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Christian Schäfer - Der Professor

Can the librarian from Dresden revolutionise football?
Started on 3 April 2016 by Justice / First Post
Latest Reply on 25 June 2018 by Justice / Last Post
Don't think anyone expected that, good luck!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
3 yearsEdited

Welcome To The Club

Schäfer Discussed The Managerial Vacancy At JJK With The Club's Chairman


To describe Markus Knuutinen in one word would have been difficult. The chairman of JJK Jyväskylä had invited me to an interview to discuss the possibility of contracting me as the club's new football manager, following my arrival in Finland, and I had graciously accepted the opportunity to discuss the future of my career, and the future of JJK, with the man.

First and foremost, Markus was kind and polite. He welcomed me warmly upon my arrival and broke the ice as gently as possible. He was a passionate individual, and he had certainly done his research. He listed many key events in my career as a manager, and in more detail than I could have possibly done. He spoke fluently of why he was impressed with my managerial career and why my name stood out above the other applicants.

We discussed at length the position of the club and how we both envisaged Finnish football in the future. We shared similar ambitions and aims, which allowed us to feel more comfortable in conversation, and we both understood the values of continuing the traditions of the football club throughout a period of transition.

"Christian, with the club only just earning promotion back to Ykkönen, the second division of Finland, I felt it was time for dramatic change in the backroom staff. As a result, the previous manager, along with all the other staff, have had their contracts terminated. They had done the club much service and I can assure you that they received generous compensation fees.

Of course, not having any staff member now means that a new staff team must be built. If you do take the job, Christian, you will have full responsibility with putting together your own team of staff, while staying within our agreed wage budget. Is this something you feel comfortable doing?"

"This is a prospect which thoroughly excites me, to be fully honest. During my time with Dynamo Dresden, I was required to reconstruct my staff team on several occasions. As a result, I would consider myself to be well versed in the process of building a staff team, and I would be delighted to be have a hands-on role when it comes to selecting each member."

"That is excellent news! Now, let us move on to some philosophies I would like to implement. I would like for you to refrain from signing too many players at all, especially foreign nationals who may request higher than average wages and signing-on fees. The club plummeted from the Veikkausliiga, FInland's top flight, due to being unable to withstand financial pressure, and we would prefer it if this did not happen again. The club's policy in recent years has been to promote players from within, or to sign young players to play a part in the squad for a long period of time, and we would like to continue this."

"I think that this is certainly a fantastic idea. It is not something I have been able to do in my recent jobs. During my time with Dynamo Dresden, the more reputable clubs in Germany purchased all of the top young talents, leaving us with no youngsters who were capable of performing at a high level. At Real Madrid, I attempted to blend young players in, with eighteen year old Juan Torres playing in the Copa del Rey final, but the board demanded ready-made stars be brought in which made it difficult to bring Real Madrid's youth in to the senior team.

I feel that I could spend many years at this football club, and this would allow me to nurture the development of the club's youth players, promising a bright future for JJK. Should you give me the opportunity, I can promise you that I will focus on bringing in young Finnish players through the academy, or elsewhere, to strengthen the team. We would not need significant transfer investment, in my opinion."

"That is fantastic to hear, Christian. I do have one more qualm, unfortunately. While you have experience in a number of different countries, you do not speak Finnish. Will this be an issue?"

"Listen, Markus. I arrived in Brazil two years ago without a single word of Portuguese. At times, there was difficulty when it came to communicating with my players, but ultimately we won the Copa América. A year later, I arrived in Spain without a control of the Spanish language. We went unbeaten that season, winning six trophies.

While I did not speak the language of these countries when I first arrived, I can now say that I am fluent in both Español and Portugués. Of course, it will be difficult for me at first. But I can promise you that I will be fluent in Finnish within a year. And, as it happens, the league season does not begin for a number of months, giving me plenty of time to learn in preparation for the campaign."

"Okay. To tell you the truth, Christian, I had my mind made up before you even stepped in the door. It is very rare for a manager with your reputation and accomplishments to wish to come manage in a country like this, and to manage a team like JJK. I would be a fool to turn you down.

You are certainly interested in taking charge here, and you speak of a long career with JJK. This excites me, and it will certainly excite the fans. We just need to finalise a contract offer on our part, and fill in the relevant official documents. This should not take more than a few days. Until we can make the deal official, I would like to extend to you the gratitude of JJK Jyväskylä for choosing to work here. Welcome to the club!"

Previous Update: #83 - Settling Down
Next Update: #85 - Club Overview
Nice to see you have a club. Also Christian could just become a travel agent, to get him started where should I go on holiday
Strange choice, I feel the Premier League would have been the next challenge for sure!
Interesting choice mate, best of luck, more glory coming your way I feel :P
Justice's avatar Group Justice
3 yearsEdited

Club Overview

A Brief Overview Of JJK Jyväskylä In December 2024

Basic Info

Name: JJK Jyväskylä
Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
Nickname: Ketus (The Foxes)
Founded: 1992
Estimated Value: €750K

Chairman: Markus Knuutinen
Manager: Christian Schäfer
Assistant Manager: N/A
Captain: Niko Markkula
Vice Captain: N/A


Stadium: Harjun Stadion
Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
Capacity: 4,500 (2,100 Seated)
Under Soil Heating: Yes
Roof: No
Surface: Grass (Perfect)

Corporate Facilities: Adequate
Training Facilities: Good
Youth Facilities: Basic
Junior Coaching: Adequate
Youth Recruitment: Above Average

Trophy Cabinet

Liga Ykkönen x1 (2008)
Suomen Cup x1 (2023)
Finnish Second Division Group A x1 (2006)

Previous Update: #84 - Welcome To The Club
Next Update: #86 - Staff Hunt
BOOOO FINLAND BOOO :D It looks like it's a new club so you'll be part of the history! Good luck with the pre-season, and the regular one!
Real chance to really build something with this club mate! Best of luck!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
3 yearsEdited

Staff Hunt

Christian Schäfer Put Together His Own Staff Team To Work With At JJK


A new adventure had begun for myself, in the second highest division of Finnish football. I signed a part-time contract with JJK Jyväskylä to become their new manager, and while the wage was a mere €425 per week, I was delighted to have committed to a new challenge in a new environment. For at least the next two years, I would be manager of JJK.

