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FM13 - Aberdeen - A blend of youth and experience

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WELCOME TO THE ABERDEEN FC TEAM GUIDE FOR FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013

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A BACKGROUND

Foundation and Early Years

Aberdeen Football Club were founded through the merging of three city clubs that were playing in 1903. Victoria United, Aberdeen and Orion amalgamating to become Aberdeen FC. Their first official match was a 1-1 draw with Stenhousemuir in August that year, and by 1904, the side had successfully applied for entry to the Scottish league system, beginning in division two. The following season they were elected to the (top) first division, where they have remained ever since; a remarkable record shared only by Celtic.

Initially progress was slow and disrupted by the First World War, and by 1939 they only had one final and two Scottish Cup semi-final appearances to show for their efforts. The outbreak of the Second World War completely stopped senior football, again disrupting the progression of the club.

Improved Fortunes

After the war, steady progress was made and The Dons won their first major honour, beating Hibernian in the 1947 Scottish Cup final under Dave Halliday. Two more finals were reached in the early 1950’s, although Aberdeen lost on both of those occasions, however, glory was found in 1955 as the club famously won their first ever Scottish League Championship, three points clear of Celtic at the end of the season. Aberdeen were denied a spot in Europe however, and their disappointment was increased as Halliday left the club following the league title success, leaving as the best manager in the club's history with a record unrivalled until the Ferguson era.

The League Cup was promptly won for the first time in 1956, but that then prompted a relatively quiet spell with no further silverware until 1970 where The Dons picked up the Scottish Cup by beating Celtic 3-1 at Hampden. During the period of fourteen years without a trophy, there had been two managerial changes.

The 1970’s were steady but unspectacular for Aberdeen. The side were consistently amongst the top five or six sides in the league table throughout the decade, but only had won League Cup title (1976) to show for their efforts. Five mangers came and went during this period, before Alex Ferguson took over the reigns in 1978.

Golden Years

From 1978 to his departure in 1986, Alex Ferguson led Aberdeen to more trophies in the eight years he was in charge than had been won in the whole history of the club up to that point.

Ferguson acted to make some key experienced and talented players the backbone of a side he would build into one of the best in Europe. Jim Leighton, Alex McLeish, Gordon Strachan and Willie Miller all starred as The Don’s won the second League title of their history in 1980. Incredibly, the Scottish Cup was then picked up for three successive years in ’82, ’83 and ’84, as the league was won again in 1984 and 1985, Ferguson had built a dynasty.

The most remarkable success however, came in European competition as Aberdeen battled it out with the heavyweights from across the continent. In the Cup Winners’ Cup of 1983, Aberdeen met their destiny and conquered Europe. The mighty Real Madrid were defeated 2-1 after extra time in Gothenburg to seal the glory in the final, after sides such as Bayern Munich had incredibly been disposed of in the previous rounds. Later that year, Aberdeen defeated Hamburg over two legs in the Super Cup, becoming the first Scottish side ever to win two European trophies, a record which still stands today. The following season saw The Dons impress in Europe yet again, reaching the semi-finals before losing to FC Porto.

In what proved to be Ferguson’s final season two more cups were picked up, with the Scottish Cup scooped again alongside the League Cup, which was incredibly a haul that slightly disappointed the Aberdeen faithful after successes from the years gone by.

Ferguson left Aberdeen to join Manchester United in 1986, citing it as the only job he would have left for, claiming he was undertaking the greatest challenge in football in attempting to guide Manchester United back to the top of the domestic and European game.

Recent Times

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It is fair to say that Aberdeen have never came close to replicating the heights reached under Ferguson, but prospects look slightly brighter in the present day after enduring some dark times along the way after the glory years came to an end.

Initially things were continuing to look bright for Aberdeen after Ferguson’s exit. The League Cup and Scottish Cup double was achieved in 1990 under the co-managerial team of Jocky Scott and Alex Smith, while the Dons were just one game away from securing the league title in 1991, but were pipped to the post by Rangers. However, success was deprived of the club from that point onwards, other than another League Cup win in 1996 where Dundee were beaten in the final. By 1999, while Ferguson celebrated an historic treble with Manchester United, Aberdeen had been through seven managers, been rescued by a local businessman after falling into debt for the first time, and were about to enter what possibly was the lowest period in their history.

Ebbe Skovdahl, from Denmark, became the first foreign manager in the club's history in the 1999/2000 season. In 2000, he did lead the club to two cup finals, including the infamous Scottish Cup final versus Rangers where Jim Leighton, playing his last ever match in professional football, was carried off injured after just three minutes. This being back in the day where only three substitutions were allowed, Skovdahl had opted not to put Ryan Esson on the bench. On came Robbie Winters in Esson's goalkeeping jersey who went on to concede four goals from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Tony Vidmar, Billy Dodds and Jorg Albertz. This was the last Cup final Aberdeen played in. Skovdahl's reign was completely disastrous for the club. Although they had already been dropping out of the elite group of Scottish clubs at the top half of the league, nothing had prepared the side's fans for finishing bottom of the SPL. Incredibly, Aberdeen were able to preserve their outstanding record of having never been relegated due to the fact that the side who won division one, Falkirk, did not have a stadium that met the set criteria for promotion.

Skovdahl promptly left the club and his replacement was Steve Paterson. In his first full season in charge, 2002/03, Aberdeen finished a very disappointing 11th. In March 2003, Paterson revealed he had an alcohol problem, after famously missing Aberdeen's 3–3 home draw with Dundee due to being too hungover to attend. It was the beginning of the end for Paterson and the following season he was replaced by Jimmy Calderwood, brought in from Dunfermline.

Under Calderwood and his assistant Jimmy Nichol, a management team dubbed 'the two Jimmys', Aberdeen made an immediate improvement, finishing fourth in 2003/04. Darren Mackie finished the season as top goalscorer, with 12 league goals, vindicating Calderwood's decision to bring him back into the first team following Patterson's decision to offload him to Inverness on loan. 2005/06 saw an unspectacular 6th place, followed up by their best ever finish in the SPL, third place in 2006/07, which brought qualification for the 2007/08 UEFA Cup.

