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[FM16] Kafra FC - All Youth in England


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A very similar group to last year - a strong German side, a tough Russian side, and a team we really should be beating twice. Last year, we ended up finishing 3rd, but also last year's group was tougher. I really think we should be seeing the 2nd Round this year. We overcame Celtic easily in the Qualifying.

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Well done!

Thanks! And thank you for always commenting :)

Benfica always have a great squad in my saves, so good luck haha.

Hoping for a good youth intake this year! Time to get another worldbeater I would say.

I really hope I get a good one - we've had a couple of good prospects come through in Ken Duncan and Jackie Neill, but I really need some defensive or winger prospects!

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Despite a sensational effort from Robertson and Friar, we could not put Benfica away and the match went to penalties. We were on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline, with Robertson - otherwise our hero in the match having scored a brace - missing the first shot.

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SEASON REVIEW 2051/52

KAFRA: For the second time in Kafra’s history, we managed to finish in 2nd Place in the Premier League, beating out Arsenal on the last Matchday and Stoke for one of the three Champions League spots. Our defense was the difference-maker – when you finish as the 2nd Best defensive team in the league, to go along with being the 3rd best offensive team, then you will find yourself somewhere near the top of the table. Manchester City, the champions, were uncatchable, and they are just on a different level after signing Ilja Maslov from Marseille, so there is no shame in finishing second to them. I loved what I saw from the team in general this season – we were solid at every position, including GK, where Joseph finally gave me a season where I felt I could trust him in goal as opposed to fearing how he was going to mess up. The defensive line was much improved, and I have to give credit to the fullbacks – Isasi took his game to a whole new level, while Johnson was impressive in his first season as a starter. Offensively, it was the same old story – Hunter delivers, Robertson scores, but this time around, we had a couple of new elements. Daniel Friar was an offensive force like never before, and striker turned left winger Jackie Neill was able to give us a threat down the left wing that we were inevitably losing with Miller’s decline due to age. All of those factors combined led to a fantastic Premier League finish – in the Capital One Cup, we were knocked out in the Quarter-Finals by Man City, and in the FA Cup we were 3rd Round casualties, falling in Man United. In the Champions League, we managed to top Group A and advance to the Second Round, where we met 2051 Finalists Benfica – that is where our road ended, as they were the better team over two legs. Overall, despite the European disappointment, this was a successful season by any stretch – the only concern now is that our most talented players have either passed 30 or approaching it, and for the most part, there isn’t the talent to replace them.

PREMIER LEAGUE: It wasn’t even close – in fact, Manchester City retained their title after going an unbelievable 25 points clear of 2nd placed Kafra. Their £31.5m signing from Marseille – striker Ilja Malkov – was an absolute terror once he combined with George Bong, and they won the Players’ Player of the Year and the Footballer of the Year, respectively. Man City had amazing talent at every position, including Golden Glove winner Jonathan Zuniga, and despite an aging core of Marvin John, Nico Peeters, and Jimmy Janssen – all of whom gave the club good seasons – there was no stopping them. Kafra finished in 2nd Place thanks to the play of their illustrious striker (John Robertson), legendary winger (Stephen Hunter), and the new Golden Boy of English football – and Young Player of the Year for the second year – Daniel Friar. Kafra beat our Arsenal (3rd) on the final matchday – the London club doesn’t have the names it did last decade, but they did have Miguel Morales. The Spanish left winger led the league in with 22 Assists, and is already on his way to becoming an Arsenal legend just three years after joining the club. Stoke (4th) just missed out on a Champions League spot – the club finished in 2nd Place during the 2045/46 season, but since then, this year’s finish was their highest. Their best player was Daniel Ildefonso – this was the fourth consecutive season that the Portuguese winger had registered 10+ Assists, and his 7.80 AR this season was a career-high. Stoke also had Dean Pond, a Kafra Youth Academy product, who was their leading goalscorer with 19 Goals.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: An All-German Finals in Milan pitted Wolfsburg – the newly crowned Bundesliga champions who were participating in their 3rd Champions League Finals but still looking for their first title – against Dortmund, the former Bundesliga champions who were looking for their 4th Champions League title and their first since 2041. Led by Best Player Cafezinho[/ur], who played in 12 Games and registered 2 Goals, 6 Assists, and 8.01 AR, and current World Golden Ball and World Footballer of the Year winner Nunes, Dortmund easily got past Wolfsburg 3-0, winning in dominating fashion. The losing Finalists, who were led by former Kafra player Dimitris Dakoutros and one of the highest valued players in the world in Diego Carrasco, would lose the in the Finals for the third time. AC Milan, who were again one of the favorites, fell short yet again – this time, it was to Wolfsburg in the Semi-Finals despite the outstanding play of Top Goalscorer Hakan Selcuk, who scored 13 Goals, and their legendary defender Francesco Puleo. Despite winning the Serie A title for a record 11th consecutive time, they only made the Finals once in that stretch, losing to Barcelona in 2050 – in fact, the last time they won the Champions League title was in 2007. Stuttgart, who lost to eventual champions Dortmund in the Semi-Finals, defeated Barcelona in the Quarter-Finals, with many saying the defeat effectively ended Barcelona’s era of domination, which resulted in an incredible 8 titles from the late 2030s till today. Defending champions Clermont Foot were disappointing, getting knocked out by AC Mila in the Second Round. Champions League Knockout Rounds - Champions League Past Winners

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GOALKEEPERS

Akil Joseph (2041), 27 Years Old: I’m beginning to have more trust in his – he has become England’s No.1 for the time being, and he seems to have cut down on the silly mistakes that have plagued him his entire career. We had the second best defensive record in the Premier League, and just like I criticized Joseph when we were not doing so well defensively, I have to give him props for the role he played in making that happen. He had a career-best 1.11 Con/90 in his 35 Games, tied his career-high of 8 Clean Sheets, and registered a career-best 7.01 AR – the numbers don’t lie, and this was Joseph’s finest season to date.

