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[FM21] Hell's Youth - Chertanovo home-grown challenge

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The football school in Chertanovo district of Moscow was founded in 1976. It wasn’t affiliated with any senior team at that time, however several future USSR/Russia international players, like Igor Kolyvanov and Igor Chugainov, grew up here. In 1993 a professional team was established and mostly played in the lower leagues, but latest seasons brought a surprising success. The team, entirely consisting of home-grown players, finished 5th in their debut season in FNL (Russian second tier) and were 3rd in 2019/20 before the season was abandoned, losing the eventual promotion spot to Khimki only on goal difference.

After that the manager Igor Osinkin along with several key players moved to Krylja Sovetov, so the renewed team is now involved in the relegation battle but more youngsters appear in the first team (including 15 year old Sergey Pinyaev, who previously had a trial in Manchester United academy and now became the youngest ever FNL goalscorer).


Unfortunately, this unique policy isn’t represented well in default FM database, and it’s actually impossible to sign even players from own youth intake. So I had to recreate the club in the editor to remove these restrictions (luckily there was a second team in the inactive division, so I just moved all the data and staff there). And of course, I will follow the real life transfer policy – signing only the players who came through the club academy or under-18 Russian players to develop them in our youth system.


So far we are playing at Luzhniki reserve field but should to our own Chertanovo Arena expanded to 5000 seats. The youth setup is good for our level, except the training facilities but hopefully we'll have improvements with time.

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Ilja Abaev is our most experienced player who returned home after 20 years in different teams including Lokomotiv and Krasnodar. I hope he’ll stay with us for more than one season, as the replacement options are not so good. 



Team captain Bartasevich is the best option on any defensive position, and I’ll use him in the center along with younger Nikitenkov. Gudkov and Kondakov will be first choices on the wings (Gerchikov also can cover right-back position, but he looks better as a winger and will mostly play there).



Our best DM option Kamyshev is currently loaned out, so the place in starting eleven will be contested by Nadolskiy and Suleimanov. Two positions closer to attacking line are clear – Rudkovskiy and Velikorodny should start in most games, younger Sokolov and Pershin will be backups.



Vice-captain Zavezen and already mentioned Gerchikov are the first winger options, and the spot at front is so far undefined with three contenders to start – Molchanov, Molteninov and of course Pinyaev (he's hidden from the default FM database due to age restrictions so I had to create him manually). Saveljev is another youth prospect who can develop into a good striker in future.

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Hi! Will definitely follow your progress! Would you mind sharing your database? Also, you mentioned you used your second team for setting the save up, meaning you have no second team anymore. The second team would come in handy in such a save, given that it is actually playing in PFL and has a chance to get into FNL, and FNL is a playable league, where your youngsters can grow much faster. If you create a second team with the board request, it will never get to a playable league.

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8 hours ago, AcademyAllTheWay said:

Hi! Will definitely follow your progress! Would you mind sharing your database? Also, you mentioned you used your second team for setting the save up, meaning you have no second team anymore. The second team would come in handy in such a save, given that it is actually playing in PFL and has a chance to get into FNL, and FNL is a playable league, where your youngsters can grow much faster. If you create a second team with the board request, it will never get to a playable league.

Sure. Chertanovo-2 only played in PFL for one season in 18/19 and now is set to 'lower division' in database so couldn't get promoted anyway.

Chertanovo v3 + Pinyaev.fmf

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Season 2020/21 – part 1


That’s a really good start. We lost to Torpedo and Nizhniy Novgorod at home (could be expected as their squads are a lot stronger and more experienced than ours), but defeated all other opponents and so far haven’t dropped points in away games. Sergey Pinyaev only needed about 30 minutes to score his first senior goal and give us the opening win against Irtysh. He scored twice more in August, and so far all his goals were decisive!


After few days we faced SKA again, this time in the cup, and another winning goal from Pinyaev let us advance to the group stage, where couldn’t cope with RPL side Khimki and actually lost any chances to go further. Speaking of the league, we climbed to the promotion spot but a disappointing loss to Veles sent us back to 4th place.


October was a hard month, we couldn’t win in the league and lost Zavezen and Pinyaev with injuries. On the deadline day I signed our former striker Tsypchenko on loan from Krylja Sovetov, and my assistant found a promising winger Gainutdinov for free. And surprisingly he scored his first goal earlier when I started him in a cup game which couldn’t decide anything.


That was a massive turnaround after a poor form in previous month, we won all the seven games in November and moved up to second place again!


An unfortunate ending to the first part of the season, we were better but couldn’t score and conceded on the last minutes.


Nothing is decided yet, top eight teams have good chances to claim promotion or playoff spots. Surprised to see Textilschik and Chaika in the leading group, while Torpedo and Krylja Sovetov are massively underachieving.


Our first youth intake is labeled as a golden generation, though I know it doesn’t guarantee anything, especially in the first season :D 

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Season 2020/21 – part 2


Our first departure, the board accepted offers for Sokolov from Dinamo and Lokomotiv (unfortunately he didn’t choose the second one which also included a future sale clause).


Not the best personalities for our best prospects, but potentially Kravchenko, Korotkov and Trofimov can develop into good defensive players, and Goncharov is the most promising striker here. The disappointing thing about FM21 youth intakes is that top prospects now don’t agree to sign for a minimal wage with 3 years extension clause :( 



No chances against the league leaders, need to improve in future.


Some very boring games where all our strikers completely forgot how to score, but still we got enough points to stay in the playoff position. Could do better if those B teams weren’t fielding so many main squad players against us :mad:


A tough schedule in April, and our defense obviously wasn’t in good form here. Nine goals conceded in first three games and the only draw thanks to a comeback from 1-3 in Krasnoyarsk. We managed to snap this poor run against Volgar, and then held Orenburg for a draw to retain 4th place. With three games to go Nizhniy Novgorod and Baltika already secured promotion, and three teams will contest the playoff places.