2007/08 got off to a bad start. First club captain Russell Anderson was sold to Sunderland for £1,000,000, though the Aberdeen favourite did donate his signing on fee back to the club to be invested in youth development. Not content with losing their best player, Calderwood also had a falling out with Jamie Langfield after having rejected a bid for the goalkeeper from Rangers. Langfield was made available for transfer but was recalled to the first team for the UEFA Cup qualifiers against Dnipro. Against the odds, Aberdeen qualified for the group stages after an away goals victory over the two legs, thanks to a goal by Mackie in the Ukraine. Despite heavy away defeats in the group stages against Panathinaikos (2-0) and Atletico Madrid (3-0) and a home draw against Lokomotiv Moscow (1-1), Aberdeen qualified for the knockout stages with a superb 4-0 win over FC Copenhagen in the final home group game, seeing the Dons through to face Bayern Munich in the round of 32.

In the first leg at Pittodrie, the side's two loanees Sone Aluko (from Birmingham City) and Josh Walker (from Middlesbrough) twice put Aberdeen ahead before being pegged back as the game finished 2-2. Heading to Germany perhaps feeling overly confident, Bayern crushed Calderwood's boys 5-0 bringing their European dream to an end. Though Aberdeen could look back with pride at the fact that they hadn't lost at home in European competition all season. A fourth place finish thanks to 13 goals from Lee Miller. Though this was the season where Aberdeen would start their worrying trend of losing out to lower league opposition on the brink of a cup final, losing 4-3 to Queen of the South, meaning they would miss out on European competition the following year.

2008/09 was Calderwood's last season at the club, though looking back it's difficult to explain why. Tension between management and the board over the failure to grant Calderwood as much cash as he would have liked to spend following the sale of Anderson the previous season and the lucrative UEFA Cup run. A number of players left the club on free transfers and were not adequately replaced. Though Calderwood did manage to sign Sone Aluko on a permanent deal following an impressive loan spell the season before. In also came Charlie Mulgrew, Mark Kerr, Gary McDonald and Tommy Wright. Wright alone cost £100,000 and was handed a three year contract. He would only last 18 months, during this time he would only manage two goals for the club and would struggle with injuries. He was released in January 2010. Perhaps the board had been wise not to give Calderwood any more money to spend.

The season was an up and down one, and the fans became more and more frustrated with Calderwood's management, claiming it was time for a fresh start with a new manager, with former Dons midfielder Mark McGhee, doing a good job at Motherwell, the favourite to replace him. Calderwood had the last laugh however, finishing the campaign in fourth place, guaranteeing European football the following season, then leaving the club by 'mutual consent' on May 24th 2009. Jimmy's record of one 6th place finish, three 4th place finishes and one 3rd place was more impressive than many gave him credit for, especialy given the barren years that have followed. The less said about Mark McGhee's tenure, the better.

On 13th December 2010 Craig Brown and Archie Knox arrived from Motherwell. While results haven't necessarily improved, the overall quality of the playing squad and the type of football played has. Two ninth placed finishes in a row have been followed up by some impressive displays so far this season, with Aberdeen only beaten by Celtic so far in the league this year. With Rangers out of the picture for the forseeable future the opportunity to become the second force in Scottish football is there for the taking, and within FM, to become the dominant force in Scotland.

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TEAM INFO

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Nation: Scotland

Year Founded: 1903

Operating Status: Professional

Nickname: The Dons

Chairman Status: Loves the club

Legends: Jim Leighton (player), Alex McLeish (player), Willie Miller (player), Alex Ferguson (manager)

Icons: Gordon Strachan (player), Russell Anderson (player), Eoin Jess (player), Brian Irvine (player)

Favoured Personnel: None

Derbies: New Firm Derby (vs Dundee United)

Fierce Rivals: Rangers (Historic)

Other Rivals: Dundee United (Local)

Finances: Okay

Average Ticket Price: £23

Average Season Ticket Price: £290

Season Ticket Holders: 7,200

Estimated Value: £6m (Loan Debt: £17.75m)

Continental Competition: None

Media Prediction: 3rd

Squad Personality: Fairly Ambitious

Captain: Russell Anderson

Vice-Captain: Andrew Considine

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FACILITIES OVERVIEW

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PITTODRIE STADIUM

City: Aberdeen

Stadium Capacity: 21,421 all-seater

Year Built: 1899

Owned By: Aberdeen

Stadium Condition: Average

Under Soil Heating: Yes

Roof: No

Surface: Grass

Pitch Dimensions: Length: 109yds, Width: 72yds

Maximum Pitch Dimensions: Length: 123yds, Width: 80yds

Pitch Condition: Perfect

Training Facilities: Average training facilities

Youth Facilities: Basic youth facilities

Corporate Facilities: Adequate corporate facilities

Junior Coaching: Average junior coaching

Youth Recruitment: Above average youth recruitment

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BUDGET AND TEAM EXPECTATIONS

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Minimum expectation: Qualify for continental football

Total Player Wage Budget: £36,324 p/w

Current Player Wage Total: £33,854 p/w

Available Wages Remaining: £2,470 p/w

The Aberdeen board's only demand from you is that you develop players using the club's youth system. This is harder than it may sound, given that the club only has basic youth facilities, average training facilities and no training ground.

However, it's realistic for Aberdeen to be pushing for European football this year. The zero transfer budget comes as no surprise though the wage bill can always be reduced by getting rid of some dead weight.

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SQUAD ANALYSIS

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Note: All potential signings are based on the Scotland quick start from the demo. All and any potential signings from further afield will be posted once the full game is released from Friday 02/11/12 onwards.

GOALKEEPERS

Jamie Langfield (3.5*)

Fit again following his recovery from a career-threatening seizure a year ago, Langfield is getting on a bit now at 32 but is still the best keeper in the squad. High handling, communication and stamina attributes along with enjoying the important matches make him a good number one, and his kicking, command of area and aerial ability could be better, he'll do for at least a season given you've got nothing to spend on a replacement. Contracted till 2014.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 32 | Position: GK | Number: 1

Jason Brown (3*)

Two years younger than Langfield, the Welsh cap is an able deputy, if somewhat unspectacular. He is in fact fairly similar to Langfield in terms of attributes. In the final year of his contract, he may be worth selling if a better keeper can be found.

Nation: Wales | Age: 30 | Position: GK | Number: 32

Danny Rogers (1*/3.5* potential)

A promising young keeper, he's probably better off being kept in the U19s squad for the first season, then loaned out for first team football should you wish to extend his contract beyond the end of the first season. With a 3.5* potential he may be worth a shot.

