Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community

Recommended Posts

Welcome to Laos!

1072367045_LaosCountryside.thumb.jpg.e91700c01bbb2679bbd8d9da8f77126a.jpg

 

A country of stunning natural beauty. 

 

Laos.thumb.png.4eca3b49fd1004c890fbe9c273c3f3cb.png

 

Nestled between China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, Laos is one of the poorest countries in the region. It is cut off from the sea by Vietnam to the East and many of its inhabitants rely on the Mekong River for their livelihoods. 

 

large_The_Mekong..untains.thumb.jpg.54932f06d6007157d1318bad40df0a6e.jpg

 

laos-monks.thumb.jpg.9cf7a31aec63c342e40dc4908feef8b5.jpg

 

Old traditions are still practised in modern Laos, especially in the sacred city of Luang Prabang where lines of saffron clad Buddhist monks can still be seen receiving alms from the community. 

 

So this is the country that I have settled on for my new FM save. A country of undoubted beauty. But the football in Laos is probably going to juxtapose the stunning scenery that you can see from the above images. 

 

Lao_Football_Federation.png.5d5a58180d7f8d68bd31476a5880d125.png

 

The Laos National Football Team are currently ranked at 188 in the world. Their highest ever ranking was 134 in September 1998. They play their home games at the New Laos National Stadium in the capital city, Vientiane. 

 

1957377278_NationalStadium.thumb.jpg.ea75c28bdd404f6dcc17d098e1b15979.jpg

 

I will be beginning my career with Luang Prabang United

 

998505337_LuangPrabangLogo.thumb.png.4e521c92b76367027fbc74794c03969b.png

 

This is one of the few teams to play outside the country's capital Vientiane. They are expected to finish 6th in a league of 8 teams. 

They play their home matches at the Luang Prabang Stadium. You can see them in action at their home ground against the Laotian top dogs Lao Toyota FC below:

 

 

 

I'll be posting screenshots from the actual game soon to show you what I have to work with as we prepare for a tough season in the Pepsi Lao Premier League. 

 

 

Welcome to Luang Prabang, Laos. 

shutterstock_640761175.thumb.jpg.33133c9b46acaed39e235ad7564fdce6.jpg      Old-Town-in-Luang-Prabang-Laos_feature.thumb.jpg.e005894e2e9ea61925a571a41ead4989.jpg

 

 

 

It's going to be a tough ride. Stay posted for the first instalment where I will be posting about the situation at Luang Prabang United as I find it on initially taking over. How bad can the third worst team in the Laotian Premier League be, right...?

 

 

Edited by Tikka Mezzala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Pepsi Lao Premier League is the main competition that we will be competing in this season:

 

1610009509_LaoPremierLeague_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.77df9f0c2da0d71a561a41dd33339822.png

 

8 teams will be fighting for the title. We are a newly formed club and it's our first season. So we will literally create history no matter where we finish. 

 

1165736701_LuangPrabangUnited_Competitions.thumb.png.a2d1214b458e57d5132ac691220f00eb.png

 

The media predicts a 6th placed finish, but the board are demanding a "top half" finish. The Laotian Football Federation Cup is the national cup competition and will include teams from the lower divisions. "Reach semi-final" is a huge ask, given there are several teams in the league who are expecting to finish above us and will likely be demanding a similar cup performance. So I think the board have placed a great weight on my shoulders for the first campaign. 

 

600951077_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers.thumb.png.08db59d7870354c777b4bf7db73435a3.png  434598084_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers-2.thumb.png.e63c2cfa2fcf149da2bf2edbac1ce2d7.png

 

This is our first-team squad. 

 

1096556506_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers-3.thumb.png.2141694ac2b5f896a8d25539b8dfe2f2.png  1556661642_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers-4.thumb.png.0444008184773d32e38209c20d382ec5.png

 

434932935_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers-5.thumb.png.46dd78f39a4c0608fd0eca4758fb8968.png  1691011377_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers-6.thumb.png.933bc18628e174c7e8d144a4430cd45f.png

 

These are some of the key players according to my assistant manager. I think there are generous star ratings here to say the least. 

 

1478809084_LuangPrabangUnitedUnder19s_SquadPlayers.thumb.png.4030ea5e958ecbaffa9146459949c564.png  313850918_LuangPrabangUnitedUnder19s_SquadPlayers.thumb.png.bb683f0c9073f57c4c6ae657b29e7ecd.png

 

The u-19 squad. There appears to be a huge amount of potential at the club. But appearances can be deceiving. 

 

1927795138_LuangPrabangUnitedUnder19s_SquadPlayers-3.thumb.png.705c6571734b4c0a7edabb4a04195eeb.png

The star of the youth team. 

 

 

721405683_LuangPrabangUnited_Facilities.thumb.png.0859356bced9f8ab2c6740300a99de72.png

 

We have a large stadium, but it is in terrible condition. We also have to invest in the youth over the coming season if we wish to help our chances of competing for the country's brightest talent. 

 

480728610_LuangPrabangUnited_FinancesSummary.thumb.png.e55e7dd6b92e10ad1281c34ff4f7f7a4.png  647885241_LuangPrabangUnited_FinancesProjection-2.thumb.png.d2fccf48233160b954ff6bf881e90b1f.png

 

I am over the moon about the financial situation. As you can see, our projections are looking very bright. This will help us grow and invest in important areas of the team moving forward. 

 

266293752_LuangPrabangUnited_OverviewCoachingTeam.thumb.png.5e32c8a63f2deff420870ddcd65d2fe1.png  1137707237_LuangPrabangUnited_OverviewMedicalTeam.thumb.png.adfd9e274ceeccca940167f32644e3ef.png

 

1988085592_LuangPrabangUnited_OverviewScoutingTransfersTeam.thumb.png.695fc4b29a2ebf0e6f08137204d2d5dd.png

 

Meet the club's only staff. The people that will help ensure the team performs on as well as off the pitch. 

 

 

To sum up my current thoughts on what I have to work with: 

 

Much better than I had initially feared. While the playing squad doesn't have much quality, there are relatively okay players in there. I feared the financial situation would be looking dire, but clearly there is investment in the game in Laos and if we keep things tight in terms of wages then we should enjoy a period of growth. 

I am concerned about the expectations, however. I don't consider myself a great player of FM and having expectations that exceed the media prediction can weigh heavily on me. I'm hoping we manage to pull off the top half finish, but the cup expectations will all depend on the luck of the draw. 

 

 

In the next instalment I will have a look at the competition: who are the best teams in Laos and what will it take to become one of them. 

 

 

Thanks for reading. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tikka Mezzala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, withnail316 said:

Best of luck, man.

Appreciated, mate. It's going to be a learning experience. I love reading about people's saves in weird and wonderful places. Thought I'd have a crack at it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Pechorin said:

Appreciated, mate. It's going to be a learning experience. I love reading about people's saves in weird and wonderful places. Thought I'd have a crack at it. 

Is that a 14 game league season? I think I'd struggle with that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, withnail316 said:

Is that a 14 game league season? I think I'd struggle with that!

I made it four rounds rather than just the two, and with the cup games in between hopefully it will fill the calendar. I think the season is shorter in real life because of the monsoon season. So waterlogged pitches. Hold on.... ****. Does FM know about the weather in Laos?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The number one team in Laos are helped financially by the Toyota car plant in the capital city. As a result, they are called Lao Toyota FC. One of the many benefits of their association with the successful Japanese car manufacturer is the number of Japanese players that have moved south-west to Laos to play for the team.

