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You've been banished to Slovenia, joannes3000! And this time you're staying!

Started on 7 August 2011 by joannes3000
Latest Reply on 30 August 2012 by The FM Rookie
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Right now, I'm just hoping to make a good showing in the qualifying rounds! My goal is to get Mura's finances and fan support high enough to where we can start to attract better talent. We will always be limited to having a maximum of 3 non-EU players, but I'd like to see how we do even with that restriction in place.
http://www.seeklogo.com/images/F/FC_Mura_05_Murska_Sobota-logo-B06740163E-seeklogo.com.gif
Mura 05, 2011-2012

Competitions





Slovenian Cup




Transfers



First Team





Summary

We built upon last season's fantastic run by winning the PrvaLiga in our first season up from promotion! That gives us the chance to play for the Champions Cup next season, although I expect our stay to be a short-lived one. Regardless, the money we win even in a loss should be a huge financial windfall for our team. As mentioned before, I'm hoping that this will be the start of a solid run for us. We obviously have the talent to contend for the PrvaLiga crown and we should only get better.

We had the youngest starting eleven in the league, with our average age being 23. Other than some 30 somethings on defense, the rest of our team is still on the rise and I'm hoping to bolster the team with some quality signings this off season. I'm hoping to turn Mura into a regional force in the next few seasons and to try and scare some of the big boys when we play in the Champions Cup.
Great work with Mura! Hopefully you can reach the Champions League group stage. God luck for the next season.


The draw has been made for the second qualifying phase of the Champions Cup and our opponent will be Legia Warszawa. Legia Warszawa is a very successful Polish football club in real life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legia_Warsaw). It remains to be seen how they are in FM, but from what I can see, they don't look like they will be pushovers. We will play the first leg in front of our home fans before traveling to Poland for the second leg.
Pardon my language, but HOLY SHIT!!!!



First I thought we were dead after Legia scored an early goal. We looked every bit the inferior team and Legia was really taking it to us. Then Milko Kovac did what he always does - he rescued us from the jaws of defeat with a goal 67 minutes in. We still looked like the underdogs, however, and we held on for dear life until extra time.

When we went into extra time I told the team all we needed was one goal and it seemed to pick up their spirits. We started to maintain possession a bit more and managed a few honest attempts at goal. I thought Marko Pokleka had crossed in the game winner with minutes to go before penalties, only to watch the opposing keeper win the aerial battle and come down with the ball in hand.

As for penalties, what can I say that the screen shot doesn't? We got down 1-3 going into the 4th shot and it looked over. Lunder bags a goal in the bottom right corner to give us a shot. Then Marcin Kadja screws a ball wide right to give us a ray of hope. Boris Janev then drills home the equalizer into the bottom left corner. With penalties tied at 6, our keeper Ales Luk blocks his second shot during penalties to set up the dramatic finisher - a goal by Dejan Bozicic that sent the team, the traveling fans, and myself into complete pandemonium.


What a month! We started off our season with a thrilling (as usual) game vs Maribor to take home the Slovenian Super Cup. A game that saw 5 goals scored in the first half became a defensive struggle in the second half as the halftime score held and we won 3-2 on the strength of a Milko Kovac brace.

Then we dove right into Champions Cup play with a spirited 1-1 draw against a Legia team that clearly outclassed us on the pitch. That draw set up the dramatic penalty kick win I just wrote about. We head now into the third qualifying round of the Champions Cup against Slovakian side Zilina. Once again we match up against a team that in RL is one of the better teams in its league (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C5%A0K_%C5%BDilina). We'll hope for a good showing in the home leg and see if we can't tip the apple cart again after the away leg is said and done.

Last but not least, we've got a decent start to league play. We notched a solid mid-week win against Olimpija 2-0 but then looked quite fatigued in a 1-1 draw against Celje. We'll see how we handle things this month as we will have another mess of games due to participation in the Champions Cup - a problem I'm glad to deal with.



joannes3000's avatar Group joannes3000
9 yearsEdited
We did it again!



We came out seemingly more confident in our second matchup of our Champions Cup campaign, and in front of our home crowd we took a reasonable 2-1 lead in the first leg. We knew the crowd was going to be hostile when we played Zilina during the second leg so we adapted a counterattack mentality and focused more on defense.

Andrej Lukac looked to shatter our dreams with a goal in the 51st minute that evened the aggregate score at 2 but gave the lead to Zilina due to away goals. We knew we had to score at least one goal or see our run in the Champions Cup come to an end. Out of nowhere, Erik Janza bagged a goal in the 71st minute and we could dare to dream again! Rok Bragic attempted an ambitious through ball that managed to slice through the unsuspecting defense. All Janza had to do was put a shot past the keeper, but the keeper saved the attempt! Janza quickly collected the rebound, however, and he managed to put away the second attempt. Janza's goal gave us back the aggregate lead and we simply had to play smart football for 20 minutes to achieve the impossible for a second straight round. Here's a link to the goal on youtube.

10 minutes later, the nightmare looked to begin again, however. Matjaz Lunder committed a questionable foul and the ref saw it fitting to issue Lunder his second yellow card of the game to cut us down to 10 men. With the home crowd in a frenzy I went against my typical tactical stance and decided it was time to park the bus. I pulled our poacher in favor of a replacement fullback for Lunder and went with a 441 formation. We went into defense mode and were content to waste away the clock.

We managed to do just that, and here we are looking to
Our next opponents in the Champions Cup will be Sparta Prague. Once again, we will face off with one of the most successful teams in its respective league (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_Sparta_Prague). And once again, we will hope to pull an upset. We begin with the away leg first, this time, and it will be interesting to see how we respond if we fall behind going into the second leg.

