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After starting so promisingly before my save file corrupted on Leg One, I have finally found the motivation to continue this gargantuan challenge of conquering Africa.

Manager Nation Somalia Team Banaadir SC
Discussion
Guelleh Batal de la Garde Republicaine FC - Djibouti Premier League - Season 2019/20

https://i.imgur.com/CsgYChf.png

May 2020 - Tier Up Time?


Djibouti Premier League - Arhiba (h) - (17/18)

https://i.imgur.com/8ZKKMrs.png

As if anyone else would dare open the scoring but Daoud Ilyass! His swivel and shot on the turn from the edge of the box was his 23rd of the season and provided us with a strong early platform. Moussa Hirir's header from an Awad free-kick, and Maxime Adan's deflected volley from a corner gave us the 3-0 victory we needed, but in truth we could and should have had even more. Arhiba spent the majority of the game with 9 players camped in their box, and are clearly hoping that Kartileh fail to catch them up instead of adding more points of their own.

Hopital Balbala were then in action against CDE-Colas at home before the final round of fixtures, and if they failed to win, we would be crowned champions. In a way I hope they do win, as we'd rather win the title on the pitch, rather than because someone else lost.
https://i.imgur.com/QsWpy15.png


Another thing before the final league game took place was the board offering me a new contract, which I accepted on the proviso of more money being invested in youth development, as I'd like Guellah Batal de la Garde Republicaine FC to dominate long after my tenure as I've grown to love the club over my season here.
https://i.imgur.com/HqB4lCU.png

https://i.imgur.com/YVrKBkr.png

Fortunately with the club's coffers containing £16k they agreed.

Djibouti Premier League - Bahache Universite de Djibouti (a) - (18/18)

https://i.imgur.com/jDv13ML.png

Some disappointing news to start the match as JC Hirir was taken off injured inside 5 minutes. In a game we needed at least a point from we made no mistakes early on, as Ilyass' ninja kick at the front post saw us take an early lead. This was doubled soon after as Said swept home amongst the melee after a corner had failed to be cleared effectively. With the game under control and Hopital Balbala only drawing, when we won a penalty in the 30th minute I gave responsibility to retiring goalkeeper Hassan Guedi, who scored with an effort straight down the middle. Henok Mohamed gave Bahache fans a parting gift to leave the division with as he scored off the bench, but it was the victory we needed to see us crowned champions!!!

https://i.imgur.com/dHqTxmp.png
Champione, Champione Ole Ole Ole
Tier Up!!!

I will do some of the End of Season Review/ Round-up/Records/Squad Stuff at the end of this post, as we have the Cup to worry about just 3 days after winning the league. Hopefully the players haven't enjoyed themselves too much!

Both JC Hirir and Moussa Hirir would miss the Semi Final through injury and suspension respectively, with the injured JC set to miss the rest of the season.

Djibouti Cup -Association Sportive du Port (h) - (SF)

https://i.imgur.com/zeEDIbV.png

Ilyass could've already had a hat-trick by the time he rounded the keeper to give us the lead in the 16th minute, but Daoud in the AS Port had already pulled off two incredible saves to deny him, including one where he needed to flick a blasted effort over the bar at full stretch with his fingertips. Dominique Mohamed was then denied by a goalline clearance by striker Biruk Awad as his header from a corner almost dropped into the far corner. Adan had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for offside, before A Guedi was left with a tap-in to double our lead after Mohamed's driven shot was parried. We controlled the game throughout, but Biruk Awad pulled one back late, smashing home at the near post to give AS Port some hope. We really should've scored more (we had 33 shots to their 7), with Ilyass hitting the bar, and multiple Ilyass and Adan shots were saved brilliantly, but we stayed in control to go through to the final where we will meet AS Tadjourah, who needed extra time to net a 119th minute winner against Hopital Balbala.

