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Ernie Allan Takes On 'The Dutch Challenge'
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  1. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Enjoying the story again mate! KIU
    Thanks mate...glad you're enjoying the read!

  2. December 2018



    "Willem II won the Dutch Cup in 1944 and 1963. They were also runners up in the competition in 2005"


    December 2018

    Continuing development in our youth development programme here is absolutely key to my long term success here. So I was really chuffed when the board agreed to invest some more dough into the junior coaching budget at my request.

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    Sunday 2nd December 2018
    Willem II vs Vitesse

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 71), Majetschak (van den Broek 54), Crowley, Dadachov, Puscas (Abubakar 54)

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    Vitesse came into this game top of the league, having only lost 2 of their 13 league games this season. So I am delighted to get the win here, and you know what?....it was totally deserved as we were by far the better side for large periods of the game. Young striker Abubakar was the difference when he come on as he scored one and set the other up on our way to a big 3 points!



    Having a look at the club’s facilities, I noticed that we had no data analysis facility. In a bid to rectify this immediately, I went to the board and asked them for an improvement. I’m liking my board at the moment as again, they grant my request without any questions asked and we’ll have something in place by the end of the month.

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    The improvements keep on coming. Another one on the youth recruitment networking budget as the club agree to invest more into this area, meaning we should be able to attract better young, local players to the club. Especially with our recently upgraded youth facilities as well.

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    Wednesday 5th December 2018
    Willem II vs Ajax

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Wijnaldum (Dankerlui 45), Majetschak, Crowley, Dadachov, Abubakar

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    My boys really gave me 100% effort in this one but still the champions were just a little too strong for us as they edged a tight game 1-0. Still, it’s another sign that we are gradually closing the gap between ourselves and the top teams in the country as we were being completely dominated in these games last year.



    Saturday 8th December 2018
    ADO Den Haag vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Wijnaldum, Majetschak (Crowley 55), van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas (Abubakar 55)

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    At the end of last month, I named this game as a must win with our fixture list in December, so I’m really pissed off not to win this one. But to not even come away with a point and the team offering up such a lacklustre effort after the way we played in the previous game against Ajax is nothing short of bitter disappointment.



    Friday 14th December 2018
    SC Cambuur vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Wijnaldum, Crowley, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas

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    The lads bounced back from the disappointment of the Den Haag result immediately as we turned in a solid performance away at SC Cambuur! They have one of the best defences in the league, but it was our defence who won the day as we were well organised in defence, making no mistakes and not allowing their strikers anything! Dan Crowley stepped up and really stood out against the club where he spent 4 months on loan last season.



    The planned upgrade to the club’s data analysis facility is complete.

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    Wednesday 19th December 2018
    Dutch Cup 3rd Round
    Willem II vs VVV-Venlo

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa (Lieftink 80), Dankerlui, Grimm, Simonse, Crowley (van den Broek 70), van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas (Abubakar 70)

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    We had a couple of wobbly moments in this game, but for the most part we were pretty dominant and in control. Once we’d gone into a 4-2 lead, I was able to rest the likes of Crowley and Puscas with the league game against AZ only 3 days away. Damil Dankerlui was given a run out for this game in place of the rested Fernando Lewis and really impressed with 3 assists!!



    The Quarter Final of the Dutch Cup should be a fiery one for us as we’ve been drawn against arch rivals NAC Breda. They will have the home advantage in what is sure to be a fascinating game.

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    Saturday 22nd December 2018
    Willem II vs AZ Alkmaar

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Dankerlui, Crowley, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas

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    Our final game of 2018 saw us take on AZ in a clash that saw 4th take on 7th in the table. As expected, it was a very tight game, with us having more possession but AZ creating more chances. However, it was us reigned supreme on the day and finish the year with a very good home win against a good side!



    So a month ago, we had no data analysis facilities at all. Now we have put something in place but it is still of a poor standard, so I asked the board to put some more investment into it and I’m pleased to report that they agreed it would be worthwhile.

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    If you’d have told me we’d be in the top 4 at the halfway stage of the season at the start of the campaign, I’d have absolutely bitten your hand off for it! But that’s exactly where we find ourselves after 18 games! The likes of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV are now closing in and we’d expect them to have a strong 2nd half of the season, but things look very open at present with FC Twente and Vitesse really giving the big boys a run for their money! If we can finish in the top 7 this season, I’ll be over the moon!

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    Player of the Month
    Peter van Ooijen

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    Peter only really played as a bit part player for the first few months of the season following his arrival in the Summer, but this month he has forced himself into the first team and has been outstanding!



    It’s Winter break time so we have nearly a month off. However, we will return toward the end of January and get in a quick 3 games next month including the quarter final of the Dutch Cup against NAC Breda! The away game against top of the league FC Twente is sure to provide a stern test as well!

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  3. January 2019



    "Since I joined the club, the highest gate receipts we've made are £179k in this
    year's Dutch Cup 3rd round game against VVV"


    January 2019

    We kick off the new year with some unwanted interest in goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther. Marseille are sniffing around and put forward an offer of £1.1 million rising to £1.5 million. Although this would double the club’s bank balance overnight, I quickly reject the offer telling the French club that he is indispensable to the club.

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    Saturday 19th January 2019
    Willem II vs Sparta Rotterdam

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Wijnaldum (Simonse 76), Crowley (van den Broek 76), van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas

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    We kick off 2019 in style with a good home win against struggling Sparta. They are in the bottom 2, have only won 1 game all season and are currently bottom of the form table and we piled on the misery for them here as we won this game pretty comfortably. Puscas and Dadachov are forming a decent partnership up front for us….it’s a shame they are both only here on loan.



    I have been concerned all season that we only have 3 recognised centre backs in the team and they are playing every game without cover. We’ve been lucky that none of them have picked up any injuries yet, but I knew I needed to add another centre back this window. I have picked up 21 year old Spaniard Antonio Montoro on a free transfer. Montoro has come through the Atletico Madrid youth system and was released at the end of last season. He made 61 appearances for their B team and is a good addition to the squad as he still has plenty of time to improve with us.

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    Saturday 26th January 2019
    FC Twente vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Tsimikas, Crowley, van Ooijen, Dadachov (Sol 31), Puscas

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    FC Twente were top of the league at the turn of the year, but lost their first game of 2019 to Ajax, meaning they were 2nd at kick off here. Still, there’s no shame in that defeat and we knew we’d have to be on top form to get a result against them away at their place. And we were…..a great performance from my lads as we make it back to back wins in January and leapfrog Twente in the league!



    Renat Dadachov limped off in the game against FC Twente and he’ll be absent for up to 3 weeks with injury.

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    Tuesday 29th January 2019
    Dutch Cup Quarter Final
    NAC Breda vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui (Lewis 54), Heerkens, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 54), Crowley, van Ooijen, Sol (Abubakar 54), Puscas

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    Fuck it! I’m gutted to go out here as I really thought this was a winnable game to see us through to the semis! But we have struggled against our fierce rivals so far since I took over, only winning 1 in 4 games so far. I’ll need to improve this record as our fans are taking a lot of stick from their supporters on matchdays and I can’t have the Willem faithful taking shit from our rival’s fans like this!



    The biggest transfers of the January window saw players leave Holland rather than arrive. Sc Heerenveen raked in nearly £5 million from Man City for 18 year old Kik Pierie, but surprisingly spent none of the funds to bring new players in! PSV offloaded full back Luis Orejuela for over £2 million but again did not spend any of their newly acquired funds. Vitesse were actually the biggest spenders, forking out £1 million to bring in Sondre Rossbach from Odd, and Saman Ghoddos from Ostersunds.

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    Ghoddos looks like a bargain for Vitesse as he is already worth £2.7 million after they only spent £625k to bring him in!

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    Two wins from two in the league meant a maximum 6 points and we’re up into the top 3 and only 3 points behind Ajax, although they do have a game in hand. The top 6 do seem to be pulling away a little now and I’m delighted we’re in that mix as I have ambitions of making the European qualification spots this year now. The battle for bottom spot looks set to be played out between De Graafschap and Sparta as the fall away from the rest.

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    Player of the Month
    George Puscas

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    The young striker has to get it as he turned in two great performances in the league, bagging a goal and an assist in both games.



    Two really tough games will kick off February as we take on Ajax and PSV and it’s worth noting we haven’t picked up a win against either since I arrived here. If we do kick off the month with a couple of defeats (I’m ever the sceptic), then it will make the Heerenveen and Excelsior games huge for us if we want to stay in the top 6 mix.

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  4. Good couple of wins there. Love how the Twente result hints it was down to them being down to 10 men even though you were 2-0 up within just over 15 minutes.

    Forget the cup, it's just a distraction as you mount an unlikely title challenge
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Good couple of wins there. Love how the Twente result hints it was down to them being down to 10 men even though you were 2-0 up within just over 15 minutes.

    Forget the cup, it's just a distraction as you mount an unlikely title challenge
    If we could somehow manage results against Ajax and PSV next month, I might actually believe a title challenge is possible....but to be honest top 6 would be a huge achievement for us in only my 2nd season

  6. great read mate. if you can get into europe the extra finance could really help change the look and quality of the squad. Keep it up
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  7. February 2019



    "Piet de Jong is the club's all time record league goalscorer with 216 league goals.
    He made 363 appearances for the club between 1947-1961"


    February 2019

    Sunday 3rd February 2019
    Willem II vs PSV

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters (Montoro 87), Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 71), Crowley, van Ooijen (Chirivella 71), Sol, Puscas

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    We were so unlucky not to get something out of this game. We really did hold our own for 78 minutes and then they copped a lucky break when a hopeful shot from Efraim took a huge deflection off Peters and went in. The lads were noticeably disheartened and I couldn’t pick them back up before we’d quickly conceded a 2nd! PSV take the 3 points and I feel sorry for my team as we deserved a point I think!



    We went through the wars a little in the PSV game and two players picked up injuries. Both Peters and Heerkens picked up injuries that will keep them out for 4 and 2 weeks respectively.

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    With Jordens Peters having to come off late in the game against PSV, Antonio Montoro came on for the final few minutes to make his debut for the club. He wasn’t really on the pitch for long enough to pass judgement on his performance, but we’ll probably be getting a much closer look at him over the next few weeks whilst Peters spends time on the sidelines through injury.

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    Sunday 10th February 2019
    Ajax vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Tsimikas, Crowley (Majetschak 45), van Ooijen, Sol, Puscas (Abubakar 65)

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    Get in, we’ll take an away draw at Ajax all day long. This was the first time I’ve been able to get anything from a game with them so far with our previous 3 meetings all ending in defeat! To be fair, we probably could have nicked this game at the end when Fran Sol found himself free in the box in the 89th minute, but his header from 4 yards out was straight into the arms of the Ajax keeper!



    Saturday 16th February 2019
    Willem II vs sc Heerenveen

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Wijnaldum (Sent off 69), Crowley, van Ooijen (Chirivella 70), Dadachov, Puscas (Simonse 70)

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    Heerenveen came into this game in 7th place as the team leading the chasing pack for the top 6. So I’m delighted to have opened that gap a little bit more with a good solid home win here! Wijnaldum got himself sent off for the 3rd time this season, leaving us to defend our two goal lead with 20 minutes remaining. When they immediately got one back, I thought we were in for a rough ride in the final quarter of the game, but actually we composed ourselves really well controlling the game and even managed another goal through substitute Chirivella.



    Saturday 23rd February 2019
    Willem II vs Excelsior

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 78), Grimm, Tsimikas, van den Broek (Crowley 62), Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas (Sol 62)

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    This was a game I expected to win, but I have to give credit to Excelsior who gave us a very good game and played very well, especially for a club in the midst of the relegation battle. We created some good chances, but our strikers had a bit of an off day and couldn’t find that goal to get us over the line and grab the win. We have to settle for a point, but I can’t help but walk away thinking this is a bad result against a weaker side.



    Ajax have started to pull away at the top of the league as they look to retain their title. We are very much involved still in the chasing pack though, with only 5 points separating 2nd and 6th place, with us currently lying 5th. More importantly, there is a 8 point gap between us and NAC in 7th place as we continue our push to qualify for Europe. Down at the bottom, the writing is on the wall for De Graafschap and Sparta, with a whole host of teams fighting not to be the other team finishing in the bottom 3.

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    Player of the Month
    Peter van Ooijen

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    Nobody has really shone this month as we had a tough run of games, but van Ooijen still managed to keep up a good level of form and takes the player of the month based on that alone.



    Four games coming up in March and it ain’t going to be an easy month as we are set to take on Feyenoord and NAC who are both in the top 7. Our other two games will be against two sides that are widely perceived to be underachieving…..Utrecht who find themselves in 9th and PEC Zwolle in 12th. Both of them are likely to be giving it their all for a good finish to the season after a disappointing campaign so far.

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  8. March 2019



    "The most draws the club have recorded in a single season was 19, during the 1984-85 season.
    That's more than half their games that year"


    March 2019

    Saturday 2nd March 2019
    FC Utrecht vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Montoro (Peters 61), Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 61), Grimm, Tsimikas, Crowley, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas (Sol 45)

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    FC Utrecht are a much better team than their league position suggests, so this was a really good win for us away from home! Renat Dadachov’s winning goal was an absolute beauty, a curled effort into the top corner from outside the box, and after that our defence stayed strong to hold on for all 3 points!



    George Puscas came off during the Utrecht game after a clash of heads left him with concussion. He will miss the next 3 weeks of action.

