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[FM11] Back on the Tribute Trail - DodgeeD's Second World Tour

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Have you been given an awesome player like Bulk from SnakeXe's career?

Flamers

A lot of my youth graduates won't ever make it and they don't have the natural charisma of Bulk to gain a cult following.

One funny one that came through in the latest group of youth players is Giles Smith, who hails from Wern on the English/Welsh border. :D (Uruguayan 2nd nationaility)

I guess he decided to try his luck away from the English Lower Leagues/Welsh Prem. My coaches don't give him much chance of making it (1* decent Segunda Division potential) but I'll be keeping an eye on my feloow Brit. ;)

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Congratulations on the Liguilla win. That will at least give you plenty of opportunities to make your mark on the Copa Libertadores. :thup:

Also, congrats on being named Manager of the Season - in all my time in Uruguay with Defensor, I was never given that particular honour, despite my three championships. *sniff*

Shame about the chairman's stupidity! If you were to move on, are there any particular leagues/continents that appeal to you right now?

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I'll stick with Wanderers for now (but one more forced sale and I'll be off!) South Korea or China would be fun but I also think I should get to New Zealand and the central American nations before it feels like too much of a drop down... We'll see ;)

While I'm here, I'll take the chance to introduce a couple more exciting youth prospects that came through together with Giles (but have far more chance of succeeding in the first team):

The ass man's pick was Fredrico Corbo, who potentially could be a leading star in the Uruguayan league. He seems to have the right technical attributes to be an effective midfielder but is maybe lacking in the physical department.

There was also a striker whose name stood out - Luis Casanova. He looks like a good prospect as well and as a striker with a name like that, you just know he's going to score. ;)

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Both Corbo and Casanova do look like good prospects :thup: How many players has the chairman accepted transfers for?

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Wanderers: 2015/16 Season Preview

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Club Information

Season Ticket Holders: 853 (increase of 202)

Stadium Capacity: 7,420 (all-seater)

Training facilities: Good

Youth faciliites: Good (being upgraded) + Youth Academy

Youth Recruitment: Above average

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Primera Division Profesional de Uruguay

Media Prediction: 7th

Board Expectations: Top half finish (opening & closing stage)

Transfer Budget: 2.5m

Wage Limit: 31k p/w

Squad & Transfers

An infuriating close season as my chairman tried his best to destroy the work I've done so far. First he accepted a bid of 1.1m for Leandro Chavez, my hot prospect left winger who'd broken into the first team last season and days later did the same thing for full back Alexis Navrro, letting him go for 750k and decimating our left flank in the process. Still, total transfer fees of nearly 2million coupled with a further 700k we had got from selling Lamanna, an under-achieving striker, would be good money in the bank for a club of our size, right? Not good enough it seems as the chairman then accepted a bid of 2million for Javier Guedes, the young goalkeeper. No last minute cancellation this time and he was gone. The fans were rightly angry that such a potential talent had gone so cheaply (straight cash as well, no clauses or future fees).

A little aside here - the new 'conversation' feature for interacting with the board is great but there shold be an option to question their decisions to sell players over our heads like this... The best I could do was ensure the 90% of the fees were made available to me but I would have loved to have been able to vent some anger and make the chairman think twice about accepting any more bids after the Chavez deal.

Anyway, at least I had an inflated budget to bring some new faces in. The only problem was that foreigner limits had restricted me to looking for Uruguayan talent (bar a couple of pre-arranged deals) and affordable local talent proved hard to find. The pre-arranged deals were for another Ivorian (recommended to me by Kouadio) and he looks to be a great midfield prospect - Boaventure Koné. I'll be looking to send him out on loan for now but he should be a great player for us in the future (as long as the chairman doesn't get $ signs in his eyes again!). I also brought in an exciting Argentine AMC, Matias Figueroa whose pacy dribbling skills should take him far. To replace Chavez, I signed a young Uruguayan Roberto Pirez whom I hope will develop into a talent similar to his (nearly) French namesake. Andres Roman will replace Alexis Navarro, although he needs to develop a little first. I also plucked Estoban Gonzalez out of non-league obscurity. Quite what the versatile midfielder/winger was doing there, I don't know. One more arrival came in the shape of a loan from new parent club San Lorenzo as they sent us a young striker, Gustavo Godoy, whom we were happy to accept!

Transfer History

Let's hope the new boys can help us keep up with the Big Two!

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I do feel for you, I have never really had this happen to me. Only when £40m transfers came in did this happen but I shouldn't have really complained then.

