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[FM19] The Frenchman Who Made Vietnam Cheer (Youth-Only)

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The Frenchman Who Made Vietnam Cheer

We've all heard of French Indochina, of the Sino-French and Independence wars, and of course of the Vietnam wars that started in the 50s, taking away the lives of millions and millions of innocent civilians. France has, admittedly, played an important part in every single intervention in Vietnam, and still has to this day a strong influence on the country's economy, political instability, and whatnot. What if its influence grew past the negativity it has always had a connotation to? What if France sent one of its brightest young minds to make Vietnam rejoice the socio-cultural infatuation it should have always had? Say no more, phm.

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The hero of our story, a young 22 year-old who was set to become France's greatest football star until he tore his ACL (you know how it goes), initially came to Vietnam as a tourist, but had some issues at the border that forced him to stay there indefinitely, don't ask any more questions, I didn't think that much about Alphonse's story. Oh, right, his name's Alphonse, as French as it gets, pretty cool, right? Alphonse had to find a job that would pay the bills in order to, well, survive, and turned to football, his only education. Few weeks later, he penned a manager contract with the legendary Phù Đổng FC, founded in 2015 with the slogan "Sports is life". One of his objectives as manager of this small Hanoi-based club; to make it the Asian powerhouse it should have always been. In fact, his list of objectives goes a bit deeper than that. I present to you, the 16 Commandments of Alphonse Levallois.

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  • Phu Dong will be the highest-ranked club in AFC Clubs’ Coefficient.
  • Phu Dong will win the AFC Champions League.
  • Phu Dong will beat the record for most league titles won.
  • Phu Dong will reach a valuation of £1billion.
  • Phu Dong will have the largest stadium in Vietnam, as well as the largest attendance.
  • Phu Dong will be the most represented club in the Vietnam NT.
  • Phu Dong will be the most represented club in the European Big-5 leagues.
  • Phu Dong will win the Clubs’ World Cup.
  • Vietnam will be the highest-ranked nation in the FIFA Rankings.
  • Vietnam will win the Asian Cup.
  • Vietnam will win the World Cup.
  • Vietnam will have the most prestigious league outside of Europe.
  • Vietnam will be the country with the most AFC Champions League.
  • Vietnam will be the country with the most AFC Confederation Cups.
  • Vietnam will be the country with the most Asian Footballers of the Year.
  • Vietnam will have the most nominees for the Ballon d’Or in any given year.

Now, more information on this youth-only career update and our chosen team, the great Phù Đổng FC, will follow in the next post. 

Edited by Mascarpone

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Phù Đổng FC (January 2018)

We've got a lot to cover and success is definitely not waiting for us, so let's start briefly by saying that the team doesn't have much talent to start with. In fact, all the players are random, greyed out dudes. We do have an U21 and U19 team, which is excellent for development of our future young guns. In terms of staff, I'm the only person working here. Literally. First responsibilities will be to hire an assistant coach, and a HOYD as we approach regen day (which is in August, if I'm not wrong). Might hire one earlier, in case the good ones get poached--who am I kidding, the only ones that are remotely not-**** will be poached by the actual professional teams. Oh, right, didn't mention it, but we're starting out in the Vietnamese Second Division, the third tier.

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In terms of infrastructures, I'm glad I picked this team actually. The fact that we don't share our stadium with anyone (despite the awful size) means that the costs for maintenance will be kept low early on, and that it shouldn't be too much of an issue to convince the board to get a new stadium in a few years decades. The facilities are awful, but that's a surprise to no one let's face it. Poor TF & YF, minimal junior coaching, limited youth recruitment. We'll likely upgrade the last two at least once before the first youth intake, provided the finances are nice to us. Our current balance is at £346.

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The league format is fairly straightforward. 7 teams face each other twice for a grand total of 12 matches, the top two will get to qualify for the promotion play-offs where they will play against the top two of the other group; only one team will actually get promoted. Our goal for this season will be to sneak in the upper half of the table and improve the junior-level facilities, there are four other teams with greyed out players so this will be a matter of luck, maybe tactics. We're 14-1 for the title, predicted to finish 4th.

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Next post will be a recap of our results leading up to August. Stay tuned, and let me know if you're following this CU since this really gets me motivated, especially early on in the boring stages of the career!

