[FM20] The San Marino Challenge – Introduction

Well… what have we got here then?

Alright, alright. I get it. Another new save. Here we go again. Heard it all before. Reg is gonna flake out again on us once more. I could turn round to you and say “BUT IT’S DIFFERENT THIS TIME”, but nothing’s gonna convince you guys unless it’s consistent, right?

Not only that, but don’t you only stream Football Manager as well?

My main issue when it comes to selecting a save for Football Manager is having a goal in mind, or setting milestones along the way. Too often I’ve picked a fallen giant only to realise that the league I’m managing in just isn’t that interesting to me, or that once the club is established then you’re really only playing for Champions League successes. That save then dies, and weeks/months of work goes out the window. On reflection,  I don’t think I’ve seen a save all the way through since FM12, which is both surprising and unsurprising at the same time.

4-3-3 narrow with 3 quick strikers, anyone?

I never used to understand why FM players would manage in a big league sometime? Did they not find any enjoyment in managing in the arse-end of nowhere? Finding some random two-bob football club and, with the right amount of tactical nouse, scouting and luck, make them the biggest team in the world? However, after being around the FM scene for a while now, I get it. Managing in a big league keeps the game interesting whilst you are chasing success on the continental stage.

Anyway – the big question. Why the San Marino challenge?

The San Marino challenge (for those of you that are uninitiated, there’s a thread over on the SI forums) involves taking the lowest ranked nation in the FIFA World Rankings – San Marino – and winning the World Cup with them. How you do this is entirely up to you (NO CHEATING OF COURSE) but somehow you’re gonna have to develop San Marinese newgens and make them world beaters. Normally this involves taking over San Marino Calcio, whom play in the Italian Leagues, making them a super club and building the national side over a number of decades.

One day boys… we’ll win the World Cup

Why is this save for me? I mentioned goals. There are goals in this save. Plenty of them. We’ll concede 75% of them, I’m sure. But there are plenty of goals, even just basic ones like “win a competitive game”. Marking one goal off and working towards the next one is the structure that I need to help me get through years, if not decades, of a save.

The San Marino challenge is also arguably the ultimate rags to riches tale. One for the record books if I can pull this off. One that’s gonna challenge me as a Football Manager player. And I love a challenge.

What about content wise? My life has bee pretty hectic over the last few months. Changing jobs, moving house, exam qualifications and my band, it all adds up to not being able to pull of what I want to do. However, things are calming down a little and I’ve got that fire back to at least write about this.

This save ticks a lot of boxes for me. Something long term. Something that will keep me going when it gets tough. Something challenging. And something, ultimately, that I’m excited to play.

That’s all for this one. Short but sweet. Hope you guys enjoyed. A full briefing of both the club and international side are coming in due course. I’ve played the first few competitive games and am enjoying it, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram and I’ll see ya soon.

[FM20] The San Marino Challenge – Part 1

Thanks for stopping by the blog again. The response to the previous blog was really great. I’m glad you guys enjoyed it, even if it was a bit brief!

Last time out I gave you a brief insight in to why I’ve picked up the San Marino challenge, particularly at this time in Football Manager annual cycle. The challenge involves using a club side as well as the national team, so today we’ll be looking at Catolica Calcio San Marino, the team I’ll be using to develop the country of San Marino into world beaters.

(Aside: taken directly from the SI Games Forum thread
“On the surface, this seems basically impossible.  In past years of the challenge, you had help as there was a Sammarinese club playing in the Italian league system – San Marino Calcio.  This club ceased to exist after the 2018/19 season and a new club has formed – Cattolica Calcio San Marino.  The problem with this new club from this challenges point of view is that the default nationality for youth products is Italian.  This is to mirror real life (as per the Italy Head Co-Researcher – see my post below), but makes the challenge impossible.”
This means that I’ve had to install the Serie D file and the CC San Marino file, both taken from the Steam Workshop, to get this going, otherwise the club won’t generate San Marino newgens)

CC San Marino – A Brief History

The only football club within San Marino was founded in 1959 as Societa Sportiva Serenissima. It was formed by the San Marino Football Federation so that the country would have a representative club in the Italian football league. There are disputes over the original founders of the club, as another team (named Libertas-Tre Penne) were also founded in the same year and took part in the Italian Championship in 1959. Both clubs wore the same colours and the crest of Tre Penne can be seen on the crest of San Marino Calcio.

The club started off life in the Seconda Categoria, yo-yoing between the Promozione and Prima Categoria (Tier 6 and 7 respectively) up to the 1984-85 season. The club won back to back championships, being promoted to Serie D and finishing second in 1986-87. The following season, San Marino Calcion won the Serie D championship, winning promotion to Serie C for the first time.

Image result for giampaolo mazza

Legendary San Marino manager Giampaolo Mazza

In 1988 the club became a joint stock company, but was relegated back to Serie D, further establishing themselves as a yo-yo club. The 90s saw relegations and promotions between Serie D and Eccellenza, unable to grab a foothold to stay in Serie D for longer than three years at a time. The “success” of the club was largely due to the appointment of San Marino national team manager Giampaolo Mazza. By the end of the millennium, the won promotion again to Serie C again by winning Serie D.

The GOAT – Andy Selva joined San Marino Calcio in the 00s

The turn of the millennium brought new fortunes to San Marnio Calcio. Legendary San Marino international and record goal scorer Andy Selva joined the club shortly after promotion to Serie C. Additionally, the original Napoli also took the club over in 2000, but sold the club two years later prior to their bankruptcy. The club remained in Serie C until the 2014-15 season when they finished bottom of the division. The club finally dissolved in July 2019, merging with Cattolica Calcio to form “Cattolica Calsio San Marino”, changing the club colours from blue and yellow to red and yellow.

The Club in FM20

Within the realms of Football Manager, CC San Marino are deemed a Semi-Professional club, with very little else to speak about! Average ticket price is £15 (slightly more than a National League game here in England) with approximately 120 season ticket holders.

Our facilities are less than spectactular…

We play at the San Marino stadium, which holds 5,500 seated spectators. I believe this is the second largest stadium in the division, behind the 25,000 seated Nuovo Romagnoli used by Citta di Campobasso. Our pitch being “very good” is actually a worse condition than 90% of the division, so we won’t have an advantage at home. All other facilities are average at best, but that’s part of the fun of the challenge. As the club grows, the facilities will improve and thus, hopefully, start churning out the next Andy Selva and beyond.

We have a link with Rimini in Serie C/B, which began in November 2018. One promotion to Serie C should see this link terminated

The 5,500 capacity San Marino Stadium

The finanical situation is OK. We’ve got bags of cash to spend with a transfer budget or £26k, and a wage budget of £6.6k. Most of the budget has already been spent, so I’ll be looking to the loan market to try and fill the squad out in due course. Alternatively, I will convert the transfer budget into wage budget to give us a little more flexibility in the market. Importantly, we are debt free, though I expect this will change if we get promoted too quickly.

The Squad

The first team squad has 20 players right now, which is not the biggest squad but only slightly more than the 18 players allowed on a match day. You’ll notice that there aren’t many San Marinese players in the team – that will be rectified over the course of the save.

