Tribal Council Condemns "Cowards," Sends NorsaLan Aid
SYKTYVKAR - The nation of Germans' polite decline of an aid package left room open for Uralica to act decisively in an urgent TOOL situation. Two days ago, the nation of Philantia, of the "Black Water Military Contracting" micro-alliance, attacked the lower-level TOOL nation of NorsaLan, whose ruler is dhawk - best known in TOOL for his financial exploits.
A furious Jarkko Salomäki decried the attacks as "cowardly," and was even more enraged when a BWMC representative contacted him to taunt him. [OOC: strictly RP. Didn't actually happen. ]
However, their hands were tied until Taken, the decidedly German ruler of the obvious-named nation, decided to decline a portion of aid Uralica had sent him.
Early this morning, Salomäki called a snap meeting of the Uralican Tribal Council, where a motion to send money and troops to Norsalan was put forward immediately by the Chief, seconded by Swedish Saami Gustaf Nordlund, and passed unanimously. Troops from the Unified Saami Division are now en-route to NorsaLan to abet the defence of the Norse-ethnic nation.
Salomäki echoed the ominous words of TOOL military leader Dodoei123 with his post-meeting interview.
"How much more clearcut can this get? It's a simple case of a cowardly rogue nation attacking a target that it thinks is too low for its alliance to defend. Well news flash, buddy - we have TOOL nations lining up to get a piece of you. And mark my words, if his buddies join in on a counterattack should we decide to defend our member, it WILL get ugly."
When asked by a foreign reporter if he thought the BWMC was in anyway connected to the Blackwater training regime of the Order of the Black Rose, he laughed for about two minutes, then had this to say.
"No way in hell. The OBR is far too honourable for such a transgression. Matter of fact I would have the entire Black Water Military Contracting alliance taught a lesson for besmirching the good name of Blackwater, but they have not attacked us... yet. I'm not holding out hope that they will see the fact that their leader is completely in the wrong, though."
ZavU Out, TvinkiZavod In
It isn't often that a team playing in the fourth level of its nation's league system is invited to play international football, but for Kolmonen F (Permski Rayon) side TvinkiZavod Chaykovsky, it's a double dose of "special case."
First of all, Prince Mishka (also called Tyga) insisted the team replace Zavod Ural Solikamsk when the Silvers decided to leave the league due to wanting better domestic timing, because of their association with the Twinkie-production industry in Uralica. 70% of Uralican Twinkies are exported to Tygaland.
However, they wouldn't have been invited if not for a sizzling performance in the Uralican domestic cup, the Kanslerinkilpi. Originally slated to play in the Nelonen F2 (Southern Permski Rayon, one level below the Kolmonen F), they were bumped up a division after going all the way to the Round of 16, and in the process eliminating Ykkönen team Spartak Yoshkar-Ola and Kakkonen team Octane Perm', and also giving high-rated Bolakliiga team Amkar Perm' a scare on the way out.
This season in the Kolmonen thus far, there is no question they should be in a higher league, having scored 41 goals in 7 matches played (one goal shy of an even six per match) and allowed none.
Manager Yosif Makarin was very excited to be participating.
"It is a tremendous honour to be given the chance to prove ourselves internationally even when we are at such a low level of the domestic system. We have heard many stories from Solikamsk about the teams in this league, and are anxious to start playing. We think we can actually be somewhat competitive."
Season In Review - UJPL Upper Levels
Well, the usual suspects are dominating the league - Sikkivukarin Palloseura and Dinamo Kirov - but I'm a bit disappointed by Udmurtia Izhevsk. After finishing last season second, they've gotten off to less of an impactful start than they were expected to, going 5-0-2. Now to be fair to them, they have played good football, but they weren't expected to lose against Zavod Ural Solikamsk. Then again, half the league wasn't. It seems the predictions of a ZavU breakout season from some pundits weren't so far-fetched after all. Considering that their only loss has come against Dinamo Kirov, it'd suffice to say that ZavU is impressing people early on. So too are newcomers Trátyi TK, who blew through the Ykkönen last season and have only lost twice in seven matches so far this season, against SiPS, and a third up-and-comer. I suppose in this one's case, we should call them an up-and-returner, since they finished fourth in the inaugural Bolakliiga season but a disappointing tenth last season. Yes, I'm talking about Telekom Pazhga, the Mennonite team with arguable the most talented Mennonite footballer on the planet in double-footed flanking mid Diedrik Siemens.
With all this season's surprises, there are also a few disappointments. Right now, CSKVC Kirov, who gutted out promotion with an extra-time playoff win last season, is set to go right back down the other way, the only promoted team from last season that can claim that at this point. Metafraks Gubakha FINALLY won their first match of the season last Saturday, in a season that has been marred by injuries. Furthermore, Mashinostroitel Kirov, Kirovin JK, and Spartak Ukhta are having lacklustre seasons, especially KJK, who after making it to the finals of the Kanslerinkilpi, has three wins and four losses to start the season.
