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Balahara

FM20 - The Pentagon Challenge

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A new FM and another instalment of the pentagon challenge, a great way to experience football management outside of Europe.

 

AIM

 

Win the 5 playable major continental club competitions of the world (The Champions League of AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, UEFA and the Copa Libertadores). 

 

RULES

These are the original rules for the challenge, If you wish to adjust any of them or add in some of your own and contribute to the thread, feel free to do so.

- Attribute masking and disabling of in game editor should be applied when creating your game.

- Start unemployed with Sunday league reputation and no coaching badges. How you split initial attribute points is up to you.

- No international management.

- Cosmetic changes to database are allowed, as are adding in leagues that are unplayable by default. 

- Keep us updated with your progress in this thread, starting with a screenshot of your manager on appointment to their first job.

 

TIPS

 

Adaptability is a mental attribute for your manager that increases your chances of finding employment in foreign leagues. Consider putting points into that when creating your manager.

Be prepared to make use of home grown talent. There is a 5 player foreigner limit in South Africa. The Asian Champions League squad restrictions only allow for 3 foreign players to be registered (with an additional 1 player from within Asia). In previous versions of the game, clubs from unplayable leagues did not adhere to foreign player limits, so if this continues in FM20 you must beware of unfairly strong middle eastern sides in the Asian Champions League.

Sort out your Brazilian club colours before starting a save.

Make yourself aware with who the sugar daddy teams are as they are the clubs to aspire to manage. Background and underwriter sugar daddy clubs are rife in China and South Korea. 

Edited by Balahara

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Always been interested in this challenge so have started.  Unfortunately I didn't read the small print so I didn't actually disable player attribute masking.  That said, I'll be keeping my signings relatively realistic (i.e. I'll be scouting all of them!).

Anyway, after what felt like 2 months of constant rejections I have been hired by the University of Pretoria FC (aka Tuks FC!).  I've got former Portsmouth flop Collins Mbesuma leading my line up front and sit in 14th place, 1 point above the relegation zone.  What have I let myself in for?

My plan is to go Africa -> Asia -> North America -> South America -> Europe in that order.  Probably won't happen though!

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I shouldn't have put in the attribute restrictions in anyway, Pentagon threads need all the participants it can get.

Unfortunately I had a nightmare at Royal Eagles and was relegated with a game to spare. Was guilty of rushing the games too much, making too many rash signings and was deservedly sacked. Will do attempt 2 soon. 

I used to like playing as Tuks, their youth system chucks out great players. First season is a slog however.  

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1 hour ago, Balahara said:

I shouldn't have put in the attribute restrictions in anyway, Pentagon threads need all the participants it can get.

Unfortunately I had a nightmare at Royal Eagles and was relegated with a game to spare. Was guilty of rushing the games too much, making too many rash signings and was deservedly sacked. Will do attempt 2 soon. 

I used to like playing as Tuks, their youth system chucks out great players. First season is a slog however.  

Just continue your save and take another club on! 

Tuks don't look great on paper but I think we have enough to stay up at least 

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I tried but I failed the interview at a team that had just been promoted to South African second tier. They were on at me about my relegation and lack of player support and I didn't have the right answer for them apparently. I believe the only option as a first club lies in South Africa with the way I set my leagues up. I was not getting any interview requests from China or South Korea. Thinking about trying India or Hong Kong for my next attempt. 

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FYI: You can get 2nd tier jobs in China or South Korea (with that setup), but they're definitely less common than NFD gigs. 

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43 minutes ago, Balahara said:

I tried but I failed the interview at a team that had just been promoted to South African second tier. They were on at me about my relegation and lack of player support and I didn't have the right answer for them apparently. I believe the only option as a first club lies in South Africa with the way I set my leagues up. I was not getting any interview requests from China or South Korea. Thinking about trying India or Hong Kong for my next attempt. 

You could always add lower reputation Asian league and see if that helps? I somehow got an interview for a South African Premier League side but wasn't successful 

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So, my stint at Tuks might not actually last that long.  I can't offer contracts beyond the end of the season so I'm expecting to lose my entire playing squad.  Can't work out if a bug or not...

