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FM21: The English Football League thread


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9 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Interested to know if anyone has tried this guy in the english leagues at all?

Not me. In L2 and L1 I can't even scout outside England so Australia is definitely off the map :lol:

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3 hours ago, Welshace said:

iGmX3o0.png

 

Interested to know if anyone has tried this guy in the english leagues at all? cheap as chips, young and is EU too, so no WP issues afaik.. looks great for a striker maybe..

I haven't, I guess it depends in what level you're at.

In my current speculative effort (a modest top-flight team elsewhere in Europe) I did however sign a young Australian striker for a club record fee of £700k (virtually my entire budget) and it's giving me shivers because he is really raw. He wouldn't get a WP for EFL clubs though, unlike your one. 

Moral dilemma question:

  • For the team I was talking about above, in January 2021 there is a chance to sign a striker on a pre-contract deal with no compensation
  • He would want a wage of £7k per week (which is well above my highest earner of £4.9k per week) but he has a great scoring record IRL and would probably be my best player in game
  • However, you know that he was diagnosed with a condition that saw him fail a PL medical in 2017 and which halted his career completely in 2019. He made one comeback at a new club in 2020 and played a few games, but they have recently had to terminate his contract due to severe health concerns
  • This means he is unlikely to ever play pro football again (but the database won't know that yet until the winter update)
  • You feel uneasy signing him due to a totally irrational concern that managing him in FM21 will be distasteful knowing what you know. On the other hand, this might be your last chance ever to manage this player and you feel somewhat like you are giving him a farewell tribute
  • What do you do and why?
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4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

What do you do and why?

If he's healthy in FM21 I don't really see the dilemma (although the wages thing would bother me quite a bit). Give him a glorious send off before the winter update :Bowen:

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It's the end of my third season at Cambridge and, staggeringly I've secured my third successive promotion into the Premier League. Considering the opposition in the league and my squad i'm really not sure how. I'm starting to believe I'm a tactical genius. I'm sure the Premier League will soon knock me down though.

 

This is how the league season ended.

Table.thumb.png.2f9c5388337067405a9802641efcea72.png

I was consistently in the play-off places all season while the south coast clubs at the top ran away with things. I had two moments during the season where the wheels started to come off, the first was just as my squad was getting fatigued and I couldn't stick with my best XI and I really suffered - i was also struggling for goals. The second time was when my Goalkeeper got injured for 6 weeks and I had to use my reserve who I thought was OK, but turned out to be shocking. Those 3 results in February where i conceded 3 goals in each game was where my reserve was in. He had a proper shocker in the first game so i was quick about finding a free transfer replacement who helped me right the ship. After that, I went on a great run that got me that play-off spot.

fixtures.png.2f695ca873bc14a55283614d02585bda.png

The star man on that great was Tjaland. I'd had to wait until January for him to come back from loan and get a work permit, but when he did, he scored 10 in 16 games to the end of the season with a AVR of 7.25. Really made the difference. Also making the difference were some January signings - i'd struggled with my full backs and 'went big' to try to get re-enforcements. They came in the shape of Alpha Dionkou and Lutsharel Geetruida both on loan from Schalke and Rennes respectively. I wasn't sure which would get a work permit so pursued both, they both did so I thought what the hell and brought them in. Geertruida ended up my first choice DM and both massively improved my team.

dionkou.thumb.png.8b37c00b35a3135a06f95d4601d2bd81.png

geertruida.thumb.png.e098ba76410b5f5593492e0d7851c204.png

My other signing was a bit of an impulse buy. For years in FM i've played as Man Utd and Nishan Burkart was always a fun member of the squad - he was often a lethal finisher that I'd try to develop into the first team, but never really made it. When I spotted him while looking for attacking re-enforcements my sense of nostalgia and whimsy took over and I spent £60k on him. He wasn't prolific but he scored some really important goals and his pace saw him absolutely smoke some Championship defences at times.

Burkart.thumb.png.fe624a872baab6e0073a84cbf9428fe2.png

So, onto the culmination of the season. The play-off final was epic, but I have to share my semi-final first leg with West Ham first of all where I Football-Managered the hell out of them with a really cagey counter attacking style that brought me two set piece goals from my only two shots on target. Sorry Hammers. It happens to the best of us.

westham-playoff.thumb.png.e318ffaaaf4e35bdc24d38902311da4c.png

I drew the home leg 2-2 with West Ham in a really tight and tense match. But, talking of tight and tense, the play-off final with Brentford was maybe the most stressful Football Manager match I've ever played. I again went super defensive trying to contain Ivan Toney amongst other lethal forwards Brentford have and ground out a 0-0 all the way to Extra Time and Penalties.

391983886_play-offfinal1.thumb.png.9b71db4303df75e7a012fc1bcf03698d.png

You see that scroll bar on the penalties? We had a lot of penalties.

779613321_play-offfinal2.png.67241ebeaccb8a9fefb3ba1599ad4b0f.png

We took 17 penalties each in the end and I won 13-12. It was ridiculous. Also, a nice moment for Ryan Tunnicliffe to get the winner. He had been very dependable all season but his contract is up and I don't intend to renew it. The press even asked a question before the game about how it could be his last match for the team etc. So it was nice he was the hero of the day. 

I don't know what will happen in the Premier League, I have a £28m transfer budget and am being temporarily relocated to Millwall's 'The Den', for two seasons while we build a new stadium because The Abbey isn't up to Premier League standards. I'm sure there should be somewhere more convenient than that for all my Cambridge fans.

