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andychar

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Asian Adventure

A day after applying for 23 jobs I was invited to 13 interviews from China to Indonesia. Malaysia to India. It was a long day! I probably should have waited by the phone for the Italy job but decided not to. 

I answered the same way for every single team. Only the Chinese seemed bothered about the Language barrier. The sock puppets I took really helped the process.

Of course all answers I gave were blatant lies. No I wouldn't be able to handle the finances. No I wasn't looking to stay here long time and no absolutely not will I sign youngsters for the first team. Smile and wave boys! 

The 13 eventually got whittled down to 4.

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I could have waited for more offers but to be honest I just wanted to jump right in.

China, Malaysia or Indonesia.

I think the choice was very obvious...

Terengganu II were bottom after 13 games...with 1 point...don't call me I'll call you!

In the end money talks and I'm nothing if not a mercenary...still chasing that illusive Billion!

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China threw money at me. £500 a week!

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A blank canvas but hardly surprising. I've had t-shirts longer than this team has been in existence.

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A few good players but nothing majorly special. 

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(The missing player is a keeper).

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The league season has already begun. I'm not too worried about relegation. Although can't see myself climbing much. I'll just have a quick look at the form make me feel better.

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Bugger.

 

 

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ChinaTown

(Lets see how long I can keep up every post title being a film).

So what's the first thing you do when you get to your new club? Introduce themselves to the team? Watch training? 

Everybody knows its go knocking on the door of the board demanding a coaching course...

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I'm really glad my hard work is finally being recognised.

Second thing I noticed was the complete lack of staff. No physios or Scouts.

My first game was in 2 days so very little time to sign anybody. 

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Expectations weren't high which was nice.

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Everybody excited about my tenure. You can feel a real buzz around the Town.

I've struggled to pick a team based on the rule that at least 1 under 23 Chinese player must be in the team. Luckily the only person I've put a bid in for is a 36 year old RWB.

Anyway onto the first game.

We both have a goal chalked off in the first half in what was an even game. We were on the back foot for most of the second half and rightfully found ourselves 1-0 down. Time was ticking away and it looked more like 2-0 than 1-1. On the 80th minute, out of nothing we equalised. 4 minutes later we hit the post. With 2 minutes to go they won a corner and were only stopped by a brilliant clearance off the line...there was 1 more goal however.

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We probably didn't deserve it but a 90th minute winner in your first game in charge is always nice. That being said the hill is still steep and a Champions League victory is a million miles away.

 

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Good luck. Love me a save that promises some exotic locations!

13 hours ago, andychar said:

*Trigger warning*

I will be using 3 up front. :ackter:

Billedresultat for "do what you want" meme

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Just My Luck*

So after winning my opening game I was in a great mood. Nothing could bring me down!

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Oh...well...I'm sorry about that.

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I really had my heart set on the Brunei job :'(

So anyway after beating 3rd at home I was hoping for a nice easy next game...

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Right...ok...so good news please...

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It is currently August...its going to be a long season!

*Its a film Staring Lindsey Lohan...don't worry I am completely 100% ashamed. 

 

Edited by andychar
The title just didn't sparkle

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August Rush*

Before I update you of my first full month in charge I thought you would like to know the place I have moved too. The first image that comes up on google when search for Baoding which is where Rongda is based.

Image result for baoding

Its truly a magical place.

Anyway back to the football. I was stuck with what I had which was ok except the squad didn't match the formation or tactics I wanted to play. I had a decision to make. Be stubborn and make players play how I want or adapt my tactics to best fit the players I got.

If marriage has taught me anything its never to compromise. These players were going to play how I wanted!

The results would show me I made the right choice.

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Dance puppets dance!

We followed up the first win with an amazing away win against the team in 2nd. We were dominated and actually FMed FM. We had one shot on target and guess what...we scored it.

We followed it up with another lucky point. We were dominated from start to finish and although we had more attempts than the last game (not hard) we were still lucky to pick up a point.

We flexed a bit of muscle against a team who were below us in the league (first time we played somebody below us). No dramas and a good win.

Just to prove that the last result was a flash in the pan we played poorly and were probably lucky it was only 1-0 to round off the month.

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Technically not safe but not sweating it. I feel I have a chance of finishing as high as 9th if I can repeat the month. If so it would be a good finish for the club and give me a good platform for next season.

Highlights of the Month!

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The bar has truly been set high!

We had one International Call up this month. 

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Somehow I think he either took a wrong turn home one day or got lost on a stag do and just decided to integrate into society.

*2007 film starring Freddie Highmore and Keri Russell

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Split

Could we build on a good month to finish the season strong or would we limp towards the line?

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A couple of injuries really showcased the lack of strength in depth. But it was a month that could have been better could have been worse. Considering everything I'm classing it as a good month.

Believe it or not with a 5-2 loss it was probably the best we have played minus the 3-0 win. They were clinical, not much else can be said about it.

We were against the worse team in the league and we were lucky to grab a win. We were awful and if we played anybody else we would have been spanked.

We were 2-0 up at half time. Good to see my team talks are making a lasting impression! It was the game that won the league for Renhe...good for them.

A good performance although we were second best. We took the lead twice and held on in the end. 

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9th is now an impossibility but 10th is still a good finish. Lowest I can finish is 12th but we don't want that. 

Highlights of the Month!

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Sometimes this stuff writes itself.

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I'm starting to think maybe, just maybe Rongda aren't used to playing so many games in a season.

2 more games before the end of the season. I smell a cull coming!

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Money Talks

For anybody in any doubt on how pointless these final two games are...here is the difference in prize money for finishing 9th, 10th or 11th.

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The incentive is there!

I have signed 5 players to come in January but will update on them when they come. Some I'm expecting big things and some are purely filler. I didn't however consult the rules for foreign players first. 

