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[FM13] Second Star to the Right...

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Who are you?

I've been playing FM since FM05, after getting to choose a new game along with my first laptop for Christmas 2004. I've been on FMCU for almost years, hopefully with a lot of success.

Are you a Star Trek fan?

Not as much as I used to, but the title is very much inspired by the ending to Star Trek VI, bringing to an end the proper TOS era. In fact for a while I thought it was from that movie rather than a reference to Peter Pan.

What are you going to be doing?

This is probably going to be 'The Final Journey' Take 2. I've always love going deep into save games, seeing the evolution of the footballing world (which is why I've always had a large league set-up), and my original idea was to do a series of relatively short-term projects like that Ipswich save, but keeping the same save file so the in-game evolution would be ongoing rather than being occasionally reset. However I couldn't really decide on something I really wanted to do so I'll just be wandering around indefinitely, seeing where things take me until I decide it's time to call it a day. I might still include mini-projects.

My saves have been very Euro-centric, with a little bit of Latin America, after seeing that my new laptop could cope with all the out of the box leagues in a holiday save on FM11 I started the save the same way with the hope that Asia in particular would have more of a presence. However on FM13 this soon proved to be slightly ambitious so I immediately removed all of the Asian leagues bar China and Indonesia, the MLS and a few smaller Latin American and European nations, but that still leaves a very large and wide game world that's running well.

Where will you be starting?

I never start unemployed, always going for a bottom division club, and while I've chosen a few 'easy' starting options in the past like Chernomorets and Vasas, this time it will be the Norwegian Second Division.

Why there?

Where better? During my peak FM years of FM10-13 I was there a lot, either in the Premier Division or Second Division, with a single short-lived promotion to the First, to the point that it was probably the most played-in country in terms of clubs, and certainly way ahead of anyone other than England. Usually it was at the start of careers where those clubs were the main options aside from the conference North/South, coupled with fondly remembered Fredrikstad and Aalesund sides. There was also an abiding memory  on FM05 of a tiny club called Namsos, who haven't been in the Second Division in real life since 1999 and even got relegated from the Third in 2011 so their being playable at that point was unique. I considered it to be a good achievement to get two 4th place finishes with no signings (though I'd be able to do a lot more now) and so few players at the start that I essentially promoted the entire youth squad to make up the numbers, which happened to include a promising young forward who quickly became a regular in the national youth teams. It says a lot about how slowly I got to grips with the game that Namsos and nearly winning a league title once with Braga were the clear (and very rare until FM07 at least) peaks of my early FM experience.

Nostalgia aside, it's good for progressing through the early years with a short and simple season, just 26 league matches and short runs in a simple  one-leg cup competition are just what I want right now anyway. In the last career all three nations I played in had 2 legs from the last-16, and Greece even had a group stage (I know Sweden does s well but as that's played early in the year it's not as much of an issue). Add in quite a bit of European action going back to Ipswich (and both domestic cups in that career) and you can see the appeal of the Norwegian lower-league schedule. Continuing the game to the rest date to choose a club ahead of the full season also allowed me to test the performance of the ambitions set-up.

Will you be managing Ipswich?

I've managed them in every version up to FM13, including a whole career of them last year so I can't say it's much of a priority, unless they need saving from League 1 (a common occurrence in saves in recent years) mediocrity or worse, or as fitting way to finish off.

Any other questions?

 

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Spoiler

2013, Eidsvold Turn, Norwegian Second Division, 12th, relegated :(
2014, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish Second Division, 1st!
2015, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish First Division South, 1st!
2016, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish First Division Elite, 5th.
2017, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish First Division Elite, 4th.
2018, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish First Division Elite, 7th.
2019, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish First Division Elite, 2nd, promoted!
2020, Limhamn Bunkeflo, Swedish Premier Division, 12th.
2020-21, Bucaspor, Turkish First Division, 4th, playoff semi-finalists.
2021-22, Bucaspor, Turkish First Division, 2nd, promoted!
2022-23, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 9th.
2023-24, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 5th.
2024-25, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 3rd.
2025-26, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 2nd, cup winners!
2026-27, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 2nd.
2027-28, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 2nd, cup finalists.
2028-29, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 1st!
2029-30, Bucaspor, Turkish Premier Division, 2nd.
2031-32, Milan, Serie A, 9th, arrived in November.
2032-33, Milan, Serie A, 6th.
2033-34, Milan, Serie A, 8th.
2034-35, Milan, Serie A, 2nd.
2035-36, Milan, Serie A, 4th.
2036-37, Milan, Serie A, 1st!
2037-38, Milan, Serie A, 1st! Treble winners.
2038-39, Milan, Serie A, 1st!
2039-40, Milan, Serie A, 1st! Quadruple Winners!
2040-41, Milan, Serie A, 2nd, Champions League, European Super Cup and CWC winners!
2041-42, Milan, Serie A, 2nd, cup winners.
2042-43, Milan, Serie A, 1st!
2043-44, Milan, Serie A, 1st! Quadruple Winners!
2044-45, Milan, Serie A, 2nd, Super Cup, European Super Cup and CWC winners.
2045-46, Gillingham, Blue Square Premier, 12th.
2046-47, Gillingham, Blue Square Premier, 7th.
2047-48, Gillingham, Blue Square Premier, 1st!
2048-49, Gillingham, League 2, 4th, Playoff finalists.
2049-50, Gillingham, League 2, 3rd, promoted!
2050-51, Gillingham, League 1, 5th, play-off semi-finalists.

Trophy Cabinet

Limnham Bunkeflo
Swedish Second Division South Gotaland: 1 (2014)
Swedish First Division South: 1 (2015)

Bucaspor

Turkish Cup: 1 (2026)
Turkish Premier Division: 1 (2029)
Turkish Super Cup: 1 (2029)

Milan
Serie A: 6 (2037, 2038, 2039, 2040, 2043, 2044)
Italian Super Cup: 5 (2037, 2039, 2040, 2043, 2044)
Italian Cup: 4 (2038, 2040, 2042, 2044)
Champions League: 3 (2040, 2041, 2044)
European Super Cup: 3 (2040, 2041, 2044)
Club World Cup: 2 (2040, 2044)

Gillingham
Blue Square Premier: 1 (2048)

Total distance traveled: 3301 miles
Eidsvold Turn - Limhamn Bunkeflo: 333 miles
Limhamn Bunkeflo - Bucaspor: 1357 miles
Bucaspor - Milan: 1041 miles
Milan-Gillingham: 570 miles

 

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Will be good for me to get into this thread from the ground floor, rather than having to catch up constantly! 

