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MarcxD

[FM17] Amsterdamsche Football Club: We Aim To Play Well Enough

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Welcome to my career thread for FM17. With the (re-)introduction of promotion and relegation in Dutch league football I've taken on a newly promoted club after a season of holidaying. I've chosen to take on Amsterdamsche Football Club, more simply just known as AFC. I've chosen the club for two reasons. First of all, it's my local club, even more so than Ajax is. As a matter of fact, when I was at high school, we used to have P.E. on their grounds... And now, finally, they're playable (after a holiday!) in the game. Hooray. Second of all, it's always fun to play with a second club from a city. Of course Ajax is the big boss in Amsterdam (and Holland so I like to think), so the end goal will be to take AFC from minnows to giants (or at least to win the eredivisie).

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A little bit of history on AFC: the club was founded on the 18th of January in 1895, making it the oldest football club of Amsterdam (Ajax was founded in 1900). In real life they are a pretty traditional club. They, like most of the clubs in the new "Tweede Divisie" (the new third tier league just below the playable leagues in FM) are amateur in name, although really the clubs in that league are semi-professional. In real life they've said they have no real interest in promoting to the Jupiler League - they are proud of being "amateur", and if you get promoted to the Jupiler League you need to have a certain amount of full-time players on your books, I think. Of course in the FM world we don't have to care about such scruples.  They were champions of the former third thier division, the "Topklasse" Sunday (the amateur leagues in Holland are divided by saturday/sunday leagues) in 2014, but back then there was no forced promotion to the professional leagues. Last year they finished 6th in the Topklasse Sunday and the top 7 qualified for the new Tweede Divisie. Their ground is named "Goed Genoeg", which translates to Well Enough. Hence the topic name! Since they have been more or less an amateur club for all of their history, as a manager I will have all the history to write in professional football. 

I think this is challenge enough (certainly for a player of my skill level. I'm rather mediocre), so I won't do the youth challenge or anything like that. I can sign anyone I like - if the game allows me to, that is. I also won't shy away from using loan players, especially seeing that many of the smaller Dutch clubs in real life do so.

Now onto the game and some screenshots. After holidaying about thirty times I finally got them to get promoted, and here we are. 

Manager Stats at the Start - I've decided to just take the suggested coaching badge and past playing experience, which is not all that great anyway. 

History & Facilities - As you can see our facilities are ... not great, nor is our history all that impressive. Room for me to improve :)

Squad at the beginning of the season - As you can see the game had almost all of our players on amateur deals, and obviously they are not up to standards.

The media predicts we'll finish 20th, out of 20. Only the 20th will get relegated, so we'll only have to do 1 better. I don't think it'll be all that easy though. Our reputation obviously sucks and I'll need to sign new players as soon as possible, while figuring out how the new game treats me. The only real goal for this season will be to stay up, and hopefully to build something of a squad for next season. 

I'll be planning to post two to three updates a season. If anyone wants anything as far as screenshots are concerned I'll be glad to post them here (as long as I can still take them, since I usually play a bit ahead of the posts). 

Hope you enjoy the ride! 

 

 

 

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Awesome. Best of luck with this! I shall be following it with great interest!

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Definitely following this. I have changed my mind about my Danish career since I realised loads of the 2nd division teams are still amateur. Instead I am considering doing this.

I can't decide to go for AFC, Haarlem, Katwijk, Lienden or De Treffers...any advice?

Also what is the league reset date?

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Thanks all! I'll post my first update tonight, it has not been smooth sailing so far...

45 minutes ago, The Silence Of The Allams said:

Definitely following this. I have changed my mind about my Danish career since I realised loads of the 2nd division teams are still amateur. Instead I am considering doing this.

I can't decide to go for AFC, Haarlem, Katwijk, Lienden or De Treffers...any advice?

Also what is the league reset date?

Awesome!

All Dutch promotable teams are amateur as well (except maybe the reserve teams but they didn't promote once for me while holidaying), but the clubs automatically turn professional when they get promoted to the Jupiler league. Katwijk & De Treffers were the teams I got the most from holidaying, so I'd hazard a guess that they have the best reputation and quite likely the best squads, although you probably still have to sign a whole bunch of players. Personally I think Haarlem would be a cool choice, they're the oldest club in Holland and are the only one with an official royal predicate. I didn't get them while holidaying, so you might have to wait a while to get them though.

The league reset date is 7th of july.

 

 

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I haven't gone through all of the FM17 threads, but on first glance this appears to be one of the most interesting challenges. Holland definitely is a cool place to try this now that they've opened up promotion and relegation. Good luck with AFC.

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Update 1: January 2018

I signed a whole lot of players, thanks to a decent budget of 1.1M p/a (and even a transfer budget, which I used to sign a decent midfielder from England). I think the club was able to afford this thank to the TV deal, we got about 1.9M € for the season. Definitely nice, but I wasn't sure how they and I would measure up to the competition. 

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But no, we have not been very successful AT ALL! After winning 1 and losing two games against lower league opposition in pre-season friendlies I knew I was in for a ride. Getting 2 points from the first 8 league games though? Then I knew I was in trouble....

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Very rarely I was really outclassed, although I can't say I deserved to gain much more points than I did. We just didn't create enough and when we did our forwards just weren't capable of finishing them. I wasn't really sure what to do, and then I got a cup game to play.

