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[FM24] FC Ruggell - Youth Only in Liechtenstein


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The Save Background

For those who don't know, getting a Liechtensteiner club into the Champions League is near impossible. To qualify for the Europa Conference League, you have to the win the Liechtenstein Cup. Once you have done this you have to win the Europa Conference League, to qualify for Europa League and then win the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League. This all has to happen in concurrent years, else you are back to the ECL! To make this harder (that it needs to be), I will be making this save Youth Only, this means the only players new to the club each season will be via the youth intake (no transfers/loans in).

Realistically, any success in Liechtenstein, Switzerland will be amazing. Challenging in Europe is going to definitely be a stretch target!

The Club


FC Ruggell is a Liechtensteiner amateur football team that plays in Liechtenstein. It is one of the seven official teams in the nation. They play in the Swiss Football League in 3. Liga, which is the seventh tier. The team annually competes in the Liechtensteiner Cup. The club has never won the tournament but has reached the final an impressive 7 times.

Liechtenstein's football grounds are known for their outstanding scenery and FC Ruggell's ground at Freizeitpark Widau is no different! Bucket list item!


Notable Mentions and What’s Next!

@Warg92 Currently with FC Schaan doing a similar challenge that can be found here

@JBZ for the creation of the database which can be found here.

Hopp Ruggell!

Edited by Branst23
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Season by Season Summary

Spoiler - to catch up where we are currently - reveal below


Season 1: Champions of OFV 3.Liga. Runners up in Liechtenstein Cup. End of season 1 post here

Season 2: Champions of OFC 2.Liga. Knocked out of Liechtenstein Cup in 2nd round. End of season 2 post here

Season 3: 4th in OFC 1.Liga. Knocked out of Liechtenstein Cup in Semi Final. End of season 3 post here

Season 4: 2nd in OFC 1.Liga - promoted. Knocked out of Liechtenstein Cup in Semi Final. End of season 4 post here

Season 5: 6th in 1. Liga Classic. Knocked out of Liechtenstein Cup in Quarter Final. End of season 5 post here


Edited by Branst23
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Season 1 - June 2023


Supports culture fits perfectly with the challenge! Will be key to improve youth facilities and junior coaching as we progress.


Coaching Course

Started off with no badges and sunday league experience... first things first, let's get the education underway!


Initial Squad Overview


Best Players



Season yet to get underway, just lots of admin! Lets hope the amateur side doesn't lose too many players on frees! 

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Season 1 - July 2023

Preseason under way, all about minutes into legs and boosting morale by playing lower reputation opposition. Lost a few players on free transfers (I can not wait to become a semi-pro side so this doesn't happen!)


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Season 1 - August 2023



Perfect start to the season, two wins out of two! Lost a few back up and reserve players on free transfers! 



Over pre-season tried to tweak the tactic slightly and have settled on the following. Aim's to press high, use overlapping players and has the CAM arrive late into the box! Success so far


We move!

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Season 1 - September 2023



A second unbeaten month to kick off the league campgain! Seems like we will be part of 3 or 4 teams fighting it out for the title in the first year, judging by the first two months. We also kicked off our Liechtenstein Cup campaign against our 2nd team and avoided egg our face by winning comfortably.

Off The field

Huge news off the field as we make leeps forwards to secure better intakes going forward. Both junior coaching and youth recruiment improved!




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Season 1 - October 2023



What a month of football! Unbeaten in the league still and managing to slightly rotate the side ahead of cup games. Not expecting to do much in the cup first year as boosting the rep and getting up the leagues is important! Lets hope we avoid Vaduz in the cup! Putting a gap between us and FC Besa is important as no doubt we will lose a point when the FM Gods want us to!

More good news off the field... First badge down, next one started!


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Season 1 - December/January/February/March



The winning streak continues, two friendlies to gain fitness after the winter break and then two wins in the league. Lucky for us FC Besa and Rebstein dropped points allowing us to extend the gap!

Off the pitch, I managed to convince the board to let me undertake my 3rd coaching badge!


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2024 - Youth Intake

The first and most important day each year of the save... Youth Intake Day! Wasn't expecting much from the intake based on the preview....


