Update for FM'15 What I Learned at the JD Academy
#1
08-04-2015, 12:29 PM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2015, 03:30 PM by SackedLlaMa.)
So, this will be my first update thread since my long career at Fram Larvik in FM '11. For those of you who aren't familiar with my updates, they are usually long and far between. That's mainly because I take my sweet time finish one season, watching every game in its entirety, and so when I've finally finished a season, I have a hard time summarizing it in just a couple of lines. 

I decided to use some additional guidelines (explained below) I've been playing around with a lot and which I think makes the game more realistic and I'm having a lot of fun with them. NOTE: I'm not insinuating that anyone else should/must play with these guidelines. Only the site's official guidelines are official, and I follow every single one of them. These additional guidelines are guidelines I like to play with, but it doesn't mean anyone else need to or should.

A couple of them I've come up with myself, others I've borrowed from others. In keeping with the whole realism I also decided to start out as close to home as possible (which was actually the original plan back in 2014 which I had completely forgotten about until Soulfusion reminded me. Thanks, mate!), with the newly promoted Norwegian 2nd Division side FK Donn.


Additional Guidelines

- All player attributes are hidden at all times (I can see staff attributes)
- Start without any coaching licenses or previous experience.
- No firing of the current staff at my first/a new club in the first season. Exception: If I have staff I've worked with in previous clubs, I'm allowed to bring them with me, even if that means I have to let staff at the new club go.
- Limit amount of transfers, especially in the first transfer window. Exception: I'm allowed to bring in players for the U19s and replacing players I couldn't keep from leaving (board accepts offers, players without contracts etc). For more details on this guideline, see my post below.
- All players deserve a proper chance of making the final squad; all personel decisions are based on performance and future at the club, not on an assistant's/scout's report.
- Local scouting rules at the lower levels or as long as I can't offer a salary that would justify a player moving cities.
- Stick to the philosophies I believe in during job interviews, even if they conflict with the board's opinion. Basically, don't sell out to land a job.
- Never exceed the wage budget (when there's no more money to hand out, I can't hand out more money, now can I?!).

If this seems like a lot it's worth mentioning that I've accumulated them over a long period of time and several editions of FM. I didn't make them up and then adopt them all at once which I understand seems like a difficult task. 
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

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#2
08-04-2015, 12:37 PM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2015, 12:56 PM by SackedLlaMa.)
"Screw it, I'm Donn"

[Image: 8727.png]
SEASON #1 - 2015
FK DONN
Norwegian 2nd Division, Group 3
(1st - Promoted, 12th-14th - Relegated)

[Image: weststand.jpg]
Kristiansand Stadion, former home of IK Start
Capacity: 15,000 (5,000 seats, the rest includes standing on grass banks...)

Prologue:
FK Donn made their promotion to the 3rd tier in Norwegian football a true Hollywood story; the amateur club that charmed the audience by scoring a ton of goals, scored in overtime to clinch a 2-1 win over Tønsberg, the team that would've won promotion if they'd managed a draw. Since that night in October they hadn't done much to prepare for life in the 2nd division. They hadn't even changed their status from amateur, but the chairman must have been very persuasive as I signed a 1-year pro bono deal. I guess I was also quite excited to manage a club I grew up playing against twice a season as a kid. 


Preseason:
All in all, 21 players are at my disposal and no scouts to find any more. There are a few members of staff lurking around and showing up at backroom meetings and the financial situation should be very positive as we have no salary expenses whatsoever. We're as amateur as we can be, which is also a problem; no players under contract means they can leave at anytime without compensation and with no chance for me to keep them. A few players take advantage of that option, and I'm not able to replace them until I finally sign a scout. It also means that I can't attract players with fat salaries, although that was probably never an option anyway. My scout do however find a couple of replacements wandering the streets of Kristiansand and who are willing to play for free. In preseason I have a lot of fun touring Kristiansand, playing friendlies against my own former club and several of the clubs I played against in my youth. On the field, we're far from impressive and I have a bad feeling about the whole project. 

