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FM21 Realism Thread


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Cheers guys.

First and foremost, many thanks to @Daveincid and @majesticeternity for your incredible work and contribution to the community.

 

I play the FM series for maybe about 16 years now and for the past 6-8 years always tried to get the most realistic experience possible, adhering to the LLM rules (usually with my own little tweaks) and now I'm eager to try your realism packs. I believe they will enrich my experience even further.

 

As per usual, I start my career unemployed with a dummy manager and try to simulate maybe the first two, three seasons, just to mix things up a bit first before actually engaging into the football world myself. I created my manager with no badges and sunday league experience, as always, and let him go on vacation. Apart from the realism mods I also loaded league extension mods for Germany (enabled down to level 5) and Italy (also enabled down to level 5) as I envision to ultimately take control in either of those two league systems. 

Now, what I noticed is that there is a new feature (at least compared to FM19, the last iteration I played) which gives you suggestions which open manager positions you can apply for as you have good chances of being accepted, apparently. Neat. However, to my great confusion it seems to suggest teams like Bursaspor, which are in the 2nd Turkish division and a former Superlig champion. Definitely a team that should not in a hundred years consider me as their new manager, given that I have the least experience and worst attributes on the job market, not to mention no knowledge of the language. 

But not just that, I also get job interview invitations from teams in Italy's 4th division, even though there is a whole division below that I expected to have to work my way through first. 

 

Has anyone made any similar experiences? In previous games, setting the game up as explained above always guaranteed that only the lowest league clubs were interested in you and only after some success, acquiring coaches badges, etc. did you get a chance to climb the career ladder. 

Is this some sort of reputation issue with the loaded leagues? Or is FM21 just not that LLM friendly anymore? Or are potentially any of the mods messing with the reputation or process of being offered a job? (I doubt it)

On a side note, the teams from the 4th division mention that they feel I would be "an acceptable choice for their somewhat scaled down vision for the future". Could this be an explanation? Maybe the game is struggling to find enough Italian managers that fit the criteria so the human manager gets offered the job due to high demand even though he isn't up to the standards?

 

Happy to hear your thoughts on this and any suggestions on how I could make it harder for myself (other than just ignoring it and pretending they are not interested).

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1 minute ago, GiovaneElber said:

Cheers guys.

First and foremost, many thanks to @Daveincid and @majesticeternity for your incredible work and contribution to the community.

 

I play the FM series for maybe about 16 years now and for the past 6-8 years always tried to get the most realistic experience possible, adhering to the LLM rules (usually with my own little tweaks) and now I'm eager to try your realism packs. I believe they will enrich my experience even further.

 

As per usual, I start my career unemployed with a dummy manager and try to simulate maybe the first two, three seasons, just to mix things up a bit first before actually engaging into the football world myself. I created my manager with no badges and sunday league experience, as always, and let him go on vacation. Apart from the realism mods I also loaded league extension mods for Germany (enabled down to level 5) and Italy (also enabled down to level 5) as I envision to ultimately take control in either of those two league systems. 

Now, what I noticed is that there is a new feature (at least compared to FM19, the last iteration I played) which gives you suggestions which open manager positions you can apply for as you have good chances of being accepted, apparently. Neat. However, to my great confusion it seems to suggest teams like Bursaspor, which are in the 2nd Turkish division and a former Superlig champion. Definitely a team that should not in a hundred years consider me as their new manager, given that I have the least experience and worst attributes on the job market, not to mention no knowledge of the language. 

But not just that, I also get job interview invitations from teams in Italy's 4th division, even though there is a whole division below that I expected to have to work my way through first. 

 

Has anyone made any similar experiences? In previous games, setting the game up as explained above always guaranteed that only the lowest league clubs were interested in you and only after some success, acquiring coaches badges, etc. did you get a chance to climb the career ladder. 

Is this some sort of reputation issue with the loaded leagues? Or is FM21 just not that LLM friendly anymore? Or are potentially any of the mods messing with the reputation or process of being offered a job? (I doubt it)

On a side note, the teams from the 4th division mention that they feel I would be "an acceptable choice for their somewhat scaled down vision for the future". Could this be an explanation? Maybe the game is struggling to find enough Italian managers that fit the criteria so the human manager gets offered the job due to high demand even though he isn't up to the standards?

 

Happy to hear your thoughts on this and any suggestions on how I could make it harder for myself (other than just ignoring it and pretending they are not interested).

This year more people have mentioned that jobs they shouldn’t get offered, are offered. It seems to be an FM21 issue, and I don’t think any mods can change much the way managers are fired/hired/interviewed.

If you have an in game editor you should be able to see the amount of managers without clubs, to see if it’s a demand/supply issue. 

for now, one idea is you could use an in game editor to reduce your current/home/world reputation and see if that would deter them some. Also, reduce ability if needed.

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Shameless plug but to be frank the skin wouldn’t have come about without first discovering this thread.

It can’t stop the game offering you jobs above your perceived worth but it can at times make being a manager a little more challenging. Not having player or staff search makes a big difference! :) 

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11 minutes ago, majesticeternity said:

This year more people have mentioned that jobs they shouldn’t get offered, are offered. It seems to be an FM21 issue, and I don’t think any mods can change much the way managers are fired/hired/interviewed.

If you have an in game editor you should be able to see the amount of managers without clubs, to see if it’s a demand/supply issue. 

for now, one idea is you could use an in game editor to reduce your current/home/world reputation and see if that would deter them some. Also, reduce ability if needed.

I was unaware that this is a general FM21 issue, but that would explain its occurrence at least. 

A good suggestion to just change my reputation in the in game editor though. I got it already anyway for the NewGan Manager filters.

 

10 minutes ago, Tyburn said:

Shameless plug but to be frank the skin wouldn’t have come about without first discovering this thread.

It can’t stop the game offering you jobs above your perceived worth but it can at times make being a manager a little more challenging. Not having player or staff search makes a big difference! :) 

Thanks, that's a good suggestion. I actually got myself a similar skin, the DD2021RM v2.1, which also hides the attribute numbers and stars. The player and staff search is too valuable for me though, first off it's required for the NewGan Manager face creation and also to search for players and staff with local birth places for the LLM rules.

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12 minutes ago, GiovaneElber said:

I was unaware that this is a general FM21 issue, but that would explain its occurrence at least. 

A good suggestion to just change my reputation in the in game editor though. I got it already anyway for the NewGan Manager filters.

 

Thanks, that's a good suggestion. I actually got myself a similar skin, the DD2021RM v2.1, which also hides the attribute numbers and stars. The player and staff search is too valuable for me though, first off it's required for the NewGan Manager face creation and also to search for players and staff with local birth places for the LLM rules.

