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[FM18] A tour of Europe - With an Icelandic beginning and a trip to Wales


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Hello again, FMCU! It’s been a while since I used to post here. Some of the older posters on here might recall me having a couple of threads from about FM14-FM16. For reference, here are two threads that I was able to find from my content history:


[FMC14] Sticking to the top five leagues

[FM16] Budapest Honvéd FC: Restoring the fortunes of Hungary's fallen giants

 

There’s a chance I might have previously asked mods to delete/hide some of my threads (or I might have done it myself) which is why I can’t find anything from FM15, where I’m pretty sure I had a save that involved clubs in Scotland, Ukraine and England and one about the US National Team, which turned out to be pretty rubbish anyway. :D

 

Anyway, enough about that. I haven’t really played FM for a few years and only got back to it in the last couple of months, mostly because of my uni taking too long to restart classes and me having nothing to do at home. I had a Rangers save on FM17 (which lasted about 7 seasons) and a half a season long save with Ajax to help me get accustomed to FM18. My laptop was not the best at processing FM’s later versions that well but since upgrading the RAM, FM18 seems to be working smoothly.

 

The current save is going to be a journeyman career really – there are no set objectives for me to achieve and I just wanted to have fun. If anything, I might have had too much fun and am over 10 years into the save. I don’t have any screenshots at the moment so it’s going to take a while to update too. :D

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Leagues loaded

England (down to VNL) - Easily the country I know most about, which is why I always keep it.

Germany (down to 3. Liga) - Has some of the highest attendances in Europe and fun to play in.

Spain (down to Segunda B) - Best country to play in if I want to bring in wonderkids from Latin America.

Croatia and Serbia (2 tiers) - Seem to produce some very talented players. I have managed in Serbia earlier but never in Croatia.

Romania (2 tiers) - Mostly because I have never managed there or paid attention to it really.

Mexico (2 tiers) - Fun place to manage in and produces lots of talented players.

Norway, Sweden and Iceland (2 tiers) - Different league calendar and shorter seasons (especially in Iceland).

There's a bunch of other leagues on view-only as well in case I want to have a look at what's going on in the rest of the world. As for start date, I wanted to start in early 2018 (to have a shot of getting a job at a struggling club in the big leagues) but the start dates were greyed out. After searching for a reason, I found it to be because of certain licensing requirements while having the US as an active nation and hence, took it off the view-only list. Turns out it didn't matter anyway as I didn't realise that I had left the start date in early 2017 anyway. :D

 


Manager

Set up my manager as a 23 year old from Dublin with no previous playing experience and with a National B License.

b9nzR41.jpg

 

Career so far:

Spoiler

CLUB

Season   |      Team      |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp | Other comps            |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |       HK       |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Promoted
 2018    |       HK       |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |      Valur     |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -        |   League Cup winners   | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd#   |     -       |         -        |            -           | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2024/25 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   19th#  |     -       |          -       |         -              | Avoided relegation
 2025/26 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   10th   |  3rd round  |          -       | LC 2nd rnd, CT 2nd rnd |         -
 2026/27 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   1st    | 2nd rnd rep |          -       | LC 3rd rnd, CT winners | Promoted
 2027/28 |     Wrexham    |    League One    |   1st    |  3rd round  |          -       | LC 4th rnd, CT QFs     | Promoted; Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2028/29 |  Hajduk Split  |     Prva HNL     |   1st    |  2nd round  | EL Round  of 32  |         -              | Title winners!
 2029/30 |  Hajduk Split  |     Prva HNL     |   2nd    |   Winners   |  CL GS; EL Ro32  |         -              |         -
 2030/31 |  Hajduk Split  |     Prva HNL     |   2nd    |   Winners   |  CL PO; EL R-up  |         -              | Almost a treble (of sorts) 


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final
 2024   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   4th    |   Relegated; sacked


* - At time of departure
# - Joined during ongoing season

 

 

Edited by DB08
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Handknattleiksfélag Kópavogs
1. deild karla

2017

 

Based in the town of Kópavogur, HK in the Icelandic 2nd tier were the first club to offer me a job. They had played in this division for the last three seasons and were tipped to finish 9th out of 12 teams. Both training and youth facilities were rated as great with adequate junior coaching and a well-established youth recruitment network. The stadium (Kórinn) is quite small though – with a capacity of only 1600 and is an indoor stadium in real life.

 

4888.jpg

 

Friendlies | Fixtures part 1 | Fixtures part 2 | Transfers
 

Only a couple of transfers were made with Petar Gavric bolstering our options at centre back and Rasmus Johansen coming in as a talented CM who, at 19, was already among the best players in the team.
 

After the usual pre-season friendlies, the season began with the Icelandic League Cup. It starts off divided into 4 groups with 12 teams each from the top 2 tiers of Icelandic football, with every group having 3 teams each from the 1st and 2nd tiers and the top two from each group qualifying for the quarters. Valur, Vikingur and Fjölnir were the teams from the division above. We put up a good show in this with the game against Valur being the only one where we got outplayed.
 

In the other cup, we beat IBV from the Pepsi-deilden but then lost to 4th-tier Aegir after I rotated the team too much.
 

As for the league, I had hoped to be able to build a team that could challenge for promotion in 2018 but the team managed to surpass expectations throughout. An excellent first half of the season saw us pick up 22 points from our first 11 games with just one defeat and made promotion look a distinct possibility. Despite a sticky run of form following the cup exit, we won 5 of our first 7 matches in the second half of the season and promotion almost looked a formality but a poor display against Keflavik and a draw at Selfoss saw our lead disappear and we only led the table on GD going into the final day. A home defeat to already relegated Fram followed but 3rd-placed Selfoss also lost, allowing us to finish in 2nd place.

 

LFW7XJS.jpg

 

Season    |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup     |  Continental comp   | Other comps   |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017     |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round |         -           | League Cup GS | Promoted

 

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Handknattleiksfélag Kópavogs
Pepsi-deilden
2018


Preaseason and League Cup | Fixtures | Transfers in | Transfers out


Not much of a season to speak of really. We picked up only 3 points from games against the three 2nd tier sides and went out of the League Cup again in the group stage. Did manage a nice win against Stjarnan but there were some poor results against lower league teams in friendlies as well which gave me major concerns ahead of the upcoming season.

