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rodesire

[FM18] Scandimania [Closed]

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Posted (edited)

I seem to be stuck in a foreign country with only work laptop, so what better way to get through lockdown than a game of FM?

I have loaded every single vanilla Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Icelandic leagues and will try a Gundo challenge in each of them (taking a newly promoted club in the lowest division to CL glory).

As usual I have loaded all players in continental competitions in Europe to add a bit more difficulty and, hopefully, diversity to the save.

I will not be limiting myself in any way (previous few games were mostly youth only), so it's back to scouting like crazy, looking through agent lists and youth teams all around the Europe.

I will be starting the save in late 2019, as I missed the original Icelandic season reset by a few weeks with no save :woops:

Edited by rodesire
F

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Posted (edited)

Hall of fame/shame

Spoiler

Íþróttafélagið Völsungur (2019-)

Icelandic First Division (2020)
Icelandic Cup (2021, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026)
Icelandic Premier Division (2021, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026)
Icelandic League Cup A (2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027)
Icelandic Champions Cup (2022, 2024, 2025, 2027)
U19 European Champions League (2022/23)

Iceland (2022-)

Relegation from Nations B League (2022)
U20 World Cup 3rd place (2023)
Qualified for EURO (2024)
EURO semifinal (2024)
Qualified for World Cup (2025)
World Cup quarterfinal (2026)
Promotion from Nations C League (2026)

Personal accolades

Icelandic Manager of the Year (2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026)

 

 

Edited by rodesire
won moar

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So let's start at the start.

The year is 2018 and it's World Cup time.  Unfortunately none of the Scandinavian countries make it with France winning the first World Cup of the save.

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The year now is 2019 and Ananasas, the protagonist of this save is looking for a place to start his career.  His hairdo is his only credentials to date.

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At the end of the year, two teams are promoted into the Icelandic First Division.  Both offer jobs to Ananasas and the first stop of the save is Volsungur.  Being able to negotiate a two year deal right away was a big factor to me as it gave me a bit of security as well as my two favourite philosophies on board.

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The club is situated in a small town of Húsavík, a lovely place if you ask me.

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Whilst I would have liked a fallen giant they seem to be more of a lower league experts with multiple lower division titles and exceptional facilities for a newly promoted club.

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The squad is not bad at all, we have very good goalkeepers and centrebacks, decent attacking mids and nothing else.  I'll need to make some waves in the transfer market to even think of getting a promotion spot this year.

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So last time I did mention, Volsungur was a fairly stable lower league team, the trophy cabinet confirms that.

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We got a fair amount of money in the bank, so I asked for my initial coaching badges before things go south.

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And the pre-season was uneventful, I failed to sign anyone, trying to settle into some sort of 442 formation but struggling for now.

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So, a small explanation is in order.  Icelandic leagues have 12 teams each with only a 22 game season running May to September.  However, there is a league cup preceding that in March-April as well as Iceland cup running in parallel with the main leagues. Finally, a super cup kicks off the domestic season in early March, so top teams will end up playing around 30-32 games a season domestically.  You don't really need more than 22 players in this scenario as you rarely end up playing two matches a week until the European ties kick off, something to keep in mind.

The League Cup I mentioned before features 4 groups of 6 teams (3 top, 3 second division playing each other once) before an 8-team single knockout finale.

We didn't do too poorly this year, defeating both teams in the division but got roflstomped by higher division teams, unfortunately.

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Finishing in fourth place in our group this year.

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By the time the cup was over, so were my coaching badges, easy first step on the ladder!

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I thought we had this year covered and our performance in the league cup would promise a good year.  The bookies disagree, however, and believe we'll go down.  Looking at the team of the year I do not disagree with them, we look quite poor.

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I arranged another set of friendlies before the league and frankly, we look amazing, I'll be surprised if we don't challenge for at least the top half this year.

