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[FM13]The Adriatic Adventure [Hajduk Split]

FM 13
Started on 12 May 2013 by tbendis
Latest Reply on 10 August 2015 by tbendis
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tbendis's avatar Group tbendis
11 yearsEdited

Short intro, before I get into my usual writing style...

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the Adriatic Adventure, where yours truly takes Hajduk Split from wherever they are in the footballing world and brings them to the top. In FM11, it took 4 years, for various reasons, but, for the most part, it was because neither Hajduk nor the Croatian league were as mindblowingly terrible as they are now.

You see, if anyone has been following Blue's story, and it seems they were until he kept writing his Sporting CF story, Hajduk kind of doesn't have money... like... at all. And this isn't Wigan which can come out of the blue and pocket 10 million for winning the FA Cup. This is a club which can't make a dime anywhere, and simply has to hope that, somehow, somewhere, Dinamo get dethroned from the top, and Hajduk maybe comes up with something resembling long-term success.

Unfortunately, there isn't the money for even that. See, the club is so destitute that not only can it not buy players to bring in success, but it can't afford to keep the youth players that it creates. An obscene amount of Hajduk faithful had to leave the club before the beginning of the season simply as makeweights so that the Dalmatian club could continue operating in the Croatian first division, and even then, Hajduk still has a deficit of nearly 10 million €, and loans that need to be paid off to add to the woes.
Good luck dethroning Dinamo :)
good luck Tbendis :) will be following closely
Tough challenge ahead! Good luck


MIŠO KRSTI?EVI?, what many had thought was as low as Hajduk could go in terms of financial spending on a manager has been asked to leave the club, and has obliged, as they turn to the "significantly" cheaper option, the 20 year old former-youth-prospect-turned-youth-coach-then-head-coach Mr. Timmy Bendiš.

Krsti?evi? has left, stating that he simply couldn't manage a changing team every year, saying that it wasn't even the board killing the club, but rather the simple lack of money. Unfortunately for Hajduk, without the money they sorely need, no manager will be able to do anything. Bendiš, looks to change all of that.

The 20 year old has taken into account all of his players and is currently considering who is surplus to requirements, and who can be sold. The immediate concern is Ivan Vukovi?, Bendiš's star striker, who is paid 200 000 € per year, and is currently the highest earner at the club. Bendiš does have a significant amount of youth players to replace Vukovi?, but what remains to be seen is whether Vukovi? will be sold, or his 200 000 € will be gambled on winning some trophy, because, without trophies, there will be no money.

Krešo Ljubi?i? has found though, that, money or not, there is no space on the team for him. Josip Radoševi?, a defensive midfielder two year younger, better, and significantly cheaper is the current #6, over Ljubi?i?, who can look forward to another 100 000 € from the club before running out of contract.

Will Bendiš do anything on the transfer market, or will he lock up shop is a question that will need to be answered in the coming weeks, because depending on how he pulls it off, there could be a title campaign, or at the very least, not a total failure, in the coming weeks.


When drilled upon about his tactics, Bendiš was quick to respond. The young Croatian seems to be one of the only youngsters not to be swayed by Barcelona's tiki-taka stupidities, and said "look, we're not going to park the bus, but that doesn't mean we need to let people in defensively. We have a large number of quality players in the back, and, by God, we're going to use them." "There's no sense in just charging in and saying that 'We're good enough for tiki-taka.' We're not. I know my players don't want to hear it, but I'm serious, this is not the time to pretend that I have the best team in the world where everyone can pass like Pirlo, cross like Beckham, defend like Maldini, and shoot like Cantona. We're going to be a responsible team, and we're going to win with it.


Bendiš went on for a bit about how he expects to manage the club, but, most importantly, he has absolutely no idea how to manage the debt of the club. "As long as we keep winning, our player's value will go up, and, maybe, after a few years, we can start buying our home-town heroes back. It's not a happy life, but it is a solvent one, and I don't plan on losing my job and my paycheck

All we can say to the new boss of Dalmatia's favourite club is good luck, and we hope you have a PhD in math or economics, because you're going to need one to manage those books.