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Maximum of 3 foreign players...so that's fine as long as I stick to Chinese players...easy right.

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Luckily only one out of 5 of my new signings are foreign. Just a quick look at my existing team.

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These are my only current foreign players and they are pretty much 2 of my best players. Unless they go (which I really hope they don't) its Chinese talent from here. I'm going to have to find a small Chinese village to raid.

Old habits die hard.

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The Hunt For Red October

(Not going to lie. I'm proud of this post title.)

Only 2 games in October to finish off the month. Both again teams blow us so a really good chance to finish the season strong and give us a platform to build on for next year...you can guess what happened can't you.

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In all fairness to my team both games were away from home and nobody clearly gave a f***.

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Final table. Not going to turn any heads but I'm happy. 

It was always going to be a nothing spell in charge. I had no say on players or anything. I will be judge on next season. I have already made a splash in the transfers window...I already have way too many foreigners. I have a problem.

Will update awards and whatnot but really I just cant wait for 1st January for the transfer window to open.

No highlights this month. It was a very dull month. 

 

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This Is The End (of the season)

The first mistake of the off season happened a full 48 hours after the last game (like I said I wasn't wasting any time).

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So the Chinese rules are brutal. No more than 3 foreign players. Have to field one player under 23 at all time and a limit of 5 domestic players over 21 players. I honestly have no idea how I'm going to build a team good enough.

Here are the awards for the season.

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Yeah...it means nothing to me either.

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Good to see I was in charge of the best and worst matches of the season. I'm calling it a good season for the club. I was put in a good position and managed to consolidate the clubs position. Fingers crossed we can improve on it next year.

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The board are happy with me so far however...

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This could be a problem....I mean I say problem I plan on completely destroying the club and building it from the ground up...see what the dressing room atmosphere is like then.

Transfer window opens 1st January the season starts normally beginning of March. Give me plenty of time to mould the team I want. I'm very much open to being a mercenary. If I can't do what I want with this team I will very happily move on.

Next update will be transfers and hopefully some highlights!

 

 

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Oooh... Got to love rebuilding a team that is that unhappy.

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5 hours ago, andychar said:

The Hunt For Red October

(Not going to lie. I'm proud of this post title.)

Billedresultat for sean connery red october meme

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The New Kids

Truth be told I was starting to regret heading to China. There were plenty of players who wanted to come to us who would fit straight into the first time. Problem was they were all foreign or worse....old!

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We are currently spending 24k at the moment so it gives us scope to bring in quite a few players.

And here is the first wave. All the players I bought before the transfer window opened. 

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Young and Chinese. Not going to be lifting any trees...which is a shame because they are growing all over the pitch.

a6dddec8ab1d224e2024c7602077f99b.pngAnother young Chinese player. Happy with this one. We lack fire power so hoping he can fill a hole.

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So I like my Chinese Poachers big whop wanna fight about it?

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Number 3 of 3 foreign allowed. Worse than what my scouts told me. Probably won't feature much if at all.

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Number 4 of 3 foreign players allowed. Excited about this one. No firepower means we need to be good at the back and this one could really help that.

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Got this guy because he was the only Chinese RWB I could get...his stats were hidden from me...now I know why.

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Another centre back but this time hes Chinese, just in case I can't play one of the foreign players.

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Easily my best signing so far. Chinese and fills the 1 player under 18 slot perfectly. 

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Last up another dirty foreigner. I have some decisions to make!

Highlights of The Month

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This came out of the blue. Great chance for me to get my face out there...or crash and burn...I was going to be competing in the Asian Games (my missing will be to screw Tottenham's Son out of getting out of Military Service. Proper living the dream.)

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A woo hoo which obviously meant...

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Yeeeeeaaaaaah

 

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16 minutes ago, kidthekid said:

you make your transfer woes sound fun. Great read

Thanks @kidthekid it’s so so much fun 

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The Asian Connection*

A lot earlier than expected it was time for my first international Tournament.

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With this group I should be getting through to the knockout stages at least.

First up was Saudi Arabia. Get something out of this then knockout stages should be in the bag.

We started strongly going 1-0 down after 6 minutes. It stayed that way to the half. Even game so far. I rolled the dice on the hour mark and the score 1-0 by making all 3 subs. We were reduced to 10 men on the 81st minute. Despite being the marginal better team we started with a 1-0 loss and a very disappointing result. 

Brunei were next. Probably the easiest team in the group. We needed a win. Preferably a big win.

We had to wait until the 25th minute to break the deadlock with a 25 yard screamer. I was hoping the floodgates would open and 10 minutes later it was 2-0. We got a 3rd on the stroke of half time. I wanted a thrashing. We didn't bother in the second half and it was 3-1 with 10 minutes to go and that's how it would finish. A win is a win and although we didn't spank them we set ourselves up for qualification.

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Straight shootout between us and Syria for a place in the knockout stage.

Thanks to our GD a point was enough to limp through. It took 4 minutes for us to break the deadlock. Perfect start. We doubled the lead on the 15 minute and it looked like passage through was secure. 2-0 was the score at the break. I've often found 2-0 is a dangerous lead at HT. Luckily any worries were stopped before the hour mark when we made it 3-0. Once again another late sloppy goal was conceded. This time we had the last laugh to make it 4-1 in stoppage time. 

We drew Indonesia in the Quarter Final. I had a choice between Australia and Indonesia so this is an interesting game for me.

Once again we took an early lead. 2 and a half minutes this time. It was 2-0 within 6 minutes and I was starting to believe I made the right decision. It was game over on the 35th minute as we made it 3-0. It was 4 two minutes later. Indonesia made it 4-1 before the half although we still looked comfortable. We made it 5-1 in first half stoppage time and it was all about resting players in the second. Indonesia did make it 5-2 in the second half with the goal of the game but it was 6-2 give minutes later and that's how it finished. 

