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(FM21) The Ultimate Nearly Men


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1 hour ago, Mikaelinho said:

Oh wow! Great form. It looks like a tough task to catch Dortmund though!

The good thing is we don't need to catch Dortmund, the aim is to win the Champions league so as long as we qualify I'm happy!

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5 minutes ago, TheLutterworthFox said:

The good thing is we don't need to catch Dortmund, the aim is to win the Champions league so as long as we qualify I'm happy!

That's right! I totally forgot about that. Then things are looking really good!

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2024 Youth Intake

I was promised a Golden Generation and there were lots of green on the preview, so let's see if it's as good as it says!

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It looks decent on the face of it so let's delve deeper!!!

Maxime Majerus

The highest rated prospect is this lad, a Central Defender from Luxembourg. On the face of it he looks good, 9+ for all the main attributes with really high Bravery and Natural Fitness, 2 of the attributes I look for most in a player. His Personality could be better, I wouldn't say "Light-Hearted" was a positive one although I'm not sure.

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James John

This lad looks really good, yeah OK his techincal's aren't great but how many 15 year olds old? His mental attributes however are absolutely amazing! I am very very excited for this lad!

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Jan-Philipp Capel

This guy looks tasty, a playmaking midfielder who has some really good mental attributes and some decent technical one's too. The main thing is to get that passing attribute up. He also has "Driven" as a personality which is really good.

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Antonio Leon

Another Left Back although this lad can play anywhere up the left-hand side. His attributes are really balanced with nearly all his mental ones over 10. I think I can retrain his as a Left Winger. 

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Vladislav Sheffer

Another central midfielder, again this lad has some really good attributes with the majority of his required mental's over 10. I think I'll get him trained up as a BBM. Most of his technical's point towards that.

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So a really really good intake, a good few players who look really good and if the 2021 Intake was anything to go by in a few seasons a few of these lads could be in and around the first-team.

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2023/24 Champions League Update

I just had to update you instead of waiting nearly 6 weeks of game. After drawing Man City 0-0 in the Home leg, we went to their gaff and, well just see for yourself.....

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TAKE THAT!!!!!! Into the Quarters!

Edited by TheLutterworthFox
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2023/24 Champions League Draws

The draw has been made and to be honest I am pretty happy with it.

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We faced Barca in the group and drew both games so I feel we have a chance. Then it'll be Milan or Man U. 

*Please ignore Zebre, I have put the real name fix in but for some reason it won't work on any game/save I play

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2023/24 Season - March 

Seeing as I have the German Cup and Champions league coming up I'm going to talk about March's results now and then after this, talk about important results as the season draws to a close.

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With games coming thick and fast we have had to rotate the team, overall though it's gone well. A home defeat to Bayern has pretty much ended our title push but with the Champions League the most important thing due to the challenge I'm not too fussed.

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With 7 games to go we are 11 points clear in the Champions League spots. Another good season, Dortmund are having a season and a half though!

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2023/24 Season - Champions League Quarter Final

It started really well, first leg at home and we came out with a 1-0 win, we played really well and to be honest we should've won by more.

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We tried to defend our lead in the second leg going with the more defensive 4141 formation. Unfortunately it didn't go well as Barca showed their class to win the game 3-1and the tie 3-2.

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Gutting but we went one step further than last season and have also showed we can match it with the big boys. Fingers crossed we can continue to progress a little bit each season.

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Ah you were so close of getting to the Semi Finals :( Hope you can manage it next season if you decide to stay at Stuttgart

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2023/24 Season - German Cup Semi Final

We had the toughest draw but I always back my lads, this however was total and utter chaos!

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Absolutely fuming. We conceded early but it was the red card that killed it. We went in at half time 4-0 down, I gave them a rocket in the break and it worked with Koch and Wamangituka getting it back to 4-2. Moukoko grabbed a 5th for Dortmund before Koch got a late consolation. Sutalo you tit!!!!! It was a ridiculous tackle!

And that's our season pretty much over. Out of the Cup and the Champions League and with 4 games left in the league we're 10 behind Dortmund and 8 ahead of Bayern so 2nd looks wrapped up.

Edited by TheLutterworthFox
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2023/24 Season - End of Season Review

My 4th season down and the most frustrating yet. League runners-up, German Cup Semi finals and Champions League Quarters. Our only trophy is the German Super Cup. 

After last seasons title win I hoped we could win something major once again but Dortmund were just way too good domestically, the Champions League run however was good, we went one step further than last year and even put out Man City!

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Funnily enough we actually ended up 2 points better off than our title winning season!

So 2nd place and that means Champions League Group Stage Qualification for next season which is the main thing.

Let's take a look at the key men throughout the season..

Ryan Gauld once again wins the club Player of the Season. 7 goals and 16 assists in 39 starts, sensational!

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Right Back Gabriele Zappa wins the Young Player of the Year,although he wouldn't be my choice! Overall though a good season and by far my best defender. 4 goals and 5 assists as well from 40 starts.

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My choice would 100% have gone to 2021 Intake player and forward Helge Koch, with Suarez out for most of the season we needed someone to step up and in the final couple of months he was brilliant. He ends with 9 goals in the Bundesliga from 16 starts and 8 goals in his final 9 games. This lad is going to be incredible but I now have a big choice with Suarez back fit for next season.

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Talking of Luis Suarez, he ends as the signing of the season even though he missed 6 months of it! Up until his injury he was immense, scoring 14 goals in 18 games.

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The other "Class of 2021" player to get a good amount of games this season was Defender Matthias Ruhle, what I like about this lad is he can play in numerous positions, he's played most of the season at CB but has also filled in at LB and as a CM. He started 21 games with 10 sub appearances scoring once. Another lad who is going to be amazing.

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So some great performances, here for your perusal is the whole squad...

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Personally the squad looks good and with so many good youngsters coming through I don't need to make too many changes. There are two areas I want to look at, firstly is the GK< Burki is 33 and I don't really have any good enough to replace him, I need to go out and buy someone. Secondly is the defence. RB is great but at LB and CB we have struggled at points with injuries, fitness and suspensions. Also the vultures are circling around Rudiger and Sutalo. So I will be looking to improve those positions.

The board have given me £68m to spend and around £180k per week in spare wages so I have enough to bring in what I need. Other than that I will buy if and when I sell anyone.

So another season down, personally it's gone well, yes we didn't win anything major but we are improving all the time.

In other news the Champions League was won by Barcelona, they beat Liverpool 2-1 in extra-time, in the Europa League Spurs beat Zenit 3-1, as all 4 teams have already won a major European trophy the list doesn't need changing.

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2024/25 Season - Pre-Season Review

Well here we are, another season is ready to go. Let's firstly take a look at the transfers in and out.

Transfers Out

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We say goodbye to a couple of first team player. Sutalo was probably the biggest one to leave, the bloke loves to moan, he had a £40m release clause, I got just less than that but I'm glad to be shot of him to be fair! Amartey and Coulibaly also leave, they just hadn't featured anywhere near enough and with me wanting to bring the youth into the first team I let them go. Left Back Robinson also leave after his contract expired. Constantin is a reserve player I've never used.

Transfers In

I said in the last end of season review that I wanted to sign myself a new GK and a new CB, with Sutalo leaving I probably needed to buy 2 CBs instead. Other than that it was just looking for bargains.

Matias Palacios - Attacking Midfield - £17.5m from Basel

When this one popped up on my scout report I just couldn't say no. I nabbed him from under the noses of both Bayern and Dortmund. That £17.5m release clause was too good to turn down as you can see as he is already valued ay £40m. It's not pleased Ryan Gauld though but I have to keep improving the squad.

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Marco Carnesecchi - Goalkeeper - £18m from Atlalanta

My new GK who will replace Burki in the next season or two. He is happy to come in and be the Cup GK for now. A really decent signing.

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Goven Buruk - Central Defender - £14.5m from Brondby

Another release clause way too low, he is probably the best CB I could find at a decent age and price. A really exciting signing and he will go straight into the first XI.

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Pipi - Central Midfield - Free Transfer from Real Madrid

He turned down a deal at Real to sign for me! A cracker of a signing for no money. He doesn't fit into my plans at the moment so will be sent out on loan for a season or two.

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Armando Obispo - Central Defender - Free Transfer from PSV

A backup CB signing who can also play as a DM if needed. A really decent looking player but he will have to settle for at most a place on the bench.

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So some good business so far, with another month of transfer window left there could be some more business but nothing as of yet.

