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[FM21] Maltese Mayhem


MarcxD
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Ta' Xbiex - Maltese Madness - Career

It's been a bit of a long time, but after what has probably been my longest break from FM since I started playing the franchise in 2009 I have been getting the itch to start playing again. It's been a crazy year for me and I just haven't had the time or aspiration to play fm, but I have been missing it recently. So welcome to my new thread!

My favorite careers and my favorite threads on this forum have been one-club saves from minor or often forgotten (in the context of FM) European countries, as my previous threads in Kosovo and Estonia will attest to. 

Malta has always been a fascinating country to me, being a small country of varied influences and sometimes playing an important role in history; and having a remarkably unique language. 

Footballing wise, I know little to nothing about it, apart from the fact that they are minnows but better than the likes of Andorra and San Marino. When I downloaded the game and browsed this forum and saw a Maltese league file in the editors hideaway I picked it up right away. I am starting with a very small club in the third tier - honestly picked because I liked their logo the best. 

start-2

start-3

start-5

 They are semi-professional, and I am predicted by the club to finish bottom in our league. I hope we can do better than that obviously, but there is no relegation, so I might not even get fired if we do.

start-6

I have been able to sign one player (Zammit was not done by me). 

As I've barely played the 21 version of the game I am going in relatively blind tactic-wise, and lower league management has never been quite my forte anyway. This is what I'm going with in the beginning:

start-4

start-7

Trying a quasi 4-4-2. I think this tactic should have a decent chance of scoring many goals although right now we are conceding even more. Let's see if that will be the case in the regular season as well. 

I am not planning to limit myself in this save, as there already quite strict league rules in Malta. In the third tier you need 10 players trained by a club in Malta in your match squad (and 4 in the first 11). In the second tier this becomes 8 and 8. While in the Maltese premier league it's once again 10 and 4. Obviously the main goal will be to get the best players possible through our youth development.

The goal of this save is just to enjoy fm again... I have no clear end-goal apart from improving the team and hopefully the national team at some point as well.

I am planning to do a few updates a year, but not monthly.

Let's get started.

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2020-2021

I was planning on doing multiple updates a season but the season is short in the third tier so here is the full first season.

2020-6

We had a very good start to the season, and went unbeaten for very long and were looking for a play-off spot but it all came to nought in the final games of the season. No play-offs, but at least we did do better than the predicted 8th position...

We lost in the (first) preliminary round of the Amateur cup.

To be fair, the games that we lost went more like I expected most of our games to go: many goals on both ends. Just tipping in the wrong direction though.

2020-7

2020-3

2020-5

This intake says a lot about the current level of my squad! But, at least there are some players i can already start using next season.

Up and onwards, let's see if I can improve the squad a little bit and go for the play-offs next season.

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20 hours ago, dsousa96 said:

Good luck, following!

Thank you! 

19 hours ago, john1 said:

Not bad season :thup: Any reason why you have gone for that formation? :D

Cheers. The base idea was to play an attacking 4-4-2 but spice it up a bit - having a DM playmaker closer to the defenders and having a shadow striker instead of another striker, it might confuse the AI. It hasn't completely backfired so far so that's a plus :D 

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2021

2021-1

Decent performance in the friendlies including some wins against lower league Italian opposition to go into the season

2021-4

Got in four new players to bolster the squad some more alongside the youths from the first intake.

2021-2

Probably based on real life this season we play 21 games in the regular season instead of the 14 last year.

We had another good start, some close games afterwards where we struggled to get the points, but overall we are doing pretty well. We were still predicted to finish last.

2021-3

A 5 point gap to the non-play off positions with 6 more games to go. Should be possible. 

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2021-2022 Finish

2022-1

Good strong finish to the regular season.

2022-2

We just lost out on the title (and automatic promotion), but we did make the play-offs, where you need to win three straight games to get promoted.

2022-4

Which didn't quite work out. The two games we won were lucky, to be fair, so it would've been quite miraculous to get promoted.

2022-5

2022-7

2022-3

Not quite as good as last year, can't see me using many of these players (ever, really). Interesting to see multiple foreign players though.

2022-6

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2022 Pre-season

2022-2-2

2022-2-3

2022-2-4

As a semi-pro club in a nation of pretty much all semi-pro teams the business of transfers is somewhat strange, without much of a possibility for scouting as well. Case in point: I signed Agyemant Asante on the 29th of May, and he was gone on the 12th of August. Both before the season started. I have signed some foreign players but they were all already active in Malta.

2022-2-1

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Fall 2022

2022-2-5

2022-2-6

Sort of similar to last season, quite a lot of draws, but this time it seems like we are really battling for the title. It's very close still, though. Marsaskala has already played us thrice and they actually beat us once while we couldn't do the same. Interesting to see if they can hold on to their unbeaten run.