Regular Season - Part 1
As we're still trying to land that Hollywood deal, we start out by beating local rivals Fløy who are so close by they could've used public transport to get to the game. No calls from Hollywood producers after this game either and demoralized we head into a stretch of 9 games that are inconsistent at best and yields a mixed bag of results. We do collect 13 points though and that is while my players are struggling in training to learn the formation and tactic I'm enforcing upon them. I feel confident we'll start producing as soon as we feel more comfortable in our system. 

If I almost forgot that we were an amateur side during this excellent run of mixed results and cherishing my 13 points, I'm about to become very aware. As the players gel and look more and more comfortable with what they're asked to do, I start experimenting, putting more and more on their fragile, amateur shoulders, and soon they collapse under the pressure. My players are already struggling with fitness, working a full-time job on the side and playing games on the weekend. A couple of injuries, including a long-term injury to our Captain, doesn't help us either and the first part of our 2nd division adventure ends in embarrassment as Vindbjart puts 8 behind my goalie to end our first half of the season on a 5 games losing streak having conceded 24 goals (39 in total). We head into the short summer break in deep relegation trouble. 


Norwegian Cup
Premiership side Sarpsborg visits us in the first round – lucky us – and despite a very pleasing effort, towards the end we run out of steam and collapse in the last five minutes, conceding the games only three goals. We did keep a clean sheet for 85 minutes though which I thought was very impressive. 


Regular Season - Part 2
I schedule two friendlies against local lower league sides during the summer break, needing to have a thorough look at my team against a side that would perhaps allow us to keep the ball every now and then. I have many questions and a win and a draw gives me some answers. I experiment with new formations but realize that 1-2 trainings a week won't allow us to learn any new tricks. Instead I tweak the formation we've been working on since January and hope returning players will help us find our form. 

I was hoping that being comfortable in our system would produce good results. What I didn't take into consideration was that the system might be utter shite to being with. The losing streak doesn't end, but I think I see some light at the end of the tunnel as we're at least a lot closer to points with two narrow 2-1 losses (with a 3-0 loss in between). It doesn't give us any points though and we slip down into last place. 11th, the final safe spot, is now 5 points away. 

Speaking of which, 11th placed Sola is our next opponent. We're on the road and Sola takes the lead, but finally I see some will to win in my side again as we answer back with two, all inside the first ten minutes. Just before half time we go 3-1 up and I'm all smiles in the dressing room. I'm guessing the other locker room was a bit louder and Sola scores twice inside the first ten minutes of the 2nd half. I make two substitutions, but we're under pressure constantly and nothing I do from the sidelines seem to have any effect. I look behind me. On the bench sits my Captain, finally back from long-term injury. He's a right back and I need attacking options, but I think 'what the hell'. He understands the message I'm delivering using just the look in my eyes and starts to warm up. A few minutes later I put him on. He takes a yellow card for a tough challenge almost as soon as he enters the field, but it seems to wake the other players up. The Captain plays with authority and makes the rest of the players believe in my weird tactical gambles. We're able to keep possession and create chances again and soon we find the net. 4-3 up as we head into the final 20 minutes. An injury leaves us to defend with only ten men and when a Sola player tries to kill my left winger, we're down to 9. We fight bravely, but in overtime we finally concede the equalizer. Instead of celebrating the fact that we finally broke the losing streak, the locker room is filled with disappointment. 

We need wins, but we can't even beat Odda who's slipped down into last place because of our unbeaten run of 1 draw, but we're six points behind 11th with 6 games to go. We finally break the 13 game winless streak by beating 11th placed Fana, but now there's only three games remaining and our next opponent is Vindbjart who beat us 8-0 in our last encounter. 

Vindbjart takes a 2-0 lead in the first hour and the home fans are giddy with expectations of another huge win. I remind the players what awaits them in 3rd division obscurity, where 95% of my players were last year, and finally we find the net. The fans in the stands look a bit more nervous although their still chanting and preparing for their victory celebrations. 72 minutes on the clock and we find the equalizer. The stadium goes silent except for the 8 away fans who took the 20-minute bus ride to support us. I'm still not happy though as 1 point won't help us with only two games remaning after this one. I consider changing the formation, but ultimately decide against it. We're creating chances and if we continue to play the way we do, the winning goal will come. And it does, from a corner kick. And just to make the humiliation complete, Vindbjart puts one behind their own goalie in injury time. We crawl within two points of 11th place. 