LEFT DEFENDERS

Gary Isasi (2043), 25 Years Old: It was a great season from the Kafra and England first choice left back, and he was rewarded by being named to his first Premier League Select team this season. He was outstanding in every way – in 31 Games, he registered 2 Goals, 3 PoMs, 7.09 TpG (6th in League), 2.45 DpG, and a career-high 7.41 AR. I would go as far as to say he is one of the most talented left backs in the world right now, and he certainly has the skill set to back it up. He did have a broken shoulder that ruled him out of a month of football, but otherwise, he has ensured that 30 years of suffering at the position before him is now just a distant memory – we went from having terrible players at the position to having one of the best in the world.

CENTRAL DEFENDERS

Tim Abel (2041), 27 Years Old – Career: He was part of the ’41 Youth Class with Joseph, and they both have been given England Caps in their career. Abel has been our steadiest performer in the backline over the past few years – he has registered 7.00+ AR for the past seven years. This year, he played in all 38 Games, registering 2 Assists, 3.50 TpG, 148 Key Headers (2nd in League), 611 Interceptions (Best in League), and a career-high 7.15 AR. He isn’t the most talented CD there, but his size (6’6) makes him impossible to compete with in the air. Obviously, the Kafra defensive line must be doing something right to be ranked as the second best defensive team in the league, and Abel has had a lot to do with that.

Nathaniel Weston (2044), 24 Years Old: All the starting four of the Kafra backline broke through to the first team in the early 2040s, and Weston might be the youngest and least talented of them. Honestly, he was never supposed to be a starter, but a bad move on my part in selling Nkumu to Arsenal has put him in this position for the last several years – the worst part is we have not had a single CD prospect come through that has proven they are good enough to replace him. This season, he played in 25 Games, registering 2 Assists, 3.31 TpG, and 7.00 AR – while his numbers are nothing to write home about, the team was the second best defensive outfit in the Premier League this season with Weston as a starter.

RIGHT DEFENDERS

Matthew Johnson (2043), 25 Years Old: He might have been given the chance to be a starter later in his career than most, but he certainly made the most of it by giving us his finest season thus far. In 30 Games, he registered 4.49 TpG, 1.63 DpG, and a career-high 7.12 AR, proving that he was capable of replacing Burton in the lineup and keeping up the same level of form. His presence in the starting lineup also coincided with the team playing their best defensive football ever, and Johnson has to take a small piece of credit in that. Part of the amazing ’43 Youth Class that also gave us perennial England internationals Gary Isasi and Billy Bailey, Johnson seems set to rise to the level of his star teammates.

Mikele Burton (2037), 30 Years Old – Career: Honestly, Burton’s relegation to a rotational role has more to do with Johnson’s talent that Burton’s form, and our longtime starter at the right back position did not take it so lightly. He complained about first team opportunities throughout the season – he played in only 18 Games, registering 4.98 TpG, 1.16 DpG, and 6.92 AR, which was the first time his AR has dropped below 7.00 in six years. He has played almost 500 Games for the club, and he will continue to be an important piece off the bench as he can cover both fullback positions equally well. I would not go as far as calling him a legend for the club, but he certainly does deserve a place in the club’s All-Time list.

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Matty York (2037), 31 Years Old – Career: This was potentially our vice-captain’s finest season ever – in 35 Games, he registered 4 Goals, 5 Assists, 1 PoM, 3.22 TpG, 77% Pass Ratio, and 7.36 AR. With Billy Bailey out nearly the entire season with leg injuries, York was the defacto starter alongside Medaglia, and he did not let us down in anyway. He probably will play less next season when Bailey returns in addition to his waning stamina, but the man rarely does a mistake when he is out on the pitch. The club legend has now played fifteen full seasons with the club, as he was part of the ’37 Youth Class alongside Mikele Burton. He is the second oldest player on the squad after captain Louis Miller, and you would hard-pressed to find a more influential voice in the Kafra locker room.

Luis Medaglia (2040), 28 Years Old - Career: The Costa Rican legend was, in a way, a bit of a disappointment this season. It was not that he played bad – in 29 Games, he registered 5 Assists, 3.23 TpG, 78% Pass Ratio, 1.39 DpG, and 7.12 AR – but given that York is now entering the last stage of his career and Bailey out almost the entire season, it was supposed to be Medaglia’s show. Instead, his form regressed from last season, and there were a few games he failed to impress. That being said, his overall form this season was fine, but for someone of his Vision and talent, you would have expected more. He is in the prime of his career, and it is not unreasonable to expect a 7.30+ AR from him at this point.

Billy Bailey (2043), 25 Years Old: A broken leg and a torn calf muscle ruled him out of all but 10 Games this season, as Bailey’s injuries were amongst the most serious I have faced in the entire extent of this career. His physical attributes have obviously taken a nose-dive – whether he will be able to recapture them, no one knows. He is an England international, and if he can recapture his previous form, there is no reason why he should not add to his Caps. The most important thing at this stage, however, is for him to get back onto the pitch and recapture his form.

LEFT WINGERS

Louis Miller (2034), 34 Years Old – Career: Eighteen seasons and counting – the club captain remains a vital part of this team even though he has begun handing over the torch to striker-turned-left winger Jackie Neill. His Physical attributes are fading fast, and his 34 years of age are definitely starting to show. It is not reasonable to think he can continue to start for us full-time past this season – in fact, my coaching staff are of the opinion that he is a liability in the starting eleven going forward. Of course, this is nothing new – he has been fighting the opinion that he is not of a good enough quality his entire career. This season, he played in 28 Games, registering 4 Goals, 4 Assists, 1.92 TpG, 1.25 DpG, and 7.07 AR, which was his lowest since the 2043/44 season. Without a doubt, one of the greatest Kafra players to have ever lived, and a beacon of everything I want in a player – hard work, humbleness, and the ability to continuously play above and beyond expectation.

