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464 "They call it a Royale with cheese"

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  1. Douglas Athletic 2027-28 Season Review A narrow 2nd place for us this year! We ran the title race right until the last day, but sadly St Mary's thrashed Onchan and clinched the title. We were definitely strong this year, however we lost some key games, including having St Mary's do the double over us. We were close, but in the end didn't deserve the win, but we still play Europa Conference League football next season! Interestingly RYCOB won the FA Cup while being relegated, so they'll be joining us in the UECL while playing in the second division! In the FA Cup, we were knocked out early with a shock loss to midtable Laxey AFC. Transfers: Facilities/Coaching: Our first Youth Recruitment upgrade finally!! We also got another Junior Coaching upgrade through too, firmly cementing us as the top Manx academy. Hopefully this opens the door to more upgrades, especially in the YR department, which could lead to us producing some really good players, and maybe even think about a few wonderkids. Youth Intake: Another quality intake, however there's a clear quality drop off from previous years. I think the days of multiple 5* CA players are gone for a while, but we're still getting very solid players, including a few first-team ready ones. Here are the best from the intake: Intake Standouts: #1 | Liam Simmons (LW) The clear standout of this intake, Simmons is an insane winger in terms of quality for this league. His stats are well above his peers and he'll immediately go into the first team. However, his low dribbling is a bit weird for a winger, and Livingstone is killing it as a lone striker, so I'm not sure what to do with him. Still, for the short-term, his incredible stats will carry him and I'm sure he'll be a star #2 | Steve Miles (CM) Another strong midfielder! Miles gives me Treleaven vibes from our last intake, an incredibly technical midfielder who can do a lot in this division. He's not as solid mentally or physically, but he's still miles ahead of many midfielders in this division, and hopefully he can improve. #3 | Jordan Morrison (CAM) Morrison looks a great attacking midfielder for this level! He's excellently well-rounded with some decent standout stats, he doesn't really have a weakness. The only issue is our CM and CAM spots are pretty locked down in this team, so he may not get the gametime he deserves. His 1 determination is a massive bummer too, but if he can grow a bit, he'll definitely be a useful team player. Other: We have our first international! I was expecting Treleaven to get the first cap, but centre-back Daniel Curley was the first to be picked by the Isle of Man national team while Treleaven sat on the bench. I think he'll be the first of many, but getting our first full international this early is excellent stuff! Next Season's Thoughts: A 2nd place finish is definitely strong, and guarantees us European football next season, even if it's at the lowest level. We have to hope for a kind draw, so we can look to build our finances and grow our facilities. However, I'm wary St Mary's are becoming a threat domestically. This is their second league win in a row, and that Champions League money will start to stack. If we can't start dominating the league soon, there's a chance they could go professional and start dominating themselves. I'm definitely looking towards the title next season, but time will tell if we have the quality.
  2. Douglas Athletic 2027-28 Season Preview After a solid if slightly middling first season in the Premier League, we're now tasked for a higher finish with a much stronger squad. We're definitely not the strongest team in this division yet, but our recent intake massively improved the quality we have available, so I'm aiming high and seeing where we get. Transfers: Facilities/Coaching: Our first facility upgrade! Our youth facilities are getting upgrades, which will hopefully help with future upgrades. My board rejected a training ground upgrade though, and STILL won't increase our youth recruitment. Not to 4th wall break, but does anyone know if there's an issue around this? It seems weird my board will improve everything else, but in 3-4 seasons haven't once agreed to a youth recruitment upgrade. Season Preview: We're predicted to finish up in 4th, a huge leap from our 11th place last season. I think we can go better though. Peel have been massive underperformers despite their ability to attract foreign talent, and the only real title threat are St Mary's, or Corinthians on a good day. I'm aiming for top 3, but we'll see how things go. Friendly Results: An okay pre-season where we really tested ourselves against some stronger teams. The fact we're taking goals off and holding our own against some decent English League 2/Conference teams is a sign of our progress. European Results: We got drawn against Linfield, probably the strongest team in Northern Ireland. We put up a fight, but they were just too good for us. The result gives me confidence that with the right draw and some better players, we can have a stab at Europe one day soon. We earned around £350,000 for our efforts, which I'll seek to get immediately invested into our facilities. Starting XI: Levy Bates - Curley - Gasson - Ellis Wharton - Treleaven Pickford - Goulding - Hamilton Livingstone Our team is once again bolstered by a strong intake last year, seeing players shuffled around as the new generation takes their place. I think if we get a good start and avoid major injuries, we have a strong chance of a really good finish, maybe even a title challenge if other teams underperform.
