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  1. "Über die Brücke Ruhm warte - Across the Bridge Glory waits" My first football games were English. Newmarket, Cambridge, and the television back in the early and mid 80's, which then meant a lot of Everton and Liverpool. When my dad was stationed in Germany, we lived in Volgelweh, which was part of the Kaiserslautern Military Community. At the time it was (and I think still is) the largest American enclave outside of the United States, with the various bases and personnel within a radius there were at least 100K of us, mostly wondering why we only had one channel on TV in English. I did go to a few Kaiserslautern games, they weren't a bad team then. I did see a couple of Saarbrücken games as well, and when I went looking for a new save to tide me over until FM18 comes out, I took a look at their history online. They started playing in 1903, and until the start of World War Two had won several regional lower league titles. After the Second World War, the Saarland region was administered by the French. Various efforts were made to see the Saarland become either independent, or a part of France. FC Saarbrucken was forced out of German football in 1948, and rather than participate in the Ehrenliga, a short lived league the other saarland teams participated in; the joined the French Football association as FC Sarrebruck, and won the Ligie 2 title in 1949. However, because of resistance from other clubs (primarily RC Strasbourg, who had been forced to play in Germany in the War), they were refused promotion to Ligue 1, and found themselves being shut out of Ligue 2. The team withdrew from the Ligue, and existed by playing friendlies for two years, and also organized the Internationaler Saarland Pokal (International Saarland Cup) that had them play fifteen home matches against teams from Austria, Chile, Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. The top three sides then joined hosts Saarbrücken in a playoff round, which the home team eventually won in a 4–0 victory over Stade Rennais. The next year fellow Saarlanders VfB Neunkirchen co-hosted the tournament which this time included more German sides. The tournament was abandoned in 1952 as an agreement was reached to allow teams from the Saarland re-admission to the German Football Association. This was an interesting time in Saarland sports, because of the regions political status, the team did not have an official association with either French or German football, and as a result the Saarland has a 1952 Olympic Team, and because of its membership in FIFA, a 1954 World Cup team. Yes, 10 of the starters were from FC Sarbrucken, but they finished well, second in the group behind West Germany. In 1953 the team wasagain part of the Oberliga Sudwest, and won the division and advanced to the national final. When the Bundesliga was officially created in 1963, 1 FC Sabrucken was one of the original 16 teams. It was a controversial choice, as the Bundesliga team selection relied on a criteria based upon performance, financial health, and geographic location. There were better teams in the area, Pirmasens and Worms among them, but the clubs longtime affiliation with Hermann Neuberger, who at the time was a very influential person ion German Football and a member of the selection committee, is most likely why they were chosen. There stay in the Bundesliga did not last long, they were the first team relegated out. They made their way back to the Bundesliga in 1976, after finishing in 1st place in the 2nd Bundesliga Sud, but were relagted again in 1978. Thus began several years of yo-yoing success, slipping all the way to the Amateru Oberliga Sudwest in 1981, returning to the Bundelsiga in 1986, being relegated again, returning to the Bundesliga in 1993, and being relegated again. The teams fionances were in ruins in 1995, and they were denied a license and sent back down to the Regionliga West/Sudwest. Since then they have moved back and forth between the second and fifth tiers of German Football. Their last bit of success came in 2009-2010, where after back to back promotions, they found themselves in the 3. Liga. They remained a midtable team there until a disastrous 2013-2014 season had them finish bottom of the table. 36 players and four head coaches could not keep them from being relegated. They qualified fro promotion back to the 3. Liga the next season, but lost in the promotion round. 1. FC Saarbrücken now play in the Regionalliga Südwest. They are a professional team with and owner that loves the club. Adequate youth facilities, Average training facilties, they are predicted to finish 4th. However, their finances are insecure, which is going to cause problems in the short term, and in the long term as well if they are not sorted out. My goal, as with my previous save, is to take this lower league team back up thru the ranks, to the top of the Bundesliga, and win a few other cups and trophy's along the way. New coach, new town, new team, same goals. Saarbrücken translates to 'Saar bridges', and there a dozen of them that cross the river in the this town. "Über die Brücke Ruhm warte - Across the Bridge Glory waits" Now, if I could only find which of the twelve bridges that is... Thanks for reading and following! Jellico73
