Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
pheelf

Creating a Northern Irish footballing revolution

Recommended Posts

4c0IM7t.png?2

Once again, I return to the emerald isle for more nation building shenanigans. This year will make it my 5th long term save in the country after my exploits in FM16 with Immaculata, FM17 with Chimney Corner, FM18 with Dollingstown and Linfield and last year with a host of different N. Irish clubs starting with Glentoran. I had ideas of maybe moving to another country such as India with the ultimate aim of taking their national team to a World Cup but thought against it as there are too few games (20 league games per season) and no real opportunity to earn good money to build up the clubs. I also thought of moving to another European nation but I just enjoy managing in N. Ireland, it kind of fits into a Goldilocks zone for me making for an engaging long term save. I'll be interested to see how the new club vision and development centre affects the save. Unlike last season, I can see genuine reasons why building the nation might be a lot easier than in FM19. There are 2 professional clubs straight away in the DBP and I can see how easily a domino effect can form with more clubs turning professional especially now as teams are more likely to qualify for the group stages of the new UEFA Conference League given the lower standard of opposition they will face.

Game Setup

UaV9kDd.png

I've decided to stick with a large database and loaded all the international players from around the world. To make the challenge harder I've added the top divisions from the 5 best ranked nations in Europe which I hope will enable the top clubs in Europe to maintain better squads. I've also decided to load up all the leagues from the UK & Ireland which should be helpful in finding talent to bring in while also making the transfer market more lively. I've reused the club and competition badges which are provided in the megapack from fmscout.com. I've decided against placing any restrictions such as a youth only policy or using a Director of Football to make all my signings.

Manager Attributes

1BYpAvZ.png

I made my manager attributes as poor as possible with an emphasis once again placed on the determination attribute as I'd like to be able to more easily convince my board when it comes time to start asking for requests. I've also started unemployed and any job I get will have to be an open vacancy which I'll have to interview for.

beUaOsj.png

There are two jobs available at the start of the game in N. Ireland and they are with Lisburn Distillery who are in the 3rd division and Knockbreda who are in the 2nd division. I decided to only apply for the Knockbreda role.

Cgdv4IC.png

Getting the job was a piece of cake as they only have a 0.5* reputation.

History

In stark contrast to their more illustrious Belfast neighbours they start the game with practically a clean slate when it comes to domestic success in N. Ireland. They have never participated in the DBP and thus have no European pedigree at all. Since foundation in 1948 they have spent the majority of their existence in the church leagues before joining the amateur leagues in 1989. After 2 decades of being a yo-yo club in the amateur leagues they landed the opportunity to join the revamped 3rd division in 2009. They managed to gain promotion out of the 3rd divsion in the 2012/13 season after finishing as champions. Since then they have managed to stabilize themselves in the NIFL Championship although recent seasons have seen them flirting with relegation. They haven't managed to make an impression on the larger cups in N. Ireland but have picked up a few lower league cups along the way with their proudest accomplishment being the lifting of the Intermediate Cup in 2009.

Trophies Won

Z5pQvDK.png

Nothing much there so hopefully I can be the catalyst which sparks the team to new heights and begins to fill an empty looking trophy cabinet.

beUaOsj.png

Club

Nice to see a couple of rivals in there with Dundela and H&W Welders although I'm hoping that in time we will see some of the bigger Belfast clubs become competitive rivals for the club. The club has no legends, icons or favoured personnel so I'm hoping that I can become one of those quickly by leading them to promotion to the DBP which will be better than any manager has done in their history. Being based in Belfast is a huge benefit and means that I can tap into the biggest potential fan base in the country which combined with success on the pitch should enable me to build the club quicker.

Facilities

The aspect which swung the decision for me in terms of applying for Knockbreda over Distillery was the potential expansion capacity of the ground. At 12,000 it is the 2nd largest in the country behind Linfield who have a potential expansion capacity of 28,000. I'm hoping that will mean that when/if it comes time for us to leave Breda Park that we can then build a huge new ground. As our training facilities are so terrible I'm hoping that I will be able to share the facilities at Queen's University's campus.

First Team Squad

There are some good players in there and I especially like the fairly professional personality of the squad. The standout player is Glentoran loanee Fearon ST who has a very good first touch and finishing for the level and is considered good for the DBP so I'll be looking to him to be our main source of goals this season. His strike partner Pomeroy is considered decent for the Championship although he doesn't exactly fit the profile of a Deep Lying Forward which means he will probably be a rotation option for Fearon rather than partnering him as I'd like to play a 4-4-2. Cafolla ML and Hamill DR look to be good prospects who are Championship standard so I'll be hoping to develop them with first team football and make them one of the best players in the division.

The one thing which is screaming out to me after analyzing the squad is the lack of depth. I think I will need to go into the transfer market and perhaps bring in some loan players from the DBP if I'm to transform this club from relegation battlers into promotion contenders. At least I have a bit of room on the wage budget which should help with than endeavour and I'm also happy that I can offer part-time contracts as that gives me more control and less need to worry about losing players mid season.

Reserve Squad

There is the depth but I can't see how any of these players are going to help us achieve our lofty targets. Not one of them is good enough to play in the Championship but I suppose I could grant one or two of the more talented youngsters some time in the cup competitions.

Finances

The clubs finances are actually in rather good shape which is always helpful. They have some money in the bank, hold no debt and there is a bit of room on the wage budget, can't ask for more than that at this stage.

beUaOsj.png

Starting Conditions

The DBP is the 117th most reputable league in the game and owing to some awful performances in Europe by N. Irish teams in recent times lies 53rd/55th in the club coefficient rankings only above the likes of Andorra and San Marino. Unfortunately, that means for the coming season that the nation will only have 3 European berths to fight for. 1 for the Preliminary Round of the Champions League to go to the DBP winner and 2 in the Preliminary Round of the Europa League to go to the Irish Cup winner and the runner up in the DBP (3rd if the Irish Cup winner is the DBP winner or runner-up).

This season however we have 4 teams competing in Europe with Linfield in the 1st Qualifying Round of the Champions League, Crusaders in the 1st Qualifying Round of the Europa League and Ballymena United and Cliftonville competing in the Preliminary Round of the Europa League. Judging by the results so far with both Ballymena United and Cliftonville easing through to the 1st Round of the Europa League, the nation should hopefully gain enough coefficients this season to restore the nation back up to 4 spots for the season after next.

Career Objectives

The ultimate aim is to turn Knockbreda into a formidable force in European football then move on to the next club and try to do the same. How long that will take is anyone guess and is not on the agenda of the board whose 5 year plan sees us stagnating in the Championship for 5 years, if that were to happen I would be devastated as I wouldn't have improved the club at all. My personal 5 year plan looks something like this.

Scenario 1

Year 1 - Get into the top half of the Championship

Year 2 - Finish at least 3rd and clinch a spot in the playoffs. If we get promoted proceed to Scenario 2, if not continue with Scenario 1.

Year 3 - Get promoted to the DBP either through the playoff or as Champions

Year 4 - Avoid relegation from the DBP

Year 5 - Aim for a mid-table finish and try to go deep into the cup competitions

Scenario 2

Year 3 - Avoid relegation from the DBP

Year 4 - Aim for a mid-table finish and try to go deep into the cup competitions

Year 5 - Qualify for Europe either through winning the Irish Cup, position in DBP or through DBP Europa Conference League playoff

HERE WE GO!!!

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

j6n9Lty.png?1

5l2xnW1.png

My motto is 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and as a result I've decided to once again roll with the 4-4-2. I like the two banks of 4 in its defensive shape, the space we tend to have when we attack teams and the ability to change it on the fly and turn it into any attacking shape I desire. For me, it's a very versatile formation which can be made to play some beautiful looking football at times when you have the right personnel in the team. I especially like some of the play I see in the final third with my team patiently probing the oppositions defence and spreading the play over the full width of the pitch.

It's uncomplicated for the players to learn and elegant in it's efficiency.

After some testing, I've found it's actually more effective than it was in FM19 and the strikers tend to get more goals so I can't wait to get some real quality strikers in to see what kind of goal totals they can come up with.

I will however be open to changing tactics if I see its efficiency waning and have a 4-1-2-3 Wide and 4-2-3-1 in the arsenal ready to unleash on the opposition if required.

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2019 / 2020

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The board would be happy if the club avoided relegation through the playoff. I'd like to do quite a bit better than that and will be disappointed if we finish inside the bottom half. It's an ambitious target given the quality of players in the squad but I'm hoping that some shrewd dealing in the loan market might just give us enough to squeeze into the top 6, progress in the cups would be nice to supplement our income but isn't essential.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Absolutely chuffed with that outcome given the pessimism surrounding our chances of even making the top 6 before the season started. It could however have turned out very differently. Our early season form was atrocious as we struggled to assimilate all the new players into the squad and gain familiarity with the new tactical system. The most frustrating of the early months of the season being November where we lost all 3 games we played 1-0. We weren't getting out played but we just seemed to lack that cutting edge to take enough of the quality chances we was creating which left us vulnerable to the sucker punches we suffered.

As we approached the split we sat in 8th place and adrift of the team positioned in 6th. Then out of nowhere everything seemed to click and we managed an incredible run of 6 wins on the bounce starting in mid-December which propelled us into the top 6. Now that the team had settled I began to feel more confident and that seemed to get transmitted to the players who then managed an impressive post split record of W5 D2 L3 against the better teams in the division. Our form allowed us to finish in a record high position for the club of 2nd and gave us a shot at the playoffs and the unbelievable prospect of getting promoted to the top flight at the first time of asking. 

Danske Bank Premier Promotion/Relegation Playoff - I would have been happy as long as we gave it a good try but I certainly wasn't expecting to have the ability to navigate our way to promotion. As we could no longer catch Newry City after the penultimate matchday I decided to put out a total reserve side against Dundela for our final league match. We ended up losing the game 4-0 but I think it was an important decision as it wouldn't give Ards the advantage in condition who for some reason played their final league game on the preceding Tuesday whereas our final match was on Saturday, 3 days before the 1st leg of the semi-final. I think having that extra energy in our tank really helped us as we scored 2 second half goals to complete a vital comeback which gave us a lead to protect going to the Bangor Fuels Arena.

The 2nd leg of the semi final was a tense affair and was entirely in the balance for the majority of the game with neither team able to land a knockout punch. Thankfully for us, Gawne ST came up with a 73rd minute strike to give us the lead which allowed us to breathe more easily and swung the tie in our favour. As hard as they tried to get back into the game we were defensively strong and managed to see out the game to book our place in the final to face Warrenpoint Town. As away goals count in the final and the 1st leg was at home, I felt it was of vital importance that we kept the away goals to a minimum and hoped to go into the 2nd leg with some sort of advantage. 

It didn't quite work out as I had hoped as we couldn't score but denying them an away goal was a huge boost to our chances of winning the tie. Then we went a goal down after 4 minutes at the start of the 2nd leg. I was absolutely gutted and I was seriously concerned that we were going to squander a golden opportunity to get promotion. I kept the faith with the players knowing that an equalizer would change the whole complexion of the tie. Going into the half time break I was a bit disappointed as we certainly deserved to be level given the chances we were creating. Then we scored within a minute of the 2nd half which gave me hope that we might just be able to pull off an away goals win to get promotion, when we scored another in the 62nd minute that seemed to deliver the savage psychological blow which Warrenpoint Town couldn't recover from. Promotion at the first time of asking is a brilliant result, now begins the hard work of assembling a squad on a shoe string budget that is strong enough to stay up next season.  

Domestic Cups - The run to the final of the Intermediate Cup was the highlight of the campaign but our chances were dented having to play the game 4 days after the 2nd leg of the promotion playoff. It also didn't help that one of our best strikers Hunter missed the final through injury. I would have liked to do better in the other cups with the penalty defeat in the first round of the Irish Cup being especially disappointing but we honestly don't have the squad depth to compete on all fronts so our overall performance in the cups was to be expected.

Reserves - They won the league which is a pretty impressive campaign for them.

Under 18s - The club doesn't have a youth team but will be getting one after our promotion to the DBP. Next season they will compete in the NIFL U18s League.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - A lot of loan players joined the club and for the most part they played a pivotal role in helping guide the club to promotion. I had expected Fearon ST to be our main man up front but the loan didn't last for the entire season which meant he left mid-season. I was unaware of this but thankfully Hunter ST, a Glenavon loanee managed to pick up the slack and bang in the goals for us to keep our challenge for the top 6 alive. I can't see many of the players having what it takes to cope with the DBP but I will be trying to hold on to some of the brightest prospects such as Argent-Barnes ST and Warnock DL who have both agreed contracts to stay for next season. I'm under no illusions that there is going to have to be a massive rebuild. I will be also re-entering the loan market as I can't see the wage budget stretching enough to bring in the quality of player we need and have enough depth to compete over a 38 game league season.

Transfers Part 1 Part 2 - As you can see a huge amount of activity took place. Some of the loan signings were flops while others were fantastic. Armstrong DC and Argent-Barnes ST would be my pick of the free transfers as both were brilliant during the season.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.15
Our top scorer seemed to take to the Championship like a duck to water. The ex-Bolton player not only contributed with goals but was also our highest provider of assists. I will be keeping hold of him for next season as I think his goals could be vital in determining our fate in the top flight, if he could return similar figures next season I'll be delighted. I hope to be able to partner him with a quality finisher which would relieve some of the pressure on him while providing him with a player to link up with which should hopefully help him to get more assists. 
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 6.90
He did well although I was gutted that he had to miss the Intermediate Cup final. I don't think he is DBP quality so I won't be disappointed once his loan ends.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The run to the final of the Intermediate Cup helped in preventing us from ending the season further in the red. The wage budget was increased quite significantly but will still be a pittance when compared with what the teams are spending in the DBP on wages. We really need to be wise with our spending next season or we could easily fall into a debt spiral. Also, Brexit happened and nothing changed as a result.

Facilities - It'll be interesting to see how much we can fill Breda Park next season and I'm hoping that our historic first season in the top division of N. Irish football provides the excitement that translates into a substantial increase in our average attendances. I couldn't get an affiliation with Queen's University to share their training facilities but I'll try again next season.

Youth Intake - The quality of the intake is actually a lot worse than it appears at first. I signed everyone but after some time spent with our coaches all the players star ratings have been fairly heavily downgraded. These guys will be playing in our inaugural season in the youth league but I can't see any of them making it here in the long term.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - The DBP reputation went up ever so slightly but we are way off being anywhere near decent. At least the coefficients the clubs in N. Ireland earned will be enough to see the nation regain its 4th spot in Europe. For the season after next, the nation will have 1 qualification spot for the Champions League and 3 places for the new UEFA Conference League.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Not much movement in terms of our reputation but to be expected given we didn't actually win anything. Linfield became a professional club bringing the total up to 3 in the country, Crusaders & Larne being the other professional clubs.
 
Club European Reputation - We have no European reputation given next season will be our first in the top flight. Therefore until we appear on this list here is how the other N. Irish teams got on in Europe.
 
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa League 4th Qualifying Round by Rosenborg 7-0 on aggregate - The Norwegian giants are on a different planet and the scoreline reflects that reality.
Ballymena United - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Qualifying Round by Molde 5-1 on aggregate - Well at least they scored a goal, not much of a consolation though. 
Cliftonville - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Qualifying Round by Universitatea Craiova 5-1 on aggregate - Another N. Irish team playing in Europe, another mauling.
Crusaders - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Qualifying Round by Shkupi 2-1 on aggregate - Looking at their squad in comparison to the opposition alongside the fact they are one of the only professional clubs in the country leads me to believe they should have done an awful lot better.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

GnXa1VK.png

image.png.e74e6b1d31312bd0f2b5001e05777e73.png

Spoiler

WnndqyN.png

 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Stouters said:

Good to see you back. I just need to remember the change in the title. I'll have a crack at mine soon.

Thanks for the kind comment. I look forward to hearing about your career when you get started.

Best Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2020 / 2021

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

After an unexpected promotion to the DBP last season, the board would be happy as long as we give a good fight against relegation. I agree with their assessment of the situation and the focus this season has to be on being better than at least one team so that we can give ourselves a chance of staying up through the playoff. Anything more than that will be a bonus.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - I don't think there has been a final league position which has flattered a team more than this one but I'm not complaining. If you had offered me this at the start of the season I would have bitten your hand off given the difficulty I had assembling a decent team. Our improvement during the later parts of the season was remarkable given that until matchday 22 we were bottom of the pile. Even going into the split we were in 11th but some sensational post-split form saw us win all but one of our games. That run allowed us to get within striking distance of Cliftonville for the final matchday and when results went our way with Coleraine holding them to draw we overtook them and clinched a spot in the Danske Bank Premier UEFA Europa Conference League Playoff which gives us a shot at Europe in our first ever season in the top flight. It's unlikely that we'll make it but if we could that would be a huge early boost in my tenure at the club. Coleraine managed to stay up beating Warrenpoint Town 4-3 on aggregate in the relegation playoff.

Danske Bank Premier UEFA Europa Conference League Playoff - An incredible conclusion to an extraordinary season which sees us into Europe and grants us the opportunity to make some serious money to further our cause in building the club. The semi-final was a difficult affair and Larne dominated the first 30 minutes which made me think that we were going to be on the end of another trouncing from them after they beat us 4-1 earlier in the season. Somehow we managed to stay in the game through some tactical alterations as they came out very attacking in a flat 4-3-3, so to negate that I made all my defenders play more direct passes in an attempt to play over their high press. I also changed my fullbacks to defend duty and my wide midfielders to wingers on the support duty in an attempt to overload the wide areas. Even with all that they were still on top but then the pivotal moment came. A moment of complete madness from one of the strikers who launched a two footed lunge on one of my players, the result, a red card for them which completely changed the momentum of the game. That made it much easier for us to beat them although we still had to hang on late on as they threw the kitchen sink at us, thankfully we did to set up a final against another professional club in Crusaders.

I was cautiously optimistic about facing Crusaders as we had a better record against them and I was feeling even more bullish when Powell ST netted within 3 minutes. The lead didn't last long as they equalized in the 17th minute but we were more than holding our own in the game. It came as no surprise therefore when we retook the lead 8 minutes later with a corner which was headed in by Borges MC, his first goal of the season. Going into half time I was satisfied although I knew the game was far from over so I emphasized the need to keep focused and to try and get another goal. The team seemed to react to that really well scoring in the 62nd and 66th minute to all but book our place in Europe. They managed a late consolation in the 87th minute but by then it was too late and they couldn't muster any threat of getting back into the game. A fantastic result and a well deserved place in Europe having beaten two professional teams on the way.

Domestic Cups - A very disappointing campaign in the domestic cups. The board wanted us to make the 3rd Round of the League Cup but we suffered a humiliating penalty loss against newly promoted to the 3rd division Donegal Celtic which ended that hope. To make matters worse we then succumbed to a hammering at home to Championship side Portadown in the Irish Cup after struggling to get past another Championship side Ballinamallard United in the previous round with a late goal sparing our blushes. Our performances in the cups show most clearly the lack of depth we have in the squad and it could be quite a while before we are able to compete for these trophies.

Reserves - A decent season for them in the cups and a good start to life in the top flight of reserve football.

Under 18s - I'll take a 9th placed finish in their first season in the youth league. Their form was very erratic but that is to be expected given that a lot the players wouldn't be good enough to grace 4th division football. Hopefully, once investment is made in the junior coaching we might start to see an improvement.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - A real tale of two seasons in one from my perspective. In the first half of the season we were dismal and went long stretches without picking up wins although we did manage a fair amount of draws which in the end proved important as it kept us within range of the teams above us. In the second half of the season, we were a completely different animal and won a lot more games. The major reason for the upturn was the acquisition of some better defensive players. The signing of Borges MC really helped us to tighten up defensively and made it possible for us to turn some of the games which we would have drawn in the first half of the season into wins in the second half of the season.

