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If @Mandy42doesn't win it this season then we might not be there the season after to win it. #NoPressure :lol:

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I am basically at the end of my career save with Metalist so I will be twiddling my thumbs and awaiting my turn on this unless something interesting comes to mind for me to start with.

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4 hours ago, Kingofcm03 said:

I am basically at the end of my career save with Metalist so I will be twiddling my thumbs and awaiting my turn on this unless something interesting comes to mind for me to start with.

Now that the final update's out I was planning on making a Dutch lower league pack, so...

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I was working yesterday so bit of a slow start, hopefully can sink my teeth into it later today. 

Though our only decent left back is gone on an agreed transfer, and everyone and his dog is triggering Steve Smith's release fee only for him to decline contracts. Until he leaves I can't bring in the Italian striker I have my eyes on, and the Australian choices are slim on the ground 

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Quick update before I go out for a bit this evening (hopefully will get further on later)

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Fans team and player of the season, apparently 14 goals doesn't bag you the top spot! 

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Our reward for willing the Asian Champions League

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When we made it 1-1 just after half time I had hope! but it wasn't to be

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Massive point though what with Man Utd putting 8 past them in their game

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Back into the Asian Champions League and man this was tense! Once they scored their 2nd goal I knew if they drew level then we would be out on away goals. We didn't have a 2 goal cushion until who else but Steve Smith put it beyond doubt on 90 minutes

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Our Quarter Final opponents, the team who knocked us out last year!

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Lower division team in the FFA

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Not a complete crock, but not pulling up stumps either

 

 

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The Saga of Steve Smith

 Only English clubs wanted him, he was desperate to go to Crystal Palace, every other day another club came in and triggered his release clause, and then at the end of that week he would say "Nah I'm staying, your not Palace" Bournemouth, Middlesborough, both Sheffield teams, Ipswich THREE TIMES! I also bashed away countless bids that didn't even reach his release clause. I figured if we made it to the 8th of August, the closing of the English transfer window we would be safe until January. However on the 7th Norwich come in with a 1.4 mil bid for him, I stamp that bad boy out. Smith gets unsettled and wants a chat. I tell him I cannot lose his leadership presence from the dressing room and he is flattered and wants to stay, which is music to my ears! He hasn't been interested in signing a new contract as he doubts we can afford him, but he is staying! I have beaten off all potential suitors.

Next day Norwich trigger his release clause and he leaves, traitorous ass.... 

So there is 1 foreign spot in the squad available and about 1 million in the pot to spend, will update the squad / transfers later, hopefully once I have pinned down all the players I need then I will be able to smash through the season.

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I'm sorry you had to deal with Steve Smith leaving for such a low fee. That was a deal I made in my season: he locked the clause in the negotiations, so it was either take it as it is and enjoy the player for a while, or not have the player...

 

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8 hours ago, noikeee said:

I'm sorry you had to deal with Steve Smith leaving for such a low fee. That was a deal I made in my season: he locked the clause in the negotiations, so it was either take it as it is and enjoy the player for a while, or not have the player...

 

it's fine, it's double the previous record transfer, and it's not the fact he left, just the fact it dragged on all the way through July and half of August, he was going, he was staying, all the potential replacements i'd scouted were being signed. But he's gone now and the unknown has passed :) 

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On 24/02/2020 at 21:03, Nobby_McDonald said:

You must have a lot more free time than you had before then.

Well, yes and no.  My youngest is 8 and I still don't get much free time, but the kids are definitely worth it! 

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Want to add that this is all very weird, or feels very weird. Rotating players for friendlies to build fitness for the coming season, oh yeah you've got Champions League knock out football midweek, or FFA cup football at the weekend. It's a LONG pre season, but am getting there. Made all the transfer moves I intend to. I've been asked to register players for the A League but it didn't let me (maybe because I had a champions league game next and those were the squad registration rules it offered me) hope it gives me another chance before the start of the season as I don't want anyone to be released that I want in the squad!

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That was my main gripe too, pre-season is never all that fun and Australia has that in spades! Once the season gets going it gets way more exciting though.

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Ben Garuccio our only decent left back went on a transfer before I took charge. Aaron Dunn was sold because as a right winger he didn't fit into my tactical plan, plus he was wanted and he was worth something. Smith went on the last day of the English window, see the saga above for more details.

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From early on in the window I thought I was going to be unable to keep Smith, hence I brought Ben Folami in on a free. Marc Warren is a replacement left wing back. Cooper Nunn and Silvio Ferrami are also strikers as the majority of the squad were concerned about us having a lack of depth up front. Silvio is of course Italian and replaces Smith as our 5th foreign player, I'm only having to pay 30% of his wages which is a bonus. Brandon Wilson had a release clause of 900k, and he can play anywhere in the midfield 3 (more on that when I talk tactics at the start of the season proper)

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I feel like the England international team, who breeze through qualifying but then play crap at a tournament because they quality of opponent jumps up drastically. The games until The Perth Glory 1st leg of the quarter final were a breeze, however that game was a right slog. A Niall Acheson worldie, and a mix up between their keeper and central defender resulting in an own goal, both coming in the last 10 minutes gave a shine to the game that I certainly didn't feel. The Sydney FC game we dominated, only for them to sneak in an equaliser in stoppage time at the end of the game, Neither team created anything in the 1st half of extra time and a Phillip Tinker volley out of nothing sent us through before we needed penalties.

