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Ilves – The biggest football club in Finland


Ilves is the biggest football club in Finland with over 5000 players in total. The number of players is exceptional as Ilves is based in Tampere, a midland city with a population of 244 000. The player path in the club starts from 3-year-olds playing with their parents and Ilves have teams in all the age categories up to 70+ year olds, so the club is truly living their mission: Football for Everyone.

The scale of the club is huge in the community. UEFA SROI report showed that Ilves football generates yearly 31,37 M€ benefit for the society and the collaboration with local institutes is active. Ilves operates in two big kindergartens to make sure the small children are learning one of the core values of the club: healthy lifestyle. Ilves is constantly cooperating with local schools to organize morning and afternoon training sessions to maximise training hours for players aiming for top-level football. Ilves have two own training centres in the city with all the modern equipment and environment friendly artificial playing fields to make sure we meet the standards of high-level football.

The volume of the voluntary work supported by the club is crazy. Ilves educates 1000 volunteers yearly to become better coaches, physiotherapists, kit managers, accountants, leaders, team managers etc. As the players develop from grassroots level towards youth national teams the coaching staffs are highly educated with UEFA-level educations all the way to UEFA PRO. Many coaches and club workers with Ilves background have found their career in football all around Finland in top clubs and inside the Finnish FA.

Healthy roots help the higher level of football flourish. A total of 50 youth national team players were included in Ilves teams in year 2021 and the numbers are growing. Ilves is competing for all the national titles in boys and girls and teams presenting in top-flight for men and women. Sports strategy for the club addresses to develop own Ilves-juniors all the way to senior teams and in the most recent statistic Ilves’s men team in the Finnish Premier League used most home-grown players of all the teams in top-flight. During 2021 & 2022 a total of 11 Ilves-players got transferred abroad to continue their development in event more competitive environments and to pursuit their dreams in professional football.

Ilves is proud to host the EMG2023 football tournament and there are multiple Ilves teams interested in joining the tournament. The old boys football scene is very active in Finland and Ilves is a regular participant in the tournaments. Ilves is the holding Finnish football champions in 50+ men, 55+ men and bronze medalist in 45+ men so there are a lot of experienced players in the club, who are interested to get to play international matches once again.

Summer 2023 is going to be summer of Master’s in Tampere and we hope to see a vivid and memorable event here in Tampere. Tervetuloa Tampereelle!

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