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Taking inspiration from DZNY's Jacob's Ladder Challenge, I am going to attempt to take on a similar challenge, but for every continental federation - starting with this leg - Oceania.

The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge

A couple of shoutouts to start with, as this challenge wouldn't be possible without the excellent work of both @DNZY, whose challenge "Climbing Jacob's Ladder" (which is compelling if you have not yet seen it) inspired the basis of this challenge. Equally it would arguably be less possible without the fantastic work of @claassen, whose comprehensive database I will be using, the best out there in my opinion.

The Challenge Rules

So, the aim of the challenge is to complete the Jacob's Ladder challenge on every single continent, starting with the lowest ranked continent, and ending up with the highest ranked nations on the highest ranked continent.

The fairest way to decide the order of the continents is to analyse the only inter-continental club competition - the Club World Cup, and see how each continent performed in the previous edition (2016).

So I will take on Oceania, Africa, Asia, CONCACAF, South America and then Europe in that order - potentially starting a new career for each in order to make each challenge more authentic.

The last thing to explain is What is the Jacob's Ladder challenge?
Basically speaking, I will start off unemployed, with the lowest qualifications etc, and load up the three leagues with the lowest ranking points in their confederation.
Once I have won two out of the three available top divisions, I can then load up the next three lowest ranked leagues and so on, until I have won two of the top three ranked leagues.
If I manage to do that successfully, then I will have completed the confederation and can move onto the next ranked continent.

The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge - First Leg - Oceania


I start in Oceania, where there aren't any official ranking points to grade the leagues.
These are the current Oceania Champions League rules on qualification.
So the 15 playable nations are ranked into three groups : Developed leagues ; developing leagues and then unrecognised leagues (not affiliated with the OFC)
Based on these rules, and FM18's League Rankings based on reputation:
I have come up with the following logical order to climb the ladder:
Tier 1
1) New Zealand
2) Fiji
3) Vanuatu
Tier 2
4) Tahiti
5) Papua New Guinea
6) Solomon Islands
Tier 3
7) New Caledonia
8) Cook Islands
9) Samoa
Tier 4
10) Tonga - Ha'amoko United Youth FC - Tongan National League Winners 2020
11) American Samoa
12) Tuvalu
Tier 5
13) Kiribati - Marakei - Kiribatian National Championship Winners 2018
14) Wallis and Futuna Islands
15) Micronesia - Maap - Yap Football Association Island Wide League Winners 2019
Looks good, will definitely follow!

The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge - First Leg - Oceania


So, I start my managerial career, completely unqualified and with a distinct lack of talent, in the sunny climates of Oceania. I need to start from the bottom, so have loaded only the three lowest ranked nations in Oceania, as I explained in my previous post.
Tier 5
13) Kiribati
14) Wallis and Futuna Islands
15) Micronesia

After loading the leagues up and having a look at them initially, I think I am going to avoid Micronesia, because as a collection of states, they have two entirely unconnected top flights, and therefore two league champions, and only I can reign supreme in this challenge.

As the Kiribati league runs from May - October, and the Wallis and Futuna Islands league runs from September - February, there is a good chance that I can get both leagues sown up in my first 12 months or so.
As the game has loaded up in March - I am going to look for a job to start my career in Kiribati.
I wasted no time - quickly applying for a job at Marakei, a side predicted to do well this campaign.
Hardly surprising that I got offered the job at a fully amateur club, who only have a value of £1000 themselves!

Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2017


April/May 2017 - Welcome to management

I join Marakei, the side from Marakei Island, with a population of just under 3,000. Kiribati is made up of 33 islands, totalling a population of around 110,000, but only has one football stadium, the Bairiki National Stadium on neighbouring Tarawa Island. Because of this, all 20 teams use the island as their home stadium, so there will be no home or away advantage.
As you can see, the pitch condition is..... interesting to say the least, and the description of "terrible" is accurate.

League Rules and Conditions

Due to all fixtures being played at the same stadium, the 20 teams in the league are split into 4 different groups of 5 teams, which are all played in different months of the season to preserve the pitch. It appears that the groups are drawn at random with Group A playing in May, Group B in June, Group C in July/August and Group D in August/September.
The top 4 teams from each group of 5 then qualify for the Round of 16 and it becomes a knockout competition - presumably with a higher position in your group earning you an easier fixture. The bottom side in each group is relegated.
Each side plays four group games, once against each side in it's group.

We are drawn in Group D, so face no league fixtures for the next 4 months, and as only one of four Oceanian nations with no cup competition, we will get by on friendlies to test out our squad and see where improvements need to be made. The final advantage that we have is considering all clubs are amateur, if a player performs well in Groups A-C, we can potentially sign them for ourselves.


As far as club history goes, the club were runners up back in 2010, losing the final on penalties to Makin. A little research shows that actually the league has only been played once since then, in 2013 when Makin won again.
In terms of current personnel, we have three 5 star players, all left sided players with two left backs - David Suri (who can also play at right-back) and Nathan Price and a left winger - Louis Meredith. We currently have no GK, second DC, both MC's, MR/AMR, DM or second STC at more than one star, so will need to do a fair bit of recruiting.
In terms of formation, I plan on keeping it simple with a 4-1-4-1 initially, making most of our excellent fullbacks bombing on past wide-midfielders, leaving the DM to cover the gaps they leave at the back. The main focus will be counter-attacking football, getting the ball from back to front as quickly as possible initially.

Considering we lack any staff other than my assistant, I set his instructions to buy/make offers for young players, and boy has he come through!
He will slot in immediately as the offensive one of the CM pairing.

With Group A about to kick off, the title odds have come out, and after a few decent signings, we are now favourites!

We have also brought in Duddley Nanai (GK), Josefa Trotter (DC), Josh Michael (DC), Simon Chaplin (DR), Ian Tutchen (MC), Richard Watkins (MR) and Dave Ingham (STC), all of whom are rated as 4 stars or more and will form part of our strongest XI. They need friendlies to gel whilst the other groups are being played.

Inbetween friendlies, the financial news of the century was confirmed as we sold a whole 65 season tickets at a cost of £1 each, making a whopping £65!!

As May ends, as does Group A, with an interesting conclusion, as Aranuka - the side predicted to top the group - got relegated! Less competition for us I suppose.

Our results in April/May in friendlies are as follows, and see us currently unbeaten. Although these games have shown me that my original idea of counter-attacking won't work, and we will be attacking in a 4-4-1-1 throughout the campaign.
that pitch!! good luck, looks like a great challenge
@tongey, cheers mate, doesn't help that every single game in the league and U20's gets played on it, but it's disgusting!
@DNZY, thanks! Would never have even thought of it as a challenge without you starting something similar
Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2017


June/July 2017 - Friendlies and Group B/C poaching

We need to keep ticking over with friendlies in June and July, although also keeping an eye out for ways to strengthen the squad, particularly with a backup striker, another AMC and a Ball-Winning CM. Hopefully we can poach these from sides in Group B/C, as these will develop over June/July as well, but this will largely be a period of downtime.

To start the month, we will avoid friendlies, due to some of our stars being called up for national duty! Josefa Trotter scored the winner for Kiribati Under 23's against Cook Islands U23's, which was pleasing, whilst Duddley Nanai, Alex Tua and Dave Ingham all made debuts for the full Kiribati team!

This is our current progress in friendlies.
Arguably not great, but equally arguably I wasn't managing most of them, and generally suck in friendly matches.

Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2017


August 2017 - The long wait is over

August sees me actually start my managerial career after FOUR months of preparation, I'm now confident that we can be a force in the Kiribati National League. We play our first three league games this month, against North Tarawa (h), Onotoa (a) and Maiana (h).[N.B. All home and away ties are irrelevant as they are all played at the same stadium].

Group B was relatively uneventful, but Group C saw another major side fall by the wayside in Butaritari! Now, we can finally start Group D!

