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Puskás Akadémia FC

Building a nation
Started on 3 December 2020 by DanielStrandbech
Latest Reply on 17 January 2021 by TheLFCFan
Why do a blog post?
Well I’ve been playing Football Manager since 2005 and I’ve always enjoyed it. Football was a big part of my childhood in the 90’s and I remember watching it with my father every sunday on tv - some of my fondest memories.

Later on in life I found the club that I love and support - West Ham United F.C.I’ve been a West Ham supporter since 2003 which has been a “journey” for sure… I gravitated towards them due to the whole “Academy of Football” nickname the club has. The club has created some of the most talented footballers in english football; Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand - just to name a few of the more recent ones.

Right… Back to Football Manager!

For the last two to three Football Managers games I haven’t been able to lock down on a save like I used to be able to. I’ve done the whole: Find a team, play for half a season, delete the save file and start over with a new save and team. I think the longest save I’ve had was two and a half seasons with A.C. Milan in FM 20.

So before the release of FM 21 I sat down and had a little “think about”. Would it be worth giving it one more go before finally giving up on FM and just move on to other games? - Not to FIFA though! I decided on “YES”.

I think the reason why I haven’t been able to stick to a save for more than a season or two is down to four main factors:

I watch and read way too many “Top 10 teams to be”.
I don’t research the teams I’m interested in before deciding.
I pull overpowered tactics from the internet (yes… shame on me).
I save scuff… (Yes I’m one of those vile human beings who save scuff.)

But now I say to you: “NO MORE!”

So I went to YouTube and watched “Interesting Teams to Manage on Football Manager 2021”. I know… how scathing of me.

One of the recommended teams in the video was Puskás Akadémia FC (probably a popular choice in this year's version of Football Manager). I will dive into exactly why this team caught my attention later on in the post! (just stick with me a little while longer.)

I then decided that I wanted to try doing a blog post to see if it would keep me engaged with my save for a longer time - much longer hopefully. I’ve never done a blog post before. I’ve read a few and I do watch some “Let’s Plays” on YouTube from time to time.
Let’s see how I get on. I’m always open to constructive criticism so if you feel like calling me out, please do so. If you just want to berate me and call me a moron then… well feel free to do that as well (it is the internet after all).

I’m aiming towards doing an update every half a season - a sort of “half season review”. This is due to the fact that the OTP Bank Liga is divided into two halves with a mid-season winter break (like the Bundesliga).


Why Puskás Akadémia FC?
For starters here is what I was looking for in a save:

1. I wanted to manage a team outside the top leagues in europe, but still stay in europe.

Puskás Akadémia FC is playing in the Nemzeti Bajnokság I (OTP Bank Liga) in Hungary.

2. I wanted to manage a team who could, within a reasonable time frame, challenge for the domestic title, but at the same time not start out as an absolutely dominating force domestically.

Puskás Akadémia FC is predicted to finish 3rd in the league at the start of the game.

3. I wanted to manage a team who could challenge for and get european football fairly quickly.

Puskás Akadémia FC is in The Europa League qualifications at the start of the game and again predicted to finish 3rd in the domestic league.

4. I wanted to manage a team that focused on youth development and already had solid facilities and structure to actually follow through on that.

Puskás Akadémia FC has excellent youth facilities and excellent youth recruitment at the start of the game.

So basically… it ticked all of my preliminary boxes. A decent amount of teams could do that though. Actually every team predicted to finish between 2nd and 6th in all of the top flights in Europe (outside of the top 5 leagues) could tick those boxes - so why this team?

Firstly I wanted to try my luck at “building a nation” and try to slowly build the entire OTP Bank Liga into a top five league in Europe. Maybe even the top league in europe.

Secondly I wanted to manage a team where the main focus was youth development and then take that team to european glory. I’m not limiting myself to never sign any players at all, but the main focus will be the development of hungarian talent down the line. In this regard Puskás Akadémia FC is a bit of an oxymoron. I’ll tell you why in a bit.

Now.. Let’s start the blog!

Oh… and I solemnly swear that I’ll neither pull tactics from the internet nor will I save scuff!
Puskás Akadémia FC

Puskás Akadémia FC was founded in 2005 and currently plays in the top flight in Hungary, the OTP Bank Liga. They finished 3rd in the league in 2019/20 and reached the quarter finals of the Magyar Kupa that season.

The club is based in Felcsút, Hungary - a village in the northern parts of Hungary (hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban, grew up in Felcsút). The club plays its home games at Pancho Arena with a capacity of 3,816 (all seated).

The club is one of the smallest clubs in the OTP Bank Liga (They haven't got many fans). The Puskás Akadémia's average attendance in the 2018/19 season was 1,340 (2nd lowest club in the season).

The team is infamous in Hungary for its contradictious name choice. They have nothing to do with Ferenc Puskás who only played for Budapest Honvéd in Hungary and he has never been to Felcsút. Puskás did have the idea of building a new academy in Hungary though. After his death his widow agreed to name the newly established academy after her late husband.

As I mentioned earlier the club is a bit of an oxymoron. In spite of the name Akadémia (Hungarian for Academy) they only have a few homegrown players and their squad mainly consists of older Hungarian players and foreigners.

