deltablue

[FM11]Deltablue Rising II: Delta's Darlings.

1,143 posts in this topic

Apr/May 2016

Frigg 1-2 Nest-Sotra (D2)

We got off to a bad start at home to Nest-Sotra. They took the lead after 10 minutes. Lynum soon equalized, but they were clearly the better and got a second goal early after half-time, and more pushing gave them another disallowed later.

Follo 0-0 Frigg (D2)

We went to Follo and battered them for all of the first-half. Lynum was unlucky to have a goal disallowed later on. We weren’t as good in the second half but really should have got a winner.

Vigor 1-1p Frigg (NC)

We struggled to get much at Vigor in the cup either. They took the lead instead after 60 minutes, but Buljo equalized 5 minutes later. We had a penalty claim denied in extra time, but in the shootout we saved their 4th penalty to send us through.

Frigg 1-1 Kjelsas (D2)

We were lucky not to go behind at half-time at home to Kjelsas. In the second half, it looked like we were turning the tables on them, but midway through the half they snatched the lead they’d been threatening from the start. That seemed to be that, but we roused ourselves enough for Haug to give us a late equalizer.

Lillehammer 1-1 Frigg (D2)

Lillehammer were rather more efficient at taking the lead against us at their place. They quietened down, but we didn’t do much ourselves until a late rally gave us a point from a Lund equalizer.

Skeid 1-4 Frigg (D2)

We were behind in the 4th minute at Skeid. Though they were poor enough that goals from Kristansen and Bye gave us the lead by half-time without really deserving it. We had a stronger spell in the second half, with 2 more Kristansen goals giving us a deceptively good-looking 4-1 win.

Frigg 2-1 Bryne (NC)

However we’d definitely turned a corner for now, and at home to Bryne in the cup, challenging for promotion from the First Division, we had a good start before Ovrebo gave us the lead, they hit back with an equalizer, after having a goal disallowed, but we pushed on to try and get the win, and got it from Lund late on.

Frigg 4-1 Ullern (D2)

Ullern were a walk in the park after that. Kristiansen gave us the lead after 5 minutes, with Bye (having taken the right-wing position back from Jensen this season) getting a second from a penalty after 20 and another later on in the half. They got a goal back, but we were never in much danger, and the Dane Jacobsen (on for Kristansen, who was injured shortly before half-time) wrapped up the win with a 4th.

League Table

June/July 2016

Frigg 2-1 Lorenskog (NC)

We played Lorenskog in the next round of the cup, and Bye got another goal to give us the lead after 15 minutes. We were never really superior, so their equalizer after an hour wasn’t a surprise. 10 minutes later however, Bye was tripped, and he played the resulting free-kick onto a Haug header which restored the lead, and we spend the final 20 minutes battering them, and being denied another by poor finishing.

Bodo-Glimt 2-2p (Frigg (NC)

In the next round we were at Premier Division club Bodo-Glimt, and weren’t afraid to go for them. We didn’t have the quality to break them, but Sildnes (who despite keeping the ‘liability’ nickname, hadn’t made any silly errors since his first season) managed to pull off some saves to stop us being penalised. Jonassen gave us the lead in the second half, but they managed to put the ball past Sildnes to equalize in the 77th minute. It all seemed to be over in extra time as they scored in the first minute, and had another disallowed in the 5th, but with 8 minutes left, Haug stepped in to head an equalizer from a corner, as we were still trying to get something. Sildnes cemented his place as the hero of the match by saving their 4th penalty, and Ovrebo scored our 5th to send us through to the quarter-finals, the only Second Division side left (with Tromsdalen as the other non-Premier side meaning we couldn’t claim that accolade).

Notodden 2-1 Frigg (D2)

It was back to league disappointment at Notodden. They pushed us hard early on, and having survived that, and mounting a charge of our own, the defence fell in to give them 2 goals before half-time. We had a bit of life left and got a late consolation from Lund, but a point was long beyond us. After we went behind at Lorenskog, we quickly fought back, and after a few chances we equalized through Bye. Both sides threatened to grab a winner, and right at the end it was Lund who secured it for us.

Frigg 3-1 Strommen (D2)

We were behind early again (for about the 50th time) at home to Strommen, Haug heading us level but otherwise we were lucky not to go behind again before half-time. We took control of the match in the second half. Hakon giving us the lead early after the break, and Haug’s late second put it beyond them.

League Table

Aug 2016

Frigg 1-3 Raufoss (D2)

It happened again! Raufoss were ahead at our ground after 15 minutes, and soon had a second. Lund quickly pulled one back, but in the second half they got a third to ensure that there would be no comeback this time, with an injury time own-goal in our favour making the score look close.

Asker 2-3 Frigg (D2)

The tradition continued after 12 minutes at Asker. Hakon equalized, and with both sides showing considerable defensive weakness, it was Hakon who managed to power the ball into the net on the stroke half-time. We took control in the second half, Lund giving us another goal before they got a last-minute consolation.

Sogndal 2-1 (aet) Frigg (NC)

We went to holders Sogndal in the cup quarter-final, and as they were in a relegation battle I thought we were in with a chance. It was also my 100th Frigg game, and even if we lost I’d enjoy the experience. We both came close to the lead early on, Sildnes saving a penalty after a few minutes. They took the lead (the 6th game in a row that we had conceded first) midway through the first-half, but Schroder levelled it 10 minutes from the break. Midway through the second half we ran out of steam and they hit us with chance after chance, Sildnes managing to keep them out until midway through the second half when he was beaten with a header from a corner, and a late spark of life from us came to nothing, however we couldn’t be too downhearted.

Frigg 4-1 Drobak-Frogn (D2)

We recovered at home to a Drobak-Frogn side who were bottom with just 1 point. We broke the run of going behind with Schroder giving us the lead. They equalized, but an own-goal quickly restored the advantage, which was extended by Hakon before the break. Jonassen wrapped it up with a 4th midway through the second half.

Valerenga 2 1-1 Frigg (D2)

I never looked forward to facing Valerenga 2, especially away, and with the senior side racing to a second title in a row, the reserves benefited with better fringe players. They took the lead, and we were lacklustre, just about avoiding conceding more, and snatching a late point from an own-goal.

League Table

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Just seven points off the top despite some inconsistent form - thats not bad at all!

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Just seven points off the top despite some inconsistent form - thats not bad at all!

At first glance, but when you take into account the shorter seasons it's worth the same as a far bigger gap. We're talking over half a point per game worse off and a 10 point gap (the PL equivalent for the halfway point, or 13.5 for the same number of games left in a season) wouldn't look so good I imagine. Still having made the calculations it's not quite as bad as I thought it would be, but still some distance.

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Sept 2016

Nest-Sotra 3-1 Frigg (D2)

Going to Nest-Sotra, top of the league, was never going to be comfortable. They took the usual early lead, and aided by a poor defence, got 2 more in the second half. We had been probing them for a lot of the match, and had a burst of pressure for the last phase of the game, Lynum giving us a goal, and we could have had another or even an equalizer with a bit more luck.

