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  1. The 1,000 capacity at Baltasar Pujales is more than enough for the time being; we're currently averaging attendance of 461, ranking 16th. Finances CR Bouzasis currently rated 'Insecure', and it's easy to see why. We simply can't afford what we are currently spending. Last March, the club was in the black by nearly 300k. Right now we're 90k in the hole, a number projected to grow to 1.76M by the end of the 19/20 season with average losses of about 50k per month, over 17k in the red already for December. One would hope that income would grow over time at this level if we can hang around, and hopefully Seoane will be willing to put in additional funds. He is said to love the club, but we're not going to survive this kind of bleeding indefinitely. We just can't afford what we're paying people right now: player salaries account for almost 45% of expenses, staff another 24%. By themselves those exceed income. I'll have to see if there's anything that can be changed on that front. Staff ** President Manuel Seoane and Director Baltasar Pujales comprise the board here. ** General Manager Alex Martinez(44, 725/wk., National A Lic.) -- Very adaptive to different cultures and favoring a fairly strict approach, Martinez is decent at working with young players but pretty much sucks as an evaluator of talent, motivator, dealing with people, etc. I wouldn't give him a grade better than poor on any such matters and worse on some. Keeping him on though was a stipulation of the board, so he stays. Martinez is the only full-time staff member. ** I'm second-highest paid at 625/wk. ** Assistant Coach Jesus Moro(37, 275/wk., Continental A Lic) -- Moro is the most qualified person on the staff, and is under contract through the summer of 2019 so he's not going anywhere. He leans slightly to the strict side of discipline, and is nearly adequate but not quite in most areas. I definitely trust him more than anyone else when it comes to opinions of our current players, and he has a strong knowledge of Spanish players as well. Fitness and goalkeeping are his only major weak points -- otherwhise a credible if unimpressive all-around assistant. ** Goalkeeping Coach Juan Recondo(48, 400/wk, National A Lic.) -- Slightly to the disciplined side as well, solid at working with young players, but in actual goalkeeping matters he is poor at handling and shot-stopping, downright hideous when it comes to distribution. He definitely doesn't add enough to justify his salary, and unless he's willing to take less he's not coming back if we survive relegation. Naturally, he wants a 25% raise. If he was willing to consider a 50% pay cut I might think about extending his deal. ** Fitness Coach Manuel Alvarez(39, 275/wk., no license) -- Very adaptable, fairly strict, and good at dealing with young players. Bad at actual fitness coaching though, and he's worse in most areas. Wouldn't know a skilled or talented footballer if they sat on his head. I'll be looking for someone either cheaper or better down the road, and his deal ends this next summer also. He wants a modest raise as well, which he's not getting. ** Head Physio Agustin Ferreira(455, 325/wk., no license) -- Adaptable, pretty average discipline, and nearly adequate at his primary job though he's quite bad at keeping up to date on the latest science. Bedside manner is also profoundly lacking. I think about extending him, but he also wants a raise. ** Physio Beni Diaz(44, 350/wk., no license) -- Very adaptable and as much a disciplinarian as they come. Bad at physiotherapy and not at all a man of science. Beyond that, why do we have a second physio at this level, let alone one who is as unskilled as he is ... and actually getting paid more than his boss Ferreira?? Diaz's contract will not be renewed. ** Chief Scout Fernando Bragado(52, 220/wk., no license) -- Bragado has a Nominal reputation in the coaching world, which is more than can be said for the rest of us. Along with myself, pretty much the rest of the staff here is rated at Minimal. Bragado is decent at judging ability and nearly so when it comes to potential, along with being quite adaptable and disciplined. I think he's worth the price, and he's clearly the guy to listen to on prospective signings around here, what with Martinez being basically useless in his opinions. Bragado just recent joined CR Bouzas, and is under contract through 2019 so we're set here. ** U19 Head Coach Pirpi(29, 250/wk., National A Lic.) -- No second name, just Pirpi. A spirited guy, he's got only average adaptability and slightly lower discipline, favoring a different approach than the rest of the staff. He's poor or worse at everything associated with his job, particularly when it comes to managing egos -- the only exception is he actually has a talent with youth. The key factor here is we simply can't afford a U19 coach -- anybody who can't help in the senior team potentially is not a player I want to be signing. Pirpi and Diaz then are set to be let go and not replaced, possibly Recondo as well. Squad Let's take a look at who our players are. Literally the entire roster has their contracts expire next summer. Keeper Brais Pereiro(26, 425/wk., 177 cm) -- Pereiro has conceded 4 times in 7 matches, and is considered a step above the others here. He's also unfortunately not quite good enough for Second Divison B, and Moro believes that he's just past his best football and starting to decline. Pretty solid in all areas, nothing that stands out as a huge strength or weakness. Fairly smart and fit, moves well -- he's definitely the guy right now. Pereiro isn't interested in a contract renewal yet though. Alan Martinez(22, 220.wk, 196 cm) -- Martinez, an Argentine, is