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Turun the World: The TPS Story | Season 1

Part 1 - Getting My Feet on the Ground. 

Turun Palloseura (just had to google it - I’ve absolutely smashed the spelling) are a Finnish football team in the Veikkausliiga (spelt this one wrong about 5 times). Which is Finland’s top league and the equivalent of the English Premier League. Through hours of research I have decided to play as them on Football Manager 2018. Bold move. 

All I knew going into this challenge was that I wanted a team that was location-wise reasonably big, that could get into the champions league and had recently been promoted. A challenge. The overall aim would be to make them a top team in their respective league and to hopefully develop the nation as a whole. Long live Finnish football!

Things to know about Turun Palloseura: 
- They are based in Turku
- Colloquially known as TPS
- Were a major team back in the 40s, 60s and 70s
- They have been promoted and relegated a few times over recent years
- Things are about to get better

Time to get started and straight off the bat it was obvious that the Finnish league is a bit weird. They don’t have many cup competitions - just the one: The Finnish Cup and it takes place before the season starts. It didn’t matter, I was knocked out in the Quarter Final by a team called VPS. Finland love acronyms.

I was attempting to use a 5-2-1-2 formation with Inverted WBs. A formation I use for a very successful Yeovil save I have going. You can also see some of my players in the above screenshot. The standout names are: Sami Rähmönen (club captain), Verneri Valimaa (a free transfer signing) and Onni Valakari (an 18 year old who I decided to put my faith into).

My signing of the season was a free transfer, an English lad named Kaine Sheppard who once played for Leyton Orient. He ended up bagging 15 goals in 23 league games. Top lad. My biggest rivals over the season were HJK who have won the league 7 times out of the last 9 seasons, a team called KuPS (I don’t know why the ‘u’ is lower case but it is) and SJK.

At the start of the season I played around with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Sheppard at the top but it didn’t quite work. Once I fully committed to the 5-2-1-2 I actually managed to pull off a 15 game winning streak that put me in title contention. It came down to the last game of the season. I was in 1st place on 66 points and KuPS were in 2nd place on 64 points and we were playing each other, it was destiny. Whichever team got the win would take home the Veikkausliiga title. It was a pretty tiring game and I was actually on the back foot for large periods of the match and on the 78th minute KuPS scored. I was gutted, what could I change? I frantically went to make some substitutions and missed TPS scoring an equaliser through a Kaine Sheppard header on the 79th minute - instant reply. Woo wee. The rest of the game was tense but ended in a 1-1 draw and what a tepid way to win a title. I didn’t care. TPS rising!

I’m now on my second season and hoping to get through the Champions League qualifying, win the Finnish Cup and get back-to-back league wins. Up the Tepsi (also a colloquial name)! 

Any tips on managing in the Finnish league on a game that is a already out-of-date then please leave a comment below or simply ask me questions about my amazing football managing skills. I’m like Peter Andre - I’m here 2 help. 

Part 2 tbd. 

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