  3. Douglas Athletic 2026-27 Season Review We won the FA Cup!! This means we'll play in the Europa Conference League next season. Of course we'll likely get smashed, but that money is going to go far. In the league we did fairly decent, but couldn't string together any good runs of form. The Premier League is a tough one for newly promoted teams, we just couldn't match the average quality of other teams, but 7th place is a respectable finish in a tight league. Transfers: Once again, no transfers out but close to 20 players released. Facilities/Coaching: We snuck through a Junior Coaching upgrade so we're now considered good! Pretty sure that puts us as the highest rated Manx academy now. Still no luck on the Youth Recruitment side though Youth Intake: I feel like I'm going to say this every season, but what an incredible intake! Our Junior Coaching upgrades are really paying off, with several players being instant starters, and one very special standout. Intake Standouts: #1 | Daniel Treleaven (CM) Only thing I can say is, this kid looks special. At 15 he's already one of the best players in the league and is miles above anyone we've had in terms of quality. He's excellent across the board and will absolutely run our midfield. Getting players this good this early in the save is definitely an encouraging sign! #2 | Daniel Curley (CB) Good CBs are rare to non-existent in these leagues, so Curley is a huge get for us! He blows all of our other CBs out of the water, being technically solid and just good across the board. We really needed some strengthening at the back, and Curley will provide that easily. #3 | David Livingstone (ST) It's clear what jumps out about Livingstone, 16 finishing is insane for this league. His other stats are definitely nothing to sniff at, with his pace stats being sound enough for this league. I can smell goals on this kid if we can get him firing, which is exactly what I'll look to do. Next Season's Thoughts: With the massive influx of quality, we're going to have higher expectations on us for sure. The league is deceptively strong however, with teams like St. Mary's dominating the league, and the increase of English and foreign talent into the country. I'd love to aim for a European place, but anywhere in the top 4 will be a good step.
  4. Douglas Athletic 2026-27 Season Preview So, after promotion, we have to establish ourselves in the Premier League, which is far easier said than done. The quality of player in this league is a massive jump from the Second Division, with several teams bringing in players from England and abroad, and the general standard of domestic Manx players being higher. Still, we have a job to do and have to do it well. Transfers: Facilities/Coaching: No upgrades so far. Still no decent staff available either so we're stuck with my pretty poor HOYD too. Season Preview: We're predicted down in 11th, which would see us just avoid relegation, but I want to do better than that. I'm hoping to survive comfortably this season, though it'll be a struggle. I've also added a fancy new logo pack which I spent far too long making, but it adds some much-needed authenticity to the game! Friendly Results: We've had a surprisingly decent pre-season, scoring some solid results against far stronger teams, as well as some morale-boosting wins against weaker clubs. This was mainly about building finances though, so I'm not worried. Starting XI: O'Hara Murray - Gasson - Conteh - Toulson Gilchrist- Wharton Pickford - Wheeler - O'Donnell Bolton I think this is a pretty strong starting XI. It's very young, but that's sort of the point. I'm hoping my team can grow as the season goes on and we can start competing with the top teams more. It's going to be a tough season, but I'm wanting to make the best of it.