Two wins actually were enough to secure our place in playoffs. We’re going to face Rotor there and that’s not the worst option (at some point much stronger teams, like Rubin and Rostov were on these places in RPL).


Krylja Sovetov with a lot of ex-Chertanovo players in the squad almost caught up the playoff spots, but that wasn't enough after a poor autumn run. I think if we can win the promotion, it will be possible to bring some of them back (depending on the finances, of course).



We created more real scoring chances, but their attackers showed some clinical finishing so we even had to equalize. Still a draw with two away goals gives us a good chance for promotion!


And we did it! Once again Zavezen gave us an early lead and we managed to increase it in second half. Have absolutely no idea how we would survive in RPL, but hopefully at least 14th place will be a realistic target.

Best Eleven


Two center-backs shared the highest average rating, not a big surprise as the FM21 rating system seems to be more favorable to defenders (they form the whole top 10 of the league). Pinyaev became our top goalscorer despite rarely playing the whole 90 minutes. He still needs to improve and become more consistent but already shows his talent.

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Pre-season 2021/22


Predicted last, just as expected. Overtaking two other promoted teams should be our main goal this season.


Transfers out


Unfortunately, Abaev decided to retire after helping us winning the promotion.

Transfers in



Thanks to the new sponsorship deal, we could afford what I planned after the last season. Three players returned home from Samara – goalkeeper Lomaev, left-back Gorshkov and right winger Yezhov will obviously strengthen our squad, and Tsypchenko joined us on a full contract after his decent performance on loan.



Also we moved to the 15000-seated Torpedo stadium to meet RPL requirements. The funniest thing here is the rebuilding date (it’s under reconstruction IRL, but FM somehow counts it finished three years before the plan :D

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Season 2021/22 – part 1


We had to play the opening game against Rostov without three starting defenders who all were suspended after the playoffs, so Boris Kravchenko, the most promising player from the latest youth intake had an unexpected RPL debut. Still we only conceded from a penalty, so could hope for a good result against Baltika and eventually managed to achieve it! Sergey Pinyaev set the final score and became the youngest ever RPL goalscorer.


Our first away win came against Arsenal Tula, thanks to an early red card to their player and immediate punishment from Tsypchenko. And then we almost defeated one of the league favorites Spartak, but Bartasevich scored an own goal trying to clear the ball without any actual pressure from opposition. Summer ended for us with a heavy loss against CSKA, hopefully we won’t repeat this kind of performance too often.


Tsypchenko suffered an injury and we couldn’t score at all in the league, though gained two points at home. The first cup game also wasn’t easy, before Pinyaev scored the late winning goal we had no real advantage.


We played against four of the current top six teams so defeats could be expecting, still such a poor run was sad to watch. Even the cup game against Tyumen ended with a penalty loss (anyway a draw in regulation time was enough to advance from this group). But finally we managed to get our first league win in almost three months against Ural and climbed out of relegation zone. November can decide a lot as we will face other teams from the bottom.


After losing to Baltika I was sure that we are going back to FNL, and first half against Khimki was also poor but two long shots gave us an important win to finish this part of the season with a bit more optimistic mood.


NN and Baltika are doing better so far, but we are ahead of Ufa and Arsenal and yet have to play both of them in spring. Winning these games will be very important for our survival in RPL. Krasnodar is on the road to their first ever league title, though anything can change after the break.


Speaking of the new youth intake, we are again promised to get a golden generation. Hope this time it's something more than a standard FM teasing.

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Season 2021/22 – part 2


I returned Sokolov on loan, he only played for Dinamo second team but improved there and now can be our starting player. And left-back Kenyaikin looks really good for only 16 years old!



Three of the four promising players are left wingers :D  Utkin is the highest rated among them and can actually break into the main squad as a backup soon. Central midfielder Yakovlev also has a lot of potential to develop. We also got an Argentinian goalkeeper who’s unlikely to improve but at least has a good personality to remain in the youth squad.



We were really lucky with this cup draw, Textilschik was the only lower league team remaining at this stage. After defeating them we’ll face Ural in quarter-final and will play at home again.


Losing to Ufa put our survival under a big doubt, the remaining fixtures give us only a few realistic chances to get some points and we are already 15th. Things are going much better in the cup, we reached semi-final but most likely will stop there against Dinamo.



We kept some chances to survive after defeating Nizhniy Novgorod, and despite losing all other games stayed above the direct relegation spots, thanks to Khimki’s awful run – they lost seven games in a row. Actually it all could be even better if we converted our chances against Akhmat, but there I felt like playing FM20 – Pinyaev had four one on one chances and couldn’t do anything, while their right-back with poor finishing scored twice within three minutes. We still have a game in hand but it’s against Krasnodar and I doubt that we’ll get any points from them.



That was awful but somehow we survived. Still have to fight for this place in playoffs with Krylja Sovetov.


We sent a lot of shots wide before Zavezen finally managed to hit the target on 55th minute. A great result for playing at home first.


So far we played four playoff games, and Zavezen opened the score in each of them! He obviously should have high important matches attribute, even though it isn’t in his coach report. So, another season of struggle in RPL incoming :D 


Squad stats

I think it’s the first time in any of my careers when a goalkeeper became the team's highest rated player, and actually Lomaev deserved it – without his saves we would have finished bottom of the table. But what really surprised me – he also won the best Russian goalkeeper award! Pinyaev became our best goalscorer, he’s developing really well and I’m glad that we managed to sign a new contract.



And finally we were in decent financial state to afford some facilities improvement.

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Playing with the same team myself I would have loved to see what you could have done with the official rules in place. Im 26 games in to the first season and 5th. We have no wage budget left and all our first team apart from 4 will be free transfers at the end of the season if there contracts expire. 