Last season FK Donn were the team that decided everything in their favor with a goal in injury time. This time we're doomed by a goal in injury time. We're up 1-0 against Arendal and will with the win move into 11th before the final game of the season. We have the ball in midfield as the clock ticks past 93 minutes. I yell at my player to just boot the ball forward so that the ref can end the game. Instead he loses the ball, Arendal gets the ball to their striker with two direct passes and he scores from 30-yards out. I'm speechless and cannot believe what I just witnessed. We rally the troops and are able to beat 4th placed Eidsvold Turn at our place in our final match, but we're dependent on both Fana and Odd 2 to lose. Fana do, but Odd 2 get a man sent off and still finds a late game winner to secure their spot and send us down. 


End of Season
This was a season of trying hard, coming close, but ultimately failing. It was a season of close games going against us and experiencing more heartaches in one year than I've experienced in my entire life. I was given the task of getting a bunch of amateurs to compete with the semi-professionals, both in quality on the field and fitness with limited training sessions, and to assemble a good enough squad to survive by finding players who were attracted to charity work. In the end, it proved too difficult a task and so I had to leave FK Donn after just one season. 


Season #2 - Part 1: Job Hunting
Not a lot of interest for an out of work amateur who still hadn't made a single pound on being a manager. There were plenty of jobs available so I was laughed at by many a chairman. There were also a couple of newly promoted sides available, but I was hesitant to take on another 'FK Donn' challenge. I didn't feel up to it. I did get an interesting job offer, but by the time they finally made up their minds, the season was under a month away and they hadn't done anything to prepare for the season yet. So I turned them down. I also lost a job because I stuck to my own philosophies and the chairman didn't agree. Oh well, at least I'm not selling out (might have to pimp myself out though to pay bills...). Finally, on June 30th I finally received an offer, and tired of waiting and entertaining older gentlemen, I accepted. 








"Arrive in Style, Leave in Anger"
[Image: 1.jpg]
SEASON #2 - 2016
LEVANGER FK
Norwegian 2nd Division, Group 1
(1st - Promoted, 12th-14th - Relegated)
[Image: Konkurranse-levangerfk_stickynews.gif]





Moan Idrettspark
Capacity: 1,500 (1,200 seats)
Prologue:

I was paid money to manage Levanger, which was a first, but I guess they had to pay someone to help them out of the mess they had gotten themselves into. Dead last in group 1 with only 4 points from 11 games. I also had to agree to keep the current staff, you know, since they've been doing such an excellent job up to this point. The players are a group of banged up, demoralized mix of semi-professionals and amateurs, all hovering around a 5.8 average rating on the season and filling in gaps with 16-year olds. 

Regular Season - Part 2
15 games remaining and I realize we'll have no chance to stay up unless we 'sacrifice' the first couple of games to work on a system that will yield results in the long run. I also realize that 15-, 16- and 17-year olds, basically 'youth players', are given numbers between 40 and 59. In my first starting XI I'm forced to start number 41, 42, 43, 47 and 50, with 48, 49 and 52 on the bench. To no one's surprise, we lose my first game in charge, 3-1, and my only fit striker is injured and will be out for 2-3 months. And that would be the story of my stay with Levanger; constantly being put down by injuries, bad refs and terrible incidents, both on and off the field. At least at Donn we cracked a smile every now and then. 

There's also wages to fix as we're spending more than the budget allows, so I get rid of a 35-year old completely useless goalie which brings us just within the budget. This means, obviously, that I have no room to sign any reinforcements on contracts that would pay money. 

Another loss takes us to the summer break with 10 points up to a safe spot. My scout stops by every now and then to drink my coffee and remind me that he's completely incompetent, so I see no new signings on the horizon. I don't even see any suggestions. So good thing I had to retain him. Late at night, I dream of Donn...