Our only San Marino player is goalkeeper Simonoe Benedettini. The man between the sticks has 6 U21 caps and is certainly on the fringes of the national team. With a bit of development I hope to be able to give him his full debut in the next couple of years.

One of the best players in the team is midfielder Riccardo Gailoa. The 23 year old central midfielder started his career at Inter Milan, but has only ever made league appearances on loan for Prato, Padova, Vis Pesaro and Santarcangelo. Although quite versatile, and definitely a first team player, his contract runs out at the end of the season, so I expect only a promotion will keep him at the club for another season…

Our only out and out striker is Frenchman Yacouba Cisse. The striker has experience at Serie D level with Nuorese, but with a record of 8 goals in 67 games I’m not convinced that he’ll be the man to lead the line. Expect me to bring in a number of strikers over the course of the season, otherwise we’re gonna struggle.

Finally, winger Mario Merlonghi, whom I will be appointing club captain at the first opportunity due to his decent all round mental attributes. Being versatile will help the 31 year old Italian as it should help keep him in the team throughout the season.

Club Expectation

The board are seemingly not optimistic about the future, nor ambitious with their future plans.  They seem to be content with sticking in the Serie D division, which of course is not my intention. To get anywhere near being competitive we’re gonna need to get promoted as soon as possible.

Of course, rising up the divisions quickly does come at a cost – largely debt finance. We’re gonna have to expand on our facilities to keep up to date with teams in the higher divisions. Although we’ll get new sponsorships throughout the rise to the top, these won’t outweigh the financial outlay that we’ll have – neither will rises in ticket prices.

Can we win our Serie D division at the first attempt? Maybe. We’re predicted to finish 13th by the media. Unlucky for some, but with the right additions I think we could upset a few teams and at least be competitive. Cohesion is key – without the squad understanding each other and the system, any new signings or tactical adjustments will be futile.

Anyway, that’s it from me for now. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the San Marino club side. If you did, give the blog a like and drop a follow to get each new installment on your WordPress feed. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@registafm) to also keep up to date with any developments as they happen! I also hope to stream some of this on Twitch at some point – go follow there too (twitch.tv/theregistafm).

Next time, we’ll have a look at the National Team. That’s gonna be… interesting. See you then – take it easy.

[FM18] The Chronicles of Regista – Meet The Kids

If you’ve caught my streams whilst living the life of luxury in a Premier Inn hotel room earlier this week, you would have seen that I’ve started my Football Manager save with Boavista. A save in which, I hope, will last for the majority of FM18.

During the streams we debated about how I should structure the squad, and whom I would need to sign (#Bragançain). As we needed to sell a few to bring the man from Sporting in, we were left a bit short in terms of squad depth.

Premier Inn – the hallmark of quality UK Hotels for International Businessmen (of which I am not one)

Fortunately for ol’ Uncle Regista over here, Boavista are blessed with a number of exciting youth prospects in their under age teams. Therefore, I decided “why not thrown them in to the pool and see if they sink or swim?” It’s a cruel method, I know. But also a fun one. *cue evil laugh*

Shall we have a look at the group that I’m dubbing “The Princes of Porto”? Twelve lads got promoted immediately to the first team, and can expect to feature a fair amount in my first season in Portugal.

Not bad eh? All of these lads have been signed on long term deals to keep them at the club for as long as we like. The aim, as I mentioned in my first blog, is to develop them either for the first team or to sell on. We’re lucky enough to have great youth and training facilities at Boavista, and with the Portuguese league focusing heavily on developing young talent I feel it’s important to bring players through sooner rather than later.

Mauro Oliveira (4.5* Potential)

The youngest player in the group, Olivera has the makings of a great playmaker in the future. It’s pleasing to see some great mental attributes for an attacking midfielder, such as 13 Vision, 11 Flair and 10 Composure. I’m slightly worried by his lack of concentration, which may mean that the lad will need carrying through some games early on. But he’s only 15 for crying out loud! I’m being too harsh, I know.

He’s being tutored by David Simao.

Gonçalo Cardoso (4.5* Potential)

At 1.5* current ability, Cardoso will likely be one of the first of the players to cement his space in the first team in the next few seasons. He might be one of the best “starters” of the group, with all of the major technical defensive attributes over 9, solid mental attributes (including 13 decision and 14 positioning) which give him wisdom beyond his years. He’s also a tall lad for 16 at 186cm – I shall give him the nickname “Man Mountain”. He will be tutored by Henrique.

Gonçalo Nunes (4* Potential)

Another well rounded youngster, Nunes will find game time a bit sparse in my early years with the likes of Bragança coming in. However in a few seasons he could well be a solid Primeira Liga player. More of a playmaker than midfield general, Nunes can definitely spread the play with good passing, first touch, vision, decisions and technique for a 16 year old. Should be a reliable back up to Bragança.

Manu Ribeiro (4.5* Potential)

We’re blessed with a lot of young deep lying playmakers apparently, with Ribeiro another lad vying for his spot in the club. He’s slightly less physically able than Nunes, and lacks less technique than his colleague. That’s not to say that he couldn’t improve to be better than Nunes, but this town ain’t big enough for the both of them!

Gustavo Rocha (4* Potential)

Rocha has impressed me during the first couple of pre-season games, with 1 goal and 2 assists in three matches. Definitely in the Michael Owen type of mould, Rocha boats some good pace and acceleration for a 16 year old, with some good technical attributes in case he ends on the end of any through passes. I particularly like his mental attributes though – very good for such a young player. Could well be second or third choice up front this season, and I’ve got high hopes for this chap.

Nuno Laranjeira (4* Potential)

Another promising centre back, it’s good to see that a young player is comfortable with the ball at his feet. Laranjeira appears to like to be able to bring the ball out of defence, but at the moment I don’t want my defenders to do much else other than feed the ball forward with simple passes. The lowest potential rating out of all of the centre backs, I can definitely see a space for Nuno in the future.

Tomas Loureiro (4.5* Potential)

Of the three defenders we’ve looked at so far in this blog, Loureiro may be the most “ready” for first team football right now. All of his defensive attributes are over 11, and some good decision and positional attributes give me some reassurance that, in a pinch, I could bring him in and he could do OK. He should get lots of game time this season. I can’t wait to see how looks come May 2018.

Guilherme Silva (5* Potential)

I’m a bit gutted that our only 5* potential player is a right back, but I don’t want to seem like I’m complaining at all! We’ve got two right backs already in Edu Machado and Tiago Mesquita, it may be worth cashing in one of them to allow some more game time for Silva. There’s not many outstanding attributes for a right back here – he’s just solid all around for 17 year old.

Pedro Sa (4.5* Potential)

Sa is one of the players that will get the most time this year. Renato Santos is our only recognised wide right player, and with no back up as of yet there’s a space that needs filling. Sa is versatile enough to play on either flank in midfield and attacking midfield strata. A typical winger with good crossing, technique and first touch, the only concerning area of his game right now is his dribbling.

