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  1. Nice thread. Currently on a Bayer save myself. Just turned December in the first season, and so far so good, well in the league anyway. Sitting top of the league after 13 games, 10 wins, 1 draw and two defeats. Only defeats in the league have been a 1-0 against Bayern (Not too bad) and a 3-0 defeat at Frankfurt where everything just went wrong. Highlights have been a 5-1 win away at Monchengladbach, 5-0 away to Freiburg and a 6-1 win at home against Schalke (who were top of the league at the time). Hernandez also scored two hat-tricks in three league games. Europe has been different, two draws, two defeats and a victory means that I'm hanging on to qualification. It'll depend on Juve doing me a turn in the final game though.
  2. Just stumbled across this guy. Looks pretty decent.
  3. These are the formations I will be using: The latter formation I will use for more winnable games, the latter for games where I feel a little more caution is required.
  4. Goalkeepers Timo Horn - Koln - Release Clause Of £6.5M Ron-Robert Zieler - Hannover - Release Clause of £6.5M Jose Sa - Maritimo - Release Clause of £2.8M Defenders Eder Balanta - River Plate - ~£3M - Nerfed this year but can provide cover Gino Peruzzi - Boca Juniors - ~£3M - Good right back for a good price Jonny - Celta Vigo - Release Clause of £8.5M Carles Planus - Celta Vigo - Release Clause of £8.7M Midfielders Kris Ajer - Start- £1M Vicente Iborra - Sevilla - R.C of £4.3M Recio - Malaga - R.C of £7.1M Eran Zahavi - M.Tel Aviv - <£5M Attackers/Wingers Nolito - Celta Vigo-R.C of £13M Demerai Gray - Birmingham City - £3.5M Marco Fabian - Chivas - R.C of £6.5M Pione Sisto - FC Midtjylland - R.C. of £6M Pablo Batalla - Beijing - R.C. of £2.5M Luan - Gremio - <£5M Jonathan Calerri - Boca Juniors - <£5M Any other suggestions will be added to the list.
  5. Central Midfielders Name:Johannes Geis Age: 21 Nationality: German Blurb: One of many young hot prospects in the midfield, looks to have it all. Could play any central, or defensive midfield role competently. Name: Kevin Prince Boateng Age: 28 Nationality: Ghanaian Blurb: Good stats, but leaving on a free at the end of the season & on 74k p/w. Depending on how you use your midfield, the wages saved from selling him early could be valuable. Name: Leon Goretzka Age: 20 Nationality: German Blurb: Great looking stats at only 20 years of age. Again another who looks to be able to play any midfield role competently, and can be retrained to be played wide, if you so desire. Worth building your team around. Name: Marco Hoger Age: 25 Nationality: German Blurb: A good midfield utility man, and can be retrained to play anywhere on the right wing. I'd keep him as a back up option, or retrain him to be cover on the wings as it is a little light there. Possess good penalty taking and composure. Name: Pierre Højbjerg Age: 19 Nationality: Danish Blurb: Another wonderkid. Unfortunately this time he is only on loan from Bayern. That said he provides a good option in the first season, and with the options Bayern have at their disposal, could be obtainable at the end of the season. Name: Roman Neustädter Age: 27 Nationality: German Blurb: A workhorse describes him adequately. At 27, he provides some experience that the midfield requires. He's out of contract at the end of the season however, so a decision will need to be made on whether to keep him or not. Centre Midfielder Review Another strong area of the pitch. Boateng's departure at the end of the season, and Neustadter's contract situation leaves the manager with a decision on their hands whether to sell, renew or replace come the end of the season. Attackers Name: Franco Di Santo Age: 26 Nationality: Argentinian Blurb: A good all round striker, and good back up to Klass Jan Huntelaar. Can be retrained to provide competition in the wide and attacking midfield areas also. High wages are a factor however. Name: Klass Jan Huntelaar Age: 31 Nationality: Dutch Blurb: Your best striker, and comes with great finishing, composure, concentration and penalty taking ability, he should provide a lethal spearhead of your attack. Getting on slightly at 31, but Schalke's 3rd top goal scorer in the Bundesliga (over 100 goals behind 1st place), so proven at this level. Name: Leroy Sane Age: 19 Nationality: German Blurb: Arguably already the best winger at the club, he is adept as an out and out winger on the left, or has high potential as an inside forward on the right. Either way, he looks to have a very bright future