  2. Introduction and my main system Hello. I'm in a rather peculiar position as I've accumulated a lot of success throughout a 14-year career, in which I've won, among other things, the Libertadores, the Champions League, the Olympics, the Bundesliga, Eredivisie, and the Uruguayan league. You can find my thread on the FMCU forum that covers my entire career in detail. I've managed a few different teams over the years and played a lot of different tactics, but for the past 6 seasons I've been managing HSV in Germany and have settled in the following system as the main plan A: This is the system that gave us the 26/27 Bundesliga and the 27/28 Champions League, although I've modified it slightly since (perhaps for the worse?). The main changes have been a switch from Standard to Control mentality; and a lot of fiddling with the main striker role, which used to be a Poacher but I've been experimenting with CF/A and CF/S. What I've found is that, after winning the Champions League, our club reputation increased to "Worldwide" and ever since we've stopped overachieving, and have not won anything for the past 2 seasons, despite now possessing a far superior, world class squad. Since the increase in reputation, opponents have become far more defensive, and I feel my tactics simply worked much better when we were against teams that underestimated us and gifted us space. Problems The problems can vary from match to match, and admitedly I've made things even harder for myself as I started playing on "Key" rather than "Extended" highlights so I struggle more to pick apart the nuances. But generally what happens is: - Since our only wide threat/pressure relief is our CWB/A, in the occasions he's nullified - and he often has to deal with a defensive duo of fullback/wide midfielder - our attack can very easily crumble and become too congested. I've tried simply adding another conventional wingback on the other flank but results have not convinced me. Often when the opposition nullifies our LB it's also in position to nullify a conventional RB at the same time. - Switching our poacher for a CF/A or CF/S has slightly improved our movement in order to generate space for the people rushing from midfield, however this also greatly tamed us in directness. Previously, the CWB/A assisted the poacher very often. The poacher also helped whenever we (rarely) face a team playing a high line (balls over the top of the defence). - Our midfield can be a bit too lightweight. I'm struggling to find top quality midfield destroyers with enough basic technical ability, and I think this is a major reason why in recent matches against top sides we repeatedly get overrun. They tend to win all physical challenges and we get under siege. We need possession for things to work. - Related to this, our defensive shape is not particularly great with obvious lack of cover down the wings. In the past, we struggled a lot against offensive fullbacks, specially against big teams. This is the reason why I tend to play with a high-ish line - give them no space for the wingbacks to overlap. I simply don't ever want to be in the defensive phase without the ball for long. However increasing the defensive line then can also backfire as we have less space for our own possession game to play in. - The switch to "Control" mentality from "Standard" was also motivated by a need to be more aggressive and win the ball back earlier. Other benefits - getting our SS/A, Enganche, CM/A rush forward earlier, which helped a bit of a long shots problem we sometimes had (I also added "shoots less often" to right about everyone). Drawbacks: again, diminishing the space we play in ourselves; and making us less solid defensively, I believe. - I've long been unconvinced about the Shadow Striker's contributions. Some superb players have played in this position, but often had low ratings, and I feel he dribbles far too much, losing the ball too often. I've tried a AM/A instead but I feel the AM/A is less vertical/aggressive with his movement, when I want this player to be a major finishing threat. - Until recently with the signing of Quiñones (I'll show my squad in the next post) we had no aerial threat, hence low crosses, incidentally I'm also a big of fan of low crosses, it's been wildly effective for me in the past. However against deep defences maybe this is counterproductive? - We are under serious pressure and impossibly high standards in our league with a superb Bayern side that rarely drops points, so we