a big young man. He hasas a better rating than Pereiro despite conceding 8 times in just 4 league matches. You figure that one out. Isn't ready for this level, but has the potential to be an adequate backup. Distributes well and does better in one-on-one situations than Pereiro, but both physically and technically can't match him overall. Even though he's still improving, he's considered surplus to requirements by Moro. Ivan Comesana(18, 210/w, 179 cm) -- Comesana is considered a Hot Prospect, and has the highest ceiling of any of this trio. He's smart and a little better athlete than Pereiro already, but some of the other areas aren't quite there yet, particularly anticipation and command of area. Still, the assessment is that the previous regime was foolish to transfer-list him, and I'm inclined to agree. Moro reports that he thinks Comesana could eventually become one of the best players on the team. We can't afford to be paying players who aren't in the first team, and we can only have two there. Comesana is going to be our backup as soon as we can get rid of Martinez. Comesana is willing to accept a contract extension, but we couldn't talk him down below his current pay rate. He did want a raise but accepted not getting one, so I'll take it. Defense DC Raul Gonzalez(25, 200/w, 186 cm) -- Gonzalez is on loan from First-Division side Coruna. He's considered our best in the middle, arguably even good enough for this level. He's also considered selfish, hates the pressure of big matches, is an errant passer, and hasn't fit in well here. Not very strong, but he marks and tackles well, and has sufficient jumping and heading ability. Athletic player who is usually in the right position, there's more to like here than dislike. DC Pablo Trigueras(24, 250/w, 194 cm) -- Trigueras is almost as good as Gonzalez, but not quite, and just below the standard needed for the Second Division B. Inconsistent, selfish, poor technique -- but he's got the potential to be a credible starter or at least rotation player. Another guy who was transfer listed but could grow into someone who can help us here, and our best central defender under contract. That makes little sense to me. GM Martinez wants him off the transfer list, and I agree, but he isn't interested in an extension. DC Roger Bonet(22, 130/w, 191 cm) -- Another big DC on loan, this time from Tarragona(Second Division). He's also the only guy who is a little bit upset at the moment, wanting first team action. We don't think he's ready for it. He's good enough to be a reserve for us right now, but while he will improve, it won't ever be enough for this level in our opinion. Smart and quite a good leaper, he doesn't head particularly well, and really needs to get stronger to be successful in his role. DC/DR Junior Roman(21, 190/w, 184 cm) -- Roman is fairly versatile, able to also play the DM role. Unfortunately it's mostly versatility at not being good enough. He's probably never going to quite get to the standard we need for this level. Determination, selfishness, and inconsistency are seen as key weaknesses; he's a physical player and one of the fastest on the team, reasonably strong but doesn't jump well though heading is decent and tackling quite good. Anticipation and bravery are also key weak points. Definitely a reserve at both back-line positions is the way he can best contribute. Since he's willing to accept an extension at a somewhat reduced price(160/w), I agree. The ability to give us coverage at three different positions, even if poorly, is worth keeping him around longer. DC/DL Colo(23, 325/w, 184 cm) -- Another improving player who can't quite hack it right now, but should be able to become at least a reasonable depth option. He's our top backup option in the middle of the defense and on the left at the moment. He's also inconsistent, doesn't do well in big matches, and doesn't jump well. Tackling, decision-making, anticipation are all good and he's fairly quick around the pitch and in reasonably good shape as well. Definitely a guy I want to keep around, and he'll take a modest pay cut(275/wk.) to extend his deal. Every little bit helps. DR/WBR Adrian Gomez(33, 600/w, 170 cm) -- Gomez(ARG) is a guy we basically can't afford to pay this much to. He's a marginal player at the Second Division B level, and at his age obviously not getting better. Clearly our best DR though right now, but Moro reports he is in fact in steep decline as a player. Doesn't jump or head well, but while the physical aspects of his game are leaving quickly, he has a variety of solid skills technically and mentally. Notably, he is more aggressive and a better passer than our other defenders, pretty creative and works well within the team concepts. Still, there's no question I have to let him go if he won't take a steep pay cut. He's not willing to accept that right now, which is quite understandable -- maybe he'll change his mind closer to his contract ending. If we can find anyone remotely comparable to take his place, I may well have to transfer list him. DR/WBR Cristian(27, 300/w, 185 cm) -- Cristian can also play the DL and MR positions, though less effectively. He's our top backup at DR, and the only wide midfielder on this flank in the entire roster. And yet he's transfer listed. Fast and intelligent, he might be the overall best athlete on the team and is also a decent stabilizing influence. Aside from adequacy at first touch and tackling though, his skills just aren't quite what they need to be across the board, and doesn't look like he's going to get any better. He's also totally unreliable when the pressure's on. I'm forced to agree that we need to replace him. If he was cheaper that would be one thing -- I'd like to keep