Lower Leagues Rule

FM12 Big Euro Nation: Small Club to Big Club Challenge

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Holstein Kiel - 2018/2019

Season Overview

Manager Profile

League Finish - 4th

Media Prediction - 18th

Average Attendance - 10451

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2

Fans Player of the Year - Conçalo Silva

Transfers

Probably the most boring season in the transfer market in all my FM history. Did not sign anyone new and i only let 2 players leave the club. It payed out in the end as we had a superb season.

Bundesliga

League Table

Graph

After a disappointing first season in Bundesliga i was not expecting much from this season, i only wanted to go for a mid-table finish in order to consolidate our place in the league. We started with 0-0 draw at home with Freiburg which, giving that it was against a not so great team, confirmed my season objectives to finish the season somewhere in the middle of the table. Little did i know that my players did not agree with my early objectives. After this we went on to win against some really good teams against which i did not have much hope. We won 3-0 away at Koln and 5-1 away at Cottbus. The worst defeat was against Bayern who beat us 4-1. The second part of the season was as awesome as the first and we got a 0-0 away at Dortmund, a 1-1 at home with Bayern and we won 3-0 at home with Leverkusen. I also lost points against Wolfsburg at home (they won 3-1), away at Mainz (3-3) and at home with Stuttgart (they won 1-0) which in the end cost me the last Champions League spot.

However, Bayern managed to win the Champions League after winning the title and we got rewarded with a spot in the Best Placed Playoff!!!!!!

German Cup

First Round - (vs. Erfurt) The media actually made Erfurt (who were playing in the 3rd division) favorites to win this. We ofcourse won the game with ease.

Second Round - (vs. Mainz) Boring game but at least we won it and advanced to the next round.

Third Round - (vs. Ingolsadt) Another easy game for us that we dominated.

Quarter Finals - (vs. Kaiserslautern) The quality finishing from my team and the confidence of the defence helped us win this game even if Kairserslautern was the more attacking team.

Semi-Finals - (vs. FC Bayern) One of the best games i ever played in FM no doubt. Going in the game as huge underdogs we managed to score twice before Bayern and we held on to the game until extra-time and to the penalties where Madson saved the first 2 Bayern shots. In the end we won the shoot-out 3-1 and we were in the final!

Final - (vs. Stuttgart) A pretty equal match-up on the field ended in a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. In extra-time the show begun and we scored 3 times while conceding 1 goal. We ended the season as German Cup winners thanks to superb play by my players and everyone was celebrating the first of many to come trophies!

The Squad

Goalkeepers

I'm not a fan of changing keepers during the season unless something forces me to so i only used Madson this season.

Madson <40 apps, 39 conc, 1 MoM> - What can i say, i am very happy i signed Madson as he turned out to be a great keeper with a great future ahead of him who won us the semi-final against FC Bayern. One of my key players that i really do not want to lose.

Robert McKeown - My back-up keeper this season did not get to play any game. What suprised me is that he did not complain at all that he doesn't get to play anymore.

Defenders

Jean-Jacques Monin <6(31) apps> - Not much to say about him, he was mainly used as a substitute and was decent.

Thorben Stadler <39 apps, 9 asts, 3 MoMs> - I love this guy, even if his attributes don't say much he was superb all season long. I will probably play him another season but i will need to start searching for a replacement.

Marco Damiani - Even if he played only in the pre-season friendlies i think he might be decent in case something happens with Stadler.

Tim Hofmann <6(9) apps, 2 asts> - The once great defender got replace this season by my young portuguese duo in the center of my defence. I still like him and because he helped us so much i will try and keep him at the team for a little longer.

Paulo Ferreira <40 apps, 4 goals> - Solid centerback, played in every game this season and managed to avoid any injuries. I am confident he will go on to make another great season.

Conçalo Silva <33(1) apps, 11 goals, 1 ast, 4 MoMs> - The other half of my portuguese duo in the defence. Still young but he had a great season scoring 11 times and finishing with an average rating of 7.51.

Francesco Melchiorre <34(1) apps> - After a rough start in his first season at Kiel he was my first choice for the right fullback position and did great.

Midfielders

Simone Pecorini <6(4) apps> - Good player when we were playing in the lower leagues but after that we got some better players that got him out of the first team.

Carlos Cáceres <40 apps, 5 goals, 13 asts, 2 MoMs> - Another player who got to play in every game this season and who was one of our key players in getting the results we got.