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After a bit of a break, finally finished my 4th season with Bournemouth.

transfers.thumb.png.3888e9ae0a9e8a4890e5f58301e2a90e.png(Sessegnon Sibley in and Kelly out were recorded in last years window for some reason)

squad.thumb.png.40860f0ecf81611ece62973ef41c720b.png

95% domestic bias, average age of 24 at the start of the season. Oldest outfield 27 (Dele) and only one over 30 in the squad (Trippier) Building for the future as well as the present. Only 12th highest wage budget in the league too.

comps.thumb.png.ec921d097ea7294121a642ded9a6578b.png

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Happy to have won the League cup and retain the FA Cup- a repeat of last years final, although this time we won more convincingly. We had 3 goals ruled out for offside too, never seen that many happen in a game before! A much better performance in the league too, thought for a minute we might win it but it wasn't to be. Very tight race and glad to have the best defence, 2nd most goals scored and 2nd best GD. Hopefully can win it next year

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21 hours ago, dozzie said:

It's the end of my third season at Cambridge and, staggeringly I've secured my third successive promotion into the Premier League. Considering the opposition in the league and my squad i'm really not sure how. I'm starting to believe I'm a tactical genius. I'm sure the Premier League will soon knock me down though.

 

This is how the league season ended.

Table.thumb.png.2f9c5388337067405a9802641efcea72.png

I was consistently in the play-off places all season while the south coast clubs at the top ran away with things. I had two moments during the season where the wheels started to come off, the first was just as my squad was getting fatigued and I couldn't stick with my best XI and I really suffered - i was also struggling for goals. The second time was when my Goalkeeper got injured for 6 weeks and I had to use my reserve who I thought was OK, but turned out to be shocking. Those 3 results in February where i conceded 3 goals in each game was where my reserve was in. He had a proper shocker in the first game so i was quick about finding a free transfer replacement who helped me right the ship. After that, I went on a great run that got me that play-off spot.

fixtures.png.2f695ca873bc14a55283614d02585bda.png

The star man on that great was Tjaland. I'd had to wait until January for him to come back from loan and get a work permit, but when he did, he scored 10 in 16 games to the end of the season with a AVR of 7.25. Really made the difference. Also making the difference were some January signings - i'd struggled with my full backs and 'went big' to try to get re-enforcements. They came in the shape of Alpha Dionkou and Lutsharel Geetruida both on loan from Schalke and Rennes respectively. I wasn't sure which would get a work permit so pursued both, they both did so I thought what the hell and brought them in. Geertruida ended up my first choice DM and both massively improved my team.

dionkou.thumb.png.8b37c00b35a3135a06f95d4601d2bd81.png

geertruida.thumb.png.e098ba76410b5f5593492e0d7851c204.png

My other signing was a bit of an impulse buy. For years in FM i've played as Man Utd and Nishan Burkart was always a fun member of the squad - he was often a lethal finisher that I'd try to develop into the first team, but never really made it. When I spotted him while looking for attacking re-enforcements my sense of nostalgia and whimsy took over and I spent £60k on him. He wasn't prolific but he scored some really important goals and his pace saw him absolutely smoke some Championship defences at times.

Burkart.thumb.png.fe624a872baab6e0073a84cbf9428fe2.png

So, onto the culmination of the season. The play-off final was epic, but I have to share my semi-final first leg with West Ham first of all where I Football-Managered the hell out of them with a really cagey counter attacking style that brought me two set piece goals from my only two shots on target. Sorry Hammers. It happens to the best of us.

westham-playoff.thumb.png.e318ffaaaf4e35bdc24d38902311da4c.png

I drew the home leg 2-2 with West Ham in a really tight and tense match. But, talking of tight and tense, the play-off final with Brentford was maybe the most stressful Football Manager match I've ever played. I again went super defensive trying to contain Ivan Toney amongst other lethal forwards Brentford have and ground out a 0-0 all the way to Extra Time and Penalties.

391983886_play-offfinal1.thumb.png.9b71db4303df75e7a012fc1bcf03698d.png

You see that scroll bar on the penalties? We had a lot of penalties.

779613321_play-offfinal2.png.67241ebeaccb8a9fefb3ba1599ad4b0f.png

We took 17 penalties each in the end and I won 13-12. It was ridiculous. Also, a nice moment for Ryan Tunnicliffe to get the winner. He had been very dependable all season but his contract is up and I don't intend to renew it. The press even asked a question before the game about how it could be his last match for the team etc. So it was nice he was the hero of the day. 

I don't know what will happen in the Premier League, I have a £28m transfer budget and am being temporarily relocated to Millwall's 'The Den', for two seasons while we build a new stadium because The Abbey isn't up to Premier League standards. I'm sure there should be somewhere more convenient than that for all my Cambridge fans.

Wow, some performance that. I do find with this game (both this year and historically) if you win a promotion the form generally carries through to the next year and you have a good chance of staying up or doing back to back promotions from league 2 and league 1. I am going to post my own update in a minute and a similar thing has happened. 

How much have you got to spend in the prem and who are you targeting? Re build the spine of the team maybe? 

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I won't post a full update of all the details as that would bore you all to death, but with 3 games to go, we've done it. 

image.png.78467f26707e75c5c89100012d20311e.png

Champions of league one after a remarkable season, our form carrying on from last season.

Despite us winning only 1 game in 7 from the end of Jan through February, Wycombe, Hull and Doncaster all decided to have equally bad spells around the same time, meaning the gap only ever get down to me being 6 points clear before accelerating away. Wins against Hull and Doncaster pushed them back and Donny have gone on a complete wobble, from being 2nd to 4th and bang out of form. 

Key players - we have a great defensive record and have only conceded 26 goals all season, however we have also only scored 63, winning a huge amount of games 1-0 or 2-0.

I'm not sure if others have noticed but there has been a lot of games when I've had say 4 shots, 1 on target to their 3 shots and 1 on target and win 1-0, or maybe I just play really boring football haha. 

