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Askinoo commented on: FM17 2018/19 League + Transfer Update by RD

Taking Andorra club and country to new heights

Discussion
Makes sense to me, it also means you can play loads of games/a big session at once and then just update in bulk.
Sure you'll find you'll start flying through seasons


That's what I thought, I can potentially get through a season in a day this way. My computer is 5-star performance rating and 5-star game speed. May as well use it
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
1st October 2018 - 16th December 2018

https://i.imgur.com/YLoDOBh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/9yUSdWf.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/RjJQ2sH.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/7Wetlgi.jpg

Not much in the way of transfers throughout this period. A few fringe players have left the club but nobody noteworthy. On the incoming side of things, other than a few trials which didn't amount to anything, Christopher Pousa who I recently branded a muppet/moron has come to his senses and realised joining us would not be moving countries. Our coaches think he won't add anything to the squad and for the most part they are probably right, however, this is not just about the club. It is about the country who Pousa is classed as a top player and I would hate to see him retire because of not having a club.
Back to the results sides of things and over this last 10 weeks, the club has played a total of 11 games picking up 20 points. Some of the better moments came against the top sides with at the time of the games beating both Pobla Mafumet (1st) and FC Santboia (2nd) in the league in consecutive weeks 5-2 and 4-2. Bakka's equaliser deep in the injury time also salvaged a draw at home against Gava. Towards the end of this stretch of games, the team managed to finish undefeated in the last 5 games picking up 13 points from a possible 15. This run of results has propelled ourselves up the table to a season high position of 7th. My stretch aim of making the playoffs seems a reality, however, there is still a long way to go and with some many teams together in terms of points it would be very foolish to think any sorted of goal has been achieved yet. CE Jupiter still lead the way out front and it seems crazy that the team that got promoted behind us last season is making this league look like a walk in the park.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
17th December 2018 - 12th May 2019

https://i.imgur.com/z57xG01.jpg

There wasn't much to get excited about from the youth intake and looking at the youth facilities it's not hard to see why. Thankfully the board have agreed over the off season to update the facilities however it could be a few years before this investment is worthwhile. Getting youth players from teams on a similar stature and level is not a big ask however when it comes to Andorran players there are still difficulties in getting them to leave the comfort of their own league to come to me.

https://i.imgur.com/7E9lpFs.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/eAStxq8.jpg

At the start of the season, we struggled to adapt to the next level of Spanish football. With a bit of time, new players gelling/getting used to my style of play and a few reinforcements, we managed to propel ourselves from the relegation battle up to mid table, which was what the board wanted. The board and myself have different expectations of the team and I was setting a high aim of challenging for the playoffs this season. For a team coming up last season, this would be a massive achievement to lay down a marker for future seasons at this level or beyond. The league has also been very tight for the playoffs spots with teams in and out throughout the season. After 37 games only 1 out of 4 spots has been confirmed. We have put ourselves in the strongest position we could sitting 4th and leaving our fate in our own hands. The head to head record puts us of 5th place EC Granollers and 6th place Pobla Mafumet. Our remaining league fixture is against the bottom of the league at home. You can see further down whether we achieved the result we needed. On a few positive points, I have had my contract extended for another year and have also gained the National B badge. We also had our best result of the season with an 8-0 thrashing away to Gava.

https://i.imgur.com/x48QQiy.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/eu4lYkz.jpg

Here it is game 38 of the season.

https://i.imgur.com/f22ojrQ.jpg


https://i.imgur.com/CyhokZf.jpg


And we did it by the skin of our teeth. Our head to head record gets us a spot in the playoffs ahead of the other two sides on 76 points. The big losers since the turn of the year, in my opinion, are CE Jupiter who was comfortable towards the top and have then failed to make the playoffs. Nice to see I've done the best of the promoted teams.