Initially it looks better than I first thought but I can't see any of these players playing more than a squad role unless our first team gets sold due to the amateur contracts they are on!

Elite Talents



Top Talents



Good potential on these four recruits, will put them in the 2nd team so they are getting game time as unfortantely the U18 and U19 teams aren't yet in leagues!


We will keep continuing to upgrade youth facilities, junior coaching and look for a better Head of Youth Development each season! Onwards and upwards (hopefully!)

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Best of luck with this, I'll be following.

If you haven't already, I recommend reading the book Stamping Grounds - it's all about the Liechtenstein national team and football in the country in general.

It's a great read and you can't help but fall in love with the country a little bit after reading it!

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10 minutes ago, King Costly said:

Best of luck with this, I'll be following.

If you haven't already, I recommend reading the book Stamping Grounds - it's all about the Liechtenstein national team and football in the country in general.

It's a great read and you can't help but fall in love with the country a little bit after reading it!

Thank you! I think it's going to be quite the challenge!

Definitely will take a read of the book! Where does your love affair with Liechtenstein football come from?

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Season 1 - April 2024



I think I can safely say, that is promotion wrapped up ahead of it actually being confirmed! Lets hope we are able to make it unbeaten season!

In the cup we managed to beat Vaduz 2 team, which sets up a final against their first XI! I can't imagine we will get anything out of the final but who's not dreaming about a 7th tier side getting qualification to Europe! I think we might get destroyed!

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Season 1 - May 2024




Hopefully the first of many as we are crowned champions in our first season! Lets try to make it an unbeaten season! Delighted to get out of this tier within the first season!


Disappointment in the Cup Final, after we hit the post inside the first five minutes, I was encouraged only for an early red card to completely turn the game.

Off the field

More importantly, another two improvements signed off!




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Season 1 - June 2024/End of Season


The FM curse strikes, win the league and then can't hit a barn door with a banjo! First loss in the league, can't really complain but always want to be unbeaten!

In other news, second team managed to get promoted which is good sign!


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Season 2 Preseason

As we start in season 2, OFV 2.Liga will provide a challenge as we are predicted to finish 9th. This is ultimately due to losing 3 of our best players on free transfers!


The Key players we lost:

Our first choice AMR, GK and LB, this massively weakens our starting XI. I now will have to use our first youth intake as squad players. Our squad going into season 2 is weaker than season 1!




As we were promoted, this did boost our bank balance and we are now attempting to buy the stadium, hoping this provides more income in the future.



Our new HoYD had better attributes and personality, hoping he is a key man for this season. I imagine we will be trying to upgrade our HoYD each year as our reputation grows.


We also managed to get sign off on our next coaching badge.


Feel like we will need luck on our side to do well in the league and prayers for a decent youth intake!

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6 hours ago, Branst23 said:

Thank you! I think it's going to be quite the challenge!

Definitely will take a read of the book! Where does your love affair with Liechtenstein football come from?

It's a challenge I've always considered doing but just never got round to it.

I just love a good underdog story and managed Vaduz in an old FM. I always find teams playing in other countries really interesting as well.

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Season 2 - September 2024



The first month where we have been questioned in the league. The Wittenbach game was frustrating as we dominated and had an XG in our favour of 2.02-0.61, first shot on target for them and they score! Followed up against Triesenberg, where we got an early red card just after we took the league. One of those times where you feel like the luck modifier has changed since you played last time!

Continuing to ask the board for upgrades on facilities and turn semi-pro but they aren't accepting at the moment. We have over £100k in the bank, so fingers crossed they start to help us on our journey!

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Season 2 - October 2024



Well no cup run this year... One of them games where Schaan had 8 shots at goal and 7 went in. 4 players with a rating of under 6.0. I hope this allows us to be successful in the league as will have less fixtures to worry about. After last season's performance in the cup, I was hoping for a repeat if not one better but sadly no. I think the 4 key players that left on a free have caused a lot of gaps in the side. The early cup exit also caused us to fail one of our objectives of reaching the latter stages, the board rating is still at A+ so this shouldn't be an issue.

In the league, a real mix month. Felt some things I couldn't do anything about regardless of the tactical tweaks made in game. We drift from the top of the league slightly but still right around there. Hopefully this is our bad month and we get back to being consistent.