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    Saturday 9th March 2019
    NAC Breda vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Grimm, Tsimikas, Crowley (Majetschak 64), van Ooijen, Dadachov, Sol (Abubakar 64)

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    It’s that time again….time to take on our main rivals! We’ve lost our last 3 meetings and failed to score a single goal in any of them games. And they came into this one in high spirits after just knocking Ajax out of the Dutch Cup to progress to the final, where they’ll take on Feyenoord in May. However, despite all of the above, we managed to break our poor run of form against NAC and for once our fans are the ones with the bragging rights! A goal scrambled over the line by centre back Darryl Lachman was enough to secure the win!



    Sunday 17th March 2019
    Willem II vs Feyenoord

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman (Plat 61), Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Grimm, Tsimikas, Crowley (Majetschak 61), van Ooijen (Chirivella 82), Dadachov, Sol

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    YES YES YES…..we’ve beaten one of the big three for the first time since I took over! Our performances against the big 3 this season have really shown me how far our game has come on in just 2 seasons. Last year, we were being completely dominated by Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV, but this year our games with them have been much more closely contested and we’ve now taken it to the next level again by winning one! Chirivella was the hero, coming off the bench to score a 92nd minute winner, after we’d fought back to level terms twice in the match! What a performance from my lads!



    Alex Plat is a centre back that was brought in during the January transfer window by my Director of Football. I thought he had some potential (and because we were short of cover at centre back), I allowed the deal to go through. (Basically I have my settings for my DoF to go find talented youngsters and do all the contract negotiations, but I am the one who has the final say on if we sign them or not). Alex was brought on for the final half hour against Feyenoord, with Lachman having a pretty poor game. It was Plat’s debut for the club and he actually did very well, looking comfortable on the ball and assured in his defensive responsibilities. I was impressed as it was a big game to bring the youngster on for, but he rose to the occasion well!

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    I go to the board again and ask for another improvement in the youth recruitment programme. Again, the board grant my wish and tell me they’ll put more investment into this area for me. I’m really hoping we can bring some very good youngsters into the club over the next 2-3 years that I can nurture and develop!

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    Sunday 24th March 2019
    PEC Zwolle vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui (Lewis 56), Grimm (Heerkens 56), Tsimikas, Crowley, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Sol (Puscas 65)

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    Both sides came into this game on a run of 3 straight wins, and it was us who took the early initiative when both our strikers netted inside 6 minutes to put us 2-0 in front. However, Zwolle had a sense of determination about them and fought back to level things in the second half. With the game finely balanced, it was us who nicked it late on for the 2nd game in a row, this time with a 94th minute winner from striker Renat Dadachov who scored his 9th and 10th goals of the season today!



    I asked the bought to upgrade the data analysis facilities for the third time this year. They immediately agreed that the facilities required more investment and have agreed to put another £24,000 into another upgrade.

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    All the investment into the club’s youth recruitment and youth training facilities might just be paying off a little, as my Head of Youth Development reckons we may have a golden generation of youngsters on our hands through the youth intake this year.

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    As we look at the youth team, the biggest potential prospects are Harold van Steen, Yoeri Bolsius and Nigel Davids.

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    What a month March was for us! 4 wins from 4 games including our first win against one of the big 3! The 12 points earned this month takes us over the 50 mark with 6 games still to play, and moves us up to 2nd in the league with a 3 point buffer back to 3rd as well! We look nailed on for a top 6 finish, so now we turn our attentions to the possibility of finishing in the top 2 and qualifying for the Champions League!! Although, I’d happily settle for 3rd and go straight into the Europa League at the group stage also.

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    Player of the Month
    Renat Dadachov

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    The 19 year old striker has been in sensational form this month chipping in with 5 goals and an assist! It’s such a shame he is only here on loan and we probably won’t have the budget to buy him!



    Four games ahead in April and we have a good opportunity to continue our form with Vitesse being the only team we will play who are currently in the top half of the table.

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  9. April 2019



    "Willem II have a very fiery rivalry with NAC Breda. It is classed as a local derby
    due to the close geographical nature of the two clubs"


    April 2019

    We kick off April with more investment in the junior coaching from the board. I asked them to pump some money into this and the quickly obliged, which means our junior coaching will soon be at an ‘excellent’ level.

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    I handed a new 2 year contract to Fran Sol. His deal was due to expire at the end of the season and with my two best strikers (Puscas and Dadachov) only being here on loan, it was key to keep Sol here as a permanent member of the team. His squad status has moved down from first team to squad rotation though.

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    Friday 5th April 2019
    Willem II vs N.E.C Nijmegen

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 81), Crowley, van Ooijen (Chirivella 70), Dadachov (Puscas 58), Sol

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    Pure domination from start to finish here, limiting N.E.C to only 1 shot all game. Despite that, we only managed to get the ball in the back of the net once….which thankfully was enough to take the points. Their goalkeeper, Joris Delle, had a blinder to be fair and pulled off a number of eye-catching saves to keep the scoreline respectable.



    Sunday 14th April 2019
    De Graafschap vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Sent off 57), Heerkens, Tsimikas, Crowley, Chirivella, Dadachov (van den Broek 70), Sol (Puscas 70)

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    Despite being 2nd from bottom, De Graafschap came into this game 7th in the league form table, so this wasn’t expected to be as easy as the league table might suggest. The fact we were playing in a torrential downpour was also expected to disrupt our short passing game. And to be fair to our opponents, they were much the better side in the opening 30 minutes, but we weathered the storm and were handed the lead when the referee gave us a penalty for a needless foul from the Graafschap centre back, which Sol converted to put us 1 up. However, it didn’t deter our plucky opponents as they almost immediately levelled things up! The second half got underway and there’s no doubt about it, we were struggling! Things got worse with the sending off of Fabian Lewis and De Graafschap went on to take advantage of the extra man as we suffered our first defeat in 9 games.



    Saturday 20th April 2019
    Willem II vs FC Groningen

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens (Sent off 61), Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 61), Crowley, Chirivella, Dadachov (Sol 61), Puscas

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    For the 2nd game in a row we were not good enough. For the second game in a row we had a man sent off with half an hour to play. For the 2nd game in a row we suffer defeat against a side in the bottom half of the table. Note to self…..must do better!



    Ajax are crowned champions of Holland for the 2nd season in a row, completing a domestic double after winning the Dutch Super Cup at the start of the season. They are currently 10 points ahead of us in 2nd with only 3 games remaining. An added bonus for them is that the match in which they won the title was a 5-2 victory over fierce rivals Feyenoord.

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    Sunday 28th April 2019
    Vitesse vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Grimm, Wijnaldum, Crowley, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Sol

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    I have to admit I wasn’t confident coming into this game against a 5th placed Vitesse, after our previous two performances. But I’m pleased to say we were a lot more competitive here and the players showed a lot more fight. We may not have won the game, but a point is good enough to keep us in the running for a top 3 finish.



    Fernando Lewis is one of the players touted for the Dutch Golden Boot award….basically this is the Dutch league best player. Not the top goalscorer as ‘golden boot’ would suggest.

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    Despite only recording one win in April, the team’s below us were unable to capatilise as they also recorded some indifferent results. It means we hold on to 2nd place with only 2 games remaining. Yes that’s right, if we win our final two games of the season, we will qualify for the Champions League next season!!! That would be unbelievable…..and we look like we’ll at least finish 3rd and grab a Europa League Group Stage spot at worst. Sparta are confirmed as relegated….extremely disappointing for them after finishing 8th last season.

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    Player of the Month
    Kostas Tsimikas

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    Kostas played extremely well in a couple of games this month, before missing out against Vitesse with suspension. Again, another player that is here on loan but I’d love to make his deal permanent.



    The season will come to a close next month as we play the final 2 games of the campaign. ADO Den Haag and AZ both sit 15th and 11th in the table, so these are very winnable games for us and if we do win them both, we’ll be confirmed as Eredivisie runners up which would be an incredible achievement in only my 2nd season!

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  10. Really good job being in 2nd after just 2 seasons mate, hopefully your finances will improve now! How do the Champions League spots work in the Eredivisie, is it the top 2 teams who make it to the group stage? Surely some Champions League money next season would help!

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Linecoigne1998 View Post
    Really good job being in 2nd after just 2 seasons mate, hopefully your finances will improve now! How do the Champions League spots work in the Eredivisie, is it the top 2 teams who make it to the group stage? Surely some Champions League money next season would help!
    Cheers mate....I've had an incredible season and I can't quite believe it. Unfortunately not....where Dutch football has dropped off the radar a little, the top team doesn't even go straight into the groups anymore. 1st will play playoffs, whilst 2nd goes into best placed 2nd qualifying phase! Only guarantee into a group stage is 3rd will enter the Europa League groups without requiring a qualification game first. Then two other clubs will enter the qualifying stages for the Europa League. They do a weird thing in Holland as well where 4th to 7th all play a European playoff at the end of the season to see who qualifies for Europa League too! See below.....

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  12. Quote Originally Posted by TheNotSoSpecialOne View Post
    Cheers mate....I've had an incredible season and I can't quite believe it. Unfortunately not....where Dutch football has dropped off the radar a little, the top team doesn't even go straight into the groups anymore. 1st will play playoffs, whilst 2nd goes into best placed 2nd qualifying phase! Only guarantee into a group stage is 3rd will enter the Europa League groups without requiring a qualification game first. Then two other clubs will enter the qualifying stages for the Europa League. They do a weird thing in Holland as well where 4th to 7th all play a European playoff at the end of the season to see who qualifies for Europa League too! See below.....

    Attachment 1170214
    Hahah wow I had no idea it was that different from other leagues! That 4th to 7th playoff is really odd for sure. If you finish 2nd at least you'll get some time in the Champions League though! Surely you can make it to the groups from there with some good summer signings KIU
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Linecoigne1998 View Post
    Hahah wow I had no idea it was that different from other leagues! That 4th to 7th playoff is really odd for sure. If you finish 2nd at least you'll get some time in the Champions League though! Surely you can make it to the groups from there with some good summer signings KIU
    I think even if you fail in the qualification rounds for the Champs League, you should still have the backup of going into the Europa anyway. So either way, I should be looking at some European football next season which I never expected as early as season 3!

  14. May 2019



    "A youngster at Chelsea, Ben Sahar was tipped as a hot propect for the future. However, his career didn't quite take off as expected. He signed for Willem II in July 2014 on a 1 year deal with the option of a further year. He scored 7 goals that season, but the club decided not to keep him on"


    May 2019

    As I am invited to cast my vote for the Young Player of the Year award, I’m delighted to see Dan Crowley has made the shortlist. I was allowed to vote for my own player so naturally my top three votes went to Dan Crowley, Taiwo Awoniyi and Justin Kluivert.

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    It’s Feyenoord who lift the Dutch Cup after beating our rivals NAC Breda in the final, very easily with a 4-0 win! PSV were classed as the biggest underachievers after crashing out to Telstar in the 2nd round! Damil Dankerlui is recognised as the player who achieved the highest amount of assists in the competition with 6….not bad considering we only played 4 games!

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    My Reserves have had a good season, winning their respective league and gaining promotion to the highest reserve league in Holland.

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    Sunday 12th May 2019
    Willem II vs ADO Den Haag

    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 at half time)
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman (Montoro 49), Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens (Sol 45), Tsimikas, Crowley (Majetschak 49), van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas

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    A game of 2 completely different halves. We were absolutely fucking terrible in the 1st half and found ourselves 3-0 down at half time! However, with a massive boot up the arse and a change of formation and mentality at the break, we managed to fight our way back into the game and amazingly rescue a point by the end! I’m not sure whether to be delighted that we got something out of the game, or mortified at the 1st half performance?!



    Sunday 19th May 2019
    AZ Alkmaar vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro (Lachman 61), Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 35), Tsimikas, Crowley (Majetschak 61), van Ooijen, Dadachov, Sol

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    Only a win would have secured us top 3 in the league for definite, but it wasn’t to be as we laboured to a 2-2 draw. Yes we showed good character to come back twice to level the scores, but it’s a disappointing result considering what was at stake.



    The final league table of the season gives me mixed emotions. Two games ago we were 2nd, so I’m gutted to drop down to 4th after failing to win either of our last two matches. On the flip side, I never would have imagined we would have finished 4th at the start of the campaign so I have to be delighted with that! FC Twente leapfrogged us on the final day of the season to nick the Europa League spot, which means we will now have to compete in the European Qualification playoffs with Vitesse, PSV and sc Heerenveen.

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    Looking at our progress over the season, we were never outside of the top 10 all year which is a huge achievement in itself! But for majority of the season, we were actually involved in the top 4….never quite reaching top of the league status, but spending a few weeks at 2nd and 3rd before ultimately dropping to 4th on the final day.

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    After finishing 4th in the league, we draw 7th placed sc Heerenveen in the European Places Playoff First Round. The tie will be played over two legs. I wonder if the media have jinxed us after pointing out that we haven’t lost to Heerenveen in our last 4 meetings.

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    Thursday 23rd May 2019
    Eredivisie European Places Playoff 1st Round 1st Leg
    Willem II vs sc Heerenveen

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm (Sent off 81), Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 64), Majetschak (Crowley 79), van Ooijen, Dadachov (Puscas 73), Sol

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    Advantage us after the first leg, although I’d have liked to have won by more than the 1 goal. We definitely had a couple of very good chances that were squandered by Fran Sol who could and should have had a hat trick in this game!