Youth Inclusions

2 new players have been added to first team with from youth ranks

Right Back and 2021 Intake player Vincent Wentzel comes in as a back-up RB

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After having a really productive loan spell last season at Arminia Bielefeld I have promoted Armagan Baydemir to the first team, he also came through the 2021 Intake and will be a back-up CM.

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Friendlies

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It's been a very short pre-season, with the Euro's and an early domestic start we only played 3 friendlies but won all 3. Koch again playing well!

Season Preview

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How far ahead are Dortmund?! 3rd is probably about right for us but I didn't expect Dortmund to be odds-on favourites!

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2024/25 Season - August

What an amazing start it's been!

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An epic game in the German Cup see's us go through 6-2, the league start as well has also been amazing with 7 points from 3 games, none conceded and a solid 0-0 draw to Bayern.

The transfer window has also slammed shut, no more players left but I did bring in another player.

Saul Salcedo joins for £700k from Olimpia. That release clause was absolutely ridiculous so I had to sign him up!

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The Champions League group draw has been made and seeded 4th we have been handed a really tough draw.

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It will be tough to qualify for the knockouts but I have faith!

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2024/25 Season - September to December

Well I've reached the mid-season break and my word, the boys have been absolutely sensational so far! 

Bundesliga

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Absolutely incredible, 17 games, only 4 points dropped! There's no words for how amazing we have been so far! Every single player has played their part.

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Take that Dortmund!!!! Odds-on favourite my arse!! 

German Cup

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So far the ties have been relatively easy, we're into the 3rd Round with a tie against fellow Bundesliga side FC Koln. Koch is smashing it so far, 5 in 2 games!!

Champions League

We had what looked like a shockingly tough group and even though we had a couple of poor defeats we played brilliantly nearly all the way through.

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The Spurs game aside where we were totally trounced we did really well. We went into the final game sitting in 2nd knowing a win was needed guarantee qualification for the knockouts, Spurs and Inter drew 0-0 meaning our 2-1 win over Ajax was enough to top the group! Stunning!

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And in the knockouts, for the first time so far in this save, we have what looks like a winnable tie in the Last 16!

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Youth Intake Preview

For a fifth straight year it's another Golden Generation!!!

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2024/25 Season - January

I just wanted to update quickly on a couple of results and also the Window window transfers.

There have been a couple of out's

GK Burki has left for £9.5m, with a new keeper coming in he fell out of favour and I cashed in, Winger Musaba has also left for £6m. He never really got a good run in the team but with much better players coming in he had to go

And there's been one huge in!

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Marcus Edwards joins from Hertha Berlin for a whopping £59m. I spent my whole transfer kitty on a new Winger. He can play either side and is miles better attacking-wise than any Winger I've got! Tasty!

There has only been 2 matches this month and they have been rather contrasting!

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A first defeat of the season to Bayern which I can kind of take but just look at that second match. A 4-0 hammering of Hoffenheim which included a debut hat-trick for Edwards!! STUNNING!

Dortmund also slipped up meaning our lead at the top is now 8 points.

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Champions League Update - Last 16 (+ A really poor Youth Intake)

The knockouts are here and we have Sporting Lisbon standing in our way, this is the first time we've had a winnable tie in this round. Last year was Man City (we won), the year before was PSG (we lost)!

First leg away and we played really well to claim a 2-1 win, personally we didn't play great but Sporting hardly had a chance. Second half goals from Gauld and Edwards giving us the advantage going into the home leg.

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Where we eased through with 2-0 win, we were hardly troubled and played well. Koch scoring early and Palacios wrapping it up mid-way through the second half

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Into the Quarters where we will face Spurs, we have already played them this season in the Group stage, we drew 1-1 at home and got hammered 5-1 away!

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If we somehow get through we will face Liverpool or PSG in the Semi final.

A quick update on the Youth Intake, as the title says it was rubbish, an expected Golden Generation but there was only one stand-out player with everyone else being way off the level.

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Goran Paric is a left back and looks decent, some really good mental's and even some good technical's which is rare in a youth player. One to look out for moving forward

 

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2024/25 Season - Champions League Quarter Final & League Update

Here we are, another season in the CL Quarters and we have a tough match against Spurs, first leg at home and it was far from tough!

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A stunning 3-0 win, we played amazingly, but we still have the 2nd leg to come, we lost 5-1 to them in the Group Stage so the tie isn't over!

Or so I thought, revenge for that 5-1!

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A stunning 2-0 win, 5-0 on aggregate overall and with that we are into the Champions League semi's where we face Liverpool who beat PSG 6-3 on aggregate!

Now to the League, it's been 2 and a half months since my last update, at that point we sat 8 points clear of Dortmund, our form has tailed off, too many draws!

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And to cap it off we got smashed by Dortmund in the last league game, this was sandwiched in between the Spurs game and fitness levels were really low, Dortmund had a nice break and they showed their class to win 4-0. The last 5 games have been really poor. 6 points from those 5 games means Dortmund have closed the gap.

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5 games left and our lead it now 2 points, Obviously with the challenge the Champions League is the most important thing but it would still be nice to win the League! It's going to be a tough end to the season, 5 league games, at least 2 more Champions League games and a German Cup semi final to come as well!

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A tough run-in with the sheer amount of games, our league run-in isn't too bad!

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2024/25 Season - Champions League Semi Final + League and Cup Update

Let's start with one piece of bad news and that's the German Cup, we faced Eintracht Frankfurt away and bottled it, losing the tie 3-2. We went 2-0 down and the main man Helge Koch scored 2 second half goals to level the tie, it looked the going to extra time before they nabbed the winner with 3 minutes to go.

Right, let's crack on with the Champions League semi v Liverpool. First leg at home and it didn't start well. GK Carmesecchi turning the ball into his own net to give Liverpool an early lead. After that we played well and eventually our dominance paid off, McTominay scoring before half-time to level the game and then, with 19 mins to go 2021 Intake star Baydemir scored to put us into the lead, after that we shut up shop but we failed as right at the end Liverpool scored a goal from a corner, the tie ended 2-2 and now we have a huge uphill task going into the away leg.

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Into the away leg, fitness issues were rife with league games in between but that's no excuse, Liverpool were just the better team on the day. They were just so much better than us and we couldn't cope.

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What a run though, one step further than last season and a great 2-legged win over Spurs along the way. Now we have to dust ourselves down and try and go that one step further next season!

Now to the league and this is getting tight! Since the last update we have played 3 and won 3, Dortmund have also played and won 3. Our games have been relatively tight, Dortmund have won their with an aggregate score of 12-2!

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So this is how it stands, 2 games to go and we are 2 points clear but just looked at Dortmunds GD!

Now both of us have games we should be expecting to win, we have Freiburg and Eintrach Frankfurt (they beat us in the cup!), Dortmund have Mainz and Hamburg. One slip up from us and it's goodbye league title! We HAVE to win both games! Nervy times!

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2024/25 Season - Can we clinch the title?

Yes we bloody can!

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And it only took one game of the two we had left! We managed to beat Freiburg 3-1 away, Dortmund, after winning 13 straight league games to get them back into the title race, only managed a draw at Mainz!

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Koch is just a legend!!!!!

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GET IN!!!!!

But I have to say we deserved it, we have been way ahead all season and even with a mini-wobble during those Champions league knockout games we still kept going.

Now we have to win the Champions League!!!

I'll be back more than likely tonight with an end of season review of sort.

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2024/25 End of Season Review

What an amazing season it's been!

Bundesliga

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Dortmund drew their final game meaning the gap at the top ended as 6 points. What a stunning season, our second league title in three seasons and after Dortmund running away with it last year it was nice to topple them and improve our points tally by 7 points. Only 2 defeats and that was to Bayern and Dortmund away and bar a mini slump in April we dominated from start to finish! Sensational!

German Cup

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Our German Cup run was decent, we got all the way to the semi's with some good wins along the way but the sheer number of fixtures towards the end of the season meant fitness was an issue and we slipped up in the semi's. A good run though.

Champions League

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It was also our furthest run in the Champions league so far where we got to the semi finals. We had a shocker of a group but somehow managed to top it, we had some good wins along the way as well. We also knocked out Sporting Lisbon and then got revenge on Spurs in the quarters. Liverpool were just too much for us in the semi finals but another great season, we seem to be going one step further each season so fingers crossed next time out we can reach the final.

Star Men

There is literally nowhere else I can start!