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2 hours ago, UTT said:

So, my stint at Tuks might not actually last that long.  I can't offer contracts beyond the end of the season so I'm expecting to lose my entire playing squad.  Can't work out if a bug or not...

Nope. That's normal. No one can at that level. You have to offer extensions.

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7 minutes ago, XuluBak said:

Nope. That's normal. No one can at that level. You have to offer extensions.

So I'm in January at the moment and I can only offer an extension for the next 6 months (I. E. End of the current season - so not an extension).  There is nothing unusual with that? If so, I'll continue. 

So I played and won a friendly, won my first match then lost my second. Not too bad, huge squad with a lot of injuries but I reckon we have enough about us. Splashed 2k on Emiliano Tade of Sundowns as my regular AML is at the African Nations Championship. 

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1 hour ago, UTT said:

So I'm in January at the moment and I can only offer an extension for the next 6 months (I. E. End of the current season - so not an extension).  There is nothing unusual with that? If so, I'll continue. 

So I played and won a friendly, won my first match then lost my second. Not too bad, huge squad with a lot of injuries but I reckon we have enough about us. Splashed 2k on Emiliano Tade of Sundowns as my regular AML is at the African Nations Championship. 

In the second tier, you can only offer 1 year contracts, but you should be able to have them start at the end of the season. If you're talking new transfers in, then you can give them a contract til the end of the season with optional/games-played extensions built in. It can complicate the "work within wage budget" vision objective though. It's not hard to be under for current and committed spend, but be over in that window from late May until the next season beings. That could be an issue in any league, but more problematic in NFD because virtually everyone is always on an expiring contract, so you have no choice but to have a bunch of new contracts kicking in at once. 

I don't know if other teams negotiating with expiring contracts players works differently in South Africa or not. I didn't have anyone trying to steal any of my players on a free, but I also extended everyone I wanted to keep in January when I took over.

Edited by XuluBak

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Making slight progress although I still can't extend any contracts beyond May - that is going to cost me. 

We sit 5th, 12 points clear of relegation with 8 games left.  Into the cup quarter finals away to Sundowns after we beat Premier Division side Maritzburg on penalties. 

Issues with the squad, my reputation is too low and they are all complaining about me. Still, am doing my coaching badge to try and improve that. 

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Gonna start this today , do you people load all leagues or just the continent that you intend to manage , Im prob gonna for africa or asia first so was just going to load up those leagues to start with.

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Also i seen on last years challenge someone took charge of cameroon u23s , is that not allowed this year?

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2 hours ago, whizzkid said:

Also i seen on last years challenge someone took charge of cameroon u23s , is that not allowed this year?

You can play the challenge as you wish. We don't really get enough participants for me to start limiting styles of play. I'll amend the first post soon so that the rules I've posted are more of a guideline than hard rule.

I wanted to disallow international management as it's not a part of the 5 trophy goals and it removes attribute masking on your nation's players. Also wanted to provide a clear difference between this and the Ultimate FM challenge. 

 

As far as league setup goes, I like to load up every league I have any intention of playing at the start.

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Yeah, i like to load every league also. I found international management a bit odd.  At the start there is a load of free jobs but it's the smaller nations without really enough players in the pool to make it worthwhile.  I also found it a bit unrealistic that Spains U19 would take me with no question but I'd have trouble with a South African 2nd Division side.  For me, it just didn't feel right so I didn't bother and waited. 

If I could give advice, I'd split my points between Adaptability and Man management on the right hand side and I'd plough all my left hand side into 1 category as you can help with training and the coaches at the level you start are pretty poor 

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OK. new patch, new attempt.

Got a much better club this time round in Ajax Cape Town, joining with 11 league games left. They want top three but seeing as my contract runs out next year I might even be safe if I fail to get promoted. I selected a much lower transfer/wage budget in the interview phase and things aren't so great on the finances front. Probably in for a bit of rebuilding once the transfer window opens. 