Fun fact:
Pancho Aréna's capacity is more than double that of Felcsút's population. Many hungarians aren't only hostile to the club because of the name, but also because of the current government party (Fidesz) being close to the club, such as Viktor Orbán (current prime minister of Hungary) and Lőrinc Mészáros (the owner of Puskás Academy, friend of Orbán and the richest man in Hungary).

Wow… I can really pick them....

Other than (of course) having to adhere to the board’s expectations both in the short run and the long run, I’ve decided to set up some expectations for myself (or my dashing avatar of a manager) that I will try to work towards.

For the short term (two seasons) I want to:
  • solidify the club’s position at the top of the league
  • Win a domestic trophy within the first two seasons at the club
  • Try to reach beyond the third qualifying round of the Europa League within the first two seasons at the club

For the long term (five seasons) I want to:
  • Win a league title
  • Qualify for the Europa League (group stage)
  • Build towards having a team of only hungarian players
  • Grow the fan base to match the club’s league status

I think those are fairly ambitious goals to have for the club. I’m not one of those managers who can take a Conference North/South team to five consecutive promotions and a Premier League title in a total of six seasons. I’m not a tactical mastermind!

As I mentioned earlier I also want to work towards making the OTP BANK Liga a top five league in Europe (building a nation), but that will be a much longer time frame than five seasons! (We’ll see how we get on).

Season One - First Half of the Season
I was nervous going into the first couple of league games of the season to say the least. Our pre-season friendlies didn’t really go as planned. I knew - from previous experience - that pre-season friendlies are mostly about getting the team to gel and build up tactical familiarity.

Tactically I started out applying a 4-2-3-1 with a conventional winger on the right side (Slagveer) and an inverted winger cutting in from the left (Kiss). Due to this setup I wanted an overlapping attacking fullback on the left with a more defensive/supportive fullback on the right. I’m not overly fond of using wingbacks as it tends to expose the back areas and with my centre backs (Thomas Meißner and Kamen Hadzhiev) being somewhat “slow” I knew they wouldn’t be able to cover the entire defense (hence the flat four at the back). I noticed during the pre-season friendlies that we still seemed exposed when the opposition was on the counter attack and lumping the ball forward. To me it looked as though there was too much space between the midfield and the defense. I didn’t want to push the back line higher up the pitch as I didn’t think our big centre backs fitted that sort of high pressing line and with only one striker up front (starting out with Băluță) I didn’t want to drop the midfield and attack deeper as it would mean that we couldn’t apply immediate pressure after being dispossessed.

Instead I tried dropping one of my CM’s into a DM with the hope that it would “link up” the area between midfield and defense - so an asymmetrical 4-2-3-1. I dropped the CM to DM on the left side of the two-man pairing to provide extra cover behind the overlapping left back and set the role to a “ball winning midfielder” on support. In previous versions of FM I have refrained from using that role as I noticed that it usually meant that the player would rush forward as soon as we’d lose possession and expose the team if the ball couldn’t be won back.

I also decided on opting between a “Balanced” and “Positive” style of play. “Balanced” for being underdogs at home and favourites away and “Positive” for when we’re favourites at home.

It ended up looking as follows:

I tried going for a defensive 4-2-1-3 with two DM’s for when we were massive underdogs, but the main problem with this tactical style has been that we never created anything going forward - xG usually surmounting to 0.0 after the first half. I’ve decided to abandon that tactic (somewhat) and instead going for a flat 4-4-2 direct counter attacking style which has been a good decision. Just having the mentality to sit a bit deeper and break the opponents play at the right time and sending the two strikers has helped us with creating something while being underdogs.

For standout performances I want to mention Antonio Mance and Alexandru Băluță. Mance being the league top goalscorer for the first half of the season with Băluță being the creative mastermind right behind him. They have a good partnership and Alexandru Băluță has great versatility which means we can play him up front as a striker, out on the wings or in the attacking midfielder position.

As for worrying performances I have to mention, Roland Szolnoki, Márton Radics and Bojan Saranov. Both Szolnoki and Radics can play as a DM and RB. I’ve had to play them as RB, but they’ve just been too inconsistent for me to trust them as long term solutions in that position and I think I have to start looking at alternatives already after half a season. Saranov was brought in on a free transfer to be my first choice goalkeeper. Stat wise he should be a better choice than Balázs Tóth, but again.. just too inconsistent and I’m already thinking about moving him on in the summer and giving Balázs Tóth and Martin Auerbach the nod.

League Table
The tactic setup seems to have worked:

As the league table shows after the first half of the season we sit in 2nd place having only lost two - home and away against Ferencvarosi TC. What really annoyed me about the away loss (5-2) was that we were actually down 2-0 at half time, but pulled it back to 2-2. I then decided against going with our defensive tactic which meant that we exposed ourselves completely at the back and they scored three goals in the last 7 minutes of the game. The loss at home happened due to not being clinical with our finishing.

I guess it’s fair that Ferencvarosi TC are in 1st place. It would feel a bit like daylight robbery if we would’ve been in 1st place after the first half of the season.

I guess we’ll just focus on cementing our league position and hope that we can keep the likes of Fehérvár FC (Videoton FC) below us. For european football it doesn’t matter if we finish 2nd or 3rd, but I’d still want us to finish 2nd (that extra £ 50,000…)

Europa League
There’s not much to mention really. The board had set a goal of reaching the third round of qualification and we got knocked out by FC Copenhagen 2-1 (away) in the third round. We actually played well and they didn’t seal the deal until the 116th minute in extra time. Our legs had gone at that point so it was all down to hope… Unfortunately for us it wasn’t enough.