UAE awaited in the Semi final with Saudi Arabia v South Korea making up the other Semi Final.

*Yeah I can't believe its a movie either.

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Fantastic Four (Good one)

After the loss against Saudi Arabia I changed tactics. Got rid of wingbacks and went for a rigid 4-3-3. Its working so far but lets be honest, I've not had any stiff competition.

We went into the Semi Final against UAE full of confidence.

That changed after 5 minutes when we found ourselves 1-0 down after being unable to deal with a cross. A defensive mistake gifted us an equaliser just before the half hour mark. The turnaround was completed 3 minutes later, although I wasn't feeling confident. It was 3-1 on the 41st minute and I was starting to relax...which of course meant 2 minutes later it was 3-2. The first goal of the second half was crucial, I thought whoever got it would end up winning. Another defensive error gifted it us on the hour mark. 4-2. The game was won with 15 minutes to go as we made it 5-2. We had time for another to make it 6-2, probably a bit unfair on UAE but I wasn't complaining! We were in the final.

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Well hello again.

The route to finals.

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Only the loss to Saudi Arabia in the opening game. No clean sheets.

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100% for them and they deserved the win against us. 

We were going to set up completely different than we did in the opening game so this will be interesting.

Another game and another early goal. It took 3 minutes to break the dead lock as we stormed into a 1-0 lead. Saudi Arabia equalised with a brilliant free kick mid way through the second half. 1-1 at the break and a very even game. I pulled out the "get revenge" half time team talk...and within 9 minutes we were 2-1 up! There was a 4th goal in stoppage time...and a 5th goal....

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We dominated the second half and fully deserved the win. 

Great start to my International Career. Now attention had to turn back to Domestic issues. 

 

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A Few Good Men

Young? Chinese? Do I have the job for you!

fce43dc148c5bf6eb5d0b24631f3ea7f.png7dd61bbd44048d9bfdc0eb3359b148a8.png0b4634dac98a4115d5eddee64086e914.png

I think at this point I was panic buying any Chinese player who was interested.

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There are so many different rules its really putting me off staying in China long term. I'm going to see how this season goes and asses my options.

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According to the media it could be a long season. The board want me to avoid a relegation battle. It seems the bottom 4 are cut away from the rest of the league. 

I had 6 days between the AFC U23 final and the first friendly. I wanted to improve my WRB and WLB but truth be told at this point I didn't know who I could or couldn't sign...and at this point I was too afraid to ask.

I made a decision if I wasn't sure what to do in the transfer market I was going to have to take matter into my own hands. 

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Just in case I was here long term.

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So the cull didn't go as well as I wanted and truth be told I've probably got more crap than when I started.

Heading into the friendlies this is the team I was left with.

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Lots of average players and a few good players. I would need to get the best out of everybody in order to have what could be classed as a good season.

I'm not feeling China at all. Too many restrictions. I'll see what happens but personally I don't see my long term future at this club.

 

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Anger Management

I didn't take control of any friendly.

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Two games against Super League teams both high scoring one win and one loss. The rest were teams below us but an encouraging preseason.

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Shows how good Owoeri is when he's one of the favourites for the Golden Boot.

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Apparently 200-1 was too generous. It could be a long and ultimately disappointing season. 

So the Chinese League think its a great idea to have U19 internationals on opening day of the season so I will be without my first choice GK and a good young CB. Seriously getting sick of this screwy country. At this rate I might not even make a few months.

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Just the casual 5 debuts for opening game. It would have been 7 if I had my U19's.

We were dominated in the opening game and only game in March.

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We only lost 1-0 but I think its time for a completely different tactic.

 

 

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Big Trouble in Little China

Was hoping it was going to be longer before I had to use this title. 

This month saw a change of tactic. I went with the same flat 4-3-3 that won the trophy for Australia in the hopes it would rejuvenate my time here. 

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It really did nothing. Cant say I'm not playing entertaining football. It wasn't the end of the month but...

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I was not enjoying this at all. 

Way way way too many restrictions. You cant have this many foreign players. You cant have this many over 23 players. You cant have this many over 17 players. How about balls to you.

I can take losing but I was feeling the life and joy being sapped from this save at an alarming rate.

Cut my losses and start again. Preferably somewhere I can actually sign players without jumping through several thousand hoops.

Highlights of the Month

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Standard. I am awesome.

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Can't grumble with the club on this front. 

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The Asian U23 cup win really gave my reputation a real shot in the arm. The time at Rongda probably erased that.

 

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Executive Decision

I didn't want to be out of action to long and went for every job free. I have an interview in the A League which surprised me. I didn't get it. There were a few jobs that looked good. I went for a South African job, had an interview but didn't get it.

In the end 3 teams wanted my services in 3 different countries. 

Home United from Indonesia

Slenagor from Singapore

Eastern from Hong Kong

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In the end I didn't travel very far. As you can see they finished 2nd last season. I'm obviously not going to win the Champions League with Eastern but the plan here is to get a few titles under my belt, get my reputation up so I can at least stand a chance of maybe moving to Korea, Australia or go crawling back to a bigger team in China. 

The good thing because its the off season it gives me a chance to craft my own team.

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This was important!

I don't mind the whole maximum foreign player rule. It was the fact I couldn't sign any Chinese players over a certain age. Now I know the rules I can plan better.

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So I had a good Keeper and 2 great strikers. Something tells me Bruno and Manolo aren't Hong Kong names.

I have 4 Brazilians, 1 Spanish and a Japanese in the current squad. This meant I was really held to just Hong Kong players. 

That's fine by me...its time to raid...

