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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
A massive success in China and now we move on. I'd assume like Scott, Africa is next.
Thanks Scott! It has worked out amazingly well actually! I think both you and TheLFCFan are right. I've had a quick look at the job center and I reckon South Africa is the next logical step. Hopefully I can join a top team and get the African leg crossed off fairly quickly! I guess we'll see in a couple of weeks :)
Kaizer Chiefs – Club 3

Welcome back to my Pentagon Challenge after a 2 week sabbatical! I hope I find you all well and refreshed for a new continent in the journey. My last update was a recap of my time in charge of Tianjin TEDA where we completed the Asian leg of the pentagon and we have now moved to a new team – and out of Asia for the first time Welcome to South African giants Kaizer Chiefs!!

South Africa has actually been at the forefront of my mid for a little while, even having a job interview a few years ago with then leg champions Maritzburg United, as I feel this leg should be fairly straightforward providing that I have one of the better teams in the division. And Kaizer Chiefs are easily one of the best with numerous league wins over the past few years, finishing second last season. However, this year the league has been very close and Kaizer find themselves in 7th place upon my arrival, a sizeable 20 points behind Ajax Cape Town as the top of the tree.

Luckily for me, the board only expect a top half finish this season so there is limited pressure on the league considering we are only halfway through. The catch however is that we are expected to reach the CAF (African) Champions League final which seems like a bit of an ask given our league standing. We do sit in a strong position in our Champions League group at least, needing just 1 more won from 3 games to progress to the knockout stages.

As mentioned, Kaizer Chiefs have been a decent team over the last few years, finishing 2nd in 3 of the last 10 years, however they haven’t won a title for 13 years. The club is based in Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city by population, and play their homes games at the FNB Stadium which has a remarkable 87,000 capacity. The stadium also hosted the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Holland, as well as the opening game of the tournament between hosts South Africa and Mexico.

As mentioned, the team currently sit in 7th place in the league with 22 points, meaning they are 10 points behind leaders Ajax Cape Town and have only won 6 out of their 15 games so far. They have however recorded a 100% record in the Champions League group stage so far, beating Pyramids of Egypt, Union Douala of Cameroon and FC San Pedro of the Ivory Coast meaning 1 more victory will ensure progression to the next stage.

The players at the club look very decent as a whole, only really lacking quality in the fullback roles and maybe some depth, but the outstanding player has got to be Nxele, a lethal homegrown striker who has so far scored the best part of 20 goals so far this season.

Overall, I think we have signed up with a really strong team who have the opportunity to challenge for the Champions League title straight away. I doubt we will win it this year as I feel the squad is not quite there yet, but within 2 years I think we could have a second continent crossed off the list.

*Let me know what you think of my new team and how you think we will get on in the league and Champions League. Apologies again for the 2 week break, but I will now be aiming to post daily updates once again. Also thank you to everyone who is still reading, while I have been away this story hit 5,000 views which is incredible given it is my first attempt at this!*
A big move and one I hope goes well. Living in Joburg I know the club has high expectations, I am sure you will live up to and surpass them!
2020-07-27 21:36#276617 TheLFCFan : A big move and one I hope goes well. Living in Joburg I know the club has high expectations, I am sure you will live up to and surpass them!

Thanks TheLFCFan! Hopefully your local knowledge might come in useful!
Kaizer Chiefs – Club 3 – Season 1 – Update 1

Thank you for all your support on yesterday’s update and I hope you are all excited for our South African adventure! Since yesterday’s update I have played my first 5 games as Kaizer Chiefs manager to try and get a feel for how the team is likely to perform under my stewardship.

I will start by showing my formation that I am intending to use during my time here (spoilers - it is a bit strange). As mentioned yesterday, we have a lack of fullbacks at the club with Ogar the only fullback in the first team currently. Therefore, I have decided to play a 3-2-3-2 formation or a defensive 3-5-2 with 2 holding midfielders.

