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mjaferrie

[FM17] Project Brave - Youth Only at Paradise

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Wow Caffrey looks solid. Are you going to sell Dembele?

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1 hour ago, kidthekid said:

Wow Caffrey looks solid. Are you going to sell Dembele?

He's excellent! To be honest, I'm more likely to be fending off bids for him at the moment than Dembele who's out for the next 2 months with injury. He's been quite injury prone in this save which is a bit *****, but on the other hand it means that clubs haven't been in for him for a while. We've got Aitchison and Lee Gribben though so I might move him on in the summer.  

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Would it be worth chancing Dembele out on the wing where you may need more depth, IIRC you said Sinclair is getting on now?

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6 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Would it be worth chancing Dembele out on the wing where you may need more depth, IIRC you said Sinclair is getting on now?

You read my mind!  I've had him training on the left wing for the last 6 or 7 months for exactly that reason, but this is the progress:

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No sign of any familiarity... Hopefully when he comes back from injury I can give him some games there and it might make a difference?  The coach report says that 'can only play one position' - I don't know if that's just a criticism of the current situation or if it's an indication of a lack of versatility?  

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Aye, he'll need games there. I think the "can only play one position" is about the current situation.

It's weird, but I don't believe the versatility mentions in reports ever have anything to do with the attribute.

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15 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

Aye, he'll need games there. I think the "can only play one position" is about the current situation.

It's weird, but I don't believe the versatility mentions in reports ever have anything to do with the attribute.

I'll start giving him games when he gets back from injury, Ryan Christie is out for 3 months now as well so it's a good opportunity. 

Small worry - if the Reserve team get relegated from League One, do you's reckon that'd trigger the relegation release clauses in any of my players' contracts?  Or is it just if the first team do?  I just realised that the Relegation release clause of £0 that I give basically every player to drive the wages down might come back to bite me on the ass this season...

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That's one thing I have no idea about, but I'd assume it has to be the senior side, as it's them the players are contracted to.

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Youth Intake Day!

I didn't bother with a January transfer window update because, apart from recalling our players out on loan at the beginning of the window, there was no player movement.  Manchester United were back in for James Leighton, and yet another contract (that's his 3rd renewal since coming through in the last intake!) means he's staying here for now.

I almost didn't even bother with this update either...

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Ander Saizar 'stands out as one of the better players', but as much as you try Huw Jennings, you cannae polish *****.

Saizar is actually, IIRC, the first Spanish national to come through since setting up the affiliation with Albacete Balompié almost 5 years ago.  A professional personality with 18 determination, hopefully he'll reach all 2.5 of that PA :seagull:

On the park though, we've had probably the most enjoyable match to watch of this save!  Hopefully we can avoid a slip up in Manchester in a couple of weeks.

7dd31950f7a220a6c51c702c83db6c27.png 

Edited by mjaferrie

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Hopefully Saizar is being underrated.

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Just finished the season, and it's been some year for young Tam Caffrey.

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The young Irishman is now valued at £10.5m and Tottenham are already trying my patience...  Full season update to follow!

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SEASON UPDATE 2020/21

Youth Players

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It might have been the year of Tommy Caffrey, but as you can see Max Potter and James Leighton are also big success stories as both push their way into the first team.  Leighton's about on a par with Leo Fasan in terms of appearances between the sticks, as I rotated them all year, he just edges it with 30 appearances to Leo's 28.  He's made huge progress this season and next year will be our number 1 'keeper.  Fasan is valued at £4.1m at the moment and Brentford and Bournemouth are sniffing around, so it might be time to let our bearded Italian saviour move on to give way for Leighton and Robbie Kelly.

Tommy Caffrey's form, ability and potential raise questions as to the future of Moussa Dembélé, with the Frenchman only managing 32 appearances both this season and last due to injury.  With the return of Lee Gribben from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday, it could be difficult for him to find game time.  Manchester City are swirling, and he's valued at £13m... so it's a toss up between cashing in on our brilliant, but usually crocked, striker or persevere in the hope that he can keep fit and develop as a left winger (he's still got no familiarity in the role despite training in it all season).