On the transfers front, Ante Babic (RB), Jonas Brammen (GK) and Ilija Matejevic (Right winger) strengthened our squad somewhat but with finances in the red and me struggling (at the time) with the scouting system didn't help. Being in the red also meant that I couldn't do any coaching courses and remained stuck with that National B License.

As for the league, we were predicted to finish dead last and the opening fixtures gave a clear idea about where our season was heading. We failed to win in three very winnable home games and with the team lying just outside the drop zone but winless, I left in June. HK would go on to finish 11th and be relegated straight back to the 1. deild karla.

 

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      |  Continental comp   | Other comps   |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -           | League Cup GS | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -           | League Cup GS | Resigned after 6 lge games



* - At time of departure

 

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Knattspyrnufélagið Valur
Pepsi-deilden
2019

 

Due to a lack of reputation outside the country and lack of coaching badges, I couldn't even get interviews at clubs outside Iceland - even failing to make the shortlist for a couple of clubs in the Norwegian second tier. At this point, I expected to have to return to Iceland's 2nd tier or to try in non-league in England. However, an application sent to Valur, one of Iceland's most successful clubs ever, got me an interview and then the job. So I made the short trip from Kópavogur to Reykjavik.

The club had adequate training and youth facilities and junior coaching with an average youth recruitment network thereby making it a step-down in terms of facilities compared to HK. From a historical and reputation standpoint though, it was a no contest. Valur have won the top flight 20 times and had an in-game reputation of 2.5* compared to HK's 1.5*. The stadium, Hlíðarendi, holds 2,255 people, which is an increase on HK’s stadium.


5iQG1L725hM_h9za5YnDzKf9NvX2Nt9yWNDvxbzI

Preseason and League Cup | Fixtures | Transfers

Despite having a vastly superior wage budget compared to HK (Valur’s budget was about £19k), it was almost completely maxed out and despite being appointed at the end of the 2018 season, I made no further signings (the only transfer in was a pre-arranged one). The club had finished 5th in 2018 and the board expected Europa qualification for this season.

Our League Cup campaign started well and three straight wins at the beginning more or less guaranteed qualification to the quarters. After getting past Keflavik, we needed extra time against Breidablik despite easily being the better side and then faced Fylkir in the final, beating them in the same manner.

The less said about the rest of the season the better. Despite 2 wins from our first 4 league games, we never really got going and were also knocked out of the cup on penalties by what was then 3rd tier Leiknir Reykjavik. A 4 game winless run followed after the win over Fjolnir, dropping us down to 9th and the board set me a target of 10 points from 5 games to save my job. A change in tactics seemed to work and we beat Keflavik but a disappointing draw against IA followed despite creating far better chances. The loss to KR seemed to seal my fate but the win over IBV seemed to provide renewed hope. That went out of the window when Fylkir took a 75th minute lead against us and although we equalised, my goose was cooked.

 

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      |  Continental comp   | Other comps    |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -           | League Cup GS  | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -           | League Cup GS  | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -           |   LC winners   | Sacked after 13 games



* - At time of departure

 

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Breiðablik UBK
Pepsi-deilden
2019


Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long for a job as within a month of being sacked by Valur, I landed at Breidablik, which meant a move back to Kópavogur from Reykjavik. The club are HK's fierce rivals and play at Kópavogsvöllur, which has a capacity of just over 3,000. Facilities are roughly the same as HK with great training and youth facilities, adequate junior coaching and an extensive youth recruitment network. Financially though it was terrrible - over £1m in debt and needing a yearly £400-500k injection from the board to break even.

kopvollur_2.jpg

Unfortunate to have that running track but it's a lovely setting aside from that.

The club were languishing in a relegation battle despite winning their last two games and the previous manager had been sacked after losing to Norway's Kristiansund in the EL's first qualifying round. As such, my aims were mostly to ensure we finished around 7th, with 6th place and the top half of the league looking a little too far at that stage, albeit quite bunched up.

NhoQFQz.jpg

 

What followed was a superb run of form. We picked up 5 points from our first 4 games which included an unlucky defeat to my former employers and an equally lucky draw away to Fylkir. A win over local rivals Stjarnan rejuvenated our season and winning three in a row gave us an outside chance of a top 3 finish. We faced FH in a double header with the away game having been postponed multiple times previously due to fixture congestion. Two entertaining games followed and we won both to end the season on a superb run of form.

 

E0xHbxd.jpg


3rd place and European qualification. :cool:

Managed to finish ahead of Valur as well despite starting off well behind them which was nice.

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      |  Continental comp   | Other comps    |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -           | League Cup GS  | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -           | League Cup GS  | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -           |   LC winners   | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |    Breiðablik  |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |     -       |         -           |       -        | Qualified for Europe



* - At time of departure

 

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Breiðablik UBK
Pepsi-deilden
2020


Preseason & League Cup | Transfers

In terms of transfers, our only available DM (not even his natural position) left for NEC on a deal that had been arranged before I took over while a number of players were released (not shown here) as I cleared out the deadwood. This cleared up about 5k in wage budget only for the board to slash it from 17k to 12k anyway due to the financial outlook at the club. Jan Ostrowski originally came in on loan to play at DM before having his leg broken in a tackle and being recalled. Subert then joined in the middle of the season to take over from him.

As for preseason, the friendlies were fine and we did alright in the league cup, losing two even games against fellow top flight sides and beating the rest comfortably.

The board expected Europa qualification, semi-finals of the main cup and to reach the 2nd qualifying round of the Europa.

 

Fixtures

rXa94sf.jpg

The first half of the season started well with three solid wins but after Ostrowski's leg break against KA, we had to change our tactics a bit and it showed. Despite beating local rivals HK and then taking an impressive win away to FH (who were tipped for 1st), we lost our way a bit and dropped to 6th at the halfway point. Setting up a bit defensively almost worked against Napredak but we had to go for it at home and ended up narrowly losing out.

yrnR0mD.jpg

With all the big sides seemingly struggling, we were never far away from the top and stayed in the race throughout, as did newly promoted HK. Defeats in consecutive games against KR and FH almost cost us but 7 points from our next 3 games saw us top and a point clear heading into the final day. What followed was one of the most tame displays of the season as we lost at Fylkir. HK trailed at KR but equalised in the 88th minute and then scored a 95th minute winner to snatch the title right at the death.

