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Have you ever wanted to smoke cannabis in the Bermuda Triangle?

June 2015/Playoffs

Before the playoffs started, apparently something happened:


Left-footed midfield runner and one of my central starting trio, his loss could've come at a better time.
Funny thing is, his move was so under the radar that I hadn't noticed he had gone until matchday, when I was told that I'd a player missing from my starting lineup - not the most dedicated of managers, I know (then again I am on an amateur deal).


15 shots on goal, 3 on target - so typical.
At least we didn't go none from 3, which they did.


Scrappy, but I'll take any point in here.
Also Ignacio's been sold to a top division club, kid's going places.


A space of 2 days' rest meant some reshuffling and a change in formation, which backfired spectacularly.
I gave them a good scolding afterwards, but it's probably partly my fault.


We would normally gone into a rut following such a setback, but boy did we answer our doubters big time here - Lake with another MoTM performance.
And with 2 wins from 4 we were suddenly in the driving seat in the race for promotion.


Revenge is sweet, and no better time to fire the players up.
I did take us a bit of time to find the net, but once we did we weren't in too much trouble.

Couple of days later:


Despite possessing an arguably weaker team than last season and scraping our way to the playoff we're now promoted \o/


What an icing on the cake - clean sheet, 3 goals, 3rd straight win, and it guarantees us top spot in our group.


Atlantico failed in their 2nd bite of the cherry, while Caiquetio go back down.


I'd said he didn't deserve it, but his clutch performances when it really mattered edged the award in his favour.


He was in the shadow of Igancio last season, so for him to come into his own this time round is impressive.


Yeah no 'overachieving' tag this time round, we earned this shit; we got promotion, we don't need sympathy.

Players of the season:

(It's actually quite hard to pick a top 3 from this team despite our success because we were rubbish for most of the league campaign, but that's why statistics exists isn't it?)

Francois Escalona:


He didn't repeat his efforts of last season and start with a bang, but towards the end of the season his started to make more use of his setpiece strengths.
Captain leading by example when it mattered most.

Luis Carlos Lake:


Slightly iffy with his shooting, but you can't argue with 13 goals from 17 starts, can you?

Raizel Figaroa:


Had lots of trouble with the LB role (Elskamp being a prominent example) so in the second half of the season I decided to do away with a Limited leftback, and instead have Figaroa run up the flanks.
Somehow it worked, and he managed to find himself in the penalty area (opponents' and score a couple of goals.

I'd have Samuel Fingal on this list as well by virtue of being our 2nd-highest scorer, but given that I spent more time shouting, handing out warnings and banishing him to the U18s he's probably not one of our best players this season.


Seasonal postscript to come, with our youth intake.
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Upwards and onwards! Congrats on the promotion.
Upwards and onwards! Congrats on the promotion.




Youth intake:


As usual, a batch of prospective stars that could be hit or miss but I'll be signing them all anyway, and a HoYD's recommendation which I don't get.


This is Mr De Windt - I don't see the point of him, but the crux could lie in his two-footedness.

This is the best of this bunch IMO:


He's far less mobile than Lake (which says a whole lot), but we'd be missing the point, because as can be seen he's a behemoth in the air.

A concise roundup of the other guys:
- A couple of extremely tall centrebacks, but their build comes with a glaring weakness.
Their emergence will probably negate the need for Breinburg to play in central defence, not that he's been play often at all as I looked for pace in my CBs.

- A pair of fast fullbacks, which is great news for my wingback aspirations.

Everyone else is rubbish.

At this point the players would normally go for their holidays (around 3 months, since our season is quite short).
Not this time though, I've not been allowed to tell them when to come back for preseason, because apparently they won't go for their break at all!

So this is preseason:


All the other clubs are on holiday, so we've only got the reserves to play.
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No rest for the wicked!
Just read the whole story, loving it so far. Avoiding relegation will be the priority I'm sure.
No rest for the wicked!