Helge Koch, the star of the 2021 Youth Intake has had an absolutely stunning season. It's been his first season where he has been pretty much an ever-present and my word has he been good!

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44 starts, 34 goals overall with 23 in 31 in the Bundesliga, he ends as the leagues top scorer and the club Player and Young Player of the Year! Let's hope we can keep hold of him, he has a £106m release clause which I cannot remove currently and I can just see one of the massive clubs coming in for him and turning his head.

Signing of the season goes to Goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi.

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There were no plans to play him this season but Burki got an injury and that was it, he never left the side. 44 games and 22 clean sheets, averaging over 7 as well which is very good for a keeper.

Next is Winger Yeremi Pino

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Funnily enough I saw him play in real life the other night for Villarreal. This lad has been amazing this season, whether it's on the left or right side of the attacking midfield he is always brilliant. He ends with 11 goals and 17 assists from 37 starts. Another fantastic player.

And finally for your perusal is the whole squad.

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What a great season, a second league title and we are edging closer to that Champions League win. I really don't feel much is needed to improve this squad, we have proved we are good enough in the league and got to the final 4 of the Champions League. For me now it's trying to keep this group together but clearly some players are going to get bidded for and their heads turned. Transfer wise we have £51m to spend this season which isn't tonnes, that would probably get us 1 decent player. Maybe the only position I need to look at is at CB. We have a lot of player who can play there but are all natural in another role. Also with Rudiger getting on and Kempf going downhill I really need to look at replacing them with 1 top quality player.

Here's hoping for a quiet Summer, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY KOCH!

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As you can see from the picture above Man City got to their first ever European final and won! If they had lost they would've been added to the list

Edited by TheLutterworthFox
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2025/26 Season - Pre-Season Transfers

Here we go, another season is here and I am going all out to win the Champions League this season! I know we can do it!

But before it all starts let's take a look at the transfer activity throughout the Summer prior to the season starting.

Transfers Out

I have shipped out quite a few players, there were way too many lads sitting in the first team not playing and being paid for it, I have enough youth players who are progressing really well and a lot of players with good versatility to cover the losses.

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5 first teamers leave, None of them really have held down a place in the first XI for a season or two and I felt it best to move them on. They were just taking up wages which could be spent elsewhere. The big loss was Winger Gonzalez who refused a new contract and left for Bournemouth. Sasa Kalajdzic also leaves, the main man in the first couple of seasons but with Luis Suarez coming in and the meteoric rise of Helge Koch he fell way down the pecking order.

Transfers In

I said at the end of the last season I only wanted to improve 1 area and that was in central defence, I have brought in a superstar and also another player for nothing!

Bukayo Saka - Winger - Free Transfer from Arsenal

This lad was out of contract and Arsenal being Arsenal were happy to let him go for nothing. I just had to get him. Costs me nothing and is already worth £61m, a great player and can cover numerous positions, also how is he only 23!?!?!?

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Wesley Fofana - Central Defender - £51m from Leicester

Little Wes joins! Champions League football swayed him to join us above a few other teams. A big fee but he is just brilliant (and I love him in real life). A top quality ball playing defender, oh yes!!!

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And so far that's it! To be honest I need no-one else. I have brought in a load of youth players to cover the squad, we have good depth in all areas. This is the current squad, I'm really pleased with how it's shaping up!

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Obviously it's only early August and there are around 3 or 4 weeks until the transfer window slams shut. I really hope I don't lose anyone!

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2025/26 Season - August

The first month of the season is down, it's been a busy month, we've had the Super Cup, the opening games of the league and German Cup and the Champions League group draw.

German Super Cup

What a great start! We faced cup winner Bayern and hammered them, it ended 3-0 and we also had 2 goals disallowed!

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Koch the man once more!

League and Cup

Into the domestic season and we've had a good start. We smashed Oberachern in the German Cup to start the season and have got 7 points out of our 3 league games. The Werder away game we should've won but they scored late on to score a rather undeserved equaliser. But we ended the month with another battering of Bayern!

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Champions League Draw

The Group stage draw has been made and we have been handed a great group. We were seeded first as the league winners and, well, the group is as easy as it can get. If we don't qualify out of that I'll quit on the spot (did I just say that?!)

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The transfer window has also closed but there was no more business. No one came in and it's pleasing that no one left, to be honest there were no bids whatsoever!

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2025/26 Season - September to December

Half way through the season and so it's so far, so good!

Bundesliga

It's gone pretty well in the league, we have however lost a couple of games. Our home form is immaculate, 9 out of 9, our away form however is pretty poor with only 4 wins in 8 games.

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Some good wins though, a great away win over Dortmund right at the end of the first half of the season has helped us establish a 6 point gap at the top of the league.

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Champions League

I said I'd quit if we didn't qualify for the knockouts, well luckily for me we ended top! Once again though our away form was annoying, 2 draws in the first 3 games and we looked to be struggling but in the end it was pretty easy.

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We quality in top but our next round opponents are pretty tough as we face Real Madrid!

As for the youth intake, well for the first time in 6 seasons it's not a Golden Generation.

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2025/26 Season - January

Before I go into the results I've gone mad and made a few new signings. There have also been a couple of outs.

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Both of these lads asked for first team football, Pinamonti (Striker) has no chance with Koch in the side and Vanheudsen (CB) has fallen down the pecking order with Fofana coming in. I made a slight loss on Pinamonti but a whopping profit on Vanheudsen who was signed on a free!

Now for the in's, first up a huge one!

Oscar Vansteekiste - Right Back - £68m from Club Brugge

I really wanted this lad but didn't have the budget to do it, I asked the board to do the deal and they said yes! I wanted a new RB, Zappa is good but I just felt we could do better. This lad looks amazing, yes his technicals could improve but his physicals are sensational!

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Danut Stefanescu - Central Midfield - £10m from Inter

A new midfielder joins, this lad took my eye and I feel I've got him for a good price. He will be a good back-up and at only 19 has plenty of time to improve.

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Hugo Cortinhas - Central Midfield - £1.1m from Guimaraes

This lad will go into the youth team for now. He had such a low release clause I just had to bring him in. His attributes overall for a 17-year old are really good.

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Now let's look over the results, only 3 games this month as the Winter break doesn't end until Mid-January.

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A solid month, 2 good wins and a decent away draw against Bayern. Once again Koch is the man!

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Gladbach have won all 3 so the gap has now shrunk to 4 points. A good month though and we now head into the Champions League knockout months! I can't wait!!

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2025/26 Season - Champions League Last 16

Here we go, we have a shockingly tough tie but fingers crossed we can get through

1st Leg - Away

So many yellows!!! The game was really tight and at half time we went in at 0-0, then minutes after the second half kicked off Camara capped off a lovely move to put us ahead and give us a priceless away goal. After that Real really kicked on and dominated and in a 4 minute spell we conceded twice and they also had a goal disallowed to go 2-1 down. We couldn't recover but 2-1 away isn't a bad result, unfortunately we have both McTominay and Camara banned for the second leg.

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2nd Leg - Home

Wow what a performance, we played amazingly and our first half dominance paid off when Winger Pino grabbed a goal mid-way through the first half. Real never really got going and we continued to attack to finish the game off. It took until 6 minutes to go when midfielder Pipi scored a screamer from outside the box to put us 2-0 up! The whistle blew and we did it! 3-2 winners and into the Quarters!

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Now for the Quarter final and Semi final draws...

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We've got a toughie again but it's to be expected when we're down to the final 8. Chelsea are ranked 2 places higher than us in the European ranking so I have hope!

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Then it's Inter or Man U in the Semi's, again a tough one but we've avoided Man City which are the best team by far.

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2025/26 Season - Champions League Quarter Final v Chelsea and Domestic Update

1st Leg - Away

What a game! I decided to shake things up and switch to my back-up formation to try and give Chelsea a surprise and boy did they not expect it! The match started in chaos with a goal for us and then a goal for Chelsea inside the first 13 minutes. Then mid-way through the first half midfielder Camara grabbed his second of the game to put us 2-1 up, it could've been so so much better for Camara but he missed a penalty to seal his hat-trick. We grabbed a third just after the penalty miss courtesy of Saka to put us 3-1 up, that looked to be it but Chelsea grabbed a late late 2nd to make it 3-2. And that's how it ended! What a result!