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Wow. The fans were just as happy as I was... the first official game I won was against Eredivisie opposition. Go figure. They were much better but our 1 chance was a goal and theirs weren't. I had also changed my tactic a bit, playing a 4-1DM-2MC-AML-SC-AMR tactic on counter, and it worked, so I tried it in the Jupiler League as well. We improved a little, but to be honest, it still wasn't great.

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Next up was the cup again. Another eredivisie opponent. Surely, we wouldn't be able to...?

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Yeah... okay... I laughed.  Two official games won, two games against eredivisie opponents. Now if only we could recreate that in the league.

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And we finally did, sort of. Still haphazard, but we only lost 2 league games. I also dreamt of another Cup win, but PSV was too much. Two league wins in a row to go into the January transfer window meant we weren't last anymore though!!

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As you can see it's super tight at the bottom of the league. The three lowest teams have the same goal difference and are within 1 point. ... And we only managed to escape the last place by beating our relegation rivals Achilles. Should be an exciting second half of the season. If we can continue to gain some points we should be able to beat the drop.

Some more screenshots:

Squad

Financial update (First of february)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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Dang! What a cup run, hopefully you keep picking up points in the league now though.

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Update 2: End of Season 1 - 2017/2018

Let's start with some further player additions:

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We paid money for another player, very decent goalkeeper for this level from De Graafschap. We signed him on a pre-contract deal and they only wanted 6.75K to sell him 6 months earlier so that was a no-brainer. Abena has shown himself to a be a good defensive addition but most exciting is probably Ratkelic. He's a young Swedish striker whose agent offered him to me. A free good prospect who I could sign on a hot prospect deal 8.5k p/a? Yes please!

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Next up was our youth intake:

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Very decent, especially when you take into consideration that our facilities are awful. I've signed all those players because I wanted to fill my u19 team, but when I look back on that maybe that wasn't the smartest decision, seeing that now I've got a lot of low-determination awful players there. Oh well. 

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It's going to be questionable whether he will ever really be an important player for me, his determination, tackling and agression are all awful, pretty important for a defensive DM.... but we'll see. 

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Looks a bit better, no stats that are extremely worrying. 

Our football improved, and the results were good enough to stay up. It's not hard to see what we lacked in the games in 2018 though:

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There was one game where we scored more than one goal. One game... absolutely atrocious. And we did create chances at times, but there just wasn't a striker who had any type of form. There was one historic match though:

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We won our first derby! Okay, yeah, it was against Ajax' reserves side but I say it still counts... 

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In the end that all led to this league table. As you can see we were never really in trouble of relegating, because Emmen and Achilles barely gained any points. The goal-scoring problem is very visible here as well though: we were the team with lowest goals scored. Also remarkable: Utrecht reserves side won the league, while the 2nd, 10th and 12th-placed teams were promoted.... The period/play-off system is pretty dumb let's be honest.

I also got a new contract:

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One year wasn't great but that's what they were offering. There was more good news:

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Squad

Team of the Year

Finances

Season Review

End of Season Awards

All by all I'm not enormously pleased with how the first season went but at the same time in 2018 we were never in danger of getting relegated. We really should improve a lot and I'm looking to sign some new players, especially on the attacking front we need to improve. I'm hoping for at least a safer mid-table finish next year but really we want to do better. Let's see what the transfer windows brings.

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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On 10/22/2016 at 22:22, noikeee said:

I haven't gone through all of the FM17 threads, but on first glance this appears to be one of the most interesting challenges. Holland definitely is a cool place to try this now that they've opened up promotion and relegation. Good luck with AFC.

Cheers, I'm happy other people find it interesting as well!

 

On 10/23/2016 at 00:26, BoxToBox said:

Dang! What a cup run, hopefully you keep picking up points in the league now though.

Thanks, it went okay as you can see. Hoping for a more consistent season next year though. 

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Update 3: June 2018 - Jan 2019

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As you can see we did quite a bit business. A lot of players were let go and we signed a couple of new ones. Most striking is the huge amount of Spanish players we signed. I'm not too sure why, but some of the better players we could sign for free were Spanish. I also signed a couple of very decent Spanish newgens for free, they were all from lower league teams (Tercera I think) and looked very good. We sold both players we paid money for last year, with profit. We needed a replacement keeper though, so that's why I paid money for Gazzaniga.

Jon Seguin (DC)

Juan Gabriel Vega (AMR)

Rafa Cañas (MC)

Albert (SC)

Other than that the most exciting player is probably our new striker Jaime Moreno

That made our squad look like this (I've let the Spanish newgens play for the u19 and reserve teams first).

Let's get into the actual football now though. The friendlies were against pretty poor opposition, just to get some morale, fitness and better tactical familiarity:

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The wins were decent but not crazily convincing. They were just friendlies though, so nothing to get too excited or worried about.

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But this is worth getting excited about! In the league we smashed it. We almost won the first period but we just missed out on 1 point. Still we performed very well, exemplified most of all in the amazing 5-1 win in the Cup against Eredivisie opponent Heracles.

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The fans were justifiably excited.

It was very pleasing to see our form, especially when you take into consideration the fact that Moreno was injured after his debut where he scored twice.