RIGHT WINGERS

Stephen Hunter (2040), 29 Years Old – Career: For the fifth time in his storied career thus far, he was named the Kafra Player of the Year – the second year in a row he has won it. It just goes to show how vital he is to the team – there are two players that the team just plays different without – Hunter and Robertson. He has recuperated from his hamstring injuries two years ago, and delivered us one of his finest seasons yet – in 33 Games, he registered 5 Goals, 19 Assists (2nd in League), 7 PoMs, 1.97 TpG, 7.41 DpG (6th in League), 56% Shot Target, and 7.78 AR, the second highest of his career. It does not stop there, however – he has become not only one of our most valuable players, but arguably England’s as well. At £55m, his worth is amongst the highest in the world, and he has proven that he deserves every one bit of that praise.

ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

Daniel Friar (2045), 23 Years Old: One more year to go on his contract, and still he is unhappy. At least he didn’t skip any training sessions or games this season, though if he does not find happiness in the next six months, he could be heading somewhere else, and that would be heartbreaking. He was named to the Premier League Select for the first time this season – in 38 Games, he registered 14 Goals, 14 Assists, 8 PoMs, 2.16 TpG, 1.76 DpG, and 7.68 AR, enroute to winning his first call up to the Premier League Select team as well as his second Premier League Young Player of the Year award. He was exceptional throughout the season, and considering the coaching staff had concerns about his proneness to injuries when he first broke into the team, given that he played every game this year and has missed only three the past two years, I don’t think that is a concern. His contract, however, is – I really hope he comes around because he is the type of player that could compete for the club’s best ever player title when his career is all said and done.

FORWARDS

John Robertson (2038), 30 Years Old - Career: For three straight years before this, Robertson scored 30+ Goals – alas, he missed out on making it four straight by just two goals, having scored 28 Goals, good enough for 3rd Best in the League. The rest of his numbers were standard for what we have come to expect of him – 4 Assists, 6 PoMs, 75% Pass Ratio, 4.36 DpG, 56% Shot Target, and 7.59 AR. I have a feeling that starting next season, we might start seeing the ever so slight decline of Robertson, as we have now officially exited his three year peak of brilliance. It will be a long time still, however, where we will witness him relinquishing his role as our most important player, and at this point, there can be no argument who the greatest footballer in Kafra history is – hint: it’s the Scottish superstar.

HOT PROSPECTS

Bright Hagan (2048), 20 Years Old: After spending last year on loan with Everton, Hagan became the first choice off the bench at the CM position for the club after Bailey went down for the season – and he did not do a bad job. In fact, the half English, half Ghanaian midfielder played in 23 Games and earned himself a new, £21k per week contract – in those 23 Games, he registered 5.41 TpG, 80% Pass Ratio, and 6.94 AR. Obviously, he isn’t one much for offense, but with York past 30, Hagan could continue to play a vital role in the rotation going forward as we don’t have another CM prospect of his talent. Bright Hagan Training Levels

Ken Duncan (2049), 19 Years Old: He training as Kafra’s greatest ever’s No.2 continues to show results – in 23 Games, he scored a career-high 11 Goals and registered 3 Assists, 76% Pass Ratio, 4.88 DpG, 51% Shot Target, and 7.33 AR. His pace is there, his finishing is there, and his attacking instinct is now also there – Duncan looks to be Kafra’s finest prospect under the age of 21. The expectations of living up to Robertson when it is finally time to do so are incredibly high, but if Duncan continues to develop the way he is, we are looking at a future England international. Ken Duncan Training Levels

Eddie Lucas (2049), 19 Years Old: The verdict is still out on Lucas – for the second season in a row, he spent part of the year on loan at Preston, but this time around, he was one of their best players. He’s tall, so naturally he’s great in the air, and his defensive abilities have also improved, but his physical abilities are only going to be mediocre at best, and that is if they improve. I don’t think he will go on loan again, and he might get some chances in the first team come next season. Eddie Lucas Training Levels

Jackie Neill (2050), 18 Years Old: He’s good, but let’s be honest – he wasn’t going to see much playing time as a No.3 striker behind Duncan and Robertson, so I started re-training him as a left winger to hopefully replace Miller. It turned out to be a great move – not only was he Accomplished by the end of the season, but he had also earned himself a lot of playing time. In 25 Games, he registered 4 Goals, 3 Assists, 2 PoMs, 2.71 TpG, 75% Pass Ratio, 2.54 DpG, 55% Shot Target, and 7.15 AR, which are so impressive considering his age and him playing a position that was completely unfamiliar to him just a year ago. He can only play with his right foot, but hopefully that can be used as an advantage – all I know is, I loved what I saw from Neill down the left wing, and by this time next year, he will have transitioned into our full-time starter at the position. Jackie Neill Training Levels

George Watts (2051), 17 Years Old: With Funnell and Matthews not panning out the way we want, our great hope for a CD prospect of starting quality is Watts, and so far, he is doing alright. His improvements were on track, and he even managed to get a few games in – he wasn’t very impressive, but I would not expect him to be at this point. This coming season should tell us more about his potential and whether or not he will be able to challenge Abel and Weston for spot in the starting eleven in a few years time. George Watts Training Levels

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What I would give to go back to the glory days of the early 2040s – while Duncan and Neill might end up being great players, our last sure-fire World Class prospect was Daniel Friar in 2045. That is seven years and counting, as this has to rank amongst the weakest intakes we have had since becoming a Premier League club. We have one borderline decent prospect in Gough, who is naturally a DM – a position we do not play in my formation. Honestly, he looks like he has the right attributes for a fullback, so I might just re-train him as we don’t have any proper cover for both position if Burton goes down. Other than that, zilch – I highlighted Josh Achterberg because he is the first player I have received as a result of my affiliation with another club (FC Utrecht).

