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pheelf

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  1. Season 2039 / 2040 We will face one of RB Leipzig, Glasgow Celtic or Chelsea. Well, I think you all probably know who I'd like to face but I'm shocked they have even made it this far but you can't say they don't deserve it after thrashing Liverpool in the previous round. It would also be nice to gain revenge against RB Leipzig if we drew them but I wouldn't want to face Chelsea at all looking at their team. Who did we draw? Glasgow Celtic Very rarely do I get exactly what I ask for in this game but this time I did. This is a golden opportunity to get to a Champions League final and I'll be disappointed if we don't make it. I'm not going to underestimate Celtic as we are still going to need to play at our absolute best to beat them but we've just beaten two giants of European football to get to this point and I feel the momentum lies with us. Our squad  Their squad Rousset is on the way back from his injury and it's looking feasible that should we make the final that he could play but he won't be playing in either of the semi-final legs. Once again we have the edge on them in terms of condition and they are missing their top scoring central midfielder which could prove important. We are in the best possible state to beat them I just hope we don't freeze given the magnitude of the game and perform below our ability. Semi Final 1st Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: I don't know why they are playing Diop, even though he is their top scorer he is absolutely shattered. I won't complain too much though as I'll take any advantage I can get. This time we will face a defensive looking formation which is somewhat surprising given that the first leg is in Glasgow and I would have expected them to approach the game by trying to be on the front foot. We don't need to win the game but I feel we are going to need to score an away goal or two to give ourselves a chance in Belfast. Result Glasgow Celtic 0 Glentoran 1 The plan was carried out seamlessly. Not only do we have an away goal we also have a lead to take back to Belfast and protect. This is a great advantage for us as we can guarantee that at some point they are going to have to attack if they have any ambition of getting back into the game which will leave loads of space in behind them for us to hit them on the counter-attack. They did force our GK to pull off some saves and struck the woodwork a couple of times but they didn't create a single clear cut opportunity which shows how solid we were defensively and overall the result was rather comfortable. A draw will see us through to the final which is more than I could have wished for at this point. Semi Final 2nd Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: One composed performance stands between us and a shot at glory. They've decided to put Diop upfront this time around which could be helpful for them in the sense that he won't have to move as much given how tired he still is. The key to our success will be shackling Smith which we did very effectively in the first leg. If he is able to link their midfield to their attack then we could be in for a rough time. An early goal for them changes the tie completely and gives them the momentum so I'll be hoping that my players start the game quickly and keep them on the back foot. Result Glentoran 1 Glasgow Celtic 0 Glentoran win 2-0 on aggregate They were superb in this game and deserve their place in the final. I wanted us to start quickly and we did that putting pressure on them from the very start and dominated the game for large stretches. If anything the scoreline was rather kind to them as they didn't really pose much of a threat to us. We will face RB Leipzig in the final after they beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout which gives us a chance of gaining revenge after they beat us a couple of seasons ago. This will be the last of the in-depth reports for the knockout rounds of the Champions League and I will only report on finals going forward until we win it. Do we have what it takes to make history? We'll soon find out.
  2. Season 2039 / 2040 I think we have done exceptionally well to have made it to this stage after getting past Real Madrid in the 1st Knockout Round. I have no expectation of going any further although it would be new ground for the club if we can. I think the result we got against a European giant should give us a lot of confidence and means we can go into the quarter-final without fearing anybody. As long as we give it our all regardless of the result I'll be happy with that. Among the teams, we could draw Manchester United, Chelsea, PSG, RB Leipzig, Celtic, and Liverpool. I wouldn't mind facing Celtic as I think we would stand a better chance against them than most of the others but they are all going to be tough opponents. Who did we draw? Manchester United If we are to make history this season and go further into the Champions League than ever before we are going to have to overcome a massive obstacle to do it. I'm slightly encouraged by the fact that I have beaten the other side of Manchester before and we are going into the game on the back of beating Real Madrid but even still we are going to be right up against it and we are going to need to play at our absolute best to stand a chance against them. Our squad Their squad There are a few things we can be encouraged by. They are missing one of their star central midfielders in Van Herck and the age distribution of their squad looks a little bit on the old side. I also feel we will have an edge with respect to the conditioning of our players so will be seeking to take advantage of any tiring legs late on in the game. On the other hand, there are some worrying things which we need to take into consideration. Both Rousset DC and Deane ML will be missing after both suffered training injuries which have them out for between 4-6 weeks and 2-3 months respectively. That is extremely unlucky as we seem to be developing this habit of having our best players missing for our most important games of the season. Rousset is our best central defender and irreplaceable so we are just going to have to hope that Gabriel can perform well. We are also missing our best right back Silva to a suspension which is another obstacle we are going to have to overcome as if our task wasn't hard enough. At least he will be back for the 2nd leg. Quarter Final 1st Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: An interesting approach from the Red Devils. I think the result we managed against Real Madrid has forced them to respect us as an opponent and clearly, them adopting a DM in their formation is a testament to that. I fully expect to lose the battle for possession and the