Gustavo Schneider (3.5* Potential)

One of the less able members of the group, Schneider has also impressed in pre season up to now. Very similar to Gustavo Rocha, Schneider may be one of the lads that we look to develop and sell on in the future unless he can establish himself. Some excellent physical attributes and 11 in off the ball show some promise, but I like my strikers to have some decent defensive attributes. Schneider will have to work on these if he wants to stick around for the long term.

Hugo Romana (4* Potential)

Romana is another player that can play in the AMC role, and has a very good base set of attributes for me to work with. I’m a particular fan of his 12 work rate, which combined with some decent fitness attributes hopefully means he will run for days! I think we can do a lot with this lad.

Luis Santos (3.5* Potential)

Our last youngster may be one of the best players right now, but at only 3.5* he may also be out of the door in a few years. That being said, Santos will likely be back up to Mateus on the left flank. For an inside forward, his finishing and composure isn’t great, so I will likely end up using him as a winger.

Thankfully for us, the quality of opposition in the Portuguese league allows managers to play young players on a semi regular basis. I’ve done this before in previous versions of FM when I’ve managed in Portugal to some decent success. However, I’ve not undertaken anything of this scale before. For a start, because our squad is so small without these lads, I’m not expecting us to finish well this year. That being said, I’m happy to take one “year off” in order to benefit down the line.

It’s a gamble to bring this many 16/17 year olds in right at the start. It bloody well better pay off…

If you’ve enjoyed this post, then don’t forget to follow me on here, follow me on twitter (@registafm), on Twitch and also on my FM Slack channel (#theregista). I can’t wait to see what the season holds for these guys! Hopefully, it doesn’t end in relegation!

Take it easy everyone, and see you at the halfway point.

[FM18] The Chronicles of Regista – And So It Begins…

Welcome back to the blog. Thank you to all of those that read the first installment of these here “Chronicles” (I’ll think of a better name soon). If you didn’t manage to catch it the first time then go read it – it’s a goodun, promise!

All caught up? Nice. Now go get your Nutella. I’ll wait…

You back? Nice, OK. Tuck in to that and continue scrolling down.  (And to those of you that don’t have any snacks for this blog – I’m watching you!)

Well, it’s now time to have a quick look at my first side in a bit more detail. A full squad breakdown wasn’t included in the first part of this story because… well… the game wasn’t out yet. However, now that SI have stopped teasing us and dropped the beta, it’s time to get cracking.

Pack your bags, we’re off to Portugal!

Resembling a moving chessboard, Boavista are my first team in FM18. Should you wish to learn more about the club, click this link to their Wikipedia page. For those wanting a TL;DR

  • One of two teams to win the Primeira Liga outside of the BIG THREE in Portugal
  • Founded by two English brothers due to wanting to organise matches against other workers in the industrial area of Boavista.
  • Won the first ever Porto Championship in 1914, and promoted to the Primeira Liga for the first time in 1936.
  • Won their first Taça de Portugal  in 1975, and have won the trophy a total of 5 times.
  • Have a reputation as an attacking team, but recently are known for their “anti-football”
  • Their stadium, the Estadio do Bessa, was constructed in 2003, but left a big deficit in club finances.
  • Were relegated to the Portuguese Second Division after it’s involvement in the Portuguese football scandal of 2004
  • Further financial difficulties saw them relegated to the third tier of Portugal in 2008/09.
  • 2014/15 saw them promoted to the top flight after an appeal with the Portuguese FA

Pretty crazy stuff, right? Boavista are a club steeped in both good and bad history, but now it’s time to write my name in to their folklore. Having just displaced club legend Erwin Sanchez, I’ve got a big job on my hands.

Bolivian midfielder Erwin Sanchez won the 2001 Primeira Liga as a Boavista player 

So what are the objectives for this bunch of muppets? I’ve not set many targets for myself as I know Portugal is going to be tricky, but we should hope to:

  • Form the FORMIDABLE FOUR within 4 seasons
  • Qualify for the Champions League within 4 seasons
  • Win the Primeira Liga title within 6 years
  • To become everyone’s second favourite team by 10 seasons

These appear reasonable to me. Although Portugal does not have the best league reputation, we’re only a year off the national side’s Euro 2016 triumph and boast the best player in the world right now. Portuguese football is on the up and I want to hook both the club and myself on to it’s growing reputation.

We will abide by Kurt Angle’s “Three I’s” – Intensity, Integrity and Intelligence (And because who doesn’t love late 90’s WWF?)

So how are we going to take the world by storm? Well, our strategy will be to:

  • Develop players using our youth academy, giving them playing time in the first team (a key philosophy)
  • Raiding Africa and South America for the best talent possible before the world’s top sides can get a sniff,
  • Generating profit on these players by selling those lads surplus to requirement off to bigger teams,
  • Eventually forging our own brand of football  by adhering to the 3 I’s – intensity, integrity and intelligence.

For now, the first two points are going to be the main focus of the save. Our tactics at the start of the game will be completely different to how we play 5 or 6 years down the line.

Our starting finances are not too bad given the state of play in Portugal. A relatively modest transfer budget of £89k gives us the chance to bring some new blood in, and £50k wage budget gives us some room for negotiations with players. Football Manager 2018 also introduces scouting budgets for the first time, with our budget only allowing us to scout Portugal right now.

We’re quids in at the end of the season apparently, expecting to make profits of £2.53m this year. I’d be happy to see half of the predicted £885k transfer budget next summer, but no doubt most of this will go in those greedy director’s back pockets. However, we’ve got no debts outstanding, a rarity in football these days. Financially, at least, we’re on the way up.

Our squad is of a fairly decent quality. We’ve got adequate cover in most positions right now, and this will be important as we try to establish which system works for us. What is slightly worrying is the number of players on loan this season. Our entire attacking force will only be here this season, ranging from players from bigger Portuguese clubs to the likes of Rochinha from Standard Liege and Ivan Bulos from O’Higgins.

Perhaps the most notable player in this side is 33 year old winger Mateus. Currently in his second spell with the club, he’s notched up 50 caps for Angola, scoring 8 goals in the process. Equally important to the club, on the opposite flank, is midfielder Renato Santos. Unfortunately for us, he’s attracted some attention from France, and at 25 it might be worth cashing in whilst the offers are still there.

And that’s it for this blog! The plan right now is to update you guys on our progress every 6 months or so (game time, not real time, duh). There’s plenty of matches to play in Portugal and I want to get going as soon as possible.

I can’t wait to see what happens with this fascinating club, and also what the rest of you guys are up to on Football Manager 2018! Let me know how you’re getting on in your saves by leaving me a comment below or sending me a Tweet! Follow me on Twitter (@registafm) and also join my channel on FM Slack (#theregista) for live updates when I play. I may also slip in some streams on Twitch, so keep your eyes peeled to Twitter for that.

With that being said, it’s only left for me to say thanks for reading my blog, and I will see you all soon. Until then…

[FM18] The Chronicles of Regista – The Introduction

Why ‘ello dere. How you doing? Yep, it’s me, back again with the first of the FM18 blogs on this here website. It’s been a while hasn’t it? I’m sorry for the slight delay but the past few months have been a bit hectic…

I’m a busy lad, but I do look good in a suit.