Well they aren't wcked, just a bit shite that's all...

Just read the whole story, loving it so far. Avoiding relegation will be the priority I'm sure.

That's definitely the case, though for the longer term I'd like to turn semipro at least, we really need to have some pulling power for us to have any consistency in personnel.


3+ Months of Preseason


A losing record against our reserves - not good news.
Going on to thrash most of our league rivals, we're gonna win everything now (no we're not).
Really surprising though, that we've managed to put our rivals away with such ease, especially when you consider some of these sides are proper (part-time) outfits who most certainly have an edge over the amateurs.

Away from matchday stuff:


Not too fussed with it not rising, we're in bloody Aruba, I can't expect too much here.


Paying the price for relative financial prudence, why isn't the board burning the cash to generate free electricity?


At least we've got the cash in the bank, I suppose the authorities could have a little bit

At this point we had nearly 100k in the black, so we were able to:


Incredible news, we are now able to tie the likes of Escalona and Lake to deals and not risk losing them the way we did Ignacio and Germain, to name but two.


Which I did.
Other players may follow suit, but I'm not looking to burn all the wage money just yet.


Board also decided to hand me a new deal, and I've selected the lowest wage possible, because if a Singaporean can afford to go to the Caribbean then he surely has some cash in reserve.


Overachievers again, and with something tangible to show for it.


Well deserved, Captain Set-pieces.


Agree with the choices, bar Quandt, who played 1 game and scored his only goal before leaving.

Transfers now:


Bosnie leaves for greener (read: Greenbacks) pastures, having contributed well in our successful last campaign.
Given that the DM is a key part of our system(s), it was imperative that a replacement was signed:


Not quite at Bosnie's level in terms of technical quality, but hopefully his work ethic makes up for it.


Stacie was one of them greyed-out guys who won multiple MOTM awards in the games against the reserves.
His ball control is his party piece, but I've no idea how he managed to score the goal that he did - maybe it's his height.

League-wise matters:




Unfortunately, no bonuses for the players.
Not my own doing mind, not my fault the board didn't give me any transfer money.


You might tend to disagree given our preseason, but having been embarrassed by us quite a lot of these sides will be out for revenge, and then some.
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Good to see the club turned semi pro Nice to see the club made profit
Good to see the club turned semi pro Nice to see the club made profit

Cheers mate, yeah we're in good shape at the moment.


October 2014


Great way to start the season, River didn't manage to get revenge, and so we cruised to a genuinely easy win.
Oehler bombed forward quite a number of times and hit the post - twice; shows you how much we dominated.


A similar story in the next game, not too many worries despite conceding a penalty.


As a result we're currently top, though as you can see the table does lie.
Also, the top 6 sides qualify for a championship playoff - not the Scottish system mind, but a post-season not unlike our promotion playoff last season.

Some national team news:


Really surprising, considering he was quite rubbish last season.
That said with 2 goals in our opening game, he must have got the NT manager's attention, so fair play to him.
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Aye, fingers crossed we can maintain it for once.


November 2016


Excellent win against the defending champions(!), Escalona getting his hat-trick with 2 efforts from range, one each from a free kick and in open play.

The match was also a milestone, apparently.


6 on the trot stretching back to our playoff heroics last season - not bad.


Not as convincing as our other games this campaign, but 7 in a row nonetheless.
Britannia were devoid of any real ambition, their first shot only coming after our opener, and they finished with 0 shots on target from 5.
As the scoreline suggested weren't exactly potent either - 4 from 10.


Still a rather misleading table given all the games in hand various clubs have, but the gist is we'll be at least 3 points clear.
Not bad.


He managed an assist in his debut, but subsequently put in two turgid performances - par for the course for him then.
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Great start of the season!
Great start of the season!

Cheers mate, we do need to keep this up for me to not go apsehit again mind


December 2016

A bumper schedule this month, a whopping 5 games:


.. And we lost the 1st rather tamely, which also ends our winning run.
Fun fact, RCA have won 4 of the last 6 league titles and are dominant in these parts.


