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[FM15] Where the Heck's It Gone? A hunt for lost glories...

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A cruel twist of irony - this post title now has two meanings. Not only am I trying to recapture some of the globetrotting glory I experienced a few FMs ago, I am also trying to reproduce the opening post I wrote about an hour ago only for a Firefox crash to swallow it up! :mad:

Hexagonal-World-Map.jpg

Anyway, having finally given in to the temptation of another Steam Sale, I now have FM15. I had a few ideas for careers but there was only one choice really - a hexagon challenge!

The aim is simple - win the Champions League on every continent (including Oceania thanks to claassen's World Leagues Pack)

Any other trophies along the way, be they domestic, international, or the other continental silverware will be more than welcome.

The Set-up

My manager is an unemployed, unqualified Sunday league footballer out to try his luck anywhere that will have him!

My database is a large one! :lol:

And, thanks to the above mentioned update pack, I have the following leagues running (all to the lowest available division):

Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, England, Fiji, Ghana, Honduras, Hungary, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey U.A.E., Uruguay, U.S.A., Venezuela

I have also added the CFU Club Championship for some extra continental action and the Gulf Cup for some international action.

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The Story So far...

Unfortunately, some of my early posts disappeared when the forums migrated to the current platform so the Al-Ahli Saida season reviews are missing as well as my early international triumphs in Asia. You can see a summer of the entire career here:

Season  | Club             | Nation        | League                | Position  | Cup(s)                  | Continental
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014    | Assumption Utd   | Thailand      | Division 2 (Regional) | 4th       | N/A                     | N/A
2015    | Assumption Utd   | Thailand      | Division 2 (Regional) | Finalists | Early exits             | N/A
2016    | Assumption Utd   | Thailand      | Thai Division One     | 13th      | Early exits             | N/A
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016/17 | Al-Ahli Saida    | Lebanon       | Second Division       | 8th       | N/A                     | N/A
2017/18 | Al-Ahli Saida    | Lebanon       | Second Division       | 4th       | 3rd Round               | N/A
2018/19 | Al-Ahli Saida    | Lebanon       | Second Division       | 1st       | 1st Round               | N/A
2019/20 | Al-Ahli Saida    | Lebanon       | Premier Division      | 3rd       | Semis                   | N/A
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020    | A.S. Magenta     | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur    | 5th       | Finalists               | N/A
2021    | A.S. Magenta     | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur    | 1st!!     | WINNERS!!               | N/A
2022    | A.S. Magenta     | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur    | 1st!!     | WINNERS!!               | N/A
2023    | A.S. Magenta     | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur    | 1st!!     | 3rd Round               | O-League Semis
2024    | A.S. Magenta     | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur    | 1st!!     | WINNERS!!               | O-League Final
2025    | A.S. Magenta     | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur    | N/A       | N/A                     | O-League Semis
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2024/25 | Perth Glory      | Australia     | A-League              | N/A       | Finals Series WINNERS!! | N/A
2025/26 | Perth Glory      | Australia     | A-League              | 4th       | Early exits             | ACL Group Stage
2026/27 | Perth Glory      | Australia     | A-League              | 1st!!     | Semis                   | N/A
2027/28 | Perth Glory      | Australia     | A-League              | 1st!!     | Finalists               | ACL Quarter-finals
2028/29 | Perth Glory      | Australia     | A-League              | N/A       | N/A                     | ACL WINNERS!! CWC 3rd
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2028/29 | América          | Mexico        | Liga BBVA Bancomer MX | N/A-1st   | Clasura finalists       | CCL Quarter-finals
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2029/30 | Asante Kotoko    | Ghana         | First Capital League  | 2nd       | Semis                   | CAF CL Prelim round
2030/31 | Asante Kotoko    | Ghana         | First Capital League  | 1st!!     | Super Cup WINNERS!!     | N/A
2031/32 | Asante Kotoko    | Ghana         | First Capital League  | 1st!!     | Early exits             | CAF CL Finalists
2032/33 | Asante Kotoko    | Ghana         | First Capital League  | 1st!!     | FA Cup WINNERS!!        | CAF CL WINNERS!! CWC 5th
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2033/34 | Team Wellington  | New Zealand   | NZFC                  | 1st!!     | Finalists               | O-League WINNERS!!
2034/35 | Team Wellington  | New Zealand   | NZFC                  | N/A       | N/A                     | CWC 5th
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2035    | Seattle Sounders | U.S.A.        | MLS                   | 7th-14th  | US Cup 3rd Round        | N/A
2036    | Seattle Sounders | U.S.A.        | MLS                   | 1st!-1st! | MLS & US Cup WINNERS!!  | N/A
2037    | Seattle Sounders | U.S.A.        | MLS                   | 1st!-1st! | MLS & US Cup WINNERS!!  | CCL Quarter-finals
2038    | Seattle Sounders | U.S.A.        | MLS                   | 1st!-1st! | MLS & US Cup WINNERS!!  | CCL Semi-finals
2039    | Seattle Sounders | U.S.A.        | MLS                   | 1st!-2nd  | MLS Semis & US Cup 4thR | CCL WINNERS!! CWC 3rd
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2040    | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Clasura   | 2nd       | Copa Aguila 3rdR        | Copa Sud 1stR
2041a   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Apertura  | 1st       | N/A                     | N/A
2041b   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Clasura   | 3rd       | Copa Aguila Finalists   | N/A
2042a   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Apertura  | 2nd       | N/A                     | Copa Lib Group Stage
2042b   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Clasura   | 3rd       | Copa Aguila Semis       | N/A
2043a   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Apertura  | 1st       | Superliga WINNERS!      | Copa Lib 2ndR
2043b   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Clasura   | 1st       | Copa Aguila WINNERS!    | N/A
2044a   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Apertura  | 1st       | Superliga WINNERS!      | Copa Lib Group Stage
2044b   | Once Caldas      | Colombia      | Liga Aguila Clasura   | 1st       | Copa Aguila WINNERS!    | Copa Sud 1stR

