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Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation Part X: The FM23 Experiment


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Hi all,


This is basically a sequel to my last thread, where I used custom attribute formulas to assess and sign players in minnow European nations, with the ultimate goal of gaining an automatic Champions League Group Stage place (here). I got about 5 or 6 nations in before the new FM came out, so I'm looking to go a little bit more ambitious here.


The Rules

- Start as an unemployed manager with a nationality of the nation I'll be managing in

- Nation choice is based of the UEFA coefficient rankings (so England will be first, followed by Spain, Italy and so on)

- The Big 5 leagues will be loaded as playable no matter what country I'm managing in (for realism and difficulty)

- Other nations loaded as playable will be nations bordering the nation of choice (including maritime borders, except in the case of any UK nations for self-imposed Brexit reasons)

- Signing policy: I will only sign players bearing the nationality of the nation I'm managing in or their bordering nations. Second nationalities will also suffice. Unlike the previous thread, there will be NO age limit. If they're good, and cheap, I'll sign them. This challenge is about getting the best value for money after all.

- I will try to upgrade the facilities as quickly as possible, as I still want to promote homegrown talent while bringing in some other players to strengthen the squad

-  Apply for all jobs in the nation of choice, and accept all interviews. I will probably accept the first job offered to me unless there are serious issues with the clubs vision. 

- If I get sacked, apply for all available jobs again and the process repeats.


Once I win a Champions League in my chosen nation, that nation is considered completed. Instead of continuing from there, I'll go back to 2021 and start another career in the next nation. It'll just be easier than keeping track of all the newgens when all the real players retire.

For nations that have bordering countries requiring added leagues, I'll add whichever ones I can find at this stage. If push comes to shove I'll activate them myself, but there are members of this community that release unplayable files pretty rapidly, and I'll give credit to whichever ones I use.


Onto the first nation: England!


Spreadsheet and views used for the save are available upon request 😊





Edited by shaunvamos
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One interview in, and I already have a job!








Curzon Ashton, a club just out of Manchester, seems like a decent place to start. There are low expectations, which means less pressure on me to deliver good results, and our wage budget has just enough for me to try and nab some decent cheap players. No transfer budget will also help me in the hunt for bargains, and also some loans. Decent training facilities for this level too, which is important.




Jack Dunn  -  Alex Curran  -  Matt Challoner


We have a very small squad of 18 players and only one goalkeeper, so we will need to be adding to that ASAP. Time to find some bargains!


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Preseason 2021


A pretty solid preseason, but those big wins were against non-league sides. The home draw against Wealdstone, who are a division above, is a good sign.




Went wild with signings, but I only signed guys who wanted less than 100 pound a week. Once we ran out of funds I looked for players that were available for loan where the clubs didn't want any fee contribution. As a result 7 of these guys will feature in the starting XI, which goes to show the kind of quality you can get by being stingy.













The new signings appear to have impressed the bookies, as we're now predicted 13th, up 8 spots from when I joined.

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October 2021




Another excellent month, disrupted by a 5-5 draw with Kidderminster that saw the Harriers score two goals in stoppage time, and a loss to Spennymoor in which we played most of the second half with 9 men. On the more more positive side, we're a point of 1st and we've qualified for the FA Cup proper, facing National league side King's Lynn. We've already beaten fellow National League side Solihull, can the dream run continue? I've also upgraded the junior coaching and will embark on my first coaching course.

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November 2021





Another unbelievable month, and we're through to the second round of the FA Cup! Away to League One side Cheltenham, this will probably be where the run ends. But things are going quite well in the league, opening up a small gap at the top.

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December 2021




We end 2021 with a few losses as fixture congestion begins to take its toll. Surprisingly, we only lost 1-0 to Cheltenham, but the loss against Alfreton was inexcusable, and the performance at Chorley came with an entire team of reserves, as the first team were all tired. But they should be ready for our next match, a top of the table clash away to Southport.


Youth Intake Preview


Our first intake doesn't look too bad, players in the midfield are always welcome, but they'll have to be retrained to DMs.

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I must admit I do like the changes they've made to the way Youth Intake previews show in FM22.

I will be interested to see how accurate people find them, compared with the basket case of irrelevance that you sometimes get from the FM21 Intake Previews :lol:

Edited by Punch
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55 minutes ago, Punch said:

I must admit I do like the changes they've made to the way Youth Intake previews show in FM22.

I will be interested to see how accurate people find them, compared with the basket case of irrelevance that you sometimes get from the FM21 Intake Previews :lol:

Me too, I think they've definitely made it more immersive and removed a lot of that irrelevance :lol:

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2022 Youth Intake



Ryan Rowlands 1A  -  John Horton 1B*  -  Dean Smith 1C


Not a bad first intake overall, with 8 players having 3* PA or higher. The personalities aren't too bad either. Rowlands will be retrained as a RW as we don't play with CAMs and his attributes suggest he can find a home on the wing. Horton will try out at LB and Dean Smith will stay right where he is.