Other than getting the board to finance a coaching license, the rest of the season is a plague: 
- I bring on a key player who's been out with a long-term injury and he gets himself injured 15 minutes later for the remainder of the season. 
- An opposing RB is allowed to make 97 fouls before he's finally booked by the ref. Needless to say he did injure someone in the process. 
- We pick up a point here and there, but can't win enough and we're not gaining on the team in 11th. 
- Once we do win, the next thing that happens is something terrible, like getting someone injured for 4 weeks. It's like Crime and Punishment where us winning a game is considered stealing.
- I'm forced to move one player from midfielder to striker to defender in the span of a few games. He is plugging holes in the starting XI due to injuries piling up... 
- A homesick swede wants to be sold and I agree as he wasn't used anyway. He gets angry when I tell him I can't sell him while the transfer window is shut... The rest of the season I'm meeting with the team every week, or so it seems, to explain why the swede is an idiot and they shouldn't support him. They seem to get my point, not that it helps morale. 

In the end, I'm fed up with the whole club and resign as soon as we are confirmed relegated. 

Before my arrival: 14th – Played 11 – W1 – D1 – L9 – 4 pts
Under my 'leadership': 14th – Played 11 – W2 – D3 – L6 – 9 pts


Coaching Qualifications: National C License achieved



Season #3 - Unemployed
I didn't stay unemployed for long as I'm allowed to move back home and manage a newly promoted side from the 3rd division. 





"Building My Own Future"

[Image: Fk_mandalskameratene.png]

SEASON #3 - 2017
FK MANDALSKAMERATENE
Norwegian 2nd Division, Group 3
(1st - Promoted, 12th-14th - Relegated)
[Image: tribunen.jpg]
Idrettsparken
Capacity: 4,700 (1,400 seats)


Prologue:
Mandal is about an hours drive from my home city and so I jump on the opportunity to move closer to home even though the chairman at Mandalskameratene, MK for short, thought it would be a step down for me. But I see the semi-professional club with only 15 players and a chairman as a great opportunity to build the club the way I want it. MK was as high as the 1st division back in 2005 and in 2003 they were the best team in the south as they finished higher in the table than IK Start and also beat them three times that season. They were last in the 2nd division in 2012 and were now finally back after four years in 3rd division obscurity. 


Preseason: 
On my hiring, Åsane's manager comments: "I wasn't surprised because Ole is a fantastic choice. He'll do some very good things there, mark my words." I'm not sure what he is basing that comment on but I'm hoping he's psychic. The first very good thing I have to do is avoid relegation and based on the previous two seasons, it looks like 26 points is needed to do just that. To help me on my way the chairman gives me a £14.75K transfer budget, a £4K p/w wage budget and sends me off to study for the National B License. As I only have 15 players at my disposal when I arrive – just enough for a first XI consisting of seniors with another senior and three youths on the bench – it will at least not be a problem to stay within the wage budget. 

I have no staff either, but soon I hire two scouts, an ass.man, a Head of Youth Development guy and a fitness coach. A little later I also bring in a manager for the U19s. I was clear about my philosophies during the job interview and this is a step to fulfill that promise. I bring in a center back from my days in Donn for the price of an Xbox One console and a right back for free. I attend what turns out to be a very entertaining friendly between my U19's and a team consisting of 15- and 16-year olds playing for a youth contract. I don't have any youth players under contract at the time – the three I have are all in the senior squad – so I'm not sure who the trial team played against. Anyway, I leave the match in such a good mood that I sign almost the entire trial team. 
In the pre-season I keep enough teens around so that I have two starting XI's at my disposal in every friendly and I have a fun time again playing against clubs I used to play against in my youth. What's even more fun is that some of the youths play well. This time though we finish the preseason with some tougher games against upcoming 2nd division opponents, all ending in draws. Most of the youths fail to deliver at this level, but three do and earn their spot in my 22 man squad; a right back, a defensive midfielder and a central midfielder. All three earned a youth contract from the trial game and they're all in my senior squad now because they honestly earned it. I'm delighted. I also get most of the players on amateur contracts signed to part-time deals, all except 'Finn', a defensive midfielder from Finland (already at the club when I arrived) who looks to become one of our most important players this year. He doesn't want money to play for us and is holding out for a contract with a bigger club. 


