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  1. I reckon I'll give this a whirl after I fizzled out in Slovenia a season or two ago, at the Europa League group stage. Back to Slovenia again, this time at NK Grad. The other team that came up was probably the easier choice, but what with Grad's black and white stripes, and the word 'grad' in Slovenian translating as 'castle', there was only one choice for a Geordie like myself. I'm finding FM14 a bit harder than other years, so I reckon this challenge could be a complete failure, but we'll see how it goes. Here's some screenshots for now: Manager profile Squad I'll give an update at the end of January to see how things start off
  2. After three months away from the game, I'm happy to present the next chapter of my challenge in Slovenia ..... NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2021-22 Update Progress is slow, but sure. This season saw us edge ever closer to the top spot in the Slovenian League, finishing only 3 points behind leaders Maribor. It was a close thing about 6 games from the end, but we hit bad form at the wrong time and couldn't recover to nick the title. Incredibly, this season was our sixth consecutive cup final appearance. We got back to winning ways this time, with a tidy 4-0 win over Celje, after an excellent semi-final defeat of Maribor, the holders. Winning the cup doesn't really give us anything useful, because our league finish qualifies us nicely for Europe next year anyway. Which brings us to Europe this year. It seems that not wishing for group stages is the way to go, because we battled through the third and 4th qualifying rounds of the Europa League, and secured our place in Group A. It would be contested with Napoli, Rangers and Werder Bremen. Hopes were obviously low, and we travelled to Naples for the first of six group games. A shock 2-0 win for Krka put a smile on everyone at the club's face, and we welcomed Werder Bremen to Portoval in high spirits. Amazingly, we managed the same scoreline again, with 2 different goalscorers giving us 6 points out of 6. Rangers proved to be an entirely different prospect. Despite the fact they'd only collected a single point from their first two matches, they triumphed 2-1 at our home ground. The return fixture proved equally unfruitful, as we went down 4-1 to change the complexion of the group entirely. We entered the final two games placed third, with Napoli and Rangers just one point ahead of us, both on 7. Napoli came to Slovenia looking to hold on to top spot in the group, but it was us who held on for a 1-1 draw. Rangers took all three points in their game, leaving Bremen rock bottom, but us needing to win, and hope Rangers didn't lose. Neither of those things happened. Werder Bremen romped to a 5-1 victory over us, and Napoli beat the Glasgow side, giving us a disappointing, but promising 3rd place finish. || Table | Graph | Cup run | Europe || Defensive strengthening was on my mind last summer, and in total I signed 4 defenders during the window, three of whom were free transfers. Add to that a new first-choice keeper and our defence was looking hopefully a bit more solid. Andrei Constantin, Vitaliy Lytvynenko, Fabinho, Patrice Michel and Vlastimil Homola were the 5 acquisitions in that particular transfer window. Add to that Jakub Novak in January and we have just about too many defenders to put on a pitch. Plenty players left on frees, Mitja Plahuta being the most significant. Ladislav Adamek was poached by a Qatari club, adding a cool £1.1m to our bank. Nenê sadly was also taken from us; he returned to Brazil. Forward Dejan Mihaljovic signed for us on the final day of the January window, wrapping up a busy year of deals. || Transfers | Squad || Player of the season: Babacar Camara - Once again, this lad performed. 14 goals and 17 assists gave him an average rating of 7.66 over his 47 starts, and he collected eleven MotMs on his way. Top stuff. Top Goalscorer: Mauro - Eclipsed everyone else this season. A new record goalscorer by some distance, Mauro's 33 goals make him a key player to hold on to. As if that wasn't enough, try 24 assists on top of that. Just unbeatable. One to watch: Patrice Michel - Potentially a top defender, and as he is French, he qualifies for the EU National rule in place in the Slovenian League. An important player now and in the future. || Finances | Boardroom | Confidence || Our pitch has just been relaid, and the club's youth facilities are on the up. Slowly building the club into contenders, but I think I will still be on this challenge for a good few years yet. Slovenian clubs had a superb year in Europe, with Maribor actually getting through their group, and also the First Knockout Round. Slovenia push up to 16th, just one place behind an elusive 2nd Champions League spot. Next season: Progress in both league and Europe. I don't know what else to ask for. || Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer || ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- || 21/22 | Slovenian First League | 2nd/10 |EL Grp 3rd| Winners | Europa League Groups | Mauro (33) || || 20/21 | Slovenian First League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Filip Pospisil (16!)|| || 19/20 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Mitja Plahuta (25) || || 18/19 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Gregor Sculac (24) || || 17/18 | Slovenian Second League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Winners | Promoted, Cup win | Goran Zinic (24) || || 16/17 | Slovenian Second League | 4th/10 | - | Winners | Cup | Goran Zinic (21) || || 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) || || 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) || || 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) || || 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7) ||