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19 hours ago, Rikulec said:

I love your minnow nations saves and I feel it's going to be the case here as well. Best of luck mate!

Appreciate that mate! Thanks!

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2023 - Winter & Spring

2023-1

2023-2

One player joining and one player leaving in the winter. Koski was an unattached 17-year old Finnish MR who is good enough for first team rotation in my squad

2023-7

2023-4

2023-3

Fantastic finish to the season! We won the Group A and the overall Champions Playoff. Sadly we weren't able to finish off a perfect season as we lost in the amateur cup final. 

2023-5

A lot better again, depending on the incoming transfers I can see quite a few of these making their debuts next season in the second tier.

2023-8

2023-9

2023-6

 

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Pre-Season 2023

2023-2-3

2023-2-4

Signed a few players to bolster the squad for the second tier. 

As a side note, as all my players are on non-paying contracts (only match bonuses) I can and do release them whenever they aren't of use anymore.

2023-2-2

Aranged a lot of friendlies in the hope of getting a good start.

2023-2-1

We are predicted to finish last. There are quite a few relegation spots, so that's the main target to avoid. Apart from that, I have no idea how big the difference in level will be, so it's hard to know what to expect.

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Fall 2023

2023-3-1

Astonishing start with three ridiculous wins. That didn't quite last, but we continued to do really, really well! It turns out the difference in quality between the second and third tiers is not that big after all.

2023-3-2

With the huge 11 points lead to 4th place, we should definitely be going for a second straight promotion as long as we don't totally fall off.

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Winter & Spring 2024

2024-4

Yes, we could continue our form! Sadly we lost early on in the FA Trophy, but in the league we continued to do very well, surprising me especially in the way we barely conceded any goals.

2024-5

2024-2

2024-7

Unsurprisingly that run meant we are the champions of the second tier on our first time of asking!

Very happily surprised with how this season has gone; some of the new players have been excellent and honestly the level jump just seems to not be very big. I'm very curious whether that will be the same with the highest tier or if we're gonna have troubles there.

2024-6

As you can see almost my entire team is sought after, and with the non-paying contracts I will just have to hope they will want to stay. 

2024-8

2024-1

Two players of immediate note in the intake, and for the first time we've got a player that didn't get 5 stars PA. 

2024-9

 

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Pre-Season & Fall 2024

2024-2-2

Unsurprisingly we are predicted to finish last again, although we are pretty close in odds to a couple of other teams so I'm guessing that their reps will be very low as well. It's clear that there's one team who has dominated Maltese football in recent times, Valletta.

2024-2-3

2024-2-4

I signed a couple of new players, including my first ever loan player from the biggest club in the country. 

2024-2-1

Decent pre-season form to go into the league. 

2024-2-5

It has been a clear step up from the second tier, but that doesn't mean that every club is a lot better than the standard of that league. A pretty decent mid-table run so far, although I would like us to score a bit more easily. 

2024-2-6

As you can see a lot of things can happen still as we are one of four teams with 18 points, and the 13th-5th teams are divided by 6 points. Of course that also means we can move up but the top 4 is already miles ahead of the rest. 

As long as we don't get relegated I'll be satisfied though.

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Winter & Spring 2025

2025-4

We did really, astonishingly well in the second half of the season. Completely unbeaten, and almost managed to make it to the FA Trophy final as well.

2025-2

We were already too far behind to really bother the top 4 teams, but a 5th place finish in our first season in the Premier League is a really pleasing result and better than I would've thought likely. Remarkable to see Valletta didn't win the league in the end!

2025-5

2025-1

The intake has some okay-ish players, but since the first squad is obviously getting better it will be harder for the youths to get into the first team immediately - or ever.

2025-3

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On 28/06/2021 at 14:45, Rikulec said:

That's a very good first season in the top flight. :thup:

Thanks! I Agree, should be good to build on.

 

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2025 Pre-Season & Fall

2025-2-1

Not predicted to finish last anymore or even in the relegation spots, pretty quickly considering we have just been promoted twice which shows that most clubs have low reputations.

Ideally I would like to qualify for European football but another mid-table to top half finish would be good enough as well. Anything less would be worrying.

2025-2-3

2025-2-4

A lot of new players have joined.


As I am unable to scout outside of Malta I am reliant on trialling or just trying to sign players on a whim if I want some more additions outside of Malta (by looking randomly at clubs or the few players outside of Malta that somehow show up in the player search). Because I am not paying any wages, or signing on fees, this is not a huge problem as I can always release players if I want to.

All the same, it is a hassle and time consuming so I have still not done this too much. Youssouf and van der Ende are the two players I signed kind of blindly this summer from abroad, with Youssouf especially being a decent addition. 

2025-2-5

I sadly lost one of the better players from the last intake -- see the big downside of having all your players on wageless contracts.

2025-2-2

Good preparation to the season.

