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FM17 Youth Academy Challenge

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3 hours ago, wicksyFM said:

@darren1983 good choice of club. Im enjoying your progress. it's probably the only team I would do this challenge with.

Cheers, glad my pain and suffering makes good reading :D 

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Dulwich Hamlet - EFL2 - Season 2025/26

Dulwich Hamlet Badge.png

 

League - a season of 2 halves to say the least! Our biggest issue since promotion has been scoring goals (once again our top scorer only got 11 league goals), so I started this season trying a tactic with 2 up top, the trouble with it was that it while we did seem to score a few more we were wide open at the back, in the first 7 games we had 4 different players score hat tricks against us. By Jan 1st we had 18 points and were 23rd and in trouble. So I went back to the formation that I used when we ended 4th, so I sat down and tweaked a few player roles and away we went. From the 1st of Jan till the end of the season we only lost 5 games and amassed 38 points from 23 games. We won 6 of our last 7 to move clear of the relegation zone. God I do hope this tactic doesn't fall apart over the summer again.

League Cup - for the 3rd time in 4 years we drew a Championship clubs away (the other was a league 1 club away) and so another first round defeat for us.

EFL Cup - also followed the same formula of 1 win and 2 losses to see us fail to get to the group.

FA Cup - League One Peterborough we too strong but happy we took them to a replay

Transfers - loaning out guys who probably won't make it.

Squad - Lot's of CBs, could do with a good GK tbh

Finances - we're usually in the black at this stage but tend to be 300K or so in the red but the end of each season.

Youth Intake - one of our weaker ones really, only 3 players tagged and even then not sure they'll amount to much.

Scott Hall (YP09A) - Wide man with nice physicals but that's about it
Angel Weaver (YP09B) - striker with decent finishing and off the ball, needs work
Paul Fraser (YP09C) - another striker, not much to him, solid allrounder with nothing really standing out

Career Overview 

Season		League		Position	Achievements

2017/18		VNS		1st		Champions
2018/19		VNL		7th		
2019/20		VNL		14th 
2020/21		VNL		15th
2021/22		VNL		4th		Promotion via playoffs
2022/23		EFL2		22nd 
2023/24		EFL2		4th		Lost Playoff Semi Final	
2024/25		EFL2		22nd 	
2025/26		EFL2		19th 	

Next Season

Pray the tactic doesn't fall apart and we can keep up this form.

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8 hours ago, Shakes said:

The way I've played it: Grey players only allowed to take the pitch when you have fewer than 11 real players. That means grey players can sit on the bench to meet league rules but can't play unless they absolutely have to. So no grey keepers unless you have no fit real outfielders to play in goal.

I second that.

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10 minutes ago, The_Gato_In_Goal said:

I second that.

@The_Gato_In_Goal and @Shakes thank you both. I had the grey GK on the bench for one game although having checked league rules he wasn't required. From then on I had 7 outfield players on the bench.

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13 hours ago, Shakes said:

The way I've played it: Grey players only allowed to take the pitch when you have fewer than 11 real players. That means grey players can sit on the bench to meet league rules but can't play unless they absolutely have to. So no grey keepers unless you have no fit real outfielders to play in goal.

Ditto - Back in my season 01 I had to play 4-6 games with an outfield player in goal.  A grey has never played a minute for us.

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Ilkeston F.C Season 6

Sky Bet League 2

65Nqm16.png

League| Squad |Transfers|Youth Intake |Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2

Season Overview

June 30th: The day Mullarkey (YP18e) and Hope (YP18b) broke Ilkeston hearts. They both left on free transfers and quickly get picked up by league clubs Walsall and Forest Green respectively. We begin the season and we missed those two badly, we looked tame going forward and vulnerable at the back. We managed 1 win in the first 16 games. After some adjustments we recorded 3 wins in a row, however it was a false dawn as these were the weakest teams in the division and the bad form quickly set back in, winning only once in our next 13 games. We were fixed in 24th place, but never more than 5 point from safety. In February we managed our one good patch of form, winning 5 games from 9, getting us to 40 points and amazingly into 22nd place. However, this also coincided with teams above me finally picking up some wins, so it remained very close. Two draws, saw us go into the final game of the season on 44 points, 1 point clear of 23rd placed Northampton. If we win we would be safe, if they lose we would be safe, if I don't win it gets messy. I set up my team to keep it tight and stay in the game, after 2 minutes my left back made a horrible mistake and we were 1-0 down. Score update pops up Northampton are 1-0 up away at Shrewsbury. Our game was over by half time with Cheltenham going 3-0 up, so I just focused all my attention on the live score updates. 70 min: Shrewsbury 1 - 1 Northampton, we are still going down, but maybe just maybe. 78 min, Shrewsbury 2-1 Northampton, we move up to 22nd and safety. 90 + 1 min, Shrewsbury 2 - 2 Northampton. Relegated. Heartbreaking.

We were not often outplayed, but we were always outclassed, opposition teams needing half the chances we did. I knew it would be hard to stay up but it's devastating to be so close.

 

Honourable mention

No stand out performers this year, some players held their own better than others. The only one I will highlight is last years youth product.

Peter Havern (YP22a): Was really solid all year, rarely looking out of place and scored a few goals. Has an ambitious personality and as I type this he is currently unhappy and wants to leave for a bigger club. One season, that was all it took for him to become a diva. At least his contract runs for 2 more years

 

Youth Intake

A really strong intake for us this year, determination aside we got good players in useful positions and with personalities

Dennis Doherty (YP23a) Exactly the type of midfielder we like at Ilkeston, has enough about him to be given a chance

Nick Jordan (YP23b) Although he is still a bit rough around the edges, he looks like he could be a good forward in time

Steven Phillips (YP23c) Good mental stats but weak in other areas, versatile though and has a chance

Brian James (YP23d) Another versatile player, will most likely be trained as a centre back.

