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Timetxu

[FM18] Stopping the Slide with the Boys from Bełchatów

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INTRODUCTION

We're back from Bolivia, back from unknown parts of the world. After all those months clawing away in the silver mines of Potosí, my eyes weren't used to the amount of sunlight to be found back on the surface. Therefore, a new save has emerged in another part of the world, much closer to home, where mining is still seen as a proud man's job. We've exchanged the silver for brown coal. We've reached the city with the largest coal fuelled thermal power plant of Europe. Feeling industrious? You bet. We've reached Bełchatów

The city of Bełchatów (looking to @Rikulec as to verify that the pronunciation is, indeed, somewhere in the region of "Bear-cha-toof"), is located in the very center of Poland, has about 50,000 inhabitants and is home to one professional football team: Górniczy Klub Sportowy Bełchatów, aka the Miner's Sports Club of Bełchatów, aka GKS Bełchatów.

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GKS Bełchatów has been a team that's been around in the Polish top flight for the last twenty years, in and out at times, but it's been a respected side. However, after almost winning the national title in 2007, the team has slid down and is coming off back-to-back relegations. Its only trophy in recent years is winning the 2013/2014 First Division, in between two relegations. The club has finished second in a couple of national trophies. But all that is gone. As you can see, a serious slide has occurred in recent years for the Brunatni, or brown coalers. We start this save in the Polish 3rd tier.

I'm here to try and stop that slide. The challenge is that I will not be able to bring in players to the club. All that will be done by my DoF, who will handle the incoming transfers. However, I will only allow players to be brought in by our DoF if they're 23 years or younger and coming from either Poland, or one of Poland's six surrounding countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania). This means I still have the possibility to veto the transfers, but that's just because I can't set out any targets as to nationality or age. If the player agrees to both conditions stated above, I will have no choice but to accept the transfer.

Obviously, we will still be very much oriented towards our youth setup as well. It's not entirely youth only, but for a big part it is.

 

 

Edited by Timetxu

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39 minutes ago, Timetxu said:

looking to @Rikulec as to verify that the pronunciation is, indeed, somewhere in the region of "Bear-cha-toof"

Close enough. :thup: The first syllable would be pronounced more like "beaw" for the non-Polish-speaking folk.

And, of course, I'll be following the thread based in my home country with great interest. Good luck!

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2017/2018 PREVIEW

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Good preseason with games against teams from higher and equal stature. I'd say we're ready.

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Our DoF has brought in three young Poles. Wiejak (MC) and Mazurek (DL) are mostly for width, Krol (GK) could actually develop into a pretty good player.

So this is our squad right now:

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We have 24 players in total, including all our youth players. Technically we have an u21s, but it's mostly filled with greyed out players.

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Our board expects a top half finish, I'd say we could push for promotion if our season works out well. The top 3 all get promoted and the 4th placed team goes into a playoff.

Before the season starts, we enter the preliminary stage of the Polish Cup:

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This is winnable, they're in the same division as us but we should be better.

Edited by Timetxu

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POLISH CUP - PRELIMINARY ROUND

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That should've been decided way earlier, but we're through.

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We face former top guns Polonia, who've been relegated a few tiers due to financial problems. They're actually in Liga III right now, one league below us.

For those interested, apart from the preliminary round, there are six rounds proper in the Polish Cup.

Edited by Timetxu

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POLISH CUP - 1ST ROUND

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Our first major opponent awaits in the 2nd round.

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JULY 2017

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July was all about the cup games where we've managed to reach the second round. In the league, we bagged our first three points.

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POLISH CUP - 2ND ROUND

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It wasn't to be. We were down to ten men after 42 minutes, but due to Jagiellonia's persistent missing of chances, I was hoping to get a result. That would've been undeserved, though.

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AUGUST 2017

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Lots of red, but most of the games were closer than they look.

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Close to anywhere really. Hopefully we can get some wins quickly and establish ourselves as a team fighting for promotion.

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Also the definitive list of players coming in. No players went out. All of the players are Poles younger than 23.

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SEPTEMBER 2017

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Better month with the Lódz Province derby victory coming from a breakaway in the final minute of the game :D . Speaking of final minutes, we seem to be scoring quite some of them. I was a bit bummed out about the Legionovia game. They're the typical too-bad-for-this-level-in-an-edited-league-team but we couldn't even beat them.

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Still in the mid-tier, but promotion is still very much a realistic objective.

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Two more :D

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OCTOBER 2017

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Good results, happy days!

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Still hanging in there.

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Love me a poland save.

I've taken my fourth division side GKS Wikiliec in their seventh year into the Ekstraklasa, so hope you do well with a fellow polish side!

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25 minutes ago, Dev'o said:

Love me a poland save.

I've taken my fourth division side GKS Wikiliec in their seventh year into the Ekstraklasa, so hope you do well with a fellow polish side!

