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

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some good news

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and some bad news.... very bad news

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10 minutes ago, wynter said:

Out of Curiosity, how's Vestag? Dude's mentals were great in the intake photo, even if the PA was a bit average.

he could turn out pretty decent, actually. If only his determination was higher, he would have made for a much better prospect, but he could still turn out to be a useful WM or WB

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August 2025

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Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round

 

incredible feat in knocking out a superior Olympiakos side, thanks to the great performance in the first leg. A quiet, defensively responsible second leg and we're through to the playoffs!

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and our joy lasts a lot shorter than I thought it would :lol:

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Edited by LPQR

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August 2025

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Champions League Playoff

first leg

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second leg

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Despite losing the playoff, I'm very pleased with our performance, especially in the second leg, where we've stunned San Siro to record a very impressive win. 

so we're off to Europa League again, and this is the group we get:

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surely, we have a chance to progress if we perform at least as well as we did in the CL playoff, and with Zenit the main team to beat, this is quite a good draw for us

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encouraging to see the number of players from our ranks called up for action in Romania's youth squads

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I don't doubt you but I think that's a pretty tough group tbh - Zenit are huge and Gijon play in the Spanish league. Think Hajduk should be about your level, so 3rd place would already be pretty good.

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On 11/15/2016 at 13:04, LPQR said:

he could turn out pretty decent, actually. If only his determination was higher, he would have made for a much better prospect, but he could still turn out to be a useful WM or WB

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Really unfortunate stats on this one I feel, despite his high PA... He has fantastic flair and natural fitness but it's such a waste because his vision/passing, crossing and acceleration is so low. He also has amazing aggression but not a defensive-minded bone in his entire body.

In not-so-amazing leagues I often find that players with flair can be amazing if they have either acceleration or vision. If they have acceleration they'll be able to skirt past everyone and if they have vision/passing they can pull of some excellent passes or crosses.

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awesome youth intake

 

i'm thinking of doing a save in Romania now, i'm torn between reviving Rapid Bucuresti or going over the moon with Viitorul.

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29 minutes ago, noikeee said:

I don't doubt you but I think that's a pretty tough group tbh - Zenit are huge and Gijon play in the Spanish league. Think Hajduk should be about your level, so 3rd place would already be pretty good.

aye, having had a better look at those teams, I might have overestimated our chances a bit. Still, definitely an easier group than we've had last year, so fingers crossed

 

7 minutes ago, the--dud said:

 

Really unfortunate stats on this one I feel, despite his high PA... He has fantastic flair and natural fitness but it's such a waste because his vision/passing, crossing and acceleration is so low. He also has amazing aggression but not a defensive-minded bone in his entire body.

In not-so-amazing leagues I often find that players with flair can be amazing if they have either acceleration or vision. If they have acceleration they'll be able to skirt past everyone and if they have vision/passing they can pull of some excellent passes or crosses.

we've had a number of players with strange stat distribution, but I quite like that. Makes you think twice about how you want to train/re-train the player :)

 

8 minutes ago, Marbah said:

awesome youth intake

 

i'm thinking of doing a save in Romania now, i'm torn between reviving Rapid Bucuresti or going over the moon with Viitorul.

ah, if you fancy a proper challenge then Rapid, surely :) 

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December 2025 - European journey

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it seems I have indeed overestimated our chances in this group, as Sporting have proven to be way tougher than I initially thought. Still, we've pulled off three wins and a draw in this group to place us 2nd by the slightest of margins

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the first k.o. draw has been even tougher than last year, and we'll have to do very well to get past Bilbao

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Edited by LPQR

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Nice progress there. You almost make me wanna go back to Romania and play with a really low team but with a story behind - thinking of Ripensia bringing them back the 30's, a nationalistic save with National Sebis or play in Bucharest with Metaglobus. Damn, so many choices...

