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  1. 21 November 2018 We've hit a bit of a wall now this season. Some of our overall energy has been lost, and teams have been punishing our defensive efforts a fair bit as well. The Winter break may be our saving grace! 2nd in the League For the first time this season we've lost our top spot, squandering what was up to a 6-7 point lead. You can see our form right there. Where we're struggling is at both ends of the park. The midfield is fighting well, but our wingers are having trouble scoring and we're getting done on the break in defence. I'm torn over pulling the defensive line back a bit and losing general shape that worked so well for us early in the season. It hasn't helped that we're lacking options up front after Clem broke his arm. On of the reason's he was an appealing signing was that he was still fit and fast and athletic for his age. 8 weeks without training at his age may well have that wane - he won't be back until after winter and that might just be his career over. At least his career with us. The saving grace here is that we get a break for winter - maybe we can use that to re-focus our efforts. Winter Is Coming Ok it's a bad GoT reference Ukraine has an interesting Fixtures setup. I mentioned how early we started off for starters. The reason for this is the snowy winter of course, but if you're used to other European nations, it's a bit jarring think you have literally 4 months off football! Finances / Money / Club Things A couple of other things that should help us with finances a little bit. I'm actually really happy with this. Zorya were 3rd in the top flight when we linked with them and even if they drop a bit, they've got a decent squad and that means some potential to loan players in the future. I'll be taking a look this transfer window for sure. The fee isn't huge, but affiliation fee's are so outdated that you can't expect much these days. Similarly we earned some sponsorship - it's a little more significant. I'm not ungrateful - every bit counts! Contract For Minsc The main reason for updating now, as opposed to during the long, slow break, is that the club wanted to lock up Minsc with a new contract. The club is still sitting well beyond expectations and it's at least worth another punt next year. For Minsc the biggest challenge is getting 'more' money for the new deal out of his new contract. We'll work on it and let you know!
  2. 1 September 2018 Our hot streak finally ends while we don't have much luck during the transfer window. League Table On September 1st, the last match before a considerable break, we finally had our undefeated streak broken. The month of August was every bit as rough as we expected, made even worse by a 120 minute Cup fixture that ended 1-1 and took us to 11 penalties to get a result! That's their keeper stepping up to make the first miss of the match! 3 days later we could only manage a come-from-behind draw. Not to pretend it's a dire situation that we're in, but we do seem to have trouble rising to beat weaker teams. Against the stronger sides we really step up and dominate and find ways to score. Against weaker teams we get a bit lost for ideas as they sit back and defend us, and we get hit on the break a fair bit. But it was the 1 September game we lost - we were still probably the better side, but Dnipro-1 scored early and we spent the rest of the game trying to catch up. It was one of those difficult ones where you wonder if we could have done more - you have a rotation strategy in mind and it's great until it's not and you think "oh I probably shouldn't be so quick to rest my players". I don't believe this form can continue all season. I'm certain that teams can catch us. The good news is that having a 14 point gap to 6th shows that we're probably already sitting nicely for a Top Half finish at the least. After 12 fantastic matches, we should definitely set our sights on the promotion scenario (winners promote, 2nd and 3rd playoff against the Premier Div teams), but it's always nice to have the security blanket that the Board won't be looking to let us go any time soon. Transfer Window - Summer 2018 Not that exciting overall. We're restricted heavily by financial concerns and it's difficult to shift players at this level at the best of times - let alone the first season when you haven't had a chance to show them off. We have picked up 2 signings though. I've gone over how I was fearful we couldn't score goal - and oh how wrong I was on that front - and we picked up Diego Clementino to help us out there. The other issues were at the back and surprisingly our DC Kravchuk has found a really nice little partnership with our star back Aksyonov, so I was happier to chase a wide backline player instead. Bidlovskyi is a winger with a bit of defensive skill rather than an out-and-out full back, but by August we already had an idea that we were one of the stronger sides this season and I was happy to have proper 'wingback' roles appointed. I've been playing around with some "Player Card" sketches like above. They're just a bit more interesting than dumping the player profile pages for every single player. Obviously they'll improve over time (I'll stop designing them between Paint & MS Excel for a start), but I'm actually not that artistic, so don't hold your breath, haha. But the main thing is to highlight what type of player they are, why we signed them/what we're hoping to get from them, and really how we managed to get them to come - be it big wads of money, being a bit opportunistic, or just really thorough