The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
13 May 2019 - 6th October 2019

https://i.imgur.com/ch7FOCt.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/z0rjo19.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/hMhhu3D.jpg

All the hard work over the season has paid off and we are going up again. Each of the three rounds of playoffs we faced followed a similar trend, one tight game and one with us dominating the game and getting a massive result. I set us an over the top goal of challenging for the playoffs but I never expected us to make them let alone come through three rounds. Next season will once again be a new challenge but for now, it's all about celebrating this achievement. For the second season running my main strike force finish with the highest ratings with each of them scoring at least 25 goals. On the flip side, they were the only players to break into double figures which can be worrying if anything happens to them. I've managed to mess up my screenshots so this season there is no end of season awards the show (just my luck).
Moving onwards the rep of the club has gone up to 'Local' but we are still at half a star and can see this being a hindrance in signing better players. This also isn't helped by how bad the training and youth facilities are. In moving up another division we are now going to start to encounter professional first teams and a lot more B teams. As much as I want to keep Andorran players at the club to help the national team, I feel like for now I have to put the interests of the club first and will have to be ruthless when it comes to who stays and goes. On a plus point, we can now offer a weekly wage as well as non-contract deals however these are restricted to 12 months only. The board have also decided to expand the stadium again.

https://i.imgur.com/0Fuq3DD.jpg

A much shorter preseason this year due to our last league campaign finishing at the end of June.

https://i.imgur.com/kQSOhGm.jpg

On the transfer front, there was a complete overhaul. This only shows plays who left to other clubs but there were a few retirements and several more released as they were not up to standard for the new league. Our deal with Numancia (Now La Liga) seen us bring in one youth prospect and one unwanted player.

https://i.imgur.com/vKcVHT8.jpg

For the first time ever as FC Andorra manager, I have actually spent money on a player, paying £19k. Introducing Andres Llorian, who come through the ranks at Atletico Madrid featuring regularly in the B and C teams there. His experience at this level will prove vital to the team in the quest to avoid relegation.

https://i.imgur.com/Jj34s6V.jpg

Joel Coch became available after leaving CE Europa (Tercera Group 5). Physically his stats aren't up to scratch although this technical stats are reasonable for this level. However, the thing I signed him for is his mental attributes and to address the lack of a leader amongst the team.

https://i.imgur.com/csqdq0t.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/mjDMn3V.jpg

First two games of the season introduced us to Segunda B2 with a bang. First game away we are on the wrong side of a hiding from Valladolid B then lose a tight encounter with Bilbao (Atheltic B Team). After making a few selection changes and with the signing of Joel Coch we started turning things around and went on a run of 5 wins putting us up to 3rd in the table. A remarkable turnaround for the team destined for relegation. My aim from the board is to bravely attempt to avoid it. Although we are in the playoffs, it will be tough to keep them and I would be happy with a mid table finish. Bakka keeps getting called up for Uganda but as they are friendlies I keep withdrawing him. Current leader Sporting B are one of the five teams I have beaten so far this season
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
7th October 2019 - 5th January 2020

https://i.imgur.com/iN41Blr.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/hnKhhNh.jpg

We picked up where we left off and had our best performance of the season beating Burgos 8-2. As usual, when teams come to my place and drop points they complain about the state of the pitch. Two points arose from this to me. Firstly when you get beat 8-2, you would ideally give your opponent credit rather than blame the state of the pitch. Fair enough if it was a 1-0 loss that is a lot more understandable but 8 fucking 2. Take it on the chin and admit it was a bad day at the office. Secondly, you have to play one game a season on my pitch, I have to play on it every two weeks. How do you think I feel playing on a crap surface when I want to play a deck based game ideally. Following on from the Burgos game, we got and get hammered off a B team. I do like the idea of B teams competing in the lower league but when just transfer list unwanted players who could do a job in La Liga it just rubs off the wrong way. I feel a B team is more of a development team rather than one loaded with unwanted players. On the bright side, we have taken 25 points out of a possible 36 and now we are past new year I have been offered a chance to change my season aims. I took the highest one possible which was a mid table finish but I think I can safely say we will be playing in Segunda B2 next season unless we perform a miracle and get promoted again.

https://i.imgur.com/M3iOfJt.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/avwpYtq.jpg

Well at the halfway point of the season I did not expect us to be sat in the playoff spots. I would have snapped your arm off if offered that at the start of the season. Of course, this means nothing right now and although we have only been outside of the top 4 for one game, there is still a long way to go and the hard work needs to continue. I've tried picking up a few players from the Andorran leagues but I'm still getting rejected by them. Perhaps if all goes well this season and the club decides to go pro next season we can eventually start cherry-picking the best players plying their trade in Andorra. Head to head records stands as I'm ahead vs Racing, Sporting B and Segoviana but losing out the Bilbao (Athletic B).
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
Quiz Question

What do the following players have in common?

