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[FM20] United We Stand


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FM20: Jedinstvo Ub - United We Stand

Hello there. Been in this parts of forum few times. Lately with short lived Enfield Town FC save, which went down the drain after my HDD went bust on New Year's Day. Struggled to get into a save after that and it took Rikulec's excellent Unia Janikowo story to remind me that there's no place like home.

So back to home i went. Jedinstvo Ub. One of the two clubs from village town where i spent my childhood. Definitively a bigger one since another, Radnik, is relatively new. I lived 5 minutes away from their stadium. Went on runs there when i was younger, up and down the stairs on their stands. Heck, during their glory days (and i use term glory very loosely here), when Jedinstvo played in Serbia&Montenegro' Second Division, i was a bag boy for Bosko Jankovic and Dusan Basta, former Genoa and Lazio players who were here during their developing years.

Ub is where Dragan Dzajic, arguably the best Yugoslavian player was born. Jedinstvo Ub is where he made his first steps into football. If you haven't heard of him, i wouldn't blame you. One of the most underrated players in history. He was ridiculous back in the days. “Džajić is the Balkan miracle – a real wizard, I’m just sorry he’s not Brazilian because I’ve never seen such a natural footballer.” Words said by none other than Pelé, right after the two played against each other in 1968, if i'm not mistaken. Look him up on Youtube, even today he would be among the greatest, his technique, dribbling, crossing, devastating left foot... Out of this world.

But he wasn't the only one. Dusan (Dule) Savic, another one born in Ub, started his career at Jedinstvo before going to Crvena zvezda and becoming one of their legends and cult hero.

In recent times, we had Radisav Petrovic, current Almeria player, who went from Jedinstvo to Partizan to Blackburn, before starting his merry-go-round loan spree after signing for Sporting Lisbon.

And at last, but not least important. Maybe you've heard of him. Current Manchester United player. Nemanja Matic.

He isn't exactly that much connected to Jedinstvo as some of previously mentioned. At least during his earlier years. We'll get to that soon. Matic was born in tiny village near Ub called Vrelo. He played a bit for their side before going to trial in Partizan and Crvena zvezda. As neither found him talented enough to sign permanently, he went back to Ub, signed his youth contract with Jedinstvo where he spent year or two before turning pro at Kolubara, his stop-gap to Kosice and later Chelsea.

Now, how is he connected this story, how is Matic intertwined in all of this and how he got me to start this save?

Bear with me and this wall of text, we're getting there.

Jedinstvo went through hard times after their former player Dragan Dzajic, back then president of Crvena zvezda, resigned and Jedinstvo's link with Serbian biggest club was canceled. With no talent coming from Belgrade on loans, they dropped like a stone as far as current Serbian Fourth Division. They yo-yoed between 3rd and 4th rank, desperately trying to get back where they were and few business practices/couple wrong transfer decisions away, Jedinstvo were at the brink of extinction. Tale old as time...

In comes Nemanja Matic. Now Manchester United first teamer, he had means and will to help save the club where he spent his formative years. Basically, he took over Jedinstvo, paid their debts, restored our stadium, renamed it from Gradski Stadion to Stadium Dragan Dzajic and since he can't be here full time due to his career, Matic delegated pretty much everything to his brother Darko, now acting chairman of Jedinstvo Ub.

Their aims: Financial stability, giving local kids a chance to shine and eventually going after promotion to Serbian top flight.

So, long history lesson aside, that's where i come in.

We'll make it a Youth Only save, giving talented kids from Ub and surroundings the opportunity to prove themselves.

And maybe, just maybe, produce another such magician as Dragan Dzajic once was.

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Fun fact: Captain Dejan Mladenovic and I were childhood pals, we played together as toddlers in parks and stuff. :D

Vice Captain Rakic i know from school.

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Facilities aren't exactly fitted for youth development but we'll get there. Our journey starts with healthy sum on our bank accounts but since Matic expect us to be self reliant (and since i played with Jedinstvo before), we won't be getting extra funds and will have to find money to fund our own endeavors.

