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The Many Steves Challenge


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As a reductio ad absurdum of a way to make FM more challenging, I joked about limiting transfers to players named Steve. Started thinking that could actually be fun. So here we go, I created the club Steve F.C., based in Stevenage, England (of course), playing the Vanarama National South (re placing Tonbridge Angels.  Only rule of the save is that we are only allowed to sign Steves as players and staff. All original players and staff are removed at the start of the save. I'm also allowing Stevens, Stephens and players with the family names Stevens, Stephens, Stevenson, and Stephenson, in order to have slightly more possibilities. We are also not allowed to sign anybody from future youth intakes unless they are Steves. Should be fun! So make your own club, you can pick any name you want as your limitation. James FC and John FC should be quite doable too!

SteveFC.png

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1 hour ago, ANGL said:

Are you accepting english names only? You would get a lot of more options with all the spanish-speakers named Esteban

Anyway, good luck!

Go with any name in any language mate!  Esteban FC would certainly be nice to see. =)

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34 minutes ago, laurentius82 said:

Go with any name in any language mate!  Esteban FC would certainly be nice to see. =)

I think you misunderstood the question. Esteban is the Spanish equivalent of Steve, and ANGL was asking if you're only signing English Steves, or if you'll consider any regional equivalent for your team.

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7 minutes ago, Biscotti said:

I think you misunderstood the question. Esteban is the Spanish equivalent of Steve, and ANGL was asking if you're only signing English Steves, or if you'll consider any regional equivalent for your team.

Oh yes of course, sorry about that!  For myself I'm not planning to (at least for now) to accept equivalent names in other languages. So no Estebans, Stefans, or Stepjans.  

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The team is starting to shape up. Managed to sign plenty of Steves to fill our squad, and we're covering most of the positions quite ok now. One problem area is central defense, where we are really struggling to find available Steves with any quality. Played some friendlies already as well, and it's looking quite good, even managed to beat League One Wimbledon! In the first friendly loss we didn't really have any players yet and played mostly with Grey Ones.

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  • 3 months later...

Finished 1st season with the Steves. Difficult year with some rough spells. Early on it seemed we might challenge for the playoffs but a decline in form saw us finish in a comfortable mid-table position.  I'm quite satisfied though, since we were predicted to be bottom and have the worst squad in the league by almost any attribute. Next year we'll try to improve the squad especially at CD and CM position, we desperately need defenders who can head and tackle and midfielders who can pick a pass every now and then. Youth intake was no help, not a single Steve in there so had to release the whole lot. 

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Some of our current key players. 

First up, Steven Hood, a 17-year-old goalkeeper who was solid all-year round, most likely our number 1 next season too. Personality is bad but I'm trying to improve it by mentoring.

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Next, Stephen Akbas, a 22-year-old RB released from Hull . One our most important Steves, solid both defensively and a key threat going forward with his 12 assists. 

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Steven James is a centreback we managed to steal from division rival Eastbourne Borough for a hefty £675 in January in an attempt to improve our horribly inadequate defence. He's not great but he's the best we've got.

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Steven Nolan is a left winger who had decent season with 13 goals and 6 assists.

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Jack Stevens is a young striker/AMC who arrived after Christmas having being released by Oxford United. One of our best players perhaps attribute wise, scored 7 with 5 assists in 20 matches. 

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And finally, Tommy Stevens, another young striker, released by Reading. He was our top scorer with 20 goals in 40 league matches.

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2nd season over. Nice improvement, finished 4th, annoyingly lost to York City in playoff semi-finals. We managed to improve in the key areas of weakness (CD, CM) and did a lot better. Tommy Stevens couldn't stop scoring and ended up the division's top scorer with 39(!) in the league. 

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Most important additions to the team were Connor Stevens, a solid CD who came on a free from Wealdstone:

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Ben Stevens finally provided some creativity at CM, on a free from Luton:

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I was happy with our goalkeeper last season but when we had a chance to sign Jack Stevens from Oxford Utd on a free I couldn't pass it up, and he was really solid.

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With some further improvements, perhaps we can really challenge for promotion next season...

 

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On 18/01/2021 at 12:51, Dave. said:

Interesting idea.  Shame former manager Steve McKimm had to go... he must have been fuming!

Good news! Steve McKimm finally overcame his anger and has now returned to the club as Under23s manager!

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The Steves are promoted! In our third season we have won the Vanarama North after a tight race with Boston Utd for the title, and next season we'll be trying to survive in the Vanarama National.  For a side with an expectation to avoid relegation, it was quite decent. Also, I didn't think it'd be possible, but Tommy Stevens was in even crazier goal-scoring form than last season, and bagged an incredible Messi-esque 47(!) goals in the league. 

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We had a good first season in the Vanarama National, even managed to sneak into the playoffs (massive overachievement) where we unfortunately lost in the first round to professional moneybags Southend Utd. Tommy Stevens proved that he can keep scoring even at a higher level, and was once again the top scorer in the league with 40.  Hopefully our young players keep improving and we can make a couple of signings in the summer to make another promotion push next season!

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Curtains close on the second season in the Vanarama National with another defeat in the first round of the playoffs. Leyton Orient. 3-2 After extra time having taken the lead twice. Gutted. Tommy Stevens had an off-year, only 30 goals.

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The Steves are promoted to the Football League! We finish our 3rd season in the Vanarama National as champions after amazing final day drama against Barrow, who had been leading all season but dropped to 2nd after losing to the Steves 2-1 on matchday 46. Tommy Stevens was doing what he does again, top scorer with 41 goals. We have now turned professional and are also expanding our stadium, Stevenson Road to a whopping capacity of 5000. Exciting times!  To be honest, I would much rather have used the money to improve our training facilities th, which remain at a very poor standard, but the board had other priorities. It will surely be a tough season ahead in League 2, as most of our squad is evaluated as Vanarama North/South level. Improvements are needed, but our options are limited of course...

