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The King of the Rhine Challenge

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King of The Rhine Challenge

Create a coach, I suggest with a minimum of a Continental B and Professional experience.


At a minimum you must have Both Swiss Leagues, both Netherlands Leagues, and All 3 German Leagues Playable, and Prevent the use of the in-game editor in the database you use.


Start the game as the Head FC Schauffhausen, in the Swiss 2nd League, with the Early Preseason (6/19/2023) Start Date.  There is an optional rule for this below.


The object of this challenge is to win the following leagues and trophies:




2. Bundesliga

3. Bundesliga

DFB Pokal




Eerste Divisie

Dutch Cup



Raiffeisen Super League

Brack.ch Challenge League

Swiss Cup



Europa Conference League

Europa League

Champions League


But you can only coach teams that are located on or near (~25KM) the Rhine River.

Those Teams (and where they start in 23/24) are:


Team League   Team League   Team League
Bayer 04 Leverkusen Bundesliga   NEC Nijmegen Eredivisie   Basel Super League
Mainz 05 Bundesliga   Feyenoord Eredivisie   FC Schaffhausen Swiss Challenge League
1. FC Köln Bundesliga   Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie      
Darmstadt 98 Bundesliga   Excelsior Eredivisie      
Fortuna Düsseldorf 2. Bundesliga   SBV Vitesse Eredivisie      
Karlsruher SC 2. Bundesliga   FC Dordrecht Eerste Divisie      
SV Wehen Wiesbaden 2. Bundesliga   Top Oss Eerste Divisie      
SV Waldhof Mannheim 3. Liga   FC Den Bosch Eerste Divisie      
Viktoria Köln 3. Liga            
MSV Duisburg 3. Liga            
SV Sandhausen 3. Liga            


If I am missing a team, let me know, as long as its ~25KM away from the river.  Tribuatraies do not count.  The Geographer in me will cry, but I will add it to the list.  It must be a base database playable team though.

Other Game Rules: 

None, really.  Play to your style and preference.  If you want to use a DOF at each club, or let the Chief Scout handle everything scouting related, thats fine.  Whatever you are comfortable with.

Coaching Movement Rules:

The only restriction I have is that they must be logical.

Lateral Promotions within the League you are in are fine.  If you take the bottom of the Eredivisie table Vitesse job and Feyenoord asks you to interview, go for it. Likewise, if you just took Fortuna Dusseldorf to the top of 2.Liga and top half of the table Bayer comes calling, moving there would make sense.  This is why I am starting this challenge with everyone at FC Schauffhausen, as the only Swiss 2nd Team club I do not see very many paths ending up there, and it makes a good starting point.  OPTIONAL RULE:  Start at a 3.Liga club of your choice, but the path to the HC at FC Schauffhausen must be logical, IE a 3. Liga Club to Schauffhausen.

As the teams will move, depending on your path, it may be possible you did not want to sit and wait for a 3. Liga job to open, and took a job at a recently demoted Mainz Club, won 2. Liga, are now in the Bundesliga, and the Viktoria Koln job is open. Could you resign and take the Viktoria Job? Sure. Should you? That's a judgment call.  I have no problems with taking a club in 3. Liga all the way to the top, but an additional OPTIONAL RULE is:

You must win the Dutch and German LEAGUE competitions with different teams.

If you are fired, you must find a job with another team on the list. This is why I am starting the Challenge with FC Schauffhausen. As the only Swiss Lower League Team available, success there means you don't have to worry about it.  If you win at a club, and want to resign and 'job hunt' for a "Better" team on the list, that is fine as well.

As for what to post, your progress, coaching moves, reasons why you are leaving/taking a job, favorite players, wild scores, title game results, things like that.  A good Youth player is fine, the entire youth Intake, not so much. 

Questions, Criticisms, Comments, let me know.  I'll start posting my own save here after I get a couple of seasons played.


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Season 1 of the challenge, at Fussballclub Schaffhausen. 

Remarkably, because it is late and I am a bit tired, I have not been able to find a lot of information about the club online.  Heck, the team history on Football Manager is more expansive than their entry on Wikipedia.

That said, I chose to start the challenge with this club for a reason:  By the rules of the challenge I need to win the Brack.ch Challenge League, and this is the only team I can do that with.   The league is currently 44th in the Rankings, for comparison purposes 3. Liga is 53rd, the Keuken Kampioen Divisie is 38th, the 2. Bundesliga is 27th, the Raiffeisen Super League 11th, the Eredivisie 6th, and the Bundesliga 4th.   But there are more teams to play in the German and Dutch Divisions.  Starting with one of them, then tryin to move to Schaffhausen?  Not improbable, but unlikely.