Flamers

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And I forgot to mention: this all came just after I rejected a job offer from Danubio with a 7.5million transfer budget and 60k wage budget... Felt too much like a step backwards :rolleyes:

I was also approached by Paraguay after their disasterous Copa America campaign (finished last in a group containing Venezuala and Bolivia) but I turned it down as a look at their squad revealed that poor performance was not down to bad luck (one of those cases where the real players are getting old and retiring but the new regens replacing them are rubbish)

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Have there been any other offers overseas? Even any interest when managers have been sacked?

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Looks like a lot of good young players coming in - am I right in thinking you're concentrating on youth and building for the future in your transfer policy?

I think you made the right decision turning down Danubio - when you first took over, they might have been a little bit of a step up, but after your exploits in the last season you're better off sticking with the players you already know and the team you've already made great strides with, rather than starting over (albeit with a nice transfer budget to play with). :thup:

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Well, I'm back after a brief break to get some assignments completed. 2 weeks with no study now so plenty of time to catch up. :)

ToMexico!! I'm halfway through the 2015/16 season now and I've been linked with possible vacancies (ie. in the event of current managers leaving their posts) at other top Uruguayna sides like Nacional and Defensor Sporting. One interesting news item linked me with a job abroad - Club Africain of the Tunisian Ligue 1. That could be an interesting move.

iseemonsters1 - yep, always on the look out for good young players. I have to focus on young Uruguayans now though as juggling the foreign players I already have is getting tough!

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ToMexico!! I'm halfway through the 2015/16 season now and I've been linked with possible vacancies (ie. in the event of current managers leaving their posts) at other top Uruguayna sides like Nacional and Defensor Sporting. One interesting news item linked me with a job abroad - Club Africain of the Tunisian Ligue 1. That could be an interesting move.

I've always wanted to manage in Tunisia, so much money flying about a small nation, great reputation for the clubs allowing them to scour Africa's talent. Algeria and Morocco are the other two i've always fancied having a go at. Do you know of any decent downloads to add these to the game?

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Wanderers Jan 2016 Update

Opening Stage

After our success last season, we had a frustrating time defending our opening stage crown. We struggled to find any consistency early in the campaign (the chairman's sale of three of last season's stars obviously had an effect on overall team quality and team blend:mad:). After 8 games, we were down in 10th with just 2 wins on the board. Luckily, our form improved and we climbed up the table over the remaining 7 games, finishing with 4 straight wins to take 5th place.

Final Table

Our upturn in form was in no small part due to the arrival of Martin Icart, whose agent contacted us to find him a new club. He slotted into the support striker role nicely (despite just the one goal) as he provided 4 assists in 5 starts. :thup: Age hasn't affected the performances of Santiago Lopez, who was our most consistent player. The 33 year-old really benefitted from Icart's presence as 3 of his 4 goals were set up by the new signing. Carlos Sosa has also been playing well but I fear for his future as many European sides are tracking him and my chairman may get greedy again.

A couple of the youngsters are showing encouraging signs of development as well. Georges Kouadio has picked up where he left off last season with some performances beyond his years at in the centre of defence. Roberto Pirez also played his part in our return to form as I brought him in to replace wantaway left winger Victor Perrigon. Getting the sulky player out of the first team and bringing an exciting youngster in seemed to lift the squad.

January Transfers

My search for young Uruguayan talent continues and two more players with potential arrived in January. Carlos Arambillete came in from River Plate for 1.7million. He needs to improve his pace but could be a very handy right winger to have around. I also signed Martin Acosta, a 17 year old AMC/ST. He'll need some time to develop but has high potential according to my best scouts. These purchases were funded by the sale of Perrigon, who joined Norwegian side Viking in a 2.5million deal.

My Brazilian and Argentinian parent clubs offered me a few loan players but I turned most of them down as we have no room for more foreigners in the squad. As we could do with extra cover in defence, I decided to accept Nicolas Aguero from Lanus but that was it.

Copa Libertaodres

After winning last season's Liguilla, we went straight into the group stage of the Copa Libertadores. We got quite a tough draw as we face Brazilian giants Flamengo (up against an iseemonsters1 team again :rolleyes:), Monterrey of Mexico and Colombian champions Deportivo Cali. I doubt we'll get past the group stage but it will be fun trying!

Full Group Draw

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I've always wanted to manage in Tunisia, so much money flying about a small nation, great reputation for the clubs allowing them to scour Africa's talent. Algeria and Morocco are the other two i've always fancied having a go at. Do you know of any decent downloads to add these to the game?
Not sure how accurate they are but I got most of my downloads from here.

