deltablue

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

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Congrats on the new job. Hope the season is able to be turned around :)

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Hopefully you can turn it around.
Congrats on the new job. Hope the season is able to be turned around :)

Well things are improving. Probably not enough for the board at the end of the season but a lot better than the shambles of things so far.

Jul/Aug 2024

Dnepr Mogilev 4-0 BATE (HL)

Our chances at Dnepr Mogilev vanished as soon as the 7th minute as they got their second goal in 2 minutes to go 2-0 up. We had the occasional chance, but otherwise we were up against it. They missed a penalty, but in the second half got another pair of goals, and many chances to repeat the 5-0 from the opening day.

Dinamo Brest 4-0 BATE (HL)

Going to Dinamo Brest, things didn’t go much better. At least we had brief periods of fight in earlier games, in the first half there was none as they went 2 goals up. After a penalty gave them a 3rd, Zen’ko got a goal back but they comfortably got a 4th, and we were getting to the point where after each match I was thinking ‘Have I still got a job?’

BATE 2-3 Gomel (HL)

Champions Gomel weren’t a side I’d expected to get much from, but while they pushed early on, they soon ran out of sparkle. Even so, Radzkov giving us the lead at the end of the half was a bit of a surprise. Early on the second half we made a bit of a push for another, but while an equalizer was far from inevitable, they got one in the 67th minute, rocking us by heading in a corner to take the lead 5 minutes later. That completely threw us leaving us open for them to eventually get a 3rd. A Malofeev penalty in stoppage time at least gave us a second. It was by far the closest we had come to getting something for a while, but still left us with 7 defeats in a row.

Gomel-2 0-2 BATE (Bc)

From the first team, we went to Gomel’s 2nd team in the cup. The board expected us to reach the final, so even though it carried minimal rating, we’d probably fall that far short for it to be another issue, and even if it did, the latter stages being in the spring meant that a good run wouldn’t change much. After a lacklustre first half, we got some sort of uneasy control in the second. Lukashevich gave us the lead 10 minutes after the break, followed shortly by Dubovik making it safe.

Torpedo Zhodino 1-2 BATE (HL)

We had a good chance to get another win when we went to Torpedo Zhodino, who had been even worse than we had. Radzkov giving us the lead in the 7th minute set us on our way. We continued to batter them, eventually getting another from Zen’ko in the 78th minute, shortly before a consolation.

BATE 1-1 Dinamo Minsk (HL)

We struck early at home to Dinamo Minsk, who were up in second, with Malofeev giving us the lead, though he had to go off later. We lucked out a bit when they had an equalizer disallowed 5 minutes before half-time, as they had a rather slow response. They did level it in the 50th minute, and pushed pretty hard but we still managed to get a good point.

Partizan Minsk 1-1 BATE (HL)

We were unlikely to get much at leaders Partizan Minsk, but Dubovik gave us a surprise lead. That was about as much as we managed, though we were only a minute or 2 away from getting the win when they got an equalizer.

Belshina 1-3 BATE (HL)

We were on a minor roll, and kept it up at Belshina. Dubovik struck in the first minute, and Zen’ko just over 10 minutes later. Dubovik’s second made it safe even well before half-time. They got one back, but after going a man down, that was all the challenge they gave.

BATE 0-0 Naftan (HL)

We stood to close to within 1 point of Naftan if we beat them at home. Polyakov had a goal disallowed in the 4th minute, but we kept probing for most of the first half, quieting down somewhat in the second half to only get a draw. However we were now 5 league games without defeat at least.

League Table

Sept 2024

BATE 1-3 Neman Grodno (HL)

A reasonable summer ended with a crash against Neman Grodno. We had a brief early burst but that was all we did as we opened up to give them a 3-0 lead at the break. Radzkov’s headed midway through the second half gave us a consolation, but otherwise we were easy meat.

Vitebsk 1-3 BATE (HL)

We went to Vitebsk ahead of a cup tie against the same side, and surprised ourselves. Polyakov gave us the lead in the 7th minute, but facing a lot of pressure, we were able to keep them at bay until the second half. When they levelled the scores, we started pushing again. Zen’ko has a goal disallowed after an hour, but we wouldn’t be denied. Dubovik put us ahead in the 79th minute, before Zen’ko got his deserved goal.

Vitebsk 1-2 BATE (Bc Leg 1)

We beat them in the cup as well but it was tougher going. Siby gave us the lead in the 37th minute, but that was in between both Dubovik and Tret’yak going off injured, leaving an anonymous Zen’ko as our only front man. They equalized from a header in the 57th minute, but 8 minutes later Hulk restored the lead, giving us a strong advantage in the tie, though at the end we had another injury with one Molchanov having to replace the other, though only Tret’yak had a problem beyond the game.

BATE 2-1 Dnepr Mogilev (HL)

We had a run of home games, starting with Dnepr Mogilev in the league, but were behind after 10 minutes. This was one of our weaker showings in a while, but a defensive mess allowed Zen’ko to bundle in an equalizer midway through the half. It looked only a matter of time until we went behind again, but instead Zen’ko’s second goal gave us the advantage before half-time, and we were able to keep it in a tough second half.

BATE 2-0 Minsk (HL)

I was still under great pressure (and with chairman meddling about to deprive me of Siby), but we were on the verge of climbing out of the bottom two when we faced Minsk. We exchanged chances for quite a while, but later in the first half a couple of Dubovik goals gave us a clear lead. They pressed very hard in the second half, but the upside of the fit striker shortage was a 5-man defence that held firm, and the win meant we were out of the bottom 2 for the first time since early on in the season!

BATE 1-1 Dinamo Brest (HL)

We had the chance to cement that, as we next faced Dinamo Brest, the side we had moved above. It looked good when Zen’ko gave us the lead after half an hour, but it didn’t last long, and admittedly as we both did a lot of pushing 1-1 was fair, and suited us.

League Table

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Oct 2024

BATE 3-1 (5-2) Vitebsk (Bc)

We had high hopes for the home leg against Vitebsk, though they put up stiff resistance. Zen’ko gave us the lead after half an hour, and they had an equalizer disallowed. They eventually got one in the second half, but despite a lot of chances, we took control again with a goal from Dubovik in the 64th minute, and with a minute left they turned a corner into their own net to finish it off.

Gomel 0-0 BATE (HL)

The run of home games ended with a trip to Gomel. We had managed to match them for chances in the first half, but in the second half they took far greater control. We still managed to resist and get a point.

BATE 0-0 Torpedo Zhodino (HL)

We were also goalless at home to Torpedo Zhodino though this time we were expecting the win over this season’s no hopers, and while they were better than in previous games, we still had enough dominance to be annoyed not to win.

Dinamo Minsk 0-0 BATE (HL)

We got a 3rd 0-0 in a row at Dinamo Minsk, much like Gomel, we broke enough that the first half was fairly even, though they still had it better, but with a far quieter second half as we faced a lot of pressure.

BATE 4-0 Partizan Minsk (HL)

We couldn’t afford a repeat against Partizan Minsk, runaway league leaders or not, as Dinamo Brest overtook us on goal-difference early on in that match. We came up with the goods from Korchevsky and Soroka before half-time. Korchevsky got a second 5 minutes after the break, and finished off a hat-trick with minutes to spare. Like a lot of results against the strongest sides, this one really showed what we could do, now that we were definitely clicking, and had been for a while now.

Naftan 2-0 BATE (HL)

We had also climbed above Naftan, but were up against it at theirs in the next game. They had a goal disallowed after a few minutes by way of warning, and half an hour later they had two. Even going down to 10 men didn’t stop the pressure, though they didn’t get any more in what was only our second defeat in 15 league games.