 

661589853_LaoToyotaFootballClub_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.ef2e7474fcff8b0d5111618b766d39f1.png 275720737_LaoToyotaFootballClub_PlayersSeniorSquad.thumb.png.b3e699b33f66a5701188f8e113156901.png

 

A quick glance at the first-team squad of Lao Toyota FC is evidence enough of the Japanese influence. Six players hail from Japan and the club also has a couple of African players; one from Guinea and the other from Liberia. 

Let's have a look at the foreign contingent:

 

1444681426_IdrissaSoumah_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.528439cee1525b4f6c42b782ad56f1ab.png1676406320_JeromeDoe_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.c69e7376a42cf4231dcdd5556a70af83.png

 

1671758744_KazuoHomma_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.56b496fd6d58a8d76b261b91de419c4f.png1348608595_MasayukiKud_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.b81fba363302870f1d4811cd22631c1b.png

 

876096667_RenshiYamaguchi_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.3893b865c3f0cd711252a455dc8803fb.png98777059_ShintarIhara_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.be835d259e3e3d5f66bee0490b8e71a9.png

 

433279927_TsutomuHasegawa_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.ebdb131736abc5a93b90c06d6ff9ffd2.png842971989_TakahiroSait_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.f9a1785e666bb205c9df0c4b86f97fef.png

 

The obvious standout player is the Guinean forward Idrissa Soumah. He looks like he could be the league's top player and would be a huge advantage for any team. Significantly, the 'wnt' icon appears next to his valuation. So perhaps we will see him depart Laotian football and weaken one of the top teams in the country. This would be a boost to the rest of the league, including my own team. But at the same time it would be beneficial for Laotian football to see talent like Soumah remain in the country and help the teams perform well at the continental level. As for the Japanese talent, I'd not be overly concerned with the level of quality they represent. It's a very advantageous position for Lao Toyota to have connections with one of the leading producers of talent in Asia, but if this is the standard of player that they are getting I don't think we will see it become overly significant. It's worth mentioning that the Lao Toyota manager is also Japanese. But he doesn't appear to be significantly better than other managers in the league. His only previous work was with Mongolian side Ulaanbaatar FC. 

 

The team expecting to compete with Lao Toyota are the Lao Police Club.

 

1997145271_LaoPoliceClub_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.cc2914b8b549b166f9e4e10252e87e47.png

 

Currently manager-less, the team that represents the country's national police force are expected to finish 2nd place in the Laotian footballing media. 

Their key players are predominantly strikers, with one deep-lying playmaker also making the cut:

 

426249959_OdomsithSinglatsomboun_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.18723c9ed296ef155d976a5c430fe808.png992548053_RamboSaysana_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.048de73acb00d6cf0d0eb4f6a7ae11c7.png2116480012_TinyBounmalay_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.ba13507d01f70d380a62356047a0358a.png1446687014_XaisongkhamChampathong_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.0a11afcff9c4dfabc01e85a353664237.png

 

They have pace up front and that could be key against slower defenders. Depending on the system the newly appointed manager employs, perhaps they will be overburdened with quality strikers and fail to make the most of the players they have.

 

But the encouraging thing to note for me is that the 2nd favourites for the league title are not blessed with players far beyond the abilities of my own squad. They are marginally better I'd say, but the gap could be closed by making wise decisions in the transfer market. But as we seen in the previous instalment, the club only has £700 or so in the bank at the moment, and even though that is set to grow over the next 12 months, I may not have the money to do anything in the first window. 

 

The next instalment of the series will look at preseason and the early decisions I have made as the new manager of Luang Prabang United. I'll show you the tactical set-up; any players or staff that arrive or depart; the results of the friendly matches I have yet to arrange; the key performers over the games; and anything else that crops up during preseason. 

But now we know what we're up against. If these are the best two teams in the league on paper, then I think we can perhaps finish in the top half of the table if I can get things right in the transfer window and on the tactical clipboard. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tikka Mezzala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Preseason 2018/19

photo_1337249621060-1-0.thumb.jpg.9858fd788e1c0a381374caebf29f54e6.jpg

 

The first part of the season is now complete. We have finished our preparations and the Pepsi Laos Premier League awaits us. So what has happened in the interim?

 

First of all, I met with the local media and declared myself proud to be the first manager in the history of Luang Prabang United - the first football club in Laos' sacred city. Despite being a nobody in footballing terms, my reputation was considered suitable for the club. So all in all the reception I received upon meeting the press was positive. 

 

I then held a meeting with the players. I told them that we were going to be trying to push into the top half of the table this season. Everyone agreed that the expectations were ambitious enough and we ended on a positive note. 

 

So all was going pretty well. 

 

In order to attain match fitness ahead of the competitive games I set out to schedule in some preseason friendlies. My first thought was that we should look next door to Cambodia and play some of the teams there that will be of a similar level to what we can expect in our own league. No such luck! The board would not sanction an international friendly match because of the travel costs. Okay, fair enough. We are running a tight ship here. Good to see the board are conscious of such matters. 

My next port of call: Laotian teams. I sent out invitations to a number of clubs in the country and opted to play the games at home to save on travel costs. The result: the other teams refused to travel to me to play the friendly fixtures. I then tried to see if my board would sanction me to travel elsewhere in Laos. They wouldn't. 

Okay, don't panic. There must be some teams nearby. I searched high and low in the world of Laotian football. It turns out we are pretty much isolated. Most of the teams are based in and around Vientiane. I was unable to arrange friendly games against other teams. 

MOT-LA-002IOT-0564-01-01_6093-300w_100q.png.14bd2b6235c453cda1f93104bc06f543.png

 

It takes around 7 hours to make the trip between the two cities according to Google. That's a one-way trip. So it's understandable really. But we clearly were at a disadvantage to the teams in the capital city who were able to organise games to prepare for the campaign. 

My only resolve was to play my u-19 team a bunch of times. I had no reserve players so I had to stick to the young team for the whole of preseason. We played each other 5 times and I let my assistant manage them with whatever tactics he saw fit, so that we weren't simply playing against our own system. I saw it as a chance to get a morale boost as we would surely be capable of winning 5 out of 5 against the kids. 

833742194_LuangPrabangUnited_SeniorFixtures.thumb.png.ea9221a38c114e3b09658d05ec8adbc6.png

How wrong I was!!!

 

Beaten twice off of the kids (minus their best players who we promoted to the first team squad). Of all the failures I have been responsible for in the world of Football Manager, losing, not once but twice, to a weakened u-19 side is right up there with the most demoralising. The games were absolutely dreadful. There were no positives to take at all. 

 

So what about our recruitment?

 

1211111205_LuangPrabangUnited_TransferHistory.thumb.png.7ab68b7161ca1f70da9279fe895bf7fd.png

 

Above is a summary of what has happened to date. Ignore the names of the players - I tend to give nicknames to my players so that I can understand the sort of roles that they play. I like to name them after players I know and who typify a certain role. Unfortunately I haven't really managed to convince Xavi and Henrik Larsson to join me, as I'm sure even at their age they'd take the **** with this league. 

I lost a few players that were part of my plans. Unfortunately as a semi-professional club I am powerless to prevent the poaching of my players from other clubs. I offer better terms in an effort to convince them to stay each time it happens, but there are some clubs that just seem to have the resources to outgun me on this front. 

 

1223490716_CarlesPuyol_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.b922facf11bddd9cf14e414c636ebcba.png1267608032_HenrikLarsson_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.86b715e161bb5dab387702e25119747a.png1802525662_LatsamyPhachantha_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.3af81c46081f007c100945b837397636.png2016285193_LidBounthisanh_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.cfe30b4ec71b400166eabd74da45fcef.png1760189040_LilianThuram_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.ebb548392bc9ac42c47e5f9a5e42c2b5.png292973223_Xavi_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.d03f62d146edcb4af448945a0f1e1510.png1072956392_SantiSomphoupheth_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.88555e64417a62903a855873aa61448e.png

 

These are the new additions. "Henrik Larsson" was a particularly pleasing signing as he is part of the Laos U-23 squad at the moment. I tried to sign a 15-goal full Laos international who is currently free, but he was not keen on joining us. The other most promising players are "Xavi" and Phachantha. We made other approaches for players but, again, found many of them unwilling to relocate from the capital. We have to work twice as hard to bring players in as other teams and this could prove to be a significant set back as we face Vientiane based clubs who will be looking to make sure we don't leapfrog them in the standings. 

