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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 17 August 2019 by Justice / Last Post
One can only hope the players learn from an experience like that HJK game!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
1 dayEdited

Peimari United's Stars Of 2021

We Take A Look At Peimari United's Star Players Of The 2021 Season & Some Interesting Stats

Second place in the Veikkausliiga in a debut season in Finland's top tier. Top scorers in the division. Suomen Cup winners. Qualified for the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds. All-in-all, a brilliant season for Peimari United. Despite missing out in a thrilling title race and losing star player Kevin Larsson to Russian side Sochi (due to a release clause), it has been quite the season for Kalle Koskinen's Peimari United who have continued to impress and defy expectation.

Kalle Koskinen's team boasted a 69% win rate in all competitions, which included winning nine games from nine in the Suomen Cup. Koskinen's side lost just seven of their thirty-six games all season, demonstrating a resilience that few teams in the world possess. The team possessed a young group of players who were fearless and relentless when confronted with a challenge. Despite losing some games they should have seen out, they were incredible impressive on the whole.

Much credit has to go to their goal scoring exploits. Peimari United scored an astonishing ninety-four goals in all competitions throughout the season, averaging 2.61 goals per game. Former star Kevin Larsson was the main contributor of the goals. Before leaving to Sochi midway through the season, Larsson scored twelve goals for Peimari United. A relatively low number, but it also demonstrated how every player in the squad was capable of getting in on the goal-scoring act.

Kevin Larsson was one of the club's two top assistors. Akseli Ollila and Kevin Larsson both notched up eleven assists in all competitions throughout the season, proving to be instrumental in the side's attacking play. Full back Bruno Rodrigues notched up an impressive eight assists, while other full back Jukka Virtanen assisted an impressive six goals himself to aid in his side's attacking efforts.

Goalkeeping duties was shared fairly evenly between Aatu Hakala and Tyler Whitesides. Hakala began the season as first-choice shot stopper, notching up eight clean sheets in twenty-three appearances, but conceded a hefty twenty-nine goals. American teenager Tyler Whitesides became the preferred goaltender as the season wore on, keeping eight clean sheets in nineteen games, conceding just eighteen goals in the process.

Late goals conceded were Peimari United's bane in their title race, ultimately. Of the forty-seven goals conceded in all competitions (1.31 per game), sixteen of them were conceded in the final fifteen minutes of the game. That marked up 34% of the total goals conceded by Peimari United. This demonstrated just how young and inexperienced Peimari's side were at times. However, the players were sure to take this as a learning curve and become more solid during the end of games.

The fans voted for versatile defender Felipe Aspegren as their player of the season. Aspegren was originally a backup for both starting fullbacks but broke into the team with his impressive form and consistent defensive contribution, proving to be a star player throughout the campaign. Aspegren provided experience and tactical nous as he helped the team through difficult moments.

HakkisPaana was a stadium far too small for the demand for tickets. There were eighteen sellouts throughout the campaign, with every home game in the Veikkausliiga being a sellout. With a capacity of just 400, it was very easy to fill a stadium when there were 360 season tickets sold. An attendance of 400 was the lowest in Veikkausliiga history, as Peimari United hit that mark an impressive sixteen times throughout the season. Not a record they wanted to hold. Impressively, an average attendance of 367 was witnessed throughout all competitions, marking an average capacity of 97%.

There were plenty of Veikkausliiga awards for Peimari United. Kalle Koskinen picked up the Manager of the Year award, while Kevin Larsson, Eero Hyökyvirta and Felipe Aspegren made up the top three in the Player of the Year count. However, it was only Aatu Hakala, Mikko-Petteri Latosaari and Jesper Santanen of Peimari United who made it in to the Team of the Season, quite curiously.

Comment Section

ImThatSybGuy | I think we can take solace in the fact that HJK have the best squad I've ever seen in Veikkausliiga history. They've a team that would put on a show in most leagues in the world. Coming second to them is no defeat. We missed out on the title when we had a foothold, but they showed their class to bounce back from a difficult start to the season with their new manager Valakari coming in to produce an incredible run of form. Credit to them, they were unstoppable for large spells of the season. We were not.