From the 1st leg showing I certainly didn't expect the 2nd leg result against Perth, 5 away goals in the 1st half and going in at half time 7-1 up was insane. They had 25 attempts and 12 on target but Barnes would not be beaten easily. With the FFA Cup and Asian Champions League games coming within 3 days of each other I looked at the expectations for each competition, there aren't any for the FFA Cup so I fielded a weakened team. Brisbane had more of the ball and tried to do marginally more with it, but after a sluggish start a goal in either half saw us through. The Guangzhou game I thought we were going to waste a golden opportunity, we bossed it with 15 attempts at goal to their 4. However only 5 of ours were on target and it took a Rhifumo Hlophe volley on the 89th minute after I had thrown caution to the wind and demanded more while going very attacking to give us an important away goal.

Hlophe has really stepped up with Smith going, our top scorer with 8 goals in 8 competitive appearances and is usually the 1st name on the strongest 11 team sheet.

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11, 16, 18, 10 & 13 goals scored in pre-season! :eek: :lol: :cool:

I think we need to see our new tactic. :applause:

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Well this is gonna be it. Treble incoming boys!

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When I took over we were using the following 3 tactics:

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The top 2 seemed to be focused on getting the most out of Steve Smith, with him gone I needed a tactic that maximised use of the players already at the club (as we had no money to speak of to spend), that wasn't a big tactical change for the players to learn because the cup competitions run over a 2 season period meaning that new pre season tactical training would jeopardise our performance in the later stages of these competitions. Also, having studied this thread and the comments of the managers coming before me, the main theme was a competitive league where anyone can beat anyone, hence I wanted to be hard to beat. With those thoughts in mind I came up with this.

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It basically transforms the original 433 into a diamond, we get less issues all over the pitch and even before I changed the shape we had the highest familiarity level coupled with the lowest intensity. Looking through the players who weren't readily playing in the 1st team, one jumped out at me (as he came to me demanding more play time or to leave.) Usually I don't respond well to this and was ready to show him the door when I realised, he's Australian TICK, he has tackling of 16 and passing of an okish 11 TICK, he can be my defensive pivot at the bottom of the diamond. Thus I promised Konrad Clarke more play time and he slots right in. 

The 3 central midfielders all have a single primary role, Clarke wins the ball back and plays it simple, Danzo is the creative player and Francois the late attacking threat, he's also on the right as a Mezzala so he drifts slightly wider on the right, which still allows us to under lap right to great effect. This instruction also sees Hlophe use the whole right hand side of the pitch to attack into, usually driving at the opponents fullback (or the space left by their wing back) which gives Tinker full reign of the penalty area from which to poach from. Acheson has the player traits Run with the ball through the centre, Get forward whenever possible and Knock ball past opponent. He will drive forward with the ball from anywhere, drawing defenders to him, and with decisions of 16, he knows when to pass or shoot even if his finishing leaves a lot to be desired.

Final point on making us hard to beat, coupled with defend narrow, at home I have cut the pitch to the minimum allowed, meaning we have less grass to cover. Also once we take a lead, the wing backs and ball winning midfielder change from a support to a defensive mentality in order to make us even more compact.

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It seems the bookies share @andychar's optimism for the coming season. 4 of our players make the media dream 11. Silvio, Konrad Clarke, Niall Acheson and Liam Coyle. The full 23 man squad looks like this

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We meet all criteria, even sneaking in under the wage cap by 500 quid a week.

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New faces, including Keanu (he gets renamed Neo if and when he scores a hat trick) who was a youth prospect so promising it was recommended I offer him a full contract not a youth one, which means he makes the squad or gets released.

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Into the season proper we go then, with this that made me chuckle

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There maybe 12 teams in the league, but there's only us in the transfer market!

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Strange I only took over 3 days ago!

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Talk of the triple didn't last long, we were poor, took the lead and then gave away a soft penalty. We still had players away on international duty, and it was my least important competition, but disapointing as it was definitely a winnable game. I was scared in both league games, with us falling behind to Adelaide early on, and only having 37% possession against Melbourne. It also seems strange that (having managed mainly in Europe) the continental competitions seem easier and it is the domestic games that are hard here in Australia

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Busy month with the Champions League final a 2 legged affair?!?!?

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5 wins from 6 in the league is a dream start, though the one loss against Perth Glory is a cautionary tale that anyone can beat anyone if we take our foot off. We did not play like the team who thrashed them 8-2 on aggregate only 6 weeks earlier, they however played exactly the same. A header from a set piece and a back post header just before half time put us 2 down. I told the players they were crap and I expected better, nothing happened, I went very attacking and shouted some more and we got a goal back, but it was on 88 minutes and nothing else happened after that. We played them again (at home twice in a row??!) the week after, we found ourselves 2 nil down from two back post headers and I was tearing my hair out. I told the players to come back at the final whistle with some points or not at all. We got a goal back on 48 minutes, and I demanded more, a penalty just after the hour mark which we converted, and I demanded more. Silvio finished the turn around with a finish under the keeper in 74 minutes. At the end of the game I told the players they weren't good enough and I expected better, Silvio (probably quite rightly) felt pretty aggrieved, everyone else however accepted my ranting.

