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Cuomo10

FM19 - Maltese(rs) Adventures

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Pre-Season 22/23

I have been doing a lot of scouting but again have found it very difficult to recruit. Either the players arent good enough or they do not want to come to me. Just the one player to be added and thats Serigne Seck who plays in CM.

I mentioned that I was wanting to develop another tactic to use for this season alongside my current 4-2-3-1 asymmetric. I was looking to develop one around a 4-4-2 model, but instead I have opted with a back 3. It is a 3-2-3-2 formation with the emphasis on the 2 DMC to have defensive roles to protect the 3 CB's. 2 wingers and an attacking CM look to help and support my 2 strikers. It's still based around the Gegenpress and the pre-season results have been very positive. 

6 friendlies with 3 against stronger opposition and we have finished with 5 wins and 1 loss, 15 goals scored and 4 conceded. The 3 games against stronger opponents were against 2 Premier League clubs and an Italian Serie C side, Acireale. We dominated Naxxar in a 5-1 win and beat Acireale 2-0. The toughest of the 3 was against Birkirkara who are the current Premier League champions and have finished in the top 2 in each of the last 4 seasons. We lost 1-0 to a late penalty and although we didnt create much, we didnt give too much away either. They have some very good players at this level and even that result instils confidence that this tactic could work well this season

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TV revenue is £115k over the season which is more than double to last season. This will be very well received and I have already upgraded the junior coaching and youth recruitment.

Back on the player front and as much as I wanted a new CB and striker, it is proving difficult to bring in players who can potentially offer more than the current crop. There is still some time but im working on the basis that I wont be able to recruit the right players and will rely on the majority of the team that got me into the Prem

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   Aug & Sept 22 

A much better start to the season than what I was expecting with 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat. It could have been better had we not let a 3-0 lead slip in our last game against Tarxien; we had a man sent off and fell apart. The board want us to try and avoid relegation and the start has me confident that we can try to hold our own.

We have played 2 of the better teams in the league, Hamrun and Valletta and were not disgraced in either. The new formation is working well and I have adapted the formation for away games to change to a back 4 and take one of the strikers out.

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The team so far have done well, although the average ratings for my defensive players are low, with the exception of the Tarxien game, Ive been happy. Ayrton Grech has picked up from where left off last season and has 3 goals and 2 assists in his 5 games. Frissell Hunter has also started very well bagging 4 goals in 5 games. I have high expectations for Sciberras as he has now improved to 3.5* CA (5* PA) and he will get more game time this season, lets hope he can kick on from the goals he scored last time out.

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We sold 48 season tickets compared to 34 last season and the attendances for our first 2 home games are higher than last seasons average. With the attraction of bigger clubs now coming to the St Paul's Bay stadium, im expecting to see bigger crowds; the 580 that attended the Hamrun game is a new record for us.

Finances are looking decent at +£62k and this should continue to grow nicely over the season with the monthly TV revenue and increased gate receipts

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Really enjoying the thread. You'll be in Europe qualifiers in no time! Has any club gone professional yet? I have a 2018 save in Malta and I think Valetta went professional pretty quickly followed by Hibernians. What's the capacity of your stadium?

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10 hours ago, Blah_1123 said:

Really enjoying the thread. You'll be in Europe qualifiers in no time! Has any club gone professional yet? I have a 2018 save in Malta and I think Valetta went professional pretty quickly followed by Hibernians. What's the capacity of your stadium?

Thank you, I'm really enjoying it. Its been challenging so far this season but the better teams in the league are strong and im a bit behind them. How did you get on in your Malta save? Birkirkara and Hibernians are the only 2 who are professional. Stadium holds 1275 but the club doesnt own the stadium

Edited by Cuomo10

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Oct & Nov 22

We continued our run of no wins in the first 3 games of October taking it to 6 without a win. We had very tough home games against the top 2 who were and still are unbeaten. A draw away to Lija was a positive result. The next 3 games were all key as I was facing teams below me and these are the matches that could be key across the season. We beat both Qormi and San Gwann and drew against St Andrews and these results helped us climb the table a little bit but more importantly moved us 8 points clear of 3rd from bottom.

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No major stand out performers but it looks like ive been rewarded by keeping my faith with Hunter as he has proven he can score in the Prem and has bagged 7 in 11. 

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Finances are looking very healthy and the benefits of playing in the Prem are excellent for a club like ours.

Another pleasing thing is that one of my players has been called up to represent the U21's. Shaun Zerafa came through last seasons youth intake and is 4.5* CA and hasnt done too badly when playing for the first team. We also have 3 players representing the U19's.

