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mjaferrie

The History Bhoys - From the Lisbon Lions to ____?

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Ahem... after a slight mishap (sorrrrryyyy @Makoto Nakamurahere we go... :ackter:

Nothing to be ashamed of here!  Gutted to drop out at such an early stage, especially as the next round would be a pretty easy draw against either Bala Town from Wales or FK Qabala from Azerbaijan, but we went pretty much toe to toe against the Dutch giants!

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**** sake.  

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1 minute ago, Makoto Nakamura said:

Someone needed the luck of the Irish...I hope you're ready for my pre-season update ;) hahaha.

Great result scoring 3 at home to Ajax!

**** it, I'm going to the pub :lol:

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Nice work, man. Glad to see that not only are the tactics working out for you, but you're adapting them successfully! It's 100x more rewarding/enjoyable, I find, than just downloading something and hoping it works.

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55 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

Nice work, man. Glad to see that not only are the tactics working out for you, but you're adapting them successfully! It's 100x more rewarding/enjoyable, I find, than just downloading something and hoping it works.

Absolutely - in the first instance it was a case of '****, I have no players available... well hey let's try this'.  Pretty chuffed with the results from then on though, so after that it was a case of fitting it to our players!

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Yep, the IWBs just make squad building a bit more challenging initially. I just look for wingbacks who have both feet (or who I can retain), and I really like retaining DMs who have the right attributes...maybe a two-footed wide midfielder who has enough defensive sense.  Forwards and wingers can be retrained to play centrally... Find a good, playmaking DM to retain as a libero... Squad building is very enjoyable :)

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Youth Intake Day!

Similar story as last season, not a lot of potential here but a couple of good personalities.  Hopefully they can develop into squad players.

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With 2 league games still to play...

WE'VE WON THE LEAGUE!  Shamrock Rovers end their 23 year title drought, as we win the league for the first time since 2011!

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Which means...

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We're going to the Champions League!

 

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A 2nd minute goal from Gareth Wright was enough for us to grab another to add to the trophy cabinet!  We make up for our early exit in the League Cup by winning the Leinster Cup, League and Challenge Cup this year - season review to follow!

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2 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Congrats!

 

1 hour ago, argento said:

great work!

Haha, thanks lads! Season review slightly delayed on account of my girlfriend taking me on a surprise brewery tour with some beer tastings :D

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18 minutes ago, mjaferrie said:

 

Haha, thanks lads! Season review slightly delayed on account of my girlfriend taking me on a surprise brewery tour with some beer tastings :D

Priorities, eh? 

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46 minutes ago, mjaferrie said:

That's the one :D

Just wait until you're married... :lol:

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2 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Just wait until you're married... :lol:

'But honey, if I don't sign this HOYD then this was all a huge waste of time!'

'Uh huh...'

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2 hours ago, mjaferrie said:

'But honey, if I don't sign this HOYD then this was all a huge waste of time!'

'Uh huh...'

'We have to get some decent personalities'

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5 hours ago, Keano16 said:

'We have to get some decent personalities'

Unfortunately, you have no control over the backroom in-law staff.  The hidden "eccentricity" attribute of a mothers-in-law can be nasty, especially if combined with low sportsmanship and high controversy.  And, absent extreme measures, they can tutor your spouse in this modern era even when physically separated.

I had a chat with Ms. Keano earlier today and the wife would like to discuss an improved contract to reflect her importance to the team.

New feature in FM 17 -- if John Terry is on your staff you can ask him to have a word with the missus.  

Edited by ManUtd1

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It's the high determination / high aggression combo that gives me the fear :lol: 

Season Review!

Well it took us 4 years, but we have finally broken Dundalk's grip on the Irish Premier League!  They finished last season 22 points ahead of us, while this year we finish 12 points clear, a massive increase in performance!  The highest points total of my reign so far had been 63 points but we've smashed that this year, picking up 79 points which is a club record, along with a club record 24 wins in the league.

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After dropping out of the Europa League to Ajax, who went on to eliminate Dundalk in the next round, we only lost once to Sligo Rovers and went on a 3 month unbeaten run in the league and Challenge Cup!

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After chucking a few key players at the end of last season, the youngsters have made a huge step up in terms of performance level - the average age of the 20 players who made the most appearances this season was only 22.  This gives us around a decade per player for the future, and the average will see a big drop heading into the new season as 33 year old Colin Breen leaves at the end of his contract.  We only had 3 players over the age of 25 in the whole squad, which is fantastic.