I will mention though that we actually beat MŠK Žilina 3-0 in the second round. I was elated with that result! Fantastic performance all around.

Maybe we’ll aim at getting one round further next season.

Here’s how our games played have panned out for the first half of the season:

Only two transfers in: Bojan Saranov and Barış Atik have been brought in on free transfers (I’ve already mentioned Saranov). Atik was brought in because Josip Knežević was out for 3 months with an injury from pre-season. Atik can play the same positions as Knežević - LM, AML, AMC, CM). He’s been doing well and scoring a few goals. Haven’t set the world alight though, but a solid cover option for when Jakub Plšek, Alexandru Băluță or Tamás Kiss needs a break.

In terms of future transfer plans I’m not looking to bring anyone in unless we have an injury crisis. I’m merely looking at contract renewals and giving our young players a chance. I’m currently looking at more game time for Gabór Sipos, Marius Corbu, Martin Auerbach, Vajk Gazdag, Hosszú Zétény and Dominik Kocsis.

I tried to renew Kamen Hadzhiev’s contract, but he wanted four years. Him being 29 meant that I only wanted to give him two years so we just couldn’t agree and it looks as though he’ll leave at the end of the season. When the league comes to a close I’ll try and offer him a two year deal. If he says “no” then so be it.

If there is anything else you’d like to now then please ask in the comments and I’ll try and answer your question. If there is a particular screen shot you’d like to see then ask for it and I’ll try to see if I can provide it.

See you in half a season!
going well mate. Im also doing a build a nation save with puskas so ill be following this with interest!
Welcome to the site and the Stories section mate. I enjoy reading your posts and look forward to more! Whilst I dislike the club, I'm happy to put that aside for you. ;) You can be pretty happy with your start I think!
End of Season One - A Bittersweet Victory
OTP Bank Liga
As the headline suggests we won the OTP Bank Liga in season one.

Now I know what you’re going to say: “That’s amazing!”, “Congratulations!”, “You cheated!” and so on.

(I didn’t cheat just so you know)

To be perfectly fair I don’t think we deserved it and I definitely wasn’t aiming at winning the league in the first season as it puts too much pressure on us at the moment. We’re not in a position where we can expect to defend a league title and I worry now that the board will expect us to do so on a miniscule budget. As I’m writing this update the board has yet to reveal the expectations for the coming season. If I’m lucky and the long term expectations haven’t changed I’ll have one more season before I “have to” compete for silverware.

If you look at the entire league over a season we did deserve to win as we were the team with the most points after the final game (that’s usually how football leagues work), but still… We played Ferencvárosi TC three times in the league (away, home and away) and lost all three (5-2, 0-1, 1-0) so looking purely at head-to-head, they deserved it. Other than that they’re probably the best team to represent Hungary in european football (Champions League, Europa League) as they’re the most reputable team in the league at the moment.

Ferencvárosi TC also deserve credit for their run in the Europa League. Even though they didn’t advance from the group stage their performance still managed to secure an increased reputation for the OTP Bank Liga - from 39th place in Europe to 38th place.

So a huge “Thank you!” from us at Puskás Akadémia to Ferencvárosi TC - great job guys.

Our Cup Run…
Initially the board expected us to reach the quarterfinals. I thought this to be doable (I even thought we could win the bloody thing…)

Boy was I wrong about that…

I drew FC Ajka from Nemzeti Bajnokság II in the fourth round. At the time of the draw they were in 10th place. On paper, this should’ve been an easy one. We were in 2nd place in the top flight and they were a mid table team in the league below us. The game would take place at the Pancho Aréna.

I decided to rest a couple of our first team players and give some of the reserves a runout. Throughout the entire season I made sure to rotate the first team squad and to schedule friendlies for our reserve squad to keep the players match fit at all times (as you do). I didn’t field an entire team of reserves for this game, but mixed it up a bit.

In the 9th minute they were awarded a “dubious” penalty after a tackle byt Zsolt Nagy (LB) (no VAR on this one). The referee then proceeded to show Nagy a straight red card. Now I thought that the “Football Laws” had been rewritten to make sure that a team couldn’t be “double punished” when a penalty was awarded (I might be mistaken). They score the penalty and we end up losing 1-4 at home to a team ranked 20 places lower than us in the league system. Complete and utter collapse.

I had no idea how to react to what was happening on the pitch or how to process the game afterwards. I still don’t. To see the team collapse in that way… I guess it was just one of those days.

On recommendation from my assistant I decided to appeal the ban which we won. Even though Nagy primarily is a back up option and him being banned didn’t have too much effect on our league campaign it was a matter of principle.

So all in all we were knocked out just before reaching the board’s minimum target. The board was upset to say the least and I half expected to get sacked. Luckily I didn’t.

In terms of transfers we only brought in one player during the January transfer window, Adrian Barisic. A young CB with good potential. He was brought in for £57 (yes that’s right) as a potential future first team option. He’s been given a couple of games here and there as part of rotation, but I’m looking into giving him more first team football next season (I’ll give him some game time in the friendlies and see how he does).

