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A Viking's Tale

He relinquished a career among football's elite to pave his own path in his home country. Can Kalle Koskinen guide FC Viikingit to glory?
Started on 15 May 2021 by Justice
Latest Reply on 2 September 2021 by Mauve
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Season 2022: July - August


FC Viikingit have looked a real force so far this season and spirits have been high as of late. With a new, ambitious owner at the club, manager Kalle Koskinen signing a contract extension and the club in a strong position to secure a top half finish in the league, nothing could go wrong.... right?

Results


FC Viikingit's form in the last two months of the regular Ykkönen was nothing short of spectacular. From 9 games, Koskinen's team won 8 games, losing just the 1. Viikingit scored 24 goals in that run of games, conceding just 5, as they stormed through the opposition like a knife through butter... or like Gerard Moreno through Man Utd's defence.

Ykkönen


Viikingit's incredible form saw them top the league at the end of the regular stage. 52 points from 22 games left them on top of the league, with a ten point gap over their nearest rivals. It means that FC Viikingit will only need to win TWO games from the Promotion Group to secure a historic title victory.




Upcoming Fixtures


Viikingit have five massive games to finish off the season. TPV Tampere, IFK Vasa, JS Hercules, MP Mikkeli and KTP await Viikingit in the Promotion Group. If Viikingit win two games, they become league champions. It is as simple as that.



J_ames, it was a cheap enough offer, and a show that football is not valued highly yet in Finland. Hopefully, one day, the club will be worth a lot more than that!
TheLFCFan, you might be right with the intake!

Season 2022: Youth Intake


26/09/2021

'The importance of bringing through young players form your academy can not be undervalued. They embody everything that your club stands for and, in the darkest of hours, produce the brightest of lights. They were born learning about the history of the club, live in the present as fans of the club and will go on to create and establish the future of the club. They are everything' - Kalle Koskinen.

It was Kalle Koskinen's second youth intake session at the club since taking charge, and he had every reason to be excited about the new crop of players coming into the U20s. The majority of players who broke through were defenders by nature, and indeed the three best of the bunch were defensive players - Jari Mäki, Markku Lindström and Thierry Tshimanga.


Jari Mäki was certainly the most exciting player to come through into the club's U20s squad. The 15 year old left back from Helsinki was already considered to be an expert tackler, despite his tender age, and was deemed to be a very strong team player. His physicality, particularly his height, meant he could always be considered to be some sort of presence on the football pitch, although there were reservations about his lack of Determination. Hopefully something that can improve in the coming years.


Markku Lindström was another very exciting young player from Helsinki. At 15 years of age, his height of 191cm made him a monstrous central defender, and he had the tackling ability to back it up. He was considered to be the ultimate team player and showed plenty of endeavour at younger age groups for the club. Viikingit's U20s coaching staff will be looking to work on his tactical understanding and continue to develop his technical ability over the coming years.


The last, but not least, of the top three youth intake players was Thierry Tshimanga. The 16 year old Congolese right back was born in Kolwezi, Congo, but moved to Helsinki at a young age. He was very much the leader of the youth intake group, and was captain of his age group every single season since joining the club at U10s level. While his technical skills and his tactical understanding were not overly refined, his speed over short distances made him invaluable to any side he played for.



Season 2022: September


It has been a brilliant season for FC Viikingit in Ykkönen this time out, with the Helsinki-based club sitting pretty on top of the league by the end of the regular season. Going into the Promotion Group stage, spirits were high and there were hopes of the club earning promotion to the Veikkausliga (the top tier in Finnish football). Five big games in September - how'd they go?

Results


It was not pretty. Viikingit opened the Promotion Group with a loss to TPV Tampere. In the other four games, three of them were draws and there was only win. It wasn't good form at all, but Viikingit only needed six points to guarantee the league title and they earned those six points. Viikingit are Ykkönen champions.

Ykkönen Promotion Group


Champions. Champions. Champions. We are champions. Despite a shakey final five games to the season, Viikingit earned the top spot in the second tier in Finnish football by a clear eight points. Best goal scoring record and best defensive record in the league. Shakey at times but clear winners of the league this season. Viikingit will play top tier football next season in the Veikkausliga. KTP, TPV Tampere and JS Hercules will compete in a Promotion Playoff, with the winner playing against the second-last team in the Veikkausliga to decide who plays in Veikkausliga and who plays in Ykkönen next season.



