Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
rlipscombe

FM19 All_European (Less England) Challenge

Recommended Posts

There was one club that I reall wanted. They are quite small and quite new to the Danish fourth tier, so I thought they would never pop up. But on reload number 6...TFC Odsherred magically appeared. It's about 20 minutes from where I grew up, and I had a brief spell as a youth player there. I am very excited to be able to manage them.

Manager profile

Club history

Edited by Mr_Demus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mr_Demus said:

There was one club that I reall wanted. They are quite small and quite new to the Danish fourth tier, so I thought they would never pop up. But on reload number 6...TFC Odsherred magically appeared. It's about 20 minutes from where I grew up, and I had a brief spell as a youth player there. I am very excited to be able to manage them.

Manager profile

Club history

sounds like a great club for you...  Good luck :thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Image result for widzew lodz badge


Adam Hanley | RTS Widzew Łódź | Poland | Season 3 (2021/22)

The media's initial odds made us one of 3 teams destined to fight it out for the relegation spots this season, but I told both the players and the board that I expected us to stay up. This season did not go as planned.

Transfers

Now that we are in the Ekstraklasa there is a lot more leverage for us to be able to use the budget we have, so use it I did. £1.4m for Box-to-Box midfielder Moder - brought in to replace the departing Czyzycki - was comfortably a new record signing for us. The other couple of slightly expensive signings (Budzik and Sikora) weren't quite as immediate to slot into the first team, but they're certainly not far away from being ready for that.

Widzew fans must have been delighted to find their first five games were all to be televised and even more so to see the team come away with 3 wins and 2 losses from those 5. A winless October caused a ripple of concern for me, but we came back strong with a run onto the winter break that included wins over both Wisła and Lechia and suddenly I was wondering if perhaps we might even sneak into the championship group once the league splits. A 9-game winning streak (with only one clean sheet) followed and all of a sudden we were rushing towards the split and in contention for the title. Lechia were the team on pace with us, but a bunch of dropped points right at the end of the regular season meant we would be relying on them to make a mistake if we wanted to do the unthinkable.

In the championship group, we managed 6 wins and a draw - including beating Lechia - in order to do our part. Lechia did just enough to hold us off, though, and we finished second place with just a one-point difference.

I'm immensely proud of how well we did. Europa League awaits us next season, but I really don't think we have a deep enough squad to really make much of it. I'd definitely like another run at the top of the table next season, but I don't think I can realistically expect the same again. If we make the championship group again that ought to be considered a success.

League | Championship Group 

 

 

Jakub Moder (MC) - The £1.4m man was integral to our season and won himself both player of the year and player of the season awards.

Zakaria Al-Harish (ST) - The Libyan international was both top scorer and top assister for us this season from a lone-striker position. 

Janusz Gancarczyk (AM RLC) - Very rapidly improving. Spent most of this season out on the right wing, but I'm thinking of switching him to the left side this coming season to allow Budzik a bit more pitch-time.

Camora (DL) - The experienced full-back was actually named foreign player of the year this season. I'm not convinced his physicals will allow him to remain my first-choice in the upcoming season, but he'll most certainly remain a competent backup and he's already signed on to coach our U18s. I'm hoping that in a couple of years he might even develop to the point of becoming my assistant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I am sacked. Started pretty well, totally collapsed, fell out with some of the players, lost the changing room, out the door.

 

Will attempt again. May go for Denmark, but also considering Norway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just inside the relegation places 10 games in. 5 draws and a win in our first 6 games but 4 losses in a row, 3 in league with our worst in the last game. Starting goalkeeper has been injured for all 4 losses so hoping that getting him back soon can stop the bleeding. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 01/12/2018 at 19:02, Mr_Demus said:

And I am sacked. Started pretty well, totally collapsed, fell out with some of the players, lost the changing room, out the door.

 

Will attempt again. May go for Denmark, but also considering Norway.

That's a shame, man. Sounds like you had a really good connection to the club so maybe it's worth giving it another go?

 

On 02/12/2018 at 00:17, Tecmo said:

Just inside the relegation places 10 games in. 5 draws and a win in our first 6 games but 4 losses in a row, 3 in league with our worst in the last game. Starting goalkeeper has been injured for all 4 losses so hoping that getting him back soon can stop the bleeding.

Still a long way to go. That first season is so often the hardest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Biscotti said:

That's a shame, man. Sounds like you had a really good connection to the club so maybe it's worth giving it another go?

 

Still a long way to go. That first season is so often the hardest.

