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  1. Once again, I return to the emerald isle for more nation building shenanigans. This year will make it my 5th long term save in the country after my exploits in FM16 with Immaculata, FM17 with Chimney Corner, FM18 with Dollingstown and Linfield and last year with a host of different N. Irish clubs starting with Glentoran. I had ideas of maybe moving to another country such as India with the ultimate aim of taking their national team to a World Cup but thought against it as there are too few games (20 league games per season) and no real opportunity to earn good money to build up the clubs. I also thought of moving to another European nation but I just enjoy managing in N. Ireland, it kind of fits into a Goldilocks zone for me making for an engaging long term save. I'll be interested to see how the new club vision and development centre affects the save. Unlike last season, I can see genuine reasons why building the nation might be a lot easier than in FM19. There are 2 professional clubs straight away in the DBP and I can see how easily a domino effect can form with more clubs turning professional especially now as teams are more likely to qualify for the group stages of the new UEFA Conference League given the lower standard of opposition they will face. Game Setup I've decided to stick with a large database and loaded all the international players from around the world. To make the challenge harder I've added the top divisions from the 5 best ranked nations in Europe which I hope will enable the top clubs in Europe to maintain better squads. I've also decided to load up all the leagues from the UK & Ireland which should be helpful in finding talent to bring in while also making the transfer market more lively. I've reused the club and competition badges which are provided in the megapack from fmscout.com. I've decided against placing any restrictions such as a youth only policy or using a Director of Football to make all my signings. Manager Attributes I made my manager attributes as poor as possible with an emphasis once again placed on the determination attribute as I'd like to be able to more easily convince my board when it comes time to start asking for requests. I've also started unemployed and any job I get will have to be an open vacancy which I'll have to interview for. There are two jobs available at the start of the game in N. Ireland and they are with Lisburn Distillery who are in the 3rd division and Knockbreda who are in the 2nd division. I decided to only apply for the Knockbreda role. Getting the job was a piece of cake as they only have a 0.5* reputation. History In stark contrast to their more illustrious Belfast neighbours they start the game with practically a clean slate when it comes to domestic success in N. Ireland. They have never participated in the DBP and thus have no European pedigree at all. Since foundation in 1948 they have spent the majority of their existence in the church leagues before joining the amateur leagues in 1989. After 2 decades of being a yo-yo club in the amateur leagues they landed the opportunity to join the revamped 3rd division in 2009. They managed to gain promotion out of the 3rd divsion in the 2012/13 season after finishing as champions. Since then they have managed to stabilize themselves in the NIFL Championship although recent seasons have seen them flirting with relegation. They haven't managed to make an impression on the larger cups in N. Ireland but have picked up a few lower league cups along the way with their proudest accomplishment being the lifting of the Intermediate Cup in 2009. Trophies Won Nothing much there so hopefully I can be the catalyst which sparks the team to new heights and begins to fill an empty looking trophy cabinet. Club Nice to see a couple of rivals in there with Dundela and H&W Welders although I'm hoping that in time we will see some of the bigger Belfast clubs become competitive rivals for the club. The club has no legends, icons or favoured personnel so I'm hoping that I can become one of those quickly by leading them to promotion to the DBP which will be better than any manager has done in their history. Being based in Belfast is a huge benefit and means that I can tap into the biggest potential fan base in the country which combined with success on the pitch should enable me to build the club quicker. Facilities The aspect which swung the decision for me in terms of applying for Knockbreda over Distillery was the potential expansion capacity of the ground. At 12,000 it is the 2nd largest in the country behind Linfield who have a potential expansion capacity of 28,000. I'm hoping that will mean that when/if it comes time for us to leave Breda Park that we can then build a huge new ground. As our training facilities are so terrible I'm hoping that I will be able to share the facilities at Queen's University's campus. First Team Squad There are some good players in there and I especially like the fairly professional personality of the squad. The standout player is Glentoran loanee Fearon ST who has a very good first touch and finishing for the level and is considered good for the DBP so I'll be looking to him to be our main source of goals this season. His strike partner Pomeroy is considered decent for the Championship although he doesn't exactly fit the profile of a Deep Lying Forward which means he will probably be a rotation option for Fearon rather than partnering him as I'd like to play a 4-4-2. Cafolla ML and Hamill DR look to be good prospects who are Championship standard so I'll be hoping to develop them with first team football and make them one of the best players in the division. The one thing which is screaming out to me after analyzing the squad is the lack of depth. I think I will need to go into the transfer market and perhaps bring in some loan players from the DBP if I'm to transform this club from relegation battlers into promotion contenders. At least I have a bit of room on the wage budget which should help with than endeavour and I'm also happy that I can offer part-time contracts as that gives me more control and less need to worry about losing players mid season. Reserve Squad There is the depth but I can't see how any of these players are going to help us achieve our lofty targets. Not one of them is good enough to play in the Championship but I suppose I could grant one or two of the more talented youngsters