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[FM22] It's only Estonia throw away - A build a nation save


danielgear
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17 minutes ago, benhoward12 said:

Good luck! Don’t think it will be easy but should be an enjoyable one to follow

 

16 minutes ago, ITFC_Blue said:

Love saves like this. Good luck!!

Cheers guys

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Pre-season and March 2021 update

I started the save with the first window disabled so when we arrived at FC Flora we started by looking through the squad. Wanting to implement my 4141 I noticed three main issues.
1. We had no mobile wing backs with Ledt back being the bigger priority
2. We had no one who could play half back
3. We're lacking a striker

1. Left back 
I have
 Tristan Koskor who looked like the best option to retrain there, Natural on the left with good physicals bar stamina which we will work on, It should be an easy transition for him to the wing back role. 

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2. Half Back

Konstantin Vassiljev is currently our best player but is 36 years old, Apart from the physical side his attributes line up with what I want from my Halfback at the moment, I want him
to help progress the ball forward quickly to help our transitions, I've asked him to try and learn the trait "tries long range passes". I'm not too worried about his lack of mobility as one of the better teams in the league we should have majority of possession so i'm hopeful he just gets the ball picks out a pass and then sits between the two centre backs and recovers.


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3.Striker
We're lacking any natural striker so this will need to be addressed going forward and my scouts are looking for the next great Estonian striker.

Pre-season


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Pre-season went well, we beat the two teams we should have early on, followed by two close games vs two bigger teams and we rounded it up with a draw from a rotated team.

March


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We started the season by winning the Superkarikas. We dominated the game, whilst the possession shows only a 10% difference that was mainly due to the turnovers, we were aggressive on the ball playing passes beyond the Paide defence and this showed with our first goal in which Markus Soomets showed his trait training of gets further forward is paying off as he broke beyond the defence to meet a through ball and rounding the keeper. Rauno Alliku who got the nod up from repaid that decision with a header from a cross to secure my first trophy as manager of FC Flora.

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We have started the season well, In the league we won the first two games in both games we again dominated possession and had a high quantity of shots but lacking that quality in front of goal. It was nice to see Koskor getting a MOTM award showing his retraining to Left back is working.
We were knocked out of the cup with Paide getting their revenge from the us beating them a week before. The final game of the month was a write off from the start, we had an an injury crisis vs top of the league and they were clinical.


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3rd place and a point off top after the first month is a decent enough start to my career at FC Flora.

Estonia 

We started with two World cup qualification games vs Belarus and Belgium and with us starting to learn the squad I wasn't expecting much. Belarus ranked 30 places above us and Belgium being ranked 1 in the world.


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Talking about learning the squad I feel like I shot myself in the foot with this match, Due to the lack of mobility in our defence I played with a lower defensive line and we invited Belarus on too much and they raced into a 2-0 lead, a change of defensive line and we were a lot better in the second half grabbing one goal but we couldn't grab a second. lesson learnt though.

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A brilliant result all things considering, and something to build on going forward.

Overall a decent start to the save with both club and country.

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April 2021

Just club football this month with no internationals until June which coincides with the transfer window opening, Main target will be a striker so the next 2 months we will search all of Estonia for our next striker.

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The game vs Vaprus really showed our lack of a striker  19 shots, majority on the counter yet we didn't put one away. We followed this up with a 1-0 win over feeder club Tulevik with Soomets again breaking free from midfield and scoring. We found someone who can score goals! Sergi Zenjov hit a perfect hat trick and a match rating of 10 to put my other feeder team Kuressaare to the sword.
A 1-0 loss to Tartu JK Tammeka ended the month. We're creating chances, in each game we have an higher xG than we score goals so my players are guilty of missing their chances. I've found a player who I like the look of so we are following him closely.


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We're second in the table but the loss to Tartu JK Tammeka looks a poor result as they were bottom before beating us.