  3. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2020-21 Update Things are progressing quite nicely at Krka, a poor start to the season prompted me to abandon a formation that had served me well for a good few years, and opt for two wingers instead. This worked well, pushing us up the league to 2nd; a position which we maintained for the whole of the season. Olimpija led a late charge to try and take the runner-up spot from us, but could only come within 3 points. Maribor were crowned champions. The cup saw us progress to the final once more, but we made it a hat trick of defeats - this season it was Maribor who pipped us to both domestic competitions. The Europa League's third qualifying round again proved too difficult for us, and it was Legia of Poland who dumped us out. Finishing 2nd in the league allows us to enter the competitiong at the 3rd Q. Round immediately, so hopefully the draw will be kind. There is a chance we will be seeded this year, I think. || Table | Graph | Cup run | Europe || Transfers this season saw more players bought than sold, with Nenê, Alex Jaramillo, Aljosa Krajnc and Babacar Camara all becoming key players. The signing of Camara was particularly important, as we have no other natural left winger. Krajnc left the club only 6 months later, after Olimpija threw £775K at my board, who accepted on my behalf. Given that we signed him on a free, it was quite a nice piece of business. Ladislav Adamek came in during the January window, after Gregor Sculac departed for Sparta Rotterdam via his £88K foreign club release clause (an annoyance to say the least). I am, however, excited about Adamek, despite the shocking nature of his finishing so far. Reserve keeper Tadej Cipot requested contract termination, was given it, and Kristjan Lipovac came in as a replacement. He is now unhappy. Shame. || Transfers | Squad || Player of the season: Babacar Camara - He came in for £10K and has been superb. His 19 assists from 33 games are supplemented by a tidy sum of 9 goals, making Camara a useful player to have at the club. More to come from him, I hope. Top Goalscorer: Filip Pospisil - I'm even shocked at this one. A closely contested award, with goals coming from all angles this year, but a centre half has actually won top goalscorer. And his partner, Nenê, came third. They collected 16 and 13 goals respectively. Player to note: Roberto Acosta - He's had a slow start at the club but the 21 year old is finally starting to come into his own. Fierce competition for two striker spots will make things challenging for him, but I hope he can flourish in the coming seasons. || Finances | Boardroom | Confidence || Training facilities will be done by October, meanwhile, the fans are going mental that I've just spent £300K on a right-back. I never did replace Krajnc properly, though. Next season: Challenge for the title. I'm not going to bother hoping for group stages of Europe, it evidently will never happen. || Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer || ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- || 20/21 | Slovenian First League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Filip Pospisil (16!)|| || 19/20 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Mitja Plahuta (25) || || 18/19 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Gregor Sculac (24) || || 17/18 | Slovenian Second League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Winners | Promoted, Cup win | Goran Zinic (24) || || 16/17 | Slovenian Second League | 4th/10 | - | Winners | Cup | Goran Zinic (21) || || 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) || || 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) || || 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) || || 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7) ||
  4. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2019-20 Update An online game in Russia with a few friends has distracted me from this save in Slovenia, but after finishing off another season today, here's my report on how things are progressing. No movement in the league this year, but another 3rd place finish is nothing less than I was hoping for. Olimpija and Maribor are going to prove tough to crack, but I'm confident that we'll be able to sneak into the top two in the end. This season saw Krka participate in a fourth consecutive domestic cup final, but after a pretty one-sided match with Maribor, we lost for the second season in a row. Europe turned out to be another case of déjà vu. The third qualifying round was all we could manage in the Europa League, just as in the two previous seasons. Antalyaspor of Turkey were our downfall this time. || Table | Graph | Cup run | Europe || Last summer was one of our quieter ones transfer-wise. Only three players came in, whilst three more left. The most notable departure was Tim Ceh, one of my personal favourites to have played for my Krka team. He refused to agree terms, and went instead to Rudar Velenje, a team still stuck in the Second League. Strikers Mitja Plahuta and Miha Kokol were brought in as replacements. Rok Ribic was our other acquisition in the summer, whilst youngster Abdou Bah joined in November. January saw the signing of Filip Pospisil, a player I've been tracking for a while now, to cover for defence. However, a shock bid of £625K from Olimpija