j88_ftm

Rise Up, Rise Up; From The Bottom All The Way To The Top - My First FMCU Journeyman Career

81 posts in this topic

Hi everyone.

So for a little while now I've been casting about for a new project to give me some fresh enthusiasm for playing FM. My most recent save, with Sunderland, was lost when my laptop mysteriously reset itself in the middle of saving, with the effect of the file becoming corrupted and refusing to load. I was rather cross at the time as the whole thing had been going rather well and I'd appeared to be on the verge of securing some long-overdue competition wins for the Black Cats. Needless to say, the frustration of losing this file soured my taste for the game for a bit, and recently I've been playing lots of FIFA and Assassin's Creed on my XBox instead.

Still, as always, I find myself coming back for more. Reading quite a few of the threads on this forum proved to be quite inspiring for me as it occurred to me I've never done anything like this (by 'this' I of course mean take the trouble of documenting a career from start to finish). So here we go, I'm going to set about rectifying this.

I'm not setting out with any real challenge or philosophy here other than that I'm going to aim to achieve what I've managed in my best saves of FMs gone by - building a team that is dominant both at domestic and continental levels, and perhaps dabbling in international management if the opportunity comes along. However, where in previous games I've chosen to start at established top-flight clubs, thus ensuring the possibility of title wins in a few years or less, here I will be starting as an unemployed unknown and building from the bottom. I'm not planning to restrict myself to just one club or nation for any specific length of time, but equally I'm not going to make a point of managing as many different clubs as possible. So not sure if you want to consider it a journeyman save or not. I'll probably look to write 2-3 updates on progress for each season, just to keep from making everyone sick of the sight of me ;)

So the game has just initialised; here is an overview of the initial setup.

[B]Active Leagues[/B]
[I]The following nations have been loaded to the lowest playable divison(s):[/I]
Denmark
England
Finland
France
Germany
Italy
Norway
Portugal
Spain
Sweden
U.S.A

Not a vast number of leagues there which will restrict me from having a huge breadth of career scope, but there's enough, and in any case I don't want my mediocre laptop to have a fit. I've included the major European leagues, the Scandinavian nations (owing to the fact that I've read quite a few threads and posts that suggest that starting at the bottom in these leagues is more fun than it sounds) and the MLS (owing to the fact that I love US sports and the strange parallel-conference/playoffs approach they have; also might be nice to duck across the pond for a change of scene).

So that's all set, my character is created as unemployed and with automatic experience. As a final twist, I've decided to play the game with 'Use Real Players' unchecked, so every player in the game is fictional. I've never done this before either, so it will be interesting to see how I'll cope without being able to fall back on reliable signings from previous saves. Off we go, then; wish me luck!

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So we're in, and I have my foot on the bottom rung of the ladder. I began by applying for every available vacancy, receiving four job offers: Maritimo B in the Portuguese Second Division (North), and Umedalen, Köping and Härnösand (all in the Swedish Second Division (North)). My initial temptation was to plump for Maritimo B owing to the fact that they can count on the support of a reasonably good A team, and also they were offering me the biggest opening transfer budget to play with (a whopping £30,500). However, on closer inspection I realised that this might be a bit of a poisoned chalice. The wage bill was close to double the wage budget, and additionally the current playing squad looked unimpressive for the level they are at. A root and branch rebuilding job would be in order if I was to take this job, which is not how I want to start out. Of the three Swedish clubs, Köping and Härnösand both appear to be hopelessly short of money and potential, so I have elected to sign the contract with Umedalen.

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Good luck in Sweden mate :thup:.

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG][/CENTER]

[B]Established[/B] 1935
[B]Stadium[/B] Umedalens IP
[B]Stadium capacity[/B] 1800 (all standing)

So, this is my new home. I've arrived to find that I've missed pre-season and the league programme is already 10 games old. The club are currently sat in 7th place in the 12-team division, with the table looking like this:

Holders - Boden

| Pos | Inf | Team | | Pld | Won | Drn | Lst | For | Ag | G.D. | Pts |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 1st | | Skellefteå | | 10 | 6 | 2 | 2 | 18 | 9 | +9 | 20 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 2nd | | Ersboda | | 10 | 6 | 2 | 2 | 14 | 10 | +4 | 20 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 3rd | | Piteå | | 10 | 6 | 1 | 3 | 15 | 7 | +8 | 19 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 4th | | Sollefteå | | 10 | 6 | 1 | 3 | 13 | 12 | +1 | 19 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 5th | | IFK Luleå | | 10 | 5 | 1 | 4 | 14 | 12 | +2 | 16 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 6th | | Teg | | 10 | 4 | 2 | 4 | 11 | 10 | +1 | 14 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
[B]| 7th | | Umedalen | | 10 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 7 | 12 | -5 | 12 | [/B]
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 8th | | Mariehem | | 10 | 2 | 5 | 3 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 11 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 9th | | Anundsjö | | 10 | 2 | 4 | 4 | 9 | 12 | -3 | 10 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 10th | | Älgarna | | 10 | 2 | 4 | 4 | 10 | 14 | -4 | 10 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 11th | | Härnösand | | 10 | 0 | 6 | 4 | 8 | 13 | -5 | 6 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 12th | | Robertsfors | | 10 | 1 | 3 | 6 | 4 | 12 | -8 | 6 |
| ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

So a bit of work to be done here, but no immediate desperate crisis to worry about either. Looking at the current staff, there are a few decent players and some good prospects, but nobody really stands out. In particular the goalkeepers have failed to impress me, so that will be my first priority for strengthening. The club have conceded more goals than I would like so far, so a general tightening of the defence will have to be high on the agenda. In terms of backroom staff the club look very bare - just an assman, a physio, one coach and one scout. I have wasted no time in placing adverts for a youth coach, a GK coach and another scout.