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3 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

Nice progress there. You almost make me wanna go back to Romania and play with a really low team but with a story behind - thinking of Ripensia bringing them back the 30's, a nationalistic save with National Sebis or play in Bucharest with Metaglobus. Damn, so many choices...

merci :) all three sound like great potential saves. If I ever manage in Romania again in this FM series it will be, no doubt, U Cluj - great city, facilities, history, stadium, a healthy rivalry with CFR and well... the perfect 'phoenix' type of story

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March 2026 - Playoffs

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Here we are again, at the start of the playoffs as the regular fixtures have been played out and we finished in a slightly disappointing 5th position

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Champions Playoff

the initial points are halved and we find ourselves one point away from a Europa League qualifying spot and 8 points away from a first place which is the only position that guarantees Champions League participation. Plenty to play for :)
 

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Europe


we lose out to a very strong Bilbao side in the first knock-out round, albeit courtesy of a very impressive performance from our boys, which saw us snatch a creditable 1-1 draw in the first leg

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Sparta academy product Liviu Ciocănaru switches nationality to Ukrainian after 6 years at Stal' Kamyanskoe and earns 2 caps for the country

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May 2026 - Last day drama

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If this is not one of those moments where you break expensive stuff (from ikea) that hang about the room I don't know what is...

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93rd minute - we lead 2-1 and are 3rd in the Playoff table on goal difference ahead of Pandurii, who have already lost their match. We switch to a defensive, compact shape to keep hold of the ball and absorb pressure, and our keeper fails to handle a simple ball which Rosu passes into the back of the net literally in the last second of the match.

Sparta miss out on European Football for next season

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Edited by LPQR

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former captain and club legend Chipirliu is set to hang up his boots....

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May 2026

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OLE OLE OLE OLE

Sparta win first ever Cup competition!

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Edited by LPQR

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up next.... second cup final in the space of a week.... and oh, this should be an emotional one!

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second reason to break stuff around the room: to have 70 minutes in which we have one more player on the pitch and to still not be able to score is honestly the perfect summary of this season

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A decade at Sparta București

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2016-2026

the end of the current season marks the 10th anniversary of the club's existence, as we continue our Spartan journey towards glory 

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25/26 Season review

Overall, a good season for us, marked by the great performance in the domestic cups as well as the good run in the Europa League. These are the performances that make it easier to swallow the disappointment of not having qualified for European football next year, however, considering the board's expectations of reaching the relegation group, our performance can still be classed as an over achievement.

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Champions Playoff

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Final League Table

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Awards

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Squad

a few encouraging points in this year's squad development, as we gain an increasingly professional/balanced squad due to the influence those personalities have had on players which previously had low determination or unambitious personalities. The best example is Alexandru Ivan in that sense. Other developments worth noting are the overall quality jump we've made over the last few years, as players like Sorin Stefan and Toader Vlad seem to be no longer good enough for our first team options. This means we're moving in the right direction and that the players we're getting through the intakes are increasingly better.  

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Key Players

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Alexandru Nica                                                                                                    Alexandru Grigoraș

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Alexandru Ivan                                                                                                     Marius Penescu

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Nica has had an absolute killer of a season as he's had his role changed from F9 to Defensive Forward in a bid to change the dynamics of the system at the start of the season. One goal short of breaking the Liga I goalscoring record and top scorer in both domestic cup competitions as well as the Liga I, this was truly a fantastic performance from our legendary striker. Grigoraș was instrumental for us this year, as he covered for both, RM and CM positions and if not for his unambitious personality, I feel he could have developed even better to this stage. Hopefully the increasingly professional attitude of the squad influences him in that sense, as we already have a player that showed a change in personality (from low determination to fairly professional) this year in Alexandru Ivan. Our slightly technical rock in front of a defense has performed consistently for yet another season and is by all means a key player for us. Penescu is the best fullback in our ranks and has been given the duty to bomb forward as much as possible due to his strength in the physical side of the game. Great performances in that sense, as he's one of our older players that is cementing his status as a club legend by this point.

 

Youth Prospects

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Tudorel Benga                                                                                                         Cristian Dumitrescu

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Cornel Marin                                                                                                                     Milaș Ioniță II

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The new generation of players that made its entrance in the first team boasts some great talents that have already cemented at least a rotation status in the team. Benga seems to be the natural heir to our best AML - Tiberiu Vladila, however he is slightly different in his style of play, boasting better physical and technical attributes, as well as being left-footed. Highly impressive in his first appearances for the club, he will be given increasing game time as he develops further. Dumitrescu and Ioniță II have been the youth revelations of the season so far, as they were moved to rotation option and first team choice for the CB spots due to the low overall quality of the senior players in that position. The latter stole the show this year with his incredibly fast improvement and is the club's best defender and brightest prospect at this point, having already exceeded our previous best defender, Bogdan Andone, in terms of quality and performances. Cornel Marin is yet another talented right back who has it all to steal Penescu's first team spot in a few years time if he keeps developing as well as he did this season. Great all-rounded player and good personality as well.