    Sunday 26th May 2019
    Eredivisie European Places Playoff 1st Round 2nd Leg
    Sc Heerenveen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman (Plat 69), Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis, Chirivella, Tsimikas, Majetschak, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Sol (Puscas 64)

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    Defensively we were poor in this match and every time Heerenveen entered our half, they looked like scoring! However, our attacking play was on point, and although we conceded 3 goals, we managed to bang in 3 of our own to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate! Antonio Montoro picked up his first goal for the club when he scrambled over the line for the opening goal of the game.



    PSV overcame Vitesse over two legs in the other tie, so it’s them that I will meet in the Playoff Places Second Round. Now, looking back to last season, both teams that made this stage went into the Europa League qualifying rounds for this season, and I think that was because PSV (who’d already qualified for a European competition via their league position) won the Dutch Cup. So if I’m right, with Feyenoord winning this year’s Dutch Cup and having already qualified for Europe by finishing 2nd in the league, both PSV and us should both progress to the Europa League qualifies next season whatever the result……but I don’t want to take it for granted and will obviously still be trying to win this game over two legs. Saying that, I’ve played PSV 4 times, lost 2 and drawn 2…..won 0!

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    Thursday 30th May 2019
    Eredivisie European Places Playoff 2nd Round 1st Leg
    Willem II vs PSV

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Tsimikas, Majetschak, van Ooijen (Chirivella 69), Dadachov, Sol (Puscas 69)

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    A close fought game that could have been nicked by either side in all honesty. But again, it was us that were on the wrong side of the result against PSV as they were the ones who managed to find the breakthrough and get the one goal that was enough to win the game.



    Player of the Month
    Fernando Lewis

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    Fernando Lewis has been the most consistent player across this month’s games. Lewis has a good pass ratio as well as completing majority of his tackles too. He loves a dribble, makes plenty of interceptions and can also win his share of headers. He really is an all-round good player in this league.



    We’ll have one game to play before the season comes to an end for us. That will be the 2nd leg against PSV on 2nd June!

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  15. June 2019



    "Kevin Bobson was a Dutch winger who player over 100 games for
    Willem II from 2004-2008, scoring 15 goals"


    June 2019

    Sunday 2nd June 2019
    Eredivisie European Places Playoff 2nd Round 2nd Leg

    PSV vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm (Chirivella 97), Tsimikas, Majetschak, van Ooijen (Crowley 71), Dadachov (Sol 71), Puscas

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    Well we made a bloody good go of it! We won the game 1-0 in 90 minutes, in 120 minutes even….which took it on to penalties! But PSV had the last laugh on the day as they win the shootout with 5 perfect penalties, whilst we miss just the one. After the game, there was still no word as to whether we had qualified for Europe next season or not…



    Apparently, I’m one of the favourites to pick up the Manager of the Year award.

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    The board set next year’s budgets. I’ll have just over £200,000 to spend on new players and the wage budget has been raised to £77k. We’re currently only spending £61k per week, so I’ve got a bit to play with here.

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    The commercial summary is sent through and makes for fine reading with everything on the up except for competition prize money, but I think that’s only because I haven’t had my payout for final placings in the league campaign yet.

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    And a couple of days later, the prize money comes through. For finishing 4th this season, we’ll be awarded over £5.5 million, which takes the finances to a pretty healthy position.

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    Immediately, I get the board to spend a large chunk of that money on another upgrade to the club’s youth facilities!

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    As all the season’s playoffs (both European and relegation) have now come to an end, the top goalscorer is announced. George Puscas finished in 3rd place with 16 goals! I tried to renew his loan deal again for next season, but the player rejected us feeling he needs to play at a higher level.

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    It’s Justin Kluivert of Ajax that picks up the young player of the year award, whilst Ajax’s manager Erik ten Hag wins the Manager’s award. I finished a respectable runner up!

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    Then it was time for our club awards and first we take a look at the overall best 11. Peter van Ooijen, Marco Chiosa and Jeremy Grimm all make the first 11, after good seasons!

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    Renat Dadachov is the big winner on awards night as he picks up the fan’s player of the year (with nearly half the vote) as well as the young player of the season! Peter van Ooijen wins the signing of the season!

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    Manager’s Player of the Season
    George Puscas

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    My award has to go to on loan striker George Puscas. He’s been fantastic for us and was a huge part of our success this season, bagging 21 goals and 7 assists in all competitions! He had some injuries and without those, I think he would have finished up top goalscorer in the league. It’s such a shame I couldn’t convince him to stay on with us next year!



    Looking over the whole squad, there were plenty of players that had a good season this year with some high average ratings about 7.00 recorded. Marco Chiosa was virtually ever present and made the most appearances for the club with 42. His fellow centre backs Darryl Lachman and Jordens Peters were next with 39 and 37 appearances each. Puscas led the goalscoring charts with 21 in all competitions, whilst Dadachov and Sol weighed in with double figure tallys as well. The wing back roles were key in creating our goals, with a combined 25 assists coming from Fernando Lewis, Damil Dankerlui and Kostas Tsimikas. Renat Dadachov found himself way out in front with the most man of the match awards (7).

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    As the media review our season, its pretty clear that everyone is impressed with our campaign.

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    The board are delighted with my performance as manager.

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    I’ve agreed a deal for my first Summer signing of the year. Henk Veerman will join us on a free transfer from Eredivisie side sc Heerenveen. The 28 year old powerful striker scored 7 goals in 16 senior appearances for them last year and I genuinely think he can do a job for us next year.

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    Veerman is quickly followed by my second free transfer signing. 22 year old English midfielder Charlie Colkett will join us from Chelsea! Colkett has spent the season on loan with Vitesse, although he only made 4 appearances for them in the league. I’m surprised they didn’t utilise him more as he looks like a pretty tasty player for this league and I’m hoping he can show what he can do for us next year.

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    A total of 11 players are released from the club as their contracts come to an end. The most notable are Elmo Lieftink and Omar Boulamhayan who both made first team appearances for me over the past couple of seasons.

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  16. July 2019



    "Before me, the last non-Dutch manager to take the reigns at Willem II was Scotsman
    Jimmy Calderwood who was in charge for the 1996-97 season. The club finished 15th in the
    Eredivisie that season, just avoiding relegation"


    July 2019

    I kick off July by rejecting an offer of over £400k from sc Heerenveen for defensive midfielder Freek Heerkens. He is a first team regular for me and there is no way I would let him go for such a low fee.

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    We’re still ranked 12th in the Dutch club rankings, despite my excellent season last year. Ajax are still number one, with PSV and Feyenoord retaining 2nd and 3rd spots also. Vitesse have leapfrogged AZ into 4th place.

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    The fixture list for the new season is released and we’ll kick off with a home game against FC Utrecht. Our rival game with NAC will come only 3 games in and our first game against the big three will be away at Feyenoord in mid September. March 2020 will be a tough month as we’ll take on Vitesse, Ajax and PSV within 4 games of one another.

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    We’ll pick up just shy of £2 million in TV rights over the coming season.

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    As I did last year, I look to our senior affiliate Inter Milan to see who’s available for loan. I am pleased to welcome 18 year old centre back Flor Van Den Eynden to the club for this year’s campaign as he joins on a season long loan. Van Den Eynden is a pacey centre back with very high determination. His positioning, marking and heading stats are all very high and he is sure to get some good playing time with us this year to aid his development.

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    Van Den Eynden is quickly followed into the club by one of his team members, Nicolo Zaniolo, who also joins us on a 1 year loan deal from Inter. Zaniolo is a 20 year old Italian central midfielder who is an all rounder with good stats in all areas. Again, another player that is sure to get plenty of game time with us this season and has the ability to make a real impact in Holland as well!

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    I tried to keep Kostas Tsimikas here on loan for a 3rd season but Olympiakos refused the move as they want to give him a chance in their first team, which doesn’t surprise me as he’s been pretty impressive for us. This only left me with Giliano Wijnaldum as a recognised left wing back and seeing as he has a habit for getting sent off (3 times last season), I felt I needed another player who could play that role. After a lot of searching, I’ve found a player I really like the look of in Erdin Demir who joins us from Belgian Pro League A club, Waasland-Beveren, where he has spent the past 4 seasons, making over 130 appearances. He’s got some good defensive stats, but what really caught my eye was his pace going forward and ability to ping a good cross into the box. To be able to afford the £650k fee for him, I had to spread the payments so we’ll fork out £200k up front, plus £450k over two 12 monthly instalments. The fee may rise to £850k depending on performance bonuses.

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    So we finally get some news on the Europa League qualification (that I thought I might have been eligible for following last season’s playoffs). So it looks like what’s happened is that I’ll be entering the competition at the 2nd Qualifying Round, whilst PSV who beat us in the Playoff final will enter the competition in the 3rd Qualifying Round. Anyway, the draw has been done and we’ll play Croatian side Slaven Belupo in the 2nd Qualifying Round, with both legs due to be played before our season begins.

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    Before the Europa League qualifying campaign kicked off, we played 3 friendlies in order to get the lads warmed up. We played a couple of smaller sides in Holland as well as inviting Aston Villa over from England for a friendly. I played a whole range of players in the 3 friendlies, trying to get a look at all my players to decide who deserves a starting spot in the Europa League game, including a couple of my youngsters from the U19s squad. The friendlies went OK with 2 wins and a draw and it was pleasing that we didn’t concede a single goal.

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    Jeremy Grimm was one of our best players last season, scrapping throughout for the defensive midfield role with Freek Heerkens. Unfortunately, he is going to miss the first couple of months of this season after picking up a hip injury during training.

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    Thursday 25th July 2019
    Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round 1st LegWillem II vs Slaven Belupo
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Lachman 21), Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, Colkett, Veerman, Sol

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    My first ever venture into European football is a good one. We were pretty dominant throughout in this game, bagged a couple of goals and kept a clean sheet. Half way there and now to just do a sensible job in Croatia for the 2nd leg.



    A number of players made their competitive debuts for the club in the game against Slaven Belupo. Henk Veerman was the pick of the bunch as he scored two goals! One was a powerful close range effort and the other was a tidy header into the top corner.

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    There was one piece of bad news from the Belupo game….Fernando Lewis will miss up to a month of action after he limped off with injury.

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    After failing to keep George Puscas or Renat Dadachov here for another season on loan, I desperately needed to add another striker to the squad. After spending majority of my transfer budget on Erdin Demir, I turned to the loan market and have managed to pick up a pretty good little striker for the season. Please welcome Cedric Teuchert who joins us from German side Gelsenkirchen. The 22 year old German adds some much needed pace to the front line, has good finishing and composure stats and certainly has the ability to bag some goals for us this year. I’m really pleased to have snapped him up!

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    Looking ahead to August, we’ll kick off the month with the 2nd leg against Slaven Belupo. The Eredivisie campaign will also kick off with 3 games scheduled although this may be subject to change if we progress in the Europa League as I’m sure we’ll have another qualifying round to play.

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  17. Some really good progress being made, hopefully you can keep up the good work in the league and have a decent run in Europe.

    Also the fact that your reserve team isn't called Willem II II is a missed opportunity I feel
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by ninjaskill View Post
    Some really good progress being made, hopefully you can keep up the good work in the league and have a decent run in Europe.

    Also the fact that your reserve team isn't called Willem II II is a missed opportunity I feel
    Cheers mate, unfortunately Europe has come to an end already (as you'll see in the next update). So all my attention will be on the league to see if we can have another stormer of a season like last year! If we can avoid the big boys, there's no reason why we can't make at least the semis of the Dutch Cup as well.

  19. August 2019



    "In our last 50 games, we have scored a total of 88 goals. 19 of these have been scored between the 31st and 45th minute"


    August 2019

    Thursday 1st August 2019
    Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
    Slaven Belupo vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Demir (Wijnaldum 64), Zaniolo (Crowley 64), Colkett, Veerman, Sol (Davids 85)

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    The early goal from Fran Sol meant that with the away goals rule in place, Slaven Belupo would now need 4 goals to beat us and progress. Basically, within 3 minutes, we had put ourselves in complete control of the tie! Although we went on to lose the game 3-2, we were never in any real danger of losing the tie and will progress to the 3rd qualifying round.



    We were a non seeded side for the 3rd qualifying round and there were some big names that we could have come up against including the likes of RBL, Leicester City, Basel and Sparta Prague. And we were unlucky enough to draw one of those…..we’re off to Switzerland to play Basel! To put it in perspective of the difference in size, our club is valued around the £13 million mark, whilst Basel are worth over £70 million. Our highest valued player is Fran Sol at around £3 million, whilst Basel have 10 players valued at over £4 million! There’s no doubt about it, this will be a tough tie for us!

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    Thursday 8th August 2019
    Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round 1st Leg
    Willem II vs Basel

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, Colkett (van Ooijen 82), Veerman (Teuchert 82), Sol

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    A respectable draw at home, but I fear it may not be enough with the away leg still to come. I really felt that if we were going to have a chance of progressing, we needed to keep a clean sheet here. Still, we’ll give it a bloody good go in Switzerland, with the first thing on the agenda being a goal…..we must now score out there.



    With the league campaign about to start, the board send me a reminder of this year’s targets. Their looking for a mid table finish in the Eredivisie which is lenient considering we finished 4th last year. We’ve already met expectations in Europe, so anything else now would be a bonus, and the 3rd round of the Dutch Cup is again highly achievable.

