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Thread: The Dutch Way (Challenge)

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    Default The Dutch Way (Challenge)

    The Dutch Way
    Over the past fifty years, three clubs with three different philosophy and styles have dominated Dutch football. Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV have won the league almost every single year since 1961, with only a few exceptions and have been very succesful in international competition as well. Your challenge is to emulate their success.

    The Ajax Way:
    Ajax have always been famed for their Youth Academy, bringing in young and talented players as early as possible and guiding them to greatness. All of their most succesful teams featured talent that was brought in before age 19 at the club and brought into the first team, including Cruyff, Krol, Suurbier, Hulshoff, Haan, Neeskens and Piet Keizer in the 70's, Kieft, van 't Schip, van Basten, Vanenburg, Jesper Olsen and Rijkaard in the 80's, Bergkamp, Kluivert, Seedorf, Davids, Nwankwo Kanu, the De Boer twins, Overmars and van der Sar in the 90's and van der Vaart, Sneijder, de Jong, Chivu, Ibrahimovic, Stekelenburg, Elia, Heitinga and Vermaelen in the '00s. Of course, they have produced and found many more youth talents and have used players that weren't from their own youth academy with great success, but a focus on youth has always been an important part of their heritage. They also are famed for their use of the 4-3-3 tactic.

    If you choose the Ajax Way, you must complete the challenge with the following restrictions:
    1.) Your favorite team must be set to Ajax
    2.) More than 50% of your first team players must have been with the club since before their 19th birthday due to their focus on young talent.
    3.) At least ten of your first team players must be of domestic nationality (The nationality of the club you are managing) due to Ajax's commitment to producing Dutch talent.
    4.) You must use a 4-3-3 based system (4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 etc.) with only one central striker and two wingers (3-4-3 is also acceptable).

    The Feyenoord Way
    Feyenoord have a youth academy of their own, which in it's day has produced a number of talented players, including van Persie, Solomon Kalou and Buffel, but they mainly built their teams by signing talent from other clubs, often in the Dutch League, including Rinus Israels, Ove Kindvall, Ruud Gullit, Ed de Goey, John de Wolf, Julio Ricardo Cruz, John Dahl Tomasson, Paul Bosvelt, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Dirk Kuyt, Gio van Bronckhorst and Roy Makaay, to name a few of the players that have plied their trade at "De Kuip".

    If you choose the Feyenoord Way, you must complete the challenge with the following restrictions:
    1.) Your favorite team must be set to Feyenoord
    2.) At least 70% of your transfers in must be players that have been a starter elsewhere for at least two seasons (have played at in least 50% of their team's games over two seasons), due to Feyenoord's scouting reputation.
    3.) At least ten of your first team players must have played at least two seasons with another team in your league, due to Feyenoord's tradition of buying players that have been succesful in the Eredivisie.
    4.) You must attempt each year to bring back a former great from your domestic national team (A player capped by the nation of the league you are playing in) from abroad.

    The PSV Way
    PSV have been labeled as a springboard for professional development for talented footballers from around the world. Their scouts find talent all over the world and that talent gets showcased at Philips Stadium before moving on to the greatest clubs in the world. They are the latecomer to the big three, but they have undoubtedly been the most succesful club in recent times, winning fourteen national titles in twenty-two years (over half!) from 1986 to 2008. In the eighties they had players such as Ronald Koeman, Eric Gerets, Sřren Lerby and van Breukelen, all players that were in the prime of their career, but the real success came after scout Piet de Visser and his co-workers brought in Romario, Gheorge Popescu, Arthur Numan, Waterreus, Ronaldo (the Brazilian one), Luc Nilis, Jaap Stam, Philip Cocu, Zenden and de Bilde in the 90s. The success continued in the new millenium with the likes of van Bommel, Vogel, van Nistelrooy, Bruggink, Kezman, Hofland, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Robben, Park Ji-Sung, Lee Young-Pyo, Rommedahl, (Heurelho) Gomes, Farfán, DaMarcus Beasley, Bouma, Alex, Timmy Simons, Affelay, Carlos Salcido and Arouna Koné. Many of the players listed before joined before their twenty-third birthday and ended up playing in many of the biggest leagues around the continent.

    If you choose the PSV Way, you must complete the challenge with the following restrictions:
    1.) Your favorite team must be set to PSV.
    2.) At least 50% of your transfers must be players under the age of 23
    3.) You must have at least 10 different nationalities in your first team..
    4.) If you have the opportunity to sign back a former star, you must attempt to do so.

    The Actual Challenge
    Stage One - Predictably humble beginnings
    Pick your path and then:

    You must join a team in a small European League, one with no more than 4 European spots (check the UEFA Coefficients). The team you join must not have qualified for any European competition, but should be in the top tier of it's competition system.

    Following the specific rules for the path you've chosen, you must bring consistent success to your club by winning trophies for three years in a row, either the national title or the FA Cup will do. You are allowed to mix and match (so, Cup, Cup, Title or three straight titles etc).

    After you've achieved this, it's time to move on to stage 2

    Stage 2 - Making your mark in Europe
    Having proven your system worked at your first club, you must now find a job with any club in a mid-sized European league, any league that has five or six European spots, but not more (aka. Any league that's not Serie A, La Liga or the Premiership). Also you are not allowed to manage in the Netherlands due to the special stage mentioned later.

    There are no restrictions to the team you can join in this mid-level league, if you get an offer to join league champions, that is perfectly allowed. In order to complete this stage, you must once again implement your system at the club and achieve a consistent level of success, which must include back-to-back titles and at least one domestic double (League and Cup as you all should know) and finally consistent European success as well, by reaching past the group stages of either European tournament three times (does not have to be consecutive) as well as reaching the final of either European Cup (bonus points for winning) once.

    Stage 3 - Taking it to the bigs
    Finally, having already done so much, you get the chance to show the world just what you can do with a superpower. Take over any club in one of the top leagues (EPL, La Liga or Serie A) and once again prove that your system works by doing that which is hardest: Winning the Quintuple. That is to say: Domestic Super Cup, European Super Cup, Domestic Title, Domestic Cup and Champions League, all in a single season. Good luck with that.

    Special Stage - Your dream job
    If and when the club whose path you've chosen has a job opening, you MUST apply and if the job is offered to you, you MUST accept it. I understand that there is a chance that it will mess up your progress in a stage. Depending on which stage you are on when you get the job offer, you have the following options.

    1.) If you had not yet completed stage one, receiving a job offer from the club of your dreams may be considered validation enough and you will have completed stage one by default. You may then use your club (A, F or P) to complete stage 2.

    2.) If you have completed stage one, but not stage two, you may simply use your favorite club to complete stage two, instead (while still abiding to your club specific rules, of course.)

    3.) If you have completed stage two, but not stage three, you have the choice of repeating stage 2 with your favorite club and then re-starting stage three, or you may attempt to complete stage 3 with your favorite club.

    4.) If through some bizarre turn of events you manage to complete all three regularly scheduled stages without ever securing the job at your chosen club, you may then use the "add a manager" feature to create the needed vacancy and apply for the job (there really isn't any real reason why you shouldn't get the job then) and then complete the requirements for stage two or three (your choice).

    Bonus stage - International management
    This stage is not mandatory due to the tedium associated with international management. You may attempt this stage at any time (though you may not create yourself an international manager right away), if you chose to do it at all. There is no restriction to what nation you can manage, the only goal is to win an international trophy (Euro Cup, African Nations Cup, Copa America, Asian Nations Cup or World Cup) using the philosophy of your favorite club as follows:

    Ajax: At least ten of your selected players at any time must be under 24, at least five of those under 21 and at least three under 19

    Feyenoord: At least fifteen of your selected players must be over 26, at least seven of those over 30 and at least one must be over 35

    PSV: You may not select any players under the age of 20 or over the age of 30. You must use at least five players who play in the domestic leagues, and at least one of those must feature in the starting XI.

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    If i had time i would try this. But with my sign up and career game i can't.

    Just wanted to say congrats on creating what looks to be a great and detailed challenge, hope some people get involved, if not i would encourage you to still post updates as some people may join late

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    this looks pretty interesting, i might give it a go. I think the PSV way is for me. are these leagues ok ??
    Denmark
    Portugal
    England
    Holland.
    i cant have a lot of leagues as my laptop cant handle it.
    Last edited by AidanofLFC; 10-05-2011 at 14:26.

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    Mark, a couple of questions. When you say "More than 50% of your first team players must have been with the club since before their 19th birthday due to their focus on young talent." do you mean your matchday squad or you general first team squad for the season? Also, if the player was with the club before his 19th birthday, but moved away and then rejoined the club club after his 19th birthday, does he count?

    I take it you can figure out that I'm going to go the Ajax way

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    Quote Originally Posted by AidanofLFC View Post
    this looks pretty interesting, i might give it a go. I think the PSV way is for me. are these leagues ok ??
    Denmark
    Portugal
    England
    Holland.
    i cant have a lot of leagues as my laptop cant handle it.
    I suspect both Denmark and Portugal to be Stage II leagues. (I'm not sure, as it might be different depending on your database), I would suggest swapping in Austria, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia or Slovakia (any one of those should be Stage I) for one of those leagues

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terk View Post
    Mark, a couple of questions. When you say "More than 50% of your first team players must have been with the club since before their 19th birthday due to their focus on young talent." do you mean your matchday squad or you general first team squad for the season? Also, if the player was with the club before his 19th birthday, but moved away and then rejoined the club club after his 19th birthday, does he count?

    I take it you can figure out that I'm going to go the Ajax way
    Your first team, not matchday. So if you have, say, 24 first team players, 12 of those or more have to be "home grown", so to speak. If a player was with the club before his 19th birthday and was re-signed after it still counts as a youth product as far as I'm concerned

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    Started this with NK Zagreb in Croatia, following the Ajax way (which is the only good way!). Currently working on that 50% thing and on not sucking too much. Second part is going to be harder, at least until that nice academy starts coughing some decent young talent.

    One name to follow in future seasonal updates: Besart Abdurahimi. Lad looks quality after only three friendlies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post
    I suspect both Denmark and Portugal to be Stage II leagues. (I'm not sure, as it might be different depending on your database), I would suggest swapping in Austria, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia or Slovakia (any one of those should be Stage I) for one of those leagues
    ok, i will do a new game and load in austria or something, but i looked on the uefa coefficients and i think denmark had 4, but i dont mind as i dont really know the danish league apart from copenhagen and i cant play as them anyway lolz

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    I've started this with FC Midtjylland in Denmark, following the Ajax way. As Dalbeider will gladly tell you, Denmark only has four European places at the start of FM10, the version I'm using. I won't be able to reach the second point of the Ajax way until next season at the earliest. Of my 25 man starting squad, only 9 fit the pre 19th birthday requirement. Another two in the reserves do, but they're both out injured for the whole season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terk View Post
    I've started this with FC Midtjylland in Denmark, following the Ajax way. As Dalbeider will gladly tell you, Denmark only has four European places at the start of FM10, the version I'm using. I won't be able to reach the second point of the Ajax way until next season at the earliest. Of my 25 man starting squad, only 9 fit the pre 19th birthday requirement. Another two in the reserves do, but they're both out injured for the whole season.
    No problem, just use some of your U19 hopefuls (any 2+ star prospects) and give them some playing time throughout the season

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post
    No problem, just use some of your U19 hopefuls (any 2+ star prospects) and give them some playing time throughout the season
    To describe my U-19 squad as pathetic would be quite polite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terk View Post
    To describe my U-19 squad as pathetic would be quite polite.
    Better scout for some quality free agents then eh?

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    Going to start this in Israel, then Ukraine for Stage 2 and finally England (hope Norwich is in the premiership by then) for Stage 3 following the Ajax way of course.