…Buuuuuuuuuut you don’t want to hear about my day to day life, so we’ll skip that guff and get straight down to business.

Are you lot excited for FM18 to come out? I sure am. As I sit here in my pants eating Nutella with a spoon, I can’t help feel a bit of a buzz about FM this year. Videos from our favourite bloke Joe discussing the new features of the game – it’s just got this sense of “it’s gonna be fucking good” about it. The new features like Dynamics and Scouting, to me, sound great. The Data Analyst screen looks like it will be my new default match day screen. And FINALLY DIRECTX 11 SUPPORT means that game will look swish.

Yeah – I’m excited too. Plus, FM18’s a little bit special for me, but I’ll disclose that at another time. As long as I can give my manager a sweet moustache, I’ll be happy.

Our mate Joe is excited for the release of Football Manager 2018

Now – if you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t then why not?! @registafm – go and follow now…) you will have seen that I am going to be starting off my FM18 journey in Portugal with a lovely little side called Boavista. At this point I must issue an apology to those FM Slack members that have had to put with my constant flip-flopping of save ideas. THIS IS GOING TO STICK – I PROMISE!

So why Boavista? Well, let’s give you some facts.


Nickname“As Panteras” – The Panthers or “Os Axadrezados” – The Chequered Ones (ooh-er)

Founded – 1903

GroundEstadio do Bessa

Capacity – just your 28,263 crazy Portuguese football fans

Fact – One of two sides to win the Primeira Liga outside of the BIG THREE in Portugal, along with Belenenses (yeah – surprising right?)

Now – that last one is the reason that I’m taking on this lot as my first team in FM. Rebuilding fallen “giants” is how I normally play Football Manager, and I could have picked anywhere and found clubs that want to relive their glory years.

I’ve really got to thank the Deep Lying Podcast for this one, as their Portuguese League Preview really got me inspired to begin the quest for world domination in the birth-land of the best player in the world (sorry Messi fans). Portugal does not require players to have work permits, allowing me to steal the best youngsters around the world and breed them for success. Plus breaking up the BIG THREE gives a) a sense of longevity to the save, as they are so far ahead of everyone else and b) a real sense of achievement when we smash them in to oblivion.

Also, the stadium looks fucking cool. Just look at it.

The big thing for me this year is to try and keep to one save file. I really fancy the ideas of moving on from Boavista once I’ve accomplished what I need to there in to an unknown game world – hence the name “The Chronicles of Regista”. When Boavista have been established as a European powerhouse, we’ll move on to a different league and team. Teams will rise and teams will fall – who knows where we’ll end up? You’ll just have to stick around to find out, all whilst eating Nutella in our pants.

If you guys want me to flush out a story alongside the save file, rather than just updates on how I’m getting on, let me know! Tweet me or find me on the FM Slack to keep up to date with the goings on in this save.

José is sad to see FM17 go

In a few days time, most of us will be saying “bonjour” to FM18 and “au revoir” FM17. Fans are eagerly waiting on the announcement of the FM18 pre release beta from official sources. For me, the best thing about last year’s game was the expansion in community, and it’s great to see the rise of FM Slack, the #WeStreamFM Discord and the YouTube scene all sharing in the game that we all love. Let’s hope that FM18 will see the community grow from strength to strength.

I, for one, will definitely want to be a part of it.

The Rise Of Brondby – The Restart

Well… it’s been a while hasn’t it?

If you’re part of the FM Slack community you’ve probably seen that I’ve been a bit annoying recently (or at least I feel that I have) as I’ve been in a bit of “management limbo”. No matter how many different saves I loaded, no matter what leagues I picked, I could not get stuck in to a save. Many of you guys reading this probably know that feeling all too well right? It’s almost as if you’re under an “FM Curse”.

Arsene Wenger knows of the struggle to find an FM save that sticks

Then it hit me – the reason I can’t get stuck in to a new save is because of the way I left the Brondby save – unfinished, unfulfilled, a huge amount of unfulfilled potential in what could have been an epic journey to European glory. In fact, the whole thing barely got off the ground after the first couple of posts.

After talking to some fellow FMers, I felt that it was only right that I go back to Denmark. I reread my post “Identity, Ethos and Philosophy” and it really hit me why I wanted to play as Brondby in the first place. It ties in with everything that I try to do on FM – run a sustainable, reputable football club, echoing the great sides of yesteryear. Bringing through the cream of the crop in Denmark and mixing them with the best talent worldwide. And finally, to tell a story of the rise of a football club to global dominance. That’s why we post and stream our FM saves, isn’t it?

Let’s go back to the beginning…

The FM fire is burning again…

I hit New Career Game, loaded up the leagues, and got cracking…

Just the one month’s worth of in game play time right now to ease myself back in to blogging and playing the game again, and I’m absolutely loving it. It’s been a decent start, with the main achievement being progressing in to the Europa League third round qualifiers.  We love scoring only two goals against teams, which makes me a little uneasy. However the squad are still learning my tactic, which I’ll detail in future blogs.

I’m now using the 17.3.0 update so the squad is a little different from before. However, the core of the side is still the same. If we’re to do well this year, we’ll be looking to on loan midfielder Hany Mukhtar for inspiration. He’s on loan from Benfica for one season, and I’d love to keep him at the club permanently. Benedikt Rocker will have to be the rock at the back, whilst striker Teemu Pukki will once again lead the line.

The future of Brondby – 16 year old Karl Appelt is one to watch

A major focus of this year is going to be blooding the youngsters currently in the first team squad. I mentioned Karl Appelt as the main youth prospect in my first attempt, and he’s still the pick of the bunch at just 16 years old. He’s not the only one now though, as centre back Joel Kabongo, attacking midfielder Rezan Corlu and striker Gustaf Nilsson will all feature this season.

By opting to do this, I’ve also really cut back on my transfers so as to ensure they actually do get some playing time. We’ve only made two signings this summer – defensive midfielder Mavin Schulz joins us on loan from Monchengladbach for this season, whilst Argentine Emmanuel Ledesma gives us more options on the flanks.

The aims for this season is to give the Superliga a good go. I’m not expecting us to win it as Copenhagen are very strong, but you never know what could happen. However opting to play the youngsters may cost us slightly, but I’m prepared to take the “hit” now for long term success.

We’re all set up again now, and I’m stupidly excited to start playing this save again. Let’s just hope the FM Curse has been lifted.

[FM17] The Rise of Brøndby – Squad Review

It’s finally here! After far too long, I’ve finally gotten round to writing this post. Sorry it’s taken so long – but real life issues along with a self imposed FM break have refreshed and revitalised my love for the game.

At the heart of any club is it’s playing staff. It’s all well and good talking about the vision of the club, the finances and how I intend to play, but it’s down to the lads on the pitch to make it all come to life. Players come in all shapes and sizes, with different attributes and personalities, and it’s important that each and every single one of them feels a part of the squad, and also maintains the most professional manner they can on and off the field (no biting other players/tax evasion schemes/promiscuous scandals here).

