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iseemonsters

iseemonsters' FM08 Small club to big club South American challenge

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So, you've taken a tiny non-league side to the heights of the Premier League in Dafuge's challenge . You've managed the minnows of Europe to Champions League glory in Gundo's challenge . Where do you go next to prove your unrivaled managerial skill? What challenge could possibly test your talents after that?

It's time to visit the world's other footballing superpower. It's time to take a trip down to South America.

The Aim

To take a previously unplayable team from the lower leagues of a South American nation to their domestic title, the Copa Libertadores and the Club World Championship. You do not need to win all three in the same season - but you do have to win all three with the same club in the same savegame.

The Setup

Load all the available leagues in your chosen nation. Only one nation can be loaded.

Available nations: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay

No additional players should be retained.

Attribute masking should be enabled, as should the other two check boxes, "Use real players" and "Allow transfer budgets in first window".

A large database will probably be the standard size, however, feel free to use medium or small if your computer isn't up to it (I'll be using a medium database).

Add an unemployed manager (such as the famous Holiday Man), then go on holiday until the new teams are generated for the lowest division in your chosen nation (this date will be different in each nation - I am working on a guide which will include the date for each country which I will post when I've finished it). As usual, saving the day before will allow you to reload and get a greater variety of teams (particularly useful if there is a relegation playoff).

Then retire your holiday profile and add yourself as manager of your chosen newly promoted team (if you need to make sure a team is newly promoted, go to its History and click on League Positions - if there is nothing at all for the previous season, they are a new team and are eligible for the challenge).

The details of your manager are up to you, except reputation which must be set to the lowest possible (some South American leagues don't allow you to choose "Sunday League Footballer", in which case you should choose "Semi-Professional Footballer"). You should be sensible about player nationalities - normally, I would expect you to use your own nationality information.

It is now up to you to manage your chosen club to their domestic title, to victory in the Copa Libertadores, and to showing the rest of the world which is the greatest footballing continent by winning the Club World Championship.

You should not move clubs unless you are sacked. If you do get sacked, you can either take over a newly promoted club that meets the original challenge criteria, or just quit your current game and start again.

Any form of international management is not allowed until you have completed the challenge.

There are no restrictions on feeder/parent clubs.

To sign a player, you must be able to scout them, this doesn't mean you have to, just that you can. If you have a player on a free transfer who is willing to come on trial, you do not need to be able to scout them. Also, if a player is recommended to you by one of your players, then you also do not need to be able to scout them to sign them.

No external utilities such as FMScout should be used and the database should be unedited. Should SI release a data update, this would be allowed. It is advised that people should update using the latest patches as they are released.

A note on choosing your nation

Obviously, the nation you select will have a major effect on your game experience. For instance, Peru has only one playable league. Therefore, if you decide to play in Peru, your team will be in the top division straight away, and will generally be fairly decent domestically. On the other hand, the promoted clubs in the Brazilian league tend to be truly tiny. However, it may be easier to put together a Brazilian Copa Libertadores winning side than a Peruvian one, once you are established in the top division. Ultimately, some leagues will be more difficult than others, but it's up to you what you want to get out of the challenge and what you want your game experience to be like, so it's up to you what nation you select.

On another note, yes, I know that Mexico is not in South America, however, their clubs play in the Copa Libertadores and I thought they made an interesting addition to the challenge, so they're staying in. However, they do pose some problems - I'm not 100% sure how Mexican teams qualify for the Copa Libertadores, and according to Wikipedia, if they won it, they wouldn't be eligible to enter the Club World Championship because the Libertadores is the CONMEBOL qualifying competition and Mexican teams are part of CONCACAF. But if it proves that this causes too much confusion, then Mexican teams can be deemed to have completed the challenge by winning the CONCACAF Champions' Cup and then the Club World Championship.

Rules for this thread

Player naming and discussion of tactics is allowed. (A warning for those of you who do not wish to see this)

Screenshots for anything are encouraged.

When you join the challenge, could you post a screenshot of your manager's profile on the day that you take over your new club.

Progress of your club should be documented using this thread, we want to hear the story of your club all the way through. Please keep us updated, even if you are doing really badly.

At the end of every season, please post some kind of season review, including a screenshot of the league table (or other pages relevant to the outcome of your season - e.g. some leagues decide promotion/relegation on average points, so a screenshot of the average points table should be included) and the club's transfer page. If you give this a title in bold then it's easier to spot, and should be easier for me to see and include in the table of participants.

Other info

This challenge isn't intended to be a competition - it's all about fun, and sharing our experiences of some leagues that many of us wouldn't normally manage in.

A big thank you to Dafuge and Gundo, whose challenges were obviously a massive influence on this one! If you haven't tried their challenges, they come very highly recommended. I think of this as their slightly weird (because of all the strange rules in South American leagues) younger brother. Hopefully people who have enjoyed those fantastic challenges will enjoy having a go at this one too.