for Hakob Darbinyan, a defender I only signed a season or so ago, was accepted by my board above my head. Hakob moved swiftly on. This made my signing of Pospisil all the more important. We took Rok Buzeti in the other direction, to play right-back. The end of the season came, and APOEL too made a £625K bid for my other centre half, Szabó, who I signed during the other summer along with Darbinyan. Again, the board intervened and Szabó chose to leave. It gave my bank a nice boost, though. I've made a few signings so far in this transfer window, but I'll cover them next year. || Transfers | Squad || Player of the season: Stevan Bajic - The midfielder was consistently on the team sheet, and he chipped in with 5 goals and twelve assists. Progressing. Top Goalscorer: Mitja Plahuta - Came in at the start of the season, and has netted 25 goals in all competitions. Impact. Player to note: Ivan Pacak - The 21 year-old is spending time out on loan at Krsko, but I hope to have him playing for us regularly as soon as possible. Potential. || Finances | Boardroom | Confidence || The board now allow me to scout wherever I please, after I gave them the 'Look at everything I've done for the club' line. This could be key to any success in Europe I might have. Next season: I say it every year, but surely we must be able to hit the group stages of the Europa League? || Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer || ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- || 19/20 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Mitja Plahuta (25) || || 18/19 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Gregor Sculac (24) || || 17/18 | Slovenian Second League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Winners | Promoted, Cup win | Goran Zinic (24) || || 16/17 | Slovenian Second League | 4th/10 | - | Winners | Cup | Goran Zinic (21) || || 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) || || 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) || || 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) || || 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7) ||
  5. corinthiano: Ljubljana are still in the database, but they haven't had a promotion to the Second League yet. Sorry I'm late with this response, as well as my latest update, which will follow shortly.
  6. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2018-19 Update I'd call this season a season of progress. No trophies to boast this time around, but our impressive finish in the league is good enough for now. || Table | Graph | Cup run | Europe || We defied all the odds in the league, and improved on our previous First League attempt. 3rd place gives us more Europa League football next season, but two extra rounds to get through. It was all about the goals again this year, and 72 league goals from 36 games is pretty good going. We were once again quite active in the transfer market throughout the season, bringing in 7 players in 2018. I continued my trend of signing relatively young players on free transfers, 5 of whom were Slovenian. At the start of the season, the board announced we would now be allowed to scout within the whole of Europe, something that I've wanted for a while now. Some key transfers were: Goran Filipovic - This striker came into the team at the beginning of August and has been impressive throughout the season. Hakob Darbinyan - My defence is still the weakest area of the team, but I think I've got two very good prospects here, the other being this next fella.... András Szabó - Both of these centre halves came in late on in 2018, and they've slowly been introduced to the first team. I'm hoping for good progress next year. || Transfers | Squad || Player of the season: Aljaz Leskovar - It's been a while since a defender got this one, so here we are. Aljaz sadly suffered a terrible injury midway through the season, ruling him out for about 9 months. He returns soon, hopefully without too much damage to his ability. Top goalscorer: Gregor Sculac - He's been trying for a number of seasons to get this award, and now that Cavnik and Zinic have left, this year was his chance. And he delivered, 24 goals in total. Player to note: Stevan Bajic - This midfielder has slowly progressed since I signed him four years ago. He's yet to really hit it off at Krka, but I hope that next season will be his in which to shine. || Finances | Boardroom | Confidence || Next season: With still only one Champions league spot, despite Slovenia's impressive showing in Europe and the coefficients this season, I'd like to try for the group stages of the Europa League, and once again qualify through league position. || Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer || ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- || 18/19 | Slovenian First League | 3rd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Runners-up | - | Gregor Sculac (24) || || 17/18 | Slovenian Second League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Winners | Promoted, Cup win | Goran Zinic (24) || || 16/17 | Slovenian Second League | 4th/10 | - | Winners | Cup | Goran Zinic (21) || || 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) || || 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) || || 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) || || 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7) ||
