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[FM17] Shield Wall - A Spartan Youth Challenge in Romania

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Hi, my name is LPQR, and even though I agree that's tough on the tongue already, you may be familiar with that exercise from my career threads with VfB Stuttgart and Dynamo Dresden. It's been a long ambition of mine to do something special in the far East of European football. Perhaps it's a matter of roots, after all, as being from Moldova I can identify with both the Slavic and the Latin cultures of Eastern Europe, and let's be fair, football hasn't been particularly great over there in the last decade or so. We used to have clubs like Steaua Bucharest, Levski Sofia, Wisla Krakow and Dinamo Kiev push for glory at least in the Uefa Cup, however in recent times, corruption and poor financial management have brought eastern european football to new lows. I had a few ideas in mind for a story with some proper romantic substance, but after learning I'll have to wait another 2-3 months for the playable leagues I need to make it work, I've decided to take matters in my own hands until then 

I created a club from scratch in the second tier of Romanian Football, and if you're looking for an explanation for that title, here it is:

we're talking abut a club with a specific identity and philosophy based on youth, discipline and athleticism

 

meet 'The Lancers' - Sparta București

spartalogo222.jpg

newly founded club in the capital city, starting in the Romanian second league

 

Club philosophies:

- developing local talent 

- strict discipline management approach

- general coaching style focused on player fitness and athleticism

- does not sell players to rival clubs


69079a4518766e314557842a2e59cd62.png 5996983a43f99feb5065d2e775c00eb3.png
I used the 'create a club' feature of the game to get this club into the 2nd league, replacing a club based in Bucharest called Juventus Bucharest which, as a Juventus (Torino) fan I find distasteful and completely lacking any concept of originality :)A club with no real history or support, they won't be missed. I removed all the players in the squad that were above 23 years of age to stress the focus on youth development, added the rivalries with local clubs Steaua București and Dinamo București in the club's relationship screen and I left the rest untouched. Oh yes, designed the logo an the kits as well to add that special touch to the club's identity :)

 

 

4fc2179b0fba2eeb0e1caba956f7cc4f.png
 

Rules

- the club is not allowed to sign any players

- only youth academy players can play for the team

- players of any nationality can play for the club as long as they are produced by the club's academy

 

Goals

- surpass local big boys, Steaua and Dinamo in achievements and reputation

- aim to improve the national team and the local league's rankings

 

League Rankings

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Nation Rankings

e867dae269a606c40caa51cf4b1f2f0d.png


 

Romania's capital city - Bucharest(București)

population - 2 million

Image result for bucuresti  

Edited by LPQR

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Great ideal. will absolutly follow it ! Altough it might be really hard to sustain your team with good players since your youth academy will be quiet bad to start with right ?

Also, do you know the price money in the Romanian league ? 

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Will be following this one, obviously. ;)

Never used the create a club feature. Do you keep the existing players of the club you replaced or do you get newgens?

I haven't had a save in Romania since about FM11 or FM12, so following this will be fun.

Good luck!

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11 hours ago, Alerion said:

Great ideal. will absolutly follow it ! Altough it might be really hard to sustain your team with good players since your youth academy will be quiet bad to start with right ?

Also, do you know the price money in the Romanian league ? 

this will be challenging, no doubt. our academy is pretty poor, yes, but overall quite decent for this level, so we should get some decent enough prospects in our first few seasons

regarding prize money, FM doesn't show any information about that in the league structure screen. However here is what clubs in the First Division received for broadcasting rights last season (Million Euros)

Screen shot 2014-09-28 at 10.59.38 PM

according to some (dodgy Romanian tabloid) sources the income of the clubs in the first division is structured as follows:

 36% - broadcasting rights18% - UEFA prize money, ticket sales revenues - 5%, sponsors/commercial revenue - 28%, other income - 13%.

Official information regarding UEFA prize money for the Romanian leagues is incredibly hard to find, however here's a (pseudo) article that might show just why that is the case:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2152534-how-uefa-prize-money-is-destroying-smaller-national-leagues

as I play I will find out more about the gimmicks of Romanian finances and will update with relevant stuff ;)

4 hours ago, davehibb said:

Will be following this one, obviously. ;)

Never used the create a club feature. Do you keep the existing players of the club you replaced or do you get newgens?

