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Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation: Austria (Part IX)


shaunvamos
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April 2026

 

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We have a guaranteed playoff place, but we're really, really close to an automatic promotion place. We have 13th placed Lincoln at home and 2nd place Oxford away for our final 2 games. So we can finish 2nd at best, and 6th at worst. It's still a home playoff berth though.

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We did all the right things, and somehow, unbelievably, we got automatic promotion! What a turnaround from a few months agon when injuries decimated the squad. With an even larger wage budget for League 1 who knows how well we can do?

 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Ngo Van Khanh  -  Greg Cunningham  -  Joe Walsh

 

 

 

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Record Breakers

 

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Progress

 

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Preseason 2026

 

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An excellent preseason tapered away towards the end, but we're ready for survival.

 

Transfers (In)

 

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Busy in the transfer market again, but we have to be!

 

 

 

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Debayo returns 3 seasons after he starred for us in the National League. Hopefully he'll be just as good in a much stronger competition.

 

 

 

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Debayo is joined by top Motherwell prospect Taylor Kennedy, who just looks terrific. I expect him to develop fantastically during his tenure.

 

 

 

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David Carson spent the last 7 years at Scottish Premiership side Inverness, but now he'll feature as starting right back for us.

 

 

 

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We nab Ngo on a free after he's spent the last two seasons on loan with us. He's easily our best player, and is a massive steal from a club like Arsenal.

 

 

 

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Experience merges with youth once more in defensive midfield, as we snap up Colchester junior Tom Lapslie after he was released by Torquay.

 

 

 

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Aaron Bye joins us on loan from Blackburn, who just went one and done in the Premier League.

 

 

 

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Wellmen will be learning how to play Advanced Forward this season as he joins from Luton.

 

 

 

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Predicted last, but our reputation has been far eclipsed by our performance that it doesn't really matter where they predict us.

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5 minutes ago, Pompeyboyz said:

If you get promoted to the Championship, I fear a bridge to far too quickly for your team. 

I definitely agree, I don’t think the budget increase will be enough to put in enough quality. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

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2027 Youth Intake

 

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Jesse Lee-Ellison 6A  -  Luke O'Hara 6B  -  Bayleigh Caton 6C*

 

Yet another disappointing intake. Thankful for being able to sign players. At least the personalities are pretty good.

 

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There are now too many different cities, so only the top ones will be shown.

 

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I got my wish, an opening playoff tie with Derby, and dealt with them across two hard fought games. The playoff final with Crewe Alexandra was pulsating. 0-0 heading into extra time, we scored through Tom Lloyd in the 118th minute, and that surely should've been enough. It wasn't, as Crewe equalised in the 121st minute, sending us to penalties. The drama continued there, with us finally emerging victorious 6-5 on penalties. Incredibly, we have achieved back-to-back promotions and are one division away from the Premier League!

 

Best XI

 

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James Debayo  -  Taylor Kennedy  -  Jake Cain

 

 

 

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Record Breakers

 

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Progress

 

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1 hour ago, shaunvamos said:

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I got my wish, an opening playoff tie with Derby, and dealt with them across two hard fought games. The playoff final with Crewe Alexandra was pulsating. 0-0 heading into extra time, we scored through Tom Lloyd in the 118th minute, and that surely should've been enough. It wasn't, as Crewe equalised in the 121st minute, sending us to penalties. The drama continued there, with us finally emerging victorious 6-5 on penalties. Incredibly, we have achieved back-to-back promotions and are one division away from the Premier League!

 

Best XI

 

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James Debayo  -  Taylor Kennedy  -  Jake Cain

 

 

 

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Record Breakers

 

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Progress

 

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Amazing run - the Championship is a large step up from League One talent, but I don't see you getting into a relegation battle next year. Congrats!

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Preseason 2027

 

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A busy preseason, but a pretty successful one I think. Draws with EPL sides Newcastle, Huddersfield and Aston Villa, and other strong results.