need to be nearly perfect. I've studied them and feel they, under a much more aggressive, wider 4-2-3-1 system, just create many more chances and goals. However I tried playing a 4-2-3-1 myself in recent matches and it was a disaster as we don't possess wingers. We are quite simply built to play in our much more subtle, narrow way. Again this relates to our lack of pure wide threat, Fillion as CWB is amazing but on his own with a 13 for crossing and 14 for dribbling, he cannot compare to Bayern's natural wingers with 17+ for crossing/dribbling/pace. Current alternatives I also have an alternative system, a 4-3-1-2, plus many other minor variants of both systems: And I spent the last 2 matches of the season trying to come up with tweaks to the original system, which ended up like this: In the next post I'll show my first 11 and main alternatives from the bench.
  3. Post some funny things that have happened to you here! (Screenshots, videos, etc.)
  4. *Die Wölfe* The club play their trade in the highly competitive Bundesliga. Dominated by Bayern & Dortmund over the years. Many people see The Bundesliga as one - if not the best and most competitive league in Europe. Known for progressing young talent through all the clubs youth academy. Wolfsburg have had some top players play for the club with the like such as De Bruyne, Dzeko, Schürrle & so on. Wolfsburg have won the Bundesliga once in their history, in the 08/09 season, the DFB-POKAL in 2015 and the DFL-Supercup in 2015. Anyway lets got on with the team abit more. *The Club Kits* Yes known to play in green and the sponsorship of Volkswagen ( The club grew out of a multi-sports club for Volkswagen workers in the city of Wolfsburg). Also a good deal with sports giants Nike. *The Squad* **please click on the pictures for better view** As you can can see the strongest keeper at the club is Club captain Diego Benaglio. At the age of of 32 his time will be up soon. You have Koen Casteels as back up with a 3 1/2* potential but pesonally id like to bring in another keeper with abit more potential. Max Grun is in your 2nd team but id keep him there you for emergency use & look to sell if you get another keeper in. **please click on the pictures for better view** On to the defenders now, Without doubt your best defender is Ricardo Rodriquez. The swiss attacking full back is one of the best full backs around in Europe. Your probs going to get big clubs coming him for him at some point. Yannick Gerhardt can play in a numerous positions. Jeffrey Bruma is a good CB and he could play alongside on loan Stoke defender Phillip Wollscheld but i dont rate him that much. So i would look to bring in a CB. Knoche can play as a back up CB. Right back you have Vieirinha but hes injured at the start for 3 months. Jung is also injured about 5 weeks. **please click on the pictures for better view** Here you have what i see the 'strongest' part of the team. You have alot of players who can play midfield. One man who you need to keep and try and get champions league football to keep him in Julian Draxler. The man is probably the best player in your team. Luiz Gustavo should also be one of the first picks of your starting line up. The BWM is on £165,000 a week the highest paid at your club. Max Arnold is one of the bightest talents at club a great playmaker to use. Ex Dortmund player Błaszczykowski can play anywhere down the right, from WB,W,AMR he has a great work rate to put them ball into that box. Daniel Calgiuri can have a part to say, he is the same player as Błaszczykowski. Josip Brekalo has a 5* potential so its down to you to make sure he reaches that. **please click on the pictures for better view** The strikers, You have the German Machine Mario Gomez. Although he is out of action 5-8 weeks he is still your main striker. 191 goals in his career. Even at 30 i think he has a good 3 years left in him. His stats are just built up for goals aslong as he gets the deliveries to him. On loan Real Madrid striker Borja Mayoral is probs best back up. Hes ok i guess. Bruno Henrique is another who is 'ok' he has blistering pace so maybe one to come of the bench and get behind the back 4. Probably best bringing in another striker with abit more abily to challenge Gomez to start. *The Main Players* *Youngest Prospect* Azzaoui hasnt yet reached his levels what people was thinking yet. He joined from spurs the other a season but has been in the 2nd team mostly. I dont think Wolfsburg have the right youth coaches to develop players so realy you could do with adding a few. Its upto you if you believe he has the ability to become a great player. *Tactics* Ive seen the team play a couple of times this season but ive these are a couple of formation ive came across. The left one ( is probs the best one and most common which these us. i have not altered the roles as you can see so thats down to you. The right one is more