I haven't had a save in Romania since about FM11 or FM12, so following this will be fun.

Good luck!

Glad to have you! :) 

I kept all the existing u23 players, and added a few random regens as well as some random 18 Romanian year olds on free transfers to fill the squad. Ideally I would have liked if I didn't have to do that, but you need at least some players on the pitch to play football apparently)

2 hours ago, noikeee said:

ob1kiQl.jpg

Good luck!

A, B and C would have all been synonyms for what life is like in Bucharest, so no way to answer that wrong, really )

Cheers!

1 hour ago, LATB said:

Love the kits

thanks, tried to make it as visually coherent as I could :D

1 hour ago, BoxToBox said:

Excellent.

;)

17 minutes ago, sc91 said:

Looks good, didn't want a rivalry with Rapid though :D? 

haha, I thought about it, but that would have been a bit too much, I think. Plus, I'm interested to see if the rivalry with same-city clubs will develop naturally as we play

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June 2016

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

 

Meet the manager - Florin Avram

Mr. Avram is just 22 years of age, and with questionable experience in the game, many are wondering if the board didn't employ him based solely on his looks and his ability to draw the feminine set of supporters in the stands. His coaching style, however, fits Sparta's philosophy to perfection and his Moldovan nationality is sure to spark some of that good old nationalist debate in the newspapers. Plenty of stuff to get excited about for the board :)

2b83376b3b3c203f5cd3c2f1b62ef88e.jpg

 

Loaded Leagues

I want the game to maintain a healthy, natural balance, so I loaded a mix of the strongest leagues plus some of the neighboring nations to get a more realistic feel of managing in Romania
 

535aeee1857ecf93ee24f20798db997d.png

 

Board

Apparently, our chairman is some scary looking Hungarian. Not particularly excited about the apathy that will bring with it amongst the supporters, however we get off to an encouraging start in our relationship as he agrees to implement a key part of the club's strategy in our club philosophies

133cc1fc39f96868b706002a0d5a9721.png

Edited by LPQR

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July 2016

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

 

Good news for the club as two inspiring figures of world-football join Sparta's backroom team. With Nemanja Vidic as a defense coach and Massimo Ambrosini as an Assistant manager, the club have two former players that personify the gritty, physical approach to the game that is embedded in the club's foundations

 

Image result for scary nemanja vidic8143f1ec97818ca2e3c26954f3eea336.png
 

Image result for massimo ambrosini07f760c4cb9c413490d67eb4909c818e.png

 

The most encouraging part of our staff recruitment has, however, been our capture of a wonder-HOYD for this level

Mr. Zamfir is a model professional with fantastic level of discipline and knowledge of Romanian football

b4e88fd417863447aa2ebc5b522c2e4d.png

 

So far so good, we've managed to assemble an impressive coaching team, and this will no doubt reflect on the quality of training of our youngsters. Could do with some better physios, but this shall do for now

664bdcea8e184d695e6088f5f51b5bac.png
 

Edited by LPQR

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Just now, oneronaldo said:

Wow Vidic as a coach, I'm guessing his reputation isn't very high? Thats a fantastic signing for the backroom team.

yep, only half-star reputation. He's great - determined and excellent in his trade. I'm paying him 60 pounds a week too, so probably Ambrosini's usually the one buying drinks :D

 

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6 minutes ago, LPQR said:

yep, only half-star reputation. He's great - determined and excellent in his trade. I'm paying him 60 pounds a week too, so probably Ambrosini's usually the one buying drinks :D

 

I brought him back to United on £1.5k p/w, guess you're gonna get more value out of his 60 quid contract :lol:

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1 hour ago, BoxToBox said:

A Model Professional HOYD, that's an amazing coup.