 

The two clubs I looked at in the previous instalment, Lao Police Club and Lao Toyota FC, are the only clubs who have players tied down to full-time contracts and, therefore, have a level of protection against bigger fish. They even command transfer fees when they do lose their players. Lao Police Club are semi-professional, but they have a number of key players on full-time contracts. Lao Toyota FC are professional. This will give them a major advantage over the rest of the league. 

 

1801339351_LaoToyotaFootballClub_TransfersTransferHistory.thumb.png.8a492cd82219730bab21153fc2988c44.png

 

Lao Toyota's transfer activity is above. They lost a couple of their Japanese players. But have brought in a few replacements. They seem to be the only club able to attract foreign talent and their manager, having previously worked in the Mongolian capital, has been looking to his old country of residence for players. 

 

1319563017_AdrinGarca_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.c0b83b45bc536ac986abf40bc2a2acee.png2070759128_MarceloReis_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.642b97365996c5e76b4b6015baef959b.png

Spanish and Brazilian blood have been brought in to Lao Toyota. The Spanish player was formerly of Ulaanbaatar FC, so there is every chance he was previously signed by the current Lao Toyota manager. His first touch and decision making could be key for them. He is physically impressive and has a decent work rate level, so I imagine he will be quite industrious. The Brazilian player, Reis, looks like he could chip in with a high assist count. His crossing is superior to most wingers in the league and with Idrissa Soumah still on the Lao Toyota books, they could be a perfect compliment for one another. 

 

1696130054_LaoPoliceClub_TransfersTransferHistory.thumb.png.7c80f88a2071df334b18abc56c3ae1e7.png

The second favourites for the title have been adding to their squad as well. 

1756142657_DaoneuaSiviengxay_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.dd8d4530b711bd22165ee1641579bac4.png1451598697_ThinnakoneSouliyamath_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.3df7815bf496b7cddf03697133ae5268.png

 

The holding midfielder was a target of mine, but I wasn't considered an attractive enough prospect and he opted to join them instead. The central defender is a Laos international and with his decisions, concentration and positioning, he will surely help Lao Police Club avoid some of the calamitous errors that are rife in leagues like this. 

 

 

So... onto tactics.

 

2117235850_LuangPrabangUnited_Overview-2.thumb.png.59789c3d051f622894d7bbe6cb170150.png

 

I've opted for a counter-attacking 4-4-1-1 formation. "Zinedine Zidane" is a player that offers some hope for our offensive play, but we are going to rely on hard work and defensive solidity to grind results out. I'd like to gradually move towards a side that can play positive possession football, but at the moment we simply don't possess the players and I really don't want to pay the price for trying to fit square pegs into round holes. So we'll be quite passive and negative for a while. 

 

The next instalment will have a look at our opening game of the season against Lao Police Club. I won't be making updates for every game, but the major ones against the top sides will be interesting. So I'll dedicate a post to the games against the likes of Lao Police Club and Lao Toyota. Also any games of significance in terms of the league and cup. 

 

So stay tuned for the historic moment: the first official game in the history of Luang Prabang United FC. I am sure it will be a fitting occasion as we welcome Lao Police Club to the sacred city. 

 

 

 

Edited by Tikka Mezzala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Olivierlandman said:

Good luck, what a great challenge.

"Challenge" is the key word haha. It has been really tough trying to extract any quality from some of these players. Watching them on the pitch is like banging your head against a wall. They continually make silly decisions and turn over possession. But this is what I'm trying to change. It will be a long process. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

History Boys: The Opening Day of the Season

WhatsApp-Image-2018-02-23-at-12_04.57-700x525.thumb.jpeg.64b34083afcf223ed4c7c9ab456666a3.jpeg

 

The opening day of the Pepsi Laos Premier League and the moment that marks the first steps of Luang Prabang United FC as they embark on life as a football club in Laos' top flight. Every player that takes part in the occasion will make history. Every fan that pays to get through the turnstiles will witness history. It's up to us to make sure that history tells the right story when future generations learn about the day the sacred city of Luang Prabang announced itself as a football city. 

Prior to the game we had an offer accepted for a long-term centre back target who our opponents, Lao Police Club, are also in talks with. The player plays with one of the lower division clubs, but is a Laos international. His acquisition would signal a real level of ambition on our part. Having Laos internationals in the team can only help grow the enthusiasm for the sport in Luang Prabang and the surrounding provinces. 

 

14605.png.4840b257c7342ffc4bde55e618fa6b60.png

Lao Police Club are the team expected to push Lao Toyota the furthest this season. They have made some impressive signings in the window and are continuing to pursue further targets. They recently appointed a young manager whose outlook is attacking. 

608885029_SangkomePhomthisene_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.6c72d77e92753e63a691c86acad5f6c5.png

While he favours a 3-5-2 formation, his team have been setting up in an offensive 4-3-3 flat, pitting three central strikers against a back four. It's up to us to make sure they don't get the ball forward to the front often enough to cause us problems. But it's clear that on both formations the obvious area to target is the flanks. With a 3-5-2 and a 4-3-3 flat, the wide areas only have one player patrolling them. With our 4-4-1-1 formation we should be able to exploit this. 

 

691768905_LuangPrabangUtdvLaoPolice_MatchReview-2.thumb.png.8490c45a91944ebeed0f47170638c252.png

 

Heartbreak!!!!!

After taking an early lead with a well crafted counter attacking move, a goal that made history, we were pegged back on the stroke of half-time. We still looked dangerous on the break in the second half and we had one or two good chances to get back in front, while Lao Police struggled to break us down and create anything clear cut. But right at the death, literally two seconds from the end, Lao Police Club snatched a winner. Our defenders couldn't get tight enough to the Police Club striker and he managed to turn inside the area and get a shot away, which inevitably ended up going right through my goalkeeper. I'd say it was criminal defending, but I'm not one for puns when I've just been beaten at the death. 

 

The biggest positive was the performance of the Laotian "David Beckham". He was a constant threat with his set-pieces and his crossing from the right hand-side. I reckon he could be key in our attempt to score goals with little possession this season. He came close twice from free-kicks about 25 yards out. He also set up the goal that we scored, crossing to the opposite winger who hammered home the historic first goal in the history of Luang Prabang United FC. 

1156598578_DavidBeckham_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.99e95bce79884751ef0ffe71cd2e330a.png

 

My thoughts on the match:

 

I didn't really know what to expect from the opponents as I've never played in the Laotian leagues before. They were more assured than we were and looked like a team that would be fighting at the top end of the table. We did well to frustrate them and because of their attacking intentions, we did find a bit of space to cause them problems on the break. But they were fighting a war of attrition and it was a war that they finally won. I'd like to say we were worth the draw, but you can't really take it away from them. They fought right till the death and managed to find a way through. But we didn't embarrass ourselves and it's clear that if we can get a better centre back in, something we're working on, then we might be able to get points from these sorts of games in the future. 

All in all, we have to try and learn from the defeat and stay positive ahead of the next game. We're not a million miles away from Lao Police Club and the hard fought nature of their win proved that. 

 

In the next instalment we will have played our second game against Master 7 FC and we make the trip to Vientiane to face the favourites for the league crown: Lao Toyota FC. 

