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The Youth Factory Cesena
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This career update is created as apart of the Youth Academy Challenge link too it can be found here. I post updates there too but will do more detailed ones here. Because of said challenge I follow the rules of it, and too give a short summary. The most important thing you would need too know is the fact I am not allowed too do any transfers in. Outside the yearly youth recruitment of course. I am free too do transfers out of the club. As apart of the setup I simulated a year too get a previously unplayable club into the Lega Pro A/B/C stages of the Italian league (3rd level). My choice of these clubs as  you might have guessed by now was Cesena. Furthermore the Challenge asks you to start without former experience or badges making my manager look rather useless as the picture below will illustrate.

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Spoiler below contains seasonal short summary

Spoiler

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Edited by HbG93

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Posted (edited)

Bilderesultat for Lega Pro B
The year is 2019
Year 1

Oddly enough somehow a northern born viking has ended up changing his home turf from that of a urban, cold, windy and snowy mountain side of Norway. Too the not so cold and windy small Italian city Cesena. The move itself was however the lesser of my worries. Italians have very little too the odd few fluency ability in Norwegian, and their ability too speak English is not noteworthy either. Yet here I was sitting at a press conference table awkwardly trying too exchange some words with a small and mainly local media personnel. Too be honest I was still not quite sure how I had ended up here. I know why.. It was my dream too become a football manager, and somehow that had led me abroad too Italy of all places. Not that I minded being in Italy as I was quite fond of Italian football. But I wasn't too familiar with the lower leagues of Italy. But this is where the club Cesena finds itself, and it's future shall be apart of my own journey. I guess perhaps the reason I was here, was because of their new project. That truly for any football fan would seem ridiculous. Cesena had announced it's intent too not use incoming transfers too bolster their squad. But instead look too create a tradition and culture for fostering, and creating their own stars from their own ranks. The thought of trying too master Italian football with players that had seen too few winters was daunting, but in reality what felt the most difficult was pleasing the ones that had. As winning the dressing room was key if I was going too keep being at the helm.

Tactic
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In truth I have no real genuine football philosophy I often end up leaning towards a 4-2-3-1 system. But having exactly zero experience working in the world of football this would be my first real challenge. Deciding how I would play my team. I quickly realized that a 4-2-3-1 would only be possible if I moved the 2 central midfielders into the defensive midfield as our only proper options where Davide Biondini and Giuessepe De Feuids both veterans sitting at 36 and 35 years old respectively.  The defenders available for the club left for more too be desired. There where many times I felt incredibly frustrated that I couldn't just go out there, and sign some better defenders too bolster the squad. But too be fair our left back position had a very good option in Marcello Possenti a former Atalanta youth product that had already spent most of his career in the Lega Pro divisions. I decided in the end too rely on a counter attacking style. Hoping that my defense would hold up thanks too our two veterans protecting our back line. Up front I had another veteran in Giovanni Ricciardo a striker that has spent his years trying to find the right fit in the lower levels of Italian football. All in all I really didn't have much hope of greatness with the current lads. In fact the media seemed far more enthusiastic and confident than I was or anyone on the team for that matter. From day one it was very clear I would have too earn any respect I would want from the players. But still media had us at what I thought would be a very challenging 9th placement.

Initial Fixtures
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Meet the 2019 part of this seasons fixtures. I will not lie I had no intention of doing any cup runs my sole focus was on the league. But a 0-5 loss versus Virtus Entella might not have been the best for morale or finding dressing room support. The league itself started off in mediocrity, but in the third match of the season we found our first victory by defeating Alto Adige. A pretty good victory too as they where an experienced and quite good Lega Pro side. From there we suffered two heavy losses, and I can't really complain since we where outplayed both times. But I decided not too be hasty in making any changes, and convinced myself that is the way of counter style. Sometimes It just doesn't pay off. From there we where able too pick up some form, and even get our first back to back win after beating two quite competitive sides. So far things where not going to well, however also not exactly bad either. During a goal-fest of a match versus Prodone the first real clear problem was revealed. My hopes of Biondini and De Feuids veteran protecting our defensive line was riddled with flaws. We were conceding often and even had a tendency too have a more open goal after the first one was conceded. Luckily we still where able too pick up wins despite taking on losses as well. Often we where saved by Nicola Andreoli excellent assists or Loris Tortori or Giovanni Ricciardo having productive games in front of the goal. All in all I had predicted a very tough season, but in truth we where doing just fine. There of course was more trickier times here and there, but in the end with everything played it evened out quite alright. 

Fixtures from December and too the end
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During the second leg of fixtures we went into a tendency of winning a couple in a row before losing a couple in a row. As I say it balances itself out, and in the end we did a little bit more winning than losing. If you bothered going trough it (or just peeked at the table below) and count you would find that we won 18 games that year lost 14 and drew the 6 remaining ones. This landed us at a quite solid 7th. However it can't be denied that the positives where outweighed by the negatives. While I would like too celebrate and enjoy the fact we where the 5th best goalscorers in the league we also conceded the most out of everyone. And that is a bit more haunting than the fact we where quite good at scoring. It doesn't help either that I also managed too take an embarrassing record. This came after losing 9-0 versus Prodone who already had scored 5 on us in the previous fixture. Also please don't post comments asking how on earth I managed too lose 9-0. I would rather delete that train wreck of a match from memory. Especially since this was written down in the history books as not only Cesena biggest loss ever but also the Lega Pro B biggest recorded loss (win for Prodone). But in a way considering that I had not only meet our expectations, but even exceeded them and landed a very pretty 7th placement. I felt the year wasn't all that bad since it clearly highlighted the teams issue. If we where going too ever climb out of this division. We would need too  improve our defense  learn to defend. While they are supposed too be a moment of excitement. The playoff stages ended rather quickly despite not technically losing the match versus Juve Stabia, but because the tiebreaker was based on highest seed we where eliminated.

Final League standings
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Behold the final standings of the Lega Pro Girone B! While the team that should not be named almost managed too become champions. I am glad that Vicenza Calcio finished above them! It looks a bit strange looking at the table, and see a team with -1 goal difference be hanging with teams with positives ones. But while our defense was leaking throughout the entire season. We also managed too win enough matches. Fermana F.C and Giana Erminio came grudgingly close too the playoff fun. While Vis Pesaro and AC Prato where miles better at everyone else at taking the least points. Yet still conceded less goals than us. Also note AC Prato interesting recod having 13 draws. Rimini Calcio and Fano should feel quite lucky. Well perhaps not Fano who still got relegated because of playoff. 

End of season squad
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Meet the lads that formed my squad that managed too write themselves into the history books. Now missing here is goalie Federico Agliardi but he played 37 out 38 games and had rather disappointing average off 6.77 much in line with the overall terrible performance of our defense. While I won't hide that I think a big issue was the personnel we had, but I will also take blame myself. I will look into changing tactically next year in hope too improve our defensive record. Which shouldn't be too hard considering we truly where the worst out of everyone in the league. How impactful my tactical changes will be is hard too say. But I know for a fact it will be rough as Federico Aligardi and my veteran duo giueseppe De Feudis and Davide Biondi will all retire at the end of the season. I also lost a rather promising right winger in Andrea Zammarchi who didn't sign a binding deal and therefore was poached by then Serie A side FC Crotone. I genuinely think we are set for a longer stay in the Lega Pro division until we can muster new recruits that can pave the way. Further doesn't help that my top goalscorer Giovanni Ricciardo is ageing to the point he could drop his retirement news on us any season now. Below is my best eleven of the season, and there where not really any surprises there what so ever. 

Best Eleven
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Youth Intake
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Finally and perhaps most importantly for this save let's take a look at my youth intake! The squads overall lack of defenders fused with the retirements announced. Led me too know exactly what we needed to get. While I didn't quite get everything I wanted. I would not say that I was stranded either. While of course the intake includes players that will never wear our kit I decided too still give contracts too 11 out 16 prospects. All of them are not really worth time too share. However some are and therefore lets start with Antonio Giacchetti 20A who really looks like someone that is sure too be apart of the future team. While he still has much growing too do. He can already rely on his excellent speed and his play style fits our side very well. I have too say I am quite reviled too get a promising looking full back as I suspected it might be the hardest position too fill throughout the save. Nicola De Rosa 20B could be the start of a midfield revamp as two off our more prominent defensive midfielders are set too retire. I also really like that he has a bit of a more passers build as the current stock of players are mainly in the mold of ball winners. Massimiliano Ronca 20C might be a excellent crosser but his position is unfavorable for now. But perhaps with re training and some more in the shadows development he could see game time. However my favorite and last of higher talent is Jacopo Cescon 20D main reason being the fact he is a 190 cm tall central defender. In fact he already started too feature in the bianconero kit this season. If that more explains his talents or the lack of defensive talent in my squad should be obvious. But I think it's worth the while too just toss him into the starting eleven to aid his development. While the rest not mentioned could someday find their onto the bench. Until such times I shall spare you all from them. 

Edited by HbG93

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Posted (edited)

Bilderesultat for Lega Pro B
Second time around
Year 2

Having finished my first I felt a long rest was needed before taking on next years challenge. But unlike my players enjoying their free time during the holidays. I was never really on holiday as I spent the time plotting a new tactic for the season ahead. A loss to a team that shall not be named with a score that even is less allowed to say. Still haunted my day and nights. The second year was going to harder than the first for sure. I had tried to convince Davide Biondini too play another season but too no avail. The only real glimmer of hope was the fact that last years recruits Jacopo Cescon 20D and Antonio Giacchetti 20A could prove excellent youth too a struggling defense. I must admit plotting out good counter attacking schemes with lower lines of defense was never my strong suit. Not that I had much evidence outside last season too prove this, or any proof of my other football ideas working. But anyway things where different now. I had spent a year learning not just how to manage but also studying coaching badges. I was certain too be able too reproduce last years overall successful season. I had been given a 1 year contract extension from the board. Something that didn't exactly spell out confidence in my ability too carry on the team forward, but I was mainly just glad I had been given some vote of continued faith. It would also have been lousy too end my first year in management without getting a new contract.

