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A European Story of Mediocrity


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Welcome all,

This is my humble attempt at a European journeyman save, which will in all honesty be about as successful as Ali Dia's Southampton debut... I am a long time lurker on the FM forums, and really enjoy the career threads, so I thought I'd have a go at doing my own, with the combined purpose of (hopefully) making me stick with a save longer than 2 years while also providing a few laughs at my dire attempts at football management!

I've decided to load a large database in England, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Holland & Spain with all leagues down to the third level in each country, this should provide me with enough scope to grow any clubs 'graced' with my presence but also allowing me plenty of different opportunites in new surroundings.

I won't be sticking to any pre-set routes or restrictions, except from avoiding any clubs which I have no love for in real life, with my only real aim not to make too much of a fool of myself!


Enköpings SK

So my first step sees me entering the Swedish First Division North, with recently promoted team Enköpings SK, a team located in Enköping (remarkably enough) and having virtually no real history to remark upon in their long 99 year history. Founded in March 1914, they have had one year in the Swedish top flight, but apart from that have simply 'existed' in football terms. They are a semi-pro team playing at Enavallen, a ground with a 4,500 capacity, though it will be a long time until they out grow this stadium, if ever.


As the Swedish season starts at a different time to the English game, I find myself being dropped into a relegation battle half-way through the season at Enköpings SK, but thankfully the board only want us to survive this year, something that seems like a big challenge given the squad I have to work with. Although the top 3 may only be 6 points ahead of us, it is more likely I'll be preoccupied with the bottom 3, who sit only 3 points behind us! It's also not too encouraging to find that I've taken control of a team that has scored less than 1 goal a game, and concedes almost twice as often as they find the oppositions net!

The squad itself doesn't exactly fill me with confidence either, which is usually the case with newly promoted squads, but the main problem with this is I have over 30 contracted players (yes, thirty...), with no wage budget to operate with, and no transfer window to even offload some of the deadwood!


So, down to business, the immediate fixtures comprise of one game remaining in June, one fixture in July (though I will organise some friendlies to try get to know the team) and five fixtures in August, including the Swedish Cup 1st Round, which I have no interest in this year, not even for a small cup run. Looking at the squad I will set up a 4-1-2-2-1 formation to hit on the counter, I would usually include a 4-4-2 as well, but in all honesty we don't have one decent centre foward, let alone two!

This should be interesting...

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League: ESK 2-1 Frej

Goals: Alund & Kjellman

A young team is put out against our relegation rivals, and they duly deliver, maybe it's down to the fact that ESK had won their previous 3 matches, or maybe it's because they aren't actually as bad as they seem, but either way it's a vital win and as good a start as I can hope for.

Friendly: ESK 2-0 Viggbyholms IK

An easy victory against lower league opposition, tried out a couple of new players.

Friendly: ESK 1-0 Köping FF

Goal: Rajalakso

Essentially we murdered this lower league team, but simply failed to bury our chances.

League: Forward 0-0 ESK

A disappointing draw, we dominated the team below us, threatened at least a dozen times, but again couldn't stick one in the net. I think in all honesty I see where ESK's problem is now, defensively we seem steady, but a lack of confidence and skill going forward is holding us back.

Cup: Orbero SK Ungdom 0-0 ESK

Orbero win 3-1 on penalties

Okay, someone is laughing at me up above, dominating the game for 120 mins and failing to score once against lower league opposition is sickening, going on to then miss 3 out of the 4 penalties we took is even worse. Thankfully the transfer window is now open and I can look at signing a striker!

League: FC Vasby United 1-0 ESK

A better than expected loss, Vasby are sitting second after this result, and actually destroyed us, we couldn't touch them at all. The difference between sitting near the top, and us sitting near the bottom, seems to be a slice of luck and a centre forward who knows what the back of the net looks like!

Breaking news: Kalmar FF announce new partnership with ESK which will see players sent on loan to the First Division North team.

A simple way to bring in some more money, but also to hopefully get a favourable loan move with a future Swedish star.

League: Akropolis IF 6-0 ESK

Okay, now I'm worried. We had been destroyed 5-0 by half-time, and the only reason this didn't end up as a cricket score was because the ref didn't realise we had 12 players in the second half! Seriously though, I am now not only worried for my job, but also for my health, as defending like that would give anybody a heart attack, we were shocking, and it's safe to say the ESK players got a proper Fergie hairdryer session!

Breaking news: ESK announce free signing of striker Sami Nador-Tabaczynski for a bargain £65 a week wage.

I managed to offload 2 of the reserves with no future and sign this young lad, hardly the next Ibrahimovic but hoping the high finishing, first touch and creativity will add a few desperately needed goals to the team! I have also decided that in keeping 'true' to the game, I won't sign anyone that can not be scouted, or brought to my attention through actually playing against them. Just because I may know about a few decent players in real life, it doesn't mean that digital me does.


League: Sandvikens IF 1-1 ESK

Goal: Nador-Tabaczynski

Wow, been so long since we scored a goal! Just the impact I'd hoped for, straight in and off the mark on 16 minutes, he should have had a couple more though. The good news is we have stopped the rot, hopefully, and with a good performance to go with it, although we should have won as after subbing Sami due to a lack of match fitness, our other striker hit the bar in the 85th minute, and I can only imagine that Sami would have buried it. However, I couldn't risk an injury in his first game, as I reckon he will be instrumental in any relegation heroics!

That brings us to the end of August, and the closure of the transfer window, and actually sees us in a worse position than when I took over, which is quite disappointing as we don't really deserve to be there from what I have seen. However, a return of 5 points from a possible 18 is definitely relegation form, and the table doesn't lie, if we continue like this for the remaining games then ESK will go down and I will be off to the job centre! All that we have to look forward to next month is a couple of games against Dalkurd (who were in the top 2 when I joined, so I'm not the worst manager around..) and IFK Lulea which will go a long way to deciding our fate this season.


Not going to be easy, but if, and I stress IF, we can start scoring then I fancy us to make it!

Thanks for reading, next update will hopefully be end of weekend!


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Going forward into September sees ESK 2 points below safety, but facing 5 fixtures which will determine just how likely it is that we meet the boards objectives and survive the season. Following my opening batch of games I'm not too confident of being able to save Enköpings SK as the team is desperately lacking morale and the skill to match the other teams in the league, so it looks as if my career is going to be a struggle from the beginning.


League: ESK 0-2 Vasteras

An expected loss against the team currently topping the division, we matched them easily in the first half, but were undone by 2 late goals in the last 10 minutes.

League: ESK 0-2 Ostersunds

Letting a goal in on 3 minutes was bad, the fact that we played a suicidal back-pass that early in the game was even worse. We never looked like getting back in to this, which is the problem when morale is low, and we let in a late second, which is typical of the team. Quite disappointed with this as Ostersunds were only 3 places above us, and I thought we could get a point here.

League: IFK Lulea 1-1 ESK

Goal: Alan

A must win game against the bottom side, we dominated for 60 minutes until our centre back was sent off for a bad tackle in the oppositions box! We then let a goal in with 8 minutes to go (seeing a pattern here...) however, Nador-Tabaczynski saw his 88th minute shot deflect to our other centre forward who slotted home to resuce a point and save us from recieving a nail in the coffin. Defeat here would have seen us rock bottom!

League: ESK 1-2 Eskilstuna

Goal: Persson-Njie

Another game against a top side, this time the team sitting in second, where we found ourselves two goals down within 30 minutes. We managed to pull one back before half-time but the game seemed to die there and we couldn't pick up a second. Defeat was expected, but I feel we could have made a better fight of it than we did, I'm pretty sure we didn't have a shot on target in the whole second half.

League: ESK 1-1 Dalkurd

Goal: Nador-Tabaczynski

A potential 3 points lost here against a team in 9th. We fell behind in the 4th minute, but then spent 86 minutes camped in the opposition box, it's just a shame it took us until very late in the game to get the equaliser. Nador-Tabaczynski not only scored the goal, but also hit the bar from a free-kick and the post from a corner. He may have only scored twice for ESK but there is a noticeable difference in our threat going forward. It's just a shame that our keeper and defenders think it's funny to play suicial passes every game - and then wonder why I lose my temper at half time!

Going forward into the final phase of the season we find ourselves sat 12th and 5 points from safety, which means I will be packing my suitcase and looking for my next job in management. We have 4 games left of the season, and 5 points seems a lot to try and make up with a defence that has more holes than a sieve!

There is one positive, one silver lining, one hope for the small team from Enköping, and that is that after travelling to Sirius (3rd) our final 3 games are against Forward (13th), Frej (11th) and Syrianska (10th). It will take a miracle I'm sure, but a run of 3 wins may just see us survive the drop.


Hopefully I can get the team to buck up their idea's, but even though the great escape looks unlikely I at least want to go out with a bang!

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So, we come to the business end of the season with a squad that really doesn't know how to do the business, and the slimmest chance of surviving a relegation battle that has been so one-sided I'm ashamed to say we have actually tried to stay up, however, there is a chance, and so we won't give in yet! Four games for us to play, three against relegation rivals, so down to the action.

League: Sirius 4-0 ESK

Nothing much to say here, we played the team sitting 3rd in the table and the gulf in class showed. We had a disallowed goal very early in the first half, which I thought was very harsh, but judging by the rest of the match I doubt it would have saved us.

Breaking news: ESK offer W. Spearing a new two year contract at £350 a week.

I won't be accepting this unless we stay up, as I feel that the board shouldn't actually offer me a new contract for failing to save them.

League: ESK 0-3 Syrianska

Same as the previous match, we lacked any conviction going forward and were more than generous at the back. We also went down to 10 men with 15 minutes to go, violent conduct was the verdict, at least I now know the players do have some fight in them...

Breaking news: ESK are relegated from the First Division North.

A very disappointing day really, I never actually expected to get relegated with this team even though they were in a less than healthy position when I originally joined. The team can't take all the blame, as although they were reckless at the back and wasteful upfront, I did bring in my own striker who didn't have the impact I'd hoped for and it was my tactics they played too.

League: ESK 1-2 Forward

Goal: Tuhkanen

A beauty of a free kick got us an equaliser late in the first half but we were straight behind at the start of the second. Even though the second half was very equal, we couldn't take our chances, again hitting the woodwork on several occasions but it was no good and we slumped to another defeat.

League: Frej 1-0 ESK

Story of my life at the moment, the local paper reported that ESK had a number of attempts on goal, but the finishing was poor throughout.


Breaking news: W. Spearing steps down from the ESK position following their relegation from the First Division North.

I couldn't keep taking wages from a club I had failed so miserably, as mentioned before, we barely even fought to stay in the division and went out with a whimper. I am very disappointed with the performance, and the outcome, and actually think this is the first relegation I have suffered in FM13, still there are plenty more challenges out there.

Although I have stepped down I wasn't out of a job very long at all (4 days in total), as there was an abundance of vacancies elsewhere, though as I failed so miserably with ESK I feel I have a point to prove to Swedish football, and so my new appointment sees me return to the Swedish First Division as a man on a mission!

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Shame about the relegation, you had a few good results at the start too. Hopefully you have better success in your next job

Thanks for the reply. Yeah fingers crossed for the next one, was extremely gutting to actually get ESK relegated, not an experience I want to occur again! I'm feeling a bit more confident about this next one though, especially as I get to join in pre-season and not half-way through!


FC Trollhättan

FC Trollhättan are virtually a brand new team, only forming in 2001 with the merger of two local football teams. Obviously based in Trollhättan they play at Edsborgs IP, a ground with a 5,100 capacity, though they have never filled it in their short history. During their years as a team the only real achievements of note are a couple of seasons in the Superettan, Swedens second tier.

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, only 4 days after resigning I found myself employed in Swedish football again, this time by FC Trollhättan of Swedish First Division South. After finishing sixth in the season just gone I can only assume their previous manager was offered a better job or was pushed out the door as the board are quite demanding, not that ambition is a problem!


It was an easy decision to make as I want to prove to myself that I can be successful in these divisions, and although there were jobs available in Italy & Germany, that was the deciding factor. I do get a £77k transfer budget to work with, and a wage budget with £1.2k just waiting to be used up, all I have to do in return is get promoted...

The squad I have to deal with seems a bit low on bodies and but not low on skill, however this is something I am sure I can remedy given a few months of scouting and loans!


Thankfully the long off season gives me plenty of time to organise some friendlies, as well as contest the Swedish Cup Group Stage in March, so I am confident I can highlight any real weaknesses and bring in some quality and cover for the team. I have also managed to secure a parent club in the form of Malmö, so hopefully this will bring a few cheap loans if needed!

Friendly: Trollhättan 1-0 FC Kobenhavn II

Goal: Daoud

A very open friendly against a similar team from Denmark, we defended well and took the all important opening.

Friendly: Trollhättan 1-2 Norrby

Goal: Daoud

We took the lead against our divisional rivals, however we couldn't keep hold of it, in a very equal game we simply didn't take our chances when they did.

