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darren1983

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About darren1983

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    CATQT - you'll never understand

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    Everything!

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    Brentford

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  1. Not been able to play much (nor has anyone else by look of things) lately as moved to a new flat last week. Did get some time recently though. So after leaving Pirates and Ivory Coast it took around 6 weeks to get a new job, after a couple failed interviews in South Korea I did get a job in China with..... With a motto of "Be The Best Forever" there was no pressure here I took over in August with the club in 8th place but only 6 points off the top 4 (and champions league) so that was the aim. We went 9 straight games after I took over without conceding a goal, winning 7 of them. The 10th game of that run was away to the league leaders Beijing Guo'an and thanks to a 91st minute own goal we won, we followed that up with a 2-0 win away to 2nd placed Shanghai SIPG and with 2 games to go we were 3 points off the top and in a title challenge with 3 sides (the 4th side was Changcum who we beat 2-0 2 games before the Beijing game) another comfortable win in the next game saw us pull level with Beijing as they continued to stutter but were behind them due to head to head. The final round saw all 4 teams within 2 points of each other. All we could do was win and hope for the best. We battered Shanghai Shenhua nut could only draw 0-0 with me pulling my hair out. However our other 3 rivals all lost (to teams in 11th, 13th and 14th!) in a crazy final round of matches and we had won the league by 1 point! While this was a fun run it feels kinda cheap, I didn't really do much (though 13 games, 10 wins and only 1 conceded I'm happy with) other than pick the best players to suit my formation and didn't sign anyone but won the league. Does mean I can now focus on the cup and champions league next year though. Should add that Guangzhou were favourites for the title at the start of the season so that obviously helped when we found form. Career Progress Season Team Country League Position Notes 2018/19 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 3rd Lost in playoffs 2019/20 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 1st Promoted as champions 2020/21 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup runners up 2021/22 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup winners, left on 11/3/22 2021/22 Orlando Pirates South Africa Premier League 2nd took over in 5th on 11/3/22 2022/23 Orlando Pirates South Africa Premier League 1st League & Champions League winners 2023 Guangzhou Evergrande China CSL 1st Took over with 13 games to go. Won league International 2021/22 Ivory Coast World Cup qualifying, Nations Championship 3rd place 2022/23 Ivory Coast AFCON winners Challenge Progress Club 2/10 top domestic leagues (2023 South Africa – Orlando Pirates, 2023 China – Guangzhou Evergrande) 1/10 domestic cups (2021 Telkom Cup - Tshakuma) 1/5 club continental championships (2023 African Champions League – Orlando Pirates) 0/1 club world championship International 1/5 continental tournaments (2023 AFCON – Ivory Coast) 0/2 world tournaments ()
  2. Cheers. Yeah missed that one somehow. Updated now though
  3. So my first full season with the Pirates and the plan was to over take the all concurring Kaizer Chiefs that had won the past 4 league titles and past 3 champions leagues. We started off with the Black Label Cup which is a one off game between Pirates and Chiefs where the fans pick the squad, wasn't a classic but after a 0-0 draw we won on pens. We followed that up with the MTN8 cup (for top 8 league sides) and we crashed out to my old side. We also crashed out at first hurdle of the Telkom Cup (that I won last year at my previous side) the final domestic cup (there's a few in Africa!) was the Nedbank Cup and here we got on the way to final where we were unlucky to lose to, who else?, the Chiefs! The main focus this year though was the league, and here we started brilliantly by winning our first 9 games before our first loss, we were top after 11 games when we broke for the World Cup (more on that later) after the break it soon became a clear shootout between us and Chiefs of course we battled hard but they matched us pretty much all the way and never let us get too far ahead, in the end they ended with a league record 77 points and we ended with an even bigger record of 80 points! Was a tough battle as it always felt like we couldn't drop any points at any stage and the sheer number of games we won in the final 10 minutes was incredible. It was a true battle but we got over the line. In the Champions league we have a fairly straight forward and easy run to the final where we would of course play those dam Chiefs again! In the first leg we were 2-0 down after 88 minutes and yet somehow we ended up with a 2-2 draw to take back home. This is what I meant with the teams drive in the final minutes of games. In the home leg it was a nervy affair till another late goal secured the 2-1 win and made us double champs. And with that my time in African domestic football was at an end. Time to move on but first...... World Cup 2022 Group Stages 2nd round (if applicable) Quarter Finals (if applicable) Semi Finals (if