As luck would have it, I have signed for the club on the same day as what will be my first league game. No time like the present...

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[quote name='SRL88']Good luck in Sweden mate :thup:.[/QUOTE]

Cheers :) I'm looking forward to it; should be something a bit different if nothing else.

As an aside, can anyone tell me how to get a screenshot from FM? When I press the print screen button it just takes a pic of the window that's open underneath FM, and the Print Screen option in-game just exports to a text file. I don't like how messy that league table looks in my post and would prefer an actual screenie for future updates.

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[quote name='j88_ftm']Cheers :) I'm looking forward to it; should be something a bit different if nothing else.

As an aside, can anyone tell me how to get a screenshot from FM? When I press the print screen button it just takes a pic of the window that's open underneath FM, and the Print Screen option in-game just exports to a text file. I don't like how messy that league table looks in my post and would prefer an actual screenie for future updates.[/QUOTE]

Press F12 and the screenshot should go into Steams Screenshot folder, from there you can edit it if you have a graphical editing program or just upload it as it is.

Good luck with your career :)

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I use Alt+F9 and that does the trick for me. It saves in My Documents, Sports Interactive, FM12, Screenshots. Then go on [URL="http://imageshack.us/"]here[/URL] or [URL="http://photobucket.com/"]here[/URL] to upload a picture. When its uploaded copy and paste the code 'Forum Code' into your post box and it will be done.

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2010 Season Review[/B][/CENTER]

So that's it, the first season's in the books. Here's how it finished up:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishSecondDivisionNorthInformation_Stages.png[/IMG]

Not bad at all, I reckon. After this ludicrous opening game, I was slightly concerned that my team were all over the place...

[img]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/MariehemvUmedalenInformation_Overview.png[/img]

Following this I had to suffer something of an indifferent spell while I located signings and tried to find a tactic that would work effectively. We were slipping ominously down the league and at a couple of points were a loss away from slipping into the bottom three. Luckily, I managed to find some decent signings (see below) and bed them into the team, and we finished the season strongly, winning 5 of the last 6. A last-day victory over Mariehem, the same side I made my debut against, saw us move up to 4th; our highest position all season.

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[SIZE=3][B]Transfer Watch[/B][/SIZE]

[B]Daniel Svensson[/B] - Goalkeeper, 32 years old. Free transfer.

Svensson has the distinction of being the very first signing of my career. You may have noted from my earlier post that I had identified goalkeeper as a problem position, and after watching the previous first-choice concede 4 in my opener, I decided to act. Svensson is a far superior player in every respect to Johan Andersson, the previous incumbent of the number 1 jersey, and brought stability and experience to my back line.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/DanielSvenssonProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]

[B]Eric Olofsson[/B] - Defender (Centre), 29 years old. £1k from Tenhult.

Not wishing to rely solely on a new goalkeeper to help my side's defensive problems, I felt a solid, experienced defender was also a necessity. Olofsson has proven to be one of my most consistent players of the season, winning the fans over with his assured defensive play and ability to help out with the odd set-piece goal.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/EricOlofssonProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]


[B]Morgan Wilson[/B] - Attacking Midfielder (Left)/Striker, 26 years old. £1k from Holmalund.

Wilson was the big exciting attacking signing of the season. He needed a while to get going - missed the first game after his signing due to a suspension he was carrying from his former club, and managed to pick up another suspension pretty much straight after getting into the side. But once he was in and settled, he went about making the left forward position his own. His goalscoring was a large contributing factor to the club's strong finish, and his four goals helped him share the club's top scorer award.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/MorganWilsonProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]


[SIZE=3][B]Aspirations for next season[/B][/SIZE]

So that's it, my first season complete. It's not a full complete season as I came in just before the halfway point, though, so it will be good to get a full pre-season under my belt. This side shows real signs of promise, and I think if I can make a few more good signings to improve key areas, and the team's youngsters can build on this campaign's experience, we could realistically aim for a position nearer to the top of the pile next year.

My next update will be at the end of pre-season, to update on friendly results, transfers, and how I see the coming season going. If anyone would like to see any info from other aspects of the first season, feel free to ask and I'll pop it up ;)

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Also. Sorry to keep asking how to do things, but I've noticed most other threads on here keep a running history of the career with one of those little 'code' boxes. Can someone please explain how to create one of these? Obviously with one season finished it's no biggie just yet, but I would like to include one on each end-of-season update. Cheers :)

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[CODE*][/CODE*]

minus the * or click on the # icon.

I would use notepad or something similar to set it up as layout can go crazy.

Good luck:thup:

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[quote name='j88_ftm']Not bad at all, I reckon. After this ludicrous opening game, I was slightly concerned that my team were all over the place...

[img]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/MariehemvUmedalenInformation_Overview.png[/img]
[/QUOTE]

I started a save there last year and that's how they played all season. Good to see you got a better performances out of them than I did.