indeed. Name: Maxim Choupo-Moting Age: 26 Nationality: Cameroonian Blurb: Adept as either a winger or a striker, Moting is someone who will provide competition for Huntelaar and Di Santo upfront, as well as potentially being the first choice left winger at the club. Great physical stats are levelled out by relatively poor mental stats, meaning that Moting will possibly become a bit part player. Name: Max Meyer Age: 19 Nationality: German Blurb: Another wonderkid at the club, Meyer is adept on the left or through the centre of midfield. Another one to build the team around. A word of warning however, he has a low release clause (£17.5M) so a contract extension may be on the cards from the start to raise this. Name: Sidney Sam Age: 27 Nationality: German Blurb: A wide player with great place. With his left footedness, and finishing of 17, Sam suits the role of inside forward on the right to a T. Will be a good option on the right, if you feel you want to protect Sane. Attacker Review A lot of potential in attack, mixed with good experience, however perhaps a slight lack of depth, especially in the wide positions. It may be worth while looking to bring in either a striker or wide player, in order to supplement the numbers slightly. The versatility of the players can help in this situation however.
  6. GoalKeepers Name: Ralf Fährmann Age: 26 Nationality: German Blurb: The best keeper at your disposal in your squad, some decent stats, and can be your number 1, if you so wish. Name: Fabian Giefer Age: 25 Nationality: German Blurb: In many ways a clone of Fährmann, although with worse stats. Not good enough to be a first choice, but an adequate back up. Goalkeeper Review: A decent choice in Fährmann, however this is one of the weakest positions in the squad at the start of the game. Giefer's injury at the start means that I'd recommend this position as one which requires strengthening at the start of the game. Full Backs Right Backs Name: Atstuto Uchida Age: 27 Nationality: Japanese Blurb: Out injured for 6 months at the start of the game due to a knee injury. A solid if unspectacular full back once fit. Arguably the best in the position. Name: Júnior Caiçara Age: 26 Nationality: Brazilian Blurb: Very similar to Uchida. A new signing at the club for this season and can provide competition on both flanks. Name: Sascha Riether Age: 32 Nationality: German Blurb: Another new signing in the summer. Versatile and can provide back up for many positions. Would recommend letting him go at the end of his contract. Right back review: A position with solid, if unspectacular options. This is a position which could be improved upon, however due to new signings at the start of the game, it isn't the greatest priority. Left Backs Name: Dennis Aogo Age: 28 Nationality: German Blurb: A versatile player with the ability to whip in a good cross (17 crossing ability). A more offensive option than Kolasnic, and with his crossing stats, should create chances for your forward thinking players. Name: Sead Kolasnic Age: 22 Nationality: Bosnian Blurb: Another versatile player, like Aogo, however a far more defensive option. The description "Strong Fullback" describes him perfectly due to his good physical stats. Left back review Two good options for these roles, as each offers different options. Not a position in great need of strengthening initially, so focus could be given on getting in a youth prospect to replace Aogo in a few years time. Centre Backs Name: Benedikt Höwedes Age: 27 Nationality: German Blurb: Starts injured, but will be back soon enough. Recommend him as club captain, and once fully fit he should be an integral part of your defence. At 27 he is just approaching his peak years as a centre half. Name: Joel Matip Age: 23 Nationality: Cameroonian Blurb: A centre half with fantastic physical stats, and one who I recommend playing alongside Höwedes at the start of the game. Will make a great partner for Nastasic when he comes back as well. Note he is out of contract at the end of the first season, so I'd recommend signing him up to a long term deal. Attracts a lot of attention as well. Name: Matija Nastasić Age: 22 Nationality: Serbian Blurb: Yet another good choice at centre back. Unfortunately he is injured at the start of the game, and will be for the majority of the first season, but once fully fit, he should provide an option to those who prefer a composed, ball playing centre half. A nice head ache to have! Name: Felipe Santana Age: 29 Nationality: Brazilian Blurb: Signed from fierce rivals Dortmund a couple