Friendly: Trollhättan 2-0 Lindhome

Goals: Daoud & Ekstrom

We dominated this lower league team and managed to stick a couple of goals past them, Daoud looks like he can be a clinical striker but it is still very early days. Managed to give a few new signings their debut from the bench, but more info on these in the next update, because I'm nowhere near finished with transfers yet.

That brings me up to the end of February 2013 with one friendly to play at the start of March before the Swedish Cup Group Stage where I have been drawn against Sundsvall (First Div Elite), AIK (Premier Div) & Assyriska (First Div Elite) so although I'm not expecting to progress I would like a decent showing. I have also arranged another three friendlies before the league kicks off with our trip to Norrby on April 20th.

With where I am at the moment I'm feeling alright about the league, after making a few signings from Divisional rivals I am just waiting to see whats available on loan, but until we kick off against Norrby I won't be certain we are prepared!

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The build up to the season is now entering the final stages, we have four friendlies and the three cup games to work through before the April 20th season opener against Norrby, so that gives me little over 7 weeks to finalise my team due to the transfer window closure and to also work out my starting XI to give us the best chance of promotion. The friendlies see us playing three lower league teams as well as Brondby IF from Denmark which gives us a good run of games where any real weak links will show up, while providing a decent challenge against a European class team. The cup will provide a very good idea of whether FC Trollhättan can match those teams in the division above us, and I would hope to at least come out of the group stages with a couple of points, even though the game against AIK may be a step too far!


Friendly: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Savedalen IF

Goals: Daoud & B. Zeqiri

As straight forward as the score suggests, complete domination of a team in the division below, and they never troubled us.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan board agree to £350,000 upgrade of the youth facilities at the club.

This will be complete by the end of the season and will, hopefully, coincide with promotion so that FC Trollhättan can start to work on bringing decent players through the youth system. Although £350k seems a large price to pay in the third tier, the club actually made a £700k profit in the previous season and the finances look very healthy.

Swedish Cup: FC Trollhättan 0-0 GIF Sundsvall

A great result for us, a clean sheet against a team from the First Division Elite, and even more pleasing was the performace of our keeper Kodalaev who saved us on more than one occasion with outstanding saves.

Swedish Cup: AIK 3-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Daoud

An expected result but one that gave me plenty of positives. We went two down very early one but pulled one back against the Premier Division team on the hour mark, we then went on to push AIK to the limit only to be sucker-punched in the 91st minute.

Swedish Cup: Assyriska 0-0 FC Trollhättan

Again, a good result for us against a team in a higher division, though this was definitely a lot more equal than our opening game of the group stage. We matched Assyriska every step of the way and should have won, Daoud missed an open goal from outside the box before hitting the bar in the last 10 minutes, but I won't complain.


Very satisfied with the end table, we didn't finish bottom and only let in a goal against the Prem Division team, something that makes me very proud! I never expected to win the group and qualify, but the three matches have helped show who in my team has the right attitude and who isn't suitable for the big games.

Friendly: FC Trollhättan 3-0 Fässberg

Goals: Aberg (o.g), Brais & Iglicár

Another match against a team from the division below us, and another dominating performance. We had around 70% possession and don't think the opposition had a single shot on target. Although these games haven't proven as competitive as they could have been they are helping weed out the weak links where some players consistently play bad against extremely poor teams.

Board Confidence Update: Satisfied with my management of the team the board are extremely happy with the atmosphere in the dressing room, our cup performance and our finances. The only down point is one of my signings from a local rival, which I will explain in a minute.


Friendly: FC Trollhättan 0-1 Brondby IF

A gutting loss to the European class team, where we matched them all the way through and had a number of shots on goal only to be undone in the 93rd minute by a break-away. The result was disappointing considering how well we actually performed against a virtually full strength team!

Friendly: FC Trollhättan 0-0 Jonsereds IF

A disappointing draw against a lower league team in a match that saw us dominate but waste every chance given to us.

This brings us up to the start of the season, and I am happy with how the pre-season worked out. We managed to get ten games (including the cup) played without suffering any real upsets or losing anybody to injury, and I am fairly happy with how my team looks now too, which brings us to the transfer activity.


I got rid of a lot of the deadwood quickly, something I didn't manage at ESK, which freed up a lot more of my wage budget, giving me a total of £2.2k p/w to play with, and the eagle eyed may notice that Johan Lundgren is in both sides of the table, and this is the player that has upset the board as I have resigned him.

P. Lennartsson

A left sided full back signed on a free transfer, a definite improvement on my current one and not too expensive, will most likely be in the starting XI.

D. Ljungholm

A right sided full back also on a free, again a big improvement on what I had already and again a starter.

M. Isaac

A central midfielder on a free, brought in to provide some squad depth.

N. Ladan

An expensive signing for a young central midfielder, will most likely be in the starting XI but is definitely one for the future. Have a few concerns over his mentality after pre-season.

J. Lundgren

Left us at the end of last season when his contract expired, even though he was easily one of the best players at the club. After searching for a defensive midfielder it was apparent that getting him back was the best option. Annoyed to have to spend £22k on him, especially from a local rival, but easily a starting XI player and I'd much rather own him than face him!

R. Iglicár

A £12k centre forward signing from a First Division Elite team, and he is a definite 'star' player for a team like us. Brought in to back up Daoud (who was the only real striker) so that we can cope with injuries and provide some competition. Will most likely be rotated with Daoud so no one gets too comfortable.

C. Alvengrip

A left winger signed for £5k from divisional rivals Norrby, will provide squad depth but has put a string of impressive performances in during pre-season, so has put his name in the hat for a starting place.

There was a few players I badly wished to sign, a few future super-stars who we simply couldn't offer the right wages too even though signing them was a real possibility and a goalkeeper that the board wouldn't give me funds for, but all-in-all I'm happy with the transfers and feel we have a stronger squad with more depth than when we started. The only down point to the squad is that we have no decent prospects in the youth team, and so until we get a new influx of youngsters I won't be able to bring any through the ranks.

The pre-season is over, the warm up complete, and teams set for the starters gun. The board and media tout us for promotion, and all that's left to do now is prove to everyone we can do it!

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League: Norrby IF 0-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Alvengrip

A steady, if not spectacular, start to the season with this victory over a team that had beaten us in pre-season. We made hard work out of it, only taking the lead on 71 minutes, but could have easily lost by the same margin and had no reason to argue. Very nice to get a clean sheet and three points on the board, however I'm sure my competitive career at ESK started in a very similar way...

League: FC Trollhättan 0-1 Utsiktens BK

An all too familiar experience where we dominated but failed to score against a team that isn't predicted to be anywhere near the top by the end of the season. A draw would have been a fair result but our keeper Kodalaev made a terrible mistake in the closing stages to let their player tap into an empty net from inside the box. Starting to get a distinct feeling of Déjá Vu now...

Board confidence update: Very similar to last time, the board are very satisfied with the signing of Lennartsson but still not happy with Lundgren. A small loss financially but the future is bright (the future is orange...).


League: IF Limhamn Bunkeflo 1-2 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Iglicár (x2)

A very good performance from our new centre forward saved us from chucking away three points against relegation tipped opposition. Iglicár was bought in for Daoud as he hadn't hit the net since pre-season and he didn't disappoint, scoring the winner in the 92nd minute after it had looked like we had chucked away the win only minutes earlier.

League: FC Trollhättan 3-1 Karlstad BK

Goals: Falkmar (o.g) & Brais (x2)

A great result against a team expected to be right in the mix during the closing stages, however it was by no means a lucky result. We went into half-time at 1-1 but there was only going to be one winner judging by the second half performances. Brais is the right-sided attacking midfielder and showed why he deserves to be one of the first names on the team sheet with an exceptional display.

League: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Kristianstads FF

Goals: Stanisic & Daoud

A simple win against mid-table opponents, even if we did leave it late to finally hit the target. Ljungholm missed a penalty in the 33rd minute, which made me wonder if our luck was out, but our pressure finally told when centre back Stanisic scored with ten left to go. Sub Daoud put the result beyond doubt in injury time. One thing the results have shown is that my team keeps pushing to the end, as I make that four goals scored in the last 10 minutes of the game after only five games!

League: FC Väsby United 0-2 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Iglicár (x2)

A straight forward win against a mid-table team, Iglicár again showed why he deserves the single centre forward spot ahead of Daoud with two clinical finishes. That also makes it three clean sheets in six games, if it carries on at that ratio I'll be a very happy bloke!


That brings us up to the end of May and leaves us sitting in third with the early pace setters in the group. The only real low point of the opening fixtures was the loss to Utsiktens, as a win there would have stuck us top of the league! A lot of positives to take into the the next few months, especially the fact we have the tightest defence and a decent return of goals so far. Our next game sees us welcome Orgryte to Edsborgs IP for a top of the table clash which could prove to be very decisive in how the season pans out.

Had a day off work today so going to get well and truely stuck into this season now, I will also go back and try to figure out how to insert links to profiles for the players I brought in during the transfer season.

Thanks for reading!

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League: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Orgryte IS

Goals: Stanisic & Sundstrom

What a result! A great win against the only team that had a 100% record so far, essentially this came down to the fact that our defence has been solid! It was a very equal game and took us until the end of the first half to open up the scoring. We squandered a penalty very early in the second half (don't think we've actually converted any we have been given), but got a slice of luck deep into the second half with a fortunate goal.

League: Motala AIF FK 0-3 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Alvengrip, Daoud (pen) & Lundgren

We slaughtered one of the worst defences in the division, I don't think there is much else to say really. We finally bury a penalty which is probably the highlight of the game!

League: IK Oddevold 0-0 FC Trollhättan

Poor finishing from both sides defined a local derby in which Iglicár missed a penalty, yet again. This is a very bad result as our local rivals are sitting near the bottom of the table and essentially this is two points dropped!

League: FC Trollhättan 1-0 Rosengard

Goal: Brais

Another clean sheet, another victory and another competent display from my team. Barring the two centre forwards being rotated to provide competiton the rest of the team has rarely changed, and the consistency is telling.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-1 Skovde AIK

Goal: Iglicár

A very equal match against the team sitting fourth in the table, we took the lead but couldn't kill of the match, letting in an injury time equaliser. A bit of a kick in the teeth to switch off at the end but another game without defeat is not to be sniffed at.


League: Ytterby IS 0-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Lundgren

Relegation tipped Ytterby provided no shock, but it was hardly a stellar performance, the whole match only brought up two events of note, one was our scrappy 71st minute winner, the second was a red card for the opposition captain during second half injury time.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan draw second division KB Karlskoga FF in the first round of the Swedish Cup.

This will be a match that I would expect to win without any trouble honestly, so I will most likely rotate the squad and give some game time to those who just simply can't get into the starting XI at the moment.

League: FC Trollhättan 3-0 Norrby IF

Goals: Daoud, Sundstrom & Lundgren

A far different game from the friendly we had against these all the way back in pre-season where they looked like our equals. Norrby simply couldn't touch us and the scoreline reflects that.


That brings us to July 13th and the mid-way point of the season and I couldn't be happier, we may only be a single point ahead of Karlstad BK & Orgryte but we have beaten both of them in the head-to-heads. The fact that our defence has only let in four goals so far just proves how solid they have been, while our goal scoring record is among the highest in the division. The only real downpoint is the defeat we suffered very early on, however I won't be getting carried away just yet as a couple of draws or defeats can easily see us down in third, but things are looking good for the second half of the season.

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League: FC Trollhättan 1-1 Qviding FIF

Goal: Ladan

A very equal match with few chances for either side, another game without losing though! The main point of note during the game was the injury sustained by Daoud which will see him out of action for up to 2 months!

League: Utsiktens BK 0-0 FC Trollhättan

A very poor game watched by only 65 people. The 3D engine is set to only show key highlights, apparently there wasn't a single one in the whole match.

Swedish Cup: KB Karlskoga 0-3 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Isaac, Beqiri (pen) & Zeqiri

Total domination of a lower league team in which a few back-up players get a start. Nothing to really learn from this match at all though it is nice to progress in the cup.


Board confidence update: I think these updates are simply copied and pasted every time, the board are happy with my management and very happy with the signing of Ljungholm. They are still unhappy about re-signing Lundgren and even though we made a small loss the financial future is looking good.

Breaking news: FC Trollhattan draw Premier Division team Gefle IF in the second round of the Swedish Cup.

League: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Limhamn Bunkeflo

Goals: Brais & Iglicár

A routine win against the side sitting in the relegation zone, though it is a very important win after drawing the last two games and giving Karlstad a small lead at the top now.

League: Kristianstads FF 1-0 FC Trollhättan

We came up against the team sitting fourth in the league who are on a decent run of form and we simply didn't take our chances. This is only our second defeat of the season, and it hurts!

Swedish Cup: FC Trollhättan 0-2 Gefle IF

A spirited display in which we defended well, had a good amount of possession, but just simply didn't have the skill to actually get the ball into a dangerous enough position to threaten the top tier team. We held Gefle at bay for almost an hour before conceding, a fact which lets me take quite a few positives about our defence.