  5. Douglas Athletic 2025-26 Season Review League Table Promotion!! We had an insanely strong campaign, going unbeaten until the new year. A collapse in form at the end of the season put things in jeopardy, but a strong finish saw us clinch a deserved promotion. In the FA Cup, we narrowly lost on penalties to Peel, the strongest team in the nation, a pretty strong showing all things considered. Transfers: No players transferred, but a tonne of deadwood released to thin out the squad and reserves. Facilities/Coaching: We managed to get another junior coaching upgrade through, taking our level to Adequate. Still no budging on the youth recruitment from my board though. Youth Intake: Now this is an intake! Although nearly all of the players were rated 5 star CA when the intake came out, when I signed them to contracts most dropped to around 2-3 star. Still, this is a massive injection of quality into my squad, with multiple players going straight into the first time. We've got some amazing personalities too! Intake Standouts: #1 | Kevin Pickford (RM) Easily coming in as the standout of my entire team, Pickford looks an exceptional winger in Manx standards. His pace is solid and his mentals and technicals are very well-rounded. He's definitely a Premier League winger at this stage already, if he has room to grow he could be a permanent team member for a while yet. #2 | Mick Murray (RB) Another exceptionally well-rounded player, Murray helps us in one of the few positions I felt weak. There's really nothing to complain about him, he's similarly well-rounded and can hopefully only improve from here. #3 | Bobby O'Donnell (LW) Pacey wingers are hard to come by in the Isle of Man, so having someone come through with the stats of O'Donnell is a huge boon. Though he's slightly lacking in other areas, having a threat like him will definitely add goals and assists to the team. Next Season's Thoughts: The improvements to the squad from our intake were much needed as we claimed promotion, as there are some tough teams in the Premier League. Peel are extremely close to going fully professional, and are starting to filter players from England into the league, causing all teams to get stronger. I don't think we have the quality to dethrone these top teams, but I'm hoping we can sneak a high finish and maybe even a decent cup run.
  6. Douglas Athletic 2025-26 Intake Preview It's looking like a good intake, with no position rated lower than C. We're playing strikerless currently, so the lack of strikers isn't a problem. Upgrades: We've managed to secure another Junior Coaching upgrade! My board are still outright rejecting any recruitment upgrades though. Current Form: Absolutely shockingly, we're top of the league and unbeaten (in the league at least)! We've carried a tonne of momentum from some early positive results, and no-one seems to have a real answer to my tactics in this division. If we can keep this up, we should be looking tidy for promotion!
  7. Douglas Athletic 2024-25 Season Review A decent first season, we had moments of momentum where we looked like we could threaten for promotion, but overall we lacked the quality and mid-table is probably what we deserved. Transfers: Just one transfer out, with a reserve player joining Malew's reserves. He won't be a miss. Facilities/Coaching: As mentioned, we got an upgrade to our junior coaching. That's all for now though Youth Intake: Our intake was decent if not spectacular this year, with a couple of decent players and a standout graduate. The determination levels and personalities are a bit disappointing, but at this stage of the save it's to be expected. I'm keeping all of these players, though most will fill out the reserves/u18s until I can see who's developing more than others. Intake Standouts: #1 | Peter Ford (CB) A clear standout from the bunch, at 15, Ford looks a great CB for this level. His determination and personality are a massive shame, but hopefully with some solid mentoring, we can sort them. He's definitely good enough to go straight into our first team, which should really help his development. #2 | Matthew Monks (CM) Monks looks a solid CM from this intake. He definitely has a long way to go, but his physicals are surprisingly solid for this level and he has stats he can work on. I'll keep an eye on his progress, he'll definitely slot in as a solid backup. #3 | Julian Palmer (GK) We needed a GK and Palmer gives us that backup option. Like Ford, his determination and personality are regrettable, and he's not really near first-team quality, but I can hope he improves and can give us a long-term GK option. Next Season's Thoughts: We had a better campaign than I expected and with a little more consistency, maybe we could've pushed for a promotion spot. I'm hoping with a season under our belt and some youth players developing, we can aim a bit higher next season.
  8. Douglas Athletic 2024-25 Intake Preview We've got our first intake preview and it looks fairly promising. We're desperately in need of at least a backup keeper, and wide midfielders at CM/CAMs are always appreciated. I would've preferred a striker, but hey. I managed to convince our chairman to boost our junior coaching beforehand, which hopefully means we'll see some decent players come through. Not expecting anyone of real quality yet, but we'll see in April. Here's the HOYD, and by the, I mean literally the only one who'd join us. 20 working with youngsters is obviously massive, but uh, let's ignore the rest of his stats. I can only hope someone of quality comes along soon.
