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iacovone

*** When will you realise...Andorra waits for you *** [FM16 youth challenge]

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Well, not the worst match against Dinamo in history!:( And also, the injury on Miguel Castro wasn't looked good. Everytime I see a Dinamo victory was a massive nightmare! I hope you do something to stop Dinamo in the future. By the way, I'm hoping you get the ticket to the Europa League group stage at the same time.

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Well, not the worst match against Dinamo in history!:( And also, the injury on Miguel Castro wasn't looked good. Everytime I see a Dinamo victory was a massive nightmare! I hope you do something to stop Dinamo in the future. By the way, I'm hoping you get the ticket to the Europa League group stage at the same time.

Thanks sherwinriga, I just dread the CL draws now :D. It'll genuinely take a miracle to beat West Ham...

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Predicted a defeat but to lose 7-0 away was humiliating. I'm not sure quite what's gone wrong in Europe this year but it's been embarrassing.

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Oh, no. That's unfortunate to be honest.:( Then hopefully, you moved on to win games in Andorra in the World Cup qualifiers. I'm hoping to see at the end of the Champions League and Europa League tournaments to determine who would win these cups. Also, what happened to the other Andorran teams in the Europa League?

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Ooh good point, I forgot to update you on that front.

So in the Europa League, Lusitanos lost 5-1 to Poland's Lech Poznan in the first qualifying round - tough draw, but a bad result. Sant Julia lost 5-0 to Swizterland's FC Zurich at the same stage - again, tough draw but urgh, bad result.

And in the second qualifying round Santa Coloma lost 5-0 to Slovenia's NK Maribor.

Not a good year for Andorran clubs in Europe

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Each Andorran club shipping 5 goals (or more, in your case) :(

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Each Andorran club shipping 5 goals (or more, in your case) :(

It's really not been a good year :(. Guess it's going to take longer for the improvements on the domestic scene to translate into Europe

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Slovakia vs Andorra (World Cup Qualifying Group 1)



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Hmmm. Not good at all. We turned up with a fairly defensive formation but were taken apart by Slovakia's front three. This is a pretty significant blow as it means we're going to probably have to beat them at home to claim 4th spot.

San Marino vs Andorra (World Cup Qualifying Group 1)

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Interesting game. We conceded early (to San Marino ffs) and they hit the woodwork twice straight after. Thankfully we picked it up and came out of it with a vital three points. Still, really feels like Andorran football has taken a backwards step this year :(

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Despite my sadness, the win over San Marino does leave us in 4th spot with four games to go. We really need to get a result at home against one of Romania or Czech Republic before the final two games away at Turkey and home to Slovakia.

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We've dropped from 121st at the end of last season but have at least climbed slightly since the last set of games in June.

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Andorra vs Czech Republic (World Cup Qualifying Group 1)





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Well you can't say we don't entertain! The Czechs were topping the group before they came here but we gave them a bit of a scare even without Castro (damaged cruciate ligaments) and Munoz (broken ankle). Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough as a second half splurge put them out of reach and we fell to defeat.

Andorra vs Romania (World Cup Qualifying Group 1)



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Cracking result to be honest. We took a bit of a pummelling but Pascual in goal played brilliantly to preserve a very, very rare clean sheet.

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So that draw with Romania ensured we stayed in the battle for fourth and it looks as if it'll go down to the final game against Slovakia. More on that very soon!

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That point saw us move into a record high position in the Fifa rankings so I have to be pleased. Look at Central African Republic though! 122 to 78! That's what happens when you beat Zambia and Angola apparently :D

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Turkey vs Andorra (World Cup Qualifiers Group 1)


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This was always going to be a tough ask with Turkey still chasing qualification but we did really well to hold them off for so long. At 0-0 at half time I felt like we could maybe leave Istanbul with a point but that proved to be too hopeful as we conceded a penalty early in the second half. Turkey went on to comfortably beat us.