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On 12/12/2020 at 21:13, WilsonJuve said:

Playing with the same team myself I would have loved to see what you could have done with the official rules in place. Im 26 games in to the first season and 5th. We have no wage budget left and all our first team apart from 4 will be free transfers at the end of the season if there contracts expire. 

Good luck with this, hopefully you'll get really good youth intakes in first seasons as some positions will need a lot of strengthening (at least a decent goalkeeper to replace Abaev).


Pre-season 2022/23


Still predicted last, though with the same odds as Baltika.


Transfers out



Just sent some fringe players on loan, the first team remained the same. 

Transfers in



Kuznetsov returned after six seasons in Dinamo Bryansk and will be our backup goalkeeper. Belyaev’s key attributes aren't impressive but well balanced, and with gaining some points into each of them he will become a decent defender. Nagle was released by Dinamo Moscow and hopefully can develop here (though I mostly sign him for the unusual set of nationalities :D ).

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Season 2022/23 – part 1


The start was surprisingly good, we were 3-1 ahead in St. Petersburg with 20 minutes to go, couldn't keep this lead but then completely outplayed Rubin at home!


Our games are certainly more entertaining to watch than they were last season. We were smashed by CSKA and Krasnodar, but two wins against weaker teams were satisfying, with such results we won’t be in risk of relegation. Center-back Kravchenko, who became a starting player this season, scored his first career goal against Baltika.


We gained three more points in RPL, thanks to a late winner from Tsypchenko, and advanced further in the cup where Utkin scored two on his debut in the first team (and one more in the next league game, unfortunately only as a consolation).


The World Cup in Qatar messed up this season’s schedule, so our break starts a month earlier than usual. Before this we had a good month, except the loss against Nizhniy Novgorod (still were better on xG there) - recorded our biggest win in RPL against Ural, saved an honorable away draw with the title holders Dinamo and finally defeated struggling Lokomotiv with a late double from Sokolov.


Best of the rest so far! The top five are way too strong but we surely can hope for a solid mid-table finish. And our attack is the best in RPL at the moment, that’s really unexpectable after we struggled to score for months last season.


Russia couldn’t qualify for the World Cup, so it’s only a friendly call-up but still a sign of the club development.


Another golden generation, this time with DC and MC as the most promising players. Would be nice to get an improvement for these positions.


Sokolov won the best Russian player award, with Pershin on second place. Strange that Pinyaev wasn’t even included into a shortlist.

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Season 2022/23 – part 2


Sad to see our best player leaving the team after the season, but there wasn’t much I could do. The board accepted a bid from Spartak Moscow, and I only could offer him to other clubs and at least sell him abroad (though Spartak offered up to 12 million euros in different clauses).



This intake had less players to be signed, but Andrey Anisimov looks like the best prospect from all three seasons so far. And I also hope for center-back Podymov’s progress, this position is really our weakness so far.



Typical match scheduling in RPL – two-week gaps in July and August and a lot of fixtures to play now on snow-covered fields. The results were mixed, we player another good game against Zenit and this time managed to hold the lead, got a point from Spartak and confidently defeated Rubin, though at the same time were knocked out of the cup and suffered two heavy losses against CSKA and Krasnodar.


The schedule in March seemed to be easier, but the games actually were not. We defeated only the last placed Rotor, and even there were behind with 10 minutes to go. Pinyaev won the NXGN award (looks like another Golden Boy alternative), a bit strange to see something like that awarded in March but nice anyway.


Our goalless run almost extended to four full games before Pershin's penalty equalizer, and then suddenly came this impressive result against Tambov! 1-2 at half-time, turned to 5-2 on 75th minute and 5-4 five minutes later! I don’t remember if any of our players scored a hat-trick before, but Pinyaev set an achievement which will be hard to surpass soon.


A poor finish but it couldn’t affect our position. We finished 6th, far away from the top teams but it’s a great result for just second season at the top flight.


Pinyaev became third goalscorer of the league with 16 goals, and I was awarded the manager of the year title (deserved, I guess :D ). Also it's worth mentioning that we got four points from the eventual champions.


Squad stats

Well… we surely will be much weaker without Pinyaev (unless it would be possible to sign him back on loan). Kravchenko became a first team player this season, good for him but it’s also a big problem that we don’t have anyone better on this position.



And more facilities improvements on the way!

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Pre-season 2023/24


Finally we overtook Baltika in the prediction table :D

Transfers out


Pinyaev was listed for loan immediately, but we couldn’t afford to pay his new wage (23k per week) and I guess even if we could, he’d reject this offer as he rejected Lokomotiv later.

Transfers in



Yezhov wasn’t really impressive on loan but he’s the best available option on the right wing for us, so I needed to sign him. Fatullaev is a potentially good right-back who already can get some first team minutes this season.

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Season 2023/24 – part 1


That’s going to be a real struggle. Our defense is still leaky, and without Pinyaev it’s harder to compensate with attacking strength. So that 6th place can remain our best finish for several more seasons.


Our first win could come against Rostov, but a very poor goal kick from Lomaev let them equalize in stoppage time. Then we almost saved the game with Sochi after a disastrous start (0-3 after 20 minutes) and finally got the three points against Arsenal. Striker Goncharov, who was Tsypchenko’s backup at first, took his chances really well and obviously will get more playing time in next games.


Finishing last season in top six gave us a rest from cup games until next year. Not sure if that influenced our results, but they were much better than before :D Yes, we were a bit lucky against CSKA, getting a penalty in one of the few attacks, but then gave absolutely no chances to Baltika.


After two heavy losses at start of the month we defeated Krylja Sovetov who came back to RPL with 37 year-old Mandzukic at front (he even scored in this game) and had a lot of chances against Tambov but conceded after a poor throw-in and only could equalize from a penalty.


We made a good comeback against Nizhniy Novgorod and held Rubin for a draw, a decent set of results for this schedule.


That’s an awesome way to finish this part of the season, especially as we never won a game against Rostov before.