Kevin Großkreutz
Rio Ferdinand
John Terry
Harry Kane
Vinnie Jones
John O'Shea
Alex Revell
Felipe Melo
Niall Quinn
Cosmin Moti

The answer and relevance will be at the end of the next post
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
6th January 2020 - 10th May 2020

Once again I have managed to mess up the screenshots. Completely shut the computer down last night after turning the game off and after noticing the error it was too late to get the youth candidates as a separate team. Instead I have the result of the game vs the under 19s and then an overall under 19 reports with the two teams mixed.

https://i.imgur.com/EUG8ymk.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/xAAonUr.jpg

Overall I'm happy with the new youth breed coming through. I know it will be a struggle to find a future star but considering the facilities are still the same old shite, the potential of the new ones has slightly improved. The Andorran National Team have appointed a new manager. I never actually noticed until a few months later but would have left the job for now even if I did see it.

https://i.imgur.com/62fKfHw.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/OEl0m3Y.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/RioOSta.jpg

At the start of the season, the aim was the attempt to avoid relegation. By the new year it became mid table but how can you feel disappointed about finishing in the playoffs. The simple answer is being involved and having a chance of winning the title and losing out on the last day. If someone said you'll stay up this season I would have taken their arm off, however, as the season goes on and you grind out results there is a belief you can actually pull off the impossible. To be fair even if we won on the last day we still wouldn't have won the league. The damage was done leading 2-0 away to Racing and conceding 2 goals in last 8 minutes to draw 2-2. We had a better head to head record with both Racing and Real Union. The last game of the season result will be shown below along with the answer to quiz question asked in the previous post and the relevance of it. Although we fell short of the league we still have the playoffs to come. Another promotion is unthinkable but if it does occur we need to weigh up the pros and cons of it. The boost in reputation, income and turning professional seems like great rewards but it also means more money to pay out for a club with is already struggling to operate at the level they are on a shoestring budget.

Quiz Question: What do the following players have in common?

Kevin Großkreutz, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Harry Kane, Vinnie Jones, John O'Shea, Alex Revell, Felipe Melo, Niall Quinn, Cosmin Moti?


https://i.imgur.com/Tnc9R1h.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/LUFus79.jpg

The answer is they are all outfielder players who have had to go in goal. Some were better than others. Cosmin Moti is arguably the best having to go in goal for Ludogrets vs Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League playoff for the shootout. He scored his own penalty and saved two of Steaua's to send the Bulgarian into the Champions League groups. Now Bakka can be added to that list. I have taken the gamble at lower league levels not to use a keeper on the bench as we are only allowed 5 subs. Today for the first time in 3 years this backfired on me as my keeper came off in the 22nd minute with a broken hand. With not much options left I had to use Bakka in goal. For an outfielder, he didn't fair to bad and although he conceded 2 goals, he still finished with a 6.9 rating.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
11th May 2020 - 28th June 2020

Finishing 3rd not 1st meant we were entered into the longer version of the playoffs and would require 3 rounds (instead of potentially 1 in the Champions path) and to make matters worse I had to sign an emergency goalkeeper.

https://i.imgur.com/DrOrOkr.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/KxvPDhN.jpg

I'm actually speechless. The only thing pundits were correct about is that next season we wouldn't be in this division. However, by that they all meant relegation and we have gone and pulled off the impossible and got promoted. First round we got very lucky against Badajoz losing 3-2 away and winning 2-1 at home getting through by the skin of our teeth on my most hate rule in football the away goals rule. Second round a 3-3 draw away to Caudal Deportivo set us in a strong position for in the home leg and hammered them 4-0 back over the border. The third and final round saw us drawn against RCD Mallorca who had knocked out Real Union previously. Unlike the previous rounds, I was playing at home first hoping to put an advantage on the board and then defend it over in Palma. What happened next I was beyond my wildest dreams. A 5-4 victory. I was disappointed to concede 4 goals at home but as the old Dutch mentality was/the lyrics of Vindaloo we're going to score one more than you put me in a good position. The only doubt I had was the 4 away goals Mallorca had which turned into squeaky bum time as they scored first in the return leg. In a free following attacking game, we managed to scrape a 3-3 draw with an 80th-minute striker from Bakka securing the draw and sending FC Andorra into the Spanish 2nd tier for the first time in the clubs history.

