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[FM18] War! Huh! Waalwijk It Good For? Absolutely Nothing!

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2025/26 KNVB Beker Final

3 May 2026

2045hrs, De Kuip, Rotterdam

RKC Waalwijk 2 - ADO Den Haag

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The only domestic trophy I was missing and we won it easily

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Edited by Deisler26

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11 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

2025/26 KNVB Beker Final

3 May 2026

2045hrs, De Kuip, Rotterdam

RKC Waalwijk 2 - ADO Den Haag

5a7e129d7de7e_ScreenShot2018-02-09at21_28_44.thumb.png.fa4080a0d9dcd10a96d72ca987e87515.png

The only domestic trophy I was missing and we won it easily

5a7e13985e485_ScreenShot2018-02-09at21_32_41.thumb.png.4fd7da24e71b95c9639c621c7a7d0ae9.png

Who’s the next best Israeli Manager. Aver,a Grant? Not to belittle your achievement but I’m not sure of any greats from Israel. Awesome work on the double as well

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RKC WAALWIJK

DEBUT WATCH 

10.05.26, vs PEC Zwolle (w 6-2) 

Players making their debut: 1

5a7e31153d478_ScreenShot2018-02-09at23_36_42.thumb.png.ba7096c35837250af53c8dfffed309ec.png

17 year old Milos Bajic came into the team as a last-ditch replacement in the left back position. Our first choice LB was injured, second choice LB was suspended and third choice LB was on loan and the rest were not of a standard to play, even in the last game of the season. So our LB-in-training came in. He made 6 tackles, losing two and making 40 successful passes, including an assist for the opening goal. He also ran a cracking 15.6km to end up with a match rating of 8.1.

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2 hours ago, SmileFaceGamer said:

Who’s the next best Israeli Manager. Aver,a Grant? Not to belittle your achievement but I’m not sure of any greats from Israel. Awesome work on the double as well

5a7e3835c31e7_ScreenShot2018-02-10at00_09_06.thumb.png.42549ed521fa8444ee38bbab56a06568.png

and thanks!

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RKC Waalwijk 

 2025/26 SEASON REVIEW

We pumped the Eredivisie hard this season. Our early UCL exit meant that we romped to the title with 5 games to spare. Hopefully, this title means we'll get a better run in the Champions League this season. Our first KNVB Beker win hopefully means we've broken our hoodoo in that tournament.

Final Table

Results

Cup Results:  Our first cup!

UEFA Champions League Results: We got pumped. We need better groups.

Player Stats: Groenveld cleaned up

End of Season Awards: A second team forward made team of the year!

End of Season Review:  Looking forward to moving into the new stadium this season.

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Awards & News

Maarten Groenveld won the Eredivisie Top Goalscorer award again and broke his own scoring record for the club.

Jayden Visser placed third in the Eredivisie Young Player of the Year award voting and broke the club clean sheets record.

I won the Manager's Manager of the Year.

Commercial Summary looks good again, but I'm a bit baffled by the Doesburg love..

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Screen Shot 2018-02-10 at 00.47.12Screen Shot 2018-02-10 at 00.47.24

So I made hay and renegotiated my 'Develop Youth Players' philosophy and snagged two facility upgrades for the First Team training and Youth training

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5a81417a88aea_ScreenShot2018-02-12at07_24_53.thumb.png.f399b0fb81b2ccbf192b9f4cc0aedfbd.png

We moved into Martin Jol Park and then proceeded to rename it to SAP Park, in honour of the North Brabant branch of SAP.

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3 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

5a81417a88aea_ScreenShot2018-02-12at07_24_53.thumb.png.f399b0fb81b2ccbf192b9f4cc0aedfbd.png

We moved into Martin Jol Park and then proceeded to rename it to SAP Park, in honour of the North Brabant branch of SAP.

