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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 good start to your journey, just a few more seasons until you reach your goal ;)
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 2 – Update 4

Following our fantastic start to the season during my last update, we have played a bunch of games to try and get a feel for the team and how we are going to do this season.


As you can see below the fixtures started off pretty well and we managed to get to the end of July with just 2 defeats in the league and we were unbelievably still fighting for top spot in the league.

Our 5-3 defeat to Putra Samarinda was particularly disappointing as they are our considered our closest rivals in the top division and I was confident we could pick up a result given our good form going into the game. As with a lot of our games though we started dreadfully and were 3-0 down after 14 minutes before a slight resurgence left us trailing 4-2 at half time (although they missed a penalty just before the break). We restored some hope through Beto’s 88th minute stike, but all hope was lost deap into added time leaving us with a disappointing 5-3 loss.

Cup run?

Our good run in July ended with our first cup game in charge of Mitra Kukar and we were handed an easy tie at home to 4th division side PSJS. This game me an opportunity to rest a few players, and the backup brigade saw the game off professionally with early trikes from Rodriguez and Tan (our backup attacking midfielder who will likely take over from our captain Atep when he retires at the end of the season). Beto secured another goal for himself on 37 minutes as he is slowly looking like the top scorer that we signed him to be.

The victory meant we earned ourselves an away draw to 2nd division strugglers Persatu Tuban in mid August.

Unfortunately August was not kind to us, not helped by the fact that the mid season transfer window was open for the entire month and numerous players were linked with exits to other clubs.

What was even more disappointing was that we exited the Piala Indonesia Cup in the 2nd round against Persatu Tuban, despite us having a very favourable draw up until the semi finals. We just never seemed to get going at all, even with the majority of our big guns playing in the game. The only consolation I can take is that only 98 fans turned up to watch the game so not many people witnessed our dreadful display!


Following back to back defeats at the end of August we finished the month in 3rd place, with a gap of 8 points emerging over the past few games as we approach the half way stage of the season.

Despite the recent dip in form, we are still in a good position to secure a top 5 position in the league which would be exceptional for our first season in the division!

Player performance

Sulaiman continues to be the shining light in our team despite our recent rut and has already surpassed the 10 goal mark this season. He also earned himself his first senior Malaysia call up during the international break in early June which was just reward for his season so far.

Talipudin has also been a standout performer so far with a massive 10 assists from right wing as well as a couple of goals. It was pointed by Justice that the formation I am using is a little asymmetric with Talipudin operating as an attacking winger on the right hand side. I think his performance is also helped by the attacking centre midfielder (usually either Kamal or Syahroni) playing next to him which tends to create an overload on that side.

I have also been impressed by Fauzi’s performances this season and he has managed to push himself ahead of Beto in the pecking order to start alongside Sulaiman up top, and has so far bagged 8 goals in 13 starts.


Overall, our recent form has not been great, but to be in 3rd place is still an exceptional first half of the season for us and I am delighted by how we are performing in the majority of games. Our leaky defence is still causing issues in some games, although we have managed to pick up a few clean sheets over the past couple of months so hopefully we can maintain this.

September’s fixtures are looking mostly winnable, so hopefully we can turn our form around, although we do face Tira who are currently top of the league so that will be a tricky game. The most important thing is that we get back to winning ways as soon as possible to avoid a downturn in the squads moral that could undo all of our hard work up to this point.

*My next update will be at the end of October, which will leave a 7-game run-in for our final update of the season. I hope you enjoyed reading and once again thank you for all the support – it has been fantastic and I am absolutely invested in this save because of it!*
A shame about that dip in form in August having looked very good throughout July. However, top three is still an excellent start to the season and it'll only improve as you continue to learn about the squad you have.
Regardless, it has been a great season so far and you can very pleased with your progress.
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 2 – Update 5

Following our cup disappointment and slump in form during my last update it is time to see how we responded as we headed towards the end of the season.


Now that the league was our sole focus we had a bit more time between fixtures than some of the teams around us, so I was hoping that this would play into our hands. We managed to kick off September by winning our first game in 3 with a tight 2-1 victory against Persita Tangerang who were bottom of the league so it was crucial for us to get the 3 points. (This was also the team that beat us in the promotion semi-final last season so it was a bit a grudge match).