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    Wow, that is exotic to say the very least! Good luck with that, Cuddlefish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post
    Wow, that is exotic to say the very least! Good luck with that, Cuddlefish
    So I'm going to always need 6 of my starting 11 to be Club Home-grown and 10 to be Nation Home-grown?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddlefish View Post
    So I'm going to always need 6 of my starting 11 to be Club Home-grown and 10 to be Nation Home-grown?
    No, out of all the players in your first team (Aka, not counting players in the reserves or U19s), at least ten must be the nationality of the league that you're in (aka, in your case Israeli), while half of the players need to have been with the club since before they were 19 years of age. (So if you have 24 players in your first team, 12 must have been at your club before their 19th birthday), however, the matchday squad is under no restrictions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post
    No, out of all the players in your first team (Aka, not counting players in the reserves or U19s), at least ten must be the nationality of the league that you're in (aka, in your case Israeli), while half of the players need to have been with the club since before they were 19 years of age. (So if you have 24 players in your first team, 12 must have been at your club before their 19th birthday), however, the matchday squad is under no restrictions.
    People could easily cheat though and just dump all of their U19s into their first team.

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    POST BOMB!
    Pre-season update 2009

    Ignoring pre-season results as they dont matter but a thing!

    The Ajax Way: Marc Overmars @ ZTE Football Club (Hungary)
    A club on the rise in recent years, ZTE have been in existance since 1920, won the league for the first and only time in 2002 and in the past three years have consistently been in the top half of the tables in the Hungarian Division I, finishing 3rd in 2007, 7th in 2008 and 4th in 2009.

    Transfers in:
    GK Bo Antal (HUN, 17) from Watford for Ł5K - A talented young goalkeeper, whose great height (1m96) helps him dominate in the air. He will be plying his trade in the "ZTE II" team.
    AM/F C Péter Szucs (HUN, 18) from Vasas for Ł120K - A technically gifted and quick forward who is very close to being good enough for the first team, will spend the season on loan at Division II side Slófok.
    D/WB/M L Lajos Bertus (HUN, 18) from Kecskemét for Ł120K - Fast, nimble and great with the ball at his feet, this hard-working youngster will certainly see some first-team action.
    AM R/ ST András Gosztonyi (HUN, 18) from MTK for Ł170K - Extremely athletic and fairly developed in attacking affairs, he will certainly be able to pose a serious threat on the right wing.
    GK Róbert Ambrusics (HUN, 17) from Leicester for Ł1K - A strong goalkeeper with naturally safe hands, he will have the chance to develop in the U19s.
    ST Eugene Sepuya (UGA, 26) from Cukaricki on a Free Transfer - A tall, strong and very sturdy striker who is an all-round talented goalscorer who is expected to really light up the league.

    The first team squad:
    Goalkeepers: Géza Vlaszák (HUN, 35) and Gábor Sipos (HUN, 28).
    Defenders: *Gergely Kocsárdi (HUN, 33), Milan Bogunovic (SRB, 26), Leon Panikvar (SVN, 26), Matej Miljatovic (SVN, 30), Djordje Kamber (25, BIH), Nedad Todorovic (26, SRB), *Imre Bozsoki (20, HUN), *Péter Keszei (HUN, 18).
    Midfielders: Péter Máté (HUN, 29), Guyla Illés (HUN, 26), Marián Sluka (SVK, 30), *Lajos Bertus (HUN, 18), *Márk Petneházi (HUN, 20), *Martin Kámán (HUN, 17), *András Gosztonyi (HUN, 18), Tamás Szalai (HUN, 29), Levente Schultz (HUN, 32) and József Magasföldi (HUN, 24).
    Forwards: *Zsolt Balázs (HUN, 20), *Ádám Vittmann (HUN, 17), Darko Pavicevic (MNE, 21) and Eugene Sepuya (UGA, 26).

    Minimum of 10 Hungarian players: 16
    * Minimum of 12/24 'home-grown' players: 9
    Current formation: 4-2-3-1

    The Feyenoord Way: Pierre van Hooijdonk @ Györi ETO FC (Hungary)
    Györ had a succesful run in the eighties, winning two league titles and finishing in the top three a total of five times during that decade. Their most recent signs of success were a third-placed finish in 2008 and a cup final the previous season.

    Transfers in:
    AM/F C Jószef Sebök (HUN, 34) from Nafta (SVN) for Ł35K - A veteran striker who spent over a decade in the Hungarian Division I before a move to Slovenia, now back in his native Hungary, for whom he made 24 national appearances and scored four goals, his experience and skill will surely be a great asset.
    AM C Jószef Kanta (HUN, 25) from MTK for Ł350K - A two-time Hungarian international, Kanta is a multi-faceted threat on the offensive side of the ball. He's a free kick specialist, a sure thing on penalties, can strike the ball with tremendous power and precision from any range and is dazzling with the ball at his feet. His only weakness? He's tiny and not very strong. Having proven his worth over the past four years at MTK, the diminutive midfielder will now have a chance to shine for Györ.
    D/WB R Csaba Bernáth (HUN, 30) from Debrecen for Ł9K - A first team regular for the better part of thirteen seasons at current title holders Debrecen, the veteran fullback was deemed surplus to requirements and will be seeing out his career at Györ, who will surely appreciate his intelligent play and still quick pace.
    DM/M C Vladan Savic (HUN, 29) from Kecskemét for Ł55K - Snapped up by Kecskemét at 27 years after a seven year pro career at all levels of Serbian football, he helped his new team gain promotion and adapted well to the higher standard of play in the Division I, the born leader in midfield will now have a chance to test his abilities at one of the bigger clubs in Hungary.

    The first team squad:
    Goalkeepers: *Sasa Stefanovic (SRB, 34) and **András Sánta (SVK, 24)
    Defenders: **Csaba Bernáth (HUN, 30), *Ottó Szabó (SVK, 28), *Lazar Stanisic (SRB, 25), *Vladimir Djordjevic (SRB, 26) and *Valentin Babic (CRO, 28).
    Midfielders: **Vladan Savic (SRB, 29), **Zoltán Fehér (HUN, 28), *Marko Dinjar (CRO, 23), *Mario Bicak (SVK, 29), *Linas Pilibaitis (LTU, 24), Adám Dudás (HUN, 20), Ellis Samuel Ato (GHA, 20) and **József Kanta (HUN, 25).
    Attackers: **Péter Bajzát (HUN, 28), **József Sebök (HUN, 34), **Tibor Tokody (28, HUN), *Rati Aleksidze (GEO, 30) and *Tarmo Kink (EST, 23).

    * Minimum of 14/20 players with 2+ years first team experience at other clubs: 18
    ** Minimum of 10/20 players with 2+ years first team experience at other Hungarian clubs: 8
    At least one returning Hungarian star from abroad: József Sebök

    The PSV Way: Ronald Waterreus @ FC Fehérvár (Hungary)
    A bit of an oddity, Fehérvár may have no national titles to their name, but they did once make it to the UEFA Cup final in 1985. They have also won the Hungarian Cup (2006) and Hungarian League Cup (2008) and have finished sixth in '07 and '09, while finishing fifth in 2008.

    Players out:
    Goran Vujovic to Ujpest for Ł110K
    Gábor Horváth to MTK for Ł30K
    Marko Andic to MTK for Ł120K

    Players in:
    AM LC/ F C Emre Sahin (BEL, 17) from Westerlo for Ł300K - A very raw talent from Belgium, with Turkish dual nationality, who is part of the Turkish U21 setup. His sheer pace makes him a threat on the wing and hopefully he will develop on the technical and mental side of the game.
    GK Vinicius (Bra, 17) from Fiorentina for Ł9K - Capped once already for the Brazilian U20 side, the small-statured but agile goalkeeper makes up for his lacking physicality with cleverness and talent by the boatload. If he develops well, he could be a good goalkeeper for the future.

    The squad:
    Goalkeepers: Zsolt Sebők (HUN, 30) and Vinicius (BRA, 17)
    Defenders: Pál Lázár (HUN, 21), Róbert Varga (HUN, 22), Ádám Présinger (HUN, 20), Ilija Radovic (MNE, 24), Zoltán Lipták (HUN, 24), Zsolt Bencze (HUN, 19)
    Midfielders: Balázs Farkas (HUN, 29), Ákos Elek (HUN, 21), Gábor Demjén (HUN, 23), Dániel Nagy (HUN, 24), Dénes Szakály (HUN, 21), Zsolt Dvéri (HUN, 32) and Emre Sahin (BEL, 17)
    Attackers: Illés Sitku (HUN, 31), André Alves (BRA, 25), Milan Purovic (MNE, 24) Balazs Farkas (HUN, 21) and Silva Alison (BRA, 21)

    Minimum of 1 of 2 transfers in under the age of 23: 2/2
    Minimum of 10 different nationalities in first team: 4 ()

    --------

    So, all teams are currently non-compliant with the season about to kick off. Ossum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddlefish View Post
    People could easily cheat though and just dump all of their U19s into their first team.
    Well, the idea behind taking on a challenge is to do it the right way. No real point in cheating as you're only cheating yourself.

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    You can all mock me now. I was just setting up the save for a crack at Mark's Challenge. I forgot to load a country. I'll leave you to work out which one!

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    'Olland, I would guess

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    Right, think I'm going to give this one a go starting in Norway - they have 5 European qualifiers this year but only due to Fair Play rubbish, and I don't plan on picking any of them - I assume this is OK? Going to run it with Norway for Stage 1, France and Russia for Stage 2 and Spain for the final step, maybe Italy as well. Oh, and I won't forget Holland

    EDIT: Is there any easy way to find players at other clubs who started at yours? Even after drafting anyone with more than 1.5* potential into the first team squad at Viking I'm woefully short of my 'Ajax' quota, and I don't really fancy selling my first XI just yet!
    Last edited by EvilDave; 11-05-2011 at 17:42.

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    I see no problem with that, if the extra spot isn't coefficient related. Who are you starting with?

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    Starting with Viking FK as they looked to have plenty of Norwegians and a decent setup in terms of stadium and finances. Struggling to find enough home-grown players at other clubs at the minute, but I'm sure something'll work out...
    Last edited by EvilDave; 11-05-2011 at 18:11.

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    Really like the look of this challenge Mark, I must give it a go with it being what I deem too be a 'proper' challenge

    Nice update too - will be following.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuddlefish View Post
    Going to start this in Israel, then Ukraine for Stage 2 and finally England (hope Norwich is in the premiership by then) for Stage 3 following the Ajax way of course.
    Up the Norwich boys!

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    So with the first season finished, Viking surpassed their predicted 8th place by claiming 3rd and a spot in the Europa League qualifiers, as well as reaching the Cupen quarter-final. The squad is now completely Norwegian bar one Serbian home-grown at the club, and the average age is 19 thanks to my rafts of teenage signings and academy products. I've moved on some of the more experienced players in the off-season so it'll be interesting to see how the side copes without the old heads, but with a year's experience under their belts I reckon we can push for the title this year...

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    Great challenge idea. I'm going to be doing it the Ajax way, along with 'my own brand' of high tempo, ultra-attacking Total Football.

    Loaded top league only from Sweden (stage I), and top two leagues from Germany (stage II), England (stage III) and of course the Netherlands.

    Starting in Sweden (of course) with Malmö FF - a club notable for reaching the 1979 European Cup Final, which they lost to Brian Clough's Forest. On the decline in recent years, they are out of European football this season, and are predicted a meagre fifth. However, they have the infrastructure, fan base and history for their new manager, Edgar Davids, to feel he can turn things around.

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    Mark,

    A great idea! I'm going to give this a bash this evening. Not sure on what philosophy to follow just yet, but watch this space!

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    OK, I've gone for the Feyenoord way and have decided to pick Sweden as my starting point.

    Roy Hodgson's old haunt, Halmstads are the first stop...

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    Cool to see two ppl starting in Sweden. I've got a bit of time in the Allsvenskan myself, a year and a half at IFK Goteborg and two years now at Malmo for a different challenge. Swedish football league is fun to play for sure.