League: Karlstad BK 3-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Zeqiri

Devestating! This defeat to the team currently top pretty much ensures that they will be winning the division this year, as we now sit six points behind needing Karlstad to really muck up! We deserved to lose, plain and simple, as we let their striker Victor score a hat-trick in under 10 minutes in the first half. It took a tremendous amount of self control to stop myself from throwing my laptop...

League: FC Trollhättan 0-2 Vasby United

A third league defeat in a row which tops off a nightmare couple of weeks in which we have completely lost the plot. It's painful to have been so outclassed by a mid-table team.

League: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Motala FK

Goals: Brais (x2)

After our appauling run of games I stepped into the dressing room to call a team talk to rally the troops, they agreed that they have been underperforming and showed a bit of the class that was so abundant in the first half of the season. Brais had a third goal disallowed for offside, but this result was never in doubt.


That brings us up to the end of August and into the final six games where promotion will be decided. Assuming Orgryte win their game in hand it will be a simple case of whoever holds their nerve will be promoted, I do however think that Karlstad have got the League title wrapped up unless they deliberately try to chuck it! Our run in is mainly against teams in the lower half of the table, though the most important match will probably be the one on the 7th September, when we meet Orgryte at their ground!

This is the time for the team to step up to the plate and show why they have been at the top of the table for the whole of the season, it's time to show that they really want and deserve promotion into First Division Elite, it's time to stop conceding goals as over 50% of the total conceded have been let in during the last month!

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Youth intake announced: No real talent to shout about here, nobody with any real potential but I didn't expect much with very basic youth facilities and junior coaching. This does mean that my scouts can now travel round Sweden looking for any future superstars.

League: Orgryte IS 1-0 FC Trollhättan

Devestating, this wipes out our advantage over Orgryte and stops us gaining any real momentum in terms of results. We chucked this away with some terrible goalkeeping and defending, but hopefully this isn't a sign that we simply don't have the bottle to see out the remaining few games!

League: FC Rosengard 0-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Daoud

A narrow win against one of the worst defences in the league gives us a vital three points on the same day that Orgryte meet league leaders Karlstad BK. Checking the results page shows that Karlstad have done us a massive favour by beating them 2-1 enabling us to restore an advantage over the team in third!

League: FC Trollhättan 0-1 IK Oddevold

Our defeat to mid-table local rivals Oddevold allows Karlstad BK to win the league and allow other teams below us to again catch up! I have no idea what is happening to our defence as we have suddenly started leaking goals at exactly the wrong time to do so, I knew the run in wasn't going to be easy but we are simply chucking it away now.

League: Skovde AIK 0-0 FC Trollhättan

Another poor match against mid-table opposition sees us drop out of the top two as Kristianstad make a late push for promotion! A very dull game which saw Skovde have a goal dubiously chalked off, one stroke of luck which gives us a point from a match which we didn't deserve anything from, maybe that could prove decisive on the final day.


League: FC Trollhättan 1-0 Ytterby

Goal: Iglicár

Victory against relegation side Ytterby means we do what we need to in the penultimate game, picking up three points for only second time in five games. Kristianstad could only manage a goalless draw against mid-table Qviding in their fixture which allows us to sneak back into that second spot. However, our final game is against Qviding and only a win will guarantee us a play-off spot, anything less could see us chuck a seasons hard work down the drain!

League: Qviding FF 0-2 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Janevski & Brais

A fairly routine win in the end, we held our nerves and did the business to ensure we finish second in the division.

We did our best to throw it away in the last few months but managed to pull ourselves together when it mattered. The margin of success was only a sole point in the end, that stroke of luck against Skovde proving quite important in the end, though thanks to how solid our defence had been during the opening few months of the season our goal difference would still have been enough to Kristianstad.


Breaking news: FC Trollhättan are to play Jonkopings Sodra IF in their promotion play-offs.

In Sweden the team finishing second in the regional First Divisions must play a two-legged match against those finishing in the relegation zone of the First Division Elite to decide what leagues they will play in next season. This match up doesn't worry me too much as we have played a few First Division Elite teams during our cup group stage and didn't let in a single goal, it will also be useful that our oppositions morale will be rock-bottom.

Play-off: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Jonkopings Sodra IF

Goals: Daoud (x2)

Watched by a record crowd of 3,317 at Edsborgs IP, FC Trollhättan showed why they are in the play-offs with a competent display against supposedly superior opposition. An amazing performace from centre forward Daoud did the damage while the home defence effectively shut out the opposition. The only thing that could potentially put a dampner on the day was a potentially serious injury to fellow striker Iglicár.

Play-off: Jonkopings Sodra IF 1-0 FC Trollhättan

Although the away team suffered a narrow defeat there was nothing but celebration at the final whistle as the secured promotion with an aggregate 2-1 victory over Jonkopings Sodra IF.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan secure promotion to the First Division Elite!

The board and fans are understandably delighted to see us gain promotion, albeit the hard way, and I am over the moon myself! I came to FC Trollhättan to prove that I could succeed in Swedish football and I think this does that, even though we almost chucked it away completely towards the end of the season I feel that we deserve to be promoted, especially as we had only conceeded thirteen goals in the whole season!

Season Review

On the pitch we met the boards objectives and they couldn't be happier with that, we hardly took the division by storm or set it alight with our attacking power, but boy did we show that we can defend! Off the pitch we also had a solid year, with the team making a £350,000 profit even after spending a similar amount on youth training facilities. Next season should see an improved financial return with higher attendances and sponsorship revenue while also allowing FC Trollhättan to begin bringing players through the youth academy.

Key Players:

Daniel Stanisic - A solid centre back who started every game of the season, chipping in with a couple of goals and an average rating of 7.35. He contributed a great deal to our defensive stability and is rightly in the First Division South team of the year.

Daniel Ljungholm - Due to injury our right back missed about six games, but he was immovable when in the team, an automatic choice with an average rating of 7.27.

Brais - Ever present as one of our attacking midfielders, he scored a vital seven goals (joint top scorer) and provided five assists, averaging a 7.06 rating for the season.

That brings us to the end of the season and an eight week break until the players are due back from holiday, I am very happy with how the season ended even though we could have won the league had we not suffered a bad run of form just after the mid-way point. I am also very happy with FC Trollhättan and so unless anything brilliant comes along I will be staying in Sweden next season and attempting to build a decent reputation here!

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Very entertaining read! Good luck in the First Division Elite! KUTGW :thup:

Thanks for the reply, was a bit worried it might have been too much text in the updates. Doubt we are going to take the First Division Elite by storm, but I don't think we'll be in the relegation mix after pre-season.



Following promotion to the First Division Elite there is a lot of strengthening to do, even though we have only conceded one goal in the four games we have played against teams from this division I know that to rely on the squad I have would be foolish. The board have stayed as optimistic as they were last season and expect a minimum of a mid-table finish, I don't even have the choice to simply 'avoid relegation', and so I need to make sure that we are well prepared.

The next few months will most likely see quite a bit of activity in the transfer market as I look to replace certain players who I know simply won't cut it in the division while also bringing in others to provide more cover for those parts of the team where numbers are thin. The First Division Elite is a larger league than the regional ones, and so we end up playing more games making a larger squad neccessary. I will also be using the pre-season to arrange friendly games against teams which will show where we stand with regards to higher and similar quality opposition, meaning I won't be playing many (if any at all) Division Two sides.

The board have given me the following budgets with which to achieve a safe mid-table finish:

- Wage Budget £10,180 a week, currently we spend £5,751 a week, giving me a lot of room to expand.

- Transfer Budget £96,510, a pretty decent sum to poach some opposition players.

At the very minimum I will be looking to sign a new goalkeeper, left back & an attacking midfielder as those are the weakest positions in terms of quality, I will also be hoping for some decent loan signings from Malmo to provide free squad depth.


FC Trollhattan 1-2 Brondby IF

Goal: Janevski

A very good display against a full strength team, we went one down mid-way through the second half after defending pretty well, though going forward we weren't much of a threat. We scored the equaliser in the 91st minute which would have earned us a decent draw, however we just didn't see out the game. I will be looking to make this a regular fixture every season I am at FC Trollhattan as it provides a good marker of squad quality against a foreign team.

FC Trollhattan 2-0 Norrby IF

Goals: Isaac & Zeqiri

A dominant display against a team we have just left in the First Division North, using some of the new signings I have made we controlled the match for the whole 90 minutes.

FC Trollhattan 0-1 Malmo FF

A good defensive display against our parent team from the top division, going forward we were pitiful though, we were never going to get anything once we let a goal in, but I'm very happy we restricted them to only one goal.

FC Trollhattan 0-2 Varbergs BoIS FC

A painful loss against a team which finished in mid-table of the First Division Elite last season, although the team is constantly recieving new players this shows just how much we need to improve to last in this division.

FC Trollhattan 3-0 Moss FK

Goals: Iglicár (x2) & Bakraki

A confident display against Norwegian First Division (which is actually the second tier...) side Moss saw us run out easy winners, not sure how to judge this result against those from Swedish teams, but I'm happy with the display.

FC Trollhattan 1-0 Orgryte

Goal: Iglicár

Another good display against a team we have left behind, although we didn't take as many chances as I would have liked the result was never in doubt.



K. Bakraqi - A very talented young player brought in to play as an attacking midfielder, I had tried to sign him the year before on a free but missed out and had to pay a handsome £24k sum to get him.

A. Holmberg - A central defender who should shore up the defence in the new league, at £55k he definitely wasn't cheap, but a few clean sheets could be priceless at the end of the season.

F. Fendrich - Costing £14k this centre mid player will provide some competition for a first team place and could become a regular.

L. Broman - Signed on a free this young centre back will provide depth for the squad as he can cover several positions.

P. Dahlberg - The £30k price tag will seem very little to sign this keeper if he manages to stop us leaking goals in this division, it also helps that we have signed him from a divisional rival who actually went and signed someone we turned down as his replacement!

S. Senatore - Another expensive signing from a divisional rival, the £65k price tag for this left back may be a bit excessive, but we needed one desperately.

T. Lewicki - A loan from our parent team should give us a decent attacking midfielder to challenge for a first team place.

M. Haglind-Sangré - Another loan from Malmo that will provide squad depth.

A. Mahl - Although this right-back is still young he will be our starting choice after his performances in pre-season.

R. Yarsuvat, V. Rotting, M. Candemir & S. Andersson have all been signed on free transfers as future players and will be loaned out if possible.

This brings us to the end of pre-season, and all told I'm quite happy with the results (barring the loss against Varbergs) of the friendlies. The signings we have made have, in my mind, provided a much needed increase in squad depth while also bringing in some quality where it was lacking before. Our season begins next week against IK Frej who won promotion from the First Division South last season, so at least we have a reasonable start to the campaign! I think a mid-table finish should be achievable if we can avoid picking up a lot of injuries at the same time, though if our defence performs like it did last year then relegation shouldn't be a concern.

Well pre-season is over, the time for words has gone, preparation is finished, it's time for the players to show they deserve such large transfer fees and increased wages!

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Well done snatching promotion
Well done mate

Cheers :-) Think it definitely was a 'snatch' in the end, actually thought we were going to chuck it in the last few games of the league, and then in the closing stages of the play-off!



League: FC Trollhättan 1-1 Frej

Goal: Lewicki

A steady but unconvincing start to First Division Elite life, we took the lead on the hour mark but only stayed ahead 12 minutes against another newly promoted team. We had 57% possession and failed to capitalise in a game we should be winning if we are going to finish mid-table.

League: Sundsvall 3-0 FC Trollhättan

An embarassing loss against a team I tip to be near the top of the table by the end of the year, we didn't turn up to the race at all.


League: FC Trollhättan 0-1 Assyriska

The worst possible start to April, we were again out played by the opposition, we barely touched the ball and only registered one shot on target. Defeats are to be expected this year but that doesn't excuse the performance.

Team meeting: Considering our poor start to the season I get the team together to raise morale, nothing too heavy just little pick-me-up, because if it drops too low we could be in for a very long season!

League: FC Trollhättan 1-1 Atvidabergs FF

Goal: Iglicár

We took the lead after only five minutes but couldn't see off one of the other teams propping up the table, I'm not quite sure where we are going wrong but if we can't score more than once a game we won't last very long!

League: Djurgarden 4-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Bakraqi

Another woeful display, our opponents may be sitting near the top of the table but when you are letting them have three times as many shots as you are yourself, you can't expect to get anything out of the match.

Team meeting: Following our run of 2 points from a possible 15 I get back into the dressing room and tell the team they need to buck up their ideas, this is relegation form and we are rock bottom now.

League: Falkenberg 3-2 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Lundgren & Iglicár

A game of two halves if ever I did see one, we went in three down and came out and dominated the second half. Getting anything out of this game was always going to be hard after the first 45 minutes but I'm pleased with the response of the players, however I am starting to get that sinking feeling now...