THANK **** FOR THAT

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RKC Waalwijk 

Academy Watch: Class of 2021

In this section, we'll look at my historical youth intakes. At the end of every season, I'll go back and look at an intake from my time here at RKC and see if the key prospects worked out? Or if they flamed out, never to be seen again.

This time, it's the Class of 2021.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 16.29.20

An upgrade on the season previous' intake. We'll concentrate on the 3* prospects and up, unless there are any significant deviations. We had Ryan van Hoeven, Rewien Laazizi, M. El Bakkali and Dirk Stevens as our 3* and up.

Ryan van Hoeven

Then: 16 years old, RKC Waalwijk

Now: 21 years old, VfB Stuttgart

Ryan was our great white hope to succeed Daan Rienstra, once he was trained as a Deep-Lying Playmaker. Dubbed 'the new Donny van der Beek', he made 88 appearances for us in all competitions, scoring 11 goals and assisting on 11 more. He averaged a match rating of 7.25 in his 4.5 seasons at the club. However, VfB Stuttgart came in with a too-good-to-be-true offer of £17.75m + 50% sell on and so Ryan was on his way to Germany.

In his sole season in Germany to date, he made 16 appearances for the first team in all competitions, scoring 1 goal and assisting 5 times, averaging a 6.90 overall. Ryan made his Netherlands debut in October 2024 against Russia and has gone on to make 11 appearances for the national side.

 

Rewien Laazizi

Then: 15 years old, RKC Waalwijk

Now:  20 years old, Jong Feyenoord

Rewien was set to be re-trained as a central midfielder, after coming through the academy as a left winger. He didn't make an appearance in his debut season, before being sold for £200k + 50% sell on to Feyenoord Rotterdam in the summer of 2021. To date, he has not made a first team appearance, despite being loaned out to SBV Excelsior in the 2024/25 season.

 

Mohamed El Bakkali

Then: 16 years old, RKC Waalwijk

Now:  21 years old, Jong AZ Alkmaar

Mohamed was another casualty of his competence. Being a winger, he was swiftly transferred to AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2021 for £230k + 50% add-on. In his 5 years in Alkmaar, he has made 79 appearances for Jong AZ, scoring 4 goals, assisting 6 times and getting an average match rating of 6.73

 

Dirk Stevens

Then: 16 years old, RKC Waalwijk

Now:  21 years old, RKC Waalwijk

Dirk was plucked from the academy/B-team mire by the sale of Robert Drost to VfB Stuttgart. He would be part of the second team's defensive unit, however, his performances gave me something to think about and he worked his way into being a mainstay of the first team XI. He's racked up 94 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring 6 goals and assisting 8 times for a career match rating of 7.18 

Dirk was capped once by the Netherlands, making his debut as a substitute in June 2026 against Kosovo

 

This year, we had two players, outside the 3* players, to make it into the first team in this intake. Say hello to Pepjin Brok and goodbye to Wilbert van Rosmalen, sold to Lille OSC for £215k + 50% sell on.

Edited by Deisler26

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Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 03.11.22

:( Still, he's joined my backroom staff, so it's not all bad!

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2026 Johan Cruijff Schaal

1 Aug 2026

1945hrs, SAP Park, Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk 2 - 0 AZ Alkmaar

5a8232fb5ceda_ScreenShot2018-02-13at00_35_53.thumb.png.84a4e8e18a8fee7ab87ef500c6b51c0a.png

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Jesus, Dirk Stevens never looked to have that in him.

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5 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Jesus, Dirk Stevens never looked to have that in him.

I had him concentrating on pace the moment he came into the team. Then, the exposure to first team football just helped.

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13 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Jesus, Dirk Stevens never looked to have that in him.

Agreed.  He's come on very, very well.

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw

5a827002e9c9f_ScreenShot2018-02-13at04_15_30.thumb.png.a988d7f036ee39c48db224777e854423.png

I'm looking at third place for this one.