 

Club overview

Well, I am yet to see how the relegation affects us, but I hope we remain as a professional club. We didn't upgrade anything this year, I just got a couple of coaching badges.

 

Summary

A disappointing season and one that hopefully quickly fades from my memory if we can bounce back. We have a lot more talent now and in a years time may be better equipped if we get promoted again.

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@Sanno11 oh man that is soul destroying :(  Hoping that your squad and infrastructure stay intact during the summer and you are a force to be reckoned with next year

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5 hours ago, Sanno11 said:

We were not often outplayed, but we were always outclassed, opposition teams needing half the chances we did. I knew it would be hard to stay up but it's devastating to be so close.

I know the feeling. You have pretty much summed up my two attempts in the Premier Division right there. 

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Congrats @Braumiller, the Port Talbort era has begun!

@Kazushi80 Good luck for season #2, looks an interesting team.

@darren1983 Your hanging on in there inspires me to do the same. The good times will come!

@Sanno11 Condolences, that's possibly the toughest relegation I've ever seen. I think you will be back though.

Edited by Duroliponte

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@Duroliponte Haha, cheers, when these mythical "good times" come I feel like they will be well earned :D 

@Sanno11 Have no idea how you felt, been close to tears of frustration this save but that may have broken me (as well as my laptop) 

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ZhZ3mZO.png

I am in with Die Kleeblätter (The Clovers) - Rot-Weiß Oberhausen in the 3.Bundesliga. First true challenge I'm taking on.

The club was founded in 1904 and plays in a 21,318 seat stadium with under soil heating. They have spent the better part of the last 25 years bouncing between the second and fourth tiers, and were in the 2.Bundesliga in 2010-2011.

Adequate corporate, training, and youth facilities, adequate junior coaching, fairly basic youth recruitment.

Link to profile. Board already approved my first coaching badge so I'd consider that a win.

Edited by bdavies26

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Bilderesultat for county haverfordwest

Season 25

2041/2042

League Table | Transfers | Player Stats

Dafabet Welsh Premier League

20 in a row. Lost a game :(

Cup runs

2 of 2. In the Welsh cup final I decided to start Gwion Price 5A as he had declared his intentions to retire after the season. He had only played in 4 games all season, but


Champions League

For the first time we had a pretty lucky draw. Monaco, Zenit and Ajax were our opponents, by far the easiest group we've ever had in the CL. Unfortunately we were destroyd in the first 2 games, getting outclassed by both Monaco and Ajax, before we picked up a draw against Zenit. I was furious, I was so sure we would perform better in this group. Thankfully we turned it around in the second half of the stage, and won the next two games. This saw us needing only a point against Zenit in the last game to advance. We pushed Zenit for much of the game, even missing a penalty, and it felt like an unfair sucker punch when they took the lead in the 72nd minute. I was desperate and in the 87th minute I made a move I dare say few other would have made. I subbed out our star and goal machine Matthew Rees 18A for young up-and-comer Andy Jones 23C. He repayed my trust only three minutes later, euqalising to 1-1 and sending us through to the knock-out stages in the dying seconds of the game!

 

We drew Man City in the first knock-out stage. We played very well at home, earning a 0-0 draw which could have easily been a win for us. The game in manchester however was a sad affair, we stood firm untill Dave Owen 14B scored an own goal at this stage for the second year in a row. After that costly mistake we fell apart, and it ended up being an embarrising 5-0 shellacking.

Youth Setup:

Youth Intake

Blah. Nothing good here, from the looks of it. Will be very surprised if any of this lot make it here. We got our first youngster from an affiliate, unfortunatly the lad from Dungannon was pretty poor.

Big Fat Goalie Challenge:

Dave Owen 14B - 79 Goals. 9 this season, 2 free kicks. Closing in on 100 goals, pretty nice!

 

Danny Roberts Challenge

The aim in this Challenge is to get a player to score 1000 goals during his career, national team goals count.

Most goals:

Huw Price 4A - 447 goals in 669 games. The legend has retired.

Jacob Davies 10D - 391 goals in 354 games. Has left the club, so wont add to this. Is currently playing week-in and week out for the elevator team that is Burnley.

Matthew Rees 18A - Club: 320 goals in 302 games. 36 goals in  38 games this season. International: 10 Goals in 32 caps. 1 goal in 5 caps this year.

Total:  330 Goals

Very disappointing from Matthew, who just doesn't seem as lethal anymore. He isn't unhappy or wanting to move away, but his performances just aren't the same as they used to be. At 23 years old he should still be improving, but it seems he is regressing. Hopefully he can bounce back and regain his hunger for goals, because 37 goals in a season just wont cut it. Maybe Jordan Jones 22B is taking away his thunder, and that playing next to such a great player is actually hindering his goal scoring?

 

Semi-interesting stuff

With our recent CL-success we are now nearing getting two teams into the CL-qualification which would be cool. The Welsh Premier League is ranked as the 18th best top division. We have now moved into the top 40 teams in europe, and is ranked at 37. Hopefully we could be a third seed in next years CL-draw.

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Offt @Sanno11 that's the kind of game that has me quitting the save for a while...tough, very tough break.  Fingers crossed that the infrastructure remains untouched and a bounce back season is ahead.

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Bilderesultat for county haverfordwest

Season 25

Legends Retiring

After a long season Haverfordwest legends  Dafydd Davies 7A and Gwion Price 5A have decided to retire. They are the two leading appearance-makers in Haverfordwest history, with 769 and 629 games.  Gwion told me early in the season that it would be his last season, which allowed me to give him a very nice last game. He had only played in 4 games this year when the seasons last game came around. The Welsh Cup Final against Airbus. I decided to reward him for his amazing service and started him.

