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Jbc's Pentagon Challenge

Hoping to complete my first pentagon and thought it would be fun to share the journey!
Started on 30 May 2020 by Jbc199923
Latest Reply on 3 September 2020 by Jbc199923
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Hello and welcome to my very first FM blog AND my first proper attempt at the famous pentagon challenge!

I have been playing FM for 8 years now and seem to have done every kind of challenge under the sun (bottom tier to the champions league, sleeping giant, journeyman challenge, rise of a nation), however the pentagon challenge has never really appealed to me until now - which is strange considering my love of travel. I have been thinking about sharing my FM adventures for some time now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so!

For those that are not aware the pentagon challenge is simple: start as an unemployed, retired Sunday league footballer with no coaching badges or experience and win the 5 playable continental competitions within football manager (Asia, Africa, North and South America and Europe).

I was under no illusions about how tough and time consuming this was going to be, but I was itching to get started. First task: Find my first job...



*(as I said I am new to this so any feedback would be amazing. I will aim to post updates every couple of days, but I guess we will see how it goes! Thank you so much for reading!)
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Jbc199923's avatar Group Jbc199923
3 monthsEdited
My First Job!

Mitra Kukar FC - Club 1 - Season 1 - Update 1

At last, after 2 months of job interviews, on the 4th October 2019 I took charge of my first team – Mitra Kukar FC in the second tier of Indonesia!



Upon joining the team we were seated in top spot of the Eastern section of the Indonesian Liga 2 with 3 games to go. The plan was to play the remainder of the games, hoping for promotion (beware incoming wacky promotion rules) before making any future plans for the club and the players. Therefore, I have chosen to not give you a background on the club or players just yet in case my stint as manager only lasts the final 3 games!

However, we managed to win all 3 of the remaining games meaning we finished top of the division!

But, this was not the end. The rules of this league meant that the top 4 teams in both the East and West leagues were drawn into 2 four teamed round robin groups to play-off for promotion. The top 2 from each group would then qualify for the semi finals (as there were only 3 promotion spots to split between the 4 qualifying teams). Luckily we were able to navigate our way out of our group fairly comfortably and into the semi finals where we would face Persita Tangerang whom we had just beaten 1-0 to secure top stop in the group.

The winners of the semi-finals were given an automatic promotion spot, as well as a place in the final to be crowned champions of the league. The losers however qualified for a further, one legged playoff for the final promotion place.

Promotion Semi-final
The first leg of the semi final (at home) started awfully and we trailed 1-0 at half time without a single shot on goal. A few tactical tweaks in the second half saw us turn the game in our favour and we were unlucky to come away with a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes. Unfortunately for us, away goals counted in the second leg so we knew we would have to score at least one goal to progress to the final. Additionally, our best right winger had picked up a knock and wold not be available to play.

The second leg rolled around, although it appeared the players had forgotten to board the team bus as we found ourselves 3 goals down after 20 minutes. After conceding a fourth goal on 26 minutes it was clear that we were not going to win the tie, so damage limitation and resting players for the now huge third place promotion playoff was a must. (We ended the game losing 6-1 but we can ignore that).



For the final promotion playoff we were drawn against Persatu Tuban who had finished 4th in our league campaign. That gave me some confidence after our drubbing the game before, however I was still unsure how the players would respond. I decided to make only a few changes to the team (mainly because our subs bench was dreadful) and it paid off after half an hour with top scorer Fauzi nodding home from a corner. We dominated the rest of the first half and the start of the second so I was gutted when we conceded (also from a corner) to make it 1-1. It seems that set pieces might be a weakness of our so this is something to focus on next season. Fortunately, our dominance paid off and we retook the lead through Aprilianto (our other striker) with 15 minutes to go.

Despite our defensive horror show just a week earlier, we managed to hold out and secure promotion to the top tier (Shopee Liga 1) – a great start to my career as an unknown manager!



Despite the jubilant scenes at full time, I knew there was a lot of work needed for us to be competitive next season and hopefully avoid the drop. This was going to be helped by the change of rules in the top league, with 4 foreign players allowed in the squad (0 in Liga 2).