 

Youth Intake
 

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A good intake, however a bit low by the standard set in the past few years. The encouraging points are the good personalities of the top players as well as having finally recruited a striker with decent CA/PA after 9 years of no decent enough options in that department. Here are this year's intake stars:

Alin Drăghia                                                                                                                   Răzvan Lazăr

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Florin Stuparu

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Club Developments

we get another set of upgrades, albeit at the cost of a fairly large outlay

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a slight decrease in the income figures due to failing to qualify for European football as well as achieving a lower position in the table this year

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Edited by LPQR

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A decade at Sparta București

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2016-2026

Image result for spartans

 

Club development/Squad Overview

 

Over the last ten years we have developed from a club that had just won promotion from the 3rd division to one of the most respectable sides in Romania

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Finances

some very healthy figures here due to our abstinence on the transfer market. I would still prefer if all this money allocated for the transfer budget would be spent elsewhere

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Reputation

domestic

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european

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Facilities

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Trophy Cabinet
 

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League History

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Squad Overview

 

goalkeepers

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defenders

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midfielders

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strikers

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Squad vs League average stats

a review that shows we're very strong in midfield as per positional departments, physically and mentally as a squad overall and with some reasonable technical know-how all round. This alligns perfectly with our philosophy of youth, athleticism and discipline

all positions                                                                                                                  goalkeepers

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defense                                                                                                                            midfield

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attack                                                                                                                               physical


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mental                                                                                                                      technical

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Players representing Romania at youth levels

a very healthy output from our youth conveyor. So far we don't have any players that play for the main team, but I believe we're not far from getting there

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1 hour ago, setzel said:

Felix Nicola is just gorgeus :) . I am biased because i love my odd defensive guys with high flair :)

ahh, isn't he just :) he's the perfect type of CM i look for in my usual systems: quick, combative and hard working enough to cover a lot of ground as well as having that little bit of technique and touch of magic to create something out of nothing occasionally. Ambitious personality and still loads of potential, he's really one to look out for in the future 

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June 2026 - Career Progress

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Tracker

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                                                                        Career Progress 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

              2018-2019 Liga I- 13th(7th in relegation group-relegated)        6th round(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)                   N/A
              
              2019-2020 Liga II- 1st(promoted)                                 Semi-Final(RC)/8th final(RLC)                   N/A

              2020-2021 Liga I- 11th(5th in relegation group-survival)         6th round(RC)/Final(RLC)                        N/A

              2021-2022 Liga I- 8th(5th in relegation group-survival)          7th round(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)                   N/A

              2022-2023 Liga I- 5th(4th in Champions Playoff- Euro Cup)        6th round(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)                   N/A
 
              2023-2024 Liga I- 2nd(Champions via Playoff)                     6th Round(RC)/8th final(RLC)                 EL-Group Stage

              2024-2025 Liga I- 4th(2nd in Champions Playoff- CL)              Semi-final(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)         CL-Playoff/EL-first k.o.round
 
              2025-2026 Liga I- 5th(4th in Champions Playoff)                  Final(RC)/Winners(RLC)                       EL-first k.o.round



 

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we say goodbye to a player that gave a lot to this club, especially in its early years as he was our best midfielder in the team between 2016 and 2019. Given his slight decline as well as limited prospects for game time due to the great bunch of young prospects we have in midfield, Alexandru Roșca is released by the club.

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in other news, former captain and fan favourite, Bogdan Chipirliu retires and immediately takes up a coaching position with the U19s 

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Edited by LPQR

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player spotlight

 

Milaș Ioniță II - youth 2025

Milaș has progressed to be our best current player as well as one of the most well rounded footballers in the squad. A central defender with reasonable technical ability and with good determination and fairly professional personality, Milaș has attracted offers from clubs like Napoli, Udinese and Espanyol in recent months. Still 18 years of age he has plenty of potential in him and I'm really excited about him if I can keep him at the club. 