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    @ EvilDave: Best of luck to ya in season #2! That is a crazy young squad though, average age of 19, hopefully they'll keep it cool in the big matches without veteran leadership!

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    Mark I have a question about the PSV way, when it says 4.) If you have the opportunity to sign back a former star, you must attempt to do so. Is that a former club star or an International star?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowmanuk View Post
    Mark I have a question about the PSV way, when it says 4.) If you have the opportunity to sign back a former star, you must attempt to do so. Is that a former club star or an International star?
    Club star, though international star is possible too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post
    Club star, though international star is possible too
    Ok cheers, I've started the PSV way at Crusaders in N.Ireland had to sign a few players to get the 10 Nationalities in total I've signed 8, 4 of which are under 23.
    Leagues loaded
    N.Ireland (Stage 1)
    Scotland (Stage 2)
    England (Stage 3)
    Holland (Special Stage)

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    Good luck mr Jim, in your Home Nations attempt

    Edit: I'm very pleased to see all three ways being attempted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post

    Edit: I'm very pleased to see all three ways being attempted
    Yeah it appealed to me more, I prefer buying players who are nearing their potential so that ruled out the Ajax way and it seemed like too much hassle having to check every players history, to see if they were regular starters, before deciding to sign them in the Feyernoord way. Although N.Ireland seems a really weak league so attracting players for consistent success is definately going to be a challenge.

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    September 1st 2009 - Update

    AJAX WAY: Marc Overmars @ ZTE (Hungary)
    ZTE is starting off in mixed form. In the League Cup, they're second in their group of six and doing well, but in the league they've struggled to win games, only securing one win, while grabbing three draws and losing twice, putting them in 11th out of 16 in the league six games into the season.
    A few more players were brought in, a number of them for the Reserves and U19s, but also first teamers Thomas Frandsen (DEN, 33), Daniel Edusei (GHA, 28), Marcell Molnár (HUN, 18) and Bálint Gégéni (HUN, 17).

    Minimum of 10 Hungarian players: 18
    Minimum of 14/28 'home-grown' players: 11
    Current formation: 4-2-3-1

    FEYENOORD WAY: Pierre van Hooijdonk @ Gyor (Hungary)
    Currently the most succesful of the three teams, Gyor is on top everywhere. They are first in the league and first in their League Cup group, having won 9 out of their eleven competitive games, losing only one league game and one cup game.
    Four more players were added to the first team, left back Alfred Arthur (GHA, 22), a one-time Ghanaian international who'd yet found consistent football in Europe, right back Emmanuel Olete(NIG, 25), who'd previously played in Germany's Regional Division for Eisenstadt and at Spartak SV in Serbia. Next in was winger Kazuo Homma (JPN, 29), who's been a solid performer in the Hungarian Division I with two different clubs. Lastly, center midfielder Richard (NIG, 25), who had long impressed with Bulgarian side Levski, before winning a big move to Russian side Khimki, where he never really took off, so Gyor snapped him up on a free after the Russians let him go.

    * Minimum of 5 of 8 players brought in with 2+ years of first team experience at other clubs: 7
    ** Minimum of 10/20 players with 2+ years first team experience at other Hungarian clubs: 9

    PSV WAY: Ronald Waterreus @ Fehérvar (Hungary)
    Fehérvar had a mixed start to the season, struggling in the League Cup, losing three out of five games, while winning the other two, putting them fourth out of six in their group (which they share with ZTE and Gyor), while in the league they've only lost a single game in six, but they have drawn three times, while winning twice, leaving them in seventh place.
    On the transfer front, Waterreus has been busy, signing wingers Halidou Douva (CAM, 23), Quentin Crommen (BEL, 18), Chakib Tayeb (HOL/MOR, 22) and Bragança (POR, 26), to give the team some more strength on the flanks, as well as striker Lawrence Aidoo (GHA, 27) and center midfielder José Luis López (CRC, 28).

    Minimum of 5 of 10 transfers in under the age of 23: 7/10
    Minimum of 10 different nationalities in first team: 10(!!!)

    So, the PSV way is in compliance, while the Feyenoord and Ajax ways are getting close.

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    Looks like an interesting start there Mark, impressive going getting all three sides just about there on the regulations as well - do you reckon Gyor can keep up their good start and win something at the first attempt?

    I've just wrapped up my second season in charge of Viking using the AJax method, and we managed to repeat last year's 3rd place as well as winning the Cup, my first bit of silverware! We finished five points off the title and really could have won it had we kept our heads on a couple more occasions, but I guess that's the risk you take with such a young squad. Got a few more 16-18 year olds on the shortlist that I'm going to move for in the off-season, just got to hope I can stop Europe's bigger sides turning the heads of my brighter talents. Can't help but feel I'll end up a bit like Arsene Wenger on this save - next year could be our year!

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    Very nice, and remember, cup wins count as well, only need some sort of silverwear two more years running

    PS. Super Cups don't count

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    So if I win the County Antrim Cup in N.Ireland does that count as a cup win for the challenge?

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    If it's a national cup (Aka, if it features all clubs from at least the top two divisions of football) I don't see why not. The point is that you have to beat the best teams in your country in one competition or another three years running

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    Thanks Mark - only one season away from the move now as Viking claimed their first league title since 1991 in my third, pipping Valerenga by a single point after being 13 points behind at the halfway stage! Cup defence was poor, losing out to a second tier side in the 4th Round, but it doesn't really matter when you're champions

    One thing I have noticed however - not all of my signings (all made before the age of 19, without exception) are being counted as 'homegrown at the club.' I'm currently assuming this is some sort of problem as it seems entirely random as to who is and isn't gaining the status, so am pushing on regardless. Any ideas why it might be though? Also, sold my three most experienced players at season's end, so now have only one player above 24!

    I've also decided to break my Norwegian-only policy by extending my scouting to the rest of Scandinavia - got a 15-year old Finnish winger and two promising Icelandic defenders on the books now, so even if I leave at the end of this season Viking should be set for a while. As for the next stage, it looks like I shouldn't have too much difficulty getting a job - I've been offered the Rayo Vallecano job, as well as being made favourites for Marseille, Feyenoord and Vitesse in the last year. Really enjoying this challenge, really satisfying to achieve with such a young squad!
    Last edited by EvilDave; 27-05-2011 at 07:30.

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    Well in the game it requires your players to have trained with the club for a certain amount of time (2 years I think?) before a certain age (18 or 19?), not entirely sure, it's explained somewhere in the game. My requirements aren't related to that at all, just so long as they were under 19 when they signed with you, that's all.

    Meanwhile: Congrats, looks like things are going well in Norway!

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    Pretty sure it's 3 years at the club before their 21st birthday to qualify for being actually home-grown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilDave View Post
    Thanks Mark - only one season away from the move now as Viking claimed their first league title since 1991 in my third, pipping Valerenga by a single point after being 13 points behind at the halfway stage! Cup defence was poor, losing out to a second tier side in the 4th Round, but it doesn't really matter when you're champions

    One thing I have noticed however - not all of my signings (all made before the age of 19, without exception) are being counted as 'homegrown at the club.' I'm currently assuming this is some sort of problem as it seems entirely random as to who is and isn't gaining the status, so am pushing on regardless. Any ideas why it might be though? Also, sold my three most experienced players at season's end, so now have only one player above 24!

    I've also decided to break my Norwegian-only policy by extending my scouting to the rest of Scandinavia - got a 15-year old Finnish winger and two promising Icelandic defenders on the books now, so even if I leave at the end of this season Viking should be set for a while. As for the next stage, it looks like I shouldn't have too much difficulty getting a job - I've been offered the Rayo Vallecano job, as well as being made favourites for Marseille, Feyenoord and Vitesse in the last year. Really enjoying this challenge, really satisfying to achieve with such a young squad!
    I'm pretty sure to be considered Homegrown a player must have spent 3 years between the ages of 15 and 21 I think at a club in that country.

    So if you signed a player under 19 with no previous playing history he may not qualify as Homegrown yet.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by 442 is dead; 30-05-2011 at 17:11. Reason: grammatical error

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    Love this idea btw, I think I'll definitely give it a go tonight, will have to think about which club or country though, perhaps Croatia or Serbia

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    sorry, uppage here, this is a great challenge. attempting it on FM11. loaded the following leagues - holland, germany, italy, england, iceland, norway, sweden, austria

    PSV Way: Valur (Iceland)
    First assessment of squad gives me a tonne of Icelandics and not many other nationalities. A smattering of Faroese and one Irish striker make up the numbers. It's time to bring in the foreigners with the intention of bringing up the foreign quotient to make this season eligible with what I believe are prospects of immediate success (ha!). Some of the transfers may be utterly rubbish, but until I'm established I can't see me being able to scout wider, and I'd also be looking to big clubs releasing players abroad to pick up to improve the squad.

    In: Thomas Husby Saether (Free, NOR, 25, KFUM Oslo), Nicolai Jorgensen (Free, DEN, 30), Gael Regades Rivera (Ł4k, ESP, 19, KFUM Oslo), Bjarte Richardsen (Free, NOR, 20, Floy), Olexandr Spivak (Free, UKR, 35), Marc Olsen (Ł14k, DEN, 24, Hvidovre), Ali Al-Gashamy (Free, IRQ, 20), Omar Koroma (Free, GAM, 20), Mustafe Ahmed (Free, SOM, 23), Tomasz Mazurkiewicz (Free, POL, 28)
    Out: None except shedding a load of crap on frees from the reserves.

    Huge Squad:
    Goalkeepers: Haraldur Bjornsson (21 ISL), Asgeir Magnusson (18 ISL)
    Defenders: Jonas Thor Naes (23 FRO), Ellert Eiriksson (20 ISL), Nicolai Jorgensen (30 DEN), Atli Thorarinsson (30 ISL), Thomas Husby Saether (25 NOR), Einar Marteinsson (20 ISL), Stefan Eggertsson (25 ISL)
    Midfielders: Haukur Pall Sigurdsson (22 ISL), Runar Sigurjonsson (19 ISL), Ali Al-Gashamy (20 IRQ), Sigurbjorn Hreidarsson (34 ISL), Mustafe Ahmed (23 SOM), Olexandr Spivak (35 UKR), Thorir Gudjonsson (18 ISL), Gael Regades Rivera (19 ESP), Bjarte Richardsen (22 NOR), Tomasz Mazurkiewicz (28 POL), Jon Akason (23 ISL), Gudjon Lydsson (22 ISL), Andri Fannar Stefansson (18 ISL), Matties Gudmundsson (29 ISL), Arnar Svienn Geirsson (18 ISL), Marc Olsen (24 DEN)
    Strikers: Diarmuid O'Carroll (22 IRL), Hordur Sveinsson (26 ISL), Omar Koroma (20 GAM)

    Conditions
    Min 5/10 Transfers under-23s
    10 nationalities represented in squad - Iceland, Faroe Islands, The Gambia, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Somalia, Spain, Ukraine

    We are in compliance. A quick tour of England and then we're straight into action in the Upper League Cup - our first chance of some silverware!

    I'm going to find out former stars for the next transfer window.

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    Cool, glad to see someone still at this, good luck!

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    Tried this last year and got through a season and a half with Malmö FF. I love the idea and found it a shame that I stopped playing so soon.

    Loading up the top leagues in Switzerland, Italy (yes they're behind Germany now), England and Holland.

    Edgar Davids will be arriving in Switzerland, managing Neuchâtel Xamax. As an old Ajax favourite, this is of course the route he'll be going down...

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    Ah, the pitbull. Hope he does well!