I've been all the way back through the forum and I can't see that anyone has ever posted a challenge like this before - however, if somebody has already posted this challenge... go play that one!

Any questions, just let me know!

Good luck to everyone! icon14.gif

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Originally posted by Truegunner:

Mexico isn't in the south america.

Their clubs have competed in the Copa Libertadores in recent years though.

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On another note, yes, I know that Mexico is not in South America, however, their clubs play in the Copa Libertadores and I thought they made an interesting addition to the challenge, so they're staying in.

I know that, thanks. But they're staying in the challenge, as I said in the original post above!

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Originally posted by dafuge:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Truegunner:

Mexico isn't in the south america.

Their clubs have competed in the Copa Libertadores in recent years though. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

and you might want to read the whole thread first.

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I do like the look of this, this might give me the motivation to play a long term career game in Brazil rather then the odd season or two I've managed before.

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Could be interesting, won't be playing yet but might do at some point.

Anyone going to start up an Asian small club to big club challenge? icon_wink.gif

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Originally posted by dafuge:

I do like the look of this, this might give me the motivation to play a long term career game in Brazil rather then the odd season or two I've managed before.

To be honest with you, that's pretty much the reason I came up with the challenge (or rather, decided to transpose your challenge to South America icon_razz.gif ) - I'd been dabbling with games in Argentina and Mexico on FM07, and decided the best way to really get into a game and become attached to a team is by taking them from nothing to glory - as ably demonstrated by your challenge!

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Originally posted by Truegunner:

I just found out that no club gets relegated from the peru first division.

I've done a test game with Peru, and I definitely got a new team - they were pretty good, but newly promoted nonetheless.

If you just look at the Peruvian league table in FM08, it might look like no club gets relegated because they have an "Opening" and "Closing" stage of the season as many South American leagues do - and the Opening/Closing league table is what is automatically shown. However, if you click on "Table" and then "League Table", it shows an overall league table, the bottom club of which gets relegated and replaced. CD Jose Galvez are the new club in my test game, while Arequipa Total were relegated. icon14.gif

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I'll definently try this at some stage, especially since I'm already managing in Brazil in my own game.

I think Brazil would surely be the hardest to complete the challenge with as I know the smallest sides have no money/players and so it's a battle to even get a squad together.

All part of the fun though!

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I don't have FM08 yet so I can't do this challenge but can I take part on FM 07 and show my progress in this thread?

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I am most definetly in!!!

And as I am Brazilian myself I will be going for Brazil icon_smile.gif

Just holydaying now and will let you know what team I am in a bit icon14.gif

iseemonsters: Are you doing the challenge as well? Which country are you choosing?

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Something new and fresh for the South American fans at last. icon14.gif

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Sometime soon I can see there being one of these for each continent. icon14.gif

Would be a great challenge to try and complete all of them.

Should try this at some point. icon14.gif

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will probably try this after i get 08 and have done evertonbloke's round the world challenge

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This holidaying is taking so long....

I ve decided to come up with what I think will be the challenges in each different country.

Argentina: Breaking up the dominanace of River and Boca to win the title will be very difficult. Although they are not the only ones who win the league, they win it most often and the teams who break up the dominance are also very strong and traditional like Estudiantes, Independiente, Velez, San Lorenzo and Racing.

Brazil: Getting out of the ridiculous Third Division!! You have to be better than 122 teams to go up and have to be very good and have look as the competition is a bit like a cup. From there on it should be slightly easier, although all the teams are pretty even so dominating the league will be difficult.

Chile: Its the leuagu from which I know the least, but what I know is that Colo Colo and the two Universidads dominate it and it will be difficult to break that up.

Colombia: From past experience I remember that getting promoted from the league is very difficult as only one team go up after a kind of playoff system after the league. The positives about Colombia are that there is a lot of talent, but it is difficult to keep hold of them as the league isnt one of the strongests in South America.

Mexico: This is the richest league and you can attract a lot of talent with the money, but like Colombia it is very difficult to get to the top league. You have to win the open or closing stage to then play a final and get promoted. I remember winning the closing stage two seasons in a row and then losing the final twice!!

Peru: Promotion is not the problem there as you go straight into the first division!! But breaking the trio of Alianza, Sporting Cristal and Universitario is extremely difficult. When I played with Cienciano (considered the 4th best team in the league, they even won the Copa Sudamericana) I failed to break into the top three (qualifiers for LIbertadores) for 5 seasons in a row. Peruvian teams are also the worst by far in relation to the rest of the South American available leagues so winning the Libertadores would be very difficult.

Uruguay: Another league of which I dont have too much knowledge about, but again breaking into the top three of Nacional, Penarol and the recent force Danubio could prove very difficult.