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May and June 2021
A two month update and a lot has happened,

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A hard month of fixtures where we basically played everyone around us in the league, drawing 4 and losing 1

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in 4 out of the 5 games we had more shots than the opposition and having no one to put them away seems to be costing us. Watching the games we're playing well and playing how I want us too apart from upfront. I did consider if it was the role but honestly I don't think it is. we rotated between 3 players up there hoping to offer something different with no such luck but at least the window is now open and I've done a deal for a striker who I hope can make a difference.

Transfer window


I made two signings during this window, one permanent and one a loan.



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What do you do when you need goals? Sign the leagues top scorer whos 18 and Estonian, he's quick, he can finish with he feet or head, his DNA score is 29/30 and he has areas to improve. €90,000 and 20% of next sale I'm happy with that.

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Next in was some depth for the two wide areas, we have been rotating 3 wingers between the two spots and upfront with no depth. A young loanee comes in with potential and will get game time instead of youth football.

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3 games 3 wins and what a difference having a striker makes, Sapovalov didn't join until the second match but what a start, scores 2 minutes into his Flora career, He actually his a product of the Flora youth system never making an appearance though. In both games he's played we have outscored our xG, It's also freed up Rauno Alliku to return to his wide position and he's benefited from scoring 3 in 2 games. Hopefully we can kick on now.

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Even with our poor period through April and May we are within touching distance of top still.

Estonia 


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Two friendlies this month with countries around our level

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We started slowly again vs Kosovo going 2-0 down but Sorga got us back in the game but it was too little too late. We followed that up by earning my first win as Estonia manager winning 4-2 with Sorga scoring two and Tunjov on the scoresheet before FC Flora newest player came off the bench to score from the spot rounding off a great month for the player. We don't play again now until September when we have games vs Wales and Czech Republic.

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July 2021

Our busiest month yet as we reach the business end of the season and the European playoffs start, the games put a real strain on our small squad, I couldn't really dip into the U21s as they're in a league below us in a relegation battle and I don't want them to go down and the U19s are in a promotion battle a few leagues below that. But in the end all ended well.

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We started the month with a 0-0 draw away at Kuressaare, again we created chances but didn't put them away. We followed this up with our first european match where we beat Borac Banja of Bosnia over 2 legs 3-1 and 2-0 both wingers got two goals a piece and Sapovalov scored too. We had no european hangover as we then beat TJK Legion 2-0 with Poom and Alliku both scoring. We then felt the gap between us and some of the bigger clubs in europe as Red Star smashed us 5-0 and 6-1 either side of a 2-1 with vs Paide which saw Alliku and Sapovalou on the scoresheet again. We rounded off our 8 game month with a 0-0 draw vs Narva again we were toothless upfront. Sapovalou is doing a great job but I now need to find a back up for him or an option off the bench because we can't rely on him every game.

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The good news is we're top of the league with 8 games left so we're in a good spot. Board wanted top 2 but I'd like to win the title. Even though we lost in Champions League we now drop into Europa League playoffs vs Riga.

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August 2021

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Another busy month. we started the month off with a 0-0 draw away at Riga in the first leg before losing 1-0 at home and therefore dropping into the Europa Conference League playoffs, Sandwiched between those two games we lost top spot in the league to Nomme Kalju after they beat us 2-1. We then beat 3rd place FC Levadia to ensure we stayed ahead of them in 2nd, We then smashed Dinamo Tblisi 5-0 in the first leg which meant I could rotate for the second leg playing some youth players and they only lost 1-0 which meant we made the group stage. In between those 2 games we beat Vaprus 3-0 before losing to bottom of the league Tulevik to end the month. 

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That loss vs Tulevik was damaging, a win there and we'd be top by a point. These last two months have really taken it out on my small squad, hopefully we get some youth prospects through and with some players that were already out on loan before the start of the save back to boost the squad numbers. But i've gone out and invested improving my defence with a signing from our rivals Nomme Kalju, he will join in the winter window.

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Avilov will join for €275,000 and 20% of next sale. he is an upgrade on all center backs we currently have at the club and will strengthen the already best defence in the league and hopefully Nomme reinvest wisely to keep competing with us.