Jose Ferreira <35(1) apps> - Not the best player around but he did his job well and will probably continue with us for another season.

Jelle Maes <7(10) apps, 2 asts> - Didn't use Maes to much this season since i had Freitas playing way better than last season.

David Freitas <33(4), 1 goal, 10 asts, 4 MoMs> - A way better performance from him compared to last season when he was all over the place.

Forwards

Antonio Cellamaro <20(1) apps, 9 goals, 8 asts, 2 MoMs> - He was doing well until the Cup Semi-Final with Bayern came and he got injured for 4 months missing the rest of the season. I'm sure he will come back even stronger and do great next season.

Fuat Zeybek <19(5) apps, 15 goals, 6asts, 2 MoMs> - He replaced Cellamaro after he got injured and was superb for the rest of the season helping us with 15 goals.

Luis Barros <36(1) apps, 13 goals, 9 asts, 3 MoMs> - Another good season from the young portuguese player and he keeps geting better.

Paulinho <39 apps, 14 goals, 7 asts, 5 MoMs> - Most likely the best player in our current squad. Hopefully i can hold on to him as he started to attract interest from top clubs.

Overall the squad looks decent with some players standing out. Since we are playing in the EURO Cup next season i am hoping to attract some better players. I already have some future stars that i want to sign but they refuse to enter talks with us for now.

Next season

The plan is to qualify for EURO Cup again and fight for a Champions League place.

[b]Season             League                         Position                     Achievements[/b]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7853130&viewfull=1#post7853130"]2012/2013[/url]          German Third Division          14th                         Avoided Relegation
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7877117&viewfull=1#post7877117"]2013/2014[/url]          German Third Division          9th                          N/A
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7887550&viewfull=1#post7887550"]2014/2015[/url]          German Third Division          1st                          Promotion & Third Division Winners
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7915217&viewfull=1#post7915217"]2015/2016[/url]          German Second Division         13th                         Avoided Relegation
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7916502&viewfull=1#post7916502"]2016/2017[/url]          German Second Division         2nd                          Promotion
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7923190&viewfull=1#post7923190"]2017/2018[/url]          Bundesliga                     14th                         Avoided Relegation
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/279094-FM12-Big-Euro-Nation-Small-Club-to-Big-Club-Challenge?p=7932142&viewfull=1#post7932142"]2018/2019[/url]          Bundesliga                     4th                          Qualified for Champions League

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Andy Sava- Great season mate. Not bringing in any transfers has a major advantage, squad harmony. Looking at Dortmunds attendances compared to yours then 4th is a hell of an achievement in just your second top flight season.

Madson is a hell of keeper for just 21yo. Is he classed as a wonderkid?

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Great season Andy Sava! Goo luck in Europe. Agree with marty, Madson is a great 'keeper in the making.

Back in the Azores and Pedro Cardoso has just scored his 400th goal in all competitions for me.

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400 goals, that is ridiculous! He must be pushing 30 now? I definitely think 500 is a realistic target though?

andy sava well done mate, domestic cup and champions league is tremendous for 2nd season! Just need to turn a few of those draws into wins and you'll win the league. what a season from the centre half he looks fantastic, 11 goals!! Good spread of goals between your forwards too.

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Lusitânia Açores - Youth Intake - 2044

Introduction

Welcome one, welcome all to the announcement of the latest players to join up with the squad. We are in a nice situation at the moment in that we don't have any obvious weaknesses in the squad and so we go into the intake with no great pressure to pick up a player in a certain position.

If pressured I would still say that a left winger and maybe a goalkeeper are the areas with the least depth, but basically any decent players will be welcome, so, without further ado, to the intake.

The New Class

Of the 16 players suggested by our junior coaches we have 10 half-star, 1 one-star, 1 1.5-star, 1 two-star, 1 2.5 and two three-star players. Obviously anything up to one star is pretty much dross and will have to take their chances with my assistant's recommendation. As for the rest, well, let me introduce them:

José Pedrosa - 1.5 star - Born just around the coast from Angra do Heroísmo in Porto Judeu the striker, described as a poacher, is missing some star quality but has some ability when it comes to football. I would expect him to join the ranks of the U19 team and get some experience there before, probably, a career in the lower reaches of Portuguese football. Not a player I expect to be troubling the first team at any stage.

