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Armeniar

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33 "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

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  1. It's such a shame this isn't allowed, Portugal would've been the ideal next step for Santos. Why is that again?
  2. S9 – Liga NOS (4th) – Europa Conference League (Winner) - Taça de Portugal Placard (Semi final) – Taça da Liga CTT (Semi final) - Squad (U23) - Transfers Transfers The board decided to create a B club after our promotion to the Liga NOS, they currently play at the 4th level and I doubt they will ever feature in the playable leagues. It did however open up the opportunity to make one of our club legends return: Tito is their very first coach. This way, we can keep him around and pay him back for all he’s done for the club. We lost our 3rd goalkeeper Oliveira to Guimaraes on a free transfers, my fault for not renewing his contract soon enough. I was in doubt about his potential, he might prove me wrong in the future. That being said, the big transfer is our wonderkid Fortes leaving us. From the very first season, he was wanted by some high profile clubs. The board almost sold him to Porto two seasons ago for 7.5 million, this season he left us for 30 million more in January because the board accepted an offer from Liverpool. I knew it was impossible to keep him here, but losing him hurts even with all the money coming in. So far he played 8 games (2 as a starter) for Liverpool in which he scored twice and assisted once, quite impressive as a midfielder. Season review Last year’s 5th place in the Liga NOS didn’t seem to be luck or coincidence, we are really establishing ourselves as one of the better teams in the league. Obviously FC Porto and especially SL Benfica are still miles away, but we just shouldn’t be scared from any other teams anymore. I did think we would have some issues with the games coming thick and fast as we featured in the Liga NOS, 2 domestic cups and the Europa Conference League, but that didn't seem to be the case. We had an incredible first half of the season (overview). We were 3rd in the Liga NOS and really chasing Porto & Benfica, while we even managed to secure a draw at Porto's and Sporting's ground for the first time ever. In Europe, the two cups and the Liga NOS we only lost once: who other than Benfica defeated us in the league, although we didn't make it easy for them and they only won 1-0. In January we got bad news: not only did 10 of our best players leave for the Africa Cup, we also lost our wonderkid Fortes to Liverpool. The players that stayed at Bragança did their very best but most of them are nowhere near the quality of our internationals and aren't even in our senior squad. They had to defend our colours for a considerable period of time (calendar). In the Liga NOS they did a good job (although we lost track of Benfica & Porto, which is comprehensible), but they got smashed by Benfica in both the Taça de Portugal Placard & Taça da Liga CTT semi final. It's a shame we couldn't face them with our strongest squad, maybe we would've had a chance. In the Liga NOS we finished 4th and yet again, at the end, the Germans Benfica always win… 8th time in a row they secured the Liga NOS title now. I thought Porto would’ve been more competitive this season with Roberto Mancini leaving Benfica for Inter, but their new manager Massimiliano Allegri didn’t disappoint. There’s actually some other cool managers as well: Patrick Vieira at Porto, Hernan Crespo at Boavista, Cristiano Ronaldo coaching his boyhood club Sporting,... The biggest achievement this season wasn't the semi finals in the cups or the 4th place in the league, no... It was the Europe Conference League. The group stage was no big deal for us, with Malmo and Ludogorets being smaller teams than we are now. We did however show CSKA Moskow how we Cape Verdians can ball, which really surprised me as they have a fairly decent team. The next round we defeated Besiktas as we won 5-0 in our home game against them. Bordeaux was our opponent in the semi final and probably the best team we faced, with some extremely good players like for example Pellissard. We had a really good game in France, nonetheless both teams failed to score. At our own ground, Bordeaux still didn't manage to score while Baessa guided us to the finals with a phenomenal goal. Surprisingly enough, the final was an encounter between two Portuguese teams. Vitoria de Guimaraes stunned Premier League side Leeds in the semi finals. This definitely played in our advantage, because Leeds has a quality team (squad) and would probably have been to strong for us. Guimaraes on the other hand finished 6th in our league and