The chairman of the club, Markus Knuutinen, had entrusted me with the responsibility of forming my own backroom staff team. With a limited wage budget, I was to bring in a total of seven staff members to fill the positions required. This included an assistant manager, two first-team coaches, a scout, a physio, a head of youth development, and a manager for the U-19s team.

My immediate priority was to hire my own assistant manager. The man to become my deputy was Tattu Penttinen. The Helsinki-born 34 year old was a football enthusiast and shared a belief that JJK could become a true domestic force. He put pen to paper without hesitation to begin his journey with 'The Foxes'.

I required more than just Tattu to help guide the senior squad to glory, and so two coaches came to the club in the form of Peter Nissinen and Sami Nyman. The young coaches shared contrasting opinions on football, but their enthusiasm was admirable. They would assist in the training of the senior squad during their time at the club.

A scout was required to locate potential signings, and Robin Cederroos showed the most promise of the candidates. The former FC Åland became the club's chief scout, and was tasked with finding the next stars of Finnish football, before any other club could.

Injuries had become inevitable in the modern era of football, and a physio was required to assist with the recovery of any knocks or bruises that the players of JJK picked up. Jesse Iivonen was contracted to do just that. The thirty-four year old had an extensive playing career, and his experience in the game made him a valuable asset to have as a physio.

'The youth of today are the idols of the future', I thought to myself as I looked to bring in a Head of Youth Development to ensure a steady flow of upcoming talent arrived at the club. Of the potential candidates, Jussi-Pekka Palomäki impressed the most. The forty-two year old had a keen interest in working with youngsters (excuse his somewhat creepy stare) and vowed to bring in the next Jari Litmanen.

Last but not least, a manager for the U-19s squad was required. I wished to bring a person who would prove to competitive in his role, but would also be able to create a feel-good atmosphere for JJK's youngsters. Teemu Seppä came in to do just that. He was enthusiastic and bright, and I had high hopes for his tenure.

Previous Update: #85 - Club Overview
Next Update: #87 - Finnish Domestic Football - An Overview
That's a belting overview of the club, good luck on that awful wage ;)
A good overhaul and hopefully part of the recipe for success for you!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
3 yearsEdited

Finnish Domestic Football - An Overview

An Explanation Of Finland's Major Domestic Competitions


The football calendar of Finnish football is unorthodox, compared to that of the major European leagues. While the major leagues play their seasons from summer to summer, the Finnish leagues play over the course of the calendar year, with the exception of the winter months. This means that the leagues begin in the months of spring and end in the months of autumn, allowing the players to rest throughout the cold winter months.

We will have a look at the calendars of the top two divisions of Finnish football, along with their rules and guidelines, and also look at the two major cup competitions in Finnish football.


April - October

No. Teams:

No. Matches:
33 (Teams play each other 3 times)

Foreign Player Limit:
3 non-EU players in match day squad

Disciplinary Rules:
3 Yellow Cards = 1 match ban
2 Red Cards = 2 match ban
3+ Red Cards = 3 match ban

Transfer Windows:
November - September (Free Transfers & Loans)
February - May (Regular)
August - September (Regular)

Continental Qualification:
1st: UEFA Champions League Champions Second Qualifying Phase
2nd: UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round
3rd: UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round
4th: UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round (Depends on Suomen Cup)

Bottom team is relegated to Ykkönen


April - October

No. Teams:

No. Matches:
27 (Teams play each other 3 times)

Foreign Player Limit:
3 non-EU players in match day squad

Disciplinary Rules:
3 Yellow Cards = 1 match ban
2 Red Cards = 2 match ban
3+ Red Cards = 3 match ban

Transfer Windows:
November - September (Free Transfers & Loans)
February - May (Regular)
August - September (Regular)

Top team wins promotion to Veikkausliiga

Bottom two team are relegated to Kakkonen

Suomen Cup

January - September

All Finnish teams

Match Rules:
Extra Time + Penalties

Disciplinary Rules:
3 Yellow Cards = 1 match ban
2 Red Cards = 2 match ban
3+ Red Cards = 3 match ban

Draw Rules:
Lower division team has home advantage

Continental Qualification:
Winner: UEFA Europa League First Qualifying Round


January - April

All Veikkausliiga teams

Group Stage Rules:
Four groups of 3, play each other twice
Top 2 of each group qualify to next round

Knockout Stage Rules:
No Extra Time, Just Penalties

Disciplinary Rules:
Red Card = 2 Match Ban

Previous Update: #86 - Staff Hunt
Next Update: #88 - Neymar Claims FIFA Ballon d'Or Award
I would expect you to carry the national job at the same time soon enough!
Really nice update mate, explains it well! Best of luck in all the competitions!
Nice few updates there man

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