  7. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2017-18 Update Wow, what a season. Excuse me if this update is on the chunky side, but there is a fair bit to report on. As I mentioned earlier, the season kicked off with the Slovenian Super Cup, back in mid-July. A victory after extra time gave us a nice confidence boost heading into the campaign. After several more friendlies, the third qualifying round for the Europa League came around, but after drawing in Austria, we could not hold out against SK Rapid Wien, and succumbed to them 3-2 on aggregate. The £147K prize money gave the bank a nice boost, however. The league began late in August, and we made a promising start, going unbeaten in 5 matches. Similar good runs followed, interspersed with the odd loss. At the winter break it seemed that Aluminij and Interblock would be too strong to overcome, and I would be destined for yet another season in Second League football. Losing to Aluminij just before the break did not help our chances. But as the season got going again, we hit good form, but annoyingly drew against both Interblock and Aluminij in the final round of fixtures. Recently relegated Aluminij proved too difficult to catch, so we could only hope for the playoff. Interblock dropped enough points for us to get ahead of them, and we secured the 2nd place spot we needed to give us a slight chance of promotion. Our opponents in the playoff would be Rudar Velenje, and our history against them gave us no indication of who might triumph, with 5 points apiece. But before we could set about achieving promotion, we had other things to deal with... Another good cup run saw us quickly progress through the early stages, where we were given easier teams than last year to play against. Non-league Kamnik and Zavrc came in the second round and quarter finals, after we'd beaten Interblock 2-0 in round 1. The semi-final was a different prospect, though. Olimpija, First League champions from a few years ago would aim to take our title away from us, but two tidy 1-0 victories saw us through to a consecutive cup final. The game would be played four days after the final league fixture, and just three before our playoff first leg. Goalkeeper Jasmin Dizdarevic was recalled from international duty for this run of games. I don't recall ever shouting at my computer before today, but when you're 2-1 up against Celje in the final of the cup, with 3 minutes added on at the end, and they have the cheek to go and score at 93:23, I simply exploded. For one thing, that's just heart-breaking, and another, extra time was the last thing I needed with an important playoff in a few days. Extra time ended 2-2, and my nerves were truly tested in the shootout that followed. We would take kicks first, and when we missed our fourth, it seemed all over. But Celje too missed their 4th penalty, and after both scoring again, sudden death ensued. Penalty number 6 was missed for us, but our keeper saved the very next penalty, to keep the shootout going. The 8th set of penalties saw us score and Celje miss, which meant we took the cup home for the second year running. Cue celebrations. And then we took the trip to Rudar Velenje, where, after going 1-0 down, an 80th minute own goal gave us a good draw to take back to Portoval. It didn't make much difference in the end, after we crushed them 5-1 at home. That means we will get First League football again next season. Cue celebrations. An incredibly long and difficult season, which spanned from 15th July to 12th June, but we've come through with a lot to show for ourselves. John Mason has now entered the Hall of Fame, the only foreign manager in the Slovenia table. || Table | Graph | Cup run || There were too many transfers this season for me to report on fully; they were mostly youngsters I bought to bulk up the squad, without too much expense. Here are some of the significant ones: Octavio Castelblanco - A Colombian midfielder who was offered to me by his agent. He looks decent, and has performed well with the few chances he's had. Roberto Acosta - Signed this lad to give Octavio a friend to talk to, after he had to go back to Colombia twice 'cause he couldn't settle. Uruguayan striker, hasn't impressed me too much so far. Mircea Mariş - A midfielder from Romania, he looks ... Determined. My defence is starting to look wobbly again, I will hope to strengthen in the summer. || Transfers || Player of the season: Miran Cavnik - He bows out of the club after a fantastic season. A total of 17 goals and 9 assists makes him one of our all time greats, and he's only 22. He is the last player to have been at the club since before I took over. Top goalscorer: Goran Zinic - Another young player who will now leave, but with 24 goals this season, he leaves us as a hero. He will take some replacing. Player to note: Roman Simonov - This right winger is looking promising, and has performed well in the 4 starts he's made for the club. Unfortunately, our current formation doesn't accomodate his position, and I, being stubborn, am unlikely to change it. I might just sell him off for money at some point. Another profit this season, and the board couldn't be happier with how things have went. I have become a club Icon this season, which of course brought a tear to the eye. || Finances | Confidence | Club Information || Next season: Stay up. Get to the fourth qualifying round of the Europa League. Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17/18 | Slovenian Second League | 2nd/10 | EL 3rd Q | Winners | Promoted, Cup win | Goran Zinic (24) 16/17 | Slovenian Second League | 4th/10 | - | Winners | Cup | Goran Zinic (21) 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7)