New Tactic
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Above you can see my newly plotted tactic. I have decided too somewhat abandon the idea of counter attacking football with a low line. And instead focus more on having a attack willing side with a low line but an engaging low line. I still wan't too be open to play counter attacks but also look too incorporate our wide full-backs more as they had terrible season the year before. Which is a shame because they really are quite reasonable players for the level. I have not done any actual changes too my central defender duo outside deciding the fact Jacopo Cescon 20D will take one of the slots. I believe there will be some growing pains but that they also will be worth it. I moved up the midfield line but still will have them be quite protective and defend willing as my two wide forward going players have far less defensive duties. I will play with an attacking midfielder that has free roaming with an advanced forward sitting in front looking too be at the end of any product we should create. I also thing the change from Cautious too Positive should help ease the pressure on the defense by making us more willing too take sometime on the ball ourselves.

First part of the season
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Yet again I don't care about the cup matches. I just field heavily rotated sides in them so losses there are no surprise. We are carry on last years trend, and start with mediocrity. It takes us 4 whole matches before we claim our first 3 pointer of the season. This one comes against Teramo in the most undeserving manner possible thanks too Ettore Casadei overtime goal in the second half. We pack on another 2 victories before going into a bad period showcasing our lack of defensive prowess yet again. But we do happen to pick up matches back to back in this bad period. Before turning things around in November. Sadly December didn't have any plans of allowing our trending form curve from the previous month carry on. At this point I was seriously considering changes and I did too tweaks along the way. One of the main things being changes too our defensive mindset. I was looking too eliminate the low line altogether. However we had another issue in here as well we were producing less goals, and last years assist king Nicola Andreoli had his creative prowess shutdown. Things didn't get much better with the fact that Ricciardo no longer was able to lead the front line despite his excellent showing versus Sambenedettese! He was largely consistent, and his age was showing. This led me to test out new players in the striking department. Cinotti was one of them and in fact that match versus AS Gubbio where he claimed a hat trick was his first from start. Sadly he did little after that match. I personally did not worry too much about our rather discouraging display as I excepted things to be harder after the loss of our retirees. However things needed for sure too take a turn or the board would start wanting too talk with me. 

Latter par of the season
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While I didn't really start winning a ton of games I at the very least stopped losing as many. A very yellow page with honestly sadly few wins. I was right about the 2nd year being the tougher of my career so far. I was hopeful when I started the year 2021 with a win over Renate but Teramo got revenge for their loss in the reverse fixture. From there we enter February where despite taking 6 points out of 12 possible we didn't do it any good manner. But something had changed we were conceding less. A positive trend for sure! March a very busy month of football as the league was running out of time to finish it's fixtures. The month could have been our second in a row without a loss and considering it had 7 matches, it would have been quite a feat too go 11 matches with no losses taken. But of course my nemesis P o r d e n o n e had other thoughts. I really dislike this team. I just cannot get away without taking a loss versus them. I am starting to wonder if they do sorcery up there, and we are just the test project before they expand. Either way with 4 remaining matches for the league in April and May we take another 6 out 12 possible points. This time with two nice green results and one surprise loss versus Savona and a ugly loss too AS Gubbio.

Table
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From 18-6-14 first year too a 15-11-12 record the following year. Not exactly the progress I or anyone  playing Football Manager  managing a real team in general would hope for. We had taken less beautiful green marker wins while also taking less of those dreaded red losses, but instead taken in the mediocre boring yellow draw. We also were able to score 7 less goal something that is too bad, as more prowess in front of goal could perhaps have turned some of those vast amount of draws into wins. Either way there is no lying that there is a massive change stated on this table. And that is our defense we went from having the worst defensive record in the league at 74 conceded last year too being smack in the middle with 49 conceded. That's 25 less goals conceded! I feel quite accomplished by this change. Going into next year if I can keep slashing at our amount of conceded, and find away too re-ignite our attack we could have wonderful year. But I will be honest here. I do actually think the year ahead looks very bleek. I have lost a goalscorer and my assist king was a no show this season. Without someone too put goals in for us and without a good creator in the side I dare say. Until the academy could change those fortunes we could be in for a longer period than I hoped for in Lega Pro B.

The Squad
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The squad got quite a bit younger after one season of play. Trabacchi is a regen player too but from the intake during their stay in the unplayable division below Lega Pro. Either way my defense is now filled with youngsters. I will introduce Richard Antwi 21A later with the rest of the news worthy players from my youth intake later. Either way as the stats reveal I had no proper goalscorer this season and Nicola Andreoli the big man with 15 the year before is at a low 3 this time around. The average ratings are neither something to be proud of but hey I didn't get sacked. I will admit we do have quite a bit of talent going on here. At least for this level but I wonder how long it will take for them to be ready too take a proper shot at promotion. There is also a important player missing from last year in Giampaolo Perelli who left for Fiorentina because he was after all only 17 years old, and couldn't risk waiting any longer on Serie A level of play. It might be petty but it pleases me too learn the fact. Perelli would go on too only feature once for Fiorentina that year. Also cheers big boss chairman. I think he gave me a new 2 year extension as a plaster for accepting the offer. But all in all this year was a bit more about the passing of time than actual attempt at showing our ability. I think next season could be very similar after all. I have so many players from the youth intake active within my first squad they need time too develop. 

Youth Intake
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Here you can see the noteworthy talents from intake year 2021! I would also like too say that this intake helped settle some of my doubts over this teams future. But I would at the same time be lying a little bit. Sort of like I know think if I squint my eyes I could see the light in the end of the tunnel. At the same time I will be fair, and admit that gha.png Richard Antwi 21A looks very good! Hopefully he can grow a little taller and much more in his ability. I am quite happy with him as we had a very narrow defensive line from the get go, and on that note one of the defenders is also retiring this season. Anyway Richard Antwi I have hopes that he could grow into a little mini Kalidou Koulibaly (Yes I know they are from different nations but I don't want a mini Asamoah in my defense). Our second best player from this years haul is another defender in ita.png Antonio Bernardi 21B who also could do with some extra growing. He has lesser current talent than Antwi and therefore will take the backseat in development. But between these two and last years Jacopo Cescon 20D we have a nice little collection of bright central defenders going on. The 3rd man of interest is ita.png Roberto Colosio 21C who could be a future goalkeeper of the team, but he would develop in the shadows for now. Moving ahead we got ita.png Tommaso Padovani 21E showing some promise. I love midfielders and with our lack of quality in midfield Tommaso here could already start proving himself next year. I also like that he comes from more of the passer build than what I feared would be a club stable ball winning build. However this years prospect that has me the most excited is ita.png Aniello Biagioni 21D while I think Antwi is the better overall prospect. I am very happy too get myself a natural advanced left winger too develop. I also think his attributes are quite nicely spread out. He got some good pace on him with good technique, flair and crossing on top of that he isn't too far off too have a solid first touch and dribbling ability. 

Edited by HbG93

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Bilderesultat for Lega Pro B
They say 3rd time's a charm
Year 3

After completing my second year with the black and white Cesena in the rather measly Lega Pro B level of play. We where set for a break before going at it again. The year had troubled me very much, and as such yet again while the players where out enjoying their free time. I spent most of mine cooped up looking at numbers and diagrams. Reading some reports here and there while trying too block any news of bids on my players. I had told the chairman Corrado Augusto Patriniani or simply just Augusto that I would reject all offers no matter what. Of course Augusto as chairman could veto my wishes and accept bids over my will as he had with Giampaolo Perelli last winter. I had a lot to get done because we couldn't afford another lackluster year. I needed too find the man who would score me the goals, create the chances and put their body on the line too defend us. Giovanni Ricciardo had barley made it trough last season, and his legs where becoming to old for competitive sports. Someone of the younger ones had too step up and proper take his place. I was leaning on Pierpaolo Bulevardi a tall and heavy striker but still rather physical! There where so many questions surrounding our side. The defense was a several youngsters that still had far too go. In fact most of the team could perhaps do with a makeover. But then again the entire project was about believing in the youngsters. As such I would have too do just that. A part of me still hoped Nicola Andreoli could help lead the charge of our attack again. While my new way of play had reduced the amount of conceded goals we also had become more static in producing. Either way we needed to find a spark too help guide us. Things didn't help with the fact that media had started backing us as potential title challengers. Rubbish news too my ears. We finished 9th the year before, and had no new players too speak off. But even I had to admit we had good talent growing for this level of play. Things wasn't helped by the fact our finical situation had taken a turn too. The club was no longer willing to fund further coaching studies, nor do changes too our facilities or recruitment. There is no doubt that a good sporting year was needed too help motivate, and spur the team on too keep progressing forward. Tactically we had not changed much really. Just some more minor tweaks here and there. Tinkering as it where. 

First half year of matches
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As per usual the cup fixtures where of lesser concern. Sure they could perhaps with some moderate success lead too some extra money. But still my focus where on doing a improved year in the league. It didn't start off well as we got blasted 1-4 at home by Livorno. We also only got our consolation goal in the dying minutes of the match. Not the start I had in mind. Luckily we where able too take some wins shortly after and even had a strong 6 wins in a row. Granted two where rather lucky 1-0 wins from penalty goals. But I suppose the important thing is getting the victory. After this our form cracked at yet again of the hands of the devils Prodone. I also don't like Teramo who handed us our second heavy defeat of the season. It hit the morale a bit, and we came into a bad lull where we couldn't close out matches. We scraped together another close 1-0 will and then 3 back to back draws. Versus sides we ought too be beating if our aim was too improve our league placement this year. December was also quite lackluster as we only picked up 1 point per game during the month. I wished for a strongly improved form for the new year as murmurs of unhappiness of my tenure was started too be whispered.

Second Half
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My wish too start off the new year with an improved form curve got rather squased by Clacio teams Rimini and Spezia. Luckily we still escaped with 1 point thanks too Aniello Biagionis (21D) free-kick. But as February came about after some whipping we got back on track. We didn't do any impressive or good wins. They were all tight battles but we got the closing out instinct back. Bulevardi and Andreoli was showing promise and did well leading our attack. In the back Jacoop Cescon (20D) and Richard Antwi (21A) was starting too form a rather successful partnership despite their young age. March however was back to a bit of a mess. We still managed too get away with some matches, but we also saw the short end of the stick. Surprise that the team we lost our 6 matches without a loss streak too was Prodone yet again. But all in all thanks too the good February form combined with our last 6 matches of the season being all wins we closed out a improved year with record high 5th placement under my management! Personally I was overjoyed by this but despite this fact. During that LDL in march the talks about my sacking took a new height.