Djibouti Cup -Association Sportive Tadjourah (n/h) - (F)

https://i.imgur.com/XPToJN7.png

This game was supposed to be at a neutral venue, but as we play all of our ties at the National Stadium and they don't it was essentially a home game. AS Tadjourah are the only side we haven't beaten yet this season, and with the ex-Guelleh Batal manager at the helm, this game was a matter of personal pride above all else. We controlled the opening half hour, with Ilyass twice denied by their keeper, Swedi Kader. The game appeared to turn when we lost influential captain and defensive icon Moussa Warsama to injury after 36 minutes, as only two minutes later Patrick Charmake had headed home a free-kick to give AS Tadjourah the lead. We hung on at 1-0 to strike back before the break though, with replacement Binyam Ismael sending away Guedi down the left, who sent in a delightful grounded cross that Ilyass finished from less than 5 yards out. George Bogoreh Salime, on at the break, had our two best chances in the second half, first narrowly missing the target after a free-kick scramble, then forcing an excellent fingertip save out of Kader. We had a lot of shots, but wayward ones, with Ilyass mainly the culprit, whereas the shots they did have were generally accurate and required Guedi to be alert. It was fitting however that the last say did go to Ilyass, as he controlled Adan's through-ball on his chest, before taking a touch and powering the ball past a helpless Kader. That was his 27th of the season in 18 starts.
WE WON THE DOUBLE!!!https://i.imgur.com/aKnb07b.png


https://i.imgur.com/TqJYb8G.png


N.B. For the eagle eyed amongst you, my result against AS Port in the Cup Semi Final reads differently on my results sheet than the screenshot above and my commentary. This is as after I finished the game, and as I was loading the final, the game crashed and sent me back to a time before the Semi Final had been played, so I re-did it and it was a 2-2 draw a.e.t. with us winning on penalties 7-6, and we faced AS Tadjourah in both circumstances.

Overall May performance

https://i.imgur.com/fcIQVyk.png

https://i.imgur.com/MF0JIQv.png

P4 W4 D0 L0 GF10 GA4 PTS6



The season wrapped up in style with wins in both the League and the Cup, massive consolation for the previous 12 months of my career with Al-Salaam where we lost in both finals last season and had a generally torrid time of things. I said at the start of the season that I didn't think that we would have a Leilano or a Kidane, a player who would massively top the scoring charts (given that the top scorer for each of the past two seasons was our right-back), but Daoud Ilyass outdid them all - averaging 3 goals every 2 games! Even more good news as Kartileh picked up two end of season wins to leapfrog Arhiba and avoid relegation, which is a fair result given the way both sides have played. We ended up winning the title by 5 points in the end, as Hopital Balbala drew on the final day.

Onwards and upwards now, and following the end of season statistics and information which will complete this post, I now need to decide whether to stay on at Guelleh Batal de la Garde Republicaine FC for another season, for the Kagame Interclub Championship Continental competition we have just qualified for with our league victory, or whether to move to pastures new immediately given that I now have three new nations to conquer after completing Tier 19!


End of Season Review/Statistics

Performance

https://i.imgur.com/0zr8SC0.png

https://i.imgur.com/BXPbP6L.png

https://i.imgur.com/VSyY1zg.png


Player Records

No prizes for guessing who picked up the fans player of the year by a landslide....
https://i.imgur.com/qJU9VED.png

Or for guessing who destroyed numerous league and club records....
https://i.imgur.com/KrTMaHP.png

https://i.imgur.com/mhNZFL0.png

https://i.imgur.com/Eyh4uo3.png

He didn't win all of the awards though
https://i.imgur.com/fh7kpzc.png


Sqaud Statistics

That fixed first XI was truly just a class above the rest of the league, with quality oozing throughout it with no real obvious chinks in the armour, even our replacements performed well.
https://i.imgur.com/ReMIJPu.png


https://i.imgur.com/DKx0t2I.png


Thanks for reading!
Just catching up not been on here over the weekend. I love stats mate so good to see you post them! Also well done on the league win, whats next for you, are you going to stay or leave on a high?
Thanks @bigmattb28! Due to work commitments, the weekend is when I get most of my stuff done and I'm not around during the week so I get it man. I'll make sure to keep posting the stats then! I'll let you find out below as I've made my mind up, be interesting to see if it was the right decision.