And here is an update of my international exploits to date:

Year | National Team     | IFIFA Ranking | Performance
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019 | Lebanon U23s      | N/A           | Asian Games Runners-up
2020 | Iran U23s         | N/A           | Olympic Games Quarter-finalists
2023 | New Zealand U23s  | N/A           | Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament Winners
2023 | Bahrain U23s      | N/A           | Asian Games WINNERS!!
2024 | France U23s       | N/A           | Olympic Games Silver Medallists
2025 | Ivory Coast       | 29th          | Qualified for 2026 World Cup
2026 | Ivory Coast       | 25th          | Sacked after World Cup Group Stage Exit
2026 | Croatia U21s      | N/A           | Qualified for 2027 UEFA U21 Championship
2027 | Croatia U21s      | N/A           | UEFA U21 Championship Semi-finals
2027 | Trinidad & Tobago | 102nd         | Qualified for CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Third Phase
2028 | Trinidad & Tobago | 104th         | CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Third Phase; CFU Cup 3rd place
2029 | Trinidad & Tobago | 94th          | Gold Cup Group Stage
2031 | D.R. Congo        | 74th          | Friendlies...
2032 | D.R. Congo        | 42nd          | Qualified for 2033 African Cup of Nations
2033 | D.R. Congo        | 40th          | Cup of Nations Group Stage; Qualified for 2034 World Cup
2034 | D.R. Congo        | 19th          | World Cup 2nd Round; Qualified for 2035 Cup of Nations
2035 | D.R. Congo        | 17th          | Cup of Nations Finalists
2036 | D.R. Congo        | 36th          | Friendlies...
2037 | D.R. Congo        | 36th          | Cup of Nations Quarter-finals
2037 | South Africa      | 14th          | Defeated in Final Round of CAF World Cup Qualifying
2038 | Sweden            | 52nd          | Promoted from UEFA Nations League Division C
2039 | Sweden            | 41st          | Qualified for Euro 2040
2040 | Sweden            | 34th          | Euro 2040 2nd Round
2040 | Portugal U23s     | N/A           | Olympic 4th place
2040 | Portugal          | 4th           | Relegated from UEFA Nations League Division A
2041 | Portugal U20s     | N/A           | Toloun Tournamanet WINNERS!!
2041 | Portugal          | 6th           | Confederations Cup Finalists
2042 | Portugal          | 3rd           | World Cup Quarter-finals
2043 | Iraq              | 66th          | Asian Cup Group Stage
2043 | South Korea       | 23rd          | Started AFC World Cup Qualifying
2044 | South Korea       | 10th          | Advanced to Final Round of AFC World Cup Qualifying

 

Edited by DodgeeD

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The Hexagon Challenge

Progress so far in each of the major continental trophies:

Competition               | Continent     | Best Performance        | Club(s)         
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AFC Champions League      | Asia          | WINNERS!! (2028)        | Perth Glory     
CAF Champions League      | Africa        | WINNERS!! (2032)        | Asante Kotoko   
CONCACAF Champions League | North America | WINNERS!! (2039)        | Seattle Sounders       
Copa Libertadores         | South America | WINNERS!! (2047)        | San Lorenzo
O-League                  | Oceania       | WINNERS!! (2034)        | Team Wellington
UEFA Champions League     | Europe        | N/A                     | N/A
FIFA Club World Cup       | Worldwide     | WINNERS!! (2047)        | San Lorenzo
 

Other competition wins (continental)

Competition       | Continent     | Club (Year)
-------------------------------------------------------
Copa Sudamericana | South America | San Lorenzo (2047)

The International Octagon

As I enjoy dabbling in international Management, I will have a secondary aim of capturing each continental championship as well along with the Confederation Cup and World Cup (of course!)

Competition                | Continent     | Best Performance   | Nation
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asian Cup                  | Asia          | WINNERS!! (2047)   | South Korea
Copa America               | South America | N/A                | N/A
Cup of Nations             | Africa        | Finalists (2035)   | D.R. Congo 
Gold Cup                   | North America | Group Stage (2029) | Trinidad & Tobago
Oceania Nations Cup        | Oceania       | N/A                | N/A
UEFA European Championship | Europe        | 2nd Round (2040)   | Sweden
Confederations Cup         | Worldwide     | Finalists (2041)   | Portugal
FIFA World Cup             | Worldwide     | Quarters (2042)    | Portugal
 

Other competition wins (international)

Competition                | Continent | Nation/Year                          
----------------------------------------------------------------
Oceania Olympic Qualifying | Oceania   | New Zealand U23s (2023)                  
Asian Games                | Asia      | Bahrain U23s (2023)
Tournoi Espoirs de Toulon  | Worldwide | Portugal U20s (2041)
East Asian Cup             | Asia      | South Korea (2045)
 
Edited by DodgeeD

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Thanks Deisler. :thup: It seems the forum curse is affecting my posts as the following was written last night only to disappear when the internet went offline... Perils of living in Gabon I suppose! At least the auto-save kept half of the post for me!

Part 1 - False Assumptions

220px-Assumption_United_F.C._logo_2014.jpg

The add-on leagues meant there were many jobs to choose from so I used my usual tactic of narrowing it down - look for an obscure club with a funny name. ;)

The first to answer the call was Assumption United, a team that plays in the Thai Second Division Bangkok & Field Region.

1st Job Offer.png

You would be correct to asume (:p - I think it's safe to make the assumption that I will get some mileage out of punning this club's name! :D) that facilities are not the best in the third tier of Thai football:

Assumption background.png

A good thing I like to start from scratch!