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Naw, you can pip Marseille and Malaga to 2nd.  You got this.

giphy.gif

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RKC WAALWIJK

DEBUT WATCH 

29.08.26, vs AFC Ajax Amsterdam (d 1-1) 

Players making their debut: 2

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 04.38.45

Sinan was an academy product that had left the club via transfer and had been picked back up on a free after being released from FC Twente Enschede. He managed to complete 45 minutes before being withdrawn, due to a knee injury. During those 45 minutes, he made 6 tackles, losing 3. He also made 49 successful passes and ran 7km for a match rating of 6.7

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 04.38.52

Robin came in after injuries to both my #1 & #2 goalies went down with injuries and a recently-done deal for a short-term loan hadn't gone through in time. Playing all 90 mins, he made one save, 14 successful passes and conceded one goal at his near post for a match rating of 6.8

Edited by Deisler26

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RKC Waalwijk 

 AUGUST 2026 TRANSFER WINDOW

We ran the league. But it would be much harder to defend this year, especially in a new stadium with a new board in their firsr full. To facilitate this, we were given a £118m transfer budget with a £1.1m wage budget. We were also given a brief to make the UEFA Champions Group Stage, Qualify for the UEFA Champions League in the Eredivisie & make the KNVB Beker Semi Final. Also we'll have both training and youth training upgrades opening in the next autumn.

Results

We took part in the traditional season curtain raiser, the Johan Cruijff Schaal and it was a happy return as we beat last season's runners up AZ Alkmaar 2-0, thanks to goals from Maarten Groenveld and Yassin Fortune.

We kicked off the Eredivisie this year in our brand-new stadium, Martin Jol Park, which was renamed SAP Park after a team sponsor, at home to FC Utrecht. And it took til after half time to get going. Vincent Schouten scored again on the second opening day running and wonderkid Youri van Dijk capped off the 2-0 win.

Next up was Sparta Rotterdam and their stadium opening. We spoiled the party atmosphere with a good 4-1 win. All three strikers scored, including a debut goal for loanee Tonnie Schouw. PSV Eindhoven were our next victims. The Thierry Ambrose show delivered it's usual devastating performance with a brace in a 3-1 win. Our final game of August was against AFC Ajax Amsterdam and we came away with a credible 1-1 draw, despite being bitten by the injury bug.

- Results - Table -

 

Transfers

We had a huge seismic disturbance of a transfer window. And rather than split it into ingoing and outgoing, I'll do it chronologically. First up, we welcomed the return of ex-academy player Robert Drost on a Bosman free from VfB Stuttgart. I'd been destabilising him for the last year and I managed to snap him up when his contract ended. In order to facilitate his return to the squad, I offloaded Perr Schuurs to F.C Internazionale for £15.5m + 50% sell-on, a few days earlier. 

The next day, I had an extremely tempting nibble for my backup RB, Marcel van der Meijs. L'Olympique Marseille offered £9m, going up to £11.75m + 50% sell-on for him and I accepted, as a) it was a great offer for my backup and b) I was able to bring in my PREVIOUS backup RB Jaimy Oosterveld on loan from FC Porto

Two strikers made their way out next. Bambang Halim was making noises about more game time and he wasn't getting ahead of Maarten Groenveld, so I sold him on to Girona FC S.A.D for £1m + 50% sell-on. Also leaving was Norwegian backup Christer Woldsødegård. He headed out to Roda JC Kerkrade for £250k.

I noticed I was a bit light on my MC (DLP) slot and, whilst I had talent in my U-19's, they weren't ready to make the step up. So I re-signed another ex-academy player who had been released from his previous club FC Twente Enschede, Sinan Cengiz, just after the international transfer window opening.

Tottenham Hotspur had been pursuing Maarten Groenveld for over a year and I had been resisting, but they finally came up with the goods in the form of an offer of £32m + 50% sell-on for him. It took a while for the deal to go through, so I loaned in another former academy player in Tonnie Schouw from OGC Nice to help cover the void.