central midfield so our focus has to be to dominate the wide areas and be clinical on the counter-attack and with set pieces. In order to stand a chance of winning the tie we need to try and keep the away goals to a minimum and it would be great to take a lead to Old Trafford so we have something to protect but we'll see. Result Glentoran 1 Manchester United 1 This was an interesting game and far more of an even contest than I thought it would be. They held the lead for quite some time but a late equalizer from us I think brings the tie back into the undecided category. The away goal is definitely problematic but if we could replicate the way in which we competed against them in Manchester I can definitely see us scoring. Quarter Final 2nd Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: Now that is more like the Manchester United I expected to see in the 1st leg. Attacking minded and an aggressive looking formation. I detect from them that they don't want to leave anything to chance and aren't set up to hold onto what they have and go into the game looking to build an unassailable lead. I'm actually rather pleased by that as it should give us space in the golden zone in which to operate, I feel much more optimistic about our ability to score now and given the return of Silva at right back we ought to be more solid defensively also. This could go one of two ways, in my opinion as I don't see it being a dull 0-0. They could overwhelm us with their constant attacks and score a bucket load or we could tear them apart on the counter-attack, either way, it's poised to be a fascinating 2nd leg. Result Manchester United 1 Glentoran 2 Glentoran win 3-2 on aggregate after extra time Well, the game certainly didn't disappoint. The team once again surprised me with how well they competed. The game was very evenly poised and even though Manchester United did have more shots than us we were never really under the cosh at any point. We scored another late equalizer to take the game into extra time which I was delighted with given how tired the Manchester United players were looking. Then early into extra time, they got a red card which had me further encouraged that we could get that 2nd goal and win the tie. Even with 10 men, they are still a formidable force and it was looking like going to penalties until substitute Pineau MR scored a goal deep into extra time to hand us the win which I felt was much deserved given the way we performed throughout the game. We march on, where the journey ends who knows? If we can beat Manchester United we can beat anyone, bring it on!!
  3. Thank you for the compliment. The progress has actually surprised me over the last few seasons and with the addition of automatic spots in the group stages for at least 3 clubs in N. Ireland, I think we are at the start of a golden age (hopefully) for N. Irish football. The team managed to get to the Quarter Final of the Champions League for season 2039/2040 so the in-depth reports will return. I'd also like to add that during season 2039/2040 I switched over to the beta testing branch which I found to be a vast improvement on previous ME versions especially with respect to striker movement.
  4. I wish that I could convince my best players to stay in the way you seem to be managing to do. No matter what I choose to say they always want to leave and if I refuse, boy don't they let me know about it, seemingly content to make my job a living nightmare with their dressing room shenanigans. I think I've only ever managed to talk down maybe a handful of players so far. Hopefully, now that the standard of the league has improved things might ease up a bit or at least I should start fetching better money for players so I can bring in good replacements. Best Regards
  5.  Glentoran F.C. SEASON 2038 / 2039 It was great to get to the quarter-final of the Champions League last season so I would like to try and repeat that success. League Table - Another easy win although the fixture congestion is becoming difficult to manage. There was a week in September where we played 4 league games within the space of a week which when you consider that we don't play any league fixtures at all in March seems an unnecessary pileup. I'm beginning to despair for Linfield who had another abysmal season and I'd even go as far as saying that if it weren't for the fact that the two teams directly below them were so bad it's conceivable they would have been relegated. I don't know what their problems are as they should be comfortably mid-table and pushing for European qualification given their squad but they are really struggling and need to improve. UEFA Champions League - It was yet again a shaky qualification campaign which I think can be attributed to a lack of match sharpness of the players. It's not that I don't create enough friendlies as this season I had 6 before the 1st leg of the FH tie but as I don't manage the friendlies I don't get to select the team and for some reason my assistant only selects certain players rather than giving everyone in the first team game time to build their fitness. We struggled but managed to get through and drew what I thought was a decent looking group with surprise top seeds Celtic. It was not plain sailing however as we only managed to secure 2nd place after beating Celtic in Glasgow on the final matchday. I knew the opponent we would face in the 1st Knockout Round would be tricky but I was hoping for someone we could at least go toe to toe with. After the 1st leg against Chelsea, I felt we had a chance even though the Londoners were fairly dominant in Belfast. Then we went to London and put in a really lousy performance when to have any chance we would have needed to be at our best. Speaking frankly, Chelsea pitied us as once they went up 4-0 they took their foot off the gas. This season was a backward step and we really need to buck up our ideas if we are to stand any chance of progressing further. I can accept losing as I expected Chelsea to win but with the squad we have, the manner of the defeat was simply unacceptable. They folded in that 2nd leg and I feel they ought to be doing a lot more to compete. Domestic Cups - We won the lot but I would swap defeats in each of these cups if it meant further progress in the Champions League. Over the last few seasons, I haven't been playing a Reserve team as I needed to give first team players game time in order to gain fitness. Next season I think I'll return to fielding a hybrid of youth and reserves. Reserves - A fairly mediocre season for a fairly mediocre team. Under 18s - It might seem stingy to the other N. Irish clubs but I really must stop loaning players under 18 out. I have some decent young prospects coming through and if I understand correctly, the facilities are most important for their development rather than