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[FM16] San Giovanni - A Sammarinese youth only challenge

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It's an amateur league so isn't that realistic?

I hadn't really thought about it before but it makes sense really.

Yeah, it makes sense to me. I'm just wondering if it will ever increase, or if it's hardcoded to stay at £0. It likely won't make a huge difference, any prize money from San Marino is peanuts in comparison to what Europe will hopefully give us :D

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Ooooooh!

I don't expect it to come to anything, but a possible 600k investment would sit very nicely with me :D

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For someone aged 23 to break the club's all time appearance records show just how crucial he's been to us - especially because the seasons are pretty short. Hopefully, he's nowhere near done.

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Not a good season for us in terms of transfers, as a lot of crucial depth has jumped ship. We now lack depth in pretty much every position, and a few injuries will massively derail us.

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Youth Intake Day!

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WOW!

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Oh.

He's not terrible, but I don't see how he's rated so highly by my assistant. He built my hopes up, only to have them crushed. He's not the only one to get tagged, however:

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I'm not sure how good Valentini will be, but I can't resist 11 marking - especially when we're a bit short on defenders.

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I would say that his stats aren't that great because he's either footed. I seem to remember on earlier FM's that if they had that trait, then the overall stats wouldn't be as good

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I would say that his stats aren't that great because he's either footed. I seem to remember on earlier FM's that if they had that trait, then the overall stats wouldn't be as good

Ahh, I hadn't even noticed! That combined with his (for this level) decent amount of pace probably explains it. Thanks for that :)

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Just a sneak peak of how this season's gone...

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How's that for domination? Out of the four player of the year frontrunners, three play for us, and the other spent most of the season at us before leaving in January.

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Campionato Sammarinese Final

Our Road to the Final:

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We breezed through the groups, looking untouchable at times and setting a new record for goals scored in a season, resulting in us winning our group for the first time. We had a little wobble in our first playoff game, but rebounded strong, looking very much like a title winning team.

Libertas' Road to the Final:

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Five wins out of five, however, is also title winning form. They entered the playoffs in the first round, but won every game, conceding just one goal in three games. Their defense will be heavily tested by a dominant San Giovanni attack, however, with two excellent strikers in Marco Gatti (YP15) and Michele Zafferani (YP2) to go along with two of the most dangerous wingers in the country, with Nicola Rattini's pace on the right being an excellent compliment to Marco Bernardi (YP1)s technical ability on the left.

Libertas have a few familiar faces in their team, with defenders Paolo Ciavatta (YP12) and Francesco Ferrara (YP10) fit for selection. They're a solid all round team, with no real stars or flaws. If they do have one dangerman, it's probably Luca Muraccini - the striker might not be able to run past you or beat you in the air, but his natural eye for goal has seen him net 8 times in just 14 league starts. San Giovanni have a strong defense, but one that's apt to have more than their fair share of bad games. Libertas are definitely the weaker team, and they just need to hope that San Giovanni have another nightmare at the back.

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The Lineups:

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We've gone with our 4-2-4 that's served us so well, while they've opted for a more defensive flat 4-4-2. It's our strongest team, but there's one noticeable player missing from theirs. Top scorer Luca Muraccini hasn't even made the squad, despite being fully fit. It makes sense when you look at his replacement, however - Filippo Berardi. Aged just 17 years old, he's probably a better player than Muraccini, but they're asking a lot of a youngster.

And we're underway!

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Remember how I said defensive mistakes would be the only thing that could stop us? Well, it happened. Daniele Podeschi (YP13) went to charge down a midfielder, leaving a massive hole down the right wing. Golinucci went to gather it, and BOTH our Centre Backs decided to go to stop him. From there, all he had to do was find an unmarked Berardi, who easily headed it home.

We were dominant after that, but just couldn't find a way through a determined Libertas defense. Marco Gatti (YP15) had a good chance, but was too slow to shoot, allowing a defender to get back and block it. Halftime came, and I absolutely tore into the team, screaming at their horrific performance on the most important night of the season. Did it work?

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YES!

