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Dilly-dallying with the Dollybirds

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Introduction

Once again I've decided to take the plunge and have opted to start a career in N. Ireland. This will be a true Gundo's challenge with only the N. Irish league structure active to start. As a result, my manager profile has minimum experience and coaching badges.

I will attempt to win the Champions League this time with the team Dollingstown F.C.

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The club is located on a ground which is surrounded by farmland, Dollingstown hasn't had much of a history to speak of having only been established in 1979.

During that period of time, they have however managed to win the 4th tier in N. Ireland on 4 separate occasions and have appeared in the N. Irish 3rd division. By winning the NIFL Playoff against Brantwood in 2013/14 they took their place in the NIFL Championship 2 for season 2014/15 where they finished in a creditable mid-table position of 7th. The following season they suffered relegation being a victim of the restructuring which saw 5 teams out of the 14 relegated succumbing to their fate only on goal difference behind Newington.

They have some cup success of note having won the non-league Marshall Cup on 4 occasions and last season won the Bob Radcliffe Cup. The club has never been higher than the 3rd tier in N. Irish football and hasn't made much of an impact on the far more significant Irish or League Cups.


Club

A small club but interestingly not seen as the favourite to be relegated. I'm liking the personality of the squad as that is a good start. The club has no rivals or even favoured personnel to speak of which means that I'll have a blank slate to work with. Given the location of the club, I'd say that we should in time develop a rivalry with the Mid-Ulster clubs but we'll have to see how that goes

Facilities 

What drew me to this club in particular (aside from the unusual nickname) was that the potential expansion capacity of the stadium is 10,000 which is the joint 3rd highest in the whole of N. Ireland which I'm hoping will mean that when/if it comes time for a new stadium I'll be able to get a reasonable size unlike last season with Chimney Corner where I was stuck in an 11,000 capacity stadium for over 25 years after winning the Champions League countless times. All the other facilities are as you would expect for a team of their stature but having a youth system is a nice boost which I'll hope to take advantage of.

Squad 

This was actually a rather pleasant surprise in that I already have at least 2 players which are capable of playing at this new level to start with, my striker McGoldrick and left back McConnell are considered good for this level which is a nice boost. I will need a lot more than that to have a chance of fighting at the upper end of the league but at least I have some decent standard bearers which should make my search for new players a little easier.

Finances 

I'm going to try my absolute hardest not to wreck these and build a more financially stable model this time around. I've been given a decent wage budget and I will be attempting to use it smartly.

Game setup

I've loaded the N. Irish league system only but I have gone with a large database and added all current international players from around the world to give a reasonable database size but one which should be quick to run.

Starting Conditions

Ballymena United were DBP champions of season 2017/18 beating the former defending champions Linfield and Coleraine by a single point. Crusaders, Linfield and Glentoran all qualified for the Europa League with Carrick Rangers being the only team to be relegated from the top flight.

The top flight next season will be joined by Portadown who romped to the Championship title with Ballyclare joining us in the 3rd tier after relegation.

Starting League Reputations

NIFL Premier Intermediate League - 301st

NIFL Championship - 273rd

Danske Bank Premiership - 103rd

The DBP reputation rose slightly at the end of the season. No club is anywhere near becoming professional they've all been pretty poor in Europe so were unable to expand their advantage


I'd like to thank www.logo-world.net for their club and competition badges which I've re-used for FM18

 

Edited by pheelf

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Tactics

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This time I've decided to take a rather minimalist approach to tactics.

In addition to these instructions I have given certain player instructions as follows:

Goalkeeper (Defend) - Distribute to the Full Backs

Central Midfielder (Support) - More Risky Passes

Wide Midfielder (Support) - Sit Narrower & Dribble More

All other roles have been left with the default player instructions.

The Idea

WHEN OPPOSITION HAS POSSESSION

The strikers should press the opposition central defenders forcing them to launch long from the back. If the opposition is regularly able to play it out from the back then that is a serious issue given our numerical disadvantage in the central midfield.

I want my left midfielder pressing the oppositions right flank with support from my left back and tucking in when needed.

I want my right midfielder pressing higher up the pitch with my central midfield working closely together to block passing lanes and be combative for the ball when in the air.

WHEN TEAMMATE HAS POSSESSION

I want my players to move in between the lines freely and offer themselves for passes and play with a creative mindset. I want a higher tempo game with the ball fed into the forward line as quickly as possible and am happy for my players to take risks with the ball and am not too fussed about having high possession.

I expect to see my left back storming down the wing with the left midfielder sitting narrower facilitating regular overlaps and also creating space.

When we regain possession I want to see my right winger bombing forward as quickly as possible in order to create width and also opening up the channels for my Advanced Forward by pulling opposition fullbacks wider.

I want my Advanced Forward constantly testing the back line and looking to get on the end of creative passes from the Central Midfielder (Support) or Deep Lying Forward (Support).

I also expect to see my Deep Lying Forward drop deep into midfield to act as another attacking pivot.

WHEN PLAYER HAS THE BALL

Goalkeeper (Defend) - Give it to the full backs or failing that pump it long for the more advanced players to compete for

Central Defender (Defend) - Play it into midfield and don't dawdle on the ball

Full Back (Support) - Move the ball down the flank but mainly look inside for passing options or if significantly far up the pitch cross the ball rather than dribble with it

Full Back (Attack) - Get into advanced areas and get crosses in the box as soon as possible. Look for the pass rather than attempt to dribble with the ball

Central Midfielder (Defend) - Pass the ball to either of the players which should be in close proximity. Don't take chances and always look to release the ball to the more creative players

Wide Midfielder (Support) - Dribble the ball forward and take opposition players with him. Be unpredictable, sometimes dribble the ball wide creating an overload down the oppositions right flank with the fullback and on other occasions dribble the ball centrally creating an overload on the oppositions centre right with the Deep Lying Forward. Dribble into whatever space is available

Central Midfielder (Support) - Look for the creative pass, balls over the top for the Advanced Forward to run onto being especially important

Winger (Attack) - Dribble the ball wide and pull opposition players wider. Cross from the byline where there should be at least 2 targets to aim for

Deep Lying Forward (Support) - Play killer passes through to the Advanced Forward or if needed hold up the ball and wait for a better opportunity

Advanced Forward (Attack) - Dribble the ball into the channels and as soon as feasible take a shot at goal

 

Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2018 / 2019


Season Expectations

Start as I mean to go on by getting promoted as quickly as I can


 
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League Table - This was a really hard battle for the title exemplified by the fact that the top 4 were only separated by 3 points. I thought we didn't have a chance after 22 games when we were sat in 4th but brilliant from during the post-split period propelled us to the title. 

Domestic Cups - I'm thrilled that I was able to get a cup win in our first season and the manner of the victory was very impressive as we beat 3 DBP sides along the way. The Irish Cup was a disappointment and the other cups were fairly poor but perhaps that was a blessing in disguise as it allowed us to focus on the league.

Reserves - We didn't have any fixtures for the reserve team so I scheduled a friendly every Tuesday to keep players fit.

Under 18s - We also didn't have any fixtures for the youth team which isn't particularly good as when the youth intake came in they didn't play any competitive games, I'm hoping that this isn't the case next season

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Squad – We were in decent shape throughout the season but I often found that I got better performances out of players which my assistant considered inferior but whose attributes were better for the role they played in. I'll need another rebuild next season though as only 3 players are considered even decent for the Championship so I'll be hoping that some DBP level players with expiring contracts might be willing to drop down a level to join us.
 
Transfers – A massive amount of transfers were necessary but interestingly it didn't do too much to damage the dynamics of the squad. I lost a few talented players to teams in the higher leagues such as McKee & Kenneally but that is just par for the course when playing in the lower leagues in N. Ireland.
 
Player Of The Season
Jordan Thompson – ST - Average Rating : 7.35
I don't think we would have been able to get anywhere near promotion without him, that's how important he was to the team. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts to the new level

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Paul Campbell – GK - Average Rating : 7.01
The Dergiew youth player came to the club for free initially on a youth contract and did really well considering his tender age. I'm not entirely sure whether I'll be able to depend on a 17 year old goalkeeper against championship level opposition though and will be looking for a more experienced pair of hands between the sticks
 
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Finances – The screenshot might be somewhat misleading as you could be lead to believe that the club is doing well financially. The reality is the club is only slightly in the red because of the board who injected £75K and fundraising which raised just under £62K. The next natural question would then be why was all that money needed to keep the club afloat, in a word...scouting.
 
We spent £116K on scouting which was on a par with the staff wages (£41K), player wages (£39K) and all the other costs combined (~£40K) which seems completely crazy to me considering that the clubs turnover is only £6K. My scouting packages are free and my 3 scouts are only scouting players within our scouting range. I just hope that the board continues to be supportive and pump money into the club otherwise we could be looking into the abyss. Maybe I need to abandon setting scouting assignments altogether :(.
 
Facilities – I asked for improved junior coaching and youth recruitment during my talks for a contract extension and both were resoundingly rejected. My youth system is only costing the club £670 a season but owing to ridiculous expenditures elsewhere I can understand why they wouldn't want to invest.

Youth Intake – I hired a HoYD with a Model Professional personality which seemed to have an impact as he chose fairly professional and ambitious players. The intake wasn't great though which is to be expected given how little money has been invested into it. I really hope that they get to play competitive games next season.
 
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League Reputation – The DBP is on the rise which is nice to see, hopefully, we can overtake the Vanarama before too long
 
Club Domestic Reputation – We had a slight improvement but won't be much more of an attractive destination for players as a result. Cliftonville won the DBP with ease with Linfield finishing a pathetic 8th. The Championship is going to be really difficult to get out of though as both Portadown and Ballinamallard United got relegated and Carrick couldn't bounce back.
 
Club European Reputation – I'll take my customary look around at the other N. Irish clubs in Europe until we begin to register on this list.
 
Ballymena United - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round 3-0 on agg. by FH - Quite a respectable run, the ability to drop down from the Champions League at the first qualifying round really helping here
Crusaders - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round 5-1 on agg. by Braga - Did well to get past professional Armenian outfit Banants but Braga are a different class
Linfield - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 5-4 on agg. by Dudelange - Humiliating and looking back now was an omen for the terrible season that was to follow
Glentoran - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round 4-1 on agg. by AEK Athens - Dispatched Valetta easily but were outclassed by the Greeks
 
Next season will see the following participants from N. Ireland:
 
Cliftonville - League Champions - UEFA Champions League
Glenavon - Finished 2nd in DBP - UEFA Europa League
Crusaders - Finished 3rd and lost Irish Cup final to Cliftonville - UEFA Europa League
Ballymena United - Finished 7th in DBP and won DBP Europa League Playoff - UEFA Europa League
 
Professional club watch - No worries here as to no team is anywhere close
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2019 / 2020

Season Expectations

The board demands that we finish in mid-table, I'm hoping to be a bit more ambitious than that and try to break into the promotion picture.


 
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League Table - This was a great effort from the players to finish as high as they did. The season started fairly poorly and we were as low as 9th but soon after then we picked up and found ourselves in and around the promotion playoff spots for the rest of the season. We were even in contention for automatic promotion until Carrick Rangers decided to put their foot on the gas and pulled away from everyone. Portadown were surprisingly poor which worked in our favour and allowed us to clinch a place in the promotion playoff.

Danske Bank Premier League Promotion Playoff - Two very tense ties which really put the team through its paces but we prevailed. The away game against Tobermore United was fantastic with my talented young striker Brian Kee choosing the game to grab his first hat trick of the season. Premier League here we come!!

Domestic Cups - We actually managed to retain the Mid Ulster Cup which I thought was impressive, especially since the team that played the final was a team of Reserve players. The other cups weren't great but my attention was focused elsewhere.

Reserves - They were placed in the Reserves league to my surprise and they did quite well finishing as runners up. Hopefully now that the team is in the DBP the reserves will also play in the lower league cup competitions.

Under 18s - Another squad given their debut in competitive games and they did fairly well finishing a creditable 3rd. All the more remarkable given that their ranks kept getting decimated with players leaving on a free as even the youth players are given non-contracts, next season that should change.

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Squad – I'm satisfied with the squad as I consider them to have overachieved, I will still need to get busy in the transfer market in the summer to ensure we have what we need to stay up but they should enjoy their moment in the sun. It's funny because once again experience seemed to trump youth in some departments with my strike partnership only working well when I had some combination of a young striker such as Kee with the more experienced Hillen. Similarly, my central defence only worked well when I brought in experienced heads such as Ferrin as before that we were leaking poor goals all the time. For next season I'll be looking to strengthen the spine of the team as the only players that are considered good for the DBP are my wide players.
 
Transfers – I picked up some fantastic players for free and on loan which helped the team to promotion. Rooney MR, Kee ST, Grant ML, O'Neill MC & Doherty DC were all brilliant this season.
 
Player Of The Season
Scott Grant – ML - Average Rating : 7.40
The teams top provider of assists was magnificent and is more than capable of making the step up. Newington will feel gutted to have given him to me for nothing, he'll be one of the first which gets offered a part time contract if he wants one.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Brian Kee – ST - Average Rating : 7.20
Top scorer for the team who is a top talent. Limavady United didn't know who they had on their hands and was a contributing factor to their relegation. I'm a bit concerned that he doesn't appear interested in signing a new contract considering my assistant thinks he is our best player but I'm hoping that will change when we are able to offer part time deals.
 