first-team football while they are under 18 so there is nothing really gained from loaning them out. It might also make the team more competitive in the UEFA Youth League where they were poor. Squad - Theoretically, we have a team which should be right up there in terms of ability and should be capable of competing for the Champions League but the reality is we're nowhere near. I think there are a number of factors at play here as to why not. Firstly, squad harmony isn't where it needs to be. Too many times during the season I had players distracted either because of admiring glances from other clubs or selection issues and it weighed heavily on us. Secondly, once again injuries struck us at the worst possible time and really screwed up our chances of beating Chelsea as we had some key players such as Hauge DC missing for the 1st leg and he was unfit for the 2nd leg which probably explains why he performed so badly. Finally, the quality of our central defenders in comparison to the rest of the team is low and we certainly need to be looking at bringing in a pair of world-class central defenders to bolster that area of weakness. Transfers - I didn't really want it but there was a big turnover of players this season which resulted in a slight loss in the transfer market. A lot of the signings are considered wonderkids and the pick of the signings was probably left back Leskov who looks like developing into a world class player. He came in as a replacement for Leclerc who I didn't really want to lose but wanted to leave so I was pleased that the club at least managed to get a record fee for him. You may ask why I sold Beetz ST after he was considered the young player of the season last time but I just felt it was his time to leave as he had failed to live up to expectations. Marius Randem - ST Average Rating: 7.77 He was the clubs top scorer which is good although I'm not entirely convinced that this is the player we need going forward. There are a couple of things about him which are bugging me. My coaches thinking he is inconsistent being one and his attributes which for me don't scream prolific goalscorer which is a major issue for me considering that he wants to play on the attack duty as the Advanced Forward. Given those two problems I may move him on provided, we can get a good fee for him. Ivan Horvat - MC Average Rating: 7.64 The clubs best player without question. That tag, however, had it's own pitfalls as he had his head turned during January and when I refused to let him leave for peanuts he kicked up an almighty stink. Things seem to have settled down a bit now although once again the vultures are circling. I have confidence that we would get a huge fee for him if he wanted to leave but replacing him will be a daunting task. I feel that he should be a lot more loyal to the club and me considering what I've done for his career by giving him a platform but I suspect he won't be a Glentoran player for too much longer. Finances - We passed the FFP with flying colours and with the sale of some transfer clauses the balance was raised to over £90M. Facilities - The club is now seeking planning permission for the new ground after locating a site. Hopefully, if all goes well then this time next season we might be able to announce that we've started building work so I'd like to keep the bank balance healthy so that we can fund it without any loans which shouldn't be too hard considering the proposed capacity. Youth Intake - I'm actually rather pleased with this intake as we look to have 3 players which provided I can give the right development to definitely look capable of playing for the first team in the future. Fitzgerald ST looks great and has some impressive technical attributes although he is a little slow. Brown MR looks decent and has a good personality being Resolute. I have to say I'm most delighted about Lavery GK as I like having HG goalkeepers for European squad selection and given time he looks to have a bright future although he needs a lot of work. League Reputation - I think this is the season where everything changes. The first piece of good news was that the DBP is now considered a 3.5* league which is going to prove exceptionally helpful in bringing players into the country. The 2nd and possibly most important piece of news is the message below. This is huge!! An automatic spot in the Champions League group stages in addition to another automatic spot for the 3rd placed team in the Europa League. What is so great about this announcement is it guarantees at least 3 teams in N. Ireland will be competing in a group stage as the losers in the Best Placed Third Qualifying Round of the Champions League drop straight into the Europa League group stage. The money this is going to bring into those clubs will be seriously transformational, all we need now is for Linfield to get their skates on and join the party. Club Domestic Reputation - We are so far ahead of everyone else but hopefully some exposure of these clubs to European group stage football should help them to close the gap. Club European Reputation - Coefficient is still on the rise which is good. I don't know why this seasons Champions League winners PSG who should be 1st are chopped off. 
  6. I was unaware of this so thanks for bringing it to my attention, I guess I'll have to be more understanding next time when I see players come through who play positions we don't use.
  7. Some nice progress has been made but the next stage of development I feel will be the hardest as I seek to assemble a team capable of winning the Champions League. I am indeed getting a lot of headache from the players at the moment, this time it was due to me not registering certain players for Europe but it's slightly silly I think as you can only select 3 new players for the 2nd window registration which I think should be taken into consideration by the new players you bring in but alas no and they created a massive rift in the dressing room instead. I'm right there with you when it comes to the insulting low bids for players, sometimes I have to take a double take but things are improving. Transfer clauses are your friend here, often I will accept lower offers with % of next sale clauses. It seems to be a good ploy as I've been selling clauses for millions recently. For the season I'm going to report on (2038/2039) at the end of the season I managed to sell £28M worth of clauses. It was sweet the way it happened with Coleraine in that I could indirectly give them a load of money but I don't think that will happen again anytime soon as the domestic players are no longer the level of player I'm looking for. I'm hoping that in future that the other N. Irish teams being in Europe will more than supplement their incomes with prize money and allow them to maintain their professional statuses.