2025-2-6

A hit and miss start to the season with quite a few draws, but only two losses is not bad at all! I don't like the amount of games we either score 0 or 1 goals though, my strikeforce is not very good. 

2025-2-7

We could be in a battle for third place, which qualifies for the European Conference League if the cup winner is one of the top 2.

Valletta looking much better this season and second place will probably be a bit too difficult as well. 

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Winter & Spring 2026

2026-2

2026-1

I signed two new players and lost another of my youth products on a free. It is often Sirens that sign them, one of the clubs that offer wages. (Which I still can't)

2026-6

2026-7

We had a strong second half of the season, and we just managed to stay in third. Whether we could qualify for europe was determined by our cup run though, because if we lost the cup winner would have gotten that spot. Luckily we didn't lose, although it was very close and we needed a win on penalties and  two extra time wins in a row....

2026-4

2026-5

2026-8

2026-9

Yes, my central defender was topscorer, which says a lot about how he is clearly the best player at the club, but also at the lack of goals my forwards are able to score.

2026-10

He is also the first of my players to play for the national team. 

2026-12

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Pre-Season 2026

2026-2-1

Another nice step up in the predictions/reputation.

2026-2-4

I resigned a youth prospect that was poached, apart from that only two new (Maltese) players have joined. 

2026-2-5

Sirens got two of my youth players again, although I am not too bothered.

2026-2-2

I quickly scheduled a friendly against the u19s to get at least some match prep before the first qualification round in Europe. After losing to my own u19s I was quite hesitant but we did manage to beat Milsami Orhei from Moldavia, and we even managed to beat FC Inter from Finland afterwards. That was a big surprise as they are a much bigger club than us. Admira Wacker beat us, but even against them we managed to get a home win. A better showing in Europe than I expected at this point, and we got some money from it.

2026-2-3

I was hesitating asking for this as I could've tried to hold on to the money to save up for enough money to become professional over the next couple of years, but I decided to spend on the training facilities as I think it will be imperative to give my players at least some possibility of improving here. Hopefully we can continue qualifying for Europe and then becoming professional will just be a matter of time. I don't remember how much money you need, but I think at least a million so this 170k won't be too much of a hampering factor either way.

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Going to be tough run in, but think you definitely got the upper hand against Valletta! As they seems to have tough teams to face compare to yours.

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On 05/07/2021 at 18:04, john1 said:

Going to be tough run in, but think you definitely got the upper hand against Valletta! As they seems to have tough teams to face compare to yours.

Well analyzed! ;) 

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2026-2027

2027-7

2027-10

2027-4

It has been a fantastic season - and in the end we did more than we needed to, even beating Valletta. We are champions of Malta!

2027-5

2027-9

The squad is still dominated by Maltese players and some youth players have helped us tremendously this past season too.

Central defender Caruana is once again my topscorer, although new arrival Thomsen from the Faroer did very well in his first five games, scoring four times.

2027-8

2027-12

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20 hours ago, john1 said:

How did your defender managed to get top scorer for you? :D Congrats on winning the league :cool: 

Two factors: he is tall and strong, can head a ball and just a good player for the Maltese league - and my attacking players have been awful

16 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Jakup Thomsen is amazing.I had him im Fk Ventsplis and he scored too many goals in Latvian league and europe.;)

Cool to hear! Let's hope he can do something for me as well, especially in Europe... 

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Posted (edited)

Summer 2027

2027-2-1

2027-2-2

This is some decent news. As long as we don't drop down this should be our qualification places for a long time, which adds an extra qualifying spot to the ECL qualifiers. I think it only gets better somewhere in the top 30. 

2027-2-3

A nice little move upwards again in our predictions, firmly counted among the teams that would normally fight for second place. Of course I'm hoping to beat Valletta to the title again, though.

2027-2-7

Those who have seen threads of me before will know I have an attachment to Andorra (i also always make my manager a Dutch-Andorran) thanks to one of my favorite saves ever with FC Andorra a few years back. I obviously can't  scout outside of Malta, but somehow some Andorran players showed up in the player search and I signed San Nicolás who should be an okay right-back for us for a bit.

Other signings were mostly free Maltese players, including a former youth prospect whom I signed again, just because really. Morales and Vadócz are foreign players whose agents approached me. I blindly offered some trials to some Dutch players on lower levels and two were willing and good enough to join.

2027-2-8

I lost my back-up GK to Valletta where he will also be a... back-up GK. But he will earn a wage there so I can't be too mad at that. Fabio Ghigo left the club for the second time now, and I will not be trying to get him back anymore.

2027-2-6

Well, we were good enough to beat the infamous Welsh champions TNS and afterwards the Sammarinese champions, but the Slovakian champions and then the Armenian champions were a bit too tough for us at this point in time. At least we did manage to draw against them in the home games so we got some coefficients from it, and we made money.