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Some of the key Steves of our title-winning side: John Stevenson, a young centreback, released by Huddersfield at the end of last season

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Another young Scottish defender Stephen Davidson came on a free from Ross County a couple of seasons ago, most often plays as an inverted wingback on the left side of our system.

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Steven Gethins is a promising Northern Irish central midfielder. We actually paid Ballymena United 10k a couple of years back to get him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Steves are almost promoted back-to-back, but an extra time penalty to Burton Albion in the playoff final sees us facing another season in League 2 instead. To make matters worse, the penalty was scored by Stephen Humphrys. He should have been be our man. A very good season for a Steve side that was predicted to finish rock bottom in any case. Tommy Stevens was struggling with the level at times but still finished with a respectable 24 league goals. =)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It's back-to-back promotion time baby! The Steves manage to do the "standard FM thing" of going from top of league 2 to top of league 1 as we just about sneak into winning the title on the last matchday again.  For the first time, the top scorer was not Tommy Stevens, who finally found his match in League 1 and only managed 4 goals. His place was more than adequately taking by a new signing, colombian striker Stiven Sanchez (yes I know there is an "i" instead of "e" in his name by I say it's close enough and within the rules of the save) with 47 goals in the league and 51 in all competitions. Generally it feels it's much easier this year than before to get your strikers firing amazing numbers...

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This is Stiven Sanchez, who we signed on a free from Boyaca Chico in  Coloimbia. I really struggle to see why he wasn't getting game time in Colombia, the man is a baller. He's almost 2 meters tall too!

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Love the idea. I once had the idea of a team which only included people with the surname Silva (that's a lot of Brazilians and Portuguese players and quite a few from Spanish speaking countries) and this is equally bonkers! :D 

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  • 5 weeks later...

First season in the Championship ends with a solid mid-table finish. No danger of relegation but we didn't really have the firepower to challenge for the playoffs either. Top scorer Stiven Sanchez with 22 goals. Steven Arndt (winger on loan from Mainz) finished at the top the assists chart in the league with 16. Luckily he'll be back next season again! Hopefully we can improve the side for next season, but it's getting hard now as there really aren't that many options for us... But we relish the challenge! =)

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We'll finally get a new stadium too! Would have been nice to get a slightly bigger one as we can't build another one for 20 years but at least it's improvement over our current 5000-seater

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Second season in the Championship ends with a solid top-half finish at 10th. We could have potentially pushed for the playoffs but our problem was losing way too many points after conceding several goals at the late stages of matches. Need to try and bolster our defense for next season. Attacking-wise we were good and Stiven Sanchez was top-scorer with Tommy Stevens-esque 41 league goals. Steven Ardnt, a German winger who we've had on loan for the past 3 seasons from Mainz, was also excellent chipping in 14 goals and 17 assists.

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Edited by laurentius82
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It is a sad day as club legend and fan favourite Tommy Stevens has left the club after 10 years of service. He wasn't getting game time anymore in the Championship, he's contract ran out and he wanted a new challenge. It was not before we got to honour him in a testimonial match which was also the first match played at our brand new stadium (which I'll rename the Tommy Stevens Stadium) with an almost full crowd of 14000 fans giving him a farewell and thanks for the impressive 386 league appearances and a club record of 268 league goals. What a man! Hope somebody still signs him for a couple of years... 

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1 hour ago, Brother Ben said:

I love the logo by the way and coupled with your signing criteria is it a case of "Jobs for the boys?"

I'll get my coat  :D

😂 

Thanks mate, I spent a long while making a proper logo (and kits too) only to discover I can't put it in my save anymore because you can't change logos/kits for teams created with the  "create a club" feature. 🤦‍♂️ So we're stuck with the logo I made in 10 seconds when starting the save (then as a joke) and generic kits...

I can honestly this has become the most enjoyable FM save I've ever had, restricting transfers this way provides exactly the right amount of challenge so that we progress over the years but it's far from being too easy like it is in a normal save.

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Playing LLM I've got to restrict myself in certain areas too but like you said it can be really rewarding.  I know the Youth Academy challenge seems to have gone from strength to strength judging by the page number they're up to so a bit of restriction is clearly popular and can lead to some memorable saves. 

I love the fact that this challenge literally has its own difficulty level built in based on what name you choose

Edited by Brother Ben
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Yeah the youth academy challenge is great too, but the problem there is that you have to give up a key element of the game entirely (transfers, whereas with this one you still get the thrill of new signings - I'd say even more so as good transfers are very hard to come by and doubly satisfying when they do. 

I wonder if anyone else is playing the challenge? Would be great to hear some stories!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We were so close to being promoted to the Premier league, lost the playoff final 3-2 against West Brom. 😣 All in all a fine season for the Steves nonetheless. I believe we're a really solid central defender short of a promotion-winning side.  Yari Stevens and Steven Page are not PL quality unfortunately, but there just aren't many options for us. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

 

We have done it! The Steves are promoted to the Premier League! No playoffs needed as we finish 2nd after Leeds (who btw spent 170 million this season on transfers IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP). We had a horrible finish to the season with 5 straight defeats but thanks to our good form earlier in the season it didn't cost us the promotion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One thing I really like about this playing style is that it forces me to be loyal to a core group of players (because there just aren't too many alternatives out there). For example, Steve Webster joined us 10 seasons ago in the Vanarama National as a 16-year-old, and has just now played his first matches in the Premier League.

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