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Bedese

[FM19] - Forza San Giovanni

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Posted (edited)

"Everyone who is normal... sees themselves in us."

--- Giampaolo Mazza, San Marino NT Coach.

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

"San Marino is nothing to do with Professional football."

--- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, former German international.

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

"Football is not owned by [the elite], but by all of those who love it. Among which, we are included."

"There are still guys who follow their dreams, and not your rules."

--- Alan Gasperoni, Sammarinese director of communications.

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

4465d1aaadfe0609a31393d5d3e9e673-jpg.jpg

Spoiler

(Photo by Jessica Pepper-Peterson)

Edited by Bedese

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Posted (edited)

We're back!

San Marino are, quite literally, the worst team in world football. Sitting at 211st out of 211 national teams, they're below such giants as Eritrea (who's entire National Team seems to flee and seek asylum every time they play an away game), The British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat... you get the point.

With a population of 33,000, San Marino have as many competitive wins as they do traffic lights in the country - zero. One of the smallest countries in the world, they have a National holiday every time the team scores a goal. They don't get those holidays very often.

The players in the national team are essentially the same as you and me. Outside of one or two professionals, they all work real, 9-5 jobs. Here's the list of occupations from a Euro 2016 qualification match:

san marino starting eleven day jobs

They head into every game knowing that not only is a win unlikely, but to keep the score down to less than 5 would be a good day at the office. They're underdogs in every sense of the word. With club football being increasingly dictated by the size of the owners wallet, many fans are instead looking towards international football. There's no money in international football, no buying better players or skirting around financial fair play rules. It's a question of sport, rather than finances. There's always a chance of an underdog causing an upset, and San Marino might be the biggest underdogs there are in the sporting world.

These are ordinary people, going out to compete for their country against some of the best players in the world. My favourite story about the National Team is this:

In their final pre-match warmup before taking on England, Nicola Chiaruzzi's boots fell apart. Chiaruzzi went off to Wembley in search of a new pair of boots, and had a shop assistant begin to explain to him how best to break in the boots. Chiaruzzi calmly explained that, actually, he wouldn't have the time to do that. He was looking for boots that he could wear in two hours time at Wembley.

 

Despite being continually ridiculed by the press in every game they play, they continue to compete, hoping that one day, that upset might come.

Let's see if we can get that upset.

Edited by Bedese

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Some more anecdotes from the National Team, courtesy of http://sanmarinodocumentary.com/anecdotes-indes#goals:

- When San Marino earned their first ever point against Estonia, the players celebrated by.... drinking strawberry vodka and smoking cigarettes all night long, a thought that would certainly upset the fitness staff for a bigger team!

- San Marino were 'sponsored' by Adidas - I say sponsored, because Adidas would only give them blank shirts, on which they'd have to sew the Sammarinese badge on themselves.

- When Manuel Battistini swapped shirts with Wayne Rooney, he tried it on 'to see where Rooney's muscles were'.

- Against Lithuania, San Marino won a free kick. Nicola Chiaruzzi told Matteo Vitaioli to try the 'dead leaf' free kick technique. Vitaioli didn't know how, so he just smashed it as hard as he could. That was San Marino's first away goal in 14 years.

- Nicola Chiaruzzi missed San Marino's game against Slovenia because he couldn't find anybody to cover his shift at a bar. Similarly, goalkeeper Aldo Junior Simoncini once missed a game against Ukraine to stay home and study Algebra for an exam. San Marino lost 9-0, but Simoncini passed his exam.

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Posted (edited)

Hall of Fame:

For those special players that'll be remembered forever by San Giovanni and Sammarinese fans.