The 2 legs of the Champions League final were very similar, absolutely nothing happened in the 1st half of either game. In the 1st leg, I thought we were going to squander our home advantage until Tommy Lamberton did exactly what he did against Guangzhou in the 1st leg, scored a power header from a corner. Hlophe scored a great team goal on 90 minutes to give us some breathing room. In the 2nd leg of the final Harry Souttar scored with a header from a corner leaving Al-Nassr needing to score 4 to lift the trophy. They got 1 back but only in stoppage time at the end of the game.

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Twice in 3 years!

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14 goals and 4 assists in 16 games. Steve who?

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The Wellington Phoenix game was postponed to December as we had 7 players on international duty, which is probably where the game in hand comes from. Now the Champions League is out of the way I hope there is a while before the group stages begin again so we can keep the pressure on in the league. Must admit I am rather excited, I've never played a joint save before, but it also makes me nervous. I feel this start to the season (and the Champions League win) is a culmination of all the effort that has gone in before I took over. We have finished 3rd in the regular season 3 times, and finished the final series as runners up twice, plus won the Champions League once before. It feels like each manager has improved the squad and helped build to this point. The nervousness comes from capitalising on that initiative and also the feeling that if it doesn't happen this season the club is going to implode and it won't happen at all.

I have said that we crept in under the wage cap by 500 quid a week, which is fine for this season, but a lot of the 1st team players are in the last year of their contracts, I am not sure we can afford them all next year, nor can we offer them improved deals with only 500 quid wiggle room in the wage cap. I must admit my singular focus has been to win the league so I can resign and let the next manager choose where we go next, which is great if it happens, if it doesn't then I fear I may have doomed us all.

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That's how December looks.

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Will this finally be the year??? Glad to see some of my work is also paying off.

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Great start @Mandy42:applause:

Loving the updates too by the way. :thup:

Is it too early to think about where I will be moving to next? :lol:

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Just now, Jimbokav1971 said:

Great start @Mandy42:applause:

Loving the updates too by the way. :thup:

Is it too early to think about where I will be moving to next? :lol:

i dunno, is it too early for me to be wondering if I win both the regular season and the final series does it still count as a triple :p

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Half the Asian Champions League dream team is us!

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However us winning the trophy didn't impress this guy, us spanking him 3-0 impressed him even less!

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Annoyingly I think all 4 of Dylan Edward's goals came against us! 

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The two away draws against 10th and 11th really annoyed me, we were pegged back both times and just couldn't see out the game. When we scored in the 1st minute against Newcastle I thought we were going to roll over them, but before the half hour they were level and we were wobbling. With only 10 minutes to go we retook the lead and luckily for the players we held onto it! Wanderers at home was simply a question of whether we would win or draw, they created nothing and they sat 3rd in the table. Think our player of the season at home will be the pitch, teams just don't create chances with how compact we are at home.

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Even with the dropped points against the bottom half sides we have managed to increase our lead at the top of the table by simply being the most consistent. Being harder to beat than everyone else works wonders when the other teams all steal points from each other.

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In before we lose to Central Coast Mariners away, due to them being bottom of the table. In all honesty my worst fear for January is the transfer window opening and the number of players we have on short contracts, or who are unwilling to sign new ones.

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On 08/03/2020 at 18:30, kevhamster said:

Well, yes and no.  My youngest is 8 and I still don't get much free time, but the kids are definitely worth it! 

Definitely. I wouldn't swap my daughter for anything. She loves football too. She went to the Stoke game on Saturday (her third game this season at the age of 4). She loved it, she was very happy that Stoke won and that her favourite player, Sam Clucas, scored 2 goals.

Then after having a kickaround in our back garden yesterday with my wife, she ran up to me while I was working in the conservatory and said "Daddy, I love football."

:)

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Once again my lack of knowledge of football anywhere outside Europe (well the Premier League really) lulled me into a false sense of security. The transfer window was not my worst opponent this month (although it did leave it's mark), the U23 Asia Cup was. Niall Acheson, Justin Chipperfield and Konrad Clarke, all strongest choices in their respective positions gone for up to the last week of January depending how deep the national team went in the competition. It turns out they won it, with Niall Acheson being the only player of the 3 who played a single game in January for us. Chipperfield was named in the competition dream 11.

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The Melbourne game was frustrating, the Mariners and Phoenix games refreshing as we finally overcame our usual ability of under performing in "easier" games. Perth Glory at the end of the month was doubly significant as they sit in 2nd place.