League Table

Nov 2024

BATE 0-0 Belshina (HL)

Belshina also had an early goal disallowed against us. This time we weren’t beaten, and it was mostly one of those draws where we very much survived, but had a very strong late burst that could have seen a winner. However Dinamo Minsk were ahead again.

Neman Grodno 1-1 (HL)

We were just about on top at Neman Grodno, until they scored a penalty in the 34th minute. However we still had fight, with Radzkov heading us level in the 51st minute, and we did enough afterwards to earn a point that put us in 10th again.

BATE 1-0 Vitebsk (HL)

Our last home game was against Vitebsk. Zen’ko gave us a deserved lead in the 34th minute, and that was enough to get us a vital 3 points. The last 2 games were both away, to the top 2 sides (though the top 4 were covered by 2 points), Dnepr Mogilev and Minsk.

Dnepr Mogilev 3-1 BATE (HL)

Not for the first time, we were never really in the game at Dnepr Mogilev. They took the lead in the 14th minute, made it pretty safe in the 55th, and Paulo Roberto’s own goal in the 81sr made things even worse. A few minutes later Zen’ko got a consolation, but results elsewhere kept us in 9th, and were almost entirely safe.

Minsk 2-0 BATE (HL)

Right-back Razmyslovich got sent off halfway through the first half at Minsk, but even facing a lot of pressure we held out until near the end when they got a pair of goals. However we remained 9th, and they secured the title so we were both happy.

Final League Table

It had not been an easy season. I didn’t expect European qualification like the board did, but still top-half, and instead until August we were a complete mess, however taking a ‘while there’s life, there’s hope’ approach paid off, as it appeared that as insecure as my job was, it was enough to get another chance. Thankfully Torpedo Zhodino had the only automatic relegation spot claimed very early on, and when we hit good (but not spectacular) form we were able to claw back a large margin to safety (though we’d only have faced a relegation playoff at worst), and despite a late dip, being reasonably comfortable about it in the end. The form we did put on for a lot of the second half of the season, and the cup win (and we had last season’s relegated side, Veras, in the quarter finals in the Spring), promised quite a lot better (though it remained to be seen how much) next year, and if I was to manage something eventually it would feel amazing having endured this tough start.

Squad Stats

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Didn't realise you had a career thread, very enjoyable read :)

I had a great spell in FM11 in charge of the Belarusian national team - Rudenok is a beast!

Unbelievably tight finish at the top of the league... at least if you can improve the form a bit there isn't a behemoth of a team to overcome. The fact that Gomel somehow contrived to drop from 1st to 7th shows what a volatile division it is.

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Tough season,hopefully you can turn it around next season.

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Just about survived then! I'm a bit surprised that you weren't sacked! ;)

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Didn't realise you had a career thread, very enjoyable read :)

I had a great spell in FM11 in charge of the Belarusian national team - Rudenok is a beast!

Unbelievably tight finish at the top of the league... at least if you can improve the form a bit there isn't a behemoth of a team to overcome. The fact that Gomel somehow contrived to drop from 1st to 7th shows what a volatile division it is.

My thoughts exactly, a nice change from Bulgaria, plus we got good results against the stronger sides last season so if we can avoid being rubbish at any point in the season we can do pretty well.

Tough season,hopefully you can turn it around next season.
Ouch. Had a very tough season.

Very, actually slightly better than last year, and much better than it looked like being.

Just about survived then! I'm a bit surprised that you weren't sacked! ;)

You're telling me! I was expecting it from before the halfway point. However they want European qualification again this year (having not even been in the top half for the past 5 years!) so unless things click quickly they might as well fire me now. Not easy resisting the temptation to resign and be done with it but they appear to be as patient as they are demanding (if that makes sense), this has to be easily the worst I've done without being fired.

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What a difference a year makes, so far.

Winter 2025

The good news was that having done quite a few ‘expiring contract’ deals in June, we had a decent influx of locals this time, which was lacking last time, though having broken tradition and not scouted beforehand, I was punished by the limited use of quite a few of them. Plus there were vacancies in the foreign players slots. The bad news was that the board expected European qualification again (though board confidence resetting spared me the prospect of an early sacking. However the sides’s least 5 league finishes (all out of 12) were 9th, 7th, 9th, 10th (just after I arrived), and 9th again last year, so in that respect they weren’t doing that much worse under me than recently, making such high expectations odd, and while I felt we could do a lot better this year, I didn’t expect to do that much better. Budgets were slashed to 10kpw wages and 600k transfers, but for me that seemed to be a shift to something more sensible, not a harsh shrinking of finances. Thankfully the paid-for transfers gave us a bit of a boost.

Kaplan

Kovalev

Spasic

Transfers

Apr 2025

BATE 1-1 Veras (Bc QF L1)

The season started not in the league but at home to Veras in the first leg of the cup quarter finals. It took just 5 minutes for new Czech forward Kaplan to make his mark and give us the lead. However they equalized 10 minutes later, and having previously been comfortably on top, we only had patchy attacking phases after that, failing to take an advantage into the other leg.

Veras 2-3 (3-4) BATE (Bc QF L2)

The return was my 400th career game, and going out of the cup to a lower league side wouldn’t be a good way to mark it. They took the lead after 20 minutes, and we thought we had responded a few minutes later only to see it disallowed. However we quickly made up for it as Radzkov and Kaplan gave us the lead. They scored a penalty before half-time, but away goals were now in our favour. It didn’t come to that as in a dominant second half, Kaplan’s second goal, in the 78th minute, sent us through to the last 4.

Vitebsk 1-1 BATE (HL)

With that behind us we went to Vitebsk for the opening league game. Not a lot had happened by the time Korchevskiy gave us the lead midway through the half, and while the first half had been patchy, in the second they were stronger, and while they equalized, we were able to resist enough to hold on to a point.

BATE 3-1 Dnepr Mogilev (Bc SF L1)

Back in the cup, we were at home to Dnepr Mogilev first in the semi finals. Zen’ko gave us the lead after just 21 seconds, followed by another Kaplan goal after half an hour. They quickly got us back on our toes with a goal, and came close to equalizing before half-time. In the second half we were back on top, pushing to get a 3rd goal that would give us a far more comfortable margin, and just as we were slacking, Zen’ko got that goal a few minutes from time.

Dnepr Mogilev 2-3 (3-6) BATE (Bc SF L2)

We went to the away leg very excited about the prospect of reaching the final. Kaplan (who had made quite an impact, at least in the cup) put more pressure on them by giving us the lead after 10 minutes, knowing a second (away) goal would really give them a mountain, we chased another, Tret’yak had a goal disallowed a few minutes before the break, though he finally got one on the hour mark, after they had equalized in a half where they gave us a lot of pressure. They equalized again with about 20 minutes left, but by this point things were fast getting beyond them, and Kaplan secured our place in the final with a winner. What was even better was that First League side Lido had beaten champions Minsk in the other semi, making for a far more beatable opponent.

BATE 3-1 Partizan Minsk (HL)

We built on this back in the league at home to Partizan Minsk. Goals from Tret’yak and Kaplan gave us a comfortable 2 goal lead at half-time. They quickly got a goal back in the second half, but in the 69th minute, Kaplan wrapped up a 3-1 win, which actually put us top on goal difference after 2 games, a far cry from a year ago.

BATE 1-0 Gomel (HL)

We were up against it a lot more against Gomel, but were now capable of surviving pressure. In the second half we came out of our shell a bit, but especially after forward Hleb got sent off, it looked like we weren’t going to get any further than Gomel had in the first half, but midfielder Markov (one of by unimpressive frees) proved be happily wrong as he gave us a slightly lucky win with 7 minutes left.