 

League table


DILKuUB.jpg

Pretty incredible win for them right after promotion and we have to make do with 2nd place, with a lack of goals ultimately proving to be our undoing. KR, Iceland's most successful club, suffered a shock relegation.


 

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      |  Continental comp   | Other comps    |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -           | League Cup GS  | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -           | League Cup GS  | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -           |   LC winners   | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |    Breiðablik  |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |     -       |         -           |       -        | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |    Breiðablik  |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |   EL 1st qual rnd   | League Cup GS  | Lost title on final day



* - At time of departure


 

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Breiðablik UBK
Pepsi-deilden
2021


Preseason & League Cup | Transfers

Preseason was a bit awry and we bottled the League Cup just like last season - this time by starting off our campaign by losing to recently relegated Vestri. On the transfers front, my HoYD signed a couple of players and that was it although a few first team backups also got released to be replaced by academy prospects.

 

Squad

pldscfb.jpg
0HCMoTe.jpg

 

I was hoping to find a save game which would allow me to show the squad at the start of the season but instead this one from the end of the season will have to make do instead. As you can see, it was a very young side as a result of the tight finances and a well-functioning academy - every player 24 or under (except for Cakmak and on-loan Vidosavljevic) is a product of the academy. I doubt any of them will reach one of Europe's top leagues but they should be good enough to make it in the better Nordic leagues at least.

 

Fixtures


PIUMXTU.jpg


Just like last season, we started well but fell off domestically in June - this time it wasn't caused by injuries but by the Euro U-21 Championships. It resulted in a number of first team players being away and a some fixtures being postponed. The cup game, however, could not be postponed and we were knocked out and a poor run of form followed in the league with no wins in five games. By contrast, it was a completely different story in Europe as we ripped apart Wisla Krakow in the first leg and then held out in Poland. A trip to Azerbaijan resulted in another 4-0 hammering and a rotated side managed an entertaining 4-4 draw at home.
 

3Ko5PZ3.jpg


Our European adventure finally came to an end at the hands of Red Star while our poor run in the league continued. A defeat at home to Fram saw us drop to 11th and 2nd bottom, albeit with upto 3 games in hand on those ahead of us. However, a thumping win over HK finally injected some life back into our league campaign and just like 2019, we finished with a superb run of form, getting 20 points from our final 8 games and arguably denying HK the chance to win a 2nd straight league title by restricting them to only one point against us.


League table


cCdJsnV.jpg


The final day win over KA saw us leapfrog Valur to take 3rd on the final day. Newly-promoted Fram, who had been relegated to the 3rd tier in 2017, finished off an incredible campaign by taking the title from HK on the last day of the season. Perhaps just as shockingly, FH, who were tipped to be 1st and were Iceland's most dominant club in the 2010s, ended up being relegated.

Then this came up:

88SSU9N.jpg

It was a bit unexpected for me and then I saw that Iceland had fallen to 106th in the world and just been relegated from the Nations League Division B while getting only a point from their eight WC qualifying games. I had still not been able to get any coaching badges during my time in Iceland so I thought that maybe if I took this and did well, I could eventually get a job in either the Norwegian or Swedish top tiers. I accepted the offer and resigned from Breidablik on the same day.


 

CLUB

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp  | Other comps      |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -         | League Cup GS    | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -         | League Cup GS    | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -         |   LC winners     | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |     -       |        -          |       -          | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Resigned EoS



* - At time of departure

 

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Iceland
UEFA Nations League Div. C
2022


Squad
 

MUkXIcO.jpg
riHwqRx.jpg


As you can see, a number of players are either getting on in terms of age or coming to the end of their peak with very few youngsters in the first team, meaning it would take a fair bit of rebuilding. Our Nations League group contained only three teams with our opponents being Bulgaria and Latvia. With no other fixtures, scheduled in 2022, we also had home friendlies against Egypt and Chile to come.


Fixtures


Iq2gGm5.jpg

Let's just say that it didn't go to plan. I tried to go with a 5-2-1-2 WB formation and it worked well against Latvia but Bulgaria easily beat us. An experiment with a 4-2-1-3 lasted only one game - an aberration of a friendly against Egypt. Better performances followed after that as we finished 2nd in our Nations League group - something that made my job insecure as the FA wanted promotion but I was eventually allowed to stay on.


League table


dAZUheL.jpg

Bulgaria went up while Latvia were easily relegated.


 

CLUB

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp  | Other comps      |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -         | League Cup GS    | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -         | League Cup GS    | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -         |   LC winners     | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |     -       |        -          |       -          | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


INTERNATIONAL

 Year  |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022  |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.


* - At time of departure

 

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Iceland
EURO Qualifiers
2023

 

Fixtures


yB5KabC.jpg

Well, tinkering with tactics on an international level clearly doesn't pay off well. A switch to a 5-2-2-1 WB (with two wide players behind the striker) gave us a solid win over Moldova but saw us well beaten in both games against Norway. A switch to a wide 4-3-3 saw us hang on against England by our fingernails but an early red card led to a poor defeat at Hampden Park. Moldova onwards, I switched to a 4-2-3-1 DM Wide and although we had a bit of a struggle in that game, we performed really well against Poland and England before Scotland easily beat us again.


Group table


XCQe59w.jpg


Norway topped the group ahead of England and I'd like to think that we played a part in that. :D

Progress to be made even though we didn't embarrass ourselves. We ended up getting entered into a playoff competition based on the Nations League with a semi-final against Northern Ireland and a potential final against Slovakia or Turkey. The FA expected us to reach the final.


BX5ufab.jpg


Suffice to say we didn't get there. NI lined up with a weird 4-1-3-2 with a CM in front of a DM and in a game of few shots, every chance seemingly fell to them. I still got to stay on though.