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - North Tarawa (h) - (1/4)


Playing on a now terrible quality pitch, and without best CB Josh Michael, we need to focus on trying to outscore the opposition. Steve Cibilich and Kwame English put North Tarawa into an early 2-0 lead. But we showed character after an awful start and when Boyd Meredith missed a penalty to put them 3-0 up on 20 minutes we kicked into gear, with Louis Meredith and Dave Ingham levelling the score after an hour. When we won a penalty of our own, Marvin Saukuru netted to give us the 3-2 victory.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Onotoa (a) - (2/4)


In what is billed to be our hardest game, Louis Meredith headed a free-kick past his own keeper on 5 minutes. Josh Michael equalised from the back, heading home a free-kick just 12 minutes in. We lost Simon Chaplin and Dave Ingham to injuries, before Alex Tua missed from the spot in what proved to be the opportunity for the winner as we drew 1-1.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Maiana (h) - (3/4)


We are building a reputation for two things - starting slowly and missing penalties, and both combined here as Alex Tua missed a pen after just 3 minutes, before Jordan Eroi put them 1-0 up after a quarter of an hour. We pushed to equalise but missed good chances, before Eroi doubled Maiana's advantage with 10 minutes to play. This kicked us into gear as Richard Watkins and then Ngatuaine Burton levelled the scores, before Burton had a chance to win it, but fluffed his lines.

Overall August performance



P3 W1 D2 L0 GF6 GA5 PTS5

We have qualified, but have had to come from behind in every game, including from behind by 2 goals twice, so we need to look at how we start matches for the next phase!
Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2017


September2017 - Knockout Football

The only confirmed fixture in September is the final league game against Nikunau (a), but we will also play against a currently unknown side in the last 16 of the league on September 23rd.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Nikunau (a) - (4/4)

As our strikers were misfiring, and Dave Ingham was out injured, I picked up Paul Mullings - the competition top scorer currently, and he showed why, bagging after only 23 minutes for his new club. Trialling a 4-4-2 formation, his strike partner Ngatuaine Burton then doubled our lead, before we were pulled back to 2-1 at the break. Burton got his second early in the second half, and despite creating other chances, neither side added to the scoreline.



So, we topped our group comfortably, with Nikunau going down. It turns out that where you finish in the league has no relevance whatsoever, other than earning you a home tie, which is irrelevant since there is only one stadium in Kiribati. So we have been drawn against Betio Town Council (BTC), a decent side, previous winners and predicted to do well, a really tough draw.

Kiribati National Championship - Betio Town Council (h) - (Eighth Final)


A really interesting first half that ebbed and flowed, with us dominating the first 30 minutes, but BTC came back into it and were the better side towards the end of the half. We were playing well, but our strike force was letting us down, so Burton and Mullings were being replaced by the returning Ingham, and exciting youth product Max Hughes. However, they must have noticed this, as shortly after the instructions were given to make the changes, Mullings broke free of the defence and squared to Burton who put us 1-0 up. This clearly woke the side up, as Marvin Saukuru played in Burton again, who doubled our advantage on the hour. Josefa Trotter put the tie beyond any doubt, heading home from a corner and giving us our biggest victory to date.

Overall September performance



Next round, we have been drawn against Onotoa from our group, and they were probably our most difficult fixture to date, so the QF will be challenging. On a side note, all clubs from our group advanced.

Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2017


October2017 - Potenial Glory?

With all football in Kiribati coming to a close, we are three wins away from claiming success at the first attempt in this tropical paradise. Having said that, we will have to get past Onotoa, who proved difficult when we last played them, so we can't take anything for granted. The fixture is played on October 14th.

Kiribati National Championship - Onotoa (N) - (Quarter Final)


We got off to a bad start, with Steve Dawson putting them into a deserved lead at the break. We responded well at half-time, but fell two behind when Tagi Williams netted a penalty. Ngatuaine Burton pulled one back with a penalty of his own, but as we were going towards the final 15 minutes we were heading out, so had to go attacking, took off our left-back, and brought on a third striker in Max Hughes as an all or nothing move. But it paid off! Hughes latched onto a through ball 8 minutes from time to level the scores with his first ever career goal and send the fans into raptures! The game went to extra-time, when Tagi Williams netted with a few minutes to go, dashing our hopes and putting us out of the competition.

Disappointing end to the season, but going out to the eventually winners, who thrashed the opposition in both semis and final isn't too bad.
The board have let me keep my job for now, and with a better team chemistry, and a couple more signings, especially defensively, I am going all out to win the title next year.
Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2018


November 2017 - May 2018 - Dormant Period

We need to focus on retaining current personnel as well as finding new players to fill the gaps we currently have, particularly in defence/goal.

With so many ins and outs (with one player both leaving and re-joining twice in the same window), it would seem extreme to list them all, but I will quickly detail the key movements.
The center of the pitch was identified as our weakest area, so I have rectified this by bringing in a stable spine for the team.

Oh! And I'm now studying for my first coaching badge - National C License - should be done by July.

We have also arranged friendlies at a rate of one per week until we start playing - as we have found ourselves in Group D and kicking off in August again! These are against Kiribati National Championship sides, and should evaluate our squad, as well as building tactical familiarity with our 4-4-2 formation and build team chemistry.

We go into the season as overwhelming favourites this year, after massively strengthening our squad from what was probably the second best last season.
However, we have got Arorae and last season's champions Onotoa in our Group so we will be tested throughout our campaign. Other than that, the rules are identical to last season's.

This is a summary of how our friendlies have gone so far. We controlled every game other than the Onotoa game.

Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2018


June/July 2018 - Observe and poach

We need to continue ticking the squad over with friendlies, experimenting between our three chosen tactics of 4-1-4-1, 4-4-1-1 and 4-4-2, to see which is optimal for the league campaign.
We should also keep an eye on how Groups A, B and C pan out and see if there are any standout players to join our side.

As Group A finishes - Tarawa Teinainano finished bottom, after being predicted to finish second - which makes my life easier!
From Tabuaeran - who won Group A - we acquired 5 star centre-back Graham Bolton to partner Sean Deeley - making 4 parts of our back 5 at five stars!

Just completed my National C License, and have now started my National B - and for a cost of £410 when I have made the club £13,000, it would've been rude of them to say no!
Group B brought about no real shocks as Abemama went down, although predicted winners Makin finished third.

Here is a summary of our friendlies so far. Nothing tragic, but so far I think Kiritimati will be the side that will be our closest competition for the league, they are also currently 3 wins from 3 in Group C to back that thought up.
Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2018


August/September 2018 - 10 months on, this time it's personal

August once again is the stage for some competitive action, and with 6 games played in 17 months, it is very much needed. We kick off our campaign in late August with games against Arorae (a) and Maiana (h). I drew against Maiana last season, an Arorae are tipped to do well, so once again we have a difficult group, which is completed by last season's champions Onotoa and Betio, who may prove to be the whipping boys. I play those other two games in September with Onotoa (a) before Betia (h). We will then hopefully enter the knockout stages by finishing in the top 4 of 5 in our group!

Group C saw no shocks as Kuria continued their fall from grace, after being predicted to finish 2nd last season! My 315-day wait for competitive football is now over as Group D can begin! To wrap up our final friendlies - we won both 4-1, which was especially impressive against previously unbeaten Group B winners Tamana.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Arorae (a) - (1/4)


Epeli Carroll put us 1-0 up after 8 minutes after he escaped the defence and slotted home. He then crashed home a free-kick from 25 yards halfway through the first half to give us a cushion. Sean Deeley then put the result beyond doubt, as he scored on his debut from a corner early in the second half. Substitute Ngatuaine Burton then continued his prolific form from last season to put us 4-0 up, scoring within 5 minutes of his introduction. With 13 minutes to play, Burton slid a ball through to strike partner Carroll, who completed his hat-trick with a chip into the top-corner. An emphatic result, my highest win yet on FM18.

Just as an interesting side-note - this is what the press have to say about us on the back of a 5-0 win and three 4-1 wins, as well as a total of six consecutive wins.
It's good to see they have a sense of humour.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Maiana (h) - (2/4)


Wayne Harris scored an own goal to put us 1-0 up after pressure from Burton. He then capitalised on another Harris error to put us two nil to the good just before the break. Epeli Carroll had a quiet first half, but quickly rectified that on the hour mark with two quick, emphatically taken goals. Another complete annihilation against a side that we drew with this time last season, showing how much we have progressed.