All in all I think that promotion in this challenge will be very difficult as most leagues dont offer too many relegation spots to protect the big teams if they have a bad season.

It will also be very difficult to beat these big teams and every league has their superpowers who are very dominant.

Ok, hopefully my holiday man has got me to the end of the year now...

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I like the idea iseemonsters, unfortunately this challenge will come third in the challenges i attempt!

Currently doing Dafuge's, then it's my mate Gundo's and finally yours.

Best of luck everyone icon14.gif

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Originally posted by corinthiano:

This holidaying is taking so long....

I ve decided to come up with what I think will be the challenges in each different country.

Argentina: Breaking up the dominanace of River and Boca to win the title will be very difficult. Although they are not the only ones who win the league, they win it most often and the teams who break up the dominance are also very strong and traditional like Estudiantes, Independiente, Velez, San Lorenzo and Racing.

Brazil: Getting out of the ridiculous Third Division!! You have to be better than 122 teams to go up and have to be very good and have look as the competition is a bit like a cup. From there on it should be slightly easier, although all the teams are pretty even so dominating the league will be difficult.

Chile: Its the leuagu from which I know the least, but what I know is that Colo Colo and the two Universidads dominate it and it will be difficult to break that up.

Colombia: From past experience I remember that getting promoted from the league is very difficult as only one team go up after a kind of playoff system after the league. The positives about Colombia are that there is a lot of talent, but it is difficult to keep hold of them as the league isnt one of the strongests in South America.

Mexico: This is the richest league and you can attract a lot of talent with the money, but like Colombia it is very difficult to get to the top league. You have to win the open or closing stage to then play a final and get promoted. I remember winning the closing stage two seasons in a row and then losing the final twice!!

Peru: Promotion is not the problem there as you go straight into the first division!! But breaking the trio of Alianza, Sporting Cristal and Universitario is extremely difficult. When I played with Cienciano (considered the 4th best team in the league, they even won the Copa Sudamericana) I failed to break into the top three (qualifiers for LIbertadores) for 5 seasons in a row. Peruvian teams are also the worst by far in relation to the rest of the South American available leagues so winning the Libertadores would be very difficult.

Uruguay: Another league of which I dont have too much knowledge about, but again breaking into the top three of Nacional, Penarol and the recent force Danubio could prove very difficult.

All in all I think that promotion in this challenge will be very difficult as most leagues dont offer too many relegation spots to protect the big teams if they have a bad season.

It will also be very difficult to beat these big teams and every league has their superpowers who are very dominant.

Ok, hopefully my holiday man has got me to the end of the year now...

Thanks for that Corinthiano. I went on holiday and ended up being the manager of some team begining with 'A' in the Argentinian second league. I am currently coming 4th after 13 games icon_biggrin.gif

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After looking at all 32 promoted sides (it took a while) I decided to go for Interporto from the the Tocantins State. I decided to go for a club from the least traditional states because it seemed more fun. I dont think a team from Tocantins has ever even reached the Second League, the state is less than 20 years old so there is time for that.

Here is my profile.

I chose my past experience to the lowest possible (semi-pro), so I dont know why my reputation is natonal...

I have no players and no staff but Bom Jesus (GO) as a feeder club which is pretty pointless at the moment...

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I am on 07 BTW.

Oh, crap. I never posted my profile.

I don't like Argie Bargie anyway.

I might start again in Brasil.

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I knew it was going to be dafuge & Gundo's challenge with a South American theme, but I didn't know about Mexico so I've learnt something today icon14.gif.

Excellently thought out and presented challenge.

Well done icon14.gif.

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Looks interesting, I've never played in South America before but this might give me the inspiration to do so, once I've had a good crack at dafuge's and Gundo's challenges of course.

I'm surprised no-one has made a "small club to big club from a big nation in Europe other than England" challenge yet icon_biggrin.gif

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Thanks for all the positive comments everyone - though I should really take very little credit for the idea for this challenge, since it was pretty much a natural progression from Dafuge and Gundo's challenges. icon14.gif

Denial - I think you might be right - Brazil is the only country with three playable levels, and some of the teams that come up are really tiny. On the plus side, it looks like loads of teams are promoted to the lowest level, so there should be plenty of variety of teams for people to choose from. As you say, it should be fun!

danny.harv - Since there isn't an FM07 thread to point you towards for this challenge (like there is for Dafuge's/Gundo's challenge), I don't see why not.

Corinthiano - Good guide there and great to have you on board! I will definitely be taking part - I think I might start in Mexico, since I've wanted to get a long term game going there for a while. However, the Brazilian league is incredibly tempting!

