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[FM18] The Hawks' Flight

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After reading some stories about raising lesser football nations to a different level, I decided to give it a try as well.  The choice of the nation was obvious, I lived in Kazakhstan and still try to follow their football development.

While Astana reached some historic achievements recently (such as Champions League group stage and Europa League knockout rounds), other clubs were mostly disappointing. Same goes for national team, which is still one of the weakest in Europe. And there’s no better place to start improving than…


Kairat Almaty. The leading national club in Soviet period wasn’t so successful in independent Kazakhstan, only two league titles (last in 2004) and even a bankruptcy at one point. Recent investments helped the club to return as title contenders, however they still couldn’t overthrow Astana from top.

Another reason to choose Kairat was their top level facilities, seems like a good place to develop the new generation for club and national team as well.

Squad (ideal starting 11 & subs)


Andrey Arshavin, UEFA Cup winner with Zenit and ex-Arsenal player is obviously the best known name here, hope he won’t decline too fast. Akos Elek should provide quality in midfield, and Bayurzhan Islamkhan is probably the best local player. Also I decided to promote the most promising youngster Dmitri Kirov to the first team, he already can be useful as a backup.

So far I’m planning to do seasonal updates, at least until our squad will become competitive enough in Europe or I’ll be offered national team job as well.

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Kairat Almaty - Season 2018


The only outcoming transfer from first team was Chuma Anene, who joined Norwegian club Start. We have 8 foreigner places in the squad, and reserving one of them for backup striker was too much.

Cedric Mongongu - signed for free to replace Bateau (whose loan expired in June).

Igor Zen’kovich - wasn’t the best financial deal (200k paid to Atyrau) but we really needed a local backup striker and he was the best available.

Shamsiddin Shanbiev - Russian U21 international from Spartak Moscow reserves got the vacant foreigner place, he can cover both full-back and DM positions.



Nice start of the season, despite conceding on first minute we managed to overturn the game quickly and clinch the first trophy.



Oh, that was a harsh draw. First round against Astana. They again scored an early goal, and this time held the lead till the end.

Premier League


Confident performance with only some local disappointing results. Astana struggled from the start, Ordabasy tried to follow us but dropped after mid-season so the title was ours long before the finish (what's interesting, it was officially ours after a win over Astana).


Irtysh Pavlodar, previously five times league winners, relegated in play-offs.


Champions League


Honestly I don’t know why we started here, as this place should have been given to Astana (probably some bug with data file, hope it affects only the first season). We defeated the Faroese champions and tried our best against Red Star but two late goals in away game left us with no chances to go further.

Europa League


TNS obviously were a lucky draw, then we got Malmo and unexpectedly won the away game scoring both goals within a minute. However it was still too early to celebrate, even after we had 2-0 lead at home they were able to equalize and needed the only goal to advance… but luckily this goal was ours. Karpovich scored after a corner, securing Kairat’s first ever group stage appearance. Of course it’s impossible to be competitive against Schalke and Galatasaray so far, but at least we got 3rd place on the final day.

As for other Kazakhstan clubs playing in Europe, only Aktobe managed to pass 1st qualifying round, defeating Bangor City before losing to AEK Larnakas. Tobol and Ordabasy lost to their first opponents, Maccabi Haifa and Sarpsborg respectively.

Squad stats


Hugo Silveira became our best goalscorer (quite expected for the only striker in our formation), most likely I’ll extend his loan for one more season unless find someone better for reasonable price. Ivo Ilicevic scored and assisted a lot, too bad he’s complaining about joining bigger club (though no one is interested so far, and considering his age he anyway was unlikely to stay with us after next season).

Youth intake


Not too bad for the first year, Sergei Pak and Ivan Kiselev have the best chances to reach the first team level.

National team


3 wins, 5 losses (including that disastrous home game against Armenia). Stanimir Stoilov’s job status is so far insecure. Probably a change will happen next year, after Euro qualifiers.

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Good luck!

Wanted to start a career in Kazakhstan, but was totally disappointed by the research level in the country... Players look underrated and 90% of them have zero skills in the database. Do you have any custom db updates or some changes? Just I'm not surprised by your so solid local domination already in the first season because of the default database. Hope you will have a motivation to play the save during a long time.

But anyway, good start and I'm following this :)

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@bsanchezb I use this one from fmfan, it's edited for start in 2018 with correct rules and squads. Not ideal of course (for example it doesn't show calendar correctly) but still more realistic than Claassen's.

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Kairat Almaty - Season 2019

Transfers in


Fonsinho – Gervinho’s brother joined us as an improvement for both wings.

Willi Evseev – he was born in Kazakhstan and has second nationality, so will be a good option to fill the squad.

Olexandr Noyok – should perfectly fit our tactics as a box-to-box midfielder.

Eugene Tkachuk – after Mongongu suffered a serious injury during pre-season, I had to sign a replacement and find him in our league.

Ismael Diaz – decided not to renew Silveira’s loan, finding this Panamanian striker as a replacement.

Alexander Merkel – the national team leading player finally agreed to sign a contract with us after almost a year on free transfer. Was signed after transfer window closed so will get only cup games until summer.

Ryan Hill – as always checking FFA COE for talents. I doubt that a foreign keeper can become a first team regular with those registration rules, but at least can be developed here and sold with profit.

Transfers out


Arshavin’s retirement wasn’t represented in this list. Except him, we only parted with reserve players or foreigners that didn’t fit into squad rules (though Assulin returned from loan in summer and even played some European games).



Immediate impact from our Ukrainian signings, and we're winning this trophy again.



Semifinal was the hardest part of our journey, we only saved a draw in home game but then managed to get an away win.

Premier League


Dominated in the league again, securing the title with four games to go.