We have a 4 week break until our next fixture so will be organising a couple of friendlies

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One of my best youth products has been snapped up by arguably the best team in Malta, Birkirkara. Kind of annoying but helpless to have stopped it.

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Dec 22 & Jan 23

It doesnt look too good across both months but I am still 8 points above 12th spot. We've been doing ok at home by collecting 4 points from a possible 6, but we lost all 3 away games in the league.

We're through to the 5th round of the cup and will potentially play Birkirkara.

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Talking of Birkirkara, they have made an approach for another one of my youth players in Zerafa. Theyve already taken Muscat off me, lets see what happens here. For those with an eagle eye, you will notice 3 new players. I needed a new LB, welcome Camillieri and my scouts highlighted me to 36 year old CB, Agius. He is still rated as 4.5CA so I couldnt let that one slip. I have also signed another CM in Calleja, I wanted another in and with the chance of Zerafa being lured away, I felt it was more urgently needed.

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Feb & Mar 23

Relatively happy with the results over the last 2 months. The main thing has been to avoid defeat against the teams below me and we have done that well. Across the 7 league games we picked up 2 wins, 3 draws and lost twice. The wins were obviously pleasing but the point against Birkirkara away was excellent as we came from behind twice. We did however crash out to them in the cup, 3-0. The win against St Andrews is massive, they were a place above us and we've all but secured our Premier League status with 3 games to go and we are 9 points above 12th. 

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In terms of the squad performances I am generally content as I wasnt expecting fireworks but the goals from Hunter, Sciberras and Agius have been important. Ayrton Grech is again my best performing player, as with last season.

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Youth Intake

I am really pleased with this seasons intake. I wanted a striker and got one with 4*CA, plus another 2 with 2*CA. We have another player with 4*CA, 2 rated at 3*CA and 3 others rated at 2*CA. There will definitely be some involvement in the first team for some of these lads.

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I received my first Interview request from outside of Malta, I included the Italian Leagues as they are the closest to a bordering nation but without the border. As with the others, the offer was declined.

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Financially we are looking very healthy with £87k in the bank. This should continue to build for the remainder of the season.

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End of Season 22/23

A great first season in the Premier League as we managed to finish 7th, smack bang in the middle. The 1-0 defeat to San Gwann at home was disappointing but a draw and final day home win against Balzan meant we leap frogged them in the table. Im quite pleased with our defensive performance over the season and we finished with the 5th best defensive record in the league. At the other end, is maybe where we could do with some improvements.

Towards the end of the season I started adapting to a 4-1-4-1 formation. The 3 at the back wasnt solid enough for the level of players that we have and the back 4 gave us a better foundation. I moved one of the DMC into a CM DLP role and it is allowing us to retain more possession but maybe lacking that penetration in attack.

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No major stand out players but pleased in general. Hunter struggled in the second half of the season and I still have my doubts if Sciberras can be the striker that we need. As with most seasons and due to the lack of full time and good training facilities, a few players have declined in CA, but I am starting to attract some better quality players and looking forward to summer period to see who we can attract.

I am keen to work with some of the youngsters that came through the last intake but not sure if they can be thrown straight in. The performances of Zerafa gives me some confidence as he stepped up well. There will be a clear out of some capacity during the summer and will evaluate which areas I need to improve. I'd really like a good quality striker if possible

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For the first time since starting this save, we have actually been given some money to spend on transfers. It wont really be needed but it shows how well our finances are. We received £36k for finishing 7th and had to pay out £16k to the squad so we currently have £105k in the bank, which is almost double to what we had at the end of Sept 22.

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Another of my bright youngsters has been snapped up by one of the top 2... Both that have been snapped up were the best of that years intake. We also lost John Zammit last season who was my best during season 3's intake.

 

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Hmmm, I dont think this will end well. Top 2 after another of my young midfielders. This could be all 3 gone within weeks

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28 minutes ago, Cuomo10 said:

Hmmm, I dont think this will end well. Top 2 after another of my young midfielders. This could be all 3 gone within weeks

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He chose Hibernians...

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Pre-Season 23/24

Pre-Season didnt start too well as it seems we are becoming a feeder team for the top 2 in Malta. No less than 4 of my youngsters were snapped up by Birkirkara and Hibernians. I drafted in 2 players, one CB and one DM/CM after 3 of my CM's were taken. The striker I was looking for, I couldnt find, so I will be relying on club legend Frissell Hunter, Sciberras and youth star, Gabriel Barbara who is 16 and 4.5CA rated. There are no prizes for guessing which 2 teams are sniffing around him! We're still struggling in attracting quality and we dont have too much choice in the transfer market. We just need to continue building on our stature in Malta and maintaining Premier League status for a few seasons.