In all my test games the lowest reputation I could get to come up in South American games was national, no matter what I did, so this may be the base level for this challenge - when the past experience was set to "Automatic", it was sometimes coming up as Continental, which is why I specified choosing the lowest available level.

cookie15 Fair enough - I had a feeling that quite a few people would want to start with Dafuge or Gundo's challenge before moving on to this one! icon_wink.gif Still, I thought it was good to give people the option - and hopefully there will be enough interest to keep it going until those people who are starting with other challenges are ready to play!

Again, thanks for the positive comments and good luck to all. icon14.gif

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My Mexico game is all ready to go, so I'm the proud new manager of the only club promoted to the Mexican First Division A, Club Caneros de Zacatepec.

Here's my profile.

They actually look like a pretty decent side, with an 18000 all seater stadium and average facilities. No players and minimal staff though, and a transfer budget of just £1k means that I'm about to go on a free transfer signing spree.

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Originally posted by iseemonsters:

My Mexico game is all ready to go, so I'm the proud new manager of the only club promoted to the Mexican First Division A, Club Caneros de Zacatepec.

Here's my profile.

They actually look like a pretty decent side, with an 18000 all seater stadium and average facilities. No players and minimal staff though, and a transfer budget of just £1k means that I'm about to go on a free transfer signing spree.

Good luck in Mexico icon14.gif

Be careful with the foreigner quota, in FM07 it didnt specify anything in the rules part of the league but when you went to register players you could only register 4 foreigners.

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13 days after my appointment there was the first competitive fixture in the Tocantins State Championship. It is a 10 team league where you play against each other twice, the first placed team wins it and the last one gets relegated. It is a really poor Championship with only 3 Third Division sides in it, which not surprisingly finished as the top 3 last year.

My team finished 4th last year but all I wanted was no relegation as I had no players. In my first game I played against Colinas, runners up last year and managed to only loose 2-1 at home which I was happy about.

I only have a £350 weekly budget and was starting to worry about how I was going to sign players when my request for a parent club was answered. There were two Second League teams and a First Division side. I thought the Second Tier sides would have been more likely to send me players but I couldnt refuse my dream parent club. icon_biggrin.gif

To my surpirse they already lined up two players to come on loan to me which could be my salvation...

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Originally posted by corinthiano:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by iseemonsters:

My Mexico game is all ready to go, so I'm the proud new manager of the only club promoted to the Mexican First Division A, Club Caneros de Zacatepec.

Here's my profile.

They actually look like a pretty decent side, with an 18000 all seater stadium and average facilities. No players and minimal staff though, and a transfer budget of just £1k means that I'm about to go on a free transfer signing spree.

Good luck in Mexico icon14.gif

Be careful with the foreigner quota, in FM07 it didnt specify anything in the rules part of the league but when you went to register players you could only register 4 foreigners. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks! The other problem is the fact that you have to have 5 players under the age of 23 in your first 11 - I usually like to have a lot of young players, but it's been pretty hard to find many good U-23 players on free transfers.

£350 per week?!! Whoa, you're going to have trouble assembling a squad on that!! Sounds like fun though. And congrats on the Corinthians link icon_wink.gif (I didn't even have to look at the screenshot to guess who your new parent club would be icon_razz.gif )

Best of luck with Interporto! icon14.gif

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Ok, I think you can call Interporto "Corinthians Juniors" now as I have signed over 20 of players of thei Reserve and Youth Teams all 20 years or younger, the best player being Johnny who scored two goals in his debut. I will post a screenie of him tomorrow.

This means I am paying no wages towards any players, but am still getting into debt due to my staffs salaries I think. The Corinthians link is going to have to be the solution until I figure out another way.

I can remember the problem with the Under 23s now, it was actually linked with the whole foreigners thing in a way. I played as Leon and Puebla on 07, two better sides in the league and with the money they had I could lure some very good Brazilian oldsters but couldnt get in all of them due to the two rules. I found on 07 that the general talent of the mexican players is pretty poor. Would you say that its the same for 08?

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Seems like having a good parent club is the only solution with a wage budget of just £350p/w - you might also get a real gem on loan from your parent club if you're lucky. Looking forward to getting a look at Johnny. icon14.gif

The young players I've signed in Mexico do look fairly poor, except one Mexican U-21 defender who doesn't look too bad - Jose Luis Juarez. He's not exactly a superstar in the making, but he could be half decent. On the other hand, older players available on free transfers don't seem that bad. And part of the reason I wanted to play in Mexico was because of an FM07 regen from a long running game by the name of Jorge Carreno, who was probably the most talented player I've ever had in FM - so there were some gems that came through occasionally in FM07. Hopefully I'll get another one at some point in my Mexico game! icon_cool.gif

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Zacatepec - Mexican First Division A Opening Stage - 2008 (Season 1)

The board expectations were for a respectable league position overall in the 2008/09 season. Well, the "Opening" half of the season finished rather better than that, as Zacatepec overcame a very poor start to reach second in their group and take part in the Champions Playoff.