So John Robertson is 30 – Stephen Hunter will turn 30 this year, and players like Matty York, Luis Medaglia, and Tim Abel are all in the prime of their careers. Louis Miller can no longer be relied upon to be a full-time starter – not at age 34/35 – and the youngest full-time member of our starting lineup is Daniel Friar, who will turn 24 this season. For the first time since the inception of the club, we have a squad that currently has more aging talent than it does up and coming talent. Other than Friar, there is only Duncan and Neill to really be excited about when it comes to anyone under the age of 25, and that is obviously not enough to cover the names mentioned above. Still, this is looking more into the medium term future, because in the short term, we might be looking at our best chance to challenge for the title for the first time this season. If we can get good another set of great seasons from Robertson, Hunter, and Friar, and couple that with another season of outstanding defensive efforts, then we might be able to do it. The only problem is Man City – the defending champions have so much talent in their squad that unless they have an epic meltdown, it looks difficult to be able to keep up with them. After these next couple of years, as Robertson, Hunter, and York are in the midst of their career declines, I don’t know if we would have enough talent to really challenge any longer.

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We should have done better. This is our 4th Capital One Cup Semi-Finals, a competition we have one once. We will have a big task away to Arsenal, who are currently 2nd in the League.

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A little bit of context - In 2042/43, Bournemouth finished in 3rd Place in the Premier League, but since then their highest finish has been 6th while they have also finished in 14th Place twice. Last season, they had a 9th Place finish, so all in all, they have not been a terrible team, but they haven't been a good one either. Our Capital One Cup Finals matchup against them, despite a scary last twenty minutes, went well, and for the second time in our history, we lift the trophy!

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The defending Russian Premier Division champions (they have won it 2 out of the last 3 years), Spartak Moscow almost came away with in at home in London. We were down 3-1 (the result AFTER Joseph had saved a penalty, as well) before a late goal sent it into extra-time, and then substitute Ken Duncan finalized it for us. For the first time in our history, we advance to the Quarter-Finals of the Champions League, but the Russian champions gave us all we could handle.

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Champions League Quarter-Finals vs. Dortmund (First Leg Away): Dortmund are defending Champions League champions, having defeated Wolfsburg last year in the San Siro for their 4th ever CL title, and are also current the current Bundesliga leaders. They need no introduction, as they are one of the giants of European club football, and they currently have one of the most talented teams on the planet. Their GK is Argentina No.1 Dario Levi, who has been around for Dortmund's last two Bundesliga titles - he is also, of course, a CL winner. In comparison with Akil Joseph, I would put him a tier above. Their main weakness might be there full-back positions - our fullbacks are more talented, but unfortunately, Gary Isasi will miss this match and thus Mikele Burton will be starting in his place. The same can't be said for their CDs, however - Orestis Georgantonis is one of the finest CDs on the planet, and his comrade, Frans Poelmans, is a 25 year old Belgian who is valued at over £40m. Their right winger Cafezinho was last year's tournament's Best Player recipient, while left winger - Pole Dawid Smolinksi - leads the Bundesliga with 17 Assists thus far. We have talent on the wings, and Hunter might be of their standard, but Neill is still 19 years old and learning the ropes, as impressive as he has been. In the middle, the conversation starts with Germany and Dortmund legend, the 30 year old Peer Freiwald, who was shortlisted for the World Golden Ball award. Another weakness for Dortmund, however, might be 22 year old Colombian CM Walter Gamarra, who has not impressed this season since joining from Fluminense for £8m. Our two CMs - Bailey and Medaglia - should be able to compete in the middle of the pitch, despite neither one of them being anywhere close to as talented as Freiwald. Dortmund's primary strength lies up front, however - two time World Footballer of the Year and 2051 Golden Ball winner Nunes is easily one of the top strikers on the planet, and German Philip Heinloth, despite being 33 years old, has just registered his 4th straight season of scoring 20+ League Goals. Obviously, we have talent up front in Friar and Robertson, but its difficult to match that. Overall, Dortmund are the more complete and more talented team going into this Quarter-Finals matchup.

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Ouch, that was a tough one to take. Our away goal is pretty much meaningless after we conceded 4 goals - truth be told, we missed Gary Isasi as Mikele Burton was the worst player on the field. There was no stopping the 33 year old Heinloth, and now we have a basically impossible task in London trying to turn this thing around.

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just started reading this thread already on page two but loving it so far gonna read it all today. just started a save with my nearest non league side (alfreton town) but haven't got the bottle to replicate this!!!

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A cup and progress in the CL, looking like a mighty season.

We might be out of the CL, but we are challenging for the Premier League title!

just started reading this thread already on page two but loving it so far gonna read it all today. just started a save with my nearest non league side (alfreton town) but haven't got the bottle to replicate this!!!

Thank you for the kind comments! I hope you enjoy the rest of the save thus far!

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We won Bournemouth but lost to Manchester United - now, we are left with a home game against Chelsea, while Arsenal have a home match against Tottenham. The odds say we have missed out on our first title with the loss to Man Utd, but if we can get a win and Tottenham can just hold Arsenal to a draw....we can dream!

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Massive! Congrats mate, I've been lurking on this thread for some time and that's the achievement to get me posting :)

Thank you! And I'm happy you left a comment - I hope you enjoy the next few months of this save, and please comment whenever you feel like!

