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Sergio_Biscuits

The Golden Generations (FM11 trial)

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Introduction

This sign-up/challenge will see four or more CSE members try to develop a 'Golden Generation' to make one of FM11's smallest nations a force in world football. Running across separate saves, the respective crop of youngsters will (hopefully) accumulate points for their creator, in the hopes of firing them to the top of the Golden Generation leaderboard. If this trial proves a success, I will look to roll the sign-up out to FM13 in the hopes of having an ongoing challenge for as many CSE members as possible.

Members and Teams

I will get the ball rolling with my Aruban Golden Generation, then we'll put Ben Evans' Andorra to the test, followed by letissierandhenryaregreat's US Virgin Islands, duffy89's American Samoa, and, with any luck, jimbowmanuk's San Marino.

The Rules

For detailed rules given at the sign-up, click here.

Each poster has been afforded 270 CA points and 680 PA points to allocate across four players, and given another 'wildcard' player with a random PA. Each of the five players will be randomly allocated to a club within each playable nation, at any possible tier. I have also added a few extra nations for more variety.

The five players in question will accrue points as they look to put their tiny nation on the world football map. Though Golden Generations are ultimately defined by their performance as a collective, there is scope for individual success at club level as well. The scoring system for each achievement they may make is as follows:

Club competitions

League or cup win: Points equal to competition reputation

Leading role within league or cup win (e.g. keeps clean sheet in cup final, scores 15 league goals): Points double that of competition reputation

World Club Championship/European Super Cup/Champions League/Copa Libertadores win: 15 points (points doubled if player has leading role)

Europa League win: 10 points (points doubled if player has leading role)

Asian/African Champions League/Copa Sudamericana: 8 points (points doubled if player has leading role)

All other Continental club competitions: Points equal to competition reputation (points doubled if player has leading role)

International matches

International goal/clean sheet/assist/MoM award: 1 point

Player plays in international win: 2 points

Player plays in international draw: ½ point

International competitions

World Cup

Qualification: 70 points

Round of 16: 90 points

Quarter finals: 100 points

Semi finals: 120 points

Final: 140 points

Winners: 180 points

European Championships

Qualification: 40 points

Quarter finals: 60 points

Semi finals: 80 points

Final: 100 points

Winners: 120 points

Asian Cup/African Cup of Nations

Qualification: 10 points

Quarter finals: 15 points

Semi finals: 40 points

Final: 50 points

Winners: 80 points

Gold Cup:

Qualification: 5 points (plus 25 points if this is as winners of Caribbean Championships)

Quarter finals: 15 points

Semi finals: 30 points

Final: 50 points

Winners: 70 points

OFC Nations Cup

Qualification: 5 points

Semi finals: 15 points

Final: 20 points

Winners: 40 points

Confederations Cup

Semi finals: 20 points

Final: 30 points

Winners: 50 points

I will add other players as necessary (with a maximum of 70) to enable all the minnows to produce a full squad and appoint a reasonable manager. These players are exempt from the scoring system and will be randomly allocated PA between 30 and 55, and a club based in their own nation. All other details will be left blank to further randomise their quality.

Structure

After profiling the Golden Generation in question, updates will appear every four seasons, firstly giving the lowdown on the national team’s progress and then profiling the five players and giving their scores for that period.

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Nation under the spotlight: Aruba

aruba.jpg

The Aruban national team have never qualified for a World Cup or a Gold Cup, but are not quite as bad as their lowly FM11 FIFA World Ranking would suggest. In reality they sit 167th in the April 2012 rankings, far ahead of many of their Caribbean counterparts. Their all time biggest win was against Cuba, whom they beat 4-1 in 1955. More recently Cuba paid Aruba back with interest, destroying them 7-0 in June 2011. Even this seems relatively impressive when looking at Aruba’s worst-ever defeat, an 11-0 shellacking from Trinidad and Tobago in 1989.

