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Part 3: Stade Balmont: Homecoming (SC Lyon Youth-Only)


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Dijon FCO - Match Report vs Stade Rennais FC 16/10/2020 - Target Scouting

Can Kids Cut The Mustard? Dijon FCO Youth-Only



Ok so here goes my first careers thread in a while! I've decided to take on Ligue 1 with the club that finished the season rock-bottom in real life. More famous for it's mustard, Dijon are a young club that have been relegation strugglers throughout it's existence in the top flight and in the previous season stayed up after the season was curtailed early just one place above the relegation zone. My aim is to take on PSG without making a single transfer and relying on the youth coming through. The facilities aren't terrible, but they are the worst in Ligue 1.


My manager is Florent Balmont, who retired at 40 in May 2020 having spent his last 4 seasons at Dijon as a tough-tackling midfielder. Here's a look at some of our better players:


Assale is the player we will be building the team around and at 26 he's young enough to be a mainstay for several seasons. His pace will be key up top.


Balde bring pace and versatility, the latter being crucial in a youth-only save as it's pot luck what your prospects will spring up as.


Chouiar is a talented youngster, though he will need to be re-trained to fit into our system.


Konate is a solid all round player up top who should complement Assale well.


Former Sunderland man Ndong is another player that will be re-trained, this time as a defensive midfielder as well as being good cover for right wing.


Lastly, one of our brightest prospects is Englishman Panzo, formerly of Chelsea and Monaco. He's another player who bring versatility to the side.

The System


Our tactic is ripped off from an old classic favourite that I created on FM13 based on Arrigo Sacchi's Milan.

Edited by smp20
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2020/21 Mid-Season Review



We got off to a slow start to the season by failing to win in our first five and drawing blanks in three games, however we started to find form by October and only lost the odd game here and there. We finished the year with an 8-1 thumping away at Nice, what a result! Most of our losses have come against the big teams - PSG, Marseille, Monaco and Lyon - with the exception of the Strasbourg game where we couldn't finish for toffee.

League Table


Thanks to a topsy turvy season of season for teams all round bar PSG we find ourselves 2nd in the table going into the new year! Whether we can sustain it is another matter, but for now the 'Owls' fans can go into the festive period very happy.

Player Stats



I think my assistant manager sums up Assale well so far :lol:. Celina has been a key creator for the team on the left, while Manga has been a rock at the back. Chouiar started the season behind Konate in the pecking order but his recent performances have seen him launch into the side after becoming an accomplished striker. I decided to terminate all the loans I could, with those that cant be terminated sitting in the reserves as last resort injury cover. This has meant that a few youngsters have broken into the squad e.g. Simon and Younoussa who would ordinarily have just sat in the youth team.





We've managed to capitalise on the board's good mood at the moment by getting our requests approved for upgrades. Always nice when the completion date is before the start date :D :idiot:

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2021 Youth Intake



We managed to squeeze in another couple of upgrades before the youth intake day. Let's have a look:


This looks promising - 4 potential first teamers if the HOYD knows what he's talking about.


A little bit disappointing at first glance, but with a 5* potential there's no reason why he couldn't grow into a decent complete forward.


This is more like it! Florian Simon is already good enough to be on the fringes of the first team.


With an aging first team squad we will youngsters soon to make up the numbers. Aliquo could be one of those to make up the numbers.


That determination :( - otherwise he could be a decent prospect.

Overall a solid first intake, couldn't expect too much from it and we've been given at least two future first teamers IMO.

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After further looking through the intake I think this lad could become a decent player, fingers crossed his potential is better than 2* and more like 3* or more!

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Im currently playing in France too and I can say Assale is a damn good player.

He was top goalscorer 20/21 with 23 goals and 3rd 21/22 with 20 goals for Dijon.