Overall August performance



P2 W2 D0 L0 GF9 GA0 PTS6

Not only has August seen us not concede, but we haven't actually faced a shot on target yet! We need to keep this up and keep the momentum going as we have the grudge match against Onotoa - the side who put us out of the competition last season.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Onotoa (a) - (3/4)


With Onotoa yet to register a shot, Epeli Carroll put us 1-0 up after 25 minutes, his 6th of the campaign. Sam Nolan however equalised, with the first shot on target against us in 221 minutes of football. Ngatuaine Burton put us back in the driving seat just after the hour mark, breaking free of the defence and smashing home. 10 minutes later he then got fouled in the box, dusted himself down, and hit the spotkick straight at the keeper! However Louis Meredith recycled the ball and squared for Burton to tap in. Richard Watkins then put us in total control, as we made up for the defeat that we suffered last time. They only managed two shots on target, which is another positive, but we lost Tereapii Steele for 5-6 weeks which is a blow.

Kiribati National Championship - Group D - Betio (h) - (4/4)


In a dull first half - we were clearly missing Steele - in the last minute of the half, Carroll got his eighth in four games from the spot after Louis Meredith was fouled. Easily our worst performance, but a win none the less.

An emphatic first three games, followed by a disappointing one against the relegated side - but no-one really thrashed them.

So, as you can see we have been drawn against Arorae - who we have already beaten 5-0 this campaign, although we will be without influential CM Steele (he should be back for the Quarter Finals.)

Kiribati National Championship - Arorae (N) - (Eighth Round)


Sean Deeley started us off by scoring his second of the season against Arorae, heading home a free-kick after 17'. Danny Hughes then put us in a precarious position by earning two yellow cards in two minutes on 29' and 30'. Ngatuaine Burton came off the bench and put in a cameo performance, netting a brace which counteracted Tangaroa's header. Despite being down to ten men for an hour - we extended our lead and only conceded two shots on target.

Overall September performance



P3 W3 D0 L0 GF8 GA2 PTS6

So we now face Makin - who we have drawn with once already this season in a pre-season friendly. We will face the winners of Beru-North Tarawa if we make it past the next stage, whilst disappointingly, Onotoa came from behind to stay in the competition. The most positive thing to date, is that despite thrashing sides and Burton and Carroll scoring for fun, we have conceded 4 shots on target across 5 games so far this season!
Marakei - Kiribatian National Football Championship - Season 2018


October 2018 - Dare to dream

October sees us take a second stab at winning the Kiribatian National Football Championship. We have got a maximum of three game to play and win this month, starting with the fixture against Makin - the side predicted to finish fifth before the start of the campaign - in the Quarter Finals on October 20th.

Kiribati National Championship - Makin (N) - (QF)


With Danny Hughes out suspended being our only team impairment, we started the game in our usual fashion - with Epeli Carroll tapping in his ninth in 6 games early on. Despite our domination, Sean Kumar headed home from a free-kick to equalise before the break. Ngatuaine Burton then continued his record of scoring a goal per game in the competition to put us 2-1 up midway through the second half following Richard Watkins diagonal ball. Andrew Flynn made an excellent save to keep us ahead with 10 minutes to go - coincidentally this was their next shot after the goal. With the game about to end, Ian Tutchen got fouled in the box, and Carroll stepped up to make it number 10 for the season from the spot.
So we make it through to the semi-final stage where we meet North Tarawa in just 3 days! They annihilated Beru in the Quarters, but we beat them last year, drew with them in pre-season and have improved massively since then. Onotoa are disappointingly still in the competition, but are on the other side of the draw against Tabuaeran.

Kiribati National Championship - Tabuaeran (N) - (SF)


16 minutes in, Ngatuaine Burton got fouled in the box, dusted himself down, and BLAZED THE BALL OVER. Oh well.... Fortunately 10 minutes later Louis Meredith centered for Epeli Carroll to grab number 11. When Richard Watkins was fouled in the second period, we won our second penalty of the game, and I gave Burton a chance to redeem himself - which he took, putting us 2-0 up. Our two goal cushion didn't last for long as Kwame English pulled one back for North Tarawa. Tagi Williams then conspired to concede a penalty, giving North Tarawa a chance to equalise, but Andrew Flynn produced the heroics, diving and clawing the ball out of the top corner! Hardly one of our most vintage performances, but it did the job!

In other news, Onotoa were given a taste of their own medicine in the other semi-final as they went out after drawing 2-2 in normal time, just how they knocked us out last season!! Now a 4-day gap and we will face a Tabuaeran side who were the only ones to beat us fairly in pre-season friendlies this season, so it's going to be close!

Kiribati National Championship - Tabuaeran (N) - (Final)


Epeli Carroll's lobbed finish into the top-corner from the edge of the box put us 1-0 up inside 10 minutes. It was his 12th of the season, and means he scored in every round other than the Eighth Final. Louis Meredith doubled the lead after Richard Watkins' good cushioned header as part of a corner routine. We don't like doing things the easy way however, as Nick Guscott capitalised on some rare slack defending just before the break. However Carroll had one last chance to restore our two goal advantage, but he was hauled down by Sean Pittman, who as the last man saw his marching orders. He was inconsolable as he left the pitch, but leading against 10 men, it became our final to lose. Carroll clinched the game, and there is no better player to do it, as he ruthlessly finished off a counter-attack. However it proved to be unlucky goal #13 for him though as he proceeded to pick up a knock and have to be substituted with the respect of every single football fan and a standing ovation.
Epeli Carroll led the way for us, netting 13 goals in 8 games, at an average rating of 8.35, despite being only half a star. Richard Watkins also provided the most assists in the league with 6. Ngatuaine Burton's 7 goals and 4 assists in 8 goals was also pivotal.

Overall October performance



P3 W3 D0 L0 GF8 GA3 PTS

https://i.imgur.com/kmeWTxY.png Oh and I got my National B License! I could move on now, but with the Micronesian football having just finished and no available jobs in Wallis and Futuna, I might as well stay at Marakei and get my next coaching badge!https://i.imgur.com/UN0EgAH.png
The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge - First Leg - Oceania


I have now acomplished everything possible with Marakei in Kiribati, so after achieving my National A Coaching License, I bid them a fond farewell.
Tier 5
13) Kiribati - Marakei - Kiribatian National Championship 2018
14) Wallis and Futuna Islands
15) Micronesia
With Kiribati complete, my options are either a job on the Wallis and Futuna Islands, or in Micronesia. There is some sort of bug whereby when I apply for the vacant positions in the Wallis and Futuna league, I am immediately told that they are accepting no more applications, and a year later the post still isn't filled.

Therefore, I am left with little choice but to pursue a job in Micronesia, and fortunately with the league about to start, there is a position available at Maap in the Yap Football Association Island League.
So my managerial career will resume in Micronesia!

Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


April 2019 - The smallest league on the smallest continent

I join Maap, part of the state of Yap, one of four states that comprise Micronesia. With only two states having football leagues - Pohnpei and Yap, all football is contained within each state, so I will just be focusing on the Yap Championship. With a population of just over 11,000, Yap is considerably smaller than Kiribati where I have just been, although the two island nations are 4,000km apart. Like Kiribati, Yap only has one football stadium, the Yap Sports Complex, so there will be no home or away advantage throughout the season.
As you can see, the pitch is massively improved when compared to the sludge pit of the Kiribatian National Stadium.

League Rules and Conditions

There are 8 teams in the Yap Island League, with each side playing the other 7 teams twice each, over a period of April-November.
As soon as each side has played 14 games, the top four sides in the league go into a direct knockout competition, playing single leg semi-finals and then a final.
In addition, there will be my first opportunity for cup glory in addition to league action, as league football stops in July and August, to allow for the Yap Games to be played.
The 8 sides are split into two groups of 4, play each team in their group twice, before the top two in each group advance to the single-leg knockout semi-finals and final.
One thing that is for sure is that we will be playing a lot more fixtures, as I accumulated 14 games over two seasons in Kiribati, I will play anywhere between 20 and 24 in one season alone in Micronesia/Yap.


Obviously Maap are an amateur side, and information on them is difficult to find, even as far as finding a logo for them! What I have found is that in real-life, 6-a-side football is far more frequently played than the 11-a-side version. But as far as previous seasons go for Maap - they came 7th of 8 in the league last season which is clearly disappointing, although they are the current holders of the Yap Games!

When looking at our current squad, Dion Pelep in goal stands out as our only 5 star player, whilst we lack a suitable second striker or second centre-back, as well as any RB, MR or ML, and with our first league game in SIX days, complete with no backroom staff, we are going to need to get a wiggle on.