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I want to play with 2 strikers so I have amended my formation. Im being swayed by 3 at the back again and have been working with a 3-1-4-2 which hasnt done too bad over pre-season. We've been creating plenty of chances but the level of opposition hasnt been anything too testing.

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The media are giving us no chance and are predicting that we finish bottom. I find it strange as there isnt too much change to last season's team. My board are wanting us to fight bravely against relegation and anything from 11th and higher will do us nicely; I think it will be a tough challenge to match the heights of last season where we finished 7th.

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We have sold 53 season tickets this season, an increase of 5 from last season. The bank is looking healthy at £137k and that will grow again this season with TV revenue increasing by £11k to £126k for the season.

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Andrei Agius has in my opinion been Malta's best player in the last few years performances wise.

Well done on the progress, got a lot of good young talent, once you get in Europe I think Hibs and Valletta will stop snatching players from you.


Interesting that Gzira aren't even in the prem, they're one of the better teams in the league recently, got europa league football last season

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10 hours ago, ryanlion28 said:

Andrei Agius has in my opinion been Malta's best player in the last few years performances wise.

Well done on the progress, got a lot of good young talent, once you get in Europe I think Hibs and Valletta will stop snatching players from you.


Interesting that Gzira aren't even in the prem, they're one of the better teams in the league recently, got europa league football last season

His personality and experience has been good for us.

That's what I'm hoping for. Might be difficult to break into that top 4 for a couple of seasons, or if we can progress through the cup then that's another route into Europe

I'm not sure what division they are in on my save. I'll check later. I know they're second in real life

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Aug & Sept 23

Couldnt have wished for a better start to the season with 5 wins from 5, 11 scored, 2 conceded and 3 clean sheets. We've been quite convincing in our victories as we have dominated the ball and created a lot of chances. A couple of big wins already against 2 teams that finished above us last season, Lija and Valletta. 

 

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We lost 3 of our better youth players that have come in during the intake's but 2 from last seasons are performing really well. CB Bjorn Zarb has slotted in really well in our back 3 with the experience of Agius being a big help. Striker Barbara has found the net 3 times in 5 league games and could potentially be a top striker for us if we are able to hang on to him. Ayrton Grech is a solid performer again averaging 7.32 and has scored once and assisted twice so far. There is a nice spread of goals at this early stage which I really like

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Oct & Nov 23

We broke our club record by recording 6 consecutive victories but came crashing back down with a 5-1 defeat against Hibernians - our biggest ever loss. We finished October with a 1-1 draw against Hamrun and recorded a further 2 wins, both away from home, in November. Sandwiched between the 2 wins was a 2-1 loss against Tarxien at home. 1-0 up with less than 10 to play and concede twice towards the end. 

We are holding on to 3rd spot nicely with a 5 point gap between us and 4th. We've not been as commanding defensively but im not rushing into any formation tweaks but changing some of the player roles to try and sure it up a little more.

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Step forward Gabriel Barbara! The 16 year old has bagged 8 in 11 and is the leagues joint top scorer. Our stand out player so far and I think I will have a big job keeping hold of him. There are some other decent performers with 3 of my youth products all averaging at least a 7 average rating.

We're experiencing a bit of an issue on the left side as my 2 ML's seem to be in a personal dual with who can pick up the most knocks and injuries.

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Dec 23 & Jan 24

Visually it doesnt look great across the last 7 fixtures as we have only picked up just 1 win, but then on the flipside, we've lost just once in the league and unbeaten in 4. Across the 4 draws, there are some good results, in particularly the 3-3 draw away to leaders Birkirkara. It was after this game that I decided to change the formation and also the tactical approach. It was a big decision as the 3-1-4-2 worked so well for us at the start of the season but I continued seeing our defence coming unstuck and conceding goals that were frustrating me. Its pleasing that since switching we've kept 2 cleans sheets where we hadnt for 7 games whilst using the previous tactic. I've cut back on the Gegenpress and keeping it a lot more simple with a lot less instructions and trying to keep things simple.

We've dropped down to 4th as Hamrun have picked up wins where we have not been but we are 1 point behind them and 6 points above 5th. We have the 3rd best defence in the league behind the top 2 and I think this will be key if we are to try and continue our push for a finish within the top 4.