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2nd Leg - Home

What a performance, we absolutely dominated from start to finish. Pipi scored twice before half-time and Chelsea scored mid-way through the opening 45 in one of very few decent chances that they had. In the second half it was all us and Suarez scored to make 3-1 to us with 20 minutes to go. There was no way back for Chelsea and we won the tie 6-3! Stunning

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And here's the Semi final draw..

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Fingers crossed we can one step further this season.

Now a quick update on the domestic season.

We were knocked out of the German Cup by Dortmund in 3rd round, it ended 3-2 to them after they nabbed it in extra-time.

In the league it's going a lot smoother!

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Only a couple of slip-ups and that's mainly been when I've been rotating prior to the Champions League games. Even with those few slip-ups we are miles clear at the top of the league.

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Dortmund and Bayern are both way off it and with 5 games to go we sit 12 points clear of Gladback. 1 win could do it!

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2025/26 Season - Champions League Semi Final v Man United

First thing's first, we've won the league! The easiest one so far, we've breezed to victory and for the majority of the past few months I've been playing my reserves!

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1st Leg - Home

Stunning, truly stunning! Man U are ranked 4th in Europe so I expected a tough match but they haven't got Helge Koch!! He has been through a baron run lately but that all changed, a brace from him seals a 2-0 win, no away goal conceded as well! Now all we have to do is defend the away leg and we're into the final!!!

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2nd Leg - Away

It was always going to be a tough game, I went with the more defensive 4141 formation just to try and see the game out but for some reason my lads decided to all out for the away goal! And we got it, Fofana smashing in a header from a corner after 10 minutes to put us well clear in the tie. Man U came back at us and scored immediately after and then scored a 2nd after 33 mins. We knew we had to defend, we had a 2 goal advantage with the away goal we had scored, we sat back, soaked up everything they had and it bloody worked! 

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What a performance!!! We're into the final!!! 

Where we will face PSG who beat Man City 5-4 on aggregate in an absolute epic! We are so close now but no matter what happens someone is winning a European final for the first time!

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2025/26 Season - CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL v PSG

HERE WE GO!!

We've gone with our successful 4231 formation and have most players fit, the one exception is Winger Pino who can only make the bench.

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 10 mins: The first major chance goes to us, a corner is cleared and it's picked up by Camara, he lays it into Koch who turns and shoots and hits the post.

33 mins: The first real chance for PSG, again it's from a corner, it's drops to Curtis Jones on the edge of the box who's shot is wonderfully saved by Camesecchi.

39 mins: Another chance for Koch, it's really nicely played down the left hand side, the cross comes in by Korniienko, it's met by Koch but his header goes over the bar.

40 mins: Chance after chance now, PSG are on the attack but they are dispossessed, Camara plays it to Koch who lays in Wamangituka, his ball across the goal gives Saka virtually an open goal but somehow it's blocked and cleared.

43 mins: ANOTHER chance for us. McTominay wins the ball brilliantly in midfield, he charges forward and plays Wamangituka in but his shot is saved. The highlight doesn't end there as the ball comes back in and somehow Koch hits the ball into the side-netting from virtually on the line!

And that's half-time, we have been brilliant so far, we have hassled them and they have made so many mistakes, we should've scored though and that's the concern.

48 mins: First chance to PSG, Marquinhos picks the ball up 25 yards out and his curling shot goes wide of the post.

60 mins: OH MY WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!A long passage of keep ball by PSG is wonderfully intercepted by McTominay, he plays an amazing pass through the PSG defensive line to Koch, he takes a touch and smashes it into the top corner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1-0!!! We are playing brilliantly and so deserve that goal!

68 mins: Again we win the ball in midfield after a passage of PSG possession, Wamangituka plays in Koch who rounds the keeper but it's brilliantly blocked by Marquinhos.

76 mins: PSG actually break our press for the first time, Haaland plays it to Grealish who charges forward and his shot at the edge of the box is tipped around the post.

87 mins: PSG are really pushing forward now but it's leaving gaps in their defence, we break through, Koch plays in Suarez who has come on for Wamangituka but his shot is straight at Onana.

ITS FULL TIME!!!!

I cannot believe it, we were absolutely amazing throughout and somehow, we have won the bloody Champions League!!!!!!!!!

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And with that my time at Stuttgart is over! A new club has won a European trophy and it's all my doing. I will put up an end of season review later on and an update on what's happening moving forward.

 

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2025/26 End of Season Review & What next

Well here we are! I cannot believe 6 seasons have flown by this quick and also the fact I've managed to tick off my first club along the way! My time at Stuttgart has been amazing, we've had steady progression year on year and also welcome in some amazing young new signing and some sensational intake players. But let's not shed tears just yet, let's take a look back at this season before we reminisce too much!

Bundesliga

For the first time we managed to hold on to our title, it was our 3rd title in 4 seasons but this one was the easiest yet. We dominated from start to finish and left the like of Dortmund and Bayern trailing way behind.

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Funnily enough we actually ended 8 points worse off than last season, mainly because I rotated the side when we came towards Champions League games, that was the most important task this season, even so we won the league from Gladbach by 12 points and ended 15 and 20 points clear of Bayern and Dortmund respectively. Amazing!

German Cup

It wasn't meant to be this season, we ended up going out in the 3rd away to Dortmund. It was a tough game and even though they ended so far behind us in the league it was still going to be a tough task to get past them. We tried our best but lost the tie in extra time 3-2.

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Champions League

And where else to end than the Champions League run. We were handed a relatively easy group and went through in the top spot. We then got past Real Madrid, Chelsea and Man United before beating PSG 1-0 in the final. Who else but Helge Koch scoring the winner!

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A truly unbelievable run. We got to the semi's last season which I thought was as far as we'd get this season, our squad is good but I never thought it'd be good enough to win it just yet.

Star Men

Where else to start than the main man Helge Koch. The fan player of the year, the German footballer of the year, the club and league top scorer. This guy is truly amazing and when I move on I will really miss him. Big big clubs are now looking at him and I can see him moving once I've gone. He ends this season with 35 goals in 40 starts and 23 in 23 starts in the Bundesliga. Stunning!

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Signing of the Season goes to Bukayo Saka, the free transfer from Arsenal came in and was amazing. With Marcus Edwards getting injured early on he came in and never looked back. 40 starts, 12 goals and 12 assists in an amazing season for the lad.

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Most assists goes to attacking midfielder Matias Palacios, if it wasn't for numerous niggly injuries he could've got a lot more than 13, it was however another brilliant season for him. 

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And here for your perusal is the whole squad...

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What a squad.

But now my time at Stuttgart is over, we've done what we set out to achieve and it's time to move on to another "Nearly Men" club. 

What a 6 seasons it's been here, I've loved every minute of it and if we had of lost that Champions League final I would've been more than happy to spend more seasons here but there's no time to standstill is there?!

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6 seasons, 3 Bundesliga titles, 1 German Cup, 2 German Super Cups and 1 Champions League! Amazing!

So currently I have a few nations to look to, England, Scotland, Sweden and Portugal with obviously Germany as well. I'd like to try a different nation for now and return to Germany later on, there club's I have to look at are:

England - Arsenal, Fulham, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Wolves

Scotland - Rangers and Dundee United

Sweden - Malmo

Portugal - Braga and Sporting Lisbon

Germany - Werder Bremen and Koln

A nice selection but I now have to wait on a job to become available!

Now for the other news, I have decided to restart my blog and talk about this save on there. I love updating on the thread but feel it will be good to do it on the blog as well. The thread won't stop but instead of numerous posts per season I will update the thread when the blog posts come out so more than likely once per season. 

But for now, let's go job hunting!!!!

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The Next Adventure

And just like that my new club is sorted, I actually expected it to take a while to come about especially with only a few clubs to choose from but it happened within a month of leaving Stuttgart!

Anyway, enough hanging about, I'm off to....

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SC Braga in Portugal. It's actually a job I was excited to do when I originally saw the list of clubs available to play so it's nice it's happened so quickly.

I won't talk much about them in this post but will show you how they've been doing in the league and cups and also what their squad looks like.

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In the previous season they ended 4th behind the "big 3" of Portugal. This is actually where they've ended in 5 of the 6 in-game seasons, the other season they ended 3rd. 4th place gives them Europa League football next season.

They've won nothing so far in-game, they ended runners-up in the Portuguese Cup in 2024 and that's it!

As for playing squad here is the first-team:

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A very small squad but there are some recognisable names including Matt Targett and Troy Parrott! There also quite a few highly rated younger players in the squad which is nice to see. I will talk more about these players in the first season review.