Daniel Church is also a question mark, as in terms of ability he is more than good enough to make the step up to the first team, but with Kieran Tierney, Calvin Miller and Josh Hughes all excellent in that position it's difficult to give him a chance.  Church has the edge on Calvin Miller, so I may look to sell 23 year old to make way for Daniel to come through.

It's going to be an interesting transfer window!

Champions League

On the park, we followed up an incredible 6-3 win over Manchester City in Glasgow by storming into a 2 goal lead down south thanks to two goals from Jack Aitchison.  Sergio Aguero brought one back, but at half-time it was 8-4 to us on aggregate and we looked to be sailing into the quarter finals.  Another Aguero goal followed by a Brahim Diaz strike saw Manchester City overcome our early 2 goal lead to win the second leg 3-2.  Celtic 8 - 6 Manchester City, an incredible Battle of Britain tie, and we were rewarded with a trip to Madrid to face Atletico.  

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Asier Villalibre, a £33m signing from Athletic Club Bilbao, scored a brace to put Atletico in a commanding position in the first leg, but Tommy Caffrey popped up in the 87th minute to give the travelling fans hope ahead of the return leg at Murrayfield.  Unfortunately an 83rd minute strike in Edinburgh from Marcel Sabitzer meant the 2nd leg finished 2-2, as our dreams of reaching the Champions League semi final were crushed by Diego Simeone's men.  Out of Europe for another year, but we will hopefully come back stronger next season.  A Europa League final, followed by a Champions League quarter final, both ending in a loss to Spanish opposition is a sore one.

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Back on home soil:

While we won the league comfortably in the end, by 18 points over 2nd placed Rangers, we did lose 6 matches in the league - that's a joint worst performance for us in this save.  Fortunately, other teams aren't capitalising on our poor form.  When Rangers qualified for the Europa League knockout stages in only the 2nd season, they followed up with domestic disaster as a lengthy spell at the foot of the table saw Pedro Caixinha sacked before they eventually climbed up to 4th place.  Hibernian managed the same feat a couple of seasons ago, and followed it with a 10th place finish in the league.  Neil McCann led Dundee to the Europa League group stage this season, while spending 5 weeks at the bottom of the table before climbing up to a 3rd place finish.  If the other teams can match their European exploits with some serious domestic form we may have something to worry about, but for now here is how the league looked this year:

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St. Johnstone have courted with relegation for the last few seasons, only avoiding it in the last two years by winning the relegation playoff.  Finally this year they've dropped out and will be replaced by Hamilton who return to the top flight after a 4 year absence.  Lower down the pyramid, our reserves pulled off the great escape and finished 8th in League One.  I'm hoping for a much more convincing season next year from our youngsters.

No treble for us this year, as a 109th minute extra time strike from Jordan McGhee (Rangers' £1.1m signing from Hearts) saw our rivals from across the city lift the Scottish Cup.  We had a significantly easier run to the final than the Ibrox men, but couldn't take advantage of it and Derek McInnes lifts his first trophy at the club.

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Five Year Roundup!

A while ago I shared two youngsters who'd come through at the Forth Valley and Fife Elite Academies.  Steven Mulraney came through at Forth Valley before being snapped up for free by Dundee United.  After just over a year on Tayside, Manchester United signed him for £2.6m and he's since spent two seasons on loan in the Championship, making 41 appearances each for Fulham and Cardiff.  He's got ten caps, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him make his league debut for United soon:

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Jamie Campbell came through at the Fife equivalent, and also made a free move from the academy with Cardiff taking him down south.  After making his debut for the Welsh side he was sent on loan to Fulham (a similar progression to Mulraney!) and West Brom before becoming a stalwart for Cardiff.  In January this season, Arsenal signed him for an incredible £36m!  He's now Scotland's most expensive player, but has only made 3 substitute appearances for the London side since signing - a loan move looks likely next season:

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Celtic Transfers

In 5 years at the club, we haven't made a single signing.  Heading out the other way though has been £51m in transfer deals, including four players leaving us so far in this summer window which I'll go into at the start of the new season.  Let's have a look at players who've left Celtic Park in this save, and where they are now:

