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Doing It Down Under v3.0

Started on 30 November 2015 by Feliks
Latest Reply on 10 December 2015 by Spajkowy
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Hi folks. My name is Feliks, moderator on this wonderful site and an avid story reader and writer. I've played the last 4 FM games and I've had some good and bad experiences with the game. I still love the franchise, for all of it's emotional rollercoaster rides, and I love writing stories about my tales as well. My first big story lasted 6 months and over 700 replies, winning a SOTM in the process, and I followed it up with 2 further SOTM wins and a SOTY nomination with my FM15 stories "Emile Heskey - Rebuilding The Reputation", "The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz" and "West Ham - Hammers Of Justice". I've recently started my FM16 tale, "In Fair Verona". But I have a problem.

You see, I expected FM16 to be close enough to FM15 for me to transfer my tactical knowledge, but seemingly, it does not. Even as clubs like Chelsea and Juventus I struggle to do well, and it's extremely frustrating. It's also seen my Verona save struggle to get off the ground, and as such, I've put it on hiatus for the time being so I can start a new adventure - this one.

When I first bought FM14 in July last year, I immediately started a new story, Doing It Down Under, without any thought or preparation. I just jumped straight into it. That story lasted 6 months. So, in the true spirit of the DIDU name, I'm gonna do it again. Strap yourself in folks. Sean-Paul Lodovico is at it again.
Sean-Paul LODOVICO!

Bonne chance Feliks, this could be another epic gung-ho tale ;)
Good luck mate, here's hoping for a long & successful save! :D
Walt I hope so!

Lippo Woo!

Hi again guys, and welcome to the third edition of the Doing It Down Under series! This year I will be taking over Adelaide United, my home state club, and as per usual the manager will be Sean-Paul Lodovico. This update will give you an insight into both club and manager.


Adelaide United were formed in 2003 to replace Adelaide City as the South Australian team in the National Soccer League. When the league folded and the brand new A-League was founded, Adelaide United won the bid to be the Adelaide franchise and thus became one of the only teams to survive the demise of the NSL.

They won the inaugaral A-League Premiership, being on top of the ladder at the end of the regular season, but were unable to win the Grand Final which has been a trend for them throughout their story. Runners-up in 2007 and 2009, Adelaide have appeared in 7 final series without success and their only piece of silverware since 2006 was the 2014 FFA Cup. They also finished runners-up in the 2008 AFC Champions League.

http://www.austadiums.com/stadiums/photos/hindmarsh-stadium2.jpg

The Reds, as they are known, play their home games at Hindmarsh Stadium (pictured above) in the centre of Adelaide, a ground that holds 16,500 people and is often sold out. They have average training and youth facilities and an established youth network, better than most A-League clubs, and swing from profit to loss each season.

The Squad


The previous United managers have both been Spanish so there is a bit of a bias on Spaniards in the squad. Of the 5 foreign players, 3 are Spanish - ex-Espanyol midfielder Isaias, ex-Hospitalet winger Sergio Cirio and ex-Lugo striker Pablo Sanchez. These 3 players are players I'll keep for now, but with the foreign player spots being all-important, they need to constantly perform to keep their spots on the roster.

The other foreign players in the squad are Argentinian winger Marcelo Carrusca and Italian defender Iacopo La Rocca, with Carrusca being one of the key players of the side. After 3 seasons at the club, he's established himself as one of the more creative players in the league and has the capability to be damaging on the left wing and in the middle of the park. La Rocca meanwhile is a versatile defender with huge experience at the Wanderers, and will be in the heart of defence most days.

My most important Aussie players are arguably Eli Babalj, Eugene Galekovic and Mate Dugandzic. Babalj is a towering striker with 2 caps for the Socceroos who's on loan from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. He has a huge presence in the box and should be a valuable target for the wingers. Galekovic is the team's long standing goalkeeper, playing over 200 games for the club and still going strong at the age of 34. Dugandzic is a recent addition to the squad, joining from Melbourne City, and his pace on that right wing will be a headache for opposition defenders.

Some of the more promising young players include George Mells, Jimmy Jeggo and Bruce Kamau. Mells is a rare breed of Aussie youngster, having moved back from England at a young age rather than the other way around. He's a great addition to the squad, capable of playing a part in the first team already at just 18. Jeggo is a player who's been around a while but is yet to really stamp himself and after his first full A-League season he'll hope to do so this season. Kamau is a bit of a smoky, but with the departure of Awer Mabil he is sure to get more gametime.

The Manager


Sean-Paul Lodovico has been my manager for both of my DIDU stories so far, and now he's returned for a third. After previously managing Newcastle Jets, Pogon Szczecin and Sydney FC, he nows turns his hand to Adelaide United. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he has lived in Australia since the age of 2 and has a great understanding of the game. He loves working with youngsters and playing adventurous football. He doesn't have much of a reputation now... but that could all be set to change.

Expectations


This season I expect to be competitive, as Adelaide always are. I want to build on the attacking football that Josep Gombeau implemented in his time at the Reds, and develop some top youngsters. I always want to bring in some older Aussie legends to the club and making United the number one destination for players in the country. Most importantly of all....

