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We arrived at France on Wednesday evening a bit late from our original time table since we had to change plane in Finland because the first plane had some technical issue and due to that we got on our way about one hour later than intended. After arriving to France, we headed straight to car rentals to get our car and started driving towards Chartres where we had rented a beautiful house about 20 minutes drives way from the NXL site. Luckily our friends were already there and they had been shopping some breakfast stuff since we arrived well after midnight to Chartres and to our accommodation.
Our NXL event started with a practice session with Fivestar Lleida, STK and Badboys Oss on Thursday afternoon. Thanks to all the teams for the great practice session. After the practice session our plan was to prepare dinner for the evening and at the same time for the rest of evenings since we were most likely to stay late at the site on game days so there wouldn’t be a lot of time to prepare anything to eat. We had planned to make macaroni casserole and a meat stew called “karjalanpaisti” so our friends Gui, Papa and Xalo get to taste some Finnish delicacies :).
Our first two games were on Friday against Droogs Frankfurt and Galapagos One41 Tortugas and lucky for us both games were well after 12AM so we got to sleep late and get a good rest after the travel day.
Game 1 – Droogs Frankfurt
The game was very tight and could have gone either way but this time the result was a 3-3 tie game after time ran out of the game clock. Thanks to Droogs for the game.
Game 2 – Galapagos One41 Tortugas
Our second game on Friday was against Tortugas and this time they proved to be better than us by beating us 4-2. Thanks to Tortugas for a great game.
So we ended our Friday with a tie and a loss, which of course wasn’t something we were hoping for. After the games were done we headed back to house to discuss about the games and our plans and how we can improve our game in the Saturdays games. We knew that to get to Sunday we pretty much needed 2 wins. So, after some brain storming we concluded that our plans work but we as players didn’t execute them well enough and we made stupid mistakes of which we got punished.
Our Saturdays games were against VanGogh and Bad Boys Oss:
Game 3 – VanGogh
We started the game by winning 3 consecutive points and after that we probably did the mistake you should never do, get comfortable. VanGogh scored 2 points in a row but this time the clock was on our side and them game ended 3-2 in our favor after game time ran out. Thanks to VanGogh for a great game.
Game 4 – Bad Boys Oss
We knew Bad Boys very well, we already had practiced with them one week earlier in Arnhem and statistics of the practice was that we played 28 points against each other and both had won 14 points so the game could have gone either way. This time however the game ended 4-0 in our advantage. Maybe we were lucky or something else happened during the game but big thanks to paintball gods because we had now secured our spot in Sunday Club. Thanks to Bad Boys Oss for the game.
After the preliminary games ended we were all smiles because of course we got to play Sunday paintball. Soon after all the preliminary games were done we also knew that our Sundays first opponent would be PARIS CAMP CARNAGE 2 and that our game would begin 08:00 in the morning. We were playing for a spot in the ocho-finals. So, armed with that knowledge we headed back to our house and started to prepare ourselves for Sunday.
Game 5 – PARIS CAMP CARNAGE 2
The game started a bit late after a technical timeout but we were ready and won the first point of the match. Next two points went to CARNAGE and they were in the lead after 3 points and the game clock showed that there is 2:30 left of the game. So, to continue the Sunday, we had to get a point and at least take the game to overtime. In the 4th point we got to witness some excellent paintball by Mr. Xalo who won a 1v3 situation and tied the game with about 20 seconds left in the clock. After we had played the leftover game time we moved on to play the overtime which ended in our favor after about 3 minutes, we had managed to shoot all the CARNAGE players out and still had 3 players alive so we were moving onwards to ocho-finals.
Our ocho-final opponent was to be RMG Mercs.
Game 6 – RMG Mercs
Our sixth game was almost immediately after the CARNAGE game so we were pumped and hyped and really felt that this was our game and we started strong and secured a 2 – 1 lead in the game. Sadly, for us Mercs managed to tie the game but we didn’t let that affect us. In the fifth point we started strong by shooting 1 Merc off soon after break but then disaster struck and we got a penalty (minor) and it pretty much cleared our Dorito side which opened the game to Mercs and they secured the fifth point and a 3 – 2 lead with 42 seconds left in the game. We tried to push for a tie and overtime but this time it didn’t go as planned and our tournament was over. Thanks to Mercs for a great game.