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    I really like the idea of this challenge, and with getting a new computer means I don't have to worry about the processor going slow like my old model.
    I'm going to have a look at which nations to use for my path.
    Here is the list of nations for each stage from FM12
    Stage 3
    England
    Spain
    Germany
    Stage 2
    Italy
    France
    Portugal
    Russia
    Ukraine
    Netherlands
    Turkey
    Greece
    Denmark
    Belgium
    Romania
    Scotland
    Stage 1
    Any nation not mentioned above

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    Ok I've decided to go with The Ajax Way, and have loaded the following leagues
    Poland(1st Stage)
    Italy(2nd Stage)
    England(3rd Stage)
    Holland(Special Stage)

    Scottish Managar Jim Bowman, has taken over at Polish side Lech Poznan(predicted to finish 1st but strangely hadn't qualified for Europe)
    I may need to have a bit of a cull of the squad to keep within the youth limits and I'm going to use a Total Football tactic to keep in line with Ajax's way of thinking

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    Edgar Davids set Xamax' tactics to 4-2-3-1, Total Football, ultra attacking (as per the Ajax way), with mixed results in pre season. Already sitting on two Austrian-based wins and a loss in Stuttgart, a loss at home to Koln and a 3-0 win at a lower league French side followed. However, the first league match exceeded expectations spectacularly. Away against Europa League participants FC Thun, Xamax were slight underdogs, but with Davids' fresh philosophy of Ajax-style Total Football, they played Thun off the park. The tactic was expected to help Xamax dominate smaller sides, and similar sized clubs at home, but a convincing and stylish win away to similar sized opponents will excite fans of the Neuchâtel outfit.

    No signings have yet been made by Davids, who has pledged to bring success to the club with predominantly young, homegrown and domestic talent, despite the strong financial backing of mega rich Russian owner Bulat Chagaev. Davids has stated he doesn't intend to buy success, but rather earn it. With the squad currently lacking depth, he has however acknowledged that his toes will be dipped into the rich waters of the transfer market.
    Last edited by Dave.; 21-01-2012 at 16:25.

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    Good luck Jim and good start Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Snellink View Post
    Good luck Jim and good start Dave
    Cheers Mark one question, when you say 50% of 1st team for Ajax is that the squad or the starting line-up?

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    The squad, not the starting line-up.

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    The Ajax Way - Season 1 - jimbowmanuk



    League Table

    I could only manage to finish 2nd in the league in the 1st season, also I was knocked out of the cup in the third round. A bit of a blessing to be honest as only 7 players of my 24 man squad were with the club before they were 19, I abandoned my risky formation and went for a more conservative 4-5-1, now I have a good idea of the standard of league I can focus on the pre-season of bringing in youngsters and selling on some of the older players.
    I know its only a brief post but once I meet the squad conditions it'll be more indepth.

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    Looks like a respectable effort in the first season. Get those youth!

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    The Ajax Way - Season 2 - jimbowmanuk

    Lech Poznan Squad for new season

    Goalkeepers
    Buric (BIH)
    Frackowiak (POL)
    Wendzel (POL)

    Defenders
    Wolakiewicz (POL)
    Nelson (ENG)
    Wojtkowiak (POL)
    Djurdjevic (SRB)
    Arboleda (COL)
    Kaminski (POL)
    Henriquez (PAN)
    Kikut (POL)
    Midfielders
    Van Nieff (NED)
    Murawski (POL)
    Injac (SRB)
    Drygas (POL)
    Van Overeem (NED)
    Bouy (NED)

    Mozdzen (POL)
    Kowalczuk (POL)
    Golla (POL)

    Slusarski (POL)
    Strikers
    Wawrzyniak (POL)
    Ubiparip (SRB)
    Van Overbeek (NED)
    Mikolajczak (POL)
    Goodwillie (SCO)

    Green = Joined under 19 Red = Polish Blue = Joined under 19 and Polish

    Players joined under the age of 19 : 13(50%)
    Polish National : 14
    Conditions have been met so hopefully the silverware will start coming

    Last edited by jimbowmanuk; 23-01-2012 at 18:18. Reason: signed an extra player

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    Very nice, couple Dutchies in there, too. Roll in the trophies

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    well a disappointing performance has seen me get the boot at the end of the season, I could only manage to finish 7th in the league, knocked out of the FA cup in the Semi's by lower league opposition. One positive was making the knockout round of the Euro Cup.

    Bowman Sacked

    I will be starting this again, but not in Poland, and I'm still undecided whether to go the PSV way or the Feyenoord way, or just try again with the Ajax way

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    Ah **** Fingers crossed for better luck. Might I suggest something in Scandinavia? It's fun to play up there I've found.

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    Unlucky Jim!

    Just finished the first season with Neuchâtel Xamax, managed to finish third in the Swiss League behind Zurich and Young Boys (Basel finished 8th!) and beat Luzern on penalties in the Swiss Cup final. So we've got European football to look forward to next season. (No screenshots today, I'm too tired/lazy! :P) Will post the squad once pre-season and transfers have been done, but we're not far away from meeting the requirements to do this the Ajax way.

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    Nice, I'll be watching

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    Neuchâtel Xamax Squad 2012/13


    Goalkeepers

    Luca CASTELLAZZI (ITA)
    Maxime BRENET (FRA)
    Enrico ROBIN (SUI)

    Defenders

    Mike GOMES (SUI)
    Mohamed BAH (FRA)
    Mickaël FACCHINETTI (SUI)
    David NAVARRO (ESP)
    Stéphane BESLE (FRA)
    Vincent BIKANA (CAM)
    Ignasi MIQUEL (ESP)
    Frederic VESELI (SUI)
    Daniel IMHOF (CAN/SUI)
    Philippe SOOS (SUI)
    Victor SÁNCHEZ (ESP)
    Javier GARRIDO (ESP)

    Midfielders

    BINYA (CAM)
    Kerim FREI (TUR/SUI)
    Max VELOSO (POR)
    Vladimir KONAN (HUN)
    Sébastien WÜRTHRICH (SUI)
    Jordi GÓMEZ (ESP)
    Granit XHAKA (SUI)
    Hakan YAKIN (SUI)
    Gabriel LÜCHINGER (SUI)
    Nicholas KOCH (SUI)
    Abdourahman DAMPHA (GAM)

    Strikers

    Kalu UCHE (NIG)
    Simon CHATAGNY (SUI)
    Fiorenze PESCE (SUI)

    Swiss, Swiss and homegrown, Homegrown

    Swiss nationals - 14 (48%), require at least 10.
    Been at the club before 19 - 18 (62%), require at least 50%.

    Ready to start challenging for some silverware...

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    Roll in the trophies, I say

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    Good luck Dave, nice to see you adopted my colour policy to explain the squad

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    i will be attempting the PSV Challenge but don't know who with though

    Actually no i will do the Ajax Challenge i like attacking football
    Last edited by toonbalmy87; 30-01-2012 at 21:53.

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    I'm going to get started on a PSV one soon, wanting to start in Sweden but its not telling me which teams are in continental comps so I might just pick the one predicted to finish 5th in the league

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    Ok the leagues loaded for this attempt at the PSV way are

    Stage 1 - Sweden
    Stage 2 - Italy
    Stage 3 - England
    Special Stage - Holland

    I have opted to use Kalmer FF in the Swedish Premier, they are predicted to finish 7th but I chose them as they already have 7 different nationalities so getting another 3 should be fairly simple

    Manager Information


    Okay the squad is ready, Signed a 20 year old Macedonian, a 22 year old Cameroonian and a 30 year old Ugandan so over 50% transfers under 23 and 10 different nationalities in the squad.

    Kalmer FF Squad
    Last edited by jimbowmanuk; 02-02-2012 at 23:29.

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    Very nice, Kalmar are old rivals of mine from an IFK Goteborg save in which I trounced them on average 3x per season

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    work has been rather busy but i should have an update shortly. i won the icelandic upper cup, does this count? all major icelandic sides are in it

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    Mid-season Update

    The PSV Way

    After reaching compliance with regards to foreigners in the squad we were ready for the opening pre-season Upper League Cup. Since this features all the top teams in Iceland it would be considered good enough to win this to get our first year of hopefully three successful seasons already moving. The Upper League cup is an unusual tournament - the whole of group A was made up of Premier League teams and the whole of Group C made up of Division 1 teams. This could be a complete fluke! One suspects not...

    Icelandic Upper League Cup
    Group A
    Breidablik (A) W 2-1 (Sveinsson, Mazurkiewicz)
    Keflavik (H) W 4-2 (Koroma 2, Spivak, Olsen)
    Stjarnan (H) W 3-2 (Koroma 2, Mazurkiewicz)
    FH (A) L 1-3 (Sigurdsson)
    Fram (H) W 5-3 (Koroma 3, Halldorsson 2)
    IBV (A) D 2-2 (Spivak, Olsen)
    KR (H) W 2-0 (Spivak, Thorarinsson)

    So we won the group at a canter, 16 points to FH and Keflavik's 12 points. It had to be sealed with the last fixture but the goals were flowing and we looked in good shape. One defeat to league champions FH was our only reversal and IBV were the only other team who took points off us. A cracking topsy-turvy derby match against Fram saw us go 3-1 up, before being pegged back to 3-3 and then two late goals by our central defender Halldorsson won us the three points.

    Knockout Stages
    The knockout stages saw us drawn against division one team Throttur at home and a tight match was won 1-0 with a second half own goal. The semi-final saw us drawn against newly-promoted Haukar whilst FH were playing Fylkir. We strolled to victory with goals from Al-Gashamy, Sviensson and Halldorsson, meanwhile Fylkir knocked out FH with a 1-0 victory giving us the peace of mind that we wouldn't have to play the only team who had beaten us in this competition. Coincidentally we would play Fylkir in our first game of the league season a week after the final. With some trepidation at the Fylkir side featuring former Icelandic international and Leeds United player Gylfi Einarsson we were delighted when Einarsson was sent off for a two footed lunge within the first five minutes. From there we were dominant and Husby Saether scored our first on the stroke of half time before Ukrainian Spivak wrapped up the victory with a second half goal. The only blemish was a late late consolation by Fylkir but we'd had our first silverware wrapped up and could concentrate on the league and Icelandic Cup without the pressure of knowing we had to win either tournament this season for the challenge.

    Premier League
    The consistency which saw us win the upper league cup has faltered in the league. Continual injuries to key players such as Olsen, Mazurkiewicz ad Thorarinsson have scuppered progress, however at the halfway stage we sit on top of the pile by a solitary point, however some teams have a game in hand on us.

    Fylkir A D 2-2 (Koroma, Gudmundsson)
    Stjarnan H W 2-1 (Gudmundsson 2)
    KR A X 0-0
    FH H W 2-0 (Koroma, Spivak)
    Keflavik A W 2-0 (Sveinsson, Spivak)
    Haukar H W 5-1 (Koroma 3, Hreidarsson, Halldorsson)
    Fram A L 1-2 (Spivak)
    Breidablik H D 2-2 (Koroma, Sveinsson)
    Grindavik A W 2-1 (Spivak, Thorarinsson)
    Selfoss H W 4-1 (og, Koroma, Spivak, Halldorsson)
    IBV A L 0-1

    So halfway through the season we sit atop the table with 21 points from a possible 33. Keflavik have 20 from 11 games, Grindavik have 17 from 11 games, KR and Fylkir both have 15 points from 10 games. Below that the league is incredibly tight. Champions FH sit on the edge of the relegation zone with 12 points from 11 games and Selfoss are bottom with 11 points from 10 games. Anyone can beat anyone in this division!

    Icelandic Cup
    Less said about this the better. IBV are clearly our bogey team. Before they beat us in the league they'd just come off a 6-0 battering and this wasn't our best result either - out in the first round.

    IBV H L 2-3 (Sveinsson, Richardsen)

    =============================================

    The squad is too big. I have way too many Icelandic central midfielders who aren't going to break into my first team. I'm unhappy with my staff as I don't think they're good enough. We're way too inconsistent, but this squad just needs to settle down a bit I think. I need to convince the board that I need to be able to scout as far as possible right now because my 10 nationalities right now are going to have to be made up of Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Faroes, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and another as that is all I can scout - I will have to hold onto certain players I've dug out but otherwise the tactic of typing random letters into the player search or trawling African u-21 squads will have to suffice.