Andorra vs Slovakia (World Cup Qualifiers Group 1)

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So to the final game of the campaign. We trailed Slovakia by three points meaning only a win would seal 4th place and things looked promising after Sergi Jiminez's header put us 1-0 up. At this point I couldn't see us losing it but oh how wrong I was. A proper mix-up after half-time pulled Slovakia level and our old friend the penalty came back to kill us again.

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So that's it; World Cup qualifying over for another four years and no major progress. We won the two games we were expected to win and picked up a point against second-place Romania - a very good result actually - but in terms of real progression we didn't do enough losing twice to our closest rivals Slovakia. Still I'm getting a feel for international management now and reckon I'm close to finding the right formation. Hopefully I keep my job!

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Oh and this happened in the final game meaning he's going to miss most of Massana's domestic season :(.

OH! Also, Garrido (above) and Miquel Velasco (our 16-year-old LB) have both asked to leave and move to a bigger club. They're two of our best four prospects under the age of 20 so this would be a MASSIVE blow if I have to sell them :(
Edited by iacovone

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Zagreb seem to be the arch-enemy of youth save teams this year.

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Zagreb seem to be the arch-enemy of youth save teams this year.

Big time. They seem to relentlessly churn out superstars - their squad is so much better than it should be :D

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Glad this thread seems to have had its formatting sorted since the forum update, didn't want to see this career update on the scrapheap! 

 

KUTGW :)

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Youth Intake - 2030

 

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Ta-da! Switched up the HoYD and bam! We get our first exceptional prospect in a long time. And oh my, he looks like he might even be the best yet!

 

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Here he is. Jorge Portilla, an attacking midfielder, six foot four, great vision, passing, teamwork, good set-pieces, professional personality, determined, quick enough, fit, good leap and a potential captain. He's brilliant and best of all he's 14! 

 

Instead of flooding the page with images here, I'm going to list the other five players I took into the academy. Everyone else was released (as is policy. The good thing with having 14-year-old grads is that you can bring in a few each year and still have a full U18s - I try to keep about 18 in the youth team at all times). 

 

Jorge Santos (YP30b) - he's the second highest rated player in this year's intake but I'm not blown away by him. Should be a decent back-up. 

Francisco Garcia (YP30c) - similar story here. Decent potential but still haven't been given the defender we need to push us on. 

Juan Cano (YP30d) - he's only rated 1.5* potential by my assistant but I reckon he could be pretty good. He has stats in the right areas for a CM, just needs to improve his personality.

Edu Guirado (YP30e) - I reckon he might be the best left-winger in this intake.

Diego Martinez (YP30f) - a reasonable striker. Doubt he'll ever be first team but useful in the reserves and youth team.

 

So that's it. One standout potential superstar and a bunch of reasonable prospects. I'm going to say this was one of our best intakes - maybe the best since Munoz came through...

 

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2 hours ago, Tullem said:

Glad this thread seems to have had its formatting sorted since the forum update, didn't want to see this career update on the scrapheap! 

 

KUTGW :)

 

I'm so relieved too Tullem! The font size on a couple of posts is off so I'll sort that at some point, but yes, career is still here and I've got a lot of updates coming today to catch us up! 

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Andorra vs Ukraine (Friendly) 

 

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This was our first match of 2030 before the European League groups were drawn and looked like a pretty big test on paper. In reality, it was a great back and forth game and one in which we took a deserved point thanks to Munoz! The team's starting to come together now and I gave Portilla (YP30a) a debut at the age of 14 :D. So he now holds that record - perhaps forever... 

 

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So here's our draw for the European League - pretty good IMO. Having Estonia in there is far better than having Montenegro and we've beaten Liechtenstein and Faroe Islands in the past so I'm cautiously optimistic here.

