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[FM24] Baltic Blitz – Lechia Gdansk


rkosatiy
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Okay, this got extremely unenjoyable fast.

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Missed many chances at home, got a pen for a handball in a corner. 
 

Another corner cost us the first appearance in UCL. 2 shots on target in 2 games and we‘re out, tough to swallow tbh after two penalty losses in the past.

Edited by rkosatiy
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After taking some rest, I'm ready to run towards my fate.

This summer was rather uneventful for our squad – with only two changes in the starting 11 – both in defensive 4. Franjic and Mario both left for Saudi for 5M and 1.9M respectively.

The planned addition was Vitaly Klymenko from the Serbian League. To be fair, I was hesitant about him because of the jumping reach but he has already managed to score 3 headers.

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Then, after selling Mario, I had to find another defender. I grew tired of my scheme and decided to try an Inverted Full-Back on the right. Please welcome David Brekalo. Almost 3M for 28 y.o. defender is not magnificent, but we gotta spend to stay on top (back then I was hopeful about UCL...).

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Doing fairly well on the pitch. Lech, Legia, and Pogon were defeated, with Repka starring in the last game.

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Unfortunately, the fans aren't hooked up yet, Lechia is still the lowest by far in season tickets sold. Let's see what a home battle against Sevilla will bring. Despite all the disappointment, we managed to get 8.5M in prize money already, and now it's time to sell some home tickets too!

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Dariusz Pomorski is no Sam Altman, but the band loves him too!

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  • 2 weeks later...

After a long pause, the journey continues. Let's dwell on the past first.

Season 2027/2028 – Europe

Despite early struggles, this was our best European performance so far – the home loss to Besiktas was the only one we suffered during the entire League Phase. 

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The draw was kind and we crushed Fehervar for the second time this season, but then suffered a close loss to Braga. Still, reaching the Round of 16 was quite an achievement.

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18 coeff points for Lechia and 10 points for Poland haven't moved our nation upwards in the rankings – I'm certain this is the last season Ekstaklasa delegates only 1 team to CL.

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Season 2027/2028 – Domestic

We won the cup! Arka, our archrival, was outplayed by our reserves in the second round.

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Then we faced two of the best teams – Legia in the semis – who, to be honest, dominated us throughout most of the game, but fell short in the end.

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The pattern in the final was similar – we conceded but then two late goals turned the game upside down. 

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A beautiful strike by our winter addition Edin Maric (who replaced Anderson because of his season-ending injury) equalized the game, and then Pogon's own Lukasz Skiba got us the trophy!

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The league, though, was not a cakewalk for us at all. Throughout the first half of the season, we were among the contenders, but playing twice a week proved to be too much of a challenge for us once again. We need to be deeper and improve physically to compete in the league. Earning 20 points fewer than in the previous season is nothing but a disappointment. 

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Glad to see someone has the same journey as myself, although Scottish I spend a lot of time in Gdansk and follow the team closely, I started my save a few weeks agao and now into the February transfer window. sitting in second in the league (1 point of top) but a few teams a point behind me, next game is QF of the cup against Poznan :-]  Zjawinski has been a machine so far for me with 20 goals although now having his head turned. You have any idea why Dusan Kusiak cannot be registered until the following summer? he is on big money and a legend goalkeeper at the club you can't use in first season.

 

Good luck with your journey

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On 05/12/2023 at 19:45, Ewenmac1 said:

Glad to see someone has the same journey as myself, although Scottish I spend a lot of time in Gdansk and follow the team closely, I started my save a few weeks agao and now into the February transfer window. sitting in second in the league (1 point of top) but a few teams a point behind me, next game is QF of the cup against Poznan :-]  Zjawinski has been a machine so far for me with 20 goals although now having his head turned. You have any idea why Dusan Kusiak cannot be registered until the following summer? he is on big money and a legend goalkeeper at the club you can't use in first season.

 

Good luck with your journey

Nice to learn that you're enjoying the career too! Good luck in QF, Lechia's squad is strong enough from the start to progress even past that.

I've tried to figure out what happened with Kusiak but to no avail – Transfermarkt states that he is away from the team, but no specific reason is given. Having him would've saved many of my nerves early on :)

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2028/2029 (Season 6) – Outgoing Transfers

The past season once again showed that our current squad was unable to perform consistently across all competitions. We have more than enough attacking players in rotation, but other positions are not that deep. Moreover, despite reaching the Round of 16 in EL, the club only has around 2M available for transfers. Bringing impactful free agents has become increasingly difficult as our talent level has grown. To be able to spend more we had to make a few tough sells.  We did indeed.

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First and foremost, we say our farewells to the local icon, Ronaldo Tavares. 76 goals and 20 assists in 126 league games were immense – he was a top goalscorer for 3 straight seasons. 

Pedro Pelagio was the backbone of our center and served as captain in the last season. However, he is 28 already, and leaving for the Championship made sense.  Nadiem Amiri, an engine of our 4-4-2, was a great pairing for Pelagio, but I was focused on changing the way we see the game. The highest earner clause started to worry me too. Rafel Obrador, a crafty left-back, the first of many among Castilla recruits, got himself an excellent deal, a new record fee received for the club. 


Before the introduction of our additions, a few words have to be said about the offers that haven't led to eventual transfers.