Goran Rubil, Ivan Graf, and Jonni Cabrera have all joined Hajduk Split on 2 year contracts to try to give the club a fighting chance at holding their own in the Croatian First Division.

Goran Rubil (31) is a former Hajduk player, and arrives back at the club after an uneventful spell in Greece on a free transfer, earning just over 35 000 € a year. He is thought to tie up the defense, leaving Vršajevi? to be a back-up... as the Bosnian really doesn't deserve a first team spot

Ivan Graf (25) looks to be Malo?a's new second in command in defense, and kind of hints towards what Bendiš is leaning to. Graf is 194 cm tall and built like an ox. Malo?a's (a speedy defender) perfect partner.

Jonni Cabrera (23) is a Paraguayan who is massive. At 198 cm tall, and jumping like someone in the NBA, it looks like Hajduk is building a basketball team. Perhaps that is Bendiš's plan... earn money on the side in the Croatian Basketball League...


Danijel Stojanovi? is the first person who seems to have felt Bendiš's sword. The Bosnian was signed just recently, but, due to his enormous wage, has left to Javor, who elected to pay 50% of it, which is more than nothing, until Hajduk can get rid of the player for good.


What could have been a whole spate of extra income for Hajduk turned into an embarrassing flop for the former giants of the Croatian coast. Hajduk dominated from the first whistle to the last, but the boys from Azerbaijan simply wouldn't have it, and despite the shot count being 46 to 6 over two leags, Länkäran managed to score two goals, and go into the next round.

However, Bendiš stated "We weren't concentrating on the Europa League anyway. It is purely a prestige competition for richer clubs who can afford to send an extra team. Yes, it is nice to have an extra fixture a week, but realistically, we can't afford it right now. If we concentrate on the cup and the league, we might have a chance to get out of this financial hell hole with a Champions League qualification.

"These are all big ifs, and losing isn't a great way to start the season, but hell... give the team a chance. This may be Hajduk's last chance, and I'm certainly not going to waste it"


It seems Bendiš is right though. In between the two legs, Mirko Oremuš led the team to a massive 4-0 victory against challengers NK Lokomotiva, as he scored a marvelous hat-trick. Lokomotiva is Dinamo's feeder club, and, as such, has a bunch of their players, making it quite the strong team.

FILIPPO CAROBBIO (32) is Bendiš's last foray into the transfer market. The Italian has had 32 appearances in the Serie A to his name, namely for Reggina, and is a valuable addition to such a tall squad. Why? He has 18 free kicks and 16 corner kicks. Even if he was dismal at every other part of his game, which he isn't, he'd still be a great player when on the same team as giants like Cabrera, Graf, and Malo?a. Perhaps the season isn't over yet:
Great start m8 :) I loved the first version of The Adriatic Adventure and I will surely be following this one. Good luck ;)

Less than 2500 people bothered to show up as Hajduk came firing all cylinders. It was yet another player of the match performance for Mirko Oremuš, but it was also Mijo ?aktaš, the 20 year old left winger that left smiling. ?aktaš has been playing very well recently, and, Oremuš assisted to Vukovi? off of the post, it was ?aktaš's turn. Oremuš flew up the wing and switched the ball to the left flank, where ?aktaš ran in, to dribble past two opponents and place it into the top right corner of the net.

The goal could only have been matched in quality by Josip Radoševi?'s later strike, when new boy, Filippo Carobbio flung a corner to the middle and found the defensive midfielder lurking outside the box. Radoševi? smacked the ball, leaving the keeper absolutely no chance at all.