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We have a hard group in the Europa conference but at least we will get 6 money spinning games and hopefully bring some more money in to invest in Estonia.
Back to international football next month and the start of ECL games, We have 4 league games left and we are still in the Estonian cup so lots to play for. Nomme Kajlu have an easier run in than us so I think the title is out of our hands now.

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September 2021

We have another busy month with both league and country football, a youth intake and another signing!

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We have started the month by progressing in the cup with a 2-0 win with Sapovalou scoring both, Alliku grabbed the goal in a 1-0 win vs Tartu JK to keep us in the title hunt. Kairat beat us 3-2 in the ECL group game. We thumped Kuressare 3-0 thanks to a Sapovalou hat trick. Gent beat us 1-0 making it 2 defeats so far in the group stage.

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2 points behind with 2 games to go. Nomme Kalju have games vs 0th place Tulevik and 8th place Tartu so I think it could be over.

Youth Intake


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We gave 5 players contracts from the intake. There was only 10 players in the intake and the other 5 were shocking.

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We're not expecting much but the U19s and U21s need players so these 5 will boost their numbers at the minimum.

Signing


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Ehin signs to give us a young striker, and takes away a lot of the risk to sign a back up striker this summer. He was brought to my attention by my scout and some of his attributes are similar to Sapovalou's so we have a younger like for like incase called on. A 30% sell on and fees tied to appearances could bring his former club some money in the future.

Estonia


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Two more international defeats, both games we were expected to lose, Wales we should have lost too by more than 1 they dominated us allover the pitch. We the Czech game we actually had chances to make the game alot closer but we had a few sitters.

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Our playoff hopes are over but we never expected that. 

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October 2021
Another busy month for club and country, We had qualified for the top 6 so after the 27 games there is an extra 5 games which gives us one more shot at beating Nomme Kalju to the title with a massive game vs them at the end of the month but first we have international football.

Estonia


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We have our first competitive win as Estonia manager,  there will be no 7 year wait! First off wales smashed us again, scoring 3 and having 3 disallowed. But then we faced Belarus for the chance to break our duck and even though they had nearly treble the shots we kept them at bay and took the one clear chance we had.

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FC Flora
We started the month by snapping up another youngster for our u19s.

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At 15 he is a long term project but he will get competitive football for our U19s and then U21s hopefully progressing to the first team in the future, a €50,000 outlay with add ons and a 35% sell on fee. If you remember earlier we signed Viidas on loan for more depth, We had been scouting around for a more permanent option. We soon realised that the player topping the assist charts in the league was available on a free at the end of the season and fitted nicely with our tactic so we snapped him up getting him to take a 50% pay cut to join us.
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Scoring 32/30 on the DNA scores and can play anywhere along the midfield 4 he will be a welcome addition to the side next year.

If you remember in my introduction I talked about not just developing Estonian players but also staff, so I was happy to see my assistant manager get poached by the team currently 4th in the table

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We started off the month well with a 1-0 win and a 2-0 win to keep up the pressure on Nomme Kalju in the league before securing a point in Europe. We then progressed in the cup with a 2-0 win before a massive 2-1 win over 3rd place leaving  us two points behind Nomme Kalju going into the match vs them and we came away with a 1-0 win after dominating them to go top of the league by 1 point with 3 games to go. we are 3 wins from the title which would round off a great first season here.

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Just now, Shrewnaldo said:

Haha love it. You should send the club some screenshots of the rest of your recruitment

Haha I should, I’ll finish the end of season window first :D

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41 minutes ago, john1 said:

Things starting to look up after few tough months with the club.

However, superb win over Belarus :cool: 

Cheers John, was a great win. Hopefully the first of many 

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1 minute ago, danielgear said:

Cheers John, was a great win. Hopefully the first of many 

Especially a superb result against Belgium even you lost by a goal :thup: 

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November and December 2021

A  blockbuster month for club and country we wrap up world cup qualifying with Estonia before concluding the title race with Flora and finishing our Europa Conference League campaign.
First we start with Estonia.


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We started out the final two games of our campaign with a game away vs Belgium and they battered us in all fairness. But then we managed to grab our second win of the campaign with a 1-0 win over Czech Republic with Henri Anier on the scoresheet.