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    The season preview shows that again we are predicted a 12th placed finish, the same as last year. However, our odds on winning the league have cut from 500-1 last season to 350-1 this year. Ajax are favourites to win the league for a 3rd straight season, despite selling three of their best players this Summer (we’ll come to that at the end of the transfer window). The dream 11 is again dominated by players from the big 3, although AZ have snuck a player in at right back this year with Jonas Svensson. I have two players who made the key players list, both loanees Nicolo Zaniolo and striker Cedric Teuchert.

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    Whether it’s the prospect of European football, or off the back end of our fantastic season last year, we’ve managed to gain an extra 500 season ticket holders this year.

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    Sunday 11th August 2019
    Willem II vs FC Utrecht
    Formation: 3-3-2-2

    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui (Lachman 48), Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, Colkett (van Ooijen 75), Veerman (Teuchert 64), Sol

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    We kicked off the Eredivisie with a solid home win! In the pre season review, they said one of my key players would be young midfidler Nicolo Zaniolo and based on this performance, they weren’t wrong! He was fantastic and scored both goals on our way to taking all 3 points on the opening day!



    Damil Dankerlui came off with sprained ankle ligaments against Utrecht and will now miss up to 4 weeks through injury.

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    Thursday 15th August 2019
    Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg
    Basel
    vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 on 53 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Lachman, Heerkens (Teuchert 53), Demir, Zaniolo, Colkett, Veerman, Sol

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    The European dream is over for this season as we’re beaten in Switzerland. It was a valiant effort from my lads against a far superior side. I think Europe may have come a little too early for us and we haven’t quite got our squad up to scratch to compete at this level yet.



    We did at least make a little bit of money out of the Europa League. This was along with the £100k we got for making it through the 2nd qualifying round as well. Not a lot, but when your turnover is as low as ours, every little helps.

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    Sunday 18th August 2019
    Roda JC vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo (Crowley 75), Colkett (van Ooijen 75), Sol, Teuchert (Veerman 75)

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    A close game which could have gone either way. As it happened, it didn’t go either and both teams had to settle for a draw.



    On paper, our 1st round draw for the Dutch Cup should be an easy one. We’ll take on lower league side VVSB, a club valued at only £229k, who play their homes game in a 2,000 capacity stadium.

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    Sunday 25th August 2019
    Willem II vs NAC Breda

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden (Montoro 79), Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 72), Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Sol (Veerman 72), Teuchert

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    If you’re going to score your first goal for the club, then there is no better team to do it against than your bitter rivals, and that’s exactly what Cedric Teuchert did here when he put us in the lead with half an hour remaining. Once we had that lead, it was down to the defence to do their bit and they did exactly that, staying strong and keeping a clean sheet to ensure that one goal was enough for the win!



    The club agree to my request to improve the data analysis facilities again.

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    Saturday 31st August 2019
    VVV-Venlo vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Lachman 70), Heerkens, Demir (Wijnaldum 82), Crowley, van Ooijen, Sol, Teuchert (Davids 70)

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    It only took 3 minutes for Dan Crowley to score on his first start of the season and give us the lead. When Fran Sol doubled our lead just after the half hour mark, I had no doubt my boys would see the game out. And although they were not fantastic, they were indeed professional in the way they went about their business, shutting out the opposition and keeping another clean sheet.



    Not a single goal conceded in the league so far and with 3 wins and a draw to our name, we have made an excellent start and find ourselves in 2nd at the end of August. Only Ajax are above us after their perfect start to the season. N.E.C and sc Heerenveen are still looking for their first point.

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    Player of the Month
    Timon Wellenreuther

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    With the 4 clean sheets in the league this month, I had to give it to the keeper who has been ultra consistent with his performances.



    Our first real test of the season will come in September as we go away to Feyenoord. I wonder if sc Heerenveen will have a point on the board by the time we play them at the end of the month.

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  20. September 2019



    "The last manager to lift a trophy with Willem II was Jurgen Streppel. He won the Jupiler League in 2014"


    September 2019

    This was a big Summer window for one club at least. Ajax raked in more than £55 million on the sales of Justin Kluivert and Matthijs de Ligt to Spurs and Arsenal. Those fees could rise by another £20 million in the future with appearance and international appearance add ons. Ajax also offloaded Donny van de Beek to AC Milan for £9.5 million and Rasmus Nissen Kristensen to Arsenal for £8.5 million taking their total transfer sales to well over £70 million!!! They spent a fair chunk on new players as well forking out £10.25 million for PSV’s Nicolas Isimat-Mirin. They then raided PSV again for Derrick Luckassen’s signature, paying out another £10.75 million for him! Feyenoord also sold one of their best young players as Jerry St Juste joined Watford for over £13 million! I see all these deals happening and just wish I had a player I could move on for £10+ million…..I could probably buy 5 really good players for that sort of money!!

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    Sunday 15th September 2019
    Feyenoord vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 69), Demir, Crowley (Zaniolo 69), van Ooijen, Sol, Teuchert (Veerman 69)

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    Last time we played Feyenoord we managed to get the win, so I was hoping my lads could take the confidence of that result into this game. And they only bloody did, as we beat Feyenoord for the 2nd time in a row and keep our run of league clean sheets going at the same time. Jeremy Grimm was the hero today as he came off the bench to score the winner with 12 minutes left!



    Saturday 21st September 2019
    Willem II vs ADO Den Haag
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 45), Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen (Colkett 80), Sol, Teuchert (Veerman 45)

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    We’ve failed to beat ADO Den Haag in any of our last 4 meetings, and it looked unlikely we were going to get a result here again when they took the lead just after half time. However, my lads showed true grit and a determined effort saw them come back and not only level the scores, but nick all 3 points late on!



    Tuesday 24th September 2019
    VVSB vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Montoro, Chiosa (Plat 70), Dankerlui, Grimm, Demir (Wijnaldum 70), Zaniolo, Colkett, Veerman, Teuchert (Davids 70)

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    I took the opportunity here to rotate the squad a little and there were no less than 6 changes to the starting lineup from the team that played ADO Den Haag. Despite all the changes, the lads were still thoroughly dominant and good value for our 3-0 win.



    In the 2nd round, we’ve been handed an away draw at Jupiler League side FC Emmen. This is the team that knocked us out at the 1st round stage in my first season here, so there’s a bit of personal revenge on the cards for me.

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    Saturday 28th September 2019
    Willem II vs sc Heerenveen
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Veerman 68), Grimm, Wijnaldum (Sent off 68), Zaniolo, Colkett, Sol, Teuchert

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    After finishing August without a single point, Heerenveen are having a better September, having already picked up a win and a draw, lifting them to 15th at kick off. And they presented a tough challenge for us here. At 1-0 down and with Wijnaldum getting sent off (again!), we looked set to record our first defeat of the season. That was, until Veerman stepped up with a tidy close range finish to level the scores on 77 minutes and earn us a point, but more importantly maintain our unbeaten start to the season.



    I think this is the first time since I started my Willem II journey, that I have posted a league table at the end of the month with us sitting pretty at the top! Yes, yes, I know we’ve played an extra game than Ajax and FC Groningen, but let us enjoy this moment while it lasts lol!

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    Player of the Month
    Jeremy Grimm (DM)

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    With the injury to Freek Heerkens, it gave Jeremy Grimm an opportunity to get a run of starts and boy has he made the most of that opportunity. It will be hard to drop him now.



    October will see us take on the likes of Vitesse and PSV in the league as we look to maintain our position at the top of the table. We’ll also play the 2nd round of the Dutch Cup and we look to get some revenge on FC Emmen from 2 years ago.

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    ninjaskill likes this.

  21. October 2019



    "Since I took over as manager at Willem II, no player has yet scored a hat trick"


    October 2019

    Wednesday 2nd October 2019
    PEC Zwolle vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm (Heerkens 80), Demir, Zaniolo (Crowley 80), van Ooijen, Sol (Veerman 80), Teuchert

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    Yes lads….this was a very good performance all round. Really strong in every area of the pitch….never looked troubled in defence and always looked like we were going to score going forward. The link up play through the midfield was excellent. I walk away from this game a very happy manager!



    Fran Sol will miss the next few games through injury, meaning Henk Veerman is going to get an opportunity to come back into the starting lineup.

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    Saturday 5th October 2019
    Willem II vs Vitesse
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro (Lachman 80), Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo (Crowley 80), van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert

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    It took us a while to get going in this one and Vitesse capitalised on our slow start to the game when they went in front on 6 minutes. We still didn’t really wake up and were lucky not to be 2 or 3 down at the break. However, the 2nd half was a hell of a lot better and on that performance, we deserved the equalizer. Overall, on the balance of play, a draw was probably the fairest result as both sides had a half each in which they dominated the game.



    Dan Crowley is the latest player to join the injury list and will miss about 4 weeks of action.

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    Sunday 20th October 2019
    SC Cambuur vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro (Van Den Eynden 79), Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 61), Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo (Colkett 61), van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert

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    We didn’t exactly set the world alight in this game, but we got the job done with that extra bit of quality that our opponents didn’t have. They may have had a bit more possession (which we played for with a counter attacking mentality) and may have had more shots, but all of their shots were long range hopeful efforts and they didn’t create anything clear cut in the whole game. On the other hand, we may have only had 9 shots but 5 of them were clear cut chances and we put 4 of them away for a big away win!



    Thursday 24th October 2019
    Dutch Cup 2nd Round
    FC Emmen vs
    Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 at half time)
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Grimm (Veerman 45), Wijnaldum (Demir 38), Zaniolo (van Ooijen 59), Colkett, Sol, Teuchert

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    I rotated the squad as I did in the last round, with 6 changes to the starting lineup from the game against SC Cambuur. But this time, it did backfire and we were fucking awful against our lower league opposition who fully deserve their win! That’s twice we’ve been knocked out of the Dutch Cup by this team in 3 years….bogey team anyone?!



    Sunday 27th October 2019
    PSV vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 on 78 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm (Davids 78), Demir, Zaniolo (Colkett 60), van Ooijen, Veerman (Sol 45), Teuchert

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    PSV are the first team this season to score more than 1 goal past us in the league and I suppose for that you could say they deserved to be the first team to beat us also. Still, I guess it’s not a bad team to lose our unbeaten league record to.



    We lose our place at the top of the table to FC Groningen who have been pretty unbelievable so far this season, considering they have already recorded wins over Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV!!! Surely on that alone, they have to be considered genuine title contenders this year despite not finishing higher than 5th in the league for 19 years! The promoted teams from last year, VVV and Helmond, occupy the bottom 2 and look set for a season of struggle.

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    Player of the Month
    Erdin Demir (WBL)

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    In a month where a number of players struggled for form, Erdin Demir still managed to stand out as one of the best on the field in majority of our games.



    Only three games in November and it looks tough. We kick off against Ajax and finish against a high flying AZ side who currently sit just behind us in 3rd!

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    ninjaskill likes this.

  22. November 2019



    "Joris Mathijsen is a Dutch centre back who played 127 times for Willem II between 1998-2004. During that time,
    he also scored 6 goals, before being sold on to AZ Alkmaar. Throughout his career, Mathijsen
    played for the Holland national team more than 80 times"


    November 2019

    Saturday 2nd November 2019
    Willem II vs Ajax

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Sol, Teuchert

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    This was probably the win of my career so far! Not only did we beat Ajax 3-1 but we were bloody good for it as well! Definitely the first time we’ve genuinely outplayed one of the big 3 and Ajax really do seem to be missing those players they sold in the Summer. I’m not complaining though!



    Sunday 10th November 2019
    N.E.C Nijmegen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Sol, Teuchert

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    After the heroics against Ajax, it’s disappointing that we followed up with a lacklustre performance here against struggling N.E.C. We were outplayed for large parts of the this game and some would say we were lucky to come away with a draw.



    Saturday 23rd November 2019
    Willem II vs AZ Alkmaar

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters (Plat 58), Chiosa, Dankerlui, Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Sol, Teuchert (Veerman 58)

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    This game would see 2nd taking on 4th and so was expected to present a challenge for both sides. However, our task became a hell of a lot easier when AZ were reduced to 10 men just after the half hour mark. From then on, it only really looked like a matter of time before we scored, and in the 2nd half we made the extra man count as we scored two goals and went on to secure a huge 3 points.



    The planned upgrade to the youth facilities is completed, taking our youth facilities to an ‘excellent’ level.

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    With Feyenoord massively underperforming this season, currently sitting 11th in the table with only 6 wins from 12 games, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been sacked.

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    Friday 29th November 2019
    Helmond vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Plat, Chiosa (Van Den Eynden 75), Dankerlui, Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen (Colkett 75), Sol, Teuchert (Davids 75)

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    Helmond were one of the newly promoted sides, playing Eredivisie football for the first time since 1984, so this was a game I definitely expected us to win. And despite the relatively close scoreline, we won the game with more ease than it suggests.



    Fran Sol’s goal against Helmond brought his recent goal drought to an end.

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    FC Groningen and us have opened up a bit of a gap at the top of the table and although the chasing pack can close that gap significantly if they win their games in hand, it certainly piles the pressure on them to do so! Helmond and VVV still find themselves in single figure points at this stage of the season and look to battle it out for who’ll finish bottom. Feyenoord are having a nightmare of a season so far as they are in the bottom half, having won only half of their games.

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    Player of the Month
    Erdin Demir (WBL)

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    Demir continues his good form from last month and wins back to back player of the month awards.



    Who’d have thought that the December game between Willem II and FC Groningen would be a top of the table clash?! But that’s exactly what it is as we kick off next month. Following that, we’ll have 3 more league games against sides that occupy spots between 7th and 13th in the table and will all be looking to give themselves a mid season push into the top 3rd of the table.

