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Schalke 04 - Youth to Europe

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The History

Founded in 1908, Schalke did not take long to rise to success in their domestic division. Their highly successful spell during the 1930's was interrupted by the Second World War but before that they managed 4 league titles, twice runners-up and a German Cup. Since then, however, they have been relatively quiet, without a Bundesliga title for 56 years, their last success in the league coming in 1958. Their UEFA Cup victory back in 1997 and a couple of German Cups since the turn of the 21st century are pretty much all that they have had going for them. Until now that is...

The Present

The club have finished in the top 4 for 3 of the last 4 seasons and they have made leaps and bounds in their squad with many youth prospects such as Draxler and Meyer, amongst others, coming through the youth system. Although it is only currently ranked as "great" on this installation of Football Manager, there is a constant stream currently coming through of top notch players, most of which are interestingly in the midfield area, a position the Germans are somewhat becoming used to creating fantastic prospects in. So where does that leave us?

The Future

The challenge that I have set for myself is quite loose. I want to try and return to the top of the Bundesliga in as short a time as possible, and also look at trying to get my hands on some European silverware. This season we have a playoff in the Champions League and I shall be looking to make good progress, depending on the group which I am handed. If we can get through the group I will be expecting us to stay competitive against the big sides in the Knockout rounds, but if we finish 3rd I will be hoping for at least a Europa League semi.

In the long term I'm hoping that we can not only win the European Champions League, I would also like to win it with a squad full of youth players, an average age of around 23-24 and a team which mainly (or even wholly) consists of Schalke youth players. It'd be pretty tough to do a full youth side but that's the point in a challenge, right?

After that, we'll see where the winds of management take us, if we get that far that is. I'd quite like to visit other big youth prospects such as Southampton, Ajax, Roma and the likes but we'll take things one step at a time, shall we.

Looking to the near future, we have a tough set of pre-season friendlies against the likes of Zenit, Marseille, Manchester United & Lazio, but I'm looking forwards to testing out my recent indulgence in tactics to see what we can do.

I'll let you know how pre-season goes when it's over and not a minute sooner!

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Sounds like a good project, good luck! Minor point though, success in 30s would have been ended by Second World War, sorry to point that out. I look forward to reading how this goes.

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Sounds like a good project, good luck! Minor point though, success in 30s would have been ended by Second World War, sorry to point that out. I look forward to reading how this goes.

Thanks for both the highlight of the error (I was never a good historian) and the support! Should definitely be a challenge!

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The History

Founded in 1908

Ouch. 1904! I will definitely follow you leading my favourite club to glory.

By the way, they were highly successful even during the world war. Hitler liked using them as a example of small workers that worked their way up, as they dominated german football with the "Schalker Kreisel", the first use of short passing in germany. Quite funny, because the players were largely polish(Kuzorra etc.), but the Nazis just made them german to use them for propaganda. So their success didn't end with WWII.

By the way, they're famous for never wining the German League. It's pretty tragic, because we got 2nd multiple times. Once, we had actually won for 4 minutes, the fans were celebrating, and than a goalkeeper picked up a questionable pass of his own player and Bayern scored on the free kick. Tears everywere, believe me.

So if you could get them to win, it would be quite incredible.

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Good luck! I'll be following your progress!

I'm starting a similar project myself with German and home grown players @ Schalke 04.

Make sure you end above the neighbors from Lüdenscheid (BVB)!

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