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In the end we finished 4th which was above what we expected and two wins, hopefully we can build on this going forward.

Flora 


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We started the month with a 1-0 loss vs Sheriff ending any small hopes of qualification from the group, We followed that up with a 2-1 win over TJK Legion to put us in touching distance of the title, 2 games left 2 wins and the titles ours, We then smashed Paide 4-1 with Sapovalov scoring a hat trick, I rotated the team fully vs Gent and we were easily beaten, but the rest paid off as we then beat Kuressaare 4-1 to secure the title in my first season to go with the cup to make it a double.

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Title secured by 1 point and Nomme Kalju gave us a great challenge, I hope they can keep it us and challenge again next year.

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We were outclassed by all 3 teams and it showed we need to improve to compete in europe.

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Great news for our development of better Estonian youth players. Overall this is a great start to the save, a double win at club level and two wins internationally. The decision to sign Sapovalov was a game changer he returned 16 goals in 18 games to fire us to the title after our slow start infront of goal. We need to do the same again next year, I'm hoping the additions of Avilov and Puri will give us some reinforcements and more options in depth for the next season.
 

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I can’t remember which version of FM it was but Sander Puri was a very good player on one of them! 
 

Genuinely smiled when I saw him pop up in here he was great for me in an all conquering Palace team. 

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9 minutes ago, LATB said:

I can’t remember which version of FM it was but Sander Puri was a very good player on one of them! 
 

Genuinely smiled when I saw him pop up in here he was great for me in an all conquering Palace team. 

Glad to give you that reminder:D

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Good effort on the domestic double and a couple of very fine results with the national side. How's your ranking now? Any chance of it bumping your seeding for the next draw?

I'm assuming no other Estonian teams made it anywhere near continental groups? 

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2 hours ago, MattyLewis11 said:

He's only gone and done it, that was a nail biting end to the season. You have inspired me to start a build a nation 👌

Cheers Matty, and good luck with yours 

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28 minutes ago, Shrewnaldo said:

Good effort on the domestic double and a couple of very fine results with the national side. How's your ranking now? Any chance of it bumping your seeding for the next draw?

I'm assuming no other Estonian teams made it anywhere near continental groups? 

Our ranking has improved from 115 to 106. We have a nations league relegation playoff vs Moldova next March so that may help with seedings.

No we were the only Estonian club in any of the European competition groups. 

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You learn something new every day and today I learnt that the Estonian league reset is right after the last champions league group game. :rolleyes: i played up to December 31st ready to do my end of season review with stats etc and all gone, reloaded the previous two save files and already gone. So I’m going to have to do a review without stats. 
At least I know going forward now. The main stat is league and cup double winners and Sapovalov fired us to the title grabbing the golden boot on the way. 

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21 hours ago, danielgear said:

No we were the only Estonian club in any of the European competition groups. 

Maybe the most challenging part of keeping this going, you improve but the rest of the league are stuck in the mud. Great idea to give them some percentage of the next transfer. Maybe raise it in the future. 
 

What are the board's long term objectives? From my experience once you win a trophy or two, their expectations rise: more titles, euro group stages and so on. That is quite difficult to maintain, whilst only signing Estonians. 
 

Well done on a great first season.  

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5 hours ago, champion067 said:

Maybe the most challenging part of keeping this going, you improve but the rest of the league are stuck in the mud. Great idea to give them some percentage of the next transfer. Maybe raise it in the future. 
 

What are the board's long term objectives? From my experience once you win a trophy or two, their expectations rise: more titles, euro group stages and so on. That is quite difficult to maintain, whilst only signing Estonians. 
 

Well done on a great first season.  

The board expectations are top two again for the next few seasons.

Yes I agree about potential for rest of league to get stuck, which is why I’m only signing players from them I “need” not just to sit on the bench and waste away in the hope it keeps their strength up. 

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Great first season Dan. Looking forward to your next steps in terms or building your club without decimating the league - as I’m not expecting too many foreign players excited to move to Estonia!