Season One
Nadir Ciftci was a cracking player for our reserve team in the first half of the season, but didn't have the quality to be a serious contender for a first team place.  He moved to Sturm Graz for £1.9m, where he still plies his trade.  The 29 year old has scored 62 goals in 141 league appearances for the Austrians.
Ross McLaughlin signed for Annan Athletic for £5,000, before moving on to Falkirk for the same fee just one year later.  He's been out on loan at Clyde and Airdrie for the last couple of years, still only 21 years of age so has plenty of time to develop but doesn't really look good enough to force his way into the Championship side.
Ewan Henderson, the younger brother of our midfielder Liam, left for £12,000 to Stenhousemuir.  He's still there playing in League Two, and has made 110 league appearances.
Conor Hazard headed back to the country of his birth with Portadown in Northern Ireland.  He's now their first choice keeper in the Danske Bank Premiership, and lifted the Championship trophy with them 3 years ago.

At the end of the season, goalkeeper Dorus de Vries retired and took up a coaching role at his first club Telstar 1963.  He was there for two years and is currently unemployed.

Season Two
Former Manchester City youngster Dedryck Boyata left us in a £6.75m move to Stoke City, before making a £4.6m move to Real Betis only a year later.  After two and half seasons with the Spanish side, he moved to compatriots Real Valladolid for £725k this January.
Callum McGregor had been a fantastic player for us in the first season but fell out of favour and made a January move to Burnley for £4.6m.  He couldn't find a way into the English side's team either and after only 8 appearances in 2 years he made another January transfer to Brighton last year, just missing out on promotion to the Premiership thanks to a playoff final loss to Sunderland.
Aidan Nesbitt went to Fife side Dunfermline for £120k, and is now playing in the Premiership with Inverness following a £46k move.

Several other players left us for free or thereabouts, but most notably Mikey Johnston has just achieved promotion to the Premiership with Hamilton.  Kolo Touré retired at the end of the season and is still a Reserves Coach for us, working with the Crusaders in League One.  He's a brilliant coach, but I'm not quite sure he's worth the £12,500 wages we're paying him, so I might let him leave at the end of his contract in a couple of years.

Season Three
Cristian Gamboa's £2.6m move to Rayo Vallecano was followed by a £700k move to Fulham in January the next year.  After two years in London he was back to Spain with a £600k move to RCD Mallorca where he's made only 3 appearances.
Jonny Hayes had a bit more fortune following his £2m move to Austrian side Admira Wacker Mödling, becoming a first team stalwart for the side where he still plays.
Scott Allan and Mark Hill both signed for Ross County where they still play.  Allan has been a first team player, while Hill has spent two years on loan and is currently transfer listed.
Lewis Bell moved to Nottingham Forest for £37k, before making a £1m move to Blackburn this summer which has earned us £330k thanks to a sell on clause.

Again, a number of players left us on cheap deals to sides lower in the pyramid where they are still active.  Jamie Lindsay is another one who left us for free to spend two seasons in the Premiership with Dundee before achieving promotion this year with Hamilton.

Season Four
Stuart Armstrong 
was this year's major departure, he made 38 appearances following a £7.5m transfer to Watford as they won the English Championship.  This season, he missed just one game in the Premier League.  Armstrong has also become a first choice midfielder for Paul Lambert's Scotland side, with 33 caps to his name since making his debut during my first season at Celtic.

The only other transfer of note this year was goalkeeper Ross Doohan's move to Belfast side Linfield, where he has won the Northern Irish Premiership in two consecutive seasons.  At the end of the season Scott Brown and Craig Gordon both retired, and both moved into our backroom team.

Season Five
We had something of a clear-out this season after Broony and Craig Gordon's retirements.  Erik Sviatchenko became our most expensive sale after a £10m move to West Brom, and made 26 appearances as they achieved an 11th place finish in the Premier League.
Leigh Griffiths also moved to the English top flight, but has only made 7 starts since an £8.25m move to Hull City.
Regan Hendry made a £250k move to Partick Thistle at the start of the year, and missed only one game in the Premiership this season.

We've had a couple of major departures already at the end of this season, which I alluded to in the season roundup.  It's good to see the majority of our departures still in the game though - in previous saves I've seen most players retiring from the game at a young age but with the chance of getting game time in League One with the Crusaders they are building up a reputation and getting moves around Scotland.  So far, only one player is no longer in the game as Martin Robertson (who came through in an early youth intake) bows out after failing to make a mark.