Provisional 8th place is much better than I expected after few first games, though we are still much closer to the relegation zone than repeating our last season success.


That preview looks very promising with seven players considered good prospects.

Goncharov won the best Russian young player award, it's the second year in a row when our player wins it.

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Season 2023/24 – part 2


No one as promising as Anisimov last year, but there are seven 5* PA players – four wingers (Shabalin, Tsarev, Sazonov and Barinov), two full-backs (Volodin and Tsvetkov) and central midfielder Shulgin. I’ll also mention goalkeeper Rudenko (among all the goalies we had in our intakes he seems the most likely candidate to reach the first team level) and our only foreigner here – Cameroonian right-back Baning.



A really lucky cup draw, we played against 3rd tier team at home, confidently won and will now face Tambov in quarter-final. A good chance to repeat our best cup performance.


We drew all three league games in March, and of course gaining a point against Krasnodar was especially pleasing, even despite we actually missed a chance to win conceding few minutes before the final whistle. And then we easily defeated Tambov in the cup, reaching semi-final for the second time.


We got more points from Zenit than from any other Russian top team but still I haven’t expected that result in away game! The cup run ended just like two years ago, without many chances to advance further.


These fixtures couldn’t change much for us, but still it would be nice to finish in the top half. And going unbeaten in May was eventually enough to do it!


We got only three points less and finished two positions lower than last season, that’s much better than I expected at start. Dinamo was simply unstoppable this season, setting the new record in points (not including the transitional season of 2011/12).


Squad stats

Goncharov scored more than Pinyaev did a season before, that’s a really good replacement! Anisimov develops well but his performance isn’t impressive so far, hope he’ll improve it soon. Also two players who were not so outstanding on the intake day managed to reach first team and got some playing time – center-back Sukhov and midfielder Andreev.

Pinyaev played the season for PSG reserves (9+5 in 25 games) and once came from the bench for the senior team. He also made his international debut in March, played two friendlies but wasn’t included into the Euro 2024 squad.


Something strange happened with facilities improvement, according to the board we are underachieving. The goal was attempt to avoid relegation and it remains the same for the next season :D 

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Pre-season 2024/25


Baltika relegated, so we're predicted last once again.


Transfers out


Gorshkov wanted to leave with a year left on his contract, and Fatullaev was sold by board. I could understand Pinyaev’s selling when club balance was around zero, but now, when we had 13 million it’s a very strange decision.

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Season 2024/25 – part 1


Anisimov scored his first senior goals against Akhmat and let us start the season with a win. Two other games ended with draws, quite disappointing with Ufa and honorable with Krasnodar.


Not the best start of month, but we finally managed to end the winless run in a game against Krylja Sovetov. Though it wasn’t easy at all, we gave away a two goal advantage before Sokolov scored with a long shot and gave us these important three points.


Tsypchenko had an awful run of seventeen games without scoring before his goal gave us a win against Arsenal. September was a good month overall, except a trip to leading Lokomotiv. There we missed some injuried players, especially on the right side, so I included youngster Nagibin to the squad and let him make his senior debut when the score was 1-3… and that worked :D 


Very good results in October, we advanced to the cup playoffs (though will play CSKA in the next round so unlikely will be as successful as last season) and saved a draw against Dinamo, the defending champions.


Some high-scoring games before the break, and just like a year ago, we go to holiday after an away win against Rostov!


Zenit is massively underachieving but all other top teams are still doing well. I think 6th place can be achieved in the end if we manage to overtake Akhmat.


Our U18 team won the national youth championship, I guess that should give us a place in Youth Champions League for the next season.

Goncharov won his second Russian best young player award in a row, and also finished third in voting for the best RPL player.


Golden generation, as usual :D A top prospect in goal is always nice to see in this kind of career. 

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Season 2024/25 – part 2


Another board intervention :seagull:

It’s a good amount of money, so we agreed a new upgrade of training and youth facilities, but Goncharov will be hard to replace so far. And we also lost Zavezen for 3 months due to injury, that weakens our attack even more.


This intake is not as rich as the previous one, though four players stand out – goalkeeper Guseinov, midfielders Akulov and Krasavin and center-back Yeschenko.



Without key attacking players this schedule, hard enough itself, turned into a complete nightmare. The only bright side was a debut goal by our last season’s graduate Barinov who got his chance in the first team when we had to cover those losses.


Good performance on the last minutes gave us some important points in April. I also started using Andreev as a striker, he has all the needed skills for it except finishing (which isn’t so important alone) and so far that works!


Some more late winners, including one against Lokomotiv which actually ended their title hopes.


8th place once more, but we set our new points record and finished with a positive goal difference for the first time. The title battle was tight until the last matchday, and Spartak eventually won it on better head-to-head results (and they were eight points behind at winter break). Speaking of Zenit and their struggle, the reason was very clear – they only had 16 players in the first team, and three of them were youngsters valued less than a million, so playing literally without any backup led to the expected result.


Squad stats

Best eleven:


Zavezen ------------------------------------- Yezhov





I already said about Andreev’s good form as a striker, and I think he will be our first choice at front for the next season. Anisimov continued his development, and despite a bit inconsistent form became one of the best assistants in the league (just hope our board won’t sell him after first decent bid). Defense remains our biggest weakness and we’ll need to wait several seasons to make it more solid, but luckily Lomaev saves a lot and deserved to win his second goalkeeper of the year award.


Former players watch 

Pinyaev scored 19 goals in 27 games for PSG reserves, they don’t promote him to the main team and for some reason list him unavailable for loan too.

Goncharov didn’t play at all since leaving us, even for Porto B.

Fatullaev played 12 games for Spartak-2 in FNL.

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Pre-season 2025/26


In our fifth RPL season we are finally not predicted to go down.


Transfers out


Gudkov wanted to leave and was unlikely to progress anymore, so I let him go and returned Trofimov from loan as a backup. Utkin’s progress stalled recently, so hopefully this loan move will help.

