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[FM13] C.D. Constància: Trading places

C.D. Constància A FM13 LLM dynasty
Started on 28 November 2012 by Northwood
Latest Reply on 10 December 2013 by Northwood
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Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
11 yearsEdited

Trading places

I had seen it so many times before, driving right past it on my way from the airport in Palma to the holiday resort in Alcudia passing Inca every time. But never had I noticed the football stadium and never had I dreamt that this was the place where I was to find my place in the world of football.

It all started back in 2012, first by an accident and then by a misunderstanding. When the rental-car ran over a rabbit on the way back to the hotel from a lazy golf round on one of Mallorca’s many golf courses I found myself in an Inca gas station just outside the practice field of Incas football team CD Constancia. I soon after found myself sitting in the shade watching the small group of players practice on their own. Even with my Spanish being very limited I had no problem following the flow of the practice.

I guess I should have stopped the misunderstanding right there and then, but for some strange reason I decided to play along. When Mr. Antoni Ramis came up to me and presented himself as Chairman of CD Constancia and invited me in to his small office I should told him, but I didn’t. Mr. Ramis excused many times that they had not been able to find me in the airport. What happened next was like a dream and a nightmare happening at the same time. After some small talk about the stat of Spanish football (very good back in 2012) and Danish football (not that great), a paper was put in front of me and a pen in my hand just like that I had signed on as the new manager of the CD Constancia with a monthly salary of € 1.300.

The club president had no problem understanding that I had to leave right away. He also liked to get unpacked before starting a new job and we agreed that I would start my new job the next day at 9 o’clock and get to meet the staff and be presented for the players. In hindsight I guess this would have been another great time to come clean and explain the obvious misunderstanding. But once again I didn’t.

Try to explain to you wife when you get back from a round of holiday golf, that by the way I just got a new job as manager of a small Spanish football club and we need to move to Mallorca for the next year. Of cause I didn’t go down that road and instead lied about another golf round the next morning. That didn’t go over well with the wife either but at least there was no blood.
Nice to see this story starting up again :), Good luck
Atreidas : Nice to see this story starting up again :), Good luck

Thanks for reading Atreidas
Guess we owe it to Stam to get the stories back up and running.
Besides I am almost done with my second season with CD Constancia and got a great story to tell.
Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
11 yearsEdited

CD Constancia: Story time

A FM13 LLM dynasty

With the wife upset over tomorrow mornings “golf-round” I used the nice warm Spanish summer night alone on the balcony with a good glass of Spanish red-wine, reading up on the history of the team I was going to lead in practice for the first time in just a few hours.

CD Constancia was the local team from the small city of Inca. Inca is located in the center of the Spanish island of Mallorca and has a population of close to 26.000.

The football team from Inca was founded all the way back in 1922 by a local aid-group who also wanted to play football. The team played in the regional league on Mallorca for the first years of their existence, but after the Spanish Civil War, CD Constancia benefited from the absence of teams ready to play organized football and was awarded a slot to play in the second division, debuting in the 1939/40 season.

The team finished the season with 6 wins, 2 draws and 6 losses and were relegated but moved back up in 1941/42 season and managed to remain on the second level for another four years.

The team had their best finish in the 1942/43 season when they finished 3rd in the second division and earned a playoff spot for promotion to the best division. The game was played in Estadio Chamartín, the home of Real Madrid before they moved in to Santiago Bernabéu, in Madrid. CD Constancia lost 0-4 to Deportivo Coruña and that was the closest the team ever got to play division one football.

After the 1945 season they were relegated to the 3rd division and remained there until 1961/62 when the team again appeared in division two. This time they stayed up for six seasons but never made it in to the top-10.

Since then CD Constància played all there football in the Third Division Balearic group, except from short periods of time in the Second Division B in 1987/88 and the regional league in 1969/70 and 1990 to 1992. In total they had spent 52 seasons on the 3rd level in the Spanish league system, and before the 2011/12 season they were working on a 24-year streak without winning promotion from the Tercera Division.

