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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
Firstly congratulations on the contract extension, well deserved. I think you were right not to move as changing clubs now doesn't necessarily put you in a better job and it also means what you have began building here was pointless. It was a tough start to the season but it seems like the team has bounced back in August.
The improved form in August could prove to be vital in giving you some momentum to push on.
That Persib win looks absolutely crazy! Decent month overall though, let's hope you can build on it!
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 3 – Update 3

After the success of the last month and a half we were hoping to continue our good form into September and continue our push up the table.

Career news
Some good news to start the update with is that the board have offered to pay for my next coaching course – despite not having any money! So I will complete my National B license in 4 months time which will hopefully help get me a better job when I eventually leave Mitra Kukar.

I am going to introduce a new rule here and say that I can only get a maximum of TWO coaching qualifications from one club, otherwise progress to the top might be a bit too straightforward and who would want that??

In league terms, September has gone very well with 3 wins and 2 draws from our 5 games, taking a total of 11 points out of 15 which is very respectable. We also looked a lot better defensively this month, only conceding 4 goals and keeping a massive 3 clean sheets!

Unfortunately, the league form did not feed into the cup. We snuck through the 3rd round on penalties after blowing a 2-0 first leg lead against second division Sulut, with youngster Kurniawan scoring the winning penalty.

However, in the 4th round we drew PSBL Langsa of the third tier who had already knocked out 2 other Shopee Liga 1 sides in their run to the 4th round. I was a little nervous going into the second round at 1-1, but with an away goal I was confident that we could progress. Even when we fell 1-0 down to an early penalty, I was still fairly confident, and we managed to turn it around to lead 2-1 just after half time. We dominated the rest of the game but could not quite find the killing goal and were made to pay as Langsa scored deep into stoppage time to steal the game on away goals. Needless to say, I was not happy and wanted to move on quickly from the embarrassment!

However, our good league form had moved us up to 3rd place and I was keen to continue our unbeaten run into October as we approached the business end of the season. We kicked off with back to back draws, including against fellow title challengers Tira which was a decent result. We then managed to find our shooting boots and rattled off 2 big wins also keeping 2 clean sheets in the process. To round off, we managed to extend our unbeaten run to 18 games which was a new club record!

Our crazy run had catapulted us back into the title picture and we now find ourselves just 4 points off top spot with 6 games to play. Given our current form and how much we have closed the gap to the top I really feel that a top 2 spot might be on the cards if we can continue this form.

Overall, our run-in is fairly easy although we do play Putra who currently occupy 2nd place, so that could turn out to be a crucial game. Besides that game though, I would expect us to pick up a nice haul of points, and dependent on the result against Putra, I think we have a decent chance at a top 2 finish, although I expect the title might be a stretch.

Player performance
Both of our strikers, Sulaiman and Fauzi, have been banging goals in for fun recently and now have 14 and 13 goals respectively. Talipudin is also continuing his incredible season and now has double figures in goals and assists this year (11 goals, 12 assists).

Another player who is in some good form at the moment is Fadhilla who has now notched up 7 goals in 8 starts this year (although a lot of his goals have been off the bench). Additionally, Al-Ayyubi has been a fantastic backup for Talipudin when he has been rested or on international duty and he has managed to accumulate 3 goals and 6 assists so far in his first season for the club – very impressive for a backup player!

We have been in some great form recently and I am hoping with just 6 games to go that we can mount a serious challenge for a top two place and potentially qualify for continental football in the new year.

*My next update will be covering all of the games between now and the end of the season, so you won’t want to miss it! Thanks again for all your support, particularly those who are coming back every day and leaving comments!*
Glad to see your form really materialising to push you well and truly into the title scene. You aren't reliant on one player to be a source of goals and that will help your cause significantly. The defence has proven to be a lot tighter too. All notable signs of a potential champion.

We'll focus on the league because, well, everything else didn't go too well... :P
Still not far off that lead, keep working!
Some tough results to take in there but you're in a good standing for the run-in, keep it up!
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 3 – Update 4

We come into today’s update on the back of an 18 match unbeaten run in the league, and with just 6 games of the season to go we are just 2 points off second place and 4 points off top – can we secure our first league title as a manager?