Eduardo Andrade - 2 star - A hometown kid, Eduardo is a right back who looks capable of turning into a decent, and not much more, player. Another who I will take on, train up and then probably see out on loan to my feeder clubs until he leaves for regular football. It's a service I provide...

João Cunha - 2.5 star - Now we're getting somewhere. Born in Ourique in rural southern Portugal, João is, at present, a decent looking young attacking midfielder. However, I think he has the skill set to turn into a more interesting winger and that is what I'll be looking to do straight away. I'm not convinced he has the ability to get in the first team but he can turn into a useful cup player in the short term and maybe a squad/back up player in the long run. His main attributes at the moment are his pace and dribbling ability which will make him a handful initially at youth level. The first player this year who may have a proper future at the club.

Antony Marchand - 3-star - Another local lad this Portuguese/French goalkeeper doesn't have stats that immediately leap off the screen at you, but if he can get near to his potential then he will be a very useful back up keeper. Not going to threaten Dias' place but we always need a number two/three keeper and he could be one of those. Not likely to accumulate a huge amount of playing time, but vital to the squad.

Anatoli Cerga - 3-star - Another player born in Angra do Heroísmo but with Moldovan heritage. A striker with decent technical stats for someone his age he will add depth to the already highly-talented striking department. Needs to work on his pace and finishing and will probably benefit from some tutoring from Cardoso and co. He appears to be the most rounded of this season's intake and the one who, at this stage, appears to have the brightest future. He is touted as the next Hugo Almeida which, with the Euros in mind, he may want to keep quiet about! Though, if he doesn't get Portuguese recognition he could probably go on to have a great career for the Moldova national team.

Verdict

By no means the strongest intake we've had but there look to be a couple of players who could have a role at the club in the coming years. None look like future stars but they could become rotation players or decent back up at least and we need those as much as the stars I suppose.

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400 goals, that is ridiculous! He must be pushing 30 now? I definitely think 500 is a realistic target though?

Yup, it's 17th March and he turned 30 precisely two weeks ago. The good news is he is currently thinking of a coaching career followed by management when he retires (hopefully not for a while), part of me would like to resign and have Cardoso take over the team.

I was thinking about targets. At 30 he could have 4 years at the top left, and going at 25 goals overall then 500 would be a nice aim. Depending on how he ages though it could be more or, obviously, less. If he just starts to lose pace then he can switch across to the deep-lying role where it's less important. He's been playing there more this season anyway as I give Marques game time, and been looking more than adequate.

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On top with 7 games left...But 9th is only 11 points back. Very tight at the top. Luckily, I have a 3 point buffer thanks to other results on the latest matchday. Toure is killing it but I am having a hell of a lot of own goals at the moment. Stressful times

ALLEZ DUNKERQUE!!!

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Good luck Dr Poods. Hopefully it being so tight means teams will take points off each other and you can cruise serenely to top spot.

Cerga has just made his debut in the League Cup semi-final and scored. Welcome aboard young man. You'll do very well!

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It's certainly tight PRDH. 3 games left. Still 3 points

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Cerga definitely looks the best of the bunch. As you say, Moldova will certainly cap him if he never makes with Portugal.

Dr Poods hope you hang on!

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DR POODS - USL DUNKERQUE SEASON REPORT 2013-14

End of Season Report - CHAMPIONS FRENCH NATIONAL

THE SQUAD

The Squad

The Squad (2)

THE RESULTS

WOW, we earned the champions spot on the last day of the season after a 2-0 win over Mulhouse and it capped off the year. Made our target of the 9th round in the cup where we were thrashed by Bordeaux. Overall, we scored more and conceded less...success!

The signing of Noukeu was instrumental as having that quality at DMC really made everything click, but it was the usual suspects of Leclerc and Toure who really stole the show.

1st and CHAMPIONS!

1st Set of Results

Second Set of Results

Final Set of Results

League Position Chart

Overall, quite steady with consistent results throughout the season. Considering our 4th place last year, I'm happy that the squad showed improvement

Transfers. 9 IN and 12 OUT

More a case of clearing out the deadwood this season whilst improving the back four, which I think we accomplished. Made a profit on transfers too...Nice!

THE DR POODS' PLAYER AWARDS

These are my personal favourites from the season. At present, since I haven't hit the reset date I don't know who the fans picked as player of the year yet. I will update that when I have it.