 

CLUB

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp  | Other comps      |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -         | League Cup GS    | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -         | League Cup GS    | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -         |   LC winners     | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |     -       |        -          |       -          | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final


* - At time of departure

 

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Iceland
UEFA Nations League Division C
2024


Fixtures


lGPVvy7.jpg


Now this was a total embarrassment. The NI game had made me move to a 4-4-1-1 thinking that pulling the wide players back a bit might make us more stable. A comfortable win over Tunisia raised hopes, as did a good performance against Russia, where we failed to take our chances. Another dismal defeat to Scotland followed but Estonia were easily beaten and Scotland edged us out in the return game. Promotion was expected (despite the tough draw)  but that was already out of reach by the now and we put up a tame performance against Russia. A close game against Estonia turned into a one-sided scoreline and that was that.

sPb3XAa.jpg


League table


GyPdOfK.jpg

Conceding 3 against Estonia put us behind them on head-to-head and Iceland will be playing in the bottom tier of the Nations League next time.

 

CLUB

Season   |     Team       |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp  | Other comps      |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |      HK        |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -         | League Cup GS    | Promoted
 2018    |      HK        |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -         | League Cup GS    | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |     Valur      |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -         |   LC winners     | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |     -       |        -          |       -          | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final
 2024   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   4th    |   Relegated; sacked


* - At time of departure

 

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Wrexham
League Two
2024/25


Although it ended in ignominy, the spell as Iceland manager did increase my reputation a tiny bit - from 25% to 35% before dropping to 30% on getting the axe. With the terrible finances of Icelandic clubs and with it being the middle of the season for most of Europe, I looked to the English lower leagues for a change of fortunes. Welsh club Wrexham lay 22nd in the table having been tipped for 15th and offered me the job, which I gladly took - mostly because of how unique it was and I hoped to be able to produce players through the youth system who would hopefully go on to play for Wales in the future.

Wrexham are one of the oldest professional clubs in the world and the oldest football club in Wales. At the time of joining, they had average facilities for the level - adequate training and youth facilities and average junior coaching with no data analysis facilities. Wrexham have played at The Racecourse Ground for almost all of their history, which is quite wonderful. The stadium uses a capacity of 10,500 for most matches but can hold upto 15,500 for important games.

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Unfortunately, the ground is privately owned and renting it costs about £100k per year to rent.

On the bright side, Wrexham had over £1m in the bank and I was finally able to start a coaching course for a National A License.


Early fixtures


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No time to settle in though as we had a game on the very day I was appointed, at home to the promotion-chasing Gills. Stephen Walker's strike gave us a fine win that was soon derailed by narrow defeats to Charlton and Bury. A creditable draw at another promotion chasing team in Doncaster saw us end the first half of the season in 22nd place with 21 points from 23 games, with only Wycombe (19) and Sutton United (17) behind us.

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Forgot to mention this earlier but the UK got a really relaxed Brexit in my game. The work permit points system has gone and instead leagues simply have a registration system where you can register upto 17 foreign players, pretty much giving clubs in the lower leagues a chance to get South American wonderkids on loan from Premier League/Championship clubs. :D

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Wrexham
League Two
2024/25


Transfers

Not much to update on the transfer front. A young BWM, Lloyd Clayton arrive from Newcastle on loan to provide cover in midfield while third-choice striker Ashley Nadesan left for Colchester for £90k. My HoYD did sign a bunch of players for our U18s but I doubt any of them will make it.


Fixtures


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Using 4-4-1-1 all the time really wasn't working out. After a few close games didn't go our way, a defeat at home to high-flying Carlisle saw us hit rock bottom. Being down in 24th place also made my job status insecure and I had more or less made up my mind to end the save if Wrexham sacked me.

Some slight tactical tweaks followed and I began using a 4-1-4-1 for away games as well as tough home games and a run of 5 wins in 8 pretty much saved my job. After that, it was a matter of beating/drawing with the teams around us and we did enough - beating Mansfield and Blackpool comfortably lifted us well clear of the drop. Although a poor run followed, impressive displays against Charlton and Doncaster ensured that we stayed up easily.


League table


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We eventually ended up 19th, behind local rivals Chester but having picked up 31 points from 23 games in the 2nd half of the season, which was definitely mid-table form. While that was encouraging, we did finish with the worst away record in the division having picked up just 16 points on our travels and there is a bit of work to be done. The 2nd half recovery though did make me confident enough of achieving a mid-table finish in the coming season, possibly even top half with the right additions.

 

CLUB

Season   |      Team      |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp  | Other comps      |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |       HK       |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -         | League Cup GS    | Promoted
 2018    |       HK       |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -         | League Cup GS    | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |      Valur     |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -         |   LC winners     | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd#   |     -       |         -         |       -          | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd  | League Cup GS    | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2024/25 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   19th#  |     -       |          -        |         -        | Avoided relegation


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final
 2024   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   4th    |   Relegated; sacked


* - At time of departure
# - Joined during ongoing season

 

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Wrexham
League Two
2025/26


Preseason

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Arsenal gave us a hiding :D but other than that, preseason was mostly fine. All about building up match fitness for the upcoming slog after all. The board expect a mid-table finish but by the end of the preseason, the media was predicting us to finish 11th.


Transfers

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Harry Taylor joined on loan to compete with Brennan Johnson to play in his advanced playmaker role. We lost our best CBs in this window - Ben Surman was on loan from Swansea and his deal wasn't renewed so 19 year old Michael Green was to partner Zak Jules. Both of them left on deadline day although we managed to get Green back and George Knight will partner him.

As for the January buys, Luke Burke and Nick Hayes provide considerable improvements at RB and GK respectively while Chris Dixon came in to provide backup to Stephen Walker on the left wing after second-choice winger Robbie Page damaged his ACL (and went on to be released at the end of the season).


Fixtures

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Going to split this into two posts due to the sheer volume of fixtures. The season started off well and we stunned Championship side Sheff Utd on penalties in the League Cup but an abysmal 2nd half so us collapse to defeat against Crewe. A poor run of form soon hit in the league as we picked up 1 point from 5 games at one stage and the first half of the season ended with us in 14th, having picked up 30 points from 23 in a continuation of last season's form. Two solid wins in the FA Cup means we will play fellow Welsh side Swansea, who are in the Premier League.

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Wrexham
League Two
2025/26


Fixtures (2nd half)


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Managed to start upgrading losses to draws but we still went on a winless run through January that dropped us deeper into mid-table obscurity. By contrast, we put in a superb display to take Swansea back to North Wales for a replay. We lost but did manage to pack the stadium, which helped with the finances. Two narrow wins to end February finally put us on the right track as we ended up winning 7 of our last 12 to take 10th on the final day.