Champions League


Like last year, we were drawn against a much stronger ex-Yugoslavian team in second round and hardly had any chance in away game, but after 14 minutes of second leg the aggregate score was level. And though Dinamo needed one goal to restore a comfortable lead, we kept this score till the penalty shootout, where Pokatilov saved three shots and put us through!

Dundalk awaited us next, they did well eliminating Legia in previous round and managed to secure a draw in Almaty, but we then won confidently on their pitch. Next trip to British Isles wasn’t so successful, with Celtic appearing as an unstoppable force for our defense. So, the Europa League group stage again.

Europa League


After being drawn in such group I was very pessimistic about our chances, but the team really surprised me. Away draw with Basaksehir and narrow loss to Roma with 90th minute decisive goal gave some hope, and after win in Spain I realized that we are actual contenders for knockout places. Four points in next two games combined with other results meant that we qualified with game in hand!


And another trip to Rome awaits us in February, this time to face Lazio.

Ordabasy, Tobol and Astana are showing a bit of progress, as all of them reached second round, but not more.

Squad stats


Easy to see that all new players helped us to improve. Also need to mention two more newgens developed into at least useful backups – Lobashov and Mamonov.

Youth intake


Scherbakov is the best player here but overall it’s worse than last year.

National team


Unbeaten at home, almost hopeless away, Stoilov’s job is still insecure. Two of our ‘season zero’ newgens – Kirov and Zhukov already played for NT (though both spent most of the season in our second team).

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Pre-season 2020



Erik Thommy – a direct replacement to Ilicevic whose contract expired, can play on both wings.

Maksim Fedin – useful home-grown backup.

Alpha Kouko, James Bodo, Paul Ouattara – signings for the future, Ouattara can be quite useful already but registration rules force him out of first team right now.

Europa League knockout



We really played better before Immobile’s goal but that’s the difference between teams. They needed the only chance to take the lead, and after our equalizer scored two more. At least we got a ranking point in second game.

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Season 2020

Transfers out


Selling Kirov was not an easy decision, but actually he stalled in his development and with a lot of competition in central midfield was unlikely to break into first team anytime soon.

Transfers in


Victor Klimov – replaced our unhappy reserve keeper Groshev with younger one (he can develop better than Pokatilov and get practice for U21 team so far).

Miroslav BogosavacShanbiev suffered a season-long injury and I needed to replace him with a better full-back.

Lovro Majer – can't say we really needed an improvement on this position, but I couldn't miss a chance to sign such a good player for free.

Lachlan Muldoon – will officially join us next year, but he already looks like a useful player.



Astana fielded almost a reserve squad, like they didn’t want to win. Not our problem anyway :D 



Too easy.

Premier League


Won the title with 7 games to go, and lacked only two points to match our own record (set in 2004 with 38-game season). Astana almost ended up in relegation playoffs, despite still having a very strong squad for this level.

Champions League


Not a single goal conceded, and we advance to the group for the first time! PSG, Man City and Shakhtar – tough group, hope we’ll be able to get at least a point :D


Next year probably, this group was way too strong for us. Other Kazakh teams repeated their previous season results, all three being knocked out in second qualifying round.

Squad stats


Shouldn’t be so surprised with a backup striker becoming our top goalscorer, as he mostly played against much weaker opponents in the league while key players were rested.

Youth intake


Some potentially good players like Volkov, Baltabekov and Kotliar arrived here, but I’d better prefer other positions as we already have enough strikers and central midfielders.

National team


Disappointing performance, surely needed to play better against teams like Faroe islands and Liechtenstein. Stoilov is still insecure but keeping the job so far.

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Season 2021

Transfers out


We lost Majer on release clause :( I wanted to buy a replacement but couldn’t find anyone equal and willing to join us, so decided to go with remaining squad and players returned from loan. 



Faced our feeder club in the final, and they actually did well despite finishing lower than our own B team in the second tier.

Premier League


Finished unbeaten and set new records for points and wins. Astana’s downfall continues with their relegation, really unexpected.

Champions League


Kobenhavn were the only tough opponents, they even took a lead on away goals but we responded soon and advanced to the group stage again. There we got Shakhtar once again, another Manchester team and Napoli (certainly better draw than PSG last year).


Well, that was a real improvement. We got two points (including one against defending champions), scored three at Old Trafford and weren’t outclassed in any game.


And our youngsters even managed to advance into knockout stages!

Squad stats


Youth intake


Strange that Askhat Sauranbaev was highlighted as the most promising player in overview, Aian Akhmetov looks better now and has better potential.

National team


That only win seemed to be enough to make Stoilov’s job status stable despite finishing last in the group.

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21 час назад, kidthekid сказал:

wow what happened to Astana?

Absolutely no idea, they still had the second, maybe third best squad in the league, so I couldn't expect them doing even worse than a season before.

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Very surprised to see Astana relegated :eek: Good to see your youth did well :cool: 

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Season 2022

Youth League


Starting with our youngsters’ achievements, reaching quarter-final and eliminating Atletico is surely a great run. Hope one day they will help the senior squad to reach similar level.

Transfers out


We couldn’t keep our best defender Tkachuk around but actually I planned to replace him with better and younger player, so only disappointed that he left for free. Fonsinho also left after missing most of previous season due to injuries.

Transfers in


Mekhran Akbari – Iranian international, ready for the first-team action. In summer he also became our first ever player called for the World Cup (and Iran even reached first knockout round, beating Brazil in the group!)

Daniil Gritsenko – national team regular who played for Irtysh in second tier, obviously deserved to be in better team.

Saian Bitureev – one of the most promising Kazakh players, already a rotation option for us.

Luka Adzic – improving the squad before the European season. I plan to use him mostly on the right wing but he can cover any midfield position.

