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  1. Cameroon A French and English speaking former German colony that is bordered by Nigeria to the North-West, Chad & Central African Republic to the East and Gabon & Congo to the South. Its capital is Yaounde but its in Douala which lies on the coast where I begin my quest for dominance in Cameroon and then the continent as a whole. Les Astres FC de Douala More commonly known as just Astres the club find themselves in the 2nd tier of Cameroonian club football along with the likes of Renaissance and Yafoot. After finishing 7th last season in the top flight they were somehow relegated to the 2nd Division and the club are predicted to finish higher up in 3rd place, which if achieved will mean promotion back to the top flight. The club play their home games at Stade de la Reunification, which is owned by fellow 2nd division side New Star. Facilities are as expected, quite poor with Below Average training & Basic youth facilities. Facilities This is the first team squad, which is quite an ageing squad. The better players are below. Mangolo | Bassama | Essombo Finances are listed as Okay. We have a small transfer budget which I may use but we have no wiggle room in the wage budget for any new signings yet. Tactically I want to try something different, to mould a team into a tactic not sign players and keep swapping their roles about. I've never used proper wing backs in this game, nor have I ever used a Segundo Volante properly. This will be an experiment. This could go horribly wrong. There is some room to bring in some new staff. First and foremost a HoYD. Then a coach and scout. I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes, hopefully as far and successful as my Ashanti Gold save from yesteryear.
  2. I bless the rains. 7,000 miles, 11 countries, 11 Champions Leagues, 1 dynasty. From tip to tip. Starting unemployed in South Africa my aim is to win the Champions League with a club from every country on my road to the Mediterranean with the final aim to take a club from the bottom of Tunisia to become the best team in the continent. This is the setup and we have all players based in Africa loaded. No youth only and I don't have to win every competition from these countries, I'll only be starting in the bottom tier of South Africa since we'll have no badges or experience. International management will also be likely but I'll only be managing the national teams or youth teams of these countries. Let's go.
  3. Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. All football supporters have suffered the agony of hope. The "what could have been" moments. The heartbreak. The days when your **** of a striker couldn't hit water if he fell out of a ****ing boat. Barbosa at the Maracana, 1950. Messi in the final of the Copa America, 2016. Baggio in the World Cup final, 1994. Ghana at the 2010 World Cup. Bayern Munich in Barcelona, 1999. John Terry in Moscow, 2008. (Ok, if I'm being honest the last two were pretty frickin' beautiful and count among my favorite football memories. But, I digress...) For many, redemption comes in one form or another, some more glamorous than others. Titles won. Individual glories and accolades. The heartbreak simply another chapter in the broader narrative. For others, the heartbreak defines them. Haunts them. Overshadows all other accomplishments, triumphs and accolades. The moniker of the "nearly men" is applied, and supporters grow old thinking, "what if...?" This is the story of those teams. Uhh...well...another story about those teams... Since its inception in 1964, 25 different clubs have won the CAF Champions League. 19 teams have reached the Final, only to fall short: Amicale Sportive Dragons (1980. 1985) Al-Hilal Omdurman (1987, 1992) Shooting Stars (1984, 1996) Heartland (1988, 2009) Stade Malien (1965) Real Bamako (1966) Étoile Filante du Togo (1968) Simba FC (1972) Ghazl Al-Mehalla (1974) Enugu Rangers (1975) Africa Sports (1986) MC Oran (1989) Nkana Red Devils (1990) SC Villa (1991) Ashanti Gold (1997) Dynamos FC (1998) CS Sfaxien (2006) Coton Sport (2008) USM Alger (2015) This save will chronicle my attempt to bring glory to as many of these sides as possible. First of all, credit where credit is due -- the idea for this save originated with @smp20, who proposed it as a challenge during the FM15 cycle, related to the European Champions League. I've since been...err...somewhat obsessed with it. My first FMCU-documented attempt fizzled out early: [FM16] If You're Not First, You're Last. While success was only claimed in Malmo that year, that save laid the foundation for all that has come since. The second attempt was 116 pages of utter madness, spanning 18 months real-time, culminating in 2091 after claiming an obscene number of trophies with Hakan Telleus and his