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With 10 games to go I don't want to jinx it by saying we are this seasons "team of destiny" but not only have we strung together a fantastic run of 12 games unbeaten, the other clubs seem to be making it their mission to trip up at every turn. Adelaide in 8th are giving us a massive push. They have won 4 and drawn 6, all of those results coming against teams in the top 6, but we have beaten them twice. In comparison our only loss has come against Perth who sit 3rd, our 3 draws are against teams outside the top 6. Every other team in the top 6 has dropped at least nine points to another team inside the top half of the table.

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Our fantastic run has everything to do with Silvio Ferrami, who has scored 17 league goals so far this season. Yes that is 17 goals in 16 league games, obliterating Balthazar Cooks single season league goal total of 15 with still 10 games to go. His next target is Steve Smiths total goals in a season which stands at 22. It hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows, I attempted to offer Hlophe a contract renewal, but I couldn't do it immediately due to the wage cap, I tried offer it to start at the end of the season so it didn't affect the cap but he wasn't having it. He has a transfer agreed with Valladolid for the end of the season, he has begun learning Spanish. Once again it reaffirms the need to close out the season and get out of here. Hlophe has scored 30 goals in 75 appearances for the club and is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the quality we can't afford to keep beyond the end of the season.

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Which is why with the sole focus being the league, the Asian Champions League becomes nothing but 2nd team and fitness maintaining exercise.

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3 league games, we could secure 9 of the 18 points we need to guarantee top spot

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heading to bed and working tomorrow, the "team of destiny" might not get much coverage until Wednesday, but we will see, might get a cheeky hour tomorrow night! 

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Steve Smith's long lost cousin actually plays for us on this save of mine :lol:

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He didn't get his fair share of the skill did he! 

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heading into February the gap between us and 2nd place Western Sydney Wanderers was 12 points, 3 points further back in 3rd was Perth Glory. With 10 games to play Wanderers could attain a maximum 57 points, Glory 54. We need 18 points to leave it to our superior goal difference, 19 to guarantee it outright. 

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For some reason Wanderers only played two games in February, and from a possible 6 points they took only 1.

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 Glory had an unbeaten month, they won both of their ACL group games, but only won 2 and drew the other 2 in the league, only beating the bottom two sides by a single goal.

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We had no such slip ups. The 2nd team cruised to an away win against Suwon, though it took a 90+2 minute winner at home to Beijing to maintain the 100% record. In the league we stuck to what was now becoming a very routine formula. Passionately expect a win in the dressing room before the game, release the hounds and have the team attack from the 1st whistle, if we aren't in front early we demand more, when we score the 1st goal I also demand more. If and when the 2nd goal goes in we officially shut up shop, both wing backs switch to full backs and go from a support to a defensive duty, with the whole teams mentality changing from attacking to balanced. I say "if we aren't in front early" this month was a typical month, and 5 of our 7 goals in the league this month came in the 1st half, 4 of those 5 in the first half hour. Silvio is slipping, having only scored 1 goal this month, putting him at 18 goals in 19 league appearances, meaning he is 4 behind tying Steve Smiths record.

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Nice to see our 2nd team is good enough to top the group

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It is almost a done deal in the league, we have already qualified for the elimination finals. The maximum points our closest rival can accrue is 52, which is Wanderers.

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We play them twice back to back next month, taking points off them there could clinch the regular season title!

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Here we go then, into March, an away game in Thailand to kick us off, it had been earmarked as a potential problem with the huge round trip causing disruption to the training and rest either side of the game. Good job then that the players we were depending on to hopefully help secure our 1st regular season title wouldn't be going anywhere near Thailand. Before we played that game however Wanderers had their game in hand, a chance for them to apply what little pressure they could.

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That meant that a win would crown us regular season champions.

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The Buriram Utd game was closer than it looked, with 2 of our goals coming in the last 10 minutes. The 1st Wanderers game was slightly cagey, with us squandering chance after chance in the 1st half. It took until 50 minutes when a free kick in from the left pinballed around their box until a player lashed at it with their foot and it bulged the Wanderer net. It could only be one person Silvio with his 19th goal. Mark Sykes doubled our advantage 9 minutes later, and after that we parked our champions bus for the remaining half hour. Wanderers at home we didn't really show up for, and having just won the league I didn't flog the players into trying too hard for a win. Western United was nothing special except Silvio scored 2 more goals, taking him to 21 in 22, 1 away from equalling the club record, with only ever having played in the A League.

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Looking at the table, it seems that our points total from any of our previous 3 seasons when we finished 3rd would have been enough to secure the title this season

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As it just seems that whoever is in 2nd of 3rd place just can't help but drop points

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Speaking of securing the title!

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Not sure when we were  about to get sacked, though the stingy board haven't graded me above a C+ all year.

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Hopefully 6 more domestic games and we will be done

 

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Brilliant consistent form @Mandy42:applause:

I quite like the insight into your tactical tweakings but not sure if the "instructions" are Team-Talks or in game shouts?

It's going to be quite a shock to the players system when I take over because they are going to go from tactical tweakings and team-talks/shouts, to 100% use of the IR button and little any communication with anyone at any time. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Brilliant consistent form @Mandy42:applause:

I quite like the insight into your tactical tweakings but not sure if the "instructions" are Team-Talks or in game shouts?

