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About CarltonCole

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  1. Fotballklubb Bergen Seier Where do I begin? It's been a season of extremes for new boys at FK Bergen Seier. Bittersweet in many ways, the 18/19 season saw an exceptional season on the pitch almost ruined at the death as a seemingly mentally fragile team let one last minute defeat see them lose a seven point lead with four games to go, leaving us needing 3 points on the final day to clinch the title. Thankfully, we did just that, beating 4th place Honefoss 3-1 away form home. However, the season wasn't without its low points. A shock 5-0 home defeat to Alta, who also beat us way 1-0 to give us our only 2 losses of the season, saw a red card, 3 penalties against us and 2 shocking mistakes that plunged the dressing room into chaos. It took a few games for the team to recover, and I probably didn't help maters by both privately and publicly lashing out in frustration at the loss. Nevertheless, the first season can definitely be classed as a resounding success. On The Pitch It's difficult to complain with any season where you finish top of the table. After a somewhat uninspiring start, and barring the aforementioned dip in form about midway through the season, we controlled our place at the top of the table for the entire second half of the season. However, 5 games before the end with a seven point lead, we lost 1-0 away to Alta, and followed it up with two 1-1 draws, reducing the gap between us and Asker to just 2 points with 2 games to go. We snatched a 1-0 win in the 90th minute in the second last game, and after a team meeting where I applied a lot of pressure to perform, we walked out comfortable 3-1 victors and Second Division Group 1 champions. Our success was bought about by tactical changes. We started the season with our main left back injured, and following the injuries of our second left back and our starting right back we were forced to play a few weeks using a 3-5-1-1 formation, to limited success. Eventually however, we settled on a simple 4-4-2, which yielded impressive results. This has however caused issues due to our lack of depth at striker; only 3 players were capable of this role as I'd always planned to play 1 up front, so when Niklas Castro fractured his back, keeping him side-lined for 4 months, young winger-come-striker Ole Erik Midtskogen stepped up. And boy did he impress, netting 11 times and assisting 5 more, including the winning goal in the final game of the season, in 15 starts and 8 substitute appearances. The undoubted star of the season, however, was young Swedish hitman Valmir Berisha. His performances were so consistent and impressive that Premier Division teams are circling like sharks to snatch the 22-year old, who led for both goals and assists with 25 and 13 this season respectively in 26 appearances, a performance that saw him come runner up in the race for the golden boot to Asker's Papa Sow (34). Other noteworthy mentions include makeshift central midfielder Jørgen Kolstad, who comfortably controlled play from a deep-lying playmaker position and even grabbed 3 goals and 4 assists for himself, and captain Mathias Blårud, who partnered with Kolstad and led our team from its heart. Erik Brenden also had an impressive season on the right, scoring 8 times and assisting 9 to finish as the clubs second highest assister. Off The Pitch Despite the resounding success on the pitch, the private side of the club has witnessed some ugly scenes in the past year. Several players are set to leave the club; 31-year old Czech midfielder Jan Kralik is on the transfer list after an early injury kept him from the side too long for him to stake a late claim, and the subsequent decline in his ability has left him far below the standard required for our season in the Norwegian First Division. Midfielder Kevin Mankowitz will also depart the club in search of first team football after making just 9 appearances for the club this season, managing an average rating of 6.7 and his only memorable moment being his sending off in the 5-0 home defeat to Alta. 33-year old goalkeeper Olav Dalen is looking for a loan to get more playing time, and 30 year old defender Lars Emil Flakk will likely be replaced if a strong alternative can be found. The main drama however came from Lars-Kristian Eriksen. The veteran 35 year old asserted himself early as a highly influential squad member, and despite his obvious quality his older legs got him into trouble consistently, leading to him failing to start more than 10 league matches. His lack of football caused a rift in the dressing room as the starting 11 sided against his inclusion and fringe players pushed for it, leading to a few heated meetings, public outbursts and constant media speculation. It's safe to say his contract at FKBS will not be renewed. Another area of concern has been the club finances. Despite good control of the wage budget, we've plummeted into a deficit of around £350,000. This means we'll likely have to make a few sales to try and balance the books. Nevertheless, I've been given a wage budget of over £30k for the coming season and a transfer budget of £611,000, with which I'll be looking to add depth and replace departing players with younger prospects. Looking Back It's been a successful season. A title win and the consolidation of the club's finances for the next season are both in line with the initial aims I set myself, if not an improvement upon them. There were unsavoury scenes in the dressing room but nothing that can't be resolved and the bulk of the team are still behind me, with the squad hierarchy slowly taking shape. Looking back, I'd have liked to keep Mankowitz for the depth he offered in midfield, but I'm not too heartbroken as at 26 he is already playing at his full potential and is nothing more than a 'decent' option. I feel things would have been easier had Niklas Castro stayed fit, but that was out of my control. Overall, there's little I would have done differently and I'm excited for the season ahead. Looking Forward The next update will be at the end of the 19/20 pre-season. In that time, it's incredibly likely that several things will happen. Overall, the targets and priorities for the next season are: To assert ourselves a First Division side with a strong mid table finish (8th-12th out of 16). To reach the third round of the Norwegian Cup. To ensure the departure of Jan Kralik, Kevin Mankowitz and Lars-Kristian Eriksen on a permanent basis and the departure of Olav Dalen on a temporary one. To sign at least one young player with four and a half star potential or higher, as well as a backup left back, right midfielder and left midfielder. To keep a hold of Valmir Berisha if at all possible. To sign a manager at last for our second team (FKBS2).