In 2011/12 the team won the Tercera Division group XI with 5 points to spare, in front of neighboring city Binissalem in second place. With the 17 other group winners in the Tercera Division from around the country, CD Constancia earned a playoff spot to next year’s Segunda División B. As group winner they were entered into a two-legged series where the nine winners were guaranteed direct promotion.

They were drawn against CP Villarrobledo from the Albacete province. They had won their division by a solid 19 points. The first game was played in Villarrobledo and the Mallorca team was lucky to come away with a 0-0 draw.

In the return leg a week later in Inca, Bernardo Alomar gave Constancia a perfect start with a goal after just 11 minutes. The Constancia team who had only allowed 21 goals in the 38 group matches held on until just 10 minutes were left on the clock at "Nou Camp Inca". CP Villarrobledo equalized and now they were the team ready for the 3rd division on the rule about away goals. Many of the 1000 people watching the game had given up when 5 minutes in to extra time Mateu Ferrer scored the game winner for the Inca team.

After the surprising promotion the Inca newspapers were full of praise for the team and its manager xx xx. But a few weeks after the triumph the story turned serious when the xx-year old manager was hospitalized with a serious heart condition. Mr. xx survived but it quickly became clear that he was I no condition to coach the team in the upcoming season and the team needed a new manager to lead them in to new life in the Spanish 3rd division.

Over the next days the local newspapers mentioned several names as possible candidates for the job as new CD Constancia manager but no matter how much I looked I was not able to find any news confirming the hire of a new GM. Finally I gave up and went to bed.
Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
11 yearsEdited

CD Constancia: Let’s go to work

A FM13 LLM dynasty

In a pair of brand new football boots picked up the night before in the local sporting goods shop in Alcudia, the first practice was easy. It was not very different from all the practices I have had with my 12-year old son’s football team back in Norway. I could use the same drills and just like when coaching the kits it didn’t take me long to get a feel for the team. Who was the leader of the group, who was the natural scorer and who was inn over there head. Unfortunaly there was hardly any in the two first groups and the last group was the biggest.

When club president Mr. Antoni Ramis called me in to his office after 1 ½ hours of practice I felt pretty good about my first morning as a football manager. I handed over the team to my assistance for rundown and stretching and walked to the office

Mr. Ramis was sitting behind the desk looking serious when I dropped down in the chair. He looked at me and said

“I need to know the truth…” –

My heart almost stopped and I could feel the sweet on my forehead. What had I done? What had I said to blow my cover? Had the “real” manager finally showed up and claimed his team? Had my bluff already been called?
Why now when I was just starting to enjoy myself.
Before I had a chance to start to explain that it was all just a huge mistake he continued

“how bad is it?”

“Do we have a chance to stay up this season?”

My heart did a dobbeltake and I had to take an extra breath before answering. First I was just glad I was not busted (yet!). Secondly I suddenly grasped how unprepared I was. Most of the teams we were going to play in a few weeks I had never heard of before, must less watch play. How was I supposed to judge our chances?
Instead I told him what I had seen in practice. That we had a keeper with problems catching the ball, a defends with more holes then, well you know the joke and a midfield as thin as paper. The strikers were solid as long as no one expected them to score goals but beside of those minor details we had a solid team ready to go.

I decided to press my luck and said

“I think we need to buy at least two or three new players before the start of the season”.

Mr. Ramis looks at me and started to laugh. He said

“This is not FM13 where you can just go out and pick up every player you want”.

He continued

“There is only two flaws with you plan.”

“First there is no money left on the transfer budget this year.”

“And secondly we might have a problem with the scouting department”.

To call it a “scouting department” was the overstatement of the year and calling it a problem was the understatement of the century”. In my world a department had to have more than one person employed. Especially when that one person has a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time. How he every got a job in football and especially as a scout is still one of the world’s great mysteries.