Getting the goalkeeper back has helped. Was this close to throwing in the towel, then we had an amazing 3 goal comeback to draw a game on the road. 5 game unbeaten run going now, it's looking like a 5 team battle to avoid 2 relegation spots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tecmo said:

Getting the goalkeeper back has helped. Was this close to throwing in the towel, then we had an amazing 3 goal comeback to draw a game on the road. 5 game unbeaten run going now, it's looking like a 5 team battle to avoid 2 relegation spots.

good turnaround.  good luck avoiding the relegation spots

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick update on my next season: It's only the 6th of August, but already I'm getting mail regarding the potential breaking of the assists record...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello chaps, just to let you know I'm still alive, just been away the last week. We're going well and currently top in December. Nice to see some new faces in here too - good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, now we get a 4 month break before playing the final 9 games of the season. Ukraine isn't going to mind a winter World Cup. Guess the timing works out, can hopefully give the team a boost beating on some small clubs in friendlies. Need to add a second striker that can actually put the ball in the net and probably another centerback as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ukrainian nightmare is finished, ended up relegated by one point. Just as well, wasn't really liking my team and the finances were looking awful. So many chances down the stretch to survive, blowing a 3 goal lead in one game, blowing 3 leads in another and then in the final game all we needed was a win over an already relegated team that had lost 7 in a row and we allowed a late goal to finish with a worthless draw. Gutless team (no, it wasn't my coaching at fault at all ;) ).

Oh well, either going to give Austria a try or a return to Edinburgh to take care of some unfinished business. Or may do a stint in England first before trying one of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afraid I was not getting into my Czech game so have left that one for now.  I might come back later with another country.  Hope everyone is enjoying their challenges!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SV Austria Salzburg crest.svg

SV Austria Salzburg - 2020/2021

Time for my second try, going with SV Austria Salzburg, starting in 2020. Founded in 2005 by pissed off supporters of the club that became FC Red Bull Salzburg. Two things I love about the club, a natural, intense rival, and purple kits!

My Profile

Club Profile

Club History

Going to try playing some pretty football, probably with some variant of a 4-2-3-1. Looks like a decent squad to start with, need some depth and a strong striker to front our attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good luck @Tecmo - good history to the club.  When looking at clubs i have seen their history and thought it'd be an interesting save.  Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done @rlipscombe

We're about to get our season going. Ended preseason with a bang, knocking off Ajax Amsterdam 1-0. Outshot 17-3 but nicked a goal on a corner and kept them out of the net.

Edited by Tecmo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey All, I am still alive, work got chaotic, especially in the lead up to my trip to Barbados for User Testing, but finally back home now and looking forward to cracking back into this after Christmas :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Image result for widzew lodz badge


Adam Hanley | RTS Widzew Łódź | Poland | Season 4 (2022/23)

Last season was such a success that I couldn't imagine doing it again, but I did feel like we ought to be up in that conversation again. The board were happy enough with mid-table, so there was no pressure on us to succeed.

Transfers

No really major ins this time around, although a few of those players I feel like I overpaid a little bit on what turned out to only be squad players for me. Gancarczyk's departure was certainly a disappointment, but it was going to be impossible to keep hold of him with clubs the size of Milan showing interest, so I took the decision to cash in. I already had other players ready to fill his spot in the squad, but they're not quite on his level.

This time out it was Lech who ran away with the league, leaving second place tightly contested between ourselves, Bruk-Bet Termalica and Wisła Kraków. The battle stayed tight right to the end, but ultimately we just about scraped into back-to-back runners-up medals.

The Europa League seemed like it should have been simple enough for us, but perhaps that was our downfall - losing out on away goals to FC Nordsjælland in just the third qualifying round. 

We're in the Europa League hat again this coming season, with the added incentive that the next cycle will have 2 Polish teams in the Champions League, so We're definitely looking to at least grab another second place.

League | Championship Group | Europa League

 

 

Jakub Moder (MC) - Once again the core to our entire setup. I'm hoping to have some competition for him in the near future, but at the moment our record transfer is still proving to be worth every penny.

Mariusz Sikora (ST) - This lad was already in place as backup to Al-Harish, and with the Libyan leaving us Sikora stepped up to perfectly fill the space. That said, I really think I need a 20-a-season player in order to take the next step.

Camora (DL) - Fans Player of the Season. Was still essential to us in bringing a degree of experience. Unfortunately he wasn't able to play week in and week out but after retiring at the end of the season he has moved into our U18 coaching setup and I'm hoping he'll be a part of the club for many years to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 in a row, because I was already most of the way through this season when I posted that last one

 

Image result for widzew lodz badge
Adam Hanley | RTS Widzew Łódź | Poland | Season 5 (2023/24)

The board this season were expecting a top half finish along with the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League. Personally, I felt another finish in-and-around the top of the table and maybe scrape that second Champions League spot had to be my goal. I was looking to make it into the Europa League groups, but considering last season and that I was still a little short on squad depth I knew that would be tough.