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Heading into the playoffs with the papers now taking polls about people's wishes too sack me wasn't exactly a good feeling. Even worse we dre the 1st round playoff versus none other than you guessed it P R O D O N E. I can't really stress enough how much I hate this side. Let's put it this way. I have played them 6 times upon this point and claimed no points ever. There is also a particular match that shall not be named. The silver lining is that at least we got too play the 1 legged fixture at home. Starting from here madness would unfold. Thanks too a perhaps rather odd rule of the higher seed being the tiebreaker we carried on too the 2nd round with a 0-0 draw. Not excatly the way I hoped to get one back on them, but I'll take it I suppose. Not that it mattered I had a terrible track record in the playoffs only once making it past the 1st round. I didn't expect much, and genuinely expected this odd tiebreaker win versus Prodone too be the highlight of this years play offs. Oh but how wrong I was. We got past Latina Clacio but with the cost off Nicola Andreolli getting injured with the best hopes of a return in a potential final! Sadden by this loss I further excepted very little as the solution was too change formation (4-2-3-1 into 4-2-2-2). It looked bad as we only narrowly got past Padova after a late goal from the most unlikely source youth intake defender Mauro Bellato22G. We then faced Sambenedettese the highest seed from our own division who were heavily involved for direct promotion. I had little hope but then out of nowhere a spark was created. I spoke of a prospect shining in the darkest hour in my last post. And here he came in the form of Nicholas Giacomarro! A player that I literally only had started 1 once before in a official match. He was my go to attacking substitution player. He would go on too score a brace in the first leg versus Sambendettese another brace versus Potenza after losing the first leg at home 0-1. And could you guess what he did next? Giacomarro scored another brace in the final! 

Playoff + Table
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Now after some time and thought, and simply just time too take it all in. I am still not sure how we ended up getting promoted too Serie B this year. I was truly ready too spend sometime down here in Lega Pro. I don't really know if I should be happy or terrified about the prospect of playing Serie B football next season. Should I be worried over our ability too compete here? Should I be happy about the potential better youth intakes? About the better ability too attain players or worried about my players being in a more visible league? Either way I think how this years summer goes down could be important. If I am able too retain the squad impact. I see no reason too why we wouldn't be able too go down fighting! So far summer windows have gone rather well it's been the winter ones that has been a hassle. The biggest thing I look forward about Serie B however is the prospect of the club earning more money. As the finances shows we took a noticeable loss last year. On top of that our training facilities downgraded due too advancements in the field. Advancements we cannot afford too keep up with due too our financial situation. This has also become a problem in facets like improving junior coaching and youth recruitment. Granted we are not poor in these areas either. TL;DR: Serie B are you kidding me why.

End of season squad
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Yet again you can see we have very little green in terms of good average ratings across the year. But a select few have and out of them while Nicola Andreoli has the highest and all credits for that. I am most happy with Antonio Giacchetti (20A) who has really developed himself into a class act of a right-back. I think he might be the player of this squad most ready for Serie B play along with Nicholas Giacomarro, Pierpaolo Bulevardi and Stefano Mannino. It also helps hes one of the youth intake kids too. My main goalscorer this year was Bulevardi hitting a solid 19 goals! The assist king returned this year in Nicola Andreoli who not only supplied 14 goals but finished off 12 himself. The biggest thing for me too see here however is the contribution numbers my central midfielders, my full-backs and wingers where capable too create or finish off. I feel like this promotion while sprung upon us that I also feel like promotion would have been a must the following year. Becuase I think my players are a bitter better than I am willing too give them credit for. And they do progress very well! 

 

Youth Intake:
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Following the intake in order we start with Francesco Valli 22A who is a left-winger who is quite resembling of last years Aniello Biagioni 21D. Either way there is no denying that Valli looks a exciting prospect for our level. He posses quite good physical attributes for his young age. With growth too his mentals and technicals attributes he is sure too be a player that wears the shirt. Gianluigi Bonotto 22B is the next man and he might be my pick of the bunch. Mainly because of the fact he is a natural striker! For his age he's also rather physically developed. His finishing does however leave for much too be desired. Omar Bratti 22C is a wonderful addition as we were lacking a proper talent in that position. We have two reasonable established left-back but yet too find a future prospect too take over in the future. Omar Bratti might just be that player. Daniele Piccoli 22D is quite well liked by my staff and his addition hints at a strong left midfield linage going on in Cesena. I would like to have more from the other side present themselves, as well in the advanced winger position not the coming left or right mid. The other contender for the pick of the bunch is Andrea Cioffi 22E who already amasses some quite solid attributes. With some time and development this young lad could find himself landing a future role in the side. Especially we have lacked a player that has the quality too be a proper passer in the central line.  The last worth a mention is Mauro Bellato 22G while placed under Daniel Stella 22F I think most here would agree Mauro Bellato looks the better of the two. He could prove important as Jacopo Cescon 20D has started too gather some interest.

Edited by HbG93

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Turns out it's not that bad
Year 4

Yet another summer spent trapping myself inside, and away from pointy noses. The local press has started too become a real hassle wanting a comment on anything and everything. Seems there is a new found faith and belief after our Serie B promotion. Funny that! Not long ago their main agenda was writing articles whether or not I should fired! How things have changed. But as a pessimistic man I couldn't take joy in this irony, and even less joy in the fact we were now a Serie B team. Why on earth are we here.  We simply are not ready too take on this challenge. And the rest of the world knew it too. It was only the local nosy media that had any belief. We were predicted dead last! Dead last by everyone but them. Don't get me wrong I did take some joys. Like the few times I would go out for necessities I would see people running about with a Nicholas Giacomarro kit. While I didn't feel prepared for Serie B there was no denying that a hero had been born in Cesena. After all his contributions in the play offs had been those worthy of legends. However could he keep us up in the Serie B? I was not so sure. Even less sure was I about handling the increased media presence. There were the odd few matches here, and there that got broadcasted during the Lega Pro days. But I did not look forward too the broadcasted press conferences in the far more televised Serie B circus. It wasn't any longer because I couldn't speak Italian, but simply because of the hassle. I would rather spend time with my lads on the training pitch, or cornered away from the outside world trying too find something that could tactically gain our style. There is no lying I was afraid how we would get on, but more than anything I just wanted the season too kick off. Too just get started with it. Let our play on the pitch do the talking as it were. I spent most of my time trying too convince myself with cons and pro paper whether or not I should field a 4231, or 424 the tactic that had worked in the playoffs. Practically the 424 made more sense as it was really only Nicola Andreoli that could proper fit the role as a shadow striker. However the tactical style in play would be the same outside that. Same roles for everyone with the difference being a shadow striker in the hole, or an attacking pressing forward alongside our usual advanced forward.

Tactic and potential first team lineup
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Perhaps it was a bit bold too stick to this pattern considering our promotion. But I felt consistency in the system was important, and perhaps even more it was important too show confidence in it. In the end regardless of how long I would think, and tinker about our formation and style. In the end the players were the ones that had too show up on the field. While I think Jacopo Cescon (20D) and Richard Antwi (21A) has become quite familiar with each other they are still just kids. It would without a doubt be a tough year for them. Antonio Giacchetti (20A) on the other I had high hopes for! That is if he would remain a Cesena player. After all he had started too become a common name linked with several other Italian sides. Nothing odd with that as he was a very good player. Perhaps even the best in our side. In the midfield we had quite good choices out wide as on the left we had two very talented youngsters ready, and on the right we had a slightly more seasoned Fusco but also Andreoli could be put out there if I wanted too play two strikers. Either way the problem with our team wasn't our actual starting eleven I felt. It lied more with coverage as the options were just less developed youngsters. But if I had too be critical of my own players too the public and point at the weakest link. I would say that I had little faith in Trabacchi too be up for it. Not that I had much choice he still was the clear choice of the clubs goalkeepers. 

Half time fixtures and standings
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Well. I don't quite know where too start. Want too make a bet who is more surprised of me and you? Turns out the Serie B is a league full of sleeping sides just waiting too get punished by a direct attack. I mean it started quite fairly mediocre which I thought too myself at the time was quite good for us. 1-1-1 after the 3 first matches. Thought I would take that spread across the year if I could. But then we went on too pick up the most win over the first 18 matches! losing only 6 matches. Now the thing is 6 losses is actually the most out of all the top 9 teams. The big difference is that I won 11 out 12 matches I didn't lose and the others have a quite solid amount in the draw column. So while I would like too sit here and feel triumphant about my glorious productive side. I feel the that the second half of the season will be far harder. I mean the other teams will stop messing about and stop messing about with these draws sooner or later right? I mean the fixtures show it we have a tendency too often get away with 1 up wins. We also took a awful 6-1 beating from Bologna a type of match I feared could be a common occurrence in Serie B. It's also not the fact I have some players playing out of their skin. We are just good at getting away with the win. But a blow is the fact that during the dreaded January transfer window we did lose recent bench player turned hero Nicholas Giacomarro too Napoli after chairman decided too accept a offer from Napoli.
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I can't really do much about it, but my god did the chairman accept a lousy offer. Like I will ever see those 1,350,000 or double 675,000 that are tied up in his performance. Guess I get a friendly big whoop. The deal is worth 1.4 million for us now and can rise too 4.2 million (as if). Too make matters worse for us he is available for loan, and he ends up at fellow Serie B side: FC Bari... This transfer makes me lean more on using the 4-5-1 so something good came out of it I guess. But I am still sad too see my playoff hero Nicholas Giacomarro leave us so soon. I would wish him well however I am not sure he deserves it. For I really think hes moronic for wanting a transfer too Napoli. A team that he will probably never feature for. And once someone leaves they will never return, because such is the journey of this challenge. 


Final fixtures
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While I feel I often have been wrong about my predictions. I for once was right, and it feels sour while good. Sour because it would be hilarious if we actually had gone out, and shocked everyone by winning the league. Yet terrifying too be a Serie A team at this point in time. So all in all I am quite relieved with staying another year in Serie B. At some level I am happy we so easily avoided the relegation battle. Something I thought would be our forte this year. However the reason why I didn't show the table just yet is because we still managed too get playoffs. And as the picture really illustrates everything about the matches we had in the second half. We will quicker move on too the juicer playoffs by summarizing. During the second half the other teams finally stopped messing around with draws. That's coupled with us not "stealing" or closing out the same numbers of matches in the first half of the season. Made us start sinking down the ranks but we did stay at top for quite a while. Enough for playoffs. Let's move on and talk about and I will also reveal the table.