ScottT | We'll take this milestone in our stride. We can look back at the season with fondness, even though there are a few regrets. If we were 100% pleased with the season, then there would be something wrong. As long as we have something we can work on, we have something to aim for.

eyreplenh | The players have had their lessons drilled into them since that game, they would never dare make mistakes such as that again!

Previous Update: #91 - Season 2021: September-October
Next Update: #93 - Koskinen: We're Ready For European Adventure
An impressive year with everyone associated with the club. The team is still young, and have a lot of time to grow and develop. I think next year may be an exciting one for Kalle and his team!
Goals galore. Now it's about tightening the back-line and ensuring the team are switched on for the entirety of the game.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
15 hoursEdited

Koskinen: We're Ready For European Adventure

Kalle Koskinen Answers A Variety Of Questions To Round Up The 2021 Season


Kalle, it has been a long season for Peimari United. Starting with Suomen Cup qualifiers in January and ending the league campaign last month, it has been just over nine months of competitive football. How do you feel now?

"I feel a little bit tired, to be honest. Even with the season over a few weeks ago, we have been working hard behind closed doors to improve the club in every single aspect possible. Antti (Eklund) has been hard at work with his usual responsibilities as a chairman, and has made the first steps to implement a women's team for the football club. We just need to have paperwork completed and the relevant authorisation from the Suomen Palloliitto (Football Association of Finland) and then we will have a women's team for, hopefully, next season.

As for myself, I have been working hard with the scouting department and the first-team coaches to make a move for our targets for the transfer window. We've got a few deals over the line already, thankfully, with Tornike Dzadzamia and Marco Aurélio joining today with the Finnish free transfer window opening, and there will be a few more additions in the coming months. It has not been an easy process at all. We have to keep good control over the growth in wage expenditure, which has limited what we can offer players, and has resulted in many sleepless nights of negotiating with agents."

You mentioned signing Tornike Dzadzamia and Marco Aurélio. What roles will they be playing in the club?

"They are both very young, both eighteen years old. Tornike (Dzadzamia) is already a fantastic senior footballer. He made his debut for Dinamo Tbilisi a couple of seasons ago and ended up becoming their first choice goalkeeper almost immediately. He made thirty-six senior appearances for the club, kept fifteen clean sheets, and made his senior debut for Georgia in September. He is one of the brightest goalkeeper prospects in football at this moment and we are very lucky to have him at our football club. There were a lot of clubs interested in signing him, including some of the big English and German teams, so it was a bit of a surprise to see us win the race for Tornike.

His reputation and ability do not guarantee him first-team football, but he knows that too. We can only offer him the opportunity to earn a place in the matchday squads. It is now up to him to prove to us that he can become our starting goalkeeper. He will have a lot of competition, of course, with Aatu (Hakala), Tyler (Whitesides) and Ville (Saikkonen) at the club, so it will be interesting to see who impresses us the most. They're all very capable goalkeepers.

As for Marco (Aurélio), I think he will spend some time playing in our youth team. He comes in from Brazil and will take time to adjust to European culture, and to learn our language. He also has no senior football experience just yet so we will have to be a bit more gentle with developing him. Whether he gets his experience here or on loan at another club, that is a question for the future. The important thing now is that he is a Peimari United player and we are excited about his potential."

It has been a rollercoaster of a few years for you in charge of Peimari United. How can you describe the emotions of the season just gone, having won the Suomen Cup and just missing out on the Veikkausliiga title?

"I'm a very proud manager. We started this journey together just under three years ago and we have had three unbelievable seasons so far. We've been fortunate enough to have won trophies in each season. I say we were fortunate because a team can play very well and still not win a trophy. Thankfully, we have done enough to earn the right to call ourselves champions of whatever we have won. Seeing the silverware we have won makes me very proud of how far this team has come in the last three years.

