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  1. The Long Road – Keymer and Hassocks (FM17) Using Dan BHTFC’s English Level 22 mod. Taking a club from the Conference North/South to the Champions league is an FM rite of passage. It’s a test of patience, hard work and your willingness to put up with managing frankly terrible players. I myself have an everlasting love of Dartford, having managed it for the first time with them on FM11. For those who have truly taken leave of their senses, though, the true challenge is to go even lower. Thus I present the craziest Challenge I’ve ever taken on in all my FM days – Keymer and Hassocks. K&H are a pub team about 7 miles North of Brighton, in the beautiful setting of the South Downs. When I say pub team, I mean pub team. Their logo shows a man drinking beer, showing the kind of character that modern football logos lack, designed as they are by corporate design bigwigs. They play at Adastra Park, a lovely Parish green that according to the internet boasts a Garden of Remembrance, a Community Pavilion, football pitches, a cricket pitch, a bowling green, tennis courts, a skate park, children’s play areas, and adult fitness equipment. The description ‘football pitches’ is a bit misleading though as satellite images reveal one solitary football pitch. They start in the Mid Sussex Football league Division 9, from which by my calculations it will take 21 promotions to reach the promised land of the Premier League. Upon arrival, my team looked vaguely decent, entirely made up of young auto-generated regens. This was quickly disproved when I signed the mighty Scott Walker, who immediately made my best players look frankly awful by comparison. I therefore decided to release the entire starting squad and begin again. Believe me, it’s not easy to find decent players willing to sign amateur contracts for a club with a presumably single digit reputation. Still, just about anyone was better than what I started with. Looking up the divisions, I checked out clubs in the higher divisions. To my surprise, I was able to sign players listed as the ‘key player’ from clubs ten divisions higher, in the Mid Sussex Premier League! These players were just as bad as the players I started with though, leading me to two conclusions: 1- The starting reputation of all the clubs across all 10 divisions of the Mid Sussex leagues is the same or very similar 2- The CA of all the players in all the clubs is also very similar. As such a squad capable of crushing the bottom division should be just as capable of the next 9 promotions, with replacements only needed for ageing players or those poached by ‘higher division clubs’ such as those in the heady heights the Southern Combination Leagues and above.
  2. Updated for 19.3.0 Lower League Game Files for Hong Kong Editor Files Facepack & Logos Adboard XML Adboard Static Pictures Adboard Video Adboard Video Font File (if nameplates, shirt numbers disappear) Mirror Site on Google Drive (limited daily downloads, no preview) Mirror Editor Files Mirror Facepack & Logos Mirror Adboard XML Mirror Adboard Static Pictures Mirror Adboard Video Mirror Adboard Video Font File (if nameplates, shirt numbers disappear) The Hong Kong Database is a user-adjustable detail-rich lower league simulation. 10 separate editor files offer flexibility with the challenge level. Adboards plus club and competition logos are provided at each level of competition. The Hong Kong facepack contains 693 images of existing players and non-players, 443 images of club officers, coaches, players and officials, and 96 generic faces. Six tiers are provided for promotion within the HKFA pyramid. HK Tier 1 approximates English Tier 5, the National League. HK Tier 5 and 6 approximates English Tier 9 and 10, the County leagues. Cup competitions are tier appropriate with the FA Cup open to all clubs in the pyramid. Four international competitions allow Tier 1 clubs to grow beyond the stature of the domestic league. Hong Kong is slanted towards academics rather than athletics. The youth system will see a significant number of usable newgens coming from the included school leagues. In reality, some recent youth stars are of expat and/or mixed race origin, and there will be usable newgens coming from non-league and/or expat based local regions. Actual Hong Kong football is dominated by a small number of underwriter supported clubs. The provided databases flattens the revenue structure through a self-sustaining league position award system and opens transfer avenues to undervalued nations. The revamped youth system allows smaller teams the opportunity to grow talent and increase their stature, before being poached by larger clubs. Because Hong Kong football is weighted towards the elite few, my gameplay experience in FM16 and 17 saw an easy ride through the middle tiers. To increase the challenge, I balanced the league by adding new players and staff to all existing tiers of the pyramid. These additions are in separate files: one can play with only the league structure, only new officials and staff, or only new non-players and experienced players, or only new officials, non-players, experienced players and new players up to tier 4. Tier 5 introduces a new division made up entirely of expatriate clubs. Such leagues exist in HK at the amateur level. The new tier extends and enhances the actual situation. Tier 5 is optional, but adding it and the accompanying 860 youthful facepack images will extend enjoyment of this challenge without a proliferation of regen faces. Tier 6 represents the actual amateur leagues, of which I have included the most successful teams from The Legal, Union and Yau Yee Leagues. Hong Kong is the world's most expensive real estate market; land is at a premium. Where possible, 7-a-side fields are utilized as reserve stadiums and training grounds. This prevents existing pitches from turning into a soggy mess and delays the want of some clubs to build their own, which in reality, is an impossibility. Facts Hong Kong, SAR Population: 7,392,000 Language Official: Cantonese and English (Hong Kong Basic Law article 9) Spoken English Competance: 23/41/35% very good, average, not good* FIFA Conf: Asian Football Confederation FIFA Rank (Present, High, Low): 144, 90, 172 FIFA Rank perspective, between Soloman Islands (143) and Afghanistan (145) AFC Champions League Appearances: 1, 2016-17 Eastern A.A. FA Tiers/Clubs: 4/52 Avg Attendance Premier League: 1142 (week 23 2018, HKFA site) Capacity Stadiums: 2400-7800 (Premier League) Players T1 Total/Foreign %: 288/88, 31% (2018 Oct Transfer Markt) CA Observed Top Pro HK Club: 63-105 (Highest 14 Players) CA Observed Bot Pro HK Club: 46-098 (Highest 14 Players) Consistency Top Pro HK Club: 07-015 (Highest 14 Players) Consistency Bot Pro HK Club: 05-010 (Highest 14 Players) Compare England T5, Torquay: CA 65-90, Consistency 8-15 *2016 Thematic Household Survey, HK Census and Statistics Dept Tiers (Actual 2018-19/FM19/Custom Gamepack) 10/10/10 T1,Premier League 14/14/10 T2,HKFA 1st Division 14/14/18 T3,HKFA 2nd Dvision 14/14/18 T4,HKFA 3rd Division nn/00/36 T5,(new international conference) nn/26/48 T6,(four amateur divisions) nn/11/32 T7,(university and academy division) nn/00/40 T8,(college divisions) nn/00/10 T9,(non-league) Cups National (in editor file) HKFA HK Community Cup HK Senior Challenge Shield HK Junior Challenge Shield HK Amateur Cup Clubs All HKFA T1 clubs are professional. T2-6 clubs are semi-professional. Attendance and reputations are normalized. Existing sugar daddy and underwriter clubs continue to be. Sponsorships were normalized to a minimum level and compensated for with division performance awards. Recruitment