As I take over, Assumption are 7th in the table with 6 games of the 26 to play. Only the top two advance to the promotion play-offs against the other regional sides so there is little chance of us closing the gap (forgot to take a screenshot sorry!)

I will update on the squad and the club in general once this season is complete.

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Interesting team name for your first club :cool:
Interesting place to start.

I knew, indeed I assumed, people would like the name :p

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So much for a simple league set up :D :D. Gonna be a tough challenge.

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Good luck :cool: Loving your new club name :D
So much for a simple league set up :D :D. Gonna be a tough challenge.
Cheers guys. This set up is actually a lot simpler than the one I originally had! It took a lot of narrowing down :)

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2014 Mini Season Review - Assumption United FC

220px-Assumption_United_F.C._logo_2014.jpg

Quick Overview

Thailand Division Two Bangkok & Field Region: 4th

Division Two

I was only in charge for seven matches and had no relegation battle to fight or play-off spot within realistic grasp so it was a good chance to assess the team before my first full season in charge. Although the squad lacks depth, we out together a decent run of results only dropping points against Thai Honda and RBAC, who would eventually occupy the top two spots. We finished the season in 4th and, as the team were already over-performing before I arrived, we ended up being named as league overachievers.

Final Table | Results

Key Players

The following squad members stood out:

Patsapong U-tapao (GK) - easily the best Thai player in the squad (though that isn't saying much!)

Dawauda Walumph (DC) - club captain and our anchor in defence. He should gain Thai nationality over the close season so he is one to hang onto.

Karimi Nadrabadi (ST) - when I arrived, he was the only player in the side with more than 2 goals! I soon got the others scoring but he was our main man for goals.

The Season Ahead

I will be here next season and that's no assumption as I have signed a new contract - a whole year this time instead of a four-month deal!

There are quite a few areas to improve in the squad, especially if I am to stick with my preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. The flanks are in most urgent need of new signings as my top rated full-back/winger has only a 1-star rating. I could do with some more options n central midfield as well.

I think a push for the play-offs should be possible but, of course, it could be dangerous to make assumptions ;)

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Summer hols over, training course done but a week or so before I am back to work so time to fire up this save again and get my 2022 season report done :)

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AS Magenta 2022 Season Review

432915.png

Quick Overview

Division d’Honneur: 1st (CHAMPIONS!!)

2022%20New%20Caledonia%20Super%20Ligue.png

League Results | Position Graph

Coupe de Nouvelle-Calédonie: WINNERS!!

Final | Cup run

Review

Back-to-back doubles! The league was never in doubt, helped in no small part by this impressive run:

2022%20%20Win%20streak.png

The sole defeat was a weird blip in the season as Mouli Sport trounced us when we had no key players out and everybody on sky high morale. They have become something of a bogey team as we only got a point off them in the return game and needed extra time to finally overcome them in the cup final.

As for the OCE Champions League, the preliminary rounds were played towards the end of the year and we will finally join the competition in the group stage at the start of our 2023 season:

2023%20OLeague%20draw.png

At least we avoided the New Zealand sides! I have no idea how we will fare against the sides from Tuvalu, Tonga and Fiji but with only three matches to be contested over a period of five days, we will have a steep learning curve!

Key Players

Jean Yves-Leclerc (DR) – Immense once again and ever-present in the league.

Leon Roux (AMC) – had a great season in the advanced playmaker role. I quite like him now that he has stopped bitching and moaning about game time.

Roy Kayara (AMR) – The most senior member of the side and our first choice penalty taker. He will leave soon, however, having decided to drop down a division and finish off his career at amateur level.

Sullivan Bailleul (ST) – 14 goals again (13 in the league) and a fair share of assists as well.

Ones to watch

Three of last year’s youth intake did well in their runs in the first team:

Simon Martinez (YP8a) (DC) – Now established as a first teamer and already playing for the national side at 17.

Luca da Silva (YP8c) (MC) – was great in the matches he played in but suffered a broken leg. Hopefully, that won’t spoil his potential.

Yannick Lemoine (YP8d) (AML) – made an immediate impact with some good goals, still needs to work on that dribbling though…

Youth Intake

A strong looking intake this year provided 4 standout starlets, who could feature in the first team squad next season:

Jerome Guerin (YP9a, GK) – another keeper! That’s three of them in the last three intakes.

Marius de Souza (YP9c, MC/AMC) – decent determination, teamwork and work rate. Will need to watch that aggression though..

Thibaud Rousseau (YP9d, DRL) – might struggle for game time as we have two very good full-backs. A loan move might serve him best.

Transfers

There does not seem to be anyone out there in New Caledonia who can add something to the team so this is turning into an unintended youth project!

The Season Ahead...

We are expected to win the league again while the cup is now viewed as ‘not important.’ I will be aiming for another double. I would optimistically hope to get out of our Champions League group but I know we are nowhere near being good enough to take on the NZFC sides yet.

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International Interlude - New Zealand U23s

2023%20NZ%20U23s.png

Something to keep me busy over the Southern Hemisphere summer - guiding New Zealand U23s through the Oceania Olympic Qualifying tournament.

Oceania Olympic Qualifying

I was expecting something of a walk in the park here and that is more or less what we got. :) We scored 5 goals a game in the group stage, brushing aside the U23s of Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Samoa to top the group and set up a two-legged final with Solomon Islands.

Group Tables

The first leg was a bit of a shock as we went a goal down and had to fight hard to level the game late in the second half. We showed that was just a blip though as we whacked seven past them in Auckland, with young striker Jake O'Keeffe bagging five including a hat-trick of penalties as the Solomon defence lost all composure.