Chief Scout Benjamin Calvo
Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
11 yearsEdited

CD Constancia: Square peg in a round hole

A FM13 LLM dynasty

The preseason started out perfectly with a 5-1 win and it all looked easy, but then it all started to come apart. On paper we had the personal to play the 4-2-3-1 formation but in real life it was a whole different matter. The next few preseason games we hardly ever had possession of the ball and when we finally got it we threw it away almost straightaway. He could not produce a goal chance and was outplayed and outscored in every game with the moral dropping like a stone.

Under normal circumstances our disaster of a scout would have been the first person shown the door and a new competent person brought inn. But with no transfer budget and hardly any salary budget I didn’t see the point. We were not going to buy any new players this season anyway and Mr. Benjamin Calvo was only under contract for this year anyway so I decided to let leave him alone and promised myself never to listen to a word he had to say.

Of cause that plan soon came crashing down around me as injuries started to mound up almost from day one.

Already in the first pre-season game our goalkeeper went down and was ruled out for 8-10 weeks. That left us with a 19-year old as the only replacement available on the roster and I was in desperate need to go shopping. Without being able to trust a single word coming out of the mouth of our scout it was like shopping for clothe blindfolded. There was no way of knowing what color and style you had bought before you got home. With no money to actually buy players and hardly any salary budget available it didn’t make a huge difference. I was left to look at player reports for young players with no experience or old journeymen not wanted by anyone and other outcasts.

When it was all set and done we had signed three new players. From Espanyol we borrowed a 24-year old Brazilian ML/AML named Elton Martins. Espanyol would pay the salary and we would promise playing time. Not a bad deal for a team without money in the bank.

We added routine in the defends by signing Toni Soldevilla. He was another former Espanyol player with close to 100 games in the Spanish top division. But that was a long time ago and the now 34-year old players came from obscure jobs in cypress and Russia before he had returned to lower league Spanish football three years ago. Toni was a free agent when we signed him and we agreed on a 1-year contract.

The last player we added was keeper Kiko Moreno. The 21-year old player had spent 3 years with another lower league club Ontinyent without getting any playing time. The last year he had been out of football but now he was suddenly the man we had to trust as the last line of defense.

CD Constancia: Season start

A FM13 LLM dynasty
For the start of the regular season I saw no other option then to go back to basics. So for my first ever game as a manager we trotted out a team in a formation we had never tried in a competitive game before the start of the season. My only hope was that even this football team would be able to master the 4-4-2 formation.

This was also the first time it hit me how overmatched we were. The fine words to the owner almost two months ago about the “solid team” rang in my head and it was all very clear that this was going to be a 40-game-fight-for-every-point-posible if this team were to stay afloat above relegation.

Surprisingly the first month of the season went way above expectations. We found ourselves as the underdog in almost every game and were firmly outplayed most of the time. The opponents not only hardly ever lent us the ball but we also hardly produced any goal chances the few times we actually got possession. Still we came away with eleven points in the seven games the first month and found ourselves around mid-table.
A few losses in early October brought us back to earth but only for a short while until we went on another winningstrek that took us back to 5th place, just outside the promotion playoff spots.

And then it got bad.

That fact that we were a newly promoted team, predicted to fight for survival suddenly hit us full force. In the next two months we struggled and dropped like a stone in the standing. When we reached Christmas we found ourselves in 14th place just 8 points clear of relegation-playoffs.

This was not the nice and sunny Mallorca I was use to.
Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
11 yearsEdited

CD Constancia: Halfway point

A FM13 LLM dynasty

The problems were not only on the field. The board had to pump €70.000 in to the club and we were losing money at an alarming rate. We had nothing to sell and no players were willing to take a pay cut.

Still I decided it was time to act. Despite the terrible economy I actually had a bit of wiggle room in the wage budget and that gave me an opportunity to strengthen the roster with a few cheap free agents. With no scouting help and a very limited budget I went to work. First I looked for a scout but was unable to find anyone with the profile I liked, willing to take on the job for the money I was able to offer. Instead I used €375 a week to add a coach for the rest of the year. This would give me time off from doing the actually practicing with the team every day and instead give me time to prepare for games and work to make the team better in other ways.