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Good luck mate!Welcome to (very) North and cold Europe,it sucks but you are going to get used to it .:cool:

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21 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Good luck mate!Welcome to (very) North and cold Europe,it sucks but you are going to get used to it .:cool:

I am used to cold, so we'll right at home!

May 2020 was a very good month as we kicked off against some of the weaker teams in the league. 4 wins out of 4 and top of the early league.  In the cup, more of the same against lower league opponents but IA put us firmly in our place and ended our adventure rather early.

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IA and us both haven't dropped any points and we're already 11 clear of the relegation zone, so a barring a major collapse we should be aiming for at least a mid-table position.

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June this year had Brexit, barely had it, to be fair.  Looks like there'll be no new restrictions, so more English dominance in near future.

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Domestically, we had a slightly more mixed month, 3 home wins and 2 draws as well as a loss away.  The team just loses all semblance of a unit away but so do a lot of squads at this level.  If we can convert those away losses to draws, we should be challenging for promotion soon enough.

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Speaking of, we're still top of the league, with a 6 point cushion inside promotion zone, 18 points clear of relegation.

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The only concern of mine is finances, we're bleeding money very very fast and I cannot see how we can keep it stable before we start playing in Europe.

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For those wondering what my spending is like, there is it, I am quite reasonable for this level.

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July 2020 means, Euros are over and the transfer window is open again.

In Euros, it's England who triumph over Romania(!) on pens in the final at Wembley.

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Transfer wise I decided to plug as many holes as I could slightly overpaying on wages but getting people for free at least.

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These are the three big signings, Bjorn should steady our left back position a tad, he seems like he's got quite a bit of pace and should be able to develop once I tutor his determination to acceptable levels.

The Czechs are a funny case as their agent was touting one of his older clients but it's these two kids, I went after.  Jaroslav is a beast of a player and I think he could stay with us for quite some time, if we progress, that is.  Zdenek is definitely more of a raw prospect and has a couple question marks whether he can develop efficiently but I took a punt on him.  Nevermind the fact we're deeply in debt and shouldn't be developing random youngsters.

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In the league we had another lovely month, with 3 more home wins and an away loss. Business as usual then.

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Overall, we're still top of the league, with Haukar now the closest challenger.  We're 8 points inside the promotion zone with 8 games to go, so I have a feeling we might promote after all.

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2019 Youth intake time!

And it's a golden generation!

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Only time will tell if those 6x5* PA players are any good but I do like how many 1*+ CA players we got this year.

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Here are some of my favourites of this year

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Last but not least I found an unattached 15 year old Icelandic kid, so I signed him too!

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Time for an August review.

Yet again, a great little month as we finally won away for the first time since May!  4 wins out of five with many different scorers.

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This meant we could no longer be relegated as I was helpfully informed

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More importantly it meant we won the league at a canter with 3 matches to go, though not having a second team on 2pts per game pace is quite strange.

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And here's a confirmation of the first title of this save!

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I quickly ran the remaining September fixtures with the players who'd remain for next season

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The results were less than impressive as the team suddenly stopped performing anywhere near as well as they used to.

In the end it was still a 10 point margin at the top after only 22 games, with Haukar stealing a march on the rest of the league and getting the second promotion spot.  Vikingur were predicted first in the season preview and yet they finished rock bottom with barely 18 points.

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I've actually just started my own Scandinavia / Nordic countries save too. Deffo following

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22 hours ago, bigmattb28 said:

I've actually just started my own Scandinavia / Nordic countries save too. Deffo following

Cheers and good luck!  Nordics usually have fun leagues with quite a few restrictions on players, so getting around it is half the fun!

 

Season review - 2020

It's been a stunning first year at Völsungur.  We managed to get promoted at the first attempt and that was way beyond my dreams.

I employed loans for the first time in a while and previous management largely managed to get them right as they both made club's team of the season.

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Arnason was the star of the show, with finishing of 11 (+2), composure 10 (+2) and pace/acceleration 15/14 (+2).  He would just run behind the line and finish once in a while, we'll miss him.