 

Edited by Tikka Mezzala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankfully the furore of the first ever game in the club's history is out of the way and we can focus on the day to day business of trying to win football matches, or in our case, trying to not lose football matches. While we have no reason to jump to conclusions based on one game, our preseason results against our u-19 side suggest we will be struggling to beat our league opponents on a regular basis. 

The transfer saga over the central defender I am chasing continues, as prior to my next fixture he has not made up his mind about whether to join me or Laos Police Club. I can't say I am holding out much hope that we will win the battle against the bigger fish, but he hasn't outright rejected us and that's a step in the right direction. 

My next game is against Master 7 FC. 

0759d196-5a01-41ac-826d-c6f207a15186.thumb.png.c270bddbbe9525284732234983b46989.png

 

The club is expected to finish a position below me in 7th, so that creates somewhat of a dilemma on my part. While I can justify sitting in and trying to frustrate the league's top dogs I think it would be overly cautious to take this approach against the teams who will be scrapping with me at the lower end of the table. But since things are so tight in the league and it's not clear that any of the predictions of the media will come true, it's difficult to say what we can expect from a team like Master 7. But none-the-less, we are going to opt for a tactic I have been preparing as an alternative to the defensive 4-4-1-1. An asymmetric 4-3-3, allowing us to play our AMC, the Laotian "Zidane" in his natural position, while moving "Makelele" back into the DM strata. We'll keep Xavi central and acting as a link between the two Real Madrid namesakes. 

Master 7 began their campaign with a 1-0 win away at Young Elephant FC; a team that are predicted to finish in 5th place. So they started well and overcame the odds. They'll fancy their chances as the home team against me, but I intend to be more proactive in my approach and not let them enjoy most of the possession. 

Onto the game...

 

1038472621_Master7vLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.c7fb485fd110f86818dafbcd22d29d02.png

I asked the team to be positive after the nervous start to life in Laos, and they duly delivered. We took the initiative in the game and pressed Master 7 into making a few mistakes at the back. After promising early exchanges we took the lead thanks to a beautiful delivery from "David Beckham". A free-kick about 40 yards from goal and off to the right hand side was delivered right in behind the Master 7 backline for "Nesta" to tap home. Things got better when "Henrik Larsson" lived up to his name and broke free of the last defender when "Claude Makelele" played it long. It was his first goal for the club and with good off the ball movement like that he will be knocking on the door of the Laos national team. 

"Larsson" passed up two glorious opportunities to make it three early in the second half. It seemed inevitable then that Master 7 would score to get themselves back in the game against the run of play, and that's exactly what they did. Immediately after scoring our opponents switched to the 4-3-3 flat that we faced against Laos Police FC. Because of a silly mistake on my part, we had no substitutions and I couldn't change things to try and cope with their new set up. I thought about moving players around but before I could, they had equalised. I was livid. In the space of 5 minutes we had thrown away a comfortable lead and a good performance. 

I decided to up the intensity and the final 20 minutes would be attack v attack. "David Beckham" missed from 6 yards out before delivering one of his trademark crosses for the left-winger to head home. It was a moment of relief! In the final stages of the game we managed to be the team looking more likely to score again and it appeared that Master 7's race was run. Our right-back, a recent acquisition, tucked away a rebound to secure the points and Luang Prabang United FC had made history yet again! Our first ever three points. 

 

My thoughts on the game:

 

I was delighted with our attacking display and the performance has made me think twice about how we approach games against the less fancied teams in the league. Throwing away two goals in five minutes was very concerning right enough, and I have to make sure I don't forget the substitutes again so that I can react when I think the other team are getting back into the game. But we showed terrific spirit and ended up winning comfortably. For the first time since taking the reins at the club, I feel optimistic about our season. Being positive really made a difference and perhaps we will try and take this approach in the long term. 

 

646218305_LaoPremierLeague_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.7726654ebf86f57b28fbd35c152d2f63.png

 

This is how things stand after 2 games. Obviously it's not significant, but it's nice to see our name in the top half. 

 

I said I wasn't going to have an update for the Master 7 game on its own, but I felt the club's first ever win deserved its own space on the thread. Over the moon doesn't quite capture my feelings. 

 

In the next instalment we will be facing Lao Toyota FC in the game that will really see how our development is coming along. The Japanese backed team have yet to pick up a win this season, but I imagine they will be looking at the game against us as the ideal opportunity to get off the mark this season and push towards retaining their title. But I have other plans for them....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lao_Toyota_FC.png.6c011a9ecbbd904c45c8620ff7f37858.png

 

The opening games haven't been going according to the script for Lao Toyota. Already eliminated from the AFC Confederations Cup ASEAN Section, losing to Cambodian outfit Boeung Ket, they were hoping that the Laotian League would provide a welcome relief from the tougher continental fixtures. But so far the Toyota backed club have only managed to pick up two points out of six. Unbeaten, sure, but given their status as the country's premier club, it seems the pressure is already on Japanese manager Jun Fukuda, with the 'declare interest in job' option already appearing on the club home-screen. 

81423959_LaoToyotaFootballClub_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.6a763bfd6d089abac42eb8ef3d8ae61f.png

Jun Fukuda has only one previous job to his name: Mongolian side Ulaanbaatar FC. He spent the years between 2015 and 2017 there, with his best season being his first one when Ulaanbaatar FC finished runners up. 

 

673061504_JunFukuda_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.0e991c960758edaa77bc9f3d04032fe1.png

His preferred formation is 4-4-1-1 and he seems to favour an attacking game with shorter passing. I reckon it will be wise to employ "Makelele" in the DM strata again in order to restrict the space the opposition's AMC will have. But I am torn over whether we ought to be cautious or positive, given we looked very impressive going forward in our last game. 

The week prior to the game threw up some flashpoints. First of all, "David Beckham" was approached by two clubs. Since he is on a part-time contract he was free to speak to them. I offered better terms than he was currently on and waited for the result. Losing him would be a huge blow for us, given he has been the star of the show so far. I don't think we could adequately replace him with the reach we currently have. 

Secondly, Moukta Souksavath, the central defender I have been chasing for some time, chose me over Lao Police Club. It represents a major success in the recruitment department. 

8171969_MoukdaSouksavath_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.bee4af06533069fd5345c8aaff7b77e8.png

With his marking, positioning, decisions and pace, he offers a significant upgrade on our current central defenders. 17 caps for Laos, he is part of the current international setup. I am optimistic we will be more solid with him in the heart of our defence. 

 

We also had the draw for the last 32 of the Laos Federation Cup, the national tournament. It's a two legged tie and we will play our first game in October. 

881551547_LaotianFootballFederationCup_OverviewStages.thumb.png.69ef4f626c7bd2f90c8757b966101652.png

We will play Laos-American College, with the first leg taking place in Vientiane. I am hoping we can get past them given they are from the lower leagues. 

This is what the Laotian media had to say ahead of our tie against Lao Toyota FC:

257176452_VannakReam_Inbox.thumb.png.469849ccf042aa8cc2f811d04123b9ba.png

At 7-1, we are facing an "impossible" task according to the football writers. I suppose this is a statement I would have agreed with prior to our last game, but we head into the tie with confidence and I think we should at least give Lao Toyota a run for their money. I've decided we are going to be positive and get in their faces. If we end up with a heavy defeat, at least I'll learn from the experience and know that I tried to have a go. I think I'd regret it more if we sat back and still got beat. 