Aruba, alongside Antilles counterparts Curaçao and Sint Maarten, is a special municipality forming part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Here’s hoping the influence of their big brothers will see a unique brand of Aruban Total Football taking the world rankings by storm. Aruba has a population of just over 100K people, who drive on the right (but not the ‘right’) side of the road. One of their most famous sons is some guy from Boney M and their national bird as of February 2012 is the Shoco, a burrowing owl.

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Introducing Aruba’s stars of tomorrow:

Carles De Zorm (CA: 100, PA: 200)

dezorm.th.jpg

De Zorm has the potential not only to be the finest Aruban footballer of all time (that’s a given), but also to be the greatest player of his generation. He is as deadly from 25 yards as he is from 6, and will look to take control of a game wherever possible. His relative lack of pace at present might rule out any Maradona/Messi-style high-speed bursts through defences, even though his dribbling ability is first-rate. Perhaps Matthew Le Tissier is the best frame of reference at present, though De Zorm will need to sharpen his mental fortitude if he is to boast a penalty record akin to that of ‘Le God’.

The random draft sees De Zorm join lower-level Spanish side Burriana, which should prove a mixed blessing. He will not develop as well as he might in his first season, but in plying his trade in such a high reputation nation, he should be spotted by one of the bigger boys fairly swiftly.

Marti Sek (CA: 70, PA: 170)

sekos.th.jpg

Sek’s ability to tear down the left flank and deliver a good ball is half the battle won. At a lower level this should ensure he is a highly influential footballer, and it is hard to see many Caribbean nations able to shackle him. The question is whether he can consistently last a full 90 minutes and, just as importantly, develop his game any further bearing in mind his slight physique.

Sek joins Icelandic nonentities KFS, based in the country’s Westmann Islands. A career taking in the Scandinavian leagues would be interesting for a player used to an altogether warmer climate, but Sek’s high adaptability means that this one-trick pony should not struggle with foreign cultures.

Ramzi Heernden (CA: 50, PA: 180)

heernden.th.jpg

Heernden’s stats mark him out as an effective defender who can head the ball and tackle with tremendous precision. The downside is that he is, at the start of the save at least, physically unsuited to the Puyol-style role that his abilities would point towards and that he is at this point in time absolutely lousy at jumping. With such a high PA, that may not matter in the long run, provided he is adopted by a World Class model professional who can push Heernden to achieve to the best of his skillset.

Heernden gets thrown a real curveball, and it’s another club below a playable division- Zacatepec from the Mexican third tier. It’s hard to know where this could possibly lead, but I’d imagine it’ll be a while before Heernden joins his compatriots in Europe.

Rudi Sasko (CA: 50, PA: 130)

sasko.th.jpg

How things will pan out for this embryonic goalkeeper is anyone’s guess. Decent mental attributes and excellent aerial ability will surely see Sasko established as Aruba’s number 1, but whether he can make the grade a club level amongst a sea of other precocious young keepers is questionable. You get the sense that, more so than the other Arubans, Sasko would benefit the most from being allocated a top level club in the draft.

This doesn’t happen, but at least this team are visible in an actual league- the appropriately named NK Rudeš of the Croatian second division. Another unknown quantity, but if Rudeš can form an unlikely promotion push Sasko might well be keeping nets in a top European division before he turns eighteen.

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Wildcard entry

Rylands Johnson (CA and PA unknown)

johnsonh.th.jpg

Johnson has emerged as a striker and his stats indicate, a fair-to-middling one. Another Eastern European export for Aruba, Pécsvárad sit outside the top Hungarian leagues. It is easy to see Johnson going on to win a cap given the poor standard of competition, but one doubts he’ll set the world alight.

----------------------------

The save begins with Aruba 199th in the world and due to announce a new manager, who turns out to be a newgen, Ibrahim Heffenblaum (CA: 45, PA: 57). Heffenblaum immediately picks De Zorm as the new Aruban captain. So then, how will the first four years go?