Looks like we’ve got a decent bunch of players here! There’s a nice mix between youth and experience at Brondby, along with good versatility. However I’m disappointed by the lack of experienced Danish players in the team. As I alluded to in an earlier blog post, I want to bring through young Danish talent at the club, so looking to the youth setup will be important. That being said, we’ve got a fairly young team, with an average age of 25.

The team report is always useful. I’m pleased to see that the coaches think we could play a strong passing game if we wanted to, and they are particularly high on goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow. However, as I thought, we’re particularly short at left back, and this is my first area of concern. I also believe we could use one more defensive midfielder, possibly as a half back, for the tactic that I have in mind.

I could go in to full detail on every player, but for the sake of the save and your sanity I’ll keep it to a select few that I hope will be the foundation for years to come.

Frederik Rønnow will be our first choice goalkeeper. At 23, he’s certainly someone with a long term future with me, provided we can compete of course! He looks to be a good shot stopper, with good reflexes and one-on-one attributes.  He also has solid base mental attributes which will grow as he ages. My concern is that Danish keepers tend to end up in the Premier League, and at such a young age and potentially the next Danish No1, Frederik will be a struggle to keep hold of.

Benedikt Röcker is an excellent choice at centre back. The 26 year old German defender has only recently joined Brøndby from Greuther Fürth for £250k, and looks to be the pick of the bunch. With decent technical stats, and impressive physicals (and being nearly 2 metres tall!), he looks to be a stopper in the making. That jumping and heading combination could be useful from corners…

Skipper Thomas Kahlenberg is revered by the Brøndby fans


At right back we have Swedish international Johan Larsson as first choice. Larsson has been at the club for two years, making 48 league appearances and scoring 6 goals. A tidy all round player, I particularly like the look of his work rate and teamwork attributes as these will be important for my full back role.

Skipper Thomas Kahlenberg will be at the heart of the midfield. The veteran Danish international will be useful both on the pitch and off the field tutoring the youngsters. Kahlenberg is a Bröndby Icon, but sadly he’s out injured for 3 months with a hip injury. Easily a first choice midfielder, he’ll bring vital experience from his time with Auxerre and Wolfsburg. He’ll be used in a playmaking role, as per the coaches reports.

One exciting young player is winger Andrew Hjulsager. The Danish U21 international has already amassed 16 U21 caps, and definitely has a future at the top. He needs to work on his finishing and crossing, but there’s a lot of potential here with this lad. He’s played 61 times for Brøndby already, picking up 9 goals. Impressive for someone as young as him.

In attacking midfield we have on loan German playmaker Hany Mukhtar. The 21 year old joins us for the  year on loan from Benfica, and will get plenty of game time here. It’s a shame that our finances won’t be good enough to try secure his services next season permanently, but we’ll get what we can out of him for this season. This lad really could be a star in the making.

Youngster Andrew Hjulsager is impressing fans despite his young age


The main man upfront for us is Finnish striker Teemu Pukki. An established international, Pukki should fit in to my ideal striker role of dropping deep to help build the attack. He’s got a strike rate of almost 1 in 3 over the course of 2 seasons – whilst it’s not amazing, it proves that he will get us goals this year. Fellow striker Kamil Wilczek will push him hard for the first team spot though!

These lads will provide the backbone of the early years of this save, but players will obviously come and go. I will provide details of the youth players that get promoted as and when they do.

So that’s it for this (long awaited) review of the current squad. I’ve actually played two months of the season already, so to get everything up to date my next post will be on July and August 2016 (about time right?!). Thanks for reading the blog during the downtime, and I hope that you guys continue to stick around for the ride!

Until then, pas på dig selv!


What’s Been Going On?!

So… it’s been a while since my last blog post on here.

Over a month in fact! In fact my last update came on 10th February with the Hansa Rostock article.

I am sorry for the lack of updates recently guys. I was really enjoying writing about Football Manager, getting in to the Slack community and sharing the start of what promises to be a really interesting save with Brondby.

What really gave me enthusiasm to write was the support for the blog through FM Slack and #wearethecommunity on twitter. It blew my mind with the views that I was getting, and that even in the downtime I had people are still reading my posts.

Allow me to say a huge thank you to everyone that has read the blog, retweeted my posts, DM’d me and followed me on here or Twitter. I’ve also got to give thanks to FM Samo and the guys at Deep Lying Podcast for the shoutout in their community section a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, real life has taken over in the past few weeks, as I’ve had a lot of things to deal with. I’ve not been blessed with free time which has really been getting me down. This isn’t a post to detail the issues I’ve faced recently, but just to serve as an update as to what’s been going on with me and why there’s a lack of update.

Fortunately, things are on the mend right now, and I’m looking at freeing up some more time to get playing FM again, blogging and sharing my exploits with all of you guys. I can’t give an estimate as to when my next update will be, but I hope it will be very soon.

Once again, a huge thank you for all the support. It means a lot, and I hope to make it back to being a happy Football Manager player and blogger soon





Sleeping Giants – Hansa Rostock

Welcome to the second instalment of my Sleeping Giants series! My first post on Pro Vercelli got such a great reception, so a huge thank you to everyone that retweeted, shared, read and commented on the blog. The support is incredible and I’m really taken aback by it all.

Anyway, to business! This week, we take a look at a football club based in Germany that was a big force prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Hansa Rostock are a team that have appeared in the Bundesliga many times, but the recent years have taken their toll.

Hansa Rostock – A History

The club now known as Hansa Rostock were formed in 1954 as a multi sport club known as Sportclub Empor Rostock. The story of the formation of the first squad is a bizarre one.

Rostock is based in north east Germany in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and is situated next to the Baltic Sea. The newly formed football squad found it difficult to attract and recruit players. As a result of this, a transfer of the squad from another East German team – BSG Empor Lauter – was put before members of the club. Lauter is based in south east Germany, near the Czech border, and already boasted a number of strong teams in East German football. Despite protests from the fans, a politician ruled that the Empor Lauter team should move to Rostock! BSG Empor Lauter ceased to exist, but were reformed in 1956 under the name BSG Motor Lauter. From my research, this team also included former Nazi soldiers.

With the move to Rostock complete, SC Empor Rostock were entered in to the first division in November 1954. The following year, the club finished 2nd, and this set the tone of things to come. Between 1955 and 1968, the club finished runners up 5 times, whilst also finishing runners up in the FDGB-Pokal (The East German Cup) 4 times.

During this time, the team changed it’s name from SC Empor Rostock to FC Hansa Rostock, paying homage to Rostock being a major trading city in the merchant industry as part of the Hanseatic League. The name change allowed the club to become independent, and were bestowed with the honour of being one of the top 11 clubs in East Germany to bring through youth players for the national team.

Finally – After a long wait, Rostock finally became East German Champions in 1990-1991, the last season of the competition


Towards the end of the 1970’s, Rostock had been relegated to the second division in East German football on three separate occasions. Despite this. a number of the Rostock players formed a core of the East Germany side that won bronze at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The club managed to return to the top flight of East German football in the 1980’s.

