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FC Metalist 1925 & The rise of the "The Yellow and Blue" a Ukraine adventure

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I am back with a new save, after the success (relative easy success of my former save at Hajduk Split) I have decided to embark on a new adventure. So here we are in the very North-East of Ukraine and in the 2nd largest City in the Country, Kharkiv. 

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Our new club is going to be Metalist 1925 who are currently playing in the 2nd division or Persha Liha of Ukrainian Football. Metalist 1925 is a fairly new club, it was only founded in 2016, its the rebirth of FC Metalist Kharkiv. 
Our former club actually folded in 2016 due to insolvency and was removed from the Ukrainian Premier League after the former owner got himself into some trouble and found himself on an international watch list for a list of various reasons.. 


Not long after FC Metalist Kharkiv was dissolved, the city gained two new clubs; SK Metalist Kharkiv (its actually somehow owned by the former bad boy FC Metalist owner Serhiy Kurchenko (AKA "The Gas King of Ukraine") and our new club FC Metalist 1925 Kharkiv where we will embark on our new adventure.


This will  be my first adventure into Ukraine, I have never managed or visited the Country. I picked Metalist based on their colours, logo and their ethos to focus on local juniors. This will not be a youth only save but I liked this aspect discovered during my research. I also wanted a harder challenge than Hajduk Split and with Shaktar Dontesk being in the division above us, we have a worthy future challenge in overthrowing this domestic super power.


The club plays their home games at the Metalist Oblast Sports Complex with a capacity of 40,000 people and it was used for group B of Euro 2012. Recently we have been letting Shakhtar Donetsk also use our stadium for their home games due to the War being taken place in Donbas where their usual home stadium is located.  Sadly we are not charging them for this but it will add some spice in the future should we make it out of the league and start to challenge Shakhtar for the title.

Metalist Stadium Kharkiv.jpg

Edited by Kingofcm03

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Welcome to the Ukraine!

Good training facilities, Below Average youth facilities and Fairly Basic youth recruitment. We are predicted to finish in 5th place, I have loftier ambitions and will aim for 1 of the 3 automatic promotion places. Last seasons 4th place finish would seem to indicate that we should be there or close enough.

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Club Finances

We are not starting from a position of strength here, we are already in in the red zone and with little to no room to move in the wage budget either.

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Club Vision 

Our Immediate vision request is to sign Brazilian players, while I would really love this, it will be impossible with no money to spend. The board does also expect we should be finishing in the top 4 of the Persha Liha and next season they would like me to make the top 3 and gain automatic promotion.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 1 - 2019/20

Transfers 2019/20 

Obviously we made some moves, we signed 8 players ourselves and the first 3 players were signed before we took charge. With no money to spend and being able to offer not much more than the cost of a sandwich in wages, we had to be creative. All the players signed are Ukrainian, we could have signed a few Brazilian players but they wanted very lofty wages of more than double or triple the Ukrainian players. We just couldn't justify those numbers. The good news is that there was some fairly adequate players around for free and a couple on amateur contracts we could poach. The main aim was to bring in some players who had some quality and with at least 1-2 high value stats in some areas and improve the squad.

A bunch of players also left us, I basically offered anybody with a higher than most wage out, I needed to make space in the squad and wage budget. We made a small amount of cash back, that should at least be enough to keep the lights on.

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Vitaliy Ryabushko

Probably the best overall player in the squad, signed mostly for his high determination and mental stats. Hes a former Dynamo Kyiv youth prospect. I expect him to be a big player for us. 

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Petro Pereverza

I am hoping that Petro can be the main man up front, hes got some good stats for this league and his finishing of 15 should be one of the highest around. Hes a little shorter than I would have liked but his work rate and teamwork stats should help him to make a difference.

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Sergiy Gerasymets

Not amazing at all but hes actually better than any of the current wingers we have in the squad, so he will slot in nicely. Hes also able to play both sides and this was the main draw to bring him in.  Hes also moderately quick for this level of playing so that should help us.

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Vasyl Prodan

Most likely will be our 2nd forward option, again hes not great at all but hes also better than what we have. He will likely be playing F9 so his off the ball rating was ok for this.

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Dmytro Nevmyvaka

Super experienced CB who will be the best we have, despite being older hes got ok physical stats and we will hopefully benefit from his leadership and heading ability. I might try to use his height and heading to our advantage on some set piece moves.

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Sergiy Garaschenkov

We had only 1 option to play RB so we had to bring in another. He can also help us cover in CB as well. 

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Yaroslav Prokypchuk

Another former Dynamo Kyiv youth product, despite FM thinking hes best at IW, we have plans to move him into the middle of the park and help us around there.

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Olexandr Lebdenko

Was looking to add some left footed wide players and Lebdenko was the only one I could find that would join. Easy decision then. Not sure how we will set up the side yet but he should be of some value.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2019/20 Full Squad

Here is the full squad that we take into the season, nothing is set on first choice players yet and all positions are option for competition. They key battles will be on the wings and who plays in my centre midfield pairing. 

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Tactic 

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We will run with something like this for now, I fear that its probably asking too much of the players and they ability but we will adjust as we go on.  I will be trialing a few spots, namely the PF (I want to look at DLF and F9) and the CM-S (I am looking at DLP-D and playing 2 of them or CM-D) and also I will look at making one of the CD-D (Will trial a BPD)

From what I have seen so far in the league (I am in the 4 month winter break as I type this) there is some VERY interesting formations being used. I have seen at least 2 of the teams play with 5 across the middle so far and there is a team also rocking along with a 4-3-3 and a true 3 strikers up front. I think we will need to adapt and have a few set ups ready.

 

Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2019/20 - July Fixtures

Great start to the season as we knock away 4 wins from 5 games and we are firing along nice, also was pleased with Pereverza and his 4 goals against Minaj and I really hoping this is a sign of things to come. If he can achieve that level then we should be in great shape at the end of season.

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Season 2019/20 - July Table

Chornomorets and Metalurg are setting the early pace and title favourites Volyn are just behind them

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Season 2019/20 - August Fixtures

Another fantastic month, we started off with a loss to top of the table Chornomorets (who are destroying everybody actually as they won their first 10 games straight...) But we recover from there to go unbeaten for the rest of the month.  Was a fantastic month for both Gerasyments with 5 goals and Pereverza with 4 goals.

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Season 2019/20 - August Table

Chornomorets are flying at the top now, they finally did manage to drop a game thankfully. Poor Metalurg, they won their first 5 games then only managed to win 1 more after that but we are now into 2nd place and trying to stay with Chornomorets.

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Season 2019/20 - October Fixtures

I stupidly deleted the fixtures and table screenshot that I had from September, so there is 3 games missing from the screenshots and I am at work now and dont have access to FM here to get them. We will just skip ahead to October screenshots now but we can work out using some simple logic that in September, we won 1 game and had 2 draws.  October was less than ideal as we lost a tough game to Avangard and then dropped points to the rapidly declining Metalurg. In the Cup, predictably we are smashed by Zorya who are a powerful Premier League side and well well above our level.

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Season 2019/20 - October Table

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Season 2019/20 - November Fixtures

Just the two games in November as we head into the very very long 4 month winter break..........

It was however a very good month, we grabbed a game from Chornomorets to peg them back a little more.

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Season 2019/20 - November Table

That win over Chornomorets helped get us into fist place and looking down from the top over the long break. I am still not sure I am going to enjoy having 4 long months with nothing to do. I will likely holiday until January 1st, play during the window and then holiday again during February and March.  However for now we are delighted with the progress, we are fulfilling my desire to try and blast most teams off the park with nice attacking football and I am pleased our defence is also fairly solid.

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Season 2019/20 - Winter Break Squad Stats

Nobody is really being a world beater so far, but obviously Pereverza with 12 goals is key and Shershen is holding the backline together at CD and being supported from RB by Zhuk and his goals and assists. With no money at all and no wage room, we wont be making any changes during January either. I will however be looking into the under 21s and 19s to see if there is anybody performing well enough to come up and make a difference.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2019/20 - March Fixtures
 

After the brutally long winger break in Ukraine (120 days between last game and first friendly!!!) we resume with action back on the pitch in March with a bunch of friendly games to get back into fitness. We also have 1 game of the fairly short phase 2 of the season (only 9 games) and thankfully we open with the worst team in the league as we played fairly awful and grabbed an 83rd minute winner. We need to be better in the coming games as we don't want to let our slim lead slip.

