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You Only Get One Reputation - A Potentially Catastrophic ToffeeViola Career

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You Only Get One Reputation

Prologue

This save has been a long time coming. I've often considered starting something like this, but each time previously I'd lacked that combination of time, creativity and sustained enthusiasm needed to make it happen.

Like many long-time FM players I'm well past the stage where the vanilla game presents anything like a formidable challenge. These days I can waltz into any mid-table team in the league and turn them into the league's premier force in a couple of years. I can do this without a transfer budget, whilst cutting wages and with only a single pair of tactics.

Please don't mistake this boasting - I'm despairing. I don't believe for a second that I'm that good. The fact is that I'm tired of winning doubles every year. I'm tired of reaching the top half of the table with relegation candidates. I'm tired of almost never losing. It's Just. So. Boring.

The problem, I think, is attributes. Admittedly they're not 100% reliable indicators of a player's ability and I acknowledge that a high attribute in one place can be useless without appropriate supporting attributes (combined with tactical instructions that play to that player's strengths) but nonetheless the fact remains that the human player is light years ahead of the computer when it comes to finding good players... and by good players I mean players with high attributes. Any human player can quickly learn to accurately judge most player's attributes with a glance. Once you have that ability it merely becomes a matter of time. Eventually, unless you screw up in the tactics department something sensational, the momentum gained from simply acquiring more good players than the AI will create an insurmountable advantage. But how do we fix this?

My solution?

Going in blind :D

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Modifications

All Attributes Hidden

Not actually a mod. Nonetheless, through a mixture of skin tweaks and workarounds I've managed to:

* Hide all Player and Staff attributes (and the skills polygon) from view.

* Hide all star ratings for ability, potential and recommendation.

National Personalities Mod

* Personal mod based on data from Geert Hoftstede's 'Cultural Dimensions'. Affects the in-game personalities of Newgens to make national characteristics more tangible. I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out. For instance, without any gerrymandering Portugal got the lowest score for Sportsmanship and Netherlands got the lowest for Pressure.

Uberedit by Hand of God

* Removal of 4231 Denmark.

* Adjustments to managers using AML/R to improve defensive performance.

* Hundreds of changes to reflect real life manager's tactical preferences (particularly in non-British leagues).

* Adjustment of Attacking and Defensive formation preferences to better align with a manager's primary preferred formation.

* Adjustments to national tactical preferences (makes newgen managers more likely to have balanced tactical attributes.

* Adjustments to club tactical preferences.

* Increase the number of viable managerial candidates in major European divisions (this slightly tones down manager merry-go-round).

National Youth Rating Adjustments

*Another personal mod. I've played a few FM12 career games and in each one the number of High PA Newgens spawning in mid-large sized countries was stratospheric. Additionally I'm of the opinion that the original game is far too generous on the whole towards average players compared to the elite of the global game. This mod nerfs national team's youth ratings, so hopefully a little down the line exceptional players will stand out in the way they do in real life.

*On the other hand minnow nations have on the whole had their ratings enhanced to ensure that they actually produce players.

*A side effect I've noticed from prior testing of this mod is that the number of high profile signings actually goes up as the big clubs scramble to fill gaps in their teams, whereas in the vanilla version the big teams are mostly lethargic because the market is flooded with promising prospects and hordes of good-enough-if-not-spectacular players.

Susie Real Names for Clubs, Competitions and Awards

Nik33's FM12 Data Packs

* Increases the variety and alters the severity of injuries.

* New agents and media sources.

pr0's FM12 Update Packs

* New promising youth players.

* Updated injuries and transfers.

* Promotions, relegations and coefficients.

Additional Leagues Megapack

* 167 additional leagues.

FMUpdates England Levels 7 & 8

Spain down to Level 7

The Silence skin

Various graphics packs including stadiums, newgen hair, logos etc.

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Personal Rules

> I'm not allowed to use the Player Search function to look for attributes.

> I must make realistic career decisions:

a) My manager has to make a living, and so financial considerations will be very important when considering job opportunities.

b) I can't go off and live somewhere horrible if I wouldn't be prepared to do so in real life.

c) Equally I can't pack off from a job just because it's a bit of a drag. There's the mortgage to consider.

> I must properly prepare for games rather than just leaping in.

> I'm only allowed to set team/player instruction sliders in intervals of '4' (so for instance I'd have to set 'Attacking' to 0, 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20). This is in order to prevent finding sweet spots in the match engine and also to better represent the difficulty of conveying instructions accurately.

> I cannot take dual club/national jobs unless the job is a relatively small one AND it would realistically be feasible for both sides. If in doubt, I must choose between the two.

> At the start I will use FMRTE to give my manager rock-bottom reputation, a rating of '1' (out of 10,000) in all three categories. To put this into perspective, the Sunday League rep starts at around 4,000. As countless FMers have pointed out this functions as a de-facto difficulty rating because of the way it effects how likely players are to be inspired by your motivational talks.

> I can't give up just because it's not going well :p

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Nations Loaded

Algeria 1

Angola 1

Argentina 1,2

Armenia 1

Australia 1

Austria 1,2

Azerbaijan 1

Belarus 1

Belgium 1

Bolivia 1

Brazil 1,2

Bulgaria 1

Canada 1

Chile 1

China 1,2

Colombia 1

Croatia 1

Cyprus 1

Czech 1

Denmark 1

Ecuador 1

Egypt 1

El Salvador 1

England 1-8

Estonia 1

Finland 1

France 1-3

Germany 1-3

Greece 1,2

Honduras 1

Hong Kong 1

Hungary 1

Iceland 1

India 1

Indonesia 1

Iran 1

Ireland 1,2

Israel 1,2

Italy 1-4

Japan 1,2

Kazakhstan 1

Kenya 1

Latvia 1

Lithuania 1

Malaysia 1

Malta 1

Mexico 1,2

Moldova 1

Morocco 1

Netherlands 1,2

New Zealand 1

Northern Ireland 1-3

Norway 1

Panama 1

Paraguay 1

Peru 1

Poland 1,2

Portugal 1,2

Qatar 1

Romania 1

Russia 1,2

San Marino 1

Saudi Arabia 1

Scotland 1-4

Serbia 1,2

Singapore 1

Slovakia 1

Slovenia 1

South Africa 1

South Korea 1

Spain 1-4

Sweden 1,2

Switzerland 1,2

Thailand 1,2

Tunisia 1

Turkey 1,2

UAE 1

Ukraine 1

USA 1

Uruguay 1,2

Uzbekistan 1

Venezuela 1

Vietnam 1,2

Wales 1

Total: 125 Leagues, 84 Countries

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Format

I plan to release updates on a monthly basis in-game. There will likely be special updates:

a) After the close of transfer windows.