is a team I love to play against... We already played them 3 times this season without being beaten and made it 4! Duarte - who's had a tremendous year - opened the score with his 21st goal and showed us the way to the title! Class of 2028 - Best prospects Fernandes – Sporting CP tried to poach him. Developed into a promising looking full back. He did however not get much game time since we have Mendes and Silva on his position. Next season he should become Mendes’ sub, but that means I’d have to sell Silva who’s been with us from the very first intake… Difficult. Youth intake Mediocre again. No stunning new players coming through, although some should have potential to become part of our senior squad. Signed Fortes, Lopes, Pereira, I. Fernandes & A. Fernandes. I need a new CB and Lopes should have the talent, but his profile doesn't really please me. He's small, hasn't got that much strenght and actually doesn't even know how to defend. He needs a lot of work, but I hope he will turn into a decent CB sooner rather than later. I do feel like the intakes didn’t get better despite doing considerable improvements to our youth recruitment. We will need to wait until the facilities get upgraded, which we can do now because of Fortes’ transfer and the prize money. Our balance went up from 4 million to 40 million in one season…
  3. Sad, but I knew this moment was going to come. Fortes just left for the Africa Cup along with 9 others and Liverpool made this offer. I can't even be mad at the board, 37,5 million is insane knowning he's the very first player we actually sell for money. The (only) good part about this deal is that we should get some money for our youth facilities now, maybe we should rename it the Fortes Academy Goodbye, golden boy. We had a great first half of the season, especially in Europe, but I feel like losing him will really hurt our perfomances. And we'll miss 9 others for at least 1 month as well due to the Africa Cup...
  4. S8 – Liga NOS (5th) – Taça de Portugal Placard (Semi final) – Taça da Liga CTT (3rd phase) - Squad (U23) - Transfers Transfers Very sad to announce the moment has finally come: Tito, our very last original player, has left the club. I love the fact that he’s been with us for 7 years, from playing in the third division to the Liga NOS. Nevertheless, he started losing importance as from the season we gained promotion to the first division. It was time for us to say goodbye, but his name goes into the history books. Our gay defender Gomes was also released, he played around 150 games for us. Luis Sanches & Cabral, two prospects I had high hopes for when they arrived, also got a free transfer. They disappointed and didn’t develop a single bit despite playing an awful lot of games. Finally, I decided to give our Dutch goalie Gomes another loan spell, this time in the Liga II Ledman at Casa Pia. Our best defender Sousa could make a move to Inter & Premier League side Leeds in July (highest offer 3,7 million), while Fortes - who recently got the media tag “wonderkid” and was chosen as African Promising POTY - received an offer from Arsenal, Sheffield, West Brom and Liverpool (highest offer 13,75 million). Sporting CP wanted Duarte and Baessa. The board didn’t consider any of those offers to be sufficient, so they all stayed. Apart from Fortes, who feels like he outgrew the club (I mean, I can’t blame him), they all even signed new deals in exchange for a considerable pay rise on deadline day. Inter came back for Sousa in the winter period, the board accepted an 5,5 million offer but I was able to protest against it so he stayed. Season review Finished 12th in our first season at the top tier, something I wanted to repeat this year. From my point of view, we were not in the position to aim for more… Boy, was I wrong. After keeping our starting players here despite all the interested clubs, I knew we were a more than capable side to compete with the other Liga NOS teams. Fernandes, kind of unexpectedly, grew into a very decent goalkeeper for this level, Sousa is our rock in defence, Fortes leads the team as our playmaker and more importantly: our legendary striker is back! Carvalho struggled to adapt last season, only scoring 8 goals all competitions together. This season he already reached that amount after only 10 league games. The best part is that his back up Garcia took quite a lot of Carvalho’s game time, as we only play with one striker, since he played that strong. He scored 13 goals, same amount as Carvalho in less appearances, making him top scorer. Garcia might actually be the illustration of how the whole group really delivered. We went in the winter break being 3rd in the Liga NOS, incredible. The team had a very difficult period in February where we didn’t manage