Edited by mjaferrie

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44 minutes ago, mjaferrie said:

Kolo Touré retired at the end of the season and is still a Reserves Coach for us, working with the Crusaders in League One.  He's a brilliant coach, but I'm not quite sure he's worth the £12,500 wages we're paying him, so I might let him leave at the end of his contract in a couple of years.

If you release him, maybe he'll sign back on, on more reasonable coaching terms?

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30 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

If you release him, maybe he'll sign back on, on more reasonable coaching terms?

That's a good point actually.  It might take a while to convince him to sign on again but I'll give it a go!

Over the five year period, this is what the financial side of things looked like for all sides who have competed in the Premiership.  Transfers are permanent transfers only, and do not include retirements.

70ac754ba6f372bb0e8d593360147349.png 

No big surprise to see Rangers in the red ;) 

It's good to see Partick Thistle and St. Johnstone making the most of their youth prospects, with both sides only adding an average of 2 or 3 players per year.  

Hamilton and Motherwell win the prize for best value in the market, with an average of only £12k and £7.6k spent per player, but both have spent the majority of the save in the Championship.

Kilmarnock have been raking it in!  £8m to the good thanks to the sales of guys like Greg Taylor (Bournemouth), Greg Kiltie (Rangers) and Adam Frizzell (Stoke).

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Great read man, looking forward to more! 

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18 hours ago, Benjoe said:

Great read man, looking forward to more! 

Thanks!

Just having a look at that financial analysis again - St. Johnstone only spent £410k in the first 5 seasons and have just been relegated to the Championship.  This summer alone, they've spent £4m!?  They had a board takeover two seasons ago, looks like they're finally getting their thumb out.

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Season Preview 2021/22

Like last year, we had no European matches this summer and qualify directly to the Champions League group stages.  Dundee, thanks to their 3rd place finish, qualify straight to the Europa League groups for the second season in a row.  Rangers beat PAOK in the best placed 3rd Qualifying Round of the Champions League, but a 3-1 defeat to Juventus in the Playoff sees them drop into the Europa League groups, again for the second season in a row, and that means we have three Scottish teams in European group stage competition again!  Even better news is that this season we are seeded 2nd in the group stage draw for the first time, and we are in Group G with Schalke 04, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Galatasaray.

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This is absolutely a group we should be qualifying from, and hopefully we can match our Quarter Final appearance last season.

In the League Cup, we've opened with a 4-0 win over St. Mirren to qualify for the Quarter Finals where we will face Falkirk.  4-0 seems to be the scoreline of the season so far, as we brush past Hamilton, Aberdeen and Inverness in the league by the same result.  A shock 3-1 loss to Dundee United lifts them off the bottom of the table and we head into September one point behind Hibernian.

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The transfer window this season again changes the face of our squad quite significantly.  Leo Fasan completes a £6.75m move to Premier League side Norwich City, with James Forrest joining him in England's top flight after a £6m move to Crystal Palace.  Calvin Miller moves to the English Championship to make space in the squad for Daniel Church.  He completes a £4.3m, rising to £5.25m, move to Reading.  Scott Sinclair has signed for Barnsley in a £525k deal, rising to £675k.

Here's how the squad looks for the coming year:

Goalkeepers

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The first area of our squad to consist entirely of youth prospects.  Jim Leighton is brilliant, he's developing so quickly, but Manchester United are still chasing him.  They made a £7m bid this summer but when he's only on £2.5k a week there is plenty of room for me to keep upping that and keep him happy.  One thing I'm noticing is the red arrow next to Vision for both players, which is something I noticed for Leo Fasan and Craig Gordon earlier in the save.  Any reason why that seems to be dropping in all my keepers?

Full Backs

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Ralston and Tierney are our first choices, with Church and Hughes able to deputise on either side.  Since Calvin Miller has left, Church has already made 4 appearances this season so it seems like a good decision.  

Centre Backs

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No change here, I turned down a £17.5m rising to £30m bid for Kristoffer Ajer though.  I feel like with a couple more years here he could go for a massive fee.  

Defensive Midfielders

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These two lads are two of our best players, absolutely solid.  Eboue's defensive stats mean I often give him a more forward role and move Ajer in here if Bitton isn't available.  Either way, all three are class.