and Youth Academy ratings are normalized down from a world class level down to a reputation appropriate level. Stand-alone academies, colleges and university produce youth talent. A new expat league is added to form T5. Current expat and locals continue to play in the amateur division of tier 6. T7 and T8 represent for-profit football academies, secondary schools and the university league. T9 contains non-league clubs. A pyramid system is introduced. Traditionally, semi-pro clubs refused promotion to the professional Premier League, historically, some placements have been arbitrary. Non-league clubs can now be promoted to the HKFA through a playoff system. Cities/Local Regions Modified 234 cities to include proper inhabitant range, latitude/longitude, altitude, weather, and attraction level as a function of proximity to the number of MTR subway lines and/or (express) bus routes. Modified 62 local regions. The actual 18 HK districts now have proper population and weather. Others are in-country expatriate regions and foreign expatriate regions that models the Hong Kong diaspora. Stadiums Only HKFC, South China, government support service associations, and academy/schools own pitches. HK pitches are groundshare with assignments managed by HK Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). Added T1-2 alternate stadiums to lower level clubs. Added and modified 212 stadiums and fields to include correct latitude/longitude, seating, capacity, city, seating color, pitch dimensions and type, build and modified date where available, and condition. LCSD database and Happy Valley facility map were used as reference: 7-a-side facilities were converted to reserve/training pitches and 11-a-side pitches were added/modified. HK Centre of Excellence training facility was also added, reflecting actual building plans. Certain university and secondary school facilities of proper dimensions were added. Some pitches were added to accommodate new clubs. Custom db current stadiums, capacities and locations are here, categorized by division. The drill-down shows capacity, lat and long, and Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department link if available., Nation (file: 200 HKG Policies) Adjusts Youth Rating from 47 to 60 (same as mainland China) Adjusts FA from Completely Useless to Very Important Adjusts Starting Personality Attributes to Above Average->Good Changes Nationality Status to Accumulative from Consecutive Years Moves English to primary language and adjusts Mandarin proficiency upwards Add preferred secondary and attack/defense formations Adds Macau as Non-Foreign Adds nations to preferred Transfer Continent and Nation Transfer fees set to the Dutch level to properly compensate for poaching Personal Taxation brackets corrected: 4,8,12k GBP vs 47,93,140k GBP in editor Actual 2018 median annual income is 19.4k GBP. Corporation Taxation Schema updated to actual CY2018 two tier schema Club (file 201 HKG Clubs) Installs League Structure and Cups Cups International (file:202 Asia Competitions) AFC Trophy (32 teams/top 8 nations) AFC Plate (32 teams/top 8 nations) AFC Gold Challenge Series (64 teams/top 16 nations) AFC Silver Challenge Series (64 teams/9-32 ranked nations) AFC Bronze Challenge Series (64 teams/17-47 ranked nations) Officials (file:203 Officials) Reclass 83, Add 138 Assign officials to (new) AFC competitions, HK Tiers 1-6, HK Cups Officers (file: 204 Officers) Add 134 Chairmen and Managing Directors to clubs without entries Add 13 agent/advocates to nation Hong Kong (bugged, these are not appearing in-game) Coaches (file: 205 Coaches and 106 Reclass) Add 478 and reclass 103 Managers and Coaches to existing clubs and to new clubs in T5 and T6. All T1-6 clubs will have at least a first team manager and assistant. Upper tier clubs also receive reserve team manager and specialty coaches, fitness and/or goalkeeping. Players (file: 207 Players) Add 209 older players to T1-3 Clubs, CA 50-70, Consistency 13-14 Players (file: 208 Players) Add 553 young players to T1-4 Clubs, CA 30-60, Consistency 9-12 Players (file: 209 Players) Add 1516 players to T5-6 Clubs, CA 10-24, Consistency 7-9 How to use the files The numbered editor files will load in order. The minimum needed to play are files 200 and 201. File 202 adds Asia Competitions and is optional. In order to use the facepacks, the prior numbered files must be used. So for instance, if one wants to only add T1-T4 young players (file 208), one must install all prior numbers (files 200 through 207). The included facepack is sequentially numbered for 19.3. Road Map FM20 Update Hong Kong Facepack, review T1 Senior Faces Review possibility of consolidating editor files Review possibility of adding diaspora leagues culminating in Chinese Intl Cup Assign mental, physical and technical attributes to added players Assign player/non-player status for added players to create future staff with faces Create transfer file for future seasons to compensate for foreign league poaching Update non-league clubs if time remains How to Install Download files from the main site or mirror site. Once are in the main file area, the zip directory/sub-directory will create/use the proper directories and then place files in their place, if installed on Windows OS. -- >documents/sports interactive/football manager 19 is for ads, adboard pictures, editor files, and facepack & logos -- >(program files)-->football manager 19-->data is for adboards video Install Editor Files Install ads.xml Install Ad Static Boards Install Ad Video Boards Install Ad Video Fonts (if necessary) Install Facepack (HKG) Sample of Static and Video Ads Install Cautions ads.xml will overwrite your current one. Please back this up if you intend to play other challenge/scenarios. The HKG Adpack will overwrite any other adpack defaults you are using. Please backup graphics->pictures->ads->default before installing. Other directories should peacefully coexist with your current files. If in 3d match play/highlights player nameplate and/or jersey numbers disappear, install adboards video fonts into the same directory as the video ads. Link to FM18 version
  3. The Mission Take a club from the 9th level in the English pyramid all the way to the Premier League. The Manager The Club NORTH GREENFORD UNITED As you can see, the board expectation is fairly ambitious considering we're predicted to finish smack bang in the middle of the table. I'll have to be smart from the outset to upset the odds. The Squad It's not much to write home about. In fact when you dig deeper its even worse than that. A new sitter in midfield is a must and some cover in that area is pretty urgent too. We have 1p available in wage budget. Yes, you read that right. One Pence. The budget is £201 and we're spending £200. Luckily we're semi-pro and I'll probably be able to bring in some players on non-contracts and possibly a couple on loan. I'll still have to be careful with the money situation though, don't want to get a reputation as a club wrecker. We don't have an affiliate club and its not something that I am that interested in but if things get really bad I might have to bite the bullet and see whats out there. Our best player is this guy: I'll probably be playing him as a number 10 in a 4-4-1-1. This is a very rough draft of a tactic. I've given it very little thought at all at this stage and just stuck my best players in their best positions and where possible tried to give them their best duties and roles. This will not only change over pre-season, this will be a work in progress throughout the save. I think that'll be it for the first post, sorry for the length. First time I've tried my hand at this. Hope it goes well.