to win any of our 5 games, but we recovered and stranded on the 5th place. Oh, and at the end, the Germans Benfica always win… 7th time in a row now. Reached the semi-finals in the Taça de Portugal Placard where we faced Braga. Lost both legs, so they got the honour to get beaten by Benfica in the final. In the Taça da Liga CTT we had another very unlucky group stage. There’s only one team that proceeds to the next round, we faced Benfica last year and Porto now so you know that one team won’t be us. FC Porto actually ended up winning the final against Benfica which means they don’t secure the quadruple for the third time in a row. Class of 2027 - Best prospects Dos Santos – Wasn’t involved in the first team much as we have a pretty strong base there with Fortes, Andrade and sub Almeida. He is however starting to develop, I should figure out how to use him more as I believe he has the talent to become a regular. Sporting CP tried to poach him. Graça – If it wasn’t for a couple of injuries, he would have had more game time coming from the bench. Baessa is untouchable for the moment, but Graça is an interesting sub and can grow into more than that. He should step up next season. Youth intake Youth recruitment was upgraded three times (!) compared to our previous intake, it’s on a “excellent” level now just as our junior coaching. Moreover, we finally found some money to improve our youth facilities which qualify as “adequate” afterwards. We also parted ways Danielson, who’s been our HOYD the past two years. He wasn’t too bad, but not that special either. His replacement should deliver much better work: model citizen Régis Le Bris! I had him on my shortlist as potential HOYD but he didn’t want that role at first. After a year at the club as our U19 manager, the Frenchman accepted the role given a huge pay rise. He’s earning far more than any other of our staff members, but his profile really suits the job… Youth intake preview already looked very promising. My expectations were extremely high given this, our new HOYD and the youth improvements. I can’t say lived up to this No-one really stands out as a potential first team player. Signed Rosario, Fernandes, Alves, Andrade and Duarte. Fernandes looks like he could become a decent full back, but we already have Silva, Mendes and Andrade there. Alves and Andrade might prove worthy if we lose Sousa or Fortes. Next season Hope we can keep the squad together, although keeping Fortes here would be a miracle. There's 18 big European clubs willing to throw big money at him and he only has 2 year's contract left. If it's possible, I'd like to keep him atleast one more season. Some other players are wanted as well, but I feel like that shouldn't be an issue for now unless the board starts acting weird.
  5. Thanks board for giving me yet another heart attack. Second time they do this to me! I do however feel very lucky compared to some of the other managers here... Managed to convince my board once again not to sell one of our star players.
  6. S7 – Liga NOS (12th) – Taça de Portugal Placard (5th Rnd) – Taça da Liga CTT (3rd Phase) - Squad (U19) - Transfers Since our stadium of 1000 stands obviously doesn’t fulfil the requirements of the Liga NOS, our board agreed to rent (!) the stadium of our fellow club in the city, GD Bragança. They have an 8393 all-seater for which we pay around 2,5K this season. That’s peanuts! Love the decision the board made here, I prefer this rather than building us an expensive, new stadium with our limited resources. Transfers Might be interesting to shine a light on my incoming ‘transfers’: staff members. Our promotion to the Liga NOS really made some room for improvement here. Lots of talented staff members willing to work for us, while the higher revenues allow us to build out a well-equipped roster. An overview of the incoming (and outgoing) staff members, including Thiago Motta and current FK Partizan manager Milosevic: Didn’t lose Fortes, although he was wanted by some excellent clubs. Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Roma were in a bidding war ending up around 13 million, but my board didn’t sell. For now… Some other players wanted too, but nothing serious compared to Fortes. For example Spencer was badly wanted by some Portuguese teams who thought they could get him for a small fee, while our back up striker Garcia was being chased by several teams including Braga and Championship side Huddersfield. Luckily we didn’t lose any of our first team players during the season! Season review First things first, we lost the Supertaça to Benfica. Not that it really mattered, just another nice friendly for us Benfica secured the quadruple last season, securing all possible titles in Portugal, but that’s not that weird