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KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory

Started on 30 July 2012 by The FM Rookie
Latest Reply on 29 October 2012 by Kiwi
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This is always nice.

UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw

I was in my office watching the draw live with Harri Ylonen. Ari Lahti went to Monaco for the draw but with upcoming games, I remained in Finland. We were anxious to see who we got. As an upcoming team, we were only in the fourth pot. Teams were drawn, fixtures were set and plenty more was to come. Teams like Barca and Madrid, Man Utd and the rejuvinated Liverpool, the two Milan clubs all in the one competition. Who were we to them? A team from Scandinavia who got lucky? To them maybe. To me, we are the next "Galactico", we will become a club to rival Madrid in the '50s, Liverpool in the late '70s, Barcelona in the late '00s. A team to rival anyone. A team with desire, with passion and most importantly, a team with trophies."

Group E
FC Bayern
Paris Saint Germain
Valencia C.F.
Kuopion Palloseura

August Update

YLE SPORTS - An absolutely superb month for the club in Europe, making it to the most prestigous club competition in the world. KuPS are going places with Heighway at the helm, moving from strength-to-strength.

2-0 Win vs Zilina (A) CL Champ Qual Rnd 3 Leg 1, 1.8.12.
Ilja Venalainen 6'
Ilja Venalainen 32'
Ilja Venalainen (9.0)

Heighway - "The players played out of their skins today, a great team performance. Against one of the top two teams from Slovakia who's national team has the likes of Skrtel and Hamsik makes it even sweeter."

0-0 Draw vs VPS (H) League, 5.8.12.
O'Brian Woodbine (7.4)

Heighway - "This is an incredibly frustrating result for us because we really should have won. However, we didn't concede either so that is one poitive."

5-1 (7-1 Agg) Win vs Zilina (H) CL Champ Qual Rnd 3 Leg 2, 8.8.12.
Etchu Tabe 4'
Jozef Piacek 21'
Antti Hynynen 35'
Antti Hynynen 44'
Antti Hynynen 70'
Fredrik Svanback 84'
Antti Hynynen (9.6)

Heighway - "We just ran riot here today. To score five against such a prestigious team is brilliant and credit really does have to go to Antti Hynynen who played a part in each goal."

2-0 Win vs TPS (A) League, 12.8.12.
Ole Kristian Selnaes pen 1'
Shefki Kuqi 6'
Antti Hynynen (7.8)

Heighway - No Comment

2-1 Win vs IFK Mariehamn (H) League, 15.8.12.
Raymond Fafiani 13'
Abdoulaye Sylla 46'
Alekei Kangaskolkka 56'Raymond Fafiani (7.4)

Heighway - No Comment

1-3 Loss vs FC Inter (A) League, 19.8.12.
Abdoulaye Sylla 5'
Irakli Siribiladze 25
Joni Aho pen 63'
Mika Makitalo 77'
Mika Makitalo (7.7)

2-0 Win vs FC Basel (A) CL Champ Qual Playoff Leg 1, 22.8.12.

Match Details + Reactions

3-0 Win vs Honka (H) League, 25.8.12.
Antti Hynynen 14'
Antti Hynynen 53'
Abdoulaye Sylla 68'
Antti Hynynen (8.8)

Heighway - "I think we just showed why we are top of the league, our passion, our ability and our fans have helped us. We are top and we will not fall off of our perch."

2-1 (4-1 agg.) Win vs FC Basel (H) CL Champ Qual Playoff Leg 2, 28.8.12.

Match Details + Reactions


Player Stats

Clean Sheets

Champions League Qualifying Player Stats



Unfortunately I cannot post this episode's goal of the episode due to recording difficulties. However, there is nothing to fear as next I will be posting the September update and individual posts for the matche against Valencia. Stay tuned.

Valencia Caught in Line of Fire

SKY Reporter - "Congratulations on your win over a vastly more reputable Valencia side. What is your reaction after this result?"

Heighway - "Thank you. Valencia is obviously one of the best teams in the world. To win against them is an absolute dream. The players and the fans have been fantastic as usual. The sound of "You'll Never Walk Alone" must have been intimidating for the Valencia players, I was definately intimidated. We might only be playing in a 2700 seater stadium but the atmosphere made it feel like a 270,000 seater."

"No matter who your team face, you always seem to utilise the same tactic every single time. Is this because you have faith in your tactic to beat anybody or is it because the players are only trained for that tactic?"