Kjelsas 1-2 Frigg (D2)

Early on at Kjelsas we faced much the same problems, and they also took the lead, but in the second half we managed to stop the flow, and Lund equalized. We took control with limited success, however it was enough to snatch a lucky win with another Lund goal.

Frigg 3-0 Lillehammer (D2)

We were inspired enough to step up a few gears at home to Lillehammer. Hakon gave us the lead in the first half, and he got a second after Oftedal doubled our lead in a quietly comfortable win.

Frigg 2-1 Follo (D2)

We rode our luck a bit at home to Follo, the first half was an even affair, but we twice got corners that led to own goals to give us a 2-0 lead. They hit back in the second-half, getting a goal and should have at least snatched a point.

League Table

Oct 2016

Frigg 0-1 Skeid (D12

We had a good early burst at home to Skeid, but that soon faded and soon they were on to us, but without a lot of competence either. Neither side looked like getting anything until the final few minutes when they broke us by heading in a corner, and we had a couple of late chances to equalize.

Ullern 0-3 Frigg (D2)

A trip to Ullern was never going to be tricky, and first-half chances were plentiful, but it was a brace of penalties from Bye that gave us a 2-0 lead. Hakon gave us a goal from open play early in the second half, and while we deserved more, the closest we got was a Lund effort ruled out.

Notodden 2-1 Frigg (D2)

We came very close to getting something at home to Notodden. They took the lead after almost 15 minutes, but Hakon managed to head an equalizer shortly after half-time. We looked good value for a point, but they headed in a tough winner with 5 minutes left.

Strommen 1-1 Frigg (D2)

We were expected to lose at Strommen, but came out fighting, and took the lead through Lund, stopping them from mounting too much of a fightback in the first half even though we weren’t likely to get more. We were rather less successful in a one-sided second half, but while we conceded an equalizer (and were lucky that they had a penalty shout turned down) we were able to hold out for a draw.

Frigg 3-1 Lorenskog (D2)

Little was expected at home to Lorenskog either, especially when they went ahead after 7 minutes. However we were able to come out stronger, Lund equalizing in the middle of the first-half, followed by Jacobsen 10 minutes later. Again we faced plenty of second half pressure, but as well as holding on, Jacobsen secured a 3-1 win.

League Table

Nov 2016

Frigg 2-0 Asker (D2)

The first half at home at Asker didn’t look like it was going anywhere. In the second half, we upped the ante and a quick double from Hakon and Lund, 10 minutes after half-time, was the only really eventful part of what turned into a 2-0 win.

Drobak-Frogn 0-5 Frigg (D2)

We struggled at no-hopers Drobak-Frogn in a goal-less and even first half, but the second half was something else entirely. In the second half, Lund ran rampant with a hat-trick, getting a late 4th after Bye got a goal of his own with 15 minutes left.

Raufoss 2-1 Frigg (D2)

A trip to Raufoss was a rather tougher game, yet we would have managed with a better defence, which eventually let them in shortly before half-time. They got another early in the second half, which made the difference given we got a late goal from Oftedal.

Frigg 3-1 Valerenga 2 (D2)

The last game was at home to Valerenga 2, a side I wouldn’t miss, though this time they were rather generous. Hakon gave us the lead in the first half, while Bye had another ruled out. He got his goal with a penalty a few minutes into the second half, then scored another after they got a goal back, making it a Bye-Bye to say Bye-bye with, both for me and the player.

Final League Table

I had settled in leaving before the stronger second half of the season, which actually made it less clear cut, however it wasn’t simply a lack of progress, especially after a promising second season, but the recent patterns of complete inconsistency and that we seemed to look a lot closer than we were late in the season because of a ‘too little, too late’ form surge combined with faltering form from the top sides, indeed this time we weren’t even throwing away silly points that would have given us a real shot. Plus even if we could snatch top spot (an improvement which with the team being a lot more gelled and maturing, was far less likely to happen now), the sides that had been promoted from our league often struggled (not helped by 4 relegation spots) in the First Division, so didn’t rate our chances of progression if I stayed, and in a way the cup run was something I saw as a minor high to go out on. On top of all that, I hadn’t bonded with the side the way I often would, so while I liked the stability after Slovenia and Sweden, I felt that if I was going to get anywhere here, I’d have looked a lot more like doing so by now. Reaching a club record high position of 4th at the end made the decision to not renew my contract much tougher, but I also knew that didn’t promise much more for the future, and the final point was that we rode our luck rather a lot more than we were unlucky, with late goals, snatching something in even games, and resisting a lot of pressure, which made a big difference in how our season looked a league like this, meaning I was taking this season with an even greater pinch of salt.

Squad stats

Star player: Bye

The winger was on slightly above 10% of the wage budget, a maximum guideline that I was turning into a sort of rule, so after a good year (admitedly boosted a lot by a late run, and a handful of penalties) he'd be off as well.

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Think you've done the right call on leaving there, you gave a proper go at Frigg, being there for 3 years, and at least you did improve them a bit but there doesn't seem to be much future.

Have you signed for a new club, or at least been linked to any? I personally would be a bit wary of moving away from *any* club (even frigging Frigg) if I hadn't been linked anywhere, had a few bad experiences on moving too early in FM11..

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Think you've done the right call on leaving there, you gave a proper go at Frigg, being there for 3 years, and at least you did improve them a bit but there doesn't seem to be much future.

Have you signed for a new club, or at least been linked to any? I personally would be a bit wary of moving away from *any* club (even frigging Frigg) if I hadn't been linked anywhere, had a few bad experiences on moving too early in FM11..

4 years, and I have the same feeling as when I was doing a long trial run for the last save, I left St Albans too quickly after a few BSP near misses, ended up spending a very short time in Sweden that ended in relegation. There as speculation with BSP clubs (and I think maybe L2) as well while I was in Norway, though not as one of the favourites for any job. There was an improvement in the jobs I was able to be offered, from before Frigg though not by that much, so I was able to reject the first few offers from clubs, not just those newly promoted or in big relegation trouble, which was mostly all I had before, so I knew there'd be something I'd settle for, before deciding on somewhere (will update shortly on details) though in the short term it doesn't look promising.

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I can understand your reasonings behind leaving Frigg but wasn't you tempted to stay considering the slight improvements you were making? I guess sometimes you just know when to call it a day. It is somewhat fitting that Bye was saying bye in the last game :D.

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Since we finished the season far stronger than I thought we would, I must admit that having mulled it over for ages before settling on going, I was suddenly wondering whether to stay after all, especially when they tried again to offer me a new deal with a month and then a week to go so it was far from clear-cut, and I knew I was rolling the dice a bit, but I decided to stick to leaving. Jury definitely will be still out for a while over whether that was a good move.