  8. Thanks for the compliment and follow. Cheers
  9.  Glentoran F.C. SEASON 2037 / 2038 We are making continual progress in Europe which I would like to keep up which means we should be aiming to win a knockout tie in the Champions League for the first time. League Table - We lost our first games in 2 years but the title win was comfortable even if we had to wait until the 36th matchday to clinch it with a win over Larne at home. The story of the season was Linfield whose fans must have been on a rollercoaster of emotions. Up until matchday 26, they were sitting bottom of the table and there were serious concerns that they could get relegated which would have been disastrous considering they had just turned professional at the start of the season. The situation was so bad the board sacked their long-serving manager Feeney who had been at the club for 7 years which proved unpopular with the fans but ultimately was just what the doctor ordered. Once he left they picked up magnificently and even had a chance of qualifying for the Europa League as they reached the final of the playoff which they ultimately lost to Crusaders 2-0 but a remarkable improvement. It is a little concerning that the number of goals we scored and concede have gotten worse but it could be an indication that the quality of the competition is improving which is no bad thing. UEFA Champions League - The objective for the season was achieved which was great although we nearly never made the group stage at all after an anemic pair of performances against Slavia Prague. Thankfully, Silva GK and his solitary save in the penalty shootout allowed us to scrape through. We started the group slowly but once we got our first win we kicked on and clinched 2nd ahead of Manchester United with the 1-0 win against eventual Champions League runners up and group winners Valencia proving crucial. I didn't know what to expect against Watford although I suspected it would be tough to get past them. After the 1st leg I was feeling a lot more confident but perhaps that was misguided and the players seemed to feed off that and became complacent thinking the tie was already won. We performed really poorly in the 2nd leg and once again it was only thanks to Silva GK that we managed to sneak past them on penalties although given the way the game panned out it was perhaps harsh on Watford who probably deserved to go through. Against RB Leipzig in the quarter-final, I wasn't expecting to progress further but the manner of the defeat was hard to take. The gap is definitely closing on the European elite but I still feel we are a few seasons off us putting in a real challenge for the trophy. Domestic Cups - I have no idea what they were doing against Ballymena United in the Irish Cup final. We were so poor and just couldn't score which was all the more disappointing given that it ruined our chance of a clean sweep. Reserves - I'm actually rather impressed that they managed to win the double given the team was filled mainly with greyed out players. Under 18s - One of the worst seasons they've had which is inexplicable given the talent they have in the squad. Squad - There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the team and how far they can take the club. We have a number of wonderkids in the squad now and a lot of the deadwood has been moved on and any remaining stragglers will be shipped out once their contracts expire. We also have 3 players in the squad which will go to the World Cup which is a sign of how highly some of our players are being viewed by other managers. There are some difficulties we are going to have to overcome, the squad is quite large and needs to be reduced so that I can offer more first-team football to the young talented players in the squad to develop them. There are also a few minor issues in the dressing room that need sorting but overall things are going well. I was however very disappointed with Husic DC who very often got the worst rating for training. I understand he might be slightly disillusioned that he lost his place as a first team regular but to have such an influential player behaving so unprofessionally given his experience is really inexcusable and I will be glad to show him the door once his contract expires at the end of the season. Transfers - I spent big but hopefully I spent wisely as I went into the market for highly talented young players. I hope that a lot of these players will become household names at the club over time and hopefully I shouldn't need to make many more additions to the squad and only buy replacements where needed. I'm a little disappointed to see the market values remain so low as I wouldn't want to lose these players for a fraction of the price I bought them for. There was a nice side benefit this season with the quest to build the nation. The sale of Gordon MC had a sell on fee which was paid to Coleraine which gave them around £3M and as a result, they turned professional at the end of the season which takes the total number of professional teams in the DBP up to 6 which is great progress. Harun Kizildag - MR Average Rating: 7.55 He had a great season although I'm not sure I like having my right winger as my top scorer. Especially considering his PPMs where you would expect him to be more likely to create chances for others rather than attempt to score himself. I'll never complain about players who score goals though and it is probably more a sign that my strikers need to up their game. Thomas Beetz - ST Average Rating: 7.50 He doesn't score as much as he perhaps should but when he does they tend to usually be spectacular. As a number 10, he needs to be better at creating for his strike partner as 4 assists in 36 starts aren't nearly enough in my view. He still has a lot of room to improve but he needs a big season next time around to show the world why he was considered a wonderkid. Finances - At one point in the season the balance was over £110M which was quite frankly ridiculous which is why I went on a January spending spree to improve the quality of the team. I don't see us needing to spend much more on the squad we just need to work with what we have for now. Facilities - The board finally decided to show a bit of ambition and without prompting are doing this which is a significant development in the building of the club. That is why I will be trying to build up the balance next season so that if we get granted planning permission we have the money to pay for the new ground upfront without having to take on any loans. Youth Intake - After a detailed look at the players I think Wilson ML and Smith MC have the potential to develop into first-team players which isn't something I usually sense from intake players. I like to have HG goalkeepers for European squad registration so it would be nice if a talented one could come through next season. League Reputation - Great strides are being made by us as a club and great strides are being made as a nation. We not only retained our 2nd Champions League spot for the season after next but after overtaking Switzerland and Denmark in the coefficient we will get an automatic spot for the group stage of the Europa League which is great. I would have liked the DBP to reach 3.5* but we need help from the other clubs to give us a real push. Club Domestic Reputation - As much as it pleases me to see the club rise to 3.5* which should prove helpful with buying and retaining players I don't like having such a large gap between us and the rest. Club European Reputation - Coefficient is looking good and will get better once that final single figure coefficient falls off the calculation. 