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Couple of end-of-season bits to report:


Firstly, I won 3rd place in the final Manager of the Month award. Frankly, I should have won it, given the nature of the excellent wins we managed.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishSecondDivisionNorthAwards_AwardWinners.png[/IMG]


Secondly, the board are clearly happy with my work so far, as this just came through:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JamesSmithNews_Inbox-1.png[/IMG]

Check out that astonishing wage they are offering, too! I earn more than that IRL and my wage is trainee-pathetic. Anyway, I digress. We all love a bit of board approval. When I have a bit of time I'm going to write a run-down of my full squad to give you an idea of what I'm playing with as I enter my first pre-season.

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At the end-of-season review, my goalkeeper Daniel Svensson has managed to achieve the bizarre distinction of being both the runner-up signing of the season, and also the worst signing of the season. I would love it if I could understand the logic of this...

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedenOverview_SeasonSummary.png[/IMG]

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Nothing to do with my team, but this guy's rather unfortunate name made me laugh.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JohanGlansProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2011 Season Preview[/B][/CENTER]

Pre-season is complete and we're on the eve of the start of the league season. Annoyingly I had a real struggle getting anyone accept offers of friendly matches, so my preparations haven't been as thorough as I'd have liked. The preliminary round of the cup also fit in as part of the pre-season schedule.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures.png[/IMG]

The first twenty minutes of the cup game were a complete disaster, as we conceded three times from three opposition chances. Some stern words at half-time and a bit of tactical adjustment got us back into it but we couldn't find the crucial third goal. So no cup run for us this year.

Performances in the friendlies were better than the results suggest, especially given my policy of heavily rotating players in pre-season. We did at least manage to finish on a high with a win over heavily fancied FC Blackbird.

[SIZE=4][B]Transfer Watch[/B][/SIZE]

Unfortunately I wasn't given a massive budget to work with in the off-season, and haven't managed to do much in the way of selling either, so new faces haven't been hugely numerous.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFTransfers_History.png[/IMG]

[B]In[/B]

Mohammed Eidem - Midfielder (centre), 18 years old. £1k from Gimletroll. Already looks a very good midfielder and will fit straight into the side. Rated 5 stars for potential so we could have a future star on our hands.

Martin Andersson - Midfielder (centre), 21 years old. Free transfer. Possibly a mistake of a signing - I scouted him several times and my scout gave him high ratings every time. On the basis of this I signed him up, but my coaches rate him as half a star for both current and potential ability. I'll give him a chance as I know coach reports aren't always reliable, and in any case I'm only paying him £9 a week so he's not ruining the wage bill.

Per Johansson - Striker/Midfielder/Attacking Midfielder (Right/Left), 21 years old. £3.5k from Brage. This signing used up most of my budget, but he looks worth it. Decent all-round stats and rated very highly by our coaches. I'll be looking for him to forge a good attacking partnership with Wilson this year.

[B]Out[/B]

Gabriel Klang - released.

Johan Olsson - £500 to Fram Larvik.

[B]The Coming Season[/B]

...will hopefully see us making a reasonable shot at promotion. I don't think we're quite good enough yet but you never know. Morale isn't great after the poor pre-season results but I have confidence that the team can produce results when it matters. If the new signings can do as well as I'm hoping they will we could be in for an exciting season.

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Good luck with the new season mate.

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A solid first season,good luck in the new season :thup:

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[quote name='SRL88']I use Alt+F9 and that does the trick for me. It saves in My Documents, Sports Interactive, FM12, Screenshots. Then go on [URL="http://imageshack.us/"]here[/URL] or [URL="http://photobucket.com/"]here[/URL] to upload a picture. When its uploaded copy and paste the code 'Forum Code' into your post box and it will be done.[/QUOTE]

One extra tip: if you play FM windowed, you can play around with the window size to trim down the blank unused spaces in the screenshot, making it look better and avoiding the re-sizing of screenies later into an almost-unreadable size, when you upload them to Photobucket. It's a tip I don't think many people know about and helps the look of the thread without much extra work (the annoying part is cropping the images and uploading them - I do some extra work by converting them to JPG too which is another pain in the arse).

Good start in Sweden, you've already pointed the club in the right direction result-wise, I think you can have a go at fighting for promotion this season. It's harsh that only the champions go up though, but that may make things more fun too.

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Good start, hopefully a first full season will see things improve.

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2011 Mid-Season Update[/B][/CENTER]

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, guys; been a bit busy. Well, what can I say about the first half of this season. To use the phrase 'hot and cold' would be an understatement...

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishSecondDivisionNorthInformation_LeagueTable.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-1.png[/IMG]

As you can see, we started the season as we ended the last one - on solid winning form. In all of the three opening games we could easily have won by more - in particular, Morgan Wilson netted a hat-trick in the opener against Friska Viljor, but I actually felt a bit disappointed with his performance as he wasted so many more chances!

Unfortunately I think the early-season success may have led to some overconfidence, and we were roundly thrashed by rivals Ersboda after my attacking tactics backfired spectacularly. In classic FM style, this defeat had the unfortunate effect of ruining morale, with subsequent downward spiral of poor morale causing poor performances, further lowering morale.

Luckily we seem to have started to turn things around in the last couple of games. I'm never really sure of the best way to get out of a poor run of form, but in this instance I've given rests to players who were particularly struggling with poor morale, and tweaked the tactics a bit to try to keep things tighter defensively and hit teams on the break. It does seem to be having the desired effect, and that last game against Mariehem seems to have boosted the general mood in the squad right back up.

Team stats, sorted by total appearances:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Players-1.png[/IMG]

Not a great deal of stand-out stats there, as you'd expect from an inconsistent mid-table side. Morgan Wilson is our top scorer, and probably the only player who's looked much of a threat in front of goal. Ratings-wise, young striker Daniel Christensson has the best average score (albeit from only 3 appearances); he is looking quite the surprise package after injuries forced my hand in his selection.