Sportist (Svoge)

Summer 2017

There was only a slight increase in the quality and quantity of available jobs, the best perhaps being Forest Green (rejected due to being a bit over what I thought was an excessive 7kpw budget anyway) and a Portuguese side sitting above relegation (which would have been accepted, but having been frustrated about the lack of opportunities to progress in Norway, Portugal would be even tougher). In the spring I got an offer from Sportist Svoge, who were then sitting comfortably above relegation in the Bulgarian ‘B’ division, but having decided to take it at the end of the season, they survived but with much more difficulty than before. I actually took charge right before the last game, a promising 3-0 win at home to a mid-table side.

The situation did not look too good. They were a bit in the red, a bit over wage budget (with just a couple of high earners on expiring contracts, not giving much room to maneuver), with a core of quality players (the high earners, making it just as well that I couldn’t let more than a couple go for wage budget reasons) but the rest being rather rubbish. Even with maxed out wage budgets I had less than 200pw spare, without really being able to afford letting anyone else go for either quantity (only having 14 first teamers) or quality (I’d love to offload a few more in any other circumstances, which wouldn’t yield much extra). Releasing every reserve and youth player actually more than doubled the amount I could play with, which could give me room a few good free agents, if I found any, and the field was sparse to say the least, with rejections and long term injuries limiting things even further, and in the end the 2 players I got were of little interest other than shoring things up for now.

On balance I was focussing on the short term. The board for some reason were expecting relegation, despite being consistently mid-table in recent seasons. I was determined to just so what I can and survive for now, sort out a load of frees for next year in January, maybe have a better wage situation, and maybe if I can get a better set of players, I’d probably have to wait for some gelling to see progress. The positives were that if injuries didn’t mess us around much, we’d probably have a decent season, and the low expectations meant I could bide my time.

Transfers

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As mentioned the star player being called Bye for your last season is great, good luck at your new club.

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Good luck with your new team. Looks like you've got a tough task ahead of you, considering the financial constraints.

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Well, when I arrived I felt the jury was still out about the wisdom of leaving Frigg, now I have the verdict.

Aug 2017

Sportist 3-0 Vihren (B)

A small squad had a couple of injuries for the first league game at home to Vihren, giving us just 3 subs. However the core of the side that looked good for my first game at the end of last season remained, so this season could genuinely go almost anyway. Thankfully we continued to look promising on the pitch. Either side could have made the breakthrough, but it was forward Lambev that did so for us after 15 minutes, and while Vihren still threatened, the other forward, Petrov, extended the lead almost 20 minutes later, which made the game comfortable in terms of the flow of the game as well as scoreline as we were clearly on top after that. Lambev headed in another with 8 minutes left. This against a side predicted 5th and worth over 3 times as much as us, so while it was just one game out of 38, it was a good sign that we could manage alright.

Balkan 1-2 Sportist (B)

With a full squad (though the two returning players were unfit) we were also comfortable at Balkan, expected to struggle. Lambev scored after 5 minutes, and though we pushed, more goals weren’t forthcoming. They had a chance in the second half that acted as a warning, and it was probably no coincidence that right after that, left winger Gaydarski extended the lead, and good thing too as they started getting a few chances and got a consolation. It was another good win, in a game where it was important that we did so.

Sportist 2-1 Malesh (B)

Malesh at home was a replay of my first game in charge, at the end of last season. The players were definitely up for a repeat, pushing them hard before Nigerian midfielder Ikhide gave us the lead. They looked a bit threatening, so Petrov extending the lead was a relief, but it wasn’t until the second half that they broke our superiority and really pushed back, getting a goal, and causing a few last-minute scares, but we still got a deserved 3rd win out of 3 (making it 4 from 4 in my reign).

Chavdar Etropole 3-1 Sportist (B)

We next went to Chavdar Etropole, who had a bad start but were expected to do well, and they were rather harder to break, though still weren’t that big a great as we went in at half-time with the score goalless. They broke us with early in the second half , and as defensive performance dropped, they got a couple more. We pushed hard late on, Petrov having a goal disallowed just before Georgiev got a consolation, but I wasn’t too downhearted.

League Table

Sept 2017

Sportist 1-2 Ludogorets (B)

A home game with Ludogorets was one of those games where things don’t go your way. A defensive blunder gave them an early lead, and while we pushed hard, a straight red for Ikhide not helping. Sub winger Kadivchin equalized and we could comfortably have had a winner, but with 15 minutes left they headed in one of their own.

Bansko 1-2 Sportist (B)

We returned to winning ways at Bansko, though despite a lot of chances, it took an own-goal midway through the first-half to give us the lead. Playmaker Vasilev made it safer around the 70th minute, and good job too as they had a goal back with a few minutes left.

Sportist 5-0 Neftohimik (B)

Struggling Neftohimik were easy prey at home. Nikoliv gave us the lead after 17 minutes, and 12 minutes later it was 3-0 thanks to Kadivchin and Vasilev. Manolov made it 4 on the stroke of half-time, and after they went down to 10 men in the second half, Tsvetkov gave is a 5th.

Chenomorets Pomorie 0-1 Sportist (B)

Things would get trickier with our first game against a side high up the table, Chermomorets Pomorie. We just about had the better of things, though both sides pushed without being able to make a breakthrough, at least until last-choice forward Grancharski gave us a goal in the 68th minute, and we even missed a late penalty.

Sportist 2-0 Beroe (B)

Beroe were another underachieving side, but we managed to get an early break from Taushanov. We failed to build on it much, but Ikhide (on his return from suspension) made it safe in the second half, though had they tried a bit harder the outcome would have been different.

League Table

Oct 2017

Hebar 3-0 Sportist (B)

We surprisingly struggled against a Hebar side that had only one point thus far. They got an early goal, as did Ludogorets before them, and like in the aforementioned game we put up little defensive resistance as for all our efforts to come back (and we outshot them) we lost 3-0.

Sportist 2-0 Benkovski (B)

Benkovski were another struggling side, and one that for all the pressure we had, proved very hard to break down. Ikhide gave us a goal with 12 minutes left, and in stoppage time Kadivchin made it look more comfortable than it and the shot stats suggested it was.

Chavday Byala Slatina 1-0 Sportist (B)

We weren’t at our best at Chavdar Byala Slatina, going behind early, and wasting a number of chances that should really have given us something. We thought we made a breakthrough from Taushanov with 10 minutes left, but it was disallowed, adding more disappointment to this defeat.

Sportist 2-0 Chernomorets Balchik (B)

We were finding things tougher now, and at home to Chernomorets Balchik it took many chances before Georgiev gave us the lead early in the second half. They still remained a threat, and like against Benkovski, a late second goal (from Lambev) made it look easy.

