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2481

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About 2481

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    Australia

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  • Currently Managing
    Cesena FC

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  1. FC Rapid București Răzvan Raț Profile Club Background After spending a silly number of hours reloading in order to try and get Csikszereda to come through from the unplayable Romanian Third League, I gave up and went with the phoenix club of the once-successful FC Rapid Bucharest. With their amazing facilities and well established youth recruitment Csikszereda would have been a great club for a youth development challenge but the league system in Romania, with its many B teams and small number of promoted teams, makes it seemingly impossible for them to make it into the Second League in the first or second season. In fact, I had to holiday for two seasons to get any interesting clubs coming through. So, my challenge begins on 1st July 2020 with ex-Rapid Bucharest and CM/FM legend Răzvan Dincă Raț taking the reigns at the club. After doing some research on the club it appears they are also nicely positioned for a youth challenge - the club made headlines in 2012 when they sacked all their foreign players by email in order to focus on homegrown talent. The club was dissolved a few years later and reformed in 2017 as a new entity. According to a 2016 survey the club is the fifth most supported in Romania so there is a lot of potential to build that fanbase in the short to long term future. However, finances are a problem - the FC Rapid brand value has dropped by €3 million in recent years. So, a medium to long term objective is to increase the reputation of the club and boost revenue through European competition participation and player sales. Backroom Team The first priority was to assemble a decent backroom team. Assistant manager Alexandru Fotescu joins the club and has great stats for this level. It wasn't easy to fill the crucial Head of Youth Development role, so Claudiu Pustai will have to do for now. Initial Squad The starting squad contains some decent players, of which young striker Alexandru Morar is the most exciting prospect. Facilities The club currently has good training facilities. For youth, the club has average facilities, but good junior coaching and above average youth recruitment.
  2. Cheers! Italy's going quite well so far. Yeah the transfer budget is enough to bring in foreign wonderkids etc but not enough to compete for top players (unless they're listed). Arabidze - no chance He's a club icon now and I think I'd do well to find a replacement to be honest. Sheer class! Once the new stadium's built we may have more income, but it's likely to still have a capacity of under 30,000. It's all about the CL revenue... Congrats on your 3rd place finish!
  3. @rlipscombe - cheers mate! Yeah I think once I get more money to spend on transfers it'll be within reach. I've taken the Italy job - I've never managed them and it may motivate me to buy and develop more Italian talent if I've got an opportunity to blood them at international level... I've found I've been priced out of the market for most of the good young Italian players so far, will have to save up to be able to afford them! Valzania just played his first two games for Italy (nepotism much) and did not do that well. Maybe that's why he hadn't been called up until I took over Good luck with your league run in and transfer window dealings!
  4. update! @iseemonsters1 - I'm now in a similar position to your dilemma with the England offer.... what to do?! (I'm tempted to go for it just to give Valzania his long overdue international debut!)
  5. Cesena FC - Serie A (1st) - Season 2023-2024 Summary Monty Banks Profile - League Table - Squad - Transfers  Best season yet! We successfully defended our Serie A title and also lifted the Coppa Italia for the first time, completing the domestic double. We lost the Super Cup to Inter after extra time. The team was very competitive in the Champions League, eventually finishing top of the qualifying group with wins over PSV, Benfica and Tottenham. We were comprehensively beaten 6-1 on aggregate by Barcelona in the quarter finals after defeating Lyon in the previous knockout round - this shows that there is still a long way to go until we're capable of beating the elite European teams and completing the challenge. However, the overall performance in Europe was extremely promising and brought in a lot of revenue with which to bolster the squad for our next campaign. Serie A proved to be less competitive than last season and we won it comfortably. We were on a 30-match unbeaten run which ended with a 2-0 loss to Palermo, but that was one of only two losses in the league all season. Much of this season's success can be attributed to the incredible Giorgi Arabidze, now valued at a whopping £57 million (not bad for a free transfer!), who was joint top scorer in the league alongside our ever-dependable captain Luca Valzania (who still hasn't won an international call-up by the way). Wonderkid Alan Costilla has blossomed into a quality winger, providing 21 assists and playing his way into the Argentina national team. After a disappointing debut season Abdou Diakhate has become a first-choice partner for Valzania in the middle of the park, attracting attention from some big clubs along the way. Our defence was extremely solid all season, only conceding 28 goals in the league thanks to great performances from Portuguese starlet Manuel Silva, Dabila, Rondanini (never puts a foot wrong!) and Miangue. This season's lone striker, Federico Bonazzoli, actually did quite well and finished up with an average rating over 7.0 - the first time a striker has done so in this side. Club legend Emanuele Rovini moved to the number 10 position behind the strikers, in order to accommodate Arabidze on the right, and had a solid season in his new role. Our finances are still sitting consistently at around £50 million, but again there's not much in the transfer kitty for next season - only around £25 million. Monty Banks has already spent about half of that on securing the transfer of Brazilian wonderkid striker Anderson Luiz through a minimum fee release clause, and fellow Brazilian Dodo will be joining for £11.25 million after being transfer-listed by Man City. There's not much left to add any more new faces to the squad, but to be honest I don't really want to change the team around too much following such a great season. Finally some big news - the team will be moving to a new stadium in the near future, and our youth and training facilities are currently receiving a major upgrade which will hopefully deliver and develop some better youth prospects - there's not many good players coming through the junior ranks at the moment. Onwards and upwards!