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Finances – I have to give tremendous credit to the board who have continued to pump money into the club at regular intervals to keep us afloat. The scouting costs were even higher this season at £124K but at least the board seem like they will be sticking around for a while which should give us time to increase our turnover which has more than doubled but is still only a measly £14K. 
 
Facilities – I decided to ask for improved youth coaching and recruitment and after a little persuasion they granted both which is great. Given the generous mood I might ask if they'd relay the pitch but I doubt the finances will allow that.

Youth Intake – They're crap, if you haven't got 5* potential at this point you are of no use to the club going forward as they'll never be good enough for the level of football I am aiming to bring to the club. 
 
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League Reputation – I suppose staying in the same place is better than a fall.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – We're still only recognized on a regional level which might make player acquisition more difficult
 
Club European Reputation – Here is how the rest of the teams in N. Ireland fared in Europe:
 
Cliftonville - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round 4-1 on agg. by IFK Goteborg - Not bad at all for them
Crusaders - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 3-1 on agg. by FC Inter - Not great against the Finnish team
Glenavon - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 3-2 on agg. by Valarenga - They gave it a decent try winning the 1st leg at home 2-0 but fell apart Norway
Ballymena United - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round 3-2 on agg. by Viktoria Plzen - Like Glenavon they won the first leg 2-1 in the Czech Republic but then threw it away by losing 2-0 at home
 
Next season will see the following participants from N. Ireland:
 
Ballymena United - League Champions - UEFA Champions League
Coleraine - Finished 2nd in DBP - UEFA Europa League
Glentoran - Finished 6th and won Irish Cup - UEFA Europa League
Cliftonville - Finished 4th in DBP and won DBP Europa League Playoff - UEFA Europa League
 
Professional club watch - Both Linfield and Ballymena United both have Secure financial status but neither have turned pro.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2020 / 2021


Season Expectations

I'd just be happy to avoid relegation but the board seem convinced that we should be finishing in mid-table. They haven't given me much of a wage budget (~£2Kp/w) to work with so I'll have to really work smartly in the transfer market if the team is to meet the objective.


 
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League Table - Does that class as mid-table? I suppose it does. We started the season really well and were in the top 3 until late October but then some really abysmal form sent us back to earth. By the time we had recovered our form it was way too late to make the top 6 and our chances of making 7th place and the Europa League Playoff were ended by Glenavon in the penultimate match of the season. Overall, I'm relatively pleased with our first season in the top flight as relegation was never a threat at all and this gives us a good foundation to build on next season.

Domestic Cups - Absolutely brilliant work from the team to capture the Irish Cup and retain the Mid Ulster Cup once again. Our run to the final of the Irish Cup was one of the hardest we could have got where as Crusaders had a relatively easy ride. It took a penalty to win it but the trophy and place in the Europa League that comes with it is all that matters.

Reserves - They destroyed the league finishing a massive 18 points ahead of 2nd place in a 22 game season. They were pretty poor in the Intermediate Cup though and I don't think they participate in the Steel & Sons Cup.

Under 18s - A pretty poor season from them but gradually the really poor non-contract players are being weeded out of the club.

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Squad – As can be seen by the number of loans the wage budget didn't give me much mileage in terms of players I could bring in on a contract but next season that should be much better as the board have given me a much more generous £5Kp/w wage budget which should mean that we can get a better standard of player into the club. Even though I did strengthen the spine of the team I still feel that it remains the weakest area of the lineup. I'm sure there are many losses we suffered throughout the season that can be attributed to the poor standard of defending and lack of ability to control the midfield.
 
We were 2nd best when it came to goals scored but also we were 2nd worst with goals conceded in the league which I think highlights the problem most clearly. I had expected that the departure of Kee would hamper our attacking potency but it didn't happen as the brilliant Smyth stepped up to the plate. If I can bring into the club a few quality defenders and midfielders I can definitely see the team challenging at the upper end of the table next season. I'm really pleased with the personality of the squad though as it is now considered Professional which I hope will start to permeate throughout the whole club and turn some of those unambitious and low determination players around.
 
Transfers – It was a mixed bag with respect to signings, some were great and cheap like Smyth ST, Salley ST and Hunter MC where as others like Kane MC, McCallum DC & Hanna MC were expensive and didn't justify their wages. I'll be busy once again in the summer with an eye towards getting in younger players given the philosophy I agreed to with the board.
 
Player Of The Season
Scott Grant – ML - Average Rating : 7.64
The DBP Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year has taken to the new level like a duck to water. He has improved greatly as a player and if Newington were feeling bad about letting him go before they must want to cry now. I want to hold on to him for as long as possible but I know that in order to get the best out of him I'm going to need to get some better players around him.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Daryl Smyth – ST - Average Rating : 7.41
I plucked him from Institute for an insultingly low price of £35 and he has been brilliant. He not only broke all the goal scoring records at the club finishing with an incredible 46 goals he also was top scorer in the DBP finishing 5 goals clear of 2nd placed Joe Gormley who is a seasoned DBP striker. I'm excited to see how he performs next season now that he has a season of top flight football under his belt.
 
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Finances – Can this board stay here forever!! Anytime we look to be going a little bit too much into the red they pump in money. The fund raising initiatives have also been great as they have helped keep us afloat. I'm quite disappointed with our income though, this season we made £186 through merchandising, £11,860 through season ticket sales, £48,142 in gate receipts, £17,650 in match day sales and ~£100K TV revenue and prize money. Altogether we made around £180K that only really covers our staff costs. I think while the board remains here now is the time to push hard and speculate so I will be fully utilizing the new wage budget and hopefully I should get a bit of money from being in Europe to put into the pot also.
 
Facilities – I asked for improvements to both junior coaching and youth recruitment once again but I was only granted junior coaching this time. The pitch really needs sorting out but we just don't have the money to make it happen.

Youth Intake – It's better than before which is a positive, maybe McKee ST in time could get a chance in the first team.
 
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League Reputation – Yay, we're better than the Vanarama, next target our neighbours to the south.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Still don't have a National reputation even after winning the Irish Cup, I don't really get why non-league Bangor are still above us.
 
Club European Reputation – Here is how the rest of the teams in N. Ireland fared in Europe:
 
Ballymena United - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 4th Qualifying Round 5-1 on agg. by Rosenborg - This was a great money spinning run for them which had consequences which I'll highlight later
Coleraine - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 6-1 on agg. by Slovan Bratislava - They were embarrassed
Glentoran - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 2-1 on agg. by Slavia Prague - No shame in losing like that as they put in a good effort
Cliftonville - Knocked out of the UEFA Europa League 1st Qualifying Round 3-1 on agg. by Vardar - I feel they could have done a lot better here
 
Next season will see the following participants from N. Ireland:
 
Ballymena United - League Champions - UEFA Champions League
Cliftonville - Finished 2nd in DBP - UEFA Europa League
Dollingstown - Finished 8th and won Irish Cup - UEFA Europa League
Dungannon - Finished 4th in DBP and won DBP Europa League Playoff - UEFA Europa League
 
Professional club watch - As I mentioned earlier Ballymena United had a good run in Europe and made a lot of money and as a consequence have now turned professional. I can see this putting a massive obstacle in the way for the club in terms of conquering N. Ireland. If we consider how dominant they already are this is just going to make it much worse. At one point during the season Linfield and Cliftonville both had 'Secure' finances which had me concerned that we would end up with the league going from 0 professional teams to 3 but they remained at semi-professional status which in a way is actually worse because Ballymena United could have that uncontested advantage for quite some time.
 
As the team qualified for Europe this section will be replaced by the usual screenshot next season.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2021 / 2022


Season Expectations

The board would be happy with a top half finish but I'd like to think that we could be capable of mounting a title challenge.


 
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League Table - On the face of it I should be delighted that we overachieved our objectives but I'm not. I'm frustrated with myself as the title was won and lost before the Christmas period and I can only look into the mirror to understand the cause. Our form was so erratic during that period and it was down to me not fielding the right players, I was foolishly playing central midfielders without a defensive thought in their head in the Central Midfielder (Defend) role which caused us to ship goals like it was going out of fashion. Once I started using the right players our form was practically impeccable but unfortunately for us it was too late by then. We made Glentoran wait but handed them the title when we lost the 36th match at home to Linfield which plunged us into a morale dip which allowed Ballymena United to overtake us. Overall, it was a very valuable learning experience and next season if we can start better I make us favourites for the title.

Danske Bank Premier League European Playoff - I don't think this is working in game as it does in real life. We shouldn't have even been in this competition as the winners of the Irish Cup were Ballymena United. The rules state that allocation of European spots is done in the following list of priority:

1) League Position

2) Irish Cup Winners

3) Playoff Winners

The problem is that the Playoff in game is more significant that league position and instead of having the playoff compete for 1 place in Europe instead it seems that both berths are given to the playoff making league position irrelevant. It's all a mute point given that we won the playoff so comfortably but I would have been furious had we lost in the semi-final and missed out on European football.

UEFA Europa League - I didn't expect much from our first European adventure but am left with a tinge of disappointment. We were in the games against Young Boys and created so many guilt edge chances but failed to capitalize on them. Hopefully next season I can get a slightly easier ride as Young Boys was about as difficult a draw we could have got at that stage. I was however pleased with our ability to bounce back against Botev Plovdiv.

Domestic Cups - We seem relentless in the Mid Ulster Cup at the moment, the Irish Cup semi final proved to be a turning point. If we had beaten Glentoran well and caused their morale to plummet perhaps we might have been able to catch them in the league as we won our first two post split games where as they drew theirs. If they had lower morale perhaps they might have lost them which would have reduced the gap to 4 points instead of 6 which was hard to make up with only 3 games to play, ah well.

Reserves - They blitzed the league again, I thought they were going all the way in the Intermediate Cup but their double dreams were scuppered at the last.

Under 18s - Great in the league to claim their first title but dreadful in the cup.

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Squad – I believe that this team with perhaps a couple of additions should be more than capable of winning the league. I think we could do with another central defender, left back, central midfielder and perhaps another striker. I've been given another increase to my wage budget to raise it to £6.8Kp/w so have should have some room to bring in those players. I don't think Ballymena United will remain as poor again next season so I'll have to keep an eye on them to see who they bring in as this season they seemed content in just hoovering up my cast offs. Both Arsenal and Tottenham were interested in my star central defender Johnston but slapping on a £2.5M asking price seems to have made them look elsewhere. If I can keep the quality we do have at the club then we have a great chance of fulfilling our ambitions of winning the title.
 
Transfers – Some real quality entered the team this season with all players having a positive impact. I've decided not to loan players into the club as I didn't like how decimated we became at the start of the season. The fact that I don't need to do a massive rebuild next season should help us to start more quickly and hopefully make progress in the Europa League.
 
Player Of The Season
Daryl Smyth – ST - Average Rating : 7.40
Once again he was top scorer in the league and almost got his first cap for the N. Ireland senior team, he was called up but the manager didn't play him. If he continues like this surely its only a matter of time before he gets his first cap. I've had to promise him that we'll win the league next season in order to keep him here but if he can keep banging in the goals and allow his strike partnership with Devlin to flourish he can help to make his dream come true.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Shane McCabe – ML - Average Rating : 7.36
He had a great season and was the second highest provider of assists behind Smyth. If he could add a bit more in terms of goals next season it should help relieve some of pressure on Smyth. I have added a bit of competition for him on the left flank to keep him on his toes in the shape of Peter Quinn. I'm hoping that the competition for places will spur both players on and help their development.
 
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Finances – We did receive a nice windfall from the Europa League but as you can see it's completely gone. We still are spending ridiculous amounts on scouting and even with a much increased wage budget and outlay of £233K we still managed to surpass that by spending £287K on scouting. I will still have to persist with it however as without the scouting I would have been unable to unearth some of the gems I have and probably wouldn't be anywhere near competing for the title.
 
Facilities – I got both junior coaching and youth recruitment upgraded which I'm hoping will start to yield fruit. I also managed to get the pitch relaid which is great as visiting team managers can now shut up about it!

Youth Intake – This is worse than the last batch!!...I can't see any of them making it here to be honest but I'll give them time to prove themselves. If there is any aspect of the club that needs to start producing the goods then this is it as I can see the poaching of talented youngsters from other N. Irish clubs becoming increasing expensive which is a big problem when you're broke.
 
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League Reputation – So close, still on the rise which is great. The rise was probably aided by Ballymena United once again reaching the playoff round of the Europa League where they beat Rosenborg along the way which I thought was fantastic. I can't see Glentoran managing similar exploits but you never know.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – What is up with that? Still have a Regional reputation with Bangor behind me. I sense we'll only become recognized nationally if we win the DBP.
 
Club European Reputation – We're on the list!...Given our dreadful coefficient we are going to need to get real lucky not to draw a nightmare opponent early on.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Ah, Northern Ireland, what a surprising choice for your career. :D

Looks like you're racing through the seasons and the leagues. I can't believe you're onto Europe already and 4 seasons in...

That 4-4-2 is very similar to a plan B I used to turn a match around recently, looks like a solid plan and I intend to use it more often now that I know it works. ;) 

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18 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Ah, Northern Ireland, what a surprising choice for your career. :D

Looks like you're racing through the seasons and the leagues. I can't believe you're onto Europe already and 4 seasons in...

That 4-4-2 is very similar to a plan B I used to turn a match around recently, looks like a solid plan and I intend to use it more often now that I know it works. ;) 

Thanks noikeee, yeah having one country open really allows me to whizz through the seasons quickly although I can see that slowing down in the near future.