Manager Profile - Finances - League Table

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ACT.thumb.png.2406c2a0ee98d5d1be446b2164d1edad.png

AJax Cape Town - 2019/20

9 wins 2 draws 0 defeats:cool: The embarrassing relegation in my first attempt is but a distant memory :D

I was blessed with a squad who were much better than the South African second tier and the results proved it. Cape Umoya United were the only ones that could match me and were leading the race heading into the final gameweek. My match was a simple thrashing of soon to be relegated Richards Bay, so all eyes were on my title rivals. They managed to throw away a lead which crowned Ajax Cape Town as the league champions

A couple of my best players already agreed deals elsewhere and a few more squad players I won't be able to keep on due to wage demands. I still think the squad is strong as is it and I will have 5 free slots for foreign player signings over the summer. A Brazilian staff member has already been hired so that's where the scouting will be concentrated as I plan to qualify for the African Champions League in the coming season. This club is more than capable of winning an African Champions League with their superb training and youth facilities.

Finances not looking great as I'm still 600k in the red even with a 650k late season investment from the board. I'm sure things will improve in the coming season with top division TV and attendance income. 

 

Season   Team                     League               Cup1           Cup2          Continental        Other              Notes
=================================================================================================================================================================================
2019/20  Ajax Cape Town            1st                 Preliminary    N/A           N/A                N/A           Promoted. Joined with 11 league games remaining. 
Edited by Balahara

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Finished my first season with Tuks in 5th place and a Cup Quarter Final defeat to eventual winners Sundowns. 

I inherited a huge squad with limited quality so set about a very dull counter attacking style that was difficult to break down. 

At the start of season 2 I kept a lot of my original squad intact as I couldn't find any upgrades. Unfortunately, the board insisted on a higher pressing style and I've struggled to find consistency (despite steam rolling teams in pre season weve been toothless at times in the league). We currently sit 5th at the winter break although it is doubtful I'll get promoted.  My entire coaching staff are out of contract in the summer, but as they are largely useless I'm not too bothered! 

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ACT.thumb.png.98e7ea14073325fed8041de6bc09e116.png

Ajax Cape Town 2020/2021

League Table - Just missed out of Champions League football next year due to GD :seagull:

Admittedly I wasn't expecting any chance of getting near to that after a disastrous start where I lost 6 of my opening 9 league games. After some tactical adjustments and a long break for the players to gel, results were a lot better. There was a major collapse near the end from Sundowns which could have caused some last day heroics, but they managed to win on the final day to pip me to the post. Can't really complain as Sundowns battered me 4-0 away and 2-0 at home. 

 

Cups - Completed a cup double. Nice to have for the added bank balance and reputation boost. Will also get to compete in the Super 8 next year due to top half finish in the league. 

 

TransfersA lot of wheeling and dealing here, which may account for the rotten start to my league campaign. Very happy with the quality of my squad now. Having superb training facilities is such a positive. Young players such as Kingsley Philip , Asanele Valebhayi and Liam Bern are now foundations in my squad and getting better each week. I rejected an offer worth up to 2.2m for Valebhayi and some top teams are sniffing around Bern so I'm not sure I'll be able to keep them in the long term. Player of the season went to Everton Felipe , a player that is really much too good for this league. Glad I've got him tied down for another year. 

 

TacticWas too attacking in my early season tactic so this is the compromise. Still not totally happy with it as my goals per game is poor. Probably gonna attempt something less high tempo and more composed next season.

 

FinancesThe money worries of last season are behind us. Board even gave me £325k to spend for next season.

 

Manager Profile - Coaching badges coming along nicely.

 

Next season I gotta concentrate on getting a top two league position. I am blessed with the best squad in the league so it should be done. The numerous cups are fun and I'll have African Confederations Cup to contend with next year, but I'll be satisfied with just having the chance to win the African Champions League in the 22/23 season. 

 

Season   Team                     League               Cup1           Cup2          Continental        Other              Notes
=================================================================================================================================================================================
2019/20  Ajax Cape Town            1st                 Preliminary    N/A           N/A                N/A           Promoted. Joined with 11 league games remaining.
2020/21  Ajax Cape Town            3rd                 Winners       Winners        N/A                N/A           Double Cup winners. Confederations Cup Qualification.