Leclerc

Player of the year...again!. Super consistent, 23 league assists... Just superb.

Toure

Moved to a more central role up front and exploded winning the league goal scorer award.

Kodjia

Became the menace to defenders I always hoped he would become, Ligue 2 is a different kettle of fish, but I expect him to keep improving.

Aubriot

Injury prone, so didn't play the amount of games he should have. Still with a strike rate of nearly a goal a game was invaluable to our promotion hopes.

THE FINANCES

(457,669)

The (Still) Slowly Collapsing Finances

Lost 389,793 this season. But we were Champions, so hopefully it can improve in Ligue 2.

Average attendance was better, but still very low. I'm curious as to what it will be like in Ligue 2 to be honest

But...A win's a win, and I'm very happy to have taken the step up.

FRENCH NATIONAL AWARDS

Manager Of The Year

Golden Scarves Award - Leclerc (Best Player)

Top Goalscorer - Toure

Leclerc & Toure in Team Of The Season

ALLEZ DUNKERQUE!

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Well I've decided to give this a go and I am currently holidaying in France. :)

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Thanks all it has been a great season this one.

marty - No he is not classed as a wonderkid but he should be. And to think i was close not to get him! I'm glad i did.

Dr Poods - Grats on the promotion, well done.

I'm playing Benfica in the Best Placed Playoff and i have no ideea what to expect from this. The first game is away and i like it.

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Be very careful Tiger.Robin!! I just got these lovely message after promotion...

I have a war chest of 15k a week wages and transfers of around 4.5k

Transfer & Wage Budget

Ok I say, then the next item is telling me that the stadium needs to be improved to meet league standards. So how much debt will I incur?

Errr, What? 6 million pounds??!??!?!

In the words we use down here...I'm boned! But we will try our best.

For any sadists out there, check out the finances!

The strong finances of Dunkerque

ALLEZ DUNKERQUE!!!

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Oh dear, if anyone can tell me the requirements for French stadiums I would appreciate it. If its all-seater, I can only allow 500 people into the ground for the next 7 months whilst I ground share!

The lovely facilities I am sharing :)

So, if that is the case, I have 6m pound debt, can only allow 500 people into the stadium, I have a transfer budget of 4.5k and a wage budget of 15k.....would anyone like me to upload the save as a challenge? ha ha

Success will be so memorable!

ALLEZ DUNKERQUE

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Tiger Robin was today announced as the new manager of AS Cannes becoming the first English manager of the club since Stan Hillier in 1938. The club were promoted back to the National League last year in their only season in the CFA. However the club is ambitious and the board, headed by the Lebanese chairman Ziad Fakhri demands a successive promotion to return Cannes to Ligue 2 for the first time since they were relegated in 2001. They have slid down the leagues in the last 2 decades having being first relegated from Ligue 1 in 1998 after being a top half team in 1995. Their only honours are 1 French Cup, and 2 Gambardella Cups.

Profile: Tiger Robin is an unknown in football and to be honest, quite how he ended up managing in France is anyone's guess.

Club Information: AS Cannes were founded in 1902 and despite being in the football wilderness in recent times their history is a strong one, represented in the past by famous icons such as Zinedine Zidane and Patrick Viera. They have picked up many rivalries during their time, the fiercest of which is against OGC Nice.

Facilities: Time has not been kind to AS Cannes facilities. The Stade Pierre de Coubertin is starting to age now and while it is adequate for the present, if the chairmans ambition is to be realised and the club is to return to its former glory it is inevitable that a larger, more modern stadium is required. However the current stadium is not actually that old having only been built in 1972 and much older stadia have endured well to this day but this one shall sadly not be one of them. In more urgent need of attention though is the facilities. The club is no longer in a position to raise and nurture promising youngsters due to it's position and basic youth facilities and the training facilities are aging just as much as the stadium and are adequate for now but is another improvement that will be needed in the future.

Squad: The squad needs some improvement particularly in defence as we only have two which are at the level we need however Romain Rambier is the pick of the whole team with the ability to cover the whole defence and has the right techincal attributes for a great CB at this level and is calm and composed which is just what is needed for a promotion chasing team. The only problem is that he doesn't have a great leap he will need a springy partner to balance this weakness. The rest of the starting 11 are strong enough however we have an alarming lack of quality in depth and because of this there will be a whole load of signings that must be made to match Mr. Fakhri's expectations.