of seasons ago, Santana is now in his last year of his deal. Great physical stats apart, there isn't much about him, and as such I would suggest keeping him to the end of his contract, purely as a back up option. Name: Marvin Friedrich Age: 19 Nationality: German Blurb: Hoewedes 2.0? Seems to have good potential, and has good stats for most defensive roles. He could almost be a mini Howedes! Name: Kaan Ayhan Age: 20 Nationality: Turkish Blurb: Competent in central defence, holding midfield or centre midfield, he is another good young prospect (but it'd be wrong to put yet another young midfield prospect in, right?), if played in defence, he will provide an option for those who want a ball player centre half. Centre back review A very strong area, led by the club captain. An area which doesn't require too much strengthening in the first season of the game. I would recommend tying Matip to a long term deal, if only to maximise profits if you were to sell him. Once Nastasić returns, there will be 3 (possibly 5, depending on how Friedrich and Ayhan develop) quality centre backs vying for positions.
  7. Why Choose FC Schalke? Well, as the title states, there are a lot of high quality, young midfielders, with high potential to train and develop. Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, Max Meyer & Johannes Geis are all players that you can build your team around. Hell even Bayern recognise this fact and loan you Pierre_Højbjerg for the season. Donis Avdijaj is yet another young prospect on the books, and is currently on loan in Austria. Outwith the midfield wonder kids there are players with good potential throughout the playing squad. Matip, Nastasic, Ayhan, Freidrich, Platte and Kolasinac are all relatively young players with potential that can allow them to be useful in game. Experienced players in the shape of Howedes, Aogo, Huntelaar, Sam & co provide the youth with the experience required to help them grow. Schalke are the worlds 14th richest club, according to Forbes, with annual incomings of $290M last season. If this continues in game, then funds should be available for players, facilities and stadium upgrades in the future The Stadium. The Veltins-Arena is one of the largest stadiums in Europe, with capacity for ~63,000 spectators in the stand. It's hosted the Champions League final, as well as several games in the 2006 world cup. With its large capacity, it will provide steady income, providing it remains full. Competition. The German league provides great competiton, with the likes of Bayern Munich leading the way, with teams such as Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg all at similar levels to Schalke. This means that competition throughout a save in the German leagues will be fierce. The Veltins-Arena Schalke In Game
  8. FC Schalke 04 (In Progress) http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/441711-FM16-FC-Schalke-04-Where-Midfield-Wonderkids-Come-Home-To-Roost
  9. Brief History (From:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Schalke_04) The Early Years The club was founded on 4 May 1904 as Westfalia Schalke by a group of high school students and first wore the colours red and yellow. The team was unable to gain admittance to the Westdeutscher Spielverband and played in one of the "wild associations" of early German football. In 1912, after years of failed attempts to join the official league, they merged with the gymnastic club Schalker Turnverein 1877 in order to facilitate their entry. This arrangement held up until 1915 when SV Westfalia Schalke was re-established as an independent club. The separation proved short-lived and the two came together again in 1919 as Turn- und Sportverein Schalke 1877. The new club won its first honours in 1923 as champions of the Schalke Kreisliga. It was around this time that Schalke picked up the nickname Die Knappen – from an old German word for "miners"– because the team drew so many of its players and supporters from the coalmine workers of Gelsenkirchen. In 1924, the football team parted ways with the gymnasts once again, this time taking the club chairman along with them. They took the name FC Schalke 04 and adopted the now familiar blue and white kit from which their second nickname would derive – Die Königsblauen (English: The Royal Blues). The following year, the club became the dominant local side, based on a style of play that used short, sharp, man-to-man passing to move the ball. This system would later become famous as the Schalker Kreisel (English: spinning top; gyroscope). In 1927, it