Board confidence update: Although results on the pitch are less than amazing the board are happy with me, especially the signing of Lewicki who the fans love. Attendances have more than doubled from last year, but if we carry on like this then that won't last. Financially we are still making a monthly loss but it was only £18,140 compared to £48,000+ a year ago, the long term future is still stable though.

League: Trelleborgs FF 2-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Iglicár

Our third straight defeat now and rooted to the bottom of the table, things would be a lot more desperate if those around us weren't as terrible as we are currently. We had another perfect start, scoring within 10 minutes, but it all went downhill from there.

Breaking news: FC Trollhattan confirm the signing of Mattias Adelstam after the striker found himself without a club for the current season.

I'm not going to take much credit for this signing, my scout picked him up and recommended I take a look, he has a good record at this level and with cheap wage demands is worth a punt to try and notch up some more goals.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-0 Varnamo

Goal: Iglicár

Iglicár's fourth goal in five games secures out first win of the season! Another great start, leading after three minutes, however this just meant I had to endure 87 minutes of desperate defending, with our keeper giving an inspired performance!

League: Karlstad BK 0-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Soderberg (o.g)

We're slipping, it took us four minutes to take the lead in this fixture. Another great performance from those at the back helped us take maximum points against the team who won our division last season.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-0 Vasteras SK

Goal: Bakraqi

The scoreline really doesn't reflect our dominance in this game, the first time all season that we have looked comfortable.


That brings the opening phase of the season to a close, and after 10 games I'm feeling a lot better than I did after 7. We are out of the relegation zone for the first time this year thanks to our little run of wins, and hopefully we can keep improving from here on in.


There is a noticeable difference between us and those teams that are currently full-time professional clubs, however I can't ask the board to go full time just yet. We also need to make sure we play at our best for 90 minutes rather than taking the lead against teams straight away and then hoping to hold on. The manager at Atvidaberg has just lost his job and the one at Vasteras SK isn't too far behind according to the media, so I am very glad we picked up those victories or I could very well be the next in line!

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Three one nil wins in a row, very nice and much needed.

They were greatly appreciated by me, and until we got them I was fearing a winless season!

A good read, this. Well done on promotion, hope you can stay up this year.

Thanks for the feedback :-) It's looking difficult but if we can string together a decent run we should be fine, relegation with FC Trollhattan would be worse than the one I suffered with ESK.



League: Syrianska 1-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Bakraqi

A point snatched here, we had 41% possession and only 4 shots compared to the 17 that Syrianska had, it also keeps the points ticking over which is vital at the moment!

Breaking news: The FC Trollhättan board announce the completion of the youth facilities at the club.

About time, this should help with the training of our younger players although I still doubt we will be producing any world class players in the near future.

League: Sleipner 1-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Iglicár

After going one down within sixty seconds I feared the worst, however we then dominated for 89 minutes and I feel we have missed a good opportunity to pick up a win here.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-3 Landskrona

Goal: Adelstam

Our new striker notches his first goal for the club in a match that was robbed from us, we went down to 9 men with 20 minutes to go and let in two late goals to bring about our first loss for a while.

League: FC Trollhättan 0-4 Brage

Ouch. A very painful loss as goal difference could be important at the end of the season, no compaints about the result, we really were that bad.

League: Varbergs BoIS 2-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Adelstam

A disappointing loss against a team not too far above us, however, if you have 19 shots and only score 1 goal you have brought it on yourself!


League: IK Frej 0-0 FC Trollhättan

A similar story to the previous game where we dominated but couldn't convert our chances, another lost opportunity against a team we needed to beat.

League: Assyriska 1-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Adelstam

The third goal in four starts for Adelstam earns nine man FC Trollhättan a late draw against a much better team. Our central defender Janevski has picked up a 3 game ban for effectively upper cutting an opposition player. What a point this might turn out to be now that we have slipped back into the relegation zone!

Team meeting: Even though we have continued to pick up points lately I get into the dressing room to rally the morale in the hope that we can pick up a few victories now.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-1 GIF Sundsvall

Goal: Daoud

The first goal of the season for Daoud earns us a decent point against promotion chasing Sundsvall, I said at the start of the season they would win promotion and so I'm happy with this result.

League: FC Trollhättan 0-1 Djurgardens IF

We couldn't repeat the good work against the side sitting third at the moment, although it was another close match. We may be drawing a lot of games but I think we have definitely improved from the start of the season where we kept losing and leaking goals.


League: FC Trollhättan 3-1 Falkenberg

Goals: Bakraqi, Iglicár & Adelstam

A desperately needed win against fellow relegation rivals Falkenberg, we finally win one of the games we really need too! The game was nowhere near as comfortable as the scoreline suggests, and the 89th minute goal we scored will hopefully give us a bit of confidence.


We are now approaching the final stretch of the league and I'm not sure my nerves can take it, we only just squeezed out of the relegation zone with that win in the last game. We have a few games against the sides around us and if we don't pick up maximum points from Atvidaberg, Karlstad & Vasteras then the future will be a bleak one. If we could just have turned a couple of those draws into wins then we would be looking a lot more comfortable!


Career wise I still have another season on my contract but I am thinking of moving along to mainland Europe now, my immediate goal is to keep FC Trollhättan in the division, which would be a good achievement, but I have never managed on the continent and fancy a new challenge.

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You are on the continent :D

Point taken




Before the last game I tweaked the tactics slightly and went for a more direct passing style and asked our wingers to drill the crosses rather than float them in, as it gained us a victory I have changed the tactics again for the next game, hopefully it has the same effect.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan draw BK Kenty in the Second Round of the Swedish Cup.

This team is in one of the fourth tier regional divisons and has no information available to browse, safe to say I will play a very weak team and expect to win.

League: Atvidaberg 1-3 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Eriksson (o.g), Broman & Bakraqi

A massive win against fellow relegation contenders, I said we had to win this to stand a chance to stay up and the team obviously listened. We got a slice of luck with the opening goal from a corner, and even though we were pegged back Atvidaberg went into self destruct mode, getting one player sent off and then playing suicidal passes at the back, the scoreline is a bit flattering but I'll take it!

Cup: BK Kenty 0-2 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Brais & Daoud

The names of the goalscorers show just how much I changed the team for this fixture, as I think this was actually Brais first start of the season despite his massive contribution last season. A very straight forward win which gives us a ticket to the group stages and a little morale boost.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-0 Trelleborg

Goal: Stanisic

Another massive win against a team chasing promotion, we defended like our lives depended on it and then our centre back popped up at a corner at the very start of the second half to knock the wind out of Trelleborg. Our third league win in a row gives us a little bit of breathing space to those below.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan are drawn against BK Hacken (Prem Division), Halmstads BK (Prem) & IFK Varnamo in the Swedish Cup Group Stages.

Not the nicest of draws by any stretch of the imagination, but the cup is still not a priority anyway.

League: IFK Varnamo 2-1 FC Trollhättan

Goal: Lewicki

The league leaders notched up their fourth straight win in a very hard fought game, had we taken the opportunities presented to us we would have picked up a point. A good performance even if the result doesn't help.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan chairman Ljungman announces plans to sell the club to a local businessman.

This shouldn't affect us too much, we aren't in a transfer window and no deal will be concluded until very near the end of the season, I may not even be here to see the new chairman take over.

League: FC Trollhättan 1-0 Karlstad BK

Goal: Daoud

Another win against one of the teams we simply had to beat, I decided to give Daoud another start as Iglicár is firing blanks and he delivered after only four minutes. It wasn't a comfortable victory but it was a win nonetheless! I have no idea where this run of form has come from but that makes it four wins out of five this month and I reckon that effectively keeps us up now!


League: Vasteras SK 0-0 FC Trollhättan

The final game I thought we had to win to stay up, thankfully we picked up a few victories elsewhere as we were useless in this fixture, the only moment of note was a streaker on the pitch...

League: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Syrianska

Goals: Lewicki & Janevski

Another unexpected victory against a team near the top of the division, we were definitely the worse team in this fixture, having only 42% possession and 2 shots on target, but goals scored is the all important number in all football games and so we pick up another victory.

League: Landskrona 0-2 FC Trollhättan

Goals: Iglicár (x2)

I can hardly believe the run that we are on at the moment, we finished this game with 9 men yet still never looked like conceding. We are looking lethal going forward and solid at the back compared to the exact opposite not even ten games ago!

League: FC Trollhättan 3-3 Sleipner

Goals: Haglind-Sangré, Adelstam & Bakraqi

This game was every bit as exciting as the scoreline suggests, though it was nowhere near as equal as it suggests! We had three times as many shots as our opponents but looked a bit lazy at the back, once we went 3-1 up I felt we had buried them and its disappointing to drop points here as a result.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan avoid relegation from the First Division Elite as it is now mathematically impossible for those in the bottom four to catch them!


League: FC Trollhättan 2-0 Varbergs BoIS

Goals: Bakraqi & Lika (o.g)

The pressure is completely off us and now my boys are playing with confidence, this brings up our 7th win in 10 as we start to show the sort of form that would have put us right near the top of the table if we could have produced it from the beginning.

Breaking news: FC Trollhättan announce the completion of the takeover of the club by local businessman André Bellander.

Well at least that is over, not that we actually noticed any knock-on effects of the buyout. The first thing the new chairman does is tell me my job is safe and offers me a new contract for three years. I choose to delay answering him as I'm thinking of moving on after the final game.

League: Brage 2-0 FC Trollhättan

I played a rotated squad for this fixture in order to give some back up players some first team action, and we lost in easy fashion, nothing more to say really.



Well, that brings the season to an end, and what a finish it was from my boys! I'm absolutely delighted with that run of form in the last third of the season and the fact we managed to finally finish the season in tenth means we met the boards objectives of a mid-table finsh, a whole 11 points above the relegation play-off zone. Considering where we were only 10 games ago it's a great achievement to finish that high up, but I am actually rather disappointed in myself for not going with a more attacking mentality much earlier in the season when things went against us, maybe if I had gone with the more direct route from the beginning we would be much nearer the top of the table...

End of season Review:

On the pitch we met the boards objectives, and actually recorded the highest ever league position for FC Trollhättan in the process, their previous best being 13th in the First Division Elite according to the chairman. This really wouldn't have been possible without some great performances from our key players:

D. Janevski - The centre back played in every game he could when he wasn't missing due to injury, and managed an average rating of 7.24 over the season, as well as popping up with a goal and a couple of assists.

K. Bakraqi - Our attacking midfielder provided both goals, assists and a constant threat going forward, definitely worth the money paid to bring him in!

R. Iglicár - The centre forward was virtually ever-present and ended up top scorer with an average rating of 7.04, he also laid on several assists and never let opposition defenders have an easy game.

Off the pitch we have upgraded the club youth facilites and made a staggering £900,000+ profit, leaving the club in a very positive position to build on for next season.

I, however, am very torn as to whether I should see out the last year of my contract or resign and take a holiday until another position becomes available...

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The 8 or so weeks leading up to the new season started well enough, the new board stated their desire to improve on last years results and increased my budgets to reflect this.

In order to achieve a top half finish I am given the following:

Wage budget increased to just over £11,500 a week.

Transfer budget of £164,000 for new players.

Very nice, very tempted to stay. However, after privately stating how ambitious they are the board go on to publicly undermine me.

Following several rejected bids from Premier Division teams for players such as Stanisic, Janevski, Bakraqi & Iglicàr the board decide to intervene and accept on my behalf. I'm not having that, the board have made my mind up for me.

Breaking news: FC Trollhattan announce that after two seasons in charge manager W. Spearing has handed in his notice and will be leaving the club.

I was going to stay with the club and see out my contract following the finish to last season and the increased budgets, but by agreeing to sell some of my best players I've decided to leave now.


Only a couple of days after leaving I had Leicester offer me a job for the last dozen games of the English season (screenshot will follow when I get home from work) however, they are miles afloat at the bottom of the Championship, in administration and miles over their wage budget, so I reject them. They then go on to offer me the job another 3 times in as many weeks without taking the hint!

This brings me to now, I believe it has been several months that I have been on holiday with no joy with regards to a new position, even though I get plenty of news articles telling me clubs are interested!

So, my next update will follow once I get back into a club, which will hopefully be soon, as if I spend much longer unemployed I will be joining the queue at the job center...

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Hopefully a job will come up soon.
Hope you can get offered a job that interests you. It's annoying waiting around for the right offer to come along.

Waiting and watching the calendar tick by wasn't the most exciting of times... In the end I think I was out of a job for about 7-8 months, though it was partly down to me not wanting to accept some jobs.


After recieving offers from Trelleborg & Atvidaberg of the Swedish First Division Elite it looked like I was destined to go back to Sweden for my third club, even though I really wanted to try a new country. That was until a couple of jobs in Norway popped up in their First Division (which is the second tier) at relegation club Ranheim and mid-table Hamarkameratene, I applied for both and finally got back into football management...