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1 hour ago, ClemB said:

As a French who spent some time in Vietnam, I will be following closely.

Thanks for your support Clem!

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Phù Đổng FC (August 2018)

It's the end of the month, and the Green Knights (self-given nickname) have been far from knightly. In fact, they've been absolutely rubbish, which was to be expected since all other teams signed real players and Levallois is still stuck with grey teenagers. With one game left in the league, we are sitting in last position, yet for some odd reason I received an email saying that we successfully avoided relegation and confirmed our survival in the third tier. Strange. The worst part is that for this last game of the season, we'll be playing with our greyed out players once again.

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We actually managed to break a record; note that it was actually 8 games, making it a league-wide record of the longest winless streak.

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Some good news came though. 

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The fact that I penned a new contract makes me believe that there's some loophole helping me out here, that maybe we're not going to get relegated after all, and by God I hope we don't, or else this is a tragic start to the career update. With that being said, the other good news are that our hero has bagged a coaching license, our finances are looking healthy, and we actually improved junior coaching before the first youth intake. 

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Next up, an outlook on our youth intake and the best elements that'll come from it.

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Good luck, this should be a great challenge in a nation that doesn't get much attention on this forum. Your goals are ambitious, but I see no reason why they can't be realized. I hope you can at least sign some real players soon, that'd be a decent step :D

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Phù Đổng FC (September 2018)

It's youth intake time! End of the month, they do come a bit late and they're all 16 years old, so that's unfortunate. I signed a head of youth development earlier in the year, his attributes are absolutely terrible but his Fairly Professional personality was all I was looking for. He'll definitely get replaced next year, provided that there is actually someone more competent than him willing to sign in the third tier. Anyways, here's what he brought me.

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Golden generation, sure. I mean, I'm obviously excited but this doesn't mean anything, he can't evaluate anything and we don't even have any players to compared those kids to. They're all getting signed anyways, only on non-contracts though as they'll have to wait until they turn 17 to get part-time contracts (or at least, I think so). Here are the four players with the highest potential.

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Pham Van Thanh.

Great physical attributes, and assuming that he hasn't reached his potential just yet, I think he could become Ballon d'Or. All jokes aside, it's unfortunate that he's so small and not as strong as I'd like for a forward of his skillset, but his hold-up play will be great with the next guy.

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Nguyen Thanh Nam.

He looks insane for the level of play I'm expecting in this tier, the finishing coupled with his pace and decent first-touch, him and Pham Van Thanh could form an amazing strikeforce for next season.

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Tran Tranh Cuong.

Holy corners, this guy's set pieces are going to be ridiculous I can just feel it. And knowing how crossing affects the match engine just makes me exponentially more excited to see this man rack up double-digits assists in his first season. And his personality isn't garbage, so I feel like that's definitely a plus.

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Nguyen Trong Nghia.

I've always been terrible at evaluating goalkeepers so I'll leave this one to the ass-man, but he's all I've got for now, so all my hopes are resting on him.

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There. Obviously ecstatic since it's my first youth intake, but everything is still a bit of a blur since I have nobody to compare these kids to. They'll obviously be better than my grey players, but who knows how long they'll stick around. Anyways, stay tuned for the end of the season, a recap on our finances and an update on how our youngsters have developed over the last month!

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10 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

Good luck, this should be a great challenge in a nation that doesn't get much attention on this forum. Your goals are ambitious, but I see no reason why they can't be realized. I hope you can at least sign some real players soon, that'd be a decent step :D

Well, the goals are there to be reached even though they might seem like a huge longshot! If it's been done before, let's shoot for the sky, right? Thanks for your support Oriole! :D

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Phù Đổng FC (End of the Season, 2018)

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An unbelievable comeback, I was sweating bullets near the end because, if I'm not wrong, tiebreakers are decided by direct confrontations and we were gonna get relegated by that. But thankfully, then-sixth-placed Fishsan KH conceded a goal at the 94th minute, cementing our survival in the league!

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I mean look at our form, this league is a meme. In other news, we actually got a little something else too.

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This happened a few days before the game, and just look how much good it ended up doing to our finances, who have been steady for months thanks to my friendly-matches planning skills.