[B]Transfer Watch[/B]

No new signings since the start of the season. We are currently slightly over the wage budget, and as I'm not looking to get into any kind of spiralling debt problem, I'll probably have to look at selling before I can buy.

This season's signings have been a mixed bag:

Mohammed Eidem - Started the season injured, but has probably looked our best midfielder since getting into the team. Hasn't weighed in with as many goals or assists as I'd hoped he might, though.

Martin Andersson - Hasn't played much, as expected. Made one sub appearance in the first team and has spent the rest of the season playing for the reserves or injured.

Per Johannson - Very disappointing so far, considering the fee we paid and the wage he's receiving. Struggled with injuries, and hasn't contributed anywhere near enough when he has played. Must Do Better!

[B]Hopes for the rest of the season[/B]

Well, I think we've already lost too many games for promotion to be a possibility anymore, especially given the rampant form Ersboda are showing. I'll mainly be looking for a bit more consistency and hoping to see a bit more of the form I know certain players are capable of. I'm aware that I have a lot of youngsters in the starting eleven, so I'm trying to treat them with care at the moment. If we can take the second half of this season as an opportunity to improve and come back stronger next year, I'll be pleased enough.

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[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JamesSmithNews_Inbox-3.png[/IMG]

Just had this little nugget of news - the board are worrying I'll be off at the end of the season. Always nice to know they are thinking that and not considering giving me the boot...

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[quote name='deltablue']I presume you're staying for now?[/QUOTE]

Barring some major disaster between now and the end of the season, or a great offer from a bigger club, I want to stick around for the time being, yes. My contract at Umedalen runs out at the end of the season but I want to stay for at least another year for another crack at promotion and trying to further develop some of my youngsters.

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Well. Bit of a remarkable one here. My last game put me up against Ersboda, who have been on imperious form this season - only one loss and eight goals conceded going into the match. They are also the ones who battered us 5-1 earlier in the season and started off that dreadful run. And then this happened.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalenvErsbodaInformation_Overview.png[/IMG]

It was one of those wonderful rare FM moments when you can't quite believe your eyes. The second goal in particular was a beauty - a tremendous reverse pass inside the area by Rikard Walemark to find Stefan Cederquist, who fired a classy first-time shot into the top corner.It's been a while since I've done a big over-celebrate of a goal in FM, but that goal certainly inspired one of those ;)

Absolutely superb result, anyway; I knew at the start of the season they were capable of performances like this, and it's great to see one produced when it matters.

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[quote name='deltablue']Excellent win against the league leaders.[/QUOTE]

Cheers :)

I'll be hoping to achieve a few more performances like this to end the season.

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2011 Season Review[/B][/CENTER]

Hurray, it's that time of year again! Let's have a look at how Umedalen have finished up this time around.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishSecondDivisionNorthInformation_Stages-1.png[/IMG]

Yep, there's your final table. I'm really proud of how we turned things round in the second half of the season, considering the dreadful slump of confidence and form we suffered in the first half. We've managed to climb up the table and achieve an improvement on last season - one position and five points better than last year. I was, if I'm honest, hoping to emulate some of the impressive second seasons I've seen on other threads here by winning (or at least challenging for) the title, but I'm not at all disappointed by a gradual improvement either. Given how ridiculously good Ersboda have been all season, promotion was never really on the cards, and to have inflicted their most grievous defeat of the season is definitely something to be pleased with.

At the other end of the table, it's hard to not feel sorry for last season's newly-promoted Alvik. I can't remember the last time I saw such a hapless season (other than evening league 5-a-side teams that I've been in, but let's not discuss that). 18 defeats out of 22, only 11 goals scored and 52 conceded. I almost feel bad about taking 6 points off them. Almost.

Anyway, back to Umedalen. Here are our results from the second half of the season:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-2.png[/IMG]

Some of my most enjoyable results since starting this save are in amongst that lot. The 3-0 win against eventual champions Ersboda was an obvious highlight, but other highlights included:

Anundsjo (away) - 2-0 up and cruising, but with a notorious record of crumbling under pressure up to that point, the moment the home side got a goal back I found myself thinking 'we're going to lose this 3-2'. Needless to say, they subsequently scored another two to take the predicted 3-2 lead, but instead of giving up, we fought back brilliantly to take a 4-3 win.

Ostersunds FK (home) - this takes my award for overall best performance of the season. The win against Ersboda may have been more spectacular, but this win was pure dominance. Every one of my players was rated in the 7s, 8s or 9s (which is incredibly rare at this level) and we could have easily racked up double that score with a little more composure in front of goal.

I'll complete this update tomorrow morning; I am very tired and have possibly had one Laphroaig too many, so details on individuals are going to have to wait a few hours.

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Very strong second half, might have a chance at going up next time.

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[quote name='deltablue']Very strong second half, might have a chance at going up next time.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. I'm pretty optimistic for the coming season if we can find a bit more consistency.

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[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JamesSmithNews_Inbox-2.png[/IMG]

Veteran 3rd-choice keeper Fredrik Mollapolci has decided to call it a day. Not really a massive blow to my ambitions as he hasn't featured once under my management, but still.