Guelleh Batal de la Garde Republicaine FC - Djibouti Premier League - Season 2019/20

https://i.imgur.com/CsgYChf.png

June/July 2020 - A first taste of continental football


Just a quick update in terms of my database, with Tier 19 completed, I have loaded the Tier 18 nations of Eritrea, Somalia and Comoros as playable, although some of these aren't accessible yet as they are mid-season. I will be removing Mayotte and Djibouti once I am done at Guelleh Batal as I have won the top tiers here, but will keep South Sudan as a possible interim destination as I haven't won the league there yet.
https://i.imgur.com/QjaKptC.png

My decision in terms of my future here is that I will take the side through this season's Kagame Interclub Cup campaign (July/August) as it is an excellent opportunity to experience African continental football and see how we compare against the champions of some of my future destinations. I will be resigning at the end of August following this though if there are any available jobs in a new country for me.

Kagame Interclub Cup

The CECAFA Club Cup is a tournament organised by the Council of East and Central African Football Associations, and is contested by teams from Central and East Africa. The countries who send their league champions to participate are : Burundi; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya; Rwanda; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda and Zanzibar. The cup is called the Kagame Interclub Cup, as it is sponsored by Rwandan president Paul Kagame (not at all biased). Running since 1967, early editions were won by Kenyan teams, but recently sides from Sudan and Tanzania have dominated. The 2020 version is being held in Tanzania.

No Djiboutian side has ever won the competition or even made the final, with no side on the save currently making it past the Quarter Finals. The 12 sides are drawn into 3 groups of four teams, with the top two from each group, as well as the two remaining highest points scorers qualifying for the Quarter Finals, where the competition becomes single-leg knockout.

https://i.imgur.com/SSnkfzN.png

We are drawn against Armee Patriotique Rwandaise from Rwanda (Tier 12), Azam FC from Tanzania (Tier 10) and Mafunzo from Zanzibar (Tier 17). This is a very tough group as Azam were champions as recently as 2015, and APR won in 2004, and were runners-up in 2014 and 2013 so have recent-ish pedigree in the competition. My personal aim would be to beat Mafunzo and hopefully qualify as one of the highest-ranked 3rd placed sides, and then take anything else as a bonus.

In terms of scheduling, we face Azam FC first in their home country, before taking on Mafunzo in the crucial winnable game that could see us qualify with a good result alone. We will finish in August against APR FC, before possibly taking on knock-out games, but these will be in my next update.

https://i.imgur.com/8ATSRlT.png


Kagame Interclub Cup - Azam FC (Tanzania) (n) - (1/3)

https://i.imgur.com/PTznzAP.png

Azam were the better side to start, with Thomas Okum threatening for them upfront from kickoff, and he hit the bar from range after 25 minutes. We had a chance of our own, but Said was denied by a good save. Okum did get the opener, latching onto a pinpoint through ball behind our defence, although Guedi will be disappointed that he couldn't have done better with the poor lofted shot. We came right back into the game in the second period as Azam FC became more defensive, and had equal amounts of possession and shots as our favoured opponents. But with fitness lagging due to playing no fixtures in over two months, Okum struck again, this time on the counter as he clinically finished this time, leaving Guedi with no chance. Ilyass did pull one back with ten minutes to play, finishing from a tight angle after good work from Houssein, but Azam probably deserved the win given our poor fitness, but it was much closer than I anticipated!

Kagame Interclub Cup - Mafunzo (Zanzibar) (n) - (2/3)

https://i.imgur.com/7dOMUje.png

The first 75 minutes brought about only one shot on target, which was a tame effort from them. We were probably just about the better side, but no-one really threatened either keeper, with Ilyass missing the target on two occasions. However Ilyass proved to be our hero yet again, collecting the ball on halfway, skipping past two defenders and clinically finished past the keeper from 18 yards off the post with 15 minutes to play. Dominique Mohamed had a chance to double our lead, but saw his effort saved, and Guedi had to save late to give us the three points!