I'm delighted, this is hugely important for us as we rely completely on youth recruitment for new players

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August 2016 - Pre-season report

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Media prediction for the 2016-17 season

we're tipped for relegation according to the bookies, although I hope we can push for a mid-table finish. I expect our performances to be better in the second half of the season, as our team is in urgent need of physical improvement and that's an area we should be much better in after 5 or so months of training and game-time

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After a great summer which saw the club equip itself with a number of specialists that will provide invaluable support to the youngsters of this team, it's time to get down to business and iron out a system of play 

Squad overview

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We get an interesting mix of talent in the first team, with 4 players of particular quality:

Bogdan Chipirliu                                                                                                               Răzvan Ciobanu

b2dd4940bce6c54c9b61641394d89024.pngx 51e9d9fb04f1d12324f1824ce59d9f5f.png
 

Tudor Băluță                                                                                                                           Carlo Casap

6cafdf311f5485cae854c02549d5a889.png 24d4dcf6f8e4c84a34c77c40aabfb329.png

These are the players I expect to build my team around, especially Casap. At 17 years of age he is our best player and brightest prospect and I'm really glad he's on a 2 year contract already, as he seems unwilling to sign a new contract and we'll probably see him snatched by some clubs in the first division once his contract expires.

after further analysis of the squad, it's quite amazing that our best traits as a team are the ones I've hoped for the most:

passing, work rate and aggression

the physical attributes of the squad are understandably low, given the young average age, and I expect this to improve as the season goes by

888cd19daa3368b78dd0b45a727fdf58.png
 

so, all things considered, I've been experimenting with a few ideas in pre-season, which actually went really well:

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and I've settled on something like this :

Mentality: Standard 

Team Shape: Flexible
 

6fd26da463c968f7228671ecc04f1315.png  e8689c1b168793323126fa589e9a1202.png

Te idea of the system is to rely on a superior number of players in the defensive strata to compensate for our lack of physicality and recover the ball through player positioning and interceptions rather than one-to-one duels. The attacking side of the game revolves around Casap, our best player who will pull the strings from midfield, as well as getting involved to finish off moves in the final third. In possession, we have three midfielders forming a passing trident in midfield, with the wing-backs providing additional options out wide. Speaking of wing-backs, they are absolutely crucial to this system, as the team relies on them in every phase of the game: covering and marking the wide players when defending, providing passing options in midfield and stretching out play when in possession, and attacking the wings either through runs or crosses in the final third.

first few matches in the league went exceptionally well, and these results hand Avram the 'Manager of the month' award for August

4f72ceec1f71f8dce02979380b480354.png


 

Edited by LPQR

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Great tactical analysis as always mate. I put systems down and paper and it all looks like it'll work but I can rarely get that to transfer to the tactics creator but you make it look easy. ;)

Nice start to the season too!

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2 hours ago, deltablue said:

This looks promising :)

cheers :)

 

6 minutes ago, davehibb said:

Great tactical analysis as always mate. I put systems down and paper and it all looks like it'll work but I can rarely get that to transfer to the tactics creator but you make it look easy. ;)

Nice start to the season too!

ah, thanks, sometimes I'm luckier than I care to admit to be fair :D 

when it comes to designing tactics/systems, you hit the nail on the head in saying that transferring your idea into the tactical creator is a key part. Playing more games and paying attention to more details in every match helps a lot, although it's a different approach than the one of a club fan, per say - requires more detachment and pragmatism. Hope I'm not rambling about the obvious here )

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February - Mid-season update

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

 

after our wonder start to the season reality kicked in pretty violently and we had all the reasons to keep humming 'wake me up when september ends'. We picked ourselves up in the following months and ended the first half of the season in a respectable 10th position in the table. 

Liga II

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One thing I didn't know about is the incredibly long break Romanian teams in the second division get in the winter. We had 2 and a half months without a competitive match and keeping the squad fit and happy was quite challenging, especially with a number of players requesting to leave the club due to interest from higher divisions.

First match back after the break and we put in a good performance to bring a 1-0 home and place us 8th in the league

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Cupa României

our performance in the cup has been nothing short of sensational so far, as we beat first division Gaz Metan to book our place in the Quarter Finals

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Club news

the nasty Hungarian left! Hurrah! 
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and we kick off on the right sort of vibes pretty much straight away!