We are still however severely lacking in defensive areas. I've been proactive and signed pre-contract agreements with some central defenders and will be looking for another defensive minded central midfielder. We are also in desperate need of a decent DR as our right backs this season were among the poorest performers in the squad. We could also do with getting in a pacy MR alongside another ML as Hanley is starting to decline. I think I'll stop with the loan signings for now as giving them game time restricts opportunities for development of players I might be able to sell on for money which is going to be necessary going forward as I seek to turn us into a selling club.

Transfers - A lot of signings were made as I sought to fully utilize the wage budget to strengthen. The best signings were Powell ST and Borges MC with the loan arrivals from Linfield and Glenavon performing well also. There was unfortunately some flops also such as Tipton MC and McDonald DL but as they are young, maybe with some more first team opportunities they will come good for us. Missing off the screenshot was the signing of free transfer Finlay ST from P.S.N.I. who looks an exciting young prospect who I'm hoping can compete with Powell ST and Donnelly ST for that advanced forward spot.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Tom Powell - ST
Average Rating: 7.26
The top scorer in the team formed a very good partnership with Argent-Barnes. The general trend of the season was that when he performed well the team did well so I'm hoping that next season sees him improve his consistency so that we can start pushing up the table. My coaches think he still has massive untapped potential so I'll be hoping to bring that out of him.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.19
I had my doubts as to whether he could step up to the higher level but they proved to be unfounded. He did very well and has continued to develop. Larne were showing interest so I decided to offer a new contract which he was more than happy to sign so that should give us a bit of stability while ensuring we get a fee if he has to be sold.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The bank balance may be sitting slightly in the red but I know that debt will be wiped out if we manage to make a bit of progress in Europe. The low wage budget is a bit concerning though. That is going to prove restrictive and make it very difficult to strengthen the squad given we will still have the lowest wage bill in the league even when fully utilized. All I want is to draw someone beatable in Europe and make a couple rounds and I'll be happy to start investing in the clubs infrastructure.

Facilities - I didn't manage to get an affiliation with Queen's University and was offered Annagh United instead. I decided to take it and now we have access to 'good' training facilities instead of 'basic' which is already a marked improvement. I asked to improve the junior coaching but given the financial situation of the club, the board was understandably reluctant to grant it and rejected my request.

Youth Intake - Supposedly a 'golden generation' but I can't see it personally. The only one which might prove useful is the goalkeeper Finlay but he is miles off being ready for even cup game involvement. There is a lot of work to do to start improving these intakes and it can only start once we get enough funds to invest.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - The league is in the top 100 (well just) and continues to make strides forward. Still a long way to go before the N. Irish teams can start bringing in quality foreign talent though.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - We are apparently rising but can't see us making any improvement on our 0.5* reputation until we win one of the major domestic trophies.
 
Club European Reputation - We have no European reputation now but should have next season. Our coefficient is 0.00 so basically we could be drawn against anyone so I'm hoping that the draw is kind to us. Here is how the other N. Irish teams got on in Europe this season.
 
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round by Maccabi Tel-Aviv 3-2 on aggregate - I think they can be satisfied with losing narrowly to a team of a much higher standard.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round by Lech Poznan 4-0 on aggregate - Fair enough that they lost against quality Polish opposition but they should be ashamed for losing in the preliminary round of the Champions League to Lincoln Red Imps 1-0. Results like that really don't help the coefficient.
Crusaders - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round by Lechia Gdansk 3-0 on aggregate - The Polish teams seemed to have our number this year although they did progress through two rounds which was a decent showing from them.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

V0DpvKG.png

image.png.29a9d283172a90b98989603cfb05bf3a.png

Spoiler

W8FXIJa.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2021 / 2022

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Last season we stayed up comfortably and managed to qualify for Europe. This season I'd like to repeat that success and try to progress as far as we can in the new UEFA Europa Conference League.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Before I start, let me give a massive shout out to Glenavon who had an incredible season. They annihilated the league and they seem to be producing some superb looking young players of late (a trio of which we loaned) that leads me to believe they might be capable of similar results in future. They are definitely a team on the rise which is going to provide a massive obstacle for us when it comes to dominating N. Irish football. Conversely, let me give a big thumbs down to Larne who after buying 2 of our best strikers had a nightmare season and only narrowly avoided the relegation playoff. Kenny Bruce rightly was furious with that and showed his displeasure by firing Lynch and opted for Juventus legend Chiellini. He hasn't quite got them firing just yet but I can see them threatening towards the upper end of the table next season if he is half the manager that he was a player.

As for us, well we managed to keep it nice and steady and qualified once against for the playoff which gives us another shot at making Europe. The season started very poorly which was to be expected being a part time team and trying to juggle 2 and sometimes more games per week but once the fixture congestion began to lessen we recaptured some of our best form. In the end, we couldn't recover from our poor start and make the top 6 but I'll take this for now considering the board just want us to stay up every season. Dungannon Swifts stayed up on away goals in the playoff after drawing 3-3 with Ballinamallard United meaning next season the DBP will only be joined by Championship winners Portadown. Both the Glentoran and Linfield jobs became available and I was severely tempted to go for the Glentoran one when they parted with their manager in early February but thought against it as I have only 0.5* reputation which made me believe I wouldn't have a chance of landing the job. In retrospect, I probably should have applied given that the job ultimately went to Colin Nixon who has the same reputation as me. Ah well, let me stay and continue to build Knockbreda as I'm sure the job will become available again soon enough.

Danske Bank Premier UEFA Europa Conference League Playoff - We're off to Europe again after a brilliant pair of performances. Cliftonville wasn't quite as tough as I was expecting and when we were 2-0 up going into the 86th minute we looked to be cruising through to the final. They then promptly scored to start the nerves jangling but I made some tactical changes to shut it down and we held on. The Crusaders result was especially pleasing as I feel the tactical change I made pre-game swung it in our favour. I saw that Crusaders were going with a positive mentality so I decided to flip the script on them by switching down to a cautious team mentality. That seemed to completely disrupt their rhythm and our more patient approach with the ball seemed to cause them issues, we ended up winning the final comfortably and in the end could have scored even more but for some poor finishing.

UEFA Europa Conference League - Overall, I'm delighted with the campaign as we did exceptionally well to overcome 3 professional teams on our way to the 4th Qualifying Round. Then we came up against genuine quality in Getafe and got completely out classed. It appears that this new competition is a lot less lucrative than the Europa League which isn't great and it's a bit worrying that our attendances actually fell as we went deeper into the qualifiers (stopping with Getafe) which I thought was strange but we'll take any money we can get and on the plus side we get another shot at it next season. Hopefully, we could draw a UK team next time and have a better chance of filling Windsor Park even if ultimately it means we get knocked out in an earlier round. 

Domestic Cups - A massive improvement on last season and I even had hopes that I might pop our cherry when it came to winning one of the 'big' domestic trophies but alas Linfield broke our hearts in the League Cup final and knocked us out of the Co. Antrim Shield semi final. We gave a good fight against Glenavon in the Irish Cup but at the moment they look unstoppable as they went on to win the Irish Cup and clinched a double.

Reserves - A good league campaign and a decent season in the cups.

Under 18s - A marked improvement and things seem to moving in the right direction for them.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I'm a lot happier with the team at the end of this season than I was at the end of the last. The quality is improving nicely and I've assembled the spine of a DBP quality team which with time should develop. When the Glenavon loans of Reid, McKerr & Black end that is going to leave a huge hole in our midfield but I'm already on the prowl for some replacements. I may even be able to convince them to sign a contract with us should Glenavon release them at the end of their contracts. I've been broadening my horizons with regards to player acquisition and managed to pick up two decent looking players, Costelloe ML who was released by Galway United and Zito DC who was an Aston Villa academy reject. I'll be looking for more of that and will be extensively looking at the released player lists for Europe to try and snap up some bargains and strengthen the squad.

I must however state how difficult it is to bring in certain players to fit my tactic. There seems to be a real dearth of support duty strikers, defensive minded central midfielders and attacking fullbacks available in our scouting range of N. Ireland for me to bring in. That makes it hard to play the way I'd like but I'm not giving up and will persist with it as having my fullbacks going forwards is important when it comes to breaking opposition teams down. I think we are probably a quality striker, defensive midfielder and fullback away from securing a spot in the top 6, as I have some room in the wage budget I will be doing all I can to strengthen those areas.

Transfers - The pair of transfer windows was a case of the good, the bad and the ugly. Firstly, the good. I was delighted to be able to extend the loans as they were some of my best players this season. I was also happy with the performances of some of the free transfers who fit in well and look to have good room to develop, especially the likes of Zito and N. Kerr DR. The bad was the sale of Argent-Barnes ST who wanted to leave for a 'bigger' team who incidentally happened to finish 12 points behind us. I didn't really want to sell him but he couldn't be convinced to back down so I accepted the offer and slapped on a 25% of next sale fee clause. Then finally, the ugly. Well that was my boards baffling decision to sell Finlay ST over my head on deadline day which gave me no opportunity to replace him. Worse still, he's only made 1 appearance for Larne since leaving in January and it looks like his career is all but over at this point having missed nearly 5 months of development time. The kicker though was that I managed to convince him to stay by promising to challenge for silverware when they first approached us which he was satisfied with only to have the rug swept from under me within the month.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.01
The dream scenario is that Glenavon release him at the end of his contract this season and he then signs for us on a reasonable wage and develops into a star who we can sell on for a load of money. The likely scenario is that he signs a new deal with Glenavon and goes on to turn them into the dominant force in N. Ireland. Alternatively, he gets released and just stays on the free transfer list until some English club poaches him or he retires.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 6.96
If the Glenavon manager has any sense he'll keep these players together and go on to dominate N. Irish football for years. I'm hoping he doesn't and I can swoop in as getting a replacement for a player of this quality is going to be nigh on impossible I feel.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - It's nice to end the season with over £200K in the bank but this is nowhere near enough to start building the club up. I'm going to have to use the extra wage budget wisely as I seek to move up the table.

Facilities - I did manage to convince the board to improve the junior coaching which is good and hopefully we will start to reap the fruits of that like Glenavon have in future. Other than that we didn't manage to do much else although it is encouraging to see the size of the clubs fan base increase even with rising ticket prices. It's only a matter of time before we manage to get a sell out of Breda Park.

Youth Intake - A decent intake but no one there who I think will become a star for the club. My policy is to sign everyone who is at least 2.5 black star potential and discard the rest.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - As long as the nation keeps moving up I'm satisfied. If we keep it up we'll soon be above the Vanarama National which should provide rich pickings for some of the N. Irish clubs looking to bring in players. Hopefully, some academy rejects from the better English sides might start to consider a temporary move across the Irish Sea to get their careers back on track.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - I didn't expect it but we reached 1* reputation which is great. It's also pleasing to see Lisburn Distillery get promoted out of the 3rd division and Portadown return to the top flight, I always like to see bigger clubs from the lower leagues rise up.
 
Club European Reputation - We're on the list which is great although I didn't expect that to happen for a long while. Our coefficient won't do much to help with seeding but every team we faced this season were considered favourites so we have as good a chance as any. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Young Boys 3-0 on aggregate - That's a tough draw to be fair although they did well to go as far as they did.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by PAOK Salonika 3-2 on aggregate - To show you how good a team they have become they came tantalizingly close to becoming the first N. Irish team to get to the group stage of a UEFA competition. Hopefully, next season they can bring some of that form into the Champions League.
Ballymena United - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Partizan Belgrade 12-4 on aggregate - Embarrassing defeat for sure but no more embarrassing than their departure from the Champions League where they lost on away goals to Dudelange. I really hope that Glenavon can restore some pride for N. Ireland in the Champions League as the last few seasons have been awful.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

driKsuS.png

image.png.0359ed208fe1f924c5a92dadb38ea175.png

Spoiler

7CSiBmH.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 27/11/2019 at 17:19, SRL88 said:

I love the layout you have going on here. Very clean

Thanks for the comment, I try my best to make it as clean as I can so I'm glad to see that my efforts are being appreciated.

1 hour ago, matt_mcm said:

Wait... Chiellini is managing Larne?!?

It took me by surprise initially but then again the offer of bucket loads of cash tends to be a good lubricant when it comes to persuading managers to move to less fancied leagues (Rafa Benitez to China for e.g.). In the season I'm about to report on you'll see how he has impacted the fortunes of the club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2022 / 2023

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We seem to be dancing on the ceiling of the bottom 6, will this be the year in which we breakthrough and actually finish in the top half? As a minimum, I'd like to get through a few rounds in the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers and will disappointed if we fail to qualify for Europe again as we need to keep that cash flow coming into the club in order to work towards professional status.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - We had a disastrous start which really hampered us in our quest for a top 6 finish (more on the reasons why later). At one point, I was even concerned that we might get relegated as we lay bottom of the table but as the season went on we managed to gradually recover our consistency and in the end managed to qualify once again for the playoff thanks to a final day win. Portadown stayed up winning the relegation playoff and next season will see the top flight joined by Ballinamallard United. The improvement of Larne was incredible this season, from 10th to a point behind the winners in the space of year. It was only due to Glenavon having an exceptionally talented young squad that they were denied the title, they are definitely a club on the rise and ones to watch next time.

Danske Bank Premier UEFA Europa Conference League Playoff - I'm shocked we found it so easy to clinch a place in Europe considering we had to beat two professional teams in order to manage it. The semi final was something to behold as we just tore into Crusaders all game long, I don't really have an explanation for it other than we simply out played them and were deserved winners. After that game I was expecting a tough battle with Linfield but I think the extra time period they played in their semi final really sapped all the energy out of them and in effect made our job a lot easier. They did give us a bit of trouble but we overpowered them to clinch a place in Europe for the 3rd season in a row which is excellent for a club of our stature.

UEFA Europa Conference League - This was something else and goes a long way to explaining why we struggled so badly up until November in the league. I seriously thought after the first leg defeat to Siroki Brijeg that our campaign would be short lived but then we put in a really good performance at Windsor Park to put us into the 2nd Qualifying Round where we would be unseeded. I would have been happy to bow out to our Israeli opponents as they have quite a few quality players in their roster but the clean sheet at home gave me some encouragement that if we could snatch an away goal that we would be in a strong position to go through. We then as I wanted scored that goal in Israel and even took a 2-1 lead at one point. They came back and scored an equalizer late on which forced me to shut up shop with some tactical changes which worked brilliantly as we held them off to go through on the away goals rule. Another bonus for beating them was that we would be seeded and we drew what I considered beatable opposition in the next round.

As the first leg was at home I wanted another clean sheet and to have a lead to take to Slovakia, it didn't quite work out as I planned and the away goal swung the tie in their favour. I must say that I was pessimistic going into the 2nd leg but the team had other ideas and put in a great performance to quickly cancel out their away goal advantage by scoring early then added a 2nd which killed the tie and made our route to the 4th Qualifying Round much easier. Then we drew Czech opposition in Viktoria Plzen which I had mixed feelings about. They were definitely favourites to win in my eyes looking at their squad but then again the draw could have been more unkind so felt we might have a chance. Then we went and trashed them in the Czech Republic which pretty much booked our place in the group stage. It was a truly remarkable game where we didn't create much but when we did we were ruthlessly efficient.

We lost the return leg at home and I have to admit to getting a little bit tetchy when they scored to get a 2-0 lead with 30 minutes of the game left to play but we held on resolutely and restricted them to few chances after that. The group stage was a complete washout as we took a few hammerings but the blow was somewhat cushioned by the £2.5M we got from getting that far in the tournament. I wouldn't want to experience this sort of campaign again though, the winter World Cup in Qatar caused havoc with the fixture list. We had a group stage game every week ending in early November which when combined with our hectic domestic schedule meant that we had a lot of weeks where we would be playing up to 4 games in 7 days which is insane for a part time club. Having a game every other day also meant that we didn't have time to even train which led us to going months without a single training session which was hardly helpful in trying to get our league campaign back on track. This was however exceptional circumstances and with the club having enough money to turn professional should mean we never have to face such a situation again in future.

Domestic Cups - Very satisfying to finally break our duck and lift the Co. Antrim Shield. It was red card assisted but who cares, it's new ground for the Belfast minnows. We also made good progress in the Irish Cup but was sent crashing down to Earth by an excellent Glenavon side who went on to lift the trophy. I think the move to professional status will really help us maintain a stronger challenge across all the domestic cups next season.

Reserves - A great season from them as they lift the Intermediate Cup. They might have done a little better in the league though.

Under 18s - They became league champions which is a great sign of progress for the youth team.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - The strategy of looking at the released players from England has really enabled us to assemble a vibrant, youthful squad. I don't feel this squad is anywhere near having the quality to compete for the DBP title but with the new professional status I feel we will be able to attract a better standard of player to the club. The change to professional status also had ramifications on the club culture and led to the addition of two requirements for next season. The first being that I don't sign anyone over 30 which is absolutely fine by me as I like to bring in under 23 players anyway to develop and hopefully generate good sell on income from. The second being to play entertaining football which I think can be achieved if we can score more goals. I am very mindful of the fact that the wage bill is going to increase but I will need to be clever with the usage of the wage budget.  

Transfers - I was delighted that I could retain all the players Glenavon loaned to us in the previous 2 seasons by signing them on free transfers. I am also pleased that I was able to give some players which were released by some of the bigger English clubs a second chance to prove themselves and will be looking to continue that strategy for more signings next season. It worked very well and a lot of those players have developed with first team opportunities.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.26
He came in and did brilliantly and this was in a side which was struggling in the first half of the season. I can't wait to see how much further he can develop when allowed to train full time and in a stronger team which will create more opportunities for him to score goals.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.22
Not as prolific as his main strike partner but still contributed with a fair amount of goals and some important ones also.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - A brilliant balance to end the season with but it's imperative that I formulate a plan for how to make the best use of this money. As tempting as it might be to just go hell for leather in the transfer market and bring in a lot of players on high wages in an attempt to win the DBP, I think that would be a huge mistake. I have to remain mindful that we are completely unsustainable as a professional outfit even though we are operating as a professional club. Our domestic revenues are poor, our transfer income is minimal and the only source of major income we have is from Europe. We were fortunate to benefit from a beatable opponent in the final round of qualifying this season. We could have easily drawn a team which we wouldn't have had a chance against and that's entirely possible next season so I can't take that money for granted.

What I think we should be looking to do is have a total yearly expenditure of around £1.2M. That way we have a cushion of a least 2 seasons before we run out of money in the worst case scenario where we don't qualify for the group stages again. Broken down that is £100K per month or £25K per week. I'd like the majority of that expenditure to be on player wages so will be looking at a £20Kp/w on player wages and £5Kp/w on staff wages. I'll also be making judicious usage of the scouting packages and only having them on Europe wide for the senior and youth packages during the transfer windows. I'll also be looking to avoid spending more money on players than I recoup as currently the market values of the players isn't enough to start generating serious cash for the club. I'm hoping this approach will allow us to build more sustainably and enable the club to hold onto its professional status for a long time.

Facilities - The junior coaching was once again upgraded but the board seem very reluctant to improve the youth recruitment which is somewhat annoying. Ticket prices are still rising a pace while attendances are stabilizing. We still haven't managed a sell out attendance in the league yet but I'm sure some cup success should make that happen.

Youth Intake - This was a rather good intake with Donaghy looking an excellent prospect GK which I'm happy to see as I like to have HG goalkeepers for European squad registration. Doran ST also looks a very decent striker in the making who I'm hoping will see some first team football in future. The rest (2.5 black stars or more) look okay but are lacking in some departments attribute wise which will need a lot of improvement for them to have a chance of making it here.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - We're still moving up and have overtaken some leagues such as the Vanarama National which I'll be looking to poach some players from. 2* is within our sights and with a good campaign from the N. Irish sides in Europe should be achievable.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Still improving which was no doubt helped with the Co. Antrim Shield win but we still are considered the least reputable team in the entire DBP which is going to make player acquisition trickier.
 
