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Avoiding The Sticky Patches: The Search For A Happy Ending!

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Unlucky with the playoffs but it could give you the chance to strengthen the team and succeed next season.

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Cosenza - Pre-Season 2021/22

Having finished second in the league standings last season, it was only natural that expectations for the year ahead have increased. That said, the Board still only want a respectable league position, which is more than generous, and I fully expect to better that; another top six finish should really be on the cards again.

Among the pre-season friendlies, we started our Coppa Italia campaign with a comfortable victory over Vibonese. This set up a mouthwatering tie away to Parma, one of the legends of Italian football. We played them off the park, taking a three goal advantage into the break, in a game that looked as if they had very little motivation for. Another big game followed, with a trip to Palermo, and another fantastic result against a top Serie A side. This time, we were really under the cosh for most of the game, but still managed to bag a goal and hold out for penalties.

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Media Prediction: 3rd

Title Odds: 6-1 (3rd favourites. Juve Stabia 7-4 favourites)

Lega Pro Prima Divisione Girone C: Respectable Position

TIM Cup: Second Qualifying Round

Coppa Italia di Lega Pro: Third Round

Transfer Budget: £1.6m

Wage Budget: £51k (spending £37.2k)

Season Ticket Sales: 2888 (up 52)

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It's been a busy old summer, with several fringe players being released from the squad. None of these will be particularly missed, although the selling of Corrado Cassarà to Lecce has been a bone of contention with the fans; it was a fair price for an average player, so I was happy to do business. On paper, we definitely have one of the best squads in the league, and should be one of the teams to beat in the year ahead. In particular, our midfield is rated as the best passers, most creative, highest stamina, best teamwork and best tacklers, so we're well placed to play the possession dominated style of football I intend to deploy.

Key Players: Adriano Bertolino (AMC), Carmelo Rosario Sassone (DM), Mohamed Sekour (DC), Mathias Nornes (DM), Antonio-Mirko Colak (ST), Daniele Pupa (AMC/ST), Alessandro Scalia (MC)

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Not a bad first season in Italy AK :thup::)
Unlucky with the playoffs but it could give you the chance to strengthen the team and succeed next season.

Yep, it was a pretty decent year overall. Definitely aiming for promotion again this time around :thup:

Terrific first season. :thup:

How did Gateshead do in League One?

As expected, Gateshead struggled, spending most of the season in the bottom four. However, they just about managed to keep their head above water, and avoided relegation by two points. They sold Challinor too :(

Shame about the playoffs but you've shown over the season that you aren't too far away from going up so hopefully next season will be your year :)

I totally agree, but it's very difficult with just the one automatic promotion spot. Let's hope that there's not an overly dominant team (like Nocerina), in the year ahead; we may have a better chance then.

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Some cracking free signings there, hopefully they can help you improve on what was a great first season.

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Cosenza - October 2021 Update

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Absolutely brilliant, that's what we've been. The early signs were there after our Coppa Italia exploits, but it's been a tremendous effort by the players so far. It's been a real team effort too, with numerous players stepping forward to make key contributions, although it's been those of Adriano Bertolino that have been among the best; his hat-trick, and overall performance, against Martina Franca was up there with the best I've seen in my career so far (9.8 rating). This wasn't the only 6-0 victory either, with the scoreline matched in the game against second place team Salernitana; our superiority must be quite worrying for all those in the chasing pack.

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Looking at the table, you'd probably say we've been the dominant side, and you'd be right too; unbeaten, with a ten point advantage, it really is the start of dreams. We've only conceded four goals so far, which is not just the best defensive record in the division, but the best defensive record in any of the Italian leagues; as I've said, it's been an outstanding start to the new season.

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A nice little landmark to pass.

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With such a spectacular start, it was always likely records would be broken.

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Some cracking free signings there, hopefully they can help you improve on what was a great first season.

Hopefully so! It's been an excellent start, anyway :)

Mohamed Sekour looks beastly for the level your playing at! :)

Yeah, he's a top signing, rated at good Serie B level. He's a real threat from corners too, so chips in with the odd goal every now and again.

It's just a shame he keeps on being called up for the Moroccan U20's squad, which means he's always in and out of the team.

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That is quite an epic start you've made,especially as your already ten points ahead after thirteen games!

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Cosenza - January 2022 Update

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The unbeaten record continued for a couple of weeks into November before coming unstuck at home to Aprilia. Although the run was bound to end eventually, it was still disappointing nonetheless, especially after losing to a side that was struggling near the foot of the table. This, however, could only be described as a small blip, as we dusted ourselves down and won the following four matches to keep the promotion hunt on track. Another home league defeat followed in December, with a lucky Trapani side taking full advantage of our profligacy on the day, but, as we still remain unbeaten on the road, we're still proving extremely difficult to beat.