son, Gunnar Vikander. This was easily my favorite save of all time: [FM17] If You're Not First, You're Last (Redux). My third attempt is currently paused in the fall of 2044, where Jean Bleu has rampaged across Europe with multiple sides: [FM 18] If You're Not First, You're Last (Re-Redux). While I'm enjoying my time at Nantes in the save...I felt I needed to run this save in Africa, something I'd long thought about doing, but hadn't attempted. (Why Africa instead of South America? Asia? My daughter is Congolese, and my undergrad studies focused on sub-Saharan African politics with a particular emphasis on transitional justice in post-apartheid South Africa. The quote in the title is from Nelson Mandela.) As with before, there are generally no hard-and-fast rules beyond the concept of the save. On the club side of the shop... This is not a youth-academy-only save, even though I do enjoy developing youth and will usually focus on that. Rather, I will work within club-specific plans without any self-imposed transfer restrictions. I will leave on high -- once I've won the Champions League, I must move on. The only twist I'm adding for Africa is that I will stay on through the Club World Cup, to try my hand against the best clubs the other continents have to offer...and then I must move on. After my first club, I will only accept a position with one of the sides listed above, or a club that manages to join this elite (!?) group of "nearly men." Likewise, if a club manages to win the CL under another manager, they are removed from the challenge. On the international scene, there will be only one rule this time around -- win as many World Cups with an African nation as possible. After winning, I must move on to another African nation. And, as per usual, my saves tend to exist in a "multiverse" of sorts, so familiar faces may pop up (although they may come up in different contexts). In terms of the league setup, I have used @claassen's FM 18 African leagues (and competitions). However, to facilitate the "all African" approach to the save, I have removed foreign player limitations from the starting African leagues. If a club from a new country (e.g., Kenya) becomes eligible, the existing @claassen rules will apply. The idea here is to: (1) promote African youth, regardless of where they come from; and (2) allow me to support whatever national team I'm playing with, at my club side. The default starting leagues in Africa are the top divisions from: Algeria, Cameroon, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Europe, we have the top divisions from: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. I've loaded all current international players, worldwide, and all players from clubs playing in European and African continental competitions. Tomorrow, we will meet our managerial hero... But before we do, let's take a quick look at the tracker I'll be using:
  4. After his cup win Joao Cheezey decided to step down from his job at UD Lanzarote. He was burned out and needed a break. With his share of the prize money and all his savings, he bought a small boat. He wanted to travel alongside Africa and all the way to the Cape of Good Hope. But after 2 days sailing.... there was a big thunder storm and his boat flipped over.... With his last power he got to the beach... For two weeks he was walking through a lot of sand, barely drinking and eating anything. Suddently a football almost hit his head..... He picked it up and run in the direction, where it came from. He saw a football pitch and players. He asked the first person he saw, "Where am I?". Mauritania was the answer and this is the pitch of the football club ASAC Concorde. He was talking with the foreign man for a couple of minutes. He told him where he was and mentioned that he was a football trainer. He told that he was coaching UD Lanzarote for the past 8 years. He told about his success with the club from down the lower leagues all the way to Europe. Also he mentioned that he won the spanish cup couple weeks ago. He pulled of a piece of newspaper, which he had in his purse. And thats all he got, his passport, some money and a piece of newspaper. The rest sunk with the boat... The man, which he was talking to, was the president of this football club. His name was Boubacay Sy. After a long conversation...Mister Sy asked Joao if he need a job..... What is the goal of the save? Joao still want to reach the Cape of Good Hope, which means South Africa. So I will helped him travel across Africa. He can only jump to a country which borders the country he is currently in. And since Joao is an ambitious man, he want to get atleast one piece of silverware in each country. Why Mauritania? Its a pretty low rep league and is closest to Lanzarote. Morocco didnt appeal to me. Since he lost everything, he got no coaching badges.