Best of luck in Norway, DB. 

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Cmon the Eidsvold, hoping they Turn up!

(sorry, I know it's rubbish but this was the best pun I could make :( )

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Chapter 1: Doing a Good Turn (Eidsvold Turn)

It's a few days late but I've finally been able to get this up. As a few of you realized from the spoiler post I decided to start at Eidsvold Turn. They actually start in the Third Division having just been relegated but they were back up at the first time of asking. That wasn't my intention but given I was avoiding teams that looked like potential promotion challengers (both because of the high expectations and that it might have been a bit cheaty) they genuinely looked like a good option among the teams I was looking at, not least since they actually had at least a little bit of money (not that it mattered in a league of free transfers) and decent budgetary room. The fact that we didn't need a transfer budget (even a couple of players bought from other clubs had a fee of £0) helped boost the wage budget to a staggering 5kpw, of which we were using half at most. Certainly the finances and level of the division was lower than I remember.

The expectations (both the board's and my own) were to avoid relegation, perhaps easier said than done with 3 teams out of 14 going down, and going for newly promoted teams (especially into bottom playable leagues) has generally gone badly but re-promoted sides aren't as much of a poisoned chalice. Once I was finally able to get a team of staff together (though former Gillingham forward Guy Ipoua was the only scout who even answered the ad) a deep scouting mission for reinforcments hit a good balance of players. Enough to make a big difference but not too many to risk overdoing it, with plenty of important double figures we didn't have before leaving us in a strong position on paper, also giving us a much larger squad than is usual at this level with budget to spare...

Signings

Haslie.thumb.jpg.bc15d11d2bbb2b5e7d2b39a8c3772de3.jpg
Heia.thumb.jpg.b3d70c8c072d0055b910239ede785445.jpg
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Leikvang.thumb.jpg.6d9b276401346649c20324d6c8954786.jpg
Madsen.thumb.jpg.f68248b187d3aac95663dc344496fec6.jpg
Moen.thumb.jpg.fe7fb588b5d030f166d5186bbcb56a05.jpg
Olseng.thumb.jpg.49351d4f53becaf8a60d598dfe2ccc1c.jpg
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(The transfers before Olseng were before the reset date and therefore my tenure)

Unfortunately I was a total idiot. One thing that has caught me out before is players starting the database because of long study leaves, or in the case of my Ipswich career, a long global suspension for match-fixing for an Italian defender I had brought on on a fee and for high wages. I don't start careers very often and it's a rare enough thing that I don't really think of checking, so when I noticed Leikvang and Heia had such a restriction it was a real face-palm moment, especially as I could use then as first-choices. Leikvang at least will be available soon but Heia? Not so much. However the options in his position are limited enough that I'm actually considering waiting that long, and I hope he doesn't complain about a lack of action.

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May 2013

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I had deliberately avoided the 'easy' options but I still imagined getting off to a better start than this, especially as I imagined we were probably on a similar level on paper than most other teams in the league. The fixture list was less-than-kind to start off with. We opened against Mjondalen, a side who had just been relegated after a handful of years in the First Division. We weren't just beaten, we were mediocre at best all over. Then came back-to-back trips against Alta and Lorenskog. We managed to hold on for a point in the first match, and were headed for another limp defeat when Moen at least got a late consolation, which was a surprisingly large positive given we were on the verge of having no goals at all after three matches. That was when I made a few changes. I had perhaps tried to be a little too cautious early on, but then turned up the ambition and creativity to my default levels.

There was much indication of change in the first match under the new system, a simple cup match at non-league Buvik when I decided to settle for a 1-0 win. Things were a little different against Frigg, who had a 100% record at this point. We were able to enjoy spells of taking the game to them and having come back from going behind, we were unlucky to conceed a late winner. This was followed by back-to-back league victories over Mjolner and Kvik Halden, with Fredrikstad in the cup in between. We actually took the lead and even after they equalized, I spent a majority of the game thinking we might be able to take it to extra-time at least. Losing still gave us prize money of just over 20k, which for perspective is enough to cover player wages for just over a month.

Even with things looking better I knew we'd still have to endure some bad results. We were 2-0 down at Harstad, which was always going to be tough on paper, but when they went down to 10 men I sniffed an opportunity. We managed to get it to 2-2 but unfortunately they then grabbed a third goal before I could decide whether to keep up our momentum or hold on for a point. That was coupled with a late Alta equalizer in their game that meant we effectively swapped positions (a difference of a few places) from where it looked like we'd be and find ourselves in the bottom 3, though only just.

Tight doesn't really do most of the table justice right now. Since Frigg we've definitely looked better, even in defeat. One thing I was going to point out was that we had only played 2 other teams in the bottom-half (Alta and Mjolner), both away and gotten 4 points from that, however Kvik Halden dropped into the bottom half as well late on so all that has gone completely out of the window and now our fixtures so far looks a lot more normal and balanced based on current league positions. I've benefited from the past from teams in the relegation zone being poor, setting a low bar for survival, but it's not the case this time. It does mean that it wouldn't take much to put is back in a far stronger position and after the opening few matches, I feel we can definitely get results on a regular enough basis to avoid being in serious trouble at the end of the season.

 

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Hey, most promoted sides would be happy with being 4 points away from 4th place.

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On 12/08/2016 at 12:39, noikeee said:

Hey, most promoted sides would be happy with being 4 points away from 4th place.

Not in the relegation zone ;)

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July 2013

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At the end of the last update, I felt we were showing signs of being able to pull out of trouble, and it didn't take long until that translated into results. It's true we were outclassed against Nesodden but then we had back-to-back home 'six-pointers' and took full advantage of them. I hoped to win one of them but not necessarily both, taking us a point off safety to 6th (briefly, technically 7th once the round finished), with the number of teams beneath us looking a lot more promising than the gap of just a few points. The gap held steady but the margin remained when we managed to hold on to a point away to Ostsiden, before another big boost at Senja (another potential six-pointer), giving us 10 points from 4 matches, taking us back into the top-half and with a 5-point margin.

It seemed to get even better when we took the lead against Ull/Kisa but they were the league's form team, on a run of 4 straight wins. I was prepared to go very defensive after half-time but their equalizer before the break turned the match around and they easily finished us off in the second-half, leading to the defeat I was expecting anyway. As we went behind, results elsewhere were working against us, especially Mo leading meaning that the gap looked to be cut to just 2 points, but thankfully they failed to hold on, meaning we only lost a point in the end. 