So, our tournament was over this time and our final ranking was something between 5 and 8. This was also the first NXL event in Europe and we thought that everything was organized well and things ran smoothly so big thanks to NXL for the event. And finally, big thanks to our sponsors Dye, Carbon, Pro Shar and Pro Games Paintball.
Season 2018 is starting today and our boys are at the first tournament of the NXL Europe to see what’s what and who’s who.
We asked Aleksi Peltonen the head coach of Helsinki Cyclone to tell us a bit on how training throughout the winter and spring has gone.
For the season 2018 I’ll be working as the head coach. As an old player I feel the love for the game and it keeps bringing me back to the fields so I wanted to continue giving the best to my team even though the younger guys have taken over the bunkers. I was coaching already last year in the Millennium and together with the team we felt that it was working. This season I decided to take things up a notch by starting my professional Sports coach studies at the Sport Institute of Finland. I will be the first professional Paintball Coach in Finland.
We started preparations for the season in December 2017 with fitness tests. All tests were tailored to fit the sport. With the results the players were assigned fitness programs according to their needs. We started paintball training at the start of January with re-ball.
I think that best coaching is always player-driven and all my methods derive from there. Every player had a chance to influence the way we train and how the training schedules are made. This gave the team good motivation and I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to uphold a very methodical and organized training schedule through the winter. Ten very physical re-ball sessions were held with good results. We concentrated on basic technique and repeats can be counted in the thousands. On the side, the fitness training was kept up with continuous tests to follow the development of the players. I’m very satisfied with results of the winter training and it can be seen on the field for sure.
Training weekend at Arnheim on the 7 & 8 of April.
Finally this long awaited trip gave us a real outdoor field and real paintballs. This was to be an efficient two day training trip to Paintballworld in Arnheim. My flight left Friday afternoon to Amsterdam where I met up with Xalo Almeida and Oswaldo Lopez from Brazil. With these old friends I also got to meet our newest member Guilherme Adao form Lisbon Benfica. We were supposed to meet the rest of our team as well but their flight was delayed and we had time to get the car and find out where we were supposed to stay. A little bit of rest and back to Amsterdam to get Jesse Liimatainen, Wilhe Knaapi, Tomi Lindholm and another new member Oskari Räsänen. Our team captain Miro Rainio was unable to attend due to illness and to be honest I was really worried about that. Jani Kalasniemi was also tied up in work.
We arrived to the site and since Miro had done such a good job in fixing everything a couple of phone calls later we had paint and were ready to start. We saw the NXL Chartres layout here for the first time and my goal for the day was to get the players acquainted to the field and to find playing positions. The day was played with minimal game plans and switching positions and line-ups many times. We played 26 points and I was satisfied with the results I saw. In the evening we went through my notes of the day and created game plans for the next.
For Sunday we agreed on an earlier start so that we’d have enough time before the trip home. A badly slept night in our home away from home which was more like a trailer than a cabin, some breakfast and we were ready to start. We played 23 points trying out different game plans and found that the work done on Saturday was good. Playing positions started working and game plans produced results.
All and all the trip was a successful one. 49 points in the NXL Cartres layout gives us a confident mindset to the tournament and to the upcoming season. Motivation and morale is high and our new player Guilherme made a good impression and I believe he’ll be an asset to the team. We believe we’ll get Miro Rainio back in line for Chartress and the team will be in full strenght.
A big shoutout to Paintballworld and the teams that were with us in Arnheim: Bad Boys, Amsterdam, Braindead and more…
2016 season was a strong season domesticly with us winning both SPBL League and Division 1. Season 2016 was a season to save some resources and skipping tournaments abroad. Our end of season goal was trip NXL World Cup playing a format we hadn’t done in a few years. Learning curve was steap and end result wasn’t what we expected but we had some good games and gained some good experience how we need to prepare for possible 2017 return.
2017 season will see us returning to European tournament scene with us making comeback to the Millennium Series at semiprofessional level. In our roster we will have some new and old faces so it will be quite an exciting season.