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The Kévin Gauthier Story

Started on 30 March 2016 by MJK46
Latest Reply on 8 June 2016 by mgriffin2012
Phew, that went well all things considered xD
Hopefully you can get a big fee for him then
Monday, January 04, 2021

HJK Helsinki Season Preview

Happy New Year to all readers of this blog!! We here at Escape to Suomi are pleased to once again preview the twelve Veikkausliiga clubs for this season. The league sees the return of RoPS to the top division. As always we start with the previous seasons champions. So without further ado here is the 2021 Season Preview of HJK.

After a pretty successful 2020 season manager Kévin Gauthier and his Klubi are ready for the new season. The previous season was really successful as they would win their 31st Veikkausliiga title and 13th Suomen Cup. In the Liiga Cup they would make it to the semifinal before losing to Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho. On the European front they had a great campaign before getting knocked out by French club Stade Rennais F.C. in the playoffs of the Europa League.

Once again the board is looking for Gauthier to have an excellent season as they will drive for their third league title in a row. Once again they should be able to run all domestic competitions by a wide margin. The board will be looking to Gauthier as several changes could be on the horizon personnel wise.


Spirits are high for Klubi on the pitch as the 2021 season looks to be just as good. After pretty much sweeping the 2020 Veikkausliiga awards the players seem to be ready for a repeat. Despite the positive there are a few negatives that will possibly hurt the club.

Klubi will be experiencing some turnover in this season both player and finance wise. These could be the two most important keys to the season. With several players on the radar of major European clubs it will take a lot of resources to keep the players here. One such case is Juho Hiltunen who is rumored to be leaving the club sometime this season.

Hiltunen has been the subject of many rumors in the upcoming winter transfer window. The 21 year old has been attracting interest from clubs in Serie A and the Bundesliga. Should Hiltunen depart as he wishes Klubi will be looking for a really good bid. Despite his value of €144K he most likly be sold for over €2M.

Financially is where the club has the biggest question mark. According to their 2020 financial statement the club is having some money issues. Last season the club had a loss of €3,469,274 and barley avoiding tax hits and failing the Financial Fair play rules. It is projected by the end of 2023 the club will lose over €4M. Due to this we might see a ton of players being sold in this season.


Like last season the goals remain the same. The biggest difference is that chairman Olli-Pekka Lyytikäinen has made Europe the top priority. Last season if you recall despite being handled some really tough teams Klubi were able to navigate through them. Their goal is to make one of the two group stages and if they do not there could be a possible coaching change on the way. There will be no excuses this season.


In theory they could achieve a domestic treble but as seen in years past it is always the Liigacup that gets in their way. It would be nice to see them achieve one for the first time in club history but the way history has been it is highly unlikely. In Europe they should be in the group stage of wither cup but things will have to be in their favor. If Klubi survives to transfer windows they can make a serious run.


This season there is not much to improve as every position is being played by capable players and the depth is finally there.
Big season ahead, time to tear up the European stage!
Hopefully the money you get from sales can allow you to make some good improvements and continue to dominate domestically!
Coveted striker Juho Hiltunen gets transfer to Hannover 96
4 Jan 2021

The 21-year-old Finnish striker has been with HJK of the Finnish Veikkausliiga since he was just a child, but it now appears that he’s set to make the move to the Bundesliga side this winter. The deal was reported to be worth €5M and a 50% percentage from his next sale.

Hiltunen is the latest in HJK strikers who have moved to Germany; he joins names such as Joel Pohjanpalo and Teemu Pukki who joined a Bundesliga side after time in the Finnish Capital.

Since making his debut with HJK in 2017 Hiltunen has become one of the most important and best players in club history. At the age of 18 he was named the clubs captain under former manager Mika Lehkosuo and continued under Kévin Gauthier. He has made 84 appearances and scored 49 goals in league play.

On the international side of play Hiltunen made 10 U21 caps with scoring 10 goals. For the senior side he made his debut against Belarus and scored during that match. Since then he has made three more appearances and scored one more.

Hannover supporters will be getting a really exciting player in Juho and should look forward to him scoring lots and lots of goals for them. He is a very exciting player and this move to the Bundesliga will give him an opportunity to showcase his skills.

It had been reported by Finnish blog Escape to Suomi that Hiltunen was looking to move this winter after having his best season of his young career. At one point it was seen that he had a little argument with his former manager Kévin Gauthier but it seems that the two have made up and are on better terms.

HJK boss Kévin Gauthier said, “It is going to be hard to see Juho no longer playing with us and we felt the deal from Hannover was the best choice. Their fans will be getting one of the best player I have ever coached in my career and he will bring them trophies, I wish Juho all the best and I hope to someday work with him again.”