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And on the eve of our first Copa Libertadores game, I get a job offer from Club Africain in Tunisia...

They are 5th in the league, 6 points behind the leaders, with 7 games to go and in the Tunisian Cup Final (could be an easy trophy win early in my stint there ;). The club are also in the African Champions League. Indeed, they were losing finalists last year.

With a 7.5million transfer budget and a wage budget of 90k p/w (currently 60k p/w), there's money to spend... Think I'm going to save the game there for tonight and sleep on it. ;) Feel free to tell me what to do in the meantime! :p

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That is a very tough Libertadores draw - Deportivo Cali are no pushover, let alone Monterrey and Flamengo. If you need a Flamengo scouting report, just let me know. :p

It's a really tough decision as to whether to move on - there are definitely pros and cons for both options. Do you feel like you've got a lot of room left to grow in Uruguay? You've already won the Opening Stage and the Liguilla with Wanderers - do you think you can make Wanderers into perennial contenders? Does that sound like a fun project? Or would you rather move to a club that presumably has a decent chance of winning continental silverware within a few years (since they were losing finalists this season)?

I tend to get itchy feet easily in my FM games (look at how quickly I left Colo Colo) so I'd probably end up taking the Club Africain job - but there's a lot of upside to staying and seeing how your Wanderers side develops too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get the splinters removed from all the fence-sitting I just did. :p

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I'd move on with the open mind that you will go back to Uruguay in the future maybe at a bigger club like Danubio, Nacional or Penarol. I would find it tough to turn down a club that have so much money to offer their manager. What did you first think when you go the offer? Its those first few seconds which should make your mind up.

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I'd agree with ToMexico!! in that i'd go with my initial thought in those first few seconds. That way you've gone with your gut...always go with your gut instinct :).

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Cheers guys. :thup:

I've no great desire to leave Wanderers at the moment as I have some great youngsters and the club is stable financially. However, the main challenge for them is getting them on top in Uruguay, which may take a couple more seasons. The Libertadores may take years more! Getting Club Africain back on top in Tunisia should be straightforward enough and an African Champions League win may come much sooner...

My gut feeling was it would be an interesting career twist.. Probably thought about it too long :p

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Starting Over: Club Africain

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Decision made - time to return to North Africa and have a serious shot at glory with one of Tunisia's biggest clubs. They did actually offer to wait until the end of the season but I saw no need for that. In the unlikely event that we had progressed in the Libertaodres, I would have had to leave before the later stages and before the Liguilla in Uruguya as well. Also, joining now gives me a chance to pull my new team back into the top 4 (only 6 points between us in 6th and the leaders ES Tunis) as well as a shot at winning the cup with Club Africain set to contest the final soon. ;)

The squad looks decent but there's definitely room for improvement and I'll be looking to add some depth and quality in the right position at the end of the season. One surprise after Egypt and Uruguay is that there are no foreigner restrictions meaning the squad is full of players from other African nations as well as a stack of Brazilians. I'll be looking to add some Uruguayan talent as well.

A quick llok at the squad revela the best player to be Donaldo Morales, a Honduran keeper with plenty of expeirence. The best Tunisian at the club is defensive midfielder Wissem Ben Yahia and our best young prospect is a 19 year-old striker from Mali, Ibrahima Kanté. I'll get more details up soon.

I have a tough start though - my first game is against league leaders and bitter rivals ES Tunis followed by a game with the 2nd placed side... Win those and we are in the title picture, lose and we're out... Either way, I'll get a good idea of what needs to be done here from those games.

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Great choice :thup: Tunisian sides in my save are doing well in the African Champions League and also have stacks of top notch foreigners. Good Luck :)

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Looks like a good move DodgeeD, Kanté looks like one to keep hold of as well. Is 7.5m a big budget for Tunisia - enough to build a title-winning squad with, let's say? :)

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Not sure how accurate they are but I got most of my downloads from here.

Having dl'ed and taken a look, I can say their Latin American leagues (Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay) definitely are not accurate.

They don't have the apertura/clausura split-season in them, for starters. Most of them it appears they don't even have the right number of teams in the second division and lower.

Given the speed, I think they just took each country and gave them all a Western European single-table/double-round-robin.

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Good luck in Tunisia. Don't get involved in any protests while you're there!