 

Edited by Balahara

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Wheels are starting to come off at Tuks. Im in January and are having Orlando Pirates offering contracts to my best winger (and top scorer). Unfortunately it's too soon in the season so I can't offer him a contract beyond the season end just yet! Nightmare, just impossible to even begin to build for the future 

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It took me a while to get an offer but I eventually landed the job at Real Kings in South Africa.

first job at Real Kings, NDV, RSA.png

Living in South Africa and having decent knowledge of Southern African football, I knew where to look and picked up some gems to quickly bolster my squad. By the fourth season, we had become so strong that we comfortably won every competition that we contested in. I also managed to pick up the Algeria job after they had a poor World Cup campaign and capped of an incredible year by winning the Africa Cup of Nations.

caf champs league.pngcaf quintuple.pngafcon algeria.png

After achieving such success and accomplishing the first part of the challenge, I said goodbye to Real Kings and accepted an offer to Hebei China Fortune. I never spent more than 30k on a player at Real Kings and now I had over 100m to spend on players. It was unreal. I managed to secure a third place finish in my first season at the club. It was now time to put my personal stamp on the club. The funds allowed for a revamp of the squad so I signed 17 players, including Lionel Messi (37), Toni Kroos (34), and Rodrigo (33)! Rodrigo was not doing it for me so midway through the season, I had to find a better player so I sold him for 5m and signed Sergio Aguero (36) in his place.

move to china.png

We are currently top of the CSL and things are looking good. Messi, Kroos, and Aguero are unreal! I might not be at the club for long at this rate but I am enjoying every second of it.

tactic.thumb.png.c1410467208fd447c77d5ac43f6b7352.png

Edited by SlickJames

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Aguero and Messi up against those poor Chinese defenders :D This is why I love the pentagon challenge.

 

Put a stop to my save after not enjoying what I was seeing on the pitch. I'll be back in February for a fresh attempt, definitely won't start in South Africa next time. Want a change of scenery.

Edited by Balahara

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After a very slow start in Season 2 with Tuks we had a surprising end. 

Despite losing right winger Kgodiso Monama on a pre-contract agreement to Kaiser Chiefs (I refused to play him after that) we managed to hit form after Christmas.  Lone front man Shungu Dutiro hit an inspired 24 league goals on the way to a title win (and promotion) by 9 clear points. We also managed to win the Nedbank Cup so I've somehow wrangled my way into the African Europa League equivalent! 

Unfortunately, I've been given no money to spend, Dutiro wouldn't sign a new contract and left and my entire scouting team has been poached. We shall see how long I can last... 

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Every year I start unemployed and as a Sunday League footballer and I wait to see what lower league Scottish team will hire me first. This year I got Stenhousemuir, and in 13 seasons I took them from the bottom of league 2 to winning the Champions League, and then I thought I'd have a go at another continent so I moved to China and joined Beijing Renhe. In my 2nd season there I won the Chinese Super League and I got the notification telling me that I had qualified for the Asian Champions League but the actual competition hasn't happened yet, but it seems like it's broken and will never happen and I've encountered some sort of bug that leads to that competition just not spawning. Below is my screenshot. 3B7EF28237692FDA12E25529F79690FACEC3704B

 

No winners since 2019, but im in 2036 now =(

 

 

 

Have I just been really unlucky and encountered a bug? Because it's pretty gutting to have my go at the Pentagon scuppered like this. I didn't even plan on doing the Pentagon when I started the save, but it evolved into the objective over time.

 

Any way to fix it?

Edited by itsallstar

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Don't know why that happened but it isn't going to be fixable on that save. If you want to submit a bug report the place to do so is 

 

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Started this save on the beta. I am now in 2025 playing for the first time in the asian champions league with Huanghai. 4-2-4 is really strong in asia, for the first time in years i am playing basically route one and it's working.

Screenshot_61.png

Screenshot_60.png

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OK, one last attempt at this. Took a few restarts to get a willing Canadian side early on, but my manager is now in charge of Forge FC. Had 5 games left of season with nothing to play for and didn't do well with a record of 1W-1D-3L. Hopefully will be an improvement next season. 

Manager Start - Profile - League Table

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So I am doing this with a few changes.