Playoff + Final Table
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So there you have it! We finished the year at 8th place. Something I would still say is quite a feat despite the fact we were holding down number 1 at half season. If we can work on improving our overall consistency I see no reason for why we couldn't return into playoff land next year as well. We had a negative overall goal difference too no surprise really. We don't win because we are some dominating side. We win because we are good at finding our goal, and sometimes we find two while only conceding one. It's that type of team we are. Embrace the grind. A funny notion is that Juventus U23 have now twice in a row won the playout match. While my target for relegation favorite Ascoli Clacio did indeed end dead last proving my psychic prowess. I did not however imagine that Benevento would claim the title with a comfortable 6 point lead on Bologna and Perugia. Bologona must be estatic while Perugia heartbroken. Glad I wasn't that close to getting a promotion! But oh I was. Because we destroyed Pescara in the initial playoff match and did the same versus Crotone in the first leg. I will be honest here I really didn't want too promote. It would an incredible feat but also a terrible future. I could see myself getting the sack after relegating the following year. So in a way thankfully US Lecce had other plans in the finals. Still it's been a wonderful and magical year for us after all we were predicted dead last.


End Stats
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Everyone did a little bit. A team effort this year was. Cinotti and Omar Bratti had shorter seasons that helped their average ratings. For me Pierpaolo Bulevardi deserves too the take the title as the player with the best average ratings since he played close too double off their matches. A good year it was for Bulevardi who also was the clubs top scorer with 14 goals, and also getting a tie for most assist alongside Nicola Andreoli whom only was 1 off from sharing goal scoring.

Best Eleven
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There are no real surprise inclusions here. The only thing could be the fact that people would think you insane, if you claimed Cinotti would go in over Giacomarro at the start of the year. But considering the sale of our playoff hero in the winter window I am glad too see Cinotti over him. I do however imagine new names too show up here next year. I think Trabacchi might have had the 1st team spot for his last time. Furthermore Omar Bratti 22C played very well in his handful of matches this year. And I excepted him too fully replace Possenti on the left back next season. Other than that unless someone is sold most should stay the same next year too. I had yet too finish a year in a division that wanted too give us awards. Pierpaolo Bulevardi claimed 2nd best striker of the year in Serie B, and also featured on the Team of the Year. Congratulations too over big lad may there be many more too come.

Youth intake!
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Let's talk about the ones worth talking about only. This might be our weakest intake so far. Armando Pellettieri 23A is a very interesting pick up for us. He adds competition on the left-back where we only had one proper prospect so far. The interesting thing now is too find out who the better one is. I am quite impressed with Armando's early mental abilities but the fact is as a left-back he needs too be far quicker if he ever wishes too play. He is also too short for a central defender training all tough he can already play there. If I used defensive midfielders he could perhaps be train for that but as such I don't see the point. Stefano Alemanni 23B is my favorite of the new young hopeful prospects! I already spoke of the fact I feel that my current goalkeeper is the weakest link of the team. With Stefano we add direct competition for that position, and I think perhaps it could be worth too start matching Stefano here very early. Luciano Mingiano 23C is a pretty good shout too. He continues the trend of landing us passing capable midfielders that could grow towards a future strong central midfield lineage. It's becoming hard too decide who of the central midfield prospects should see game time. I think my solution might be too do loan outs. Talking about lineage we got another left midfielder in Moreno Cislaghi 23D now while I think he might be the weakest of the ones so far. I decided too include him in this years youth showcase. What interest me mainly about Cislaghi is that he might be better suited too be retrained as a wing-back than advanced winger. Perhaps he could turn into a bit of a versatile squad player? Those are always useful and welcome additions of my squad.

 


I plan too do a proper squad introduction next. So people can familiarize themselves more.

Edited by HbG93

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Meet the current 2023 Cesena squad



Goalkeepers

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In terms of goalkeepers we have done rather well. The biggest thing here is just too get them developed. That's why I hoped too loan out Roberto Colosio 21C, but for now no such deal was struck. Salvatore Trabacchi was the resident first team goalkeeper until I picked up Stefano Alemanni 23B. I gave the 16 year old some matches on the end of last season (his first in the team). While there is no doubt that Trabacchi is the better shot stopper and athlete. There are aspects that Alemmani already is better than Trabacchi at. That's why I inteed too have Alemmani be first choice this year. Jack West Astuti has just been around here from the beginning, and is probably looking too leave us with his expiring contract this season. 

 

Defenders

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We lost Richard Antwi 21A during the summer transfer window too Inter. It's a tough loss to digest as I would rate him as best or second best defender I had. But luckily with the money we got for his 755,000 allowed me too push trough a youth recruitment upgrade. Looking at the ones that still are around and about. Jacopo Cescon 20D and Antonio Giacchetti 20A are by far the stand out players! Coming from the same generation of intakes they have developed alongside each other and in fact they only have 1 appearance in difference with the highest being 113 matches. Antonio Bernardi 21B will have too do his best too replace the loss of Richard Antwi. I am a little bit worried about losing Jacopo Cescon as the only other prospect that could take the mantle is Mauro Bellato 22G. Not because Mauro isn't talented, but if he does we need new central defenders of talent too come in the next youth intake. As I will not use Armando Pellettieri 23A as a central defender due too his lack of height. I already spoke of the oddity of this player in his intake. He's frankly too slow for full-back and too short for central defender on top of that I don't play with defensive midfielders. On the left Ombar Bratti 22C will as anticipated take over the first team role. marcello Possenti and Andrea Zamagni make up as good backups. Nicolas Poggi is versitale and therefore a welcome squad player.

Midfielders

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I have spoken about a bit of a lineage of getting solid central midfield talents. However the issue seem too be their development. Therefore I am highly considering demoting Campagna who has been a very solid player for us. Taking his place will be a competition between Andrea Cioffi 22E and Luciano Mingiano 23C. On top of this we also have Nicola Capellini and Francesco De Luca around too help bolster the squad in width. The standout member of the midfielders is the last too be named Stefano Mannino. A regen from the year during unplayable state. He has excellent mental and physical attributes with some technical ability. On top of this I sent a talented Tomasso Padovani 21E out on loan in hopes he could return a stronger player. I have no real fear of losing any of my central midfielders outside Stefano Mannino. But I also feel safe in the fact that we have talent. We just need too set it free. 

Attacking Midfielders
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Nicola Andreoli has a special place in my heart. Having been at the club since 2014 the 23 year old has become someone I wish too show Serie A football too. Fun fact he signed as a youth prospect during Cesena last year in Serie A. Andreoli doesn't put in consistent performances but he can produce some numbers. Since during the 4 years I have managed him he has scored 33 goals and collected 39 assists! Davide Fusco is a unplayable intake player, and one that kind of sneak upon me. This quick lad also has extra importance as he and Andreoli are my only proper right wing choices as of now. Filippo Rapacioli and Ettore Casadei could play out on the right but they are fillers not starters. On the other side we have a competition going on between Aniello Biagioni 21D and Francesco Valli 22A for first team football. They both are excellent prospects and honestly if it wasn't for the fact I feel we need both of them this year. I would loan one of them out for first team football. Now there is a bit of a concern as the only player I really would put in the middle is Andreoli. However as my promotion too Serie B showed we could just then field two strikers so I think we are fine.


Strikers
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I was lucky that the unplayable intake had two such solid strikers in it. In fact there was a third in Nicholas Giacomarro who sadly is no longer with us. Pierpaolo Bulevardi is the standout obvious starter here! He had big interest during the summer window, but after a little talk he agreed too stay with the club for a wage increase. As the only use for transfer budget I have is to retain players I had no worries accepting, and hes worth the wages too! The 2nd string is Luciano Cinotti (Cintotti as I often like too call him), and hes no bad backup either. In fact we might from time too time see them both play together up top. The last striker is Gianluigi Bonotto 22B a striker that I would like too match as much I can spare. 

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Settling in 
Year 5

We had done the unthinkable! Not only did we survive our first season in the Serie B, but we even at times were top dogs. In the end we ended on a extremely strong 8th placement. This lead too a playoff that almost became a repeat of the wondrous playoff too gain Serie B play. We didn't win but by all accounts we had done far better than anyone could imagine. For once I didn't spend my summer coped up. I was enjoying life in Italy for once. I felt confident about the project we had going on. We had found our tactical style, and it was working very well. I had supervised youngsters too become solid players, and now the only thing left too do was carrying on. If the summer window could just shutdown before we lost anyone. We would be set too compete for playoff yet again. But of course we couldn't head into a new season without a blow. Richard Antwi 21A ended up transferring too Inter. This was a big blow too our lineup as Richad Antwi was in my eyes our best defender. Antonio Bernardi would have too step up. And since there is little point making a section talking about the formation and tactical style as they will remain the same. That is we might use the 4-2-4 over the 4-2-3-1 based on needs. So let's just go straight into the fixtures.

Fixtures part 1
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Our second year in the Serie B Eurobet saw us rise in the prediction table from 19th place too 18th place with the same 1000-1 to win the title. However we are well aware that we are far better than that. For once we actually did pass some of the TIM Cup qualifier rounds. But as per usual my focus were solely on the league. The league started off terribly with taking 3 losses, and only managing too net once.  We finally claim our first win during an away fixture versus Brescisa Clacio. It wasn't a pretty win but a joyful one. This was the catalyzer for strong 5 win streak and 7 matches without losses. From there our form was quite up an down only winning 2 of the next 10 matches in the league. We also got completely destroyed by Serie A side Torino in the 4th Qual. Rnd of the Tim Cup. 

Second part of the season
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Having had a rather terrible first half of the season it was a relief we finally were able too bounce out of that poor form. In fact when we finally get back to winning forms we had gone 5 in a row with losses. Having had this poor run of form I decided too attempt running the 4-2-4 wide variant too change things up. We turn our form curve completely around with 6 wins in a row that is only stopped by a narrow 1-0 away loss too AC Siena. Pierpaolo Bulevardi would become a leader that showed us the way with his brilliant efforts in front of goal. After the Seina loss we also only take one more loss in the Serie B. We close the year out out in a strong fashion! As you can see it netted us playoff play. And yet again we did very well unfortunately a bit miss management from me made us play a weakened side in the first leg versus Livorno, and despite doing a very good job too climb back into ti during the second leg. We lose out in our second Serie B Playoff final. 

Final League Standings
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But by all means we had no reason too be unhappy about our season. We had yet again showed every media outlet that we are far better than what they give credit for. We even improved from our last years 8th placement landing a 5th spot this year. Comparing our second Serie B season with the first we also improved in our goal scoring ability getting 3 more goals this year. But we also conceded 3 more goals so in the end there are little differences between them. In truth we only took 3 more points so our higher placement is also down on other teams. I do however think we could have had a better defense record this year if Richard Antwi had not been poached.