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We continued to perform well, although we dropped a few more points here and there. We were performing way above expectations though, mine and the game's. The tactic was working okay and finally we finished more of our chances. We also made it to the quarter-final of the cup! That all resulted in the following league table:

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A very nice looking second place, and we could very well become champions. Of course we could also drop a few places very quickly if we lose our form, when you look at how close a lot of the teams are.

Because of the way we performed (probably) I got three job interview offers: CambuurEindhoven & Go Ahead Eagles, I declined them all.

Squad (in january)

Balance - a little bit worrying, because some of the new players, especially a view from Spain, are on relatively big salaries. I'm hoping it's not going to be a big problem.

 

 

 

 

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Massive improvement!

I must say the rules for that league are completely bonkers. Get into good form at any stage of the season and you can make it to the playoffs despite finishing 15th or something. I suspect whoever came up with this had been smoking the good old stuff in Amsterdam! :idiot:

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On 10/26/2016 at 12:49, noikeee said:

Massive improvement!

I must say the rules for that league are completely bonkers. Get into good form at any stage of the season and you can make it to the playoffs despite finishing 15th or something. I suspect whoever came up with this had been smoking the good old stuff in Amsterdam! :idiot:

Cheers, and yeah I agree.... the system is ridiculous!

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Update 4: End of Season 2 - 2018/2019

(note: the pics are bigger here because linking the url didn't work, so I just pasted them directly. Sorry about that)

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I signed some new players on free's, Kluft, El Idrissi & El Aissati were all part of the first team at times.

I'll first show you the youth update with only 1 decent prospect: Doesburg - nothing exciting here. Next the football:

NTfEn15.png

We started quite poor, only winning 1 for a while and sadly losing in extra time to Feyenoord in the cup. We got back into form at the right time, though. We scored 12 goals in the last 3 games shown here, which probably is the same amount as I scored last year in the entire second half of the season. Especially the 6-0 against last years' league winners Jong Utrecht was lovely, including a club-record 4 goals by Jaime Moreno, who contribruted a lot of goals to the team.

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This was the table after those games. As you can see the win against Dordrecht was vital, thanks to that we still had a chance to win the league. 

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Amazingly, one win further and only one game before the end of the season, we were top. The final game we played away at Den Bosch and Dordrecht played at home to Jong Ajax. We had to win!

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We didn't, but it didn't matter! Dordrecht lost, and we were champions and promoted to the Eredivisie.

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More good news: I signed a new contract, started a new coaching course and won manager of the year!

End of season awards

Season Review

Jupiler League Review

Squad

I forgot to take a screenshot of the balance but it wasn't great. We lost quite a bit of money thanks to the high salaries I paid some of the new additions to the squad (especially Moreno). Of course most of them had promotion wage hikes in the contracts as well so I'm quite scared for next year. If we don't sell - and I don't really want to - we might go deep into the red. We certainly won't be able to sign a lot of players to improve our squad for the Eredivisie, which is going to be problematic. We certainly didn't boss the Jupiler League with only 68 points from 38. So really our realistic goal for next year is going to have to be: stay up and don't go bankrupt. Easy enough, yeah?

Edited by MarcxD

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On 10/27/2016 at 17:25, BoxToBox said:

Congrats on the promotion, very quick progress.

Thanks, the progress has definitely exceeded my expectations.

Just a little note on the updates: from now on they will all be season-end updates, simply because I'm playing the game so much, I'm really enjoying playing with AFC. The first eredivisie update should be up tonight.

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:D great work winning the Jupiler league! Looking forward to see how you perform in the Eredivisie.

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58 minutes ago, JHFM said:

:D great work winning the Jupiler league! Looking forward to see how you perform in the Eredivisie.

Cheers! 

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Brilliant work! I'm checking on this all the way in Africa, so you know I'm invested haha

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41 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

Brilliant work! I'm checking on this all the way in Africa, so you know I'm invested haha

Hahaha thanks a lot, I appreciate it. Enjoying your time there?

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Update 5: End of Season 3 - 2019/2020

Since they'll be yearly from now on, these updates will be a bit different. I won't decrease the amount of screenshots, but they will mostly be links. 

The first season in the eredivisie went quite well, actually, all things considered. Because we were short on cash (I hoped for some better tv money but we actually got the same as in the first season in the jupiler league which does not seem right) we had trouble signing any players that improved our squad dramatically. That was made even worse because some of the best-paid players were on 30% wage increases thank to the promotion. We did have a nice boost in season tickets by the way. (almost our full stadium, we sell out at 2000!) Once again most of the transfers were frees (actually, the only player I paid money for was by accident. I signed him but he was on a youth contract so I paid an automatic fee. oops!). Most exciting was definitely Álex Salto from Real Madrid.  A good signing for the eredivisie and a 130K€ p/a salary is doable. Tactic-wise I decided to pretty much go on like I did in the Jupiler League, with a few tactical tweaks that made our team just a bit more strong defensively. (player-roles mostly)

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As I said, the season went well! The combination of a stronger defense and a  counter tactic worked very well and we conceded very few goals. Sure, we scored even fewer, but that didn't matter that much because we still got results. Games in 2019 - Here you can also see the cupgames. We lost in the 4th round to our city-rivals Ajax, one round further than the board expected of us (although we should've actually beat Den Bosch in the third round in 90 minutes). Games in 2020 - A few bigger defeats but also a couple of 1-0's meant we performed quite well. An even 11W-12D-11L record for a first season in the top tier was very nice and better than I expected. The last four games we had to play were very tough so I'm glad we were already more than safe at that point! It was surprising to see Vitesse win the league though... 