On the “outs” I decided to transferlist Josip Knežević. He was complaining about getting demoted to a “squad player”, and wouldn’t accept my decision. As of yet he is still with us though.

As for my summer transfer plans I’m looking at getting another DM in as competition/cover for Josef Urblík. Yoell Van Nieff can play in that position, but he’s my first choice LB. Márton Radics can also play in that position, but he’s been out injured for a large part of the second half of the season and he’s primarily acted as my RB cover option.

Ideally I want to bring in a proper RB as well, however I’m also looking at giving Hosszú Zétény more first team football. He’s been developing well, but he’s missing a few core stats and that worries me.

Antonio Mance (on loan from NK Osijek) ended up being top goalscorer in the league. Ideally I want to get him in on loan again for the next season, but it is looking as though that won’t be possible as NK Osijek wants him for a first team option. As I’m writing this we’ve enquired about the possibility of an extension on the loan. If we don’t get him I’ll have to look into playing either Alexandru Băluță, Barış Atik, Weslen Junior or Marius Corbu up front which definitely won’t be an ideal situation.

The Board has set an initial transfer budget of £850,000 which limits our possibilities of getting a striker. I’m going to have to scour the market for a cheap option, a loanee or trust in one of my own players to get the goals.

We were able to renew Kamen Hadzhiev’s contract as well. He must’ve realized he was being a complete pillock and accepted a two year contract extension. He’s had a great season playing alongside Thomas Meißner so all in all I’m happy with getting him to agree to a two year deal. He’ll be with us until he’s 31-32 and then that’ll probably be it. We’ll see when the time comes.

Youth Intake
Excitement filled the air when I saw the message in the inbox about the youth intake!

♬“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”♬

Elation filled me as I read those magic words “a golden generation.”

Hmm... well… “golden” might be a bit of a stretch…

Four players in total look promising:

I mostly like the look of Sergiu Ion (great last name by the way!) and Sorin Veres.Sergiu Ion has the potential to challenge for the spot of first-choice goalkeeper and Sorin Veres has already played a few games for the first team (coming on as a sub) in the AMC spot. The two LB’s look good, however stat wise they’re too defensive and not really suited for an overlapping role. I’ll keep a keen eye on them and evaluate them as the season progresses, but for now they’ll stay as u19’s.

I’ll test Sergiu Ion as a goalkeeper during the pre-season friendlies, but I’m also looking to test out Martin Auerbach. Stat wise he’s a better option than Balázs Tóth, however he hasn’t looked the better choice when given the option.

Expectations for season two
OTP Bank Liga
Ideally I want us to challenge for the league title again however it might not be possible as I expect Ferencvarosi TC to strengthen their squad considerably for the coming season. More than we’re able to anyway. I’d be happy with a top three finish.

It’s all about the bigger picture.

Magyar Kupa
As for the Magyar Kupa I'd want to reach the semi final. perhaps even the final as I feel like our squad depth is good enough to do so. I think the board still expects us to reach the quarter final, but I want to do better than the first season. A lot better in fact - perhaps We’ll be able to get revenge over FC Ajka as well.

Now for the big one - Champions League…

Champions League
In an ideal world we are able to qualify for the Europa League through our participation in the Champions League qualifications. That would be the dream. However I know that it’ll be a stretch to think that would be a possibility.

Realistically we should be aiming for the third round of qualification.

(Third round might be enough to qualify for the Europa League. I’m not entirely sure how it works out, but I guess I’ll find out as we start our campaign.)

That’ll be it for this update. Let me know if there’s anything else you want to know and I shall try and provide you with the information.

See you in half a season!
I remember this club when I did a save with Honvéd in FM14 or 15. Interesting to see how they evolved
I don't know what's the biggest achievement here, winning the league or having a successful appeal?! :D

Congratulations on a fantastic season. You're absolutely right to expect a tough campaign ahead but if you can use the budget you have, albeit small, effectively, who knows?

Fingers crossed you can successfully bring Mance back somehow!
Season Two - First Half of the Season

Oh boy…

We have a lot to talk about. Let’s start with the big one shall we!

Champions League

♫”These are the best teams, They are the best teams, The main event, The Masters, The best, The biggest teams, The Champions, A big gathering, A big sports event, The main event, They are the best, They are the best, These are the champions”♫ - You can’t help but sing this in your best high pitched choir boy voice! (my daughter now hates me).

We entered the competition in the Champions League Champions Path First Round where we played FC Sheriff Tiraspol. We played the first leg at home and won 2-0. I thought we looked a bit shaky. You could see that this was the “first game” after the summer holiday having really only played one friendly beforehand. We traveled to Moldova to play the second leg a week or so later, where we lost 2-1. In all honesty it was a completely fair result. I did have some hopes of us reaching the Europa League Group Stages through the Champions League Playoffs, but playing like we did in Moldova… felt like a stretch.

Our next opponent in the Champions League Champions Path Second Round was CSKA Sofia and I really didn’t expect us to advance from this one. They play in the Bulgarian top flight and five days ago (in real life) they managed to beat AS Roma 3-1 at home (even though they’ve been eliminated from their Europa League Group). We won 5-0 at home! I was amazed with just how well we played. We made it look easy. I decided to rest a couple of players for the Second Leg away in Bulgaria where we drew 1-1.