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rating at intake date

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this player's development is another example of how much personality and determination matter when it comes to how well they will progress, as both are indicators of an increased willingness to train better and develop further as a player. You can see above the rating he got at the intake date. Now let's compare that to Blaga, a player who was rated 5* PA at the date of that same intake, however having lower stats for determination and a fairly loyal personality. This is still not bad, but doesn't affect the player's attitude towards training as much as a professional, resolute or determined personality does

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Blaga's PA rating went down as he developed less in the same amount of time as Milas, and while he's still got undoubted potential, the above mentioned issue about personality and determination could have a say on the speed and quality of his progression. Of course, there is the issue of game time as well, which Milas got plenty of lately and Blaga has just been moved to the first team, so we'll see how much of an impact that has on both of their development.

Edited by LPQR

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March 2027 - Playoffs

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we reach the playoffs in a comfortable 1st place after an impressive string of performances in the Liga I this year:

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Champions Playoff

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our cup options are limited to the domestic competitions this year, and we're still in both of them, with a fierce derby awaiting us in the League Cup Final

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10 minutes ago, MadCatPT said:

Congrats from the least successful Spartans.

cheers :) we're still yet to win anything, as the playoffs are often very unpredictable, but so far so good

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Just got caught up with this, awesome progress mate. 10 years! Wow!

I've only got past christmas of the first season in 1 save in FM17! I've started about 10 different saves though. :o

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1 hour ago, davehibb said:

Just got caught up with this, awesome progress mate. 10 years! Wow!

I've only got past christmas of the first season in 1 save in FM17! I've started about 10 different saves though. :o

thanks and good to have you back :) 

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May 2027 - Season Review

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Domestic Treble

 

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Liga I final table

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Awards

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Squad

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Key Players

Milaș Ioniță II                                                                                                                Cezar Dobre

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Tiberiu Vlădilă                                                                                                              Ciprian Kereszy

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A few familiar names come back to form this year, as Sparta's golden generation representatives lead the club to a fantastic achievement this year, despite the lack of European Football. Milaș had a great season, providing a fantastic defensive option for a club of our level. Still 18 years of age, he could well be the best player we have ever produced. Dobre had a highly impressive season as he combined his hard work in defensive with some really good contribution in attack. Tiberiu was our IF this year and with 13 goals and 10 assists to his name, its fair to say he did not disappoint. Kereszy has been moved to the CM position later in the season this year, as he developed physically and wasn't as incisive in the final third as I wanted him to be. The changed did him good as he had a great season, especially marked by his contribution of 14 assists.

 

Youth Prospects

Florin Stuparu                                                                                                               Bogdan Florea 

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Marian Blaga                                                                                                         Cristian Dumitrescu

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These are some of the most exciting young players that are being slowly introduced to the first team. Stuparu is no doubt the revelation here, with a greatly increased PA rating after he made a few first team appearances. Potentially Nica's successor and finally an answer to our lack of options in the striking department. Florea is a player with very good physique and personality and he's been given a few starts at the LB spot, which he dignified with some decent performances. Blaga is looking increasingly likely to push Ivan out of the DLP position over the next few years, as he seems to have much better technical potential, as well as boasting some decent physique already. Dumitrescu has been the third option for the CB position this year and made an impressive 28 performances which give him a chance of pushing out Andone out of the first team next year.

 

Youth Intake

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A good intake this year. Perhaps not many potential superstars, but I'm happy with one 5*PA player, especially born in Bucharest and with a fairly ambitious personality. Patrick doesn't look bad either, and the next best 3-4 players all look like they could improve a lot if I manage to find a tutor to improve their personalities. The main talking point this year, however, is the recruitment of a Moldovan player! (my home country) :D This is the first player with a different primary nationality other than Romanian to be recruited in Sparta's history. He doesn't look too bad either:

Alexandru Negruț

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Cătălin Turcu                                                                                                               Patrik Andrieș

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Club developments

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not much to wait for the new stadium! whoop whoop!

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Edited by LPQR

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Fantastic job this year! Looks like you're really enjoying yourself now, to be considered "iconic" is a pretty special feat. Mind showing us the goal of the year at the end of each season?

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19 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

Fantastic job this year! Looks like you're really enjoying yourself now, to be considered "iconic" is a pretty special feat. Mind showing us the goal of the year at the end of each season?

cheers! I'm having trouble converting the highlights to gifs :( If i find a way that works I'll do it, it's a good idea! 

