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

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17-18 Pre-season 

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Media prediction - 14th

apart from a few changes in the backroom staff, we're pretty much the same team as we were last season, and that reflects in the odds we're given for this season. I'm not too sure of what to expect, but I hope we can graze a few points here and there to fight off relegation

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 With Casap confusing me whether he wants to stay or leave, I decide to tweak the tactic a bit to suit the team in both cases: with or without him on the pitch

Mentality: standard

Team shape: flexible

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it might seem like an insignificant change, but moving the AP to the cm strata and changing him to a CM(A) has a few important effects:

- provides another number in midfield when defending

- shifts the focus of play around the team rather than relying on the AP to do all the magic

additionally, our DM is now instructed to hold position rather than going forward, as we're looking to protect our back 3/5 even further

 

friendlies went very well, although we chose some weak teams to build up morale

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our first string of competitive matches was an absolute rollercoaster, as we blew away two 1-0 and 2-0 leads that ended up in a draw and a loss thanks to Ciobanu's amazing ability of getting red-carded twice in the space of 3 weeks

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still, 6 points from 6 matches is not too bad actually, and the match against Pandurii saw us put in a really good performance which I hope we can build on

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Player spotlight

Casap.... the numbers say it all

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 last season's intake star, Liviu Ciocănaru has been moved to the senior squad and played in all of our fixtures so far. At just 16 he's good enough to be a rotation option for the wing-back spot and some more game time should see him make the position his own

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Squad

a few players that played on loan last season return to the club to add some depth, however they're nowhere near good enough even for our level

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Team vs League average stats comparison

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pam param pam pam :) great

Edited by LPQR

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Derby Day

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so, here we are, on the doorstep of the first Derby of Bucharest

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aaand we get the beating of our lives :)

pretty good performance until the 70th minute, as we held them to a 1-0 lead, breaking dangerously on the counter a few times, but then all hell broke loose...

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Edited by LPQR

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Congrats on the first win!

Ouch for the derby, in some years(decades :rolleyes:) you'll return the favour.

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56 minutes ago, MadCatPT said:

Congrats on the first win!

Ouch for the derby, in some years(decades :rolleyes:) you'll return the favour.

cheers :) yeah, it's still painful to lose like that but we're getting there... slowly. reaaaly slowly :)

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Derby day#2

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I won't be posting an update every time we play Dinamo or Steaua, but given these are the first two official derbies the club is involved in, maybe there's some merit to the spotlight :)

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and guess what? The Lancers record their first ever derby win! 

not that slowly after all...

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and by the way, did I already say I like this board? I really(!) like this board

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this is fantastic news for us :)

Edited by LPQR

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Your new tactic is almost the exact same as my new tactic! Same formation, mentality, team shape, only slightly different roles. I find this all works very well. I predict a very comfortable season...

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5 hours ago, Liremaster Yn'Taris said:

Should be interesting to see how this developes. Looking forward to more.

glad to have you along :)

 

5 hours ago, MadCatPT said:

Derby win and both facilities?

Christmas came early! :D

abosolutely :) funnily enough, Dinamo have joined us in the lower positions in the table and are currently doing a worse job than us fighting off fears of relegation

1 hour ago, noikeee said:

Your new tactic is almost the exact same as my new tactic! Same formation, mentality, team shape, only slightly different roles. I find this all works very well. I predict a very comfortable season...

interesting, maybe these are the days defensive formations finally get some credit? if all you want is survival, a 3-5-2 with some Italian know-how to it is bound to earn at least some goalless draws :D 

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December 2017 - Mid-season

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The first half of the season comes to a close, and the (useless) 58 day mid-season break begins. We've had mixed results so far, but overall I'm very pleased with how the boys fared. Casap has been carrying the team forward and keeping him at the club even though his contract expires at the end of the season proved to be a wise decision.

4 points in September....

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just one in a horrific October
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and 10 points in a very, very sweet November
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beating Dinamo and CFR in the space of a week must be the best performance the club has seen to date

 

League Table

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quite amazing to have a relegation candidate in Dinamo Bucuresti, and the matches between Sparta and Dinamo gain double meaning as we both look to survive. On the other side of the table, Steaua have been smashing teams left and right and they're followed closely by a very impressive Viitorul side

 

Player Spotlight

Ciobanu is a player that came through Sparta's youth ranks and his development and performances this year have been absolutely sensational. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, and a stubbornness to enter any negotiations it looks like another potential key player is set to leave Sparta...

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Edited by LPQR

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Pretty solid so far, after that nightmare start to the season.

Big game up next though! A good result could give you some momentum. :)

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9 minutes ago, davehibb said:

Pretty solid so far, after that nightmare start to the season.