There's luckily quite a few players in both the U23 squad and the B Team:

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The final thing I want to show you is the club facilities and it looks really good.

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We have excellent youth facilities and excellent junior coaching and youth recruitment. Let's hope for some youth intakes as good as I had at Stuttgart.

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SC Braga 2026/27 Season

Welcome back! Well here we are, my first at Braga in Portugal. These posts are going to run a little differently to my previous season reviews. Instead of transfers, competitions, star men, etc it'll be written month by month. This means I can write it in shorter bursts which helps out with my hand pain but it may mean the posts in general are a bit longer, make sense? Good!

Pre-Season - Transfers

After a thorough squad assessment I felt we were short in quite a few areas. The squad is quite thin anyway but we really needed a new RB, 2 CMs, RW and a Striker. The board have given me £8m to spend but with a deal for Winger Pellestri already going through for £10m to Brighton that budget shot up to £15m.

Nelson Varajao - Right Back - £96k from P. Ferreira

This young lads looks really good, he obviously won't be a first-teamer but will by my back-up Right Back.

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Jonas Cousin - Right Back/Central Midfield - £3m from Anderlecht

This lad will be my main Right Back, the good thing is he can also fill in as a Central Midfielder. He was on my radar at Stuttgart but just wouldn't have fitted in, that's different here, he is going to go straight into the first XI.

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Robert Ljubicic - Central Midfield - £4.5k from SKN St Poulten

What a deal for someone who looks really good. I was able to "approach to sign" him and the compensation was £4.5k, he's now worth £5.25m! Mental! A cracking looking midfielder who will be vying for a first-team spot.

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Michal Sebek - Left Wing - £58k from Plzen

I didn't really need this lad but like Ljubicic he was available for such a stupidly low compensation fee. At 20 he is one for the future but may feature this season as we are short of quality Wingers.

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Emanual Viganto - Right Wing - £6.5m from Juventus

I needed a statement signing and this is the lad. We are incredibly short of natural right-sided Wingers so needed a top quality to player to go straight into the first XI. What a player and what a signing!

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Louie Barry - Striker - Season long loan from Aston Villa

I really couldn't find a striker to sign who would be happy to sit on the bench and not cost a bomb so went for the loan option. Troy Parrott is my No. 1 forward but this lad will be knocking on the door. I'm really pleased with this deal, he comes in on a 50% wage deal at £38k per week.

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And that's all the signings coming in. So far no-one has gone out bar Pellestri I mentioned earlier who was leaving before I joined. Let's hope we can keep hold of our main players. There is still around £2.2m to spend, I would like a new GK but with season starting very soon I have all my focus on that.

August

The season is here, there's no new GK as yet so I thought I'd show you the whole squad that we have at our disposal.

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Good depth in all areas. There quite a few names you may recognise but also there is one ex-Stuttgart player. Defender Obispo was signed by me on a free in 2023 but sold 18 months later for £10.5m to Braga! I'll speak more about the players as I go through the season.

Results wise it's gone pretty well, performances haven't been amazing but it can't be expected with a new manager and new tactics. The 4231 I used at Stuttgart (and in my achievement hunter save) have worked well so far.

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3 wins and a draw to start with. Really and truly, looking at those fixtures we would expect those results. It was nice to grab a draw against Benfica at home as well. After those 4 games we sit 2nd in the league.

The best performer so far has been Attacking Midfielder Kieran Dowell, 4 games, 2 goals and 2 assists. A great start.

We've also had the Europa League Group draw and we've got a pretty tough one to be honest. Lazio and Marseille are going to be a tough test.

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And the draw for the Allianz Cup, the second cup in the Portugal (similar to the League Cup in England), there's been a few prelim rounds prior to the group draw which we avoided. The draw however is pretty good, only the group winner goes through and I feel we have a decent chance.

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September

It's been another good month. 2 games in the league and 2 comfy wins, a really nice win over Marseilles in the Europa League as well and a poor draw in the Allianz Cup over Guimaraes.

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The league form means we are right near the top of the table, in 3rd but we have a game in hand on those above us.

Player of the month for me has probably been Winger Galeno, he has put in a string over 7+ average rating performances including a couple of goals and an assist.

October

Wow! This team is unbelievable! October comes and goes it's been one amazing month (bar one result!)

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6 games, 5 wins and a shed load of goals along the way. Two amazing wins the Europa League including a 5-1 hammering of Lazio has been my highlight. We've also progressed in the main Portuguese Cup and have topped our group with a game to go in the Allianz Cup. The month ends with back-to-back league games, a win and then a poor home defeat to Sporting, our first defeat of the season.

That defeat means we now sit in 3rd in the league, although it's all slightly skewed at the moment as everyone has played a different number of games.

Player of the month has to be Troy Parrott, he scored an amazing hat-trick in the Lazio game and got a brace in the win over Tondela.

November

Guess I should be enjoying these quiet months! 5 games, only 2 in the league and overall it's gone pretty well.

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A win and a loss in the Europa League which means we have qualified for the knockouts with a game to go. We've also progressed in the Portuguese Cup with a comfy 5-0 win over Louletano.

Now to the league, only 2 games as I mentioned and we've got a win and a defeat out of it. The defeat though was absolutely gutting. Away to Porto, we held out for 93 mins before conceding in the last minute to lose 1-0.

The win in the final games means we now sit in 5th with games in hand on nearly every team above us.

December looks BUSY!

December

What a month! Loads of games but we were just sensational throughout.

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9 games, 8 wins and 1 draw. Stunning! We've qualified top of the group in the Europa League and have progressed in both the Portuguese Cup and Allianz Cup but it's the league where we've been really good.

6 games, 5 wins and so many goals! 23 in the 6 games including an 8-0 win over Portimonense!

We're now 3rd in the league and are quite a few points clear of the teams below us. Porto and Benfica however are a way clear. 3rd gives us Champions League football for next season though.

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We've also had the annual youth intake and it's an apparent Golden Generation.

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What I like is the sheer amount of green on that list!

January

The Winter transfer window is here and I've dipped my toes with a couple of new signings:

Luiz Junior - Goalkeeper - £3m from Fluminense

I needed a new keeper and this lad was the best I could find for a decent fee, everyone else either had a stupidly high fee or wanted crazy wages. He looks pretty good however and should do a decent job for us.

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Rashid Aucho - Right Back - Season long loan from Porto

I really like the look of this lad but unfortunately it's just a loan. I sold my back-up RB and with Cousin preferring to play as a CM and my only other RB not ready for first team football I needed to bring in a short-term solution. This lad fits that bill.

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There have also been a couple of out's.

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Pinto is the back-up RB I mentioned earlier and Roef was my 1st choice keeper (he was rubbish) and was replaced by Luiz Victor, the only other player of note is CB Komer, a £13.5m bid came in and I snapped their hands off, he is decent but at 30 that bid was too good to say no, I also have plenty of CBs in the squad.

Results wise it's been another incredible month. Only one slip-up and that was a poor defeat in the Allianz Cup semi final against Sporting Lisbon. Other than that it's been wins all the way.

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6 out of 6 in the league and we're also into the semi final of the Portuguese Cup.

That 100% run in the league puts us in 2nd only 3 behind leaders Porto.

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An amazing month!

February

A very quiet month but it seems that form is slightly dropping off.

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The big positive was we managed to somehow get past Sporting the Portuguese Cup semi final, we played poorly at home and scraped a 1-1 draw but away from we were stunning, sealing a 3-0 win to send us into the final where we will face Porto.

In the league it's tailing off. 3 games, 4 points and a shock defeat Portimonense. We dominated but just didn't take our chances.

That defeat slips us to 3rd, 5 behind Porto and 4 behind Benfica but way clear of the chasing pack with just 9 games left.

March

March is youth intake time! I decided to Tweet out the key players so if you'd like to see more click below

Now to the results and once again it's been good but we are beginning to slip up in the league.

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The good news is we got through the 2nd knockout round of the Europa League, beating Napoli 1-0 away and then 4-0 at home, we will face Valencia in the Quarters and then, if we win, we will face either Arsenal or Benfica in the Semi.

In the League its not gone well. 4 games, 5 points. Our slim title challenge has now gone and we have a battle to hang onto the 3rd place.

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We have 5 games left and we are 8 clear of Sporting but they have 2 games in hand. It would be gutting now to throw away a top 3 finish and with that Champions League football.

April

Another tough month ahead. Europa League is in full swing now but we also have to keep winning to try and secure that Champions League spot in the league.