Adriano Bertolino stands out as the star of this period, with a further ten goals being added to his total. He plays in the hole, just behind the front two, as a trequartista, and is undoubtedly the star of the season so far; at this rate, he could potentially fire us all the way to Serie B.

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Despite dropping a few points, we've still managed to maintain the ten point advantage over the chasing pack. As it stands, we're clear favourites for promotion, and only a major balls-up on our part would allow anyone else to have even half a sniff. Let's hope we keep our nerve!

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Not that impressive, but this is Italy, though.

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Ten points clear after thirteen games is insane! :thup:
That is quite an epic start you've made,especially as your already ten points ahead after thirteen games!
Good stuff there AK :)
Rampant .
Walking it already :thup:

Thanks all :thup:

It has been all too convincing so far, so I'm half expecting a collapse at some point. Hopefully this won't be the case, however, with twelve games left to go, there is still plenty of time for it to go horribly wrong :D

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Wow, your 4-1-2-1-2 is knocking them in at a fantastic rate, much more than mine is. What roles are you utilizing beyond the T in AMC and Regista?

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Getting closer,hopefully you can hold off any late challengers for the title!

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Cosenza - May 2022 Update

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February went well, with excellent results on the road to Juve Stabia and Salernitana opening up a fifteen point advantage at the top of the table, before March struck like a bombshell and severely dented our confidence; gone were the days of assured victories, stemming a nervy few weeks looking over our shoulder. In fact, we had to endure a six game win-less period in the league, watching our lead evaporated.

After the Vigor Lamezia game, morale was shot, and I was starting to wonder if we had the necessary bottle to get across the line. Thankfully, though, our next fixture was against the league whipping boys, HinterReggio, a side that hadn't picked up a point since the 7th of November; surely, even a side on a run like ours could secure a victory over such inferior opposition! And that we did, more than comfortably so too, which was the result that ensured we lifted the 1a Divisione Girone C trophy! Promotion was ours! :cool:

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Somehow, we still managed to finish with a clear ten point advantage over the chasing pack. It had been reduced to four at one stage, with Frosinone mounting a late promotion challenge, but their form tailed off after we had secured the title.

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It's been a great year for the club, and I'm delighted to see that everyone is overjoyed with our success.

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We managed to make a double after defeating Grosseto in the Serie C cup! I had no real interest in this competition, often choosing to rest players for our league campaign, but I certainly gave it my full attention once we had reached the final.

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Our Regista's had a top season; I'm pleased for him.

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Still nowhere near a full house, but still good for the finances.

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We've been very prolific this season, although it would have been nice to break the 100 goal barrier.

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Wow, your 4-1-2-1-2 is knocking them in at a fantastic rate, much more than mine is. What roles are you utilizing beyond the T in AMC and Regista?

I'm playing with a box-to-box (support) and deep lying playmaker (defend) in the two central midfield roles, and an advanced forward (attack) and deep lying forward (support) up front. When it works well, we end up with 6/7 players in the midfield areas, as the wing backs push up too, which helps to control possession, before trying to pick out the advanced forward or the run from deep from the box-to-box midfielder; at times, it's been deadly!

Brilliant work so far this season, keep it up

Thanks Dexter :)

Go on, you can do it!

Cheers, I did it :D

Getting closer,hopefully you can hold off any late challengers for the title!

Thankfully we did, although it wasn't comfortable to watch our lead disappear!

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Cosenza - End of Season Review 2021/22

Promoted as champions! A season that couldn't have been any better! The fact we added the Serie C Cup to our league success was the icing on top of what was already a very large cake. Of course, Serie B is going to be a tough challenge, so we'll need to build on this year to ensure we're not relegation fodder.

1a Divisione Girone C: 1st

Coppa Italia Lega Pro: Winners

Average Attendance: 7759 (down 844)

Transfer History | Finances

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It's going to be interesting to see if the existing squad will be able to make the step up to the second tier. After this year's performance, the majority of them deserve their chance, with, in particular, Bertolino and Colak likely to be capable of making the switch; I'm certainly going to give most of them the benefit of the doubt, as a settled squad may play to our advantage. Defensively, we've been rock solid for most of the season, totalling 24 clean sheets; this is something we'll need to continue with next year too.

Top Goalscorer: Adriano Bertolino (28 goals)

Most Assists: Adriano Bertolino/Mathias Nornes (15 assists)

Highest Average Rating: Davide Lazzaro (7.70)

Fans Player of the Season: Davide Lazzaro

Other Notable Contributors: Antonio-Mirko Colak (23 goals), Daniele Pupa (13 goals, 12 assists), Mohamed Sekour (AvR 7.48), Giampaolo Pepe (24 Clean Sheets), Stefano Bertani (AvR 7.41)

Cosenza Best Eleven

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I'm surprised to see our right wing-back rated so highly. He contributes well to the build up, but, with just five goals and three assists to his name, he's hardly Dani Alves!

