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Everything posted by Danny_H22

  1. FC Spartak Moscow 2026/27 A short 4 month break was my reward for my successful Shelbourne run before Spartak Moscow asked if I fancied a stint in Russia. At the time of the offer, Spartak, who were expected to finish 3rd, were sat in 11th - 3 points from relegation zone and 25 points from top. With 8 games remaining, I was expected to come in and make sure we didn't slip any further down the table whilst trying to bring some confidence back to the boys. This task was made a touch more difficult when we lost our first game 3-1. Luckily, we didn't make a habit of that and won 5 of our next 6 (drawing to rivals Dynamo Moscow) before losing a closely fought match against league winners CSKA. Enough to climb to 8th in the table and start the momentum rolling. 2027/28 New season, new beginnings and time to right some wrongs. Despite a disappointing year, we were still expected to compete for a top 4 spot. I shipped out a lot of deadwood and bought in some true talent in the form of Brahimi, Samu, Cameron Archer, Muric and (eventually) Joao Cancelo. Turns out, all it takes to be successful is to win the backing of the team and spend over 100m. The league was a breeze and we recorded an unbeaten season (my second of this challenge). 30 games played, 25 won and 5 draws. We outscored every team whilst also conceding the least. Our closest rival, Ruban Kazan, finished 14 points behind in 2nd. The cup wasn't as succesful and although we made the final, Zenit had the beating of us thanks to an 87th minute winner. I've debated sticking around in Moscow to pick up the cup - I don't like leaving without collecting everything - but I'm not going to. There's some interesting jobs out there so I'm going to pack up my bags and seek more glory elsewhere. Ivory Coast 2027 African Cup of Nations My first chance at international acclaim and it's with one of the competitions favourites. The group stage went as expected, putting a combined 8 goals past DR Congo and Cape Verde before a disappointing draw against bottom of the league Liberia. Second round saw us face off against Zambia, who offered nothing to stop us as we romped home 3-0 and booked a quarter final against Ghana. Keen to show they're no pushovers, Ghana came out and took a 1-0 lead after 27 minutes which lit a fire under us which resulted in an equaliser 3 minutes later. Then we took the lead before halftime. Second half starting as the first ended and we found ourselves 3-1 up after 53 minutes. Ghana looked like they were trying to mount a comeback in the 73rd but it just temporarily slowed us and we eventually ran out 5-2 winners. Semifinal and the boys are starting to dream, but the job isn't over yet and we have a tie with Cameroon to handle first. Well my guys cope as well as anyone and the 3-1 win, and place in the AFCON final, was justified. Nigeria were all that stands between us and that podium, a podium that felt even further way at the 9 minute mark when Osimhen gave his team the lead. Not willing to sit around and see what develops, I instructed the team to attack and ten minutes later we were level again. From this point on, we were in total control and a Sebastien Haller hat trick was the icing on the cake as we run out 4-1 winners and lift the AFCON trophy.
  2. Shelbourne 2025 After my successful stretch at Lee Man, I stepped away from my Hong Kong adventure and returned home to plan out my next move towards managerial stardom. I spent 6 months biding my time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise before getting bored and setting off towards Ireland and my new role as manager of Shelbourne. Shelbourne usually find themselves occupying a position near the top of the league, a tradition that my new board wanted me to uphold by competing for a top two position, despite a rather tough last 12 months where they found themselves finishing 6th in a ten team league. This challenge seemed achievable, especially with the addition of some extra bodies to help maintain squad fitness paired with the lack of European games to concern ourselves with. And achievable it was! We started the league strong, and we finished the league strong – picking up an impressive 90 points, 21 points more than 2nd place, as we cruised to a decisive league title. The cups were a slightly different story, though. The Leinster Senior Cup starts early in the season and finishes early, too, but unfortunately as not all top teams are present in it, it doesn’t count towards the challenge goal. However, we had a pretty easy run to the final where we beat UCS 4-0 to win the trophy and maintain some momentum. We next turned our attention to the Sports Direct FAI Cup, which would count towards the challenge goal and my place on the HOF. We soon found ourselves in a final against St Patrick’s Athletic after comfortably pushing aside 4 opponents. The final wouldn’t be as comfortable and an 18th minute goal was enough to ruin our hopes and see that we wouldn’t achieve a first season double. 2026 With cup disappointment behind us, I decided to stick around another season to try and right the wrongs and leave Ireland with a clean sweep of trophies. I figured with a few shrewd signings, we could reenforce our already strong squad and make a run at the league and cup double. What I didn’t account for, however, is how many additional games my success would put upon us. Winning the league last season gave us a spot in the first qualifying round of the Champions League – a round we were supposed to show up, have a nice daytrip in and then pack our bags and forget about Europe for another season. However, things didn’t go quite as expected. First up we were paired against Rapid Bucuresti, a team that really shouldn’t have too much difficulty beating us. Well, it turns out that my boys like being an underdog and used that status to put six goals past Rapid over two legs, running out 6-2 winners and advancing to the next round, where we would face Lincoln Red Imps. The team from Gibraltar worried me less than Rapid and after a 2-0 away win in the first leg, I was sure the return trip would be a breeze. Cockiness got nearly got the best of me and it took a 93 minute equaliser to snatch a draw and add our name into the hat for the third qualifying round. This round saw us face off against Norwegian team Stabaek who proved too much for us, sending us packing to the Europa League with a 4-5 loss. Not yet bored of European qualifiers (or Scandinavian