Felix Uduokhai – replacement  for Tkachuk. I remember that he developed into a German NT player in some of my previous games, doesn’t seem to do this here but anyway a very good defender for us.



Won both, though not all games were as easy as predicted.

Premier League


FM can be challenging sometimes even if you’re a dominating side in the league. I lost count of the games where every our opponents’ shot reached the goal, so we lost a lot more points than last season but still confidently won another title. Zhetysu improved to reach second place, while Aktobe barely escaped relegation! I really can't understand what happens with the teams that are expected to finish close to top 

Champions League


Only lost the last game against Brugge but the advantage we had at home allowed us to qualify for the main stage again. There we got a ‘Ronaldo group’ – Real Madrid, Juventus and Sporting. And the Portuguese team shouldn’t be underestimated here as the last season’s title was won by Benfica!


Okay, guess I clearly underestimated us comparing to Sporting :D  We didn’t give them any chances in both games, scoring five and getting our first group stage wins! Played well against Juve too, draw at home and a narrow loss in Turin with Januzaj scored in injury time.


Third place and we continue our season in Europa League, drawn against Dinamo Zagreb in the first round. We already defeated them recently, so have a chance to do it again.


And our youth advanced to playoffs once again, this time from the first place which allows to skip first knockout round.

Squad stats


Ismael Diaz set the new goalscoring record for our club.

Youth intake


Not the best in average, but the only standout player Aidar Autov can already be useful backup for the first team squad.

National team


Couldn’t even get six points from Andorra, but Stoilov’s job status is still stable. U21 squad did a lot better, finishing second in their European qualifying group and losing to Romania in playoffs.

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Season 2023 – part 1



As usual, sold some reserve players without much potential. The only incoming winter transfer was Russian youngster Alexandr Gorbachev from Spartak Nalchik, who will play for the second team so far.

Europa League



Both games were decided in the very beginning, with Diaz scoring two in each. And after defeating one Dynamo team we’re going to face another, from Kyiv this time.



Well… I knew that was quite a good draw but certainly didn’t expect this. Two early goals in first half, two more in second half and a penalty to finish it all. We only needed not to become too complacent in away game. Quarter-final draw put us against Frankfurt, can consider us lucky once more (though still being huge underdogs for these games).


Erik Thommy gave us a real chance in a game that seemed to be hopeless at start. Even after that third goal we still can hope for a 1-0 or 2-1 win put us through.


And we did it! Should have been won more confidently, with 25-7 on shots and four times hitting the woodwork, but that one goal was enough. Koln will be our next opposition, another German team but looking much stronger than Frankfurt. Well... who can expect an easy game in semi-final?



That fourth goal certainly was too much :( We had to take risks at home, so Koln were able to use our defensive weakness. Our run is over, but it was a really impressive European season, which will be hard to repeat in near future.

Koln later won the final against Everton. We were selected as the biggest overachievers, and Ismael Diaz became the best goalscorer with 11 goals in only 8 games!

Also the ratings rose sufficiently after this season: our club coefficient to 43rd place (probably will allow us to be seeded higher), national coefficient up to 19th (only 4 points from 12th which gives a direct place in UCL group stage, but to reach it we’ll need some assistance from other teams too), and Premier League reputation up to 23rd.

Youth League


Almost forgot about it after first team results, but our youngsters were once again stopped by Bayern.

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Alexandr Gorbachev is brilliant! Good signing. Must play in the first team already

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Season 2023 – part 2

Transfers out


Noyok and Thommy both were quite useful squad members but I couldn’t find a place for them under registration rules. Volkov was another young player not good enough for our first team but very useful for others.

Transfers in


Ronald Alarcon – assistant already gives him 4.5 stars, more than enyone else in the team. I plan to use him mostly as left winger though can effectively play in the center as well.



Premier League


New records in points, wins and goals. Astana were the only team to beat us but that didn’t save them from another relegation. Zhetysu established themselves as the best of others finishing second in both competitions.

Champions League


Last season results allowed us to be seeded in all preliminary rounds, but still not enough to escape the fourth pot in group stage. Monaco, Liverpool and Roma – tough draw, hope we can fight at least for third place.


Well, I certainly didn't expect this. Thrashing Roma twice, defeating Liverpool at Anfield, and most impressive of all - this comeback against Monaco. They are going extremely strong in this save, having players like Martial, Tolisso, Laporte, Rabiot, Gimenez in addition to their current stars Lemar and Tielemans, and of course the wonderkid, Didier Valentin. This guy scored a hat-trick in the first game which Monaco confidently won, and there wasn't any sign of them dropping points at home. 2-0 with half an hour to go, but then two substitute strikers Ouattara and Mamonov made the difference.


That late equalizer from Bogosavac allowed us to finish on top.


And that’s our reward :mad:


Youth team topped their group even more confidently, just look at goal difference.

Squad stats


With more games ths season, Diaz improved his own goalscoring record.

Youth intake


No players who are ready for the first team right now, but some of them are quite promising like Khusainov and Orlov.

National team


Stoilov finally resigned… and the FA board preferred to appoint U21 manager Glevich. I’m obviously disappointed, but at least his U21 team was quite successful, so maybe we’ll see some progress from the main squad as well.

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Season 2024 – part 1

Transfers out


Transfers in


Hernan Gigena was the only notable winter transfer, he will improve the squad for continental football (not in the league though, damn registration rules).

Champions League


I admit that luck really was on our side. PSG had 26 shots on goal, some of them were easier to score than to miss, but managed only to equalize. So, we’ll start the home game with a small advantage. We also set the new Champions League record, scoring 41 goals during one season.


