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FM22: When September Comes...

Started on 25 October 2021 by FMAfrica
Latest Reply on 3 November 2021 by Harleygator
  • POSTS4
  • VIEWS2481
 
Decided to take the plunge and buy FM22 at the weekend despite not having enough time in my life and having got bored for FM21 pretty quickly. Each year I think I am done and yet each year I come back for more.

Rather than whack this journey on a website I'd thought I'd go for a forum this time as I've never done that before - might be fun.

My typical rule for a save (which I don't always stick to, admittedly) is to go to a new country that I've not managed in before.

I was surprised at how many football-mad places I've not done yet - Poland, Bulgaria, Austria to name just three.

When looking for a club, I like there to be some history that can hook me into a save. It doesn't have to be a massive fallen giant, just enough to get me interested.

I like to have some long, medium and short-term aims when I get cracking too.

So, following a fair whack of research ruling out a couple of interesting second-tier clubs in Austria and Poland I have settled on where I am going.

The Who: Septemvri Sofia - Bulgaria

The Why: Other than being a second-tier club in a country I've not managed in before, I like these boys because they are a smaller side in a city that is dominated by other clubs and the fact they won their FA Cup all the way back in 1960 and nothing at all since. A bit of Wiki research told me that they also finished 5th in the top flight that season, clearly a golden age for them.

They merged with CSKA in the late 60s then unmerged decades later and have had a couple of recent seasons in the top division. Looking at the squad, there's a few decent young players for this level, so something to work with.

The How: Or, more a case of what is the vision?

Naturally, I want to get the club promoted as quickly as possible but to challenge myself a little I want to do it in the simplest way possible. I'm taking it back to the days when there used to be a manager, an assistant, a trainer, a physio and a scout. Nothing more than that. That is how we will roll throughout our time here - no DoF, no analysts, no sports science. None of that, we are going old school.

The aim, as ever for me, is to recruit well on the cheap, develop and sell on. The early signs suggest there are some good young Bulgarian freebies out there and the current process is to get them in on trial and see if I like them - ala Brian Clough back in the day.

The financial side of FM is often overlooked, so once I get my feet under the table in Sofia I want to make sure the club is being run sensibly - living within it's means. I know for a fact that it is already spending more on wages than it should be, so will dive into that once I've seen what a few normal months look like income-wise.

Longer-term, I want to turn this little club into a regular European qualifier with a reputation for selling players on to a higher level and reinvesting that money wisely in better signings. I want to compete with the Sofia big boys, CSKA (x2), Levski and Lokomotiv and also topple Ludgorets from their place at the top of the league currently.

It'll take time, but could well be fun!
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QUICK UPDATE TIME

Life in Sofia is pretty good, I have to say.

12 games in and this what it looks like - the only loss came when the whole team was knackered having lost on pens to Levski in the cup.

[img]https://prnt.sc/1xp44d9[/img]

Litex are clearly the main challengers.

Being completely honest, given I am using a pretty much out-of-the-box 4-2-3-1 formation with a bit of a gegenpress going on and then a shut-up-shop shape for the last ten minutes if we are winning, I am surprised at how easy it has been so far.

We don't have a team of superstars at all - I've added a CB who can play a bit and a couple of lads on loan to give me some depth in a couple of positions but it is basically the squad I was given.

As we know, however, results on the pitch are only a little part of it all - the thing that I am really trying to build out quickly is a scouting process that means we will have visibility on the best options available in the next couple of windows.

The way we are approaching this is pretty basic - I only have one scout and then my assistant manager who has decent judging player attributes.

I'm not wasting money on scouting packages or scouting abroad (we can only have one non-EU player in the squad so no point throwing money down that particular drain) so the way we do it is that every month I make a note to get the scout to send me a team report on each club in our division and then every two months a team report on each team in the league above. This then tells me which players they have which might be interesting to scout further.

Alongside that, I'll be checking the league data at various points and seeing if there are any players that are worth following up.

The issue we have is that right now, we're €650 a week over our wage budget and that's before I've started to get into the finances of the club to see what our actual wage budget should be (FM historically set crazy wage budgets that lead to small clubs being in all kinds of a mess financially). So there's unlikely to be too much movement in come January.

Slowly getting my head around the training side of things, having done a fair whack of reading on how it worked on FM21.

We play Litex in the first match after the winter break (which seems to be early December to early Feb). Not ideal, but then they will be as out-of-practice as we are I suspect.

All in all, it is about as good as it could be right now - let's see if the rumoured amazing new match engine really does kill teams who try and play a high-press all season...
(oh and if anyone can tell me how to actually upload an image here, that would be awesome - thank you!)
FMScout have a specific website you can use, fmshots.com, where you can upload images and click a simple button to copy auto-generated BBCodes to embed them into your posts here. :)

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