Bet Spurs are ******* themselves laughing, denying Arsenal the title on GOALS SCORED :lol:

LOL - that is exactly what I was thinking. I think they played in overdrive to deny Arsenal the title - it wasn't even on Goal Difference, it was Goals Scored like you mentioned, haha!

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Holy hell, what a way to win the title! :eek:

Lol, tell me about it. I kept watching the updates on the other game after the second goal went in - the most nervous two minutes of my life!

Great stuff and the Spurs factor makes it even better, Well done.:applause:

Thanks! 38 years from Vanarama South to Premier League title doing all youth in England. Now for the Champions League...

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Congrats!! Been lurking this thread for quite some time, great to see you win the league! :D

Thank you for the comment! Yes, its a great feeling to win the league having taken the long route to it!

Somewhere Shane forde is sitting with a beer in hand and a tear in his eye.

LOL - what a club legend. I imagine that somewhere, that is exactly what he is doing!

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Congrats!! Been lurking this thread for quite some time, great to see you win the league! :D

Thank you for the comment! Yes, its a great feeling to win the league having taken the long route to it!

Somewhere Shane forde is sitting with a beer in hand and a tear in his eye.

LOL - what a club legend. I imagine that somewhere, that is exactly what he is doing!

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I want to imagine Robertson giving an interview where he says it was worth the wait and one title with Kafra was worth more than 10 with any of the Manchester clubs, Arsenal or whoever.

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I want to imagine Robertson giving an interview where he says it was worth the wait and one title with Kafra was worth more than 10 with any of the Manchester clubs, Arsenal or whoever.

LOL - I could totally imagine him doing that with a cigar in his mouth. There was a couple of times where it looked like he would leave us, but he stuck it through!

Congratulations man! Amazing safe with great results! Really inspiring to see that this can be achieved.

Now lets get that CL title :p

Thank you so much. Now its all about building some PL history and trying to get the CL title!

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SEASON REVIEW 2052/53

KAFRA: It took us 38 years to get from the Vanarama South up to lifting the Premier League trophy, which we did on the last Matchday thanks to Goals Scored (not even Difference!) Manchester City, for whatever reason, did not play up to their potential, and Arsenal couldn’t deliver a victory at home against Spurs (ha!) and so the title went to Kafra for the very first time in the club’s history. It happened despite the squad taking a step back defensively this season (from 2nd Best to 6th Best), and we were the 2nd Best offensive team in the Premier League behind Man City, so we were not the finest at any one thing – except for heart, perhaps. Our GK Akil Joseph finally got to the point where I felt I could trust him, and our defensive line played well enough for us to win the title, so I have no complaints there. Our most talented defenders remain our full-backs, with left-back Gary Isasi developing into a world-class player at this point. Our midfield was solid, and the return to form of Bailey, after last season’s injuries, was a definite plus. Jackie Neill took on full responsibility of starting at the left wing position from Louis Miller during the Kafra legend’s final season with us, and played better than anyone could have expected. Stephen Hunter and Robertson both gave us the same brilliant form, with the latter having his best season ever enroute to the title. Daniel Friar was drama upon drama, but the day after we won the title, all was forgotten and he signed his new (and very rich) new contract. Overall, in the Premier League, we obviously could have asked for nothing more, but we also won the Capital One Cup for the second time in the club’s history – two Wembley Finals, two titles! We defeated Arsenal in the Semi-Finals before defeating Bournemouth in the Finals, winning the first of the two titles that we would be crowned with this season. In the FA Cup, we were 5th Round casualties to Arsenal – whom we have now developed a Fierce Rivalry with according to my club information page – but we can be proud of our Quarter-Finals exit in the Champions League. This was our third consecutive year in the Champions League, and it was third consecutive year we improved on the prior one. We had a lucky draw in the Second Round with Spartak Moscow, although the Russian champions did not make things easy for us, before we crashed out against defending champions Dortmund. This was the type of season that reminds you why you play FM and why you end up caring so much about your fake players – this is what the romantic side of FM is all about!

PREMIER LEAGUE: What a difference a year makes – last year, Man City ran away with the title by a margin of 25 points, but this year, the title could not even be decided by GD, with it going to Goals Scored instead! Kafra finally did it, after finishing in 2nd Place 2050 and 2052, beating out Arsenal thanks to their superior firepower in front of the goal. Arsenal missed out on their first title since 2037, although this was their best finish since 2045. Man City (3rd), who were the perennial favorites and defending champions, underachieved and finished behind Kafra and Arsenal despite an absolutely historic season from George Bong, who won the Footballer of the Year, and 24 year old German winger Peer Kuhne, who joined on Free Transfer this year and won the Player’s Player of the Year award. Arsenal were led by the brilliance of Spanish winger Miguel Morales, who again was the club’s most influential player and one of the finest in the PL. He was joined by 25 year old Spanish compatriot Juan Francisco, who was bought for £30m from Bournemouth at the beginning of the season and looked every bit the bargain. Liverpool surprised a few people by grabbing the last Champions League spot, ahead of the likes of Manchester United – who were champions as recently as 2051 – and Bournemouth.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: For the first time in their history, Paris Saint-Germain, perhaps the biggest club never to have won the Champions League title, put away that distinction, defeating Man City at Wembley 1-0 with a goal from one of their greatest players of all-time, Swiis legend Bernhard Benoit. In truth, they were the best team throughout the tournament this year – the Top Goalscorer was their striker Gabriel Silva with 11 Goals, and the Best Player was their Israeli winger Dudu Levi. Man City’s George Bong, who had one of the greatest individual seasons any player has ever had without winning a title, led his team to their 13th Finals, of which they have won 5 of them. PSG defeated the defending champions Dortmund in the Semi-Finals, while Man City ended the cinderella run of Austria Wien. Champions League Knockout Rounds - Champions League Past Winners

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GOALKEEPERS

Akil Joseph (2041), 28 Years Old – Career: Statistically, he had a better season last year, but that’s not what’s important – I can admit that he has come a long way in earning my trust. A few seasons ago, I was yearning for George Kelledy and the confidence he gave me between the posts, and although Joseph is not quite there yet, we just won a Premier League title with him as our No.1. There were a few games where he was just outstanding – he should have won himself two or three PoMs this season were it not for other outstanding performers during those specific games. He played in all 38 Games, registering an acceptable 1.29 Con/90, along with 7 Clean Sheets and 6.96 AR. He has also become England’s No.1, and right now, he has probably become one of the higher valued GKs around the world.