scouting and savvy shopping. Obviously it's early days and these are all going to be fairly plain - but if we progress forward nicely over our career, we'll be masters of the Player Card review by the time we're at clubs with a bit more player rotation. Staff He's been here for 5 years and I actually really like that he's Fairly Professional. Maybe it's just a passing FM 'fad' for myself, or maybe there's some (sub?)conscious reaction to the seeming shift in 'professional footballers' culture these days, but lately I've put a lot more stock in player personalities. Here, the assistant manager leads with the right attitude. The staff I actually hired amounted to basically just a Chief Scout and a U21 Assistant Manager. The Scouting boss is actually the solo scouting department staffer we have, but for now we've just gone with a younger local Ukrainian candidate - at least his knowledge is fair and I've seen Staff grow & improve before so maybe the 35yr old will within the role. I went the far other end of the spectrum for someone to manage our Under 21's. Nikonov has clearly been involved in football for decades and this will likely be his last gig before he retires. We don't have much of a U21's side, but at least Vadim can look after the U21's, the Youths and I can probably ask him to look after our Youth Intake this season in absense of a full time HoYD. The guy has great talent working with the kids and well-balanced training skills. Until we can really afford to bolster our staffing numbers, we'll just be looking for coaches with a broad array of skills. Dynamics We said we'd need some players to put their hand up as Team Leaders if we wanted to really push this club in the right direction. I know Dynamics are probably a bit divisive in the community in the sense of if they're a welcome addition to the game, but it's not really an analysis I want to get into (here at least. I'd love to have that kind of discussion on the merits or not of dynamics in FM, but in another forum somewhere). But what I like about them in the context of our club is that Dynamics will transcend any given season to a large extent. If we encourage certain players to grow into team leaders - through captaincy or just sheer volume of appearances or how we talk about them in press conferences to name some examples - we need to make sure they are part of the long-term framework we're building. Here we have Korolkov stepping up as our first "Highly Influential Player" - a feat obtained by him holding the captains armband and also because he's close to becomming our most capped player at the club. Now he's 32 years old and he's playing out of position at DM this season and his contract runs until 2020. He's not really that great at DM - he just does the basics like moving the ball around well, but he doesn't win many challenges or play any piercing balls through from back there. It's fine while everything else is working so well, but it's not a long-term solution. Plus there's starting to become a very real promotion fight opportunity here and will a 33yr old veteran be able to step up!? My point is that we've got to seriously consider extra factors like leadership and determination and even loyalty of our other players lest Korolkov leave or retire over the next 18-20 months and we get stuck back at square one with no real leaders. And that's what I meant about Dynamics transcending seasons and why that's interesting right now. We're trying to squeeze every little advantage we can out of a club with limited resources, and to grow the club in any way possible. Making sure we have responsible team leaders that continue with us over the seasons is one such little element to the clubs growth.
  3. 4 August 2018 Ultimately a great start for us. Off the field we haven't had a lot of changes, and I'm VERY worried about our financial stability, but for now we're doing all we can - winning games! Early Season Form I don't typically take the pessimist route, but with such a financially & resource restricted club I honestly felt we were going to struggle this season. The Board wanted top half and yet the Season Preview had us in the low-to-mid table region. I was worried we didn't have the technical skills to play heavy possession football, and even though we have great wingers, we'd struggle to score without a really dominating striker. And yet the side has impressed at every turn. I don't want to get into the habit of narrating every match - that would be considerably boring for everyone, but a few key events. Balkany Zorya scored first (10m) away from home, and we had to chase them. Against Ingulets Petrove we were probably a bit lucky in a 50/50 kind of match whether neither side could really create good shooting opportunities. The deadlock eventually broken when we subbed on Clementino (more on him once we finish the transfer window) who slipped in behind the defence chasing a curling cross and the defender had to slide to get the ball first - but he put it past his own keeper! While there have been games we should have drawn, the one game we probably should have won comfortably was against recently promoted Metalist 1925. Despite the bookmakers' optimism, they were struggling in 15th and we were only their 2nd point of the season. They scored early and then Batyushyn caught one of them with a bad tackle, meaning we went 79 minutes with only 10 players. We managed to take the lead back within the first half but to their credit they rallied with a man advantage and scored later in the 2nd half. Stats and Analysis - Positioning in Attack One thing