Thanks! Is Wikiliec another "Górnik" (miner) team? 

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NOVEMBER 2017

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We remain unbeaten, but we dominated those three drawn games. It really should have been 12 points this month.

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We really should have been at least 4th after this month.

We're now going on a huge winter break until March.

Edited by Timetxu

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2 hours ago, Dev'o said:

Love me a poland save.

I've taken my fourth division side GKS Wikiliec in their seventh year into the Ekstraklasa, so hope you do well with a fellow polish side!

Are they owned by Julian Assange?

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Poland! Lovely stuff. It's not that many years ago that I used to commentate on Polish football every weekend on a niche UK sports channel. Lots of fun.

Anyway, best of luck 👍

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1 hour ago, dllu said:

Are they owned by Julian Assange?

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1 hour ago, withnail316 said:

Poland! Lovely stuff. It's not that many years ago that I used to commentate on Polish football every weekend on a niche UK sports channel. Lots of fun.

Anyway, best of luck 👍

Ha! That's pretty cool. Was that back in the days Belchatów was actually ok?

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11 minutes ago, Timetxu said:

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Ha! That's pretty cool. Was that back in the days Belchatów was actually ok?

IIRC, they got relegated from the EK on their head to head record with Ruch, who had finished on level points and only survived themselves because Polonia Warsaw went down the toilet financially.

It was fun, but I did develop an "anybody but Legia" attitude over those two years, albeit not professionally! They just reminded me of a poor man's Man United in the Fergie days.

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On 25/08/2018 at 21:50, withnail316 said:

IIRC, they got relegated from the EK on their head to head record with Ruch, who had finished on level points and only survived themselves because Polonia Warsaw went down the toilet financially.

It was fun, but I did develop an "anybody but Legia" attitude over those two years, albeit not professionally! They just reminded me of a poor man's Man United in the Fergie days.

Hopefully you'll get enough chances to cheer us on when we meet them in the Ekstraklasa ;)

Edited by Timetxu

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WINTER BREAK UPDATE

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Well, that was one hell of a winter break! We're really gelling together so I'm feeling very confident about the final push of the season. Particularly happy with the thrashing of Trencin, who've only gone and beat Feyenoord 5-1 on aggregate in the Europa League couple of weeks ago

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We dumped Garuch to a Montenegrin side for he was complaining way too much about playing time even though he's 29 and not even up to the standard of some youngsters we brought in. He did earn top wage though, so happy to cut in our salary. Pawelek is another promising 17 year old goalkeeper who goes into our u19s.

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YOUTH INTAKE

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We're already spoiled when it comes to strikers and goalkeepers, but Jankowski could be something!

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MARCH 2018

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Uuuuuurrrggghhh. I had really hoped for a push towards the promotion spots and instead we get this. Goals were just raining during the winter break and now it seemed like we completely forgot how to score. FM in full force. We actually dominated in possession and we almost doubled the opponents' shots in every game except against Olimpia. The shot locations were also of pretty high quality with 75% of them coming from inside the box. We probably would've got 12 points if we replayed this month, but instead we only have 5. Hugely frustrating month.

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Meh. Mid-table mediocrity.

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So-so season, but otherwise nice start to the thread!

Jankowski looks like a good prospect too!

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2 hours ago, Benjoe said:

So-so season, but otherwise nice start to the thread!

Jankowski looks like a good prospect too!

Cheers!

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APRIL 2018

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Another so-so month although 5 points against two top teams + derby away from home isn't all too bad.

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Stuck in the middle a bit. I think promotion is pretty much over now, though next month we'll have an easier schedule.

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MAY 2018

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Way better, though getting beat by low flying Rozwój really wasn't necessary.

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Average.

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The board likes average, so they like me. They're even paying me €400 extra per month! That's a hefty pay rise.

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JUNE 2018

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And we finish the season by throwing away another 2 points.

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We end on a round 50 points.

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INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL ROUND-UP

2018 FIFA WORLD CUP


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The Red Devils take their first star!

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

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UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

  
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POLISH ROUND-UP

EKSTRAKLASA

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FIRST DIVISION

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SECOND DIVISON

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POLISH CUP

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POLISH CLUBS IN EUROPE (4.500 SEASON COEFFICIENT PTS)

LEGIA WARSZAW (CHAMPIONS - 8.000 COEFFICIENT PTS)

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ARKA GDYNIA (CUP WINNERS - 0.500 COEFFICIENT PTS)

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JAGIELLONIA BIALYSTOK (LEAGUE RUNNERS-UP - 4.000 COEFFICIENT PTS)

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LECH POZNAN (LEAGUE 3RD PLACED - 5.500 COEFFICIENT PTS)

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UEFA ASSOCIATION CLUB RANKING

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Edited by Timetxu

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Nice to see Lech win the league and Legia miss out on Europe. :D

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On 30/08/2018 at 19:20, theBlackPrince said:

New contract and a very safe mid table finish, not too far from the top spots! Should be able to push on from this and hopefully climb a few spots next time around.