Of course, a league wouldn't be a league without its minnows, and luck seems to have run out for both FK Syktyvkar and FK Inta, neither of whom have won a match this season. The latter has improved a little bit since sending giveaway king Moroz Rybin down to the Nelonen-based reserves in favour of an up-and-coming Lanssi Möttölä, who has done decently in the matches he's played. However, neither team has much hope of staying up unless one of them can swing a deal in the transfer window to get coveted Stolitsa Yoshkar-Ola goalkeeper Csaba Szalay, who many people say is going to be moved for a hefty price come summer due to the demand for him. (Most teams in the league's lower half are interested.)
As with the B-Liiga, the Ykkönen is looking like a two-club show at the moment. Mordovia Saransk and Ural Yekaterinburg, both teams that had success in the old Russian system (Ural was Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast back then), are first and second at the moment, both having won all seven matches thus far. Also of note is Öskölömen Palloklubi, the poor souls that CSKVC Kirov beat last season to advance to the B-Liiga. They have yet to lose, although they did lose points against Krylja Uralikov in their opening match in a 3-3 draw. Fortuna Nizhny Tagil and Pechorski Sportklub are also playing well.
Then comes a large points dropoff. Even this early, it is looking like a dogfight for the last promotion playoff spot, with Turan Ukhta and Spartak Kirov leading the way. The highest relegated team, FK Ukhta, isn't too far behind. Actually, the relegated teams from Bolakliiga this season are looking better than those who voluntarily went down to the Kakkonen. Spartak Yoshkar-Ola have started to turn their luck around. Only Lokomotiv Kotlas - who have been nothing short of pathetic this season - has really struggled. But with the new promotion-relegation system that just got voted in by the Ykkönen and Kakkonen teams, it will be the bottom four going under, and it's gonna be very close.
Obviously the promotion-relegation system has its effects on this level as well. Instead of having the best second-place teams play each other, each half of the Kakkonen now has a British-style playoff with the second, third, fourth, and fifth place teams playing two rounds to see who joins first place.
Speaking of first place, oh man, it's gonna be an epic battle for that, between Sever Murmansk and Severstal Cherepovets, neither of whom are giving their opposition an inch this season. Mennonites FC from Pazhga could also sneak in, but currently sit two back, having lost points in a 2-2 draw against Sysola Syktyvkar, who sit a little further back. Stolitsa Yoshkar-Ola has only lost once this season, and at that only by a score of 1-0 against Sever Murmansk. However, with so many Bolakliiga eyes on their Hungarian goalkeeper, Csaba Szalay, it may not be long before we start seeing them drop off a little.
There seems to be a clear line in this league between who is looking well and who is not, with only Mari FK not being sure where they stand. There are a couple of teams from the Nation's Capital that really need to smarten up, though - neither Arsenal nor SSP has registered a point yet. Veliski FK also has yet to win.
Ever heard those stories of a small-town team that did something big? Well, Khalmer-Yu Town has presented one of those that Uralica can call its very own. The town of Khalmer-Yu, even with the recent population growth, is only 4000 people strong, and yet this club is having its way with the Kakkonen East. It will be interesting to see what happens when it meets up with Energiya Chaykovsky, though. Even though TvinkiZavod is the flavour-of-the-week team there because of their participation in Siberian Trophy, Energiya is also a solid squad that has yet to lose this season. The next eight teams in the table - Progress Inta, Nenets FK, Obyugra FK, Octane Perm', Burevestnik Izhevsk, Russki FK, Rossia Krasnokamsk, and CSKA Vorkuta - look geared up for a playoff dogfight.
The other end is looking a bit sparse at the moment though, with Pshenitsa Kudymkar, Traktor Berezniki, and CSKVC Ukhta all really struggling, having lost all seven matches thus far. FK Bolak and FK Kungur aren't looking too hot, either.
Well, that's it for now. Next week will feature the eight-division Kolmonen, including TvinkiZavod Chaykovsky, Sheksna Cherepovets, Sokol Sernur, SpVgg Ubb, and many more!
Kurri Cup Scores
(1) HK Syktyvkar 3 (9) HK Severstal 2 (HK Syktyvkar leads 2-0)
(2) HK Sputnik 1 (7) Usovuoren JKK 3 (Series tied 1-1)
(3) CSKA Kirov 4 (6) HK Serov 2 (CSKA leads 2-0)
(4) Torpedo Murmansk 1 (5) HK Jokerit 4 (Jokerit leads 2-0)
Next games on Thursday.
Tour D'Ouralique Expanded
With the growth of Uralica comes an expansion of its annual cycle road race, the Tour D'Ouralique. And no longer do commuters have to be slowed down by the race, as there is finally a numbered highway that runs between Punaturjin and Berezniki, near the end of the race. The expansion and straightening-out of the once treacherous road between Kytlym, East Uralica, and Jaiva, Permski Rayon, has opened up the opportunity to add length, and challenge, to the race. To that end, the Tour d'Ouralique no longer runs to Serov, instead turning north at Karpinsk and following Highway 6 to Yugrakar, the new end-point of the race.