Given that the initial team report when I joined suggested that the team were short in the left defender role, it was hardly surprising that my first signing was…a left defender.
Oscar Halburg is a pacey defender, whom despite being a Swedish international representative had been released by Kalmar. He has fantastic physical attributes and some key technical ability. At twenty years old, he embodies the type of young player I crave to inject into the club.
La Liga has rules about the maximum number of goalkeepers registered in any squad being three. With the loss of Juan Carlos, and my thinly veiled disappointment over the other stoppers in the squad, meant that goalkeepers were also high on my priority list. First stop for me was young goalie Koldo Arregi who I had previously signed whilst at Derby. Derby unfortunately, rejected my low ball offers, and conscious of the financial state of the club, I decided against making the offer that they couldn’t refuse.
Soon enough though, my scouts struck what I believe to be paydirt. Damien Gorman was young and Irish, with solid enough stats, but it was the 17 influence attribute which had him signed up quickly. In my mind, I had him pegged for vice captaincy (only on account of the fact that he didn’t speak Spanish; but then again, neither did I).
Chinese (that’s right, Chinese) keeper Gao Longze appeared on my radar when I sent my New Zealand scout to stake out the Asian Champions League. His previous club Dalian released him soon after they were beaten in league games and Stuart Wilson told me “he had the potential to be one of the best players at the club.” That was good enough for me, and the intention would be to have Gorman and Longze share the gloves, or potentially put Longze out on loan. I saw him more as a project player at this stage of his career.
Per Farver, a Danish international, is the type of player that I have not anticipated to bring the club on a free transfer. After eye balling his double digit physical attributes (save acceleration), the 20 for penalty taking, 16 for corners, and 17 for composure, it was only a matter of how much I would need to pay per week to have him at the club.
When the answer was a reasonable 2.7K per week, the only question that needs answering now is who will partner him in Osasuna’s midfield? I now hope to show Brøndby what they have missed by releasing him.
Niclas Nilsson was another young Swede who has come to Osasuna on a free; while released by Premier Side AIK without playing a game, the twenty one year old striker had netted 13 goals for the Swedish under 21 side in twenty games. He has fantastic physical attributes, and while work needs to be done on the technical aspects, he was simply of a class where I had to sign him. The fact that he could cover both wing positions was an added bonus.
Twenty year old Marcin Zakrzewski had parted ways with Polish side Lech. While he is brutish with some of his physical attributes, his 6’4’’ frame make him imposing. While his jacket says that he is a natural left defender, he can also cover wing back (not a position I plan to use), centre back, defensive midfield and midfielder. I believe his role will be that of bench riding enforcer, although I’d be keen on using him as a starting central defender as well.
Adam Rubal represented the French connection, having been released Ligue One side Olympique Lyonnias. Able to cover the striker and both the attacking and central midfield roles sealed his spot on our roster, as well as impressive physical stats and high scores for both the team work and work rate attributes make me think that Rubal is likely to be a workhorse. Two goals in five u-21 appearances is the icing on the cake.
Ruben Beck is a former Basel academy player who can cover both the right and left defensive roles, and while the 20 year old didn’t make an appearance for Basel during his seven year stint, and for a defender 5’8’’ is a little on the small side, with high scores for pace, acceleration and agility, I think this little bloke will be one slippery operator.
would be good to see some screenshots
. whats happened to newcastle united ? hows the A- league Rep ?
just wondering how did u get straight to the year 2021 ??
very interesting story so far aswell
The next three players I owe to being in the right place at the right time. I’d had one of my scouts, Nelson Valdez (who has excellent knowledge of Germany) to the scout the U-19’s, and he came back with a swag of recommendations, but none whose club wanted what I consider to be reasonable compensation. Cue to look elsewhere for young talent, purely because I am careful with money.