smart players around as much as possible. DL/WBL Sergio Cotilla(25, 625/w, 179 cm) -- Another guy who isn't good in big matches, Cotilla is nonetheless one of the best on the team and unquestionably the top performer on the back line. 7.05 rating with an assist so far in league play. It's mostly physical with him, as stamina, speed, and agility are all quite good. Technical abilities are adequate at best, and the same is true for the mental side though anticipation and leadership are quality -- Cotilla is the team captain. He wants to be guaranteed a big raise and key player status before considering extending his contract. Though he's worth it, ofbviously that's out of the question, so we'll have to hope to hang onto him when his deal runs out. DM Pedro Garcia(27, 925/w., 179 cm) -- That's a lot of money; nobody on the team makes more and the board says we can't afford anyone making half this much(they aren't wrong). Garcia is a star here though(7.03 rat., 1 goal, 3 assists). Literally his only technical skill that isn't decent is corners, and there are no major weaknesses anywhere else in his game. Pedro is also notably super-aggressive. He won't discuss an extension at all, happy with his current deal. I would be too. He can play DR in a pinch as well. We've got enough players here that I'm considering going with five at the back. Cotilla and Garcia really help the defense, and overall it's much better than the keeper situation, but most of these guys still aren't quite good enough. Throwing another body in might be the thing to do, esp. with the lack of options further up the pitch ... Midfield MC/DM Oscar Sielva(26, 925/w, 177 cm) -- Another guy making way too much. Creativity, determination, work rate, vision -- he's good at a lot of important things. First touch and passing are quality, but overall it's the mental part of his game that sets Sielva apart. In his own way he's as good as Garcia, and the two of them really give us strength up the middle. Oscar can also play AMC a bit if called for. Likewise, he's not ready to discuss any changes to his deal. DM/MC Yago(29, 240/w, 178 cm) -- Yago's been around for three years now, yet isn't registered for league play and has been transfer listed. He doesn't have Second Divison B quality, but it'd still be better to have him in there than nobody. Good first touch, adequate accuracy from distance, decent positioning and decision-making, moves pretty well, but just subpar in a lot of the important skills. Can't dribble to save his life and is basically the opposite of determined, to note a couple. He's also never really fit in with the team here. I concur with the choice previously made, and leave him on the transfer list. MC/AMC Antonio Jesus Cabellero(23, 400/w, 175 cm) -- Not ready yet, but Caballero has Second Divison B potential. Problem is that he makes too much right now for what he gives us. Smart, good vision, work rate, and acceleration along with decent speed. Technique is as good as anyone we have. Just needs to fill in some weak areas in his game, positioning and dribbling being a couple. His 6.31 rating so far in 10 appearances(2 assists) is not inspiring. He won't discuss a new deal, which is unfortunate. I'd like to keep Antonio, but if his price doesn't go down I won't be able to. MC/AMC Deivid(24, 525/w, 187 cm) -- This deal is just highway robbery, and not in our favor. Deivid is an ok passer, has good vision, and can jump and run well. He doesn't have a whole lot else that stands out yet though, and a 6.42 rat in 8 appearances, with a pair of assists backs that up. Still improving and he can play at this level someday. Good enough to be our second-best MC behind Sielva still. Also won't consider a new contract. AMC/AML Claudio Garcia(20, 575/w, 170 cm) -- AMR and MC are also positions he can play, though not as well. Garcia is one of just three foreigners and the lone Peruvian on the team. He's a star in the making, already very good at passing, crossing, dribbling, corners, first touch ... he's really a skilled attacking player despite his youth. Fairly smart, quite creative, reasonably fast though not there yet physically in a lot of ways. The chances of him being willing to take a pay cut in the future are not good, but without it I don't know if we'll be able to hang on to him. Seems only a matter of time until a professional side comes in for him. Overall there just isn't much here, and no quality on the wings aside from Garcia on the left. There pretty much is no choice but to play narrow and accept weakness on the perimeter, at least for the moment. Attackers AMC/AMR/ST Juanma(27, 400/w, 179 cm) -- Just plain not good enough in most aspects, he's inconsistent and not considered to be close to the quality needed. I'm really hoping somebody grabs him during the next transfer window; he's listed and going to remain that way. 7 appearances in relief this year, 6.30 rating and missed half his tackles, almost that many passes. This is just a level too high for him -- he's got enough smarts, creativity, technique, and speed to be quite successful in the 4th tier. AMR/ST David Alvarez(24, 325/w, 178 cm) -- I like him as depth guy. Not a great finisher but better than most of the team. Strong, but doesn't move particularly well. Composure, positioning, teamwork are all solid though not spectacular. He's third out of our three decent options up front. And he wants a raise, which he's not going to get. Was willing to discuss the matter though, and I was able to haggle him down to 275/wk. That seems reasonable given that he is still improving, and could become a marginal Second Division B guy. ALM/AMR/ST Borja Galan(24, 325/w, 183 cm) -- Galan is our third and final loan player, coming to us from