To those who don't know a lot about Mexican football (like me, when I started this challenge), that may not have made a great deal of sense. The Mexican league, like many South American leagues, is split into an Opening and Closing Stage. The league is split into two groups, and all the teams play 17 games in each stage. The top four teams in each group at the end of each stage then qualify for the Champions Playoff, where they face off against each other to decide which team is the champion of that stage.

So, Zacatepec got off to a rocky start having put together an entire squad during the close season, and particularly due to the league's difficult U-23 rules (5 of your starting 11 have to be under-23), but after a bit of a tactical switch around, we started to find form which eventually took us to 2nd in our group (4th in the overall table) , and into the Champions Playoff.

Our Playoff dream was short-lived though, as we crashed out in the Quarter-Finals (i.e. the first round!) against Academicos. We'd made a good start with a 2-1 win at their place, but were then dismantled 3-0 in front of a record crowd at home.

Ultimately, a little bit of a disappointing end to a very promising first half of the season, and we'll be hoping to get another chance at the Champions Playoff in the Closing Stage. Star player thus far has been attacking midfielder Oliver Calvo, who wouldn't even be in my first XI if it weren't for the U-23 rule. I think that my tactics, a kind of 4-2-3-1 means that opposition sides pick up my striker (normally a slightly unfit Jaime Moreno, for D.C. United or Middlesbrough fans) and my two wide players, but not the central AM, which is where Calvo plays.

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I've followed the threads (and tried, kinda) both of the big challenges that are sort of "parents" to this on and enjoy them both, but as someone who likes staying in the Western Hemisphere I'm happy to see this one and will be checking in on this thread as long as it stays active.

For a long time I've wanted a long-term Mexican game (mainly because it's on the TV every single weekend, yet I still know nothing about it) but have just never gotten into it, so this is a perfect opportunity...Except I'll be starting in Brazil.

It's been one of my favorite places to play since I've started (with CM01/02). Truthfully, I think the state championships keep me interested in a way. Although they're irrelevant to this challenge really I enjoy them. Not only do I have two major competitions each year instead of just one, but I also like the David vs. Goliath matchups that happen in these competitions.

After holidaying for a year I checked out the two biggest states, Rio and Sao Paulo, wanting to take over a team in one of those state leagues. I fully expect to get pasted, but I'm hoping the matches against the top sides will give my players a bit of experience for the real league campaign.

With that said, I've ended up with Guaratingeta EC, "affectionately known as Guara" according to my chairman.

Here's my profile and my squad, which I'm pleasantly surprised to see is not at all empty.

I'll warn any readers that I was never great on the '07 version and I haven't jumped into '08 yet, so I might well drop straight to the bottom and stay there. I also play the game at a glacial pace, so even with the short Third Division season it does take me awhile to get through them, so I won't be giving daily updates, but will keep the thread aware of my progress.

Looking forward to my tenure at Guara and hope there's at least a few more players here in this thread that I can follow along with.

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Originally posted by The Shaman:

I've followed the threads (and tried, kinda) both of the big challenges that are sort of "parents" to this on and enjoy them both, but as someone who likes staying in the Western Hemisphere I'm happy to see this one and will be checking in on this thread as long as it stays active.

For a long time I've wanted a long-term Mexican game (mainly because it's on the TV every single weekend, yet I still know nothing about it) but have just never gotten into it, so this is a perfect opportunity...Except I'll be starting in Brazil.

It's been one of my favorite places to play since I've started (with CM01/02). Truthfully, I think the state championships keep me interested in a way. Although they're irrelevant to this challenge really I enjoy them. Not only do I have two major competitions each year instead of just one, but I also like the David vs. Goliath matchups that happen in these competitions.

After holidaying for a year I checked out the two biggest states, Rio and Sao Paulo, wanting to take over a team in one of those state leagues. I fully expect to get pasted, but I'm hoping the matches against the top sides will give my players a bit of experience for the real league campaign.

With that said, I've ended up with Guaratingeta EC, "affectionately known as Guara" according to my chairman.

Here's my profile and my squad, which I'm pleasantly surprised to see is not at all empty.

I'll warn any readers that I was never great on the '07 version and I haven't jumped into '08 yet, so I might well drop straight to the bottom and stay there. I also play the game at a glacial pace, so even with the short Third Division season it does take me awhile to get through them, so I won't be giving daily updates, but will keep the thread aware of my progress.

Looking forward to my tenure at Guara and hope there's at least a few more players here in this thread that I can follow along with.

Excellent, glad to have you on board! Best of luck with Guara. icon14.gif

As far as the state championships go, you're right that they're kind of irrelevant to this challenge in that you don't need to win them in order to complete the challenge - but if you do win them, I'll definitely include them in the "Achievements" section of the table I'll create keeping track of all the participants in this thread (once there are a few more players!) - so everyone can see that you won them!