So when 1860 München released goalkeeper Johannes Stephan, I leapt on the opportunity to sign the talented eighteen year old. While not as mentally strong as the two other new goalkeeping signings, he has exceptional reflexes. A similar situation occurred when FC Bayern released Rūstel Varol and Holger Bayer, both talented eighteen year old's who could cover central defense, defensive midfield and midfield. Bayer is the better of the two at the moment, and could push for a starting spot, and Varol is another project to be worked on over the next couple of years.
There was also a right back who I expressed interest in signing, but given he already has an agent; who tells me that Offenbach are monitoring his progress, I figured it may be prudent for me to give it a miss.
The German quartet at Osasuna was completed when young central back Steven Schmidt was released from Swiss Super League club Luzern. Schmidt had been on my radar for a while, with strong all round stats, and particularly high attributes in tackling and heading, I thought he was due to be a handful at both ends of the pitch. He had also been a starting fixture for the German U-21 side that had strolled through the Euro U21 Championship Final. Holger Bayer had been a reserve throughout the tournament.
Nineteen year old former Alavés B striker Gontzal Ramos came to us at the end of his contract. A natural left footer and high attributes for dribbling and finishing meant he is a prime candidate for the poaching role.
An eighteen for influence means that he is also the likely starter for the captain’s armband. Most of his physical and mental attributes will need work, but at just nineteen he has time on his side. High scores for off the ball, team work and work rate are pleasing for me, as it illustrates to me he will work hard for the benefit of the team.
Ruben Bottarelli is a twenty four year old specialist in a position which I generally don’t deploy; and when I do, I normally “borrow” the defensively set midfielder and pull him back a notch in the field. As a rule, this action is only taken when I find myself repelling wave after wave of attacking ball from the opposition, or as has happened on more then one occasion, when I have had a central defender sent from the field.
While Botteralli is also a shade older than I would have liked, the expiry of his contract with Torino presented me with an opportunity. With solid, but unspectacular physical stats, what caught my eye was 16 marking, 20 determination, 17 work rate and 16 stamina. I concluded that this was the type of defensive midfielder I would want going up against Messi and others if push came to shove. A tireless worker who mantra is “Never say die.”
Thanks for your comments and glad you are liking the story, I'm trying to play a week or so of where I am in the game, although pre-seasons are always slower, particularly where I am attempting to rebuild the team, one piece at a time!! I have four friendlies before the season proper starts and that will give me a fair idea of where I am, although with the squad I have assembled, I am not likely to win the league within two years, but I'm hoping it'll be a very strong team within four. At the moment, avoid relegation seems about right!
Screenshots will follow after I have had my dinner (thanks for giving me a bit of insight on that score); but in short, the A-League is still very ordinary rep wise, and your beloved Newcastle were able to avoid relegation and remain in the top flight.
To get to Dec 2020 necessitated me starting unemployed, and taking effectively two five year holidays. I've actually enjoyed the unemployed experience so far, I have historically built one club up from lower leagues and to the EPL. Then players become greedy and the charm and innocent of a little BSS club is somewhat lost and I lose interest. The feature to load and remove leagues means I am not limited to whatever I load in the beginning, so it keeps the game fresh for me.
Thanks for your words of encouragement, and I'll load up the EPL table from last season and the rep of the A-League as discussed.
English Prem League 2020/21....
I give you the champions - Man U. The more it changes, the more it stays the same.
And, at the request of Toonman, the reputation of the A-League out of Australia is growing, just not particularly quickly!!
Edit: It finally worked!
Dutchman Melvin Tolido organised a transfer from Tottenham at the end of his contract, having moved to Spurs from Ajax previously. He had made appearances for the Holland U-19, and appeared in two European Championship finals, and lifting the trophy once. He’d also spent time on loan at Ipswich Town whilst at Spurs tells me he has some talent. With excellent scores for tackling and marking he will be a handful to get around and he has a solid all round physical presence from the centre back postion. A quality player to pick up on a free transfer.
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