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The Save Update Thread

  1. The Save Update Thread

    So hoping this is okay, and don't see an official one. Maybe there was one that never got pinned so it just got buried....? But if not, was thinking it would be cool if we had a place where we could just talk about our current save, without having to start a stand alone thread.

    So post away!

  2. I was enjoying Russia, but reading some save updates from others, I realized I've never had a proper save in South America. I also recently read the Angels with Dirty Faces book by Jonathan Wilson, a history of football in Argentina. On the SI forum, dafuge had a really cool save where he managed across South America at several clubs, ending up at Boca Juniors. Ended up with some immensely talented, world class players, turning down offers of over 100m for one of them from clubs like Man United and PSG. I also happened to notice how some South American clubs consistently generated some great regens in some test saves I ran, and how some of those clubs even managed to hang onto some of those players longer than you might expect. Despite the interest in Argentina, I kinda preferred to make my foray into Argentina. And one club had my eye - FC Envigado. The club that produced Fredy Guarin, Juan Fernando Quintero, and James Rodriguez. They have one of the best youth setups in South America. I remember buying Guarin from them way back on about FM05 or FM06. They were one of the first clubs I had seen that used a bright orange as their primary color.

    I love bright orange.

    South America also always seemed a bit exotic and esoteric to me. The overall instability of the football their - constantly selling players abroad, never having strong finances - contrasted by the immense passion by the fans. The weird league structures always made it seem a bit impossible to understand. Almost all of the leagues use a split season - apertura and closura. Some use playoffs. Relegation is based on performance over several seasons in some leagues. The Copa Libertadores feels more complicated and convoluted than the Champions League. Some leagues even use a group stage for their national cup competitions. But I've done some reading, listened to some podcasts, and have even started watching some of the Copa Libertadores matches.

    So I decided to embark on an adventure with Envigado FC. They are in Colombia's Liga Águila Primera A. I started in June of 2016, so the Apertura had already been generated. Envigado finished 3rd bottom. They have a significantly younger squad that typical for the league. Like average age is 21 and most teams are around 26 or 27. There are about 3 players in the entire squad over the age of 25. Its not a strong squad by league standards. But the club focus is one developing youth. They have a great youth set up and strong youth facilities. The main training facilities are less impressive. The staff isn't great. There isn't much money. The stadium is a bit odd - it seats 11K, but the stand is only on one side. So watching a match, you have a car park on the opposite side of the field and it looks like there are no stands at all.

    The Colombia Liga Águila uses a split season format - Apertura and Finalización. There isn't all that much of an off season. There are 20 clubs and 20 rounds in each of the 2 stages (instead of 19 rounds, weird). I think there is playoff of the top 8 sides after each stage.

    The goal is to develop some superstar players so I can dominate Colombia and do well in the Copa Libertadores. Many of those players will be sold on, hopefully for significant amounts of money. I can't really create a South America wide assembly line as the league has a 4 foreign player limit. Not sure if I can buy them and loan them - have a feeling the rules will simply prevent me from signing a 5th foreign player, no matter what my intent is. Brazil and Argentina obviously produce constant gems, but almost all of the other nations in South America will produce some as well. I'll have to pick and choose what I bring in, though.

    So I added some league files so that all leagues in South America are active except for Bolivia. Have all the common European nations, plus China. I checked off Add Players to Active Leagues which creates first day regens. Envigado got 4 regens of 4 stars or better. I gave in to the urge and looked at the PA. They range from 158 or 181. Biggest haul I've ever had in a single class. Three of them are AMCs, which is awesome - I don't use an AMC in my tactic. The other is a winger. So 2 of the AMCs are gonna be MCs and one is gonna be a winger. Would love to make one a DM, but they are small and attacking. Several of them have great personalities which is great because I don't have much for mentors. I stole a pretty good Colombian DC from another club.