b) For international tournaments.

c) At the season's end.

d) At the season's start.

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Ready, Set, Go

So, without much further ado I think we're ready to get started. The dole beckons, although my agent reckons he's got something decent lined up for me.

Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we ;)

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Interesting career, looking forward to see how it progresses. Looks a chore, but would be so much more rewarding in the long run! Do you have an example of what the play screen looks like now?

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Jesus, so many leagues loaded but a great idea for the most part. Does the scouting and attribute rule mean you also hide the stats of your players?

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Interesting career, looking forward to see how it progresses. Looks a chore, but would be so much more rewarding in the long run! Do you have an example of what the play screen looks like now?

You mean this screen?

startscreenq.png

Jesus, so many leagues loaded but a great idea for the most part. Does the scouting and attribute rule mean you also hide the stats of your players?
I've made the attribute colours exactly the same as the skin background, so I can't physically see them :)

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Sorry I meant player attribute screen, was just curious as to what a no attribute player looks like! Will you be relying solely on scout finds/reports when it comes to signing players? Do you have any long term goals?

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Sorry I meant player attribute screen, was just curious as to what a no attribute player looks like!

Ah. Like this:

cristianoronaldoq.png

Will you be relying solely on scout finds/reports when it comes to signing players?

Scout reports and stats; I have a lot of customized stats filters already.

Do you have any long term goals?

- I'd like to manage at least one of my favourite teams in the 'big 6' leagues: Everton, Fiorentina, Real Madrid, Dortmund, Porto, Rennes.

- I'd like to make a net transfer profit, at least until I get to the highest level.

- I'd like to take a minnow into a major international tournament.

- I'd like to maintain at least a 50% win ratio over the course of my career.

- I'd like to eventually earn a wage packet of over 1,000,000 pounds p/a :D

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In two short words: You're crazy! :eek:

Two more words: Good luck! :D

So how's scouting going to work????

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Wow! I agree with rancer, you're crazy!

On the other hand I don't think I've ever seen anyone approach the game like this and so I wish you the best of luck! And it's good to see someone else using the world league megapacks ;)

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Wow! I agree with rancer, you're crazy!

In two short words: You're crazy! :eek:

Two more words: Good luck! :D

So how's scouting going to work????

Thanks!

For the crazy part. I don't need the luck ;)

---

I'm currently holidaying for a year to get rid of the thousands of job openings.

Also since I deleted all prior player history I need the players to actually play some games, otherwise I won't have any stats to work with when I do get a job.

Based on prior experience with a similar number of leagues I expect to be at a club by sometime tomorrow :D

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2011 Summer Transfer Window - A Summary

Arsenal made a surprising pair of signings, landing powerful Italian fullback Frederico Balzaretti for 12,500,000 from Palermo (presumably Kieren Gibbs fears for his future). Meanwhile they also nabbed talented winger Landon Donovan for 6,500,000 from Los Angeles.

Both players are better known for their work-rate and intelligence rather than their silky skills, so maybe this suggests a change of tack from Mr Wenger?

Over to their bitter rivals at White Hart Lane where new Tottenham boss Richard Moniz made his mark by splashing out 12,250,000 on winger/striker Didier Ya Konan from Hannover 96. Meanwhile a shock departure sees midfielder Tom Huddlestone, who has struggled for fitness and starts, head off to Valencia for 3,400,000. To be fair Spanish football might suit him better.

Elsewhere Porto sealed the deal on two transfers, spending 6,750,000 to bring Hugo Viana from league rivals Braga and swooping for Luuk de Jong for a bargain-basement price of 3,900,000 from FC Twente.

Actually, I'm not sure what Steve McLaren is playing at because he also let flying winger Nacer Chadli leave to Vitesse for 4,500,000 and flairsome attacker Douglas leave for Napoli for 3,900,000. Presumably he's trying to recreate his dull-as-rocks 03/04 Middlesbrough side. I can't see many other reasons for selling all your attacking talent on the cheap.

Meanwhile Bolton star Lee Chung-Yong is the latest to depart from the beleaguered Trotters, leaving for a tidy sum of 7,250,000 to Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg.

Finally, Milan are planning to plug the gaping hole left by Ibrahimovic's depature with...

....Dame N'Doye of FC Kobenhaven. The powerhouse Senegalese forward leaves for 6,000,000. I rate the fella, but I doubt too many Rossoneri are going to be placated :D

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This is a very interesting and quite brilliant idea... One that I will thoroughly look forward to seeing updates from. Hopefully it goes well for you :)

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Interesting idea, when looking at potential players to sign are you planning to check your scout reports and then check the players' stats from the previous season to determine the quality of the player?

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WOW! You are a little bit insane, but this is going to be awesome to follow, and I wish you the best of luck, will definitely be following along myself and want to see how it goes. Sounds fun at least.

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I think you may find it a little tough, but good luck anyway :p.

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Good luck with this,it will definitely be interesting :D

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This is a very interesting and quite brilliant idea... One that I will thoroughly look forward to seeing updates from. Hopefully it goes well for you.