 

2129946598_LaoToyotavLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.1cf0b43f33c84e94072c69a1113b49cf.png

Well, we gave it a go and Lao Toyota FC had to fight to get something from the game. They took the lead and it seemed as though we were going to be in for a long afternoon. But our new centre back headed home an equaliser after a great ball from "Xavi" found him free at the back post. Lao Toyota got themselves back in front immediately after half time when Idrissa Soumah headed in from close range. We brought on our young striker who was the pick of the u-19s and he passed up two great opportunities to equalise after going one on one with the Toyota goalkeeper. We endeavoured to get back into the game but Soumah finished us off in the 83rd minute. It was a case of what might have been, as I felt we merited a point. We are doing okay in these matches and if we were more clinical it is possible we might have taken points off of the two favourites for the league crown. But it's two losses in three games, and we head into September with work to do. 

My thoughts on the game:

It wasn't a game for the footballing purist, but we made things thornier for Lao Toyota than it ought to have been. Their Japanese left-winger caused us serious problems and the opening goal came from a Messi-esque run from him, cutting inside and beating four of our players before slotting home. Idrissa Soumah is simply a level above any other player in the league and if Toyota can keep hold of him until the window shuts, I reckon he'll fire them to the top of the tree before too long. We simply couldn't handle him. But we've faced two of the best teams in the country and ran them both close, as well as beating a team who are more our level. So I have to feel positive about our start to the season, even though the fixtures haven't been kind to us. 

In the next instalment we will have completed the month of September. Three games will be played in that time and hopefully we'll get a better picture of how the team are developing as we face some of the mid-table sides. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

September

The transfer window slammed shut and the teams of the Pepsi Laos Premier League have settled on their rosters until January. I am pleased with the business we've done and I believe we are definitely stronger coming out of the window. 

Shortly after business was concluded in the window, a bolt out of the blue...

1504133876_AlesandroNesta_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.5a53d02b3de4731cc318b1140ec70a63.png

Vientiane FC managed to convince one of my key defenders to join them at the opening of the January window. "Nesta"'s performances have been excellent so far and it will be tough replacing him. But we have him until January, so we will cross that bridge when it comes. 

In better news, "David Beckham" signed a new deal with the club. Although his form has dipped recently. I still think he is the key to unlocking defences, though, so hopefully he picks things up in the next month or so. 

1144007970_LuangPrabangUnited_SeniorFixtures.thumb.png.9bf8eff2c95a5af3eb8823bff21f136d.png

As you can see, September was a good month for us. 7 points out of 9 and two clean sheets. 

1497987603_LuangPrabangUtdvLaoArmy_MatchReview.thumb.png.ae6b8904a562b25414940199de66ac65.png1204769778_YoungElephantvLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.1ee526048c4761167c0dac7a71a09d79.png1878226301_LuangPrabangUtdvDKFC_MatchReview.thumb.png.448d8fd3bffb8ef652af87b1cc2e4ff3.png

The game against the Young Elephants was unfortunate. We really deserved more from it. "Inzaghi", our youth graduate scored his first goal for the club, but should have won the game for us after being presented with two glorious chances in the closing stages of the game. 

"Henrik Larsson" will be dropped for the coming fixtures after a dreadful month. His chances of getting into the Laos national team are slim on this form. He has passed up chance after chance and doesn't seem to be able to provide the goal haul we are going to need to keep ourselves in the upper reaches of the league. 

To sum up my thoughts on the games this month:

I feel happy that we are getting positive results, but I am concerned about our lack of a reliable goalscorer. We really can't afford to keep passing up the chances we are creating, but no one has stepped up to the mark so far. "Inzaghi" has his first goal, but the DKFC game was another game he failed to take good chances in. "Larsson" has been awful since scoring his first goal. But our defence has started to look capable of keeping the opponents out. After our opening three games I was sure we were going to have to score at least three goals per match if we were wanting to get the full points, but two clean sheets, and one goal conceded all of last month suggests we are now building a functioning back-line. The loss of "Nesta" in January will be really tough on us. But we will be scouting around to find someone who looks like he can step in and replace him. Unlike the summer, we will have an idea of how different targets are playing and what they're form is like. So maybe we can come out of the transfer window stronger again. 

1443821194_LaoPremierLeague_OverviewStages.thumb.png.7bfd6c2da2d8a88f6f1e9260d20ea7f5.png

 

This is how the table looks after the opening months of the season. We are the 'best of the rest' as things stand. But things are pretty tight. Lao Police and Lao Toyota, as expected, are beginning to pull away from the chasing pack. If this is how the season was to end up, I'd be over the moon. But we'll just keep taking things one game at a time and if we end up near the top of the table we'll have reason to celebrate. 

 

514929000_LuangPrabangUnited_FinancesSummary.thumb.png.abe4ea2e4225035e750f2269b1f58bb9.png

On a final note, here's the financial situation going into October. We've managed to go from having only £700 or so in the bank, to £3,746. We're expecting further growth over the next few months. So it's a bright picture. Hopefully I can attain some coaching badges now and increase my standing in the game. 

 

In the next instalment we'll see if September's good form can continue into October. We'll be playing both legs of our Federation Cup tie against Lao American College. We'll also have finished the first round of fixtures and will play Lao Police again to mark the beginning of round 2. This will allow for an assessment of our beginning to the campaign. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Certainly a different save. I'll be watching how things go in this one.

Thanks for reading, mate. Glad it has caught your attention. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Maybe you should change your 'managing:' on your profile.

True haha. I am still managing Abroath in another save. But Luang Prabang United FC is so much more interesting. Good shout!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got some very good news at the beginning of October:

 

1466758720_VannakReam_Inbox.thumb.png.f8d8ed264e7ead202c9ed3093878fa30.png1260917145_LuangPrabangUnited_FinancesSummary.thumb.png.b5b2827bfe6e2e6f8ce47b64dd37c719.png

A new sponsorship deal with a local company has given us a significant financial boost. We are now on the verge of having five figures in the club coffers for the first time. This will allow us to invest in the youth coaching and recruitment in the future, and it may even provide us with money to spend in January if the finances keep on growing. 

 

Our first game in the month of October was another historic moment: our first game in the Laos Federation Cup - the country's national tournament. We have a two-legged tie against Lao-American College to negotiate, with the first tie coming in Vientiane. 

1907332495_download(1).jpg.5acfc95b67e2436d9d9de8b346f67e0d.jpg

 

Our opponents are from the lower divisions, but I won't be taking anything for granted. The difference in quality between the Lao Premier League teams and some of the teams in the lower leagues isn't great and I can foresee a few shocks in the last 32 of the Federation Cup. 

1177967964_Lao-AmericanCollegevLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.cd7a3ed02405de15b47ee84b2bcf1416.png

Thankfully we weren't on the end of any first-leg shocks and we have put ourselves in a commanding position. Our strikers didn't get themselves on the score sheet again, but the return to form of "David Beckham" and the opposite winger, who I've yet to give a nickname to, was a huge positive. We totally dominated the match and Lao-American College didn't get near our goal. It should have been more in truth, and I am slightly disappointed that we didn't completely kill the tie off in Vientiane. But I can't see any problems cropping up in the home tie and hopefully we'll be able to rotate the squad a bit and still sail through to the last 16. 

 

531970233_LaotianFootballFederationCup_OverviewStages.thumb.png.a995c314d4c3e77ab151e6e733549bab.png

So one major shock in the first-legs of the last 32; Young Elephants of the Premier League lost 4-0 away at Lanexang United of the lower leagues. Master 7 drew with Vientiane United in the away leg. Lao Toyota drew with my previous league opponents DKFC. But all in all, I think most of expected winners will come through their ties. 

 

Having gotten a positive result in the first leg of the cup, we turned our attention to the final league game in the first round of fixtures in the Laos Premier League. We faced the bottom side Savan Utd away from home. A win would confirm a wholly positive first quarter of the season. 