Enduring a bit of a frustrating pre-season so far. The board have yet to make any money available to me, and as there was no space left in the budget I've had to watch as the promising free agents or transfer targets I'd identified were snapped up by other clubs. I'm also in a bit of a dilemma regarding goalkeeper Daniel Svensson - his contract expires in less than a week now, and I'm torn with regards to if I should offer him a new deal or not. He's been decent for us without ever really excelling, and obviously I have a certain sentimental attachment to him as he was my first signing. On the other hand, this could present a good opportunity to look at bringing in someone better and younger. So what do I do? If I release him and can't find a good replacement, I'm screwed, as my backup keepers have either retired or are hopeless. On the other hand, if I renew his deal and then find someone who does fit the bill as a replacement, I've basically signed myself up to a contract I don't need - not ideal when finances are tight.

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[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedenOverview_SeasonSummary-1.png[/IMG]

From this season's review, I am thoroughly unsurprised to note that Per Johannson has won the coveted distinction of being the worst signing of the year. Definitely want to see more from him (or find someone who'll give me a decent bit of cash for him) next season.

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[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/FCSantaClausSantaClaus_Players.png[/IMG]

Yes, this is a real club. I laughed hard when I saw it. My assman has arranged a friendly with them as part of our pre-season. If our supporters don't all show up wearing Father Christmas costumes and giant fake beards, I will be most disappointed with them.

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2012 Season Preview[/B][/CENTER]

Here we go, all set to go again.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-2-1.png[/IMG]

Results-wise, this has been a pre-season to forget. I try not to place massive stock on friendly results, but we have been poor this year. Additionally we seem to have suffered from that problem of opposing teams taking things a bit too seriously and trying to kick everyone off the park. As a result, Mohammed Eidem (who has emerged as the best player in the squad by a good margin), Morgan Wilson, Stefan Cederquist (both key first eleven players) and Johan Andersson (backup keeper) are all injured going into the regular season despite being perfectly fit at the start of pre-season, as a result of rough play in friendlies. I'm really annoyed and frankly I would like it if there was some way to have a go at the opposing manager/players, just to blow off steam if nothing else! There's also the mandatory first-round cup exit, albeit not with the usual whimpering failure. We were 2-0 down after 17 minutes, and then Cederquist missed a penalty, but then we mounted a fine comeback to pull it back to 2-2. In the last minute we were awarded another penalty, which Cederquist again stepped up to take, and contrived to shank so far high and wide I was left wondering if he'd been replaced with someone who'd never kicked a ball in his life before. No goals in ET, so pennos. Cederquist took his third of the match, and proceeded to slot it away clinically (why couldn't he have done that earlier?!) and the teams proceeded to trade goals, until my 5th taker Rikard Walemark stepped up. My lack of faith in him proved justified as he skied the decisive penalty. So again, no cup run for us.

Anyway, as far as signings go, it all started off horribly frustratingly. Those who have been following my updates will have noted my goalkeeper dilemma. I decided to take the option of releasing Svensson at the end of his contract as his popularity with the fans had dropped, and also he was asking for a ridiculous pay hike to stay on. Then it appeared that sod's law would take its course, as every keeper I looked at was either uninterested, wanted wages that I couldn't afford, or would be pinched by another team. Faced with the prospect of starting the season with my untrusted second-choice as starting goalkeeper, I was saved through the unlikeliest of sources. Syrianska IF Kerburan, of the division above (First Division North) offered me their £8k valued, first choice keeper, for FREE. Win! Even better, he wanted no more than a backup role. Apparently he'd had a falling out with their manager and just wanted out. When I offered him a first-team status the deal was done. Here he is:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/LudwigWelanderProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]

Pretty impressive ratings for a player at this level. I'm hoping he can be a big player for us this season.

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Other than this, there hasn't been much in the way of ins and outs this off-season. Our budget has been extremely tight, which has made everything a bit tricky. When offered the start of season objectives, by three choices were 'Respectable league position', 'challenge for promotion' or 'win the league'. However, all three had the exact same financial incentives: a wage budget of £2,200p/w and a £25 (yes, £25) transfer budget. Needless to say, I opted to aim for upper mid-table respectability in the absence of any financial incentive.

Anyway, this monetary situation meant I would have been happy to sell to make room for new signings. Regrettably, nobody showed interest in any of my players, and as most of them could still have a role to play I was reluctant to list or offer them out. This had the knock-on effect of making new signings very hard if not impossible - with no money to spend and little wage budget free, any decent signings I could identify were put off by my unwillingness to meet their wage demands. In the end, the only realistic solution was loans, but I was surprised at how reluctant Swedish clubs and players are to involve themselves with these. I managed to bring in one loanee:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/RolfJohanssonProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]

He is clearly a decent player at this level, and I've managed to get away without paying any wages for him, so I'm happy with that.

However, this is as far as my new players go this season. Some half-decent looking youngsters have come through the academy, most notably the following:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/RogerKarlssonProfile_Attributes.png[/IMG]

Vaguely decent stats for a young player at this level, and rated as good potential, so could be one to hang on to.

Overall, though, I'm not happy with how pre-season has gone. I've not been able to strengthen anywhere near as much as I'd like, and the injuries to key players in friendlies just top it off. Optimism isn't high, but I guess we'll just have to see how it goes...