In terms of formation, I plan on keeping it simple with a 4-4-2, making most of our good CM partnership and generally strong core with a decent STC and DC as well as Pelep in goal.

In terms of league fixtures this month we play Fanif FC (h), Gagil (a), Tamil (h) and Nimgli Youth Organization (a) - last year's champions, which will also be televised!

We have also brought in Roger Cantero (MR) and Lexter Barnabus (DC), who are both rated 3 stars and will form part of our strongest XI.

Yap Football Association Island League - Fanif FC (h) - (1/14)


After a dull first half, with the team clearly adapting to my tactic and playing with each other, we took the lead on the hour mark through wide-midfielder June Santiago's arrowed finish. Substitute striker Curtis Kariti smashed home a second, after he was brought on for the injured Valerio Olmos. Kariti then picked up his second with 15 minutes to play in the 31 degree heat to put the tie beyond doubt. But we weren't done there as strike partner Thomas Rasug scored our fourth as it became a rout.
Even more amazingly, Kariti ended a TWENTY game goalless streak, whilst Rasug ended a thirteen game goalless streak!!

Between these two games we strengthened our squad with 18 year old June Saimon as a 3-star right-back, and Gibson Saimon, a 4 star RM and 5 star CM who will prove invaluable throughout the campaign.

Yap Football Association Island League - Gagil (a) - (2/14)


When Taylor gave a penalty, Alek Apwong hit his penalty straight at our keeper Dion Pelep! We punished them for this miss 15 minutes later, as Curtis Kariti's run behind the defence and cross on the counter-attack gave Thomas Rasug an easy tap-in. Apwong did end up getting the equaliser however, after a nice team move. A well-worked team move saw Sebastian Paul put us 2-1 up, but Apwong equalised after another well-worked move. They did deservedly get the win however, as our torrid defending continued as we gave away another penalty, which Pluhs converted, giving them a 3-2 victory.

Yap Football Association Island League - Tamil (h) - (3/14)


Gibson Saimon's two yellow cards in the space of 10 minutes saw us reduced to 10 men before the break. However we persevered, and Valerio Olmos put us 1-0 up early in the second half, his first for the club. However we couldn't hold on as our players were severely lacking in fitness and the 11 men fully capitalised.

Yap Football Association Island League - Nimgil Youth Organization (a) - (4/14)


Alek Apwong, signed after his excellent performance against us for Gagil, put us 1-0 ahead just before the break. Obed equalised for Nimgil, and I'm amazed they didn't win it given our shocking defensive performance, but we held on.

Overall April performance



P4 W1 D1 L2 GF8 GA6 PTS4

An excellent start to my tenure, followed by a couple of disappointing performances. We could and should have beaten Tamil with 11 men, but the other two games we were outplayed. The main issue I have is currently I have three of my "first choice" back 4 on ratings of 6.40 or lower, which is explaining why we are losing games. So we need replacements ASAP. Having said that, these performances haven't really affected the league as everyone is beating everyone, and only 4 points separate bottom from top, with Weloy Strikers leading the way.
Good work so far, love to see obscure nations and their backgrounds being showcased. Keep it up!

Great work in Kiribati! 1 country ticked off and now off to play on your first decent pitch! keep it up!
Thanks @DNZY! I do enjoy exploring leagues in lesser known nations and seeing all of the different formats, but glad you're enjoying it!

@tongey, I think decent is definitely a comparative term, not quite getting 200 people to most games, but anything is an improvement on Kiribati!! Thanks for the support though man.

Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


May 2019 - Leaking like an old bath

We start May in need of a defence basically, but I can't see a quick fix to the problem as no players have been recommended to me, so I'll have to stick with what I've got. We play Weloy Strikers (h), who currently reside at the summit, Outer Islands (a) and G&B Club Rull (h), to take us to the halfway stage of the league season, so we will need to put our defensive frailty behind us and get back into the top 4.

Yap Football Association Island League - Weloy Strikers (h) - (5/14)


Following another dull first half, substitute Curtis Kariti put us 1-0 up with a powerful finish from a long ball. Young winger Mike Henry equalised for Weloy Strikers after a lapse in concentration from our left-back. However the game wasn't done there, as in added time Alek Apwong was fouled in the box and then converted the resulting penalty to give us a much-needed win.

Yap Football Association Island League - Outer Islands (a) - (6/14)


On the stroke of half-time Roger Cantero crossed for Curtis Kariti who put us 1-0 up at the break. Pippen Apwong then doubled our advantage in the second half, finishing off a team move. Denson Andrew was dismissed for Outer Islands with 10 seconds to play, but it obviously had no impact on the game.

Yap Football Association Island League - G&B Club Rull (h) - (7/14)


Alek Apwong put us 1-0 up after 25 minutes against free-scoring G&B. Mike Konings equalised for the away side just before the break. Richard Torres then failed to put G&B into the lead as he hit the bar from the penalty spot, before missing another golden opportunity. And we made them pay for their generosity, whenValerio Olmos gave us the win with 3 minutes to play, finishing off a counter-attack. Olmos had an opportunity to put us 3-1 to the good, but he hit the bar.

Overall May performance



P3 W3 D0 L0 GF6 GA2 PTS9

A very positive month which has not only seen us stop our minor defensive rot, but also climb to the top of the table after a 100% win percentage. This league is crazy, with many teams abandoning defence altogether, producing at least three 5-5 draws between other sides! We now have comfortably conceded the league in the league (8), and other than Outer Islands (10), we have conceded almost half of any other team! Our scoring power is slightly weaker than a few sides, but we are much more controlled and less erratic than they are. If we manage to win our game in hand then we can move 4 points clear at the top, although if we lose, all eight sides will be separated by just THREE points.
Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


June/July 2019 - First taste of Cup action

Fixtures are sparce in June and July with just two in each, so I have grouped the updates into one post. June sees us face Fanif FC (a) in the league when 7 of our players are out at the Pacific Games representing Micronesia, which will be problematic. We finish the month by playing Gagil (h) With 5 games to play in the league at that stage, July sees a break for the Yap Games, where we will start off by facing Tamil (a) and Weloy Strikers (h) .

Yap Football Association Island League - Fanif FC (a) - (8/14)


We were probably the weaker side in this bore draw, but had chances to win it. A draw against a side we had previously demolished 4-0 is disappointing, but what do you really expect when 8 of your first XI are on international duty or injured?

Having previously moaned about losing my players to international duty, the U23 side did actually win the Pacific Games, which is an incredible feat! (New Zealand didn't take part)
Yap Football Association Island League - Gagil (h) - (9/14)


An even first half saw us go in ahead, as Rodrigo Apwong scored following a deflected pass. Following that, Chloe Johnson, in for the abysmal Christian Henry doubled our advantage after a defensive mix-up for Gagil left him with an open goal. Gibson Ligohr deservedly made it 2-1 at the break with a tidy finish. Pengelbew equalised with a header with 10 minutes to spare, but in truth it was deserved and we were holding on for large periods after having to make three defensive changes and ended up playing a CM at CB. However, with just 20 seconds to play Pippen Apwong launched a long ball upfield on the counter-attack, and we were 2 on 2! Kariti took the opportunity himself and netted to give us one of the least deserved wins possible, but credit is fully given to our keeper Dion Pelep.


So as we take a 3 month break from the league until late September, we currently sit top and in the qualification places alongside Weloy Strikers, Tamil and Outer Islands, all of whom I'm due to play again. We have a 5 point cushion over fifth place, and with only five games to play, we would have to do something spectacular to drop off the pace from this position.
Since we have been on an excellent run of form and with a month of downtime, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to ask to take on the Continental C License, which the board have agreed to!
Yap Games - Tamil (a) - (1/6)


Valerio Olmos gave us an early lead after a bad goalkeeping error left him with an open goal.Jaghar Apwong deservedly equalised for the better side, but once again we managed to sneak a win late on, as Alek Apwong won it for us in added time, just minutes after Tamil had been reduced to ten men.

Yap Games - Weloy Strikers (h) - (2/6)


We started well and pressure forced a Weloy defender to head past his own keeper. The rest of the half didn't go to plan, as Pluhs' deflected strike brought Weloy Strikers level, and then Dion Carlot picked up his second yellow card just before half-time. We went defensive and looked to play on the counter, but we utilised our set-pieces as Mike Simeon put us 2-1 up early in the second half. We had the opportunity to make it 3-1, but Apwong missed from the spot. Ligohr equalised for Weloy, before Simeon saw his marching orders and made it 10 men a-piece, on top of giving us another penalty. I gave Apwong the chance to redeem himself, but this time it was saved!

