A glowing stadium and a new vision – this is how Ilves plans to become the perennial success of the Veikkausliiga | Sport

Ratinas raven walk made Ilves hard but now the course

The traditional Tampere Ilves is looking to return to the top of Finnish football. The club has a new vision, where the goal is to become the long-term success of the Veikkausliiga. The new project is symbolized by the new Tammela stadium, which attracts 8,000 spectators.

Ilves’ new head coach is Joonas Rantanen, 36. Rantanen, who has a HJK background, coached Gnistan in Ykkös for the previous two seasons, which will also be seen in the Veikkausliiga this season. How will Ilves return to Finland’s top team?

– I start from the fact that we have to preserve lynxness and the culture of working. The game needs a little more control without taking away speed and intensity. In defense, intensity and pressure on the ball are important.

– And then how this whole activity is structured in the long term, Rantanen listed.

According to Rantanen, the club’s visions can be seen in action.

– The conditions are great. The team is built so that the age structure is young and the players have long contracts. The gaze is further and there is a certain continuity. The coaching team also has the idea of ​​long-termism.

Although the eye is further ahead, success is also expected in the starting season.

– We have to be calm, but at the same time we are ambitious about this season. We have the kind of team that wants to succeed right away. We could be satisfied with the medal at this point.

Ilves’ new acquisitions include midfielders from KuPs, among others Anton Popovich and Joona Veteli as well as acquired for the attack Roope Risk.

Ilves’ organization has also strengthened. Miika from Takkula became Ilves’ sports director in the fall. Ilves Edustus Oy did not have such a job description before.

Takkula worked in the HJK organization for the previous 15 years, including as the sports director of HJK ​​Oy from 2019 to 2023.

– I bring with me a lot of experience in a winning culture, as well as management with knowledge. We set out to build Ilves’ winning culture together from day one, said Takkula last summer.

The story continues after the graphics. Note! The player budgets in question are announced by the clubs before the start of the season, i.e. acquisitions made in the middle have not been taken into account.

According to Rantanen, the new stadium enables a professional everyday life, but it does not change the core of the coach’s work. However, we want the Tammela stadium to be a place where it is difficult for others to win.

– We have to make this a place where points are taken. We have to make this our own sanctuary.

However, the Ilves coach sees that the biggest champion favorite is the same as it has been in recent years.

– HJK is certainly the early favorite. Overall, the league is interesting, there are a lot of new coaches and a lot of changes in the teams. The lynx has the opportunity to wedge into the top ropes, but it is by no means easy.

Ilves’ only championship is from 1983. Back then, medals came three years in a row and they played against Juventus on the Euro courts. Tampere is now aiming for something similar.

– That’s what we’re going for. A lot of work is done every day for that.

Otso Virtanen: “Every morning it’s nice to come here”

Keeper Take Virtanen starts his second season in Ilves and serves as the team’s captain. According to Virtanen, it shows that a new project in the club has started.

– A lot of things have happened outside the field and a lot of players have come in when they know what the direction of the club is, and there are incredible facilities here. It’s nice to come here every morning. We have a high-quality and well-trained team.

According to Virtanen, football in Ilves is hard-nosed, running-powered football that gets the audience involved.

Can Ilves go all the way this season?

– Absolutely, but many pieces have to fall into place. We have stated our goal to be top 3, but that does not exclude anything from within the top 3, Virtanen stated.

– HJK has overwhelming resources, but not even a game has been played yet. If HJK ​​doesn’t perform, someone will step up and we’re pretty much caught up in it.

is also showing the football Veikkausliiga and the National League this season. In the opening round of the Veikkausliiga on Saturday 6.4. as a TV match Ilves–Lahti, TV2 at 16:45.

Veikkausliiga opening round

Veikkausliiga starts on Saturday 6 April. full circle.

At 3 p.m
Gnistan–FC Inter

At 5 p.m
Ilves–FC Lahti
IFK Mariehamn–EIF

At 7 p.m