UA-52481335-1 VPS Vaasa - Football Finland

VPS Vaasa

Full Name: Vaasan Palloseura
Nicknames: Vepsu
Founded: 1924
Stadium: Elisa Stadion (6,005) Artificial turf
Manager: Petri Vuorinen
Chairman: Riku Asukas
Last season: 4th – Qualified to Europe

Honours:
Titles: 2 (Last 1948)
Cup: 1 (1972)

Europe:
European Cup: –
Cup Winners Cup: –
UEFA Cup: Best 2nd Qualifying round 1998-99 Grazer AK 0-3
Europa League: Best 1st qualifying round 2014-15 Brommapojkarna 2-3
Champions League: –

VPS started last season slowly as the team was still getting used to their new style of play which focussed on ball control, but slowly their results started to improve and they started to climb up the table. Also it did not help that they had to play their home games in the beginning away from their stadium. When the new stadium was finished in June, the results changed. In June and July VPS went on a 7-1-1 run and was the top form team. In August and September they had some hard games which ended in a draw but they finished the season with 3 wins from their last 4 games that helped them pass Ilves into 4th position and into Europe.

The strength last season was their solid defense. They conceded only 27 goals during the whole season with the champions IFK Mariehamn only conceding less (25). Especially at home they conceded only 10 goals. They had a good goalkeeper in Evgeniy Kobozev and the balance between the defense and midfield was really good.

Their weakness last season was scoring goals. Their best goalscorer was winger Pyry Soiri with 10 goals, but behind him there was a big gap. They were missing strikers who could put the ball into the net more often. Their Jamaican striker duo Morrissey and Clennon only scored 9 goals in total the whole season.

For this season they look weaker. They have lost a lot more in the transfer window than they have gained. Top scorer Pyry Soiri left to Belarus and Shaktor Soligorsk, Evgeniy Kobozev left to Sweden and Jönköpings Södra, Defender Nikko Boxall moved to KuPS. On top of these starting line up players, Eero Tamminen (started 18 games) moved to Ilves and Loorents Hertsi (started 25 games) back to FC Lahti.

The players they have got do not seem to be at the same level. New goalkeeper, Estonian Marko Meerits has the potential to be good but at least during pre-season he was not at the same level as Kobozev. Experienced winger Juho Hakola came from KuPS but he is not even close to Pyry Soiri. Left back Markus Jurgenson came from FC Flora and he is a good player but Nikko Boxall you could use on multiple different positions. The other two signings were 2nd goalkeeper Volotinen from PK-35 Vantaa and Kim Böling from Närpes. Both should be mainly bench players.

With VPS also playing in Europe, their squad does not have enough depth. With Pyry Soiri gone, they also have to find new ways to create goal scoring chances. As they have not gotten any new strikers, the same players will have to increase their goal tally in order to cover the 10 goals Soiri scored. Difficult.

What you can expect from VPS this season is similar what it was last season. They will be a strong home team at the Elisa Stadium where they will beat many teams to nil. Unless Clennon and Morrissey find their form, it will be difficult for them to score 2 or more goals in a match. There should be many under 2.5 goal games. They will have the ball control in almost every game and they will create many slow attacks. What we expect is that young players Aatu Laatikainen and Joonas Vahtera will both have a good season. Especially Vahtera could have a close 10 goal season possibly.

Pre-season:
VPS 5-1 FC Jazz Cup
SJK Akatemia 3-7 VPS Cup
VPS 1-0 FF Jaro Cup
VPS 0-1 MuSa Cup
SJK 0-3 VPS Cup
FC Inter 2-0 VPS Cup
Östersunds 5-1 VPS Friendly

Squad: Preferred formation 4-1-4-1
Goalkeepers:
M. Meerits EST
S. Volotinen FIN
E. Hilden FIN

Defenders:
T. Lahti FIN
V. Koskimaa FIN
J. Engström FIN
M. J ürgenson EST
W. Lampi FIN
M. Viitikko FIN

Midfielders:
J. Voutilainen FIN
J. Hakola FIN
S. Strandvall FIN
J. Lähde FIN
K. Böling FIN
J. Levänen FIN
A. Laatikainen FIN
J. Vahtera FIN
F. Gatambyie FIN

Forwards:
S. Morrissey JAM
A. Clennon JAM

Our Ranking:
The Veikkausliiga mid-table seems very even but we rank VPS on 7th position.