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Just now, LPQR said:

cheers! I'm having trouble converting the highlights to gifs :( If i find a way that works I'll do it, it's a good idea! 

Pretty sure you can just convert them to Youtube videos right in the game, using "upload highlights". Unless by "gifs" you mean Youtube video.
 

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June 2027 - Career Progress

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Tracker

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                                                                     Career Progress 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

              2018-2019 Liga I- 13th(7th in relegation group-relegated)        6th round(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)                   N/A
              
              2019-2020 Liga II- 1st(promoted)                                 Semi-Final(RC)/8th final(RLC)                   N/A

              2020-2021 Liga I- 11th(5th in relegation group-survival)         6th round(RC)/Final(RLC)                        N/A

              2021-2022 Liga I- 8th(5th in relegation group-survival)          7th round(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)                   N/A

              2022-2023 Liga I- 5th(4th in Champions Playoff- Euro Cup)        6th round(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)                   N/A
 
              2023-2024 Liga I- 2nd(Champions via Playoff)                     6th Round(RC)/8th final(RLC)                 EL-Group Stage

              2024-2025 Liga I- 4th(2nd in Champions Playoff- CL)              Semi-final(RC)/Semi-final(RLC)         CL-Playoff/EL-first k.o.round
 
              2025-2026 Liga I- 5th(4th in Champions Playoff)                  Final(RC)/Winners(RLC)                       EL-first k.o.round

              2026-2027 Liga I -1st(Champions via Playoff)                     Winners(RC)/Winners(RLC)                        N/A


 

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New Stadium

 

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Straight away, I ask the board for an extension of the stadium, as I believe the demand for tickets will be higher than what we're currently able to accommodate, even if we get a big increase in the seated stands. Request accepted :)

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huh, even after the total domination in domestic competitions last year, we get a media prediction of 6th for next season...

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1 hour ago, oriole01 said:

Pretty sure you can just convert them to Youtube videos right in the game, using "upload highlights". Unless by "gifs" you mean Youtube video.

I'll try to figure out smth involving less hassle

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July 2027

Image result for romania

this is the Romania's U21 team called up for the U21 Euro Championship

13 Sparta players in the squad

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the results, however were less impressive....

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August 2027

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European Journey

having finished first last season, we are the only Romanian club to feature in the Champions League this year. Given that our league has dropped in the European rankings that meant that we had to start our Champions League journey from the 2nd Qualifying round:

having had a pretty easy draw here we progress to the next round after a convincing 5-0 aggregate victory

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3rd Qualifying Phase

tougher opponents in Maccabi Haifa in the next round, however we coast past them with a 5-2 aggregate score to the delight of everyone at the club

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Champions League Playoff

a decent draw against Stabaek here, however we were still being rated as the underdogs in both matches. Impressively, we put three past them in the second leg, having lost away 1-0

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this fantastic run means that for the first time in the club's history.....

 

Sparta reach the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUPS!!!

this is already massive for us as, apart from the prize money we've got from the previous rounds we get almost 11M pounds in our pockets, as well as the prestige of playing in the CL

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the group we draw features some interesting sides in the name of Ajax and Anderlecht as well as the British powerhouse - Manchester United. This is an easier draw compared to what we had before I had to re-load the save after the crash in December, so maybe Karma is balancing the scales afterall :)

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in other news.... our first ever player to be called up to a senior National Team:

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[edit]

new result for second leg Playoff as well as new group after re-loading the game due to a crash in December this year

Edited by LPQR

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Congrats on the first breakthrough to the National Team! That Champions league group looks terrifying!

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massive job on the table here

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refused, of course :)

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15 hours ago, WeegieFM said:

Congrats on the first breakthrough to the National Team! That Champions league group looks terrifying!

thanks! :) yes, we'll have to do very well to get a point or two there

[edit]

new group, albeit my expectations are still pretty much the same :)

Edited by LPQR

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great.... what on earth is going on with these crashes, I've just had another one just before reaching mid-season....

is it because of logos, facepacks, skins, etc.? I'd consider going back to full basic as this is getting to the point where I lose the feel of authenticity of this save

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2 hours ago, LPQR said:

great.... what on earth is going on with these crashes, I've just had another one just before reaching mid-season....

is it because of logos, facepacks, skins, etc.? I'd consider going back to full basic as this is getting to the point where I lose the feel of authenticity of this save

maybe too many leagues loaded?

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