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Season 2019/20 - April Fixtures

What a terrible month this was, if we are trying to let the other teams catch us, then we are doing an amazing job. To only manage draws against 2 of the worst teams in the league and both at home is really unacceptable when you are not only pushing for promotion but also a league title! The form between our best games and worst games is quite different, we have to be more consistent as I would hate to lose a title due to having too many draws!

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Season 2019/20 - April Table

Thankfully however, we are still 6 points clear and there is only 4 games to go. This is not down to our form but more so the form of the guys chasing us, in March and April we saw 2nd place Chornomorets drop 3 games and slip down to 4th and then 3rd place Avangard also then dropped 3 games and slipped down to 5th. I am really amazed with Chornomorets, they started the season with 10 straight wins, I thought they were going to run away with it (even more so when they played us off the park in our first game) but still tho, you only need to finish in the top 3 and you get automatic promotion. At the bottom of the table, Rukh Lviv are already relegated and then its straight fight from 7th place down to 15th place and 12 points up for grabs remaining. Crazy league this, its all so tight and almost any team can beat anybody.

April-table.png

 

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Season 2019/20 - May Fixtures

The final month of the season is here! and we have bounced back into form finally! the last game of the season was a crazy match actually, I was testing a new tactic out here and we raced ahead 6-1 but they pegged 3 late goals and made the score line extraordinary. Safe to say, I likely wont be using much of what I learned in this game but the 5 goals to Pereverza were nice and it helped his season stats look much more respectable. We also did manage to clinch the title, so that was a very nice month for us and again thanks to the chasing pack bleeding points we have actually won the league with a 9 point overall lead. 

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Season 2019/20 -  Final Table

Kremin and Volyn will be making the step up with us next season. We also finshed with the best attack in the league (as planned) but our defence was quite leaky and this will need to be resolved when we step up against better sides.

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Other News

Interesting news! It now appears there is only 1 automated relegation spot next season. 

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Season 2019/20 -  Review and Thoughts

You would have to call me a liar if thought getting promoted was not possible, I probably didn't expect to win the league and win it that easy but I knew that despite being predicted 5th and 12-1 odds to win the league, all we would need is a few additions and some proper tactics and management. All of the teams pretty much start off very even, there is no money in the league at all and you have to just make a run for the best free agents against all the other teams. When you add in some *cough* quality manager skills, then you can be in the fight.

I have no idea how we are going to go when we get promoted, I had a look at the team who was relegated down (Olimpik Donetsk) and they have much better players than us and they also pay their players around double what we do. The board have set the budgets at 0 transfers and they have added a tiny amount to the wage budget. We will have to get creative again with free agents and we are going to lose some players for free as well. The squad is 100% not good enough for the Pre'er-Liha but we will do our best and when you think about it, I just have to be better than the 2 sides coming up....easy?

I will also have a long think about the tactic, do we stick to our attacking principles? or should I try and play a little tighter?. I watch a lot of the Bundesliga games and I do admire that Paderborn are rock bottom of the league and yet they still play with their attacking mentality regardless. 

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Finances

Not sure what I can do about this but its looking very bleak, I am hoping that after promotion we can get more bums on seats at the games and attract a better sponsor deal. The board have not indicated in anyway that they will be ready to help bail us out. We will need to do this ourselves.

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2019/20 - Persha Liha Team of the Season

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Season 2019/20 - Final Squad Stats

Nobody really outstanding, even Pereverza with 19 goals is standing out but when you consider he did score 9 of his 19 goals in only 2 games...well its not that amazing is it? Almost everybody in the side can be replaced. I would imagine at this stage the only locks to come up with us will be Pereverza, Chorniy, Shershen, Derek, Dodo, Zhuk and Osman.  I do like Gerasymets but with the position he plays and how important that is to our formation and tactic, he needs to be better. With finishing of 7, thats not going to really get us very far. I will concentrate on making the spine better, so we will focus on GK, CD, CM and work backwards from there.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Lovely first season! Stick to your attacking principles it’s entertainment after all! My real life team hearts are bottom of the league due to our old manager being negative and defensive. It wouldn't be as bad being bottom if we had been attacking teams 

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On 10/01/2020 at 23:38, SixPointer said:

Lovely first season! Stick to your attacking principles it’s entertainment after all! My real life team hearts are bottom of the league due to our old manager being negative and defensive. It wouldn't be as bad being bottom if we had been attacking teams 

I did decide to just stay with my attacking principles, I prefer to go down with a fight and it makes it more entertaining. 

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On 10/01/2020 at 21:43, deltablue said:

Good start. I had a lot of fun with the old Metalist once.

Thanks! I never heard of them before to be honest, never really looked at Ukraine to manage either so its been fun to learn the interesting league rules (you can make 5 subs in a game!)

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Season 2 - 2020/21

Transfers 2020/21

Huge summer of transfers at Metalist! We bought in 11 new players to the team during the window and then added a 12th later on due to injury/need. We again had no money to spend and all players were signed for free. I also sent out 10 players to new homes as we tried to lift the overall quality of the squad. The tricky issue with playing in the Ukraine is that they are not in the EU, all players are counted as foreign and you are really only allowed to have 7 foreigners in the team (you can have more but only 7 can take the field at a time) Not helping this issue is that all the best Ukrainian players are playing for Shakhtar or outside the league, there is limited as best Ukrainian nationals who I could sign and that could contribute.

With that being said, 8 of the 11 players signed below are foreigners and later I added the 9th.  We did actually try to sign a couple more but the board blocked those transfers and said "We are blocking this transfer due to the fact we have not signed enough Brazilian players". I then had to change approach and sign some Brazilians to please the board.

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Maxym Tatarenko 

We lost both GKs from last season so we needed to bring 2 players, we signed Maxym on loan to give us cover. Not sure who will start out of him and the next guy that I signed below but we have better options than last season at least.

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Sergiy Sitalo

My experienced GK option that was signed, I am leaning towards making him my number 1 for now.

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Vasilije Djuric

He should essentially be the best player at the club, he has the best overall stats. We set out this window to ensure we improved the quality of the CM position. Hes also young enough that we can likely improve him and sell him on for profit later.

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Murilo

The next piece of my new look midfield is Murilo, he serves as a quality upgrade and makes the board happy with adding a Brazilian. We like his flair and passing, we are hoping he can help us unlock some stubborn defences.

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Ionut Serban

The last piece of the midfield puzzle is Serban, I've had some experience with him before in this save when I was doing a test with Dinamo Bucuresti. He should help us out and add the desired quality. If I change up my formation as I am thinking then there is a chance we can play all 3 new CMs at the same time.

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Francisco Vazzoler

Not a Brazilian but close enough! We need more quality upfront and Vazzoler should be able to provide this. At the stage I can see him being an instant starter for us.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Transfers 2020/21 - Continued

Yuriy Kolomoets

A decent 3rd and rotation option for us, he has top league experience and that was what we liked about bringing him in. Hes also at some stage had 1 cap for Ukraine in 2017, so there must be a decent enough player in there for me to use.

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Luwaga Kizito

In my quest to add more quality to the wide positions, we have signed the 49 times capped Ugandan. Hes the only full international we currently have. Again hes much better than what we have and used last season and will try him on the left IW position to start with. Hes also the highest earner at the club so he needs to perform! None our current wide options were really performing enough to make me excited so we really wanted to make a new addition to this area of the pitch.

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Tojo

We needed more quality at CB and Tojo is perfect for us, hes now the best CB at the club. Hes got great height, amazing heading and should improve our defence a lot. I liked his player traits of Tight marking and long range passing, so he might be used as a BPD.

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Kristiyan Grigorov

Must admit, I was not a huge fan of this signing but we I was getting desperate. Hes VERY slow but does have some decent physical stats about him.

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Leonan

A super quality Brazilan fullback for our level, the board and the fans both loved this signing. Hes also now valued quite high and I can always sell him on later. Hes a guaranteed starter for us at Left WB. 