The club itself plays at the Briskeby Gressbane ground with a capacity of 10,200 according to Wiki, and during its time as a club since 1918 it has failed to win any major competitions, even though it has finished third in the Norwegian Premier Division in 1970 and also got to 6 semi-finals in the Norwegian Football Cup. Currently sitting 8th in the league with 8 games to go means I have no worries about relegation but could potentially sneak into the play-offs if everything goes my way, however, I will be more than happy to simply get through this season and begin to leave my mark on the club next year. The squad seems to be well equipped to finish off the season though I will need to pick up a left back on a free contract as a temporary solution to the fact that the team doesn't have one that is fit.


League: HamKam 1-0 Sogndal

Goal: Heggeland (o.g)

A very even match, against the team one place above us, which gives me the best possible start to life at my new club. Apparently this is the clubs first win in 5, so it's nice to make an instant impact.

League: Bodo/Glimt 1-0 HamKam

An expected loss against a team chasing the league title, it was a fairly easy game for them really but I am starting to figure out who deserves a place in my team.

League: HamKam 1-1 Nybergsund

Goal: Darboe

Very similar to the match against Sogndal except we couldn't keep a clean sheet this time, with Nybergsund also chasing a play-off place I can at least see that we can match those teams near the top of the table.

Youth Intake: For the first time in this career I have finally got a youth player worth taking a second look at. David Arnesen is only 16 and already could be our first choice left back, with a 5-star potential I'll be trying to bring him through the ranks.


Breaking news: Hamarkameratene chairman Thomas Martinsen announces the club is subject to a take-over bid from a local businessman.

Thankfully the knock-on effects won't affect us during the end season but I hope it is all resolved by pre-season, looking at the finances the club could do with a cash injection...

League: Lorenskog 1-3 HamKam

Goals: Darboe (x2) & Ruud

We went behind early on but once we equalised there was only going to be one winner in this fixture, a great performance from out centre forward Darboe capped a good all round team performance.

League: HamKam 0-2 Sandnes Ulf

The difference in class between the team in the second automatic promotion spot and us in mid-table was all too clear to see unfortunately, I do find it amusing that Sandnes Ulf had 1 shot on target but scored 2...

League: Lyn 4-1 HamKam

Goal: Darboe

Ouch! A spineless defeat against a team below us in the league, I have no idea what happened here but some players need to buck up their ideas, our defending was simply suicidal!

League: HamKam 3-2 Floy

Goals: Darboe (x2) & Hagen (pen)

Very disappointed with the scoreline, we stormed to a 3-0 lead and held it until the 80th minute when we switched off completely. Complacencey seems to be a bit of a problem when games look over and done with.


League: Moss 0-0 HamKam

A rotated squad puts in a good show and keeps a clean sheet during our final game of the season.


Well, we finished one place below the play-offs and one place higher than when I took over, so definitely a run of games with some positives. I know exactly who I will be keeping for the next season and who will be shown the door, I've also had a couple months to scout the country for some new players to bring in, the only problem is that until the board takeover is complete I am under a transfer embargo.

Although I only took control of 8 games I have picked up on one key player, Abdou Darboe who played 7 matches and picked up 6 goals and an assist in that time.

With what I have seen I am confident of building on a decent foundation at this club, and want to get Hamarkameratene back into the Premier Division before finally challenging for some silverware, so it's a good thing the board gave me a 4 year contract because I have some long term goals!

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Nice move of club.
Well a move to Norway is still a nw country :) Good job on finishing the season higher than where you started. Now, you have time to prepare for your first full season :)

Thanks, I'm just glad to be out of Sweden and into a new challenge, it really did look like I was going to have to go back after a while and I wouldn't have liked to face FC Trollhattan really, though after checking it isn't the same team I left, virtually everyone has been sold on in under a year.

Goodluck at HamKam, I hope it will turn out just like FC Trollhattan will.

Nice threat you've got going here :thup:

Thanks for the feedback! :) Fingers crossed for this team, I think I could have built a decent team at FC Trollhattan but thankfully it looks like that here at Hamarkameratene too. There is definitely a good base of players at the core of the HamKam team, and with a nickname like that you can't go wrong!



Breaking news: Havard Guttormsen announces the completed takeover of Hamarkameratene and states his ambition to bring success to the clubs supporters.

In a personal message to me the new owner states he won't be getting rid of me (which is nice to hear!) and that he is providing a large cash injection to the club to make us competitive, as a result my budgets are increased:

Wage budget of £6,750 a week, this gives me around £2k a week to play with and with the average wage being under £300 it is more than enough.

Transfer budget of £63,980, a pretty kitty considering how little players appear to cost in this league.

All that I need to do is achieve promotion with these budgets, so no pressure there..! I'm actually happy to take that as the expectation for the season as I was going to aim for it anyway, so it's nice to see the board have similar expectations, however, I'm not going to over reach and choose the league winner budget because the increases won't make a great deal of difference.

A couple of days later the promotion odds are released and sees Hamarkameratene joint fourth favourite at 20-1, so it seems that the board, media & myself have a pretty consistent view of how we are going to perform.

Friendly: HamKam 0-1 Brann

The Premier Division team came expecting a walk-over but left with a hard fought victory, a good display defensively from us kept the score respectable and we could have snatched a draw.

Friendly: HamKam 0-1 Rosenborg

A second consecutive narrow loss against a Premier Division team in which we, again, could have pinched a draw. Quite happy with the performances so far, but as it is only pre-season I won't be getting too excited!

Friendly: HamKam 1-0 Baerum

Goal: Baba

We dominated possession and if we weren't wasteful we would have scored more against the team from our division, a third good performance.

Friendly: HamKam 1-1 Lorenskog

Goal: Ajeti

Pretty annoyed that we didn't win this, we had the lions share of possession as well as a bucket full of shots but when our lower league opponents got their one shot of the game they scored.

Friendly: Vigor 1-3 HamKam

Goals: Darboe (x3)

A great display from our centre forward and a deserved hat-trick to see off amateur club Vigor. I only played this friendly as a result of a transfer clause to sign one of their midfielders.

Friendly: HamKam 2-2 Ull/Kisa

Goals: Darboe & Djupesland

Another wasteful display against a lower league team, we took the lead twice and chucked it twice. Probably a fair result in all honesty.


On the transfer front I have also made a few changes, getting rid of a lot of the deadwood while bringing in a few new faces to strengthen the weaker areas of the team or to provide squad depth in others.

L. Baba - A central midfielder signed by the old manager but only able to join the club now, has had a good showing in pre-season and is looking like a first team player.

T. Bremnes - A versatile defender who gives me some depth in numbers but will most likely end up in the starting XI on most occasions as he hasn't had a poor performance yet.

B. Ajeti - Signed to provide a second option up front as any injury to Darboe will essentially erase our goal threat. Will probably get a good few games to make sure Darboe doesn't get too comfortable.

D. Bakken - We have no goalkeeper worth mentioning and so in comes this young player, signed to be a back up to Vangen.

A. Vangen - Essentially our first choice keeper at a cost of £8k from one of our pre-season opponents.

L. Paulsen - Signed for £6k and I'm amazed to find a player like this at an amateur club, can play pretty much anywhere, has 7 seasons Premier Division & First Division experience, and appears to be a real snatch!

That brings us to the end of pre-season and although I would still like to pick up a left back, another central midfielder and an attacking winger for some more squad depth I feel that we are in a good place at the moment. We may only have won 2 of our 6 friendly games but considering some of the opposition I am happy with the performances.

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League: HamKam 0-0 Bryne

Hardly the most thrilling start to the new season. We failed to capitalise on the chances given to us in the opening game of the season, although it was a fairly equal game we would have won comfortably if we could hit the back of the net.

League: Asker 1-4 HamKam

Goals: Bremnes (x2), Gando Ba & Adebahr

Central defender Bremnes was lethal from corners to give Hamarkameratene the lead twice against a determined opponent before two late goals topped off a dominating performance.

Off the pitch I have convinced the board to increase the number of coaches at the club at the same time that a small increase in season ticket holders is recorded. I have also allowed 16 year old hot prospect David Arnesen to go on loan to divisional rivals Follo, they are newly promoted and will hopefully give him some first team action. I have also had to give him a professional contract as several Premier Division teams are registering their interest.

League: HamKam 2-0 Baerum

Goals: Hagen (pen) & Darboe

Another convincing performance where the outcome looked obvious from the very start, we took the lead within 5 minutes and our opponents barely touched the ball for the remainder of the match.

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene draw Second Division Nardo in the Norwegian Cup First Round.

A simple enough draw and I will expect to progress, I'm not sure what the board want me to achieve in this competition but the league is my priority.

League: HamKam 1-1 Sandnes Ulf

Goal: Paulsen

The right result in a very close game against a team chasing the title, we never looked like losing and actually led the game until the 76th minute, these sort of results give me hope that promotion isn't too ambitious.

League: Fyllingsdalen 0-3 HamKam

Goals: Gando Ba, Darboe & Baba

This match was as straightforward as the scoreline suggests, we took the lead early in the first half and never looked back as we looked dangerous going forward and tight at the back. The press seem to think that following our run of results we are now favourites for automatic promotion, but I won't be getting carried away just yet, there is a long way to go!

League: Follo 0-1 HamKam

Goal: Darboe

Probably the right result at the end of the day, we deserved to win but it was a tight match, however, the win is the most important thing and it means we are undefeated going into May.


Cup: Nardo 0-1 HamKam a.e.t

Goal: Dahlen

The most boring game I have ever seen, we played 120 minutes and only had one highlight to show and that was the scrappy goal scored in the 94th minute. I played a fully rotated squad of reserves but I didn't expect it to end up being this close, we could have easily been shown up.

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene draw amateur club Flekkefjord FK in the Swedish Cup Second Round.

Nice, another favourable draw means I can again play a team full of reserves and youth players and still expect to go through.

League: HamKam 2-1 Lyn

Goals: Gando Ba (x2)

Our attacking midfielder really was the only difference between the two sides in this match, lethal in front of goal we led 2-0 with 5 minutes to go and then let in a very soft goal but held on to pick up the win.

Cup: Flekkefjord 0-4 HamKam

Goals: Djupesland (x2, 1 pen), Schmitz & Skagevang

A Hamarkameratene team including only a few regular starters tore apart amateur side Flekkefjord as they showed that there would be no romantic upset in the cup.

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene are drawn at home to Premier Division Viking FK in the Swedish Cup Third Round.

Looks like our run of nice cup matches is over, but after seeing where Viking are in the league I think we can get through.

League: Notodden 1-1 HamKam

Goal: Djupesland

A real snatch and grab as we equalised in the 90th minute, we didn't deserve a point and the full time team talk made it clear how disappointing it is to be outplayed by relegation contenders Notodden.

League: Start 2-1 HamKam

Goal: Darboe

Our first defeat of the season and it's a painful one, as we let in a very late goal to fellow promotion chasers. No complaints about the result, it might be harsh to lose so late in the game but we didn't really deserve anything from the match.

Cup: HamKam 3-1 Viking

Goals: Darboe (x3)

What a result, and on my 100th game as a manager! I chose to play a full strength team virtually and we looked a million miles better than Viking. We led 3-0 within half and hour and went on to batter the opposition goal, hitting the woodwork another 3 times before they got a late consolation.

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene will face either First Division Fana or Premier Division Lillestrom in the Norwegian Cup Fourth Round.

Well, we will either get lucky and progress at the expense of relegation side Fana or our cup run will come to an end at Lillestrom, still it was good while it lasted!

International call-ups: I have started to give D. Arnesen some appearances after recalling him from Follo (they weren't playing him) and he has now been called up to the Under-19's. Darboe has also recieved a call up by Gambia for the first time since I took over Hamarkameratene, though he deserves it after his goal return in that time.

League: HamKam 2-2 Bodo/Glimt

Goals: Schmitz & Djupesland

I really thought we had pinched this after scoring in the last few minutes but we switched off and were punished.


Sitting here after the opening portion of the season I'm quite happy with the position we are in, although there are places I need to strengthen in the squad. The cup run has given us some extra income and allowed me to play some of the reserves and youth players, though I am still waiting to see who I will be facing.


The league is looking alright, we are in the mix for promotion but we need to start winning games again if we are going to go up automatically, we haven't won in our last three fixtures in the league and as a result we have dropped from first to fifth. I will also be looking for another striker as Ajeti has shown he simply cannot score, and if we lost Darboe to injury it would be a big loss to us!

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This is a very strange month in the league calendar, seeing only one fixture, plus our Swedish Cup game, which means I will play a few friendlies to keep match fitness up.

League: Strommen 2-2 HamKam

Goals: Darboe (x2)

Our central midfielder Baba got himself sent off with half an hour to go with the scores all tied at one-all, and only a few minutes later we found ourselves behind. Once Strommen were awarded a penalty with ten to go I feared the worst, but up stepped Vangen to make an amazing save and our centre forward snatched a point only a minute later leaving me quite satisfied with this point.

Breaking news: Relegation threatened Fana defeat Premier Division Lillestrom on penalties to set up a fourth round tie with Hamarkameratene in the Swedish Cup.

Maybe our luck in the competition will continue as we should have no problem defeating this team.