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Unfortunately it hasn't gone perfectly. 3 games in the league, 2 wins and a defeat to Benfica means Sporting, who are on a great run and played all their games in-hand have now over taken us with 2 games to go.

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In the Europa League it's gone well, we got past Valencia but then faced an in-form Arsenal side who absolutely smashed us in the first leg of the semi. To get that far though has to be put down as a success.

So 2 games left, we are now relying on Sporting to drop points. They do have Benfica at home in the final game who need to win to give them a chance of the title!

May

So we come to the final few games of the season! Can we do it? Let's find out.

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As expected we bailed out of the Europa League but to be honest, being 3-0 down from the first leg I saved my best players for the league games. The final couple of games couldn't have gone any better. 5-1 and 5-2 gave us maximum points but would it be enough?

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Yes it bloody would! Sporting lost to Benfica 2-1 in the final game meaning we scraped into 3rd place and with that Champions League football next season, we go into the qualifying rounds.

But there is still one more game to go and that's the Portuguese Cup final against Porto...

And as you can see below it was an absolute epic!

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It ended 2-2 after 120 minutes of football, we were leading 2-1 but conceded late on. The game went to penalties and there were a lot of misses! After 5 penalties each up stepped CB Obsipo and he neatly tucked his away, Diaz stepped up for Porto and his shot was saved by Luiz Victor and with that....PORTUGUESE CUP WINNERS!

What a first season in charge. A trophy and Champions League football for next season, it couldn't have gone much better!

Star Men

Troy Parrott ends as the clubs Player of the Season and top scorer with 37 goals in 37 starts. He also ends as Liga NOS top scorer and broke the record for most league goals in a season (29).

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Kieran Dowell was my choice for Player of the Season, he was sensational throughout and ended with 18 goals and 22 assists in 42 starts! Amazing!

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The third and final player to speak about is Winger Galeno, he had a stunning season with 24 goals and 16 assists in 41 starts. His 61 league goals for the club is now a new club record as well!

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And here for your perusal is the whole squad.

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Next Season

What an amazing first season, a cup win and Champions League qualification for the next campaign. The squad does need improving if we are to start challenging the big 3 more often. The board have give me £22m to spend and an extra £200k per week on spare wages. So plenty to spend!

A new LB is definitely needed, the 2 lads in the position just aren't good enough. I'll also need to replace Barry (ST) and Aucho (RB) who will both return to their clubs after their loans expire. Other than I will just take a look about and see if anyone is available for cheap who will improve the squad.

Here's hoping for a good Summer and an even better season next time around!

We've also got a new team to add to list of "Nearly Men" after Hertha Berlin lost to Arsenal in the Europa League final! Another German team! In the Champions League Barcelona beat Liverpool to lift the trophy.

 

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I remember managing Braga way back in FM05 and I've had a soft spot for them ever since.

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SC Braga - 2027/28 Season

Welcome! Another season is here and after last seasons 3rd place finish we have Champions League football coming for this campaign! We have plenty of money to spend and really need to improve the squad to start challenging the likes of Porto and Benfica, so let's not hang about and see how it went.

Pre Season Transfers

I may have signed a lot of players! 7 in fact but I did actually make a big cockup which I'll talk about during my review of the signings! I said in the previous post I wanted a new RB, LB and a Striker with a view to bringing players in for cheap who would improve the team. I did that..and more!

Let's discuss the cockup first!

James Trafford - Goalkeeper - Free from Man City

I said in my previous post when I signed Luiz Victor I felt I needed a better Goalie for this season and this guy definitely fits the bill. Top quality and for free. So a great goalkeeper comes in, I say goalkeeper but what I really means is goalkeepers plural!

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Joao Valido - Goalkeeper - Free from Juventus

Yeah I signed another one! I won't lie, I made most of my signings one day, came back the next day (in real time) and totally forgot I had Trafford coming in! What a tit! So I now have 2 incredible keepers who both want to be important players and Luiz Victor who expects to play in the cups! Oh dear! (Face palm emoji!!)

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Paolo Antonelli - Right Back - £12.5m from Inter

This was the Right Back I wanted last season but just couldn't get the deal over the line. I think you'll agree he looks amazing for this level and will prove to be a top quality player for me.

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Pedgrag Stojadinovic - Left Back - £4m from Radnicki

I'd looked at this lad for Stuttgart but at 19 he wanted first team football which I couldn't guarantee. I can 100% offer that to him here, he will go straight into the first XI. Another quality player for a low fee.

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Joshua Kitolano - Central/Wide Midfield - Free from Saint-Etienne

This is a blast from the past. One of my superstars at Haugesund on FM20 joins me at Braga. For nothing this lad is amazing and is already worth £17m-ish. A huge improvement to centre of midfield and can also play in numerous other positions in the first-team.

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Francisco Pereira - Striker - £500k from Feirense

The first of two new Strikers come in, this lad is one for the future but also helps me fill the home-grown quota in the Champions League. At 20 he already looks brilliant but will have to settle with begin my third choice Striker this campaign.

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Pietro Pellegri - Striker - £3.6m from Marseille

When this lad popped up on my scout report I couldn't say no, such a low fee for someone who looks top drawer. He will be an able deputy for Troy Parrott.

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So quite a few new signings but only £20m spent overall. I'm really pleased with what we have done.

Out wise there actually hasn't been much so far. The only first team player to leave is Matt Targett who moves to Rapid Vienna for £3.9m.

So here for the start of the new season is the whole squad.

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Really nicely balanced, good depth in all areas and a nice mixture of experience and youth.

August

Here we go! The season is here and start with the curtain raiser, the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira, or the Super Cup as I'm going to call it! We face League winners Benfica and what a game!

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A crazy start to the game with a goal apiece inside 6 minutes, that was it then until extra time where we went mental! 3 goals in 14 minutes of extra time (and 2 for new signing Pereira) seals an extraordinary 4-1! What a start to the season!

The next games are the Champions League Qualifiers, we enter into the 3rd round so have 2 rounds to negotiate to get into the lucrative group stage. Krasnodar are our first opponents and it turns out to be a lot easier than I expected.

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5-0 at home and 5-1 away, the latter with a virtual reserve team. Pellegri has come in to replace the injured Troy Parrott and has started like a train Youngsters Ferreirinha, Cesar and new signing Pereira getting the other goals.

In the playoff round we face Dinamo Kiev, a tough test but after the first leg away it seemed to be going swimmingly, a 3-1 win and we looked to be coasting, then came the 2nd leg and within 30 mins we were 2-0 down! Luckily Parrott came on to grab a goal in 2nd half to send us through 4-3 on aggregate! A close call!

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Into the group stage for the first time 2012/13 and just look who we've got!

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I'm facing my old club! With them and Chelsea it is going to be very tough to qualify out of this group but we should come 3rd at least. It's going to fun facing Helge Koch who is still at Stuttgart!

In the league we've played 3 games and we've both twice. The only defeat was an away loss to Porto.

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A really good start to the season!

September to December

So I've decided to not update month by month, mainly as I feel there isn't enough to say. Instead, here, you're going to get an update up until the end of December.

Champions League

Let's firstly start with the premier European Competition. We had a tough group, Chelsea and my old team Stuttgart alongside Rapid Vienna to get past and to be honest we did really well.

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An opening day win over my old side was fantastic but in the next game Chelsea absolutely destroyed us. Back-to-back wins over Rapid Vienna followed before an away loss to Stuttgart. We went into the final game with Chelsea needing a point to qualify in 2nd place and we got exactly that!

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Really really good. 2nd was way above my expectations.

In the last 16 we have a really tough tie against Manchester United.

The Domestic Cups

Now to the two cups, first the Portuguese Cup, the one we won last season.

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A really good three opening rounds, all the games we were expected to win and we did with ease.

Into the Allianz Cup and once again we did really well.

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A 100% record in the group stage but it was expected. This qualifies for the semi finals where we will face Porto.

Liga NOS

Now to the league and since those opening few August games it's gone fantastically.

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12 games, 8 wins and 4 draws, really really good but some of those draws should have been wins.

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And with that we sit in 3rd place, it's pretty tight though but we do have a couple of games in-hand, funnily enough against the bottom 2! I really don't know why we have played less than everyone else.

So a great start. If we win those games spare we will sit 4 behind leaders Porto.

I will be looking to bring in a couple of new faces in January. We really need more competition for certain positions, especially on the left hand side where my left backs and left wingers have been pretty poor!

