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Time for another crack at this.

Manager Nation Latvia
That nice 11 point cushion is almost going to win you the league, just a matter of time I reckon. When you do win it, are you staying for another season or moving on?
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
It is looking good! Very nice in the league.
And nice European run
@bigmattb28 - I remember throwing away a similar lead with Valletta way back in the day, think we'll have enough. More than likely moving on tbh, we'll see.

@b0nb0n - European journey was fun, but there was no way we were getting past Lazio.





I weep for the future of Skonto if this is the best we can recruit...however there is one stand out of the hoi polloi whom may develop a future at the club.


Vitalijs Kolinko - D(C) - youth intake

Stats aren't too handsome on the eye at the moment, the HMT stats needing a good bit of shaping. A plus side, his mental stats are fairly passable already; courageous, sharp decision maker, picks his position well. Needs a lot more development to become a first team candidate but immediate tutoring will get him on the right track.




I'd like to think I've put the foundations in place for Gulbene being a properly challenging team to beat as of late. Ruslans Gutkovskis caught us with our pants down yet again in what was a dire half of football to go in at halftime trailing. Bit of hairdryer treatment transformed us into a new side after the restart and overwhelmed Gulbene into submission. Frimpong & Savinovs tucked home easy finishes before Guntars Rimkus gatecrashed with what seemed like a late equaliser. Mensah and Straume had other ideas from off the bench. Can almost taste the copper coated Virsliga trophy.




Job done. Mind you, Liepaja were the first side to dominate us in ages. Could only muster four shots on goal, but at least made one count as Savinovs found a pocket of space at the back stick to tap in from Zigajevs' cross. Champagne poised to be left on ice when a late penalty for Liepaja almost scuppered our moment, but Halvitovs guessed correctly to save Ikaunieks' penalty. Champions of Latvia once again!



With the pressure lifted, we enjoyed an open, free flowing game of football with RTU. To their credit RTU took a surprise lead when we let our guard down, however Frimpong chalked it off immediately with a penalty and instantly followed up with a second. Kwaku Boakye made a welcome return to the scoresheet also with a sumptuous free kick delivery to kill them off. RTU made a daring fight of it in the last five to squeeze it back to 3-2, but our defence tightened up to prevent further breaches.


Two more games to reach thirty, the lad has been a machine.



Yeah, yeah, whatever mate. Jammy winner in injury time and celebrating like they've won the league? Sad state of affairs for this underperforming Spartaks team. The long pitch at Slokas Stadium always makes it difficult to play our normal intricate style, resorting us to play everything direct. Alvars Rozkovs drilled a low beauty that perhaps could have been prevented by the outstretched Halvitovs to send us in behind at the break. Frimpong clocked his thirtieth in some style to restore parity. Draw would have been fair, but Daniils Purins did us so dirty with a 94th minute winner on a counter attack.



God damn, there goes man's career. Shocking injury which he'll struggle massively to recover from. Thoughts and prayers in the comments guys x




Season concluded with a late goalfest against a timid Jelgava side who settled for the relegation playoff spot. Frimpong knocked in goal number 31, Straume the unsung hero took his tally into double figures and Otankis sealed a fourth for good measure. We bid an emotional farewell to our number 8 and boyhood Skonto fan Pavels Nosiks, subbing him off in the 88th minute to a crescendo of applause. Lifted the trophy at the end of the game to complete a wonderful season at this club.



Frimpong tore things up towards the end with five in five for the Ghanaian striker. Only one defeat in our final twelve games, and could have finished with eight straight wins if it weren't for the clumsy Spartaks defeat. Nevertheless, everything fell into place like an early Christmas gift.




All three Baltic relics captured, this may be on par with the emphatic Infonet season of 2048. 65 goals, 18 conceded, +47 GD and a twelve point gap between us and a Ventspils side who never in truth caused us any problems other than that one defeat. I'm more satisfied at the 18 point real estate ahead of those loathed Spartaks, they had a stinker and only just pipped Gulbene to a Europa League spot. Babite went down on the final day, not that surprising in honesty but held things together to the final day.


Does this count as a treble? The Skonto U19s were also successful in earning the Under 19s league accolade.

Top season that made! Very successful!
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Well done on a great season, bye bye Skonto now then?
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
@Dan - It was a great success indeed, very enjoyable period in Latvia I must say!