League Table

Even given I felt the boards initial expectations of 'fight bravely against relegation' was rather pesimistic, I was only thinking of 'avoid trouble' (and the team's recent record was merely 'mid-table), so never expected things to be as good as this, and even if we end up some way from promotion it's looking like a great first season. I guess the small squad and lack of reinforcements is giving us a strong 'squad togetherness' benefit, as well as reasonable luck with injuries and suspensions (though we've had a few) so far.

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Wow great start to the season, playing well above expectation. Hopefully you can finish in the top 3 :thup:

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Nov/Dec 2017

Malesh 2-3 Sportist (Cup)

We went to Malesh in the cup, and took a quick 2-0 lead (inside the first 10 minutes) from Taushanov and Georgiev. However they fought back, they got a goal before half-time then pushed very hard in the second half, getting a near-inevitable equalizer in the 78th minute, but 10 minutes later another Taushanov goal took us through, which was good as I felt another Frigg-style cup run (where we got almost 250k after our Sogndal defeat) was the best chance of helping the finances.

Kaliakra 0-2 Sportist (B)

Kaliakra were fellow challengers, but when we went to their place we battered them from the start, Ikhide finally giving us a breakthrough before half time, with an own-goal making it safe 10 minutes from time.

Sportist 1-1 Nesebar (B)

We faced at tough test at home to Nesebar, who were top of the table. We had a few early chances but an Ikhide own goal gave them an advantage that proved very tricky to overcome. We kept pushing enough to earn a point, and an 82nd minute Gaydarski goal meant that we managed to get one.

Rodopa 0-2 Sportist (B)

The left-winger was suspended for the trip to Rodopa, which was a problem as we couldn’t quite cover everything in the 16-man squad. However a double from Manolev and Lambev after 20 minutes gave us a win, though they had plenty of second half pressure and perhaps should have got a consolation at least.

Sportist p1-1 Chavdar Etropole (Cup)

In the cup we faced Chavdar Etropole at home, and after putting them under a lot of pressure, a penalty gave us the lead on the stroke of half-time. They equalized around the hour mark, but we kept pushing, even though a lack of subs meant that we had to use our last change putting the reserve keeper up front for an injured Grancharski (with both forwards from the last game suspended), who scored the penalty, we kept pushing, and came through on penalties after they missed 3 of their 5 penalties.

Sportist 0-2 Sliven 2000 (B)

Sliven 2000 were one of our toughest opponents, both on paper and on the pitch. We couldn’t stand up to their pressure and they got a goal in each half to win a rare game where we were clearly outplayed.

Spartak Varna 3-0 Sportist (B)

We were facing a tricky end to the first half of the season, of which we had 2 games left, the first being at Spartak Varna. We were able to hold out against them, as they pushed better from the start, but very deep in first half stoppage time (the 5th minute of an initial 3) Topuzov walked for a professional foul, having already seen Vasilev go off injured. We actually had a bright start to the second half for a while, but Spartak soon regained control, making a long-awaited breakthrough with 10 minutes left, adding a fully deserved second in the last minute, though an injury time 3rd was a bit steep.

Akademik Sofia 3-2 Sportist (B)

We faced a selection problem for the first time at Akademik Sofia, only being able to play a wide back 3, reduced to 2 after a very early red card. I was expecting a heavy defeat, especially after a poor showing from what defence we had left. Gaydarski actually gave us an 18th minute lead, but they came back to lead 2-1 at the break. We still threatened in the second half, and Ikhide scored the goal that might have given us a rather unlikely point, but a late winner from them denied us.

Loko Sofia 3-1 Sportist (Cup)

Before we went into the winter break, we went to Loko Sofia in the cup. Nothing was expected of us, even though we thankfully had a back four again. Even with the aforementioned defence being weak, we held out, with a few counter attacks, until Awalou in goal was finally beaten after half an hour. A penalty extended their lead just after half-time, and they got a late 3rd which was exactly what was expected of them, Lambev getting a consolation with a few minutes to go.

League Table

Despite things going a little wrong late on, dropping us quite a bit out of the top 3, I was still very happy with things.

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Slight drop in form is unfortunate, still a long way to go yet. Good luck

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Feb 2018

Vihren 0-0 Sportist (B)

Having ended 2017 badly, we had to survive a lot of pressure at Vihren (which annoyingly was a win before a laptop crash which occasionally pops up when playing 11, though is far less problematic than the FM12 errors), to avoid another defeat, while having enough chances that we could have snatched a win ourselves.

Sportist 6-0 Balkan (B)

We had a far better time at home to Balkan, who admittedly only had 3 points. The 10 minutes from the 7th to the 17th saw us go 3-0 up with 2 Petrov goals and one from Lambev. Petrov got another couple before half-time and Lambev got another in the second half for a 6-0 win that could have been even more.

Malesh 1-1 Sportist (B)

Malesh weren’t quite as easy when we went to their place, though in the first half it looked that way, with plenty of pressure giving us a deserved first-half lead from Lambev. They snatched an equalizer after the break, and we couldn’t put away some good chances to win.

Sportist 5-1 Chavdar Etropole (B)

We were more efficient at home to Chavdar Etropole. Gaydarski gave us the lead, then Petrov made it safe with a goal either side of half-time. Lambev got a 4th midway through the second half, and after a penalty gave them a goal back, Petrov rounded off his hat-trick.

League Table

Mar 2018

Ludogorets 3-2 Sportist (B)

We were very much on the receiving end at Ludogorets, who were 3-0 up at half-time with no resistance whatsoever. An own goal in the middle of the second half got us fighting back, but though we had a late second through Manolov, I knew there wouldn’t be an equalizer.

Sportist 2-2 Bansko (B)

We were comfortably a goal up at home to Bansko when Taushanov got sent off just before half time. They managed to turn things around and take a 2-1 lead early in the second half, and our game seemed to be over when Petrov also got sent off for a second yellow near the end, but Manolov surprisingly gave us a point.

Neftohimik 0-1 Sportist (B)

Neftohimik were in the relegation zone, but at home were strong enough to resist what little pressure we were able to muster up, as the suspensions from the last game weakened our attacking threat. Gaydarski managed to give us a barely deserved win with a late goal that came as a great relief to everyone sitting through an event-less game.

Sportist 2-3 Chernomorets Pomorie (B)

We surprised ourselves at home to Chernomorets Pomorie, who were top of the table at the head of a pretty distant top 2. Kadivchin gave us the lead after a minute, and Petrov restored it shortly after they levelled the score. Things got worse in the second half, with no available defensive backup Stefanov got sent off just after half-time, and we were reduced to a 2 man defensive line with 20 minutes left with an injury to Topulov. Having resisted a lot of pressure since we went down to 10 men, we managed to keep the pressure off for a while, but a rather astonishing result was averted when they grabbed the 2 goals they needed to win in the final few minutes.

Beroe 1-0 Sportist (B)

We had to play a makeshift defence-light formation (and the reserve keeper) against at Beroe, but far from having lost it before we even kicked off, better finishing could have seen us taking the lead a few times in the first half. They upped the pressure in the second half, and eventually got a winner but only from a penalty.