Next up in the Champions League Champions Path Third Round was Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (HJK Helsinki) from Finland. A club you always see somewhere in the Playoffs, but who never really make it all the way to the Group Stages. I would’ve placed us at around the same level as them, but felt like we could beat them over the course of two games. We won 1-0 at home and drew 1-1 away. I did feel as though they could’ve done more and we slowed down for the latter part of the second game away - even dropping our wingers into wide midfielders and lowering the tempo to conserve energy. This meant that we were now one round (two games) from the Champions League Group Stage.

And who do we get?

SK Slavia Praha…

This was one of the worst draws we could get (them and Celtic) and I thought to myself: “At least we get to play Europa League football.” We took them on at home in the first leg. I felt like we could probably get something from the first game. Their season had started a little bit later than ours. Our players were more fit and ready and at this point our team cohesion was stellar to say the least. We won 2-1 at home playing some excellent football along the way. Now the optimist in me said: “WE CAN DO THIS!” where as the pragmatic in me said: “2-0 loss away and no Champions League for us.” Now I couldn’t possibly allow myself to think that we deserved a place in the group stages. Granted we were excellent in the qualifications, but on stature alone, we didn’t belong in the Champions League (not yet).

We won 1-0 away…

I was over the moon! The most proud I’ve ever been playing Football Manager! Seeing that £13.5 million going straight into the bank balance felt fantastic. This would set us up for the near future financially.

Group Stages
Our group (Group D) consisted of:

Liverpool F.C.
Olympique Lyonnais
FC internazionale Milano
Puskás Akadémia FC

I will say that I’d hoped for an easier group than this and we did end up losing every single one of our games. I was happy with our away game against Olympique Lyonnais where we lost 3-1 and our home games against Olympique Lyonnais and FC Internazionale Milano where we only lost 2-1 in both of them.

Liverpool F.C. smashed us 4-0 home and away... meh... what can you really do?

Nevertheless. The point of us being there was never to compete. We only really wanted to show a hungarian side in the competition in the hopes of increasing the reputation. I hope this will at least do something to the reputation of the league, but really.. we’re playing a long game here so it’s all about consistency.

League Table
As of now the league table looks like this:

Ignore the fact that I’d played two extra matches before taking the screenshot (I got a bit eager).

We’ve been flying having only lost two games for the first half of the season. We lost 1-0 at home to Ferencvárosi TC and 2-0 away against Videoton FC. We really should’ve one against Ferencvárosi TC as we were by far the better team on the day. Against Videoton FC… meh… they just outplayed us and wanted it more. Unlucky, but I didn’t expect the three points.

I also want to say that we actually beat Ferencvárosi TC 1-0 away deploying a defensive 4-2-1-3 DM tactic soaking up pressure for the entirety of the game and just rolled with the punches. Most satisfying win so far for me. Having lost 4 of 4 up until that point and then winning away. Fantastic feeling!

Magyar Kupa
As I’m writing this we’re still in the cup. We haven’t faced any teams from the top flight yet so not much to write about here.

I’ve just been rotating the team on a regular basis and played the youngsters/reserves in the cup. As soon as we get to the latter stages I’ll take it a bit more seriously. Besides, the board expects us to reach the semi finals so… I think the expectations are set too high for the cup as I don’t see it as beneficial for the club at this time, but it’s silverware so…

We’ve only brought in two players in the summer transfer window.

We bought Jacob Christensen from FC Nordsjælland for £75,000:

He was brought in as a rotation option for Jozef Urblík. Stat wise he’s a better player, but I meant to rotate the two on a regular basis. HOWEVER!

Jozef Urblík is out for 8 months with damaged cruciate ligaments… Guess who just secured himself a regular spot in the first team!

We also got Antonio Mance in on loan again for the full season:

He’s been banging them in for us and is currently outperforming his xG. I sort of want to get him in on a permanent deal, but he could very well end up being too expensive for us and I really want to avoid adding any “sentimental value” to a possible deal.

If you have any input I’d love to hear it!

Other than those two players, we’ve just offloaded a ton of players who weren’t going to get into the first team.

I wanted to add this one before wrapping up the update. I tried to cut some of the reserve and u19 staff before the summer, but somehow a lot of them ended up being offered deals even though I have control of all staff signings (I checked under the “Responsibility” tab under “Staff” in game). Am I missing something here?

I asked for a second physio after the Champions League Qualifications which I got, so… Yay!

Player Update
I quickly wanted to show the following players:

Adrian Barisic:

Sorin Veres:

Sergiu Ion:

All three are developing well and Sorin Veres is currently out on loan for half a season. I’m really happy with my £57 buy of Adrian Barisic! He’ll probably be a first team regular next season as everything stands now. Contract negotiations with Thomas Meißner broke down and it looks as though he’ll leave at the end of the season. I was prepared to pay the wage demands, but he wanted a four year deal. Being 30 at the time I didn’t want to offer more than two years and he turned that down. A real shame as he’s been excellent this season for us, but I can’t give a four year deal at this point in his career and I have faith in Adrian Barisic.

That’ll be all from me. If you have any questions or comments feel free to voice them!