Anyone got any recommendations for championship players? My aim now needs to be to sign and own some players and not rely on 5 or 5 key loan players. 

I have secured James Bree from Luton in the January window but i can't see my getting Bobby Duncan back as his 22 goals this season have rocketted his value and his agent says he wants 10k a week! 

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On 10/01/2021 at 22:44, warlock said:

If he's healthy in FM21 I don't really see the dilemma (although the wages thing would bother me quite a bit). Give him a glorious send off before the winter update :Bowen:

Unfortunately, I couldn't progress the game without making a decision either way - and I went the other way. Either way I was feeling uncomfortable so would probably have gone with your idea had I not already clicked my answer.

Great work with Oldham & Cambridge there guys. New challenges of a higher division will be testing you both now.

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5 hours ago, Plainlayzee said:

Wow, some performance that. I do find with this game (both this year and historically) if you win a promotion the form generally carries through to the next year and you have a good chance of staying up or doing back to back promotions from league 2 and league 1. I am going to post my own update in a minute and a similar thing has happened. 

How much have you got to spend in the prem and who are you targeting? Re build the spine of the team maybe? 

Yeah, in all my promotion seasons I've had a flying start - that's definitely helped. Get the points on the board early and when the rough patches come you've got a bit of a safety net. There's also less pressure to get the big results. You take a draw in the tough games rather than risk a defeat because you have points on the board already. It makes me more pragmatic, which has helped get me over the line with promotions. If I'd started badly then panic would probably set in and i'd be chopping and changing players, tactics from the off trying to find a result.

Now I'm in the Premier League, I have a transfer budget of £28m. My first priority was to try to secure some quality loans from the big boys in the league. I've just secured Ethan Laird from Man Utd which I'm well pleased with, but I've been been knocked back by Billy Gilmour from Chelsea and Liam Delap at Man City unfortunately. I'm still focussing on trying to pick up some good free transfers over the summer as always and have a couple of eastern European lads in midfield and Scandinavian wingers that have come in to bolster the squad. I also need to up the quality of my goalkeeper, currently negotiating with a Romanian guy and Kelleher, formerly of Liverpool on free transfers.

As you've suggested though, the spine of the team needs addressing. Definitely a new, quality CB and a strong all round CM (Oliver Skipp from Spurs is available and might be an option). And in forward areas, I really want to develop Tjaland, but I think I will need someone more proven - not identified anyone yet. I also want a quality AMC, something I don't have in the squad at present because I expect I'll be playing one up top most of the time and will need goals and creativity from midfield.

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On 11/01/2021 at 10:52, dozzie said:

I've secured my third successive promotion into the Premier League

Very impressive. Champion's League next season :lol:

5 hours ago, Plainlayzee said:

Champions of league one

Another great achievement. Not sure I can emulate that with Exeter but inspirational :thup:

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Greetings all. I've been on a bit of a sabbatical from Football Manager since guiding Salford to the Championship on the Beta. However, I have now returned home. 

Oh, boy! Do I mean home. Situated in the 8th tier of English football is my home town team. Clitheroe FC. I literally live 100m from the stadium. Lively locals, cheap pints and even cheaper pies make it a decent Saturday afternoon out. I've never played as them on FM before though. It's actually a lot lower down the pyramid than I have travelled before. 

Money doesn't exist at this level. The majority of the players are on non-contract, appearance based agreements. The staff are part time. The facilities.... I've played there......*shudders*

Anyway....back on topic.

20210112155931_1.thumb.jpg.23c4ba7a9c0716dc45da9ef2e2a5a916.jpg

We won the league!! We went top after about game week 5 and never looked back. Think we went 25 games without tasting defeat. Really happy with how we set up and played. The football on show was dire but we were less dire than the other 18 teams.

 

20210112160125_1.thumb.jpg.e6e0ec1a2994a824563d295ecf2eb7c5.jpg

Callum Nicell left in January and I was worried we would suffer. Anyone doing a lower league save should definitely check him out. The non-contract thing really bit me in the arse. Lost him for absolutely nothing. 

20210112160101_1.thumb.jpg.e3ab16d41a580f5dfcb5983ab6c22085.jpg

Top scorer for the season was Okera Simmonds. Absolute monster. Pace merchant. Needed about a million chances to score but grabbed plenty. Exeter made a move to sign him in the summer with the money gained being used to float the club for a full year, more or less. Free transfers are the order of the day as we look to make it back to back promotions. The turnover of players is huge and its hard to keep track, but these two have been standout, so far.

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3 minutes ago, StePratt said:

We won the league!!

Welcome back, and congratulations. I've never ventured that far down the pyramid... I should give it a go sometime.

I had Nicell somewhere in L2 last year and he had a lot of promise at that level. I can believe he was a monster in Tier 8.

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5 minutes ago, warlock said:

Welcome back, and congratulations. I've never ventured that far down the pyramid... I should give it a go sometime.

I had Nicell somewhere in L2 last year and he had a lot of promise at that level. I can believe he was a monster in Tier 8.

He certainly was. It was a dark day when he moved on. I think it's the most fun I've had on this version.

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Is there an official download for tier 8 etc? Ive thought of doing this loads before but saw someone say once the games are prone to bugs due to the downloads being un-official? If they do work and are reliable then I know where I'm going after Oldham! 

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9 minutes ago, Plainlayzee said:

Is there an official download for tier 8 etc? Ive thought of doing this loads before but saw someone say once the games are prone to bugs due to the downloads being un-official? If they do work and are reliable then I know where I'm going after Oldham! 

No official ones no... otherwise they would just be in the game...

But there are a few good creators that make fantastic ones each year... they'll be coming out soon i suspect.

 

I use this one.. it's fantastic every year... 