During my 4 years in Ireland, we've won the Premier Division, Challenge Cup, Leinster Cup and President's Cup, which means we only have the League Cup still to win with Shamrock Rovers.  I'll need to take over at another side to have a crack at the First Division and the Munster Cup, but it feels that the pieces are finally being put in place here and I'm not sure I'd like to move on too soon.  Realistically, we won't qualify for the Champions League groups this season, but I think that dropping into the Europa League and getting to the groups there is a realistic target - especially after how well we performed against Ajax and Brondby in the last couple of seasons.  Prize money for winning the league here is at £110k, so it would be great to see Ireland shoot up the coefficient table and increase the reputation of Irish football - Scotland have been sitting comfortably in 7th place since I left while Ireland languish around 29th, and that's after moving up in consecutive seasons.  Just 2 places more will increase our standing in the qualification spots, but we're going to have to get all the way up the 15th in order to gain another European place - requiring us to increase our 5 year point total by around 17-18.000 points.

So!  A brief look at what we've won so far:

Celtic: Scottish Division One (x10), Scottish Cup (x4), Scottish League Cup (x6), Glasgow Cup (x7), Champions League (x1), Europa League (x2), Club World Championship (x1)
Nottingham Forest: Sky Bet Championship (x1)
Shamrock Rovers: Irish Premier Division (x1), Irish Senior Challenge Cup (x2), Leinster Senior Cup (x2), President's Cup (x1)

Not a bad trophy haul!  I think with only 3 trophies to play for in Wales, that could be realistically completed in one or two years, but it's going to take a loooooong time to get anywhere near completing England :D

Top 5 Young Players of the Season (Players 21 and under at the beginning of the season)
Joey Connor SP15c
 - Age 22, Appearances: 35(2); Goals: 24; Assists: 13; Av. Rating: 7.67
Gareth Wright SP15b - Age 22, Appearances: 47; Goals: 15; Assists: 19; Av. Rating: 7.66
Simon Brennan - Age 22, Appearances: 37(2); Goals: 19; Assists: 8; Av. Rating: 7.56
Kevin Healy SP16c - Age 22, Appearances: 35(6); Goals: 13; Assists: 10; Av. Rating: 7.43
Reece Ward SP17g - Age 22, Appearances: 4(7); Goals: 1; Assists: 2; Av. Rating: 7.25

All of these guys turned 22 during the season, which means we'll have a completely new top 5 next year!

Notable Mentions
Paul Moran SP17h
Ryan Bolger SP15a
Jason Rowe SP17f
James McLoughlin SP16b
Ian Harker YP18a

Season  |          Club           |     Nation    |         League         |   Position  | Other  
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2016/17 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup, League Cup, Scottish Cup
2017/18 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | League Cup, Europa League
2018/19 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup, League Cup
2019/20 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup
2020/21 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup
2021/22 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup, Scottish Cup, Europa League
2022/23 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup, League Cup, Scottish Cup
2023/24 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | n.a.
2024/25 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | League Cup, Scottish Cup
2025/26 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Glasgow Cup, League Cup, Champions League
2026/27 |         Celtic          |    Scotland   | Scottish Division One  |     1st     | Club World Championship, resigned
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2026/27 |    Nottingham Forest    |    England    |  Sky Bet Championship  |     14th    | (joined with 10 games remaining)
2027/28 |    Nottingham Forest    |    England    |  Sky Bet Championship  |     1st     | n.a.
2028/29 | Nottingham Forest/Wales |    England    | English Premier League |     13th    | n.a.
2029/30 | Nottingham Forest/Wales |    England    | English Premier League |     16th    | n.a.
2030/31 | Nottingham Forest/Wales |    England    | English Premier League |     n.a.    | resigned mid-season
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2031    |  Shamrock Rovers/Wales  |    Ireland    | Irish Premier Division |     2nd     | Leinster Senior Cup, Irish Senior Challenge Cup
2032    |  Shamrock Rovers/Wales  |    Ireland    | Irish Premier Division |     2nd     | President's Cup
2033    |  Shamrock Rovers/Wales  |    Ireland    | Irish Premier Division |     2nd     | n.a.
2034    |  Shamrock Rovers/Wales  |    Ireland    | Irish Premier Division |     1st     | Leinster Senior Cup, Irish Senior Challenge Cup

 

Edited by mjaferrie

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Wales Round Up

This year was a total disaster :D After missing out on the World Cup 2034 when we came 2nd in our group, just not high enough in the second place teams, we only had a couple of friendlies and the European League Division B.  We were drawn against Ukraine and Ireland, and a 3-1 loss to Ukraine, followed by three consecutive 2-0 defeats means we came rock bottom of our group and were relegated back to Division C.  We finished off the year with a 4-0 friendly defeat to England, so pretty much the story of our year.  We've also slipped back down to 67th in the world rankings.  Not going so well...