Squad in 2019/2020 - Salto played the most of all the players, and rightly so, since he was very important in our defensive efforts. I had a bit of trouble with some of the players and therefore the morale throughout the season, because I actually promised some new additions when we were promoted. The additions I brought in they thought weren't good enough I guess, because they kept on moping about me not keeping my promises. Youthful talent Vega shone at AMR but sadly I'm not sure how long he's going to stay at the club. He's been moaning about moving to a bigger club for a while now and since I keep on refusing offers every transfer window he gets more and more upset! He has a deal until 2021 so I should probably sell him in the next transfer window. He'll be missed though. As you can see in the transfers screenshot I linked at the beginning of this post I sold Swedish talent Ratketic for 1M to Swedish side Hammarby. I guess I should thank his agent for offering him to me. I wanted to keep him but as I said before we weren't doing all that great financially and with Moreno doing reasonably well as a striker and having some other decent talents at our club I thought it was most wise to sell him. I forgot to include a sell-on clause though. :( I did manage to sign striker Moreno on a new deal, he gave up 90K€ of salary, quite nice of him to do so. (By the way, how nice is it that a Venezulenian - I know I did not spell that correctly - has a long-held passion for AFC, a small club thousands of kilometers from his home country??)

In the end most of my worrying about the finances were for nought because we actually got quite a nice pay-out for our league-finish.... I totally forgot about that :rolleyes:

The youth update I got was, of course, not ideal because of our still very poor facilities (although our coaching and recruitment have been upgraded quite a bit since the start of this career). I signed up Van Dord, who looks okay, I guess. I confess, I'm not an expert with youth talents, I mostly go on what stats I like and what the hoyd/assman/scouts say.

Some screenshots that pertain to my career as manager specifically: 100 gamesnew contract (more than 1 year this time!)new coaching course

Other happenings: we have a new chairman! The only change is that he took out a loan, because this was before the payout at the end of the season (not that great) and we can now scout worldwide! (actually pretty great). At the end of the season he announced a stadium expansion and also training and youth facilities upgrades. Good news!

End of Season Awards

Season Review

Eredivisie Review

 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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Some very solid progress here. Congratulations on going up to the Eredivisie, and 10th on your first season up there is not bad at all.

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3 hours ago, noikeee said:

Some very solid progress here. Congratulations on going up to the Eredivisie, and 10th on your first season up there is not bad at all.

Thanks, I was definitely happy with tenth place!

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Update 6: End of Season 4 - 2020/21

The second season in the eredivisie went much as the first, just a bit better actually! Our football improved, and although we conceded quite a bit more goals we started scoring a lot more. In the end that resulted in results that were quite similar to last year's, and once again we won, drew and lost mostly the same amount of games, although I'm happy to say we won more than we drew or lost. Because of the results of the other teams, though, we finished a couple of places higher on the league table. 

On the transfer front we did quite a bit of business. Most striking are some young new players I signed: new goalkeeper Van der Sar junior from Ajax and regen talents like Belgian defender Tanghe, Argentinian Defender Juan Fontana and Emirati leftwinger Al-Shamsi. Those are the best transfers: young, promising and cheap. We also had to sell. Vega had been moaning and moaning about leaving and wouldn't sign another contract so I sold him to Cordoba. I could've maybe gotten a bit more money for him but 2.1M with 50% future fee is pretty decent. I also sold Michael Brown, a young Australian regen AML I signed for free the year before because the money was too good and with Al-Shamsi I had already signed a better player. He also has a 50% future fee so if he develops really well I'll actually be glad since I should benefit from that as well. I Bought Spanish AMR Pol Roigé as direct replacement for Vega. Since he's 27 he's not really going to improve but he should do for two seasons at least.

Games in 2020 - Pretty good results all around really. In the beginning it even seemed like we were going to compete for direct european qualification but we couldn't quite keep up that kind of form. We also did qualify for the quarterfinals of the cup after luckily beating poor side Emmen after penalties and two very good results against clubs that are or should be better than AFC: Vitesse and AZ. 

Games in 2021 - Pretty poor compared to the first half of the season but we still grabbed a decent amount of points. It was dissappointing to lose in the quarter-finals to Willem II though, we definitely could've won that match. As you can see in the end we qualified for the play-offs by ending in seventh place (See below). We managed to beat Feyenoord but PSV was just a bit too strong for us. Although we lost the final, we still qualified for Europe. I think I understand what happened, although in real life I'm pretty sure it works a bit differently. Anyway, normally the 3rd placed team would've qualified for the 3rd qualifying round of the europa league, 4th - 7th qualify for playoffs and the winner gets the 2nd qualifying round spot. The cup winner gets a direct placing in the groups. The 3rd place team, Heerenveen, also won the cup, so their 3rd qualifying round place went a place down. PSV won the play-offs so they got that, and the 2nd qualifying spot went to me. I was really surprised I got into europe when it happened lol, I thought I just missed out on it!

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Just to recap: here's the league table. As you can see the 6th & 7th placed teams qualified for europa league, while the 4th and 5th placed teams get nothing. These kind of play-off systems are silly and unfair I think but if I'm the one to profit I can't be too mad really.... This is the first year I got a positive goal difference record in the Eredivisie, pretty nice.