 

 

 

Transfers (In)

 

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I was given a million dollar transfer budget, and boy did I go wild! 18 players join us, all on excellent, cheap deals. As a result I've blown out my wage budget a bit, but it's a necessary expense if we are to contend with surviving our inaugural season in the Championship. It's a good mixture of youth and experience in what will essentially be a completely new look Curzon Ashton team.

 

 

 

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We bought McGee from Wrexham for just under 100k, and he'll be our main man between the sticks for the season. A former Tottenham junior, he has never played higher than League One until now.

 

 

 

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The Irishman played a couple of games for Celtic over 10 years ago, but the Championship will be the highest he's ever played in the English system.

 

 

 

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Partnering O'Connell at CB will be 18 year old prospect Alex Tremble, who joins us on loan from Notts Forest. He's valued at a ridiculous amount, so hopefully he continues to improve here.

 

 

 

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Darnell is another Celtic junior who appeared a few times for them, but has mostly played at Championship level since then.

 

 

 

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Jack will partner our Vietnamese dynamo Ngo in defensive midfield. He's lurked around the Scottish lower leagues before joining us on a deal that is real value for money.

 

 

 

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Nico is another good pickup, and will be our starting right winger.

 

 

 

 

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Ayman was an expensive but necessary piece of business. The Algerian/Englishman came out of the Bristol City system and has played around Championship/League One level.

 

 

 

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I think Greaver is going to be a great piece of business as well, only signed from Reading for Gateshead before playing in the Championship for us only a season later.

 

 

 

Transfers (Out)

 

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Calderbank-Park became 3rd choice keeper and so had to go, and Lloyd wanted to leave for a bigger club, and I wanted to sell him so we could afford to bring some of the other players in. He joins us on a loan back for the rest of the season.

 

 

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What a surprise, predicted last :rolleyes: I just want to avoid relegation.

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5 hours ago, Punch said:

Congrats! :applause:

 

4 hours ago, abulezz said:

Amazing run - the Championship is a large step up from League One talent, but I don't see you getting into a relegation battle next year. Congrats!

 

Thanks guys :D I hope we don't have to battle too hard to stay clear, especially with the significant upgrades we made!

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December 2027

 

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Form really picked up at the end there, I have no idea what happened in the Sunderland game.

 

 

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This is much more like it, the combination of increased reputation and a long-awaited junior coaching upgrade seems to bear some fruit.

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March 2028

 

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A month that was kind to us, despite the hammering by Albion. We had to win our games against lowly Blackpool and Hull and duly did, and threw in an excellent home win over Watford for good measure. We're 5 points from playoff contention, but surely that's a stretch too far at this point.

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2028 Youth Intake

 

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Bernard Sherlock 7A  -  Dean Baynes 7B  -  Harvey Wilkes 7C

 

Not quite the intake I was expecting, but plenty of depth there to keep our U18s running. Baynes is easily the best player in the intake, he's probably good enough to play for Gibraltar already :lol:

 

 

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April 2028

 

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Began the month with a late game dismantling of Peterborough as we wore them down followed by a tough away draw to Sheffield United. What happened next is sheer clutch from the players, rattling 4 wins from 4 to sit us within the playoff spots. This after the FM gods did their best to cripple us by making us play the last 3 games of the month in a 7 day period. Surprisingly I barely had to rotate for those games, and we pulled out the result. 

 

But we're not safe yet. Our final game that will make or break our playoff chances is against Ipswich. Currently in 2nd place, they still have plenty to play for with Norwich breathing down their necks for the final automatic promotion spot. A draw could possibly secure what both of us want, but it's the win we both need. Will we get it? Highly unlikely. We just have to hope all the results fall the right way to continue this impossible, wonderful, ridiculous journey.