Naftan 1-1 (HL)

After another first half of surviving at Naftan, we couldn’t turn the tide of the match, and they soon took the lead. Another goal would take them above us, and as hard as they pushed, they somehow couldn’t get one, and were punished when Tret’yak got a goal right at the end to give us a very unlikely point, which meant we’d stay second at this stage, much better than second from bottom, I’m sure you’ll all agree.

League Table

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A much better go this time around! Crazy how a single off season can change things. Looking good!

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Excellent start to the season,hopefully you can have a more successful season this time around.

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A much better go this time around! Crazy how a single off season can change things. Looking good!
Great start, hope you can sustain it :thup:
Excellent start to the season,hopefully you can have a more successful season this time around.

Looks that way ;)

May 2025

BATE 1-1 Dinamo Minsk (HL)

We had lucked out a bit so far, and it looked like we had run out at home to Dinamo Minsk, as we were outplayed yet again in the first half, this time going behind. We pushed and pushed in the second half, but it looked like we would draw a blank until Malofeev rescued the latest of a recent run of late points. T

Dinamo Brest 6-0 BATE (HL)

he luck ran out at Dinamo Brest, who struck twice in the middle of the first half, and again before the break. They had even more of a party in the second half, quickly getting a 4th, then another mid-half double, delivering a defeat down there with the worst of last season, indeed it was a club record defeat.

Cup Final: BATE 3-1 Lida

I wouldn’t have minded too much if it hadn’t been too heavy, as next was the much-anticipated cup final. What made it more interesting, aside from how much difference it would make for me, was that BATE hadn’t won it for 24 years. Kaplan’s 7th cup goal in 5 games (inspired signing that kid) gave us a 6th minute lead after a few early chances. The game quietened down a bit until they woke up midway through the half, equalizing and having some good chances to take the lead. However we retook control in the second half. Spasic heading us into the lead a few minutes in, and as we kept attacking, the 67th minute saw Dubovik secure it. After 15 years (I’m long used to waiting a while) I finally had a trophy, and would enjoy a little European trip! Not for the first time, FM proves that patience is a virtue, as the cup run was one of the main reasons why I decided that staying on was worth it despite how bad things have been. The cup win would open (admittedly not very big) doors for the first time, so its value, along with anything else I might be able to win here, hopefully with a bit more time to do so, should not be underestimated.

SKVICh 0-1 BATE (HL)

We hoped to restore league form at the promoted side, SKVICh. Frustratingly Tret’yak had a goal disallowed in the 20th minute. Even more frustrating was how hard we pushed to no avail until Tret’yak deservedly got his goal with 15 minutes left.

League Table

Cup Final

June 2025

BATE 1-0 Neman Grodno (HL)

A busy summer started (with internationals getting in the way) at home to Neman Grodno. We showed flashes of being on top in the first-half, deservedly taking the lead early in the second from Dubovik, and just about doing enough to be the better side and holding on to win.

BATE 4-1 Minsk (HL)

We were deprived of more players before playing Minsk. However we started well against the champions (who weren’t playing like it this season, which isn’t new around here), Kovalevich giving us the lead after 15 minutes. They equalized but we soon regained control, Kovalev restoring the lead, and a Zen’ko penalty just before half-time making it 3-1. The forward, breaking a goal drought, finished it off 10 minutes into the second half.

Dnepr Mogilev 1-0 BATE (HL)

We were very much on the back foot at Dnepr Mogilev, eventually conceding just before the break, and while we improved a bit later in the second half, it wasn’t enough, though we might have got something anyway with a missed penalty.

BATE 3-0 Belshina (HL)

We benefited from a missed penalty at home to Belshina, and took advantage when Zen’ko scored in the 34th minute. He continued in the second half, bagging a hat-trick with goals in the 59th and 86th minute. Zen’ko was on a goalscoring roll, getting another early on against Vitebsk, and a penalty making it 5 in 2 games before half time. Markov came on at half-time and joined in the fun by wrapping up a 3-0 win.

Partizan Minsk 2-3 BATE (HL)

The board had let Paulo Roberto go to Hungary for 1M before we went to Partizan Minsk, departing too soon to be able to get a replacement in yet. The retiring Scherbakov had to play in the meantime which didn’t go very well last time. We were able to keep the pressure off him but couldn’t grab the lead in the first half. With 10 minutes left, Zen’ko’s double suddenly gave us a strong lead. It wasn’t over yet though, and 5 minutes later they got their own quick double, the first from a penalty, to level the scores. It looked like we’d missed the chance to go level at the top of the table, but right at the end, Kovalev headed in a winner, ending a very exciting climax.

League Table

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Great work again, hope you can keep this form going.

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Congrats on the Cup final victory :thup:

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What a drastic improvement this season! Well done on lifting the cup too :thup:

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Great work again, hope you can keep this form going.
Congrats on the Cup final victory :thup:
What a drastic improvement this season! Well done on lifting the cup too :thup:

Thanks, probably won't get the league but looking to get Europe again, and even being close would be an great surprise.

Jul 2025

Gomel 2-3 BATE (HL)

At Gomel, Markov gave us the lead after just over a minute, however new Bosnian keeper Mesic wasn’t having a good debut, and shipped an equalizer, later being taken off. Kovalev headed us into the lead from a free-kick just before half-time, and as the second half wore on, it was clear that we stood to take top spot if we held out. We didn’t as they drew level with 8 minutes left, but in the 88th minute Dubovik got the required winner. Plus after the match we were able to use the remaining Paulo Roberto money to secure the signing of the best young forward in the country.

BATE 0-0 Naftan (HL)

We were fortunate at home to Naftan, as with the exception of early in the second half, they had us on the ropes all game, not only did we hold out, but maintained the 2 goal lead at the top, though I knew that we’d need all we could get so still wanted to extend it.

APOEL 3-0 BATE (EL)

We faced our first European game in Cyprus against APOEL, not a good draw, even though we weren’t expecting to get far anyway. As I thought, they were just too much, though throughout we pushed them very hard, something not reflected by the 3-0 defeat.

BATE 1-2 Dinamo Brest (HL)

At home to Dinamo Brest, we hoped to avoid another 6-0. Kovalevich gave us a 6th minute lead, but after that they started to give us a lot of pressure. It was a 68th minute penalty that gave them an equalizer that was long coming, and while I’ll have settled for that, in the 81st minute they grabbed a winner that allowed them to retake top spot, plus as out third and final game with them was away, I felt that the scales were balanced in their favour a bit.

BATE 2-1 (2-4) APOEL (EL)

We didn’t expect to be able to overcome the deficit in the APOEL tie, but Kovalev headed us into the lead. They equalized from a penalty, but we kept pushing. At half-time I brought on the new 17yr old Korol, and it looked like he’d scored 10 minutes into the second half only to see it disallowed, and while Dubovik gave us a winner on the night, it wasn’t enough.

Dinamo Minsk 1-1 BATE (HL)

We went to bottom side Dinamo Minsk needing a win to get back on track, Brest having already won the previous day. We hammered away, with no luck until a corner was bundled in got an own-goal that gave us the lead with less than 10 minutes left. They grabbed an equalizer 5 minutes later to deny us the win.

League Table

Aug 2025

Minsk 1-1 BATE (HL)

We went to Minsk (just plain, simple ‘Minsk’), hoping that the city wasn’t turning into another bogey city like Sofia was. We pushed again like we did against Dinamo, and late on in the first half, Radzkov gave us the lead. The tide turned after the break, and we nearly held out, but couldn’t quite and again had to settle for a point.

****sk 0-1 BATE (Bc)

We started our cup defence at ****sk. There was a déjà-vu feeling as continuous attacking didn’t yield results, but we got through with a 79th minute goal from Dubovik. We struggled to get doing at home to SKVICh, and had to settle for yet another draw.

