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Ernie Allan Takes On 'The Dutch Challenge'
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  1. Ernie Allan Takes On 'The Dutch Challenge'



    Ernie Allan Takes On 'The Dutch Challenge'

    I've created a brand new challenge and will be tackling it with my alter ego manager Ernie Allan! I'm calling it 'The Dutch Challenge'.

    There's no doubt that Holland has been a breeding place for young football talent for a number of years now, with some big clubs who have had their success in Europe's top competitions as well.

    However, things seem to have gone off the boil recently, with no Dutch club winning a European Trophy since Feyenoord lifting the UEFA Cup in 2002, beating Borussia Dortmund in the final. And when it comes to the national side, the less said the better! Failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup was seen as simply unacceptable for the Dutch football fans!

    So what is the challenge here....well it's not an overnighter and it will take a committed manager who is in it for the long haul!

    The only initial rule to who you can take over is that it has to be a club that is predicted by the media to finish in the bottom half of the table this season. That gives you the choice of VVV, NAC, Excelsior, Sparta, Roda JC, Willem II, Heracles, FC Groningen or ADO Den Haag.


    So what's the challenge, well there's a few....

    1. Eredivisie has been dominated by Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord for over 50 years, so the first part of this challenge is to overhaul them and win Holland's top division.
    2. The Dutch Cup is a little more shared between different teams but the big boys Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord appear on the honours list more times than any others again. So the 2nd part of the challenge is to win the Dutch Cup.
    3. Exert your dominance as the 'new' top team in Holland by winning the Eredivisie 3 seasons in a row.
    4. Win Eredivisie more times than any other Dutch team - at the start of the game Ajax are the record holders with 33 titles (told you that you'd need to be in it for the long haul).
    5. Win the Dutch Cup more times than any other Dutch team - again it's Ajax that have the record at the start of the save with 18 cups to their name.
    6. Become the highest valued club in Holland - Ajax begin the game with the highest value (£136 million).
    7. Have the largest stadium in Holland - surprise, surprise, it's Ajax again with a capacity of 54,033 at the start
    8. Kings of Europe - Win the Champions League
    9. Take over Europe - Win the Champions League more times than any other team (Real Madrid lead the way with 7 at the start of the save)

    The National Side:

    1. At some point during the save, get the Holland national job!
    2. Win the European Championships with Holland
    3. Win the World Cup with Holland


    I, playing as Ernie Allan, will attempt to achieve as much of the above as possible! Wish me luck!


  2. That's a lot of different challenges that would take a LONG time to complete but will be following! Good luck interesting to see who you pick to start the game off with as well!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by Linecoigne1998 View Post
    That's a lot of different challenges that would take a LONG time to complete but will be following! Good luck interesting to see who you pick to start the game off with as well!
    I love a long term save, so thought this would keep me going for a while lol! If I'd have made it to just win the league and cup, then potentially could of been over in 3-5 seasons. Thanks for following....much appreciated!
    Linecoigne1998 likes this.

  4. Willem II

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    WILLEM II

    So from the list mentioned above in the opening post, it was Willem II that I decided to go with! A club that hasn't won a major trophy in Holland for more than 50 years, when they lifted the Dutch Cup in 1963! Yes, the club have picked up a couple of Jupiler League titles since then, but as we all know, winning that only gives you the platform to go on and play the Dutch elite in the Eredivisie.

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    As we look back over the club's league history, it's obvious that this is a club that fights against relegation every season, and if they can achieve a respectable mid table finish then it's seen as an achievement. The highest the club have finished in Eredivisie in over 20 years is 7th back in 2003/04!

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    As I take over, the club are worth less than £10 million, have good training and youth facilities, with a national reputation.

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    We play our home games at the 14,500 capacity Koning Willem II Stadion.





    And here's the main reason I chose Willem II as my club. I just love that home kit!





    So as I start my new role here, this is where we stand on the challenge:


    Win Eredivisie Not yet complete
    Win the Dutch Cup Not yet complete
    Win Eredivisie 3 Seasons In A Row Not yet complete
    Win Eredivisie More Times Than Any Other Team Not yet complete - Currently 3 (1916, 1952, 1955)
    Win The Dutch Cup More Times Than Any Other Team Not yet complete - Currently 2 (1944, 1963)
    Become The Highest Valued Club In Holland Not yet complete - Currently £9.88 million
    Have The Largest Stadium In Holland Not yet complete - Currently 14,500
    Win The Champions League Not yet complete
    Win The Champions League More Times Than Any Other Team Not yet complete - Currently 0
    Get The Holland National Job Not yet complete
    Win The European Championship With Holland Not yet complete
    Win The World Cup With Holland Not yet complete






  5. The Squad




    The Squad

    Before we take a look at the squad, let’s have a look at Ernie Allan first of all. This is his first job in management and I have given him the coaching badges (Continental A Licence) and playing experience recommended for this club.

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    The Willem II squad is a decent size on first glance, with cover in almost every position. We have good height in the team, with most of the players over 5ft 10” tall, and there is plenty of Dutch players in the squad. I also have a relatively young team with hardly any players over 30.

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    According to my assistant manager’s team report, I also have ‘great’ players in most positions on the pitch. I seem to be extremely strong through the middle of the park with plenty of good players at CB, DM and MC positions.

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    My best three players would appear to be central midfielders Eyong Enoh and Thom Haye, and 21 year old German goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther!

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    As far as the staff go, I don’t want to rock the boat too much, and it looks like the club have a decent standard of coaching staff already compared to other clubs in the league. However, mutual contract terminations have been offered to the Director of Football, Head Physio and both physios and I will look to replace them roles.

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    With regards to improvements to the team, I'll be on a tight budget with the board making only £66k available for transfers and the club already £1,000 per week over our wage budget too!

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  6. Really looking forward to this after the heartache of your other save crashing! Wellenreuther in goal can't be bad, and I'm with youon the kit, that is a cracker!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  7. Good luck! I followed the other save and hope for success in this one too!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  8. Right I'm here, what have I missed so far? Looking forward to this already, that kit is well wicked!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Raaritsgozilla View Post
    Good luck! I followed the other save and hope for success in this one too!
    Cheers mate! Thanks for switching over and following this story as well. Hope you enjoy!

    Quote Originally Posted by dporter8999 View Post
    Really looking forward to this after the heartache of your other save crashing! Wellenreuther in goal can't be bad, and I'm with youon the kit, that is a cracker!
    The kit is nice!! If I can keep Wellenreuther here, he could be between the sticks for the next 10 years! He's shit hot!!

    Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Right I'm here, what have I missed so far? Looking forward to this already, that kit is well wicked!
    The kit sealed the deal for me! Cheers for switching over and following :-)

  10. Really looking forward to this after the heartache of your other save crashing! Bellwether in goal can't be bad, and I'm with you on the kit, that is a cracker!




    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  11. July 2017



    "The club is named after Dutch King William II of the Netherlands. He was commander of the
    Dutch Army and had his military headquarters in Tilburg where the club is based"



    July 2017


    My first piece of news to offer up as Willem II manager is not good news! We have a 19 year old Belgian on loan from Wolfsburg here called Ismail Azzaoui and he’s pretty shit hot to be fair! But he’s picked up an injury in pre season that is going to keep him out for 4-5 weeks.

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    As we work our way through the pre season campaign, the injuries are starting to mount up and I’m wondering how many players I’ll actually have available come the opening day of the season! The latest players added to the injury list are striker Etien Velikonja and centre back Jop van der Linden. Both will be out for up to 5 weeks!!

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    It was time to set the squad win bonuses before the season kicks off next month. I’ve kept the league one at the ‘normal’ level but reduced the domestic cup bonus to ‘low’. This freed up a bit of money on the transfer budget, which I was then able to adjust with the wage budget meaning we are now not overspending on wages as we were before.

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    Here’s the tactics I’ve been creating over the pre-season games. The first and probably most common that I’ll use will be a deep 4-4-2 as I have an abundance of defensive midfielders at the club – some of my best players actually play that position and I’ve always liked to build a formation around my best players initially. Although it is very defensive looking, its actually very attacking with both RB and LB set to attacking wingers, and both wide men in midfield set to attack as well! I also have one of the DMs on an attacking Segundo Volante role! So yes on paper it looks defensive, but there are 5 players with attack duty on to counter that! Individual player roles will change depending on who is picked for the team as I like my players to play a role they are comfortable with (although it may not always be their best role if I don’t think it’s right for the team).