Club European Reputation - With our appearance in the group stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League we have gone zooming up the list. Still got a long way to go before we can even consider getting seeded for the later rounds in qualification but at least if we continue to qualify every season for Europe we should keep adding to the coefficients and start to move those 0.00 years off the calculation. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by HNK Gorica 4-3 on aggregate - It looked like they might be able to get past them but some shoddy defending ended that hope.
Glenavon - Finished 4th in Europa Conference League group - A mightily impressive campaign from them which saw them get into the group stage. They were useless once they got there much like us but the money gained enabled them to turn professional also. That now means the DBP has 5 professional clubs which are us, Larne, Linfield, Glenavon and Crusaders. Trying to wrest control of N. Irish football is looking to be quite a challenge now. We have a revitalized Glenavon who now has money to spend and a talented young squad which will benefit hugely from full time training and Larne who have a tycoon owner and enormous spending power, this is going a rough ride!!
Coleraine - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by BATE Borisov 3-2 on aggregate - They gave it a good fight but the distraction of this little European adventure had terrible consequences and subsequently led to them getting relegated which they will be devastated by, hopefully, it doesn't take them too long to bounce back.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

34lgnCq.png

image.png.31d5c1dae37cb3f86ac73807ed3e437e.png

Spoiler

Uk1Cvky.png

 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice to get a couple of trophies under your belt.

Looking to break into that top 6?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/11/2019 at 01:22, kidthekid said:

Good to see this again. Already making sweet progress.

The change to professional status and consistent European football has definitely provided a huge boost early on. Now to try and take the next step and become the dominant team in N. Ireland.

On 30/11/2019 at 15:13, SRL88 said:

Nice to get a couple of trophies under your belt.

Looking to break into that top 6?

Absolutely, I think that should be the minimum expectation going forward. The sooner I can win the DBP and get into the Champions League the better as that's where the big money is and will open the door to accelerate the building of the club.

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2023 / 2024

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The board would like a top half finish and we should be capable of achieving that. I'm setting my sights a little higher given our new professional status and would like to finish at least 3rd if possible as I think we are probably still behind Glenavon and Larne. In Europe, I'd like to get to the group stage again but our chances of achieving that will depend on who we draw in the qualifiers.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - An absolutely superb season for the club as we lift the DBP trophy for the first time in the clubs history. Unlike previous seasons, we came storming out of the blocks this time and were consistently in the top 3 for the majority of the season. It was a titanic tussle with the expected challengers Larne, Glenavon and Linfield who pushed us the majority of the way. There was also the unexpected challenge by Institute who were in the title frame until late but then faded. I think the key to our title success was our propensity to score late goals which turned so many draws into wins. This is a great way to start life as a professional club and I'll be hoping for more of the same next season although I can see the other teams strengthening so we can't rest on our laurels and we will also need to strengthen. Next season will see the return of Coleraine to the top flight after an invincible season in the Championship alongside playoff winners Newry City. Larne won the UEFA Europa Conference League playoff which should make for a strong contingent of N. Irish clubs in Europe next season.

UEFA Europa Conference League - No heroics this time as we fell in the qualifiers against the Austrian side. It was so disappointing to lose given we had several chances to level the tie on aggregate and take the game into extra time but alas it was not to be. On the plus side, at least it enabled us to focus on domestic matters earlier and no doubt helped us to get off to the fast start which provided the foundation for our title challenge. The minimal prize money gained has really put a dent in the clubs finances but hopefully we can make up for that with a decent run in the Champions League.

Domestic Cups - A domestic treble as we lift the League Cup for the first time. It was just a shame we put in such an anemic performance against Ballymena United in the Irish Cup as that is the only senior domestic cup that is missing from the trophy cabinet.

Reserves - Excellent work from them in the league but underwhelming in the cups.

Under 18s - I was pleased to see them retain the league and hopefully we can get them competing in the UEFA Youth League before too long.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I think we have the foundations of a team which can begin to dominate N, Ireland but there are still areas which need to be worked on. I'd like a DL to rotate with Garcia, a central defender to add some quality and depth, a support duty MC so that I don't have to depend so heavily on Black. I feel if we are to make good inroads in the Champions League the squad will need a quality attack duty striker as the current batch don't look they have what it takes and fundamentally we need more goals. This season has seen the wheat being separated from the chaff with some players such as Black embracing the ability to train full time and developing well while others have stagnated and are beginning to look out of their depth like Powell ST. 

Team harmony was a bit of an issue this season with players constantly complaining about not being given enough game time. I have to come up with a playing time ranking system to avoid similar issues in future and improve my man management. The board have also added to the club culture that we should play attacking football which fits well with our tactical approach and also that they want the team to focus on set pieces which I may need to work on as we didn't seem to get many goals from corners and set pieces. 

Transfers - Larne have taken a liking to buying our players which isn't a bad thing necessarily as they are overpaying for them although I didn't have the option to refuse the sale of Sephton ST. Overall, a profit was made in the transfer dealings over the two windows which was pleasing. I didn't want to sell Salas DL either but he was unhappy and wanted to leave. The tactic of bringing in players at the end of their contracts seems to be producing some excellent results and I'm confident that I should be able to make a good profit on them in future.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.18
An excellent start to his career at the club and I'll be interested to see how much more he can develop when allowed to play in the Champions League.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.26
While the other players signed from Glenavon faded badly he really stepped up and has established himself as a main stay of the first team.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - I tried very hard to keep within the budgets I allocated last season but it proved very difficult. The balance crashing the way it has indicates just how unsustainable professional status is for a club of this size. Selling Sephton ST really helped but we are going to need a lot more of those sort of sales to ensure that we can continue to operate as a full time club unless we make good progress in Europe and bring in a lot of prize money.

Facilities - Our poor financial situation has meant that all improvements to our facilities has stopped. I'm hoping that the title win should lead to a nice increase in season ticket sales and average attendances. The fan base is still very small and needs to grow rapidly.

Youth Intake - An interesting intake but no real stars in there, very unlikely we will see any of these players in the first team.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Getting to 2* is a significant milestone in the development of the nation. Hopefully, a good run from us in the Champions League and we can break in to the 60s.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Not bad at all but I sense we are going to need to retain the title next season to really push up this list. You can definitely sense a re-alignment to the order of N, Irish football happening, as long as we are one of the teams to rise to the top I'll be satisfied.
 
Club European Reputation - More positive movement up the list, just another 2 zero point scoring years to get off the coefficient and then we can really start to motor. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Universitatea Craiova 3-2 on aggregate - A close tie and they were perhaps a little unfortunate to be on the wrong side of the scoreline.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round on away goals by Buducnost after 4-4 draw on aggregate - They could easily have made it 2 group stage appearances in a row but defended poorly and allowed their Montenegrin opponents to get the better of them.
Glentoran - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Hapoel Be'er-Sheva 1-0 on aggregate - A tough team for them to draw but we did manage to beat them last season.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

PASLwZi.png

 
image.png.47801cae62ea29d5d8cf085fbd211d72.png
 
Spoiler

oQKk2CF.png

 

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As we've made it into the Champions League for the first time I'll provide some in-depth reporting of the qualifiers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2024 / 2025

beUaOsj.png

GZ64E87.png?1

The board would like us to get through one round of the qualifiers and reach the 2nd Qualifying Round. Whether we can achieve that will depend on who we draw. Going into the campaign I'd like to at least secure some form of group stage football in order to help the clubs deteriorating financial situation.

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

We are unseeded for the draw so could theoretically get a really strong seeded team. There are a few tough teams in the 1st Qualifying Round which I'd like to avoid such as the likes of GNK Dinamo and Red Star Belgrade but outside of those I think we would have a chance of at least being competitive.
 
Who did we draw?
 
L2YITaX.png
 
Fotbal Club FCSB

They are probably on the list of teams I would have wanted to avoid so as a result I think our chances of progressing through have been significantly reduced.

Our squad
 
j6Wk9p7.png
 
Their squad
 
a8HqdeL.png
 
I have to admit to feeling a little better about our chances after looking at their squad. They do have a few good players in there but I'm also noticing that they appear to have an aging squad with the majority of their players being over 30. I'm also encouraged to see that they have a few players suffering with injuries which I'm hoping helps us.
 
1st Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
Rjpw5bL.png
 
An interesting lineup, no Whitty or Draghia to give them that youthful injection which they sorely need. I also like the fact that they have gone with a 4-2-3-1 as that signals their intention to attack us which could work in our favour. If we could soak up their pressure and hit them on the break with speed I think we could get a good result. Away goals are like the plague so I'd like to be solid defensively and hopefully come out with a lead to take to Romania for the 2nd leg.
 
Result
 
Knockbreda 2 Fotbal Club FCSB 0
 
Bd7SbyC.png
 
That is a brilliant result for us to take to Romania and our performance without fully fit players was really impressive. The plan seemed to work perfectly, we allowed them to have the majority of possession while not allowing them to threaten our goal. Then as they began to tire we used our youthful players to hit them where it hurt. We scored a penalty from Morais in the 76th minute while late sub Kalimeundo ST tapped in a wonderfully crafted move built up from the left flank in the 84th minute. We have a great chance of getting through now and if we can score that away goal early I think that will effectively kill the tie off and allow us to relax.
 
1st Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
6nsclRN.png
 
Another interesting formation, it appears they have gone more defensive and are showing us a bit more respect than in the 1st leg. I think we have the measure of them down the flanks and should be able to exploit their aging fullbacks with pace. Exploiting the flanks was very effective in the 1st leg as it allowed us to win the penalty while the 2nd goal was created by quality interplay down the left flank. I expect to see a good concentrated performance from the lads and to see us get through, if we don't it'll be bitterly disappointing.

Result

Fotbal Club FCSB 0 Knockbreda 5
 
Knockbreda win 7-0 on aggregate
 
Td0t2fn.png
 
Our opponents came out of the blocks quickly in attempt to get back into the tie which was a big mistake. For the first 15 minutes we were basically under siege but the effort they put in seemed to drain them and as they couldn't break us down it left them looking shattered with the majority of the game left to play. When we then scored in the 20th minute that basically sapped all the belief from them and we took over. They may have had 75% of possession and what appears to be an even amount of shots but they never ever looked like scoring and we were utterly ruthless, ripping them apart on the break time and time again. An excellent start to our Champions League campaign, on to the next.
 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2024 / 2025

beUaOsj.png
 
9RLcGB8.png?1
 
As the draw for the 1st and 2nd Qualifying Rounds takes place at the same time I already know who we will be playing.
 
Who did we draw?
 
s1LO9h4.png
 
Viktoria Plzen

I am encouraged by this draw given that we have managed to beat them 2 seasons ago which booked our place in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage. That was with a part time squad and we have dramatically improved since then so I'm hoping that we should be able to give them a good game.

Our squad
 
WxRNH4E.png
 
Their squad
 
8OZypQu.png
 
This could be a very good time to play them. They have a number of injuries and also their squad is aging while being quite thin. Krmencik looks dangerous so we'll have to be at our best to keep him quiet as he could damage our prospects of progression if he is allowed to play uninhibited.
 
2nd Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
bC7hs4K.png
 
I think we should focus on attacking the flanks which we can overload while the 3 at the back will mean that my strikers are going to have to work exceptionally hard to find space. I can see them dominating possession given they outnumber us in the central midfield but as long as we hold our shape and look to play on the counter we should be fine. As the first leg is away from home I'd like to see us attempt to grab as many away goals as we can even if we ultimately end up losing the game. As long as we have a chance of still getting through in the 2nd leg I'll be satisfied.
 
Result
 
Viktoria Plzen 2 Knockbreda 3
 
A93GufE.png
 
Another excellent performance away from home which has put us in the driving seat in the tie. Surprisingly, we actually managed to dominate possession which really helped us. It's just a shame that only 1 fan could be bothered to make the trip to the Czech Republic to support us which was exactly the same situation when we went to Romania, might be a bug.
 
2nd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
iWjncR7.png
 
They are definitely going for it and seem to want to attack through the middle. We have done the majority of the hard work by getting a fantastic result away in a hostile environment, all we need to do now is focus on our game, minimize mistakes and we should be able to progress.

Result

Knockbreda 3 Viktoria Plzen 1
 
Knockbreda win 6-3 on aggregate
 
WDxs8Nr.png
 
When Krmencik scored in the 16th minute after a horrific error from our goalkeeper Siviter I was thinking 'oh here we go' but we didn't allow that to get us down even though Siviter's match rating never recovered after that. We showed great character and made a great comeback to win the game and book our place in the next round.
 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Axyongaming007 said:

FCSB no Steaua Bucharest. In the acts is the FCSB

You're right, I'll correct it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2024 / 2025

beUaOsj.png
 
9RLcGB8.png?1
 
Getting towards the business end now and the teams we could draw are getting tougher. We could face the likes of GNK Dinamo, Club Brugge, FC Basel and RB Salzburg. If we draw any of those we can basically say farewell to our chances of making the Playoff.
 
Who did we draw?
 
FF80aTy.png
 
FC Astana

I'll take them as our opponents given the alternatives even though they have become Europa League group stage regulars in the save.

Our squad
 
HMJtiMb.png
 
Their squad
 
9KGdSxW.png
 
Why is it that all these Eastern European teams have such old squads? They have 5 retiring players which means they have a huge rebuilding job coming. They still have a lot of quality in their squad but do they have the legs? Hopefully, we can provide a stern test for them and find out.
 
3rd Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
rkvTXaZ.png
 
The fear is strong from them but I think their plan of crowding the middle is going to backfire on them. If our wide players are on form they are going to have an absolute field day with all the space they are gifting us on the flanks with their formation. It's one thing spotting a weakness, it's another being able to exploit it. Here's hoping we can.
 
Result
 
Knockbreda 4 FC Astana 1
 
hUDKk3y.png
 
We battered them from start to finish and could have easily won the game with a 6 or 7 goal margin. That late away goal puts a slight blemish on an otherwise quality performance and gives me slight hesitation to declare us through into the playoff round but we really shouldn't lose the tie from here. If we were to somehow conspire to do that I'm going to be absolutely furious.
 
3rd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
nFIJyjR.png
 
All we need to do is put in a solid performance and we are through so that is what I expect them to do. Once again they are playing a narrow formation which is rather silly when you think about it. If it didn't work against us the first time what makes them think it's going to work this time.

Result

FC Astana 3 Knockbreda 3
 
Knockbreda win 7-4 on aggregate
 
9a4un6P.png
 

A very entertaining 2nd leg but we were never really in any danger of letting our aggregate lead slip. When we scored after 2 minutes and cancelled out their away goal I knew we were on our way to the Playoff round. I give them credit for fighting back and equalizing 3 times but we were worthy winners of the tie.

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2024 / 2025

beUaOsj.png
 
9RLcGB8.png?1
 
Whoever we draw it's going to be hard, our potential opponents are either FC Basel, Club Brugge, Levski Sofia or Shakhtar Donetsk.
 
Who did we draw?
 
tt9ownW.png
 
Levski Sofia

The best draw we could possibly have hoped for although they will be tough given that they dispatched RB Salzburg in the previous round.

Our squad
 
EnoOYYI.png
 
Their squad
 
3QVY4zt.png
 
We lost Mola MC to his release clause before the game which was a bit of a set back along with losing Holtschoppen ML after he picked up a long term injury. Looking at the Levski Sofia squad I'm feeling quite optimistic about our chances. I think we have beaten better squads during the qualifiers so far. We really have nothing to fear from them and should be able to give them a good challenge.
 
4th Qualifying Round 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
SqSm0SW.png
 
They are lining up exactly the same way as FC Astana and we dominated against them so I'll be looking for a good result and to gain control of the tie.
 
Result
 
Knockbreda 2 Levski Sofia 2
 
Z2qBLtu.png
 
Complacency is a terrible thing and I'm hoping that this exhibition of it hasn't completely derailed our chances. We started the game remarkably well and were 2-0 up by the 23rd minute. We looked to be coasting through to the group stages and were creating good chances to score. I think our inability to grab the 3rd goal really cost us as I think that would have effectively ended the tie but 2-0 is a difficult scoreline to deal with as a team. The players can become confused as to whether they should try and grab another goal or attempt to tighten up defensively. They then scored in the 64th minute which had me slightly worried but we seemed to still be in control and I felt we could score again. When they equalized in the 80th minute that slight worry became panic as it effectively handed the initative to them. Try as we might we just couldn't get that 3rd goal which now means we are going to need a huge performance in Bulgaria to get out of this hole we have dug for ourselves.
 
4th Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
9rbmw4Y.png
 
They look to be slightly more attacking which could work in our favour if it leaves space in behind them for our players to attack. We have to believe that we can turn this around, we have the players to do it. I just hope they don't bottle our golden opportunity to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

Result

Levski Sofia 1 Knockbreda 4
 
Knockbreda win 6-3 on aggregate
 
jroPGJk.png
 
Sublime, absolutely superb!! The players knew what was on the line and they played like their lives depended on it. I knew we would need to start the game quickly and when Richards ST whipped in a fantastic free kick from 25 yards out into the top corner after 7 minutes I could see the desire of the players to erase the poor performance of the 1st leg and get the result they needed to make history. That is why it came as no surprise that in the 11th minute when Denis ST picked up the ball to the left of the D from a cross he struck a beauty which cannoned off the crossbar and over the line to make it 2-0. With that I knew we'd done it, we bossed the game from there on wards and even when they scored just after half time to make it 2-1 we never looked like relinquishing the lead. When we added another in the 67th minute we effectively knocked them out. I never could have imagined that we would make the Champions League group stage in our first season in the competition but here we are.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
IBWpk2R.png?1
 
This has been a terrific campaign so far and still we have further to go. The money has completely transformed the club forever and I'm now going to be able to start building the club. We were drawn into group D and the table is below.
 
uvpOocI.png
 
Welcome to the Champions League lads!! Talk about a group of death!! Just the 3 previous winners then, one of which being the most successful in the competitions history. At times like these I don't know whether to laugh or cry. If we manage to get any points from this group it would be a miracle. Ah well, even if we do get tanked in every game at least we'll be richer for the experience. This will be the last of the in depth reports until we make the quarter final stage of a UEFA competition. Wish us luck...we're going to need it :lol:.
 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did Brexit pan out in your save?

I'm trying to do something similar to your save (I've started in Scotland but the Old Firm - especially Celtic - are light-years ahead of everyone else I may have to move on to Wales or NIre) but the new Work Permit rules after Brexit have hamstrung me somewhat. Basically if I want a non-UK or Irish player to play they need to earn 8kp/w minimum, u23s need to be on 3kp/w to play in cups or be loaned out.

With a weekly wage budget of ~26kp/w this is obviously well out of my price range and means my transfer options are severely limited for the foreseeable future, making this type of save so much harder!

The only plus side is that I only need 5 scouts (one for each country) and my scouting budget can be spent solely on the UK!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Congrats on qualifying. That is a really tough UCL group though

Thanks, I think that group has to be one the hardest I've ever had in any FM and would have been a challenge even with a decent side but for now the group stage money is all that matters. I think it's going to be some time before we can compete with that sort of quality of team though.

8 hours ago, BML said:

How did Brexit pan out in your save?

I'm trying to do something similar to your save (I've started in Scotland but the Old Firm - especially Celtic - are light-years ahead of everyone else I may have to move on to Wales or NIre) but the new Work Permit rules after Brexit have hamstrung me somewhat. Basically if I want a non-UK or Irish player to play they need to earn 8kp/w minimum, u23s need to be on 3kp/w to play in cups or be loaned out.

With a weekly wage budget of ~26kp/w this is obviously well out of my price range and means my transfer options are severely limited for the foreseeable future, making this type of save so much harder!

The only plus side is that I only need 5 scouts (one for each country) and my scouting budget can be spent solely on the UK!