  6. @iseemonsters1 - thanks mate! The team's been overachieving every season so I do keep wondering when the wheels are going to fall off There's about £40million in the bank so I'd imagine I'll see about half of that for transfers. Not a great deal by today's standards but I'm a bit of a bargain hunter and squad building is certainly my strongest attribute when it comes to FM. The squad's not really got any world-beating talent but the players fit the tactical system really well and work nicely as a unit. Champions League - I'm quietly optimistic on the basis of our UEFA Cup campaign - we tanked the likes of Sporting Lisbon away from home and held our own for sure. The level is a lot higher in the Champions League but who knows - I think getting out of the group is possible, but things get a lot harder after that... Congrats on the international job, huge! Good luck for the rest of your challenge. @Biscotti - good to see you becoming a domestic force - Europe next! Hopefully you'll get some strong homegrown talent coming through and can build up the bank account with European revenue. How are your youth facilities?
  7. Cesena FC - Serie A (1st) - Season 2022-2023 Summary Monty Banks Profile - League Table - Squad - Transfers  A stronger, more cohesive squad and some good consistency in the league led to us clinching the title on the last day of the season. It was a properly nervy finish, with five out of the top six teams in contention with two games left to play. Things were not looking good following a 2-2 draw with Udinese at home, but a 3-1 win over Sassuolo was enough to win the league by two points after other results went our way. Not a very convincing way to win our first ever Serie A title, but they all count! The team also performed admirably in the UEFA Cup, comfortably finishing top of our group and making it to the 2nd knockout round where we were cruelly dispatched by Monaco on penalties. Transfer-wise Monty Banks recruited some quality players, the most talented of which, Giorgi Arabidze, joined on a free transfer. Young Argentinian wonderkid Alan Costilla signed for £4million and had a great debut season - he's definitely one to watch - and Peruvian starlet Diego Saca also performed very well in the number 10 role. Rovini had yet another solid season, rotating in both the AMC and MR positions, and captain Valzania was again the player of the season and has cemented himself as one of the best central midfielders in Italy (still no international call up though). Belgian left-back Senna Miangue, another new signing, had a great season, as did centre-back Jean Ruiz. Bring on the Champions League!
  8. Nice one @Crispypaul, good luck with Lyn. I had a great save with them back around 2005 or so.
  9. Unlucky @Tecmo, Scotland's brutal at that level. That's an interesting cash bonus in Austria, I didn't know about it. Do you get successive bonuses or is it a one-off thing? @Lower Leagues Rule nice update, good luck for the season!
  10. Cesena FC - Serie A (6th) - Season 2021-2022 Summary Monty Banks Profile - League Table - Squad - Transfers  Despite a woeful start to the season - a streak of successive losses that left the club languishing in the lower reaches of the league - the lads produced some excellent mid-season form to fight their way up the table. With five games to go we were sitting only 7 points off 1st, with a whole host of clubs within reach of European qualification. Despite beating AC Milan 1-0 the team couldn't handle the pressure of the league closeout, losing the remaining four fixtures to finish a nevertheless respectable sixth. The team duly won the Serie A team of the year, and will enter next season's UEFA Cup at the Group Stage. Results great improved after several underperforming first choice players were dropped - young starlet Dennis Siciliano, new backup signing Jean Ruiz and goalkeeping stalwart Alessandro Guarnone stepped in as replacements for the much hyped but completely uninspiring Alessandro Rossi, Matias Fischer, and Maxence Prévot. All of my bigger signings seem to have struggled to fit the team so far, which is a bit weird. Luca Valzania became team captain and had a wonderful season, finishing as top scorer with 18 goals from central midfield. Unsurprisingly, Rovini had another great season on the right wing, Bussaglia performed extremely well on the left, and Rondanini was reliable as ever at right back. Belgian playmaker Siebe Schrijvers also put in a good shift over the season despite a slow start. Everything is looking very promising for next season - a top-six league finish to build on, a strong core of players who have been together for a few seasons now, money coming in from the UEFA Cup group stage, and a growing reputation with which to attract some higher calibre players to the team (though things didn't work out too well there with this season's flops). Serie A seems like a very open competition in this save iteration, with no single team really dominating things and about 10+ clubs all with a viable shot at the title. The striker situation is still irking me - young Siciliano was the only forward to finish with an average rating of over 7.0 and the midfield are still providing the most goals. Will have to persevere with that, although I think it's more a match engine thing than a major tactical issue. Interesting times ahead!