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    The second tactic is more attacking and will probably be used at home and against weaker opposition, or when we are chasing a game and need a goal we could switch to this! It’s a 3-2-2-1-2 which allows us to attack from all angles. We can utilise the wing backs to get crosses in for the strikers, or filter play through the middle with the creativity of the attacking central midfielder. This tactic is much more focused on the team acting as a unit with all players set to a support mentality and playing in a ‘very fluid’ system. Again, this may get tinkered with as for different games, I might want to make certain players more attacking or more defensive depending on the threat from individual players on the opposite team. The more player roles I change individually, the more structured the team shape will be changed as well. For example, if I change the mentality of 2-3 players, I’ll change it to fluid, but if I change 4-5 players I will change it to flexible.

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    The final tactic I will be using is a 4-1-2-3. This will mainly be used when I favour us to win but the opposition may have a very dangerous attacking midfielder who could cause us problems. I can also switch up to this if they have weak full backs for our wide men to exploit. I’m sure I will begin to favour one of these three formations as the season goes on, but I’m sure there will be situations for all 3.

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    So how did the pre-season friendlies go. Well it was a mixed bag with some good and some bad. We kicked off with a decent 2-1 win against Danish club OB, before a disappointing draw against German semi-pro club Verl! We were then well beaten at home by French club Auxerre before a massive 6-0 victory over Dutch part timers JVC! We finished off pre-season with a game against Juliper league side MVV, who beat us 2-1! I did a lot of tinkering with tactics, players and roles so I'm not too worried about the results. What I am still worried about is that going into my first season, I still don't know what my best formation or first 11 is.....far from it in fact!

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    Player of Pre-Season
    Karim Coulibaly

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    Coulibaly featured in 4 of the 5 friendlies and gave a couple of star performances as he fights for a spot in the starting lineup! Worth noting that his goal against OB was an absolute cracker - cut in from the right and struck a left footed effort into the far top corner from about 25 yards!



    Looking ahead to August and the Eredivisie kicking off! My welcome to Dutch football will be a tough one as we start away at PSV!! Three other games in August will follow against NAC, FC Utrecht and PEC Zwolle! The NAC game has got to be seen as a must win with them predicted to be fighting relegation this season!

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  12. Looking forward to seeing this progress!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by JamesScott2908 View Post
    Looking forward to seeing this progress!
    Cheers mate :-)
    JamesScott2908 likes this.

  14. August 2017



    "John Feskens has the most league appearances for Willem II with a total of 483.
    He is now the Chief Data Analyst at PSV"


    August 2017

    As the season draws closer, the board send me their expectations for the upcoming competitions. I’ve just got to avoid being drawn into a relegation battle to satisfy them in the Eredivisie and they’ll be happy with 3rd round of the cup as well. Both should be achievable.

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    The anticipation rises for my first game in charge as Willem II manager.

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    Looking at the season preview, it’s Ajax who are favourites for the title, but only just ahead of holders Feyenoord. PSV and AZ are seen as the only real dangers to the top 2! The media’s dream team is made up entirely of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV players with the only exception being sc Heerenveen’s Stijn Schaars.

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    The club have sold 10,000 season tickets for the upcoming season!

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    Sunday 6th August 2017
    PSV vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner (Heerkens 68), Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Rienstra, Enoh, Coulibaly (Croux 45), Sol, El Hankouri

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    So close to the perfect start!! The lads gave me a valiant effort against one of the best teams in the league and very nearly nicked all 3 points! We started ridiculously well and were all over them in the opening 15 minutes, taking a shock lead through Eyong Enoh! But after that opening quarter of an hour it was all PSV and their persistence paid off when they bagged an equalizer with virtually the last kick of the game!



    A number of players made their debuts for us in the PSV game with all eyes on ex Ajax player Eyong Enoh as he made his return to Dutch football.

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    NAC Breda are our fierce local rivals, so naturally the stadium will be a sell out for the game. I hope to announce myself to the home fans by giving them the result they want!

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    Friday 11th August 2017
    Willem II vs NAC Breda

    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep (changed to 4-1-2-3 after 65 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Rienstra, Enoh (Chirivella 75), Coulibaly (Croux 45), Sol, El Hankouri (Haye 65)

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    A great second half turnaround ensured we beat our fierce rivals! It was Jordy Croux who really turned the game on it’s head for us as came off the bench to score one and he was the player brought down for the penalty and 2nd goal.



    Sunday 20th August 2017
    FC Utrecht vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-2-2-1-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Meissner (Lachman 76), Heerkens, Peters, Lewis, Tsimikas, Urbanski, Chirivella, Haye (Velikonja 64), Sol, El Hankouri

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    Bit gutted with this result as I don’t think we deserved to lose the game 3-0! The stats were pretty even, but the best passages of play definitely came from us. We just struggled to take our chances and Thom Haye didn’t have a good day at the office from a creativity point of view in the AMC role. Fair play to them I suppose who were very clinical in front of goal.



    A couple more players made debuts for the club against FC Utrecht. Bartlomiej Urbanski had a decent game with a match rating of 6.90.

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    We’ve been handed an away tie in the 1st round of the Dutch Cup against Jupiler League side FC Emmen.

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    Saturday 26th August 2017
    Willem II vs PEC Zwolle

    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 11), Rienstra, Enoh, Lewis, Coulibaly (Croux 70), Sol, Velikonja (El Hankouri 59)

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    We finish the month with a good home win against Zwolle. A close fought game with both sides creating plenty of chances but ours were more clear cut and we finished them well too! Fernando Lewis was electric down the right wing and the left back couldn’t cope with him as he bagged himself 2 goals!



    Kostas Tsimikas twisted his ankle in the game against Zwolle and will be forced out of action for up to a month with the injury.

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    Ismail Azzaoui has not long been back from an injury sustained in pre season and he has already picked up another knock, which will see him out for another 3 weeks!

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    With limited funds, it was always going to be difficult to bring another striker to the club, but we desperately needed one. So I turned to the loan market and the best I could get on deadline day was 18 year old Renat Dadachov who joins us for the season from Frankfurt.

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    Our man of the match from the last game, Fernando Lewis, is the latest player to pick up a niggling injury that will see him out for a couple of weeks. None of these injuries (so far) are long term, but it’s still a concern that we are getting so many of the small ones keeping players out for 1 or 2 games at a time. I hope it improves as the season goes on!

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    As I finish my first competitive month in charge of the team, we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of the table after 4 games. Winning both our home games and picking up a point away at PSV has got to be seen as a good month and it ensures we are 6 points clear of that relegation zone we need to stay away from to keep the board happy.

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    Player of the Month
    Eyong Enoh

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    September will see us play 4 league games and my first taste of the Dutch Cup. We will play 3 sides in the league who are expected to finish in the bottom half so we’ve got to be looking at these as games we can definitely take points from. The game at home to Feyenoord will be our biggest challenge of the month by far!

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  15. KLIPPYBO's Avatar KLIPPYBO
    Modern Day Legend
    Good luck!!!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by KLIPPYBO View Post
    Good luck!!!
    Cheers mate....probably gonna need it....mediocre squad, no money, no fantastic youth development programme......Lucky I love a tough challenge! lol
    dporter8999 likes this.

  17. September 2017



    "Dmitri Shukov is the club's record transfer signing.
    He joined from Vitesse in 1999 for a fee of £1.8 million"


    September 2017

    As far as the Dutch transfer window goes, it was extremely quiet with not a lot going on at all! The biggest incoming deal was Giorgos Efraim joining PSV for only £1.8 million – guessing there ain’t a lot of money in Holland! PSV raked in over £7 million for Jorrit Hendrix who moved to Germany to join Leipzig. Apparently we were the most active team signing 2 players – the other was some kid my DoF signed for free who didn’t excite me enough to post about him on here!

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    Friday 8th September 2017
    Heracles vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep (changed to 3-2-2-1-2 at half time)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Wijnaldum, Rienstra, Enoh, Croux (Heerkens 45), Coulibaly (Haye 45), Sol, Velikonja (Dadachov 64)

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    We were done by another stoppage time goal which is disappointing. Especially as Heracles were down to 10 men at the time after they had an injury in the 87th minute and had used all their subs. Overall you could say they deserved the win as they were the better side, but it’s still gutting to lose in injury time.



    Friday 15th September 2017
    Willem II vs Roda JC

    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman (Dankerlui 86), Heerkens, Peters, Wijnaldum, Rienstra, Enoh (Chirivella 20), Lewis, Coulibaly, Sol, Velikonja (Dadachov 45)

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    What a defensive performance that was from us, limiting Roda to only 2 shots on goal in the whole match! A single goal from Coulibaly in the first half was enough for us to take all 3 points.