Imagine only having to rely on your scouts to find you players from local birth places though! 😁😅😁

You can put player and staff search back btw with “NoStars+Attributes21”, and the skin actually removes all instances of ca/pa text as well as the stars, unlike the excellent realism skin that just removes the stars, by and large. But I agree, DaniDots’ skin is beautiful.

Just another option, if you wanted to essentially build your own skin :) 

Edited by Tyburn
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11 minutes ago, Tyburn said:

Imagine only having to rely on your scouts to find you players from local birth places though! 😁😅😁

You can put player and staff search back btw with “NoStars+Attributes21”, and the skin actually removes all instances of ca/pa text as well as the stars, unlike the excellent realism skin that just removes the stars, by and large. But I agree, DaniDots’ skin is beautiful.

Just another option, if you wanted to essentially build your own skin :) 

That's a valid point actually.

I will definitely think about it while slowly getting my savegame rolling. Thanks :)

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17 hours ago, GiovaneElber said:

Cheers guys.

First and foremost, many thanks to @Daveincid and @majesticeternity for your incredible work and contribution to the community.

 

I play the FM series for maybe about 16 years now and for the past 6-8 years always tried to get the most realistic experience possible, adhering to the LLM rules (usually with my own little tweaks) and now I'm eager to try your realism packs. I believe they will enrich my experience even further.

 

As per usual, I start my career unemployed with a dummy manager and try to simulate maybe the first two, three seasons, just to mix things up a bit first before actually engaging into the football world myself. I created my manager with no badges and sunday league experience, as always, and let him go on vacation. Apart from the realism mods I also loaded league extension mods for Germany (enabled down to level 5) and Italy (also enabled down to level 5) as I envision to ultimately take control in either of those two league systems. 

Now, what I noticed is that there is a new feature (at least compared to FM19, the last iteration I played) which gives you suggestions which open manager positions you can apply for as you have good chances of being accepted, apparently. Neat. However, to my great confusion it seems to suggest teams like Bursaspor, which are in the 2nd Turkish division and a former Superlig champion. Definitely a team that should not in a hundred years consider me as their new manager, given that I have the least experience and worst attributes on the job market, not to mention no knowledge of the language. 

But not just that, I also get job interview invitations from teams in Italy's 4th division, even though there is a whole division below that I expected to have to work my way through first. 

 

Has anyone made any similar experiences? In previous games, setting the game up as explained above always guaranteed that only the lowest league clubs were interested in you and only after some success, acquiring coaches badges, etc. did you get a chance to climb the career ladder. 

Is this some sort of reputation issue with the loaded leagues? Or is FM21 just not that LLM friendly anymore? Or are potentially any of the mods messing with the reputation or process of being offered a job? (I doubt it)

On a side note, the teams from the 4th division mention that they feel I would be "an acceptable choice for their somewhat scaled down vision for the future". Could this be an explanation? Maybe the game is struggling to find enough Italian managers that fit the criteria so the human manager gets offered the job due to high demand even though he isn't up to the standards?

 

Happy to hear your thoughts on this and any suggestions on how I could make it harder for myself (other than just ignoring it and pretending they are not interested).

It just appears to be for your first job. So when starting unenployed, you will be linked to jobs you shouldn't be regardless of being sunday league and having no badges. I've found after taking a first job (which means you have to use your imagination and realism head and accept what you deem as realistic) then it should return to normal. Just think of your rep being fluid when starting unemployed for the first time in your save, and then after having a job whether successful and sacked and unemployed again, it then appears to be working as normal. So if taking a job in the conference and sacked, you'll be getting offers from the Conference north below it.

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On 26/02/2021 at 12:59, Brother Ben said:

Just had a little Google too, seems like a really unfair system tbh, how on earth do they come up with 6 years?

Mexican league system is a very interesting thing by itself, and somewhat arguably "fair". I've won Apertura with Necaxa after finishing 9th (that weird play-off thing right there). Then Clausura came, I finished 1st and the playoff has been won by Cruz Azul, which also was the 9th in table.

So no relegations and promos seems almost a minor thing compared to title-deciding system.

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8 hours ago, Domoboy23 said:

It just appears to be for your first job. So when starting unenployed, you will be linked to jobs you shouldn't be regardless of being sunday league and having no badges. I've found after taking a first job (which means you have to use your imagination and realism head and accept what you deem as realistic) then it should return to normal. Just think of your rep being fluid when starting unemployed for the first time in your save, and then after having a job whether successful and sacked and unemployed again, it then appears to be working as normal. So if taking a job in the conference and sacked, you'll be getting offers from the Conference north below it.

That's tremendously helpful!

I was prepared to have to adjust my reputation constantly now with the Ingame Editor to keep the realism in check, but if it only applies to the first job then that's fine - I can just apply for a job in the lowest league and then attempt to climb from there.

Many thanks!

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Yes! After so many months thinking this thread was something else entirely, I decided to check it and what a surprise! 

Like all of you, there is a part of my brain that does not let me play FM if not from the very bottom. Long term saves are the best!

And like you guys, my brain needs some "conditions" satisfied so that I can truly enjoy this game

Unlike you though, I do not create especific rules. 

 

The effort of policing myself would stressfull, and eventually I would make a mistake or there would be a situation where I would not have a specifi rule ready (what should I do then?)

There are many variables to control in these self imposed rules. FM nowadays is too large. Eventually I would fail in controlling these rules, and my brain does not like that :)

So, the way I play is restrictive, but simple: Every tool available to me BY THE VANILLA GAME is allowed (no official editor then). If it is something provided by the main screen in career mode, than it is something that I can use to my advantage. Nowadays FM is close enough to reality, so, for example, search bars for players are not irrealistic anymore. 

It's "restricited freedom". It imposes a challenge, but, from the moment my game loads up for the first time, I do not need to policy myself. No "fourth wall rules". I can just immerse myself in the managerial world and forget it's a game. Every menu feels like something my staff would provide. It's real enough. Not only that, but I take very seriously results from other leagues and cups. I love watching the world cup finals every single time :D

 

Having said that, another important thing is that I play VANILLA FM. Zero add-ons. Zero aditional leagues. These leagues **** up the game built-in structure, especially regarding reputation. My brain needs to play FM at its purest state, the way SI wants me to.

And my brain only lets me start unemployed. Lowest reputation possible, without qualifications. I have to create myself: 28 years old brazilian who speaks portugues and a little bit of english without any football experience trying to be a manager.