From the graphic below it looks like most of the players don’t fit into the system, however both wingers are competent in the more advanced winger role so should have little problems adjusting and Nxele can play attacking complete forward, but seems to have trouble playing the support duty, so this should hopefully change soon. The only player that in not playing in their normal position is Ogar who is training to play as a defensive midfielder as he has all the right attributes to perform there and has done well so far in the position.

I have also had the opportunity to make a few transfers before my first game with 3 major transfers being made. My first signing was Moorosi, a left footed centre back as we needed 2 more central defenders if we were going to continue playing with 3 at the back. A decent pickup, only costing £225k and improves the team well considering he is only 20 years old.

Our other defensive signing was Bouzidi, an Algerian centre back who again improves us defensively and has some great potential to improve in the future. Amazingly, he only cost £33k to bring in!

Our final signing was Groenewald, a South African striker/winger who has joined for £205k from league leaders Ajax Cape Town. I don’t expect him to be a starter, but given his versatility he will be a very good bench player.

Following those signings we played 5 games, 2 in the league, 1 in the cup and 2 in the Champions League to start my career at the club. My first game was against Tshakhuma who were in 13th position and with our new look formation and defence we raced into an early lead with Nxele scoring inside 2 minutes, before doubling our lead after 8 minutes. He even had a chance at a 10 minute hat trick, but saw his effort from the penalty spot saved as we ran out 2-0 victors by full time.

Our next game was our first in the CAF Champions League, away to Pyramids in Egypt. Again we took an early lead with right winger Pires scoring after 2 minutes. We continued our good form with our other striker Tshinuna making it 2-0 just before half time. Pyramids did make it a nervy end with a second half strike, but we held on to win 2-1 and secure passage into the knockout stages.

We then shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw with TS Sporting in the league before we won 1-0 against Union Douala as we rotated in the Champions League. Our final game was against lower league Cape Umoya Utd in the Nedbank Cup and, despite a frustrating first 75 minutes, eventually found the breakthrough through a penalty from Nxele before young striker Liam Bernard scored his first goal under my stewardship in the 92nd minute.

Overall, a very good start to my time with Kaizer Chiefs as we take 4 wins and a draw from the first 5 games. Hopefully a sign of things to come?

Our 2 league games see us remain in 7th, however we have closed the gap at the top to 7 points so with 13 games left it is still all to play for!

Our 2 Champions League wins mean we have secured top spot in the group so we will await the draw for the next round after the final group game.

Overall, a very good start to my time here and some decent signings that should help us push up the league table. Obviously, the challenge is to win all the Champions Leagues so I will be trying to progress as far as possible in the competition, whilst also trying to secure qualification for next seasons competition.

*My next update will be after another 5 games or so as we will be looking to continue our good form. Let me know where you think we will finish in the league this season and who you think our player of the season might be! Thanks for reading*
Kaizer Chiefs – Club 3 – Season 1 – Update 2

After our successful start to life in South Africa we were hoping to continue our unbeaten run of 5 games. We were also due to find out our Champions League opponents for the quarter final, who we will be playing in the final game of this update.

We kicked off the update with a strong 4-2 victory over Cape Town City, a decent result given that they were only 2 points behind us. We followed that up with a 5-0 thumping of FC San Pedro to complete our Champions League group with a 100% record. After that result we learnt that we would be facing AS Vita Club from DR Congo in the Quarter finals. A decent side, but one that I would expect us to beat over 2 legs.

After the end of the group stage we went on a 4 match domestic unbeaten run, beating SuperSport 2-0, before knocking Chippa Untied out of the cup in the second round. The next game saw us beat Bidvest 5-2 in a crazy game which saw us fall behind before the game turned just before half time with Bidvest getting a player sent off and conceding a penalty. After the break it was one way traffic with Moses Khanyile, Groenewald (2) and Tshinuna all finding the net.