We then followed that up with a 3-3 draw against Peripura Jayapura, which was actually a good result given that we were 3-0 down after 33 minutes. Once again our sloppy defending in the opening stages of games cost us massively, but the team fought back well with goals from Sulaiman, Beto and Tan pulling us level just after the hour mark. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a winner in the last half hour but I was still satisfied with the point all things considered.

Our next 3 games were all fairly comfortable victories, which was a massive surprise given that we played Tira who were top of the league and 10 points ahead of us going into the game. We had also played just 2 days earlier so had to rotate in some key areas, but despite falling behind early on, we responded well an found ourselves 3-1 up after 21 minutes. Although Tira looked the better team for the rest of the game we managed to hold onto the 3 points and close the gap to 1st place down to 7 points!

Unfortunately, the turn of the month to October meant another turn in our form and we effectively fell out of the title race with back to back 1-0 defeats to Makassar and Persib Bandung. We did manage to pick up 4 points from the next 2 games, including a moral boosting 1-0 win against out bitter rival Putra Samarinda, however we then lost 3-2 against both Madura United and PSIS Semarang to end the month.


We have had two completely contrasting months yet again and just as I thought we might have a sniff of the title in September, we blew it all away and now find ourselves 19 points off of the top. As I said in the last update, 3rd is still an amazing position to find ourselves in considering we have only just been promoted, but to fall away from where we were has been slightly disappointing.

It does however look like we are guaranteed to finish in the top 7 as there is only 7/8 games left to play, but I’m hoping we can once again turn our form around and have a strong finish.

Player performance

Once again it is pleasing to see us have 2 players among the top performers in the league with Sulaiman currently 2nd in the top scorers standings and Talipudin topping the assists chart.

A special mention also has to go out to both Fauzi and Beto who have now both hit 10 goals this season, with Beto coming into some form as he prepares to hang up his boots.

I have been quite disappointed with Rodriguez recently. He has missed a couple of penalties and is under performing to the point of being dropped towards the end of October. Considering how good he was at the start of the year, I’m hoping that some time on the bench might help him rediscover his form for the run-in.

Career News

Some good news from October is that I completed my National C coaching course so I now have a vague idea of how to manage a football team! I think the National B course includes things like the offside rule so I will need to start that at some point!!

I do have some concerns over the clubs finances however as they seem to be spiralling out of control despite me using just over half of our allowed wage budget. The board has just pumped £55k into the balance although this has barely made a dent and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of any further income in the near future (except for around £150k for our league position).

The most concerning thing is that the board have rejected my request for a new contract (which expires at the end of the season), saying that they currently do not have enough funds. Could we be in for an early club move if the board decide to opt for a cheaper manager?

*My next update will be covering the final few games of the season as well as an overview of the squad’s performance this season, and possibly some future plans talk if the board do not change their position on my contract. Once again thanks for all of your support on my last post, its great to see so many people getting involved and I will try to continue to post updates daily for as long as I can!*
A pretty tough run as of late after a good run the month prior. Football can certainly offer up a lot of twists. The board would be foolish not to offer you a new deal. Could the financial situation really be THAT bad? :O
That form slump was bruuuutaaalll
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 2 – Update 6

Following on from my last update where we were pretty comfortable in 3rd place after a dreadful run in October, I was hoping to pick up a few more points to secure the position that our season had deserved. There was also the question as to whether I would be offered a new contract by the board when it expired at the end of the year.

I was pretty shocked at how quickly we managed to turn our form around again and managed to finished the last 7 games without another defeat. We seem to be a very streaky team – often going a month unbeaten and then not winning for the entire next month which is very strange.

The only game of particular importance was our 2-0 victory against Arema Cronus on the last day of the season that actual meant that we pipped them to 2nd place after they managed to bottle the 7 point gap at the end of my last update. It was a pretty even game but 2 late late goals from Kamal and Talipudin secured the all important 3 points and 2nd place.