Baldvinsson stays with us for another year and his wing presence will hopefully become a big part of how our second XI plays next year.

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In competitions, we won the league, the only competition I really cared about this year. The cups, well, we bowed out early in both but did not disgrace ourselves in either.

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Commercially, we're not doing terribly but the numbers are laughable, especially as you consider that our average wage this year was around 9k pa.

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This is definitely reflected in our financial situation, it's dire and only a European run can save us at this rate.

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Just to give you perspective how little income there is in Iceland, our expenses this season having been way under budget all year were almost 230% of our income.

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3 hours ago, deltablue said:

This will be fun.

Thanks delta, I hope so too!

 

In Iceland, off-season starts in late September, so plenty of time to make some signings and I went a bit crazy hoping that the team would gel by the time the league restarts in May.

In my defence, I did sell a couple guys too..

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The signings are really really really good for this level.  Now I genuinely think we have a chance of not only staying in the league but possibly pushing for a European place if the team comes together and one of the big teams have a mare, it's a short season, so even dropping 2-3 games in a row can be fatal.

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So that's basically a whole new first team for us, very young but with a couple older guys to balance it out.

In other news, we have presidential elections coming up, hopefully, the new chairman is not too hasty in dismissing me.

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Meanwhile our parent club decided to cut the link with us even before it happened automatically as we now play in the same division.

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Lusitans from Andorra?They always produced some amazing Portuguese regens.

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29 minutes ago, Sheriff7 said:

Lusitans from Andorra?They always produced some amazing Portuguese regens.

Yep, I recalled someone was fighting them a lot in their Andorran saves, so I dropped in to have a look if they had produced anyone and lo and behold!

 

Pre-season 2021

So, we got a new board after the elections, no big promises, no changes even really regarding most of the aspects at the club.

Just one problem, my original philosophies all completely gone.  I wouldn't give up, so I decided to ask to get them reinstated but..

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Yeah, not cool, board, not cool.

Meanwhile, the expectations for this season are low.  Personally, I want to give it a go it in the FA Cup, see if maybe we could win it and get a Europa League place that way as top-4 finish is a bit of a stretch for us.

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I'll also be changing formations as I couldn't get any decent strikers to join us whilst also improving our midfield.  Ditching stable 442 in favour of Cleon inspired 4231

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The gloryhunter bandwagon is in full swing, after the promotion you'd expect it to happen, frankly.

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Finally, I was looking at the season preview and noticed this bloke in one of the top teams in the division.  Surely, this is the best 17 year old I have seen in a very very long time :o

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2021 League Cup

We started the preseason with a few friendlies where we did not really hit the right marks most of the time yet still got away with it.

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We carried this form into the League Cup matches as we beat all lower division opponents and drew with the Premier division sides to finish top of the group only to be dumpstered by Breidalik in the QF.

They're a much better team at this stage of the career and not much I can do about it.

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Magnus Magnusson (excellent name, btw) had a bit of a special tournament, averaging almost a hattrick and beating the previous top goalscorer record by mere 13 goals.

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I am terrified what he's gonna do this year in the league and can only hope KR sell or lose him on free as his contract expires in 8 months time.

 

Since I love developing youth, I managed to snatch a couple more kids that should for now stay in our U19 team and hopefully step-up soon enough.

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Before the League Cup, Loic, one of our new arrivals was worried he would not start any games.

I promised him I would start him, and he promptly started all 5 games we played.

However, as soon as we were eliminated, I was greeted with the following message, so I put him on transfer list.

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Our odds are awful this year, I reckon, there isn't much I can do other than stay in this division and keep winning to get higher.

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Our finances are getting critical as we're now listed as insecure financially.  I wonder if the board will take out a loan, dip into savings to give us free money or just let us sink into administration.

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We ran four more friendlies and did largely as expected there, still a nice little morale boost as we head for a first season in top division for 25 years.

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Congrats on the early trophy, the decent intake and the Czech influx. 