that really stood out to me in the first couple of matches was just how well we adapted to our opponents in the first couple of games. I think this expresses my point well - in the latter game we were clearly able to play a lot more direct and work the ball around in the offensive space. Our wingers could sit more in between the thirds and our triangle of central midfielders worked that space - preferring to work short passes between one another, knowing that we were already advanced enough to take shots if the opportunity presented itself. That was a far cry from the first match (left image) where our opponents put pressure on us slightly further up the park. And you can see we responded by utilising the DM and DC's a lot more, accepting that we'd have to sit deeper, and then we saw more slashes of colour on the flanks where we used that depth to create better angles for passes. It's not much of a difference and it's only 2 matches, I know. But I find the biggest issue with setting tactics in FM is understanding where on the park you've told your players to stand. My idea of (for example) and advanced playmaker MC might be different to what's programmed into the game - certainly the appeal in tactics in football is the nuance each player & coach brings to each role, even if the names or descriptions often sound the same. Point is I put a lot of time early in my managerial time at a club into making sure that the players move appropriately. These kind of graphs tell me that when we're up the field, the DLP DM actually steps up and helps the MC's sit wider while we probe the area, but also while we're still playing the ball through midfield, we sit fairly narrow and let our great wingers have all the space in the world to operate in, often isolating them 1v1 against a fullback. That is working as intended. Stats and Analysis - Shooting I've really been surprised by how well we've passed the scoring around, just how well Shevchuk has continued to play within this strategy and how the 4-man spread-out canopy of creative and attacking players surrounding the striker have been equally a threat. The list doesn't have Yampol purely because he's been injured, but the key playmakers we highlighted are all here otherwise - Batyushyn and Skarlosh give us different types of threat in midfield (one makes more key passes the other is more of a shooting threat), our experienced captain Korolkov steps up and secures penalties, and Sikorskyi on the wing is actually our greatest shooting threat - in our most recent game he had 3 stunning shots parried by the opposition keeper and it's only a matter of time before he starts putting a few more away. August Between 1 Aug and 1 Sept (inclusive), we have 10 fixtures - assuming we don't win our Cup fixture on 15-Aug and have to fit in an 11th game somewhere. With only 21 squad members that's extremely hectic. I know in the (Australian) A-League we only have 20-23 manned squads and a lot of teams struggle to manage 5 matches in a month like that. Added to the trouble is that this is just the 2nd month of the season and match fitness isn't 100% either yet. Admittedly we've not had any huge injury troubles (*touches wood*) - our preferred keeper Dankovych pulled his hamstring, but Myrnyi stepped up and took man of the match in his first game. Star winger Yampol was out for 2 weeks, but we've actually got some decent options in the mix now with Kicha and now Clementino, and even the experienced Lozovyi has had some decent starts as we've rotated the squad. But I do have to say that overall fatigue is getting to us. We do get the 2 week international break after September 1, but until then the fight will be tough. I guess when you're performing so well you start to consider what factors will prevent you from sustaining this form and our biggest concern will be keeping fit. Transfer Window While we'll go over the signings at the end of the transfer window, I wanted to mention that I've made some stronger calls on players - specifically listing some players and looking to move them away. The first two are highlighted here. Kicha is a highly paid player and he's simply not that great. You can see, if nothing else, that we've picked up Clementino who can cover all his roles for less in wages, and we get a better player for it. Because of the wage, is it a short term fix? Yes certainly. But we've only signed Diego for 1 year as well, whereas Kicha has a crazy 2 year deal at those wages. He wasn't too happy about the listing, but we really don't have the cash to be charitable about our wages. 2nd "L" there is our 2nd keeper. I would have been happy having 2 keepers - neither are probably going to challenge for GK of the season in this league, but both are entirely fine for what we need this season. Trouble is, *both* are individually fine, but yet again it's a lot of money to have 800 pounds per week invested in just 1 position. The 3rd guy I've decided to let go is our left back Vlasyuk. I may have mentioned that I thought we were light on a bit there. Even though the below table paints him in a fairly favourable light, I'm worried about the total mistakes and how long before he makes one that punishes our goalkeeper. The eagle eyes among us can probably piece together that we've signed 30yr old Bidovskyi to replace him. Should all three of them leave, that would save us roughly 1k in wages. We're already 500 over our wage budget, but this would make room for us to pick up a new centre back OR look to attract a younger player to sign for us so we can hopefully blood him for longer-term success.
