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  1. And now for something completely different. For this quick intermission between the end of FM17's life, and FM18 (although I'm undecided yet on if I'll buy it at first), I will play a little homage to some of my most entertaining careers in FM, whilst also attempting a little experiment I've been planning for a while. The background A country I've always had a little connection to - although from a very large distance - is Croatia. The 10-year old myself, at the peak of my childhood obsession with football, was most impressed with the appearance of this brand new country in Euro 96, led by a flamboyant, prolific striker named Davor Suker who had the cheek to do outrageous things like lob Peter Schmeichel from a distance. Two years later they'd outdo themselves with a run all the way to World Cup semi-finals, and with Portugal missing I was cheering for them over everyone else. Into the FM days and two of my finest careers have been in Croatia. Around the FM05/06 days I won my first World Cup with them, in a distant future holiday game, thanks to a bit of a bug in regen generation where CBs all had terrible jumping, so I just played into a very tall target man and killed everyone with crosses. In FM11, I had my first addictive, entertaining career in this forum in Gundo's FM11 challenge with Olimpija Osijek - a team that doesn't appear to be in the database anymore - in which I built a team around a few incredible South African regens, we dominated the Croatian league and eventually reached the Champions League knockout stages. The team I have not managed in Croatia since that FM11 adventure, so craving for those brilliant FM moments, returning there feels like the right choice for the experiment I want to run. My choice of club is NK Novigrad, also known as Club di Calcio Cittanova. Yes that's a club with a name both in Croatian and Italian. The reason is, it's based on the town of Novigrad, also known as Cittanova, right next to the Italian border, in a region of Croatia called Istria, which historically has belonged to both countries at different times, and still retains Italian as an official 2nd language. My thinking here is simple: let's see if I can get some Italian regens! NK Novigrad play in the 2nd tier of Croatian football, the 2.HNL. The manager To further open up the pool of regens, and also as another homage to another great career I also had in Eastern Europe, in FM15 with CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria, I will be reviving one of the manager aliases I used in that career: Klaus Alegrov. He is set as Bulgarian, so again, Bulgarian regens please! The challenge But what is the actual challenge or experiment I want to run? Well, I've often wanted to do a youth challenge but I've never been entirely comfortable with a) how little control you get about the development of your squad; and b) how much you miss out on the fun of signing players. So I decided to do something that's almost a youth challenge... but cheat. I will sign one single player per season. The idea here is: this opens up a lot of strategy. Do I hire a tutor? Or youngsters, so that I can maximise the playing time I get from them? The best available player, full stop? The guy to patch the hole of that position that's annoyingly never generated by my youth academy? Every single signing counts. Don't waste them. But, the dynamics surely will still be very similar to youth challenges. If I play my cards juuuuust right, in 11 seasons I can have a starting 11 of 11 signings, but the bulk of the squad are still youth academy players. So it's still of the utmost, critical importance to develop them. Given the very long term nature of the career, to speed things up, I will try to use instant result for once, except for key matches. I have only loaded the top leagues of England, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal. I will also be using some of the pre-made tactics from @knap I used at the end of my previous career with Monaco; and the many, many tactics I developed over the years across that career. Right, I think everything's explained. Off to start then!
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