Regular Season - Part 1
We start at home against Os, the only team the bookies believe in less than us and therefore a game I really want to win. My players are still struggling to find their match fitness and coming to grips with my formations and tactics. On opening day though we get the lead inside the first three minutes. Os responds and manages a 1-1 draw, which annoys me there and then, but Os actually goes on to stay in the top 5 for the first half of the season. We fight hard on the road against Notodden in our next game only to lose after a 92nd minute match winner, but we pick up our first win of the season against Stord, a fellow relegation zone struggler, scoring twice and keeping a clean sheet. We concede twice against Odd 2, but still come away with a 3-2 win before I have an all too familiar stretch of games; 6 games without a win has me searching for answers fearing that I for the third time in a row is going to get a team relegated. 

This time though, I'm able to find the right answers and tweaks before it's too late, and we snap out of the winless streak with a 1-0 win against Brann 2, although a penalty and a red card helps us out. Winning games becomes increasingly difficult when my excellent left back and his mediocre backup both gets themselves injured and I have to play someone out of position. Another loss and a draw is followed up by a 1-0 win in a tight away game against Os who have dropped like a rock by now. The win gives us a three-point cushion at the summer break after 14 games played. We have 16 points, only 10 away from that magical 26 number we're aiming for. 


Norwegian Cup
Lost 1-0 at home against lower league side Ørn Horten.  Banghead 


Regular Season - Part 2
The guy who's been filling in at left back is terrible and I decide that a 16-year old from the U19s can't be any worse and give him a shot. On the right back the youth player who earned a spot during preseason is playing every game, keeping a 6 years older player on the bench. With an injury to one of my strikers, our bench features a 15-year old in our next game against Notodden. We are underdogs, but take a 2-0 lead. Their formation change gives them a goal with 20 minutes left and I finally do something about our formation to counter it. It works and before the final whistle we score our third of the day and secure three points. 

But we are very inconsistent. A perfect away win against a top 6 side is followed up by a 1-0 loss to 13th placed Stord in what seems at the time to be a very important game in the relegation battle. A late comeback gives us a point against Nest-Sotra and we follow that up with a solid 3-0 win over Odd 2. 

In our next backroom staff meeting my assistant manager makes a very good argument for why I shouldn't care about his reports but rely solely on judging the players by performance. He recommends me to change the status of our right winger to 'no longer needed', the right winger who was in the form of his life with the highest average rating (7.74) in our last five games of all our players and 7 assists on the season. I think I'll continue to evaluate players by performance thank you very much. 

We face Egersund (2nd) and Vindbjart (1st) in our two next games and pick up one point before we destroy Sogndal 2 with a 5-0 win. That takes us up to 27 points and I'm sure we'll secure our spot in the next game or two. Instead my players deliver the worst performance of the season in a 3-0 loss against 10th placed Sola who are chasing us in the standings, but with three games to go we have an 8 point gap down to 12th and our spot is secured with two draws in our next two games. We didn't have to show up for the final game of the season, and my players didn't, losing 5-1 to Åsane which pushed us down from 9th to 10th. Still, I'm delighted that we manage to beat the odds and stay up. I guess third time's a charm. 


End of Season
I'm really enjoying my time here in Mandal, something I expressed in the media after signing a contract extension. We have a bunch of young hopefuls in the U19's and a few of them showed me this year that they will soon be ready to take the step up. My 16-year old midfielder was one of my best players (3 goals, 3 assists and a 6.76 rating in 24 games), keeping two veteran MC's on the bench and my 16-year old RB has won his spot in the starting XI and started 23 of 26 games, finishing with a 6.72 rating. 

With all the brilliant stats at my disposal, I can now clearly see who should remain at our club next year, who we need to get rid of and who deserves to take the step up from the U19s. I have a list of priorities, number one being bringing in a better goalie, and in early March I'm hoping for another entertaining U19 vs Trial team match. I've managed to build the club the way I want and to function the way I want already and that makes me really excited about the future. 

Financially I'm keeping well within the budgets, but we're a small club and we're losing money. I think the most immediate solution is to win a couple of cup games. That usually earns a much needed cash injection. 


Coaching Qualifications: National B License achieved



(Btw; any comments on the posting style? Length, the use of present tense, should I include spoilers etc?)
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

Reply
#3
08-04-2015, 01:34 PM
Ole I always like your update style, entertaining and very easy to read despite the length ( a good combination you share with Ken). It was a shame you couldn't get FK Donn over the line as I'm sure any later success would have been very much enjoyed. Takes a strong man to go through such barren winless runs without breaking something.