Final

Not a bad set of results:

2023%20NZ%20U23s%20Results.png

...but not enough it would seem as the NZFA decided there was no need for a permanent U23 manager with no matches to be played before next summer's Olympics. :(

Back to AS Magenta then!

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Bit of a bummer that.

I've taken on a few of these U23 and U21/U20 roles over the last few versions of FM and I'm used to this by now.

In the real world, I guess the U19 manager would also take charge of the U20s and the U21 manager would work with the U23s but the game decides they are separate squads and cancels the role rather than have you wait ages for the next competition. The annoying thing is that the job will most certainly come up again in about 6 months' time when the draw for the 2022 Olympics is made

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AS Magenta 2023 Season Preview

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Club Overview

Stadium: Stade Nouma-Daly

Capacity: 10,500 (9,600 seats)

Season Ticket Holders: 248 (+29)

Average Attendance (2022): 1060 (up 442)

We managed to pull the crowds in last season with several fan days with big wins no doubt helping.

The Manager (Profile)

Current reputation: Continental (up from national)

Coaching qualifications: Continental B Licence (Studying for Continental A)

No change rep wise but my studies continue thanks to the generosity of the board.

Expectations

Media Prediction: 1st

Board Expectations: Win the league; cup – not important; O-League – be competitive

Domestically, I don’t see anyone getting near us. In the O-League, it will be a learning curve. I guess ‘competitive’ means not getting thrashed every game!

Facilities

Training Facilities: Below average (upgraded last season)

Youth Facilities: Poor (-)

Junior Coaching: Good (up from average)

Youth Recruitment: Basic (-)

The training facilities were upgraded from ‘basic’ last season and I persuaded the board to invest more in junior coaching. Apart from that, all requests were rejected.

Finances

Balance: €299,510 (up €14,144)

Annual sponsorship income: €148k (up €18k)

Transfer budget: €117k (down €17k)

Wage budget: €5,879 p/w (down €6,550)

Current wage bill: €2,314 p/w (down €133)

Not sure why the wage bill has been cut so much, especially as we now have additional revenue from continental sponsorship… Not a big worry though as we are well under budget (as long as there are no further cuts at the end of this season).

Transfers

Scouting range: New Caledonia

2023 Pre-season Transfer History

There’s just not enough quality out there for us to bother bringing players in. Our youth products so far have been pretty good and I don’t see any need to head into the transfer market unless we get a scouting range upgrade.

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2023 O-League Update: Group Stage

127285.png

As this is my first venture into continental competition in this career, I thought it warranted an extra post or two. :)

The in-game media seemed to think Amicale FC, champions of Vanautu, would be the team to beat in our group so I knew our opening game away to them would be key. As it turned out, they were about on a par ith New Caledonian sides and we breezed to a pleasant surprise of a 3-0 win. Up next, we were home to Fijian side Rewa. They gave us a tougher game but we still took our chances to establish a 2-0 lead by half-time. We had a slight wobble as they pulled one back late-on but my boys responded well with an injury time goal to secure a 3-1 win. That meant our trip to Tonga to play qualifiers Lotoha'apai was a matter of avoiding defeat to go through. A confident performance brought about a 2-0 win as we topped the group.

2023%20O-League%20Groups.png

Along with the New Zealand sides, Ba of Fiji qualified as the best second-placed team. With that line-up of potential opponents, I was quite pleased when the draw was made:

2023%20O-League%20SF%20draw.png

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Looks like you're enjoying life in New Caledonia!

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Looks like you're enjoying life in New Caledonia!
For now yes, though it could easily become one of those places where the challenge is almost non-existent domestically but impossible continentally. We'll see ;)

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2023 O-League Update: Knockout Rounds

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Semi-final

I knew Ba would be tougher than our group stage opponents but I was still quietly optimistic about our chances of making the final. Alas, it was not to be this time. A nervy first leg produced few chances but Ba always looked dangerous and their experience made the difference as they grabbed a goal on the break on 67 minutes and then just sat back and didn't really give us a chance. With nothing to lose, I told my players to go for it in the second leg and it nearly worked. Despite injuries keeping a couple of key players out, we raced into an early lead. Indeed, it was the non-first team regular replacements in the shape of reserve left winger Martin and a 17 year-old striker making his debut, Thomas, who put us into an aggregate lead. We were cruising until Ba pulled one back against the run of play and suddenly my youngsters panicked. In the end, it would be star youth product Simon Martinez who would make the fatal error, giving away a penalty late on that put the Fijians back ahead. They would again sit back and doak up the pressure until the final whistle as we lost the tie 3-2.

Leg 1 | Leg 2

Just to show how far we have to go, Ba were soundly thumped by Team Wellington in the final losing 8-2 on aggregate...

Until next year then!

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Good luck closing the gap to the NZ teams.
Thanks :) Going by the O-League final result, that looks like a big ask but we had some encouragement in the shape of the sudden availability of Australian sides for friendlies. While we didn't pull up any trees, we did avoid total embarrassment, drawing with Brisbane Roar before being narrowly beaten by Newcastle Jets.

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Meanwhile, back on the U23 international scene...

2023%20Bahrain%20U23s.png

What can I say? I do like my obscure international trophies. :D

4 years ago, I took Lebanon U23s to the final. Bahrain have a better pool of players so, who knows,maybe we can go all the way this time...

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2023 Asian Games

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Hosts: India

Holders: South Korea U23s

Group Stage

I was a little wary of our chances having only scraped draws with Lebanon U23s and New Caledonia U23s in our warm-up games. However, victories over India U23s and I-League side Dempo showed that we were acclimatising well and that showed in our first game as we beat North Korea by a convincing 3-0 scoreline. Pakistan came up next. Oh, dear... A poor showing from them meant a 7-0 stroll in the park for us with a second round appearance a formality. Uzbekistan were our final opponents but they were not up to much and the final score of 2-1 in our favour flattered them. We topped the group with a 100% record:

2023%20Asian%20Games%20Group.png

Knockout Rounds

Winning the group was 'rewarded' with a place in the tough half of the draw where the Far East giants of China, South Korea, and Japan were all waiting...