if you look at their squad: so many gifted players! As for the Liga NOS, we had a terrible start. Knowing our first three games were against Porto, Benfica and Sporting, well… That’s nothing unexpected. The way we knocked back after those defeats, was something else. The six following games we were unbeaten, four of which we even won. It actually stunned me, as I thought the first few months would be very difficult, given we had to adapt to the quality of this league. We went into the winter break ranked 10th out of 18 teams, far better than I had hoped. Sadly enough, that’s when the trouble started. Trouble has a name in this case: Africa Cup Three of our best players, Carvalho, Fortes and Baessa were unavailable to us for a month. I mean, it’s rewarding to see them featuring at an international tournament, but we really needed them here. With Garcia instead of Carvalho, the loss of quality was considerable but not unconquerable. On the other hand, replacing Baessa and Fortes was simply impossible. Reis is nowhere near Baessa’s importance for us, while Fortes couldn’t be replaced by Almeida who tried his best: We could’ve been handed a luckier playing schedule while they were gone. To top things of, Spencer also got injured for the first 3 games and we had several suspensions. As if the Africa Cup wasn’t enough, we missed 13 (!) of our players due to Cape Verde U23 Africa Cup qualification games for the games against FC Porto & Famaliciao. We were only just capable of getting 11 players on the pitch, being lucky that our goalkeeper declared for Portugal, Andrade, Costa and Silva are too old for the U23 and we have some youngsters in the squad; On top of this, our iconic striker Rui Carvalho also struggled to get in shape and even spent 16 games without a goal at some point. Something we aren’t used to, knowing he’s been our most decisive player for the past 4 years. Despite all this, we finished 12th and never experienced relegation fear. Especially Vitoria da Setubal & Gil Vincente really couldn’t keep up with the rest of the league. Fun fact: SL Benfica really dominates the country and finished 1st for the 6th (!) season in a row, leaving FC Porto behind them as 2nd every single year. Benfica even secured the quadruple in Portugal again this season. Internationals It seems like they have found their way to EA Bragança. Overview in spoiler: Class of 2026 - Best prospects Gomes – Seems a little injury prone, picking up quite a few injuries this season. As a result, he never really got to show what he was worth. Only got a handful of games and underperformed in general. I expect more from him next season. Mendes – Already had some decent development. He’s going to make it hard for Marilson Silva to keep his spot, nevertheless Mendes has a whole different style. I prefer a full back who can contribute to our attack as well, while he seems more like the defensive type. However he will probably become a better player than Silva is, it’s only a matter of time before he takes over. This year he could still lay low and get a glimpse of first team football. Vitoria de Guimaraes wanted him badly in January, their highest offer being 1.1 million in total. Youth intake Finally allowed to upgrade our youth recruitment, it’s on an average level now. Junior coaching has also been improved, had been possible for a while but I didn’t want to take the financial risk. It’s easily an extra +-30K p/m as for expenses, our promotion to the Liga NOS should be able to compensate those with more revenues. Upgrading the youth facilities is still too expensive for now. Those improvements in mind, it was time for Danielson to show what he’s worth. Last intake was rather disappointing, this one is somewhere between mediocre and good, I believe. Dos Santos is a very welcome new prospect in midfield, suited to serve as a deep lying playmaker. We might lose Fortes anytime, so dos Santos could become of use sooner than expected. Graça seems like the best of the bunch and has a somewhat weird profile: left footed playing at the right hand side. Think I will train him as an inside forward since I don’t like his positioning and we have plenty of options at right back (with Andrade coming in as well, who looks like he could become of use). He’s quite a character too, that bravery & aggression Left back Furtado is an interesting talent as well, but we need to work on his attitude first. Signed some other, less gifted players to play in our U23 squad as we play in an official league now (and had a terrible season there).
  7. @Atrux Maybe some bigger sides from the UK want to play friendly tournament against you? Might not be much revenue, but should help a little. I think it's allowed once a season according to the rules of this challenge.