some time in the cup competitions. Finances The clubs finances are actually in rather good shape which is always helpful. They have some money in the bank, hold no debt and there is a bit of room on the wage budget, can't ask for more than that at this stage. Starting Conditions The DBP is the 117th most reputable league in the game and owing to some awful performances in Europe by N. Irish teams in recent times lies 53rd/55th in the club coefficient rankings only above the likes of Andorra and San Marino. Unfortunately, that means for the coming season that the nation will only have 3 European berths to fight for. 1 for the Preliminary Round of the Champions League to go to the DBP winner and 2 in the Preliminary Round of the Europa League to go to the Irish Cup winner and the runner up in the DBP (3rd if the Irish Cup winner is the DBP winner or runner-up). This season however we have 4 teams competing in Europe with Linfield in the 1st Qualifying Round of the Champions League, Crusaders in the 1st Qualifying Round of the Europa League and Ballymena United and Cliftonville competing in the Preliminary Round of the Europa League. Judging by the results so far with both Ballymena United and Cliftonville easing through to the 1st Round of the Europa League, the nation should hopefully gain enough coefficients this season to restore the nation back up to 4 spots for the season after next. Career Objectives The ultimate aim is to turn Knockbreda into a formidable force in European football then move on to the next club and try to do the same. How long that will take is anyone guess and is not on the agenda of the board whose 5 year plan sees us stagnating in the Championship for 5 years, if that were to happen I would be devastated as I wouldn't have improved the club at all. My personal 5 year plan looks something like this. Scenario 1 Year 1 - Get into the top half of the Championship Year 2 - Finish at least 3rd and clinch a spot in the playoffs. If we get promoted proceed to Scenario 2, if not continue with Scenario 1. Year 3 - Get promoted to the DBP either through the playoff or as Champions Year 4 - Avoid relegation from the DBP Year 5 - Aim for a mid-table finish and try to go deep into the cup competitions Scenario 2 Year 3 - Avoid relegation from the DBP Year 4 - Aim for a mid-table finish and try to go deep into the cup competitions Year 5 - Qualify for Europe either through winning the Irish Cup, position in DBP or through DBP Europa Conference League playoff HERE WE GO!!!
  2. Hey guys, After running out of enthusiasm for my Bosnian youth save, possibly for starting it halfway through a Europe trip, I'm back home and have decided to start a new save in a place very familiar to me in a Football Manager environment. However, there are a few tweaks to how this save is going to develop. The Idea Traditionally, the minnows to giants youth saves seem to be among the most popular on the forums, as evidenced by the multitude of Sammarinese, Faroese and Andorran saves, among other countries. However, there have been very very few that have been successful (I should know, I have a fair few of the unsuccessful ones!). Whether or not this has been due to hitting a glass ceiling in terms of nation quality, or certain bugs in the system (youth recruitment anyone), and just stalled in other ways. San Marino and Andorra have help in the fact that they have clubs in bigger nations like Italy and Spain, but the latter doesn't really offer much in terms of support to up the quality of the national team. But what if a nation had clubs in more than one nation? Three, in fact. Enter Andorra. They have ties with France, Spain and Portugal. What I've done is created three identical teams, one for each country, and placed them into the lowest playable league in the nation. Each with the same stadium (Andorra's national stadium), facilities (10/20 across the board), kits etc. The only real difference is the reputation, which I made as a middle ground in the division, not too strong to get promoted straight away and not too weak to be relegated, possibly to be never seen again. They even have the same name, 'The Youth of Andorra', each translated to the language of the nation they will be playing in (Portuguese, French, and Spanish). It's an experiment of sorts, to try and see if it will help develop Andorra as a footballing nation and hopefully spill over into the domestic side of things. As for the club I am managing, it is a club formerly known as FC Engordany, rebranded as the Catalan translation of The Youth of Andorra (I think). Joventud d'Andorra Squad This is the squad that I inherited. It's a decent squad, an experienced squad, but it's not a very Andorran squad. Aims of the Save - Take the club as far as possible, both domestically and elsewhere using players only from our academy - Topple domestic giants FC Santa Coloma, while holding off the challenge of Lusitans and the rest - Eventually take over the National Team, and take them as far as possible -Monitor the progress of the other 'Youth of Andorra' teams in their respective countries, and determine whether or not my experiment works Let me know what you guys think, feedback is much appreciated. I can't wait to start
  3. After recently watching a lot of @AccessEuphoria's Building a Nation series recently, I decided that my desire to use the new scouting system is enough for me to step away from my FM17 save and play FM18 (again). Basically I'm going to build a nation (more specifically Croatia) with Hajduk Split. As with many leagues, I have never managed in Croatia before, nor have I ever seen anyone else do so, so this is uncharted territory for me. My goals for this save are as follows: Establish Hajduk as the best team in Croatia Challenge for the knockouts of European competitions Grow the league in both reputation and coefficients to challenge the big guns (England, Spain, etc.) Win the Champions League Make the Croatian top tier the best league in Europe. To achieve these goals, I will be doing a similar thing to the aforementioned Building a nation series and signing many regens to either play for us or to go to other teams in our division. I will also try to avoid signing top players from other teams in our division to allow those teams to also challenge in Europe. I have added the following leagues to allow for a large amount of regens to come through each year:
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