  10. Season 2037 / 2038 We have already achieved our objectives for the season by getting out of a difficult Champions League group so anything further would be a bonus. I don't expect us to get through to the semi-finals but I at least want to see a good combative pair of performances from the team and for us to be competitive. There are no easy draws at this point as the usual suspects in terms of the European elite are all present. I am encouraged however by the fact that we have on occasion managed to beat some of the teams left in the draw such as Manchester City but would probably want to avoid the likes of PSG who we haven't had a good time against in previous meetings. Who did we draw? Red Bull Leipzig I'm not all that happy with this draw if I'm being honest. This team have become somewhat of a giant of European football and have won the Champions League twice since the start of the save and always seem to feature in the latter stages of the competition, even more so than the likes of Bayern Munich. Our squad Their squad They have an exceptionally talented squad and it looks like being an uphill struggle for us. I like the fact that their squad looks balanced with respect to age distribution which I think goes some way to explaining why they have become such a powerful force in the Champions League. It's unfortunate but we have been struggling with injuries recently which means we are going to the tie weakened. As a result, our first choice RB is missing and we have a few players that will be starting which aren't as sharp as I would like with regards to fitness. At least we might have a slight edge with respect to condition after resting the players which I'm hoping might help us if the game remains close on the scoreline so that we can take advantage late on. Quarter Final 1st Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: I expected them to view us as the underdog and they didn't disappoint by fielding a very attacking looking 4-2-3-1. Our ability to compete against them will be very dependent on our ability to get the ball to our strikers as I sense we will be doing a lot of defending and will need an outlet to relieve pressure. It is likely that we will lose the battle for possession and have to cede control of the central midfield to them but this isn't a problem provided we can be clinical on the counter-attack as they commit men forward. I don't feel we have enough to win the game given the weakened squad I've had to field but I would like to at least give ourselves a chance for the 2nd leg by coming away with a decent result, if we can score an away goal or two that would be very helpful. Result Red Bull Leipzig 2 Glentoran 1 The game largely panned out the way that I expected. They completely dominated possession but had to depend on errors from us to get their two goals as we frustrated them and restricted them to long shots. It was very telling that we took our only clear cut chance of the game and they didn't create any against us which is a very encouraging sign for me that we might just be able to turn this tie around. If we can eliminate some of the mistakes and gain a bit more control over the game I feel we have a good chance of getting that 1-0 win we need. Quarter Final 2nd Leg Here's how the two teams lined up: I'm actually quite pleased that they stuck to the same formation as I felt we didn't do too badly against it in the 1st leg. Unfortunately for us, Dmitrovic MC suffered an injury so misses the game which could be a blow but I have faith that wonderkid Baack MC should be more than good enough as a replacement. I've also opted to start Jovanovic ST over Randem ST as I'm hoping that his better finishing might just help us be more clinical which I feel is going to be important as we aren't going to dominate the game and create a load of chances so we need to take any that come our way. Let's give our best efforts and hopefully it will be enough to see us through. Result Glentoran 1 Red Bull Leipzig 4 Red Bull Leipzig win 6-2 on aggregate When they took an early lead the game plan pretty much went out of the window straight away but then we equalized through Beetz ST who struck an absolute beauty into the top right-hand corner which re-ignited the tie for us and had me optimistic that we might just be able to take them to extra time with another goal. Well, needless to say, that proved to be a false dawn as we were systematically put to the sword another 3 times. We were really poor in this game and showed a real lack of quality on the ball. The scoreline I feel was a fair reflection of the game and doesn't flatter Leipzig at all and shows just how far we still have to travel in order to have a team capable of competing for the Champions League. Our best season yet it in the Champions League which is a good reason to celebrate and I'm very happy with the continual progress we have made. The 2nd leg of the quarter-final was however quite dispiriting. I didn't expect to win the tie but I hoped that we would have at least given them a good fight and made life difficult for them. What we got was a spineless and incoherent mess of a performance which made all the previous good work we had managed during the season look like a fluke. We couldn't keep the ball for any extended length of time, couldn't get out of our half with the ball and when we did rarely venture forward our attack was as a blunt as a butter knife. Maybe I'm being overly harsh given our injuries but there simply is no excuse for not putting in a shift and some of the players really let themselves down in that 2nd leg. We have to be a lot better next season and perhaps losing in this way may actually prove beneficial in the long run. I've learned a lot about the players from the experience and now have a better idea of who stands up when we're up against it and who withers away into the shadows.
  11. We managed to get to the quarter-final of the Champions League for season 2037/2038 so the in-depth game reports will be returning.