The 4-4-2 has proven surprisingly stable in this version although I've got to get to grips with playing the right players in the right roles otherwise it has problems.

In other news....

Albania, Montenegro & Serbia all joined the EU. I've had Brexit which has led to no changes what so ever.

Also this happened...

Jamaican_World_Cup_Winners.png

Even more shocking was the fact they beat Germany, Spain & Argentina on the way so it was definitely deserved. I'm speechless...

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On 11/15/2017 at 16:52, noikeee said:

Well, it could happen...

It could...although the odds must be really long.

On 11/15/2017 at 17:58, Jupjamie said:

Jamaica have any world class regens in their side? That's bizarre..

Below is the list of players which bought home the World Cup

jamaican_national_team.png

The national team actually doesn't have any regens in the squad. Bailey and Aarons are the best players but they don't possess any players which the game considers world class. 

They did get a little bit of luck along the way if I'm being fair but no more than any other team which has gone on to win a World Cup.

They lost to Paraguay 4-0 in the first game of their group. They then went down to 10 men against Montenegro in their second match but still managed to get a 2-2 draw. It was only due to a 95th minute winner against Australia (ably assisted by an Australian player getting sent off in the 87th minute) that they qualified in 2nd from their group.

They then met Germany and that's when it started to really get bizarre, they held them to a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and then went down to 10 men in the 105th minute but held on to beat them on penalties. After that they met Spain who they beat 2-1 after extra time scoring the equalizer in the 85th minute and the winner in the 119th minute.

After doing away with Spain they then comfortably beat Croatia 2-0 going 2 up within 5 minutes and battering them throughout the game dominating possession and creating chance after chance. Then the pièce de résistance came when they scored a 68th minute winner against Argentina who had gone down to 10 men in the 64th minute.

I'm going to enjoy the moment though as rarely do I get strange things like this happen in any of my saves, I'd probably have to reload thousands of times for something like this to happen again though!!...:D

Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2022 / 2023


Season Expectations

The board expect us to clean sweep all the trophies available to us in N. Ireland. I'd like to think we are capable of that but winning the DBP is the only one that matters especially given that I've convinced some of the clubs best players to stay on the back of promising to win it this season.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table -  We won it with consummate ease with surprisingly little resistance from Ballymena United. After we hit the summit on the 13th match day there was no stopping us.

UEFA Europa League - This was an incredible campaign which saw some results that I didn't think was possible. The manner in which we destroyed teams which we shouldn't have had any chance against was remarkable. West Ham proved to be a step too far but for part-time players who weren't 100% fit it's quite an achievement to even be on the same pitch as them.

Domestic Cups - Glentoran did a fine job of ruining our clean sweep but they might as well rename the Mid Ulster Cup to the Dollingstown Cup as we seem unstoppable in that competition.

Reserves - They just can't clear that final hurdle in the Intermediate Cup to go with their domination of the Reserve league.

Under 18s - Winning the league is fine but they really need to get their act together in the cup.

rmOG4EQ.png
 
Squad – I managed to strengthen 2 of the areas that I wanted to with the central defence and striker positions being added to. I did however struggle to find a decent left back and central midfielder which is worrying going forward because of a bug which I'll mention later which has affected my wage budget. I'm confident that these players could bring home the league again next season given that we won the league by such a large margin but other teams in the league are beginning to close the gap in player quality so I could be in for a far harder battle next time.
 
Transfers – The free transfers into the club were all class acts and played a large part in helping us to the title. Ballymena United seem to want my players but they appear to be unsettling and going for the wrong ones as I was happy to sell all those players to them given that I had better options at the club. The Johnston DC transfer to Arsenal was taken out of my hands by the board which was rather annoying as he left for just cash without any clauses which I feel was a bad move. I couldn't protest the move as Tottenham also came in with an offer meaning that it would have been pointless for me to protest given that successfully protesting one move would have meant he went to the other club.
 
Player Of The Season
Shane McCabe – ML - Average Rating : 7.80
One of the highest average ratings I have ever seen which shows just how good he was this season. He was the 2nd highest provider of assists and chipped in with a few vital goals along the way, he has become a critical member of the squad and is considered influential at the club.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Aaron Curran – ST - Average Rating : 7.46
The highly influential striker was top scorer and netted an incredible 40 goals this season. If he can continue with this form I can sense a first international cap not being far off.
 
bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – This is the section I'll use to talk about the bug that I mentioned earlier. Firstly, given that the option was there and my job status was 'Untouchable' and the club had a couple hundred thousand in the balance I thought I'd throw in a cheeky request to the board and ask to turn the club professional. To my complete shock they agreed to do it and the club is now professional which floored me at first but also was great because to go from non league amateurs to professional within 5 years was way ahead of schedule. They also provided me with a nice transfer and wage budget which I thought was good as it would allow me to get in the players for the positions which the club is weak in, all positive so far.
 
Given that I could only scout N. Ireland before turning professional and had pretty much exhausted all the talent I could find within the country when the board announced that I could now scout the UK & Ireland I was happy because I could then widen my search, I asked to expand to all of Europe but they rejected that. Now we go to the bad part, in order for me to be able to see the players in order to scout them I knew that I would need to get the scouting package for the UK & Ireland which comes in at £360K per year for both the senior and youth packages. The board only allocated me £8K per year so in order to afford the new packages I needed to allocate my transfer budget to my scouting budget which I did.
 
This wasn't great as I had to transfer all of my wage budget to my transfer budget using the slider in the board room in order to afford it but I thought that even if I didn't have any wage budget available that I could get in some high quality loans for no wage contribution which would justify doing this as temporary measure. This was working fine and I was beginning to scout players in Scotland but then something really annoying happened. The board decided to allocate to me their scouting budget of £8.5K per year which I thought was annoying as it would mean that I'd have to set it up again and transfer over the wage budget to the transfer budget then transfer that over to the scouting budget. That's not what happened at all though as that money which I allocated to the scouting budget didn't go back into the transfer budget and has instead disappeared into thin air.
 
As a result I'm now over my wage budget as I had to switch my players and staff over to full time deals, I have no transfer funds at all and my scouting budget is £8.5K per year which has meant that I've had to downgrade back to the N. Ireland only package. This really p****d me off and I had half a mind to just reload to before I allocated the transfer funds over to the scouting budget but then I would have to go through the rigmarole of having to offer full time contracts to everyone again so I'll just roll with it. I'm going to need to be very careful with the finances now that we are a professional club, hopefully we can earn a lot of money from a good run in Europe.
 
Facilities – I managed to get the youth recruitment upgraded but the board didn't allow me improve junior coaching, hopefully if I earn a bit in Europe they might reconsider.

Youth Intake – My HoYD is always excited by at least one player in the intake but I can't figure out why as these players are terrible. The number of poor personalities has increased and the attributes of the players aren't anywhere near good enough for a starting point, the club really needs the junior coaching to improve.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – Clear and substantial progress is being made as the league now has a 2* reputation. The N. Irish clubs also seem to be faring much better in Europe than with FM17 which should help build the league up even quicker.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – We are now considered to have a 'National' reputation which is great but also another team has become professional in the league. Glentoran after winning the title last season and getting the money from Europe decided it was time so now 1/4 of the top flight is professional. If it has become much easier to turn professional that could mean that we end up with a fully professional top flight before too long which will be great for building up the standard of football in N. Ireland.
 
Club European Reputation –  I'd like to hope we would be able to break into the top 300 with a good run in Europe next season.
 
Edited by pheelf

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As I've qualified for the Champions League I'll as usual provide in depth reports on the qualifiers until I make either the Champions League or Europa League group stages.

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Season 2023 / 2024


EUROPEAN SEASON EXPECTATIONS

The board expects us to reach the 2nd Qualifying Round which means winning one tie. I think it's possible but whether we can do that will depend on the team that we draw. I'd like to go as far as possible in the qualifiers so let's see how this adventure goes.


THE DRAW
 
There are some draws that I'd want to avoid like the plague, FC Copenhagen, Steaua Bucharest or Rosenborg being especially menacing. The rest of the teams in the seeded section look beatable however and there are far more of them than the really big sides so our odds of avoiding them are decent.
 
Who did we draw?
 
bate_badge.png
 
This is fairly good draw for us and I think we should have a decent chance against them, additionally they seem to have a good coefficient so if we can get past them then we would be seeded for the next round which is a great incentive.
 
Our squad
 
TdmpjMc.png
 
Their squad
 
ZlHo9LJ.png
 
After looking at their squad my confidence of winning the tie has increased.
 
1st Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
AJYGR9Y.png
 
It looks as if they want to attack us and will be looking to grab an away goal or two, hopefully we can pose a threat of our own against them.
 
Result
 
Dollingstown 2 BATE Borisov 1
 
MU4XLcP.png
 
We won the game but it was hardly convincing and I feel we suffered from the lack of fitness you get at this stage of the season. The away goal was scored late and they could have even got the equalizer had it not been for them getting a player sent off in the 85th minute. I tried desperately to get that 3rd goal but we couldn't manage it so going to Belarus could prove tricky especially if they score early.
 
1st Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:

vTspK4a.png

A slightly strange formation but I guess the idea behind it is that they want to control the middle of the park and pass their way through us. Hopefully my numerical advantage on the flanks should help us take them down on the counter attack.

Result
 
BATE Borisov 2 Dollingstown 5
 
Dollingstown win 7-3 on aggregate
 
DXd9XLb.png
 
When they scored early I was seriously concerned as they were going through at that point when we equalized before half time my mood became more calm. They then scored early in the 2nd half which would have meant extra time which I was dreading but then we scored 2 in quick succession and with that I knew we were through. The scoreline perhaps flatters us as they pushed to get back in the game but I'm happy with the performance.
 
 
Edited by pheelf

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Season 2023 / 2024


THE DRAW
 
We have been seeded so I'm hoping that will provide an advantage.
 
Who did we draw?
 
0MUPhaB.png
 
They are actually a decent side but I wouldn't say they are so far ahead of BATE Borisov that we shouldn't be able to at least compete with them.
 
Our squad
 
ULSXEWG.png
 
Their squad
 
KFC9rtV.png
 
They have a few dangerous players among their roster and I'm thankful that their star central defender appears to be injured. I think they can be got at so will be looking for a positive result in Cyprus.
 
2nd Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
NMuI2Mq.png
 
Well you can see what's on their minds!! They want to attack us and overload our central defenders, we again have the numerical advantage on the flanks so we need to capitalize on that.
 
Result
 
APOEL Nicosia 1 Dollingstown 3
 
gM0Bhou.png
 
I'm delighted with this result as we battered them in the game and probably deserved a greater margin of victory. It took until the 47th minute for us to score our first goal and they equalized through an own goal in the 56th minute but once we scored again in the 60th minute we controlled the game adding a 3rd late as they had to commit more men forward.
 
2nd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:

L9CXVuZ.png

I can't understand the thought process of the opposition manager here at all. They need goals and I can't see how such a counter attacking system is going to help them, once again I want us to attack the flanks and overload their fullbacks.

Result
 
Dollingstown 0 APOEL Nicosia 1
 
Dollingstown win 3-2 on aggregate
 
TqU3gr0.png
 
I was quite disappointed with the 2nd leg performance and our level of domination of the game isn't reflected in the scoreline at all. We are however through to next round and that's all that matters.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Season 2023 / 2024


THE DRAW
 
Approaching the business end now with just one more round of progress needed to play group stage football. We are unseeded and there are some pretty hard teams entering the draw now so we might need a bit of luck if we are to go even further.
 
Who did we draw?
 
MPWED5R.png
 
I'm thrilled with this draw as when we played them last season we destroyed them 8-0 on aggregate so I'll be disappointed if we don't win. Interestingly they bested Dinamo in the last round to get here so maybe they are a lot better than last season.
 
Our squad
 
HlQ4ZC2.png
 
Their squad
 
RlmpQRp.png
 
There doesn't appear to be much they have changed from last season so I'm expecting a comfortable win.
 
3rd Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
HH4cq3z.png
 
A little bit defensive so maybe they remember last season and have decided to show us a bit of respect this time.
 
Result
 
Ferencvarosi 0 Dollingstown 2
 
OklTaTt.png
 
No more than what we deserved I felt, could have been even more convincing but a nice cushion to take home.
 
3rd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
f4ERuqW.png

They need to get back in the game so have lined up accordingly, if we can be more clinical we should be able to punish them on the break.

Result
 
Dollingstown 3 Ferencvarosi 2
 
Dollingstown win 5-2 on aggregate
 
03M4tCT.png

A much more even game than the first leg but still comfortable. We were 2-0 up within the first 15 minutes so it was a relaxed stroll through to the next round which brings group stage football at the first time of asking.

Edited by pheelf

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Season 2023 / 2024


THE DRAW
 
There are no easy draws at this stage so whoever we get it's going to be a real challenge for us to beat them.
 
Who did we draw?
 
YFy8USl.png
 
The hardest team we could have drawn but we'll give it our best.
 
Our squad
 
ctuFICG.png
 
Their squad
 
op5Ggml.png
 
I think it's clear to see that we aren't at their level and it's going to be a struggle but then again the same could have been said about Club Brugge last season when we were part timers and we destroyed them. If we can come away from Glasgow with a respectable result and an away goal or two we could have a chance.
 
