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[FM16] From Bottom to Glory: An Unemployed Career in Africa

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The month of June.

When the current football manager series starts feeling ****, and the wait for the new FM series begins.

This year isn’t any different. After beginning a new save, playing the friendly matches, working out the transfer target, I end up rage quitting after a while because it doesn’t seem interesting to me anymore.

So after a lot of thinking, to get back my interest in FM, I decided I will start an unemployed career. However, as I am impatient guy, I will confine the save to only one continent.

And that continent is Africa.

Why Africa you ask?

Well, it’s pretty simple. I have never played in Africa, so always had a wish to try out a save here.

The Aim

- Win the Africa Champions League

- Win the Africa Confederations Cup

Loaded Leagues

As only the South African Leagues are playable, I needed to use some editor data files to enable some other African Leagues. Thanks to classsen & lukafanzer (the official FM researcher for African football), I loaded the following leagues:

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The Manager

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To make this even more challenging, my chosen manager is a Djiboutian. Djibouti is in the bottom tier of African Football hierarchy, and one of the worst footballing nation in the world.

Can this unfortunate poor Djiboutian make history? I hope he can. :p

Wish me luck guys.

PS: This is my first unemployment career, so go easy on me.

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Left For Future Use

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Will be following this closely, always loved African saves! Also interesting seeing you make your manager Djiboutian hopefully as your rep increases you'll be able to get Djiboutian youth through your teams :)

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Thanks Makoto, good to see the guy interested whose San Marino saves are legendary. :) Yeah, I hope I get some Djiboutian youths in future.

Thanks Plumber.

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July 2015

After checking out the job center, I noticed that some international teams are wanting manager for their under 23 team for the upcoming African U23 Nations Cup. I don’t know why, but instead of applying for a club side, I decided to apply for them instead.

To my surprise, 4 days later…………..:lol:

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So many quality teams want me that I am in a dilemma, who should I manage?

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Why the Les Elephants? Well, to start with, I think they are the most powerful out of the four options, and I get to manage the new Manchester United Signing Eric Bailly.

After finalizing the paperwork, I went to job center again & applied for all the club sides. However, a lot of clubs were saying “Their Interview process is over” & a lot of clubs simply laughed off my interest. The only one who offered me an interview was an Angolan club named Desportivo da Huíla.

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But 3 days later.

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Let me just focus on my international team for now.

Anyway, first up is the Third Round of Africa U23 Cup of Nations, against Gabon U23.

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That was quite disappointing, we should have done better. We failed to clinch an away goal in the first leg. In the 2nd leg, we were 1-0 behind till 61 minutes. 2 quick goals from our substitute strikers sealed the match. It would have been a disaster if the mighty Ivory Coast failed to qualify.

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First Club Job

The month of August was boring. No match was scheduled for Ivory Coast U23. On the other hand, I was rejected by some of the clubs. Looks like the Djiboutian reputation is really affecting my career.

In the mean time, Nigerian club El-Kanemi who are lying in the 17th position of the league, just fired their manager.

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A relegation fight, well I don’t care anymore. I want a job now.

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The present condition of the point table:

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With 8 matches to go, we are still 5 point away from safety. Goal difference? Don't ask me anymore please. :mad:

The Squad:

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Yes, six, I have only 6 players are in the whole squad!! The transfer window is off, and the league doesn’t allow signing free players in this window too.

Fixture List:

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Almost all my next oppositions are in the top positions. The 2 matches which we can win are against Abia Warriors & Tarba, respectively lying in the 18th and last position of the point table. Let’s hope we can snatch a point or two from any big teams, and Giwa FC doesn’t get any more point.

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Survival

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I went with a 451 formation, with a rather conservative midfield selected. Basically, my approach was to “Park The Bus” and hope for the best. It didn’t work in the slightest, as we were brushed easily by both Akwa & Nasarawa Utd. After that, I changed my approach a bit, using a CM-A role in my midfield. It worked wonders, as we Sunshine Stars to a draw. Improved performances followed against Baysela Utd & Enugu Rangers, but we could not convert our performances into a draw.

A scrappy win versus fellow relegation candidate Abia Warriors took us to the same point as Giwa FC, who were still without a point since I took charge.

Due to fixture congestion, I decided to rest some players in the next match against league leader Dolphins. Surprisingly, we almost won the match if not for a last minute equalizer from them. That took us finally away from the relegation zone, as Giwa FC lost again.