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Sekour joined us on loan from dutch side PEC Zwolle, leading our successful defensive unit despite his young age. I've already secured him for another season too.

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Manager of the Year :cool:

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups                             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        5th      Astro Piala First Round
2015       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        3rd      Astro Piala First Round, Piala Malaysia First Round
2016       Hougang Utd       S.League            5th      S.League Cup Semi Final
2017       Hougang Utd       S.League            6th*     * Resigned after 23 games (October 2017)
2017/18    Gateshead         Skrill Premier      4th*     * Promoted via Playoffs. Took charge October 2017.
2018/19    Gateshead         League Two          12th     FA Cup 1st Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2019/20    Gateshead         League Two          1st      FA Cup 3rd Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2020/21    Cosenza           Serie C Group C     2nd      Serie C Cup 1st Round
2021/22    Cosenza           Serie C Group C     1st      Serie C Cup Winner

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Cosenza - Pre-Season 2022/23

Realistically, a season battling relegation is what we should expect from the year ahead, although I'm quietly optimistic that we've got enough quality to do so fairly comfortably. On paper, there are about seven or eight teams in this league who are of a similar standard to us, with one or two significantly worse, so we'll need to ensure we take points off this lot to ensure our survival.

I'm not going to read too much into the pre-season friendlies, despite disappointing performances against Juve Stabia and Auxerre. At least we gave a good account of ourselves against AC Milan, a team of a much larger stature than us.

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Media Prediction: 20th

Title Odds: 40-1 (Joint 18th favourites. Reggina 4-5 favourites)

Serie B Eurobet: Avoid Relegation

TIM Cup: Third Qualifying Round

Transfer Budget: £1.7m

Wage Budget: £64k (spending £49.3k)

Season Ticket Sales: 3597 (up 709)

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Only half a dozen new faces joined the squad over the summer, but all of which are rated as good Serie B players and improvements on what we already have. In addition to these, I'm hopeful that the majority of the existing players will be able to make the jump up to the second tier, and the fact that the squad will be fairly settled from the off will be an advantage. I've also promoted highly rated Antonello Rizzi from the Under 19s; he may not be an automatic starter, but will certainly get enough first team action to aid his development.

Off the pitch, Holger Stanislawski joins me as my new assistant manager, an improvement on his predecessor.

Key Players: Adriano Bertolino (AMC), Antonello Rizzi (ST), Carmelo Rosario Sassone (DM), Mohamed Sekour (DC), Mathias Nornes (DM), Giampaolo Pepe (GK), Leandro Rodríguez (ST), Sebas (AMC), Dimitri Corongiu (MC), Christophe Fernandez (MC), Peter Sietsma (DC)

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Nicely done!
Congrats on the title win :thup:
Excellent season. :thup:

Thanks chaps :thup:

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Cosenza - October 2022 Update

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What better way to start life in a new division than a 8-1 mullering! I don't think the players know we're playing in Italy, and these results don't happen! Following this, we won the following the four games too, opening up the new season with five consecutive victory; this really was the stuff of dreams! The unbeaten run continued for a little bit longer, before becoming unstuck to Sassuolo and Bologna, two sides competing near the top of the table. The games have become a lot more cagey recently, much more typical of the Italian leagues, so I'll be looking to get us like our free-scoring selves again.

Additional to the good start in the league, we've secured our passage into the 4th Qualifying Round of the TIM Cup, following a drubbing of Gavorrano and a tense shootout victory over Palermo. That's now the second season in a row we've travelled to Sicily, and knocked them out on penalties. We'll play Latina at home in the next round.

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With only two defeats so far, we find ourselves nicely near the top of the Serie B table. It's unlikely that we'll maintain this position over the course of the season, but it's pleasing to know that we shouldn't need to worry about relegation this season, baring something horrid happening.

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I have no intention of leaving Cosenza yet. However, I'm now getting regular offers to attend interviews, which I thought would give some bargaining tools to improve the existing infrastructure at the club.

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Once they've been completed, we'll have training and youth facilities on par with most other teams in the division.

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Nice:applause:
Well done AK.
Going great in Italy

Cheers! I must say I'm enjoying it considerably :thup:

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Cosenza - February 2023 Update

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Ok, maybe I was playing it down earlier in the season, but I certainly didn't expect us to turn into bonafide title challengers. However, even the most pessimistic of individuals must realise that we are in a brilliant position for back-to-back promotions.