 

https://twitter.com/TheFMEditor85

 

 

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3 hours ago, StePratt said:

Greetings all. I've been on a bit of a sabbatical from Football Manager since guiding Salford to the Championship on the Beta. However, I have now returned home. 

Oh, boy! Do I mean home. Situated in the 8th tier of English football is my home town team. Clitheroe FC. I literally live 100m from the stadium. Lively locals, cheap pints and even cheaper pies make it a decent Saturday afternoon out. I've never played as them on FM before though. It's actually a lot lower down the pyramid than I have travelled before. 

Money doesn't exist at this level. The majority of the players are on non-contract, appearance based agreements. The staff are part time. The facilities.... I've played there......*shudders*

Anyway....back on topic.

20210112155931_1.thumb.jpg.23c4ba7a9c0716dc45da9ef2e2a5a916.jpg

We won the league!! We went top after about game week 5 and never looked back. Think we went 25 games without tasting defeat. Really happy with how we set up and played. The football on show was dire but we were less dire than the other 18 teams.

 

20210112160125_1.thumb.jpg.e6e0ec1a2994a824563d295ecf2eb7c5.jpg

Callum Nicell left in January and I was worried we would suffer. Anyone doing a lower league save should definitely check him out. The non-contract thing really bit me in the arse. Lost him for absolutely nothing. 

20210112160101_1.thumb.jpg.e3ab16d41a580f5dfcb5983ab6c22085.jpg

Top scorer for the season was Okera Simmonds. Absolute monster. Pace merchant. Needed about a million chances to score but grabbed plenty. Exeter made a move to sign him in the summer with the money gained being used to float the club for a full year, more or less. Free transfers are the order of the day as we look to make it back to back promotions. The turnover of players is huge and its hard to keep track, but these two have been standout, so far.

Hi mate, which tier 8 database did you go with?

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58 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Hi mate, which tier 8 database did you go with?

The FM Editors one, looks like the same one you quoted further up. It's excellent.

 

One issue though, I can't approach anyone on loan. I'm OK with it, for now.

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Having a bit of a problem at the minute surrounding a few things.

 

Firstly, the board is yet again (for about the 3rd time) In the process of a board takeover, which no doubt won't happen. Whilst it hasn't yet stopped me signing players, I've no doubt it will soon. 

I am also being linked with Stoke (finished lower half of championship) Aberdeen (finished 6th in Scotland) and Southampton, who stayed in the prem by a point. 

Do I stay at Oldham and muddle through with my quite unsatisfactory squad and lack of money or jump to a "bigger" club. Heart says stay, head says go to Stoke and take them back up, but if the Saints offer it, can I really refuse? 

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10 minutes ago, Plainlayzee said:

Having a bit of a problem at the minute surrounding a few things.

 

Firstly, the board is yet again (for about the 3rd time) In the process of a board takeover, which no doubt won't happen. Whilst it hasn't yet stopped me signing players, I've no doubt it will soon. 

I am also being linked with Stoke (finished lower half of championship) Aberdeen (finished 6th in Scotland) and Southampton, who stayed in the prem by a point. 

Do I stay at Oldham and muddle through with my quite unsatisfactory squad and lack of money or jump to a "bigger" club. Heart says stay, head says go to Stoke and take them back up, but if the Saints offer it, can I really refuse? 

Stop thinking like a real manager for a second and have a think where you will get the most enjoyment and challenge that you will enjoy?

 

Why accept the saints offer just because its a prem team? Will it be more fun to take Stoke back up?  What do you want from the game? glory? silverware? journeyman career? lifetime with Oldham?

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15 minutes ago, Welshace said:

Stop thinking like a real manager for a second and have a think where you will get the most enjoyment and challenge that you will enjoy?

 

Why accept the saints offer just because its a prem team? Will it be more fun to take Stoke back up?  What do you want from the game? glory? silverware? journeyman career? lifetime with Oldham?

Ideally I want this to be a long term save, gradually working my way up. 

Not 100% convinced I can do that with Oldham but at the same time I have a mid season wobble in most saves, I find myself really struggling to find players and then i'll get 6 in a week. 

Doesn't help with 4 of my key staff have retired, 2 players have retired and 4 where out of contract and there was no point giving them another, but its meant the likes of Wheater (retired) & Piergiani have gone. 

I effectively need to rebuild my dressing room and backroom staff....and pray someone lets me keep Duncan on loan.  

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1 hour ago, Plainlayzee said:

Do I stay at Oldham

I'll give you a definite "maybe" on that one :lol:. I certainly wouldn't jump ship for Stoke - I'll bet they've been a bottom-to-mid Championship outfit for the duration of your save and probably not much better than Oldham now.

Aberdeen and Southampton are more interesting and, I'd suggest, very similar prospects. Saints are always a fun save - a good youth academy, a fairly regular supply of decent youngsters, pretty sound finances, and a board that likes you to play attractive football. I've never managed in Scotland, but Aberdeen were a good staging post in the career of The Greatest Football Manager of All Time, and probably capable of challenging Celtic and Rangers with another good manager at the helm. Your choice :brock:

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Exeter, December 2021

After a good start to life in L1, reality caught up with us in October.

image.png.99646eb7c7fca52876bf06cbdc8ed9bb.png

Rather too many draws, and finishing the month with back-to-back defeats was extremely disappointing. A one-match experiment with a 433 system failed to produce any improvement and we moved quickly on. Eagle-eyed readers will notice one significant fact in those results... after starting the season in the form that won him the L2 golden boot, Nicky Ajose suddenly and rapidly declined. He has now played about a billion hours of football without finding the net. He's been encouraged, cajoled and threatened and nothing has worked, and he's now a candidate for transfer-listing in January. On the plus side, Adebayo has taken to L1 with relish and he's now the first name on the teamsheet with 16 goals from 17 starts.