Coruna again. He's a versatile attacking option, decent athleticism, moves well off the ball, but is more a setup guy right now as his finishing needs work. Doesn't fit in particularly well here, and is near his potential but a quality player at this level and we don't have that many of those. Good price. When his loan period is up I may see about getting a permanent transfer for him; he's never going to be a Coruna quality player. ST Pablo Carnero(29, 925/w, 190 cm) -- Carnero is currently tied for the lead in the B1 section with 9 goals on the year; Galan is second with three and almost half our tallies (20 total) have come from Carnero. He's smart, brave, good at the set pieces, and definitely our top man with the headers in the box. Works pretty well and understands the team concept -- Pablo is a top performer in his prime, with a 7.05 rating so far. Also does well in the big moments. He wants a big pay raise before considering a new deal, and is waffling on the idea of sticking around. Hoping against hope here, but this is probably his last year with CR Bouzas no matter what. I'm thinking a competitor with more money is likely to take him away. Tactics I set up two initially. This 4-3-3 gives us by far the best coverage and gets our best players out there. We also have a 5-3-2 which puts Galan as a second striker, with Claudio Garcia coming off in favor of a third central defender, Colo. Those two guys will swing depending on what we need to do. The more aggressive 4-3-3 gives us our best chance I think -- though the team has played with a similar formation recently with bad results. We've got to use the strengths of the team and those are mostly in attack. Team Meeting I decided it was time to say hello. Squad support was rated 'abysmal' -- it appears most of them don't think I'm up for the task. Can't blame them, I'm probably not. Captain Sergio Cotilla responded positively, notint that my 'reputation is sure to increase if you meet expectations. I look forward to playing under your leadership'. I tell them that I'm confident we can avoid automatic relegation, and honestly that's true -- we have a fully healthy squad with morale still good despite our position. The squad responded well and felt that was the right and reasonable expectation. Everybody is feeling at least slightly on the positive side about things. Scouting We haven't enough money for even the most basic scouting package, and need to save cash wherever possible anyway. I reduce our spending there to the minimum, which will save 3.2k a week. They have two recommended players; one is from the Ukraine, which we can't afford to keep visiting. The other is a 37-year-old midfielder from the Third Division, the tier below us. He makes a killing by our standards(1.5k/wk) so at best we might think about giving him a reduced contract next year -- if he's worth it at that point. Not likely. Bragado is instructed to look for any and all players in Spain who might be good transfer targets for us. In less than a month we'll have to decide who to pursue, if anyone. Coaching Initially Alvarez was focusing only on aerobic matters. He adds strength to his workload and I put myself in a couple areas. At minimal effectiveness, but ... pretty much everyone was complaining about the poor fitness training. This will be a little better, though it will still suck. And that's that! Onward we go.
  2. I've got a long-term save started. I don't think there's anything yet that is going to make it not worth doing.
  3. Starting Job Search After a few days , in early November I started getting the occasional offer from teams struggling in the Vanarama N/S and making a change, but none of them quite fit the bill; a couple hit the basic requirements but stadium/facilities were too good and they didn't really look nearly desperate enough for my services. Stuff coming in from elsewhere were interview offers from teams too large, though most clubs rightfully laughed off my applications. ** November 23 -- I seriously considered taking an interview for the first time(Wexford FC, Ireland, who have just been relegated back down to First Division after their first appearance in the Premier, and are picked to do poorly again next year). Once again though it just looked a little too cozy. ** November 29 -- KFC Oosterzonen-Ooserwijk from the Belgian third tier(First Amateur Division) offered an interview. They have an interesting situation which would have been quite appropriate for me, but the language barrier was too much. I don't speak Dutch, French, or German, the primary languages in Belgium. For an experienced coach they might overlook that, but it was much less likely in my case. I'd have to keep searching, though this would been a very intriguing job to take. ** December 4 -- Formentera(Spanish Second Division B3) agreed to consider my services. They are also Semi-Pro/Local, and were founded in 1971. The last five years, they were a Third-Division side of escalating success, finally earning promotion last year. They were predicted third from the bottom this season in the Second Division ... and have managed to fail even those minimal expectations. Former head man Tito Garcia Sanjuan, previously of Legirus Inter, who led them to promotion after taking over last year, got the axe after a bad start. It's a situation that no respectable coach would walk into; the odds of avoiding relegation, and the inevitable accompanying sacking, are long indeed. President Xicu Ferrer is notably somewhat opposed to bringing up players through the youth system; that would be a problem in the long-term if this was a club that could afford to worry about the long-term. He was willing to pursue setting up a parent club, which was encouraging, and I