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  23. December 2019



    "Since I arrived at the club, Jordens Peters has been named as my captain every season.
    The 32 year old Dutch centre back has been at Willem II for 8 seasons now and
    has made over 220 league appearances for the club"


    December 2019

    Wednesday 4th December 2019
    FC Groningen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 on 75 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro (Lachman 68), Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 68), Grimm (Sol 75), Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert

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    A top of the table clash resulted in a home win for Groningen which wasn’t entirely deserved on the balance of play. We were the better side, created the better opportunities but struggled to stick the ball in the back of the net. Our attackers failed to convert no less than 3 clear cut chances, and we were made to pay for it!



    The upcoming game against FC Twente will be my 100th in charge at the club!

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    Sunday 8th December 2019
    Willem II vs FC Twente

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 70), Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Veerman (Sol 70), Teuchert

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    The first half of this game was tightly contested and we just nicked the advantage right on half time when Twente scored an own goal to give us the lead. That seemed to make all the difference and in the 2nd half we looked much more in control, and when Fran Sol came off the bench and scored within a minute, the game was never in doubt. We added a third through Nicolo Zaniolo, as he bagged his 4th goal of the season, and the points were well and truly in the bag.



    After completing my 100th game in charge, here is my record at Willem II so far. Almost half of my games have resulted in wins so far, which is incredible considering we are supposed to be a mid to bottom end table side.

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    Saturday 14th December 2019
    FC Utrecht vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 69), Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen (Crowley 69), Veerman (Sol 82), Teuchert

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    What a performance, what a result! Well played lads! A well deserved standing ovation from your manager after this one!



    Saturday 21st December 2019
    Willem II vs Roda JC

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Montoro, Peters (Lachman 48), Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo (Crowley 48), van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 48)

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    After a shocking first half performance from us, we worked hard to get back into the game and draw level in the second half. However, we were undone in the 90th minute as Roda pinched the win from under our noses and we finish 2019 with a defeat!



    I decided it was time to get the board to spend some more money so asked them to invest into the junior coaching side again. This time, they did put up a bit of a fight, but I made a good case and they reluctantly agreed. It means the club now has an exceptional level of junior coaching!!

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    That’s right ladies and gents, Willem II are top of the league at the Winter break stage of the season! A monumental effort from the lads so far this season and let’s hope we can continue into the 2nd half of the campaign. Things are extremely tight and you could be forgiven for saying there are no less than 8 teams in the hunt for the Eredivisie title. Helmond are really struggling at the bottom of the table now and with only 1 win to their name, they look doomed for relegation.

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    Player of the Month
    Nicolo Zaniolo

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    The young midfielder has been in great form this month, chipping in with a couple of goals as well. The youngster is really coming of age this season and has gradually improved throughout the first half of the campaign and I hope it’s going to set him up for a good 2nd half of the season.



    With the Winter break now kicking in, we’ll have a few weeks off and return to action on 19th January with a game against our rivals NAC Breda. We’ll follow that up with a game against high flying ADO Den Haag.

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    ninjaskill and Wunderbaum like this.

  24. January 2020



    "Earnie Stewart is Willem II's most recognised American for conflicting reasons. He played over 170 games for
    Willem II during the years of 1990-96. Then, he made the surprising move to the club's bitter rivals
    NAC Breda where he played for a further 7 years, playing over 180 games"


    January 2020

    Contracts were expiring at the end of the season for two of my back three, so I quickly ensured I don’t lose either of them by tying up new deals for Jordens Peters and Marco Chiosa. Peters is likely to become more of a backup over the next season or so, with his stats deteriorating with age, but Chiosa has become so important to us since I signed him last year and has had his squad status bumped up to key player from a squad rotation.

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    19 year old centre back Dylan Ryan just hasn’t come on in the reserves as I’d hoped, so I decided to let him move on for the good of his career. The Australian lad has moved to England to join Notts County for an initial fee of £26.5k, which may rise to £40k.

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    Fernando Lewis is one of my most valuable players at the club. Not only is he one of the first names on the team sheet every week, but his value of £2.2 million means I simply can’t allow him to go on a free. So I’m pleased to report he has accepted my offer of a new contract, which should keep him here for at least another 18 months.

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    Another player that has become so key to our team is Peter van Ooijen. When I signed him, I thought he’d touch on the first team and maybe play 10-15 games a season. However, he has worked his way into the starting lineup and has quickly become one of my favourite players at the club! So again, I’m delighted to have tied him down to a new 3 year contract.

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    Damil Dankerlui will be unavailable for the first couple of games in the new year after picking up an injury.

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    Jeremy Grimm has come to me saying that he is feeling homesick and may want to return to France. I have given him extended leave to return home for a month and hope that he can get it out of his system. If not, there is a chance he could be leaving us in the Summer. It would be a shame as the player has made 33 league appearances for us since arriving from Strasbourg last year.

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    Sunday 19th January 2020
    NAC Breda vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 at half time)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Lachman 45), Heerkens (Sol 45), Wijnaldum, Zaniolo (Crowley 64), van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert

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    We kicked off 2020 in the same fashion as we ended 2019, with a defeat! But this one hurt a bit more as we lost to our rivals who are languishing down in the bottom 4 of the table!!



    Saturday 25th January 2020
    ADO Den Haag vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo (Crowley 75), van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 64)

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    We bounced back from back to back defeats with a good away win at Den Haag who would of only been a point behind us if they’d beaten us here. However, with us securing victory, we actually go a good 7 points ahead of them, as they drop to 7th in the table.



    On transfer deadline day, we added just the one player to this year’s squad and that was 21 year old left full back/wing back, Jay Dasilva. Dasilva will offer good competition down the left side and is a very strong attacking player with really good crossing ability when he gets forward. I’m looking forward to utilising him in the first team during the next few months.

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    As the January transfer window came to a close, it was again Ajax who made the biggest moves. They raked in another £13 million for the sale of goalkeeper Andre Onana who joined Watford. They used that money to sign striker, Roger Assale from Young Boys for £6 million. In his 3 games so far, he already has a goal and an assist to his name, so it looks like money well spent. Ajax were also on the hunt for a goalkeeper to replace Onana, and they signed up Gaston Gomez from Racing Club in Argentina for just over £9 million. He looks like a decent acquisition as well as Ajax look to continue their charge towards a 3rd straight league title.

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    Despite losing one of our two games, we remain top of the table for another month. Helmond have had a fantastic start to the new year winning both their games and lifting off the bottom of the table!! One of those wins came against Feyenoord as well!!

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    Player of the Month
    Antonio Montoro

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    The 22 year old centre back has been a pivotal figure at the back for us this season after working his way into the first 11. He was only signed with a backup role in mind, so fair play to the youngster for working hard to earn a first team spot! He has started the year with his usual consistency and earns his first player of the month.



    Four games coming up in February including matches against bottom side VVV and massive underachievers Feyenoord. Is it wrong that I’m not feeling anywhere near as nervous about that game as I normally would and have an air of confidence that we’ll turn them over?! (I might live to regret that)

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  25. February 2020



    "Willem II go by two nicknames....Tricolores and Superkruiken"


    February 2020

    Saturday 1st February 2020
    Willem II vs VVV-Venlo

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Van Den Eynden, Montoro, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir (Dasilva 63), Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 63)

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    Top vs bottom and we came out on top…..just! It took a penalty to get us the win, despite dominating the entire game!



    Sunday 9th February 2020
    Willem II vs Feyenoord

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 73), Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen (Colkett 69), Veerman (Teuchert 69), Sol

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    For the first time against one of the big 3, I actually came into this game as favourites to win! And win we did! Feyenoord really did look disappointing and it’s obvious to see why they find themselves stuck in the bottom half of the table this year! Yes they had a lot of shots, which make their stats look great but virtually all of them were hopeful efforts from 20+ yards which never troubled our keeper! On top of their lack of composure up front, they looked extremely vulnerable in defence as we looked like we’d score every time we entered their half!



    Saturday 15th February 2020
    sc Heerenveen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo (Crowley 64), van Ooijen, Veerman, Sol (Teuchert 64)

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    A last gasp equalizer from substitute Dan Crowley earns us a valuable point in what was a very even game.



    Jeremy Grimm has returned from his extended leave in France. Hopefully, his homesickness is behind him now but only time will tell.

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    On the international stage, my long term aim is to get the Holland job and win the Euros and World Cup. However, I felt I’d need to increase my reputation on that stage in order to be considered for that job if and when it comes up again. So I’ve been looking around to see what’s available lately. I stuck in an application for the vacant Iceland job and the Icelandic FA have come back and offered me the job, which I gladly accepted!

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    The Icelandic FA have immediately given me their expectations in the role. They are looking for me to make the final of the European Championship Qualifying Playoffs. We will play Albania in the semi finals which has to be seen as a very winnable tie.

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    As I take a look at my Iceland squad, there are a couple of players who really stand out as my best! £40 million rated Gylfi Sygurdsson is clearly the star man! Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley is also one of the stand out players, valued at a whopping £38 million! However, if I’m looking to play my usual 3-3-2-2 formation, I’m going to struggle to fit him in the side with him being an out and out winger!

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    Saturday 22nd February 2020
    Willem II vs PEC Zwolle

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 63), Demir (Dasilva 72), Zaniolo (Crowley 63), van Ooijen, Veerman, Sol

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    A disappointing draw from a game we definitely should have won! We were the better team throughout, but one silly defensive mistake in giving away a soft penalty cost us here. It’s the results like this that you look back on at the end of a season and think ‘that one right there cost us a couple of points’!



    Saturday 29th February 2020
    Willem II vs SC Cambuur

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo (van Ooijen 18), Crowley (Colkett 45), Veerman, Teuchert

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    Cedric Teuchert became the very first player under my management here to score a hat trick, and it took the striker all of 24 minutes to do it! Although, you could argue that it only took him 7 minutes as all three goals came between the 17th and 24th minutes. Cambuur managed a consolation goal in the 2nd half but never threatened to get back on level terms and this was nothing short of comfortable for us!



    Dan Crowley had to be replaced at half time during the SC Cambuur game after picking up an injury that will keep him out for the next 3 weeks.

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    We drop to 2nd in the table this month as Ajax take their place at the top of the Eredivisie. With only 8 games remaining, we look nailed on for a top 4 finish again (barring a complete meltdown), but I’ll be disappointed if we don’t finish top 3 now and avoid the European playoffs. Feyenoord will now be looking up the table and see that even making the European Playoff spots (top 7) may be beyond them now!

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    Player of the Month
    Fernando Lewis

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    The wing back has been in top form this month, with no bad performances from his 5 appearances. With a goal and an assist thrown in for good measure, Lewis continues to solidify his place as a first team regular.



    Coming up in March, we’ll play 3 league games and it’s sure to be make or break as we take on both Ajax and PSV who are challenging for the title alongside us…..yes that’s right, we find ourselves in a title challenge, only 3 seasons into my reign!

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    March will also present me with my first ever game in international management as my Iceland team will take on Albania in the European Championship Qualifying Playoff Semi Final.

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  26. March 2020



    "Our most common result this season so far has been a 1-1 draw. We have had this result 6 times
    this season against sc Heerenveen twice, Vitesse twice, N.E.C and PEC Zwolle"


    March 2020

    Saturday 7th March 2020
    Vitesse vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro (Lachman 71), Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 71)

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    Vitesse were another side that were having a poor season by their standards, as they came into this game 12th in the table. However, that didn’t stop them turning in a good game here and nicking a point off us!



    Sunday 15th March 2020
    Ajax vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert

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    Ajax had now opened up a 6 point gap to us before kick off at the top of the table, so a win for them here would put them in prime position to pick up a 3rd straight league title. And win they did, pretty easily as we struggled to match them all over the park. That probably kisses goodbye to any dreams of winning an unlikely league title this year and now our focus will turn to finishing in the top 3 to qualify for next year’s European competitions.



    The world rankings are announced and Iceland are currently ranked all the way down in 91st position!!

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    Since 2017, Iceland have had a massive fall from grace. Just 3 years ago, the nation had risen to just outside the top 20 and have dropped no less than 70 places!!

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    I announce my first Iceland squad prior to the match with Albania next week.

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    And while we’re on the point of the Iceland squad, here it is in full…

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    Sunday 22nd March 2020
    Willem II vs PSV
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters (Lachman 64), Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, van Ooijen (Colkett 64), Sol (Veerman 64), Teuchert

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    This was a game that had the potential to have huge consequences on the final league table, with the two clubs sitting 2nd and 3rd in the table. And it was PSV who came out on top, smashing another 5 past us, as Ajax had done in the game before. We’ve looked really poor defensively in the last couple of games and Wellenreuther had an absolute nightmare in goal today which didn’t help! His errors led to two of the goals and it’s likely he’ll be dropped for the next game.



    Friday 27th March 2020
    European Championship Qualifying Playoff Semi Final
    Iceland vs
    Albania
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Johannesson, Gunnarsson, Skulason (Sent off 100), Bjarnason (Porarinsson 78), G.Sigurdsson, Bodvarsson (Olafsson 60), Siguroarson (Finnbogason 60)

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    Well my first game in charge of Iceland literally had everything….goals, sending offs, late extra time drama, and it all ended in a victory for us! Gylfi Sigurdsson lived up to his own hype as the star man by scoring the equalizer in the 2nd half, but it was substitute Goumundur Porarinsson who stole the headlines with the 116th minute winner whilst we were down to 10 men after Skulason’s sending off for his 2nd yellow!