  4. 17 July 2018 When I said we would be going 'slow and detailed' I certainly did not mean 'awol for 3 months before getting started' so I'm really sorry about that. We left off just short from our first League game - 14th July - and we were a club with no staff, no money and barely even a starting XI. So how could we possibly win matches!? It's actually kind of fortunate that I made both this thread and a spreadsheet to track the team - I can come back in and start reviewing where we're at without needing to redo the hours of set-up I'd already put in! Matchday 1 - 14 July 2018 Our first match was against Prykarpattya IF and we went in with an almost fully fit squad. Well I say 'fully fit', but I mean no one is match fit after just 2 friendly warm-up matches... but we only had 1 injury. That just happened to be on winger Yampol, who you may remember is our highest paid player - ouch! Now I can tell you that Prykarpattya was just promoted, or I could tell you that they're tipped to come 7th (out of 16) in our league this season - we're tipped for 10th for what it's worth. I figure, honestly, that the previous strength and season 1 predictions won't mean a thing to any of us and it'll be far more important to learn the strength of the surrounding teams on the fly. So onto the show, right? I actually have to say I'm quite impressed with the team here. We certainly didn't "dominate" the match, but we held the ball well, we passed it around nicely, and even if we lost a lot of possession through them tackling us and we struggled to hit the target a bit, I feel like we had a satisfactory result. Korolkov was great at DM - providing a few key passes and just generally marshalling the troops from there. Our backline held up well despite my concerns over their competitiveness too! But the two big efforts were from right at the front and right at the back. I've penned in "Goalkeeper" as a lock this season - we won't be looking for new players because I believe Dankoych can hold his own already, and still has some room to grow as a player. He picked up Man of the Match, which is a great effort for a few reasons. He wasn't entirely peppered with shots, so you know it's all the other stuff he brought to the table that helped him get that award. And yet I gave him absolutely 'no' instructions pre-season or pre-game. I always forget! He's also playing the more difficult Sweeper-Keeper role, as opposed to a typical Goalkeeper role (for some reason I'm obsessed with Sweeper Keepers right now!)... so accounting for the strange role and him having to figure out how to play without advice from his manager... that's pretty impressive! Our goal was pretty simple, and you might look at the stats, a 1-0 win, see that our only goal was a corner and think we were a bit lucky. But the goal came in the 11th minute and they never really looked like scoring back, and Shevchuk's efforts here were just an example of how well he played all in. I was extremely worried about having a slower Target Man up front, but the experienced striker showed his class - he was coming to receive the ball, helped us keep a lot of possession and he combined on more than a half dozen occassions with crosses from Sikorskyi, who is another key element of our team. So our match ended up 1-0, and I hope the 4 supporters who made the 766 kilometre journey (damn, Ukraine is HUGE!) got their money's worth. You know what, let's name our travelling supporter base: Anton Vadym Steve (he is an Aus-Ukraine dual citizen) & Alina (that's Andriy's mum!) Season Expectations This is a little out of place now we know how we went in our first match, but I didn't want to take away the sport of how we were expected to go! Here you can see the Board is pretty keen for a top half finish - I guess all the professional teams here are pushing for top flight football asap so this is the first target on that journey. We did come 8th last season so the Board/Owner probably thinks we're a decent shout at it. On another note, we finalised our season ticket holders: We probably won't name all of them, haha. Season Ticket Holders (and the price of tickets) is one of that seemingly irrelevant metrics in the game that I just love to track every season. Maybe as a football fan I love the notion that the manager cares about the fans just as much as he cares about results, and I feel in 2018/19 part of being a manager IS indeed helping the club grow - including helping them grow their fanbase. Recruitment So you've been sitting around for 2 weeks (even though it feels more like 3 months) doing nothing Minsc, have you even made any inroads on the recruitment drive?! Well we have signed a U21's Manager - I decided since we were unlikely to get a full quota of coaches, just taking a 2nd Manager would be a decent start - and a Chief Scout. I might cover them more at a later stage - I'm trying to decide if we can secure a HoYD first, because I feel as though that role is of HUGE significance to a poor club who will be relying on sourcing young, local talent to stay competitive. As for players, no we haven't signed anyone. Without a scout Minsc has had literally no one to give him feedback on players, and we've essentially become and 'open training & trialling' club - offering anyone who even sounds like they might be useful a trail for a couple of weeks! Now before you go 'oh wow there's some fantastic players you can get there' keep in mind that getting these guys to trial here is one thing, getting them to stay with little to no wages on offer is another. And that's without considering if a 22yr old Argentine player can aclimatise to Ukraine's 2nd tier, or if a 34yr old Brazillian's skills won't just die overnight with us not giving him the kind of training facilities and fitness coaching he's used to. Having said that, Clementino looked great in a friendly - a really slippery striker. And I'm lining up someone like 28yr old Gryschenko as a DM/DC/FB kind of backup or bench utility. So this is all a work in progress, and when I take some players on we'll look at them in more detail. I was looking at sketching up some player profiles, so I might be able to revive those and use them as a kind of cute player card thing. I really like making notes on any signings we make, so we can come back later and see if that player turned out to be what we expected!!