Karnage94: Thanks! I would have said that's too kind, but then I remembered that I have an outsize ego :D

Interesting idea, when looking at potential players to sign are you planning to check your scout reports and then check the players' stats from the previous season to determine the quality of the player?

jcoll: Pretty much exactly, yes. I also plan to watch a few games featuring players I'm tracking.

This is fantastic in a crazy way, looking forward to it.

Scarman: Cheers!

WOW! You are a little bit insane, but this is going to be awesome to follow, and I wish you the best of luck, will definitely be following along myself and want to see how it goes. Sounds fun at least.

Lower Leagues Rule: Thanks for the support!

I've noticed a recurring theme in the responses so far - questioning my sanity :lol:

I think you may find it a little tough, but good luck anyway.

SLR88: To be honest I'm rather looking forward to failing miserably :D

Good luck with this,it will definitely be interesting.

B.W.G.: Reminded me of that old Chinese proverb: May you live in interesting times ...

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2011 January Transfer Window - A Summary

It was a busy transfer window.

Arsenal once again caught the headlines and also stated their intent as they landed Brazilian star Hulkfrom Porto for a fee of 28,000,000 plus performance-related addons. Hulk didn't too badly out of the deal either and will net in the region of 25,000,000 over the 5-year duration of his contract.

Porto moved quickly to spend the transfer fee, netting Elia for 15,000,000 from Werder Bremen (I have a hunch they're going to regret that :D) and French centreback Kader Mangane for 10,000,000 from Rennes

Man City were the other big-spenders, splashing out in the region of 50,000,000, although that figure was divided among three players. Rami was brought in to bostler their central defence, Fellaini (whose departure for roughly the same price Everton bought him for will surely have toffee fans up in arms) their central midfield and finally Glen Johnson to fill their rightback position, leaving for an eye-watering 21,500,000 - an even larger fee than Liverpool originally spent on the England international.

Finally Tottenham seem destined to please the neutral as they brought in three attacking players over the winter break. Clint Dempsey arrives from Fulham for 4,500,000. Oscar Cardozo for 7,000,000 from Benfica and Nilmar from Villarreal for 13,250,000.

Other News

Everton managed to lose the Carling Cup Final again :( Although the stats were fairly even in truth they were completely outclassed by Tottenham. Distin had another cup horror show, running through Nilmar like an express train in the penalty area in the 13th minute despite there not really being any threat on goal. Luka Modric converted and that turned out to be enough.

Everton barely had a shot on goal, which is hardly surprising because they barely got out of their own half. Nilmar ran the show. His constant trickery and dribbling skills made Hibbert look very ordinary indeed... which, to be fair, I suppose he is.

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1st March 2012

FC Lugano

fclugano.png

The Question: Who would appoint as manager a 22-year old with no prior experience and nothing to offer up but a fistful of ideas?

The Answer: Swiss Club President Luido Bernasconi of FC Lugano!

[i'm delighted to get this job as it is several rungs above what I was expecting. Last time I changed my rep to this low I struggled to get jobs in the 8th tier of England. Also from a personal perspective I've lived in Switzerland before so I know what to expect!]

History

The original club was founded 1908. They were 3x national Champions (1938, 1941, 1949) and 3x Cupwinners (1938, 1961, 1993) but unfortunately went bankrupt in 2002. The remaining parts of the club merged with neighbour Malcantone Agno in 2003. The club was subsequently renamed into AC Lugano, and then renamed once again to FC Lugano in 2008 to coincide with the club's centenary. Club President Luido Bernasconi has held his role since 2007.

Some well-known former players: Ottmar Hitzfeld, Valon Behrami, Christian Gross.

FC Lugano play mostly in all black (sexy!) with a downwards-facing white chevron across the front. Their away kit is the opposite, a white kit with a black chevron.

Location

They are based in the rather small city of Lugano in southern Switzerland, which is just over the border from Italy. The city is the 9th largest in Switzerland, with a population of approx 55,000 in the city proper and 165,000 when counting the surrounding area. Lugano is the de-facto capital of the Italian-Swiss minority and has the largest population of Italian speakers anywhere outside of Italy. The population is booming, having risen almost 40% in the last 10 years. I've been on a handful of holidays about 60 miles away from Lugano and I can tell you it gets bloody hot during summer. Overall however a very nice part of the world.

800pxluganoticinoviewon.jpg

FC Lugano play in the Stadio Cornaredo, which most pictures seem to show is a fairly ugly ground featuring an athletic track. However there is talk that the club is planning to build a new single-purpose stadium sometime in the near future.

402882820aac7997010ab15.jpg

- League Capacity: 10,500

- Average League attendance FC Lugano 09/10: 1,600

- Maximum League attendance FC Lugano 09/10: 7,700

- 1-time World Cup venue (1954)

- Home base / training camp of Sweden during Euro 2008

Finances

Transfer Budget: €50,000

My Wage: €130,000 p/a (3 years)

Wage Budget: €1,150,000 p/a

Current Wage Budget: €1,350,000 p/a

Difference:200,000

Balance:1,900,000

OK so not the best financial situation in the world, but hardly irrecoverable. The most worrying thing is we don't seem to have any obvious club assets that could be sold to make back some cash.

Situation

Media Prediction: 2nd (Promotion Playoff)

Board Expectation: High/Mid-table.

Season so far:

challengeleague.png

So the previous manager was a little off the pace then.

Still, the high initial expectation bodes well for the overall quality of the squad I get to work with. I suspect this is going to be about managing morale more than anything else. My primary goal is obviously to stave off relegation. Yes all of those six spaces are relegation slots. There are no relegation playoffs *gulp*. Climbing up into mid-table would be a bonus and promotion must be considered a pipe-dream with just over a third of the season left and morale in the gutter.

---

Tactics etc. to follow once I've got a handle on them.

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teamlr.png

OK, so here is what I've gleaned from a look-over the squad.