This season just gone has been tough. Of course, there were the highs of winning the Suomen Cup and finishing second in the Veikkausliiga. However, I feel we could have maybe just pushed ourselves that little bit further in the league. We all made mistakes at crucial times of the season which ultimately cost us points. I don't want to talk about the negatives of a very good season, but I like to be a perfectionist and push the squad, and myself, to become better and better every single day.

Overall, I'd say I'm very happy. It was our first season in Veikkausliiga and we directly qualified for the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds through the league. I don't think too many people expected us to do that but we always had a belief in what we could achieve. We now need to push on and continue to improve ourselves in every possible way. We're not perfect, and we will never be perfect, but it is a good standard to aim for."

What is the target for next season in the Veikkauslliga? Is it the title you will be chasing?
"I never like to talk about what position we want to finish in. We just want to improve on the past year. We could very easily get ten more points next season than last season, and finish third. Or we could get less points than last season, and win the league. We don't know how our performances will impact the league. We expect the other teams in the Veikkausliiga to improve upon the past season too. There is far more money in the league now and the standard of football is higher than it ever has been. If we improve on last season, I am happy, regardless of our position."

Speaking of other clubs, HJK and KuPS have done particularly well in Europe. They are both currently battling it out in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, and HJK look set to qualify for the knockout rounds. How much of an impact will their performances have on Finnish football?

"It has been brilliant for everybody involved with Finnish football. They are two fantastic football clubs and have represented the Veikkausliiga very well campaign. It will be great for the reception of Finnish football in Europe, and should improve the following of football within our own country. I'm sure that HJK's and KuPS' performances in Europe will have attracted more and more players to the Veikkausliiga, which will only see the league improve. As well, with more public interest in the Veikkausliiga, there will be more money too. I think Finland is ranked 32nd in the club coefficient table for UEFA competition, so their performances will undoubtedly see Finland rise a couple of places. Hopefully, us Finnish clubs can continue to impress in Europe and earn better qualification places in the future to further boost the football in our country."

Of course, Peimari United shall be joining HJK in European football next season. You will be entering the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds in the first round next year. How exciting is this opportunity for the football club?

"European football is everything every young footballer here dreams about participating in. We have this wonderful opportunity to play against big teams from all over the continent in one of the biggest competitions there is. It isn't quite the Champions League, but the Europa League is a magical tournament. We will certainly be putting our heart and soul into the qualifying rounds. Hopefully we can do well enough and progress quite a bit. We know it will be very tough, with this being our first season of European football, but we are ready for the adventure."

Peimari United has become a platform for young players to come in and break into the first team, with the likes of Kevin Larsson, Oliver Antman, Tyler Whitesides, Richard Latham and, more recently, Guido Claeys coming in to play key roles in the senior team for the football club. What is your secret to bringing these players in and taking them to the next level?

"The development can be credited, a lot, to the coaches here at this football club, but the biggest credit has to go to the players themselves. The young players we have here, especially the ones you have named, have only been handed an opportunity to develop. We gave them the tools to succeed, but they are the ones who make the performances happen. They have shown a great work ethic, good determination and have performed fantastically at all levels of Finnish football. We wouldn't have given them the opportunities if they didn't deserve them, so they deserve the credit. We give them a helping hand when they need, but they are the players who have made Peimari United the club it is now. They are the heroes."

Unfortunately, one of the club's heroes, Kevin Larsson, departed for Sochi during the season. What plans do you have to replace him?

"We are working on, hopefully, bringing in one or two players for the wide attacking positions. Even with Larsson at the club, we found ourselves a little bit short on the number of players who could play as an inside forward at times, so we will try our best to find suitable players to bring in. Of course, we won't make signings just to fill gaps. We need to make sure we bring in the right players, so there is no guarantee that we even bring in one player or more. We will only know when the signings are finalised and made official. That is how the transfer market works."

You have been linked with a number of major jobs throughout Europe in recent times, and you have reportedly turned down opportunities to join AS Roma of Italy and Everton of England. Is Peimari United a football club you see yourself being at for a long time?