4th Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
FCEGqFf.png
 
Understandably, an attacking looking formation but once again we should have the advantage on the flanks.
 
Result
 
Glasgow Celtic 2 Dollingstown 1
 
m3FfqwX.png
 
This was a real heartbreaking result in the end. They dominated the ball as was expected but we defended well and had a fair few chances of our own. We then took the lead in the 22nd minute which filled me with optimism that wasn't dampened even when they equalized 4 minutes later. That remained the way of it, them controlling possession and us posing a threat on the counter until the 80th minute when Hunter stupidly got himself a 2nd yellow card forcing me to change my system. We looked like we might just escape with a draw but then in the 92nd minute my central defender turned his back and allowed substitute Serbest an unchallenged shot on goal which flew into the bottom right corner and left me and the fans crestfallen. On the positive side we have an away goal and just need a 1-0 win to clinch an historic Champions League group stage spot.
 
4th Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
V9ZqmCK.png
 
I think Brendan Rodgers has been very clever here by playing a counter attacking 4-3-3. We are going to need to be very careful not to over commit ourselves as I can see them tearing us apart on the break if were not. If I had an ideal game plan it would be that we keep the game to a dull 0-0 then grab a late winner so they couldn't recover, let's see how it goes.
 
Result
 
Dollingstown 1 Glasgow Celtic 1
 
Glasgow Celtic win 3-2 on aggregate
 
FyaxICX.png
 
This was an even harder result to take than the defeat in the first leg. We hit the woodwork twice in this game and created some unbelievably good chances but couldn't take them. The game plan was working perfectly, we scored in the 68th minute and looked capable of adding to it but then an unmarked header from a wide free kick from them gave them the equalizer. I threw everything at them to get back on level terms in the tie but just couldn't do it. A valiant attempt by the players but it just wasn't our day.
 

EUROPEAN SEASON REVIEW

With that run we now have Europa League group stage football and over £5M in the balance so I can start pestering the board for upgrades.
 
Here is the group we drew:
 
pElumkB.png
 
I'd say we probably wouldn't get anything out of Marseille but as for the other teams I'd say we have at least a chance of nicking a point or two. That concludes the in depth analysis of the qualifiers although I may bring this back should we make the quarter finals of a European competition. The results of this seasons Europa League group stage will be in the next season review.
 
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2023 / 2024


Season Expectations

The bare minimum would be retaining the league title but I'd like a money making run in Europe given the precarious state of the clubs finances and the change to professional status.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - I was a little bit concerned early in the season as Ballymena United was giving us a good battle but once the European commitments had stopped we pulled away and broke the most wins and most points record.

UEFA Champions League - We came so tantalizingly close to the group stage but were denied by some bad luck and poor finishing. At this stage of the career however this is a great achievement and the run has set the club up for the next few years and allows me to start building the club.

UEFA Europa League - This was actually a far better campaign than I expected with us having realistic hopes of making the knockout stages on the last match day. We needed at least a point and Dinamo and Maribor to draw. We ended up losing and Dinamo beat Maribor to clinch 2nd but 3rd in our first European group stage is pretty good.

Domestic Cups - We are the best team in N. Ireland but just can't seem to show that domination in the cups.

Reserves - The league went well but they seem to be falling further back from winning the Intermediate Cup.

Under 18s - A much improved performance with a deserved double.

rmOG4EQ.png
 
Squad – We're stronger than we have ever been and the professional status allowed us to attract a quality of player which I feel ensures our domestic dominance for years to come. Now comes the challenge of getting the quality required to get into the Champions League group stage which will take the club to the next level. In order to do that I will have to aggressively look to strengthen the weakest areas of the team. I've identified the goalkeeper and right midfielder as positions that need improvement with priority. Areas such as right back and striker will need more depth in order to maintain a strong challenge on all fronts.
 
Transfers – As the development of the club has happened over a shorter time period I have been able to get in top quality players before they have retired. My acquisition of Mesut Ozil being the marquee signing that stands out. His physicals may have gone but his technical and mental attributes are almost perfect for the role I want him to play in the team. I'm retraining him as a Deep Lying Forward and I'm hoping that the highly influential team leader will hang around for a few more years before hanging up his boots.
 
Player Of The Season
Daryl Smyth – ST - Average Rating : 7.88
The N. Ireland international is just a goal scoring machine who now has 146 goals in his career from only 183 appearances. The concern is that he has peaked but even if that is true he will still be a prolific goalscorer for us domestically. I like that he is considered to be fairly consistent and also that he relishes big matches.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Shane McCabe – ML - Average Rating : 7.70
He was doing really well before Lazaar came in and stole his thunder but he will be sticking around as I need to have a decent core of N. Irish players for European squad registration and as a player to bring off the bench he can be pretty useful.
 
bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – This is a nice comfortable balance which shows the situation after all the investments in infrastructure have been taken out. I managed to sort out the scouting budget issue during the season as I asked for an increased wage and transfer budget which the board were happy to grant given the money we had in the bank. I'm going to try and keep the wages sensible though as the wage bill has rocketed to nearly £1.8M per annum. I think if we maintain it to around the £2.5M per annum at this early stage we should be okay. The clubs revenue generating capability has improved but I'm still waiting for the ticket prices to max out before we see any appreciable increase in attendances. The only thing that would really supercharge the clubs growth now is Champions League group stage football.
 
Facilities Everything except the stadium has seen an improvement.

Youth Intake – I've yet to see much in the way of progress here even after the increased investment in this area. We are producing players which aren't anywhere near the standard we need if they are to help us in future. 
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – Steady progress which is all I want to see at this point. The league is still some way off 2.5* but hopefully consistent performances in Europe will speed up the climb.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Almost at the summit, it's a little concerning that Bangor still haven't dropped down the list.
 
Club European Reputation – Up to 174th which is an improvement of 174 places, the most of any team in Europe. We were also considered overachievers in the Champions League, what would they have done if we actually made it into the group.
 
Edited by pheelf

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The rate of progress continues to be seriously impressive, to have made the Europa group stages already is quite spectacular. Keep up the good work.

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On 11/21/2017 at 10:33, noikeee said:

The rate of progress continues to be seriously impressive, to have made the Europa group stages already is quite spectacular. Keep up the good work.

Cheers noikeee, it certainly feels like I'm further ahead than I was in previous careers at this point so I'm pleased about that. I think it also helps that I've settled on a tactic as opposed to previously where I'd be scratching around looking for something which worked the way I wanted and constantly be changing. Season 24/25 review coming up.

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2024 / 2025


Season Expectations

The objective is to make the Champions League group stages for the first time as the domestic challenge looks to be over.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - More record breaking antics once again but the unbeaten season is still some way off.

UEFA Champions League - This was even closer than last year, I was gutted to lose out on the group stage in that manner but it just wasn't to be. If we make the playoff next season hopefully we can avoid playing the hardest team in the draw.

UEFA Europa League - Basically a carbon copy of last season with us still having a chance of making the knockout round on the final match day. We lost in Italy so blew our chances, had we managed to hold on to the win in the first game against Steaua Bucharest we would have made it but a late equalizer in the 88th minute denied us after bravely battling away with 10 men when Lazaar got himself sent off in the 7th minute.

Domestic Cups - The Charity Shield was a bit of a disaster and we seem to be having difficulty winning the League Cup which is the only piece of domestic silverware that we haven't lifted.

Reserves - Really can't ask for more than that, they demolished teams on their way to the Intermediate Cup.

Under 18s - I would really like to get them playing in the UEFA Youth League but I know I'll have to qualify for the Champions League group stage for that to happen. Overall, a very impressive season for the youngsters.

rmOG4EQ.png
 
Squad – There are a couple of players that couldn't fit in the screenshot and they are Jimmy McCormack and Brian Devlin who are both strikers. I think I need to change strategy when it comes to the players I go after. While paying a 36 year old Mezut Ozil a king ransom was a nice vanity project in that it for once allowed me to have a world cup winner in the squad which isn't a regen it isn't where I should be focusing my attention. 
 
I should be focusing on developing players who are young and have high potential and just need first team exposure to realize it. Therefore I should be looking at cast off players from big clubs who haven't been given an opportunity and also plucking players from obscure places rather than hoping to bring in ready made players. We simply can't afford that luxury and it doesn't bring any form of long term stability either.
 
That is also why I have decided to stop loaning players in altogether from now on. I need to see a return from the players at the club which I give game time to as loan players regardless of how good they are just block chances for players who when leaving the club will sell for money. Thankfully a large number of players contracts will be expiring which will allow me to clear out a lot of the dead wood and Ozil & Lazaar have already agreed contracts elsewhere. This therefore will necessitate a rebuild next season but one which will be done with an eye toward the future. I'd also like to trim the squad size down a bit as 2 first team players for each position to rotate should be fine.
 
Transfers – I was a bit disappointed to lose Neill MC to Spurs but he wanted to leave and I attached some nice clauses to the deal. I managed to find some good value on the free transfer list although the signings I paid for weren't quite as good as I'd hoped. Breitenberger MR will have a chance to prove himself once Holder MR finishes his loan although Diallo & Gueye could be seeing themselves out the door given their ability to wage ratio isn't great.
 
Player Of The Season
Jacob Bruun Larsen – ML - Average Rating : 8.11
Even though he was a mid season signing and hasn't played as many games as some in the squad I'm very impressed with what I've seen him do in the time he has been at the club. 

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Diaquan Holder – MR - Average Rating : 7.95
The West Ham loanee has been great since joining but I'm done with developing players for other clubs to benefit from and he will be the last loan in to the club.
 
bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – This is part of the reason why we really can't afford to be paying such high wages on players which aren't going to improve. We are nowhere near being a financially stable club, our attendances are still awful, our merchandising and sponsorship are a joke and our only real source of income is prize money from Europe. I need to be more stingy in contract negotiations and I need to only get players into the club who I can see having a good potential resale value.
 
Facilities – I managed to get both training and youth facilities upgraded and the junior coaching is now at its maximum level. I also asked for improved youth recruitment and data analysis facilities but the board felt the financial situation of the club to be too insecure to sanction it.

Youth Intake –  I've decided to bring my thoughts about squad building into the youth system too. From this intake I signed only 5 players who happened to have potential (including black stars) greater than 2.5*. My thinking is that it will mean more game time for the players who might have a chance of developing, more time spent with them from my coaches and should have the benefit of improving the personality of the squad also.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – Very good progress, 2.5* is now within reach.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – We've reached the summit which is great, still mystified about Bangor.
 
Club European Reputation – Thankfully another awful year will be dropping off the coefficients next season.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2025 / 2026


Season Expectations

After coming so close to the Champions League group stage last season this needed to be our year.


 
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League Table - I have to give credit to David Jeffrey and his Ballymena United side as they put in a good fight but ran out of steam after the split.

UEFA Champions League - We scraped into the group as a result of a cross turned shot from Quinn MR which inadvertently looped into the net in the 89th minute which gave us a 1-0 win away to Red Star. We didn't really shine in the group but I see reasons to be optimistic. We managed to win a game in our debut season in the groups and were competitive against all but top seeds Dortmund, altogether a good effort from the players.

Domestic Cups - The final piece of the jigsaw is now in place as we won the lot.

Reserves - Top notch from the backup players.

Under 18s - What a magnificent way to introduce themselves to the UEFA Youth League.

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Squad – The youth revolution is well under way with some players showing some remarkable improvements now that they are getting first team football. A few more of the elder statesmen in the squad will be leaving next season like Diks DR & Mahdioui MC and I'll be looking for some reinforcements in the DC, MC & ST positions.
 
Transfers – I think the players I bought into the club were pretty decent, most notable of the incoming transfers being Larsen ST & Guomundsson MC. Left back Colonna looks to have decent potential but Gussev ML did nothing but moan when I left him out of the Champions League squad so I'm not sure whether he has a future here. We haven't really managed to get much money for our players from other clubs but as I develop young players and they get exposure on a big stage perhaps that will change.
 
Player Of The Season
Jacob Bruun Larsen – ML - Average Rating : 7.80
You may ask why I didn't award this to Diallo ST after his record breaking goal scoring this season but I felt Larsen deserved it based on his consistency. Diallo and his discomfort in playing in big matches also counted against him where as Larsen performed well in the big games.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Jannik Breitenberger – MR - Average Rating : 7.84
It is truly remarkable what game time can do for a player. He provided 30 assists and has seen a nice improvement in his attributes, my coaches feel he is playing at close to his potential so could stop developing soon.

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Finances – All concerns for the money situation can be put aside for now and I can really start to accelerate the building of the club. The money situation is so good in fact that the directors took out £1.6M in dividends but I'm happy for them to do so given how they kept the club afloat when the club was making losses earlier in the career.
 
Facilities – I managed to get the youth recruitment upgraded and also both training and youth facilities. I also managed to get a cheap upgrade for the data analysis facilities. It made no sense at this point to request an upgrade to the stadium as we are still nowhere near filling Planters Park. Given that the club has the most expensive season tickets by far and the 4th highest average ticket prices in the country I'm hoping to see an increase in the size of the clubs fan base.

Youth Intake – I terminated a number of the trials of players which were just awful but I'm very happy with this intake. Walker GK looks like he has great potential and I'm hoping that he can become a first team player in time. The other players that I kept were pretty decent also with good personalities.
 