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2012 Mid-Season Update[/B][/CENTER]

Hello guys. Again it's been a while since my last update - sorry! Well. After my most recent posts where I moaned heavily about how I wasn't happy with how things were looking going into the season, a few of you may well have anticipated this punchline:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishSecondDivisionNorthInformation_LeagueTable-1.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-3.png[/IMG]

I won't lie, after the first two games I was starting to wonder about looking at other jobs. My pre-season worries seemed to be being confirmed with a dour and uninspiring 0-0 home draw and an absolutely abysmal performance in losing 2-0 away to Friska Viljor, a side who on paper I should have been beating comfortably. My feelings were pretty much summed up by the second goal in that game - one of the most ludicrous and spectacular own goals I have ever seen, courtesy of our Erik Borjesson. Picture David Beckham's goal from 70 yards for LA Galaxy a couple of years ago, but as an intended passback instead of a shot. Words utterly failed me.

It's no coincidence, though, that things began to improve pretty much immediately, as all of those key players who'd missed the start of the season were getting back to fitness by now. Since then we have been astonishing. Most of our wins have been dominant and comfortable, although we seem to have hit on the knack of Man United-style jammy wins when we maybe don't deserve them, as well. This is a fine habit to be in.

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Credit for this excellent season, I feel, is mostly down to my now-settled central midfield duo, Mohammed Eidem and Linus Larsson. I have dubbed them the Xavi and Iniesta of the Swedish lower leagues as I feel they have a similar dynamic and you'd hate to pick just one to have in your side! I have Larsson playing as a box-to-box midfielder to make the most of his high physical and work rate attributes, while Eidem plays as an advanced playmaker (and is also set as the team's playmaker) to ensure that his creativity, aggression and skill are best utilised. While neither have contributed hugely to the goals column (see below), they have nine assists between them, and are regularly involved in many aspects of the team's attacking play. Plus their average ratings are nothing to be sniffed at either...

Player stats, sorted by average rating:
[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Players-2.png[/IMG]

Other factors that I feel have contributed to our good form have been the new signings fitting in well to my gameplan, Morgan Wilson rediscovering his scoring touch, and being able to field a consistent first XI without much of the chopping and changing I have had to endure in my earlier seasons. On this form we look like beating anyone in the division, and promotion could be a very real possibility. I'll just be hoping that we can keep things going and not have any injury issues - I worry that losing any one of the trio of Wilson, Eidem and Larsson would have a severe impact on our prospects. Here's to the second half of the season... :)

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If I may add a couple of unrelated asides... Firstly, while I am aware that my story has (so far) not attracted massive amounts of interest, I am hugely grateful to FMCU as a whole as this undertaking has given me a massive fresh enthusiasm for a career, and for the first time in a long while I feel really attached to a save. I love my Umedalen team but also am looking forward to what I can go on to achieve with this save in the future.

There was another point I was going to raise but in the time it's taken me to write that first paragraph, I appear to have forgotten it. Don't drink red wine and forum post, kids. If it comes back to me I'll edit it in ;)

EDIT - Yes, I remembered it. Isn't playing at a really low level a humbling experience sometimes? I mean, £1k is enough to buy a pretty good player at this level, or it could pay for a ninth of the whole playing squad's wage bill for a month. When you've got used to managing massive top-flight clubs, where you'll happily add £10k onto a player's weekly salary just to keep him happy, this seems such a different world. I wish I could always have the patience to start a career at the bottom; I feel if/when I make it to a top club I will appreciate the untold riches all the more for this experience!

also if anyone has any suggestions for how I could present my updates better (or extra details I could include to make them more interesting, etc) bearing in mind that I don't really have the time or inclination to do really in-depth match-by-match analysis like I've seen on some other threads, please say so. Obviously this thread is mainly for my own egotistical benefit but I'd love for everyone who reads it to enjoy it too.

Cheers guys :)

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2012 Season Review[/B][/CENTER]

Well....



We did it.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishSecondDivisionNorthInformation_Stages-2.png[/IMG]

I'm absolutely thrilled to win the first silverware of my budding career. The second half of the season was a little wobbly - we managed to dominate pretty much every game, but perfected the knack of wasteful finishing into the bargain. Morgan Wilson, so prolific at the start of the season, went horribly off the boil after the midway point, and at times I wished there was a teamtalk option to remind him that you score goals for putting the ball in the goal, not wide or over. Still, we pulled through; a couple of games without a win right near the end kept things close, but we sealed promotion and the championship in the penultimate game of the season.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-4.png[/IMG]

Here's the match that won it:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/PitevUmedalenInformation_Overview.png[/IMG]

We started off in dominant fashion, and after a couple of customary poor misses, Rikard Walemark gave us the lead with a great 20-yard first-time effort after play appeared to have broken down on the edge of the box. We continued to dominate chances without really threatening to put one away, and then disaster struck when a vicious long shot on our goal struck the post and rebounded onto the back of the diving Welander before trundling over the line. Frustrating. Luckily, this side seem imbued with a determination to make the results stick, and midway through the second half new signing Jorgen Johansson (more on him shortly) made the difference, as he latched onto a through-ball and drew the keeper wide before squaring a perfect pass for Chris Martensson to tap into the unguarded net. Name on the trophy.

So that's it, we'll be playing in the First Division (North) next season. If I'm honest, a lot of work needs to be done in the off-season. You will all no doubt remember Ersboda, who did to the division last season what I've done this time around - completely dominated it. Well, they have looked a little out of their depth in the next flight up this year. They still have 3 games to play owing to the larger number of teams (and thus matches to be played) but they are currently 13th out of 14 and one point off bottom. So this does not bode well for my band of merry men. We do have some really talented players in our side, most notably the midfield duo I raved about earlier on. However, there is little quality cover for the positions we are strong in, and all of my strikers have suffered periods where hitting a barn door would have been too much to ask of them. I really need to find a reliable goal poacher to play up top alongside one of my quick, skilful, wasteful strikers.