Overall June/July performance



P4 W2 D2 L0 GF7 GA5 PTS8

A good league performance has seen us almost already qualified for the final stages, so attention now needs to be solely on the Yap Games. We are currently top of our group and are unbeaten, but are only 2 of 4 games in so far. We are very clinical in general, but need to become more defensively stable in order to dominate more games, as we are riding our luck at times.
Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


August 2019 - Yap Games

August sees us complete most of our Yap Games campaign, playing each of Nimgil Youth Organization (a), Tamil (h) and Weloy Strikers (a) once each. We should look at strengthening our defence, particularly at full-back, as we have no consistently good players there currently.

Yap Games - Nimgil Youth Organization (a) - (3/6)


Chloe Taylor put Nimgil 1-0 up, heading home from a free-kick, before Rodrigo Apwong equalised with a diving header of his own. In the second half, Roger Cantero netted from close range to put us 2-1 to the good. Curtis Kariti blasted home emphatically to finish a counter attack, before Cantero finished off another counter-attacking move. Cantero was once again involved, as he crossed for Kariti to get his second and our fifth to complete the rout.

Yap Games - Tamil (h) - (4/6)


Sebastian Paul put us 1-0 up, as we are beginning to dominate games again. He bagged his brace as his followed up when new signing Alex Kostika's header came off the bar.

Yap Games - Weloy Strikers (a) - (5/6)


As bad a first half as I have had at any club, ending it having more shots and shots on target, but finding ourselves 3-0 down as we went into the closing seconds due to conceding every shot on target and missing a penalty. Kariti gave us a glimmer of hope for a fightback as he made it 3-1 with the final kick of the half. Thomas Rasug then smashed in an absolute blockbuster from 25 yards to put us only one behind 8 minutes into the second half. Gibson Saimon picked up two bookings in three minutes to make our situation that little bit harder!

Overall August performance



P3 W2 D0 L1 GF9 GA4 PTS6

A disappointing end to the month which sees our 10-game unbeaten run grind to a halt. However we have definitely qualified for the semi-final stage of the Yap Games along with Weloy Strikers, whilst the other group will see Outer Islands and one of Gagil or Fanif qualify, with Fanif needing to win their final games against G&B Club Rull to secure their place.
Conceding only one with our new CB pairing playing as well reassures me that we have hopefully sorted out our defensive vulnerability.
Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


September 2019 - Can the holders..... hold?

This month gives me my first opportunity for cup glory, and for glory with Maap for the first time. We have a meaningless group game against Nimgil Youth Organization (h) as we have already qualified. We will then face a single leg semi-final against one of Weloy Strikers, Fanif or Outer Islands and then potentially the final. To finish the month we will return to league action against Tamil (a).

Yap Games - Nimgil Youth Organization (h) - (6/6)


Top-scorer Kariti once again opened the scoring for us early on, and we saw the match out from there. Hardly the 5-1 thrashing we inflicted on them last time, but a controlled game where we prevented them from getting a shot on target.

We draw Fanif FC, as winners of Group B so we play the runners-up of Group A just three days after our previous fixture.
Yap Games - Fanif FC (h) - (SF)


Trino Henry saw his marching orders for Fanif late in the first half for taking down Tom Rasug when he was clean through on goal, after we had already hit the woodwork twice. Kariti hit the bar again after the break, and despite controlling the game it looked like we weren't going to make the breakthrough. We didn't and the game went to penalties. Seb Paul saw our first penalty saved. The next four penalties for both sides were scored, leaving Nick Paul with the opportunity to put Fanif into the final, but Dion Pelep saved his penalty! Rodrigo Apwong then scored, leaving Macarthur Jim needing to score to keep Fanif in the tie, but he blazed over, seeing us into the final with Pelep the hero!
The final sees us take on Group A winners Outer Islands! This game will be my 31st game in management, in my 900th day of management, meaning I will only have played an average of one game per month for almost 3 years!!

Yap Games - Outer Islands (N) - (F)


A dominant first half hour saw us deservedly lead throughRodrigo Apwong's driven shot through a crowd. Cantero then hit the bar before Curtis Ongrung scored his first for the club when he rifled home following a free-kick. Relio Roade then pulled one back against the run of play with Outer Islands' first shot on target! We hit the bar again through substitute June Santiago's header, before he made up for it by securing victory with a furious volley after 79'. We had many more chances and deserved to win by more, but nonetheless, my first cup success!!
Rodrigo Apwong picked up the Player of the Tournament award, whilst Curtis Kariti provided the most assists with 5.
Yap Football Association Island League - Tamil (a) - (10/14)


Curtis Kariti got his 10th of the season to put us 1-0 up following Rodrigo Apwong's high-pressing and precise through ball. He netted his second just before the break with a powerful finish. Pippen Apwong then added a third after the break with a rifled shot and when Valerio Olmos hit the post, the ball hit the keeper's back and trickled in for a fourth.

Overall September performance



P4 W3 D1 L0 GF8 GA1 PTS6

An excellent month that saw us retain the Yap Games and pick up where we left off in the league, although in a much more convincing fashion. 4 games played and only one goal conceded has confirmed that we are now a defensively sound side, and sit atop the league, 7 points clear of fifth place with 4 to play. We haven't scored as many as some sides, but are the best for goals conceded. Every side is still in contention for the top 4.
Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


October 2019 - League run-in

October sees us all but finish the group stage of our league campaign, preparing for the final stages next month. We now play the sides currently occupying the other qualification spots in what will hopefully be a good run-through for what may happen at the end of the season. We play Nimgil Youth Organization (h), Weloy Strikers (a) and Outer Islands (h), having played all three in the Yap Games.

Yap Football Association Island League - Nimgil Youth Organization (h) - (11/14)


After two incredibly convincing performances against Nimgil in the Yap Games, we came crashing down to earth as they scored two early goals (their only shots on target in the whole game) and we did nothing going forward and barely threatened their lead.

Yap Football Association Island League - Weloy Strikers (a) - (12/14)


Curtis Kariti got us off to yet another excellent start, finishing from a tight angle. Alek Apwong then had the chance to double our lead from the spot, but once again was denied. Kariti doubled our advantage early in the second half before Julian Paul made our task easier by reducing Weloy Strikers to 10 men. A total of 9 bookings were given to Weloy players, and Matthew Ligohr picked up his second to reduce Weloy Strikers to 9 men with ten minutes to play. Marvin James picked up Weloy's 10th booking, and his second to ensure that the opposition finished with only 8 men on the pitch.
Qualifying with two games to spare is good, but we need to remain focused and consolidate top spot.
Yap Football Association Island League - Outer Islands (h) - (13/14)


A dull first half was followed by us immediately winning a penalty, and Alek Apwong, no, wait, he can't be trusted, Valerio Olmos scored from the spot. Pippen Dadius immediately doubled our lead on debut off the bench and looks like a good signing already. Brian Jack then made our job easier by getting sent off within 10 minutes of the restart. Relio Roade pulled one back for the ten men, but their hopes were totally shot when Matthew Paul picked up their second red card on 90 minutes.

Overall October performance



P3 W2 D0 L1 GF4 GA3 PTS6

An interesting month has seen us put in some good performances, but lose some key players, as Curtis Ongrung (CB) is out for 2 weeks, Rodrigo Apwong (CM) is out for 10 days and Curtis Kariti is out for a few days.
The interesting thing is that other than us making the qualification places, any other side apart from G&B Club Rull [the holders] and Gagil are in contention for the remaining 3 spaces with only one game to play!
Maap - Yap Football Association Island League - Season 2019


November 2019 - The chance to crack Yap for Maap

Our only known league game is against current basement side G&B Club Rull (a), although they can move off the bottom with a win. We have already confirmed top spot and will be at least 2 points clear. The interesting games are those that decide which other sides could be my potential opponents by making it into the top four. Outer Islands know that victory over Gagil at home will be enough, whilst a draw will be fine as long as neither Fanif FC or Tamil win. The winner of the Weloy Strikers vs. Tamil game will definitely qualify, whilst a draw is enough for the Strikers. Nimgil Youth Organization know that a point, and realistically a loss of 2 goals or less should be fine against Tamil,
who need a 3 goal win to guarantee they qualify, but they should qualify with a win of any sort.
The top four will then go into single-leg semi-finals, with 1st playing 4th and 2nd playing 3rd before the winners face off in the final!