carried them into the top-flight Gauliga Ruhr, onto the league championship, and then into the opening rounds of the national finals. The Rise To Dominance The popular club built a new stadium, the Glückauf-Kampfbahn, in 1928, and acknowledged the city's support by renaming themselves FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04. They won their first West German championship in 1929, but the following year were sanctioned for exceeding salary levels set by the league and, in an era that considered professionalism in sport to be anathema, found themselves banned from play for nearly half a year. However, the ban had little impact on the team's popularity: in their first game after the ban against Fortuna Düsseldorf, in June 1931, the team drew 70,000 to its home ground. The club's fortunes begun to rise from 1931 and they made a semi-final appearance in the 1932 German championship, losing 1–2 to Eintracht Frankfurt. The year after, the club went all the way to the final, where Fortuna Düsseldorf proved the better side, winning 3–0. With the re-organisation of German football in 1933, under Nazi Germany, Schalke found themselves in the Gauliga Westfalen, one of sixteen top-flight divisions established to replace the innumerable regional and local leagues, all claiming top status. This league saw Schalke's most successful decade in their history: from 1933 to 1942 the club would appear in 14 of 18 national finals (10 in the German championship and 8 in the Tschammerpokal, the predecessor of today's DFB-Pokal) and win their league in every one of its eleven seasons. The club never lost a home game in Gauliga Westfalen in all these eleven seasons and only lost six away games, while remaining entirely unbeaten in the seasons 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1940–41 and 1942–43; a clear sign of the club's dominance. The Championship Years Schalke's first national title came in 1934 with a 2–1 victory over favourites 1. FC Nuremberg. The next year, they successfully defended their title against VfB Stuttgart in a 6–4 win. The club missed the 1936 final, but would make appearances in the championship match in each of the next six years, coming away victorious in 1937, 1939, 1940, and 1942. Three of those national finals were against Austrian teams –Admira Wien, Rapid Wien, and First Vienna– which played in Germany's Gauliga Ostmark after Austria's incorporation into the Reich through the 1938 Anschluss. Die Königsblauen also made frequent appearances in the final of the Tschammerpokal, but enjoyed much less success there. They lost the inaugural Tschammerpokal 0–2 to Nuremberg in 1935. They also made failed appearances in the 1936, 1941, and 1942 finals with their only victory coming in 1937 against Fortuna Düsseldorf. Over a dozen seasons, from 1933 to 1945, Schalke won 162 of 189 Gauliga matches, drawing 21 and losing only 6. On the way, they scored 924 goals and gave up just 145. From 1935 to 1939, they did not lose a single league match. The club's dominance throughout this period led them to be held up for propaganda purposes by the Nazi regime, as an example of "new Germany". Post War Schalke With Germany in chaos towards the end of World War II, Schalke played just two matches in 1945. They resumed regular play following the war and, for a time, continued to compete as a strong side. They set a record in a national championship round match with a 20–0 drubbing of SpVgg Herten, but that spoke more to the weakened condition of German football than the ability of the team. Schalke's play fell off and the best they could manage in the new Oberliga West in 1947 was a sixth-place finish: within two years they slipped to 12th place. It would take Schalke until the mid-50s to recover their form. They finished third in a tight three-way race for the 1954 Oberliga West title, decided on the last day of the season. The following year, they appeared in the DFB-Pokal final, where they lost 2–3 to Karlsruher SC. The club's next, and to date last, German championship came in 1958, with a 3–0 victory over Hamburger SV. Entry To The Bundesliga Schalke continued to play well, delivering a number of top four finishes, in the years leading up to the 1963 formation of the Bundesliga, West Germany's new federal, professional league. Those results earned them selection as one of sixteen sides admitted to the top-flight league. Their first years in the Bundesliga were difficult. In 1964–65, they escaped relegation only through the expansion of the league to eighteen teams. A number of