of a counter i think. You could drop Błaszczykowski to WBR & Rodriguez to WBL. The problem is where do you play the influence of Draxler. Ive came across when they play this shape he is more up-top as a false 9, but he will need training there. *Staff* **please click on the pictures for better view** The coaching quality at the club is poor and this probably why the club is not getting the best out of their players. Keeper training is the best. Also id advise you to add some good youth coaches to get the best out of the Kids. *Finances* So you start the season with a healthy transfer budget of £25.84m. You have some players in your team on over £100k p/w. The wage budget is set at £162k p/w so just be carefull with that as some players might ask to 'match highest earner'. Personally id look to bring in some good german talent if possible with a couple of young players to mix. Now that the german player to german club fix has been sorted there should be alot of decent young germans to sign. The only way the club is going to push forward in future years is to maintain good finance. Click to choose file *The stadium* It was opened in 2002 and named after the automotive group Volkswagen AG.[7][8] The Volkswagen Arena has a capacity of 30,000: 22,000 seats and 8,000 standing places.[2] It is located in the Allerpark and is the home stadium of the football team VfL Wolfsburg.[9] Hope this attracts a few people to take on Wolfsburg and try to topple Bayern & Dortmund in the future years. Any questions please ask and i will try help you out as much as possible. Die Wölfe
  5. SV Darmstadt 98 Why should you play Darmstadt? Because they are the team who nobody expected to be in the Bundesliga. No money, no infrastructure, no talent - just a lot of old tradition and the willpower to fight. Everybody predicts them to finish last. Can you beat the expectations and turn the club into a success story? Quick note for readers: A lot of the basic information is based on the FM16 thread I wrote last year and which you can find here, if you are interested. Obviously some things don't change. But some do. To help everbody who did read last year's thread, I coloured all the relevant new additions in blue. Enjoy! The story Darmstadt is the club nobody expected in the Bundesliga. In fact, nobody expected them to be in the 2. Bundesliga (Second Division) two years ago. When the former manager Dirk Schuster took office in 2012, he stated in a press conference: "It would be a pity if a club like Darmstadt were relegated." He meant: Down to the Fourth Division. "Darmstadt is a club that belongs to the 3. Liga", Schuster said. That was meant to be encouraging. Turned out: He was wrong. Three years later, the "Lilies" are part of the highest German tier. The last four years have been more than a fairy tale for the SV Darmstadt 98. They have been something like a dream. A miracle. No, a double … a triple miracle. Words fail to describe what happened to this club, who actually was supposed to be relegated to Fourth Division in 2013. It was all set. Decided. The SVD was doomed. Then, suddenly, their fiercest, long traditional rivals (!) Kickers Offenbach were refused the 3. Liga license due to going into administration and were relegated to the Regionalliga instead. Maybe it should have been clear on that very day that we start to witness something that, being made into a movie, would be laughed at as "way too unrealistic". In 2014, Darmstadt gained the entry into the promotion-relegation play offs for 2. Bundesliga. They faced Arminia Bielefeld, a club that not so long ago had played in the highest tier and were seen to be favorites by a very large margin. The first leg in Darmstadt shattered even the tiniest of hopes: Bielefeld won 3:1 in Darmstadt. End of story. Or was it? It's the 19th of May 2014. Second leg in Bielefeld. The "Lilies" are on fire. They score once. They score twice. After 51 minutes, the score reads Bielefeld-Darmstadt 0:2, in favor for Darmstadt. A lot of fans smile, but nobody really keeps his hopes up. Indeed, two minutes later, Bielefeld strikes back: 1:2. Then comes the 79th minute. A shot from 33 yards. Into the corner of the net. Goal. 1:3. Extra time. Suddenly, Darmstadt seems to be the better team. Suddenly, everything seems possible despite the horrible defeat on home soil. 110th minute: Goal for Bielefeld. 