  4. Lower League Game Files for Hong Kong Editor Files Facepack & Logos Adboard XML Adboard Static Pictures Adboard Video Adboard Video Font File (if nameplates, shirt numbers disappear) Mirror Site on Google Drive (limited daily downloads, no preview) Mirror Editor Files Mirror Facepack & Logos Mirror Adboard XML Mirror Adboard Static Pictures Mirror Adboard Video Mirror Adboard Video Font File (if nameplates, shirt numbers disappear) The Hong Kong Database is a user-adjustable detail-rich lower league simulation. 10 separate editor files offer flexibility with the challenge level. Adboards plus club and competition logos are provided at each level of competition. The Hong Kong facepack contains 699 images of existing players and non-players. An additional 2372 images of club officers, coaches, players and officials are included. Six tiers are provided for promotion within the HKFA pyramid. HK Tier 1 approximates English Tier 5, the National. HK Tier 5 and 6 approximates English Tier 9 and 10, the county leagues. Cup competitions are tier appropriate with the FA Cup open to all clubs in the pyramid. Four international competitions are introduced to allow Tier 1 clubs to grow beyond the stature of the league. Hong Kong is slanted towards academics rather than athletics, so the youth system will see a significant number of useable regens coming from included school leagues. In reality, some of the recent youth stars are of expat and/or mixed race origin, and there will be useable regens coming from non-league and/or expat based city regions. Actual Hong Kong football is dominated by a small number of underwriter supported clubs. The provided databases flatten the revenue structure through a league position award and taxation system, and open new transfer avenues to undervalued nations. The revamped youth system allows smaller teams the opportunity to grow talent and increase their stature, before being poached by larger clubs. Because Hong Kong football is weighted towards the elite few, my gameplay experience in FM16 and 17 saw an easy ride through the middle tiers. To increase the challenge, I balanced the league by adding new players and staff to all existing tiers of the pyramid. These additions are in separate files, so one can play with only the league structure, only new officials and staff, or only new non-players and experienced players, or only new officials, non-players, experienced players and new players up to tier 4. Tier 5 introduces a new division made up entirely of expatriate clubs. Such leagues exist in HK at the amateur level. The new tier extends and enhances the actual situation. Tier 5 is optional, but adding it and the accompanying 860 youthful facepack images will extend enjoyment of this challenge without a proliferation of regen faces. Tier 6 represents the amateur leagues, of which I have only included parts of The Legal, Union and Yau Yee Leagues. In FM17, my amateur league included all their divisions, but it made the groundshare stadiums into a soggy mess. So, for this version, I include only the top amateur divisions. One will have to extend disbelief into new stadiums. As the world's most expensive real estate market, land is at a premium. Where possible, 7-a-side fields are utilized as reserve stadiums and training grounds. This prevents the soggy mess situation previously referenced and delays the want of some clubs to build their own, which in reality is an impossibility. Until FM18, Hong Kong regens had mainland chinese names and surnames. Romanization rules are different for the two territories. While this problem has been fixed, one can still see the wacky english names chosen by Hong Kongers. A separate name database is included, if one wants to flood the pitch with the fanciful, so to speak. Type 'hong kong english names' into a search engine for some laughs. Playtesting (twenty years) In world rankings, HK Premier League is below English National League, Irish Premier, German Regional, French Nations 2, Turkish League 2 and above Croatian League 3, Malaysia Super League, Polish Second Division. Hong Kong T5 is on par with Icelandic Third Division, Dutch Zaterdag and Zondag, Swiss Second League Interregional, English County Leagues. In terms of FIFA world ranking, after twenty years Hong Kong is ranked 62nd between Kosovo and Lithuania. Within Asia rankings, HK sits between South Korea and Uzbekistan. Within Asia conferences, HK Premier League sits between Kuwaiti Premier and Thai League. After twenty years, the starting five financiers disappeared. All clubs were at a minimum of finance ok. Some of the lower tier teams were running in the red. Top tier turnover ranged from 1.2m to 4.9m. Average attendance increased from a range between 1330-2380 to 2100-7500 while T2 attendance trended down from a range of 630-1880 to 280-1850. Offside.hk reports Premier League budgets from 600k to 4 million GBP. After twenty years of gameplay, the annual wage of Tier 1 clubs is 514k to 1.3m GBP. The annual wage budget of T2, T3 and T4 excluding top and bottom clubs are between 105k to 550k, 52-350k, 35-303k. Facts Hong Kong, SAR Population: 7,392,000 Language Official: Cantonese and English (Hong Kong Basic Law article 9) Spoken English Competance: 23/41/35% very good, average, not good* FIFA Conf: Asian Football Confederation FIFA Rank (Present, High, Low): 144, 90, 172 FIFA Rank perspective, between Soloman Islands (143) and Afghanistan (145) AFC Champions League Appearances: 1, 2016-17 Eastern A.A. FA Tiers/Clubs: 4/46 Avg Attendance Premier League: 1142 (week 23, HKFA site) Capacity Stadiums: 2400-7800 (Premier League) Players T1 Total/Foreign %: 288/88, 31% (2018 Oct Transfer Markt) CA Observed Top Pro HK Club: 63-105 (Highest 14 Players) CA Observed Bot Pro HK Club: 46-098 (Highest 14 Players) Consistency Top Pro HK Club: 07-015 (Highest 14 Players) Consistency Bot Pro HK Club: 05-010 (Highest 14 Players) Compare England T5, Torquay: CA 65-90, Consistency 8-15 *2016 Thematic Household Survey, HK Census and Statistics Dept Tiers (Actual 2017-18/FM18/Gamepack) 11/10/10 T1,Premier League 16/16/10 T2,HKFA 1st Division 14/14/18 T3,HKFA 2nd Dvision 12/12/18 T4,HKFA 3rd Division nn/00/36 T5,(new international conference) nn/23/48 T6,(four amateur divisions) 09/00/32 T7,(university and academy division) nn/00/40 T8,(college divisions) nn/00/10 T9,(non-league) Cups National (in editor file) HKFA HK Community Cup HK Senior Challenge Shield HK Junior Challenge Shield HK Amateur Cup Clubs All HKFA T1 clubs are professional and T2-4 clubs are now semi-professional. Attendance and reputations are normalized. Existing sugar daddy and underwriter clubs continue to be. Sponsorships were normalized to a minimum level and compensated for with division performance awards. Recruitment and Youth Academy ratings are normalized down from a world class level down to a reputation appropriate level; compensation