End of season squad stats
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There are no real surprise here that Pierpaolo Bulevardi is the crowning jewel of the team. His abilities too score was outstanding and even made him the top goalscorer of the Serie B this year. He also featured as the Striker of the year, and on the team of the season alongside Luciano Cinotti. I spoke about my happiness of replacing my former goalkeeper with Stefano Alemanni 23B, and all in all I think Stefano did quite well. I think this early exposure will help aid him into a long term goalkeeper for us. I am very happy too see that our right back position was very effective with assisting our attack. Antonio Giacchetti 20A had a great year with a productive 12 assist from his right-back position. But the assist king was as usual Nicola Andreoli with a strong 18! I also got very excited about matching Achraf Bouayadi 24A a new intake because he looks really good. 

Best Eleven
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No shock here that it went with the 4-2-4 wide formation for our best eleven this season. As our form in the second half was far stronger than first half. I also will look too carry on using this variant of the tactic next year. As for the players featuring on the team there also are little surprises. The only real one I suppose is young midfielder Luciano Minigano 23C who had a wonderful year. He did really well and bought so much faith he sent Francesco Campagna rightfully out of the starting XI. I really look forward too Lucianos feature as he took good steps this season too become a future leading member of our midfield. There are other new faces here, but they are also expected to be here. Stefano Alemanni 23B who played his first year as first choice between the sticks. Defender Antonio Bernardi 21B who had too fill in after Richard Antwi 21A left. and Omar Bratti 22C who became first choice over Marcello Possenti on the left back. Luciano Cinotti also makes it due too us using the 4-2-4 very successfully. Francesco Valli 22A also deserves his place ahead of Aniello Biagioni 21D on the left wing.

Youth Intake
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We have a quite interesting intake here! Let's just dive right in and start with the undoubted star of this intake. Achraf Bouayadi 24A is an Moroccan-Italian that could become a Serie A worthy striker one day. With his mix of talent and personality I have no fear in the ability too develop him either. Getting Jonathan Rinaldi 24B feels good as we lost Richard Antwi 21A during the summer window leading into this year. While lacking aerial prowess he is quite quick, and regardless it's just good too have a new center-back that is believed too have good potential. Alessandro Porro 24C could prove too be a great versatile backup player in the future. His attribute spread isn't really that interesting, but hopefully he can grow into a a better player with time. Lorenzo Napoli 24D is comes at an interesting timeline. As I have just backed last years intake goalie Stefano Alemanni 23B too be starting goalkeeper. I think that I should stick with my choice, but hopefully Lorenzo can still grow in the U18/20s. Raimondo Sanna 24E have exciting mental attributes and looks like someone who could be a good defensive minded midfielder in the future. But he isn't much of an athlete. Marcello Monelli 24F has the same issue and it's worse for him as he is more offensively charged. But I won't write either off making some contribution for the team just yet.

Edited by HbG93

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Getting Poached
Year 6

Having improved our first stay in Serie B with a 5th placement this time around. Thoughts about promotion started too occupy the dreams mind during the summer. However it would prove a tough summer for Cesena and it's supporters. As the media rumors surrounding the clubs players were bigger than ever. The chairman was known for accepting offers that for a club like Cesena would be considered sizable, but for others peanuts. I personally did my normal ritual of saying I had no intention of selling none of my starters. Often ignoring any request as long I could before telling them no. But a transfer I was sadly unable too stop was Francesco Valli 22A transfer too AS Livorno, as his agent had forced a release clause in his previous contract talks (Worth 2.8 million euros). And during new talks with Valli and his representatives around a new deal. Another type of deal was struck with AS Livorno. But to be fair Cesena had done well, and avoided any players leaving until transfer deadline day. But the day would turn even more sour as the Chairman announced the sale of talented, and very well liked by the fans left-back Omar Bratti 22C to A.C Milan for 2.2M (3.7M). 

This would turn out too be a nightmare for me. Having just lost my starting left flank during the transfer deadline day. My season might as well been hit by a bazooka. Having the choice between either Moreno Farris 21H a some what athletic left-back with no real technical ability outside his tackles, versus Armando Pellettieri 23A the snail of a left-back. Francesco Valli 22A would normally have been a easy man too replace as that would push Aniello Biagioni 21D back into the starting eleven. However in perhaps naive spirits I had let Biagioni go out on a loan too fellow Serie B side Crotone too ensure development trough first team football. My choice then landed on playing Luciano Cinotti as my left winger, as Moreno Cislaghi 23D was not a worthy replacement. Things took a turn for the worse as Pierpaolo Bulevardi would take on a early, and long term injury. Safe too say what I thought could be a good year too attempt a promotion bid had been dealt several cracks.

Fixtures 1
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We started the year out having some fun with cup football even going past Serie A side Cagliari. The league started off with a banger as Bulevardi found a brace in a dominating 4-1 win over Juventus U23. From there we struggled too find a solidified form curve. Going back and forth between wins and losses quite frequent. However at the end of October we managed too brake free, and develop a positive form curve. This despite in the middle of it taking a heavy 4-2 loss versus Udinese in the TIM cup. Either way we managed too do surprisingly well despite our two losses in the transfer window, and injury too the important Pierpaolo Bulevardi. This was much thanks too Luciano Mingiano having excellent contribution from the midfield during this period. Luciano Cinotti and Davide Fusco also did well after coming into the side as winger after a tactic shuffle too the 4-2-3-1 during Pierpaolo Bulevardis absent. However i did start too change it back too the 4-2-4 variant utilizing Gianluigi Bonotto 22B too play alongside the fresher and more talented recruit Achraf Bouayadi 24A. In the end at half time stage played we were sitting on a solid 3rd position having handled our loss of personnel very well. Sitting only 2 points behind guaranteed promotion and another 1 for the title. But then come another transfer window, and another transfer deadline day with the Chairman having fun prioritizing business over our so far promotion challenging campaign. Stefano Mannino who had been our most senior central midfielder was sold too Benevento Calcio for 2.2M(2.7M) a laughable fee for his importance too the team if you ask me. On top that I lost one probably the second to hardest replaceable player in Antono Giacchetti 20A too Empoli for 4M(5M) euros. It was a very tough blow losing Giacchetti who had amazed 165 appearances for Cesena. He was by far my best player from my first intake, and I had hoped too give him Serie A football one day in the black and white.

Fixtures 2
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Having taken more big blows too our ranks during a transfer window. Things looked set too become very difficult. It started well as the first match after the window was our 4-2 win over Juventus U23. But everything changed from there, and we had a terrible February taking 1 point from 5 possible matches. This prompted me too take a shot at Moreno Cislaghi 23D as the starting left winger too put my so far most scoring player Cinotti in his natural striker position. This turned out too be a excellent move as he scored two back to back hat-ricks in our 5-0 and 5-4 wins. But this wasn't the start of some resurgence of our impressive form during the end of last year. We still were very much a losing side. The second half of this season was one of our worst periods of our entire Serie B stay. If we only look at the second stage table we would place 12th. Approaching the end of the year we finally got Pierpaolo Bulevardi back into some matching in hopes of having him ready for the play offs. Now while he was ready and scored a brace during the first playoff match versus eventual playoff winners Ascoli Clacio it wasn't enough as we lost 3-5 despite having home ground.

End Table
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Despite landing on the table 1 place lower than last season we did take the same amount of points. Something that makes you wonder how much higher we could have placed. Without the long term injury and two transfer windows getting poached by Serie A sides. An interesting fact is that we scored 73 goals this year our highest mark so far by improving from last year by 1. This despite not having the man that scored over 1/3 of the 72 goals last year out for most of the season. A surprise however is the fact we conceded the same amount despite losing good defenders, and having a "reconstructive" time in the back line. Looking else where on the table Juventus U23 finally demoted after having one 3 playouts in a row. Parma as expected were up for the challenge and promoted ahead as champions of our rivals and co promoted Bologna. The 3 direct relegated teams did so by a clear margin, but the playout spot was quite a close little battle. 

End of season stats
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Luciano Cinotti was the only Cesena player too claim any awards from the league. Being the second top goalscorer and a member of the team of the year. There was no doubting the importance of Luciano Cinotti for us this year. He operated on the left wing when we needed, and still became clear top goalscorer for the club. He also wasn't far from being the most creative player in terms of assists either. A great year all around for him. Pierpaolo Bulevardi stats shows just how good he is. With only 11(2) matches were two were in the TIM Cup he still delivered 9 goals and 3 assists during them. Nicola Andreoli had his usual dip year in assists but still contributed with very acceptable 8 goals and 9 assists. Gianluigi Bonotto 22B ended up playing far more than excepted due too the Bulevardi situation. He did very well scoring 9 and assist 7 during his gametime. However I would like too point much credit too Luciano Mingiano 23C and Andrea Cioffi 22E who had excellent contributions from the central midfield. You can also clearly see the downgrade in the forward value in our backs. Moreno Farris 21H had 5 assists, Porro 24C managed 2 assists and Pelletieri 23A 3 from the backs. This combined equals Antonio Giacchetti 20A second year in Serie B haul. 

Best Eleven
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While this is a very changed Best Eleven compared to recent years there are little surprises considering the circumstances. Porro 24C and Farris 21H are only here due too our former starters being sold by the chairman. Lucinao Mingiano 23C and ANdrea Cioffi 22E while deserving for their spots where only meant too mainly rotate between each other playing alongside Stefano Mannino who was also sold by the chairman. Bonotto 22B is only in here due too the fact Valli 22A trasnfered and Biagoni 21D being loaned and Bulevardi's injury. I expected next year's best eleven too be quite changed from this one. Unlesse Bulevardi is injured or poached he should be back in it. Further more I intend too start the very talented Pulazzi ahead of Jacopo Cescon 20D who doesn't really progress anymore. I also think despite Farris 21H being in the side over Pelletieri 23A that the latter will be my starter next year. The only place I think will remain completely unchanged is the 2 CM's and my goalkeeper unless they are transferred of course.

Youth Intake:
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The intake was not as inspiring this year too previous ones I think. Maurizio Giacometti 25A is the first man too talk about. I am not sure how hopeful I am of this players progression as his current attributes are not that "future starter impressionable". Francesco Pulazzi 25B however is this years big catch! There is no doubting this kid got talent, and his trait of fairly loyal could perhaps prove vital for his longevity at Cesena. I think with a season or two to progress Pulazzi could become an important figure in our push for Serie A football. Luigi Donvito 25C is a bit odd case because his best attributes are his crossing and flair yet hes a natural striker instead of winger? I will look too focus his development as a right winger which could make him very valuable for us. For the same reason I also think Nicola Napoli 25F could have a solid chance of making appearances in our kit too. As we have yet too really get proper talent on the right. Vasco Righini 25D is a rather shabby looking left winger, and considering our already good standing talent in this area I think Vasco has slim chances. So while I think Pulazzi could might be one of the better talents we have gotten so far. The others will have little chance of impacting the first team anytime soon.