As it would make zero sense in me getting a job at any possible level available in the game, I need to create a story in my head so that the scenario becomes more feasible. It usually involves meeting someone with the right connections. As I have a Phd in economics and love statistics, I like to think that this circumstances would somehow help me get a job (it would not, of course) and that some agent that I met helps me get the interviews. It's extremely silly, obviously, but that's how my brain rolls

 

I load leagues from all over the world. Each continent needs to be represented. I am free to go anywhere, whenever I want. Money is important, so I try to be unemployed for very brief periods of time only (unless I am already rich).  No need to tell that I play with attributes masked

I am eagerly waiting for the final update so that I can start my last FM21 save. I would love to start in South America right away, but my reputation probably would not allow it. Guess I will go with North Ireland's third division :(

Can't wait :onmehead:

Edited by AEJ
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Hi everyone,

For nigh-on 5 years now, since I started playing, FM was all about winning for me. Genie Scout, save scumming, knap tactics... Everything was fair game for me, only the 3 points mattered. So when I wandered into this forum as a lurker and found the llamas, with their "elitist" and "masochistic" realism rules, I thought "why are they doing this? why make things difficult for yourself?". Not using player and staff search was completely unbelievable for me, and so was languishing down in the 5th tier for 8 years. Surely there was no point in LLM, when you can easily cheat your way to the top?

As the years passed, I got more realistic, but still found myself scumming a few games and looking for tactics here when my own strategies didn't work. Because, after years of cheating, I was ****, and couldn't do anything by myself. TBF, I started to like the grind, making your actual way to the top instead of just cheating. Well, I liked it as long as I was winning in the end, and that didn't happen very often, because I'm ****. Where's the fun in that?

Well, here I am in the place I hated the most (the LLM forum) to find out. Now that @Tyburn's skin is out, I'm finally growing the balls to start a proper LLM save. It'll be completely infuriating, it'll feel like a chore sometimes, but that's the whole point: embracing your ****ness. The bitter pills are what make the few good moments on the pitch really enjoyable, because of the feeling of getting there all by yourself, despite everything. After all, where's the fun in winning all the time?

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First update: after a measly 1 month holiday, Chippenham Town have made the mistake of hiring me. I'm expected to guide them to a comfortable mid-table finish in the Conference South for the next 2 seasons. Due to the lack of stars in the skin, I have no clue who the best players in the squad are, I can't be bothered to check each player's attributes, but alas I'll have to. Apparently our midfielders have the best 1v1 goalkeeping attributes in the league though, so it's already looking promising.



EDIT: @Tyburn just a heads up: apparently I can see numerical staff attributes on their profiles, you might wanna look into that. Amazing work though!

Edited by SCCP1910
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15 minutes ago, SCCP1910 said:

First update: after a measly 1 month holiday, Chippenham Town have made the mistake of hiring me. I'm expected to guide them to a comfortable mid-table finish in the Conference South for the next 2 seasons. Due to the lack of stars in the skin, I have no clue who the best players in the squad are, I can't be bothered to check each player's attributes, but alas I'll have to. Apparently our midfielders have the best 1v1 goalkeeping attributes in the league though, so it's already looking promising.



EDIT: @Tyburn just a heads up: apparently I can see numerical staff attributes on their profiles, you might wanna look into that. Amazing work though!

Thanks for letting me know. Please leave more details on the skins page.

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7 hours ago, AEJ said:

Yes! After so many months thinking this thread was something else entirely, I decided to check it and what a surprise! 

Like all of you, there is a part of my brain that does not let me play FM if not from the very bottom. Long term saves are the best!

And like you guys, my brain needs some "conditions" satisfied so that I can truly enjoy this game

Unlike you though, I do not create especific rules. 

 

The effort of policing myself would stressfull, and eventually I would make a mistake or there would be a situation where I would not have a specifi rule ready (what should I do then?)

There are many variables to control in these self imposed rules. FM nowadays is too large. Eventually I would fail in controlling these rules, and my brain does not like that :)

So, the way I play is restrictive, but simple: Every tool available to me BY THE VANILLA GAME is allowed (no official editor then). If it is something provided by the main screen in career mode, than it is something that I can use to my advantage. Nowadays FM is close enough to reality, so, for example, search bars for players are not irrealistic anymore. 

It's "restricited freedom". It imposes a challenge, but, from the moment my game loads up for the first time, I do not need to policy myself. No "fourth wall rules". I can just immerse myself in the managerial world and forget it's a game. Every menu feels like something my staff would provide. It's real enough. Not only that, but I take very seriously results from other leagues and cups. I love watching the world cup finals every single time :D

 

Having said that, another important thing is that I play VANILLA FM. Zero add-ons. Zero aditional leagues. These leagues **** up the game built-in structure, especially regarding reputation. My brain needs to play FM at its purest state, the way SI wants me to.

And my brain only lets me start unemployed. Lowest reputation possible, without qualifications. I have to create myself: 28 years old brazilian who speaks portugues and a little bit of english without any football experience trying to be a manager.

As it would make zero sense in me getting a job at any possible level available in the game, I need to create a story in my head so that the scenario becomes more feasible. It usually involves meeting someone with the right connections. As I have a Phd in economics and love statistics, I like to think that this circumstances would somehow help me get a job (it would not, of course) and that some agent that I met helps me get the interviews. It's extremely silly, obviously, but that's how my brain rolls

 

I load leagues from all over the world. Each continent needs to be represented. I am free to go anywhere, whenever I want. Money is important, so I try to be unemployed for very brief periods of time only (unless I am already rich).  No need to tell that I play with attributes masked

I am eagerly waiting for the final update so that I can start my last FM21 save. I would love to start in South America right away, but my reputation probably would not allow it. Guess I will go with North Ireland's third division :(

Can't wait :onmehead:

Question, if you only play vanilla version and don’t impose any extra rules, what are the restrictions or challenges?

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17 minutos atrás, majesticeternity disse:

Question, if you only play vanilla version and don’t impose any extra rules, what are the restrictions or challenges?

The word "restrictive" was a bad choice of mine. Sorry

There are only two "restrictions": caring about money and starting with 1 adaptability

Now, the word challenge I think is fair. Starting with the lowest reputation, with no qualifications, with a nationality in which its lowest league has a reputation way above mine, with adaptability 1, caring about money and masking attributes is a decent challenge. Not a crazy challenge (nowhere near), but it's the best the vanilla game can offer.

It may be too easy for some, but for my overall quality in the game, it's enough (and makes me happy as I dont have to worry about self imposed rules)

Edited by AEJ
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59 minutes ago, AEJ said:

The word "restrictive" was a bad choice of mine. Sorry

There are only two "restrictions": caring about money and starting with 1 adaptability

Now, the word challenge I think is fair. Starting with the lowest reputation, with no qualifications, with a nationality in which its lowest league has a reputation way above mine, with adaptability 1, caring about money and masking attributes is a decent challenge. Not a crazy challenge (nowhere near), but it's the best the vanilla game can offer.

It may be too easy for some, but for my overall quality in the game, it's enough (and makes me happy as I dont have to worry about self imposed rules)

Ok cool! Yes that will set up challenges for sure!

