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A Little Bit of Austria in Italy: A FC Südtirol Story

Started on 26 December 2014 by shylax
Latest Reply on 31 December 2014 by Rablador
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shylax's avatar Group shylax
8 yearsEdited
I have gotten FM 15 today and this will be my first save and story of FM15. This is a little placeholder while I flesh things out but for now I will give an introduction of the club:

FC Sudtirol (full name: Sudtirol-Alto Adige) is an Italian team that plays in their third division, Lega Pro A. They were founded in 1995, and what is a bit unusual for them, you might tell by the name, is that they are in an autonomous region of Italy that borders Austria and has German and Italian as its official languages. In South Tyrol, 69% of the population are native German speakers, although in Bolzano, the capital city (and the city which this club is based out of), the majority language is Italian.

A Footballer in Transition

You may have never heard of me, but in due time, you will. My name is Sabrina Schwartz, I am 35 years old, and I am from Hamburg, Germany, although I'm currently residing in Austria. I played for St. Pauli's women's team for my entire career, as a defensive midfielder. I was tireless and gave no quarter on the pitch, but eventually time got the better of me and I had to retire a couple of years ago. My dream is to manage a football team. A men's football team. I believe I have the ability to impact the history of football, but it will be hard to get a chance as there are a lot of people who are set in their ways.

I have gotten my Continental C badges and have playing experience equivalent to a regionally-known professional footballer, and I had been making the rounds, seeing who would be desperate enough to take their chances on me. To my delight, I got a call back from Austria Lustenau. Unfortunately, the delight would turn to despair: "I'm sorry, but we've decided to go in a different direction in our managerial search, although we wish you the best in the future."

Shortly after, I got a phone call that would change my future: "Hello, this is Dietmar Pfeifer from FC Sudtirol in Italy, we'd like you to come in for an interview."

Italy! I didn't know any Italian, but the man on the phone was speaking to me in German, and he sounded as though he had an Austrian accent. I could hide the fact that I didn't know Italian, I suppose.

"That sounds wonderful!"

We hashed out the details, and I was soon on my way to the South Tyrol region of Italy.

02 - Hired

"So, what do you bring to the table?" Mr. Pfeifer asked me. Some people were nervous during interviews, but I am fearless.

"I have only limited experience as an assistant coach, but I stress defense and fitness, and I am a highly motivated person. If I didn't think I could do this I wouldn't be here, and I can do this."

"Do you have any preferences on how you would like to manage the club?"

"I would not like to be so neatly put in a box, but I would like to build up through youth. Older players can be useful, but I like molding players into how I want, and younger players are more easily scared and can be forced to listen, they don't know any better."

Pfeifer took some notes, then looked up at me. "Can you start today? We've had some issues lately, but I think you can be a strong leader and be a great manager for us. We'll never get anywhere going through the same retreads, so it's pretty nice to hear from a fresh candidate."

I was pleased! I would be finally getting my chance to manage a club.

Nice start shylax, love LLM stories!

03 - The Players

I had a meeting with the players, where I told them my expectations of a respectable finish. Almost all the players received the talk well, with one dissenter. After that, I got to work in the coach's office, poring over the internal scouting reports and making some drawings in my notebook of how I wanted to play tactically. The chairman told me that the wage budget of 40,000 Euros a week was all spent, so I'd have to get rid of some players to bring new ones in, but I think this squad is a bit talented.

The Strike Pairing

With either Lendric and Fischnaller as a strike pairing or one up front and one in the hole, these guys have the tools to be a very effective pairing, with Lendric as the #9 and Fischnaller as the #10. Lendric has great Off the Ball, Determination, Composure, and Finishing at this level, while Fischnaller is a more all-around player, and I will give him the creative freedom to make space in the hole and make plays.


They're not the fastest of wingers but they're skillful with the ball and Campo is very versatile, being able to play on the left as a traditional winger and on the right as an inside forward.

04 - The Players Part 2

Manning the Middle

Solid, no-nonsense players to man the middle, sweep up balls, and dish them to more creative players.

The Back Four

Unspectacular but physically competent players.

The Man Past Which No Balls Shall Pass
Unimpressive mentals and decent technicals, but look at that jumping reach! As Rablador might know, a real Sabrina Schwartz special.
Interesting choice! My next-door neighbour is from Südtirol so I will definitely be following this!

05 - The First Friendly

I had been running training pretty seamlessly, I thought, but it's been less than a week and it's finally time for our first friendly. Our opponent is Rapperswil, a 1.Liga Promotion club in Switzerland, and I honestly have no idea what division that is, but I know it has to be at least third division or even lower. Still, we can't become complacent.

The match starts off well for us, as Cia gets into the box with the ball in the 3rd minute, but his shot is wide. Cia scores in the 15th minute as he's unmarked when he receives a Campo cross and has an easy shot on goal. A bit of clumsy play from Rapperswil as the goalkeeper looked like he failed to handle it but a goal is a goal. Rapperswil equalizes when Taggliani misses a crucial interception in the box and our goalkeeper fails to save the resulting shot. Blaise Christen takes the lead with a shot from deep, our goalkeeper really needs to start playing better.