Full Transfer overview
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I have already talked about the ones really worth talking about. The only other player too do a permanent transfer was Salavatore Trabacchi the goalie that Stefano Alemanni 23B replaced. I also loan out some players this year too give the first team chances. I admit I did a mistake in loaning out Aniello Biagioni 21D without a recall option as he would have been useful considering the unintended exit of Francesco Vialli 22A.

Edited by HbG93

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Licking wounds
Year 7


It felt like coming back too it after a long deep sleep. The first proper sleep after a nightmare of a season had ended. Having had lost several starting players, and for the first time dealt with a big long term injury on one of my stars. A summer break was very much needed. But the activities of the last summer window still haunted me. I couldn't wait too hear what player I would lose next. Year 7 in Italy and back too hiding. I had no doubt there would be a host of vultures looking too attempt away our talented bunch of players. Perhaps it was for the best that I was back at spending my time either on the training field or in hiding again. After all I wasn't that fond of the summer after all. And has it would turn out this time around. We couldn't go a summer free of chairman involvement. Luciano Cinotti was shipped off too Sampdoria for 6.5M(8.25M) euros. I thought about having a chat with Corrado Agusto Patriniani about it, but for once he had accepted a rather reasonable constructed and sized offer. I also think despite the fact Luciano Cinotti had been our most impressive player in terms of performances. That we could move on fine without him. Pierpaolo Bulevardi was now back from injury, and the young Achraf Bouayadi 24A have had nothing but excellent development. Further more I would have Aniello Biagioni 21D back too play as our left winger. All in all it was a rather quiet summer. Something that fitted me very well considering the mess of a year before. I did fully expect this year too be all about developing players, and comeback stronger a season or two ahead.

Fixtures 1
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We exited out of the TIM Cup immediately this time around after having enjoyed two year of making it too the 4th qualifier round. But on the other hand we start off with a perfect 3 wins! We then took on two losses before finding 4 wins in a row! Despite off my outlook of spending the year liking our wounds, and developing players too mount a promotion bid next year. We were off in a very good speed. This form curve of course plummeted with 4 match month November only netted us 2 points. December was better as we managed too claim 3 wins. However two of them were rather lucky. January started off mixed. But luckily we only faced rumors and denied bids during it. Allowing us to maintain the squad for the rest of the season.

Fixtures 2
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But we had a miserable February taking on 3 losses and 7 goals conceded without scoring a single one ourselves! March didn't prove much of a better month either. But a positive was the fact Bulevardi and Bouayadi was both back on the score sheet. We ended up taking far more damage then dealing during the second half of this season. This was a bit concerning as we should've become stronger as the year moves on. After all our squad is filled with young talent developing. In the end I just wanted too get the season over with. As It had per prediction been a bit of a write off due too the sales the season before. 

Table
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The table isn't one of much joy this time around. With our 4th stay in the Serie B marking our worst placement yet with 9th. Now that's not really a bad thing considering the state of us when we got up. We scored 10 less goals this time around, but conceded 8 less too. Point wise we ended up with 56 which wasn't even our worst total. So for a write off season I think we did rather well. It's a bit of a bummer too miss out on the promotion playoffs. But I figure we will be there next year again with our grown players.

End of season stats
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The oddest thing here is Stefano Alemmani 23B having 6 matches off the bench despite being a goalkeeper. But this comes from the fact of me wanting too match Lorenzo Napoli 24D on occasions. I became paranoid over the idea of losing Stefano Alemmani 23B in the next summer window. The goalie would be the worst single player too lose, as his replacement was would be no where near up too speed.  Alessandro Porro 24C has developed nicely with a full year of exposure. He is by no means anywhere near the level of former right-back Giacchetti 20A, but still we have work with the ones we got available. On the left too replace Omar Bratti 22C. Armando Pellettieri 23A has done good strides, and as luck will have it! He's become quicker! While not as an impressive haul as Pierluigi Amerighi 26A we still got Francesco Pulazzi 25B who with a year off football has develop well. 

Best Eleven
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Now things look a bit more normal this time around. Pierpaolo Bulevardi is back into the lineup, and with Luciano Cinotti depature Achraft Bouayadi 24A had clear away too be here. Nicola Andreoli holds down the fort on the right side. I do however hope we get someone too take his place sometime in the nearer future. Aniello Biagioni 21D is back into the team after a year out on loan. They might be young but Luciano Mingiano 23C and Andrea Cioffi 22E forms a wonderful partnership in the central midfield line. In the defense we see two changes. Armando Pellettieri 23A is in on the left-back and last years big recruit Francesco Pulazzi 25B is in the team after a strong year of development. 

Youth Intake
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Does this mean I won I FM19? My word does Pierluigi Amerighi 26A look incredible! Funny enough he should technically be named 26B but it's an insult too do that. This kid will go straight into the starting eleven no doubting that. I really hope I can claim Serie A football, and secure our self for my chairman selling this guy when the gains heat. Because he will! An absolute monster. Filippo Fabbri 26B is almost what I have been longing for. But he's not a natural right wing. He will go under training and perhaps with time he could prove inherit the right wing. Nunzio Gherardi 26C is not a shabby looking goalkeeper. I really like his already good vision if he know just learned a technique too distribute the ball. Daniel Pugliese 26D is honestly useless if he doesn't have a big growth spurt. I truly hope he hasn't passed puberty proper yet. Gianluca Coral 26E isn't really worth showing here but has a an awesome last name. 

Transfers

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As per usual nothing really interesting of note happening here. As I already talked about Luciano Cinotti leaving us. The biggest reveal here is perhaps the fact we sent two players on loan too new affiliate club Monza. I think this could be a recent way too develop players that might never amount too a proper role, or at best a squad role for the club. It's good too have a team in the divisions below me too send some players I know will be tough too give game time too. One thing however I do expect loan player Pietro Salvestroni 22I too return into the first team next year. As we don't have a proper right-back cover. The closest we have is Andrea Zamagni who has barley played football f or the last 3 seasons. 

Edited by HbG93

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New Heights
Year 8

Welcome too my eight season! Time flies. Going into this year I had quite a bit of decisions too make. At the end of last year I hat attempted playing a 5-3-2 after the arrival of the very talented Pierluigi Ameri. This is because I also already had two young, and well developing center midfielders in Andrea Coffi 22B and Luciano Mingiano 23C. I figured that with the lack of a proper right winger talent too develop. I might as well start looking into a way too play a trio setup in the midfield. The tactical style would remain very much the same it was more about finding a way too balance the team. After all Andrea Coffi 22B and Luciano Mingiano 23C was rather similar players. I also played around with a 4-3-1-2 with the teams most senior player Nicola Andreoli sitting between my talented midfield trio and our strikers. I also didn't fully abandon the 4-2-4 wide variant of the style that had served rather well so far in the Serie B. But the fact was after his injury Pierpaolo Bulevardi was finding less and less goals. So taking steps too change things up was very much something in my interest. The summer window as usual was my most hated time. I did some moves too loan out some talents that was in need of game time too aid their development. I also lost a long term backup striker in Gianluigi Bonotto 22B not renewing and joining Roma. Other than that the only noteworthy thing that happened during the summer window was the 3.9 million euro sale of left winger Aniello Biagioni 21D. A transfer that was done with my say. I thought it was a good fee for such a player, and could help me too further protect other players. I am not sure if I was right that it would. But as it turns out my chairman did try too sell our star player of last year: Achraf Bouayadi 24A. Luckily I had a chat, and was able to change the chairman mind about the sale.

Fixtures 1 + Half Year Table
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As the fixture list above shows we had a lovely start too the new year. Despite taking a earlier TIM Cup exit than I would wish for. We did take 5 wins in a row before taking on our first loss. It was a rather bad loss too. Either way it was hard too not be happy with our start. Yet I was not convinced about the teams performances in them outside the trashing of Cosenza Clacio. My suspicion of our results would turn out too be fair. As our form started too shift, and see points go us by. However at the same time we were not doing badly either. But there was a definitive noticeable change in our ability too score goals.  26 goals at half point and 20 conceded reflects my thought about lacking performance level. Still sitting with 33 points after 19 matches was by no means a bad position too be in. After all the teams ahead was by no means unreachable. In fact they were rather close too us. If we could survive the dreaded winter window without any losses. We could very well have a good shot at promotion. If we could find and maintain good form in the second half of the season. Perhaps do a little adjustments here and there tactically too help get my two strikers more involved as they had yet too get into proper scoring mood.  

Fixtures 2 + Full end table

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The new year started off very well for us with two victories. Not of the convincing manner but 3 pointers nonetheless. The following months were a bit here and there, but we still took enough points too come out ahead. Last year star Achraf Bouayadi 24A turn on the burners again, and started scoring with far more consistency. This would turn out too be a very important thing for our bid in promotion. After a very strong April we had set ourselves up for not just a potential direct promotion, but the title itself. While we had a very productive April taking 4 out of 5 possible wins. Livorno had a bit of form dip losing a point gap that at one point was as high as 9 points. Sadly we from there bottled it taking no further wins after our first April loss. It doesn't mean much for our next year league stats the difference between 1st and second. But it would have been fun too take me first title. We also let Genoa come rather close too stealing our save promotion spot. I am very proud of my boys for managing this promotion. How prepared too keep me in the Serie A they are is another topic. All in all a 2nd placement is a big improvement on last years 9th place. Despite this we scored 21 less goals this year! That's a huge amount too go missing. However we also conceded only 42 this year compared too 59. An improvement of a very impressive 17 less goals conceded! So while the experiment of playing a 3-man line in a 5-3-2 and 4-3-1-2's across the year made us far less productive. We become a better team unit having a overall doubling of our total goal difference too 16 from last years 8. 