51 minutes in, and our pressure finally paid off. Daniele Podeschi (YP13) made up for his mistake with a quick thinking throw on, finding Marco Bernardi (YP1) open down the left flank after the Libertas defense had switched off. There were four defenders around the penalty area, but Bernardi's cross dropped in the middle of all of them. Like it was predestined, the ball found Nicola Rattini, surrounded but open from four yards out. He made no mistake.

Rattini began to torment the Libertas defense, putting in a great ball to Michele Zafferani (YP2) that was only just cleared away.

Libertas began to shift extra men over to the right in an attempt to cover Rattini - meaning that, when Daniele Podeschi (YP13) got the ball down the left, he suddenly had lots of space. He played a delightful ball forward to Marco Bernardi (YP1), who squared it to Michele Zafferani (YP2) from two yards out. He couldn't miss. But he did. Somehow, Zafferani failed to put it either side of the goalkeeper, instead hitting it straight down the middle, allowing him to make the save.

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BUT HE COULDN'T STOP THE REBOUND FROM GOING IN!

Marco Gatti (YP15) suddenly found himself with the ball, six yards out and the goalkeeper in no-man's land. Unlike Zafferani, he didn't miss.

Gatti had another chance just two minutes later, but slipped the ball wide after being sent through one on one with the goalkeeper. Libertas were crumbling, but could San Giovanni take advantage and secure the win?

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Podeschi (YP13) may have helped with both our goals, but his horrific positioning also gave Libertas their two. Going in to make a tackle, he missed, and Golinucci again got wide open in the box. He crossed it to the back post, where Fiorini got away from Omiccioli to slot home.

San Giovanni instantly began another barrage, having a corner cleared off the line and then a header go narrowly over the bar just seconds later.

With 75 minutes on the clock, Michele Zafferani found himself clean through on goal. He fired wide.

We were going to extra time.

Suddenly, the ball bounced to Marco Gatti (YP15) in the penalty area. He was completely unmarked.

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De Angelis saved.

San Giovanni continued to dominate, but just couldn't find a way through. The match would be decided on penalties.

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Season Review

Campionato Sammarinese:

You've already seen this. We've lost in two finals now where we really shouldn't have, and these stupid losses are really hurting us.

Coppa Titano:

We failed to qualify through a tight group, coming bottom but being just one point off second.

Key Players:



Highest Average Rating:

Nicola Rattini - 7.56

This one was really close - Giacomo Mancini (YP9) got a 7.55, and Marco Gatti (YP15) got 7.54. It's great to see players other than Marco Berardi (YP1) stepping up, but could they win the league for once?



Top Goalscorer:

Marco Gatti (YP15) - 25

Youth prospects:

Superb. Especially considering how little my Assistant rates him...

Marco Bernardi (YP1) - Not quite as effective at LW, but still fantastic.

Michele Zafferani (YP2) - Played fairly well, but again cost us with his pathetic misses.

Nicola Romanelli (YP6) - Once again, good but not great.

Fabrizio Lo Russo (YP7) - Played well.

Giacomo Mancini (YP9) - Played well when he was healthy - missed a lot of time due to injury.

Christian Pelliccioni (YP11) - Fantastic.

Daniele Podeschi (YP13) - Learnt how to play LB surprisingly fast, meaning he can now actually be used. Played well, but two stupid mistakes cost us in the final.

Mattia Guidi (YP14) - 6.39 says it all. He's horrific.

Marco Gatti (YP15) - His first full season, and he absolutely smashed it.

Manuel Gentile (YP16) - My assistant might rate him 4.5* CA, but he's going to have to work for a place, because I don't rate him anywhere near as good as my current two wingers.

Matteo Valentini (YP17) - My defense disappointed me at times, so he'll be given a chance next year.

Aims for next season:

I'm so frustrated. If I don't win the league next year I'm going to smash something.

Other teams:

League Winners: Sigh.

Cup Winners: Murata beat Virtus 1-0 in the final.

How the team in CL qualifying did: Unfortunately Libertas couldn't make it 3 years in a row, losing 3-0 to E/B Streymur from Faroe Islands.

How the teams in Europa qualifying did: We got beat 7-1 by Beroe, while Murata lost 4-0 to Novi Pazar of Serbia.