  5. Once upon a time, a little Swazi lad called Royce Sithole came home from public school. He was poor. Very poor. Of course. But that one day... It was special. The instant he came in, his dad called his name. 'Royce', he yelled, 'Look at this'. Then he showed a picture. The picture showed a car. A... Bentley. No, not a Rolls Royce, you fool. Anyway- young Sithole was inspired. He wanted the car. But he was poor. So he couldn't get it. 10 years (or something idk) later, he finally had built up the money to see a match of football in his country. Inmediately he realised something. He saw the players struggle harshly, get punted off, concede at irritating moments, and much more. He thought he could do it much better than the guy who went by as the 'coach' of the team. After the match, Royce approached the 'coach' and questioned his abillity. And then came the bombshell. 'Do you get paid for this?' he asked. 'Yes, why wouldn't I?' was the response. A light bulb went up in Royce's head now. If he could do it better than this guy, who earns money off of this, then why wouldn't he try to realise the dream of his truth and afford a car while leading a team to glory? And so he would. Alright enough of this, i'm not that great at telling stories. Point is- we're here to bring glory to Africa. In which countries you may ask? These. My friend made a very fun looking database fixated around the southernmost part of the continent and it would only make sense to give it a shot in one way or another. Why not write a bit of a story around it? Here's some goals to get you excited. The first one would obviously be to win promotion from one of the lower divisions that got added, preferably in Eswatini or Lesotho for realism's sake. Won't let it get in the way of fun factor though. After that has happened, I would grant myself access to the highest divisions of every country barring South Africa (where I would be able to manage in the second tier instead). Then finally, the big one, is to win all of the top divisions. From Botswana to Zimbabwe, no stone should remain uncovered. After that you'd probably be looking at me trying to win the CL and Cup of Nations with the national teams, however it's unlikely I will have the determination to actually make it happen. He never learned how to look cool in a way that it's actually cool. Can you *really* blame him though? Poor guy. Literally.
  6. Here we are again, I won the Champions League with Amathous but now we're going to Africa and there are a few rules I'm adding. I'm not allowed to sign any players. The DoF or whichever member of staff is available is also not allowed to sign any players. Even though this is a journeyman I'm not allowed to apply for any jobs, I have to be headhunted. The goalkeeper has to take all free kicks and penalties. We must always bless the rains. After 10 years in charge of a club, or reaching legend status, I am free to apply for another job if no club has approached me. I won't be starting unemployed but I will be starting with the team predicted to finish bottom in the lowest ranked league in Africa which is Miracle du Sud in the Mayotte Lower League. I've also set my manager as a Mayotte native.
  7. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there This story will follow the footsteps and struggles in the life of Nelson Mandela Jr. Yikes – I mean, with great looks like these, a disgustingly straight posture and a name like that who wouldn’t take this fine gentleman serious? If nothing else his height of 1.50cm… wait did I see that correc-oh, I did. Standing tall and proud at 1.50cm and weighing in at 151kg (????)… How can his short legs carry that much? He weighs a kilogram more than he’s got centimeters… Yes, erhm, a fine man, and quite the sense of style too. White suit with red shirt and purple tie. Flamboyant, this whalelike gentleman. “You need good suit!” was his mother’s words as he went on a shopping trip to the local tailor who was put on a hard task making a suit to match his size. These colors were the only he had in stock in large enough quantity to fit it on Nelson’s corpus. His ‘Uncle JimJom’ who’d been like a father to him his entire childhood laughed so hard he had to lay down three days straight when Nelson returned home. His mother didn’t speak to him for just about the same amount of time, instead she slapped him on the chest as she made loud noises. His mother named him Nelson Mandela Jr. as she was, and still is to this day, convinced that a roughly 70 year old –but still potent! - Nelson Mandela visited The Kingdom of Swaziland and fell in love with her. After a week of great passion, sadly Mr. Mandela had to urgently leave Swaziland. He left without leaving an email or a phone number which of course is the only way you’d ever get in touch with someone as unknown as Mr. Mandela. When Mandela Jr. once showed his mother a picture of Nelson Mandela his mother slapped him and yelled “That is not the man! I will not hear of this. Your father is beautiful and important. You have name like him, go be great man!” And thus began his journey into the world. With a name like that, who wouldn’t want him as their coach? Oh ****, I forgot to talk about his grey hair even though he is 25 years old…. This guy…
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