Big game up next though! A good result could give you some momentum. :)

ah, yes we play Steaua next. Don't be fooled by our recent good form though, we're still absolutely horrible and will be lucky to get a draw :D

8 minutes ago, poobington said:

Good to see you doing another story and an interesting region! I will be following keenly. 

cheers, happy to have you on board :)

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aaand he's gone at the end of the season :(

quite happy for him, actually, a move to Benfica is a massive jump up his career ladder and the wages they're offering him are what we're paying half our squad with at the moment

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March 2018 - Playoffs

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a string of mixed results after the break concluded by a disappointing defeat at the hands of Botoșani hand us a 13th placed finish at the end of the regular division fixtures

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League table

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Now here comes the interesting part, the Romanian Liga I has a structure similar to the Ekstraklasa, in Poland, where after the 14 teams in the league play each other twice over the total of 26 matches, the league is split into two sections:

Champions playoff - top 6 teams / Relegation Group - bottom 8 teams

From here on, teams start with 50% of the points they accumulated over the course of the season and the results they obtain in the two groups will be the final result determining the clubs' position in the league

the Playoffs unfold between the 10th of March and the 3rd of June in which each club will play a total of 14 matches

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 with some pretty strong teams in this years' relegation group we're going to have to play really well to avoid going down....

Edited by LPQR

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2018 Youth intake

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I have no words for this.... this is appaling! even for our facilities and standards this is ridiculous. The stars ratings can be confusing sometimes, so I'll give you some reasons for my rage:

 

If this is a a player with a current ability of 3 stars, you can imagine just how good even the best of these youngsters will get in their peak

 

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And when it comes to judging ability and potential I have a highly qualified member of staff in that area on whose opinion I can rely on. And by the way, I can only blame the quality of this year's intake on this very man and his ability of 'working with youngsters'. New HOYD on his way as soon as possible.

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So...  here's the best player of this year's intake:

Flavius Latu

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With no spare cash to waste on potential back-up players (at best) I have released ALL the youth candidates of this year. Absolute p***take

 

Edited by LPQR

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2 hours ago, oneronaldo said:

Shame, Ciobanu looks quality.

yep, our second best player in the team. Off he goes...

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just realized I messed up a bit and had some wrong dates in the above posts... for some reason I thought I was one year ahead :D sorry about the confusion, all back into the timeline now

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My word, that intake is appalling. I bet you got a message too "is excited about the potential of...", and then had to stop yourself shooting the guy.

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12 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

My word, that intake is appalling. I bet you got a message too "is excited about the potential of...", and then had to stop yourself shooting the guy.

honestly... speechless

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One word of caution: judging youth intakes can be incredibly hit or miss even with staff that has great JPA. There's the immediate change in perceived potential once a player is signed but there's also some significant inaccuracy. In the ~30 years of my Avenir Beggen save I've noticed on at least a few occasions that the initially 4th/5th best player turns out to be an unexpected star. Less immediately relevant, I've more frequently seen the initially 6th/7th/8th best player develop into a rotation/depth option when the "better" players flop.

That can lead to some tough decisions as a budget strapped club. I was fairly brutal (like you were above) for the first half of my save; knowing what I know now, I'm not sure yet what I would or wouldn't do differently.

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11 minutes ago, Ceching You Out said:

One word of caution: judging youth intakes can be incredibly hit or miss even with staff that has great JPA. There's the immediate change in perceived potential once a player is signed but there's also some significant inaccuracy. In the ~30 years of my Avenir Beggen save I've noticed on at least a few occasions that the initially 4th/5th best player turns out to be an unexpected star. Less immediately relevant, I've more frequently seen the initially 6th/7th/8th best player develop into a rotation/depth option when the "better" players flop.

That can lead to some tough decisions as a budget strapped club. I was fairly brutal (like you were above) for the first half of my save; knowing what I know now, I'm not sure yet what I would or wouldn't do differently.

you're right, I've noticed that on previous saves as well. This time though, after taking a look at their incredibly low CA's I made a decision based half on that and half on frustration. I might come to regret it but I highly doubt that keeper could turn out to be good enough for even a back-up spot even in 7-8 years time, by which I expect we'll have some (hopefully) better prospects already

 

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3 minutes ago, LPQR said:

you're right, I've noticed that on previous saves as well. This time though, after taking a look at their incredibly low CA's I made a decision based half on that and half on frustration. I might come to regret it but I highly doubt that keeper could turn out to be good enough for even a back-up spot even in 7-8 years time, by which I expect we'll have some (hopefully) better prospects already

 

Yeah, if you're the analytical type that all becomes part of the complex calculus of who to sign. How likely are players to contribute before getting recruited? Depends on your club's trajectory, playing time available, facilities/coaching, etc. Then there's the opportunity cost of that youth player to consider. Of course if you're the intuitive type, you just hold up a finger to judge which way the wind is blowing, make your decision, and move on.