Edited by iacovone

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2029-30 Season Review

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Competition Overview

 

Top goalscorer: Jose Perez (YP26c) - P45, G52, A8, Rat: 7.74

Fans' Player of the Year & Highest Average Rating: Noa Le Breton (YP24a) - P46, G14, A18, Rat: 8.07

Notable Impact: Paco Pascual (YP26a) - P45, G4, A9, Rat: 7.95

 

Squad | Facilities | Overall Stats | Finances | Club Info | End of Season Awards | Overall Best XI

 

GENERAL CONSENSUS: 

 

Tough old season. After reclaiming the title last year, it quickly became apparent we were up against is this season after Lusitanos' brilliant signing of clinical striker Parra. We did well to keep pace with them all year but they just wouldn't drop points, eventually becoming the first Andorran Invincibles! So it means we're in the Europa League again next year - not necessarily a bad thing; we should have more of a hope of progress there. 

 

As for Europe this year, we dropped into the Europa playoffs where we were humiliated by West Ham, losing 8-0 on aggregate. Turns out that wasn't too bad in the end - West Ham finished runner-up!

 

The only trophy we won this year was the Super Cup, after somehow blowing a first leg 4-0 lead in the Andorran Cup, bowing out to Carroi 7-4 on aggregate... 

 

On a personal level, Jose Perez secured his status as the club's No.1 striker - perhaps harsh given Carlos Pereira bagged 49 goals the year before. But given I've switched us up to a 4-2-3-1 formation now, there can only be one! And so elsewhere the big challenge is convincing superstar left-back he should stay at the club. For some reason Miquel Velasco (YP28a) thinks he should join a bigger club. He's only 16 ffs!

 

You may remember me talking about Lusitanos signing Juan Carlos Parra, a striker far, FAR, too good for this league. Well, he ended up scoring 58 goals in 45 games and picked up the European Golden Shoe too :D. Here he is

 

OTHER BUSINESS: 

 

Nothing major this year but UE Santa Coloma, Les Bons & Gymnastic Valira all turned professional in the summer

 

FAREWELL: 

 

We waved goodbye to back-up right back Jose Dominguez. He played 140 league games for the club. 

 

NATIONAL TEAM:

 

Not what I'd call a great year for Andorra. I'd hoped to see us take 4th in our World Cup qualifying group but it wasn't to be this time. Portilla did set a new record...

 

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SARRIO WATCH:

He spent his second year at Levante and played more games than ever, but could only muster 11 goals in 34 appearances. Not great but then he's never shown himself to be a great goalscorer. Still he seems happy here now. At least he's playing!

 

MUNOZ WATCH: 

I managed to miss a screenshot of Munoz after his loan at Trabzonspor but here he is immediately on his return. He scored 14 in 29 in Turkey - not a bad return at all but has been transfer listed upon landing back in Paris. Let's see where he ends up!

Edited by iacovone

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I seem to have missed the club rankings screenshot but we dropped 14 places to 174th (see below). 

 

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Bit of a mixed year in the end. The club ranking dropped heavily, the average attendance failed to grow for the first year in ages and the national team ranking dropped too. That said, the competition has risen to the highest 1.5* league in the world. One more push and we'll be 2* and then who knows where we go next...! The TV money is already at a great level. 

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Screen%20Shot%202016-07-27%20at%2013.30.

 

Easy draw in the first qualifying round of the Europa League...

 

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As I said, EASY!

 

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Our reward was a trip to Armenia to face Pyunik in the second qualifying round. This felt like a good draw. 

 

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Probably more convincing than I expected to be honest!

 

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To the third qualifying round, where we're off to Bosnia. This will be a tougher test but we could have drawn APOEL so this feels like a win...

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Meanwhile in transfer news...

 

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Munoz is a wanted man!

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As predicted, this was much tighter. I did feel confident after a 3-3 draw in Bosnia though and to be honest the second leg was more comfortable than the slim scoreline might suggest. 

 

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We could have had Marseille or Sampdoria here so it's definitely the best draw for us. Still, I don't expect us to beat the Greek giants.

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Screen%20Shot%202016-07-28%20at%2000.45.

 

And Munoz has completed his PSG exit, opting to join Schalke in the Bundesliga. He's had quite the world tour now - Andorra, Greece, France, Belgium, Turkey, Germany :)

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So that's about where we're up to now! Sorry to spam the thread but hopefully you can digest that in a bit and we can get back to more regular programming!

