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Christian Schäfer - Der Professor

Can the librarian from Dresden revolutionise football?
Started on 3 April 2016 by Justice
Latest Reply on 25 June 2018 by Justice
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Liigacup 2027 Preview

Christian Schäfer's JJK Will Be Hoping To Retain The Liigacup Trophy


Before the Veikkausliiga season began, the Liigacup was competed from the months of January until April. The Liigacup was made of four groups of three Veikkausliiga teams, with the top two progressing from each group after four fixture. A knock-out stage followed.

Christian Schäfer and JJK won the trophy in the previous season, and were looking to start their season brightly by winning it for a second season running. As in the previous season, FC Haka joined them in their group, while SJK were also drawn alongside the reigning champions. JJK and SJK were favourites to progress from the group, but FC Haka were not to be totally ruled out.

Liigacup Groups

HJK headlined Group A, and were expected to progress alongside HIFK Fotboll. JJK and SJK were predicted to progress from their group. Group C contained two hungry teams in the form of FF Jaro and KuPS, who were looking to make an impression on the tournament by qualifying for the knockout stages. Group D promised to be entertaining, with FC Inter Turku and IFK Mariehamn competing alongside RoPS.

Liigacup Fixtures

JJK would get their Liigacup campaign underway with a difficult trip to SJK. Their first home game of the season would come against FC Haka, who would host JJK in the final game of the group. Christian Schäfer was hoping to see encouraging performances from his team in this early season competition.

Previous Update: #115 - Isco Earns FIFA Ballon d'Or Crown
Next Update: #117 - Brentford Sign Star Defender From JJK
Good luck mate, would be great to see you bring more silverware home!
mgriffin2012, Thanks! We have two trophies from two seasons so we will be hoping to continue our record of two trophies per season :P
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Brentford Sign Star Defender From JJK

Matias Kinnunen Signed For Brentford On A Two And A Half Year Deal


JJK Jyväskylä fans were left devastated by the news that their star defender, Matias Kinnunen, had been sold to Sky Bet Championship side Brentford. The seventeen year old wonderkid had been a key part of Christian Schäfer's team since joining one year previously, and had been expected to become a regular for the Finnish senior team in the near future.

The Bees parted with an estimated €250,000 to sign the up-and-coming defensive maestro, who has been touted to reach the heights of Sami Hyypiä in his playing career. Brentford agreed to loan the youngster back to JJK to participate in the 2027 season for Christian Schäfer side, and the English club are hopeful that another season of regular senior football, under Christian Schäfer's supervision, will do wonders for their newest starlet.

Matias Kinnunen has made eight appearances for his country's under-21 side, and he hoped that a move to English football would catapult his career to new heights. He was, however, looking forward to working with Christian Schäfer for another season, and was excited by the prospect of competing in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers with the club.

Matias Kinnunen:
"I am delighted to have joined Brentford FC of the Sky Bet Championship. They are a fantastic football club with great aspirations for the future, and I am excited about my role at the club in the future. I have always dreamed of playing in England's top flight, and moving to Brentford brings me one step closer to doing so. I hope to help the club reach the best league in the world in the future.

It was not an easy decision to make to leave my home country, especially at such a young age, but I felt it was the perfect timing to make the move. I will have the opportunity to showcase my talents in one of the world's most competitive leagues (Sky Bet Championship), and hopefully this will help me to break in to Finland's senior team in the near future.

I have nothing but gratitude for JJK Jyväskylä and, especially, Christian Schäfer. I joined one year ago and I have had a great amount of faith shown in me. We have had some very memorable experiences together, and I have certainly grown a lot as a player, and as a person. JJK have made me what I am today, and I am forever grateful for that.

I will remain with JJK Jyväskylä until November of this year, when the Finnish season ends, to continue plying my trade. I hope to gain more and more first-team experience and to learn more from the great manager, Christian. We will be competing in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, and I am very excited by the idea of competing against Europe's top clubs. Hopefully we will perform well and impress on the continental stage, as we did last season."

*NOTE* Screenshots of all current senior players at the club (including Matias Kinnunen) will be on display soon.