    If I had full fitness (ha!) this would be my starting XI right now:
    GK: Bjornsson (ISL) - very unconvinced. will be looking for a stronger goalkeeper in the future with some urgency
    DR: Eggertsson (ISL) - again, not entirely convinced but has done a fairly assured job.
    DC: Halldorsson (ISL) - has been relatively strong. i like what he's done so far.
    DC: Thorarinsson (ISL) - see Halldorsson. No real issues here.
    DL: Jorgensen (DEN) - very reliable at left back.
    MC: Sigurdsson (ISL) - has been injury free and reliable in midfield. bit slow.
    MC: Mazurkiewicz (POL) - has been excellent but a bad injury has seen him miss the first half of the premier league season
    AMR: Spivak (UKR) - 35 year old winger who has goals in him. worried i may lose him to retirement due to his age very shortly and hence would need another nationality to come in!!
    AML: Olsen (DEN) - looked really good but strained knee ligaments have seen him miss the first half of the premier league season
    SC: Koroma (GAM) - 14 goals in 17 starts need i say more. wasn't convinced he'd make the step up this season even though he's 20. how wrong was i?!
    SC: Sveinsson (ISL) - looked really convincing, got an injury and now i'm still not convinced. he's fast and has goals in him, but hasn't scored enough - 5 goals in 12 starts.

    Stats
    Top Scorers: Koroma 14 in 17(3), Spivak 9 in 19(2), Halldorsson 5 in 20, Sveinsson 5 in 12(2), Gudmundsson 3 in 7(5)
    Assists: Spivak 6 in 19(2), Jorgensen 4 in 22, Mazurkiewicz 4 in 17, Halldorsson 3 in 20, Olsen 3 in 8(1)
    Average Rating: Halldorsson 7.35, Koroma 7.24, Spivak 7.14, Thorarinsson 7.13, Eggertsson 7.06

    Right... can I win the league?

  74. #74
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    Looks a good challenge and the first one to get me interested since the Roman Conquest one last year.

    Going to have a crack at this on FM12. I'm gonna do Ajax way and starting with Lech Poznan (the almost obvious choice for people who don't want to do stage 1 for too long).

    Currently working on getting the 50% U-19 requirement but the squads looking good. Only played 2 league games winning 3-0 and 4-0.

    Signings are going to be hard as Lech have a squad that has been, on the majority, bought in after 19, although with a few sales have made some room. Currently holding out for Ł7.5M for rudnevs off Zenit which will allow some serious spending to hopefully win the league.

    Looking forward to the rest of the challenge.

  75. #75
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    End of 2010 Season


    The second half of the season started with a few devestating wins which secured me the title. A small blip towards the end had us panicking, but at that stage we only needed one point to seal the title. The August transfer window saw me bring two more new faces in, 29 year old Brazilian Cristiano who was a 4.5 star rated striker, initially on loan and I secured his signature after a cool 3 goals in 5 games at the end of his loan spell. For compliance I also brought in 18 year old Sierra Leonean Mohamed Sesay, who has some history in Norway.

    Premier League
    Fylkir H W 2-0 (Sveinsson, Gudmundsson)
    Stjarnan A W 2-0 (Halldorsson, Olsen)
    KR H W 4-1 (Sveinsson, Koroma, Husby Saether, og)
    Keflavik H X 0-0
    Haukar A W 4-2 (Spivak 2, Lydsson, Ahmed)
    FH A L 1-2 (Cristiano)
    Fram H W 3-0 (Thorarinsson, Koroma, Spivak)
    Breidablik A W 1-0 (Cristiano)
    Grindavik H L 1-2 (Mazurkiewicz)
    Selfoss A L 0-2
    IBV H W 2-0(Cristiano, Koroma)

    So we ended up winning the league by 5 points from Keflavik;

    Valur +22 43
    Keflavik +17 38
    Grindavik +4 34
    Stjarnan -2 34
    Fylkir +4 31
    KR +3 31
    FH +3 30
    Fram -5 27
    Breidablik -7 24
    IBV -10 24
    ===========
    Selfoss -11 22
    Haukar -18 19

    So Selfoss and Haukar were relegated and replaced by Throttur and Thor. I qualify for the champions league.

    List of nations representing Valur this season (13): Iceland, Denmark, Ukraine, The Gambia, Poland, Iraq, Norway, Spain, Sierra Leone, Faroe Islands, Ireland, Somalia, Brazil
    Trophies Won: Icelandic Upper Cup, Icelandic Premier Division

    One season completed on stage 1, two more successful seasons to go

  76. #76
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    ooo PSV job comes, i must apply for it... :-/ hope this doesn't upset my board

  77. #77
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    Hope you get it!

  78. #78
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    alas. not a chance. i am beginning to be linked to some jobs though. southampton and a load in austria.

  79. #79
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    Cool. Keep up the good work

  80. #80
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    Season 2011 - Preliminaries, Upper League Cup and Champions Cup


    So after immediate compliance I won the Upper League Cup and the League in Iceland and set myself up as fast as possible to make the immediate step to stage 2. There were a few shaky results but I immediately established us as a force in Iceland with a varied and cosmopolitan squad. Season 2011 would bring a number of different challenges. It would start with a defence of my Upper League Cup title, followed by participation in the Icelandic Champions Cup against runners up Keflavik. Then I would begin defending my league title, attempting to get a better showing in the Icelandic cup this year and judging by the expectations of the board they were expecting a successful title defence to boot. Namely it would have to be an exceptionally successful season and the media had us favourites for tournaments from the start.

    I brought in two players during the transfer window (excluding tying up a permanent deal for Brazilian striker Cristiano - Ł10k). 17 year old former Portsmouth defender and Congolese U-19 international Yann Nsaku joined us on a free transfer and I sorted out my goalkeeping situation by bringing in experienced Norwegian keeper Tommy Runar from FC Hjorring for a cool Ł40k. My wage budget had gone up but some renewed contracts had seen me start pushing that too. This meant I had brought in 50% of transfers being U-23 and I had also increased my nationalities slightly as well. An Italian trialist also played for me in the upper league cup, but I couldn't end up affording his wages.

    The Squad

    Goalkeepers
    Tommy Runar, 29, NOR
    Haraldur Bjornsson, 22, ISL

    Fullbacks
    Jonas Thor Naes, 24, FRO
    Ellert Eiriksson, 22, ISL
    Nicolai Jorgensen, 31, DEN
    Stefan Eggertsson, 27, ISL

    Central Defenders
    Halldor K Halldorsson, 23, ISL
    Atli Thorarinsson, 31, ISL (captain)
    Thomas Husby Saether, 26, NOR
    Yann Nsaku, 17, COD
    Einar Marteinsson, 22, ISL

    Central Midfielders
    Haukur Pal Sigurdsson, 23, ISL
    Runar Sigurjonsson, 20, ISL
    Mohamed Sesay, 18, SLE
    Sigurbjorn Hreidarsson, 35, ISL
    Mustafe Ahmed, 24, SOM
    Tomasz Mazurkiewicz, 29, POL
    Gudjon Lydsson, 23, ISL
    Andri Fannar Stefansson, 20, ISL

    Wingers
    Ali Al-Gashamy, 21, IRQ
    Olexandr Spivak, 36, UKR
    Gael Regardes Rivera, 20, ESP
    Mattias Gudmundsson, 30, ISL
    Arnar Sveinn Geirsson, 19, ISL
    Marc Olsen, 25, DEN

    Strikers
    Cristiano, 29, BRA
    Hordur Sveinsson, 28, ISL
    Omar Koroma, 21, GAM

    Number of different nationalities 13: Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Iraq, Norway, Poland, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Spain, The Gambia, Ukraine

    I had an Irish player last year who is now languishing in the reserves - unfortunately he doesn't quite cut it. Some of the squad still need trimming. Spivak is retiring at the end of the year.

    Upper League Cup
    It seems after last years supposed conspiracy theory to plonk all Premiership teams in one group was not a conspiracy. It appears to be the norm. Fortunately (?) for us this season we drew in Group B which is a mixture of Premiership and Division One. In our group were one of our bogey teams Grindavik, Selfoss, who also beat us at the end of the last season, Fylkir, who we beat in the final last year, newly promoted Throttur, who we beat in the quarter final last year and also from Division One (alongside Selfoss who were relegated last season) were IR, Vikingur and KA.

    Group B
    KA A W 3-0 (Cristiano 3)
    Vikingur H W 3-1 (Cristiano 2, Geirsson)
    Fylkir H W 2-0 (Thorarinsson, Halldorsson)
    Throttur A D 1-1 (Sveinsson)
    Grindavik H X 0-0
    Selfoss A W 3-1 (Geirsson, Olsen, Stefansson)
    IR H W 4-1 (Nsaku, Sigurjonsson, og, Koroma)

    We'd wrapped up qualification with a game to spare this season, but we eventually won the group edging out Grindavik on the last game. We finished with 17 points and Grindavik finished second with 15 points without conceding a single goal. They looked like they meant business. I was fairly upset therefore that Grindavik got a cushy draw against a Division One team in the quarter final whereas we got drawn against former champions and the only team who beat us last year FH. What we were worried about I wasn't sure... we smashed them 24 shots to their 7 of which they only got one on target. We won a comfortable 3-0. In the next round we were drawn against future Champions Cup opponents Keflavik. They proved more tricky opposition and they took an early lead. We bombarded them with heavy pressure and eventually got an equaliser through Sveinsson, but we suffered a setback when the goalscorer was strechered off with a "sprained ankle" on the stroke of half time. With penalities looming substitute Omar Koroma threaded through a beautiful ball for Cristiano in the 78th minute. The Brazilian kept his cool, rounded the keeper and smashed the ball home. We were through to the final... against deadly rivals and 2nd favourites for the league KR. Cristiano was the hero again, putting us in the lead midway through the first half. Just after half time a blooper from captain Thorarinsson let in their star striker Finnbogason for an equaliser, but immediately we went up the other end and Geirsson was dragged down in the area for a penalty which Cristiano tucked away. Thorarinsson then made up for his earlier error by slamming home a header from a corner. Champions again and we'd already done the second consecutive season for the Dutch Way Challenge.

    FH H W 3-0 (Sigurjonsson, Koroma, Cristiano)
    Keflavik N W 2-1 (Sveinsson, Cristiano)
    KR N W 3-1 (Cristiano 2, Thorarinsson)

    Champions Cup
    A week after the upper league cup we had the Icelandic Champions Cup final between us and Keflavik. This was a more dour game characterised by continual misses by either teams well paid strikers. Eventually it was us that broke the deadlock midway through the second half when captain Thorarinsson again scored a header from a corner. However the game was to take a turn when four minutes later the captain then received a red card after taking down their striker from behind when he was clean through on goal. It was an essential tackle. We held on to secure our second silverware in a week.

    Keflavik N W 1-0 (Thorarinsson)

    So an altogether successful and unbeaten start to the season. Two pieces of silverware are already in the cabinet and three days after the Champions cup we'd have tired legs facing up to the first league match of the season. A nice easy tie against... Grindavik. Wonderful...

  81. #81
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    offered stabaek job. wage budget 10 times mine. transfer budget of four million compared to my Ł60k. but i have only one season to go to complete stage one so...

  82. #82
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    I must say, this looks like an impressive challenge. Once I've finished my Americas and Asia, I may have to stop back here for this one. Something I like about this is that you can effectively change the 'ways'. Like, you could use Arsenal/United/Chelsea.