Transfers

Plenty to talk about here, so I'll start with the outs

We made a bit of a loss on Niezgoda - he was brought in last year to be my backup 'keeper but towards the end of the season was a little disgruntled at the lack of games so I allowed him to leave. He only played a bit-part at Korona as well, so I think I was justified.

Donnelly and Nawotka were both likely to play second fiddle to Brabec at right-back, and neither would be happy as a backup, so they were both moved on as well. Also both at a loss, but our financial stability is pretty well set at the moment.

Chakvetadze came to us on a free last season but spent it out on loan due to him being difficult to fit in around the foreign player limits. This season he stepped into the first choice left-back position with a loanee as a backup. A 3m bid from a big team when his understudy was doing just as well was a no-brainer for me.

Bochniewicz was our best centre-back according to my AssMan, but I'd found I wasn't playing him unless someone needed a rest, so again a good offer coming in required no thought at all. We doubled our money there too.

Now for the ins.

James Balogun would be the obvious place to start, as he's the big money man. He was the left-back we had on loan and as soon as the transfer of Chakvetadze was confirmed I made the move to secure this guy permanently. His technicals have a little way to go for what I ultimately need, but that Driven personality means he's an asset in the dressing room as well.

Manuel Jesús Hidalgo came to us on a free but was demanding a contract that guaranteed him some first-team football. Slightly short for my preference on a centre-back, but his jumping reach wasn't bad at all. I neglected him for the first month or so of the season, but when he complained about lack of games I gave him the chance and never looked back. Unfortunately, he was called up to the Spanish U20 squad for the French Youth Invitational, meaning he missed our last game of the season.

The final incoming player to highlight is Damir Kupreski. I wasn't really in the market for another central midfielder, as my starting pair were solid and I had good looking youngsters who could step in when needed. Kupreski didn't really excel in any particular area but is solid for any midfield role, and when I saw his Perfectionist personality I knew he had to be someone I got in. He didn't take long to establish himself as playing more often than not.

The Season

The Europa League was much as expected again, with us making the Fourth Qualifying round before being bested by FC Zürich. Not to be scoffed at, especially as I didn't feel like we had the depth to maintain a European campaign either.

In the FA Cup, we made our first run of note, making it all the way to the final only to lose to Wisła Kraków. I wasn't too disappointed, as the cup is not my priority. I'd like to win it at some point, but seeing as we've leap-frogged it as our route into Europe it's not an urgency.

At 20 league games in, Lechia were running away with the league, and we were embroiled in a 3-way battle for second place. We then went on a winning run which gave us some clean air while Lechia dropped points a couple of times. This meant that at matchday 27, when we went away to Lechia, we were 6 points behind them with a slightly worse goal difference. I was satisfied in second place at this point, but I also knew that if we were to pick up a win it could actually put us in with a chance of making a late challenge for the title. 

Then this happened.

I was beside myself. I don't remember the last time I had a league game make me so incredibly happy. A 14 goal swing meant we also had considerably superior goal difference. Maybe it was on?

Both us and Lechia were a bit scrappy, so when we met at their ground again for the Championship Group match we were still 3 points behind with the superior goal difference. A repeat performance might have disturbed the neighbours...

It wasn't to be, though. We struck late to take a 2-1 lead in the 81st minute, but they came back to equalise on the 90th and the match finished 2-2. Not a disaster, but it meant we knew we needed them to slip up with just 2 still to play. 

Matchday 36 of 37 saw us away at Śląsk, while Lechia were away at last season's champions Lech. We ran out comfortable 4-0 winners, but Lechia also kept up their end with a 2-0 win. On to the final game.

We were at home to third place Jagiellonia, who still had it all to play for as the Europa League spots were still really tight. Lechia were at home to Legia, who were also still in with that shot at the Europa League.

33' - We go ahead with a Kupreski penalty (1-0).
36' & 37' - Jagiellonia hit us with a quick double putting us behind (1-2). The other game is still 0-0, but it doesn't matter at all if we aren't able to win.
45+1' - Sikora levels things up for us. Still goalless in Gdansk as we go to half-time.
47' - Guillermo Rivas (a player I've had my eye on) put Legia 0-1 up. The score is still irrelevant if we don't win our game.
75' - Still no change and I throw on my first-choice left winger who was still not completely recovered from a knee ligament sprain. Desperation sets in.
90+1' - Jagiellonia are attacking us, but some sloppy control allows us to clear. Their centre-back pulls up injured while recovering the ball allowing Sikora to nip in and convert. No change in the other game. WE'VE DONE IT!!!!
90+2' - But Legia committed too many men forward and then misplace a pass. Lechia punished them with a swift break and break our hearts in the process.
FT - I'm an emotional wreck and need to turn the game off for a few hours.