All 6 Champions Leagues + World Club Cup. For this I am using Timo's megapack + a different OCL file. TImo's OCL file had issues with proper qualification but his leagues are excellent and for the most part accurate.

Start unemployed, no badges etc however I have the added rule that you MUST complete a full season before embarking on the C badge. After the C badge you can only do 1 badge per continent per Champions league win.

Europe is closed off until at least 4 champions league wins.

One of your Champions league wins must be with a team you have taken up through at least 3 divisons, players choice where and when.
WCC must be won with a team you have won a Champions League with (No idea how hard/easy this will be with the new 4 year format).

After restarting countless times to testing various leagues and blah blah I am finally good to go. *Side note, League One in England will only have 23 teams because of editor issues and I want level 10 of the English pyramid. I have yet to find an Argentine file that doesn't kill the league system after 3 seasons, so am sticking to SI's Argentina. In total I am running 56 nations, god knows how many leagues and 300,000+ players.

First stop as it has been on the tests is Oceania. It's actually quite tricky as I can't get a job in New Zealand's prem straight away and because it is franchised I can't take a team up, so my options are either take an island team to glory or do well enough with them or a lower league NZ team until I can get the Auckland job.

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On 13/03/2020 at 11:55, Ultras500 said:



After restarting countless times to testing various leagues and blah blah I am finally good to go. *Side note, League One in England will only have 23 teams because of editor issues and I want level 10 of the English pyramid. I have yet to find an Argentine file that doesn't kill the league system after 3 seasons, so am sticking to SI's Argentina. In total I am running 56 nations, god knows how many leagues and 300,000+ players.

First stop as it has been on the tests is Oceania. It's actually quite tricky as I can't get a job in New Zealand's prem straight away and because it is franchised I can't take a team up, so my options are either take an island team to glory or do well enough with them or a lower league NZ team until I can get the Auckland job.

Question, I also started with Timo's megapack, I started in Oceania in Vanuatuan Lower Division (third tier). I only have the oceanic leagues loaded and will add leagues for the next continent when I get there. I am afraid if I add all these leagues it becomes really slow with so many leagues and so many players  (I have 300k+ players too). Will this work or will this become a problem in the future? You have tested and restarted a couple of times so you might know.

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59 minutes ago, bobjuh said:

Question, I also started with Timo's megapack, I started in Oceania in Vanuatuan Lower Division (third tier). I only have the oceanic leagues loaded and will add leagues for the next continent when I get there. I am afraid if I add all these leagues it becomes really slow with so many leagues and so many players  (I have 300k+ players too). Will this work or will this become a problem in the future? You have tested and restarted a couple of times so you might know.

You have 300k players with just Oceania?

My game is slowish. 2-5 minute waiting time but August and January run slower and the European deadline days at the end of those months really grind the game to a halt, maybe 10 minutes. Finished the 1st season last night and I reckon in 8 hours play time I could do 3-4 months. Major major downside to this is that the Oceanic leagues are really short so there can be alot of waiting around.

My plan is the opposite from you, load up all I want/need and remove later when done. So once I leave Oceania, I will just keep the top NZ league. I have already taken out some leagues, Copa Peru was one because it has loads of teams and by the time i get to south america I just won't need it. I noticed a small boost to speed when i did this but you also have to wait until the end of a season before it gets removed.

Restarting previously taught me to leave out most of Timo's lower leagues in certain Nations. He has Austria down to Tier 10 and the lower tiers have HUNDREDS of clubs so with the exception of England, Scotland, Wales, N Ireland, and ROI for which I have added everything, I am only doing the top 4/5 leagues in Nations. One of my previous game tests where i did have every league available in 56 selected nations, along with all players added from all 6 continents (500,000+) was taking about 10-15 minutes to process one day.

End of the day it comes down to what your computer can handle and preference.

Couple of other things. I know I mentioned Argentina but deselect it or just delete his FMF file prior to starting the game. In my previous save at Mont-Dore of New Caledonia, we qualified for the French Cup as winners of our national cup. Sadly although the game says Oceanic leagues are treated as French nationals in the competition rules when it came to team selection everyone was Non-EU so that ballsed things up a bit.