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Mateo Susic

We lacked quality at Right WB and Zhuk (our current only option there) was getting injured and suspended too much. We signed Susic after the window had closed and hes already a massive upgrade for us. He has some caps for his country but is currently not in the team for Bosnia. Still however, hes going to be very good addition for us.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Club Finances

We are in a world of trouble here at the moment, despite generating some cash via sales in the summer we still find ourselves very much in the red. This screen shot is taken in September and where I am in the game now (December) its closer to 300k in the red. I have a feeling that we will need to sell players soon to make the board happy and get us back in the black!

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New Assistant Manager

I also bought in a new Assistant Manager, I am super super happy with this signing. Olexander Funderat has lots of experience, hes got quailty stats and we snapped him from Shakhtar where he was the Assistant Manager for their youth academy. He was however the former HOYD for 4 years at Shakhtar and hes a really good signing for our club.

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Season 2020/21 Full Squad

Here is how we started the season, the only difference is that Susic is now in the team and we have dropped out Prokypchuk to make the space for him.

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Manager Thoughts

I am super excited for this season ahead, I really dont think we will get relegated as I am confident in our new signings to bring in the quality needed. We now have a better squad than at least 3 of the other teams. I was debating trying to make a new tactic and system for this season and toyed with dropping deep and hitting hard on the counter but in the end we stick with our relative attack minded 4-2-4 and I am working on a new 4-2-3-1 as well. For the future, we really need to get some money coming in as we are going to have some big troubles soon. There was actually talk of a 'take over' but nothing has been mentioned for a few months. We will obviously get bigger crowds now we are promoted but unless we sell out 40k seats each week then its not really going to help. We also want to improve the facilities but again, with no money its not going to happen soon.

 

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Season 2020/21 - July Fixtures

Our first game of the season was a good test for us, we had to play Zorya who also thrashed as 4-1 last season in the cup. This was a good way to see how the new team was holding up and we passed with flying colours and ran out 3-1 winners. They finished 4th last season so this is great great first up win for us.

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Season 2020/21 - August Fixtures

Wow what a crazy month! We are flying here at the moment. I have no idea how we are doing this but we will take it.  I would never had thought we would open the season with 4 straight wins. The 2 draws are also totally fine and they are against teams who finished in the top 6 last season as well. 

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Season 2020/21 - August Table

Sitting in 2nd after the first month, we almost have as many wins that the relegated team last season had with 5.

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Season 2020/21 - September Fixtures

Well, after the huge highs of last month, we have just crashed and burned badly here. What makes it more amazing is that we were beating Shakhtar 3-1 and they fought back to beat us 4-3 and I think this killed our spirit. Still tho it was a great battle against them and they will be looking over their shoulders now thinking this little promoted team is dangerous...

The most annoying loss this month was the cup game to Persha Liha side Avangard. They were also one of only 3 teams to beat us last season as well, I probably not have sent out a weaker side. They had us down 4-0 at HT and I was in total shock. We then followed this up with a loss to fellow promoted side Kremin. All in all.... a terrible terrible month.

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Season 2020/21 - September Table

Going backwards after that month, however we still are fine and its been a decent start to the season for us. Volyn and Kremin who were also promoted with us are also doing fairly well. Shakhtar are destroying everybody at the moment as they should and are well in front. They took Dynamo Kyiv apart 3-0...just to show their quality against our league.

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Season 2020/21 - October Fixtures

Thank god we managed to turn the ship around here, with 3 straight wins to revive our season. Was very happy with the win over Dynamo Kiev. It potentially was going to be a tough month as Dynamo Kiev finished in 2nd place last season and Desna Chernihiv finished in 3rd, so they this was potentially going to be a tough month but we bounced back into form..

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Season 2020/21 - October Table

Back into 3rd spot and hanging around the European places. Shakhtar are 12 wins from 12 games now.... might as well give them the trophy for Xmas. They have also only conceeded 5 goals in 12 games and 3 of those came against me.

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Season 2020/21 - November Fixtures

Another cool month for us, with 2 wins and a draw we are still defying the odds and what is expected of us. We are totally ok with our form. The only slight concern is that we struggle with goals, as Pereverza is quite hot and cold but when hes cold, we then struggle and we need to get more goals from the others.

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Season 2020/21 - November Table

It would seem we are not getting relegated on the first attempt up, last season the bottom side was relegated with 29 points. We are safe. Shakhtar finally dropped points as they had a draw this month but are so far ahead that its pointless. With Desna Chernihiv just behind us in the table and appearing to now get some good form going, we have to good or they will catch us. We also have played a game more than them. There is large gap forming fro the top 6 so we just want to hang around there, I wont start thinking about a miracle European place until after the winter break.

november-table.png

Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2020/21 - December Fixtures

Just the two games in December, we play out an entertaining 4-3 games with fellow newly promoted side Volyn and needing a 90+5 minute winner to get the points. We now have the very long break until March and our next game is 85 days away. I will lock down some friendly games in Febuaray to help ease us back into the 2nd half of the season

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Season 2020/21 - December Table

Doing a great job so far, we are pushing Dynamo Kiev for the 2nd position. They will be worried as they have had a lock on 2nd place for around the last 10 years. Also we have now mathematically cleared being relegated, with only 9 games in the 2nd half of the season and a 27 points up for grabs, we are 29 ahead of bottom placed Kolos Kovalivka. Much easier than I expected!

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Season 2020/21 - Winter Finances

Things are looking very bad here and with no games for a very long time either to help.  I really dont want to sell players to balance the books so hopefully we get some help from the board or we start the takeover talks again.

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Season 2019/20 - Winter Break Squad Stats

Petro Pereverza is the main man again this season, without his goals we would be much worse off. We are also being supported well from some of the new signings, Murilo and Djuric are great from the middle of the field, Leonan is really solid at Left WB and Tojo has helped to lock down the CB areas.  I really would like and need more goals from the wide men, they play such an important role for us so they need to be doing better. I i obviously dont have any money to spend in January so the squad will be the same when we start again in March, assuming I am not forced to have a fire sale to balance the books.

Winter-squad-stats.png

 

Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2020/21 - March Fixtures

Solid month to resume the season, FK Oleksandriya are right behind us on the table so it was important to get the points here. We played all our March games at home and we continue with our good run of no defeats since September.

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Season 2020/21 - March Table

Dynamo dropped a game in March and that allowed us to move into 2nd place. We play them and Shakhtar next month so April is shaping up as the month where things will be decided.

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Season 2020/21 - April Fixtures

So we failed in our quest to do the double over Dynamo Kiev and they win the very important game to nudge them towards 2nd, we also were totally out played by Shakhtar and didn't look anything like the side that pushed them to a 4-3 earlier this season. Also this month we had 2 very solid wins over Desna Chernihiv and Kremin but its likely not enough to ensure we finish above Dynamo.

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Season 2020/21 - May Fixtures

Annoying! we smashed bottom placed Kolos Kovalivka but failed in the final game of the season to Dnipro-1. 

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Season 2020/21 -  Final Table

As it turns out, it didn't really mater that we lost to Dnipro-1 as Dynamo still managed to come in 2nd and 4 points ahead of us. Shakhtar were totally dominate this season, they were so close to the perfect 26/26 and they look almost unstoppable for the near future. I think it will take another 3 seasons at least to be close enough to challenge them because at the moment they dont look like losing to anybody in our league and we can only try and beat them twice and hope that they can drop points in other games but this also means we have to be close to perfect as well.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2020/21 -  Review and Thoughts

What a crazy and great first season after being promoted, I expected we would survive and not be near the bottom but probably didn’t think we would push Dynamo hard for 2nd place and quite comfortably earn a spot in Europe next season. I am not sure how I am going to take down Shakhtar anytime soon, they have a great squad and probably have endless funds available as they always make the Champions League group stages or knock out rounds. Some of their better players are wanted at the moment, I can only hope that they sell those on and the replacements are not as good. My immediate aim is to consistently finish in 2nd place, something even the former Metalist Kharkiv could never achieve, I think that should be a much easier option for us as Dynamo are not that much stronger than us but finishing in 2nd gives us a shot to make the Champions League groups and this is the only way I can compete and take on Shakhtar in a proper street fight.