League | Championship Group

So we didn't win the league this time out, but we gave it a damned good try. I feel good about our future. I want to win the league next season, although I think a realistic goal is just to still be in the conversation come season's end. Our first run at the Champions League, too. I'd like to make the groups, but again I think a realistic goal is actually making the Europa League groups, maybe even getting out of them.

 

Players of the Season

Rafal Budzik (AMR) - Last season Budzik was on course to smash our assists record but he went off the boil a bit. This season he was much better, but honestly, I think his and the AMC slots are currently the most replaceable positions. I don't think I'm actively looking to replace, but if the right player comes up, who knows?

Mariusz Sikora (ST) - I said at the end of last season that I needed someone to score 20 a season. Sikora's 32 (24 in the league) was exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. I don't yet have a suitable understudy for him, and that concerns me.

Maciej Sliwa (AML) - The third prong in our strong attacking line and our second top goalscorer. He did a lot better with injuries this season, only missing about 6 weeks of football, and it showed. My understudy for him is less of an inside-forward and more of a winger but has plenty of potential. I'm considering a tweak to my system for next season so we'll see if perhaps Sliwa is shifted to a more wing-based role instead of cutting inside.

Best Eleven | Overall

I'm thinking of switching to a DM based version of the same system I've been using. AMC has been a slot I've not been entirely happy with for a couple of seasons and finding the right replacement has proven a challenge. Playing with a DM will hopefully help shore up our back-line allowing Balogun and Brabec to push forward the way they both like to do. Otherwise, though, I'm just looking to add some depth. We have a couple of promising youngsters that have been away on loan this season who I need to have a long look at but otherwise, I'm happy enough with the squad. Budgets have been set pretty high, so I expect I'll still splurge on someone who I really don't need...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

140px-Merida_AD_logo.png   

Zacarías Ureña / Mérida / Spain - Opening Post (2019)

I decided to start with this challenge in the country, which I will visit in the year 2019 - Spain. Mérida AD is a Spanish football club based in Mérida, in the autonomous community of Extremadura and is a successor of CP Mérida. CP Mérida was founded in 1912 and has played twice in La Liga (1995–96 and 1997–98) before the club disappeared in 2000, due to serious economic debts. Mérida AD has already played in Segunda B but the club has been relegated in 2017/18. Thus I decided to pick this team and restore the glory days from the past and bring them back to La Liga.

My alter ego in this save will be Mexican manager Zacarías Ureña. He will have a difficult task because the majority of the team is older than 30, therefore the complete revamp of the team will be necessary.

As you can see, I'm playing on Football Manager Touch so the interface has a little different layout than the full version of the game. Nevertheless, I hope, that this isn't an obstacle to participate in this challenge.

Let the first season begins...

 

Edited by uroszila

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

S.S.C. Bari logo.png

 

Bari

 

Serie C

 

Season 2019-20

 

League Table

Graph

Squad 1        Squad 2        Squad 3

 

I am keeping this review brief (i'll be more detailed in later reviews) but our first season in Serie C saw us crowned champions.  We started steady but then went on an incredible unbeaten run in the middle third of the season which saw us rise up the league finally hitting top spot with 4 games to go where we held on until the end.  Whilst i thought pre-seaon we could make the play-offs i am over the moon to get promotion first time round.  

 

In terms of players we relied a lot on loanees to get the quality required but our top goalscorers (Ngombo and Floriano, both with 10) were our own players.  For next season, we'll aim to survive and go from there.  We should be good enough to do this but time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@uroszila - welcome to the challenge and good luck with Merida.  Playing on Touch is fine for the challenge - the more the merrier.  Merida are a club i have heard of and one that would fit into my own personal criteria of choosing a team in one that has been in the top leagues before and trying to get them back so i approve of your choice!! :)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Image result for widzew lodz badge


Adam Hanley | RTS Widzew Łódź | Poland | Season 6 (2024/25)

The last three seasons had all resulted in second place finishes. It was time to give a serious go at the title.

Transfers

The only outbound player of note was Hidalgo, who most definitely was a star for us but unfortunately I wasn't able to negotiate a more suitable release clause for him, but seeing as we picked him up on a free transfer it's still some wonderful business.