League Table

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Looking steady so far. Still possible to grab one of those promotion places.

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Looking steady so far. Still possible to grab one of those promotion places.
Need a good end of season run to make it to the top 3.
I tihnk you will grab a promotion place by the looks of it

Right for the wrong reasons ;)

Apr 2018

Sportist 1-0 Hebar (B)

A normal line-up was restored at home to Hebar. They were no threat so we were free to go at them, perhaps a bit too casually, but a Vasilev penalty gave us the win.

Benkovski 0-1 Sportist (B)

Manolov had saved us a couple of times this year, and he did it again at second-bottom Benkovski, as we’re been pushing well but not been able to get too close to scoring until he struck in the second half, which opened the floodgates in terms of chances, but no more goals, making it even more important.

Sportist 1-1 Chavdar Byala Slatina (B)

At home to Chavdar Byala Slatina, Georgiev gave us the lead in the first half, but while we were on top for a lot of the game, we were penalized with an equalizer.

Chernomorets Balckik 1-2 Sportist (B)

At Chernomorets Balchik, each side had plenty of chances to take the lead, perhaps we could have been the ones to do it in the first-half, but they snatched it instead just after half-time. We were eventually rewarded with a Grancharski equalizer, and got an unexpected bonus with a last minute own-goal winner.

Sportist 1-0 Kaliakra (B)

We were starting to quietly but efficiently cruise to the end of the season. We kept Kaliakra quiet in the first half at home, then assumed a quiet superiority in the second half, Manolov getting the game’s only goal, though he had another disallowed later.

League Table

May/June 2018 (B)

Nesebar 1-2 Sportist (B)

Nikolov gave us a slightly surprise lead at Nesebar. Though they equalized we started pushing a lot more, Petrov giving us a deserved winner mid-way through the second half, though having been quiet, they came close a few times right at the end so it wasn’t that comfortable.

Sportist 2-0 Rodopa (B)

We were back to ‘2 defender’ mode at home to Rodopa, but they were so obligingly quiet that we didn’t even need them. Vasilev gave us the lead from a penalty after a few minutes, and we could have had another, from Grancharski, in the first 10 minutes, and he grabbed his goal after half an hour anyway, making it safe.

Sliven 4-3 Sportist (B)

We had suddenly closed from 9 points off the top 3 to 4 with 3 games to go, but a surprise challenge looked unlikely with a trip to Sliven, who were top and already secured promotion. 2 defenders became 3, which I knew wasn’t enough so we took the game to them which only worked early on before they had the pressure, and eventually got a pair of goals before half-time. Taushanov gave us hope with a goal midway through the second half, but they got a 3rd immediately after. Manolov and Lambev still managed to get the goals needed to level it, but a late winner for them confirmed what we already knew (with Ludogorets winning), that a promotion miracle wasn’t happening.

Sportist 3-0 Spartak Varna (B)

3 defenders was reduced to 2 during the home game with Spartak Varna, but we were already a goal up from Grancharski. They were no more a threat than Rodopa were, and an own-goal at the hour mark made it comfortable, with Petrov getting off the bench to get a third, and having another disallowed.

Sportist 1-1 Akademok Sofia (B)

The final game was against Akademik Sofia. Despite being mediocre, good form and near-necessity meant I finally decided to give Grancharski a new contract, and he scored early on. We couldn’t build on it and deserved to concede the equalizer we did. In the second half neither side wanted anything, nor got it as the game petered out into a 1-1 draw. That was enough go get 4th, but I didn’t expect what happened next.

!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll never know why, as they’re not a reserve team, but for some reason Chernomorets Pomorie can’t go up (which I also saw happening last season), so pipping Beroe to 4th on head-to-head results (they had a slightly better GD) meant that we were the ones that got promoted instead! Plus the win at Nesebar late in the season proved vital in hindsight as we were just 1 point ahead of them.

Final League Table

I’ll never have a more surprising promotion if I play FM for 100 years, not just because were were predicted 17th, and relegation, so even without promotion, 4th or even anywhere near that was fantastic, but the fact that it wasn’t expected to be a promotion place, and how narrow it was in the end. No doubts now about the wisdom of leaving Frigg. I am nothing less than staggered! The Pre-season post was not one written by anyone who even expected to be in the top half.

However even had I stayed down, I’d have had a challenge on my hands. In January I decided to be letting one high-earner go at the end of the season, in return for a few players taking up the same wage bill space, but that advantage was lost when agreeing to sell 2 of our best players in the summer for 65k total, not life-saving but enough to be useful (equivalent to about 1/5th of last year’s turnover and 2/3rds of the losses to put it into financial context) even for me, normally nearly totally resistant to selling good players, so the only advantage I’d have had in the summer was things not being so bad financially, but maybe not enough to be of any use. Oh, and I wasn’t allowed to renew the keeper’s contract as he was non-EU (which rather devalues the point of having an allowance of up to 5 in the first place I think).

Given all of that, while finances and player attraction would go up considerably with promotion (partly solving all the problems), the odds against us would have a far greater increase. Survival will be even more an achievement than promotion I feel, but whatever happened, I’d be proud of this.

Squad Stats

Star player: Gaydarski

Great name, strong season, will be sorely missed.

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Congrats on promotion! Just been trying to find out why Chernomorets Pomorie weren't promoted but can't seem to find why they wouldn't be. It says they're a satellite team for Chernomorets Burgas, maybe that's why?

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Very very close but congrats on the promotion. Hope you can stay up next year.

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Well done on getting promoted :applause:. Shame Gaydarski going. good luck next season

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Congrats on promotion! Just been trying to find out why Chernomorets Pomorie weren't promoted but can't seem to find why they wouldn't be. It says they're a satellite team for Chernomorets Burgas, maybe that's why?

Probably, the game shows it as a long term parent/feeder partnership, and there's also a similarity in colours as well as name. Still, not complaining ;)

Well done on getting promoted mate!
Very very close but congrats on the promotion. Hope you can stay up next year.
Well done on getting promoted :applause:. Shame Gaydarski going. good luck next season

Thanks guys, good to be making progress, and I was utterly stunned when I saw the messages in the inbox about promotion, it was genuinely a surprise, which was why I left the diary entries about the presumed ending of the promotion challenge as they were, to reflect the fact that it was completely unexpected. The top division will be tough going to be sure.

Pre-season

I’ve had more optimistic preseasons. Having to lose a few of our best players from last year wasn’t a great start to any survival campaign, and while normally there wouldn’t be too big a step up to a league such as this, in our case there definitely was, reflected in title odds of 5000-1, which normally you only ever get with the weakest teams in the Premier League! That there were 3 relegation spots out of a 16-team division wasn’t great either. There were positives, thanks to a good free agent, a player I was offered, and a promising player from the youth intake, we had 19 players before I started bringing more people, 3 more than I had to go on last season. There was a bit of money in the bank (30k or so), and over double last season’s wage budget which was useful, especially as I knew I had to go beyond the balance with whatever I could spend to give us much chance, and halving the spare wage budget gave me 150k for transfers, so if I could find good players, price wouldn’t be much of an issue.

