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[FM20] Blutfontäne der Jugend

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Blutfontäne der Jugend

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So my next adventure is in Germany and with a very special club, Union Berlin. The club famously won promotion to the top tier in 2019 and this is where the journey starts. For those less familiar with the club, check out "Union Berlin: The German fans who bleed for their club", "Things are quite special here" or "Doing it their own way" and I will post up a very good video on their history in the next post.

Union are a very unique club with a history of rebelling against the norm. Some sectors of the fans were worried that reaching the Bundesliga would change the ethos; they are firmly against the commercialisation of football. In this save I aim to keep with the ethos and stick with the rebellious nature of the club by investing the riches of playing Bundesliga back into Union's community through youth. Of course, with Union it's not just a fountain of youth, but a blood fountain of youth :brock:.

Meet The Manager

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Recently retired three-time Premier League winner Robert Huth is my alter-ego for this save. He was born and raised in Biesdorf, East Berlin just a stone throw away from Stadion An der Alten Försterei and Union were the side Chelsea plucked him from as a youth player. Union have taken a chance on 'one of their own', much like Huth will be task to with the youth only policy.

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I'm also not going to be using any 'tried and tested' tactics, ruling out my gegenpress-style 4-3-3 variants in my recent saves with Lens & Santa Clara. Drawing on Huth's experience playing under Ranieri (and Pulis) it may be a 4-4-2 more direct style that's put used, which the side looks like it's ready made for. This save won't be about instant success, but about building a style on hard-work, youth and against the modern trends.

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Task No.1 will be trying to shift Polter as he clearly doesn't mesh with the team ethos anymore.

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Out go the two loans we were able to terminate after 28 days, we will develop our own players thank you!

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1._FC_Union_Berlin_Logo.svg

Die Taktik

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A balanced approach, where we play it out the back and then mix it up from there. When we lose the ball we are aggressive and tight mark collectively to give the opposition no space to work with. Our inverted wingers can both cross into the box, or cut inside leaving our wing backs to provide the width. Whenever we can, we counter at speed. This is Huthball.

Die Mannschaft

Goalkeepers

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Two decent options between the sticks, the more experienced Gikiewicz edges it as no.1 due to his more commanding aerial presence. Both fully suited to a sweeper-keeper role.

Right Backs

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Trimmel is club captain and brings the mental qualities we require with his work rate and determination, though at 32 he won't be at his peak for too much longer. Luckily Ryerson looks like he's ready to step up as soon as he's needed.

Left Backs

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We're slightly weaker on the left side, again with an experienced head in the first 11, while 2nd choice Lenz looks like a very average 2.Bundesliga player. We also have Michael Parensen as 3rd choice. He's been at the club since January 2009 so he's more here as a dressing room figure.

Centre Backs

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Subotic is our beast at the back who will deal with all the aerial duels; A Mertesacker style centre back who lacks pace. 2nd choice in the right-sided role is Hubner who is more than good enough to start.

Ball-Playing Defenders

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Friedrich is the one at the back who can 'play a bit'. He's also another tower of man at 6'4 but unlike our other two CBs he has a bit of pace as well. At 23, this Union side will be built around him. We lack any other CBs, but all three of our left back options are at least competent at CB so will have to step in if needed.

Deep-Lying Playmakers

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Stuttgart stalwart Gentner is our first choice DLP - he's an excellent all rounder with reasonable ability to pick out the passes to get in behind defences. When we need someone to 'get stuck in' but also be able to play a bit, Schmiedebach is our man. 3rd choice is Felix Kroos, brother of Toni, who's been at the club since 2015 but doesn't really have Bundesliga quality.

Box-to-box Midfielders

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Andich, raised on the blue side of Berlin, is a new signing and brings both graft and quality to midfield, while Promes is a very similar mould and a great second choice. We also have youngsters Julius Kade & Maurice Arconnes who both need a lot of work but could become decent first teamers. Kade could even be our answer to our left back problem.