China were up first. A tense first half saw a penalty each and a 1-1 scoreline at the break. A few words of encouragement in the dressing room and we took control of the match, scoring twice midway through the half to secure a 3-1 win.

South Korea awaited in the last eight. They were heavy favourites but I had a feeling we could pull off an upset. The match was a classic - they took the lead, we took the lead, they equalised, and just as it seemed the momentum was swinging the Koreans way, we hit them on the break to score the winner in a 3-2 epic. :D

Japan completed our Far East trio in the semi-final. This would have all of the tension of the previous game but less of the drama. It looked like a nervy goalless game was heading for extra time when defender Mahdi popped up to power in a header from a corner to give us a 1-0 win and a place in the final!

Final

Regional rivals Kuwait awaited in the final. My players were worn out by this point (except for the goalkeeper, everyone who was fit started with a condition of 70-85%) and a cagey, slow game played out. 0-0 after 90 minutes and we went into extra time. With both team flagging, it would be Kuwait who slipped up first, scoring an own goal when there was no real attacking threat. That spurred our opponents to life and they were soon level but they made the mistake of going for the win. We sat back and hit them on the break early in the second extra time period to take the lead. That knocked the wind out of their sails and allowed us to take the victory and Asian Games Gold!

Final | Knockout Tree

2023%20Asian%20Games%20Review.png

As we have come to expect, U23 posts are only ever temporary so my time with Bahrain finished after the tournament. I leave a very strong record behind me:

2023%20Bahrain%20Under%2023s_%20Schedule%20U23%20Schedule.png

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Hey, a medal is a medal. :applause::D
And I'm more than happy to take it. :) I can start a collection of obscure tournament medals :D

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One great thing about my time in New Caledonia has been the willingness of the board to fund coaching qualifications, not only for me (now studying for Continental Pro having arrived with National C) but also for my coaching staff.

Every so often, of course, I get a message that someone needs extra time to complete the course but they usually do so within a month. For the last 18 months, however, I have been getting messages about this guy:

2023%20Slow%20coach.png

This has been going on a lot longer than I have documented here but it has become a regular feature of my news inbox. The latest one is here (with 3 or 4 more coming in between these two):

2023%20Slow%20Coach%202.png

That makes it almost two years of failure! In the meantime, other coaches have completed 3 or 4 courses... Emmanuel Waimo will now be nicknamed my 'slow coach' :D

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Maybe he should just stick to collecting the cones after training... :p

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Maybe he should just stick to collecting the cones after training... :p

:D There's more to come from Waimo - he might be a side story in this thread!

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AS Magenta 2023 Season Review

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Quick Overview

Division d’Honneur: 1st (CHAMPIONS!!)

2023%20New%20Caledonia%20Super%20Ligue%20Table.png

League Results | Position Graph

Coupe de Nouvelle-Calédonie: 3rd Round

O-League: Semi-finalists

Cup and Continental Results

Review

The league was a formality as we were top from early in the season and never looked back. I was a little disappointed if anything with the games we lost as I felt we could have had an unbeaten season.

The cup was a disaster – two goals up and cruising and then we conceded, panicked, gave away a late penalty, and then lost out in the shoot-out.

That was worryingly similar to our O-League elimination and I do now have a question mark about the team mentality as one of our league defeats came when we needed just a point to secure the title and played the second placed side, AS Kirikitir. Of course, we won the title the following weekend but do my players bottle it when the pressure is on?

Key Players

Mael Perrot (DC) – Our best defender and a regular for the national side now as well.

Simon Martinez YP8a (DC) – Started all the games bar one and became established as first pick for New Caledonia too.

Yannick Lemoine YP8d (AMRL) – A surprise breakthrough player who ended up topping the league for assists and getting the highest average rating.

Sullivan Bailleul (ST) – Records tumbled: most goals in a season for the club, broke the league goals and PoM records for a season, and became the club’s record scorer. Yet, something was not right. He disappeared in some games and we would have to grind out a single goal victory relying on our wingers or midfielders to get the goals. In other games, he would score four in a 6-0 win… We will need more consistency to progress in the O-League.

Ones to watch

Here are young hopefuls I expect to be seeing more of next season:

Thibauld Rousseau YP9d (DRL) – looks like he is getting ready to stake a claim for a first team space.

Luca da Silva YP8c (MC) – injuries prevented him from playing as much as the other YP8s but he put in some great performances incşuding a couple of long-range netbuster goals.

Mikael Christmann YP9b (AMRLC) – also struggled with niggles and knocks but added much needed pace to the attack when he played.

Youth Intake

A strange youth intake this season… My HoYD picked out this guy:

Amaury Joly YP10a (AMC/ST) – good to have another option up front.

…and then there were a few others (I labelled YP10a, b, c, and d) but I decided not to offer more contracts out than that. When I checked the PA ratings, only four players had 4*or above so I decided that was all I would bother with.

However, days before the trial contracts expired, my coaches urged me to sign this kid:

Samuel Lacroix YP10e (MC/AMC) – how did I nearly miss this one? CA of 4* and the note that he has potential to improve considerably! I swear there was nothing like that when the intake was first announced… It must have been a combination of a late night and one more beer while I played through the the youth day…

And another strange thing – both were called up and capped by New Caledonia immediately. I thought I would strengthen my relationship with these young stars by personally congratulating them… but Joly dismissively said he couldn’t understand why he had to wait so long for a cap and Lacroix replied that he didn’t need any more praise! On top of that, Lacroix upon reaching his 17th birthday refused to sign a semi-pro deal as he felt that there weren’t enough ‘players of his quality’ at the club! Cheeky!