    The board expectations were just to avoid relegation. Did the complete opposite and won the Finalización, the second half of the season. Which put me into a playoff, which we won as well. The team over-performed and I'm entirely sure how, but it seems like the big clubs were just quite inconsistent. My biggest wins were against the biggest sides - like dropping Atletico National 4-0 away. Tactically, I'm using the same 4-1-4-1 Very Fluid high press system I used with Lokomotiv. My two forwards aren't great or it would be scoring more. It still does pretty well with possession, but isn't as defensively sound as I would like. Better defenders and a better DM would help with that I think. There isn't much money so its going to be more about developing them. My 4 regens played regularly - two of them became starters, and the others rotated.

    Winning the Finalización put me in the Copa Libertadores which is exciting but also scary because my squad is thin and developing. My strongest player in the Finalización was my rightback. My leftback wasn't far behind. I don't have cover for either position so was praying neither got injured. I picked up a lot of yellow cards so both missed matches suspended, but it got worse when New York City FC bid for the rightback at the start of 2017. I tried to scare them away with outrageous demands, but they ended up offer $1m Euros and my board accepted. I found another Colombian rightback with decent potential, plus ended up with money to buy some other high potential Colombians - another DC and a GK. The youth intake day is in early January, which is nice. Class brought me.... a high potential AMC. Fuck. This one is big rather than little but still attacking. Just develop into a great roaming playmaker. I got a scare just after that when Sporting CP made a laughable offer for one of my high potential AMCs and I was worried my board might accept it. Or the player would throw a tantrum. Thankfully neither happened, but until the finances are stronger, its gonna be a constant scare. The club reputation and therefore player reputations and values are still quite low, meaning European clubs think a 50K offer is legit for the next James Rodriguez. Right then, fuck off with that.

    Start of the 2017 Apertura has gone well. I jumped into the Group Stage of the Copa Libertadores. My group includes an Uruguayan club (can't remember which), Santos, and an Argentinean club (San Lorenzo, I think). Drew away to the Argentinian club and at home to Santos, so not doing too bad so far. It looks like the fixtures are going to be pretty constant - the Copa Libertadores will run thru into November, obviously depending on how deep we make it. Plus the Copa has more matches than a typical cup because it has group stages. I think both the Apertura and Finalización have playoffs for the top 8 sides, so the fixtures could pile up. I will need great squad depth if the club is successful.

    This has been fun so far, and more successful than I expected. All the way around. I'm just hopeful that I can keep some of the great youngsters until they have enough value to bring in money to really develop the club infrastructure. The potential here is immense.
    FyrstWalterLFC likes this.

  3. This is a great idea and beautifully written. Big ups!

    I might chime in with one of my own later on. Just need to get a bit further along

    (Custom Database)
    Just at the end of season One, secured promotion, team is all loans and amateurs just got raided during the window.. gits and now i'm having to play rookie till the end of the year, lucky promotion is already in the bag Onwards to the MLS (in about 10-15 years if im lucky)


    Attachment 1108661

    SEASON ONE - Home page.. Board love me

    Attachment 1108662

    SEASON ONE - ME! arent i pretty.

    Attachment 1108663

    SEASON ONE - Goal Machine (on loan ) & SEASON ONE - King maker (assist leader) & SEASON ONE - Star Rookie.. Hell of a regen GK.. (well for this level)

    Attachment 1108664Attachment 1108665Attachment 1108666

    SEASON ONE - The Formations

    Attachment 1108667
    SEASON ONE - Results & Table

    Attachment 1108669 Attachment 1108670

    Me only giant killing (2 divs up) - i proceeded to get whopped in the next round by New York Cosmos 4-1

    Attachment 1108672

    In for a big summer now the squad has been decimated, god knows how the money will pan out. i'm hoping to at least get 2mil in the bag.. fingers crossed.

  5. Thanks Walter.

    And really cool update, wkdsoul. Really cool idea for a club. Lots of footie fans in New York City.