LEFT DEFENDERS

Gary Isasi (2043), 26 Years Old: His form regressed from last season, but he still delivered a solid year for us – 32 Games, 2 Assists, 6.25 TpG (8th in League), 74% Pass Ratio, 1.66 DpG, and 7.18 AR. A knee cap injury in January ruled him out for a month, and he never recaptured his form after that – hopefully, with a summer of rest and a pre-season to get some training under his belt, he will be able to give us a season that resembles his 2051/52 season. Nevertheless, his £30m value makes his one of the highest rated left backs in the world, and he is just now entering the prime of his career. He is our most talented player in our defensive line, and he is crucial to our title defense next year. He definitely has become one of our most important players.

CENTRAL DEFENDERS

Tim Abel (2041), 28 Years Old – Career: There can’t be too much wrong with our two CDs if we finished as the 2nd and 6th best defensive team in the league in consecutive seasons, respectively, and won a Premier League title as well! Abel completed his 12th full season with the club, eleven of which he has been a starter. It was a typical season from him – 36 Games, 3.26 TpG, amongst the league leaders in Key Headers, Key Tackles, and Interceptions, and a 7.07 AR. He has never been considered one of the top CDs in the league and that is unlikely to change, but 6’6 giant has been consistent and solid for a number of years now, and really, that is all I ask for from him.

Nathaniel Weston (2044), 25 Years Old: My coaching staff seem to think that Weston is more talented than Abel, although when compare the two’s statistics and forms, it still points to Abel being better. Nevertheless, Weston gave us his best season this year, and was an important contributor towards Kafra’s first ever Premier League title – 36 Games, 3 Goals, 2 Assists, 2 PoMs, 3.94 TpG, and a career-high 7.05 AR. His ability in the air caused problems both on defense and on offense, and he has become a focal member of the team. An England international – even though his call-ups are inconsistent – I am waiting to see if he can continue his improvement and get his form to around a 7.20 AR. If that happens, consider me impressed.

RIGHT DEFENDERS

Matthew Johnson (2043), 26 Years Old: At this point, I think it’s a crime that he has not been recalled to the England national team. Although the team as a whole was worse off defensively this season, Johnson’s play down the right wing was an important piece to our successful title challenge. In 37 Games, he registered 3 Assists, 5.34 TpG, 74% Pass Ratio, 2.00 DpG, and 7.29 AR, making him our most in-form defensive player this season. He has successfully and seamlessly replaced Burton in the starting lineup, and he is a lot more talented than his predecessor. He has become one of my favorite players on the squad – I love his work rate and I love his skill set. After going through so many issues at our full-back positions during the club’s formative years, it is such a relief to have two great players starting for us now.

Mikele Burton (2037), 31 Years Old – Career: I really expected to give Burton more playing time, but the way Johnson performed this season, I was forced to have him sit on the pine more than expected. He is now entering the twilight of his career, but he joins the aging core of this team that can now claim a Premier League title and say that in 2053, there was no better team in England than them.

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Matty York (2037), 32 Years Old – Career: I would not say York was relegated to the bench this year, but when Bailey and Medaglia were available, they usually got the start ahead of our aging vice-captain and club legend. That being said, he still gave us a good season, as per usual – 25 Games, 1 Goal, 3 Assists, 1 PoM, 3.04 TpG, 76% Pass Ratio, 1.01 DpG, and 7.21 AR. His skills are still very similar to what they were two years ago, but his days as an automatic starter are over – there is no shame in that, however, as he will turn 33 next season and is still a contributor to the squad. What a career he has had, too – 16 years as a starter for the club, 522 League Appearances, and a 7.19 AR over the course of his career is not bad at all. He still has a couple more years in him, too – he will most likely replicate the path Louis Miller took.

Luis Medaglia (2040), 29 Years Old - Career: He is the undisputed leader in the center of the pitch for us, and despite not being and offensive weapon many had hoped he would develop into earlier in his career, his influence cannot be overstated. In 34 Games, he registered 5 Assists, 4.67 TpG, 78% Pass Ratio, and a career-high 7.32 AR, controlling the middle of the pitch most games against more well-known and higher valued players. I consider him the team’s engine, and it does not run as smooth when he is not playing – he is a key cog in our quest to retain the Premier League title next season. Considering his contributions to the club over the years, there are some that argue that he might be the greatest CM the club has ever had, beating out York for that honor.

Billy Bailey (2043), 26 Years Old: After the injuries of last season, there was a real fear that he would lose some of his abilities on the pitch – while his physical abilities and speed have not recovered to his pre-broken leg days, Bailey gave us his greatest season yet and removed any doubt about lost abilities. This, however, was when he did play – unfortunately for him, he had to deal with another serious injury, this time being knee ligaments, and he missed another three months this season, as well. In the 24 Games he did play, however, he was an absolute beast – 4 Goals, 3 Assists, 5.13 TpG, 79% Pass Ratio, and a career-high 7.41 AR. If he had played around 30 Games this season, he would have easily been named in the Premier League Select – he was that good. I really hope he can put these injuries behind and give us this form over the course of a full season – with York approaching his mid-30s and with the club having no real star talent at the position behind Bailey and Medaglia, we need him next season more than ever.