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Excellent looking challenge here. icon14.gif

I've played a little in Brazil, but nowhere else, so once I'm done with San Marino, and my unfinished business in Slovenia from 2007 in Gundo's challenge, I'll be popping in here.

Peru appeals for some reason....

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Originally posted by spotg:

Excellent looking challenge here. icon14.gif

I've played a little in Brazil, but nowhere else, so once I'm done with San Marino, and my unfinished business in Slovenia from 2007 in Gundo's challenge, I'll be popping in here.

Peru appeals for some reason....

Thanks! Looking forward to having you on board! icon14.gif

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Zacatepec - Mexican First Division A Closing Stage - 2008/09 (Season 1)

Having set ourselves a hard act to follow with the Opening stage of the season, finishing 2nd in our group, the fight was on to prove that it wasn't a fluke, and to maybe take it to the next level in the Champions Playoff.

We got off to a better, if slightly inconsistent start, winning three and losing two of our first five matches, including a very sweet 4-3 victory away at Lobos BUAP - particularly pleasing given that the board and fans had spent three months moaning about a 6-0 pre-season friendly defeat against them - a game that I didn't even take charge of.

We continued to battle our way through the season, and despite some injury problems ended up 3rd in our group ( 5th overall). Perhaps most pleasing of all was the fact that we topped the average points table. Since it's the average points table that determines relegation (the bottom team is relegated, the second bottom team enters a relegation playoff), that's got to stand us in good stead for survival again next year, even if we have a poor season.

Alongside Oliver Calvo's continued good form (which has seen him nominated for the First Division A Player of the Season award), Enrique Badillo really started to come into his own. With just two goals in the first half of the season, he notched 13 in the second half, and looks like a quality striker.

Nevertheless, our playoff dream was short lived once again, despite the fact that once again we managed to win the tough away leg - this time a 1-0 defeat of Leon. However, we choked in the home leg, despite taking an early lead, crashing to a 2-1 defeat. The aggregate draw meant that the team with the higher league position went through - and that team was Leon, by just one point.

All in all though, this was a very promising first season. We've got quite a few players coming in on free transfers during the summer, and with the scouts out for good U-23 players, next season seems to hold plenty of potential.

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Guaratingueta EC - 2008 - Brazilian Third Division

Couple my overall managerial talent with the fact that this was my first foray into the '08 version (no practice or experimenting at all beforehand) and it's not so surprising that I was relegated from both the Sao Paulo State Championship and the Third Division.

squad

Michael, my highest scorer as well as highest rated player.

I managed a few decent results, most notably a draw at Sao Paulo in the state championship, but I just couldn't get consistent and had several pointless streaks in both leagues.

One of the biggest difficulties I found was with my staff. I had no trouble in finding a scout (though mediocre), but despite having advertisements out all year for a coach and an assistant I couldn't find one...Actually, every month or so I'd get a list of interested coaches anywhere from 10-25 deep, it's just that there wasn't a single unemployed one in the bunch and I couldn't afford even the smallest fee to payoff their former clubs. C'est la vie.

As I do enjoy Brazil greatly I will be trying again and rather than starting all over I'm currently holidaying to the 2010 season and will see what the new crop of promoted clubs brings. Not that it matters as I could probably manage a relegation 20 years in a row.

Good luck to everyone else and hope there's at least a couple of you still plugging away at this challenge.

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Originally posted by The Shaman:

Guaratingueta EC - 2008 - Brazilian Third Division

Couple my overall managerial talent with the fact that this was my first foray into the '08 version (no practice or experimenting at all beforehand) and it's not so surprising that I was relegated from both the Sao Paulo State Championship and the Third Division.

squad

Michael, my highest scorer as well as highest rated player.

I managed a few decent results, most notably a draw at Sao Paulo in the state championship, but I just couldn't get consistent and had several pointless streaks in both leagues.

One of the biggest difficulties I found was with my staff. I had no trouble in finding a scout (though mediocre), but despite having advertisements out all year for a coach and an assistant I couldn't find one...Actually, every month or so I'd get a list of interested coaches anywhere from 10-25 deep, it's just that there wasn't a single unemployed one in the bunch and I couldn't afford even the smallest fee to payoff their former clubs. C'est la vie.

As I do enjoy Brazil greatly I will be trying again and rather than starting all over I'm currently holidaying to the 2010 season and will see what the new crop of promoted clubs brings. Not that it matters as I could probably manage a relegation 20 years in a row.

Good luck to everyone else and hope there's at least a couple of you still plugging away at this challenge.

Unlucky - it was always going to be a tough challenge with such small teams in the Brazilian league - at least you didn't come last in either competition though! And drawing at Sao Paulo is quite the achievement.