In the end, aside from African imports, things devolved into a bit of a scramble for the decent free agents for the most part, an activity where a bit of planning has to be sacrificed for getting in there, but at least I had the players in to make a good-sized squad this time, and I could sort out who plays (and eventually, who stays) later, at least I had the options, and relatively little was added to the wage bill as well. It was a strong step in the right direction, but as to whether it would be enough, your guess is as good as mine.

Owning up time, having considered, then dismissed a ‘1 overage player a year’ quota, having been offered a couple of excellent 21yr old Africans, and decided to use the first as the ‘overage’ player, I broke even that when offered the second, however I hope you’ll excuse these 2 minor exceptions under the circumstances. There’s another player who looks like he was, but I actually got in there with the offer (which is what counts, an important standard of consistency in ‘expiring contract’ situations like this, though the deal was finalized before then anyway, just his arrival was after he turned 21) in January just 11 days before his 21st birthday so he’s legit.

Bamba

Borrouhou

Coulibaly

Iliev

Katsimierski

Okoduwa

Seliminski

Stoyanov

Todorov

Transfers

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Aug 2018

Brestnik 0-2 Sportist (A)

The first game was at Brestnik, one of the weaker sides, making for an interesting test especially as we looked roughly even on paper. We had just 3 players from last year in the starting lineup, Nikolov in defence, Vasilev in midfield (it would be Ikhide but he was suspended) and Lambev up front. We attacked from the start, and new target man Iliev fired us ahead after 15 minutes. We deserved another before half-time, though the second half was more even, making for some nervous times, but Iliev struck late on to put it beyond them. Unfortunately he was injured for 3-4 weeks afterwards, but an away win was a great way to start life in the new division.

Sportist 0-0 Loko Plovdiv (A)

We showed similar ambition in the first home game against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, in fact we knocked on their door all match, but couldn’t quite find a way in, while they were limited to a couple of second half chances which would have made for a very unlucky defeat for us.

Slavia Sofia 0-0 Sportist (A)

A trip to Slavia Sofia was my 200th career game, and this time we were rather quieter to start off with, and very inaccurate when we did get up some steam. We were better in the second half, and were unlucky to have a Lambev goal disallowed, and for the second game in a row were unlucky not to win.

Sportist 1-4 Litex (A)

League champions Litex, who we played next, were the first team who looked that much better (which given how much more than us the other sides were on, doesn’t way much for their value for money). We just couldn’t repel firepower of that magnitude. They scored early, finished off the game as a contest with a quick double midway through the first half, and got a 4th before half-time. They eased off after the break. Okoduwa had a goal disallowed before Bamba finally gave us one, but that was all we were ever likely to do.

League Table

Sept 2018

Sliven 2-0 Sportist (A)

We were also up against it at Sliven, in the first half we both attacked a bit but wastefulness was already an issue this season, and they took the lead., taking more control in the second half and getting another goal.

Minyor 1-2 Sportist (A)

What had looked like a good start (a win followed by 2 draws that should have been wins) was turning into a bit of a winless run, and that wasn’t likely to change at Minyor, flying high and with a dangerous young talent on loan from Santos. We had to resist a lot of first half pressure, then had a little burst before the break. However 10 minutes into the second half, they got the goal they’d been threatening since the start. There didn’t seem to be much life from us until a late flurry of chances that saw Okoduwa equalize, and Lambev give us a winner shortly afterwards, with some long awaited attacking efficiency.

Sportist 4-1 Ludogorets (A)

We had a good chance to add another at home to Ludogorets, who had lost all 6 games so far, especially as we owed them for doing a double over us last season. We started alright, then seemed to fade a bit. Then the central defenders came out to play. Katsimerski gave us the lead in the 39th minute, with Coulibaly joining in just afterwards. There was stil time for Katsimerski to get another before half-time. Not to be outdone, Coulibaly got his own second goal just after the break, the whole thing having a rather playful air to it that made it more fun. We casually kept attacking, and they got a consolation a few minutes from time that didn’t really matter.

Cherno more 4-1 Sportist (A)

A trip to Cherno more was a return to tricker games, especially with Coulibaly and Okoduwa away. We still managed to make a good start, Lambev soon firing us into the lead. However they had a strong finish to the first half, and deservedly equalized shortly before the break. Unfortunately our defensive resistance collapsed, as they took the lead early in the second half, and from that point on the game was only going one way, towards our goal. When they got a pair of goals in the last 10 minutes to win 4-1, it seemed long overdue.

Still what mattered was that we were out of the relegation zone, and while there was still a long way to go, we were managing fine in that regard, especially given that Ludogorets aside, no one was having that poor a season, keeping the margins narrower.

League Table

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Not a bad start, mid table looks like the best you can hope for this season.

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Your team reminds me of someone who refuses to watch anything to do with sport.

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Congrats on the unexpected promotion! What a nice surprise!

Looks like you're holding your own in the top flight too.

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Sorry man, late to this, congrats on the promotion. Looks like you owe a drink or two to the owner of Chernomorets Burgas for his feeder club deal!

That kind of thing is quite commonplace in Europe, but I can imagine the shock with that promotion... still, who cares how you go up as long as you're up, right?

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Your team reminds me of someone who refuses to watch anything to do with sport.

I had to think for about a minute before I got that.

Congrats on the unexpected promotion! What a nice surprise!

Looks like you're holding your own in the top flight too.

Solid start to life in the top flight .

Indeed it is, just as well we have the excitement of looking like surviving as it's not been an interesting season otherwise.

Sorry man, late to this, congrats on the promotion. Looks like you owe a drink or two to the owner of Chernomorets Burgas for his feeder club deal!

That kind of thing is quite commonplace in Europe, but I can imagine the shock with that promotion... still, who cares how you go up as long as you're up, right?

I owe him an entire pub, especially as it looks like we're making the most of it. It actually took a couple of hours for the shock to fade, but such is the joy of FM that it gives you those experiences.

Oct 2018

Sportist 1-0 Etar 1924 (A)

A home game with Etar 1924, occupying the last (top) relegation place was very important, and was about as tight as you’d expect, though we were just about the better and got a deserved win from Lambev early in the second half, doubling our safety margin (with the team they were level with, Montana, also losing) at a stroke.

Montana 1-0 Sportist (A)

We had another opportunity when we went to Montana next. Again we struggled to make a breakthrough, however a point as looking like a very good result as far as the table went, but we didn’t even get that as they made a late and scrappy burst and sneaked a win, though given there were many teams between us, a defeat didn’t cost us anywhere near as much as a win would have benefited us.