Then I went to work to strengthen all three lines. On defends I added a 25-year old Rubén Alba. With good marking and decent speed he was a player I could use in all positions on defends. We agreed to pay him €600 pr week.

On the midfield I had quickly come to hate our highest paid player Jaime Molina. He had arrived at the club just weeks before I took over as manager after he was no longer needed by R.C.D Mallorca. He was clearly bitter about being dropped by the big team on Mallorca. For the €1.500 we paid him each week he did nothing but complain, getting injured and put up horrible performances. But he was the only MR I had on the roster and I had been forced to play him.
He was already my main prospect to sell after the season but for now the only thing I could do was to bring inn a young player named Junafer for another €700 pr week, to compete with him.

Finally we added a new striker. With no striker on the squad with a finishing rating over 11 (!!) we desperately needed a player able to put the ball in the goal. Of cause not many of these was available at this time in FA and the few we found would rather be unemployed then take the low-ball salary we could afford to pay them. The best we could do was a 28-year old journeyman Igarki Mayor. For his 14 finishing rating we paid the remaining €750 on our wage budget.

Just a few hours after the transfer deadline had come and gone I got a visit in my office by chairman Antonio Ramis. He was not happy and wanted an explanation on why the club according to his finance department was €977 pr week over the agreed wage budget. I was clueless and pretty sure we were exactly at the limit when I had closed the last deal. After a few hours of numbers crushing the mistake was located. We had promised keeper Kiko Moreno a pay raise after 20 games when we signed him just after I arrived and that incentive had now kicked inn. I had just been caught making another rookie mistake and that did not help on the mood around the front office.

CD Constancia: The final stretch

A FM13 dynasty
In the end of February the bank told us that the club was now €500.00 in debt. What was even worse was that we had only won one single game since New Year (1-5-3) and the squad was getting upset.
The perfect cure for that was a game against rival (and perhaps the worst team in the league) R.C.D Mallorca B. For the first time this season the stadium was more than 10% full as 1015 people showed up for the home game.

We once again gave up an early goal. That was a problem we had struggled with all season and it had come to a point where I had put in a special gameplan for the first half hour of every game with an extra DMC. We equalized five minutes before the half when Francese Fullana scored his 9th goal of the season.

In the halftime speech I channeled my inner Al Pacino and gave my best impression of the inches-speeches and it really helped. In the second half we played the best football we had played all year and easily scored two more goals while for the first time this year dominating the game.

The week after we finally got the snowball rolling and for just the second time this season won back-to-back games. So with nine games left to play the team found itself 8 points and 5 spots clear of relegation.

During the last month of the season the team surprisingly found its winning form and added 16 points in the last seven games. That propelled the team up the standing and when it was all said and done in the middle of May, CD Constancia finished in a stunning 6th place. That was not only a fantastic result but also secured us a spot in next years Spanish Cup competition.

During the second half of the season the board had to step inn several times and save the club from bankruptcy. Investors injected money to help with the clubs running costs several times and at the end of the season a total of €625.00 had been pumped in to the team just to stay afloat. Then it dident help much that the team brought inn a new sponser who was asked to pay the royal sum of €6K for a three year sponsorship. Luckily the club found enough money to renew my contract for another year and bumping the salary up to €1500 pr week.

The last thing I did before starting my holiday was to call the entire training staff (all four of them) in to my office and thank them for a great season. When that was done I told them all that they needed to clean out there offices on the way out as they would not get there contracts renewed for next year. The four men left the office with the knowledge that they would likely never get another job in football.

The next 1 ½ months I used to travel around Spain and watch a lot of football. I concentrated mostly on minor clubs and B-teams and tried to see as many players as possible to be ready and prepared when the new season began. I also took the time to speak to a lot of staff with the hope that some of them would remember me and be interested when I got back to Mallorca and started hiring.