applicable) Final/3rd place (if applicable) AFCON 2023 Group Stage 2nd Round (if applicable) Quarter Finals (if applicable) Semi Final (if applicable) Final (if applicable) Aftermath Well that was an incredible season as with a first league title, first champions league and first international tournament means my rep is 3 stars now and I entered the African Hall of Fame! Sadly though it's time to move on from both club and country and see where this adventure takes me next.... Career Progress Season Team Country League Position Notes 2018/19 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 3rd Lost in playoffs 2019/20 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 1st Promoted as champions 2020/21 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup runners up 2021/22 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup winners, left on 11/3/22 2021/22 Orlando Pirates South Africa Premier League 2nd took over in 5th on 11/3/22 2022/23 Orlando Pirates South Africa Premier League 1st League & Champions League winners International 2021/22 Ivory Coast World Cup qualifying, Nations Championship 3rd place 2022/23 Ivory Coast AFCON winners Career Progress Club 1/10 top domestic leagues (2023 South Africa – Orlando Pirates) 1/10 domestic cups (2021 Telkom Cup - Tshakuma) 1/5 club continental championships (2023 ACL - Orlando Piartes) 0/1 club world championship International 1/5 continental tournaments (2023 AFCON – Ivory Coast) 0/2 world tournaments ()
  4. After last season's 4th place finish I was confident we could kick on this year again, it did not start well! We were knocked out of the CAF Confederation Cup at the vert first hurdle after winning the home leg 4-1 we then lost the away leg 3-0, we then lost in the first round of the MTN8 cup (a cup for the top 8 sides from the previous season) and also only had 2 points from our first 4 games (and not against any top sides) I started to worry, but as the season grew we started picking up points but I was still on the lookout for a new job and not paying a massive amount of attention to the league table and just before the winter break I was in the running for the Ajax CT job (they were 14th out of 16 teams) and we faced 4 games in 8 days, somehow winning all 4 and going top of the table at the break, though Kaizer Chiefs were 3 points behind with 4 games in hand, I took the risk of turning down the Ajax CT job when offered. The reason for so many games was our run to the final of the Telkom Cup for the 2nd year in a row, this time we faced Orlando Pirates and unlike last year we won our first trophy (well first that counts in this save) Post break our form wasn't as strong as sides won their games in hand but we were 4th just 1 point off 2nd and the Champions League spots when the chance to take over at Orlando Pirates was offered. I couldn't turn them down so it was my first managerial move of my career and start a new job.... So a new job, starting in 5th just behind my previous side and out of both domestic cups, we were however in the quarter finals of the champions league. In our 11 league games we won 9 and drew 2 to finish in 2nd place just 3 points behind the all conquering Kaizer Chiefs. In the champions league we made it past the quarter finals despite losing the first leg 1-0 but winning the 2nd 5-0, in the semi finals we faced those rat bastards Kaizer Chiefs and lost the home leg 3-1, the away leg ended 1-1 so we were out. They would go on to win the cup for the 3rd straight year. We're not too far behind them though, we faced them 4 times in my 15 games and won 1, lost 1 and drew 2 so with a bit of added quality to our side we should be able to best them next season. Over the course of the 2 jobs this season I finally got my first, and then 2nd, coaching badges The Orlando job wasn't my only new role this season as after the ACON in the summer I became manager of the Ivory Coast When I took over we were 2 games into World Cup qualifying and 2 wins and 2 draws later we were going to Qatar! We also had the African Nations Championship for all domestic based players, we did well in it, smashing teams all over till the semi final where Tunisa took advantage of some suspensions to counter us to death in a 2-0 loss. As the board wanted us to win this my job suddenly became very insecure but they gave me ACON qualification to prove myself and 4 wins from 4 means I can't be caught in the group but it doesn't matter as we're the hosts so we've already qualified Career Progress Season Team Country League Position Notes 2018/19 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 3rd Lost in playoffs 2019/20 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 1st Promoted as champions 2020/21 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup runners up 2021/22 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup winners, left on 11/3/22 2021/22 Orlando Pirates South Africa Premier League 2nd took over in 5th on 11/3/22 International 2021/22 Ivory Coast World Cup qualifying, Nations Championship 3rd plcae Challenge Progress Club 0/10 top domestic leagues () 1/10 domestic cups (2021 Telkom Cup - Tshakuma) 0/5 club continental championships () 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments () Bit of a long update with lots going on here (sorry about that) next season I might break it down as hopefully we'll have a title challenge and Champions League campaign as well as a mid season world cup and then the ACON at end of the season.