Transfers in


Sarveli was my transfer target for a long time, especially after Goncharov departure, but his value and wage demands were too high for us. Now, as Ural relegated, we managed to sign him much cheaper.



Good news, as now it’s possible to qualify for Europe from 6th place.

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Season 2025/26 – part 1


Sarveli made an immediate impact, scoring two in the opening game against Arsenal. Two other matches went just as predicted, though we actually had chances to equalize against Lokomotiv before they scored the second goal in a counter.


Perfect result in August, and we climbed to provisional third place! It’s unlikely that we stay there for long, but still it’s the best start we ever had.


Unfortunately we couldn’t keep Anisimov in the club for long, after this season he will join Chelsea for potentially 13 million. But right now he is still helping us remain in the top group, his assist in the stoppage time brought us a difficult win over Torpedo.


Draws against CSKA and Krasnodar are good results without any doubt, but actually we missed two wins conceding soon after our opening goals. We also advanced to the cup playoffs (glad to see my home team Novosibirsk promoted to FNL and reached the group stage) and will play Krasnodar there.


Quite a hard schedule to finish the year, and we predictably fell outside the top three. The highlight of November, however, was a senior national debut for Anisimov, the first ever player to represent Chertanovo in Russia squad (well, technically he already signed a contract with Chelsea, but obviously deserved this call-up for playing here).


Nothing is decided yet, maybe top three teams are already far ahead, but finishing in top six seems quite realistic if we manage to start well in March.


Meanwhile our U18 team successfully defended their national title and passed two rounds in Europe, defeating Sarajevo and Besiktas. Roma will be the next opposition.


And another golden generation incoming :D 

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Season 2025/26 – part 2


The best assessed player is winger Pronchev, then we got a promising right-back Tskhovrebov, another decent goalie Yershov and a bunch of central midfielders (I'd highlight Goncharov as he is the most defensive-minded of all and there's not much of them in our squad).



Great start of the year, we were clinical in front of the goal, though in the end almost gave away a three-goal advantage. The quarter-final draw put us against Krylja Sovetov at home, can be a chance to repeat our best cup performance once again.


We played our best RPL game so far against Nizhniy Novgorod, scoring six even before half-time, but as it usually happens after big wins, struggled later and remained on 7th place. At least we reached the cup semi-final for the third time.


A month of disappointment. We missed a win against Zenit (and couldn’t overtake them for 6th place) on last minute while having a man advantage, lost Yezhov for 8 months in the same game and basically have no chances for European places with a cup defeat and all the points dropped in the league :( 


Our last chance to get European football next season was defeating Akhmat, and we were 1-0 ahead with 20 minutes to go… :(


8th again, and even less points than last year. Very disappointing as we could do better in March and April. I was selected as manager of the year for the second time, but it’s only a small consolation.


Squad stats 

Best eleven:


Barinov ------------------------------------- Yezhov





Sarveli was a great addition to our squad and became the second RPL goalscorer, while Anisimov finished the season as the league leader in assists (both also set new club records). Don’t know how we will cope without our best playmaker, hopefully Shulgin and Tsarev, who already had some first team practice, will make a step forward. Two other members of class 2024 – Barinov and Tsvetkov already won the competition for the starting places against more experienced players.  

Former player watch

Pinyaev scored the first goal for PSG, but it was his only appearance in the first team. During winter break he joined Dinamo on loan and had 2+2 in 12 RPL games.

Goncharov scored 4 goals in 16 games for Porto reserves. He's already 22 and don't progress at all, so selling him for that money was a good idea. Can actually bring him back for 2-3 million but doubt that we really need him now.

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Pre-season 2026/27


A few more places up in the prediction chart, and we are now expected to finish mid-table.


Transfers out



Anisimov was listed for loan after joining Chelsea, and we could keep him for one more season, but a bid from CSKA was obviously more appealing. Rudkovskiy and Velikorodny, our starting midfielders from the first seasons, also left the team (Velikorodny wasn’t a planned sale but the bid was quite good and we had enough players to replace him).




I think it should be the top level of junior coaching and second highest of recruitment. Training and youth facilities (currently good and great) are going to be upgraded in October.


Meanwhile something strange happened in Krasnodar, their manager retired five days after appointment at the age of 35.


P.S. Forgot to mention this in the latest season update, but our U18 team eventually reached the Youth League semi-final, not bad for the debut.

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Season 2026/27 – part 1


We started with two and a half perfect games :D Honestly I didn’t expect two wins with not the easiest schedule, but there also were two shutouts for Lomaev. Then we were 1-0 ahead a half-time against Dinamo before their better quality finally resulted in goals. And Pinyaev scored the winning one, who else could it be? :D 


Our performance against Zenit and Spartak was decent, still not enough to gain any points. Though we defeated Akhmat with a late winning goal from Barinov, which is great at they were in top six last season and are going to repeat this success.


Friendlies are filtered out, but we also were playing against Chelsea (part of Anisimov’s transfer) and only missed the win in stoppage time. Yes, it wasn’t the top lineup against us, but still Werner, Gnabry, Abraham, Rabiot, Ferran Torres and several newgen wonderkids played there.


I have absolutely no idea how to hold the lead effectively in this game, no matter if we go more defensive or stay more attacking - we concede or at least allow good chances in the end. 2-0 against Krasnodar, 3-1 against Rubin and only one point from these two games. Guess we simply need better defenders :D 


We play much better when our goal is needed in the end, that’s for sure. Two draws saved in Moscow derbies didn't improve our position but at least didn't allow opponents to break away. Roman Yezhov finally came back after injury, scoring a goal and two assists in his first start since April.


It looks like another season when we’ll be close to continental places but won’t eventually reach them.


And another golden generation, seventh in a row. As always, hope for a really good center-back there.

Our U18 team won their third consecutive title. Striker Artem Yershov was the top performer, scoring 10 goals in 6 games, hopefully he and other players will continue improving to break into the first team.