£500,000 transfer kitty seems a lot. No? :kriss:

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7 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Congrats on the early trophy, the decent intake and the Czech influx. 

£500,000 transfer kitty seems a lot. No? :kriss:

that's a lotta money but I don't think i'll use much of it, our rep is too low to attract anyone good worth paying money for

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Ever since Loic threw his toys out of praam, I've been looking for a guy to replace him and whilst also strengthening midfield as my Belarusian import is okay but not exactly letting the game flow naturally or tackling hard.

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The two signings should address both issues and I am keen to have them get stuck in.

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We had a bit of a poor start in the league, struggling against very similar teams to us before a win in the Cup kick-started our campaign.

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Surprisingly we're midtable as no less than 4 teams are on 5 points after 4 games, same as us. We're facing a lower division team in the Cup, so that should be good for morale.

 

Also, some of you may remember me saying that a short league should be manageable without a full 22. Well, having looked at the schedule more carefully, it's gonna be tough, and if there are any postponements the second XI could decide who stays up.

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June 2021

The new rankings have been announced and Iceland stayed roughly put which is not bad at all.

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Once more I went out and got another baby striker to warm up in U19s.  I am kinda curious how well can he develop with just U19 football more than actually care whether he's any good.

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Competitively, we've been on a purple patch.  Somehow the defence is perfect, so scoring even once becomes enough for a win.

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Unsurprisingly, we went up the table, almost into European places, but most importantly only 3 points away from the summit. Relegation zone is 12 points away, so I don't think we should worry about that any more.

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Interestingly enough, the rest of the league had a bit of a nightmare in the cup, as only 3 Premier division sides remain heading into quarter finals.

If there ever was a time to win the Cup, it is now.

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August 2021

I managed to snatch another kid as well as a major upgrade in midfield for the first XI.  Everything going swimmingly, right?

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Well, I neglected to look at the U19 squad rules and it's something that is gonna bite us for at least a couple years now..

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So yeah, only 3 foreigners allowed and I have 5 in my U19 squad already..

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Our finances keep taking a dip even as we got 30k from fund raising this month!

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At least we're still on course domestically.  7 more points in the league and we defeated the last remaining Premier Division sides in the Cup.

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We're still not top of the league, in fact the gap hasn't changed at all.. But we do have a first Cup final to contend against a flying second division squad.

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Gibraltar now!Excellent.:applause:

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11 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Gibraltar now!Excellent.:applause:

Probably the last one tho. Gibraltar is not part of EU any more and we have a 3 non-EU player limit...

We had a youth intake and I forgot to take screenshots as I was way too hyped for the Cup final..

A decent intake, nonetheless, I'll always take a 1*+ CA, 4*+ PA player.

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2021 Icelandic Cup Final

It's an underdog final as both us and our opponents have never even played in Icelandic Cup final before.

Surprisingly, we're listed as underdogs, despite being a division above our rivals.

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AI opted for a sturdy 442 whilst we used our regular 4231. Neither team had too many issues to deal with as we both fielded our strongest sides

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An early poor backpass allowed Julian Larsson to stab one at the near post further cementing his amazing year on loan with us.

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Very little action other than that as we went into half time with the score unchanged.

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Literally nothing happened in the second half as the score stayed the same and we lifted our first major trophy of the save!

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Incidentally this meant we qualified for the Europa League which was my target for the season all along.  I don't expect us to challenge for top3 for much longer, so this is very very welcome.

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Great job mate.:thup:Good luck in Europe and please just use any logo pack.:lol:

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8 hours ago, deltablue said:

Nice early trophy.

 

4 hours ago, Sheriff7 said:

Great job mate.:thup:Good luck in Europe and please just use any logo pack.:lol:

Thanks guys! Always nice to get the ball rolling nice and early. I'll get a logo pack eventually but not yet, probably.

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August 2021

We continued steamrolling in a similar vein as last month as rotating players has paid off in narrow wins time after time.