It’s likely going to be another summer overhaul in the squad because firstly, we are not good enough to have a run in the Europa and we need to make the group stages. I know if we lose the qualify game we would drop into the EC2 and that also brings in some cash but the Europa League is better and with close to 500k per win, we likely just need 1 or 2 and we can be better off financially.  I also want to start the foundations of the future and try and find some younger players who we can build around, Murilo and Djuric are perfect examples of this, it would also be helpful if we can find some younger Ukrainian players to add into the squad. I need to build a squad that can run with Dynamo and get us into the Europe League groups and all this with being in debt and no wages but I am enjoying the challenge at the moment.

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Season 2019/20 - Final Squad Stats

Pereverz, Vazzoler, Djuric, Murilo, Leonan, Tojo, Susic, Ryabushko and Shershen are the only players I am likely to bring back next season. The rest of the players are not good enough to move the club forward.

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New Owner

We actually gained a new owner and General Manager, the old one decided to step down. I was a bit worried the game would appoint a super tycoon and I was glad that we didn't get one. He didn't really provide me anything but has cleared the debts and provided me an updated vision. I want to ask him to remove the "Sign Brazilian Players" as its quite annoying to have players being blocked from coming in as the board wants more and more players from Brazil but dont seem to have any idea of the rules around foreigner players and home grown squad registration rules but to them they want ALL THE BRAZILIANS ...

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 3 - 2021/22

Transfers 2021/22

Another summer with lots of movement, we bring in 11 new faces and 2 of those being loans. We also managed to spend our first actual cash on 2 players! This was largely due to the sales of Kizito and Djuric, we let them leave for the benefit of the overall mission and needing to reverse the bank balance back into the black. 

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Sergiy Budkivskyi

I like this signing, despite the fact I am likely helping him develop for Dynamo and turning him into a good player. I am hoping that if we have a good run in the Europa and can maybe sell another couple of players, we can raise enough cash to possibly buy him in the future should he be good enough for us.

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Eugene Murashov

I'll happily admit this guy is not great but I wanted a physical forward so I could use a Pressing Forward in some games and I figured he looked good enough to help us with that idea.  He wont be relied on to score us the winning goals but hoping he can use his Agrgession and Work Rate to influence some matches.

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Jeka

On loan from Shakhtar, he will provide much needed quality out wide, his Work Rate is a little lower than I would normally prefer but I think he can do a decent job for us and it does improve the position greatly.

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Sandro Lima

Another upgrade for our wide forward positions, he can also cover and do a job upfront but for now hes going be starting out wide. He also helps please the board by signing Brazilians. 

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Olexander Pikhalyonok

A former Shakhtar youth product, he should give us a much needed boost in quality in the middle of the park. He spent last season in their reserves team but hes good enough to start for us in most games and should partner Murilo in the CM positions.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Transfers 2021/22 - Continued

Michel Poon-Angeron

I wanted to find some young players to sign and develop, either for the future or to sell on and Poon-Angeron looked ok.  I will work on turning him into a B2B midfielder. At the moment for the time being he will provide some solid backup from the bench.

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Robson

In my quest to continue the upgrades, we signed Robson and again hes Brazilian so that helps us and our Brazil obsessed board members.... I was rejected on a few signings by the board as they were not happy due to lack of Brazilian signings but hopefully we have put that to rest now.

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Bogdan Butko

Another former Shaktar youth prospect, he will provide us with an alternate option at Right WB and give us 2 very solid options there. Hopefully Shaktar keep letting going some more "rejects" each season as they are good enough for us and I would like to beat them using a team of their former youth players.

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Eugene Neplyakh

I need some Ukrainian players and I need a 4th CB so it we signed Neplyakh. I dont imagine he will get many games but hes at least not terrible if we do need to at some stage.

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Kostyantyn Makhnovskyi

Hopefully this signing is the last of our constant changes at GK, at least for a few years. He is far better than anything we have had before and I was quite surprised to get him. Hes another former Dynamo Kiev youth product but never played for them, he does have a fair amount of experience. He was actually banned for 10 games last year in real life by Uefa for some questionable conduct towards another player during a Europa League game... Hence why his aggression is set at 20!!!

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2021/22 Full Squad

We are on the way to building a squad that I wont need to change 50% off each window, lots of positions are open for competition so I am looking forward to seeing that play out. 

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Europa League Qualifier

There was easier teams to draw against but we will try our best here. I am happy we play away in the first leg, it gives us a chance to snatch and grab a goal to help. If we lose then I think we drop down into the EC2 group stages, I am ok with that as well but the extra funds from the Europa League is more on my agenda.

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Tough draw! 

1 hour ago, Kingofcm03 said:

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Season 2021/22 Full Squad

We are on the way to building a squad that I wont need to change 50% off each window, lots of positions are open for competition so I am looking forward to seeing that play out. 

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Europa League Qualifier

There was easier teams to draw against but we will try our best here. I am happy we play away in the first leg, it gives us a chance to snatch and grab a goal to help. If we lose then I think we drop down into the EC2 group stages, I am ok with that as well but the extra funds from the Europa League is more on my agenda.

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Season 2021/22 - July Fixtures

That opening game of the season vs Zorya made me very very angry! We had 60% possession, 38 shots and 19 on target and their keeper saved 18 shots!!!! they had 6 on target and scored 3.... 

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Season 2021/22 - August Fixtures

Thankfully we bounce back after that game, we obliterated Fenerbahce away from home 4-1.. but did suffer a 2-1 defeat in the reverse. I suppose thats fine, we have now made the group stages of the Europa League.  I was not totally sure we would lose the tie to be honest, after I did some scouting of their team I realised they were not as good as Shakhtar so it would be not that easy for them to beat us. The rest of the month was also quite good, we took a credible draw with Dynamo Kiev away from home with 2 later 2nd half goals. The only blip this month was the defeat to Desna Chernihiv. We also had some good individual performances as Petro Pereverza came up very big for us against Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev

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Europa League

There is some winnable games here, All 3 teams are of a higher quality on paper and obviously Roma is going to be a really tough challenge but I think we can get a win or 2 over Red Star and Brondby. Ideally we just would like to get a win or 2 and put some money in the bank.

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The group is definitely a good one! After turning over the Turks. I would fancy you to win against the Danes and Serbs 

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Season 2021/22 - September Fixtures

Fantastic month really, predictably we lost to Roma but we did give some fight and then had a fun game at home to Red Star, with Petro Pereverza doing the job yet again in the big games. Hes actually started the season really well for us and after 6 goals last month, hes now put away another 7. Also this month we had an amazing result against Shakhtar away from home (its actually our home but we let them play here) and this snaps their 50+ winning streak and makes them sit up and take notice.

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Season 2021/22 - September Table

Amazingly after we beat Shakhtar then they then lost another game, so 2 defeats in 3 games. They look much more vulnerable this season, this is despite spending 46 million in the window. Newly promoted Olimpik Donetsk (They were relegated first season and then won the Persha Liha last season) are sitting right behind me for the time being. The other promoted teams Inguelts Petrove are struggling really badly but MFK Mykolaiv are doing ok with 3 wins in 11 games. I am actually expecting Dynamo Kyiv to do much better this season, they have a great line up of young Ukrainian talent in their side, they make up a bulk of the national youth squads and are the only other team to beat Shakhtar this season.

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Season 2021/22 - October Fixtures

Safe to say we are hitting some good form now, the draw to Lviv was a bit of a surprise and I was really upset to lose the game to Brondby at home. We went down to 10 men early and then they scored a late winner. I thought we were still as good as them despite being a man down. I will get them next game. The rest of the month was great, we took our revenge on Zorya, we were up 6-1 but they scored again to make it 6-2 but we had the last laugh with the 7-2 win. I felt like that was the AI giving me some of those shots on goal from earlier in the season. 