Doesn't mean that refusing to sign anyone is a bad decision; just adding more factors for consideration. As a veteran youth challenger (who's still learning new things himself), I like to put that info out there for anyone who hasn't encountered it yet :). No doubt it won't be long before you're finding crazy success here like in your previous threads!

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2 minutes ago, Ceching You Out said:

Yeah, if you're the analytical type that all becomes part of the complex calculus of who to sign. How likely are players to contribute before getting recruited? Depends on your club's trajectory, playing time available, facilities/coaching, etc. Then there's the opportunity cost of that youth player to consider. Of course if you're the intuitive type, you just hold up a finger to judge which way the wind is blowing, make your decision, and move on.

Doesn't mean that refusing to sign anyone is a bad decision; just adding more factors for consideration. As a veteran youth challenger (who's still learning new things himself), I like to put that info out there for anyone who hasn't encountered it yet :). No doubt it won't be long before you're finding crazy success here like in your previous threads!

:) maybe I sounded a bit condescending above given I'm still winding down from that annoying intake. You make very good points and these are all aspects, that, indeed need be applied rationally. I just took the risk willingly, as for once, I was so p****d off that I allowed myself to be a bit human, and, if anything else, a bit Eastern European in that impulsiveness, too :D

about crazy success, hmm, we'll see, really tough season ahead, with our two best players leaving on a free and no one even half as good to replace them. Some of our young players have improved massively over the last few years, however overall we'll be much weaker as a squad.

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June 2018 - Final day drama

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A very congested two months of football see us snatch some very important wins along the way to place us in a very tight situation

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with one match to go against Poli Iași, who are 2 points below us, this match will decide our fate

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meanwhile, some interesting news in the other half of the table, as Hagi's academy team wins the league! @Muttley84 you'll want to see this, I think ;)

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Edited by LPQR

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June 2018 - Final day drama

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the match odds tell the story.....

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Or... do they? :)

The Lancers seal survival in biggest ever win

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woah... I'm goig to pour myself a drink after this one....

Edited by LPQR

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13 minutes ago, LPQR said:

:) maybe I sounded a bit condescending above given I'm still winding down from that annoying intake. You make very good points and these are all aspects, that, indeed need be applied rationally. I just took the risk willingly, as for once, I was so p****d off that I allowed myself to be a bit human, and, if anything else, a bit Eastern European in that impulsiveness, too :D

about crazy success, hmm, we'll see, really tough season ahead, with our two best players leaving on a free and no one even half as good to replace them. Some of our young players have improved massively over the last few years, however overall we'll be much weaker as a squad.

No worries, I didn't take it that way. Just giving my rationale for momentarily sidetracking your thread. I try to keep most of that to my own threads unless I know the OP doesn't mind going "down the rabbit hole". I was just that frustrated last night with FM! Unfortunately I couldn't chalk it up to role playing :D.

True, those are big losses. May be time for one of your signature tactical rethinks. When you have that side of the game down (like you do) it doesn't take much to outperform expectations if you get on a hot streak. Then your intakes improve and it's a virtuous cycle. Congrats on avoiding the relegation playoff!

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June 2018 - Career Progress

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                                                                Career Progres Table

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                League                                                          Cups                                     Europe
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          2016-2017 Liga II- 2nd(promoted)                                 Quarter final(RC)                               N/A

          2017-2018 Liga I- 13th(5th in relegation group-survival)         6th round(RC)/8th final(RLC)                    N/A 

 

Tracker

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Edited by LPQR

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June 2018 -Season review

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League table after playoffs

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crazy, right? only thanks to the format of the playoffs a 5th placed Viitorul ended up as champions and an 11th placed Olimpia ended up relegated. This makes it all much more exciting, though, and it definitely favors teams like us, who, at this point don't really have anything to lose.

a really, really tough season which could have so easily ended in disaster for us, however we managed to stay up and defy the odds, while considerably increasing our reputation, which went up one star over the course of two years., as well as our finances and appeal:

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really encouraging figures for attendance there, which went up 3 times compared to last season, so it looks like we're fishing some fans in Bucharest :)

 

Sparta Team of the Year

No surprises here, really, as Casap, Ciobanu and Băluță were the spine of the team throughout the season. Ironically, the first two are leaving on a free in a couple of days, and the third one has one year left on his contract and it doesn't look likely he'll renew his current deal.