Nation: Ireland | Age: 18 | Position: GK | Number: 30

SUMMARY

Well covered for the first season at least. Whether Rogers is worth keeping around is up to you. I'd sell Brown provided you can garner any interest.

POTENTIAL SIGNINGS

Iain Turner (GK)

Available on a free. At 28 he's younger than both Langfield and Brown with pretty good stats, should you look to sell one or the other. Can be signed for around £900 a week with rotational squad status.

FULLBACKS

Josh Magennis (2.5*/3.5* potential)

Magennis was oft employed as a right back by Craig Brown last season and as such is considered a natural in this position in FM13 despite being a striker. His technical stats are awful and perhaps apart from his bravery his mental stats aren't a strong suit either. His physical attributes are about the only thing he would seem to have going for him, with good acceleration, natural fitness, pace and strength. He's still young at 21 but probably won't develop too much based on previous versions. Personally I've never rated him, and will look to sell him as his contract is up in 2013. I've no intention of renewing it.

Nation: Northern Ireland | Age: 21 | Position: D R/ ST | Number: 21

Ryan Jack (3.5*/4.5* potential)

One of Aberdeen's best young prospects, he's also something of a utility player, being more than capable of filling in at centre back and right midfield, as well as also being a natural central midfielder. A Scotland U21 cap, he's tied down for two more years on his current contract with wages of £1,200 a week. He's likely to ask for more than that to renew, but with his potential he's worth it. High stats given his age and the level he'll be playing at all across the board, he'll be one of the first names on my team sheet, probably at right back.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 20 | Position: D R/M C/D C/M R | Number: 2

Gary Naysmith (3.5*)

A highly experienced left back with excellent mental stats, making up for his declining physical attributes. His pace and stamina means he won't be bombing it down the wing but in a support or defensive role he'll still do a fine job, at least until his contract expires in 2013. With good determination and teamwork he should also make a good tutor for Clark Robertson.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 33 | Position: D L/WB L | Number: 17

Clark Robertson (2.5*/4.5* potential)

Out for between 6 and 12 weeks with torn knee ligaments at the start of the game, his potential makes him one to stick by till he fully recovers. Despite his young age he has good attributes in all the right places for a very capable full back at SPL level, and with some tutoring from Naysmith could, as Archie Knox tells me, lead to him becoming a leading Premier League left-back in the future. Can also play on the left side of midfield.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 18 | Position: D L/M L | Number: 3

SUMMARY

Pretty well covered here with Jack and Naysmith seemingly obvious choices in the right and left back berths respectively. Note that Russell Anderson, Isaac Osbourne and Chris Clark can all fill in at right back and Mark Reynolds can also play on the left.

POTENTIAL SIGNINGS:

Thomas Piermayr (D RL)

Most recently with Inverness. Naturally a right back but can also play on the left and in the centre, his wage demands aren't cheap, asking for the maximum of £2,200 a week with first team status. But with no transfer fee he may be worth it given his versatility.

Scott Morrison (D L/WB L)

If you're going bargain hunting the former Dons left back is also available on a free transfer and will happily sign for you for around £450 a week given his affinity for the club. Never going to be a first teamer but a decent option as a backup.

Matthew Park (D L)

Last at Hearts, Park looks to be a decent left back option and at 24 has the potential to improve.

Richie Towell (D R, M R)

Formerly of Celtic, is another option at right back available on a free.

CENTRAL DEFENDERS

Russell Anderson (3.5*)

Club icon Anderson was welcomed back by Aberdeen supporters following his return and re-appointment as captain after Ricky Foster's departure to Bristol City. Determined and strong in the tackle, he'll be a key player in your first season at the very least despite his age. With his relatively high wages and with his contract running out at the end of the present season, I'd renew his contract if possible and consider him as a future coach.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 33 | Position: D C/D R | Number: 4

Andrew Considine (3.5*)

Rated as good as Anderson and considered to be best in exactly the same role (limited defender, stopper), Considine is vice captain at the club and a dedicated servant for 9 years. Good enough attributes in all the right places, his concentration is a tad concerning and his marking could be better. With two years left on his contract and still only 25 he's worth keeping around unless someone far better and far cheaper becomes available.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 25 | Position: D C | Number: 6

Mark Reynolds (2.5*)

Back on loan from Sheffield Wednesday following a successful spell last season, Reynolds is a decent enough defender, with a high determination stat, but is no better than Considine (who is the same age) or Anderson. Not exactly a huge drain on the wage budget at only £900 a week, he's probably worth keeping around for the duration of his loan.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 25 | Position: D C/D/WB L/DM | Number: 22

Joe Shaughnessy (2*/4* potential)

Following a season on loan at Forfar Athletic, the young Irishman is back in the first team with some very decent attributes for a 19 year old. Again considered to be a limited defender, his potential cannot be ignored and he's also capable, if not great, at playing all across the back four. Contract, like many many others' is up at the end of the current season. Look to renew. His wages aren't that high.

Nation: Ireland| Age: 19 | Position: D C | Number: 23

SUMMARY

Anderson and Considine provide two very good first choice central defenders at this level though they, and their backups in Reynolds and Shaughnessy, are all very similar in their best player roles. That being said, given the lack of funds, there's no real need to improve on this area just yet. Note that Ryan Jack can play here too if you think someone else would make a better right back.

POTENTIAL SIGNINGS

Ross Perry (D C)

You're unlikely to be able to afford him despite him playing in the third division, not to mention him playing for Rangers which makes him undesirable for the Dons fans, but Perry is undoubtedly a quality young central defender though unaffordable.

Chris Hegarty (D C)

Again, also with Rangers so unlikely to want to sign for you even if you can afford his transfer fee, Hegarty is another good young defender on the last year of a relatively inexpensive (£600 p/w) contract.

John Armstrong (D C)

An outside bet, the 25 year old Cowdenbeath central defender has some good attributes that suggest he could make the step up to the SPL. High determination along with impressive heading, marking and tackling technical stats considering the level he's playing at, he's valued at around £24,000 and on a £200 p/w contract until 2013 so The Blue Brazil might be willing to part with him for a relatively cheap price if you can raise the funds.

