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[FM22] - The Ultimate Journeyman - Trophy hunting accross the globe!


DomD
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For my FM22 save I decided to try the Ultimate Football Manager Challenge. I'll be posting updates there, but I wanted a thread where I can include some more details, and also keep things in one place. It is unlikely that I'll come close to completing the challenge on my first try, but I thought it might turn into a good Journeyman save.

 

Nations loaded at the start of the save were all playable levels from (I'll update this list when I add or remove leagues):

Belarus (removed Jan 2023), Brazil (added Jan 2023), Canada, Chile (added Jan 2023), Czech Republic (removed Jun 2023) ,England (for some reason this was view-only at the start, obviously I'll change it to playable at some point), France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Mexico (added Jun 2023), Poland, Portugal, Scotland (removed Jun 2023), Slovakia (removed Jun 2023), Spain, Ukraine (removed Jun 2023), USA, Wales

Additional Rules:

- Sign only players that have been scouted by club scouts or recommended by other members of the staff. The exception to this is that I will sometimes see who is listed for loan at clubs that make sense (like an affiliate). But still ask a for a scout report before making a loan offer.

Manager Profile at the start of the save:

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Season 1 - 2021/22 - Cefn Druids AFC

Pre-Season

The squad was thin in some areas (DC, DL) and seemed ok in others, at least according to my AssMan. But the media had us finishing 12th, so I didn't hold out much hope. The board wanted a mid table finish.

It was hard to find any decent staff, the scouts especially had rather poor stats. But had to work with what we could get. Eventually managed to get in a DL and a couple of midfielders. But we were still short in DC, although the one we had was rated as one of the best players on the team.

Had some good pre-season results, including a 2-2 draw with Wrexham.

2021/22 Season

Things started better than I could have hoped for and we were top of the table after 7 games. Things took a bit of a dip after that and we fell all the way to 7th. For a while we bounced around between 4th and 6th, but never far from the teams at the top. 

The Welsh premier made up of 12 teams and is divided into two stages. After playing each team twice it splits in two. The teams in the top half play each other for the championship and the teams from the bottom play each other to avoid relegation. At that stage we were in 3rd and also in the League Cup final. The board offered me a contract extension, and a small raise. I accepted.

In the League Cup final we met Cambrian & Clydach from the 2nd tier. After a 1-1 draw we lost on penalties. In the next game we went out of the Welsh Cup and it looked like our season might have been taking a turn. Although we were already guaranteed a mid-table finish.

We actually ended up playing quite well (4W, 1D, 1L) and even beat TNS 3-0 away from home. But the top four was tight. The next three were 2D and 1L with no goals scored and I was just hoping that we could at least hold on to 2nd place. But the teams around us also dropped points and all we had to do on the final day was win against TNS again.

After an uneventful 1st half we went out and grabbed 2 quick goals. But the team wasn't playing well and we were lucky to be in front. TNS piled on the pressure and in the 91st minute they had a penalty which they duly scored. Thankfully that was it and we finished as Champions!

 

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Top Player Stats

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Best 11

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Challenge

So far the club have only been willing to let me get my National C license. This team has massively overachieved and I don't think I'll get the resources to improve them much. The board still just want a mid-table finish for next season. All that said I'm not sure if my reputation (which is still not a full star) would get me a job anywhere else. So, for now I plan on staying here, to see if I can build my reputation a bit more, maybe win the domestic cup, all while keeping an eye on the job centre for opportunities

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The manager profile saw a slight boost:

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Edited by DomD
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Season 2 - 2022/23 - Cefn Druids AFC

Pre-season

A somewhat frustrating pre-season, as I tried to strengthen the squad for the season ahead. Some that were reaching the end of their contract at other Welsh clubs refused to even discuss a contract because they didn't believe that our squad was strong enough. Thought that I managed to sign a central midfielder from a non-league English side (below tier 6), but he also decided to stay with his current club.

We did manage to sign 3 players. A 19 y/o DR, a 23 y/o ST, and a 24 y/o MC/DM/D(C).

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At the end of the previous season there was also a crop of exciting youngsters that came through our youth system. Considering that I didn't strengthen as much as I wanted in the using the transfer market, some of these young ones might be seeing more time in the first team than they would otherwise have.