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Some lovely money for the 7th place. This way we are providing the means to grow as a club.

Team of the Year

Squad

Team of All Time

Season Review

End of Season Awards

We also had another Youth update of course, which - should I even say it? - was not very promising. Maybe I should just wait until we can upgrade them to a decent level. Here's the one prospect: Pierre Stolp (great physical, otherwise meh)

After that season the chairman decided it was time to go look for a place to build a new stadium! It's only in the planning phase, but damn, that's quick. You only finished the expansion this season! Which almost seems like a waste of money now...

Personally I signed a new contract, I got job offers from Standard de LiegeLommel United and Elche (Thanks but no thanks!), I finished my final coaching course and I won manager of the year in the eredivisie!

Even more good news: 

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All by all once again a very lovely season. Except for the first season this thread has mostly been a good news show, hopefully it'll stay that way for a while longer. Even though the club is growing at a fast rate thank to the money flowing in, I want to be careful. Of course I would like to qualify for European football next year, but my realistic goal will be a top-half finish. Success in the cup might be possible if we have luck on our sides.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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Lots of lovely dough. You should be able to push on with your youth setup now

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On 10/30/2016 at 17:04, Deisler26 said:

Lots of lovely dough. You should be able to push on with your youth setup now

getting all the upgrades I can! 

5 hours ago, Njeroe said:

Well done on last season. Have fun in europe :)

Cheers! The draw has not been lucky but we were so close. But yet so far...

XpKv25B.png

 

Edited by MarcxD

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On 11/1/2016 at 07:52, Jason the Yank said:

Doing some good work. Will be overtaking Ajax in no time. ;)

 

Thanks! Don't know about overtaking Ajax for a while yet though. They are beasting this season!

 

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Update 7: The cup / KNVB Beker 2021-2022

This will be a little bit different. The full season update will be up later - but I did not want to wait with this!

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We won the cup!! So happy with this. Sure, we were lucky with the draw:

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We didn't have to play any of the top clubs, and we actually needed two penalty shoot-outs, but we won, and that's all that matters!

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Not really much to say here besides the fact that I'm elated and very happy we'll play in the Europa League group next year! 

Edited by MarcxD

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Update 8: End of Season 2021/22

This was definitely a weird season. After the season started with a decent European adventure (see screenshot above), in the league we were not great at all. The counter-tactic just wasn't working anymore. Mostly draws and losses were what my AFC were capable of, while my players were actually much better than in previous years. In short: the start of this season was just bad. So I decided to make a change: we were going to try to take control of the matches: play football ourselves, don't wait for mistakes of the opponent but force the goals. It definitely worked. We had a lot of good results in the second half of the season and the eventual 5th place was great and our best yet. The cup win promised a europa league group placing, so next season should be interesting! Anyway, let's go into some more detail.

The transfers are interesting this year - I sold Juan Fontana for 3.3M, 50% future and a loan-back deal for a year. He was very good and his limited minimum release fee was about 4M so this was probably a good way to transfer him on my terms and to keep him a little bit longer, without even having to pay his wages any longer, as far as that was a concern of mine (it wasn't really, more of an excuse to sell him :rolleyes:). I also had to sell Tanghe to Juventus because, sadly, they paid his minimum fee. 4.1M and bang! Off he went. Quite a bit of money, obviously, and blissfully we managed to contain Fontana for a season longer. The other way around Alvarado was a decent leftback from Guatemala, Casierra a former striker from Ajax (who didn't really perform the way I hoped he would), Csurka a new pretty great young DC who one day can hopefully fill the shoes of Fontana. The first buy of more than 1M is Martins, a young right-winger who should be one of the key players for the foreseeable future. Hopefully. In January I also did some interesting transfers. I bought back former AFC player Ratketlic for 500K after he left for Hammarby for double that price. He wasn't really playing a lot there and I thought I could make him a better player here, definitely to make a profit on him down the line. I also was able to sign Subotic, by far the most famous name ever to be printed on an AFC shirt. His contract would be up in 6 months and I could afford his wages so he was a lovely addition to the squad, should be good enough untill his contract ends in 2024. I also made some more money because former player Vega was sold on - sadly his club Cordoba sold him for less money than I Sold him for, so we only got about 900K for the 50% future fee. Still a decent bonus though.

Anyway, here's what the league table looked like at the end of the season:

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As you can see our city-"rivals" Ajax were leagues above and beyond any other teams, including us. To make a little more sense of our season let's take a look at the games we actually played. Our start was poor, as I said before, although to be honest a start with Ajax and PSV was ridiculously hard (and not very great for morale). The second half of the season went a little bit better although two big losses against Heerenveen soured the mood. Overall I can't complain at all about the season, I should've been more vigilant and thoughtful about the tactics we used - plus, at the end, our results are very decent. A cup win and a 5th place, sure is enough to be pleased about. IF we continue like this we could try for the direct european places next year, all though of course much will depend on the other teams. Ajax seem a long way out of reach for now, but after them it's really close. Vitesse and Heerenveen seem strong, but the biggest top clubs besides Ajax should normally be PSV And Feyenoord and they haven't really performed you would expect them for a while now. I would love another improvement as far as a better placing on th eleague table is concerned next year, so top 4 or really top 3 (no play-offs) will be the goal.