WINGERS

Jonny Haynes (3.5*/4* potential)

Probably the best signing Craig Brown has made in his time at Aberdeen, his arrival from Inverness was something of a coup considering he could have gotten a better deal elsewhere. Good at shooting from a distance with a good first touch and decent from set pieces, he's also very versatile, able to play at right back, left or right midfield or wing, attacking midfield and also up front. A definite starter.

Nation: Ireland | Age: 24 | Position: AM RL | Number: 11

Ryan Fraser (2.5*, 4.5* potential)

Grabbing the headlines IRL, Fraser is Aberdeen's best young player following Fraser Fyvie's departure. A defensive winger compared to the more attacking Haynes, he's also accomplished on both sides of the park. Not particularly consistent, though not surprising given his tender years, he's one for the future so best to limit his playing time at least for the first season. If you're looking for funds to rebuild be might be ideal to sell, given his contract expires in 2013. Try to renew.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 18 | Position: M L/M R, AM L | Number: 20

Jamie Masson (2*/4* potential)

Out with damaged cruciate ligaments for 2-3 months, Masson may or may not prove to be a youngster worth keeping around. Decent stats all around, he can also play in the middle of the park. Probably worth sending out on loan when he has recovered from injury. Another whose contract expires at the end of the current season, it's probably worth renewing given your mandate to develop your own young players and his 4* potential.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 19 | Position: M RC | Number: 25

Nicky Low (2*/4* potential)

Similar to Masson in ability and potential, Low provides decent backup on the left side of midfield and could be worth keeping beyond the end of his contract (yet another that expires in 2013). His attributes aren't spectacular and he's unlikely to break into the first team just yet, worth sending out on loan to see if he improves.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 20 | Position: M L/M C | Number: 13

SUMMARY

With Haynes and Fraser you've probably got enough quality considering the backups you have available (although Niall McGinn is best as a striker he is also more than capable on the wings) so probably not much need to improve here. Nevertheless, there are options available should you wish to sell Fraser or just want to look further afield.

POTENTIAL SIGNINGS

David Obua (M L/M C)

The Ugandan is available on a free following his release from Hearts. Nothing spectacular and certainly not better than anything you already have, his wage demands are high (around £4,000 to be a first teamer). Only an option if you're desperate and have money to throw around.

Jude Winchester (M R/ AM RC)

Chief Scout Craig Robertson's highest recommendation upon your arrival, the young Killie midfielder is rated with a 4.5* potential. Only valued at £16,000 one can imagine his sale value being a lot higher. If you can afford him he looks the part, but probably a luxury buy.

Craig Forsyth (AM L/D/WB/M L)

Very versatile, he starts off the game transfer listed/listed for loan. His club Watford want either £450,000 for him (out of our reach for sure) or a monthly loan fee of £5,000 plus 50% of his weekly wages (therefore £750 a week). A loan is doable if you can free up the wages and transfer fee.

CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

Isaac Osbourne (3.5*)

The only natural defensive midfielder in the squad, his decision making could be better, though the rest of his stats make him an ok DM. Can also play as a central mid or emergency right back. His high aggression and determination should make for a good midfield anchor man. Yet another player whose contract expires after just a year, his form and whether he'll fit into your team will probably determine if you keep him or not.

Nation: England | Age: 26 | Position: DM/M C/D R | Number: 16

Chris Clark (2.5*)

Not much to say really. Yes, an experienced Aberdeen player with 11 seasons under his belt barring 3 and a half years at Plymouth, but with a plethora of central midfielders at your disposal, Clark is most certainly dispensable. At 31 he's not getting any younger and his only decent stats are his teamwork and work rate attributes. Whilst important, they're not worth keeping him till mid-2014. Sell sell sell.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 31 | Position: M C/D R | Number: 7

Gavin Rae (3.5*)

A good deep-lying playmaker, Rae signed in January 2012 from Dundee. Despite his age, he's an important part of the midfield, at least for the first season until, unsurprisingly, his contract expires like the majority of the first team.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 34 | Position: M C | Number: 5

Rob Milsom (3.5*)

Also a deep-lying playmaker, he has age on his side compared to Rae. Given that there's not too much between the two, Milsom may be worth selling if you can get a decent fee for him. He too has only a year left on his contract.

Nation: England | Age: 25 | Position: M C/M L | Number: 8

Stephen Hughes (3.5*)

Best played as an advanced playmaker, Hughes' attributes are unspectacular but he is better than Clark and as good as Milsom or Rae. Contracted till 2014, he's worth keeping around until someone better shows up.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 29 | Position: M C | Number: 18

Jordon Brown (2*/4.5* potential)

Given his potential and low wages (although he's another whose contract expires at the end of the current season), along with the fact that his best position is considered to be deep-lying playmaker, you can sell either Rae or Milsom and you've got a more than adequate young backup. If you choose not to sell, loan out for first team action.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 20 | Position: M C | Number: 24

SUMMARY

Well stocked in midfield, though lacking an attacking midfielder. Rae or Milsom can be sold.

POTENTIAL SIGNINGS

Lewis Milne (M/AM C)

If he's as good as he was in FM12 he's definitely worth signing. Regarded as an important player for the team should you decide to sign him, he is valued at £12,000 and only on an £80 p/w contract, should be available for around £100,000. Milne could prove to be another shrewd signing from Cowdenbeath.

Gary McDonald (M C)

Former Aberdeen midfielder McDonald is in the last year of his contract at Morcambe and is a potential signing but is worth £90,000 and probably valued at more than that by his club. Certainly no better than anything you have available at the moment though.

Rami Raofat (DM)

Former Ayr defensive midfielder should offer decent cover to Osbourne if needed. His stats are decent and he is young enough to improve. Worth a scout.

STRIKERS

Scott Vernon (3.5*)

The main target man in the squad, Vernon is the best striker in the team. He has all the right stats for the role and is contracted until 2014. Also a good penalty taker and definitely worth keeping around at least for the first season.

Nation: England | Age: 28 | Position: ST | Number: 9

Rory Fallon (2.5*)

A poor man's Vernon, he's older and while a number of his technical stats outweigh Vernon's, I'd still consider Vernon the better striker. Plus Fallon's contract is up in the summer of 2013, IMO not worth renewing. Sell if possible.