 

1860683627_SavanUtdvLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.1f4807351daa0e84903c598d37a492d7.png

The win was attained, but the familiar story tarnished it. We missed chance after chance to seal the victory and we ended up nervously holding on. I really fear the worst if we cannot find a goalscorer. These wins are so narrow that a single mistake could turn them into draws. I am trying to look at the positives given we have been performing well above our expectations, but I am not happy with the amount of easy chances that we seem to hit straight at the goalkeeper. Very frustrating!!!

 

We turned to the second leg of the Federation Cup. 

 

2052750357_LuangPrabangUtdvLao-AmericanCollege_MatchReview.thumb.png.097fc4387749c07213fd20ab97065c35.png

It was a nervy game. Lao-American College got themselves right back in the tie, scoring in the first half from a long range effort. We pushed to kill the game off, but despite facing ten men after Lao-American received a red card, it was the Vientiane club that had the next major chance to score. Thankfully our goalkeeper came to the rescue and Lao-American missed the penalty. But it was a warning sign. We pushed forward trying to get the crucial goal and finally it came via "Beckham". A header at the back post was his first goal of the campaign and one that secured our passage through to the last 16. 

 

1303534721_LaotianFootballFederationCup_OverviewStages-2.thumb.png.e94b2e83df1ff5828ddda5baf3ff9b30.png

The rest of the results from the round of 32. 

 

1962546470_LaotianFootballFederationCup_OverviewStages-3.thumb.png.879da9af63c84e57ae0d66e4a02b54bc.png360867680_VannakReam_Inbox-2.thumb.png.91ed0a3a29e9b5f226932b877c0c3900.png

 

In the last 16 draw we were pitted against the side that defeated Young Elephants 8-0 on aggregate. It turns out that they are actually a professional outfit. So we will be in for a really difficult tie. But we'll give it our all to make the quarter final. Elsewhere in the draw Lao Police and Lao Toyota were pitted against one another. So the two top sides will meet in the round of 16, meaning one of the favourites won't be in the quarter final. Good news for the rest of Laotian football. 

 

1693390973_LaoPremierLeague_OverviewStages.thumb.png.ec25478b54de437b1317136bafa81092.png

So this is how things stand after the first quarter of the season. It seems like a good moment to reflect on my start to life in Laos and assess how things have gone so far. 

I'll dedicate the next instalment to sharing my thoughts on things so far and explaining what I feel is necessary to make the next step. 

 

Lao-American College v Luang Prabang Utd_ Match Review.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

democratic-republic-lao-overview-1400x788-1-43d1_1400x788.thumb.jpg.ec416ab6fcf95c33019e3bceabe3c076.jpg

 

Quarter Season Report

So, we are at the quarter-way mark of the season. Yep, already. With only eight clubs making up the Pepsi Laos Premier League, the seven game mark is the milestone. 

Finances

Let's begin with an overwhelming positive: the club is in excellent financial health. We are on the verge of reaching the £10k mark for the first time, having started with a mere £700 in the bank. That represents excellent short term growth. The new sponsorship deal has been the major factor behind this jump in bank balance, but the club clearly lives well within its means and this allows for small profits each month. Given we are a semi-professional outfit, we pay our players on a game to game basis. If you don't play, you don't get paid. Our match fees are also extremely modest, with £20 being the average. This seems to be the way the club wishes to operate for the time being. But I will be discussing this aspect of things further on into this post. 

Results

After an alarming preseason where we were forced to become overly familiar with our u-19 squad, we began the league campaign with a narrow defeat to current league leaders Lao Police Club. In the same month we lost 3-1 to Lao Toyota and we weren't exactly sure whether we were at the beginning of a bad run or we just had come up against better sides. Well, thankfully the latter has proven to be true as we have since won three of our last four games, drawing a game we ought to have won. Progress in the cup has added to what can only be described as an excellent start to our first ever season in Laotian football. If the next quarter of the season follows a similar line of results we will certainly be in a good place come the half way point. 

Player Performances

The form of players like "David Beckham", "Alesandro Nesta", "Giorgio Chiellini" and "Claude Makelele" has given us reasons to be optimistic. But the form of our strikers is alarming. In all of our games we have passed up great opportunities and I have a feeling that this could cost us a lot of points between now and the end of the season unless we improve. "Larsson" was brought in to be the chief goal getter, but has only netted twice. His chance to goal ratio must be absolutely awful and I am not sure he has a long-term future at the club. 

Off Field Matters

There is only really one off-field matter that I think I ought to mention. I have managed to convince the board to seek out a senior affiliate club so that we may benefit from loaning players. I'm not sure what to expect when they return with the options, if they find any at all, but I would ideally like a club from somewhere like Thailand, where the standard seems to be significantly better. The dream scenario would be somewhere like Japan or China, but I can't see that happening because the players from clubs in these countries will be unlikely to move to Luang Prabang. 

Sunset-on-Mekong-river.thumb.jpg.5c5f0888599988c50b2ebe72c4fbb0b3.jpg

 

Thoughts on the Future

I've been considering how we can push ourselves forward and compete with the likes of Lao Toyota. I think their professional status allows them a major advantage in training players and also signing them. This not only allows them to thrive in the transfer market but it translates into success on the field and the chance to qualify for continental football, which brings in the opportunity to make more money and create a virtuous cycle. If we want to overthrow Lao Toyota, we are going to have to find a way to improve our squad. The difference between them and us at the moment is Idrissa Soumah. Where we miss several opportunities in a game, he scores them. That wins them points that we might drop. But the problem is we can't find any strikers who look better than what we already have. Our scouting is severely limited. Most players we have tried to sign don't want to relocate for the money we can offer. The only way we can begin to offer financial packages like Lao Toyota would be to qualify for continental football and turn professional. But we would really need to do the latter to achieve the former. I can't see us turning professional at the moment because we simply can't afford it. We are making small profits each month probably because we aren't paying weekly wages. If we were to pay all of our players regardless of whether they played or not we'd be making losses. I am sure a lot of players would also be asking for the kind of wages Lao Toyota are paying, usually between £75-£150. Those are numbers we simply can't afford. So I feel a little bit stuck. Unless we come across better players in our current set-up, we will probably not be able to compete with Lao Toyota and Lao Police Club unless they drop their standards. You sometimes get lucky and a good player can appear out of the blue, but at present we are going to have to settle for trying to be the best of the rest. I want to keep us financially viable, so we'll keep plodding along at the rate we are just now, making small gains each month. 

 

 

In the next instalment I will be beginning round 2 of the Pepsi Laos Premier League. We'll be away to current league leaders Lao Police Club. We lost in the final moment of the game against them on the opening day, but have since come a long way in our performances and our preparation. Can we pull off the best result in the club's history to date and shock the league leaders? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14605.png.05baf741afcd7f0a9006e5552ec4aa69.png

 

Lao Police Club welcome us to Vientiane for the first match in the second round of fixtures in the Pepsi Lao Premier League (fixture 8). The upholders of law and order currently sit at the top of the tree on goal difference, with a single goal advantage over champions Lao Toyota FC. I am sure they will come into this game keen to make easier work of us than they did on the opening day of the season. 

 

On day 1 of the Lao Premier League, we fought the law and the law won. But just...a goal right at the death gave them the points and denied us the chance to take something from the historic occasion. Revenge is on the cards as we head to the capital and we will be looking to hurt their title chances with a strong showing. 

Our youth graduate "Inzaghi" has been called up to the Laos u-19 squad, though more in desperation than on merit. There aren't many promising strikers in the country and it's clear that "Inzaghi's" form hasn't exactly caught the attention of anyone. But I hope he takes the chance and learns from the experience. 

The board returned to me with their senior affiliate options: no one. That has cut off a potential avenue for bringing in better players. Disappointed. 