The next league season did not start until April 2020, giving me almost 4 months to complete my off-season transfers and behind the scenes activities ahead of my first full year as a manager.

*My next update will be giving a full rundown of Mitra Kukar FC as a club as well as the transfers that I make over the winter break. As always, thanks for your support!*
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that is definitely going to take a while

good luck!
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Good luck!
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A great start to your time with Mitra.
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Good luck bro! Will be a tough challenge but you can do it :D
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I have always wanted to do a Pentagon Challenge as well as wanting to play in Indonesia, I will be living through you on this one haha
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Jbc199923's avatar Group Jbc199923
3 monthsEdited
Mitra Kukar FC – Club 1 - Season 2 – Update 2

After taking the reigns at the back end of the 2019 season, I didn’t give Mitra Kukar the introduction they deserved as I wasn’t sure if I would retain my job if I failed to provide promotion. From some basic research about Indonesian football it seems that their fans are highly regarded as some of the most passionate in the world, however this can often boil over into violence when things don’t go their way. That being said, I wasn’t keen on the idea of being attacked by an angry mob if I managed to screw up the end of the season. However, given our successful promotion I feel like now is a good time to introduce you to the club and the squad, particularly now that I have had a chance to put my stamp on things.

Mitra Kukar – A background
Mitra Kukar were founded in 1978 and are based in Tenggarong which is on the East side of Indonesia's main island, Borneo. The club has a decent history for its young age, winning the top league in Indonesia 3 times (mostly recently in 1988) before the league was restructured in the early 2000’s. Their most recent success was finishing 3rd in the Shopee Liga 1 in 2013, however relegation to the second division followed in 2018.



The club plays their home games at ‘Aji Imbut’ which hold 35,000 supporters, although our average attendance last year was between 2,500 and 3,000 fans so there is definitely some growing room! The stadium is absolutely beautiful, however unfortunately there isn't many good pictures on the internet – feel free to go and check it out for yourself on google earth!

Preseason and Transfers
Despite the 4 month break, preseason flew by in a hectic storm with players and staff coming and going on a regular basis. I made a consious effort to imporve our staff in all areas given that my manager profile was almost as good as the backroom staff when I joined (and I had 1 in almost all of my attributes!). We now have the 4th best backroom setup in the league and my scouts have managed to find a few gems as you will see below.

Player transfers followed in a similar vein with some big names joining the club during the offseason. I’m sure we will meet the majority of the key players over the course of the season, however I will highlight a few now.

Star Talisman?
Our new highest paid player (currently earning £1.3k per week) at the tender age of 39 is our new striker Beto - an Indonesian international!! (despite being born in Brazil as he has been living in the country for over 5 years). I would never normally go out and buy older players as they very rarely work out for me, however I felt that I couldn’t pass this opportunity by given that Beto was the top scorer in the Shopee Liga 1 last season. Hopefully he can repeat his return of goals for us again!



Foreign players
As I mentioned in my last update, we now have 4 foregin player spots to fill in our squad. I felt that these places needed to be located in some key areas for us were I couldn’t find any decent Indonesian players so I targetted striker, left and right wing and center back.

The players that I have brought in are as follows:

Leandro Rodriguez - Left winger from Argentina who is already the favourite for the league player of the season and looksvery good



Talipudin - a new right winger from Brunei. Right wing seemed to be a big weakness for us last season so I am hoping that he can perform well in this role.



Sulaiman – Our new number 1 striker from Malaysia and is one of the favourites to be the league top scorer this season. I am very excited to see him in action.



Halim – Also from Malaysia, our new center back who should hopefully provide a solid base to build on

Other transfers
As you can see there are of course may other transfers we have made (14 in total) however the majority of these are for squad depth and I do not see them getting much game time. Maybe the only other players to note are Murdinato - our new number 1 between the sticks, Fakdawer (or Dominggus as I like to call him) – our other center back and Antara – our new right back.