  5. 2 July 2019 Just ran a week through, played a quick friendly and started the intensive task for recruiting & building up the club. Staff & Scouting I knew we wouldn't have the money for a full roster of staff. I also knew that even if the Board said we *could* have certain staff, we probably shouldn't take up the full quota, lest we jeopardise the financial position of the club. But even with that in mind I didn't realise just how tough this would be. Trying to prioritise, I decided we just needed the scouts first. For now I can bundle the U21's and U19's off to my assistant, and we can share the training. We have 1 physio. If I can just get 1-2 scouts, we can start looking at players and go from there. Even looking for the cheapest possible options I can't find scouts that'll sign for 200 pounds. The most the board will allow us to offer is 180. To try and get around this we've put out a job advertisement for Chief Scout in the hopes that we'll be allowed to offer someone 220 quid to get in the job. Personally I'll find it weird not having a DoF. And I've never 'not' used HoYD. I'm actually really unsure how we're going to find players at all - with no scouts, no DoF and we can't even afford scouting packages right now!! Suffice to say, this section is "TBA" when we figure something out. Squad Dynamics Thought I'd just show this off quickly. You can argue the good or bad in dynamics as a feature, but I do like the concept of having team leaders. In fact I almost feel like Team Leaders don't do enough internal work. Like a Team Leader will have the other players agree with him on club issues, but he won't be the main driver to fix player personalities or make sure we keep training at the right levels or step in when he disagree's with a certain player who's arguing to the manager... Team Leaders tend to purely exist to cause Manager troubles when in reality their greatest impact in the real world is within the playing squad. Anyway I think it's important that we get 1-2 guys pushed up to Team Leader status, so we'll be looking to make sure we stick with the guys who are in that 2nd-from-top bracket there. Sponsors & Debts Final comment on money is that we don't have any sponsors nor any debts. I'm hoping the Board can brew up some sponsors to just help us stay afloat for the short term. I think we'll probably lose 10k a month so if we can get a sponsor worth 50k or something it would go a long way to keeping us in balance over 12 months. And yes I tried to organise a senior affiliate but the Board weren't having any of it.
  6. 25 June 2018 Today we pin down our strategy & tactics. Formation & Tactics I don't typically like to just dump full-screen images and then covering all the stuff on there in 1 big text wall - usually I like cutting the pieces I like and writing a lot little on each. And where I can I make little custom graphics or cut pieces from my spreadsheet to share as well. The reason being that everyone is used to the in-game UI and it's refreshing to see something different. Having said that, since this is Day 1 and I haven't really given much indication to the strengths and weaknesses of the squad, I thought this would be appropriate. You can clearly see why we want to run the 2x MC's in attacking roles, and why we want to utilise our key wide players. I want us to play more direct and to get the ball to those attacking 4/5 players. The idea being that if we're stuck the Target Man can come get the ball and we can still play back to the DM who sits entirely behind the play and orchestrates the play. The formation may well be modelled off a "Vertical Tiki-Taka" style (per the title on the left), but in practise it couldn't be further from it. Instead I set Vertical Tiki-Taka as our 2nd strategy - if we're chasing we'll press harder and have our wide men attack the goal from a more narrow starting position. But for our primary strategy we're going to play more direct, not fuss too much about the possession game - I want our MC's (I might call them "Advanced Playmakers" from now on - APs) to really float around the attacking space and look more to pierce the defence by playing in our front 3. As you can see, our backline is where we'll struggle, and I don't want to commit too heavily of a plan that is based around the WBL/WBR and DM we have right now. I figure we'll either be signing some new players or maybe even retraining someone to fit those roles. Once we have an idea of what resources we have (be that players, budgets or signing options) we'll start to customise those positions to the players we have. Ideally we have quick fullbacks who can follow-up the direct passing but still retreat to defend. I want to try closing down opposing wingers and stop crosses from being sent in - another thing more pace (even if it's without tackling specifically) may help with. Weaknesses & Targets Starting with the obvious weakness, we really need to do some work on our defensive set up. Some of the players we can make do with - in the centre I'd be ok with making the most of Kravchuk, and Kunev (see below) on the right is an entirely reasonable guy to use out there. But we'll be looking for either some kind of backup or new signing there - and if we get the option to pick up a stronger player we'll take it! Similarly at DM we probably want a new signing, and then we decide if we want that player to be our First XI guy or if we do something else - lets say we re-purpose our veteran midfielder Korolkov (seen in my previous post) as a DM - he can just hold his position behind the hectic attacking spots and be the team leader. Also similar is up in the #9 role. Shevchuk is strong and he'll do a job for us, no doubt. His backup, Kicha, is fast and gives us another mix, but then we're into the wingers who probably won't add much. So I'm a little worried if we can't get anything out of our two options - they really need to step up beyond their current skill levels to have the impact we need from them - we won't have many options. Once again it's a position we can make do with until we get a better option - but if said option presents itself we should chase it. That leaves our problem Left Wingback role. We'll simply have to see what we can find. Basically that wraps up our weaknesses and thus what our signing targets are in the short term. As a summary: Not the most ambitious approach to revamping the squad, but (at least for now) Minsc is going to take the conservative approach to management.