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Gabriel Barbara continues his fine form in his debut season with 13 goals in 17 games. Roderick Attard is a new signing and I needed a good RB with the switch to the back 4 again. Other than Barbara, (not classing Attard within this) the only other player who is above 7 as their average rating is my GK, Micallef who is having a solid season. I am trying to blood some more youngsters with 4 usually starting now and 2 further on the bench. I dont see many others who are currently in my U21's breaking through. A couple could improve but with the current training facilities, I dont imagine much improvement unless they play and that still doesnt guarantee improvement.

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Feb & Mar 24

We took a beating away to Valletta in a very disappointing 3-0 loss and despite beating a struggling Pieta we got hammered against Hibernians 5-0; the second time this season that we have conceded 5 against them. But 3 excellent wins including wins against the 2 other teams fighting for a top 4 place have lifted us to 3rd in the league and has put us in control with just 3 games to play. The two 2-0 wins away to Hamrun and Tarxien have set us up extremely well approaching the closing stages of the season. We face Vittoriosa and Sliema before finishing against leaders Birkirkara. Hopefully 2 more positive results will mean that the result against the leaders is irrelevant and can guarantee us a spot in Europe for next season.

Defesivley we have been sound still and if you take into consideration that 10 of the 26 we have conceded came in 2 games against Hibernians, we have been solid. The 4-4-2 has been working well but again, the CA of some of our older players is declining and new faces will need to be drafted in after this season. IF we can hold our own and qualify for Europe, im hoping that we can start attracting some better quality and try to close the gap against the top 2.

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Barbara has added just 1 goal across these last 6 games but I cannot complain in the slightest with his performances across the season. Im confident of keeping hold of him and he will hopefully grow into a key player for us over the next few years. 6 of our starting 11 are products of our youth academy and have been doing a solid job for us.

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Youth Intake

2 real stand out players from this seasons intake, the only problem is that we dont play with an AMC so I will be looking to develop Grech as a MC. Some of the players with 2*CA have some decent attributes and Andre Muscat is an example of this. Ive decided to keep all the players with at least 2*CA and release the others as I didnt feel any of them would push for a starting place.

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End of Season 23/24

What a great way to end the season with 3 wins including our first win against Birkirkara and means that we secured 3rd place, our highest ever finish and more importantly, European football. The additional revenue from being involved in the Europa League will be massive for the club and I have already spent some...

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I increased our junior coaching and youth recruitment but I also asked the board to improve our youth facilities which they agreed with. This will cost £150k and although our bank balance sits at £140k we will receive almost £60k for finishing 3rd, im anticipating around £120k for TV revenue and although im not certain on the money from Europe, from memory its around £200k even if we are knocked out at the first hurdle, well I hope so anyway. Regardless of the money from Europe the £150k investment is covered.

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Some good performances across the board that helped us achieve 3rd, none more so than Gabriel Barbara who helped himself to 17 goals and finished as the leagues top scorer in his debut season. Jake Calleja really stood out in the final few games and Attard was a decent addition to the team when he came in during the January transfer window. I have some concerns and I feel that I need to bring in some more quality as either players' CA has declined over the course of the season or my young players arent really improving their CA too much. Ayrton Grech for example who had been a key player in the previous 2 seasons has declined massively so I will be on the look out for 2 wide players as my 2 young players arent quite there and I am not sure if their CA will improve much during next season. In addition to this, I will be after a new LB, a BWM and a striker to compliment Barbara. As mentioned previously, we arent blessed with the choice of quality that we can currently attract but Im now hopeful that with European football and hopefully an improvement in our reputation we may now be able to attract some better players

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It will certainly be an interesting and eventful summer and looking forward to our first adventure in Europe.

Edited by Cuomo10

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Only just read through this save, and what an enjoyable read. Really quick progress up to the top! Hopefully be pushing for European football soon!

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45 minutes ago, WillHoward42 said:

Only just read through this save, and what an enjoyable read. Really quick progress up to the top! Hopefully be pushing for European football soon!

Thank you. Ive really enjoyed the save so far as it's been a refreshing and rewarding save. 

With the 3rd place finish it has guanrateed us European football and although we may not progress much farther than the first or 2nd qualifying rounds, the revenue will be huge for us.

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Europe & Pre-Season

We were drawn against Jablonec of the Czech Republic in the 1st Qualifying round. We took the lead in the first leg at home but could hold on and went into the 2nd leg 2-1 behind. In the 2nd leg, although the home side dominated, we did not disgrace ourselves and picked up a hard fought 0-0 draw. This wasnt enough and although very short lived, the £215k revenue will help us hugely. 