Incredible result, but fully deserved. We controlled the game in first half and scored twice after corners. No doubt that PSG had a plan for second half but after Semedo was sent off they couldn’t create anything. The superstars are out, and we continue our journey in quarter-final! Atletico will be our next opposition.


Good start of each half and we’re leading before the trip to Madrid. Diego Costa had a chance to equalize for the second time, but his penalty shot was saved by Pokatilov.


Disappointing way to go out. Two goals conceded in first have still gave us some hope, but after third the game was over. Pokatilov played really poor this time (that can be said about any our player, but well… two last goals were almost identical, our goalie stood near a ball just waiting for a striker to take it and score). I guess we’ll have to sign a new foreign keeper to play only in European games. However, we set the new landmark and can be proud of overall result.

Atletico later won the title, defeating Leverkusen and Manchester United. So as last year, we lost only to the eventual winners.

Youth League


Unfortunately, group stage form wasn’t carried to knockout rounds. 


Finally, great news for us and other teams in our league!

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Season 2024 – part 2

Transfers out


Decided to sell Adzic and Ouattara as we had younger players ready to replace them.

Transfers in


Charles – not a world class keeper for sure, but he was the best choice in our situation. He’s consistent, enjoys big matches and agreed to sign as a backup so could be left out of league squad.



Premier League


Another silver double for Zhetysu, and they will play in the Champions League next year. No doubt they will be outclassed there (as the best result achieved by any other Kazakh team so far is Europa League 3rd qualifying round) but some prize money would be helpful for their development.

Champions League


Should be the last year when we had to play so many preliminary games. And except that trip to Cyprus, all of them were won easily. We were seeded third for group stage, getting Bayern, Tottenham and Basel as the result. With our current status we at least should beat the Swiss side and hope for good performance against others.



A step back from last season, Bayern and Tottenham didn’t give us any chances. We can hope for a good run in Europa League, but at first will need to defeat Porto.


Bayern youth played as strong as their elder teammates, our team managed to take second place and will start knockout rounds against Shakhtar.

Squad stats


Youth intake


One of the worst intakes so far, two potentially decent strikers and that’s all.

National team


Despite losing to Malta and Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan team finally achieved promotion from division D.

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Season 2025 – part 1

Transfers out


Transfers in


Abou Bamba – promising midfielder who won’t break into the first team immediately but can replace another Ivorian player Kouko after several seasons.

Rolland Ngahugari – it’s always interesting to find players from such nations with at least some potential. Of course he won’t be a first team player for us but probably can develop a bit and continue his career in Kazakhstan league.

Europa League


Early man advantage surely helped us, and in the second half we converted it into goals. 2-0, quite a good lead before a trip to Portugal.


Not the best start but Diaz equalized almost immediately making the opponents’ task a lot harder. We held this advantage and will face Spartak Moscow in the next round.


Impressive performance from Spartak keeper Selikhov, who saved several dangerous shots including a penalty from Diaz, and so his team can hope for a comeback in Moscow.


Uduokhai scored an early goal, and we controlled the game for 80 minutes but almost collapsed in the end. Two away goals were enough for us to advance though, the next opposition will be Zenit, another Russian team with a bit stronger squad.


Disappointed to concede second goal few seconds before the final whistle, but still a good result for an away game.


That goal from Gritsenko was the only shot on target in the game. Like two seasons ago, we reached the semi-final. Setting the new landmark will be tougher, as we were drawn against Arsenal.



At least we didn’t lose in both games, so can be proud despite going out. Arsenal then lost the final against Chelsea, and I guess our reputation is now high enough as we weren’t selected as overachievers this time.

Youth League


Another loss to a German team.


And finally we are getting a place in group stage!

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Season 2025 – part 2

Transfers out


No incoming transfers this time.



Premier League


Another unbeaten season and the new points record. Atyrau overtook Zhetysu to get second place.

Champions League


The Czech team fought well conceding three only after red card. Man Utd, Benfica and Celtic were drawn into our group, think it’s a good chance to finish in top two.


Great result in first game, but the overall result wasn’t so easy to achieve. Dropped points in Lisbon and Glasgow, and before the final matchday we were third, one points behind Benfica. They were ahead 2-1 after half time and had a chance to improve their lead from a penalty, but Charles saved and gave us the hope for comeback. Gigena equalized on 65th minute, put us ahead on 85th and during the remaining time we scored three more!


Bayern await us in the knockout rounds. Recalling the previous season, we are clear outsiders but who knows.


Our youth advanced as well.

As for other Kazakhstan teams, there were no surprises. Seeded higher than usual, none of them could advance from qualifying rounds, and Ordabasy finished with the only point in their Europa League group.



Need to highlight Autov’s development, he’s the only local player regularly playing in continental games and now is described as wonderkid (not a surprise he is wanted by big European teams but so far I’m succeeding in holding him at home club). Sauranbaev was only a backup player but had really impressive attacking stats and attracted Liverpool scouts (there wasn't any offer though).

Youth intake


Quite a bad one, though here we got the best goalkeeper of all our intakes. Seliverstov lacks height and mental skills (his determination was 1 at arrival :D ) but that’s better than nothing. Pokatilov is 33 already, Klimov didn’t progress at all so he has a chance to break into first team.

National team


Third place behind Switzerland and Scotland (both of them qualified for World Cup), that’s a real improvement from previous campaigns.

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Season 2026 – part 1

Transfers out


Decided to sell Muldoon as already found a replacement. As for Khusainov… well, a player who had only a couple of games for our first team was wanted by Man City and clearly unsettled with that. 

Transfers in


Luis Pinheiro – our new right back replacing Muldoon in the first 11.

Champions League


Bayern equalized almost immediately after our goal and were close to held a comfortable away draw but a bad backpass from their left back was converted into goal by Mamonov. Few minutes later we managed to run a counter and Gritsenko set the final score. 3-1, now we can really hope to advance.