  7. 25 June 2018 There's always a lot to cover on Day 1 and I really like to take my time. The question is - how much of the grunt-work is interesting for the narrative!? Key Players Priority 1 should probably be meeting the team. And we can't create a formation or strategy without getting to know our key players. Volodymyr Korolkov He's probably on the back end of his career to be brutally honest, but he's been a good servant for the club - this is his 6th year here, and we'll probably appoint him as a our primary captain. He may not start many games, but I think it's important to set the standard for this management career - getting the right mix of players and treating everyone right is the key to success at this level. Olexandr Aksyonov We're a little light at the back, and we'll be relying on Olexandr to control things defensively. He's only 24 and has already had a sniff of top tier Ukrainian football - at Tavria & Mariupol - and more recently he's found himself jumping around First Div sides trying to cement his spot. What he brings to us is that potential to play Premier football and if he's using our club to re-invigorate his career and to break back into that top flight, that's fine by us. Andriy Skarlosh Mostly showing him off because he's got a huge star rating by our Assistant, Andriy is a First Division veteran. He's been at a few clubs now, and he has consistently been playing in the starting XI throughout his career. What I like about him is that he looks reliable. His technical skills are solid for this level, he's got a good array of mental attributes and he's quick with a good work ethic. Players like Andriy do all the hard work, allowing others a bit more freedom to express themselves. Igor Sikorskyi & Yaroslav Yampol Last in our player-spam (don't worry, this won't be a regular thing) are 'the wingers'. Igor really sets the bar here - he's fit, pacey and likes to run and cross. I'd call him the typical winger, which in itself can be fairly rare these days. Our challenge is going to be getting him in behind the defence (making use of his off-ball movement) and letting him decide if he can cut inside to get a shot off, or to peel wide and make the cross. Yaroslav might look like a weaker version, but I think he brings some good elements to the table. That kind of flair, mixed with a bit more technique and shades better balance means he might be able to beat players in his own way - not based purely on dribbling and pace. We also get a free kick taking option as well. I suspect we'll play both sides the same - I'm a big fan of symetrical strategies - that is playing a symetrical formation, but with vastly different tactics in place on either side.. but I don't think that suits the key men here. These two guys won't specifically site wide - they'll just be 'wide options' and I want to give them the freedom to stay wide or come in and be a goal threat. For now we'll probably use them on their preferred feet and skip the more modern 'inside forward' strategies. Maybe we'll learn we need to swap later. Strategy & Tactics To be clear, here's how I define Strategy & Tactics when talking... Strategy - The overall 'plan' or intention. How you will attack and defend. What features are important to pull them off. It encompasses tactics, formation, the kind of players you want etc... Tactics - The detailed orders given to the team and individual players - that ideally help pull off the strategy. As a general idea, here's what I think we'll go with. The plan will be to try and isolate our wingers 1v1 against a fullback and get them in behind, and to pick out the striker, opposite winger or the midfielders steaming in from the centre. The DM is there as security, and will allow our two MC's to push forward as much as they want - they are the playmakers and we'll be looking for both of them to feed the wingers or play the striker through the line. It doesn't really describe much about the defensive line, and that's mostly because I think we're short on options there. When I know we have weaker options in the squad, I tend not to ask too much of them. You'll note the same with the striker - so far the only idea is "be in the middle" - it's because I'm not sure there's a standout option up front right now. As you can see, our 'defensive unit' is fairly small and lacking in experience. More of our senior players are further up the field (Average age in our Senior Squad is 26). I might actually leave more of the 'tactics' element for a couple of weeks. I need to get an idea of how likely it'll be to transfer players in and out of the squad, or we need to utilise the players we have as best we can. So we've got the bare bones of the strategy mapped out - what tactics can we use on our players to achieve that? Once we know what players we'll be using, we can refine that. Schedule Having said that, I'll leave you with an idea of how much work needs to be done in a short space of time. With the freezing winters here, football is played from July to June with a 3 month break between December and March. It won't give us a lot of time to prepare. Honestly, I don't expect us to be fully settled until September/October time. That may give you an idea of our expectations for the season, haha.