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9 hours ago, AEJ said:

Having said that, another important thing is that I play VANILLA FM. Zero add-ons. Zero aditional leagues. These leagues **** up the game built-in structure, especially regarding reputation. My brain needs to play FM at its purest state, the way SI wants me to.

Looked upon that the same way until I've found daveincid's realism overhaul. Can't really imagine playing vanilla now.

Also, majesticeternity who replied to you, makes very cool hardcore mods as well. Just saying, you can give it a try.

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16 horas atrás, Outrospective disse:

Looked upon that the same way until I've found daveincid's realism overhaul. Can't really imagine playing vanilla now.

Also, majesticeternity who replied to you, makes very cool hardcore mods as well. Just saying, you can give it a try.

Nice. I'll check them out

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On 08/03/2021 at 13:27, AEJ said:

Yes! After so many months thinking this thread was something else entirely, I decided to check it and what a surprise! 

Glad to hear it - out of interest, what did you think the thread was?

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Posted (edited)

Not been very active recently, and still not massively deep into an FM21 save due to other commitments. Starting to believe that this version will pass me by a bit. Some do.

With this in mind, started a little higher up than I normally would with Torpedo Moscow. Can't remember the last time I played as such a large club, let alone started at one. That being said they are in the lowest available Russian league.

Not that it matters. I should be top 2-3. I'm not. I'm mid table 10 games in.

Obviously won't last the season so will no doubt end up at a more appropriately sized club in due course :D

Although I am not getting lots of time, I am enjoying it when I can. I hope you are all enjoying your saves too!

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4 horas atrás, Junkhead disse:

Glad to hear it - out of interest, what did you think the thread was?

Well, reading the title quickly I thought it was someone complaining about the lack of realism (too easy) :lol:

Don't ask me why

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Wow. Started watching the games on comprehensive when taking over my new side to learn the team a bit more and tactical set up. I have no idea how people cope on extended, no way I will be bale to go back! 

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5 hours ago, Domoboy23 said:

Wow. Started watching the games on comprehensive when taking over my new side to learn the team a bit more and tactical set up. I have no idea how people cope on extended, no way I will be bale to go back! 

Agreed! 

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13 hours ago, Domoboy23 said:

Wow. Started watching the games on comprehensive when taking over my new side to learn the team a bit more and tactical set up. I have no idea how people cope on extended, no way I will be bale to go back! 

I play on comprehensive and it's really good for tactical analysis. Still wish I had the time to watch full matches though

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7 minutes ago, SCCP1910 said:

I play on comprehensive and it's really good for tactical analysis. Still wish I had the time to watch full matches though

It's just so much better for the feeling of the game. Especially team shape, defensive work and seeing the difference your changes make. 

 

With how awful the standard match screen UI is at displaying stats and how poorly done the stats currently are it's impossible judge how your team/players are doing in extended.

 

I think a lot of people have gotten used to clicking through screens and answering the same answers to press conferences without even looking etc.

I'm trying to train myself out of it and get involved and as immersed in and off the pitch as much as I can

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Just now, Domoboy23 said:

It's just so much better for the feeling of the game. Especially team shape, defensive work and seeing the difference your changes make. 

 

With how awful the standard match screen UI is at displaying stats and how poorly done the stats currently are it's impossible judge how your team/players are doing in extended.

 

I think a lot of people have gotten used to clicking through screens and answering the same answers to press conferences without even looking etc.

I'm trying to train myself out of it and get involved and as immersed in and off the pitch as much as I can

Press conferences and the whole man-management and player interaction side of FM is way too gamey for me. There's a formula that will work every time and once you figure it out you don't have to put in any effort. I hope SI improves this for 22, since it's something that won't affect newer players too much

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1 hour ago, Domoboy23 said:

It's just so much better for the feeling of the game. Especially team shape, defensive work and seeing the difference your changes make. 

 

With how awful the standard match screen UI is at displaying stats and how poorly done the stats currently are it's impossible judge how your team/players are doing in extended.

 

I think a lot of people have gotten used to clicking through screens and answering the same answers to press conferences without even looking etc.

I'm trying to train myself out of it and get involved and as immersed in and off the pitch as much as I can

Apologies if you’re already aware of this but this mod is an absolute must for matchday imo:

 

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2 minutes ago, Tyburn said:

Apologies if you’re already aware of this but this mod is an absolute must for matchday imo:

 

Thankyou - I've been using the tensile skin which incorporates it. Sadly due to the way SI set up widgets everything keeps reverting when I change it. But it's unavoidable. Still a lot better than the default match skin though! But for some reason I still struggle nowadays getting the information I want and is relevant to me from the match widgets.

 

I really miss when total number of passes, crosses etc were shown in just number form rather than number and %. And when you didn't have to click from attacking to defending to change the info  I miss the plain lists of numbers :D the % just isn't for me!

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I've finally did a proper save after who knows how long. Manged each player minutes, individual training, general training and took time to analyze my tactic and fixed it as the season progressed. Overall the season was a success and the more hands on approach was insanely fun and rewarding. Would have probably won the league if weren't for some unlucky Injuries, and Ronaldo channeling his champion league knockout form throughout the whole season. Never seen an AI player perform that well in my time playing FM.

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On 10/03/2021 at 14:06, SCCP1910 said:

Press conferences and the whole man-management and player interaction side of FM is way too gamey for me. There's a formula that will work every time and once you figure it out you don't have to put in any effort. I hope SI improves this for 22, since it's something that won't affect newer players too much

I agree with you here I just wonder what they could do to make it less gamey?

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3 hours ago, Brother Ben said:

I agree with you here I just wonder what they could do to make it less gamey?

I think creating some different press questions and player interaction options would be a good start, but if it was that easy, I'm sure SI would've put it in the game by now

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The most important aspect for realism is in my opinion the most overlooked aspect as I've never seen anyone mention it, and it also leads to a harder and more immersive game. That aspect is using the Director of Football and Technical Director, who are key personnel in modern football. Managers no longer sort out the contracts, negotiate transfers and set up scouting for every player and staff, its just not realistic as it is too much work for one person. 

The Technical Director and Director of Football should be handling staff incomings/outgoings/contracts and player incomings/outgoings/contracts respectively, and if you only have one of those staff members then they should be dealing with both staff and players. I know for a lot of players they don't trust the AI staff to make good decisions but in FM21 the staff are much much better and make good and realistic decisions now. You can check lots of videos on YouTube if you want to make sure. 

Having these staff take care of incomings and outgoings not only makes the game more realistic and means you can focus on the football more, it also means the game is harder as lets face it, the human player can often have an advantage over the AI when it comes to transfers as to a degree we know how to 'game' the system (and is what leads to many giving themselves extra restrictions as can be seen in this topic). So when you let the appropriate people take responsibility for these roles we get realistic transfers for our level of staff and club. To add to that if there are specific players you are interested in you can add them as Transfer Targets and then your Director of Football will bid and negotiate the transfer for those players, otherwise the Director of Football will identify the players he thinks are appropriate based on your tactic and team weaknesses; just as it would be in real life.