Previous Update: #116 - Liigacup 2027 Preview
Next Update: #118 - JJK Sign Four As Schäfer Reshapes Squad
Will be a tough loss but a big opportunity for the player!
mgriffin2012, indeed it is a great opportunity for him! I had a number of bids for him but I only accepted Bristol City's and Rosenborg's as I felt they were best suited to aid his development. In the end, he cited his dream of competing in the Premier League as his reason to join Brentford, and I was more than happy to let him come closer to realising this.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

JJK Sign Four As Schäfer Reshapes Squad

€66.25k Was Spent On Four New Arrivals At The Harjun Stadion


Since the transfer window opened on the 12th of February, JJK Jyväskylä certainly became busy in the market, as a total of four players signed for the Veikkausliiga champions in the two weeks since. A total fee of €66.25k departed the Harjun Stadion club as manager Christian Schäfer looked to bolster his squad ahead of their second season in Finland's top flight, and their first ever UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign.

The league champions were criticised for a lack of pace in their side last season, and this issue was addressed by the four signings in particular. Each player added an injection of pace to the squad, and were also very quick off the mark too. Christian Schäfer hoped each played would make an impact on the first team, and help bring more trophies to the Harjun Stadion.

Antti Pietilä - ML/AML

Pietilä Only Became A Professional Footballer At The Age Of 25

Name: Antti Pietilä
Age: 28 (23/07/1998)
Nationality: Finnish
Place Of Birth: Pori (Finland)
Position: ML/AML
Fee: €6,000
Signed From: FC Jazz (Finland)
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:

The highly rated Antti Pietilä joined JJK from Liga Ykkönen side FC Jazz. The pacey left winger only began playing professional/semi-professional football at the age of 25, in 2024, but has not looked back since. Since making his professional debut for FC Jazz in the Veikkausliiga, Pietilä had become the club's most important player, and was a true leader in the dressing room. His new manager will be hoping that Pietilä's pace and dribbling skills will give JJK a new dimension on the left wing, and he can rely on the 28 year old's leadership in the dressing room to help settle the club's younger players.

Daniel Nordlund - ST

Daniel Nordlund Was Once Finland's Hottest Prospect But Blew His Chances

Name: Daniel Nordlund
Age: 25 (09/01/2002)
Nationality: Finnish
Place Of Birth: Mariehamn (Finland)
Position: ST
Fee: €5,250
Signed From: VPS (Finland)
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:

Daniel Nordlund was very much the reincarnation of Mario Balotelli, to a lesser extent. The Finnish striker was once touted to be a future star of football, and he made his dream move from IFK Mariehamn to Helsingborgs IF in 2021. However, his highly unambitious character and failure to impress in any of his seven first team appearances at the club saw him fall out of favour. Despite being capped twenty-six times for Finland's U21s, and scoring thirteen goals, Nordlund soon found his career plummeting, and he joined Liga Ykkönen side VPS in 2025 in an attempt to restore it. Eleven league goals in two seasons at the club did not do enough to impress his critics, but Christian Schäfer took a gamble by signing the striker, hoping he could reinvigorate what was once a very promising player. Could Nordlund fulfill his potential with JJK?

Mikko Järvenpää - DL/WBL/ML

Mikko Järvenpää Joined From HJK For A Whopper €55,000 Fee

Name: Mikko Järvenpää
Age: 23 (26/08/2003)
Nationality: Finnish
Place Of Birth: Espoo (Finland)
Position: DL/WBL/ML
Fee: €55,000
Signed From: HJK (Finland)
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:

Mikko Järvenpää was JJK's most expensive signing of the four new arrivals. The speedy wide player was capable of playing in any position on the left flank, and was a very physical player. Järvenpää dropped down the pecking order at HJK, but was seen as a potential Finland player in the future. His teamwork skills and his high determination made him an excellent addition to the squad, and Christian Schäfer saw him as a long term member of the starting line-up.

Antti Järvinen - DR/DL

Antti Järvinen Was Signed To Replace The Injured Anselmi Nurmela

Name: Antti Järvinen
Age: 19 (11/07/2007)
Nationality: Finnish
Place Of Birth: Kokkola (Finland)
Position: DR/DL
Fee: €0
Signed From: Free Agent
Current Ability:
Potential Ability:

Antti Järvinen was an emergency signing made to replace Anselmi Nurmela, who had broken his foot and was expected to miss almost the entire 2027 season. The 19 year old was a free agent after terminating his contract at KPV Kokkola in search of football at a more prestigious club in Finland. Järvinen's work rate impressed Christian Schäfer and was seen as a potential star of the future.