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Very intrigued to see how things go for Aruba

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Aruba 2010-2014

aruba.jpg

July 2010 World Ranking- 199th, July 2014 World Ranking- 193rd

Results:

2010

9/10/2010 – vs. Guatemala (A, Friendly) L 0-5

17/11/2010 – vs. Turks and Caicos Islands (H, Friendly) W 2-0

Scorers: Nouwen, Paninho

2011

26/3/2011 – vs. St Pierre and Miquelon (H, Friendly) W 1-0

Scorers: De Zorm

3/9/2011 – vs. Trinidad and Tobago (A, Friendly) L 0-2

12/11/2011 – vs. St Martin (A, Friendly) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

2012

15/2/2012 – vs. Nicaragua (A, World Cup Qualifier) L 0-3

28/3/2012 – vs. Nicaragua (H, World Cup Qualifier) L 0-3

2/6/2012 – vs. Puerto Rico (A, Friendly) W 3-2

Scorers: De Zorm (x2), Abdul

13/10/2012 – vs. Sint Maarten (A, Friendly) W 3-1

Scorers: Abdul, Zem, De Zorm

17/10/2012 – vs. Haiti (N, Caribbean Championships Group A) D 0-0

19/10/2012 – vs. Turks and Caicos Islands (N, Caribbean Championships Group A) W 5-1 Scorers: De Zorm (x5)

22/10/2012 – vs. Cayman Islands (N, Caribbean Championships Group A) D 2-2

Scorers: De Zorm, Heffenblaum

2013

13/2/2013 – vs. Haiti (A, Friendly) L 0-3

8/6/2013 – vs. Costa Rica (H, Friendly) L 0-2

12/6/2013 – vs. Netherlands Antilles (H, Friendly) D 0-0

16/11/2013 vs. British Virgin Isles (A, Friendly) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

2014

7/6/2014 – vs. Sint Maarten (H, Friendly) W 4-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x2), Nouwen, Abdul

Summary:

The worst possible start occurs when the new Aruba manager fails to pick any of the new talent available to him and his charges are duly hammered in their first match by Guatemala. However, a win over Turks and Caicos Isles at least indicates the team won’t be totally over-reliant on youth.

De Zorm and Heernden make their debuts in the 2011 friendlies, the former making an instant impact with a goal on his debut at the tender age of 16 years and 136 days. He grabs another later in the year to establish himself as Aruba’s hottest property, as we knew he would be.

2012 is a mixed bag. The Brazil 2014 campaign is a non-starter after a heavy two-legged defeat to Nicaragua, with no De Zorm in the first leg due to injury. No more chances for World Cup qualification then, but it was ridiculously early days. However, things improve massively later in the year, with De Zorm firing on all cylinders. Marti Sek begins to feature as Puerto Rico and Sint Maarten are dispatched in the run-up to the Caribbean Championships, where Aruba excel with a spirited draw with Haiti, a 5-1 demolition of Turks and Caicos Islands with a certain striker claiming all five goals, before another draw with the Cayman Islands. Only the top team qualify from Aruba’s group this time out (which is not always the case), so Haiti go through with Aruba in second, disappointed but proudly unbeaten.

Aruba fail to capitalise on this form in their 2013 friendlies. The team lose twice, draw twice, and only score once. However, their first game of 2014 is promising as they dominate Sint Maarten. With another Caribbean Championships on the horizon, can Aruba now press forward and make an impact at an international tournament?

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Aruba Player Feedback 2010-2014

Carles De Zorm (CA: 160)

dezorm2.th.jpg

I was unsure if De Zorm had the potential to become a Messi-style player, but so far his development points to just that. He has filled out and become far more agile player than I could have hoped. He has sharpened his mental approach to the game. At international level he already has 14 goals in 10 appearances, and has won a few respectable honours at club level.