We followed our hefty win up with another 3 points, this time against AmaZulu FC in a 3-0 away win. Just 3 days later we travelled to Vita Club to play in the first leg of our Champions League knockout round. Nxele had clearly brought his shooting boots on the plane and found the net twice midway through the second half. Two away goals gave me some confidence going into the second leg, but Vita Club brought themselves back into the tie on 78 minutes as the game ended 2-1.

Overall, an incredible run of form with 7 straight wins, taking our unbeaten start to life in South Africa to 12 games. Our defence also seems to be fairly solid with 3 clean sheets in our last 6 games.

Our good form has seen us shoot up the table into 4th position, just 2 points off the top of the league. We have also managed to move ahead of all our rivals in terms of goal difference which could prove vital.

As mentioned, a quite incredible start to our time at the club and it looks like we could have a chance at the league title – something I didn’t even imagine when I joined. It does look like Nxele is carrying the team in terms of goals, so I am slightly concerned if he picks up an injury, but overall the squad is quite well rounded. Hopefully, we can continue our push up the table and maybe scoop the league title this year and there is also potential for us to go far into the Champions League if we can capitalise on our first leg win.

*Join me tomorrow to see if we can progress into the next stage of the Champions League as well as continuing our title charge. Thanks for reading!*
You have done an exceptional job here already. This part of the challenge could be completed even quicker than expected with this form!
Kaizer Chiefs – Club 3 – Season 1 – Update 3

Welcome back to my Pentagon Challenge, where I left you all on a cliff hanger in my last update! We had just beaten Vita Club 2-1 away from home in the CAF Champions League Quarter finals ahead of the second leg at our home FNB Stadium. We have some massive games coming up in today's update, including the quarter final second leg and a game against second placed Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup quarter final, so without further ado lets see how we got on!

Our first game, as mentioned above, was a Nedbank Quarter final clash between ourselves and Maritzburg United. I was hoping to progress as I feel that we have one of the stronger squads in South Africa and can beat anyone on our day, however we slipped to a narrow 1-0 home defeat after an early goal from Maritzburg. Amazingly, this was my first defeat in my Kaizer Chiefs career after 14 games, but I was still disappointed as I felt we could have won the cup this season.

Just 3 days later, we welcomed Vita Club into our backyard with a slim 2-1 lead and I was hoping to get an early goal to really put the pressure on the DR Congo side. We did start the game well and Nxele finally put us ahead on 27 minutes after a plethora of chances before Bernard made it 2-0 5 minutes before half time. With the aggregate score at 4-1 I thought the tie was won before Vita Club put a bit of doubt in my mind with the last kick of the first half.

Another 2 goals would see Vita progress on away goals so we went back on the attack in the second half and found another 2 goals from Pires and Nxele to see us through to the Semi-finals 6-2 on aggregate!

Following the win we were drawn with Ajax Cape Town, who had topped the league table upon my arrival in South Africa, however some dreadful recent form has seen them slip to 5th place so I have some confidence going into the tie.

The Semi finals were just 2 weeks away and we faced 2 league games before the first leg, with varying results. First up we faced top of the league Orlando Pirates and were smashed 4-0 in a humbling defeat, before we restored some dignity in a 3-0 win over minnows Highlands Park.

Once again, the first leg of the semi final was away from home as we travelled to Cape Town in a massive inter-country tie. Bernard who has been on excellent form recently was given the nod up top once again and he repaid the faith with a massive away goal after 16 minutes before Ajax pulled level just before the half hour mark. Ajax seemed to gain the upper hand after their goal, but their momentum was blown away with a 71st minute red card. I was actually happy to settle for a draw given Ajax’s dominance, but new signing Bouzidi had other ideas and powered in a massive header in the 91st minute to once again give us a slim 2-1 win going into the second leg.

After our Champions league victory, we remained in Cape Town as we faced the same opponents, again away from home, however this time in the league. We really needed a win to keep pace at the top of the league, however we rested a few players with the second leg in mind and were made to pay with a 1-0 defeat.

The second leg was the focus and just 7 days after the first leg we met Ajax Cape Town for the 3rd time in the space of a week with both teams winning 1 game. A draw was enough to see us through to the final where we would face Tunisian giants ES Tunis, but we couldn’t rely on it and once again we went on the attack from the off.