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Club vision will need tweaking as we won't be signing anyone. It's reflected pretty accurately actually, as official word is that Jedinstvo looks to sign kids and young players from surrounding areas.

But in FM terms, for what we're going for, board will be disappointed as we won't stick with club culture as it is.

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Squad is large. And rather old. Some trimming will be done. More about that later one. First things first, we have to renew some contracts, see who'll stay with us in coming season.

Loans will be cancelled though. Both of them are really great players that could improve us massively but we'll stick to our own.

Edited by Constantine
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Jedinstvo Ub

Preseason - 2020/21

Shamelessly stolen from Rikulec

 

Board Expectations:

Prva liga Srbije: Fight bravely against relegation
Kup Srbije: Don't be outclassed

Honestly, i don't care about Kup. At least, for now. Money's rubbish and in the beginning it's just an annoyance in schedule, fit between tightly packed league games.

And if i don't mess something up, we should be straight in the promotion fight. As i mentioned before, i've already played with this lot and jump between Srpska liga (3rd tier) and Prva liga isn't that big. Won the whole thing last time i've tried so... Tough act to follow.

 

Friendlies

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Lovely. Played against lower league sides, in close proximity to Ub. Since there's no money to be made here, opponents are chosen to ramp up our fitness and give us necessary morale boost ahead of season.

 

Transfers

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Per challenge rules, no incoming players. Quite few outgoings though. Oldies on huge wages and two players with no chance of getting even on the bench.

 

Decided to add our best XI to this post. Just to track progress as years go by. And to show you guys what level of players we're playing with here.

Mirko Curguz

Aleksandar Radovanovic - Nemanja Sajic - Aleksandar Gavrilovic - Nikola Radojicic

Aleksa Bozovic - Ademin Hadzic - Darko Pavlovic - Goran Potkozarac

Lamin Jobe - Nemanja Ratkovic

Pavlovic was a means to an end, brought in first team as league' rules forced my hand.

Per them, we need to have two u21 players in our first XI and two more on the bench during match day.

You've seen our squad. Bit on the older side. Pavlovic, Nikacevic (promoted on the bench) and Jobe are only u21 we have.

 

 

Edited by Constantine
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Jedinstvo Ub

August 2020

Prva liga Srbije

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Great start to our Prva liga life... Though we have to be careful as we played mostly recently promoted sides.

 

Kup Srbije

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Disappointing exit in 1st qualifying round but in our defense, Graficar is Crvena zvezda's B side. And they came out pretty strong, with four first teamers mixed in with backups and high potential kids.

I guess i did care about the cup. A little bit. We'll do better next year.

 

Unrelated note, Pavlovic became Jedinstvo's youngest player ever to feature in a match.

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Edited by Constantine
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Ahmm... Thanks!!

Honestly, this one caught me off guard. Our balance dropped significantly, currently around 70k in the black.

Asked them for improvements, expecting nothing (courtesy of my time in England) but with little persuasion, they approved.

Lovely.

Both Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment are now on Average level.

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Jedinstvo Ub

September 2020

Prva liga Srbije

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Bit of a mixed month for us. Showed out teeth to former Superliga side Radnik, took the lead twice but failed to make the kill. Mirko Andric run Trayal off the pitch, finishing that game with two goals and assist. #1 favorite for promotion, Rad, inflicted us with season's first defeat. Lady Luck was our friend against Zlatibor but showed us her back literally the next game as we missed everything we could on our away trip to Nis, only to concede an equalizer during final 10 minutes.

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Jedinstvo Ub

October 2020

Prva liga Srbije

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Dropped in standings but we faced some serious teams this October. Metalac, Zemun and Macva all had some Superliga experience this or year before this and we sailed past them. One complaint though, we allowed Zeleznicar to come back into game all too easily. Had them on the ropes, 3-nill at half time and i honestly expected some 90th minute equalizer. As for Crvena zvezda  Graficar, we were never winning that.

 

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Jedinstvo Ub

November 2020

Prva liga Srbije

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Aside from that game against Kabel when we allowed them to overturn our early lead, this was pretty much perfect period for us. Undefeated against two Superliga dropouts and huge victory at Krusevac against Trayal meant that we advanced one spot on Prva liga table, still at the tail of superior Macva and Graficar sides.