  9. New Save - Isle of Man Youth Only Hey, I'm doing a pretty unique youth-only save with my custom Isle of Man database. I know this won't be counted towards any points in the thread, but I thought it'd be a fun, difficult challenge I could dip in and out of when I'm bored. With that said, here's the start of the challenge: As Douglas Athletic finished last in Division Two last season, they're the team I'll be taking forward. Club Overview: Doulgas Athletic are a football club based in Douglas, the largest city in the Isle of Man. They were founded in 2012, though they were originally formed from a club called Police AFC who were founded in 1989. The club hasn't had much success to speak of, their only honour being Division Two champions in the 2015-16 season. After an established presence in the Premier League for a few years, they were relegated to the Division Two, where they currently remain. Douglas Athletic play their games at Groves Road, close to the Isle of Man's national stadium of The Bowl. We're predicted to finish 11th and don't really have any facilities to speak of, so we'll be building this club from the ground up. My board seems to favour youth development, which is a huge positive. There's very little expectation too, with the 5 year plan only being to establish ourselves as a 2nd division team. Seeing as there's no relegation, that shouldn't be too tough. Squad: Yikes, this is pretty rough. We clearly have a standout player, but aside from that it's looking pretty dire. For context, a 2 star player is someone considered only decent for this division. I need to hope some of the already generated players have some okay potential, because this could be a struggle Key Players: #1 | David Williamson Williamson is easily the standout of this team, and that is a testament to how poor the quality of this league is. Still, he's definitely got some attributes we can work with and he'll likely be key to any early success we have. #2 | Martin O'Toole Probably as close to a wonderkid as we're going to get at the moment, O'Toole came through the first youth intake and looks a solid youngster for this level. Hopefully he has potential to grow as if he does, he could be a key player for years to come. #3 | Matt Wright Again, this shows how dire the situation here is. Though his physicals are absolutely terrible, Wright has some decent attributes and will likely be our star defender. Tactic: We're going with really simple for the division we're in, route one and hope we have the pace to get over some of the slow defences in this league. We've got nowhere near the quality necessary to play anything fancy, so we have to play rough and hope it works. I've got a bit of irl stuff to take care of in the next weeks/months, so progress on the save won't be too frequent, but I just like to drop in and out with updates here and there. Wish me luck"
  10. Season Preview 2029-30 After our promotion, let's see how we're shaping up for this season. Transfers Out We had a massive clearout this season. Kluivert, Hornicek and Kun Wah Lee all left on frees while Saar, Puljic and Jiayu all go on loan GK | Manuel Gasparini (£900,000) With the signing and performances of Ono, Gasparini's days were always numbered. He was a solid keeper and definitely a big part of the team at one time, but given he wants first team football, I felt it best to move him on. RB | Tomas Esteves (£500,000) Esteves was an excellent servant for us, but we can afford better options now, and his wage and playing demands didn't meet his ability. I'm happy with his contribution and wish him the best. CB | Nectar Triantis (£1,300,000) Triantis was always a consistent performer for us and a solid CB, but with our promotion and new players coming in, I just didn't see a place for him. He's a good CB and I reckon he'll have a strong career, just not with us. CM | Naouirou Ahamada (£1,000,000) A player I had higher hopes for, Ahamada never quite developed as I'd hoped and saw his position usurped by stronger players. That combined with frequent injuries and massive contract demands meant I had to move him on. CM | Sandro Nascimento (£300,000) Another midfielder who didn't hit the heights I expected, Sandro never recovered from a massive injury in his first season and was treading water in my squad for a while. It's a shame, I think he could've been good, but he was never the same player and he moves on to Osnabruck. LW | Mikey Moore (£15,000,000) This was a tough one. I love Moore, and seeing his development from a talented but one-trick youngster to a well-rounded star has been amazing. But when bids came in, he wanted to leave and with the money being offered, I couldn't stand in his way. Hopefully he goes on to have an excellent career, but if not, I wouldn't mind bringing him back one day. LW | Tim Wartinger (£3,800,000) Maybe a bit of a shock, but Wartinger didn't really live up to my expectations, and with the arrival of Solomon and his requests to be a star player earning big money, I had to let him go. I definitely sold him cheap, but at the risk of a mutiny and with better options, he had to go. ST | Will Lankshear (£1,000,000) A player I'm quite frankly glad to see the back of. I had Lankshear earmarked to be our next top striker, but his inconsistency was infuriating and really set us back. That combined with his constant complaining made him a pain. He'll probably be good elsewhere, but performance-wise for us, he was a massive bust. ST | Patson Daka (£5,250,000) It seems crazy to sell my top scorer from last season, but I think we got Daka's good season out of him. He was declining by the week and with better options available, it was time to move him on. It's a big risk selling someone who bagged so many goals, but trust me and wait to see who his replacement is. Transfers In With a record-breaking transfer window income, I had plenty of money to invest, but how did I go about spending? GK | Marcello Mauri (Free) A keeper released by Milan with a lot of potential, I beat some big Italian teams to sign Mauri. He's not much to look at currently, but hopefully he'll develop into a solid goalkeeper. RB | Rudolf Luptak (£1,500,000) Hopefully I've finally found my RB solution. Though a winger by trade, I love Luptak's stats for a wing-back, and this he'll work wonders there in my system. He rejected Paris Saint-Germain for me, which I found incredible. Hopefully we can develop him in his new position and make a star of him. RB | Timothy Castagne (Free) Be prepared for more RBs, as my squad rebelled about needing more. Castagne brings experience and depth to my squad. I disagree about his low star rating, and think he has something to offer as emergency depth. Hopefully we're not relying on him too much though. RB | Manuel Faundez (£1,300,000) Another RB to keep my squad happy. Faundez looks an exciting prospect though, with a decent amount of ability and lots of potential. He'll likely be my main backup option while switching between the first and II teams, hopefully resulting in some decent growth. RB | Guillem Victor (Loan) Literally only brought in to stop my squad complaining about RB depth. Will never play and will likely be recalled in a rage by Valencia. CB | Emilio Maldonado (£4,700,000) CB was a position I really wanted to strengthen, and Maldonado brings exactly that. He's young, but already a Bundesliga quality player with some excellent attributes. Like a lot of our signings, he comes in with release clauses attached, but whether it's short or long term, he's a fantastic addition to the squad. CB | Yerson Mosquera (£3,200,000) My CB partnership is complete with Mosquera. He's an experienced head, especially with his Bundesliga experience. He offers a stronger, more aerial threat than Maldonado so I think the two will compliment each other well. He's a good player to have at this stage in our development. CB | Jannik Horst (£300,000) £300k is a lot for a 16 year old, but my scouts were raving about this guy, and from Bayern Munich's academy, I had to take a punt. Obviously he's got a lot of growing to do still, but my coaches seem to agree about his potential. With the right growth, we could have a steal on our hands. CB | Juan Delgado (Free) Found during my South American scouting, Delgado looks an exciting prospect at the back. With decent stats already and high potential, he's definitely one to keep an eye on. CM | Nicolo Pisilli (Free) He's back! For good! Pisilli is a Norderstedt legend, helping us in our early days, so when I saw he was released by Roma, I had to sign him. He's an excellent squad player and still has a bit of potential. Though I don't think he'll be the gamechanger he was back in the day, it's a really feel-good signing and one I'm happy to make. LW | Manor Solomon (Free) With the big departure of Moore, I needed a real statement signing at LW, and Solomon is definitely that. He's a top Bundesliga level winger in the prime of his career, and bringing him in is a massive coup. Though Moore will be a massive loss, I can't think of a better replacement for a club of our size. ST | Vedran Dusi (£3,800,000) This might be my signing of the save. Dusi is an exceptional striker at any age, so at 19 he looks incredible. He's an exceptional striker and a huge improvement on what we have. I've had my eye on him for a long time, and when he finally wanted to join I immediately made a bid. Unfortunately, he has some low release clauses which I couldn't remove, but hopefully we can renew before the big clubs realize just how good he is. ST | Seif Juma (£250,000) I just can't resist my rare wonderkids, this time from Tanzania. I saw Juma in the national team at a young age and after a few scouts, knew he was good. He'll likely be loaned to develop a bit more, but I think he has potential to be a top player in time. Squad It's all change this season as we clear a tonne of deadwood, lose a few good players but bring in some hopeful gamechangers. I've beefed up the II squad too, so we'll have some prospects to call on should we need. Season Preview We're predicted 15th, which is pretty good for our first time in this league. There are obviously some incredible teams in this league, but the fact we're tipped to stay up is a positive. Results So Far It's been a rough start. After a flawless pre-season, we only managed a draw against St. Pauli, while losing to fellow promoted team Kaiserslauten at home, two of our easiest games this season. We did well against RB Leipzig, but we're without a win so far. Squad morale is low due to players complaining, so righting the ship could be hard. Expected Lineup Ono Luptak - Maldonado - Mosquera - Mauricio Ndour - Patino Moulin - Shoretire - Solomon Dusi I think on paper we have a strong XI here. We've made some strong additions to key positions while keeping the core of our team. We've also got decent depth should injuries plague us. I think we can stay up, but time will tell.