We came back with a flourish, with man-mountain centreback Odor chipping in with a goal and an aimless punt of an assist.


We dominated proceedings, but might have had to endure a tough end to the game with a late concession of a goal.
It turned out to be their only shot on target all match though, as we saw it through.


Another 3-goal win, another goal from Odor.


As it stands we will be at least 2 points ahead, but as mentioned RCA are a powerhouse and will look to reel us in given the opportunity.

This year's cup competition has also begun:


Great that we don't have to start with a fellow top-tier side, I'd like to take it slow.


Strikers were hopeless today, we were saved by a great (Francois) Escalona goal (lots of them this season actually) and a (Jaython) Escalona header from a corner taken by his namesake.
Far more nervous after conceding the late goal this time round, but we got through it as well in the end.


The money can actually pay my wage bill for a couple months, because it's still only Escalona and Lake who are contracted to the club - can't be arsed to offer anyone else deals
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Nice to see you're on winning streak
Nice to see you're on winning streak

Aye, I didn't expect us to replicate our preseason form this way, been a pleasant surprise so far.


January 2017

Cup month, all cup matches:


A second straight lower-league side, not that I mind.


Lake with another poor game, but he was one-upped by Escalona, who again got himself sent off.
We started poorly and got what we deserved by going into the break a goal down, but Geerman equalised with a fortuitous cross-cum-shot.
Fingal then got us the lead through a Route One manoeuvre, and Brison made sure of things.




Yet another lower-league opponent, keep them coming!


We coped brilliantly with Escalona's absence, with Jefferson Guerrero sunning the show with competence in his place.




The first top-tier opposition, and it's the topmost of opponents that we could meet - some challenge at last


Lake was (as is the trend for this year's cup) wayward with his shooting,so it was down to the returning Escalona to save the day, with an assist and a converted penalty.


As you can see it's not the most difficult (or glamorous) route to the final.
But I digress:




Even I'm surprised by this, I don't normally do well in cup competitions.




See when everyone else is faded it's quite easy to make your way up.
But honestly, it's important to not take this seriously, since there are only 4 seasons of records in here.


It's a 10000(ten thousand) seater arena that we play in, 1.4k isn't something to call home about really.

An update on the league, as a couple of matches were played (not involving us though) - probably still reeling from their defeat in the final, inexplicably were thrashed by Britannia.
Which leave the table looking like so:


Definitely 5 clear now, but with still over half the campaign to go there's still a lot to play for.
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Congrats on your first trophy. First of many, I hope!
Congrats on winning the final \o/
Congrats on winning the final \o/


February 2017


Started our month with an awful match,.Escalona got himself sent off yet again, and we got out of jail only from Figaroa's wayward cross.


Rubbish in the 1st half, good thing we managed to convert our chances after the interval.


Escalona returned, but failed to get us over Nacional, as we fell to a convincing defeat.


The advantage is slowly eroding... /o\
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March 2017


Strikers were complete rubbish again, as we paid for it - again.

I tried out a couple of new ideas for the nexst match, going for a 4-1-4-1 giving my backup GK his debut:


The scoreline took the words right out of my mouth, put it that way.
Needless to say I gave them a good dressing down post-match.


It looked as though we would be in for another loss when we let in the opener, but it was a relief that we got an equaliser immediately after.
We built on that for once and got a winner to (hopefully) put an end to our poor run of form

I should add that Lake had sat out the last 3 matches due to his wretched goalless run going back to the cup rounds, but he was back for the name game as part of the revived 4-3-3, last used when we still had Humphrey Ignacio in the team.


It paid off, with all 3 strikers bagging a goal each.


Good news, though it looks like Nacional will have the regular season in the bag at this rate.
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April 2017


I stuck with my 4-3-3 (ain't broke don't fix it eh?) but couldn't repeat the previous performance.
Humphrey Ignacio scoring the winner to, bitter taste.