I think it's safe to say that ALL the credit for promotion can be attributed to the Famous Five, although I'm sure Kalle had a helping hand in there too ;) In all seriousness, it's a wonderful achievement for the club, and they're in safe hands with Kalle at the helm. I'm really impressed by Jari Mäki, and can see him becoming a club stalwart in due time.

Keep up the good work, now it's all about getting that Veikkausliga title ASAP!
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An incredible season and Kalle's work is showing now. Great effort from all involved despite the shaky end to the season. Mäki is someone who looks incredibly exciting if some areas can be developed...wonder if he could be turned into a more central defender though, as he lacks a bit of pace for a fullback in my opinion
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Season 2022: Review


What a season it has been for Kalle Koskinen and FC Viikingit! New contract for the manager, new contract for the club, and a league title and promotion as the club upped their game when they needed to. Financial projections at the start of the season meant Viikingit needed to get a very strong position in the league. Let's have a look at the season as a whole.

Ykkönen


Koskinen's Viikingit showed glimpses of real quality last season and this season they truly exploded into life. Some incredible form from May to August saw them win game-after-game and, in the end, Viikingit were the best team in the league by a mile. Most goals scored, least goals conceded, nobody could deny them a deserved league title.
KTP, TPV Tampere and JS Hercules each earned a place in the Promotion Playoffs. TPV Tampere came above the other two to earn a Playoff final place against Veikkausliga's second-worst team FC Haka. However, Haka came out on top over two legs, meaning TPV Tampere will remain in Ykkönen next season.


It was doom and gloom for RoPS, SalPa Salo and FF Jaro who all faced relegation to the third tier of Finnish football (Kakkonen). RoPS' relegation comes as a serious shock, with the Rovaniemi club having participated in Finland's top tier from 2013 to 2020. Veikkausliga and Ykkönen clubs will be looking at signing some of their players during the off-season.


Viikingit's success as a team was certainly boosted by individual performances. Manager Kalle Koskinen earned the title of Manager of the Year, having guided his team to an unlikely league title. Danish defender Christian Enemark came in before this season and has been imperious at the back for his club, earning himself the award for Player of the Season. Five Viikingit players, including Enemark, made it into the Team of the Season.


Suomen Cup


FC Viikingit made it to the Second Round of the competition where KuPS knocked them out. IFK Mariehamn ended up winning the competition, and earning a place ni the qualifying rounds for the UEFA Europa Conference League for the 2023/2024 season.

FC Viikingit Performance


Ville Seppä played every game in goals for Viikingit this season and his incredible shot stopping ability saw him keep 14 clean sheets across all competitions, conceding just 28 goals in 33 appearances. He kept former numnber one Craig Hill out of the team completely and his performances showed why.

Christian Enemark was a new signing ahead of the 2022 season and he was, by far, the best defender in the division. The Dane was always on hand to intercept a pass, win a header or spoil an opposition attack, and he also got in on the goal scoring action with 3 of his own at the other end of the pitch. His arrival had a VVD-inspired impact on the team.

Benjamin Thurling and Antton Koskinen formed an impressive partnership at the base of Viikingit's midfielder. They dominated most games they played and their all-action performances helped drive Viikingit in the engine room. They were involved in the goals too, with a combined 24 direct goal contributions (goals & assists) between them.

There was plenty of competition in attacking midfield and everybody, aside from Olli Tynkkynen, performed incredibly throughout the season.

Max Ehrnrooth had new signing Toni Neuvonen as competition up front this season, and they shared the minutes quite evenly. Ehrnrooth scored 12 goals and claimed 3 assists, while Neuvonen scored 11 goals and claimed 3 assists himself. Not great, but decent, and perhaps enough to keep striker targets at bay?

Off the pitch, income was down and expenditure was up from the previous season. Not ideal at all. This came (mostly) from a drop off in gate receipts due to a shorter cup run this season than last season. While the total attendance across the season was almost the exact same as last season, there were no big cup games to sell tickets for. Viikingit will be hoping that Veikkausliga football will help generate much more match day income and significantly increase attendances.