Also, the board keep rejecting my requests for another coaching badge.

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UEFA Champions League

But the most exciting part of the early season was our first foray into the UEFA Champions League, where we were pitted against Lithuanian side FK Sudova.

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We managed to hold on to a draw at their place, and it was a bit of a goal fest at home, but we managed to pull out the win. Astana from Kazakhstan were next, and they were just too much for us.

But that meant we dropped down to the Europa League, where we faced... Greek side, Olympiacos!!!

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2022 Cefn Druids Youth Intake

Before going into our next European game, I thought I would have a short post about the exciting crop of youngsters that came through at the end of last season. Two of the most promising talents are, Mal Sinclair AM(L/R) and Lee Coxe DM/M(C). Wanting to see how these two develop might keep me at this club longer than I would have otherwise stayed.

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  • DomD changed the title to [FM22] - The Ultimate Journeyman - Trophy hunting accross the globe!

In the end the tie against Olympiacos turned out as expected against a team with resources that far above what Cefn Druids have.

But the first match was much closer than expected.

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Unfortunately the red for Flint and yellow for Leaver meant we were going to be without our best AMC and D(C) for the return leg at home. Add that to the injuries and things did not look good.

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Sinclair did set a nice new record.

But as expected we were hammered in the second leg and even worse Sinclair picked up an injury that will keep him out for a while.

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The European adventure continues and it is filling the club coffers. But the fixture list is packed and with the squad that we have we might pay for this with performances in the league and cups at home. We're already out of the Welsh League Cup after I rotated the squad heavily.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 23/12/2021 at 20:14, argento said:

No shame in losing to those sides in Europe, did you get any of the Olympiakos gate away? Not sure on the rules in Europe

Thanks. We sure did make some money, see my next post.

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Amazingly we managed to qualify for the Europa Conference League. But the draw did not give me hope of getting anything out of these matches. And so it proved to be as we were hammered by most teams. Surprisingly Lyon had the hardest time scoring against us.

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Finances saw a huge boost.

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But so far the board have not seen fit to spend it on anything. They wouldn't even let me add a Technical Director to my rather small staff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Season 2 - 2022/23 - Cefn Druids AFC

The European exploits didn't help us in the domestic cups as we went out of both at the first time of asking, to lower league opposition.

The league was a bit frustrating. TNS had strengthened significantly and we just couldn't compete. The extra matches during our European campaign had us dealing with fitness and injury issues. Even after we were out of Europe our form was somewhat patchy. In the end we had 10 more points than last season, but that was only good enough for 3rd place.

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Top Player Stats

Spoiler

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Challenge

In the second half of the season the board actually let me go for my next coaching badge. I suggested that the club should turn professional but they didn't agree. I already had my eye on leaving and was looking at what next club I could use as a stepping stone.

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The manager profile is starting to look better:

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But I'm worried that my Adaptability isn't improving. Will I be able to get a job in another country?

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So I was going to just run out my contract and try my luck somewhere else. Then these things happened:

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Now I have a decision to make. Do I stick it out here for another year? Would I be able to improve the squad much with the extra funds? This is still a 1 star rep club in the Welsh league, so there is a ceiling on who would be willing to sign for us. But my reputation isn't very high yet either, so maybe if I can win another trophy here...

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Signed a new contract with Cefn Druids. Now to rebuild the squad so that we can compete with TNS in the league again and hopefully have another good cup run. We also need enough players to be able to rotate the squad without losing quality.

Our European adventures last season had some effects on the coefficients.

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Good work so far.

Iam doing something along your lines in using the Ultimate Challenge as a structure for the Journeyman career but instead I picked a more reputable club instead of being manageress so not following the guidelines strictly. 

 

I'll follow your progress good thread so far.

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Pre-Season 3 - 2023/24 - Cefn Druids AFC

Our European adventure this season was a lot shorter this time around.

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Now we can focus on domestic competitions. We've brought in 7 players so far and let go several who weren't going to cut it. But it is quite frustrating to see the level of players that TNS is bringing in. The players my scouts are finding are somewhat below that level. We'll see how things go in the next couple of months, but I will be even more serious about looking for my next club.

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