Central Midfielders

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Liam Henderson is a bit *****, so I might look to move him on if we get a decent centre mid in.  At the moment we don't have anyone who looks like a serious option for the future in this position though so it's a difficult one.  Olivier Ntcham has also broken the £50,000 p/w mark, and although I'm reluctant to go higher than that I may have to if we don't get a couple of quality midfielders through in future intakes.  

Wingers

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Ryan Christie is out injured so Moussa Dembélé has played all the matches on the left wing so far this season.  He still has zero familiarity, but he's got an average rating of 7.65, so who gives a ****!  With Sinclair and Forrest both leaving in this transfer window then Olivier Ntcham and Dembélé will be called upon regularly to fill in.

Strikers

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The Irish monster keeps getting better and better, he's scored 8 goals in 5 games so far this season.  Dembélé will get a lot of game time too but not likely to be much in this position.  Lee Gribben has returned from his spell at Sheffield Wednesday and is in League One at the moment with the Crusaders but I want to keep him here this season to give him some domestic action and continue his development.

The Crusaders are also in dire straits again this season and are bottom of the table with only six points from seven games, so it will probably be a case of recalling players again in January to steady the ship.

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Forgot this:

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You might have noticed the absence of our legendary Swedish right back Mikael Lustig from the squad.  He's signed a £4,000 p/w contract to move into our coaching team at Lennoxtown.

Edit:

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Lustig retires to move into our backroom team, but aye hopefully he stays in football Scotty :applause:

Edited by mjaferrie

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Interesting that Dembele hasn't gained any familiarity. But it has been mentioned that it only affects decision making and nothing else.

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Looking closely, at his positions panel, the transparent mark at left wing has shrunken, so it's started. Might not get very far, mind.

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12 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Interesting that Dembele hasn't gained any familiarity. But it has been mentioned that it only affects decision making and nothing else.

12 hours ago, BoxToBox said:

Looking closely, at his positions panel, the transparent mark at left wing has shrunken, so it's started. Might not get very far, mind.

That's true actually, my shitey eyesight didn't catch that one.  Almost at the end of December which makes it 18 months, and it's still the same situation.  Doing a decent job though, 7.32 from 16 games and 5 goals, 6 assists.  

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Mid Season Update

That moment when you're doing a Project Brave save and:

9701ee55e93c603787a43f9f1d65cb3c.png :hammer:

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I love it.  I'm also loving this season, as we stroll into the Champions League knockout stages.  We put 5 goals past Zenit both home and away, and 5 past Galatasaray over the two legs.  Schalke were a different beast, with a 1-1 home draw and a 2-0 loss in Gelsenkirchen, but despite taking only one point from the Germans we top the group as they could only pick up one other win.

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We've been drawn against Bayern Munich, who lifted the trophy in 2016/17, so it looks likely that this is as far as we'll go in the competition this season!  Here's the draw in full:

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In the Scottish League Cup, we absolutely smashed Rangers in the final to lift our sixth consecutive trophy.  A brace from Tommy Caffrey, with Kundai Benyu, Ryan Christie and Johnny Waters YP2b getting in on the action sees us secure a famous 5-0 victory over the Ibrox men.

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The league is a breeze - Rangers have been *****, Neil Lennon takes the Aberdeen job after being sacked by Liverpool, Malky Mackay takes the Dundee United job after being sacked by Hearts (3 years ago), and after leading Dundee to two 3rd place finishes and consecutive Europa League group stages Neil McCann has been sacked as they sit 10th in the table.

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#herewego11inarow

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January Transfer Window

Only one sale in the January window and it's a big loss:

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Absolutely gutted to lose Ntcham, but I couldn't refuse this offer from Liverpool.  He's now by far the most expensive player to be sold from Scotland, £40m in the bank and £50k p/w off our wage bill.  I've recalled Ally Andrew YP2a from Aston Villa, he's nowhere near the same level and is highly unlikely to get there, but he'll fill a gap for now.  Hopefully we can get a decent midfielder or two in the intake.

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Youth Intake Day!

Midfielders!  Okay, YP6c isn't all that, but YP6a is also 'unconvincing' in central midfield and we don't play with R/LMs so I've got him training as a central midfielder.  Hopefully he'll go on to be our long term replacement for Ntcham, but we'll also need YP6c to progress well as Nir Bitton is already 30.  I've got him training as a DM to be a long term replacement for Bitton.