Ive been on the look out for players and have been scouting Malta heavily but despite all of this I have only signed one player, a right winger. I was after a BWM and a left back but both chose other clubs. The clubs stature is still a little low as there arent many players available who I feel will improve the current squad. A couple of the youth players from last seasons intake will play a part this season and we will see how they perform.

Pre-Season went ok with a few wins and clean sheets, but more importantly to get the squad ready for the start of the season

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Malta's rep decreased slightly and I think that this may have contributed to the decrease in the TV revenue. Its £110k for the season where as last season it was £126k. Our current balance is £331k and towards the end of last season I increased the junior coaching and youth recruitment which is currently costing the best part of £20k a month which is a huge jump from the previous levels, its something I have to keep an eye on.

There are a couple of weeks left in the transfer window so will still be keeping my eyes open in case any players hit the market who can add some quality to the team.

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I find this a little strange

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Ive got 6 of my youth products in the starting 11 and 3 others hovering around

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Aug & Sept 24

We've made a flying start in the league just as we did last season and have won our opening 5 fixtures. We're second to Birkirkara who are also 5 from 5 but with a much superior goal difference even at this early stage.

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Its good to see that most of my youth players are achieving good average ratings so far this season. Bugeja hadnt played a first team game before this season and he has been my best player so far. Barbara is firing again and continuing from where he left off last season with 5 goals in 6 games and Steve Zammit has been putting in some good performances from the LM position. 

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Oct & Nov 24

We picked up a further 5 wins but suffered 2 defeats. The 1-0 loss to Vittoriosa was really disappointing as we dominated from start to finish but just couldnt score, just one of those games. We also lost against Hibernians, but considering the aggregate over the 2 games last season was 10-1, the 1-0 defeat shows some improvement. We played well in the game and created some good chances and I feel the gap is now closing a little bit more.

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Still seeing some good performances from my younger players and becoming more important to the starting line up. Buhagir has pitched in with some goals supporting Barbara up front and Steve Zammit is contributing well with assists. Clive Grech has been performing well before an injury and a sending off. Im expecting him to feature lot more but Seck has put in some good performances in his absence and I dont drop players who are playing well.

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Finally, a player with some great quality and experience. Hibernians released him at the end of last season and Ive been trying to get him and Ive now been able to

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Dec 24 & Jan 25

A solid December and steady January see's us still in the hunt for top spot. After our cup win against Gzira, we went to Birkirkara and drew 0-0 with them. We had chances and so did they but it seems the gulf that has been there isnt as much this season. We picked up 2 more wins in January before drawing the 2 league games in Feb. We twice took the lead against Balzan but were pegged back with a 90th minute equaliser. We had a player sent off early in our game against Lija but battled back to share the spoils. An 87th and a 91st minute goal saw us knocked out of the cup in a game we should have won. As in the Birkirkara game, we created some good chances but could only find one goal.

We're a point off top spot and a point ahead of 3rd but maybe more importantly we are 13 points ahead of 4th spot. I think we are well in this title hunt and if we continue to play as we have been then we stand a good chance of having a real go. 

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Transfer window opened and we lost both our RB and one of our CB's. The signings of Buttigieg and Johnson are good ones as both are quality signings and arguably better than the players that left. The youngsters are still holding their own and Clive Grech has been excellent. Both Hibernians and Birkirkara are sniffing around so we could see another one of our bright stars leave. Edward Hammett has also done well having bagged 5 goals in 4 starts.

We are starting to attract better players and Im in the market for a couple other players if we can find the right ones. Id like another winger to help support as I feel we could be offering a bit more down the right

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With 9 games left to play we will see what this side is made of. We've come a long way this season as we were 14 points behind 1st this time last season.

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Feb & Mar 25

We have been excellent the past 2 months and are currently unbeaten in the last 13 league games. We are right in this title hunt sitting in 2nd and 2 points behind Birkirkara with 3 games to go. We play Birkirkara in our last game of the season and this could be the title decider. We finally beat Hibernians, 1-0 away from home and was 1 of the 4 clean sheets that we kept across our last 6 games. 

We've guaranteed a European spot for next season which secures some good revenue again. But which European competition is still to be decided...

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7 of our starting 11 are all products of our youth system with a further 3 having places on the bench. Zarb and Bugeja have performed very well in their placings in the left side of our defensive 4. The signings of Buttgieg and Johnson have proven to be very shrewd and both have bolstered our defensive abilities.