    My only criticism is having to choose your dream job. Personally, I think there should be more choice involved in that area. I don't know about other people, but if I was on the cusp of doing something amazing with a club and Man City came calling, I'd find it quite hard. Because on one side, I'd have my dream job right there, with a potentially easy ride... or I can do something big with say, Swansea, by qualifying for the Champions League. It's a case of taking on your dream job or doing something not many others could. I also like the potential risk involved. I know you say you can add a manager and do it that way, but I think it adds an extra dimension if you choose to reject your dream job in order to do something great with the current club, and potentially never get approached again. It's that choice of whether you take the easy way or do it the hard way that I'd find intriguing.

    Having said that, and as I said at the start, I do like the concept of this challenge.

  83. #83
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    Midseason 2011


    Icelandic Premier Division
    So three days after the Champions Cup we were thrust into action against Grindavik and we won comfortably 3-0. This sort of form was to continue, in fact, we won our first 5 matches of the season and looked to be cruising to the title when we beat rivals Fram 2-1 - after all five games is almost a quarter of the season. The next two matches would define our season - FH were always tricky opponents and unfortunately we could only draw away to them, and then a televised match against IBV at home saw us fall behind twice to grab equalisers twice and we drew 2-2. IBV were a new found force this season and were suddenly running us close for the league, however our great start still saw us have the advantage. A comfortable win against Keflavik saw their boss fall on his sword as they failed to reach the heights they did the previous season and then three days after a cup tie we had another derby against KR. This time we lost for the first time in the season - a run stretching 21 games. This coincided with IBV knocking us off top spot. Part of our success the previous season had been down to all the other teams cancelling each other out - this time IBV looked genuine contenders, and Fram looked to be getting in the act too. Next we had the two promoted sides - Thor were brushed aside as we trashed them 4-1, but Throttur were more difficult to break down and a lacklustre performance saw us lose 2-0. Suddenly we were three points off the pace and our league challenge looked to be faltering. Four days later we would be playing Throttur again, away, in the cup and three days after that it would be Rosenborg in the Champions Cup - no time to lick our wounds.

    IBV P 11 GD +12 Pnts 26
    Valur P 11 GD +10 Pnts 23
    Fram P 11 GD +7 Pnts 22
    FH P 11 GD +7 Pnts 21
    KR P 11 GD +1 Pnts 19
    Grindavik P 11 GD +1 Pnts 16
    Throttur P 11 GD -1 Pnts 14
    Fylkir P 11 GD -5 Pnts 10
    Breidablik P 11 GD -8 Pnts 10
    Keflavik P 10 GD -6 Pnts 8
    Stjarnan P 10 GD -10 Pnts 7
    Thor P 11 GD -8 Pnts 6

    Grindavik H W 3-0 (Halldorsson, Koroma, Gudmundsson)
    Stjarnan A W 3-2 (Sigurjonsson, Thorarinsson, Rivera)
    Fylkir H W 2-1 (Cristiano 2)
    Breidablik A W 3-1 (Geirsson, Cristiano, Thorarinsson)
    Fram H W 2-1 (Koroma, Cristiano)
    FH A X 1-1 (Cristiano)
    IBV H X 2-2 (Thorarinsson, Geirsson)
    Keflavik A W 2-0 (Geirsson, Rivera)
    KR H L 0-1
    Thor A W 4-1 (Cristiano 3, Koroma)
    Throttur A L 0-2

    Icelandic Cup
    This season we were handed a slightly easier third round draw - non-league IH provided the opposition in the third round and it was a rather one-sided affair as they were easily brushed aside 4-0. First division Njardvik were the opposition in the next round and whilst we were expecting an easy game at home, it was made an altogether more difficult task when they took the lead after 5 minutes. After Geirsson grabbed a deserved equaliser, Omar Koroma then dived in the box and was awarded a second yellow card - he'd been sent off in the third round as well! However we went defensive and countered and eventually our persistence paid off with a great second half goal from Sveinsson. Next up was Throttur on the back of their league victory against us. Tactics adjusted we sat back and tried to counter, eventually it paid off when Halldorsson headed in from a corner, but immediately Throttur went up the other end to equalise. The match went into extra time and we got the perfect start as Omar Koroma scrambled in a goal half a minute into extra time. Ten minutes later Thorarinsson belted the ball home and we were into the semi-final. The semi-final draw was interesting - remaining in the competition were two non-league teams and Grindavik - who did we draw? Yes, Grindavik...

    IH H W 4-0 (Olsen, Cristiano 3)
    Njardvik H W 2-1 (Geirsson, Sveinsson)
    Throttur A W 3-1 aet (Halldorsson, Koroma, Thorarinsson)

    European Champions Cup
    Four days after we'd played Throttur and ploughed our way through a difficult quarter final we had Norwegian Champions Rosenborg turn up to play us. The less said about this one the better. We put a near reserve side out after I reasoned we a) had no chance and b) seriously needed to concentrate on the league starting with a match against Grindavik three days after this match. The result speaks for itself.

    Rosenborg H 0-5

    Transfers
    I've made a number of deals in the main european offseason and the number of nationalities is steadily rising. Some of these deals took place after the date that this report goes upto, but I am including them even if these players weren't available to me for the Grindavik game which started the second half of the season.

    In
    Dan Bennett, 18, ENG, DC - signs on a free after being released by Portsmouth. My first English player.
    Vincenzo Mancini, 19, ITA, DC - signs on a free after being released by Napoli. I've managed to increase my scouting network to the whole of Europe now and looking to bring in released youngsters from big clubs is my new tactic because they will be young and foreign.
    Emmanuel Mendy, 21, ESP, DR - signs on a free after being released by Liverpool.
    Jhon Pirez, 18, URU, SC - signs on a free after being released by Chelsea.

    Out
    Jonas Thor Naes, 24, FRO, DR - not good enough. Sold to Wycombe for Ł500.

    Two more players are due to join me on free transfers at the start of September - an Algerian and an Ecuadorian. I have taken this challenge to heart! Once they have joined I will have 18 nationalities represented at Valur.

    Right time to secure the cup and win the league.
    Last edited by sebs; 18-02-2012 at 11:38.

  84. #84
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    Icelandic Premier Division (with added Icelandic Cup and Champions Cup)
    The pursuit was on. The board wanted me to bring the title home and the idea we weren't walking it from the start was already annoying me. I knew that we'd won the Icelandic Upper Cup this season, however that felt as though it was a pre-season flap - I wanted the real trophies and the real trophies would come at the money end of the season. We started the second half of the season well with the following results:

    Grindavik A X 1-1 (Rivera)
    Rosenborg A X 1-1 (Al-Gashamy)
    Stjarnan H W 1-0 (Cristiano)
    Grindavik N W 2-0 (Cristiano 2)
    Fylkir A W 2-0 (Cristiano 2)

    The initial draw against Grindavik was disappointing, but IBV also failed to win. We were, however, overtaken by rivals Fram and dropped to third in the division. The game against Rosenborg saw a lot of youngsters get a run-out and a decent backs to the wall performance saw us grab an unexpected 1-1 draw. We were, of course, out 6-1 on aggregate - maybe next year? Stjarnan then did an impression of our match against Rosenborg - adrift at the bottom of the league and on the back of four defeats on the bounce they were very defensive, however a goal out of the top draw by Cristiano saw us snatch it 1-0. The Cup semi against Grindavik was another tight match which was only sealed with a last minute penalty, but really was a tremendous defensive effort from us. A similar match saw us beat Fylkir and after IBV had drawn the previous week against Fram and followed it up with an away defeat to FH we'd hit the top of the league again. It was however extremely tight:

    4th August 2011 - 8 games remaining
    1. Valur +13 30
    2. Fram +9 29
    3. IBV +10 28
    4. FH +11 27
    5. KR +6 26

    I'm going game-by-game from here. This season could see us getting more points than last season's total (43) yet fall short of even European places. Our next match - Fram away. Meanwhile FH and KR meet in a battle between 4th and 5th and IBV would look to go back towards the top spot with a win against Keflavik. Cristiano (subject to an enquiry by Botafogo(!!!)) would be banned for this match after picking up one too many yellow cards this season. Also I sign Kristian Lauritzen who was on a free transfer after being released by Brondby - an 18 year old right winger.

    Without Cristiano we were a bit toothless up front. Koroma was banned and new signing Pirez was at the U20 World Cup (an inspired signing... oops) so we started with Sveinsson up front by himself. Plus with a gap of only three days between matches we were a bit ropey - admittedly Fram were too. Sveinsson was the only player who got a chance; easily the best of the match for either side, but his one-on-one chance was saved by the Fram keeper. A 0-0 draw making the top of the table even tighter. IBV drew against Keflavik - 5 games without a win for them now and FH dominated KR 4-1.

    Fram A D 0-0

    7th August 2011 - 7 games remaining
    1. Valur +13 31
    2. FH +14 30
    3. Fram +9 30
    4. IBV +10 29
    5. KR +3 26

    The match against FH, only 3 days after the cup final, was beginning to look even more crucial now. It happened to be our next match (the cup final) and we were playing FH on the Tuesday. On the Monday KR are playing IBV and Fram would be away to Throttur (never the easiest of away trips). I fully expected that we wouldn't be top the next time we kicked off a league match.

    The cup final was against non-league Berserkir. It was incredibly tempting to play a near reserve team for this match considering the importance of the league match three days later and I decided to do this, with some reservations. Those reservations were misplaced. Just before half time Mendy was dragged down in the box - Rivera knocked home the subsequent penalty after a dominant first half. Early in the second half Mancini headed home a Rivera corner and minutes later a mistake by their keeper left Sveinsson with an open goal to put us into an unassailable 3-0 lead. Later in the match Koroma lobbed the keeper to make it 4 before they grabbed a consolation in injury time.

    Berserkir N W 4-1 (Rivera, Mancini, Sveinsson, Koroma)

    Valur won the Icelandic Cup

    The downside was a thigh injury picked up by our keeper Tommy Runar. This would mean that we would have to go back to Haruldar Bjornsson who, whilst was part of our winning squad last season, is nowhere near the class of Runar. Runar would be out for two to three weeks of crucial games, including matches against FH and IBV.

    So the night before the big match all the other teams played, Fram got the victory that took them to the top of the table and in the other match IBV beat KR 3-2 in a thriller to take them 2nd. This meant we needed to win to persevere at the top; a defeat would see us fall to 4th.

    Cristiano was back so I decided to press them high and see if we could force an early goal to sit on. Olsen and Geirsson would be my wingers, Halldorsson and Thorarinsson would be back in central defence. Jhon Pirez was starting on the bench having returned from the World Cup, as was Ollie Spivak who was becoming useful as a last minute sub to provide a bit of a spark from set pieces.

    The match started with a bang. Firstly FH almost scored an own goal before charging up the other end and taking the lead, next Cristiano almost provided an equaliser before beating his man and then firing home from the edge of the area. 6 minutes on the clock and it was already one apiece. 10th minute they come charging forward again and Jorgensen the left back brings down their right winger in the box... it's an instant penalty and Jorgensen is lucky to just be booked, league top scorer Bjornsson easily tucks it away - 2-1. Again it's end to end, Cristiano misses a great chance for us, putting it just wide, their right winger, who is tearing Jorgensen apart hits the post from an open goal. We break down the left in the 34th min and Olsen is torn down. It's a horrendous challenge, but Jorgensen plays on, dances around the full back and puts a dangerous ball in which bewilders the defence. Geirsson pounces and it's all square again 2-2. Olsen is in a bad shape. An exhausting match is 2-2 at the break, but we have injury worries - I bring Rivera on for Olsen instead of opting for the delivery of Spivak - it's too early for him.

    Twice Cristiano misses sitters in the second half, we're dominant. But they strike a killer blow in the 76th minute with their only effort of the second half. A curling beauty from outside the area. We're down to 4th.