It's going to be quite a shock to the players system when I take over because they are going to go from tactical tweakings and team-talks/shouts, to 100% use of the IR button and little any communication with anyone at any time. :lol:

“What’s he doing?”

”He’s just staring, menacingly”

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1 hour ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Brilliant consistent form @Mandy42:applause:

I quite like the insight into your tactical tweakings but not sure if the "instructions" are Team-Talks or in game shouts?

It's going to be quite a shock to the players system when I take over because they are going to go from tactical tweakings and team-talks/shouts, to 100% use of the IR button and little any communication with anyone at any time. :lol:

both, the team talk before the game is to tell them i expect them to win the game and keep our run going.

then in the match itself, shout at them if we haven't scored after 30 minutes, shout at them for more if we have only scored 1 goal, both these are "demand more" shout at them "praise" when they score a 2nd and any subsequent goal. But at the point we reach a 2 goal cushion the mentality goes to balanced and the back 4 go to a fully defensive duty

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2 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Brilliant consistent form @Mandy42:applause:

I quite like the insight into your tactical tweakings but not sure if the "instructions" are Team-Talks or in game shouts?

It's going to be quite a shock to the players system when I take over because they are going to go from tactical tweakings and team-talks/shouts, to 100% use of the IR button and little any communication with anyone at any time. :lol:

also, my intention is to resign and allow you free reign of where we move on to (hopefully after claiming the Elimination finals title) when you said shock to the players system did you mean the Mcarthur players? (and you intend to stay?) or whichever squad of players you move us to?

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7 minutes ago, Mandy42 said:

also, my intention is to resign and allow you free reign of where we move on to (hopefully after claiming the Elimination finals title) when you said shock to the players system did you mean the Mcarthur players? (and you intend to stay?) or whichever squad of players you move us to?

If you win the title then I expect you to upload a save 1 day after our last game, (stay for Champions League of course), with us unemployed and looking for work. 

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Last month of the regular season, and everyone else is scrambling for points to get into the top 6, we however have nothing to play for, well we could go for records, but I have zero interest in equalling the maximum A-league points total if it jeopardises us taking the only prize that matters, the title at the end of the season. That said, I would like Silvio to take the all time single season goal record off Steve Smith, because Smith gave me his word he would stay, then the very next day (try read that line without hearing George Michael in your head!)

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The only surprise against Phoenix was that Silvio didn't score, 4 goals from Acheson. As much as I moaned in January that losing 3 starting 11 players to the U23 Asia cup was a ball ache. Having them come back full of confidence from winning and being able to just slot them into the starting line up has really helped us maintain our form. The 2nd 11 at home to Suwon were poor, our goal came in stoppage time at the end of the game, but we still top the group so in the end irrelevant. More surprising, the 1st team losing away to Brisbane, again, as long as they don't take it into the elimination finals and do it again, also irrelevant, though Silvio not scoring again, a bit more of a concern. Mariners at home, the bottom club, the perfect tonic after only our 2nd league defeat and the 1st time all season we lost back to back. Silvio scored twice to equal and then pass Smith's record. The last two games were pretty routine, with Silvio getting a penalty in the Victory game to take him to 24 goals in 26 appearances. I did have a fear that his loan would be up before we played the elimination games, but luckily he is here till the end of May!

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No team seems to be hitting a run of form and storming into the semis, everyone seems more interested in not losing than playing to win. Which means the Semi Finals are

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It comes down to this

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roar.thumb.jpg.3cb6acad2cf1bd4b8514b9e0d3edc3f0.jpg

It just had to be didn't it!

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Once we took the pitch our semi final was never in doubt, though I had plenty of doubts before kick off!

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got a doctors appointment, the season is over, did we take it all? or did we stumble at the last hurdle like the two previous times we reached this point? You will have to wait and see! 

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:lol:

In all seriousness, I'm not at work for the rest of the week so the sooner you can get the save uploaded the better. (I'm refusing to accept that you didn't win  by the way). 

 

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In the doctors waiting room, the save will be uploaded today no problems there. 

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Congrats @Mandy42! Finally we win this! 

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On 09/03/2020 at 07:12, andychar said:

Well this is gonna be it. Treble incoming boys!

#Soothsayer :lol:

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10 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

#Soothsayer :lol:

I’ll be bending spoons next! 
 

@Mandy42 unbelievable effort mate. Nobody is more happy than @Jimbokav1971 :lol:.

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Just now, andychar said:

I’ll be bending spoons next! 
 

@Mandy42 unbelievable effort mate. Nobody is more happy than @Jimbokav1971 :lol:.

You have absolutely no idea! :lol:

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Luckily we stayed in the ACL so that I didn't resign the day after the Grand Final and not get to see all of the end of season awards.

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Was a good year for Rhifumo Hlophe scooping 2 awards and the runner up in the golden boot.

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He wasn't the only play to collect an individual award.

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And it wasn't all about individual awards, 9 of 11 players in the all star 11.

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With 11 players making the league team of the season and subs bench

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When it came to the fans, Tyrese Francois took 1st spot for the 2nd year running, once again beating our leading goal scorer into 2nd place, this year by an even greater margin.

