedicating this post to that victory.



    2-1 Win vs RoPS (H) FLC Grp B
    The scoreline was flattering for RoPS. Truth be told, it was a match that we dominated from start to finish. Miika Ilo scored a long-range effort early on to give us the lead. 5 mins before H/T, RoPS had there captain Maisonvaara sent off. In added time in the first half, Ilo played Paul Obiefule through tom make it 2-0. RoPS scored a consolation goal near the end.

    4-2 Win vs JJK (H) FLC Grp B
    We were on fire here scoring four goals against our rivals. Miika Ilo scored two cracking long-rangers. Antti Hynynen and Jonas Emet also scored. JJK showed that they wanted the win by scoring twice but it was too little too late for the boys from Jyvaskyla. This win secured our qualification from Grp B.

    6-1 Win vs IFK Mariehamn (A) FLC Grp B
    Having secured our qualification, this match was all about testing our ability against a team who has everything to prove. IFK 'keeper Wicks let a simple shot bounce off his legs and in early on. Wicklof equalised within a matter of minutes. Mika Ilo scored one and set up Markus Joenmaki in the first half. He scored again and set up Pieteri Holopainen aswell in the second half. Aleksi Paananen also scored with a dink over the 'keeper.

    1-2 Loss vs Brondby (H) Friendly
    I don't care about the result. I chose to play a number of youth players and those lacking match fitness and they performed well. It is worth noting that Brondby have Michael Krohn-Dehli and Rommedahl in their ranks.

    4-0 Win vs FF Jaro (H) FLC Grp B
    A great win and a great performance. Miika Ilo, Paul Obiefule, Miika Niskala and Antti Hynynen were the scorers. Didn't see this match so can't comment on it.

    Finnish League Cup Final Group Standings


    Finnish League Cup Group Stage Player Stats


    Ilo steals fan's hearts with splendid run

    Miika Ilo was the player to watch this month as he scored 6 goals and claimed 5 assists in just 4 games. The left winger's performances helped KuPS to top spot in the Finnish League Cup Group B and has made some comments about his manager's contribution.
    "The gaffer likes us to play a free-flowing, high tempoed game which really suits my style. We are enjoying our football and that can be seen by our results. KuPS can do great things under Heighway."

    Miika Ilo



    Manager's Thoughts

    "The team has done really well since I took charge. From the first day I have been made feel welcome. The players have put one hundred percent effort in to training and they have been rewarded with great results. Our attacking play has been second to none and our defensive work is improving rapidly. I am confident of continuing our rich vein of form." - Heighway said to reporter from "World Soccer".

    March update next. Share your opinions and stay tuned.


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Finnish League Cup Qtr Final Draw

    HJK are miles ahead of every other club in Finland in terms of quality. Only consolation is that it is at home.


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Venalainen Cream of the Crop in Surprise Trouncing


    30.3.2011. 3-0 Win vs HJK (H) Finnish League Cup Qtr Final
    It was a performance that even Barca would be proud of. We just comp;etely outplayed them. To be honest, the win was not as big as it could have been. Forget City's 6-1 win over Utd or Utd's 8-2 win over Arsenal, this score would be like Barcelona "B" beating the great Barca team. Minnows destroying giants.
    Venalainen finally hits red-hot form with a hat-trick. Really looking forward to the season ahead.


    MOTM: Ilja Venalainen




    Drew TPS away in the semi-final, will be tough,



    March Results




    April update will be posted tomorrow, stay tuned


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    KuPS storm the Veritas for place in final


    06.04.2011. 3-2 Win vs TPS (A) FLC Semi-Final
    It was long, it was hard and it was contreversial. Ilja Venalainen scored two goals to give KuPS a good lead. A deflected shot inside the KuPS penalty are landed at Tero Taipale's feet before he concedes an embarrasing own goal to TPS' delight. TPS were then handed a contreversial penalty in the 42nd minute which Jarkko Hurme converted. The game was poised on a knife edge. At H/T Heighway encouraged the KuPSi players to keep going. The game remained level until the 88th minute when Paul Obiefule collected the ball in midfield and from 35 yards out, hit the top corner with a Gerrard-esque strike. All of TPS' hopes and dreams were crushed and KuPS were in the final. Having one the Finnish League Cup just once in 2006, this is a major step for KuPS', and certainly Heighway's future.


    With the final just three days away, stay tuned for a special final day broadcast as Kuopion Palloseura play FC Honka at the Sonera Stadium for the Finnish League Cup.


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Penalties Decide League Cup Winner



    09.04.2011. 1-1 Draw (6-5 Pen. Win) vs Honka (N) Finnish League Final
    It wasn't pretty. It is never fair to lose a final to penalties. But KuPS deserved to win. The match started with KuPS walking on to the pitch to find their fans singing Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire". The fan's singing seemed to inject confidence in to the KuPS players. Creating 17 chances, 5 clear-cut chances and their only goal was a flukey own goal early on. The first half was dominated by KuPS but the second half was more even. Ilja Venalainen was the main culprit for squandering KuPS' chances and Honka midfielder Vasara made KuPS pay with an equaliser. The penalty shoot-out was a thriller, taking 18 penalties to decide a winner. In the end, Hatakka's miss gave KuPS the win and Heighway his first trophy.



    Match Stats


    Player Stats



    Heighway Speaks of Delight

    "I'm delighted with the win. It is a great moment to win any trophy, let alone the Finnish League Cup. I see this as a sign for things to come. Over the course of the League Cup campaign we have been excellent, creating chances for ourselves and cutting off the opponents. The players and the fans deserve this trophy and I'm delighted to be a part of it."


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Wow,It is so exciting.


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    #61115 rappelz : Wow,It is so exciting.
    Yeah, the thing with Finnish football is that a lot of the teams are very similar in ability so anything can happen. That was the longest penalty shoot-out I've ever seen.


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Got JJK at home in the Finnish Cup, looking for a repeat of our last encounter :)


    Taking over the world with a team from snowy Finland. Is it possible? Can it be done? Only one way to find out: KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory
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    Great story so far I've never even heard of Kups lol but it will be interesting to see where they're headed with you at the helm.

    Have a look at my story if you will :D

    http://www.fmscout.com/t-61122-From-AFC-Bournemouth-to-the-Premier-League.html#61122


    We're going up , We're going down
    We're going up , We're going down
    City's going down with a billion in the bank

    See my story unfold as I attempt to take AFC Bournemouth from League 1 to The Premier League

    http://www.fmscout.com/q-6390-From-AFC-Bournemouth-to-the-Premier-League.html?n=last#
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