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Kalle Koskinen: The Iceman

Kalle Koskinen Challenges The World Of Football In This Tale
Started on 23 April 2019 by Justice / First Post
Latest Reply on 7 December 2019 by Griffo / Last Post
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
10 monthsEdited

The Next Chapter


Kalle Koskinen Began A New Chapter In His Life

04/12/2018

"I guess all that is left for you now, Kalle, is to put pen to paper and confirm yourself as our new manager."


Making the choice to work for UEFA was one of the most difficult decisions in my life. It was an organisation whose corruption had previously rattled me to the core and hung me out to dry for the fault of man. I was the victim of the negligence of football's most infamous governing body and painted as a villain by their hierarchy.

Despite all that, years later, I was representing them. I was brought in to make a change and to defeat the darkness demonstrated by a small minority of football fans across Europe. It had become my job to devise a strategy to target those responsible for abusing, physically or verbally, others.

With a team of highly-professional law-makers and advisors, a plan was formulated to combat abuse in football. The objective was to create a law-binding act which would see an over-ruling body liaison directly with every football club and police service to target law-breaking fans and to deal out punishments to those responsible which fitted their associated crime. It allowed for true transparency all the way from the crime itself, to the club, to the police, to the governing bodies.

The act was constructed in a manner which protected clubs from punishment for their fans' actions, provided the fans were not repeat offenders, did not act in a group of offenders, and any law-breaking scenario was dealt with immediately and effectively by the club's staff. This was an important aspect of the act which most clubs agreed with, as it protected the clubs from legal prosecution if the clubs followed the rules.

I wished for every nation involved in UEFA to implement the act within their own football federations, with a governing body for the act working in each federation. Almost every federation agreed to the changes without too much discussion, but there was significant opposition from the Italian federation (FIGC) and from the English federation (FA). The two federations required a significant amount of negotiation time in order to persuade them to join the act.

By 1st September 2018, every federation within UEFA had agreed to the act and the act had come into force. The Mia Koskinen Act was officially recognised across every federation within UEFA's govern. Reputable footballers Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli and David Alaba were among the high-profile supporters of the act and they acted as unofficial ambassadors.

Following the pass of the Mia Koskinen Act, which was named to honour my late mother, I resigned from my role at UEFA. My work was done and I felt that I left European football in a far better place. Within three months of the Mia Koskinen Act being passed, reports of law-breaking supporters had decreased in number by almost 82%, a remarkable figure in such a short space of time. Football had become a safer place for everybody.

I returned to my native Finland where I completed my football coaching badges. During my time with UEFA, I had worked my way through the various coaching courses to receive the highest qualification possible. I wished to return to football in a managerial capacity and earning my qualifications allowed me to move in a direction I was put off so many years ago.

I was considered as a high-profile figure within the football world at the time and I received a number of interesting offers to take over as manager of clubs across Europe. Lille OSC of France were the first to approach me, shortly followed by ACF Fiorentina of Italy and FC Rubin Kazan of Russia. Each club offered a large wage package for me to take over but I had no interest in joining a club in one of Europe's top flights any time soon.

My eyes were set on a job closer to home. I had followed domestic football in Finland quite closely when time allowed me and the 2018 season threw up some major surprises. SJK were surprise winners of the Veikkausliiga (Finnish top tier), pipping RoPS and HJK narrowly to the top spot, while KPV Kokkola produced an outstanding campaign to top Ykkönen (Finnish second tier).

I wasn't the first former Finnish international to return to a management role, or similar, within Finland this year. Sami Hyypiä became Kemi Kings manager in September but was unable to rescue them from relegation from Veikkausliiga. He was looking to earn instant promotion back to the top tier with his side. Jari Litmanen became FC Haka's assistant manager in July, his first job in football since his playing days which ended in 2011.

It was now my turn to join the party and all I required was a starting point for my managerial career. There were several vacancies within the Finnish football structure which included TPS, VPS and FC Lahti. However, I wished to begin my managerial career with a far less reputable club. I wished to get a feel for Finnish football from its roots, a little further away from the top tiers.

My search for a football club found me in Paimio, a small town close to the city of Turku, in the west of Finland. With a population of just over ten-thousand, it was far from a major dwelling area compared to other towns and cities in the south of Finland. Despite its size, it was a truly beautiful location and one I instantly fell in love with.

My visit to Paimio brought me to Ravintola Poimari, a pub-turn-restaurant-turn-karaoke bar in the heart of the town. With the restaurant's famous bacon hamburger and a pint of Lapin Kulta beer on a table in front of me, I had struck an agreement to become the manager of a football club whose owner sat across the table from myself, detailing his admiration for my career.