  8. Indeed. Which is even funnier - because he must have his own section of the stand... it's not like he can sit if there's a standing zone around him else he couldn't see the game. And it's not like any of his mates or coworkers or employee's would come and stand next to him to keep him company. So I can only imagine the chairman has this big throne and a little table to his side and gets waited on hand and foot by the stadium catering staff... but it's a distant & lonely area of the stadium lol.
  9. Haha cheers mate. Unfortunately I'm an English-only ignoramus! And even then I don't do it well!!
  10. For what it's worth - this is supposed to be a fairly serious, slow and detailed story of our managerial run. The title of this thread (and manager and backstory) just comes from my being bored and trying to find something interesting to do to basically get a game started. Once we're up and running I'll get into the swing of things nicely, but getting started is the hard part. So despite a fairly decent (I think it's decent) and creative (I think it's creative) premise, this thread will probably be a bit dry and serious and hopefully I can add some humour to that. TL;DR - title may not match the overall experience. Some (dated?) pop culture savants will probably already know where we're going with this just from the title, but to bring everyone up to speed, let's meet the manager. Minsc Butlee I typically use an alter ego for my manager names. I've always found it more fun to play a character as a manager - even if the managerial style always ends up the same. I like how the story bends and moves and if it's "me" all the time, it's not as interesting or natural to watch events unfold sometimes. For that case I tend to use "McBride" as my alter-ego-surname... except that it's far too English for what we're doing here. So I've just defaulted to using my own name as the compulsory surname field. But what's important is that we meet Minsc - some may call him a loveable oaf (he's 205cm tall), some may call him impulsive and rash, some say he's loud and obnoxious, but in his heart he's a good guy who always lets you know what he thinks and wants to do the best he can. This is a time before his widely publicised fame (and face tattoo's). He's not the most intelligent chap, but he's focused on attack and he's determined to succeed - he will not hear 'no' for an answer once he has his mind set on things. He's also good at motivational speeches. You've seen a couple, here's another one: At this juncture I need to apologise in advance for any and all potentially ignorant-of-other-culture remarks I make. I don't mean any harm by it. That said, Minsc hails from Belarus - a familiar Eastern Slavic region, and in his quest to become the best manager in the world and to prove himself in the eyes of his countrymen, he's taken on the nearest professional club Manager role he could find. His ambition is that of the journeyman - he seeks adventure and justice (sometimes in that order). He also likes swords and taunting his enemy. If you're reading all this so far and can't for the life of you figure out what's going on, I apologise. As mentioned by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers - "If you have to ask, you'll never know..." But this might get you started: http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Minsc FC Girnyk-Sport Gorišni Plavni Ukrainian First League (2nd tier, Ukraine) Now my Russian/Ukraine/Slavic dialect is non-existent, so wikipedia tells me there's a club name translation to "FC Hirnyk-Sport Horishni Plavni" as well. For this thread we'll stick to what my FM says - Girnyk. We've found ourselves at a club without a top flight history. Indeed the club was only founded in 1989 and entered the professional league structure in 1992. It's a nice little club with not a lot on the table, and yet they've made their way into the 2nd tier of Ukrainian football and with a bit of luck we can challenge for a spot in the top flight (maybe not in our first season). This first post is kind of image heavy. Going forward I'll try to mix up chit-chat and images a bit - I think the narrative of the story is as important as the visuals. Picture this: A wealthy Ukrainian or Russian businessman comes into the club's office and says "I will buy this club, but only on 1 condition. You put in chair for me." And thus Yunist Stadium was built and the chairman's throne was hoisted up on the halfway line. (I've been looking at this club for a whole day now, and the notion of having 1 seat in the whole stadium is still cracking me up!!) In terms of more serious matters - we have the bare bones of a Professional club. Yes