    Another injury but this time it’s not a little one. One of our best players, Eyong Enoh will miss 6 months with a damaged Achilles tendon suffered in the Roda game!

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    Tuesday 19th September 2017
    Dutch Cup 1st Round
    FC Emmen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-2-2-1-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Heerkens, Meissner, Peters, Lewis (Dankerlui 71), Wijnaldum, Urbanski (Rienstra 83), Chirivella, Haye, Sol, Dadachov (El Hankouri 45)

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    Piss poor performance against the lower league side and we crashed out of the Dutch Cup at the 1st round stage. We were really poor!



    Saturday 23rd September 2017
    Willem II vs Feyenoord

    Formation: 4-1-2-3 Wide (Changed to 4-4-2 Deep after 22 minutes)
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner (Rienstra 22), Peters, Wijnaldum, Heerkens, Haye (Dadachov 22), Urbanski, Croux (Lewis 58), Coulibaly, Sol

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    When we were 2-0 down inside 15 minutes against the reigning champions, I was really worried this was going to turn into an embarrassing scoreline. A drastic change in formation and personnel on 22 minutes ensured it wasn’t! We were much better after that but unfortunately still not good enough to ever threaten to get back into this game.



    Wednesday 27th September 2017
    ADO Den Haag vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Heerkens, Peters (van der Linden 64), Tsimikas, Rienstra, Chirivella (Lieftink 24), Croux, Coulibaly, Sol (Dadachov 57), Velikonja

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    A tight game which just went their way. We played some nice stuff and created 4 clear cut chances, but my strikers struggled to take their chances.



    Pedro Chirivella picked up an injury in the Den Haag game that will keep him out for the first couple of weeks in October.

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    We had a tough month and drop down to 13th in the table. However, it’s still early days and a couple of wins can easily propel us back into the top half next month…..think positive!!!

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    Player of the Month
    Darryl Lachman

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    Darryl was the best of an average bunch this month. Unfortunately, nobody stood out with any fantastic performances but Lachman was one of the most consistent across the month.



    We must start October well with the games against Heerenveen and Sparta, as we have two tough games against FC Twente and AZ that will be hard to get anything from!

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  18. Mixed start mate but don’t be disheartened, you’ve played 2 of the best teams and I’m confident you’ll pick up a couple of wins in the new few games and get you into the top half comfortably. Gutting to lose Enoh for 6months though!! Looking forward to seeing you Progress in this!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by danjames101 View Post
    Mixed start mate but don’t be disheartened, you’ve played 2 of the best teams and I’m confident you’ll pick up a couple of wins in the new few games and get you into the top half comfortably. Gutting to lose Enoh for 6months though!! Looking forward to seeing you Progress in this!
    When you're not a very good team and you literally lose your best player for most of the season it's tough not to get disheartened......but I've never been one for giving up! Just need my other lads to step up now!

  20. October 2017



    "Willem II moved into the Koning Willem II Stadion in 1995 and have played there ever since.
    The stadium can hold a maximum of 14,700 people"


    October 2017


    Sunday 1st October 2017
    Willem II vs sc Heerenveen
    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner (Heerkens 70), Peters, Tsimikas, Rienstra, Lieftink, Lewis, Coulibaly, Sol (Dadachov 62), Velikonja

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    Renat Dadachov came off the bench to grab a late equalizer and earn us a valuable point. When we are playing these other sides in and around mid table, it’s probably more important we don’t lose the game even more than winning it. I know it sounds silly, but if we can stop the mid table points forging 3 points ahead of us every time we play them then it’s a bonus – it just means we have to focus more on beating those teams at the bottom end. Special mention for Wellenreuther in goal today as he pulled off an amazing penalty save to keep us in the game shortly after half time.



    Renat Dadachov followed up his first goal for us, with his first international strike for Azerbaijan.

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    Friday 13th October 2017
    Sparta Rotterdam vs Willem II
    Formation: 4-4-2 Deep
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas, Rienstra, Lieftink, Lewis, Coulibaly, Dadachov, Velikonja

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    We were uttely embarrassed by Sparta here as they completely ran riot in the first half. After the bollocking of a lifetime, the team did go out and win the second half 1-0, but I think it was more down to the fact that Sparta eased off, than us picking up our game!



    The tactics I worked on in pre season don’t seem to be doing the business at the moment, so I decided to try putting something new together. This is another idea I’m working with but I’m sure this is going to be a season of tinkering a lot with formations and tactics (whilst trying to survive the drop) and hopefully I’ll find something that is working by the end of the season. This formation will be referred to as 4-5-1 Flat on my matchday posts.

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    Saturday 21st October 2017
    Willem II vs FC Twente
    Formation: Flat 4-5-1
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Dankerlui (Lackman 62), Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Chirivella, Rienstra, Haye, Azzaoui, Sol (Dadachov 72)

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    A fantastic result against FC Twente earns us a massive 3 points! We were under the kosh for large periods of the game, but stood our ground well and Wellenreuther did well when called upon between the sticks. We didn’t create much going forward, but the odd chances we did muster up, we took well!



    With the amount of injuries we have suffered this season, I needed to increase the numbers in the squad and we had one good player out on loan that could definitely do a job for us. Dan Crowley….some of you may recognise him as an Arsenal youngster who didn’t make it with the Gunners. Well it turns out he moved to Holland to rebuild his career. I’ve recalled him from his loan spell at SC Cambuur in the Jupiler League.

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    Saturday 28th October 2017
    AZ Alkmaar vs Willem II
    Formation: Flat 4-5-1
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Haye, Rienstra, Chirivella (Crowley 76), Azzaoui (Coulibaly 63), Sol (Dadachov 68)

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    We followed up the cracking result against FC Twente with a very respectable draw against another top side in AZ. This time we fought back from behind as well, which always takes tremendous character against the better sides as you can easily roll over and be pissed all over (as we have been a couple of times already this year). Another performance from the lads which leaves their manager proud!



    Immediately after returning to the club from his loan spell, Dan Crowley was handed his debut for us. I brought him on for the last 15 minutes in the hope he might be able to create something out of nothing (whilst we were doing our best to hang on) but it wasn’t to be.

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    Jop van der Linden asked me to terminate his loan deal immediately after we earned the draw against his club AZ. He has only made one appearance for me this year and I grant his request…..after all I have no interest in keeping players here who don’t want to be.

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    We picked up 5 points from our 4 games this month, and if we could do that every month, we’d be sure to secure a mid table finish this season. It means that we rise one place in the table to 12th but things are still very tight. A couple of wins and we could be in the top 7 or 8, a couple of losses and we could be in the relegation zone. At the top, it’s the three big boys that we’d expect to see battling it out!

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    Player of the Month
    Kostas Tsimikas

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    Four very good performances from the left back, chipping in with a couple of assists too! Tsimikas work rate down the left flank is plain to see in every game and it’s a shame he is only here on loan (from Olypiakos)!



    It’s the big one next month as we take on Ajax!! Before that, we have some games we have a chance of picking up some more points from. VVV and Groningen both find themselves in the bottom 4 so these are two big, big games for us!

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  21. Some goods points picked up there! Certainly a challenge this one!
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Some goods points picked up there! Certainly a challenge this one!
    Cheers mate....its definitely not one where you're likely to win the league within 1 or 2 seasons

  23. November 2017



    "Dutch legend Marc Overmars played for Willem II for the 1991/92 season,
    playing 31 games for the club, before moving on to Ajax"


    November 2017

    Sunday 5th November 2017
    Vitesse vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-5-1 Flat
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Dankerlui, Lachman, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Haye, Rienstra, Chirivella, Azzaoui, Sol

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    A late goal from Fran Sol earns us our first away win of the season! We kick off November in style with a win, a clean sheet and an all round decent performance against the side that were 6th at kickoff!



    Friday 17th November 2017
    VVV-Venlo vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-5-1 Flat
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Dankerlui, Lachman, Peters, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 90), Lewis, Haye, Rienstra (Crowley 60), Chirivella, Azzaoui, Sol

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    If we’re going to keep ourselves away from the relegation battle, then games like this are absolute must wins, with VVV sitting 17th in the table at kick off! So I’m pleased we’ve managed to come away with the victory and that now makes it 4 games unbeaten in the league! Fran Sol seems to have hit a purple patch as he bagged his 4th and 5th goals in his last 4 games! That’s after scoring 2 in his previous 10!



    Sunday 26th November 2017
    Willem II vs FC Groningen

    Formation: 4-5-1 Flat
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Dankerlui, Lachman, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Haye (Dadachov 62), Rienstra, Chirivella, Azzaoui, Sol

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    That unbeaten run quickly came crashing down with a disappointing defeat at home to Groningen, who were struggling in the bottom 3rd of the table before this game. We weren’t without our chances, but didn’t take them when needed. Two big chances fell to Fran Sol when we were 2-1 down and if he had taken either of them, I’m confident we’d have at least gone on to get a draw here.