In the aftermath of promotion the following occurred

https://i.imgur.com/4YOwbZu.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/BwyCztc.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/oHsLDKS.jpg

Finally, we have turned professional! I know my rep is still local but has moved up to 1 star. Can see this being a major issue in attracting the quality of players I need for next season. The club has also offered me a new 2 year contract which I am very happy to sign. The board have also decided to expand the stadium to the max capacity it will currently go to at 6000 seats. The downside of this is
1. The cost of it which means the board won't improve training and youth facilities
2. Which is more important that I have to spend 8 months playing at Sabadell just outside Barcelona losing my massive home advantage in my mountain fortress.

https://i.imgur.com/TyaYtyb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/XaEeIMu.jpg

End of season awards and again it is the strikeforce sweeping them up. 3rd place went to a defensive midfielder so it is nice to see that it is more than just goals that are being recognised this season. The sad reality now comes that not many of these players will have a future with the club and only a handful will be offered full-time contracts next season. The overhaul will be bigger than before making the leap into professional football. Our low rep will see players asking for money they are nowhere worth but with limited options what else can we do. Loans will be a big part of next season in our struggle to stay in the 2nd division.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
29th June 2020 - 8th September 2020

I said there would be a massive overhaul this season with not many staying and here is the job so far.

https://i.imgur.com/ga3XTel.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/13JhCC6.jpg

I found this gem below with a release clause of £275k. He is only a young pup but has potential to go far. As min release clauses are mandatory in Spanish, I have set it at £2.5m. I know this doesn't seem a lot to most buying clubs but that will do wonders for me as a selling club if someone comes in. I have managed to get Pepe in from Barcelona on loan to challenge for the starting keeper spot. O n a closer inspection Barcelona signed him recently on a free from Real Madrid!? Yes, this shocked me as well!

https://i.imgur.com/15G7D54.jpg

My team at the end of the transfer window can be seen below.

https://i.imgur.com/QKbJdIj.jpg

Am I happier with this side than the one that finished last season? Yes. Do I think we are going to stay up this season? Most likely not. Trying to bring in quality players has been such a struggle with some preferring to stay in the Tercera Divison (4th tier) on amateur contracts than play professionally in the 2nd tier. The most common reason is the club does not match their level of ambition yet they would rather stay in the 4th tier. You do get the odd few who say I don't have the resources to match their asking wage. Again I can beat your current deal of fuck all quite easily. The lowly rep is killing the club for signing and I'm often left with Segunda B are even worse Tercera level players. I've managed to pull a few from the Andorran league but again they would still rather stay there on a part time deal. Although promotion has helped the club develop itself, the club wasn't ready to take the next stage and I now find myself thinking of a season wondering where the points are going to come from let alone wins. I have very little quality and I'm scraping together a scratch 18 matchday squad. The transfer window is now shut until the 28th December and the only way I can get better players between now and then is free transfer whom most aren't at the level of what this division requires. On the plus side, we have managed to form a partnership with Barcelona, however, we have only received Pepe on loan from them.

https://i.imgur.com/PTM7gZf.jpg

We have been made 1-5 favourites to get relegated this season by Ladbrokes. I'll be having a word with them when I'm next in one of their shops to ask where this crazy short price has come from.

https://i.imgur.com/RDp5fKB.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/aCg17YM.jpg

Only 3 preseason games this year with the results of a win, a draw and a loss. I'll be using my season friendly match against Barca in the winter break. I have already played the first 4 league games but left them off this post for when I do a result updates. Eibar in the cup will be a tricky test with the board wanting minimum for us to make the third round. Good luck is going to be needed for that to happen.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
23rd August 2020 - 27th December 2020

https://i.imgur.com/Dzi1g61.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/9aBCChX.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/dWWOjG8.jpg