Cup: Fana 1-2 HamKam

Goals: Gando Ba & Darboe

We made this a lot harder than it needed to be, we looked spineless for the first half and went in a goal down, but after being given the hair dryer treatment my side went out and got the result everyone predicted!

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene draw Premier Division Molde in the Swedish Cup Quarter Final.

This game falls right in between a busy period of league matches and with us not being in a position to cope with dropped points I have some serious thinking to do with regards to team selection for this match, though a potential semi-final is tempting...


Board confidence update: The Hamarkameratene board inform me they are pleased with my management and extremely happy with the signing of Bremnes in defence. Off the pitch we made a loss of £74,430 for the month, but the long term future of the club is stable.

The transfer window also re-opens in July and I dabble my hand a little bit, though unfortunately I cannot find the striker that we desperately need.

Per Kristian Borck - A pretty handy central defender who will warm the bench, a signing made with the next few years in mind as he has some potential.

Jakob Revheim - A versatile defender who gives us some more cover along the back, will be around the matchday squad even if he doesn't start.

League: HamKam 2-0 Fana

Goals: Gando Ba (x2)

Another outstanding performace from our attacking midfielder buries Fana for the second time in a row. The link up play between him and Darboe is quite something and they really work well together to create and score goals.

League: HamKam 0-0 Sogndal

A missed opportunity against a side just above us in the league, we also missed a chance to go top of the table by failing to win this game. The match itself was definitely one of the more forgettable of my reign.

League: Nybergsun 1-2 HamKam

Goals: Gando Ba & Schmitz

It's another great performance from Gando Ba, and he is fast becoming the star player of the squad. A routine win with no great talking points, but 3 points we deserved to take home.

League: Moss 2-1 HamKam

Goal: Paulsen

What a wasted opportunity, we lead the team top of the division with only 5 minutes to go and proceed to throw it away in spectacular fashion, not only does this keep us off top spot but it allows Moss to double the points gap between us!


League: HamKam 1-0 Asker

Goal: Schmitz

Left to defend our lead with 10 men for over half an hour meant this was a very hard earned result, Baba gets himself sent off for persistent fouling yet again and becomes the first player in my career to have his wages docked.

League: Bryne 0-1 HamKam

Goal: Darboe (pen)

A pretty forgettable match where possession was spread evenly but we had all the chances to score. It's another victory and that's what really matters I guess.

Cup: HamKam 1-1p Molde

Goal: Baba

Gutted! We got a lucky break by equalising in the last minute of normal time only to take a lead on the penalty shoot-out and then lose our bottle. We went down 3-4 in the end but my boys gave everything they had to match a team right at the top of the Premier Division and never really looked outclassed. My only real regret is that our next league fixture is in 3 days and my whole starting XI will be in no state to play it!

The board inform me that they are very happy with our performance in the cup as they only expected us to get to the third round, so we went two better, and that also helped to bring in £277k prize money on top of all gate receipts, so definitely a good money spinner.

League: Baerum 2-0 HamKam

I knew this was going to happen, and against a side that we probably would have beaten had our side not been exhausted. I played a rotated squad but we just didn't have the class to win.

League: HamKam 0-0 Fyllingsdalen

Another boring game in which we drop points against a side we should easily defeat. There is only one reason we aren't winning the league and thats because we keep blowing our opportunities.

League: Sandnes Ulf 0-2 HamKam

Goals: Gando Ba & Djupesland (pen)

A much needed win against a side that was one place above us, Gando Ba consistently performs to a high standard and once Sandnes went down to 10 men we had the result wrapped up.


Well that takes us up to the final stretch in the league and we still have to play all the teams above us, so it really is in our hands, if we perform like we can then we'll get automatic promotion, if we perform badly then it's still possible we wont even make the play-offs.


Sitting fourth in the league is probably a good reflection of how we have played so far, but now that the cup run is over we can fully turn to the league. One of the main positives going in to the final third of the season is that we have the meanest defence of all the teams, all we need to do is keep Darboe & Gando Ba fit and scoring and I think we stand a real chance to be in the title mixer!

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Your play for starting out in a new league has been well. BUt being able to concentrate primarily on the league now is good. Automatic spot are not far out of reach.

Yeah we have been playing well recently and if I could avoid the play-offs it would be nice, there is something really irritating about missing out on a promotion when you get beaten in the play-offs. The cup run was unexpected and I just hope the efforts don't affect us in the league!


I had managed to play through the last set of games, all the way up to the last fixture, which had seen me sitting third by 2 points needing to beat top placed Moss to get automatic promotion and potentially the league title, however, the game had other ideas and crashed. I had considered giving up as I'd lost the last 10 played fixtures and they had gone pretty well, but I am enjoying the save and so I'm going to carry on anyway!


League: Lyn 1-1 HamKam

Goal: Gando Ba

We took the lead very early on against play-off chasing Lyn but then went to sleep, we were completely out played by our opponents and are very lucky to actually get a point.


League: HamKam 0-1 Follo

A terrible loss against a team that shouldn't give us any problems, we had more possession & more shots than Follo but they got the all important goal and that's all that matters!

League: HamKam 0-2 Notodden

I have no idea how we lost, let alone conceded 2 goals, we dominated but weren't clinical.

League: HamKam 0-0 Start

A bore draw, and it really was boring. What a terrible run of form we are on now, and I am ready to admit that automatic promotion is now out of the picture.

League: Bodo/Glimt 1-7 HamKam

Goals: Schmitz (x2), Baba, Darboe, Vindenes (x2) & Hagen

Wow. Yeah that really is seven goals we scored. I have no idea where that performance came from, and I think that is actually the highest score of my career, but I can't help but think I'd have rather won 2-1 and had the other 5 goals spread through the last few fixtures... This game is the highest win in HamKam's history, as well as the highest scoring game and resulted in the team of the week containing 8 of our players!

Youth intake: Another nice candidate in Steven Garvey, 5-star rated I will sign him on professional terms and try and bring him through the ranks along with last years potential superstar.


League: HamKam 0-0 Strommen

I didn't even realise we had played this fixture with promotion chasing Strommen, we have failed to beat them in 6 games now and although we defended well we never came close to breaking that run in this fixture.


Nice to know that someone out there wants me, however, even though it would be a step up in virtually every way I don't want to jump ship just yet, apart from recent results I'm quite happy here.

League: Fana 1-1 HamKam

Goal: Hagen

Seems like we are simply making the same mistakes every game, at this rate there is a real possibility that we might actually slip out of the play-off spots.

League: Sogndal 1-1 HamKam

Goal: Gando Ba

I might as well have the match write ups on copy & paste...

League: HamKam 2-1 Nybergsund

Goals: Dalen (o.g) & Skagevang

Wooohooo! We finally win a game, I can't remember how long ago it was that we took maximum points from a match, but it's a welcome change from playing well and getting nowhere. This result secures our place in the promotion play-off spots.

League: HamKam 0-1 Moss

A loss to the team which sits in third in the table, they didn't have a single shot so we decided to gift them victory in the last 10 minutes with the best own goal I have ever seen.


I am extremely disappointed with where we have finished in the table, we didn't take our chances and the fact that we can go on a run where we only win 2 of our last 10 games yet still have the best defence in the league just shows that we have truely blown it and have no one to blame but ourselves!

Play-off Round One: Strommen 1-2 HamKam a.e.t

Goals: Knowles & Djupesland (pen)

We got drawn against an opponent that we haven't beaten in the 6 fixtures we have played against them and went all out to finally beat them! With no decent striker fit I had to play young Knowles up top and he grabbed his first goal of the season with a close range tap in. We spent the rest of normal time trying to hang on but let in a late equaliser. Going into extra time I feared the worst as everyone looked nervous but we got a lucky penalty and took the opportunity offered to us!

Play-off Round Two: Moss 2-1 HamKam

Goal: Darboe

I'm starting to learn that having 60% possession and a bucket full of shots really is no guarantee that you will get anything from a game, a hard match up against a team we have only beaten twice in 7 games now and true to form we failed to deliver.

That brings us to the end of the season and I am gutted, with only 10 games to go we looked a good bet for promotion but lady luck deserted us and the goals dried up too, so it looks like we will be spending another season in the First Divsion.

The board are 'content' with my performance in charge this season, which I assume means that if we don't hit the ground running next year I may well find myself sacked for the first time, the only saving grace was our cup run and the performances of my signings.

With regards to the players I have two that have been truely outstanding:

Espen Schmitz - The centre back played every game at an average rating of 7.34, popped up with 6 goals from corners, and is a very strong contender for the First Division player of the year.

Mamadou Gando Ba - The attacking midfielder was outstanding, he scored 11 goals, had an average rating of 7.14 and provided 9 assists, I really couldn't ask for more. Unfortunately he got injured against Sogndal and missed the play-offs too and we really felt his absence.

Unless any really amazing opportunities come along I will be here next season, and I will accept nothing less than a title challenge. There are some players who simply don't put in a full shift for 90 minutes and so I will be fairly active in the transfer window, but at the end of the day this season was a missed opportunity and I am gutted!

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The board get in touch straight away and inform me of my budgets for the coming season, giving me a choice of top-half finish, promotion or title challenge, looking at the budgets themselves I opt to go for the top-half finish so that I am not straight down the job centre if we don't hit the ground running.

Wage Budget - £11,580 per week, this is another increase on last year and I doubt I will need it all, though in order to keep some of my better players I have had to up their wages.

Transfer Budget - £94,510 is a lot to spend in this division, and its another increase on last year, I find it difficult to believe I will spend all of it.

The board have also sent me an update on how things stand with regards to my job, and when the phrases 'performing better', 'poor performance' and 'slightly disappointing' are thrown around you know things need to change soon, my only saving grace is my apparently extremely tight control over wages.

It's not really surprising that the board are happy with the financial grasp I have when they announce turnover of £2mil for the last season, including £600k in prize money for both competitions, without our lovely run in the cup we wouldn't have made a profit, which stood at £300k. However, this doesn't get reinvested in the club when I ask them to upgrade our training facilities following a recent downgrade due to technological advances.

Friendly: HamKam 0-0 Rosenborg II

A tight contest against the Premier Divisions reserve team, I felt we probably deserved to win but these early matches are all about fitness and team coherence.

Friendly: HamKam 0-1 Fredrikstad

We have only ourselves to blame for losing this match against Premier Division opposition, we matched them in every department but Djupesland missed a penalty early in the first half and it was never going to be our day.

Friendly: HamKam 1-0 Sarpsborg

Goal: Birknes (o.g)

We really deserved to win this match against the team from the top tier as we dominated in every department, it's nice to get our first victory of pre-season and there were some really good performaces from my side.

Friendly: HamKam 5-1 Biri

Goals: Arnesen, Vindenes, Hjort, Paulsen & Mienna

The amateur club didn't stand a chance, nice to see a few new signings on the score sheet as well as our potential 'superstar' Arnesen.

Friendly: HamKam 4-1 Valdres

Goals: Darboe (x3) & Adebahr

As straight forward as the last game, Darboe had his hat-trick wrapped up within half an hour against the Second Division side and it was only a lapse in concentration toward the end of the match that saw us concede.

Friendly: HamKam 3-0 Stange

Goals: Gando Ba, Djupesland & Pettersen (o.g)

Our third simple match in a row, this time against another amateur club, nothing special to mention really.

Friendly: HamKam 1-1 Raufoss

Goal: Hjort

Another late lapse in concentration means we end up drawing against Second Division Raufoss, but they deserved the draw as we didn't play particularly well.


Transfer wise has been very quiet for us this season, only a trio of players brought in, and although the out side seems very busy it is due to a raft of reserves and youth players being released. The trio sent out on loan are the best prospects in terms of our youth and so a season of first team action should really aid development.

M. Hjort - £14k to pick up a new striker is a small price to pay, will most likely share the sole centre forward role with Darboe and hopefully rotation will stop either getting complacent.

T. Hoas - Parting with £18k to pick up this centre mid from our division rivals is a small price to pay if he can deliver, he will most likely be one of the first names on the team sheet as long as he does the business.

T. Mienna - £10k to bring in an attacking midfielder to most likely be a rotation player is a bit steep but again he is from a rival and so I'm happy to spend it.

Coming up to the start of the season the media release our promotion odds at 20-1 which puts us fourth favourite and that seems about right looking around the opposition, however, I said the same thing before the start of the last season and we blew it, so I won't take any notice of this. We will be able to see just where we stand after the first few games as we meet promotion rivals and awkward buggers Strommen first followed by Moss, both teams we struggled to match last year, if they don't go particularly well then I fear we haven't improved much on last year!

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Unlucky in the play-offs, think you can take that step this year!
Losing in the playoffs is always gutting, better luck this year :)
Too bad you lost in the chase after promotion mate, goodluck next season!:thup:

you're gonna jump ship when a next offer comes along?

Thanks, it was pretty gutting but I sort of expected it when I saw the teams we would face, we never had much luck against either opponent before. This year is looking a bit more promising and I want to go up automatically, I don't think the board will keep me around if I don't manage it anyway!