Another bombshell dropped as Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion offered £12.5m + 50% sell-on for Erwin Schoumaker. Normally, I would have said no, but the emergence of wonderkid Youri van Dijk meant that he was expendable.

Finally I had to loan in goalie Tom Garritsen from Vitesse Arnhem on an emergency three month loan on deadline day.

- Transfers -

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 1

15 September 2025

2000hrs, SAP Park, Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk 1 6 Chelsea FC

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*Slightly* misleading as if we had taken our golden opportunities, we would have been at 4-3...

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Ouch -- definitely looks like it was a match where they took their chances and you didn't.  Painful, but you'll get them.

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2026/27 KNVB Beker First Round

22 Sept 2026

2000hrs, SAP Park, Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk 4 - 0 Go Ahead Eagles

5a84fc2029a95_ScreenShot2018-02-15at03_18_38.thumb.png.ffc53a87bdbf60db33c97f6b3257dd32.png

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On 13/02/2018 at 01:00, BoxToBox said:

Jesus, Dirk Stevens never looked to have that in him.

Absolutely, huge transformation. That's the first time I've ever seen anyone go from 6 jumping to 16 jumping. Well, at least in more than a week.

Yo Deisler I haven't quite been following the career this time, looks like you're already dominating Holland but struggling to get past the CL groups, right? Anything particularly big I might've missed in 10 pages? How do you always manage to pick up Theirry Ambrose and is he still worth it in this version of FM?

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13 hours ago, noikeee said:

Absolutely, huge transformation. That's the first time I've ever seen anyone go from 6 jumping to 16 jumping. Well, at least in more than a week.

Yo Deisler I haven't quite been following the career this time, looks like you're already dominating Holland but struggling to get past the CL groups, right? Anything particularly big I might've missed in 10 pages? How do you always manage to pick up Theirry Ambrose and is he still worth it in this version of FM?

Not really.

Stevens is a very weird one. It was just game time that did it, IMO.

Thierry is on loan at NAC Breda to start the game, so I think it's easier to get him in Holland then and he's not going to do well at Man City, so they let his contract run down and I swoop.

Is he worth it? Well, if I was playing in a better league, no.

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RKC WAALWIJK

DEBUT WATCH 

27.09.26, vs VVV Venlo (w 3-0) 

Players making their debut: 1

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18 year old academy graduate Passeka came into this game, having seen both our first choice and second choice left backs go down with injury. He played all 90 minutes, attempting 12 tackles, winning 9. He also completed 51 passes, including an assist for Tonnie Schow's hat-trick goal. He made 5 dribbles in the course of running a lung-busting 15km during the match on his way to a 8.7 match rating. 

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 2

30 September 2026

2000hrs, La Rosaleda, Málaga

Málaga C.F 0 - RKC Waalwijk

5a8745ab83326_ScreenShot2018-02-16at20_53_09.thumb.png.67148364ecedf3d60fdc28a429a0f779.png

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On 14/02/2018 at 21:48, SmileFaceGamer said:

NOOOOOOO GROENVELD YOU BIG FAT SNAKE DON’T GO

Burning my Groenveld shirt as we speak.  

Hopefully Thiery Ambrose can fill the void.

Edited by SpikeHughes

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 3

21 Oct 2026

2000hrs, SAP Park, Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk 2 0 L'Olympique Marseille

5a87eb341d387_ScreenShot2018-02-17at08_41_01.thumb.png.0b95dadd90bf19fedd7ef087f376a55b.png

Two absolute crackers decided this. A 25 yard rasping shot into the top corner and a close-range chip over the keeper which brushed the bar on the way down.