To give you an example of the luck in front of goal we are having at the moment...


One good thing...


One bad thing... (hope this isn't the start of them rejecting the youth improvements)


Never did I expect them to be so pleased to study for coaching badges especially on an amateur contract!


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Season 2 - November 2024



As we head into the winter break, we manage to win 3 out of 4 in this block of games. That puts us back top which is great considering last months dip in form. Even when we are losing (apart from the cup exit) we are dominating the game which higher XG and possession.

One thing that is holding us back when I have looked into the analysis of the tactic/players is this...


We are creating the changes but the lack of quality striker is letting us down!

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Season 2 - Youth Intake


Lets go! We needed that intake as we have been down to the bare bones after 4 of our best players got poached in the summer! Nick Fries is no chip off the block (excuse the pun)

The Best Players

Clear that Nick Fries 25B is a standout!





We keep on progressing, better facilities, coaching and HoYD!

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Season 2 - May 2025


Well it all comes down to the final game, we need a point (due to the differentiator being the discipline record ahead of goal difference, H2H record!).

Off the pitch, more coaching badges. Finances in the red, so no other upgrades.image.png.ae8ac8cb4735b0a054fc786f98ace290.png

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Season 2 - June 2025/End of Season



We did it! Two good wins in the last month of the season to clinch two trophies! Winning the league and the regional cup which is between both group winners!

Off the field

The biggest change is managing to turn semi-pro! This means players won't be nicked mid-season and will help with our finances. Allowing us to keep our highest potential players!


Of course we also signed our first contract. (Including the bug I have reported multiple times - if you start as an amateur manager, you never get a wage regardless of semi-pro/pro contract, so we will always earn N/A!)


Another step to improve youth intakes too!




What a season! This might just be the start of a building process, the leagues will get tougher so we might not get another promotion for a while, but semi-pro gives security!

Edited by Branst23
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6 minutes ago, AM23 said:

I think I remember your thread from last year, though I can't recall how far you actually came with the challenge. Anyways, good to see you give it another go and good luck! 

Thanks, yes managed Ruggell last year and got to the EL but I could sign anyone I wanted. This time it's so much harder as youth only!

Lets go - glad to have you along for the ride!

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Season 3 - Preseason

A bank loan of £250k taken out, not sure this was the best use of our money but at some stage we were going to have to bite the bullet!


Training facilities downgraded due to pressing the space bar a few times (going forward in time)



As we move into the next season, it's going to be a big step up compared to the last two seasons. The 2. Liga Interregional Gruppe 4 preview:


The biggest piece of work this pre-season was getting all the players tied down on semi-pro contracts. This avoids the headache of players randomly leaving on a free but does cost the club money. We have to do it for the future of the higher potential players in the squad. We do have two players that require work-permits who at the moment, we are unable to play in the league (this is due to signing them to a semi-pro deal). Fingers crosed they get allowed to play else we are spending wages on players that aren't able to work. If we are unable to get a work permit for the players, we will have to try to sell these as soon as possible. Frustrating as they are two first teamers from last season! The rules below, show it's unlikely!


Positive pre-season, again all about building morale in lower league, so playing weak opponents.


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Season 3 - August 2025



Positive start to the season, being unbeaten after 4 games. I have started to give youth players more of a chance in the first team as some of our "original" players are aging. This includes training them in other positions to what they came through as naturally.

I have started using squirell_plays squad analysis python tool, this allows me to move away from my excel spreadsheet analysis to a more strategic tool. The tool basically adds up all the "key" attributes, times by a weighting and then divide to give a score. This is so key to enable us to understand the landscope of our youth intakes and where we should be putting our attention. To find out more about the tool, please look here.

Starting XI


IF  -  AM  -  IW


CWB  CB  -  BPD -  IFB


Check out the IW screenshot in the links above, clearly our best newgen!

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Season 3 - September 2025



The first game of the month, saw 5 of our first team away on international duty, this left us lifeless in the game, completely outplayed. 2nd game of the month saw us draw thanks to the oppositions keeper crossing the ball after a corner to the back post to a player completely unmarked!