3:2. Over and out. It seems. The 122nd minute. Additional time. The last seconds are counting down. Darmstadt strikes. Goal. 4:2. The incredible thing has happened: Darmstadt gains promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. They start the adventure "2. Bundesliga" by being marked as the total underdogs. Everybody knows: Darmstadt will go down after one year. They don't have the class. They don't have the players. In fact, the team largely consists of players who have failed at other clubs. A bunch of losers. They outdid themselves in that one special night at the "Miracle of Bielefeld", but they are certainly not good enough to duplicate that for a whole, long season of 34 matches in the Second Division. Their style of play seems like an anachronism: It's based on rock solid defense, hard fight, teamwork, endurance and the determination to go beyond your limits despite all the odds being against you. They win a few matches. All the pundit nod their heads and smile: "Yes, yes, that's the usual initial luck of the underdog. It will pass." 34 match days later, Darmstadt gains direct promotion to the Bundesliga. Without the help of any patron. The SV Darmstadt 98 is not funded by a big company, by a sheikh or by any big investor. Their finances are in order, the club is debt free, but that's because their wages are small, and they have not more than a dozen professional staff people on their payroll. A dozen! The rest is done by voluntary workers (roughly 120 people). And all the pundits nod their heads in approval, murmuring: "That's a wonderful story. It's really nice to have Darmstadt in the Bundesliga. But, honestly, they will of course go down immediately. They don't belong there. Look at their shabby stadium. Look at this bunch of players who did not make it anywhere else. Not only will they go down, we all know that they will finish last - by far." This was last year's story when I opened this thread and dared FM16 managers to keep Darmstadt in the Bundesliga. Very probably, it seemed, in spite of reality, which would see the SVD finally give in. Quite a few users took the challenge and struggled. The Darmstadt team was, of course, weak. As mentioned before, a lot players were actually Third Division material. Darmstadt hired a few experienced new ones, who all shared one story: Having failed at other clubs. Being labelled as "untalented" and "talents who wasted their career" or "difficult players". So how did the story continue? Bundesliga 2015/16 – The miracle goes on and on… Well, to make it short: Darmstadt stayed up. They did the impossible – once again. FM17 managers can, once more, try their hands at the most impossible task: Keep the SV Darmstadt 98 where it does not belong (at least according to almost all pundits): German 1. Bundesliga. Darmstadt proved to be a very inconvenient and bothersome opponent: In most matches, they were fighting nail and tooth. In a way, the SVD refused to play the game everybody else was playing. The typical quick, high pressing game of Bundesliga teams. Darmstadt was immune to pressing, because they did not keep the ball. Once acquired, they just gave it away, with wide and long kicks, aiming at the oppositions's third. Sometimes successful – mostly not. But they were quick and decisive on the counters, deadly on set pieces, and highly structured in defense. They gained their points mostly on their opponent's soil, when the home team felt under the pressure of delivering: "If we don't win against this outsider – against whom shall we win?" Big teams ran into Darmstadt's traps, into their iron hard defense, and became quickly frustrated and desperate when they failed to dominate the minnows. The Lilies achieved a draw at Schalke, a win at Leverkusen, a draw at Dortmund. Let's be frank: Darmstadt was marveled at as a story – they were much less liked by most fans as opponents. Fans of other clubs blamed the SVD of playing rough and nasty, wasting time, and so on. Not all of these complaints were justified, they often stemmed from the deep frustration of not having beaten the Lilies. But yes, Darmstadt's play was not attractive (unless you are a fan of very defensive formations). Yet, they got enough points. More than enough, in fact. They ended up in 14th place, five points away from direct relegation and secured their survival in the 1. Bundesliga one week before the final match day with a 2:1 win away (of course!) at Berlin, who had been one of the success stories, but equally failed to dominate Darmstadt. So, dear reader: The task is up to you. Ensure a third year of Darmstadt Bundesliga football! You know about your chances and predictions of course, right? "The second year is always the hardest." And: "Yes, yes, they got lucky once. Especially because two big clubs like Stuttgart and Hannover fell apart and didn't know how to cope with relegation battle. It won't happen again." Oh, and of course: Almost all the "losers turned winners" players have moved on. They grabbed the opportunity of being showcased and found themselves better paid jobs. The best striker has left the SVD, as almost the complete defensive line. And "wonder coach" Dirk Schuster, manager of the year. Darmstadt is doomed. They are almost uniquely predicted to finish last. Can you prove the pundits wrong – once again? The history Given the introduction, one might think that Darmstadt 98 does not have a long history in professional