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Season 2026/27 – part 2


Decided to let Tsypchenko leave, he was only a fringe player, spent last year on loan in Belarus and now continues his career in Kazakhstan. 




Well, that’s a real star. Defensive midfielder Yury Gudkov goes straight to the main squad and can challenge Pershin for a starting place. Other players look not so impressive (could we hope for more though?), attackers Chilyushkin and Levin are the most promising. Unfortunately, none of the defenders look like a real prospect, Kharin is assessed as the best but these physical attributes need too much improvement.



Dinamo ended our cup run, and Pinyaev again scored the decisive goal against us.


This win over Akhmat can be very important in the end, they had more chances to score but we took ours better. We were quite close to gaining some points from Spartak and Zenit as well, but their advantage was bigger (especially against Spartak, when Shulgin was sent off on 20th minute and we scored with the only real chance in counter) and eventually resulted in the winning goals. What’s interesting, our U18 team also lost to Spartak in the Youth League quarter-final few days before the main team’s game.


Three wins leave us a chance to get European football next year, with three games to go we are only one point behind 6th place, and the remaining schedule is quite similar for us and Lokomotiv.


Same old story. 3-1 ahead with 10 minutes to go, and we fail to keep it once again. This draw ended our chances to get 6th place, which actually didn’t mean anything this season as Akhmat won the cup and took the last European spot. Not too disappointing then :D 


Sarveli scored less than last season (15 goals) but again finished second in the goalscorers table.


Squad stats

 Best eleven:


Barinov ------------------------------------- Tsarev





As I expected, Shulgin and Tsarev became first team players. Our defense is still weak, I tried to alter our starting pair but it didn’t work much better (though Yeschenko’s performance was quite promising and I guess he will get more playing time next season). Kenyaikin’s stats are really weird, I don’t see him playing as poorly as the game rates him, though try to give more chances to his backup Volodin.

Former players watch

Pinyaev moved to Dinamo permanently after loan and had 8+5 in 23 RPL games. Not bad, but he obviously could do better now if hadn’t stuck in PSG reserves for several years.

Goncharov returned to RPL as well, I could sign him back but he would be only a backup player here and I didn’t make a bid. Ufa paid 1.7 million and got a good striker for their level – 6+3 in 19 games.

Anisimov helped CSKA to defend the title, being a key player. 5+5 in 29 games, and that’s mostly from the defensive midfielder position.

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Pre-season 2027/28


Predicted 9th now, so I guess there won’t be a big overachievement this season (breaking into the top group still looks very hard). And as Russia again lost a place in the UEFA ranking, there will be only five European spots.


Transfers out



Zavezen and Yezhov were among our best players a few seasons ago, but now age and injuries turned them into high-paid backups, and some younger players are ready to replace them. Same goes to a backup goalkeeper Kuznetsov. I also sent one reserve player on loan to Wellington (as usual offered him to clubs from Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia etc. and just for fun selected New Zealand, was surprised they actually made a bid :D ).



Quite a surprising call-up for Kenyaikin considering his last season form, though AI managers rarely care about it.


And Anisimov’s transfer brings us some more money. Hopefully he eventually will play for Chelsea as we have a clause for his league appearances.

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Season 2027/28 – part 1



Eight goals in the opening game, one in three others. Can’t say I’m surprised with such inconsistency at all, but still setting a new club record (and leading the table for two weeks :D ) is pleasing.


Apart from the game in Krasnodar, when we conceded two penalties in first 13 minutes, it was a decent month. Two wins and a draw against the champions of two last seasons (quite a funny game, we conceded 25 seconds after kick-off and equalized 12 seconds after half-time :D ).


Four wins out of four, and of course the most pleasing one came against Dinamo. They were leading the league, unbeaten at that moment, and in 14 previous matches we only managed to get three draws from them. And finally this streak was broken with Tsarev’s hat-trick!


We were knocked out of cup, and… no idea what happened in a game against Baltika, they were 15th placed but completely outplayed us. However, other league results were quite good and kept us in the top six, not far from leaders. Gudkov scored his first senior goal, he’s our best set piece taker so already made some assists before, and now got a chance to shoot from a free kick.


Two narrow wins and a game against Spartak where we started poorly (0-3 on 30th minute) but almost saved a draw - that’s a decent way to finish the year. Also we had a record of 22 players called up into different national teams, including Barinov who made his senior debut for Russia in a friendly against New Zealand.


Could this be our breakthrough season? We certainly shouldn’t finish lower than 6th, but hopefully won’t be last in this group and finally get some European football next year.


Can’t say that we need another central midfielder or winger, but if there’s someone as good as Gudkov, I won’t mind :D 

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Season 2027/28 – part 2


No superstars this time, though Yesin can develop into a really good winger. Other prospects include two central midfielders, both with second nationalities – Tadevosyan and Santos, right-back Agapov and goalkeeper Gioev.




Well… we couldn’t keep the pace of leading group. Defeated CSKA after a strong start, but lost all other important matches and finished 6th. Still it’s our best season so far, and hopefully we will do even better next season.

Squad stats

Best eleven:


Barinov ------------------------------------- Tsarev





In his first full season in senior football Gudkov became our highest rated player! And with his appearance as a first team player our defenders also get better ratings, can’t be a coincidence. Though I’m still searching for better options for center-backs, and for the final games moved Panteleev to the senior squad. He wasn’t among the top prospects in his intake, but with good personality and mental attributes developed really well. And probably we’ll see a change of starting goalkeeper next season, Rudenko looks ready to challenge Lomaev

Former players watch

Pinyaev remained in Dinamo (though PSG tried to sign him back in winter for 13 million, no idea why). 6+6 in the league, not really impressive to be honest.

Goncharov signed a new contract with Ufa and actually disappointed – just 2+2 in the league.