As I said, we managed to sneak into 2nd place on the last day of the season, finishing a massive 15 points behind Tira who will be hard to best next year. The most pleasing thing however, is that we managed to finish a huge 37 points clear of the relegation zone which was our main goal this year. The players have done amazingly this year and I am delighted with our season overall.

Player review
The strikers have followed on from the last update and have managed to score 42 goals between them over the course of the season. Unfortunately, Sulaiman picked up an injury and missed the last 5 or so games which meant he missed out on challenging for the top scorer in the league.

Talipudin has also had a fantastic season, notching up an amazing 13 assists from the right hand side. He definitely seems like the kind of player that can change the game if he is playing well and I am desperate to keep hold of him at all costs over the off-season.

His counterpart on the left wing, Rodriguez, has had a respectable first season, accumulating 8 goals and 6 assists, although 3 of his goals were from the penalty spot. I have had some fallings out with him over the season as well, as he seems to coast through games when we aren’t in control without offering too much. He does have a release clause of £77k in his contract and currently is unwilling to extend his deal which ends next season so he could potentially be off over the winter period.

I would also like to give a mention to our central midfielders, Tan, Kamal, Syahroni and Atep. I started the year with Atep and Syahroni as my midfield two, although with a combined age of 61 this did not sit well with me despite their decent performances. Kamal has been mostly a substitute all year but had a run of starts at the end of the season as I tried to work out my best partnership without Atep who is retiring. Tan was a mid-season addition to the team and is the most likely candidate to replace Atep. He has also contributed 5 goals as well as 2 assists from the advanced play maker role, although he does have some wild passes in his locker which can often put us under pressure defensively.

I have to admit that I’m still not fully settled so I will need to play around with this in pre-season and maybe try and add another signing to our squad in this position.

Defensive issues
The biggest problem for us this year has been defending set pieces, which I have never noticed as an issue on any other of my saves, so has taken me by surprise a bit. We have the worst record in the league for defending corners (13 goals conceded), direct freekicks (3 conceded) and indirect freekicks (8). That means we have conceded exactly half of our goals from set pieces this year which is shocking! I have tried a few different routines and nothing seems to be working. I even looked at average heights of teams and found we are 14th in the league, but only about an inch less than average so I am a bit stuck.

We are also top for red cards (3) this season, which of course is never good.

End of season awards
I was very surprised when I saw that Fauzi had been awarded player of the season as I would probably have given it to Sulaiman or Talipudin ahead of him, but I guess the fans affection for a player who is the clubs record goal scorer of all time earned him a few extra votes so I can't really complain!

Sulaiman did however win signing of the season and young player of the season, which I can get behind as he finished with 15 goals and 7 assists. Again, my runner up would have been Talipudin who is quickly becoming my favourite player in the squad.

We did however get goalkeeper of the year somehow – even though Murdianto didn’t even come in the top 3 goalkeeper for clean sheets, but congratulations to him. Talipudin also gets the recognition he deserves as well with a spot at right wing in the team of the year.

Finally, to round off the awards, I received manager of the year which I am delighted with – my first trophy!

Going forward
The biggest question going forward is – will the board offer me a new contract? If they don’t I will probably seek a new opportunity elsewhere rather than stay on a month to month deal as this doesn’t offer much job security. Additionally, do I even want to stay at a club that is expecting to lose around £600k per year when I am operating at around half of the allowed wage budget? The board also only expect me to avoid relegation next season so I am unlikely to have much backing in the window if I do want to make any transfer moves.

Of course I would love to stay at Mitra Kukar and continue this amazing project that we have started, but I am also very aware that the challenge is to win the all of the Champions Leagues, not build Indonesia into a world super power (however fun this might be!).