J_ames, the Famous Five played their part ;) I don't see us getting anywhere near the Veikkausliga any time soon - the objective will be to consolidate our position in the top flight!
TheLFCFan, the shaky end was to be expected, with the team only training part-time, but we got the job done in the end! I'm not too excited about the youth intakes - nothing to shout about, unfortunately.
A great year for the team and some very impressive individual performances, particularly Enemark who seems to have really solidified the defense. He's going to be of massive importance in your bid to stay up next season I imagine.
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Great to see that the goals/assists were shared around quite evenly by the squad, though it'd be nice to see one of your attackers take charge and say "Oi! I'm the 20+ goal a season striker here, get me the f***ing ball." For now, it isn't hampering your results, but in the knockout games, it's always great to have a player like that. With you now in the top tier of Finland, I'd like to think that you'll soon be able to attract those players.

The finances are a bit of a concern, but I'm sure that the Famous Five will have a few genius ideas marketing wise that will have the finances soaring in no time ;)
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Season 2023: Preview


Last season was an incredible one for FC Viikingit. The footballing philosophy inducted into the club by manager Kalle Koskinen was soaked up by a squad of players that did something nobody would have thought would be possible - they won the Ykkönen league title. They were crowned as the champions of Finland's second tier, and earned promotion to the Veikkausliga - a league they had only participated in one season before (2007). Over a decade and a half since their one-and-only previous top flight season, Viikignit had earned their place among Finland's elite clubs once more. With an exciting, young manager in Kalle Koskinen at the helm, the sky is the limit.

Upcoming Fixtures


Viikingit's season will start in January with Suomen Cup group games against Veikkausliga opposition. They were drawn into Group B alongside KuPS, TPS, FC Inter Turku, IFK Mariehamn and fellow Helsinki-based team HJK, with the top four teams from the group qualifying for the knockout round after playing each other once. Viikingit knew they would be heavily favoured to lose each game but head into the new year with optimism and the knowledge that they can take a lot of important lessons from the games. Koskinen was consistent with conveying the message that 'football is about learning', and Viikingit will learn a lot about themselves against superior opposition.

The league campaign will start in early April. Twelve teams will play each other twice in the regular league season between April and the start of September before the league splits in two. The top six will qualify for a Championship Group and the bottom six will qualify for a Relegation Group - both groups will see each team play each other once. In the Relegation Group, the bottom team will be relegated to Ykkönen and the second-bottom team will compete against an Ykkönen team in a playoff to remain, or be relegated from, the Veikkausliga. The Championship Group will sort out the winner of the league, and there will also be European Playoffs based on final league positions to decide who gets European spots.

Viikingit's first league game of the season will be against FC Haka at the beginning of April. Viikingit's hierarchy are bracing themselves for a mass turnout to welcome the club back to the top flight and will hope to keep the attendance as high as possible throughout the season. The early target is to sell 200 season tickets, following the sale of 165 last season. The final figures will be announced in April.

New Kits


Viikingit head into their third and final season with Adidas and Elisa as kit manufacturer and sponsor. It has not yet been made clear whether either deal will be extended. As ever, the club will wear a red home kit and the away kit will be a dark-blue, patterned kit. Kits worthy of a season in the Veikkausliga, even if it proves to be a solitary one.



TheLFCFan, indeed! He's been gargantuan for us!
J_ames, hopefully we can get that striker in soon!

Season 2023: January - March


Following a sparkling season where FC Viikingit won the Ykkönen title with some ease, Kalle Koskinen's side were looking to start the new season with some good performances and new signings. With Veikkausliga football to begin in April, Viikingit will be hoping to prepare well with Suomen Cup fixtures and a pre-season full of friendlies.

Transfers

2022 Transfers

2023 Transfers

Released Players

There were a number of players released from the club at the end of last season, while Denys Pervov retired from playing but will remain at the club as a Goalkeeping Coach.

Viikingit brought in new players to improve all ends of the pitch. Teenage goalkeeper Verneri Malm came in from TPS to become Viikingit's number one, while Jan-Hendrik Marx and Rasmus Holma came in to strengthen a defence which impressed last season.

There were mass changes in midfield as Finland international Moshtagh Yaghoubi and teenage sensations Andreé Nordling and Niclas Haugaard came in to give plenty of potential to the team. They will join Benjamin Thurling to compete for the two central midfielder positions.