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League Reputation – So close to 2.5*, the next target would be the Belarusian Highest League as clubs there tend to produce cheap and decent youngsters who I might be able to tempt to N. Ireland if we overtake them.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – In a league of our own now at 2*, the progression of clubs becoming professional seems to have stalled at 3.
 
Club European Reputation – We were seeded for the 1st Round CL qualifiers so we should be again next season also. There are just another couple of bad seasons to get off the coefficient then we might have hopes of being seeded in the later rounds of qualification.
 
Edited by pheelf

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I had missed that you'd signed Ozil. :D

Well done to make the CL groups, the kids are looking quite promising too. Some people have reported that compared to FM17 there's no longer such a hard ceiling for youth development in smaller nations, so I think you'll have a much better time developing kids this time.

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On 11/28/2017 at 10:10, noikeee said:

I had missed that you'd signed Ozil. :D

Well done to make the CL groups, the kids are looking quite promising too. Some people have reported that compared to FM17 there's no longer such a hard ceiling for youth development in smaller nations, so I think you'll have a much better time developing kids this time.

If that is the case then that is great news as I've already maxed out both junior coaching and youth recruitment. Developing youngsters is definitely an objective of the save and if it can help the national team then that will be nice too.

22 hours ago, danmcconnell1 said:

Fantastic progress and frankly I'm quite jealous! KUTGW!

Cheers danmcconnell1, I'm actually quite surprised that I have been able to build the club up this quickly. Still have a long way to go and there are aspects such as attendances which are holding the club back a bit but it has been good so far.

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2026 / 2027


Season Expectations

We made the Champions League group stages last season so the aim is to repeat and perhaps perform a bit better and challenge for 3rd place and the Europa League knockout stages. 


 
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League Table - We had an unbeaten season going until Cliftonville came to Planters Park in late February and won an epic contest against us 4-3. We did however break the points earned in a season record again and the goals scored in a season record. Ballymena United seem to be the only team capable of keeping even close which isn't the greatest outcome when trying to build a competitive league.

UEFA Champions League - Qualification was a little bit dicey but we made it in the end which is all that matters. We performed worse this season than last with 2 late goals in the Nou Camp denying us a famous win. The key to finishing 3rd was Krasnodar and we couldn't beat them at home even after going 1-0 up early in the game and suffered our heaviest defeat of the group against them in Russia.

Domestic Cups - The season didn't start that well with a scraping through on penalties in the Charity Shield. We then went on the rampage smashing all in our path until the Irish Cup final which ended the season on a rather flat note.

Reserves - They are having a whale of a time in the reserves.

Under 18s - There I was thinking the run to the UEFA Youth League semi finals last season was impressive only for them to surpass it this season, they came so close to glory.

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First Team Squad – I think this squad should be more than capable of challenging for knockout stage football of some kind next season. I could do with adding to the ranks as now I have a much better standard of player at the club I can begin to see the weaknesses more clearly. It is also a concern that a lot of the players seem to have peaked in their ability which isn't great as I need continual improvement to take the club forward.
 
Reserves Squad – A lot of players in the reserves with expiring contracts will be released. I'm hoping to loan out Hutchinson GK, Lepik DR, Colonna DL, Willis MR & O'Neill ML next season as they need first team football and I don't think they are quite ready for the first team.
 
Transfers – I went a bit overboard with the spending this season. I managed to pick up some absolute bargains like Gudiel ST, Djukic MR & Jeladze MC. I did however overspend on some players which I regret like Jibrin ST, Ibero ML & Egan DC who I thought would develop well if they were given first team football. They have developed as players but not by nearly enough to justify the transfer fee. I don't know whether there has been a change in the transfer system of the game from FM17 but I'm finding it a cakewalk to hold onto players which is somewhat unrealistic I feel as the transfer market in terms of outgoings is practically dead.
 
Player Of The Season
Jannik Breitenberger – MR - Average Rating : 8.08
Superb, provided the most assists and pitched in with a good number of goals.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Brian Larsen – ST - Average Rating : 7.75
He has developed into quite the player. The top scorer and second highest provider of assists became the first player to become suitable for the Complete Forward role which means his current ability must be right up there. He has just turned 20 years old and really has a bright future at the club which feeds into the point I made earlier about the dead transfer market, clubs from higher reputation leagues should be putting pressure on me to sell but there isn't even any interest.

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Finances – The club will be comfortable as long as we keep qualifying for the Champions League group stage.
 
Facilities – The youth, training and data analysis facilities all got upgraded. I also managed to max out the youth recruitment. Our average attendance is 1/3 of the available capacity so we still haven't seen a massive improvement in that department. 

Youth Intake – A couple of really high potential defensive midfielders who will need to be retrained to play as central midfielders. Glen Campbell DC looks decent but the rest aren't that great. I discarded quite a few from this intake.
 
Under 18s Squad – I'm quite pleased with the development of the youth team and there are a number of players which I'm excited about. I see Walker GK as a future N. Ireland international who just needs time to develop. He is almost ready for the first team but I don't want to call him up too early if he isn't going to get any games which he wouldn't currently as that would stall his development. I'll give him another year in the youth team and reassess.
 
Rowland ST looks great but again he isn't quite ready for the first team so now that he is 18 I'll be looking to loan him out, preferably on key player status to another DBP team. The same applies to Fulton DC, Rogers MR, Thompson MC & McMahon ST.
 
The other talented players still have a bit of mileage in the youth team due to their age and are at a stage in their development where they aren't good enough for first team football but are becoming too good for the youth team. I'll keep them in the youth team though as I'd much prefer them to perform well because the opposition is weaker than them rather than put them in the Reserves where they might be out of their depth and perform poorly which will hamper their development.
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League Reputation – Up to 2.5*, next target will be 3* but I sense that the rate of progress from now on will be slowed unless we can get help from some of the other N. Irish clubs. The nation has managed to improve the coefficient enough so that from the season after next we will enter a team in the 2nd qualifying round of the Europa League instead of all teams entering in the 1st qualifying round.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Bangor need to get promoted back into the playable leagues as this is ridiculous.
 
Club European Reputation – Just one more poor year to get off the coefficients and we might find ourselves getting seeded throughout the qualifiers.
 
Edited by pheelf

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I think the game world in the save has become a bit unbalanced and needs a bit of help especially to stimulate the transfer market. As a result I'm adding all the leagues from the UK & Ireland and the top leagues of the 5 highest reputation countries in Europe which are Spain, Italy, Germany & France.

It will more than double the player count to 54,000, hammer my performance, mean I'll have to take part in the meaningless Scottish Challenge Cup and invalidate my attempt for a pure Gundo's challenge but I feel it has become necessary. 

I've also decided to have a tactical rethink and move back to the 4-1-2-3 Wide (4-3-3 if you like) for the start of next season. I think it's time to make the change for a couple of reasons. The first being the standard of player at the club which means they should be capable of playing that brand of high tempo possession football. The second reason is that I have a couple of really talented defensive midfielders which have come through in my youth intake and I'd rather focus on improving their attributes rather than have to waste time getting them to retrain positions. The tactic has served me very well with Chimney Corner so I'm hoping it will come good for me again with Dollingstown.

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Be careful that you don't upset the tactical balance, the current setup seemed to be working perfectly fine.

Bit of a cross-thread reference here, but how are the costs of the youth setup and facilities? Some people are reporting they are now very expensive in FM18 after a few upgrades.

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23 hours ago, noikeee said:

Be careful that you don't upset the tactical balance, the current setup seemed to be working perfectly fine.

Bit of a cross-thread reference here, but how are the costs of the youth setup and facilities? Some people are reporting they are now very expensive in FM18 after a few upgrades.

The new tactic was great at first but then teams started to counter it by camping and it began to lose effectiveness. As a result I'll stick with the 4-4-2 for now and use the 4-3-3 as a plan B should I need to. I think the 4-4-2 works better as it creates more vertical depth when attacking. As a result of that I think it pulls opposition defenders out more where as the 4-3-3 is more vertically compact which means that defenders don't have to move much in order to close down my players, especially my two players in the AML & AMR positions.

As for the youth setup and facilities I haven't encountered any major expense so far and my youth setup is probably at its maximum level now. I still have quite a way to go to get my facilities to their maximum level. To compare, the costs of my scouting in the next season review were £846,652 where as my youth setup costed £534,170.

I'd also like to add that the player count wasn't 54,000 which I was quoted before adding the leagues but it ended up being 91,000 once all the leagues were added. It has decreased a few thousand since then but still is much higher than expected, surprisingly though it hasn't made much of a difference to the speed at which the game processes. Also another strange thing happened in my save once I added Wales.

q3tWdTC.png

Considering they are Amateur I think that is an incredible outcome for them. What a disgrace for TNS who are currently the only professional team in the league, they didn't even get into Europe.

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2027 / 2028


Season Expectations

We suffered a slight decline in our Champions League performance hopefully we could correct it and grab 3rd.


 
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League Table - We had the perfect season going until Glentoran scored a 92nd minute equalizer in late January to end it. We did however go unbeaten of the first time and broke the wins in a season, points scored in a season and goals scored in a season records.

UEFA Champions League - Qualification was difficult but we managed to squeeze past Olympiakos and Malmo to make the group stage. Then we got there and drew one of the hardest groups we could have, it started brightly enough with an opening day win but went downhill soon after. Even though we were so poor we still had a chance of nicking 3rd on the last match day if we could beat Arsenal at home and Lazio didn't win but they beat Dortmund making our creditable draw with Arsenal irrelevant.

Domestic Cups - We couldn't win the Scottish Challenge Cup at the first time of asking which disappointed the board a bit but we were impeccable in all the other cups.

Reserves - Even though a large number of players were sent out on loan they still comfortably won the double and went unbeaten.

Under 18s - They were dramatically weakened and it showed in their performances in the UEFA Youth League and U18s Cup.

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Squad – A much more streamlined first team this time around but they did about as well as could be expected. A lot of work is going to be needed to strengthen the team as the RB, MR & ST are looking a little weak.
 
Transfers – It's ALIVE!!!...The two transfer windows were absolute hell with the constant bids coming in for players but at last we are beginning to generate some decent income from this area although a lot of the bids were insultingly low. I also sold a clause for Evora which gave us a nice £4.7M which will come in handy for next seasons transfer budget. I'm finding the new scouting system a bit of a problem and have delegated the responsibility for setting assignments to my Chief Scout with the criteria that he looks for Young players. I'm going to need to get very busy in the transfer market and have already agreed a contract with a right back from Liverpool.
 
Player Of The Season
Miguel Angel Gudiel – ST - Average Rating : 7.74
This guys goal scoring record is ridiculous. He broke the most goals in a season record with 56 and was top scorer in the league. That is why I've put a £7.5M asking price on him as I know that in order to replace a player of his quality it's going to cost a fortune.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Eduardo Lopez – MR - Average Rating : 8.08
He didn't play very much as he arrived at the club in January with a long term injury but once he got started he was pretty much unstoppable. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he can do next season.

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Finances – This screenshot was taken before the clause money from the Evora sale and the Champions League money was put in. The directors also took out £1.7M which gives a balance of around £16.7M which is very comfortable at this stage of the season.
 
Facilities – Both the training and youth facilities will be getting another upgrade and I also managed to ask for improved youth recruitment twice from the board which was granted even though I thought it was at its maximum level. I also thought there would be no harm in asking for a stadium expansion even though we are nowhere near filling Planters Park but just to future proof things a bit. To my surprise they granted it which means we will have to spend half of next season ground sharing with Lurgan Town but since we can only seem to get around 300 people to come and watch us play anyway having a 500 capacity ground is more than enough.

Youth Intake – Quite poor when you consider how much has been invested here. We seem to have no difficulty in producing decent goalkeepers and midfielders but really struggle with defenders and strikers. I released quite a few from this intake after looking at their attributes and personalities. Even some of the better potential players in the intake had poor personalities, Carey ML has a Casual personality and dreadful determination.
 
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League Reputation – Still moving up but as I expected the rate has slowed significantly and it looks like the league reputation might be approaching the limit of what can be achieved with just one club making the Champions League group stages every season. We need other teams to turn professional such as Linfield and Cliftonville but even with Secure finances they seem reluctant to do so.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Bangor came back into the PIL which is great although the reputation list is still a bit jumbled up. I would like that 2.5* reputation next season as that would be a big help to us. I'm a little disappointed that we haven't managed to establish any rivalries at all as I thought that this was dynamic but I guess other teams aren't competitive enough with us for any to be formed.
 
Club European Reputation – That is a nice high coefficient which I'm hoping will see us seeded throughout qualification as coming up against a big team like Olympiakos is dangerous for us at this stage. Now we just have to get those two Europa League seasons off the coefficient and we will be in great shape.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2028 / 2029


Season Expectations

To infinity and beyond...or the knockout stages of a European competition.


 
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League Table - More record breaking antics and our first loss in over 2 years.

UEFA Champions League - Qualification was a breeze this time and we actually managed to finish 3rd in the group. We went unbeaten at home which I feel will always make the group competitive for us. The game in Liverpool was outstanding, they got a 95th minute equalizer to eliminate us from the Champions League but it shows we are capable of getting results away from home which when combined with a good home record should stand us in good shape to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages in future.

UEFA Europa League - Our main striker Gudiel was injured for the first leg and we missed him greatly. I feel the scoreline in Porto was a bit harsh with my defenders letting me down and feel we would have had some chance of turning it around if we has gotten out of there with a 2-1 loss or maybe even a 3-1 but a three goal margin was too much. Once we scored an own goal in the 39th minute of the second leg to lose our away goal advantage the tie was effectively dead at that point.