Goalie

We have two stand-out keepers, 30 year old ITA Russo and 22 year old SWI Casanova. POR Pinheiro (pun unintentional) is a distant third. I don't see him getting a game except during an injury crisis. Casanova has outperformed Russo by a decent margin in roughly equal appearances so he gets my vote for the time being.

Leftback

27 year old SWI Preisig is the stand-out candidate. He appears to be a fullback who likes to move up the pitch and the stats suggest he has a decent pass in his locker. As a bonus he's also tall and boasts a very decent ariel record. My only concern is that while he's a fairly efficient defender he doesn't seem to get involved or make as many interceptions as the other defenders. To me this suggests either a below par work ethic or limited intelligence. Meanwhile 24 year old SWI Siegfried hasn't been played consistently enough to fairly judge his worth, but his contributions so far don't bode well. If it comes down to it I'll probably end up shifting Polenta one space left and bring on another centreback; an area where we appear to have far greater depth.

Left Centreback

20 year old URU Polenta is the outstanding candidate. He is thought to be multiple times more valuable than any other member of my squad. A shame he isn't ours - he's on loan from Genoa. From what I can see he appears to be both well-rounded defensively and posses a little skill in his boots too.

Right Centreback

His partner was a little more difficult to pick, being a straight fight between 27 year old SWI Thrier and 22 year old SWI Del Piero (a loanee from Young Boys). Both appear to be cautious, clinical defenders. However due to weakness at rightback I ended up pushing Del Piero wide and leaving Thrier to partner Polenta. 31 year old BIH Colina will be fighting Thrier and Polenta for a first team berth. He's highly rated but appears to be slightly slow, highly aggressive and not particularly skillful. Meanwhile 31 year old ITA Sarni and 26 year old SWI Witschi are both frustrated at the lack of first team football but will have to really shine if they're going to oust the guys ahead of them.

Rightback

As previously mentioned this position is currently Del Piero's to lose. 37 year old SWI Bega has been decent but I don't really want to be relying on ancient legs.

Left Winger

28 year old POR Carlos (who can play on either wing) is thought to be one of the best players at the club, but he's had a very poor season so far, managing a measly 1 goal and 1 assist and nary a dribble or decent pass. He loses out to 29 year old ITA Bonanni, who has been much more effective in substantially left time, delivering more passes, crosses and also provides a threat from set-pieces; he's actually best known for his thunderous free kicks. Finally there is 26 year old SWI Huber. All indicators point to him being a very average player happy to make up the numbers.

Left-Central Midfielder

He may be pushing it a little bit but 33-year old GUA Ramirez caught my eye. He possess two good feet, judging by his stats and PPMs I suspect he has a stop-start kind of play that opposition players hate to deal with and (unless I'm mistaken) possesses a good footballing brain and enough physical spark to make up for pretty average skills.

Right-Central Midfielder

Partnering him will be the diminutive (5'5) 25 year old SWI Rey. Unfortunately he's currently furious with the management of the club and wants to leave... and I don't blame him! On a minute-by-minute basis Rey is far and away the club's most effective player, racking up an impressive 3 assists and a MoM in less than 3 whole games, as well as getting impressive passing and dribbling statistics. From a first glance he looks exactly like my type of midfielder, the sort who likes to drift into space and keep the ball moving and the passes ticking over. I'll have to have a word with him about his future here.

28 year old ITA Baldo will provide backup for both central midfield positions. He seems depressingly average. The sort of player who fills space and achieves little else. However he'll have to do. The alternative is Colina, whom I suspect will be coming on when I need to preserve a lead. As a distant third option is 23 CRO Basic, who I really have no idea about. All I know is that he had a torrid debut and hasn't played since.

Attacking Midfielder

30 year old SWI Maggetti appears to be good at only a couple of things: Finding space and scoring goals. His passing statistics are woefully average for an attacking player and he doesn't appear to possess a shred of creativity. My first impression is that he's a Kevin Nolan type-player. However he's currently our most effective attacking threat and top goalscorer so it'd be foolish to leave him out.

Backing him up will be 16 year old SWI Petrocelli. The youngster is highly thought of within the club and has impressed for the youth team. He may be young, but he isn't afraid to run at defenders and has scored a few goals at youth level despite evidently playing deeper than I'm personally minded to. If things are going well he could get his career debut in the next match.

Right Forward

26 year old MNE Zverotic is given a second chance, having been frozen out of the squad for much of the season. When he's played he's been effective - his dribbling stats are impressive as are the proportion of his shots on target. 25 year old POR Pimenta is my other choice for this position, but I want to try him out at Striker first.

Striker

As mentioned previously Pimenta gets the nod ahead of the more highly-rated 28 year old ARG Senga. Pimenta has simply been far more effective given the disparity in game time. What swayed it for me is both the amount of times he gets shots and gets them on target. He's come off the bench 15 times this season and nonetheless outscored Senga on both counts. This tells me mainly that Pimenta is probably a calmer personality and/or is faster. However we're thin in the striker department especially so Senga will doubtlessly have a chance to prove himself. Finally 22 year old Foglio is effectively out for the season with a cruciate injury.

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Funnily enough our first match is against the team directly below us, Etoile-Carouge. If there was ever a managerial debut that needed to go well, it's this one.

Tactically we're going to set-up like this for the time being:

tactics1.png

tactics2.png

The concentration of our talent seems to be in defense and out on the wings, so the basic idea I've gone with is to sit deep and hit them on the break.

I don't tend to like playing both wide and deep, because it opens you up to through balls, but we seem to have a relatively mobile and skillful defense. Also, looking at our season so far the issue has been scoring goals rather than defending.

Finally, here you all go:

tacticso.jpg

Because what's life without tactical maps craply-drawn in MS Paint :D

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Great write up and congrats on getting a job! I look forward to seeing how perceptive you are with your players! How much are they paying you?

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Just popped in to say that it's really going rather badly :D

Update when I finish the season, which will probably be around Monday.