Nation: New Zealand | Age: 30 | Position: ST | Number: 14

Niall McGinn (3.5*)

IRL the first man to score in 5 consecutive Aberdeen games since Duncan Shearer, McGinn is a definite talent and at 24 still has youth on his side. His strength, balance and jumping for a man of 6 feet let him down but he is the flair player in the side and has high determination. He is regarded as being a trequartista and as such is the only player in your squad capable of such a role. A luxury player perhaps but also a good foil to a target man such as Vernon or Fallon.

Nation: Northern Ireland | Age: 24 | Position: ST/ AM RL | Number: 10

Mitchel Megginson (2.5*/4* potential)

A deep lying forward, Megginson is still on the young side and probably is limited to first team appearances in his first season. Worth loaning out unless you plan on bleeding him into the first team though he is at a similar level to Cammy Smith who is younger with better potential. His contract is up in 2013 so assess if he is worth keeping around. With a 4* potential I'd argue he is, but I have no firm proof as of yet to back that up.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 19 | Position: ST | Number: 19

Cameron Smith (1.5*/4.5* potential)

Another target man with massive potential suggesting that the sale of Vernon or Fallon wouldn't be an issue. Smith is one of the bright young lights of Aberdeen. Still eligible for the U19s for another 3 years, not worth loaning out just yet. Play regularly in the U19s and bring him into the first team when needed to aid development.

Nation: Scotland | Age: 16 | Position: ST | Number: 38

SUMMARY

Vernon and McGinn should be first choice in your average 4-4-2. Should you opt for one striker, Vernon should be first choice with Megginson and Smith as backup, playing McGinn on the wing instead. I see no future for Fallon.

NOTE: I have not included Michael Paton here as although he is in the Aberdeen team in the demo he has been released IRL.

POTENTIAL SIGNINGS

Noel Makombo-Eboma (ST)

The young Alloa striker is well known as a good prospect already. Can be signed for £14,250 compensation and asks for a hot prospect deal on a £375 p/w deal. At 16 he's one for the future but you should have enough players available at a first team level.

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Nice work mate.

Think Aberdeen could be a decent job this year if they've given decent stats to McGinn, Fraser and Hayes.

Think you could suffer from the Dundee United bug though lol (ie Gary Mackay-Messi and Cristiano Russell).

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Thanks guys, tactics probably won't go up till some point tonight. I'm doing this guide whilst working nights when I have the most time.

McGinn, Hayes and Fraser seem rated highly enough, with good potential for Ryan Jack and Cammy Smith among others. Hoping this is actually reflected in their PAs unlike past years.

I've been playing around with the new settings. Allowed Milne to choose who to bring in. He signed Jim Leishman from Dunfermline as DoF who brought in Hamilton's head of youth development. Not bad choices but I think when the game is released I'll go after my own choices.

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Definitely considering an Aberdeen game along with my usual Celtic game this year. Should definitely be a club looking to become the second biggest club in the SPL after the death of Rangers.

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Just started my yearly game with the Dons - life long fan & always give them a run in FM.

not a bad start, first game of the season against celtic I won 3-0 after Scott Brown got himself sent off...scraped a 2-2 with Ross County at Pittodrie in game 2 though, so not all sweetness & light as game 1 led me to believe!

Player pool is good, lots of talented youth and some experience with Rae, Anderson & Naysmith. Signed Geoffrey Tulasne on a free, had him in FM12 and he was electric - so far he is ok, although lack of English language is hindering him more in FM13 than it did in last years game, which is more realistic.

So far, so good!

Looking forward to any hints/tips/ideas on getting the best from The Dons .

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great to see Aberdeen thread at last. Anybody tried to sign Mcfadden, Gordon & Zanetti this time?

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finished season 1 with Aberdeen last night, managed to secure 2nd place in the league on 66 points, however that was 15 points behind celtic. Reached the league cup semis where we lost to Hearts and disappointingly only reached the 5th round of Scottish cup before being knocked out by St Johnstone.

Summer Window - passed quietly with only Salif Diao being brought in as a player/scout on £300 a week which I felt was a fantastic deal. Sent 7 of the young players out on loans aswell.

January Window - Sold the hugely ineffectual Scott Vernon for 100k along with Peter Pawlett for a shockingly low fee of only 60k - came back from loan spell at St Johnstone where he starts and immediately asked to be sold which I couldn't get him to change his mind. Jamie Langfield was also sold but this was because on the last day of the window I managed to get enough wages together to offer Craig Gordon a contract - 1000k a week is pretty cheap for a ex £7m keeper.

Also managed to get Thomas Hitzlsperger at the end of March so I'm expecting big things from him next season when he will be back to full fitness after almost 8 months without a club.

Key players for me were:

Ryan Fraser - sensational first season for the young winger ended with him scoring 14 goals and getting 4 assists.

Jonny Hayes - Is now a favoured personnel on the Aberdeen overview screen after only 1 year at the club - 10 goals and 18 assists.

Mitchel Megginson was fantastic for me as well after having to be shoved in as the main striker due to all the rest being really poor. Ryan Jack was of course magnificent and I would recommend playing Joe Shaughnessy as he became the key centre back for me over the course of the season.

Really looking forward to next year and getting a crack at the Europa League and hopefully providing a greater challenge to Celtic in the league.

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Good to see your season went so well first time around, nelson11. :thup:

Sorry that the tactics post has taken so long to get up. I was meant to get my copy of the game on release day but still haven't managed to get it yet as my computer is being incredibly temperamental. If anyone has any suggestions on the best way to play as the Dons, formations, etc. feel free to let me know and I'll include them on there.

Also excellent to see that Craig Gordon is a possible signing. I shall be looking to snap him up as soon as I can if I ever get this game!

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I am a hometown Aberdeen fan, but every year when FM comes around I always start my "Journeyman Career" at the bottom of the Football ladder (normally BSS or BSN) and despite always achieving success and moving steadily to bigger and better clubs I never seem to get the Dons job.

This year is different. My Laptop has started to slowly die and will not run my normal game, so until I invest in a new Desktop in January i'm playing a Dandies game with only Scotland loaded.

no money to spend and a small wage budget doesn't leave room for wheeling and dealing but looking at the squad with the right management it should be enough for the first Season.

I did bring in 3 players on free transfers to add a bit of depth,(all French speaking so hopefully they will help each other blend into the squad.)