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Bit of nostalgia, this years team of the season, our all time 11, and where our 2020 side is now.

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And we came out on top in this competition as well.

 I enjoyed this save so much, maybe because I feel that while I'm holding the controls part of the job is to entertain those who built the position you are now in, and those who will follow after. It could be because I've never played a save like it, both in terms of taking turns, as well as the league format. Never had such strict squad rules, a wage cap? Fixed numbers of foreign players? When I took over I desperately wanted Steve Smith to stay, not just for his accomplishments in the season before mine, but because he took preseason by the scruff of the neck and it seemed we would be lost without him. When he left and the harsh reality of us being so short on wage cap space with so many contracts due to expire, I was genuinely concerned. As I put in the posts above, I took a decision to focus on the short term goal, keep the players happy, win it all, get out. None of that would have been possible without the performance of Silvio. Never before have I brought in a player to a club who has had that significant an impact, he was one of 5 possible replacements I had looked at if and when Smith left, he probably wasn't even the best of the 5 statistically. He obviously didn't win us the title all on his own, he isn't Bugs Bunny playing every position on the pitch. Just going to add something about the players who finally got us over the line in the A-League:

Dillon Barnes, Goal Keeper, joined in July 2022 and made 97 appearances for the club conceding 77 goals. This season he played 25 games, conceded 15 goals and kept 14 clean sheets. He was my 1st choice goal keeper and I had complete faith in him, I can't remember him making any stupid mistakes or individual errors that cost us.

Adam Pavlesic, Goal Keeper, joined in July 2024 from Sydney FC. He made 13 club appearances conceding 17 goals in total, 14 of those goals came this season, where he only managed to keep 2 clean sheets. However, this isn't really a fair reflection, he played in all of our ACL campaign, both the season in which we won and this season where we played a vastly depleted strength team. He did feature in the league, most notably in January when Barnes was sidelined for the month with a hernia, he conceded only 2 goals in 6 appearances keeping 4 clean sheets.

Liam Coyle, right wing back. He joined in October 2022, has made 93 appearances for the club and scored 2 goals. This season he has only missed 1 regular season game, chipped in with 10 assists across all competitions. He has also been our team captain this year.

 Tommy Lamberton, Centre Back, He has been here from the start in 2019, made 27 appearances for us this season, scoring 3 thumping headed goals from corners. All told he is our joint leading appearance holder with 109. He made his international debut against Bahrain in November 2025, he has made 4 more appearances since, also winning the U23 Asia Cup in 2022

Harry Souttar, Centre Back, Joined in 2022, has made 101 appearances for the club, 30 of them this year, scoring 4 goals this season and 14 since he joined.

Rhys Lambert, Centre Back, a youth prospect in 2024, he made 12 appearances and scored 2 goals for the club, all this season, he wasn't the best player in the squad, but he filled in when needed to ensure both Lamberton and Souttar stayed fresh

Justin Chipperfield, Wing back, a youth prospect from 2018, though it took 3 years for him to make his 1st appearance, he has gone on to make 47 appearances and score 1 goal. This season he has played 20 times, he represented his country at U23 level and helped lift the Asia Cup this season. Justin was awesome this year, he played either left or right wingback and was originally designed to be the backup for both Warren and Coyle. However when it became clear that Warren struggled to play not just on a game to game basis but to complete even a single complete game, he gained a bigger role. He was nominated for young player of the year.

Marc Warren, Left Wing back, he joined us on loan this season to fill the gap created by our best left back leaving, he played 14 times, the fans never really warmed to him, he helped out and he gave Chipperfield the time he needed to come good. He enjoyed himself so much that he postponed his retirement for a year at the end of the season.

Brandon Wilson, Holding Midfielder, he joined us when I triggered his release fee of 900k from Perth Glory. He made 14 appearances this season, didn't manage to score but helped us stay solid and made us hard to beat

Mario Ieradi, Defender, joined from Monza in January 2025 for 85k. He played 22 appearances and scored once in that time. For me this season Mario only started one game, but was a solid substitute another 9 times, coming on to sure us up and see out games.

Tyrese Francois, Mezzala, joined in July 2023, he made 74 appearances, scored 17 goals, 27 appearances and 11 goals came this season, seeing him win his 2nd fans player of the year award. He was a staple of the 1st 11 and I leaned on him heavily to make an impact

Konrad Clarke, Holding Midfielder, joined in July 2022 from South Melbourne for 2.5k. He made 69 total appearances and scored 4 goals, 21 games and 2 goals this season. He was my starting ball winning midfielder and his performances in the 1st team secured him an U23 spot in the winning Asia Cup squad this year.

Mark Sykes, Midfielder, joined from Oxford in July 2022 for 24k. He made 99 appearances for us and scored 12 goals, this season he played 10 times and scored once, providing 3 assists. He also kept performing at a high level even after I left him out of the ACL squad two years in a row due to foreign player regulations.

Joe Walker, Shadow Striker, Has been here since the beginning, signing in 2018 but not playing his 1st game until 2021. He then played 53 times for us, scoring 10 goals. He played 14 times this season and scored 6 goals, deputising very effectively for Niall Acheson.