Sportist 1-3 Levski (A)

We next welcomed Levski, the country’s biggest side, and they had little trouble with our defence, going 2-0 up. Iliev (back from his second injury of the season) got one back before the break but the outcome was never in doubt and they got a late 3rd to show it.

League Table

Nov 2018

Pirin 0-3 Sportist (A)

Bamba gave us the lead at Pirin after just 18 seconds, which very much set the tone for the match, as we were comfortably on top, with Lambev getting a long awaited second goal 6 minutes before half-time. The same amount of time after the break saw Iliev grab the third.

Sportist 0-0 Loko Sofia (A)

An interesting test would be Loko Sofia, as they were the same side who comfortably beat us in the cup last year. This time we were comfortably on top, but not for the first time, we missed a load of chances to win and had to settle for 0-0.

Bansko 1-0 Sportist (BC)

We went to Bansko in the cup, and failed to do anything in the first half. They broke free and got a goal early in the second half, and only later on did we have a proper push at coming back, though we couldn’t avoid a shock exit that we didn’t really mind.

CSKA Sofia 3-1 Sportist (A)

We didn’t appear to have much chance at a CSKA Sofia side that were running away with the league, and they appeared to prove that point with a goal in the first 10 minutes. Iliev gave us an equalizer that surprised even himself midway through the first half, but later in the game our resistance crumbled. They retook the lead in the 70th minute, and while we had a few chances to snatch something, they got an injury time 3rd for good measure.

Sportist 0-3 Chernomorets Burgas (A)

Chernomorets Burgas were another side who were far too strong for us, though it took until late in the first half for them to take the lead, and it was midway through the second half until they got another, but they soon followed that up with a 3rd that very much reflected the one-sided nature of the match, still since if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be here... It was a big disappointment for a record crowd of 3,286, nevertheless we still looked pretty comfortable at the half-way stage.

League Table

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Sounds like it's been a hard couple of months there. Still, 6 points clear off relegation though, just need to grab some vital points, even if they're from draws.

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Feb 2019

Sportist 2-0 Brestnik (A)

We hosted Brestnik with rather more confidence than when we played them on the first day, and after being on top from the start, Iliev gave us a deserved lead after 20 minutes, with Coulibaly adding another 11 minutes later. We had many chances in the second half that could have given us more.

Loko Plovdiv 1-5 Sportist (A)

Having wasted so many chances to beat Loko Plovdiv in August we made up for it when we went there now. Okoduwa and Katsimerski gave us a good lead within the first half an hour, a Manolov brace effectively ending the game by half-time. An even second half saw them get one back near the end but Iliev gave us the last word.

Sportist 0-1 Slavia Sofia (A)

We hoped to do the same at home to Slavia Sofia, but instead they got an early lead, and kept coming at us while we were restricted to a late push.

League Table

Mar 2019

Litex 3-0 Sportist (A)

We were behind again at powerhouses Litex, though they were already without hope of retaining the title. We withstood plenty more pressure for a while, including a disallowed goal, and missed a penalty which could have levelled it, but a second half brace secured an inevitable result.

Sportist 1-3 Sliven 2000 (A)

Stoyanov gave us the lead at home to Sliven in the middle of the first-half, however they struck back with an equalizer on the counter, and in the second half we just dropped off and they got an easy pair of goals to win.

Sportist 1-0 Minyor (A)

Having lost 3 league games in a row for the first time, we needed to avoid a 4th, though that would be tough against Minyor. Back from an injury, Bamba gave us a goal in the 34th minute. They occasionally threatened to equalize but we were just about on top so were reasonably comfortable in the win.

Ludogorets 1-1 Sportist (A)

Ludogorets had scraped together 5 points when we went to theirs. It wasn’t comfortable, and it took a while for Iliev to give us a rather uneasy lead. It looked like we had done enough but in the last minutes they grabbed a share of the points.

League Table

Apr 2019

Sportist 2-1 Cherno more (A)

We stepped up in a tougher game against Cherno more. We couldn’t break them in the first-half despite a lot of consistent pressure, and went in behind at the break. Katsimerski headed in an equalizer early in the second half but after that it didn’t seem like we’d have any more luck scoring than we did in the first half, but with seconds to go in regular time, an otherwise hopeless Iliev gave us a winner.

Etar 1926 1-3 Sportist (A)

12 points (and almost half the league) ahead of the bottom 3, we were creeping closer to confirmed survival, and at Etar 1926, again in the highest relegation place, we had the chance to take a massive single step. A scrappy own goal gave us the lead just after 10 minutes, but Iliev’s 10th goal of the season soon extended it. We very much took the feet off the pedals in the second half. They got one back, had an equalizer disallowed just afterwards, and plenty of pressure following on from that. With 2 minutes left, Iliev finished off a win which I was the first to admit was rather harsh on them, but we were all but mathematically safe now, plus with a 4 point cushion in the top half.

Sportist 0-0 Montana (A)

We hoped to follow that up against Montana, which we failed to do in the autumn. In the first half we definitely pushed hard enough, and had an Iliev goal disallowed 5 minutes before the break. The second half was a very difference story, as they had the upper hand and Seliminski in goal needed to make a few good saves to keep the score goalless.

Levski 2-0 Sportist (A)

It was just as well we were comfortable as we weren’t likely to have much joy at Levski the first game against all of the top 4 we had in the last 5 games, especially with a suspension to the ever-present star left-back Borrouhou. Sure enough they scored after 10 minutes, and again after 20. We came out of our shell late in the first half without much expectation, and in the second half they regained control though didn’t get any more despite Katsimerski getting sent off with 15 minutes left. That was the beginning of the end of the season for us, as the tough opposition we had left meant we had got pretty much all we were going to, and probably wouldn’t hold on and sneak a top half place, but that was minimal compared to the success of our survival.

League Table

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May/June 2019

Sportist 1-2 Pirin (A)

Pirin at home was the one winnable game left, however the knowledge that we were now safe, and that we weren’t likely to get anything else, meant that we switched off, and attacked with intent but no focus. In the second half they woke us up by taking the lead, with Marinov grabbing a quick equalizer, but it was too late and they soon got a comfortable winner.

Loko Sofia 0-0 Sportist (A)

We put up reasonably good resistance at Loko Sofia, though our own ambitions were limited, and while it was a 0-0 draw like when we played in November, it was a far quieter game. At least it broke up what was looking like a run of defeats to end the season.

Sportist 1-1 CSKA Sofia (A)

The last home game was against CSKA Sofia, the champions-elect. Like against Loko Sofia, we managed to keep it even, and Marinov even gave us the lead just inside half an hour. After probing throughout the second half, they got given a penalty in the 74th minute which they equalized from, and while they had most of the chances, we could have snatched a winner, especially with a penalty claim turned down.

Chernomorets Burgas 5-1 Sportist (A)

We finished at Chernomorets Burgas. Marinov struck again in the first minute, but while we kept them at bay for a while, they were incredibly efficient when they did come out and play, getting 3 goals before the break. A quick pair of goals around the hour mark finished the game off, completing a double of big defeats against them.