finishes at the lower end of the league table followed, before a marked improvement in 1971–72, culminating in a second-place finish to FC Bayern Munich and after having led the league for much of the season. In the same season, Schalke won the DFB-Pokal for the second time in its history. The Bundesliga scandal of 1971 Despite their improved results, the seeds of a major reversal had already been sown. A number of the team's players and officials were accused of accepting bribes as part of the widespread Bundesliga scandal of 1971. Investigation showed that Schalke had deliberately played to lose their 17 May, 28th-round match against Arminia Bielefeld by a score of 0–1. As a result, several Schalke players were banned for life, including three —Klaus Fischer, "Stan" Libuda and Klaus Fichtel— who were with the German national team of the time. Even though the penalties were later commuted to bans ranging from six months to two years, the scandal had a profound effect on what might have possibly become one of the dominant German teams of the 1970s. Crisis & Recovery In 1973, the club moved to the Parkstadion, newly built for the 1974 FIFA World Cup and having a capacity of 70,000 spectators. In the wake of the scandal, the club's performance was uneven. They managed another second-place result in 1976–77, finishing just one point behind champions Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the early 1980s Die Knappen ran into trouble and found themselves relegated to the second division of the Bundesliga for the 1981–82 season and, after promotion, again in 1983–84. They returned to the top flight in 1984 but slipped once more to the second tier in 1988. They returned to the Bundesliga in the 1991–92 season and have stayed in the top flight ever since. The club earned their first honours since the DFB-Pokal win of 1972 with a victory in the final of the 1996–97 UEFA Cup over Italian side Internazionale on penalties. Coached by the Dutch coach Huub Stevens, the 1997 Schalke squad earned the nickname "Euro Fighters", which is still in use among fans. Stevens, who was widely unknown in Germany at the time, quickly earned himself a cult following among the Schalke supporters. Stevens successfully implemented a system of rigid discipline, especially in the defence. His Motto Die Null muß stehen. (engl.: 'It has to read nil'), emphasising the importance of not conceding any goals, has found its way into everyday language in Germany. The turn of the millennium has seen much stronger performances from Schalke. During the 1990s and early 2000, the club underwent a successful transformation into a modern, commercial sports organisation and established itself as one of the dominant teams of the Bundesliga. Schalke captured consecutive DFB-Pokals in 2000–01 and 2001–02, and earned second-place finishes in the Bundesliga in 2000–01, 2004–05 and 2006–07. The 2000–01 season finish was heartbreaking for Schalke's supporters as it took a goal in the 4th minute of injury time by Bayern Munich away to Hamburg to snatch the title from Die Königsblauen. Current Day Schalke The last few years have been more successful for Schalke, who finished in the second place in 2005, a result that led to Schalke making its second appearance in the UEFA Champions League. There, Schalke finished in third place during the group stage and continuing into the UEFA Cup, where they were eliminated by the eventual winners Sevilla in the semi-finals. In 2005–06, Schalke finished in fourth place in the Bundesliga and a year later they once again finished as runners-up for the third time in seven seasons. In the 2007–08 season, Schalke progressed past the Champions League group stage for the first time and advanced to the quarter-finals after beating FC Porto on penalties in the round of 16. They were stopped by FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals, losing both home and away games 0–1. On 9 October 2006, Russian oil company Gazprom became the club's new sponsor. The company stated it expects to invest as much as €125 million in the club over a five-and-a-half year period. Gazprom's sponsorship has been seen by some analysts as a politically motivated attempt to buy friendship in Germany. Within this sponsorship, Schalke 04 and Zenit Saint Petersburg signed a "partnership agreement." Both clubs intend to work closely on improving football-related issues. On 13 April 2008, the club announced the dismissal of manager Mirko Slomka after a heavy defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen and elimination