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As a result, we suddenly have multiple youth internationals which is nice but also created a bunch of fixture congestion for us.

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In the league, we're still stop with a game in hand but our remaining fixtures are brutal.  I'd be very happy to finish top3 but it's Breidalik's to lose, I think.

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Meanwhile, we have found a sensational youth player on free, like incredible for this level, i'll be very surprised if he's not left us for a better league.

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Last but not least, the board finally injected some money to save us from ourselves.

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September 2021

5 games to see if we can have a shock first season win in the league.

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Well, that didn't really go according to the plan.  We beat Haukar before our second XI crapped the bed with an own goal against Stjarnar. We then battered KR but conceded two set piece goals to throw away a potential title win.  In the reverse fixture it was the opposite and we barely survived to claim a priceless point.  We finished the season with a torrid loss at Breidalik, so quite a fall from grace.

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Somehow, that was still enough to win the league.  I am incredibly underwhelmed at this win as we did not really deserve it with our collapse in crunch time.

This is the lowest champion point tally in Iceland ever but nevertheless, it's Champions League time for us in 9 months time as well as the most random domestic double I've had.

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Great job and so soon!:applause:

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1 hour ago, Sheriff7 said:

Great job and so soon!:applause:

I am sure next season we'll take a step back.  Everyone was really bad towards the end of the season.  And we had no Europe to deal with.

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End of season 2021

I'm a bit shell shocked to tell you the truth.  The plan was to make a cup run, lose gloriously to one of the big3 clubs in QF, end up in midtable and prepare for a huge season next year.

Instead we're Champions of Iceland at the first attempt and woefully unprepared for a title defence.

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We used a massive rotation as is usual for me with many many underwhelming performers but a few stars.

Player of the year awards ended up being basically young player of the year awards.  Julian won both while also winning the `most frustrating forward so far` award.

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I got my first manager of the Year award which is nice, I guess.

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Despite being fairly middling for most of the year we ended up with 4 guys in the team of the year, so I still don't have that achievement despite playing 20+ seasons of FM18.

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Financially, we're ****.  Like real real bad.  Our income is non-existent, what's more worrying is that there isn't really a way to get it going until we start getting through a few European games.

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It's much better than last year, but mostly due to board injecting 80k and now 210k to keep us afloat.

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Still, we're deeply in debt and I'm really looking forward to summer when we get to play for the future of this club.

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Last is a random observation I had.

So usually it takes a player 7 years to get Icelandic nationality.. but for Scandi imports it's only 4 years.  Now this doesn't solve my U19 problem one bit but it does mean the national team could eventually use an influx of Swedes and Danes if needed.

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2021-22 winter transfers

I had prearranged a bunch of transfers in before the end of the season which meant I now had a slightly dubious task of demoting title winners to second XI in hopes kids would progress fast enough to challenge for the first XI spots.

First up, our first Brazillian, he asked for a trial and boy he looked good, contract with no release clause either, so hopefully he'll stick around even if he does take up a non-EU slot.

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Next up we have a couple defenders, a very talented young Icelandic centreback and more of a project on the right side, in Finnish 17 year old.  I have also signed a slightly older centreback  to partner them in defence for a couple years and tutor the poorer personalities to a decent standard at least.

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In goal we have Rasmus, who looks a lot more talented on paper than our Georgian starter so far but he is a bit weaker in handling and reflexes, so it'll be interesting to see who ends up as my number one in the end.

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Now, the big guns.  Amazing prospect in Omarsson and Gunnarson.  The latter should become an excellent winger whilst the former is my dream playmaker and i'll try make a segundo volante out of him.

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Up top we finally have some good strikers.  Both young, both tall at 6'6" and 6'2", so with our crossing game they should feast on it.

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2022 expectations

Slightly more money from TV this year but it's still barely covering the wages of my staff only.

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Luckily for me after last year's win, the board hasn't caught on to the progress we're making and expects very reasonable things domestically.