Transfer Budget: £251k

Wage Budget: £53k p/w

Current Wage: £28,448 p/w

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Oh dear, I mention about the stadium but i don't want a rush job you've terrified me Dr Poods I hope my stadium can meet requirements otherwise this could turn out to be very difficult :p

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Don't stress mate. As far as I can tell AS Cannes is a great choice. I'm just a grizzled FM Masochist! I'm sure marty78 can help you out with that. He is going great guns. I wanted a MAJOR challenge, and by golly I have one now! I can't wait to play Monaco in front of 500 people!!:cool:

Best of luck and welcome to the challenge :)

EDIT: An all-seater mate. Should be fine. Mine was 5000 (1,500 seats)

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Haha I'm sure the cashflow will be fine, can't beat the cosy feel of less than a thousand spectators I'll look forward to your next season update :D

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Ah mine is 12,000 or so all seater so my stadium should last until Ligue 1 at least cheers mate I'm easy now :lol:

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Dr Poods Congratulations winning the league and good luck staying up.

Tiger.Robin Good luck with AS Cannes. I am also with Cannes and trust me when I say that you do not need to worry about finances or stadium. I have just finished my 5th season (update tomorrow) and have 17,000 seat stadium although I average only 8,000 apart from big cup matches, my highest attendance being 16,500. The chairman will put money (to cover losses only) in but expect results and you will probably get two seasons in the National and two more in the Ligue 2 to gain promotions but you have a wage budget to do so.

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Thanls for that, it sounds like I have a bit of breathing room then but I'll have to get a move on to keep the chairman happy and going by what you say I'll take it this is a very good budget for the National, (I know nothing about the French league I'm afraid :p)

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I very much doubt there are too many teams who can spend like AS Cannes in any of the leagues at the start to be honest. Your wage budget should get even bigger as, if I remember correctly, there are 5 or 6 contracts expiring pretty much straight away.

All I did was check backroom advice every game day and scout all recommendations and also scouting or offering trials to players that agents offer. I don't use the player search as this will give you a lot of choices anyway. I also scouted the National, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 by competition for the season as well as euro regions so that at the start of year 2 I had knowledge of lots of expiring contracts. There are loads of decent youngsters which you can make money on and I have earned more in sales than I have spent and that includes agents fees.

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Good luck and welcome to challenge Tiger.

Great season Dr Poods, I sympathise with your stadia situation. Same happened to me, then I won Ligue 2, and it all had to be redeveloped again! Those years were a bit of a challenge! My stadium holds 17k, but I only get above 10k for PSG, or a big Champ League match, so I really only need a 10-15k stadium.

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Good luck and welcome to challenge Tiger.

Great season Dr Poods, I sympathise with your stadia situation. Same happened to me, then I won Ligue 2, and it all had to be redeveloped again! Those years were a bit of a challenge! My stadium holds 17k, but I only get above 10k for PSG, or a big Champ League match, so I really only need a 10-15k stadium.

Oooohhhhh I love a good challenge!!

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Welcome to the challenge Tiger. Good luck with Cannes.

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We all love own goals, but I think I have found the best one yet...we were losing anyway, but this was horrid.

[video=youtube;oFM0nejTr0w]

Wow that is a terrible picture, but anyway yes he tried to pass it back to the keeper who was in the net.

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We all love own goals, but I think I have found the best one yet...we were losing anyway, but this was horrid.

Brilliant, must have decisions of 1.:lol:

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Just turned pro. I don't think I can upgrade many (if any) contracts at the mo due to budgetary constraints so this is of little value unless I can free up some space. Got a link with Toulouse for loaning players which will come in handy. So, really going to be a tough season. But we keep plugging away!

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so...it seems i may have somewhat underestimated my team. Our first journey into European football saw us travel 2,273 miles to play Lokomotiv Moscow in the Best Placed 3rd Qualifying Round, which ended like this, undoubtedly the biggest result of the clubs history to date!! Aside from a major collapse in the return leg our adventure will continue :)

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Season over. Update delayed because I've been invited to take over the Portugal U23s in the 2044 Olympics in nearby Spain. I've already provoked controversy because apparently picking 16 of your own squad out of 18 is considered favouritism. They should just be grateful I picked two from another team!