There has been more of a contribution from our midfielders this season compared to previous seasons. Clive Grech is our stand out player and a product of last seasons youth intake. 5 goals and 5 assists from CM in 13 starts is a solid return and if it wasnt for a couple of red cards and an injury his stats may have been even better.

Barbara has had some support up front from Hammett, Buhagir and Sciberras. Barbs (for short) has bagged 14 goals and could match his feat of 17 goals last season.

Its been a great team effort this season and they have come so far in 12 months when you consider how far behind we were to Hibernians and Birkirkara last season.

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Youth Intake

Considering that we made improvements to youth recruitment and junior coaching, I was expecting a little better. Our top prospect, Spiteri, does look good though and attribute wise, is one of the more appealing players that I have seen in Malta for some time. Ive signed the first 3 in the list and also Malcolm Borg as he had good determination and some decent attributes

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12 hours ago, Cuomo10 said:

Feb & Mar 25

We have been excellent the past 2 months and are currently unbeaten in the last 13 league games. We are right in this title hunt sitting in 2nd and 2 points behind Birkirkara with 3 games to go. We play Birkirkara in our last game of the season and this could be the title decider. We finally beat Hibernians, 1-0 away from home and was 1 of the 4 clean sheets that we kept across our last 6 games. 

We've guaranteed a European spot for next season which secures some good revenue again. But which European competition is still to be decided...

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7 of our starting 11 are all products of our youth system with a further 3 having places on the bench. Zarb and Bugeja have performed very well in their placings in the left side of our defensive 4. The signings of Buttgieg and Johnson have proven to be very shrewd and both have bolstered our defensive abilities.

There has been more of a contribution from our midfielders this season compared to previous seasons. Clive Grech is our stand out player and a product of last seasons youth intake. 5 goals and 5 assists from CM in 13 starts is a solid return and if it wasnt for a couple of red cards and an injury his stats may have been even better.

Barbara has had some support up front from Hammett, Buhagir and Sciberras. Barbs (for short) has bagged 14 goals and could match his feat of 17 goals last season.

Its been a great team effort this season and they have come so far in 12 months when you consider how far behind we were to Hibernians and Birkirkara last season.

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Youth Intake

Considering that we made improvements to youth recruitment and junior coaching, I was expecting a little better. Our top prospect, Spiteri, does look good though and attribute wise, is one of the more appealing players that I have seen in Malta for some time. Ive signed the first 3 in the list and also Malcolm Borg as he had good determination and some decent attributes

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Wait, you didn't sign all of them?! Looks like a dream intake to me...

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28 minutes ago, Saintmat said:

Wait, you didn't sign all of them?! Looks like a dream intake to me...

No, I didnt. Training facilities and semi-pro training doenst develop them well. Ive had some players over the past few seasons who have been 2*CA and 5*PA from the intake and even with a lot of game exposure havent really progressed much. Depending on the intake, im looking to keep players who have at least 2*CA. An exception was made this season with Malcolm Borg as he has good determination and some decent attributes

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End of Season

An excellent season comes to an end. We fall short in the title race and even if we would have won the 2 games that we ended up drawing, we would have been pipped by goal difference. It was a remarkable end as Hibernians played a day after and needed a win and to score at least 5 goals - they beat Balzan away 5-0 and retained the title. The main aim for me this season was to retain 3rd spot which we did, comfortably in the end and I wasnt expecting to be in the title hunt with a couple games left of the season.

Our team has grown this season and we have closed the gap on the top 2. However, checking against last season, we increased our points tally by 4 and were 4 points of top spot. Last season we hit 53 points but the winners hit 71 points. Maybe the top 2 over performed last season (they won 22 and 23 out 26 league games respectively last season), but there are good signs for us as a club however I try to over think things.

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Some good, solid performances across the board and its really pleasing that the majority of the starting 11 are players from our youth production. We had a solid defensive foundation as we conceded just 20 times and going forwards, we werent too far off the top 2. 

A good contribution from our midfielders this season which has been really pleasing and another decent return from our main striker, Barbs, with 15 in 29. Hammett looks like a player who will be able to contribute more next season and I will also be looking to offer Andre Muscat more game time next season to try and continue his development. 

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Finances arent too bad considering that we have been losing money each month due to the £20k expenditure on junior coaching and youth recruitment each month and we invested £140k into improving our youth facilities at the end of last season. We received £51k for our 3rd place finish and sponsorship money will increase our balance.