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Great choice :thup: Tunisian sides in my save are doing well in the African Champions League and also have stacks of top notch foreigners. Good Luck
I guess that's down to the lack of a foriegner limit, something I certainly intend to exploit!
Looks like a good move DodgeeD, Kanté looks like one to keep hold of as well. Is 7.5m a big budget for Tunisia - enough to build a title-winning squad with, let's say?
Kanté does look a good prospect, doesn'T he? Not entirely sure how far 7.5mil will get me but it's a lot more than I've had to spend in this career so far!
good luck with the move...
Great career so far.

Moving to Tunisia was the right move, I'd say. Good luck with the new challenge.

Good luck in Tunisia DodgeeD. Good move and have fun.

Cheers guys. :thup: I hope you are right!

Good luck in Tunisia. Don't get involved in any protests while you're there!
LOL - 2016 in the game so I think it's all settled down by now ;)

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Having dl'ed and taken a look, I can say their Latin American leagues (Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay) definitely are not accurate.

They don't have the apertura/clausura split-season in them, for starters. Most of them it appears they don't even have the right number of teams in the second division and lower.

Given the speed, I think they just took each country and gave them all a Western European single-table/double-round-robin.

They seem to have tried the FM10 workaround for opening/closing stages by having a cup competition structured with group stages to make it similar to a league system with play-offs. Not perfect but it will do for now. ;)

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Hopefully, by 2016, Tunisia will be stable. :p

Best of luck righting the ship there, and you're right, if you can do that, easy feather in the cap. :)

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Nice move back to North Africa DodgeeD :thup:. I'm sure you'll have them back to the top soon enough! :)

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2015/16 Season Review: Club Africain

401149.png

Championnat de la Ligue Professionnelle 1: 5th

Tunisian President Cup: Winners

CAF Champions League: Qualified for Group Stage

League

We were 6th when I took over but only 6 points behind the leaders so it was a little disappointing that I only managed to move the team up one place by the end of the season. We got off to a shaky start in my first match against arch-rivals and league leaders ES Tunis, going a goal down after just 20 seconds. We recovered to take the lead before half-time but a second half collapse saw us lose out 3-2. Had we won, we would have been just 3 points off the top but instead we dropped 9 points behind and any lingering title dreams were gone. We got a mixed bag of results after that as the team seems to have a problem holding onto leads at home. Only one of the three victories under my management came in front of our own fans so we need to address that issue next season. For my seven games at the helm, our record was won 3, drawn 2, lost 2 so we have to improve to fufill the board's expectations to be title challengers for my first full season.

Final Table

Tunisian Cup

Despite mixed form in the league, I got an early chance to endear myself to the fans as my predecessor had guided the team to the cup final. We faced ES Gabes, a side who had beaten us in the league just a couple of weeks beforehand. A nervy start saw us a goal down early on. We dominated after that and managed to get the equaliser our play deserved just after the hour mark only for our opponents to retake the lead immediately. We dug deep once more though and prevailed through a brace from a Uruguayan striker Gilvan dos Santos, who chose the perfect time to end a ten game goal drought with the equaliser and an injury time winner.

Final

African Champions League

The Champions League follows the calender year and Club Africain had already played (and lost) in the 2015 final before I took over. It was my job to guide them through the early rounds of the 2016 edition, which I did with an easy Preliminary Round 6-0 aggregate victory over AS St Michel of Madagascar followed by the luck of the draw pairing us with a team called Possession from Reunion Island in the 1st round, whom we beat 4-0 over two legs. It seemed our luck had run out for the 2nd round as we came up against Egyptian giants Al-Ahly. However, it seems they (along with the other Egyptian teams) have struggled in the ACL in recent seasons and this was no different. A 0-0 scoreline in Cairo suited us well and we were able to take control at home, winning 2-0 to reach the group stage.

The group stage will be played starting in July 2016 (next season for us). We managed to avoid our fellow Tunisian teams in the draw and I think we have a good chance of making the semis. Dare I say we could go all the way? .....

Group Stage Draw

Key Players

The games I played gave me a good enough impression of who to keep and who to let go. Nobody stood out as a key performer though and I have several pre-arranged transfers coming in for next year so I'll save a squad overview for my pre-season update. :thup:

The Season Ahead...

The board want us to reach the Champions League final and challenge for the title domestically. I want to have a good crack at the ACL as our 5th placed finish means we will be in the CAF Confederations Cup in 2017. As mentioned above, several transfers I pre-arranged over the last couple of months mean most of that 7.5 million budget I got when arrived is already used up. I have about 2 million left but I may add to that with transfers out.

