FC Honka: Putting Finland On The Map

Jun 1, 2014
312
0
0


After my Man Utd save I wanted to do one with a club that I could really sink my teeth into and spend a bit of time turning into not only the best club in their country, but eventually Europe. After my long search I came up with.....

FC Honka: Putting Finland On The Map
View attachment 35846

Introduction

It would have been easy to pick a semi decent country like Croatia, Sweden or Scotland that had a high reputation and pick a team within those countries like Dinamo, Hajduk, Malmo, Celtic or Rangers. Maybe i have one season that was tough and then dominate domestically before getting to the latter stages of the Champions League within a couple of seasons thanks to being able to buy ridiculously good players (we all know how it goes). FC Honka is a completely different proposition and i will go into why below.

Finland is an interesting country. The national team has never made it to a World Cup or European Championship and apart from Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypia, they've not really produced a load of top class players.

Domestically it's all about
Helsingin Jalkapalloklub or HJK for short. They are 28 times Finnish Veikkausliiga champions with 15 Finnish Cups as well. In comparison FC Haka, who play in the First Division (Ykkonen) are the next most successful with 9 and 7 trophies respectively. HJK are also the only Finnish club to make it to the group stages of the Champions League in 98/99 finishing bottom of their group while they have only made the one appearance in the Europa League group stage finishing fourth.

All of this points to a country that has been pretty unsuccessful in footballing terms but I am hoping to change that with FC Honka.

View attachment 35836 View attachment 35837

FC Honka (also known as Esport Honka) is a Finnish football club, based in Espoo.

View attachment 35835

It was promoted into the Finnish Premier Division (Veikkausliiga), for the first time in its history, at the end of the 2005 season. Until 2005 FC Honka was thought of as a "nearly, but not quite" team, always underachieving in the Finnish First Division (Ykkönen).

In the late 1990s the objective was promotion but year after year they failed. In the beginning of the 21st century FC Honka almost went bankrupt but was saved at the last moment. In early 2005 the club was taken over by Jouko Pakarinen and Jouko Harjunpää, who had a plan to turn FC Honka from underachievers to a UEFA Champions League candidate.
The club plays its home matches at Tapiolan urheilupuisto that has a capacity of 4,500.

View attachment 35831

In the first year of their takeover of FC Honka, the management succeeded in assembling a squad which won the First Division (Ykkönen) with ease and also made the semi-finals of the Finnish Cup.

FC Honka was able to fight for top positions instantly, but narrowly missed the top three in their first two seasons. However, in 2007 they lost the Finnish Cup final to Tampere United on penalties. As Tampere United also won the league title, FC Honka qualified for the 2008–09 UEFA Cup. In 2008, FC Honka achieved its first medal by finishing 2nd in the league.

FC Honka won the Finnish Cup in 2012. Due to financial difficulties the team was relegated to the third tier Kakkonen in 2015. In 2015 the fitness center company Esport bought the club and after that, the club has also been known as Esport Honka. The club dominated their first season in Kakkonen in 2015 and lost only two games, but were defeated in the promotion battle. After the 2016 season, the team was promoted to the second tier Finnish First Division (Ykkönen).

Youth Prospects

View attachment 35834 View attachment 35833 View attachment 35832

FC Honka is largely renowned in Finland for its extensive youth scheme with over 1000 youth players playing in various age groups. I'll be hoping to tap into this with my save as funds will be at a minimum to begin with.

Rasmus Viitanen (DRC), Joachim Bockerman (DRLC) and Arlind Sedjiu (STC) are the three best prospects within our youth ranks and I will be looking to bring them along this season.

Best Players

View attachment 35830 View attachment 35829 View attachment 35828

Two Spaniards and a Serbian are our best players who i will be looking to lead us towards the top of the
Ykkönen.

Reputation

View attachment 35827 View attachment 35826 View attachment 35825

These are the areas that I will be judging some of my success on. Firstly i will be looking to get to the top of the Finnish ratings then get amongst the top of the European standings. Finally if those two are improving then the league ranking will take care of itself.

Goals

My first goal for the save will be to make it to the Premier Division then establish ourselves, qualify for Europe and win the League for the first time. From there it'll be about becoming the best team in Finland by beating HJK's 28 league titles and 15 Finnish Cups as well as consistently qualifying for the European group stages.

 
Last edited:
Jun 1, 2014
312
0
0
FC Honka: Putting Finland On The Map


Preseason 2017

View attachment 35450

Confirmation of my appointment as boss of FC Honka. I'm excited to get started!

Team Report

View attachment 35451

I rundown of the squad as it is when i walk through the door. Looks like some strengthening at the back is required. Quality depth outside of the first team squad is lacking but with the money available i doubt that will change this season.

Formation

View attachment 35452

With the players at my disposal as well as keeping with my thoughts of solidarity at the back I feel this is the best way to tick both boxes, leading us to success.

Transfer Budget

View attachment 35453

After agreeing with the board that we will win the league and make the quarter final of the Finnish Cup, I have been given the above budgets. This does surprisingly give me quite a bit of room to manoeuvre as most of my players are on amateur contracts.