San Marino National team:

2023 Results --- 2024 Results

Ouch. At least we put up a good fight against Lichenstein?

Caps for our players:

Marco Bernardi (YP1) is up to 39 caps. Michelle Zafferani (YP2) has 12, Nicola Romanelli (YP6), Giacomo Mancini (YP9) and Guiseppe Omiccioli all have 11, Daniele Podeschi (YP13) has 9, Christian Pelliccioni (YP11) has 7, Nicola Rattini has 3 and Fabrizio Lo Russo (YP7) has 1.

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Owning San Marino - now its time to start owning Europe!

Owning San Marino, but just not winning the big game :(

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I hope you made a good run in the European League Division D soon.:) At least, you're going to get good youth candidates in the future to make a better challenge for the next season!

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I hope you made a good run in the European League Division D soon.:) At least, you're going to get good youth candidates in the future to make a better challenge for the next season!

I'm hoping to pick up at least a point this time around, but it's not going to be easy.

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Youth Intake Day!

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It doesn't look great, but after our assistant rated Manuel Gentile (YP16) 4.5* CA, I don't trust his judgement, so lets take a look at the best player:

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5'11 is small, but I can get over it. What I can't get over is 6 marking and 6 strength, so he's probably just depth for now. A disappointing intake.

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Pretty impressive, considering none of the players make anything from football and 8-0 is basically par for the course.

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We've made it to our third final in the club's history, and the second in a row. Will this be the year we finally win it and reach the Champions League qualifiers?

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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

We were the better team, but failed to really create any clear chances. They gave us a real scare in the 87th minute, when a ball from the halfway line went over Lo Russo's head and hit the crossbar, allowing their striker to tap home - but the offside flag was up. About a minute after we took the lead from a corner, our goalscorer saved us. The exact same thing happened, and their striker was onside this time - but Valentini made a heroic block to keep them out. We've finally made it!

Other managers seem to be really interested in our players...

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Season Review

Campionato Sammarinese:

Table

Schedule

We absolutely dominated from start to finish, and finally won it! La Florita were a real thorn in our side, but we ultimately managed to see them off twice in extra time.

Coppa Titano:

Table

Schedule

More domination, although we again needed extra time to win the final. Still, it's our first double!

Key Players:



Highest Average Rating:

Marco Gatti (YP15) - 7.86

An insanely high average rating, and it's well deserved, scoring over a goal a game.



Top Goalscorer:

Marco Gatti (YP15) - 36

Youth prospects:

Absolutely smashed our previous scoring records.

Marco Bernardi (YP1) - Played LW again, and put in some very good performances.

Michele Zafferani (YP2) - Played well, but was overshadowed by his strikepartner.

Nicola Romanelli (YP6) - Had his best year for us. A solid presence at CB.

Fabrizio Lo Russo (YP7) - A really good keeper.

Giacomo Mancini (YP9) - One of our key players with a 7.73 average rating, but I think he perfectly epitomizes just how hard this challenge is going to be. If you look at his stats, you probably wouldn't sign him for a Conference North/South team - and we're going to be competing in the Champions League.

Christian Pelliccioni (YP11) - 7.72 average rating, forming an excellent CM duo with Mancini. However, like Mancini, his stats are pretty diabolical.

Daniele Podeschi (YP13) - Left us for Murata. If he had been a little taller, who knows what could have been.

Mattia Guidi (YP14) - He's been so bad in the past, I didn't use him once all year. He might be released soon.

Marco Gatti (YP15) - What a player.

Manuel Gentile (YP16) - Gametime was limited for him, and he didn't impress at all when he did play.

Matteo Valentini (YP17) - Had a great year, topped off by scoring the winning goal in the league final.

Michele Pelliccioni (YP19) - He's going to have to be patient in waiting for his chance.

Special mention:

I didn't tag Nicola Rattini, but he's far and away our best player in my opinion, and maybe the only one who could actually cut it away from San Marino.

Aims for next season:

Now that we've made the Champions League, there's no excuse to not make it again. Something that I somehow missed was that we seem to have moved up in terms of seeding, because Libertas entered in the Second Qualifying Round, rather than the First. I'm expecting to get battered in it, but I'm excited just to be there.