 

The Match:

913894015_LaoPolicevLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.132b2f3d8852cb4ba23d22cf0c973ca0.png1500728993_LaoPremierLeague_MatchesCompetitionReview.thumb.png.fd3b622c82e48d23079c4e0bc71385a7.png

 

I fought the law and...erm... I won!!!!

I can't believe we actually pulled it off. We dug deep and fought like hell; winning on merit in my opinion. "Iniesta" another youth graduate managed to pull the strings and grab himself a goal. We were helped by Lao Police going down to 10 men in the second half, and giving away a penalty. But the whole performance was gutsy and worthy of three points. 

Iniesta put us ahead with a great low strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area. We then converted a second half penalty to put us further ahead. Lao Police punished us for a loose pass towards the end, with the goalkeeper conceding at his near post. But we held on and claimed a famous victory; dare I say the best win in the short history of Luang Prabang United FC. 

As the above image shows, Lao Toyota capitalised on our win by sticking 4 past the league's bottom side. They are now out on their own at the top. We've closed the gap on second place to a single point as well as creating a 5 point cushion between us and the team below us in 4th. We've now won 4 of our last 5 league games and are unbeaten in 7 in all competitions. 

Unfortunately the win did come at a cost: 

676363287_LuangPrabangUnited_PlayersPlayers.thumb.png.fa0d26d099fb7c9ac3db0090c7ab3f06.png

That's 4 suspensions for our next game; 3 of them in defence. All of those with yellow symbols next to their name are one booking away from suspension too. So we really are walking a tight rope. The disciplinary rules obviously are very strict. I am worried this might jeopardise our chances of winning the next game. Having to change 3 out of 4 defenders is asking for trouble. We've been really solid lately and I feel that has been the key. 

 

My thoughts:

 

******** it for the next game. I am in such good form at the moment and I feel that the disciplinary rules in the league have created huge problems for us. I ask my players to 'stay on feet' too. If we get more players booked in the next game they will miss the big home game against Lao Toyota FC. The referees are very card happy in Laos, so it's impossible to manage this. I am hoping the back-up defenders can pull off a miracle. Either that or our strikers start scoring again and we outscore the opponent. But the progress has been amazing. I can't ask any more of the team as a whole. Third place and closing the gap on the teams above us. We are into the second quarter of the season and a top half finish looks possible. 

 

In the next instalment we will have played our next game against Master 7 at home, and will be preparing for the historic visit of Lao Toyota FC to Luang Prabang. I am sure it will be a great occasion and we can give them a shock. But suspensions will be crucial in deciding how things pan out this season. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1188507475_LaoPremierLeague_MatchesCompetitionReview-2.thumb.png.849c3f5daaf0ad7113a500bebed8df6b.png

What can you say, really? These aren't the Thai Kickboxing charts. But the Pepsi Lao Premier League. Four games, five red cards. 

The top of the table clash saw Lao Toyota triumph late on after two red cards, one to either side. Lao Police Club are now facing a six point gap between themselves and the championship winning position. Their misery is my pleasure, however, as I stepped up to replace them in second spot. There's four points between myself and Lao Toyota FC ahead of our meeting in Luang Prabang. They will be looking to further extend their lead at the top and really start to pull away from the rest of the teams in the table. 

Our game against Master 7 was rather strange. Usually we huff and puff and labour to score goals. But we actually were totally outplayed and yet took the few chances that fell our way. My third choice striker has stepped up to the mark and bagged three goals in his last two appearances, albeit two were from the penalty spot. We might have a goalscorer on our hands after all. I have changed to a 4-4-2 in the last few games to try and see if having a partner helps my strikers to start scoring. "Larsson" hasn't seen much in the way of goals since the change; "Inzaghi" has been out the team. But I am hoping this third-choice striker can become my number one scorer and help make-up for the shortfall in goals we've been experiencing at times this season. 

 

Lao_Toyota_FC.png.6013fc51357b5a3abfb2d58bd5930b27.png

 

The match against Lao Toyota offers us a chance to measure our progress. We are currently in 2nd place, so we are the challengers at the moment. This could of course be a false dawn and we could slip down the table after we lose our momentum at some point. But beating Lao Toyota would indicate that we are going to have a say in the title this season and the Japanese-backed club aren't going to have it all their own way. 

We suffered a huge blow in the build up to the game. Our star central defender has been called up to the Laos squad for the 2018 SEA Championship. He will be away for at least a month, assuming Laos don't get through their group. I will update you on how Laos get on at the South East Asian Championships, but it's not convenient to lose my defender for a month mid-season. 

1684529306_SouthEastAsianFootballChampionship_OverviewStages.thumb.png.bd201fbcdc8b8a3d2a415ec29597b3fa.png1933240615_SouthEastAsianFootballChampionship_OverviewStages-2.thumb.png.4f25a5cb9ece04b4f323fd4bc14f0cb4.png

These are the two groups at the Championships. Laos are in Group A along with neighbours Thailand and Cambodia. 

282952365_PatriceNeveu_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.5dfa1661c5c10732bb5b86d1cf8c38c6.png

They've managed to convince a decent manager to lead them in the tournament. We'll see how things pan out for them.

 

But onto my game. 

 

Thankfully Idrissa Soumah has been making noises about wanting to leave for a Thai club, so he's been out the team for Toyota. The bad news is his replacement, a Liberian striker, has been banging in the goals. It is him that we are likely to face in the game. 

 

1621585243_LuangPrabangUtdvLaoToyota_MatchReview.thumb.png.b84308a5c8ee1df971c777d42ac34fd4.png

 

We have moved to within a point of Lao Toyota FC after a dramatic victory in Luang Prabang. 

Their Liberian forward converted an early penalty and it looked as though we were going to be in for a long afternoon. They created many openings and should have been out of sight, but we managed to get ourselves back into the game. Our new hero, Inthavong, set up "Iniesta", who has been outstanding himself recently, and then scored to put us ahead. We managed to score a third after a quick break away, "Larsson" finally getting on the score sheet. Toyota pulled a goal back to make for a nervy finish. "Zidane" converted a penalty to make it 4-2 and surely send the points our way, but right at the death we were again made to sweat as Doe got his second of the game. We managed to hold on, though, and close the gap on the champions. 

 

My thoughts:

It has been a remarkable few weeks for the team. We've overcome both of the leading sides in the country and moved to within a point of first place. This start has been beyond my wildest dreams. 5 wins in a row is an amazing run for a team that couldn't guarantee a win against their u-19s in preseason. We've got to keep our feet on the ground, however. It's still not even halfway through the season and anything can happen. Our players are constantly up for grabs and we could be destabilised in January. But I will be doing everything to keep the squad as it is, minus "Nesta" who has already signed a deal elsewhere. If we can keep scoring goals like we have been the last few games, we will definitely end 2018 well. 

But what a moment for this young club. We've taken on the champions of Laos and we've beaten them. Superb stuff. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lao_Football_Federation.png.5e8f2666d3720e6359455d6f1fde8d88.png

The Lao Federation Cup

 

If you cast your mind back to the beginning of the season when I discussed the expectations of the board, you may recall that I was asked to remain in the Lao Cup until the Semi-Final stage. Well, that's currently still on the cards and we are preparing for a two legged tie against a side that pose a serious threat to our hopes of meeting those expectations. 

1586234485_download(2).jpg.44182c5d4eec21c88dd7f86e2ddf3ce4.jpg

Lanexang United

This is the side that hammered Young Elephants 8-0 on aggregate in the previous round. Given our nervy display against Lao-American College in our last cup tie, I am hoping we do a more professional job here. We are away from home in the first leg:

 

 

CpLlch0UMAE48uJ.thumb.jpg.125110eac2ae350d40f614dbb3c9e967.jpgmaxresdefault.thumb.jpg.b231b962c4c75bd5e7385fac86b77c7d.jpg

 

The Lanexang Stadium. 