  5. Yeah I'll keep on looking but all seem pretty secure for now sadly, got AFCON this summer though so hoping that might shake a job or two loose.
  6. Tshakhuma South African Premier League Season 2020/21 One thing I enjoy about South Africa is how quick the season can go with only 30 league games, so after our promotion last year I set myself the target of 35 points in order to stay up. Over the summer break though the Kaiser Chief's job come up with their manager retiring. They are easily the biggest side in the country but I went for it based on my title winning form. I managed to get an interview and was the bookies favourite, as well as the fans choice for the job. This got me excited so of course they appointed someone else, the fact they won 6 of the 7 competitions they were in this season (only missing out on the club world cup) means they're probably not too upset about their choice! With promotion meant needing to strengthen our squad so putting my personal disappointment aside (wouldn't be the last time) i hit the transfer market to improve the squad. A solid, if unspectacular, start saw us become a fixture in the top ha;f, a run of form in November/December saw us enter the top 4 race and also briefly the title race before we stumbled over the line due to a lack of goals (our top scorer finished on 8 goals and in fact didn't score at all after the winter break (4 months and 17 games without a goal)) and finished 4th to qualify for continental competition next year. Graph. We ran the top sides close all season and now feel we're just 2 or 3 players away from being able to win the league. Despite this I was again in the running for a bigger job over the winter break as Sundowns were having a shocking season, again got the interview but again they went elsewhere (I must be a horrible person to interview) In the cups we managed to make the final of the Telkom Cup but in a poor game we took too long to start playing against the chiefs and soon found ourselves 2 goals down, we pulled one back before the break but couldn't get another in the 2nd half losing 2-1. In the Nedbank we fell at the first hurdle going down 1-0 to Orland Pirates. Career Progress Season Team Country League Position Notes 2018/19 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 3rd Lost in playoffs 2019/20 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 1st Promoted as champions 2020/21 Tshakhuma South Africa Premier League 4th Cup runners up Challenge Progress Club 0/10 top domestic leagues () 0/10 domestic cups () 0/5 club continental championships () 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments ()
  7. Tshakhuma South African First Division 2019/20 My first full season in charge and after missing out on promotion last year I was confident this season. Our finances are pretty bad and when I took over we were £5k a week over our wage budget so in the summer I released many of our higher earners, reduced wages of the ones that would and planned to build the side around a very talented group of young players that came through our academy but after my squad was settled for the season 3 of the 4 young players I planned to use were sold by our chairman due to our finances. The 4th was sold in January. So me and my now even smaller squad had to use the loan market instead. Transfers We battled at the top for most of the season, firstly with newly relegated FS Stars who fell away after the winter break. It became a battle between 3 sides - us, Ubuntu Cape Town and Uthongathi. With 5 games to go there were just 2 points between the 3 of us but then Uthongathi blinked with a couple of losses and were out the race. With 2 games to it was between us and Ubuntu, we were a point clear and our next game was away to Ubuntu! A winand we were up, easy! We gave away an early penalty which they scored but recovered to go in level at the break, we then took the lead right after HT and were cruising to the title before a break away goal with 90 seconds remaining made it 2-2 and left us a point clear with one to play. All we had to do was match their result and we were up as champions. They lost 1-0 while we won 3-1 and we were winners! Star player was my inside forward Maart who popped up with goals in the run in when we really needed them. During the course of the season a couple of Premier league jobs came up but I couldn't even get an interview for them, hoping this promotion will be a decent enough boost to the rep to help if one comes up next season as I don't feel like Tshakhuma is the place where I can dominate African football. Career Progress Season Team Country League Position Notes 2018/19 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 3rd Lost in playoffs 2019/20 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 1st Promoted as champions Challenge Progress Club 0/10 top domestic leagues () 0/10 domestic cups () 0/5 club continental championships () 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments ()
