Finally got round to starting this, and have finished the first season now.
Season 1 Review - 2018/2019
I decided to take over the national team as well as the club team from day one, in the hope that I can get the tactics similar at this early stage. This could help the youngsters coming through, not only at my club side but the local San Marino teams too. Firstly, our start with the club side of things:
San Marino Calcio
I decided to try and keep it as homegrown as possible and place a few rules on the players that I can sign. I would only sign when I absolutely had to, (in terms of long term injuries or players being sold), or I could sign San Marino nationality players that need game time. I was hoping that this would force me to play the youngsters as soon as possible and that this would aid their development. This meant that I only ended up signing 2 players this season, both coming in the second half of the season, and both because of long term injuries. (Although I think the AI had signed some players before I took over).
I thought it was a decent season to be fair, we only lost 5 games, a record beaten by only the champions of the league, although 14 draws need to be bettered next year. Our defence was great but we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. This is highlighted by the fact that our top 2 scorers was a midfielder (Gasperi with 10) and a winger (Gasperoni with 8). As our self imposed transfer ban, I'm hoping that our strikers find form next season. We didn't lose a game in the whole of 2019, only conceding 6 goals in this time aswell. This equates to 17 games, although 6 were 0-0 draws. If we can carry this on, I don't see why we can't get promoted next season.
I forgot to get a screenshot of the Youth Candidates when they became available but I did tag 5 of the players (only 1 or 2 will be good enough for our club, but the others are likely to do something at National Team level) Annoyingly, our best youth product was Italian only nationality so did not get a tag. I won't not use him because of this but he will be below others in the pecking order that are SM nationality.
I think Baldacci's determination could see him become a regular starter for the National team, but all in all I'm happy for the variety as the other 4 will cover all of defence and midfield which means I shouldn't struggle for good players in positions for the National team. Towards the end of the season, I gave Baldacci and Casadei some game time off the bench, and some starts for the former. This resulted in Baldacci getting his first goal for the club on the last game of the season to secure 4th place with the winner in a 3-2 win. I will try and get some more game time next season for these 2 especially.
Our best X1 mirrored nearly exactly our strongest eleven apart from Grandoni at LB (he was used as a sub) and Marconi should have taken his place (7.08 rating apposed to 6.97). Our 2nd top scorer in Gasperoni didn't make it, but I rotated the 2 winger spots between 3/4 players as they all performed well so that's not too surprising. There was even a spot on the bench for youth recruit Gabriele Baldacci 19a. ( 1 goal in 8 games 6.8 rating)
Next season, I see no reason why we can't challenge the top spots more and maybe sneak into the playoffs, especially if our defence remains tight. The board just want top half again, which I am happy with. It's great to have low expectations, means less chance of getting sacked suddenly.
Sorry for the long post, I will put the NT in it's own separate post.