Comes without surprise that James Frimpong dominated the Skonto awards and taking a fat slab of the percentage, two thirds of it to be precise to win fans’ player of the season. Otankis surprised me by finishing second and doing a bit of a disservice to Pavels Nosiks who finished third, a little harsh considering how much creative influence he had on the field. Frimpong also picked up goal of the season for his wonderful solo strike in the 4-0 mincing of Gulbene. McParland 2.0, I mean Kharaishvili was an inspired buy, flawless in the air (like McParland), impassable at times (like McParland). Lad has a very bright future ahead. I’ve probably ranted about this before, but how can a 24 year old be considered ‘young player’ of the season? Nosiks or Kharaishvili would have definitely been in the running otherwise. Take nothing away from Frimpong though, he had an amazing season.




…and here’s why Frimpong's season was incredible. 31 goals, 7.53 average rating, 13 assists. Absolute beast. Kwaku Boakye had some strops and dips in form at times, but no denying he knew how to cross and square a ball as he helped himself to 13 assists too. Vladimirs Straume deserves a worthy mention, the ace up the sleeve in a time of need. Shame he didn’t start more but his versatility was necessary off the bench. Solid passer too with almost a 90% pass completion. Pavels Nosiks was a breath of fresh air in the camp, always took gambles, strung passes through the eye of a needle and looked dangerous every time he got on the ball. 10 deserved man of the match awards. Holding midfielder Milasevics didn’t exactly stand out for better or worse, he kept things in check between defence and midfield and only accumulated 6 yellows and 1 red.



Jeez, Frimpong’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed that’s for sure as he came third in the CAF African Striker of the Year award. Putting things in perspective, the winner is a Nigerian Barcelona maestro and quite possibly the greatest African footballer since Didier Drogba and the other was a Zamalek icon who owned the Egyptian league. Amazing how Frimpong is among this list.


Alas, my time is done in Latvia. The three Baltic nations conquered and arguably my most enjoyable experiences in this FM journey.


Twitter blew up...sort of. Interesting comments.

@bigmattb28 Spoilers.



Nation: North Macedonia
Media Prediction (Odds): 3rd/10 (9-4)
Expectations: N/A
Pros: Most recent champions of the Macedonian league. Champions League football to look forward to. Abundance of depth in squad.
Cons: At the risk of sounding xenophobic, far too many foreigners especially in a league that restricts the number of foreign players. Not exactly swimming in money right now.



Didn't even make the shortlist. DIDN'T EVEN MAKE THE GOD DAMN SHORTLIST. Are they unaware of my recent success in Latvia? Absolutely disgusted.


Nation: Latvia
World Ranking: 149th
Expectations: "Don't get outclassed in Nations League"
Pros: Strong knowledge of the domestic league and key performers. In lowest division in Nations League, fairly winnable group apart from Slovakia. Keep managerial abilities fresh before stepping into new job.
Cons: Very poor in world rankings. No assistant manager in place. All domestic squad, bar one or two playing in more competitive leagues.



Offer on the table. Can't hurt to go back into international management, right?

What a wonderful season! Congrats man!
What will you do now? Will you accept the job for the national team? It looks interesting
Fino alla fine
For your continued efforts and amazing story you've built up over the last couple years, keeping many people entertained, this has now been righfully added to the small list of hall of fame careers!

New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
For a career that's been on going for almost THREE YEARS i believe @DNZY's career belongs in the Susie Hall of Fame and I don't think it's finished yet.
I second the above comments on this, well done mate.

For me I'd take the Latvia job. Then see whats about domestically in a year or so's time.
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
@bcsaulJ - Thank you my man, looks that way indeed!

@Dan - Truly honoured to be promoted to the hall of fame, I've enjoyed this save to death and it gives me a warm feeling to know a lot of people have enjoyed this from start to finish. Thanks for the support!

@Shedender - Three years, damn. Seems like only yesterday when I began this. I've absolutely no intention to stop this at the moment, just personal life getting in the way of putting out updates more frequently. Thanks for all the support!

@bigmattb28 - Thank you mate! There's sweet FA in the job market right now. International management is certainly a good distraction.





Having wrapped up their domestic league, I now take the reins of the Latvian national side in the hopes of steering them back into Division C of the UEFA Nations league; pitted against Andorra, Slovakia and our Baltic rivals Lithuania. Nicknamed “Vienpadsmit Vilki” or the “11 Wolves”, Latvia are seen as the strongest of the three Baltic nations in a carmine coloured kit to match the colour of the flag.