  8. Agonizing is the right word, Taunton. Good luck next season. I've managed to tie down the majority of my players for another year or two, but I still have 6 players who refuse to enter talks, or ask for terms that are way above what my board will allow. A contract has been offered to Miran Cavnik, the only player left who has been with me from the start. He's still got years left in him, too. A minor upside is that I receive £120,000 compensation if he agrees to move to Mura 05, but to be honest, I'd rather keep him at the club. I can't afford to lose Goran Zinic, either. His goals keep us near the top of the table and we would miss him a lot. No contract offers in yet for him, but when they do, I'm not sure if I qualify for compensation, given that his agent refuses to discuss terms. My left-back, Dusan Pribyl would also be missed, he's a solid defender and he's looking bright for the future. That relegation has really done its damage to the club. Hoping I can hold on to as many of those players as possible, but it isn't looking good. Update: I've lost all three of them. They all agreed contracts elsewhere and will leave in July. Cavnik is the only player I get compensation for, but £120,000 is a sizeable sum. This had led to me taking a different approach to finding players. Could I clarify that, if an agent offers me their client in an attempt to find him a club, I may sign him without needing a scout report? Like this? It's just I've done a few now, and it would be a little awkward if I wasn't meant to.
  9. Our first foray into Europe has been cut short, when we were drawn against SK Rapid Wien in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. We flew to Austria for the first leg, where we nabbed a crucial away goal, after being awarded a penalty late on. Rapid Wien equalised though, soon after and we came back to Portoval the following week for the return leg. Unfortunately, our squad is looking pretty weak at the moment, and injuries to good players did not help. 2-1 was the score in the home fixture, putting Wien through, 3-2 on aggregate. They have gone on to make the group stages. Maribor, the most reputable Slovenian club, have also reached that stage, giving Slovenia's coefficient a nice boost. They will face Sporting Lisbon, Celtic and Standard in their group. One other point to make is that I have already added to my trophy cabinet, with a good Super Cup victory over Koper, 3-2 AET. No prize money there, but I did take 147K from the Europa League, as well as a record gate receipt of 9K. Joyous times.
  10. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2016-17 Update Relegation last year meant we returned to Second League football, and it wasn't the walk in the park I was hoping for. Mura 05 lost their relegation playoff at the end of last year, meaning they too were relegated. That made for a more difficult season and Mura 05 went on to win the title. It became clear that the playoff was all I could hope for, but it was not to be. A very disappointing 4th in the league leaves me to trawl through yet another season in this division, and the future is not looking bright. Already, three of my best players have been poached after refusing to sign new deals. I fear that next season, with us staying in the division, my long list of expiring players will also want to leave, and I'll be back to square one. But for now, let us focus on the 16/17 season. We started quite well, with 9 wins from our first 12 league games. But it all went downhill after that, and with the smallest squad I've had during the entire game, international call-ups, injuries and suspensions took their toll. A very disappointing end to the league campaign. || Table | Graph || On the other hand, there was the cup. The joys of the cup. During our cup run, we faced three First League sides, as well as Mura 05. Not easy. The 1st round saw us put up against Aluminij, one of my least favourite teams to play against. A nice 3-2 win saw us through, though. The 2nd round drew us with Nafta, First League regulars. This one went to penalties, but we triumphed 7-6 with new signing Jan Pahor scoring the winning penalty. Mura 05 came in the quarter finals. They always have been a very difficult team, but at their place we won 2-1, and then 3-1 in the return leg. Quite a shock, at the time. And then we move on to the Semis. Interblock were the only thing between us and the final, and we again played the first leg away. Sadly, we could only manage a 2-1 defeat. It left things all to play for back at Portoval, though. However, 4 days before the second leg, we faced the very same team at home in the league. A 3-0 loss filled the camp with pessimism, and when the day finally came around, I wasn't expecting much. I've learnt my lesson now though. Krka romped to a 7-0 victory over Interblock, seeing us into the final of the Slovenian Cup, 8-2 on aggregate. And who would now stand in our way? Our opponents came in the shape of Koper, a top division side. In fact, they are now known as Slovenian champions. So, lowly Krka had no chance in this game. Oops. With that, we look forward to the prospect of Europa League next season. But I honestly don't think we're ready. I won't be doing Slovenia's coefficient any favours by playing in Europe, put it that way. Hopefully we can attract some good players in the summer to prepare us. || Cup run || Last summer saw virtually no activity in the transfer market; I only signed a reserve keeper and sold who was my backup at the time. Also, Zan Cankar was replaced before the window started by Jan Pahor, above. Apart from that, the squad remained unchanged. Our only right-back got injured during a game in September, so I tried to find anyone capable of