And a couple of things I fogot to mention about the club. This guy was already a member of the backroom staff when I arrived - if my keepers start pulling crazy stunts mid-game, I'll know why! ;) We also have Aston Villa and Lyon as parent clubs. The deal with Lyon is one I haven't seen before - we can send youth players to them to take advantage of their top notch youth facilities. Our youth facilities aren't bad though ('excellent' in fact with a youth academy as well) and are currently being upgraded.

Bring on the new season!

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Its been a good read, I think you can reach the final and win it.

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Solid start to Tunisian life. Good luck with the ACL.

Nice to see Higuita getting a coaching gig, I remember the back-kick flick thing he did at Wembley years ago- what a legend!

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Solid first season DodgeeD. 5th isn't such a disappointment as you would think. Well done on the cup win, that first piece of silverware will give the team a morale boost and taste for winning. Good Luck :thup:

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As people have said, solid first season DodgeeD :thup:. Looks like a decent enough Champions League draw too with probably the only challengers being ES Tunis.

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I can't view the screenshots since uni internet is being a pain in the arse atm, but from the comments of others, you seem to have gotten a trophy. :p

Good luck in Champions League and in the next league season

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Congrats on your first trophy in Africa - thoroughly deserved by the look of the match stats! :thup: If the Egyptian sides have been struggling in the ACL in recent years, has there been any other country's teams that have been doing well? Looking forward to seeing who you've spent all that money on!

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Congrats on your first trophy in Africa - thoroughly deserved by the look of the match stats! :thup: If the Egyptian sides have been struggling in the ACL in recent years, has there been any other country's teams that have been doing well? Looking forward to seeing who you've spent all that money on!
Yes, teams from Tunisia have been doing well! (chose the right place to work then :p). For some reason, Egypt are missing out on some North African dominance as teams from Algeria and Morroco generally make the last 8 as well... Strange considering the high rep of the domestic league and the fact that I have that league active :confused:

Player update coming soon!

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2016/17 Season Preview: Club Africain

401149.png

Club Information:

Season Ticket Holders: 26,991

Stadium Capacity: 45,000 (all-seater)

Training facilities: Top

Youth faciliites: Excellent (being upgraded) + Youth Academy

Youth Recruitment: Average

Board Expectations

Championnat de la Ligue Professionnelle 1: Challenge for title

(Media Prediction: 3rd)

Tunisian President Cup: Reach final

CAF Champions League: Reach final

Transfer Budget: 2.8m

Wage Limit: 70k p/w

Squad & Transfers

Players In: 22! (4.5million spent) :eek:

Players Out: 31! (1.5 million recieved) :eek:

Not entirely sure how that happened... I was fairly happy with the squad I inherited. The reserve team was quite full of players unlikely to make the grade, which accounted for a bout 20 of the departures, but it was only once my scouts started sending reports of all these players much better or potentially much better than my current squad ( and available at cheap prices to boot) that I started to radically change the squad. Many of the deals were arranged before the end of the season using last year's 7.5 million budget but more came around as agents offered me out of contract players. Several of the signings were made with the future in mind and I sent some of those away on loan (adding to the 'player out' total) and placed the rest into the reserve or youth team. These are the ones I expect to impact on the first team:

Sebastian D'Angelo (GK) - despite having 6 goalkeepers on the books, only one of them was any good and he is 34 years old so a new keeper was a priority. I got this guy after being approached by his agent and he's set to be my new No. 1.

Mohamed Sabri (DR) - right back was one of the weak spots in the team. I picked up a couple of Tunisian youngsters but they are not quite ready for first team action so I headed to my old haunts in Egypt to grab this guy from Zamalek...

Carlos Cravero (DR) - ...and he'll compete with this guy for the starting position (another agent offer that came good). Both have potential to be stars at this level so we'll see who makes it.

John Yusuf (DC) - central defence needed a bit more depth and this guy is good enough for the first team. At 20, he has plenty of time to develop into a leading star for this league as well.

Hassen Dridi (DC/DM/MC) - DM was another position that lacked good depth so this guy comes in to provide it as well as bolster the Tunisian contigent in the squad.

Andrew Mokoena (MC) - picked up this South African on a free and he should provide good cover in central midfield.

Younes Tran (MC/AMC) - this Morrocan has been in the Tunisian league for a few years and is highly rated (the fans were very pleased with his arrival). He will be my starter in the middle of the park.

Akram Jaouachi (MR) - my scouts and coaches give this kid 5* potential. I'll be retraining him in the AMR position and I fancy his chances of making it big.