suggested that we need a defensive style. Overmatched at this level, Formentera needs to scrape for every result they can and avoid big early deficits. Sigrel Trinidad from the North American Soccer Express wanted to get a reactioin afterwards as news of the interview leaked, but I simply said I have no comment at this time. ** December 9 -- While they were still considering what to do, CR Bouzas from another branch of the Spanish Second Division B, a club with a much longer history but also just promoted and sitting in last place(though not as dire of an outlook), and the interview with President Manuel Seoane went similarly -- he's of a like mind to Ferrer it seems. They did ask about me being in the running for multiple jobs, to which I replied I am simply considering my options. The payroll budget is notably 15% lower here, but on the other hand there seems to be a greater chance of avoiding relegation at first glance. After hundreds of applications in a frantic effort over these past several weeks, I've now had my first two potential opportunities come up just five days apart -- and both in the same country. I'm looking to forward to seeing what if anythign they offer. Later the same day, at 19:04, Formentera informs us they've decided I'm not the right person for the job. REJECTED!! They're going with Santi Castillejo instead. Hopefully CR Bouzas will not reach the same conclusion ... ** December 12, 10:59 -- CR Bouzas officially offer me a contract! I'd have taken the job for free, but I didn't tell them that. This is basically a paid internship for me; I get a chance to coach in one of the top football nations in the world, and if we beat the odds and don't get relegated I'm off to a fine start. Even if that doesn't happen, I'll have gotten some experience and something to build on. I've got the amount in Euros here; I'm going to adopt the measurements appropriate for whatever job I have, meaning that I'll also need to get used to the metric system. I've decided to hold off on looking at the larger situation in the world until the new year hits; I figured since that's just over half a month away I might as well get settled in here a bit first, then do that overview when it comes. So next I'll take a look at my new digs.
  4. Herein shall be documented, in far too much detail, the trial and travails of yours truly as I have recreated myself as realistically as possible within FM 18. To truly do this justice, I could have waited for some of the lower-league databases to be completed by the ever-impressive FM community. However FM is not really designed to deal with that many levels of competition. Therefore putting myself in the closest possible city to where I actually live(Grand Rapids, MI, USA) and entering my actual age and particulars, I begin in February 27 2017 in the United States. I've then gone on holiday, which is currently progressing, until I reach the current date(well, tomorrow, October 27th). Attributes ** 3 Mental, 2 Fitness -- Whatever else my teams I are, I will endeavor to the best of my ability to make them intelligent and well-conditioned squads. Note that the best of my ability is a very flexible term; I haven't played since FM 14 and accomplished nothing noteworthy even then. ** 4 Adaptability -- I want to have a shot at being hired anywhere in the world. On '14 I ended up in Indonesia, and it could very well be some similar backwater. This will be a world journeyman-style career. The Job Search I then purposed to apply to anything and everything available until I found someone dumb enough to hire me, a now-40 year old who has overstated his knowledge and playing experience even at the FM minimum -- I was a decent defender and keeper in youth-league. And that's it, I never played competitively again. Truth be told I've spend most of my adult life far more interested in the more 'American' sports, esp. basketball and tennis. So frankly, you'd have to be on some particularly excellent drugs to even consider an interview -- or really desperate. Therefore, I am not allowing myself an interview with any club not meeting the following requirements: ** Status of Semi-Professional at best. The idea of any fully Pro club giving me the time of day is a bad joke. ** Reputation of Local or worse. This excludes most of the clubs in the game, as it should. ** The ideal situation will involve other issues as well; a particularly bad economic or facilities situation, impending relegation probability from the lowest league in a nation, that kind of thing. Again, only the truly desperate would consider me. Job Movement ** I must strongly consider any job which offers an increased wage. Refusing such a move must require a good reason(as determined by me, but generally would have to be a combination of a worse situation in some other way and a relatively minor increase). ** Any job offering double or more my current salary will automatically be accepted, regardless of circumstances. ** I will not take the initiative and apply for any position that is not realistic given my own reputation. Goals After committing the hilarious travesty of actually being hired as a head coach somewhere, I'll endeavor to do what I can until something better comes along. Naturally I have the usual obscenely lofty aims of winning the Champions League, winning the World Cup(preferably with the USA), winning a top domestic league -- but I'll celebrate the little successes that come along the way. If they come, that is. The Larger Stage I will also be documenting, starting when I take my first job, various high-level competitions throughout the world. This will serve as a good reminder of what the eventual goal/standard is, and a way of keeping tabs on the ebb and flow of events.
