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[FM19] Shield Wall - A Spartan Youth Challenge in Romania (Reloaded)


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So... it's been a while :) A few of you might remember the Spartan run in FM17, if not here is an overview of that here.  Well, as they say, history repeats itself - we will turn back the wheel and begin a new story with Sparta. Based on the never changing principles:

The Spartan Philosophy of 'youth, discipline and athleticism':

- developing local talent (youth only)

- strict discipline management & training approach

- tactical & coaching style focused on player fitness and athleticism

- does not sell players to rival clubs



This time I used the basic 'create a club feature' in FM19 and replaced the once great Rapid București in what could be a beneficial narrative for Rapid themselves :lol: I couldn't resist the romance of re-branding a fallen Romanian giant I used to watch on TV when I was a kid and (aiming to :D) transform them into the new Bucharest powerhouse.



By consequence, we start with slightly better facilities compared to the last time. It does take away from the knack of the challenge, however, given adult life doesn't stop throwing stuff to deal with at me, I've decided to shift the style of this save to one of more quality rather than quantity. In other words, relying more on the tactical and player development journey rather than timely progress updates.




However, we start from the 3rd Romanian Division this time round, since (thanks to Claasen) the Romanian lower leagues are available. In terms of rankings of the Romanian leagues... it's not a great story. 

Whilst the 3rd divison is reasonably ranked, our highest division (LIGA I) is ranked 22nd in the world at the moment... which needs to be improved, of course :)



Our main squad (after I've excluded all players above 20 y.o. in the editor):



Aaand, of course, another, younger Mr. Avram is making his way into his fresh coaching career :)



So, here we are, let's do this!




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Welcome back mate, I remember the original Sparta save being one of my favorites that year, and I must say I'm delighted to see it return! Hopefully you can get over the line and win the big trophies this time. Best of luck, and I'll be following this closely :).

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28 January 2019


Mid Season

Well, if you forgot how things run in Romania, the winter break lasts two months (9th Dec - 31st Jan) just to make sure everyone is well rested and sober, of course :) 

performance-wise, it's been a decent first half of the season for us - we went for a very simple system that makes best use of our best players and managed to pull off a pretty good winning run towards the end of the first half.



Tactics - wise, we were running with this. I don't see the point trying to complicate things given our position coverage is pretty low right now and the tactical flexibility of my players isn't the best around...



The standout player so far has been, without a doubt, Mitracu...



He is performing the BWM in the current system incredibly well given his stats. Ground coverage and sheer work-rate have impressed me and to be fair - what I saw on the pitch is not really reflected by the stats. Top guy for the current league level. Let's see how he develops further.

Next up,  our first ever youth intake :)


Edited by LPQR
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15th March 2019


Intake Day

our first ever intake day...


what can I say... pretty chuffed with this! Although I'm keeping in mind that the 5 star potential ratings could be deceiving at this point, since it doesn't take much to receive a 5 star rating at this level of the game. For example, Constantin Dima is a 5 star-rated player at the moment:



In any case, things are looking good. The standout players for me in this intake are:


Iulian Ghenovici

could be an incredible player for us from how things are looking - well rounded and pretty attack-minded with a decent personality



Bogdan Riță

good passing & teamwork could make him a useful CM in the future



Cristian Mărunțelu 

his name means 'the short one' however he is 188cm tall :D, so I'm expecting a good presence at the back four from him - at least for crosses :lol:



All in all, pretty promising stuff, let's see how things develop further



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1 hour ago, abulezz said:

Amazing first Intake - that Intake alone will push your team's potential up a couple of notches right off the bat. 

Yes, it was quite the lucky start, hopefully they all end up pushing the quality standard over the next 5-6 seasons. I really have high hopes for Ghenovici, given he's also got a decent personality to help develop his attributes in training

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18 May 2019





A good season, to be honest, I would have accepted nothing but promotion given our players were actually pretty decent for LIGA III standards. 

We did pretty well attacking-wise, being by far the highest scoring team in the league. Also, defensively, we did very well, having conceded only 15 goals - which places us and  CS Afumati on joint-top defence of the season.