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Just one day after our final game of the year wrapped up, we've got intake preview.

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I'll take. Would've liked more wide players but we do need central defenders as ones we currently have are getting older and surely won't be getting any better.

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Stojanovic is a new hire. Great knowledge, favorable style of play and most importantly, fantastic personality. Hopefully it'll rub off on some incoming graduates.

Edited by Constantine
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Class of '21

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Great first intake. Fantastic CD which will go straight into first team. Few decent backups too. Got a lot of central defenders. Nice fullback, lovely striker.

Love it.

 

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Stefan isn't a lot worse than our best defender. Straight into first team he goes.

 

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Igor is so... So... Uneven. Good attributes here and there but abysmal physicals.

 

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Winger through and through.

 

Blazo Dragicevic - Lovely striker i mentioned. Few irks to iron out but i love the looks of him.

Dragan Calasan - More rounded fullback.

Miso Krstic - Another great CD. Love his personality.

Nikola Stankovic - And another.

Milovan Antonijevic - Natural striker but he looks a lot more like a playmaker to me. We have some retraining to do.

Milos Petrovic - All of our goalkeepers are in/near thirties so this lad had to be signed.

 

 

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Jedinstvo Ub

March 2021

Prva liga Srbije

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Radnik Surdulica turned on God mode as our mixed form caused us to slip down the table. Still, there's a lot games left to play and gap between first four sides isn't that big...

 

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Jedinstvo Ub

April 2021

Prva liga Srbije

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That's preliminary phase of Prva liga Srbije wrapped up. Gave it our all against Graficar but they're just so good with their Crvena zvezda wonderkids and first team rejects.

Anyhow, the league's split.

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First two places secure direct promotion to Serbian top tier. 3rd and 4th go into Play Offs.

Graficar can't get promoted (Crvena zvezda's B team, i complained about this multiple times) so everything's still wide open.

For getting Jedinstvo into Top 8, board seemed fit to award me with a new contract.

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Jedinstvo Ub

April 2021

Prva liga Srbije

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Dropped the ball against Macva as we conceded in 90th minute from a set piece. Somehow survived to claim a point away at Graficar. We've faced two of the toughest sides in the league already, so as of right now only Radnik Surdulica is standing between us and promotion to top tier.

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Jedinstvo Ub

May 2021

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In a clash against our direct (and only) contender, we did it!! Surdulica has fallen. We're going into Super liga!!

Prva liga Srbije

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Surely we made our life harder than it had to be but in the end, we got there!

And as a result, we're going full time.

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Jedinstvo Ub

Season Review: 2020/21

Prva liga Srbije

Fixtures: August-October :: November-March :: April-May

Mission Accomplished. Promoted!!

Had to be at our best since neither of promotion contenders played below expectations. It was tough at times, as our form slipped in most unfortunate of moments but a crucial win against Radnik Surdulica was enough to seal our ticket for upper echelons of Serbian football.

 

Kup Srbije

Disappointing exit in 1st Qualification Round as Graficar edged us on penalties.

 

Squad: Part 1 :: Part 2

I knew these boys are gonna make it in Prva liga, as gap isn't that big coming from tier below. But Super liga is an entirely different beast. We will struggle. Badly. Four sides (Crvena zvezda, Partizan, Vojvodina and Cukaricki) are in league of their own, with few others showing promise to join them (Backa Topola, Napredak) but rest of the league will be fighting it out for sheer survival.

 

Player of the Season

Ademin Hadzic

One that's been constantly churning out decent performances all season. He didn't scored that much, nor he had much assists but get him our of our side and we'll be so, so much poorer team.

 

Next Season:

We'll be going full time coming into next year. That's a lot of contracts to renew. Expenses are gonna be great. And there's that little thing, fight for staying in Super liga.

This is gonna be fun.

 

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Jedinstvo Ub

Preseason - 2021/22

 

Board Expectations:

Linglong Tire Super liga: Fight bravely against relegation
Kup Srbije: Don't be outclassed

Yeah, i'd say i have same expectations as our board. Just simple survival in top flight will be enough for me.