One more go with the 4-3-3, and we record another defeat.
3 strikers, no goals in a combined 360 minutes of football - something's clearly wrong there.


4-1-3-2 in our final game of the regular season, and 2 goals from the front 2 - I'd been doing it wrong apparently.


So we staggered to the finish in a relatively comfortable 2nd - I could blame the strikers' wretched runs of form that prevented from pushing on in the second half of the season, but that'd be forgetting their efforts earlier in the season that got us into contention in the first place, so fair dos.


1st place got 19k, while in the upcoming playoffs only the winner gets any money at all - 19k as well.


A hellish set of fixtures, as we need to play out our 10 games in just over a month.
It doesn't help that our stadium is actually co-owned by the majority of Aruban teams, so in fairness it's also a nightmare for the fixture computer as well.

What does help though, is that our points from the regular season will be carried over, so I'll *just* need to make sure of overhauling Nacional and not do much worse than everyone else.

(There's actually continental qualification as well, but worryingly I've not seen any mention of it whatsoever in the competitions.)
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May 2017


We started the playoffs with 2 mind-numbing draws
Lake and Fingal were hopeless, and supersub Figaroa came on for Fingal against RCA to plunder in the leveller, incidentally our only shot all game.


The strike pair was then rested, and in their place came Rensy Rolston, who showed them how to be a proper striker with a double.


The subsequent matches then had the strikers on rotation (the entire outfield 10 actually).
Lake and Fingal were yet again blunt, and only just about redeemed themselves by combining for a late equaliser.


Rolston's turn for a late goal, this time a winner in the second of our double header against Estrella.


Lake booked in the 2nd minute - epitomised his game really.


Great response to the RCA loss, though both teams were knackered, as seen by the number of injuries and knocks for both teams.

Which brings us to the standings:


We've fought our way back to pole position, not least due to Nacional's dip in form.
3 to go.

Awards buzz:


Objectively neither Lake nor Escalona deserve the award, they've just not been consistent throughout the season.
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Brilliant stuff as ever!

It might get even better....

June 2017


A pep talk for the strikers worked brilliantly, with them bagging a goal each.
Late header aside, we weren't too troubled.


What a win, and what a time to get it.
Being a speedster (and nothing more) Nouwen was relatively toothless when partnered with Rolston.
But he put it to good use this time, breaking past the opponents' backline repeatedly, and got his reward with 2 goals.



Yes, with one match to spare we won the title, so much for us breaking under pressure eh?


We finish with a dead rubber, with Lake's scrappy goal ensuring the icing on the cake.


I can't tell how the other teams did precisely, but Nacional must have blown it big time, even falling behind to RCA.
Somehow we managed a 10-point gap over the rest, it was definitely much closer not too long ago.




Lake will need to thank his lucky stars for this - sure he did score a couple but if we're talking goals then he was quite far from tte best.


Two in a row \o/


Also, does anyone how they calculated the points? I can't understand how I managed to get 5 times of Number 2's tally.


Seasonal postscript next - youth intake, whether we'll be able to qualify for continental/regional competitions and miscellany
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Players of the season:


My striker pair for the majority of the season, it was never truly prolific but it was probably my most 'experienced' (relatively, they aren't even 20 yet).
Oh well, combined they averaged a goal a game, I suppose that's something.


Various knocks (and suspensions) prevented him from doing more than he did, and he also showed a violent side to his game, with 2 sendings off.
Still, most definitely one of the 1st names on the squad list, such is the importance of his skillset.


An incredible 13cm taller than Lake, I should probably have started him more often, but for his horrendous lack of mobility.
Then again, he seems to be able to negate that weakness by simply being unbeatable in the air.