Right Wingers

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Gogia is that spark of creativity that every team needs, as well as being truly two-footed and our set piece taker. Becker is the other kind of winger that you use when plan A isn't working; an injection of pace. We also have Florian Flecker as a more defensive option.

Left Wingers

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Bulter is a hard-working winger who will look to get in the box and at 6'2" he's another good option in there. He's our only remaining loan player as his loan could not be terminated, a blessing in disguise. Mees is a good back up option, similar style but lacks the pace and stature.

Target Men

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Andersson is the perfect targer man. Not many centre backs will get the better of him in the air, while he's not terrible technically and he's got a bit of pace. Ingvartsen is more of an 'all rounder' but will deputise for Andersson if needed. Polter would have been ideal, but due to not fitting the club ethos he's banished to training with the youth team.

Pressing Forwards

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Ujah is everything you could ever want in a pressing forward. He's aggressive, hard working, quick, strong, decent in the air and he can finish. Abdullahi is almost a carbon copy with just a tad less quality - he can also cover left wing too.

 

 

 

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Interested and following.

All I ask is take a little longer to win EVERYTHING!

(so I don't feel as hapless as a FM player)

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Off To A Joyous Start!

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Robert Huth's debut in management wasn't anything to shout about, a scrappy 3-2 win over non-league Lubeck should have been more comfortable on paper. However, Huth's debut league game and Union's first ever Bundesliga tie could not have gone any better! A goal from a corner and a towering header as well as a magnificent defensive display ensure a win against RBL, the anti-ethos of Union. To top it all off, it was Huth's 35th birthday!!

 

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8 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

Interested and following.

All I ask is take a little longer to win EVERYTHING!

(so I don't feel as hapless as a FM player)

Thanks :D - with the youth only and not using my usual tactics, this should be a much longer ride :brock:

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

August 2019 Update

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Well we certainly know how to find the back of the net! Happy with this start, two tricky home games. Not impressive in the cup, but a win is all that matters. Our biggest downfall this month has been 3 red cards in 3 games - and I bet you can tell which games they were in! I think the team are well versed in 'getting stuck in' on their own, so that no longer needs to be encouraged :lol:

 

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

September 2019 Update

Results

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We had an exciting fixture against Werder, the club Huth supported as a child, we went 2-1 up after 88 mins, they equalised in the 94th min and then supersub Bulter nodded home the winner in the 96th minute :eek:. Unfortunately that was the only excitement, we lost heavily to a high flying Leverkusen and also failed to put away chances against surprise package Frankfurt.

Bundesliga Table

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Mid-table and Hertha are bottom, that'll do! It's tight from the bottom all the way to the top though, a couple more bad results and we'll be down there with Hertha.

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

October 2019 Update

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3 Bundesliga games played, a solid draw away vs Wolfsburg, a win at home to Freiburg and an expected thumping in Munich. A disappointing loss against Dusseldorf in the cup, but it was a rotated side because we have an important match up next:

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Die Berliner Derby

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Get in, we won the derby and deservedly so :D. 1-0 mirrors the result in real life , though hopefully we'll do better than the 4-0 drubbing they had last week in the away tie!

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Well, this wasn't expected. Scores the winner in the derby then rocks up with this :eek:!! It would be against the ethos of the club to keep him against his will, so he will train with the youth team until January and then be sold on. Ingvartsen and Abdullahi will need to step up to the plate.

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He's been given the leave of absence instead, maybe he will come back with the right mindset!

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90th min and Gentner, with free kick taking of 9, turns into peak Beckham for a 1-0 win over Mainz :eek:

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5 minutes ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I am glad you are back mate and good luck with Union Berlin.

Cheers :D

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

November 2019 Update

Results

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Back-to-back wins followed by back-to-back losses. Mid-table stuff, can't be too unhappy! However our strikers are really struggle for form and Gogia has gone off the boil. Time to tweak, the TM role just isn't doing it.