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Season Review 2021/22

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Steve Rodger got 12 games between the first team and reserves in a bid to kick off early on his progression to the first team.  I've got Kristoffer Ajer tutoring him so hopefully the determination will shoot up and if he can maintain a high level of professionalism he should develop really well.  Saizar is also well on the way, Inverness, Dundee and Greenock Morton (who've just been promoted to the top flight) want to take him on loan so that will give him a good shot at regular Premiership game time.

In the Scottish Cup, Championship side and recent big spenders St. Johnstone scored in the fourth minute of injury time to inflict a 1-0 defeat upon us.  They went on to lose to Rangers in the final which means the Ibrox men are two for two.

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Last season in the league we lost six games and drew two, so I'm much happier with this year as we only lose twice to Dundee and Dundee United.  We've still drawn 9 games though, which I'd like to be converting into wins.  We finish up 22 points clear of 2nd placed Hibernian with Dundee United and Inverness relegated, they'll be replaced by Greenock Morton and St. Johnstone next year. 

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In Europe this season, I have absolutely no idea what happened.  We got drawn against Bayern, and I thought that was game up.  A 2-0 loss in Munich looked to confirm that to be the case, but Tommy Caffrey, Nir Bitton and Jack Aitchison had us 3-0 at half time back in Glasgow.  In the 80th minute, Robert Lewandowski scored for Bayern Munich, 3-3 on aggregate and Munich had the away goal - we were heading out.  But up popped Tommy Caffrey again, 4-1 on the night and somehow we were through!

Napoli were up next in the Quarter Finals, and a Lorenzo Insigne strike saw us fall to a 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park.  In Italy?  A Tommy Caffrey brace, and a Nir Bitton strike and it was all looking pretty similar to the 2nd leg against Bayern!  Ryan Christie made it 4 and a Piotr Zielinski strike was no more than a consolation effort for the Italians.  4-2 on aggregate and somehow we were through to the Champions League Semi Finals!

Where reality hit.  Celtic 1-2 Atletico Madrid, followed by Atletico Madrid 2-0 Celtic means we lost 4-1 on aggregate to Los Colchoneros, after a narrow 4-3 defeat to the same opposition in last seasons Quarter Finals.  That means it's the third time in three years we've been kicked out of Europe by Spanish opposition.

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Definitely a couple of epic European nights there. 

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22 hours ago, Cardiovascular said:

Some European run to go on!

10 hours ago, kidthekid said:

great run.

4 hours ago, deltablue said:

Definitely a couple of epic European nights there. 

Cheers!  Cannae beat Champions League nights at Celtic Park.

No idea how we pulled off those two wins, hopefully it'll be more of the same this season :)

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Squeaky bum time!

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Mid-Season Update 2022/23

I realise I forgot to do a Season Preview... basically in the summer there were only handful of transfers involving dead wood to lower league teams, I also sent out 16 players on loan including Steve Rodger YP6a to Hamilton in a bid for Premiership game time.  He hasn't played a single minute for the Accies though, so I've recalled him at the beginning of January.  He has improved a bit, but game time with the Crusaders and the odd game here and there for the senior side would be far more beneficial.  Here's how the squad looked at the start of the season:

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It's season number seven, and the first year we won't be lifting the League Cup as after sacking Neil McCann last season, David Moyes' Dundee (yeah, really...) are back with a bang.  They beat us 4-3 in the quarter final and went on to lift the trophy, putting out Rangers on the way as well. 

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In the league, Dundee also sit top of the pile after 19 games although Rangers have a game in hand and we have three.  Nonetheless, it's tight at the top!  Ross County have recently sacked their manager after only two points from their first 16 games this season, they're going to have to up their game quickly under new manager Ian Murray if they want to avoid the drop. 

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In the Champions League, we opened with a 2-1 loss to Benfica despite controlling much of the game but followed it up with 2-0 and 2-1 wins over Olympiakos and PSV Eindhoven to have 6 points on the board at the halfway point.  A 2-1 win in Holland, followed by a bit of revenge with a 3-0 victory over Benfica meant that we had qualified for the knockout stage with a game still to play.  Despite losing to Olympiakos in the final game, we top the group thanks to our head to head record with Benfica, and we'll play Arsenal in the First Knockout Round.

