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From the Rink to the Pitch: Ilmari Hartikainen

Started on 10 October 2016 by MJK46
Latest Reply on 26 November 2016 by MJK46
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Ilmari Finds Love In Two Places


25 April 2018

As crazy as this sounds I have been enjoying my time off from hockey. Can't believe it's been a year now since I was last coaching. Time has been going by real fast.

In the last year I have been exploring many new interest and getting into many things that I have never thought I would experience as I was so busy with hockey. Now though things are changing and they are changing for the better. I have fallen in love with two things that are now in my life. The first being my girlfriend Amanda, we meet back in December. The second thing I found love in is the sport of football.

I have never known that this sport was as amazing as it is. I guess all these years in hockey I have been ignorant to the sport and I feel like I have missed a lot of things with it. You ask if I have a favourite club at this point??? I will have to honestly say no because I really have no connection. You say why not your local club?? Well there is no way in hell I would support Ilves. What about clubs in the lower levels of Finland?? Well then yes I do enjoy watching them play but I can’t consider myself a supporter of any club. Now if Tappara had a club then hell yes!!!

For me I couldn’t care less about the supporters and all their tifo and all that. Wait that came out wrong, I have no dislike of them, it’s just in all my years of professional hockey in Europe both as a player and coach I just learned to tune them out as it can get very annoying and distracting at times. I understand what they do and I am grateful for those who supported whoever I was a part of but it is just not for me.

This is probably coming from the coach in me but I love the technical aspects of the sport and the strategy. It is just amazing to see how each play and player reacts to certain situations and their roles in the game. I have been studying and learning a lot in this area of the sport. I have two favourite areas of tactics that please me. If I get the description wrong please forgive me as I am still new to the sport. The first is what the Germans use and it’s with heavy attacking. The second is called Tiki-Taka (What the hell type of name is that?). I don’t know why but those please me the most and feel like hockey to me.

All of this is making me hungry to be associated with the sport. I know nothing of it right now but if I continued learning and got some internships I bet within a few years I can become a manager. Who the hell am I kidding, there is no way I could be remotely successful and it would just feel weird leaving what I have been doing since I was a child. Amanda believes that I can do it and that she knows I have the stuff.

With that I feel it is time to give this a shot. I think that this career change will be one of the best things I have ever done. Maybe I am a better football coach than hockey coach haha. Well it is time to start studying and looking for courses on the sport. I will need to find a club that would be willing to have me come on board and learn what is needed. That shouldn’t be hard as there are a ton of clubs in this country.

I am willing to work night and day to become a football manager!!
Good luck MJK! Hopefully Ilmari can get a decent job in Finland and go on to be a world name! :)
Hockey is terrible anyway. Though I would like to see football on ice...
Think youll become a great manager!
Do it for Saara Aalto? :P
Lewie: Thanks man

Louis O: You are crazy man hockey rules

mgriffin2012: Is there any doubt haha

ScottT: Who??????
MJK46's avatar Group MJK46
4 yearsEdited

An Opportunity of a Lifetime


12 August 2018

It has been a little over a year since I had been involved in coaching hockey and he seemed to be pleased at his decision. Since the decision I have been really busy with life. The biggest thing was that I was starting to get serious about the sport of football. With that I have been watching matches and reading many coaching based books to catch me up on the sport. It has been hard but I need to do something else if I want to continue this path.

Around the latter part of Spring I decided to apply to one of Finland’s elite coaching schools. I was there once for my hockey coaching and now I want to return for football. From what I have read it is a lot easier to get accepted in the program so there is some hope. From what I have heard it should be easier for me because the will count hours from my hockey coaching badge.

A few months after putting in my application I end up getting a letter in the mail from the the Finnish National Coaches Academy and Institute. This is really exciting and I hope that this is no rejection.

I get my letter opener and carefully open up the envelope. It reads…………….

Mr. Hartikanen,

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Finnish National Coaches Academy and Institute at the Eerikkilä Sports Institute. We would like to congratulate you on being accepted to our autumn coaching seminar. You have been registered to our intermediate coaching program that grants you an opportunity to obtain a National C License.

According to our records you have no licenses or background in football but have completed Finland’s highest badge for hockey as well. Thanks to the Turku Agreement made by the Finnish Olympic Committee in 2017 that all persons who have completed the highest badge of hockey or football is eligible to obtain the nation’s third highest coaching badge without any prior badges. Due to this you will be moved up in to the National C Program.

For two weeks between 15-31 October you will be taking courses in coaching the sport of football below is a little synopsis of what will be occurring during your education towards a National C License.



Once again thank you for your interest and congratulations. The next year will be exciting as you advance into the next level of coaching in Finland. We look forward to being apart of your journey into the world of football. If you have any questions or issues please give us a call or send an email.

The Finnish National Coaches Academy and Institute


This is such an amazing opportunity for me as I can finally start my path to Finnish Football fame. I find it really awesome that I can use my hockey license to go for a National C. It seems like I picked the right time to switch sports and I might become a pioneer with doing this. One day you will see many follow my path (hopefully) and then be successful as I hope to be.