Yap Football Association Island League - G&B Club Rull (a) - (14/14)


We decided to save one of our worst performances for when we were safe fortunately, as G&B Club Rull had an excellent first half, going ahead through Ioane Tainuwopuy's long range lob from 30 yards. Things got better for them as in his second game, Pippen Dadius turned villain as he saw two yellow cards inside 40 minutes. We rallied at the break however, and Curtis Kariti set up Tom Rasug with a tap-in just 8 minutes after the restart to level the scores. Rasug then added number 5 for the season with a long-range placed strike. However, Dion Pelep decided to make a rare mistake, as his bad control allowed Mike Konings a tap-in to equalise. Kariti finished off a counter-attack late on to give us the victory.

Here's the full league table, which sees Fanif overtake Outer Islands in the final game, leaving the top four as Maap, Weloy Strikers, Nimgil Youth Organization and Fanif FC.

The next stage sees us face the side who finished 4th at home - Fanif FC. We have played them twice in the league, demolishing them 4-0 in my first ever game, and drawing 0-0 when my players were on international duty. This is also a repeat of the Yap Games semi-final which also finished 0-0, but we won on penalties. So they haven't scored against us in three previous appearances which is a good omen.
This fixture is also in 3 weeks, so I will have all players back available!
I also completed my Continental C License.

Yap Football Association Island League - Fanif FC (h) - (SF)


Rasug to Kariti, 1-0 after 20 minutes, about as routine as it gets. Kariti to Rasug, 2-0 before the break, total control. Seb Paul finished off the tie midway through the second half, as he slammed home a bobbling ball following a corner. Nick Paul prevented us from keeping a clean sheet with 20 minutes to play, but it was never a contest.
So we will play Weloy Strikers in the final, after they beat Nimgil Youth Organization 2-0 in the other semi-final.
Our previous record against Weloy Strikers is two league wins: 2-0 and 2-1, as well as a 2-2 draw and a 3-2 loss in the Yap Games, so it should be a reasonably even game.
An interesting thing that may affect the outcome, is that we have had two players sent off and they have had five players sent off over the 4 games, so it's unlikely the game will end 11v11!
Yap Football Association Island League - Weloy Strikers (N) - (F)


Rasug to Kariti, 1-0 inside five minutes. He doubled our lead after Roger Cantero crossed for Kariti to nod in from close range. Kenneth Ligohr halved the deficit with Weloy Strikers' first shot on target just before the break. Tom Laurdine got sent off with around 15 minutes to go to make our chances that little bit easier. Rasug restored our two goal cushion with a vicious strike before Kariti netted his hat-trick from the spot after 90'.
Overall November performance



P3 W3 D0 L0 GF10 GA4 PTS3

So a good win, and deservedly another nation completed!
Curtis Kariti picked up the Top Goalscorer, netting 14 times in 16 games, also accumulating the highest total average rating at 7.62. He really was stand-out, also topping our assist charts with a total of 10 assists. His partnership with Tom Rasug, alongside the excellent goalkeeping of Dion Pelep were the key reasons behind our success on both fronts.
The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge - First Leg - Oceania


So with Micronesia conquered by Maap - it is time for me to move on - and time to LEVEL UP to Tier 4 as I have now conquered two of the Tier 5 competitions.
Tier 4
10) Tonga
11) American Samoa
12) Tuvalu
Tier 5
13) Kiribati - Marakei - Kiribatian National Championship 2018
14) Wallis and Futuna Islands
15) Micronesia - Maap - Yap Football Association Island Wide League 2019

With Kiribati and Micronesia conquered, I am going to remove those leagues from my game, but keep Wallis and Futuna in addition to adding in the Tier 4 nations of Tonga, American Samoa and Tuvalu. Whilst completing Wallis and Futuna is not a part of my game, I may end up managing there to either fill time between seasons or to build my reputation anyway.
Exciting news with the leagues I am adding though - as the Tongan and American Samoan league champions both gain a place in the Preliminary Stages of the OCL -Continental Football!!!

In terms of my current options in the new leagues I have added:
Tuvalu: The league runs from February to Early April, and considering I had to wait until March for all of the leagues to be added, this is an nonviable choice to start with. (They also don't get a chance at continental football).
American Samoa: The league runs from August until December, so I have a while until it starts - but there are definitely some contenders in this league for my next employer.
Tonga: The league also runs from August, but only 'til November. The only reason I am slightly favouring this over American Samoa currently is the competitive nature of the league, as any one of 4 teams have the potential to win and are closely ranked, whereas Pago Youth rule American Samoa, so this should be more of a challenge.


Something in one of my save files corrupted, so I have had to uninstall/reinstall the game, and when I have re-downloaded Claassen's Megapack again - obviously this is an updated version so is incompatible with my current save file.

What this has meant for me is that there are no current or available staff whenever I load up a league, so not only does it mean that I can't recruit my own team and have to run training(which I don't enjoy), but actually there are no managers around to take any of the jobs in the leagues that I add to my game (ie. Tonga, American Samoa and Tuvalu most recently).
This essentially means I can take any job that I want, and the save becomes much less challenging if I can take charge of the 'best' side each time.

This has left me with three options:
1) Continue the file with the current downsides, conquer Oceania by just routinely taking charge of the best sides.
2) Totally start this challenge again, undoing all current progress in Micronesia and Kiribati with the newly updated game (Which I have quickly simmed to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again, and it doesn't)
3) Sim the game to the date where I finished with Maap (1/12/2019), and start from there with the same manager stats and licenses I held when I left Maap. (Continental C, stats posted below).
Essentially the third option is what I have gone with, as I didn't want to waste my current progress.
So it is basically as if I am on the day that I won the title with Maap, and then immediately resigned (which I did), as I have the exact same license and stats.
The only thing that won't be the same is the physical managerial history, which shows that I have played no games to date and won't detail my times with Maap or Marakei, but I think this is a small price to pay for continuing the save.

So because of this,my most recent update where I was looking for a job in Tonga and being employed by Marist FC will become invalid, due to Marist currently having a manager and I don't want to re-load a manager into his position.
So the story continues, with me just having beaten Weloy Strikers 4-1, and then immediately resigning after completing everything I could possibly achieve in Micronesia, loading up Tier 4 and looking for my next steps.

I will delete the previous Marist update in 24 hours, just incase people want to refer back to it after reading this post.

Any questions about anything I have done or said, please ask - Thanks for your continued support of my challenge and the next part of my journey will be up soon!
The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge - First Leg - Oceania


With most clubs actually now having managers, my options have drastically reduced.
There are still a couple of vacant positions though: Black Roses in American Samoa; Ha'amoko United Youth in Tonga and Kolomotu'a in Tonga.

The American Samoan season is still taking place, with Black Roses a way off the pace, so I won't be going there. Kolomotu'a have just finished bottom in the Tongan National League with 8 points from 12 games, so may not be a solid option, whereas Ha'amoko United Youth finished 5th of 7, but were only 3 points off third, so are probably my best option at this stage!

The Tongan league runs from August, but only 'til November. The only reason I am slightly favouring this over the American Samoan route currently is the competitive nature of the league, as any one of 5 teams have the potential to win and are closely ranked, whereas Lion Heart rule American Samoa, so this should be more of a challenge.
Onto Ha'amoko and Tonga!

Ha'amoko United Youth FC - Tongan National League - Season 2020


January 2020 - The Emergence of a new force

After a 2 day journey over 4 flights and racking up a lot of air miles I end up in Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga, on the tropical island of Tongatapu. Ha'amoko United Youth FC are based to the East of the city in Ma'ufanga district.
With over a quarter of the 103,000 population living in and around Nuku'alofa, this place reminds me of Kiribati, and is in a similar location, although the standard of football-whilst still amateur- is significantly higher.