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Things are going pretty flipping well for Scotland though!  After their incredible European Championship victory in 2032, they went on to have a 100% campaign in the World Cup qualifiers in 2033 - with 8 victories over Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Croatia and Georgia.  They also reached the Confederations Cup Semi Final, where they lost 1-0 to Algeria before losing 2-0 to Japan in the 3rd place play off.

The World Cup in 2034 was calling though, and 2-0 victories over Sweden and Nigeria, plus a 2-2 draw with the United States, put them through to a 2nd round tie against Denmark.  3-1 victories over Denmark, and Holland in the Quarter Final were followed by a sensational 4-0 hammering of Portugal in the Semi Final, and Scotland were through to the Final to face Brazil!  Unfortunately, Brazil were one step too far for the Tartan Army, and they were thumped 3-0 in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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This looks pretty ****ing sweet though:

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Happy days!  

Edit:  Haha!  I just realised that Billy Davies retired after the World Cup final (he took charge after Gordon Strachan retired back in 2027) - the new Scotland manager?  Kris Commons!  He's moved on from Celtic to take the reigns at the national team, what a hero.  That means Celtic have a new manager as well - 43 year old Slovakian Robert Mak.  IRL he's currently a winger for Zenit in Russia, after coming through the ranks at Manchester City.  I might not have Bobby Manc following in my footsteps @ManUtd1, but I do have my own Bobby Mac :D

Edited by mjaferrie

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24 minutes ago, RyMc1410 said:

What is your game playing time on this save? 

Great read btw!!

 

Thanks mate!  How long have I been playing this save, from start to finish?  I absolutely do not want to know :D The info screen tends to be a bit off for me, because I always have the game running in the background anyway while I'm doing other things.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.

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Season Preview 2035

Back to normal this season, and we kick off the league on the 9th of March against U.C.D., who had an excellent first year in the top flight last season.  First up though, we had the Leinster Cup 4th round, where we were drawn against Irish Regional Level 3 side Castlebar.  The minnows gave us a bit of a shock, and took the game to a 1-1 draw, before we managed to win in the end 4-3 on penalties.  They went down to 10 men in the 67th minute, and we got the equaliser 6 minutes later - it could have been a shock exit for the Champions!  Next up was the President's Cup, and we were drawn against Dundalk.  After such an awful display in the Leinster Cup, there was no messing about this time and we lifted the trophy after a solid 3-0 win.

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Less axe-wielding to speak of this time round, but we do lose 33 year old Colin Breen at the end of his contract and 28 year old Mark Carney on a free to Dundalk.  2 experienced lads who we'll miss this season, but again it gives an opportunity for someone else to step up.  They're are only transfer dealings this season, as no one comes in the other way.

FIRST TEAM SQUAD

Goalkeepers

Barry Moran SP15e IRL 
(25) - 4CA/PA solid first choice.
Mikie Massey SP18b IRL (21) - 4PA, lots of room to improve.
Verdict:  Alex Mitchell was snapped up by Kilmarnock on a free transfer midway through last season, so I brought in Mikie to replace him (forgot to do a summer window update again last season - he was the only player to join us anyway, as a 20 year old from Dublin on a free transfer from MK Dons.

Right Back

Will Thomas IRL (30) - 3CA/PA.
Alan Sexton YP15a (20) - 1CA, 3PA.
Verdict:  For the third season in a row, there is no change in this area of the park.  That's going to have to change soon, with Thomas likely to move on in coming seasons, but there hasn't been anyone available in the transfer market. 

Left Back

Mark Frahill IRL (25) - 3.5CA/PA.
James McLoughlin SP16b (20) - 2CA, 4.5PA.  Had some incredible performances from him last season.
Verdict:  Same story at LB, but without the same urgency regarding age.