    Wednesday 29th November 2017
    Willem II vs Ajax

    Formation: 4-5-1 Flat
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Dankerlui (Meissner 63), Lachman, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Haye, Rienstra, Chirivella (Crowley 63), Azzaoui (Coulibaly 63), Sol

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    The game against the biggest team in Holland was always going to be a case of defend for our lives and hope to nick some sort of result. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way as we completely failed to cope with Ajax’s sensational attacking football, as the league leaders created more than 30 chances! On the plus side, we took our own chances incredibly well and managed 3 goals from our 7 shots. Despite the surprisingly close scoreline, the game showed me just how big the gulf is between us and the top teams in the country!



    2 wins and 2 losses has got to be seen as a good month for us. I don’t feel like we are quite ready to look up the table (negative I know) but should be looking behind and concentrating on how far ahead of that bottom 3 we can pull….right now that gap is 11 points, so I’m happy!

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    Player of the Month
    Fernando Lewis

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    The right winger has been in good form this month with a couple of assists and a cracker of a strike against Ajax.



    December will see us pass the half way stage of the season and there are a couple of games I am targeting points from. We open against Excelsior and this is a game we can get at least a point from, and the home game against Utrecht on Christmas Eve is winnable. The away game against our biggest rivals NAC will be a big day for the fans!

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  24. December 2017



    "The most league goals Willem II have ever scored in a single season was 78.
    That was during the Jupiler League 2013/14 campaign"


    December 2017

    Bartlomiej Urbanski has a hamstring strain that will mean he won’t play anymore football in 2017.

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    Sunday 3rd December 2017
    Excelsior vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-5-1 Flat
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Crowley, Rienstra, Chirivella, Azzaoui, Sol (Dadachov 70)

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    We gave Excelsior a good game at their place and played some decent football at times. Dan Crowley gave us an early lead with his first goal for the club, but Excelsior were not without their moments and got a deserved equalizer in the second half to share the points.



    Sunday 10th December 2017
    Willem II vs PSV

    Formation: 4-5-1 Flat
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas, Lewis, Crowley, Rienstra, Chirivella (Dadachov 68), Azzaoui (Croux 80), Sol

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    Again, we concede a shit load of goals to one of the top teams in the league! Again, we managed to bang in a few of our own! A similar story here to last month’s home game against Ajax and the same result as we take nothing from the game.



    Saturday 16th December 2017
    NAC Breda vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-5-1
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Dankerlui, Meissner, Peters, Tsimikas (Heerkens 77), Lewis, Crowley, Chirivella (Dadachov 41), Haye, Azzaoui, Sol (Ogbeche 77)

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    Losing to the big teams I can take….but this result is unforgivable. Losing to our main rivals who are below us in the table, by such a wide margin, is f*cking shit! Roll on the Summer when I can replace some of these players who are quite frankly not cut out for this level of football (that is of course if I still have a job by then).



    At least the players did the right thing and refunded the fans for their tickets to watch that shit!

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    After 20 games in charge, it seems the general consensus is that I’m doing a good job! Damn right I’m doing a good job….this bunch of shitsters should be bottom of the f*cking table based on that last performance!

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    Saturday 23rd December 2017
    Willem II vs FC Utrecht

    Formation: 4-2-3-1 Variation
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Wijnaldum (Tsimikas 63), Chirivella, Rienstra, Lewis, Haye (Crowley 38), Azzaoui, Sol (Ogbeche 63)

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    It’s not been very often this season that we’ve had more possession and more shots than the opposite team in a game (in fact this could even be the first time), but it still wasn’t enough for us to get a win here against an underachieving FC Utrecht team. Our last game of 2017 ends in a draw!



    Thom Haye picks up an injury that will keep him out for 4 weeks. Luckily, he won’t miss much football as we now have the Winter break upcoming.

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    Same goes for Giliano Wijnaldum. He should be back from his injury by the time we kick off again on 21st January.

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    We end 2017 in 12th position. A winless December leaves us as the ‘out of form’ team in the league and we’ll need to pick things up when we come back after the Winter break to avoid being drawn into the relegation battle.

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    Player of the Month
    Fran Sol

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    The big man up top has been one of the only players this month who has actually turned in some decent performances. It’s a shame his goals and assists haven’t helped us get more points.



    Only 2 games in January as we now have a 4 week Winter break.

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  25. January 2018



    "Fran Sol is a Spanish striker who joined the club from Villarreal on a free transfer in 2016.
    Before his 3 year spell with Villarreal, he had come through the youth system at Real Madrid
    although he never made a first team appearance for them in 7 years"


    January 2018

    As we turn into January, the transfer window opens which is pretty irrelevant to us as I have no budget to spend anyway! However, what it does mean is that players contracts will be expiring in 6 months time and clubs can approach those players in January. Things are not looking good for us as two of our players have quickly arranged moves away from the club at the end of the season on free transfers, one of them being Thom Haye…..one of our best players!! Obviously I tried to keep both Haye and Velikonja here, but neither of them were interested in staying.

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    Saturday 20th January 2018
    PEC Zwolle vs Willem II

    Formation: 4-2-3-1 Variation
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Meissner, Peters, Wijnaldum, Heerkens, Rienstra (Crowley 59), Lewis, Haye (Dadachov 14), Azzaoui (El Hankouri 59), Sol

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    Zwolle are having a good season and were sitting 5th at kick off, so this was always expected to be a big challenge for us! And it proved to be exactly that as we were pretty much dominated for the full 90 minutes and were lucky in the end to only go down 1-0!



    A new formation and it will look familiar to anyone who followed my previous story! Let’s hope it sparks a rejuvenation of form for us!

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    Saturday 27th January 2018
    Willem II vs Heracles

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens, Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley, Sol, Dadachov (Velikonja 61)

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    With Heracles bottom of the table, this was a must win game for us….no excuses! And we did get the win….JUST!!! A Freek Heerkens header in the final seconds of the match earned us our first victory in 8 games and a massive, massive 3 points!



    With no funds available, there was no movement whatsoever for us in the January transfer window. On the other hand, Ajax were very busy as they raked in over £18 million from Arsenal for Hakim Ziyech, before reinvesting some of that money on a couple of players from Porto! Am I envious…..f*ck yes!

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    That win against Heracles was absolutely huge for us and ensures we stay a good 9 points clear of the relegation places! Realistically, I think we are looking at ensuring we stay in the league this year and I will be looking to secure safety and set the board and fans minds at rest as soon as I can.

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    Player of the Month
    Freek Heerkens

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    Heerkens has to get it after his excellent performance against Heracles!



    Four games on the horizon in February and we’ll be looking to get at least 4 points from these, which should be enough to keep us away from the bottom 3. The Roda game is massive with them sitting below us in the league.

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  26. February 2018



    "Willem II have won the Eredivisie title 3 times in their history. In 1916, 1952 and
    their most recent title was all the way back in 1955"


    February 2018

    Friday 2nd February 2018
    Roda JC vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas, Haye, Crowley, Sol (Velikonja 64), Dadachov

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    This was a closely fought contest which either side could have nicked, but neither side really seemed to have the quality to do so. Decent chances were few and far between and when they did come, the finishing was of a low standard. A draw was probably a fair result.



    Sunday 11th February 2018
    Willem II vs ADO Den Haag

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens (Sent off 20), Tsimikas, Haye (Velikonja 56), Crowley, Sol (Lieftink 20), Dadachov

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    We started this game really well and were well on top in the opening quarter of the game. Dadachov gave us an early lead and I was confident…..then Heerkens went and got himself sent off for an awful challenge and we were then going to be up against it with 70 minutes still on the clock!! Sure enough ADO came back into the game and by the hour mark, they were in front! However, my boys never gave up and earned themselves a much deserved point when Velikonja grabbed an eqaulizer from the bench! Without that sending off though, I am pretty confident we would have won this game!



    Sunday 18th February 2018
    sc Heerenveen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Lieftink (Enoh 83), Tsimikas, Haye, Crowley, Sol (Velikonja 68), Dadachov

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    This was a real snatch and grab win for us as we were largely outplayed for periods of this game. Heerenveen managing 14 shots on goal to our 4! But it’s about how many times you put the ball in the back of the net that counts and today we managed to do that one more time than them…..which was enough! The game saw the return of Eyong Enoh as he was given the final few minutes from the bench after a few months out.