Transfers

There does not seem to be anyone out there in New Caledonia who can add something to the team so this is turning into an unintended youth project!

The Season Ahead...

I am looking for an unbeaten season domestically and progress in the O-League. Easier said than done?

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Slow Coach Update

The coach has now broken down and is in need of new parts :D

2023%20Slow%20Coach%203.png

He immediately signed up for a new course too! Here we go again...

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Well, at least Waimo isn't a quitter! When at first you don't succeed... :D

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...try ad infinitum ;)

Btw, I am approaching the end of my first decade of game time and will do a quick round-up of the continental and international competitions as well as a look at my old clubs when I get the the summer of 2024. Any requests for info on specific competitions, clubs or players, let me know. :)

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AS Magenta 2024 Season Preview

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Club Overview

Stadium: Stade Nouma-Daly

Capacity: 10,500 (9,600 seats)

Season Ticket Holders: 262 (+14)

Average Attendance (2023): 1495 (up 435)

Another huge jump in attendance helped by the 5,000+ who came to watch us in the O-League semi-final.

The Manager

Profile

Current reputation: Continental (-)

Coaching qualifications: Continental A Licence (Studying for Continental Pro)

No change rep wise but my studies continue thanks to the generosity of the board. I also finally got the board to agree to more than a one-year deal!

NEWS FLASH – Last season’s title has pushed me into the top twenty of the Oceania Hall of Fame :D

Expectations

Media Prediction: 1st

Board Expectations: Win the league; cup – not important; O-League – be competitive

Same as last year. I am looking to recapture the double and go as far as we can in the O-League (i.e. until we meet a New Zealand side)

Facilities

Training Facilities: Below average (upgraded last season)

Youth Facilities: Poor (-)

Junior Coaching: Excellent (up from good)

Youth Recruitment: Basic (-)

Junior coaching is the only change the chairman will agree to. Financially, we have remained around the same level so there simply isn’t enough cash for a major investment or turning pro.

Finances

Balance: €260,010 (down €39,500)

Annual sponsorship income: €121k (down €37k)

Transfer budget: €103k (down €14k)

Wage budget: €12,079 p/w (up €6,200)

Current wage bill: €2,058 p/w (down €256)

The increased investment in junior coaching seems to have knocked our balance down a little. Last year’s sudden cut in the wage budget has been offset by an unexplained rise this time; none of which matters as our spending on wages remains low. Sponsorship has dropped as last season we had a one-year continental deal but this year it has not been renewed… Our main and additional kit deals expire at the end of 2024 so we will see if we can get more money next time.

Transfers

Scouting range: New Caledonia

2024 Pre-season Transfer History

There’s just not enough quality out there for us to bother bringing players in. Our youth products so far have been pretty good and I don’t see any need to head into the transfer market unless we get a scouting range upgrade.

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2024 O-League Update

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Group Stage

Having avoided the New Zealand teams in the draw, I was confident of progression and that confidence was well placed. :) First up a trip to Fiji to take on Nadroga FC. We took an early lead through Leon Roux and never looked back. Two more goals put us three up and even though the Fijians pulled one back, a red card ended their hopes of salvaging a point. We then faced Solomon Warriors at home in a must win tie, and win we did. It wasn't pretty but last year's Player of the Season Yannick Lemoine got a scrappy goal to give us a 1-0 victory. That meant a point at home to Tafea of Vanautu would be enough to qualify. We did better than that grabbing a 2-0 win thanks to two more youth product goals from Jean Paul Souılier (YP8e) and my very own fat goalie Arthur Blanc (YP8b) who, inspired by Jimboklav, now takes our spot kicks. A breeze through to the final four.

Group Table

Semi-final

With Solomon Warriors qualifying as the best runner-up, I was sure we would end up paired with a Kiwi side but the draw was kind and we got a two-legged tie with the Solomon Islanders. Buoyed by this luck of the draw, we had this one on the bag after the first leg as we won 4-0, once again all the goals coming from YPs - a brace from Mickael Christmann (YP9b) and one each from Yannick Lemoine (YP8d) and Jean Paul Souılier (YP8e). BY half-time in the second leg, we were three up by half-time but were then guilty of slacking off a bit as Solomon Warriors pulled two back but the final score was never in doubt as advanced 7-2 on aggregate.

All of which brings us to within sight of continental glory.... if we can beat Auckland City over two legs of course...

2024%20OFC%20Champions%20League%20Final%20Preview.png

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2024 O-League Update: The Final

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First Leg

My first continental final in this career! Also, my first head-to-head with a New Zealand side in my time at AS Magenta. Expecting a tough game, I set my team up defensively - big mistake. They were all over us in the early stages, hitting the post in the opening minute, taking the lead on seven minutes and getting a penalty moments later. The first positive of the day for us came when Blanc (YP8b) saved the spot kick. I switched back to my normal attacking 4-2-3-1 set-up after that and we fared better until a needless challenge led to a second penalty. This time, the hosts made no mistake. We came into the game more in the second half and we finally rewarded with a screamer of a free-kick from Christmann (YP9b) in stoppage time, giving us a glimmer of hope for the second leg.

Second Leg

The second leg attracted a bumper crowd of 10,000 to our stadium (average attendance is usually only around 1,200) as the locals came to see if we could get the win. It was a much tighter game than the first leg but that was ultimately to be our undoing as we failed to muster a single shot on target. Auckland had more chances and better chances, taking one of them in the 17th minute, which made our task much more difficult. In the end, we lost 3-1 on aggregate; a respectable scoreline at least but it was a little disappointing that we were shut out of the second leg so easily. We'll be back to try again next season!