But we have to get past Qualifying Rounds in the Cup. We've already embarrassed ourselves enough.

 

Friendlies

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Out of all of these sides, Jagodina is the only one you could call capable. Former Super liga side and we beat them quite comfortably.

Our strike force is working as expected but defense leaves much to be desired. Four goals conceded against fourth tier residents is a worry.

 

Transfers

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No changes in our squad, bar one or two released backups of a backups. Though Crvena zvezda and Partizan are sniffing around our top prospect from last year's intake.

Few bids were submitted, all of them rejected but considering we're in the red, i fear it's just a matter of time before our board take things into their own hands...

 

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Jedinstvo Ub

July 2021

Linglong Tire Super liga

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Oh boy, that's not a great start, isn't it... Napredak is currently far superior side so it's no wonder they dispatched us with ease. Could've had it all v Kolubara but Jobe and Ratkovic missed about everything in our local-ish derby.

 

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Having a central defender as Jedinstvo's youngest goalscorer ever??

Sure, why not...

There must be something special about him, as the best two Serbian sides are still relentlessly chasing him. Had to protest the board accepting literal peanuts for him and luckily they acknowledged it. The end of this transfer window can't come soon enough...

 

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Well, that lasted long... Just four days after Arifi 21a set the record, Dragicevic 21d broke it and made it his own.

He is also our youngest player ever to grace the pitch as he made his debut against Cukaricki in first game of the month (a fact i forgot to screenshot and went back to check after he scored at Smederevo).

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He's gone...

After our board once more accepted a bid over my head (and then dialed it back), i made my peace with losing our top talent.

But i'm gonna lose him on my terms. Negotiated back and forth, simultaneously with Partizan, Zvezda and Cukaricki and Stefan ended up with Crno-beli.

With 74k in the bank, finally back in black, went back to board asking for some improvements. They gave me one.

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Edited by Constantine
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Jedinstvo Ub

August 2021

Linglong Tire Super liga

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We're improving. A bit but improving. While Cukaricki and Backa Topola are European hopefuls, Macva and Spartak are much more our forte. Fellow relegation stragglers. As long as we pick up points from the likes, we'll be fine. It's crucial we don't end up in the last two, as they get relegated on the spot. 13th and 14th place leads you to Play Offs, where one could face two sides from Prva liga. Some hope, at least...

 

Kup Srbije

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Bloody hell!! We had to win this. Smederevo was on the ropes but they mounted a comeback, getting a late equalizer and knocking us out on penalties.

Edited by Constantine
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Jedinstvo Ub

September 2021

Linglong Tire Super liga

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Expected trashing by Partizan and then... I have no idea what the duck happened versus Vozdovac but we converted almost any half decent chance we've created. Add to that unbelievable Rakic between sticks, a performance worthy of prime Neuer and... I'm still puzzled how we won that, considering their vastly superior squad. Of course we rode that surprising wave of confidence into submitting (even now) certainly doomed Sindjelic to our will which places us 10th on Super liga table.

Can we end this season now? Please?

No?

OK.

Oh, yeah... I'm going back to school.

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Jedinstvo Ub

October 2021

Linglong Tire Super liga

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Oh boy... I expected a lot more from back-to-back home games against Dinamo and Proleter, especially coming off two huge wins but Javor broke us. Goals dried up, defense was decent enough but with no chances to withstand the barrage by two superior sides in Vojvodina and Crvena zvezda.

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Jedinstvo Ub

November 2021

Linglong Tire Super liga

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Mixed month that started with a hard earned draw against Europa Conference League hopefuls Napredak, HUGE win in the neighborhood v Kolubara and to round it up, defeat at home to Cukaricki. While it was expected, it came after our brilliant hour and so performance, only to implode near the end.

 

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Jedinstvo Ub

December 2021

Linglong Tire Super liga

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Great way to end the year, as we pack our bags for two months vacation. Still, we're three points away from relegation play off places but there's way too many games to play to think about that.

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