See you in half a season!
A valiant effort in the Champions League after an excellent run in qualifying. You were always set to struggle in such a difficult group. Elsewhere things are looking pretty rosy and it's great to see Mance back at the club even if it's only on an extended loan basis.
End of Season Two - The Beginning of an Era
I really do feel like we’re building something here!

OTP Bank Liga
We won the OTP Bank Liga Again!

This season we defended the league title in style and it never looked like we were going to slip up during the season. Nine points clear of Ferencvarosi TC and a mind numbing 26 points to Videoton F.C. in third place. It’s looking like we - along with Ferencvarosi TC - have created a proper difference in quality - as of now it really feels like “Us” and “Them”.

You could argue that we’re at a point where we can focus more on our performances in Europe and less on the league. HOWEVER! Currently only a first place finish gives access to the Champions League Qualifications with second place sending you to the Europa League. If we want to build a nation and also build Puskás Akadémia FC into one of the top teams in Europe (why else would you play Football Manager) we have to continually get Champions League football - Get that £££ in the bank! While writing this I haven’t seen if our and Ferencvarosi TC’s performance in Europe have strengthened the league in the European rankings. I think we’re still 38th when it comes to leagues, but we reached the group stage in the Champions League and Ferencvarosi TC reached the group stage of the Europa League - it has to count for something (I hope).

It was a bit of a let down when we won the league. It was secured after we’d already played as Ferencvarosi TC dropped points in their game. The ceremony came the next match where we were away against Mezokövesdi SE winning 3-0 - a match that also sealed their relegation to the second division. I kind of wanted to get it for the final game of the season at home versus our rivals from Budapest Honved (we won 3-0), but everything was pretty much wrapped up at that point.

The Table ended up looking like this.

As you can see there are two pretty dominant sides in the league right now. Hopefully that’ll change down the line and it’ll be more competitive as the level teams around us rises - slowly but steadily.

Magyar Kupa
The board set the objective which was reaching the semi finals of the cup which we accomplished. We drew Ferencvarosi TC and started at home where we won 2-1. I was really annoyed with them scoring that one goal towards the end of the game (I knew it would come back to haunt us). We were by far the better team, but at the end of the day we weren’t able to keep that clean sheet. We ended up losing 2-0 away. We deployed our defensive 4-2-1-3 DM tactic, which had been helpful in our away game earlier in the season. We went down 1-0 after 3 minutes and I knew that we had to chase that one goal. Since we weren’t able to create anything in the first half I switched to our normal 4-2-3-1 asymmetric tactic at half time. After the hour mark they scored again making it 2-0 so we desperately threw everything we had at them, but nothing happened. At the end of the day it was deserved that they went through to the final where they also won.

We completed our goal so I wasn’t too frustrated with the result. Cups are always a difficult one as you have to perform on the day. If your players don’t perform or the tactic doesn’t work. That’s it. You’re out.

I had hoped to meet them in the final, but it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe next season.

Player Review and thoughts on future transfers
Let’s start with the ones who performed above expectations.

Antonio Mance was once again crowned top goalscorer in the OTP Bank Liga. He performed above his xG both in the league and in the cup though he didn’t score as many goals as he did last season. I hope to once again get him on loan for another season which will mean that he’s been on loan with the club for a total of three seasons. The reason why I continue to loan him is because we haven’t had the money to sign him and if I can continually get him on a loan deal I’ll do that until the finances are right.

Artem Favorov came back from being on a season long loan with Zalaegerszegi TC. He was already on loan before I took over management of the club. He’s had a great season and has been a perfect stand in for Jakub Plsek when he’s been out injured or just for rotation in general. Stat wise Plsek is the better player, but on performance there really hasn’t been much difference between the pair.

Jakub Plsek has performed as well as Favorov however he’s had a few matches over the course of the season where he just didn’t turn up. His season average has been similar to Favorov’s, but he’s turned 28 so he should be in his prime by now. If he isn’t more consistent in this coming season I’ll probably have to look into moving him on.

Balázs Tóth managed to get 22 clean sheets in a season. What more is there to say? of course it all comes down to the entire defense doing their part, but 22 clean sheets! I’ll get into the problem with Balazs Tóth later when discussing possible transfers.

Adrian Barisic consistently showed why he’s destined for a first team spot next season. Throughout the entire season he was solid at the back and kept Hadzhiev more or less out of the first team. He’s really developed into my favourite player and I can’t wait to see what he’ll be able to do for us in the long run.

Now… who’s not lived up to expectations then?

Tamas Kiss’ performances have really started to get on my nerves. He started out well for the first month or two, but after that it was bang average with a few poor performances. He never really seems to get above a 6.7 match rating and mostly averages out at around 6.5. He’s been disappointing for two seasons now and I’m starting to think that he needs to move on. He’s still young though and has potential so to me he deserves one more season to prove himself. At the beginning of this season he attracted some attention from a few clubs in the English Championship and he did kick up a fuss when I rejected some of the bids that came in for him - the offers were a third of his in game market value so I was never going to accept the bids no matter how much he complained. As of right now he’s still wanted by a few clubs, but nothing official has come in. He is coming up on the last year of his contract so from a sheer “value” POV I have to offer him a new contract. I do have a feeling though, that he’ll not be with us when the next update goes live.