Neman Grodno 4-1 BATE (HL)

We looked to break the cycle at Neman Grodno, and took the lead from Panteleev in the 7th minute. They equalized after half an hour but we kept playing well enough, however they surprisingly took the lead after 68 minutes, and after that any sense of solidity fell apart as they racked up a 4-1 win, and it had been 6 games since we last had one. We seemed to have difficulty holding a lead against anyone whether they had genuinely been pushing hard or not.

BATE 2-2 Dnepr Mogilev (HL)

Lo and behold it happened again at home to Dnepr Mogilev, who were now 2nd. Dubovik gave us a quick lead, as we looked to have raised our game, but another loss of defence occurred and we were 2-1 down at the break, and I expected it to get even worse. In a pleasant surprise, we fought well and got a 2-2 draw thanks to Dubovik, but still no wins or cigars. I think the Soviets were in charge the last time we held a lead.

Belshina 3-1 BATE (HL)

We weren’t catching much of a break right now. At second-bottom Belshina we wasted a number of first half chances, then in the second half they cruelly took control with a pair of early goals, and though Dubovik got one back, they finished us off with a third.

League Table

Sept 2025

Vitebsk 4-1 BATE (HL)

We didn’t even have the lead at Vitebsk, unless you count an early disallowed goal, and we went behind instead. Thanks to Malofeev we were level for just a few minutes, but they retook the lead before the break, and we crashed to another 4-1 defeat.

BATE 1-0 Partizan Minsk (HL)

When we finally got a break it was at home to Partizan Minsk, the bottom side. We didn’t get very far until the beginning of the second half where Panteleev gave us the lead. The game might have been more interesting if we hadn’t got a second goal disallowed and it was a pretty dull win all told, but I’m so very glad we had a first one in 10 games!

Slavia Mozyr 2-4 (Bc)

The next round of the cup saw us play Slavia Mozyr, my only other Belarus club, away at first. We didn’t get off to a great start, going behind after 10 minutes. A corner led to an own-goal for a quick leveller, and shortly before the break, Kovalevich gave us the lead. In the second half they broke through our attacking to equalize, but in the 70th minute, Korol’s first goal for us put us ahead, and he got a later second to wrap it up.

BATE 4-0 Gomel (HL)

At home to Gomel we had the sort of game that we’d been waiting to have for some time. A 21st minute own-goal set us on our way, followed by Korol 10 minutes later. In the 73rd minute, Korol set Dubovik up for the third, and Markov finished things in added time.

Naftan 2-4 BATE (HL)

We followed this up at Naftan. Dubovik gave us the lead, but they equalized 15 minutes in. We pushed to retake the lead, and Panteleev got it just before the break. They equalized again a few minutes into the second half, but Kovalevich restored the lead 5 minutes later. We had a lot of resisting to do, and Mesic in goal did a great job, and we were rewarded by another Kovalevich goal right at the end.

BATE 4-2 Dinamo Minsk (HL)

It was like we had turned a corner as we also put in a great showing against Dinamo Minsk. A Panteleev penalty set us on our way in the 18th minute, Dubovik getting a second 10 minutes later. A quick double (which included an own-goal) in the second half allowed them to come back, but we weren’t going to let them do this to us. Korol restored the lead with 15 minutes left, and a Spasic penalty at the end made it safe.

League Table

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sorry i was reading through from the beginning when u was still in the norwegian league

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sorry i was reading through from the beginning when u was still in the norwegian league

Yes, it is just the top team, which at least makes it better than the same level in Portugal, and that was part of why I left (along with a shorter season meaning that a dip in form was more costly), which worked out fine.

Oct 2025

BATE 0-0 (4-2) Slavia Mozyr (Bc)

The return leg against Slavia Mozyr looked like it had goals in it, especially from us, but Hulk going off injured (one of three we had during the match, and by far the worst as he’d be out until just before the start of next season) to leave us down to 10 fit men looked like it would give them a look in, though 0-0 was easily enough to send us through to the quarter-finals in the spring.

Dinamo Brest 2-1 BATE (HL)

I was rather worried about going to Dinamo Brest after what happened last time we went to theirs, but we did rather better (not difficult as that was a record 6-0 defeat), and might have got something if we hadn’t been caught napping in the 12th minute. We were exposed again before half-time, then mounted a decent fightback. Molchanov the lesser got a straight red, but surprisingly that was followed by Tret-yak getting a goal back, and he could have levelled it. As it was a game that even as early challengers I knew we’d lose, I wasn’t too unhappy.

BATE 2-0 Minsk (HL)

We managed to bounce back against Minsk. Kovalevich gave us an early lead, but the rest of the half was a very tense affair indeed as they had a number of chances to equalize. They eased off a bit in the second half, which allowed Tret’yak to make it much more comfortable.

SKVICh 1-1 BATE (HL)

We wobbled a bit at SKVICh. Belov gave us a deserved lead in the 32n’t minute, but it didn’t last long. We threw ourselves at them in the second half, but couldn’t get a winner.

League Table

Nov 2025

BATE 1-0 Neman Grodno (HL)

Neman Grodno proved to be a very tight game. Kovalevich gave us the lead in the 33rd minute, but the rest of the match was very much ‘looking through fingers’ stuff as they pounded away but we managed to get the win that just about kept us in 3rd (which would guarantee European qualification) with 2 games left.

Dnepr Mogilev 1-1 BATE (HL)

We were a point ahead of Dinamo Brest (despite losing all three league games to them), both of us facing a tricky away game and an easy home one. Our trip was by far the worse, at new champions-elect Dnepr Mogilev, and we just wanted to be ahead of Brest. We got very lucky when they had a goal disallowed after a minute. On a very rare break, Belov headed us into the lead in the 34th minute. The rest of the game was intense Dnepr pressure, and while we couldn’t secure European qualification by holding out completely (with Brest losing to Minsk), a 77th minute equalizer was all we restricted them to.

BATE 1-0 Belshina (HL)

The last game against Belshina was a bit trickier than I imagined. We were just about the better, the game reflected by the fact that we won 1-0 through an own-goal. Instead what was notable was results elsewhere, which meant that not only would a draw have been enough, but we were able to go above Vitebsk to finish second!

League Table

From the start, the phrase ‘what a difference a year makes’ seemed to apply. As amazing as it was that I survived (or didn’t get fed up) last year, the improvement seemed to show the value of patience in this game. The cup was a great early triumph among a good start, though a massive mid-season slump put paid to ambitions of the title, which would have been amazing (and which I think is a realistic aim for the next season or two), though didn’t result in dropping down the league as much as I feared, and we really showed our potential, hitting a very strong run for the rest of the season. The result was by far the club’s best league finish for 6 years, European qualification, and a good shot at retaining our cup in the spring. The fact that the side was still coming together and growing added to the potential for league glory soon.

Squad Stats

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As you yourself said,what a difference a year makes.

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Winter 2026

The close-season was a quiet one, partly helped by the fact that I thought we were maxed out on foreign players, plus a surprisingly small transfer kitty. The result was no transfers in (until late on when I realized Dalla didn’t count as a foreigner any more, though not sure why as he was still nowhere near citizenship, and I decided to take advantage), and no one who was ever really of any importance released in the ‘out’ tray. It helped that there were a few fairly good players promoted from the youth team, including a couple of excellent prospects indeed. The board expected a title challenge (though not necessarily a title win), and this time I agreed with them. I felt we could win the title this year or next, and felt we were in with a strong chance, even if we didn’t quite do it now.

The youngsters

Drozd

Panasyuk

From last summer but enough of a prospect to be worth featuring.

Korol

The sole late signing.