playing there in his place for the next few games. Enter Aleksander Zukic, signed just hours before the game, who only went and scored on his debut. We are looking stronger financially. The board, who I'm quite fond of, provided a number of cash injections throughout the season to keep us steady, and we actually made a profit this season. My only annoyance is that they still refuse to let my scouts venture further than Eastern Europe and Croatia. Surely the prospect of European football will convince them? || Transfers | Finances | Confidence || Player of the season: Goran Zinic - I can't give this to anyone else. 21 goals in all competitions is brilliant, and despite my dislike for him last season, I can't help but admire him now. Top Goalscorer: Goran Zinic - His 21 goals were unmatched. Tim Ceh gave it a good go with 14, but Zinic was unstoppable. Pick of the season: Giga Gogitidze - Still loving the name, and he's not bad at football either. Unfortunately, he will leave in a day or two, after refusing to even discuss a contract. Slovenia didn't manage to get a team to the Europa League group stage this year, so our coefficients took a hit. We slip to 24th. Next season: Promotion is a must. I need to try to hang on to every one of my players at the moment, otherwise I'll be going into the First League in no better a position than two years ago. In Europe, I'd like to win a game. And get some money. Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16/17 | Slovenian Second League | 4th/10 | - | Winners | Cup | Goran Zinic (21) 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7)
  11. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2015-16 Update 'Scuse the lack of a summer transfer update from last August, I ended up continuing past the window and then just decided not to post one. But here's a summary of how our first season in top flight Slovenian football went: Bit rubbish. Something seemed to be missing in the first half of the season. We found it incredibly difficult to pick up points wherever we went, and I think it might have been down to the players not quite gelling in time. A huge overhaul of the squad last summer meant we emerged from August with arguably better players, but a worse team. Anyway, for a while at least, we kept Kalcer Radomjle behind us. It didn't last forever though. Once we hit bottom, there was no coming back. Despite our incredible run at the end of the season, it was not enough to escape relegation, and even Radomjle managed to sneak above Mura 05, leaving them in the relegation playoff. That set of results meant that the final 7 games brought us 17 points. The 29 games that came before produced a mere 16. Relegation had already been confirmed before that run, so it didn't mean a lot. Note how close it is at the top - Olimpija knock Maribor off their perch, after the latter won the previous three seasons. || Table | Graph || Since no transfer update came, here's a run down of the squad as it looks at the moment. It really is a very different team to the one that last competed in the Second League. ----------------------------- GK - Jasmin Dizdarevic - A free transfer from August, in to replace a keeper who's annoyed me for some time now. DR - Janez Zupancic - Got this man in during October last year, ending my lengthy search for some decent full backs. DCR - Zan Cankar - With me from the start, sadly he will leave in just a few days. He's been a good player for us. DCL - Ivan Filipovic - Signed two years ago, good defender, will continue to play for a few years at least. DL - Dusan Pribyl - Another capture from October of 2015. My assistant is very keen on this youngster, tipping him to become a leading First Div full back. DMCR - Marko Kovjenic - This 23 year old came in last July, and has been decent. DMCL - Giga Gogitidze - A young midfielder, and a pretty good talent. He also gets the award for my favourite name in the team. MC - Dusan Novak - This boy is a very good player, and is still young. I'm hoping for big things in the future from him. STCR - Goran Zinic - I have to admit, this 20 year old isn't one of my favourite players. He doesn't seem to play well, but he gets amongst the goals. So he plays. STC - Roman Leschenko - A January signing, and probably my favourite player in the squad. I'm not entirely sure why, but he is one who can only get better. STCL - Gregor Sculac - Got this guy on deadline day last year, and he's had a steady season. Nothing spectacular, but no-one was this season. ----------------------------- 9 players in that squad were not here this time last year. A season of complete overhaul has amounted to nothing much. Our new all-seater stadium and a Professional status is all we can take from our experience in the top flight, but I am hoping that a year of team-building in the Second League will allow us to come back next year a lot stronger. And older. That starting 11 has an average age of 22.5. || Transfers | Finances | Confidence || It's Euro 2016 time, and Slovenia managed to draw a group with Germany, Poland and Czech Republic. A close group, and Slovenia missed out on goals scored. But the handy new Euro format meant they progressed to the round of 16, where they faced Poland..... Again. A shootout win means Slovenia will now face Norway in the quarter finals. Exciting times. England, meanwhile, face Ireland in a last-8 that contains three home nations, the other being Northern Ireland. To finish off, a quick point about coefficients. Slovenia continue to move up the coefficient table, and they're now looking pretty secure around the 23rd - 24th mark. Maribor have so far failed to get through a Europa League group, having always been eliminated from the Champions League qualifiers. This year sees the turn of Olimpija. Lets hope they can keep winning games. Next season: Win the league to come straight back up. Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15/16 | Slovenian First League | 10th/10 | - | 2nd Round | Relegated | Miran Cavnik (11) 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7)