I've been sticking with the same formation that benefited us so well last season, with very similar results this time around too; most teams just can't cope with the numbers we get into midfield, meaning that we dictate the game, more often than not. Two of our midfielders, Carmelo Rosario Sassone and Alessandro Scalia, have the first and third highest pass completion rate in the league, 90% and 87% respectively, showing that we can pick a pass and recycle possession in a clinical fashion. Add to this the fact that Antonio-Mirko Colak is the league's joint-top goalscorer, and you see why we're doing so well.

It was also pleasing to give Fiorentina such a good run for their money in the Coppa Italia. In fact, an upset could have been on the cards if Daniele Pupa hadn't missed his second half penalty for us. Still, it's a good performance against a top side, which is encouraging if we are to make it to Serie A.

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There's nobody more surprised than I am to see us top of the table! However, with a eight point gap over third place Sassuolo, an automatic promotion place is really ours to lose.

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With my contract due to expire at the end of the season, I've negotiated myself a year long extension, plus a tidy £800 per week payrise.

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Excellent start to life in Serie B :thup:
Nicely done in Serie B so far.

Thanks :thup: It's going so well I'm waiting for the inevitable collapse!

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Cosenza - May 2023 Update

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Well, look at that! Not a bottle in sight! Well, almost...

With eight wins out of ten through March and April, a ten point advantage over the third place team was established, meaning that promotion was virtually guaranteed with five games left to play. The victory over Lanciano was the result that ensured we would finish the year as Serie B champions too, a brilliant feat for a side that was one of the favourites for relegation at the beginning of the year.

Once again, there's been some brilliant results against strong opposition, with, in particular, the solid victories on the road to Cesena, Bologna and Reggina proving that we were deserved champions. It's worth mentioning that these three teams have wage budgets that are almost double ours, so really should have blown us out of the water.

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Back-to-back promotion, and arguably more convincing than last season too. A eight point gap over second place side, Pisa, again highlights our dominance over the rest of the division. Poor old Siena had a disastrous year.

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Last year, we were among the favourites for promotion, but, and quite rightly too, nobody fancied us this time around.

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A bumper crowd of 14,930 attended our final home game of the season to celebrate a glorious season.

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The link-up between Corongiu and Colak has been pivotal; one loads the gun, the other pulls the trigger. Deadly, and record breaking :cool:

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Bloody hell, good stuff! :)

Ha, that was my thoughts too! :D

Great career and great stuff in Italy. Just read through the whole thing - highly entertaining!

Thanks abulezz. I'm really enjoying Italy, as I always do when there isn't a major bug!

Doing very well.

Indeed we are, Nobby.

Flying towards the big league. Time to start preparing for that big jump in class.

This scares me immensely! Most of my squad was playing in Serie C last year!

Excellent work on promotion :cool:.

Cheers, SRL! :thup:

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Cosenza - End of Season Review 2022/23

Serie B champions! What a magical season! Watch out Milan and Juventus, we're coming for you!

Serie B Eurobet: 1st

TIM Cup: First Round

Average Attendance: 11749 (up 3990)

Transfer History | Finances

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The majority of the squad was with maintained from our successful season in Serie C, which I believe is one of the reason we've done so well, as the team cohesion and tactic familiarity was already at a high level. This, however, could make next season very interesting, as jumping up two tiers could be asking too much of the players. Another concern is that two of our key players, Corongiu and Sekour, were only with us on loan, and will now rejoin their parent teams; I now have a big gap in the first eleven to address over the summer.

Top Goalscorer: Antonio-Mirko Colak (27 goals)

Most Assists: Dimitri Corongiu (19 assists)

Highest Average Rating: Mario Parentela (7.48)

Fans Player of the Season: Antonio-Mirko Colak

Other Notable Contributors: Daniele Pupa (17 goals, 11 assists), Adriano Bertolino (16 goals, 16 assists), Gian Marco Maldera (AvR: 7.27), Mohamed Sekour (AvR: 7.25)

Serie B Team of the Year | Cosenza Best Eleven

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This is a much needed improvement, even more so now that we'll be playing in Serie A next season.

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Manager of the Year again :cool:

Season     Team              League                     Finish    Cups                             
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        5th      Astro Piala First Round
2015       Polis DRM         Liga Premier        3rd      Astro Piala First Round, Piala Malaysia First Round
2016       Hougang Utd       S.League            5th      S.League Cup Semi Final
2017       Hougang Utd       S.League            6th*     * Resigned after 23 games (October 2017)
2017/18    Gateshead         Skrill Premier      4th*     * Promoted via Playoffs. Took charge October 2017.
2018/19    Gateshead         League Two          12th     FA Cup 1st Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2019/20    Gateshead         League Two          1st      FA Cup 3rd Round, Capital One Cup 1st Round
2020/21    Cosenza           Serie C Group C     2nd      Serie C Cup 1st Round
2021/22    Cosenza           Serie C Group C     1st      Serie C Cup Winner
2022/23    Cosenza           Serie B             1st      TIM Cup 1st Round

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