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January, February and March 2022
Overall my first season was a great start, We started well winning the Estonian Super cup but then in the league we started slowly and at one point our job security was even questioned, But I liked what I was seeing on the pitch and could tell we just lacked that player upfront to finish the chances we were creating.
In came current top scorer 18 year old Sapovalov and I was proven right he put away enough of the chances we created to fire us to the title and the addition of him allowed Alliku to move back to right midfield as the Wide Midfielder and he went on a rich vein of form too.
We ended up with the best defence and attack in the league and managed to hold off the title challenge from Nomme Kalju even though we have a small squad and were fighting on 3 fronts.
This off season I wanted small improvements rather than to overhaul the squad. The main priorities were centre back starter, depth in wide areas and depth upfront. I feel happy with the improvements I've made.


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Puri gives us experienced depth out wide and can play either side of the midfield. Kaos is one for the future and will spend the next few seasons playing competitive football for the U21s. Avilov comes from title rivals Nomme Kalju as our main centre back. Ehin and Jurgens are both depth upfront, At first I was going to have just Ehin as back up to Sapovalov but at 16 some exposure to U21 football at least for the first half of the season would suit him. So when I saw Jurgens scoring a handful of goals for Estonia U21s I sent my scout out and liked what I saw and managed to get a year loan done for him.


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I talked in the introduction about investing in Estonia and I've tried to do that again this summer spending €325,000 out of the €350,000 transfer fees in the Estonian window. 

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Pre-season

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6 games vs Estonian teams carrying on where we finished really. You will notice Jarviste's name twice he's been promoted to the first team this season along with another player Kreida. Jarviste will provide depth at right back I'm looking to retrain him there like I did with Koskor on the left hand side. Kreida will play at halfback hopefully taking over from now 37 year old Vassiljev at some point this season as he learns the same traits that worked so well.

March
 

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Before we knew it the new season was here, we started off by beating local rivals and 3rd place from last year FC Levadia 2-1 with Sapovalov up and running with a double. Paide then beat us on penalties in the Super Cup getting revenge on us beating them last year. We made easy work of lower league Lannemaa in the Quarter Finals of the cup before a 3-1 win over TJK and a 4-0 win over newly promoted Maardu to put us top of the table.

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The biggest surprise is the slow start from Nomme Kalju with just 1 win in their first 5, We may see another challenge from someone else this season but theres a long way to go.
I've mentioned my U21 a few times in this post and they actually got relegated last season the the third tier mainly due to registration reasons (me not knowing I had to do the registrations for my U21 and U19s not the team managers) So this season I want to get them promoted back up so I've left them with a strong squad.

Estonia


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A nations league relegation playoff vs Moldova and we won 2-0 over two legs with Sorga grabbing a double in the second leg to give me my 3rd competitive win as Estonia manager. We will now have a look at the squad going forward for the future and I will update with the next round of international games with any changes.

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33 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Great first season Dan. Looking forward to your next steps in terms or building your club without decimating the league - as I’m not expecting too many foreign players excited to move to Estonia!

Cheers Ben, That's going to be the hardest challenge, making sure I don't weaken the other teams too much whilst investing in them so they can improve.

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April 2022

A busy month, 8 league games in 28 days a chance to really lay down a marker for our title challenge, We will also find out who Estonia have in the nations league group. Also we assess the areas of the squad we need to look at with the upcoming transfer window or more long term end of the season.

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We started the month well with a 1-0 win over Tartu with Sapovalov socring the only goal, we then went to Kuressaare and again won 1-o with Alliku grabbing the winner. We then thumped newly promoted Nomme Utd 7-0 a Sapovalov hat trick and 4 other scorers got one each. We then went on a terrible run of 3 losses in a row first 1-0 to Nomme Kalju then Maardu beat us 1-0 and Levadia 2-1 to rock our title challenge. I went back and looked at the the games and actually the first two defeats were both against the run of play it was actually only the game vs Levadia that we were deservedly beaten. We then bounced back with a 1-0 win vs Kuressaare thanks to a late Sapovalov penalty, We then went behind in the game vs TJK Legion but thankfully Sapovalov and Jurgen both teamed up and grabbed a goal a piece to secure the win.