Don't use his OCL file, his doesn't have the correct qualification. All 4 teams from the qualifying group go through rather than the top 2, NZ often has 3 teams and WORST of all for this challenge is qualification for OCL is a year out (forgive me if this is a real rule). So you finish 1st in New Caledonia in the first season, it won't put you into the OCL until the 3rd season.

I have just discovered that the Portuguese 3rd division didn't work in my game, just says it's not running this year.

I would recommend doing a test season with your ideal setup, just go on holiday and sim a season or two, if you are happy with the game speed and there are no glaring game breaking errors then you are good to go.

Career wise, I am also managing in the Vanuatuan 3rd tier with Malampa Revivors (who I am 99% should actually be in the highest division).

Screenshot (27).png

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First season completed. As you may have read I took the Malampa Revivors job who were in tier 3 of Vanuatu. First time I have managed in Vanuatu and we walked the league and made it to the semi final of the cup, losing 5-3 in extra time. Full season was only 20 games, won 18 and lost 2.

The board have now announced they will build a new stadium which we have already moved into (confused the hell out me). As per my rules I am eligible for my first coaching badge, sadly the board refuse to fund it because money! They are quite happy to let all the staff do their badges but not me. I have put this down to the fact the club seem to be rather religious and I am not (judging by the crucifix and moto on their badge which i only looked at last night).

I have also lost 3/4 of my team as they were on amateur contracts. The club is semi-pro but i cannot offer part-time contracts. The best I can do is offer them a new amateur contract everytime a club comes in for them. Annoyingly though if they opt to stay then another club comes in for them a week later and the process repeats.

Ideally I would like to have the OCL won within the next 4 seasons which means I really need the Auckland City job which i won't get without the first badge. I really need to make the next couple of seasons count, so I can stay at Malampa, rebuild as best I can and gain promotion to Vanuatu's top flight or move on.

From previous saves the NZ prem clubs sack manager's like there is no tomorrow so jobs will come up. Getting them is another thing. Alternatives would be the Fiji, PNG or NC top leagues, attempting the OCL with one them. Most likely I will have to build an island dream team to do this, not easy when you can't scout any other island.

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On the way to completing this having won CLs with FS Stars (South Africa), Guangzhou Evergande (China) and Orlando FC (USA) 

 

Currently in Brazil with Vasco de Gama so should get number 4 in the next season or two. 

Next time I attempt this I will have to do it only with the club that plays at the highest elevation above sea level on each continent. If anyone knows who that be, let me know. 

 

Shame this forum seems to have died. 

 

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On 25/12/2019 at 23:36, UTT said:

After a very slow start in Season 2 with Tuks we had a surprising end. 

Despite losing right winger Kgodiso Monama on a pre-contract agreement to Kaiser Chiefs (I refused to play him after that) we managed to hit form after Christmas.  Lone front man Shungu Dutiro hit an inspired 24 league goals on the way to a title win (and promotion) by 9 clear points. We also managed to win the Nedbank Cup so I've somehow wrangled my way into the African Europa League equivalent! 

Unfortunately, I've been given no money to spend, Dutiro wouldn't sign a new contract and left and my entire scouting team has been poached. We shall see how long I can last... 

Well, my 3rd season with Tuks was very successful. We finished 6th in the league, comfortably avoiding relegation. A sensational run also saw us with the CAF Confederation Cup.  I also got to the final of the Telcom Cup but was beaten by Orlando Pirates. 

At the end of the season I was interviewed by Mamelodi Sundowns. I took the job and completed a treble (MTN8, CAF Champions League and the Premier League). I've stuck on for another season for now as I want to play in the Club World Cup. Will look to leave at the end of the season and move to Asia. 

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Posted (edited)

I think I'm going to try this challenge and the Ultimate FM Challenge.  I think there is enough overlap for both.  

I'm on FM Touch and I just got a new computer that can really handle the game so I started a game with all leagues loaded.

I'm starting in Northern Ireland with Distillery.   

Opening screen.JPG

Edited by iamnobody

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1st season completed.  Made it out of Northern Ireland 3rd level.