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Season 2021/22 - October Table

Well ok, we are in first place! However Shakhtar and Dynamo have games in hand over us. Also last month we did play most of the terrible teams with Lviv, Volyn, Kremin, MFK Mykolaiv, Ingulets Petrove all finding themselves in the bottom 6 of the table. However regardless of the easier schedule, we are happy with how its going this month and I've also just realised we have expanded the league again from 14 teams to 16! so we now have a 30 game season not 26 anymore.... I seriously didn't even notice this before..... Its good as we have a shorter winter break of only the last game being 11.12.21 and the next game is 2.3.22 so thats getting better than the previous 4 long months we had to sit and wait.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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5 minutes ago, SixPointer said:

The group is definitely a good one! After turning over the Turks. I would fancy you to win against the Danes and Serbs 

Yeah I was happy with it, as you can see we have beaten the Serbs and lost a tough game to the Danes. I am still thinking we have a shot here...

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Season 2021/22 - November Fixtures

We took our revenge over Brondby in the Europa League here, then we had a very decent home draw against Roma to set up a do or die clash away from home to the Serbian Champions Red Star, this will determine who will finish in 2nd place. I will only need a draw and we will scrape into the next rounds.

Back in the league, we manage a 1-1 draw to Dynamo Kiev and as Budkivskyi is not allowed to play against his parent club we lacked some threat upfront. The loss to Vorskla was frustrating but we had a hectic run of games and only played Roma 2 days before and our squad depth is not good enough to help us bounce through these quick games.

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Season 2021/22 - December Fixtures

Well December will be named Budkivskyi Month as he went on a rampage and scored 7 goals in 4 games. However it was not enough to get passed Red Star and we drop out of the Europa League and into the Europa Conference League. Its my first time in that tournament so will be fun!

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Season 2021/22 - December Table

Things are getting interesting in the league now, we have now seen Shaktar lose more games this season as they did in the first 2 seasons combined. We have 5 games remaining and with one of those 5 being at home to Shakhtar so its going to be very tight and very fun.  Dynamo seem to have dropped out of it for now, not sure what is going on but I can see them being better next season when they get our super star loan signing back in Budkivskyi!

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Europa Conference League Draw

Our reward for droping int hte Conference League is a tie with dominant Czech side Viktoria Plzen. They are currently top of the league by 5 points and have lost just the 3 games all season. There are some interesting sides still left here and I am super happy to see Dynamo Kiev are doing ok and made it through. I suspect that Sociedad and Anderlecht could pose the biggest challenges left but its fairly open field.

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Season 2021/22 - Winter Squad Stats

What can I say really, we are doing so well because our front 2 are being so dominate and scoring for fun. I am really sad that we will lose Budkivskyi for next season, hes just been amazing for us playing as the F9. There actually has been quite a few good performances so far this season, this is reflecting our position on the table. I doubt anything will happen in January, at most I will try and secure some young players for the future as we try to build the club out from the bottom. We need to get younger players in and start building some foundations to carry us forward and If I am being honest, I am getting tired of trying to sign a new squad each Summer window :)

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Season 2021/22 - February Fixtures

We obliterate the Czechs 6-1 away from home in the first leg and in the reverse I had to send out a much changed side, we had the important Shakhter game just days later and I wanted to have a good chance to win that. Unfortunetly we did go on and lose that game and hand them the advantage in the title chase, I will need them to make a mistake now and for us to be perfect moving forward.

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Europa Conference League Draw

Because I have never played this competition before, I was unaware that group winners actually skip through the first round and straight onto the second KO round and our next opponent is going to be Greek giants Olympiakos.  They went undeafted in thier group and I am expecting a tough time with them. 

There is actually some better teams left now, our Turkish friends are still there and I suspect they might want to play us and get revenge and Hoffenheim will be very tough. There was 4 teams from the Czech league in the first round but only Slavia have made it through to the 2nd round. Hopefully Kiev can have a good tie with Rangers as well, everything helps us to improve the quality of the league.

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Season 2021/22 - March Fixtures

After the defeat to Shakhtar last month, we would need to be perfect in March and hope they drop points. We did our part and had a clean month of wins but on the flip side and most unfortunate for us Shakhtar also had a perfect and clean month. They won their remaining 4 games. We also suffered a dumb defeat to Desna Chernihiv in the Kubok Quarter Final, just one of those games I think. They would go on and smash Shakhtar 3-0 in the Semi Final and book a place against Dynamo Kiev to win the trophy.

The good news is that we quite easily dispatch Greek powerhouse Olympiakos and would move into the quarter finals of the Europa Conference League.

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Season 2020/21 -  Final Table

We ended our 2nd season in the top flight in 2nd place! Shakhtar just pipping us to the title by the single point, the defeat to them late in the season was key and If I look back to November we dropped points to Karpaty and lost to Vorskla and we need to be better against sides like them. We did finish the top scorers in the league but our defence is a little weak at the moment with 4 other teams having better records than us. Food for thought in that area, I will try and see what is available to upgrade this part of the pitch in the summer.

Shakhtar did decline a little this season, in the first 2 seasons they only lost 2 games to Ukraine opposition but this season they lost 3 in the league, the Super Cup to Dynamo and Desna Chernihiv knocked them out of the Kubok.  The key departure for them seems to be Taison as they sold him last summer to Roma (bastard scored against me playing for them as well) and they are struggling to replace his speed and goals.

With the newly expanded league to 16 teams, we now have a relegation playoff and Volyn who were promoted first season with us are now going to be running that gauntlet. 

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Europa Conference League Draw

This will actually be tough, we are not at English Premier League level and they actually have a decent side in FM. The winner of this tie is going to very likely head into the Semi Final against Dynamo Kiev and this is super appealing to us as we would have a more than decent chance to make the final with that match up.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Europa Conference League 

As I suspected, Everton would be a bridge too far for us this season and they knocked us out fairly easy in the end. We played away in the first leg and managed a fairly credible 2-1 defeat, I thought the away goal might help us and more so because I thought Everton might struggle travelling to the Ukraine while still deep into their own current domestic season. However things went downhill quite quickly, Susic was sent off in the 25th minute and we never recovered from being a man down. I need to turn our home games in Europe into a fortress for other teams to play us. This season we lost at home to Fenerbache, Brondby and Everton all at home.

Still quite happy overall, next season we will enter the Champions League qualifying rounds and while I know we are not even remotely close to being competitive for this competition, we could really use the bonus for making the group stages and the extra boost in reputation that will give us.

Everton would actually go on and win the Europa Conference league, they dispatch Dynamo Kiev in the Semi Final and then took out Real Socieded in the final

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Season 2021/22 -  Review and Thoughts

I enjoy the fact that the media still thinks we are terrible, we are now infact forming part of a 'big 3' in Ukraine and this season actually put distance on Dynamo Kiev and ran Shakhtar to the last game. Most of our success this season was largely due to our 2 forwards Pereverza and Budkivskyi. They pummeled in 55 goals between them as we put teams to the sword.

I was slighty disapointed to be knocked out of the Europa Group stages, I did actually think we could make it out but the run to the Quarter Final of the Conference League is about where our level is for now. It will be tricky for us to move forward at such a rate of pace, we will lose Budkivskyi (Dynamo Kiev want 17 million to sell him) and its very hard to build the side up with Ukrainian talent, they is very little available that would improve us and those that would are very expensive and playing for Shakhtar, Dynamo or outside the country. So for now, I will need to build around my 7 foreigners and the bargain basement Ukrainian players. 

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Season 2021/22 - Final Squad Stats

Some players really stepped up this season, we know about the 2 forwards leading the line but Murilo and Pikhalyonk need a mention. They ran the show from the middle of the park and our forwards can thank a very large % of their goals from these guys being the supply chain. Also Leonan and Jeka down the left had a great combination together, with 29 assists coming from this flank alone, when you compare that to the right side with 12 assists from 3 players its a very good season for them. Also Perverza exploded this season, playing the same role as last season but he jumped from 14 goals to 30! I think having better players and supply around him has helped to unleash him a little more.

My plans for the summer will include Lima, Serban, Neplyakh, Murashov, Tojo and Denchuk all leaving. I want to upgrade those players and depth. I am going to try and get Jeka to join us from Shakhtar, they want 2.2 million for him and I hoping to raise the funds to complete that deal. He was really good for us last season and of all the available Ukrainian players with some potential hes about the best that will play for us. Its quite possible that I might have a more consolidation transfer summer and only bring in young prospects to fill out the depth and youth teams, I want to get the team younger and start a nice production line to the first team through depth. This probably wont help us to get into the group stage of the Champions League but it will set us up better for the future.