 

 

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On 15/09/2018 at 22:50, andychar said:

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That sounds like a ****ing nightmare, tbh. :lol: Specially since you've just resigned from a job because there was too many restrictions...

Maybe things will work out better in Hong Kong, though.

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1 hour ago, noikeee said:

That sounds like a ****ing nightmare, tbh. :lol: Specially since you've just resigned from a job because there was too many restrictions...

Maybe things will work out better in Hong Kong, though.

Let’s put it this way has I been Manager if Fuli (HK) I wouldn’t have even finished my cup of team before running for the door! 

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3 hours ago, andychar said:

Let’s put it this way has I been Manager if Fuli (HK) I wouldn’t have even finished my cup of team before running for the door! 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%26F_(Hong_Kong

Apparently they're a satellite team of Guangzhuo R&F hence the special rules.

Good read so far!

Edited by Crispypaul

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On 17/09/2018 at 17:20, Crispypaul said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%26F_(Hong_Kong

Apparently they're a satellite team of Guangzhuo R&F hence the special rules.

Good read so far!

Thanks Crispy. I would be an interesting challenge...not one I would enjoy but interesting none the less!

Eastern Promises

I had a bad start.

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This guy is on loan...I had a 2k bid accepted. He didn't want to come. Apparently we didn't match his ambitions. A loss before we even begin.

And then there was this guy

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Another brilliant players...except he plans to retire...4 days after I take over.

So the bad news is I'm losing my best CM and CB. The good news is I will have 2 free foreign places.

I needed a new RWB and LWB.

First thing I did was hire a Sports Scientist...because...you know...reasons.

I had feelers out and was scouting a number of players.

I made a rash 10k bid for the highest average rated Hong Kong player last season. I had no attributes to go by....in the end my head got the better of me and I cancelled the transfer.

I think I might aim for younger players...

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Well at least it wasn't at Half Time.

I was hitting brick wall after brick wall. I learnt from my mistakes and didn't just want to buy the first players I came across.

That being said my first signing was a gamble...

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A loan signing and a bit of a bust. I had no attributes I just went for him...my bad.

My first permenant signing 

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Potential to improve, not a bad player and nice and young.

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14k and the budget blown on this player. I needed a centre back and the fact he's from Hong Kong added value. I'm happy with it.

I still need a LWB and a RWB. I may have to panic buy, I am fairly happy with the rest of the team.

I wanted to be favourite heading into the new season...

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Ah...erm...bugger.

A couple of sold players freed some wage and transfer budget so I could buy this guy...

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Will obviously play RWB not fantastic but will do nicely. It does mean no more foreigners.

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Media seem to think so too!

So I think that's me done unless somebody drops into my lap. This is the team I will be rocking with to start the season.

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It doesnt look the best but I'm fairly confident of a good season.

Highlights of the Off-Season

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Climbing the ladder.

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Whose a good boy!

 

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New Beginnings*

First things first before the start of the season I had a thought. I don't know how long I'm going to be here. Probably a few seasons why I try and build up my reputation (truth be told I think I'm holding out for a job in Australia.

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Either way I thought I better put a bit of thought into the future at least.

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We have the finances for it (the drop is the planned youth development).

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I didn't take control of any of these, although I had to arrange them myself! Turns out I didn't have an assistant manager and I had been spending several months talking to myself.

Expectations were made very clear.

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Win or die (maybe not that drastic but you never know).

At least I knew I could always count on the backing of my players.

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Ah.

First game was against Wing Yee who have just come up. They decided to put complete trust in the team that won them promotion.

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Or not.

So once again I've been a little mistake. 6 foreign players in the team but only 4 allowed to be in the playing 11. It meant my 3 star strikers were reduced to 2 and I have a defender up front...at least he's from Hong Kong.

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A good start and a strong performance. A few injuries but only a few weeks long and its an international break so could have been much worse. 

I'll not show a table...I'm top...honest!

*I swear all these are movie titles. Please consult your nearest IMDB.

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20 hours ago, Jamie Cortez said:

Really good read. Inspires me to take up my own career rather than a bunch of random saves. 

Thanks Jamie. Trust me you should see my save list I have so many random saves!

The Green Mile

Good start and something to build on. It was important not to get too excited though. After a long preseason what do you want after 1 game? That's right. An International Break.

I address the defender dressed as striker issue straight away.

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He cost me an arm and a leg but he will be worth it in the long run.

Onto the two fixtures this month.

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Our first real test passed. We grabbed an early goal to set us up. It was a tight game but a late goal secured all 3 points.

Pegasus didn't do anything in the first half and we were 4-0 up by the break. We came out very complacent and were clinging on in the end. 3 points are 3 points. 

Didn't think to take a screenshot of the table. We were top. The only team with 9 out of 9. 

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I do like monthly awards and were looking forward to winning some...they don't do manager of the month...always the bridesmaid!

End of September also saw the end of the transfer window. 

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They were all exactly the same offer. I'm all up a trier but Jesus get the hint!

3 wins from 3, it seems things were turning around.

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Or not.

Highlight of the Month

I had a Friendly with the Australian U23 team. Don't know why I'm still manager. I'll try and take them into the Olympics I suppose. This is the biggest highlight of my career...

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What's a career if you cant annoy Diego Maradona. 

 

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Perfect

I needed to build on the good start.

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And I did. Only one game in the league and Man, Lee gave me a good game (see what I did there?)

I am entered into 5 competitions this season including the league and its my full intention to win them all. No resting players.

The Senior Shield is the only cup competition the board actually care about, they expect me to get to the Final at least. I was comfortably into the semi thanks to 2 good wins. Pressure is taken off a little bit thanks to the Neutral location of each round.