Let's take a look at some more stuff:

Squad

Best Team - Overall

Season Review

Eredivisie Review

End of Season Awards

200 games !

2nd in Manager of the Year, after that damn overrated Clarence Seedorf !

Al-Shamsi 3rd best talent of the year

Coefficient table drop :(

First European Club Ranking Rise

Besides all that the club is still growing. AFter the new stadium plans from last season this year they were cemented: we are going to get an AFC Stadium in 2024, costing a tidy sum for which our chairman decided it was a wise move to get a big loan. Should be interesting to see how quickly we'll be able to fill it. 14K should not take that long, hopefully.  

Of course personally it was another great season. I got too many job interview offers to link them all, but they were all pretty decent clubs from Spain, England and Belgium, including Levante, Hull City and many others. I also signed a new contract once again. This is what my profile looks now, for any that are interested.

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I also got some new youth players of course, and actually Serbest looks a promising leftback, my first youth player who could actually really make my first team!

Anyway, that's about it. A really good season really, and I'm especially happy changing my tactics actually worked out. Hopefully the progress will continue next season.

  

 

 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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10 hours ago, Jason the Yank said:

Great work lifting the cup. :thup:

 

Cheers!

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Huh. I had no idea the job was even available. It was too tempting for me to say no. So as of now I'm both manager of AFC and the Dutch national team. The focus will remain AFC but I'll post yearly updates about how I'm doing internationally. I at least want to remain as national manager until euro 2024. After that we'll see.

13 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

Brilliant work in winning the cup!

Thanks! 

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Very steady progress, from 10th to 7th to 5th and the cup!

Those European draws last year were ridiculously difficult, I'm not sure if you go straight into the groups now or still have to go through some playoffs, but I'd tip you to do better there too.

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A third trophy !

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I think this is the first time we beat Ajax! Okay, to be fair we didn't actually beat them, it was 0-0 and we won on penalties. But still! Amazing result.

52 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Very steady progress, from 10th to 7th to 5th and the cup!

Those European draws last year were ridiculously difficult, I'm not sure if you go straight into the groups now or still have to go through some playoffs, but I'd tip you to do better there too.

Yeah, cheers! Hopefully the progress will continue. As cup winners I qualified directly to the group phase, but it's not going to be overly easy:

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Lazio is probably going to be too strong, so we'll have to battle Kyiv and maybe Young Boys for second place. 

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Update 9: 'Oranje' in 2022

This will be the first and a short little update on my first months as manager of the Dutch national team. The team is not that strong - there is one superstar in Memphis Depay (playing at Real Madrid), but the other players are mostly not even close to his level. There are a couple of prospects though, so that has peeked my interest to stay manager maybe a little bit longer than I was planning to at first. Tactically I've adapted my AFC tactic a little bit, a more possession-based style of football. It's where I want to take AFC in due time as well, but it's kind of the end stage. The national team might be a good place to test it out. I took charge after 2022's world cup, in which the Netherlands lost to France in the quarter-finals. Nothing to be ashamed about but also nothing to be too proud of either. The first games of note I took charge of were in the Nations League. We had to take on Croatia and Russia, both decent teams with Croatia being the stronger, but they also should be beatable. My start as manager of 'Oranje' was not great though. We usually performed the way I wanted to tactically and some of the players had some good performances. It just was a little bit too early days I guess and we were too dependent on something magic by Depay or a nice shot by striker Buitink.

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I can't really take anything away from the end result - Croatia was better and Russia was worse than us. I'm not too worried or anything, it's just the Nations League. Not the ideal start though.

 

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Update 10: AFC Season 2022-2023

In my sixth season at AFC this was going to get interesting. We had to play more games than ever before thanks to the Europa League, as cup winners we of course had to try to defend our title and as we kept on rising the last couple of years we had to try to set a best ever league placing once again. I can say all by all it went very well, although the cup was a bit of a letdown.

First of all, the transfers aren't quite as eventual as in previous years. We didn't sell any one for big numbers, we only really got rid of some players who just weren't good enough anymore. I'm quite happy with the 1.1M we got for Roigé, to sell him for a profit was better than I expected. Roigé was a decent right-winger who has been surpassed by Martins who we bought last year, plus we got a new one this year.. Kevin Farke, who signed on a free, immediately became one of the club's best players and he's still very young. With the way he performed this season I'm not sure how long we'll be able to keep him but he's been a great transfer nonetheless. Also very decent was Filipe Soares, a midfielder from Benfica. We also loaned some more players from Inter and Benfica. It really is beneficial for pretty much any Dutch club to have some good European parent clubs for loan players. They're free after all. We also managed to loan Juan Fontana for another year, although it is not shown here. In January I decided to buy a promising young striker in Ernesto Fernández for a base value of €2.5M, our most expensive signing yet. His many goals in 2023 already have already shown it was not a bad decision.

First we had to play some friendlies of course, which all went pretty well. Let's first take a look at the cup.

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A very poor performance against Roda reserves meant we had to go through extra time, and after that we didn't have too much trouble with clubs we should be able to beat quite easily now. The same really should apply to De Graafschap but we weren't able to and lost after penalties. Very dissapointing, especially seeing that the draw once again was pretty lucky and we really could've defended our cup title. This just meant we had to perform in the eredivisie to qualify for europe again next year.