Once again it was the main man Nxele who got us off to the best start with the opening goal in the 19th minute. He didn’t stop there however as he secured his brace just 3 minutes later, before completing an incredible 10 minute hat-trick on 29 minutes! A quite incredible 10 minutes which put us 5-1 up on aggregate and in a commanding position. Ajax did pull a goal back before half time with first leg hero Bouzidi turning villain with an own goal that opened the door for second half comeback. We weren’t in the mood for a comeback however, and Nxele made it 4 goals for both us and him and secured progression to the final with another 6-2 aggregate win.

As mentioned, we will face ES Tunis in a one-off final which will be in the next update. From a brief look at their squad I feel like we have a chance – could we be completing the African leg of the journey in less than 6 months?

Below you can see all the games from this update, as we won all of the important games, but slipped up in a few league games which is disappointing.

With those league defeats we have slipped to 6 points off the top of the league, although we do remain in 5th place and have some games in hand over teams above us.

Squad performance
There is only really one man to talk about here and that is of course Nxele. He has now notched up an amazing 33 goals in 44 goals and is on a massive purple patch which has powered us into the Champions League final. Winger Pires and Bernard have also been putting in a decent shift and they both have double figures for goals scored this season now. Attacking midfielder Tshabalala has also been on a good run of form following his injury and now has 5 goals and 5 assists.

A great run of form in the Champions League and we are now just 1 win away from completing the second leg of the Pentagon Challenge! The issue that I have now is that if we don’t win the final, it looks unlikely that we will qualify for the Champions League football next season given our poor league form and our exit from the cup, so it really is all on that one game.

*Join me tomorrow as we will be playing all of our remaining games, including the Champions league final! Let me know your score predictions and thank for reading!*
That is a very good point you make. It comes down to this game for you to not get stuck in South Africa for a couple of years now, unless of course you move on. The win against Orlando Pirates would have been a very pleasing result for the fans but with the Champions League final on the line now, everyone will be fully focused on that.
Kaizer Chiefs – Club 3 – Season 1 – Update 4

Welcome back to my Pentagon Challenge with Kaizer Chiefs, where last time out we qualified for the CAF Champions League final where we will be facing off against ES Tunis as well as completing my first, and possibly only season in South Africa.

Following our Champions League semi final success there was an obvious hangover from the team as we only managed to pick up a single point in the 3 games between the semi final and the final. Despite the need to win games we fell to narrow defeats to both Mamelodi Sundowns and Tuks FC, either side of a 0-0 draw against Martizburg United, meaning we would have to win all of our remaining 3 league games an hope other results went our way in order to qualify for continental football next season.

But our league campaign was put on hold again as we travelled to the Estadio 11 de Novembro in Angola to face off against ES Tunis in order to be crowned kings of Africa. It does feel very strange that a win in this game and a team that was in disarray when I joined just months before, will be crowned as the best team on the continent.

Fortunately, we went into the game with a fully fit squad – unlike the Asia Champions league final and I was quietly confident of victory until I was brought back down to earth with a 12th minute strike from ES Tunis which put them 1-0 up. The game had been pretty even until that point so I wasn’t overly concerned and my faith in the system was repaid just 6 minutes later with Tshinuna, favoured to Bernard as Nxele’s strike partner, finding the back of the net to level the game.

The first half continued to be an evenly fought match with both sides having chances to get their noses in front, and the start of the second half didn’t change much either until the hero of every Kaizer Chiefs fan stepped up to the plate once more with a superbly taken right footed strike from just inside the 18 yard box. With just 25 minutes to go I was fairly confident we could see out the win – our defence was decently strong after the additions I made upon arriving at the club and our forward players were strong enough to keep the Tunis defenders busy and as the clock slowly ticked towards the 90 minutes it was done. We had won the CAF Champions League after just 5 months in charge! What an amazing ride and possibly the easiest leg on a Pentagon challenge anyone has had.