Robert Musial had an up-and-down season last year, mixing up horrendous mistakes with epic penalty stops. Reading offered 12M, and the board accepted, however, the player chose to stay. Even though I have almost given up on him ten thousand times, his attributes make him our most talented player (maybe even in the whole league). One day he can be as good as Wojciech Szczęsny.

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Janis Antiste truly restarted his career in Gdansk. He is not as impactful as Ronaldo and of course not as skilled as Karim Benzema, but a very good team piece nonetheless. Despite blasting at the start of the season, he refused to join Stuttgart for 9M and stayed with us to compete.

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Klymenko might be the hardest one to keepAlthough no team has offered agreed 8M, his contract has less than 2 years left on it, and the winter is coming.
 
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2028/2029 – Incoming Transfers

Well, it's 4-2-3-1 Gegenpress time! :lock:

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You've just met Musial, Klymenko and Antiste. Kofi Balmer is our captain now and started his 4th season in a white-and-green uniform. Skiba and Nielsen are the young stars learning to play on different wings. Now let's proceed to the additions.

Ethan Laird is another free agent who decided to join us. As we almost exclusively played IFB on the right, having a player of his physical abilities will give us more power on the flank.

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Selling Obrador left us with the hole on the left – even though we can use a few guys as IFB there, there was no true wing-back on the team. At least, until Marek Urbanski arrived (it was so late that he was not registered for EL). A lot there to learn for him about the game (e.g. how to play on the left :)), but his pace and mindset are outstanding for 19 y.o.

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Montolio, Roncevic and Zendejas form our new center. All three are excellent passers and pretty dynamic, although not as hard-working as I would like.

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We have made efforts to secure the future. This time the clause was activated for Lech's player – let's see if he will break through to the starting 11 by the end of the season. 

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Overall, I'm quite excited by the summer improvements, but it would take time to rebuild the chemistry and tactical understanding for sure.

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2028/2029 – First Results

As some of our players left for the first international break of the season, let's look at how the game treats us so far.

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We have managed to reach the Europa League proper fairly easily, with Leuven being the most challenging opponent. Alas, we are not doing so great in groups so far, losing to Slovan while dominating and drawing the Gent game at home because of the late slip.

Belgium is currently in 15th place, right above us – getting there would give us 2 teams in UCL qualifications. It is highly unlikely we'll do it for next season since only Legia advanced to groups (and they are in UCL, so getting more points is challenging). Anyway, eventually it is happening, we need to earn the megaTV deal!

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On the domestic front, things are going smoothly. Losing the SuperPuchar to Legia is no surprise, we put up a good fight tho. Losing to Cracovia being 2-0 ahead stinks, but we were the 2nd best team in the game by far. Excited to return to management, see you soon!

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Edited by rkosatiy
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  • 2 months later...

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So, what made me take such a long pause? 

Our best striker, Lucas Nielsen, decided to leave for Saudi, declining a contract offer from Atletico Madrid which would've netted us 18M straight up! 

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The Saudi deal has only one advantage though – 50% from the next transfer. To cash in on that we have to push forward. So let's look at the first half of the season and move on.

The League

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A two-team race is still on, but our comeback win at home was a gem of the fall.

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Europe

For a second year in a row, Lechia will feature on a playoff stage of the Europa League. Unfortunately, we got the toughest possible draw, Real Betis. Knocking them out is a loooong shot, especially without Nielsen.

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No incoming transfers are planned, and all business will be conducted after the season ends. Thanks to the summer sale and Nielsen's departure, our finances are becoming more stable. Let's see if his clause will get activated (or at least bought out). See you soon!

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2028/2029 – Season 6: Spring

Let's jump in right where we left off – the Round of 16 matches vs. Borussia M. The Unbelievable density of events in the first 20 minutes shocked the home crowd. 

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A new record was set – more than 30000 people visited Polsat Arena that night.

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Lechia drew away the game 1-1 fairly easily and advanced to a 1/4 Final of the Europa League for the first time!

Valencia was a tough matchup, we were in the mix in both games but eventually fell short at Mestalla.

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The League Battle

As you know, the first half of the season was extremely intense – the reigning champs from the capital were just 2 points behind when winter came.

A winning streak complimented our march through the EL playoff during February and March – 8 in a row. 

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The craziest game by far was against struggling Rakow. By the 80th minute, we were at a 2-4 deficit, but mounted a tremendous comeback from the dead nonetheless. 

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I felt nothing could stop us from taking the title back from Legia. Well, at the beginning of April, the two midweek games vs. Valencia and a couple of injuries caused the extensive rotation. A crushing defeat from Jagellonia at home followed. 3 days later our Europe run was over too.

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Only 4 points were between us and Legia now. Nothing crazy, but a comfortable handicap anyway. We just had to keep on winning.

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Of course, crazy things began to happen. In the next two games, marked by total domination of Pomorski's team, Lechia got 2 points.

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Our rival, Legia, had their loss too, the 3-point lead still was there after this turbulence. However, in Matchday 33, second to last, Legia hosted the match against us. Pomorski leaned on a conservative tactic that proved itself well vs. superior teams like Valencia and Borussia – keeping the ball and not forcing things too much. Still got a loss though. A close one barely deserved one, but still a loss. 

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The only advantage left after the game is the goal difference. The title nearly floated away from us. The last chance to save the season.

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What made the fall more dramatic for Pomorski is that Poland is expected to finish 16th in the Coefficient race. Only the champion will represent the country in the Champions League qualification next season.  No room for error.

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Edited by rkosatiy
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