First Leg | Second Leg | Knockout rounds

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Good luck in the final.

Cheers :thup:

As you can see above, it was not to be. It was amazing how my players, who usually look a class above their opponents, were suddenly getting pushed off the ball very easily and making stupid decisions in and around the box... The joys of playing at this level I suppose :)

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There have been a few mentions for my youth players in the last few reports, who now dominate the first team squad, leading to plenty of matches and news items like these:

2024%20YP%20Domination_1.png

2024%20YP%20Domination%202_1.png

:)

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Thanks to the generosity of the AS Magenta board, I now have top level qualifications:

2024%20Pro%20Licence.png

Meanwhile, more of the same from 'slow coach' Waimo :)

2024%20Slow%20Coach.png

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2024 Olympic Games

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Hosts: Berlin, Germany

Holders: Italy U23s

It seems to have become a recurring theme of this career that I can't turn down an U23 tournament opportunity! With the Olympics coming up, a few opportunities presented themselves; my first thought was to take the helm with New Zealand U23s as I had helped them qualify. However, they turned me down as I had only left the job recently (Hello? You cancelled my contract saying there were no competitive matches coming up!)

Not to worry as a bigger opportunity soon knocked - France U23s.

The usual warm-up friendlies were arranged - one of my former sides in the form of Bahrain U23s, who were easily dispatched 5-1; hosts Germany, who predictably gave us a tougher game and beat us 2-1; and local club side Bielefeld, whom we overcame 2-0.

Group Stage

That gave us plenty of confidence going into our group and we would need it. While Saudi Arabia U23s would not pose much of a threat, it would be a tough call between us, Argentina and hosts Germany for those two qualification spots. We sent out a strong statement of intent in our opener, waltzing past the Saudis 7-0 without really breaking a sweat. A much tighter game against Argentina followed. A penalty expertly converted by Pogba (one of our overage players) gave us a half-time lead but our opponents levelled soon before the hour mark. However, Real Madrid benchwarmer Stephen Huet would be the matchwinner, bagging two goals in quick succession to give us a 3-1 win and virtually guarantee out quarter-final place. What transpired in our final game with the hosts was hard to believe and I am sure it was celebrated in Brazil as much as in France. 7-0. We beat Germany U23s 7-0 in their own backyard! :eek: PSG striker Hervin Ongenda (another overage star) was the hero with four goals. It may only be the Olympics but that was one helluva result.

Here's how the groups played out:

Groups A-B | Groups C-D

Knockout Rounds

Our reward for dominating our group was a last eight tie with defending Olympic champions Italy U23s. They took an early lead as we struggled to get into the game, finally equalising just before the break. The second half was all us though with another PSG striker Joel Le Gall grabbing a brace and an assist as we won 4-1. Onto the semi-finals then and a favourable draw against Cameroon U23s. We controlled the match throughout and easily picked up a 4-0 victory to set up a gold medal clash with Brazil. What happened next will haunt me for the rest of my virtual managerial career. We were 2-0 up and cruising when Brazil pulled one back with 20 minutes left. We gallantly held on until our opponents suddenly grabbed an equaliser in stoppage time. We hit the post twice in extra time and had a shot cleared off the line before going to penalties. The shoot was poised at 4-4 when Brazil missed a spot-kick giving us the chance to claim gold. We missed... Brazil then scored with the first sudden death kick so we now had to score also to stay in it. We missed... Brazil took the gold 5-4 on penalties. :(

Knockout Tree

Still, it was a good tournament. France dominated the awards with Feynoord winger Mathias Bertin taking the Best Player gong, Marseille's De Martino named Best Goalkeeper, and seven players taking spots in the Dream XI.

Here's my record as U23s manager:

2024%20France%20Under%2023s_%20Schedule%20U23%20Schedule.png

Silver this time. I think it's time to move into senior international management now.

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2014-2024: A decade of virtual football management

FMF15-LOGO-WHITE.png

After the 2024 Olympics, I realised a decade of virtual time had passed since this career began so here's a quick recap of my career, how my former clubs have fared, and the winners of the major continental trophies and international tournaments (my long-term aim is to win as many of those as possible after all)

The Story So Far...

[b][u]Season[/u]  | [u]Club[/u]              | [u]Nation[/u]        | [u]League[/u]                       | [u]Position[/u]  | [u]Other Competitions[/u]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/b]
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10231091&viewfull=1#post10231091"]2014[/url]    | Assumption Untied | Thailand      | Division 2 (Bangkok & Field) | 4th       | N/A
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10352273&viewfull=1#post10352273"]2015[/url]    | Assumption Untied | Thailand      | Division 2 (Bangkok & Field) | Finalists | League Cup 1st QR; FAT Cup 1st Round
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10358229&viewfull=1#post10358229"]2016[/url]    | Assumption United | Thailand      | Thai Division One            | 13th      | League Cup 1st Round; FAT Cup 2nd Round
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10361806&viewfull=1#post10361806"]2016/17[/url] | Al-Ahli Saida     | Lebanon       | Second Division              | 8th       | N/A
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10362062&viewfull=1#post10362062"]2017/18[/url] | Al-Ahli Saida     | Lebanon       | Second Division              | 4th       | FA Cup 3rd Round
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10363312&viewfull=1#post10363312"]2018/19[/url][font=courier new] | Al-Ahli Saida     | Lebanon       | Second Division              | 1st       | FA Cup 1st Round
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10370806&viewfull=1#post10370806"]2019/20[/url][/font] |[font=courier new][font=courier new] Al-Ahli Saida     | Lebanon       | Premier Division             | 3rd       | FA Cup Semis
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10372471&viewfull=1#post10372471"]2020[/url]    | A.S. Magenta      | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur           | 5th       | Cup finalists 
[font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10374608&viewfull=1#post10374608"]2021[/url]    | A.S. Magenta      | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur           | 1st!!     | Cup WINNERS!
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories?p=10424039&viewfull=1#post10424039"]2022[/url][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new]    | A.S. Magenta      | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur           | 1st!!     | Cup WINNERS!
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories?p=10430834&viewfull=1#post10430834"]2023[/url]    | [font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new][font=courier new]A.S. Magenta      | New Caledonia | Division d'Honneur           | 1st!!     | Cup 3rd Round; O-League Semis[/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font][/font]