 

 

  • Davide Toccaceli (YP19): Captain. Leader. Legend. Captain for both San Giovanni and the San Marino National Team. He was an absolute mainstay at the heart of our defence for 14 seasons, breaking into the first team in 2031 and not looking back. He achieved a ridiculous 133 caps for the San Marino National Team, making him the most capped player of all time, and he managed to bag 3 international goals. For us, he made 329 league appearances, scoring 31 times, nabbing 39 assists and 28 Player of the Match awards. He had one of the best ever seasons in a San Giovanni shirt in just his second year as a Senior Player, scoring a ridiculous 8 goals in 24 league games (and 11 goals overall), with a further 5 assists and 5 POM awards, giving him an average rating of 8.08. For a Centre Back! He also scored the sole goal in our Europa League Group Stage game against Zenit, which won us the match, won us the group and sent us through to the knockout stages for the first time in our history.

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Edited by Bedese

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I've copy and pasted the opening posts from one of my last attempts at this save, because I do it so often I've ran out of anything original to say :lol: The only difference this time is it's not a completely Youth Only save - we can sign any Sammarinese player we want, but once we get 'good' I don't see that coming in all that handy :D 

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ANOTHER San Marino thread?!? Aren’t you bored by now?.....

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Here's the game setup - my computer isn't too powerful, so nothing that fancy really.

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Predicted to come last in our group. No change there then! San Giovanni didn't win a game in their group last season in real life, drawing 3 and losing 4. The only way is up!

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It's a horrific squad, the two best players are goalkeepers (albeit, one is only on loan), the majority of player are over 30 and the majority of the 'good' ones are Italian. We've got a lot of work to do - I'm just glad we can sign Sammarinese players for once!

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I can't actually fit all our transfers onto one page, which is a first for me! Because we don't have any scouts to actually go and look at players, and because the squad was so weak (and mainly Italian!) we ended up bringing in 21 Sammarinese players in total. The squad looks a lot healthier now. Here it was when we took over:

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And here it is now:

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Let's see what the season brings!

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Youth Intake Day!

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He looks like a pretty tidy CB at this level - not least considering how hard it is to find Sammarinese CBs over 5'10!

 

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We don't currently use wingers, so it's tough to see where he fits in. 1 Finishing rules him out upfront, and 2 marking/4 tackling isn't ideal (although not awful, sadly...) for a WB. He might be best suited as a CM, even with 3 passing, which says a lot about the level we're at.

 

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He looks very decent for this level. I can see him getting gametime early.

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Season Review:

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The league system is a bit mental now (even more mental than it was before!), but we just missed out on a place in Group 1 after the 'First Phase', meaning we slid into Group 2, where only the top 2 teams qualify for the Playoffs at the end of the season:

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We were in the driving seat with three games to go, but losing all of them put paid to our chances of making the playoffs. Disappointing, but realistically, we weren't going to make any noise in them.

 

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La Fiorita seem to have made it to the final because they were the higher seed... not sure I'm a fan of that rule, personally.

 

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Out in the First Round of the cup, too. Hoping to do better on both fronts next season.

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No prizes for guessing what our transfer strategy was...

With no scouts and no money for a scouting package, and our potential talent pool basically being limited to the other teams in our division, I went through every other team and tried to sign all their Sammarinese players. 59 of them have joined us, and I've dumped the ones who aren't up to scratch, but we're still left with quite a big squad for next season :lol: 

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Youth Intake Day!
 

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At such a low level it's hard to know who might go on to become a first team player for us or not, but there's only one player worth tagging here, in my opinion:

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He's hopeless technically, but really impressive physically for a 15 year old Sammarinese kid.

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Posted (edited)

Season Review:

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We scraped through into Group 1 where we scraped through again into the Playoffs, but eventual winners Tre Penne were too strong for us over the two legs and deserved the win. I'm pleased we were able to make it through to the playoffs, even if it was a bit fortunate!

 

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Disappointing to be knocked out in the first round of the cup again. I think the cup is our best chance next season to qualify for Europe, so we're going to need to pick it up.

Edited by Bedese

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Season Review!

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Too many draws hurt us in the first stage, and then inconsistency doomed us in Group 2. Really disappointing.

 

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Not the kindest draw in the cup. We must do better next year.

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Youth Intake Day!

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I wouldn't put it past a couple of these to break through into the first team, but it's hard to pick out any one player from this intake. A bit disappointing on the face of it, but time will tell!