Edited by Cheez3y
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2020/21 Season Review



Our first foray in the cup ended in disappointment losing in our first tie against Strasbourg on penalties. PSG went on to win the cup. of course. In the second half of the season the only team to thump us was PSG and we even went on a tidy unbeaten run. Nice ended up the party poopers avenging the 8-1 at their place in a May goalfest. I'm delighted we managed to keep up the form from the first half of the season.



An excellent 3rd place finish ahead of chasing Monaco secures a place in Champions League 3rd Round Qualifying. PSG won the league with 8 games to go and smashed the points tally which brings no surprises of course.

Player Stats


Here's our first and second XI. With just the league games and one cup match this season there was little need for rotation and when fit the majority of the first XI picked itself. Our main man was Roger Assale, smashing in 41 Ligue 1 goals nearly double that of the next highest goalscorer. Although Chouiar broke into the team, Konate stole his place back as his physical presence is needed. Bruno Ecuele Manga was both a rock at the back and a potent threat from set pieces grabbing just shy of double figures, while Bersant Celina was a constant creative threat in open play and with set piece delivery.

The worrying part about the squad is the age of the back line. Their pace is deteriorating and the second string is either not ready, or not good enough to take a step up.



Good all round. We're also looking to buy the stadium so that we can expand it in the future and youth facilities are already being upgraded again :).



Our status of 'secure' sums up our finances nicely. We've had some money spare to make upgrades, but we're not rolling in it.

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32 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

Credit for the title, surely? 😠😠

Great first season, surely the title within 3 years?

Haha thanks @Deisler26 I never would have thought of a mustard pun otherwise :lol:

I don't think it will happen that quickly, we've got an aging squad and we will be heavily reliant on young players coming through that aren't quite ready for the step up. It could be a backwards to go forwards job.

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31 minutes ago, Cheez3y said:


Im currently playing in France too and I can say Assale is a damn good player.

He was top goalscorer 20/21 with 23 goals and 3rd 21/22 with 20 goals for Dijon.

Cheers @Cheez3y - he certainly is! He's also a perfect fit for the way we play, just got to keep him fit *touch wood*

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When In Doubt, Go German



Here are the two most important staff members, especially in a youth-only challenge. Assistant Manager Dirk Mack joined at the start of the first season from China, while Kevin Busch is a recent acquisition unfortunately replacing a club stalwart. I'm a little bit miffed because before I signed him his tactical style was 'gegenpress' but I can see it's revert to 'catenaccio'. Although they're both import from Germany, they don't herald from far away:



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As expected for a club like Dijon, our 3rd place finish is a record high. Only once have they not been embroiled in a relegation battle with an 11th place finish.


Do you think PSG will want to sign Assale and Kamara to complete the set? :lol:

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It looks like the stadium purchase happened sooner than expected - the board took out a £9m loan to do so.


Stadium already looking to be expanded to capitalise on a more successful era.

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Replacing The Old Guard


Chafik has been a mainstay in the first eleven in the first season but he's nearly 35 now and while he has two years left on his contract it's likely that 2021/22 will be be his last as a starter as I expect his pace to drastically decline. He will be very hard to replace.


Lautoa had his contract renewed for a year after a clause in his contract enabled it after surviving relegation. His pace is already gone so he may find himself out of the starting 11 already providing a back up option for centre back and defensive midfield. Unlike Chafik, he has a desirable personality so he will be crucial for mentoring and will probably have his contract extended.


Manga is the youngest of the trio and should be good enough for the next two seasons, providing he wants to sign a new contract. His threat from set pieces will be particularly difficult to replace.

The Owlets - Right Back


Let's be honest, Ahmad is never likely to be good enough as an adequate replacement. He needs to really increase his poor pace to stand a chance. However, responsibility may be thrust upon him in a crisis.


Telga is a reasonable prospect, though his potential isn't seen to be that high and he's certainly not ready for the step up yet. He doesn't turn 16 until November so he can't play competitively in the first team until then. One to keep an eye on.