    To put that result into perspective and how big a win it was for us, you can see that this Iceland side have only won once in the past 2 years and that was against Kosovo!

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    We will play Republic of Ireland in the Playoff Final. Although we have the home advantage, I would imagine they will be heavy favourites to win the game!

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    Tuesday 31st March 2020
    European Championship Qualifying Playoff Final
    Iceland vs
    Republic of Ireland
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Johannesson (Gislason 63), Gunnarsson, Traustason, Bjarnason, G.Sigurdsson, Bodvarsson, Siguroarson (Olafsson 58)

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    We were absolutely rampant in the first half of this game, scoring 3 goals and racing into a comfortable lead. The half time talk was simply to settle the lads and ensure they don’t get carried away! And the lads did their job pretty well. Although Ireland managed to get one back through James McClean, they never looked like getting back on terms with us and our defence shut them out comfortably for most of the half. A late goal from Bodvarsson sealed the game which made it two wins from two as Iceland manager for me…..back to back wins for Iceland for the first time in this entire save!



    The win means that we’ll be in the hat on the 10th April for the European Championship 2020!! Only the 2nd time in Iceland’s history that they have qualified for the competition.

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    So as the month comes to a close, we have dropped to 3rd in the league and it now looks like a two horse race between Ajax and PSV for the title, although Ajax hold all the aces. With a 4 point buffer to FC Groningen, we’re heavy favourites to finish 3rd, which would be a massive achievement and guarantee us Europa League Group Stage football next season…..so that is now the realistic aim with 5 games remaining!

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    Player of the Month
    Fernando Lewis

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    In a month where we failed to get a win under our belt, I decided to give the player of the month to Lewis who only played two games but did well in both! No other player in the squad this month had a run of games without at least 1 bad game.



    Four of our last five games will come next month and we play some of the teams in the bottom half so there is the opportunity to pick up enough points to guarantee that 3rd place spot!

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  27. April 2020



    "Our longest unbeaten streak this season has been 10 games
    which lasted between August and October 2019"


    April 2020

    Sunday 5th April 2020
    Willem II vs N.E.C Nijmegen
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, Crowley, Veerman, Teuchert

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    FC Groningen had already won on the Saturday, which made this a must win for us! And a goal in each half was enough for us to take all 3 points and maintain our 4 point margin over Groningen. On another good note, PSV lost, meaning we closed the gap to them in 2nd to only 4 points as well!



    Bad news comes through on the Iceland front. Centre back Ragnar Sigurdsson has picked up a long term injury that means he’ll miss the entire European Championships. He is without a doubt one of our best defenders so it’s a massive blow!

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    The day has come for the draw for the group stage of the European Championships! And at this stage of the draw, I was probably hoping for either Group A or Group E! At all costs, I wanted to avoid Group D….talk about a group of death or what!?

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    I can’t whinge as I get one of the groups I wanted. Group E it is alongside Scotland, Serbia and Spain. Three clubs that are ranked significantly higher than us and we’ll be highly expected to finish bottom of the group with 0 points!

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    I set our warm up friendlies for the competition, opting to play games against Nigeria and Turkey before the Euros kicks off.

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    Sunday 12th April 2020
    AZ Alkmaar vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters (Montoro 51), Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo, Crowley, Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 51)

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    FC Groningen again won the day before, upping the pressure on us for this game. And in the first half it looked like the lads couldn’t handle that pressure at all. We were simply awful and AZ were good value for their half time 2-0 lead! However, the 2nd half was a totally different story and the boys looked a different side. We fought back to earn a draw after dominating the 2nd 45 minutes and although the gap back to Groninhen is now only 2 points, this point could prove valuable come the end of the season.



    My Iceland squad will be using Partick Thistle’s training facilities for the European Championships.

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    A massive jump in the rankings to 61st in the world for Iceland. It’s amazing what back to back wins can do!

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    Friday 17th April 2020
    Willem II vs Helmond
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir (Dasilva 64), Zaniolo, Crowley (Colkett 64), Veerman, Teuchert (Davids 72)

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    A comfortable home win against one of the sides battling it out at the bottom. This was a game I fully expected us to win, and when they went down to 10 men in the first half, I would have been majorly disappointed not to take all 3 points. So I’m glad the lads kept their professionalism and got the job done!



    With two games remaining, Ajax are confirmed as Eredivisie champions for the 3rd season in a row. It’s going to be really hard to peg the Dutch giants back, that much is becoming plainly obvious!

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    Earlier in the month, I mentioned the 8 month injury that was picked up by Ragnar Sigurdsson. Well, off the back of that, the player has decided to retire from football and a player that played 85 times for the Iceland national side, will not play for them ever again.

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    However, he will still be involved around the national team as I offered him a role as U19s coach, which he has accepted.

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    The shortlist for the Dutch Young Player of the Year award is announced and I am invited to cast my 3 votes. Obviously Nicolo Zaniolo gets my number 1 pick, followed by Romero and Floranus.

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    Sunday 26th April 2020
    FC Twente vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Zaniolo (Colkett 45), Crowley, Veerman (Sol 45), Teuchert

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    Wow! Not quite sure where that result came from but we were absolutely f*cking amazing here! We made FC Twente look like a non league side as we gave them a 5-0 thrashing! Dan Crowley really stood out, not just for his two goals, but his all round play….everything we did went through him today and Twente just could not handle him!



    With only one game remaining, we’ve only gone and snuck into 2nd place in the table and are guaranteed at least 3rd. A win against FC Groningen in our final game of the season will see us keep hold of 2nd! However, we may not even have to get a result as PSV take on champions Ajax in their final match! Feyenoord are trying really hard to work their way into the top 7 and make the European Qualifying Playoffs.

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    Player of the Month
    Dan Crowley

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    Crowley has been in sensational form this month! Three assists, two goals and two match ratings over 9.0 is incredible from any player!



    As mentioned above, our final game of the season will see us play at home to FC Groningen.

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  28. May 2020



    "The club's points tally this season is the highest Willem II
    have ever achieved in the Eredivisie"


    May 2020


    The shortlist for the goalkeeper of the year is released and I am invited to make my 3 votes. Now this one I’m not allowed to vote for my own keeper, so my three votes went to Hidde Jurjus, Warner Hahn and Andre Hansen.

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    No disrespect to Heracles, but this must have been the easiest cup final PSV have ever played in! I bet they couldn’t believe their luck in reaching the final to meet a Jupiler league side!

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    Sunday 10th May 2020
    Willem II vs FC Groningen

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Dasilva, Zaniolo, Crowley, Veerman, Teuchert

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    A win was what we needed to finish 2nd and solid 1-0 win was what we got! Well done lads!



    And there’s the confirmation of 2nd place in the final league table. Even if we hadn’t of beaten Groningen on the final day, we’d have still finished 2nd as PSV only managed a draw with Ajax. We’ll be entering the qualifying stages of the Champions League next season! Unbelievable what we’ve achieved in just 3 seasons and it gives us a real strong platform to build on next year, especially if we can attract a couple of ‘really good’ players to the club over the Summer.

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    As the season comes to a close, we take a look at the overall best 11. Nicolos Zaniolo is the only player to be inducted into the first 11, although Henk Veerman and Erdin Demir also make the bench!

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    On awards night, it’s left wing back Erdin Demir who picks up the fan’s player of the year and well deserved it is too! No surprise that Zaniolo picked up the young signing of the season either! The only real surprise for me in the best eleven was that Jeremy Grimm beat Heerkens to the DM role.

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    Again, we get a blinding review from the media on our season as we massively overachieved again! A 2nd place finish was never predicted at the start of the year, with most people expecting us to finish somewhere in the top half and ‘maybe’ push for a European Qualification Playoff spot.

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    Obviously, the board are delighted with my performance!

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    The board send me the budgets for next year. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw they were giving me £1.6 million to spend on new players! It may not sound a lot but this is a f*cking warchest compared to what I’m used to!

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    I pick my preliminary squad for the upcoming European Championships and apparently there are a couple of surprises for the Iceland fans.

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    The club send me the commercial summary for the past year! The biggest thing to note here is that individual TV deal which could make a real difference to the club moving forward….it’s gone from under £2 million to over £7 million!!!

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    PSV may have missed out on 2nd place and Champions League qualification to us, but they will still be playing Champions League football next season…..because they won the Europa League after beating PSG in the final! This has only got to be a good thing for Dutch football and will increase the profile of our country and hopefully move us up the European league rankings….enabling more clubs to qualify for the European competitions further down the line.

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    Time to offer up my vote for manager of the year. I have to give it to Cocu as I think winning the Europa League with PSV was a great achievement. 2nd place I give to Hennie Spijkeerman of FC Groningen as he massively overachieved with them this year. Finally, my 3rd vote goes to ten Hag as he did win the league after all.

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    My final 23 man squad for the European Championships has been chosen!

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    Willem II announce losses of nearly £1 million over the course of the past season. However, we have not yet had our £5 million+ awarded for finishing 2nd in the league yet.

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    The draw for the European International League Division B has taken place and it was probably written in the stars that my Iceland team would be drawn in the same group as Holland!

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  29. Great 2nd place finish, a decent Euro's with Iceland could see your stock rise even higher!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  30. Good finish in the league and always nice to do well with a TV deal on the line. Hopefully the CL qualifying goes well
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  31. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Great 2nd place finish, a decent Euro's with Iceland could see your stock rise even higher!
    Cheers mate. It will be tough to get out of the group but if we can manage that, it should definitely increase my profile on the international stage in a big way! In an ideal world, I will overachieve with Iceland, the Holland manager will fail miserably, then get sacked and I can take his job!

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjaskill View Post
    Good finish in the league and always nice to do well with a TV deal on the line. Hopefully the CL qualifying goes well
    The TV deal could make a huge difference over the next couple of years! Even if we don't qualify for the Champs League, we should at least go into the Europa group stages and get some more money from that too!
    ninjaskill and dporter8999 like this.

  32. June 2020




    June 2020

    Wednesday 3rd June 2020
    International Friendly
    Iceland vs
    Nigeria
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Johannesson, Gunnarsson, Traustason (Skulason 45), G.Sigurdsson, Bjarnason (Porarinsson 45), Bodvarsson, Sigurdarson (Finnbogason 45)

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    Nigeria were the better side overall here, but we weathered the storms well when they had periods of strong attacking play, and despite going 1-0 down, we turned the game around and made it 3 wins from 3 under my management! Very impressed with the lads here as we could have easily crumbled at 1-0 down, but we stayed strong and proved ourselves to not be pushovers again!




    Willem II will receive over £7 million in prize money for finishing 2nd in the league this past season! That leaves the club’s finances looking very pretty at £5.8 million in credit!

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    The Dutch golden boot award is announced and I’m proud to have players occupuing 2nd and 3rd place. Although pipped to the post by an Ajax player, both Erdin Demir and Nicolos Zaniolo can be extremely proud of their performances this season!

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    Henk Veerman had a good season with us for his first at the club and 16 league goals was enough for him to finish 3rd in the Eredivisie top goalscorer stats.

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    Nicolo Zaniolo is also rewarded for his fine form this year with a runner up award in the young player of the season!

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    And finally, I am delighted to win my first Manager of the Year award! It means even more that this is voted for by my fellow managers in the Eredivisie and I’m pleased to be recognised by them for my achievements so far.

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    Sunday 7th June 2020
    International Friendly
    Iceland vs
    Turkey
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Halldorsson, Eyjolfsson (H.Sigurdsson 50), Ingason, Fjoluson (Magnusson 50), Traustason, Gunnarsson (Bjarnason 50), Skulason, G.Sigurdsson (Sigurjonsson 50), Porarinsson, Bodvarsson (Kjartansson 50), Finnbogason

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    A very good win over Turkey was the perfect way to warm up for the European Championship! We were really good and played the counter attacking game perfectly in this game. Turkey had a lot more of the ball but we shut them out and limited them to the amount of chances they could create, breaking with pace and intensity which they just couldn’t deal with! Unbelievably, that’s 4 wins from 4 since I took over!



    Just before the Euro’s kick off, I have some good transfer news from back in Holland. I have managed to convince striker Cedric Teuchert to stay on with us for another season long loan from Gelsenkirchen. Cedric played 35 games in all competitions for us last season and scored 12 goals. I think he could come on a bit more for that experience this season and push past the 15 goal mark.

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    Saturday 13th June 2020
    European Championship Group E
    Iceland vs
    Spain
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson (Magnusson 71), Johannesson, Gunnarsson, Skulason, G.Sigurdsson, Bjarnason (Porarinsson 71), Bodvarsson, Finnbogason (Kjartansson 71)

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    A very respectable performance against one of the top national sides in the world. We could have even nicked an equalizer at the end but it just wasn’t our day! However, we have every reason to believe that we can get results against Scotland and Serbia if we play like we did here!




    In between my European games, I am still keeping an eye on the transfer market to build on my Willem II squad for next season and have managed to snap up a young striker for a bargain price. I am delighted to welcome 18 year old South African, Sifiso Liau to the club! Liau will join us on July 1st for a fee of £165,000 and with some excellent stats already, I’m confident he could have a big future ahead of him!

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    Back home in Holland, the European competition rankings are announced and the Eredivisie continues to grow in stature as it enters the top 10 competitions in Europe.

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    And when the European club rankings are announced, I’m pleased to see we’ve risen a massive 30 places in the rankings and move inside the top 200!