    FH H L 2-3 (Cristiano, Geirsson)

    16th August 2011 - (6 games to go)
    1. FH +15 33
    2. Fram +10 33
    3. IBV +11 32
    4. Valur +12 31
    5. KR +2 26

    Next up was Breidablik. This was an easy game on paper but yet again we almost contrived to throw it away. We took the lead through a lovely Cristiano goal, but as per he then fluffed a couple more chances and when they equalised through a Thorarinsson own goal in the second half after Bjornsson had an attack of uselessness between the posts the game was hanging the balance. Luckily after a tactical switch Geirsson yet again popped up to score (the 19 year old is having a great debut season avr. 7.09 over 28 games, plus 8 goals) and Cristiano finished it off in the last five minutes with a quality shot from the edge of the area. This was his 28th goal of a so far extraordinary season.

    Breidablik H W 3-1 (Cristiano 2, Geirsson)

    In other results, Fram drew away to KR which saw us leapfrog them and IBV expectedly beat Thor. FH could only manage a draw against Keflavik... the title was unexpectedly in our hands again!

    21st August 2011 - (5 games to go)
    1. IBV +13 35
    2. FH +15 34
    3. Valur +14 34
    4. Fram +10 34
    5. KR +2 27

    So the bad news was that for the away match to IBV I had my captain Thorarinsson suspended, my first choice keeper was injured and my sub keeper is a liability and whilst my prime striker may have scored 8 goals in 5 matches but he'd also fluffed numerous costly chances in the previous two matches. Then more disruption came - Steaua Bucharest made a risibly low offer for Cristiano - Ł35k up front and Ł120k over 24 months. Oh dear. He could start to get unsettled - I would be happy to let him leave, but I'd need the right price.

    Against IBV I line up 4-2-4 and give Pirez his first start. My intention is to attack them from the off - their defence lacks confidence and hopefully I can give them a jolt which will affect them for the rest of the match. Tommy Runar was fit enough for the bench, but I was rather hoping not to have to use him, either through injury or ineptitude.

    It was a quiet start but midway through the first half Olsen powerfully headed us into the lead from a magnificent Jorgensen cross. 5 mins later we fell asleep from a corner and they were right back in it at 1-1 and two minutes later they were ahead as Bjornsson had ANOTHER disaster in goal. We were suddenly facing disaster.

    Rollicking came at half time but still no effect so midway through the second half I make a triple sub - Sveinsson on for Pirez, Spivak for Geirsson and Nsaku for Mancini (who was having a mare). The subs immediately paid off when Spivak scored an incredible free kick from MILES out. Not bad for his first goal of the season. I felt I had to push on, we really needed a winner to hit a killer blow and really give us a proper chance at this title race. Five minutes later Bjornsson was picking the ball out of the net again, but it was thankfully disallowed for offside... and then Bjornsson scored an own goal. Calamity he fumbled it into the net /o\/o\/o\

    Full time... 3-2 loss. That keeper injury has crucified my season.

    IBV A L 2-3 (Olsen, Spivak)

    28th August 2011 - 4 games to go
    1. IBV +14 38
    2. FH +16 37
    3. Fram +12 37
    4. Valur +13 34

    So we've played the top 3 and got a total of one point out of them. We're where we deserve to be. I only hope the board are merciful when they look back at this season...

    So on the bright side 3 of our last 4 games are at home - our only away match being a local derby with KR. I don't know whether it's simply too easy to blame our form on the lack of authority in goal considering we won the league with him last season, but before he was between the sticks we'd kept 4 clean sheets in a row.

    Still the 1st September came and as promised, two new transfers... in fact, four, if you include two youngsters I'd also signed. All were free transfers.

    Kristian Lauritzen, 18, AMR, DEN from Brondby
    Mads Neilsen, 17, DC, DEN from Brondby
    Jefferson Munoz, 20, SC, ECU from Barcelona (ECU)
    Sid Ahmed Kaoua, 18, GK, ALG from ES Setif

    Unfortunately Jefferson Munoz had done his achilles tendon since signing the contract and would be unavailable for the rest of the season. Kaoua was also long term injured. Seriously.

    Anyway our next game was against Keflavik and I was writing off our season. Cristiano grabbed a scrambled goal from a corner from a Mancini knock down midway through the second half. In the last ten minutes Rivera grabbed a goal from a tight angle and we'd sealed a helpful victory.

    Keflavik H W 2-0 (Cristiano, Rivera)

    11th September 2011 - 3 games to go
    1. FH +17 40
    2. IBV +13 38
    3. Fram +12 38
    4. Valur +15 37

    Fram drew away to Stjarnan, IBV lost away to Throttur. FH beat Grindlavik (and only just!). So after writing off our season last week we suddenly had hope. Just in time to get beaten away at KR seemingly - Cristiano would be banned for this match after picking up 6 yellow cards.

    The match against KR was pretty dull. A first half goal from them was cancelled out by a Geirsson equaliser. It was a decent result in the circumstances, however a win really was required to keep the pressure on the top of the league and FH's thrashing of Stjarnan pretty much saw our title hopes disappear. Marc Olsen also broke his ankle in this match and therefore misses the rest of the season.

    KR A X 1-1 (Geirsson)

    15th September 2011 - 2 games to go
    1. FH +20 43
    2. IBV +15 41
    3. Fram +12 39
    4. Valur +15 38

    The next game was a 0-0 draw against Thor. We simply weren't clinical enough this season. FH won and sealed the title as IBV went down to a 4-4 draw against relegated Stjarnan. Fram lost their first game in a long time and dropped below us. And the final match of the season we beat Throttur again by a solitary goal to finish the season 3rd.

    Thor H D 0-0
    Throttur H W 1-0 (Thorarinsson)

    Final Table

    1. FH +23 49
    2. IBV +16 45
    3. Valur +16 42
    4. Fram +12 42
    5. KR +3 35
    6. Throttur -3 26
    7. Grindavik -4 26
    8. Keflavik -9 23
    9. Fylkir -8 21
    10. Thor -12 20
    11. Breidablik -14 17
    12. Stjarnan -20 15

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    2011 Season Review


    Icelandic Premier League: 3rd
    Extremely disappointing. Lack of consistency saw us fall flat, plus a more uneven division saw others take up the challenge. Last year we only got one more point than this year, yet this year we were 7 points off the pace.
    Icelandic Cup: Winners
    Pleasing considering last season's disaster. A fairly easy run to victory - the highest placed team we played were Throttur who ended up 6th in the league. The final was a very one sided affair.
    Icelandic Upper League Cup: Winners
    We easily retained the trophy
    Icelandic Champions Cup
    Consummate victory over Keflavik
    European Champions Cup
    Fixture congestion led to a very uncompetitive performance against Rosenborg.

    Nationalities represented this season - 15: Norway, Brazil, Iceland, Denmark, Sierra Leone, Spain, The Gambia, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, Uruguay, Poland, Somalia, Ukraine, Faroe Islands

    Top Players;
    Tommy Runar, GK, NOR - signing of the season, was responsible for shoring up the defence no end. Finished with 37 matches played and 29 goals conceded and that included 5 in one match against Rosenborg. There were a total of 15 clean sheets and he averaged a rather unfair 6.82
    Cristiano, SC, BRA - 36 matches and 29 goals. Almost certainly player of the season. Attracting interest from across the globe. 8 assists and averaged 7.48.
    Marc Olsen, AML, DEN - we look so much better when he is in the side. Rivera is a decent replacement but Olsen strikes genuine fear into the opposition right back. 23 games, 3 goals, 10 assists, averaged 7.16
    Atli Thorarinsson, DC, ISL - very reliable in defence and scores goals to boot. 32 matches, 8 goals, averaged 7.26
    Arnar Sveinn Geirsson, AMR, ISL - great debut season for the 20 year old. 32 games, 9 goals, 5 assists, averaged 7.05

    Challenge Update;
    Two seasons have gone now and two seasons of consecutive success. After next season I could potentially be looking to move onto pastures new, but right now I needed to achieve this otherwise I will have quite a few more years at Valur yet, and board pressure is on to win trophies. I am quite easily in compliance with respect to transfers and nationalities. I made 11 transfers of which 9 were under 23. I have used 15 different nationalities. At the moment I have struggled with the 'former star' category. This is an aim for next year.

    2012 aims:
    1) Reclaim the league title.
    2) Put up more of a fight in Europe.
    3) Sign a former Valur player.

    History:
    2011 - Icelandic Premier League 1st, Icelandic Upper League Cup Winners
    2012 - Icelandic Premier League 3rd, Icelandic Cup Winners, Icelandic Upper League Cup Winners, Icelandic Champions Cup Winners
    Last edited by sebs; 18-02-2012 at 12:11.

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    Very nice! Note that I will also accept signing an internationally capped player from your league's nation who plays abroad as a former star. You know the type, left the home league in his prime for glory abroad and is looking for a club at home to see out his career. (It's actually more of what I had in mind when I wrote that)

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    yeah i thought so. it's pretty difficult with iceland as the league is so poor and say, someone like ivar ingimarsson is retiring before he'd come back to iceland.

    (excuses, excuses...)

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    Pre-season and Upper League Cup 2012


    I had no nerves in the previous two seasons, but now my paranoia feels that we've gone backwards whilst all other sides have strengthened, that we'll get a couple of dodgy results in the cup and fall flat on our faces in the league and that all my stars will be wantaway. Cristiano is refusing to sign a new contract and has asked to move to a bigger club (I have already refused Fredrikstad's offer), my other two star strikers (Pirez and Munoz) have both been homesick in their time here, my defence appears to be getting weaker and just like last year, the fixtures are going to pile up again.

    Squad 2012
    Goalkeepers: Tommy Runnar 29 NOR, Sid Ahmed Kaoua 19 ALG, Haraldur Bjornsson 23 ISL
    Defenders: Halldor K Halldorsson 23 ISL, Emmanuel Mendy 21 ESP, Roberto Cortellini 30 ITA, Nicolai Jorgensen 32 DEN, Atli Thorarinsson 32 ISL, Dan Bennett 19 ENG, Luke McCullough 18 NIR, Vincenzo Mancini 19 ITA, Stefan Eggertsson 27 ISL
    Midfielders: Haukur Pall Sigurdsson 24 ISL, Runar Sigurjonsson 21 ISL, Mohamed Sesay 19 SLE, Gael Regades Rivera 21 ESP, Gudmundur Stein Hafsteinsson 22 ISL, Gudjon Lydsson 24 ISL, Andri Fannar Stefansson 20 ISL, Arnar Sveinn Geirsson 20 ISL, Marc Olsen 26 DEN, Jean Carlos Prado 19 PER
    Strikers: Ali Al-Gashamy 22 IRQ, Cristiano 30 BRA, Omar Koroma 22 GAM, Jhon Pirez 19 URU, Jefferson Munoz 21 ECU, Abdoulaye Sonko 18 SEN

    I make that 15 different nationalities, as you can see there have been numerous transfers. I will deal with the outs first - all are free transfers unless otherwise stated.

    Transferred Out
    Mattias Gudmundsson - retired
    Einar Marteinsson - IA
    Kolbeinn Karason - Afturelding
    Tomasz Mazurkiewicz - Thor
    Thomas Husby Saether - Kristiansund
    Edvard Ottharsson - IBV
    Christian Mouritsen - Mansfield
    Fannar Kolbeinsson - Berserkir
    Asgeir Magnusson - Afturelding
    Diarmuid O'Carroll - Aldershot
    Mustafe Ahmed - Afturelding
    Ellert Eiriksson - Season long loan to Leiknir R
    Magnus Thorsson - Season long loan to Grotta
    Ragnar Olason - no new contract
    Sindri Jenssen - IA
    Hordur Sveinsson - Ł16k to Trelleborgs
    Yann Nsaku - Season long loan to Njardvik

    In addition Sigurborn Hreidasson (semi-)retired and became my assistant manager and Olly Spivak retired and became a coach.