Overall though, a lot of improvement is going to be needed if we are to keep our visit to the 1st Division permanent. I have already managed to offload a few of my second-rate squad players, and hopefully the money we'll gain from promotion will allow the board to expand my budget a bit. Watch this space...

[CODE]Season League (tier) Other competitions Notes
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Umedalens (Sweden)
2010 Second Division (North) - 4th Swedish Cup - Preliminary round. Debut season - Joined in June.
2011 Second Division (North) - 3rd Swedish Cup - Preliminary round.
2012 Second Division (North) - 1st Swedish Cup - Preliminary round. Promoted as champions.[/CODE]

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Also, you may remember me sympathising with poor Alvik last season. Well, look at Infjarden this time around. Can you imagine a more wretchedly depressing season? 22 games played, 2 goals scored, 2 points collected. Relegation must have come as a blessed relief for them, so that they can get back to a level where they have a chance of actually winning some games.

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Wow, normally teams that look like being that bad pick up a fair few points later on. Did once see a side in the Spanish Liga Adelante, Lugo, get 3 draws, 8 goals scored and 173 conceded. My very mid-table Cordoba side had beaten them 7-0 (their 3rd defeat of that scoreline in a row) and 10-0.

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[quote name='deltablue']Wow, normally teams that look like being that bad pick up a fair few points later on. Did once see a side in the Spanish Liga Adelante, Lugo, get 3 draws, 8 goals scored and 173 conceded. My very mid-table Cordoba side had beaten them 7-0 (their 3rd defeat of that scoreline in a row) and 10-0.[/QUOTE]

173 conceded? Sounds horrendous. How many managers did they go through that season? I'm worried that might be my side this coming season...

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[CENTER][B][SIZE=4]Umedalens IF[/SIZE][/B]

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/Umedalens_IF.jpg[/IMG]

[B]2013 Season Preview[/B][/CENTER]

We're all set to make our debut in the big time! Well, that's a bit of exaggeration, but for this club it is still a massive deal as they have never played in the 3rd tier in their history. We'll be aiming to make it more than a brief stay.

Here's how pre-season went:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-3-1.png[/IMG]

Bit of a mixed bag overall; some good results and some poor ones. There was the obligatory preliminary round cup exit, but we did get a win in our little tournament, which is always nice for the fans.

New season squad numbers:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JamesSmithNews_Inbox-4.png[/IMG]

Those of you who have been paying attention to previous squads will note a high degree of turnaround in this squad - a number of names have departed, and a number of new ones are present in their place. I felt this was necessary, because despite having a decent first 11, we only won promotion last season due to managing to keep that side together for the majority of the season. I had little faith in the team's strength in depth, in other words, and with a few players reaching the end of their contracts at the end of last season, it presented a good opportunity for a clearout. In addition, the wage budget cleared up by letting these players go, accompanied with our winnings from last season, have afforded me a position of financial flexibility that I have not yet experienced in this save. Therefore I have gone a bit crazy with the new signings. Most of my new players look like they should improve the first eleven at least a bit, although I have also brought in some future prospects and depth players too. Ins and outs are as follows:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFTransfers_History-1.png[/IMG]

A good number of new signings to summarise there, including two 5k signings, which are the joint highest fees ever paid for a player by this club.

[B]Mads Fredriksen[/B] - M(C)/D(RC) - Free from Hvidovre. More of a backup player really. Versatile but not massively talented. Still young though, and could have a decent future.

[B]Jaakko Venäläinen[/B] - D (RC) - £5k from PeFF. Looks a class above all of my current defenders. Best at centre-half, and that's where I plan to use him, but equally adept at right-back.

[B]Markus Valtonen[/B] - D (R) - Free from Gröndal. Looks an accomplished right-back, and hopefully can fill the hole left by departing loanee Rolf Johannson.

[B]António Almeida[/B] - AM(RC)/M(RC) - 5k from PiPS. The marquee signing of this window. Not only incredibly cosmopolitan for the Swedish lower leagues (he's from Portugal) but looks a really class player compared to most of my squad. When I sort my team by assman rating for CA, he comes out on top. I'm hoping he won't disappoint like Per Johannson has consistently done so far.

[B]Christofer Viklund[/B] - D (R)/WB/M/AM(R) - £200 from Ersboda. More a signing for the future here. May be good enough to get some games this season but is rated highly for potential by my assman.

[B]Niklas Sjöberg[/B] - S(C) - Free agent. After releasing two of my four first-team strikers and my remaining two being frustratingly mercurial throughout my tenure, reinforcements were needed. This guy looks more the poacher than anyone else in the team, thanks to actually having ratings for finishing and composure that exceed double figures. Will look to partner him with one of my more pacey forwards.

[B]Victor Kristofferson[/B] - GK - Free agent. Signed as a backup to the consistently reliable Ludwig Welander owing to only having youth-team goalkeepers to fall back on after the release of Johan Andersson.

[B]Arnar Sigurjónsson[/B] - M(C) - Free agent. Much as I love my midfield duo of Eidem and Larsson, I don't want to put all my eggs in one two-man basket. So I signed this chap. He looks every bit as good as they do and will hopefully provide the competition and depth in central midfield that we will need at this level.

[B]José[/B] - S(C) - Free agent. Heavens! A Brazilian in the Swedish lower leagues. Won't be playing the role of goalscorer but could make a good foil to someone a little more composed in front of goal thanks to his fine technical ability.