We are truly in a relegation battle this season. Life in the Spanish 2nd tier has been difficult to say the least. My prediction for seeing where the points would come from was pretty accurate. Our start to the see looked promising with 6 points taken from a possible 9 and then the reality of the challenged we faced hit. The next 13 league games we managed 1 draw and 12 loses. That is a whopping 1 points from a possible 36. OUCH!. We also fell at the first stage in the Copa Del Rey to make that 0 wins, 1 draw and 13 losses in all competitions on what can be described as the worst run of results under myself. I knew this level was going to be tough but I wasn't expecting this. The Granada and Eibar games hurt the most scoring 3 and 4 goals respectively and still coming away with nothing. Our last 3 games before the mid season break (if you can call it that), saw us big up much needed wins over fellow relegation candidates Real Madrid Castilla with a deserved stoppage time winner and a 4-0 thrashing of Nastic to take 6 points from 9. Still, from week 10 onwards we have been in the 4 placed drop zone and unless things can improve with some new signings in the upcoming window, I'm afraid a return to Segunda B looks very likely.

https://i.imgur.com/zQaRJuP.jpg

My work with FC Andorra is not going unnoticed in Spain now and although I have been linked with clubs before, this is the first who have offered me an interview. Segunda B2 Mirandes want me to interview for the position but I declined it straight away. Usually, when I'm linked I distant myself from the jobs or outright say I have no interested but this went to the next level. Whilst it is nice to be linked with bigger rep clubs, I'm happy at Andorra and have a mission to fulfil.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
28th December 2020 - 2nd May 2021

After a very rocky start to the season, drastic action was required to try and save our season. With the transfer window opening the club had a lot of new faces to show.

https://i.imgur.com/Zz713Zs.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/KtJUsr8.jpg

Eleven players came in as soon the window opened. Quite a lot were youngsters with one eye on the future whatever happens this season, however, I decided to take a risk and bring in a few big players on big contracts for this level to salvage my season. In short terms, all the eggs are in one basket. If this risk backfires and we don't manage to stay up then a lot of them can go for next to nothing with Jaime Moreno, Tano and David Soto being the main ones who would be snapped up. I have finally managed to convince players to ditch Lutisans in Andorra and come to my club snapping up 3 promising youngsters for a modest £500 each. CD Sabadell who I am ground sharing with for now want me to take over as their manager but I'm not interested.

https://i.imgur.com/EafXHYx.jpg

This fella was available on a free transfer after leaving League 1 Shrewsbury Town and even though he was retiring, I did everything I could to bring him in on a 6 month deal hoping his experience would improve those around him. Now for the moment of truth, has all the incoming been worth it? We'll find out a little further down after our stadium news and youth intake.

https://i.imgur.com/ygeKXFP.jpg

Finally, we are back playing in Andorra with a 6000 stadium. We will struggle to get 6000 fans however that is the minimum requirement for Liga 123. Hopefully, it will still be a mountain fortress and will pick up our home form.

https://i.imgur.com/jZ0UAzj.jpg

Another year, another youth intake and another one where I struggle to find anyone who will break into the first team regularly. At least compared to the previous seasons we have some better players coming through but the likelihood is they will find lower level football their calling card. The two standouts are goalkeeper Ander Echeverria and defender Luis Lourenco both who are solely Andorran. Whilst they may not help the club, they can be key players in the future for the national side.

And now the million pound question. Was my risk and could say reckless recruitment worth it?

https://i.imgur.com/twjNPQB.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/IIASVid.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/bhWmbE9.jpg

The answer is unknown yet. Whilst I have managed to get out of the relegation places, we are still fighting for our lives down at there. Our home form hasn't picked up as much as I have liked and although we have managed to get 20 points since the turn of the year, only 6 of those has come against teams who were higher than 16th place. We are taking points from those around us, however, is this going to be enough to stay up considering 4 teams go down. The 5-8 defeat to Reus was very disappointing. You don't expect to come away with nothing after scoring 5 goals. Mile Jedinak has been very poor as a signing and thus so I will not be asking him to reconsider retirement. With 5 games to go, it looks like 3 of the relegation places are confirmed leaving ourselves, Castilla, Nastic, Albacete and Ponferradina to fight out for the last one. Personally, I still see it will be us to go down as out fixture list seems the toughest. The games with Nastic and Huesca will be massive and we will need to take maximum points if we want to avoid a return to the regional divisions.