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Edited by LPQR

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2017 Youth intake

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

 

c935a1e6d62117bba3feb8e05fdad907.png

 

here we go, our first ever intake, and it looks like a pretty decent one! Ciocănaru seems great, that bravery, teamwork, work rate and personality are a perfect fit for our club. Apart from that, no apparent stars, however its really encouraging to see so many great personalities in the intake

Liviu Ciocănaru                                                                                                      Emanuel Mărgărit

7259730c01d04027a4fc543babe26898.png68cb827654768378622254b2acd60899.png

 

Edited by LPQR

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April 2017 - Don't. stop. me now...

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

 

after a long break in the winter we come back to prove that my predictions about us being in much better condition in the second half of the season were right :) The only big downside is that demoralizing loss in the cup quarter final against Astra, however we did an amazing job in holding them off til the penalties. After all, these are the recent Romanian champions we're talking about!

 

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this string of results has placed us second in the league with four matches to go.... woah, exciting times!

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Player spotlight

Nica has come out of nowhere to dethrone Stoenac from his first team spot as a striker. With 13 goals and 9 assists in 27 appearances, Alexandru is the revelation of the season so far

15892f5063c7a17806fef5204a224e92.png
 

Edited by LPQR

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19 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

That one casual lad goes in the pit.

yep, out he went

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May 2017 - PROMOTION!

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

Image result for fans cheering

 

bf06bd219cb5f1727ee4a57bcaa9bab0.png
 

:eek: we win 3 out of our four remaining matches to defy all the odds in a spectacular achievement in the club's first competitive season ever

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                                          League Table                                               Media Prediction at start of season

17353569635a13f2575e694a7d0148b7.png f8357ca11cb84064d45c0dcae2360805.png

16th eh? :)

 

to address the prize money issues raised before by @Alerion, here is what we get for achieving a 2nd place finish in the league. might sound like a lot but we paid 220k out of this money as squad bonus the next day :)

86f93db8f497b9c3d73e04c6d88299e3.png

 

 

Squad

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Key performers

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96a8b25d288c3633abc9f378e44bd439.png  d0c5761189f24313773cfaa4b27858c6.png3773d11c592a4356ddf33f0ac46a5319.png

 

those attendance figures need to improve....

8b01d04c14c337de96b02bd37ed5c249.png
 

Edited by LPQR

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Congratz ! 550k is certainly a big step for a small club, not bad.

Could you maybe show your away formation and TI´s ? I am interested as you only lost a few.

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13 minutes ago, Alerion said:

Congratz ! 550k is certainly a big step for a small club, not bad.

Could you maybe show your away formation and TI´s ? I am interested as you only lost a few.

yep, that literally put us back in the green!

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as for the tactic, the basic principles are explained a few posts up. If you have any questions regarding the concept, I'm happy to answer, otherwise I'm afraid I'm not really one to share tactics, for a number of reasons :)

12 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Magnificent!

quite so, I did not expect this :)
 

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some really good news on the personal front

 

e336624a65fbcd776616b0a57d3ab03f.png

quite a formality, I believe :D

 

969b2d04cc4dd5da198bf4ece2265bbd.png

great stuff, I like this new, Romanian board

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Aah a Juventus fan, I suppose we all can't be perfect (Torino supporter) ;)

 

Nice first season, congrats on the promotion. I assume staying up will prove difficult but if you can the TV money will definitely come in handy for Facilities etc; and the rep Boost will definitely help out in getting youth.

 

Best of luck with the save :)

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4 hours ago, davehibb said:

Fantastic work!

cheers mate :)

 

4 hours ago, wynter said:

Aah a Juventus fan, I suppose we all can't be perfect (Torino supporter) ;)

 

Nice first season, congrats on the promotion. I assume staying up will prove difficult but if you can the TV money will definitely come in handy for Facilities etc; and the rep Boost will definitely help out in getting youth.

 

Best of luck with the save :)

haha, this is what I have to say on the matter: 

Image result for maresca torino

:D on a serious note, though, thanks! Yep, I'm assuming we're going to get knocked about in the league next season as no new players can join the squad. Reputation and finances are definitely the priority now and those facilities need to be improved asap

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4 hours ago, MadCatPT said:

Nothing like getting money to improve facilities when you play youth. :D

absolutely, we still don't have enough for an all-round improvement of the facilities, but hopefully the board will co-operate to improve at least the youth ones

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Youth saves makes people get the urge to appeal to higher/hidden/dark forces when the youth candidates appearence date near.