CD Constancia: erase and rewind

A FM13 dynasty
When I got back to Mallorca in the start of July I was ready to go to work and the first point on my agenda was to find some new staff. Compared to the group we employed last season almost anything would be an upgrade but I still found it a struggle to get the people I wanted. I had hugely overestimated the draw of Mallorca and 3rd division football. Many of the people I had talked to just a few weeks earlier suddenly didn’t remember my name when I called them about a job opportunity and some didn’t even answer the phone.

After countless phone calls leading nowhere and several vast of time job interviews I could finally present my staff for the upcoming season. Four rookie-no-names with huge questions marks on there resume but still much better then what we had last year.

During the summer I had also in my head made planes for how I would completely rebuild the player roster for the upcoming season. During the 2012-13 season we had 31 players under contract. Seven of these players were so poor that they never started a single game or even made the 22-man group the entire season. My plan for 2013-14 was to slim the players group to a maximum of 25 players and go with quality instead of quantity.

First the five players with expiring contracts were all let go without a fight. That meant waving goodbye to among others, GK Gaspar who started the season injured and never managed to challenge Kiko Moreno when he got back. DC Toni Soldevilla who was a disappointment after being brought inn around New year and Brazilian ML Elton Martina (loan) who started all season on the left side of the midfield without impressing.

We managed to ship another four players out the door to other clubs for a small profit of €25.5K. That didn’t help me much as hardly any of this money was made available to buy new players. What did help me was that one of the players out the door was Jaime Molina and his team high €1.500 pr week contract.

Still that only left me with a transfer budget of just under €4K and €2.5K pr week in available salary. That meant that I once again was locked out of the transfer market and instead had to pursue free agents and loan players with low wage demands. The only difference this year was that I at least had a scout I could trust.

When the dust had settled we had added five new players to the roster for the start of the season. We made the defends stronger with Damià and Alex Vallejo, both on loan deals from the evil empire aka R.C.D. Mallorca. Another loan player was Jean-Luc Gbayara from Villarreal who was bought inn to play ML.

The last two players were free agents, Carlos Akapo was a 21-year old defender from Equatorial Guinea who had played five international games for his country. We also added some experience in the midfield by adding a 36 year old Siro Darino (Argentina). He had played the last five season in the Spanish second division for Las Palmas and we decided to take a chance on him knowing that he was near the end of his career.
This was not the group of players I had hoped to bring inn before the season but under the circumstances it was the best I could do.

We had a good preseason with wins against opponents from higher divisions, and a 0-0 draw with Barcelona B being the highlight. Still the bookmakers “only” made us 500-1 favorites to win the division and once again placed us in the middle of the relegation fight.

CD Constancia: The definition of insanity

A FM13 LLM dynasty
I was sitting in my office with just a week to the start of the regular season. I had just put down the phone after listening to yet another agent, explaining me why his client preferred to sit on the bench for a B-team with little or no chance of playing time instead of coming to Mallorca and play for CD Constancia. The latest example was a 22-year old left defender called Borjan from Las Palmas. He had now spent four years in Las Palmas without ever getting close to the starting lineup. Still he preferred to stay in Las Palma and watch them play in the second division this season instead of coming to Mallorca and actually play football for CD Constancia in the 3rd division.

I was looking down at the paper in front of me with the 25 names of my current roster desperately looking for ways to improve it. Then it hit me. What if I instead of trying to spend money on player that would only marginally improved the roster I already had. What if I instead used the money to improve the players I already had. The only way to do that was to hire more staff.

I once again went to my rolodex with the names of staff I talked to in the off season. But this time instead of looking for the potential head coaches with good overall stats, I looked for the outsiders and outcasts nobody else wanted. I was looking for the guy who knew everything there is to know about tactics and I would not care that his other attributes was completely hopeless.
I quickly went out and hired two new coaches. Both of them were obscure for most of the football world but both had very high skills in the few places I needed them.