  8. Some impressive consecutive cup runs! @XaW Bienvenu (="welcome") Bakaki looks real good, the name itself is already golden. Meanwhile I'm starting to be really proud of my board. Still refusing huge offers for our gem Fortes, currently in the January window:
  9. No, just no. Stay the hell away from Fortes! I don't think he would still consider a move to FC Porto now... His asking price is going to 25 million, let's scare those folks away. Guess we will enjoy his stay here while it lasts. I have a feeling my board will accept the very first offer any of these clubs make and I can't stop them this time.
  10. S7 – Liga NOS: Squad review Building our way up, we achieved an absolute milestone in the clubs history. After the phenomenal season we had, finishing first in the Liga II Ledman and playing the cup final, I thought it would be a good idea to give an overview of our squad. These boys will have to keep us in the Liga NOS! I included both their stats at the intake date and how they are now. We all know how damn satisfactory progress looks… Transfers Not too much activity here, but that’s a good thing in this challenge I was prepared for the worst case scenario as our leading midfielder Fortes almost left for FC Porto previous transfer window. I could convince the board to block the transfer they allowed in the first place, after which I set his asking price immediately at 20 mil. Clubs haven’t returned with a new offer ever since… Keeping him is vital for our relegation battle, so there’s a delighted manager here. Released Semedo which was to be expected from the very beginning he signed for us, Soares however wasn’t. I was very happy to get him in the intake and hoped he would be our back up striker for the coming years, but he had trouble catching up with the level. Santana got a permanent move to FC Vizela, kind of weird they wanted him since he only played one single game during his time on loan there. Some youngsters went out on loan too, see below. Goalkeepers First choice: Adilson Duarte (S3), was selected for the Liga II Ledman TOTS in our first season, goalkeeper of the season last year while he also grabbed the record for most clean sheets ever in the league (19). Selected twice for the Cape Verdean national team, but never got game time and changed his primary nationality to Portuguese for some reason. Italian Serie A teams Benevento & Spezia offered 35K for him, well… No, thanks. Sub: Gelson Fernandes (S4), just returned after a very successful loan spell at Aguiar da Beira. They relegated from the 3rd tier, but Fernandes wasn’t the one to blame. He’ll be our back-up goalie and will probably feature in the early stages of the cup(s). Out on loan: Carlos Manuel Gomes (S3), as he’s partially Dutch he is one of my personal favourites. The Holland under 20 international has been our back-up goalie the past few seasons, only playing in cup games. With Fernandes coming back stronger after a loan spell, I wanted to give Gomes the chance to be first choice somewhere. CD Mafra that just relegated out of the Liga II Ledman, seemed an excellent work environment for him. Ivan Oliveira (S5) will spend this season at Mondinense, predicted to be one of the worst teams in the 3rd division. As he turned 18, I want him to play although I doubt he’ll ever make it into our first team. DefendersFirst choices: Marilson Silva (S1) has been our attacking minded right back from the second year on, I rely on him heavily. Might not be the best full back defensive wise, but he possesses a fair amount of pace which covers up a lot. Very important in our glorious season last year, providing 8 assists as a right back isn’t too bad. Adilson Spencer (S4), also had a very solid season with an average rating of 7.01. He often switched between the starting XI and substitutes, perhaps even because of his versality, but will now commence as one of our first choices. Love these kind of versatile players, as do some other clubs it seems: he received offers from GD Chaves, Estoril Praia & CD Nacional this summer. Emerson Sousa (S5) serves as our ball-playing defender and immediately stood his ground. I predict him to have a very bright future. Some bigger clubs were sniffing around, but there haven’t been any offers the board would consider. Let’s hope it stays that way, Sousa’s arguably already our best defender. Ângelo Mendes (S4) is the final chain in our defence. Decent full back for our standards, not the slowest of the bunch. Subs CB: Julio Manuel Lopes (S4) our tall guy who doesn’t know how to head the ball… Apart from that, he’s an interesting prospect. Had a good season last year and will now serve as