With TV revenue and revenue from participation in Europe, the balance will be looking much healthier.

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I need to try and continue to improve our stature to try and increase the average attendance to gain more in gate receipts. It has increased each year for the last 5 seasons, but if you take out the attendances against Hibernians and Birkirkara, the average is probably hovering around the 250-300 mark.

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Just a quick question, I see you use a BWM-D and a BBM-s, doesn't that leave holes in your midfield? Usually I have that issue myself, so i turn one of the two into a holding role, most of the times the BWM-D into a CM-D.

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3 minutes ago, Marios1999 said:

Just a quick question, I see you use a BWM-D and a BBM-s, doesn't that leave holes in your midfield? Usually I have that issue myself, so i turn one of the two into a holding role, most of the times the BWM-D into a CM-D.

To be honest, its not been too bad and the best pairing Ive had with this team when trying others. With the BWM-D, his main aim is to try and win the ball back in midfield so in theory I see it as there shouldnt be too many holes. The BBM-S is making late runs or hovering outside the box and obviously working back to our own box when out of possession.

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A bit harsh considering it was our first ever game in Europe, and against a team with a much better rep.

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Europe & Pre-Season 26/26

We had to play in the Prelims which wasnt such a bad thing as it offered the potential of some additional revenue if we could get past St Joseph's. We followed up the 1-1 away draw with a comprehensive 4-0 home win in the 2nd leg. This led us to a 1st Qualifying round game against Sutjeska of Montenegro. To say I was happy to take a 5-0 lead to Malta is an understatement; we absolutely dominated in the game. 2nd leg returned us back to reality some what as we succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat but the away leg was more than enough to see us through and face Osijek. We were unlucky away from home as we had chances. We missed a penalty and had a goal disallowed and in the return leg, their extra quality was apparent and even after we pulled a goal back to make it 2-1, it never seemed likely to score the extra 3 goals to see us through.

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All in all, very happy as it is an improvement on last season and the revenue was great for us. We generated £646k in prize money and an additional £30k in gate receipts and our balance now stands at an impressive £975k. I've refrained from requesting any additional improvements for now.

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After we were knocked out of Europe, I arranged 3 friendlies which lead us nicely into the start of the season.

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I've not signed anyone and although we have lost a couple of players, one thing I would like to achieve this season is a full starting 11 of players who have come through our youth set-up. The friendly against Sannat tested this and the result was good to see, they're not the strongest of opponents but this is the way I now want to develop the team further. Im not ruling out signing players as I think it would be silly not as I will eventually be able to attract a better calibre of players.

Our rep in Malta has improved and we are now classed as the 5th best team in the country

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My aim for this season is, as mentioned, try to fill all 11 spots with youth players, I also want to challenge for the title but Im predicted to finish 6th by the media. 3rd is the minimum for me and going a bit further in the cup would be nice as we've never made it past the quarters

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Edited by Cuomo10

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Aug & Sept 25

For the 3rd straight season we have made an unbeaten start across our league fixtures during the first 2 months. The difference this time round is that one of the 4 wins was a 2-1 win away to Birkirkara which is a big result even at this early stage of the season. Hibernians have made an awful start, without a win in their first 5 games which is remarkable considering their performances across the last few seasons.

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9 of our starting 11 are all players from our youth intakes, we have a further 7 who help make up the bench or are on the fringes between the first team and the U21's. I feel Kristensen's experience is really important as this a very youthful team.

Defensively we have been solid again and there have been some strong performances so far. Ian Deguara has done ok so far since coming when Andre Muscat picked up an injury; I moved Buttgieg into a central role from RB. Our midfielders are contributing nicely again this season, in particularly, Thomas Grech with 2 goals and 7 assists. Upfront, our main man Barbara has started really well with 8 goals in 11 games and Hammett has been the more impressive of my other 3 attackers so far.

