Comment: Ilves’s strange solution now looks particularly grotesque | Sport

Comment Ilvess strange solution now looks particularly grotesque Sport

From the outside, it seems that Tampere Ilves imagines itself to be bigger than it actually is, writes Jussi Paasi.

Jussi Paasi sports reporter

Fifth October 2022.

Tampere Ilves leads the SM league. And fire the head coach A crowd for Myrra.

The conscientious Myrrä, who has been a coach in Ilves for twenty years, is reluctantly getting the boot, even though he brought the club its first medal in 21 years the previous spring.

The solution was considered strange and exceptional for a reason. The league leader rarely changes coaches.

Why did Myrrä have to be kicked out?

In order to quickly become Ilves’ coach Antti Pennanen.

– He was a sought-after name on the coaching market, and we are very pleased that he chose Ilves. We came to the conclusion that a change made at this stage would serve the club best, CEO Risto Jalo justified the hiring of Pennanen.

Pennase had only one task. To end a curse of almost forty years and bring the championship to the tassel ears. Or at least a place in the finals.

The first attempt in the spring of 2023 involved the Lahti Pelicans – and also the fact that a few of Ilves’ key players “prepared” for the semi-finals instead of the ice rink in food stores.

Everything possible was loaded into this season. Ilves assembled a team full of big names and strengthened its ranks during the season, including a star defender Sami Nikulla.

No matter how it happened.

No persistence, no determination

March 29, 2024.

KalPa defeats Ilves for the fourth time in the quarter-finals and crushes the big dreams of Tampere’s second-ranked club. It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. This was supposed to be the season.

There is really nothing surprising about a lynx falling.

Oh why isn’t it?

Because success is not achieved in an instant. It will not be born in two or even five years. It requires long-term, determined, high-quality work. You can ask for advice, for example, from Tappara’s office.

Firing a coach in the middle of the season when the team is leading the series is not a deliberate action.

Myrrh crouching looks especially grim now. Not only because Ilves fell out of the medal games, but also because Pennanen’s run at the club has already ended.

Ilves hired him with a contract that runs until the spring of 2025, but Pennanen will take over as head coach of the Lions after this spring.

It’s about persistence and “change that served the company”.

It is worth remembering the recent history of Ilves

Human memory tends to be short. In the case of Ilves, it is worth remembering what has happened in recent history. If it had to be described in one word, it would be: confusion.

American-Finnish businessman Vincent Manngard held the company hostage for years. Ilves was so completely messed up for a long time that its fans should have been paid some kind of compensation for their loyalty.

Ilves was released from Manngard only in 2017, when he gave up ownership of the club. After that, a new era began.

The reconstruction has been successful, at least if you think about the situation we started from after Manngard. Ilves has risen among the top clubs in the SM league even surprisingly quickly. Bronze last season, just like last season. But it’s still a long way to where Tappara has positioned itself.

From the outside, it looks like Ilves imagines itself to be bigger than it actually is. Social media, which is praised but sometimes leans towards snobbery, supports this image.

If Ilves wants to be a big club like Tappara, it can only happen with years of purposeful work. That way, a solid foundation, credibility, and identity are built for the club.

Hopefully Jalo, Koskela and partners will learn from their gross mistakes. If they don’t learn, not next season with Ilves coaching Tommi Niemelä there will be an easy task ahead.