 

And it was crazy, something like Zidane in the 2006 World Cup(minus the headbutt), he totally bossed the game and got man of the match with an 8.5 rating and an assist. No other player had over 7.3, it was like he had channeled all his talent into this one game. To see a legend go out like that made me a little misty eyed. He played 21 seasons for the club, and apart from the first one, where he only came in through the intake in March, we won the league in every season.

 

A legend who didn't get to go out in that fashion was Dafydd Davies 7A. Our captain of 15+ years didn't give me any warning that he was going to retire, so he wasn't in the squad for the cup final. I tried to talk him out of it, but he was adamant that the time had come to hang them up. He did feature a lot more than Gwion this season appearing in 39 games. His career stats are unbelievable, he played 19 seasons for us, and we won the league in every single one. He scored in 18 straight Welsh PL seasons and had 9 seasons of over 7.50 rating and a couple very close ones. That he only got 2 Caps for Wales is a joke, whatever he may have lacked in ability he surely made up for in character. Dafydd was named Welsh Premier League player of the year 4 times, and Welsh Premier of the league twice. Our great leader and captain had started taking coaching badges, and was promtply made Manager of the reserve team after his retirement.

 

The in-game news item following their retirement was eye-popping stuff:

Gwion Price 5A | Dafydd Davies 7A

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This is going to be the season where my luck finally runs out. In 21 league games we've score 9 goals. Our top scorer from last few seasons hasn't scored since the opening day and his back has 1 goal in the cup to his name, nothing I do is helping. 

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@Sanno11 cheers, though in the 8 games since my last post we've won 6 drawn 1 and lost 1 (away to the league leaders) with both strikers ending their long runs without scoring so maybe I should complain more often?! :D In regards to how we're playing it's very similar, despite being 20th we have the best defensive record in the league with only 26 conceded in 29 games, it's just scoring is our problem, our finishing is the issue (we have the worst short on % in the league) as the forwards we have aren't as good as the ones I had before and the goals from midfield have dried up as the guys coming through aren't as good in that aspect as the older guys.

 

 

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13 hours ago, MCPlay said:

Bilderesultat for county haverfordwest

Season 25

2041/2042

League Table | Transfers | Player Stats

Dafabet Welsh Premier League

20 in a row. Lost a game :(

Cup runs

2 of 2. In the Welsh cup final I decided to start Gwion Price 5A as he had declared his intentions to retire after the season. He had only played in 4 games all season, but


Champions League

For the first time we had a pretty lucky draw. Monaco, Zenit and Ajax were our opponents, by far the easiest group we've ever had in the CL. Unfortunately we were destroyd in the first 2 games, getting outclassed by both Monaco and Ajax, before we picked up a draw against Zenit. I was furious, I was so sure we would perform better in this group. Thankfully we turned it around in the second half of the stage, and won the next two games. This saw us needing only a point against Zenit in the last game to advance. We pushed Zenit for much of the game, even missing a penalty, and it felt like an unfair sucker punch when they took the lead in the 72nd minute. I was desperate and in the 87th minute I made a move I dare say few other would have made. I subbed out our star and goal machine Matthew Rees 18A for young up-and-comer Andy Jones 23C. He repayed my trust only three minutes later, euqalising to 1-1 and sending us through to the knock-out stages in the dying seconds of the game!

 

We drew Man City in the first knock-out stage. We played very well at home, earning a 0-0 draw which could have easily been a win for us. The game in manchester however was a sad affair, we stood firm untill Dave Owen 14B scored an own goal at this stage for the second year in a row. After that costly mistake we fell apart, and it ended up being an embarrising 5-0 shellacking.

Youth Setup:

Youth Intake

Blah. Nothing good here, from the looks of it. Will be very surprised if any of this lot make it here. We got our first youngster from an affiliate, unfortunatly the lad from Dungannon was pretty poor.

Big Fat Goalie Challenge:

Dave Owen 14B - 79 Goals. 9 this season, 2 free kicks. Closing in on 100 goals, pretty nice!

 

Danny Roberts Challenge

The aim in this Challenge is to get a player to score 1000 goals during his career, national team goals count.

Most goals:

Huw Price 4A - 447 goals in 669 games. The legend has retired.

Jacob Davies 10D - 391 goals in 354 games. Has left the club, so wont add to this. Is currently playing week-in and week out for the elevator team that is Burnley.

Matthew Rees 18A - Club: 320 goals in 302 games. 36 goals in  38 games this season. International: 10 Goals in 32 caps. 1 goal in 5 caps this year.

Total:  330 Goals

Very disappointing from Matthew, who just doesn't seem as lethal anymore. He isn't unhappy or wanting to move away, but his performances just aren't the same as they used to be. At 23 years old he should still be improving, but it seems he is regressing. Hopefully he can bounce back and regain his hunger for goals, because 37 goals in a season just wont cut it. Maybe Jordan Jones 22B is taking away his thunder, and that playing next to such a great player is actually hindering his goal scoring?

 

Semi-interesting stuff

With our recent CL-success we are now nearing getting two teams into the CL-qualification which would be cool. The Welsh Premier League is ranked as the 18th best top division. We have now moved into the top 40 teams in europe, and is ranked at 37. Hopefully we could be a third seed in next years CL-draw.

what are the average attendances like. I know last year they did not scale very well as the league and clubs rep grew. same with tv money. somebody had a save where the welsh prem was in the top 10 leagues and clubs were only getting a few hundred attendance

 

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@wicksyFM I don't have the game open as I am at work, but i average about 1400 in the league. No other teams average over 1000. In the big CL matches we usually sell out stadium we are loaning, which holds 14.500. The tv-money and sponsormoney has grown, but not by enough to compensate for the growth of the league IMO. Will get you some numbers when I get home later

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JäPS

2021 Season: Ykkönen

JäPS.jpeg

League Position: 2nd (Media prediction: 10th)

Fixtures 1 Fixtures 2

This season we kept hold of our brightest prospects and were all the better for it. We were a bit back and forth at the start of the campaign and I was a little surprised to see KPV build up a big advantage very early on as they went 8 points clear. After losing to the freakiest freak goal I’ve seen in FM17 against Ilves (our goalkeeper seemed to parry punch a not even hopeful cross straight into the net), what followed was very special. We put together a run of 11 games unbeaten, which in a 27 game league can obviously help a lot. The run saw Tommi Masalin (YP3a) hit top form as he soared past our previous highest goalscorer mark with a third of the season to go. KPV’s lead became more-or-less insignificant as we headed into August.