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Anyways, we're closing the curtains on the season, there's not much to be said other than the fact that this might have been the most tense I have been in a while. Our finances are healthy, so next year should be very exciting considering the arrival of our not-so-wonderful wonderkids. Stay tuned for the next season, coming up in the next post.

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Good Luck with this, tried a Vietnam save on an edition a few years ago and it did not go well. The only reason I tried was becuase Yohan Cabaye is French/Vietnamese :cool: with his Grandmother hailing from there! 

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Did not expect this much support!

6 hours ago, Jordan023 said:

Following! Nice idea :)

Thanks Jordan!

6 hours ago, ToMexico!! said:

Good Luck with this, tried a Vietnam save on an edition a few years ago and it did not go well. The only reason I tried was becuase Yohan Cabaye is French/Vietnamese :cool: with his Grandmother hailing from there! 

Feel free to join me in the challenge :D Although I do wish that Cabaye could still play for the team, he'd be a stellar addition to any Asian NT if we're being honest! Thanks for your support mate!

4 hours ago, LUFCspeni said:

Some lofty expectations there :D Good luck, always interesting to see an Asian save.

Lofty would be an understatement :) Thanks, will try to make the most of it!

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17 minutes ago, JFrusciante said:

I love how ambitious your goals are, definitely following this one!

Had to make 'em ambitious ! :D Thanks mate!

The August update should come fairly soon, halfaway thru June at the moment and just sorting out the whole second-tier-clubs-offering-contracts-to-my-players issue

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I had a great couple of season at DT Long An on an old journeyman save on FM17, was great, but as soon as South Korea came calling I was off. Whilst I wish you the best of luck and hope you achieve the targets you've set, my god they're ambitious dude! Will take eons to get them all. Good luck, you'll need it!

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16 minutes ago, bigmattb28 said:

I had a great couple of season at DT Long An on an old journeyman save on FM17, was great, but as soon as South Korea came calling I was off. Whilst I wish you the best of luck and hope you achieve the targets you've set, my god they're ambitious dude! Will take eons to get them all. Good luck, you'll need it!

Thanks mate, realistically if I hit just a few of those targets, this save would be a success. But hey, luck favours the bold!

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That's the way to do it. Set low expectations and then overachieve....... Oh wait. :lol:

Seriously, I'm glad I found this early because I'm guessing it's going to turn into an epic thread. Good luck. I will be following. :thup:

Isn't it a shame that the Newgens don't look Asian or even specifically South East Asian. They really have gone backwards over the last few years and it's such a shame. 

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16 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

That's the way to do it. Set low expectations and then overachieve....... Oh wait. :lol:

Seriously, I'm glad I found this early because I'm guessing it's going to turn into an epic thread. Good luck. I will be following. :thup:

Isn't it a shame that the Newgens don't look Asian or even specifically South East Asian. They really have gone backwards over the last few years and it's such a shame. 

You know what, your last point was actually something that made me want to potentially look at another country to do this with. FM16 newgens were my favorite by a landslide, I still remember Debski's hairpack making the kids look so so varied. It's a real shame if you ask me. 

Really appreciate the kind words though, I hope this does turn into an epic thread, all the ingredients are there after all, thanks mate!

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Phù Đổng FC (August 2019)

Plenty to talk about, this'll be a bit of a long post so I'll try to be brief while still mentioning everything worthwhile. First off, you gotta know that we started the season with some very cool odds to the title in January, before seeing them change in our favour right after the transfer deadline. Wait, did I say favourable?

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Beyond that, I got plenty of offers throughout the year for some of our wonderkids. Very few of them turned out to be threatening to me, but it was a good opportunity to discern the fakes from the real; in other words, seems like that Phu Dong love has no equal. Nguyen Thanh Nam (17) repeatedly rejected interest from second-tier teams, Pham Van Thanh (17) was in the same position around June, except that he rejected an offer to sign with a team who was set to play in the league's top tier. That's my two strikers for you. We did end up losing our starting right-back Pham Quang Huy (17) and our back-up right-winger Truong Van Thanh (17) to the same fourth-tier team. 

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With that being said, on the personal development side, our hero Levallois (you didn't forget about him, did you?) bagged a couple of licenses and his great start to the season was rewarded with a nice ego boost. Bear in mind that Khanh Hoa is a top-tier team.