That's definitely going to be the goal this season! :)

On 31/08/2018 at 01:01, Rikulec said:

Nice to see Lech win the league and Legia miss out on Europe. :D

Everything to please the readers :D

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POLISH CUP 2018/2019 - PRELIMINARY ROUND DRAW

As the preliminary and first round of the Polish Cup take place during the preseason, we'll start with those games first before rounding up the preseason.

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Opponent from our own league. We should win this.

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POLISH CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND

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Easy peasy.

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They're one league above us.

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POLISH CUP - 1ST ROUND

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Pretty damn impressive! We dominated the entire game. Luckily Olimpia missed a clear sitter in the 90+2nd minute.

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We face the famous "smallest village ever to play in a professional first tier league". I'd say we could've faced a more difficult Ekstraklasa side.

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2018/2019 PRESEASON

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No complaints here!

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We managed to get Los in for another season. The other guys are new young Polish guys.

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Janasik and Kendzia had been complaining about first team football last season, so I'm happy to respectively dump their big contracts and get some money for them. Rachwal retired and Bartosiak and Wiejak were of lesser value than way younger kids in our squad. All in all, we managed to dump over 5K in salaries per month!

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And still the bookies think we'll be doing a better job than last year!

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POLISH CUP - 2ND ROUND

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Whoa, this has been the best game I've managed at Belchatów by far. We absolutely dominated Bruk-Bet. Piotr Basiuk made his debut even though he was on a slight injury and won the Player of the Game award straight away! We're into the Round of 16!

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Piast are only three spots above Bruk-Bet and we're playing at home, so who knows?

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AUGUST 2018

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The month started off brilliant and to be fair, there wasn't a lot to complain about in the last three matches either. However, we faced a triple FM'ing the likes I've rarely seen. Legionovia managed 6 shots, 2 on target; Bytovia 4 shots, 1 on target; Odra Opole 6 shots, 1 on target. That's right, 16 shots in total against of which 4 on target and they scored 3 goals. Our numbers? 63 shots, 18 on target, only 2 goals. Really FM??

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We were up in first until that last game against Odra Opole. Everything still very close.

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Our definitive transfer overview. Our main strategy was trying to sell the players who've come off a great season but only have one year remaining on their contracts. If you look at the squad overview, you might think I'm losing our most important players, but I'm very confident that we have enough backup to sort that problem out. In the meantime, we have brought some new, young Polish kids with promising attributes.

 

Edited by Timetxu

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On 04/09/2018 at 10:37, kidthekid said:

this could be the season, hope i did not jinx you.

Even though we don't manage to score as much as I want to, I do feel we're absolutely one of the better teams!

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POLISH CUP - 3RD ROUND

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Holy cow, we did it again! Such an exciting game in which we showed how much we've grown. We pushed Piast all the way to the end and scored two beautiful team goals.

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We're into the Quarter Finals and we face another struggling Ekstraklasa side. This round will be played over two legs.

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SEPTEMBER 2018

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Shame about the unnecessary derby loss, but aside from that we're doing great!

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It's all very tight at the top. Hope the loss to Lódz doesn't turn out to be too vital.

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OCTOBER 2018

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Some tough away games, but we did pretty well this month!

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It's starting to look a lot like Christmas...

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In the meantime I've been linked with two Ekstraklasa clubs. I obviously refuted them to get a free board confidence boost.

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POLISH QUP - QUARTER FINAL, 1ST LEG

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Great comeback! Zaglebie scored their two goals on their first two shots of the game, frustratingly, but we managed to comeback for a deserved draw. The return is going to be a nightmare, though, as we lost both our central defenders in this game. Najemski picked up a 3-4 week injury and Grolik got an automatic one game ban after getting a yellow card.

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NOVEMBER 2018

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Unbeaten but uuuurghhh we keep we missing such an incredible amount of chances. We should've absolutely beaten teams like Gryf and Trzebinia. Dominated play against them and especially that last game - at home against the no 17 - should be an easy 3 points. I thought we had promotion in the bag, but that one game turns around everything as you will see.

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We had a 7 point lead over 4th place after the Znicz game. However, that lead decreased to 5, 3 and 1 over the next three draws. Come on guys, focus here!

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DECEMBER 2018

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Aaaaand just like that our 7 point lead has disappeared. Again we lose against a team bottom of the league. We quadrupled their amount of shots on goal, but nope, we can't seem to score for the life of us.

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I thought we could've been preparing a promotion party by now, but it turns out the second half of the season is going to be a very tense one.

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Think this is the first save in Poland I can remember in this forum?

Exciting promotion battle building up, could go either way.

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