The Owlets - Centre Back (Right Side)


I've got high hopes for Charles Simon as the long-term replacement for Manga. He's got the pace required to play in a high back line as well as solid defensive attributes. Where he lacks in in his distribution and work rate which isn't ideal for a ball-playing defender.


Not exactly a youngster, but at 23 he's still got room to grow and has got ample first team experience under his belt already. His lack of determination and pace hinders him and he'll definitely never amount to any more than a backup.


Mendes is another good prospect if Charles Simon doesn't turn out as highly rated as first thought.

The Owlets - Centre Back (Right Side)


Panzo is the man that can replace Lautoa long-term without doubt. The only issue is that he has already established himself as our first choice left back. For him to slot in at centre back we will need a new first choice left back.


Barbet comes back fresh from a loan move in the third tier and is very highly rated by the coaching staff in terms of potential. With the improvement of pace and determination he could become an established player, however I am anxious that he has already had Hernia and Knee Problems in the season just gone that have hindered his progress. Fingers crossed he manages to stay injury free!

The Owlets - Left Back (If Panzo moves to CB)


He can hardly be called an 'owlet' considering he is the wrong side of 25, however he is the obvious replacement for Panzo at left back if he vacates the spot and he had a solid season slotting in last year.


Florian Simon is the player I'm most excited about from our first intake and the only one first-team ready (both eligibility and ability wise) so I'm excited to give him minutes in the upcoming season when the time is right.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I'm happy enough with the crop coming through to replace the old guard, though I wish I had more time before they deteriorate! The biggest worry is right back; one option would be for Charles Simon to play there is Telga isn't good enough and playing with two left footed centre backs.

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Our first outgoing is former Lyon FM wonderkid Yassine Benzia. He missed the first half of season due to an unfortunate hand injury and made just one sub appearance in the latter half. He was one of the highest earners on £20k p/w so he was an obvious player to offload. Especially when we have Aurelien Scheidler back from a double-figure goalscoring loan in the 2nd tier:



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Complete goal fest! :eek: I was worried when I saw we weren't in the Europa League Playoff draw, however it looks as though we are automatically into the group stages so that's where our first European football will be.

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Very happy with this group. I've made the decision that our youngster will be our 'Europe' representatives so hopefully they can go and impress and develop from the experience.

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2021/22 Mid-Season Review

Ligue 1 Results


We started the season with the toughest fixture and duly lost away in Paris. A defeat away at Rennes followed soon after, however since then we have been on a fantastic unbeaten run picking up some big win and great results against tough sides. Assale and Konate have formed a formidable partnership.

Ligue 1 Table


Incredibly we find ourselves top of the table at the half-way point, though it's very tight at the top and I expect the chasing trio of PSG,  Marseille and Monaco to hit form in the second half. Certainly PSG.

European Football



Well our first foray in Europe has been a goalfest! As mentioned previously this competition was to give our youngsters some much needed minutes and I think they did pretty well in the circumstances. We drop into the inaugural Europa Conference to face Krasnodor in February.

Player Stats


Here are the player stats so far, sorted by minutes played. Assale is insane banging in goals left, right and centre, while Konate has been both scorer and provider and backup striker Scheidler has made the most of his opportunities in Europe. As you can see the youngster have been given plenty of minutes. Florian Simon has featured regularly in Ligue 1 as well at such a tender age, coming in at left back while Panzo moves to centre back and Lautoa to DM.

We've seemed to have solved our right side issue too; Mounir Chouair  has been successfully retrained as a right winger meaning Mama Balde can move into the right back slot. His defensive ability isn't ideal, but he has pace to burn. 







Excellent progress when it comes to facilities, hopefully we can reap the rewards with our intakes.



Now THIS is an issue :seagull:. Being without Assale for a month is a huge issue, while Ndong and Balde are key players too.