Coming up from behind were Haka, who had an annoying knack of winning games at the death or just about holding on. A massive injury to Masalin disrupted things somewhat. After we lost our first game in months to SalPa and then grinding out a nervy draw against the leaders KPV, Haka absolutely destroyed us. It was on the cards and I put it down to the natural pattern of the season. This view was vindicated as a sequence of excellent and mature performances followed, with Kurritu and our newest youth prospect (see below) showing their worth. We were top with two games remaining, a point clear of Haka and two clear of KPV. It was going to be a tight finish.

Against Ekenas I was too cautious early on and then too reckless late on, we lost 3-0. It was mixed feelings to see Haka beat KPV the same day as it put them top but did at least secure our playoff place. In the end they won on the final day so our underwhelming defeat to Ilves did not matter.

Even though we had lost two games in succession I felt very confident in facing a play-off against Kemi Kings who had finished second from bottom of the Veikkausliiga. I went all out and we scored early on in the home leg. We missed a second half penalty (is it just me, or are penalties nearly impossible to score from in FM17?), but I was delighted to not concede in the first leg. We went down in the second leg but I went all out to get a goal and in the end got two from Kurritu who put in a colossal performance. 3-1 on aggregate, we never looked in danger of losing. After five attempts, JäPS were in the top flight!

Suomen Cup: Winners
:eek: A run that defied my wildest expectations. We didn’t just win the cup (and the group) as a second-tier side, we annihilated nearly all the top flight teams that got in our way, playing with an overload strategy. The final against HJK (16-time cup winners, current champions and champions-elect of Finland) was defined by an almost unimaginable passage of 13 minutes where we found the net six times having gone a goal down. We will therefore be in the Europa League in 2022!

As a side note, our victory here provides a possible blueprint for life in the top flight. It would certainly yield goals at both ends of the pitch.  

***

Season Records

Transfers: We only lost Tuure Nummi this time out, he proved easily replaceable.

***

Notable Players

Tommi Masalin YP3a: I was disappointed with him last year as he underperformed both in matches and in training. This time round he burst out of the blocks and scored 13 in the league and 6 in the cup. He suffered a cruciate injury which ended his goalscoring run prematurely, without it I really think we would have won the league.

Mahdi Ali: As I’ve come to expect, another top season for our Somali international as he approaches the later stages of his career.

Lauri Mäkelä YP1d: An ever-adaptable option in midfield, he played a captain’s role this season without ever (yet) being captain.

Kalle Kurittu: He came good yet again as the season approached its end. Scored the goals that took us to the (relative) promised land against Kemi and got in on the action in the cup final as well.

Hedi Khayat: I don’t think I’ve mentioned him in a season update before but Khayat has been with me since day one and put in the work to boost our cause in league and cup. Maddeningly inconsistent at times, but often very effective as a defensive forward.

***

Notable Youth Players:

Jaako Hirvonen YP3d: Another good season for a player who has emerged as a somewhat unsung hero, he was a regular at left back and contributed six assists and a single goal..

Heikki Nurmi YP1k: I’d nearly written him off after a quiet year but Nurmi was reliable when called upon in league and cup.

Joel Immonen YP4b: We’ve produced some great midfielders in recent years and Immonen means we can hopefully cope with the loss of Mäkelä or Purosto should they get sold in the future. Next step will be to get him scoring...

Joakim Kanerva YP2f: Reliable, capable of making a difference, so far has developed to be better than I expected.

Miikka Uimonen YP4a: Not quite as influential as I may have hoped but at his best he compliments Masalin nicely and will surely get a lot better.

 

***

Youth intake 2021

To top off a memorable season, the new chairman agreed to increase the junior training budget and we now have ‘Excellent’ status. It seemed as though this paid off very soon after.

Ville Mäkinen YP5a: A very interesting case as he has low technical attributes but his determination is beyond hat of any player we’ve produced so far. If he develops as he should he should be here many years as captain.

Anssi Kalermo YP5b: Oh my. Kalermo looks like he could be the greatest we’ve ever produced. He scored on his debut with a long range effort against Mariehamn, shades of Rooney vs Arsenal all those years ago. He got another in the cup final, and again in the playoff final. The only question is: will we be able to keep hold of him?

Kim Hiukka YP5c: Looks another sure thing for us in the midfield department, let's boost that determination and see what we end up with.

Hannu Järvinen YP5d and Peter Puustinen YP5e:

Whilst I abandoned wide midfielders in my tactic this season, I can’t help but wonder how these players might be able to supply our three man frontline, especially given Puustinen’s crossing abilities. Will try my best to integrate one or both of these.

***

Season-by-season progress

Off-field progress

Season Finances Av. Attendance Capacity Training Facs. Youth Facs. Youth Rec. Junior Coaching
2017 -£84K 261 1,000 Average Basic Fairly Basic Good
2018 £110K 235 1,000 Average Basic Fairly Basic Good
2019 £131K 289 1,000 Average Basic Fairly Basic Good
2020 -£41K 351 1,000 Average Poor Fairly Basic Good
2021 -£75K 329 1,000 Average Poor Fairly Basic Excellent

 

Aims for next season

The prospect of European ties during the crunch time of the season is as daunting as it is exciting, but we should have it about us to survive. That’s all I really want in the first instance!