Bundesliga Table

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We've taken a couple of big beatings on our away days, 4-0 vs Bayern & Schalke, which has messed our goal difference. We need to do better against the bigger sides. At least we are picking up points against teams around and below us. Hertha looking well adrift, Schalke smashing it!

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His unhappiness has gone, hopefully he can just get on with it now. :onmehead:

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Nice. Looking forward to following, and always nice to see a direct 442 :cool: 

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15 minutes ago, kingjericho said:

Nice. Looking forward to following, and always nice to see a direct 442 :cool: 

Thanks, it's been hit and miss so far but that's to be expected 

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

Die Jugend 2019

Jan Riecke DC ~ Giorgios Labroussis DL ~ Ensar Aksahal AML ~ Fisnik Asllani ST ~ Stefan Rankic DC

Laurenz Dehl ST ~ Tim Maciejewski MR ~ John Liebelt DM ~ Leo Opperman GK

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Our current crop of U19s is a decent bunch, I particularly rate Labroussis who has the potential to become our first choice left back. My biggest concern is the lack of physicality of our centre backs and across the board these lads aren't ready to be exposed to Bundesliga football yet. A glimpse at our next intake doesn't seem to be to that exciting, although I will hold off judgement until we actually get to see the new crop in March.

 

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It's not going well as of late, we had the better chances but were still beaten by Paderborn :seagull: :rolleyes:

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

2019/20 Mid-Season Update

December Results

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Not a good month, no wins in run of fixtures where you'd hope for a couple or at least one!

Bundesliga Table

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Despite our recent poor form of just 2 points from the last 6 matches, we are still firmly midtable. We must be wary of any prolonged poor form as we're only 5 points off of the relegation playoff spot. Hertha are still woeful!

Player Stats

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Gogia, Andersson and Schmiedebach are the only players to have average ratings over the 7.00 mark. We need to be better at taking our chances; Abdullahi, Ujah and Ingvartsen have all been wasteful, as has Andersson to be fair despite his reasonable ratings.

Christmas

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Regardless of our form, the whole club gets together on Christmas day :D

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Polter is off the wage bill, dropping 3 divisions. How on earth can Aalen afford him every other club wanted us to pay some of his wages!! :idiot:

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Posted (edited)

Good luck with Union!

I like the layout in your 'Die Mannschaft' section ;)

I had a similar issue to yours with Ujah. The conversation path very rarely seems right to me, mine at FC Lorient was an 18 year old (in U19 squad) from Cameroon (so French speaking) who was already playing in France. We had coaches and other players from his home country, but he felt he would never settle in. All of this whilst being one of the major U19 squad influencers :rolleyes:

Edited by Jogo Bonito

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54 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Good luck with Union!

I like the layout in your 'Die Mannschaft' section ;)

I had a similar issue to yours with Ujah. The conversation path very rarely seems right to me, mine at FC Lorient was an 18 year old (in U19 squad) from Cameroon (so French speaking) who was already playing in France. We had coaches and other players from his home country, but he felt he would never settle in. All of this whilst being one of the major U19 squad influencers :rolleyes:

Good to have you on board :D

Thanks, it takes a while to put together but as we're stuck with this squad so may as well introduce the squads properly :cool:

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He's now come full circle and is happy again. Typical 'nomadic' striker :rolleyes:

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15 minutes ago, smp20 said:

Good to have you on board :D

Thanks, it takes a while to put together but as we're stuck with this squad so may as well introduce the squads properly :cool:

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He's now come full circle and is happy again. Typical 'nomadic' striker :rolleyes:

Yeah, I did the same squad display on my FC Lorient career, it does take some time! Good to see Ujah back on board.

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

January - March 2020 Update

Results

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We manage to stop our run without a win from getting to double figures with a last minute win against Werder - late goals being the deciders in all of our wins. Mixed bag, not good at home! However our last game in March was a triumphant one, getting the double over Hertha to keep them rooted to the bottom of the table. 