My hopes for an easier season in terms of games-per-month have, so far, come to nothing. Eight games in October and seven in November have taken a toll and injuries are mounting. Our biggest problem is in central midfield where we're having to start very tired players, and I set my scouts to look for any out-of-contract players who could do a job. They turned up former Leeds man Conor Shaughnessy, who had been out of contract since the summer. As is the FM way, as soon as we showed an interest a host of clubs came out of the woodwork. Despite agreeing a contract with us, he ultimately went to some obscure outfit in the Australian A-League. Moving on, we identified former Wigan and Sheffield United midfielder Lee Evans. His attributes aren't outstanding, but my coaches rate him a 4* player in CM role and he's looked okay so far.

Despite my best efforts, we are still in the Deep Pan Trophy and face AFC Wimbledon in the next round in December.

Looking ahead to January, I think we'll need to sort out the Ajose situation up front, and bring in an upgrade in central defence where the big disappointment has been Racic, on loan from Brentford. He might lead out passing stats and he's certainly capable of producing a first-class performance but is equally capable of horrendous mistakes that lead to goals.

Despite this litany of woe, we're actually doing fantastically well:

image.png.db5df3afaf759340020895479f1f016f.png

For a team predicted to battle against relegation, second place is an amazing position to be in. We have the second-best attack, decent passing, good tackling - but idiotic lapses in defence keep costing us points.

I demand more!!

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6 hours ago, warlock said:

Exeter, December 2021

After a good start to life in L1, reality caught up with us in October.

image.png.99646eb7c7fca52876bf06cbdc8ed9bb.png

Rather too many draws, and finishing the month with back-to-back defeats was extremely disappointing. A one-match experiment with a 433 system failed to produce any improvement and we moved quickly on. Eagle-eyed readers will notice one significant fact in those results... after starting the season in the form that won him the L2 golden boot, Nicky Ajose suddenly and rapidly declined. He has now played about a billion hours of football without finding the net. He's been encouraged, cajoled and threatened and nothing has worked, and he's now a candidate for transfer-listing in January. On the plus side, Adebayo has taken to L1 with relish and he's now the first name on the teamsheet with 16 goals from 17 starts.

My hopes for an easier season in terms of games-per-month have, so far, come to nothing. Eight games in October and seven in November have taken a toll and injuries are mounting. Our biggest problem is in central midfield where we're having to start very tired players, and I set my scouts to look for any out-of-contract players who could do a job. They turned up former Leeds man Conor Shaughnessy, who had been out of contract since the summer. As is the FM way, as soon as we showed an interest a host of clubs came out of the woodwork. Despite agreeing a contract with us, he ultimately went to some obscure outfit in the Australian A-League. Moving on, we identified former Wigan and Sheffield United midfielder Lee Evans. His attributes aren't outstanding, but my coaches rate him a 4* player in CM role and he's looked okay so far.

Despite my best efforts, we are still in the Deep Pan Trophy and face AFC Wimbledon in the next round in December.

Looking ahead to January, I think we'll need to sort out the Ajose situation up front, and bring in an upgrade in central defence where the big disappointment has been Racic, on loan from Brentford. He might lead out passing stats and he's certainly capable of producing a first-class performance but is equally capable of horrendous mistakes that lead to goals.

Despite this litany of woe, we're actually doing fantastically well:

image.png.db5df3afaf759340020895479f1f016f.png

For a team predicted to battle against relegation, second place is an amazing position to be in. We have the second-best attack, decent passing, good tackling - but idiotic lapses in defence keep costing us points.

I demand more!!

Going well there mate, no shame in being second in the league at the nearly half way point. 

Interesting Adebayo doing well, he is someone I keep looking at for Oldham and then changing my mind as I am not sure how far up the ladder he can go. What role have you been playing him in? 

Good luck finding a centre back too, I had the same sort of issue and ended out playing Wheater and Rhys Williams practically every game, no wonder Wheater had enough and retired, he was 35!!! 

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7 hours ago, warlock said:

Exeter, December 2021

After a good start to life in L1, reality caught up with us in October.

image.png.99646eb7c7fca52876bf06cbdc8ed9bb.png

Rather too many draws, and finishing the month with back-to-back defeats was extremely disappointing. A one-match experiment with a 433 system failed to produce any improvement and we moved quickly on. Eagle-eyed readers will notice one significant fact in those results... after starting the season in the form that won him the L2 golden boot, Nicky Ajose suddenly and rapidly declined. He has now played about a billion hours of football without finding the net. He's been encouraged, cajoled and threatened and nothing has worked, and he's now a candidate for transfer-listing in January. On the plus side, Adebayo has taken to L1 with relish and he's now the first name on the teamsheet with 16 goals from 17 starts.

My hopes for an easier season in terms of games-per-month have, so far, come to nothing. Eight games in October and seven in November have taken a toll and injuries are mounting. Our biggest problem is in central midfield where we're having to start very tired players, and I set my scouts to look for any out-of-contract players who could do a job. They turned up former Leeds man Conor Shaughnessy, who had been out of contract since the summer. As is the FM way, as soon as we showed an interest a host of clubs came out of the woodwork. Despite agreeing a contract with us, he ultimately went to some obscure outfit in the Australian A-League. Moving on, we identified former Wigan and Sheffield United midfielder Lee Evans. His attributes aren't outstanding, but my coaches rate him a 4* player in CM role and he's looked okay so far.

Despite my best efforts, we are still in the Deep Pan Trophy and face AFC Wimbledon in the next round in December.

Looking ahead to January, I think we'll need to sort out the Ajose situation up front, and bring in an upgrade in central defence where the big disappointment has been Racic, on loan from Brentford. He might lead out passing stats and he's certainly capable of producing a first-class performance but is equally capable of horrendous mistakes that lead to goals.