Obviously if I get fired it'll be sooner ;)

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i'm looking forward to this update.

Do you find it liberating to play the way you are?

I mean you aren't putting yourself under pressure from absolute knowledge of what a player is capable of? so you can play what you see. I guess what i'm saying is ignorance bliss?

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Just took a look at this and gotta say a very interesting concept and challenge! One of the more unique that I've seen. Will be definitely following.

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You are a little bit insane, but this is going to be awesome to follow, and I wish you the best of luck, will definitely be following along myself and want to see how it goes.g.gif

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Hello all,

First of all sorry for the lack of updates. Real life intruded, then by the time it was all sorted out I was scrambling to get ready for a camping holiday.

However I'm back and, more importantly, nearly done for at Lugano.

I know how much you miserable ******** love it when a career goes tits-up, so here you are ;)

resultsxp.png

table2u.png

As you can see I've got 6 games to go and am currently 7 points adrift, having only earned two draws so far. I've tried a combination of different approaches, but the problem seems to be nothing more than low morale syndrome.

We keep holding out all manner of attacks all match, fighting tooth and nail...

...only for our best defender to be undone by a route-one goal.

Then we get free, our most prolific striker rounds the goalkeeper - it's an empty net...

...but the striker skies it over the bar.

Morale is in the gutter. Things are not helped by the fact that my players have a mini-rebellion every time I say anything. They clearly aren't impressed with their new manager and so I've learned the hard way that the best policy right now is to shut my yapper and hope they motivate themselves!

I'm so desperate I've resorted to a 6-4-0 (4x DFs, 2x WBs, 1x DM, 3x CM) with an emphasis on possession and time-wasting. It seemed to work last match against Kriens, we dominated possession and chances until our Josip failed to track his man at the near post and they scrambled in a header. Then for the very last kick of the game Maggetti somehow managed to drag a shot wide with the keeper already beaten.

What hasn't helped either is that Challenge League rules forbid the registration of new players from the day after I joined until the end of the season, even on a free.

Still, I'm enjoying the challenge.

Also looking forward to the wage compensation when they inevitably fire me. :D

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Do you find it liberating to play the way you are?

Yes. It means it's much more about working with the squad you've got. Not that I've had a chance to do otherwise yet!

In previous FM games I used to eject basically the whole squad and bring in exactly who I wanted to fit my style of play. Now I simply can't do that.

I mean you aren't putting yourself under pressure from absolute knowledge of what a player is capable of? so you can play what you see. I guess what i'm saying is ignorance bliss?

Bliss might be too strong a word :D

It makes things so much harder, because you don't know what players are good at unless you've seen them in real life, or seen them on the pitch. Even then, there's every chance they're only performing badly because you aren't using them correctly.

I've noticed that reputation has immediately become a hell of a lot more important, just as it is for the computer I suppose. I suspect it will be so much harder to pick out gems with great potential but not success to date simply because, well, they've had no success yet!

The other thing that becomes more important is pedigree. The chances are that an Arsenal or Barcelona youth player was both initially better and has been better developed than a Motherwall reject. So I'll be more likely to take a chance on them.

Just took a look at this and gotta say a very interesting concept and challenge! One of the more unique that I've seen. Will be definitely following.
You are a little bit insane, but this is going to be awesome to follow, and I wish you the best of luck, will definitely be following along myself and want to see how it goes.

Thanks cerud and CalRobbo! :)

---

In other news I just recorded my first win, a tepid 1-0 home win against mid-table nobodies \o/ Unfortunately we're still 6 points from safety and our next match is away against league leaders Vaduz. Just my luck :(

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Must be a relief finally getting a win, much good is it likely to do you now though.

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Must be a relief finally getting a win, much good is it likely to do you now though.

Yes.

We deservedly lost the Vaduz match 2-0.

Right now we need to win at least 3 of our 4 final games. 3 of those are away, including a trip to title-chasers Winterthur. 2 of the matches are against Bellinzona and Chiasso, who both are hovering above the relegation zone on 35 points. We need to beat those two simply to keep them within striking distance. Finally there is the match against an impressive Delemont side currently in 5th.

I rate our chances at about 5%.

6-4-0 seems to be working for the most part. Once again we're only conceding stupid goals, the kind of goals you only tend to concede when players are utterly shot of confidence. Things like headers from indirect free kicks and tap-ins from a striker with 3 defenders on him. Everything else we're repulsing with ease.

I've decided to exchange one of my midfielders for a striker with instructions to fish around for chances, so we're now playing a 6-3-1.

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...and we lost 3-0 against Chiasso. Which was a shame, as the match itself was very even. We conceded two from set pieces, which is inexcusable. Goalkeeper Russo had a nightmare, punching a tame shot right to the feet of a striker on one occasion and on another palming a weak header into his own net.

To compound our misery our top goalscorer Maggetti (7) is out for the season with a torn hamstring.

Thanks to terrible results elsewhere we now need to reclaim 9+ goal difference and pray Stade Nyonnais lose all of their remaining games, in which case we will pip them on results between teams.

My plan is to fluke it whilst playing an ultra-attacking formation :D

---

What's been most disappointing so far is that aside from the Vaduz and Aarau matches, all of our games have been close affairs. But in the end we've been punished by a hideous combination of dire defending, sub-par finishing and talentless goalkeeping.

So, err, hooray for our midfielders?

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19th June 2012 - Fired

So it finally happened. Despite a surprise 4-1 win at home to local rivals Bellinzona we couldn't muster a win against Winterthur and as a result were relegated. In any case results elsewhere rendered our match irrelevant.

Upon relegation over half of the squad immediately demanded to leave. Considering our precarious financial situation -worsened by relegation- I had no honorable recourse but to accept each and every transfer request that came my way. Not that (if I were staying) I'd be minded to keep any of our current players other than our wingers Bonnini and Maggetti.

relegation.png

Conclusions

Well, it wasn't an ideal start to my career by any means. This is the first time I have ever been relegated in FM (playing since 00/01) and only the second time I have ever been fired. When the club were hovering above the drop zone the board had gambled on a new manager bounce and clearly it has backfired.