It's a shame they don't care about League Cup as I think that's a great way to get the team to come together.

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And surprisingly enough we now gonna have a training camp before pre-season training.  I have never had it, so not sure what's going to happen there.

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Our first major sale

Well, it looks like we're finally starting the selling club engine.

Our first sale of over 10k goes to IF Elsborg who bid for our starting rightback.  He refused to even consider new terms and I didn't want him mad, as the offer came in just under his release clause.

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His release clause was 70k and I got 55k+50% of next sale + friendly which expired 4 days after the sale which was a bit cheeky from FM. Still a great deal for us.

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As his replacement at centreback I got another Finn, he's nowhere near as good but I hope he's going to get some game time with U19s eventually graduating to second XI.

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First pre-season 2022

In Iceland there are two pre-seasons, one before the League Cup and one before league proper starts.

February is the time to prepare for the League Cup and we looked good in friendlies smashing everyone for fun but not really getting our of first gear.

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Unfortunately we did suffer a couple major injuries. Rui is out till league begins in May and Dean, well, his career is over.  I'm not sure if he'll play again this year or ever.

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On a slightly more cheery note, we have more die-easy fans than ever, our season ticket sales have gone up by about 50% this season.

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League Cup 2022 Group Stage

It's a funny beast, this League Cup, you get to see who's who in Iceland before the league kicks off properly without the high stakes of European qualification or the board caring too much.

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The group stage went swimmingly for us as we topped the group without losing a game and 7 points clear of next club.  FH had a shocker of a Cup, will they recover in time for the league?

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League Cup 2022 Play-Offs

Just 3 more matches before we can be crowned winners of this tournament. We sneak by lower division Leiknir playing some really trash football before turning on style against KR with first XI.

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We'd be facing Breidablik in the first of two finals this spring.

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The board thought they'd raise my morale with some cash as their injection got us into almost reasonable financial state.

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Meanwhile, the final was uneventful as we dominated the event winning yet another domestic trophy.

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Icelandic Champions Cup 2022

A first ever for us, the curtain raiser for the season that's in the middle of the year, this country is strange, really.

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Once more we're facing Breidablik and once more we defeat them.  This time after a turgid nil-nil draw on pens.  We should have won it in regular time but just couldn't hit anything on target in regular time.

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All this success means we're finally in business when it comes to winning the league.  Having been 1000-1 last pre-season, we're down to 7-1 this time round and should really challenge for one of four European slots.

FH and KR look a level above us and Breidablik is a tricky team but everyone else is beatable now, so it would be inexcusable to finish below fourth.

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Moar signings

I have to admit it, I have a shopping problem.  I just can't stop buying promising players even though they'll have trouble finding playing time and therefore developing anywhere near as well as they should.

This time round I limited myself to four signings.

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Jordan is an upgrade at centreback but I really see him more of a defensive anchor in midfield going forward.  He's going to use up one of our non-EU slots, so I am secretly hoping to sell him fairly soon.

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Remi is a jack of all trades midfielder who should provide quite a bit of utility as I have loaned out two of my midfielders away leaving me in a spot of bother.

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Thibault is a classic project guy.  No idea how well he's gonna develop but maybe, just maybe, he'll be able to challenge for the first team spot next year.

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Finally, Marcelo.  This boy joined us on trial almost 4 months ago and what a player he is. Lightning fast, putting in a half-a-dozen crosses a match and running up and down the pitch tirelessly.

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May 2022

This injury bug we caught earlier really doesn't want to stop for some reason. This time my backup leftback is out for most of the season.

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Despite this injury madness we still posted a healthy start to the season as we also progressed in the Cup.

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Noone is going full speed just yet which is great for us as we should try get ahead before the European commitments derail our charge midway through.

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Last but not least, one of my guys is attracting some major attention.  He's only got 6.86 rating and 120k release clause, so I might have to move fast before I lose him.

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June 2022

We started the month in the most fun way known to FM player, by welcoming three more nations into EU fold which could significantly expand our player basis in the next 5-10 years.