  5. I've enjoyed reading the results here over multiple versions and will do so again. Considered joining this year, but opted for a different kind of game instead. Still, good luck to all the participants, and thanks to dafuge for once again setting this up.
  6. Did you set an asking price on your players?
  7. World journeyman approach always for me, so whatever sufficiently crappy club is the first to be dumb enough to hire me. From there, wherever my accomplishments(or lack thereof) take me.
  8. True, but it's been announced here that you do get it if you pre-order on Steam.
  9. 73' -- Sineri hits one from halfway to midfield and into upper left corner. 3-0. What a bunch of crap. 90' -- An angled shot from Adie is just barely blocked, but he retrieves it and finds Uropmabin who hits to open net. 3-1, but this one is about in the books and it didn't look like Persewar was even trying on that sequence. FT -- 3-1. The ironic thing about this is the last two matches we've played have been our best this year in terms of possession(58% and 56%), but it seems since the calendar turned to 2014 we can't get anything right at the business in. Misplaced passes, poor decisions, inability to finish, mental breakdowns at the back -- we've got a crisis of confidence or something, and I don't know what to do about it. I made it worse by calling it a solid effort(which it was), but they were pissed about the result and thought I was being ridiculous. We drop to 10th, and will drop further if we can't find away to convert more of our opportunities. ** Forum posting errors getting a bit ridiculous at this point
  10. 47' -- Ewangin to Sutanto in a good counter, but the defenders were close enough to push him wide and the angled shot went into the side. 48' -- A chaotic corner and Praetiyo is given a yellow card for taking a dive. That could have gone either way. 51' -- Another berserk play. Ferminus tips a cross to keep it away from their forwards, but it doesn't go out. Praestiyo heads it in front, where Mardinsyah is all alone in the goal mouth. 59' -- A long shot from straight on by Ewangin is well off-target. 70' -- Disaster. Mardiansyah comes down the left and leads Prasetiyo into the area behind Fitriandi. Ferminus just stands there and doesn't even react to cut down the angle, easy score and you can put a fork in us as it's 2-0.
  11. 32' -- After some loose ... and that's putting it very charitably ... marking and defensive coordination on our end, Praestiyo has a volley inside the box, but Fitriandi blocks it out for a corner. There's been a lot of dangerous chances in this contest, yet nobody has scored yet. 38' -- Irawan gets a pretty good look at a header off a corner kick, and we're lucky to deflect it out. A minute later, a freekick gets Waraby free for a sharp-angle header in the box, and it's into the side of the net. I'm getting the feeling more and more that we are dodging bullets right now, and I tell the defensive line to pull back for the rest of the half. 46' -- Ewangin hits a skip pass to Adie, who puts a weak shot wide. HT -- They've outshot us 5-4 so it's not been as active as I expected.
  12. February 1 @ Persewar(4-3-7, 10th). A rematch of one of our most disappointing results this year, in which we scored twice in the first 15 minutes only to see them equalize in injury time for a 2-2 draw. This time around, Yogi was a last-minute decision but not quite ready to go ... he would have been an emergency sub at best anyway without the time to get his leg back into shape. So Sutanto gets the start at AMC, leaving us with two subs. As before, they play the double-edged 3-5-2 so more fireworks are expected, and Persewar are slight 5-4 favorites with any result expected to be a significant possibility. We need a win to stay in contact with the mid-table clubs as Persenga and Penajam both won their matches this weekend, but Persewar has won two of three themselves. 1' -- Uropmabin gets a good look as Sutanto heads it to him in front, couldn't have been more than 10 yards out. He turns and fires ... Amri barely needed to move to grab it. There was plenty of room to put it in the left side of the net, that should have been a quick goal. We barely manage to break up their first few attacking runs thanks to a couple of nice tackles. Both sides have the same idea: wait for a turnover, then get the ball forward quickly. Just a matter of who executes it better. Their idea of how to stop us early on seemed to be 'foul the guy with the ball'. We were indecisive enough to make it unfortunately effective. 11' -- Hakim's second blatant trip, this one on Sutanto, earns him a yellow card. 15' -- Mariansyah gets it behind Sutiono at the edge of the area, Ferminus comes way out and is able to get his hands on the ball, we clear it before they can get a shot at the nearly-open net. Well it's even now, both of should have a goal but neither do. Good play by Ferminus, but a half-decent lob and he would have been toast. 25' -- Ningmabin with a deep cross and their defense it caught asleep, Upromabin mishandles it but Amri can only push it away ... open net but he can't get through their defenders, the rebound is to Adie out wide and his shot is blocked as well. We never had a clear shot there but just needed one deflection to go our way. 27' -- Ari gets carded for fouling Ewangin, I'm not sure that was even a foul so I'd be hopping mad if that had gone against us. Ningmabin follows it up with a blast from another zip code that almost scores, but Amri tips it away. What do we do with the corner, class? That's right -- nothing.