  12.  Glentoran F.C. SEASON 2036 / 2037 Last season provided the breakthrough we needed in the Champions League, this time around I'd like to at least match that performance if not surpass it. The domestic challenge seems to have eased for now so I can put more of my efforts into Europe. League Table - How about that!! For the 2nd season in a row, we managed to go unbeaten and not only that but smashed a whole lot of records while doing it. We now hold the records for the most goals scored in a season surpassing Larne, the most points scored in a season beating our previous record and most wins in a season. If we can manage another unbeaten season we will surpass the 100 games unbeaten mark which will be an incredible achievement if we can pull it off. UEFA Champions League - Getting to the group stage was a lot easier than last season but once we drew such a difficult group I thought our chances of repeating the success of last season were remote and would have happily settled for 3rd. Well, the players didn't feel the same way and I have to give them an immense amount of credit as not only did they qualify from the group they topped it by beating Man City on the final matchday. After such a herculean feat I was actually looking forward to the knockout rounds knowing that I would be drawn against a group runner up. My newly found optimism soon faded when I saw Barcelona come out of the hat. We gave them as good a fight as we could and were tantalizingly close to taking them to extra time but ultimately they were deserving winners. Domestic Cups - We almost got a clean sweep, it was a shame to have it ruined by the lottery of a penalty shootout. Reserves - A pretty rough season for them in the cups but to be expected given at times there were only 4 players in the squad. Under 18s - Better in the UEFA Youth League and cup but somehow failed to defend their league title losing out to Coleraine. Squad - The main problem we have is that we don't score enough goals. That may seem a ridiculous statement considering our record-breaking antics in the league but in Europe, we really struggled even though we had our best season ever in terms of results. The issue is that our strikers don't have the attributes to be prolific with our best finisher having a finishing attribute of only 15. We never managed to replace Leifeld ST as he was sold after the summer window had shut for us and it really showed with us having to rely on players like Arthur ST who is very much below Champions League quality. It appears to me that the balance needed for our strike partnership isn't quite there and we really need a couple of clinical finishers to compliment the more creative types of Baird and Beetz. That will be the priority for the summer transfer window but I will also be looking at replacements for some of the players who aren't quite up to the level required. Transfers - I feel we did reasonably well in our transfer dealings by managing to turn a good profit. I was bitterly disappointed to lose Leifeld ST who forced a move but at least we managed to get a record fee for him although in retrospect he probably regrets leaving now given he has only scored once in 28 appearances for them. I don't think I adequately replaced the likes of Liber MC and Blaha MC so I'm likely to need to go back into the market again. We lost two of the squads wonderkids this season, one annoyingly to Arsenal for his minimum release fee but regained one in Beetz who came in for a reasonable price. Stefano Ciaramitaro - DL Average Rating: 7.83 A very accomplished season from the attacking left back although it would have been nice to see a few more assists from him. Perhaps his low cross completion ratio in the league hampering his efforts after he managed a lowly 13%. Even given his average crossing ability, I'd still expect a bit more and will be looking for improvement next time around. Ivica Jovanovic - ST Average Rating: 7.46 On first glance, his scoring rate may look impressive as he managed nearly a goal per game but when you scratch beneath the surface the picture painted doesn't appear quite as rosy. His shot conversion rate is 22% which ranked him 5th overall in DBP which is good although that was the only area in which he surpassed Arthur ST which is pretty bad as Jovanovic should be the better striker. It is also concerning that my coaches feel that he could do with becoming more consistent which is bad enough but then add to that a higher than average injury susceptibility and I seriously question whether I'm going to be able to get him to develop to his full potential. Finances - The club is in excellent health financially which resulted in the board paying out an eye-watering £12.5M in dividends after the screenshot was taken. We cashed in a lot of multi-million-pound clauses during the season and I'll be looking to utilize the wage and transfer budget in order to bring in the quality of player we need. To give you an idea of the change in attitude towards spending we have signed a pre-contract agreement with a goalkeeper who will be earning in excess of £70Kp/w. Facilities - The board seem incredibly reluctant to build a new stadium which is becoming a problem as I feel we have outgrown The Oval and need to move on to a bigger ground which is going to increase our revenues. The training facilities downgraded but £2.5M will fix that by August. Youth Intake - Enough with the attacking midfielders already!! I wouldn't mind so much if they had secondary positions which we do play but none of them does so will need to learn the new positions from scratch. Long ST looks a decent prospect although I sense his determination attribute of 3 will somewhat hamper his development. Harland ST from the last intake has developed exceptionally well and almost looks ready for first team football so it will be interesting to see if any of the new brood take his example and try to replicate it, League Reputation - Still on the rise and it looks conceivable that if we could make another run into the Champions League knockout rounds next season that we might just be able to get up to 3.5*. Another piece of good news was that we will regain our 2nd spot in the Champions League from the season after next which is an excellent sign of progress. Unlike last time I feel we might just be able to hold onto it this time and build for the next target of getting up to 12th by climbing two more places in the European coefficient ranking which would give us an automatic spot in the group stage of the Europa League which would be huge for N. Irish football. Club Domestic Reputation - More encouraging news in the development of the nation as both Linfield and Ballymena United turned professional which takes the total number of professional clubs in N. Ireland up to 5. I think this could really be a watershed moment in the development of the standard of football in the country and make for a much more competitive league. Ideally, next season I'd like to see all 5 clubs qualify for Europe and Larne be given a good challenge for the 2nd Champions League spot. Club European Reputation - We are rising steadily up the coefficient ranking which I'm hoping will be enough to see us sneak into the 3rd seeded pot for the Champions League group stage draw.