Despite this litany of woe, we're actually doing fantastically well:

image.png.db5df3afaf759340020895479f1f016f.png

For a team predicted to battle against relegation, second place is an amazing position to be in. We have the second-best attack, decent passing, good tackling - but idiotic lapses in defence keep costing us points.

I demand more!!

Well done with your continual success and I am glad Adebayo has stepped up. 

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Cheers, chaps :thup:

3 hours ago, Plainlayzee said:

What role have you been playing him in? 

He's usually a poacher alongside a targetman, but when I have to rotate he's almost as good playing as the TM himself.

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Great work @warlockand delighted to see Adebayo play such an important role for you. Other managers should have seen enough by now to eliminate any doubts about signing him :brock:

@Plainlayzee I would 100% recommend that you stick with Oldham, ride the bumps in the road, and emerge stronger and healthier. If you wanted to pick Stoke, you could have done so from the beginning? As was said before, the important thing is to go with the decision that brings you the most enjoyment of playing the game though.

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Great work @warlockand delighted to see Adebayo play such an important role for you. Other managers should have seen enough by now to eliminate any doubts about signing him :brock:

@Plainlayzee I would 100% recommend that you stick with Oldham, ride the bumps in the road, and emerge stronger and healthier. If you wanted to pick Stoke, you could have done so from the beginning? As was said before, the important thing is to go with the decision that brings you the most enjoyment of playing the game though.

I always had a soft spot for Adebayo and I just put it down to me not getting the best out of him more then him failing at Birmingham lol.

 

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15 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I always had a soft spot for Adebayo and I just put it down to me not getting the best out of him more then him failing at Birmingham lol.

 

Indeed. It was more of more a tip for @Plainlayzee really. You just had (let's be kind) a fairly large squad when at Birmingham :lol:

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Just now, Jogo Bonito said:

Indeed. It was more of more a tip for @Plainlayzee really. You just had (let's be kind) a fairly large squad when at Birmingham :lol:

Yeah don't worry I didn't take it personally Jogo lol.

Yeah I wont have a big squad in my next save as I am going to be doing a mostly youth only save with West Ham but I can sign former Academy players like Diaganga, Quina, Oxford etc.

I will be posting how I do in the Premier League thread.

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I am just about to embark on my Premier League season with Cambridge, starting with Monday Night Football (gimme that TV revenue!) away to Leeds in the opening fixture. I feel like this is the kind of game I need to get something out of if I'm going to stay up.

I've been very busy in the transfer market trying to up the quality and bolster the numbers in my squad. None of the big name targets I hoped for have come off so I've brought in some pretty random finds. Not many household names here folks!

23-24_transfersIN.png.e267c2ec7922e6f499dc5bd499d85a9d.png

Sahinagic and Sevcik are both newgens, and have looked great in pre-season, very happy with those. 
Delighted with Laird, he was one of my first targets.
Abdelli I picked up with a relegation release clause, decent all-round attacking midfielder, but hasn't really done much in pre-season. Worried I've wasted some cash there.
Collins is a good young, all round defender - can play centre or either full back and I beat RB Leipzig to get him so I figure he must be decent.
Kelleher is an improvement on my existing GK but not necessarily the jump in quality I wanted. Crossing my fingers here.
Skipp is just the kind of solid, hard working midfielder I'm going to need. A no brainer really.
Ehlers was another with a release clause and my scouts gave a 100 rating too so I took the plunge. He's rated as my best defender now. Hoping for good things.
Kalimuendo I tried to get on loan in the Championship but didn't manage it. Spotted he was listed for cheap - I like his attributes for a goalscorer and hoping he'll have an impact.
Hlozek has been on my radar on other FMs as a good prospect - was available for decent money so took the chance.
Okoroji is the best I could attract without breaking the bank to improve my left full back area. Not the most exciting signing, but improves me none-the-less.

I'm missing that one star forward who is going to drag me through the season nicking results to keep me up I feel, but there just isn't anyone of that ilk available to me. Pinning my hopes on Tjaland, Kalimuendo and Chong - who have all been great in pre-season.... against Stranrear, St Neots and some Belgian 2nd Division teams. Just like the Prem I'm sure.

[EDIT]

I just played my match against Leeds and lost 2-0. Reality check. I was well in the game though, had the better of it in fact and Meslier in goal for them was MoM with 8.6 rating. But their quality going forward was terrifying every time.... and this was just Leeds.

Edited by dozzie
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@dozzie Nice update, I like the random names but that's what is expected at a club like yours. A bit like a dumbed-down Huddersfield side after they got promoted, but it can work. Good luck.

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Game 2 of the Premier League season went much better. Home to Fulham; this has to be a game I win if I'm going to stay up. And win it I did, comfortably.

3-0-vs-fulham.thumb.png.7d7e7712709f06fa013cf10d39f3741c.png

Absolutely blitzed them in the first half with Kalimuendo scoring two great strikers goals. Then Hlozek scored a worldie... at least I thought so from what you can make out in the match engine. cutting in from his wing I'm certain I could see him nutmeg two defenders before slotting into the bottom corner. Very pleased with these guys right now. Arsenal away up next... another reality check incoming.

Seeing as I've bigged him up, here's Kalimuendo. The Finishing, Heading, Composure and Acceleration stats make him a really exciting goalscorer I think. And high Determination too, something I always look for.

Kalimuendo.thumb.png.c38d1a98654534de7a7e3d4e12ac3d62.png

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@dozzie I know you said you felt you were missing a star striker but Kalimuendo looks brilliant and as long as you keep him fit, I think you'll score enough to stay up.

Edited by dino
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I have played my first 4 games of the season as Oldham and for whatever reason, it feels a bit flat. 