League table


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37 points from 23 matches in the second half of the season was more or less playoff form and with the right additions, we should be able to mount a playoff challenge at the very least in 2026/27. There's no reason to worry budget wise as we have a pretty handsome wage and transfer budget for this level with about a third of the wage budget available for spending if we can find the right players.

 

CLUB

Season   |      Team      |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp | Other comps            |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |       HK       |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Promoted
 2018    |       HK       |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |      Valur     |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -        |   League Cup winners   | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd#   |     -       |         -        |            -           | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2024/25 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   19th#  |     -       |          -       |         -              | Avoided relegation
 2025/26 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   10th   |  3rd round  |          -       | LC 2nd rnd, CT 2nd rnd |         -


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final
 2024   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   4th    |   Relegated; sacked


* - At time of departure
# - Joined during ongoing season

 

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Wrexham
League Two
2026/27


Preseason


LhJqsG7.jpg

The board expect a playoff spot but by the start of the season, the media were predicting a top 2 finish for us, making the league a tossup between us and Notts County. Preseason started off with a brilliant win over Hibs while Millwall were also 2nd best for much of their game. Smashed a few nearby teams to keep morale high after that.


Transfers


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MIchael Green's loan spell was extended for another season and he was joined in central defence by Man City's Paul Stubbs. Conor Gallagher joins us as we lacked a natural BWM/BBM while Nick Haynes is very talented and can play a variety of roles in the centre of the park. Pat Rogers joins as second choice LM while Shane Smith joined in the winter window as second choice RB after Graham's departure. Brandon Francis originally came in to play as an AP after Brennan Johnson's long-term injury but was soon displaced when we got Matthew Proffitt instead. He also has the potential to play at a high level while already being a guaranteed starter.


Fixtures


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Now that's a nice amount of green. :)

The season started off with a 3-0 thumping of recently relegated Gillingham and we remained unbeaten in the league till a blip at the end of September. October went well after the early defeat at Accrington and the only game we really deserved to lose in the league was the one away to Notts County at the end of the month. Perhaps, the best part of the first half of the season was our performance in the cups. I rotated the team a bit expecting a defeat at L1 Sunderland but instead we took it to pens and won.

The reward was a home game against Boro and while the Premier League team led in the first half, 18 year old Daniel Lewis turned the game on its head by scoring in the 84th and 89th minutes to give us a famous win. The next round saw us face Aston Villa and they rotated their team heavily. In a close game, we led 2-1 right till the end when they scored from a 93rd minute penalty. Their superior fitness showed in extra time and they held us off for the win. In the Football League/Checkatrade Trophy, we had a tough group with two L1 teams and Chelsea's reserves. Two nice wins with weakened teams more or less confirmed our progress and a heavily rotated team took a smash and grab win against Oxford. Despite rotating again, we easily blew away another L1 team in Wimbledon in the next round.

Unfortunately, this did not translate well into our FA Cup performance. An easy win at Tamworth was followed by a display of total profligacy against National League side Maidenhead.

We ended the first half of the season with 46 points from 23 games, 6 behind Notts and 3 ahead of Scunthorpe and Bradford.

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Wrexham
League Two
2026/27


Fixtures


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Now, this was ridiculous. The winning run that started with a 4-0 hammering of Blackpool in December continued all the way till the middle of March in the league, getting to the point where I was seriously wondering whether I had broken the game. We faced two League One teams in the Checkatrade Trophy and easily swept away both Forest Green (whom we also beat in the groups) and then Yeovil Town, all while never really playing our full strength team in that competition. A win over Spurs U23s granted us a trip to Wembley to face another League One team in Preston, whom we made light work of.

At some point, we broke the club records for the longest winning run and the longest run without conceding - even winning 5 straight games 1-0 at one point. Cambridge finally brought us back down to earth but a win at 3rd placed Bristol Rovers secured promotion. Notts County collapsed towards the end, picking up just 4 points from their last 7 games to finish a distant 2nd.

Our 16 wins in a row also broke the League Two record, The win over Yeovil broke the club records for most points in a season while the final day win over Blackpool helped us two new League Two points records - most points in a season and most games won in a season.


League table


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Hard to believe we were struggling to stay up just 2 years earlier. We picked up a mammoth 61 points from 23 games in the second half of the season but were closely followed by Bristol Rovers who picked up 55 in the same period to steam into 3rd, nearly catching Notts County as well. At the other end, Southend and Gillingham stunk up the place and ensured there would be no relegation battle despite Halifax's best attempts to join them. This was Gillingham's second straight relegation while Southend made it two relegations in three seasons and are predicted to finish only 22nd in the National League next season. Dire times for them.

As for next season, the squad is definitely good enough to survive in League One so mid-table is the aim. At the start of this season, we received about 2.5m from a sell-on clause for former academy product Mathew Woodfine's transfer from West Brom to Swansea which gave me a transfer budget of close to £1m. I used some of it for a better scouting package but most of that figure remains untouched. Our training facilities had previously got downgraded and we were able to upgrade them back up while also upgrading our youth and data analysis facilties.

 

CLUB

Season   |      Team      |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp | Other comps            |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |       HK       |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Promoted
 2018    |       HK       |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |      Valur     |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -        |   League Cup winners   | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd#   |     -       |         -        |            -           | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2024/25 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   19th#  |     -       |          -       |         -              | Avoided relegation
 2025/26 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   10th   |  3rd round  |          -       | LC 2nd rnd, CT 2nd rnd |         -
 2026/27 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   1st    | 2nd rnd rep |          -       | LC 3rd rnd, CT winners | Promoted


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final
 2024   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   4th    |   Relegated; sacked


* - At time of departure
# - Joined during ongoing season

 

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Wrexham
League One
2027/28

Preseason
 

Friendlies


JGadtEs.jpg

Mostly played lower league opposition and nearby Welsh teams. St. Johnstone were the only challenging ones and we gave them a good game.