The job is still only half-done, but it's still a position I'm very much satisfied with at this stage. The teams in the bottom 3 have been relatively competitive this season so a poor run (even a short one) could still see us drop quickly into trouble without being able to build a stronger advantage, and there are some key away games yet to come. Suspensions won't help as it only needs 3 yellow cards to trigger as opposed to 5 (which makes sense in the context of the shorter season I guess) and we're getting to the point where we've had our first one (Jakirovic against Senja) with a bunch of other players currently just a single card away. Certainly we've still got a way to go before we can feel comfortable.

As a side-note, in June I decided out of curiosity to see what was happening with the national team, and I think their World Cup qualifying group as it stands is worth showing...

nor13.thumb.jpg.e76fe95596332a7df2aa1006ea621a68.jpg

Given the way that seeding often produces a clear pecking order (with minor variations), it's surprising to see it so tight between all the teams over half-way through the campaign.

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Oct 2013

fix13.thumb.jpg.a87a70752b58904ba4f9b93748d7a18b.jpg

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I'm in shock... I thought we were alright, and made the mistake of not doing an update/screenshot near the end so you can see how badly things crashed near the end.

The Mjondalen defeat was expected (though conceding a late goal shortly after equalizing was harsh, then we had relegation rivals Alta. Usually a draw in these games is fine when we had the upper-hand but it felt like a missed opportunity. We couldn't get anything from Lorenskog before what I knew would be a defeat at Frigg. We succeeded against Mjolner where we failed against Alta, going back to 4 points ahead of the bottom 3, but that was slashed to 1 in the next round. Losing at Kvik Halden was expected but Alta winning at Frigg certainly was not. They were actually predicted to be 3rd so it's not surprising that they were contributing to ever-shifting sands near the bottom that it was hard to escape from. I expected to lose ground with every defeat, and even a few draws because there were enough rivals that at least one was bound to get some points each time.

Two home games looked like helping us out and having narrowly beaten Harstad, we looked set to do the same more convincingly against Nesodden. They got a goal back in the 90th minute and I really wasn't expecting the stoppage-time equalizer that followed. Still we looked comfortable enough that it wouldn't matter, right?

We seemed to all-but-seal survival in the next match. Mo were the current incumbents of the final relegation spot and managing to beat them put us 7 points clear with 4 matches left. We should have followed it up at Bossekop but went behind and didn't manage to complete the comeback as we should. I knew we'd lose at Ull/Kisa (a result that secured their promotion) but we had 2 home games left to keep us comfortable. Unfortunately we had an utter nightmare against Ostsiden, which should have been the more winnable one. We had a goal disallowed just before the break (when it was 2-0) which might have helped turn the game a little in our favour but the worst performance of the season was sealed with two more goals conceded.

We went into the final game against Senja with 3 points and a few teams between us and the drop. It did occur to me that we could mathematically go down but that seemed highly improbable. We actually played really well and should have been comfortably in the lead by half-time. In the second-half I took a look at the situation in the table and a horrible thought dawned. As things stood with our game at 0-0 and an inferior goal difference, a single goal conceeded would suddenly sink us. We had managed our earlier run of points while being second-best, and it seemed a cruel irony that despite the second-half being admittedly more even, we'd suddenly fall while genuinely having one of our most positive performances.

I didn't want to give myself an easier start this time and I certainly got my wish (and even had I succeeded it wouldn't be easy to progress from this level. In the last career, Czech Rep and Viktoria Plzen ended badly but had otherwise been alright, and those teams aside I've otherwise managed to avoid any failures for a few years, making it a pretty crushing experience to end that streak. I should still manage to find clubs elsewhere (especially with the Swedish Second Division active) but it looks like I'll be staying near the bottom for a while, just like old times. This is certainly a bright start for those who like to see a lot of struggles rather than consistent success. It was also an interesting season with such a competitive relegation battle (unfortunately), and has certainly delivered a dramatic end! Hopefully there'll be a lot more to come, in a positive way ;)

 

 

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Actually I realized that with the rolling autosaves I can show you the league table with just 3 matches left to give you a picture of how badly things crashed at the end...

oct13.thumb.jpg.e45c5e5c246486c77ca15e901ff77312.jpg

Ouch! :(

I know we lost the final 3 matches but it was still unlikely that all the other results would go against us like that.

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5 hours ago, withnail316 said:

Ouch. Unlucky, DB. 

Painful more like! The potential for such drama is why I love the game in the first place, as well as the emotional investment as it was a genuine blow. It didn't help that I've changed my routine for going into town so can get some FM time in (hence the increased activity this week) and I had reached that '3 matches to go' point by the time I went home to finish the season off, in a good mood because of our position as well as planning what I was going to say about how I saw things going forward, only to see things come crashing down!  I may have ended up being the big loser this time but hopefully the pendulum will swing my way many times later on.

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Wow. That's really harsh! :eek:

Been looking for a new job already?

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On 18/08/2016 at 12:54, noikeee said:

Wow. That's really harsh! :eek:

Been looking for a new job already?

I have indeed, and it took almost no time at all to get offers, including one I quickly accepted in my anticipated destination...

Lim13.thumb.jpg.b8c2fde176c28ea30a8a53408d433625.jpg

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Chapter 2: Swede Dreams are Made of These (IF Limhamn Bunkeflo 2007)

I think this has to be the coolest name of any club I'll manage during the career. Anyway it only took 2 days after the shock of Norway to get something, and as anticipated it was in Sweden, though there were offers from elsewhere. Limhamn Bunkeflo are a very new club (though they have a bit of club history dating just before their foundation) formed from a merger, and are located in a district of Malmo.

The club have just been relegated from the First Division South, and it's not the sort of situation I'd usually take over. This is partly because of the risk of high expectations but also because if success is expected it doesn't really feel earned. However I took a little look at the squad and not only did it seem comfortably superior to anyone we might face in the Second Division (even the team that got promoted), but it seemed to compare reasonably favorably to teams that manage to avoid the drop, so the risk seems to be small. As for the 'too easy' argument, well after getting off to such a bad start with a relegation (I'm genuinely struggling to remember the last time that happened, Sirius I think?) from he Norwegian Second Division, I'm sure you can't blame me for looking for a potential promotion and trophy win to help bounce back from that and make even a little bit of progress.

And yes my first game really is against AIK, since the club made the group stages of the cup. That might actually be a problem as morale is already pretty much rock-bottom, and starting off the season getting hammered by much higher quality opposition (Premier Division Kalmar and First Division Elite Norkopping being the other teams in the group) won't help in terms of trying to hit the ground running which is necessary in a season even shorter than the one I've just had.