In real life the manager, technical director and director of football all work together, and the game allows you to simulate this by giving yourself the responsibility to 'Finalise' all outgoings and incomings, so that means no one will join or leave unless you also agree on the transfer. Also personally I have myself in charge of coaching staff incomings and outgoings as they are the staff that work directly under me and so it's realistic to handle the people you directly manage. However scouting, transfer and medical staff contracts/incomings/outgoings are all handled by the Technical Director/Director of Football.

If there is a staff member that I really like I'll ask my Technical Director to negotiate a contract. If there's a player I don't want I'll add him to the Unwanted Player List for my Director of Football to try and get rid of him. If there is a player or set of players I want I will add them to the Transfer Targets list. The Director of Football is in charge of scouting and where we scout, I will then look at the players we've scouting and if I like a player I'll ask the Director of Football to add him as a transfer target. If there's a type of player I want us to scout or region I want us to scout I will add it as an assignment or even better I will mention it at a Recruitment Meeting. I will let my Director of Football find and negotiate transfers for players he thinks we need and I will accept those transfers if I'm also happy with them. I will let my Technical Director bring in the best staff he thinks we can get - there's no more gaming of the staff hiring system which allows you to get the most obscure coach that's coaching in Venezuela.

There are almost zero managers in the modern game that are negotiating contracts the day before a match starts while also preparing for the match, but many of us do this in FM.

This really does make the game more enjoyable too as you are no longer an Overlord that essentially runs the whole club, you part of a team working to fulfil the clubs vision. You have to deal with the decisions you might not agree with just as a real manager does and also you don't have an advantage over the AI when hiring staff and buying players because of the human advantage.

All in all the Technical Director and Director of Football are essential for realistic games.

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9 hours ago, francis#17 said:

The most important aspect for realism is in my opinion the most overlooked aspect as I've never seen anyone mention it, and it also leads to a harder and more immersive game. That aspect is using the Director of Football and Technical Director, who are key personnel in modern football. Managers no longer sort out the contracts, negotiate transfers and set up scouting for every player and staff, its just not realistic as it is too much work for one person. 

The Technical Director and Director of Football should be handling staff incomings/outgoings/contracts and player incomings/outgoings/contracts respectively, and if you only have one of those staff members then they should be dealing with both staff and players. I know for a lot of players they don't trust the AI staff to make good decisions but in FM21 the staff are much much better and make good and realistic decisions now. You can check lots of videos on YouTube if you want to make sure. 

Having these staff take care of incomings and outgoings not only makes the game more realistic and means you can focus on the football more, it also means the game is harder as lets face it, the human player can often have an advantage over the AI when it comes to transfers as to a degree we know how to 'game' the system (and is what leads to many giving themselves extra restrictions as can be seen in this topic). So when you let the appropriate people take responsibility for these roles we get realistic transfers for our level of staff and club. To add to that if there are specific players you are interested in you can add them as Transfer Targets and then your Director of Football will bid and negotiate the transfer for those players, otherwise the Director of Football will identify the players he thinks are appropriate based on your tactic and team weaknesses; just as it would be in real life.

In real life the manager, technical director and director of football all work together, and the game allows you to simulate this by giving yourself the responsibility to 'Finalise' all outgoings and incomings, so that means no one will join or leave unless you also agree on the transfer. Also personally I have myself in charge of coaching staff incomings and outgoings as they are the staff that work directly under me and so it's realistic to handle the people you directly manage. However scouting, transfer and medical staff contracts/incomings/outgoings are all handled by the Technical Director/Director of Football.

If there is a staff member that I really like I'll ask my Technical Director to negotiate a contract. If there's a player I don't want I'll add him to the Unwanted Player List for my Director of Football to try and get rid of him. If there is a player or set of players I want I will add them to the Transfer Targets list. The Director of Football is in charge of scouting and where we scout, I will then look at the players we've scouting and if I like a player I'll ask the Director of Football to add him as a transfer target. If there's a type of player I want us to scout or region I want us to scout I will add it as an assignment or even better I will mention it at a Recruitment Meeting. I will let my Director of Football find and negotiate transfers for players he thinks we need and I will accept those transfers if I'm also happy with them. I will let my Technical Director bring in the best staff he thinks we can get - there's no more gaming of the staff hiring system which allows you to get the most obscure coach that's coaching in Venezuela.

There are almost zero managers in the modern game that are negotiating contracts the day before a match starts while also preparing for the match, but many of us do this in FM.

This really does make the game more enjoyable too as you are no longer an Overlord that essentially runs the whole club, you part of a team working to fulfil the clubs vision. You have to deal with the decisions you might not agree with just as a real manager does and also you don't have an advantage over the AI when hiring staff and buying players because of the human advantage.

All in all the Technical Director and Director of Football are essential for realistic games.

Agree with all of this, however there needs to be more flexibility within the game. I tried to take this approach (kind of) in a recent save, with my plan being to hire only "heads of". I wanted my chief scout to hire scouts, my head physio to hire physics, etc. However, this was not an option and the club was at such a low level that a Technical Director was not an option. I was happy for my DOF to hire scouts, but not physios. 

I feel that I should be allowed to let whomever I choose do the hiring.

Agree with what you are saying though.

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9 hours ago, francis#17 said:

The most important aspect for realism is in my opinion the most overlooked aspect as I've never seen anyone mention it, and it also leads to a harder and more immersive game. That aspect is using the Director of Football and Technical Director, who are key personnel in modern football. Managers no longer sort out the contracts, negotiate transfers and set up scouting for every player and staff, its just not realistic as it is too much work for one person. 

The Technical Director and Director of Football should be handling staff incomings/outgoings/contracts and player incomings/outgoings/contracts respectively, and if you only have one of those staff members then they should be dealing with both staff and players. I know for a lot of players they don't trust the AI staff to make good decisions but in FM21 the staff are much much better and make good and realistic decisions now. You can check lots of videos on YouTube if you want to make sure. 

Having these staff take care of incomings and outgoings not only makes the game more realistic and means you can focus on the football more, it also means the game is harder as lets face it, the human player can often have an advantage over the AI when it comes to transfers as to a degree we know how to 'game' the system (and is what leads to many giving themselves extra restrictions as can be seen in this topic). So when you let the appropriate people take responsibility for these roles we get realistic transfers for our level of staff and club. To add to that if there are specific players you are interested in you can add them as Transfer Targets and then your Director of Football will bid and negotiate the transfer for those players, otherwise the Director of Football will identify the players he thinks are appropriate based on your tactic and team weaknesses; just as it would be in real life.