End of season stats
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Not the strongest performing squad in terms of individual level. But we are a good unit!  Achraf Bouayadi 24A had a wonderful year yet again! We had a period were we struggled too score, so his goal tally is a tad lower this time around. But he still was an important man leading us in the title chase. He was the favorite among fans and pundits of our team. Armando Pellettieri 23A the talent I spoke harsh against due too his lack of speed too be left-back. Has now become our starting choice, and even became the player with most assist for us this year. While I still miss Giacchetti 20A the fans have started too show a lot of love too his replacement Alessandro Porro 24C. I have to admit he had a very good year despite his constant transfer request. It's a nightmare every time a transfer window rolls around. Maybe the Serie A status will help lower some of the wishes too leave us.

Best Eleven
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Big changes this time around as we have a new formation displaying our best eleven. I agree that the 5-3-2 makes most sense too select. But as expected in goal is the usual Stefano Alemanni 23B who I hope stay with us for a long time. The right wing-back was of course Porro's! While the other side was Pelletti's. In between them we find Bernandi 21B, Pulazzi 25B and Cescon 20D. It's thanks too the formation change that Cescon is back into here, as he would start behind both the others in a 4-man line for me. I am however surprised that Tommaso Padovani 21E makes the cut in the 3 man midfield. As I would have excepted too see Andrea Coffi 22E ahead of him. Up top there could only be these two. Pierpaolo Bulevardi might have had struggles finding his older excellent goal scoring numbers after his injury. But he still is a loved member of the attack. Also the pressure and mantle of being the top scorer has now befallen the younger Bouayadi 24A. 

Youth Intake
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This time around the intake wasn't as exciting as the year before. But considering how good of a player we got last year it's understandable that the follow up isn't. With that said Pierfrancesco Bursi 27A is t he long awaited natural right wing talent! However he has a lot of development too do. Giordano Cappelletti 27B isn't a bad looking talent either, and he could perhaps one day follow the footstep of Andrea Coffi 22B and Luciano Mingiano 23C. Do we have a new Armando Pellettieri 23A on our hands? Daniel Mustai 27C a young Albanian has a similar profile. He's too short too play in the center, but also too slow for the left-back. Giacomo Bertolii 27D might have spent too much current ability points on that extra I in his last name. But I wanted too show at least 4 players and therefore hes there. I think realisticly only Bursi and Cappelletti has genuine chances of becoming members of the first team squad in the future. But Daniel Mustai could suprise me and have a growth spurt, or summer his inner Usain Bolt.

Transfers
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I mentioned Aniello Biagioni 21D's departure from the team. He left too last years Serie B winners Perugia Clacio. I again utilized my affiliate Monza too give some players game time. I did lose Gianluigi Bonotto 22B too Roma for free, because he didn't sign a new contract. Not that I can blame him as he was stuck in forever backup mode for us. Not sure why he decided too accept a offer from Roma of all clubs as that won't help the game time issue. I also loaned out some other players too Lega Pro teams as I couldn't give them football myself. The one of interest that is out of loan is Lorenzo Napoli 24D who would be the man too replace current goalkeeper Alemanni 23B. That is if it ever comes too that. 


Here we come!
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Edited by HbG93

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Let's catch up on Serie A

I took me until the 9th season before my Cesena team was allowed too play Serie A football. But during our 3 years in the Lega Pro Girone B and 5 in the Serie B Eurobet what happened in the Serie A TIM? Join me as I take a look on the 6 teams little look at media's 5 favorite teams, and explore the history of the years played. Let's just start with the most curious thing. Who had won Serie A during the 8 years. What storyline would we find? Have a team broken Juventus winning streak, or have they carried on? Maybe we have a bit back and forth going on. Well if we look at the past winners during these 8 years. It reveals perhaps a bit sad history as Juventus has kept their iron hold of Serie A with taking another 8 titles on their already 7 streak.  The more interesting thing is the competition between the other teams. With Napoli having some strong early years before the two Milian sides worse and became Juventus main competition. However in the recent years Napoli have comeback. On top of this Roma comes in here and there. Below I also included the TIM Cup. A competition I have had little too no success in so far. While the cup doesn't see a complete iron hold by Juventus they still are the bigger talking point in terms of titles taken. But a interesting talking point is Inter playing in 5 out of these 8 finals and only winning 1 of them. 

Past Winners Serie A
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Past Winners Tim Cup
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Juventus
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Let's just move on and talk about the clubs specifics. Juventus the monster flagship of Italian football have had an iron hold domestic football taking every Serie A title during this saves run time. On top of that they also took home 4 TIM Cup titles. But the crown jewel of Juventus continued success is without a doubt their Champions League title in 2020. Meaning Cristiano Ronaldo did achieve his goal in the black and white. With all this sucess it shouldn't come as a suprise that Juventus has had the least manager changing of the 5 clubs during the 8 years. Massimiliano Allegri was the Juventus manager for 10 years before Diego Simeone took over in the summer of 2024 after Allergi left too manage in the Premier League. Diego Simone have continued the success of Allegri having a 76% win rate. Looking at their historic best eleven it showcases a team of football superstars. In goal is Wojciech Szczesny who guarded the Juventus goal in 248 matches before taking moving on in 2025 too play for AS Saint-Etienne. Their current goalkeeper is Brazilian up and comer Jair who has started getting matches for the Brazilian national team. On the right back is Almamy Toure a player who joined Juventus in 2024 from PSG. On the opposite side of him is the best left-back I have ever seen in Bujar Sulejmani. In the middle Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani makes the pair with 319 and 403 matches respectively. Rugani is still going strong at 33 for Juventus, but his partner is now Said Boussaboun a new future star of the Gli Azzuri. Paulo Dybala and Rodrigo Bentantcur makes up the CM pair. Having played 451 and 317 matches. They both remain with Juventus, but they have gotten strong competition from the Brazilian Wellington Daniel and Paraguayan wonderkid Ruben Benitez. Douglas Costa sits on the right wing and he managed 322 matches before taking a pre retirement year with Celta Vigo now Jeffrey Furtado a Portugese inside forward taking his place. A fellow countryman is on the left wing in Cristano Ronaldo who played 258 matches for Juventus before retiring in 2024. Another Portugese player has gotten the task of filling his boots in Joao Felix. In the middle AMC position we have Isaac Amankwah a world class Juventus Academy product. Up top is their current terrorizer of a striker named Santiago Garcia. While I cannot view all the players attributes properly due too not really having a scouting department too show their players. I can ensure you that Juventus by far is the favorites too win this years Serie A.

Roma
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With Juventus taking all the league titles there is little room for trophies too brag about for Roma. But they did win the TIM cup in 2026, and became last years runner-up. In short Roma is on a high currently. Roma have over 8 years managed too burn trough 5 different managers. With Eusebio Di Francesco signing off in summer of 2019. His replacements Vincenzo Montella and Fabriizio Picareta didn't last long. Fatih Terim would lead the club before current manager Jorge Sampaoli found his way too the team in the summer of 2023. Boasting a win rate of 60% since his arrival. Looking at their historic best eleven is a rather interesting. The high praised shot stopper Robin Olsen played 119 matches for Roma before moving on and spending 5 years with Spartak Moscow, and from there he spent a year in CSKA Moscow before retiring. The 4 man back line contain real life favorites Alessandro Florenzi and Kostas Manolas who managed 263 and 309 matches. Florenzi would take 2 years in Ukraine before retiring this year. Manolas on the other hand did a bit of a journeyman travel in his latter days. Taking a year with Young Boys, then CSKA Moscow and currently DC United.  Dan-Axel Zagadou and Mykola Matvienko makes up the rest of the 4- man line. Zagadou is still with Roma and is looking too add on his 130 match total. The same with Mykola Matvienko who is up at 314 matches! Steven Nzonzi spent 7 years with Roma before taking a pre retirement year back in France. In this time managed 257 matches. He was replaced by Belgium wonderkid Sebastian Derijck. Bryan Cristante and Bruno Fernandes are both with the team having played 358 and 279 matches for Roma so far. On the right wing we find a newer inclusion in Kevin Cannavo with 172 matches. He joined Roma from Palermo. However he seems too have run out of favor as of last season with Dennis Man now playing on the right wing. Someone still in favor is left win Mauro Frijia a world quality Italian left wing who has already racked up 247 matches despite being only 24 years old. Up top is Patrik Schick with 319 matches who is still the first option for the team. All in all I think Roma is sure too be one of the main contenders too overthrow Juventus.

Inter
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Inter have been one of the more consistent challengers domestically, but their only showing for their efforts are runner-ups and a TIM Cup trophy from 2024. Inter seems too have a runner-up curse as they also came second twice in the Europa League in 2021 and 2023. Their manager history is Luciano Spalletti sacked and replaced by Rafa Benitez who after 4 years resigned. His replacement was none other than Pep Guardiola but after 2 years and 146 he was sacked with Thomas Tuchel taking on the Job 5th of January 2027 replacing 13 day old caretaker Rui Faria. The Inter best eleven is also a interesting one. We have Blackburn Rovers goalie David Raya in goal for Inter, and hes still going strong for them. He has protected their goal in 246 matches so far. His back line consists of Sime Vrsjalko: 240 matches, Milan Skriniar: 417 matches, Alessandro Bastoni: 303 matches and Aldair Castillo: 146 matches.  Sime has retired and I cannot access his history. I do however know his replacement is Vladanko Tadic who joined Inter in 2023 from FK Partizan. He has since gone on too become the leading Serbian and Inter right-back. Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni still is the starting options for Inter! A long term duo going on strong. I am quite impressed with the fact Milan Skriniar never transferred from Inter considering Juventus domestic hold. The left back is a Colombian speedster who joined Inter from MLS side Minnesota. Their center midfield duo is the Italians Roberto Gagliardini and Rolando Mandragora sitting at 374 and 181 matches. Cool too see that Gagliardini never left, and very interesting that former Juventus player Rolando Mandragora ended up here. Lautaro Martinez with 366 matches is the right winger a position he doesn't currently play as that is left too Andrija Zivkovic. Joao Mario is the man in the hole with 192 matches this despite him leaving in 2024 too join his former team Sporting CP. I am not sure how Inter replaced him. I think they used a collection of players moving about. But the current starting AMC for Inter is the 34 year old Jesse Lingard but they have an Injury on a striker so I suspect Lautaro Martinez drops back into the AMC if that player isn't injured. Matteo Politano wiuth 188 matches is the left winger of choice. He is no longer with Inter leaving them in 2024. Since then he has been in a host of thems from Celta Vigo, Palermo, Torino too now Wolfsburg. He was replaced by Brazilian youngster Gregore who has yet too really live up too expectations. Closing out the team there could be no other than Mauro Icardi with 411 matches! He is still at Inter and from what I can tell he is still first option. Crazy that he never left Inter. All in all looking at the Inter squad they have some class players their issue is a bit of an ageing generation mixed with not having Juventus level of width.

