Let me start with introducing myself. My name is Gerb and I am a 25 year old Belgian FM-addict. For a long time I wanted to make a blog about my save(s) in FM and with FM21 lurking around the corner and corona forcing me to stay inside after work, I thought it was the appropriate time.
Today’s post will be an introduction to my first save of FM21 which I will start when the beta version of the game is released (hopefully next week). I will tell you what team I chose, who they are, what their current real life situation is and what my goals of this save will be.
So without further ado , let’s meet the team!
GENK, A BRIEF HISTORY:
So as you could guess from the title of this segment, we are starting FM21 with Belgian side KRC Genk.
Genk is a Belgian team formed in 1988, after Thor Waterschei and KFC Winterslag (both small villages in the city of Genk) merged together. But the start was not what they hoped for! In their first season they immediately got relegated to the second division. They gained promotion back after one season but the first years back were also very hard with low rankings and a new relegation in 1995. After 2 more seasons in the second division they reclaimed their spot in the top tier of Belgian football and the first successes would not wait that much longer for them. In 1998 they won the Belgian cup to claim their first ever trophy and 1 year later they became champions of Belgium.
Genk would go on and win the Belgian league 3 more times after this.. in 2002, 2011 and 2019. Lifting the Belgian cup happend also 3 more times in the years of 2000, 2009 and 2013.
European football is also no stranger for Genk. With 3 participations in the Champions League group stage, they are still waiting for that first victory in this competition. But still, draws against Real Madrid, Chelsea, Napoli and Bayern Leverkussen gives the Belgians hope for the future.
In the Europa league it is looking a bit better. Securing their first group stage survival in 2012-2013, they even managed to get to the quarter-finals of this competition in 2016-2017, losing 3-4 on aggregate to Celta de Vigo. But after that, Europa has not been kind to them.
Losing to Slavia Prague in the first round after the group stage in 2018-2019 and having a hard time in the Champions league one year later ( a 6-2 loss at Salsburg and only taking 1 point at home to Napoli) made their name in Europa fade a little bit more.
In terms of derbies and rivalries, there are a few!
The biggest 2 for the fans are local ones, with the ‘Limburgse Derby’ versus Sint-Truiden.
This one means the most for the fans since these 2 teams are the only representatives for the province of Limburg in the whole first division.
The other rivals are the other teams of the ‘big 5’ in Belgium. These teams are: Club Brugge, Anderlecht, AA Gent and Standard Liege.
After their last title in 2019 the team has been struggling. Many key players from that champions squad left the club soon (Malinovksy, Trossard, Berge, Samatta) and the replacements didn’t all perform to their best yet. When Corona last season ended the competition 1 game before the play-offs started, Genk was in 7th place and thus missing out on the play-offs.
No European football for Genk this season. But the start in the national league hasn’t been great either. With only 1 victory and a shocking 5-2 defeat against newly promoted side Beerschot, coach Hannes Wolf got fired.
After a search for a new head coach they found the Dane Jess Thorup. Recently fired by rival AA Gent he was looking for a new challenge in Belgium.
And he started out good with 11/15 and winning his last 3 games in a row.
But after the last game rumours spread on the 1st of november that he would be signing in his home country with FC Copenhagen. And 1 day later, he was gone.
The Genk board is in total despair. The season started out so poorly and when things turned brighter, someone put them back in total darkness.
OUR GOALS AND PROFILE:
And that is where we come in. Genk wants the next coach to be young and Belgian with good knowledge of the League. And that will be me!
In the game we will create a profile with a Licence B diploma and the history of being a professional player on the national level. I played most of my career for the club of Genk and after retiring I came back to the club to manage some of the youth teams. Climbing the ranks of the youth teams and getting good results there gave me now the chance to show my worth in the first team.
But what can we achieve with Genk? Because as I said earlier, the team is far from their form of 2 seasons ago.
In the league it will be simple. I will attempt to make Genk a stable team who can compete for the title on a regular basis. Build a team that can last a couple of seasons and only sell players when we can get enough money to buy replacements that are as good or even better.
And being competitive in the top of the Belgian league also means that you will more then likely play a lot in Europe. And for Europe I also have a pretty easy target to start… Make progress! If we get to the Champions league , I want to get that first ever win for the club and be competitive. If we play Europa League, I want to survive the group stages and go as far as we can in the KO stages. Just taking it step by step and hopefully, on the end of the ride we can lay our eyes on a European final and maybe even a trophy!
But all of that will be for in the very near future! When the game/beta gets released I will update this topic for twice per week with updates in the league(s), transfers and plans/goals.
Next episode I will talk a bit more on the squad we have, which tactic(s) I will use and how we started the save in the pre-season and the first games of the league!
Stay tuned for more and if you like this introduction you can show your support by following the topic and replying your thoughts on it!
Until next time
Haddig! (Bye in Genk)