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Holy crap, we're in the Premier League next season :eek:

Ipswich destroyed us, pitting us against the perennially strong Norwich. We played the best we've ever played over two legs, eking out twin 1-0 wins. Onto Wembley against the team with the best goal difference, WBA. Once again we defied belief, winning 3-2 in front of 88,000 fans, sealing a spot in the Premier League for next season and the vast riches that come along with it. I may have had to do it in a dirty way, throwing player loyalty away for the purpose of quicker success, but it's a business not a party. I needed to find the best players available with our meagre resources, and we seem to have done it. For the first time since Bolton and/or Wigan were in the EPL, the Greater Manchester region will have a third team in the English Premier League, which by this point has got to be at least 15 years. I think I need a lie down after this :lol:

 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Alex Tremble  -  Aston Greaver  -  Luke McGee

 

What a story for Aston Greaver. Rejected by the Reading system, he helped Gateshead to promotion in the National League North in his first season there. The next season he's snapped up by us for 100k to play for a team 4 tiers higher than what he was used to. Someone forgot to remind him of that, as he scored 38 goals in the league, picking up the Championship Golden Boot for his trouble. Now he'll be playing in the Premier league (maybe). The power of finding hidden gems in the lower leagues!

 

 

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Record Breakers

 

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Awards

 

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Progress

 

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1 hour ago, Adonalsium said:

I'm astounded that Jack Thomson, with his 3 Acceleration and 4 Pace, is even a playable option at Championship level. Or astounded at your tactical finesse to fit him in despite his limitations!

I think the fact that he's a DM negates the need to be quick, as he's just holding place in that area, and if he gets beaten he's got the CBs behind him to pick up the scraps. But looking at his key attributes for DM, he excels in most of them. But that's a great point that I didn't even notice!

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Preseason 2028

 

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A short, but pretty strong preseason.

 

 

 

Transfers

 

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Another preseason, another complete revamp of the squad. I think I've found a bunch of good deals here, but I'm not it will be enough to survive.

 

 

 

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Our new number 1 for the season, Trafford failed to make it at Man City before playing 2 EPL games for Wolves in the 22/23 season. Hopefully his return to the EPL will last a little longer than that.

 

 

 

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Cian has been a Football League stalwart, with 301 appearances for Bristol Rovers. The heights of the EPL are definitely something he is not used to, but his attribute analysis seems to suggest that he can cope.

 

 

 

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The Spanish/Irish Garcia McNulty couldn't cut it for Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, so here he is. He'll be partnering Cian at CB.

 

 

 

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We've spent a lot on Smothers by my standards, so I hope he's worth it. He certainly seems like he will be, with plenty of positive attributes. He'll be playing right back this season.

 

 

 

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The connection forged with now Chelsea manager Jurgen Klopp seasons ago has paid dividends again here, as we snag promising CB Garry Clare on loan to play LB. He's another incredible looking player that can hopefully develop like a charm here.

 

 

 

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I had to promise the world to Charley just to get him to be willing to discuss terms, and then he demanded the world over again for his contract demands. He's breaking the bank, but again I think he'll be worth the money we spent as he plays alongside Ngo at DM.

 

 

 

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Lawson is another youngster with plenty of potential. He'll be feeding Aston Greaver through the middle if everything goes to plan.

 

 

 

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We're the missing team, and we're at 2001.00 according to the odds. Understandable of course, but odds don't apply to us. 17th is the goal. I'm pretty surprised that Leicester are the title favourites, considering they haven't finished in the top 3 since the save started. In fact, it's been a Manchester whitewash, with United winning 3 and City 4. Will we join them? Not this season that's for sure.

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December 2028

 

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We not only got our first win, we got four of them! Granted, they were against our fellow cellar dwellers, something that @Pompeyboyz will appreciate, but we got the results we needed. The fact that they're all bunched at the end might make for interesting times at the end of the season as we all battle for survival.

 

 

 

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Ah yes, the classic excellent intake but with garbage players trick...

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January 2029

 

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We were out of the relegation for all of two games thanks to the draw with Leicester, but now we're back. I should note that Leicester were the preseason favourites and are languishing in 15th :lol: pre-season predictions need an overhaul.

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February 2029

 

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February was just awful. An Erling Haaland masterclass saw him score 6 goals in City's demolition of us, and the rest wasn't much better. We're now 11 points from safety. A real problem. Luckily we've gotten all the tougher teams out of the way with 10 games to go.

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  • shaunvamos changed the title to Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation: Austria (Part IX)

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