2027-2-4

2027-2-5

Looking back it probably would've been better to keep on the money to try and become professional next season, but a training facilities upgrade won't be harming anyone either.

Edited by MarcxD
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Posted (edited)
On 09/07/2021 at 14:04, Sheriff7 said:

Japuk allready scored some european goals i see...;)

He did! :D There is now some competition for the striker spot though, so I'm not sure if he will return to score more next year. We'll see!

On 09/07/2021 at 14:13, Rikulec said:

Actually from what I've seen you need much more money to become professional than you did in the past, it's like £5M or so now.

Oh that's good to know, thanks. I'll keep that in mind then. 

Edited by MarcxD
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Fall 2027 & Transfers January

2027-2-10

A really surprising 5-0 home win against Valletta, after losing to Sirens, who are one of the weirdest teams in Malta. They started in the premier league, got relegated twice, and have since been promoted twice -- and are also the only other professional team in the nation besides Valletta (which explains why most of my youth player departures have been to them).

Note that they weren't professional to start with - neither was Valletta. Which is honestly a good sign that teams can become professional under AI leadership while not even having to have stellar European runs or anything like that. 

Since that start, we had a very good run although the two toughest games of the league were in december back to back as we've played the two professional sides away from home and lost both, albeit narrowly.

2027-2-11

Even though we lost four times, we are still in first. Both Valletta and Sirens and perhaps even Floriana are teams to keep watching out for. The good thing is that we've already played both Valletta and Sirens twice, and we've done very well in games against the lesser opposition in the league.

2028-1

I signed yet another Dutch player, a Maltese player (another striker because why not) and a young Estonian player. I have signed a few before, pretty much blindly, from Flora - which is the biggest team from Estonia and also the team I managed in a previous save. Some of their young players are on amateur contracts allowing me to sign them.

2028-2

As I was saying about Sirens signing my young players...

Reinkort is one of the young Estonian players already at the club now leaving for another Maltese team. 

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3 hours ago, john1 said:

Pretty close at the top, surprised to see you still top after losing to close rivals!

Yeah, me too - they're dropping too many points against the rest of the league. 

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Title Race & Intake 2027-2028

2028-3

We both won all the games since the start of this year so it will be up to us not messing up in the final four games.

2028-4

Good intake - also shows how much room for improvement there is for the first team. 

 

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On 10/07/2021 at 21:33, john1 said:

doctor who encouragement GIF

:thup:

On 10/07/2021 at 22:32, scarp said:

Looking great so far, how long do you reckon it's gonna take before reaching CL group stage?

Cheers. Tough question mate, I'm not expecting that any time soon though. At the earliest I would say 5 seasons from now if we have a lot of luck in consecutive years with the draw, perhaps getting in the EL or ECL group stages first to make money and become professional. Perhaps 10 seasons from now might be more realistic though. 

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2027-2028

2028-9

Well, we did hold on! A Perfect second half of the season. We also won the FA Trophy and the Supercup.

2028-5

Impressively, Valletta also won all their games since last year. 

2028-7

2028-10

2028-8

2028-6

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2028 Pre-Season

2028-2-1

2028-2-2

Not predicted first yet, but another big step up in the odds. 

2028-2-6

I signed a couple more Dutch players who were available and a great new Maltese GK in Muscat.

2028-2-4

2028-2-5

Annoyingly, I lost Dalli (8e) who was one of the better of my youth players. 

2028-2-3

We lost to the Hungarian Champions, but did manage to beat the Bosnian and Georgian champions in the ECL qualifiers. Unsurprisingly, FCSB was too tough a challenge for us, although the games were actually really close.

A bit annoying to start the season early on with a loss to Zejtun C, one of the better teams in the league.

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Transfers, Intake & Title Race 2028-2029

2029-1

2029-2

Signed one new player on a free after the January market had already ended and lost another of my youth prospects to Valletta. Can't wait to be able to sign players to contracts!

2029-4

Less immediate CA (relatively speaking) than in the previous intake, but there seem so to be some promising players here though. More players with less PA is actually a good sign in a way confirming that the first team squad is steadily improving.

2029-3

We have both had almost perfect seasons, and we still face each other once, in the penultimate game of the season. They actually did better than us until they drew the last game. Could be a good sign that they have a drop in form.

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Posted (edited)

2028-2029

2029-8

2029-9

2029-6

Incredible season, but Valletta really gave us a hard time. In a normal season they would've always won the title. They also actually beat us in the FA Trophy, so it's not like I have raced past them yet. 

2029-10

2029-11

I now have forwards that actually score goals :eek:

Caruana's (perceived) CA has suddenly decreased from 5 to 3 stars. Falzon and Muscat are now the best players, although quality is still relative:

2029-12

2029-14

2029-7

Edited by MarcxD
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