J. Colombo - French left back (can't think of his first name)

Geoffrey Tulsane - French winger

Omar Kossoko - Benise winger

I have decided to play 4-4-2 of

GK-Langfield

RB-Jack

CB- Anderson

CB-Considine

LB-Naysmith

RM-Tulsane - Wide Midfielder

CM-Osbourne playing the ball winning midfield role

CM-Milsom as my Deep Lying playmaker

LM-Kossoko - Wide Midfielder

CF-Vernon asTarget Man

CF-McGinn as my Poacher.

So a decent starting X1 and with promising youngsters ready to fill in when required.

My first month was a typical Aberdeen mixture, good in some games and below average in others. Highlights being a 1-1 opening day draw against Celtic (this despite Milsom being sent off early in the 2nd half with 2 yellow cards) and being drawn at home to Rangers in the League Cup which we duly won 2-1), Johnny Hayes becoming an instant Dons Legend by getting his first start of the Season playing poacher in place of the injured McGinn (he had a stormer, so going to give him a run in the team.

Have also drawn 2-2 withe Hearts but got hammered 4-1 by St. Johnstone (although that was a freak result, we had something close to 20 shots, they had less than 7 but took there chances, and after going 2-1 down I lost my nerve and went all out attack, they hammered me on the counter. Lesson learned, as good as Naysmith is, he has no pace, so I brought in Colombo for the game against Rangers and he had an instant understanding with Kossoko, playing Colombo also enabled me to push Kossoko further forward to his favoured winger role.

End of first month I am mid-table and through to next round of League cup, hoping my new players have gelled and can't wait to get home from work to carry on.

Will post a screenie later tonight.

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As I said in the thread Cadjik, the signings were only based on what was available on the demo's quick start, though Morrison doesn't look awful to be fair.

I still haven't managed to get the full game working on my laptop yet so that was the best I could do for the time. More signing recommendations are more than welcome!

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I guess the usual free agents would be the signings people consistently went for, e.g Del Horno. It'd be interesting whether you could find young, scottish players from the lower divisions who potentially could be leaders in the prem.

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I guess the usual free agents would be the signings people consistently went for, e.g Del Horno. It'd be interesting whether you could find young, scottish players from the lower divisions who potentially could be leaders in the prem.

that is the way I feel you have to go this year with the dons am half way through the season brought in 325k in transfer fees getting rid of brown paton clark and fallon brought in 3 players still 2.5k under wage budget but leaking money right left and centre (on average 500k a month) so lower league or cheap promising freebies seems the only way to go this year if you want to just make it to the end of the season.

Have they changed it to make administration a big deal this time round as I fear that this season.

and great to see another dons thread this year alw

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that is the way I feel you have to go this year with the dons am half way through the season brought in 325k in transfer fees getting rid of brown paton clark and fallon brought in 3 players still 2.5k under wage budget but leaking money right left and centre (on average 500k a month) so lower league or cheap promising freebies seems the only way to go this year if you want to just make it to the end of the season.

Have they changed it to make administration a big deal this time round as I fear that this season.

and great to see another dons thread this year alw

It seems that a lot of people are leaking money, I'm not sure on this but I believe SI have said there is a bug on the Italian league, for example. Anyway, back to Scotland, remember that you get the season ticket money at the start of the season and ''league'' money at the end. How did you fair in your first season?

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It seems that a lot of people are leaking money, I'm not sure on this but I believe SI have said there is a bug on the Italian league, for example. Anyway, back to Scotland, remember that you get the season ticket money at the start of the season and ''league'' money at the end. How did you fair in your first season?

Not quite finished it yet been busy with work but finding the league very tipsy turvey 8 games to go and 7 points separating 2-9 even bottom placed hibs r only 13 points off 2nd.

Projected to be 1.8million in debt and can only offer 1k a week wage wise so tied up the youngsters with 4star potential letting Rae, Naysmith, Hughes go for frees. Wages next season for the squad left is only projected to be 18k a week got a few youngsters and mediocre cheapies coming on bosmans if the are 3 and a half stars or better I'll look at them.

Hayes and considine have been amazing for me Steven Cohen Ferne Snoyl are also 2 freebies I'd highly recommend Snoyl plays best as a ball winning dmc while Cohen is great playin a role just off the striker(honourable mention is he's an Isreali regular after winning his 1st cap)

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Not quite finished it yet been busy with work but finding the league very tipsy turvey 8 games to go and 7 points separating 2-9 even bottom placed hibs r only 13 points off 2nd.

Projected to be 1.8million in debt and can only offer 1k a week wage wise so tied up the youngsters with 4star potential letting Rae, Naysmith, Hughes go for frees. Wages next season for the squad left is only projected to be 18k a week got a few youngsters and mediocre cheapies coming on bosmans if the are 3 and a half stars or better I'll look at them.

Hayes and considine have been amazing for me Steven Cohen Ferne Snoyl are also 2 freebies I'd highly recommend Snoyl plays best as a ball winning dmc while Cohen is great playin a role just off the striker(honourable mention is he's an Isreali regular after winning his 1st cap)

The debt can be eventually consolidated through success though so it isn't much of an issue. As long as you can hit second you'll get Champions League revenue (I believe). You'll have at least 4/5 years to make second/challenging for 1st your own before Rangers enter the fray.

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The debt can be eventually consolidated through success though so it isn't much of an issue. As long as you can hit second you'll get Champions League revenue (I believe). You'll have at least 4/5 years to make second/challenging for 1st your own before Rangers enter the fray.

Fairly certain that from this season on only the winners of the SPL qualify for the Champions' League everyone else goes into the Europa League.

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Fairly certain that from this season on only the winners of the SPL qualify for the Champions' League everyone else goes into the Europa League.

Ah, I didn't know. Either way, the extra gate receipts will always be a pleasant thing.

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Yeah it's only the winner that qualifies for CL in regards to the consolidation think the easiest way is getting rid of the high wages and bringing quality youngsters or cheap like for likes wage wise.

Ive only kept Russell Anderson as am led to believe he becomes a great coach but as for a player he's been quite mistake prone and Joe Shaughnessy has been a far better partner for considine

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Anybody got any tips to get the best out of Aberdeen? I just cant seem to get a good run of results or anything...

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Anybody got any tips to get the best out of Aberdeen? I just cant seem to get a good run of results or anything...

Leave the sinking ship and board Motherwell. :p

Just kidding. But what is the tactic that you are using? We can discuss it while alw02005 updates the tactics section.