Centre Backs/Sweepers

Roberto Connolly IRL (25) - 3CA/PA. Captain.
Michael Murphy SP17e IRL (23) - 3CA, 4PA. Another player to see a sharp decline in CA in recent years...
Ken Lynch-Clarke YP17g IRL (17) - 2.5PA, previously only regarded as backup but will need to step up.
Verdict:  Carney leaves us on a free to Dundalk, which is a massive kick in the gonads, he had developed into an awesome sweeper for us.  Dave Devaney is currently being retrained from Defensive Midfield to give us a bit more cover.

Right Midfielders/Wingers

Verdict:  Still no one in this position, apart from the Will Thomas filling in.  Our strikerless tactic doesn't require anyone in this area of the park though so I don't feel too much urgency.

Left Midfielders/Wingers

Jon Mulcahy YP16e IRL (18) - 3.5CA, 5PA.  Several bids from Reading and Aston Villa over the winter period, but I managed to get him to sign a new contract.
Jonathan Buttigieg YP16a MLT (19) - 1.5CA, 4PA.  Retraining well as an attacking midfielder.
Verdict:  Solid here!

Defensive and Central Midfield

Ryan Bolger SP15a IRL (21) - 5PA.  First choice.
Ian Harker SP18a IRL (20) - 4PA.  Dipped a bit, but is still a good first choice.
David Brennan YP15b IRL (20) - 4.5PA.  On loan at Newport County until the summer - despite being one of our best players I thought that regular first team football in a much more competitive league would be good for his development.  
Dave Devaney SP17c IRL (20) - 3PA.  Retraining as a centre back.
Adam Farrell SP15d IRL (23) - 2.5PA.  Finally comes into the first team, after not really developing much over the years since signing.  Hopefully will get a lot of game time before Brennan returns from loan.
Verdict:  We're alright in terms of numbers here, could do with a bit of quality so will benefit from Brennan returning from his loan spell.

Attacking Midfielders

Richie Nealon-Thornton IRL (25) - 2.5CA / 3.5PA, another concerning drop in both CA and PA...
Gareth Wright SP15b IRL (22) - 4CA / 4.5PA, solid choice.
Kevin Healy SP16c IRL (22) - 3.5CA / 4PA.
Paul Moran SP17h IRL (22) - 2.5CA / 4.5PA.
Verdict:  These guys all get regular game time as we're playing with 3 attacking midfielders, Brennan and Connor drop into this position as well after being successfully retrained.

Strikers

Simon Brennan IRL (22) - 4CA/PA, first choice.
Joey Connor SP15c IRL (22 - 4.5CA, 5PA, first choice.
Verdict:  Heffernan moved to Grimsby on a free transfer.  Joey Connor is an insane player for our level, and broke av. rating records last season.

Edited by mjaferrie

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wales.thumb.PNG.da787dc39a81ce251761930234421ccd.PNG

Something I've been contemplating for a while.  It feels like the Shamrock Rovers story is really just beginning, and I think I'll be here in Ireland for a good while.  The Wales job started to feel like something that just happened a few times per season - I didn't feel invested in the job and I wasn't bothering to prepare for matches anymore, which was reflected in the results.  I think I'll give international management a break for now, and maybe take on another international job when I don't have club commitments.  

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Tough call re Wales, but if you're not into it, you're not into it.

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58 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

Tough call re Wales, but if you're not into it, you're not into it.

I just realised I wasn't even paying attention to that side of the career anymore, the first few years were great but then I lost interest :)

Anyway, it's time for a Mid Season Update!  And we are flipping unstoppable this year!  

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Our only dropped points so far in the league are a narrow home loss to Dundalk, but we got them back on their own patch a couple of months later.  Our incredible form means we're currently 10 points clear at the top, and we look set to break the records we only set six months ago.

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In the cups, it's been pretty positive too!  We lost the Leinster Cup Final 3-1 to Drogheda United, but we're through to the League Cup Semi Final (the furthest we've ever progressed in the competition under my stewardship!) and the last 16 of the Senior Challenge Cup.

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Unfortunately, the board decided to accept a £375k offer for Jon Mulcahy YP16b from Reading, and a £475k bid from Leeds for Mark Frahill, meaning we lose 2 key players in the beginning of the summer window.  Hopefully we will be able to find replacements - especially for Mark Frahill as we are pretty weak at right back now he's left.

Next up, though, it's a trip to Slovenia to play Olimpija Ljublijana in the Champions League 2nd Qualifying Round!  