Previous Update: #117 - Brentford Sign Star Defender From JJK
Next Update: #119 - HJK Defeat JJK En Route To Liigacup Victory
Seems like Pietila has taken the Ian Wright-esque entry into professional football, eh! Jarvenpaa looks a class signing and will no doubt be good for you, especially playing for a team like HJK beforehand!
Some very good signings for JJK there and I think there is another huge season coming for you!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

HJK Defeat JJK En Route To Liigacup Victory

HJK Were Victorious Against JJK In The Semi Finals And Went On To Lift The Trophy


Looking to repeat last season's Liigacup success, Christian Schäfer's JJK Jyväskylä set out to show Finnish football that they were more than a one season wonder. Their Liigacup campaign started brightly, as they progressed from a group including SJK and FC Haka without defeat. After knocking FC Inter Turku out of the quarter finals, JJK became the favourites to lift the trophy. However, they were unable to repeat the previous season's feat as HJK trumped them in the semi finals, and the Helsinki team went on to lift the trophy after defeating HIFK Fotboll in the final.


JJK Were Unbeaten In Their Group But Suffered Defeat In The Semi Finals

The opening game of Group B was contested by SJK and JJK. It was a tight affair, which was memorable for Jyri Haapala's debut for JJK. The just-turned eighteen year old impressed on the right wing for the away team, but it required an own-goal for JJK to earn all three points. FC Haka held firm in the second leg to deny JJK a goal, as the game finished goalless. With four points from two games, JJK knew one more point would be enough to qualify for the next round, and a comprehensive 3-1 victory over SJK ensured passage to the quarter finals. The game saw Daniel Nordlund make a goal scoring debut for Christian Schäfer's team, while Antti Pietilä also made his first appearance for the club. Antti Järvinen made his debut for JJK as they drew away to FC Haka, with both sides earning passage to the quarter finals.

2-1 Win vs FC Inter Turku (H), Liigacup Quarter Final - 17/03/2026 258
Following a dull first half, sixteen year old Antti Punna set the game alight with his first ever senior goal. The defender-turn-midfielder got on the end of Antti Pietilä's cross to give his side the lead just after half-time. Fellow teenage midfielder Jyri Haapala saw his cross converted by Genc Kovaqi minutes later to give JJK a comfortable lead in the game. FC Inter fought back, but could only produce a consolation goal in stoppage time as JJK marched to the semi finals.
Antti Pietilä (JJK) - 8.2/10

0-1 Loss vs HJK (H), Liigacup Semi Final - 22/03/2026 360
The game was a mismatch, in truth, and HJK dominated from the very first minute. With the exception of teenagers Antti Punna, Antti Järvinen and Tuomas Järvinen, it was a poor display by JJK. HJK should have scored more than just Patrik Lundberg's goal in the second half, and HJK were deserved winners of the semi final, and of the trophy.
Sylvain Kouakou (HJK) - 8.5/10

Liigacup Knockout Stages

HJK Scored Six Goals And Conceded Just Once In The Knockout Stages

HJK were deserved victors of the competition, following a set of impressive results in the knockout stages. The Helsinki-based team, known as Klubi, demolished KuPS in the quarter finals before defeating the previous year's champions JJK in the semi finals to set up an all-Helsinki final against HIFK Fotboll. HJK came out on top in a narrow victory, as Daniel Sosa scored the only goal of the game just before half time.

Previous Update: #118 - JJK Sign Four As Schäfer Reshapes Squad
Next Update: #120 - Squad Overview 2027
So unlucky! But HJK in fairness are a decent team. You shouldn't be too demoralised even if it was the case that you should have beaten them!
Unfortunate in defeat man but you can still go from strength to strength this year and have a great campaign!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Squad Overview 2027

A Look At JJK Jyväskylä's Squad Ahead Of The 2027 Veikkausliiga Season


A new season was upon Christian Schäfer and JJK Jyväskylä, and there were a number of new faces in the squad as they prepared to mount their title defence. While Matias Kinnunen's long term future was not with JJK, he was at the club for one more season to contest the Veikkausliiga one more time. Fans were excited to see Jyri Haapala and Daniel Norlund play their first Veikkausliiga games for JJK, while Antti Punna and Jami Turunen were looking to continue their run in the senior team, having worked their way up the club's youth sides. Simon Thurling was the Fans' Player Of The Year in 2026, but who would take that crown for 2027?