"Well this answer is certaintly going to help my next opposition's manager with their homework! Yeah, I have faith in this tactic to succeed. I don't see why I would have to change a tactic for matches against Valencia etc. because our opposition will still try to do two fundamental things; to score and not to concede. So are we and this tactic that I feel can help us to do these two things."

"Lastly, I have a question about a particular player on your team. How do you feel about Ole Kristian Selnaes?"

"Well, he is a marvellous talent isn't he? I know we only have him on loan, which is a pity but where ever he goes, he will shine. I think he will become a key player for his country in the future. He will become an idol. He is a similar player to the mighty Paul Scholes because he can and will do everything needed from a centre mid. Thank you."
Good job winning against Valencia!
Looking for the next update of this interesting story!
Brilliant story
You're doing a fine job!
I'm from Finland too so I find this story even more interesting!
2012-09-23 04:49#66501 andrew98 : O.o!
Good job winning against Valencia!
Looking for the next update of this interesting story!
Thank you. I have plenty of updates coming up. :)

Brilliant story
You're doing a fine jobe!
I'm from Finland too so I find this story even more interesting!
Thanks! I hope you will continue following. What Finnish team do you support?

KuPS Win League in Enemy's Back Yard

Article from Savon Sanomaat newspaper -

KuPSi Make the League Their Own Once Again

Nick Heighway - "It really has been a great season for us so far. We have won the league, we have a cup final in a few days and we are topping our Champions League group. When I came here to manage KuPS, never in my wildest dreams think that it would take just two seasons to accomplish this incredible success."

"The players have played so admirably over the two seasons and they deserve the trophy success. Their work ethic every day and their positive outlook has been quite frightening at times. They wanted to be successful and they understood that to become the best, they must be better than every body else 24/7. Many of the players stay back after training to watch video analysis of their training, their matches and their upcoming opponents. They may not be paid millions like the players in the Barclays Premier League over on the other side of Europe but they deserve to be paid millions in my eyes."

"I really cannot thank Ari Lahti enough for the confidence that he is placed in me over the past two years. I have been frustrated with the lack of funds at times but I do understand why Ari is keeping his pockets zipped up. We want to stabilise KuPS as a European regular before we begin to attack the top. If this means building a huge finance before we splash the cash, then we will do that. Ari is a wonderful businessman and a great person, I couldn't ask for more in a chairperson."

"The fans, I think that I have credited them quite a bit recently but they do deserve to be credited because, again, they have been absolutely wonderful. They are not afraid to show their colours and their passion and knowledge of the game is quite extraordinary. I know my team's style of play has come accross as "boring" recently but at the end of the day we are getting results and the fans appreciate that."

After winning the league again, Heighway's trophy count has risen to four with a cup final in a couple of days time. The KuPS revolution has been quite extraordinary, from winning domestically to beating Valencia. Only time will tell us where KuPS are heading.

Are they in the top division in your save?

Penalties Hand Cup to KuPS

YLE Reporter - "Congratulations on your win. Your side were losing at half-time but fought back to bring the game to penalties. What was said at half-time?"

Heighway - "Thank you. Yeah we were losing at half-time but what I said wasn't nearly as important as how the players reacted to what I said. I honestly was very angry that we were losing so I told the players how I felt and they responded in a positive manner. Antti Hynynen, who has been a great player on and off the pitch this season, spoke after me and he said that if the team want to win trophies, they have to play their football and not to watch the opponent's football. We got a much needed confidence boost and eventually Antti equalised in a half that we had fifteen plus shots."

"Penalty drama once again for your side. Your side has one all four penalty shoot-outs that they have been involved in. Does your team train for these shoot-outs? What is your opinion on shoot-outs being the ultimate match decider?"

"No we don't really practice for shoot-outs. Obviously we practice penalties but how can you get ready for a shoot-out? When we play a match, no matter who we are against, our objective is to win in ninety minutes. Okay, sometimes that cannot be done but there is also another thirty minutes and then the shoot-outs. Why should we practice for a shoot-out when we can avoid it? I'm not saying that I am scared of them, in fact I absolutely love them. They are a fair and reasonable way to decide a match, in my opinion. I am just saying that winning a match before penalties is always the objective."