Anisimov spent second season on loan with CSKA and scored 5 more goals.



Our first representative on a major tournament! Hopefully he’ll get some playing time. Kenyaikin also was in the provisional squad but suffered an injury, and Sokolov made his debut earlier in a friendly.

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Pre-season 2028/29


Joint 6th with Akhmat and Lokomotiv, the top teams are still far better.




Gerchikov, one of the last players remaining from the 2020 squad, joins Tsypchenko and Yezhov in Kazakhstan. Also I sold Andreev, who at one moment became a first choice striker, but now other players look better even as backups.


Russia got the only point in the Euro group with Italy, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Barinov spent all games on the bench, while Anisimov started all three.


Some interesting news from the second tier, would be interesting to follow them if this takeover happens.

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 Season 2028/29 – part 1


What an opening, despite two red cards in first half (one of them was later cancelled, but it didn’t make things easier in the game itself) we managed to score and hold the lead. Discipline issues continued against Dinamo (Barinov was sent off) and this time we lost, but then defeated Spartak for the first time ever. We couldn’t even get a draw against them in four years before! 


Zenit activated Kenyaikin release clause, and in the next game we were lucky to lose only 0-1 against Akhmat :( Though we managed to bring Anisimov back on loan! He’s still sitting in Chelsea reserves, and this time there were no bids from bigger Russian teams to beat us.


Two very disappointing defeats, both with decisive goals conceded on last minutes. This inability to get results against big teams is really frustrating :( 


Started with a pleasing away win over Lokomotiv (they are struggling this season but still have a good squad), but then lost to Zenit after missing a penalty early in the game and couldn't beat Rubin despite having 3 XG and 15 shots on target against 1 :seagull:


Away draw against league leaders and two confident wins – that’s a good way to finish the first part of the season. Right winger A.Tsarev made his international debut for Russia, totally deserved it as he’s currently our best player with 12 goals and 7.37 average rating. Unfortunately, he’s wanted by PSG and has a release clause of 11 million, so probably wouldn’t stay here even until the end of season.


6th place again, but CSKA has two games in hand and probably will overtake us. The cup may be our better chance for Europe, though we got a very unlucky draw and will play against Zenit in St. Petersburg.


It’s obviously our worst intake preview so far, but probably won’t be so poor as our senior squad quality is much better now.

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Season 2028/29 – part 2


Tsarev left us for a release clause, and it wasn’t even a foreign club :(  Lomaev and Shulgin requested to leave as they were not first team players anymore, and somehow Shulgin caught Porto attention. Well… we have a future sale clause so maybe will get some benefits from this transfer. 


The preview didn’t lie. In addition to low predicted potentials, the best players here have quite poor personalities. Maybe Ibragimgadjiev can develop into a good winger though.



Despite the departure of our best player and conceding first we managed to advance! Gudkov’s long shot took the game into extra time, and then Yershov scored the winner when everyone was already expecting a shootout.


Yershov scored another late winner against Akhmat, and this goal let us continue the battle for European places. The cup quarter-final was much easier than previous stage, and we’re going to play Krasnodar next.


I thought we can have more chances in the cup, but instead we had a really great league run! Couldn’t break through Rostov defense, but then got seven points from Krasnodar, CSKA and Zenit, climbing up to 4th place with two games to go! Nothing is secured yet, we can finish anywhere from 3rd to 7th depending on the last matches…


Before the final matchday we were 3rd, but dropping points could leave us 5th and without European football next season, so the final minutes against Lokomotiv were hard to watch. Anyway we held the lead and finished the season with bronze medals, and what’s even more important, will make our continental debut soon!


Was hard to predict such a strong finish after losing our best player in winter. Rudenko won the best goalkeeper award and was selected into team of the season (together with A.Tsarev, who became a champion with Spartak). Totally deserved it, he had the least goals conceded and highest save percent in the league. Well, this v8t5d8U.png is a very optimistic, though unbelievable prediction :D 


Squad stats

 Best eleven:


Barinov -------------------------------- V.Tsarev





Seven changes comparing to previous season. Some of them were forced (Volodin and V.Tsarev replaced players who were poached by other clubs), some predicted (Rudenko and Panteleev had some first team practice in the end of last season and impressed, and Anisimov was simply a top level addition for us), but two others were quite surprising. Yershov won the competition against experienced Sarveli, becoming our top goalscorer, and Goncharov’s good center-back attributes were previously overlooked by me, I only assessed him as a decent backup midfielder before.


Former players watch

Pinyaev played much better this season (13+7 in RPL) and returned to the national team with 7 caps so far.

Goncharov was Ufa’s best goalscorer (8 goals in RPL) but couldn’t save them from relegation. We’re lacking depth on striker position, so probably will keep track of him.

Kenyaikin was a regular starter for Zenit. They eventually finished lower than us, though reached the Conference League final (lost to Fiorentina in extra time).

A.Tsarev became a great addition to Spartak squad, his winning goal on the final matchday brought them the title. He also scored the first goal for Russian national team in March.

Shulgin impresses for Porto B (7.39 in 13 games), and his market value almost doubled since transfer.



And a great achievement for our youth! Last season’s top graduate Yesin led our team to the trophy.

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Pre-season 2029/30


Almost the same prediction as last season, just Lokomotiv is rated a bit lower now.

Transfers out


Kravchenko was our first newgen to break into the first team and played 170 games in RPL, but it’s time to move on. Younger defenders finally look much better than him. 

Transfers in


Sokolov spent 7.5 seasons on loan with us, no idea why Dinamo actually signed him and extended the contract several times :D He previously asked for a much higher wage, but lowered his demands after being released on free transfer and signed for 9k per week. 


Anisimov was promoted to Chelsea first team, so obviously isn’t available for loan anymore but we now can receive money from appearances clause and probable future sale as his value will rise.

