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Starting in the German Third Division.. where will we end up?

Discussion
https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.4925dd1cd1887ae9224ae0a65077ac03.png

This is a pair of eaglets, or baby eagles. Not particularly intimidating, right? I am about to embark on my first FM20 save with SC Preußen Münster, a team from the small university-town in western Germany, who are affectionately known by their fans as the "Adlertrager" for the Eagle that adorns their badge. However, like those little eaglets in the picture, Münster's football team is a far cry from its fully-grown counterpart and has much to learn before it can be truly considered to live up to its destiny.

Some background...

For those of you who are unaware of the small town of Münster, it is a university-town near to the Dutch border in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia. It is most notable for the sheer number of churches in its medieval centre and its history as the place where the Treaty of Westphalia was signed in the 17th century. The football team also has some history, in that it was one of the founding members of the Bundesliga in 1963. However, it suffered the ignonimy of being one of the first to be relegated, dropping down in its debut season alongside Saarbrücken, never to return.

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.0514e4a5b51059e0a517fc62ee91f5e0.png

Having spent some time in the lower reaches of German football, the club made it back into the third division in 2011. Since then, it has flirted with promotion to the next division but always fallen short and even had to watch on as closest rivals Osnabrück took the league by storm in 2018-2019. IRL the club have been suffering badly this season after losing a number of key players and failing to find a sufficient balance to the team. This is where this story shall begin! Join me, as I help to turn this club into the proud Adler it has always longed to be.

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.png.4a7566d572ee1dd62ad6a2b5c86f746e.png

About me..

I am an avid football fan and have always enjoyed the strategic and tactical side of the game. Furthermore I play amateur football in Germany and run a small training group. I find it great working with people and figuring out how to improve. I am looking to take my badges in the future and FM is an excellent way for me to cut my teeth, so to speak! I have further been studying basic computer coding and data analysis and would like to see how I can intertwine that and experiemnt with that on this save. I will begin by posting an overview of the club, my strategy and initial tactical considerations before posting intermittent reviews during the first season, as I define my writing/reporting approach. I would be grateful and delighted for feedback, discussion and debate throughout!
German-based FM fan, part-time coach and student of the game/management. Open for debate and discussion!
Really interesting backstory, will definitely be following! Also, good luck with your badges! That's been a dream of mine since FM2010 so I always like to see other football fans figuring out ways to make it their career.
Forza SCP!

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.png.7f89fb59e7ebe0e4e76ac4aceb61ca87.png

So, a little more to the club and what I will have to work with. The stadium is called the Preußenstadion and fits around 15,000 fans, whilst the youth facilities and coaching are all at a fairly average level. This is about the standard in the 3. Liga, so it is plenty to work with in the meantime. Our focus therefore will be on trying to fill out the stadium in the medium-term, whilst looking to promote any talented youth products up to the first team as soon as it is possible, due to the lack of sufficient development that is likely to happen in the academy. In the long-term, I would like to turn this into a development club and so I will be looking to re-invest as much of our profits as possible in the youth facilities, coaching and recruitment over time.

Finances

Total club balance: EUR 3,899,469 (as of 17.06.2019)

Current wage budget/currently paying: EUR 53,000/EUR 46,812

Transfer budget: EUR 0

Whilst it is not exactly in my remit, it is key at this level that finances remain in order. I have set the first season to no transfers anyway, so there won't be much eating into that budget, but I will have to make sure in future that we stay well within budget and as far under as possible without sacrificing quality. This means focusing on free transfers and young prospects. I will try to sign players on a minimum of 2-year contracts, whilst selling players at peak value.

Staff

Coaching staff: GK coach (Milenko Gilic)

This is the only staff member that I started with. He has decent coaching stats, but pretty poor mentals. Nevertheless, I fully intend to keep him in position, for this season at least. Meanwhile, I decided I needed to sign up 3 coaches: an assistant manager with strong coaching stats, a fitness coach and a head of youth development. Allow me to introduce Sven Kmetsch, Robert Lossau and Rainer Grabowski:

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/sven_kmetsch.png.a7d1b57a22696932ec63effbefb65f31.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/robert_lossau.png.48e0448c4a5070d98f0a3d045af742fe.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/rainer_grabowski.png.a2d9e146331fb186be0d3263110795cf.png

All three have strong personalities and will complement the culture of the club well. Kmetsch is a particular coup, in my opinion. He brings both international experience and genuine coaching quality to the table, even if his ability to judge players is lacking (this is an area in which I consider myself to be relatively adept, at any rate.

Scouting team

The scouting team was made up of a director of football in Malte Metzelder (the brother of former Real Madrid and Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder) a Chief scout in Harald Menzel and a second scout in Kieran Schulze-Marmeling. Metzelder is a relatively poor director of football, but he will retain limited responsibilities over the course of this season before I decide whether to hire a new one next year. Menzel is a good scout and is being chased by a couple of clubs higher up the ladder. For now, I am happy with this department, but I will monitor it over the course of the first half of the season. There are no data analysts, but as this is something that I will be taking a look at myself, this will not be an issue.

Medical staff

All in order here, we have some very capable staff across the board.

The FIRST team
https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.png.e9c20e3593d6f795077230c4f44f50f0.png

Having followed the club in real life, I am pleasantly surprised with the standard of player that I have available to me. We have a couple of seriously talented players to build the squad around, as well as a couple of project players I will be trying to develop over the course of the season

Key Players: Heinz Mörschel, Julian Schauerte, Lucas Cueto

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/heinz_moerschel.png.e5e8ae814ec0abe84145301487c99b2e.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/julian_schauerte.png.8baf7d9bf874c0aacf5dd8f26ef7855d.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/lucas_cueto.png.f8ff6f17f999136a93cbbd99fbf38005.png

These three will be key to our success this season.

