They honestly said I was a madman. An utter all marbles lost looney bin and the best part.., they just might be right with that. Why? I´ll tell you why. Because it is not so very often when a young and upcoming manager wins UEFA Europa League and national championship in one of the european top leagues and then calls it quits at the very peak of his success. Yeah, that´s what I did. Silly me.
Actually the past few months have felt like a year since I left Genoa and came back to Kuopio to relax and find a new challenge and while my time in Sampdoria was prestigious and something I´ll never forget, I started to feel jaded and tired on my last season helming both Sampdoria and Italian national team. So after the long awaited scudetto I told the chairman that I was done and ready look for different things for a change. Obviously he wasn´t too pleased to see me go but he let me leave without foolishly trying to keep me there by force.
I went to Serbia, studied the methods of VK Vojvodina, saw them rise to power in that league then moved on to Poland to see my good friend and his Jagiellonia Bialostok team. There was quite serious push to make me the manager for Jaga but eventually I felt it wasn´t something I really wanted to do. So I helped them for a while and then moved on. When the story broke that I was coming back to Finland the mighty HJK almost fired their manager Mika Lehkosuo just to make some space for my arrival. He got to keep his spot since I had no absolute interest to go steer the under performing finnish mammoth, no interest at all.
My former team KuPS had also relieved their manager or head coach as it is usually called here in Finland and the owner Ari Lahti had big hopes of coming together once more. I told him that I wasn´t interested to coach a team where the chairman might sell anyone at any time and calls for the coach to save the day. Besides, the fans were still quite sore about my exit. It was a no-go. So I rejected all the old faces to meet some new ones, which in a town I know very very well, isn´t such a common thing to happen.
I sat next to Teemu Paavelainen in the Savon Sanomat Areena press room and minutes before the announcement I still wondered it myself. This might well be the biggest mistake I have ever made and one to surely remember but there was no backing out now.
“I am very proud to announce that Wille Turunen is our new manager and the face of the organization. This will be absolutely amazing time for the team, the city and the whole finnish football scene. Ladies and gentleman, may I present you the new Kuopiofutis-98 manager Wille Turunen!”
There it was. I was announced as a manager to third tier finnish football club SC Kufu-98 or Soccer Club Kuopiofutis-98 as for the real name for the club. Maybe not the spot people envisioned me landing after leaving Genoa but for me a very nice spot to be. At least that´s what I hope it will be over the coming years I have planned to spend here. But enough chit chat. I got team to run and pre-season to look into. I´ll catch you later on once I got things moving.