A massive performance from the players just when is mattered and after just 8 games in the CAF Champions League (baring in mind a full group stage alone takes 6 games) I am able to hold the trophy aloft!

Following our success, our final league games felt a bit strange as I knew that I would be leaving the club at the end of the year. I still wanted to leave the team in the best possible position however and buoyed by the recent cup win, the team responded well, finishing the season with 2 wins and a 2-2 draw on the final day of the season.

Those results meant that we finished up in 5th place, 5 points off of the top 3 after our dropped points earlier in the month and 10 points off of the champions Maritzburg United. I have to say I am a little disappointed with our league position given that we were much closer to the top midway through my time here, but when you bring home the Champions league trophy, who really cares?

Squad performance
Unbelievable, I am about to tell you that in my final 7 games in charge, Nxele only scored a single goal for me, however I think I can let him off as he saved it for the winning goal in the final! I don’t think you can really look past him as the clear standout player during my time here, but I am going to have to think carefully about my second pick for my dream XI as a lot of the other player have been good, but not spectacular.

In terms of end of season awards, Khanyile, the right midfielder won the prize with 36% of the vote – a little surprising, but he has picked up 8 goals and 7 assists this season so fair play. Nxele only finished 3rd with 23% of the vote, which personally I think is a disgrace!

Well then! I have to say I did not expect that when I joined just 25 games ago, but my time at Kaizer Chiefs is over! I am a little disappointed to be leaving as I had actually been making some very interesting signings in preparation for next season, but my job here is done and I must move on in search of another Champions League trophy. I am a little glad that we won however as, like I said in my last update, we would have had to do at least 2 more season given that we didn’t qualify for continental football, and I haven’t yet formed an emotionally bond with most of the players, so leaving is a little less difficult.

*My next update will be on Sunday (sorry for missing a day), where I will be summarising my (short) time in South Africa, as well as selecting the next 2 players for my Dream XI and taking a look back at home my former clubs are getting on. Let me know who you’re two players would be! Thanks for reading!!*
Brilliant effort mate. To tick off one Champions League so quickly sets you up nicely for the next move, although I doubt you will be able to walk into a potential Champions League winner again. Nxele was certainly the standout and I wonder if you ever look to signing him again...
Kaizer Chiefs – Overview


Once again, I have reached the end of my time with another club, however I never thought that I would be leaving Kaizer Chiefs so soon after joining. After just 5 months in charge I have collected the CAF Champions League and therefore ticked off the second leg of my pentagon challenge. As I mentioned in my last update, I am a little gutted to be leaving without collecting any domestic success, buy that is the nature of this challenge I suppose.

There isn’t really much to recap during my short time here – effectively I joined in December and led the team on a 13 match unbeaten run which saw us push up the league table and qualify for the latter stages of the Champions League. By early May our league push had fallen away after some disappointing results, but we had secured ourselves a place in the Champions League final, where we eventually brought home the trophy with a 2-1 victory over ES Tunis.

Progression as a manager
Even though I have only been here for a short amount of time I have managed to start another coaching course so I will soon be completing my Continental B license, meaning there are only 2 more to go until I am fully qualified. It seems strange to think that a manager who has won the top prize in 2 different continents is not fully qualified!

Best players
I have found it very difficult to select 2 players for my best XI, given that I have had such little time with these players, however as I mentioned last time there is one player who is an obvious pick and that is of course Nxele. He has been our guiding light during my time here and has scored an impressive 33 goals in 44 games this season – including 19 goals under my leadership. Comfortably the most important of these was the winner in the Champions League final which will live long in my memory. As mention by TheLFCFan he is definitely a player that I may look to take to my next club as player values in South Africa are quite low compared to other top leagues.