In my save the outcome was that nothing changed (remain).

The scenario you got sounds really difficult but with enough patience I think you can break the Old Firm dominance, good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2024 / 2025

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Winning the DBP last season was a significant milestone in the development of the club. The club vision has dramatically changed with the board now demanding that we win the title for the next 5 years so retaining the title will be essential. In Europe, the board would be satisfied if the club reached the 2nd Qualifying Round. I'd like to aim for better and guarantee some form of group stage participation but whether we can do that will depend on who we draw.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - It was nice to retain the title but the win wasn't such an overwhelming one which would suggest we have emerged as the dominant force in N. Irish football although the points gap was significant. We started really poorly due to our European commitments which saw us rock bottom of the table. The low light of that early season spell being a 5-0 trouncing away at Linfield. As things began to settle down and the fixture congestion began to subside we started to pick up our form and went on a long winning run which saw us shoot up the table to the summit. Linfield and Glenavon kept the title race tight going into the split but then we produced some scintillating form which blew them away and allowed us to comfortably claim the title. Glenavon qualified for Europe by winning the playoff while Newry City easily beat Carrick Rangers in the relegation playoff to stay up. Chiellini was sacked by Larne after the Irish Cup final so it'll be interesting to see who replaces him.  

UEFA Champions League - The qualifiers were excellent and the run in them has definitely changed the trajectory of the club with the prize money putting the club into a comfortable financial situation. I knew we would be up against it in the group stage and my fears were realized as we not only failed to gain any points but conceded the most goals in the history of the competition. At least we scored a goal with Pfalz ML getting the honour of scoring against the Italian giants but overall it was a chastening experience. We are a long way off being competitive against teams of that standard and if we can make the group stage again next season I expect similar punishments to be handed out. The aim now has to be consistently qualifying for the group stage and using the money to improve the club both on and off the field. Nice to see that our exploits have captured the imagination of our fans with 5, yes 5 of them deciding to make the trip to Italy to watch us in the San Siro. I think that displays with perfect clarity the extent of the gap that we need to close in terms of the size of our fan base when compared with the European elite. At least the players wouldn't have paid much compensation to the fans after the hammerings we suffered.

Domestic Cups - Larne was a great thorn in our side this year as they knocked us out of all 3 N. Irish competitions. We were entered for the first time into the Irish Champions Cup and Scottish Challenge Cups and did okay although we couldn't win either. Given that we are now competing in 7 different competitions I'm going to need to add some squad depth in order to sustain a powerful threat on all fronts. I'm definitely keen to win the Irish Cup next season to complete the domestic collection.

Reserves - They managed an impressive double which is great, still waiting for that first lifting of the Steel & Sons Cup but given how much improvement they have shown I'm sure we won't have too much longer to wait.

Under 18s - Much like the senior team they were hopeless in the UEFA Youth League group stage. At least they managed to retain the NIFL U18s Academy League.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - The next stage in developing the club is becoming dominant domestically. Looking at the squad there are a few players which I don't think will be capable of taking us to the next level. We definitely need a better GK as Siviter made some costly errors during the season and considering that he doesn't usually face an avalanche of shots I need somebody more reliable in between the sticks. The defensive line also needs some improvement as we leaked too many goals in the DBP this season, a lot of which from defensive errors which I think better quality defenders wouldn't have made. I'd like some quality in the wide midfield positions as I felt the quality of their output wasn't great and they should have provided more assists. Then finally, I think we need to strengthen the central midfield with a mobile playmaker being at the top of my list for the central midfielder (support) role.

Transfers - With the Champions League windfall I decided to invest in some young talented players. The fee we paid Institute for McCreery ST was an insult considering that he was the DBP top scorer last season but you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I continued the trend of bringing in players for free after their contracts expire and I'll be looking for more of the same given I was able to pick up some real quality with the likes of Richards ST and Kalimeundo ST performing brilliantly this season. I perhaps made an error of judgement by signing Scrivener MC on January deadline day as the board once again went over my head and agreed to a £425K deal to sell Khumbeni MC to Larne. I wanted him to be the replacement but then Khumbeni failed to agree terms and stayed meaning I was lumbered with a player that never featured. I loaned out a lot of players to give them game time and they all looked to have enjoyed the experiences they've had away from the club which is good.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.27
A very good signing who provided the most assists in the team. I doubt he has much further room to develop but he should be good enough to feature domestically for next season although it's unlikely he will have enough to help us improve in Europe.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 6.95
Not a bad little player who looks to have a lot of upside to him. His attributes aren't all that impressive but he does know how to find the net on a consistent basis which is a great bonus for a player I expect to be more creative than a finisher.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The prize money from the Champions League has had very positive impacts on the evolution of the club. The board decided to upgrade our scouting range to worldwide and we now have the highest scouting packages available which are now affordable meaning we can cast a wider net as we seek to unearth raw talent. Another positive change has been the increase in the wage budget and has opened the possibility of spending £100Kp/w on the playing staff which is £4.8Mp/a and very affordable with the bank balance. I've yet to see appreciable increases in the size of the fan base or commercial income but as we become more successful that is likely to follow. I think the biggest benefit of the Champions League money is that I can finally start transforming the club into a selling one which will greatly accelerate the rate of progress I'm able to make with developing the club and nation.

Facilities - At the end of the season I decided to cancel the affiliation with Annagh United which allowed us to use their training facilities and have now begun work on upgrading both the youth and training facilities. I did ask for an expansion to the stadium, an improvement to youth recruitment and improved data analysis facilities, all of which were rejected by the board. I'm a little bit concerned to see the average attendance fall in the way it has but then there has been an unprecedented increase in ticket prices over the last few seasons. Hopefully, the ticket prices will begin to stabilize and I can begin work on expanding the stadium as we have still yet to achieve a sold out Breda Park.

Youth Intake - Even with the increased investment in junior coaching it appears that the quality of the intakes is declining relative to the first team. I struggle to envision any of these players making it here even after being touted in the preview as a 'golden generation'. That is problematic as European squad registration is already causing issues and we definitely need more HG players. I'd like to have 2 different streams to the selling club philosophy. The first stream being to buy high potential youngsters from other clubs for cheap who I develop to sell for profit with the other stream being to produce quality youngsters through our academy that get developed through loans and then get sold. I really need the board to improve our youth recruitment if that is to become a reality,
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - A nice consistent rise is more than acceptable in my view, if we could rise by 7 or so places every season we will be knocking on the door of top 10 in about 7 or 8 seasons. Haven't quite got 2,5* in our sights yet but that will be another significant marker if it happens.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Right to the top after our performances in Europe made history for the country. A bit disappointed to see Lisburn Distillery relegated to the 3rd division but I'm looking to sign an affiliation with them so hopefully with the help of some of our loans they should be in good shape to bounce back the Championship and beyond. Also, not great to see Donegal Celtic flirting with relegation from the 3rd division as they are another Belfast club I'd like to see in the top flight at some point.
 
Club European Reputation - Another good rise up the table which is pleasing. Our coefficient may now be enough to see us seeded for the early rounds of qualification, we just need to get that final zero point year off the calculation. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Lechia Gdansk on away goals after 3-3 draw on aggregate - Unlucky, I really need them to step up their game in Europe though given that Kenny Bruce isn't going to bankroll them forever and there has been very little development of the club off the pitch.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by IFK Mariehamn on away goals after 2-2 draw on aggregate - This was very disappointing from them and the run to the group stage is beginning to look like an aberration at this point.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Trencin on penalties after 2-2 draw on aggregate - They should be doing a lot better and should have easily gotten past weaker opposition.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

4thaIRJ.png

image.png.df31b9df11f96d9295738854190064de.png

Spoiler

NwDFg8B.png

 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2025 / 2026

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The domestic challenge seems to have abated so now comes the challenge of qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League on a consistent basis.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - This was another comfortable win but a strong challenge from Glenavon kept us waiting until the post split fixtures to secure it. Cliftonville was awful and only avoided falling out of the league thanks to a win over Ballinamallard United in the playoff. There was a lot of managerial musical chairs going on this season with the managers at Linfield, Larne, Glentoran and Cliftonville all being handed their P45's. I was tempted at one point to jump ship but decided to tough it out with Knockbreda for now and try to establish them as the biggest club in Belfast while providing a stable future for when I do finally leave.

UEFA Champions League - Qualifying looked to be going swimmingly with a number of big wins along the way, then we drew Ajax and I thought we were going out at the playoff stage. I knew to stand any chance we were going to have to rely on more than just ability as they were comfortably the better team. Going into the 1st leg in Amsterdam my first thought was to try and hope for a result which would give us a chance at home in Belfast with away goals being especially important. Then I noticed the way Ajax decided to line up against us. They chose a narrow 4-2-3-1 which after watching the game in detail for the first 10 minutes made me realize they were adopting a high press and aggressive style. Therefore in addition to playing the 4-4-2 with a higher line in attempt to compress the space for their 3 attacking midfielders I also instructed all the players in the defensive line to play more direct passes to try to play over their press. That seemed to work brilliantly as the ball was constantly fed to our wide midfielders in a lot of space giving us an effective outlet for our counter attacks.

We then did the unthinkable and came away with a narrow win which if our strikers were on their form could have been an even more comfortable margin of victory given the number of good chances that was squandered. That provided a huge shot in the arm knowing that we would only need to draw the 2nd leg to qualify for the group stage for the 2nd season in a row. Going into the 2nd leg I was hoping to see Ajax play the same way and they did which gave me optimism that we would be able to defeat them with the same game plan. Again, we were comfortable and if we didn't concede a late penalty we would have just eased through. After their penalty was scored to make it 2-2 I decided to shut it down and we held on, just. In the group stage we were once again out of our depth but there were some positive signs. The fact that we managed our first points in the group stage by securing 2 draws was fantastic while the magnitude of the defeats was also significantly better. We are on the right track and just need to keep building and trying to improve.

Domestic Cups - I thought we were going to do the clean sweep but then Glenavon sent us crashing back to earth with a trouncing in the Irish Cup semi final. For some reason we are struggling to make an impact in the Scottish Challenge Cup and Irish Champions Cup but at least next season we'll get another chance to do better.

Reserves - Absolutely brilliant from them to win the treble which means we only have to win the Irish Cup to complete the full set of domestic trophies.

Under 18s - Oh dear, well at least they managed their first points in the UEFA Youth League but that's scant consolation when you concede 28 goals in 6 games, they seem to be going backward domestically too.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - The team is getting stronger and stronger and that's just the way I like it!! As the team develops we are starting to see the degradation of star ratings in the team. I'm still on the lookout for a top quality central defender and almost managed to sign one in January who would have improved our defence immensely but the Colombian star opted to go elsewhere. There is definitely good room for growth with a lot of the squad but I will not reject any players who I feel can add good depth and quality.

Transfers - I'm very enthused with some of the signings especially the likes of Federico DC, Hoogewerf ST & Castro MC. I would have liked to keep Swan ST but he wanted to leave and I managed to identify some adequate replacements. Sottini DC was the pick of the free transfers and was solid all season long at the heart of the defence.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.59
The guy scored nearly half of our goals to show how critical he was to our team. Although his attacking attributes aren't as impressive as Kalimeundo ST he seems to have this talent of being in the right place at the right time. 60 goals in a season is massive and with better supporting players around him I'm intrigued to see how many he could end up scoring although he will face a challenge next season for his starting spot with Dodds ST looking a quality player.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.25
A very good young talent who looks to have a lot of room for growth. I especially like his good passing attribute and if he can up his creative output next season we will have a very solid player on our hands.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - With money all things are possible and the building of the club off the park has begun in earnest. I would really like us to make it a hat trick of group stage qualifications next season as that would really put rocket boosters behind our development as a club. It's a shame that our other revenue streams aren't improving that much and the reduction in our average attendances isn't great but the rise in ticket prices may at last be leveling off.

Facilities - Everything apart from the youth recruitment has been improved. I'm surprised that the board sanctioned the expansion of the stadium but as a signal of intent it's good to see. A bit annoying that next season we will be playing in such a small ground but hopefully we should be able to fill it throughout.

Youth Intake - A real crappy intake this time, I don't see any of these making it into the first team.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Moving on up which is good but not quite at the rate I would like, still some way off 2.5*.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Sustaining our place at the top and improved by 0.5* to 2* reputation. I wouldn't expect to see much more movement on this list for a while. Distillery managed to bounce back well getting promoted to the 2nd division at the first time of asking after relegation.
 
Club European Reputation - Good to see the 0.00 fall off the calculation accompanied with a nice rise up the table which is pleasing. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by FC Midtjylland after 6-1 defeat on aggregate - Tricky draw for sure but could have gone out with a bit more fight.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by HNK Hadjuk after 4-2 defeat on aggregate - A decent try but never looked like beating them.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by PAOK Salonika after 7-0 defeat on aggregate - One word, embarrassing.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

4hSnw1r.png

image.png.c6248c452c84d49dd8ae8f31a60f6c22.png

Spoiler

I6p3bHN.png

 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2026 / 2027

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Domestic dominance is on the agenda but Glenavon are keeping us honest so we will have to be at our best to make it 4 in a row. Continuing to qualify for some sort of group stage football has become imperative given how much money has been invested into building the infrastructure of the club, hopefully, it will be of the Champions League variety once again.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - I have to give enormous credit to Glenavon who took us all the way to the wire. I expected by now that our strongest challenger would be Larne given their vast resources but Glenavon has emerged as a real strong contender. They have invested wisely in their squad and have created a vibrant mix of youth and experience which without our presence would have led them to domination of N. Irish football. Larne have spent a lot but they haven't spent it as well as they could have and are way off the pace. Next season they will once again have the opportunity to throw more money at it and I suspect in the long run to see them become the main obstacle to domestic dominance. Coleraine had another nightmare season finishing bottom, it seems if they qualify for Europe in the previous season they get relegated which is a terrible pattern that they will be keen to break out of. David Jeffrey's Ballymena United also had a shocker but stayed up thanks to an extraordinary 10-7 win over Lisburn Distillery in the relegation playoff. There is definitely a large chasm appearing between the top professional clubs and the rest which doesn't look like closing anytime soon. Nice to see the record attendance fall with over 10,000 spectators watching Linfield beat Glentoran in the semi final of the Europa Conference League Playoff. That is a positive sign of growth which I'm hoping will be replicated for all teams competing in the league.

UEFA Champions League - Another brutal looking draw in the playoff round with the highest ranked team coming out of the hat to face us. It was only thanks to some tactical chicanery we managed to squeeze through on away goals which in the long term could be a huge result for the club. We seem to be going backwards in the group stage although I suppose some comfort can be gained from the fact we managed our only points of the campaign against the team which went on to lift the trophy. I have to find some way of closing the gap in order to become more competitive but I sense it's a long road ahead. At least our consistency in qualifying for the group stage should make our path through the qualifiers slightly easier although I can see us continuing to draw a really difficult opponent in the playoff round (if we make it that far) for the foreseeable future.

Domestic Cups - A magnificent achievement to claim the clean sweep which secures our place in history for the club and the nation. Along with claiming our first Irish Cup trophy and Irish Champions Cup we also became the first N. Irish club to win the Scottish Challenge Cup although we missed the distinction of being the first non-Scottish team to win it after The New Saints from Wales lifted the trophy last season. Now that I have won the lot I'll shift focus to improving in Europe and trying to win the DBP more convincingly. The first game was cut off in the screenshot which was a penalty win after a 2-2 draw with ROI team St. Pats in the Scottish Challenge Cup. 

Reserves - It was always going to be difficult for them to repeat the treble of last season but a double is still nice.

Under 18s - At least they kept the door shut more often in the UEFA Youth League after last seasons batterings. They even managed a shock win against Barcelona U19s which was pleasing. I've decided to start signing everyone from the youth intake as numbers within the team were low and I'm sure that's having a negative impact on our performances. Sure, the quality of the youth players aren't the greatest but they are still better than greyed out players and who knows maybe they can still make a career elsewhere.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - There is a lot of work to do in order to make the team more competitive in Europe but not a lot of money to do it with which is a big problem. I'm most concerned about the front line as our goal returns this season were much poorer than last season and I still think we need a pair of top quality strikers. I also don't like our over reliance on Miller MR and Jarvis DL for assists and would like to see other players in the midfield contribute more in that sense. Squad registration is also becoming an issue both in the DBP and in Europe and I need to bring in more young HG talent to be able to have the depth of squad I'm looking for. A world class central defender is also a must and I'm beginning to regret missing out on that Colombian defender as the options available tend to be either out of our price range or not good enough. 

Transfers - The transfer market in terms of selling is a bit lethargic at the moment and we aren't anywhere near becoming a selling club which is slowing down the progress in terms of building up the club. Valencia ST was the intended replacement for the departing Hoogewerf ST but I think he was overpriced for the quality of player that I got. I would have liked to hold on to Hoogewerf but he insisted on leaving so I let him go. The free transfers brought in on pre-contract agreements were all very good and that seems to be the most productive source of players so far in my time at the club. Dumas DC and Back MC were both overpriced and given their wages I don't think they were the best of investments if we hope to make a profit on them when selling. I think I need to reduce my spending in the transfer market and be more willing to move players on provided it represents a sound financial decision for the club. On a more positive note, Mobius GK looks an exceptional piece of business and he looks the exact kind of player which can help take the club to the next level.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Fin Back - MC
Average Rating: 7.55
He actually didn't do too bad but considering the fee paid and the wages he's on I expect more from him. Perhaps I'm setting unrealistic targets for him but then again we aren't exactly in a financial position where we can afford to have our highest paid player not be the best player in the team. Castro MC was better than him with his average rating masking that fact given he played fewer games and didn't play in the more difficult games in Europe. I guess I'm also a little disappointed that the potential that my scouts thought he had doesn't look like coming to fruition with him currently being as good as he is ever likely to be.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.47
Still putting in solid performances and his average rating improved this season. Unfortunately, he looks to be another player who is at he limit of his potential which is a problem as the team as a whole isn't good enough. That means that if we are to improve in Europe he will need to be replaced as he won't be able to reach the level we need to take us on that journey.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The investment into the infrastructure of the club continued but this balance is concerning. We are in a bit of quandary, our only main source of income is the Champions League prize money but in order to guarantee that money we need to spend money to bring in players. I would have hoped by now that we would be seeing the start of the selling club philosophy kicking in which would be another stream of income for the club. Unfortunately, it just doesn't appear to be happening at the moment and that is probably because of the clubs low reputation. As a result, we are making losses in the transfer market which for a club of our size isn't great. I think there is a switching point where the market values rise and other clubs become interested in paying good money for our players but we might be quite a bit away from that. For now we just have to keep qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League and try to raid the free transfer market looking for value. I think I'll also start to cut back on transfer expenditure for now and operate a profit only policy (only buy players with the profits made from sales). 

Facilities - Everything that can be improved is either being improved or was improved during the season. I once again got the board to expand the stadium which you may question given we had yet another fall in average attendances but I'm trying to future proof the club for the surge in the size of fan base I'm expecting. The club now has the most expensive average ticket prices and season ticket prices in the whole of N. Ireland so we are due for a substantial increase. At least next season we will get to spend the season in a ground 3x the size of the last ground share, just a shame that the club aren't installing any seats into Breda Park, maybe next expansion they might do that.

Youth Intake - Despite the record levels of investment in the youth department the quality of intakes remains poor. As I stated earlier, I decided to sign everyone from this intake to make up the numbers in the youth team. Thinking of the bigger picture when it comes to improving N. Irish football overall this could be the right move as a lot of other teams are always asking to loan our players. If they could develop well elsewhere with first team football they might generate some good profits for us or failing that for the clubs they move to once their time at the club is over.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - So close to making it to 2.5* which could be the benchmark we need to reach before we start seeing vast improvements. With a good campaign from us in Europe next season we should be able to reach into the top 50.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Had the league improved to 2.5* reputation we might have also gone up by 0.5* but that will likely have to wait. At the moment the reputation of the DBP looks even with the majority at 1.5* but you get the feeling that the train is getting ready to leave the station in terms of teams which are going to become the major forces. Hopefully, clubs like Glentoran, Cliftonville, Crusaders and Ballymena United can be on that train or they are going to be left behind and once that gap grows they are going to find it very difficult to close it.
 