1st Season done.JPG

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On 04/04/2020 at 18:02, UTT said:

Well, my 3rd season with Tuks was very successful. We finished 6th in the league, comfortably avoiding relegation. A sensational run also saw us with the CAF Confederation Cup.  I also got to the final of the Telcom Cup but was beaten by Orlando Pirates. 

At the end of the season I was interviewed by Mamelodi Sundowns. I took the job and completed a treble (MTN8, CAF Champions League and the Premier League). I've stuck on for another season for now as I want to play in the Club World Cup. Will look to leave at the end of the season and move to Asia. 

So, it turns out the Club World Cup has changed to a 4 year cycle so I won't be in that. Nevertheless, still with Sundowns as I'm hoping to win some more silverware and get an offer from abroad. 

Had a tough January transfer window - lost Luke Le Roux for 4 million (+ 50% sell on) and Abubaker  Mobara for 1.4 million and there isn't a lot of ready to go replacements available. Sticking some real faith in some young players and hoping they hit the target! 

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On 14/04/2020 at 18:13, UTT said:

So, it turns out the Club World Cup has changed to a 4 year cycle so I won't be in that. Nevertheless, still with Sundowns as I'm hoping to win some more silverware and get an offer from abroad. 

Had a tough January transfer window - lost Luke Le Roux for 4 million (+ 50% sell on) and Abubaker  Mobara for 1.4 million and there isn't a lot of ready to go replacements available. Sticking some real faith in some young players and hoping they hit the target! 

Second season with Sundowns finished rather successfully - winning the CAF Super Cup, MTN8 and back to back CAF Champions League and ABSA Premiership wins, the latter an unbelievable unbeaten season (29 wins, 1 draw). 

I was looking to quit and move to. Asia but there were no appealing jobs available and I haven't been offered anything. Not sure how/why, the managers of Supersport and Kaizer Chiefs left mid season to join Deportivo and Villarreal respectively. 

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On 17/04/2020 at 19:50, UTT said:

Second season with Sundowns finished rather successfully - winning the CAF Super Cup, MTN8 and back to back CAF Champions League and ABSA Premiership wins, the latter an unbelievable unbeaten season (29 wins, 1 draw). 

I was looking to quit and move to. Asia but there were no appealing jobs available and I haven't been offered anything. Not sure how/why, the managers of Supersport and Kaizer Chiefs left mid season to join Deportivo and Villarreal respectively. 

So I've left Sundowns. I wasn't sure that I wanted another season in South Africa so I started to apply for jobs - initially Sport (Brazil Serie B) and Qingdao Huanghai (CSL).  I was originally heading to China but I then saw jobs with River and Atlético. Got rejected in Madrid but have taken over at River.  I must say, I think I'm regretting it a little. The squad is horribly unbalanced (a real dearth of CB's and I have no DM's), some unrealistic board expectations and I'm suffering tactically. Dunno if I'll last long, although I am in the quarter finals of the Copa Libertadores so I could fluke a victory somehow! 

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Those River regens though. Always a club I keep my eye on when I'm doing these challenges. 

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On 22/04/2020 at 23:41, Balahara said:

Those River regens though. Always a club I keep my eye on when I'm doing these challenges. 

I won't lie , I have had some luck (2 wonderkids and a great DLP once I retrained him) but Gallardo has sold a lot of decent players for a pittance.

Somehow though, I've fluked my way to a Libertadores win < 4 months after taking over.  2/5 down! 

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Starting this tonight to go along with my other save. 

Can someone recommend some hints and tips to get started? What leagues should I load up first etc? 

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My go to setup is

North America.

USA, Canada, Mexico - All playable divisions

Asia.

China, South Korea, Australia - All playable divisions

Europe

England (4 tiers), France (3 tiers), Germany (3 tiers), Spain (2 tiers), Italy (2 tiers), Portugal (2 tiers), Netherlands (2 tiers)

South Africa - All playable division

Generally want to avoid leagues where it would be a very difficult task to win a continental cup. The exception here is Canada, but it goes in as its an easy and short league to win and increase your reputation. Got rid of Italian and Spanish 3rd tier as there are too many games to process with them. 