Interestingly I recall Levanger and MK from my time spent in Norway and remember them both as better than relegation fodder. Well done maintaining MK's status at your third attempt, their fortunes seem to be on the rise with you at the helm.

kutgw
Reply
#4
08-04-2015, 01:53 PM
I think they're nice and easy to read updates.

Good start to the career there, so close to keeping Donn up, but finally cracking it at the third attempt, and with a club that seems to appreciate you for who you are.

KUTGW
Reply
#5
08-04-2015, 01:54 PM
Good read, I don't mind the length.

Congratulations on not getting relegated three times in a row! Wink
Reply
#6
08-04-2015, 05:28 PM
Excellent stuff, very enjoyable read. Feels almost like reading a manager's memoirs at the end of his career.

I think it's important that we recognise that quality is the important factor when it comes to updates, not length. A quality, lengthy update is as good as a quality short one IMO. Conversely a poorly written update its poor regardless of its length.

And for what it's worth, this update filled my bus journey home from work perfectly

Kutgw.
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
Reply
#7
08-04-2015, 06:37 PM
Very nice update, I like the style and the length is fine.

Good work there, sounds like you've found a club that matches up with your philosophy, with any luck the finances will sort themselves out.
Reply
#8
09-04-2015, 01:27 AM
Great update, great going third time lucky Smile

Currently managing: Kazincbarcika Sports Club, Hungarian Division I
Reply
#9
10-04-2015, 09:44 AM
(08-04-2015, 05:28 PM)JP Wrote: I think it's important that we recognise that quality is the important factor when it comes to updates, not length. A quality, lengthy update is as good as a quality short one IMO. Conversely a poorly written update its poor regardless of its length.

I agree with that. Hopefully I can provide quality with the length Smile 

Thank you guys for the kind words Smile I think I might have many years ahead of me here in Mandal (hopefully), although we've been moved to a different group for next year so I have no idea how strong it is. That said, we look to be in better shape this preseason than last. Last season we only conceded 35 goals in 25 games (conceded 5 in the 26th and last game) so we were pretty hard to break down despite having a terrible goalie. Hopefully the goalie situation has been resolved now. 

Btw, if you have any comments or questions about the additional guidelines, just ask. Or comment.
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

Reply
#10
10-04-2015, 10:37 AM
As long as you don't take a job in Spain, everything should be good. One thread moaning about the Spanish referees is more than enough! Mrgreen
WAWAW

[Image: signature.php?uid=14]

Reply
#11
10-04-2015, 10:43 AM
Mrgreen
Reply
#12
10-04-2015, 11:23 AM
Mrgreen
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

Reply
#13
10-04-2015, 11:52 AM
(08-04-2015, 12:29 PM)SackedLlaMa Wrote: - No transfers of players in the first transfer window. Exception: I'm allowed to bring in players for the U19s and replacing players I couldn't keep from leaving (board accepts offers, players without contracts etc)

That's the only one I don't get. None? At all? In or out?

What if you arrive at a club and they have no keepers or right sided players? Or one player who eats up 20% of your wage budget?

I understand giving the existing players a chance and wanting to get a good over view of what is at the club and where the (lack of) quality exists. But the idea of no transfers feels very restrictive to me.
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
Reply
#14
10-04-2015, 01:14 PM
(10-04-2015, 11:52 AM)JP Wrote:
(08-04-2015, 12:29 PM)SackedLlaMa Wrote: - No transfers of players in the first transfer window. Exception: I'm allowed to bring in players for the U19s and replacing players I couldn't keep from leaving (board accepts offers, players without contracts etc)

That's the only one I don't get. None? At all? In or out?

What if you arrive at a club and they have no keepers or right sided players? Or one player who eats up 20% of your wage budget?

I understand giving the existing players a chance and wanting to get a good over view of what is at the club and where the (lack of) quality exists. But the idea of no transfers feels very restrictive to me.