Other teams:

League Winners: :D

Cup Winners: :D

How the team in CL qualifying did: Libertas had a really hard draw, and did well to only lose 5-1 to Molde.

How the teams in Europa qualifying did: We got beat 8-1 by Debrecen. We did better than Murata, who somehow lost 8-0 to Torpedo Zhodinho (what a name!) from Belarus. Cosmos went one worse, losing 9-0 to Dundee United.

San Marino National team:

2024 Results --- 2025 Results

We somehow managed to win a game 4-3, but it was much of the same apart from that.

Caps for our players:

Marco Bernardi (YP1) has 45, Michele Zafferani (YP2) has 15, Guiseppe Omiccioli has 14, Giacomo Mancini (YP9) and Nicola Romanelli (YP6) have 13, Christian Pelliccioni (YP11) has 11, Nicola Rattini has 9, and Marco Gatti (YP15), Ernesto Di Donato and Fabrizio Lo Russo (YP7) all have 2.

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I think it's safe to say I haven't quite warmed to international management yet...

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Apparently we are in the First Round, and we got a decent draw against Pyunik. There were three teams we could have drawn, and they're easier than Cliftonville, although harder than Ordino of Andorra.

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I started out with a 4-3-3 (3 CMs, 2 wingers and a loan striker in Marco Gatti (YP15), but switched to my more attacking 4-4-2/4-2-4 as we searched for an away goal. Michele Zafferani (YP2) rewarded me, coming off the bench to poke home a Marco Bernardi (YP1) cross at the near post, and giving us a decent chance of progressing.

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Oh, what could have been...

We started off excellently, scoring after just 12 minutes through Michele Zafferani, his shot from the edge of the area kissing the post on it's way in. We continued to batter down the door, but just couldn't score a second, and were punished for it. They pulled level, and then the gamechanger: Giuseppe Omiccioli got himself sent off just before half time, with his red card coming just four minutes after his first yellow. We were still the better team with ten men, but they took advantage of the gap his dismissal left, and we continued to miss too many chances. Europe is over for this year, but we didn't embarrass ourselves.

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We scored! Even better, Marco Gatti (YP15) got his first ever National Team goal.

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Youth Intake Day!

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Ooooooh!

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11 tackling and 8 marking is fantastic for this level. He isn't the fastest, but he looks really good - not to mention that we needed a FB!

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15 tackling is just phenomenal. I'm going to train him at LB - he's small, bad in the air, and we aren't that strong at FB.

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15 reflexes and 15 handling is unbelievable. His other stats let him down, and he'll be on one on one training for the foreseeable future. I reckon he could take our #1 shirt from Lo Russo soon.

EDIT: Scratch that. We can't train him on just one on ones, presumably because my training facilities aren't good enough yet?

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Marcello Manfredi (YP22) also gets the tag. He's not too fast for a winger, but 13 dribbling and 14 flair enticed me.

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Matteo Moretti has a combination of decent pace, crossing and dribbling without really excelling in any one area. He won't get the tag, but it might be worth keeping an eye on him.

I'm absolutely delighted with this intake. We didn't get one outstanding player, but rather four who should all be excellent contributors for me, and two who will probably become instant starters next season.

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How did our Under 19s fare against the Youth Candidates?

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Things are looking good!

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Season Review

Campionato Sammarinese:

Table

Schedule

We didn't dominate the regular season, but breezed through the playoffs for our second consecutive win.

Coppa Titano:

Table

Schedule

Absolutely breezed through, going unbeaten with just one draw.

Key Players:



Highest Average Rating:

Michele Zafferani (YP2) - 7.99

Our best ever average rating, and he just dominated some games - including getting 5 goals and an assist en route to a perfect 10.0 rating in the Semi Final of the League.



Top Goalscorer:

Michele Zafferani (YP2) - 29

Youth prospects:

Did even better than Marco Gatti (YP15) last year.

Marco Bernardi (YP1) - Still superb.

Michele Zafferani (YP2) - Had an unreal season.

Nicola Romanelli (YP6) - A really important player for us.

Fabrizio Lo Russo (YP7) - Solid as always.

Giacomo Mancini (YP9) - 7.84 average rating - incredible.