Roland Szolnoki has been our first choice RB for two seasons now and I’ve never been impressed with his performances. Over the course of two seasons I think I’ve only seen him deliver a 7 or above in match ratings. He’s turned 30 and has one year left on his contract. He just isn’t good enough for where we’re heading and I do feel like just running down his contract and not offering him a new one. The only problem is that he’s club captain and a team leader in the dressing room. Our vice-captain is Jozef Urblík, but he’s been out for 8 months with an injury so he’s no longer considered a team leader. His contract also runs out in a year and I’m not keen on renewing his contract either. This will be a problem that I’ll have to solve.

On another note my coaches have voiced a “concern” about Sorin Veres’ development as He’s been demoted to “future OTP Bank Liga player” from “Future star player”. I knew that he wasn’t going to end up being one of the world beater wonderkids, but I had hoped for more. He’s still only 18 so plenty of room for development

What to do with transfers then?

Well we have over £16 million to play with so there is some room to do something.

I have to get a RB who’s able to bring the ball forward and support Luciano Slagveer on the right wing. A RB is a must for this upcoming season. I’ve been looking at three RBs - all being fairly similar in types. One of them is younger, but also considerably worse than the other two. Of the two I’m considering the most one of them is a bit better going forward whereas the other one is a bit more defensively minded. Now you might be saying “Well what about Hosszú Zétény? You spoke about giving him a chance in the first half season review” - Right.. yes.. Well he does have potential and ok stats, however his composure and concentration are just too low. I can’t play a RB with a 4 in composure. That’s simply just too scary. He’s been out on loan for the second season performing… average. I’m looking into loaning him out again to see if we can do something about that composure.

I’ll also be looking at another CB as both Hadzhiev and Meißner take the journey into their 30’s (nothing wrong with being 30!!). Ideally I’ll look for a free transfer, but I haven’t really found one yet. We did get Meißner to agree on a two year contract so he’ll be with us until he’s 32 and then that’ll be it.

Ideally I’d also want a second striker option. If Antonio Mance is out injured we’re banging trouble. Băluță doesn’t work well alone up front. Atik isn’t consistent enough and Lóránd Fülöp who returned from a loan spell at Debreceni last season doesn’t have the best finishing. I might try to look at picking up a young player released by one of the bigger European clubs, but it’s difficult to find one where you know that he’s going to get us goals.

I’m also thinking about another GK. Saranov has been transfer listed (what a fail that turned out to be). Balázs Tóth has of course been fantastic this season for us, but I think there are better options out there for us. Sergiu Ion is my “long term” solution, but I need someone who can step up now as he’s only 17 (turning 18 at the beginning of june). Martin Auerbach hasn’t really developed as much as I’d had hoped for. I’ve decided to try and send Auerbach out on loan to get some competitive football.

Youth Intake
Youth intake was disappointing for this season. The only players that looked somewhat promising are:

Dávid Takács:

Géza Takács:

Peter Kelemen:

Robert Druga:

Pretty average youth players… Peter Kelemn could’ve been something, but being “unambitious” he’ll probably never develop. I hope something better will come through next season as I’m starting to have to rely on transfers to improve the team, which isn’t ideal for me.

Expectations for Season Three
OTP Bank Liga
Ideally I want us to defend our title and I think it’ll definitely be possible. Ferencvarosi TC Decided to sack their manager (Rebrov) so they’ll have to adapt to a new manager at the beginning of the season.

Magyar Kupa
The cup still doesn’t really matter to me, and the board hasn't given me their expectations yet. I expect they’ll want a semifinal again this season. Our squad is deep enough for me to rotate a lot so I wouldn’t see this as impossible. It all depends on when we face Ferencvarosi TC as they are our only real competition.

Champions League
Hopefully we can continue our run in the Champions League and start to slowly improve the league status. A group stage again would probably be too much to hope for, but I’d take a decent run in the Europa League!

That’ll be it for now and I’ll see you in half a season!
Another good update. I'm enjoying this story so far. Congratulations on another league title - you are really impressing and starting to assert a bit of dominance despite only being a couple of seasons in!
2020-12-18 20:26#280004 ScottT : Another good update. I'm enjoying this story so far. Congratulations on another league title - you are really impressing and starting to assert a bit of dominance despite only being a couple of seasons in!

Thank you so much for the feedback! It's always nice to know that someone reads what I'm writing.
Looks like the league will be in the bag for the next years. Looking forward to seeing how the club will progress at a continental level
Season Three - First Half of the Season

God damn it!

I think I’ll start with transfers because there is a lot to talk about.

As you can see from the Transfer History we’ve sold quite a few players. The biggest transfers put have been Adrian Barisic, Baris Atik and Marton Radics.

Adrian Barisic
Bournemouth have been promoted back into the Premier League and already before the second season ended they decided to put in a bid for Barisic. They first came in at around £350,000, but I thought that it was too low compared to his importance for the club now and in the future. We countered a bit back and forth until we ended on £2,500,000 up front with £1,000,000 in clauses. I really didn’t want to see him go, but I also didn’t want to stand in his way as it was an opportunity to play in the Premier League. Given how little we paid for him, it was great value for money. He thanked me for the opportunity and went on his merry way. He currently hasn’t played a single game for Bournemouth for the first half of the season.