(See, this is the problem; when I try to keep it short, it just becomes inaccurate! Smile )

I tried to keep the guidelines as short as possible, thinking I could explain in detail if anyone was wondering, but when I look at it again I see that it's way too short and doesn't really explain anything of what I'm actually doing.. So let me try to clarify: 

Transfers out: I try to retain as many of the players at the club as possible. My thinking is that everyone deserves a chance to play for a spot in my team, regardless of what the ass.man thinks of them. Exceptions here are: 
- Players sold/signs with other clubs that it's impossible to retain (players with amateur contracts or offers accepted on my behalf by the board)
- Releasing/selling players to get within the wage budget. I.e. the short time I was at Levanger I had to find and release someone to get within the wage budget, as they were currently spending too much. As a different guideline states, I must always operate within the budgets even when the overspending isn't my fault. 

Transfers In: 
The reason why I wanted a guideline like this was to 
1) limit the amount of players I sign when I arrive at a new club, and 
2) give the players currently at the club a chance to win a spot in my squad, no matter what the ass.man thinks of them. I know that sometimes I can get caught in a slippery slope where I start replacing players who look awful or my scouts find so many free agents with a better 'star rating' than my current players, and before you know it I've pretty much replaced the entire squad before our first preseason game (It's a guideline mainly to limit myself, therefore I specified that these are guidelines I use but I'm not saying anyone else should or need to). That said, local scouting does limit the amount of players I can actually bring in, so it's not a huge problem, but the main goal is to keep the squad as intact as possible, not changing too much. 

The benefits of keeping the squad as intact as possible include 
1) often, but not necessarily, having to build a formation around the players at the club. I.e. at Mandalskameratene my formation(s) are solely based around the players I had when I arrived, but you can always enforce your favorite formation upon the players. Both options are challenging. 
2) giving even the worst-looking players a chance to perform in preseason games. I.e. at Mandalskameratene one of my best performers was a player the ass.man wanted me to get rid of.  
3) I know I'll field a team that the home fans actually recognize from year to year, which is a good thing Smile
 
These are all good consequences that makes the game more realistic in my opinion, although you don't have to agree with that. 

But in regards to the specific examples you point to, let me try to explain my thinking when it comes to assembling my squad. 

1. I keep it almost as a rule that a team should have a minimum of 22 players at the squad at the start of the season; a first XI and backups in every position. If I arrive at a club, like i.e. Mandalskameratene, who only had 15 players in total, I therefore allow myself to sign 7. Additionally, if I have any U19s among my 22 first team players, I will first and foremost let them fight for their spot, but if they are nowhere near the level they need to be at (which sometimes happens when they're just 15 or 16), I'm allowed to send them down to the U19s and replace them. 

2. If I arrive at a club with no goalies, as you pointed out, and the club already have 22 players, I'm still allowed to bring in 1-2 goalies (i.e. one veteran and one from the U19s or two veterans if there are no goalies in any of my teams). But, I only allow myself to do that with goalies because that's the only position where you can't train say an outfield player to start. In any other position though, I will bring someone up from the U19s, and if there are no U19 players (in that position or at all) I'll have to do with what I have. If there are no fullbacks at the club I will either have to use a formation without fullbacks or find someone who can be turned into a fullback. 

3. If a player is eating up 20% of my wage budget, he will also have to earn that money through performances and I will then hold him to a higher standard then the others. And if he can't justify the salary through performances, I'll try to sell him in the next (not the first) transfer window. But I don't think it's fair for me to arrive at a new club and dictate that he doesn't deserve the contract before he's even had an opportunity to prove me wrong. All he did was accept the offer on the table when he signed his contract. 

Of course, having a player eating up 20% of the wage budget limits what I can do with the rest of the team, but so far I haven't run into any problems with this, and you'll face challenges balancing the squad under the wage budget at any club in my experience (do I want one very good player or two average players?). If it means I have to fill in with some U19s because the wage budget is spent, that's just the reality I have to live with.

4) I can sign any players and as many as I want under the age of 19 for my U19s as long as I have room in the wage budget. That said, I don't sign 19 goalies just because I can, but try to assemble a squad that can compete in the U19 league. 