By 1990, the Berlin Wall had fallen, reunifying East and West Germany. 1990-1991 was the final year of East German football, and Rostock finally had their moment. Not only did they win the NOFV-Oberliga title for the first (and only) time in their history, they also won the final FDGB-Pokal by beating Stahl Eisenhüttenstadt by 1 goal to nil.

Hansa Rostock still have a devoted fan base


The NOFV-Oberliga championship win was timely, as the club was placed in the new look 1.Bundesliga alongside Dynamo Dresden. Unfortunately, Rostock were relegated by 1 point. The club spent 3 years in the wilderness, but eventually returned to the 1.Bundesliga by winning the 1994-1995 2.Bundesliga by 2 points from St Pauli. For 10 seasons Rostock remained in Germany’s top division, finishing 6th twice and were the only former East German team in the division. However, the club could not compete with it’s western counterparts due to the weather conditions and being unable to bring through young talent as these players would be scouted by the bigger German clubs. Despite boasting players such as Oliver Neuville and Stefan Beinlich,  Rostock’s had to sell their best players in order to survive.

In the 2004-2005 season, the club was relegated after finishing 17th. Despite returning to the 1.Bundesliga for one season in 2007-2008, the club found it’s fortunes fading, and were relegated from the 2.Bundesliga in 2009-10. The club has remained in the 3rd tier of German football almost ever since.

In The Game

You’ll find Hansa Rostock in the 3.Fußbal-Liga inside Football Manager 2017. If you take on the reigns as manager, you’ll find yourself with a team stuck in mid-table limbo. Rostock are expected to finish 10th in the league this year, but with odds of 19-1 compared to favourites SC Paderborn’s 7-2, you’re not too far off from making a title challenge.

The starting squad has a nice mix of youth and experience to it, so for any manager thinking of trying to be a young and energetic team you have a great base to build upon. What I like is that there’s a nice German contingent (as expected), but a nice sprinkling of foreigners to keep things interesting. My main thought is that you’ve got a lot of players in defence, and plenty of depth out wide along with decent forward options, but there is very little in the way of central midfielders. The coaches report suggests that the coaches think there are no playmaking options – maybe this is your first port of call. You also have 2 goalkeepers – one that is particularly young – so the right man between the sticks is also needed.

Arguably the best and most well known player in the squad is midfielder Timo Gebhart. At 27 years old, he can be the man you build your Rostock side around in the early part of your save. The former 1860 Munich and Stuttgart player could also be sold for a reasonable price, allowing you to rebuild the team how you see fit. Competing with Gebhart for a position on the right wing is Tobias Janicke, whom has played for Rostock almost 200 times across 2 spells with the club. Up front, striker Soufian Benyamina could lead the line effectively, provided you have the right service and quality around him. Young full back Fabian Holthaus also boats a fair amount of potential.


The coaches aren’t particularly kind with their evaluation of the squad. It seems that you’ve got a lot of depth on the right flank, especially with Gebhart and Janicke. Six players in MR/AMR and four players at DR/WBR might be a bit overkill, but this just allows you to potentially make some transfer budget by selling off a couple of rotation options. You’ve also got a tight-knight, committed and aggressive team, which is by no means a bad thing. Just be careful if you want to play a high pressing and aggressive style as you might find one or two red cards creeping in to your season.

The coaches make no secret about the lack of leadership though, despite the closeness of the team. You’ve therefore got to find the right man to come in and lead the team, or careful promote within to not upset the apple cart. And although your team are committed, they don’t appear to work very hard too – perhaps the pressing game might not be an option? What this suggests is that Rostock’s squad have no identity, no set playing style, and with their history are a perfect platform for you to create your own legacy.

The finances are…well…rubbish. You’ve got no transfer budget and only £36k wages, which is all currently being spent. It looks like you’re gonna have to sell some players in order to get your own ones in, and be shrewd with loan signings and free agents. The board have given you no philosophies to abide by, allowing you to freely sign whomever you can get to fit your system.


Comparisons with the rest of the league aren’t idea. You’ve got lower valued players compared to the average, and also a much lower than average player wage which doesn’t provide much attraction to prospective signings. Despite the club history, East Germany still isn’t particularly affluent all around, and Rostock have had finance problems since the mid 90s. You’ve also got an slight older, shorter but heavier team. This suggests a lack of fitness in the team – get the lads on a diet now!

Final Thoughts

Given the glitz and the glamour of teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund from the west side of Germany, it’s easy to forget that East Germany used to have it’s own footballing heavyweights. With the Berlin Wall demolition long gone, the East Germans could use a team to get behind, and the rise of another German powerhouse would really shake up the domestic game. From comparatively nothing, this potential rags-to-riches game really has some longevity to it, if you plan on sticking around. There’s money to be made in Germany too, so get stuck in to this save and see if you can add to that sole title win of 1991.


Once again, thank you for reading this blog entry. I appreciate every single view that my blog receives. I hope you enjoyed the tale of Hansa Rostock and their current situation. For my next instalment of Sleeping Giants, we shall be taking a trip to sunnier climbs, by visiting northern Spain and the tale of Racing Club de Santander!


[FM17] The Rise of Brondby – Financials and Facilities

The Financials

Finance is overlooked in real life football. To the casual fan, finance in the beautiful game generally means “transfer fees”. True – the richer the club, the higher the transfer fees they can afford. However, finances in football are more than just “transfer fees”. There’s profits to be realised, wages to be controlled, sponsorships to be generated and shareholders to please. The introduction of the Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP), whilst may not have originally worked, have imposed the importance of running a club on a sustainable basis to ensure that the market does not get out of hand,  and to not neglect other areas of the club.

In recent years we’ve seen the game become something of a “toy” for the world’s richest businessmen and consortiums, with billions pumped in to clubs in the endless pursuit of glory. The likes of Abramovich, Sheikh Mansour and the Qatar Investment Authority have changed the landscape of football, but this doesn’t always guarantee success (see FC Anzhi Makhachkala).


Money makes the footballing world go round



FM is very limited in what you can do with finances – you can’t micromanage too much. Small changes such as setting your own ticket prices (which you can’t do without an editor, of course) may sound like an interesting ideas, but in reality may confuse FM players and require too much busywork.

What you can do, however, is have an impact on the number of supporters you get in through the turnstiles each week, the prize money and TV revenues you receive, negotiate transfer and wage packages, increase budgets for staff and junior coaching and invest in training facilities. This might sound like a lot, but these things do have to be thought through, and your board won’t just give in to your demands without any success to back your case up.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I want Brondby to turn in to a real community club. To do this, I have to make the club sustainable economically (and socially and environmentally, but I’m not sure how you can do either of these in game). To do this, I must ensure that budgets are tightly controlled, wages are kept to a reasonable level and transfer dealings do not have too many sub-clauses that will come back to bite us in future seasons. I hope to turn a profit each season, but I understand that the likelihood of this is small.