Tshibasu

Mar/Apr 2026

BATE 1-0 Dnepr Mogilev (BSC)

A month before the main season start, we played Dnepr Mogilev in the Super cup. We got off to a great start with Tret’yak giving us the lead in the 3rd minute. We didn’t quite retreat into our shell after that but had to contend with numerous periods of pressure for the rest of the match. We held on though, and while I don’t consider it a trophy, it was a strong gesture of intent and ability against last season’s runaway league champions.

Rudensk 2-4 BATE (Bc QF))

The proper season started in the cup, at Rudensk who were just promoted through the playoff. We had the upper hand from the start, and Korol gave us a 34th minute lead. They had a few chances, including a disallowed equalizer just before the break, and we kept on top in the second half, Korol getting a deserved second on the hour, putting us in a commanding position in the tie.

BATE 1-0 (5-2) Rudensk (Bc QF)

We finished them off at home with the minimum of fuss, and minimum of spectacle, Korol grabbing the game’s only goal in the 38th minute, as we were comfortable throughout.

BATE 3-3 Vitebsk (HL)

The league started at home to Vitebsk, who weren’t expected to be easy. We managed to have a good early burst which saw Zen’ko give us the lead with a penalty in the 22nd minute, though they quickly equalized. Zen’ko scored again a couple of minutes into the second half which met with the same response, but he was a man on a mission, getting a hat-trick in the 62nd minute. We held out a lot better, but a few minutes from time they got another equalizer to grab a point which, given they had the upper hand, was admittedly the least they deserved.

BATE 0-4 Dnepr Mogilev (Bc SF)

We had another challenge in the cup, facing Dnepr Mogilev, though aside from the Super cup win, we had beaten them at this stage last year, so while they were a side I wanted to avoid, there was hope. That hope didn’t last. We had an early burst to try and get in before they got going, but when that ran out of steam, they got 3 goals in 7 minutes, and had a 4th disallowed before half time, but got one in the 77th minute anyway, wrapping up a very bad day at the office for us.

Dnepr Mogilev 1-1 (5-1) BATE (Bc SF)

I doubted we’d get anywhere near coming back at theirs in the second leg, and was proved right as an early bit of ambition was blunted when they scored in the 7th minute. We were back on the pace in the second half, and Dubovik gave us a goal, but that was all we would get. Revenge had very much been served on us.

Gomel 2-2 BATE (HL)

We hoped for better back in the league at Gomel. Zen’ko gave us the lead after half an hour, but we slipped a bit in the second half, allowing them to take the lead with a quick double in around the hour mark. Zen’ko managed to give us a point in the 76th minute.

BATE 2-1 Dinamo Brest (HL)

Dinamo Brest were a pale shadow of the team that beat us all three times last season, and Tret’yak gave us the lead after 25 minutes, in a comfortable first half. In the second, they were far stronger and threatened to take points away. While they equalized in the 72nd minute, Lukashevich gave us a late winner in the 85th minute.

Khimik 0-5 BATE (HL)

We next went to promoted Khimik, who had no points so far. Dalla headed us into the lead in the 9th minute, but while we were comfortable for a bit, as the first half wore on they became more of a threat. That ended in the second half, Dubovik extending the lead in the 56th minute, a Zen’ko penalty making it 3, 10 minutes later, and the final 10 minutes saw Dalla and Dubovik get another goal each.

League Table

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Catching up with this page and the one before - very enjoyable career to read as the clubs you've been through are quite exotic! Norway to Bulgaria to Belarus is a very atypical career path, specially since you've done well at all jobs. Still sticking with the U21 only policy?

Quite weird to see you having to build BATE into a force, I thought they were by far Belarus' best side in real life? Those Dinamo Brest folks seem a lot more competitive there, hammered your side a couple times already... You're pushing the club forwards though.

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Catching up with this page and the one before - very enjoyable career to read as the clubs you've been through are quite exotic! Norway to Bulgaria to Belarus is a very atypical career path, specially since you've done well at all jobs. Still sticking with the U21 only policy?

For me atypical is typical. I started out FM life being stuck in short lived terms with small clubs in lower leagues all over the place, gladly went for a high-rep start until halfway into FM11 (as a test run for my FM12 career) but knew I didn't need to be fussy without having to think about a career path and once ended up getting relegated from the BSP a year after winning the Romanian title on my first FM11 save. Even last time, from Premier League relegation to Uruguay of all places (while managing the Irish national side), and when I went to MTK after, someone posted that he didn't expect me to turn up in Hungary, and I was thinking 'Well, no less expected than anything else',and actually that's the way I like it, though it's not a deliberate 'go as far and wide as possible' policy, though my 'no nation twice in a row' thing does help encourage a bit of variety, which is what I like.

I am still doing U21, with the exception of 2 21yr olds I mentioned after promotion in Bulgaria, and accidentally getting one of my BATE players just beyond their 21st birthday. Actually not thought about it much, as I've had my filters set accordingly for so long that it feels normal, especially as after the poor start, my fortunes haven't been that different to normal. However, I have found at a few places that its been a bit restrictive in terms of good available players (At my first club I only had 100 or so in player search to begin with, only one being good enough), especially after a season or 2 or grabbing those that are out there, less so as I actually move up, and really going to enjoy being at a big club when I get there when there'll be a treasure trove of talent I can get. That said recently been looking at a few over-age free agents to see what I'm missing out on. No reason to change the policy, as I'm doing alright, and going to keep it, but won't be doing it again in a future career.

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Good job with the Europa League qualification. Do you know which round of the qualifiers you are entered into?

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Great start to the season, with some nice high scoring games aswell! That right back looks good, just need to focus on his pace in my opinion. Best of luck for the rest of the season.

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Good job with the Europa League qualification. Do you know which round of the qualifiers you are entered into?

If I remember right it will be the second round, like last year.

Great start to the season, with some nice high scoring games aswell! That right back looks good, just need to focus on his pace in my opinion. Best of luck for the rest of the season.

Thanks, sadly things have taken a turn for the worse right now.

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Nice work, however. BTW have you checked out the "work in progress" BATE stadium? Looks great!

Wow, some stadium!

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I have a very bipolar team.

May 2026

BATE 2-1 Rudensk (HL)

Rudensk had made a good start, and showed it as they took an early lead, pushing hard afterwards. We gathered ourselves before the break, and Korol equalized late in the first half. We took control in the second half, and managed to get a winner from Bakhno with 15 minutes left, which felt a long time coming.

Naftan 3-1 BATE (HL)

A trip to Naftan was an early top of the table clash, and not one that went well. They scored around 20 minutes, then followed up with another couple in the next 5. We staged a bit of a second half fightback , only getting a Kaplan goal later on, as we sunk to a first defeat in 11.

BATE 2-0 Neman Grodno (HL)

Kaplan struck again after 28 minutes against Neman Grodno, and having kept up the pressure, and avoided slipping up, Dalla scored another right at the end.

BATE 1-2 Minsk (HL)

Bakhno gave us another early headed got at home to Minsk. We had a chance to get very close to the top, but we lost it as they equalized in the 69th minute, and hit us with a very late winner.

League Table

Jun 2026

SKVICh 1-0 BATE (HL)

SKVICh was the first of 4 away games in a row. International call ups (always a greater threat with a young squad) caused a number of changes. We pushed with plenty of effort but little efficiency for most of the game, but in the 77th minute they made the winning breakthrough, and aside from the fact that it was a poor defeat, it ended a run of scoring in 22 league games in a row.

Dinamo Minsk 3-0 BATE (HL)

We were never even in the game at Dinamo Minsk, conceding 2 early goals, plus a third early on in the second half from a penalty. Later, an injury to Kovalev was quickly followed by Dalla getting sent off, reduced us to 9 men but they failed to get more.