*Unfortunately, I have to leave you on a cliff-hanger and I will reveal the outcome of my contract scenario in my next update! Let me know what you would do in this position – stay or go? Thanks again for all the support on my last update and I will reveal my decision tomorrow!*
I'd be inclined to want to take that extra step further. You certainly did amazingly this season. Plenty to be pleased with!
It'll be very interesting if you don't get a contract extension considering you did well enough to be recognised as manager of the year. Even if you don't get a new deal, I imagine this season has boosted the reputation to get a few bigger sides interested.
Great season overall but now you need to work out how you are going to bridge the gap and become the top team
To win the Asian CL, you probably need to go to another team to do it quickly, and I'd imagine you'd get some offers from top Asian teams with the status you've built up in Indonesia! Both staying and going seem like good options to be honest!
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 3 – Update 1

Good news! (For those who wanted me to remain at Mitra). The board finally decided to offer me a new contract on Christmas Day of all days! Maybe it was my Christmas present? I did take my time to consider whether I should stay or go, however my decision mainly came down to the fact that I couldn’t see how I would be able to take a step up and also still have a chance at continental football. I could have moved to somewhere like India or Malaysia, who I felt were a fairly similar level – or gone to the second tier in South Korea or China, or even moved continents and gone to the second tier in South Africa but I felt like none of these moves would be the right one now.

I also got a nice £400 per week pay rise despite the clubs financial position, but I wasn’t going to complain!

Transfers and off season
I have to admit that the off season was very quiet this year compared to the last one, but I’m not too disappointed overall. As mentioned in my last update, both our captain Atep and our striker Beto retired at the end of the season which meant on the one hand we saved £2.5k on the wage bill, but on the other left us with some gaps in our squad.

Additionally, we lost Rodriguez in a £77k transfer to Larne in Northern Ireland and our backup centre back, Hagi, to second tier Babel Utd.

As we saw in the last update the finances our currently dreadful so signing players for money was off the cards. However, we did now have an additional foreign spot in our squad after Rodriguez’s departure. This spot was filled by Stojanovic – an Australian goalkeeper who is a definite upgrade on our number 1 position. The only other signing we made was Sena, a backup winger who I don’t expect to get much game time.

That meant that we still had a lot of positions to fill in our team – so I visited our youth teams and found some decent players who will hopefully play a big part this season. The main players to note are:
  • Skumana, our new rotational center back, who at 18 looks like he could be fantastic with some game time.
  • Mualim, our new backup left back who I am hopeful will develop over the course of the season and maybe be first choice next year.
  • Kurniawan, a backup attacking midfielder. This was the hardest position for me to find anyone in, either from inside the club or outside, and while I don’t think Kurniawan will ever be an amazing player , I think he is good enough to be a backup this season.

Season preview
The media prediction currently has us in 12th place which I think is harsh considering our 2nd place finish last year. I would expect that we will finish somewhere between 3rd and 6th given that we have probably got weaker over the winter break.

In other news, 2nd place now also gets a place in the AFC Asian Champions League due to Indonesian teams performing well on the continental stage. This gives us a better chance of securing our first continental football which could be very exciting!

Normally I would wait until my next update to show the first few games of the year, but since there wasn’t much transfer activity I felt like adding the first few games of the season into this update.

As you can see, the season hasn’t started quite how we would like it to after last seasons successes, but we have at least managed to win as many games as we have lost. It is also a little disappointing that we have lost so many games when we haven’t played any of the bigger teams so far.

It does seem like the team is missing something without as much quality on the left wing as we had last year, however Talipudin is on fire so far recording 4 goals and 3 assists already.

In some interesting fixture news, we now have a month break due to the Under 20s World Cup which is being held in Indonesia. What makes this more interesting is that our stadium is one of the host stadiums and will hold the semi finals of the tournament!

Our results over the first 9 games have left us in 6th place, 7 points off of 2nd, but just 4 points above the relegation zone. The league is so tight at the moment that we need to pick up our form over the next few months to ensure we don’t get caught up in a relegation battle, but given the players we have lost I am fairly happy with this position in the table.

Club news
The board have finally decided to invest in the club and have injected £375k into the bank balance, which now leaves us with a £300k overdraft, however we are continuing to lose money every month despite me cutting the wage bill by £5k a week.

*My next update will be at the halfway point of the season as we aim to push our way up the table and find some consistency in our form. Once again, thanks for everyone’s support on my last post and I hope you’re all glad that I have chosen to remain at Mitra Kukar!*
Early days yet. The league table is still yet to really take shape. Hopefully upon the return of the league, you can kick on and try to match or even surpass the performances of last season. It will be difficult given the supposed weakening of the squad though. The financial situation has you a little stuck.
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 3 – Update 2

Following on from our month break due to the Under 20’s World Cup, we were hoping to push up the league and maybe pull ourselves into continental qualification – or at the very least create a gap to the relegation zone.