The key to De Zorm’s improvement was a swift move to a club with a reputation for developing top young talent – Olympique Lyonnais. He played just 26 games at Burriana, netting 21 times, before attracting the attention of the French giants. In his first professional season he contributed three goals to Lyon’s successful Coupe De France campaign. The player hailed as being similar to Yuri Gourcuff was then shipped out to two clubs over the next three seasons. At Standard Liege in 2012 De Zorm played a part as the club finished third in the Belgian Championship Group and won the Belgian Cup, and the Aruban emphasised his affinity for his temporary employers. A year in the Lyon youth team followed before Ukraine became the fourth of De Zorm’s destinations, as he joined Dynamo Kiev for the 2013/2014 season. Here De Zorm made his Champions League debut, twice playing against Palermo. Kiev won the title by four points, De Zorm making a telling contribution with 14 goals. He again expressed his regret at leaving the club having put a first league title on his already-impressive cv.

Lyon have themselves made massive strides in recent seasons, even coming within a penalty shoot-out to winning the 2012 Champions League final against Arsenal. Over the next four seasons, will the Aruban’s ability provide the club with the extra edge needed to become a European giant? The next season should be very telling, but this should be the best £5K Lyon ever spent.

Club points: 
French Cup – 3 pts 
Belgian Cup – 2 ½ pts
Ukrainian League – 7 pts (leading role)

International points: 
International wins – 10 pts
International draws – 2 pts
International goals – 14 pts
International assist – 1 pt
International MoM – 4 pts

[b]Total points – 43½[/b]

Marti Sek (CA: 100)

sek2.th.jpg

Sek did not last long in Iceland, gravitating towards the French leagues like De Zorm and Heernden. Ligue 2 Stade Lavallois snapped up the youngster after he played just 19 games for KFS, though his first appearances in France occur while on loan to fourth-tier La Vitriéenne, for whom Sek scores 4 goals and grabs 8 assists in 33 matches. In the next season he joins German unit Lübeck, impressing with five assists from the left flank. He is finally given a first-team chance the next season, though in a lower division following Lavallois’ 2013 relegation. He does not disappoint, playing 27 times, scoring once and setting up six goals. He has shown impressive development, despite only playing in lower leagues domestically.

Sek has nine caps and three assists at international level to his name, and will surely attract the attention of a larger club before too long.

International points: 
International wins – 8 pts
International draws – 1 ½ pts
International assists – 3 points

[b]Total points – 12½[/b]

Ramzi Heernden (CA: 90)

heernden2.th.jpg

Heernden proved a loyal servant for Zacatepec, helping his club to at last reach the Mexican Promotion League in the 2012/13 season. He played 72 times in his spell in Mexico, before a £130K move to French Ligue 1 side Montpellier early on in the 2013/2014 season. The move should see Heernden continue his reasonable level of development, with the defender turning into the physical force needed for his position (gaining 10 attributes points for strength in the four years).

Heernden made his international debut in the same match as Carles De Zorm. While he has not grabbed attention in the manner of his exceptional countryman, he has 14 caps and possesses a high average rating of more than 7. There’s little doubt that he’ll play at the top level at some point in his career, and establish himself as the steel to De Zorm’s silk in the national side.

International points: 
International wins – 8 pts
International draws – 2 ½ pts

[b]Total points – 10½[/b]

Rudi Sasko (CA: 40)

sasko2.th.jpg

Sasko is the biggest concern for Aruba, as the only Golden Generation footballer to decline in quality throughout the four years, most notably in aerial ability (down from 20 to 17). His career at Rudeš has not started, with his only career senior appearances occurring whilst on loan at non-league OSK– where he kept 16 clean sheets in 42 games. Rudeš themselves were relegated from the Croatian Second Division in Sasko’s first season, so there’s little wonder his star has fallen rather than risen.

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Wildcard entry

Rylands Johnson (CA unknown)

johnson2.th.jpg

Aruba’s wildcard has yet to reveal very much potential. He has not come within a sniff of the national side and spent his entire career so far at Pécsvárad. Johnson appears to be worryingly injury-prone, consistently breaking down in training. The striker has 4 goals to his name over the four years at the club but as yet has given no indication that he will escape Hungarian lower-league obscurity.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aruba Golden Generation total points, July 2010-July 2014- 66½

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De Zorm is looking very good. In fact he should be better with 160 CA but unfortunately "either footedness" has a massive effect on a player's attributes which he ME doesn't compensate for in my opinion.