Antti Eklund was a proud owner of one of Paimio's football clubs and he was eager to have me on board to take his club to the next level. He had aspirations for his club to become one of the most renowned clubs in the southwest of Finland and he was certain that I would be the ideal candidate to bring about the change required to make that happen.

"Once you have a contract written up and ready for me to read and sign, Antti, let me know and we shall continue this discussion further. I would love to become manager of your football club and I imagine that it should not be too difficult for us to come to an agreement."

"Kalle, thank you for taking the time to come here to Paimio to discuss the job with me. I will have a contract ready for you tomorrow morning and I do hope that I have done enough to convince you to join us on our mission. On behalf of Peimari United, it would be an honour to have you on board."

"The honour would be mine, Antti."


Comment Section

Lil' Griff, if I set the standard, you raise the bar higher than the standard each time xo
ScottT, yeah thankfully he did make a difference, but will that be the last of the saga? You'll have to keep reading to find out ;)



Previous Update: #6 - Koti On Sydämen Kanssa
Next Update: #8 - Koskinen Becomes Peimari United Manager
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Interesting that ACF Fiorentina offered you a job ;) Another great update but its what we have come to expect. Looking forward to see what Kalle can achieve at Peimari!
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It will be interesting to see how Kalle does as a manager, good luck !
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Lovely stuff. The Mia Koskinen Act has seemingly revolutionised football and will lead to a brighter future. Well done to Kalle for his work there and for taking a new job with Peimari. Best of luck to the guy, I'm sure he'll make a mark.
1
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Huge name for a small club in Finland, especially with the other offers received. I am eagerly anticipating this career in Finland :P
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
9 monthsEdited

Koskinen Becomes Peimari United Manager


Kalle Koskinen Signed A One-Year Deal With Kakkonen Side Peimari United

05/12/2018

Former Finnish international midfield Kalle Koskinen began his career as a football manager by signing with Kakkonen side Peimari United on a one year deal. The former HJK and Bayern Munich star retired from his playing career in 2016 and spent almost two years working for UEFA before making his first step in management.

Peimari United terminated the contract of their previous manager Joaquim Valinho four days previously after it was found that the manager had been partaking in illegal gambling activities. Valinho spent one season as manager of Peimari United, earning promotion from Kolmonen to Kakkonen before the twenty-nine year old was made to pack his bags for his actions.

Kalle Koskinen was considered to be a surprise appointment for the football club, with the services of The Iceman highly coveted by major clubs from all over Europe, including Lille OSC of France, ACF Fiorentina of Italy and Rubin Kazan of Russia. Koskinen suggested the club's aspirations and ideology as a major factor in convincing him to join.

Koskinen enjoyed a club career full of ups and downs, winning several Veikkausliiga titles with HJK before departing for Bayern Munich of Germany where he played in three UEFA Champions League finals, winning one of them. However, Koskinen was the subject of significant abuse from opposition fans in a European contest against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London, an incident which shaped the rest of Koskinen's career.

Koskinen departed Bayern Munich at the end of the 2013/2014 season to return to HJK where he played until the end of the 2016 season when he retired from playing football. Koskinen spent nearly two years working with UEFA to combat illegal fan activities, and was largely responsible for the foundation of the Mia Koskinen Act which has significantly improved the world of football by allowing authorities to condemn and prosecute fans involved in illegal activities with transparency.

Koskinen resigned from his role with UEFA following the foundation of this act and made the jump into football management with Peimari United, a club from a small town called Paimio, beside Turku in the south west of Finland. The club was founded in 2010 and, under the stewardship of chairman Antti Eklund, has grown significantly in stature ever since.

The 2012 season saw Peimaru United enter the Finnish football league structure in the Kutonen division (seventh tier), where they placed in a respectable third place. Increased investment into the club saw an incredible spike in fortunes, with the club winning the Kutonen title in 2013, the Viitonen (sixth tier) title in 2014, the Nelonen (fifth tier) title in 2015 and the Kolmonen (fourth tier) title in 2016. However, the club found the Kakkonen division (third tier) too difficult to immediately compete in and were relegated in their maiden season in the competition in 2017. Under the stewardship of previous manager Joaquim Valinho, Peimari United immediately bounced back with promotion, having earned promotion through a playoff from Kolmonen.

The signing of Kalle Koskinen was met with large optimism from Peimari United's fan base and the level of expectation has already been raised through the roof. The club's chairman, Antti Eklund, is expected to make a significant wage and transfer budget available for the club's new manager, with the club looking to avoid relegation from Kakkonen.