    Transferred In
    Roberto Cortellini - Experienced Italian Left Back (30)
    Femi Orenuga - Nigerian left winger, U-23
    Jannik Hansen - Danish right winger, U-23
    Casper Radza - Danish Goalkeeper, U-23
    Luke McCullough - Northern Irish central defender released by Man Utd, U-23
    Abdoulaye Sonko - Senegalese striker, U-23, bought for Ł16k from ASC Saloum
    Jean Carlos Prado - Peruvian midfielder, U-23, bought for Ł55k from Deportivo Municipal


    Upper League Cup
    This year we were drawn in group A which is the group full of Premier league teams, including all four of the top four last year - FH, Fram, IBV and us. This would provide some challenge. Alongside these teams were newly promoted Vikingur, last years finalists KR, Thor and Keflavik. I was also going to attempt a new formation - having played around with 4-5-1 and 4-2-4 for the last two years these were beginning to become stale and I felt teams had worked me out. The usual unrelenting friendly schedule got us warmed up (14 friendlies before the first upper league cup game).

    Vikingur H W 3-0 (Geirsson 2, og)
    KR A W 2-1 (Cristiano 2)
    Thor H X 1-1 (Thorarinsson)
    Fram A W 1-0 (Cristiano)
    FH H W 2-0 (Geirsson, Halldorsson)
    IBV A W 4-1 (Thorarinsson, Geirsson, Al-Gashamy, Munoz)
    Keflavik H W 3-1 (Al-Gashamy, Olsen, Thorarinsson)

    So we truly cruised through the group stage. We managed to batter the opposition so much that only two teams ended up qualifying from Group A - us and KR. Highlights included the steamrollering of IBV to make up for last year's cruel 3-2 defeat. We critically damaged their hopes of making the next round and Al-Gashamy scored FROM HIS OWN HALF. Al-Gashamy suddenly was coming to the party and started looking extremely dangerous towards the end of the group stage. Cristiano picked up a fractured arm at the start of the IBV match and Al-Gashamy and Munoz began to form a quite effective partnership.

    In the quarter final we drew IR at home. A first division team we should have easily seen off and we did - we smashed them 3-0 with very little trouble. At this stage there were only 3 premiership teams in the quarter final - by the semis there were only two - us and KR. We would play Selfoss, KR would play Nardovik. The Selfoss game was interesting - Marc Olsen scored a screamer to put us 1-0 up within 10 minutes, but within 5 minutes Selfoss had the ball in the back of the net to equalise... but it was ruled out for offside. Next they won a penalty on the stroke of halftime, but it was skied over the bar. We looked shakey. No need to worry - Gashamy scored again and then Thorarinsson scored a couple more to take his total for the tournament to 6... in the other game KR had won on penalties - it would be a repeat of last year's final.

    IR H W 3-0 (Thorarinsson, Al-Gashamy 2)
    Selfoss N W 4-0 (Olsen, Al-Gashamy, Thorarinsson 2)

    I'd like to suggest we struggled in the final. Olsen was injured pre-match and Prado was strechered off during the match but at that point we were already 1-0 up through Cristiano. After Olsen replacement Lydsson picked up an injury we switched formation to a defensive 4-2-4 trying to pick them off and they were obliterated. It finished 5-1 with Cristiano picking up his hatrick with a goal in injury time.

    KR N W 5-1 (Cristiano 3, Geirsson, Al-Gashamy)

    STAGE ONE COMPLETED

    My next step? I will continue with Valur for the time being, I have no plans to resign. My next destination is to try and get a job at a top Danish or Austrian team, with Sweden or Norway as back up. Neither of the last two have five or six slots so I would rather not go there. I have already been offered a job at Stabaek in the past so I know this could be an option.

    The next week I continued my annual residency at Laugardalsvollur with the Champions Cup game against FH. Despite their dismal performance in the Upper League Cup they were regarded as slight favourites for the match. As it turned out, we were dominant, and I won my seventh piece of silverware as Valur manager.

    FH N W 3-0 (Thorarinsson, Cristiano, Al-Gashamy)

    It may be useful noting here that FH's manager left during the winter to take the Iceland job. His Danish replacement has not made the best start!

    Again, within 3 days we have our first game of the league season, our third game of the season against KR!

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    holy crap i'm favourite for the juventus job...!

    (obviously i can't take it)

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    Holy wow Making fast work of things. Like I stated in the original post, you only have to attempt, since it is not always possible I didn't make it a de facto requirement. There's no real way of proving that you've tried (well, maybe screenshots and stuff) but the point of a challenge is to challenge you, the player, to follow the guidelines and so if you feel you've tried and are continuing to try, that's good enough by me.

    Might I suggest marking the Danish and Austrian leagues as favorites, so you receive news reports of sackings? Clearly if Juve wants you, there should be no reason for top clubs from those leagues to turn you down. Watching with great excitement to see where this goes next. How is whoever got the PSV job over you doing btw?

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    i don't think i ever realistically had a chance of the psv job. i've made denmark and austria favourites. randers if came up, but i decided to not even apply - i'm looking to go in slightly higher up to make my task easier and they had just been relegated - i would rather not even to have to consider promotion.

    ralf rangnick got the psv job. in his two years in charge he has twice finished third; groningen and az have been the champions so far. his job is currently stated to be "very insecure" - i may have a chance if this comes up. psv are also, obviously, a favourite, so i won't miss the boat on that one.

    i realise i'm making fast work of things right now - i'm expecting the next stage to be a lot slower!! iceland was a fairly easy league.

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    stage 2!


    left valur still on a 26 match unbeaten run

    EDIT: my contract doesn't start until october 6th! guess i'll be finishing the season here first!

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    Cool beans! Cant believe FC Groningen won the league 0_0

    Good luck at FC Kobenhavn!

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    Midseason Update 2012


    Icelandic Premier League
    An extremely confident start to the season. When all you have to moan about is a few draws where you should have won you know you are doing alright. The new formation is a lot more solid in defence yet seems to give us that extra bit of penetration that sees us win. I will give you all the results up until "the week of death"...

    KR H W 1-0 (Thorarinsson)
    Fylkir A W 1-0 (Prado)
    Fram H D 0-0
    Keflavik A W 3-1 (Stefansson, Lydsson, Geirsson)
    Vikingur O H X 1-1 (Al-Gashamy)
    Grindavik A W 3-0 (Halldorsson, Cristiano, Koroma)
    Thor H X 1-1 (Halldorsson)
    Throttur A W 2-1 (Olsen, Prado)
    IBV A X 1-1 (Halldorsson)
    Vikingur H W 2-0 (Cristiano, Geirsson)

    All this left us tied for points on the top with FH (but quite far behind on goal difference, we'd had no proper thrashings this season... but we'd only conceded 5 goals in 10 games!) and our last match of the first half of the season? FH.

    Icelandic Cup
    A couple of easy rounds to start us off...

    KV A W 2-0 (Geirsson, Cristiano)
    Haukur H W 5-0 (Al-Gashamy, Cristiano)

    The week of death
    So after the Vikingur game (Thursday 12th July) we'd be facing Keflavik in the cup (16th July) then Genk in the Europa League (19th July) followed by FH away in the top of the table clash in the league (22nd July) - 6 days and 3 crucial matches. I decided to play a scratch team against Keflavik and hope I could get away with it to give Genk (whom I considered oppenents beyond our level) a decent fight and try and make up for the Rosenborg game last year.

    The gamble looked to have backfired when we lost our first match of the season to Kelflavik (and the first game since I'd announced I'd be leaving for FC Kobenhavn next season)

    Keflavik H L 1-2 (Mancini)

    This however did leave us with a full strength side to face Genk. It was an extraordinary match. I set up in the usual formation but decided to sit back, see what they offered and try and break forward. My team for the game was extremely cosmopolitan. I had 8 nationalities on the pitch and 11 in the matchday squad, so this was the culmination of my time at Valur - I had realised the PSV way goal. 15 minutes in Al-Gashamy and Mendy exchanged passes on the right hand side of the field before Mendy whipped in a dangerous looking ball into the box - the ball came straight off one of their defenders and into the back of the net - 1-0. Almost immediately they rushed down the other end of the pitch and won a free kick through a foul by Olsen. Camus exchanged passes on the edge of the area before crashing it into the top corner - parity restored and suddenly I felt like we'd be up against it in this match. Three minutes later Runar pumps the ball upfield from a free kick deep into our half. Genk make a mess of clearing it and eventually the ball falls to Sigurdsson who starts a cracking passage of passes, culinating in Olsen charging at their defence, laying the ball off for Al-Gashamy on the edge of the area who sweetly, deftly currrrrrls it into the bottom corner!! 2-1. Then just past the half hour, and it's an Olsen corner... Halldorsson rises at the back post and heads it back across the goalmouth... it's another own goal! I'm in dreamworld, Genk look broken - they didn't expect this!

    Into the second half and I'm feeling nervous, like it's too good to be true. But Genk are actually broken. A long kick by Runar is headed on by Al-Gashamy and Cristiano is through one-on-one with their keeper - he doesn't miss these: 4-1. The last ten minutes we're cruising, but there's still time for one more. Subs combine as Stefansson plays a beautiful through ball to Pirez who smashes the ball home for his first ever goal for Valur. And what a time to score it! Yeah we're out of the cup - but the gamble has paid off! We've made one hell of an impact in Europe!

    Genk H W 5-1 (og, Al-Gashamy, og, Cristiano, Pirez)

    So in three days time we played FH. This time I wouldn't be skimping, I'd have to play some first teamers. We had some help through the fact they'd also played in the Champions League during the week but had a days extra rest. We set up almost precisely the same, but made a few adjustments. I again went defensive - a draw would be satisfactory here. In fact it got better than that. A game which looked to be petering into a draw was won in the last ten minutes. FH were pressing for a win but we won the ball and caught them short. A beaaautiful through ball by Lydsson was latched onto by Geirsson with just the keeper to beat - he slotted home, we won 1-0 and we went to the top of the league.

    FH A W 1-0 (Geirsson)

    Finally - the second leg against Genk:

    Genk A W 2-1 (Thorarinson, Cristiano)

    Cristiano netted the winner in the last minute. I would have taken a narrow loss - this was beyond my wildest dreams against a huge crowd. Next round - Israel's Maccabi Netanya. This appears easier than Genk - but I'm not counting my chickens, there's a long way to go.

    League Table:
    1. Valur +11 25
    2. FH +15 22
    3. Fram +9 19
    4. KR +3 19
    5. Vikingur O 0 15
    6. Keflavik -1 14
    7. Grindavik -9 12
    8. Throttur -3 11
    9. Vikingur -4 11
    10. Thor -5 11
    11. IBV -2 9
    12. Fylkir -14 5

    (yes, IBV in the relegation zone!! most random team in iceland!)

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    Oooo, European success, I like it!

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    beat macabbi netanya 3-2 on aggregate - panathinaikos in the next round (so probable exit). i am the team with the lowest coefficient left in the tournament.

    even more exciting considering who i'm joining in october - kobenhavn have been drawn against sheriff of moldova, so you'd be expecting them to progress.

    would have been an interesting conflict of interest if i'd drawn them!

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    Indeed it would have been, though in those shoes, i would show them they made the right decision in asking me for the job by smashing them into the ground if possible

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    On a side note, what is Kobenhaven's European pedigree been like since you started the game?

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    in 2010 they made the cl group stage - finished bottom
    in 2011 they made the cl first knockout stage and got knocked out decisively by roma
    this season they got knocked out in the cl qualifying rounds and have now made the europa league group stage - they've been drawn against cska moscow, metallist kharkiv and steaua bucharest

    it appears that their manager got the chop for finishing second in the league. cripes.

    we got knocked out by panathinaikos - needless to say they were a lot better than us!!

    end of season update and initial kobenhavn assessment should be later tonight - 7 games left in the season

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    Yikes, fickle chairman ahead... Unless theres another reason, like a string of bad results or financial mismanagement.

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