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Winter 2014

There wasn't a massive amount do to in pre-season, already having a squad that looked capable of dominating most teams at this level. However there were still a few things to do. A goalkeeper was the main priority but the Dof sorted that out almost immediately along with a midfielder I didn't realize I needed, but I did. I know people's feelings about them are mixed but I think a DoF is awesome to have, and easily worth cancelling a lot of potential signings you don't want for the ones you do and might have not known about otherwise. I also signed a player for a fee for the first time in the career, paying a whopping 6k for a versatile young player (currently needed at right-back most of all) from our big neighbours Malmo, as well as a forward, because I can never resist signing a new star forward even when I don't need one, but leaving aside a transfer that was already set to go through when I arrived, that was that, and I didn't have the spare budget for more than a couple of other players anyway.

Signings

Krmpotic.thumb.jpg.5c2e0a85a4288642b716eac277794f02.jpg

Saral.thumb.jpg.e9d8ebba7e6ba9020ac6283a649aacc6.jpg

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Zivanovic.thumb.jpg.d27967bd3d632e226e897c420745e8a7.jpg

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Swedish Cup

cup14.thumb.jpg.1e0c0fc5be622fb7a069257b7eb4c218.jpg

I thought I'd show the cup as well given its pre-season timing. It was all about damage limitation, though trying to park the bus didn't seem to do an awful lot. We started off at AIK, the top-ranked side in the country. We made them wait a little bit for the first goal, and having gone 2-0 down we even managed to score, though it was a heavy defeat in the end. Norkoping at home was the relatively easy game but they found it very comfortable. The final match was a a bit of a high, as we went to Kalmar who already looked like group winners after winning both their other games, but actually survived until half-time. Once they had broken through they quickly got another and with better finishing we might have been good value for a goal ourselves and a much narrower margin of defeat.

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June 2014

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So far, so good. We kicked off the league season with an easy warm-up against Eskilsminne (who are a lot harder to spell than play against), managing comfortable 2-0 win that should easily have been a good win. This was followed by 3 away games in a row, with Solvesborg being a narrow win before we tore Olympic apart. We were riding high in the next game with Ajrovic giving us the lead and I was even wondering about an undefeated year, maybe even a 100% season. It was certainly looking like the easiest season I was having for long time. However the Serbian defender turned from hero to loser as he got sent off for some elbow contact (earning him a 3-match ban) and they were able to equalize. It seemed a minor set-back as we were able to beat Kvarnby in what was an early top-of the table clash, but a defeat to Nike was more serious. They were 2-0 up at the break and while an early second-half goal made it seem like we had got our act together, we couldn't get an equalizer.

Hogaborg (who I actually think I managed once) were up there with us and dispatched easily enough but failure to get past Ramlosa Sodra meant we conceded top spot to a Halmia side who were looking like dangerously consistent promotion rivals, and things got worse in the next match against Nordvarmlands where we looked to be losing more ground. However things can turn around very quickly in football. For example you can be 6 points and a few places above the relegation zone with 3 matches left in a season and still go down. Halmia lost the lead in their game and went on to lose, while left-back Bengtsson finally gave us a winner on his return from suspension, though the win came at a bit of an injury cost. That put us ahead going into our game away to Halmia and for once I would have been satisfied with a draw. However in the middle of the second half, right-winger Lewicki dispossessed their left-back near the corner and crossed in for Wikman to head home, extending the lead to 4 points, and we've still got our home games left against our two closest challengers. 

It hasn't quite been as comfortable as I hoped it would be after the first few games but I feel we're back on track now. It's not only a short season in terms of matches, but also in terms of the calendar. In Norway the 26-match season had a break of a few weeks in the middle, but there's no such thing here so we reach the end of August with just a single match left to play, even though there's a wait of almost a month for that final game. You might have noticed that all matches are being played on Thursdays for some reason, but that's Swedish scheduling for you. Hopefully I can bring you the World Cup shortly.

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Moving to Sweden seems to have done you well, strong start so far.

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On 20/08/2016 at 20:30, noikeee said:

Moving to Sweden seems to have done you well, strong start so far.

That was the idea ;)

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The game speed has been reasonable enough that I have even decided to put a few nations back in, especially as I thought I had kept Indonesia. That rejoins China in Asia, along with Colombia (leaving Peru as the only absent Latin American nation) and Finland. Hopefully I won't feel like needing to take them out again too soon. 

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World Cup 2014 - Brazil

wc14a.thumb.jpg.cb4df52d5cccc6a96a742027befb6bd6.jpg

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Yes, just 2 years into the save and already the World Cup has thrown up a surprise result, with Wales as champions, the scoreline making an interesting contrast with the match stats. Uruguay as finalists isn't anywhere near as much of a surprise by comparison but is still a minor shock. Croatia and to a lesser extent Russia also had tournaments to remember, England rather less so.

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End of Season 2014

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Well that was easy. It was always likely to be which is why mutes the celebrations somewhat, but it doesn't stop the board's league performance confidence from having hit 90%. In the middle of the season it didn't look quite so easy, as after a storming start we were struggling to turn draws into wins (at least away from home), which wasn't actually too bad looking back (only at the start of July did we drop points in consecutive matches) but it kept the promotion race very tight indeed (we even lost top spot at one point), as well as victories that weren't that convincing adding to the sense of relative struggle, but even by my high standards for the season I could see we turned up the heat again late on. Our potential rivals ended up swapping places constantly allowing us to build a 10-point winning margin.

The big positive was that it enabled me to put the Norway relegation last year behind me. Thankfully I wasn't credited with Limhamn Bunkeflo's previous relegation (I was worried that I would be since I took over before the reset date, but since the season had otherwise finished I was ok) and now I can balance out a relegation with a promotion, as well as the first trophy of the career. I like to get a variety of trophy wins over the course of a career and now the Swedish Second Division South Gotaland will forever sit alongside... well we'll see but there'll probably be some major trophies from big nations in there at some point.

The cup also provides some sort of talking point. We started off at non-league Klagshamn and despite taking the lead (usually the main worry in these sorts of games is an inability to break through and finish the weaker opponent off) we soon found ourselves 2-1 down, before very much getting our act together to win comfortably. The big story came against Norkopping in the next round. They were actually the opponents in my first competitive home game of the season, in the group stage earlier this year, and that resulted in a 'damage limitation' 2-0 defeat. However that was because I didn't fancy low morale from 3 heavy cup defeats to damage our league chances and the situation was rather different this time. We were able to take the lead and having held it at half-time, went full-on defensive to try and pull off what would definitely be a major upset (as they were just off the First Division Elite Promotion/Playoff places), and even still had a couple of good chances that might have sealed it.