I won't be leaving HamKam this season as I want to prove I can do it, plus there are some good signs for the next couple of seasons with our youth players, but obviously if I don't deliver then it may not be up to me ultimately!



League: HamKam 0-0 Strommen

It's another unremarkable start to a season this year with this bore draw between two promotion chasers, though a draw against a team we have only beaten once in our eight previous meetings is probably a good result. Unfortunately L. Paulsen picked up a pretty bad injury and will be out for around 3 months, painful!

League: Moss 0-1 HamKam

Goal: Hjort

Our new centre forward struck just before half time to help us see of another team we have struggled to beat in the past, however, this was a slightly more comfortable result than the score suggests, it's nice to pick up our first win against a team tipped to be near the top of the table by the end.

League: HamKam 2-3 Stabaek

Goals: Hjort & Djupesland

A very sore loss against a team relegated from the Premier Division last season, we came from behind twice to show good determination but switched off in the 92nd minute and got punished for it. To add insult to injury Gando Ba picked up a heavy knock which will keep him out for almost 2 months, my team is falling apart!

League: HamKam 4-0 Nybergsund

Goals: Djupesland (x2) & Hjort (x2)

Finally we show our class and absolutely destroy the current table toppers, and the only team who had picked up maximum points to date. We had the game finished by half time but Djupesland managed to get himself sidelined for 2 weeks by picking up an injury, these are all first team players being knocked out here...

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene draw Second Division FK Orn Horten in the Norwegian Cup First Round.

Similar to last season the cup is not a priority, though I would like a little run if we get a favourable draw again, this tie should give us no problems.

League: Sandefjord 0-4 HamKam

Goals: Hagen (pen), Darboe, Vindenes & Lauritsen

The second successive game in which we score 4 goals, and with 3 goals scored by players not considered starters at the moment. Lauritsen is on the transfer list but stepped up to replace Gando Ba and topped off a good performace with a goal, it also sees Darboe start his first game and pick up a goal too.


Board confidence update: It seems I have a very fickle board as they are suddenly 'very pleased' with my performance in charge, only a few months after telling me how disappointed they are, we have had a good start to the season though so a little praise is nice.

League: Ull/Kisa 0-1 HamKam

Goal: Vindenes

An absolute peach of a free-kick is enough to keep up our winning run and see off the mid-table side. It was a very close affair settled by a touch of magic mid-way through the first half.

Cup: Orn Horten 0-2 HamKam

Goals: Borck (x2)

Our young centre back knocked in two headers from set pieces as heavily rotated side does enough to see off our lower league opposition, nothing special but an outstanding performance from a young player with plenty of potential.

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene get drawn away from home to amateur side Djerv 1919 in the Norwegian Cup Second Round.

Lady luck favours us again in the cup this year as we get another easy route through, as always it will be a rotated side that plays.

League: Lyn 1-1 HamKam

Goal: Schmitz

A very scrappy match in which we picked up several bookings and dropped points against a team hovering outside the play-off spots. Schmitz popped up with a header from a corner as he did regularly last season but we simply didn't play well enough to win.

League: HamKam 1-0 Bodo/Glimt

Goal: Hagen

We left it late to win this game but we would have had no one to blame but Darboe if we hadn't picked up the 3 points, he missed at least 4 clear cut chances before half time and won't be starting again for a little while, shameful.

Cup: Djerv 1-3 HamKam

Goals: Hagen, Ajeti (x2)

The upset was on the cards for the first half hour as Djerv took the lead and held it, but two late goals in the first half saw us take control before Ajeti struck a second time just after the break.

Breaking news: The Norwegian Cup Third Round sees Hamarkameratene drawn at home to Premier Division Aalesund, who have won the competition twice before.

Sitting mid-table in the top division our opponents will probably be too much for us, however, we had some good results against Premier Division sides last year and in pre-season so I won't be too negative.

League: HamKam 0-0 Follo

Disappointing that we couldn't win here, Follo are quickly becoming a bogey team for us as we have only scored once in four fixtures against a team that is always below us in the table.

League: Odd 0-1 HamKam

Goal: Gando Ba

Back from injury and back on the score sheet, this was a good victory against a team only a couple of places behind us and the fact that we won shows we have improved on last season when we regularly bottled the important games.


Well I didn't really expect to be sitting top of the table so that's a bonus, but the important thing is that we are already opening up a small gap to the teams fourth and below. Although I expected Strommen to be chasing promotion I am surprised that Nybergsund are keeping pace with us, they have really improved on last season. I won't be getting too carried away with the table just yet as I believe we were in a similar position last season and went on to slide down the league.


I have no complaints with our opening run of results where we have only lost the one match, and that was against a team who played in the top tier last season, it's also nice to see that we are scoring more and conceding less (if that was possible) compared to last year. The fact we have only conceded against two teams so far does fill me with confidence and if we keep that up then we should be challenging near the top throughout the season. Our next few fixtures sees us playing teams in the bottom half so hopefully we can keep us this run a bit longer before playing our cup fixture. Looking good so far, fingers crossed!

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Your Board should be happy to see you at the top of the table! :thup:

They did pop up and say they were delighted with me just after the last update, but they are so fickle I've started ignoring them! I think if it ever looked like automatic promotion was beyond us I would find myself out of a job.

Looking better this time :thup:
Very impressive to see you top at the moment, hope you can hang on to it, good luck!

Fingers crossed this time! I think the squad has the quality, I just don't think they had the composure to see it out last year, so hopefully things have changed this season!



League: Skeid 0-4 HamKam

Goals: Bremnes, Baba (x2) & Hjort

A very confident performance from the boys and Skeid never looked like threatening us, goal difference may well come into play as Strommen continue to match us every week so far.

League: HamKam 3-0 Baerum

Goals: Bremnes, Schmitz & Hoas

Taking the lead within a minute is always going to give you the upper hand, scoring 3 goals in half an hour will usually kill off any opponent, we are looking a lot more clinical than last year and it's another game without conceding.

Cup: HamKam 2-0 Aalesund

Goals: Adebahr & Bremnes

We had a bit of a break in the league (still cant get used to this mid season holiday), and so I chose a full strength team. It was a close affair, and very scrappy, but we took our chances and into the next round we go!

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene have been drawn at home to Premier Division Kongsvinger in the Norwegian Cup Fourth Round.

Another top tier side but every time I feel less and less worried about facing these teams, I'm not getting too confident, but I haven't seen any real difference in class between the two leagues in all the matches we have played against those sides.

Managerial Award: Finally I pick up the Manager of the Month award for the first time in my career, although I have finished second countless times, I must be doing something right. This comes at the same time as I find out that Bremnes, Schmitz & Baba take a clean sweep in the Player of the Month award!


Cup: HamKam 1-0 Kongsvinger

Goal: Hoas

A very hard fought match against a mid-table side, I think this result owes a lot to the amazing run we are on as a less confident side would probably have lost!

Breaking news: The Norwegian Cup Quarter Final will see Hamarkameratene travel to Premier Division leaders Rosenborg!

Probably our biggest test as a team so far, last year we lost to eventual cup winners Molde FK, but this is an even steeper challenge.

The board also take this opportunity to remind me that I can change my season expectations if I wish too as there is a transfer window just around the corner, I'm not going to do that though. Even though I want automatic promotion I don't need the increased budgets or pressure!

League: HamKam 0-0 Bryne

A dull draw in which not a great deal happened, it has been about a fortnight since our last competitive game and I'll put this down to a lack of match sharpness. Amazingly this brings up a record total of 732 minutes since our keeper Vangen last conceded, so we all know what will happen in the next match.

League: Sogndal 1-0 HamKam

Typical. We never should have lost this match but after seeing how long it had been since we conceded it was always going to happen.

League: Floy 0-0 HamKam

Another terrible result means we now sit 5 points behind Strommen at the top of the table, thats quite a gap really! Our next fixture is against the league leaders and I feel that may be a make or break point in the title race! The board also decide to let me know I should be doing a lot better (after only 3 bad results!) and I don't think they are ones for waiting to see long term improvements.


League: Strommen 0-1 HamKam

Goal: Hoas

What a result! It was by no means an easy victory, and we hardly played the 'beautiful game' but we dug out the result when it mattered and cut our oppositions lead to only 2 points.

League: Stabaek 2-2 HamKam

Goals: Hagen & Hjort

Again we fell behind to this team but managed to fight our way in front only to let in a goal with 5 minutes left to play. It was a very even and entertaining game, but right now I need maximum points from our fixtures as the chasing pack closes on us in second.

League: HamKam 2-1 Moss

Goals: Hjort (x2)

Snatched the win with the very last kick of the game with a very dubious goal! Hjort had seen one chalked off when we led 1-0 for offside, when he was clearly a mile onside, and maybe the lino has tried to make amends, either way we get a vital victory against an underperforming team.

Cup: Rosenborg 0-3 HamKam

Goals: Hagen, Gando Ba & Hoas

Unbelieveable! I took the decision to rest several first team players as I didn't want the cup run to cost us points in the league and boy did the reserves make the most of the opportunity! The result flatters us slightly but we definitely deserved this win over the Premier Division leaders and it sees us go one round further than last year. I still can't quite believe this result, but even though we played in front of a crowd of 28,528 away from home we didn't let the occasion get to us!

Breaking news: After Hamarkameratene's heroics against Rosenborg they will face five-time winners Lillestrom in the Norwegian Cup Semi Final!

Looks like we are going to have to do this the hard way if we want to get into the final, the other side of the draw sees two teams from my division go head-to-head after facing lower league opponents in the Quarter Finals, we certainly aren't getting such an easy route through!

League: HamKam 1-0 Sandefjord

Goal: Gando Ba

Playing this fixture only 3 days after the cup game was less than ideal but we knuckled down and ground out a result against relegation strugglers Sandefjord.

League: Nybergsund 1-3 HamKam

Goals: Hjort (x2) & Gando Ba

Play-off chasers Nybergsund took the lead early on and I thought we would muck up here, repeating last seasons capitulation towards the end of the season, but we hit back with two goals in two minutes before half time and added a third just after the break before parking the bus to make sure we didn't chuck the win.


All in all it's not a bad run of form again, I really though we had given up top spot completely half way through the fixtures when we struggled to score and win matches but that cup win against Rosenborg seems to have given our confidence back.


The league seems like it is down to a two horse race between us and Strommen, who constantly frustrate me! There is a decent gap to those in the play-off places and unless we deliberately try to throw it away I would imagine we will secure automatic promotion. There are only ten games left to play now in the league and our next few are actually against sides in the relegation zone, we just need to be professional, but I am looking forward to that Semi Final in September...

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Managerial Award: Like London buses it seems the Manager of the Month award comes in pairs, but only after you have waited several seasons for your first, it's nice pick it up again after a very good run of games in August.

League: HamKam 3-1 Ull/Kisa

Goals: Hjort (hat-trick)

This really was a game where the limelight belonged to one player, Hjort showed his class as he destroyed our opponents, with the only down point being the fact that they still managed to grab a goal after having only 36% possession!

League: HamKam 3-0 Lyn

Goals: Hoas & Baba (x2)

The scoreline flatters us a little considering that we shared equal possession but Lyn failed to get a shot on target and they were never going to win, it's nice to see we can still rack up goals even when our centre forward is having an off day.

League: Bodo/Glimt 1-0 HamKam

Here come the end of season nerves as we drop points to a team who should cause us no problems.

League: HamKam 1-3 Odd

Goal: Ajeti

Going two down within 10 minutes meant we were always going to struggle to get anything and Ajeti's late goal was nothing but a consolation, I think my team have one eye on the cup game next week...

Cup: HamKam p1-1 Lillestrom (5-4 on pens)

Goal: Lauritsen

Nerve biting! I can't believe we have actually snuck into the cup final and boy was it close. We went behind early in the second half after dominating the first half, however, we pegged the five time winners back almost instantly! The penalty shoot-out saw us needing to score either of our last 2 penalties to win the game but we fluffed both, and the sudden-death went all the way to the eighth penalties before Vangen pulled off a brilliant save leaving our young left back Arnesen to step up and send us through!

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene's reward for knocking out Lillestrom in the Semi Final will be a tie against First Division Stabaek in the season closing Norwegian Cup Final!

Oh dear, even when we finally draw a team from our division in the cup it has to be one that we haven't beaten and have conceded five times against already!


Youth Intake: For the third year in a row we get a 5-star rated player in our youth ranks, Stian Rygh can play anywhere down the centre so I will mould him to where he will be most useful, not that I know where that is yet...

League: HamKam 1-1 Skeid

Goal: Gando Ba

Our league form has definitely suffered and again I think it is a result of the cup run, over the last few matches we have gone from being 3 points clear at the top to now trailing Strommen by 5 points.

Breaking news: HamKam secure a play-off spot.

League: Follo 0-2 HamKam

Goals: Baba & Hjort

A straight forward win in which Hjort's last minute goal added a bit of a shine to the result.