Bright Hagan (2048), 21 Years Old: With York and Bailey both back in the rotation, Hagan saw his playing time decrease almost by half this season as compared to last. Still, he displayed almost the same level of form – in 12 Games, he registered 3.28 TpG, 75% Pass Ratio, and 6.92 AR. He’s not as talented as any of the three CM, and hasn’t shown much improvement over the past couple of years, but he seems to be reliable enough when he is called upon.

LEFT WINGERS

Louis Miller (2034), 35 Years Old – Career: A glorious finish to an unbelievable career – a Premier League title in his last game as a footballer. He is going out at the right time, as this was truly the year age caught up to him. His speed and physical abilities took a sharp decline, and he did not show the type of threat down the left wing at all that he previously did in his 18 past seasons he has spent at the club. In 19 Games, he scored just 1 Goal and registered 6.84 AR – the first time that number has dropped below 7.00 AR in 18 years! What a career – 642 Games, 112 Goals, 124 Assists, 7.20 AR, and a Premier League title to boot. At this point, you can only put Robertson, Hunter, and perhaps Forde as greater players for the club in its history – whatever the case, he is definitely top five greatest of all-time for us. His incredible work ethic, his attitude, and his ability to rise above what many considered his limits to have a glorious Premier League career will be sorely missed. Our former captain, we bid adieu and hopefully he will continue a great career as he wishes to be a HoYD now.

RIGHT WINGERS

Stephen Hunter (2040), 30 Years Old – Career: The scorer of our last goal of the season – the one that ultimately won us our first Premier League title – he again had another sensational season for us down the right wing. In 30 Games, he registered 10 Goals, 18 Assists, 2 PoMs, 1.41 TpG, 5.82 DpG, 64% Shot Target, and 7.60 AR. Statistically, it wasn’t his best season ever but it was definitely his second or third, and most importantly, his contributions were a vital part of the squad that won the 2053 Premier League title. He just turned 30, so it’s a good thing the Youth Academy churned out Nathan Dawson for us this year – the youngster will have the opportunity to learn from one of the best right wingers in the world currently.

ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

Daniel Friar (2045), 24 Years Old – Career: It has been a rough few years between myself and Daniel Friar – I struggled to get him to sign his first contract, and when he did, he almost immediately wanted to move and it got to a point where he started missing trainings and games! His contract was up at the end of this season, and throughout the year, I was constantly trying to get him sign, but he thought the club was too small for his ambitions. I thought I would definitely lose him during the January transfer, but oddly enough, despite interest from the biggest clubs, nobody offered him a contract. Right at the end of the season – a day after we won the Premier League title – I again opened up talks to him, and FINALLY he allowed me to give him an offer. It was the richest was in club history – worth £106m overall, £375k per week for five years – but we are very under budget and can afford to give such a contract to keep what is our most gifted player. The last three seasons, he has truly made the leap to global superstar – he was named to the Premier League Select for the second consecutive season, was named the PL Young Player of the Year for a record third time, and was shortlisted for the World Golden Ball award. In 31 Games (he missed the last month due to injury), he registered 10 Goals, 15 Assists, 7 PoMs, 2.17 TpG, 2.04 DpG, 205 Key Passes (2nd in League), and 7.82 AR (9th in League) – exceptional numbers anyway you look at it. Now that all the drama is behind us, maybe he can play good enough to push for that rare 8.00+ AR form, because he certainly has the potential.

FORWARDS

John Robertson (2038), 31 Years Old - Career: This was without a doubt the finest season the greatest player in Kafra history has had in his career. Let’s start with the numbers: 35 Games, 37 Goals (Best in League), 13 Assists, 10 PoMs, 65% Shot Target, and 7.86 AR – all except the Goals were career-highs. The accolades: PL Top Goalscorer for the third time, PL Select Team for the third time, Kafra Player of the Year for the third time, and a Premier League title to boot. Also, last summer, he led Scotland to the Second Round of the Euro 2052 tournament, losing in extra time to hosts Switzerland. Overall, the Premier League title would not have been possible without him, and I am so glad that he and the rest of the boys from his generation can claim a title to their legacy – they truly deserve it. I think it is going to be a long time before we find ourselves a striker who will be as influential as Robertson has been to the club – there is no doubt, no one better has ever put on the Kafra jersey in the history of the club.

HOT PROSPECTS

Ken Duncan (2049), 19 Years Old: His form took a turn for worse this season, as Robertson delivered a career year and thus didn’t allow Duncan the chances of last season. Still, even though his goalscoring numbers were low, he did not do bad – 25 Games, 5 Goals, 7 Assists, 5.90 DpG, 65% Shot Target, and 7.06 AR. What bothers me about Duncan is his general lack of improvement in the attributes that matter for his position – his growth has been almost stagnant the past few years. He is strong, he is quick, and he has good finishing and attacking instincts – he might never be Robertson, but he is the closest thing to him we have currently. Ken Duncan Training Levels

Eddie Lucas (2049), 20 Years Old: I think we have reached the peak of Lucas’ development, and unfortunately, it does not look like he is good enough to crack our rotation at the CD position. For a while, it seemed like he might improve enough for that to happen, but it stagnated this season and he is now considered no more than a League 1 CD by our coaching staff. Add him to the growing list of prospect CDs over the past few years that have not panned out – Stuart Matthews, Lee Funnell, and now Eddie Lucas. Eddie Lucas Training Levels