Another luxury that Tonga brings is that not every side plays on the same pitch for home games!!! Each side actually has their own stadium! Meaning that away fixtures will now have some significance. We play our home matches at the newly constructed Ha'amoko United Youth FC Stadium -(inventive name there FM!) - a 4,367 capacity ground with around 1,000 seats - although we will only sell around 65 season tickets at £12 each!!!

League Rules and Conditions

There are 7 teams in the Tongan National League, with each side playing the other 6 teams twice each, over a period of August-November
The usual rules of 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw apply, and the top side after 12 games are crowned champions. The impact of games happening at the same time due to multiple stadiums, and the impact of truly away fixtures should make for an enjoyable season.
There is no additional cup football, so I am potentially 12 games away from another title! (I said potentially)

Ha'amoko United Youth FC are a reasonably new side, with first records of them dating back 10 years to 2010. Their only "successes" so far have been finishing 2nd in the Tongan National League in both 2013 and 2018, and have never won any silverware - so what a time to do it on their tenth anniversary!

Last season they finished in 5th - but most worryingly
Which is obviously a massive issue from last season, so when I went to look at the squad, I was expecting to find that I had no quality upfront, and most of my better players were defensive.
So you can imagine my surprise, when our ONLY three 3+ star players were in attacking positions! But even saying that, none of them have particularly amazing stats when compared with my previous sides - and this is a better quality division!!

So my clear and obvious task over the next 7 months or so until the league season starts is to get in a good recruitment team around me, and bring in an almost entirely new squad that can become competitive at the top end, and possibly even topple Lotoha'apai United and Veitongo who have won 19 of the previous 21 editions of the competition, with Marist FC winning the other two.
There is some sort of bug whereby when I apply for the vacant positions in the Wallis and Futuna league, I am immediately told that they are accepting no more applications, and a year later the post still isn't filled.

Do you know how to fix this problem? I am unemployed for 2 years in my save and still there are no any available clubs
@Sigord 2 different things worked for me. 1. Download Claassen's new megapack, it seems to have fixed itself.
2. If that doesn't work, then removing the league, simming a season, and then re-adding it seemed to work also.
Ha'amoko United Youth FC - Tongan National League - Season 2020


February- August 2020 - Squad Builder 101

August will see me take on my first competitive action, as I face my first game in charge of Ha'amoko United Youth at home to local rivals Lotoha'apai United.

As you can see from above, although we have had no competitive fixtures, I have kept my whole squad fitness ticking over by playing regular fixtures against my U20 team, with increasingly positive results as we have developed team chemistry and match fitness!

So my 6 month off-season had to focus on recruitment, and turning us from a mid-table side, to one that could realistically challenge for the title, and in a fully amateur league, I had no restrictions of who I could bring in!
11 signings through the door, and Felise Maile, my previous best player at 4.5 stars, is now only rated 2.5 stars! Which shows the gulf in class of the players that have been added.
Maika Tahitua is probably the pick of the bunch at DC, and is easily my best option defensively, whilst Timote Fonua at AML and Tauelangi Maile upfront were both snatched from last season's champions in Veitongo to add even more attacking threat to the side.

The squad has actually been improved to such an extent, that the bookies make us slight favourites for the title now!!
Quite the achievement given our 5th place prediction at the start of January.

One final bit of news from the off-season, is that the board have given me permission to start training for my Continental B License!

Now, with all of the pre-season hustle and bustle out of the way - time to start my 12-game run to potential glory!

Tongan National League - Lotoha'apai United (h) - (1/12)


My time at Ha'amoko United Youth got off to an excellent start as we demolished last season's runners up to show our title credentials. New signing Tauelangi Faiva put us 1-0 up inside ten minutes from Felise Maile's cut-back. Maile then got himself on the scoresheet twice before the break, once as a reverse of the first goal, and his second after a good through-ball from Ipeni Fonua. Lisiate Taufahema pulled one back early in the second half to make it 3-1 as he headed home from a corner, before Maika Tahuita restored our 3 goal buffer in the same manner shortly after. Manu Tuihahau thumped a consolation home from outside the area just short of time but the damage had been done.

Overall August performance



P1 W1 D0 L0 GF4 GA2 PTS3

A long off-season with some good business done has left us in a useful position heading into the season. This has been backed up by an excellent result in outplaying last season's runners up! The league table is reasonably useless at this stage of the season, but nice to see a lot of goals in the league!
Ha'amoko United Youth FC - Tongan National League - Season 2020


September 2020 - Find where we stand

September will be the month that will potentially set up or destroy a successful campaign, so it is important to retain our momentum. We will play Ahi'o Ulakai FC (a), quick-starters Marist FC (h), Navutoka (a) and Kolomotu'a (h).

Tongan National League - Ahi'o Ulakai FC (a) - (2/12)


We dominated the first half to no avail, hitting the woodwork twice. Ahi'o Ulakai scored with their first shot on target after we got dispossessed at the back to give them an undeserved lead, before we hit the woodwork twice again! Tauelangi Maile fortunately scored his first for the club after coming off the bench to equalise with a calm finish to earn us a deserved point (we deserved all 3).

Tongan National League - Marist FC (h) - (3/12)


Timote Fonua slid in Tauelangi Faiva who got us off to an excellent start, before Ipeni Fonua crashed home to double our lead inside the first 15 minutes. Vaka Tuihahau smashed home a long range response shortly after to half our advantage. Goals from Timote Fonua and a Faiva penalty after he was fouled gave us a commanding 4-1 lead at the break.Maika Tahuita completed the rout as he netted his second of the season from centre-half.

Tongan National League - Navutoka (a) - (4/12)


Our dominant start paid dividends, as Timote Fonua opened the scoring before Tauelangi Faiva doubled our advantage, following in after Ipeni Fonua's shot was tipped onto the woodwork. An undeserved penalty gave Navutoka a way back into the game, and they capitalised with their first effort on target just before the break. The second half started frantically as Tauelangi Maile stooped in for 3-1, before Maika Taufahema smashed one in to pull one back for Navutoka and Faiva equalised from a free-kick.
At this point I had to use all 3 changes at my disposal, and it paid off! Hemalato Moleni put us 4-3 up, becoming the last of our starting front 4 to score this game, before Ipeni Fonua and substitute Felise Maile added some gloss. 6 goals for us with 6 different scorers! /Taufahema pulled one back for them late on, but we were almost always in control of this 10 goal thriller!

Our youth for this year have just come through, and boy do we have some good players! The highlight must be Tauelangi Moleni - the 16 year old goalkeeper immediately slots into our starting XI and is an excellent player in this league already!

Tongan National League - Kolomotu'a (h) - (5/12)


As the current top two face off with both sides unbeaten, it was Tauelangi Faiva who gave us an early advantage inside 5 minutes and put us in control 10 minutes later after his shot should've been saved. Timote Fonua then snuck in at the back post to head us into a 3 goal lead before the half hour mark but Halafuka ensured that we wouldn't see our first clean sheet shortly after.

Overall September performance



P4 W3 D1 L0 GF15 GA7 PTS10

An excellent month which culminated in ending Kolomotu'a's unbeaten run in front of an almost league record crowd of 275 (record is 278). We are playing exciting attacking football and hammering the goals in, with Tauelangi Faiva currently leading the charts with 6 goals in 5 games. I would prefer to be conceding less, but top of the table almost halfway through the season by 2 points with a game in hand.
We currently have as many points as we finished last season with! And nearly halfway to a possible inaugral title and an unbeaten season!
Ha'amoko United Youth FC - Tongan National League - Season 2020


October 2020 - Veitongo Demons

As the league only runs from August to November, the bulk of our season needs to be played in October, seeing us play 5 games. Our first game is the one I am the most looking forward to - Veitongo (a) - not only are they the current holders for the past two seasons, but Ha'amoko United Youth have never beaten them! So this is my opportunity to upset the apple cart and make a small piece of history. After that we will face Lotoha'apai United (a), Ahi'o Ulakai (h), Marist FC (a) and Navutoka (h), all for the second and final time this season. Hopefully by this point we should still at least be in the running for the title with two games to go, and could've clinched it if we continue with the form we are in!

Tongan National League - Veitongo (a) - (6/12)


Tauelangi Maile opened the scoring with a powerful header against his former employers just 11 minutes in. Hemaloto Moleni turned our overall dominance to his advantage by providing a pinpoint cross to top-scorer Faiva, who could hardly miss on the hour. Faiva made it 8 goals in 6 games and became the highest scorer in an individual season ever in Tonga by doing so when he converted from the spot just 5 minutes after his first. A tale of two Moleni's finished off the game, with Hemaloto completing the 4-0 rout, and 16-year old Tauelangi making two excellent saves to give us our first clean sheet of the season on debut!. What a way to win your first game against Veitongo!!