Wonder if anyone has sold his soul to get a new top class eleven 5 by 5? :lol:

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23 hours ago, LPQR said:

haha, I thought about it, but that would have been a bit too much, I think. Plus, I'm interested to see if the rivalry with same-city clubs will develop naturally as we play

Actually thought it would be because the club folded last season, they play in the fifth tier of Romanian football now, thought it was sympathy :D. 

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15 hours ago, MadCatPT said:

Youth saves makes people get the urge to appeal to higher/hidden/dark forces when the youth candidates appearence date near.

Wonder if anyone has sold his soul to get a new top class eleven 5 by 5? :lol:

:D what a place in hell that would be, FM sinners' corner)

15 hours ago, sc91 said:

Actually thought it would be because the club folded last season, they play in the fifth tier of Romanian football now, thought it was sympathy :D. 

yep, Rapid or Universitatea Cluj were the clubs I initially wanted to start a save with :) would be really interesting if both get back up to Liga I as the seasons roll by

Edited by LPQR

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The 'Casap dilemma'

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

Carlo Casap is an 18 year old that was randomly added to the team at the start of the game from the bunch of the Romanian u19's that were released by their clubs in order to compensate for the lack of depth in the team that came from removing all the players at the club that were above 23 years of age. One year at the club in which he was, arguably, the team's best performer already and he's drawing interest from bigger teams around Europe, such as OGC Nice or Sheffield Wednesday. Casap has no intention to renew his contract, and with one year left on his current deal, a decision needs to be made revolving around the following issues:

- With no particularly bright prospects in the team, Casap is the only player that is of Liga I quality in the squad. He is at least 3 times better than any player in our current team

- Having him in the squad for one season could greatly help our survival chances, although, how would he perform if he's unhappy all the time? 

- our club's entire value is currently 700k, and letting Casap go could bring in around double that amount of money in one transaction

- Could he change his mind and sign a new contract as the season unfolds?

dc63ccfc3d1b205b86cd4d989927543f.png

huh... 

Edited by LPQR

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Bloody hell, you play quickly.

Great season, but it might be a struggle to stay clear of relegation now in the top tier without being able to hire players.

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27 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

He looks a real talent. Nightmare of a choice.

yep, still in limbo about that one.. :/

7 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Bloody hell, you play quickly.

Great season, but it might be a struggle to stay clear of relegation now in the top tier without being able to hire players.

cheers, noikee :)  yes, every point will be worth gold next season, so looking forward to let the art of defensive football prevail )

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Great Stuff. Played with CS Balotesti last year for over 20 seasons as they are my local team. Getting out of the second division is great (actually the club you replaced Juventus are on the 1st place in real-life as we speak, so i guess the potential of the team is there), and good luck with the Liga I.

The league shouldn't be that hard to survive in the first season and you can easily build on that. Besides Steaua and Dinamo you should also pay attention to Viitorul (they are actually a club built by Gh. Hagi based on youth development) and Astra. Be careful of the playoff-playout system which can cause quite a fixture congestion in the spring period (the number one reason I am not playing in Romania this year), you should have some depth in the squad prepared for that time of the year. Also, the winter break is a bit long for my liking, (no. 2 reason) cause it will cause serious problems in match form once you qualify for Europe and get over the groups (you will have the first games in February in the European cups with no domestic matches before them sometimes).

I wish you better luck with attendances, maybe cause you're in Bucharest you'll get them a bit higher, but don't count to much on the revenues from them (at least in the first years). Also, I don't remember the TV revenues being a big source of income. If i didn't qualify for Europe I needed to sell 1-2 players.

Sorry if I wrote to much, maybe some advice there you didn't needed, just excited to see a career in my country. 

P.S. Did you know there actually is youth academy as Sparta Bucuresti? Your logo is much cooler though.