Club European Reputation - A nice hefty rise up the table although I don't think it will be enough to see the team seeded throughout qualifying which is the next major milestone we need to reach. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Coleraine - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Honved after 3-1 defeat on aggregate - Their fans must dread qualifying for Europe now, it's strange as they get knocked out long before the season has even started so I don't get why it impacted their DBP campaign so much.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by St. Gallen on away goals rule after 2-2 draw on aggregate - Considering how good they are domestically they perhaps should have done better.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Lamia after 4-3 defeat on aggregate - Another pathetic campaign from them losing to a team filled with greyed out players.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

dArumlz.png

image.png.3238c6fe88d3ee8789c43fa536c0b575.png

Spoiler

YEuehJ8.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2027 / 2028

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Gaining the upper hand in N. Ireland is proving tricky with Glenavon providing stiff competition. Continuing to qualify for the Champions League group stage is essential to maintain the growth of the club so that will be the main objective for the season alongside retaining the DBP.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - It looks like we are going to have a real battle every season for the title. This time around we had to score a record number of points to clinch it which shows just how competitive it has become at the top. It was only thanks to a narrow 1-0 win at Inver Park on the final day which allowed us to clinch the title which made me breathe a huge sigh of relief. I like that Glenavon and Larne are keeping up and only wish that they could replicate their form in Europe which would accelerate the building of the nation further. Dungannon lost the playoff to Newry City which will see them return to the top flight alongside Championship winners Coleraine who made an instant return. I was somewhat disappointed to see Linfield lose the Europa Conference League Playoff final to Cliftonville as I would have wanted to have all the nations professional clubs in Europe but hopefully Cliftonville wont let us down too badly.

UEFA Champions League - The route to the group was easier than usual which was a nice boost as we were able to navigate our way through the qualifiers without any major trouble. Once we got to the group though it was a case of more of the same. We are really struggling to close the gap and build a team that is competitive in the group stage which is a huge problem. We've been in the group stage for the last 4 seasons and still haven't managed to win a game which demonstrates the extent of the problem.

Domestic Cups - Another successful season as we claimed 3 out of the 5 available cups. Very nice to see 3rd division Champions Donegal Celtic get all the way to the semi final of the Irish Cup and put in a good fight against us.

Reserves - A great season in the league but less so in the cups.

Under 18s - Great work at home but hopeless in the UEFA Youth League. I really think that the lack of quality coming through the youth intakes is holding us back from improving.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - We seem to have a few bright spots in the team but there are definitely loads of areas which could be improved. The problem is that the real improvements we could make are so expensive both in terms of transfer fees and wages which is making it difficult. I still think the squad could do with another quality central defender, a quality defensively minded central midfielder, a right winger and a support duty striker.

Transfers - I was very pleased to strengthen the front line with Marinov and Ramon who did well and scored the bulk of our goals. Gallinari DC did well although I thought he might have developed a bit more. Roca MC was very good although a little pricey, Garcia DC & Ortega ML were much better value and showed some good form. Walford DL was a flop and he will need to improve dramatically next season. As for the players that left, I didn't really want to sell Dumas DC but he wanted a nice payday in Saudi Arabia and the money was decent so I let him go. I took a hefty loss on Back MC which was annoying but he was insistent on leaving and I didn't want to disrupt the teams harmony.

Last season's young player of the season Junghan ML also left but at least the money was decent. Off the screenshot were the sales of Federico DC for £650k + clauses and Mobius GK for £975k + clauses. I really didn't want to sell Mobius as he was really pushing on and managed to get a couple of caps for Germany but he had a nasty little £1M release clause in his contract. In my view, I though it better to accept a slightly lower offer and be able to attach clauses which I did. Arsenal also came in with a bid but in the end I decided to sell him to Stuttgart as I think if he continues to develop there is more chances of getting a decent amount of money from any future sales.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.44
An excellent season from him and he stepped up well after the departure of Junghan on deadline day of the summer transfer window.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.19
A very positive start from the former Inter defender. He looks to have a lot of potential which hopefully he hangs around long enough for us to see.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Relative poverty when compared with the bank balance of previous seasons. Expected given that I continued to invest in the infrastructure but still a bit worrying and we will need to ensure qualification for the group stages of the Champions League or we could be in a bit of bother.

Facilities - Once again all the facilities were invested in alongside improvements to the youth recruitment. I'm a bit baffled that we relocated to a stadium with a smaller capacity than last season while the expansion takes place but at least it wont take as long to finish and some much needed seats are being put in.

Youth Intake - I signed everyone but I'd be very surprised to see any of these players develop enough to play in the first team. That is very disappointing of course as we need more HG players for European squad registration.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Excellent progress as we moved up 10 places and gained 2.5* reputation which should help a whole manner of different aspects when building the quality of football in the country.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - 2.5* is a good landmark for us to reach and hopefully that will help us when it comes to attracting players to the club. 
 
Club European Reputation - Not much of a rise this time but another poor year will be falling off the coefficient calculation which should help. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by FCSB after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - It all looked so good after a 1-0 win at home in the first leg only for them to take an absolute pounding in Romania.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Besiktas after 5-0 defeat on aggregate - They did alright to go as far as they did but were outclassed by their Turkish opponents.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Neuchatel Xamax on penalties after 3-3 draw on aggregate - I feel a bit sorry for them as that was a cruel way to lose after battling hard, just a shame they wont be in Europe next season.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

9KbszsS.png

image.png.ca2eca82e2b9937768dec0428664bbb5.png

Spoiler

5NWu9a9.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2028 / 2029

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

This season will mark a decade since the start of the career, there has been immense progress both for the club and the nation in that time. The last 5 league titles have gone our way and we are odds on favourites to make it 6 in a row which indicates that domestic dominance has been established. Now that N. Ireland has been conquered, the next phase is making the club more competitive in Europe. For this season I would therefore like to see some progress made towards that objective. 

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - A much more convincing victory this time around with our main challengers once again being Glenavon which is surprising given the amount of money Larne are spending on their squad. We went unbeaten from the start of the season until the new year which had me dreaming of our first invincible season but Cliftonville ended that hope with a 1-0 win at Solitude against us on New Years Day. Good to see that next season we will be represented solely by professional teams in Europe but really disappointing to see Ballymena United go down after a shock 5-4 aggregate defeat to Dungannon Swifts in the relegation playoff. They had a terrible season with a particular low point for them being a 8-0 loss away to us. Interestingly, it wasn't enough to see David Jeffrey lose his job but the same can't be said of Duff who was sacked by Larne even after a respectable finish which shows the gap in ambition between the two clubs. Glentoran and Linfield also changed manager this season and I was sorely tempted to jump ship but I still have unfinished business with Knockbreda. Also of note, Distillery will be joining the top flight next season after winning the Championship, I'd like to think the loans I made to them helped and as a result, next season will see the cancelling of our affiliation. Hopefully, I can get another affiliation with the likes of Donegal Celtic and help them to get promoted next,

UEFA Champions League - The qualifiers went well even when you consider the difficulty of some the teams we drew. The highlight being the hammerings we handed out to Alashkert and FC Kobenhavn. I was also delighted with the spirit we showed to overturn a first leg defeat against RB Salzburg which booked our place in the group. Going into what looked a tricky group I wasn't feeling overly optimistic but after the first game where we showed enormous character to come from 3-1 down to take a draw I felt more confident and hoped to be able to get our first ever win in the group stage. Unfortunately, it just wasn't to be and there doesn't appear to be any tangible signs of the progress that I was hoping to see. We still are playing games mainly on the back foot and struggling to create opportunities to score goals given we hardly have possession of the ball and when we do have it, we are wasteful. Something has got to change and I have to think carefully about how I attempt to push us on to new heights after our recent stagnation. 

Domestic Cups - Only the one trophy this season although I have started to play my backup players in the first team for the games. The board wanted us to win the Irish Cup and Scottish Challenge Cup and I tried playing a stronger team in those competitions but the draws were a little unkind to us.

Reserves - A nice domestic double from them which is all the more impressive given how many players were loaned out from the team.

Under 18s - Another season where they put in a much better performance domestically than in Europe.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - This was one of the roughest seasons yet when it came to maintaining squad harmony. There was always players unhappy for one reason or another. Some were unhappy because I didn't select them in the European squad, others because they wanted to leave then of course you had other members of the squad which agreed or disagreed with them which would kick up a fuss whether you sold them or not. Then there was the constant complaints about game time, wanting more wages, not being happy with standard of coaching. It was relentless and I'll take the blame, in an attempt to add sufficient depth to the squad I think I may have gone slightly overboard which made the task of keeping everyone happy impossible. 

I've learnt my lesson and will be looking to maintain a much more streamlined squad next season. Having said that I think a lot of the squad have reached the end of the road and will need to be moved on. A rebuild looks inevitable at this point, I'm just hoping that the money I'm able to sell my players for enables me to strengthen adequately. The main cause of concern being the spine of the team which appears to have been decimated. 

Transfers - An unsatisfactory pair of transfer windows in my view with the only positive being the massive profit we made. First lets tackle the incoming transfers starting with the significant free transfers that arrived at the start of July which aren't in the screenshot. Crawford DR came in from Ballinamallard United who provided much needed depth and offered another HG option which was good, he played a decent amount of games and looks to have some decent potential but will only be a rotation option at best. Cooke ST arrived from Chelsea and became our top scorer which was good. Duro DR was released by Lazio and he did well although he did get upset when I couldn't register him for the Champions League, he is a solid player but I don't see him establishing himself as our first choice right back. Flutcher MR was effective when he played after being released by RB Leipzig although his wages are a little on the high side for my taste. Then finally Michael ST who came from Bayer 04 who did well although I might have expected a few more goals given the amount of games he played.

There was also some other free transfers which arrived but as they didn't feature in the first team this season I'll ignore them for now. As for the paid transfers that joined, among the best was Alvaro MC and Draskovic ML who both developed well and have established themselves as first team players. I had expected to see the same from Arechavaleta MC who is the clubs highest paid player but he really didn't impress and will need to improve dramatically next season if he is to have a long term future at the club. Now for the players that left, I was gutted to lose Marinov ST and Cesaroni ML but both wanted to earn wages I couldn't afford so when a Saudi team came knocking offering a decent fee I decided to let them go. If I was disappointed to lose those two I was absolutely devastated to lose Roca MC who had developed into our best player. Levante did a great job in unsettling him and in the end I had no choice but to sell given the disruptive influence he was becoming but I ensured that I delayed the transfer from going though until we had secured our place in the group stage of the Champions League. 

Jovanovic ST was one of those free transfers who looked to be developing well after starring early on in the season but as the season went on he fell out of favour so I decided it was in his best interests to sell him to Dundalk. Dodds ST and Ramon ST were another two I wanted to keep but after both expressed how much they wanted to leave I relented. Then the final two January deadline day transfers which had me absolutely raging with my chairman. Abdulkarim was by far our best goalkeeper and Jarvis our best left back but the board went above my head for both transfers. I can understand them doing what they have to do but to do so when I couldn't replace them was in my mind reckless. Thankfully, it didn't cost us in our title challenge but it could have as the title race was still open at that point and there was a drop off after that point as I had to bring much weaker players from the reserves back into the first team squad. 

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.48
He did well and benefited from the departure of Roca MC but he was one of the main culprits involved in the dressing room unrest. He wanted to leave for Levante to rejoin Roca and when I refused he certainly made me know how unhappy he was about it. It was only late into the season that he finally got over it which has given an uneasy truce between us but if he pulls that crap again next season he's out as I'm not going through that again.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.50
He also won the DBP young player of the season which was impressive. He has developed really well and will be battling it out with Draskovic ML for a spot in the first team next season. Levante have really developed a liking for our players but thankfully they haven't managed to turn his head, yet.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Even after what would be considered huge profits in the transfer market we once again find the back balance looking a bit austere. Even when you factor in the continual investment in facilities we still are a loss making operation. The wage bill is definitely unsustainable and it would only take one year of missing out on the group stage of the Champions League for us to be in serious trouble. I don't like being in this precarious position but without the expenditure on wages we currently have the likelihood of us making the group stage is remote. I will endeavour to streamline the squad and look for quality over quantity, besides, if we are serious about establishing ourselves as a selling club then we need to be giving our best players as much game time as possible. That is the only way to develop them and turn them into sell-able assets.

Facilities - Huge amounts were spent on the infrastructure of the club but I'm happy to continue making these long term investments in order to secure the future of the club. You may ask why on earth I'm bothering to continue with the expansion of the stadium when I'm barely getting 1,000 fans turn up on average for the clubs league games. That would be a valid point to raise but I sense a surge is due given that our ticket prices are now the most expensive in N. Ireland. The time spent ground sharing at Windsor Park will be a good measure of how much the size of the fan base has developed. I'm interested to see that the capacity of Breda Park once complete will be above 12,000 which I understood to be the potential expansion capacity, does that indicate that we can go even larger if we wanted to? From this point, the improvement to the facilities is going to become much more expensive and I will need to consider trying to build the balance more if I'm to continue building the clubs infrastructure.

Youth Intake - Even after the improvement to youth recruitment we still aren't producing players which have a chance of making it here. Once again everybody was signed but these guys are probably looking at the Championship level and below if they are hoping to have a career.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Not as much of a rise this time but at least 3* reputation is coming into view with another 11 places needed to clinch it. I'm actually a little bit disappointed that we only rose by 3 places this season as I didn't really see any teams from the leagues above us do much in Europe this year and we had two representatives in the group stage of European competition this season.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Still on the rise which is good and hopefully that can help us attract a better quality of player which we will need to make progress.
 
Club European Reputation - Nowhere near being seeded throughout qualifying which I found to my dismay this season given the difficulty of draws we got. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League Group stage finishing 3rd - A brilliant job from them which may go some way to explaining why they weren't our main competitors for the DBP title. If they could keep repeating this for a few seasons then I have no doubt it will see us zooming up the coefficient table.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Napoli after 5-0 defeat on aggregate - Given a kinder draw then we might just have had 3 N. Irish teams in group stage action but Napoli were always going to be a bridge too far for them.
Cliftonville - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Zrinjski Mostar after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - I hope not to see them qualifying for Europe for a while as they were hopeless against a team which they should have been more competitive with.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

t3yZIyB.png

image.png.e912adb3fc356c8e44fd6ea2f8ae23b8.png

Spoiler

Rskv5NO.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent progress overall but painfully slow domestically. Still, shout-out to Larne for finally making a group stage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/12/2019 at 14:32, rodesire said:

Excellent progress overall but painfully slow domestically. Still, shout-out to Larne for finally making a group stage

Cheers, we are starting to dominate the DBP but just can't seem to make any steps forward in Europe. There is however change in the air and next seasons review will reflect this.

All the best

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cgdv4IC.png

Knockbreda F.C.

SEASON 2029 / 2030

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We have emerged as the dominant force in N. Ireland, now the aim is to make steps forward in Europe. Making the group stage of the Champions League is essential but I'd like to exorcise the ghosts of previous seasons and finally grab the clubs first win.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Another strong performance from us which saw us lift the trophy for the 7th time in a row. We came so close to an unbeaten season but that one early season loss ended that possibility. Neil Lennon became manager of Larne which is quite the step down from him but he did well to inspire them into some great consistent form which kept us on our toes. It was a great recovery from Cliftonville who were rock bottom for practically the entire season with a last day win allowing them to overtake Institute on goal difference and enter the relegation playoff. They then went on to win that playoff against Ballymena United 4-1 on aggregate to condemn the sky blues to another season in the Championship. Next season will see the top flight joined by surprise Championship winners Donegal Celtic after a final day win allowed them to overtake Ballymena United. It was nice to see Distillery stay up but you sense they will need to strengthen next season as it is unlikely they will be able to stay up with such a low points total again.

UEFA Champions League - I was impressed with our performances in the qualifiers and to get the pleasant surprise of being seeded for the playoff round which handed us a favourable tie against TNS. It was looking like another season of finishing rock bottom of our Champions League group after two defeats but the away game in Greece gave me some reasons to be optimistic. It looked like we might break our duck and claim our first win as we took an early lead in Athens and could have gone 2-0 up but missed our penalty. They subsequently went on to win the game 3-2 but the manner of the defeat was interesting as we created a lot of good opportunities against them which gave me hope that we could get a result against them in the return leg. My thoughts proved to be correct as the return leg was a different story completely and a fitting way for us to claim our first win in the Champions League group stage.

Going into the final game we needed to match AEK Athens result in order to finish 3rd given our advantage on the head to head record and being 1 point ahead after our draw away in the San Siro. In the end, both teams lost but it was enough to create another piece of history for the club and claim knockout stage football for the first time.

UEFA Europa League - I went into this adventure with no hopes or expectations and when we drew PSV I thought our journey would be short lived. Well, I've never been happier to be proven wrong. When I saw them lineup in the first leg with a narrow 4-2-3-1 I could read their game plan and instructed my players to play over their press. The end result was a mauling which could have been even worse for them had our strikers had their shooting boots on. Going into the 2nd leg and knowing they had to chase the game I was surprised to see them field a 4-3-3 Wide against us and in the end it backfired spectacularly as we shredded their defence on the counter repeatedly. We destroyed them over 2 legs to my bewilderment but what a strong message of intent from the lads, sending shock waves around Europe.

Next up was a quality Rennes side and when they scored early in the 1st leg I sensed that it was going to be a long hard night but we showed immense character to fight back. Equalizing late on then grabbing a last minute winner from Cooke ST to give us something to protect in France. They gave us a tough battle in the 2nd leg but ultimately we defended resolutely and took our chance which unbelievably had us get through to the quarter final. I'm in dreamland at this point (so much so I forget to screenshot for a detailed report) but then I see Aberdeen come out of the hat. We could have drawn the likes of Tottenham, AC Milan or Man City but we drew Aberdeen. It was a golden opportunity but unfortunately one we couldn't take as our front line got decimated with injuries going into the two ties. Without a recognized striker and having to depend on a youth player it really hampered us. We gave it our best but in the end just couldn't hold onto our lead in Aberdeen which would have set up a mouth watering tie with Tottenham. Even though I'm delighted with our run I'm still left with a slight regret as to what could have been had we been able to field our best strikers against them. I must give credit to Aberdeen though as they went on to beat Tottenham and made the final only to narrowly lose to Man City.

Domestic Cups - Almost perfect but Kilmarnock got the better of us in the Scottish Challenge Cup. Felt a bit sorry for Ballinamallard United but the scoreline didn't flatter us at all.

Reserves - A second successive double which is very good from them with Donegal Celtic denied a double of their own by them.

Under 18s - There are times in FM when you just sit there baffled as to what is going on. Not only did they get through their UEFA Youth League group they could have reached the quarter final but for an impressive recovery from Marseille. I guess that when it comes to youth players quantity is better than quality as this was totally unexpected.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - Streamlining the squad appears to have been a masterstroke as it afforded a lot of the young players sufficient game time to show good development and kept squad harmony good. On the other hand we suffered the negative consequences of keeping a smaller squad. We had terrible luck with injuries this season. Michael ST suffered torn knee ligaments in pre-season training which had him out for 3 months and when he returned he was never quite the same player which ultimately led to me selling him in January which in hindsight may have been a mistake given how short handed we were against Aberdeen in the Europa League quarter final. Maric DC also suffered a lower back stress fracture in training which had him out for 2-3 months which has seriously hampered his development. Then finally, probably worst of all we lost Tutunci DL to a damaged Achilles tendon in December which ended his season which was a huge disappointment as he had established himself as our first choice left back. Hopefully, next season we can avoid such serious injuries. The squad is still in need of some strengthening and I hope next season will enable us to do this. In more positive news, Lindstrom MC became our first ever player to participate in a World Cup as he was added to the Sweden squad for their 2030 team. A very nice indication of our development as a club.