My predecessor had performed badly, but in truth I had performed even worse. My record currently reads an awful 2W, 2D, 8L. In Lugano I saw an opportunity to turn around a reasonably big club that was chronically under-performing, but in the end I bit off more than I could chew. A few things to think about:

1. Low confidence/morale was the core problem during my tenure. Crucially, because of my low reputation I wasn't able to encourage or cajole the players to a level that would actually enable them to win things.

2. I know it isn't generally the done thing, but I have to admit that I feel slightly let down by my players. From day one they reacted negatively to any input. But even more frustrating was a failure to perform the most basic tasks defensively. Nearly half of the goals we conceded were from set plays where the defender lost his marker. The majority of the rest involved the defender missing an easy interception. The remainder can be put down to painfully poor goalkeeping.

3. The final factor was an inability to add to the squad. Despite our worrying financial problems there were some surprisingly high-profile players who were willing to move to us; but Swiss Challenge league regulations prevented us registering them. I can't help but think that a veteran goalkeeper and an experienced goal poacher could have easily made the difference, especially given how close some of those games were.

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

Ah well. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

PS - Career Earnings: 300,000 GBP

Not bad for 3 months work! :D

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As if not mentioned yet: you're crazy. :D Good luck in the next job.

One question, do you think you still get a decent feel for the players skills through the info that remains (ie everything bar the attributes)?

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Unlucky with Lugano. The first job was always going to be the hardest as you get into the swing of things. Hopefully you find somewhere to ply your trade as soon as!

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Shame it's a bad start but well done just for doing it, hopefully you can still manage success.

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9th January 2013 - Hired

600pxsamutprakarnfc.png

Samut Prakan FC

Hired!

After months of waiting I was hired by semi-pro Thai side Samut Prakan FC!

Samut play in the Thai Division 1 League, which is the 2nd tier of Thai football.

The chairman, Mr. Teera Poolsub, was enthused to have me on board. I can only infer that he wasn't expecting to get a candidate with actual management experience.

History

Samut Prakan isn't even a decade old, having only been founded in 2004.

Since they were founded Samut have played the Thai Regional Leagues; until last season when they were crowned Champions of the Central and Eastern League. Their manager has since moved on, as apparently have most of the playing staff. Only a handful of players in the side have any experience of league football.

Being in the 2nd Tier of Thai football is as good as it's ever been for Samut Prakan, so everything I do at this club will be making history for better or worse.

Samut Prakan is roughly translated as 'Sea Fortress'. The club's nickname is 'The Fortress'.

Samut Prakan's home kit is light blue and white stripes, while their away kit is bright yellow with dark blue on the shoulders.

Location

220pxthailandsamutpraka.png

Samut Prakan FC is located in... Samut Prakan Province.

I would give you more information, but unfortunately I can't read Thai :D

To surmise, everything I can find on the province suggests it's scenic, rainy, way too hot and infested with crocodiles.

Samut Prakan FC play in the Chalermprakiet Bangmod Stadium, which is a 20,000-seater. As a club with some 500-odd season ticket holders I somehow doubt we're going to fill that. Thankfully I'm fairly sure that the ground belongs to our arch-rivals Chonburi FC.

Finances

[Exchange rate is 50 baht ~ 1 GPB]

Transfer Budget: ฿0.00

My Wage: ฿1,200,000 (£24,000)

Wage Budget: ฿5,730,000 (£114,600)

Current Wage Total: ฿397,000 (£7,940)

Difference: ฿5,333,000 (£106,660)

Balance: ฿2,030,000 (£40,600)

The club seems to be in a decent financial position. Certainly I've got a decent amount to invest in player's wages, although I'm not yet sure how that compares to my league rivals.

Caution will be my watchword however as I'm not convinced about the club's ability to generate revenue.

Situation

Media Prediction: 17th (Relegation)

Board Expectation: Avoid Relegation

Once again the onus will be on avoiding relegation. Thankfully it looks likely to be an easier task than at FC Lugano - only the 2 worst teams in the division (18 teams total) are sent down... and apparently there is already a side out there that is even more naff than us :p

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Welcome to Samut Prakan

The initial press 'conference' didn't go so well. Come to think of it, it's probably more of an interview than a conference considering it was only attended by one unhappy-looking local reporter.

The reporter kept asking me if this was my 'favourite job'. I kept responding along the lines of that yes, I was happy to be given the job

However the reporter didn't seem to like that answer and kept asking the same question again and again in different ways. Each time he rephrased it but the meaning was essentially the same. I responded in kind, to his immense chagrin.

What did he honestly expect, for me to say that I had Samut Prakan posters on my walls as a kid? I seriously doubt that many in Thailand have even heard of the club. Just my luck to wind up with a fanatical local reporter.

Staff Additions

I had three requirements for my assistant manager:

1. They have to speak English so that they can translate for me until my grasp of Thai is good enough.

2. They have to, more or less, share my tactical outlook.

3. They have to be young and hungry.

---

So step forward 31-year old Phousith Psongpura!

Also joining the staff is Yuttapong Boonumporn, a 38-year old former defender who has recently retired from playing in order to scout for us.

The Plan

I'll post in detail about my team and transfers once the dust is settled.

However my overall plan is a very simple one. I based it upon the principle that sides that score lots of goals rarely go down, regardless of how bad their defence is.

You can tell it's a good plan because it has 6 phases.

Phase 1) Spend the bulk of my time scouting out 2-3 of the best available foreign strikers.

Phase 2) Blow my whole budget on those strikers.

Phase 3) Give the strikers the best service possible.

Phase 4) Sit back and watch the fireworks.

Phase 5) ???