  6. Smaller update this time, as I haven't advanced too much further. In April of 2017. Neck and neck with Medellin in the Apertura. Just played them and drew. We don't really need to top the table, as the top 8 get into the playoff. So we will still have an opportunity to win the Apertura even without finishing top the table. Hard to get used to that thought.

    Qualified for the next round of the Copa Libertadores based on an away draw to Santos and a home thumping of San Lorenzo (4-1!!!). I really don't expect to go too far in the competition as we just don't have the quality or depth to match up to bigger clubs across the continent. Going as deep as possible would nice even if just for the money it brings in - hardly comparable to European competition, but money is money. And ever win helps the club reputation as well.

    The side seems to be playing better than the sum of its individual parts right now. My replacement right back isn't fantastic even by Colombian standards but he's doing really well. I don't get tons of goals from my strikers, neither of whom are world beaters, but the rest of the squad chips in. Especially the CM-A.... makes great runs onto crosses and cut back passes to smash home. We score some lovely goals - one of the upsides to playing on Very Fluid. I've been using the Counter mentality - minimizing risk because of the relatively lower level of the talent in the squad. I will up it to Standard at some point, and then eventually Control when we look to be one of the more talented sides in the league. Still a ways to go on that though...

    Starting to worry about the young talent I have. The one MC, Cano, has already been subject to a couple of bids by Sporting CP. Atletico Madrid are interested as well. If they came in with a fairly reasonable offer, I'd probably have to give in and sell. A few million could be significant to the club. But they are offering like 50K Euros up front, and a bunch of clauses to make it worth like 250K total at most. Umm no. Not for a high potential U20 Colombian regular who has almost 50 league matches under his belt before the age of 18. What makes it stressful is that the player will throw a fit at some point, or the board will grab whatever cash if offered. That's what happened with the rightback being sold for 1m Euros.

    Of the 7 quality regens I have (4 academy, 3 signed), 2 of them are already constants in the side and my 2 best players. Both in terms of skill and performance. The other 5 are rotating in and getting quite a bit of match time. The 2 central defenders - both of which came from outside the club - are a bit further behind in development, but I'm hoping that by the later part of 2017 or early 2018, they will be capable of taking over. If they develop like the midfielders have been, the spine of the squad could start to become formidable. I have a Venezuelan rightback coming in with 4 star potential - he won't arrive until the summer. I was hopeful he would develop more before he arrived but he's been a bit stagnant and that's worrisome. Better wingbacks could make a big difference, but a striker could see us start to really run up some scores. I don't need a brilliant world class striker, but a forward with good physicals, work rate, anticipation, and off the ball can be utterly devastating with the approach I use. Seen more than 1 goal per match in some saves.

    Money isn't too tight. Sitting on around 3m right now. Should get new sponsors in June, which could prove lucrative - relatively, by Colombian standards. With the 7 youngsters I have, I'd still like to upgrade the leftback spot (and possibly the rightback, if that Venezuelan doesn't pan out), DM, and striker. Its tempting to start looking outside of Colombia a lot, but while players from Venezuela and similar might be interested, not so much from Brazil, Argentina, or Chile. The club reputation is growing, but not that fast.

    My manager reputation is growing. One of Colombia's bigger reputation clubs sacked the manager and the media was linking me with the job. That's cool but all about growing Envigado in this save.

    One of the long term goals is to build a new stadium. Don't know why, but the single stand just bothers me. Its like having half of a stadium and that's it. I've watched a bit of Envigado play in real football and its even stranger - the cameras are on the side with the stand, so the opposite side has a car park and there are training pitches at the ends, so it really does look like they are playing professional football at a pitch in the park rather than a stadium. I could ask the board to expand it, but I don't know what the max expansion is and its an older stadium. That will mean having some decent money banked, and the current stadium isn't filled on a regular basis. Gone up from an average of like 3K per match to like 6K from 2016 to 2017 but its a 14K stadium, so need to be filling it constantly before its going to be worth asking for a new one, even if the money is there.
    Last edited by Bigpapa42; 21/03/2017 at 09:27 PM.

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