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Good to see a new thread :)

Im 4 years in now (lost a season through my own stupidity :( ) but ive had some success, Scottish cup in the first year, 3rd first season and second season and 2nd third season, but 12 points off Celtic and made the group stages of the Europa every year ive had the chance, pushing Celtic before my crash so having to do a bit of rebuilding again.

Main signings have been Vigurs, i scouted him first season then went to bid, saw i had the chance to ask the board to sign him and to my amazement, they did it! £100k transfer fee as well!! He has proven to be invaluable to the team, an absolute star. I got rid of Meggenis, Clark, Brown, Paton, Masson and Jordan Brown, so made the cash back.

Second season i picked up McGown off St Mirren on a pre contract, Reece Brown and Sam Johnstone off man utd on free transfers and Zambrotta on a free, he had been out of contract for a year, also took in Addam Moffat from Houston. Naismith broke his leg first season so he left, as did Fallon, Hughes, Megginson and Rae.

Third season i picked up Craig Gordon, who hadnt played for Everton since signing and McFadden who again had barely played for Aston Villa, also got a guy who left Man City, Ibrahim, and Lewis Milne for £80k compensation. Langfield left, Anderson retired and became under 19's assistant, Milsom and McGinn left for about £800k combined, Zambrotta retired, Pawlett left for £100k and Moffat moved on for another £100k and a certain Eion Jess came in as my new assistant :) I used most of the money to upgrade the facilities, both training and youth.

4th season i picked up Liam Rowan off Falkirk and a few regens from Hamilton and Shamrock with Ryan Jack leaving for £2m my only real sale of the summer and January is just about to come up. So far this year im really pushing Celtic, but Rangers are now back in the SPL so its going to be tough with 2 old firm teams again.

Im hoping to beat my 35 seasons from FM12 with the Dandies :D

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Leave the sinking ship and board Motherwell. :p

Just kidding. But what is the tactic that you are using? We can discuss it while alw02005 updates the tactics section.

I have tried two tactics, a 4-3-3 (1 dm, 2 cm, 1 amr, 1 aml) and a normal flat 4-4-2, but still just cant seem to get results.

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Good to see a new thread :)

Im 4 years in now (lost a season through my own stupidity :( ) but ive had some success, Scottish cup in the first year, 3rd first season and second season and 2nd third season, but 12 points off Celtic and made the group stages of the Europa every year ive had the chance, pushing Celtic before my crash so having to do a bit of rebuilding again.

Main signings have been Vigurs, i scouted him first season then went to bid, saw i had the chance to ask the board to sign him and to my amazement, they did it! £100k transfer fee as well!! He has proven to be invaluable to the team, an absolute star. I got rid of Meggenis, Clark, Brown, Paton, Masson and Jordan Brown, so made the cash back.

Second season i picked up McGown off St Mirren on a pre contract, Reece Brown and Sam Johnstone off man utd on free transfers and Zambrotta on a free, he had been out of contract for a year, also took in Addam Moffat from Houston. Naismith broke his leg first season so he left, as did Fallon, Hughes, Megginson and Rae.

Third season i picked up Craig Gordon, who hadnt played for Everton since signing and McFadden who again had barely played for Aston Villa, also got a guy who left Man City, Ibrahim, and Lewis Milne for £80k compensation. Langfield left, Anderson retired and became under 19's assistant, Milsom and McGinn left for about £800k combined, Zambrotta retired, Pawlett left for £100k and Moffat moved on for another £100k and a certain Eion Jess came in as my new assistant :) I used most of the money to upgrade the facilities, both training and youth.

4th season i picked up Liam Rowan off Falkirk and a few regens from Hamilton and Shamrock with Ryan Jack leaving for £2m my only real sale of the summer and January is just about to come up. So far this year im really pushing Celtic, but Rangers are now back in the SPL so its going to be tough with 2 old firm teams again.

Im hoping to beat my 35 seasons from FM12 with the Dandies :D

What position do you play Iain Vigurs?

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What position do you play Iain Vigurs?

To begin he was playing just behind Vernon as an advanced playmaker, I play a 4-2-3-1 with Fraser and Hayes playing the high wide roles, but since i took in McGowen i've played Vigurs either high left when Hayes is out or unfit, of i play him in the leftside of the two centre mids.

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Just finished my 5th season, finished 2nd every season with the gap from Celtic varying between 1 point and 22 points. Always finished at least 12 points clear of third. Celtic only lost 1 game in season 5, which was to me so its looking like a league win is miles away. Managed to win 2 league cups and a scottish cup and got the club out of financial trouble by selling Scott Wootton for 6 million as well as Hayes for 3 million. Just a case of seeing if Celtic get weaker now

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I've recently finished my first season with the Dons, and consider it highly successful - a league cup win (beating Celtic 1-0 in the final - Hayes with a 30-yarder!) and agonisingly losing the league :( Finished 2nd after taking Celtic to the final day of the season - unfortunately the last game of the year was at Parkhead and i lost when needing a win for the title. Remarkably, Hearts were only 2 points behind me as well and it had been a proper 3-way scrap all season long.

Formation has been a 5-3-2 with wingbacks, following the template of Mr Hough in the tactics forum. Very successful tactic. 2 main signings at the start of the 1st season - Luigi Bruins who won player of the year playing the AMC role, and a young forward from Finland who finished top goalscorer in the league :) Ryan Jack had an excellent season alternating between wing back and centre mid, and Shaughnessy proved very steady. Typical team was:

Langfield

Anderson-Shaughnessy-Considine

Jack-Naismith

Osbourne-Rae

Bruins

Vernon-Finnish bloke whose name I have forgotten

I re-signed Fraser but am trying to turn him into a wingback so he didn't play much. Thought I was getting Craig Gordon in January for around 1k a week, then Bristol came in and offered him 8k a week :( I sold Fallon to Hibs and they played him all year and got relegated. Also sold Jason Brown and Rob Milsom early on but not for much cash.

Money was a real issue in the second half of the season - I was never over my wage budget, but we were losing around 200-300k every month. The board injected cash in both March and April to "help with the running costs". The prize money received at the end of the year has put us back in the black, but the outlook came up saying finances were expected to worsen in the coming months. Think i'm going to need some decent Europa monies in the coming year!