Koskinen will have to appoint his backroom team with no coaches, scouts or medical staff under contract at the club, while only three players were under contract at the club, on part-time terms. The former Finnish international is not expected to have a problem with attracting players or backroom staff to the club, with the prospect of playing for one of Finland's most decorated players an obvious attraction for anybody.

Koskinen was delighted with making his first step into the world of football management as he spoke to Yle.fi in an exclusive interview. Koskinen outlined his objectives for the upcoming season and the goals he set out for himself in his management career.

Kalle Koskinen:
"It is quite a big honour to become manager of a club like Peimari United. It is quite a new club, having only come into existence less than a decade ago. However, it already has a large following and is looking forward to a very bright future.

The chairman (Antti Eklund) is a very modern-thinking man who has shown his ambitions for the football club by giving the club everything it needs to succeed on and off the pitch. He has been heavily involved in the club's youth foundations and we have a remarkable local following when it comes to youth football. We are giving youngsters every chance possible to come to the club and enjoy playing football, and give them the best possible future in the game.

It is the vision and the philosophies embodied by the club which attracted me. Paimio is a very small town, in truth, but the people are known to be very kind and welcoming and everybody involved in Finnish football has taken notice of Peimari United's remarkable rise through the divisions. Their vision excites me and I am happy that I can now be a part of the club's present and, hopefully, the club's future.

The club was just relegated from Kolmonen to Kakkonen, which is a very competitive league. We'll be playing in a league group which includes Tampere United, who were a very big club in Finland a decade ago. We know how difficult it will be in this league but we know we can achieve great things. Its the hottest fires which forge the strongest steels and we need to prove that we are able to withstand that fire. It is up to us to show our worth.

I don't think I really have any goals as a football manager. As a youngster, and then as a footballer, my dream was always to win the Champions League which I was fortunate enough to achieve with a great club. Now it is different. I just want to enjoy my time as a manager, being directly involved in the game once more, and see how high I can reach."


Comment Section

TheLFCFan, hopefully he will achieve a lot
Jopaaaa, thank you!
ScottT, if he can have a fraction of the amount of success he did as a player, then he'll do well!
Lil' Griff, that is the image of me when I write these updates :P
Jack, a name is only worth as much as the actions associated with that name. In the world of management, Koskinen means nothing..... yet :P



Previous Update: #7 - The Next Chapter
Next Update: #9 - Club Overview: Peimari United 2019
WOW. I am helluva impressed by the standard of writing. Hats off to you sir!
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Hopefully the club bounces straight back up, good luck Kalle
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Looking forward to seeing the magic he can work in management. His abilities as a player cannot be doubted, so I am hopeful that Kalle will enjoy a prosperous managerial career.
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
9 monthsEdited

Club Overview: Peimari United 2019


An Overview Of Peimari United Ahead Of The 2019 Season

Basic Info

Name: Peimari United
Location: Paimio, Finland
Club Status: Semi-Professional
Nickname: United
Founded: 2010
League: Kakkonen (6th Tier), Finland

Chairman: Antti Eklund
Manager: Kalle Koskinen

Club Facilities

Stadium: HakkisPaana
Location: Sauvo, Finland
Capacity: 400 (all-seater)
Under Soil Heating: No
Roof: No
Surface Type: Synthetic (New Type - Soft)

Corporate Facilities: Average
Training Facilities: Below Average
Youth Facilities: Poor
Data Analysis Facilities: None
Junior Coaching: Fairly Basic
Youth Recruitment: Fairly Basic

Club Rivals

Derbies
None

Fierce Rivals
None

Other Rivals
None

Club History

Trophies Won: 5
League Competitions
Kolmonen (4th tier) x2 (2016, 2018)
Nelonen (5th tier) x1 (2015)
Viitonen (6th tier) x1 (2014)
Kuutonen (7th tier) x1 (2013)

Last Five Seasons:
2018: Kolmonen | 1st
2017: Kakkonen | 10th
2016: Kolmonen | 1st
2015: Nelonen | 1st
2014: Viitonen | 1st

Club Heroes

Legends
N/A

Icons
N/A

Fan Favourites
N/A

Club Records

Highest Attendance: N/A
Lowest Attendance: N/A

Biggest Win: N/A
Biggest Defeat: N/A

Most League Apps: N/A
Most League Goals: N/A



Comment Section

Mat Malaypak, thank you!
Lil' Griff, ....
Scoot Scoot, something tells me he'll be..... ice cool



Previous Update: #8 - Koskinen Becomes Peimari United Manager
Next Update: #10 - A New Beginning
Sadly never played against Peimari during my time at Oulu, so I don't have any 10-0 thrashings of the club to post on here everytime you update :(
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A long, exciting journey is in store. Looking forward to it!
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
9 monthsEdited

A New Beginning


Kalle Koskinen Reminisces The Day He Completed His Move To Paimio

05/12/2018

My post-signing interview with Yle took place in Cafe Asta in Paimio's town centre. I was greeted by a beautiful young woman by the name of Elsa Heikkinen. She was in her late twenties, fair-skinned, athletically-lean and had straight blonde hair formed into a short bob. She shook my hand with a friendly firmness, and bared a smile that would have lit up the darkest corners of the underworld.