Lee Man gave me a good game. I was 2-0 up within 10 minutes and assuming it was going to be a mauling but that was as good as it got. They really came at us and although we were guilty of missing some good chances to kill off the game, I wouldn't have had much complaints if they round an equaliser.

The League Cup is a group consisting of 3 teams with the top going through to the semi so there is no margin for error. So far so good.

So my thought process was "no point taking a screenshot because I've only played one league game this month, nothing much will have changed". Its a great thought...assuming I'd remembered to take a screenshot last month. You'll get one...I promise.

Next month is an interesting one.

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Various cup competitions and lots of air miles (well bus miles).

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The board were pleased with the good start and more importantly...

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The players think I'm doing a rather unspectacular job! Its truly the nicest thing they have said to me.

Highlights of the Month

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Unspectacular! 

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The International

Ill start with some absolutely pointlessness.

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I had some U23 friendlies this month. I enjoyed them.

Andy Russell, who looked like a bust signing has actually played really well while on loan. Unfortunately his loan runs out soon and I have no way of getting him back. He will leave a big hole in the back 3. I have been trying to sign his brother Jack who apparently is a good boy.

Enough chit chat here are the results from November.

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What's that red circle?

We were comfortable against Dreams FC. They bagged a consolation and nothing else. 

Sun Hei took the league early. It was the first time we had been behind all season and I was hoping for a response. I got it on the 12th minute and I thought it was going to be a walk in the park from then...it wasn't. They went down and scored pretty much straight away. From then on it was all us. We were guilty of missing some good chances and it turned into one of those days.

We responded brilliantly with back to back wins against Fuli. The cup performance was better than the league and without Bleda I don't know where we would be.

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2 wins from 2 and easily through. Its not a trophy the board care about but every little helps.

Now time or the eagerly anticipated league table!

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Very close between the top 3. Two games away from the half way point. 

Quick question. I get a lot of attention from South African players wanting to sign for me from Free Transfer. Is that because I have South Africa loaded or do a lot of South African's appear in the Hong Kong league? Answers on a postcard please.

Highlight of the Month

Ok slightly harsh on this guy because he only popped up in my news feed because he got injured. He's in my reserves and his Nationality is English. I was confused because obviously he would be classed as a foreigner so I did a little digging.

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Now that's a mix of Nationalities. Welcome to Eastern home of the only English, Mexican, Hong Kong central defender.

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In all seriousness I cant be too far off being in the running for a top job in Asia just based on my badges.

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Good boy.

 

 

Edited by andychar
Forgot to put a title in

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A Christmas Story

There seems to be more International Breaks than league games. I might go for a full time International Job so I'm not waiting around all the damn time! Except there are none available.

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Eastern Players are two for two. Nobody is taking my cries or a "Manager of the Month" award seriously.

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December will see the introduction of another competition. 

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The Sapling Cup has already started without me. Should be able to qualify from the group. Also be aiming to reach my first domestic cup final. 

It also seems I'm never allowed to play at Home.

I will be bombarding you with interesting stuff as they happen with the results and various tables at the end...keep everybody on your toes.

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Finances continue to be in free fall. Don't know why I'm well within budgets.

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I also agree with the board and the fans. Upsetting result. I still haven't had a full night sleep without waking up in a cold sweat since.

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Didn't take long for everything to start improving.

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This is where I want to be and shows how far I've got to go yet. The Champions League Final.

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Some big names in here. This will be a lot harder than maybe I thought. Gotta qualify for it first.

Anyway onto this months results.

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Perfection.

Sun Hei didn't really give us a test in our opening Sapling Cup game. 

Southern District was a weird game. We were 4-0 up and cruising. When I scored the 4th the game changed and they grabbed 2 goals quickly. I was under the cosh and managed to put daylight between us again. They grabbed a consolation but I'm lucky they didn't make it 4-3 otherwise I don't think we would have won.

Another big away win against Kitchee to give us the psychological boost. It took 15 seconds to take the lead. We bossed the first half but weren't able to capitilize. They equalised just after half time but we retook the lead fairly quickly. From there we closed the game out well.

I thought the game against basement team Wing Yee was going to be one of those games. We took the lead and looked comfortable then out of nowhere the equaliser came. From there it was all us but we couldn't grab the breakthrough. Finally Lugo struck and from there it was straightforward.

We were 7-0 up at half time against Fuli. Was annoyed to lose the second half but can't blame the players from taking the foot off the gas. My first domestic cup final and one leg of the 5 trophy haul.

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League table is all over the place with games in hand. I can assume Kitchee will win theirs. Tai Po have fallen away meaning we have a very close two horse race. Luckily my game against Kitchee left is at home.

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The Sapling Cup should be a formality from here but we aren't 100% through just yet.

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You can safely disregard "managerial support", everyone hates you at first whilst you're unknown, but as soon as you start winning a bit they come to like you, as you've seen.

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Sapling*

January seems to be a bit of a quiet month in Hong Kong as I'm only taking part in one competition.

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Should be able to confirm our progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

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The trend continued financially.

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This guy joined us on a free transfer. It was arranged months ago.

Basically this guy...

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...needed a new contract and in order to get him to sign I had to promise I'd strengthen the defence. I tried but it wasn't enough and he was unhappy. I apologised but he was having none of it. Knowing the unrest the players already had I made a snap decision to get rid of him and get the other player in. Its a drop in quality but he should still do a job. I got 20k for the guy above and 2k off the wage budget.

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Board not happy, to be honest I wasn't happy but I felt it was the best thing to do at the time. 

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And judging by this it was the correct decision. 

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Without kicking a ball which makes it a complete waste of a month really.

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Andy Russell is back. He was a free transfer. Not brilliant stats but he actually does the job on the pitch.

Other than that I wasn't wanting any more business in the transfer window unless something drastically changed. I know what I want at the start of next season but it looks like I'm not going to need to do it until then.