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Ah yes to update you on the other Andorran clubs in Europe:

Champions League: Title-winners Lusitanos lost 3-1 to Bulgaria's Ludogorets in the 2nd qualifying round, knocking them out of Europe completely.

Europa League: 3rd-place Sant Julia lost 3-1 to Serbia's Borac Cacak in the 1st qualifying round. Cup winners FC Encamp beat Lithuanian side Suduva Marijampole 9-2 before losing 3-2 to Czech outfit Slovan Liberec. 

Not the worst showing this year thanks to Encamp's mini-run to the 2nd qualifying round of the Europa but once again we're flying the flag for Andorran football!

Edited by iacovone

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Screen%20Shot%202016-07-28%20at%2012.03.

 

Umm. This was unexpected. We were 2-0 down after five minutes!

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Screen%20Shot%202016-07-28%20at%2012.39.
Pretty stunned to have won in Greece! This may well be our best result in my time as Massana boss. EIGHT against Panathinaikos!? Madness

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This is hugely welcome after a few lean years in Europe. It's the first time we've qualified for the Europa group stage since 2026-27 (four seasons ago) where we faced Feyenoord, Hannover and Saint Etienne. 

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Similar quality of opposition this time around and we'll do well to pick up any points at all to be honest. Nice challenge though - we're definitely better equipped this time. 

Edited by iacovone
spacing

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In case anyone missed my youth intake from this season, this is how Portilla looks after a few months of first team football. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep him but my word, he's incredible! Best player we've had I reckon. 

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Great career thread, Iacovone!

It really makes me want to get back into an FM career. Always find your careers inspiring.

What was behind the decision to change to 4-2-3-1? Are you going to do the same with the national team?

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Estonia vs Andorra (European League Division D, Group 3)

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The toughest game first? Ok, we'll deal with that. Estonia are the highest ranked team in our group so naturally a trip to Talinn would be the biggest test. And well, I didn't really expect us to win it - a draw maybe - but that man Munoz bundled one home to give us the perfect start.

Andorra vs Liechtenstein (European League Division D, Group 3)

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Piece of p***. I switched us to two up top and Munoz and Castro ran riot in there, dismantling a poor Liechtenstein side and recording Andorra's biggest ever win!

Faroe Islands vs Andorra (European League Division D, Group 3)

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Another thumping victory, this time away in the Faroes. Castro and Munoz again had their way with the North Sea minnows as we cemented our position at the top of Group 3. 

Estonia vs Andorra (European League Division D, Group 3)

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And so to the reverse fixture against Estonia. The only way we wouldn't secure promotion was if we lost this game and well, we didn't :D. Ferran Rocha (really not very good and no longer at Massana) had a blinder, and was well supported on the other flank by Arroyo and Garrido from deep. Essentially, we battered them. 

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So that leaves us in an unassailable position at the top of our group. It should do wonders for our ranking and lead to a much more competitive set of games in the next season of the European League. 

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6 minutes ago, crouchaldinho said:

Great career thread, Iacovone!

It really makes me want to get back into an FM career. Always find your careers inspiring.

What was behind the decision to change to 4-2-3-1? Are you going to do the same with the national team?

Thanks mate, good to see you around! So the switch to 4-2-3-1 was partly because of Portilla coming through the academy - I want to build the team around him and AMC is his home. We also have Garrido, another older youngster who's natural position is second striker so he offers a good alternative there too. 

As for the national team I've found you need to be really flexible at international level. You can't just plug in a formation that's worked well at club level and expect it to work so I kind of take each game as it comes and adapt to counter their weaknesses and address their threats. You'll see above I used the 4-2-3-1 in the two Estonia matches and we won both so I think that might be our new go-to 'tough game' formation. We'll see!

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We're storming up the FIFA rankings Delta!

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Edited by iacovone

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Andorra vs Faroe Islands (European League Division D, Group 3)

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Bit annoyed we conceded twice but it was still the routine win we expected and secured our promotion into Division C! Tip of the cap to Munoz and Castro, who simply relish the games against the minnows!

