Small Club of the Week – December Review

It’s been a while since we just reviewed the clubs that end up in this series. Since there hasn’t been much non-league action – at least featuring the clubs that tend to end up in this series – we figured it was as good a time as any to look back at the past couple months of clubs in this series.

Paris F.C.

Our most recent Small Club of the Week, Paris F.C. currently plays in Ligue 2 in France. After a few decades of struggles, the club has looked strong the past two seasons, and look to be on the cusp of returning to Ligue 1 for the first time in forty years.

Currently, the club is in eighth place with 28 points (7-7-3 record). They are two points behind Lorient for fifth place and a spot in the promotion play-off quarterfinals, and six points behind Brest for second place and automatic promotion to Ligue 1. They are in the midst of a three-match unbeaten streak (2-1-0) and their next match will be against Grenoble, a club above them in the table.


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Small Club of the Week – HJK Helsinki

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

HJK Helsinki

Nickname: The Club
Founded: 19 June 1907
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Team Colors: Blue and White
Ground: Telia 5G -areena
Capacity: 10,770
Current League: Veikkausliiga
Website: www.hjk.fi
Twitter: @hjkhelsinki

Reason For Notice

We are still a couple of weeks out from the next matchday of this year’s Champions League, and there hasn’t been any upsets in English trophy competitions, so I decided to take a look at the one of the earliest qualifiers for next year’s Champions League.
HJK Helsinki has already clinched a spot in the 2019-2020 Champions League qualifying round by claiming the league title in the Veikkausliiga, the top league in Finland. Due to the northern climate of Finland, they play a league schedule that runs from April to October to avoid winter. This season officially ends on October 27th, but HJK has been dominant on the season, and thanks to their current 13-match unbeaten streak (10W-3D-0L), they clinched the league title after a Match 29 win against Ilves. As such, they have clarified for the first qualifying round of the 2019-2020 Champions League.

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Small Club of the Week – Dunston UTS

Note: This weekly series will look for teams outside of the top flights of European football to find true underdog stories of clubs well below the radar. Clubs will be featured based on performance in the various tournaments that happen concurrently with the league seasons, or even strong runs in some of the leagues that dot the European football landscape. Chances are, these clubs will be years away from finding a home at the top flights of football – if they are ever able to get there – but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve attention from time to time. If you happen upon a team that you think might qualify, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @GuruEbby or @SportMuseNet!

Dunston UTS

Nickname: The Fed
Founded: 1975 (as Whickham Sports)
Location: Gateshead, England
Team Colors: Royal Blue and White
Ground: Wellington Road
Capacity: 2,500 (150 seated)
Current League: Northern League Division One (Tier 9)
Website: www.dunstonutsfc.co.uk
Twitter: @dunstonutsfc

Reason For Notice

Like a lot of other clubs profiled in this space, Dunston UTS is receiving notice for their performance in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round this past weekend. The Fed was the only club from below Tier 8 to qualify for the round, and they upset Tier 6 club Chester FC in a come from behind 4-3 victory powered by two goals Mark Fitzpatrick – he’s scored 6 goals in qualifying thus far – in front of nearly 900 fans at Wellington Road on October 6th.

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