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41592_115445231838970_4900_n.jpg

End of Season report 2019/2020

Serie A – 1st : We are league champions for the third time in a row! We were never really threatened by any of the top teams, and the fact that Parma finished second illustrates the awful seasons the other top teams were having. We also got a full score at home this season winning all of our home games. Our “unbeaten at home in the league” – streak now stretches for a little over three seasons and a total of 59 league games.

Coppa Italia – Final : Our second loss in the final in as many years, this time to the other Milano team A.C.Milan. Last year we were outplayed in the final, this year it was more even, so next year we will make it for sure!

Champions League –Quarter Finals : For the first time we managed to qualify from our group. We then did well to beat Sporting Lisboa in the 1st knock-out round, before our continental adventure ended against Manchester United in the quarters. Very happy the team managed to make progress in Europe while also playing solid in the league at home.

Top players:

ST - Mariano Battaglia: Wonderful season from the cultivated Argentinian. He can score from anywhere and is a real live-wire with the ball at his feet. Stayed loyal when Real Madrid came knocking this summer and hopefully he will do the same next summer!

ST – Alessandro Pieroni: Lost his poacher spot to Battaglia, but played better than ever when I made him an inside forward just behind the poacher. Always delivers in the big games.

AML – Ali Demircan: What a surprise! Brought this kid in as a 15-year old a couple of seasons ago, and he worked wonders when Marchetti was out injuried much of this season. As a right-footed left winger he scored some sensational goals for us.

DMC – Valentino Flavi: Finished his 4th season with us and this was by far his best. With 13 assists and many important tackles his was solid all season.

MC – Giuseppe Fiorani: Didn’t have the best of seasons, but I just want to post his picture in here. His playing style is exactly like a certain deep-lying playmaker from Italy we all have been watching with joy in the Euros this summer.

Facilities: Starting to come along nicely, with an expansion to our stadium and the board willing to upgrade both training and youth this autumn. Hopefully we will see some homegrown talent coming through in a few years time.

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our home leg against Lokomotiv Moscow saw us come out 4-0 winners, so our 10-0 aggregate win sees us progress to the Best Placed Playoff, where we've been drawn against Athletico Madrid! Sure to be a very difficult match but exciting stuff! :)

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150px-AS_Cannes_New_Logo.jpg

AS CANNES - SEASON 2016/17

LIGUE 1

A superb start to the season saw us challenging in the top three and, to my surprise, we seemed to be able to score at will on the break. Our defensive 4-4-2, occasionally changing to a counter 4-5-1, was ruthless at turning defense into attack with my first choice front pair allowed ridiculous amounts of space by AI. After our great first half teams adjusted their play styles and made the second half of the season much tougher and I was happy to hold onto 5th in the end. Lyon absolutely dominated the league and won 18 of 19 home games (a 0-1 defeat to AS Cannes of course) so I think this league will be really tough to win any time soon, especially if PSG step it up a few gears and achieve what they should.

We also started brightly in both cups and I was hoping we may be able to add a cup win to our incredible league season but we failed to take our chances. The Coupe de la Ligue say us reach the semi-final where we had a home tie against Olympique de Marseille and an attendance of 16,477 (a record) saw us run them very close but could only manage a 1-2 defeat. Not to worry, I thought, French Cup quarter final to come and we had drawn against CFA side Vendee Lucon. We were a massive 1/14 favorite to win the match so I put in a few youngsters and some back ups, fully expecting the team I put out to win. I was wrong and we were shocked by the superb underdogs and eventually succumbed to a 1-2 defeat after extra time. Despite having fewer chances they thoroughly deserved to beat us.

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Manager Profile | Manager overview

TRANSFERS

I made fewer transfers this year as suitable players become harder to come by and many that are good enough want wages I can't or won't pay. Mbaye Niang arrived on a free which was expensive in terms of wages but already looks to be a great decision as he is valued at £5.75m and I could get at least double that. I have put a price tag on him at £30m as I don't want to sell him for a couple of years unless I have to.

Mbaye Niang - Just couldn't resist signing this guy when I realized he was available for free. His form was a bit mixed in his first year but has a big future and looks to have developed a nice partnership with Mads Neilson. Has PSG on his favored clubs list so hopefully if I ever do sell I can pull their pants down, and get a big fee.

Raphael Calvet - Had a solid 1st season and also covered a few games in the DM position but I have not trained him there as he wont play there next year.

Robin Vink - Paid a fee of £1.1m to bring him in and his form has been mixed. Turned down an offer of £2.3m recently as I'm hoping he will be better next year now he is settled.