Niall Acheson, Shadow Striker, joined from Perth Glory in 2023 for 1.5k, he has gone on to play 56 games for us scoring 9 goals. This season he played 23 times and scored 8 goals, 4 of them coming in one game, and 5 assists. He was away in January as part of the U23 Asia Cup winning squad. He is now valued at 1.2m. Niall was always in the 1st 11 when I needed him, his direct running and decision making in the final third were vital.

Rhifumo Hlophe, Advanced Forward, he joined from Sydney Utd in July 2022 for 500 pounds. He played 87 times and scored 33 goals. This season he played 29 times, scoring 15 goals and providing 5 assists. He won the youth league player of the year, A-league young player of the year and was 2nd in the golden boot competition. He was desperate to stay but we were unable to secure a deal to keep him, he left the club to join Valladolid at the end of the season. His tendency to shoot from tight angles and not cross would sometimes infuriate me, however he never stopped running into the channel to help us to provide underlaps and chances from the right. He also never complained about being 2nd fiddle to both Steve Smith and then Silvio Ferrami.

Silvio Ferrami, Poacher, joined us on loan from Tottenham this season, he played 30 games, scored 25 goals and provided 7 assists. He won the A-league golden boot award by 10 goals, he also now holds the record for both total number of goals in a single season and most league goals in a single season. This might seem strange, but I can't remember any of his goals being spectacular, but every time we needed a goal, he would somehow appear in the box and get his head or boot to ball and propel us forward. Many of them were scrappy, ugly goals, but they all counted. He scored 4 penalties out of a possible 5.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading about this season like I enjoyed playing it, thought it might be nice to see the main protagonists in our title winning squad and notice the ones you brought in (or allowed to stay) during you own time as manager. Look forward to where we go from here!

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34 minutes ago, andychar said:

I’ll be bending spoons next! 
 

@Mandy42 unbelievable effort mate. Nobody is more happy than @Jimbokav1971 :lol:.

There is no spoon! and thanks, was both the most fun, and the most pressure I have felt playing this game :D

34 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

You have absolutely no idea! :lol:

Sure you will smash it as Ireland international manager ;) 

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First of all, congratulations to @Mandy42on not just a brilliant campaign, but also some excellent updates. Well done and thank you. :applause:

I thought he might have stayed on and won the Champions League again, but I've had a look and the Final is played after the new league campaign starts so actually I think he's bang on the money passing over now. 

This is where we are right now. 

  1. Wynter
  2. Andychar
  3. Rikulec
  4. Ronaldo Beckham
  5. Noikeee
  6. Minuy600
  7. Mandy42 
  8. Jimbokav1971 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< We are here. If Anyone is interested and wants to join in then I think @andycharis the man in charge, (well done for getting this going by the way). 
  9. Kingofcm03
  10. Makoto Nakamura
  11. Smp20

Just for a little recap, (and although I'm writing this before @Mandy42has posted his update, I won't be pressing submit until after he has posted his End of Season update)....

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Can I just say that had @Mandy42not managed to win the title last season, there is absolutely no way I would be leaving Australia, no matter what I might have said jokingly, (so thank you again). 

The managers before me have scored more than double the number of goals we have conceded, (432 scored and 215 conceded).

We have a Continental C Licence, (so I'm guessing we need to see if we can get on another course), but that's not an immediate priority. 

We only speak English, bit far from that putting me off moving to a non English speaking Nation, I'm actually more likely to in order to learn another language. 

Gregg Berhalter, (never heard of him), has the best opinion of us but he manages DC United and I can tell you right now we're not going there. Antonio Conte is the other Manager who seems to like us and he isthe manager of Valencia in Spain...... :cool:

Graham Arnold, (never heard of him), is the only manager listed as an Adversary, and he is currently managing..... Australia and has done since 2022. I wonder did we withdraw players from the National squad to upset him? Before that he was Manager of Australia U23's. So either way, there is little chance of developing that particular feud at this time. 

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So where are we going I'm guessing is the question on everyone's lips?

Let's see what's loaded for a start. 

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After we have moved somewhere I will remove the Australian structure, (unless anyone has any objections), and I think I will replace it with either the Icelandic structure or the Welsh structure. 

In terms of where we go next, I don't particularly want to play in England, I think Italy - Serie B and Spain - Second Division might be too high a reputation for us.

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I have never managed in Mexico and the Promotion League could be fun, but the Croatian Second League could also be interesting. I'm not over keen on Scotland, but I think it's worth keeping as a structure because I'm expecting the Ladbrokes Championship to have quite a low reputation. 

Let's have a look at what jobs are available.

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It's early June now, (so close-season in Western Europe). 

I've just checked and the Croatian leagues are as you would expect. 

I'm going to rule out the Irish job, Spain, Italy, (I've spent a LONG time managing in Italy on FM and much as I love the 12 subs, why would I go back when I can go somewhere new?), England, USA and obviously Australia. That leaves us with 3 options. 