A quick shout-out to both my Strikers, even though I'm playing 1 up top both Troy Parrott and Pietro Pellegri have been sensational when called upon! Pellegri especially who has only start 8 games (and played 7 off the bench) and scored 16 goals!

January

Seeing as there is so much to talk about this month I think it's best I single this one out! There are new signing, player sales and huge games!

Let's start with the out's

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We say goodbye to 4 first-teamers. GK Junior was signed last season but with my screw up signing 2 new keepers in the Summer I had to move him on. Udol is a LB and personally is rubbish. The big 2 to go were AMs Chiquinho and Dowell. Chiquinho is 32 and declining quickly he asked to go and I let him have his wish. Dowell was amazing last season but this time around just hasn't replicated that. A bid came in from West Brom and he asked to leave, he then turned them down but accepted a bid to go to Austria. A great player but this year has been really poor.

And now the in's.

Georges Lamboley - Central Defender - £750k from Auxerre

I'm loving finding these young players with crazy low compensation fees! This lads looks amazing and will go straight into the first team.

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Nicolas Parisi - Left Winger - £7.25m from San Lorenzo

I really needed a proper out and out left-sided winger and this lads fits the bill. I tried to sign him in the Summer but couldn't do the deal as the wages were too high. This time I've gone for it and I am delighted.

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Chrys - Left Back - Free Transfer

On a free? This is madness. This lad came up on my scout reports with half of Europe wanting him, I went all out to bring him in, big wages, lots of bonuses but well well worth it!

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Juan Caputo - Attacking Midfield - £7.25m from River Plate

My replacement for Dowell. Another one who has been on my radar for a while and another really low fee. Needs a bit of work but at only 20 he has plenty of time to improve and will get lots of game-time.

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So four amazing signings, now let's see how the results look.

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A busy month but overall a positive month. In the league we have played 5, won 2 and drawn 3. In 2 of those draws Troy Parrott missed a penalty to win the game! Those results keep us in the but we are now 11 behind Porto but still have 2 games in-hand.

We've also progressed in the Portuguese Cup and are now into the semis where we will face Benfica. Now to the Allianz Cup or the Taca da Liga whichever one it's called. We absolutely smashed Porto in the semi's before playing Benfica in the final and 2 late goal won the game 2-1.

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Fantastic! Our second trophy of the season already! What a month!

February to May & End of Season Review

Here we go, the closing months of the season!

Champions League

We had a really tough tie in the Last 16, Man United stood in our and we played well. A 0-0 draw in home leg but we lost the 2nd leg 2-1. Overall though, to get to the last 16 is a successful first campaign in the Champions League

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Portuguese Cup

We are into the semi's where we faced Porto and both legs were total chaos! Away leg first and Troy Parrott rescued a draw for us. We were 4-2 down but managed to come out with a 4-4! Madness!

The second was just as mad, especially the final 10 mins. Porto were 3-1 up with 9 minutes left but goals from Galeno, Caputo and then Parrott in the 93rd sealed the most miraculous comeback! Into the final 8-7 on aggregate!

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Where we would face Benfica. The game ended 2-2 and it went to penalties. Unfortunately we missed twice and they sealed a 4-3 win. Really disappointing but overall the season so far has been brilliant but could it go one better?!

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Liga NOS

When I left you last we sat 11 points behind Porto but we had 2 games in-hand. What happened next was absolutely unbelievable!

We went on one of my longest runs of wins I've ever had on FM! 14 games left and we won all 14 and with that we had wiped out all of Porto's lead. In the final game we sat 2 clear of them knowing a win over Portimonense would seal our first ever Liga NOS title. We managed to win the game 1-0, it was a tough one and Porto eased to a win in their game but 1-0 was enough!

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LIGA NOS CHAMPIONS!

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What a season, only 1 defeat along the way and it was tough playing catch-up to Porto right until the end. 14 wins in a row, absolutely stunning!

Player Awards

Player of the season goes to Winger Galeno, the 30-year old had a sensational season, 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 starts!

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Young Player of the Year goes to Central Defender Joao Cardoso, what a season for the lad who is now being touted for a big money move.

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And here is the whole squad for you to look at.

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Next Season

What an amazing season it's been, but now we look forward to next season, with the league title in the bag we gain automatic qualification into the Champions League group stage. Last 16 this season was great but clearly we need to start progressing as quick as possible.

The board haven't been very generous with our budgets, we only have £12m to spend and around £100k p/wk in spare wages. Not a lot to improve the team but I fully expect so rather hefty bids to come in for the likes of Cardoso, Trafford and Obsipo who are all being looked at by Premier League clubs.

We are going to need to sell to buy but I need to keep an eye on the homegrown players. I can't really sell any of them unless we can promote from the youth squad or find homegrown players to bring in to satisfy the rules for the Champions League. Our squad is also quite thin so will need to promote from within or find cheap players to bring in.

One final to speak about is we have lost a club and gained a club in the "Nearly Men" list! The Champions league final was won by PSG, they beat Man City 2-1. This means that PSG have won the trophy after ending runners-up in 2020 meaning they are removed from the list. This is Man City's first European final and as they have lost they get added to the list! Ever changing!

Anyway that's all from me. Thanks for reading

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What a fantastic thread so far! I just recently caught up with it, great work at Stuttgart and now in Portugal too.

That new-gen you had in Germany is really one of the best I have ever seen! KUTGW

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10 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

What a fantastic thread so far! I just recently caught up with it, great work at Stuttgart and now in Portugal too.

That new-gen you had in Germany is really one of the best I have ever seen! KUTGW

Thanks so much for your kind words mate. It's massively appreciated. 

Helge Koch is even better now if you can believe it and is somehow STILL at Stuttgart!

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11 hours ago, TheLutterworthFox said:

Thanks so much for your kind words mate. It's massively appreciated. 

Helge Koch is even better now if you can believe it and is somehow STILL at Stuttgart!

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Wow. He is just absolutely insane. 

If you have access to any editor would love to know what his CA and PA are. 

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SC Braga - 2028/29 Season

Welcome back! Braga are Portuguese Champions for the first time! It was an amazing season last time around but now the hard work starts. There's not much to spend and we will now have a big target on our back. We also need to add to the squad whilst trying to keep costs down, then there's the added excitement of players boots getting too big and wanting to leave! This should be fun!

Pre Season Transfers

Let's firstly look at the out's.

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4 first-teamers leave for a total of around £65m. The big one there is CB Cardoso, he wanted to go and started a revolt in the squad. It's a lot less than I wanted for him to be honest but I caved in. Diallo and Ljubicic both also asked for moves, they were in and around the first XI but I have enough depth to let them leave, plus I signed a few players as well! Ferreirinha, was probably my 4th choice AM and wasn't good enough, £4.3m was a good deal for him.

Now let's look at the in's.

Frederico Lavega - Right Wing - £2.2m from Defensor Sporting

I really needed another proper Winger to play on the right-side. Galeno is great but now he's 30 he will start to decline, this lad comes in to play as his back-up. At only 18 he has plenty of time to grow but already looks amazing.

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Sven Hammerschmidt - Attacking Midfield - Free from Hamburg

Signed on a pre-contract deal, I actually had this deal done in the Winter window. An amazing looking player and for absolutely nothing! He adds much needed competition in both attacking and central midfield.

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Kwaku Bekoe - Striker - Free from Fortuna Dusseldorf

This lad will go into the youth team for now and possibly go out on loan to gain some experience.

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Jerome Thomas - Central Defence/Central Midfield - £55k from Teplice

Another cheap deal but I really like the look of the lad, especially for 17! He will be in the first team for now to get mentored by some of the senior players but if the opportunity arises I may send him out on loan.

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Jordan Henderson - Central Midfield - £4.6m from Inter Milan

No not that Jordan Henderson but 23-year old American Newgen Jordan Henderson! I won't lie this guy looks amazing for such a low fee. We lost Diallo and this guy is his replacement for about a quarter of the fee!

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August

The season starts with the Super Cup, we face Benfica who beat us in the Portuguese Cup last season.

We played really well, Parrott scored early and then Caputo scored in the second half. Benfica grabbed a late goal but it wasn't enough and we won the game 2-1! A nice start!

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The league has also started incredibly well!

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4 games, 100% record and no goals conceded! Bring it on!!!!

Finally, we've also had the Champions League draw and it looks pretty good.

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Inter our toughest challengers but I'd be fully expecting to end at least 2nd in that group.