Domestic Cups - International call ups wrecked our chances of a clean sweep here. I didn't request to postpone any games in the Scottish Challenge Cup all the way through with the fixtures taking place during international breaks and it appeared to be working as a cobbled together side went all the way to the final. I perhaps should have asked to postpone that final though and went full strength as that is the last piece of domestic silverware the club haven't won.

Reserves - One small blip away from perfection.

Under 18s - They were pretty lackluster in Europe and while that was to be expected have shown a massive decline in the space of 2 seasons.

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Squad – This is looking good from my perspective although there isn't much room for improvement when you look at the PA stars in relation to the CA stars. I've already identified the ST position as needing some bolstering as I felt at times during the season we were way too dependent on Gudiel although domestically Miskei did well. As a result I'll be bringing in Man Utd youth graduate Derek Henderson on a free to add depth to the ST position. I'm also a bit concerned about the depth on the right flank. Holm DR isn't really an adequate replacement for Antal who had a lot of potential but had lost faith in me after I couldn't register him for the Champions League so had to leave. I also feel that Naim MR while decent isn't quite good enough for the wage he is getting and will be seeking a new explosive winger to rotate with Lopez.
 
Transfers – I'm pretty happy with the business done and feel I managed to pick up a few bargains. Hegedus MC, Roque ST, Rodriguez DC, Affolter MC, Waterson MC & Brown ML all did very well where as the rest didn't really impress. £600K for Dias looks a good deal as it also allowed me to bring in some of the talented goalkeepers the youth team has produced into the first team. £1.5M for Larsen seemed a good deal for a 29 year old and £500K for Diallo is also a good deal for a player who was a rotation option at best. I was however gutted to lose Gretarsson MC for such a low price but at least he has been adequately replaced.
 
Free Transfers – Clark DR was a class pickup from Liverpool who has flourished now that he has been given first team football. The other players were just punts on potential who were all loaned out with the exception of Miskei ST.
 
Player Of The Season
Miguel Angel Gudiel – ST - Average Rating : 8.51
I'm running out of superlatives for this guy, what a legend. He scored 71 goals!!...even after missing nearly a month of the season with a few injuries. That is why offers of £2.8M have been rejected, he is simply irreplaceable.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Norman Miskei – ST - Average Rating : 7.89
The most impressive aspect of this player is his consistency and the fact that he took to his role in the team so easily. He didn't complain about not being registered for the Champions League unlike Jibrin (who incidentally will be leaving as his contact is up at the end of the season) and just got on with the task of being a rotation option. He might find his opportunities in the first team curtailed as I want to develop Rowland ST and make space for Henderson ST but it is nice to know that I have a dependable option available should injury and suspension strike.
 
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Finances – Quite a lot less than this time last season which probably has a lot to do with the increased cost involved of upgrading the facilities. We need to keep getting that Champions League group stage money or we could be in a bit of bother this time next season.
 
Facilities – The training and youth facilities will be getting another upgrade which will take both to 4* out of 5*. I also requested another stadium expansion and it was again granted except this time we'll be playing our home games at Windsor Park while it's being carried out. I can't imagine that's going to help our attendances much but I feel the ticket & season ticket prices must be approaching their peak now. Our season tickets cost nearly £250 more than our nearest competitor Ballymena United and our average ticket price is now joint 2nd with only Carrick Rangers charging more on average. I think once we reach the summit with respect to average ticket price we will see a surge in the size of the clubs fan base.

Youth Intake – I'll never complain about a talented player coming through in the youth ranks but do they all have to be goalkeepers? We are in desperate need of a quality striker or wide player. A lot of the players were discarded due to poor personalities and potential ability after taking a look at their attributes. I don't know, maybe it's time for a new HoYD.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – That 3* reputation is coming into view now and another decent run into the knockout stages might just see it happen next season.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – We reach 2.5* which is great as it should make us more attractive to potential new signings. It is a bit of an issue being so far ahead of everybody else so quickly. I can't see how they are going to close the gap at this point as I'm already doing as much as I can to help them without cheating. The gap has become so large now that the only players at the club who seem to want to go to other N. Irish clubs are my youth players and even they only want to go on loan.
 
I don't want this career to be a replication of my Chimney Corner one where I just run away from the rest and N. Irish football as a whole doesn't really improve. I might therefore consider buying all the other clubs in DBP hot prospects every season for an inflated price and then loaning them back to them for 2 seasons. That way the league becomes a feeder league for me, it's an idea but not one I'll be doing just yet as the club needs to become a bit more financially secure first.
 
Club European Reputation – We did get seeded throughout qualifying this season and we should be again next season. The next step is entering later in qualifying as I feel we are past the stage now where we should need to play 8 games to qualify for the group stages.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2029 / 2030


Season Expectations

Last season saw the breakthrough into the knockout stages of the Europa League, a repeat will be more than welcome.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - We lost a game and had to wait a while to clinch it but was never in doubt.

UEFA Champions League - I must have ticked someone off something chronic at UEFA HQ to get drawn into the group from hell. Thankfully for us AC Milan were somehow worse and we managed to sneak into 3rd at their expense.

UEFA Europa League - Another exceptionally difficult draw as we faced the Bundesliga champions. I was gutted to lose a potential draw in the first leg to an own goal but I'm just glad we weren't completely outclassed and kept it close especially given our injury problems going into the first leg where were missing Gudiel, Rowland & Fendel. The second leg was lost thanks to a late penalty but we never truly looked like scoring and finding a way back in the tie.

Domestic Cups - We became the first non-Scottish team to win the Scottish Challenge Cup, the Irish Cup quarter final performance against Glentoran was very poor.

Reserves - Ballyclare gave them a shock in the Intermediate Cup final.

Under 18s - Domestically dominant, in Europe they were atrocious.

rmOG4EQ.png

Squad – It is becoming increasingly expensive to improve the team which is a problem. I'm hoping that I can incorporate some more HG talent into the team as European registration is becoming difficult. I also feel that I'm not getting value for money with some of the wages we seem to be paying. 
 
Transfers – I was glad for the negative net spend and to add some quality to the squad. Green MR & German MC were overpriced for what they bought to the team but there were some good deals in there. Lambert DC & Pickard GK were probably the purchases I was most happy about. As for the outs, I really tried to push for as much money as I could get and I did well with some of the transfers.
 
Free Transfers – Derek Henderson ST was the only player that really featured regularly in the first team with Nuno being a rotation option. The rest were loaned out.
 
Player Of The Season
Miguel Angel Gudiel – ST - Average Rating : 8.25
He didn't play as much as I tried to keep him in tip top condition for Europe but he was still comfortably the clubs best player.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Thomas Rowland – ST - Average Rating : 7.79
The first HG player to feature for one of the season awards in a while. He has developed fairly well and has been capped by his country but I don't much like his technical attributes. I fear his average finishing and poor first touch will stop him from becoming a truly world class striker.

bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – Given the massive outlay for the new facilities the degradation of the clubs financial status to 'Okay' is understandable. I'll want a bigger balance this time next season so that I can upgrade the facilities to the maximum level as soon as possible. The attendances have taken a huge upswing which is a good sign.
 
Facilities – All the facilities got an upgrade, I asked to upgrade the stadium further but it was rejected. An understandable decision given that we only twice surpassed the new capacity of Planters Park for domestic games we played at Windsor Park.

Youth Intake – I decided to change tact this time and sign all the players from the intake. Even if they end up being poor I'm sure they'll find a place at another club in N. Ireland once released. Craig ST looks good and Gudiel will be tutoring him. I got another couple potentially good goalkeepers giving us tremendous depth in that department.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – I'm really pleased at how quickly the league has developed into a 3* league. In addition, from the season after next owing to an improved nation coefficient N. Ireland will enter a team in the Champions League qualifiers from the 2nd Round instead of the 1st and have teams entering the Europa League qualifiers in rounds 1, 2 & 3 respectively.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – It has taken a while but finally Linfield have turned professional meaning that 1/3 of the teams in the DBP are professional. Cliftonville look likely to be next team but I think Linfield turning professional could be a key milestone in the development of N. Irish football.
 
Club European Reputation – A slight dip which hopefully could be corrected with winning more games in the Champions League group stage.
 
Edited by pheelf

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I stated earlier that I might bring back the in depth analysis of European games should I reach a quarter final. Well, for season 2030/2031 I made the Champions League quarter final so it's coming back.

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pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2030 / 2031


THE DRAW
 
After a remarkable group stage and narrowly squeezing by a quality AS Roma team we find ourselves among the best 8 teams in Europe. At this point there are no easy draws, our potential choices are AS Monaco, Inter, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Man United, Man City & Liverpool. I'd probably want either AS Monaco or Inter from that list and to avoid the rest.
 
Who did we draw?
 
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This looks a really tricky tie as they have a quality team.
 
Our squad
 
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Their squad
 
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9/10 they beat us, when I look at their players all I see is pure red attributes. They have the better players, the experience of playing this sort of high pressure game and are former winners. Our record against them isn't much to brag about either losing 2 and drawing 2. We are going to need to be at our very best to compete with them.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
mwfPSyx.png
 
They are coming to Belfast to win with such an attacking formation and strategy. Our best hope is that we can catch them out on the break and exploit opportunities where they over commit their wide players forward. I'd also like to make the most of set pieces if we can as I can't see us creating much against them with build up play.
 
Result
 
Dollingstown 2 Liverpool 1
 
OII5r3x.png
 
What an incredible result. We were under the cosh for large parts of the game and when they scored in the 32nd minute I thought we were in trouble but we fought back with great resilience by equalizing 2 minutes later and grabbing a late winner. This is a slightly awkward scoreline to be taking to Liverpool due to the away goal as it leaves me with a conundrum, do I try and get a goal there by starting the same way as I did this game or do I go there and park the bus? Going to have to think about this one.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
xzVfu4G.png

They haven't changed at all and considering that the tactic was good enough to get a result in the first leg I'll stick with the same approach. I figured that we might not be able to keep them out should I set the team up to camp and I still want some attacking potency on the break.

Result
 
Liverpool 1 Dollingstown 0
 
Liverpool win on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw on aggregate
 
XlWVxTG.png
 
I'm devastated after that result. As expected they were dominant but we were keeping them at bay until a 58th minute goal from them. We tried so hard to get that goal which would take us through but just couldn't manage it even after creating some brilliant opportunities. My only solace being that we ended up narrowly losing to the eventual winners.
 

EUROPEAN SEASON REVIEW

We wildly exceeded my expectations and I thought we may be on our way to performing something very special after we won the first leg of the quarter finals but it just wasn't to be. Maybe next year :(

Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2030 / 2031


Season Expectations

We have to keep pushing on and trying to make progress in Europe. Finishing 3rd in the Champions League group stage and going deep into the Europa League knockout stages would be an excellent outcome.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - Another comfortable win with semi professional Cliftonville being the surprise runners up.

UEFA Champions League - This was a great campaign which had some excellent moments. Qualification didn't pose much of a challenge but after the first two group games things weren't looking too promising with us rock bottom of the group. Then we did something rather remarkable and beat Bayern at the Allianz Arena, we then proved it wasn't a fluke by beating them again at Windsor Park. That game was brilliant and I got a first glimpse of our new found grit and determination as we came back from 2-1 down. We then hammered Shakhtar to book our place in the knockout stages. We could have topped the group with a win on the final match day but PSG were simply too good for us on the day. AS Roma put up a great fight and once again our ability to bounce back came to the fore with us overturning a 1-0 deficit in the first leg and snatching a draw to put us through in the 2nd leg after they went 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes. I didn't expect us to beat Liverpool but we gave them a good fight and can reflect on a magnificent effort which gives us something to build on next season.

Domestic Cups - Had the Champions League games not been around the times of the Irish Cup & Scottish Challenge Cup games I probably would have won a clean sweep but I was happy to play a mixture of youth and reserves in order to have fresh players for the games that mattered the most.

Reserves - Not the best but they were weakened.

Under 18s - Signing everybody from the intake hasn't really helped their fortunes.

rmOG4EQ.png

Squad – The squad is very strong and I was delighted to the see the emergence of HG talent especially Craig ST who looks to have a fantastic future ahead of him. As always though there is room for improvement, the flanks and defenders are looking like the weak spots which I'll be hoping to address. I seem to also have an over abundance of quality goalkeepers which I'm going to have to make a decision on as they aren't getting the game time needed to develop and it may be time for them to look for pastures new.
 
Transfers – Sanhueza MC was an exceptional buy for the price but I'm going to need to get him signed to a new contract as soon as possible as his release clause is only £2.6M and the values of the players have rocketed. Velasco GK looks quality although I'm wondering whether he isn't just depriving my HG goalkeepers a chance. The other signings I made did fairly well although they didn't quite shine as I thought they might. I finally relented and decided to sell club legend Gudiel, he was becoming increasingly unhappy and given his influence I thought it best to let him leave. It works out well for him as he gets a fat £81Kp/w wage and was the right time for the club as it allowed Craig ST to step into the spotlight where he shone.
 
I am however annoyed about the debacle which has happened with Craig which means that he will be an Arsenal player this time next season. I had agreed to a pre-contract with him which he signed at 16 but then Arsenal came knocking and the chairman went over my head and accepted a pathetic offer of £1.4M + clauses. I couldn't protest and we will be losing a once in a generation striker, at least we get another full season of him being here. I also picked up Jeffrey DC on a free from Man City who has performed very well.
 