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I feel like Rovers is the real story here at the moment.

Wales might have been more interesting if you were managing a Welsh club too, doing a club + country thing with Swansea, Cardiff or whoever.

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5 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

I feel like Rovers is the real story here at the moment.

Wales might have been more interesting if you were managing a Welsh club too, doing a club + country thing with Swansea, Cardiff or whoever.


It's something I've been considering, I have to go back to Scotland at some point to complete the other trophies there I couldn't win with Celtic - but given how insanely Scotland are performing in competitions anyway I have a feeling it would be a bit hollow somehow.  Actually, England are way down in 26th place at the moment so that could be an interesting one.  I think the most likely for me though is a Northern Ireland club/country combo!  
 

Just now, deltablue said:

Great achievement beating Dundalk to the title at last.

Cheers mate!

And how's this for a story, we're through to the 3rd round!

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A tricky tie, but after the 3rd round who the hell knows?!  I'm shellshocked after watching that second leg - mon the part timers!

If we lose, we get Europa groups.  If we win, well ****.

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5 minutes ago, Jupjamie said:

C'mon Shamrock! I reckon you can beat Plzen, they're not overly strong... (I hope!)

First leg...

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We've got one toe in the Champions League groups!!!  We've got a Challenge Cup 3rd round tie against Wayside Celtic to contend with first...

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We hammered Wayside Celtic 6-0 in the Senior Challenge Cup, to put aside any notion of a post-European hangover, and it set us up nicely for a trip to the Czech Republic.  After 8 minutes we were a goal behind, after 16 minutes we were a goal ahead!  It was end to end stuff, with both teams chasing after glory!  At half time, the Czechs had us pinned against the wall and they'd taken the lead again, it was 3-2 to Plzen.  A 53rd minute goal from Filip Mynar completed the turnaround, and we were level on 4-4, but crucially we had the two away goals!  We held on for the next 40 minutes which can only mean!!!!!!

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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhh!!! You ****ing beauty!

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Just now, BoxToBox said:

What an incredible run, well done! :applause:

Thanks man!  Just had a look through Dundalk's history, we're the only club from Ireland to qualify for the Champions League group stages, and in fact our stint in the Europa League groups a couple of seasons ago was the first time an Irish side had played group stage European football at all in this save!  

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Oh! I forgot, have you been keeping an eye on Forest's intakes? They have a recruitment deal with Crumlin Utd, which means they have lots of quality Dubs in their intakes.

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1 minute ago, BoxToBox said:

Oh! I forgot, have you been keeping an eye on Forest's intakes? They have a recruitment deal with Crumlin Utd, which means they have lots of quality Dubs in their intakes.

Unfortunately the affiliation ended, I have some recollection of it actually happening while I was manager there - I'm pretty sure I set up those deals with St Pauli and Norrkoping to replace them.  Some nice Swedes in their ranks... might have to go to Scandinavia once Britain is complete :D

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5 minutes ago, mjaferrie said:

Thanks man!  Just had a look through Dundalk's history, we're the only club from Ireland to qualify for the Champions League group stages, and in fact our stint in the Europa League groups a couple of seasons ago was the first time an Irish side had played group stage European football at all in this save!  

Before your save started, Rovers had only ever won a single match in any round of CL football.

1 minute ago, mjaferrie said:

Unfortunately the affiliation ended, I have some recollection of it actually happening while I was manager there - I'm pretty sure I set up those deals with St Pauli and Norrkoping to replace them.  Some nice Swedes in their ranks... might have to go to Scandinavia once Britain is complete :D

Ahhhh, damn shame!

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Wow..what a run!!!  Incredible stuff!

That's a challenging Group, but you've advanced that far which is an achievement in and of itself.

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12 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

Before your save started, Rovers had only ever won a single match in any round of CL football.

Ahhhh, damn shame!

Mental!  Hopefully getting an affiliate in place here, at the moment we only have Floriana from Malta - where Jonathan Buttigieg YP16a came through from. 

12 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

Wow..what a run!!!  Incredible stuff!

That's a challenging Group, but you've advanced that far which is an achievement in and of itself.

I thought PSV would be the end of our road, especially after Ajax last season, couldn't believe that second leg!  Can't see us getting a single point from the group, but the attendances will be a huge bonus, I guess we'll be playing all of the matches at the Aviva Stadium again.

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