Teams below the top 2 divisions are always going to be whipping boys in the group stage, but the draw wasn't so bad this time relatively speaking. Last time we had reigning champions (and top-ranked team in the country) AIK, Kalmar (comfortably mid-table) and Norkopping, lookning like one of the stronger First Division Elite sides. This time Atvidaberg are our worst opponents, along with relegated Landskrona and GAIS, who went down the previous year and failed to get back up.

Next year things are going to get more interesting. Success this year was the expected outcome, next season we face more of a challenge as try and compete in the First Division. Initial assessments of the squad (since our prospects beyond the potential promotion was always on my mind) compared to teams that survived as well as our potential opponents this season made it seem probable that we could, even if we'd be in danger if we under-performed and it's hard to judge how we'll do, though we at least have a decent-enough squad to start pre-season, enough of a wage budget increase for a few reinforcements and chances are we'll probably have a settled enough side to work on our favour.

Star Player: Alamin is actually potentially our best defender by far, to the point that even though he has no positional ability there I've started training him because that's probably going to be easily his most suitable position in the long term, despite jumping being a relative weakness. He's doing fine as a forward for the time being though, having struck up a fruitful relationship with Wikman, getting 31 goals between them, a tally that might be considered respectable at least even for much longer seasons. Alamin was very much ahead on goals from the start. He did dry up a little bit during the less convincing 'middle' period of the season (where his partner got a bit more time in the lime-light) before firing again. More of the same next year and we won't have too much to worry about.

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Squad Stats

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Well that was almost too easy.

Nordic countries and their weird players that can play upfront and defence. :D

Edited by noikeee

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34 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Well that was almost too easy.

Nordic countries and their weird players that can play upfront and defence. :D

Well, I think it's more to do with squads being so small at this level (even if I've managed to build much larger ones) that versatility is a big asset, and I've seen quite a few examples already both in Norway and Sweden of real life players that I really don't see in Newgens. In Alaman's case he actually can't play in defence but I'm training him because I really think he should.

Also, inspired by what has become a common practice in some threads of using google maps to show the distance when moving clubs, I've decided to keep track of my distance. Eidsvoll (the town changed name in 1918 but the club is slightly older so kept the old one) to Malmo was quite a bit longer than I expected at 389 miles. I'll probably have shorter journeys in this career to be sure, even though I make it a policy not to manage in the same nation twice in a row.

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Winter 2015

Not for the first time, I went into pre-season with a plan but failing to stick to it. I wasn't planning to do too much business but did intent to do some genuine strengthening. At the moment the 'realistic signing' pool is shallow enough that I can scout the whole lot, especially when I found out I could have a couple more scouts, and for the most part, the prospects were young, to the point that I could have signed about half Tord's youth team if I'd been so inclined, but with some new players from our own youth ranks that would be decent squad players at least I decided to be rather picky on that front.

It started off with the one player I did sign from Tord, a very defensive midfielder who I couldn't decide whether to make a defender or a midfielder. Then came a mistake with the Dane Mwesigye, the first foreign signing of the save. Comparing him with the incumbent playmaker Pasagic threw up an interesting 'specialist vs all-rounder' contrast, with the Dane being better at a few key attributes but being weaker overall. I only signed him because we needed the depth, and we easily had the budgetary room to accommodate him, but the later signing of Jimmy Olsson (not to be confused with superman's pal) making him obsolete, so he'll be gone soon.

Olsson himself is a curious one. He looked very strong already at 16 but while he had technical ability, creativity was another matter, making him look rather less impressive than he could be. He's got pace though and other attributes that make him another player I'm retraining to a new position completely from scratch, as a winger this time. He could still go pretty far indeed. On the other end of the scale was the veteran goalkeeper Jonas Sandqvist, a former international no less! Unfortunately I haven't been able to find out who his cap was against, only that it was in 2005, and probably in a friendly since he wasn't in the 2004 or 2006 tournament squads so it was clearly a one-off selection. Still it seems pretty cool to have someone with a senior international cap at this level.

Signings

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Cup 2015

Last season the group stage of the cup was an exercise in damage limitation. I didn't expect anything this time either but still decided to make a bit of an effort. We were at home to Landskrona first and put up a decent showing given we were 3 divisions apart last year (though only 1 this time), only falling to a narrow defeat. Going to Atvidaberg (the only Premier Division team in the group) was rather tougher and we fell to the expected defeat. When we went behind against GAIS it looked like a pretty routine 'nul points' for us, but Alamin had other ideas. He turned the game around to give us the lead after just over half an hour, and despite going into defensive mode, we still managed two more, and Alamin was denied a hat-trick through a disallowed goal!

Landskrona had a 100% record but with the other three of us all beating each other, we looked like finishing second in the group before a late Atvidaberg consolation against Landskrona allowed them to equal our record and beat us to it on head-to-head results. It wouldn't have mattered much with only the group winners going through but it was a considerable point of pride to get anything at all, let alone avoid being bottom.

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June 2015

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No I haven't accidentally posted the league table from this time last season by mistake. Unless I have. I went into the season rather cautious about or survival prospects. The fact that it was a 14-team league with 3 relegation spots (like the Norwegian Second Division) didn't escape my notice. The opening game didn't change that attitude much. I was hoping to grab a home win against Kristianstad but it soon became evident that a draw was the best I could expect. Things were very different in the next match however. We went into it as underdogs and with knocks/injuries using up all the subs early on, which included turning to the young new players. Another meant we were a man down just before the break and it was all about holding out as long as possible. Somehow we managed to hold firm, and Sandqvist even saved a penalty before Alamin and Hedlund somehow gave us a 2-0 lead. They got one back shortly after that but we claimed an unlikely win.

It wasn't a fluke as we followed that up with 2 more wins, taking us to 10 points after just 4 games, level with Kristianstad (who were surprise early pace-setters). We then had a run of 4 away games in a row, narrowly losing at Sylvia before failing to hold on to a 3-1 lead against Skovde. However we managed to succeed in a tough game against Norrby, then beat Karlskoga more comfortably. We had the opportunity to go top against Lunds, and while it was a little frustrating to only draw, it was still enough to be joint-top. Assyriska were bottom and win-less (and still are) so it was a shock to go behind, but we quickly pulled it back to claim a comfortable win. Sleipner was set to be more challenging and after taking the lead, we found ourselves 2-1 behind. We managed to equalize but I was hoping for a win to give us a lead in the table and when Alamin (still on fire this season) gave it to us in the 90th minute it was a cause for wild celebration.