Michael Ameyaw was also moved on despite having been a key figure for us over the previous five seasons because we made a slight change to the way we played and he was only really able to play in the AMC slot.

For the incoming, we'll start with the big money.

I know I overpaid a little on Nedim Sapina, but obviously we were paying a premium for bringing him in from a rival club. I still feel justified, though. Superb physical attributes and great work rate means he and Budzik have been back-and-forth for the starting spot this season.

Villalba and Znaor were both brought in upon the departure of Hidalgo. Alexis Villalba slots straight in where Hidalgo left us, with Vinko Znaor joining us as a much taller option with more of a backup role.

Andrea Ridolfi joined us as a prospect right wing-back and looked pretty decent when he was required to fill in for Brabec. Could well be a future star for us, but there's also a chance I've paid more than he's going to be worth.

Last season I was using one of our youngsters as backup striker, but I never really felt that comfortable. Gonçalo Brandão comes to us as a rotation option, but honestly is
probably on a par if not better than Sikora both physically and mentally. It will be interesting to see going forward if I start to favour the younger Portuguese player.


The Season

Our first run at the Champions League was going to be a very tough one, having to start in the Best Placed Second Qualifying round. FC Midtjyland were our first opponents, and we fairly comfortably dealt with them 2-0 in both legs. The Best Placed Third Qualifying round drew us against Sporting. A hard fought 2-2 draw at home was then followed by a tough 2-1 loss in Lisboa in which we led from the 21st minute until the 67th. I wasn't too downhearted, though, as this was always going to be a big ask. 

This meant we got ourselves into the hat for the Europa League group stage where we were joined by Lechia, but no other Polish teams.

Lechia were given a tough - but not impossible - group containing Ajax, Charleroi and Hertha. We, on the other hand, got a much more difficult looking group of AZ, Lazio and Villarreal. I figured there was an outside chance of scraping second place if results went our way.

In actual fact, we ended up topping the group without losing a game and this gave us a first qualifying round draw against Hamburger SV. Much like the Sporting game before, I knew we had a shot but it was going to be tough. We lost 3-2 in Hamburg, but with 2 away goals, I knew we definitely had the odds in our favour for the return. It wasn't to be, however, as an own goal 8 minutes into the match was swiftly followed by a second Hamburger goal and we just sort of gave up. Possibly my most disappointing match of the season .

That left us to look at the league. From matchday 6 we never dropped below second. Despite a few slips, we entered the Championship Group with a rather comfortable lead of 7 points at the top of the table over chasing Legia. Things were not sealed at this point, and avoiding a loss to Legia when we met again was essential. Better still, an emphatic 3-0 win meant we actually confirmed our title against Legia with 2 still to play.

This puts us into the Champions playoff for the Champions League next season, meaning we are just a single win from making it into the Group Stage and at a minimum guaranteeing us a spot in the Europa League groups.

League | Championship Group


Players of the Season

James Balogun (DL) - This season I switched from an attacking central midfielder to a holding Half Back. Balogun was a large beneficiary of this as it gave him much more freedom to push forward from the back.

Mariusz Sikora (ST) - Not quite as good for Sikora this season, but with reliable back-up available he actually played about 10 fewer games this time out. Still scored more than the magic 20 and was our top scorer.

David Brabec (DR) - Brabec was already starting to shine last season, but this year with the better defensive shape he really was integral to ensuring we always had a man available when we were on the attack. Much like Balogun, he didn't contribute directly to many goals, but he definitely has a bright future with us.

Artur Krzczuk (DM) - After a couple of seasons away on loan it was clear that Krzczuk was ready to be a big part of an Ekstraklasa side and he was a notable part of the reason I chose to switch to a DM system. more than 700 more passes attempted than any other player on the team and a 91% pass accuracy showed that he was the lynchpin through which all of our play flowed. This season I intend to do everything I can to remove his £3.5m release clause before it is too late.

Best Eleven | Overall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @Biscotti - still here and checking in on the page most nights to see what is going on.  Just finding time to compile the end of season post and get it uploaded.  I am actually in November now...

 

Congratulations on the title!  Unlucky against Sporting in the Champions League qualifying round but well done on topping the Europa League group!  Unlucky against Hamburg but it will have been a learning experience for the team.  You seem to have got some good players there - like the look of Krzczuk and i agree you need to tie him down to a new deal.

 

Good luck next season :thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried starting a Dafuge challenge for my laptop game but realised I still have little interest in slogging through the English lower leagues any time soon.