Transfers - The chairman was up to his tricks again as he went over my head 4 times in an attempt to sell players. I managed to prevent him from selling 2 but was unable to stop him from selling Moone DR and Walford DL to Middlesbrough. As for the other departures they all wanted to leave and I decided that it was in the clubs best interests to let them go for a decent fee. I tried to replace the outgoing players with young talent with high potential and for the most part if worked out well. Some of the players came in and did exceptionally well such as Nikolic ST who scored a lot of goals, Cesbron DL who stepped up to the plate after Tutunci's terrible injury and finally, Ehmer ML who scored a few important goals for us. I was a little disappointed with Blondel ML given the fee spent but at least he has a bit of untapped potential to develop into.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.70
The guy is an assist machine and I look forward to seeing how he plays in his prime years provided no club comes in and snaps him up.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Alvaro - MC
Average Rating: 7.56
A very good player who laid on a number of assists and countless secondary assists. He also doesn't score tap ins, when he scores you can expect some spectacular shot from miles out to hit the back of the net. Given the amount of interest in him I sense I may struggle to hold onto him so hopefully any future transfer fee allows me to bring in a good replacement.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - A similar balance to last season which was added to with CL pool money which brought the balance up to around £9M.

Facilities - Now that the stadium is complete (can't ask for any further expansions) the objective now has to be to begin filling it. The ticket prices are still on the rise and it will interesting to see how many season tickets we will be able to sell next season after going home. The training and youth facilities were once again expanded for a hefty amount but hopefully we are getting close to making those state of the art which will allow the redirection of funds towards improving the squad.

Youth Intake - Another improvement to youth recruitment was made and all the players in the intake were signed.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - What appeared to be a distant dream is looking to be a likely outcome for next season with the possibility of the league reaching 3* reputation. We have yet to improve our position in the nations club coefficient ranking enough to grant later entry into qualification but we are getting close. I'm rather surprised to see our southern neighbours so high up the list but then again Dundalk has been doing well and made the Champions League group stage this year.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Getting to 3* is going to be a huge game changer for us which I hope will see our player market values rise to make the selling club philosophy more viable. Crusaders reverted to semi-professional status which is a big blow as it takes the number of professional clubs down to 4 in N. Ireland. Outside of us and Linfield, the other Belfast based clubs are really struggling which is disappointing as I would have expected the opposite to happen. Once again the Glentoran job became available and even though I didn't go for it this time I'm beginning to think that maybe a career move wouldn't be bad idea for the overall objective of the save in the near future. Although it's clear that I've built Knockbreda into a massive club in comparison to where Glentoran is now, they still sell more season tickets and have a far bigger fan base. I think I'll wait for 3* reputation and reassess then.
 
Club European Reputation - We just managed to sneak into the seeded pot for the playoff so with a higher coefficient we should be seeded once again giving us an easier route to the group stage. We are 4th seeds for the group and some way off becoming a 3rd seed. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League Group stage finishing 4th - Excellent from them to reach the group stage in consecutive seasons, it's nice to see other teams being successful in Europe as it makes the task of building the league as a whole much easier.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Livingston after 6-2 defeat on aggregate - They were awful in this tie and deserved to lose which is a shame as it could have been 3 N. Irish teams involved in group stage football.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Zlin after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - Absolute rubbish!! How they lost this tie against a team full of greyed out players I'll never know. They need to sort themselves out as that lack of progress in Europe is getting embarrassing given they are supposed to be the biggest club in N. Ireland.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

oksDgWx.png

image.png.785a7d777f363d833eb8b13b1adf75b0.png

Spoiler

heHcm6f.png

 

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"DON'T STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW, DON'T STOP IT'LL SOON BE HERE, IT'LL BE HERE BETTER THAN BEFORE, YESTERDAY'S GONE, YESTERDAY'S GONE"

We have gotten into a bit of a rut with Knockbreda. Yes, I have built them into the most reputable and best club in N. Ireland. Yes, last season saw some decent progression in Europe and yes, the selling club philosophy is starting to to bear some fruit. However, this season we finished rock bottom of our Champions League group. This season the chairman once again decided to sell two of our best players on deadline day of the summer transfer window. I have also come to the conclusion that while the club is definitely getting better the envelope for how much I can build the club in the shorter term is rather limited. We still aren't really filling our home ground and our fan base is taking a long time to grow. Therefore I've decided to move on to another club in N. Ireland which I feel have a better chance of fulfilling my long term ambitions in the save.

XVLnUpU.png

On the face of it you may think I have gone slightly crazy here to move to part-time club Glentoran and I was rather taken aback when Knockbreda waived their high compensation demands and allowed me to talk to them. After all, why on earth would the club want me to leave given how I transformed them from 2nd division relegation battlers to Champions League group stage regulars? They must have been baffled that I even applied to take the vacancy at what is now a much smaller club. Knockbreda are so much better placed to dominate N. Irish football and to move forward in Europe.

Well, I have a multitude of reasons for leaving. The first of which is the potential of the club, I know that with success I can build the fan base at Glentoran far quicker than I ever could with Knockbreda. Secondly, the base level for the fan base at Glentoran is still very much bigger than Knockbreda is at now. Glentoran still sold over 6 times as many season tickets than Knockbreda this season which tells you everything you need to know. Lastly, I think that improving Glentoran will be more impactful in the development of the other Belfast clubs given the rivalry and as Linfield is already professional I'm hoping to start a domino effect of improving the clubs which will be beneficial for the long term of objective of the save.

History

They are a team with a rich history and are the 2nd most decorated club in N. Irish football. Since the save started they have however been rather poor with their only trophy win being the Co. Antrim Shield in 2025. Their highest league finish has been 3rd and that was in the 2022/23 season. Outside of that they have been consistently a mid table team and have more often than not finished in the bottom half of the table. In their only season in Europe during the save they were beaten by Hapoel Be'er-Sheva in the round they entered.

Trophies Won

LypT8cH.png

beUaOsj.png

Club

There is a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about the potential of the club. The number of rivalries is good which should help accelerate the building of the fan base with the derby being especially significant. I like the professional personality of the squad although getting to professional status looks some way off.

Facilities

We've gone from the best set of facilities in the country to one of the worst possible. The infrastructure is antiquated and will need major investment but will have to wait until such a time where it can be afforded. I know that I will be able to get the full capacity of 10,000 once the ground is expanded but there is still a long way to go for that to happen.

Squad

I can see why the team has been struggling near the lower reaches of the table now. Only having 2 recognized central defenders is a big problem and I will need to add some depth in that area. We have some decent young prospects in the roster but I'm rather concerned that our better players are all loans from other teams in the DBP except McKenna GK who comes from St. Mirren. We will need to move away from loan signings in the short term as much like with Knockbreda we need to move toward becoming selling club, it's also not a great idea to be developing players for other clubs as we get no money for doing so. On the plus side, we appear to have good depth in the central midfield although the wide midfield and forward position are a little understaffed.

Reserve Squad

Some high potential in there which I'll be looking to bring into the first team. Finlay DC and Donaghy MC can definitely get some first team football this season.

Under 18s Squad

There appears some decent talent in this squad also. McMullan DL will be called up to add depth to the first team and I may call up the likes of Wilson MC and Breslin ST if required.

Finances

That is actually a really good starting balance to begin with at the club. We are going to need a lot more to consider turning professional but at least this gives me the opportunity to start building up the club by improving junior coaching and youth recruitment. I'm also pleased to see that we will have nearly £1Kp/w surplus on the wage budget once the transfer budget has been transferred over as that should allow me to add some depth which we will need if we are to push up the league and toward a place in the Europa Conference League.

beUaOsj.png

Starting Conditions

R5IiMRA.png

They have been having a terrible season so far and are only a point above the relegation playoff position. On the other hand, they are only 7 points behind 6th placed Cliftonville and if I can get the team performing we still have 12 games to make up the difference so it's still very possible if we want it. I am also encouraged to see that my first two games are at home to Donegal Celtic and away at Cliftonville which could mean that if results go our way we could end up only 1 point off the top 6 which is a great incentive to start well.

Career Objectives

The board would be satisfied as long as we avoid relegation which is great news for me as it takes a lot of the pressure off. In the short term, it would be great to claim a spot in Europe but that is a long shot. Over the next few seasons the board just want to remain in the top flight. I'd be disappointed if we can't qualify for Europe in the first 3 years as that is the only way we are going to get enough funds to turn professional. Getting to professional status in 5 years is the main objective and if we can do that it will be a major boost to our chances of making significant progress and competing with the best teams in N. Ireland.

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Interesting turn of events.

giphy.gif&f=1&nofb=1

 

It's a big gamble for sure but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here's hoping that Knockbreda can continue qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League so that the nation can continue its rise while I go about building up Glentoran.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2030 / 2031

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The board would be satisfied as long as we stay up given the terrible start the team had to the season. That would be the lower limit of what I'd like to achieve and if we could sneak into the top 6 and compete for a place in Europe that would be an excellent start to my tenure at the club.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - I'm very happy with that finish as it gives us the opportunity to fight for a place in Europe. We started fairly well and once I was able to bring in some players and balance the squad our form improved dramatically. I thought our improvement might have all been for nothing when we lost on the final day away at Donegal Celtic but Portadown also lost to Distillery which allowed us to hold onto 7th on goal difference. That result for Donegal Celtic allowed them to rise to 10th while condemning Coleraine to relegation. Dungannon managed to stay up winning 4-0 in the relegation playoff against Newry City and next season will see the return of Ballymena United to the DBP after they convincingly won the Championship title. Knockbreda won their 8th title in a row but it was once again a close run thing with Glenavon who still held realistic hopes of winning the title going into the penultimate matchday but a draw ended their title challenge.

Danske Bank Premier UEFA Europa Conference League Playoff - Absolutely delighted with this outcome and gives us European football at the first time of asking. It was very sweet that we managed to beat Linfield on their own stomping ground in the semi final and the scoreline didn't flatter us at all even though they did create a number of good chances against us. I expected a tough battle in the final but I think the fact that Cliftonville had to play extra time in their semi final handed us an advantage and once we took the lead they found it very difficult to fight back with tired legs. The aim now has to be to go as far as possible in the UEFA Europa Conference League next season and begin the process of building the bank balance enough to turn the club professional.

Domestic Cups - I was only responsible for the Irish Cup games and once we drew Glenavon I sensed that it was going to be difficult for us to progress any further. My thoughts proved to be right as we were barely competitive against them which was disappointing given that we were playing at home and also because it closed off another route to European qualification but thankfully it didn't matter given our result in the playoff.

Reserves - They were way off the pace but understandable given the lack of quality and quantity of players in the squad.

Under 18s - Not too bad at all from them, a good indicator of the level of talent in the ranks.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I felt we overachieved to get European qualification but hopefully I can grasp the opportunity to strengthen the squad so that we can make some progress in Europe and earn some much needed prize money. I had intended to keep the loans to a minimum but given the state of the finances that was the only way which I could increase the depth and quality of the squad. I also didn't realize it when I first joined but I can actually offer full time contracts as a part-time club which opens up the door to a higher standard of player. I don't know how it will work logistically given that the players on full time contracts won't be able to train full time but at least it makes us a more attractive destination for incoming players. I will need to perform a rebuild though as a lot of the players we had on loan won't rejoin and some have signed pre-contract deals with other clubs. I did manage to secure a couple of the loan players on pre-contract deals myself but we are going to need a lot more than that if the club is to have an impact in Europe.

Transfers - I didn't want to sell Breslin ST but both Larne and Knockbreda wanted him. Initially, they offered me nothing which I flat out rejected and when they came back with a cash offer I negotiated a 50% of next sale clause into it. In the end, he decided to move to Larne so I'm hoping he shows some good development and gets sold on for a nice big fee. The two loans I brought in from Knockbreda didn't have much of an impact unfortunately. Harrison DC who arrived from Glenavon on loan was pretty solid and helped us in our late season surge by being consistent. Morrison ST and MacAskill ST were also decent and better for the fact that I didn't have to pay a penny for them to play, I'll definitely be looking for more of those sort of deals next season while I bridge the gap to the upper echelons of the DBP. Warren MC was okay but he did take a while to get fit which hampered him early on.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.07
A very consistent player which did well for us, just a shame I didn't get the opportunity to sign him permanently.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 6.96
I'd really like to see this guy here next season as I think he has a lot of room to develop as player. The only problem is his poor personality which will dampen his ability to improve to his full potential.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Not much money in the coffers but we did make a slight profit and also got a raise to the wage budget. I'm hoping for a nice long run in Europe as the sooner we become fully professional the better.

Facilities - I couldn't do anything with the facilities but I did managed to convince the board to increase the junior coaching and youth recruitment. If we can become a conveyor belt for exciting young N. Irish talent we could very quickly become the selling club we need to be in order to start investing in the infrastructure of the club.

Youth Intake - A poor intake with the exception of Blayney MC who looks to have a bright future.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - A brilliant result to get to 3* reputation as it now increases the profile of the league and should make for a more attractive proposition for players coming from abroad. Accompanying this is an even better piece of news which is shown in the screenshot below.
 
vv8E5hq.png
I'm hoping this is the game changer which transforms the trajectory of N. Irish football forever. I know it will be very difficult to hold onto this but if we could do so for a while it would be amazing. For some reason the 2 qualification spots for the UEFA Europa Conference League aren't being shown in the inbox message but we will have 2 entrants in the 2nd Qualifying Round from the season after next.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Nice to see Knockbreda reach 3* and when I look at some of the players they brought in on loan in January I think they are going to be a serious threat for a long time to come. Neil Lennon got the boot from Larne this season so it'll be interesting to see who's next in the managerial merry-go-round. Our first target is to get on par with our deadly rivals Linfield and then take it from there.
 
Club European Reputation - We wont be seeded for any round so we are just going to have to hope for some luck with the draws we get. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Champions League Group stage finishing 4th - This was largely the reason that prompted me to make the move. I just hope that they continue to qualify for the group stage to keep the nation moving up the coefficient ranking.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by HNK Hajduk after 3-2 defeat on aggregate - A disappointing loss given that the first leg gave them a 2-0 win at home only for them to throw it away with a 3-0 defeat in Croatia.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League Group stage finishing 3rd - A good job for them to make the group stages once again, they were never close to qualifying out of their group but as long as they keep earning a decent amount of coefficient points every year it will help us to maintain the nations 5th qualification spot in Europe.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by FC Honka after 5-2 defeat on aggregate - A little bit better from them but they could be doing a lot more.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

UCrmaQb.png

image.png.b5e8ad602c16d4eb13da1487ac3c1cf9.png

Spoiler

YBdQU6z.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 21/12/2019 at 13:15, kidthekid said:

Who is now the manager of Knockbreda?

aY2NFmf.png

This guy is the new manager. He looks pretty decent to be fair and he has the team playing some attractive football. More importantly, he has continued to make the team successful as you will see in the next season review. In other managerial news, Neil Lennon has become the N. Ireland national team manager and Larne have hired TNS legend Scott Roscoe.

All the best

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2031 / 2032

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The board seem to have delusions of grandeur and are adamant that the team should be qualifying for the Europa Conference League automatically through league position. That would mean finishing 4th and would necessitate finishing ahead of one of the professional teams in the league. That looks a daunting task given that last season the 5th placed team finished a mammoth 13 points behind 4th. I'll give it all I've got but I feel we are going to struggle to meet that expectation. I'd like a nice run to the group stages in Europe if possible as that would give us enough funds to turn professional and I'd like to do that as soon as possible to start closing the gap to the best teams in N. Ireland which can't be done as a part time club.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - As anticipated this was tough and in the end we fell way short of the boards objective. During the season there was the serious possibility of me losing my job which would have been a disastrous outcome given that I left Knockbreda to take up this vacancy. Thankfully, the board decided to stick with me even with a report card which at times graded my performance with a D. I feel I only managed to hold on as I had good support in the dressing room which combined with my relatively high reputation convinced the board not to fire me but I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried, any other manager in that situation would have been out of the door for sure. Even though on the face of it we had a terrible season according to the board we still have a chance of making it into Europe which is why it was so crazy that I was placed under such immense pressure. Distillery managed to stay up after a 3-1 aggregate win over Institute and next season the top flight will be joined once again by Coleraine who were runaway winners of the Championship.

Danske Bank Premier UEFA Europa Conference League Playoff - After all of that gnashing of teeth from the board complaining about our under performance and we managed to meet their objective anyway. It was a very comfortable pair of games for us and we never looked truly troubled even though the narrow scorelines would suggest otherwise. This is a great boost for us and hopefully next season we wont have to go through this stressful process again by finishing a bit higher and clinching an automatic place in Europe.

UEFA Europa Conference League - A somewhat fortunate run through the qualifiers as we managed to dodge the really tough teams we could have faced but a great job none the less given that we are still a part time club. We won't be next season though as the money earned allowed us to become a professional outfit for the first time. The group stage was practically a wipe-out with only a solitary point earned but we couldn't really demand much more given the quality of the squad and lack of depth we had available to us. Trying to sustain a challenge domestically and in Europe as a part time club is a massive ask and in the end our form in both areas suffered. As we have qualified for next season, I'll be hoping to repeat our run to the group stage and hopefully, the money earned will allow me to secure the clubs future while allowing me to strengthen the squad dramatically so we might be better placed to win some more games and potentially earn more prize money.

Domestic Cups - Our results in the cups were a case of what could have been. We came so close to winning the League Cup as we lead 2-1 but an equalizer in the last minute of injury time at the end of the game seemed to destroy our morale. It was such a terrible goal to concede and was a result of a shocking piece of distribution by our goalkeeper who ignored my instructions to play the ball to the fullbacks (who incidentally were completely unmarked) and instead pumped it long into the central midfield straight to the opposition. They then worked the ball into the box and the rest is history. After such a tough blow we simply capitulated in extra time and conceded 3 handing the trophy to Linfield. The board also wanted us to reach the semi final of the Irish Cup but when we conceded so early against Glenavon in the quarter final I knew we were going to face an uphill struggle and when they scored a 2nd after 16 minutes I knew the game was pretty much up.

Reserves - All was not lost this season as we managed to win the Steel & Sons Cup at least. The final league finish was however rather disappointing.

Under 18s - Unfortunately, they aren't very good and was well deserving of their lowly finish. Hopefully, once the investments made into the youth system starts to feed through we might see an improvement.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - In a break from the traditional way I like to assemble a team, this time I decided to raid the free transfer market for any decent players regardless of age that would improve us. That is why you can see so many over 30 players in the squad. As an emergency measure it was a good way of enabling us to finish the season on a good note but now that the club has turned professional I'll be returning back to my youth first policy. Especially now that the board have added to the club culture that we should look to sign players under 23 and not sign anyone over 30. For the first time ever, I was forced to drop a player by the board or risk losing my job. Ryder DL was the focus of the boards attention who made it clear that they agreed with the fans in their disappointment with his performances. If I didn't drop him for a whole month they would sack me and given the status of my job at the time I wasn't willing to defy them even though he was a regular starter for us. I don't like the level of interference and would hope that they never have to do so again but I can understand their reasons for wanting to intervene when they didn't have much faith in me achieving the expectations they set.   

The team will definitely need a rebuild next season with the priority positions being a GK, ML, MR, MC (defensively minded) and ST (attacking minded). We were dreadfully inconsistent this season and I can attribute that to our inability to finish our chances. We passed up so many presentable opportunities and will need to be more clinical in front of goal next season if we are to make strides up the table. I'm also hoping to see a huge difference in the development of our younger players next season given the ability to train full time. Having players getting full time wages while only training part time isn't a good recipe for developing players. It also wasn't great being unable to register players to play in the DBP until the January transfer window opened as I felt those older players would have helped us to remain competitive with Linfield in fighting for 4th. By the time I could register them we were too far behind and they could no longer be caught.