is through a higher youth rating which allows lower league teams to purchase higher levels for thousands rather than millions. A new expat league is added to form T5. Current expat and locals continue to play in the amateur division of tier 6. One T6 division is semi-pro and can be used to climb the ladder for the ultimate lower league challenge. A pyramid system is introduced. Traditionally, semi-pro clubs refused promotion to the professional Premier League, historically, some placements have been arbitrary. T6 Non-league (amateur) clubs can now be promoted to the HKFA through a playoff system. T7 and T8 represent for-profit football academies, secondary schools and the university league. T9 contains non-league clubs. Finances The database weights league vs cup competition to provide 75/25% of turnover. This is a predictable income scheme for lower level clubs. A taxation scheme is introduced to keep the rich from getting too wealthy. So, there is a path to break into the middle ranks. However, it is hard to consistently compete against Premier League underwritten sides. Cities/Local Regions Modified to a total of 199 cities to include proper inhabitant range, latitude/longitude, altitude, weather, and attraction level as a function of proximity to the number of MTR subway lines and/or (express) bus routes. Modified 59 local regions. 18 HK regions now have proper population and weather. Others are in-country expatriate regions and foreign expatriate regions that models the Hong Kong diaspora. Stadiums Only HKFC, South China, Govt support service associations, and academy/schools own pitches. HK pitches are groundshare with assignments managed by HK Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). Added T1-2 alternate stadiums to lower level clubs. Added and modified 212 stadiums and fields to include correct latitude/longitude, seating, capacity, city, seating color, pitch dimensions and type, build and modified date where available, and condition. LCSD database and Happy Valley facility map were used as reference: 7-a-side facilities converted to reserve/training pitches and 11-a-side pitches were added/modified. HK Centre of Excellence training facility was also added. Certain university and secondary school facilities of proper dimensions were added. Some pitches were added to accommodate new clubs. One can view the current stadiums, capacities and locations here. Nation (file: 100 HKG Policies) Adjusts Youth Rating from 47 to 80 Adjusts FA from Completely Useless to Very Important Adjusts Starting Personality Attributes to Above Average->Good Changes Nationality Status to Accumulative from Consecutive Years Moves English to primary language and adjusts Chinese upwards Add preferred secondary and attack/defense formations Adds Macau as Non-Foreign Adds nations to preferred Transfer Continent and Nation Adds Progressive Tax Regimen to temper HKFA league awards Tx fees set to the Dutch level to properly compensate for poaching Club (file 101 HKG Clubs) Installs League Structure and Cups Cups International (file:102 Asia Competitions) AFC Trophy (32 teams/top 8 nations) AFC Plate (32 teams/top 8 nations) AFC Gold Challenge Series (64 teams/top 16 nations) AFC Silver Challenge Series (64 teams/9-32 ranked nations) AFC Bronze Challenge Series (64 teams/17-47 ranked nations) Officials (file:103 Officials) Reclass 83, Add 138 Assign officials to (new) AFC competitions, HK Tiers 1-6, HK Cups Officers (file: 104 Officers) Add 134 Chairmen and Managing Directors to clubs without entries Add 13 agent/advocates to nation Hong Kong Coaches (file: 105 Coaches and 106 Reclass) Add 445 and Reclass 120 Managers and Coaches to clubs without and new clubs in T5 and T6. All clubs will have at least a first team manager and assistant. Upper tier clubs also receive reserve team manager and specialty coaches, fitness and/or goalkeeping. Players (file: 107 Players) Add 209 older players to T1-3 Clubs, CA 50-70, Consistency 13-14 Players (file: 108 Players) Add 553 young players to T1-4 Clubs, CA 30-60, Consistency 9-12 Players (file: 109 Players) Add 860 youth players to T5-6 Clubs, CA 20-24, Consistency 9 Names (file: 110 Names) Add 4800 combinations of the 20 most common HK surnames and 240 first names Extra (file: 111 Extra) Add 25 senior players to T6 Metro League for mentoring, CA 40, Con 12 How to use the files The numbered editor files will load in order. The minimum needed to play are files 100 and 101. File 102 adds asia competitions and is optional. File 110 introduces cantonese and anglified names and is optional. In order to use the facepacks, the prior numbered files must be used. So for instance, if one wants to only add T1-T4 young players (file 108), one must install all prior numbers (files 100 through 107). If one wants to add mentoring players contained in file 111, files 100-109 must be installed, 110 is optional. This is because new players are sequentially numbered. Road Map FM18 Update Adboards Video for AFC competitions, only have a placeholder now. Make User Defined Bug Fixes Road Map FM19 (after 19.3 is released, will get to as many points as possible) Update Hong Kong Facepack, remove outdated entries, review T1 Senior Faces Update Hong Kong Clubs and Logos, there seem to be a few new ones Update Alternate Stadiums to include later stages of certain cups Revise downwards starting PA and consistency values for added players Review possibility of consolidating editor files Assign mental, physical and technical attributes to added players Assign player/non-player status for added players to create future coaches Create transfer file for future seasons to account for foreign league poaching Update non-league clubs if time remains How to Install Download files from the main site or mirror site. Once are in the main file area, the zip directory/sub-directory will create/use the proper directories and then place files in their place, if installed on Windows OS. -- >documents/sports interactive/football manager 18 is for ads, adboard pictures, editor files, and facepack & logos -- >(program files)-->football manager 18-->data is for adboards video Install Editor Files Install ads.xml Install Ad Static Boards Install Ad Video Boards Install Ad Video Fonts (if necessary) Install Facepack (HKG) If you are just testing out the database, do not load the 110 Names editor file. It processes for about 20-30 mins. Sample of Static and Video Ads Install Cautions ads.xml will overwrite your current one. Please back this up if you intend to play other schallenge/scenarios. The HKG Adpack will overwrite any other adpack defaults you are using. Please backup graphics->pictures->ads->default before installing. Other directories should peacefully coexist with your current files. If in 3d match play/highlights player nameplate and/or jersey numbers disappear, install adboards video fonts into the same directory as the video ads.