  11. @rlipscombe - great work on the promotion! Quite a few similarities with my Serie B season there, such as struggling with strikers, the long unbeaten streak and ending up top of the pile. Well done! There's a damn good chance you'll do better than expected in Serie A - just finished up 6th in the first season among the big dogs (will post update later). @Lower Leagues Rule - good luck with the new save
  12. Good luck @Tecmo, I do love a lower league rise to glory in Scotland. Look forward to seeing how you get on.
  13. Cesena FC - Serie B - Season 2020-2021 Summary Monty Banks Profile - League Table - Squad - Transfers  The pre-season transfer wheelings and dealings went well - we signed 6 good quality players on free transfers and bolstered the squad with 6 loans. Striker Alessandro Rossi was perhaps the biggest name to join the club, but I was most excited about the re-signing of former Cesena youth product Luca Valzania who has the makings of a future club captain. Last season's loanee goalkeeper Guarnone joined us permanently from Milan. I had expected to struggle this season as the media predicted us to finish 15th and we were up against some strong opposition in Brescia, Verona, Chievo, Lecce, Perugia and Foggia, who beat us in the Serie C Super Cup last season. However, we punched well above our expected weight for the second season running and won the league at a canter. The season started with an extension of last season's unbeaten run as we went undefeated for 18 games before losing to Verona. There were a few shaky moments, such as a 5-2 thrashing from Perugia and another defeat by Foggia - once again on the last day of the season - but we only lost those 3 league matches all season and finished a comfortable 17 points clear of Chievo in second. Game of the season was an epic 5-5 draw away to Chievo. Luca Valzania excelled in centre midfield and finished top scorer in the league with 19 goals, picking up Player of the Year in the process. Emanuele Rovini cemented himself as a fan favourite with another excellent season, and full backs Rondanini and Eguelfi both continued last season's good form. Rossi performed slightly better than last years' flop Erik Gerbi (who was sold to Crotone for a miraculous £600K!) but despite some experimentation I'm still not getting amazing performances from the lone striker. Rossi only scored 13 league goals, certainly less than hoped. Young centre backs Gabriele Bellodi, on loan from Milan, and free transfer Yves Dabila played well, forming a solid partnership at the heart of defence. Bellodi won Young Player of the Year, and I extended his loan for another year at the end of the season. Last season's standout left winger Bussaglia didn't feature as often this season, with his cover Marco Frediani's good form keeping him out of the side. Monty Banks won Serie B Manager of the Year, as well as Managers' Manager of the Year. So, next season sees the club return to Serie A with little expectation beyond a relegation struggle. Monty moved swiftly to shore up the defence - in preparation for a tough battle against much sterner opposition - with the signing of French defender Matias Fischer from Nancy. Pescara right back Christian Ventola signed a pre-contract agreement and will provide cover and a rotation option for Rondanini. I'm looking forward to seeing how we get on against the big Italian clubs, and am cautiously optimistic based on the last two seasons of overachieving. Serie A will also attract larger crowds and a considerable wedge of TV money. The club has been financially stable for the last two seasons, so I'm hoping we'll be able to rack up a fair bit of money in the top division!
  14. Thanks mate! Good luck for the promotion race - you'll be filling up that massive stadium rapidly when you hit Serie A!
  15. @Rolphynho sounds like a brutal season, I had a similar one in my recent short-lived Dafuge challenge. Can be demoralising, but it feels great when you actually win a game! How are you getting on with Bari @rlipscombe? I'll hopefully post my Cesena season 2 review later (we won Serie B!).
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