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    Holland are also on the rise to 9th in the European nation coefficients, which means our qualifying teams for the European competitions get better too! From next season, the winners of the Eredivisie will enter the Champions League at the group stage with no requirement to qualify. It also means 2nd place will enter at the third qualifying phase rather than the 2nd. Our qualification for the Europa League will remain the same.

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    Wednesday 17th June 2020
    European Championship Group E
    Scotland vs Iceland
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Traustason, Gunnarsson, Skulason, G.Sigurdsson (Gudmundssen 60), Bjarnason (Porarinsson 45), Sigurdarson, Finnbogason (Kjartansson 60)

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    With this game being played at Hampden Park, effectively Scotland had the home advantage. And with a stadium full of fans behind them, they were certainly the better side for the first 60 minutes and led 1-0 at the hour mark. However, 2 goals in quick succession put us in prime position to nick the win, but a late equalizer from the Scots made it level! Just as both sides were pushing forward trying desperately to get a winner, it was us that were awarded a 95th minute penalty! But, Bjorn Sigurdarson bottled it and missed the crucial spot kick that would have put us in an excellent position to qualify! Now we’ll have to get a win against Serbia and hope Spain give Scotland a good hiding in the process.



    Monday 22nd June 2020
    European Championship Group E
    Serbia vs Iceland
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Magnusson (Fjoluson 78), Johannesson, Palsson, Traustason, G.Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Kjartansson (Sigurdarson 45), Finnbogason (Gunnarsson 90)

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    This was a tense, nervy affair, with both sides knowing that a win would put them through to the 2nd round if Spain beat Scotland in the other game. Within 20 minutes, we were 1-0 up and Spain were also winning 2-0 and things were looking good! Spain added a 3rd mid way through the 2nd half and it looked like all we’d have to do is hold on to guarantee our spot in the next round. And we did just that…..if there’s one thing my Iceland team have shown me since I took over, it’s that they have a good resilience about them and they showed that again here as we shut Serbia out to keep that all important clean sheet!



    There’s the confirmation of the final group, with Spain topping it with an expected 3 wins from 3. And yes, it’s us that finished runners up with a draw against Scotland and that all important win against the Serbs!

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    With no disrespect intended to Georgia, we could have had much worse draws for the 2nd round than this! We genuinely have a fantastic opportunity to progress to the Quarter Finals here! However, we certainly can’t underestimate this Georgian side that finished top of a group that included Germany, Sweden and Poland!

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    Tuesday 30th June 2020
    European Championship 2nd Round
    Iceland vs
    Georgia
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Magnusson (Sent off 35), Traustason, Palsson (Fjoluson 35), Skulason, G.Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Bodvarsson (Sigurdarson 61), Finnbogason

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    The first half hour of this game was the best we’ve played in the whole tournament so far and we were 1-0 up and in complete control! Then, on 35 minutes, centre back Magnusson was sent off for a professional foul, bringing down the Georgian striker when he was clean through on goal. To be honest, he probably sacrificed himself to save a goal. But it did then leave us nearly an hour to play with 10 men and inevitably, Georgia ramped up the pressure and very early in the 2nd half they were level! Now I wasn’t prepared to sit down and play for a draw as I thought extra time would be the worst thing for us with 10 men, so I went all out attack to try to get the win! The introduction of Sigurdarson on 61 minutes looked like an inspired decision as he put us back in front only minutes later! But Georgia again drew level with 20 minutes remaining and it was anyone’s game! 14 minutes left, and we were back in front through an unlikely source as Ari Skulason gets himself into the box from the left wing back role and heads home to make it 3-2! There was only one question now, could we hold on to the lead this time? And the answer was a resounding yes! Not only did we hold on, but we added a 4th on the break in the 90th minute to secure our place in the quarter final!



    We’ve drawn Switzerland in the quarter final. Switzerland qualified from their group as one of the best 3rd placed teams, finishing behind Belgium and Bosnia & Herzegovina in group C. In the 2nd round, they overcame Denmark with a 2-0 win!

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    Last edited by TheNotSoSpecialOne; 28/07/2018 at 01:18 PM.

  33. Great results against Serbia and then Georgia, lets hope their defence is like their cheese and your team find all the holes!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  34. July 2020




    July 2020

    Saturday 4th July 2020
    European Championship Quarter FinalSwitzerland vs Iceland
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Traustason, Palsson, Skulason, G.Sigurdsson, Porarinsson, Sigurdarson, Finnbogason

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    A valiant effort from the lads but to no avail as we crash out of the competition to Switzerland. Again, there is no shame in this defeat with Switzerland currently ranked over 40 places above us in the world (16th). We created some good chances but our strikers didn’t have the best day in front of goal and a late, late winner from the Swiss was enough to nick the game 1-0! Disappointing stuff, but I can’t knock this Iceland team who have done me proud during this competition!



    Back home to Holland I go and the first thing that happens is the Dutch club rankings are released and we’ve moved up one place domestically on last year to 11th, overtaking ADO Den Haag. PSV’s Europa League win has seen them jump above Ajax into top spot, despite Ajax winning 3 league titles in a row!

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    New signing Sifiso Liau is going to miss majority of pre season through injury. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come with the youngster.

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    The fixture list for the upcoming season is released and we’ll have a mixed bag to start. We have a winnable opening day fixture against De Graafschap, before taking on reigning champions Ajax on matchday 2. Our games against the big teams this season seem to be nicely spread, meaning we don’t have any ridiculously tough runs (at first glance).

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    We’ll receive nearly £2.5 million this season in TV rights. That’s a £700,000 rise on last year.

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    The draw for the Best Placed Second Qualifying Phase for this season’s Champions League takes place and we’ve been drawn against Austrian outfit, Red Bull Salzburg.

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    Jeremy Grimm came to me with his homesickness again, so being that he is 33 years old and will only be on the fringe of the first 11 this season anyway, I decided to put him up for transfer. He has his wish and will return to France to join AC Ajaccio for a minimal fee.

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    In the meantime, I was busy adding some experience to my side. 35 year old Polish wing back, Lukasz Piszczek joins us on a free transfer after being released by Dynamo Kiev at the end of last season. Best known for his 9 years at Borussia Dortmund where he was a first team regular, Piszczek will push Fernando Lewis for his spot in the team and will act as a senior figure to offer guidance to some of our youngsters!

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    The European Championship 2020 comes to an end, and it’s France who beat holders Portugal in the final, Antoine Griezmann scoring both goals in a 2-0 win. My Iceland team can be extremely proud of themselves as we are classed as the overachievers of the tournament after reaching the Quarter Final stage. Holland also made the quarter finals where they were knocked out by Belgium!

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    Iceland Player of the Tournament
    Ogmundur Kristinsson

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    Kristinsson may seem like an odd choice for my player of the tournament as you’d normally expect to see a player that had a couple of really outstanding games and won big matches with big performances. However, I think the consistency shown throughout the tournament from our goalkeeper (who let’s remember is only rated as 2 star ability by my assistant), was a major part of our success and a huge contributor to our progression in the competition.



    Back to domestic news and Giliano Wijnaldum has left the club on a free transfer to join Toronto FC. Wijnaldum has figured in my team throughout my team here, although he has never really established himself as a first team regular. He was keen to get more football and I was happy to let him go.

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    I’ve added a new centre back to the squad for the upcoming season in the form of Sebastiano Luperto, who joins us on loan from Napoli. At 23 years old, he already has some decent experience under his belt, having played 88 league matches already (predominantly for Empoli and Pro Vercelli on loan). He will also be a welcome addition to play alongside fellow Italian Marco Chiosa who has gone from strength to strength since signing for us.

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    Following our good showing in the European Championship, Iceland have moved up to 38th in the world rankings now! Since I’ve been at the helm of the national side, we’ve played 9 games and moved up about 55 places in the world rankings!

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    With Lukasz Piszczek joining the club, I had no requirement for Damil Dankerlui this season. However, I didn’t want to lose him altogether (with Piszczek being 35 years old and only here on a 1 year deal initially), so I’ve allowed him to join Roda JC on loan for the season where he should be a first team regular and hopefully improve for when he returns to the club.

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    Before we started our Champions League Qualification campaign, we had three friendlies to warm up a little. A couple of games where we rotated the squad against lower league opposition in Holland before getting a lesson from Liverpool…..to be expected I guess, but the game brought in a sell out crowd and boosted the finances by about £80k.

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    Wednesday 22nd July 2020
    Champions League - Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Phase 1st Leg
    Willem II vs FC RB Salzburg
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa (Luperto 90), Lewis (Piszczek 63), Heerkens, Demir, Crowley, van Ooijen (Colkett 63), Veerman, Teuchert

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    An early goal in both halves gave us a good advantage in the first leg and we were looking good for a solid 2-0 win in the home tie. From the moment the 2nd goal went in, the main thing for us to think about was keeping that all important clean sheet, but there was a sense of urgency about Salzburg as they pushed forward frantically searching for an away goal. But I’m pleased to say our defence were more than a match for them and shut them out well, to hold our 2 goal advantage going to Austria.



    The gate receipts from the home game against Salzburg sets a new record for the club!

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    I forked out £450,000 to bring a new defensive midfielder to the club. 28 year old Slovenian international, Blaz Vrhovec, has joined the club from Slovenian side, Maribor. With Jeremy Grimm leaving the club, Blaz will be the main competition for Freek Heerkens defensive midfield role in the team. It immediately looks like a great signing, as Vrhovec’s value is already £1.7 million!

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    I was hoping to bring in a permanent player as a backup left wing back to Demir, after Wijnaldum left the club this Summer. However, there hasn’t really been anyone available within my budget. So I opted to bring Jay Dasilva back from Chelsea on loan for another year.

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    Wednesday 29th July 2020
    Champions League – Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Phase 2nd Leg
    FC RB Salzburg vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters (Luperto 57), Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Demir, Crowley (Colkett 73), van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 57)

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    I kept the same lineup that had beaten Salzburg in the 1st leg a week ago, in the hope they could get the job done again in Austria. We made it to half time at 0-0….how, I don’t know as both sides mustered up 19 chances in the first half! We knew Salzburg were likely to throw the kitchen sink at us in the 2nd half, so I opted for a counter mentality in the hope we could nick the first goal of the game with them throwing so many men forward, and put it to bed before they could really get going. But it was Salzburg who scored first, but it was late on in the 84th minute! In fact, it was too late and for Salzburg there wasn’t enough time to find that crucial second goal and it is us who progress with a 2-1 aggregate win!



    So we were in the draw for the Best Placed 3rd Qualifying Phase of the Champions League and we were given a tough tie against Dynamo Kyiv. However, it could have been a lot worse as Napoli were one of our four potential opponents, and I really wouldn’t have fancied that one!

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    Looking ahead, August will see the start of the Eredivisie competition and our opening game will now be flanked by the Dynamo Kyiv matches in search of Champions League qualification. After that’s out the way, we have an early season meeting with champions Ajax! Them Kyiv games have given the whole outlook of the start of the season a completely different perspective.

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  35. Interesting start to the season! Well done getting past RB, Kyiv won't be easy but fingers crossed
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  36. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Doing well!!!

    Can you clear your inbox as tried to send you a message
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  37. great performances with both club and country! Also, good spots with the transfers, managing to improve the squad with players on smaller fees!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  38. Quote Originally Posted by KLIPPYBO View Post
    Doing well!!!

    Can you clear your inbox as tried to send you a message


    Sorry mate. All done

  39. August 2020




    August 2020

    Wednesday 5th August 2020
    Champions League – Best Placed 3rd Qualifying Phase 1st Leg
    Dynamo Kyiv vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Vrhovec 62), Demir, Crowley (Colkett 62, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Liau 66)

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    Despite Kyiv having more possession and more shots, I have to say I think we were unlucky to lose this game. The better quality chances actually came our way and we could have easily been in front when they scored their late, late winner! However, it’s not all doom and gloom as we scored a massive away goal that could be huge! A 1-0 win at home will be enough…..it will be tough, but it will be enough!



    Both Blaz Vrhovec and Sifiso Liau came off the bench in Ukraine to make their debuts for the club. Both gave decent accounts of themselves although neither could have a significant impact on the match.

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    Just before the domestic competitions kick off, the board send me a reminder of their expectations for the upcoming season. We’ve already met the Champions League expectations, so we’re good there! As far as Eredivisie goes, they only expect a top half finish again, despite us finishing as runners up last season! In the Dutch Cup, we’re looking at a Quarter Final at least.

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    It’s that time of year to look at the Eredivisie season preview again. Our odds have been slashed once again as this year we are only 40-1 with the bookies to lift the title and predicted a 7th placed finish! We still don’t have any players that get in the media dream eleven which is made up of four players from Ajax, three from Feyenoord, three from PSV and dos Santos Souza from AZ Alkmaar. Two of our players do make the key players list though and it’s two of the new signings in Blaz Vrhovec and 18 year old striker Sifiso Liau.

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    More than 1,500 extra season tickets have been sold this year! If we can bring in some decent money over the next couple of seasons, we may need to look into buying our current (to expand) or building a new stadium.

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    Sunday 9th August 2020
    De Graafschap vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Montoro, Chiosa, Luperto, Lewis, Heerkens (Vrhovec 71), Demir, Crowley (Colkett 73), van Ooijen, Veerman, Liau (Teuchert 71)

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    We fell behind on the opening day of the season but a league debut goal from Sifiso Liau got us back on level terms and justified my decision to start him over Cedric Teuchert. Marco Chiosa then had us in front with minutes of the first half remaining. We didn’t start the second half the best and had to weather the storm for the first 20 minutes, but then we came back into the game and looked comfortably for majority of the remainder of the game. We were holding on a little bit in the final minutes as they threw men forward but got the job done and open the season with a win.