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7 hours ago, deltablue said:

Nice win over Marseille 

Even better as we sold our backup RB to them and he got a 6.4 :D

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2026/27 KNVB Beker Second Round

28 Oct 2026

2045hrs, Sportpark De Bongerd, Barendrecht

BVV Barendrecht 0 - 8 RKC Waalwijk

5a88aeb8a0320_ScreenShot2018-02-17at22_37_27.thumb.png.3fadecead48a350fabee3e749f4f8389.png

Easy.

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RKC WAALWIJK

DEBUT WATCH 

28.10.26, vs BVV Barendrecht (w 8-0) 

Players making their debut: 1

5a88af8429b3d_ScreenShot2018-02-17at22_39_46.thumb.png.beb5fe53c2f8aba013f00efabded4e02.png

16 year old Patrick has been thrust into the backup keeper's role this season, despite his tender age. And on his debut, he completed 9 passes. That was all it took for a clean sheet and a 7.9 match rating.

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 4

3 Nov 2026

2000hrs, Stade Orange Velodrome, Marseille

L'Olympique Marseille 1 RKC Waalwijk

5a88be5c66521_ScreenShot2018-02-17at23_44_12.thumb.png.f2542fd71e37ddace2562d1834c45528.png

Which led to a very surprising news item

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Edited by Deisler26

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2 solid wins over Marseille and you're through!  Tremendous news!

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 5

25 Nov 2026

2000hrs, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea FC 5 RKC Waalwijk

5a8a1516be9b7_ScreenShot2018-02-19at00_05_27.thumb.png.a74a1d3b0d13c6d89b29ac953b61fabf.png

Through, don't care.

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22 hours ago, ManUtd1 said:

2 solid wins over Marseille and you're through!  Tremendous news!

 

10 hours ago, Dexter_Morgan said:

well done getting through 

Cheers guys. I always find French teams to be somewhat easier.

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League Group B, Matchday 6

8 Dec 2026

2000hrs, SAP Park, Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk 4 0 Malaga FC S.A.D

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A good end to the Group Stage. I was much better than the other two teams, but nowhere near Chelsea's level.

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2026/27 UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round Draw

5a8b87b600a3d_ScreenShot2018-02-20at02_16_10.thumb.png.653ed10f7fbed5d08eeaca354b8f2724.png

Try our hardest. Think we'll get stuffed.

Edited by Deisler26

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Nicely done in the Group Stage! Monaco is a tough draw, hopefully you can take it to them in the home leg.

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2026/27 KNVB Beker Third Round

15 Dec 2026

2045hrs, SAP Park, Waalwijk

RKC Waalwijk 4 - 1 FC Utrecht

5a8b8be63cc8d_ScreenShot2018-02-20at02_44_41.thumb.png.45d8789f4b8af40775b805e51626019d.png

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7 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

Nicely done in the Group Stage! Monaco is a tough draw, hopefully you can take it to them in the home leg.

Hopefully, but I doubt it

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Awesome read as always! Amazing progress and transfer policy. How much money do you have on the balance?

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That was surprisingly comfortable on the group stage. Think you can probably take this momentum to go a little further and beat Monaco too. How strong are they at the moment? They've become really rather strong on my game and beat PSG to the title a couple of times, but for whatever reason are always crap in Europe.

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5a8c8267a5067_ScreenShot2018-02-20at07_31_48.thumb.png.412e75a1d72a2243b335c9672b6a2741.png

Not even Groenveld got this! A player from our academy gets EGB!

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10 hours ago, Torminator said:

Awesome read as always! Amazing progress and transfer policy. How much money do you have on the balance?

£180m

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7 hours ago, noikeee said:

That was surprisingly comfortable on the group stage. Think you can probably take this momentum to go a little further and beat Monaco too. How strong are they at the moment? They've become really rather strong on my game and beat PSG to the title a couple of times, but for whatever reason are always crap in Europe.

I seem to do well vs French teams.

HOWEVER, only 3 players in their 22-man first team squad are worth less than my top priced player. And their highest valued player is worth almost SEVEN times what my top valued player is. Gut feeling is that we're going to be hammered.

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