So I am going to attempt this again in Scandinavia - likely Denmark - will post an update when ready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/01/2019 at 22:35, Crispypaul said:

tried starting a Dafuge challenge for my laptop game but realised I still have little interest in slogging through the English lower leagues any time soon.

I hear you there! Going to give this a go with Cesena's "phoenix" club - I was dead keen on the Dafuge challenge but getting up those divisions is a bit of a chore! This challenge is better suited to my needs  :)

Edited by 2481

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the welcome guys! I wanted to come up with a relevant alter ego for this challenge, so taking the reins of Cesena will be Monty Banks (junior), the fictional great-grandson of Italian-American comedy actor Monty Banks who was born in Cesena and emigrated to the US to pursue a career in Hollywood. He became a star in the silent movie industry and even ended up directing a film for Laurel and Hardy - here's hoping his namesake's career in football management doesn't end up as a farcical comedy too! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cesena-Stadium.png

Cesena FC - Serie C/B - Season 2019-2020 Introduction

Domestic Leagues History - Club Overview - Starting Squad

 

Club Background

Though perhaps not successful enough to be classed as a fallen giant, Cesena FC is certainly a club fallen from grace. After declaring bankruptcy in 2018, their previous iteration AC Cesena was dissolved and reformed as a phoenix club in the Serie D amateur leagues. The new Cesena FC retained their near 24,000 capacity stadium, as well as regaining the rights to their previous club badge. This challenge begins following their promotion to Serie C/B at the start of the 2019-2020 season.

Leading the club forwards - hopefully to its former heights - is American-Italian manager Monty Banks. Great-grandson of the famous Cesena-born actor/director of the same name, Monty began his football management career in the American college soccer system where he quickly became well regarded for his focus on youth development and aggressive, attacking football. As a completely unknown quantity in Italian football, Banks will have to quickly obtain results on the field to win favour with the Cesena fans - but his family history is sure to intrigue even the most skeptical Bianconeri supporter. His first task will be to rebuild the squad to ensure competitiveness in the division, with the club's board expecting a mid-table finish in the league.

 

Pre-season Recruitment

I'm doing this challenge in FM Touch, so some features such as youth intakes will be a bit limited. I've unlocked Attribute Masking and loaded a few other leagues so the game is more challenging long term. As you can see the starting squad was rather thin with only 11 players on the books as well as some additional (newgen) youth players. Thankfully though there was a good amount of money available to strengthen the squad - just over £900K -  a lot considering the club is in Serie C! The club also had no staff, so my first task was to recruit a competent backroom team. As the personal focus of the challenge will be youth development it was important to get in a good HoYD, and I managed to find a bit of a gem - Gianluca Pegolo has amazing stats for this level and is probably my favourite pre-season signing. 

My new scouting team then got to work, using their rather limited network to try and find some players that will hopefully be of a good enough standard to mount a title challenge as well as potentially having enough ability to hold their own in Serie B should we get promoted. I spent ages on pre-season squad building and signed 14 players in total, some of whom are promising youngsters on loan from higher division clubs. Of all the signings I have high hopes for Emanuele Rovini, signed from Udinese for £170K , a skilful inside forward who I'm retraining into a deeper inverted winger. The most spent on a player was £230K for 19-year-old Pro Vercelli striker Erik Gerbi who I'm hoping will score a lot of goals at this level. The squad I've assembled looks good on paper, certainly of a higher overall standard than most other clubs in the division. I'm fairly confident we'll be vying for promotion once the team has gelled. 

 

The season is now underway so I'll update you on my progress soon. Good luck with all your challenges!

 

Edited by 2481

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@2481-  good opening post there - looking forward to seeing how you get on.  Italy (for me anyway) has been an enjoyable county to manage in so far.  good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cesena-Badge.png

Cesena FC - Serie C/B - Season 2019-2020 Summary

Monty Banks Profile - League Table - Squad - Transfers

 

I had high hopes for the team going into this season but I certainly did not expect things to go anywhere near as well as they did. For the first time ever in a save (and I've been playing since Championship Manager 93-94 :lol: ), I finished the league season unbeaten, absolutely walking the division. The careful player recruitment process in pre-season paid dividends, and the assembled squad proved to be somewhat overpowered for Serie C level. There were a few brown trouser moments along the way, with a couple of last minute equalisers keeping the team's amazing record intact, but overall I could not be happier with this season's performance. It is without doubt the most successful lower league season I've had in FM. The squad gelled quickly and fit nicely into the tactical setup, and most players ended up with solid 7.00+ average ratings. We also won the Serie C Cup, but Foggia beat us 1-0 in the final of the Serie C Super Cup ending our season in defeat. Monty Banks received his first accolade in Italian football, picking up the Manager of the Year award.