Juho Hiltunen should be ready to play when Die Roten faces Stuttgart on 23 January after Bundesliga play resumes from the winter break.
RIP Hultinen, will always be missed

Kévin Gauthier manages his 200th match


For Kévin Gauthier yesterday’s Liigacup match for Finnish side Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi was very special as the 39 year old native of Le Havre managed in his 200th career match. In this 200th match the popular manager lead his club to victory with a 4-0 victory over PK-35, a fellow Veikkausliiga club.

Gauthier is one of the most interesting stories in football today. With 12 trophies since starting his career in 2015 he is starting to go on many clubs radars. His story is one of interest as previously before his first job he had no football experience outside of being a fan.

Since joining HJK at the end of the 2019 season Gauthier won the 2020 Veikkausliiga, 2020 Suomen Cup and finished second in the Liigacup. Currently his club is looking to win the Liigacup against KuPS next month.

His first venture into management was with AS Mont-Dore of New Caledonia in July of 2015. During this time, Gauthier’s club lifted the New Caledonia Super ligue three times in a row between 2015 and 2017 and won the OFC Champions League twice in 2016 and 17 and one Coupe de New Caledonia in 2017.

After New Caledonia his next stop would be in Macau. In the two seasons with Sorting Clube de Macau he won the 2ª Divisão de Macau in 2018, Liga de Elite in 2019, Taça do Presidente in 2019 and the Taça de Macau in both 2018 and 19.

Gauthier has also earned recognition from the football community for his achievements: Named French Manager of the Year three tin a row between 2015-2017, Liga de Elite Head Coach of the Year in 2019 and Veikkausliiga Head Coach of the Year in 2020.

With a growing list of accolades it won't be long until he becomes a household name among football fans globally.
Hopefully you can get a very good season before moving on to a successful club
Congrats on 200 games, may the next 200 be just as successful!
Congrats on the landmark, incredible for you to get so deep into the save in such a short period of time while writing!
Congratulations on the landmark mate, hopefully the next 200 can be just as successful!

2021 Liigacup Group A recap


No Juho no problem!!! Life after our captain leaving was not that bad at all. Despite the fact we missed his play the team has stepped up big in the ten matches since his departure. In this edition of the Liigacup Klubi flew through Group A winning all matches and advancing to the final early once again.

Match of the Group Stage:

There was no real true match of the group stage this year as there were too many good matches to chose one. But if we were to pick one it would be against Rival HIFK on 13 February. in this 5-1 victory Klubi played with fire and passion. Jonathan Iknoe would end up scoring three goals while Julien Benhaim and Giorgi Murdashvili added two more.

Player of the Group Stage: Giorgi Murdashvili

Giorgi Murdashvili was by far our best player so far during the group stage. he made an appearance in all ten matches scoring 12 goals and made a few assist. The young Georgian has really stepped up for the club this season and we can't wait to see what he does next.

Final Preview vs Kuopion Palloseura

On 19 march we will be facing Kuopion Palloseura at the Sonera Stadium. This will be the first time the two clubs have meet in the final. KuPS barely made in into the final with a 6-2-2 record. Their best result came against RoPS with a 4-0 victory on Group B Matchday 3.
Well that was a convincing way to start the season, can't think who the favourite for the league would be

Journal Entry #10

28 February, 2021

I am happy the group stage of the Liigacup is over as it was too easy. We played hard and each result was what I wanted. My biggest fear was that we would struggle with no Juho. Well we didn't and players like Julien and Giorgi stepped up big time.

The truth about Juho is I honestly regret selling him. The €5M transfer was nice but I miss his play and leadership. Hannover got a really good player and person, I just hope they do not ruin him or anything. Well I think I need to move on and hopefully we meet up again.

Things have been going great for me as I am having the time of my life here in Helsinki. There is only one huge problem and it is now that I am winning more and more I have become a well-known and wanted person for many clubs. Now that might not seem as a bad thing but to be honest it really is.

Like I have said being here with Klubi is something real special and I am enjoying everything. This club is amazing and our run in the Liigacup has been really good. The biggest issue right now is that a lot of my best players are either leaving or there is heavy interest in them. This is a very stressful part of the job and gets really annoying.

As I said earlier a lot of clubs are interest in me. According to my agent my name is being passed around as a candidate for several clubs who are either looking for a manager or are on the brink of firing the current one. Now I find that to be really nice that people have started recognizing me and what I have done. The thing is I really want to stay here in Helsinki.

The reason I keep pondering this my agent somehow got my name to the Birmingham City FC board that I would be interested in the job. The thing is they have never really crossed my mind or I even know they were interested. Apparently he set me up with an interview and on one of the days off last month I was able to interview via skype.

At first I thought nothing of it and they either forgot about me or that I did not get the job. Well at the end of February I got this phone call from their chairman saying he wants me to become the next manager. I was so flattered and honoured that he wants me but the thing is I am not sure if I want to take the job or not. They are in the English Championship and that is a huge step up from where I am, but I am at a great part of my career.

I just don’t know!!!!!!! He at least gave me until the end of their season to decide so that should be good. So as the clash said should I stay or should I go???

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