Tongan National League - Lotoha'apai United (a) - (7/12)


We got off to an awful start and found ourselves behind for the first time this season, as a quick-fire Vete Fifita brace put us 2-0 down after 5 minutes! We woke up and responded well, and Timote Fonua pulled one back after half an hour, but it was to no avail as Vete Fifita completed his hat-trick before the break. 3-1 down at the break and looking at our first defeat, this side got the hairdryer treatment at the break, and top-scorer Tauelangi Faiva responded, tapping in just 3 minutes after the restart. The comeback was complete after 70 minutes, as Faiva centred for talismanic substitute Felise Maile, who finished with aplomb. Both sides had chances to win it, but good goalkeeping and the woodwork kept the scores level.

Tongan National League - Ahi'o Ulakai FC (h) - (8/12)


I do not like playing against Ahi'o Ulakai, despite their lowly league position, I find them very hard to break down, so our first ever goalless performance - the only other time we had failed to score at least 3 was against them as well.

Tongan National League - Marist FC (a) - (9/12)


After two consecutive draws, the top of the table clash against Marist has become even more important than it was before. A clinical Felise Maile breakaway and finish put us 1-0 up after 12 minutes. Tauelangi Maile doubled our advantage with a volley on the turn, before a deflected cross gave us a 3-0 lead at the break. A boring second half followed - Ha'amoko back to winning ways!

Tongan National League - Navutoka (h) - (10/12)


An awful start as far as we were concerned as we were totally outplayed in a goalless first half. One hairdryer treatment later and club captain Tauelangi Maile slotted home shortly after the break. Faiva made it 10 for the season to seal the victory, but Mafi Leao pulled one back for Navutoka in stoppage time to ensure a nervy last few minutes.
One shame from the game is that excellent winger Timote Fonua will play no part in the final two games of the season as he has picked up a broken foot in stoppage time against Navutoka.
Overall October performance



P5 W3 D2 L0 GF12 GA4 PTS11

Another excellent month, and I am still undefeated as Ha'amoko United Youth manager. Obviously a massive improvement defensively this month with a 16 year old Tauelangi Moleni coming in at GK, conceding just 1 over 4 of our games, and still maintaining a forward threat, particularly through the ever-present Tauelangi Faiva.
Our attacking play has been recognised:
Any way we can push ahead of Veitongo makes me happy!
So as we push into our final month and last two fixtures, we know that a point is all that we need to make history and claim our first ever title!
Ha'amoko United Youth FC - Tongan National League - Season 2020


November 2020 - A point for history

No need for a load of blurb here, a point against either Kolomotu'a (a) or Veitongo (h) will see us claim the title at the first time of asking, and for the first time in the club's history! Only Marist FC and Veitongo can prevent us, with both sides needing to claim maximum points from all of their fixtures remaining to give themselves a chance.
A little personal goal of mine would be for Tauelangi Faiva to pick up two more goals to finish the season with at least a goal per game on average,


Tongan National League - Kolomotu'a (a) - (11/12)


We went out with the right intent, hitting the post after 13 seconds, and then did the same again 5 minutes later. However it was us who found themselves behind at the break, as Kolomotu'a scored a penalty just before the break. After yet another blast of the hairdryer we responded quickly after the break, with big centre-half Maika Tahitua netting his third of the season.
And we start celebrating our first ever Tongan National League title!..... by dancing in the podium that is provided for us? Who cares!

Tongan National League - Veitongo (h) - (12/12)


The final game of the season is far from a dead rubber, as the current champions (us), play the side who they replace. A lot of friction in the media from their coach, saying we don't deserve the title and that I'm not all that (they're guaranteed to finish third, having lost two games and being 6 points behind us), but my main goal is to finish our season unbeaten.
We prevented them from getting a single shot on target but we equally couldn't break them down ourselves, so a second goalless draw of the season is a boring way to end the campaign, but it is an unbeaten campaign.

Overall November performance



P2 W0 D2 L0 GF1 GA1 PTS2

A boring yet essential final month of the season sees us complete an unbeaten season - my first on FM2018, and more importantly claim a maiden title in the Tongan National League at the first time of asking.
Tauelangi Faiva lead the way both in terms of goals scored, and assists, so obviously was one of the main reasons for our successful season.
End of Season Awards/Player Stats

A few records that we have broken this season first up:


Faiva is truly an exceptional player in this league. Another positive note for the side is that the U20's team also won their league, so clearly have good youth coming through!


The main positive to be taken from the campaign is the consistency and ability of the whole playing team, from 1-19, I never needed to replace anyone based on poor performance or form, they are a tight unit who work for each other as a side.
The Ultimate Journeyman Challenge - First Leg - Oceania


I have decided to hand in my notice at Ha'amoko United Youth FC in Tonga, as although I could take part in the OCL with them next season, this is not the aim of my challenge, and I need to move onto one of the other two leagues (Tuvalu and American Samoa) as soon as possible!

Another reason why I am so eager to leave my post, although I loved it in Tonga, is that there is a good opportunity currently in American Samoa available with Pago Youth.

I was offered the post after almost a month of waiting, but it is onto Pago Youth in American Samoa where I can hopefully complete Tier 4 of the Oceania Challenge!

Pago Youth - American Samoan Senior League Division One - Season 2021


January 2021 - Awaken the sleeping giants



To the east of larger rivals Samoa, sit the island nation of American Samoa, the next stop on my journey around the world.Despite my journey being reasonably short distance-wise, it still takes over 24 hours given that there are no direct flights for me to get to the American Samoan capital of Pago Pago on the island of Tutuila where most of the 55,000 American Samoan population live, although only 11,500 or so call Pago Pago their home. This makes American Samoa one of the smaller places I have ever managed population-wise, and I am not expecting a high standard of football! This is mainly due to American Samoa being the answer to a time-old quiz question - "What is the highest score in international football" - with the answer being Australia 31 - 0 American Samoa!

American Samoa only has one real football stadium "Pago Park Soccer Stadium" in Pago Pago. However it has got two different pitches that all of our league games will be played on. We are one of 5 teams that call the Pago Park Soccer Stadium Pitch 1 our home base - the slightly larger capacity (1000 with 100 seated) and nicer of the pitches when compared to the Pago Park Soccer Stadium Pitch 2, which is shared by the other 7 sides and is only 800 seats.

League Rules and Conditions

There are 12 teams in the American Samoan Senior League Division One, with each side playing the other 11 teams only once,either home or away over a period of August-early November.
After 11 games have been played, the league gets split into two groups of 6, and each side then plays the other 5 sides in the half of their league once more, keeping the points they accrued in the first half of the season, until each team has played 16 fixtures.
The usual rules of 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw apply, and the top side after all 16 games have been completed are crowned champions.
There is also a direct knockout cup competition - The American Samoan President's Cup - with a maximum of 4 rounds to be played which will give me another opportunity at silverware.

The availability of the Pago Youth job was one of the only reasons that I left Ha'amoko United Youth FC job, as it presented a unique opportunity for me.
Pago Youth used to be a dominant force in American Samoa, claiming 5 titles and finishing second once over a 9 year period between 2008 and 2016 since the game started, and I presumed they would carry on from where they left off - but they haven't!

Actually they have finished 10th, 9th, 5th and 8th, only making the cut for the top half of the table ONCE in four years and doing poorly even then finishing 5th of 6.
So my opportunity is to turn around the sleeping giants and all-time record holders for the most titles in American Samoa, and lead them to title number 6!

Current Squad


Wow...... enough said. Wow. 28 players at the club, and not one with even vaguely the quality that is required to be successful in this league!
Fortunately I have got 7 months again to bring in essentially what will need to be an entirely new squad through scouting and my own player knowledge (which is poor), in hope to at least be competitive and challenge for one of the top few spots in the 2021 season!
This is a huge challenge, bigger than any other I have faced so far, and I think that this is probably going to not be completed in one single season, so I am targeting the 2022 season to win the league, with the 2021 more like practice and initial recruitment to set us up for our big push.
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