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Is that the case? To be honest I didn't actually give my players a great amount of thought, as I was concentrating so much on how the sign-up itself would work. But I'd much rather create a flawed genius ala Garrincha or Best, because I'm a sucker for that sort of narrative! Roll on the next four years...

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Makes for an interesting read and I agree with Ackter here:

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/264422-CA-and-it-s-use-for-footedness?highlight=footedness

Unfortunately it never came to anything really and I've not seen a response from SI on similar threads explaining how the ME compensates for being either footed. But I digress! Back on topic, I'm feeling good about the next 4 years!

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Aruba 2014-2018

aruba.jpg

July 2014 World Ranking- 193rd, July 2018 World Ranking- 184th

Results:

2014

6/9/2014 – El Salvador (H, Friendly) L 2-3

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

15/10/2014 – vs. US Virgin Isles (N, Caribbean Championships Group B) W 3-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x3)

17/10/2014 – vs. Surinam (N, Caribbean Championships Group B) L 1-2

Scorers: De Zorm

20/10/2014 – vs. St Vincent (N, Caribbean Championships Group B) W 2-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

12/11/2014 – vs. British Virgin Isles (Caribbean Championships, Second Round, Group C) W 1-0

Scorers: De Zorm

14/11/2014 – vs. Netherlands Antilles (Caribbean Championships, Second Round, Group C) L 1-2

Scorers: Harrison

16/11/2014 – vs. Cuba (Caribbean Championships, Second Round, Group C) L 0-3

2015

28/3/2015 – vs. El Salvador (A, Friendly) L 0-3

6/6/2015 – vs. Cuba (A, Friendly) L 1-4

Scorers: De Zorm

12/8/2015 – vs. Puerto Rico (H, Friendly) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

10/10/2015 – vs. French Guiana (A, Friendly) D 2-2

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

14/11/2015 – vs. Jamaica (A, Friendly) L 1-4

Scorers: De Zorm

2016

10/2/2016 – vs. St Vincent (H, World Cup Qualifier) W 4-1

Scorers: Angela, Abdul, De Zorm (x2)

23/3/2016 – vs. St Vincent (A, World Cup Qualifier) W 3-0

Scorers: De Zorm (x3)

4/6/2016 – vs. Costa Rica (H, World Cup Qualifier) L 2-3

Scorers: Sek, De Zorm

11/6/2016 – vs. Costa Rica (A, World Cup Qualifier) L 1-5

Scorers: De Zorm

8/10/2016 – vs. Surinam (A, Friendly) L 1-3

Scorers: De Zorm

9/11/2016 – vs. Bermuda (Caribbean Championships, Second Round, Group C) L 1-3

Scorers: De Zorm

11/11/2016 – vs. Netherlands Antilles (Caribbean Championships, Second Round, Group C) L 3-4

Scorers: De Zorm (x3)

13/11/2016 – vs. Surinam (Caribbean Championships, Second Round, Group C) L 1-2

Scorers: De Zorm

2017

8/2/2017 – vs. Grenada (A, Friendly) L 1-3

Scorers: Hamonoso

9/9/2017 – vs. Montserrat (H, Friendly) W 3-1

Scorers: Elad, De Zorm, Abdul

18/11/2017 – vs. Guadalupe (A, Friendly) W 2-1

Scorers: Sek, De Zorm

22/11/2017 – vs. St Pierre and Miquelon (H, Friendly) W 3-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x3)

2018

9/6/2018 – vs. Dominica (H, Friendly) D 2-2

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

Summary:

Ultimately a time of missed opportunities for Aruba. The team show progression in the 2014 Caribbean Championships, progressing to the second group stage. Indeed, they may well have gone all the way, as their two best players, Heernden and De Zorm, were injured in the matches against the British Virgin Isles and Netherlands Antilles respectively. The wakened first team lose successive games to finished third in the group. It’s a bitter blow for Aruba to take and one which ends De Zorm’s monumental streak of scoring in seven internationals in a row. Ibrahim Heffenblaum steps down, never to be seen again. He is replaced by Robson Thompson (CA: 63, PA: 134), meaning the long-term future of the national team looked assured.