    Saturday 24th February 2018
    Feyenoord vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Lieftink, Tsimikas (Sent off 60), Haye (Wijnaldum 60), Crowley, Velikonja (Sol 78), Dadachov

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    Again, one of the big boys were far too good for us! Although we kept the scoreline respectable, we were never really in the game as we only managed 3 shots on goal, whilst Feyenoord looked dangerous with every attack as they created nearly 20 chances! Having Tsimikas sent off with half an hour remaining didn’t exactly help our cause either.



    We’ve had a decent month, picking up 5 points and only losing one game to the mighty Feyenoord! It’s not seen us rise up the table, but it has meant we have pulled 12 points clear of the relegation places and with only 8 games remaining this season, I’m inclined to think we are probably relatively safe.

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    Player of the Month
    Renat Dadachov

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    The young striker has given a fantastic return of 3 goals and 1 assist this month!



    Only 3 games coming up next month! We’ve only lost one of our last five games and I’m aiming to continue this run of good form into March, so that we can have a relatively stress free April not worrying about relegation possibilities.

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  27. Decent month, assume you've started the planning for next season with an eye on potential transfers?
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  28. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Decent month, assume you've started the planning for next season with an eye on potential transfers?
    I'm looking but it's not looking likely I'll have any money to spend as we are now £700k in debt! Hopefully I can pick p a couple of decent frees!

  29. March 2018



    "Jaap Stam played for the club during the 1995/96 season, making 19 appearances and scoring 1 goal.
    He joined the club from SC Cambuur and left for PSV Eindhoven after just the one season"


    March 2018

    Just as young striker Renat Dadachov has hit a purple patch in form, he picks up an injury that will see him miss the next 3 or 4 games! Such a shame as he seemed to be thriving in the new 3-3-2-2 formation we’ve been playing.

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    Saturday 3rd March 2018
    Willem II vs Sparta Rotterdam

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Dankerlui, Heerkens, Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley, Velikonja, Sol (el Hankouri 68)

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    A late Thom Haye goal ensures we kick off March with another big 3 points! A great result against a Sparta side pushing for a European qualification spot in the league and it sees us move up to 11th and 13 points clear of relegation! I’d say with 34 points on the board now, we’re safe for this year!



    Saturday 10th March 2018
    FC Twente vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens, Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley (Enoh 80), Velikonja, Sol (Ogbeche 65)

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    We managed to get a 2-1 win against Twente earlier in the season, and we completed the double over them here with a fantastic away win! Again, we scored 2 past them, and this time with no reply! They may have dominated the possession but it was all about the quality of the chances created today, and the best chances definitely fell to us as Twente struggled to play through our defence and create anything clear cut. Back to back clean sheets for us for the first time this season!



    That goal for Fran Sol against FC Twente ended a 10 hour goal drought for the striker!

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    But he won’t be pushing on from there immediately as he also picked up an injury in the game that will keep him out for the next 3 weeks.

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    Sunday 18th March 2018
    Willem II vs Vitesse

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens (Enoh 67), Wijnaldum (Tsimikas 67), Haye, Crowley, Velikonja (Ogbeche 67), el Hankouri

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    Once you take out the top 3 (Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord), Vitesse have been the best of the rest so far this season as they lead the chasing pack in 4th. Despite that, we still managed to hold them to a respectable 0-0 draw. Bit of a boring game but another good result for us and my defence it looking very strong as they keep a 3rd consecutive clean sheet.



    We underwent our annual youth intake, but to be fair there are no players to write home about! The best of the bench is seen as Joris Molenaar. As he is predominantly a left winger, I’ll immediately be looking to retrain him as a wing back so that he will fit my formation!

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    The board show their appreciation for my work this season by rewarding me with a new contract. I am delighted to sign a new 2 year deal that also sees my salary rise to £4,000 per week!

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    Saturday 31st March 2018
    AZ vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Rienstra, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens (Enoh 70), Tsimikas, Haye, Crowley, Velikonja, Sol

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    AZ are possibly the biggest underachievers so far this season as they were predicted a 4th place finish at the start of the season, but find themselves in 10th as we kicked off this game and on the same points as little old us! And we leapfrogged them in the table with another solid performance and another big victory away from home!



    What a month March was for us! Four games played, three wins and not a single goal conceded! Incredibly, we are up to 9th in the table and talks of being drawn closer to the bottom 3 are a distant memory now! With 4 games remaining, we now have realistic hopes of finishing the season in the top 10, with an outside chance of even breaking into the top 7 or 8!

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    Player of the Month
    Jordens Peters

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    With our defensive record this month, it had to go to one of the three centre backs! Peters has been a constant in the starting lineup throughout the entire season and his performances over the past month have been pivotal to our amazing defensive record and 4 straight clean sheets!



    We’ll play 3 of our final 4 games in April. We start with a very winnable fixture against VVV, and end the month against league leaders Ajax! With the season’s objective already comfortably achieved, we are now just looking to finish as high as possible and every point is a bonus now!

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    ninjaskill likes this.

  30. Just caught up on this, glad I have!

    A very important month for you in terms of results there, hopefully it's a sign of things to come. Really enjoyed really this.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  31. Quote Originally Posted by TaylorBAFC View Post
    Just caught up on this, glad I have!

    A very important month for you in terms of results there, hopefully it's a sign of things to come. Really enjoyed really this.

    Cheers mate, glad you're enjoying the read! I'm really enjoying playing the game....definitely one of the biggest challenges I've ever taken on in FM!

  32. April 2018



    "The lowest amount of points achieved in a single season by Willem II is 15.
    That was during the 2010/11 Eredivisie campaign.
    Yes they were relegated after finishing bottom of the table"


    April 2018

    I’ve been really impressed with centre back, Darryl Lachman, over the past month or so, and wanted to address the issue of his contract running out at the end of the season. I’m really pleased he has signed a new deal keeping him here for another 3 years!

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    Friday 6th April 2018
    Willem II vs VVV-Venlo

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis (Enoh 88), Heerkens (Liefink 73), Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley, Velikonja, Sol (Dadachov 60)

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    There hasn’t been many times this season when I’ve gone into a game expecting to win, but this was one of those rare occasions. But we didn’t…..we did dominate the match for the entire 90 minutes but just couldn’t make the breakthrough to get the goal to secure victory, and instead had to settle for a bore draw.



    Kostas Tsimikas will miss the rest of the month through injury.

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    Sunday 15th April 2018
    FC Groningen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Heerkens (Enoh 80), Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley (el Hankouri 67), Velikonja, Dadachov

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    Renat Dadachov had a blinder, scoring two goals, but he could have easily had 4 or 5 as he consistently found plenty of space in the Groningen box and had chance after chance! Another away win that propels us into the top half of the table with 2 games remaining!



    That result against FC Groningen made is 6 games unbeaten and that my friends, is a new club record.

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    Sunday 22nd April 2018
    Ajax vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Enoh, Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley, Velikonja, Dadachov

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    Ajax needed a win here to win the Eredivisie title, so there was a little extra pressure on them. However, you’d never know it as they were sensational here as they wrap up league with a comfortable win over us! We were really poor in that 1st half….a lot more competitive in the 2nd but by then the damage was already done!



    And there’s the confirmation that Ajax are champions of Holland once again after 3 seasons finishing runners up!

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    PSV require penalties to beat PEC Zwolle in the final of the Dutch Cup and lift the trophy for the 10th time. League winners Ajax were the underachievers of the competition crashing out in the 3rd round to Excelsior.

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    With only one game remaining, the lowest we can finish is 11th. However, with a win and other results going our way we could finish as high as 7th!

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    Player of the Month
    Fernando Lewis

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    The right wing back has been our most consistent performer across the 3 games in April, although nobody really stood out this month.



    Only one game remains and the season will finish in May. Our final match is at home to Excelsior and they have plenty to play for as a loss could mean them dropping into the relegation playoff places.

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    ninjaskill and TaylorBAFC like this.

  33. May 2018



    "Sami Hyypia played for Willem II from 1995 to 1999, making over 100 appearances for the club.
    He moved on to join Liverpool where he stayed for the next 10 years"


    May 2018 (End of Season)

    Sunday 6th May 2018
    Willem II vs Excelsior

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Meissner, Lewis, Lieftink (Heerkens 62), Wijnaldum, Haye, Crowley, Velikonja (Sol 62 (Ogbeche 73)), Dadachov

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    As mentioned in last month’s post, Excelsior still had it all to play for here as they could still drop into the bottom 3 without a win. On the other hand, we were really just here to give the fans an end of season send off. It probably showed in the first half as Excelsior went about their business in a bit more of an urgent fashion than us and we seemed to be coasting through the game. A little bit of a kick up the arse at the break seemed to spur the lads into a bit more action in the 2nd half, and a late goal from substitute Bart Ogbeche was enough for us to finish the season with a win. Despite the loss, Excelsior survived the bottom 3!