The biggest issue I am going to face is replacing the 25 goals from Budkivskyi. I have lined up 2 transfers already for players who I am hoping can cover his role. I am really not looking forward to playing Dynamo next season, I am sure hes going to kick onto being a huge player for them. 

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Season 2021/22 Finances

Didn't get a major boost in the finances, the money in the Conference League is not amazing but it helps pay the bills at least. I am hoping the board will tip in 1.5 million at least for transfers and then I can try and raise a further 1.5 or so through some sales. I am finding it very hard to sell players in Ukraine, nobody has money to spend! I think at least we could look at boosting the wage budget and shopping in the basement. At the moment we are only filling our stadium to 31% on average, if we can double this then that will again boost it a little more.

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Metalist 1925 - Team Tracker

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 4 - 2022/23

Transfers 2022/23

So, we ended up having a larger than expected transfer window with 14 transfers made (really only 13 as Jeka was already here last season) but only 8 of these will in the first team squad. The other 6 players we are going to move into the under 21s team for a season or so and let them develop and if they ever make the step up then we can look closer. The overall theme of the window was to get younger and add some depth to build a talent pipeline to the first team. I am still finding it very hard to attract the quality needed, the players I want and need all dont want to play in the Ukraine and combined with our rep and wage limits then its much more difficult than I have experienced in Croatia and Bulgaria previously.

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Caue Santos

Santos is hopefully one part of my plan to replace Budviskyi. Hes actually not anywhere near as good quality wise but he was cheap enough to take a chance on and see if we can develop a decent player. He really only has to be the number 2 man because Pereveza is still with us and should still be good enough to provide the goals needed. 

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Vasyl Mostovyi

Part 2 of our plan was to bring in Mostovyi, on paper he seems like the better option for us but he’s also very young. His high determination and teamwork are big factors in why he’s joined us. I also wanted to bring in some younger Ukrainian talents and he fit the bill perfectly. The other thing I really liked was his height, he will gives us a point of difference in attack and a good option to change approach in games. I will try and get as many games into him as possible this season and work on some training sessions to improve him further. The only downside to him and Santos vs Budviskyi is they dont have the pace he possessed and I am a little worried this will be an issue.

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Andriy Sokol

I quite like this kid actually, I snapped him up from the Dnipro Football Academy and I am sure they are not happy to lose him either. I just now need to get games into him and work out where hes going to best fit, as he does look like he could turn into a decent left winger but hes no ability to play there either. I think what I will do is play him on the right as Inside Forward and use his speed. He is going to need to work on some stats and that will be the focus in this season. He adds another young Ukrainian talent to the mix, at the moment there is not that many great players coming from Ukraine so I have to take what I can get. I’ve changed my HOYD and started upgrading the Youth Recruitment and Facilities so we can try and get lucky!

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Andrei Vlad

Another young wide talent, hes also another that I am not sure where hes going to end up playing. I could train him and improve his finishing and could turn into a handy out and out forward, I could also wok on his crossing and turn him into a handy right winger. The other option is teaching him to play down the left and inside forward. Plenty of options really, and I will experiment this season but what I want to use the most is his rapid speed.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Transfers 2022/23 - Continued

Carlo Casap

A nice free signing here, hes instantly valued at over 5 million! So worse case is that we will keep him for a season and sell him on for profit. At the moment he will be providing back up for Murilo in the middle of the park. I’ve had some experience with him before he was quite solid and does not mind getting a few goals from the midfield. Hes also quite versatile and can cover a number of positions if we get into trouble. 

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Gaston Urtazun

I've been trying and trying to work on getting better at CB and I actually sat down and spent hours and hours clicking through every defender in my game. I narrowed it down to about a list of 5 and Gaston was the only one who would join. Sadly he was the 5th best in the list. It should still work out ok, hes probably the best defender in the squad (This just shows our struggles to improve this area)  and hopefully he can learn the language quickly and settle down. I will look to pair him with Robson my Brazilian CB as they can at least speak Spanish together.

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Denys Prychynenko

A quality rotation option for us, he actually looks ok and good enough to start. We at least now have 4 CBs all in the same quality bracket and it helps hes also Ukrainian. 

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Maxym Tatarenko

Maxym joins back up with us, he was here 2 seasons ago when he was on loan. I dont think hes going to start but Makhnovskyi didn't impress me last season, hes also very aggressive and cost us a few goals with stupid mistakes. I think we will give him a good chance to impress us.  One of the youth talents I signed was a handy looking young GK and I will also see how he goes playing in the under 21s but this position is very much open for competition. I would ideally love to have a Ukrainian player as my GK as I also dont want "waste" one of my 7 foreigners on this position. 

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Season 2022/23 Full Squad

The full squad as we head into season 4 of our Ukrainian adventure.  We are still really struggling to add the quality to make a good attempt at European success, I think going into this that I assumed we would be able to get some decent local talents but at the moment I am yet to see the game produce that many high quality Ukrainian players which is annoying. We will have to keep trying to punch above our weight and hope for the best. This season is all about trying to win the league, I know we have almost no hope of doing anything in Europe, we have to make it out of 2 very strong qualifying rounds to get into the Champions League.

Overall I am fairly happy with the progress at the moment, I think we can go very very close to beating Shakhtar in the league, winning the league will also put us straight into the group stages of the Champions League and all the riches that come with it.  We will continue with our attacking style of play, I've not changed the tactic or the formation since the first season and its gotten us this far but I probably need better (Faster) defenders to help balance it out but for now we try and blast teams off the park!

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Season 2022/23 - July Fixtures

July started with a bang, we demolished Dynamo Kiev in the season opener. I was very surprised by this, its a good sign for the season ahead. However of course after such a performance when then played Lviv at home and we forgot how to score goals.  We rounded out the unbeaten start to the season with another 2 comfortable wins. It looks like Pereverza has kept his form from last season as hes put away 5 goals in 4 competitive games and same can be said of Santos as he scored a hat-trick on debut and finished the month with 5 goals. On fire up front!

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Season 2022/23 - August Fixtures

A massive 9 games in August, this included 4 more games in the league the Champions League qualifiers and the start of the Kubok Cup!

Lets start with the league, all fairly straight forward 3 wins in a row then the big game at home to Shakhtar and we again turned it on in a big game. To put the performance into perspective, this was the 8th game of the domestic season and Shakhtar were 7 wins from 7 games and had not conceded a single goal in those 7 games.  Jeka really came back to haunt his old side, he smashed home a hat-trick to blow them away. Interesting but Pereverza didn’t score a single goal this month, in all the games! However Caue Santos stepped up for us and scored 9 goals and was supported well from Jeka who scored 7… we are rolling along nice in the domestic league and I am VERY happy that Santos has gone a long way to filling the void left by Budviskyi (Dynamo are yet to even play him either)

In the Champions League, well that was a roller-coaster of emotions that’s for sure! We again were drawn against Fenerbache and again it was a tale of 2 legs. They actually beat me at home (again just like last season in the Europa playoffs) and we had to go to Turkey and pull it back and they also had 3 away goals to turn around…. We got off to a very very fast start and were 2-0 up within 7 mins. They then scored 2 goals and it was looking bad until Leonan scored a free kick and went to ET and then penalties. We eventually win that and would draw Braga (Seems ok to be honest) I thought they would be the same quality as Fenerbache. 

Here we are at home and start with a loss (seriously guys we have to stop this). We then have it all to do in Portugal. We didn’t start well and they went up 1-0 at HT and were are heading out and into the Europa league. However yet again we perform some miracles and score 2 goals after HT and survive the barrage of attacks from Braga and end up in penalties (again come on!!!!!) This shootout was a little better than the Fenerbache game as we save a couple of them and complete the unlikely trek into the group stage of the Champions League..

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Season 2022/23 - August Table

So far so good domestically, Zorya are trying this season to break into the leading pack. I dont believe they will be able to maintain it but you never know. This league is quite competitive at times and most sides are beat everybody.

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Champions League Group Stage Draw

Oh come on!! You really can't be serious with this draw? Can we please re-do it again? or can I swap with Braga and let them come back in.....