Edited by Duroliponte

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FM 17 - Youth Academy Challenge Update

So after 15 pages (that would be 750 post to my counting - not great at math though so if I made some mistakes in adding up results, please be kind with me), the situation of the challenge looks at seen bellow:

- We received a total number of 58 subscriptions to the challenge, with several users having more than one ( @darren1983 and @Shakes both with 3 so far). Of this 58 challenges, 15 haven't gone past the first season (with no updates presented, game crashes, fired or relegated). 

- 10 people have reached the first league in their country, and three of them won the national league: @smp20 in Bulgaria in 2022 (which has also completed the challenge by winning Champions League in 2025) and @MCPlay and @Braumiller in Wales (2022 and 2025). I also think @MCPlay has the longest career so far (i stopped counting around 15 seasons i think).

- The most popular country to play is of course England (with 7 careers there), Germany has 6, Scotland 5.

-  FC Sakhalin from Russia is the only club selected by two users, but neither have progressed far with them.

- Other users who have played at least 5 seasons, showing great commitment to the challenge: @Bartrcm with RC Mechelen in Belgium, @Sanno11 with Ilkeston and darren1983 with Dulwich Hamlet in England, @The_Gato_In_Goal with SV Spakenburg in Holland (finishing 19, 19, 18, 19, 19, 16), @Velodromè with Forde in Norway, @XaV with Imortal In Portugal and @Dan BHTFC with Selkirk in Scotland (finishing 10, 9, 8, 10, 9, 9).

- And of course, @Muttley84's career with Ergotelis from Greece is the most beautiful of all :)

sNyv1.jpg

sNwsc.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Duroliponte said:

@Muttley84 Sorry, should I have posted 20 minutes later? :D

 

That's ok, I stopped at the end of page 15 anyway :)

 

7 minutes ago, darren1983 said:

Excellent work @Muttley84 

Thanks, it will get more interesting as seasons progress. Hope you can get read of that most teams so far trophy :)

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Dulwich Hamlet - EFL2 - Season 2026/27

Dulwich Hamlet Badge.png

 

League - what a strange season. Just look at that position graph. We started with a win giving me confidence that we could carry on last season's form. We didn't win for another 12 games, because why do things easy? We weren't playing badly but just not scoring (the fact we kept joint most 22 clean sheets and and the best defence in the league shows we had a solid base) but with a couple of tweaks to player roles and personal we started to score and moved up the table. We got within touching distance of the playoffs but our poor early season form left us with too much to do.

League Cup - once again an away draw to a championship side, but this time we won, we then beat Premiership side Swansea with the last kick of extra time. We of course then lost to league one side Blackburn :D 

FA Cup - exactly the same as last season, and I mean exactly. Same team, we drew the first game at home again before losing the replay away.

EFL Cup - usual 1 win 1 loss before getting pumped by the premier league u23 side. 

Transfers - usual loaning out of players I'm hoping to give some playing time to next season.

Squad - still weak in a couple of areas

Finances - only this good thanks to end of season money. We did have a takeover this year with the fans trust taking over, feels quite apt for the fans to be running the club while doing this challenge but fear it'll mean even less money in the club.

Key Players

Ertugrul Orhan (YP7OA) great development from him, potential league one player and had scouts at games watching him this season
Nicky Wright (YP06B) looking very good, has played all 3 midfield roles we use this season but now time to nail done one I think.
Gary Humphrey - came through 6 years ago and didn't look much but has established himself as first choice.

Youth Intake - pretty solid one this year with 5 players tagged.

Terry Goodliffe (YP10A) - looks like the DM we've been needing for a while now
Ian O'Brien (YP10B) - could be a capable left sided player for us
Seth Gayle (YP10C) - CM which is needed with our best 2 both the wrong side of 30
Anthony Hughes (YP10D) - a needed keeper, while not great could turn out well
Stephen McCann (YP10E) - Inside forward, added depth to our wide midfield range
 

Career Overview

Season		League		Position	Achievements

2017/18		VNS		1st		Champions
2018/19		VNL		7th		
2019/20		VNL		14th 
2020/21		VNL		15th
2021/22		VNL		4th		Promotion via playoffs
2022/23		EFL2		22nd 
2023/24		EFL2		4th		Lost Playoff Semi Final	
2024/25		EFL2		22nd 	
2025/26		EFL2		19th 		
2026/27		EFL2		9th		

 

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26 minutes ago, Muttley84 said:

Thanks, it will get more interesting as seasons progress. Hope you can get read of that most teams so far trophy :)

Might be all I win from this challenge this year so not prepared to let it go just yet :D 

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@Muttley84 Great overview. Have seen that i linked the wrong picture, so you couldn't add my place in the relegation stage. corrected it now. Got 4th place in the relegation stage.

 

@Duroliponte Thanks. At the moment i am nearing the end of season 2,  but because of a lot of work and family i don't think i will finish it in the next days. As i hoped i reached the promotion stage, because in my first stage group i faced only bad and mediocre teams. But the promotion stage is far too big for my team, yet. We get trashed most of the games, morale is really low, now. It's really a weird system in portugal and the decision who plays in which group seems to be totally random.

Btw. At the beginning of the season i was very happy, that my 18 year old youngster Rodolfo Machado who was already at the club in the beginning, decided to stay and even to extend his contract. But he played so good that the offers from teams in the 2nd division didn't stop and one day the board decided to sell him ... for 12k. After my protests they said they are forced to do so because of our financial situation (150k debt). Two days after that, the president decided to put 200k in the club. No debt anymore, but no Machado.

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23 minutes ago, wicksyFM said:

I really want to do this challenge. But it genuinely does scare the life out of me

I was much like that as well, I'm not a great manager in FM, nor do I tend to keep at a save for any length of time, but I did this challenge last year and although I didn't record anything it was my longest last save, well into 20+ seasons before I lost interest.   Give it a go, since it's only 1 nation you'll be loading a season goes through really quickly.