Elsa was a junior journalist for Yle's sport section and was specifically assigned to follow my new career as a football manager. It was her job to report on my day-to-day activities as Peimari United manager. Listening to her sweet, friendly voice, I did not have too many complaints about the arrangement. Elsa was as bright of mind as she was physically. She was a babe.

I was a lot more nervous than I had anticipated. I had conducted hundreds of interviews as a player and as a representative of UEFA, but this time was different. Previously, I knew my time as a player or as a UEFA rep was for a limited amount of time. A players' career was always short, and I never had the intention of working with UEFA for a long period of time. Management, on the other hand, was a career path I was able to see myself in for the rest of my life. That thought was what made the interview more nervy for myself.

Elsa quickly picked out the nerves in my voice. She giggled and pointed it out innocently, before ensuring me that she was on my side. She made the process easier, and my responses became more heart-felt and honest. We spoke for hours, with the interview's questions ending early on during our first correspondence. The topic of conversation shifted to more personal matters as we got to know each other.

As the day changed to night, we said our goodbyes and made off in our separate ways. We were to meet for another interview during the new year, an event I was secretly looking forward to participating in. She was an honest and genuine person, and won who peaked my interest significantly.

I walked through the streets of Paimio, underneath the pale glow of the street lights. A soft veil of snow fell from the cloud-covered sky. The air was otherwise calm with not even a breeze to upset the downward trajectory of the crystalised percipitation. For the first time in my life, I experienced peace and quiet. It was beautiful.

Paimio was a small town but it was well known for some of its architecture. Paimio Hospital, opened in 1933, was famously designed by world-renowned architect Alvar Aalto. The building had previously been nominated for a UNESCO World Heritage Site award, with the design described as a 'visual cure for its patients'.

Two churches stood high and proud within the town's limits. St. Michael's Church, built in 1689, stood in the centre of the town. It was a beautiful building made of stone and mortar, with an iconic ante-building acting as a passageway to the grounds made of similar material.

St. Jacob's church was the other major religious monument of the town, but was set far outside of the town itself. The large buttressed red-brick building was located to the south-west, on the south side of the national road E18. This building was far more recently built, with construction concluding in 1928.

The town itself was not known for producing too many famous people. In football terms, Mika Ojala was its most famous product. The current FC Inter Turku star had represented Finland on nine ocassions, lining up alongside myself in each of those fixtures. He was a playmaking wide attacker, with set-piece skills to match the best.

I was well-known to the people of Paimio and those I passed on the streets were friendly and welcoming. While football was not considered to be Finland's primary sport, with ice hockey and nordic sports taking the top seats, it was one of growing interest in the country and I was a reputable person in the sport. The town was incredibly welcoming of myself.

Yet, as I made my way towards my temporary apartment, I sensed a shadow lurking in the dark of night. I could hear the crunching of snow as a mysterious figure trodded some fifty yards behind me, keeping pace with my every move. It was otherwise quiet, allowing me to pick out the sound of every footstep my follower was making.

With my apartment just around the corner, I doubled my pace and began to scurry to my destination. As I reached my final destination, I swivelled to examine my follower but he had gone. The shadow had blended into the night and disappeared. It was just myself in the blistery cold of the early Finnish winter.

Perhaps I had imagined the situation. The serenity which I had found myself experiencing was almost too good to be true, and my mind may have wished to put a blemish on the world I had found myself in. I breathed a calming sigh and made my way inside, remembering the good of the day. I couldn't get Elsa out of my head. She was a wonder. I almost felt slightly guilty as I mentally undressed her, but she was the one. Did she feel the same way about me?

Comment Section

Jack, shame you had to run away from Finland the second I returned there ;)
Scoot, scoot scoot



Previous Update: #9 - Club Overview: Peimari United 2019
Next Update: #11 - Kippis
I sense something blossoming between Kalle and Elsa. He seems to describe her in a very positive manner, which indicates more than just a friendship, potentially. I'm also very intrigued to see if there are any developments on this shadowy figure in the coming updates, too!
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