When I took a look at the squad for the first time this year, just before the opening cup game, I noticed we had lost a couple of players whose contracts I thought I had sorted out. This included the Serbian defender Ajrovic. Nilsson-Guiomar has moved over to fill the central ball-playing slot (though he's really only keeping it warm for Alamin) with Hammar taking his old place, and that's the only outfield change from the main XI that won promotion. There's still been room for younger players to have a decent supporting role so far. I know at this sort of level there isn't much of a jump in quality between divisions, and it helps that we were were a decent First Division quality side on paper to begin with (I am rather surprised they got relegated to the Second Division in the first place) but it's still a surprise to be doing so well after a promotion with much the same side.

I'm still not thinking much about a promotion challenge, and a top-half finish is still something I'd be delighted with. It will still be interesting to see how close we get.

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I don't think I've ever seen you get back-to-back promotions before. This could be it. Cross that item of your FM list.

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8 minutes ago, noikeee said:

I don't think I've ever seen you get back-to-back promotions before. This could be it. Cross that item of your FM list.

I have once, with Dunfermline in 'Delta's Darlings', which also saw my only major cup win with a lower league team. I never managed either in my pre-FMCU days, not that I was often playing below a nation's second level which would have made back-to-back promotions (or even multiple promotions with the same club, which I think I had previously done twice) possible anyway. Almost finished August and will probably update tomorrow, and I can tell you it's tight! 

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Aug 2015

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It was a hectic couple of months to be sure. We started out looking like we might be stumbling a little. At Ljungskile we saw a 3-1 lead slip into a 3-3 draw for the second time this season (if we could hold a lead better we'd be much more comfortable) before what at the time seemed like a shock home defeat to Trelleborgs. With Kristianstad away next it looked like we'd lose the initiative in what looked like a tight top 3 but I really didn't expect to see us tear them apart like that. Multiple home games against Varbergs BoIS followed with two comfortable wins, but then we faced a shock at Vastra Frolunda. We took the lead and comfortably held it until near the end but they hit us with an equalizer, then a stoppage time winner. Thankfully Norrby weren't on the best run of form either otherwise we'd very much be trailing them, but it had helped Kristianstad to catch up.

We were slow burners for a while against Sylvia before managing to finally open the floodgates late on, then came the cup game with Landskrona, who were looking to make a quick return to the Premier Division. I wasn't actually trying to win, just save the team for the league and avoid a heavy defeat but Wikman managed to give us a surprise lead. It was a lot like the way we beat Norkopping last season, down to the fact that we had already played and lost to them in the group stage of the cup in the same year, but Alamin managed to give us another as we would be in the group stage once again. Those goals took our strike partnership to 32 goals this season, beating their tally last season of 31, this time split evenly between them rather than Wikman lagging behind Alamin.

We once again we lost a lead at Ytterby but it was always a narrow margin and an even game so it wasn't so frustrating this time, before we took early control at home to Skovde to help give us a small points advantage. That meant the pressure was off a little when we played Norrby and I was happy with a rather dull 0-0 draw. It helped that Kristianstad seemed to be stumbling and lost to Trelleborgs. When we lost to them it allowed them to climb out of the relegation zone, now it looked like they were trying to join in the fun at the top. However only one team can go up automatically and one other can make a playoff. Tune in later to see who wins out.

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Oct 2015

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It looks easy doesn't it? It didn't seem that way for a while. We had what seemed like a few easy games but had a bit of a nightmare at Tord. They went ahead and it wasn't our best day at either end of the pitch. They looked likely to get another and did so. An own-goal gave us a chance and Pasagic managed to give us a late point but it was rather a lucky one, coupled with our two rivals both losing. We struggled to break down Karlskoga and only narrowly managed to win before doing rather better at no-hopers Assyriska. At that point we were 5 points clear with 3 matches to go, looking near certain to be 2nd at least, and in a good position to clinch it, but then came Sleipner...

One thing that gets me very worried is when keepers go out of their penalty area to clear a ball. I call it 'Doing a Shoretire' because in 'Got 99 Problems but Norwich Aint One' he used to give up quite a few goals through doing that only to see it go to an opposition player who managed to put it into the empty net at range, and don't get me started on Barcelona's goal in the first CL final. I've seen it happen regularly again since returning to FM13 and while Sandqvist had gotten away with it so far, he didn't this time, later heading in another. We were still able to secure top-2 but Norrby had cut the lead to 2 points, and we had to go to Trelleborgs next. I was worried we'd lose the initiative going into the final day and though we looked more likely to win from the start I knew that meant nothing, after all the same was true at Eidsvold Turn before we conceded the goal that relegated us. They actually had a goal disallowed which initially gave me a real shock.

However Sleipner did us a massive favour, having beaten us then took the lead against Norrby. In the second-half I decided to check the score and it turns out Norrby were 3-0 down, and I was able to relax. Pasagic got sent off but that didn't stop the magic just 4 minutes later. After some rushed chances earlier in the game, Alamin had the ball in the penalty area but calmly passed it sideways for Wikman to fire home. From worrying whether we'd remain top going into the final game, we had clinched it before that! Norrby lost their last game as well while we easily beat Ljungskile (breaking though the 1,000 attendance barrier for the first time in the career while doing so), giving us an 8-point winning margin that I feel was rather generous. Poor Norrby lost both matches of their playoff against Trollhattan in what must have been a crushing end to the season.

I started the season just wanting to avoid serious trouble. For a while top half would still have been excellent even with our good start. Only later on was I focused on trying to go up. The step up to the First Division Elite should be bigger, and we already could have used a bit of reinforcement in certain places so we're going to need the changes I didn't make last year to survive. The younger players may have a tougher time of it as well.

Star Player: Wikman narrowly beat him for goals this time but Alamin still was head and shoulders above the rest otherwise. He's certainly not going to give up his place up front easily.

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Squad Stats

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Another superb season. Well done. Good luck with the step up to the Superettan (or First Division Elite, as FM says). I hope you can keep out of the relegation play-offs.

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Pretty fantastic couple of seasons, well done. Now to survive the following level might be a bit tougher, but I'm sure you can handle it.

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Multiple comments by people who aren't noikeee? When you're hot you're hot! ;)

It does seem like it's going to be tough, especially since reinforcements who are actually interested in coming have been hard to come by. Pre-season update coming shortly.