There were two attacking signings as Danish right winger Souheib Dhaflaoui came to add plenty of flair and skill to attacking midfield. Norwegian teenage striker Tom Vestnes came in to add goals to the team. Fans will be excited about Vestnes, who is tipped to become a world class striker in the future, having already played 47 senior games in a fledgling career.

Player profiles to follow in the next update.

Results


Viikingit's Suomen Cup campaign started very well with convincing wins over KuPS and TPS. It all went down hill from there, however. A last-minute goal conceded against FC Inter Turku meant the third game ended in a draw, before IFK Mariehamn slapped up Viikingit worse than Kai Havertz did to Manchester City (in real life), and Viikingit were two goals to the good against HJK before conceding three on the bounce to lose the final group game.

Suomen Cup


Despite a strong start to the group, Viikingit fell off big time. Koskinen's team ended up in 5th place, a point outside the top 4. While goals were scored easily, far too many were conceded. Hopefully the club can fix that going into the league season.

Upcoming Fixtures


Big season ahead for FC Viikingit. In their second ever season in the Veikkausliga, the media expect them to finish last. A good start will be important to prove the media wrong and to keep Viikingit in with a chance of survival. Will Kalle Koskinen's men have learned from their mistakes in the Suomen Cup group games? We'll find out soon.


A disappointing Suomen Cup after the previous two seasons relative success. I have a feeling Vestnes will be a somewhat great signing for you;) A big season ahead with the clear goal just staying in the league. Best of luck!
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Some huge moves for the club, I'm extremely impressed that you were able to convince Moshtagh Yaghoubi to sign for the club. Having a Finnish international believe in the project you're building is crucial, and it should help you recruit others as a results. I'm also looking forward to the progress of Vestnes, because if he's to become a world class striker: that can only be good for FC Viikingit!

Keep up the good work mate :D
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
2 yearsEdited

Squad Overview: FC Viikingit 2023


01/04/2023


No. Name | Age | Position | Nationality | CA/PA
Goalkeepers
GK
1. Verneri Malm | Finnish | 18 y/o (11/11/2004) | GK | /
Wage: €240 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2025 | Value: €81,000

30. Ville Seppä | Finnish | 26 y/o (02/05/1996) | GK | /
Wage: €130 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €10,500

Defenders
DR
2. Jan-Henrik Marx | German | 27 y/o (26/04/1995) | DR | /
Wage: €275 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €130,000

17. Ville Sevón | Finnish | 28 y/o (03/04/1994) | DR | /
Wage: €95 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2025 | Value: €1,000

DC
4. Christian Enemark | Denmark | 24 y/o (20/01/1999) | DC | /
Wage: €450 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €89,000

5. Frans Grönlund | Finnish | 23 y/o (26/03/2000) | DC | /
Wage: €75 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €44,500

23. Rasmus Holma | Finnish | 30 y/o (13/09/1992) | DC | /
Wage: €100 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €63,000

27. Teemu Honkaniemi | Finnish | 32 y/o (20/01/1991) | DC | /
Wage: €60 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €425

DL
3. Heikki Huhtamäki | Finnish | 21 y/o (01/01/2002) | DL | /
Wage: €55 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €1,400

16. Tuure Mäntynen | Finnish | 23 y/o (17/01/2000) | DL | /
Wage: €60 | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €34,500

Midfielders
MC
8. Niclas Haugaard | Danish | 18 y/o (31/01/2005) | MC | /
Wage: €200 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2025 | Value: €91,000

6. Andreé Nordling | Finnish | 19 y/o (24/01/2004) | MC | /
Wage: €40 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2025 | Value: €3,900

13. Benjamin Thurling | Finnish | 25 y/o (02/10/1997) | MC | /
Wage: €55 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €89,000

18. Moshtagh Yaghoubi | Finnish | 28 y/o (08/11/1994) | MC | /
Wage: €230 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €150,000

AMR
7. Souheib Dhaflaoui | Danish | 26 y/o (08/05/1996) | AMR | /
Wage: €275 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €190,000

19. Joona Järvistö | Finnish | 26 y/o (21/12/1996) | AMR | /
Wage: €90 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €58,000