Dnepr Mogilev 3-0 BATE (HL)

Dnepr Mogilev were the first champions in a while putting up any sort of a defence, so going to the 3rd away game wasn’t what I wanted from my 100th game in charge of BATE. They scored after 15 minutes and I’m glad it wasn’t worse before half time. However they seemed to have a thing for 15 minutes, getting another that length of time after the break, and a third 15 from time. That put us down in a lowly 8th, and I was getting job insecurity feelings again after a 5th defeat in 6.

Vitebsk 0-3 BATE (HL)

Vitebsk was mercifully the last of this run of trips, the players agreed as they put in a great performance. Panasyuk gave us the lead after 12 minutes, and though they threatened to fight back, Dubovik put paid to their ambitions with a goal early in the second half, and in the 72nd minute Panteleev finished things off.

BATE 1-0 Gomel (HL)

We built on that, albeit in unimpressive ways, when we were finally at home again against Gomel. We were just about on top in an even first half, and the beginning of the second saw Zen’ko give us the lead. They had an own goal equalizer disallowed soon after and the game was quiet after that.

Dinamo Brest 1-2 BATE (HL)

After a long time goalless, and on the sidelines, Zen’ko was making up for lost time, though at Dinamo Brest he was helped by a goalkeeping fumble that gifted him his first goal in the 3rd minute, getting another midway through the half, and we were comfortably on top, despite gifting them a goal back in the 77th minute with a Drozd own-goal. We were back to 4th, though with a large gap to the teams above, and the Europa League draw was much kinder, either the Icelandic Fylkir, or Lithuanian outfit Suduva, both I could expect to beat.

League Table

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Some frustrating resuls in there but nice to have 3 wins back to back.

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Some frustrating resuls in there but nice to have 3 wins back to back.

Frustrating is the word that you can apply to a lot of my time in Belarus.

Jul 2026

BATE 3-0 Khimik (HL)

Khimik at home should have been an easy win, but we didn’t play like we realized that. We eventually took the lead midway through the first half from an own-goal, the Panteleev made it pretty save a minute or so before half time. Ironically we finally ramped up the pressure in the second half with little further progress aside from a 73rd minute Panteleev penalty.

BATE 3-0 Fylkur (EL Q2)

We started off in Europe at home to Fylkir. It took just 27 seconds for Zen’ko to open our account, followed by a Panteleev penalty 10 minutes later. Dubovik made it 3-0 just before half-time, and despite getting no more goals, we never let off the pressure.

Rudensk 3-2 BATE (HL)

We were knocked off our perch at Rudensk when they scored after a few minutes. Panteleev soon equalized, and it looked like we were taking control, but they suddenly turned the heat up late in the first half and went ahead again. Korol scored early in the second half but that was as good as things got and they comfortably grabbed a winner.

Fylkir 1-2 (1-5) BATE (EL Q2)

Unsurprisingly things were rather more comfortable in the return against Fylkir. We didn’t need to try too hard, and we sat back after Panteleev gave us the lead (and a 4-goal advantage in the tie) midway through the half. They took advantage to get a second half equalizer, but we avoided embarrassment with a Dalla header 10 minutes from time to grab a win in this leg as well, though Espanyol would be several times trickier in the next round.

BATE 1-0 Naftan (HL)

We had a massive gap to close to the top three, and would at least go some way to doing so at home to Naftan, in 3rd. Korol delivered the goods with a 5th minute goal and we were good enough that we should have had more against the side that so easily tore through us in our last encounter, but even then we were still 5 points behind them.

Espanyol 2-2 BATE (EL Q3)

I wasn’t looking forward to a trip to Espanyol, which would probably yield a heavy defeat. They weren’t quite as strong as I expected, but still didn’t expect to compete after they took the lead in the 7th minute. However the game was surprisingly even and Zen’ko levelled in midway through the half. Both sides really went for it after the break, and Panteleev gave us the lead with 5 minutes left! They levelled the scores in stoppage time, which was a fair outcome, but it was still a very good result for us.

League Table

Aug 2026

Neman Grodno 0-1 BATE (HL)

Dalla gave us the lead in the 23rd minute, but going down to 10 men soon afterwards just spurred them on to fight back, and while we got the win it was far from comfortable.

BATE 0-0 (a2-2) Espanyol (EL Q3)

We went into the home leg against Espanyol with the scores level and 2 away goals, which was better than I was expecting, but it ended up being the uphill struggle that I expected the tie to be in the first place. Our chances were limited as they came close to scoring on many occasions. A 0-0 draw was enough to see us through but it was very much a case of holding on tight and surviving the storm, Bordeaux awaiting next.

SKVICh 1-1 BATE (HL)

Yet again we got off to a bad start returning to the league, this time at SKVICh. Zen’ko equalized in the 12th minute but we looked vulnerable for the rest of the half, managing regular but sporadic attacking phases in the second half and having to settle for a point.

Minsk 3-1 BATE (HL)

I’d have been happy to settle for that at Minsk, who were over their ‘champions curse’ from last season and top right now this time. They just about had the edge in the first half, taking the lead early in the second, but bringing on Kovalevich at half-time made an impact for us and he equalized in the 58th minute. The game then turned on two incidents. The first was another Kovalevich goal being disallowed, then Drozd being sent off for two yellows, and they were free after that to finish us off with 2 more goals.

Bordeaux 4-0 BATE (EL Q4)

We didn’t improve at Bordeaux, going behind after 16 minutes, and conceding another couple shortly before half-time. The 78th minute saw them get an expected 4th.

BATE 1-2 Dinamo Minsk (HL)

Tret’yak gave us an 18th minute lead against Dinamo Minsk, and things looked to be improving, but it wasn’t. They were able to grab an equalizer before half time, and took the lead in the second half. We finished pretty strongly, but with no end result.

Orsha 0-1 BATE (Bc)

Squeezed in between that and the second Bordeaux game was a top to Orsha in the cup. In the first half we played like we weren’t too bothered with this game. In the second we ramped up the pressure, though had to wait for the 76th minute to grab a goal from Zen’ko.

BATE 0-4 (0-8) Bordeaux (EL Q4)

He was suspended for the home Bordeaux game, not that we stood much chance to go through, and even less when the game kicked off and they grabbed 2 further first-half goals. The 71st minute made it three on the night (and 7 on aggregate), followed shortly by another as we were well and truely smashed. Mogilev didn’t have things much better, going out 10-3 to RB Salzburg. Not a great night for Belarusian football.

BATE 2-2 Dnepr Mogilev (HL)

As it happened, our fellow European failures were also our next league opponents. They were all over us from the start, eventually getting a goal in the 20th minute when Mesic put the ball into his own goal, then went another goal up. In the second half, Panteleev scored to give us hope, and after considerable pushing, Malofeev rescued a point deep in added time.

League Table

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Overall, been a much better past two seasons. This year looks a bit more competitive.

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Overall, been a much better past two seasons. This year looks a bit more competitive.

We needed to be a bit more though.

Sept 2026

BATE 2-0 Vitebsk (HL)

Malofeev also made the difference against Vitebsk, scoring in the 34th minute, with Tret’yak joining him on the scoresheet 10 minutes later. They threatened a lot in the second half but couldn’t even get a consolation.

Gomel 4-1 BATE (HL)

Aside from moments like that, the season had long descended into regular mediocrity, and it was business as usual at Gomel when they got easy goals in the 14th and 18th minutes to go 2 up at the break with no resistance at all. They got a third before we finally got something from Malofeev in the 72nd minute, but that was all we got in what turned into a 4-1 defeat.