Final League Table

The miracle team does it again. AK22 was quite right when he said that Bulgaria seemed to like me. This time last season we were facing a few problems while suddenly getting promoted and pre-season consisted of ‘do what I can and hope it’s enough’ so such an easy survival was far beyond how I thought we’d do. While the Bulgarian league certainly isn’t the strongest or toughest (though the top sides were still numerous times stronger), we still managed to go into it as very clear underdogs. The clubs only previous season in the top flight (almost 10 years ago, in that strange world known as ‘real life’ ended badly so it was good to improve on that. Certainly when I arrived 2 years ago I’d have been amazed if anyone had said that in 2 seasons time we’d only just be off the top half in the A group. That aside there was little of note, results came in 1’s and 2’s, even goals for and against weren’t very noteworthy, unusual for a deltablue side. The only things that could be said was that we were a little wasteful and could have done better in a few of the more manageable games.

There was potentially more to come as well. While I didn’t expect us to be challenging any time soon, there was the fact that next season would see a far more settled (and rationalized) squad (especially as a lack of money meant that without a big sale, there wouldn’t be much in the way of new players), plus improvements from a rock-bottom rep would open up far better players when we could buy in the future. I’m not sure what I could do here, but there as very little I could rule out.

Squad Stats

Star player: Iliev

A free-agent, Iliev made his mark with both goals in the opening game, and though a couple of injuries in the first half of the season limited his chances, he managed a pretty strong first season.

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decent season to say your new to that league well done. let hope Alexander Iliev stay clear of injury's next season

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That's actually quite a respectable finish in the league, shame you didn't win any of the last 6 games though but wouldn't have made a difference. Iliev's stats don't actually look that amazing, he looks more like a Blue Square Premier player, but promising to see he can make an impact at that level.

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Good first season, hopefully you can built on midtable in the future.

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Summer 2019

This would likely be a season of consolidation instead of progress, a lot of players were shipped out, and I was surprised to be able to get a bit of money for a lot of them giving me a bit of money to play around with after all. In fact our purchasing power, not just the relatively small amount of money we had but also ‘relegation zone’ rep meant that there wasn’t anyone I felt we could get that it was worth buying, though there had been a free agent keeper in the close season, and eventually a young African tempted me, but only because I needed another full-back, otherwise I was happy to leave a bit of money (almost 100k) to be eaten into over the course of the season, which might mean we’d be in a better position to spend down the line, we had a squad that was proven to manage alright in the league, now gelled, and that was enough that I wasn’t in a great hurry. I was still just looking to be out of trouble.

Borisov

Johnson

Transfers

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Johnson looks like a he will be a good player, plenty of pace which is useful at fullback.

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Johnson looks like a he will be a good player, plenty of pace which is useful at fullback.

Yep, though he's not as good as the current guy, which is why I didn't got for him as soon as I saw him.

Aug 2019

Cherno more 5-1 Sportist (A)

A trip to Cherno more as a tough start. They scored after 5 minutes, but we had a bit of a rally. Bamba equalized after 10 minutes, a few minutes after Okoduwa had one disallowed. However the defence collapsed after that. They retook the lead before the break, and an injury to defender Seliminski (as opposed to his namesake who was our keeper last season) early in the second half busted it wide open. They didn’t need much more invitation to add 3 more, with another disallowed.

Sportist 0-0 Litex (A)

Litex weren’t a comfortably first home game either. They scored in the 7th minute, but didn’t do much to follow that up, and having been on the ropes for most of the first half, we penalized them with Borrouhou getting an equalizer a few minutes before half-time. The second half was unremarkable, with both sides having poorly-executed patches of pressure, but on balance we were happy to grab the point.

However before the trip to Minyor, the chairman accepted a 300k offer for Coulibaly. Admitedly I had been hoping for a big bid for him in the summer, so wasn’t too unhappy at him leaving for that amount, but the fact that it was the day before the close of the transfer window was something that annoyed me, plus we were short on defenders. Thankfully I remembered being offered one who I got for 65k the same day.

Hachilensa

Minyor 1-1 Sportist (A)

In the game itself, they just about were better in the first half, but Bamba had a 25th minute goal disallowed. We had a better second half, and Okoduwa gave us the lead in the 72nd minute, but they soon equalized and the points were rightly shared.

Loko Plovdiv 3-6 Sportist (A)

We went down after 5 minutes at Loko Plovdiv, and I thought ‘here we go again’. However we fought back hard, and within 20 minutes, Stoyanov and Bamba had given us the lead. Okoduwa got an immediate 3rd, and Vasilev made it 4-1 before half-time. They attacked hard in the second half, but only got a pair of goals after Iliev made it 5 midway through the half, and he got his second to wrap up a 6-3 win. It was our first league win in 9 games, but we got in it style.

Sportist 0-1 Chernomorets (A)

However next we had to face a Chernomorets Burgas side who had a 100% record. They took the lead after 20 minutes, but went down to 10 men a few minutes later. That spared us a repeat of the 2 heavy defeats last year, but we couldn’t quite do enough to get something before half-time, and never got anywhere near doing so in the second half. In the last minute, Stoyanov got sent off, putting a bit of a cloud over a month that otherwise saw him get young player of the month.

League Table

Sept 2019

Slavia Sofia 0-0 Sportist (A)

Going to Slavia Sofia, neither of us did enough to warrant getting anything in the first half. After the break, Valchev got sent off, but we matched their increase in attacking intensity and it remained honours even.

Sportist 0-1 Brestnik (A)

Things were even quieter at home to Brestnik. In the second half they came out of their shell and we had a lot of holding on to do, and we would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for that meddling kid Stoyanov, who got sent off for a second yellow (on his return from suspension) in stoppage time, conceding a penalty that gave them a winner.

Botev 2-3 Sportist (A)

Promoted Botev were off to a great start, but when we went to them, Okoduwa gave us the lead after 3 minutes. However our former forward Marinov equalized 10 minutes later, and as our performance just dropped off they easily took the lead. We roused ourselves late on, with Iliev and Stefanov getting a rather surprising win, however we still faced a struggle this season.

League Table

On an unrelated note, finally got round to looking the place up (having looked the club up last week), which I'll probably start doing more often with new clubs, and it looks like a nice little place among a river gorge (with 2 rivers), lots of popular climbing spots close by. Here's nice view which includes part of our ground at the bottom.

Svoge-station.jpg

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Still early days. Just watch out for Rambo in woods

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A steady start but looks like you're shipping a few goals which could be quite worrying. No problem scoring though.

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Looks a lovely place (asides from the football stadium ;))!

More of the same this season, me thinks.

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Doesn't look too shabby of a place to live! Which place is yours?

Would've liked to been at the game against Loko Plovdiv!

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Is that a local train station I see? Very handy for away fans.

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