Anyway, enough jibberjabber. Time to look at what we’re dealing with:

The 2nd most valuable club in Denmark, but some way to go and catch up with Copenhagen


Initial finances on first loading the game up are “OK”. We’ve got £2m in the bank (I’ll be using £sterling as my currency in game). Not a great deal, granted, but it will suffice. Income and expenditure is irrelevant to talk about now as nothing has happened, but I’ll look to revisit my finances on a season by season basis to review how we’ve compared to the prior year, and as an aid of financial control. Average season tickets are £127 for the year, and average ticket price is £13. This seems really cheap to me, but I can’t increase these prices at all. I wouldn’t want to either, as it’s more important for the club to be accessible to the fans.

The initial budgets set by the board don’t look like anything special, but for Danish football we’re probably fairly well off. The board have given me an initial £800k transfer budget, to be supported with a total wage budget of £120k. My first thoughts were “this isn’t a great deal”, but compared to most of our competitors we’re rolling in it. We’re currently spending £113k of the wage budget on our current squad, so I’ll look to get this down before I try and sign my own players. One important thing to note is that Danish and Scandinavian players may request lower wages compared to their international counterparts, so by fulfilling my idea of keeping the squad predominantly Scandinavian may help the budget side of my save.

Speaking of the players, here’s the current wage structure. Skipper Thomas Kahlenberg is the highest earner at £8,750 p/w, and at 31 he’s still got a few years left in him. £9,900 p/w is currently being spent on 2 loan players. I’m a bit dubious about midfielder Ariel Nunez – he’s valued at £75,000 but earning £6,250 per week. Not sure that is value for money. If I can start bringing through a few youth players to replace the elder statements, this should go a long way to reducing the wage expenditure at the club.

We have a few sponsorships already in place, generating the club £5.77m this season. For the footballing side of things, I doubt we’ll see too much of this as it will largely go on running the club. The main sponsorship ends in summer 2017, so the chance to generate more income from a bigger sponsor is there.

Performances on the pitch have got to keep the shareholders and board of directors happy


Annoyingly though, we’ve got a bank loan, sapping £1.428m out of the club each season until 2020. The loan has been going two years already, which is fine. It’s not the end of the world but those extra funds could go a long way. Imagine if that was added to our transfer or wage budget – we’d be laughing all the way to the bank!  I’m not sure if you can have loans such as this paid off earlier – let me know in the comments if you can.

Projections for the next three years don’t look great either. We’re looking at a £2.08m loss in year 1, rising to £4.52m the following year. Remember that this is the very start of the game, so prize income, transfer fees etc, haven’t come in to play yet. The bank balance dropping to £4.8m overdrawn is worrying me. It may come to needing more loan finance to help pay the squad off, or the chairman injecting some funds in to the club. I don’t want this, so it’s important that the team plays well and generates fan interest along with trophies/prize money to help reduce this deficit.

We are the second most valuable club in Denmark, so don’t discount the importance of this brand value. Players and fans are attracted to Brondby and it’s famous yellow shirt in Denmark, but we are little known outside of the country. European football will really help us out with it’s TV revenues and prize money, so this really is the key to economic sustainability. If we can get the right personnel onboard to help us with getting European football at the right price, then we should see a profit being turned on year in, year out.


The Facilities

I’m very impressed with the facilities that we have available at Brondby. We play at the wonderful Brondby Stadion, which seats 29,000 football fans. We’re equipped with undersoil heating too, a requirement for European football I believe? Regardless, it will help us with fixture congestion as we shouldn’t have games called off at home.

The best thing about our facilities are the youth and training set up. As I mentioned before, I want to really develop youth players at Brondby, introducing them to the first team and really inspiring the local kids to make it. Although they are good, they could be improved, and that’s the key area that I want our profits to go in to.


So that’s everything for now! Sorry for perhaps a slightly more boring post, but the finances are really key to success in this save. Next up for my Brondby journey is to evaluate the squad!

<Author’s note – thanks for all your support on the last couple of posts. Really means a lot that you are enjoying the blogs, and I will do my best to keep the quality up>

Sleeping Giants – Pro Vercelli

Everyone loves the tale of a fallen or “sleeping” giant – a team from yesteryear that has fallen on hard times and now languishes below the top flight in their domestic league. Fans of these clubs will long to tell their stories of the glory days of winning league and cup titles, amazing goals and emphatic victories just to relive that feeling we all get as football fans seeing our team win.

Many games on Football Manager – mine included – are devoted to the restoration of these teams. A lot of these sides really helped shape the game that we all love today. Through creating new styles of play to having one-of-a-kind players, each club has it’s own story to tell and contribution to association soccer. I always find that researching a club really helps drive a save, and also helps create a real life connection between the you and the club! I know I’ve started following teams around the globe just because of a video game.

I felt compelled to start a little series of blogs regarding the story of these teams, where they have come from and where they are now. Who were their star players? Were they affected by financial ruin? Any famous fans? All these little intricacies add something to a new story; your FM story and the history that you will then create!

We are gonna start with Pro Vercelli, a little known Italian team that paved the way for great things in the south of Europe.

Pro Vercelli – A History

The origins of the club known as U.S. Pro Vercelli can be traced back as far as 1892, making the original club one of the oldest teams in Italy. This was the year that the “Società Ginnastica Pro Vercelli” – or the Pro Vercelli Gym Society – was founded. Football was introduced just after the turn of the 20th century, with the first official Pro Vercelli match taking place in 1903.

In 1907, Pro Vercelli won a league called the “Subs Division”. Known then as the “White Shirts”, the club were entered in to the Italian National League as a result of winning this league. Success followed immediately – Vercelli won the National League in both 1908 and 1909.

A winning formula had been identified. Despite losing the 1910 league final to Internazionale after a dispute with the Italian Football Federation (IFF), through the affectionately named “Midfield Line of Wonders” consisting of Ara, Milano and Leone, Vercelli went unbeaten for the next three seasons. A remarkable achievement in any league at any time. Now known as the “Leoni”, no one could stop their march.

The legendary Leoni – the early years saw incredible success for Pro Vercelli


A number of the Vercelli players at this time formed the first Italy international squads. Up to 9 players were chosen to represent their country. The club were the pride of Italy, but they became known for their rough style of play on occasion. But they were winners, and won at any cost.

World War I intervened, suspending Italian football until it was over. In the second season after the War, Vercelli picked up their 6th league title in 20 seasons, defeating Pisa 2-1 in the final game of the season.

The following season, Italian football was rocked by the split of the IFF. Vercelli joining the Italian Football Confederation. Winning the inaugural season, this 7th title was to be their last major national title. It was here that Leoni were rocked. In the following seasons they would always come close, but not close enough, to winning the National League. Vercelli had established themselves a force for almost 2 decades, but the dominance had been broken by clubs like Internazionale and Genoa. A natural decline was approaching. Even legendary striker Silvio Piola could not prevent the club from falling from grace.

In 1935, the club was relegated to Serie B for the first time in their history.

By 1941, they had been relegated to Serie C for the first time.

There is not much more history until recent years. The club became a mainstay in the Serie B/Serie C/Serie D shuffle. As more money has come in to the game, the club has found themselves fall further and further behind. Gone were the days of the Line of Wonders. Vercelli were forgotten.