  8. Season 2018/19 - Tshakhuma Took me a good 5/6 months to get a first job, had some interviews but never got any until Tshakhmua from the South African 1st Division came calling. Around half way through the season they were 3rd bottom (media prediction of 5th) so they were underachieving somewhat. The team quickly adapted to my system and after the break (I took over on December 28th) we had 16 games to play. We won 11 of those (drawing and losing 2 apiece) and we snuck into 3rd spot on the final day of the season and grabbed the final playoff place. In them we faced an uphill struggle with 4 players missing on international duty (the other 2 sides had 1 player missing between them ) and then injuries and suspensions meant we never found our best form and ended bottom of the mini table. Frustrating but more than we could have hoped for when I took over. Plan for next season is to find a striker (our top scorer had 6) and go again. Career Progress Ultimate Season Team Country League Position Notes 2018/19 Tshakhuma South Africa 1st Division 3rd Lost in playoffs Challenge Progress Club 0/10 top domestic leagues (Insert nations) 0/10 domestic cups () 0/5 club continental championships () 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments ()
  9. It's that time of the year where I give this challenge ago again Starting profile I have already finished first season so update in next post
  10. It's cool mate, can take a bit of getting used to but, to use England as the example, lowest we can manage is the National South, what the extra stuff does is load player from the league below, without loading the league, so that when they get promoted we have a squad to real players and not fake players to manage and start the challenge with.
  11. You can't play as the sides but you can load the players from the sides in the lower leagues so that you have a full squad of players (or as near as possible) when taking over a side.
  12. Haha, nah you were right too, I was going to smugly point out I'd added you already nut thankfully double checked and turns out I must have cancelled it
  13. I thought I had, I know I went to do it the day I saw you completed it but must have clicked out without saving, may bad. Updated now. Congrats.
  14. Sacked at Kingstonian. Lost the dressing room after a row with a player over his game time (was **** whenever I gave him a chance) and as morale dropped so did we. Starting to feel this challenge isn't for me in FM19 with my track record this year Might give it a final crack with the original idea of Bari but we'll see
  15. Season 2019/20 Review League - was a strange season as we dominated the league from the off (as you can see from the graph) by winning our first 4 games all 3-1. We never felt like the best in the league though and often won games thanks to goals from corners or direct freekicks (we led the league in both) and not something I think we can do again next season. Won the title with 5 games to go so was able to play some of the youngsters. Squad - Like I say, not sure they really are the best or just clicked this season. Bit worried about next season though. FA Cup - not great here as we were knocked out by non-league Merstham before we even got to the 1st round proper FA Trophy - Much better here as we made it as far as the 1/4 finals before Hartlepool beat us. Transfers - non in or out Finances - Really bad, could have done with a cup run really KEY PLAYERS Louie Theophanous - 18 goals from our main man this season, not sure if he'll handle the step up but we'll need him to Muhammadu Faal - a player I know well from my attempts with Dulwich, good to see he's still as good. Matthew Saunders - bailed us out many times this season with his free kicks and corners. Youth Intake Not an amazing intake but a handful that could go on to the decent squad players at least, at the very worst it gives us some depth we've been missing all season. Also I like there's a nice spread of 2nd nationalities in there. Tarek McGonigle 20A - best of a mediocre bunch, might turn out to be an option as our AML role. Also think this is first time I've had a youth player with "Mercenary" as his personality. Ian Cottam 20B - couple decent physicals and mentals could see him develop and never hurts to have another option up front Aaron Sekyere 20C - cover at both FB positions, versatility is always a bonus Johnny Izukanne 20D - another that can play a couple of roles in my system Season Division League Position Accomplishments 2019/20 VNS 1st Promotion as champions
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