The Club itself was predicted to finish 8th, but that's at 25-1 odds, with recently relegated Sion picked to go back up.  And, truth be told, the squad isn't actually that bad.  Yes, it has some deadweight, yes the club isn't as financially strong as it could be (And we are being honest, Swiss football finances as a whole are just...strange...), and while it doesn't have any world class player's on the squad, it has a lot of very good players for this level of football.  

My Attributes are pretty pedestrian:



And the club itself doesn't have anything out of the ordinary when it comes to rules, signings and the like:


The finances aren't...horrible, there's a little bit of wiggle room:


Especially when we let some player go.  But holy heck, IS it a large roster.

Senior Squad, U21, U19, and U18, 72 players, it adds up.

Annoyingly, the scouting budget for Europe would cost us 140K, so I am not going to be using the full package right away, may cheese it for a couple of weeks in December though.

We're going to be using a 4-3-3 Positive Fluid Counterattack formation, at least initially:


I am not going to highlight all 11 starters, but the ones I think are going to have the most impact on the season.

Also, as a note, as you may be able to tell, I am using the Mustermann Attributeless Skin. I've also tweaked the Attribute Ranges to my own liking, as follows:

RED: 1-7

ORANGE: 8-12

BLUE: 13-16

GREEN: 17-20

Simon Enzler is the First Team Goalkeeper.  And the depth behind him is OK, but could be better.  

Simone Stroscio is a loan player from Grasshoppers, who can play either the DM or M(C) position.

Agustín González is one of our Foreign Players.  We only get to have 3 Non EU players in the starting 11, but he is probably our most well rounded midfield player.

Liridon Balaj is a loan player from Deinze who is also taking up a foreign slot.  I suspect thats because he's originally from Kosovo.  Great Physicals and flair, I expect him to be a key creator in the squad.

Neftali Manzambi is a loan player from our Senior Affiliate, Winterthur.  He's probably the best option we have up top.  Pedro Martin is 31, and a slightly better shooter, but Neftali's Composure, Quickness, Final Third and Aerial make him my first choice striker


Martin is still a good striker, and if forced to play a 2 striker formation, or if Neftali goes out with injury, Pedro is a quality backup.

The one position I am not happy with is D(L).  My only option at the moment is a physically good, technically below average 20 y/o whose 2 Star CA / 4 Star PA, and then a group of youth players who average age is 15.3.  I had set up my scouting to look at youth players in Switzerland, 1 scout at the Swiss Super League and our League, the other scoput to look at the U21, U19 and U18 competitions, and the players who were willing to come here just weren't that good, and the players I wanted to bring in from good teams all had monthly fee's and salary expectations attached, which we just can't afford.  So I went to my GM, and said "Hey, do you know of any D(L)'s who would be willing to come here on a loan?

One of his options was a young Brazilian on the Chapecoense Reserve squad named Mancha.  They were desperate enough to get him first team playing time anywhere they didn't ask for any salary contributions or anything, and he was so desperate to get first team playing time he showed up the next day.

After that, it was the usual preseason duties:  Setting responsibilities.  Moving coaches out, bringing coaches in.  I released 5 players who have no future here (and if we're being honest nowhere really), and other than Mancha, I didn't have an incoming transfers.  I had 5 players go out on loan.

Our biggest move of the preseason was to probably hire a Set Piece coach and new HOYD:


I don't know how many Youth Intakes I'll be around for, but I like to leave at least a good foundation for those who follow, which is why I also filled in every Staff vacancy we had.  At the end of the preseason, we had improved the teams overall coaching drastically, 

I think we can win the league, in looking at the other teams the only ones I am really worried about are Thun and Sion, whose rosters are quite comparable to ours.  

Of course, the kicker would be finishing 2nd and winning in the promotion playoff...Hey Ma!, I go t promoted and didn't win the division!

This save idea seemed interesting at the time...but I am looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading!




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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the first season was definitely interesting...

We had no money, heck we had a negative transfer balance, and our salary for personnel signings was also capped.  That said, I managed to replace a couple of bad coaches with....less bad ones.