Christian Pelliccioni (YP11) - Great, but not as good as his CM partner.

Mattia Guidi (YP14) - No picture, as he again didn't feature for us.

Marco Gatti (YP15) - Went 10 hours without scoring a goal at one point. He was good, but nowhere near as good as last season.

Manuel Gentile (YP16) - Did fairly well when he played.

Matteo Valentini (YP17) - Played well.

Michele Pelliccioni (YP18) - I gave him plenty of chances to impress, but he didn't take any of them.

Pier Marino Valentini (YP19) - Going to be my first choice RB next season.

Giacomo Rosti (YP20) - Will get a chance to start at LB, but I'm not sure whether he's ready for Europe yet.

Luca Conti (YP21) - Going to be my backup goalkeeper, and really needs to improve his one on ones before I can trust him.

Marcello Manfredi (YP22) - Down the pecking order, but he'll hopefully get a chance at some point.

Special mention:

Nicola Rattini - Again, in my opinion absolutely miles ahead of the rest of the squad in terms of ability.

I'd also like to point out Mattia Arzilli, San Marino's one player that plays outside of San Marino. He plays in the Serie B, and does a good job there. I feel bad he has to play for San Marino...

Aims for next season:

With hopefully two new FBs and the way we played last season, I'm really optimistic that we can win our First Round Qualifier. Domestically, I now expect to win everything.

Other teams:

League Winners: :D

Cup Winners: :D

How the team in CL qualifying did: We played well, but Pyunik managed to beat us 4-2.

How the teams in Europa qualifying did: La Florita lost 6-0 to Ross County, Domagnano lost 5-1 to Lechia from Poland and Libertas lost 7-0 to Kairat from Kazakhstan.

San Marino National team:

2025 Results --- 2026 Results

Don't ask.

Caps for our players:

Marco Bernardi (YP1) has 54, Nicola Romanelli (YP6) has 20, Christian Pelliccioni (YP11) has 18, Michele Zafferani (YP2) has 17, Nicola Rattini and Giacomo Mancini (YP9) have 15, Marco Gatti (YP15) has 7, Ernesto Di Donato has 6, Manuel Gentille (YP16) has 4 and Fabrizio Lo Russo (YP7) has 2.

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I would love to play Naxxar Lions, but I fancy our chances against everyone, except possibly Avenir Beggen.

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And we get the team who nearly knocked out West Ham of the Europa League in real life! I'm looking forward to this, I like our chances.

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I was optimistic, but I wasn't expecting this. We absolutely destroyed them! Nicola Rattini got two assists and a goal, Marco Gatti (YP15) got three assists and two goals for a 9.7 rating, while Michele Zafferani got 4 goals along with an assist, earning a 9.9 rating. It's a little disappointing they only had two shots but scored both of them, and I'll be monitoring Pier Marino Valentini (YP19) in the return leg, as he got a 6.1 and was the only player under a 7. Other debutant Giacomo Rosti (YP20) had a 7.8 match rating.

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Maribor are the easiest team we could have drawn, but they're still a great team. They haven't failed to get past the Second Qualifying round since 2015/16 (10 years ago), and they've appeared in the Europa League group stages twice. I don't think we've got much of a chance, but let's see.

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They were by far the better team, but I'm really proud with how we played. We restricted them for much of the game, and actually created a lot of good chances ourselves - nearly all our shots were either half chances or clear cut chances, and we scored an offside goal late on. We're pretty much out, but it was a really pleasing performance.

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We marked poorly at times, and they were clinical. I'm still happy with our performance in Europe this year (15-2!). The money we've got might even help us turn professional.

EDIT: Or not. The board don't have the confidence in me at the moment - despite the fact I've taken us to our first ever league glory (twice), won the cup a few times and just destroyed a team in the Champions League? I'm starting to wonder if there's a bug with the board's confidence in this database - when I win the league, the end of season review tells me that I've done a bad job in only managing to secure Continental Qualification. I also get messages along the way saying "the board are disappointed that the club are only on course to secure Champions League Qualification through their performance in the league this season. Hmm.

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Youth Intake Day!