Early goal from Dybala could change the game but we equalized after a corner, and the second goal from Diaz actually ended this match. We got Arsenal in quarter-final, time for revenge?


Arsenal played better and probably deserved the win, but one of our corners lead to a penalty confidently taken by Diaz. That away goal can decide a lot in the return leg.


Last minutes of home games were our best time during this season, in all group matches and against Bayern, but not here. We really lacked Akhbari, our only really defensive midfielder who was suspended after sending off in London, and Arsenal used that weakness. The quarter-final remains our best achievement for now.

Arsenal later reached the final, losing to Man Utd in a game which seemed to be extremely boring for the first 90 minutes.

Youth League


Disappointing result, but could be expected as two recent youth intakes were quite poor in average, and the best player of this squad left during winter.




With more European places for our league we scored less points but still managed to climb one place higher. Also our best players are now valued more than in 15 million (incredible as during the season their value weren’t higher than 4M)! If I knew that I would surely have waited before selling Khusainov :D 

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Season 2026 – part 2

Transfers out


The rise of market values allowed me to sell some players for the price they deserved. Charles, Uduokhai, Bogosavac and Diaz all were important team members but they don’t get younger and I had to replace them anyway in several seasons.

Transfers in


One Diaz left, two arrived :D 

Gergo Hrabina – that may be a future world-class player and a useful backup for Akhbari right now (as we needed one for continental games).

Adil Hilali – the new starting left back, don’t know why our assistant gives him only 2.5 stars of ability.

Ricardo Aran – replaced Charles as our first choice goalkeeper in Europe.

Christian McDonald – a prospect from FFA COE, no big expectations but he has some potential.

Francisco Diaz – Chilean wonderkid will replace Uduokhai as the key central defender.

Gerardo Diaz – our most expensive signing of all time, and I hope he will really help us to reach the new level.



Premier League


Second unbeaten season in a row with only six goals conceded.

Champions League



Bayern dominated this group and got a revenge for the knockout stage loss, Olympiacos were hopeless, so we contested the second play-off place with Sevilla. And like the last year, everything was decided in a head-to-head game which we confidently won.


No Messi and Suarez anymore, only one La Liga title since 2016 but they are still a very capable team.


Almost identical with the senior group.

The only remarkable performance from other Kazakhstan teams was Atyrau winning the first game against RB Salzburg in Champions League qualifiers, however they lost on aggregate. Zhetysu lost all six games in Europa League group without even scoring a goal.

Squad stats


Gerardo Diaz only spent half of the season with us but that was enough to become one of top goalscorers.

Youth intake


Better than last two years but quite poor in terms of personalities. Striker Evstigneev and attacking midfielder Il’iasov stand out here.

National team


Second promotion in a row, and that’s an extra chance to qualify for the Euro! These results also pushed Kazakhstan to the record high 23rd place in FIFA ranking.

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Season 2027 – part 1

Transfers out


Transfers in


Nurken is back! As expected he wasn’t good enough for Man City first team, so spent a season in MLS without much playing time and now returns home for two years.

Champions League


Scoring just before half-time was crucial, this goal allowed us to control this equal game. In the second half our substitutes added two more, so we are traveling to Barcelona with a good advantage.


Playing at Camp Nou is never easy, so early goal could be expected from the home team but then we didn’t allow them to create more. Once again we’re advancing to the quarter-finals and will play PSG there.


Unlucky deflection, second goal conceded just after a red card and couple of really good chances missed – all that makes our task for the return leg almost impossible.


We fought. Didn’t even concede a goal despite playing without our best central defender but weren’t good enough in attack to equalize. PSG then defeated Man City in the final, so for one more time we were knocked out by future winners.

Youth League




Kazakhstan moved up to 8th place in coefficient table. The record height which will be extremely hard to hold on, with more clubs in Europe our points have less weight and all other teams are unable to help at this level.

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Season 2027 – part 2

Transfers out


Gigena wasn’t really better than Khusainov or Gritsenko on his position, so I decided to sell him after receiving a really good offer from Mexico.

Transfers in


Raheem Sterling – was an emergency signing after Gerardo Diaz suffered an injury in August, when our transfer window was already closed so we only could sign free agents and register them for Europe. Unfortunately, he spent most of the time injured as well.



Premier League


Unbeaten for three years and more than a hundred games. Atyrau did well for runners-up, they couldn’t provide any title challenge but only 15 points deficit is really a progress comparing to several seasons before. Also the cup final was played probably on the coldest day I ever seen in FM (and never expected that from a southern desert town of Kyzylorda).

Champions League



Winning the first game 6-0 usually means quite an easy campaign but not in this case. After four games we were bottom of the group and Shakhtar were leading with three wins (and still negative goal difference). So, only two wins could get us through, and still we had to rely on other results in our group. Luckily, everything went as planned and we advanced.


We faced them on group stage few seasons ago and managed to win at home. Mourinho is still there, leading his team to six Premier League and three European trophies.


Our youth team qualified a bit easier than senior squad.

With higher seedings we had two teams in Europa League group stage this year, but both Kaisar and Ordabasy finished with zero points.

Squad stats


Youth intake


Just awful, no one worth mentioning.

National team



The real highlight of the year! Two wins over Portugal allowed our nation to finish second and qualify for their first ever Euro. Next summer will be very interesting for us.

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Wow, the progress here is quite incredible, well done to reach the CL quarters and the Euros with Kazakhstan!

I'm astonished you have Sterling, too. :D 

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В 17.09.2018 в 18:12, noikeee сказал:

I'm astonished you have Sterling, too.