from the Champions League. Former players Mike Büskens and Youri Mulder were put in charge of the first team on an interim basis. For the 2008–09 Bundesliga season, Schalke signed a new head coach, Fred Rutten, previously the manager of Dutch team FC Twente. Rutten signed a contract running until June 2010. In March 2009, Rutten was sacked and, once more, Mike Büskens, Youri Mulder and Oliver Reck took over the helm. On 1 July 2009, Felix Magath, who had led VfL Wolfsburg to the top of the table in the Bundesliga, became Head Coach and General Manager of the Königsblauen. The appointment of Magath as manager coincided with a multimillion-euro spending spree, allowing Schalke to acquire internationally known forwards Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Raúl. Magath's tenure at the club was initially successful, seeing the side score a glut of goals in the first few months of the season, though defensive frailties and Magath's questionable squad selection had made him unpopular with Schalke supporters by December 2010. On 16 March 2011, Magath was sacked and replaced with Ralf Rangnick, who previously, between 2004 and 2005, had a brief spell being in charge of the team. Within just weeks of his appointment, Rangnick masterminded a 5–2 victory over Italian club Internazionale at the San Siro during the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Schalke advanced to the semi-final where they lost 2–0 to Manchester United in the first leg and 4–1 in the second leg. On 22 September 2011, Ralf Rangnick announced his immediate resignation as head coach of Schalke 04 due to long-term exhaustion. Assistant coach Seppo Eichkorn coached the team as Interim Manager until the appointment of Huub Stevens on 27 September 2011. Stevens' contract is to run until 30 June 2013.[15] FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League line-up against FC Barcelona. Despite having legendary status among Schalke supporters, Stevens' return to Schalke was met with some scepticism as fans feared that Stevens, who coached Schalke to the 1997 UEFA Cup win with a rigidly defensive system, could ditch Rangnicks system of attacking play in favour of returning to the 1997 defensive antics.[16] The doubts of the supporters proved unfounded. Although Schalke played a somewhat inconsistent season, they reached third place in the Bundesliga and therefore direct qualification for the UEFA Champions League. Schalke had an excellent start to the 2012–13 Bundesliga season, and worked their way to second place in the league by November, just behind Bayern Munich. On 20 October, Schalke traveled to Borussia Dortmund for Matchday 8, and were able to defeat the home side 2–1 to secure their first league Revierderby win since February 2010 while securing a UEFA Champions League place by finishing fourth. In the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League group stage, S04's opponents were Steaua Bucharest, FC Basel, and Chelsea. Schalke finished the group stage in second place and exited in the round of sixteen to Real Madrid. The most prominent S04 addition was the arrival of Kevin-Prince Boateng at S04. After a disappointing first round of the 2013–14 Bundesliga that saw S04 in seventh place in the Bundesliga table as well as an early exit from the 2013–14 DFB-Pokal in the first knockout round, S04 played their most successful season second half of the club's history. The season was marked by a lot of injuries to key squad players such as Jefferson Farfán and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for almost the entire season and this explains the cruising that S04 handed to Real Madrid in the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League round of sixteen. It also led to performance related discussions about head coach Jens Keller. Partially, S04 fielded up to ten young players with potential who played in the S04 youth system throughout the season. Among the brightest S04 young player discoveries of the 2013–14 season were Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka. The young S04 squad won 11 out of 17 games in which S04 retrieved 36 points. At the end of the 2013–14 season, the young S04 squad reached the third place in the league table and thus for the third time in a row qualified for the UEFA Champions League, in which is a feat that S04 have never before achieved. On 7 October 2014, after a 1–2 defeat to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and merely eight points in seven games, Keller was sacked and succeeded by Roberto Di Matteo.