Liechtenstein vs Andorra (European League Division D, Group 3

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I rotated the squad as usual, giving most of my Massana players some time off and the second string didn't disappoint, delivering another thumping victory to seal our sixth consecutive international win!

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So as you can see, what a campaign. Six wins from six, 38 goals scored, unbeaten all calendar year (with our 1-1 draw with Ukraine earlier in a friendly). We've broken tons of records and should see our ranking soar even more. 

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And if you win the Playoffs when they happen, you'll qualify for the Euros :D

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Our Europa League campaign is over for another year (or maybe longer if we win the title...) and I'm very happy with our showing. We pushed everyone pretty close, didn't get humiliated and even picked up a win against Spartak Moscow. The disappointing games were all away from home; at Bilbao where we equalised late before conceding even later, in Russia where we were leading 1-0 at HT and in the final winner-takes-all game where we just couldn't create anything. 

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Screen%20Shot%202016-07-29%20at%2020.51.

Weirdly we actually dropped a couple of places after those last two results, but there was a leap earlier (that I forgot to screenshot) with us at 90th - our new record! So this is promising. Firmly into the top 100. 

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And after seven games unbeaten here's the draw for the 2032 Euros. I'm DELIGHTED. We'll batter San Marino, should beat Azerbaijan and I fancy us to take something from Hungary. I doubt we'll get much off Switzerland but are Wales all that? I dunno, I'm feeling confident in my Andorrans!

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This is good: Lusitanos, suddenly the No.1 team in Andorra lost their manager to Spanish outfit Ponferradina. Instead of resting on their laurels though, they've appointed Villarreal's caretaker manager Fabio Borini! The first big name in the Andorran league, I reckon. 

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Borini, that's awesome. :lol:

 

Portilla is unreal. Attribute distribution is flawless which is near impossible to find. Both footed too. Please hold on to him!!!

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Yeah he's fantastic Tyler, I'm delighted with him :)

Meanwhile; we have a dissenter in the camp! Jose Javier Garrido (YP26b), our second best striker and shadow striker (in competition with Portilla for that AMC role) has come to me asking to leave. He's got two and a half years left on his contract thankfully but it looks like I'll be forced to sell him next season if I want to get anything for him. He's a weird one though - technically not great but physically the best at the club - regardless we're going to have to think about cashing in on him soon so it'll be the usual 50% sell on and as much cash as I can get. 

 

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Screen%20Shot%202016-07-30%20at%2010.51.

Half a mill and a 50% sell-on clause. Doesn't leave us til the end of the season. About as good as we could do :( 

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Youth Intake - 2031

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It's another good one! I wouldn't say we're desperate for centre-backs but we could certainly use one so getting two through the intake can only bode well! Beyond that I like the two wingers and they should both push for first-team spots in time. 

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Height is an issue for me but maybe we could have him as the covering centre-back a bit further down the line. Elsewhere his mentals are superb (though needs a personality adjustment)  and he's physically almost ready. Just need to work on that marking and positioning but pleased with Francisco Andres.

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On the flip side of the coin here's the giant Jose Miguel Formigo! Rated slightly worse than Andres but with the tools to be just as effective I think. I think it'll take him a year or two of development before he's ready to go into the first team but I like his potential and having a giant six foot six centre-back is always welcome :D

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Juan Pedro Valencia also looks to have a lot of promise. We play with inside forwards now so I'll target those attributes going forward. Shame his work rate's so low though. 

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Little less enthused by Antoni Franco but I'll keep a watchful eye on him. 

This was our best intake for a while I think. It didn't have the superstar like Portilla last year but it's well rounded and potentially gives us four first-teamers. Can't grumble there!

NB. I'm away for the next couple of days so this'll be the last update until Monday evening I think. All the best!

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Congrats on getting to the EL groups and some really nice progress with the NT. Last two intakes have been fantastic, especially Portilla.

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That looks like a really weak qualifying group

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Yeah it really is weak. I don't think we'll challenge for qualification but we might be able to rise up the rankings a bit more!