I drew Kitchee away in the FA Cup Quarter Final. The board don't care but I do. Would have been nicer to get a kinda draw.

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Very easy month. We weren't great against Pegasus but we didn't need to be. Manolo Bleda is a beast of a player at this level and seems to prove it every week. He has signed a new 2 year contract and could be vital to any future success.

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Sun Hei follow us through with Kitchee a surprise elimination. Makes winning the competition all that easier.

*Yeah I can't believe there's a film called that either.

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9 hours ago, noikeee said:

You can safely disregard "managerial support", everyone hates you at first whilst you're unknown, but as soon as you start winning a bit they come to like you, as you've seen.

That's very true, but I didn't want to risk it. Not after such a poor start to my managerial career. 

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Crash

Busy February ahead and a potentially important month regarding the league. 

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We start the month with the first of hopefully many cup finals before a potential make or break game against Kitchee in the league.

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We broke a record I've already broken. So that makes me better than me.

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It's like a slide.

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Despite only losing one game all season they had to find something to be upset about.

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Slight decline is support. I must up the whippings.

Transfer window came to a close.

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It was very eventual.

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In between the cup final and the game against Kitchee. Not ideal in the slightest.

My computer played up and I had to restarting meaning I lost most of the screenshots I had lovingly taken over the course of the month.

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So the month started brilliantly with our first piece of Silverware in the other cup competition the board actually cared about.

The game against Kitchee was horrible. We were 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 down before Lugo scored what looked like a massive season saving equaliser. Then they went straight up the other end and scored. We had the most possession but they had the most chances and it was hard to argue they didn't deserve it. It means we have squandered control of the league.

We bounced back with a very good performance then got a level of revenge in the cup. Although given the choice I would have much preferred the results to have been the other way around.

We were never ahead against Lee Man. Every time we equalised and looked like we were going to take the game by the scruff of the neck we would concede a penalty. We weren't able to come back a 3rd time.

We were 3-0 up and cruising against Tai Po but 2 late goals really put us under pressure. We held on and I was just glad of the points!

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Kitchee lost the same week we lost against Lee Man. It meant we still had a chance although we need them to either draw 2 games or lose 1 while we win every single one. I don't think either will happen. Although while we were beating Tai Po they grabbed an 89th minute winner which was frustrating.

Its going to be close and I don't think my heart can take it. We need to win the League to qualify for the Asian Champions League. Anything else is a failure.

Highlight of the Month

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Because...

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A full 15k more than what Eastern pay me!

My first attempt at Full International Management. I will be hoping to Qualify for the World Cup but cant imagine I will be pulling up any trees...Its all about getting that reputation up so I can get a job where I actually have a chance at winning the Asian Champions League and completing the first leg of this journey. 

 

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What Dreams May Come

I wasn't going into March full of confidence. Our performances have dropped and we look like dropping points every time we play.

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This graph sums up my mood, as well as the finances.

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Not winning the league was enough for the last guy to be fired so we will see how long it stays like this.

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I agree with the dressing room atmosphere. Something doesn't seem right.

We need Bleda back and scoring ASAP.

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3 games this month. I've give up the league cup to pick up maximum points in the league.

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He's back!

I went into the game against Tai Po a little worried but we started strong and never looked back. It was a great performance and something to build on. So good to see Bleda back and on the scoresheet. Albeit from a penalty. 

Another strong performance and it seems Lugo has come into his own. He didn't perform much without Bleda. If I can keep them both fit I thing we could beat anybody (In Hong Kong).

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That's all that really needs to be said about that. Another Cup Final to look forward too.

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Kitchee drew their game in hand which is obviously great for us. Gives us a chance. We can't drop any more points that's for sure. Hopefully we can take it down to the wire.

My last three games

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Kitchee's last three games. I'm looking at that away fixture at Tai Po with a watering mouth. Hope lives!

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Just before the end of the Month I had my first International Game. Would I start with a nice easy game to announce my take over.

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Evidently not.

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We were awful in the first half. Didn't create a single chance and were rightly 4-0 down. I gave them a kick up the arse at half time and we came out like a different team in the second half. It wasn't enough to come back obviously the damage had already been done but it was a bit of light of the end of the tunnel.

Highlight of the Month

Not really a highlight more of a low light.

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Not even an interview. Got a bit to go yet.

 

 

 

 

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Heat

It was a big month for cup competitions. A few finals and only 1 league game. 

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If we beat Lee Man the Sapling Final will also be this month.

But before we get onto that.

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My reign as Saudi Arabia manager will not be boring.

I played another friendly at the start of the month and beat Vietnam 2-0. Much better.

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I'm happy for the contract extension. 

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It seems we just don't make any money.

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First time they have been delighted with me. I'm slightly worried because the last person got fired for not winning the league...

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Dynamics looking good again.

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World Cup Second Qualifying Round was drawn. Winners automatically go through with 2 best runners up. I think we should get enough points to qualify either way.

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Par way though this month we lost our back up striker. Not a massive loss but we are now relying on fitness of the top 3.

So onto the fixtures.

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Lee Man beat us in the league not long ago so I was feeling slightly anxious. That changed after 10 minutes. We were 4-0 up before they scored. Very safe passage into the final.

Pegasus offered nothing as we ran towards a 7-0 win. Another cup final in the bag.

The final wasn't as straight forward as the scoreline suggested. Up until the goal it was a close cagey game with both teams guilty of missing chances. The goal didn't really change much. Lee Man looked dangerous but couldn't find the breakthrough. We grabbed the all important 2nd goal then added a bit of gloss. 2 trophies in the bag.

Sun Hei have struggled in the league and they showed why. We won 3-0 but it really could have been more. Bleda has been amazing this season and we really missed him when he was injured.