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Now usually what I would do here is also rule out Rijeka, (because they are not in the bottom league of their Nation), but we're not playing my type of save so let's just have a look at things. 

Airdrie. Avoid relegation in the Scottish Championship is not exactly the stuff dreams are made of. 

Despite that, we have a better reputation than them so we should at least be considered for the job, (if that's how it works). We are 3.0 stars reputation and they are 2.0 stars reputation. We also speak the language. They finished 

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They finished 7th of 10 teams last season after being promoted from non-playable the season before. 

I'm not overly keen on applying for the job, but I can't afford to rule them out at this stage. 

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Kustosija. Finish mid-table in the Croatian 2nd tier is the sort of thing that would usually attract me, but I'm very aware that I'm only here for 1 season and I want to do what's best for our character. Their reputation is only 1.5, their finances are insecure and they have poor facilities. While I might enjoy this sort of long-term challenge on my own, I'm not sure that it's right for Manager Managervich. Oh...... Managervich does sound Eastern European though so maybe that's more of a reason to move to Croatia. 

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On the positive side though, they finished 9th of 16 last season and with a positive goal difference, (so aren't rubbish). The money, lack of facilities and the scouting and general hard work is what's putting me off at this stage, (but if it has to be done then so be it). 

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HNK Rijeka. This lot are a big club, (and I would usually shy away from them as a result), but I have to keep in mind that @Mandy42has just smashed it out of the park and @wynter @andychar @Rikulec @Ronaldo Beckham @noikeee & @Minuy600 have all worked really hard to get us where we are now, so actually I don't think that applying for a job like this is unreasonable just so long as we have the reputation for it. 

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Is it possible to get a stiffy just from looking at a job advert of FM20? :lol: That's a hell of a job advert for me.

The reputation is 3.0 and ours is also 3.0, so assuming that that's the way it works, we would be a good fit. Develop the player using the the clubs Youth System, (Great Facilities by the way), lots of money to spend by the looks of it, sign players U23 and do not sign players over 30. The game has seen me coming hasn't it. 

They finished 6th of 10 last season, and there are 4 European spots up for grabs, so only a modest improvement would see @Kingofcm03 playing European football next season, (which is a BIG attraction). 

The sponsorship income page tells me what I already know. There are 2 big clubs in Croatia, (Dinamo and Hajduk), and we're after that. This is a big club and should be aiming at competing with the big 2. 

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What's not to like? 

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There doesn't seem anything ridiculous in the Croatian rules. 

We need to have at least 6 players trained HG in Croatia in each matchday squad, (shouldn't be a problem), only bottom team gets relegated, and we play the other 9 teams in the league 4 times each so 36 league games. 

I'm talking like we have already got the job. Unfortunately it's FAR from a done deal. 

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It's been 3 days since I applied for the Rijeka job and it's still showing as Kresimir Krajcek, (the current NK Osijek Manager), being the favourite. He only has 2.5 reputation, (compared to our 3.0), but of course he speaks Croatian and knows the league having managed there already. 

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I've been asked about other jobs in Australia and suggested that I wanted to work overseas. I've dismissed the idea of me moving to USA and am about to dismiss talks of me taking over at Zaragoza if Gus Poyet is sacked. 

I think I need to hurry things along. 

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Football Manager you teasing wench you! :(

Just give me an interview. I recon I can blag it, but just give me an interview! 

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Now the game is toying with me. 

A job has become available here. :eek:

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I love clubs like this. :cool:

Las Palmas. They want a top half finish, to play possession based, attacking football and to use the clubs Academy. Sounds good to me. 

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Their facilities are ok

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They just missed out on the Playoffs last season, finishing 7th of 22, 3 points behind the 6th placed team. 

If the F.C. Andorra job became available I would find it very hard not to beg for it. 

Do I hold out of the Rijeka job or apply for the Las Palmas job too. Decisions, decisions, decisions. 

The Southampton job, (who finished 12 in the Premier League last season), has become available, but I think our reputation is a little short for that. Interestingly, WBA are on a downwards BOINGGGG at the moment after being relegated, but the attraction here is that they will be playing European football next season while in the Championship. (They won the League Cup, beating Man City in the Final) but I didn't think the League Cup gave you a European spot anymore.... Anyway, that could be interesting if the job becomes available. 

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I haven't applied for the Las Palmas job yet..... but I'm thinking about it. 

Come get me baby! 

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I hope you don't mind lots of updates, but this save, (and largely @Mandy42 if I'm honest), has got me really excited about playing FM20 again. It feels like Christmas! :lol:

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Jun 2026

The Derby job has become available but I'm still trying to stay away from the UK at the moment.

That being said, it's an attractive advert. They made the Playoffs this season and we will be asked to do so again if we take over. There aren't many English jobs that would interest me at the moment, but this is one. 

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The 1st Mexican job has become available. Tlaxcala, (if we take over I'm calling them "Coyotes" because I can't pronounce their proper name), are a newly promoted club in the Mexican 2nd Tier and we would be asked to just be "competitive".

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I still haven't applied for any other jobs other than the Rijeka job, because basically, that's the one I really want. 

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