Not too sure why, I have built a good squad but I am struggling to keep it going and maintain the enjoyment so it might get parked for a while.

As that was my first save game, I am tempted to go again and start as either Tranmere or potentially go one lower and go into the non-leagues for a bit of a change. I am aware my Tranmere save might just become a copy of my Oldham save as I'd be tempted to sign the exact same players knowing that they work well (Bobby Duncan etc). 

Anyone had any experiences with non-league teams? either conference or north/south. 

I noticed Halifax randomly have a 15,000 seater stadium, Stockport from watching their game the other night seem to be ambitious, maybe take Notts County back up the leagues. Really not too sure?

Appreciate this is a football league thread, I will shut up once I have chosen where I am going and find somewhere else to post haha. 

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4 hours ago, Plainlayzee said:

Appreciate this is a football league thread, I will shut up

No need to shut up. Non-league stories are welcome on the grounds that a) there's no where else to post them; and b) with a bit of luck, you'll be an EFL side in fairly short order. I usually do a Darlington save in the VNN every year, but I'm thinking I might go a tier or two further down this time. In recent FMs I've done saves with Gateshead and Dulwich Hamlet, and last year I spent half a season at Boston United before that one fizzled out.

Non-league can be a lot of fun. Many managers opt for an agricultural 442 but you can play almost any tactic regardless. The real trick is learning to manage with no money :D

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9 hours ago, warlock said:

No need to shut up. Non-league stories are welcome on the grounds that a) there's no where else to post them; and b) with a bit of luck, you'll be an EFL side in fairly short order. I usually do a Darlington save in the VNN every year, but I'm thinking I might go a tier or two further down this time. In recent FMs I've done saves with Gateshead and Dulwich Hamlet, and last year I spent half a season at Boston United before that one fizzled out.

Non-league can be a lot of fun. Many managers opt for an agricultural 442 but you can play almost any tactic regardless. The real trick is learning to manage with no money :D

See I have a real love of being the minnow and up against it, and a lack of finances don't bother me, I prefer that to mindlessly spending 100m on players at the big prem clubs. 

Just going to have a good look now, Chester (local team) might be the one I think. I did consider Chorley too given their recent cup heroics. 

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1 hour ago, Plainlayzee said:

Chester (local team) might be the one I think

Chester should be a good prospect (although I know little about the club). They've always been competitive in my LLM saves, and in my Darlington venture last year I poached a couple of good players from them.

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Exeter, February 2022

After the punishing first months of the season, there was no let-up heading towards December but despite a couple of stumbles along the way we managed to maintain our push for automatic promotion. (Even short of the halfway point, it looks as though Wycombe will be claiming the title; they've been relentless!)

image.png.63323abfc2b430b7c3e435a801fa8377.png

We started December with two convincing wins, scoring 7 and conceding none. And still we endure the Tinpot Trophy, which was notable only for the fact that Nicky Ajose roused himself so far as to find the net twice, which I hoped might mark a return to form but it has proved to be a false dawn. Even worse, our form took a marked downhill turn... the away draws at Lincoln and Wigan could be forgiven, but a home defeat to Blackpool, followed by another loss to a mediocre Fleetwood side, were more worrying. For our final game of 2021 I made a relatively small tactical tweak, pushing one of the three CMs up to AMC, and it paid immediate dividends as we travelled to Burton and returned with 3pts and good victory.

That mid-month slump saw us surrender our second spot in the division as Ipswich and Bristol Rovers overtook us.

The January transfer window gave us the chance to make some personnel changes, and the first upgrade was made at CB. Having highlighted Brentford's Racic as the weakspot in our defence, I had a last-minute change of heart and decided to keep him but return Burnley's Bobby Thomas. He'd been good in L2 but struggled after promotion, and his manager was constantly on the phone to complain about how little football he was getting. He was replaced by West Ham youngster Jamal Baptiste. And having determined that Ajose was ripe for moving on, that didn't happen either. My 4th choice striker was youngster Ben Seymour, another who had done well last season but hadn't progressed. According to my coaches he'd actually gone backwards and was only rated a potential VNL striker, so when Walsall offered his full value he was on his way. To replace him I went back to the loan market and picked up Southampton's Dan N'Lundulu.#

The last bit of business was prompted by that tactical switch. Although both Nicky Law and youngster Archie Collins are capable of playing at AMC, neither is a natural. My scouts had flagged the fact that Preston's Josh Harrop was transfer listed, and at a bargain price but wages of £7k a week were out of the question. Instead I made a loan offer and we eventually settled on a £4k a week loan that is more than I wanted to pay but probably a pretty good deal for a Championship-quality midfielder.

How did the changes work out for us? Pretty awesome, actually:

image.png.76f033a9f6db0a2cf145cec8279fb582.png

An unbeaten month, and 16pts from 18 in the bag. Although Ajose chipped in with one more goal against Derby he's done nothing since, and with Adebayo, Bowman and now N'Lundulu regularly scoring he's firmly bottom of the pecking order and will only get a game when rotation or injury leave me no other choice. That form propelled us back to 2nd spot and while we're still some way short of Wycombe it does give us a cushion over Bristol Rovers and Ipswich.

image.png.571e32ba7e73c17d968dce7e733802e7.png

Adebayo continues to lead the scoring charts (and is second in the division with 17 league goals), and Dasilva and Sparkes between them have 19 assists from the WBl position. Sparkes merits particular mention, I think: he started the save as a decent prospect at LW but has progressed in the wingback role and is now natural there at 21 years old - and one of the first names on the teamsheet. I'm also happy with the arrival of N'Lundulu, who has 4 goals and an assist in his first 4 games.