Baris Atik
This transfer happened late in the transfer window. They came in with a bid at around £550,000 which was his market value at the time. I just wanted to squeeze a bit more out of them and was lucky enough that they accepted £750,000 up front with another £250,000 in clauses. I decided to sell him on as he was a free transfer in our first season and he never really seemed to be able to stabilise. He was inconsistent and I never found the right position for him. Our coaches also wrote in the reports that he might already be on the decline so it felt like the right time.

Marton Radics
On the final day of the season Brentford came in with a bid for Radics. At that point I felt like I had better options and he’d only ever been a backup option for us. With one year left on his contract a bid that was over his current market value felt as the right decision. He is yet to start in the first team for them.

On the “possible outs” we almost lost Tamas Kiss. He kicked up a huge fuzz when I rejected a bid from Spezia and a Premier League club that I can’t remember. He felt like I had priced him out from a possible move and refused to sign a new contract (his original contract expired in 2023). I refused to let him go at first, but since he only had a year left I got kind of desperate as I did want to make some money on him. In november he decided that he didn’t want to stay mad and the issue was resolved. He’s extended his contract to 2026. I do believe that the board would have been livid if he had left on a free transfer.

We’ve also brought in some new faces!

Martin Vantruba

Martin Vantruba has been brought in as my first choice. I felt like Sergiu Ion was still too young to be a first team regular so he’s been loaned out for the season. Martin Auerbach hasn’t really developed for my second season in charge so I decided to send him out on loan as well. Martin Vantruba is stat wise a much better goalkeeper than Balazs Toth and he’s performed from day one so I couldn’t be happier with the transfer. I hope He can stay with us for one more season before giving the nod to Sergiu Ion if he continues his development.

Craig Halkett

Craig Halkett was brought in on a free transfer to cover for the loss of Barisic.Halkett might be the better player, but he’s also quite a lot older. I think he’s been great value for money and I’m happy with the performances he’s put in for us. I will say that it does seem like an odd transfer. Bringing a single scotsman to Hungary.

Karlo Bartolec

Finally! I found a right back-option. Karlo Bartolec had been transferlisted by FC Copenhagen. I initially had my sights on a different option and had a bid accepted, but at the end of the day he wanted too much money. The player stats were fairly similar and Bartolec was more value for money. He’s been okay, but has out performed Szolnoki in every single way. I’m just happy that after two seasons I finally found a proper right back.

Mohamed Diaby

Mohamed Diaby was brought in on a free because I didn’t feel as though Jacob Christensen was consistent enough. Since Jozef Urblík had been sidelined by injury for an entire season last season I needed an option with a bit of experience. Mohamed Diaby has worked well and I’ve been able to rotate a lot between him and Christensen. Urblík has said he wants to leave as he doesn’t feel as though he can perform on our level anymore so I’ve been looking for a new club for him.

Bryan Dabo

I broke my own rule by bringing this guy in on a free transfer. Being 30 I did feel he might be too old for my set up, but again… great stats for this level. He’s able to play all across the midfield with right back as an option as well. I just couldn’t let this opportunity go so I decided to bring him in. If one of my youth intake players can play DM and is a fantastic player, I might try to sell Dabo at the end of the season.

Ibrahim Sissoko

I was able to - yet again - get Antonio Mance in on a loan deal, but with all the games I anticipated us to play I needed a backup striker-option. Sissoko has been underwhelming to say the least… He’s only really performed well in the Magyar Kupa and if he doesn’t step up in the second half of the season I might end up selling him. REALLY DISAPPOINTED!

Alex Kapakpe, Dominion Obidimma and Malick Sanogo are all players for the future. Cheap options that I’m trying to develop and maybe sell on for a profit some point down the line.

I’m not looking to bring in anymore for the january transfer window as I feel the team is where it should be at the moment.

OTP Bank Liga

As the League Table shows it’s been easy sailing for us.With only three goals against for half a season and one defeat which happened in our final game against Újpest FC away I think we can comfortably say that we’ll win yet again this season.

Champions League


We Played F91 Dudelange… sorry… we smashed F91 Dudelange in the second qualifying round. But then we had to play Young Boys. We drew 2-2 in the first game away from home. We even came back from 2-0 down at half time. Same thing happened in the return leg at home. We went down 2-0 early in the first half, but we were never able to claw it back.

Europa League for us this season…

We went through the qualifiers and ended up qualifying for the group stages and well… see for yourself.


Five 1-0 wins and one 2-0 win. It felt amazing! I do feel it was a tight group with Dynamo Kyiv being the best team in the group. I don’t expect us to go any further and I do fear it won’t help our situation with the league status not qualifying for the Champions League group stages.

I’ll focus on winning the league and getting ready for another jab at the Champions League next season. as mentioned I don’t expect anything more from the Europa League so I’ll take it as it comes.

Magyar Kupa
The board expects us to reach the final… If I don’t run into Ferencvarosi TC it will be doable. I hate the fact that the board keeps on upping the expectations for a cup that has no meaning other than just being “silverware”. I hope it won’t cost me the job if we don’t make it. I’ve been playing the reserves up until now which has worked out. Fingers crossed.

As of now it’s the Qatar World Cup which has extended our winter season break. Not a lot else has happened, so I’ll come back at the end of the season and we’ll see what’s going to happen for us going forward. Hopefully it’ll be more Champions League for the next season!

See you in half a season!

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