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The new deal I signed actually had a few perks associated to it, including a thorough search for a senior affiliate, and a few improvements to our youth setup. Thankfully, we now have a parent club in Da Nang (V-League 1), who have agreed to let us host a friendly against them every year & are giving us roughly 3.5k yearly for our commitment. Also, we got a new kit deal early in the year, so much good has been done to our finances.

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As if that wasn't too much info--I'm kidding, so that's it for the news that have come across my desk for the last eight months. We are currently sitting in fifth-place, but look beyond the ranking and you'll see...

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One win away from first-place? Also, Nam Dinh B cannot get promoted since their first team is in the second tier, which just makes me that much more ecstatic to see if we can actually make it to the promotion play-offs. That'd be amazing news, since promotion would do a lot of good to our finances and the newgens we'll be getting in September will likely not get snapped up by upper-tier teams. Anyways, I'll see you in a bit as I walk through the next two months, leading up to our second youth intake of the save!

Edited by Mascarpone

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Phù Đổng FC (October 2019)

Alright, I know this update was not supposed to come, but something pretty cool happened. So we had a string of insane results (considering that a backup right-winger has been right-back and that our best centreback was suspended for 3 games). And here's what it amounted to.

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Guaranteed play-offs? And one draw away from clinching the title.

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We're playing sixth-placed Binh Thuan, they're playing last-placed Kon Tum. Down the wire. Here are a few encouraging words from Ho Van Tien, one of the best centre-backs in the league, and the one who was suspended for three games. Yeah, same lad.

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Full Disclosure: The Newgen Day is set to happen after we put an end to this season, but for the CU's purposes it'll happen beforehand just to have some sort of continuity and, well, suspense. See you in a bit!

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Phù Đổng FC (Youth Intake 2019)

It's time lads, and as excited as I was, I tried to keep my hopes low. I was expecting a golden generation, no doubt, after all our youth recruitment was well-established and our junior coaching became average. To draw comparisons, we had the same YR as Everton, the same JC as Preston North End. So by Vietnam's standards, this was the beginning of greatness. And boy, it truly was.

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Yeah, alright, the Golden Generation label might not mean much considering how terrible the judgment of HOYD was, but that looked like one sweet intake. I was going to sign everyone in there regardless, because I know that a lot of our players will get poached regardless of the outcome of the next season, and we need depth at so many positions. I highlighted, as usual, the most interesting kids.

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Pham Minh Duc

Sure, he may not have any standout mentals, but he has everything I could possibly ask for at my level. He's already as good as my current starting playmaker, though I'm thinking he'd make for a great F9 or AP as an 8 down the pitch. The fact that he has a decent personality leaning towards the high-professionalism scale, gets me just even more excited to see his development. Here's to hoping he won't get snatched away.

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Than Van Vu.

The other jewel of this team. Outside of his low speed, he's head & shoulders above the level of our current starting keeper, who's being courted by second-tier An Giang at the moment. Needless to say much more, like I said earlier, I'm not great at evaluating goalkeepers but he looks very well-rounded and my assistant says he's V-League 2 level already. At the ripe age of sixteen years old.

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Hoang Thanh Tung.

One fast son of a Viet. He's practically begging for me to turn him into the greatest advanced forward this club has ever seen. A very similar profile to Pham Van Thanh (17), who bagged 5 goals in 10 games this season; they're both also capable of playing down the right wing, and Hoang actually makes Pham look like an amateur in both the technical and mental department. I'm thinking he might be the starting striker next year, provided he stays with us.

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Lai Van Long.

Also an excellent youngster who's been deemed as the one with the highest starting CA by my HOYD. Sucks for his personality, he should definitely have some more confidence considering the state of his abilities at the moment; him, this generation's Luu Van Toan (16) & our current centre-back Ho Van Tien (17) will be the backbone of this defence for the upcoming years.

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That's it for the youth intake, next update will be the end of the season, the outcome on our promotion play-offs, and a bit of a financial update. Cheers!

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Phù Đổng FC (End of Season 2019)

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So we won the title and were pitted against the second-placed team of the other group.