Napoli
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Napoli have wobbled a bit back and forth in domestic placements. Having won the TIM Cup this year with third placements in 2025, 2027 and second in 2026. Napoli is on a good stride with their current generation. They also was the team that denied Inter the Europa League title in 2023. They enjoy having some quality middle aged players mixed with some high experienced ones. Napoli has also had far less manager movements with Carlo Ancelotti getting the sack after the 2022 season with Sergio Conceicao taking the regins before resigning the form the role. In 29/7/204 current manager Unai Emery took the Napoli throne. Their historic best eleven has a rather big surprise inclusion. But starting from the back is Alex Meret in goal with 315 matches, and he has plenty of time too add more. Elseid Hysaj is the right back with 397 matches however he left this transfer window too Dynamo Kyiv. His replacement is a promising 21 year old right-back from Fluminense named Dentinho. Their center defense duo is Kalidou Koulibaly and Svetozar Markovic with 415 and 116 matches. Koulibaly has now reached the age of 36 and while still being in Napoli. I don't except his number too grow much. Svetozar Markovic however will and Napoli need too proper replace Koulibaly as the defender starting ahead of him is the 34 year old Antonio Rudiger. Now for the real surprise. Their left-back is Mattia De Sciglio who joined Napoli back in 2021 playing for them until 2026 before leaving for Austrian. Yes Austrian football. Their current left-back is a Brazilian named Savinho who at 25 years old is yet too have a proper breakthrough with the national team. Making their center midfield duo is Amadou Diaware with 365 matches and Lukasz Opalacz with 231 matches. The latter is still with them at 30 years of age having been with Napoli for now 12 years. Opalacz is a Polish world class playmaker who could have a long Napoli career ahead of him. The 3 man AM line is Lorenzo Insigne: 354, Joaquin Correa: 140 and Malcolm: 190 matches. A bit surprising considering on the bench is Simone Verdi with 316 matches. Of these 3 players only Malcom is still in the first team with Joaquin Correa seeing some play off the bench. The legend Insigne has retired after taking a year in Greece with AEK. But Napoli has good replacements for these two. In the middle is Amine Harit a Moroccan trickster. And playing on the left is Alexander Isak. Their striker of choice is Arkadiuiz MIlik who managed 194 matches. However his replacement is Brazil star Indio, and with 139 matches hes closing in on replacing Milik on the historic XI too. All in all looking at the Napoli squad. There is no doubting their starting members being capable of taking wins over any of the Serie A teams. However there is a concerning lack of depth here.

Milan
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Our fifth and final team too look on is A.C Milan. A team that in terms of titles have only a TIM Cup in 2022 too really feel good about. Unless you put much stock in their Supercoppa TIM win in 2023. Despite this lack of titles Milan has had surprisingly few manager changes. Gennaro Gattuso left in 2024 after getting the sack. Former Napoli and great Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti was hired for his second stint with Milan. It ended in a sacking which is where current manager Gareth Southgate comes in. Looking at the historic XI there is no surprise that their goalie is Gianluigi Donnarumma ticking in with 446 matches, and he can still add on them. His back line is Andrea Conti: 257, Mattia Caldara: 219, Ernesto Amaya: 192 and Ricardo Rodriguez: 233 matches. A suprise here is where has Alessio Romagnoli gone? Alessio was bought by Real Madrid in 2021. Further interesting about Alessio is that he now has become a Juventus player. Andrea Conti no longer plays for Milan, but I still within Serie A with Bologna. A.C Milan has yet too proper replace him with ageing Sergi Roberto serving the right back as of now. Their duo in the middle is Mattia Caldara and Ernesto Amaya both no longer plays for Milan. The latter moved too Spurs in 2023. With Colombian superstar Ernesto Amaya leaving for Liverpool during this years transfer window. A tough loss for Milan however their replacement Carabina from Brazil isn't bad either. He pairs with Ruben Dias. Ricardo Rodriguez has now turned 35 yars old and back in 2025 he left too Russia. The resident left-back is Lucas Hernandez. Their central trio is made out of Franck Kessie: 434 matches, Lucas Paqueta: 377 matches and never addition Milan Acedemy player Simone Righetti: 190 matches. All of these still play with A.C Milan! However they have gotten serious competition from Brazilian Mauricio.  Moving too the wingers we find Suso with 332 matches on the right side. The Spaniard however is no longer with them having left for Young Boys. Being replaced by a growing star in yet another Brazilian Matonense. On the left we have Leandro Trossard with 110 matches as the choice. A bit of a surprise considering he left back in 2023. Right now A.C Milan uses Munir as their left winger. Up top is Andre Silva with 337 matches  and hes still with Milan. I quite like this A.C Milan squad. They have many world class players, and have a bit of fill with them. They also have former Cesena left winger Francesco Valli 22A. Their real issue in my eyes is their two ageing full-backs.

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Big boys now
Year 9

Welcome too our very first season in the Serie A! While there was much joy and pride over the fact we were here. There was no illusion in my mind. This would be the toughest year of the journey yet. I was however quite confident that we had a team that would not only survive, but be able too stay ahead of the relegation battle. Of course as a newly promoted side we were hotly tipped as one of the go to relegation sides. This didn't really bother me as I had other things occupying my mind. The two biggest was the fact Achraf Bouayadi 24A and Stefano Alemanni 23B both were on expiring contracts! I had hoped that Serie A football would make them willing too resign new deals. Unfortunately this wasn't the case for Stefano Alemanni 23B who was ademant about leaving the club. In fact he announced his intention too see his contract out and leave us on a free in the summer. So I while initially I hoped it would never come too it. I sold Stefano Alemanni 23B off. Luckily Achraf Bouayadi 24A was willing too sign a new deal after the summer window shut. It would without a doubt take time for us too be a Serie A title challenger with our philosophy, but there was no hiding the economical growth of being in the top flight!


Finances
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Note the date of the finances. This is after a full season stay in the top flight. Still the point too show here is our economic growth. We have gone from struggling too have a couple of million + balance in the Serie B too now have 30 million Euros sitting pretty! Of course the main reason for this was the TV revenue that Serie A TIM football brought the club. But we also saw some slight increase in our season tickets, gate receipts and sponsorship. While we spent more on wages then ever with our Serie A arrival we still were tiny fish in the pond. We were the team with the lowest wages paid out in the League. 

Fixtures 1 + Table

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The first half of the season went very well for us. We took an early dive out of the TIM Cup, but with Bouayadi leading the charge we took two very important victories over Empoli and AS Livorno two other fellow relegation battle tipped teams. From there we went into brawler mode. We took many hits, but we also managed too grab onto points. We didn't play any attractive football anymore as Serie A teams were far more adapt of defending our attacks. They also troubled us far more than last years Serie B. But the one thing that remained was our ability too get away with narrow wins. We were also lucky with the fact that Bulevardi and Luigi Donvito 25C were able too give us some extra scoring options when Bouayadi went into a bad period. I am also very pleased with our wins over Torino and Atalanta. Teams that should have beaten us. We also managed for the most part too avoid brutal losses with the 1-4 loss away too Inter being the harshest. 

Fixtures 2 + Table
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So the second half went very similar too the first one. We did however start conceding a bit more, but at the same time we scored more too. But cannot be understated how important Bouayadi was for our team! There is no doubting my mind that without him we wouldn't have avoided the Relegation Battle. We even took a very impressive 4-3 win over A.C Milan this time around! We also took Torino for the second time and got one over Lazio. We did however take on two very heavy losses too Fiorentina and Atalanta. It's very much onto these two matches that our bad goal difference comes from as we conceded 10 and only scored 2 in these two matches. But all in all I can't help but feel happy about our season. After all we are not used too this level of competition. 

End of season stats
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Well there is no real surprise here. It's dominated by Bouayadi our Morccan star. In fact he became the European Golden Boot winner! With this he also became the African attacker of the year with the team of the year both in Africa and Serie A. The Moroccan also rocked a 76% vote for the fans player of the season. I have started too give some players nicknames but most of them should be obvious. Anyways Pelletti 23A and Porro 24C had good years for use being the only players outside our superstar getting average ratings above 6.9. This quite well describes the step up of level. 

Best Eleven
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We have some new names here. The first one is Lorenzo Napoli 24D ending Stefano Alemanni 23B 4 year long Best XI residence. Not something I wanted, but my hand was forced. We also have two new faces in the 3-man center defender line. With now older generations Jacopo Cesecon 20D and Antonio Bernardi 21B going into more backup roles. Mauro (Bellato) 22G has nailed down a starting spot with Jonathan Rinaldi 24B. The midfield trio sees Andrea Cioffi 22E return with Luciano 23C and the young future star Amerighi 26A making the rest. Up top there could only be two! However I think Luigi Donvito 25C could give Bulevardi a challenge next year. I also have high hopes for Raimondo Sanna 24E too forge his path in the central midfield line. Next year might be too early but I have high hopes that this years intake player Matteo Correnti 28A will become a future member of the defensive line. 

Youth Intake
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Another intake that leaves for more too be desired. Perhaps it's time we considered a new Head of Youth Development? He might have produced the goods he could find. Still Matteo Correnti 28A is a talented fellow! If it wasn't for him however the intake would be very lackluster. My favorite thing about Matteo is without a doubt the awe size of the lad. Ola Andersen 28B main point of interest is the fact hes Norwegian. However he has severe lack of mental attributes, and I wouldn't expect much from him anytime soon. Marco Ferretti 28C suffers from the same issue and on top of this he plays a non position in the club. Last of the ones I bother sharing is Simone  Cacchi 28D a goalkeeper I can assure you will never get passed 3rd string.

Transfers
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The only transfers of worthy of notes were the winter depatures of Alemanni 23B and Davide Fusco. Davide Fusco hasn't enjoyed our formation change, and wanted too leave for first team football. I obliged and arranged a transfer too Serie B side Ascoli Clacio for 1.1 million euros. Alemanni 23B was someone I hoped that would guard our goal until his retirement. But according too himself he outgrew the club, and with his announcement of his intent too leave on a free at the end of the year. I decided too make calls back in October too see if I could sell him for some money. Palermo was the club who in the end got him for 7 million euros + a sell on clause worth 10% of his next transfer. A percentage we could have big enjoyments from in the future as he instantly doubled his market value after joining Palermo a team that finished only 3 places higher than us on the table. 

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