  11. Season Review 2028-29 Tactic | Table | Finances Season Summary Results: Sept-Dec | Jan-May PROMOTION!!! Honestly, things looked extremely comfortable as we were unbeaten until January. We nearly threw things away in the last few months, but stayed strong to gain promotion to the top tier. In the DfB Pokal, we got a tough 2nd round draw against Werder Bremen which saw us bow out on penalties Transfers Out RB | Jose Ferreira (£6.5m) Even with a new chairman elected and an insanely healthy bank balance, my board can't resist cashing in on my players. Ferreira isn't an annoying loss, he wasn't playing great and kept kicking up a fuss about not playing, but it's getting frustrating just how many players my board are selling from under me, even when our finances are perfect. ST | Alfredo Castillo (£4.2m) A sale from our II squad and some nice profit! Castillo didn't really develop as I hoped, but definitely maintains his high potential. I couldn't turn down such a large sum for him despite that. I think he could go on to be a good player, but I don't think this is a sale we'll regret. Transfers In With some money to play with, I made some January additions to my squad. GK | Tsutomu Ono (£3.7m) With Gasparini making rumblings about wanting to leave, I wanted to lock down the goalkeeping spot long-term, and I feel Ono is the guy for that. He already has some excellent stats, and plenty of potential to grow. His 2.5 CA is definitely misleading in my opinion, I think he'll be our #1 between the sticks for a while yet. CB | Sten Saar (£80k) We add to our wonderkid collection with this gem from Estonia. I thoroughly scouted Saar to make sure he was the real deal, and he surely is. He's already got some amazing stats and so much potential, so this looks a bargain. He'll spend some time on loan to hopefully improve, but I've got high hopes for him. CB | Matej Chalus (Free) I wanted a bit more experience to sure up our defence, and Chalus on a free was absolutely perfect. He's got everything I need from a defender and I feel he's a direct upgrade on what we have. I reckon he'll be important for us in our promotion chase and beyond. ST | Kristof Moulin (£2.5m) Maybe I'm overloading on strikers, but when someone like this comes around for this price, it's hard to say no. Moulin was wanted by some top Premier League clubs, but I managed to swoop in and grab him, with him even turning down Ajax for me. Though he's a striker, I see him as slotting in as a RW for us to support Daka. I reckon he's going to prove to be a steal for the price and could go on to some excellent things. Key Players #1 - Cher Ndour I expected good things from Ndour, and he definitely delivered. He was an extremely strong prescence in the midfield, being our more attacking option and contributing with a number of goals and assists. He's a key reason for our promotion, and will be a key part of surviving the Bundesliga next season. #2 - Charlie Patino Ndour's partner in crime, Patino continued where he left off with a tremendous season. Although not as in the limelight as Ndour, he controlled the midfield, turning defence into attack and being the lynchpin of our side. #3 - Mikey Moore The young winger I signed as a punt has grown into one of the most promising wingers in Germany. Moore's creativity and ability on the ball have been excellent this season, providing much-needed assists and goals to get us over the line this year. Next Season's Thoughts We're in the big time next season, and it's going to be a tough one. We have a strong squad, but nowhere near the giants of the Bundesliga. Survival is the key, and I have faith in this squad to achieve it. I've been given very little money from my board for next season (mainly because they decided my budget BEFORE we got the big league-winning payout) and the majority of my squad are wanted by some pretty big teams, so it's going to be interesting to see how I manage in the transfer window. I want to keep as many of our top players as possible, but with a low reputation and a board that just LOVES selling players from under me, we may have a very busy summer