Pretty diverse array of nationalities here, with all but one country in the British Isles represented.

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We stumbled our way into the playoffs, but once it was sudden death we could do no wrong, with a strong win over Boston United, a tight game over Gloucester and then a penalty shootout victory over Southport. Promoted at the first time of asking was a lot more than I expected this first season, but we've got to keep going. I have an extra 4k to play with in the wage budget, so I suspect there will be another big recruitment drive as we aim to stay up next season.


Best XI



Harry Flowers  -  Scott Wilson  -  Alex Higgins







Record Breakers





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Preseason 2022


A pretty strong preseason, buoyed by some transfers I'll go into further detail on below.





I completely gutted the team from last season, releasing 11 players who only had bench roles. With just over 5k per week to spend on the wage budget, I set out to find a set of 11 first team calibre players who wanted 460 a week or less. We were able to do that and more, signing a whopping 15 players, earning an average of 337 a week. I'm not sure where we rank in terms of wage spending yet, but I'm sure we're quite low. A couple of last seasons loanees join us permanently for some compensation, and there are a few players who are ex-juniors for EPL clubs.



Former Burnley junior and English 2nd nationality Kai Calderbank-Park will be our main number 1 this season. Interestingly, he joined Curzon Ashton on loan for the 2019/20 season, making 1 appearance. He'll be making a lot more this season.




Quansah is something of a coup for us and I'm really surprised Liverpool even considered us worthy enough to have him. I project the Ghanaian/Scotsman to be an absolute star at this level.




Rhys Bennett joins us having failed to make the grade for Manchester United. He'll be partnering Quansah in central defence.




Gallagher will be our starting RB, despite his proficiency to play as DM. My formula seems to think he has the ability to be the best fullback in the team, and I'm not going to argue with that. He joins us on loan from Northern Irish powerhouse Cliftonville.




Aston Villa academy product Hayden Lindley will be our primary LB, and is another great piece of business.




Alex Bannon, on loan from Scottish League One side Queen's Park, has all the attributes to be a solid DM at this level.





Middlesbrough junior Pharrell Willis will tower over his opposite number on the right wing, so I expect he'll score some goals from corners.





We picked Jack up from Liverpool, and he will be heavily relied upon to deliver some quality assists.





I'm hoping Louis will be our primary creator through the centre of the pitch.





Bradley joins us permanently after an excellent season on loan with us.



You may have noticed that most of these players are under 23. This is by design as the board have outlined that they wish for me to sign players for the first team who are under 23. I'm more than happy to oblige.





Before we signed these players, we were predicted dead last at $351.00. Now the odds are much better, expected to avoid relegation and perhaps mix it up with a few of the stronger teams. I do think we have a stronger team than last season, but I'm just aiming for survival and consolidation of funds to maybe turn pro. 

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February 2023



Having no mid week cup games has done wonders for our recovery, and consequently our form has reflected that. An unbeaten month, and the best win was over 3rd placed Barnet, where we played an entire second team due to the quick turnaround of fixtures. But with the majority of the remaining matches a week apart, there's no reason we can't keep playing like we are.

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March 2023



We are duly demonstrating the benefits of a full week's recovery after matches. The result against Bromley brought us back down to earth a little, but the win against Stockport reinforces the belief that we can reach a playoff spot, which is soooo close.

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That was a good pre-seasons transfer market work there.  Some really quality coming in, and they look to be getting it all together just at the right time with you sniffing at the play off places. 

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We scraped into the playoffs, but we were too tired to put up a fight against Bromley, a team we are yet to beat. Still, a playoff appearance in the first season is nothing to be scoffed at, and we're going to be better next year.


Best XI


Rhys Bennett  -   Jarell Quansah  -  Bradley Rolt


As you can see our players are a little tired :lol: But as I predicted our defence had to perform if we wanted to stay up, and they definitely did. Unfortunately Bennett is leaving us for Shrewsbury, but hopefully we can work something out with Quansah. Rolt continued his goalscoring exploits, and is set to earn the VNL Golden Boot.










Record Breakers






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1 hour ago, deltablue said:

It's interesting seeing you track where players are from.

Do you mean with the transfers or the youth intake?



26 minutes ago, Pompeyboyz said:

That was a good pre-seasons transfer market work there.  Some really quality coming in, and they look to be getting it all together just at the right time with you sniffing at the play off places. 

Thanks! It actually took me close to two hours of poring over all the data to figure out who to sign. If they didn't meet my wage expectations, onto the next best one. If they were picked up by another club, onto the next one. Hopefully we can ride the momentum of this season into next season, and with a few more quality additions, we can make a serious push for promotion.

Edited by shaunvamos
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  • shaunvamos changed the title to Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation Part X: The FM23 Experiment

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