  5. So my long term road to glory save will be with edinburgh city, the "3rd team" in Edinburgh, my first aims are to get to the premiership, then win the scottish cup, then overtake hearts and hibs, then the big two, and become one of the worlds best, I will be providing updates here for my journey, cmon the city!
  6. Welcome to my first foray into Lower League Management. Recent threads have focused on using the Tactics Creator in Football Manager to recreate some of the most entertaining & iconic football teams of all time. Johan Cruyff's 3-4-3 Diamond Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 Arsene Wenger's Invincibles Brazil's Jogo Bonito style Cult Heroes: Wales at Euro 2016 Pep's Barcelona The latest combined Messi, Iniesta, Neymar, Dybala, Suarez and Dybala into a system that - in my current view - is a culmination of the playing style I have been trying to create and played the best football I have seen. The beauty - in my opinion - of this style of play is that you give intelligent, technical players the freedom to go out and play, within a framework designed to get the best out of them. But what happens when your squad doesn't have - any, or all of - the intelligence to thrive with such a high level of freedom, the technical ability to play a high-tempo passing game, the fitness to press intensely or the pace to compensate for a high-block defence? In this thread, we are going to tackle the single most common topic of discussion throughout the entire series. Playing simple, attractive, possession-focused football with normal players, not yet at a level capable of playing quick passing football, with freedom and intense pressing. Wanted to play in a league system where we can ultimately compete at a high level and that I have - at least, some - basic knowledge of, so I chose to start in the lowest playable division in England: Vanarama National League North / South. The biggest challenge of lower league football - for me, personally - is relating to the club I manage. Having mainly played clubs right at the top of the game, a fan-owned club formed out of frustrations with excesses of top-level football seemed perfect. Hello, Red Rebels. We will be referring to some of the ideas discussed in Playing Style & Structure so if you have yet to read, I would recommend reading at least the overview. What are we trying to achieve? At the outset, the board agreed the following philosophies: Play possession football. Develop players using the club's own youth system. Tactical approach: Play a positive short-passing, possession-focused game. Not possession for the sake of possession. Triangles & diamonds facilitating a passing game. Build up from the back. Solid defensive platform. Multi-dimensional attack. Different goal-scoring threats. Squad Management: Build a young squad with potential to improve and stay together for a number of years. Focus on core attributes: Technical ability Intelligence Work rate & fitness Coach effective Player Traits which fit the overall system. Coach players to play in other suitable positions to build complete players and tactical flexibility. Longer Term: Invest profits back into the club, particularly the Academy and Training Facilities. Achieve Professional status as quickly as possible. Supplement young squad with more experienced tutors to improve Professionalism and Determination within the squad. Maintain focus on youth and positive, attractive football. Squad Building As you'd expect at this level, the starting squad left quite a lot to be desired so underwent a major overhaul to give us a platform to build from. With no experience at this level, my search was fairly minimal but the trial day and free transfer market proved to be a great source of young players with relatively high potential and an upgrade on the existing squad technically. We now have a youthful spine of the squad who have the basic aptitude to play the football we are hoping to play: Relatively strong technical ability, intelligence and fitness. Relatively high potential to improve as we progress. Work rate and stamina not high enough for an intense pressing game. Conversely we don't have strong defensive traits - marking, positioning, anticipation, concentration - to sit deep and keep out quality opponents. This is illustrated well in the Comparison section of the team report: Pass and move. The foundation of the type of football we are looking to play. Coaching on the Training Ground One of the more enjoyable facets of playing at this level is that - whilst players are unlikely to ever compete at the highest levels - it's satisfying to work with a player and see them improve as a footballer. Training is focused on building footballers with good all-round ability. Aiming for double figures for key technical and mental attributes. Improving versatility to play more than one position. Common examples: DC <-> DMC <-> MC MC <-> AMC AMC <-> FC AMR <-> AML DR/L <-> WBR/L <-> MR/L Coaching player traits that help within our system: Defenders playing simple passes. Midfielders playing one-twos. Attackers & wide players working on movement patterns. Tactics Structure As we have already identified in previous threads - formations are neutral; it is their application that gives then positive of negative qualities (Jonathan Wilson). Essentially this means that I need to choose a formation which: Facilitates our game plan of playing simple, passing football. Performs well against opposition formations we are likely to face. Most of the opposing teams at this level line up in a 4-4-2 formation. Suits the players we have available. Particularly offering a strong defensive structure, to mitigate defensive weaknesses in the squad. When you're talking about possession football, my go-to formation is typically some variation of 4-3-3 as a starting point. The strength of 4-3-3 is the midfield triangle facilitating passing football. At this level, the challenge - in my opinion - is the striker role. Boiled down to it's simplest level, football is about scoring more goals than the opposition. A 4-3-3 gives us a lone striker so you have a tough decision as to whether to set this striker to an Attack role - where his priority will be goalscoring, but is easily isolated - or a Support role - where he will contribute more to build up play but offer less of a goalscoring threat. At the top level, I am never too concerned. Firstly, high level teams generally have goalscoring threats across the team and a good striker can perform both link-up play and goalscoring. At this level, only my striker has a finishing attribute in double-figures so I cannot rely on goals coming from elsewhere and - as an underdog - I don't want to be wasting chances. I also don't want him isolated so I'm going to go for a strike-partnership to link up play. An alternative, which offers both a strike-partnership and facilitates possession football is the Diamond and it's variants - 4-1-3-2 or 4-3-1-2. I love the simplicity of the diamond formation. Remember being coached to play it as a kid. The diamond shape creates a lot of triangles so most of the time you'll naturally have a good passing option. When you receive the ball, look to make a pass to the more advanced players in the diamond. If you can't find a player ahead, look to your side then pass inside or backwards and circulate possession. The diamond is very close to the way I would like to play, but there are two things I would change for my system. The advanced midfielder and withdrawn striker are performing a very similar role so perhaps redundant or could be better used elsewhere. Build-up play. In my opinion, build-up play is one of the most interesting topics of discussion around tactics. My most effective build up play has come using the concept of la Salida Lavolpiana - essentially the centre-backs fanning out wide and a midfielder dropping into the space to avoid the opposition pressing and circulate possession effectively. In Football Manager we have two options to create this effect: Use a DMC with the Half-Back role. - The challenge with the Half-Back role is that - due to a glitch in the match engine - our fullbacks must be advanced, else my central defenders won't spread wide. The obvious issue with this is that it asks a tremendous amount from your defenders. Not only are they being asked to initiate build-up play with the ball at their feet, they are also being asked to defend as a 2-man defence. My verdict on this would be close to suicide considering a) the quality of players at my disposal and b) the 2v2 created by the opposition 4-4-2. Fortunately, a few months ago I was promised by SI that the issue would not go ignored. I'm sure they're hard at work resolving the issue.