Was surprised to see him still available at that point. Disappointed with his injuries, but anyway that's good to attract a high reputation player even for short time.

Season 2028 – part 1

Transfers out


Selling the third choice striker was our only winter transaction.

Champions League



For nine minutes we were leading on aggregate but then were destroyed by United offense. After several quarter-finals this result is an obvious disappointment despite the opposition strength…



And a predicted step back in rankings. We’ll have to start from qualifying rounds next year (though that’s not too bad as we can gain some extra points).

Youth League


That was a real surprise! For the first time our youth team reached the final and lost to Bayern (who are almost unbeatable here, winning this trophy three times in four years) only with a late goal.


Kazakhstan at Euro 2028


As expected, the squad mostly consists of our current and former players, only 5 from selected 23 have no connection to Kairat. Also Gorbachev was called to Russia squad and will face most of his teammates in the first group game.

NZjiLiR.png wZjBTHy.png BaQiFNS.png

Well… at least that wasn’t totally hopeless for the debut. Games against Russia and Switzerland were equal and with some more luck could end in our favor. England later won the tournament, Russia lost to France in quarter-final, but that was enough for Gorbachev to be selected into the dream team!

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Season 2028 – part 2

Transfers out


Offers for Hilali and Kouko were good enough to accept. We already have Bamba in the squad as Kouko replacement, and a new left back is also found, so the squad shouldn't be weakened.

Transfers in


Osvaldo Rueda – already capped for Argentina and will be our new starting left back.

Veljko Milenkovic – wasn’t enough time to scout as he had other contract offers, so maybe we overestimated his potential a bit.



Premier League



Our unbeaten run ended after almost four years, and as it usually happens in FM, Zhetysu had only one shot on goal in this game. Atyrau (the second team which managed to beat us) won the highly contested race for silver and a Champions League place.

Champions League



Comparing to previous years, that was an easy campaign. Bordeaux and Celtic drew each other twice while we took 3 points from Real at home and were able to secure the play-off place with game in hand.


Last season’s runners-up, maybe they are not as strong as PSG or Bayern, but will be a tricky tie anyway.


Youth team advanced as well.

Speaking of other teams from Kazakhstan, we finally could see some progress. Ordabasy for the first time appeared in Europa League group stage after beating qualifying rounds (not by league seeding or losing in Champions League) and despite finishing last managed to get two wins (one of them over Inter)! Atyrau came 3rd in their group, beating Young Boys on head-to-head games. Aktobe finished last, but anyway scored two points. So, I obviously can say that was the most successful season for entire nation.

Squad stats


Mamonov became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer (no surprise as he's holding the national team record as well). 

Youth intake


Finally we have a really good goalkeeper! I think Kusainov is ready for getting some first team experience next season. Center-back Aleksandr Pak looks quite promising too.

National team


Retained the place in division B, things still go well after Euro.

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Just read through all of this! Fantastic results and great improvement for the country. Do you have a similar challenge perhaps elsewhere in mind for FM19?

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В 28.09.2018 в 01:37, WillHoward42 сказал:

Just read through all of this! Fantastic results and great improvement for the country. Do you have a similar challenge perhaps elsewhere in mind for FM19?

I have no exact idea so far what kind of career it will be in FM19 but that's one of the options I will consider.

Season 2029 – part 1

Transfers out


Bamba left us for another record fee. Also Khusainov’s loan has expired, and Man City now demands 150 million for him (in theory we can afford that transfer but I don’t think we need it right now).

Transfers in


Joel Aguete and Aboubacar Bamba – I was choosing between them at first but later decided to sign both for more squad depth. And no, replacing Bamba with Bamba wasn't intentional, just like replacing Diaz with Diaz some years before :D  

Champions League


Perfectly used the man advantage, that score must be enough to advance.


Never should become too complacent. Luckily, that goal from Aguete saved us from less predictable ending. Quarter-final draw put us against Man Utd, time to get revenge for last year?


Great defensive performance at Old Trafford. United got their only real chance on 87th minute, when referee decided to award them a penalty, but Aran saved a shot from Dolberg. Now we need to carry this into the home game.


And we made it! The only goal from Gerardo Diaz in first half and another clean sheet put us through, into the first ever Champions League semi-final!  Barcelona, Real and Bayern were our possible opponents, and we got probably the toughest ones – the Germans.


Before this game we lost our both starting players on the right side – Pinheiro and Gorbachev due to injuries. Sauranbaev provided a good backup, assisting to Hrabina’s goal. Unfortunately, that can’t be said about Milenkovic who started as a right-back. Two yellow cards ended his game earlier than expected and gave me an extra headache before a trip to Munich, where we need to win.


That right-back position is cursed. I decided to use experienced Akhbari there and he received a red card as well. Considering that Bayern were dominating at this point and had some really good scoring chances, we could only hope for a miracle. And this miracle happened on 86th minute. Aguete won a free kick just on the edge of area, Alarcon stepped up and sent the ball right into the top corner. There were still about ten minutes remaining, and we needed to hold the lead with ten players and mostly attacking-minded midfield… but it seems like opponents were simply destroyed with that goal and couldn’t create anything. We’re in the final!

Barcelona won the El Clasico semi-final, I’d say that’s good news for us. Two years ago we beat them in first knockout round, and though they are a stronger team now, we certainly can do it again.

Youth League


And we already have a good example how to win trophies! Our youngsters, strengthened with Bamba and Aguete (they weren’t registered for league games, so gained practice here) once again reached the final and this time won it on penalties.

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2029 Champions League final

Vienna, Ernst-Happel-Stadion


We still miss injured Pinheiro, while Akhbari is suspended. Milenkovic is going to play against Vinicius Junior (who’s not fully fit but still that’s the most concerning duel for us). The squad is really young, only Alarcon is over 24 years old in starting eleven.