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Wales vs Andorra (Euro 2032 Qualifiers, Group C)

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Lots of yellow cards - you can see what I was trying and to be fair we did unsettle them briefly through Noa Le Breton's tap-in. Unfortunately we just couldn't hold onto the point and succumbed late in the game to lose our opener. 

Andorra vs Azerbaijan (Euro 2032 Qualifiers, Group C)

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Azerbaijan already had three points on the board (albeit a win over San Marino) so it was important we picked up a victory here and Munoz got us off to a flier before we conceded quickly. That didn't stop the Andorran train though and Munoz added another three, while the good man Castro got stuck in as well. A fine victory, excellent for our GD and puts us well in the hunt for a place at Belgium 2032!

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No shocks in the results so far, pretty much going with the rankings. 

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Competition Overview

Top goalscorer: Jose Perez (YP26c) - P44, G45, A5, Rat: 7.49

Fans' Player of the Year & Highest Average Rating: Francisco Jesus Ortega - P46, G1, A18, Rat: 7.98

Notable Impact: Jorge Portilla (YP30a) - P40, G6, A6, Rat: 7.51

Squad | Facilities | Overall Stats | Finances | Club Info | End of Season Awards | Overall Best XI

GENERAL CONSENSUS: 

After winning 7 consecutive titles, we've now won ONE in the last FIVE years! This is akin to a crisis and yet the board remain 'absolutely delighted' with me so at least they're adjusting expectations along with the growth of our rivals. Lusitanos became the first back-to-back champions since ourselves in 2026, while Sant Julia finished runners-up for the second time in three years.

You can see by the table that it was a close finish; our draw at Encamp in the penultimate game handed Lusitanos the title and ruined Andorran TV's biggest event - the final day title showdown. We lost to them in any case (and for the second time this season) meaning Sant Julia leapfrogged us. Still, third is a Europa League place so we're still in Europe.

As for the Andorran Cup, we cruised to the final but totally blew it - losing both legs to lowly Aldosa. A real disappointment. 

On the flip side of all this, huge progress in Europe as we made the Europa groups, even winning a game, defeating Spartak Moscow at home!

On the player front Jorge Portilla is turning into a superstar, despite a number of injuries along the way, while Jose Perez continues to lead the line expertly. 

OTHER BUSINESS: 

- Jenlai, Extremenya, Cap del Carrer and UE Engordany have turned pro, despite two of them getting relegated this year.
- We've been taken over after my current chairman decided to retire after seven years in the job.
- Rennes offered me a job!
- Picked up a new HoYD and have gone purely on his personality. He's also an ex-Massana player with over 100 appearances for the club so that's nice :D 

FAREWELL:

We waved goodbye to Jose Javier Garrido (YP26b) - played 72 league games, 19 goals - after he requested a move away. He joins Maccabi Tel Aviv this summer. More significant is the departure of one of our first big players - Juan Manuel Carrasco (YP18c). He's still just 27 but has been playing for the club for 13 years, racking up 391 appearances and 38 goals in this time. Unfortunately he's just not kept up with the ability elsewhere in the squad. Farewell!

NATIONAL TEAM:

This has been a fantastic year for Andorran football - winning eight of ten fixtures. We won all six of our European League games and picked up two wins and two losses (more on those in a future post) in Euro 2032 qualifying. We've also risen to a new world ranking high: 

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SARRIO WATCH:

Sarrio has finally found a home at Levante, this his third year at the club. His goals fired them to sixth and a Europa League spot so hopefully we'll meet him again next year ;)

MUNOZ WATCH: 

Munoz's move to Schalke has NOT gone well. He's barely played a game, was transfer listed and looks set to move to the Premier League. Despite that, he's been in amazing form for the national team, scoring 18 goals this season! 

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Nothing to complain about here. In fact, I'm HAPPY. The league has risen again to the point where it's now a TWO STAR competition :). We've climbed back up the rankings after a good showing in Europe, TV money has gone up again and the finances are in good health. 

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