Smolevichi 0-4 BATE (Bc)

We had non-leagie Smolevichi in the last 16 of the cup, away at first. On top from the start, Malofeev (the latest of a long trend of forwards who had strong runs in the first team while being out of it for large parts of the season) gave us the lead. The floodgates opened in the second half. Spasic getting a second goal for us a few minutes after the break, and later on Kaplan got another before Malofeev’s second gave us one foot in the quarter finals.

BATE 2-1 Dinamo Brest (HL)

Dinamo Brest were 11th and there for the taking. Certainly we looked by far the more likely to score, at least until they did in the 51st minute. This wasn’t a wasted game though, for Kaplan hit back 5 minutes later, and our pressure was rewarded with a deserved winner from Tret’yak a few minutes before the end.

Khimik 0-1 BATE (HL)

We were also on top at Khimik, however while they didn’t threaten to get a surprise goal, we didn’t get anywhere ourselves until Malofeev came to the rescue near the end.

BATE 2-0 (6-0) Smolevichi (Bc)

In the home leg against Smolevichi, we were very casual in the first half, but decided to go for it in the second half. Malofeev’s penalty extended the lead in the tie, and the veteran Soroka sealed the deal in the 76th minute.

League Table

Oct 2026

BATE 3-1 Rudensk (HL)

Korol gave us the lead after 90 seconds against Rudensk, and while they equalized, Spasic and Korol quickly restored control before half an hour was up, and the rest of the game was all ours despite no more goals.

Naftan 0-0 BATE (HL)

At Naftan, another chance to close on the top three, we pounded them for a lot of the early stages. They hit back just as hard in the second half, but it turned into one of the most unlikely 0-0’s for a while.

BATE 0-2 Neman Grodno (HL)

Bottom side Neman Grodno hit us early on, which was a bit of a shock. We went on a continuous offensive, but in the second half a penalty allowed them to extend the lead, and all the pushing in the world couldn’t give us anything.

SKVICh 1-3 BATE (HL)

We made a deserved breakthrough at SKVICh from Dubovik, it looked like we’d wasted it when they equalized in the 79th minute, but Malofeev got a late goal to restore the lead, and stoppage time saw Dubovik get his second.

League Table

Nov 2026

BATE 1-1 Minsk (HL)

I was worried about the visit of Minsk, who were looking like they’d take the title, but Spasic heading us into a 7th minute lead was a nice surprise. We remained on top until they suddenly hit an equalizer in the 39th minute. We kept pushing for a while, but admittedly they considerably out-pressured us for most of the second half, so keeping the scores as they were was definitely something I was happy with.

Dinamo Minsk 4-3 BATE (HL)

We had two away trips to finish the season off with, starting at Dinamo Minsk. We were as soft as I feared we’d be, conceding 2 goals in the first half, and a 3rd right at the beginning of the second. However we weren’t done yet, as 10 minutes into the second half it was 3-2 thanks to Malofeev and Lukashevich, and Spasic levelled the scores just a couple of minutes later, taking us from 3-0 down to 3-3 in 9 minutes! Understandably they were rather eager to restore the lead they had just completely thrown away, and after a lot of pressure (with only occasional breaks from us) they did get a winner 5 minutes from time, but it had been great giving them a very unexpected fight.

Dnepr Mogilev 4-1 BATE (HL)

The season had saved the worst until last, while they had lost the title to Minsk, I still regarded Dnepr Mogilev as my arch-rivals. There was a brief bit of hope. After half an hour, Dubovik cancelled out the lead they had taken 6 minutes earlier. However they restored the advantage before half time, and had complete control after that, getting a couple of later goals to sweep us aside. ONORE, MOGILEV!!!!

Final League Table

It was a bit of a disappointing season, after a reasonable start we fell so far away not just from a title challenge but from the top 3, though were still strong enough to be far ahead of everyone else, at least on the table, with a lot of annoying exceptions on the pitch, so it wasn’t too terrible all things considered. It was nice to have a bit of a European run this year as well, though whether we’d have another go next year still remained to be seen until early next season and the later stages of the cup.

I was having conflicted feelings about BATE, hope for a successful future around the corner on one hand, and a frustration about potential underachieving (which after last season’s second, was seemingly bountiful this year). The season structure didn’t help matters, I can only really leave on good conscience at the end of a season, without being sacked or offered a job (and then, there was often a time and a place for the latter, which still wasn’t happening despite the cup win which should have opened up interest at least), though running my contract out (with 2 years left) was a viable third option, but neither would I feel like leaving while we were in the cup, which would mean staying on until the beginning of the next season, effectively meaning I would stay, which made planning for the future a bit tricky.

I did say at the end of last season that I felt we were capable of being champions in a couple of years, so I was definitely going to see the remainder of that two year ‘wait and see’ period over next year at least, but after that it would definitely be a very open question indeed. Certainly with trophies being the best way to progress, the frustration was neatly countered by the fact that my chances of them were far better here then they would be at anywhere I could go if I left, even I was thinking of going for a slightly longer term ‘second level club in big nation’ approach next if I left before that happened to let me try and do better. I must admit I’m all over the place in this issue, but the ‘end of contract’ option gives me a way out I can be comfortable with, plus 2 years to keep having a go and see what happens.

Squad Stats

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How everyone's done so far

Krsko

Returned after 5 years to a decent 6-year spell of mid-table and survival back in the Second League before going down again in 2022

Hogaborg

Finished with just 9 points after I left, but had a good future since. Had a brief 2 year spell back in Div 1 (2015/16) before going back down again. Returned in 2020 and took just 2 years to get promoted to Div 1 Elite, then reached the Premier League 2 years later, and now beginning their 3rd season at that level.

Frigg

Had a couple of top-half/distant challenging seasons after I left, quickly dropping off and being relegated for a few years in 2020. Got promoted to the First Division immediately on their return but went back down after finishing bottom, and had a couple of mid-table seasons since.

Sportist

Struggled for a couple of seasons after I left, being the Bulgarian Wigan in surviving after looking like doing down for most of each year, though did reach a cup final. Returning to 'just off European places' now

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Deltablue, you've done really well so far, but that last season was unfortunate :( I hope that if you move, you find the right club :) Keep up the good work!

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Oh dear, that could have gone better!
Deltablue, you've done really well so far, but that last season was unfortunate :( I hope that if you move, you find the right club :) Keep up the good work!

I know, still unsure about the future, was considering leaving during pre-season but decided it's worth staying next year it least, it worked (to a point) after that awful first season in Belarus. As the Third Doctor once said 'While there's life, there's hope', so no point jumping ship just because a bit of frustration. Probably have to challenge at least as I finished last season with a 30% league confidence bar. I certainly would expect that at least.

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I know, still unsure about the future, was considering leaving during pre-season but decided it's worth staying next year it least, it worked (to a point) after that awful first season in Belarus. As the Third Doctor once said 'Where there's life, there's hope', so no point jumping ship just because a bit of frustration. Probably have to challenge at least as I finished last season with a 30% league confidence bar. I certainly would expect that at least.

Good to see you've made your mind up :) I'm sure it will pay off! If not, you've still done a good job and can walk away happy :)

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Good to see you've made your mind up :) I'm sure it will pay off! If not, you've still done a good job and can walk away happy :)

Not been that happy for a lot of the time here. Probably going to leave at the end of the season if it doesn't go well, but obviously as it's just started there's plenty to come and see what happens. Having been trying to play the 'short term' game of 'getting trophies with a bigger club in a smaller nation', and not have that work as well as I hoped (though it hasn't been too bad), I'll probably go longer term with a Championship/Serie B/Adelante club next, so that's the future plan at the moment, but we'll see how things go. Not an awful not to say for pre-season...

Winter 2027

This season had a good chance of being my last. I had an unhappy board, little chance of reinforcements, I entertained thoughts of leaving before, and just reasonable cup and league challenging chances made me feel I’d be a little impatient if I did. There were no transfers in, a couple of backups going out the door for small sums. A few reasonable youngsters, but no one too exciting. With only one signing in the past two winters this was as strong as we’d ever be.