  12. Season Preview 2028-29 We had a strong finish last season, and now it's about building and aiming towards the top end of the table. How did we fair in pre-season? Transfers Out Prepare yourself, this is our biggest window for outs yet. Bergersen, Mansour, Monsheju, Porvaldsson, Nascimento, Perez and probably most importantly Daniel all go out on loan for gametime. CB | Noel Atom (£300k) A pretty easy sale to make, Atom just wasn't at the level of the rest of our squad anymore, and getting any money for him is a bonus. He was a solid rotation option in the past, but we've moved on and has Atom. CB | Cristian Ruiz (£20.5m) Another wonderkid lost, but this time due to me, not my board. I absolutely love Ruiz and think the sky is the limit for him, but £20m is insane money for us, solving all of our debt issues and giving me a healthy transfer budget. Plus, CB is the position I feel we're the strongest in, so this move makes sense. Maybe we'll regret it long-term if Ruiz becomes the world's best defender, especially seeing as his value has rocketed, but short-term, I think I'm making the right call. CB | Bacari Balde (£7m) My II team is being raided! Balde was highly rated by my coaches and seemed to have a lot of potential, but his CA is obviously really low and it'd take a lot of reaching, something I doubt he'll do at a club like Leipzig. £7m is too good to turn down, and like a lot of these deals, I could regret it, but considering he was a free transfer, this is nothing but profit. CM | Theo (£1m) I liked Theo, but he never seemed to put in the performances you'd expect from his stats, so when he started rocking the boat about a new contract, I knew it was time to cash in. He's a solid midfielder and will be missed, but the money gives us more room in the transfer window which is what we need right now. ST | Karim Hassouni (£1.6m) Another youth prospect lost to the board's eagerness to pay off debts. I never had the highest hopes for Hassouni, so getting a decent fee is a positive, but it's getting a worrying trend that the board has sold so many of my players without my input. The sooner we clear our stadium debt, the better. ST | Khayon Edwards (Free) Normally I don't mention players I've released, but this one is particularly sad. Edwards carried this team at the beginning and is a huge reason we were successful. Sadly, his form dropped and never picked back up, and became a huge thorn in my side. He was constantly stirring up issues and, being a highly influential player, would turn the squad against me. In the end, he wanted almost £10k a week to stay, which I thought was ludicrous so I cut him loose. I'll always be thankful for his contributions early on, but it stings that his time with us ended so sourly. Transfers In With a record-breaking transfer window income, I had plenty of money to invest, but how did I go about spending? GK | Emmanuel Jonathan (Free) The latest backup keeper to join, Jonathan looks a good prospect and can provide strong cover for Gasparini and Hornicek. My scouts and coaches seem to really like his potential, so he'll definitely be one to keep a close eye on. CB | Li Jiayu (£500k) With Ruiz leaving, I wanted another promising CB who could potentially start for us, and with 6 months remaining on his contract, Jiayu was that guy. He's already an excellent defender at 20, and has room to get even better. Considering the massive fee we sold Ruiz for, bringing in his equally promising replacement for a fraction of that feels like excellent business. LB | Mauricio (£2.2m) I thought we were a little light at left-back and Diarra's performances last season were rather mixed, so Mauricio arrives to add some depth. Originally a CAM, I think his abilities are better suited to playing as a full-back. With plenty of ability and potential, I think he's going to be a quality player for us. CM | Cher Ndour (Free) What a massive signing! Ndour is clearly a top, top player for this division, as also seen in the frankly insane contract I had to give him. He's insanely well-rounded and can do anything on the pitch, pretty much mirroring Patino who I expect him to boss the pitch with. I'm incredibly excited to see how Ndour does, and think this will be an incredible signing. RW | Tim Attale (Free) Another Arsenal prospect, Attale adds some depth and youth to our wide position. He's already got some standout attributes and my staff seem to think he has a lot of room to grow. On a free, I have no worries about this signing and I'll be watching his growth closely. LW | Tim Wartinger (£700k) Another player I'd tracked for a while, Wartinger looks to nail down a tricky winger spot I'd struggled to fill effectively. He looks