"You came against a weakened TPS side missing the likes of Jarkko Hurme and Petteri Pennanen. Did this make your task easier?"

"I don't think that it is fair to say that a game is easier because the opposition did not have certain players available through injury or suspension. At the end of the day, a manager will put out the most effective players that he has available and it could have been us who had a few players injured but thankfully it wasn't and we had a clean bill of health, for once."

"Antti Hynynen picked up the Man of the Match award here today. You spoke earlier of his determination. How important is he to your team?"

"Antti has been one of our star perfomers since I took over. His work ethic and his attitude has been brilliant. He is a model professional in my eyes. He never complains and he always tries his best. He has scored quite a few goals for a winger and he provides so much to our attacks. He is a regular starter for a reason."

Antti Hynynen - He gives us hope
2012-09-23 12:09#66514 fmgunner00 : PK-35

Are they in the top division in your save?
No, they are seventh in the First Division. But they have a descent squad.

September Update

Two trophies won and top of our Champions League group. Overall, our best month so far.

3-2 Win va Haka (H) League, 2.9.12.
Miika Ilo 1'
Marco Matrone 21'
Ole Kristian Selnaes 40'
Fredrik Karlsson 43'
Jussi Heikkinen 90+4'
Miika Ilo (8.2)

Heighway - "This game was a lot closer than it couldd have been. We were too sloppy at the back but thankfully we scored more than we conceded."

1-1 Draw vs Mariehamn (A) League, 5.8.12.
Aleksei Kangaskolkka 3'
Ilja Venalainen 35'
Atte Hoivala (7.5)

Heighway - No comment

1-0 Win vs HJK (H) League, 16.9.12.
Paul Obiefule 75'
Atte Hoivala (8.4)

Heighway - "Atte was fantastic again. He is only 20 years old but he is one of the best right backs in the country."

3-1 Win vs Valencia (H) Champions League, 19.9.12.

Match Details + Reactions

2-0 Win vs MYPA (H) League, 23.9.12.
Etchu Tabe 25'
Antti Hynynen 38'
Etchu Tabe (8.1)

Heighway - "A solid win for us and we only need one more point to win the league now."

3-1 Win vs JJK (A) League, 26.9.12.
Raymond Fafiani 15'
Abdoulaye Sylla 70'
Mikk Reintam 83'
Lasse Linjala 88'
Abdoulaye Sylla (8.3)

Heighway - Reactions

p1-1 Win vs TPS (N) Finnish Cup Final, 29.9.12.

Match Details + Reactions


Player Stats

Manager of the Month Award

Goal of the Month Award

Champions League Group E


Stay tuned for the last monthly update of the season and for individual reports on the matches against PSG and FC Bayern.

Shock Draw at Parc des Princes

SKY Reporter - "Rudi and Nick, what are your reactions after this draw?"

Rudi Garcia (PSG Manager) - "KuPS are a stronger team than most people expected them to be. They have some good players and they have great passion. It is hard to break down their defence and when you do, you have to score against a quality goalkeeper. They have great depth and a great manager. Of course I'm disappointed with the result because I feel that we have a better squad than them and I will certaintly make sure that the players will play better next time we play against them."

Nick Heighway - "Yeah, I agree with Rudi that PSG have a greater squad of players but only technically and physically. They have better training facilities than us but I think we showed that we wanted the win more and we were unfortunate not to get it. I felt that we were the better team in the first half and took our goal to wake the sleeping beast of PSG."

"You both opted for the 4-5-1 formation. Why did you both decide to use this formation?"

"Well I felt that we needed to control the midfield but the players just didn't do their work here today and I'm very disappointed in them."

"This is the formation that we are used to and the formation that we will continue to use for the forseeable future."

"Discussing players?"

"We were missing Thiago Motta for this game which played a huge part. Credit to KuPS as they mad Sirigu work in our goals."

"We rested quite a few players who started in the cup final but the players who started showed their worth and earned us a point. Etchu has a slight knock and should be fine but there is worse news for Shefki Kuqi who has, to my understanding, torn a calf muscle and will be out for four to five months."

"Thank you Rudi and Nick."
Hey guys, from now on I will post season summaries in my first post. You can take a look and you will see how I did in each competition, top goalscorer and best player in those competitions. Thank you

Veikkausliiga Award Winners

Manager of the Year

Player of the Year

Team of the Season

Most Man of the Match Award

Positional Award Winners

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