    22 year old defensive midfielder, Bartlomiej Urbanski is a player who has been here throughout my time at Willem II, but one that has really struggled to break through into my team. It was time to move him on for the good of his own career and he has left the club to join Jagiellonia for just over £100k.

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    Wednesday 12th August 2020
    Champions League – Best Placed 3rd Qualifying Phase 2nd Leg
    Willem II vs Dynamo Kyiv

    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 on 77 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Peters, Chiosa, Luperto, Piszczek, Heerkens (Sol 77), Demir, Colkett, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert (Liau 61)

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    Considering they were the favourites, Kyiv came with a surprisingly defensive tactic which looked like they were happy to sit back and defend their first leg advantage. It was a dangerous tactic considering we only needed a 1-0 win to progress. However, for 90 minutes it worked and we really struggled to break them down and create many chances at all. But in the 91st minute, it was pure elation for our fans, for our bench, for our players on the pitch, as Henk Veerman ran onto a ball over the top from Charlie Colkett and slotted underneath the onrushing keeper to score the goal that would see us through and knock Kyiv out!



    So the win over Dynamo Kyiv leaves just one hurdle remaining before we make the group stage. We are in the draw for the Best Placed Playoff and we’ll play Sporting Lisbon from Portugal. Another really tough tie against a side that are regulars in the group stage of the competition! Although, saying that, nobody expected us to turn Kyiv over!?

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    Saturday 15th August 2020
    Willem II vs Ajax

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Chiosa, Luperto, Piszczek, Heerkens, Dasilva (Demir 69), Colkett, van Ooijen, Veerman (Sol 54), Liau (Teuchert 54)

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    That first goal that gave us the lead on 73 minutes was all about the subs! Teuchert scored it after the assist from Demir at left wing back….the combined beautifully to give us a lead that didn’t look out of place against the champions. And only 5 minutes later, the pair combined again and we were 2-0 up and in control! We saw the game out expertly from there and recorded a big win! Ajax, consequently, have lost both their opening games of the season and sit in the bottom 3 after this result.



    Tuesday 18th August 2020
    Champions League – Best Placed Playoff 1st Leg
    Willem II vs Sporting Lisbon

    Formation: 3-3-2-2 (Changed to 3-2-2-3 on 62 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Chiosa (Peters 62), Luperto, Lewis (Piszczek 77), Vrhovec, Demir, Crowley, van Ooijen (Sol 62), Veerman, Teuchert

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    I can’t help but feel that we missed our opportunity to progress here. Sporting were down to ten men inside the opening 3 minutes and with an extra man advantage for virtually the whole game I’d have really expected us to go on and win the game. However, it was Sporting who took the lead, rather luckily through an own goal. We pushed and pushed and dominated the whole game but could only find an equalizer in stoppage time and we have it all to do in the away leg now!



    Saturday 22nd August 2020
    Roda JC vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Chiosa, Luperto, Lewis, Vrhovec, Demir, Crowley (Colkett 72), van Ooijen, Veerman (Sol 72), Liau

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    In all honesty, we were not good enough here! But we managed to grind out a cheeky 1-0 with a single goal from our 18 year old starlet Sifiso Liau, making our record in the league 3 wins from 3!



    Wednesday 26th August 2020
    Champions League – Best Placed Playoff 2nd Leg
    Sporting Lisbon vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Chiosa (Peters 56), Luperto, Piszczek, Vrhovec, Demir (Lewis 56), Colkett (Crowley 56), van Ooijen, Veerman, Liau

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    It was Sporting who took the early lead in this one but it didn’t really change anything as we needed to score a goal no matter what! And within a minute of going behind, we were level!! 11 minutes in and it was first mission accomplished….which I really wasn’t expecting to be fair! However, that was about as good as it got for us as Sporting showed their class and there was no shock on the cards as they went on to win the game pretty comfortably. We matched them for possession and chances created, but their quality going forward is exceptional and it proved to be the difference today.



    Despite losing to Sporting on aggregate though, we still managed to bag over £2.5 million for participating just at this early level of the competition!

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    And another boost to the finances as we are to receive another £2 million for playing in the Europa League Group Stage, which is our consolation prize for being knocked out at the final qualification stage for the Champions League.

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    With the bank balance now standing at nearly £11 million, I asked the board for a bit more in the transfer kitty as I used most of what was left to balance the books with the wage budget. I was hoping they might put 4 or 5 million my way, but I’ll have to make do with £1.5 million.

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    As 4th seeds for the Europa League draw, it was never likely to be kind, but I actually think we’ve been handed a really tough group as all 3 sides we will face could beat us. I was hoping we’d get a group where there would be one side that we could almost guarantee 6 points from, but I don’t think we’ve got it here!

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    The cup draws are coming thick and fast and this time it’s the Dutch Cup. We’ve been handed a home tie against lower league side, Achilles ’29.

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    Sunday 30th August 2020
    PEC Zwolle vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Chiosa, Luperto, Lewis, Vrhovec, Demir (Dasilva 56), Crowley, van Ooijen (Colkett 81), Veerman, Teuchert (Sol 74)

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    This was an incredibly boring game with very little action. Dan Crowley had our best chance of the game and should of put us in front on 84 minutes, when he was clean through on goal but shot straight at the keeper! We were punished for that miss, minutes later, as Zwolle scored the only goal of the game to win it and nick all 3 points.



    A massive blow as we lose Erdin Demir for 3 months after he broke his ankle and had to come off against PEC Zwolle.

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    Transfer deadline day and I was determined to spend my money and make a marquee signing for the club. I was on the hunt for a centre back as last year, two of my main back three were the aging Peters at 33 years old, and Montoro who is only rated 2 stars by my assistant. So after a lot of searching, I finally signed a centre back from one of our Eredivisie rivals, AZ Alkmaar. Even better than that, he is Dutch….please welcome Burak Arabaci. He will definitely strengthen us in the centre back position, with great stats for tackling, heading and positioning. He isn’t the slowest either and has the ability to play a decent pass as well. A good buy for £1.3 million I think, especially as his value is immediately £2.1 million.

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    The transfer window comes to a close and it’s Ajax that spend big, forking out over £23 million on new players! They actually recorded all three of the biggest signings in the window, the most significant probably being that of Thomas Buitink from Vitesse. The striker has played 3 games this season for Vitesse and scored 3 goals, bagged 2 assists and has an average match rating of 8.40. If he continues that form for Ajax, he’s going to be one to watch this season!

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    Three wins from our opening four games is a decent enough start and leaves us sitting 5th at the end of August. The only team to beat us, PEC Zwolle, top the league with the only 100% record.

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    Player of the Month
    Sifiso Liau

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    Nobody pulled together an amazing string of performances this month, but Sifiso Liau did well in the games he played in and scored 3 big goals for the club. At the ripe age of 18, he looks to have a big future ahead of him.



    September will be an interesting month with our first Europa League game and the 1st round of the Dutch Cup in and around 2 league games against Heerenveen and PSV who have both had good starts.

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    I’ve got a couple of games coming up next month with Iceland as well. We will take on Slovakia and Holland in the first two games of the European League.

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  40. September 2020




    September 2020

    Friday 4th September 2020
    European International League Division B, Group 4
    Iceland vs Slovakia

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Johannesson, Palsson, Traustason, G.Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Sigurdarson, Finnbogason

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    Our first game back, following the European Championships ends in a comfortable 2-0 win for my Iceland team over a very poor Slovakia! They were awful and we completely dominated throughout and were good value for the victory!



    Monday 7th September 2020
    European International League Division B, Group 4Holland vs Iceland
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Kristinsson, Eyjolfsson, Ingason, Fjoluson, Traustason, Palsson, Skulason, G.Sigurdsson, Porarinsson (Bjarnason 45), Sigurdarson (Kjartansson 80), Finnbogason (Gudmundsson 45)

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    For the first time, I took on the nation that I one day hope to manage. And although we suffered defeat, the result probably flattered us to be fair as Holland had over 20 shots on goal with a number of really good chances, but they only managed to put one away. On the day, it was enough to secure the win as we struggled to create anything in their half.



    After two games, here’s the group table in the European International League.

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    Sunday 13th September 2020
    Willem II vs sc Heerenveen
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Arabaci, Chiosa, Luperto, Lewis, Vrhovec, Dasilva, Crowley, van Ooijen, Veerman, Teuchert

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    We were poor. Nothing else to say!



    Burak Arabaci made his debut at centre back against Heerenveen and didn’t shine in the slightest. My biggest signing for the club so far, was hugely disappointing and will have to step up on that performance if he is to keep his place in my team!

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    With our team performances being disappointing over the past few games, I was keen to have a look at a different formation and try something new out……maybe something not so defensive as I felt we have better players than when I took over here and don’t need to sit back so much. I came up with a 4-1-2-3 narrow formation. Most of the play will be focused through the middle of the pitch through our two most creative players in the team, who will both act as playmakers. Once they get the ball, their job is to get it to the strikers as quick as possible and create the chances. 3 strikers up front should offer plenty of options for their passes. The formation doesn’t offer the greatest width I know, but the left and right back have instructions to hit early crosses from deep, as I don’t want them getting too far forward and leaving the two centre backs exposed. Also, I’ve got my centre backs pumping the ball forward to the strikers rather than trying to play it out of defence….this should allow us to score some goals on the counter as well! Let’s give it a whirl.

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    Thursday 17th September 2020
    Europa League Group H
    Willem II vs SK Rapid Wien

    Formation: 4-1-2-3 Narrow
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Piszczek, Arabaci, Chiosa, Dasilva, Vrhovec, Colkett, Crowley, Teuchert (Sol 75), Veerman, Liau (Van der Venne 65)

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    Our first taste of Europa League formation and our first try with the new formation. Now the formation did work as we were dominant and created 17 chances at the Wien goal….however, our strikers did not do their job and couldn’t find the back of the net and they squandered some real good chances too! Promising performance with the new lineup, but a disappointing result in possibly the most winnable game in our group!



    17 year old striker, Patrick Van der Venne, was handed his professional debut against Wien in the Europa League as we searched for a goal in the latter stages. He played the final 25 minutes of the game and although he couldn’t find the back of the net, he looked lively and gave a good account of himself.

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    Tuesday 22nd September 2020
    Dutch Cup 1st Round
    Willem II vs Achilles ‘29

    Formation: 4-1-2-3 Narrow
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Piszczek (Lewis 57), Arabaci, Chiosa, Dasilva, Vrhovec (Heerkens 30), Colkett (van Ooijen 45), Crowley, Teuchert, Veerman, Sol

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    Comfortable would be an understatement as we easily dispatched of our lower league opposition in the 1st round of the Dutch Cup.



    We’ll play Helmond in the 2nd round, the same team we beat in round 2 a couple of seasons ago.

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    Sunday 27th September 2020
    Willem II vs PSV

    Formation: 4-1-2-3 Narrow
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Piszczek, Arabaci, Chiosa, Dasilva, Vrhovec (Heerkens 60), Colkett, Crowley, Teuchert (Swijgbergen 60), Sol, Liau

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    PSV were good but not good enough for a 3-0 win I don’t think and the result was a little unfair on my lads who didn’t play badly, they were just undone by a better side. However, this result does now leave us on a real shit run of form with 3 straight losses in the league!



    Trying to play 3 up front with a lack of strikers, is benefitting my youngsters as I give another debut to 20 year old Zep Swijgbergen. He came on for the last half hour, but had little impact on the game.

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    Our poor league form this month has seen us drop all the way down to 10th in the table and closer to the bottom 3 than the top of the table. We really need to pick up our form quickly!

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    In the Europa League, we sit 2nd in our group after just one game played and the table doesn’t really tell us anything at this stage.

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    Player of the Month
    Jay Dasilva

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    When the whole team plays pretty poorly, it’s always tough to find a player of the month. Jay Dasilva was the best of a bad bunch this month.



    October is going to be a really busy month and will certainly shape our chances of progression in the Europa League with 3 group games coming up in the next 4 ½ weeks. As well as a busy European schedule, we’ll also play 3 league games as we try desperately to get some points on the board and propel ourselves back into the top half.

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    In amongst all them domestic games, there will also be an international break and I’ll manage Iceland to two games. A friendly against Costa Rica, before we take on Slovakia again in the European League.

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    coolmcool, Wunderbaum and Blythy like this.

  41. Hi guys, I've hit a really shit run of form and dropped down into a relegation battle, which I have to say is a huge step backwards and has destroyed my motivation for this save at the moment. Because of the nature of the save and the challenges I set myself, I cannot move clubs which is what I really want to do right now (as I've built my reputation up enough that I could almost bag any job I like in Holland), which has kind of ruined it for me at the moment in a way, as I've always liked the idea on my previous saves of moving clubs to better myself and keep things interesting.

    I'm not deleting this save and I'm sure I'll come back to it at some point, but for now I need to get my teeth sunk into something now to reignite my love for the game. I'll be back, but for now, please look out for my next story...
    Wunderbaum likes this.

  42. No problem mate, I can't stomach a save where I can't move around if I want to either

  43. Understandable, you should only play while it is fun for you. When the fun stops, stop.

    It was fun while it lasted!

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