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Winter 2016

After two consecutive promotions I had hoped there'd be plenty of players out there who would strengthen the team for the task ahead. One of the quirks of Sweden is that contracts expire in November, as opposed to December of June depending on the timing of the season, and this means I had a couple of free signings coming in whose deals were done rather early last year, which at least gave us a start in terms of bringing in new faces. That was just as well because the field was alarmingly thin, maybe a consequence of having a strong starting squad to begin combined which what I imagine is a relatively low reputation. The better players on the radar turned out not to want to come and I was hesitant to plunge into youth again.

The defence needed urgent work, especially out wide. On the left we had a player who had retired from full professional football and would retire for good at the end of the season. On the right, Zivanovic wasn't progressing as quickly as we were. While Svensson's tackling leaves a lot to be desired, the rest is easily good enough that I decided to bring him in, as a good alternative on either side at worst, and a potential replacement on the left. While I had been avoiding signing young players, Halil Barut already looked good enough to be a viable option. I was surprised to see a player like Maheu available on a free in January, being the sort of standard I had been hoping to see a bit more of, but he ended up being the exception. After a while I did one final trawl of the shortlist for a couple of players who probably wouldn't contribute much more than depth.

Indeed depth was probably the main difference made, and while it was nothing like the reinforcement I had hoped to do, it was at least something, and there were quite a few changes to be made. Up front I decided to take the gamble of replacing Wikman and Alamin with Maholli and Maheu, though 'class vs form' is never an easy judgement to make. Both Olssons have been promoted to regular first team duties, with Per Olsson going in along with Halim Barut at the back, with their reasonably good aerial ability hopefully compensating for lack of experience, and in all cases I still have the previous options on the bench in case we need to turn back to them.

It's pretty clear what the goal is. If I manage to keep them in the division I can probably consider that to be a job very well done at Limhamn Bunkeflo, and if we could avoid the relegation playoff spots that would be fantastic. As usual we had the cup group stage as a warm-up though the earlier start to a longer league season means I'm considering it part of the regular season now, rather than pre-season. There were some very promising signs though which has given me a little more optimism for the task ahead.

Signings

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Fantastic work getting promoted again. Hopefully you can survive this year, then I'm sure you'll have an opprtunity to move on to bigger and better things.

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38 minutes ago, withnail316 said:

Fantastic work getting promoted again. Hopefully you can survive this year, then I'm sure you'll have an opprtunity to move on to bigger and better things.

Possibly, though I don't plan on leaving soon either way. I'm not sure my stock will have risen all that much so I doubt I'll be able to take that big a step up yet.

Anyway, this thread is now one month old, and it's a good thing I've started taking my laptop into town with me as I wouldn't have been able to do anywhere near as much so far. I was going to get a decent start on the new season by now but the game wasn't co-operating yesterday (though it seemed back to normal when I tested it later). It's certainly been an eventful start anyway. 

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Apr 2016

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It's still early in the season but there's a lot to cover, starting with the cup. We opened against Vasby United, who finished 6th in the First Division Elite last season so it would be an interesting test of how we could cope. Lewicki gave us an early goal and we actually dominated the match so much they only had a single shot. We then went to Premier League Mjalby and we seemed to be riding high when Maheu got his first goal for the club. That actually put us in the lead of the group briefly before we conceded an equalizer and IFK went on to win their own match. The draw was still an excellent result but it was all downhill after their equalizer. We failed to put in a repeat performance in Gothenburg and got torn apart, which was admittedly not too unexpected.

Our performance in the first two cup games gave me a lot more optimism ahead of the league season but it didn't start so well. I was used to a nice gap between the cup and the league starting but this time the first match was postponed until midweek, and I was in the unusual position (in this career anyway) of having to make a few changes due to tiredness both for that match and the following one at the weekend, having been used to being able to keep a settled line-up, and that wouldn't have helped. We started off at Degerfors and went behind early on. Wikman came on and showed he was still useful at this level with an equalizer, but they snatched a winner right at the death, which they admittedly deserved. The defence did not start the season well at all and they demonstrated that in the first home game against Brage, who easily took a 2-0 lead in the first-half, then went another goal up. They gifted us an own-goal which didn't really rouse me but when Maholli got another I started to wonder whether an equalizer was possible, but even against 10 men late on it wasn't. However there were two other teams on 0 points and 7 (almost half the division) win-less so we weren't in danger of being left adrift yet.

Trollhattan had easily won their relegation playoff last season against Norrby and had started well this year, so I was delighted when Maholli gave us the lead. They equalized but an own-goal helped us to our first points, and the fact that we had managed it away from home was very promising. We hoped to build on it against Falkenberg and Maheu gave us an early lead. Unfortunately our defence struck again (the majority of my substitutions so far this season have been under-performing defenders, usually with my hands forced early on) and we found ourselves behind. Maheu levelled it early in the second-half and we went on to take them apart and win 5-2. Vasby United had no points at this stage but were clearly under-achieving and proved to be tough. They actually had us on the back foot and we were lucky to get a 0-0 draw, especially as they had a late goal disallowed (the second we had benefited from already this season). Brommapojkarna were also near the bottom and we took a 2-0 lead. They had a goal disallowed before getting a legitimate goal back but Maheu gave us a 3rd goal that pretty much sealed in and Maholli even got a 4th.

It is a considerable surprise that we find ourselves just 1 point off the promotion playoff spot in 3rd, though I'm still keeping an eye on the margin to the relegation play-off spots, as 5 points still seems vulnerable. However I'd never have imagined us being this high at any point in the season, especially after kicking off after 2 defeats. At the start of the season I decided that having gotten the club up to this division I was determined to leave them there at the very least, even if it meant relegation and having to try again, but it doesn't seem like it'll come to that the way things are going.

 

 

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I'm quickly running out of superlatives here, another excellent start to the season.

The 5-1 defeat to IFK Goteborg reminded me that's the team I fancy in Sweden. Yet another one to add to the pile of teams to manage one day. I've only done Sweden once, with a lower league side - incidentally the only time I ever managed in Nordic countries. I didn't fancy it much despite climbing a couple of leagues, which is interesting because it seems to be the other way around for you, you seem to enjoy Scandinavia and manage there all the time. :)

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1 hour ago, noikeee said:

I'm quickly running out of superlatives here, another excellent start to the season.

The 5-1 defeat to IFK Goteborg reminded me that's the team I fancy in Sweden. Yet another one to add to the pile of teams to manage one day. I've only done Sweden once, with a lower league side - incidentally the only time I ever managed in Nordic countries. I didn't fancy it much despite climbing a couple of leagues, which is interesting because it seems to be the other way around for you, you seem to enjoy Scandinavia and manage there all the time. :)

Actually before this career you'd probably have to go back to Sirius in 'Thunderbird Delta' for the last time I managed in the region, even if I was certainly there on a regular basis for a few years before that.