"I don't think it would be fair for me to mention any sort of links I had to other clubs, from a professional stand-point. They (Roma and Everton) are big clubs, of course, but size doesn't matter to me. Peimari United is a club that I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and I have a contract to be here for some time more. There is a long-term plan for this club in place and I hope to be a part of these plans for some time. If the time comes where I don't want to be a part of this club or the club does not want me anymore, then we can have a different conversation. For now, I am very happy here and I look forward to what the future holds."

What is the plan for you and your team now to prepare for next season? Will you be getting any rest?

"I'll be taking two weeks off after today until the beginning of December. Once that comes around, I will travel with the squad to Rovaniemi in the north of Finland where we will begin doing some basic fitness training. We won't consider it as part of pre-season, but rather to improve our physical abilities. We will do so by cross-country skiing in the morning and indoor jogging and swimming in the evenings. Cross-country skiing is a full-body workout and the best athletes in the world participate in that discipline. There will be some players who have never done this before so they will have to learn, but it won't take long to pick up the ropes. It is a sport with little injury risk and high physical rewards.

Having a pre-season in December and January is obviously very difficult considering the holiday season. The players will have a break from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, and then we will start the real pre-season. There will be plenty of running, to get our legs back, and plenty of ball-work. We will have a few friendlies in January before the Suomen Cup qualifiers begin. Hopefully we will be in good shape for then to start the new campaign. We want to make a positive start."

Comment Section

TheLFCFan | The best thing about this team is that they are so young. They'll have a great amount of experience by the time they start becoming of age, which means they'll be in the perfect position to continue winning trophies.

ScottT | That is the plan.

Previous Update: #92 - Peimari United's Stars Of 2021
Next Update: #94 - The Afterparty
Plenty of positives to read there for Peimari supporters. Glad to see two of the Finnish clubs have represented the country well in Europe; it will naturally improve the coefficient and potentially allow the opportunity for more clubs to gain the opportunity of playing at the highest stage possible with an increase in places, perhaps.

The Afterparty


Helsinki | Finland

The Helsinki crowd had thoroughly enjoyed the performance of dance troupe Scoot. Following the incredible climatic ending of the show, the group members mingled among the spectators in attendance as alcohol flowed freely from behind a bar manned by two dark-haired men dressed in three-piece suits. The patrons of Helsinki's national theatre were in good humour and spent their money without second thought. People from all echelons of society were present for the event, including children who had accompanied their parents to the show,

The event's afterparty was hosted in the primary concourse of the building. The concourse was formed by high-reaching hardwood columns and walls, with a ceiling far above the heads of the patrons present. The wooden floors were dressed in rich carpets of a deep, hearty red with a golden trim. The walls were decorated with professionally-crafted oil paintings of beautiful Finnish scenary and famous Finnish performers. Fine music dances across the air as a string quartet performed in a corner of the room.

Mia was sat at the bar, swirling a stirring rod through a glass of whiskey. She had ditched her outfit from the performance for a low-cut, strapless red velour dress which stopped just above her ankles. A neat pair of black stilettos adorned her feet and she had her long blonde hair pinned back by a jewelled comb. She had to reapply her makeup after the performance, with the duress of her work taking its toll on her mascara. With her newly-applied makeup, Mia had an uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, except for her long hair.

Mia stared aimlessly into her drink as the man beside her continued to pester her. Christian Schäfer had begun to profusely profess his love for Mia to her once again and made it clear that he would continue to battle for her affection despite her many refutals. His advances had become more desparate as Christian became more and more animated and aggressive with his speech, putting Mia on edge. She had already been wary of Christian's advances, but she had become increasingly nervous during Christian's latest attempt to get in her pants.

"Mia, listen to me. I'm a fantastic man. I'm well-educated, I'm a doctor, and I come from one of the most powerful families in Germany. My gather was a Nazi scientist who thought me a lot about the good things in chemistry, biology and physics, and has passed on his wisdom to me, and now I have become the greatest scientists of all time. You should be honoured by my interest in you. Any woman in the world would be proud to be my wife, and to be my lover. I will keep pushing you until you belong to me. You will become my wife and you will become the mother of my children. Nobody is strong enough to suppress my attempts forever."