There was also another reason I was looking at the paper with my 25-man roster. The paper had the expiring date of the contract for all the players currently at the club. What it told me was that three of these were loan players that would be gone next season no matter what. Four players were signed to contracts thru 2015 and the remaining 18 players could walk out the door after this season. I had a huge job in front of me resigning all these players and I had to get them to sign without promising them significantly more money or in other ways put our already fragile economy in danger.
This was a disaster waiting to happen. There were no way I could leave this job to anyone else and I just had to get started.

The last paper on my desk was perhaps the most disappointing, It told me that despite taking the team destined for relegation least season and turning it inn to a 6th place team, only 17 people more had decided to by seasons tickets this season, Up from 300 the season before to 317 this season.
my 500th comment! Grats :P

Kind of enjoying this story - although some grammar errors (possibly intentional) like thru, inn, etc, (Through, In)
will be following.
Atreidas : my 500th comment! Grats :P

Kind of enjoying this story - although some grammar errors (possibly intentional) like thru, inn, etc, (Through, In)
will be following.

Sorry about the spelling. :(

Glad you still like the story.

CD Constancia: 1/4

A FM13 LLM dynasty

With a quarter of the season completed (10 games) CD Constancia found themselves in an unfamiliar position. Second in the league standing just a single point behind league leader Levante B. Even with a humiliating 0-4 loss at home to Badalona in the latest game the mood in Inca was positive.

It looked like the move of adding more coaches had a positive effect on the player group. Each week the coaches came back and informed that several players had impressed during training and were getting better footballers. Especially David Karg kept improving.

Of other good news was that the list of players not under contract next season was getting shorter. Ten players had already agreed to new contracts and that without putting the clubs economy in further danger.

The bad news was the economy overall. Apparently it was impossible to get people in Inca to come and watch football. The big stadium Nou Camp d`Inca had still not been 10% full at any time this season despite the team fighting in the top of the league.
One of the few losses had been in the second round of the Spanish cup. That was a mistake as CD Constancia could have used the money from a game against a big name-team in the 3rd or even 4th round.
The board reminded me daily that money was pouring out (€79K in October) and started to hint that player sale might be the way to ease the financial pressure. Starting to sell off my best players was the last thing I needed now.

It also looked like we had made a mistake with Siro Darino. The 37-year old Argentinian was brought in to bring stability to our defensive midfielder, but at this point he had not delivered. A poor 6.49 overall rating had sent him first out of the starting lineup and to the bench and several poor performances at training was now threatening to send him out of the team completely.

A signing that had worked out was Carlos Akapo. It was a proud day in Inca when they could announce their first ever international call up. Maybe it wasn’t Vicente Del Bosque calling but it was still an international call up. The 20 year old Carlos Akapo was called up to the Equatorial Guinea national team to play Zimbabwe and Togo.

CD Constancia: Big deal

A FM13 LLM dynasty
Just around the winter break when the transfer window had opened again we reached the halfway mark and were still hanging with the best in the league. With 34 points (10 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses) we found ourselves just two points out of 4th place.
I also made my first real transfer deal as a CD Constancia manager. All the players I had brought in to this point were either loans or free agent signings. But we had the royal sum of €5K burning a hole in my pocket so now it was time to make a deal. With Jaime Molina out the door we were dangerously thin at MR but I decided to gamble that Juanfer could keep up his excellent form and stay injury free. Instead I went looking for an AMC.

For most of the season we lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Francesc Fullana playing the role as the AMC. He had done an excellent job both last season and this season both creating assists and moving forward scoring goals. He had easily been our best player and he knew that when we sat down and started contract negotiations. His contract was running out at the end of the season and we had already talked to Fullana and his agent twice without getting close to agreeing on a new deal. His salary demands combined with appearance fee and a loyalty bonus was more then we could afford at this time.

In an attempt to both put some pressure on Fullana and his agent and take our precautions in case we didn’t manage to agree on a deal before the end of the season we signed 20-year old AMC Cristian Reyes from Tenerife.

You are reading "[FM13] C.D. Constància: Trading places".

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