30’ The first chance created by Barcelona. Muhren crosses from right wing, Vinicius escapes Milenkovic’s marking at far post and shoots! Aran saves.

35’ Yellow card for Cairo. Barca play aggressively and have 6 fouls against our 1, so could be expected.

40’ Vinicius takes a free kick, Gimenez wins a header against Autov and scores. 0-1

Half-time. We’re one goal behind and actually haven’t created anything, need to play much better in second half.

48’ Milenkovic runs down the right wing, crosses to near post, where Gerardo Diaz is first on the ball and equalizes with a header! Great start of the second half! 


Immediate response from Ancelotti, Calvin Stengs replaces Vinicius. The Dutchman scored against us two years ago at Camp Nou.

63’ Eduardo in, Romero out – a playmaker change for Barca.

72’ 1-1 on goals, the same on yellow cards now. Rueda is booked.

85’ Poor clearance from Francisco Diaz! Eduardo immediately returns the ball to our box for Bulasio, a powerful shot… Aran diverts it to the corner.

87’ Gerardo Diaz receives the ball on the central line, passes to Alarcon and runs forward for a return pass. Bamba tries a through ball, it’s blocked by defender, the rebound falls to Hrabina who finally finds Gerardo free of opposition marking. He stays onside, continues his run into the area and shoots, the ball hits the post and goes in! With a few minutes remaining we’re ahead!


88’ Aran starts the attack from a goal kick, quick transition through the midfield, Hrabina passes to Gorbachev running free on the right wing, our captain makes a low cross to Alarcon who’s completely alone on the far post and easily scores! 3-1, that must be a win!


90+3’ Some time-wasting substitutions were made, while Barca get the last chance for a comeback. Stengs rolls the ball for Muhren, who shoots from outside the box. Way too high, and it's all over.


We won the Champions League! That’s an incredible achievement, after some exits in early knockout rounds I thought we reached the ceiling and glad to admit that I was wrong. I guess there will be at least one season more here before FM19 beta arrives, just to see how it will affect our and overall league reputation.


Two third places for our players. I haven’t expected more, all these awards are more about reputation than actual performance.


Winning the Champions League was only enough to gain one position in club rankings and hold 12th place for the nation. Quite sad that our results didn't encourage other teams to raise their level significantly. 

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1 час назад, kidthekid сказал:

Wow.  That was amazing. Diaz must be a really good player. 


He really is, can do everything in attack! I can actually compare him with Pellegri, currently two times Ballon d'Or winner. Of course he's constantly attracting bids from bigger European clubs, sometimes becoming unsettled but so far I'm managing to keep him. At one point he was really unhappy and I was considering the sale, but he suffered a serious injury just before the transfer window, other teams lost their interest and finally agreed to sign a new contract with us :D 



And now his hat-trick brings another European title to us - the Super Cup!

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Wow!!! Congrats on winning the Champions League :eek: :eek: Diaz, is a beast :cool: 

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Season 2029 – part 2

Transfers out


Reduced our average squad age even more, selling two players who were close to 30.

Transfers in


Julio Silva – another Argentinian international in our squad, will be the first choice right-back.

Nurken Khusainov – brought him back once more. He played only one game after returning to Man City.



Premier League


Couldn’t finish the season unbeaten, losing to Ordabasy after the title was already won. Not the biggest disappointment though :D 

Champions League



Good start at Stamford Bridge gave us confidence for the whole group stage. Four wins, only one goal conceded and deserved first place.


Not the best option among unseeded teams, but we should prove that last year success wasn’t just luck.


Our youngsters started their title defense with finishing on top as well.

Unfortunately, this time only one Kazakh team reached the Europa League group stage. Aktobe earned 5 points from their first three games but lost all matches later and finished last.

FIFA World Club Cup


As any European team qualifying here, we were the clear favourites and won this trophy without much trouble. Gerardo Diaz was the best player once again, he scored eight goals in three international finals this year!

Squad stats


Kusainov successfully replaced Pokatilov as the first choice goalkeeper in domestic games, and our only remaining player from the 2018 squad decided to retire after the season. I gave him opportunity to set the new all-time club record (327 league games) when the title was already secured.

Youth intake



Nothing to add, that's really poor.

National team


Finished only third after losing last game to Bosnia (though even winning that game most likely wasn’t enough to qualify as one of the best second placed teams).

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Season 2030 – part 1

Transfers out


Not the busiest time for us :D 

Champions League


After a disappointing start of second half we managed get a good result. At first Khusainov forced Monaco defender to receive his second yellow card, and few minutes later Diaz equalized from a penalty. A slight advantage before travelling back home.


Gorbachev’s fitness was a doubt before this game but he recovered just in time. Two goals from his assists, and we’re through. Going to play against Dortmund once again.


Not the most entertaining game, but we got the needed result after Alarcon scored the only goal.


I admit that we were lucky scoring three goals from three shots on target, and that’s in the game where even one goal made opponents’ chances a lot lower. We’re facing Liverpool in semi-final.



Actually it was over after Liverpool scored their second goal in injury time. We tried to win at least a home game but couldn’t break through their defense.

At least we got one individual award – Aran was selected as the best goalkeeper.

Youth League


Disappointing defeat in the first knockout game, not what was expected from defending champions.




We’re clearly one of the best European teams right now, but that isn’t enough even to keep the league ranking on the same level :( 


FIFA World Cup


Could be more our players there as Silva and Rueda were in Argentina preliminary squad. Also it’s interesting to see Hungary qualified, Hrabina is really making the difference for them.


Argentina lost to England in the bronze game, Aran spent most of the tournament as number one choice while Diaz appeared only in the semi-final. Hungary advanced from the group overtaking Netherlands.