  2. I'm not sure if this is still running but I found the idea really interesting and thought I'd give it a shot. So I present to you... Fotballklubb Bergen Seier Based in Norway's second most populated city, Bergen, FK Bergen Seier is a newly founded club set to start their first season in group 1 of Norway's Second Division (technically the third their of Norwegian football). Playing at the Vinnerestadion, which boasts an impressive capacity of approximately twelve and a half thousand fans, FKBS have made a shock appointment of an unknown manager to lead their charge in the 2018/19 season. Due to the timing of the Norwegian league, starting in the pre-season time for the English divisions actually places me 12 games into the season. As a result, I've fast-forwarded until the start of the 2018/19 season, beginning in April 2018. The Squad With a squad budget of a little over £550,000, it was difficult to fit many star players in. As a result, the squad features a few more over 30's than I would have liked and several free agents. At the same time, there are a few standout players among the group. The squad has an average age of 25, and an average height of 6'0", so it's a very rounded bunch. One thing I didn't anticipate, however, was the club's small wage bill. At the start of the season, after converting my entire transfer budget and as much of the scouting budget as I can to wages, I'm still £5.2k short. Thankfully, the club's season tickets and large fan base mean we're losing less than £500 a month, and with a balance of £614,150, we shouldn't be in trouble any time soon. Key Players Mathias Blårud - Club captain for the 18/19 season, Blårud is an outstanding player to lead this team forward. Boasting an incredible set of high mental stats, including determination, leadership, teamwork, concentration and decisions, the 22-year old Norwegian central midfielder couples these qualities with well rounded technical stats that make him a solid all-rounder, perfect to sit in the middle of the park and control the game in both directions. Rasmus Martinsen - The 21-year old Norwegian bruiser is vice-captain for the season. A defensive-midfielder by trade, Martinsen is remarkably versatile, able to play anywhere along the back four as well as on both wings and in the middle of the field. His excellent tackling, marking and anticipation stats make him ideal for protecting the back four, and his solid passing and composure allow him to calmly bring the ball out of defence and distribute reliably to the more creative players on the team. Mathusan Sandrakumar - A young starlet right-back, at 20 years of age is one of the best players in the side despite his young years. He is both a threat going forward an immense obstacle at the back and still has both time and potential to grow. Erik Brenden - Right winger Erik Brenden, 24, has had an exceptional pre-season. Despite being one of my fringe picks when building the squad, he has managed 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 pre-season appearances, asserting himself as one of the squad's most formidable attacking threats amid competition from a plethora of wide options. Valmir Berisha - The 21-year old Swedish target man will be leading the line for FK Bergen Seier this season. While he struggled for goals in pre-season, a lack of quality depth up front means that he'll have to adapt quickly. He showed his goal scoring ability with a hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Lindome GIF, but didn't manage a goal in any of his 5 other appearances. Unlocking his ability will be key to our success this season. Pre-Season and Tactics Pre-season was strong, as we managed to record a single loss, two draws and four wins in seven friendly matches. After tinkering with a plethora of tactics including 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 and eventually 4-1-2-3, I've decided that 4-1-2-3 is the strongest tactic going forward as this is what we used to record wins in the 3 most recent games, while the others saw us struggle for goals. The starting line-up and tactics for the season ahead are as follows: We'll be favouring a fairly direct attacking style of play, using the deep-sitting midfield and back four to press and dispossess the opposition before playing quickly forward to the wingers and target man; the three points of our attacking trident. I'll be back with another update at the mid-point of the season, or if anything else significant happens.
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