The same happened in the League game although I was disappointed to concede in the last minute to stop the nice run of clean sheets.

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3 down 1 to go and then we need some help in the league.

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Those wins propelled me to 10th in the Hong Kong hall of fame. REMEMBER ME!

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Kitchee won their game so with 2 games to go it's looking very tight.

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No interviews just yet. I'll keep plugging away. Qualification for the Asian Champions League is a must!

 

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Any Given Sunday

A bit of housekeeping.

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Under a million now.

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Win loads of cups but go from delighted to very pleased. Maybe the realisation that I might not be bringing home the title has set in. 

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Down arrow but otherwise happy.

I played on the Saturday a full 24 hours before Kitchee played their game meaning I could either ramp up the pressure or gift them the title.

Before the game we got bad news.

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With the reserve also injured he was going to have to play through injections.

We started in the worst possible way by conceding after 7 minutes.

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Thankfully we recovered and was able to hold on. The 94th minute goal produced a man sized fist pump from myself.

Great win but it came at a price.

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I was going to inject him but the next game was the Cup Final. I need him potentially fit for the final game of the season because no matter what happened in the Kitchee game the title was going to the wire.

Speaking of the Kitchee game...

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YES! Lam Lok Kan I owe you a pint!

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Equation was simple. Win the final game of the season and win the league.

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We are at home to 3rd while they are away to 5th. Neither are guaranteed wins.

 

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The Wire*

Before the final day of the league season I had the small matter of the FA Cup Final and a chance to make it 4 from 4 in all competitions.

I was down to the bare bones up front and really didn't want to risk anything. The league and qualification to the Champions League was the priority.

I started a CB and a CM up front along with my normal Hong Kong ST. I could really go with another Hong Kong striker in the transfer market...just in case this happens again!

I had Southern District who I also faced on the final day of the league season. An early bit of scouting.

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We were 1-0 down thanks to a penalty and I decided on the 60th minute to bring on Lugo. He actually didn't really do much but it seemed to be a catalyst. We equalised thanks to a penalty of our own then with 6 minutes left struck the winner. 

4 cup competitions in the bag...now time for the clean sweep.

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We need to make it 12.

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These talks always go so well...

Bleda will start although far from 100%.

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Kitchee wasted no time putting the pressure on. As it stands we are 2nd.

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But we came back with a perfect reply. Champions as it stands. Still 85 minutes to go however.

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Looking good! But I've lost bigger leads.

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Everything was swinging my way.

And that's how everything looked at half time. One hand on the title.

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Kitchee were once again doing their job. We needed to stay firm.

A sending off for us really put us up against it. We needed to keep our heads!

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At half time Kitchee needed a 3 goal swing....they have 2. The last 15 are going to be torture.

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Oh no. After setting up to defend for our lives. We now needed to go the other way.

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With minutes to go we weren't going to get any favours. As we entered 4 minutes stoppage time...we needed a goal.

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A last minute penalty completed the comeback for Southern District.

The person who got sent off with never play for us again.

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Correction the person who got sent off with never play for anybody again.

So the final league table looked like this and truth be told I've never been more disappointed playing FM before.

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Only time will tell if its enough to keep my job.

*I know technically a TV programme but come on give me a little slack!

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Gutting, absolutely gutting losing on the last day like that. Wonder if they'll keep you, if not go to Malaysia, I've had no less than 3 great saves there

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Just now, bigmattb28 said:

Gutting, absolutely gutting losing on the last day like that. Wonder if they'll keep you, if not go to Malaysia, I've had no less than 3 great saves there

Yeah it went from really good to really terrible very very quickly. I'm hoping they keep me. I feel like I can create a really good squad here. At least until an A League team wants me!

Surprise

So the first thing I tried to do is release the person who got sent off...yes I'm that petty.

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Turns out I cant.

So I did the next bet thing. Fined him 2 weeks wages and dropped to reserves. Harsh because he's played every single game but him getting sent off cost me the title and qualification to the Asian Champions League.

Then I got a surprise...

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A playoff. 

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Shut the front door! A 2nd chance to get to the promise land. If I failed here I have a feeling that could be it.

Before we play however it was awards night.

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Still nothing for managers!

So going into this second chance playoff my team were knackered and hurting but they needed to pick themselves up and quick.

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A brilliant ET. 30 more minutes than I wanted to play but we are in the final and once against 1 game away from qualifying for the Asian Champions League.

I have a feeling its do or die.

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Live and Let Die

It was 90 minutes. Win and Champions League. Lose and probably collecting my P45.

We were against Lee Man. A team who have beaten us before and given us a game on more than one occasion.

Before the game I got a piece of good news.

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Followed swiftly by the usual.

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A great piece of news means we can go out and get another pesky foreigner.

Don't let the sarcastic sounding "fantastic return of three goals and two assists in 33 appearances" fool you. He is actually a valuable assist. 

So here we go. 90 minutes to decide my fate.

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Just what you want to see minutes before the game!

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Half time and literally not a single highlight.

Both teams went through extra time only 3 days ago and its already showing.

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25 yard screamer broke the deadlock. Lets go!

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2-0 up...I've been here before.

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20 minutes to go and I'm getting a severe case of deja vu.

8c1262028a40d8f93c8c3b5a2f4a2768.png

This time we held on!

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Get in!

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That is a healthy chunk of wedge for next season.

Mission barely accomplished.

 

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9 minutes ago, andychar said:

Live and Let Die

It was 90 minutes. Win and Champions League. Lose and probably collecting my P45.

We were against Lee Man. A team who have beaten us before and given us a game on more than one occasion.

Before the game I got a piece of good news.

7794646542ae51ebe7d9913a88c58726.png

Followed swiftly by the usual.