Transfers


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I mentioned earlier about how South Americans could now easily be playing in England's lower leagues and that's just what we did - picking up two Brazilians. Michael Green wasn't allowed to return for a third loan spell but Paul Stubbs' one got extended for a year and he will be partnered by Evaldo. Former loanee Chris Dixon joins as backup although giving him a two year deal was probably overkill. Ticao is an upgrade on Gallagher for the BWM role and has room for improvement, as does Frank Richter, who is already good enough to displace Anthony Spyrou at RM.


Season preview


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Not bad. The board expects us to finish mid-table while I hope to stabilise for a season before launching a playoff push next term.


Squad


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The squad looks largely balanced and although I would prefer better options at both full back spots, there probably isn't much to worry about this season at least.


Facilities


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Following a second upgrade to our data analysis facilities, this is how everything behind the scenes looks at the club now.

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Just to show the scale of what we are up against:

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3 of the top 4 came down this season but Derby have been here for 3 seasons already. Our negative net spend is another sell-on fee from the Woodfine deal after he triggered an international games clause.

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Wrexham
League One
2027/28

August to October


Fixtures


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Well, this has been unexpected. :D

We beat Preston at Wembley last season but I expected a tougher challenge at Deepdale. Instead, we looked largely comfortable and should have won by more. Our only blip so far has been a close game that went the other way at Lincoln. Other than that, we have looked very good against our fellow League One teams - draws against Burton and Leeds aren't bad considering how good their squads are and the win against QPR and the one at home to Oxford have probably been our best displays so far.

Our Checkatrade Trophy defence started off with Man City's kids fluking a win, although they did have Renato Sanches starting (he scored the second too) but a comfortable win over Wigan followed. With Wigan beating Carlisle earlier, we are still behind both them and Man City U23s (now on 5 points), we probably need to go to Carlisle and take a win outright to get out of the groups.

The Carabao Cup saw us have a solid run despite the draw gifting us 4 consecutive away games. Oldham took us to pens but Championship side Burnley were comfortably beaten. Leeds took us to extra time despite us being by far the better side before we were finally knocked out by a Premier League side in the form of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Sheffield Wednesday.


League table


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Things look quite rosy at the minute. :D

Burton and QPR don't seem to have adapted well to relegation with Leeds only doing marginally better. Notts County's poor form from the end of last season has carried on into this one and they have since sacked their manager.

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Wrexham
League One
2027/28


November & December


Fixtures


MXUa48S.jpg


Just a few signs of slowing down. Accrington gave us a good game and the 6-0 scoreline is absolutely not representative of how the game went. By contrast, Billericay in the next round were easily beaten despite the close-looking result. In the league, Sunderland held us to a draw but an impressive win over Wigan followed. After getting past Derby though, we have had a bit of a blip. Crawley beat us in an even game while held off Chesterfield. 2nd placed Preston had been easily beaten at their place earlier in the season but were much better this time around and a draw was a fair result in the end. We rounded off the year with a comfortable win at Leyton Orient, with a trip to Leeds to come on New Years' Day. In the FA Cup, we drew Burnley for the second time this season so hopefully lightning strikes twice.


League table


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Only two points between us and Preston with both teams in similar form. Crucially though, we're 9 clear of Millwall in 3rd and 15 clear of 7th placed Walsall.

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Wrexham
League One
2027/28

 

Transfers


SMTWGJM.jpg


Club icon Lee Rowland was no longer good enough and left for Northampton while youngster David Coyne was sold over my head in a largely clause-based deal, leaving us with little depth in the striker position. It left us to bring in Daniel O'Hare on loan as a second option. David Martins signed from Lincoln and will be an improvement on Greg Matischok at LB.

 

Youth Candidates


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Brian Gearie | John Cartwright


I've had one terrible intake after another since joining Wrexham despite upgrades to the youth setup. We finally got a good one. Gearie and Cartwright are easily the most talented of the bunch and look like pretty nice prospects.

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Wrexham
League One
2027/28

January to March


Fixtures


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Despite performance levels not dropping, we have been dropping points left, right and centre for no real reason. Burnley knocked us out of the FA Cup with a 96th minute winner and relegation-threatened Burton held out for a draw. Man Utd's reserves FM'd us by scoring with their only shot on target. A win over Walsall was followed by three straight 1-0 defeats when we should probably have won at least 2 of those. An incredible 8-3 win over Wimbledon followed thanks to Daniel Lewis scoring 4 before two more unlucky defeats to playoff chasing Derby and Millwall coming either side of a win over Colchester. Failure to beat 18th-placed Bristol Rovers was concerning but we picked up 4 points from our next two away games (including somehow hanging on against Oxford) to finish March in better form.


League table


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With Preston also struggling a bit, we remain top and extend our gap to 3rd place to 10 points. At the other end of the table, Notts County have moved from 7 points after their first 20 games to outside the drop zone with a superb run of form since appointing Steve McNulty.

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vJRakt6.jpg


5Pff7Yx.jpg

:cool:

Promoted with a game to spare. We were 4 points clear of Preston going into the last two games and 6 ahead of Derby. Derby lost, Preston won, so both Wrexham and Preston are promoted.

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And a day after the Crawley game:

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I feel this is now the right time to move on. The board have set some initial budgets (as you can see in their offer) but ultimately, I have taken the club about as far as I could have. It's been an extraordinary ride, from fighting to stay in the Football League to reaching the Championship after two straight promotions.

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Wrexham
League One
2027/28

End of Season


Fixtures


RLSvIIh.jpg


April Fools' Day brought a superb win over Northampton with Daniel Lewis scoring 4 in a game for the second time this season. Sunderland somehow led twice despite ir dominance but we rescued a point but lowly Wigan handed us a dismal home defeat. A win over MK put us in touching distance of promotion which was then secured in style with a solid win at home to Crawley. A final day win at Wrexham was a fitting end to my spell in charge - we went 2-0 down before coming from behind to take the win in another triumph against the odds.


League table

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For the second year in a row, we finish with the best defence in the league - despite moving up a level. Our tally of 85 goals was the joint second highest albeit propped up by scoring in 16 in two games against Wimbledon and Northampton. Notts County's incredible fightback ran out of steam right at the very end as Wimbledon won 3 of their last 5 to beat them to safety.

 

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And it's done.