  12. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2014-15 Update This season could not have been any more contrasting with the last one. From having one of the weakest defences in the league, we now boast the tightest defence in Slovenia. My target of conceding less than 35 goals was easily achieved, with a back four who regularly played together all season. Only conceding 17 goals meant we could regularly pick up points, and it didn't stop us from scoring either, with a total of 48 league goals. This effective combination of attack and defence resulted in Krka becoming the season's overachievers, and a finishing position of 1st. To be quite honest, it seemed likely after about 15 games, but I could never tell if we were about to return to our old ways. Still, we sealed the title with 3 games to spare, but I was sure of the title about 6 games from the end, when we had a 12 point lead. || Table | Graph || I can't say much else after that, it speaks for itself really. Our early disappointment in the cup was more than made up for by winning the title. Nothing to talk about regarding January transfers. I didn't feel the need for any, with the league performance up to then. We have signed Stevan Bajic in the first few days of this summer window, a Serbian free agent who looks promising. I think the squad will need refining quite a bit for football in the First League, but with the club in a poor financial state, I doubt there will be money to spend this year. I will scour the free transfer market for anything available, but I'm not too optimistic for next season. || Transfers || The board have announced an upgrade to our stadium, which will be completed some time in March next year. For now, we move to Sportni park Ivancna Gorica, a 5000 all-seater. Considering we have an average attendance of about 70, I see little point. Apparently the upgrade is to conform with league regulations, and 1000 seats will be added taking our capacity to 2500, I think. || Facilities || Player of the season: Matic Seferovic - Another top quality season from him, he provided 11 assists and 5 goals. He wasn't my highest rated player, but that person comes next... Top Goalscorer: Tim Ceh - This lad isn't just a sprinter after all. He was brilliant in the goals department, and nabbed an average rating of 7.26. His 15 goals were invaluable this season, and he looks like a great capture. May it continue for many years. And finally... Finances Confidence Next season: Simple. All I want is to somehow avoid relegation. To stay out of the relegation playoff would be a bonus too, because I wouldn't fancy play Aluminij, Gorica or anyone in the Second Division in a one-game shoutout for top division football. 8th place is what I want. Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14/15 | Slovenian Second League | 1st/10 | - | 1st Round | Promoted as Champions | Tim Ceh (15) 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7) (Apologies for the taskbar at the bottom, my new laptop doesn't seem to do print screen when FM is in full screen mode)
  13. NK Krka Novo Mesto There is very little to talk about in the way of transfers at the end of August 2014. Just three free transfers came in this year, and again, they were lower league players whose contracts ran out. After what you might call a spectacular failure in trying to make a 4-in-defence formation work, I have signed right-back Darko Babic to give it another go. Couldn't find another left-back worth signing, so Dejan Kos will hope to impress after being the worst player on the pitch in my 5-1 loss to Interblock last season. This season, I am moving Dejan Kern out of the centre back position I've been making him play, and allowing him to play what I call the Cheick Tioté role, his favoured position. As a replacement, Ivan Filipovic will partner my regular defender Zan Cankar, which, I hope, will make for a sturdy defence this campaign. Another striker came in, Nace Kosmac, simply to provide options up front, should injuries or bad form come about. After the opening day, no other movement occurred within the club, apart from my release of Nebojsa Karamarkovic, after his contract expired in June. Four other players were deemed surplus to requirements, so were allowed to leave. Summer Transfers, 2014 Squad Finally, a decent formation that gives us some chance of keeping the other team out. Hopefully the strength of my attacking players will keep the goals coming, and we might make some progress up the table. ---------------------------------------------------- Three league games in, and things are looking promising. We've taken 9 points, scored four, and have conceded none. The only other team yet to concede are the team relegated from the First League, so it is nearly something to shout about. Top of the league going into September, but we have a tough game against Aluminij next. Our cup dream was cut short early, with a visit from top division Nafta. A 2-1 defeat is respectable, but with the winner being a 90+3 minute penalty, it was frustrating to say the least. Looking forward to the next update, hopefully I'll have some success to report on.