  13. January Review A win, a draw, and a loss in First Division play, a decent month were it not for the lopsided loss in the Indonesian Cup to Cilegon. The board remains 'satisfied', they are extremely positive about the positive team atmosphere but note that the one-sidedness of the defeat in the Cup cannot be ignored and fans are also concerned that the style of football has not been that excited(translation: we need to finish better and score more goals). Another big loss of 160M brings our balance to -1.14B. And counting. Standings Persemalra(35 pts, +16) Persinab(28 pts, +12) Yahukimo FC(25 pts, +6) Persebangga(25 pts, +3) Persipon(22 pts, +3) PSKT(21 pts, even) Penajam(20 pts, even) Persenga(20 pts, -2) Persigubin(15 pts, -2) Persewar(15 pts, -6) Persibas(14 pts, -12) Persatu(4 pts, -18) Everyone has played 15 except for Persewar and us ... we visit them this afternoon. We have road matches against the teams around us in the standings and home matches against the higher-ranking ones to finish the year, and unless we can get a win or two in those away contests I don't see us moving up the table.
  14. 1.20 -- Latest Asian Competition Rankings show the Indonesian Super League dropping 3 spots to 27th, the Premier Division down 8 to 36th, and the First Division down 3 to 83rd. The lower divisions dropped a bit as well. Meanwhile, what was supposed to be a confidence and fitness-building friendly with the local youth amateurs turned into a 2-1 loss, including an unfathomable miss by Yogi in the closing minutes. Humiliating. It did still have value in getting Ningmabin and espescially Adie closer to full strength. 1.26 vs. Persatu(0-4-9, 12th) We are 1-6 favorites in what is the definition of a must-win. Urwan will be serving his yellow card suspension today, leaving us short a man in defense with Sutanto forced to fill in. Our first meeting was a scoreless draw in which, horribly short on healthy attackers, we saw a season-high 21 shots go begging. 7' -- Yogi goes down hard in the area trying to manufacture an attack, and he'll stay on but we could do without him being hurt. 9' -- Ewangin to Upromabin who is all one in front but a little too close to their keeper who cuts down the angle and blocks the shot. A corner results in a loose ball in front, but we can't get to it. 11' -- Ewangin with a good look but a diving stop tips it out. Two corners produce nothing. Our finishing seems to be getting worse with each match. 13' -- Just as I say that, a line drive from more than 25 yards beats Khuluq inside the left post, and Ewangin has his eighth goal of the year to put us on top 1-0! 16' -- The shots just keep on coming, with Adie blasting one angling in from the right, but it's right at Khuluq and he blocks it away. There's a not-small difference between Persatu and everyone else in this group, as their lack of a win through the first 13 matches indicates. Our passing became more erratic after that and Persatu improved their game a little, and we weren't able to mount the same kind of consistent pressure. 30' -- Their first shot of significance is a header in front, about 14 yards out which is easily saved by Ferminus. 33' -- Bethan gets behind the defense on a counter as Patay just stands there like an idiot, and he's all one into the area, beating Ferminus who had no chance on that one. Superb. They've scored six goals in 13 matches, and just made us look stupid on that. 1-1. 35' -- Upromabin uncorks a 30-yarder, our first shot in a while, it's a well-placed line drive that beats Khuluq but is off the post. Ewangin misses high a minute later on a long-distance try after a corner. 40' -- Yogi goes down hard again and this time he'll need to come off, Oropka is in and Sutanto takes the AMC spot. Another foul immediately following the kick and Adie has a straight-on attempt just outside the area, at first I thought it was a penalty call. His blast is well high. 43' -- Didn't take Sutanto long to make his presence felt up front. A fantastic header by Ningmabin started a counter with Ewangin taking it up the left side. He found Ningmabin in the left side of the area with a return pass, blocked off he shoveled one to Sutanto who put it past the Khuluq inside the left post! 2-1 now. Ningmabin made the play, probably his best sequence of the year. 45' -- A header at midfield sets up Upromabin ahead of the back, but for once he actually waits too long and his shot is blocked out for a corner. After a turnover, Ewangin has a shot blocked as he couldn't get it off in time for a clear look, and time is called. HT -- Up 2-1, we finished well and could have very well added another goal before the break. I would like an insurance score and will switch to a more conservative approach if we get it, but for now we'll keep pushing with only a single goal lead. 50' -- They are obviously concerned with Ewangin and are making a career out of fouling him today. 54' -- A volley by Ewangin is blocked out for a corner. 58' -- Adie to Sutanto to Ewangin, who perhaps tried to get a little too cute on a fairly open shot from 20 yards. Khuluq got to it with a diving tip, a little more on that and it was good, heading for right top corner. Sutino's normally inept corner kicks have been much worse than usual today. 62' -- We work it to Ningambin for pretty good look from inside the area, but he's well off-target. Setia is on for Adie, who has been beat up pretty good today. 64' -- Sutiono shows his value with a fantastic tackle of Mustofa who looked like he was a step behind the defense. I decide not to tempt fate and tell the guys to hold back now and just look for chances to counter. 74' -- Surhandak gets a freekick from 30 yards straight on, thanks to just our third foul of the day. It's a weak effort though and easily taken by Ferminus. 78' -- A scramble in front of our goal is far too close for comfort, but Ningmabin eventually gets it out of there. 82' -- They are getting too much pressure on our end, and we'll retreat and try to block off any possible chances of a tying score. FT -- A couple of desperate long-range attempts miss and we hang on for the 2-1 win. It should have been a bigger margin, but we'll take any victory at this point, they've been few and far between as it's only our third of the season. Upromabin(1 ast) edged out Sutanto(1 gl) for player of the match. Yogi has a dead leg and will miss 6-8 days.