Bundesliga Table

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The title race looks to be between Bayern, Leverkusen, Dortmund & Schalke, while we're well off the pace of the next position up so 11th will be the best we can hope for. We've still got a chance of being dragged below, but two wins in our last eight should secure safety.

New System?

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I found that the 4-4-2 system our two centre backs were left with a lot to deal with and given our lack of pace there we were being ripped apart. Our second striker options have been poor in front of goal so I'm experimenting with sacrificing one of them for another centre back. This will give us 3 back at all times to deal with counters and frees up our wing backs and wingers to push further forward and provide more for the target man.

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

Youth Intake 2020

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Not a lot to shout about from this intake. Two reasonable prospects, but they're both going to struggle physically.

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

April - May 2020 Update

Results

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Including the Hertha win we had a reasonable run of form, 3-1-1 record, but things came crashing down to earth again with back-to-back 0-1s at home. Despite the result against Paderborn, after that game we mathematically secured safety. Hoffenheim was another poor performance, but we managed to finish the season in style, with a new style, against Dusseldorf.

Bundesliga

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We finish the season in a very solid 11th place, well above our expectation of 17th. The only team that were predicted to finish below us was Paderborn who pulled off a great escape from the relegation zone to a respectable 14th on a shoestring budget. There will be no East-West Berlin derby next season as Hertha drop into the second tier, securing Union's status as the best Berlin side backed up with our double over them too :cool:. No suprises at the top as Bayern clinch the title. A very tasty 49m Euros deposits in our bank account, time for those upgrades!

Tactics Again...

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In the final game we experimented with the Vertical Tiki-Taka preset with a few tweaks to the roles to suit and it ended in a dominant win over Dusseldorf. I really like the look of this and we will look to build on it for next season.

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Can't Believe Hertha....my heart grieves. They are my favorite German Team.

But you are doing well.:applause:

 

The Tactical Presets are actually quite sound almost plug and play. In my current save I play with the TikiTaka Preset with 4-2-3-1 Wide in Ligue1. it has problems but most of it is due to lack of quality in squad.

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9 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

Can't Believe Hertha....my heart grieves. They are my favorite German Team.

But you are doing well.:applause:

 

The Tactical Presets are actually quite sound almost plug and play. In my current save I play with the TikiTaka Preset with 4-2-3-1 Wide in Ligue1. it has problems but most of it is due to lack of quality in squad.

Thanks! Yeah personally I would have preferred Hertha to stay up so we can keep the rivalry going.

Yeah I ended up just putting the VT-T in to see how it played out in the last game and I was very impressed. Can really get behind that playing style, plus I've not used 3 at the back in a long long time.

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Facilities ~ Finances ~ Upgrades

Overall a good, if not spectacular, first ever season in the Bundesliga for Union. The money for finishing 11th is having a lot of it invested straight into developing our facilities, however there is one strange thing that has happened...

Stadium...

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Our stadium is having a whopping 10k seats added to it, so in the mean time we will have a season travelling to home games in Cottbus over 100km away :eek:

The bigger issue IRL would be Energie Cottbus' issues with neo-nazis over the years, though this will have to be put down as an 'initiative' between the clubs to forge strong East German relations and eradicate the far-right support in Cottbus.

Player Stats

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Akaki Gogia was our player of the season, although he blew hot and cold on his day he was a top performer and ended up as our top scorer with 9. It's very disappointing to get to the end of the season with no strikers in double figures, not helped by the likes of Ujah who needed a break to go back to Nigeria, although he's had a few good games since getting over it all. Marvin Friedrich missed just one game all season due to suspension and an average rating of 6.90 in a leaky defence is not too shabby.

 

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Mainz came 7th, Koln 8th and us 11th, all overachieving this season :)

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A very solid 11th. Shame about Hertha in respect of missing the big derby. Shame about travelling so far for 'home' games next season too.

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24 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

A very solid 11th. Shame about Hertha in respect of missing the big derby. Shame about travelling so far for 'home' games next season too.