Finnish First Division Preview

View attachment 35454

The bookies have made us overwhelming favourites to not only win promotion but take the title home. Hopefully i can live up to those expectations!

View attachment 35455

Our Spanish star Borja is expected to bag a lot of goals for us this season, being made favourite to win the award.

View attachment 35449

You could throw a blanket over our best three players to see who will win the Player of the Year award. Will it be Borjas' goals? Obradovic chipping in with a few goals and assists off the wing? Or Hervas pulling the strings from midfield laying on assists for the three strikers?

View attachment 35448

A bit of a rundown of the league as a whole. The media have named seven Honka players in their dream team! It appears as though everything is setup for us to dominate and gain promotion.

Winter Transfer Window 2017

View attachment 35441

A breakdown of our transfer activity to date. Kasperi Liikonen is a decent prospect up front but probably wont get a lot of game time this season so when Premier League side Ilves came calling to give him some experience up there i was more than happy to let him go.

Alex Lehtinen DLC/WBL

View attachment 35447

A decent player that will add some depth to that defensive left side area who could push for a regular first team birth.

Matthieu Dubois DC


View attachment 35446

A young centre back who i will be looking to blood early and frequently in the hope he will be a starter in the short term.

Tuomas Ollila DL/WBL

View attachment 35445

An exciting young prospect who i am hoping over the next couple of years can develop into a good Finnish player.

Matej Hradecky MC

View attachment 35444

Finally the signing i was most happy about, Matej Hradecky the younger brother of Frankfurt and Finnish international keeper Lukas Hradecky. I will be looking to him to be challenging for that other starting CM position next to Hervas. I see a fair amount of upside to this guy considering his age.

First Divison and Finnish Transfer Roundup

View attachment 35443 View attachment 35442

No massive deals here to write home about but Premier League side KuPS manage to bring in eight players. It doesnt show it on here but the Finnish teams have a strong affinity with Brazilian clubs as quite a few of their youngster have braved the Nordic weather to grace our leagues.

 
Last edited:
Jun 1, 2014
312
0
0
FC Honka: Putting Finland On The Map



Suomen Cup 2017

The Finnish domestic season is a bit of an odd one. The league season runs from April to September but the Suomen (Finnish) Cup kicks the season off in January. It's split up into a group stage and knockout rounds that are played before and during the opening games of the league campaign but the final isn't played until September.

View attachment 35416
Group Stage

Group E Matchday One

View attachment 35415

My first competitive game in charge and what a game it was! It may have only been non-league opposition but I didn't think we would gel this quickly. We were one nil down at the break due to an early penalty but the second half blew up as Obradovic scored two within the first two minutes of the second half and we didn't look back scoring another three.

Group E Matchday Two

View attachment 35414

Back to back home games, this time against Veikkausliiga
opposition as we went behind again but fought back for a well earned victory.


Group E Matchday Three

View attachment 35413

Our first game against a Ykkonen side and the result is the same as we dispatch another side to make it three from despite midfielder Duarte Tammilehto getting sent off.

Group E Matchday Four

View attachment 35412

AC Oulu are considered to be outsiders for the Ykkonen title this season and we showed everybody why with a resounding victory away from home as Borja gets a brace to continue his and our great start.

Knockout Stages Beckon

View attachment 35411

Qualification to the knockouts is confirmed a game early after the Oulu result. Victory in our last group game will ensure we finish top and automatic qualification to the Quarter Final with it.

Group E Matchday Five

View attachment 35410

Top spot and passage to the quarter's is reaffirmed with another top away performance against Veikkausliiga opponents. This result is our best indicator yet that we are genuine contenders for the league.

Suomen Cup Quarter Final Draw

View attachment 35409

A home draw against better opposition will be tough but the way we've performed so far gives me hope.

Suomen Cup Quarter Final

View attachment 35408

This is getting ridiculous. I figured we would do well and probably beat most if not all of the other Ykkonen opponents but to be beating these Veikkausliiga teams this early with little investment is surprising.

Suomen Cup Semi Final Draw

View attachment 35407

An away semi final against a very tough opponent. Passage through to the final at our first attempt will be tough.

Record Breaking Already!

View attachment 35406

Six consecutive wins is a new record for us and also the competition, I'm guessing nobody had ever gone undefeated through the group stage before!

Suomen Cup Semi Final

View attachment 35405

A quite unbelievable result and performance as Borjas hits a hat-trick victory to secure our first final right at the beginning of my career. The link up between Borjas and Obradovic so far has been brilliant.

Suomen Cup Final Draw

View attachment 35404

A home tie (???) against Ilves awaits us at the end of September. It will be interesting to see how we are performing around that time as i feel this format has taken away the momentum we have right now.

Player of the Suomen Cup


View attachment 35403

Borjas wins this. Absolute no brainer. Obradovic was good but to get ten goals and two assists in seven games on our way to the final has been nothing short of incredible.
 