JJK Jyväskylä Squad

No. Name (Status) - Age - Position - Nationality - Wage - CA/PA
1. Tatu Österlund - 29 - GK - - €75 p/w - /

25. Marko Leppänen - 18 - GK - - €55 p/w - /
2. Anselmi Nurmela (INJ) - 31 - D(R), M(C) - - €250 p/w - /

33. Antti Järvinen - 19 - D(RL) - - €250 p/w - /

37. Arto Viljanen - 19 - D(RLC) - - €80 p/w - /

4. Matias Kinnunen (LOAN) - 17 - D(C) - - €0 p/w - /

5. Topias Tammelin - 29 - D/M(C) - - €375 p/w - /

3. Joona Itkonen - 32 - D(LC) - - €75 p/w - /

3. Tuomas Järvinen - 20 - D(C) - - €75 p/w - /

6. Mikko Järvenpää - 23 - D/WB/M(L) - - €550 p/w - /

38. Reza Heidari - 30 - D/WB(L), DM(C), M(LC), AM(L) - - €250 p/w - /
11. Jyri Haapala - 18 - M/AM(RC) - - €600 p/w - /

31. Mikael Luostarinen - 29 - M/AM(RL) - - €250 p/w - /

12. Simon Thurling - 29 - DM/M(C) - - €425 p/w - /

7. Saku Leppänen (C) - 31 - DM(C), M/AM(RLC) - - €75 p/w - /

17. Iiro Järvinen - 30 - DM/M(C) - - €75 p/w - /

13. Antti Punna - 16 - D/DM/M(C) - - €55 p/w - /

19. Antti Pietilä - 28 - M/AM(L) - - €400 p/w - /

34. Jonne Porkka - 29 - D/WB/M/AM(L) - - €75 p/w - /

9. Daniel Nordlund - 25 - ST(C) - - €450 p/w - /

8. Aleksis Lehtonen - 29 - AM/ST(C) - - €140 p/w - /

10. Genc Kovaqi (VC) - 29 - ST(C) - - €120 p/w - /

45. Jami Turunen - 17 - ST(C) - - €55 p/w - /

Senior Staff

FC Villiketut (B Team) Star Players

No. Name (Status) - Age - Position - Nationality - Wage - CA/PA
36. Abdallah Mohamed (INJ) - 18 - D(R) - - €55 p/w - /

39. Joonas Rantala - 30 - D(L) - - €210 p/w - /

35. Tobias Sjöberg - 18 - D(L) - - €55 p/w - /

32. Rami Korhonen - 17 - M(R) - - €55 p/w - /

44. Juha Nykänen - 18 - M/AM(R) - - €180 p/w - /

18. Juha Pirinen - 35 - D/WB(L), DM(C), M(RLC), AM(L) - - €400 p/w - /

15. Antto Hilska - 33 - AM/ST(C) - - €160 p/w - /

Key Points

  • There were a total of 23 players in the club's senior squad, and 7 very talented players in the B Team. This total of 30 players were expected to feature in some capacity throughout the season.
  • Anselmi Nurmela would miss at least three months of the season with a broken foot. With the league campaign lasting just six months, his injury came as a major blow. Abdallah Mohamed damaged his foot in a friendly and would miss several weeks of football.
  • A high number of players were on comparatively low wages. This was either due to pre-existing contract deals prior to Christian Schäfer's arrival at the club, contract deals negotiated before the club turned professional, or youth contract deals. Wages were expected to rise, as any new contract deal would require a minimum wage of €250 p/w, due to the club turning professional.
  • A number of contracts were due to expire in 2027, following the upcoming Veikkausliiga season. Contracts would only be renewed during the season depending on Christian Schäfer's valuation of the player in question.
  • Every player in the senior squad was Home Grown by nation, due to each player being Finnish. A total of twelve players in the senior squad were Home Grown by club, having come through the JJK youth system.

Home Grown By Club (Senior Team Only)

Joona Itkonen
Iiro Järvinen
Genc Kovaqi (VC)
Aleksis Lehtonen
Marko Leppänen
Saku Leppänen (C)
Mikael Luostarinen
Tatu Österlund
Jonne Porkka
Antti Punna
Topias Tammelin
Jami Turunen
Contracts Expiring 30/11/2027 (Senior Team & B Team)
Reza Heidari
Antto Hilska
Joona Itkonen
Iiro Järvinen
Matias Kinnunen (Loan)
Genc Kovaqi (VC)
Marko Leppänen (Youth)
Saku Leppänen (C)
Abdallah Mohamed (Youth)
Juha Pirinen
Jonne Porkka
Joonas Rantala
Tobias Sjöberg
Toppias Tammelin
Arto Viljanen

Previous Update: #119 - HJK Defeat JJK En Route To Liigacup Victory
Next Update: #121 - Schäfer: JJK Will Excite
Looks like a more than capable side man but with the potential to be sooo much better!
Some youngsters with huge potential coming through!!

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