First up we were playing mid table Makassar at home and following our amazing run I was confident that we would be able to pick up another 3 point – how wrong I was! We went 1-0 down to an 11th minute penalty and then two quickfire goals in the 33rd and 34th minutes effectively put us out of the game. We were very poor throughout, barely creating a chance until Fadhilla managed to grab a consolation goal in the 91st minute. I know this is just one game, but I am already a bit nervous that my team does not have the mental strength to keep winning and really put the pressure on the top two…

Before the next game occurred I received the below message (one of my favourite graphics in football manager) which showed us how we compared to our title rivals. From the looks of the fixtures, Tira had the easiest run-in, followed by us and then Putra who were the only team to play more than one top half team in their remaining games.

Our defeat last time out had left us with ground to make up, and this was not helped as just before the game our best player this season, Talipudin, picked up an injury in training and was likely to miss most if not all of our remaining games.

Luckily our attacking flair did not seem to be weakened by his absence and we managed to find ourselves 3-1 up just after half time against Persib Bandung. However, our defensive fragility reared its ugly head once again as we conceded from two corners, including a 95th minute equaliser. Needless to say I was not happy, although we did have a glimmer of hope as second place Putra lost their game, meaning we closed the gap to 4 points with 4 games to go.

The next game was just as disappointing as we could only muster a point at home to relegation threatened Persib Balikpapan. We now find ourselves 6 points off 2nd with just two games to go. Effectively we have to win our remaining 3 games and hope that Putra also drop points to have any chance of a top 2 finish. To make things worse, our right back is also now injured for the rest of the year.

Next up we faced off against Bhayangkara FC, another mid table team with nothing to play for, however they looked like world cup winners compared to us in the first half and we were counting our lucky stars when we went into half time at 0-0. We did manage to improve in the second half and some late changes made all the difference as Sulaiman gave us the lead with 15 minutes left to play. A couple more late goals from Al-Ayyubi (85) and Sena (93) with his first goal for the club rounding off a great result.

To make things even better, Putra had lost their game meaning we were only 3 points behind and we play them next! (It is also important to note that teams are sorted on head-to-head rather than goal difference in this league so we had to win!)

The week leading up to the game started well as I received news that Talipudin would likely be fit enough to play at least 45 minutes in the game, however it ended in the worst possible way as our goalkeeper, Stojanovic, who has been so good this year also picked up an injury, meaning he would miss the last 2 games of the season.

The injury to our keeper was worsened as our only other right back was suspended for the game meaning we had to play a centre back there instead (due to the injury our right back had sustained a few weeks ago). And we got off the worst possible start, conceding after 14 minutes and then having yet another injury, this time to our left winger. We were extremely poor throughout the game and you could see that Putra wanted it more so when they got their deserved reward on 72 minutes I was not surprised. Fadhilla scored off the bench again on 85 to give us some hope but we couldn’t find anything else in the last 5 minutes and slipped to yet another defeat.

The defeat means we now cannot finish in the top two which is very disappointing. Our final game was against already relegated PSS Sleman who we could only muster a pathetic 1-1 draw against.

Amazing, we finish the season level with 3 other teams on 57 points and end up in 4th place. Considering our unbeaten run I am a little disappointed to not finish a bit higher, especially knowing 2 more wins would have put us in second place.

Not what we had hoped for after our amazing run, but our young team just didn’t seem to have the experience to pick themselves up when it mattered the most and we crumbled to an undeserved 4th place.

Career news
The board have offered me a new deal as mine is due to expire, and to be honest after that heart-breaking end to the season I thought about quitting and finding a new challenge, but how can I leave when we got so close to our goal? I have built this team into title challengers and I should be the one to take it where it belongs – the Champions League!

My new contract is a 2 year deal, however I will lay out my future plans now:
  • If we don’t qualify for continental football this season, then I will resign and find a new job. I don’t see us being able to challenge much in the competition even if we do get there so I don’t see much point in hanging around if we aren’t making much progress.
  • If we do qualify then I will see out my contract and lead the team into the Champions League for the first time before moving onto a new challenge!

*My next update will be an overview of the season, as well as transfer ahead of the new season as we seek to push for the title next year! Thanks for your support and apologies that we couldn’t get the finish we all wanted!*
A pretty tough run to end the season. It certainly wasn't helped by the volume of injuries and to crucial personnel at that. Hopefully you can come back stronger next season and succeed.
Must've been heartbreaking to have such a good season and then have it end so poorly, but it has to be said that you have plenty to build on for next season. I think you'll pick up the title!
Champions League or bust next season, make a run at it!
Mitra Kukar – Club 1 – Season 4 – Update 1

After the end of season heartbreak in the last update it is time to analyse the squad as we go into the winter transfer window.