Yaser Ertem - Young Turkish RM can also play as a CM. Only joined in January and has done okay so looking forward to seeing him improve next year.

Leonidas Basinas - Young Greek wide man also signed in January has some potential and is currently being tutored by Gerhard Kern.

SQUAD

There is a lot of young talent in the squad and I have made the decision to keep a young squad as much as is possible and try to make profits through the transfer market to allow me to boost the finances and then the facilities. I am going to continue to resist spending money on players where possible and am starting to look towards the under 19's to develop my own home grown players. I will still buy ageing players for tutoring if they can be had for free with reasonable wages but will try to not limit the chances for younger players. This season I have given a few games to two of my own youth players.

Rayan Tran - Home grown product has started a few games and done alright and will continue to give him more next year. Also will be playing for the under 19's. may try to get a feeder club in the National for the likes of Tran to get some more experience.

Mokhtar Arfaoui - Home grown product that also has been given a couple of chances. Not as much potential as Tran apparently but will give hime a few more games next year and then possibly sell if I can get teams interested.

Key players:

Mads Neilsen - Awesome season and continues to score goals and assists. The highest Average rating in Ligue 1 this year, runner up goalscorer and runner up in assists. He missed the last 6 matches of the season through a minor back injury and we didn't win any. Just shows how important he is for us.

Walid Khaled - Young LB is definite first choice and has little competition in truth. Has 4 assist but has made 3 goal mistakes which is something I have my eye on. At just 20 I will not worry too much yet.

Willie Schulitz - Pacy winger with age on his side. Solid performances and his fair share of assists.

Denny Helmund - Young CB is slowly maturing and despite not having a cap to his name yet is on the verge of the German national team.

Georges Bayiha - Has been promoted to first choice RB and at this moment, with Berthomier out of contract and leaving, he is the only natural RB in the squad. I really need a new RB in the summer.

Didier Hayesso - The only senior keeper as every decent keeper my scouts have found so far wants too much money or lack any ability or potential. Still on the look out but won't be rushed as keepers rarely get injured or suspended.

Gerhard Kern - Beginning to look a tad injury prone with yet another 4 month lay off this year. Gonna get him back to fitness and see if I can get a fee for him before he declines further.

Davide Petrucci - Another with injury problems this year and may be also be coming to end of his time with us. May look to sell soon if I can find a suitable replacement. If not I will allow his contract to expire unless he has a special season, which I highly doubt.

Adriano Di Lorenzo - Back up LB behind Khaled in the pecking order. Would sell now for a small fee but fullbacks seem scarce at the moment and need a back up so he may have to stay for now.

Diallo Guidileye - One of few experienced guys left in the squad. Still my best midfielder.

Ibrahima - Back up striker who I would be happy to sell in the summer for the right price and replace with a youngster.

UNDER 19's

This years youth intake was much improved and supplied us with some good youngsters to try and develop.

Alain Boulanger - (Leading Ligue 1) This spirited young CB from Saint-Marcel in France has already had the other big french clubs show an interest.

Thomas Naubert - (Leading Ligue 1) This determined young midfielder from Draguignan in France is a similar type of player to first team star Diallo Guidileye.

Marc Anziani - (Leading Ligue 1) This determined young full back from Le Cannet in France has been labelled by some as the next Manuel Amoros.

Martial Benhella - (Leading Ligue 1) This balanced young midfielder from Nice in France has been labelled by some as the next Etienne Didot.

Seyba Dao - (Good Ligue 1) This fairly loyal young midfielder from Mandelieu-La-Napoule in France has Malian roots but feels he would only accept an international call up from France at the moment.

Other key youths are:

Nassim Daoudi - (Good Ligue 1) 2014 youth trainee with an ambitious personality has been labelled by some as the next Rio Mavuba.

Arnoud Ettori - (Good Ligue 1) 2014 youth trainee with a resolute personality has also been labelled by some as the next Rio Mavuba.

Jamal El Amrani - (Good Ligue 1) 2014 youth trainee with balanced personality has been labelled by some as the next Laurent Koscielny.

FINANCES

The increased TV money and gate receipts soon seems to be eaten up by wages but we still had a balance of about £5m come the end of the season. As a result of this I decided it is time to upgrade some facilities. A junior coaching upgrade takes us up to exceptional and we have spent £2.2m on training facilities and a further £950k on youth facilities. This means less money for new players but it is a must and I would rather finish mid-table with better facilities next year than top 6 without. Not sure how much European games will bring but I doubt it will be big money.