Legendary striker Silvio Piola played 127 times for Pro Vercelli in 5 seasons, scoring 51 goals


The new millennium saw Vercelli face a new challenge at a more local level. A new team – A.S. Pro Belvedere Vercelli – were founded as a merger of two smaller clubs, and began playing in Serie D. This new Vercelli side made reasonable progress, and the 2009/10 season featured the first ever Vercelli Derby with decorated U.S. Pro Vercelli, finishing 1-0 to the U.S. club.

Financial issues saw the U.S Pro Vercelli not admitted to the following Lega Pro Seconda Divisione season. After much deliberation, it was decided the that U.S. Pro Vercelli, the club that had dominated much of the early landscape of Italian football, would fold. However, A.S. Pro Belvedere Vercelli would change their name to U.S. Vercelli Calcio, and acquired all of the trademarks and honours from the original club. Club colours were changed, and it meant that the club could live on through this new entity.

The white shirt lives on…


The club has since reached Serie B twice in the 2010’s, and it is in Serie B that you will find them at the start of Football Manager 2017.

In The Game

Not expected to do anything special, Pro Vercelli are expected to finish 17th in the 2017/2018 Serie B. At 1000-1, it’s gonna take something special to get them back in to the top flight since 1935. These odds put them joint favourites for relegation, but with 5 teams below them according to the media, a relegation battle should be at the forefront of your mind.

Your starting squad isn’t too bad in terms of depth. There’s plenty of competition in each area of the field, but with 27 players in the first team squad you might find that some players will be angry with a lack of playing time. One thing to consider are the number loans at the club – 9 players are only with you for one year, so make sure you’ve got a back up plan if you intend to stick around.

In terms of notable players, Ivan Provedel looks to be a good young goalkeeper on loan from Chievo, and Sebastiano Luperto looks to be a very useful young defender on loan from Napoli. Perhaps the biggest name in the team is 27 year old midfielder Luca Castiglia, whom broke through at Juventus. You also have some international experience in the form of wide man Armando Vajushi.

The coaches are pretty scathing about the squad, stating that they are a lazy bunch and need a bit of help in both the physical and technical side of the game. They aren’t asking for much then are they?! You also have no real leadership, something that you should look at rectifying straight away.

Finances are OK. There’s no debt lingering over the club, so provided you keep things under control you should find that your budgets should start to expand. You’ve got £525k transfer budget to start with, and £71k total wage budget. Do you try and buy just one player, or convert it all to wages and go for a few freebies? There are no philosophies hanging over your head (unless you choose them), so you are free to build the squad how you choose.

Comparisons with the rest of Serie B are quite interesting. Pro Vercelli have a fairly young squad with an average age of 23.81, but this is helped with the vast number of young players on loan at the club. Vercelli also have a much taller than average side clocking in at an impressive 183cm. You do have the lowest average player wage in the league, so be prepared for star players to want to leave unless you can match their wage demands.

Final Thoughts

The new Pro Vercelli are a tantalising option for any manager. The potential to grow the club and progress in to Serie A and beyond is enormous, and there is history to back you up. You’ve got an easy ride to start with as there’s little expectation for Vercelli to do anything. There’s flexibility to build the squad and playstyle however you like, but funds are limited, so you’ll need to pull off some shrewd business if you want to perform better than a relegation scrap. That being said, the chance to echo the early 1900’s is completely achievable! Make that white shirt iconic again!

I hope that you enjoyed this first entry in to this new blog series on fallen/sleeping giants in Football Manager. I’m looking to post a new entry every week, looking at the story of the club and their current position in world football. If you have any clubs that you want me to have a look at, feel free to Tweet me with your suggestions.

Next week, we’ll turn our attention to Germany, and look at the story of Hansa Rostock!

[FM17] The Rise of Brondby IF – Identity, Ethos and Philosophy

Identity and Ethos

With a sleeping giant such as Brondby, I find it’s important to re-establish with a new identity to bring them in to the modern game. The easiest way to do this by bringing a new direction and style to the field of play, but it’s about more than just what the team does on the pitch. It’s also about the development of players, the attitudes towards officials, the sponsorship deals, the local environment and more.

The identity of a club is important – it’s what separates your team from the rest, and why you support the club that you do. Brondby were a club that have prided themselves on bringing players through the ranks to play in the first team to lead the club to glory, but recent seasons have seen the club lose ground on it’s rivals. This ethos is admirable but idealistic. Let’s not kid ourselves – football is a business and exists to make money. To do this, a team needs to achieve and maintain it’s success over the long term. However, this often comes with a price of alienating it’s fanbase by putting up ticket prices, playing dull football with little enthusiasm, and sometimes even the most loyal of fans will think – “is it worth my time to the game and watch this rubbish?”

Time to get the BrondbyStadion filled to capacity with loyal, local fans


What I would like to do with Brondby is to make the club feel like a club that still belongs to it’s fans, rather than a corporate entity. I want the players to be angry and hurt after each loss, yet triumphant and boisterous in victory. I want the local community to not feel like they’ve wasted their money coming to watch us play. I want the kids that come to our games to aspire to become the next Michael Laudrup, Peter Schmeichel and Lars Olsen by having our players act properly on the field, minimising the need for discipline. The yellow shirt should mean something to all football fans around Europe.

My new board, and chairman, seem to share similar vision.


This is all fine by me. Youth, youth and more youth is always a good philosophy to have in FM. We have an excellent academy at Brondby to develop our own talent. But I want to take it a stage further.

To really try and build the chairman’s vision for club identity and connect with the fans, I want to also try and abide by the following

  • To try to include at least 7 Danish players in every starting line up.
  • To try to include at least 2 Brondby academy graduates in every match day squad.
  • To try and give debuts to at least 4 academy graduates each season
  • To run the club at a profit and keep finances under control.

There will also be a preference to sign Scandinavian players for the club, but I won’t limit myself to just players from this area.

Given the limitations of the game, this is all I can think of, but feel free to provide suggestions of additional criteria to meet. I think that the above is achievable. We’ve got some great young players in the U19’s such as midfielder Karl Appelt that could easily make it in the first team. A few more with his potential, and this vision could really come to life.


As the old saying goes, the best defence is a good offence. That’s true – the best teams normally achieve success by being better at attacking than defending. Attacking football is always an attractive proposition as no one wants to waste their money on a dull 0-0 draw.

Here is my initial thoughts with regards to team instructions. This mentality should apply to all formations that we adopt during the course of a season (yet to be decided, but philosophy is more important than formation at this stage).

A fluid, control style will be our starting point. The idea is that I want the team to play with some risk, but not to over commit going forward. I want the team to play with creative freedom, so have tried not cloud the team with too many instructions. It may be a bit risky playing with a high defensive line and passing in to space, but you will where this hopefully comes in to play later on.

This is all experimental and hypothetical at the moment though – I may look back at this post in 2 months time and laugh! But it’s my current thought process at the moment and it should evolve throughout the save. Will it work? We’ll just have to wait and see!

I hope you enjoyed this post on my vision for the club. Brondby really are a team that need to be up there with the best of them. My next post will take a look at the facilities at Brondby, along with budgets and financials.