Transfers - Missing off the screenshot are the free transfers into the club of Sterling DR and Greenop DC. I'm fairly satisfied with our work in the transfer market as the ability to offer full time contracts seemed to widen the scope for potential signings. I was however focused this season on stop gap players who wont be here for a long time whereas next season I will be looking for young players that I can develop as I seek to ingrain a selling club philosophy into the club. I've already signed a few talented young players on pre-contract agreements which will strengthen the squad and I will be looking for more of the same as I seek to avoid spending a lot of money on players to bring into the team.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.28
A fantastic debut season for the player released by Chelsea. He was our top scorer and by a significant margin, he has interest in him from Portsmouth and I wouldn't be opposed to selling him for a good price. Our current transfer record for an outgoing player is still very low. If he does stay, it'll be interesting to see how he improves with full time training available to him.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.16
A diamond in the rough who looks to have a significant amount of potential to develop into. He will need to work on becoming more consistent though as for every game he did very well in there was two where he was practically anonymous. When I look at the number of chances that he failed to put away he really should have scored at least double what he ended up with. Larne look interested and if the money is good then I'd have no problem in shipping him out to a divisional rival.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The fact that we qualified for Europe again gives me some latitude to be a bit more adventurous with my spending. There is a huge amount of room on the wage budget and I intend on using it to close the gap to the top 4. While qualifying for the group stage again is definitely not guaranteed, if we could manage to do it again it would be a significant step forward for the club and would enable me to start investing in the infrastructure. There are rumours of a takeover from a consortium and if that was to happen it would also mark a significant milestone in the development of the club, all I ask is that they wait until the transfer window is closed to launch their bid so I can work on improving the squad. Knockbreda overtook us with regards to average league attendance and I expect to see that gap grow significantly after their domineering season but they still lag miles behind in season ticket sales. It is however a good sign to see our ticket prices on the rise also.

Facilities - I did ask for a stadium expansion but it was understandably rejected. I did manage to get the youth recruitment and junior coaching upgraded though which is great news and I'm hoping it will begin to improve the quality of our youth intakes. I was reluctant to try and improve the youth and training facilities even though we can afford it as I want to focus on squad building for the moment. If we make the group stage again next season though I'll request it as I'll be more confident that spending that money wont jeopardize our professional status.

Youth Intake - I signed everyone but another poor intake, hopefully, it wont be too long before we start producing some better players in accordance with the increased levels of investment into the department.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Another significant rise and all of a sudden 3.5* reputation isn't looking that far away. I expected we would struggle to maintain the nations 2nd Champions League place but actually we managed to improve our position and ended up with the message below.
 
0oUbiot.png
 
A remarkable situation to find ourselves in and now an automatic spot in the group stage of the Champions League is only a short hop further up the table. Getting that is wildly optimistic at this point and I'll be happy to just hold onto the gains we have made for now.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Our reputation is rather poor which is going to make it difficult to bring in real top quality players into the club but I'm optimistic that the lure of European football, playing in the DBP and a full time contract might just be enough to sway some players who may be doubtful into signing on the dotted line.
 
Club European Reputation - Once again we will have to depend on the luck of the draw but one thing is for sure we'll be a lot stronger for next seasons campaign as a professional club and hopefully that will be enough to see us through into the group stage. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Knockout Round by Rio Ave after 3-2 defeat on aggregate - Although I was correct to assume that they wouldn't be able to sustain my record of qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League they had a decent season. The ability to drop down from the Champions League qualifiers to the Europa League qualifiers and then to the Europa Conference League group stage really helped them to go as far as they did. The narrowly scraped into 2nd after a final day win against EA Guingamp in their Europa Conference League group.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by EA Guingamp after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - A very difficult team for them to draw, will be interesting to see how they fare in the Champions League, they should at least play in the group stage of the Europa Conference League next season.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Ufa after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - They were awful in this tie which is quite a comedown after last seasons campaign.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

RhBT7h5.png

image.png.31900d318819ff7ed58ffa3906abdea8.png

Spoiler

5mqyt3e.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2032 / 2033

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Once again the board would like to finish in the top 4 to guarantee European football and given the squad that I have assembled for the start of the season, I think that should be achievable. I'd like a nice run in the UEFA Europa Conference League also to make a bit of money. I became a head hunted man this season with offers of interviews from Spurs and Celtic but I've got work to complete with the Glens, so I'm stating put.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - A very nice improvement but I'm a little disappointed that our finish didn't get us a place in the far more lucrative Europa League but at least we will have another good chance of making the group stage of the Europa Conference League next season which still generates a good amount of money. Part-timers Portadown had an excellent season and were sitting in 3rd going into the split but then their form collapsed allowing us to overtake them. Coleraine managed to stay up thanks to a 5-3 aggregate win over Donegal Celtic in the relegation playoff. Next season will see our junior affiliate Ards join the top flight which will sever our association. It was another case of managerial musical chairs at the top of the DBP as Scott Roscoe left Larne to be replaced by former PSG Under 19s coach Sergio Postigo. Michael Duff also decided to leave Knockbreda for West Brom and was ultimately replaced by the former Crusaders manager Bradley Dack. Glenavon brought in Lyon Under 19s coach Jean-Pascal Fontaine replacing long term manager Gary Hamilton who moved on to Dundalk.

UEFA Europa Conference League - A great campaign in my view with the only team to cause us problems eventually knocking us out of the competition. We came so close to overturning the deficit but just couldn't muster that 2nd goal which would have taken us through. The 85th minute goal we conceded in Holland to make it 3-1 proving critical in the tie. I'm however feeling encouraged that we topped our group and won so many games. It did come at a cost to our league form but if we continue to strengthen the squad then there is every chance that we can go even further in future.

Domestic Cups - It appears that the Europa League spot goes to the Irish Cup winners and as you can see we lost the final on penalties. I was absolutely gutted with the result as we led right up until the last minute of injury time at the end of the game after battling valiantly with 10 men for the last 20 minutes. The rest of the cups were a bit of a shambles especially the League Cup where we lost in the first round to our deadly rivals.

Reserves - The numbers in the team were significantly reduced through loans and it showed with a fairly mediocre season.

Under 18s - Excellent progress from the youth players and well deserving of their league title. If this is an indication of things to come from them then I'm all for it.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - There are a number of positives I can take from the squad this season. Firstly, the squad is significantly stronger now than it was this time last season. There is a strong core of young talented players supported by more experienced heads such as Garrett DC and Millar MC. As a result, anytime there was complaints among the young players for any reason I could ask the senior members of the squad to have a word and more often than not it would placate the young players making squad management a lot easier. Secondly, unlike last season the envelope for how much better this team can be is much larger. Last season, we had a lot of players which were playing at their potential or close to it, this time around there are a lot of players which have significant potential to develop into. Thirdly, the average age of the squad has been brought down significantly which is great news for the development of a selling club philosophy. Lastly, the board have allowed us to have unrestricted global scouting which is going to broaden our horizons and allow me to pluck talent from obscure places which should be cheaper.

On the negative side, the board signed a senior affiliation at the beginning of the season without prompting with Leganes. The market values of my players is ridiculously low and in some cases the weekly wage is more than the player value which is a massive stumbling block for us in turning the club into a selling one to generate money. I'm going to cancel the affiliation and see if that makes any difference as I'm hoping that is what is depressing the market values. Another negative is the amount of goals we concede in the league. If we are to push Larne for a Champions League berth in the near future we need to tighten up at the back, we can't be conceding over twice the amount of goals and expect to be competitive against them. I'm also going to need to work on keeping a fit squad at all times and will need to be more willing to give players game time in the Reserves. I feel our lack of fitness at times really didn't help our league form and being plagued with injuries during the season was also detrimental.

Transfers - I decided to go all in with the free transfer market strategy and it worked exceptionally well. It's always a gamble when you bring in players released by bigger clubs who haven't played a single game for their former clubs but the rewards for taking the risks can be spectacular if you can develop them well with first team football. For e.g. Davies DR was an Arsenal reject who's career looked to be over before it even started and look at him now, he's considered our best player and he didn't even play that many games in the greater scheme of things. I really enjoy giving players a second chance at success and giving them a platform to showcase their talents. The sense of satisfaction you get when you turn around a young players career is brilliant, especially when you see them move on to bigger and better things as a result of your intervention. I spent money on Padilla DL as I identified that position as a weakness in the squad and he did relatively well for the money paid, I'll be interested to see how much further he can develop with a full season under his belt. Carson ST on the other hand was a flop.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.56
He is definitely in the peak of his career and showed exceptional consistency and would have gained a lot more assists if the strikers were more clinical when presented with one on one situations. The thing I like about him the most is that like Garrett DC he is an immensely powerful ally to have in keeping the dressing room happy. Every time I asked him to have a word with a player he was able to diffuse the problem. Going forwards, I know he will have to be replaced if we are to move to the next level as a squad but I'd like to retain his influence in the dressing room for as long as I can as he is a valuable asset to have.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.26
He's developing into quite a decent striker although he still suffers from the inconsistency of last season which my coaches have highlighted. His consistency is improving though which is good.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - I'm comfortable with that balance although not comfortable enough to start investing in the infrastructure of the club although I did ask for a stadium expansion which was rejected. If we qualify for the group stage of the Europa Conference League again then I think I'll start to invest.

Facilities - I managed to get the junior coaching maxed out so now we have the highest level of investment in both junior coaching and youth recruitment. I signed an junior affiliation with Coagh United and as a result I was able to use their training facilities which aren't the best but are much better than what we had access to before. I'd like to get that stadium expansion soon so that I can start using the full capacity of the ground and a fan day this season should help build the fan base.

Youth Intake - I didn't bother to sign everyone in this intake and I restricted it to just the players with at least 2.5 black stars potential. I have to say I'm a little disappointed to have so little come through over the last 3 intakes as I need this department to start producing.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Speaking honestly, I didn't really envision the nation being this high up the table in such a short period of time. We can see the summit which is huge for a nation like N. Ireland considering where we started from. In another shock, we managed to get the following message which is shown below.
 
nLDZgZm.png
 
If gaining a 2nd Champions League spot was big then this is enormous news. Having the DBP Champions automatically qualify for the group stage of the Champions League is huge and is going to transform the finances of any club which can become dominant in this league. I'm hoping that will be us but Knockbreda are looking strong and don't look like relinquishing that crown anytime soon.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Our slight rise in reputation is the sideshow. The major news is the takeover of 3rd division Coagh United by a tycoon making them the nations 6th professional club. That was why I was so eager to sign an affiliation with them. I'm hoping that by providing them with players I can get them up the leagues into the top flight. The development has been good with tycoon owned Larne competing well in Europe, imagine having 2 tycoon owned clubs in Europe, that would be exceptionally powerful.  
 
Club European Reputation - A huge rise for us this time, just 3 more poor years to get off the coefficient and then we will really start to fly. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Finished 4th in Champions League group stage - This was an excellent result for them and is why I'm not feeling confident of overhauling them anytime soon. More of the same next season please.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Knockout Round by PSV on away goals after a 1-1 draw on aggregate - So close to making the quarter final but overall a great run from them.
Glenavon - Finished 4th in Europa League group stage - They did well to get there after beating Esbjerg and Legia Warsawa in the qualifiers, just a bit out of their depth against the likes of Everton in the group stage.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Sabartalo after 3-2 defeat on aggregate - Absolute rubbish, maybe the year off will do them some good.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

TFYB0kA.png

image.png.780935d48574538f679db83464959137.png

Spoiler

oTnRIeA.png

 
Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23/12/2019 at 15:14, pheelf said:

aY2NFmf.png

This guy is the new manager. He looks pretty decent to be fair and he has the team playing some attractive football. More importantly, he has continued to make the team successful as you will see in the next season review. In other managerial news, Neil Lennon has become the N. Ireland national team manager and Larne have hired TNS legend Scott Roscoe.

All the best

Is that THE Michael Duff? The CM 01-02 legend?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/12/2019 at 19:48, Lenzar said:

Is that THE Michael Duff? The CM 01-02 legend?

Yes he is...OP as a player in CM 01-02 and now OP as a manager in FM20. An excellent personality and brilliant mental attributes to match. 

All the best

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2033 / 2034

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The board would like us to qualify for the Europa Conference League through our league position. I think that should be achievable even if it means winning the playoff but I would like to try and be competitive for 2nd place and have a shot at the Champions League. Getting into the Champions League is the next major milestone in developing the club, the sooner we manage it, the better it will be. The board also demand that we go deep into the domestic cup competitions which wouldn't be a bad thing. It'd be nice to lift my first cup with the club although hopefully not at the expense of our form in the league or Europe.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Firstly, some positives to take from the season. We met the boards objective which was good and for large parts of the season we were in touch with 2nd and 3rd, managing our highest points total yet. Another positive was that Ballymena United turned professional at the end of the season meaning the entire top 6 are now operating as full time clubs which is a nice sign of progress for the DBP. Finally, Linfield beat Dungannon 1-0 in the final of the Europa Conference League playoff after extra time which is great news for them as their financial status during the season had dropped to 'Insecure' and in news items they were constantly referred to as debt ridden. That should hopefully give them a nice injection of cash next season to help secure their financial future. 

Although there was a few positives, ultimately, this was a season of disappointment. Even though we scored more points than ever we still finished 11 points behind both Larne and Glenavon. We also finished a position lower than we did last season which is not a good sign. I think the most disappointing feature of our season was our inconsistency at times. We'd beat Knockbreda 2-1 in one game then we would lose the next to Ards. We dropped a lot of points against teams we should be beating like Ballymena United and perhaps most vexing of all Coleraine. We dropped 4 points against bottom of the table Coleraine, once infuriatingly after being 2-0 up then going on to draw the game. If we are to match the high standards that have been set by the likes of Glenavon and Larne we are going to have to improve our consistency. Another piece of bad news was that Kenny Bruce left Larne, on the one hand it might make them weaker which could be beneficial for us but on the other hand he was a significant piece of the jigsaw in developing the nation. Having been replaced by a local businessman I can't see Larne being able to sustain these high league finishes given how little the infrastructure of the club has been improved (they still play at an unimproved Inver Park). They aren't sustainable and are depending on European prize money to keep them going which all the teams are to a certain extent but more so with Larne.

Warrenpoint Town will be joining the top flight next season which was another piece of bad news as I would have liked to see Distillery make a return. Ards managed to stay up thanks to a win in the relegation playoff against Donegal Celtic.

UEFA Europa Conference League - Last season gave an example of what could be done with a good draw. This season saw the consequences of a bad draw. Getting the better of teams from 2 of the top 5 nations in European football was always going to be a mammoth task and we failed miserably. I would like to get into the position where it doesn't matter who we draw as we can give any team a decent fight but that looks miles off at the moment. On a more positive note, 2 other N. Irish teams made it into the group stage this season which was a huge boost to the finances of those clubs. Knockbreda were automatically entered into their Champions League group and Larne made it to the Europa League group stage meaning that all the N. Irish teams that qualified for Europe last season saw group stage football this season which was excellent and a first for the country. Hopefully, next season we can get drawn into a more forgiving group.

Domestic Cups - It looked like Larne was going to knock us out of every competition but we showed a great deal of fight in the Irish Cup final to claim the first trophy of my tenure. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of our win being that we exorcised the demons of last season and claimed a place in the far more lucrative Europa League qualifiers. It also guarantees group stage football of some description next season, hopefully, we can win our playoff game and make it into the Europa League group stage. The first cup win of what I'm hoping will be many.

Reserves - Not the best season from them but I did loan out the majority of players in the team to affiliate Coagh United so it was understandable.

Under 18s - A bit of a dip but not too bad, they are getting stronger as a team and I'm encouraged by the development of some of the youth players.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - The squad is getting stronger and stronger which is pleasing to see. We got very unlucky with injuries this season with a number of players suffering long term injuries. To give an idea of how bad it got, at one point, both my first team right midfielders suffered month long injuries during the busy time of the season which meant I had to call up a player from the reserves. He then got injured which meant that I had to play Bullock MC and Denis MC out wide which I'm sure didn't help our consistency as even though they both can play the MR position they don't have the attributes to fulfill the role of a winger properly (poor crossing, not particularly quick). I have a little bit of money in the wage budget spare so I'll be looking to add a bit more depth to the squad but I'll have to tread carefully as I don't want to have a bunch of players getting insufficient game time. Developing young talent is the lifeblood of the club so having unfit players that aren't playing isn't helpful, especially when it comes to maintaining dressing room harmony.

Transfers - I spent a little bit in January to add some depth to the squad which was successful as I triggered the 'buy now' clauses of a few players who had signed pre-contract agreements with us. I was most pleased about the acquisitions of Ioannou ST who looks quite a prospect after getting no game time at Chelsea, Boltze GK who added great strength between the sticks and Di Mauro ST who looks like a young Zola in the making. I'll be looking to get more of those pre-contract agreements signed for the summer transfer window as I was able to bring in some decent talent this season and funds are a little low.

The reason why I decided to loan so many players to Coagh United was seeing them languish near the bottom of the 3rd division table. Now that Kenny Bruce has left N. Irish football, they are the only tycoon owned club and having them in the 3rd division is a complete waste of valuable resource which can be used to build the nation. My loans helped them to improve dramatically and they managed to get promoted as champions of the 3rd division. Hopefully, next season with their elevated reputation a few more of my better players might show an interest in joining them on loan as I look to help them manage back to back promotions. The sooner they make it into the DBP the better as I don't know how long their tycoon intends to stick around and I need them to splash the cash and help the other clubs in N. Ireland. 

I was a bit gutted to lose our best player Davies DR to Celtic but he had a really low release clause and I couldn't re-negotiate the contract to get rid of it. Therefore I settled for a slightly lower fee and slapped on a percentage of next sale fee which should generate a bit of cash for us.

R4w6k36.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.51
Consistent and a leader of men on the pitch and off the pitch. I sense that replacing him is going to be a real challenge and it might be worthwhile keeping him around as a positive influence in the dressing room as I begin to phase him out of the team.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.45
He had a fantastic season and was our top scorer by a huge margin. Now that he has got Ioannou beside him I'm hoping that they strike up a decent partnership. If Ioannou was to get similar numbers to MacAskill next season which isn't all that far fetched given how he has started his career here then I think we might have an outside chance of mounting a title challenge. MacAskill should enjoy his moment in the sun as I'd like to see Di Mauro ST snapping at his heels for his place as the first choice support striker.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Europa Conference League prize money simply isn't enough to simultaneously improve the squad and the infrastructure of the club. That is why it is so important that we begin to compete for Champions League qualification. There is a significant wealth gap between us and Knockbreda which is only going to increase next season as they get another £15M or so from Champions League prize money. We could do ourselves a great favour by getting into the more lucrative Europa League group stage as prize money from Europe is currently our only major source of income. The market values of our players is very low and it seems we are nowhere near meeting our ambition of turning into a selling club. I cancelled our affiliation with Leganes to see whether that was having an impact on market values which it wasn't but I'm happy with the decision as I seek to move us away from taking loans from other clubs. On a more positive note, the Irish Cup win seems to have triggered a significant rise in ticket prices and season ticket prices.

Facilities - We haven't got the money to invest in the facilities so I didn't ask for any improvements to the youth and data analysis facilities. One of the side benefits of our affiliation with Coagh United is that we get to use their training facilities which their owner seems keen to invest in so we are getting to play in improved training facilities for only a few thousand pounds. I did ask for a stadium expansion as I would like to be able to use the full capacity of The Oval but the board keep coming back with a valid counter that the fan base isn't big enough which is a fair assessment. I think I'll need to either have a lot of money in the bank or win the DBP for them to consider making that move. It would be a significant step forward for us and practically double our potential attendances for each game.

