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  1. [FM20] Derby County - Why manage the Rams? / How are you getting on? I thought I'd start a thread to provide reasons why you might consider managing Derby County for a save on FM20. As a headline, Derby County will make an interesting save for any FM manager interested in: * A fun, challenging save * Bringing the glory days back * Youth challenge * Managing a Super Star Let's take each one in turn. *** A fun, challenging save *** Derby County play in the Championship (Tier 2) of English Football and the 2019/20 season will be the 12th outside the Premier League for the Rams. In recent seasons, Derby County have gone close to a return to the promised land, finishing in the play-off places four times in the last six seasons, ultimately losing in the Play-off Final twice during that time - last season 2018/19 and also in 2013/14. Can you be the manager to lead Derby County back to the Premier League? In real-life, as of Monday 18th November 2019, the Rams sit 16th in the Championship League Table, seven points off the play-offs and eight points above the relegation zone. With Phillip Cocu taking over from Frank Lampard as manager late in the summer, Derby County are very much a football club in transition in 2019/20, and that has been seen in the results and with Cocu looking to continue the work Lampard started by lowering the average age of the playing squad. Gone are three loan players who were key players in Derby's success last season - Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who have both not only established themselves in Chelsea's first-team, but in the England Senior squad as well; whilst Harry Wilson was already a full Wales international and he's now playing for AFC Bournemouth on loan from Liverpool. Those three loanees, now established Premier League players, were always going to be incredibly difficult to replace in terms of quality and the replacement loan players the Rams have brought in this season are not of the same quality. The squad you'll manage, if you choose a Derby County save, are very much of a muchness, lacking the star quality the Rams had last season (see the Managing a Super Star section) but with an impressive number of youth players coming through (see the Youth Challenge section). *** Bringing the glory days back *** Even as a life-long Rams fan, I'll admit Derby County aren't the biggest of sleeping giants out there, but I still think they fall into the category of bringing the glory days back. One of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, Derby County were twice crowned Football League Champions by winning the old First Division in 1971/72 (managed by Brian Clough) and 1975/76 (Dave Mackay). During the 1970s, the Rams competed in major European competitions in four separate seasons, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1972/73 (Brian Clough). Derby County won the F.A. Cup in 1946 (Stuart McMillan). Derby County rank 15th for most seasons playing in the English top-flight all-time and 16th in most points won in the English top-flight all-time. Can you be the manager to bring the glory days back to Derby County? *** Youth challenge *** For those of you who love a Youth Challenge, Derby County have some very good young players breaking through. Derby County U23s are currently 2nd in the U23 Premier Division 1, one of only two Championship sides competing in the top-flight U23 league. The Rams U23s will compete in the Premier League International Cup this season. At U18 level, Derby County were crowned National Champions last season (2018/19) after winning the U18 Division 1 North and then going on to defeat the U18 Division 1 South Champions Arsenal in the final, qualifying as England's domestic league representatives in the UEFA Youth League for this season. In 2018/19, Jayden Bogle (18) broke into the first-team and established himself as the regular right-back. Also breaking through into the first-team squad and making their debuts recently are: Max Bird (18), Lee Buchanan (18), Jason Knight (18), Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (19), Louie Sibley (17) and Morgan Whittaker (18). Young goalkeeper, Henrich Ravas (21) also made the first-team bench last season. At international level, Krystian Bielik (21) made his full debut for Poland this season. Youth internationals include Jayden Bogle (England), Lee Buchanan (England), Jaden Charles (Ireland), Festy Ebosole (Ireland), Harry Halwax (Ireland), Jason Knight (Ireland), Henrich Ravas (Slovakia), Louie Sibley (England), Morgan Whittaker (England). If you like a Youth Challenge, or enjoy developing young players, then Derby County have a number of young players with potential for you to take under your wing. *** Managing a Super Star *** And, as if the above isn't enough to whet your appetite, in January 2020 Wayne Rooney, England's all-time record goal scorer, joins Derby County as player-coach. -- If you decide to manage Derby County on FM20, I hope you have an enjoyble, fun save. Let us know how you get on. Good luck 🍀 !
  2. I’ve decided what my main save is going to be once the FM19 Winter Update is available. I’m going to do a Director of Football Challenge with Derby County. I’ve never done the Director of Football challenge before so I’m excited as it’s going to be something different for me. Derby County owner Mel Morris is going to bring back Rams legend Igor Stimac as Director of Football and Igor will have responsibility for all transfers in (senior and youth), all transfers out (senior and youth), as well as contract renewals. That worries me a little. Igor was an amazing player for the Rams, an inspirational captain and leader, but his non-playing career hasn’t been that impressive. I’ve not looked what his attributes are in FM but imagine they’ll reflect his non-playing career so far. With a lot of senior players out of contract in June 2019 that could be very interesting. The only change I’m going to make to Igor in the pre-game editor will be to mirror the owner’s non-player tendencies that relate to club philosophies so that owner and Director of Football are looking to achieve the same thing. On the other hand, the Rams do have some exciting young players coming through so I’m looking forward to that as youth development is one of the club philosophies. Wish me luck, I think I may need it...
  3. So this is my first proper save of FM20, I always enjoy playing as ex-players and particularly ex-United players. Had a fun time "as" Nemanja Vidic on FM19, this time around thought it's time for the most recently retired Robin van Persie. RVP it has to be said probably finished his playing career without having a medal haul to match his world class talent and abilities. Hopefully, we shall be making up for that in his virtual managerial career. I have struggled to make it past 5 years into the game world recently, so my only plan is to complete a decade at least. Hopefully managing in 3-4 countries, including RVP's beloved Feyenoord at some point. Also hoping that club vision will help with game longevity. RVP has started the game with only a National C license, having not had much time yet to earn the various badges since retiring, but hopefully that gets balanced out with his global reputation as a top ex-international pro. Fortunately didn't have to wait too long to land a job, as another Dutch ex-international found himself out of a job after a rather torrid start to the season. And so, off to the Midlands we go.
  4. Hey everyone, I am just looking for some advice or thoughts. I am starting a Derby County save. Any advice on tactics, training or transfer targets would be most welcome. I am wondering is there any championship grade shortlists of potential signings available? This would help a lot.
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