The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
3rd May 2021 - 10th July 2021

Last update we were still scrapping at towards the foot of the table to stay in fully professional football. 3 of the 4 spots were already decided but could we be the unlucky team out of the five to go down? I had a gut feeling it was going to be us but was I right?

https://i.imgur.com/sXKXI0Q.jpg


With 2 games left to go, we managed to secure our place in Liga 123 for next season. An unexpected 2-1 away to Almeria and a 4-2 home result against Huesca secured the points we needed. Between these two we dropped to a 2-1 away loss at Nastic but I'm happy to avoid the drop in a season where the pundits made us favourites to go down. Ponferradina were the unlucky ones to take the 4th relegation spot. Our 1-4 loss to Malaga and 2-2 draw to Lugo meant nothing in the end and I really couldn't fuss much over them in meaningless games.


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The first step of hopefully many on the improvement front. The board has deiced to upgrade the youth facilities. Not only will the club benefit from this, but also the national side. I can't see it makes much of a difference on the main campaigns, however when it comes to the UEFA Nations League against similar standard teams it could help them improve at that level. Will we see a future club star, I really doubt it but we can only hope.

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With being professional, we are now earning more money than ever before and have been able to pay off the club's debts which occurred expanding the stadium.

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For the first time since I took over, a striker has not won player of the season. That honour went to our new signing in midfield Ramiro Guerra who also won young player of the season. Strikers Zakaria Boulahia who was loaned from Atletico Madrid and Bakka came 2nd and 3rd respectively. Both will be leaving the club in the summer and for Bakka it is a very sad occasion. On one hand he single handily brought the club up the leagues working his way up to captain but on the other hand, he has come as far as he can with the club with game time very limited this season. As much as it is a sad moment for all involved, deep down we all know it is the best decision especially when it comes to the player's future. Bakka will sorely be missed and all at FC Andorra wish him well in the future. Pedro Direito was announced as the signing of the season after joining from Andorra Champions Lusitans for £299. Direito came in and was the answer to the goalkeeping problems where the club went through 4 goalkeepers from the start of the season until the new year. Thankfully number 5 solved the problem and is looking to have a bright future ahead of him. It is just a shame he is Portuguese and not Andorran.

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Overachievers of the season. I'll take that. Very happy with the performance this season but now it is attention to the future. On one hand I would like to set the bar a bit higher and go for a mid table/top half finish, however, I can't ignore that avoiding relegation can be classed as another good season. The club now can also attract some better players and I have 2 big signings to announce very soon.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
11th July 2021 - 20th September 2021

After a long and at nervous season 99% of the time, a major squad rehaul was going to be needed to have any chance of moving forward instead of being a relegation candidate side. With our reputation now up to National, I'm hoping we can bring in a few strong experienced players to lead the side. Whilst I did manage to bring a few big name signings in for this level, I am still finding a lot of people won't discuss a contract for FC Andorra not being a big enough club or enough ambition or not considered to have the money to sign them (Greedy bastards!)

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On a first note, I have increased my contract until 2024 and the board have given me a pay rise from £525 to £6,250. Whilst I'm not one for big wages on the manager, it helps to improve my job security in case everything goes all tits up and we go and do a Sunderland.

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Last season's released players list sees a lot of players brought in during the Segunda B2 season released. This would have happened a season sooner but due to the lack of decent players willing to join me, I didn't have much of a choice but to hold onto them. There were a few youngsters signed in January that also left that weren't good enough. The only one I'm sad to see leave is Bakka for all he had given to the club.

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And now for the real business. We actually broke the £1.4m pound mark for spending. Not bad for a club that only 2 years ago spend £18k in a transfer window and that was the record signing. Once again a lot of free transfer but also some big name picked up from the free agents. Stefano Okaka, Shane Long and Jakub Blaszczykowski (Why did I sign him having to type a name that long to spell!?) are the noticeable ones from the list. I have also picked up prospects from Andorran side Lusitans (again) with a modest £500 purchase of Wilson Balegas. Just a shame he's not Andorran. I decided to splash out on deadline day because I was unhappy with the strength in depth bring in Marcus Pedersen and Angel from Getafe on loan and for £775.