 

 

I would take a draw in the away leg, given how convincingly they beat a team that I only managed a draw against. They actually have the highest number of Laos Internationals of any team in the country. So we are going to be up against it. But we're in good form and I don't think we ought to fear them. We have a few suspensions, including our recent goal hero. So the first leg will be a struggle. But over the two ties I think we have enough to win it. Getting to the quarter finals would be a great job. I'd be happy with that, even though we're being asked to go one further. We're a new club and we ought to keep our expectations in check. 

 

On a side note, I looked at how the Thai League is going and Thai Honda are at the top; another team bankrolled by Japanese money. 

 

Our entire outfield team are a booking away from missing the second leg. So if we can avoid hard tackles, we ought to. 

 

First leg

1879231536_LanexangvLuangPrabangUtd_MatchReview.thumb.png.1c954bb427d9da254dfa80fd1d3c1abf.png

 

Wow! What more could you ask for in a cup tie? 

Lanexang certainly were formidable opposition, but in the end we have managed to power through and score a remarkable six goals! This despite being down by two goals at two different points in the match. Firstly, Lanexang went 2-0 ahead. We struggled to cope with their front pair. We got ourselves back in it, but they scored again to make it 3-1. I was thinking "I'd take full-time just now", but a change to a back three helped to put us in control and we ended up scoring a remarkable five goals to win 6-3. "David Beckham" fired home two free-kicks and "Larsson" kept up his resurgent form. "Iniesta" has been a real gem from the academy. Our left winger is also recently promoted from the academy and he scored his first goal for the club here. I don't think the tie is over yet, because they are clearly capable of scoring against us. But we will go out and try to kill it off from the start. A great position to be in going into the home leg. 

 

Second Leg

1691868067_LuangPrabangUtdvLanexang_MatchReview.thumb.png.48cd67e5830f97048b15dfdf49111f5b.png

We're making a habit of playing well in the away leg and almost messing it up at home. But our striking sensation came off the bench to ensure our safe passage through to the quarter finals. Very pleased to progress from a tricky tie. 

 

Quarter Final Draw

997120386_LaotianFootballFederationCup_OverviewStages.thumb.png.759bb29f54b0b839679c3c0f4e3c3f33.png1834720310_VannakReam_Inbox.thumb.png.f7f5383659dd9f08673aca3de076f391.png

We managed to avoid Lao Toyota FC in the quarter final, and will play second-bottom Lao Premier League side Savan Utd for a place in the semi-final. The first leg will take place in Luang Prabang on the 16th of January. 

I am pleased with the draw but won't be taking anything for granted. It gives us an opportunity to meet our board's expectations. Onwards and upwards in the Lao Federation Cup!

 

In other news:

I have been granted my request to study for my Continental C licence. Since this is not a one-club save, I'd like to improve my standing in the game so that I may have the chance to manage a national team or in one of Asia's better leagues. 

 

 

In the next instalment we will enter the month of December and prepare for 5 fixtures. This will take us into the 3rd round of league fixtures as we move into the second half of the season. If we keep up our good league form we can really push Lao Toyota FC all the way. It's great to come into the month of December still in the title race and still in the cup, having felt at the beginning of the campaign that I'd be lucky to have beaten any of the teams in the league. 

 

Vamos Luang Prabang United!!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

Some beautifull pics there.:thup:

It is a stunning place. Was in Laos 5 years ago. Slightly better looking than Moldova :D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

December

We're into December now and the first piece of news is positive: our Laos international centre back will be returning from the South East Asian Championships in time for our next match. I suppose this is not all good news as it means the Laos national team were eliminated at the group stage. Let's have a look:

 

1510675013_Laos_ScheduleSeniorSquad.thumb.png.73f6a79430650fa3a931060500c71ca8.png552860160_SouthEastAsianFootballChampionship_OverviewStages.thumb.png.5dd4aabbe785d4bb796f47b033238108.png

 

A single point is all the team could muster against their group opponents, with the draw coming against neighbours Cambodia. Indonesia and Thailand comfortably headed into the latter stages and it's clear there is much work to do for the likes of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar if they wish to compete with their more illustrious neighbours. 

880362970_SouthEastAsianFootballChampionship_OverviewStages-2.thumb.png.8d40c4c64c42b5f7fa1bf9721c356f6d.png

In the other group (there are only two), the Philippines and Vietnam progressed into the semi-finals. 

 

It's not looking great for Laotian football at the moment. Our only representative in AFC club tournaments, Lao Toyota FC, were eliminated in the first qualifying round by their Cambodian counterparts. The national team haven't won a game all year and finished bottom of the SEA Championship Group A. It's hard going for the country at the moment. 

139898898_LuangPrabangUnited_SeniorFixtures.thumb.png.647ebadb285cc7a49e181999940a112b.png271379978_LaoPremierLeague_OverviewProfile.thumb.png.adf2e0a50fd39bfcb51d3127f14a3fc1.png

The month of December has been wonderful for Luang Prabang United, however. Five wins have sent us to the summit of the Pepsi Lao Premier League for the first time. It was a month in which we faced a few of the lower teams in the league, as well as Lao Police Club. But we came through every tie with the maximum points. 

My thoughts:

It has been very satisfying watching the team play with assertiveness and confidence. We have to be absolutely delighted with the first half-year in charge. But we now find ourselves in the running for the title as the leaders and that brings with it a degree of pressure that is totally new to us. As the chasers you can keep putting pressure on the team above and hope that they slip; as the front-runners you have all the pressure. So we're going to see a new thing for the team to handle. Our next game could see us slip back into second as we travel to face Lao Toyota. I'd be happy with a draw. January also brings with it potential transfer activity and the quarter-finals of the Lao Federation Cup. Big month that could define our season. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I ended up just powering ahead with the rest of the season (since there are so few games). It ended in unbelievable success. We beat Lao Toyota FC in the Laos Federation Cup Final and won the league title on the final day of the season. 

1429097706_VannakReam_Inbox.thumb.png.cd044dd58292d58d0a8a2f3133b7b222.png51942102_VannakReam_Inbox-2.thumb.png.8a866ea34a8de8d08ec94310e83091d3.png

 

However, despite the success I don't think I'll be able to continue with this save. When I set up the leagues to play in them, I really didn't do any research and put the bare minimum effort in. So our league is well out of sync with the AFC club competitions (Lao Toyota played twice in the AFC Confederations Cup in one season) and the discipline rules mean every week you have 4 or 5 players suspended. It's unplayable long term. I think these same mistakes will have been made for the other leagues I have added. So I am going to have to undertake another save. This is hard to take because it has been an incredible start. But I hate the out of sync nature of the whole thing and the suspensions. 

 

A personal challenge was met, though: in the first season of its history, Luang Prabang United FC lifted the league and cup double. Can't argue with that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Pechorin said:

It is a stunning place. Was in Laos 5 years ago. Slightly better looking than Moldova :D.

Well it must be much better because is very difficult to find a good pic about Moldova and Balti in Google..:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a nice save to start in Laos! I'm also delighted that you have won the double! Well, I hope that Luang Prabang United should be ready to take over Asia very soon if you have stayed there for long.

Should have been starting the save with a Filipino club, but oh well. I like Southeast Asian saves and this is the second time I have seen this Laotian save after the first one dated back two years ago.

So, good luck in your second season and make Laos dominate Asia soon.:cool:

Edited by sherwinriga

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Well done winning the double.

What is the standard of football like?

Pretty awful. Although Laos Toyota were good in the strikers department. Apart from that we're talking non-league standard players. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...