  14. NK Krka Novo Mesto Season 2013-14 Update If I've learnt one thing from this season, it's this: 'Score more than them' does not work in the Slovenian League. With our consistent inability to keep it tight at the back, a total of 50 league goals were conceded over 27 matches. In short, it's nowhere near good enough when compared to eventual league champions Interblock, who only let 15 past them all season. Of course, my tactic this season promised goals, and our team provided a fair few too. Scoring 56 did give us a positive goal difference, and also the tag of top scorers in the league but ultimately, it counted for nothing because of our leaky defence. A season that promised so much at times, amounted to nothing more and nothing less than what we achieved last year. Another 8th place in the table, with, as I expected, the two teams who came up last year returning to Third Division football. || Table | Graph || Results were very inconsistent this season, which meant we rarely climbed or dropped in the table. 7th and even higher looked possible at times, but with our downturn in form coinciding with Bela Krajina's upturn, at the very end of the season, we slumped back to eighth. The board seem to think that as a result, I've only just managed to survive relegation, while clearly, there is a substantial gap to Izola. Our total of 36 points, 7 more that last year, shows good improvement, but considering Izola and Odranci offered very little threat, it's not much of an achievement. Still, another 7 points next year and we'd be looking at a top half finish. 4 signings in January this time, and an attempt to switch to a formation with four at the back. Given that before the window, there was not a single player capable of playing left back, and no natural right back, I did what I could to find anyone decent to give me a more solid defence. Can't say it worked, to be honest. Struggled to find any full backs willing to come to the club, so ended up signing two sub-standard players, and didn't bother playing them. The right back, Gregor Ceglaj, has now left the club. He did make one appearance along with Dejan Kos, my left back, but that didn't go very well. My other two signings didn't exactly hit the ground running. In the first two games after the winter break, both Igor Radetic and Tim Ceh managed to sidelined themselves for a number of weeks. I'm interested to see how Ceh will progress next season. He looks more like a sprinter than a striker, but if he doesn't manage to provide goals, I'm sure I can get a decent sum of money for him. || Transfers || Player of the season: Matic Seferovic - Bossed the midfield in a number of games, and added the odd goal here and there. The main attraction though is his tally of 11 assists in all competitions, a great effort from him. I'm disappointed I didn't nab a screenshot of him when I signed him last July. Top Goalscorer: Mitja Barboric - If I didn't notice him last season, I couln't fail to this time around. His ability to put away goals grabbed my attention this year, and with 13 goals, he's been a key player this season. Player to note: Miran Cavnik - I'm not entirely sure where he's popped up from, but the eighteen-year-old is definitely one to watch. He was given his chance in the first team this year, and 7 goals is nothing to complain about. A good prospect. A few things to finish with: Finances Confidence Cup Run A pretty good effort in the cup. We managed to knock out Koper, who finished mid-table in the First Division. We couldn't do it against Celje, though, who went on to finish 2nd in the top divison too. Next season: I would like to find myself somewhere in the top half, but my main aim is to concede less than 35 goals. Provided we keep scoring ourselves ^_^ Season | League | Position | Europe | Cup | Achievement | Top Scorer -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13/14 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | Quarter Final | Highest Scorers | Mitja Barboric (13) 12/13 | Slovenian Second League | 8th/10 | - | - | Survival | Mitja Barboric (7)