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They beat us 2-1 in the first game and held us 0-0 in the second game to knock us out.

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Posted (edited)

Season Review!

 

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We snuck into Group 1 on the final day but our form really picked up there, only to then immediately dip in the all important Playoffs. Sigh.

 

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I don't think we're ever going to win a Cup game.

 

 

Edited by Bedese

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Youth Intake Day!

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A couple of tidy players here!

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He looks very well rounded for this level. It shouldn't be too long before he sees some minutes.

 

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That's a really decent FB for our standard of football.

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Season Review!
 

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We managed to top our First Phase group, but other teams absolutely raided us in January...

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At least 6 or 7 starters left, and we just couldn't recover from it. The one good bit of transfer news we had was managing to bring this striker back to the club:

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His pace and finishing make him a quality striker at this level, and if we can keep him around next season we should be in good stead upfront, at least. We'll have a job on to replace everybody else who left, though!

 

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Honestly, at this point our best chance of getting through the First Round of the cup looks like by getting that bye.

 

I'm really disappointed with how this season went. We made the playoffs last year (and really should have gone further), but a drop in form combined with losing a number of key players meant we really took a step back this year. Domestic progress has been really slow so far, and we should really be looking to make the breakthrough soon.

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We might be struggling domestically, but San Marino Calcio have made it up to Serie C and managed to stay up! 

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Interesting save! Only 7 games per season?

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On 22/06/2019 at 00:08, quee said:

Interesting save! Only 7 games per season?

Sorry, I just realised I didn't actually explain how the league works! San Marino has always had a bizarre league structure but they've recently changed it to make it possibly even weirder, so here's (I think!) how it works:

The 15 teams in San Marino randomly get split into two groups (one of 7, one of 8) where you play everybody once. The top four teams in each group after those games go into 'Group 1', and the remaining 7 teams go into 'Group 2'. There, every team plays every other team twice, and the top 6/8 teams in Group 1 and the top 2/7 teams in Group 2 qualify for the Playoffs. The 8 teams in the playoffs then have a knockout tournament to determine the winner of the league. Very strange, but quite interesting :D 

On 22/06/2019 at 12:31, deltablue said:

I'm sure you'll win a cup game eventually ;)

;) 

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Season Review!
 

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I don't think anything sums up the madness of the league better than Tre Fiori winning it, after coming dead last in their Phase 1 group! We had a decent run but Tre Fiori tore us apart from set pieces in the second leg, and comfortably eased past Fiorentino in the final. It was a pretty good year for us, but still no European football :( 

 

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We finally won a cup game! Unfortunately we didn't turn up in the second leg against La Fiorita in the Semi Final, and they go on to lift the trophy.

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Posted (edited)

Other San Marino teams/NT:

I haven't really looked at the other Sammarinese teams so far, but seeing as we're 6 years in this seems like a good time to give it a quick look over.

 

In the Champions League, every San Marino league winner has immediately lost in the First Preliminary Qualifying Round - in fact, this year was the first time any of them had even scored a goal, with La Fiorita losing 3-1 to FK Ventspils from Latvia. Those teams then drop into the Second Qualifying Round in the Champions League - but they've all lost there, too.

In the Europa League, Tre Fiori have had a bit of success in the Preliminary Round which means (for now) our teams head straight into the First Qualifying Round - but that's where all their journeys have ended.

San Marino Calcio stayed up again in Serie C, coming a very respectable 12th.

The San Marino National Team are currently ranked 203rd in the world, so... not great. They beat a 10 man Latvia in a friendly, won a Euro Qualifying game 2-1 against the Faroe Islands, and drew 1-1 against Norway in a Euro Qualifier, but pretty much every other game has resulted in a loss.

 

Folgore, Juvenes Dogana, Tre Fiori, La Fiorita, Cailungo and Tre Penne have all turned Semi-Pro already. We're lagging behind!

Edited by Bedese

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2 hours ago, Bedese said:

Other San Marino teams/NT:

I haven't really looked at the other Sammarinese teams so far, but seeing as we're 6 years in this seems like a good time to give it a quick look over.