Youth Intake - I think we are beginning to reap the benefits of the record level of investment in the junior coaching and youth recruitment. This is a massive improvement for an intake and there are a few players which could definitely have a future with the club if they show good development. I'd like to loan some of them out to Coagh United as I feel they will need first team opportunities and playing in the Championship is much more preferable than playing in the far weaker youth leagues. I think that level of football will be challenging for them but not so much that it becomes prohibitive to their development.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - We continue our rise up the table and now sit only one place below 3.5* reputation which is a huge rise in under 15 years from where we was. I'd be happy to hold onto our position in the coefficient table for a few seasons as that guaranteed Champions League group stage money is going to be transformative. If we can maintain or improve this position then the money feed into the other N. Irish clubs will be very helpful.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - There is definitely a gap emerging between the top 6 and the rest. I think Ballymena United provide the perfect template for how to get ahead in the league. Win the Irish Cup, get the money from Europe in the following season and turn professional. It is going to be very difficult for other teams to break into the top 6 now but they have to try otherwise the gap is just going to grow. Access to money from Europe is the way forward.
 
Club European Reputation - An uplift into the top 100 which is nice to see but overall a poor year in terms of coefficient points earned. At least there is only 2 more 0.00 point scoring years to get off the calculation. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Finished 4th in Champions League group stage - They were really poor in their group and need to stop buying all these older players looking for one final paycheck and get back to the path of developing youngsters which was the philosophy they had during my time there. They shouldn't be trying to buy 'ready made' players as they are still miles behind the European elite financially and they can't compete with them in that way.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by FC Porto after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - This was a very good season from them, they couldn't make it through the Champions League qualifiers but did exceptionally well to finish runners up in a tough looking Europa League group and progress through to the knockout stages. Ultimately, FC Porto outclassed them but they should be pleased with their accomplishments and they probably raised a lot of money with their exploits.
Ballymena United - Finished 3rd in Europa Conference League group stage - They got knocked out of the Europa League qualifiers but the money they earned has allowed them to turn professional which gets them a seat at the table when it comes to qualifying for Europe next season. This run into the group stage could transform their fortunes going forward.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Knockout Round by Livingston after 5-3 defeat on aggregate - Another brilliant season from a N. Irish club as they topped their Europa Conference League group. Admittedly, they had a much easier group than us or Ballymena United but you can only beat what is put in front of you. I thought they might have done a little better against Livingston but as they were the major contributors to the nations coefficient points this season I won't be too harsh on them.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

1pct5p7.png

image.png.69cc11b8fa7b84afa0c2a168606a1310.png

Spoiler

1SIXwsh.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2034 / 2035

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

I'd like a nice run in Europe to earn some much needed funds and to close the gap to the top 3 in the DBP. Qualifying for Europe next season is essential but anything more than that would be seen as a bonus.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - If I'm honest with myself, I'm beginning to regret leaving Knockbreda. The season started exceptionally well as we won our first 6 games in a row putting us at the summit but then narrow losses to Glenavon and Larne pushed us down the table and once we began our descent that was our title aspirations finished. We then started dropping points against the likes of Cliftonville and Ards and before we knew it our top 3 chances had gone also. Our inconsistency is really hampering us and the fact that we only managed to win one game against a top 3 rival (which was a 3-2 final day win at home to Knockbreda) epitomizes the problem. Instead of closing the gap, the gap is widening which is an ominous sign for the future. In more cheerful news, with the assistance of our loans we managed to help Coagh United to promotion through the playoff with a 5-4 aggregate win over Ards seeing them up. Their unlimited funds will certainly make next seasons DBP tougher and I await to see what they do in the transfer market. Coleraine will also be joining the top flight next season after winning the Championship title. It was also pleasing to see Linfield qualify for Europe again after a 2-1 win over Ballymena United in the playoff.

UEFA Europa League - When we drew Galatasaray in the playoff round I didn't think we would have enough to go through and after our loss in Turkey I was even more convinced that we would have to settle for a spot in the Europa Conference League group stage. Then we turned in a fantastic performance in the return leg to turn the game around and see us through into the group stage. That was undoubtedly the highlight of our campaign as we were poor in the group stage. If you can't score, you're not going to win games and that was our downfall. Remarkably, even after our terrible form in the group stage we still had a chance of getting through if we could beat Freiburg on the final matchday but a narrow loss condemned us to the wooden spoon. Overall, an okay campaign as it brought in a decent amount of money but not as much progress as I would have liked to see at this point in my tenure.

Domestic Cups - I was delighted to retain the Irish Cup as it gives us a chance at playing in the more lucrative Europa League but I think we were lucky to avoid drawing any of the top 3. We did get help in the final with the red card for Linfield but you can only beat what is put in front of you. We didn't really look like competing for any of the other trophies though.

Reserves - A reasonable season for them, once again their ranks were decimated with loans so I can understand why they didn't emerge with any silverware.

Under 18s - Great to see at least one of the clubs teams doing well, we have a crop of very talented youngsters in the team who I'm hoping will be break into the first team in time.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I see some promising signs but I also see a lot of problems that need to be addressed if we are to challenge for a top 3 place next season. First, the positives. There are a few very talented young players in the roster such as Ioannou ST and Walker MC who I think can help us on our journey which is good. I'm also pleased that a number of the older heads in the dressing room have become team leaders which helps to keep the team harmony good. Anytime there is an issue if I ask them to talk to the aggrieved party they are usually able to resolve it. That is unfortunately where the positives end.

Once again, we suffered some bad injuries which really tested the depth of our squad and we was often found wanting because of it. Kelly MR suffered a horrific leg break which had him out for practically the entire season and I have serious doubts over whether he is going to recover from it fully. MacAskill ST also fractured his lower leg in late November which had him out for 2 months and on this return he was poor even after returning to full fitness. Then there was a lot of little niggling injuries which crept in forcing me to field reserve team players in the first team.

I think I need to change my approach with respect to how I'm rotating the squad. Sometimes, too many changes can be just as bad as not enough. I should be more willing to use the Reserves to keep the squad fit and only drop my best players if they are tired or injured. We simply do not have the strength and depth to have it any other way and at this point I simply can't afford to have players getting a wage which aren't playing enough games. I also need to refresh the squad as the average age has been creeping up which works against the philosophy of a selling club which I'm hoping to turn the club into.

Transfers - I was very inactive in the transfer market this season as we just don't have the money to invest in the squad. The only player I brought in was Booth MR on a free transfer and he was later loaned out to South Shields. I made some sales but nothing to get excited about given the derisory fees paid. I decided to ship out Gemignani GK as he has developed an aversion to big matches and was considered inconsistent which is not great. I have to look for value next season as I look to rebuild the squad and the free transfer market will be an area that needs to be explored. I'm also hoping that next season I'll be able to keep some of our HG prospects at the club and develop them instead of putting them out on loan.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.13
He has developed quite well this season and has become the preferred partner alongside Mazzarelli. He is going to need competition for his place though and I'll be looking to invest in a quality central defender next season.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.13
Our top scorer who was also the young player of the season in the DBP. He's a good player but he does have the unfortunate habit of going missing for stretches of the season. He's not considered inconsistent so I'm wondering whether it might have something to do with the players around him. Owing to the injury suffered by MacAskill I couldn't really settle on a regular strike partner for him. Hopefully, if MacAskill can return to his best that might just alleviate that problem and we might start to see the best from this talented youngster.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Even with a turnover of £7M our profits are minuscule which is why I'm struggling to make progress in our project to build this club. We desperately need to get into the Champions League as our revenue streams from Europe at the moment are only enabling us to stand still. We need other teams to start spending decent money on our players and I think the only way that is going to happen is if we start playing our young talented players more regularly, allowing them to showcase their ability. The wage bill is very high and I don't feel we are getting value for that outlay. I'm also going to stop offering new contracts to players which have fully developed with the intention of moving them on.

Facilities - Next season will see a worsening of our facilities as we lose access to the training facilities at Coagh United. I have no money to invest in the infrastructure of the club given the precarious state of the finances and even after asking for a stadium expansion I was denied by the board. Things are looking really rough at the moment and we just have to ride it out and hope for better soon.

Youth Intake - So far this review has been full of doom and gloom but if there was anything that was going to lift the mood it was the intake. A golden generation for the club which provides a massive shot in the arm for the long term future of the club. Having looked at the attributes of the best players in the intake I'm cautiously optimistic and if we could develop 2 or 3 of these players for the first team we are going to have a great amount of future income down the line. Add to this the good intake we had last year and the way in which those players helped Coagh United to promotion and I think the future is looking very bright.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - The nation reaches 3.5* which is a great achievement. Unfortunately, we slipped a place in the European coefficient table which means we have lost our automatic spot in the group stage of the Champions League and now the DBP winners will have to get through the playoff round in order to make it to the group. That's not too bad and as long as we can hold onto this spot for a while I'll be satisfied.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - On the up which is good although we are still miles away from the top 3. Hopefully, Coagh United and their poor reputation doesn't hamper them too much when it comes to finding players. It'll be a great thing to see for the first time a majority of professional teams in the top flight from next season.
 
Club European Reputation - One final poor year and we should be able to start rising more sharply. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Knockout Round by Villarreal after 4-2 defeat on aggregate - Managed to squeeze out their Champions League group in 3rd and beat Dundalk in the 1st Knockout Round but Spanish opposition was always going to be a bridge too far for them.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Benfica after 2-0 defeat on aggregate - A reasonably good season for them as they got through their Europa League group but their Portuguese opponents was always going to beat them even though they did put in a decent fight.
Glenavon - Finished 3rd in Europa Conference League group stage - A very good season from them, maybe slightly unlucky not to progress through their group.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Kairat on away goals after 2-2 draw on aggregate - This is like a slap in the face for them. When are they going to start showing improvement in Europe? Their ineptitude in Europe is starting to become embarrassing given how well the other N. Irish teams are doing in comparison.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

OdQvBqX.png

image.png.0d62bdedd8e946908725fd9b72a53efc.png

Spoiler

djB9GQc.png

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always loved playing in N.Ireland and had some great careers. I used to do the Gundo challenge back in the day so I only had that nation loaded. Thats when I had the best result as I found that when I had more leauges loaded, all my staff and players would be poached more to England/scotland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread, and very interesting to see  how it panned out at Knockbreda!

You ever write any tactics threads? Curious how you consistently find winning formulas.

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 18/01/2020 at 07:31, Bigshow1 said:

Always loved playing in N.Ireland and had some great careers. I used to do the Gundo challenge back in the day so I only had that nation loaded. That's when I had the best result as I found that when I had more leagues loaded, all my staff and players would be poached more to England/Scotland.

Playing in N. Ireland is definitely a challenge but it's one that keeps on giving from my perspective. I've had saves before in England but once you reach the big time and the money is flowing, consistent success isn't hard to achieve. I used to do my careers as part of Gundo's challenge also but tend to have a better experience with the rest of the UK open alongside the top European leagues. I feel it gives a more difficult challenge and I don't mind as much my players getting poached as player sales are a major way for me to supplement the clubs income given how poor domestic revenue tends to be.

Thanks for commenting 

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, matt_mcm said:

Great thread, and very interesting to see  how it panned out at Knockbreda!

You ever write any tactics threads? Curious how you consistently find winning formulas.

Cheers!

Thanks, Knockbreda are surpassing all my expectations and are stronger than ever. The money they get from appearing in the Champions League group stage every year has really turned them into a giant which is going to take some effort to overtake. Maybe I should have exercised a bit more patience there and stayed for a bit longer as I was just starting to get some success in Europe.

I have a tactical thread which I wrote not so long ago which gives an insight into how I have learnt to play the game given in the link below.

Common misconceptions faced when building tactics

I also comment in the tactical section of the forum occasionally. My general way of playing is to keep things as simple as possible (few TIs and PIs with generic roles) and focus more on getting the right sort of players rather than trying to devise a super tactic that exploits the ME. By doing that I tend to find that my simple tactic remains more resilient to ME changes from version to version. Additionally, as I know how I expect my team to perform I can more readily make changes to react when things aren't going well which helps. For e.g. if I see that my team can't transition the ball out from the back line into midfield because the opposition are pressing them high then I'll react by telling my defenders to play more direct which I done to good effect during my time with Knockbreda in Europe. Finally, I try to be a good man manager which is often an overlooked aspect of tactics.  

All the best

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2035 / 2036

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

It's getting harder to close the gap to the top 3 rather than easier given the discrepancy in our yearly incomes and thus our abilities to invest in our squads. Another good season in Europe is essential given the financial situation and I have to somehow figure out a way to challenge for 2nd and a Champions League spot as that is the only way serious funds are going to come into the club.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - We finished a place higher which is decent but instead of playing in the Europa League we had to settle for the Europa Conference League. We started the season exceptionally well and won our first 7 games in a row but then we lost to Knockbreda 4-2 (painfully after being 2-0 up) which moved us off the top and we were never to hold that position again. Then we suffered some awful inconsistency in December which effectively ended our title challenge. We were still in the picture for a Champions League spot going into the new year but some poor late season form allowed Larne to pull away meaning we had to settle for 3rd. Thankfully, we managed to hold onto 3rd as both Ballymena United and Glenavon was snapping at our heels and had we lost to them post split we could have dropped as low as 5th and had the possibility of missing out on qualifying for Europe entirely which would have been a disaster.

In more positive news, Coagh United managed to stay up thanks to a win over Warrenpoint Town in the relegation playoff and as a result I think they will become mainstays in the top flight given their ability to invest in their squad and the bump to reputation they got. Next season will also see another Belfast based club joining the top flight with Harland and Wolff Welders making their top flight debut.

UEFA Europa League - I thought we would have to qualify but in the end we were entered straight into the group stage. We were very impressive against Sporting Lisbon who I expected to be stronger than us but the rest of the games went as expected with the exception of the final game where we put in a good performance to claim a point against the Italian giants. Pleasingly, we managed to finish 3rd which puts us through to the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League.

UEFA Europa Conference League - This looks like a bug to me as I thought you got country protection (can't face another club from N. Ireland) in the 1st Knockout Round. After the 1st leg, I thought we might have stood a chance of turning it around but our poor league form at the time seeped into our European games and we ended up losing both legs. At least it ensured that a N. Irish team reached the 2nd Knockout Round which led to something incredible happening which I'll explain later.

Domestic Cups - A disappointing season in the cups from us. We didn't turn up against Crusaders in the Irish Cup and deserved our loss. If we are to become the dominant team in N. Ireland we are going to have to develop a way of beating Larne and Knockbreda on a more consistent basis or face being eliminated by them every time in the cups.

Reserves - At least our backup players appear to be on the ball, winning a superb double.

Under 18s - The present situation with the first team may not be looking too rosy but at least the future is looking bright.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - Another season where the squad picked up some injuries, the worst of which being a torn calf muscle suffered in training by new signing Stanko DR which had him out for 4 months. Less rotation helped us early in the season as we were in exceptional form but it didn't last throughout. Even attempts to rotate more when we were off form didn't seem to help. The main source of frustration for me comes from the teams which we dropped points against. Losing against Knockbreda or Larne I can accept, they have better squads than us and we are always going to be up against it. It's the games against Dungannon Swifts and the like where we lose which I can't fathom. We create enough good opportunities in those sorts of games to score enough goals to win comfortably but just aren't ruthless enough. We allow teams like that to remain in games which we are going to need to improve upon if we are to get closer to competing for a Champions League berth.

I also think there are areas of the squad which need strengthening. We need a top class GK as some of the mistakes made by Boltze were really costly. His distribution at times was also very poor and even though I have instructed him to get the ball to the full backs there were many occasions where he kicked the ball straight into the centre of the park which often resulted in us losing possession. We need a quality defensive minded central midfielder as I don't think Adler and McClelland are up to the job. I feel they are partly to blame for why we couldn't finish some games off as they were unable to win the battle for the central midfield which would allow us to dominate the ball and keep possession. A lot of sloppy passing and gifting the ball to the opposition didn't help our cause. An inability to compete in the air was also a problem alongside a reluctance to challenge for the 2nd ball. Seeking to find some positives, there has been a significant uplift in the market values of our players which I'm hoping will lead to us smashing our record income for transfers out of the club in the near future.

Transfers - I made a lot of moves this time around and I was very happy with the majority of players that I managed to bring in. Greenop DC is not shown in the screenshot but I managed to sell him to Plymouth Argyle for £1.9K which worked out well for both parties given his game time would have been scarce given the new arrivals for his position. Knockbreda took a liking to some of our players. I was gutted to lose both Derry and Healy from our youth team but they refused to open talks on a professional contract which meant I had to settle for a compensation package. The same is true for another of our best youth players but he will be leaving in January 2037 when he turns 17. I didn't really want to sell Bullock MC but he wanted to leave so I cashed in given that I signed Isreal who looks a talented prospect as a replacement. We made a good profit in our transfer dealings and I'll be looking for more of the same next season.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.46
The new signing had a really good debut season. He probably would have been more productive had he chosen to cross more often as part of his role when in advanced positions instead of shooting. Hopefully, he will be able to improve on that next season.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.33
He was once again our top scorer and managed a higher average rating this season which are both good signs. He still blows hot and cold though. When he is on his game he can score 2 or 3 goals without any problem but when he's off form he is a liability, missing chance after chance. A player of his standard should be scoring a lot more goals and be closer to the goal a game ratio in the league. He should be comfortably a 30 goal a season striker in N. Ireland, the fact that he hasn't managed that yet is disappointing given his positive start. He needs to start proving to me that he has what it takes to move us up to the next level or I'm going to have to move him on and find a replacement who can. Admittedly, he did have some injury issues this season but not enough to explain such a low goal scoring return.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Even after record profits in the transfer market and good prize money from Europe we are still only maintaining our position. I'm hoping that we can start to really pull in some decent money from the transfer market next season as our finances are only considered 'Okay' and that is nowhere near good enough to start investing heavily in the clubs infrastructure.

Facilities - I asked for the stadium expansion again and once again my request was rejected. We really need the ability to do that as we are selling out the 5,056 capacity every time we meet Linfield and I know we would sell many more tickets if we could use the full potential 10,000 capacity.

Youth Intake - Not quite as good as last season but still a very decent intake with some potential first team players coming through. Jenkins MC looks really good and Ward ST could definitely get some cup action next season if he shows some good development.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Staying in place is no bad thing as it gets increasingly difficult to rise from this point. We managed to recover our automatic spot in the Champions League group stage this season thanks to our performances in the nation coefficient.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Coagh United managed to put on 0.5* which is good as that should broaden their horizons when it comes to bringing in players. Also note how Larne's reputation has increased even though they didn't win the DBP.
 
Club European Reputation - We went flying up the table this time which is good, we'll have to qualify for the group stages next season which could be a good opportunity to earn some decent coefficient points. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Knockout Round by Aberdeen after 4-0 defeat on aggregate - Had a decent campaign in the Champions League as they managed to get through their group in 3rd. I would have like to see them do better against Aberdeen though, they looked completely out of their depth against a team which they should have been competitive against given their squad.
Larne - Won Europa Conference League on penalties after 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao - What an incredible achievement from them to become the first N. Irish team to win a European trophy. They didn't have to face the toughest of opponents on their run to the final but who cares this is a massive moment for N. Irish football. Just a shame I wasn't the manager to do it.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Slovan Bratislava after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - A woeful performance from them and they should be hanging their heads in shame.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Rosenborg after 3-2 defeat on aggregate - I can understand the reasons behind this defeat more than last seasons but even still they just aren't progressing at all which is damaging as we need them to be strong in order to build the nation as a whole.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

iU4F2sj.png

image.png.b95a48f7530c49ca1db659359c54f64d.png

Spoiler

9GbNaMc.png

Edited by pheelf

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...