There was a moment of great sadness in early January when my Head of Youth Development Gianluca Pegolo jumped ship to become manager of Alto Adige. I was pretty gutted as I expected him to bring through some great youth prospects at the end of the season. After delivering a bit of a parting shot at him in the press he was swiftly replaced with Frenchman Jean-Marc Nobilo, who is not quite as good but should still be solid at this level.

Signing of the season did indeed turn out to be Emanuele Rovini, who won Player of the Year and was the divison's top scorer with an impressive 22 goals from the right wing. He also notched up 10 league assists and was consistently influential in the team's good form.  Left winger Andrea Bussaglia - a transfer agreed prior to Monty taking over - also had a great season, although he missed three months with a torn thigh muscle. This led to the signing of Francesco Corsinelli on-loan from Genoa, who proved to be a reliable replacement with 5 goals and 9 assists from 17 appearances. Other standouts were attacking right back Ivan Rondanini, experienced playmaker Danilo Alessandro, young loanee centre back Antony Angileri, and left back Fabio Eguelfi.

Monty Banks' record transfer Erik Gerbi proved to be a massive disappointment though - despite scoring a decent tally of 12 goals (from 42 appearances though, not that great for a striker) his performances were consistently poor and I think he's got a bit of an attitude problem. The striker position is not really working that well in my chosen 4-4-1-1 formation, so I'm going to have to tweak that a bit to try and get better performance from the lone forward.

Despite the success this season I am concerned that the current squad will struggle a bit in Serie B, as the standard of players and squads is considerably higher. With a smaller transfer budget of around £500K and a rather modest wage budget, Monty's probably going to have to rely on pre-contracts, free transfers and loans. A number of players with expiring contacts have been targeted - including Lazio striker Alessandro Rossi (who would be a big upgrade on the misfiring Gerbi) and Nabil Fekir's younger brother Yessin Fekir, who could prove to be a great long-term replacement for Alessandro. Three decent prospects came through the youth system but are unlikely to get a first team look-in. However, last season's hottest prospect Dennis Siciliano could be knocking on the door, as he is quickly developing into a rapid and hard-working frontman. 

Can Cesena's unbeaten run continue in their return to Serie B? Probably not, but hey :lol:  The only objective for the 2020-2021 season is to avoid relegation, as per the expectation of the board. 

Edited by 2481

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello. I am pretty much what you would call a veteran of the game, playing ever since the CM 99/00 version. Also, I'm in love with lower league management, so I've decided to give this one a go, but with a little twist: I will attempt three challenges at once (doing the great san marino and the youth challenge as well).  Hence, I've chosen to load players from top European clubs, all players of Sanmarinese nationality & all the Serie D players.

Here are the starting screenshots: 

 

Competitions

Profile

Overview

Squad      U20   pmcnbv8bpu18

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rolphynho greetings fellow veteran! Good luck with your triple challenge - I admire your ambition... The San Marino and Youth Only challenges are tough in themselves, but they will most definitely combine nicely with this one :) Italy is a good place to be for this challenge, there's a few of us slogging it out there now! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

welcome and good luck @Rolphynho - good to see another in Italy.  Certainly not making it easy for yourself but good luck.  It's something i have debated before but not been brave enough to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Image result for widzew lodz badge


Adam Hanley | RTS Widzew Łódź | Poland | Season 7 (2025/26)

After our success last season the board stepped up their expectations - this was going to be the hardest season yet to meet their goals. First off we were asked to retain our league title. Certainly achievable, but I know full well that there are a couple of other teams in Poland who are more than capable of pushing us all the way. Next up the board requested that I reach the group stage of the Champions League. Another achievable objective, seeing as we only needed to win in the Champions Playoff in order to get there, but still not a walk in the park. As for the FA Cup, we were expected to reach the final. I've made it known before that I don't really consider it an essential trophy, but my rotation policy might take a hit if I'm to achieve what's expected of me.

Transfers

The only transfer I really want to touch on is the Maciej Sliwa one. When that bid came in the first thing that came to mind was that he missed basically all of last season through injury. He was most definitely a key player for us, but I was confident in my squad and so I ultimately let him go.


The Season

In the end, it was quite a comfortable league campaign. Not so much that I felt I could slack off, but I never felt it was in doubt.

It was a similar story for the FA Cup, where in the 6 rounds we only faced 2 Ekstraklasa teams and that wasn't the Semi-Final or Final. We've now added this one to my trophy cabinet.