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Only to lose 2-1 thanks to a brace from their star striker. They dominated us, sure, but it's still incredibly disappointing, I couldn't even field the youngsters that just came through the ranks since the registration window didn't even open. Regardless, we won the title and despite how awful the failure to be promoted might have been, I think that our reputation is still bound to rise enough to see us keep some of our players. They're home-grown after all, I do expect at least some level of loyalty. Anyways, overachieving has helped us to maintain decent finances despite the increase in youth spending. Here's an idea of our finances at the end of the month (yes, I switched to the lighter theme for now, still experimenting with skins).

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And that's it for the 2019 season! We'll be expecting a great run of form to, hopefully, challenge for the title once again and secure promotion to the second tier as soon as possible. Keeping healthy finances would be nice too. Thanks for following, working on the next season as we speak.

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Phù Đổng FC (March 2020)

Let's start with the transfer market, which was very hectic. We've seen interest from V-League 1 teams for many of our players (Lai Van LongPham Van Thanh, Pham Minh Duc, and 5 more). Most of them declined the offers given to them, thankfully, although I did have to offer them some juicy non-contracts that will most likely drive our finances to the ground. Couple that with a few departures since, well, some of our kids wanted to turn pro, and you've got a not-so-terrible transfer window. Some good news came in the form of this:

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That's even better for us, and even though I would love to be pushing for improvements in youth facilities, we're just so far off the mark financially speaking, there's no way we'll reach triple figures while in this tier.

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Another thing I haven't talked about much (but that I've been keeping track of) for the last two seasons is average attendance, and ticket sales in general. Although our attendance soared last year with all the bandwagons (258, up from 218 the year prior), the season ticket sales have been the exact same for three years now. Hopefully this changes if we do ever get promoted.

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They don't ever learn, do they?

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Solid season, regardless of the outcome. A very good intake for that level last time out. Do you tag your players? I see you write them in your update with a number beside.

In comparison to the bookmakers prediction, what do your board want after last season? I always like to keep the expectations down to a minimum, even if I know we'll win the league or the cup. 

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5 hours ago, bigmattb28 said:

Unlucky, but good update

Very unlucky unfortunately, but there's some positives like you mentioned!

4 hours ago, ToMexico!! said:

Solid season, regardless of the outcome. A very good intake for that level last time out. Do you tag your players? I see you write them in your update with a number beside.

In comparison to the bookmakers prediction, what do your board want after last season? I always like to keep the expectations down to a minimum, even if I know we'll win the league or the cup. 

Yup, the title really made it bittersweet. I don't actually tag my players, I've seen a lot of people do it but I'm just not a fan, the number is just their age. Might have to start doing it soon though since a lot of the names are very similar :D 

The board has the same expectations as the bookies; fight to avoid relegation. It's strange, but I'm not one to complain, 7/11 of our starting XI at the moment played their first pro game this season, so that might be why. Here's to hoping we can clinch promotion, whether we're 1st or 2nd!

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Solid first season, might be a blessing in disguise to bed in your new youth players before you go up. Planning on this save running through the FM20 release as well?

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Phù Đổng FC (July 2020)

It's the end of the transfer window, and we're a few games past mid-season, so though it'd be a good time to give an update on the situation. First off, our league position is not bad at all, although I do expect that to change in the coming months (and you'll see why).

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We're stuck in that loophole where we want to get promoted, but they keep poaching our players for free, except we can't keep them since we're still in the third tier, and alright I can't anymore. Just look at this.

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That list features our starting fullbacks (Van Toan Hoang Thong), our left midfielder Thanh Son and most importantly, the jewel of our team and what used to be the best player in the league at just 17 years of age, Pham Minh Duc. The most frustrating thing is that four of the seven players that left us went to teams in the FOURTH tier. I mean, man, what's wrong with you?

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Look at that valuation; that's the kind of money we missed out on. He'll be playing top-tier football for a salary that exceeds what I could possibly offer him in a lifetime of third-tier football, so I can't blame him at all. With that being said, it still sucks that we didn't even get a transfer fee or anything like that. He's bound to get capped with the U19 NT sooner or later though, I'll be keeping an eye on him for now. Next update: youth intake!

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5 minutes ago, LUFCspeni said:

Solid first season, might be a blessing in disguise to bed in your new youth players before you go up. Planning on this save running through the FM20 release as well?