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Europe was a lot better. The results in the group were very good, we only lost once. The games against Lazio and Kyiv were pretty tense though! We drew Olympiakos in the first knock-out round. The two games were very even but we just beat them. An amazing result really, and then we had to play Benfica, who were just too strong for us, although our home-game (not in our own stadium though) was a spectacular 3-3 draw. They were the better team in that match as well though, so I couldn't really have any complaints about being defeated by them. We got some nice money and hopefully did a good job for the dutch coefficients. Although we don't really have to worry about that, since Ajax won the Europa League! A great result for Dutch football obviously, but this also shows how good Ajax is right now and how tough it will be to defeat them, because we sure as hell couldn't do that this year.

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All by all though, it was a great season. The schedule screen with all the games played shows how good and consistently we performed. Especially awesome: we finally won a derby! Yeah, sure, we had beat Ajax' reserves and won the Johan Cruijff Schaal after penalties, but those were not real wins. This one was. We were actually better as well, it wasn't just a lucky win. Which makes it even better. With all that though, Ajax was really strong once again and defended their title. Vitesse just edged us out for second place on goal difference so that means next year we'll have to play in the Europa League once again, actually going through the qualifying rounds. Let's hope our luck in the draw will be better than in the 2021/2022 season. 

When you look at the squad screen you can see who was the star performer this year. Kevin Farke, what a player he is. 14 goals and 15 assists in his first season. Amazing. For his efforts he was awarded the Talent of the Year award, so for the second time in a year an AFC player has won that price. Juan Fontana once again was our rock in the defense and we'll just have to beg Napoli to loan him to us once again. Alvarado played the most minutes out of everybody at the club and that has definitely had a great influence on his progress. We'll have a bad time trying to keep him though, because he has a low limited fee and other clubs are already interested... The thirteen goals from Fernandez were also very promising. Less great was Casierra, once again, so we'll look to sell him this summer. 

We also had a decent youth update - Ruud Stam has a lot of work to do but he might one day become a good player. I'll try to make him one anyway.

Coefficient rise - mostly thanks to Ajax

End of season awards

Eredivisie now 8th European Competition

Season Review

Best Eleven - All Time

Team of the Year

So we went from 10th, to 7th, to 5th, to 3rd... does that mean next year we'll get 1st? It won't be easy to beat Ajax, that's for sure. We're in for a great battle between the Amsterdam teams for at least the next couple of years, hopefully!

 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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4 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

Cracking season!

Cheers!

Really pissed off about what happened just after the season ended though. Arguably my best two players from last year are sold due to limited fees in their contracts. I waited too long to renew Alvarado's deal and now he left me for PSV of all teams. Couldn't you at least have signed for some foreign team?  :seagull:

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We are better, don't you understand ??? Sigh. 

And next, Franke was sold after his amazing year. To be fair, his deal is not quite as bad because we got quite a bit of money, we didn't sell him to a rival (ugh, so annoying) and I didn't expect him to keep around for a long while anyway. 

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Edited by MarcxD

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On 11/6/2016 at 07:30, Jason the Yank said:

Time to retool, but I get the feeling you'll do OK. :thup:

 

Thanks for the confidence... and you're right.

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Update 11: Dutch National Team in 2023

We had the qualifiers for Euro 2024 this year, and once again we faced Croatia, along with Israel, Latvia and Malta. Nothing too hard, but remember we were beaten by Croatia in the Nations League last year.

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No such troubles this time around though, some very convincing wins and we easily won the group. The team played the way I want them to play and I've actually started to use the tactic at AFC as well (more on that in the next update...). We are still mostly dependent on our star players Memphis Depay and newgens Buitink and Postma. If they're fit for the Euro's next year we might have a chance. 

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With the ratings you can also clearly see how good Depay and Postma were. Postma is actually an AML as well, but even at a position he's not natural at he's the best. Midfielders could do better, but perhaps that has to do with the fact that pretty much all good Dutch midfielders are creative types and in my tactic I also need some aggression and strength (because of the ball-winning midfielder role).

Euro 2024 should be interesting, if it goes all right I'll probably stick around for at least the world cup in 2026.

  

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Update 12: AFC Season 2023-2024

Another season, and this was the first time I ever thought of the title beforehand. We beat Ajax for the first time last season so we knew it was possible. The transfers mentioned above were a bit of a downer but we managed to regroup, although we were definitely weakened in those areas. This year I changed up my tactic, which I had already used with the Dutch national team. The shape stayed the same, but the style of play changed - more of a possession based style of football, which definitely showed as we had the majority of possession in pretty much all matches this season, and we also usually had more shots than our opponents. It wasn't just possession for possession's sake, let's put it that way.

Therefore let's take a look at the transfers. Outside of Alvarado and Farke I also sold Casierra for a decent €2.3M, and loaning out Ratkelic for a total sum of €1M (plus salary). I signed a couple of players, including young goalkeeper Carlos Martinez (whom I resold in the January transfer window for more than 5 times the price I bought him for), new leftback Steliano Filip, and perhaps most noticeably Austrian midfielder Marvin Theuermann for €3.5M. He was a decent buy but probably not worth that kind of money. Otherwise interesting might be young professional Colombian midfielder Jhon Hurtado, whom I signed in January.

