UA-52481335-1 JJK - Football Finland

JJK

Full Name: JJK Jyväskylä
Nicknames: Ketut (Foxes)
Founded: 2000 (1992)
Stadium: Harjun stadion (5000)
Manager: Juha Pasoja
Chairman: Lassi Hietanen
Last season: 1st in Ykkönen, promoted

Honours:
Titles: –
Cup: –

Europe:
European Cup: –
Cup Winners Cup: –
UEFA Cup: –
Europa League: –
Champions League: –

JJK had a very good season in the Ykkönen and deservedly got promoted. In a very tight league they were the ones who were able to play most consistently. Most of the times their defense was solid, midfield was creative and despite their offense failing to score too many goals, they got promoted. Normally when a team gets promoted, they invest and try to build even a better team. That has not been the case with JJK.

Almost immediately their team got broken up. Their best goalscorer Saku Leppänen moved to KuPS, Iiro Järvinen to Ilves and Niko Markkula to FC Inter. They lost three key players and no money to replace them. It started to worse as in their first Cup match, KuPS beat them 9-1. After this, they were at the bottom and from here the only way was up. They brought in defenders Samu Nieminen from Ilves and Felix Gustavsson from KPV. In goal they brought the former KTP keeper Pyhäranta. Patrik Poutiainen returned from rivals KuPS and Verneri Välimaa came from Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USA. One interesting player is Tatu Varmanen who is a loan from FC Inter. He is a very promising player and will get some playing time as a full back.

Despite all the new signings, JJK squad is barely a Veikkausliiga level team. Mikko Manninen and Tommi Kari are key players again this season and if either one gets injured, they are in trouble. The is lacking goals as in the Cup their main striker was Toni Tahvanainen who was already wasteful last season in level below and in the Cup did not impress either. Luckily though Saku Leppänen had a change in heart and cancelled his contract with KuPS and returned to JJK just before the start of the season. Gael Etock also was brought back. The former Barcelona graduate scored 6 goals last season in the ykkönen in 11 games. He is a bit inconsistent but has the flair to spark the crowd.

Another issue for JJK is that their stadium will go under renovation during the season and there has been a lot of negotiations done on where to play while “Harju” is being fixed. They have now found a solution but it has been a bit of a mess in the off-season.

Players in: Samu Nieminen (Ilves), Felix Gustavsson (KPV), Jere Pyhäranta (KTP), Patrik Poutiainen (KuPS), Verneri Välimaa (Tampa Bay Rowdies, USA), Tatu Varmanen (Inter, laina)

Players out: Iiro Järvinen (Ilves), Niko Markkula (Inter)

Pre-season:
KuPS 9-1 JJK Cup
Haka 4-0 JJK Cup
JJK 4-2 MP Cup
JJK 0-1 MP Cup
Lahti 3-2 JJK Cup
OPS 2-5 JJK friendly

Squad:

Goalkeepers:
J. Pyhäranta FIN
T. Marttinen FIN

Defenders:
M. Lähitie FIN
F. Gustavsson SWE
M. Kohonen FIN
T. Varmanen FIN
A. Tapaninen FIN
B. Hanslian FIN
S. Nieminen FIN
S. Vielma FIN

Midfielders:
S. Leppänen FIN
H. Abdi FIN
V. Kirvesoja FIN
A. Manninen FIN
M. Manninen FIN
T. Koppelomäki FIN
V. Välimaa FIN
S. Suoraniemi FIN
P. Poutiainen FIN
S. Loutelamio FIN
O. Sallinen FIN
T. Kari FIN

Forwards:
T. Tahvanainen FIN
J. Abahassine FIN
G. Etock FIN

Our prediction: 12th