Formation
I am going to continue to play the standard 4-4-2 at the start of this season – given that it got us promoted. Usually I would play with overlapping fullbacks wherever possible, but I can seem to find any good attacking fullbacks so instead I have opted to play with a flat back 4 in the hope of being defensively solid.

Defensive wingers also seem to be the norm in Indonesia so I have been playing around with the balance of one defensive winger and one attacking winger in preseason.

The two boys in the middle are both on attacking duties as I am hoping they will be able to provide some forward runs to support the strikers, given we only have one attacking winger.

I expect this may change over the season, but this is what we will be starting the season with.



Summary
Overall, I am delighted by our business during the winter break and it appears that I am backed by the pundits who have predicted us to finish in 12th place (out of 18) despite being newly promoted. Obviously the first goal this season is to avoid being relegated, however with some of these additional I believe we could easily obtain a top half finish as well as progressing far in the national cup competition, Piala Indonesia, which offers a spot in the AFC Asia Cup – the second tier continental competition in Asia.

*In my next update I will bring you the first few games of our maiden season in the Shopee Liga 1 as we battle some of the biggest teams in the country! I hope you all enjoyed and as always thank you for your support, particularly Tango, Justice, ScottT, FMBlake and Griffo for your comments on my last post!*
Can't beat a good ol' 4-4-2. Tried and trusted. It's interesting to see the somewhat asymmetrical style of roles in the formation which would indicate emphasis on one side over another. Let's hope it brings the goods!
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There's obviously scope for the attendances to grow then. I never quite realised the capacity of their ground!
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As an Australian it is my duty to support any team from Bali throughout your time here!
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From the introduction, looks like the club is a sleeping giant, and you're beginning to wake it up!
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Muitra Kukar FC – Club 1 - Season 2 – Update 3

Following on from our successful off season I was quietly confident going into our first few games in the Shopee Liga 1 and was hoping to pick up some early wins to help us avoid being involved in a relegation scrap.

Fixtures and Table



As you can see our first 7 games went much better than I could have expected and we find ourselves in top spot, one point clear of the chasing pack. The highlights of our opening fixtures are definitely the 4-1 wins against both Tira and Madura United who were both predicted to finish near the top of the league this season. The 2-3 defeat against Persija Jakarta was tough to take after we dominated the game and while we were chasing an equaliser at 1-2 we conceded again to put the game beyond doubt despite a late consolation goal in the 89th minute.

Although we are currently top I know that a couple of bad results and we could easily find ourselves in mid table, so I am trying not to get carried away as there is a long way to go this season.



I am already developing some concerns over our somewhat shaky defence as we have only managed to keep one clean sheet so far this season. Especially in games when we are a few goals clear, we seem to take our foot off the gas and give the opposition the initiative. Hopefully, we can continue to outscore our opponents, however I don’t know how much longer we can keep outperforming expectations.

Player performance

What makes our run even more pleasing is the fact that the majority of our big signings have hit the ground running with us having players in the top 2 positions for goal, assists and average ratings so far. Sulaiman has been on fire, scoring in almost every game so far and both Rodriguez and Talipudin have been quality on either flank despite minor injuries to both of them so far.



The only big signing that has been a bit of a let down so far is our 39 year old striker Beto who has only scored 1 goal so far and has recently been replaced by Fauzi in the starting XI after he powered us to promotion last season.

Career News

On top of this fantastic start to the season, the board has rewarded me with my first coaching course – so I will be studying for my National C license for the next 4 months. This is massive news and should open up some more opportunities as and when I decide to move on from Mitra Kukar.

We seem to have some fairly kind fixtures coming up over the next 2 months before our first cup tie at the end on July so I am hopeful that the good form can continue into the future.

*My next update will be roughly half way through the season as we aim to continue our good form and hopefully start a cup run. Thanks for all your support and comments on my last post – it seems like Mitra Kukar have quite a few fans!*
A strong start! Pleasing that you are also able to study for coaching badges which will help to excel your career forward.
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A challenge a number of people begin but very few manage to complete! The best of luck to you!
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