first back up for the central defenders, as well as defensive midfielder. José Gomes (S1), nothing too special but a decent player to have as a stand in. He’s been with us for quite a while now and came out as gay last year. As a matter of fact, that is probably the reason I kept him around for at least one more season. Positive discrimination, or something Subs DL/DR: Danilson Gomes (S6) had some bad luck getting a 4 months’ injury right after we signed him so he still needs some time to recover and earn back some match experience. Vitoria de Guimaraes offered 150K on deadline day but I have no intention of letting him go, of course. Davy Mendes (S6) is the other full back of last year’s intake and has the difficult task to compete with Silva. Both him and Gomes are actually already the first options behind our starting full backs, so they will be involved often. Luis Sanches (S3) looked like a promising prospect when he first arrived at the club, but never lived up to his potential. As he’s either footed and capable at both sides, it’s quite a shame he didn’t develop the way he was deemed to by our staff. Gomes & Mendes have priority over him. Midfield First choices: Ivan Costa (S1) solid defensive mid who became our captain as from last season. He grew into a team leader, on the field as well as outside the pitch. I absolutely love the progress he made, his marking and passing are considerably better now while his mental stats have really blown in the air. Elton Andrade (S1), next to Costa and Silva he’s the third starting player from our first intake. The kind of player that never really excels, but doesn’t disappoint. Wilson Fortes (S5) is our third and most important prospect in midfield. He’s our best player by far and improving a lot. It’s not a question if, but when we are going to lose him to a top team. Recently made his international debut, been given 7’ against Tunisia and 14’ against Togo in which he scored and won Cape Verde the game. Subs: Danilson Almeida (S4), sort of a late bloomer, although that’s not quite fair to say considering he’s still only 19. My staff never knew how to estimate his potential, but I like how this kid turned out. He’s our back up central midfielder if something happens to Andrade or Fortes and is really knocking on the first teams door. Tito (S0) our only original player left, captain and star player in the 3rd division and still had a crucial role in our first Liga II Ledman season. He’s not the player he used to be anymore, but if someone deserves to be around it is him. I renewed his deal for one more year. Wingers First choices: Djaniny Baessa (S4), originally a striker but since we have Carvalho there and because of his poor finishing, he was retrained as an inside forward. Best choice I could make, he has the ideal profile: left footed, pace, technique,… Was vital to our promotion with 11 goals and 5 assists. Ailton Duarte (S4) our left winger, outdone himself and might be the example of how young players can improve when given much game time. Didn’t expect him to become the decent winger he is now. Subs: Flavio Reis (S3) big difference in quality with Baessa and Duarte, although he’s the first choice behind them. Bruno Cabral (S3) if you asked me when we first got him in our intake, I’d say Cabral would be a future key player. He played an awful lot of games, but showed literally no improvement at all. However he’s still an important player to us as we don’t have that many wingers around. Adilson Santos (S5), a bit under the radar. Helps us when needed. Out on loan: Davy Lopes (S4), wasn’t that fond of him from the very start and he never really showed any progress. Nothing special apart from his physical attributes. He’ll get a chance to prove he’s worth something at Atlético CP, otherwise his youth contract will not be renewed at the end of this season. Striker First choice: Rui Carvalho (S2) won the award for Young POTS & POTS last season during which he was really consistent, being the top scorer in the Liga II Ledman with 23 goals. He’s the reason I love this game, he’s the reason I love this challenge. Already an icon at the club, never really showed interest in leaving us and has been carrying the team for a long, long time now. Top scorer the past 4 season, highest average rating in those years as well. Note to future self: keep him at the club until he’s too old to run. Sub: Carlos Garcia (S5), he’s rather unfortunate having to compete against Carvalho. I try to give him as much minutes as I can, but there’s just no way around our legendary striker. That being said, Garcia is an ideal option up front and serves well as his back up.