In terms of performances, really impressed with Mitran, who, despite not having the best attributes for the role of a Defensive Forward, fared remarkably well in the role (scored 17, assisted 2) and has developed a lot in terms of his stats. Will probably having to mix up the tactics next season to maximise his mobility and technique.



Constantin Dima had a monster of a season and is the main reason for our defensive records. Our best player by far and with some potential to grow left.



Claudiu Stan: after converting and re-training him to master the LM position (in order to fit our tactical plans) he did a fantastic job covering the flank both defensively and offensively throughout the season. Very pleased with 9 goals and 7 assists results-wise.



Team of the season



Season review


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expectations for next season are between avoiding relegation and pushing for mid-table



with a media prediction of 14th, I'm expecting us to push for mid-table quite comfortably


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11 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

Rapid fans wont like what you did with their club. And how did u got players like Dumiter (playing for my Ripensia side) or Ehmann playing for you? Best regards, I expect nothing but Liga I title in 3 years from u. :)

haha, no pressure! :D

yes, when you create a club in FM19 you get the option to add players - so when I shaped the squad to include only U19 players, Dumiter and Ehmann where amongst them

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18 December 2019


Mid Season Review

- faring unexpectedly well so far, much thanks to the tactical shift at the beginning of the season

- if we manage to keep the current form, I would be very happy to get a promotion bid at the end of the season

- injuries and U19 national activity are taking their toll on squad depth and we will see more and more players from the U19 team promoted to the first squad



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12 December 2020


Youth Intake Day

well... second good intake in a row!



we get 3 five star rated players:

Silviu Ion 



Horațiu Tofan



Cornel Tănase



very happy with the personalities of these guys and Cornel Tănase looks like the real deal :)

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After a nearly a year of absence, I'm so happy that you made progress with Sparta in the new version. I hope that you will be able to get the Romanian championship soon. As soon as those young guys are good, Sparta would make Romania great again! Just keep it up the good work!:)

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...

End of Season 2019-2020




It was a nerve-wrecking last match of the season, but with a few tactical switches in the last half an hour we've managed to do it!!! Top Flight, here we come :D








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Congratulations on Promotion! I read some of the other career...

I am interested in emulating this in Russia with Arsenal Tula. Since the club starts with a horribly small number of HGC's and I have only done a youth only save once.

What are your Baseline attributes for your Spartan Players?

also do you only sign players with the "right" personality?


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10 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Congratulations on Promotion! I read some of the other career...

I am interested in emulating this in Russia with Arsenal Tula. Since the club starts with a horribly small number of HGC's and I have only done a youth only save once.

What are your Baseline attributes for your Spartan Players?

also do you only sign players with the "right" personality?


thanks and best of luck in Tula :)

The baseline attributes are the following - aggression, bravery, determination, work rate

In FM17 I started with the idea of signing only youth academy products that fit that criteria but then I have slowly moved on to a more flexible approach since that would have meant cutting out some of the best prospects i have had come through.

So I tried to shift that approach to tactics instead - if you read the FM17 Sparta thread you will see that most of the Tactics I have used are counter-attacking/counter-pressing formations as well as styles of play that shift focus on physique & space manipulation.

In FM19 the situation becomes even trickier since the determination of players decreases if they are surrounded by a 'less determined' overall squad which hugely impacts shaping your personality's squad in a long-term save, so again, I try to focus on systems that would emulate the spartan qualities and I try to sign staff that would match that criteria too.

Hope that helps :)


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  • 2 months later...

ladies and gentlemen, it only took me 9 seasons this time round but...we... did.. it! :)

The Champiooooooons!





and to finish it off in style, of course...



The most important players that contributed to this story finally coming to an end:




and the full squad overview:



It's been an incredible journey. I am currently doing a very detailed 'wrap-up' write-up on the whole save on my blog, including the tactics used to finally get here. Thank you guys for your support for all these years  - feels old saying that :lol:



Edited by LPQR
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