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Casap                                                                                                                                Ciobanu

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Băluță

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Revelation of the season

Liviu Ciocănaru (youth 2017)

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Liviu has been immensely impressive in his first senior season for the club. As the star of last year's youth intake he didn't disappoint, as he made a total of 41 appearances for the club this season, chipping in with three assists and averaging a respectable 6.84 overall. Match experience and training saw Liviu greatly improve his tactical understanding of the game, as well as his physique, bot of which are absolutely crucial for the role he plays in. With the departure of the above mentioned key members, Liviu will undoubtedly be our key player next season and one whose future looks increasingly brighter, as he's still just 17 years of age


 

Board

we get two messages from the board:

encouraging stuff at first :)

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and some less exciting stuff after...

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I'm still happy with this, as our finances aren't particularly amazing, and the youth facilities expansion is still on track to be completed by October...

Next season is going to be tough... tough without our two leaders, Casap and Ciobanu, but we'll see if we can build on this year's success and frustrate the odds again :)

 

Edited by LPQR

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35 minutes ago, MadCatPT said:

Congrats on staying up.

Next season will be a true test.

cheers :) it most definitely will!

 

49 minutes ago, Ceching You Out said:

True, those are big losses. May be time for one of your signature tactical rethinks. When you have that side of the game down (like you do) it doesn't take much to outperform expectations if you get on a hot streak. Then your intakes improve and it's a virtuous cycle. Congrats on avoiding the relegation playoff!

ah, thanks, I just try to observe as much as I can and elaborate it as fluently as I can :) We'll see how we can change for next season and if that will bring any good...

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Just have to say, wonderful job so far earning the promotion and surviving. Love the idea and the logo, here's to some big improvements next season!

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Well, not that I don't like being right, but that Viitorul win is still a surprise. Good luck next season, i found my 2nd one in the league a bit harder than the first, especially if losing key players. Will be following.

P.S. Any changes you could look up Ianis Hagi and Denis Man to check their progress?

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1 hour ago, Muttley84 said:

Any changes you could look up Ianis Hagi and Denis Man to check their progress?

here's Man, it seems Benfica really likes Romanian talent) they snapped him from Steaua for just about 200k a year ago

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and here's Hagi:

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Edited by LPQR

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3 hours ago, oriole01 said:

Just have to say, wonderful job so far earning the promotion and surviving. Love the idea and the logo, here's to some big improvements next season!

cheers :) fingers crossed

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Nice work staying up, assume next season will be even more difficult.

out of curiosity, how are the finances overall?

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Good work staying up mate!

It's almost like being in South America with the crazy end of season playoffs. :D

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8 hours ago, wynter said:

Nice work staying up, assume next season will be even more difficult.

out of curiosity, how are the finances overall?

at the start of season 3 we have a balance of 470k and the club is valued at 1.1M :) 

thanks, let's hope we manage to stay in the Liga I

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3 hours ago, davehibb said:

Good work staying up mate!

It's almost like being in South America with the crazy end of season playoffs. :D

thanks, yeah, it's a very Latin twist to football scheduling it seems :D

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I'm surprised the season was that difficult, like I said those similar tactics work really well for me. I suppose your players just aren't at the required level yet, which may mean struggle in the years ahead with youth intakes that poor. Hang tight as this is going to be a long journey...

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34 minutes ago, noikeee said:

I'm surprised the season was that difficult, like I said those similar tactics work really well for me. I suppose your players just aren't at the required level yet, which may mean struggle in the years ahead with youth intakes that poor. Hang tight as this is going to be a long journey...

I'll take the blame for the overestimation going around here :D after all, I haven't had the time to do a full squad review yet where you can see how 'good' our players are. that should follow shortly. And yes, looking forward to the long and painful journey )

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great....back from the start of the season it is...

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Edited by LPQR

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Also had a crash today. Two bug posts from me today.

Now one from you.

Busy day for the bug people.

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1 minute ago, MadCatPT said:

Also had a crash today. Two bug posts from me today.

Now one from you.

Busy day for the bug people.

i guess this is the price I have to pay for holidaying through a match :lol:

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just a shout out to whoever is following this thread: I'm considering changing the update style a bit as I'm getting increasingly constrained by time, so probably from now on there will be one or two updates per season at most. I'd like to know which parts interest you guys the most, i.e. tactics/player development/results/youth recruitment(duh...) so I know what I can focus on more/less

cheers everyone and thanks for sticking by :) 

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As a fellow romanian i love this ideea mate :) . Will be interesting to see how you can keep and make the Romanian league coeficients better and what money will you get out of TV sponsorships :)

 

 

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