And my exploits on the international scene:

[font=courier new][b][u]Year[/u] | [u]National Team[/u][/b][b]     | [u]World Ranking[/u] | [u]Performance 
[/u]--------------------------------------------------------------------------[/b][/font][font=courier new][url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10369201&viewfull=1#post10369201"]
2019[/url] | Lebanon U23s      | N/A           | Asian Games Runners-up[/font][font=courier new]
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories...?p=10371013&viewfull=1#post10371013"]2020[/url] | Iran U23s         | N/A           | Olympic Games Quarter-finalists
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories?p=10424462&viewfull=1#post10424462"]2023[/url] | New Zealand U23s  | N/A           | Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament Winners
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories?p=10429283&viewfull=1#post10429283"]2023[/url] | Bahrain U23s      | N/A           | Asian Games WINNERS!!
[url="http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/422461-FM15-Where-the-Heck-s-It-Gone-A-hunt-for-lost-glories?p=10443446&viewfull=1#post10443446"]2024[/url] | France U23s       | N/A           | Olympic Games silver medallists
[/font]

Not exactly set the world alight so far but I do have two promotions, three league titles, two cups, and Asian Games gold to my name. :)

In terms of my target to win each of the six continental championships at club and international level, I have so far won none. :D It's a case of so close yet so far with AS Magenta as we are capable of reaching the final of the O-League but we are a long way from beating the NZFC sides yet. To hurry things along, I am keeping an eye out for any vacancies at Auckland Cİty or Team Wellington ;)

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2014-2024: A decade of virtual football management

FMF15-LOGO-WHITE.png

Here's a look at how my former employers are getting on.

1. Assumption United (Thailand)

220px-Assumption_United_F.C._logo_2014.jpg

I quit Assumption United in a huff after the board had expressed their disappointment that we had failed to reach our target of a mid-table finish in the Thai First Division. We had finished 13th out of 20 teams which seemed mid-table territory to me but I guess with six teams going down and us therefore only being two places above the drop zone, they disagreed...

Anyway, if they assumed the new manager would do better, they were most definitely wrong! My successor lasted a few months and was sacked with the club bottom of the table. They were then relegated that season and have been bounced around between the different regional second division groups ever since. They made it to the promotion stage in 2020 but have never been back to the play-offs and have no cup runs to speak of.

Things may be on the up though as they are currently being linked with a tycoon takeover...

2. Ahli Saida (Lebanon)

114952.png

When I left Ahli Saida, I had taken them up to the Lebanese Premier Division and kept them there, taking 3rd place and reaching the cup semi-finals in the process. They kept that form up the season after I left, finishing 4th and going on to win the Lebanese FA Cup! The next season saw them reach the second round of the AFC Cup but continental action meant they suffered in the league and narrowly avoided relegation. The last two seasons, they have finished in the bottom half but haven't really been in danger of going down.

Notable Youth Products

Not much to write about here. While my youth players in New Caledonia have become stars in the first team and picked up international caps, most of the YPs from Thailand and Lebanon are in the reserves or playing for lower league teams. One exception is my first YP, Thawit Jitsawat (YP1a). He's moved around a bit and is now on his seventh club but that club is Saraburi, currently challenging for the Thai Premier League title with Jitsawit a regular in defence.

2024 Profile | Career History

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2014-2024: A decade of virtual football management

And finally, a look at the wider picture of continental champions in club and international football over the last ten years:

Africa

Cup of Nations

2024%20Orange%20Africa%20Cup%20of%20Nations_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

CAF Champions League

2024%20Orange%20CAF%20Champions%20League_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

CAF Confederation Cup

2024%20Orange%20CAF%20Confederation%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Asia

Asian Cup

2024%20AFC%20Asian%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

AFC Champions League

2024%20AFC%20Champions%20League_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

AFC Cup

2024%20AFC%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Europe

UEFA European Championship

2024%20UEFA%20European%20Football%20Championship_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

UEFA Champions League

2024%20UEFA%20Champions%20League_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Europa League

2024%20UEFA%20Europa%20League_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

North America

Gold Cup

2024%20CONCACAF%20Gold%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

CFU Caribbean Cup

2024%20CFU%20Caribbean%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

CONCACAF Champions League

2024%20CONCACAF%20Champions%20League_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

CFU Caribbean Club Championship

2024%20CFU%20Club.png

Oceania

OFC Nations Cup

2024%20OFC%20Nations%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

O-League

2024%20OFC%20Champions%20League_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

South America

Copa America

2024%20Copa%20Ameacuterica_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Copa Libertadores

2024%20Copa%20Bridgestone%20Libertadores_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Copa Sudamericana

2024%20Copa%20Total%20Sudamericana_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Worldwide

World Cup

2024%20FIFA%20World%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

Confederations Cup

2024%20FIFA%20Confederations%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

FIFA Club World Cup

2024%20FIFA%20Club%20World%20Cup_%20History%20Past%20Winners.png

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Nice to see my youth players setting records...

2024%20YP9b%20goals%20record.png

...but somewhat baffling when one of them gets scouted by Zidane, boss of the French national side...

2024%20wtf.png

...especially as Fares Ferry is only a fringe player in my first team!

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