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[FM19-LLM] The lower leagues of Sweden


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  • LLM

This career update will be in the style of a classic LLM report, which unfortunately are rare on this forums these days. This means that I will not give any information regarding specific tactics (might drop some positions names) or specific players. Instead the story will focus on my travels across lower leagues. Updates will be done once or twice a season depending on how interesting it is, and how much time I have.



IS Halmia is a classic Swedish team from Halmstad in south west of Sweden. Founded in 1907 as a merger between two smaller teams, IS Halmia went on to become the first team from Halland to ever get promoted to Allsvenskan - The Swedish top tier - in 1932. Nowadays, the team is far from its former glory, rotting away in Division 2 Västra Götaland, the 4th tier of Swedish football. The glory is gone, and the team is now promptly in the shadow of the rival Halmstads BK. 

Home games are played on the classic arena Örjans Vall. Built in 1922 and named after a medieval hospital, Örjans Vall have 15 500 seats, giving Halmia a good home ground to build upon. It will take sometime to fill it, as there is an anecdote about Halmia saying that for every home game the only vehicles outside Örjans Vall is a bicycle and a limousine, belonging to their only fans. The bike belongs to the ground janitor, while the limousine belongs to Per Gessle, famous for being part of the duo Roxette.

The main goal of the save is to take back Halmia to their former glory of being the best team in Halmstad and Halland. Hopefully we can crown it with the club's first titles. But if I know my LLM experiences, I will be sacked halfway into season 2.

To be continued...



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Board expectations: Finish in upper half 
Media expectations: 5th (Odds 2.50)

Transfer budget: €0 
Wage Budget: €5 600 /month

Season tickets sold: 115

    6GP, 1W 5L

We play six pre-season friendlies, with opposition varying from Superettan side Halmstad to Division 3 side Laholm. The pre-season ends with 5 losses and only one win. During the pre-season the pattern is clear, we create a lot of chances but the strikers fail to utilise them. Even against higher league sides we create a lot of opportunities but fail to score more than one goal on as much as 8 shots on goal, where most of the chances are clear-cut. At the same time we seem to let in exactly 2 goals per game no matter the opposition and the chances they create, which is not promising. Our only win comes against IK Kongahälla from Division 3 where the defense lets up their usual 2 goals but the strikers finally seem to score, leading us to a 7-2 win.

    2 transfers in (€0)
    0 transfers out

With no transfer budget (and no scout for that matter) comes low transfer activity. We do however manage to sign two players who offer their services and impress me during trials. One Slovakian right-back and a 16 year old winger. The Slovakian defender will hopefully improve our defensive solidity, while the winger will feature mainly as a substitute.

    2. IS Halmia 13GP 8W 2D 3L 25-16 26

The season begins in the same fashion as the pre-season ends, with us dominating play and creating chances, but still losing 0-2 against expected lower side Prespa Birlik from Malmö. This turns out to be a minor slip-up in a great spring, where we to media's surprise (and more so, mine) go on a six game win streak and for parts of the spring occupy the first place of the table. The defense seems to have tightened up, letting in a bit over 1 goal/game, and our main striker finds the net 10 times in 13 games. The best result is the 3-0 win against regional rival Varbergs GIF, where our 16 year old signing gets his first goal for the club.

But as we all know, good form does not last forever. In the last 4 games of the spring the team starts to crack a bit. With two losses and 6 goals allowed we manage to lose our early advantage, and also lose the first place to Sävedalens IF. 

We finish the spring season 2nd, 1 point behind leaders Sävedalen, and 1 point ahead of chasing trio Vinbergs IF, Varbergs GIF and IFK Malmö. So far the season is way better than I expected after the lackluster pre-season, with strikers scoring and solid(ish) defense. Hopefully we can continue in a similar fashion during the autumn, and fight for the top two spots, meaning promotion or promotion play-offs.


The thrilling autumn...

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    2. IS Halmia 26GP 15W 4D 7L 48-37 49

I went in to the second part of the season with optimism and a feeling that I just might win this thing. I was quickly brought down to earth 6 games later, after 3 losses and a draw against lower half teams. Then we met IFK Malmö who without much effort beat us 3-1 and the proud Halmia had 8 points up to the play-off spot with 6 games to go. Attack had gone back to their pre-season form, and our defense were again letting in two games per game without avail.

The dubious form continued, and with 2 games left I had started writing a paragraph on how we tossed the season away against bottom half teams. We were 4th, with 3 points up to Vinbergs GIF in 3rd and 5 points up to second place IFK Malmö. But miracles do happen it seems! IFK Malmö lost their two remaining games, and by beating Vinberg and Rosengård we against all odds took 2nd place, and qualified for the promotion play-offs.


Play-off rules are simple. 3 teams meet each other once, and the group winner is promoted. We stood up against FC Trollhättan and Assyriska Turabdin. First game was against FC Trollhättan, and the game follow a pattern we are used to at this point. First half is great, and IS Halmia takes the lead just before the break. But 2nd halves are not our thing, and the game ends 1-2 after two goals in quick succession.

Final game of the season is against Assyriska, who beat Trollhättan. The demand is clear. Beat Assyriska with 2 goals or more and get promoted, or stay another year in Division 2. Assyriska dominate possession and shot statistics, but we have the chances. We take the lead 1-0 early in the first half, then our defender goes down. Penalty Halmia! Our top scorer steps up but misses... In the beginning of the second half, Halmia scores... but it is revoked for offside. 5 minutes later, goal again... but it is revoked for a push. We get the ball in the net 3 times and have a penalty, but the game ends 1-0, and Halmia stays in Division 2.


Attendance: 287 (1st in league)
Top Scorer: Main striker, 20 (2nd in league)
Most assists: "The other guy up top", 10 (3rd in league) 
Best player: Main striker, 7.51 (2nd in league)

I promised a lot of players the promotion to get them to stay, so next season will be exciting with a lot of new blood at half the budget. My contract was extended until November 2019.



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