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What a bloody game! 3-0 down, equalise in the 95th, Assale scores a worldie solo effort in the 96th to clinch all three points away at 2nd place Marseille :eek::eek::eek:

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2022 Youth Intake


We can be very happy with this intake, especially as the best prospects all provide further possible solutions for the changing of the old guard.


Azong is the cream of the crop and he looks like he could be the next Ecuele-Manga.


Clement has really high potential and also versatility. I'm not sure whether he will be a centre back, right back or defensive mid in the future first team but the flexibility is exciting.


Could Germain be the next Jordan Marie? He might not be ready yet, but he's got the base of a good holding mid once he gets his technique and vision in order.


Yet another centre back and another one with good potential.


It's a shame for Ouadah that we don't use a number 10 as he looks a fine prospect for that role. He will be a fringe winger or striker, at best.


I like Avinel. He's extremely well rounded, once his pace has been boosted I reckon he could be in with a shout for the No.2 spot.


Finally, in terms of the main prospects, Hamzaoui. Determined and Physical, he could become a fringe player in the future.

Brief Update



We've maintained our unbeaten run in the league, which now stretches to an impressive 23 games. We suffered a penalty loss to St Etienne in the quarters of the cup which was a blow. Slightly different approach in the Europa Conference knockouts - we played our first XI in the first leg and after winning that 3-0 rested a few for the Russian tie who did well enough to see us through.



With just 10 games left in the league we still find ourselves top of the table with a nice 7-point margin. Frankly, PSG have dropped too many points and they must be seething. That late win against Marseille was crucial, had we lost that they'd be just three behind us.



We face Olympiakos in the Europa Conference where we will be taking the same approach as we did against Krasnodar. Surely we will drop a few points here and there in the league, which could open up the final game of the season vs PSG to be a very, very interesting fixture.


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56 minutes ago, deltablue said:

Wow, its really going well so far!

Cheers! Fingers crossed

14 minutes ago, ToMexico!! said:

France seems the flavour of the month on the here at the moment! They've been a yo-yo club in my save, good luck for the run-in! 

Thanks! I had a really enjoyable save in France on FM20 with Lens, I hope I can enjoy this one equally as much.

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Damn that loss against Brest has killed us and we've messed up our lead with too many draws as well! We go into the final game at home vs PSG needing a win to secure the title. But, judging by past experience it's not looking likely...


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It's 1-1 at half-time. Assale gave us the lead after chasing down a long ball from Lautoa but Neymar pegged us back straight away.

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2021/22 Season Review


League Table


A fantastic season ended with a bitter blow as we lost the chance of the title on the final day vs PSG. Nevermind, it will make that first title all the more sweeter when it does comes, though I won't expect PSG to drop this amount of points again any time soon. We went the whole season unbeaten at home, turning Stade Gaston-Gerard into a fortress. Troyes and Ajaccio, the promoted clubs, went straight back down again to be replaced by last seasons relegated clubs Metz and Lens.

European Football


Despite some poor results I really enjoyed this season in Europe. It was disappointing to go out to Olympiakos though. Next season we will be straight into the Champions League group stages which will be a tough step up for us. We certainly won't be able to use it as a competition for our youngsters!

Player Stats


54 games played in total whereby no outfield player started more than 42 games showing that we rotated throughout. Assale was the star, this time scoring 37 league goals in 30(1) games missing a few from the AFCON and knocks. Konate was better this season than last, contributing 18 goals and 19 assists, while Chouiar had a great season in his new right wing positions and Celina was creative as per normal despite injuries. Manga and Lautoa were still regular starters but didn't perform as well, while Chafik lost his place in the side. Lautoa contract is up but we may extend for a season, while Manga and Chafik have one more season left. Chafik will be shifted if possible.




A nice season of upgrades, with training facilities due to go up to 'excellent' in June also. Great news with the stadium expansion as be increase the capacity by nearly 30% come winter.