    So here’s the final league table. I have to be pleased with how my first season has gone as we finished 10th. We were 19 points clear of the relegation battle that we set out to avoid at the start of the season! It’s the three big boys that really pulled away at the top, with Ajax lifting the title and a 3rd placed Feyenoord were a good 19 points clear of PEC Zwolle in 4th! The gap between the top 3 and the rest is huge and reiterates the magnitude of this challenge to overthrow them! Vitesse and ADO Den Haag will be playing European football next season, whilst Roda JC and VVV are going down after they both lost their relegation playoff games against teams from the Jupiler league.

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    Throughout the entire season, we managed to stay clear of the bottom 3, never going below 13th in the table. Early on, we were as high as 6th after a good start, but spent majority of the season in that mid table pack from 9th to 13th.

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    At the end of season awards, it’s Fernando Lewis that picks up the fan’s player of the year, winning it pretty easily with nearly half the vote. Dan Crowley was the young player of the season, and there was no signing of the season as I didn’t sign anyone!

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    Managers Player of the Season
    Dan Crowley

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    I’m giving my award to Dan Crowley! I think it was a pivotal part of our season to recall him from loan and the 20 year old did me proud in the 2nd half of the campaign. He was a consistent performer, chipped in with 4 assists and a goal, and has really put himself in line for a first team place all of next season with us!



    The media’s review of our season makes for a positive read. The general feel is that we had a good year and overachieved so I’m pleased.

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    The board are chuffed, so my job is safe at the end of the season…not that I had any doubts about that!

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    Looking at the squad stats for the past season, it was Fran Sol that finished top goalscorer with 12, but the striker that catches my eye was on loan Renat Dadachov who came in and bagged 8 goals despite only starting 10 games. The assists were much more shared out with players from all over the pitch chipping in and it was right wing back Fernando Lewis who bagged the most with 6. It was left wing back Kostas Tsimikas that grabbed the most man of the match awards with 4, but the whole of the defence really upped their game in the final 7 or 8 games of the season and I really hope we can carry that form into the start of next season.

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    The chairman sends over the commercial summary to me and it makes for positive reading. The club have agreed two new sponsorship deals worth £2.5 million per year and the individual TV deal is up by £100k on last year. Corporate & hospitality, match day retail are both also on the up!

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    Despite that, the budgets are still shit, with the club making absolutely no money available for transfers. The wage budget sits at £67k with our committed spending at £52k, so I will have some money to play with there, but it’s going to be the free transfer market and loan signings to strengthen next season!

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    And that’s why I have no money to spend as the club announce losses of £1.4 million for the past year.

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    And then we get this boost as the club picks up it’s prize money from the Eredivisie. I wonder whether those budgets will be adjusted or if this money is what the club project it will need to ‘tick over’ next season?

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  34. June 2018



    "The average home attendance last season was 13,048. The highest was 14,500 against NAC Breda
    and the lowest was 11,390 against Heracles"


    June 2018

    If the board won’t give me money to buy players, then we need to be investing in the youth to bring players up through the club. The board obviously agree as they grant my request to improve the youth facilities. It’s going to cost us £2 million and will be complete in about 5 months.

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    I have made my first signing of the Summer. Peter van Ooijen will join from relegated Heracles on a free transfer in 1st July. Ooijen is a Dutch centre mid who played 32 times for Heracles last season, achieveing an average match rating of 6.94. He is a welcome addition to bolster the midfield, with Thom Haye leaving.

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    With the 3-3-2-2 formation I am now playing, I have no need for wingers in my team. Karim Coulibaly and Jordy Croux didn’t feature hardly at all in the 2nd half of last season so I have put them both up for sale. They were quickly snapped up by AC Ajaccio (Coulibaly) and Charleroi (Croux) for a combined £270k. Both will leave when the window re-opens on 1st July.

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    Kostas Tsimikas will remain with the club for another season after Olympiakos allowed me to extend his loan deal.

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    I mentioned before that I was very impressed with 19 year old striker Renat Dadachov last season after he joined us on loan for the 2nd half of the season. So I was keen to tie him down for another year and am pleased that Frankfurt have agreed to extend his stay with us.

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    There was 1 more player who I decided to extend on their loan contract and that was central midfielder Pedro Chirivella. Might seem like a strange one as he actually only played 14 times for us last season and wasn’t a first team regular, but I really think he could feature more this year!

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    I approached the board and asked them to go find me a senior affiliate. They have come up trumps, agreeing a deal with Inter Milan and this should give us good access to some Italian prospects. Also, it’s an extra £100k on the income every year!

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    I also asked the board to go find us a feeder club, so that we would have first dibs on any decent youth prospects coming through their ranks. They came back with 4 clubs (2 Dutch and 2 Belgian) and I have decided to go with RBC Roosendaal from the lower leagues of Dutch football.

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    Dutch football is on the up as the Eredivisie rises from 13th to 11th in the European competition rankings.

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    That means, we’ll have teams going into the European competitions at later stages. The biggest change is probably the fact we will have 1 team going directly into the Europa League group stage.

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    Jeremy Grimm is my first ever proper signing that I actually spent money on! He will sign on 1st July from French club Strasbourg for £18,000. Grimm can play both defensive midfield and centre back roles and is a determined individual with a very high work rate.

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  35. £18,000 to sign a player, I tell you something the game is gone if those are the sorts of fees clubs will pay.

    Good read and hopefully you can build on a really good first season and keep the good times going at the club.

  36. Quote Originally Posted by ninjaskill View Post
    £18,000 to sign a player, I tell you something the game is gone if those are the sorts of fees clubs will pay.

    Good read and hopefully you can build on a really good first season and keep the good times going at the club.
    Haha I know right! You wait til you see how much I spent at the start of July....it'll blow you away lol!

    Thanks for your positive feedback as always :-)
    ninjaskill and danjames101 like this.

  37. July 2018



    "Denny Landzaat is a name that will be familiar to Wigan fans after he played more than 50 games for them.
    However, before that he had spent 4 years at Willem II and made over 130 appearances, scoring 38 goals!
    Not a bad return for a defensive midfielder. He returned to Willem II again in 2014 and played another 9
    games late in his career"


    July 2018

    Confirmation that centre mid Eyong Enoh and striker Bart Ogbeche have been released by the club after their contracts expired. Enoh wanted over £8k per week to stay and I wasn’t prepared to pay that and Ogbeche just wasn’t seen as good enough to keep on the books.

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    I have taken advantage of the affiliation with Inter Milan and brough 22 year old striker George Puscas to the club for the season on loan. Puscas definitely has the ability to bang some goals in this season and I’ll be looking to him to lead the front line!

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    Another loan signing comes in for the season. This time it’s central midfielder Erik Majetschack who joins from RBL in the German league. Upon joining, the 18 year old is already one of the best players in our squad and will surely play a big part for us this year.

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    With the players that have left the club freeing up a large chunk of the wage budget, I was able to do some adjustment and make some transfer budget available for myself. I needed to bolster the defence and have forked out £375k for Italian centre back Marco Chiosa who joins us from Novara. Chiosa looks like a solid option for us at the back and is a welcome addition to the club.

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    Tha Dutch club rankings are released and we currently sit 12th in the country. Ajax are ranked as the most reputable club in Holland!

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    The fixtures for the upcoming season have been released and we have been handed an opening day game at home to newly promoted SC Cambuur. Our first game against the big boys will be against PSV 4 games into the season.

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    We’ll pick up £1.6 million for TV rights over the coming season.

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    The club continue building for the future as the board agree to invest in the youth recruitment network, at my request. This will go hand in hand with our new youth facilities that will be finished in November.

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    It's Germany who lift the 2018 World Cup in Russia, retaining their title from 4 years earlier! Germany beat surprise package Mexico 3-2 in the final. Mexico had conquered England at the 2nd round stage and Brazil in the semis too! What a tournament for them! Obviously, Holland were not there on this occasion.

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    We’ve played 5 of our 6 friendlies this month and it’s all gone about as well as I could of hoped. The defence has been strong, only conceding two goals, both games resulting in 1-0 losses. However, losing to Anderlecht is not the worst result and we scored plenty of goals in the 3 games we did win.

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    Looking ahead to August and we have 1 more friendly against Standard to play before the season kicks off. We’ll play 3 league games and they are 3 matches which we have an opportunity to take points from all of them!