8c95b11e37c3cfffa38d4bb0203b9cee.png 

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January Transfer Window

Only one deal in this window as long term CB Jozo Simunovic signs for Burnley for £14m.  He's fallen behind in the pecking order as Jamie McCart, Max Potter, Kristoffer Ajer and Anthony Ralston rotate in the two spots, and he only made 5 appearances in the first half of the season - so it's no great loss and £14m in the bank!

I've recalled Andy Park YP2c as backup :) great to get another youth product into the team.

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Youth Intake Day!

'We've got every reason to be excited by Mikeldi Gorosabel, who has the potential to be one of the most gifted players to come through the youth ranks at Celtic in recent years.'

****ing brilliant methinks! 

Aaaaand he's another 'keeper... We've now had 3 flipping brilliant keepers coming through in recent seasons, our early save woes in that area are well and truly over, but seriously FM I need some defenders, a right winger, and a defensive midfielder or two right about now :D

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Other than Mikeldi this is a pretty ***** intake.  Hopefully YP7c or 7d can progress a bit, I really need a couple of centre backs. 

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Did Dundee get taken over by a tycoon? Did they splash the cash. There has to have been a catalyst for their good season

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8 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Did Dundee get taken over by a tycoon? Did they splash the cash. There has to have been a catalyst for their good season

No tycoon, and they've only spent £45,000 in transfers this season!  They did bring in a 33 year old Joe Allen on a free from Stoke though, and he's earning double their next player.  Under Neil McCann they made it to the Europa League groups twice, so last years' 9th place was a serious underachievement.  It seems like the catalyst for success has to be Moyesy! 

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Three games to play in the league and I'm genuinely worried about losing the title to Rangers for the first time... 

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Season Review 2022/23

This is a kick in the nuts:

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Waters went some way towards making amends by scoring two extra time goals to see us lift the Scottish Cup in a 3-1 victory over Neil Lennon's Aberdeen, a great end to what was an emphatic Scottish Cup run for us this season.  After seeing Rangers lift the trophy for the last two years, we beat Hamilton 7-1 and Alloa 9-0 on the way to the final, and we secure a double as a 2-0 victory over Rangers means we finish 5 points ahead of them in the end - although that's a much closer season than last year's 22 point lead over Hibs.

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Morton will play Queen of the South in the playoffs, as Ross County couldn't make up enough points to survive this year.  They'll be replaced by Raith Rovers, so we possibly have two entirely new teams in the Premiership next season.  Raith have had a takeover which saw them spend £1.2m in a bid for promotion, so they'll be joining fellow big spenders St. Johnstone whose £5.75m outlay wasn't enough for them to finish in the top half.  Lots of money flying around Scottish football after a frugal first five years.  

In the Champions League I thought we were heading for another famous night at Celtic Park after drawing the first leg 0-0 with Arsenal in London, but a 2-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola's men, who finished 2nd in this season's Premier League to Carlo Ancelotti's Man United, means we bow out at the First Knockout Round.

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Here's how the youngsters have been getting on:

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The media have Gorosabel down as the next David de Gea - he could be a seriously good talent for us in the future if he can push his way past Leighton and Kelly between the sticks.  Leighton is already a 7 capped wonderkid for Scotland though aged only 19, so either way we're grand in that department for a long time.  We desperately need a right winger through the youth intake.  Waters is our man there at the moment with 41 appearances this season and he's a alright player, but when Ntcham and Forrest were still around he was a backup at best.

Into the transfer window!

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Both of my keepers' vision is still plummeting.  Since coming in, James Leighton has gone from 13.8 to 9.2, while Robbie Kelly has gone from 7.8 to 5...

Any clues?

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4 minutes ago, mjaferrie said:

Both of my keepers' vision is still plummeting.  Since coming in, James Leighton has gone from 13.8 to 9.2, while Robbie Kelly has gone from 7.8 to 5...

Any clues?

That always happens with keepers, no idea why, as it's not really good if you want a sweeper launching counter attacks.

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1 hour ago, BoxToBox said:

That always happens with keepers, no idea why, as it's not really good if you want a sweeper launching counter attacks.