In real life the manager, technical director and director of football all work together, and the game allows you to simulate this by giving yourself the responsibility to 'Finalise' all outgoings and incomings, so that means no one will join or leave unless you also agree on the transfer. Also personally I have myself in charge of coaching staff incomings and outgoings as they are the staff that work directly under me and so it's realistic to handle the people you directly manage. However scouting, transfer and medical staff contracts/incomings/outgoings are all handled by the Technical Director/Director of Football.

If there is a staff member that I really like I'll ask my Technical Director to negotiate a contract. If there's a player I don't want I'll add him to the Unwanted Player List for my Director of Football to try and get rid of him. If there is a player or set of players I want I will add them to the Transfer Targets list. The Director of Football is in charge of scouting and where we scout, I will then look at the players we've scouting and if I like a player I'll ask the Director of Football to add him as a transfer target. If there's a type of player I want us to scout or region I want us to scout I will add it as an assignment or even better I will mention it at a Recruitment Meeting. I will let my Director of Football find and negotiate transfers for players he thinks we need and I will accept those transfers if I'm also happy with them. I will let my Technical Director bring in the best staff he thinks we can get - there's no more gaming of the staff hiring system which allows you to get the most obscure coach that's coaching in Venezuela.

There are almost zero managers in the modern game that are negotiating contracts the day before a match starts while also preparing for the match, but many of us do this in FM.

This really does make the game more enjoyable too as you are no longer an Overlord that essentially runs the whole club, you part of a team working to fulfil the clubs vision. You have to deal with the decisions you might not agree with just as a real manager does and also you don't have an advantage over the AI when hiring staff and buying players because of the human advantage.

All in all the Technical Director and Director of Football are essential for realistic games.

I agree with what you're saying but at the minute its just me and my assistant at the club due to financial constraints.  In my mind him and me are putting out the cones, painting the changing rooms etc

I guess my question is how does this translate to the lower leagues?

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11 hours ago, Brother Ben said:

I agree with what you're saying but at the minute its just me and my assistant at the club due to financial constraints.  In my mind him and me are putting out the cones, painting the changing rooms etc

I guess my question is how does this translate to the lower leagues?

I manage Oxford City in the Vanarama South, so that's the lowest league in England and I have a Director of Football so they are there in lower leagues. Other clubs in my league also have a DoF/Technical Director, however as you say there are also some clubs that don't. The reason for this is because there aren't many members of staff/no real scouting is done so the board don't feel they are needed. Your options now and what will happen in real life is that either you deal with yourself or you assign it to a Director/Owner (Its more likely the director or owner would deal with it in real life as I'm assuming you start with Sunday League reputation). 

In the staff responsibilities you can assign those roles to the Director or Owner or leave it to yourself. If/when you move up the leagues a DoF/Technical Director should be used for a realistic  game though, but as always its up to you what you do.

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12 hours ago, Junkhead said:

Agree with all of this, however there needs to be more flexibility within the game. I tried to take this approach (kind of) in a recent save, with my plan being to hire only "heads of". I wanted my chief scout to hire scouts, my head physio to hire physics, etc. However, this was not an option and the club was at such a low level that a Technical Director was not an option. I was happy for my DOF to hire scouts, but not physios. 

I feel that I should be allowed to let whomever I choose do the hiring.

Agree with what you are saying though.

In real life i don't think the 'heads of' would be responsible for signing and finding staff members anyway; my understanding is that they have input but ultimately the responsibility lays with the Technical Director/DoF. (I know this  sounds a bit odd when it lots of companies the head of department is responsible for hiring in their department, but my understanding is that in football this is the DoF/Technical Directors role and they would get input from the heads of department when hiring and renewing contracts).

Also I also only have DoF as thats all my club can afford (Im Oxford City in Vanarama South) and he is in charge of hiring physios which to my understanding is what he would take ultimate responsibility for as there is no Technical Director. He would of course consult with the head physio though but I think we can imagine that happens. Why didn't you want your DoF in charge of hiring physios?

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Well what a journey it's been on my save so far.

Unemployed, no badges and Sunday league. Midway through the first season I get an offer from Dulwich Hamlet in the VSS. They're languishing just above the relegation zone and the board want me to fight relegation. It's a very talented team for the level, and can actually play football. At lower levels I'm very much a 4-4-2 direct and dirty manager, but not this case. We lacked leaders and physicality and playing 4-4-2 would in my mind just make us too lightweight and capable of losing any game. So we went for more of a counter-attacking tactic, which would also allow us to retain the ball in the oppositions half a bit more in games we were stronger, but allowed us to counter when winning the ball back quickly in others. It made games a bit duller, we'd maybe have 5 or 6 shots on target, but the opposition would be limited to the same. By the end of the season we finished 15th and the future looked promising.

Dulwich are quite a ''hip'' club, and I wanted to carry on the brand of exciting technical football, as well as the ethos of picking up talented youngsters. IRL a lot of the players are released youth players from decent London youth systems, especially Crystal Palace. Reise Allasani and Korrey Henry to name a couple. Our wage budget was around the 12k p/w rate which made us amongst the top 4 for salary per anum in the division, and the club was leaking a lot of money. It was clear this season would be a real do or die. The club only expected mid-table, but I had ambitions of at least the top half. If we don't go up next season the club probably wouldn't have another shot at it for 4-5 years at least with the way the financials were looking and the talent ready to leave at end of contracts.

And boy did we go for it. 88 points. Enough to finish.... 3rd. Well joint 2nd. Gloucester ran away with the league with 107 points. We actually reverted to a 4-4-2 during the second season after purchasing a couple more defensively and all rounded ball winners and carriers, and it worked really well. We were still playing attractive football but we had so much more bite. Alas, we ended up losing in the play-off final to 2nd place Havant and Waterlooville. We lost 1-0 to a penalty against their 10 men. Truly gutting, I'd say on FM this is my 12th or 13th succesive playoff defeat on various saves and editions.

Could the club have enough buck to sustain one more season to push? I'm so sure I could marshall this team to top of the table and automatic promotion next season. Sadly not. Not only did the club slash the wage budget by 33% to 8k p/w, we also lost a couple of players who wouldn't sign new contracts (won't name, but some talented 20-22 year olds who had a shining season in the conference south to restart their careers after being released higher up) due to the division being too low for them now. And then the big one - the club couldn't sustain being full-time anymore... we were having to revert to being semi-professional. It hurts but I couldn't stay, I was losing a lot of my players, most of my staff wouldn't sign and I would be running the real risk of tarnishing all my hard work at the club. I wasn't signing a new contract, I had to leave while my stock was high. I couldn't risk being a failure next season, despite so much of me wanting to stay. I asked myself what would I do in real life.