It looks like I really need to get a jump on taking the online portions of this Curriculum as soon as possible. Looking into it I see I have about 500 hours of work to be done before I can start the in class portion of the classes. This is going to take up a lot of time and I am ready. So I guess for now it is see you later.
Here he goes ;) on his way into the better sport
Taking his first steps :D
Atoobie: Its the time to shine

mgriffin2012: One small step at a time

In the land of Santa and Reindeer



19 October 2019

The time at the institute was really interesting because I was able to expand on what I know in the basics of coaching and learned a lot. One of the neatest things that I did was coach a few scrimmages as part of my two weeks. I was able to get a feel of what worked and what did not. In the class room I finished the two weeks with a 91% in satisfaction from the teachers and my adviser. I had a few issues but with more studying and practice I should be able to overcome and become better.

There was one part I really hated and still hate with this and it is my coaching dissertation. I was writing paper after paper but nothing compares to what I am currently doing and that is my dissertation. It might be the most time consuming portion of all of this. I decided to write about the fusion of football and hockey and how the two sports can be intertwined in both a technical and training aspect. I want to show that the two sports are more similar than you would think and that someone like me can easily bridge the gap of the two sports.

Well the one major aspect to the whole process of obtaining my National C license is to hook up with a club and do an internship for the season. Well I was able to join up with a club based up in Rovaniemi known as Rovaniemen Palloseura or RoPS for short. This has been a really neat experience as I have been able to experience the day to day operations of a football club first hand.

At RoPS my starting title was called an associate coach. Over the course of the season I have been gifted many opportunities to lead training sessions with the first team as well as manage a few games with our B squad as well as the academy.During the summer the B team head coach left us for a new job in Sweden and I was then promoted to become the B Team head coach.

My adviser Teemu Hämäläinen has been really impressed with my work so far and he says that I am out preforming the FNCAI’s expectations. What is interesting he told me is I am actually the first person to use the Turku Agreement to my advantage. I guess they don not believe that I can make a successful transition from one sport to another. It seems like they don’t think I have what it truly takes and that having to infuse hockey and football together is going to be an impossible task.

I am finally starting to wrap up my license and should be able to have it completed by mid-December. The past year has been quite amazing in this new career. If you ask me if I am ready to be a manager, I would have to give you a maybe. I am perfectly fine in my current role and I really am enjoying living in Rovaniemi even with the crazier and colder weather.

If someone comes calling offering me a head coaching job on a senior team, I will have to consider it. This sport seems to be one where few opportunities are available as crazy as that seems, so I need to make the best of what is put right in front of me. I would prefer to stay in Finland but if I get an offer from abroad I will consider it.

One thing I can’t get over is that in a few short months we are entering a new decade. The 2020s sound really awesome and I hope for myself that it is just as good as the 2010s. Other than my career goals I have a big personal goal that I would love to complete on New Year’s Day. Its personal but it’s something I wanted to do for a while now. Anyways it would be really cool if I can start off this decade with a new job and by the 2030s I can start making waves in the world of football.
Love the inclusion of pip boy ;)
Looks like everything is moving forward nicely man, sure you're going to be bringing the trophies home in no time ;)
Atoobie: Thanks I knew it would be a great add on to the picture

mgriffin2012 Hopefully that happens man

What Lies Ahead


November-December 2019

For Ilmari Hartikanen 2019 has been a very exciting year. From getting into football and having a stable relationship things have been going great. Nothing seems to be stopping him and his crusade to become the best football manager from Finland. For Mr. Hartikanen the final two months of the decade became his most important.

He is a student of the game and his passion of learning and improvement really shows that he ready to start managing a club. On 18 November a month before the deadline he had officially completed his year in residence. Starting on the first day of the new decade he will be officially a National C Licensed manager.

As the first person to bridge the gap between hockey and football Ilmari will have a lot of pressure on him. Even with high marks and praise from some of Finland's top officials many are still doubting him. From the way things have been I have a feeling that these doubters will be in for a surprise of their lives. If someone like Kévin Gauthier can be as successful as he has been with AS Mont-Dore and Sporting Macau, I think Ilmari can do it as well.

Since his promotion as the head coach of the RoPS B team Ilmari has been getting offers from many clubs throughout Finland to join their staff. One such club is HJK Helsinki to become an assistant coach. This is his best offer so far but honestly it is not what he is wanting. Ilmari is ready to be a manager!

Out of all of the offers there were three that had peaked his fancy. Two were in Finland one being in his home town of Tampere and the other in Espoo where he had coached the Espoo Blues Hockey Club a few years back. The third club who was interested is located in Sweden in a town that he spent a few years of his hockey career in,Luleå, Sweden.

Don't worry the club in his hometown is not Ilves haha. I really do not know what one he is more interested in but I have a feeling he wants to be as close to home as possible. In the coming weeks Ilmari will be interviewing and hopefully will obtain his first management job.

Good luck Ilmari I know you will do great!!!!

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