I think the biggest issue would be the clash of political stance between the two clubs (or sectors of the fans I should say)

Check this out  :eek:

:ackter:

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Yeah, very sad stuff. I'm also managing Lokomotive Leipzig, and I think they may have some similar issues.

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3 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Yeah, very sad stuff. I'm also managing Lokomotive Leipzig, and I think they may have some similar issues.

Unfortunately it's rooted in a few German clubs, particularly former East German ones.

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I get the feeling this guy has a lot of potential, will have to bleed him into the first team soon :D

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(As an aside to this story I have found out more interesting facts from my heritage after speaking to my mum. I knew that my Nana, who sadly passed away when I was 5, was from Berlin and moved to England in the 50s to marry my Granddad, however I have discovered that she was from East Berlin and my Great Uncle's and Aunts and their families remained in East Berlin until the tearing down of the Berlin wall. Adds a bit of further investment into this save for me :D)

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Good to have that kind of connection, nice back story.

The young left-back is 5'3" and has dribbling of 5. I'm not sure I'd be turning that offer down :herman:

 

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35 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Good to have that kind of connection, nice back story.

The young left-back is 5'3" and has dribbling of 5. I'm not sure I'd be turning that offer down :herman:

 

Definitely, just watched Union unfortunately lose 4-1 to Gladbach IRL :(

When you're doing a youth academy save the best option is to keep hold and hope for the best :lol:

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Yeah, I was watching too. Well, you never know, by next year he may be a 6'3" beast :lol:

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

August - September 2020 Update

Results

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We thumped non-league opposition in the cup and were 'rewarded' with a 'home' tie against Bayern in the 2nd round. We got off to a good start in the league against Dusseldorf and pulled off some positive results against the likes of Gladbach and Frankfurt and finally a win at Mainz. RBL were the only side to outclass us and we've played some really nice football.

Bundesliga Table

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Solid start, typical leaders!

Facilities

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Things are looking better for the youth academy after upgrades to facilities as well as two upgrades to the JC & YR over the course of the save so far. Fingers crossed we can start bringing through some potential Bundesliga stars soon (though in Germany they can't play mens football until 17!)

Best Developers

Julius Kade ~ Julian Ryerson ~ Marvin Friedrich ~ Nicolai Rapp

I thought I'd post up the profiles of our players who have developed them most over the year, though I have include Rapp who is like a new signing as he was out on loan in the 2.Bundesliga last season and has stepped straight into the Libero role. Julius Kade has been making great improvements and has now become our first choice left wing back having started out as a prospect in central/attacking midfield. Julian Ryerson has improved massively and is ahead of Trimmel in the pecking in the pecking order. Friedrich has been our star at the back and has really improved his quickness which was a big weakness in our back line.

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This was a tough result to take :(

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:( :( :(

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56 minutes ago, smp20 said:

e28c3d6e9ed37e6483c5e086d2260361.png

:( :( :(

ouch that hurts...

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

2020/21 Mid Season Update

Results

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As shown earlier, an unlucky defeat against Bayern in the cup where a sending off cost us dearly means we've not got past the 2nd round yet in the competition. League wise, it's been ok with 3 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses over the last 3 months. We got our first 'big' win, putting 4 past newly promoted Nurnberg in Bavaria. Losses to the likes of Dortmund and Bayern are expected regardless of home or away, but I was really disappointed with the Wolfsburg result.

Bundesliga Table

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Not quite at the 17 game half way point but it's looking ok so far. We're in the same position we finished in last season, but we're equidistant from the European places and the relegation zone so that's better.

Player Stats

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Our top performers have been Gogia and Andrich, while Andersson would be up there as well had it not been for his first injury and then his current serious injury! We're struggling for regular goalscorers, as it stands supersub Mees and our LWB back are top with 4 goals each.

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1. FC Union Berlin - Homepage

January 2021 Update

Results

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January was Huth's best month of his tenure so far - great defence and 10 points out of a possible 12 :D

Bundesliga Table

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Our tidy run of recent form saw up creep into the top half.

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