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20 minutes ago, MackieStaggie said:

I was much like that as well, I'm not a great manager in FM, nor do I tend to keep at a save for any length of time, but I did this challenge last year and although I didn't record anything it was my longest last save, well into 20+ seasons before I lost interest.   Give it a go, since it's only 1 nation you'll be loading a season goes through really quickly.

i think i will. ive been playing LLM saves but this challenge is all i think about. ive never done it before so i might give it a go. hmmm. who to be

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4 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

FM 17 - Youth Academy Challenge Update

So after 15 pages (that would be 750 post to my counting - not great at math though so if I made some mistakes in adding up results, please be kind with me), the situation of the challenge looks at seen bellow:

- We received a total number of 58 subscriptions to the challenge, with several users having more than one ( @darren1983 and @Shakes both with 3 so far). Of this 58 challenges, 15 haven't gone past the first season (with no updates presented, game crashes, fired or relegated). 

- 10 people have reached the first league in their country, and three of them won the national league: @smp20 in Bulgaria in 2022 (which has also completed the challenge by winning Champions League in 2025) and @MCPlay and @Braumiller in Wales (2022 and 2025). I also think @MCPlay has the longest career so far (i stopped counting around 15 seasons i think).

- The most popular country to play is of course England (with 7 careers there), Germany has 6, Scotland 5.

-  FC Sakhalin from Russia is the only club selected by two users, but neither have progressed far with them.

- Other users who have played at least 5 seasons, showing great commitment to the challenge: @Bartrcm with RC Mechelen in Belgium, @Sanno11 with Ilkeston and darren1983 with Dulwich Hamlet in England, @The_Gato_In_Goal with SV Spakenburg in Holland (finishing 19, 19, 18, 19, 19, 16), @Velodromè with Forde in Norway, @XaV with Imortal In Portugal and @Dan BHTFC with Selkirk in Scotland (finishing 10, 9, 8, 10, 9, 9).

- And of course, @Muttley84's career with Ergotelis from Greece is the most beautiful of all :)

sNyv1.jpg

sNwsc.jpg

Awesome stats, cheers @Muttley84

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@wicksyFM - The point is in trying, you don't have to succeed. I'm on my 13th save since the I completed the challenge in FM13, in that time I've spent 2 seasons total in a top tier league (one of them relegated) and haven't made it to Europe at all. So don't feel bad if you fail, you'll probably do better than I do. :) 

Nice recovery @darren1983, it's amazing the difference in a striker as soon as they break that scoring dry run. Until they do it feels like they couldn't kick it into the ocean.

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Dalbeattiestar.png

Dalbeattie Star

Season 3 - 2019/2020
 

Squad

1st Team Keepers / U20's Keepers - Not much to add to this tbh.  Moved Frank Patterson (2019) up into the first team and moved Steven Stevenson (2018) back to the U20's as Frank was marginally the better keeper.  None are close to challenging for the No.1 jersey yet but will need to find a way to get some game time for them soon.

1st Team Defenders / U20's Defenders - Again, sticking with the core group I got when I first took over the team, thankfully the oldest player is 26 so still have a few years with this core group while attempting to bleed the youth into them.  A blend of youth and experience in the coming years I hope.  My captain Fabio had a stellar year and really grew as a player....may be fending off the wolves to keep hold of him.  2 of last years intake Simon Wedge (2019) and Peter Reid (2019) had a good season for the U20's and I'm looking to try and send them on loan if possible for some game time.

1st Team Midfielders / U20's Midfielders - Again, not looking to change much at the moment, although as I'll explain in the season review latter on and number of the U20's may be getting a look into the 1st team next season.  Dean Carse had his best season for us and was vital in our 2nd half of the season putting in a number of MOTM performances.

1st Team Strikers / U20's Strikers - I know at the end of last season I said I was going to use Lewis McLean (2019) with caution.....but caution be damned, I need the talent up front.  Lewis did seem fatigued towards the end of the season but 15 goals from 39 games with 3 MOTM awards shows my faith was repaid for, he's now on a part time contract and not just a youth one.  Not much else to write home about with the rest, Gerry McCulloch will need some game time which will see him coming off the bench more often.

Season Review

League Cup - Knocked out group stage, decent away game to Dundee Utd which saw a decent return in revenue but nothing else of note

Challenge Cup - Knocked out in the 2nd round to Celtic's 20 in a penalty shootout....to a record low crown of 17.  That hurts man.

Scottish Cup - A rather timid and week performance and we are out in the 2nd round.  Very disappointing.

League - They say that football is a game of 2 halves, and for The Star the league was very much a season of 2 half's.  Staying with the basic 4-4-2 formation from the previous 2 seasons the season started badly and continued on that trend.  The 1st half of the season table is not a pretty sight and shows the trouble that we found ourselves in.  I had to do something to try an arrest this slump or it was certain relegation playoff and most likely a loss in that as well.  So I move to a 4-3-2-1 with wide attacking midfielders in an attempt to utilise Lewis McLean's youthful pace.  IT ONLY WORKED!!! Going into the last game of the season we find ourselves in 9th place and only have to match what Berwick Rangers do.  We had league leaders Cowdenbeath while Berwick Rangers played 4th place Stenhousmuir.  Was I going to experience the pain of finishing 10th after dodging that position in the last 2 seasons.....was I heck.  A 1-0 win against Cowdenbeath (who lost the title as a result) matched Berwick's 2-0 win and once again, The Star shines just enough to shine through (I'm so sorry for that pun...well not that sorry)

Incidentally, Berwick lose the playoff relegation tie to Stirling Albion.  The last 3 teams who have finished 10th have gone down....that is not a good place to finish it seems.