In the second half, we struggle to hold possession but Cia scores his 2nd goal to equalize in the 60th minute. Ivan Lendric plays a perfect pass to backup winger Manuel Marras to make it 3-2 soon after! Both teams still are itching for a goal, but nothing happens and Sudtirol wins their first friendly 3-2!

I was so happy to win my first match, even if it was a friendly against a weaker team. There were definitely some kinks I needed to work out, I don't think my team was pressing enough, despite being a team that wants to drop deep and defend from there, there is such a thing as being too passive.
Yay, Sabrina! :D Hopefully you take them far, this will be an intriguing team to manage. I wonder if the Austrians will invade your youth intake?
@Kippax: Interesting! I have no special connection to Sudtirol, I am an American, I just found it interesting that this German-sounding club was hanging around in Italy, and one of my best saves was set in Austria, so it'd help my adaptability into Italy :P.

Friendlies are not the most exciting so I will speed through them in this update.

Sudtirol 1 - 1 Augsburg II
An undeserved draw, we dominated and relentlessly assaulted the Augsburg II goal but it just wasn't to be. I think our direct style of play is starting to catch on, though.

Alessandro Campo Twists Knee, Out For 3 Weeks

Sudtirol's Alessandro Campo suffers a blow in his bid to get fit for the start of the season as he suffered a twisted knee against Augsburg II.

Sudtirol 1 - 1 Buchbach

Spal 5 - 2 Sudtirol
This was an important test for us, as Spal were another Lega Pro team, albeit in a different subdivision than us. Sadly, we failed. Spal scored, and we kept coming back, tying it at 2-2, but in the second half, Spal scored three goals and we were buried under them

Next, Unione Venezia were our opponents for the first qualifying round of the Italian Cup. They were in our league, and it'd be important to assert our dominance. Also, there was a gap in our schedule so I set up a friendly with Inter. The squad were less than enthused with playing an obviously vastly superior opponent, but we'll make 75k in appearance fees from Inter and 75k Euros is a lot of money!

TIM Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Sudtirol 5 - 1 Unione Venezia
Everything came up aces in my first official match as Sudtirol manager! Hannes Fink was clearly the man of the match, as he made deadly runs towards the goal and finished his chances well, earning a hat trick. Despite finishing with only 9 men due to a red and an injury, we only conceded one goal. Hopefully all my matches are like this!

Our friendly and payday against Inter is cancelled as we have to play Serie B club Pro Vercelli in the second qualifying round.

TIM Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Pro Vercelli 3 - 1 Sudtirol
I'd like to think if we had some more favorable bounces, this would be more of a game, but even though we lost by 2 goals we weren't completely useless and I'm glad we showed something against a higher-division team.

1860 Munchen II 1 - 3 Sudtirol
I played some of my U20 players for this match, and they did very well. We made 3k Euros from the appearance fee, and got a great performance in our last friendly.

I think we are ready for the season ahead, although there's always something different with league matches.
The perfect first result with that cup match, sadly the Serie B outfit was too hot to handle for you, but you're looking good for the season ahead already.
Good luck :D

We travel to Pordenone to play our first game of the season! My players are so excited, and are feeling good, so let's do this!

Despite both teams being itching to go, there isn't a lot to note, although at the end of the first half Pordenone scores a goal after the whistle should've blown to end the first half.

In the second half, we pepper Pordenone's goal, but can't score, and eventually time runs out. We lose 1-0. We're disappointed, although we feel we didn't play bad, we were just unlucky.

August 30, 2014
Pordenone 1 - 0 Sudtirol

08 - Getting Into the Grind

The transfer window ended at the end of August, and since we have no money, we didn't end up signing anybody.

September 3, 2014
Sudtirol 0 - 3 Arezzo
We were just not prepared at all, Arezzo were content to take their chances and Riccardo Melgrati let two easy long shots in. Arezzo also had a pretty nice play to set up a goal within the six. Our defense did not play very well, and this is something that needs to be fixed.

September 7, 2014
Giana Erminio 0 - 3 Sudtirol
Finally, we get our first win and first goals of the season. Manuel Fischnaller gave Giana hell with his free kicks, scoring directly off of one, while the other was mishandled by Giana's goalkeeper, leaving an easy tap-in for Ivan Lendric.

September 14, 2014
Sudtirol 4 - 0 Real Vicenza
We were nervous about facing a team that had just come off a 5-1 win, but the goals started immediately for us, loosening them up. Michael Cia was the star of the show, netting two goals, and you can see them here:

September 17, 2014
Torres 1 - 2 Sudtirol
Torres' stadium was larger and very intimidating, and their fans had banners hanging from the balconies. The support was happy to see Torres to take the first lead, with Angelo Scalzone's goal. We roared back and came alive in the last 20 minutes though, with Manuel Marras getting a goal from long range to force an equalizer, then Ivan Lendric's 86th minute goal surely angered the Torres fans, but we were all ecstatic, as the whistle blew minutes later and we've secured our third win in a row!

Standings - After Round 5
We're in 8th at the moment, but we're only 3 points out of first, and there is a five way tie at 10 points. After stumbling to start the season, we've started to hit our groove.

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