11. Olli Tynkkynen | Finnish | 29 y/o (04/02/1994) | AMR | /
Wage: €55 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2024 | Value: €2,200

AMC
21. Haukur Baldvinsson | Icelandic | 32 y/o (05/05/1990) | AMC | /
Wage: €160 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €3,400

24. Noah Mannerström Egvik | Swedish | 21 y/o (24/10/2001) | AMC | /
Wage: €140 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €55,000

AML
12. Joakim Latonen | Finnish | 25 y/o (24/02/1998) | AML | /
Wage: €90 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €14,000

15. Maxime Nzeza | Finnish | 20 y/o (21/10/2002) | AML | /
Wage: €130 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €31,500

Forwards
ST
9. Max Ehrnrooth | Finnish | 27 y/o (20/09/1995) | ST | /
Wage: €130 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €43,500

14. Toni Neuvonen | Finnish | 21 y/o (18/05/2001) | ST | /
Wage: €90 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2023 | Value: €25,500

10. Tom Vestnes | Norwegian | 17 y/o (09/07/2005) | ST | /
Wage: €150 p/w | Expiry Date: 30/11/2025 | Value: €6,750



TheLFCFan & J_ames, yes... I have a feeling Vesntes might score a few goals ;)

Season 2023: Objectives


01/04/2023

Ahead of the 2023 Veikkausliga season, Kalle Koskinen met with the club's board to discuss objectives for the 2023 season. The objectives included on-field performances, controlled by Kalle Koskinen himself, as well as of-field performances. Janne Partanen, the owner of the club, conveyed his objectives through his assigned task leaders who ran the rule over the various aspects of the fooball club.

Footballing Objectives

Jack Bamford

Jack Bamford: "We did an incredible job last season to earn promotion to the Veikkausliga. This will be just the second season in the club's history in top flight football, and we are hopeful that the club can play its third top-flight season next year. However, we appreciate that we are the only semi-professional club in the league and we don't have the player resources to really have any real hope of avoiding relegation. All we want to see is the club fight very bravely to avoid relegation and to be somewhat competitive in the race for survival. If we go down - so be it. All we want to see is some fight this year."

Last Season's Ykkönen Objective: Top half finish (ACHIEVED)
Last Season's Suomen Cup Objective: Reach knockout stage (ACHIEVED)

This Season's Veikkausliga Objective: Fight bravely against relegation (ONGOING)
This Season's Suomen Cup Objective: Be competitive in group stage (ACHIEVED)

Attendance Objectives

Luke Hendricks

Luke Hendricks: "We're a football club on the rise and we've seen our attendances at games grow year-on-year. Promotion to the top tier of Finnish football should see attendances rise significantly again. For a club that doesn't make a lot of money through merchandising, match day income is vitally important for the financial health of the club and we need to make sure we continue seeing an increase in the numbers attending our games. While we'll do our best off the field to encourage fans to attend, we need the performances on the pitch to be good enough to entice them."

Last Season's Total Attendance Objective: More than 6,500 fans across all games combined (FAILED)
Last Season's Highest Attendance Objective: Have at least one game where more than 1,000 fans attend (FAILED)

This Season's Total Attendance Objective: More than 8,000 fans across all games combined (ONGOING)
This Season's Highest Attendance Objective: Have at least one game where more than 1,000 fans attend (ACHIEVED)

Season Ticket Objectives

James Viduka

James Viduka: "Season tickets sales are vital when it comes to building up a core set of fans, and also to supplement and push up the attendances at each games. The season ticket holders are the heart and soul of the club and a growth in sales is an indicator that we're gaining more hardcore fans. We saw a growth in season ticket sales last season, although not as much of a growth as we'd have liked, but we have seen a great surge this season following promotion to the Veikkausliga. Keep doing what you're doing on the pitch and the numbers will continue to pick up."

Last Season's Season Ticket Sales Objective: Sell more than 180 season tickets (FAILED)

This Season's Season Ticket Sales Objective: Sell more than 200 season tickets (ACHIEVED)


This is a team that seems to be brimming with potential, with a few real standout players. It's going to be a tough year for sure, but I think Kalle has enough talent in the team to keep them up. In terms of the objectives its good to see the club hitting its on pitch targets whilst improving in regards to its off field ones.
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