The last match was against Ifeanyi Ubah, who didn’t win a single match this season.

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Survival ensure, thanks to Giwa FC, who helped us by losing all their final 12 matches of the season.

Final Point Table:

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Well, I do not think I have the capability to take this club to a next level. The finances are bad, there are not enough players in the club. The board doesn’t even my pleas to arrange a coaching degree for me. So, I decided that I would resign and look for another job.

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Always enjoy reading journeyman saves in less used leagues. Good luck in Africa

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Africa U23 Nations Cup

When I tried to choose the squad for this competition, it seems some of the players can not be chosen, as they are already selected for upcoming friendly matches for the main team. This includes Mande Sayouba, our main goalkeeper who is attracting interest from Serie A team Frosinone, Eric Bailly and Assane Gnoukouri, who plays for Inter Milan.

The final squad thereby stands:

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Friendlies:

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The match against was odd, we were inferior to them in possession. However, we took 30 shots compared to their zero. Defeat against South Africa was a major blow. Not to mention, this match has ended the international period of Thomas Toure, our best striker.

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But one injury was a blessing, as we can now call up our main goalkeeper.

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Group Stage:

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With a goal & an assist from our striker Adame Diakite, we managed to win our first match fairly easily. However…

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Our first choice right midfielder suffered a short injury. It’s not serious, if we do qualify, he can play in the semi-final, but he already had a low fitness before the start of the tournament. The situation will likely get worse now.

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Despite fielding a weaker main XI, we still managed to destroy underdog Uganda, therefore qualifying for the semi-final. Next stop, our toughest test yet, Ghana U23.

And again, another injury, to our best midfielder.

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Despite his injury, we did the job done.

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Full Group Stage Point Table:

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Semi-Final & Final:

We drew against Senegal U23 the host, and a powerful team in their own right.

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What a match! Manade Sayouba, the GK who is not supposed to be in the squad, saved our ass in the penalty shootout!

Again, two more injuries just have to occur before the final against Nigeria.

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While none of them were included my main XI, they would have been good options in the bench considering our fatigue level.

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Well, we still won it, despite being unable to fill up my substitute quota of the match. My first trophy came, rather quickly.

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Thanks for your comments tyler16 & apchivers.

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Good stuff with Ivory Coast U23. Enjoying reading this :D

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Lovely idea for a career thread, good luck (and good start!)

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Congratulations on the first bit of silverware. Will be interesting to see what club you end up moving on to.

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Thanks guys, it means a lot. :)

uglyghost, unfortunately, none. :( But I did get a new club soon.

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New Club

As there is no match for the under 23 team before the Olympics, I had to leave the post. Wish I will get a new U23 team to manage during the Olympics.

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After applying for a few jobs, I accepted a post where I will have the chance to win a silverware, instead of battling for relegation.

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Highlanders FC is a Zimbabwean football club based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, formed in 1926 that plays in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League. It is one of the biggest, most successful soccer teams in Zimbabwe and arguably the most supported team. Everywhere it plays it attracts big crowds. It is also known colloquially as iBosso or Siyinqaba which means “We are a Fortress”.

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In the latest Premier League, they achieved 4th position. With a little bit of luck and some good transfers, I hope I can achieve something big with this team.

The junior coaching & training facilities look decent for this level. Awkward thing is, the stadium is actually owned by an amateur team.

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The squad looks decent, although old. However most of the players’ contract will come to an end in a few days time. I have to sort out who will be worth a new contract.

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Oh, and surprisingly, we just got a Spanish team as our senior affiliate club.

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Nothing to be excited about though. We will not get any free loan player, and not even a single money!

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Echo what the others have said, love seeing saves in lesser-used/known leagues. :thup:

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Despite being the 4th most reputed club in Zimbabwe, the Board wanted us as winner in this season. Big pressure. As the board had no expectations for the cups, I guess I will sacrifice them for a better performance in the league.

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This is big! We can now scout any player residing in Africa. This will help us a lot to make proper recruitment, as Zimbabwe is not exactly blessed with talents.

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Ah bummer! :( This affected our club’s reputation too. We are now reputed as 1 star instead of 1.5 stars like before.