Our opponents for the Champions League Playoff were to be Dinamo Zagreb. A slightly kind draw, but not one I was going to take lightly. We lost the away leg 2-1 and I was happy enough with coming away with the away goal expecting we would be strong at home. Strong was an understatement as we ran out 5-0 winners to set up a group stage consisting of Man City, Inter and Marseille. It sucks to be the fourth seed.

I didn't dare hope for something like last season's Europa League group, so when we lost both home and away to Inter and Man City I wasn't at all surprised. I wanted to try and pick up 4 points over Marseille to make it through to the Europa League, but we actually managed to pick up 6 to make it look more comfortable.

This dropped us into the Europa League First Knockout round and I was hoping for an easy draw. Dortmund were not that easy draw. They came to us first and, against all expectations, we spanked them 3-0. It was by no means done, but we performed well in the away leg drawing 1-1 to progress. The second round was Bournemouth, which I judged to be a much easier tie. We started by thumping them 5-0 in Łódź to make for a simple job to do in Bournemouth - a 3-1 win. We moved now to the quarter-finals, where there were still a few smaller sides left, but instead we got drawn against Arsenal. Based on our campaign up to this point, it was certainly achievable, but unfortunately a 5-4 aggregate loss was to be the end of us. Still incredibly proud of our run and next year we go straight into the Champions League group stage.

Championship Group | Competitions


Players of the Season

Damir Kupreski (MC) - Our Serbian playmaker was sensational this season, leading the club average rating, scoring, assist and man of the match charts. 

Radoslaw Kruppa (DC) - In a season where we conceded fewer goals than ever before, it is only right to highlight the man who ran that back line for me. Kruppa earned himself a 7.32 average rating from the heart of the defence, despite only scoring 2 goals all season.

Gonçalo Brandão (ST) - When I looked back at the statistics at the end of the season I realised I'd done Brandão a disservice because he was my second choice all season. A return of 21 in 25 starts is superb and I think I've got to give some serious consideration got making him first choice next year.

Best Eleven | Overall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Biscotti - great European campaign there, taking names and scalps! A comfortable league win as well, nice one. Champions League upsets for you next season hopefully... look forward to seeing how you get on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, time for my first update. @2481 & @rlipscombe the fact you were waaaaay more realistic than me saved you guys from a lot of headaches, this tri-challenge is a handful. Every single time I've felt i was making (a tiny bit of progress), reality hit me hard. It feels less like FM and more like Whac-A-Mole (I'm the mole in case anyone was wondering).  First thing's first: DEVELOPMENT. Right off the bat, the board aproved for me to take the qualification course, so I had my National C License before winter came. But like i said, every silver lining just brought dark clouds, in this case the board rejecting TWICE both training and youth facilities upgrades, first they reasoned it was too early, while the second time was due to lack of funds. Secondly, IN/OUT. Playing this as a youth challenge meant, of course, 0 transfers IN. So the main focus was getting a good staff to help me improve the players by training faster.... aaand boy, did i get Staff! Also, the board aproved for most of them to improve even further by accepting a qualification course, only once thou, second time the opportunity arose they refused due to lack of funds. Guess what's the dark cloud part here? I've lost 5 players rather soon after taking control because I didnt prolonged their contracts (inlcluding the first two options for striker) n00bness. That right there is unnaceptable by my standards, I even considered quitting at that point because offering them contracts after they left would break the youth challenge, but a deep breath to swallow the stupidity helped me push through. I had to change the tactics i had planned on using from 2 (decent) strikers to 1 (underwhelimg) striker. Lastly, RESULTS. This part should have a parental advisory label attached, i would recommend getting your kids in bed before going ahead with this post because the massacre is real. I've lost (and when i say "lost" I'm practicing my usage of euphemisms like its a school assignment) the first 14 fixtures, 2 cup and 12 league, which got me an insecure status with the board, axe hanging over my head sooner than expected tbh. The squad gelling kicked in lately (I reckon this part is more important in the current version than it ever was, maybe too important?!) and I've managed to grab some points, mostly due to draws until the first win finally came in the freaking 20th game of the league. It will certainly be a struggle even to pass the Lanterne rouge  to Prato and get into the playouts, while the 15th place will surely remain just a wet dream. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tough start @Rolphynho but hopefully the green shoots are promising and you can at least pass Prato and make the playouts.  Fingers crossed for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rolphynho sounds like a brutal season, I had a similar one in my recent short-lived Dafuge challenge. Can be demoralising, but it feels great when you actually win a game! How are you getting on with Bari @rlipscombe? I'll hopefully post my Cesena season 2 review later (we won Serie B!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@2481 - i'm into mid-March now.  going quite well for me too - in the promotion race with 8 games to go...  Well done on your title!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...