club football. In fact, they do. Just rarely at the highest tier. For decades between the 50s and the 90s, SV Darmstadt was the club associated with the "2. Bundesliga". They gained promotion to Bundesliga twice. Both times proved to be a very short adventure. When they first played First Division in 1978/79, most of the players did not even have professional contracts. A lot were, literally, amateur players with other fulltime jobs, playing in a professional football league. Needless to say they finished last. They did have one iconic player at the team though, which was Bum-Kun Cha, a South Korean player who would later rise to international stardom as a top goal scorer for Frankfurt and Leverkusen, and take part for the South Korean national team at the 1986 World Cup. The second excursion into the top flight tier proved little better: Darmstadt finished 17th in the 1981/82 season. This would be their last visit to the Bundesliga for a very, very long time. The deep fall came in the late 90s. Darmstadt became a victim of financial mismanagement, slipping to the third and fourth divisions. Dark years followed. Although Darmstadt seemed to reconstruct themselves in 2004 under former player and then trainer Bruno Labbadia (who you might stumble across in your FM17 save as a manager, he just go fired from his last station at Hamburger SV), they struggled again, being dragged down once more by mismanagement, internal quarrels and too high expectations. The healing process started slowly, but since around that time, a few years back, the Board follows a very strict path of financial rationality and reasonability. Indeed, for the last years, Darmstadt stayed without any debts. Crest and Colors The nickname of Darmstadt is "Lilies", because of the fleur-de-lys they spot in their crest. Their colors are blue, the Darmstadt supporters have "borrowed" the shout of the French national team "Allez les Bleus!" to encourage their players. Darmstadt also plays in White and sometimes had an Orange jersey in the past as Away Kit. The 2016/17 home kit is, well, let's say... something that needs getting used to. They remind one more of a swimming suit than a football kit. It's a rather weird combination of very strangely angled stripes. The designer explained that those stripes in fact are bent at 18° degrees and 98° degrees – which, put together, is the founding year of the club, 1898. I guess you need a designer's brain to put something like that on a football shirt. Nickname: The Lilies Year Founded: 1898 President: Rüdiger Fritsch (FM17: "feels he will never leave the club of his own volition") Current Manager (IRL): Norbert Meier Club Captain: Aytac Sulu Media Prediction: 18th (of 18) Fierce Rivals: Offenbacher Kickers (local and long standing rivalry) Other Rivals: Waldhof Mannheim (local), Hessen Kassel (local), Eintracht Frankfurt (local) Legends: none The stadium "Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor" Capacity: 17,000 (only 4000 seated) Built: 1921 When SV Darmstadt got promoted to the 2. Bundesliga, nobody knew if the stadion would actually get the proper license - or if Darmstadt would have to play their home matches elsewhere (this, by the way, underlines again how unexpected the promotion to the Second Divison was). The club got the license in the end - but only after they made some adjustments: Darmstadt 98 had to replace the old wooden benches and turn them into proper seats. Yes, that's right: Two years ago, two of the stadion's sections had wooden benches, 300 in total. They were distmantled and sold to the fans. That being said, there never have been many stands with seats anyway. The "Böllenfalltor" spots only 4000 seats on the main terrace. The rest of the 17,000 places are stands. Without any roof. In fact, the stands are basically built right into the hill that forms the stadium ground. Not all terraces are in use, some are closed due to safety reasons, and even on those which are used, you can spot weeds and plants growing. (Fans are regularily called to help clearing out the weeds in the summer break). This is a stadium which has the appearence of hosting a Fourth Division team. The Darmstadt fans are very proud of this. The city has already decided to rebuilt and reconstruct the stadium (a plan that will not be set into motion before 2017), and several influencial fan groups and supporters have very vigorously opposed any plan that would include "too many seats". Stands are, for them, a symbol of "old school", traditional, romantic football. One of the most popular plans from the fan's side centers on the idea that every terrace should have seats and standing rooms at the same time to preserve the "special atmosphere". A year ago, the Pharma giant Merck, who has its headquarters in Darmstadt, bought the name rights of the stadium - for a sponsorhip fee of € 300,000 per year. Buying the name rights has become