I know that this all seems restrictive, as you point out, although having explained it more accurately I hope it doesn't seem as restrictive any more. But let me point out that I'm not trying to restrict myself or make it more challenging. All the guidelines I'm using I've accumulated over time and they now feel more natural and more realistic to me than not playing with them. I love having to test out 17-year olds because I'm missing a backup center midfielder or finding that high performer among the players my ass.man had given up on. I'm trying to avoid a huge overturn of players, whether thats at a new club or from season to season at the same club. I'm just 'tweaking' the squad, not replacing it. 

Did that help? I feel like this became a long ramble that may or may not have made sense... I'm not the best at explaining...  Blush
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

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#15
10-04-2015, 01:47 PM
No, that's all explained perfectly. And I have no problem with anyone enforcing further guidelines upon themselves (as long as they're realistic obviously), I do it myself. I just felt that seemed very restrictive although your explanation makes much more sense and shows it to be far less restrictive than it first seemed.

Anyway, enough explaining, more playing - I need another quality update to read
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
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#16
10-04-2015, 01:51 PM
Its certainly a lot more realistic to only make 1 or 2 signings for the first team than to overhaul the entire squad upon arrival at a club. Although if I did need a first team full back for example and my scouts found a good fit within my local scouting area I would not hesitate to acquire said player if funds allowed it. For me it is important for a club to enjoy some stability and a fairly settled squad..... Maybe that's why I kick around so long in the lower leagues Sad

I also try to maintain a 22 man senior squad but often the budget will not allow that and if match day squads only allow 5 subs I can make do with less.
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#17
10-04-2015, 02:54 PM
My Quote button isn't working ...

"- All player attributes are hidden at all times (I can see staff attributes)"

I understand this and I would do it in a heartbeat if I could watch training. But I can't. So I accept that the attribute numbers are the game's abstraction of the consensus opinion of the training staff after seeing each player perform in specific training drills. I admire your approach though.
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#18
10-04-2015, 04:26 PM
(10-04-2015, 02:54 PM)The New Doctor Wrote: My Quote button isn't working ...

"- All player attributes are hidden at all times (I can see staff attributes)"

I understand this and I would do it in a heartbeat if I could watch training.  But I can't.  So I accept that the attribute numbers are the game's abstraction of the consensus opinion of the training staff after seeing each player perform in specific training drills.  I admire your approach though.

I used to think so as well, thinking it would be great to watch and judge my players in training, but if I had that option I'm not sure how often I would actually use it. It takes enough time to get through a full season (I watch every game, including preseason games, in its entirety) and I can't really see myself spending a lot of time watching players in training. 

That said, I do think the whole training system in FM needs an overhaul as I would like to decide much more than what you can today (maybe unlock more training options with the coaching licenses?). I wanna see what we're actually doing in a training session. I wanna be forced to balance the training sessions myself, running formation drills before the upcoming game, limiting what we can do and learn because we are a semi-pro club and only have two training sessions per week and so on. A huge part of being the head coach is, well, coaching! And a lot of that takes place on the training ground. In the case of such an overhaul I think it would be easier to see who's doing well, who's struggling and what their good/bad at in training, but I don't think the training the way it is today would be worth watching. I think FM relies too much on giving information through the attributes, but that's obviously because I hide them Mrgreen 

Anyway, I really struggled early on not seeing any attributes, but it's something you get used to and now that I am used it I don't miss seeing them at all. It's just a different way of playing. I think it feels a bit more realistic not having a bunch of numbers to look at (there's just something 'gamey' about skill numbers like in an RPG Smile ), and I truly prefer not seeing them (I see staff attributes btw). 
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

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#19
10-04-2015, 06:10 PM
Do you use the bar chart or spider graph thing for player attributes or have you edited the skin?
[Image: jptykes.png]
"Whattya saying? That you wanna be like me? Don't you understand that I just barely wanna be like me?"
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#20
10-04-2015, 06:15 PM
(10-04-2015, 06:10 PM)JP Wrote: Do you use the bar chart or spider graph thing for player attributes or have you edited the skin?

Neither. When I start a new game I click on a random player, click on the dropdown menu in the top right corner of the 'attributes box' and change the view to biography (you can use other views as well, but I like having the biography). After that, the biography of a player will show instead of the attributes on every player you click on. 
-------------------------------
Currently mismanaging: Newington Youth
Previous saves: 
The Quest for Working Undersoil Heating
What I Learned at the JD Academy

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