Hopefully, although plenty of them have left us unfortunately. And yes, that'll be my save for the early stages of the FM20 release, maybe something else will happen by Christmas but I'm convinced this'll be one of those long-running saves :D 

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Phù Đổng FC (Youth Intake 2020)

Apparently, another golden generation in our hands. Slightly less excited about this one because the profiles are far from what I expected, but maybe the YR upgrade we had earlier in the year only affects potential? Because CA-wise, slim pickin's. 

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Still some decent elements, I'll highlight the first two because the rest is unfortunately very hard to fit in my team (no number 8's at all for example, no real left-back). I'll sign everyone once again in case all our players get poached later in '20, next year we'll see some filtering though, youth contracts are dirt cheap so it's a nothing-to-lose situation.

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Trinh Thanh Hai. 

I think he might be the best youth product we've seen come through our ranks, even better than Pham Minh Duc (17) who signed for top-tier Khanh Hoa earlier this season. Very fast, technical in terms of ball control, good finisher, he's definitely a good advanced forward already. Sucks that his crossing & passing are so underdeveloped this early in his career, or else he would've made a great inside forward on the left flank. Very good prospect, though.

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Nguyen Dong Thap.

Also a very fast winger, but please, look at this lad's height. He's three inches shorter than Valbuena. Shorter than Ryan Fraser. Decent technically, good crosser and overall well-rounded. His personality is quite unique and unfortunate, but the team atmosphere will do wonders to it, I'm sure of it. Also a potential key player for our squad.

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Phù Đổng FC (End of Season 2020)

No surprise here, we made the play-offs.

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Then big moment; we won against Megastar Utd in the play-off semis (although we did beat them both times we faced them this season iirc).

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And then, the unimaginable happened...

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We were dominated from the beginning to the end, although we did miss plenty of chances in regular time, but damn that was much more than I bargained for. We're up, lads! And most importantly, we turned professional, so I think we're set to stay there for a while!

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No surprises here as well, Tung (17) had some very key goals for us this year, scored a quadruple on the season opener, he'll be forming an amazing partnership with Trai (16) next season. And, they'll both be locked by real contracts, yes sir!

And that's it for a while! The end of the season took a while to sim, lots of crash dumps every now and then, actually had to replay the semis (won the first time around, then crash dump, then had to replay it a few times). Again, had to give full disclosure, felt like we deserved to go through and it was a bit unfortunate that I got a crash dump and had to replay the game so many times. But it's fine, it's all solved in the end! And we're up, thanks for following, I'll see y'all in '21!

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Phù Đổng FC (March 2021)

I didn't forget about this, just got a bit busy! The transfer window came around, it's also important to note that we don't start playing until late March/early April I believe. As soon as the transfer window opened, plenty of teams came for our players, most of whom we were forced to sign under professional contracts--in other words, we took a huge hit financially speaking. We lost a few players as well, and some actually decided to stay with us despite interest from other teams. I'll highlight the key transfers below.

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Nguyen Thanh Nam (18) is out playing with Kien Giang now, who plays in the same tier as us if I'm not mistaken. He was touted as a potential superstar, but his development was really hindered by lack of playtime and our poor facilities. He left us on a free, didn't even want to renew with the team. Not that he's a big loss as we have lots of depth at his position, but still, unfortunate.

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Trinh Thanh Hai (17) is the biggest loss of the team, we didn't even have the chance to see him wear the first team's kit after we turned professional. I'm glad we at least got some money in exchange of our golden boy, whose progress we will be following very closely as he plays top-tier football with Hai Phong. With that being said, £12k is quite a decent amount, and the 40% on resale gets me very excited, in case he gets another big-money move in the future. 

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We better get some solid improvements in terms of attendance outside of season tickets, because we're not playing amateur football anymore. Most games should have upwards of 500 fans in the stands.

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Not a bad transfer window by any means. Glad to see many of our products making the jump to bigger teams, we retained most of our talent at home so there's at least some satisfaction here. I also think that with all the confusion around some of the names and how they can tend to repeat themselves, the next youth intake will (finally!) have tagged player names. Next update may be halfway through the season, not exactly sure, stay tuned though!

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