However, 2015 is a terrible year. Five friendlies played, no wins, and only De Zorm capable of hitting the back of the net. There is then a false dawn in 2016 as St Vincent are dispatched in the first phase, first round of the World Cup qualifiers, De Zorm imperious across the two games. Defeat follows in the first leg of the next knockout tie against Costa Rica, but a first goal for Marti Sek and another from De Zorm give the team hope for the tricky away leg. Alas, Heernden succumbs to injury and all discipline at the back is lost in a crushing 5-1 defeat. No World Cup for De Zorm as yet, then.

The year only gets worse. At the next Caribbean Championships Aruba are given a bye to the second group stage, but lose all three games. At least the game against nemeses Netherlands Antilles is fun. De Zorm achieves the rare feat of getting a 10.0 rating but still finishing on the losing side.

After seven defeats on the spin, things at last improve in 2017 with three friendly victories. Rylands Johnson makes a surprise debut against Montserrat, the highlight of the 23-year-old’s career. Nonetheless, a draw against Dominica hardly reassures. Aruba have arguably the greatest Caribbean footballer of all time, who has scored an amazing 35 international goals in four years, and have not got within even a sniff of glory. At this stage, World Cup qualification looks an impossibility for the Golden Generation.

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Individual profiles to follow within the next 24 hours.

EDIT: Errr, looks like tomorrow now, sorry.

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Aruba Player Feedback 2014-2018

Carles De Zorm (CA: 199)

dezorm3.th.jpg

When we last checked in on Carles, he had played just a few games for Lyon. Four years on, and he is listed as a club legend, playing a decisive role in the club’s clean sweep of Ligue 1 titles in that time. He has played for the club 155 times in all competitions, scoring on 78 occasions. In addition to his four league winners’ medals, De Zorm has also played a part in Lyon’s victories in the 2016 French Cup and the 2017 Coupe de Ligue.

Crucially, the club survived a potentially hazardous change in management when outgoing boss Claude Puel was appointed manager of France in July 2016, with successor Frédéric Antonetti guiding the club to the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2018. As De Zorm has now achieved as much as he can in France, it must be asked whether he needs to move on in search of European glory or if he can achieve these dreams at Stade Gerland.

De Zorm’s incredible progress since 2014 could be measured in many ways, in terms of agility, pace, passing or flair and creativity. All told, it is only his marking and tackling he could drastically improve upon, but that does not really fall within the remit of a man who can score at will. The one downside to De Zorm’s awesome skill is that he cannot realistically improve much further, a fact that, as already noted, suggests there are limits to Aruba’s potential as a whole.

Club points:
French Ligue 1 – 32 pts (Leading role x4)
French Cup – 3 pts
French Coupe de Ligue – 2 ½ pts

International points: 
International wins – 16 pts
International draws – 1 ½ pts
International goals – 35 pts
International assist – 1 pt
International MoM – 9 pts

[b]Total points – 100[/b]

Marti Sek (CA: 135)

sek3z.th.jpg

Excellent improvement for the left winger (+35 CA) sees him now play in the Spanish top flight for Villarreal. This move followed a spell at Roda JC and a six month sojourn at Sparta Rotterdam in the Eerstedivisie, whom he joined for fees of £85K and on a free transfer respectively, until the Spanish club came in with £700K.

Though Sek played 27 times for Roda JC in the Eredivisie over three relegation-threatened seasons, it was in the Dutch second tier that he found his level, gaining a 7.56 rating for his 13 games for Sparta. Though his exploits gained the attention of Bursaspor and Rapid Vienna, it was Thomas Schaaf’s Villarreal who emerged successful with their bid to sign the pacy Aruban during the January 2018 transfer window. Sek has played eleven times in La Liga, scoring against Osasuna as his club finished 12th overall.