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Reached the semi-final where I was thoroughly outplayed by Brazil. Not a bad result for Portugal all told.

Edit - Hold the phone. I get a third place playoff against the French. Which I duly lost.

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Well done marty78 pushing for a Champions League spot in only the 2015/2016 tournament is great going, it is always hard getting good players at a reasonable price when you get near the top though unfortunately so focussing on youngsters seems the right way to go.

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I know I'm later than everyone else but I'm planning to start a game in Russia. It says that the date is on 19th June but when I holidayto that date it is in mid-season and it doesn't end until November so there is no promoted teams yet. Do I continue my holiday or what??

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I know I'm later than everyone else but I'm planning to start a game in Russia. It says that the date is on 19th June but when I holidayto that date it is in mid-season and it doesn't end until November so there is no promoted teams yet. Do I continue my holiday or what??

Welcome aboard HC_AFC, you have to holiday to June 19th 2012 (I assume you started from season start January 2011), this is because the Russian league moved from the Jan-Nov set-up to a July Season start.

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Welcome aboard HC_AFC, you have to holiday to June 19th 2012 (I assume you started from season start January 2011), this is because the Russian league moved from the Jan-Nov set-up to a July Season start.

Ahhh thanks :)

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Tiger.Robin- Yeah it was definitely an over achievement but can't really find players who will improve us for free. N'Zonzi was available on a free from Blackburn and wanted £45k a week. I can't afford half of that. I would take any top half finish next year.

Does anyone know if it is possible to get French reserve teams playing in the CFA as there is no reserve league as such? I was hoping we would be asked to enter a team this year but weren't and I'm starting to think it just wont happen.

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Marty I was in ligue 1 for 2 maybe 3 seasons before I got reserve squad in cfat

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Well the Atletico Madrid games didnt go as well as the previous, drawing 4-4 at home, before being hammered 5-1 in Spain :( on the bright side, our european adventure continues in the Euro Cup Group Stage, where we've been drawn with Werder Bremen, Rubin Kazan and Athletic Bilbao...cant realistically hope for much more than a much-needed financial boost

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aldojags- Thanks, that's great news as I hate setting up friendlies for the reserves.

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that's a really tough group for the Europa G-wiz

marty- i know it's soul destroying, was delighted when it was announced my reserves would play in cfa, so good for keeping the fringe players up to speed. only thing i dont like is because the reserves are in an actual league, the players history counts these games as actual fixtures, so it can alter a players average rating, appearances goals etc over their career. Basically what I'm trying to say (not very well!) is that it counts it as a senior fixture.

and be careful to make sure you dont play players in reserves same day as first team fixtures, the amount of times I've done that by mistake is just ridiculous for a top flight manager!

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Ok this is getting annoyingly boringly frustrating. I look forward to the 8th March every year for my youth intake, more than I look forward to first day of season or champions league draw. But since Ilan Roger - 5 years ago, I've had 1 or 2 three star players, some of whom are coming on ok, but the amount of crap I get through is unbelievable...like this year for example. two 2.5 players and thats it. woeful. and what's with the keepers! About 50% of any youngsters I get above 2 stars are keepers!!! this is annoying.

can anyone tell me a trick to increase my recruitment. it's been stuck at above average for I dunno how many years. how do I get board to increase it? Increasing my rep? I'm 3 in a row French Champions, but don't get crowds above 10k, and my youth team players are mediocre at best! I think I've had my lot with Roger, used up all my luck in 1 player. Even he's went off the boil!

ok rant over sorry boys. just so annoying

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So it has finally begun. My star players started to ask for a move to bigger clubs :( Ofcourse i won't let them but i hate it.

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aldojags Yeah you need to increase your rep to improve youth network, you'll possibly have to win the Champions League. Above average is actually pretty good as youth recruitment is by far the hardest to improve. If you get it to extensive then it also costs a lot of money. I have heard that the quality of scouts and youth coaches and the scouting knowledge play a part but I can't confirm that. Is a 3 star player classed as "leading Ligue 1" for you? You should be getting these through by now.

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how do you find that out? the bit I thought it would be (coach report) it just says "has potential to play to a similar level as..."

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