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    Last edited by TheNotSoSpecialOne; 01/07/2018 at 08:15 PM.

  38. Great first season although the success has obviously gone to your head! Spending £375k on one player! YOU'RE MAD!!

    KIU
    Last edited by neavie pops23; 03/07/2018 at 08:06 AM.
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  39. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Great first season although the success has obviously gone to your head! Spending £375k on one player! YOUR MAD!!

    KIU
    Pushing the boat right out!

  40. August 2018



    "Darryl Lachman scored our fastest goal last season. It came 1 minute and 8 seconds
    into the match against Roda JC away"


    August 2018

    Jordens Peters and Freek Heerkens will keep the captain’s and vice captain’s armbands this season. I feel no need to change and still expect both of these players to be first team regulars so it makes sense not to rock the applecart and keep them in.

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    Our final friendly of the pre season campaign was at home against Belgian side Standard Liege. The final chance for the players to impress me and work their way into the starting lineup for the start of the season, and boy did they impress! I expected this to be a tough friendly, but to be frank it was a walkover on our part!

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    Player of Pre Season
    Marco Chiosa

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    The new centre back played every minute of every friendly and was outstanding, seamlessly settling into my back 3! He’s already showing me he was worth every penny of the £375k I spent on him! I hope he can continue this form into the competitive games!



    With the season about to start, the board send me a reminder of their expectations for the upcoming year. After our 10th place finish last season, the board would like me to replicate a mid table finish again this year in Eredivisie. As far as the Dutch Cup goes, a 3rd round appearance will be deemed good enough…..anything has to be better than the dire 1st round exit of last season!

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    Looking at the season preview, we see that Ajax are the favourites to retain their title, with Feyenoord and PSV again expected to be their closest challengers. Vitesse are rated as a lot closer to the top 3 this season though with their pre season odds sitting at 5-1, when they were 30-1 last season! Our odds to win the title this year have also slashed in half from 1000-1 from 500-1. A sign of progress maybe?! As for the media’s dream eleven, the entire team is made up of players from Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV. Erik Majetschak and Pedro Chirivella made the list of key players this year for me.

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    Friday 10th August 2018
    Willem II vs SC Cambuur

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Wijnaldum (Sent off 57), Crowley, Chirivella (Majetschak 79), Sol, Puscas (Tsimikas 57)

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    Without seeming disrespectful to Cambuur, I would have expected us to beat them on the opening day of the season, with them having been promoted last year. And although we did, we made it bloody difficult for ourselves. Not only did we allow them to take the lead and have to fight back, but we also had to do it with 10 men for the final 30 minutes after Wijnaldum got himself sent off for 2 bookable offences. A win, although not in ideal circumstances, is still a win and I am pleased to kick off the new campaign with 3 points!



    Centre back Marco Chiosa made his debut for the club against SC Cambuur and gave an OK account of himself recording a match rating of 6.90. Striker, George Puscas, also debuted, but didn’t have a good game and was brought off with 30 minutes remaining.

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    An extra 31 season ticket holders will be coming to watch us play this season!

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    Saturday 18th August 2018
    Sparta Rotterdam vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Simonse 63), Tsimikas (Sent off 63), Crowley, Chirivella (Majetschak 70), Sol (Abubakar 70), Puscas

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    After a fantastic first half performance, we were 2-0 up and cruising at the break….and not only that, Sparta hadn’t had a single shot in that first 45 minutes. However, within 10 minutes of the restart, we were unbelievably 3-2 down!!! Frustration kicked in and the player’s started to lose their heads and for the 2nd game in a row we were down to 10 men as Tsimikas was sent off for a dog shit tackle! Sparta added a 4th and 5th, and my boys came in at full time for the f*cking bollocking of their lives!!!



    Saturday 25th August 2018
    Willem II vs FC Twente

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens (Grimm 63), Wijnaldum, Crowley (Majetschak 71), Chirivella, Sol (Dadachov 71), Puscas

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    The perfect way to bounce back from the disappointment against Sparta with a nice big win here. New striker George Puscas might not have had the best debut but it hasn’t taken him long to hit form as he followed up his goal against Sparta in the last game, with a brace here and they were both cracking goals too!



    Freek Heerkens picked up an injury in the FC Twente game that will see him miss up to 5 weeks of action.

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    Jeremy Grimm came on for the injured Heerkens in the FC Twente game to make his competitive debut for the club. He gave a decent account of himself for the final half hour of the game.

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    I’ve got a few central midfielders at the club now, so I’ve let Bart Urbanski go out on loan for the season to gain some experience. The 20 year old should get plenty of game time at newly promoted De Graafschap in the Eredivisie.

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    De Graafschap actually proved to be the busiest team during this Summer transfer window as they added no less than 15 players to their squad. Ajax were the biggest spenders as they forked out over £20 million, reinvesting the money they got from Tottenham for wonderkid Kasper Dolberg. Ajax also bagged another £14 million for the sale of Nicolas Tagliafico to Benfica.

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    A solid start to the season for us with 2 wins from our opening 3 games. It means we sit 3rd at this early stage and definitely have something to build on. The shock after 3 games is that Feyenoord sit bottom of the table with only a point to their name. And they haven’t even played any of the big boys either.

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    Player of the Month
    Dan Crowley

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    The young English midfielder has kicked off the season in great form. He really needed to step up for me this year after the departure of Thom Haye and he has done just that!



    September is set to be a difficult month as we take on both PSV and Ajax!

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  41. Great start to the season (aside from the 2 red and the 5-2 result!) KIU
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  42. Quote Originally Posted by neavie pops23 View Post
    Great start to the season (aside from the 2 red and the 5-2 result!) KIU
    Cheers mate! I'm pleased with the positive start!

  43. September 2018



    "Willem II was founded on 12th August 1896"


    September 2018

    The draw for the 1st round of the Dutch Cup took place and we’ve been handed a home tie against lower league side JVC Cuijk.

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    Saturday 1st September 2018
    PSV vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 70), Grimm, Wijnaldum, Crowley, Chirivella (Majetschak 70), Sol, Puscas (Dadachov 70)

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    On the opening day of last season, we held PSV to a draw at their place, and today we repeated that feat again! They were highly dominant (as expected), but we were clinical in front of goal and earned a valuable point. And we were the first team this season to hold PSV as they’d previously won 3 out of 3!



    Saturday 15th September 2018
    sc Heerenveen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Grimm (van Ooijen 63), Wijnaldum (Simonse 85), Crowley, Chirivella, Sol, Puscas (Abubakar 63)

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    This game all came down to the quality of the chances that the sides created and ours were simply better than theirs. We had a lot more of the possession and turned that into a number of clear cut opportunities, converting into 3 good goals. Heerenveen had a lot of shots at goal, but most of them were hopeful long range efforts which were never going to trouble our keeper.



    I gave Peter van Ooijen the final half hour of the Heerenveen game to make his debut for the club. Despite playing in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role, he turned in a decent performance with a match rating of 6.80.

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    Tuesday 25th September 2018
    Dutch Cup 1st Round
    Willem II vs JVC Cuijk

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Dankerlui, Grimm (Lieftink 45), Tsimikas, Majetschak, Chirivella (van Ooijen 64), Dadachov, Puscas (Abubakar 45)

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    A very easy win against the lower league side and we surpass last year’s achievement as we make the 2nd round! Erik Majetschak and young striker Asumah Abubakar both scored their first goals for the club.



    Asumah Abubakar was promoted from the reserves side in the Summer as I felt he had something to offer in the first team. So I’m delighted for the lad to get his first couple of goals for the club.

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    We’ll go away to Jupiler League side Helmond Sport in the 2nd round of the cup! They currently sit bottom of that league after 8 games, without a league win this season.

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    Saturday 29th September 2018
    Excelsior vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas, Majetschak, Chirivella, Dadachov, Puscas

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    Excelsior came into this game bottom of the league with only 3 points and 0 wins to their name, so it’s safe to say I was expecting a win. Now, we did get the win, but f*ck me did we make it difficult for ourselves! Every time we took the lead, these b*stards pegged us back, but just as the game looked like it was destined for a draw our two wing backs go furthest forward and combined as Tsimikas crossed for Fernando Lewis to hammer home a late, late winner!



    2 wins and a draw in September sees us sitting 3rd in the table after 6 games! It’s more than I could possibly have hoped for from the start of the season and to say I’m pleased would be an understatement. Feyenoord have shot right up the table this month into 5th following their poor start to the season.

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    Player of the Month
    George Puscas

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    The on loan striker has been in amazing form this month, with 5 goals in 4 games!