Very glad to hear you're carrying on with the challenge though - better luck next time! icon14.gif

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Yes, better luck next time (hopefully).

I will be back for the 2010 season in Brazil, this time with Luziania

I'll be back in another week (or however long it takes me to play out this season) with an update.

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Hey everyone,

I just wanted to let you now that I have not given up on ths challenge, just after my llast post on this challene my laptop broke and I still have not been able to fix it. It will take a while until it gets fixed so I wont be able to play for a while, although I dont think that I lost to much of my save and the prblem is with the screen so hopefully I can still carry on my Interporto game.

I probably wont be able to post on the forums until my laptop gets fixed either because I cant access them at work, but I will be back!!

Good luck to everyone doing this and see you soon!

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The Shaman - Luziania look like they might be a club with real potential - best of luck, and I'm looking forward to hearing how you get on!

corinthiano - Sorry to hear about your laptop! icon_frown.gif Hopefully it's not too expensive to fix - laptop screens can be pretty pricey, so I've heard. Looking forward to having you back in the challenge!

Zacatepec - Mexican First Division A Opening Stage - 2009/10 (Season 2)

Well, we'd been to the Champions Playoffs at both opportunities last season, so expectations were relatively high this season - at least, the fans and myself were hoping for at least the Champions Playoffs again this time round, although the board were offering me a little more leeway with the expectation of a respectable league position.

We'd strengthened the squad in pre-season, even signing people for actual money, with a 21 year old Costa Rican international midfielder unearthed by my scouts, Manfred Russell, arriving for £50k, and Argentinian U-21 defender Ezequiel Munoz signing from First Division side Pachuca for £80k.

We started the season in excellent form, and were unbeaten in our first eight games, which set us on course for a real challenge for the top spot in both our group and the league overall. Eventually, we had to make do with 2nd place in both the overall league and our group as Puebla, who we had beaten earlier in the season, came top in both.

But final league/group positions are not necessarily that important in Mexico, as the top four in each group play each other to decide who will be the champions. This season's Opening stage Champions Playoff saw us face Academicos, who had knocked us out of the Champions Playoff in the Opening Stage of last season, and had reached the Champions Playoff final in both the Opening and Closing Stage last season. This time, we overcame a 2-1 defeat in the home leg to snatch a convincing 3-0 win in the second leg and make it through to the semi-final for the first time since I took charge. In the semis, we faced Mexiquense, and we managed to snatch a one goal lead in both legs, 1-0 at home and 2-1 away, to ease into the final.

The first leg of the final saw us face Puebla, who came top of the league but who we had beaten earlier in the season, and we snatched a 2-1 win at home thanks to two goals from Oliver Calvo, who had continued his good form from last season. The second leg was a tense affair, as we took the lead twice in the first half, and twice attempted to sabotage ourselves, giving away a penalty and conceding an own goal to send us in level at the break and defending a narrow one goal lead on aggregate. But when we took the lead again by means of a penalty in the second half, their fight back was finally finished, and we scored two more as they strived to find yet another equaliser, meaning that we were champions by the rather flattering aggregate score of 7-3.

Champions of the Opening Stage is a fantastic result, but we've still got a lot of work on our plate to make it to the top division, as the winners of the Opening and Closing stages face off for the single promotion place.

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Zacatepec - Mexican First Division A Closing Stage - 2009/10 (Season 2)

Overview

Having secured a place in the Promotion Playoff by winning the Champions Playoff in the Opening Stage of the season, we aimed to make that promotion playoff unnecessary by winning the Closing Stage too (the Opening and Closing Stage champions playoff for a place in the top division - if the same team wins both, they are automatically promoted). Despite pretty much walking the league stage of the season, we crashed out in the Champions Playoff quarter-finals, but managed to defeat Lobos BUAP in the Promotion Playoff to earn ourselves a place in the Mexican First Division next season.

Signings

Just one player signed in the short winter break between the Opening and Closing Stages, as free transfer goalkeeper Pedro Hernandez signed up for a three year contract. Initially expected to be backup to my regular keeper Carlos Velazquez, Hernandez snatched a place in the first team when Velazquez was injured and refused to let it go.

Season Report

After the joys of the Opening Stage, we carried our great form into the Closing Stage - losing just one of our first fifteen games (ironically, to Lobos BUAP, who we would beat in the Promotion Playoff). Since there are only 17 games in each stage of the First Division A, with a record like that we were clearly guaranteed a place in the Champions Playoff, despite losing our last two games of the regular season. In fact, it was good enough to put us top of the overall league table, and easily top of our group .

Star Players

Guillermo Rojas - The former Mexican U-21 international left winger had a great season marauding down the flank, snatching 12 goals and a 7.21 average rating.

