IF Gnistan 2017 Season
Media Prediction: 7th Final Position: 2nd (promoted via promotion playoff)
Started strong, form dipped in the middle of the year but finished off strong, only 3 points behind champions TPS. Drew PS Kemi in the promotion playoff, we were heavy favourites so stuck with the tactic that had been serving us well in the previous few games for the first leg, turned out to be a huge mistake as we lost 6-4 in a crazy game. Changed things around in the second leg, playing a basic 4-4-2 to give my talented back-up striker a chance. Turned out to be a great decision as we won 3-0 after 120 minutes securing promotion at the first time of asking. A brilliant achievement but going to find it extremely difficult to stay up. If we are as lucky with injuries as we were this season we might have a chance.
Finnish Cup - 2nd Round (lost 2-0 to IFK Mariehamn)
Performed well in the group stage, including a great 0-0 draw away to eventual winners HJK. Mariehamn totally outclassed us in the next round and deservedly went through.
3rd - Biran Jeng: Our best defender with a knack for scoring important goals. 2nd - Joonas Kauti: Chipped in with a good few assists and won the league's Player of the Year award for his efforts. 1st - Aleksander Akbar: Goal machine. Played him up front by himself but may change that after seeing the 4-4-2's success.
No one who's going to come in and contribute straight away but definitely some potential. Risto Syväjärvi, Jarno Peltonen and Ville Järvinen are the pick of the bunch.
A shambles. Hopefully TV money from the top league and increased attendances will help us but currently we're leaking about £25,000 a month.
Disappointed to lose both Zine and Hopsu, but both were unhappy at the lack of first-team football and was better to let them go than to have them bringing team morale down.
Aims for Next Season
Simple enough, do everything we can to stay up. I'm not very hopeful but at least our finances should improve next year due promotion.
Season League Position Notes
2016/17 Finnish First Division 2nd Promoted via playoffs