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It doesn't look great, but after our assistant rated Manuel Gentile (YP16) 4.5* CA, I don't trust his judgement, so lets take a look at the best player:

21122a525399aac0d28490c1cb76a2f2.png

5'11 is small, but I can get over it. What I can't get over is 6 marking and 6 strength, so he's probably just depth for now. A disappointing intake.

Up his work rate and retrain him as a DM

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So Airbus knocked TNS off the perch in Wales? :eek:

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It's even more dominating than before! I hope you eye your first-ever international game win with San Marino ASAP.:)

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Up his work rate and retrain him as a DM

That's a really good idea, I think I'll do that. Thank you!

So Airbus knocked TNS off the perch in Wales? :eek:

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TNS have been fairly dominant, but pretty poor for their standards. They didn't even make the top 3 in 2016/2017. They'd won the last four with Airbus only coming in second place once, so it's interesting that Airbus have just taken the last two titles. It'll be interesting to see what happens next season, but with them still only a Semi-Pro club I wouldn't be surprised if TNS take over once again.

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It's even more dominating than before! I hope you eye your first-ever international game win with San Marino ASAP.:)

Thank you for your continued support :) We did actually manage to win one game, 4-3 against Armenia. Apart from that though, things haven't gone all that well.

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Hi !

I read this story, and like your clearly writing style.

Very hard challange (only clubs youth intake).... I played San Marino challange once in FM15, but too short time, only 5 seasons, but i have this save, maybe will continue one day.

Now i would like to play weak league(not with san marino club Serie A,B...). San Marino and Andorra are most difficult because you need 25 years to gain their nationality, so the national team depend only of youth intake. Gibraltar takes 3 years, and Malta 5 years for nationality.

I didn't like that you mentioned problems with that database = chairman didn't like your results even if they are perfect in the last season, or two.

In the case you get sacked, you can calmly add another manager and continue.

btw. In weak leagues the more important atributes are physical.

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Hi !

I read this story, and like your clearly writing style.

Very hard challange (only clubs youth intake).... I played San Marino challange once in FM15, but too short time, only 5 seasons, but i have this save, maybe will continue one day.

Now i would like to play weak league(not with san marino club Serie A,B...). San Marino and Andorra are most difficult because you need 25 years to gain their nationality, so the national team depend only of youth intake. Gibraltar takes 3 years, and Malta 5 years for nationality.

I didn't like that you mentioned problems with that database = chairman didn't like your results even if they are perfect in the last season, or two.

In the case you get sacked, you can calmly add another manager and continue.

btw. In weak leagues the more important atributes are physical.

Thank you! Because it takes 25 years to gain nationality, you're right - we can't sign great players as the league improves and get them registered for San Marino, which would make the challenge much easier.

Hopefully confidence doesn't really become an issue, because I should be winning the league nearly every year. However, if the board keep rejecting my requests to turn Semi-Professional because of it, that's a different matter.

I agree with you about physical attributes being great. Nicola Rattini is lightning fast, and absolutely tears it apart domestically.

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Good stuff, reminds me of my FM15 youth-only Belarus career, only even smaller (I still miss it a lot :()

Can I ask if you struggle with all defenders/midfielders/forwards having the same duty? Seems as though it works domestically but against bigger teams like Maribor you would risk giving away too much space.

Keep going, that CL group stage will come around soon I think!

Thank you :) I think that it possibly does have a negative impact on us, reducing our options going forward and limiting our creativity. I've tried to counteract this by having them as different roles (such as using a DLF so one striker sits deeper) but we possibly would be better off with different duties, and I'll likely change it soon. The main reason I keep it like this, however, is that all my players are pretty terrible. My fullbacks can hardly defend, let alone go forward, so keeping them on defend at least means we have bodies back to help deal with opposing attacks. The CMs aren't good defensively, but keeping them on support stops us from throwing too many men forward. Hopefully, I'll soon get some players who specialize a bit more in a certain area rather than being pretty average all round, but until then I think I'll be keeping things as they are.

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Lovely career.

Strong support from San Marino HR ;)

Wow, thank you so much! Can I ask how you go about researching the San Marinese league? There's next to no information out there about it on the web, so is most of it done first hand by going to the games?

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