Before the season really started I had already signed a new contract until 2027, and of course we played some friendlies, which went very well, including a lovely 3-0 win against Olympique Lyonnais. That brings us to Europe. We had to play two qualifying rounds this year to get into the groups and we succeeded. Jagiellonia from Poland and Aberdeen from Scotland were pretty easily beaten and we drew Napoli, Grasshoppers and Saint-Etienne. Napoli - of course - was way too strong, and we were just able to get second place ahead of Saint-Etienne. Especially pleasing was a 4-0 win away at Grasshoppers, although the 3-3 at home was a sensational match as well. We should've scored way more than three and won that match.

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The first knock-out round was our end in Europe this year though, because we were unable to beat Sporting from Portugal - which we were able to do two seasons ago in the qualifying rounds that year. Oh well! The two matches were close, but I can't say we deserved more than we got. 

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We also had to try to win the cup of course. We had a much harder draw this year than in the previous two years, but we were able to beat both Feyenoord and PSV. Sadly though, in the semi final Vitesse was just simply too strong for us.  It's not too upsetting though, as I feel the cup is not that important. Most of the games I played with my substitutes in the starting eleven and they performed pretty well really.

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But perhaps most important of all is how we fared in the Eredivisie. Would this be the year we would topple Ajax? 

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No. We did do one better than last year and we'll have a first taste of champions league football next year, but Ajax was still too strong and they clinched their fourth title in a row. Take a look at the games we played here. For the first couple of months it was very close but after a couple of bad results destroyed our chances. The form at the end of the season was very good though so we were in no danger of getting caught by Vitesse - and in the end we only ended four points behind Ajax. They were still definitely the best team in the league though, very consistent. AFC was the team with most goals scored though, which also shows that my tactic was working quite well. Most rewarding was the amazing 6-0 win at home against Feyenoord. It also shows the great scoring ability of Fernandez, who in the end just missed out on the topscorer award.

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Squad

Season Review

End of season awards

Best AFC of all time

Some other news: both the u19's and the reserves won their respective leagues! Shows we're improving well on the youth front.

As for my manager, I got second place in manager of the year for the second time, and I got this milestone:

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Lastly let's take a look at the youth-update this season. A pretty good update with a couple of players who could become good players, although at first glance it looks like no world-beaters yet. Maybe Jeffrey Jong could be nice.

The goal for next season will be relatively simple: fight for the title. If Ajax stays at their current level it won't be easy, but we'll try for sure. Other than that it would be nice to qualify for the Champions League groups, but that of course will depend heavily on the draw. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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Update 13: Dutch National Team: Euro 2024

The first real test for the Dutch National Team under my command is finally here, the Euro 2024 tournament, held in Spain. We were put in a group with Scotland, Russia and Switzerland. Anything below the first place would've been disappointing. My selection has stayed mostly the same, still dependent on Depay and Postma as wingers but a young striker Danilho El Bahraoui is a new star player now. I've also started to select AFC midfielder Rafa Cañas, who is eligible after staying in Holland for years now. It's a bit of favouritism, sure, but he has adapted well to the level of football.

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A 0-0 draw with Scotland was a very poor start to the tournament but we absolutely demolished both Russia and Switzerland to finish first in our group. It showed we know how to score goals.... but not much else. The opposition wasn't great, we're going to have to be honest about that. Next up were the knockout-rounds. Anything can happen there.... (cliche mode on)

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And my oh my, a lot did happen! The draw was kind to us. Albania defended against us but not much more and only one team ever was destined to win. We had to play against Croatia again, and another comfortable win was ours. The semi-final against Denmark (who have grown to be quite a strong nation) was a lot closer but thankfully we still edged it. We made the final! We had to play the winner of the other semi-final, Germany or Belgium. We had to play a neighbouring country and a rival regardless! In the end, it had to be Germany. It always has to be Germany... 

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Unbelievable. FM really can be annoying! Losing the freakin final to GERMANY after they score in the 87th and 88th minute??? :mad: Yeah, okay, sure, they had a lot of chances throughout the match. But come on! Before the tournament I didn't expect us to make the final but to make it and lose in this way... 

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El Bahriaoui was awarded for his performances:

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My defense was lauded in the tournament team:

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(No German players though?)

The performance was pleasing in a way - we competed and almost won the damn thing. Losing to Germany will always leave a bad taste in my mouth though. I wasn't sure beforehand if I would continue after the tournament, but now I want to go on until the world cup of 2026. I got two offers from other countries after the tournament, both Austria and England wanted me to manage them... the English offer was about 5 times my salary at the Dutch National Team, but I still refused. 

 

 

Edited by MarcxD

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(Short) Update 14: Nations League 2024

Just a short little update for how I did with the Dutch national team for  the rest of 2024. In the Nations League once again we were drawn with Croatia, the other team was Israel.

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It was pretty disappointing to lose the first game after Euro 2024, in a friendly against Spain. The nations league was pretty easy though. I especially liked seeing AFC player Rafa Cañas on the scoresheet a couple of times.

This resulted in the following team of the year:

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Next year will be the qualifiers for the 2026 world cup and the finals of the nations league. 

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Some extraordinarily consistent progress in here! It's looking real close to a Dutch title now, and there must be quite the rivalry brewing in Amsterdam!

But the highlight is definitely the run to the Euros final, and the shockingly harsh defeat in the final minutes. I think you can be very happy with the overall performance as I don't think this Dutch generation is particularly talented. Might be hard to overcome this achievement for a while, unless you and Ajax start producing some cracking regens.

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