The one transfer move we did make was for this guy:



Yes, he hates big games, but Physically speaking he's one of the better players on the club, and he plays CWB fairly well.  He's an upgrade to our defensive back line, that's for sure.  I let a bunch of older and younger player with no potential leave on a free, and while individually speaking their salaries were not that high, in total they helped alleviate some of the pain.

Preseason training went well, the friendlies went well, and when the season started, I was hoping for an upper table finish.  In terms of the save the worst would be finishing 2nd, because that would be getting promoted without winning,




We absolutely got lucky against Wil, and I am not that upset losing to Sion, they have a better roster than we do, and they played like it.  It was slightly worrying when Neftali Manzambi wasn't scoring as often as he was in the friendlies, but Balaj was doing a stellar job from the right AM position.  We would have lost the Thun game, we really deserved to, but and 86th minute Manzambi goal allowed us to equalize.  The win at Vaduz was also nice, they have a pretty strong squad as well.  The draw at Stade Nyonnais should have been a loss as well, if not for some stellar performances by Enzler and D(C) Lurvink they would have.  3 shots on goal and they has a .9 XG, meanwhile our offense consisted ofd trying to blast it in from distance...

The year ended on a decent note:



Losing at St. Gallen was...galling...but they were more clinical with the ball and made the most of their opportunities, while our 1 clear cut chance from 19 shots did us no favors and we were knocked out of the Schweizer Cup...Willy Vogt clawed the draw back for us against Thun, thankfully.  We stomped a mediocre Baden team, pipped Vaduz again, and drew at Xamax, who frankly are a team that fits the "Which version is going to show up today" designation quite well.  I didn't realize until the break we had only lost 2 games in the League, both to Sion, but I did realize how many games we drew when I saw we were in 3rd place on 32 points, with 8 draws and 2 losses to go with out 8 wins.

With no money in the transfer budget, and noone willing to come in on loan for the salaries we were able to play, I didn't sign anyone.  Could I have signed a few players?  Yes.  Would they have improved the team?  Well, they wouldn't have made it worse, but why buy more financial difficulties when you don't need to.

Simon Enzler went out for a few weeks with an injury, and our midfield rotation also decided that at least one of them would be out for a couple of weeks at a time as well, so come the winter break, I switch from the 4-3-3- to a 4-1DM-1- 4 Assymetric, bring 31 y/o Perdo Martin in as a striker up top.

I should have done it sooner.

Martin as a PF consistently pulled multiple defenders away, allowing Balaj and Manzambi more opportunities, and when the defense moved to cover one of the others, it left Pedro open, and as a result, we went on an absolute tear:




We weren't just winning, but dominating in possession Shots, shots on target...except against Baden.

I do not know what happened in that game. I know we should have lost...




The Youth Intake also happened, it was nothing to write home about, our best prospect is a 1/4 CA/PA D(C) who might have a future as a squad player for a lower league club...

I have no idea whats going on with their heat map.  I do know I cursed so loud when Wiskemann scored in the 93rd minute I woke my dog up, and when Martin clawed the draw back in the 96th minute I yelled so loud I woke my wife up...so there's that.  The best result was the 5-0 at Sion.  IIRC this brought us close to or even with them on point, we battered them.  Properly.  We were already winning 2-0 after 56, but the we scored 3 more in 8 minutes, the only 'bad' thing about this match was Manzambi missing a PK...

The last two months of the season, the only cause for concern was injuries, and Manzambi going out for 4-6 weeks with a hernia would have been bad, if we didn't have Pedro martin.  Switching back to the 4-3-3 he filled in quite well up top:




We got our revenge on Baden, stumbled against Xamax, but the good news is that while we stumbled, Sion was falling off a cliff, losing 3 of their last 4 games.  In fact, since March they went 4-2-6.  That helped us win the league somewhat comfortably.




On the whole, it was a well rounded performance from the squad:



But we are in trouble going into the next season.  With a transfer budget of €848K, and a payroll of €1,945,000 p/a for our season in the top flight, our big issues isn't going to be replacing the 42 goals and 12 assists that Manzambi and Balaj gave us (as neither parent clubs want to loan them again to us), but finding capable replacements for them.  We are going to hit the loan market as best as we can, and I'll try and scout outside of Switzerland, see what the intermediaries and my GM can do, but we are in a relegation fight next season.

That said, the toughest part of this challenge is probably over, until the next toughest one.

Progress so far:


Thanks for Reading!




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