End of year awards
Once again Fauzi has been awarded fans player of the season with 36%, just ahead of Talipudin and Tan who is a surprise 3rd position given he has only contributed 8 goals from attacking midfield. Fauzi’s 13 goals clearly impressed the fans as well as his 7 assists which is a good return.

Squad overview
For the second year in a row, Sulaiman has taken home the squad top scorer for the season with 18 goals as well as 10 assists in another impressive season for the main man up top. Talipudin has also had a great season (probably my player of the season), and has notched up 11 goals and 13 assists from the right flank.

Other players to point out for strong seasons are wingers Agustiar and Al-Ayyubi who have both contributed 10 goals each from the left and right wings respectively. Additionally, Fadhilla has had a great second half of the season and has finished with 9 goals in all competitions.

Once again defending set pieces has been our biggest problem this year. Last year we conceded 24 out of 48 goals from set pieces, however this year we have conceded 22 out of 40, which is once again a shocking record. I have done a little more research in this area and found out that the average height of male Indonesians is just 5’2”, meaning that areal defending is not the easiest. Therefore, this winter I think the main aim is to try and sign at least 1 tall defender that can hopefully cut down on the goal we are gifting away from these situations.

Transfer business - Outs
First up lets go through the departures from the squad. We managed to bring in £51k in transfer outgoings, with the main departures being our backup keeper Murdianto and centre back Halim. Ideally I wouldn’t have sold Halim, however I had to make room for an extra foreign player (you’ll see why soon) and he was the only obvious candidate as I couldn’t let go of Stojanovic (goalkeeper), Talipudin or Sulaima.

Transfer business - Ins
I have to admit I am very excited about our transfers this season! We have spent a massive £84k, as I felt that I had to spend money to improve the squad enough to challenge this season.

The first and possibly most important player joining us is Aryanto, a 33 year old centre back. Yes you read that right – and we paid £22k for him. As I’m sure you can guess there is only one reason why I would shell out that kind of money on such an old player – he’s 6’2”! I have basically taken a massive gamble in the hope that having one tall defender helps to sure us up at the back and provide an aerial threat going forward as well. I think we can probably get 2 good years out of him which is fine as we will only be here for a maximum of 2 more years.

Our new left winger is Fatahillah who will hopefully be able to fill the boots that Rodriguez left a few years ago – he looks very good and is a massive upgrade on last season.

Our biggest transfer this window was Ariyada (or Rudi) who is our new attacking midfielder/ backup striker. He looks absolutely incredible and the most amazing thing is that we signed him from the second division! I think he could be the game changer this season if he remains fit all year.

The only other signing to note is Arcaba, an Australian goalkeeper, who has come in as our new keeper from the first half of the season after Stojanovic pick up a hip injury in preseason that will keep him out for 4 months.

Hidden gem?
So our new foreign player that we have had to make room for is Nazri Ahmad who was one of my first signings after I joined the club. He has had two loan spells and had really developed to the point where he is now challenging Sulaiman for the number one striker role. I’m very excited for our Malaysian duo to hopefully tear up the division this year!

Pre-season odds
So after all has been said and done we are predicted to finish 6th this year. I actually think this is very harsh as I think we easily have one of the best squads in the league, particularly going forward, and I have no doubt that the signing of Aryanto will massively improve our defensive stability from set pieces. I have to admit that if we don’t end up challenging for the league and the cup this year I will be very disappointed, and like I said in my last update (and mentioned by Griffo, its champions league or bust this season.

*Overall, a very good off season in my opinion, let me know your thoughts. Join me tomorrow when I will be running though the start of the season with our new recruits. Thanks for everyone’s continued support and I hope you’re looking forward to the new season after last years disappointment!*
Really enjoying reading about the challenge. I took the pentagon on back in FM12. Started in South Africa, eventually winning continental competition with Supersport Utd, Daegu in S Korea, Santos, Tigres and finally Liverpool. I have been thinking about trying again now. This has inspired me! Good luck, it’s a long slog but gets faster after Asia and Africa.
A big season ahead now. Best of luck.
Nice pick up on the striker, I can see him becoming a star for you

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