[/sarcasm] Play a 3-man defence. - In addition to aiding build-up play, adding a 3-man defence gives us the benefit of 3v2 in against the opposition attackers and it suits my players. Starting Formation Player Instructions GK: Goalkeeper (Defend): Distribute to Centre Backs, Take Short KicksDCR: Central Defender (Defend): N/ADC: Central Defender (Cover): N/A DCL: Central Defender (Defend): N/AWBR: Wing Back (Support): Stay wider, Run with BallDMC: Roaming Playmaker (Support): Move Into ChannelsWBL: Wing Back (Support): Stay wider, Run with BallMCR: Central Midfielder (Support): Move into ChannelsMCL: Central Midfielder (Attack): Roam from Position, Move into ChannelsFCR: Deep Lying Forward (Support): Roam from Position, Move into ChannelsFCL: Poacher (Attack): N/A Key characteristics: Solid 3-man defence creating a 3v2 against opposition attackers. Key player - George Thompson - sitting ahead of the defence in a playmaker role, sitting between the lines of an opposition 4-4-2. As possession funnels through Thompson the Wing Backs give him wide options and the midfielders give options ahead of him. 3v2 in midfield against an opposition 4-4-2. Thompson either has time and space, or is pressed which opens up a team mate. Withdrawn striker training to come deep for the ball and link-up to create a diamond and particularly link up with the advancing MC(A) to his left. Fluid front 4 with a simple goalscorer spearheading the attack. Playing Style This is the moment readers are expecting me to say, "Very Fluid" and go on another rant. Not this time. We already know that Team Shape determines two things: Individual mentality distribution, in relation to Team Mentality. Creative Freedom. High creative freedom creates beautiful football when you take players with technical ability and intelligence and give them the freedom to play. The issue is that if you look at the key attributes of our squad, particularly intelligence - vision, decision making, anticipation - the majority are actually single figure attributes. A common reaction to this may be to swing to the other extreme and play a Structured shape, reducing creative freedom to a point where we are essentially giving them an NFL style playbook and minimising free decision making but this simply isn't how I want to play. When looking at anything with a sliding scale - mentality, tempo, creative freedom etc. - another idea I find beneficial is the concept of 'neutral'. For example, whilst Highly Structured is at the opposite end of the scale, I see that as a swing from one extreme to another whereas I see Flexible as 'neutral' and likely to be the easiest to play. Team Shape: Flexible. Starting with a flexible team shape gives us a balance between the way we want to play and the way players are capable of playing, at this moment of time. Given the young squad and their potential to improve it'll be interesting to experiment, increasing to Fluid and ... dare I say it? ... Very Fluid as their footballing intelligence improves. Mentality is easily the most influential decision we make when building a tactic as it determines: Individual mentalities in correlation with Team Shape Tempo Width Defensive Line Closing Down Time Wasting The influence of a flexible team shape is that mentalities are now distributed into two groups Defenders and Defensive Midfielders Attackers and more Attacking Midfielders (includes MC strata) Now remember that my playmaker is a Roaming Playmaker in the DM strata so he is actually in the lower band of mentalities. It's only a marginal difference but I do need to account for this in team mentality to avoid my playmaker playing with a more conservative mentality. Mentality: Control This ensures that our Roaming Playmaker is a neutral mentality, meaning that he will choose the best passing option available without being swayed by a bias towards conservatism or attack. The structure and midfield runners ahead of him should encourage a positive circulation of possession. Using the Mentality spreadsheet we discussed last time out, we can see that Flexible & Control combination gives us: Sensible, conservative defenders. Neutral wingbacks and DM playmaker. Positively minded midfielders. Two threatening attack roles. My only remaining concern is whether the team has the technical ability to play the higher tempo associated with the Control mentality. Fortunately this is easily countered using Team Instructions: Shorter Passing. Play out of Defence. Both of which lower tempo back to a neutral level and contribute towards our Playing Style: So there we have it. Our playing style: Structure that facilitates build-up play, passing football and a simple goalscoring threat. Neutral tempo and creative freedom allowing players to play at a level they're capable of. Sensible pro-active pressing game. Positive, yet balanced mentality structure. Medium/High-ish Defensive block. Tactical Progression With a young squad, I will be closely monitoring their development in 3 key areas: Technical ability - technique, passing, first touch, two footedness, traits etc. As technical ability improves players will be comfortable playing a quicker tempo and more expansive game. Intelligence - vision, decisions, anticipation, concentration etc. Intelligence will dictate when they are ready to be given more creative freedom to make decisions in a more Fluid team shape. Expected to develop over time through increased game-time. Work rate & stamina. Determines when we can start pressing more intensely. Most difficult to develop work-rate, may need to use specific intensive training programs. Playing a more Fluid team shape will have two implications: Increased creative freedom to make decisions. Hence the need for intelligence. Individual mentalities converge towards the Team Mentality i.e defenders become more expansive and attackers more involved with build up play. In the event that the second effect causes issues - i.e defenders not ready and making mistakes or strikers stopping scoring due to increased responsibility - we can consider using Standard mentality to help adapt to a more Fluid team shape. In real football terms this would be allowing players to play with greater freedom but slowing things down a bit to help the transition, before building up to quicker play. For example, a progression may be: Flexible & Control -> Fluid & Standard - increased freedom, same mentality structure and slightly slower. -> Fluid & Control - pushes up mentality for more expansive play and quicker tempo. -> Very Fluid & Standard - increased freedom, same mentality structure and slightly slower. -> Very Fluid & Control - pushes up mentality for more expansive play and quicker tempo. In-Game Analysis Whilst holding our own in an FA Cup tie against a Manchester United featuring the likes of Rooney, Rashford, Lingard, Young and Schweinsteiger at Old Trafford was the closest I have been - in Football Manager 2017 - to throwing on a suit and tie for the match I am going to talk about a more typical match to demonstrate the approach. Earlier in the FA Cup run, we faced Oxford United which - whilst still not typical - was probably our most impressive performance of the season and was perhaps the highest level which we are currently able to compete. Oxford United lined up in a 4-4-2 formation which - as we hypothesised earlier - was the most common formation we faced. Against a 4-4-2 we sacrifice pressure on the opposition full backs in exchange for an extra man in defence, and midfield. Defensive Shape Analysis Our defensive set up is simple. We don't have the work rate or stamina to press and we don't have the all-round defensive ability to sit deep and withstand pressure so the plan is to use an upper-medium block and a solid defensive structure to force opposition attacks out wide and outnumber them in the centre. Average position without the ball reflects our starting formation almost exactly. The combination of the 4-4-2 naturally attacking the flanks and my own structure naturally forcing attacks onto the flanks makes this a common scenario. Wing backs drop deep, creating a 5-3-2 defensive shape. Our defenders have a 3v2 advantage against the opposition strikers. We also have a 3v2 advantage in central midfield. Midfield trio swings across with the widest midfielder supporting with wing back. Against a 4-4-2 the opposition midfield rarely provides too much threat, typically consisting of one defensive and one support player. Strikers make minor contributions defensively, sometimes disrupting opposition build up but generally staying forward offering a counter-attacking threat. In another similar attack the wingback comes forward to pressure the opposition attacker and we see a natural pendulum effect as the defence take advantage of the extra man in defence and midfield, freeing them to shift across and cover. Solid 4-man defence. 2v2 against the opposition midfield but only really one runner to track. Big flaw in the opposition AI is how regularly the opposition fullbacks fail to get forward to support an attack leaving their team mates totally outnumbered. Build-Up Play Analysis Looking at the passing combinations shows a good representation of our passing play. Goalkeeper distributes the ball short to one of the 3 defenders. Defenders generally have good passing options ahead of them so there is minimal passing between the defenders. Majority of the play goes through the midfield. George Thompson is the heartbeat of the team as playmaker. Wing backs provide width. Advanced midfielders and strikers create a reasonably fluid attacking unit, linking up well. Defence Initiating Attacks Very typical build up play here, the goalkeeper has played a short pass to the left sided centre back. Centre backs have spread out wide, rendering the opposition press completely useless. Roberts has 3 simple passing options ahead of him or can advance to the halfway line completely unchallenged. As a left-footed player, the easiest pass would be one of the inside options towards central midfield. Green circle illustrates the acres of space between the opposition lines for our playmaker. Wing backs provide width. Advanced midfielders and attackers link to provide a fluid diamond shape, giving options to advance the attack. George Thompson - Playmaker Since day one, it's been clear that George Thompson is the stand out player of the squad. Assigning him as the team's playmaker and positioning him between the lines of the opposition formation was a move to give him a platform to play his best football. In this case Thompson is advancing with the ball, preparing to initiate an attacking move. Green circle illustrates the space available to him which - as a Roaming Playmaker moving into the channels - he can take full advantage of. 3 simple, advanced passing options ahead of him. Alternatively, he can advance with the ball and draw out the opposition midfield and create space for a more advanced player. As before - wing backs provide width and advanced midfielders link with the attackers. Thompson hit 99 successful passes in this game and - as you can see - controlled game from all over the field. No surprise that he was also the most accurate passer in the league. The real advantage of this build up is not only that it is controlled, but it is also efficient. The ball does not spend long at the back. Within one or two passes we're into the attacking phase. This is illustrated perfectly in the possession heatmap. What a perfect platform to build from. Attacking Play Taking a quick look at an attack, we can see that: Advanced midfielders and forwards combine creating a fluid diamond shape. Jowers drops off deep, drawing the defender and creating space for - in this case - Greaves to attack. Wing backs provide width and stretch the opposition defence. Attacking runs from midfield can create a 3v2 overload against opposition defenders if the holding midfielder fails to track. When we can't attack centrally, we can threaten from wide. Strikers have a 2v2 against the opposition centre backs in the box. Attacking runner from midfield. Playmaker still in a lot of space to recycle possession should the attack break down. The Result Comfortable win. More than held our own against a side who are the best part of 3 leagues ahead of us. We won the league with relative ease and enjoyed two great cup runs. Progression Our primary objective is to achieve professional status which I am hoping to secure around the end of the second season. Profits from the cup run have already been invested back into the club: Adapting to playing at a higher level after promotion is always a challenge but we can be optimistic, judging the results against higher-level opponents during the cup run so we extend contracts for almost the entire team and look to supplement the squad with a few attacking options. Whilst players have benefited from a modest progression in ability, they are still lacking the intelligence and technical ability to progress the playing style to the next level. But I will be looking to developing an alternative structure using a 4-man defence as we start to face more tactically sophisticated opponents, but that's another story for another day.. Thank you & GoFundMe contributions So far the response to these threads and discussions generated have been absolutely phenomenal so once again I wanted to thank everyone for contributing as I have really enjoyed it. Wasn't a huge uptake last time but if you'd like to contribute towards the continuation of these articles and the time & effort that goes into them here's the GoFundMe page - Football Manager Tactical Analysis. I'd like to be 100% clear that these articles are completely free and will always continue to be. Contributions are simply supporting the work that's been done so far, if you've enjoyed them. As I am sure you can appreciate - whilst I love writing them - a lot of time & effort goes into these. Hope you've enjoyed reading and find some of this useful. Will be very interested in hearing your solutions to playing quality football at a lower level. Different format this time round so let's see if this generates some interesting discussions!