    Four league games and the 2nd round of the cup coming up next month. Big games in the league as we take on the improving Feyenoord and our fierce rivals NAC Breda, who we have a point to prove against after they thrashed us when we last met!

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  44. Great start! Puscas has been quality for you. Fingers crossed you can upset the big boys this season, would be a great achievement
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  45. Quote Originally Posted by danjames101 View Post
    Great start! Puscas has been quality for you. Fingers crossed you can upset the big boys this season, would be a great achievement
    Puscas has been immense! Linking up with Inter Milan is a real game-changing move and I'm hoping to take advantage of that affiliation for years to come! Cheers for reading mate....appreciate it!
    danjames101 likes this.

  46. October 2018



    "The club's training and youth facilities are both currently rated as 3 stars/good"


    October 2018

    Wednesday 3rd October 2018
    Willem II vs FC Utrecht
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas, Majetschak (Crowley 63), Chirivella (van Ooijen 55), Dadachov (Sol 55), Puscas

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    This was a tough home game against a Utrecht side that most would perceive to be underachieving as they languish in the bottom half of the table after the opening 8 or 9 games. They pushed us all the way and held us to a draw in an entertaining game that was end to end stuff…..it was a surprise it only ended 1-1 to be honest!



    21 year old central midfielder Pedro Chirivella suffered a bad injury in the FC Utrecht game and had to come off. It’s been confirmed as a broken foot and will keep him out for the next 4 months!! This is a huge loss for us!!

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    Sunday 7th October 2018
    Feyenoord vs Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 66), Grimm, Wijnaldum, Majetschak, Crowley (van Ooijen 58), Sol, Puscas (Dadachov 66)

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    Piss poor performance from my lads here as they completely folded against one of the best teams in the country. Defensively, we just didn’t cope with their quality coming forward. Our only highlight was a well taken goal from Fran Sol as we lost for the first time in 6 league games.



    Saturday 20th October 2018
    Willem II vs NAC Breda
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Wellenreuther, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis (Dankerlui 69), Heerkens, Wijnaldum (Sent off 72), Majetschak (van Ooijen 63), Crowley, Sol (Dadachov 63), Puscas

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    Last time we played our fiercest rivals, we were on the end of a 5-0 thrashing! And we didn’t get our revenge here as we were beaten again by NAC. We were lacklustre again and seemed to lack passion in what is such a big game for our fans! Our strikers were awful, missing several very good chances, our discipline was poor with Wijnaldum getting sent off for two bad challenges resulting in two yellows and we gave away a penalty too! I really don’t have any positives to take from this game.



    Wednesday 24th October 2018
    Dutch Cup 2nd Round
    Helmond vs
    Willem II
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lieftink, Peters, Chiosa (Grimm 64), Dankerlui, Heerkens (Simonse 24), Wijnaldum (Sent off 24), Majetschak, van Ooijen, Dadachov, Puscas (Abubakar 64)

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    Despite having to play ¾ of the game with only 10 men after Wijnaldum was sent off for the 2nd game in a row, we still managed to get past the lower league side and progress to the 3rd round of the competition. Nothing to write home about, but a job well done under pressure.



    We are handed a home tie against Jupiler League side VVV-Venlo in the next round. VVV were relegated from the Eredivisie last season and we recorded a 2-1 win and a 0-0 draw against them last season.

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    Last season’s top goalscorer, Fran Sol, joins Pedro Chirivella on the long term injury list as he picks up a torn calf muscle that will keep him out of action for the next 3 months!

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    Saturday 27th October 2018
    Willem II vs PEC Zwolle
    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas, Majetschak (van den Broek 71), Crowley, Dadachov (Abubakar 34), Puscas

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    After three league games without a win, things were starting to get a little worrying. But this game put all my reservations at rest as the team come back to Eredevisie action with a bang as we smashed Zwolle 4-0! All three strikers who were involved in the game added to their goalscoring tally, including young Asumah Abubakar first ever Eredivisie goal!



    Rena Dadachov limped off in the game against PEC Zwolle with injury and will miss up to 5 weeks with a calf strain! Not good as we are already missing Fran Sol up top and it leaves us thin on the ground for strikers.

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    Sem van den Broek made his debut for the club, coming on for the last 20 minutes against PEC Zwolle. Van den Broek was promoted from the Reserves side as I felt he could feature for the first team before the end of the season and with us comfortably ahead in the Zwolle game, I thought I’d hand the 18 year old midfielder his debut.

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    As October comes to an end, we take a look at the league table and are we’re still flying high inside the top 5. It wasn’t a great month this month, and we dropped all the way down to 9th, but the big win against PEC Zwolle saw us shoot back up the table. Things are so tight though with only 10 points separating 1st to 13th!

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    Player of the Month
    Fernando Lewis

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    October was a little hit and miss for most of the players, with all of them struggling to find consistency across all the games. Fernando Lewis was one of the only ones to turn in a handful of good games without dropping his level of performance.



    I ain’t gonna lie….how bloody good does November look! Not only do we have a nicely spread schedule, playing only 3 games throughout the entire month, but we also play 3 sides that are all in the bottom 6! Potential for 9 points coming up and if we bag all 9, then we could even be at the top of the league by this time next month…..dream big lads, dream big!

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  47. November 2018



    "Virgil Van Dijk started his career as a youth player at Willem II"


    November 2018

    Saturday 3rd November 2018
    Willem II vs De Graafschap

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas, Majetschak, Crowley, Puscas, Boulamhayan (van Ooijen 85)

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    A couple of goals from George Puscas was enough to get us a solid 2-0 home win against the club that are bottom of the league. The stats suggest a close game, and it really was as De Graafschap put up much more of a fight than expected.



    With strikers thin on the ground through injury, I had to go rummaging around the reserves and give someone a call up to the first team. That player who was given an opportunity was 20 year old Omar Boulamhayan. He played 85 minutes of the match, but struggled throughout and didn’t make much of an impression.

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    Friday 9th November 2018
    N.E.C Nijmegen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Tsimikas (Wijnaldum 55), Majetschak, Crowley, Puscas, Boulamhayan (Abubakar 74)

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    This was the first time I’d come up against N.E.C after they were promoted from the Jupiler League last season. And they were having a decent campaign so far, being back in the Eredivisie, sitting 10th at kick off. They proved to be tough opposition and we struggled to break them down and create any really good chances. But we kept it tight our own end, meaning they struggled for clear cut opportunities as well. A penalty a piece was all the sides could muster up and it led to a 1-1 draw which was probably a fair result.



    The youth facilities upgrade is now complete, taking us to a great or 3 ½ star rating for our youth setup now.

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    Holland national manager Jan Jansen has been sacked!

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    The job has probably come a little too early for me, but I have to issue a statement of intent by applying for it anyway!

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    Sunday 25th November 2018
    FC Groningen vs Willem II

    Formation: 3-3-2-2
    Lineup: Branderhorst, Lachman, Peters, Chiosa, Lewis, Heerkens, Wijnaldum, Majetschak (van Ooijen 79), Crowley, Puscas (Dadachov 68), Abubakar (Boulamhayan 68)

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    A very boring game here with neither side creating a clear cut chance in the entire much. Our best chance was a direct free kick from Fernando Lewis which skimmed the crossbar on it’s way over.



    No major surprise as the Dutch football association inform me I didn’t get the Holland job. I wonder if I'll need to try to bag an international job at a weaker nation to enhance my reputation on the global stage so that I'll be considered more seriously for the Holland job if it comes up again.

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    The much more experienced Henk Ten Cate is the man they have chosen to take the national side forward.

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    It wasn't the maximum 9 points I thought we could take, but a win and two draws means we had an unbeaten month, which keeps us in the top 6 after 13 games. The biggest surprise is probably the fact that Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV all sit outside of the top 3!!

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    Player of the Month
    Darryl Lachman

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    The centre back has been consistent this month and was a major contributor to the team as we only conceded 1 goal in our 3 games this month.



    December promises to be a very tough month for us as we take on top of the league Vitesse, quickly followed up with a game against champions Ajax. Just before Christmas, we’ll also have another tough game against AZ as well! We’ll have to ensure the ADO Den Haag and SC Cambuur games are treated as must wins!!

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  48. Decent looking campaign in the league so far mate, best of luck for the rest of the season
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

  49. Quote Originally Posted by Linecoigne1998 View Post
    Decent looking campaign in the league so far mate, best of luck for the rest of the season
    Cheers mate....the next month could really make our break us I think!
    Linecoigne1998 likes this.

  50. Enjoying the story again mate! KIU
    TheNotSoSpecialOne likes this.

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