  15. 1.13 @ Cilegon FC(Indonesian Cup, Second Leg) The fans are confident of a big win. Good for them. I'm not, inasmuch as we got smashed 4-1 in the first one and our away mark on the season stands at 3 losses and 4 draws, with not a victory in sight. Even if we win this one 3-0, we'll still fail to advance as they'll have more away goals. At least our next match isn't for nearly two weeks so there's nothing to hold back for. Yarangga is suspended but we get Adie and NIngmabin back on the midfield wings. Oropka will man the center. The oddsmakers have us as 1-2 favorites, but that didn't help us last time. The main thing I would like to achieve with any reasonable expectation is to win the match, not necessarily the round on aggregate, stay healthyish, and have the squad aside from the obviously inconsolable Upromabin in a more positive frame of mind heading into the rest of our Group D schedule. We're pretty tired, so if it doesn't go well early, I'll use the subs and call it a day. 3' -- I tell them to watch Norval, who scored all four goals, like a hawk. And so Sutiono picks up a cheap yellow almost immediately. Grrr. 4' -- Ewangin to Yogi, nice trailing pass to Ningmabin but he's taken down no call as he's about to get off a good angled shot. 5' -- Ewangin gets a clear shot from 23 yards out straight on, hits it well but right at the keeper. 10' -- Ningmabin to Yogi up the gut, he hits it from 25 ... good attempt but just high. We look to be the better club early in this one, a sight different than the first match. They come back down and get an inconsequential header in front, their first chance of any kind. 13' -- Yellow for Urwan. I don't like the way this is heading. 22' -- They're playing cautiously to ensure they hold their large lead, sensibly so. Adie really needed a few days of rest before he was ready for action, and he's laboring already. I put Sutanto on for him as it's unlikely we'll be able to press forward for a big win, though we're playing solidly. 27' -- Another long shot for Ewangin straight on, but it's well high. This has all the makings of a scoreless match unless we can connect from long distance or catch some other sort of break, they are effectively frustrating our attacking moves most of the time. 30' -- They pick a yellow at midfield for fouling Oropka, then foul Sutanto a few yards outside the area and Ewangin has a freekick. He just misses wide right, well placed just over the line and a foot left that would have been a score. 36' -- A yellow for Yogi. 37' -- Two main game between Ewangin and Yogi, angled shot just outside the box by Ewangin but it's blocked away by the keeper. I thought we had a score there, probably should have. 46' -- Urwan clears out a dangerous corner, but time isn't called and they get it back in. Sutiono and Fitrandi get caught too close to the middle and Norval comes free for a header from about 10 yards, angled well across for a score. HT -- We've outshot them 6-2, that was the only corner for either team, the little stats are close ... but Norval finished his try and we've missed at least two or three that were better. That's five goals for him in a match and a half, and we're trailing a match we should be able to at least draw based on how it's been played. 57' -- Uropmabin unleashes a bouncer from over 30 yards, well placed but because of the distance there was time to knock it out for a corner. 60' -- Yogi sets up Upromabin in the right side of the area, but it's a very sharp angle and into the side. Ningmabin's day is done(fatigue) comes off for Setia. Yogi comes open up the middle, good touch on the 25-yd shot but it's just off the upper right corner. 79' -- Another long shot straight-on for Ewangin, another miss. They've effectively frustrating our attempts to get better shots in the second half, and we haven't gotten any breaks. 82' -- A hideous 30-yd volley attempt by Upromabin. He loves the long shot too much, and could have gotten closer there. 83' -- Firmansah is carded for tripping Ewangin. A 35-yard freekick is hideously off-target probably 15 yards wide right. FT -- We lose 1-0 despite a 14-2 edge in shots and overall game good enough to have at least a draw and probably a win. We would have lost the round anyway, but it would have been nice to get a couple scores today.
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