  11. Well, I don't think they really wanted us to be part of the Liga NOS... What a way to start the season At least we're done with the biggest teams for now, lol. On a more positive note: our U23 squad now finally plays in a league after our promotion. After six seasons of arranging friendlies for my youth squads by myself, that's just awesome news.
  12. S6 – Liga II Ledman (1st) – Taça de Portugal Placard (Final) – Taça da Liga CTT (3rd Phase) - Squad (U19) - Transfers Transfers Another summer of difficult decisions. First of all, some players who ran out of their youth contracts were released. Barbosa, A. Carvalho, Pereira and Mendes only got a handful of games in the senior squad and were clearly far off first team level. Reis on the contrary was our left back for over 50 games, he never really disappointed. However we’ve got some talented defenders in the pipeline so he was released. Same goes for Edson Tavares, almost playing a 100 games for the club in which he scored over 20 times as a winger. Secondly, we parted ways with two key players in the first four seasons. Rui Tavares, who has the most league appearances ever for our club (169), was just not good enough for the Liga II Ledman. His game time drastically decreased last season, it’s probably for the best that his contract wasn’t renewed. Central defender Eric Furtado was allowed a free transfer to third division club AD Oliveirense. Although he has been with us from the first season and played more than decent, I chose to release him so some of the younger players can take his place. Apart from Tito, they were the last original players of the squad. Thanks for all the incredible work here, guys. We also loaned out Santana, Santos and Soares to clubs in the third division. They all came at an age where match experience becomes extremely important, something I couldn’t guarantee them. Elton Santos was allowed a permanent deal to Amarante for free, I prefer him playing there rather than just releasing him after this season. Our third goalie Fernandes was also loaned out to a third divisioner at the end of september, they were at the bottom of their league and in need of a new goalie. Figured it would be a good learning school for him, which it turned out to be as he played all games and really improved. Season review After our solid debut season in the Liga II Ledman last year, I was curious whether we would be able to confirm this by having another worriless season. Not having to worry about relegation to the third tier was very unexpected and really gave us the possibility to experiment as much as we wanted. With some new talented kids coming in, we should stay out of trouble again was my humble thought... During pre-season we had the pleasure to participate in the Taça da Liga CTT again, I actually start liking this cup because it adds another, more competitive dimension to our preparation. We actually managed to win the 2nd phase against Liga NOS side Moreirense, with POTM Fortes being the star of the show. He scored once and assisted another via, you wouldn’t guess it looking at his stats, a free kick. This kid already showed at that time that he will definitely be playing a lot of games this season, he’s a very strong addition to our squad. The 3rd phase of this cup appeared to be a group stage. We were handed quite a though group with the likes of Porto and Braga. My expectations were zero in this cup, these games are only good for some match experience against bigger sides, and more importantly provide money! In the first game CD Tondela underestimated us and thought they could leave some of their best players of the pitch, but their arrogance didn’t last for too long: 3-0 victory! Good win, because Porto and Braga were obviously too strong for us to grab any points. Off to the competition. Our performances in the Taça da Liga CTT didn’t seem to be that extraordinary. I couldn’t believe it, but we just kept on going. We didn’t just have a good start, we had an amazing season overall. The team played like a well-oiled machine, ripping every single one of our opponents apart. My hopes for a nice, quiet mid-table finish quickly changed to the very unexpected dream of getting a chance of promotion. As the season progressed, this dream became more and more vivid. I assumed we would have our “annual” breakdown in the cold winter months, but that was nowhere near the case. We secured promotion with still 3 games to go and even clinched the title after a 5-1 win at home against the 3rd in the table, Belenenses. After such a performance, I guess you can say we deserve that title. Also broke some records: Duarte got the most clean sheets (19) ever in the league, Rui Carvalho the most goals (23). Now, to spice things up even a little more, the “real” cup in Portugal. We were extremely lucky in the first cup round against a 4th tier team, only winning after extra time and penalties. They