Sek is now established as the second leading light of the Aruban national team, having laid on eight goals and scored two of his own over the four years. His development has been rather modest compared to that of De Zorm’s, suggesting he’ll never quite reach his highest potential, but with improved dribbling and first touch there’s every reason to believe he can be a reasonable success in Spain.

International points: 
International wins – 16 pts
International draws – 1 ½  pts
International goals – 2 pts
International assist – 8 pts

[b]Total points – 27½[/b]

Ramzi Heernden (CA: 124)

heernden3.th.jpg

Strong progress from Heernden, with concentration rising by 4 points and marking by 3. Though he benefits from Montpellier’s training facilities, he only makes one substitute appearance in his time at the club before moving to Stade Lavallois, a.k.a. Marti Sek’s old stomping ground. Following his £550K move he proves the multinational squad’s finest asset in the 2017/2018 season, making 28 appearances with a 7.28 average rating and scoring twice as the club finish 11th in Ligue 2. Should Heernden continue to improve, it is easy to envisage him playing in a top European league as he approaches his mid-twenties.

Heernden again proves a fine asset for Aruba, though he is sent off in the 3-2 World Cup qualifying home defeat to Costa Rica and the team ship five goals in the second leg in his absence.

International points: 
International wins – 16 pts
International draws – ½ pt
International assist – 2 pts

[b]Total points- 18½[/b]

Rudi Sasko (CA: 45)

sasko3.th.jpg

Sasko’s career hung in the balance after he was released by Rudes in the 2015/2016 season. He never appeared in a single league game for the lowly Croatian club but fellow lower leaguers Karlovac snapped him up on a free transfer. Since then he has played ten times for the club, performing without any real distinction. The keeper showed slightly more promise while on loan at Tresnjevka, for whom he kept 12 clean sheets in 20 appearances. Sasko is on the transfer list at present with mild interest from yet another Croatian side, NK Velebit.

There has been better news for Sasko on the international front, where he earned nine caps and found brief favour with the manager during the 2014 Caribbean Championships. Since then he has had less luck as his development continues to stutter. His natural fitness has plummeted, whilst his other attributes remain largely unchanged, which is not surprising given that his CA has only increased by 5 over four years.

International points: 
International wins – 2 pts
International clean sheets – 1 pt

[b]Total points - 3[/b]

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Wildcard entry

Rylands Johnson (CA: 24, PA: 113)

johnson3.th.jpg

You may have noted that Johnson’s ability ratings are given above. This is because, following his release from his beloved Pecsvarad at the end of the 2017 season, Johnson decided that he would retire in May of 2019, when he will reach the grand old age of 25. Sure, he was without a club for a year, but he did play for his country after that point and with 113 PA, his career could have been very different at a higher reputation club. The best that can be hoped for now is that he picks up another cap before his retirement. His league record at Pecsvarad read as 87 appearances, eight goals and five assists.

International points: 
International wins – 2 pts

[b]Total points - 2[/b]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aruba Golden Generation total points, July 2014-July 2018- 151

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Aruba 2018-2022

aruba.jpg

July 2018 World Ranking- 184th, July 2022 World Ranking- 165th

Results:

2018

15/8/2018 – El Salvador (H, Friendly) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

8/9/2018 – vs. Martinique (H, Friendly)D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