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Next up the board decided to have a fan day as our attendances are still way below 1k on average which is just not good enough for a club competing at the top of Icelandic structure.

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The match was more of a gladiator show, with our backup right winger getting smashed into pieces

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Just like in ancient Rome, the crowd adored it though as the match experience was 'exciting'.

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We also managed to get some decent money for Omarsson, the bloke from last post whose release clause was 120k

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110k + 50% of next sale + friendly is a win in my book for us as he was getting whiny already and wanted to leave after half a season.

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His value immediately shot up to 3.2M, so hopefully, the board can negotiate the sale of the sell-on clause and we can get a million or two in transforming our finances at last.

 

Domestically we were in great form, as we hit all the right notes with both XIs dispatching clubs efficiently.

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Despite this sensational run (we're still unbeaten in the league), we're still only in second. FH is having a mega year with 8 wins in 10 games so far. We'll be meeting them in the Cup just before the Zilina match in the UCL.

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Oh and finances look grim. Making a record sale barely lifted us into positive balance for the month and we're still miles away from overall positive balance.

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World Cup 2022 update

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A picture tell a thousand words but some explanation is still needed.

Ze Germans? Vanquished at the group stage (which is still 8x4 teams btw)

Wales? The darlings of this edition, surely.

Hazard? The best player of the tournament.

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UCL 2022 1st Qual Rd

This is the first time this club is playing in a European competition and right away it's as champions of Iceland.

We got quite a handful of a draw as we face Slovakian champions Zilina in the first round and potentially Molde in the second if we were to get through.

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First leg is at home, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, so a usual counter-attacking setup with fast runners and a target man up front is the choice of formation.

The lads didn't disappoint.  We nullified Zilina offensively and grabbed an early goal on a counter and one more from a corner, a complete performance that put us well in charge of this tie.

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You should never underestimate opponents in the UCL and this tie was all bout it.  I let basically the same team play again and we were a goal down 15 minutes in. Zilina swarming all over..

Then Eggert decided to take over.  For half an hour he was pre-prime urCristiano, diving in from left wing and absolutely terrorizing that defence.

Towering header goal? Check. Ronaldo chop to break ankles, then dummy past another helpless centreback and finish far post? Check. Ghost past defence and rocket in off near post? Hattrick check.

4-1 on the night, 6-1 on aggregate, welcome to Ice football, Europe.

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Incidentally, we're now 24 games unbeaten in regular time including these European games.

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UCL 2022 2nd Qual Rd

Just kidding, actually, first let's deal with my shopping addiction.

Two more arrivals, a promising centreback who has no pace and a leftback to replace Svensson who died.

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If we ever had hopes, it'd be a quiet game, these hopes quickly evaporated as the game got televised.

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More, we found out that in next round we'd be facing one of Zagreb Dinamo (with Dani Olmo still around) or Kazakh champions Aktobe.

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So off to Norway we went.  Counterattacking or at least that was the plan.

In reality we got absolutely battered the first 20 minutes, so I switched to an even more defensive setup trying to keep the score low in the hopes we'd create something.

Alas, we arrived to half-time witth scores even but without a single shot attempted.  But then around an hour mark something changed, Molde went less attacking and I subbed on a couple speed demons on the wing in the search of an elusive counterattacking goal.  Just as we were heading for a nil-nil draw, a high cross into Norwegian area resulted in a penalty for us.  Remi Andre had no qualms dispatching our only shot on target all day deep in injury time.

Textbook robbery that one.

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Slightly fearful for the return leg, I setup a similar counterattacking team.  This time though, it was Eggert again with urCristiano impression tearing down left as Starka pulled the strings in midfield.

As Molde failed to convert their late penalty the crowd went ballistic as we were through. For real.

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Celebrations were swiftly cut short by Starka declaring he wanted to leave.  I did managed to calm him down a bit but I cannot extend his contract any more.

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