Independent since 1918 and breaking free of Soviet and Nazi occupation in 1991, Latvia lays betwixt their Baltic neighbours Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south, while also bordering Belarus and Russia in the process. The flag features a standard fess of white between a dark red (or Japanese carmine) which symbolises bloodshed, similar to that of the Austrian flag. The nation accommodates slightly below 2 million, with the capital city of Riga taking just under a third of this total. Other populous cities include Jurmala, Daugavpils and Liepaja.


Latvia in game play their internationals at Skonto Stadium, which was the case in real life up until 2018 where they are now migrated to Daugavas stadions. Recently upgraded to a UEFA Cat 4 rated, 10,600 capacity stadium, it began with a winning start as Latvia defeated Estonia 1-0 in the 2018 Baltic Cup. The stadium is also used domestically by Virslīga side FK Metta/LU. Did you know it also holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records? To celebrate Latvia’s 90th year of independence back in 2008, it produced the most people running 100 metres in a 24 hour relay at 3,807.


Many folk tend to forget that Latvia actually qualified for a major tournament, having stunned Turkey in the playoffs on aggregate to reach Euro 2004 in Portugal – even going as far as earning a credible 0-0 draw with Rudi Voller’s disappointing Germany side, preventing them from progressing in their group behind Czech Republic and Holland. The Baltic Cup has also been a cornerstone of success for the Latvians, hosted every two years between themselves, Lithuania and Estonia. Latvia have the most Baltic cup successes (IRL) with 13 to their name and a further 7 in the FM-era.



Latvia sunk to as low as 189th by the end of 2052, but have slowly picked up some steam to rise back into the 120-130 territory six years later. Unfortunately it could solidify and have fallen to below 150th in recent months, only marginally squeezing into 149th which is where they stand presently. Not the prettiest graph trend in the world.


SLOVENIA (H) - 96th


Without warning I went straight into our first friendly with a pre-picked experimental selection, and surprisingly worked. Mostly had to thank a crunching two footer by Slovenia's Babic that killed any sort of tempo to their game. Spartaks forward Ricards Stolcers delivered the only goal with help of a fortunate deflection from a Slovenian defender. Impressive victory to say the least.

ALBANIA (H) - 37th


Roles reversed against the Albanians who were flying in the rankings to begin with. Never grabbed a foothold, defended rather desperately while the visitors kept probing. Our domestic-centric side failed to clear a corner properly and left Osmani exposed who buried it. No shame in defeat here.


A boost to the ranking, but come on...six places? Really? We stunned Slovenia for Christ's sake.

Why a NT-team???? Just for fun, or can you move up with a win here?
@b0nb0n - Weren't many good clubs available.




Nation: Georgia
Media Prediction (Odds): 7th/10 (55-1)
Current Position 8th
Expectations: Top half finish
Pros: Current league champions. Still alive in the Georgian cup. Eight points off European places. Good quality of depth in squad.
Cons: Heavily struggling in the league with a bad run of form. Finances in the red. Only two points off drop. Could easily be a poisoned chalice like the Batumi job.



Slightly disappointed not to get it, however it carried the same red flags like the Batumi position a few seasons back. Still club hunting





Not exactly beaming with exports outside of Latvia, but welcome returns for Recickis in goals, ex-Skonto hero Pavels Nosiks to add the creative flair to the midfield and Tarasovs who plays in Estonia with Tammeka Tartu. Sizable bias to Spartaks' attacking options because Stolcers is a goal machine and will no doubt link up with Purins quite well. Brils, Otankis, Vlad & Roman Tukris are the call ups from Skonto.


Would have had an extra DM if not for an injury to Rozkovs, bringing in a two star Liholetovs from RFS as a utility attacking mid. Talent is scarce in this nation.



Definitely a work in progress. Andorra had two good moments that could've embarrassed us, otherwise we managed a firm grip on the game. Stolcers rifled in the only goal at the break and eventually KO'd our weary opponents in the final quarter. Nosiks was sublime; assisted the second for Tarasovs, firing in a beautiful third and catalysing the fourth in injury time which Stolcers hit again with power. Rock solid start.


Maiden international goal for Nosiks, undoubtedly will become a national treasure.



Yikes, our noisy neighbours from the south silenced in the battle of the Baltic sea. Three up in 13 minutes, Stolcers with a deflected effort and two wonderful finishes by Skonto's own Roman Tukris had everything wrapped up nicely. Lithuania pressed us hard for an unlikely comeback, Recickis in goal was equal to everything they threw at him. By then, it was too late; a poor goalkeeping clearance to Cekulajevs...well, this clip can explain the rest.