The starter clubs for this setup are usually in Canada, China or South Africa with a small chance of a South Korean side taking you on. Would not recommend starting as a poor Chinese team as the quality gap with the wealthy sides is vast. 

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I'm playing FM for the first time in 7 years after getting a new computer, and decided to start a game unemployed as most of my best FM memories are for those saves.  I didn't put attribute masking on as I really wasn't aware of this challenge until a friend mentioned it to me this week, and I'm already 5 seasons in, but otherwise I think I'm following the rules.  

 

First job was at EIF, in the 2nd level of Finnish football.  I put together a decent side that I thought was playing entertaining football, but it all started to go wrong when one of my players weirdly started to complain I'd not fulfilled a promise to challenge for promotion, when we were top of the league at the time.  More and more players started to get annoyed at my treatment of him, results took a turn for the worse and I was very surprised to get the sack. 

 

It was a lot tougher to get a 2nd job after that, and I ended up in the 3rd level of Denmark with Kolding Boldklub, a side that had just come up from a non-playable league and seemed certain to get relegated.  It was a struggle, with almost no money, and anyone half-decent was poached away as everyone was on amateur contracts.  We finished 3 places above our predicted finish, but still went down.  I've never struggled like this before in FM, but a lot has changed since 2013 and I'm questioning whether I can do this.

 

The next job is again in the 3rd level of Denmark, with the team that came up to take my place, Vanlose IF.  They seem to have a little more about them than my previous club in terms of playing talent, but the financial situation is just as terrible.  I picked up a couple of players from my previous team, along with a few more key signings, and much to my surprise we have a really, really good season and won the league on the final day of the season.  I'm really not sure what I did differently to have such a drastic change in fortune.  The board tells me they want a top half finish the following year which seems ridiculous.  I manage to get a couple of youngsters in on loan from the top flight, and again blow my own expectations away.  For much of the second half of the season, we're in 2nd place (although miles behind the leaders, who had just come down), but fall away quite badly and finish a distant 3rd in the end.  Despite the two fairly successful seasons, we have no money, and my best players are getting poached away.  The media prediction has put us in line for a 2nd place finish, but I just can't see it with how many players are leaving, so when I see that a club just relegated for the top flight is looking for a manager... I jump ship.

 

Esbjerg FB are the media's favourites to win the league.  Despite losing a few top players, the squad is clearly much, much better than the one I managed to finish 3rd with.  I add to it by signing the left back from my old club, as well as a young striker we'd had on loan.  It quickly becomes clear the team is too good for this level, and even though a couple more players are sold against my wishes by the board, we finish comfortably top of the league.  The big surprise this season is we also win the Danish Cup.  In the quarters, semis and final we play teams from the top flight, and weirdly for the quarters and semis, we're said to be the favourite?  Both were tight games, with the semi going to extra time.  For the final, we're not the favourite at all, but the opposition went down to 10 men after just 13 minutes, leaving them with a 3 defender formation.  They still looked good in attack, so took the risk of going for it, trying to play the game in the area they were weakened in, and pulled it off by winning 2-1.  It brings back memories of one of my favourite saves, where I won the Dutch cup as a 2nd division side with Den Bosch, although in that save, 2nd division sides seemed to frequently reach the final.  In this save, FC Kobenhavn had won the cup the previous 5 seasons, yet were knocked out before the quarters this year.  

 

The Danish top flight is the 12th best league in Europe by this point, and I know playing there would be huge for my reputation.  After the way we beat the top flight sides in the cup, I felt like we'd probably have a decent season too, but by this point I was aware of this challenge, and I'd added in leagues from the other continents after starting out with just Europe.  I start to check the job center pages and I can see the Orlando Pirates have just sacked their manager after finishing 5th in the league.  The league seems a definite step down from the one I'd be going into if I stayed, but the Pirates have far more chance of winning it than I would if I stayed.  Far closer too, to the continent's Champions League.  I can't resist, so make the switch, and I feel like this where the pentagon challenge really begins for me.  For the first time in the save I feel like I'm going to be at a club for several seasons, enough to plan more longterm, try to focus on bringing in some youth prospects and develop them.  I'll return to Europe one day, but that will likely be the final step in the journey.  

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