  10. Name: Ryan Hardie Position: Striker Age: 18 Club: Rangers Value: 50K Sale Value: Not sure, started the save with Rangers. I'd imagine not that much though say less than 1 million. Work Permit Needed: No
  11. Doing my first save on FM16 with ourselves. Going to try and replicate high possession, high intensity football, much like Warbs has implemented at the club. In terms of signings, the first year I'm going to focus on cheap/free signings to compliment the first team. Brought in White from Livingston as a back up striker/target man as he was cheap (90k) and has decent finishing. Also brought in David Stephens as a back up centre half. Not a great signing, but he looks a solid back up. Daniel Powell brought in on loan for some pace on the wings and Russell from Morton as a left back prospect. Cummings looks good too, although I am a little unsure as buying him would use up my entire budget. That being said it could be a good buy, especially since Waghorn is versatile. Signed Dylan Easton on a free as a back up midfielder as well. Decent stats but will purely be back up (Although he looked like he had high potential against us back in Div 3 when playing for Berwick. Perhaps he can fulfill it under my tutelage!) Will look at bringing in youth to supplement the squad. Looking forward to seeing the likes of McRorie, Hardie and co develop.
  12. Yeah I'll try give McCartney as much game time as possible. Just unfortunate that he's in a position where I'm reasonably well stocked with Faure, Hegarty, Boyata and Gasparotto all having legitimate claims to a starting spot, as well as McCulloch, who is still pretty useful. He just looked too good to resist. As for youth intake, there were a couple who have caught my eye. The best according to the coaches at the club are listed below. The rest of the intake was pretty uninspiring however. Will hopefully be a better intake this year. John McLean Steve Healey Derek Bowden Jimmy Newall Stevie Creaney
  13. Finished the first season, only dropped two points in the entire campaign, which I am pleased about. Daly ended the season with another pretty serious injury which ruled him out for a while, so he missed the start of my 'Championship' season. With the summer transfer window opened, I looked to strengthen some areas of the squad which I felt were in need of a little extra quality. I tried to keep this within budget as much as possible however. The signings are as follows: Jesse Joronen Brought in from Fulham on a free transfer, I brought him in to challenge Bell for the No 1 position, which I feel he should be able to do. At 21 he has a lot of growth and is still years from even reaching his potential as a keeper. Rory Donnelly Brought in on loan from Swansea, he spent last season on loan at Aberdeen, where he scored 17 goals in the Scottish Premiership, making him the top scorer. For zero wage contribution, bringing him in at this level was a "no brainer", which his start to his career at Rangers, with 15 goals from 16 starts proving to be the case. Dedryck Boyata An 'old face' returning, after his loan spell at the Club last season. During this time I became his favoured personnel, and Rangers one of his favoured teams, so I decided to bring him in. Potentially the best player at the Club, his form at the start of the season saw him recalled to the Belgian side. Also a formidable opponent in the opposition box, with 6 goals in his two terms at the Club Scott Allan A replacement in the squad for Hutton and Peralta, and young, Scottish and a Rangers fan to boot, bringing him in gives me extra options in the midfield, and he has the ability to become a good solid player for us. Started off well for us in the Championship. Marnick Vermijl A signing from Man United, who had transfer listed him. He is an improvement in the right back area, and can also cover other positions in the squad. Already started off well for us, earning him a call up for the Belgian U-21 side. A signing I have high hopes for. Lenny Nangis Brought in for his previous FM exploits more than anything else, where he had always performed for me So far he has produced though, and for a free transfer, there's not any real risk involved, especially if he performs to the top of his ability. Also provides Templeton and Aird with some genuine competition. Matt Smith I noticed the giant Leeds striker on the transfer list, when I was looking for a replacement for Daly (due to his injury) for the targetman role. At almost 2m tall, and weighing 100kg, Smith fits all the requirements for the role, and is keeping Daly out my side now he's returned. Hasn't scored many goals, unfortunately, but he's just scored a winner for me against Celtic, to put us into the semi final of the League Cup, so that alone is worth the expenditure. Not a bad way to score your first goal and endear yourself to the support though. Also has Scottish nationality as well, which is always nice. Connor Coady Brought in to add a little muscle to the midfield, especially after losing Macleod to a broken ankle. Only 21, and performed last well out on loan from Liverpool, so will hopefully be a good option for us. Our only specialist defensive midfielder as well. Bernie McCartney A regen from our friends from Linfield, he was brought to my attention in a scouting report, and I felt he looked a decent option to bring in. I initially tried to bring him in with a striker they had also produced, but to no avail as he went to Everton. However I have high hopes, and will look to integrate him into the side throughout the course of the season. So far in the league, I've performed well, and sitting top of the league. Unfortunately I've already lost a game, at home to Hamilton, and have also been put out of the Challenge cup to Dunfermline. However I am in the semi final of the League Cup with a winnable game against Raith Rovers, so hopefully I should make the final of that competition. This is the furthest I've ever took a Rangers save, for some reason I tend to get bored with them, but with this save I've enjoyed it far more, and it's kept me interested throughout.