I was frustrated in the January transfer window as I couldn't sell any players I wanted to get rid of - Rae/Hughes/Naismith/McGinn/Hayes - but picked up a couple of improved wingbacks on the cheap. Going to have to do some bargain bin searching in the summer, but lots of contracts expriing so should have some wages to spend.

Overall, I think the tactic I pinched from the forum made a big difference as a lot of the players still look very average on paper.

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Anybody on AFC just now? Just downloaded the game before the weekend and, after a false start where I loaded wrong size database, I’m in to my traditional AFC career now.

Played four games so far taking seven points (lost 2-1 at Celtic).

Five signings, all free agents, are Filip Drakovic (Young Serbian keeper who takes £600/week but is better than Langfield), Kevin Thomson, Nemanja Rnic (another Serb, right back), Rudi Skacel. Also took Abdul Razak (MC) from my newly established parent club, Man City.

I had a brief game in the Highland League before this one – a message came up saying Milne was looking to sell and the Transfer Embargo came up.

So, has anyone had him actually sell up? Would be nice to have an oligarch.

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Just started again with Aberdeen and had some very promising friendly results and a bunch of good signings. Hopefully will post an update with transfers etc soon will see how the league goes first though :D

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On season no 5 with Dons now, relative success, finishig 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 4th and now currently 2pts behind Cetic at half way stage. huns way off the pace :)

Frustratingly falling at the euro cup play off stages each year to a big gun, 2 runner ups in the league cup and a scottish cup win last year.

Team beginning to take shape now tho, good mix of young, old, pace and ability, short neat triangle passing on the counter.

financial restrictions have hampered things, wheeling and dealing in free market, reducing wages and blooding youths.

Milne sold the club last season with a local business man taking over, no investment unfortunately, so club ticking over till i sell some of my stars.

last season cup winning team:

GK Rodgers (in scotland squad)

RB Jack (old firm chasing)

LB McNaughton (back for 1 season)

CB Goulon (first signing, beast)

CB Smith (NG bought from Llanelli for £1. wat a steal)

DMC Simao (monster in midfield)

BWM Clifford (free from chelsea, now captain)

MC Milsom (good on ball, finshes well) / D'Ath (B2B free from ipswich)

IFR Hayes (tremendous!!)

WL Dorans (loan from Leeds) / Fraser / Maloney (got 2 seasons out of him before slowing up, now retired)

PC Makombo-Eboma (30K, gave him a cpl seasons in u19s then blooded him)

Noteable subs:

Langfield, Shaughnessy (steady ratings ~13s), C.Smith (turning into lethal poacher), Olinga (malaga free, potential, injury prone tho) , Osbourne (utility, slow on ball tho)

New signings for the season are Razak (free man city, strong), and a few new gens... known older guys like Langfield, Mcnaughton and Maloney have departed. may have to sell Makombo(~£2m) and Simao(£1m) to generate funds to take club fwd, but got good youth coming through to take their place also.

Tips: patience, look to move on the dead wood like brown, clark, anderson, paton, hughes. Sadly McGinn is poor. Get your coachin team beefed up, Eoin Jess coming in as assistant (cheap) seemed to kick on my results. Maybe having ex club legend returning has an effect, this has maybe been scripted into the games code??

Vernon, Roberton, considine, langfield all done very well before leaving on bosmans.

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Now have way through my 5th season, worst season so far which saw me 8th and 1 game away from the sack which I found extremely unfair! Won 5 on the spin and now 4th tough. Finding it real tough as the wage budget always stays the same and no sign of that changing despite 9 million quid of sales a year earlier

Gk: Jamie MacDonald

Dr:Todd Kane/Nicky Devlin

Dc: Josh Meekings, Joe Shaugnessy, Andy Considine, Sean Hume all rotate

Dl: Robertson/Joe Chalmers

Dmc: Rogie/Cana

Mc: Jack,Laing,Filip Twardzik/Steven Bone

Amrl: Pepper/Law/Fraser

St: Smith (lethal), McGrory, Webster

Probably selling Robertson and Fraser in the summer and realising Cana as he was just a stop gap.

Also going for my 4th trophy as the old firm are out the league cup

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Started a new save and amazingly won the league by 10 points in season 1. Can't remember ever doing that before. Tactic that did it was the Saccio in the tactics forum. Made a heap of unknown European signings in first season and for second season have got Andy Webster, Paul mcgowan, darren randolph and tudur-jones amongst others. Bring on the champions league.

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Season 2, came thru a Champions League Group with Barcelona, Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk (well, finished 3rd). Lost all away games but draws with Barce and Juve then a final match 4-2 v. Shakhtar at Fortress Pittodrie sees us play Europa League in the New Year.

Milne though, f*ck me, I’ve raked in £12m Champions League cash this season and the miserable hoor rejects any request for increased budget.

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Finally won the league at the 7th attempt, won it at home against Celtic in the 2nd last match, and made it a double with a 3rd Scottish Cup. Struggling to sign up players to new contracts so good money being made with their sales. Signed a 19 year old Italian regen too for 900k who is probably my favourite ever singing and is worth well over 5 million now. Got taken over too but no funds were added. A new stadium is under way aswell

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Just sold Italian striker for 10 million as he wouldn't signa new contract, won the league for a second time at a canter too, getting a massive 17 million to spend and that was before selling that striker

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End of season 4 in my first proper Dons game of FM13, and i finished third with 74 points. One point behind Celtic, who won the league. St Mirren were second, one goal better off than me. Bloody St Mirren.

Playing a 3-1-3-1-2 formation, with Osbourne as anchor man at DMCr, Croatian lad Tibor Cica as a DLP in the MCr slot, 17 year old newgen Bill Anderson causing havoc at AMC. Cammy Smith and Tomas Necid up front as DLF and DF. Sold McGinn to The Rangers for £150k. He couldn't get near my team, and was only rated at 1.5 stars...

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Posted this in the Tycoon thread, but will post it here as well, if any of you would want a "little" help with Aberdeen

------

First Season - Aberdeen tycoon takerover

Argentine Chairman - He is so rich that he makes Bill Gates looks like a beggar

£15m transferkitty

Willing to build a new stadium and upgrade youth and training facilities

Date of takeover: 27/3 2013

Leagues Running: Scotland, England (view only), Ireland (view only) - Large DB, 32.000 players

Link: http://www.mediafire.com/?5an4hvk1oxd0foh

(I were Celtic manager, but have retired before uploading the game)

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