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Season 2029/30 – part 1


That’s a perfect start! Probably two home wins were predictable, but defeating Dinamo is a nice surprise. This game was quite boring, and there weren’t any real chances for both sides, apart from Sokolov scoring against his former team.


Still top of the league after Gudkov’s winning goal against Krasnodar. The European debut goes extremely well too, after defeating Lugano we were drawn against Napoli and were obvious underdogs but destroyed them in the first leg (just look at these stats)! The group draw put us against Sparta, Koln and Hajduk, this isn’t the easiest option but we have a good chance to advance further. We also signed a 16 year old center-back Trofimov from Lokomotiv, unfortunately his potential is now rated lower than was initially scouted but he still looks promising.


Spartak was hoping to end our impressive run and scored early in this game, but we came back after two assists from corners by Gudkov. Six points advantage over second place, of course it’s still very early to celebrate anything but three away wins over top teams are really pleasing. And the group stage started even better!


This streak couldn’t last forever, and we suffered our first defeat against CSKA. Losing to Lokomotiv was even more disappointing, we were 2-0 ahead and played much better but missed a penalty, a lot of other chances and eventually conceded in stoppage time. Though we are still leading the league and go unbeaten in Europe.


Surprisingly Rostov were our closest chasers, so defeating them was important for gaining the advantage, and we got the result thanks to a penalty. European journey is really easy so far, we secured the top spot in the group with two games to go.


Great second half against Dinamo, and we’re going to the winter break with five point advantage. And another big win in Europe let us finish the group stage with perfect score and 19-0 goal difference!


Best attack, best defense. Hopefully we’ll be able to carry this form into new year.


The new intake looks a lot more promising than the previous one.

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Season 2029/30 – part 2


Ustinov has the biggest assessed potential, but looking at his current attributes I really doubt that he will ever reach it. Khokhlov, Rajabov and Batischev look more promising for me.



The cup wasn’t our priority this season, but it would be very disappointing to go out after Rudenko saved two penalties. Luckily we scored a late equalizer, and then our goalkeeper made another save in shootout. 

And this happened few days after. Larin, you greedy ****** :seagull: Of course, it’s the perfect time to sell our starting player when we are battling for our first ever title.


Departure of Akulov didn’t change much so far, we’re keeping the five point lead in the league, defeated another Italian team in Europe with two more clean sheets from Rudenko, and even advanced to the cup semi-final though I fielded mostly bench players against Dinamo.


Winning a league game is never easy when you are close to the title, even against outsiders. Khimki and Tom were close to take points from us, but we managed to score late winners. Same story repeated with CSKA and in cup semi-final, so we secured an eight point advantage with four games to go and also have a chance for the second trophy! Dynamo Kyiv couldn’t stop us in Europe, and we’re through to semi-final in our debut season. Will play against Marseille there, and Krasnodar is drawn with Everton, so in theory it even can be a Russian final. Just need to survive this nightmare schedule with six matches within two weeks.


A header from Barinov gave us a win in the first semi-final leg, but then things were not so good. Two defeats in the league let Dinamo reduce the gap to two points, and Marseille equalized on aggregate after just a minute into the second leg… but we responded with four goals and booked the place in the final! A game against Lokomotiv was tough as well but we got three points, Dinamo played against Spartak two days later and lost so we became champions while training before the cup final :D 

The final started in a shocking way – Gudkov was sent off on 1st minute for an absolutely unnecessary tackle, and the result seemed to be already clear. However we didn’t give up, held the draw for almost an hour, and then even equalized, taking the game into extra time and shootout. Unfortunately, we missed two shots and couldn’t make a double, but I really can’t blame the team for that.


Finally a bit of rest before one more very important game…


The fairytale ended. Actually it was an even game in first 20 minutes, we had several chances to score, Barinov hit the post once but then Everton’s experience played its part. Rudenko parried two shots into his own goal, and the result was set.


Squad stats

Best eleven:


Barinov -------------------------------- V.Tsarev





Akulov should have been in Pershin’s place in midfield, if our board didn’t decide to sell him. Apart from this position, the first team didn’t change from previous season and this consistency paid off. Six players were selected into RPL team of the season – two wingers and almost whole defensive line. 

Former players watch 

Pinyaev played less impressive than last season, scoring 10 goals in all competitions. And he’s the highest paid player in RPL now, earning 115k per week.

A.Goncharov helped Ufa return to RPL with 21 goals.

Anisimov played 30 games for Chelsea in all competitions (though started only two of them) and scored twice. Not bad.

Kenyaikin became only a fringe player in his second season for Zenit, as they started to play 3-5-2 and a full-back didn’t fit into this.

A.Tsarev remained a regular starter for Spartak, but only got 2+3 in all tournaments.

Shulgin was surprisingly loaned by Spartak, only played two games but scored a goal in one of them.

Akulov played 12 games for Spartak, mostly from the bench, and had 1+1.



Three players were selected for the World Cup, V.Tsarev also was in the preliminary squad. What’s interesting, Rudenko and Goncharov haven’t got any senior caps yet.

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On 14/01/2021 at 20:17, Toin said:

This has been one of my favourite saves to follow, and you are doing amazing Koetzer! Looks like your patience may pay off this year!

Thank you, a few seasons ago I was already thinking that we'll never finish anywhere higher than 6th place, and glad to see that I was wrong :) 

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Pre-season 2030/31


Of course it will be hard to defend the title, but still it’s strange to see our odds becoming even worse.



Another player left us on release clause. It's very unlikely that Tsarev will become a first team player in Paris, his attributes (apart from physical ones) are really mediocre even on RPL level.


The previous season was really good for Russian clubs in Europe (20 ranking points overall, only England had more in 29/30), and we took a big part in regaining an extra Champions League place.


Russian national team reached the World Cup second round and lost to Serbia there (3-4 with a decisive goal in stoppage time). Barinov played two games out of three and scored in both! Rudenko and Goncharov spent all tournament on the bench and still have to wait for their debut.

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