[B]Mathias Jensen[/B] - D(L)/DM/M(C) - Free from Brønshøj. A bit of a panic signing, if I'm honest; having only one senior left-back in the squad (and one who probably won't be up to scratch for a few seasons, at that) is not what you want, but decent left-backs have been in short supply lately. I managed to pick up this guy, and he looks decent; hopefully will do a job, although he is still rated by stars as my worst first 11 player.

That's your lot then. Our opening game is sure to be a baptism of fire - we're away to Degerfors, who are new to this division from the other direction and are among the favourites for promotion. My hopes are not high for that game but hopefully we can build a decent campaign after that.

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I'm going to break with tradition slightly here for this update. I've just played the first game of the season, and bearing in mind that we were playing away to a side who last season were in the equivalent of the Championship in England, in front of the biggest crowd just about any of my players will have faced in their careers (a whopping 2,046; we're used to 200 at the most), this was a quite astonishing result.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/DegerforsvUmedalenInformation_Overview.png[/IMG]

To make things even better it was fully deserved. We dominated from start to finish, and if anything they were lucky to get a consolation on the board. Even after that we were so in control that they never really looked like equalising. I'm playing this in the living room at uni at the moment, and everyone else is quiet watching a film. I was so close to leaping around screaming when the second goal went in; not sure how that would have gone down. As with last season, Eidem and Larsson were so dominant and comfortable, with an assist apiece. I can't wait to see what the rest of the season holds for them, and the rest of the team.

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Hi everyone. Been a very long time since my last update - I do apologise to anyone who's been following this story. I've been really busy with university work and some personal stuff lately and just haven't had the time to do much of FM, never mind updating on here!

Anyway. I've decided that rather than just restricting myself to a couple of updates a season, I'm going to try to post them more regularly. I was finding it quite hard to effectively sum up half a season in one post so I think it would be easier to do more frequent, smaller posts. This should give everyone a bit of a better idea of how individuals are doing in my side as well.

So here's where we're up to in our debut season in the First Division North:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/SwedishFirstDivisionNorthInformation_LeagueTable.png[/IMG]

Given that we were overwhelmingly favoured to go straight back down this season, things are going fantastically well so far. After the excellent opening game, we hit some slightly wobbly form and it looked like the first-day win could have been a bit of a fluke. However, I made some tactical alterations (deeper defensive line and a more rigid tactical philosophy to keep things tighter at the back) and we have hit on a good run of hard-fought, narrow wins.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalensIFUmedalen_Fixtures-5.png[/IMG]

The second game of the season was particularly depressing; Nykoping, at home. That game remains their only win of the season so far. Most satisfactory of these results was the last one - the big derby against Umea FC. They were heavily fancied to batter us, but an injury-time wonder-goal from Stefan Cederquist snatched it for us.

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalenvUmeFCInformation_Overview.png[/IMG]

Signings from the off-season have been something of a mixed bag. Almeida has been excellent so far, as have Valtonen and Jensen. None of my new strikers have really impressed so far - Sjoberg has been the best in terms of ratings, but appears consistently in the midst of a lack of confidence in front of goal. I've noticed his personality type is 'Low Self Belief' - I'm hoping he can adapt into the squad and to a different personality type sooner rather than later as he could make an excellent poacher.

Two new signings in the mid-season window:

[B]Morten Iversen[/B] - D(L)/M(L) - Free from AaB. Signed as he was highly rated by my scouts and available for free, despite already having Jensen performing well there. He had an absolute stinker on his debut and I have since restored Jensen to the side - not sure how this one is going to pan out.

[B]Baiano[/B] - DM/M(C) - £300 from Alvik. Another signing based around enthused scout reports. He has been more impressive since signing and does a good job in the defensive midfield/anchor role. Still not sure I like having to drop one of Larsson and Eidem to accommodate him, though, so I've been thinking of trying to adapt to a 4-3-3-type formation. Although, as we're doing pretty well at the moment I'm not sure that would be the best idea!

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This was also an excellent piece of news:

[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JamesSmithNews_Inbox-5.png[/IMG]

After our promotion, our previous parent club link with Umea was cancelled (as you can't have a parent club in the same division as you) so I asked the board to find me a new one. We've ended up with Helsingborg - currently top of the Swedish Premier League. This can only be good for us; they can send players on loan to us (and I would hope that any young loanee from a top Premier League side will be good enough to improve a side like ours) and we also get to keep the gate receipts from an annual friendly between the sides - hopefully that should draw the crowds in :)

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[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/UmedalenvDegerforsInformation_Overview.png[/IMG]

Going for the double over Degerfors - sadly we couldn't quite pull it off. This one was a real thriller, as you can see. Very happy with Niklas Sjoberg in this game - for the first time since joining the club, he looked really composed and clinical in front of goal. He had two chances, neither of which were easy, and buried them both. Nobody has emerged as our leading goalscorer yet (we have a host of players on one goal, but few have made it to two) so I'm hoping he can shake off his confidence issues and bang a few more in.

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[IMG]http://i1164.photobucket.com/albums/q561/JamesFTM84/Football%20Manager%20Journeyman/JamesSmithNews_Inbox-6.png[/IMG]

This is really not good news. Mo Eidem is probably the one player in my current squad who I could reasonably predict is destined for greater things than playing in front of a few hundred fans in the Swedish lower league pyramid. He's been consistently excellent as an attacking midfield player in the last couple of seasons so I don't like the idea of being without him for a month. Hopefully we can cope...

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