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I'm going to save a proper update until I've made a bit more progress but I just had to take a screenshot of this from a little earlier while I had the chance (though I have played a little beyond this). May's fixtures looked rather tough so I certainly wasn't expecting to make any improvement over the last update. When I was looking at the live league table (which I always have showing) and saw we were on course to move into 3rd my eyes widened in shock. Since there's no way we're going up a 3rd time I've still been keeping an eye on the gap to the relegation playoff places, especially as those teams are picking up a few points so a losing streak could see us under at least a little pressure. We're also at the head of a group of 4 teams on the same number of points with 2 more just a point behind so it won't take much to drop down quite a bit, which is pretty much inevitable (especially when you see what the next fixture was) but we'll see how long we can stay up in that part of the table.

I also got approached by another club by the first time in the career. It was Burton Albion who just got relegated from League 2 but even though the wage budget was a few times larger than what I have here (and the wage bill is only the 3rd smallest in the division) there was no way I was going to suddenly leave Sweden with things going the way they are. This ride is just too epic to get off just yet.

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June 2016

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The Miracle of Limhamn Bunkeflo continues. At this rate it won't be long before an American writer comes over to make us a the subject of a book. After a good early run, it didn't look like we'd be making much of an impact beyond maybe surviving comfortably, especially when we were easily beaten at Orgryte and required a very late goal to claim a point against Assyriska. It didn't look like we'd have much joy at Landskrona, who were in 3rd, but we took the lead from an own-goal and we somehow held on to it for the rest of the match. Our next opponents Jonkopings Sodra were the new 3rd placed team so I was surprised to see us start strongly and deservedly take the lead from Maheu. That was when it dawned on me that we could move into 3rd, and though they equalized, Maholli struck twice to make the dream come true.

I didn't expect to get anything from a trip to table-topping Hacken, and aside from a decent spell in the middle of the first half we were firmly on the back foot. I decided to try and hold on to the draw but couldn't quite manage it. After that, home games against Varnamo and Sirius seemed comfortable but they weren't. We seemed to be cruising 2-0 thanks for Maheu and Maholli but they got a goal back with another disallowed and it was a relief to make it 3-1 before they scored another. Sirius was one of those games where the whole defence has a collective nightmare, even the otherwise excellent Per Olsson. A 3rd goal conceded at the start of the second-half seemed to kill off any chance of a comeback but Maheu quickly got a goal. Nilsson-Guiomar was the rather unlikely scorer of a second that opened up the possibility of a draw and Mahou gave it to us just in the nick of time. If we had won we'd have gone up to second but you can't have everything.

We went to GAIS and were on the back foot from the start, managing to keep the ball out in some pretty desperate ways. Then Maholli dispossessed a GAIS defender in the middle of their half and had a clear run to fire past the keeper for an unlikely lead. They forced so many corners that I was interested in seeing how many (I forgot to look but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was in the teens). They had a goal disallowed and we managed to claim an unexpected win. We played Syrianska wondering if we could go into second and we nearly did. An own-goal gave us the lead and we easily had the chances to make it comfortable. They won a penalty on a rare break but Sundqvist saved. Sadly Landskrona got a late winner in their game to deny us 2nd, while Brage beat Hacken to remain level on points as well.

Whatever happens in the second half of the season, it can be classed as a big success. Degerfors and Brage are next and I doubt we'll get much from that, so I expect us to drop away from the promotion battle before too long, even if we haven't done so as expected in the past couple of months. No way are we going up since we'd have to beat a very tight pack to 2nd, and we'd probably be easily pickings for Premier Division opponents in the playoff, which doesn't look much easier to reach anyway. If you offered me 5th or so I'd still take it in a heartbeat. Hopefully we can still stay in the mix for a little longer because it's very exciting.

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6 hours ago, abulezz said:

An FMCU legend at it again! Good luck, deltablue, and hope this save sees you lots of success!

Thanks Abulezz, I'm certainly flying right now!

4 hours ago, noikeee said:

We expect no less than a 3rd straight promotion. No pressure. ;) 

Typical, two promotions in a row and the fans will have my head if I don't manage a 3rd ;)

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July 2016

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We kicked off the month with a couple of key games against fellow promotion challengers. We went behind against Degerfors before Maholli quickly equalized. It looked like one of those matches where a draw was probably the best we could manage, and I was satisfied to settle for it when it looked like it would be enough to sneak into 2nd, though a late goal elsewhere put paid to that. I didn't have high hopes for going to Brage and we started very badly. At half-time it felt a lot worse than 1-0. Maholli equalized and it looked like we would be on course to go 2nd this time (and that's a line I've written quite a few times) but they fired ahead again, followed by a 3rd which proved to be critical as Maholli made it 3-2 in the end, which put them 3 points ahead and left us behind Landskrona as well. 

We were all dropping points quite a bit so despite getting just a single point from 2 key games we hadn't really lost any ground, and Brage immediately lost their advantage with defeat in the next round, while we needed to get back to winning ways against Trollhattan. We seemed to struggle a little but Mahou gave us the lead, followed by the retiring left-back Bengtsson converting a free-kick, which as critical as they got a goal back and we had to fight to hold on to a win. Mahou then got injured for a month or so shortly before the next game at Falkenberg allowing Alamin to get a chance at this level but he failed to make an immediate impact as we could only draw 0-0 in an even game. We succeeded against Vasby United, with Lewicki converting a free-kick and Alamin getting on the scoresheet, giving it a look that could easily have been taken from the Second Division, though we still had to be careful late on not to lose it.

I'd like to remind Noikeee that earlier in the season he said he was running out of superlatives, and that was when we were 5th with just 20% of the season gone. The current situation 2/3rds is surely on a higher level than that. I'd still be amazed if someone came from the future and said we'd go up, but at the moment I'm absolutely loving just being in the mix for so long.

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Euro 2016: France

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There was quite a bit of interest in this tournament. England finished bottom of a group won by Wales. France were beaten to top spot in their group by a Belgian side who reached the semis, along with Serbia. Slovenia made it and didn't finish bottom, Bosnia won their group ahead of Germany, and Ukraine were beaten finalists. They seem to be rather strong in FM in my experience (Turkey as well) as indeed they were beaten finalists in the Euros I played with the Czech national team in the last career. Pity the final seemed pretty dull.

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