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Remember the wonder HOYD, Nicolae Zamfir?

b4e88fd417863447aa2ebc5b522c2e4d.png

after just one season at the club and at 71 years of age he decided to retire..... :(

1f6f7b4ddaa9e95847135e98aa03ecd9.png

 

I'm considering assigning our DOF with youth recruitment responsibilities, as it's unlikely we'll find someone better suited for the job at this point


f67d12980b6be837acc93afd65ef6252.png
 

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19 minutes ago, Muttley84 said:

Great Stuff. Played with CS Balotesti last year for over 20 seasons as they are my local team. Getting out of the second division is great (actually the club you replaced Juventus are on the 1st place in real-life as we speak, so i guess the potential of the team is there), and good luck with the Liga I.

Also, the winter break is a bit long for my liking, (no. 2 reason) cause it will cause serious problems in match form once you qualify for Europe and get over the groups (you will have the first games in February in the European cups with no domestic matches before them sometimes).

I wish you better luck with attendances, maybe cause you're in Bucharest you'll get them a bit higher, but don't count to much on the revenues from them (at least in the first years). Also, I don't remember the TV revenues being a big source of income. If i didn't qualify for Europe I needed to sell 1-2 players.

Sorry if I wrote to much, maybe some advice there you didn't needed, just excited to see a career in my country. 

P.S. Did you know there actually is youth academy as Sparta Bucuresti? Your logo is much cooler though.

wow :) this is very pleasing to hear, actually, lots of interesting stuff. (iar audiența locală e tot timpul încurajatoare ;) ) It's the first time I'm actually managing in Romania so I'm looking forward to all the gimmicks of the league and the football system in the country. Didn't know about Viitorul, that's a story to follow, surely! Many thanks for your wishes and I hope you join us in this story ;)

[edit] I chose Juventus Bucuresti because they were the only team based in the capital in the second division (at least according to FM) and they looked like a mid-table team by my estimations. Fair play, there are a couple of decent youngsters in the team already courtesy to their academy, however I've completely re-shaped their squad, as all the over 23y/o players were removed from the squad (most of them being the team's best players) and the media predicted we'd be relegated in our first season in Liga II. So I'm not going to compare our performance with Juventus Buc. as I don't see how that'd be fair :) Hopefully, we'll only build from here, though!

19 minutes ago, Muttley84 said:

The league shouldn't be that hard to survive in the first season and you can easily build on that. Besides Steaua and Dinamo you should also pay attention to Viitorul (they are actually a club built by Gh. Hagi based on youth development) and Astra. Be careful of the playoff-playout system which can cause quite a fixture congestion in the spring period (the number one reason I am not playing in Romania this year), you should have some depth in the squad prepared for that time of the year.

Regarding this, I agree, there's no particular world beaters in the league, however this is a youth-only save and I can't sign any players, so I have my doubts to our survival chances, particularly because of this:

edc8d061923f350f777b4df551917d5f.png
 

Issues of depth and squad quality will completely rely on the quality/quantity of our intakes, so fingers crossed :)

Edited by LPQR

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15 minutes ago, LPQR said:

edc8d061923f350f777b4df551917d5f.png

That is ****ing scary!!!

I know you don't share tactics and stuff, but if you stay up I'll pick your brain, cause at the rate I'm going in two years my poor youth players will make my team comparison look like that.

Good luck, you'll need it.

Edited by MadCatPT

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25 minutes ago, MadCatPT said:

That is ****ing scary!!!

I know you don't share tactics and stuff, but if you stay up I'll pick your brain, cause at the rate I'm going in two years my poor youth players will make my team comparison look like that.

Good luck, you'll need it.

:D aye, if Casap leaves I'll have to think of a new system as well, as the current one heavily relies on him. Fingers crossed :)

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Reputation issues

spartalogo222.jpg.c93f9b5c0bb345946109345bc7476c30.jpg

our performance in the second division has not gone unnoticed and we get a small boost in reputation :)

8ea508107c7adc68ad3e01a859a89330.png
 

meanwhile, Romania drops 26 places in the rankings over the course of a year....

cb61d571e8f362d501be681a0269067b.png
 

ca58d37d48b704eab3e55d6a43206c48.png
 

thankfully, Liga I only dropped one place

7f5cd294b95e7773918302b70fb6455a.png
 

Edited by LPQR

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