The next hit in the feels? The team I left for.... Havant and Waterlooville... the team we lost to in the playoff final had their manager poached for another team. A chance for me to manage in the division higher (albeit still semi-pro), with stable finances. I feel like a fraud, a liar, a traitor. 15 games into the season and I'm 23rd. I miss my Dulwich players, the kit, the team, the youth coming through. I haven't formed a connection with Havant yet and to make matters worse Dulwich are a respectable 10th in the table below. But that's football, I must grow to love this team and respect my decision at the time. No matter how much I may regret it! :D

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I'm not sure if anyone has posted on the previous 13 pages but the coaching badges system need to be looked at.  A chairman can turn down your request to get your next badge but you can't pay for it yourself?

Really difficult if you start unemployed to progress and have for example loaded a lower league editor and have taken over a team which is invariably in the red financially.

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9 hours ago, francis#17 said:

In real life i don't think the 'heads of' would be responsible for signing and finding staff members anyway; my understanding is that they have input but ultimately the responsibility lays with the Technical Director/DoF. (I know this  sounds a bit odd when it lots of companies the head of department is responsible for hiring in their department, but my understanding is that in football this is the DoF/Technical Directors role and they would get input from the heads of department when hiring and renewing contracts).

Also I also only have DoF as thats all my club can afford (Im Oxford City in Vanarama South) and he is in charge of hiring physios which to my understanding is what he would take ultimate responsibility for as there is no Technical Director. He would of course consult with the head physio though but I think we can imagine that happens. Why didn't you want your DoF in charge of hiring physios?

Not convinced the way it works is the same at every club, at all.  A club with no DOF, for example - why would I, as the manager who knows nothing about physiotherapy, or the chairman/owner, who knows nothing about physiotherapy, hire a physio when we have a head physio in place?

You might be right that the head physio wouldn't negotiate wages, but 100% sure that the interview and selection would be down to them.

In reality, I would think what would happen with a physio role is that the salary would be clearly advertised having been signed off higher up rather than person to person weekly wage negotiations taking place.

The club I support has constant managerial, ownership and DOF changes. Until recently, the physio team stayed in place throughout.  When managers leave, assistants, fitness and goalkeeping coaches tend to go with them. Rarely seen a manager cleave and a physio going too.

Either way, the way I would realistically run a club if I were the manager is to leave hiring of a physio down to the most qualified person at the club - the head physio. The game should allow me to do that.

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Glad I've finally found this thread. Have always played the game the LLM way (always lurked the old LLM area). Was just about to start a youth only save but seeing this may have inspired me to start a new LLM one. 

Just making my way through the thread from page 1! 

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2 hours ago, Junkhead said:

Not convinced the way it works is the same at every club, at all.  A club with no DOF, for example - why would I, as the manager who knows nothing about physiotherapy, or the chairman/owner, who knows nothing about physiotherapy, hire a physio when we have a head physio in place?

You might be right that the head physio wouldn't negotiate wages, but 100% sure that the interview and selection would be down to them.

In reality, I would think what would happen with a physio role is that the salary would be clearly advertised having been signed off higher up rather than person to person weekly wage negotiations taking place.

The club I support has constant managerial, ownership and DOF changes. Until recently, the physio team stayed in place throughout.  When managers leave, assistants, fitness and goalkeeping coaches tend to go with them. Rarely seen a manager cleave and a physio going too.

Either way, the way I would realistically run a club if I were the manager is to leave hiring of a physio down to the most qualified person at the club - the head physio. The game should allow me to do that.

Yeah I do agree with that and 100% the DoF and Technical Director is different at each club and have different responsibilities. What I was saying wasnt exactly disagreeing with you though. What I was trying to say is that of course the physio would have a large input into what physio joins, the best we can do is in our head is roleplay that the DoF has gone to the  head physio for his/her input and then negotiated with the candidates they agreed on. It's not perfect for sure, I agree, but I think it's the best we can get with the current way the game works. To get what you described (and what Inagree probably happens) each tole with its wage bracket would have to be defined before talking to candidates I think.

Anyway what had your compromise been?

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6 minutes ago, francis#17 said:

Yeah I do agree with that and 100% the DoF and Technical Director is different at each club and have different responsibilities. What I was saying wasnt exactly disagreeing with you though. What I was trying to say is that of course the physio would have a large input into what physio joins, the best we can do is in our head is roleplay that the DoF has gone to the  head physio for his/her input and then negotiated with the candidates they agreed on. It's not perfect for sure, I agree, but I think it's the best we can get with the current way the game works. To get what you described (and what Inagree probably happens) each tole with its wage bracket would have to be defined before talking to candidates I think.

Anyway what had your compromise been?

Had to do it myself as the DOF wasn't filling all available spaces :(:rolleyes:

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On 08/03/2021 at 14:30, SCCP1910 said:

First update: after a measly 1 month holiday, Chippenham Town have made the mistake of hiring me. I'm expected to guide them to a comfortable mid-table finish in the Conference South for the next 2 seasons. Due to the lack of stars in the skin, I have no clue who the best players in the squad are, I can't be bothered to check each player's attributes, but alas I'll have to. Apparently our midfielders have the best 1v1 goalkeeping attributes in the league though, so it's already looking promising.
 

Now that the final update is out I might start again. Haven't made much progress in the Chippenham one because of IRL concerns, haven't even made it past preseason yet

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6 hours ago, Junkhead said:

Had to do it myself as the DOF wasn't filling all available spaces :(:rolleyes:

Ah  I see, thats fair enough, you thought it was more pressing. I noticed that the AI for both yourself and other clubs wont hire staff if they dont think the quality available is good enough/dont think the role is needed right now, even if there are slots available. Hardly any club has all staff slots filled.

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16 hours ago, Domoboy23 said:

Well what a journey it's been on my save so far.

Unemployed, no badges and Sunday league. Midway through the first season I get an offer from Dulwich Hamlet in the VSS. They're languishing just above the relegation zone and the board want me to fight relegation. It's a very talented team for the level, and can actually play football. At lower levels I'm very much a 4-4-2 direct and dirty manager, but not this case. We lacked leaders and physicality and playing 4-4-2 would in my mind just make us too lightweight and capable of losing any game. So we went for more of a counter-attacking tactic, which would also allow us to retain the ball in the oppositions half a bit more in games we were stronger, but allowed us to counter when winning the ball back quickly in others. It made games a bit duller, we'd maybe have 5 or 6 shots on target, but the opposition would be limited to the same. By the end of the season we finished 15th and the future looked promising.