 

CLUB

Season   |      Team      |      League      | Position |    Cup      | Continental comp | Other comps            |  Notes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2017    |       HK       |  1. deild karla  |   2nd    |  4th round  |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Promoted
 2018    |       HK       |  Pepsi-deilden   |   10th*  |  4th round* |         -        |     League Cup GS      | Resigned after 6 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |      Valur     |  Pepsi-deilden   |   6th*   |  3rd round  |         -        |   League Cup winners   | Sacked after 13 games
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2019    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd#   |     -       |         -        |            -           | Qualified for Europe
 2020    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   2nd    |  4th round  |  EL 1st qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Lost title on final day
 2021    |   Breiðablik   |  Pepsi-deilden   |   3rd    |  4th round  |  EL 3rd qual rnd |     League Cup GS      | Resigned EoS
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2024/25 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   19th#  |     -       |          -       |         -              | Avoided relegation
 2025/26 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   10th   |  3rd round  |          -       | LC 2nd rnd, CT 2nd rnd |         -
 2026/27 |     Wrexham    |    League Two    |   1st    | 2nd rnd rep |          -       | LC 3rd rnd, CT winners | Promoted
 2027/28 |     Wrexham    |    League One    |   1st    |  3rd round  |          -       | LC 4th rnd, CT QFs     | Promoted; Resigned EoS


INTERNATIONAL

 Year   |     Nation       |     Competition       | Position |  Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2022   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   2nd    |   N.A.
2023/24 |     Iceland      |    EURO Qualifiers    |   4th    |   Lost playoff semi final
 2024   |     Iceland      | Nations League Div. C |   4th    |   Relegated; sacked


* - At time of departure
# - Joined during ongoing season

 

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Hajduk Split
2028/29


One of Croatia's (and Yugoslavia's) greatest ever clubs, they have fallen on hard times. No title since 2004-05 means that it is now almost two and a half decades since Hajduk last won the Championship. Split itself is the second-biggest city in the country and it's biggest on the Adriatic coast, making it a quite scenic location. They continue play at Poljud, having done so since 1979.


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I'm not a fan of the running track though. :D


Facilities


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We've got talented kids in the academy and it's no real surprise considering the facilities present at the club. The data analysis stuff will need to be improved upon though.

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29


Season preview


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Expectations are not high - the club has finished 3rd, 4th, 3rd and then 4th again in the last 4 seasons. There's a good budget but the squad isn't really upto scratch - no natural RB (among senior players) or right wingers and just one LB and LM/LW. Not much to shout about when it comes to GKs either.


Transfers


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Radosevic left on a pre-arranged deal while our best player, Markovic, kicked up a fuss and I got what I could for him. That said, CM is probably our strongest area and he likely won't be missed that much.

Two new GKs came in - Zetterquist is comfortably no.1 while Kis is 21 and has significant potential. Nebojsa Vidackovic comes in as first choice RB while Andre Luis Zagallo is a nice rotation option on the left side of defence. Duje Erceg is just 17 and will be 4th choice at CB for now.


Squad


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GK and CM are probably our best positions while the lack of wingers means that I'll probably use a 3-5-2 with wingbacks for much of the season.


Friendlies


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Not much to write about. All of these were easy opponents and it is all about building match fitness for me.

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

August


Fixtures


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It's been a good start so far. Our toughest games were obviously the ones away to Rijeka and DInamo. We got a 78th minute equaliser against Rijeka but conceded in the 92nd minute against Dinamo. They also spend about 5 times of our wage budget and it might be a while before we can take them on for the league. The EL qualifiers went well and we won every game quite easily, which was nice.

Among the other teams, Inter Zapresic were eliminated by a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Beitar Jerusalem while Rijeka managed to embarrass themselves twice - being knocked out of the 2nd round of the CL qualifiers by Viitorul Constanta and then losing in the final EL qualifiers to Cukaricki Stankom. Dinamo (CL) and Osijek (EL) both enter Europe in the groups stages.

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Not a terrible group. Porto will be tough but the other two are of a similar level to us and we have a good chance of qualifying for the next round.

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£80k spent and we finally have facilities for our data analysts.

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This was going on before I even joined the club and the total cost was quite a lot. Hopefully, we get some excellent prospects in our next intake.

Edited by DB08
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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

September & October


Fixtures


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The new (sort of) formation is working well so far with us being very solid in the league. On-loan Ivan Peyrek scored all 5 goals against Slaven Belupo in a thumping win while Rijeka were beaten in a big game at our place. Despite a dominant win over Krasnodar, we came unstuck against Cukaricki and then failed to score in our next two league games with both our first choice strikers out with groin strains.

A superb win over Porto followed with everyone being back fit and though we beat Inter Zapresic, a rotated side lost at their place in the cup, which was disappointing. Dugopolje were easily swept aside and an important week comes up next - a trip to Portugal on Thursday followed by the Eternal Derby in Split.


League table


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Dinamo lost a couple of their best players in the summer window and although they are still the best team, they have been in a bit of sketchy form so far. Only 2 points covers the top 4.

 

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Cukaricki are top on head to head having also won away to Porto. Absolutely anybody could qualify from this group, especially with Porto not looking as strong as I expected them to be.

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Loving this so far, even if it is FM18 that you're using. It seems a shame to walk away from Wrexham though, would have been interesting to see if you could get them to the premier league, but having said that, I love these sorts of saves where it becomes sort of a journeyman, keeps things fresh. The Iceland job was never going to work out, but like you said, you got a nice little rep boost.

On a side note, I'm beginning to wonder if people actually read the posts in this forum, I've noticed that your thread is same as mine, no comments or anything. Do we just have rubbish threads, or are people more inclined to watch video commentary? I'll keep posting though, I strangely find it fun documenting my save for some weird reason :D

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2 hours ago, mikenevo said:

Loving this so far, even if it is FM18 that you're using. It seems a shame to walk away from Wrexham though, would have been interesting to see if you could get them to the premier league, but having said that, I love these sorts of saves where it becomes sort of a journeyman, keeps things fresh. The Iceland job was never going to work out, but like you said, you got a nice little rep boost.

On a side note, I'm beginning to wonder if people actually read the posts in this forum, I've noticed that your thread is same as mine, no comments or anything. Do we just have rubbish threads, or are people more inclined to watch video commentary? I'll keep posting though, I strangely find it fun documenting my save for some weird reason :D

Thanks mate. I'll probably get FM21 a few months later but for now, this has been pretty enjoyable.