This is not going to be pretty or end well. I can be 100% certain of this. I am not even sure I can get a single point from this group.

I think we want to avoid some records, 24 goals conceded is the worst record in history and that honour belongs to Legia Warsaw in 2016/16 and Bate Borisov in 2014/15 and there was only been 16 teams who have lost all 6 group stage games and the last of those was Dinamo Zagreb and Club Brugge in 2016/17. 

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2022/23 - September Fixtures

Lets not bother with the league results, other than that stupid stupid result to Dnipro-1 it was mostly comfortable. Lets talk about the hammering we took from Barcelona and Manchester City. Totally out classed in both games. The only saving grace I have is that we snuck a win against Red Bull Salzburg to save some face. Very safe to assume we are not going to make it in the top 2 places but can try and get 3rd and sneak into the Europa League. 

We also really struggled in the Kubok Cup against inferior opponents. We had to score in the 88th and 108th minute of extra time to see them off. I would like to say we sent out a weaker side but I sent out the full team to get some confidence back....

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Season 2022/23 - September Table

The good news is that we are still doing well in the league. Shakhtar dropped another game and we have a game in hand on them. We just have to win that and we can take back top spot. We are still scoring goals for fun but our defence is obviously still a big worry. Dynamo Kiev is really really struggling at the moment.

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Luka Modric

I also made a free transfer signing, we bring in Luka Modric. I know hes 37 and has next to no physical stats but I just felt we needed some inspiration and the experienced head in the squad. Hes actually going to play for us, I will be asking him to sit deep, not move much but dictate the play from deep and provide some quality balls. The production from the middle was lacking a little bit. He still has amazing stats and I know for sure he can contribute for us.  Also what better way for him to retire than winning a league title in the Ukraine :lol: but hes also still in the Croatia squad and playing games for them, I think he will also get selected for the World Cup. I actually also considered a couple of other very old legends but held off...for now.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2022/23 - October Fixtures

We started October with 5 straight wins in the league, thankfully we just continue to outscore other teams (mostly haha) because our defence is just plain horrible. In the Champions League we lost the reverse game to Red Bull Salzburg and basically seal our fate. We will need to beat Man City at home in the final game and hope that Barcelona beats Salzburg. Its not looking good and I just want the suffering to end here…

We also progress into the Kubok Cup semi-final, it’s our first time in 4 attempts. We had to go into penalties again and win our 3rd shootout of the season.


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Season 2022/23 - October Table
 

Thank god we are still cruising in the league, we now head into the winter break with a 7 point lead. Things are looking quite positive here for the moment, Shakhtar continue to make mistakes. It’s a slightly shorter break this season, we play again in 76 days and take a break between November and December and resume again the middle of January. I am going to spend the winter working on either finding some help in defence or tweaking the tactic to be a little more solid. I have been working on an alternate tactic and we could debut that in the new year but its most likely going to be our European tactic. 

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Season 2022/23 Champions League Group

Well that was a disaster, we got smashed really. I forgot to take the screenshot of the game against City but we lost 2-0 and Red Bull drew against Barcelona. We now have no European football for the remainder of the season, this could work well for us and our quest to win the league. 

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Season 2022/23 - Winter Squad Stats

Some good and interesting performances at the halfway stage, Caue Santos has really been a massive hit for us and with 22 goals in 30 games he should be well on his way to breaking the record of 30 set last season by Pereverza who is doing well but not hitting the level of last season. Also we have Jeka who has gone to another level since joining us on a permanent deal in the summer, his 15 goals is 2nd in the team and is already 6 more than his total for last season. He does have much less in the assists column  this season but at the moment  its ok we can live with that. Luka Modric has also settled in well, hes played 5 games and scored 1 goal with assists. I dont find his lack of speed/pace an issue at the moment and some of his passing is sublime for us.

At the back, well Makhnovskyi has been terrible. Hes also quite the liability with the amount of penalties he gives away, he has pushed a few players over instead of going for the ball on corners/crosses. Hes going to have to go. Gaston Urtazun has also not been great at all, I am hoping is just due to age and language but at the moments hes been disappointing.

With no European football in 2023, I am going to work on getting more and more games into the kids and trying to develop them more. I will look at who I can promote from the under 21s and who we can let go. I have a few options that could maybe come in and do the same or better job than what we have.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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January transfers 2022/23

I am not usually a big fan of transfers in January, we had 14 games left in the season and everything was going fairly well in the domestic campaign, however I wanted to bring in defender and then I saw a young talent that was difficult to pass on due to his price. The 3rd and last signing was needed even tho it infuriated me beyond belief.  I few players also departed in January, the most notable being Casap (2 million) and Robson (1.1 million) and the 3rd being Vasl Mostovyi (more on that below) and I also forgot to take the screen shot of all transfers.

Bosko Sutalo

Obviously hes not a world class option but hes still solid enough for us domestically. I've not been happy with how my current CBs are playing and out of sheer desperation we bring in Sutalo to help us out. 

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Gino Infantino

Young Gino was a player I just stumbled into, he had a release clause of 900k and I felt it was impossible to pass on him for this price. He will a good rotation option for Jeka on the left wing and is also able to help us on the right with inside forward. We are pushing the limits with foreigner players now and are well over our 7 player limit.

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Nazariy Rusyn

This loan signing was not a signing I had on my radar or expected to make. Unfortunately my board continues to do stupid things and their latest move on insanity was selling Vasl Mostovyi to Shakhtar for 1.7 million....granted they did put some clauses in that could push this to around 8 million but some of the clauses will never happen or take 10 years. Luckily Rusyn was available for a short term loan and can be a solid back up option for the remainder of the season. Dynamo did want me to add in a 2 million future fee but we managed to remove that. I will try and see if hes good enough for us and if so then maybe we can sign him up.

Still I am so disappointed in my board, I protested highly on the transfer, I even told them I was not sure I can go on with my job and they said "no worries feel free to resign" .. selling such a highly rated local talent to our biggest rival for a stupid fee is absurd.

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2022/23 - January Fixtures

With 2022 being a World Cup year, we get to resume much earlier than usual and it made for a nice change. Spent this month trying to bed in a new system, basically finding a balance between scoring freely and being tighter at the back.  It seemed to mostly work, we did struggle with the friendlies while the players adjusted.

Unfortunetly we did also lose our first game of the season, Vorskla managed to beat us again this season. They are becoming quite an annoying team for us to play and after that defeat we then drew against Oleksandriya. Not the best start to the 2nd half of the season and we need to regain our form quickly.

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Season 2022/23 - January Table

Thankfully we are still 4 points clear at the top, we also play Shakhtar in the next 2 games and winning that would push our lead out to 7 points and a number that would give me more confidence. I have been really impressed with Oleksandriya so far this season, they are keeping pace and have only lost the 2 games. They have been near the top in all 4 seasons so far and appear to be making moves to remain strong. I have no idea what is going on with Kiev, they are terribly inconsistent this season, they have a great defence because with only 13 goals conceded but 5 of those were against us. 

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Season 2022/23 - February Fixtures

Of course we lose to Shakhtar, not only lose to them but they crushed us really. So we are now even with 1 thrashing each... Still not able to make gains on making the defence tighter either. I may need to just design a whole new system and not just a few tweaks. 

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Season 2022/23 - February Table

We are 5 points ahead and only 3 games to go, despite losing to Shakhtar and then drawing 2 more games in February, we are helped with Shakhtar also not having the best month outside of beating us. Also Dynamo Kiev have hit form and they are charging back up the table into 3rd and with a very outside chance of taking the title if we lose all 3 games.  At the moment all the form teams are 3rd-5th

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Season 2022/23 - March Fixtures

 We did win all 3 and this mean we are the newly crowned Champions of the Ukraine. In truth it was fairly comfortable for us as we played only 1 side in Zorya who would have proven the most challenge.

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Season 2022/23 -  Final Table

Thankfully we did win those last 3 games straight, Dynamo actually came home very strong and also won all their last games and in their last 13 games they won 11 and drew only 2 games and they finishing in 2nd place. The biggest story is Shakhtar dropping down and finishing in 4th place. This will huge implications for them, however they did generate close to 200 million in player sales with the incomings being around 95 million. So they have cash in the bank. FK Oleksandryia did drop out a little bit and that loss in the 2nd last game of the season cost them a chance to make the Champions League playoffs but being honest, they are better off down in the Europa or Europa Conference League but it was great season for them.