At the sound of his statement, Mia pushed her drink away from her and caught her breath in disgust. She was revolted by Christian's belief that he could, and should, own her. An anger burned in Mia that she had not felt in a number of years. Not since her family's house burned down in suspicious circumstances shortly after her medical to join Scoot, killing her parents in the process. She had lost everything back then and was taken in by Scoot with open arms, accepting her as part of a family. Christian, however, had always attempted to take advantage of the situation, and Mia was done with rejecting him politely.

"Christian, just stop. You are a creepy, filthy, disgusting pervert, and you have the brainpower of a snail if you think any woman would ever be interested in you. I have been polite to you in the past when I told you that I have no interest in being in a relationship with you, and you have now pushed me to the point where I cannot bare to look at you anymore. For all the education you have received, clearly good manners and chivalry were not among your lessons. You have caused me much distress and have made me feel uncomfortable throughout my time with Scoot. Please, do not speak to me again. I am not interested in you."

Christian's face seemed to harden by Mia's outburst. His pupils shrank as he realised that any hope he had for a romantic relationship with Mia was all but gone. A veil of anger descended on the German doctor as his chest filled with heat. His face grew red and his lips curled up in disgust. A champagne-filled flute shattered in Christian's hand as his blood boiled, but he took no notice. He stepped toward Mia before striking her across the face with the back of his hand. As Mia fell to the floor, clutching her cheek, Christian loomed over her with a menacing glare.


Christian stormed away through a crowd of people who had stopped their conversations to view the incident. After a number of seconds of silence, the people returned to their conversations, leaving Mia on her own on the floor, sobbing as blood dripped from her cheek onto her hand. She felt worthless as nobody came to her aid and she sobbed even harder when she realised she was on her own. She feared what Christian may do to her in the future, and she feared for her career with Scoot.

A shadow loomed over Mia and she looked up to see a man stand over her. It was the same man who she saw and smiled at earlier on in the night, while she was performing on stage. She snuffled and quenched her sobs for long enough to study his face. He appeared to be worried as he looked into her eyes with an empathetic stare. Mia immediately felt at ease and welcomed his aid as he offered her a hand to stand up. As he pulled her feet, he studied the cut and bruise on her cheek, left by Christian's hand. The man pulled a white handkerchief from his pocket and held it close to her face.

"May I?" he asked furtively in semi-fluent English. His voice was warm and deep. He spoke with a serenity so welcoming that Mia couldn't help but smile at the sound of his voice.

"Please," she responded as she stared into his eyes. His eyes were a deep green, like the foliage on a pine tree. She allowed herself to fall into the depths of his eyes which stared back at her with compassion and friendliness. Intrigue filled Mia as she allowed the man to wipe the tears from her eyes and the blood from her cheek. He did so gently, so as to not cause discomfort, and brushed a loose lock of hair back from her face to examine her features.

"If you don't mind me asking, ma'am, is everything okay?" he asked.

"I think everything will work out for the best," Mia responded with a sullen smile. "He's not a very nice man and he tried to force his way to my heart. I could not allow it, and he took offence. I felt so embarrassed by what he did to me, and it upset me when nobody around me came to my aid. You have been kind to me, however, even though we do not know each other. Would you like to join me for a drink?"

"It would be my pleasure, ma'am," said the man as he threw the bloodied handkerchief into a nearby bin before sitting down at the bar beside Mia. "May I ask you what your name is?"

"My name is Mia Eggenberger," said Mia with a beaming smile as she fixed her dress. "And what is yours?"

"Joonas Koskinen."

Comment Section

ScottT | It could be a while before we get an increase in places, but big improvements have been made. Veikkausliiga teams have never been this good, and I just hope the upwards development continues.

Previous Update: #93 - Koskinen: We're Ready For European Adventure
Next Update: Coming Soon....

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