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This was taken after 7 games. Why Okaka is benched can be seen lower down if anyone is wondering. I'm much happier than I was at the end of last season with the squad strength and I'm hoping to push on for a mid table finish this season.

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The verdict is out. 550-1 to win the league, 9-5 to be relegated. I'm sure Leicester proved that odds mean nothing for predictions.

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Although we had a strong pre season with 4 wins and a draw, I'm actually shocked at how well we have started this new season, especially with all the new signings. We'll get the negatives out the way quickly first. We lost the home opener against Lugo who we took 4 points from 6 last season. Moreno scored a hattrick away to Las Palmas but still managed to be on the losing side and we are out of the Copa Del Rey again at the first hurdle. Now onto the positives. We are sitting in the playoffs spots which will be nice while it lasts. We are now doing much better against teams we struggled last year like Castilla and Albacete and put the sword to new boys Badajoz winning 4-0. Bet they wish they were the other side of the Portuguese border.

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Few things I didn't expect to happen this season. Okaka gets injured pre season and Long after 1 game. With not many options I decided to give Wilson Balegas a shot and turns out he has been my best player. £500 investment already returned in my opinion. In 6 leagues games, he has returned 1 goal and 7 assists and is currently making Okaka warm the bench. Long is proving his worth already with 6 goals but he trails his strike partner Jaime Moreno in the golden boot race who has bagged 9 times so far this season.

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I'm alot more confident we can pick up points to stay in the division. Last season even at this stage I struggled to see where they would come from and went on to lose 14 games in a row. If we wish to progress as a club we have to make sure that we don't go on a run like that this season. In other news, I'm am now keeping a lookout for the Andorran national job and will be keen to apply for that as soon as it becomes available.



The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
21st September 2021 - 8th January 2022

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First off I have now gained my Continental C Badge. Hopefully, this will help to improve the standard of training and show to the club I committed to taking them forwards.

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At this point one year ago I had a 'Plan B' thought out as a return to Sedunga B looked on the cards. That was the most challenging time I have as manager here going 14 games in a row without picking up a point. Fast forward 12 months and I am pleased to say there has been no repeat of that horrible time this year. The team are playing with the confidence that they can get the results to keep us up. Jaime Moreno has come into his own this season and rightly deserves all the praise he is getting. Shane Long has been a revelation for a free signing cementing his place in the team with his goals. The big loser of the signing is Stefano Okaka who is stuck to the bench due to the unexpected performances from Wilson Balegas who is putting in performance game after game. Why should I drop a player who is in form for a bigger name? Okaka has had chances to start and has failed to impress on them. I am here to do what is best for the team, not an individual. Goals don't see to be an issue this season and we have tightened our defence up. The Huesca game shocked me. Went from 4-0 up to 4-4 to win 5-4. A late goal by Jaime Moreno to bag his hat-trick at Reus away was my favourite moment of the season so far.

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If you told me we would in 4th place in January at the start of the season, I would be checking my calendar to see if it was April Fools Day. However, to my surprise, it is actually true. We are playing much higher than I ever expected and whilst it is nice to be so high up the table, my only goal was to make sure we avoid the drop. I have changed my season expectations to mid table finish as I believe we have already enough points to secure that but I don't want to aim higher as I know we aren't ready for that yet. Anything above mid table would be a bonus and as much as we all love a fairytale story, I don't want to run before I can walk. We have also yet to hit a bad patch of form yet this season and I can see it coming in the second half.

https://i.imgur.com/aylLqmt.jpg

The new signings have all been made with the future in mind. I'm happy to look at more young prospects but in terms of the first team, unless the right player comes along I am not really looking to make any signings in that department. I feel we are playing well and I don't want to upset the balance of the team.
The Great Andorra Challenge Honours

2017/18 - Catalan Regional Division 1st (Champions/Promoted)
2018/19 - Tercera Division Group 5 4th (Promoted)
2019/20 - Segunda B Division Group 2 3rd (Promoted)
2020/21 - Liga 123 17th
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