I've got them all training as SW with an additional focus on vision.  Hopefully that stops the rot :(

Season Preview 2023/24

Some big transfers out of Celtic Park this summer - Jamie McCart has signed for Premier League side Reading in an £11.5m deal and Johnny Waters YP2b is joining him in England's top flight after a £4.7m move to Bournemouth.  Waters' deal will rise to £8.75m with a 40% sell on clause so hopefully there's a bonus coming our way.  We've been lacking depth on the right wing, so selling one of our only players in that position was probably pretty stupid... but with Jack Aitchison able to play there and Steve Rodger now training in that position too, hopefully we'll be grand.

In other deals, weight-loss phenomenon Ally Andrew YP2a moves to Brentford in a deal rising to £3.4m, while two youngsters who have been on the edge of the first team for several years and not quite made it - Graeme Smith YP3g and Connor MacLeod YP2f - move to Partick Thistle and Ross County for £1.3m and £140k respectively.

Here's how the squad looks:

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In August, we've won all but one of our matches - a 2-0 loss to Dundee.  Our record against them last season was P5, W1 D1 L3.  Not ideal, and we haven't exactly started off looking to rectify that.  We beat Rangers' reserve team in front of a capacity crowd at Celtic Park though, knocking them out of the League Cup and we progress to meet St. Johnstone in the quarter final.

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We were a top seed in the Champions League this season and were rewarded with an absolutely brutal draw - we're going to have to find a way past Bayern Munich, AC Milan and PSV Eindhoven.  The brilliant news though is that for the first time we have three teams in the Europa League group stages, with Hibernian, Rangers and Dundee representing Scotland in Europe's second tier competition.  Hopefully they can do well, as our coefficient suffered last season when we dropped out against Arsenal. 

Edited by mjaferrie

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Dembele is now a natural at AML?

What's Celtic's youth recruitment by the way?

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13 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Dembele is now a natural at AML?

What's Celtic's youth recruitment by the way?

Weirdly no, although he is at Accomplished finally. Not sure why his best position is AML...

Off the top of my head it was one of the top two, established or well established or something along those lines! Not had any option to improve, but our junior coaching has been maxed out for a few years. 

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21 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Dembele is now a natural at AML?

What's Celtic's youth recruitment by the way?

Well established!  Here's the script:

26cb69ad21724c973adfa17544e6ff8b.png 

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Where's the fanfare for 10IAR???

 

Excellent progress. What are your long-term goals for the save? How far do you think you can take them?

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1 hour ago, 1967 said:

Where's the fanfare for 10IAR???

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Some scenes! ;) 

I seriously have my work cut out if I want to win 13IAR though - Rangers are currently six points ahead of us after 22 games, and they have a game in hand.

January Transfer Window!...

... tumbleweed...

Into February!

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2 hours ago, 1967 said:

Excellent progress. What are your long-term goals for the save? How far do you think you can take them?

Oh, sorry! I forgot to answer this bit.  I'm not really sure to be honest.  Our youth recruitment doesn't look like improving if it is even possible and our junior coaching is maxed out, so we should in theory be getting the best we're going to get, luck dependent.

I'd like to win a European trophy, and I think the Europa would be our best shout, but we are pretty much a regular in at least the last 16 of the Champions League now so that's not likely to happen - unless of course Rangers and Dundee start seriously challenging us in the league.  Rangers winning the title this year would mean we have qualifying games again to reach the Champions League group stage (through the Best Placed route) - I actually think this would be quite good for Scottish football as no other Scottish team has made it to the Champions League otherwise so I wouldn't be too gutted if we came second... 

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A brief aside, Aberdeen Colts finally (after 6 Highland League wins) made it into the senior setup and last season got promoted to League One.  That's brought about some interesting circumstances:

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If we have no changes in the table, then Rangers Swifts would be crowned Champions.  Reserve sides can't be promoted to the Championship though, so Dunfermline would take their place.  Hibernian, Aberdeen and Celtic's reserve teams are next up, so the promotion playoff places go to the teams placed 6-8th!  9th place is the relegation playoff, while 10th drops out automatically.

Which teams are saying B teams in the pyramid is a bad idea, when 8th place has a realistic possibility of promotion? :lol:

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*petitions UEFA to allow three goalie systems*

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