  13. Thanks for the comment. Things are beginning to take shape now that the team is regular participants in the UCL Group Stage and now that we have taken the step into the knockout stages the pace has really started to accelerate when it comes to nation building. I've had a quick browse of your career so far and it looks to be progressing well. Good luck with Larne. My reserve team plays in those cups along with the majority of other DBP reserve sides (including Larne) so I'm not really sure why your reserves aren't playing in those cups. Perhaps it's because I'm using an edited database with generic reserve and youth structures?
  14.  Glentoran F.C. SEASON 2035 / 2036 Once again the aim has to be to qualify from our Champions League group preferably in one of the top 2 spots as that would be unchartered waters for us. We will also need to see off the threat of a resurgent Larne in the DBP. League Table - About as emphatic a statement as it is possible to make. For the first time, we have a zero under our L column which was great although I didn't get the steam achievement for an unbeaten season. The team also broke the points scored in a season record surpassing our previous total of 105. It was great to see Linfield get into Europe while at the same time disappointing that Glenavon who is one of only 3 professional clubs in the league missed out as it not only weakens our representation but puts their professional status under threat. UEFA Champions League - At last we venture into the knockout stages of the competition. It could have all gone horrifically wrong in the 2nd Qualifying Round but thankfully we managed to just sneak past our Israeli opponents. When we drew Manchester United and Bayern Munich in our group I sensed we would be battling for 3rd with Levante. As it turned out we managed to get through ahead of Bayern Munich on the head to head record with 9 points which had me delighted. We might have even managed to top the group had we not surrendered 2 goal leads against the two heavy hitters of the group. As we finished 2nd I knew that the opponent was likely to be difficult although there were some teams like RB Salzburg which I wouldn't have minded facing. Instead, we got the Galacticos which I knew would probably signal the end of our campaign. I'm pleased with how we approached the games as they were competitive affairs and even if we ultimately lost the tie we certainly weren't outclassed and didn't look out of place. As we were able to navigate such a difficult group this season it gives me confidence that in future as our players develop that we should be able to go even further. Domestic Cups - We won everything except the Charity Shield that I couldn't care less about. Reserves - A nice double for them although they perhaps should have done better in the Steel & Sons Cup. Under 18s - Useless in the UEFA Youth League but at least they won the U18 league. Squad - This season I think marks the start of a new chapter in the clubs history. For the first time ever we have wonderkids in the roster with both Turner ML and Leifeld ST considered to be in that category. The squad is getting a little bloated and I will need to cut and trim and replace where necessary but I'm encouraged for the future. The players with expiring contracts will be released at the end of the season which should free up some space and give some more first-team opportunities to our best young players. The development of some players has been excellent and I'll be hoping for more of the same next season. Transfers - I spent big in an attempt to bolster the deficiencies in the team and I think I have been successful. Campbell DR who doesn't appear in the squad screenshot as I placed him in the Reserves is a high potential youngster who I will be looking to develop next season when Borja DR leaves at the end of his contract. If the transfer windows this season was about bringing in quality upfront then next season the focus will shift to identifying that world class central defender(s) that can take us to the next level. Dennis Forsters - MR Average Rating: 7.72 It was a shame that he suffered some injuries during the season but overall he did brilliantly by scoring and being the highest provider of assists in the squad. Manfred Dauth - ML Average Rating: 7.66 He was doing well when rotating with Jimenez but when Turner came in it began to restrict his game time. As Jiminez wants to leave he might find himself back as the 2nd choice but then again he might find himself out of the team altogether if I can find someone better. Finances - Once you begin to go further in the Champions League the money you get in prize money really begins to spiral out of control. We received over £8M for getting to the 1st Knockout Round and after the final, we received around £7M which isn't shown in the screenshot. As a new stadium still isn't in the pipeline I will be using the money to invest in the team as I look to build a squad capable of competing in the Champions League knockout rounds. Facilities - The club now has an average league attendance in excess of 90% of the capacity of The Oval which should mean that a new stadium isn't too far away although when requested the board still refuse to believe that we would have the fan base to support a new larger stadium. There has also been a noticeable spike in the ticket prices so it'll be interesting to see how that impacts attendances next season. Youth Intake - Harland looks a decent prospect although I'm mystified as to why some of the best players that have come through in recent years play in positions we don't use and the HoYD doesn't have in his favoured formation of the 4-4-2. This leaves me with a conundrum. Do I try and train him as a central midfielder or a striker? Either choice isn't great as the attribute profile doesn't suit what I need. He isn't hard working enough to play in central midfield and he doesn't have any decent attributes to be a striker. League Reputation - The DBP has broken into the top 20 which is an encouraging sign of progress. With our run to the knockout rounds of the Champions League, the nation was able to recover a few places in the coefficient which means that we are back to starting qualification in the 2nd Qualifying Round and not the 1st for the season after next. Unfortunately, the rest of the N. Irish teams have been rather ineffective in Europe which isn't helping matters. Larne got knocked out in the 4th Qualifying Round of the Europa League by Hibernian, Ballymena United got knocked out in the 1st Qualifying Round by Olympija Ljubljana and Coleraine got knocked out in the 2nd Qualifying Round by NK Domzale. Club Domestic Reputation - Next season we will need to be sensational in Europe if we are to rise and gain another 0.5*. Club European Reputation - Once again we had our best season in Europe coefficient-wise and continue to ascend the table. We have one more really poor season to get off the coefficient then if we can continue making progress which should begin to fly up the table.