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What do you know! Our odd of winning the league is the same as Dynamo Harare & Caps Utd. Funny thing is how defending champion How Mine is rated as having the least chance to win the league. They have higher reputation than ours, although almost all their players left the club before the beginning of the season. Game bug perhaps?

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A 35000 capacity stadium, and 135 season ticket holders. *sigh*

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I am quite pleased with our transfers. A lot was released out of the club, and we managed to fulfill their positions by better players. Goalkeeping and striker are 2 positions where better players could have served us better, but there were hardly any good options available.

PS: First three signings, all strikers, they were finalized by the club before I arrived.

Teenage Hadabe, a 20-year-old who already earned 3 caps, was sent to Chicken Inn (what’s with the name!), for getting regular playing time. Tinashe, a 17-year-old midfielder won’t get any playing time in my star midfield, so was loaned out immediately after being singed for us. I will play one striker upfront, so no point of having 4 strikers in the squad. Moses was sent to loan for this reason.

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Nice results in the pre-season. The loss against Quelaton was unlucky, we totally dominated the match.

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You have seen what happens to the clubs when they punch above their weight in a season, like Southampton, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid.

Similar case happened with How Mine in Zimbabwe. They won the league last season, despite being a semi-pro club. The players got a reputation boost, and almost all decided to leave the club.

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They are now currently lying in the 5th position of point table, was thrashed 5-1 by Dynamo Harare.

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Pretty easy so far, apart from Caps UTD & Dynamo Harare, every club has a terrible squad.

However, in the next 7 days, I have to play two tough away matches against the two giants, and Chicken Inn, currently lying in the 4th position. :(

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Quite disappointing to be honest. We played quite good despite being in a foreign territory, but defensive mistakes and a bad performance from our main striker Jacob Muzokomba sealed the deal.

Another mention should go to Zimbabwean striker Murape, who is too good for this league. He already has 9 goals in the league, just playing 5 matches.

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Thank you!!

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Olympic is approaching, and I couldn't help managing another under 23 team again.

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Err...... You guys are the one who made me leave the job as there was no match.

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Who do you think you are South Africa?!

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On a different note, hot Dynamo Harare just slipped, against lowly FC Platinum, in their home. Good news for us.

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Just like I said, apart from Dynamo and Caps UTD, other clubs are just dross. Good thing that we didn't slip up against any of them. But we should have scored more against Buffalo.

While we scored first due to an own goal against Caps UTD,they slowly took control over the whole match. Not like we didn't create a lot of chances, but our finishing was atrocious. Their striker Rodrigo Mutuma was on fire, something our strikers failed to do that day.

The defense has been a worry, we are conceding a lot of goals, although I think it's more to do with our attacking approach.

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Finally, another under 23 post. Let's see what I can do this time.

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Ibrahim Kone, an Ivorian international left back who was signed on loan till 2 June, left the club. He was one of the best players of the team. He played 8 matches, scored 2 goals & 5 assists. I tried to offer him a contract, but he wanted a wage which we could not afford. Sewe suddenly removed him from transfer list & offered him a new contract. They also did not want to extend our loan deal. We now have to find a new first choice left back in place of him.

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Thankfully we did not slip up against any weak team, something Dynamo Harare & Caps UTD did. We have to maintain our consistency though, otherwise those two will catch up.

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On the other hand, my old club El-Kanemi is in trouble. Their manager got sacked, and they are lying in 18th position of the table, in relegation zone. I hope somehow they will survive.

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They also sold their best player, albeit for a big transfer fee. I was keen to bring him to Highlanders, but didn't have the financial resources to afford him.

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Nice idea for a career. :thup: Good luck in Zimbabwe and with Nigeria and the Olympics - use your overage picks wisely ;)

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I'm enjoying reading your thread. I'm going to give managing in Africa a go sometime, too.

When players bail out of a club en masse, like they did from How Mine, where do they end up going? Do they sign with other clubs, or do they float around as free agents, believing they're too good to play in Zimbabwe? I'd be curious to see what happens to them.

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Good start with Highlanders - hope you can keep it up.

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Hey guys, I had some personal problems, so could not play FM much, nor I could update here.

I already went till the last of 2017 in the game, will be updating them soon.

Thanks to all of you for your kind words.

 

On 7/11/2016 at 23:54, Greyfriars Bobby said:

I'm enjoying reading your thread. I'm going to give managing in Africa a go sometime, too.