Regardless of the outcome, even if we get blown out by Sparta Prague we will still come out winners. Elimination nets us a 3m dollar payout. That's 1.1m dollars more income than we made all of last season. And if we progress? Well that means we'd be headed on to the group stage! That's still a little crazy for me to fathom right now.
Guys, I'll be honest with you. At this point, I have no idea how we're winning these games!



Slava Prague has a talent advantage all over the pitch. We knew that. They knew that. Their fans knew that. I went on the defensive for the first half and was happy to go into halftime with the game scoreless. At halftime I gave my 'you can win this' speech and decided to be a little adventurous to start the second half. We came out playing counter attack football and in the 55th minute, the tactical gamble paid off.

Video link.

As he's always done for us, Milko Kovac comes up with a huge goal in a huge game. Kovac loses his marker, shrugs off his marker again, and then uncorks one from 18 yards. From distance, Kovac unleashes a shot that finds its way home and we find ourselves with a 1-0 advantage going into the home leg against Sparta Prague. We're roughly 90 minutes away from a third upset and a seat in the group stage.
http://kogtraveler.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/applecart.jpg

We're into the group stage!



Looking at the stats you can see how much pressure Slava Prague put on us. From the beginning my plan was to shrink the pitch. We played possessive football and didn't take very many risks at all. Milko Kovac opened up the scoring with a brilliant burst that got him solo against the keeper. Naturally he bagged the goal. Eight minutes later, Matej Perosa threatened to blow the game wide open. Off a free kick, Perosa snuck into the box and drilled one in to give us a 3-0 aggregate lead.

Then we had a moment of bad luck. Boris Bjelkanovic, who has been a rock on defense for us, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. A low cross into the box bounced off his back and into our goal to cut the aggregate down to 3-1. Then three minutes later you could tell that own goal had an effect. There was terrible marking in the box during a corner and Lukas Janos one-timed a shot into the goal.

Going into the half, we held a 1 goal aggregate lead and it was time to park the bus. We played even more cautiously for the last 45 minutes, rarely even making an attacking move unless it was on a counter. The result was uninspired football for a half, but the result was well worth the display - we won and we're headed to the group stage. Our reward for making it this far? A payout of nearly 10.2m dollars. That's fifty times the profit that we made last season (200k).

Here is our draw for the group stage:



August was what dreams are made of.

As I've already written about, we won both sets of games in the Champions Cup and advanced to the Group Stage. We saw off Zilina in the third qualifying stage and then defeated Sparta Prague in the playoff stage.

We also went undefeated in league play to keep pace with Maribor, who have won every game they've played thus far. We're currently in second place, having drawn once, behind by 2 points.



We've been busier in the transfer market this season due to our Champions Cup run and also due to some untimely injuries. I need to find a way to offload the fringe players that we are replacing. We don't have access to a reserve squad so I have a ton of players on the first team that are either old starters/backups that I haven't been able to transfer yet or players that are too old to play on the U18 squad; many of which likely don't have a future with the team.



September was a nice way to bring us back to earth after the highs of August. We managed to beat Maribor 3-2 on their pitch which got us into pole position for the first time this season. We suffered a letdown when we came home, however, as we gave away a game against Domzale that we should have won. We ended up settling for a 1-1 draw.

We handled business the rest of the month during league play as we went on a three game winning streak to stay atop the table. With more than 2/3 of the season remaining, we hold a 1 point lead.



In what was easily the biggest game we've ever hosted, we suffered a spirited 2-3 loss to Shakhtar in group play of the Champions Cup. We didn't wilt in front of the TV cameras or the record crowd, although we didn't exactly slow down Eduardo who netted a hat trick.



Good story and you have a real tough group there, good luck mate. I found playing Europa league football for a few seasons against easier group teams was a great way to build up coefficient points so when I qualified for Champions league groups I was 3rd seed and had a much better chance of picking up points and going through. Being knocked out of the Champions league qualifiers wasn't so bad when I realised I still got to play in the Europa league. The money in the Europa league is scraps in comparison to the Champions though.


Once again, October delivered a subtle reminder of our place in the hierarchy of European football. We are a feel-good story for sure. But we are merely a stepping stone for the real players on the continental scene.

We continued our assault on the league table and have finally wrestled the top spot away from Maribor. We have now pushed our winning streak to 6 games and haven't lost a game yet. Our third game this month was the big one - a head to head matchup against Maribor that handed them their first loss on the year. With that win we hold a 3 point lead with a game in hand.



Our Champions Cup game was another one of joy and frustration. We were actually only down 1-2 with ~30 minutes to go after Milko Kovac scored a goal and it looked like we had snatched the momentum. Then we had a terrible bumble in front of goal where Boris Janev and Ales Luk had a breakdown in communication. The result was Janev tapping the ball back toward Luk, who wasn't expecting the ball. The own-goal gave Sporting CP a 3-1 lead and our deflated team was happy just to see the game end.

Video link.



# Evo : Good story and you have a real tough group there, good luck mate. I found playing Europa league football for a few seasons against easier group teams was a great way to build up coefficient points so when I qualified for Champions league groups I was 3rd seed and had a much better chance of picking up points and going through. Being knocked out of the Champions league qualifiers wasn't so bad when I realised I still got to play in the Europa league. The money in the Europa league is scraps in comparison to the Champions though.

I'm encouraged by the fact that I'm not getting blown out by 5 plus goals. I suppose that has more to do with opponents playing down to my level rather than us playing up to theirs. I'm hoping that the windfall of money that we're going to receive from playing in the Champions League will be enough to really get momentum rolling for us.

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