12/9/2018 – vs. Martinique (A, Friendly) L 1-3

Scorers: De Zorm

13/10/2018 – vs. Anguilla (A, Friendly) D 0-0

17/10/2018 – vs. Dominican Republic (N, Caribbean Championships Group A) L 0-1

19/10/2018 – vs. British Virgin Isles (N, Caribbean Championships Group A) W 3-0

Scorers: Heernden, Abdul, Venders

22/10/2018 – vs. Haiti (N, Caribbean Championships Group A)L 0-1

Scorers: Abdul, Costings

21/11/2018 – vs. Guatemala (A, Friendly) L 0-1

2019

30/3/2019 – vs. Bahamas (A, Friendly) L 0-1

8/6/2019 – vs. Paraguay (A, Friendly) L 0-5

7/9/2019 – vs. St Martin (H, Friendly) W 3-1

Scorers: De Zorm, De Graaf, Hislop-Jones

11/9/2019 – vs. Guadeloupe (H, Friendly) L 1-4

Scorers: De Zorm

16/11/2019 – vs. US Virgin Isles (H, Friendly) L 0-`

20/11/2019 – vs. French Guiana (A, Friendly) W 3-0

Scorers: De Zorm (x2), Sek

2020

12/2/2020 – vs. Guyana (H, World Cup Qualifier) D 0-0

25/3/2020 – vs. Guyana (A, World Cup Qualifier) W 3-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x3)

6/6/2020 – vs. Nicaragua (H, World Cup Qualifier) L 0-1

13/6/2020 – vs. Nicaragua (A, World Cup Qualifier) L 0-1

13/10/2020 – vs. Antigua & Barbuda (N, Caribbean Championships Group D) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

16/10/2020 – vs. Montserrat (N, Caribbean Championships Group D) W 3-0

Scorers: De Zorm, Tavilla, Heffenblaum

19/10/2020 – vs. US Virgin Isles (N, Caribbean Championships Group D) W 2-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

11/11/2020 – vs. Barbados (N, Caribbean Championships Second Round Group A) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

13/11/2020 – vs. Bahamas (N, Caribbean Championships Second Round Group A) W 5-1

Scorers: Abdul (x2), Heernden, De Zorm (x2)

15/11/2020 – vs. Haiti (N, Caribbean Championships Second Round Group A) L 1-3

Scorers: De Zorm

28/11/2020 – vs. Cuba (N, Caribbean Championships Third Round Group A) L 2-3

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

30/11/2020 – vs. Trinidad & Tobago (N, Caribbean Championships Third Round Group A) L 1-3

Scorers: Heffenblaum

2/12/2020 – vs. Guyana (N, Caribbean Championships Third Round Group A) D 1-1

Scorers: De Zorm

2021

5/6/2021 – vs. Honduras (A, Friendly) L 0-3

11/8/2021 – vs. Columbia (H, Friendly) L 0-4

4/9/2021 – vs. St Kitts & Nevis (A, Friendly) W 2-1

Scorers: De Zorm (x2)

8/9/2021 – vs. Grenada (H, Friendly) L 1-2

9/10/2021 – vs. Honduras (H, Friendly) D 2-2

Scorers: Heernden, Shakesfield

2022

4/6/2022 – vs. Anguilla (H, Friendly) W 2-0

Scorers: Tord, Heernden

Summary:

A four-year period of transition takes in three managers and mixed results. 2016 is a terrible year- where Aruba’s poor friendly results are compounded by an ignominious showing at that years’ Caribbean Championships. Marti Sek misses all three of Aruba’s games through injury whilst Carles De Zorm only plays in the defeat to Haiti. This bad run continues through 2019, including a scarcely-believable loss to the US Virgin Isles, where even De Zorm is off-key.

The Aruban captain recovers his form in the second leg World Cup Qualifier first round match against Guyana, scoring a hat-trick in a 10.0 performance. However, De Zorm’s charges surrender meekly to Nicaragua in the next round. The chances for Aruba featuring on the world’s biggest stage are fading and they’ll need to be sharper four years down the line. Defeat over the two legs sees Robson Thompson retire and Bobbi Heffenblaum take the reins for a short time. He guides them to a best-ever Caribbean Championships finish in 2020, where Aruba top their first round group and sneak through the second round on goal difference before finish a distant third out of four in the third round.

These performances should signal better things to come, but friendly results continue to go against Aruba in 2021 and Heffenblaum surprisingly chooses to retire the next year. The new manager is announced to be Dominic Nethers (CA: 93, PA: 106), who oversees a 2-0 friendly win over Anguilla in his first game. He’ll need to overcome far greater obstacles to cement his place in football history.

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