When players bail out of a club en masse, like they did from How Mine, where do they end up going? Do they sign with other clubs, or do they float around as free agents, believing they're too good to play in Zimbabwe? I'd be curious to see what happens to them.


Two of the players were snatched by Dynamo, although Dynamo actually bought them via transfer fee. Four players were snatched by me free, and some of them signed for some of the other top tier clubs like CAPS Utd., Quealeton, ZRP etc. Quite a few signed for lower league teams, and the rest who could not get a club retired after a few months.

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Olympic 2016



 



A decent squad, not anything exceptional though. Ahmed Musa is the main man, alongside John Obi Mikel. I could have chosen another overage player instead of goalkeeper Austin Ejide, but there was no good under 23 goalkeepers available and I badly needed someone decent in front of the posts.


Friendlies:
 

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An exceptional result against Colombia Under 23. I was cursing the Nigerian FA for arranging a friendly against such a strong team, but our boys proved all wrong. Scoring three goals against a defense that boasts the likes of Santiago Arias, Jeison Murillo & Eder Alvarez Balanta is no bad feat!
 

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Another good result against a decent outfit. I am just hoping the players can carry this momentum into the Olympics.

Edited by abirdc

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Group Stage:

Nigeria 3 - 1 Mexico

Nigeria 1 - 1 Germany

Nigeria 5 - 1 Iran

We became group champion, in a group that has the defending Olympic Champion & the World Cup winner! I admit we were lucky against Germany, but if not for a late goal, we could have won that match!

 

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Quarter Final:

So who did we draw in the Quarter Final?

 

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And it has got to be my former team huh.

 

 

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It was an even battle till 74 minute, when Man City’s Chideibere Nwakali was sent off for earning a second yellow. We had to go all defensive and somehow could endure the attacks of Ivory Coast, taking the match to a penalty shootout.

Mikel stepped out to take the first penalty kick, and it was saved by Mande Sayouba, the keeper who was pivotal in winning my first trophy. However, Austin Ejide, the keeper who I was not sure about keeping in the team, saved Ivory Coast’s fourth & fifth penalty taken by Guillaume Daho & Wilfried Bony respectively. Ahmed Musa on the other hand scored our last penalty to send us to the Semi-Final!


We will be meeting USA in the Semi- Final.


Rest of the results
 

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Edited by abirdc

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Before the Semi-Final,
 

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It was actually a blessing in disguise. as Anderson would have missed the Semi Final due to suspension.

So what happened in the Semi Final?


Semi-Final:
 

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A test of our own medicine by USA. Julian Green who was exceptional throughout the match, was sent off in 79th minute. We pushed on, but our finishing wasn’t up to the mark. USA survived our onslaught, and took the match to penalty.

Despite missing the penalty against Ivory Coast, I again gave Mikel the chance for redemption. And again he missed, letting us down again. Despite Ejide saving three penalty shots, on the other side three more players of us missed their penalty, including Ahmed Musa, thereby throwing us out of the tournament.



Third Place Playoff:

 

 

 

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Nothing to do when you intended to park the bus against a team possessing Cristiano Ronaldo, Rui Patricio, Andre Gomes & Bernando Silva. And to do matters worst, we just had to  concede an own goal in the very first minute of the match.


The team, who finished behind me in group stage, ended up winning the whole tournament.

 

 

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Mallorca's Cedric Omoigui wasn't even my first choice striker, I preferred Man City's Kelechi Iheanacho over him. Kelechi had a disappointing tournament, failing to score a single goal, while this guy ceased the chance and got into the contention of the golden boot.

 

 

 

 

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Final Words:

Overall,I am sad that we were out by penalty against a team who played a significant amount of time with 10 men. But overall I would consider the tournament as a success. We exceeded expectations, when we were expected to go out of the first round.

 

 

Edited by abirdc

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Highlanders 2016 Season Last Update




Transfers:

Both of my main midfielders Eric Mudzingwa & Nqobizitha Musuku got injured for 2 months, so I decided to stretch the wage structure to sign these 2 guys.

Wisdom Mutasa
Abdul Wahab Abu Al-Hail

I had interest in Wisdom Mutasa for some time, it's just Karim Benounes was playing so good that I opted not to buy him. Abdul has terrific mental & technical attributes. Also just look at the amount of international caps he earned! And he is not even wanting that much of a wage.