Our first game back after the break was against table toppers Arema and we raced into a 2 goal lead inside 10 minutes despite being the away team. Unfortunately, our joy was short lived and Arema pulled level on 52 minutes, before snatching the 3 points on 65 minutes. This was quite disappointing considering a win would have shrunk the gap to the top to just 7 point, but instead extended it to 13.

Next up we faced 4 back to back home games, which started against Persipura Jayapura who were level on points with us, and this showed as the game ended 0-0.

We followed this up with an absolute corker of a game against Persib Bandung. Talipduin got us off to a fantastic start on 3 minutes, before Bandung made it 1-1 with just 8 minutes on the clock. 10 minutes later and the away side pulled into the lead much to my dismay after our bright start. On 26 minutes a lovely finish from Fauzi made it 2-2, but we were only on level terms for a matter of seconds as Bandung retook the lead just 90 seconds later. That was not to be the end of the action in the first half as a late goal from a corner game Bandung a commanding 4-2 lead going into the break.

I made a few tactical tweaks at half time and contemplated substituting Sulaiman, but I was glad I didn’t as he struck just 5 minutes into the second half to pull us back into the game. I was forced to call upon Kurniawan, our young attacking midfielder, due to and injury to Tan and the youngster made his mark on the game with his first goal for the club on the hour mark. With the game finely poised at 4-4 I figured that we had to risk defeat if we wanted the 3 points and my decision paid off as Kurniawan hit his second of the game with a low driven shot into the corner of the net to win the match.

This incredible victory acted as a catalyst for the next few games as we dashed aside our patchy form and went unbeaten for the remainder of July and August.

A you can see we managed to navigate our way through the first 2 rounds of the Piala Indonesia, first dispatching 4th tier Persimuba comfortably, including a brace from Fadhilla our young 3rd choice striker who hadn’t scored since last season, before edging out second division high flyers Cilegon United in extra time in the next round. This meant that we have been rewarded with a two-legged 3rd round tie against Sulut United who were also flying high in the second tier.

Easily the most enjoyable game of the last 2 months has to be the last game, as we faced bitter rivals Putra Samarinda at home, and despite us being 7 points below them going into the game we blew them away with a flurry of early and then late goals to seal an impressive 5-0 victory. Goals from Tan, Talipudin and Sulaiman sent us on our way, before Talipudin missed the chance to make it 4-0 from the spot on 69 minutes. We did eventually find a 4th goal as Fauzi got in on the action with his 7th goal of the season, before substitute Al-Ayyubi (our right wing backup to Talipudin) scored his first goal for the club to round off an amazing day for our fans.

Our recent unbeaten run means that we finish August in 4th place, 4 points behind Putra who we have just demolished, however we are only 6 point above 11th place so I am definitely still looking over my shoulder. I think if we can keep up this unbeaten form for a bit longer then we should manage to pull away from the chasing pack, however fixture congestion could become an issues as each round of the cup is now played over 2 legs rather than one.

Player performance
Talipudin has continued to be the standout player this season as he has now directly contributed to 19 goals this season (could have been 20 if he hadn’t missed the penalty in the last game). Fauzi has also been surprisingly good again as he is so far keeping up with the pace set by Sulaiman – both notching up 7 goals and 4 assists already this season. I will also give an honourable mention to Agustiar who has been tasked with filling the boots of Rodriguez on the left flank and he has managed to amass 5 assists so far which is a decent effort- although we will need to improve this position if we are going to challenge for the league title.

A solid 2 month period overall with some memorable victories sprinkled about as well as progression in the cup, so I can't complain. We are now half way through the season so to be fighting at the top once again is impressive considering our squad is slightly weaker than last year.

*My next update will cover the next few months as we continue our efforts in both the league and cup as we head into the business end of the season. Once again thanks for everyone’s support and I hope you are still enjoying the Mitra Kukar journey!*

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