 

In the Champions League, every San Marino league winner has immediately lost in the First Preliminary Qualifying Round - in fact, this year was the first time any of them had even scored a goal, with La Fiorita losing 3-1 to FK Ventspils from Latvia. Those teams then drop into the Second Qualifying Round in the Champions League - but they've all lost there, too.

In the Europa League, Tre Fiori have had a bit of success in the Preliminary Round which means (for now) our teams head straight into the First Qualifying Round - but that's where all their journeys have ended.

San Marino Calcio stayed up again in Serie C, coming a very respectable 12th.

The San Marino National Team are currently ranked 203rd in the world, so... not great. They beat a 10 man Latvia in a friendly, won a Euro Qualifying game 2-1 against the Faroe Islands, and drew 1-1 against Norway in a Euro Qualifier, but pretty much every other game has resulted in a loss.

 

Folgore, Juvenes Dogana, Tre Fiori, La Fiorita, Cailungo and Tre Penne have all turned Semi-Pro already. We're lagging behind!

Nice bit of reviewing where everything is so far. Is there any real Sammarinese player in your team or national team? Who is the best one?

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so the league gets weirder and you find it "interesting". 

Ok then

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Nothing wrong with that. It is weird and interesting at the same time.

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21 hours ago, quee said:

Nice bit of reviewing where everything is so far. Is there any real Sammarinese player in your team or national team? Who is the best one?

Cheers!

Our squad is changing drastically every year as other teams come in for our players and we look to replace them, but we do currently have one 'real' Sammarinese NT player in Mattia Giardi:

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He's got 6 caps in real life, so he's added 6 more to that total since the save has started. He's only just joined us in January though, so I don't really consider him 'our' player - he's spent 10 seasons with Faetano and another 7 with Tre Fiori.

Filippo Berardi is the best NT player - Torino sold him for 63k without him ever appearing for them and since then he's spent his career in Serie B and C:

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20 hours ago, kidthekid said:

so the league gets weirder and you find it "interesting". 

Ok then

When you're 100 seasons in, it's nice to have a change from the usual standard league structure, although I won't be saying that when we dominate the league but mess up in the playoffs :lol: 

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Youth Intake Day!
 

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Now that's more like it :D 

Early on in San Marino you usually get players coming through that are already quality starters, but we haven't really had a single one yet. I guess they've all come at once :D 

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These two are the pick of the bunch, and they're both so much better than anything we have in my opinion. The problem now is to keep hold of them...

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Go professional ASAP and make a lot of money by selling them  ,I guess .

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Season Review:

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A disaster in the league, and we didn't fare that much better in the cup...

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The problem we're having is that other teams are just coming in for our players every window, and as an Amateur club it's impossible to keep them around. The other teams are made up of a lot of Italians too, who are of a slightly better quality than our Sammarinese players. I'm hopeful that with the Youth Intake we had last season, we might have a shot at finally making it in Europe next year.

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Seeing as we haven't made Europe yet, and touching on what @MacNegot said, I'd like to just go into a little bit of detail about how I usually approach saves like these. 

I try to break it down into different 'stages'. For me, the most important thing to do at the start of the save is to turn Professional ASAP. I'll upgrade the Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment, but I won't touch Youth or Training Facility upgrades - I don't see the point in producing better players and being able to develop them better if you can't actually tie them down to a contract. To turn Professional, you need a couple of European runs, but right now, we just can't seem to crack into Europe, which is the first hurdle we need to clear. Once we get the European money (not from having any deep runs, just from collecting the money we get from being knocked out) and can turn Professional, that's when we can really start to put our mark on things domestically and become a force in San Marino. 

So, that's stage 1. Hopefully, we can get there sooner rather than later :lol: 

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Youth Intake Day!

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I think it's safe to say the upgrades into Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment are starting to pay dividends!

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6'2, two footed, double digits for finishing, composure, teamwork, and superb physical stats. I'm in love :D

 

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He might be Jordan Pickford sized, but we've found our starting keeper for as long as he stays with us.

 

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