Jun 1, 2014
312
0
0
FC Honka: Putting Finland On The Map


April 2017

Fixtures

View attachment 35118

A short month in terms of the league as we had some cup games in between that were covered in the last post. After our excellent run in the cup I'm looking for us to hit the ground running.

View attachment 35110
23/04/2017
Matchday One

View attachment 35117

An excellent start to the season as we carry on our form into the league with a resounding victory at home thanks to an Obradovic brace.

View attachment 35110
26/04/2017
Matchday Two


View attachment 35116

The first loss of my reign comes at the tenth attempt thanks in large to midfielder Duarte Tammilehto's red card when the score was tied at 1-1. Despite having more possession and shots with ten men, an Alex Lehtinen mistake gave them the lead and we weren't able to get back into the game.

View attachment 35110
30/04/2017
Matchday Three

View attachment 35115

Dropped points in back to back games now as we concede our only shot on target and aren't able to capitalize on our dominance. Maybe this isn't going to be as easy as i thought....

Season Ticket Sales Announced

View attachment 35111

Four hundred season tickets sold this season which for this level isn't too bad. My one big issue with previous FM's is the lack of growth from season ticket sales despite taking lower league teams to multiple league titles and the latter stages of Europe. We'll see how this one fairs.


Player of the Month

View attachment 35114

Serbian striker Obradovic's double in the opening game is enough for him to earn the award this month.

View attachment 35110
League Table

View attachment 35113

Fifth place and smack bang in the middle of the league after the first month. With twenty four games left we have plenty of time to get to the top.

View attachment 35110
Player Stats

View attachment 35112

Borjas and Obradovic have started the season well along with left wing-back Bockerman who got two assists in our opening win.
 
Last edited:
Jun 1, 2014
312
0
0
FC Honka: Putting Finland On The Map

May 2017

Fixtures

View attachment 35088

An absolutely crazy month with no less than nine league games in the space of 28 days. By the end of the month we'll be almost halfway through the season and have a clear picture as to how good we actually are.

Marque Signing Confirmed

View attachment 35087

View attachment 35086

Incredibly we manage to sign 41 year old, 134 cap shot stopper Shay Given until the end of the season. I cant believe a club of our size in this division could attract a player of his caliber and experience. He's also only worth £15!


03/05/2017
Matchday Four

View attachment 35085

Another two points dropped as we missed Borjas sorely with poor performances all over the park. We seem to be getting plenty of shots away but the quality isnt there at the moment.


07/05/2017
Matchday Five


View attachment 35084

Given straight in for a debut as we make it three draws in a row and no win in four as we struggle to get to grips with the league after such a good cup run. Giving the opposition a two goal head start will always end in tears and we were lucky to grab a point. The good and bad of the situation is we have another game in three days to make amends.


10/05/2017
Matchday Six

View attachment 35083

The press labelled this an instant classic and I'm sure for the neutral that would be true but we were seconds away from three points and I'm gutted. It was a real back and forth with the lead changing hands four times. Back to the drawing board.

Record Breakers

View attachment 35081

Losing Streak

View attachment 35082

Five games now without a victory and our chances of promotion have gotten off to a bad start.


14/05/2017
Matchday Seven

View attachment 35080

Relief! A good performance and more importantly three points that hopefully kick starts our season.


17/05/2017
Matchday Eight

View attachment 35079

And straight back down to earth. The defence just isnt doing it for me. They score with all three chances on target while we manage seventeen but can't win. Worrying.


21/05/2017
Matchday Nine

View attachment 35078

That's more like it! Four goals for Obradovic who is currently outshining his more fancied teammate Borjas.

The Obradovic Blitz!


View attachment 35077

The Serbian adds another record to our burgeoning collection.


24/05/2017
Matchday Ten

View attachment 35076

Back to back wins as we fight back from a goal down twice to then take a late lead and hold onto it.


28/05/2017
Matchday Eleven

View attachment 35075

The goals and the wins keep on rolling as Borjas makes it five goals in two games to keep the momentum going. Three goals in this game were scored from the 88th minute onwards.


31/05/2017
Matchday Twelve

View attachment 35074

Borjas ends the month with another hat-trick to single-handedly see off OPS. Special mention to Rahimi who seems to have settled in that STCR role with a few assists.


Player of the Month

View attachment 35071

Has to be Borjas for his nine goals and two assists in the last four games alone. 25 goals in only 18 games this season shows we have an absolute gem of a player at this level.


League Table

View attachment 35070

After everything that has happened we sit in third, four points off the lead. This could have been a lot worse but it is such an even league with teams taking points off each other.


Player Stats

View attachment 35069

Borjas and Obradovic have scored an amazing 29 goals between them in 12 games so far. They both top the average ratings while Obradovic has also chipped in with six assists.


Monthly Awards

View attachment 35073 View attachment 35072

We've dominated the awards this month with Obradovic being recognised for 12 goals in 9 games while I'm somewhat sheepish for getting mine with a 55% win ratio.
 
Last edited:
Top