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Season 2022/23 - Kubok Ukrainy

We complete the domestic double and win our first ever Kubok Ukrainy! We got off to a flyer with 2 goals in 2 minutes but Shakhtar pulled it back to make it a nervy 2nd Half of the game. Still a huge result and completes a fantastic season for us. 

 

Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2022/23 -  Review and Thoughts

Finally we did it, after being so close last season and a solid 3rd place the year before.  We took a step forward each year that finally got us the ultimate prize. Capping the title win was the Kubok Cup win as well and cemented the Ukrainian domestic double. I was a bit unsure going into this season, my transfer window coming in was not the best, we took a consolidation approach to bring in lots of youth and younger players. We were hopeless in the Champions League Group stages and I can only hope that we can improve again on that and try and get 2-3 wins and show some sign of getting better.

Next season will by 5th season at Metalist, its been a fun but often frustrating time here in the Ukraine, personally I think ill need at least another 3 years to make it out of a Champions League group. Ideally for us next season we can finish 3rd in the group and then drop in to the Europa League and have a longer run there, I would say a decent Qtr Final run in the Europa with a lucky win into the Semi is about the level and aim for us at the moment.

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Club Finances

I've had my issues with the board but they have finally agreed to make some upgrades and we will be getting new training and youth facilities. We are also in the process to upgrade our youth recruitment. This took a chunk out of our bank balance but the automatic spot in the Champions League group stages will help to balance that out a fair bit. I was a bit disappointed our average attendance did go up at all, infact it went down 1%... no idea why but I am hoping the fans come out to support the new Champions next season.

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Season 2022/23 - Final Squad Stats

Qaue Santos was a legend for me this season, not only did he score 29 goals he also added in 11 assists. He loves his F9 role. The player that surprised me the most was Jeka, in his first season as a full player in our squad he exploded, he was far superior to the player I had on loan the season before and it turns out that was money very well spent.  I am not sure what to do with Pereverza at the moment, he didn't have the best season and If I move to a lone forward system (kinda my thinking at the moment) he might be upset not playing so much. I will see how the summer goes.

In the middle, my signing of 37 year old Luka Modric paid off huge for us, he finished with the highest rating in the side. Its shame hes insisting to retire as he is still good enough for us. He chipped in the single goal and added 12 assists. Hes a class act even at old age, I may look for a similar player this next season. 

I started to get players like Sokol, Vlad and I've promoted Oss from the Under 21s (I will show a screenshot later) more and more into the playing 11 and they actually gave some good performances. We are looking good for a few years if they continue along this path. Also I think Bosko Sutalo did add something to the defence but I think a change is needed in the system, at least for European games as we dont want to keep getting torn apart.

My big focus for this summer is finding a GK that I can trust, Makhnovskyi is not bad but hes too much of a liability and Tatarenko is not good enough. I think we will need to spend the majority of the budget on this player and hes going to need to be from outside the Ukraine. That will cause some issues as we already have 9 players who are counted as foreign, Modric will go and bring that down to 8 but ideally those 8 players are the best 8 players in the squad and would play all games. If we can find a Ukrainian LB or RB then its possible we can replace Leonan and Susic to ease that issue.

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Metalist 1925 - Team Tracker

Upgrades to the Youth Recruitment and Training facilities are done. 

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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7 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Congratulations on the league win 👍🏻 Now on to concurring Europe 

Thanks haha..... Europe.... oh boy!

 

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7 hours ago, WillHoward42 said:

Just read from the start, cracking progress. Now following.

Thanks! Good to hear you are following. New update is coming today.

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Season 5 - 2023/24

Season 2023/24

The new season started with an interesting email, I really thought about at least going for the interview and simply because I've been butting heads with my board on issues and I wanted to scare them a little. They also would have a huge huge transfer budget because they sold 197 million in players last season and spent about 85 million. They have been generating well over 50 million profit on player sales each season. I suspect there is over 250 million in their bank. However I did decline and we continue on with Metalist...  (for now) ;)

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Transfers 2023/24

As far as recent transfers windows, this was fairly simple and small.  We signed a total of 8 players and 6 of those being for the first team, the other 2 are just youth players to fill out and add numbers to the Under 21s and 19s. They will probably never make it out of there but we were lacking numbers in those squads so wanted to add a few more. 

We lost a couple of first team players this window, I deemed them not being able to take us to the next level and hence they were moved on and now we farewell Murilo, Pereverza and Susic who all powered us to the title last season and helped get us this far.

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Sergiy Budkivskyi

Well well well... "Buddy" as we will now call him has returned to the promised land. He was with us 2 seasons ago on loan from Dynamo Kiev and returned back there for last season. Last season was a disaster for him, he barely played and never really started and by the seasons end he was very unhappy and wanted to leave. I threw out a bid before the end of the season and he agreed to come back to us.  He was amazing for our team when he was here 2 seasons ago, he scored 25 goals in a breakout season as a 17 year old. The year back in Dynamo has limited his development so we have some catching up to do. However still being only 19 years old we have some room to grow him. Quite pleased to have him back with us and was the main motivation to let Pereverza move on, we replaced him with a younger and better player.

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Kevin Kampl

I decided after the success of bringing in a veteran last season, we should do it again! sadly however we were not able to attract a similar quality or name. Kevin Kampl was willing to join us and while hes not the level Modric was, he will infact still be a good addition for us. We so many young players in the side we will lean on his experience. I was quite surprised that some of the free agent veterns didn't want to join, I thought if Modric was willing to come last season then we would be able to do something the same this year but while there were players like Arturo Vidal (He was my first choice) available and not even getting interest from anybody apart from us, they all didn't want to play in the Ukraine. I suspect Kampl will only be here for the season but you never know.

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Franco Mendez

Quite the expensive signing for us, he will take over the role vacated by Murilo. I need to work on training his shooting and long shots to be more effective. However with the way we play, hes not really required to contribute goals but more dictate the play and provide the assists. He looks perfect for this type of role.

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Rodrigo Vega

The new Metalist number 1 between the posts! He has a bit of work to do and improve some stats but hopefully throwing him straight in to the first 11 will boost this. 

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Eugene Opanasenko

Hes probably not better than Susic the player he is replacing but with Vega coming in, it pushed out the foreigner limit and we had to replace him with a Ukrainian. We will continue to hopefully find solutions to this problem, there is tho at the moment very limited options with Ukrainian players.

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Mykola Kozel

I did manage to find a semi decent young local player, I am not exactly sure what I will do with him to be honest but he has some ability to improve and possibly turn into a handy player. His stats dont lead him to be strong at any position at all, he could possibly turn into an ok or reserve type Wingback. 

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Season 2023/24 Finances

Our finances at the end of the window are looking ok, I am well over the wage budget and no transfer budget left to help with that.  Ideally we need to win a game in the Champions League, winning 2 would be huge for our balance. 

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Edited by Kingofcm03

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Season 2023/24 - Full Squad

This is how we looked heading into the season,  squad is looking stronger now. There is still some obvious weak links but we are improving very slowly. The hardest part about this season will be juggling the 7 foreigners on the field rule, it will be ok for the Champions League but domestically we are going have issues. I actually need to start with 6 from 7 allowed in case there is an injury during the game and need to sub one on/off and I got stuck with this in a game already and had to make 2 subs within the first 11 minutes to juggle the rules. 

 We potentially might have some issues upfront for the moment, we have just the 2 out and out forwards but I have used Jeka and Vlad up there in times of need before and Vlad has actually played quite well there. I was thinking and I am tempted to train him full time for that position as my official 3rd option

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Champions League Group Stage Draw

We look forward to being the whipping boys again this season, our opening game is away to Real Madrid. All I want is an improvement on last season but while this group is not as strong both Lazio and Leverkusen are better than Red Bull Salzburg, this means we are likely up against it here.

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Excellent progress so far.You seem to have done some good business in the transfer window as well,the three regens look like they have a bright future and hopefully they will be able to contribute for you.

Best of luck in the Champions League :thup:

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