Carlos Casillas - The young defensive midfielder really came into his own anchoring my attacking 4-1-1-3-1 formation, with a maturity and confidence that showed how much he'd blossomed since an inconsistent first season at the club in 2008/09.

Antonio Sanchez - Yet to kick a ball for the club at senior level, this 17 year old striker is still one of the most exciting prospects at the club, thanks to my assistant's proclamation that he could be one of the best players of his generation. Looking to ease him into the side gradually this season in the hope of helping him to progress towards that potential (and also looking to ward of the circling sharks who want to take him away from us).

Next season...

Survival is obviously the priority. I've been a little disappointed with the lack of quality that my scouts have discovered during the close season, and while a £1.4m budget is quite generous, I've yet to find many players I feel are worth blowing the cash on. Given that the U-23 rules in Mexico mean you need a constant supply of fresh young players to bring into the team to make sure you have the requisite amount of youngsters, this is of some concern. Hopefully we can stay in the division this season, find some better scouts and some good young players to build for the future. icon14.gif

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Who this sounds very very interesting for me. I´m big fan of southamerican football too, and will participate here. Now I have some other saves to continue, but very soon will start.. In Chileicon_smile.gif So we will have also news from the chilean unkonown clubs very very soon icon_smile.gif

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Luziania - 2010

So, it's actually been quite awhile since my last update. The 2010 season was quite the disjointed one, not necessarily through any events in the game universe, only because of a long interruption due to a real life vacation.

As far as the (irrelevant, though interesting) Brasiliense State Championship goes, the results were pleasing. Granted, the competition wasn't the best with only one side as high as ND2 and a few that didn't play in the league at all. The third place finish was nice however, and apparently has secured us a spot in next season's Brazilian Cup which will provide another opportunity for competitive games.

Leaguewise, the first phase was a bit of a nailbiter, with five of the eight squads within a point of that coveted second spot. I did manage to grab it despite only managing a 1-1 draw with rival Americano on the last day. The second tiebreaker (goal differential, games won is the first) saw me through to the next phase.

The second phase was not nearly as nice, only managing one win out of six and finishing dead last in my group. One thing you'll learn about playing at the bottom levels in Brazil is that it's not just about being good. With only six games in this phase, you can't afford a cold streak or even an off night no matter how good you are. Of course, on the flip side, a mediocre side like my own could catch fire at the right time and make a run.

Only two signings during the season...

Marquinhos came in late on a free. An older player who I hoped would be influential in the midfield, with a wage bill that's a bit too high I'm not sure that he'll be back for another year....

and Carlos Eduardo who was a nice value on my back line after coming from second division America (RN) on a free.

All in all I can't be disappointed with the competitive level I played at for the season. The board and fans both seem pleased with the one exception being my money management. The board is "distraught and devastated" with the -$850K balance. I hope this doesn't lead to my demise here, I'll be looking to sell during the offseason, but can't imagine I have quite that much value to give up. We'll see what happens.

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Well, after a good 4 months with no laptop or internet (I dont know how I survived) I was really keen to see how this thread was doing and for me to start the challenge again (my old game was gone as my old laptop was unrepairable).

I was a bit diappointed that the challenge hadnt taken off and that it was now locked. Thankfully dafuge unlocked this thread and I think that now that people have had a go at dafuge´s and Gundo´s challenge we might see this challenge gain a some participants.

Personally, I will start the challenge in Chile. I am really keen to take a team from one of Brazils unfanciest States (Tocantins, Roraima, Rondonia, Acre, Amapa) to the top but I realised that I ll need to get some experience before I can start with a team that has a wagebudget of £400 a week. That is why I have decided to manage in the only South American country in which I have no FM experience at all.

I am at my parents house this weekend so wont get to play much + wont be able to post any shots as I am not connected to their internet but hopefully I ll come back tonight with some sort of update on my start in Chile.

I have already picked my team, which Magallanes. Only one team gets promoted to the First Division B and I have tosay that I got lucky. The teams Media Prediction is 4th out of 12, whgich means that if I fulfil the prediction I ll be in the promotion playoffs.

Thats as far as I got last night and I am looking forward to taking Magallanes to Libertadores CWC glory!!

Hope that people are keen on this challenge, let us know how you are getting on!

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When is the save point for Mexican teams?

Like when do I need to save it so if I go forward new teams will be promoted?

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Hmm, this sounds like a lot of fun. If I hadn't restarted Gundo's challenge I might give it a go.

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Seems like an interesting challenge, I'll be giving this a go in one of the less reputable nations, maybe Uruguay.

One small suggestion though, as with all the small club -> big club challenges I'd really like to be allowed to load all players from the nation I'm playing in. I dont think this would effect the difficulty of the challange - sure there'd be more players to choose from but they'd be of the same quality, proportionately.

In my opinion it would just add a bit more character to some of the lowly teams you'll come up against if they start the game with their real players and staff.

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