teams) we had to beat AIK to earn the right to advance to the group stages. The home fixture was a tightly fought match where AIK proved a touch too strong for us, putting 4 past us on the way to a 3-4 victory and setting up an inevitable defeat in the return fixture. Well, that defeat would have to wait a little longer because my boys thrived in front of 33k fans and smashed AIK 3-0 at home to book a place in the group stage proper. I will gloss over this stage because we really were out of depth, both in teams of ability and depth. Deserved losses to Maccabi Tel Aviv (3-1), Valencia (1-0) and Man United (6-0) were low points whereas draws against Adana Demirspor and Freiburg showed that my team were at least capable of picking up points. But nothing compared to the final group game where we put 5 past Quarabag on our way to a 5-1 victory. These additional games really slowed us down in the league, with us having to play every 3 days whilst our competitors were playing once a week. I spent much of the season in 3rd place, dropping points all too often when compared to the previous season and going into the final 8 games of the season, I was chasing both Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic who had steadily racked up the points. What I did have going for me, however, was games against both. Derry held me to a draw, but we clearly did enough to shake their confidence and they proceeded to drop points against several of the teams they faced in the coming games, eventually dropping to 3rd and ruling themselves out of contention. St Patrick’s also felt our wraith and we took all 3 points against them to force a final day title decider. Going into the final game, St Patrick’s had a 1-point lead over us, so we would need a win and for them to drop points. My best 11 were pretty tired and whilst I am happy to rotate pretty heavily usually, this wasn’t the game to do it. I took the risk of playing a depleted 11 in the hopes that we could get off to a strong start and secure an early win and I could then pull some of the leggier players at half time. This didn’t happen, naturally, and to add to the excitement, my star right back got himself sent off in the first 8 minutes for a “reckless challenge” that was a good 3 feet away from the opposing player (this red card was later rescinded). Going into half time, both games were goalless and we were looking unlikely to retain our crown. That was until St Patrick’s conceded 2 second half goals whilst we put away a 73rd minute penalty to retain our title by a whisker. Our numerous cup runs were slightly more straightforward. We started the season with a win in the President’s Cup and followed that up by retaining our Senior Cup by beating Shamrock 2-1 in extra time. But neither of these mattered as we had our sights on the bigger challenge of winning the Sports Direct FAI Cup. It took 2 comfortable victories and 2 wins on penalties to book a spot in the final against last year’s beaten semi-finalists Derry City. What started as a fairly straightforward game, with us holding a 4-1 lead going into the final ten minutes, soon turned into a nervy affair when Derry pulled two back and with-it momentum. But my boys are made of sterner stuff and we held out for the win, adding the FAI Cup to our ever-growing trophy cabinet. Another successful season all round and I feel happy leaving the club in a much better place than I found them 2 years ago. The squad is definitely in the top 1 in terms of quality in the league and the coffers look a lot more handsome following our impressive European journey. I have a rough idea of where I want to head next, but at present there aren’t any available jobs that interest me. I will take another few months unemployed and see what happens. Sidenote, whilst all of this was going on I was offered my first international role with Ivory Coast under 23s. I managed 2 games, won both and scored 14 goals before being offered the newly available managerial position with the full team. We have an AFCON to qualify for first, but I should have my first crack at international competition success over the next couple years.
  3. 2023/24 Lee Man FC Usually when I attempt this challenge, I load up 10 or so random countries and add and remove countries as the years progress. This time, I decided to load the top league in each playable country and see what offers take my fancy. It took just two weeks for that offer to arrive, in the form of Hong Kong team Lee Man. Lee Man were regarded as the second best team in the league, had continental football and 3 opportunities to win a cup. A perfect role to get off to a good start in the challenge! And a good start it was! We stormed the league, winning 20 out of 20 scoring a nutty amount of goals along the way - with my starting ST and LW both notching over 30. The cups followed along the same path and we finished the season as winning finalists on all 3 occasions. Continental football didn't go quite as well and we were sent packing in the group stage, finishing second but missing out as teams in other groups had a higher points total. Not a problem as success was never on the cards. I signed an 11 month contract at the start of the season and 11 months later I packed my bags and set off on my next adventure - taking with me a league title, 3 cups and a 6th ranked spot on the Hong Kong HOF.
  4. Hypothetically, if I was to take a role in ROI, would the Leinster Senior Cup count? 6 of the 10 top division teams compete in that I believe. EDIT - in theory, all top division teams could enter if they were from that region during that season
  5. I've done pretty well with this challenge in the past, but never completeled it because of time limitations. I wasn't sure what my main game was going to be on this years FM, but I've found myself unemployed, with no badges or experience so looks like I'm giving it another go
  6. On the players in range page, I am unable to add the scout recommendation column to my custom view. It doesn't exist as an option and isn't already selected/hidden. If I change from my custom view to Scout-Transfer, then the scout recommendation column is present
  7. I've uploaded the game as "Douglas Luiz Mutual Agreement". It is saved the day of the release but before it has happened
  8. Just had a notification that Villa have released Douglas Luiz by mutual consent on the final day of the transfer window. He had played every game for them so far, so seems very out of the blue
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