Benego Traore (ML/AML) - the same agent who brought my Ivorian players to Uruguay offered me this young winger and I gladly concluded the deal. He lacks pace a little but with his dribbling skills and high determination, I hope he'll go far.

George Tudor (AMR/ST) - another agent deal leading to a free transfer. Not sure why a Romanian would want to come to Tunisia but he has the potential to do well here.

Ibrahima Ba (ST) - another striker with high potential. He'll be back up for now but I expect him to be a star soon.

John Ojo (ST) - If the above are to be back up, they'll be back up to this guy. Only 18 but spent last season at ES Gabes in Tunisia and scored 18 goals in 22 games. Already had 5 in 3 this season before I snapped him up.

Maher Jabnoun (ST) - Saving the best for last (he was actually my first signing)! This Tunisian kid was topscorer in the league last season and was a steal at 600k. As you can see from his stats, he's had a great start (and already incresaed his value). Not sure how long I can keep him here but as long as he's in the team, we will score goals.

In other news...

I wasn't planning on entering internatipnal management just yet. I thought I might try to start with a youth team, preferably of the nation I'm currently in. However, when offered the South African U20s job I changed my mind. Although they are at the other end of the continent, they have some great youngsters and with the African Youth Championships coming up, I thought 'why not?' Hopefully, a good showing there will boost my rep and get us to the U20 World Cup as well.

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Some very good signings there DodgeeD! Good Luck with season. Expecting big things from you. :thup:

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A very busy transfer window DodgeeD with some good signings. I'm particularly impressed with the signing of Jabnoun. He looks a steal at 600k!

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Cheers guys. :thup: Jabnoun has been a revelation so far - 11 goals in his first 8 games (including two hat-tricks in the Champions League)! But, of course, he's just been injured and will be out for 4-5 weeks :(

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Jabnoun is the new Luca de Luca! :)

Not even halfway through the season and he's broken the club goalscoring record :)

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Jabnoun is the new Luca de Luca! :)

Not even halfway through the season and he's broken the club goalscoring record :)

Congratz DodgeeD. You really do have an eye for getting good strikers. Maybe you should tell our new Head Coach Aron Winter where you found Luca de Luca, because we really need a striker. :p

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As far as I recall, I picked up De Luca on a free after he was released by another MLS club (San José?). Before Jabnoun, I was beginning to wonder where the scoring sensation strikers were in FM11 though! :p

I'll post a screenshot when I get to the mid-season update. :thup:

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February 2017 International Update: African Under 20 Championship

CAF.jpg

Qualifying

I took charge of the South African U20 team after they had thrashed Tanzania in the 1st Qualifying Round, 11-0 on aggregate, so I just had a tie with the Republic of Congo to negotiate in order to reach the finals. At first, I wondered what I had got into as we quickly went a goal behind but we pulled back to win 4-1 and give ourselves a comfortable cushion for the second leg. We won that 3-1 for a 7-2 score overall and took our place in the finals to be hosted by Cameroon.

Group Stage

We were placed in a group with Algeria, Mali and Ivory Coast and I was confident of reaching the knockout rounds. An opening win over Algeria added to our confidence but we then suffered a set back against Mali. We dominated the game but they had three shots on goal and scored all three, meaning we suffered a 3-2 defeat. That meant a win over Ivory Coast was the only way we could progress to the next round. Luckily, our opponents were the ones to bottle it this time and we ran out easy 3-0 winners to finish 2nd.

Group Tables

Semi-final

We faced Morocco in the semis with a depleted side, injuries having taken thier toll (not helped by the tournament regulation only allowing squads of 18!) A close fought encounter finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and went to extra time. Morocco then sat back and played for penalties but we kept on the offensive and it paid off as we grabbed the goal to win 2-1.

Final

That win set up a re-match with Mali. This time, we were tighter at the back and more lethal up front bagging three goals before the hour mark. Mali pulled one back and piled the pressure on late in the game but we stayed firm to win the match and claim the title!

Final

I've obviously attracted some attention on the international scene as a couple of job offers came in. Just before the tournmament started, I was approached by Guatemala. I might have been interested had there been an option to delay until after the African U20 Championships but as there wasn't, I said no. After the tournament, I was offered the manager's job for the senior Mali side. I was tempted as they are well-positioned in World Cup Qualifying and will be in this summer's Confederation Cup but in the end, I said no as I'd now like to take South Africa U20s to the U20 World Cup in October.

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