I thought about trying to take Wrexham further but really, that squad should have never got to the Championship in the first place. Club rep seems to go up slower in recent versions compared to say FM15 or something which might be why I was struggling to get better players to come. In the end, I decided to leave before I could ruin my work at the club (to some extent anyway) by getting relegated. :D

Constantly playing close to 60 games a season in League One and Two probably caused a slight burnout too.

As for the forum thing, yeah, it does seem much less active than it used to be a few years ago. My save is on an older version so I didn't really expect comments in the first place but even the best FM21 threads don't seem to get many comments from other users. I guess some of the people who used to be regulars on FMCU either don't use the forum as much as they used to or simply spend more time in the other sub-forums.

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Yeah definitely get FM21, seems to be miles ahead of FM20 for me and FM19.

Yeah I definitely get the thinking with Wrexham, drop out whilst you're on top. At least now you're playing in Europe as well and I can't wait to see how far you get.

I don't think it matters personally what version you use as long as it's a good read :)

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

November & December


Fixtures


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What was supposed to be a crucial week turned out some brilliant results. Porto fell apart in Portugal while Dinamo were completely dominated - failing to even have a shot on target. A point against Krasnodar was all we needed to secure qualification and we did more than enough. After easy wins over Lokomotiva and Slaven Belupo, the game against rivals Rijeka was a close one. We went ahead through an own goal but after scoring a 2nd, they pulled one back and it took until a 91st minute goal to ensure victory.

A rotated team lost to Cukaricki quite easily while Istra gave us a brief scare. They took the lead before half-time and after equalising, we needed two goals in the last 15 minutes to see them off. Inter Zapresic were then easily beaten in the final game before the winter break to give us our 9th win in a row in the league.


League table


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STOP THE COUNT! :D

Dinamo have fallen apart and this could be our chance to take advantage. Rijeka have also had a poor first half of the season and sacked their manager after losing to Dinamo in the game just before the winter break.


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Qualification was far easier than I expected although we probably should have topped the group.

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Ah well. It was a nice run anyway.

Osijek also got through and topped their group ahead of Roma, only to be drawn against Schalke. Meanwhile, Cuckaricki topped ours and got Spartak Moscow. I know which team I would rather face. :D

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

Winter break


Friendlies


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Both of our training camp games were played at Austria Wien's Generali-Arena. Both ended up being wins with Gorica also beaten.


Transfers


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3rd choice keeper Al-Salem left as did a couple of youngsters on loan. Jerry Chircan comes in to add another option at CM while 18 year old Uruguayan Sebastian Silva is a talented forward. I actually bought him because Southampton were after Hrvoje Matkovic but they withdrew their bid after I negotiated the price to a rather high amount. :D

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Youth candidates


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Sounds good!


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Stjepan Sprlje | Hrvoje Tomasevic | Alen Pavic | Davor Zilic | Igor Crnobrnja


Looks good too! More strikers and on-loan Peyrek aside, I now have 5 forwards under the age of 21 who all have high potential. :D

More options in midfield as well with none of our other midfielders being defensive minded and a left back is nice too as Gilson Jose has been attracting interest from a number of clubs in the top 5 leagues.

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

February & March


Fixtures


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A fine return from the winter break saw us beat 2nd-placed Osijek at home to put a little more daylight between us but we threw away most of our good work there by drawing with struggling Dugopolje. Either side of a routine win against Varteks, we gave Wolfsburg a right good go - they took the lead at our place but we had 7 shots on target to their 2 and a draw was the very least we deserved. A dull game followed in Germany with them having the better of the game but neither team ever really looked like scoring. Still, a very creditable performance against tough opposition.

This was however followed by a tame defeat to a Dinamo side who now looked back to their best, having won every game after the break. Three easy wins followed and then Rijeka were beaten in a tight contest to make it 4 out of 4 for March.


League table


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Europa qualification was the minimum expectation set by the board and that has now already been achieved. There's a massive difference in quality between the top 4 and the rest so that's no real surprise either.

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

April


Fixtures
 

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The trip to Osijek could easily have been a banana peel but we eased to a 2-0 win, making it four wins out of four against Osijek this season. A comfortable win at Zapresic was followed by a ridiculous home defeat. They went 2-0 up while we hit the post and the bar a total of six times. An even game against Dinamo followed which was nothing like our previous home game against them and we edged them out even though arguably they were the better team. This was followed by a poor display against Dugopolje who led twice with Ivica Peyrek equalising twice, including once in the 92nd minute - a win would have guaranteed us the title here.


League table


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With Croatia using H2H records as the first tiebreaker, we need a point from our final three games to win the title.


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The win over Dinamo also saw us break our points record, which was 78 points from 32 games set all the way back in 2003-04.

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Hajduk Split
Prva HNL
2028/29

May


Fixtures


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The 3-0 win in Varazdin sealed the title win and a celebratory crowd turned up to see us sweep aside Slaven Belupo in style. Away to Lokomotiva on the final day, we went 3-0 up before they scored two late goals to make the match score look a lot closer than it actually should have been.


League table


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Dinamo racked up 93 points last season but couldn't match it this time around and we took full advantage. Osijek spent most of the season looking like they could qualify for the CL but eventually have to settle for 3rd, with Rijeka ending up 4th after drawing more games than anybody else.


Squad


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The squad looks pretty good for the most part and there's a lot of talent available. The two loanees, Tita and Peyrek did well but I won't be extending their loans for next season, in order to give more chances to our own players. There's an 18 year old CB coming in from Napredak to replace Tita while there's almost certainly enough quality up front to make up for Peyrek's loss.

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Another record from 2003-04 gets broken. That team's ones are probably more special though, since they did it over 32 games as opposed to 36.

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Some more records to solidify Peyrek's superb season. He actually came through our academy before leaving for West Ham on a free. Then came back last season on loan which I ended up extending.

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Not much to worry about there seeing as the loss was mostly caused by off the pitch upgrades. CL money coming in next season should secure our finances too.

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  • DB08 changed the title to [FM18] A tour of Europe - With an Icelandic beginning and a trip to Wales

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