9d1cf816ad2ff2aa1528aa0938eb1995.png

6d2baed6f16dae13d95c02e9cb52b3f3.png

A great piece of news means we can go out and get another pesky foreigner.

Don't let the sarcastic sounding "fantastic return of three goals and two assists in 33 appearances" fool you. He is actually a valuable assist. 

So here we go. 90 minutes to decide my fate.

75f6550eb54fe6bc78efd631cdb59fe8.png

Just what you want to see minutes before the game!

4d614bdac912fa65cd009ec45924f037.png

Half time and literally not a single highlight.

Both teams went through extra time only 3 days ago and its already showing.

7163756b77c7a070676b75876ef97bf9.png

25 yard screamer broke the deadlock. Lets go!

ee7e0edc0f4d7f7b65295932645fb2f9.png

2-0 up...I've been here before.

a96be1ac1c3c747c2a9ea16fd4dd3be5.png

20 minutes to go and I'm getting a severe case of deja vu.

8c1262028a40d8f93c8c3b5a2f4a2768.png

This time we held on!

19ac8e1e4eb57045eae906a623be5f17.png

Get in!

f8cc612df02672203760d436e88b8b24.png

That is a healthy chunk of wedge for next season.

Mission barely accomplished.

 

Great work getting in the Champs league. I've never won the Asian Champs league, got runners up with Kedah from Malaysia once and got to semi's with Perlis also in Malaysia before meeting Riyad Mahrez and his Guangzhou Evergrande team. Good luck, not sure how far a team from Hong Kong could go mind.

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4 minutes ago, bigmattb28 said:

Great work getting in the Champs league. I've never won the Asian Champs league, got runners up with Kedah from Malaysia once and got to semi's with Perlis also in Malaysia before meeting Riyad Mahrez and his Guangzhou Evergrande team. Good luck, not sure how far a team from Hong Kong could go mind.

Great effort with those Malaysian Teams. 

I think I’ll struggle to make the Group Stages to be honest. But it’s a start. Hopefully it will get my face out there and I can start moving up. 

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I've managed in Hong Kong a lot on previous games (it's certainly a challenging league), congrats with doing so well with your Eastern team! 

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3 hours ago, andychar said:

Great effort with those Malaysian Teams. 

I think I’ll struggle to make the Group Stages to be honest. But it’s a start. Hopefully it will get my face out there and I can start moving up. 

Was good going, we got lucky on a few occasions, best of luck to you.

1 hour ago, Sebastian Szlenkier said:

I've managed in Hong Kong a lot on previous games (it's certainly a challenging league), congrats with doing so well with your Eastern team! 

Same here, it's very similar to Malaysia in terms of player quality but you can definitely win a fair bit there which boosts your rep

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Waiting

A big off season was ahead and one I needed to get right.

I had one extra foreign place thanks to Deigo Eli.

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That being said this was my first transfer it. It will go under "one I did a while ago and can't remember." Don't know when I signed him but its another body in midfield. A position we are stacked in.

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Here's another Midfielder. Although we are stacked we haven't got that star player. Well now we have. Very happy to pick they guy up for 8k. His contract was up in 6 months allowing me to get him on the cheap. 

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The person who got sent off and cost me the league was a WBL. He has been replaced. In order to bring this foreigner in I got rid of my young South African midfielder. With foreign places limited I couldn't be wasting them on reserve players. 

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This guy scouted better than he my coaches rate him so it will be interesting to see how he plays. He and the other Aussie were free transfers. He will be taking the place of another foreigner in WBR position. I'm trying to sell him off.

I will be in the market for another player but he will probably have to be from Hong Kong. Preferably a defender. I have a good player in all positions in my first team apart from maybe CB. It could be another you score 4 I'll score 5 season.

Before I bought anybody the end of season awards took place. 

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No surprises here to by honest. Xu Xiaobo I feel sorry for. He is being replaced by the 3rd player above only because the scouts rated him 4 star. He has been rated a full star lower so honestly I have no idea what to do.

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Although I blame the final game of the season that moment to forget ended up costing us the title. Conceding a last second loser.

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Atmosphere survived after qualification for the Asian Champions League.

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4 trophies (5 if you include the Season Playoff) and only satisfied. It really was make or break that final against Lee Man. I need the league if I am to be secure in my position this time next season. Although I'm hoping this time next season to be in Australia.

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That's good. Bye bye money.

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It was 2 million when I took over. I don't know how much of a cash cow the Champions League is but we need something!

So basically no more transfers unless a World Class Hong Kong player falls into my lap.

Only thing left to do was wait for the fixtures. Asian Champions League is a long way from starting so it will be a lot of domestic football first. 

 

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War Dogs

Sometimes when things are looking great...

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You have kept your job, your favourites for the new season...

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...you've picked up your biggest rivals best defender on a free transfer and now have the squad exactly how you want it.

FM likes to challenge you...

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Having had Shin Splints before I can 100% feel his pain...but come on man! I need you!

I went out and panic bought a player. 

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Ok so he's not the greatest in the World but hes young and hes from Hong Kong. That ticked most of the boxes. Reason why I panic bought him for more than I wanted to was so I had a back up. I didn't last season and it almost cost me a Champions League place.

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Oh man when it rains it pours. 

No longer have a back up. He could be fit for the start of the new season but either way I'm not happy. 

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I really hope the Champions League pays out big money otherwise this club could be in trouble. 

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Fans aren't happy with my panic buy but other than that I feel I've had a good transfer window. 

I have a feeling its a make or break season. Title or nothing this year.

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Dressing Room Atmosphere is not great but lots of new faces. I expect that to turn around.

I really needed to hit the ground running at the start of the season. Unfortunately I haven't been given the best possible start!

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