pretty common in Germany, there are only very few stadiums left with their original names. Fortunately, Merck was smart enough to keep the old name on board and just add their company name on top. Hence the construction of "Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor". Böllen is the local dialect for aspen trees. These grow around the stadium. And yes, € 300,000 is, well, let's say, a bargain. Bayern Munich earns € 6 million per year, clubs like FC Köln or Hannover still get € 2 million out of it. Then again - SV Darmstadt is not a Bundesliga team... was never supposed to become a Bundesliga team. So why, do you ask, did I label the stadium "Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion"? Well, that's another of those incredible Darmstadt stories: Merck decided, in the Summer 2016, to waive their name rights and name the stadium for at least one year after a most special Darmstadt supporter, Jonathan Heimes, who died, at the age of 26, of cancer. His story is, in fact, closely connected to the recent rise of the club. You remember that "miracle of Bielefeld" I told you about in the first chapter? The evening before the match, manager Dirk Schuster introduced his players to the Story of Jonathan "Johnny" Heimes, who, being a very successful tennis talent, was diagnosed cancer at a very early age, and decided to see the fight against the disease like any sport's match: Fight until the end! Nothing is lost until the final whistle blows or the final point is lost. Johnny fought. Bravely. He defeated the cancer now once, but twice – it always came back a few months later. Johnny started a foundation collecting money for children with cancer. And he became some kind of mascot for the team, who chanted, at the Bundesliga promotion party: "Without Johnny, we'd not be here!" Jonathan Heimes fight against cancer became a symbol for Darmstadt: Never give up fighting. Nothing is lost – yet. I don't need to tell you that his death in 2016 deeply touched the players, the fans, the club. The fact that Merck decided to name the stadium "Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion" was broadly covered by media worldwide. This, indeed, is a very unique story. And you can be proud as a manager to manage in a stadium named after such an admirable person. (I am sorry if I sound a bit lofty here, but I am really impressed by all this, I admit.) In the game, your facilities are adequate to average. Which, yes, reflects the current situation in Darmstadt. They just improved their training facilities, but that means that they now finally do not have to do their runs on concrete floor or use another training ground somewhere in the city, if the main one is, for whatever reason, not ready for use. To sum it up: Darmstadt was completely caught unaware by their sudden rise to 2. Bundesliga and 1. Bundesliga. Their facilities are adequate for a Third Division team.
  6. TSV 1860 Munich - the most successful team in Germany? Intro So here it goes.. After a disappointing FM16 (not the game, just my inability to find a save to stick with) I have decided nice and early to find a save that I believe presents a big challenge and something that I have not attempted before. Enter 1860 Munich. I picked this team, as it presents an interesting situation, I have never managed in Germany, the club was saved by it's biggest rivals Bayern (mainly due to the stadium rental agreement they have in place - I see what you did there Bayern ), sharing an absolutely stunning stadium in the Allianz Arena and it's superb youth facilities makes for a great opportunity to turn this club into the biggest club in Munich. The Challenge The challenge is simple, to turn this great club into the greatest team in German football history, with a few added extras to make this already monumental challenge that little bit harder! - Return to the Bundesliga - (Once returned to the Bundesliga), no more signings allowed, only current players promoted from the great youth academy. - Top the 'Most time winners' category on the Bundesliga history page (currently Bayern sitting pretty on 26, which is going to grow as I battle my way up) - Win the Champions League The Manager Bobby Healy A 35 year old former football league player who was forced to retire due to injury. Has since worked hard to gain his Continental A licence and has been coaching at clubs in England. He had now been given his big chance in Germany after impressing the board at 1860 Munich and has signed a 1 year deal to prove his worth. (Beautiful, I know!) Is it possible, that an unknown manager, can manage a club in a country he is not used to - and take them to greatness? (Well...... for the first few years anyway) So ..... wish me luck on my first FM Career update post! I will be posting regular updates (and please feel free to ask for anything along the way, if you are interested that is!) Die Löwen