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As FM19 is already available and one of the main goals of this career is reached, it’s time to conclude it and do the overview of our team.

Best XI

GK – Ricardo Aran

Joined: summer 2027 from Union (SF) (free)

His playing history may look weird as FM counts only league appearances by default and he played only one game there, but was a key player in Champions League. Selected as the best goalkeeper in Europe last season, he also became the first choice for the national team.

DR – Julio Silva

Joined: summer 2029 from Newell’s (11 M)

The only player in this squad who joined us after winning the Champions League. Missed the latest World Cup, but appeared as a starting international player in games after it.

DC – Aidar Autov

Joined: 2022 youth intake

Moved from academy straight into the first team, and his spot has never been a doubt even in continental games.

DC – Francisco Diaz

Joined: summer 2026 from Universidad Catolica (2 M)

Was labeled as wonderkid on arrival, and actually proved his potential. I’ve received bids over 50 million for him during the last season (and probably would sell him after finding a replacement if this save was going to be continued).

DL – Osvaldo Rueda

Joined: summer 2028 from Velez (10,5 M)

Same as on the right wing, we’ve got a really good Argentinian player.

DM – Gergo Hrabina

Joined: summer 2026 from Debrecen (1,7 M)

Was signed as a promising youngster, already capped for the national team at that point, and has developed into a real world class player (and still has some potential to grow). He also led the Hungarian team to the World Cup knockout rounds for the first time since 1966!

MC – Joel Aguete

Joined: winter 2029 from Penarol (4,5 M)

He immediately became a starting player and took part in the Champions League triumph. His late goal in Dortmund put us through despite an overall poor game.

AMR – Alexandr Gorbachev

Joined: winter 2023 from Spartak Nalchik (1,2 K)

One of the most impressive deals of this career. Discovered in the Russian third tier before he was noticed by more reputable and rich clubs at that point, and signed for a really laughable fee. He raised the Champions Cup as our captain in the final game.

AMC – Nurken Khusainov

Joined: 2023 youth intake / 2027-2028 and summer 2029-2030 on loan from Man City

If he had at least one more year on his first contract, I would have sold him for a lot better price than 6 million (as that was the season when our market values improved). His loan spells were really helpful for development, and Man City offered him the new contract with first team status and 125k weekly wage.

AML – Ronald Alarcon

Joined: summer 2023 from Alianza (300 K)

The most experienced player of this squad, still in his prime and creating very important goals.

ST – Gerardo Diaz

Joined: summer 2026 from Lanus (13 M)

The legend. Unhappy and requesting to leave most of the time here, but still our best player. His two goals in Vienna will always be in history.

Actually there were two key steps in forming that squad: in 2023 we bought Alarcon, Gorbachev and promoted Autov from youth team, and in 2026 signed both Diaz, Hrabina, Pinheiro and Hilali (who later were replaced with Argentinian full-backs but were a great improvement comparing to previous players on their positions).

Useful rotation players

Aboubacar Bamba

Joined: winter 2029 from ASEC (1,4 M)

He hasn’t featured a lot for the first team but started in the Champions League final and played well.

Evgenii Lobashov

Joined: starting youth intake

The first choice captain, still a very good player for domestic games.

Aleksandr Mamonov

Joined: starting youth intake

All-time leading goalscorer for the club and national team.

Daniil Gritsenko

Joined: winter 2022 from Irtysh Pavlodar (free)

The best player generated by another club in Kazakhstan.

Askhat Sauranbaev

Joined: 2021 youth intake

Nothing special except physical skills but that’s enough to be one of our leading players in league games.

Maxim Kusainov

Joined: 2028 youth intake

Second player to break into first team right after youth intake (Autov was the first). Of course he’s also a first choice keeper for the national team.

Notable former players

Ismael Diaz

Joined: winter 2019 from Tauro (28 K)

Left: summer 2026 to Rapid Wien (9 M)

Our first real improvement. A natural left inside forward, he played as a striker and was really great on this position.

Alpha Kouko

Joined: winter 2020 from Sewe FC (free)

Left: summer 2028 to Schalke (20 M)

Started from reserve team and some loans, he developed into a key midfielder for several years.

Mehran Akhbari

Joined: winter 2022 from Zob Ahan (free)

Left: summer 2029 to Ajax (9 M)

Spent seven years as our leading defensive midfielder, missed the Champions League final due to suspension but still was a valuable member of winning squad.

Felix Uduokhai

Joined: summer 2022 from Hamburg (free)

Left: summer 2026 to Stuttgart (24 M)

A real improvement to our defensive line, he was even called up for German national team at one point (though never played). Now at the age of 33 he’s still playing on high European level.

Hernan Gigena

Joined: winter 2024 from Sao Bento (SP) (free)

Left: summer 2027 to Pachuca (25 M)

He was useful for us in European games and continued to develop after leaving. In 2029 he joined Bayern and won the latest Champions League, also becoming a starter for Argentina.

Abou Bamba

Joined: winter 2025 from AFAD Djekanou (51 K)

Left: winter 2029 to Tottenham (27 M)

He wasn’t our key player for a long time but his transfer fee remains a club record, so obviously worth mentioning.

Luis Pinheiro

Joined: winter 2026 from Benfica (100 K)

Left: summer 2029 to Sevilla (9,25 M)

Overlooked by Benfica first team, he became a key player here and even got 2 caps for Portugal. Unfortunately, his last season with us was mostly spoiled by injuries.

Adil Hilali

Joined: summer 2026 from Wydad Casablanca (900 K)

Left: summer 2028 to Liverpool (23 M)

Improved the left-back position for us. Requested to leave and unfortunately couldn’t break into Liverpool first team.

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