we play in the U21s and U19s competitions and yes we have Youth Recruiting facilities alongside the basics for our Seniors. But it really is the minimum and any kind of money or investment or winnings we can get our hands on will need to be put back into the club. It won't be all spent on players & wages that's for sure!! Speaking of resources, we don't have a lot in the bank - just 473 pounds. I'm just going to operate the whole save in 'pounds' so it stays consistent. Personally I don't know how a Ukrainian Hrivna translates to currencies I'm familiar with, so we'll just stick with what I know. What's important is that our bank balance is only worth 1/10th of our weekly wage budget - so regardless of what currency it's in, you can tell we don't have any money on board. The club doesn't have any affiliates nor sponsors at this point so I'm not sure how where the cash is going to come from. Best we can do for now is get those wages under budget and maybe make some room to sign 1-2 more players and still stick under the budget. Intro-Wrap-Up Anyhow, that's kind of where the club and manager are at now. I'll want to do another set-up post more focused on the players and the squad... hopefully we can start having an idea of formations and what we need to make it work (either through re-training or new signings), and it will probably be AFTER that where we look at Aims and Objectives - for both Minsc and the club. We're all for moving around to new clubs, but we need to treat every club like it's a long-term appointment. If you arrive with the notion of "Oh we'll just do 2-3 seasons here", you never really properly commit imo. That's a pretty nice view of our club - especially if we're back in 12 months to compare. We have no real stars or professional history, so maybe we can leave an impression there over time. Squad is fairly ambitious and with any luck we'll grow the reputation here as we grow the club. Oh and I actually have 2 more things. First up, the skin here (credit where credit is due): https://www.fmscout.com/a-opz-elite-fm19-skin.html You can change the backgrounds from the black matte I have, to some more scenic ones or picturesque ones. I just use a plain because it's easier to edit/crop/manipulate sample images with a plain background. And lastly, someone made a little logo for me, so I want to link his Twitch (he's far more regular than I'll be) - if you want to go check out some FM saves, he's the man. The Keg Man. https://www.twitch.tv/KegManPlays Cheers, hope you'll stick around for more updates. All this stuff is kind of boring fluff, but it's important for the long-term as we'll be able to look back and see our humble beginnings
  11. I notice Matt Simon at Central Coast Mariners is both captain and defaults to the Youth Team at the club when you start. That may be because of the assessment of his skill, but to be honest he was signed to be their captain and he's only 32... he should be in the seniors!
  12. Did Brett Holman [Brisbane Roar] get put back into a regular salary position, not a marquee? https://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/football/a-league/brisbane-roar-continue-bulking-up-for-201819-aleague-season-by-bringing-brett-holman-back/news-story/8f0b64077100854ff22659979d4f1ac9 The Courier Mail is the local paper and the author - Marco M - gets pretty good access from the club with this kind of info. So long as you're getting his facts from the paper/publication and not his twitter page, you'd bank on him being right. That does leave Brisbane Roar a free Marquee spot - and that's a fairly significant thing that would change their fortunes in-game I should imagine. (In real life they chose not to fill their 2nd Marquee position this season).
  13. For what it's worth, this is an area that I think could do with some improvement from the design side. Just some more general feedback each time you get your Youth Intake beyond "Well do everything better (facilities, recruitment, coaching etc..)" and "HoYD got you these two players". That tends not to help much in the sense of how do you improve your youth intake. Just info that will help you actually manage a bit and improve your Intake, without completely giving away all the things that go into this (and how much each thing impacts). Anyway, just plugging my own thread - but on the Feature Requests forum I posted an idea with a screenshot of something nice. It's about halfway down the FR forum if you're interested/curious.
  14. You tend to get a big payout under "other" in your Income statement annually that pays back the money. That's how it's been in previous years in FM.
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