As Ibrahim Kone left, I needed to buy a new left back. Asahi Nhongo wasn't as good, but he is a Zimbabwean international with decent attributes for this level. He was playing for the main XI in Caps Utd, so I was wondering why did they sell him to us so easily.



2016 Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League:

League Table



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With only five matches left, we needed to win all our remaining matches or pray that our adversaries slipped up. Instead, we drew against Hardbody which shifted us to the third. So our next match against Dynamo Harare became a do or die match.

And we somehow beat them for the first time this season, taking us to 2nd place. Caps Utd however won their match, and destroyed Triangle 5-0 in the next match. Their next match was against against FC Platinum (easy!), that too in home. Title was basically waving its hand towards them.

So after the 5-3 goal feast against Flame Lily, imagine my joy when I returned to the home page & saw that FC Platinum forced them into a draw.

Now we are in top, after 18 gameweeks! We just needed to beat ZRP FC in our last match to clinch the title.

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Kader Mohamed, the young manager from the puny Djibouti, has won his first club championship title.
 



Cup of Zimbabwe:

Embarrassingly, we crashed out of the cup in the first round, losing 2-0 to Buffaloes.


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Youth Candidates:

Horrible should be an understatement. Only Tonderei Chibwiro gets a contract, as 2 of our center defenders are retiring, and we needed some new players in this position.

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My previous club El Kanemi Warriors suffered relegation, after winning just 1 match in the whole season. :(

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Edited by abirdc

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Congratulations on the title! Looks like a thrilling finish, and it's good to see someone down the path less travelled. Will Mr Mohamed stick around in Zimbabwe or does the grass look greener elsewhere?

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Good showing at the Olympics though it was a shame you finished without a medal.

And congrats on winning the title! Sticking around for the CAF Champions League?

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I'm enjoying following this, well done so far :)

I might start something similar to be honest. I agree with you that FM16 is feeling 'boring' now, but something like this should be fun

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On 8/2/2016 at 14:01, EvilDave said:

Congratulations on the title! Looks like a thrilling finish, and it's good to see someone down the path less travelled. Will Mr Mohamed stick around in Zimbabwe or does the grass look greener elsewhere?

You will soon see :D

 

On 8/2/2016 at 14:06, DodgeeD said:

Good showing at the Olympics though it was a shame you finished without a medal.

And congrats on winning the title! Sticking around for the CAF Champions League?

Thanks, could have gone all the way with a bait of more luck, but I am happy with what I did.

Thank you again.

On 8/2/2016 at 17:46, SamL94 said:

I'm enjoying following this, well done so far :)

I might start something similar to be honest. I agree with you that FM16 is feeling 'boring' now, but something like this should be fun


I just can't wait for FM 17.

You can try something similar, although it's a pity that the database for Africa is less developed.

Edited by abirdc
typo

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I was not really sure about staying.

I mean I kind of lost the interest after winning the league, and it will take me a while to make the club powerful enough to compete in Africa.

When I was thinking about this, a board message appeared in my inbox.

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Plus this

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Not only did they decrease the scouting range, they also decreased the staff I can hire. It was a big problem, as I didn't renew the contracts with the existing staff yet because I was thinking I could get better staffs at the end of the season.

Most of the players are on full time contract for at least 2018, so I can survive this season. I already made the transfers for the next season too. However, what happens after that? I don't think most of my players will stick around for a part time contract, plus it makes foreign transfer tougher, as they won't leave their country for a part time job. Can I survive the title battle with Dynamo harare & Caps Utd?


The total coach number board will allow has been decreased to one only, so no youth development possible.

I plead with the board to retain our full time status, their answer was quite infuriating.

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So, unfortunately, this is an end.


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After attending a few interviews to get rid of my jobless life soon, I noticed that Cameroon National Team manager just resigned. I don't think I would suddenly get a big job, but no harm in applying for it right?


To my surprise, the media already made the little me a big candidate for the job.

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And it seems the Cameroon Board is interested too!!

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After some nervous time, they finally approached me.

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And how can I say no to this?

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However, one thing I just noticed from this version of Football Manager that, clubs tend to overlook the managers who are already working for an international team.

I was having talks with some clubs, an as soon as I became the manager of Cameroon, they withdrew their offers.

 

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