Phase 6) $$$ Profit! $$$

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8th February 2013 - The Team

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

>>> Goalkeepers <<<

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Ousmane Seine

31gkousmaneseini.jpg

Name: Ousmane Seine

Position(s): GK

Age: 23

Height: 6'0

Nationality: Cameroonian

Shirt Number: 1

Appearances: 45

Conceded: 41

Clean Sheets: 18

MoMs: 3

Career Average Rating: 7.08

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Ayutthaya (Thai Division 2, Central & Eastern League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0.00 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿125,000 p/a (£2,500)

Comments: He's clinched the N.1 jersey on account of slightly outperforming his rival Njoya in his career so far, despite being slightly younger, shorter and at a marginally worse club. Nonetheless he'll have to perform well to keep Njoya out.

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

Mfeyet Njoya

01gkmfeyetnjoya.jpg

Name: Mfeyet Njoya

Position(s): GK

Age: 24

Height: 6'3

Nationality: Cameroonian

Shirt Number: 31

Appearances: 59

Conceded: 62

Clean Sheets: 20

MoMs: 5

Career Average Rating: 7.35

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Raj Vithi (Thai Division 2, Central & Eastern League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0.00 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿125,000 p/a (£2,500)

Comments: Although he missed out on the N.1 shirt he looks just as good as Seine. Which of the two young Cameroonians ends up getting the starting berth will ultimately come down to form.

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<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

>>> Defenders <<<

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Onuora Cosmos

02dconuoracosmos.jpg

Name: Onuora Cosmos

Position(s): DC

Age: 25

Height: 5'10

Nationality: Nigerian

Shirt Number: 2

Appearances: 40

Goals: 1

Assists: 5

MoMs: 1

Career Average Rating: 7.27

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Krabi (Thai Division 2, South League)

Transfer Fee: ฿400,000 (£8,000)

Wage: ฿400,000 p/a (£8,000)

Comments: I've had some trouble finding good-quality defenders who wanted to join us, but I knew I wanted to bring in Cosmos as soon as I laid eyes on him. Despite being slightly smaller than his fellow African defenders in Thailand he's outperformed most of them. Cosmos is also the club's new record signing, having joined for 400,000 baht. He is on the same amount in wages, which makes him the second-highest paid player at the club. Krabi fans were reportedly furious that his team let him go.

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

Abraham Armah

04dcabrahamarmah.jpg

Name: Abraham Armah

Position(s): DC

Age: 27

Height: 6'0

Nationality: Ghanaian

Shirt Number: 4

Appearances: 55

Goals: 3

Assists: 10

MoMs: 3

Career Average Rating: 6.96

Joined

Former Club: Chaiyaphum (Thai Division 2, Northeastern League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0.00 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿295,000 p/a (£5,900)

Comments: He wasn't my first choice defender on the market, but he's done decently enough and his wage demands were reasonable. He'll almost certainly be one of my starters.

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Watsaphon Thosantia

06dcdrwatsaphonthosanti.jpg

Name: Watsaphon Thosantia

Position(s): DC/DR

Age: 21

Height: 6'1

Nationality: Thai

Shirt Number: 6

Appearances: 26

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

MoMs: 1

Career Average Rating: 6.58

U21 Apperances: 5

U21 Goals: 0

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Bangkok Glass (Thai Premier League)

Transfer Fee: ฿30,000 (£600)

Wage: ฿400,000 p/a (£8,000)

Comments: Watsaphon was deemed surplus to requirements at Bangkok Glass and was flogged for an astonishingly cheap 30,000 baht. I entered a bidding war for Watsaphon with two other clubs and probably only came out ahead because I offered twice as much in wages, making Watsaphon our joint second-highest paid player alongside Abraham. Our fans were absolutely delighted with the bargain signing of this Thai youth international. Personally I have high hopes for him considering his decent performances a young player at a higher level. Although he's naturally a centreback he'll be shifted to right-back for the time being because of a lack of alternatives.

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

Dusit Paphunga

08dcdusitpaphunga.png

Name: Dusit Paphunga

Position(s): DC

Age: 20

Height: 6'7

Nationality: Thai

Shirt Number: 8

Appearances: 0

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

MoMs: 0

Career Average Rating: N/A

Joined: Summer 2012

Former Club: Samut Prakan Youth Team Graduate

Transfer Fee: ฿0

Wage: ฿0 p/a

Comments: Paphunga isn't reckoned to be the most talented player, but his sheer height -in a league in which the average footballer is only 5'8 or 5'9- is a huge asset for a defender. Additionally he's comfortable on two feet and has a very cautious playing style; he likes to stick to his man and is very loth to get forward. I don't expect he'll get a huge amount of game time unless Cosmos or Abraham get injured, or we're trying to hold onto a narrow lead. Nonetheless I'm glad to have him around.

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Saddam Tenang

03dldrsaddamtenang.jpg

Name: Saddam Tenang

Position(s): DL/DR

Age: 18

Height: 5'9

Nationality: Indonesian

Shirt Number: 3

U19: [Capped]

Appearances: 46

Goals: 1

Assists: 7

MoMs: 2

Career Average Rating: 7.30

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: PS Trisakti (Indonesian Lower Leagues)

Transfer Fee: ฿0 [Amateur Contract]

Wage: ฿245,000 p/a (£4,900)

Comments: Tenang is a standout arrival. Last season he turned in enough dominant performances from leftback to average a huge 7.81. Tipped as a future national team fullback, he was being stalked by several top-level Indonesian clubs when we discovered him. Happily we pounced first and offered over-the-odds-wages to secure his signature. Weirdly he's entirely right-footed. I'll be hoping that he can add to his assist tally and wouldn't put it past him to get into double figures on that count.