League: Baerum 2-2 HamKam

Goals: Hjort & Djupesland

What a game, behind twice and twice we bring it back only to hit the post right at the death, unfortunately I think that is the end of the title chase.

League: HamKam 2-1 Sogndal

Goals: Hjort & Lauritsen

Apparently my players have decided to try and throw our promotion chances out the window, sitting two up with half an hour to go we start to play suicidal football and knock in an own goal. Only the referee saved us by wrongly sending off one of their players when they were clearly getting control of the match.

Breaking news: HamKam secure promotion from the First Division.

Phew, that's a weight off my shoulders. There is no denying that we deserve it, but we still tried to make it hard for ourselves.

League: HamKam 4-2 Floy

Goals: Hjort (x2), Hoas & Djupesland (pen)

Go behind, equalise, take the lead, get pegged back, snatch a goal early in the second half, add a late goal to steady the nerves! One game to go and we sit 2 points behind league leaders Strommen....


League: Bryne 3-0 HamKam

Looks like the players took their eye off the ball, and started looking forward to next weeks cup final, I don't really blame them but Strommen drew and a victory here would have seen us take top spot! Amazingly the prize pot for finishing as runner up is a massive £670k, a tidy little sum for a semi-professional team!


Overall I can't complain with where we finished the season, second means I have secured automatic promotion which was my aim from the offset, and although it would have been nice to win the league I would rather have a crack at this cup final. This season will either end up being a very memorable one, or one where we were destined to be runners up all round.

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The press start ramping up the coverage of the final and inform me that victory here will be the first major trophy win of Hamarkameratene's 99 year history.

Cup: HamKam 5-0 Stabaek

Goals: Hoas, Gando Ba, Djupesland (x2) & Hjort

Amazing, surprising, unbelievable, inspired. All words that could easily sum up this result! I can't believe it, we have actually won the Norwegian Cup, a team from the second tier have taken on team after team from the Premier Division in the preceding rounds and gone on to destroy our opponents in the final. We have never looked like beating Stabaek in the two league matches and to see us put in this sort of performance really surprised me, but considering our run in the cup I think it is a victory well deserved!

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene will enjoy a triple celebration this season as they gain promotion to the Premier Division, lift the Norwegian Cup and qualify for next seasons EURO Cup!

I didn't even know EURO qualification came with this cup, so that's an added bonus, so is the £995k prize money for winning the competition, I also manage to pick up a third Manager of the Month award!

I'm speechless following the end to this season, I still can't believe that next year we will be competing on 3 fronts, and actually trying to defend our title as the cup winners. There is a lot of work to be done now as the board agree to make us a full time professional club, I need to get some more back room staff in, bring in some quality to help us survive the Premier Division and strengthen the squad sufficiently enough to allow us to compete in Europe, it's going to be a busy pre-season!

I will include another post doing an end of season review tomorrow once I get into the off-season and player/manager awards are announced, as there is a lot more to review this year than in any of the previous seasons.

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Fantastic cup win, and promotion to go with it.

Don't really think the season could have gone much better, I know I definitely didn't expect such a successful one!


Season Review:

I think that basically that season was about as good as it could have been in virtually every way, I don't think anyone would have thought that we could achieve so much as a First Division Side.

On the pitch I had promised to deliver a top half finish to the board, even though I personally was aiming for automatic promotion, and we delivered on that by finishing as league runners up. Although we could have, mathematically, nicked the title on the last day I think our position is a fair one, Strommen were always that little bit better than us and our run of poor form towards the end almost cost us the second spot completely.

The main achievement in my eyes was the totally unexpected cup win, the board only set a target of the third round, and I felt to reach the quarter finals like last season would be a good accomplishment, so to actually go on and win the whole thing, especially when we played four Premier Division teams, is easily the highlight of my career so far, and the fans & board are understandably delighted!

Down to the players, it's hard to actually pick out one or two for individual praise but I feel the following really did contribute that little bit more than the rest:

Espen Schmitz - Again the central defender was ever present in a back four that rarely looked easy to beat. His two goals and average rating of 7.43 actually saw him finish runner up in the First Division Player of the Year award. It is worth noting that none of my starting back four finished with an average rating under 7.21.

Lansana Baba - The centre mid played a pivotal role as he laid on a club record 15 assists for the season, while also chipping in with 5 goals of his own at an average rating of 7.29 for the season. He missed about 7 games due to suspensions though as he has a big problem with persistant fouling and yellow cards!

Marco Hjort - The main man up top and I can't praise him enough. He missed a few games but his 19 goals in 26 starts is not only a club record, but means he also picks up the Top Goalscorer award for the division. Well deserved, and also the first prolific goalscorer I have had at any of my clubs, he will be instrumental in keeping us up next year!

Off the pitch the board pop up with several messages telling me just how amazed they are at my performance this year and the chairman goes on to offer me a new 3 year contract that more than doubles my wages to £1,300 per week, I am more than happy to accept this.

After making a grand profit of £1.5mil in the final month of the season (due to the prize money) the clubs balance now stands at an amazing £2.2mil and so I take a trip to the board room to get some requests in, and it is while I am there that I notice my position as manager is Untouchable. That right, I'm here to stay, well at least until the board have another Jekyll & Hyde moment and change their mind again.

Time to see what the pre-season brings, I need to really strengthen the squad in several areas if we are going to survive and compete in Europe too, but after agreeing to take us full time I'm hoping the board will use some of that pretty kitty to do the following:

- Give me a hefty transfer & wage budget for the following season.

- Increase our scouting range, either to the whole of Scandinavia or if I'm really lucky the whole of Europe.

- Improve the training facilities of the club.

- Relay the pitch.

- Increase the amount of scouts & coaches allowed.

If I can get them to agree to all of the above then next season should be a very interesting one, and the future already looks bright with young home grown players such as Arnesen (who was ever present this season) and Garvey who are already being chased by other Premier Division sides, so bring on the Pre-Season!

Career Stats


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Congrats on promotion and breaking the 99 year old trophy barren streak!

Thanks! Think that particular fact is what has made my job so secure, still not on the clubs favourite personel yet though...



A very short pre-season this year as the team played a lot of games last season and so I gave them a longer holiday, plus there was a lot of stuff I needed to sort out with the off-pitch side of the club and trying to do that while playing a half dozen friendlies would have been confusing and slow.

The board offer me three choices of pre-season expectation; avoid relegation, mid-table and top half finish, I go for the least demanding as I am going to use this season to simply consolidate our position. This gives me the following finalised budgets:

- Wage budget of £19,400 a week, which is over £12,000 more than I am currently spending.

- Transfer budget of £579,000. Wow.

After the board finally take everyone full time I get in and make several requests which lead to us being able to:

- Scout the whole of Europe and take on up to 8 scouts, currently we sit at 2.

- Double our coaching staff to 6 full time coaches, as well as being allowed a goalkeeping coach, 2 fitness coaches and 3 physios. This pretty much quadruples the staff I had to work with last season.

Friendly: HamKam 2-1 Stabaek

Goals: Hjort & Baba

I decided to test our new signings against a team which had caused us problems last season and we quickly went one behind, it was only a good performance from two of our old players which saved us, there is a lot of work to be done.

Friendly: HamKam 2-0 Ottestad

Goals: Vindenes (pen) & Gando Ba

We owe a friendly to this Third Division regional side as they are our feeder club and we easily beat them, but again it wasn't any of our new players who stood out.

Friendly: HamKam 4-2 Moss

Goals: Baba, Anier, Vindenes & Hoas

Our final friendly sees us play another team from the First Division that we have always found it hard to beat, and until we finally took the lead at 3-2 with half hour to go it was a very close affair.

Following the friendlies the press release their traditional title odds, and it is strange to see us at the wrong of the spectrum for once. They place us at 500-1 contenders, which means they agree with the board that we should focus on staying in the league, not winning it!


Another raft of players left us this season, but two really annoy me, Lystad was our first choice right back last year but was signed on a pre-contract and so I had no way to stop him leaving, and Paulsen still had another season or two in him but was just way too demanding during the contract negotiations. On the other end of the stick we have been quite active bringing players in, and I have made a sizeable dent in my transfer budget.

H. Welo - Signed as a future player, already loaned out to a First Division side.

K. Jensen - A mature keeper who will most likely take the starting place in the side, but with no back up for Vangen I had to sign someone.

J. Alriksson - We really needed to get some quality and depth in midfield and Joakim will most likely be a regular starter.

M. Flotaker - After losing Lystad I needed a new right back and signed Mathias from First Division Baerum, not the best player available but he wasn't a rip-off and I'm not going to cripple the club to sign mediocre players.

H. Anier - Some competition for Hjort up front as I only had Darboe to cover him and any injury would kill of our goal threat. Looks a tidy little player.

B. Hansen - Again a signing to pack the midfield, hasn't impressed during pre-season and Baba will most likely keep Bjorn out of the starting XI.

R. Holsaeter - Very versatile midfielder who can cover the centre mid but will provide a new angle on the right attacking mid spot as Hagen won't really cut it up there this year and Djupesland won't get through a whole season if we progress in Europe.

That brings us too the start of the season, and I'm not entirely happy just yet. I will be looking at getting some younger players out on loan while also looking at the market for another defender and cover for Gando Ba on the left wing. In terms of the competitions I am in I will look to defend our Norwegian Cup this year as last year showed it is doable, I would also like to progress as far as possible in the EURO Cup but not at the expense of the domestic competitions. With regards to the Premier Division I feel that placing us as relegation candidates is a bit unfair, especially as we have played several Premier teams in the cup competitions and never really been too troubled by them, however, my sole aim at the moment is to survive!

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League: HamKam 2-2 Valerenga

Goals: Gando Ba & Baba

Another unremarkable start to a season, but a very good game actually. Twice we fell behind and twice we hit back within 5 minutes to take a point out of our first game in this division. A fair result and atleast we haven't started with a loss.

League: Sarpsborg 2-1 HamKam

Goal: Anier

Unfortunately we just didn't play well and a loss was the right result, we held Sarpsborg at one-all until the last 10 minutes but we were always going to concede with the pressure they placed us under.

League: HamKam 1-1 Brann

Goal: Bremnes

We should've won this, and probably would've if it wasn't for Djupesland coming on with half hour to go and getting sent off for two yellow cards only 10 minutes later. Not impressed.


League: Tromso 1-0 HamKam

Tromso played slightly better than us and got the goal which is what matters, this now takes us to 4 games without a win and I'm starting to worry a bit. We may not be getting totally outplayed but we just can't win.

League: HamKam 3-1 Viking

Goals: Alriksson (x2) & Scheel (o.g)

A good all round performance and a few goals is just what we needed. The opponent manager tried to play mind games and it back fired, he had done my pre-match team talk for me and the players did the talking on the pitch.

League: Kongsvinger 1-3 HamKam

Goals: Holsaeter & Hjort (x2)

This was my turn to play mind games as it saw the return of Lystad after abandoning us at the end of last season, I told the press it'd be nice to see him but we knew his style inside out and we would focus on it. He was taken off after half hour after being torn apart and basically gifting us our first two goals.

League: Molde 1-0 HamKam

A predictable loss against the side currently second, the score could have been a lot higher than it was.

League: HamKam 0-1 Haugesund

Painful. This is the first match we have lost that I was banking on picking up a win, I put it down to my team talk as I think I made them relax too much before kick-off.

Breaking news: Hamarkameratene begin the defence of their Norwegian Cup against Second Division Strindheim.

A nice draw and considering the size of my team now I can easily put out reserves and they should win.

League: HamKam 2-0 Stromsgodset

Goals: Alriksson & Hjort

A straight forward win against the side sitting bottom of the table, the players knew they had to win after letting me down against Haugesund.


Board confidence update: Very pleased so far, we aren't looking in any real danger in the league just yet and the board are over the moon with my signing of William Alberto Rivera, who I picked up for a couple thousand to strengthen the defence.

Cup: Strindhein 1-0 HamKam

What? How?! C**p! We went behind early on, dominated for 75 minutes but just could not score. Unbelieveable. The team I put out should easily have won this and my post-match press conference basically consisted of me chucking expletives around while claiming some players would never get another chance in my team.

League: Strommen 1-1 HamKam

Goal: Hjort

We just can't get away from Strommen at all. We have now played them nine times and won only two matches. It's actually a very good point for us, as Strommen currently sit near the top of the table as they have adjusted to life in the Premier Division a lot better than we have. Their goal should never have stood, I called the ref a cheater in my post-match interview and the FA didn't breathe a word about it, we just can't get the luck at the moment.


Well, not exactly a great start to life in the top tier but we have picked up a few wins, aren't leaking goals every game and have looked pretty equal with all but the best teams in the league. I am extremely disappointed at being knocked out of the cup as I felt it could have been a nice distraction from what will be a hard season, but at least it won't distract us now.


As for the league itself I am quite alright sitting in 10th for now, we are definitely not the worst team in the league and I do feel we could creep up a few places if we string some results together, the only worry is that we could just as easily slide the other way...

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