  7. July 2011 After being hit with a lengthy ban by the FAW for trying to bite a referee (he tried to bite me first, and may, or may not have been sleeping with my wife), I was left with a stark choice to make if I wished to continue my passion for football management in the Summer of 2011. That choice was to leave Wales, and cross the Bristol Channel in search of a football club willing to take a chance on a Welshman with only limited experience and success, and how ever much I tried to deny it, a reputation that I could have done without. The reality was that I was going to have to go to the very lower rungs of the football ladder, and work my way back up. It was unlikely that anyone was going to come looking for me, so it would be down to me to go looking for the jobs myself. I accepted my fate with as much grace as I could muster, and started hitting up the football clubs in an area stretching from Bristol, Gloucester, North Devon, and right down to the South Devon coast. When I got the knockback from clubs around the 10th and 11th levels, it was clear that either I wasn't as good as I thought I was, or the news of my misdemeanour had travelled well beyond the boundaries of the Principality. But within a fortnight, I finally had some interest in my services. I am fully prepared to admit that this way well have been due to the fact that late July was approaching, and with the football season just weeks away, a lot of these clubs had no players, let alone a manager. My stock had dropped far enough as the 14th level of the game across the border. However, it was still high enough for me to have half a dozen offers on the table, though every single one of them were from amateur sides. Ranging from Totterdown Port of Bristol in the Bristol and Suburban Division One, and Woolacombe & Mortenhoe of the North Devon Division One, to Newnham United of the North Gloucestershire Premier Division. I decided south was the best option for me. I have always enjoyed spending time at the coast. Paignton Saints ply their trade in the South Devon Division Two. An amateur side with an obscure reputation and not a single player signed at the club for the 2011/12 season. Just as well that I like a challenge! I was confirmed as their new manager on Sunday 24 July 2011, just in time to get right to work on getting some new players in, and try and make this club at least somewhat ready for the League opener in just under a fortnight's time. -------------------------- Paignton Saints FC Profile Ground :- Clennon Valley, Paignton, Devon. Capacity :- 1,000 (no seats). Surface :- Grass. Pitch Condition :- Very Good. Corporate Facilities :- Basic. Training Facilities :- Basic. Junior Coaching Facilities :- Average Youth Facilities :- Basic. Youth Recruitment :- Average. Club Status :- Amateur. Club Reputation :- Obscure. Finances :- Okay (£254) League :- South Devon League Division Two (10 clubs, Rated 0.5 out of 5). Transfer Budget :- £0. Wage Budget :- £0. Contract :- Non Contract Basis. Salary :- N/A -------------------------- With no staff on board and waiting on the results on adverts we had placed, and myself having no knowledge of the League, we would be starting the campaign with a group of teenage local players (greys given amateur deals), and would be hoping to bring in some new players once we got the key staff members in place. I felt sure that the young squad would have a tough baptism into Senior football, and to try and make life as comfortable as possible for them, I would keep the system in a straightforward 4-4-2 to start with. With no pre-season friendlies arranged either, we would be going into the season blind, as well as short staffed, both on and off the park. Transfers | Date | Player | Age | Position | Nationality | From | To | Fee | | 28.7.2011 | Jonathan Clough | 19 | D (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Barry Birchall | 18 | D (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Terry Ludlam | 16 | D (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | River Noble | 19 |D,DM,M (C)| ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Michael Watts | 17 | D,WB (L) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Charlie Kennedy | 19 | M (R) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Mark Read | 19 | M (RC) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Jonathan Flitcroft | 18 | M (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Russell Boddy | 19 | M (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | David Miller | 19 | M (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Mark Smith | 16 | M (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Dale Gibbons | 16 | M (C) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Tony Walker | 19 | AM (RC) | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Colin Perry | 16 | ST, AM(R)| ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Shaun Parsons | 19 | ST | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28.7.2011 | Kevin Naylor | 17 | ST | ENG | Free Agent/Grey | Paignton Saints | Free | | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| **I'm really not a fan of the newer versions of FM, the quirks of the ME are so frustrating. I do love playing the game, and making something of my saves though. So I'm revisiting the older versions of the game. This time it's the 2012 version, with more Leagues than you can shake a big sh**** stick at. This is essentially a test of the add on Leagues that I have put in place, allowing me to test that they work, are stable, and how quick I can play. Sometimes it's easy to get bogged down with the writing, no matter how much you enjoy seeing your saves come to life on the forums for everyone else to read and get involved with. But sometimes you just want to play the game. So this one will be a little different. There will be monthly reviews that will feature scores, transfers and League tables. I hope you enjoy it, feedback always welcome, who knows how long this one will last.**
  8. I would love to see some sort of stadium building like having a say in the design. And the same applies for the training ground especially if you have a lower league teams. Especially when some of the lower teams don't have a training or youth grounds at the start and you make up into the top leagues
  9. I always manage teams in the lower leagues in England. It means I can't really pick the players I want but have to see whats left and especially when you get promoted a lot changes in relation to the quality of the players you can sign. In general I would like to have the team ready for the following season as soon as possible, but at the same time I also dont want to spend my entire wage budget on good players if I can get a really good player late in the transfer window. In previous versions of FM there would typically be some kind of loading proces for the coming season and after that you could see the schedule for the coming season and the new standings. I used to wait the transfers until I got to this point because it seemed like this was the moment when my status was changed and a whole new world opened up for signing players. But so far I havent really figured out when your status changes/improvisation. When do you prefer to buy new players?
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