I want to do it down under!
Good luck with Los Rojos Feliks, do South Australia proud ;)
Western Sydney Pride! Good luck with yet another story Mr Lodovico, I am sure it will be another ripper.
Walt Yeah, the best state in Australia!

Xander Thanks mate :)
Feliks's avatar Group Feliks
4 yearsEdited

My first pre-season was out of the way at Adelaide United and it was a long one, lasting 2 months due to the A-League season not starting until October. The squad got plenty of games in and there were some new additions as well, with a couple of notable names joining the clubs. I also had some problems with injury. Let's have a look in-depth at the pre-season.

Transfers


I brought in 5 players on free transfers over the course of pre-season, with my hand being played for some of them due to injuries. My first signing was ex-Liverpool backup Brad Jones, who I persuaded to come back to Australia for the first time since leaving Perth in 1999. One of my main objectives was to bring players like him back to Europe so to have him in the side, jostling with Eugene Galekovic for the goalie's shirt, is a great plus.

I had identified centre back as a weak link, so after missing out on signing Fulham youngster Cameron Burgess on loan I instead went after experienced defender Adrian Madaschi, recently released by the Wanderers and boasting experience in a multitude of leagues. He'll be gone after a season but he's good value for now.

My third signing was the most high profile as all, picking up veteran Socceroo Luke Wilkshire on a free after his Feyenoord contract ran out. Despite already having 2 right backs, I couldn't pass up on the chance to sign the 33 year old who has 80 caps for his country. He still has a lot to give, especially at this level.

Defensive midfield was another area I needed to strengthen, so I brought in hard-working midfielder Billy Celeski as an option back there as well as in midfield. Like Madaschi, he isn't a long term option but should give me good service for a couple of seasons.

My final transfer was forced by a 6 month injury to key striker Eli Babalj, which meant I needed another target up forward for at least the first half of the season. I found it in Dylan Macallister, who I signed after some good form for Rockdale City in Perth. He's played for 4 A-League clubs and although he's one-dimensional, he is great in the air and he'll be a good back-up to Bruce Djite.

Results


It was a long and arduous set of fixtures that stretched all the way back to late July, on a short tour to Italy. There, we were upset by Massesse but managed to beat Serie B team Padova 1-0 before hopping on the plane back to Australia.

We had just a 3 day turnaround ahead of our FFA Cup 1st Round match against Brisbane Roar and as such we were unable to get the job done. Youngster George Mells kept us in the game with a cracking late equaliser and sent the game to penalties but we fell agonisingly short, with Pablo Sanchez's penalty resting on the line and therefore missing. We did well to get to penalties however.

Then the run-down to the regular season began, with a friendly every Saturday to get the boys match fit. Italian side Lanciano came over and we drew 0-0 with them, before winning our next 4 games against Adelaide City, FFSA NTC, Croydon Kings and Adelaide Victory. South Adelaide played well to draw with us, and then we ended the pre-season with a testimonial for A-League great Archie Thompson, drawing 0-0 with Melbourne Victory.

What's Ahead


October will be an interesting month as we have the capacity to win, lose or draw all 4 games. The Victory game will huge as always, whilst Wanderers are a good opponent and it's a long hard trip to Brisbane and Perth. Hopefully my newly assembled side can do well in my first month in charge!
Good solid update with some good signings and confidence boosting pre-season. Gonna be a tough opening to the season with Victory and then the mighty Western Sydney
Loooooooooooooong preseason, but you got some positive results. Nice additions in the transfer market but a very tough set of games to begin.
Luke Wilkshire and Brad Jones are good additions to the side, and that is one long preseason! Some good results in it, though! :D
Loving it so far Feliks, unlucky about Babaji though.
Everyone Thanks guys :)

Lodovico's Insight - Pre-Season Injuries

Lodovico's Insight will be short updates to break up the drawl of monthly updates, discussing things such as player form, season aspirations and any other miscellaneous happenings throughout the story.

The inaugaral Lodovico's Insight will be about my biggest problem in my first pre-season - injuries. It was horrific, with no less than 8 first teamers picking up injuries across the 2 months of pre-season. In this update, I'll go through the 3 major ones and include SSs of the rest.

#1. Eli Babalj - Broken Foot - 6 months


Babalj will be a huge miss, as I had slated him to be our number 1 striker up front. He's a big target man and those type of players are always dangerous in the A-League. Bruce Djite will have to step in for him for a while but I'm hoping Eli can step back in and still do a job for me.

#2. Marcelo Carrusca - Chest/Strained Wrist - 4 weeks/2 weeks



The club's star missed a total of 6 weeks of the pre-season through 2 injuries, which is a big worry, because it may lead to more during the season ahead. He's 32, so not getting any younger, and he'll be needed to put in a good season so hopefully he stays off the physio's bench on gets onto the pitch.

#3. Luke Wilkshire - Sprained Ankle - 8 weeks


Losing a key player like Wilkshire days after he signed is a big blow, and he'll miss a substantial amount of game time. His age is a real factor as well, and he'll lose a lot of fitness. Michael Marrone will fill the void but with Wilkshire's class and experience he'll be sure to feature later in the season.

The Rest Of The Bloody Injuries





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