Youth Intake

I think it was unlikely that I would have another find like Lewis McLean (2019) but I live in hope....so intake day

Mmm, not great but not terrible either.  I take the keeper Barry Mutch (2020) and he'll be going into the youth team, I'll farm one of the current bunch out on loan to an affiliate club. Defenders Blair Quinn (2020) DC, Michael Reynolds (2020) DC, Ray Hanley (2020) DC and David Frame (2020) DR all come in, potential is greater than what we have at the moment so will see if anything develops. Angus Alexander (2020) AM RLC is brought in as his versatility in playing anywhere up front provides some depth in cover.  The rest are free to find a local pub team to play for.

Other Points of Interest

Club takeover - At the end of last season I had said our chairman was ready to step down.....well it must have been a large step as it took 7 months for a fans trust to take over.  There will be no cash injection (booo), they reset the clubs philosophies (BOOOO) and where not willing to negotiate on them till near the end of the season as I wasn't doing a good enough job at the time (MEGA BOOING) but considering the first half of the season they may have had a point.  However I got another years contract and was able to agree on a club philosophy of developing youth players for 1st team and an increase in junior coaching as well, which is nice.

Finances - I think the 7 months of takeover meant our chairman was not putting in some cash which he did last season so we took a big hit, end of season prize money helps a bit but wonder if I have to cut back on junior coaching if it becomes an issue further down the season.

100th Career game - My 100th game in charge and I got a rare win, the boys knew it was multiple laps around the caravan park if we had lost.

Season 4 Aims

If we can replicate the 2nd half of the season's form there's no reason why I should not be aiming for mid table....however anything not 10th is a win I think, cup run would be nice also.

Results to Date

Season     League    Postion   Challenge Cup   League Cup   Scottish Cup   Traning Facilites   Youth Facilites   Junior Coaching   Youth Recruitment   Avg Attendance  
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18    League 2  9th       1st Round       Group Stage  3rd Round      Poor                Basic             Adequate          Basic               185 (5% Full)   
2018/19    League 2  9th       1st Round       Group Stage  4th Round      Poor                Basic             Adequate          Basic               142 (4% Full)  
2019/20    League 2  9th       1st Round       Group Stage  2nd Round      Poor                Basic             Average           Basic               151 (4% Full)  

 

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2 minutes ago, Shakes said:

@wicksyFM - The point is in trying, you don't have to succeed. I'm on my 13th save since the I completed the challenge in FM13, in that time I've spent 2 seasons total in a top tier league (one of them relegated) and haven't made it to Europe at all. So don't feel bad if you fail, you'll probably do better than I do. :) 

Nice recovery @darren1983, it's amazing the difference in a striker as soon as they break that scoring dry run. Until they do it feels like they couldn't kick it into the ocean.

i will be starting tomorrow. not sure who with. but i will post on here. should be fun

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@wicksyFM I was the same when reading this challenge, it's daunting for sure, but once you get going it's great. What has helped him with this save is people in here, it's amazing what the odd little words of encouragement mean when you've not won in 12 games :D 

 

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On 12/1/2016 at 09:14, Braumiller said:

Yep!

(It just cannot be a team that went down in the first season, who comes back up again)

Thanks. I have holidayed two seasons to get Ribeira Brava in Portugal to come up who I had an enjoyable but failed attempt with last year.

The first season will be tricky - starting squad of 12 with best midfielder and best centre back both leaving in pre-season. So I have my back up GK playing left wing and a grey player at DM. Looking forward to intake day...

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Dumb question - there's no point in employing a DoF or any scouts in this challenge, right?

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1 hour ago, bdavies26 said:

Dumb question - there's no point in employing a DoF or any scouts in this challenge, right?

There are no dumb questions here.

I hired the cheapest scout possible, just so I could get a next opponent report each week.

I did not get a DoF at all, until I was 5-6 years in.  And only then as I like to add my kids to the Development list and have the DoF try and find them loan destinations.  You can certainly do this yourself, I just had a bunch of kids and was lazy :D

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Season 09 - 2025-26

The Season As It Happened.....

Preseason
With the later start to our European games we were able to get in two friendlies beforehand!
Our first ever Champions League tie was against FC Copenhagen, which could have been kinder....
Home first and we took the lead!  The Danish pro team then exerted their superiority on us and turned it around and were leading 1-2 late on.  Recalled Leigh Taylor 2022-A (who finished 3rd top scorer in the Welsh Premier League last year) then popped up with a header to claim a 2-2 draw!
Wow!  We went to Copenhagen expecting to get a beating, but the lads were magnificent.  Jordan Martin 2018-D gave us a valuable 1-0 lead in the 7th minute.  Straight after halftime we made it 2-0 with Scott Hurley 2021-G's first ever goal from right back (only playing due to preseason injuries) and the expected FC Copenhagen onslaught never materialized.  Gobsmacked.
3rd Qualifying Round sees another Scandinavian opponent, the Finnish outfit FC Inter.  On paper a much smaller team than FC Copenhagen..  First leg at home again.  And I have to be honest I feel as though we played below par.  We eeked out a 1-0 win, but it was not up to standard  The away leg saw a much better performance and we won 2-0!   Only downside was a late red card, but it was to Conah Howells 2018-C who is a backup player (who had just come on!) so it should not be too much of a miss.
Unbelievably we are in the Champions League Playoff draw....  And it hands us our 3rd Scandinavian team, this time Molde FK of Norway.  Away leg first and it looks like the dream run is coming to an end.  We made it to HT at 0-0 but in the 2nd half Molde exerted themselves on the game and ran out 0-3 winners :(
Home leg and Molde were just too good, scoring another 3 for a 6-0 aggregate win.  A fantastic run and we just banked 2.8m for it!
Holy cow, in all the excitement of the Champions League run I forgot that the losers of the Playoff round drop into the Europa League group stages....  We just received another 2.2m!  To put into perspective, our treble winning season last year saw a total income of 471k for the whole year.  Draw time, we are 4th seeds (duh!) and actually have the lowest coefficient of the 48 teams left in it.  Not the worst draw of the 12 groups, but we should finish plum last!  Anderlecht of Belgium, Sparta Prague of Czech Rep and Zorya Lugansk of Ukraine.
One other prediction aside from finishing 4th in the group, this fixture list is gonna kill these kids! :D

September 18th 2025
First Europa League group game and it is the toughest on paper, away at Anderlecht.  We are 0-1 down after 44 seconds and 0-2 after 10 minutes.  We find our feet after that and ride our luck a little.  A red card for us on 63 doesn't help and the final score of 0-3 was not as bad as it first looked like what it was going to be....