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Apr 2027

Dinamo Brest 2-2 BATE (Bc QF)

Dinamo Brest were rather less daunting opponents in the cup quarter finals than they would be a year ago, such do fortunes change so much here. However in the away leg we didn’t so much make a slow start as no start at all. Going behind after 22 minutes without having made so much of a peep. We woke up a bit after going another goal down in the second half. Tret’yak showing life with a 61st minute goal, but a Kovalevich equalizer in stoppage time was more to do with them going to sleep themselves for the last part of the match other than anything else. However it did give us a strong position going into the second leg.

BATE 0-1 (2-3) Dinamo Brest (Bc QF)

It was one that we threw away, as they scored 10 minutes from half-time, and were very much on top until we had a half-hearted surge late on, and deserved to go out.

BATE 0-2 SKVICh (HL)

The league began at home to SKVICh, having sustained three injuries in the last game. We were on top for most of the first half, but as things so often happen, they grabbed a goal just before half-time, and another just after for good measure, beginning a second half that was just as fruitless as the first.

Dinamo Minsk 1-0 BATE (HL)

The first trip was just a few days later, to Dinamo Minsk. They scored in the middle of the first half, and much like the Brest trip, we did have some second half life but not before and unsurprisingly went down to a defeat.

BATE 2-2 Vitebsk (HL)

We were behind again after 4 minutes against Vitebsk, however this time our pressure paid off and Zen’ko equalized right before the break. They retook the lead in the 67th minute, but Tret’yak’s 84th minute equalizer meant we’d get a first point of the season (as did they).

Rudensk 0-5 BATE (HL)

We took the lead for the first time this season at Rudensk, when Zen’ko scored in the 7th and 9th minutes. The middle of the half saw another quick double, from Tret’yak and Malofeev, and Zen’ko wrapped up a hat-trick in the second half, leaving me thinking ‘where did that come from?’

League Table

May 2027

BATE 4-0 Minsk (HL)

Wherever it came from, there was a lot more to come. The 18th minute at home to champions Minsk saw Soroka’s shot give us an own-goal lead. A couple of minutes later Panteleev extended it. Malofeev got a pair of goals in the second half as we remained on top.

Naftan 1-2 BATE (HL)

Zen’ko struck again to give us the lead at Naftan, in the 5th minute, and we were mostly comfortable, with Malofeev’s 38th minute penalty making it 2-0, and a 79th minute consolation being the only trouble from them. I was starting to wonder what on earth the players had been doing before Rudensk.

BATE 2-1 Neman Grodno (HL)

The first half against Neman Grodno saw Dubovik and Zen’ko give us a 2 goal lead in the 9th and 16th minutes respectively. The 24th minute saw then get a goal back, but aside from a penalty claim turned down it was one of those deserved ‘comfortable but unspectacular’ victories, and it took us to 3rd.

League Table

June 2027

Dinamo Brest 2-0 BATE (HL)

A trip to Dinamo Brest would be interesting after what happened in the cup. We made a better fist of it, but still went behind 5 minutes before the break, and conceded a late penalty to lose 2-0, which was slightly harsh.

Partizan Minsk 0-1 BATE (HL)

Dubovik gave us the lead in the 9th minute at Partizan Minsk. We really fired up after half time, but couldn’t get more despite the pounding ,and at least a few rare chances for them didn’t result in an annoying equalizer.

BATE 1-3 Gomel (HL)

Gomel at home would be my 500th career match. Unfortunately the players had celebrated a bit too much the night before, and we were 2-0 down after 10 minutes. It was as collectively awful a performance as we had since Vitebsk. They got a third goal a couple of minutes into the second half, though Zen’ko did get a 75th minute consolation.

Dnepr Mogilev 3-1 BATE (HL)

It didn’t bode well for a trip to Dnepr Mogilev (then again, would anything?). They scored in the 5th minute, then retook the lead after Dubovik’s 12th minute equalizer. We were surprisingly lively in pushing, but unsurprisingly inept in doing anything near the goal and a 3rd Mogilev goal in the second half was apt punishment.

SKVICh 1-2 BATE (HL)

We recovered at SKVICh. Korol gave us a second minute lead, and despite having a 10th minute goal disallowed, Zen’ko gave us the second in the 21st minute. They hit back hard in the second half, but a 63rd minute goal was the worst they could do.

BATE 3-0 Dinamo Minsk (HL)

We kept it up against Dinamo Minsk. Dubovik eventually giving us a 41st minute lead. Before they could come back, Korol extended it in the 54th minute, and though he limped off injured later, Dubovik finished things off with a few minutes left.

League Table

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Let's hope this year is better than the last. The league is definitely becoming more competitive!

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Let's hope this year is better than the last. The league is definitely becoming more competitive!

It's looking roughly the same, still planning to leave at the end.

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It's looking roughly the same, still planning to leave at the end.

You been keeping one eye on the job centre? If the right job comes up there's no point hanging on just because...

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You been keeping one eye on the job centre? If the right job comes up there's no point hanging on just because...

I haven't yet, I try and see out seasons before leaving without going directly elsewhere, plus feel I need to be very sure about leaving. I backtracked on leaving Sportist a year before I did for that reason, as I knew that was as good as things would get there but couldn't be sure, even if I was proved right, plus it's not been the first time I've either decided not to leave somewhere or regretted doing so (sometimes both with the same side). There is a sense of 'waiting until the end' this season but there's always a chance for an improvement of fortune and I want to make sure I exhaust that for a while rather than feel I'm being impatient. I did make a couple of speculative applications to the Championship near the end of last year when the prospect of a quick departure came up, and I have been back and forth from 'before this season', 'see out the remaining 2 years of the contract' and 'this one year' as the current compromise. Aside from wondering about what sort of place to aim for, most of that is for dealing with when I step down.

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I haven't yet, I try and see out seasons before leaving without going directly elsewhere, plus feel I need to be very sure about leaving. I backtracked on leaving Sportist a year before I did for that reason, as I knew that was as good as things would get there but couldn't be sure, even if I was proved right, plus it's not been the first time I've either decided not to leave somewhere or regretted doing so (sometimes both with the same side). There is a sense of 'waiting until the end' this season but there's always a chance for an improvement of fortune and I want to make sure I exhaust that for a while rather than feel I'm being impatient. I did make a couple of speculative applications to the Championship near the end of last year when the prospect of a quick departure came up, and I have been back and forth from 'before this season', 'see out the remaining 2 years of the contract' and 'this one year' as the current compromise. Aside from wondering about what sort of place to aim for, most of that is for dealing with when I step down.

Ah, fair enough. Generally I don't like to quit unless I've somewhere to go, although I often negotiate the deal to start at the end of the year just so I can "finish off" where I am, rather than leaving them high and dry. Out of interest, you had many/ any clubs approach you?

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Ah, fair enough. Generally I don't like to quit unless I've somewhere to go, although I often negotiate the deal to start at the end of the year just so I can "finish off" where I am, rather than leaving them high and dry. Out of interest, you had many/ any clubs approach you?

No, as at Frigg I was mentioned in the running for BSP/L2 jobs (never as favourite) but nothing even of that nature since. Maybe because of a mix of being English but with a lack of time in England. I thought the cup would lead to a few links (it did the last save I had on FM11, with the Belarus cup as a first trophy just like now). However I backtracked (read: Saved just in case, and reloaded) on leaving just before the end of last season, having otherwise been set for Derby in the Championship, so I'm on solid ground as far as that level is concerned, or maybe top-div in a better nation but not sure quite how much better.

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