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We held on to top spot by a point but we do have a game in hand, Maardu have been the surprise of the season so far, We seem to be nicely poised though to push on and hopefully retain the title.

Future transfer issues.

Left Midfield/Left back

Summer signing Sander Puri has announced he will retire at the end of this season, Sergi Zenjov wants a player/U19 coach on a €2,500pw contract a €2,000pw wage increase so unless that changes they will both leave at the end of the summer. Ken Kallaste will also leave from the left back options so that leaves Tristan Koskor who is our main left back and youngster Mark Anders Lepik as our options.


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The first decision we will have to take is over Kosker, do we see him as a wing back or midfielder, I think this will be influenced by the possible targets who we find.
Regarding Lepik our assistant doesn't rate him highly but a potential 3* appeals to me, we look at his attributes , he's quick, can cross, dribble and pass. The main concerns are around his work rate and stamina which we are working on, I think I will introduce him to more first team football this season and see how he performs potentially leaving the transfer decision until the end of the season.


Centre Midfield

Sommets is who I want to build my midfield around and at 22 he's already my best player, Vassiljev at 37 has 18 months length so this will be need to be an area to address. Miller while better than Poom according to the assistant hasn't returned the same level of performance and I don't see him as a first team player long term but could improve another Estonian team so I will look to move him on.


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Shein, IIjin and Penu have the potential to be squad players at most but Smirnov could potentially be a first team starter.

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Like Lepik the lack of stamina, work rate are concerns. Mentally he needs to improve massively at 18 he's been given a two year deal and promoted to the U21's and exposed to first team football in the 3rd division and he's playing well. Unless we see a big jump by the end of the season or at most 18 months I think a transfer will be needed here to improve our options.

Estonia Nations league draw


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As you can see we have improved from 115th to 108th and with 3 teams who I'd argue should be beatable we have another chance to move up the rankings.
 

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May 2022
May has been another busy month with league and cup games, Rotating the squad has been key with a game every Saturday and Wednesday. And we start with 3 games vs the same team.


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The first of three games vs Vaprus was in the league and we beat them 1-0 with Alliku scoring, A second league game vs Vasprus that week ended 2-1 with Alliku scoring both. Now by game 3 the cup semi my squad were depleted so we rotated and Vaprus took the game to extra time in which I unleashed the first team off the bench, 4 quickfire goals made it 4-0 at Half time in Extra time, Vaprus scored two late on but counted for nothing, Cup final bound. Jurgens scored a 5 minute hat trick vs Tartu to help us win 3-0 and Inter aren't letting us extend his loan so a striker at the end of the season is a priority to target. A tired team secured a 1-1 draw vs Paide before the Cup Final in which Nomme Kalju outplayed us but the firepower of Sapovalou was too much for them (The eyes of Russian clubs are watching him) Cup winners means we have won all 3 competitions in my first 18 months at the club. Paide then suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of my old guard in Puri, Alliku and Vassiljev. We rounded off the month with a 3-0 win over bottom of the table Nomme United with all 3 of my top scorers on the scoresheet.

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7 points clear at the halfway mark we shouldn't lose it from here but europe is around the corner and I'm sure that will put some strain on the squad, But I'm relishing seeing if some of my youngsters can step up and the 7 point gap gives us some security to rotate.

TRANSFER WINDOW IS NOW OPEN

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You are probably right Dan, you have established a decent buffer between yourself and TJK. 

European competition always puts an additional strain on your squad buy as a seasoned player I know you will rotate to ensure that most players aren't at a high risk of injury etc. 

Keep up the good work 

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2 hours ago, MattyLewis11 said:

You are probably right Dan, you have established a decent buffer between yourself and TJK. 

European competition always puts an additional strain on your squad buy as a seasoned player I know you will rotate to ensure that most players aren't at a high risk of injury etc. 

Keep up the good work 

Cheers Matty, been a busy night playing through June, two signings made. Update in the morning. 

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