scored their one and only shot in the first 90 minutes, we had a goal disallowed, a penalty missed, four times woodwork and an insane amount of good chances thrown away. Next round we drew Liga NOS side Portimonense, already for the 3rd time in six years we feature them in the Taça. As they say, 3rd time’s the charm: they got send home with a 2-0 loss! After that, we had three games against 3rd division teams which we won quite easily. And, all of the sudden, we saw ourselves featuring in the semi-finals Famalicao, one of the solid teams behind Porto & Benfica, were our opponents. Never thought this would happen, but the boys exceeded their form ones again and qualified us for the final after two 1-1 draws… Incredible! We played Benfica in the final, gave our best but obviously lost the game because we are nowhere near their talent. They even secured the quadruple against us, after winning the Supercup, Liga NOS and the Taça da Liga CTT as well. What a cup run for us tho, so special being able to play the final as a Liga II Ledman team although we had quite a few rather fortunate draws! Internationals Rui Carvalho picked up his first international goals against Zimbabwe and is becoming a regular in the national team. Goalie Duarte was called op one more time, but weirdly enough decided to change his ‘primary’ nationality to Portuguese halfway the season. He must be upset that he wasn’t given any game time and might want to fancy his chances for the Portuguese (youth) teams… Right back Silva and Baessa also received a call up for the game against Eq. Guinea, Baessa even made his debut. Also some new U20 call ups: next to Cabral this season also Santana, Fernandes (both loaned out), Santos, Almeida and Garcia. Class of 2025 - Best prospects Fortes – Incredible player, no words He immediately performed, making sure I had to start him. He became one of our key players in no time, his free kicks are a real weapon as well. In January FC Porto made an offer the board accepted, but because I protested he didn’t go there after all. Immediately set his asking price to 20M, clubs stayed away since then for now. However, I feel like we will probably be losing him next season though I really hope we can keep him here for a very long time. Fortes is pure gold, best player at the club. Sousa – As I had hoped, he turned out to be developing in our much needed ball playing defender. Got slightly more time than Fortes to jump into the first team, but he followed Fortes’ lead and exceeded expectations. Even scored quite a few goals as a centre back. Also massively improved this year, he’s our best defender already. This guy will be the heart of our defence the coming seasons, at least if other teams stay away. He’s wanted by SC Braga & Vitoria de Guimaraes… Youth intake New HOYD, Danielson, a Brazilian who played in the Liga NOS in his prime days. He earns quite a lot for our standards, I expected something in return… Joke’s on me, worst intake we have had so far. Is this what happens if you decide to trade your HOYD who earns 55 p/w for one who gets 850 p/w? Signed Gomes, Mendes, Furtado, Varela and dos Reis. Gomes looks like a decent addition to the squad if he could improve a little, will become our back-up left back. As if it was part of the bigger plan, he broke his foot just after a few weeks… Things just couldn’t get any better.
  13. Impressive, gratz!! @vikeologist I normally don't do updates on results throughout the season, but I just couldn't keep this to myself. And all of the sudden, you're in the cup final as a second division team This is incredible, couldn't believe we won the penalty shootout without anyone who can actually take a pen. We were even the better team against Famalciao. The best part is, to reach the final we only had to defeat Famalciao and Portimonense as for Liga NOS teams. Our other opponents didn't even play in the Liga II Ledman, couldn't have gotten better draws... Just after being able to force the board to keep Fortes out of FC Porto's hands, this is another massive achievement for the club. This season really exceeds all expectations.
  14. We almost lost him, our golden boy Fortes... Porto offered a huge amount of money, knowning our balance is only 1.5 mil at the moment. However, losing this kid after only playing half a season in the first squad can't be compensated with any amount of money. I didn't even know the option to protest a transfer allowed by the board existed. My heart skipped a beat after reading this message. They followed my lead, thank you chairman I hope we can keep Fortes for a little while longer.
  15. Those are PES faces... I get those from a database where I randomly search unknown players with custom (fake) faces. https://www.pesmaster.com/ Couldn't play FM without it anymore, got so tired of seeing the same regen face 6 time in my squad lol.
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