Dulwich are quite a ''hip'' club, and I wanted to carry on the brand of exciting technical football, as well as the ethos of picking up talented youngsters. IRL a lot of the players are released youth players from decent London youth systems, especially Crystal Palace. Reise Allasani and Korrey Henry to name a couple. Our wage budget was around the 12k p/w rate which made us amongst the top 4 for salary per anum in the division, and the club was leaking a lot of money. It was clear this season would be a real do or die. The club only expected mid-table, but I had ambitions of at least the top half. If we don't go up next season the club probably wouldn't have another shot at it for 4-5 years at least with the way the financials were looking and the talent ready to leave at end of contracts.

And boy did we go for it. 88 points. Enough to finish.... 3rd. Well joint 2nd. Gloucester ran away with the league with 107 points. We actually reverted to a 4-4-2 during the second season after purchasing a couple more defensively and all rounded ball winners and carriers, and it worked really well. We were still playing attractive football but we had so much more bite. Alas, we ended up losing in the play-off final to 2nd place Havant and Waterlooville. We lost 1-0 to a penalty against their 10 men. Truly gutting, I'd say on FM this is my 12th or 13th succesive playoff defeat on various saves and editions.

Could the club have enough buck to sustain one more season to push? I'm so sure I could marshall this team to top of the table and automatic promotion next season. Sadly not. Not only did the club slash the wage budget by 33% to 8k p/w, we also lost a couple of players who wouldn't sign new contracts (won't name, but some talented 20-22 year olds who had a shining season in the conference south to restart their careers after being released higher up) due to the division being too low for them now. And then the big one - the club couldn't sustain being full-time anymore... we were having to revert to being semi-professional. It hurts but I couldn't stay, I was losing a lot of my players, most of my staff wouldn't sign and I would be running the real risk of tarnishing all my hard work at the club. I wasn't signing a new contract, I had to leave while my stock was high. I couldn't risk being a failure next season, despite so much of me wanting to stay. I asked myself what would I do in real life.

The next hit in the feels? The team I left for.... Havant and Waterlooville... the team we lost to in the playoff final had their manager poached for another team. A chance for me to manage in the division higher (albeit still semi-pro), with stable finances. I feel like a fraud, a liar, a traitor. 15 games into the season and I'm 23rd. I miss my Dulwich players, the kit, the team, the youth coming through. I haven't formed a connection with Havant yet and to make matters worse Dulwich are a respectable 10th in the table below. But that's football, I must grow to love this team and respect my decision at the time. No matter how much I may regret it! :D

Haha, something I've never done is change club as I always feel I get too attached. I always think that if I get fired I might just retire lol. No but really I'd join a new team but I'd probably be a bit picky if I had enough interest in me.

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I really don't know whats happening with job offers anymore, but after resigning in place 24th in the conference national, I'm being linked and offered interviews for Blackburn, Granada B, Bradford City etc...

I know there's been an issue this year with when starting unemployed with unrealistic job offers, but it seemed to of been fixed on previous saves so any clubs AFTER your first job would be realistic. Seems thats gone up the swanny

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15 horas atrás, Domoboy23 disse:

I really don't know whats happening with job offers anymore, but after resigning in place 24th in the conference national, I'm being linked and offered interviews for Blackburn, Granada B, Bradford City etc...

I know there's been an issue this year with when starting unemployed with unrealistic job offers, but it seemed to of been fixed on previous saves so any clubs AFTER your first job would be realistic. Seems thats gone up the swanny

Not only the unrealistic first job was not fixed, but things got worse?

Did you download additional leagues or something?

 

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Em 15/03/2021 em 21:10, Domoboy23 disse:

Well what a journey it's been on my save so far.

Unemployed, no badges and Sunday league. Midway through the first season I get an offer from Dulwich Hamlet in the VSS. They're languishing just above the relegation zone and the board want me to fight relegation. It's a very talented team for the level, and can actually play football. At lower levels I'm very much a 4-4-2 direct and dirty manager, but not this case. We lacked leaders and physicality and playing 4-4-2 would in my mind just make us too lightweight and capable of losing any game. So we went for more of a counter-attacking tactic, which would also allow us to retain the ball in the oppositions half a bit more in games we were stronger, but allowed us to counter when winning the ball back quickly in others. It made games a bit duller, we'd maybe have 5 or 6 shots on target, but the opposition would be limited to the same. By the end of the season we finished 15th and the future looked promising.

Dulwich are quite a ''hip'' club, and I wanted to carry on the brand of exciting technical football, as well as the ethos of picking up talented youngsters. IRL a lot of the players are released youth players from decent London youth systems, especially Crystal Palace. Reise Allasani and Korrey Henry to name a couple. Our wage budget was around the 12k p/w rate which made us amongst the top 4 for salary per anum in the division, and the club was leaking a lot of money. It was clear this season would be a real do or die. The club only expected mid-table, but I had ambitions of at least the top half. If we don't go up next season the club probably wouldn't have another shot at it for 4-5 years at least with the way the financials were looking and the talent ready to leave at end of contracts.

And boy did we go for it. 88 points. Enough to finish.... 3rd. Well joint 2nd. Gloucester ran away with the league with 107 points. We actually reverted to a 4-4-2 during the second season after purchasing a couple more defensively and all rounded ball winners and carriers, and it worked really well. We were still playing attractive football but we had so much more bite. Alas, we ended up losing in the play-off final to 2nd place Havant and Waterlooville. We lost 1-0 to a penalty against their 10 men. Truly gutting, I'd say on FM this is my 12th or 13th succesive playoff defeat on various saves and editions.

Could the club have enough buck to sustain one more season to push? I'm so sure I could marshall this team to top of the table and automatic promotion next season. Sadly not. Not only did the club slash the wage budget by 33% to 8k p/w, we also lost a couple of players who wouldn't sign new contracts (won't name, but some talented 20-22 year olds who had a shining season in the conference south to restart their careers after being released higher up) due to the division being too low for them now. And then the big one - the club couldn't sustain being full-time anymore... we were having to revert to being semi-professional. It hurts but I couldn't stay, I was losing a lot of my players, most of my staff wouldn't sign and I would be running the real risk of tarnishing all my hard work at the club. I wasn't signing a new contract, I had to leave while my stock was high. I couldn't risk being a failure next season, despite so much of me wanting to stay. I asked myself what would I do in real life.

The next hit in the feels? The team I left for.... Havant and Waterlooville... the team we lost to in the playoff final had their manager poached for another team. A chance for me to manage in the division higher (albeit still semi-pro), with stable finances. I feel like a fraud, a liar, a traitor. 15 games into the season and I'm 23rd. I miss my Dulwich players, the kit, the team, the youth coming through. I haven't formed a connection with Havant yet and to make matters worse Dulwich are a respectable 10th in the table below. But that's football, I must grow to love this team and respect my decision at the time. No matter how much I may regret it! :D

Amazing. That's what journeyman is all about

The best journeyman stories are those in which we fail  :lol:

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