Just to demonstrate how tired our players were after playing two games in a week after not playing at all for two months, here's a snapshot of their fitness levels towards the end of the last game!

https://i.imgur.com/XC5W2on.png


Overall July performance

https://i.imgur.com/eV7CT4V.png

https://i.imgur.com/DGh8CKQ.png

P2 W1 D0 L1 GF2 GA2 PTS3



Not a bad start to continental competition, with the first two results going how I had expected, and I reckon we could've at least drawn with Azam if our players were fully fit, but c'est la vie. I'm going to take a risk in our final game against APR (n) by playing a second XI to give our first team some time to recover for the knockout stages. The only risk would be that the second XI might not get us to the knockout stages, but we will qualify as one of the best of the rest if we lose by two goals or better, so I'd hope that we could manage that and give ourselves a chance in the Quarter Finals.

https://i.imgur.com/jwc65Fs.png
Guelleh Batal de la Garde Republicaine FC - Djibouti Premier League - Season 2019/20

https://i.imgur.com/CsgYChf.png

August 2020 - How far can we go?


Kagame Interclub Cup - Armee Patriotique Rwandaise FC (Rwanda) (n) - (3/3)

https://i.imgur.com/LsKpNOl.png

We almost got off to the perfect start, with A Guedi and Adan both having headed chances inside five minutes but heading over and heading straight at the keeper respectively. Surprisingly we controlled the first half an hour and deservedly took the lead through fresh academy product Xabiibo Moussa, who swept home Dominique Mohamed's low cross at the near post. A seven-minute spell in the second half saw APR FC register their only three shots on target in the game, and they all went in! Firstly Yves Mugabe equalised, collected a long ball and blasting past Guedi at the near post who should've done better. A football manager goal came next, as a defensive mix-up presented Mugabe with the ball 6 yards from goal without having to even win a tackle or intercept, and he converted. Finally Eric Manzi's looping header made it 3-1, APR turned up for 7 minutes as we then started dominating again but it was enough for the win.

Fortunately for us, we lost by two goals, which was required to sneak into the Quarter Finals as the second of the two best placed sides.

We are now drawn against Kenyan champions SofaPaka in the Quarter Finals, who won all of their group games and come from a Tier 8 nation, so we are seen as major outsiders to progress. However we have done as as well as any Djiboutian side in the save so far, so we will see what happens with the pressure off us.

Kagame Interclub Cup - SofaPaka (Kenya) (n) - (QF)

https://i.imgur.com/FfoPU4f.png

Despite being dominated for the first 20 minutes (yet without being threatened too much), JC Hirir won us a penalty on the counter-attack, which Ilyass stepped up for and dispatched with our first shot of the game. Joseph Onyiso clipped the post after out-muscling M Hirir as SofaPaka threw the kitchen sink at us. He was more clinical next time though, smashing past Guedi after he was played in out wide behind our back four. Dominique Mohamed and Onyiso both had excellent chances to win it, but were denied by superb saves, with Mohamed being denied from point blank with the keeper flicking the ball over the bar. However when Adan was forced off with injury in the 90th minute, we were forced to see out added time with 10 men, and we couldn't quite make it, with Lawrence Shaban firing into the top corner from a narrow angle just a minute from time. Devastated to lose in this manner and even more gutted to end my time at Guelleh Batal by conceding an injury time goal to get knocked out by a far superior side, but we pushed them right to their limit.

Overall August performance

https://i.imgur.com/m9l5JvJ.png

https://i.imgur.com/rSaHdPH.png

P2 W0 D0 L2 GF2 GA5 PTS0



The "best game" in the shot above was the final for those that are interested, with the trophy going to Sudan for the 4th consecutive season. A disappointing way to finish my reign here with consecutive defeats for the first time, but we were playing against sides so far out of our league it was like San Marino vs. Denmark (or equivalent semi-decent international side), so I'm happy to have been in with a chance of getting a result out of both games. It just shows how strong our side has grown, and I'd like for them to dominate in Djibouti from now on.

With this all wrapped up, my 442 day stint in charge was complete, and I am now ready to move onto my next challenge.

https://i.imgur.com/jfyMud3.png
Unlucky in the Kagame Cup but, as you said, you were facing better clubs. Wish you well in the next job!
My Careers:
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