  15.  Glentoran F.C. SEASON 2034 / 2035 Qualifying from our Champions League group has to be the priority. League Table - The run Larne made into the Europa League group stage last season gave them a lot of money and it seems to have re-invigorated them domestically. We really had to work for the title this season and it's troubling how many more goals Larne scored than us. It could well be the last hurrah for Larne as their finances have deteriorated back to 'Okay' which could mean they have to sell players and may have to revert back to a semi-professional status as Coleraine did at the end of the season after only one season as a professional club. Linfield was woeful but they didn't sack their manager which indicates how low their expectations have become, the nation really can't afford for them to be also-rans and they need to improve. UEFA Champions League - A lot better than last season although the qualification rounds were a struggle. The first win in the group was somewhat fortunate as we profited from some shoddy defending by Valencia including a shocking back pass which led to our first goal. We then went on to encounter PSG who are still many levels above us and it showed as we shipped 8 goals to them. We then narrowly beat Benfica which gave us a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages on the final day. All we needed to do was better Benfica's result against PSG which I thought would have meant that a draw would have been enough to see us through but Benfica shocked us by beating PSG 1-0 in Lisbon meaning we had to settle for 3rd. UEFA Europa League - We managed to win a knockout tie for the first time by easing past Basel. Considering the teams left in the tournament I was actually quite pleased when we drew Villarreal as I thought we might have a chance of reaching the quarter-final. Unfortunately for us, we suffered some injuries before the first leg and had key player Goodwin MC suspended while Gordon MC was only just coming back from injury. The result was that it completely destroyed our attacking strength and meant we were completely dominated in both games which put undue pressure on our defenders which they seemed to wilt under in Spain. A satisfactory season in Europe although I'm left with a tinge of disappointment as to what could have been if we were better equipped against Villarreal. Domestic Cups - Putting the games I threw by playing youth in the Charity Shield and Co. Antrim Shield aside we were exceptional in the cups. It was a truly remarkable achievement that we didn't concede a single goal on the way to our Irish Cup victory. Reserves - An improvement on last season as they clinched a double. Under 18s - The youth team may have more players in its ranks but the quality of those players is poor. I may have to stop loaning out our best youth players altogether to try and help them in the UEFA Youth League. Squad - It's taking some time but slowly I'm unravelling the mess that was created last season. Now that the squad has been trimmed to a more respectable size it is becoming clear where we have issues. We are severely lacking upfront and have only 1 striker that I would consider Champions League quality in HG prospect Baird. That really showed in this season as we only had Donaghy ST score more than 20 goals and 6 of those goals came in a 9-0 thumping of Crusaders where he scored a hat-trick of penalties while also missing a hat-trick of penalties, it was a bizarre game. I managed to get the dressing room under control by putting some of the players out on loan for 0% wage contribution which helped but it looks like I'll have to do that again or try to sell as very few of those players contracts expire at the end of the season. I need to stop offering players that won't get regular first team football long term contracts. Transfers - Not included in the screenshot was the free transfer Roberts MC who played a significant number of games in the team. We are starting to get some decent money in for our players with the player arriving developing well with first-team football. The first priority next season will be to bolster the striking department. Harun Kizildag - MR Average Rating: 7.51 A productive season although at a slightly worse average rating than last season. He is decent although I'm not sure whether he is the standard we need to make progress in Europe as his average rating dipped in continental games. Ciaran Gordon - MC Average Rating: 7.45 He was having an excellent season until injury struck which ruined it. I still feel there is a lot more to come from him in terms of development and hopefully next season we can begin to see it. Finances - The club is now considered 'Rich' and there aren't any further investments that can be made into the infrastructure of the club so I will shift my focus to squad building and identifying the players which we need to push the club forward. Facilities - We now possess state of the art facilities across the board which is going to prove very helpful for developing our players. A new stadium appears to be getting further away as our average attendances actually fell so it was understandable that the board rejected my requests. Youth Intake - Another poor batch of players but at least it adds depth to the youth team. League Reputation - Still rising up the table but we are declining in the nation coefficient which means that from the season after next we'll have to once again start in the Champions League 1st Qualifying Round. The other N. Irish teams were really poor this season which is really hindering our progress. Club Domestic Reputation - The DBP is back down to 3 professional clubs. We really need to see an improvement from Linfield as I feel they are the only club which has the potential revenue to sustain professional status. Club European Reputation - Our best season in Europe resulted in a nice boost to the coefficient and rise up the table.
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