The finances flatter us a little because we've got around £15m worth of bank loans from the stadium purchase last summer and the recent expansion work, but with CL football to come It should look healthy going forward.

Breakthrough Players


It took a while for Barbet to get regular chances but he took them when others were out injured and did pretty well.


A lot of Charles Simon's chances have actually come at right back rather than his better suited centre back position, but I really like him and he's going to forge a career here I'm sure.


Arli re-trained to DM from a number 10 role and he's starting to adapt well there.


Another no.10 that wen't through re-training, Khamili may lack the dribbling and crossing ability desired from a winger, but he's a good passer and has pace. He's currently the least brave person on the planet after suffering a knee injury.


Florian Simon is my breakthrough player of the season. He slotted in beautifully at left back and got some assists and ratings. Unfortunately he broke his ankle in February so will have to wait until next season to establish himself as our outright first choice left back.


Benamara didn't play quite as many games as our other breakthrough players, however he made an instant impact with goals in the league and Europe. Starting to shape up well as the long-term replacement for Konate.

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I felt as though Lautoa could have added depth to the squad for another season but he took it into his own hands by retiring. He'll be remaining at the club as our U19s Assistant Manager because he's a half decent coach for once for a retiring player!

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Academy graduate Jordan Marie was given a great testimonial against rivals Auxerre in front of a capacity crowd. Hopefully the first of many!

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Does anyone want to tell me where two times fans player of the year and club record scorer in just two seasons Roger Assale is? :idiot:

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2022/23 Mid-Season Update



Although we drew our opening game, we started the season well including picking up back-to-back big wins in Ligue 1 and an Assale double-hattrick! Our first ever Champions League proper game was a dream, thumping Leipzig at home but that proved to be the highlight of our Champions League campaign. Narrow defeats followed against Real Madrid, as well as two draws with Salzburg and a thumping in Eastern Germany. We had a shocking last couple of games going into the World Cup break in the league too, losing at home to Nantes and, a little less embarrassingly, away to Lyon.

League Table


We are so far off the pace, it's not going to be anything like last year. If we can keep up near the top 4 places I will be happy - games will come thick and fast from January onwards!

Champions League


I would have taken 3rd place before the campaign started so I'm happy to have finished there and that we'll have a stab at the Europa League knockouts.

Player Stats


Assale leading the way as always, though he did go through small patches without scoring. Florian and Charles Simon are now established in the starting lineup, however their good early form has petered out somewhat and they may be overawed with the level. Manga is not the player he once was. 



Our recruitment joins our academy coaching in the exceptional category :)

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Posted (edited)


Around half the teams left in the competition were semi-pro or amateur and we draw bloody PSG :seagull:


Edit: and another tough draw, this time in Europa League against Roma...

Edited by smp20
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January - February 2023 Update



Our league form since just before the World Cup break has been a catastrophe. We've only just managed to come away with a comupe of wins recently thanks to Assale rediscovering his scoring form. What hasn't been a catastrophe is our cup run where we've knocked out PSG and Marseille on the way to the semis where we face Monaco. We battled hard against Roma in the Europa League but they we're too strong for us in extra time.

League Table


Wow. We're solidly mid-table and we've got very little chance of pushing for Champions League football - unless we hit some kind of form we may miss out on European football altogether. Maybe that would be a blessing? Anyway we were down to 14th at one point and I was fearing being dragged into a relegation battle so it's not as bad as it could have been.

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2023 Youth Intake


A very exciting intake with three 5* potential players! Let's take a look at them:


I can see Mveumba re-training into an excellent defensive midfielder in our system.


Vega is the first player through the intakes that looks closest to a like-for-like replacement for Assale, i.e. a pacey striker. With the right development he could be key for our future.


I think his lack of pace will mean he's more likely to be successful in defensive midfield. A solid player who's great in the tackle.....the new Balmont?

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  • smp20 changed the title to Part 3: Stade Balmont: Homecoming (SC Lyon Youth-Only)

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