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

Panai Meunsamaan

07dcdlpanaimeunsamaan.png

Name: Panai Meunsamaan

Position(s): DC/DL

Age: 19

Height: 6'4

Nationality: Thai

Shirt Number: 7

Appearances: 0

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

MoMs: 0

Career Average Rating: N/A

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Phuket (Thai Premier League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿0 p/a

Comments: Meunsamaan comes from a decent TPL side, posses height and apparently enough ability to make it (at this level at least). He's strictly cover for the left-hand side of defence. I don't expect him to get much game time except for coming off the subs' bench.

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<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

>>> Midfielders <<<

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Kwabena Boreng

[No Picture Available]

Name: Kwabena Boreng

Position(s): DM/DC,MC

Age: 19

Height: 5'9

Nationality: Ghanaian

Shirt Number: 12

Appearances: 46

Goals: 2

Assists: 2

MoMs: 5

Career Average Rating: 6.98

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Hat Yai (Thai Division 2, Southern League)

Transfer Fee: ฿100,000 (£5,000)

Wage: ฿70,000 p/a (£3,500)

Comments: He's only young and he's put in some very decent performances in what is traditionally a difficult position to excel in. His pass rate is excellent for this level at over 70%, he makes 3-5 tackles a match and gives away relatively few fouls. He's my first choice for one of the two midfield destroyer slots.

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

Manus Hartwiset

[No Picture Available]

Name: Manus Hartwiset

Position(s): DM/DC,MC

Age: 22

Height: 6'4

Nationality: Thai

Shirt Number: 14

Appearances: 0

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

MoMs: 0

Career Average Rating: N/A

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Bangkok Glass (Thai Premier League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿10,000 p/a (£500)

Comments: I honestly don't have a clue about this player, but defensive midfielders seem scarce in Thai football and he cost virtually nothing in wages so we signed him up anyway. Although I haven't seen him play at all yet (not even in friendlies) his height suggests that he at least has a little bit of power about him. Unless we can find someone else to take his place he'll be playing the midfielder destroyer role alongside the more-proven Boreng. He is reuinited with fellow former-Bangkok Glass youth player Thosantia.

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Akwasi Gyimah

21mcamcakwasigyimah.jpg

Name: Akwasi Gyimah

Position(s): MC/AMC

Age: 28

Height: 5'9

Nationality: Ghanaian

Shirt Number: 21

Appearances: 45

Goals: 2

Assists: 8

MoMs: 2

Career Average Rating: 7.07

Joined: N/A

Former Club: N/A

Transfer Fee: ฿0

Wage: ฿142,500 (£2,850)

Comments: Gyimah is the only original Samut Prakan player who makes it into our new-look first XI. Last year he was played fairly deep and did decently enough. My intention is to push him further up the pitch and make him our primary creative outlet. His stats indicate he's got a decent all-round passing game; though not a great deal else.

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

Surachai Thammasatchanan

23amcmcsurachaithammasa.png

Name: Surachai Thammasatchanan

Position(s): AMC/MC

Age: 20

Height: 5'9

Nationality: Thai

Shirt Number: 23

Appearances: 0

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

MoMs: 0

Career Average Rating: 0

Joined: Summer 2012

Former Club: Samut Prakan Youth Team Graduate

Transfer Fee: ฿0

Wage: ฿0

Comments: Psongpura (my Assistant Manager) rates him highly and he's costing us nothing so I opted to keep him around to see what he can offer. He'll be providing cover for our main playmaker Gyimah.

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<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

>>>> Strikers <<<<

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Henry Dickson

15sthenrydickson.jpg

Name: Henry Dickson

Position(s): ST

Age: 22

Height: 6'2

Nationality: Ghanaian

Shirt Number: 15

Appearances: 54

Goals: 17

Assists: 11

MoMs: 0

Career Average Rating: 6.93

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: Phrae (Thai Division 2, Northern League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿125,000 (£2,500)

Comments: He's young, brave, tenacious, likes to dribble, has an eye for goal and is unselfish enough to lay on a few goals for his teammates. Acquiring him was a no-brainier (apparently the real Samut Prakan thought so too :D).

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

Pramot Butarot

10stpramotbutarot.jpg

Name: Pramot Butarot

Position(s): ST

Age: 29

Height: 5'7

Nationality: Thai

Shirt Number: 10

Appearances: 59

Goals: 7

Assists: 3

MoMs: 2

Career Average Rating: 6.49

Joined: N/A

Former Club: N/A

Transfer Fee: ฿0

Wage: ฿97,500 (£1,950)

Comments: Butarot has done nowhere near well enough over the last two seasons, but he's Thai and a fan favourite so I decided to give him one last chance. He'll be providing the primary cover for our other strikers.

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Maxsim

[No Picture Available]

Name: Maxsim

Position(s): ST

Age: 24

Height: 6'0

Nationality: Ivorian

Shirt Number: 11

Appearances: 53

Goals: 17

Assists: 7

MoMs: 2

Career Average Rating: 7.33

Joined: N/A

Former Club: Chaiyaphum (Thai Division 2, Northeastern League)

Transfer Fee: ฿0 [End of Contract]

Wage: ฿125,000 (£2,500)

Comments: Maxsim arrives with a reputation for being a pacy striker who should do well at this level. He likes to give defenders a hard time and has been known to both win and score penalties. I have fairly high hopes for him.

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

Felix Okinyi

[No Picture Available]

Name: Felix Okinyi

Position(s): ST

Age: 19

Height: 6'2

Nationality: Kenyan

Shirt Number: 9

Appearances: 73

Goals: 26

Assists: 4

MoMs: 0

Career Average Rating: 7.11

U20 Appearances: 4

U20 Goals: 0

Joined: January 2013

Former Club: JMJ Academy

Transfer Fee: ฿0 [Amateur Contract]

Wage: ฿510,000 (£10,200)

Comments: By some distance the most exciting player we've brought to the club. My scout went wild over him and he's certainly impressed for someone so young, which is why I didn't hesitate to hand him the N.9 shirt. His ego apparently matches his ability because he demanded a steep wage and significant add-ons despite being on a pittance at JMJ. He arrives as the highest-paid player at the club.

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