Player Of The Season
Mikel Ibero – ML - Average Rating : 7.84
The top provider of assists who I feel benefited from playing in his favoured role of a Winger (Support).

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Kevin Craig – ST - Average Rating : 7.66
It really couldn't be anybody else, he got his first cap for N. Ireland and scored some really important goals in Europe for us. It is just a shame that he wont be fulfilling his potential with us.

bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – That Champions League run has put us in a really comfortable position and with the increased market values of my players the bank balance could be looking even more healthy next season.
 
Facilities – The youth and training facilities will be getting upgraded to their maximum level which is excellent. I did ask for a stadium expansion 2 times but it was rejected.

Youth Intake – Nothing too great there to be excited about, I decided to sign them all to give them a chance to impress although I think I'll go back to being more selective next season.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – The league has come a long way and seems poised to become a 2nd tier league if I can continue making progress in Europe.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – After an impressive 2nd placed finished Cliftonville decided to join the ranks of the professional elite. We now have 5/12 teams in the top flight which are professional. I'd like another Mid Ulster club to become more competitive but Glenavon & Portadown are really weak at the moment.
 
Club European Reputation – We can see the summit and thanks to our great performances in Europe the league has improved its coefficient to the point that we have gained an extra Champions League spot. Here's hoping that this can really supercharge the development of the league going forward. 
 
Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2031 / 2032


Season Expectations

We were impressive in the Champions League last season and only narrowly lost in the Quarter Finals. The aim has to be to repeat that success.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - Another unbeaten season with a breaking of the goals scored in a season record thrown in too. Ballymena United grabbed the 2nd Champions League spot and all the professional teams qualified for Europe except the EC icon isn't appearing beside Cliftonville for some reason. I'm hoping it's just a UI error and that we haven't lost our rightful qualification place in Europe.

UEFA Champions League - A brilliant season with some exceptional performances in the group stages. I thought we might have been going to the Quarter Final again when we carried a 2-0 lead to Germany but a combination of injuries to key defensive players and Bayern playing a surprisingly effective 4-2-4 saw us lose heavily and get knocked out.  

Domestic Cups - The perfect season with some humiliating hammerings carried out along the way. 

Reserves - Nothing but green with some very impressive wins.

Under 18s - They topped a difficult group in the UEFA Youth League only to throw it all away against Maribor. Domestically, they were impeccable.

rmOG4EQ.png

Squad – I feel the outcome of the season was pretty much right for where we are as a team. We just haven't quite got that defensive quality to be able to progress much further in the Champions League. The 2nd leg against Bayern Munich was a real eye opener as we got destroyed. Even when they went down to 10 men, we couldn't keep the ball, struggled to win it back and got passed off the park. I'll be looking for a solid central defender, left back and defensively minded central midfielder to give us that quality which I feel we need. If I can add that to the squad I see no reason why we can't go even further in Europe.
 
Cash Transfers – I feel we picked up some real bargains as I opted to buy a combination of high potential youngsters which weren't getting first team football and cheap Eastern European players. Kawamura MC was bought for financial reasons as I wanted to see if I could boost merchandising sales in Japan. I don't think I adequately replaced Jeffrey DC which could have cost us against Bayern Munich. I also decided to allow some of the weaker players to join other N. Irish clubs for very little money in the hope that they boost them in the long run. The Sanhueza MC transfer might seem a little odd given how I was rhapsodizing about him last season but he never really performed well in Europe and wasn't a very good fit in the sense that he wanted to play in the AMC position while I'm adopting a flat 4-4-2. The deal was good and got even better when I sold a clause for over £10M.
 
Free Transfers – I decided to offer contracts to players at big clubs which were to be released and I think I picked up some gems in the process especially De Gori ST who featured regularly in the first team. Fernandez DR looked decent but unfortunately damaged his cruciate ligaments twice so I think he might need to move on.
 
Player Of The Season
Richard Macrae – ST - Average Rating : 8.49
Any striker that can score over 60 goals in a season is fine with me. I might face a struggle to keep him given the interest from other clubs but for the right money he can leave.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Kevin Craig – ST - Average Rating : 7.92
I'm really going to miss this guy, I hope that Arsenal give him game time so he can continue his development as he is definitely the future of the national team and I'd hate for all that potential to go to waste.

bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – The only money that can be spent in order to build the club now is the stadium so I'm going to go and spend on transfers next season to address some of the weaknesses in the squad.
 
Facilities – Another stadium expansion was granted which will allow us to share Windsor Park for the majority of next season. I'm hoping that will give us a good indication of how big our fan base has grown as ticket prices seem to be approaching their peak now. I don't know why they keep adding to the standing area and refuse to put in some seats as I'd like to bring some European games to Planters Park.

Youth Intake – I decided to be selective and discarded players with potential less than 1.5 stars. We seem to be getting some poor personalities come through even among the higher potential players in the intake.  Parker ST looks to be quite the player although I don't like his Casual personality, some tutoring is definitely in order even though he has shown good improvement without it given that my coaches now think he has at least 3* potential ability and could be up to 4*. 
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – The nation is really riding high so I really hope that we don't miss the opportunity to have our full quota of teams competing in Europe next season trying to win coefficient points. I think there is still progress up the list to be made with just us doing well in Europe but if the nation is to break into the top 10 we are going to need help.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Nothing much changes although I'm pleased to see the return of both Crusaders and Portadown to the top flight. Crusaders now have 'Secure' finances along with Coleraine, Carrick Rangers & Newington. I'd say Crusaders would be best placed to make the change to professional status first although I'm still concerned by the lack of competition from the other Mid Ulster clubs. The Mid Ulster clubs need to get their act together as the gap between the top 5 and rest is growing.
 
Club European Reputation – Not bad at all, less qualification rounds to navigate next season will also be a boost.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Wow, really kicking off now, to go through to the knockout stages of the CL 2 years in a row is an excellent step forward.

65 goals in a season for a striker. :lol: Mental stuff.

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On 12/17/2017 at 22:05, noikeee said:

Wow, really kicking off now, to go through to the knockout stages of the CL 2 years in a row is an excellent step forward.

65 goals in a season for a striker. :lol: Mental stuff.

It's going surprisingly well and the league has developed a lot more than I thought it would. Unfortunately, I appear to have encountered a bug which means that the nation only gets 2/3 of the Europa League spots which it should have but provided I can keep getting through the group the impact shouldn't be too severe. If I can improve the coefficient just a little bit more then the nation will get an automatic Europa League group spot which I'm hoping will supercharge the development of the league further.

I'm not really used to having such prolific strikers in my saves but I'm certainly enjoying it :D.

Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2032 / 2033


Season Expectations

The focus has to be to get through the Champions League group stages and make an impact in the knockout stages.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - Another record breaking season which we managed to navigate unbeaten. I'm not too pleased that neither Linfield or Glentoran qualified for Europe. Linfield should have but that bug deprives them.

UEFA Champions League - I was expecting us to be in the 3rd Qualifying Round but for some reason we were put straight into the playoff. The group looked tricky with the exception of Club Brugge but we managed to clinch 2nd having managed to hold Liverpool to two draws. The games against Inter were interesting, the first leg was a competitive affair with us grabbing a late equalizer after going down to 10 men in the 83rd minute. The away game in Italy was again competitive as we managed to recover well after going down 2 goals within 23 minutes. We cancelled out their away goal but just couldn't get that second which would have put us through.

Domestic Cups - Won the lot and only conceded 5 goals.

Reserves - They blundered in the Intermediate Cup.

Under 18s - Domestically dominant but hapless in Europe.

rmOG4EQ.png

Squad – We're good but evidently not good enough to be making further progress in Europe. I feel the squad is lacking in the central midfield as I felt that our inability to control the possession in the middle of the park really cost us against Inter. I also seem to have a few players who aren't comfortable playing in big matches such as Rajkovic ST & Sumner ML which isn't helping the cause. I'm also seriously concerned about the full back positions as I don't appear to have any players who are comfortable going forwards and prefer to play on a defend duty. That isn't great when you have attack and support duty full backs, I either need to change the duty in the tactic or find more suitable players.
 
Cash Transfers – A very healthy profit which is always nice. Petric MC & Noble MR were bargains and the other more expensive players did well when called upon. I was however disappointed with Sene DL and Secor ST given their price. I felt the team suffered as a result of the loss of some of the players that were sold but the majority had peaked in their ability so I was happy to cash in and give some of my other players an opportunity. 
 
Free Transfers Nothing too spectacular here, Raiola ML looks to have a lot of untapped potential and Ngom ST was bought in to tutor Low Determination and high potential youth striker Parker who has now improved to a Balanced personality.
 
Player Of The Season
Martin Sumner – ML - Average Rating : 8.23
He did very well in all games except those he played in Europe which are the most important.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Ostoja Petric – MC - Average Rating : 8.01
The signing of the season without question. He has developed really well so I'll be interested to see whether he can keep that progress going next season.

bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – A balance which should give the opportunity to invest in the squad.
 
Facilities – It took a bit of persuasion but the board agreed to expand the stadium further. I don't really get why it takes nearly a year to create just standing places but at least we'll get to use Windsor Park again. Our attendances are on the rise and we rank 5th overall in the league but the average is still half what Linfield get.

Youth Intake – Pretty dire really, I terminated a lot of these contracts as not only did they have poor PA their personalities were bad also. We seem to be getting a lot of low determination, slack, low self belief and temperamental players come through which is odd considering the make up of my staff and the general personality makeup of the team which is considered Determined.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – Great progress has been made and with this announcement I think the rise can continue. I just hope we get our 3rd Europa League spot back :mad:.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – It was a shame to see 'Secure' finances Crusaders succumb to relegation but at least Portadown stayed up.
 
Club European Reputation – Provided we can keep making the knockout stages of the Champions League we should see a rise up the table in 2 seasons when those poorer coefficients fall off the calculation.
 
Edited by pheelf

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Well must be slightly disappointing to get stuck at the round of 16 again, but at least you're making it to that stage consistently, which is a good start to build on.

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On 12/21/2017 at 12:06, noikeee said:

Well must be slightly disappointing to get stuck at the round of 16 again, but at least you're making it to that stage consistently, which is a good start to build on.

I just feel the team is perhaps a couple of world class players away from progressing further on a more consistent basis but I'm more than happy to keep on making the knockout stages for now. 

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Season 2033 / 2034


THE DRAW
 
The group stage was looking a bit shaky when we couldn't manage a win in the first 3 games but after winning our last 3 games we topped the group and drew Atletico Madrid. We lost the first leg away in Spain 3-2 but recovered really well to win 2-0 in the 2nd leg and book a place in the quarter finals. In the draw are Barcelona, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur, Man City, Chelsea & PSG. If given the choice I'd probably be happy with Dortmund or Spurs but there are no easy ties left.
 
Who did we draw?
 
wBeK5l7.png
 
Yikes!!...
 
Our squad
 
8vZhJ83.png
 
Their squad
 
EjvgjTF.png
 
A world class collection of players as I expected. I feel our best hope lies with trying to take advantage of the lower condition of their players which means staying in the tie for as long as possible then hoping we can produce late in the game.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
PhaHBXw.png
 
I don't think there is any doubt about their intention here. I'm hoping that we can catch them out on the break should they over commit men forward. The danger we could face is that given our Fluid shape we may end up being pinned back so I will need to be mindful of that and ensure we maintain an outlet to relieve pressure.
 
Result
 
Dollingstown 2 Real Madrid 2
 
8qa8wYX.png
 
They were fairly dominant and bossed the ball. I am however pleased with the fight that the team showed as we were down 2-0 at half time and could have capitulated but came back roaring in the 2nd half. We are going to need to score in the Bernabeu which may prove a step too far but let's give it our best shot.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
OVWlKUR.png

We'll be facing the same tactic so hopefully we can carry forward our brilliant second half performance of the 1st leg into the game.

Result
 
Real Madrid 3 Dollingstown 1
 
Real Madrid win 5-3 on aggregate
 
Z1KBron.png
 
When we scored just after half time I was in dreamland but we couldn't hold on. We managed to keep them out until the 67th minute but once they scored and we had to chase the game they just ripped us apart.
 

EUROPEAN SEASON REVIEW

We made progress once again after a couple of seasons of stagnancy. I'm really encouraged though as we have shown we can compete with the very best we just need that cutting edge to be able to beat them.

Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2033 / 2034


Season Expectations

We seem to be failing at the Last 16 in the Champions League, the aim has to be to break through that ceiling.


 
bqBrn36.png

League Table - Another unbeaten season to make it 2 in a row. We also broke the goals scored in a season record, no doubt helped by our record 15-0 smashing of Coagh United. It is also nice to see our full allocation of European qualification places.

UEFA Champions League - A good campaign with the highlight being an 8-2 win in Glasgow. Real Madrid are however still a cut above us and we need to find some way of narrowing the gap.

Domestic Cups - I put a weakened side out against Cliftonville due to Champions League commitments and they rightly took advantage.

Reserves - They scored a ridiculous amount of goals.

Under 18s - Not the best but at least they won the league.

rmOG4EQ.png

Squad – A good blend of youth and experience, I was very pleased with the way HG talents Willis GK & Fulton DR developed and will hopefully look to incorporate more talented youngsters into the first team in future. 
 