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Oct & Nov 25

We continued our excellent form in October and for the majority of November but unfortunately we experienced our first league loss of the season against our closest rivals. Regardless of this defeat, we will still be at least 4 points clear at the top. We have continued to be solid at the back as we kept 5 clean sheets in 7. It is still remarkable to see just how much both Birkirkara and Hibernians are struggling this season

Our match against Qormi was the first game to feature a full starting 11 consisting of players that have come through our youth system

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The majority of the team are putting in some excellent performances and Ive been really impressed with Thomas Grech's contribution this season. He's scored 4 and assisted 9. His name sake (Clive) Grech has been impressive too and he now has 3 full international caps and a goal to his name. Barbs continues to find the back of the net adding a further 3 goals in 5 games, he too is now a full Maltese International. During the last International break we had a total of 11 players called up to represent Malta at U19, U21 and First Team levels

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Dec 25 & Jan 26

We continue our relentless pursuit of the title by going unbeaten in 6 and winning 5 of these. We hammered Hibernians 4-1 and also beat Birkirkara during this run and I cannot get over how poor both have been this season. Hibernians could go down as they are 2nd bottom! We continue to be solid at the back keeping another 4 clean sheets and show our potency when going forward in a couple of these games. We currently have a 9 point lead over Valletta who have a game in hand over us, with 8 games to we are in a very strong position and will be disappointed if we let this lead slip.

So long for a good cup run this season as crashed out at our first hurdle. 

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We now have 10 starters from out youth academy and some extremely strong performances across the team this season. Both Grech's have been immense this season with their contributions and Barbara continues to impress adding 7 goals in his last 7 games. Steve Zammit has impressed however both his CA and PA has decreased over the past couple of months. He has been performing well so Im not allowing it to put me off but Malcolm Borg who came through last seasons intake is pushing him for the ML role. The lads in defence are improving and keeping things very tight at the back

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During the Jan transfer window, we have lost Buttigieg and Buhagiar to Qormi which surprised me considering their league position to ours and it wasnt like they werent getting any game time.

Its been difficult finding a partner for Barbara who is consistent. It may be time to drop a striker and play with an AMC which would allow me to let Spiteri get more game time

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I got a little carried away and increased both Junior coaching and youth recruitment, the expense is now £50k a month. In the long run, if I can continue to qualify for Europe on a regular basis then it wont be an issue. 

I am also hopeful that if we can hold on and win the league, the CL revenue may help us to push for professional status which will start a whole new chapter for this club

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Feb & Mar 26

A solid couple of months again and a huge win against Valletta who are our closest rivals. We approach the last 3 games with a 9 point advantage over them and barring an absolute disaster history will be made for Mdina Knights. A really strong season where we have lost just once and been really dominant all season

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I made a change to the formation where I have dropped one striker into a CM role and pushed both wide men forward into wing positions. Performances have still been strong and there have been some excellent contributions across the whole side. Barbara continues to score and he has reached his highest tally in a season with 3 games still to play, 50 in 72 league games. Clive Grech has been excellent and seems to have taken more new to his new role as an attacking CM. Bugeja has also been excellent and has made some massive improvements this season.

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Youth Intake

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A couple of decent prospects but some low determination ratings across a lot of them. 

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End of Season

We did it! In style too by winning our final 3 games. In 8 seasons we have managed to work our way out of the 4th tier of Maltese football all the way to the best in country. Now its all about maintaining that and to be the dominant force domestically and slowly try to become more competitive in European competitions.

We finished 12 points above 2nd place and were extremely strong at the back. 

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This season has proved that our youth products are more than good enough to compete and winning the title is evidence of this. A lot of years ahead of this crop of players and they will only get stronger.

Our back 5 have been solid. 17 clean sheets in 26 league games and a back 5 that for the most part of the season has been all products of our academy.

We have a talented midfield and Clive Grech is the stand out player. 14 goals and 5 assists and he will only continue to grow. 

Barbara continued to score and led the line well all season. 24 goals in 31 is his best season for us and he too will only improve.

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There are other players who are on the fringes and Farrugia and Borg will feature a lot more next season. Cini is good cover at CB and Degabriele and Hammett are other forward options. However, I need a little more depth in the squad as I have no real cover at full back. Centrally and out wide we are fine but I may look to another option up front if I can find the right type of player. With winning the league and playing in the CL qualifiers it may be a little early to expect the better calibre of players to become available to me, but I will not rule out signing a player if my scouts are highly recommending them

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We've earned £71k for finishing first but we are spending £50k across youth coaching and recruitment. We're fine at the moment as we have £722k in the bank but it is now key to ensure that we continue to qualify for Europe otherwise we could have some issues. We still have sponsorship and TV revenue to come in which should be around £200k+ and the revenue from the CL will certainly help depending how we do.

Id really like for us to attract more fans through the gates to increase revenue this way but this seems like it could be a slower slog. We have 61 season ticket holders and this has only been increasing by around 3 a season, but lets see what the league win can do for our rep

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Edited by Cuomo10

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First job offer from Italy. The strange thing about this is that this is the local side to where my dad was born (near Napoli). Ive declined it, respectfully

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