incredible for his age, with a lot of standout stats, though my coaches don't believe he has much potential. He comes with a lot of low £3-4m release clauses, but he'll offer an immediate impact and at £700k, I couldn't say no. ST | Patson Daka (Free) If this isn't a statement signing, I don't know what is. I'd been tracking Daka for a while waiting for his demands to drop, and although he's still extremely well paid by our standards, I couldn't pass him up. Everyone knows how good Daka is, and I think he's the solution to last season's striker woes. He's a huge upgrade and if we create the chances, he's guaranteed goals. I'm excited to see how he does for us. ST | Hussain Azim (Free) A wonderkid from the Maldives!? I found this guy through sifting through national teams looking for young players, and surprisingly my scouts love him. He looks surprisingly good given his country of origin, but obviously has a lot of growing to do before he's ready for us. I really want this guy to succeed, as I love having quality players from obscure nations. Time will tell if he's got what it takes. ST | Juan Carlos Castro (£1.7m) It never hurts to have too many attacking options, right? Castro looks an insane star, with some incredible attacking stats at his young age. 17 finishing and 16 first touch make him one of the most lethal strikers in the league. He's a little on the slow side, but he's young and has plenty of time to grow. I think we could have a real star on our hands, and a strong option if Daka doesn't have the impact I expect. Season Preview We're predicted 7th with pretty good odds, a fair reflection on how we've strengthened. There are some very strong teams in this division though, so it'll be an interesting season to say the least. Results So Far We are top of the league! After an (almost) perfect pre-season, we've transferred that form into the league, going unbeaten in our first 7 matches, including against 2 of the 3 relegated Bundesliga clubs. Could this be the season we've been waiting for? Expected Lineup Gasparini Ferreira - Triantis - Jonas - Diarra Ndour - Patino Moore - Shoretire - Wartinger Daka I really think I've managed to build something special here. We've got ability across the pitch and potential to boot. Our depth isn't too bad either, so I think as long as we avoid any injury crisises, we'll be fine. I'm really interested to see how far this team could go. My only worry is the beefy, cause-ridden contracts I've had to give some of our top signings. We've set ourselves up as potential promotion contenders, and I think we have to fulfil that sooner rather than later to keep our best players and continue to progress.
  13. Season Review 2027-28 Squad | Tactic | Table | Finances Season Summary Results: Sept-Dec | Jan-May We had a comfortable season barring a shaky start, though we were never really close to threatening for promotion. Still, we progressed on last season and hopefully we can keep that going. Key Players #1 - Charlie Patino No real surprise here, Patino is our best player by far and it shows on the pitch. He ties the midfield together and has been key to our success. My only hope is he doesn't attract too much attention, he'd be an extremely hard player to replace. #2 - Manuel Gasparini We seem to have a thing for good keepers in this save, and Gasparini continues the trend. He's been excellent between the sticks and a big reason for some of our wins. Hopefully we've found our long-term solution in the goalkeeping spot. #3 - Shola Shoretire Another non-surprising top player. With our striker situation being pretty unsure, Shoretire stepped up and provided some big goals from the CAM position. He's another player I'm scared about losing, especially with his release clause, but hopefully we can keep him around. Next Season's Thoughts I'm in a tricky spot with Norderstedt. I always have ambitious signings in mind, but given our low reputation, weaker squad and lack of finances, we're always fighting a losing battle in negotations. Plus, my board seems hell-bent on selling my best players to pay off our stadium debt. I'm worried we'll be stuck in 2. Bundesliga purgatory for a while just as I stabilize the club and amass a team ready for promotion without worry of interference. I feel all I need is one good transfer window, but it's unclear where that's coming from at the moment.
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