:D :D! Is Valeinen the league's top scorer?
KuPS: A Growing Club
KuPS might not be the biggest club in Europe, but under Nick Johnson's management they are certainly heading to be there or thereabouts. They have already performed above expectations last season, winning the Finnish treble, and knocking Werder Bremen out of the Europa League in the qualifying rounds. These are no easy feats, and now everyone can see the club growing.
When KuPS were drawn against German club Werder Bremen, no-one really thought they stood a chance of going through. Not many people knew who they were, although when Johann Smith gave the Finnish club a first-leg lead, more people started watching with intrigue. In Germany not only did they have the famous KuPS fans behind them, but also a lot of neutrals who support the underdog. KuPS may have lost the second leg in Germany 2-1, but amazingly went through on away goals thanks to Purje, who put them in front just before half-time. The desire to keep going and wanting to win that day was admirble, and the KuPSi players never gave up, not when Bremen took the lead, not when they were absolutely dominant, not ever.
It's not just the results on the pitch that is attracting attention, they have also made some fantastic transfers. One of those is Bard Finne, a young Norwegian wonderkid, released by Molde when his contract expired. He might not be great now, but Nick Johnson believes he will still become a great player, and has jumped at the chance to sign him. Undoubtedly though, the best wonderkid in the KuPS squad is Muhammed Demirci. Released from Besiktas last summer, and picked up by the Finnish champions, Demirci is set to grow into one of the best players the Finnish league has ever seen, and lead the club to glory.
Nick Johnson is being hailed as a tactical genius by sections of the KuPS support after winning four trophies in his short time at the club so far, and is close to winning a fifth, with KuPS in the Finnish Cup final against MYPA. This season he has trialled an experimental 4-6-0 False No. 9 tactic, and it has worked brilliantly so far. KuPS have won all 7 of their league games so far, and are yet to concede. This was also the tatic used to win the League Cup at the start of the season.
Many football fans know that KuPS aren't going to stop growing yet. They are going to carry on winning trophies, signing great players, and going places in Europe. This season they are in the Champions' League qualifiers, and depending on who they draw, they will think they have a great chance of progressing to the next round. There's nothing more we can do other than sit back and enjoy the ride here in Kuopio.
Darijo Rakitic, Savon Sanomat
You are reading "KuPS - The Rocky Road To Glory".