The games are coming at a crazy pace for my squad!
So far in the league we are top (9-1-0) but the gulf in class in Europe is obvious.  3 defeats out of 3 in the Europa Group Stages so far!

November 27th 2025
Our 5th game of the group stage saw Anderlecht visit and it was our best performance of the groups, somehow there was only one goal scored in the game which saw 8 clear cut chances (5 for us) and that goal was scored by Ross Fisher 2020-A in the 91st minute!  Not just our first group point, but our first group win!  310k in prize money for it was well!

December 11th 2025
Wow, it really feels like we found our feet in the group now that it is ending :)!  We made it two wins out of two to finish up, with a fantastic 3-2 wom away at Zorya.  We led 2-0 thanks to a pair of quick fire counter attacks, they then pinned us back for the last hour of the game, pulling it back to 2-2 before a 3rd counter attack sealed it
in the 79th minute!  Another 310k!

January 18th 2026
End of the first part of the season and both TNS and ourselves are still unbeaten.  We hold a 4 point advantage due to them drawing a couple of extra games.  The fixtures for the Championship section are out and last game of the season?  Away at TNS....

February 14th 2026
This felt like a moment.  After TNS had drawn their last 2 games and we had won ours we met at our place.  A very tight game was 0-0 at HT, but in the 2nd half we broke them open and ran out 3-0 winners!  It leaves us 11 points clear with 6 games to go.

February 28th 2026
Youth Candidates 2026!
David Phillips 2026-A - A decent looking striker who already has a little bit of familiarity with the AMC position.  Some retraining next year and maybe a loan spell and he could be first team ready
Daniel Williams-Taylor 2026-B - A tall central defender who has a shot to get games in a couple of years if he progresses.

March 21st 2026
A 3-0 win for us and another draw for TNS wraps up the title 3 games early!  TNS have still only lost 1 game (to us), but they have now drawn 9 games.  Our new aim is for a first undefeated league season.  3 games to go.....

May 5th 2026
Last game of the season, away at TNS and we are still unbeaten.  As all of our games are, this is very tight and 0-0 late on.  Then the ref awards them a penalty in the 84th minute and the unbeaten streak is in danger!  They score, we go gung-ho and they get a 2nd on the counter in the 89th minute.  Streak gone right at the death....

May 9th 2026
Welsh Cup final time, against TNS.  Time to forget what happened 4 days ago!
Well, it was not a classic!  We went down to 10 men after a horror tackle right on half time and it stayed 0-0 until the 69th minute when Mark Heyes 2020-B popped up with what turned out to be the only goal of the game!
A second domestic treble in a row!

May 10th 2026
The day has finally arrived!  We just turned professional! :)  After our crazy run to the Europa League Group Stages our bank balance is sitting at approx 4.5m, so they had no more excuses.  We also just had our first ever training and youth facilities upgrades approved and work just began on those, costing around 550k.  Even the news of approx 1m in taxes over the coming year cannot dampen this day :D

Random Notes / Thoughts
That was a heck of a season!  The European run was unexpected but has set us up for the foreseeable future now!  The bank balance looks good, we have turned pro and I can now finally get some proper full time training going (traits!).  Funny how one game can change a save.  The second leg away to Copenhagen in our first Champions League tie was our best result to date.  It gave us an easier passage to an unlikely group appearance.
Emulating that will prove hard, at least for a few years.
The fixture congestion was a little crazy, but it led to giving a lot more games to kids who ordinarily would not have played.

End of Season Screenshots
League Table
Results - League / Cups
Transfers
End of Season Awards
* Player of The Year 1st Place - Matty James 2024-B (56%)
* Player of The Year 2nd Place - Mark Heyes 2022-B (21%)
* Player of The Year 3rd Place - Ross Fisher 2022-A (14%)


Season 10 Targets
* Three-peat
 

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3 hours ago, bdavies26 said:

Dumb question - there's no point in employing a DoF or any scouts in this challenge, right?

I got 1 scout for next opposition and if I feel like scouting any player so I can see them.

I also got a DoF purely for the reason to get 2nd nationalities in youth intakes. (Still hasn't worked in 7 years though)

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Wow top season @Braumiller, TNS who?

I think the only real use for scouts/DoF is expanding the nations on the intake, so I don't hire them until I can find a foreign one. I don't see a lot of use in scouting the next opposition, I'm not a reactive manager like that (maybe I should be, but I find it hard enough to get a plan A to work, let alone having a plan B).

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@Duroliponte Brilliant season, congrats on promotion and reaching Europe. Should be a busy season next year. Anssi Kalermo YP5b looks like a great player, hopefully now you're in the top division he will want to stay.

@darren1983 Great recovery...... phew. I am using your success as a benchmark so when you posted the update about struggling I was thinking I have no chance. It's interesting with this challenge that you can't keep tabs on everyone's best players,   Orhan (YP07a) looks incredible, good luck holding onto him.

@MackieStaggie You have done well to bounce back so successfully from such a rotten start. Hopefully this trend continues and you can record your best finish next season. Glad to see McClean finding the net.

@Braumiller Amazing when it all comes together like that, well done. After reaching this tipping point I imagine you will be more motivated then ever. Glad the board finally approved your professional status, that annoyance was coming through in your updates!

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