  14. Started a Rangers game of my own finally. Never really something that I've done despite being a supporter. Currently coming to the end of the winter transfer window in the first season, which I used to strengthen the squad using loans, despite the board giving me a £3million transfer budget. Obviously with the transfer embargo in place there wasn't anything I could do until then, so used some of the younger players in positions which were in need of strengthening. Results wise, has mainly been superb, with a 100% record in the league so far, and the Challenge Cup trophy in the bag already, the bare minimum has been achieved. A run to the quarter finals in the league cup was also acceptable, especially since we managed to beat Celtic en route to that stage. However we whimpered out, with Aberdeen skelping us. We're also in the Scottish cup still, with a game against East Fife coming up in round 5. Players wise, the best performers have been so far: Cammy Bell: Played in 29 games for us in all competitions, conceding 16 goals, and keeping 19 cleans sheets in the process. Kyle McAusland/Seb Faure/Chris Hegarty: All have played a part in our good defensive play throughout the season. Also provided a threat at the other end of the pitch with 8 goals so far between them. Rejected a few bids for Faure as well in this window, which I'm pleased with. Also triggered the extra two years on his contract. Lewis Macleod: Wanted to leave, but I stuck to my guns and kept him, despite his unhappiness. It has been worth it, with 8 goals from midfield 11 assists and 7 man of the match awards in 18 league appearances, he's so far been the teams best all round performer. Andy Little & Jon Daly: My strike pairing, with 34 goals between them so far this season. They compliment each other well in these divisions. Unfortunately Jon was ruled out for 3 months, meaning their partnership has had to be halted. Transfers In: With the embargo meaning I couldn't strengthen until then, I was looking to strengthen the defence positions, mainly right back and a centre back. Right Back: Despite McAusland performing admirably, as is seen above, it was a position that still needed strengthening, with there being no real alternative in the squad as I don't rate Foster ingame, or real life. As such, I utilised the loan market to bring in Reece Wabara for this position. He'll add some much needed competition to the backline, and will slot in for Kyle if and when needed. Centre Back: Due to Gasparotto getting a season ending injury soon into the season, I felt a centre back was needed come January. Again I looked to loan someone in, and again this reinforcement came from Manchester City, this time in the form of Dedryck Boyata. Capped for Belgium, which shows his quality, he should easily be able to walk through games at this level. Attacking: I felt some attacking reinforcements were needed in order to cope with some of the injuries which we were picking up over the winter period. The first player I picked up was Davide Petrucci on loan for 18 months from Manchester United. A bargain as I have him for one and a half seasons, and don't have any contribution to pay to his wage, or loan fee. A natural central attacking midfielder, he is versatile and can possibly be played on either wing or even as a striker. As the window drew to a close, Daly picked up his injury, ruling him out for three months, effectively to the end of the season. I then tried to bring in someone on loan, in order to cover the void left. I made offers for several players, many who turned me down (Cillian Sheridan, Daniel Larsson to name two ) or they had their work permit rejected, as was the case for Charlie Davies who I nearly loaned in. In the end I loaned in Conor Wilkinson from Bolton for 6 months, and he should slot in nicely as a Daly replacement. All in all, I am pleased with how the side is progressing, and hopefully I will be able to add the Scottish Cup to go alongside my Challenge Cup and (pending) League One Championships.
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