(Approximate tactic. Screens of players every once in a while...)
Nice mate! Will follow.
SPLIT 0-1 HAJDUK - ATT. 7 156

6 000 Hajduk fans showed up to the 8 000 capacity ground to cheer for the local derby, where Hajduk continued its improbable run in the 2013 season. While Ivan Vukovi? picked up the only goal of the match, it was Mario Malo?a who grabbed the Man of the Match award from right under his nose.

The award was indicative of the pace of the match though, as Malo?a linked well with the midfield, intercepting many crosses, and, making the crucial pass to Oremuš to assist to Vukovi?. The hardworking winger has performed during many of Hajduk's counter-attacks this season, and this one was no other, as he dashed up the wing before cutting a delightful through ball to the Montenegrin forward, who rounded the keeper for the first, and only goal of the match in the 70th minute.

The only other shot of note was that of Ivica Križanac (formerly of Zenit St. Petersburg) in the 89th, when his header clattered off of the keeper, Goran Blaževi?.

DINAMO DROP ALL THREE POINTS TO SLAVEN BELUPO. As Hajduk were defending their lead down in Split, Dinamo were watching it all slip away in Zagreb, as Slaven Belupo nabbed two goals to gift the Hajduk team the lead in the first division for the first time since 2007. Hajduk, as of this moment, have a three point cushion on Dinamo, yet face oil-refinery-rich (not as rich as Sheikh rich, but still quite nice) Rijeka in the next round.
HAJDUK 1-0 OSIJEK - ATT. 20 291

Hajduk's first real crowd of the season watched Mirko Oremuš run up and down the flank until Vukovi? finall scored. It was all too familiar. Radoševi? got to the ball and flew it up to Oremuš, who, as usual, dashed up the right to the roars of the stands and cut the ball into the middle at the last possible moment. Vukovi? was all too prepared to just tap the ball in for his 3rd league goal of the season.

It is important to note that this is one of the first division's big crowds. It's still nowhere near a sell-out, but Hajduk does know how to fill out Poljud pretty nicely. The fuller it is, the better Hajduk play, and, if they continue like this, they could grab the title yet... seeing as they already have a 3 point lead
Really nicely done so far.
RIJEKA 1-2 HAJDUK - ATT. 4 729
Rijeka had the lead, as former Hajduk player smashed an excellent penalty into the top right corner early on, but Bendiš would have the last word. Instead of Oremuš providing his standard of excellence, Mijo ?aktaš was doing just that, having a hand in both goals after the half, assisting Mirko Oremuš, before taking one for himself in the 80th minute.

?aktaš's excellent performances has recently doubled his value, and Hajduk hopes that, with a year of toying with the youngster, he could become one of their most valuable exports.

Dinamo dropped two more points, as a resilient Istra didn't let the 7 time-in-a-row champions push them around, held strong, and took a valuable point. Dinamo on the other hand lost two, and is now 5 points back on Hajduk, only two weeks before the "Eternal Derby"
HAJDUK 2-0 ZAGREB - ATT. 14 915
Only a week before the big game, and Hajduk are playing like they were 10 years ago.

Zagreb didn't stand a chance, as Ivan Vukovi? got his 4th goal of the season, while Goran Jozinovi?, July's player of the month, grabbed his first. It seems like everyone in the Croatian First divsion is trying to copy some absurd tiki-taka formula, which isn't working very well, to which the young Hajduk manager responded "Look, I don't deal with it. Let the managers deal with it if they want to become Barcelona, but when you are realistic, you're going to do far better than with delusions of grandeur."

Vukovi? seemed to agree, stating after the match "I can't wait to see what Dinamo pull. It really would be a great way to start the season with a win to our greatest rivals, and I only hope I can score the goal..."

"Amateur" Bendiš picks up back-to-back manager of the month awards, smashing the goal difference in July (+6 in two matches) and simply winning everything in August. There were a few difficult fixtures, but September is probably going to be more difficult, as a visit to Zagreb and Maksimir (Dinamo) is on the cards.

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