Edited by warlock
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@warlock Excellent form, nice one. I'm happy to see that Adebayo is still going well, and also Sparkes. I've seen him play a few times (but not for a year or two) and I believe he is highly regarded by the club and fans. The new signings look decent and have obviously helped - good luck for the final 13 games :onmehead:

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1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Excellent form, nice one

Thank you, sir :thup:

I'm hoping this tactic continues to perform, if only because it will give me the confidence to fully commit to it and recruit accordingly. If doubts set in and I'll start yearning for my 433 security blanket, which will make life horribly complicated :lol:.

Are we any closer to the grand reveal from the International Man of Mystery?

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22 minutes ago, warlock said:

Thank you, sir :thup:

I'm hoping this tactic continues to perform, if only because it will give me the confidence to fully commit to it and recruit accordingly. If doubts set in and I'll start yearning for my 433 security blanket, which will make life horribly complicated :lol:.

Are we any closer to the grand reveal from the International Man of Mystery?

I think the width from the wing-backs (if they are good going forward and reasonable defensively) gives all the elements you need. Three in central midfield gives enough numbers to control the middle and the extra bonus means that two strikers can play and help each other. 

I've not been able to play any games at all since Monday, but have got to mid-March at my overseas club. I'm not sure there is a grand reveal as I don't think they'll be particularly interesting to anyone else either in GPTG or in FMCU forum! I'll see about that when the season is completed, as I've not yet decided whether to continue beyond the first term or not.

I've got a couple of ideas for EFL clubs just in case. And as Reading are likely to be losing at least one of their good players in the winter window, I probably need to get that started before the database changes too.

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Having spent all of my time on this edition attempting the daFuge challenge, I have lost faith and decided to try something new.

I am currently debating where to go, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to two options. Brentford are a team I watched quite a bit of last season and enjoyed. They remind me a lot of my beloved arsenal, and I think it’s a challenge I could handle. I’m also contemplating Bristol City. I like the idea of a team pushing for promotion and both fit the bill. I’m also tempted to go for one of my more local clubs in Charlton. Anyone else got any recommendations on teams I should contemplate?

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Was struggling to find a save, so a mate gave me one where Sheffield Wednesday have been relegated into League Two but now have a tycoon owner. The year is 2022 and Daniel Oakes is now at the helm. 

I started out with a deficit in the wage budget of over £30k, so there was a lot of work to do to balance the books. With a salary cap of £29k aswell for the league, we needed a dramatic overhaul. Will keep you posted :)

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1 hour ago, goonergez said:

I have lost faith

Shame, but I've read some of your Dafuge posts and I can understand why it could get disheartening. Either Brentford or Bristol City would make for an enjoyable change of pace, I think. Both are capable of challenging for promotion. We'll look forward to sharing your success :cool:

18 minutes ago, oakesypvfc said:

Sheffield Wednesday have been relegated into League Two but now have a tycoon owner

Sounds like a good setup for a save. Good luck with the Owls :thup:

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10 hours ago, oakesypvfc said:

Was struggling to find a save, so a mate gave me one where Sheffield Wednesday have been relegated into League Two but now have a tycoon owner. The year is 2022 and Daniel Oakes is now at the helm. 

I started out with a deficit in the wage budget of over £30k, so there was a lot of work to do to balance the books. With a salary cap of £29k aswell for the league, we needed a dramatic overhaul. Will keep you posted :)

Successive relegations? Wow, that sounds like a cracker to me. Be careful in League 2 though, there is a limit on 22 registered players (over 21). The salary salary cap of £29k per week is tight but players on existing contracts have only £1000 per week put towards it IIRC. 

11 hours ago, goonergez said:

Having spent all of my time on this edition attempting the daFuge challenge, I have lost faith and decided to try something new.

I am currently debating where to go, but I think I’ve narrowed it down to two options. Brentford are a team I watched quite a bit of last season and enjoyed. They remind me a lot of my beloved arsenal, and I think it’s a challenge I could handle. I’m also contemplating Bristol City. I like the idea of a team pushing for promotion and both fit the bill. I’m also tempted to go for one of my more local clubs in Charlton. Anyone else got any recommendations on teams I should contemplate?

Welcome back, your posts were great in FM20 (or was it FM19). I'd say Bristol City would be good, and Swansea if you want a promotion contender. Charlton, Ipswich or Lincoln good options for League 1 - you are usually very committed so I could see you doing a great job with Ipswich.

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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5 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Successive relegations? Wow, that sounds like a cracker to me. Be careful in League 2 though, there is a limit on 22 registered players (over 21). The salary salary cap of £29k per week is tight but players on existing contracts have only £1000 per week put towards it IIRC. 

Welcome back, your posts were great in FM20 (or was it FM19). I'd say Bristol City would be good, and Swansea if you want a promotion contender. Charlton, Ipswich or Lincoln good options for League 1 - you are usually very committed so I could see you doing a great job with Ipswich.

Cheers pal. It was last year I believe. Had a save with Dulwich Hamlet where I made it into league two before getting bored with it. I hadn’t though of Ipswich, and on the same sort of lines I suppose Sunderland as well. I’m edging towards Brentford or Bristol City though. Probably Bristol as they’re a team I’ve never actually managed before. I think I’ve tried most teams in England 😂

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10 minutes ago, John Joe O'toole said:

Anyone doing a reading save?

I will be very soon, go for it. And I am happy to help if you need any input on the club, players, culture etc.

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

I will be very soon, go for it. And I am happy to help if you need any input on the club, players, culture etc.

Thanks Man, Nice - is it your local team?

I'm in season 1 with them ATM.

 

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1 hour ago, John Joe O'toole said:

Thanks Man, Nice - is it your local team?

I'm in season 1 with them ATM.

 

Welcome. No longer local to me but yes I'm a long-suffering follower :lol:

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