Don't think he'll score a better one in his entire career.



Best possible start! Hard to believe Slovakia lost to the Lithuanians, leaving the table well in our favour. Next two games are crucial, welcoming the Slovaks to Riga and then travelling across the border to Vilnius in what will be a crunch game with Lithuania.


Another jump in the rankings to 139th. Perhaps international management is my calling?

A 4-0 win in the Baltic derby?! you're doing great!
Fino alla fine
Lithuania didn't put up much of a fight at all, great result! That goal was an absolute peach too
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
@bcsaulJ - Expected more from Lithuania, but glad to smash them to pieces! Thank you!

@bigmattb28 - They had a bad day but put up a little bit of fight...after the third goal. The goal was a beaut, I agree.







Pohang winger Maris Eltermanis missed out through injury last time, moving straight back into the first team as our only 5* player in this disappointing deck of cards. Young 18 year old Vitalijs Grigorovs is the only natural centre back and could be in line for a first cap. Aivars Rozkovs also in after injury denied the last international session.


But of course SI never make things straightforward, meaning 17 year old centre back Jurijs Goba from Jelgava makes up the numbers.



Slovakia's 4-3-3 formation was a nightmare to tame in a flat performance. Left back Ikaunieks failed to trace the run of Mikel Mikulanin who sourced the cross to the goalscorer Matus Duris who tapped home with ease. Couple of half chances here and there, Eltermanis coming closest, denied by the fingertips of Hyza onto the post in the Slovakian goal. Head to head record now favours Slovakia, leaving us with a big task to reverse the damage in Trnava



Got out of jail against our reformed neighbours. Lithuania overwhelmed us in the first half, cracking the woodwork twice, forcing key saves from Recickis and deservedly hitting the front via Vituknyas. Me being the tactical galaxy brain, a double sub made the difference with twenty minutes left; Eltermanis on - goal and assist for Stolcers' equaliser, Indrans on - delivers a stunning free kick from the arc of the D. Crucial win to keep us in contention.



The ridiculous head to head rule means it's do or die when we face Slovakia away, even with our far superior goal difference. Taking absolutely no chances against Andorra either to completely rule out a highly unlikely Lithuanian fight back.


Come on, seriously? Argentina number 1?

Unlucky against the Slovaks mate, keep the faith though you may just turn them over next time and qualify, fingers crossed.
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
@bigmattb28 - On paper they don't have an intimidating squad, think their best player plays for Benevento in Italy.







Rallied an unbiased approach to picking the squad based on form over merit, four changes in all. Former Gulbene midfielder and good friend Pavels Nalivaiko (now at RTU) has been unreal domestically with 16 assists and amazingly is uncapped at international level, replacing Liholetovs. Spartaks centre back Putnins returns from injury to edge out Sitenkovs, Riga FC's Siromolotovs and Skonto super-sub Vladimirs Straume also make the cut.



Ricards Stolcers is a goal magnet at present. With all due respect, there weren't concerns even with Andorra's shock opener from a sweetly struck free kick. All three goals followed the same blueprint - exploiting their right byline. So much real estate for Tarasovs to roam and twice crossed to an unmarked Stolcers to head home, while Purins went with a low cross but met with the same result. Ideal prep for the trip to Slovakia..


Hold the phones, we have an interesting twist on our hands!


It now leaves us top, requiring all but a solitary draw in Trnava to gain promotion to Division C. A nation holds it's breath.



Yet again we couldn't match Slovakia's 4-3-3 setup, bereft of ideas to accomplish the objective. Sergejs Brils rarely makes mistakes but simply didn't do enough to prevent Jakub Fieber escaping his marker to tap home from a cross. A second half penalty well and truly undid our laces, Matus Duris going straight down the middle. Tarasovs had an open goal gaping but his free header had no pace at all to trouble the Slovak keeper. A disappointing end to what could have been.



By virtue of H2H, Slovakia are promoted despite equal points and a superior GD. Lithuania played their role perfectly, defeating Slovakia home and away but failed to hold our end of the bargain.


A slight rise up the ranks based on results, still expected more.

Gutting way to end the nations league man, I'm not a fan of the head to head rule, should always be points then goal difference.

What's next now then, a return to club management?
Current story - The Flying Scotsman
What a pity! We played a great group
now it's time to return to the field, a club is waiting for you
Fino alla fine
Unfortunate end, that! A "freak goal" and a spot-kick!
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