Transfers – I decided to spend a bit of cash but in the end only for a total net spend of £4M. Richard Glover ST who doesn't appear in the screenshot was bought from Doncaster Rovers for £9.25M.
 
Player Of The Season
Gianluca De Gori – ST - Average Rating : 8.07
The Real Madrid reject has shown himself to be a top draw striker ending the season as top scorer.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Karl Fulton – DR - Average Rating : 7.57
He has been brilliant this season and excelled in his development. He has established himself as a N. Irish international and a core component of the first team.

bDhWBPw.png
 
Finances – A very comfortable balance which means we can loosen the purse strings a bit and go after the quality of player which might take us to the next level in Europe.
 
Facilities – The training facilities got downgraded so had to be maxed out again for £2.5M. Even though we aren't close to filling the stadium I decided to ask again for a stadium expansion and this time they decided to put in some seats. Hopefully we can continue to see an increase in our attendances while we ground share at Windsor Park.

Youth Intake – Apart from O'Neill GK which my HoYD was excited about the rest are pretty awful.
 
XlCdZY5.png
 
League Reputation – We may have reached the upper limit of how far any one club can take a nation but at least next season we'll have a full contingent of teams contesting in Europe. Another bonus was the coefficient improving to overtake Scotland which means the nation gets an automatic Champions League group stage spot for the season after next. This could be good for us in one sense with no qualification but bad in the sense that we lose the opportunity to gain coefficient points. 
 
Club Domestic Reputation – We gain 0.5* and Crusaders return to the top flight, not bad progress at all.
 
Club European Reputation – Just one more bad season to get off the ranking and we should continue to rise.
 

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Season 2034 / 2035


THE DRAW
 
Still in the pot for the quarter finals are Juventus, Man City, AS Monaco, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich & PSG. I'd probably want to draw Bayern Munich or Atletico Madrid as I have beaten them before but wouldn't be disappointed if we drew any of the other teams.
 
Who did we draw?
 
kCTJz19.png
 
A difficult draw for sure but not as bad as it could have been.
 
Our squad
 
v3UGFN0.png
 
Their squad
 
nvNxr19.png
 
They have some dangerous players but I'm hoping that we can exploit their slight jadedness to put ourselves in a strong position.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
O3U20Zb.png
 
Diego Simeone still rules the roost at Atletico Madrid even after all these years so we will have to face his favoured 4-4-2. If we can dominate the central midfield zone I think we might stand a chance lets see.
 
Result
 
Dollingstown 7 Atletico Madrid 3
 
ZJ4e2IW.png
 
That's the thing with us, when we're at our best we can blow away any team and that was shown here by scoring 7. When Fonte DC put the ball into his own net in the 3rd minute gifting them a goal I was fearing the worst but 5 first half goals for us completely destroyed them. Going to Spain with a 4 goal advantage was unexpected but given how hard we worked to obtain it we really should get through to the semi final without much problem. The only issue I see being complacency so we need to guard against that.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
p1uxY7V.png
 
All we need to do is perform like we did in the first leg and we should be fine.
 
Result
 
Atletico Madrid 3 Dollingstown 0
 
Dollingstown win 7-6 on aggregate
 
GSpj8wt.png
 
When we are at our best we can beat anybody but when we are at our worst we are dreadful. We didn't turn up at all and when we were 3-0 down after 72 minutes I was seriously concerned that we were going to bottle it but thankfully we held on. I never would have imagined that the 89th minute goal we scored in the 1st leg would become pivotal but in the end it turned out to be the case. We must up our game for the semi final or we are going to get embarrassed.
 
 
Edited by pheelf

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Season 2034 / 2035


THE DRAW
 
The other semi finalists are Man City, PSG & AS Monaco. Over two legs I think we'd have the best chance against Monaco. I feel the team would struggle against Man City or PSG.
 
Who did we draw?
 
Rf7qoI9.png
 
Oh dear!!...If we perform anything like the 2nd leg of the quarter final we are going to take an absolute hiding.
 
Our squad
 
Hvve3QV.png
 
Their squad
 
76KYRHY.png
 
I'm surprised about the quality of their team. They have an aging team with over half their squad being 30 or older, add to that their tiredness and maybe we have a better chance of getting a result than I thought.

 

Semi Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
piDIeZh.png
 
I think I'm happy to face another 4-4-2 as it means that they will only defend with 8 and if they commit men forward we might get some joy with counter attacks.
 
Result
 
Manchester City 4 Dollingstown 3
 
5GJuzdx.png
 
Even though they dominated the game I'm left with mixed thoughts about this. On the one hand I'm happy as we have 3 away goals and only need a 1-0 win at home to get through but am left with a sense of disappointment as up until the 81st minute we were 3-2 up. I thought we might have escaped with a great draw but an injury time winner from them scratched that hope. We have a great chance of making the final if we can be more solid defensively.
 
Semi Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
4WbI1E3.png
 
We have to believe we can turn this around.
 
Result
 
Dollingstown 2 Manchester City 0
 
Dollingstown win 5-4 on aggregate
 
i0Og0uz.png
 
They gave me everything I wanted from them in this game. Solid defensively and fearless going forward. One of the best moments of the career so far and quite rightly we book our well deserved place in the final. Can we do it? Can we make history? Off to Amsterdam we go!!
 
 
Edited by pheelf

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Season 2034 / 2035


ROUTE TO THE FINAL

He0G5qH.png

Entering at the group stage, AS Monaco have been on one of the most fascinating runs in the history of the Champions League having beaten a number of the elite European clubs on their way to a 3rd Champions League final in their history. They have yet to win the Champions League but have been dominant domestically winning the last 2 Ligue 1 titles with the previous seasons win being particularly impressive when they finished a full 12 points ahead of deadly rivals PSG.

They were drawn into Group D alongside Liverpool, Dollingstown and Olympiakos where they managed the following results.

vwRxUDh.png

The stand out result being a 5-2 battering of Liverpool. This enabled them to top their group with Group D finishing as follows:

Bt46YWr.png

After narrowly topping their group beating out Dollingstown on the head to head record they drew last seasons runners up Real Madrid.

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It was an interesting pair of games against the team of Galacticos with late goals proving to be the factor which swung the tie in their favour. In the first leg played in the Bernabeu they managed a late 87th minute away goal which they then surpassed by scoring 2 late goals without reply to win the 2nd leg at home and progress to the quarter finals to face Barcelona.

oAtFFj5.png

Seemingly making a habit of scoring late goals, once again this talent was exhibited with 2 late goals to beat Barcelona at home after they took an early lead. They then held them to a goal less draw which dispatched yet another perennial challenger for the Champions League trophy. Next up they would face a domestic tie against sugar daddy owned PSG.

CkU4oe8.png

A carbon copy of the previous round with a narrow win at home followed by holding the opposition to a goal less draw away.

They go into the Champions League final as the favourites with manager Jair Ventura hoping to see a continuation of the impressive form of key players such as club captain Michel Kamel and top scorer Mohamed Oudghiri.

GDcsUYP.png

ijAt9UD.png

What ever the result of the final they will be rightly proud of their impressive run and will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that 3rd time is the charm and that they lift the trophy.

Edited by pheelf

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Season 2034 / 2035


ROUTE TO THE FINAL

uI6sGKm.png

Entering at the group stage, Dollingstown will be appearing in the clubs 1st Champions League final in their history. This is truly a historic run for the N. Irish club who have surpassed their previous best of getting knocked out at the quarter final stage. Domestically they are dominant having won the last 12 DBP titles in a row and have managed to take advantage of the weaker opposition domestically to focus on Europe which has led to this miraculous run.

They were drawn into Group D alongside Liverpool, AS Monaco and Olympiakos where they managed the following results.

ysrM4Dl.png

The 3-0 win against Liverpool was the best moment while the 5-1 loss in the away fixture was a moment they'd much prefer to forget. The final day victory against Liverpool allowed them to claim 2nd with Group D finishing as follows:

Bt46YWr.png

Finishing 2nd meant they would draw a group winner in the 1st Knockout Round and that was Chelsea.

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A late winner in the first leg gave them a lead to take to London to defend. They recovered exceptionally well after going down a goal early at Stamford Bridge but two away goals ensure that their progress wasn't ever seriously under threat. In the next round they would face Atletico Madrid.

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A tie which will go down in the Champions League history books as one of the most exciting. After a remarkable victory in the first leg they almost threw it all away but in the end a 4 goal deficit proved too much for Atletico Madrid to make up so Dollingstown marched on into the semi final to face defending champions Manchester City.

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Another remarkable tie which provided much entertainment for the neutral fans but which was gut wrenching for the two managers. The second leg was the performance of their Champions League run so far showing fantastic resolve and spirit to turn around the first leg deficit.

Dollingstown will go into the Champions League final as the underdogs with their hopes pinned on wonderkids Christof Horvath and Philippe Graf putting in a great performance if they are to have any chance of lifting the trophy.

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They have been magnificent this season and have shocked the world of football for them even to have reached this stage. Can they do the impossible?

Edited by pheelf

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Season 2034 / 2035


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THE FINAL

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The scene is set, the Amsterdam Arena is ready to host and both teams are in great condition and raring to go. Who will prevail?
 
Our squad
 
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Their squad
 
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I'm really nervous about this as my main central defender Fonte is carrying a knock and my best striker has terrible morale. I'm going to need to see some great maturity from the youngsters and hope that the occasion doesn't get to them. Here goes....
 
Final
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
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My best hope has to be on the counter and hoping that I can take advantage of any over enthusiasm from Monaco with sending players forward. The longer we can stay in the game the better chance we'll have of pulling this off. We can't afford to concede early as this team could easily destroy us if we have to chase the game.
 
Result
 
AS Monaco 2 Dollingstown 0
 
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Totally deflated after that...:(. It was going well enough and we managed to keep the game goal less even though we were being pummeled by them but in the end it was too much to expect for us to be able to keep them out all game. We held out until the 64th minute but once that goal was scored our dreams of winning faded and when they added a 2nd in the 82nd minute they died. I take the loss on the chin as I didn't expect us to win so I'm not disappointed by that but the manner of the defeat is what hurts the most.
 
We hardly posed any threat to them what so ever and I feel the players didn't do themselves justice at all, totally toothless in attack and if I'm being honest they should have beaten us by a bigger margin. I'm not sure whether I can blame the tactic for the way we lost but I feel that the Fluid shape didn't help us at all in this game as we spent so much of the game just defending in numbers as they pinned us back in our own half. Our passing was atrocious and we couldn't seem to get any form of buildup play working. If you can't relieve the pressure on the defence against such strong attackers then you're not going to do well.
 

EUROPEAN SEASON REVIEW

A great experience which I've learned a lot from, would have been nice to lift the trophy but we must take heart from this and use it to push forward next season. We're close just not quite close enough. From next season I'll only report on finals (Europa League / Champions League).

Edited by pheelf

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Dollingstown F.C.

Season 2034 / 2035


Season Expectations

After last seasons appearance in the quarter finals of the Champions League the aim is to equal or better that result.


 
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League Table - No problems at all although that bug of losing our 3rd Europa League spot has appeared again.

UEFA Champions League - A great run punctuated with euphoric highs and terrible lows, we're getting really close now.

Domestic Cups - I think that our winning of the Irish Cup may be the culprit behind why the nation lost its Europa League spot.

Reserves - Perfection, 22-0 is a new record win.

Under 18s - They did fairly well in Europe and were dominant domestically.

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Squad – I think we are getting really close to becoming European champions but perhaps the squad needs to be trimmed slightly. I couldn't give Boriosi ST the games he wanted in the league so he became very unhappy which meant poor morale for months which might have cost us, so he will be leaving. Outside of that I think we could benefit from some stability in the playing staff and I will only delve into the transfer market should I need replacements.
 
Cash Transfers – We were really busy in the transfer market as I sought to bring in some exceptionally talented youngsters into the squad while shipping out some of the older players to give us a bit of a refresh. Still made a great profit and now hopefully we have laid the foundations for the squad which will develop and take us to the very top.
 
Free Transfers – I'm very pleased to have acquired South African international Vilakazi DR as even though he entered the club without a work permit after spending a little time on loan I reapplied and it was granted. In the end it proved vital as Fulton DR broke his leg and was out for a large part of the season.
 
Player Of The Season
Gianluca De Gori – ST - Average Rating : 8.35
A superb striker who was even better this season than last.

Young Player Of The Season (U21)
Philippe Graf – MR - Average Rating : 8.50
The wonderkid has blossomed into a lethal winger chipping in with important goals and assists. At 19 he is already great, another year playing at the highest level and he could develop into something truly special.

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Finances – The club is stinking rich and the trend is upward. I don't know why it shows that we would fail the FFP as we made over £50M in profit over the period, in the end we passed.
 
Facilities – That expansion to the stadium takes us to its maximum size, now we wait for a new stadium. I'm hoping that I can win the Champions League soon to encourage a larger build.

Youth Intake – After careful analysis of the players, Regino GK & Flynn ST look like decent prospects and a few of the others made the grade but the rest were cut.
 
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League Reputation – We are soaring high and I don't think I made it to 7th even after all the time I spent at Chimney Corner winning the Champions League in FM17. I'm astonished that I'm writing this at all but 5th and 4* reputation looks a real possibility.
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Both Cliftonville and Ballymena United made it to the Europa League group stage for the first time although they only managed one 1 point between them.
 
Club European Reputation – I'm really impressed to be so high.
 
Edited by pheelf

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