Ricardo Thompson (2049), 20 Years Old: With no real left wing prospects and Miller now having retired, I have retrained Jackie Neill and now Ricardo Thompson – both natural strikers and right footed players – to play down the left wing. Neill adapted a lot quicker, however, and despite a full season of training, Thompson is still awkward at the position. He had a couple of good years in Scotland, and he made 10 appearances this season for us, registering 6.75 AR. He will be judged on how well he can perform down the left wing going forward, however. Ricardo Thompson Training Levels

Jackie Neill (2050), 19 Years Old: My, oh my – I never thought Neill would respond so well and so quickly to playing down the left wing. He became our full-time starter – and youngest – down the left wing this season, and the position now becomes all his now that Miller has retired. In 35 Games, he registered 15 Goals, 7 Assists, 2.00 TpG, 2.42 DpG, 51% Shot Target, and 7.20 AR. Obviously, his striker instincts helped a lot considering the number of goals he scored for his team, but his general form and showing up for big games was what impressed the most. We have a definite prospect on our hands, one that could potential score 20+ Goals from the wing! Jackie Neill Training Levels

George Watts (2051), 18 Years Old: None of the CD prospects over the past few years have panned out, so the hope is that Watts can break that trend. He looks the part – great defensive instincts and his physical attributes are getting better – and his form was quite acceptable: 11 Games, 1 Goal, 4.83 TpG, and 6.93 AR. He is already an England U21 international, and he has shown a good work rate so his attributes have improved consistently across the board. I am cautiously hopeful that he can be the missing CD link we have been looking for. George Watts Training Levels

Aidan Gough (2052), 17 Years Old: Nothing to write home about here – his talents are more suited for a full-back even though he is naturally a CM, but there was not much development at all in that regard this season. He is young, but even my coaching staff seem to be a bit down on him, giving him only a 3.5/5 PA and rank him currently good enough only for the Vanarama National level. Aidan Gough Training Levels

YOUTH INTAKE

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Given the potential of Nathan Dawson, I am happy with how this Intake turned out. Stephen Hunter is still in the prime of his career, but Dawson’s arrival to the first team comes at a perfect timing – he can be tutored by Hunter and eased into the rotation without the pressure of needing him to perform. Also, I will not need to retrain anyone (as I am doing with Neill and Thompson) to cover the absence of Hunter once he inevitably gets into retirement age. It is also encouraging that my staff seem to rate him so highly – 5/5 PA – so hopefully we will have the chance to develop him into something special. I quietly think he might be our best prospect since the ’45 Youth Intake, when we got Daniel Friar. The rest of the Intake was as normal – no real potential, although Atkins kind of intrigues me a little bit.

2053/54 PRESEASON REPORT

The team has now reached new heights, but they say winning the PL is the easy part – the hard part is retaining it. The top teams have restocked their talent, and Man City surely will not have two underachieving seasons in a row – the talent that is amassed in that team is unbelievable. Man United have too much talent not to perform better, as well, so we definitely have a mountain to climb here. Meanwhile, the core of our team is getting older – Robertson, York, Medaglia, Hunter will all be past 30 by the time the season ends, while Joseph and Abel are closing in on that magic number. Louis Miller has now officially retired, as well – the worrying thing is, the incoming talent is just not as good. Our last true great prospect was in 2045 (Daniel Friar), and he is the youngest of the second half of this golden generation (Friar, Isasi, Johnson, Bailey) – after that, our best prospects are Neill, Duncan, and perhaps Watts. We need more talent out of the Youth Academy, and it has given us some real duds the past few years (Funnell, Matthews, Gough, Withington) as top prospects in the Intakes. That being said, this core still has a couple of years of top level football in them, so in the short term, we should at least prepare ourselves for a title defense that might be improbable, but not impossible.

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Dawson has everything needed to make a great winger, going to be interesting to see how he develops.

Any outgoing transfers? How are the old Kafra players doing?

Yes, I am excited about Dawson's potential. He looks like the real deal.

There have been a few, but none really of note. I got £30m for Dean Pond a few years back, and I sold backup right winger Geraint Ward this past summer. Otherwise, there has not been any real outgoing transfers - I have been able to hold on to my stars!

The Golden Age players have started retiring - Marvin John retired, Phil Gwinnett left Liverpool and joined Arsenal at the tail end of his career, and Dimitris Dakoutros is still with Wolfsburg but is now 33/34 years old. Courtney Hendon is still with Man Utd but hasn't been relevant for a few seasons now. If you need any screenshots, let me know!

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Champions League 2nd Round vs. Clermont Foot: Bought by tycoon Grega Stojanov in 2032, the French club quickly rose to become perhaps the top team in France over the past 10-15 years. They are the current defending Ligue 1 champions, with their latest title having been the 5th time their history and the past 10 years. They also won the Champions League title in their only appearance in the Finals in 2051, defeating Benfica, but have not managed to move past the Second Round since then. Stojanov sold the team in 2049 to a consortium, but the team is still as talented as ever. At GK is Spain's No.1 Juan Francisco, although there are more talented GKs out there and Akil Joseph is definitely a match for him. Their RB, Claudio, is very talented, but the rest of their defensive line is nothing to write home about - definitely not their strength. Their midfield is led by Algeria legend Mohammed Bouras, who has been with the club since 2039 and is a legend for them. Their true talent, however, lays up front - Adilson, a Brazilian who was naturalized by Japan[/b], is the highest valued player in the world, while Nikolay Bezlikhotnov, is an aging but legendary Russian striker who has been a core member of the Golden Age of Clermont football. Finally, there is Cameroonian striker Dominique Dipoko, who - in my opinion - might be the greatest striker in the game today. Their strength is definitely in their front line, but their back-line, while solid, looks like it could potentially be exposed.

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