September to December

To say this first half of the season has gone well would be a massive understatement, this has been amazing, sensational, ridiculous!

Champions League

Firstly the Champions League, we had an easy group and it proved to be just that.

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5 wins and 1 defeat which was away to Inter, in those other games we only conceded 1 goal. We were really really good and with that we somehow qualified in top spot!

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In the Last 16 we will face Atletico Madrid, a tricky tie but one I feel we have a chance of winning.

Domestic Cups

Firstly the Allianz Cup, as ever we start with the group stage

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2 wins and a defeat, in that final game we played a full blown youth team, for the board this competition isn't important but even so we'd need a crazy turnaround in goal difference so Belenenses to overtake us.

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Portuguese Cup

Now to the main cup competition and we've breezed into the Quarter finals.

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Comfortable wins against teams we should be beating. I've mixed the team around a little bit but in each game but whoever played have done the job.

Liga NOS

Now to the league and oh my word it's been incredible!

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13 games and only 1 defeat and 1 draw. The best thing has been the goals conceded, all in all, in all competitions we went on a run of 15 games without conceding a goal, my best ever run in any FM save!! The 2-2 draw to Benfica stopped that. But 11 wins to add to the 4 in August means we sit top of the league!

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5 clear as we reach the half-way stage of the season.

Stunning so far!

So now I head into the second half and the season and with that the January Window. Obviously we are doing really well and I don't need to improve the side but it would be nice to bring a couple of new faces in, especially if I find another wonderkid! We do have £21m to spend as the board have increased our transfer budget.

I'm also fully expecting bids for my key players, let's hope none of them get unsettled!

January

So I've dipped my toes into the market again, 2 fantastic deals

Gustavo Martin - Central Midfield - Free from Flamengo

A stunner of a deal, his contract was up and I pounced. This lad is going to be a star.

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Ljubisa Matic - Central Midfield - £2.5m from Maribor

Another central midfielder and another one for the future. I'm really pleased with this one.

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There have also been a couple of out's.

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Time Kehrer was one of the players who was here before I joined. A great servant but he had fallen out of favour. £7m for a 32 year old is great deal. Left Back Stojadinovic also leaves, he wanted first team football but with Chrys coming in he hasn't got a chance. A slight profit on him.

Now to the results and once again it's gone well although we've been slightly lucky in some.

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4 games in the league, 3 wins and a defeat to Sporting. This keeps us top of the league but on goal difference to Porto although they've played a game more.

In the cup's we have done well. We have the advantage in the Portuguese Cup semi final against Vitoria Setubal after a 2-0 win in the first leg at home. In the Allianz cup we beat Rio Ave on penalties to get through to the final where we faced Sporting.

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A good 2-1 win, goals from Parrott and Almeida secured the win but we didn't play as well as I hoped. Another trophy though!!

February to May

So here we are, the end of the season is here so let's look back over the past few months and see how it has gone.

Champions League

Atletico was always going to be tough and it proved to be a step too far. We played well but they were just too good over both legs

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3-2 on aggregate isn't bad against a much better team. We do somehow need to start improving if we are going to challenge.

Liga NOS

Form over the final months was patchy, over February and March we couldn't manage more than 1 win in a row! Luckily Porto also couldn't string a decent run together. We beat them 3-2 with 8 games left to go 5 clear, even after that we lost 2 of the next 3 but Porto and Benfica also kept slipping up. We went into the final 4 games still 5 clear and we managed to win all 4 sealing the title with a game to spare!

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We end 6 points clear at the top. After an amazing start to the season we really did struggle at the end but it was still enough to seal our 2nd consecutive league title!

Not bad!! But we do need to improve if we are to continue challenging!

So we've won the League, Super Cup and League Cup, could we make it a domestic clean sweep?

Portuguese Cup

We eased past Vitoria Setubal in the semi's and faced Benfica in the final.

The games itself wasn't pretty, hardly any chances but the game did start chaotic! Caputo gave us the lead after 11 minutes but Benfica pegged us back quickly afterwards. After that the game petered out, we really didn't play well, the game ended 1-1 and it would go to penalties.

With Troy Parrott out injured (again!) it was Pellegri who started up front and he was to miss the first penalty. Benfica kept on scoring and we then failed once against when defender Obsipo missed our 4th penalty. Benfica scored and with that we had lost!

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Absolutely gutting! So close to a clean sweep! What a season though!

Star Men

Player and Young Player of the Season goes to academy graduate Alexandre Soares, the central defender took over from Cardoso and has been nothing short of sensational. 34 starts, 3 goals and an average rating of 7.25. Another amazing youth player who is now wanting by half of England!

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Top goalscorer once again goes to Troy Parrott, another great season with 34 goals in 39 games. He is also now the clubs leading league goalscorer was 86 in 127 games. The issue is he's getting injured more and more often. He is now injured again, his 6th injury in 3 months, all niggles but it is concerning!

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Left Winger Nicolas Parisi had an incredible season, he ends with 16 goals and 17 assists in 42 starts. Sensational!

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And here for your perusal is the whole squad.

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Some great performances all over the park.

Next Season

Now I look forward to next season, we seem to have it worked out domestically but we somehow have to improve our fortunes in Europe. The issue is we just don't have the money. The board have given me £27m to spend and a very small increase in the wage budget. What gets me is we have over £100m in the bank and we don't seem to lose any money each season so why are they not giving me more?

£27m is enough to bring in a couple of decent players but I will be looking to the out of contract market again. I really need a new Striker to challenge Parrott and Pellegri and I'd like a new Goalkeeper. Then, after that, it's to try and increase our Portuguese contingent to satisfy the homegrown rule in the Champions League.

Then there is the concern of players leaving, the likes of Caputo, Parisi, Obsipo, Soares and many more are all wanted by the big English clubs. With our bank balance OK I don't need to sell but the worry is if the players force my hand like Cardoso did.

Here's hoping for a successful Summer!

Anyway, that's all from me for now.

Thanks for reading.

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2029/30 Season - Pre-Season Transfers

A new season and a few changes to the squad. I really wanted to bring in some experience whilst adding the usual youth to the squad. But first here are the out's..

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Four first-teamers leave, Fernandes was a disappointing one, a young full back who I had high hopes for, unfortunately his head got turned and he leave for Juve. Pellegri and Cousin both fell out of favour and I've brought in much better players as you'll see in a bit. The one big player to leave was LW Parisi, Chelsea activated his £30m release clause. A good profit on him but it leaves a big gap in my team.

Now for the in's

Dennis Allmers - Striker/Winger - Free from Juventus

An amazing deal, out of contract and he decided to join us at Braga. A great deal and a quality looking player who can play anywhere along the attacking line.

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Bernardo Silva - Central/Attacking Midfield - Free from Man City

What a deal! Yes he is old but it's going to be amazing just having him in and around the squad mentoring the youth players. He also still looks incredible for 34!

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Michael Mitchell - Attacking Midfield - £2.7m from Kilmarnock

This lad looks really good and he has such a low release clause. At 22 he is one for the future and will probably be my back-up AM for the season.

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Emil Audero - Goalkeeper - Free from Sampdoria

Another freebie after his contract expired. At 32 he is older than I'd like but is still an incredible goalie and already worth £20m!

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Emerson Orlando - Central Defender - £15m from Gremio

I did this deal as it looked like Soares was going to leave. He ended up signing a new deal with us which now means I have some amazing options in central defence!

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Prince Zortiah - Right Back - £16.5k from Reading

A strange one, I actually quite like the look of this guy, yes he needs some work but I felt, because the fee was so low, I could bring him in, give him some first-team experience and see if I can improve him.

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Jonatan Baiardino - Striker - £7.5m from River

The final deal of the Summer and another great signing. With Pellegri going I needed another option upfront. This lad looks amazing and will probably go into the first XI ahead of Troy Parrott. 

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So a great window. £45m of sales, £25m of signings and I really feel now the squad has a good mix of experience and youth to try to give us back-to-back-to-back titles and hopefully progress further in the Champions League

August

The month starts with the Super Cup where we face Benfica once again!

We played well but we struggled to break them down. That was until the final 10 minutes where we scored twice including a debut Allmers goal to win the game 2-0.

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In the League we've started well but performances haven't been great. Hopefully as the players settle in more they will learn the tactics and put in better performances.

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2 wins and a poor draw isn't bad but we should be doing a lot better.

The final thing to show is the Champions League draw.

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A good one for us, we should be ending 2nd and getting to the knockouts.

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