Special mentions:

-Rangel Lugo didn't fit into my systems in the regular season, got fed up and handed in a transfer request which was approved.
However, during the fixture pileup during the playoffs the formations had to be changed to make better use of the whole squad and he found his way back into the first team.
Fair play to him, 4 assists in 5 starts.

-Odor is surprisingly prolific as a centreback, achieving the same goal ratio as Lake and Fingal.

Youth intake now:


An average intake, can't say I'll use many of them next season though.

This is the HoYD's recommendation:


And you know what? For once I actually agree with him - we've been really lacking in specialist ball winners, so he'll most probably be getting game time.

Finally, will the players go on the break?


No. (And no it's not my doing)
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Wow, you really destroyed them in the play offs! Great job.
Congrats man!
Just read through all of this. It's been awesome.

Shows how far patience with obscure/lower league teams can take you!
Twitter - @MUFCTarrant
Medium - @JamieTarrant
Just read through all of this. It's been awesome.

Shows how far patience with obscure/lower league teams can take you!

If I'm honest I only do these because I'm absolutely hopeless with the big teams



First off, of the youth intake I've only signed Junel Croes (the DM) and Brian Figaroa, only 2 because they each cost $50 p/w and if I didn't sign all my amateur to full time deals then there's no way I'm giving these guys money

I'm only just realised that Figaroa might not be as useful as I though - though he hasn't actually started any matches, the aggression, bravery, anticipation and tackling (or the lack of for the latter 2) could result in a card machine.

Boardroom news:


With the profit comes the obscene amount of cash we've had to give the authorities.


TV money in consecutive seasons, a welcome change.


Looks like we'll have to do more winning to earn more cash.


The popularity hierarchy is Aruba is so rigid that we were the only ones to move up last season - from 8th to 7th.
Nonetheless, progress.
Preseason proper:


The usual mixed results against the reserves, followed my a good run against the proper teams.
Would've liked to keep it 100%, but it'd be hard (some might say cheating) to repeat last season's efforts.
Besides, it's the league proper that matters.

Miscellany and the league:


Scored a couple, was shit for a stretch, but came through in the end.
At least he didn't get himself sent off a la Captain Escalona.


They'd think twice about giving me the cash if I really used in on my current squad.


Very good deal for the players, considering they were offered (I shit you not) bonus schemes of $0 and $0 last season.


Britannia didn't even come close last season, heck they've never challenged properly for all the playable (4) seasons.
But they are the most popular club in the land, must be the Aruban equivalent of Liverpool then
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Amazing play off win mate! Fantastic so far! Britannia are definitely like Liverpool!
Jordan Rhodes is a football genius
A bit strange to see that 6/10 teams are odds on to win the league ... logic
A bit strange to see that 6/10 teams are odds on to win the league ... logic

Well it's true that there are around 5 teams who can win the title - Nacional and RCA have shared the last couple of titles, Estrella have 2 of the top 3 scorers from last season, there's always a promoted side that tears up the formbook (as we did), then there's Britannia who, as 'the most popular club in the land', will always think that 'this is our season'


October - November 2017


Opening day, and it was up to us to put them in their place.


First half was excellent, which was all the more important considering our second half.
Frederick Werleman has an absolute horrorshow in the 2nd period, his mistake on a setpiece led our our concession of their 1st goal, while it was his tackle that gave away the penalty.
He's a key centreback because of his speed, and he won't likely be dropped so long he's the fastest one in the team - which he is by a long way.


That's 5 goals in 3 games for Lake, replicating his great start in the last campaign.
Now if he could only keep this up through the season....


Another comfortable win against title rivals, we were wll out of sight by the interval.
Oehlers did get sent off yes, but I've been playing him as a Complete Wingback, which could leave him exposed on the counter - but that's the risk you take.
And it's not like it's a losing proposition - he's among the most willing runners in the league (distance covered), and provides wing play so that we can stuff the midfield.


In the lead so far, but not having a clean sheet so far is quite a worry - Lake's 6 goals bailing us out here.
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