Off the field, we managed to sell both of the players that didn't get a work permit at the start of the season. We even managed to pick up a £3.5k fee, breaking the transfer record for sure!

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Season 3 - March 2026


Straight out of the winter break into March and 3 out of 3 including a right "humdinger" against Bulach! Put us 2nd in the league which is great progress. The youth intake should boost our squad as it can only make us stronger! 

Off the field

Finances are in the red...


Wages are above the budget as well which is scary. I hope that the budget will increase next year but who knows with the balance being in the minus! All youth players signing on £45 when under 16 doesn't help us!

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Season 3 - April 2026



Huge form coming into the league games. I realised that if we can even finish 2nd in the league (and on more points than 2 of the other 3 groups) we will be promoted! This has got to be the aim now we are knocked out of the cup. Vaduz were too much for us, we stood little chance.

Throughout all of this, we have been playing 3 youth intake players in new positions, training them and giving them game time is the best way to get quick progress.

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Season 3 - May 2026



It's tense at the top! Too many draws! Annoyingly, with two games left, we have slipped out of the top two! This happened due to drawing the last game of the month to a 90th minute penalty! Another problem could be the next game is against Balzers and we have 5 international call-ups!

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Season 3 - Season Review


We just couldn't do enough to get over the line. Lessons learnt, international breaks really mess us around! Overall extremely happy that we were in a promotion fight rather than a relegation battle!





The first season of note where our youth intakes are breaking into the first team. Our best player is Nick Fries from 2025 intake and top scorer also from 2025 intake is Christian Dorsch! Hopefully this brings us more prospects through that can come straight into the starting XI!

Top Scorer


Best Performer


First season without a promotion! Not use to staying in the same tier, we will go again! Hopefully we can get out of this tier next time around as each season the squad is getting stronger!

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Season 4 Preview


Going into season 4, we have still been predicted to finish bottom of the table! We all know that's just because of our reputation.


We have tried to sign our two best players in Dorsch and Fries to new contracts however they don't believe the squad is good enough for them. This means in 2028 we could see both our key players leave! We definitely need a recent youth intake this year! In terms of wage budget, we are inline but have £200k debt before the season has started! This is limiting all off the field upgrades from happening.

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Season 4 - August 2026


A dodgy start to the season as we lost after being up 2-0! I believe that we are suffering a bit due to our best player Dorsch wanting to leave and I declining multiple bids, this caused the team morale to be rocked. He is contracted until 2028, hoping we can weather the storm and get out of this tier! First time a youth player has wanted to leave, hopefully we don't have to deal too much of this!

Starting XI


IF  -  AM  -  IW


CWB  CB  -  BPD -  IFB


More players from youth intakes now than "original" players in the starting XI!

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Season 4 - September 2026



Less fixtures this month than others... we have more than 4 international call ups which means we can choose to postpone games! This does make fixture conjestion hard in future months but gives us a fighting chance. Linth 04 have had a fast start!

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Season 4 - October 2026



Might need to be more careful with cancelling international friendlies, what a month of fixtures! Definitely in the hunt for promotion, need to be more consistent but struggling with injuries given the run of fixtures is hardly surprising! Also through to the semi-final of the cup!

3 games in November and then the winter break - think the players will need it!


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Season 4 - November 2026



First game of November, we lost when dominating XG. Second game was a huge win to get points on a fellow promotion contender. Then international call ups meant we were missing 7 of our first team. We move into the winter break.

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Season 4 - Youth Intake


Although it says it's a 4.5 star intake, in reality our best player is a 2.5 star player. Not the best intake, I imagine we will change HoYD at the end of this season to try and re-ignite the spark!

Our Best Intake Players


We have a shortage of LB's so this does help the team out!

Others in the intake



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Season 4 - March 2027



Poor start to the month, losing the first two games... we then got our youth intake and in the third game we managed to win. Just as I was saying our youth intake wasn't the best, our three goals all involved 2027 newgens!


Gutted, our star striker said he is going to run down his contract so will be leave in 2028. I am turning down offers of £3k for him as it seems pointless to sell him for that amount when we are £300k in debt! I may as well try to use him as much as possible to get us out of this division!


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