The second player was a very difficult pick and after thinking long and hard I have chosen Thato Tshabalala our attacking central midfielder. I did consider players like Bernard or Pires who have scored a lot of goals under me, or even one of the centre backs I signed, but I have gone for Tshabalala for the following reasons. When I joined the club I identified him as the ma to build my midfield around, but before I could see him in action he sustained an injury which kept him out for a few games. On his return to the squad he then picked up another knock which meant his return to a starting berth was delayed until 11 games into my reign as manager. That means that he only played 14 games under me, but in almost all of these he controlled the midfield battle and picked up 2 goals and a handful of assists as well. Maybe a little controversial, but I think he has earned his spot in the team.

So just to remind you, here is my overall best XI so far. We now have a lethal front line with Nxele partnering Ma Jin, supported by Tshabalala in the middle and Talipudin on the right.

Previous club update
It has only been half a season since we last caught up with my previous clubs, but I am glad to say that both Mitra Kukar and Tianjin TEDA are challenging for their respective leagues at the halfway point. Hopefully they can continue their good form and win some more trophies!

*Once again thanks for joining me on this leg of my journey and I hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you think of my Best XI picks and where you think I will end up next. Just a reminder that I still need to complete North and South America as well as Europe, although that will likely be my final destination. Thanks for reading again!*
Where to now then? I would guess North America first before South. Look forward to seeing exactly where and with who!
Club 4 – Corinthians

Welcome to my new club – Brazilian outfit Corinthians! I don’t think anyone, including me saw this move coming after leaving Kaizer Chiefs! A real stroke of luck if I am honest and a real opportunity to potentially win the Copa Libertadores eventually as Corinthians are historically a massive club in Brazil. I except most of you, like me thought that the next logical step would have been North America, either in Mexico or the MLS, but there was just no decent jobs available and when the Corinthians job popped up I tried my luck, and here we are – welcome to Brazil!


Corinthians are historically a big club in Brazil and have won the league title in real life as recently as 2017, meaning that they are the 4th most successful team in the country, behind Palmerias, Santos and Flamengo. They have also since won 2 more Brasieiro titles in 2021 and 2022 since the beginning of the save. Recently, Corinthians have been struggling in the mid table in Brazil, but still have a decent team that I will introduce you to shortly.

Location and stadium

Corinthians play their football at the Arena Corinthians, which is based on the North East side of Sao Paulo in the south of Brazil. The stadium has a capacity of 46,000 which is surprisingly one of the smaller stadiums in the league given the clubs stature. Being based in Sao Paulo, the club has heated local rivalries with Sao Paulo FC and Palmerias who are also based in the same city.

Since arriving I have had a look through the players and overall we have a decent squad I think. The best player without a doubt is Brazilian sensation (I might be saying that a lot here) Denilson. The 22 year old striker has been banging in the goals for the team so far this season, and even has 2 caps for Brazil, scoring 2 goals as well.

For those who don’t know, the number of games in a Brazilian season is ridiculous, with upwards of 60, sometimes even 70 games being played in an 11-month window. With that in mid, I would like the squad to be a little bigger, given that we also have 12 subs allowed in all competitions.

The only area that I have a little concern about is defence, not something Brazilians are renowned for, so I have a feeling that I might be playing a very attack heavy formation, at least for this season.

We start life in Brazil in 10th place, 4 points behind qualification for the Copa Libertadores, but comfortably within the Copa Sudamerica (South American second tier competition) places. If we were in a relegation battle I obviously wouldn’t risk such a formation, but there doesn’t seem to be any concerns with that, and the board only want a top 13th finish so there is very little pressure on this season. I feel that pushing up the table might be difficult as well without any transfers, therefore I am effectively using the rest of this season to work out which players are staying and which will be leaving come next year.

In addition to the league, the only other competition we are still in is the Copa Do Brazil, where we face rivals Palmerias in a two legged final. A difficult tie considering that they top the league currently, however if I can get a trophy win early on then that could set us up for some amazing success in Sao Paulo.

Well then, what a steal this is! An interesting end of the season ahead as I work out how to take the team forward, but certainly an interesting proposition. Let me know what you think of the new team and how you think we will get on in Brazil! Thanks for reading.

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