First off, Mörschel is clearly above 3. Liga level, though his weaknesses are also clear. At first look, I consider it vital that we simply get him as close to the opponents box as possible, where he can use his physical presence and technical ability to wreak havoc. His lack of work ethic and slightly underwhelming mental stats in areas, however, will mean that we will need to have plenty of hard-working players around him.

Schaurte is a great full-back for this level. He has good physical stats, a strong personality and the versatility that will be needed with a squad our size. He is the club's current captain and I have already set him to mentoring Heinz and another one of our young midfielders.

Lucas Cueto is our out-man. I envision him being the player that helps us to break through opponents lines with his pace and dribbling ability to create space for other players. We lack pace in the rest of our team, so it is crucial that we keep Lucas fit.

Project players: Okan Erdogan, Fridolin Wagner, Marian Prinz

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/okan_erdogan.png.ec7c0b10fa5d73837ca0348a6c537f4a.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/fridolin_wagner.png.fd6aaae941a104ead424fca6e7da652d.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/marian_prinz.png.5b93453c53607c61fe0ba56de451da2c.png

Erdogan is a new arrival from the Regionalliga and looks to be quite the talent. He has decent physicals and mentals, whilst also being Fairly Professional. I will be trying to give him as much game time as possible this season.

Fridolin has been excellent in pre-season and is a brilliant box-to-box player. The main issue for me is with his personality and determination, so I am hoping that with some tutoring and exposure to the rest of our team he will show plenty of development this season.

Our first team keeper, Schulze-Niehues, has been making noises about potentially leaving the club. Whilst I can by no means afford for that to happen this season, I will be wary that this could happen next year and will therefore be trying to give Prinz as much of a go as possible this year. He is a decent height and presence and also has good reflexes. His reading of the game is an issue for me, though, particularly if we are playing on the front foot. We will work on that this season.

Youth talents: Nick Selutin, Marcel Hoffmeier

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/nick_selutin.png.97316ee0cf23c91ba402d1e034fb0728.png https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/marcel_hoffmeier.png.e4019e6d3b877ea7672a59a1fcf5ece3.png

I will look for openings for these two guys throughout the season. Selutin and Hoffmeier both featured in pre-season and have enough pace and trickery that they might prove useful on occasion. They will be training with the first team throughout the season but playing for the youth team on a regular basis.

---

Hopefully that gives you a brief overview of what I will be working with this season. I will drop in some info on some of the other guys as the season progresses. I have been working during the season on two vague structures to accomodate our strengths and weaknesses, with one for playing a Gegenpressing style, and one for a quick counter-attacking style. Gegenpressing has been successful in pre-season, but as I am not fully convinced by the physical stats of my current crop of players, it is a tactic I will be saving for very specific occasions. This is the general framework:

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/4-4-2.png.4b710c9db9759a6b1f5915fa1768b877.png
https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/1963550046_4-2-3-1DM.png.0be06650f1b87dc2e4fb70fd61685597.png

The roles seem to complement each other fairly well, I have simply been adjusting player roles depending on specific strengths of weaknesses of players. I have also been adjusting certain positions based on the footedness of certain players. As you will see now, we have looked very strong in pre-season, so I am fairly confident with these tactics for the time being.

Pre-season

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/1491651194_Screenshot(625).png.a53f459f9bb93f94448e26576fcf256d.png

In terms of matches, we performed extremely well in pre-season. Most notably, thrashing our league rivals Wehen Wiesbaden 3-0 and the 5-2 thrashing of our Avian cousins, Go Ahead Eagles.

As for training, I worked the boys fairly hard for the opening 4 weeks, primarily on fitness and tactical matters. There was also a concerted focus on team bonding, however. A large part of this team is new to the club and there were clear chemistry issues upon arrival, and that remains the case at this point in time. Hopefully we can work on that as the season progresses.

I will drop back in with an update around November-time! Thanks for reading.
German-based FM fan, part-time coach and student of the game/management. Open for debate and discussion!
Really interesting backstory, will definitely be following! Also, good luck with your badges! That's been a dream of mine since FM2010 so I always like to see other football fans figuring out ways to make it their career.


Thanks for the response, and the good wishes! How hard is it to get into in the US?
German-based FM fan, part-time coach and student of the game/management. Open for debate and discussion!
Thanks for the response, and the good wishes! How hard is it to get into in the US?


Well there are a ton of teams across the country so there are certainly plenty of opportunities in the field. However, the level of football is nowhere near the standard of Europe so I've never really been interested in USL or MLS but if I pursue football as a career that's probably the route I'd have to go before moving abroad. Most universities offer a Sports Management major which is what I'm currently studying, but most of the job prospects after uni for this major are sales-related or administrator roles so tbh I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do after I graduate. What about Germany?
Well there are a ton of teams across the country so there are certainly plenty of opportunities in the field. However, the level of football is nowhere near the standard of Europe so I've never really been interested in USL or MLS but if I pursue football as a career that's probably the route I'd have to go before moving abroad. Most universities offer a Sports Management major which is what I'm currently studying, but most of the job prospects after uni for this major are sales-related or administrator roles so tbh I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do after I graduate. What about Germany?


Well you've gotta aim high, I guess! I suppose you'll just have to get as much grassroots experience as you can and take any opportunity to worm your way into the coaching side of things. I wish you luck anyway!
For me it's currently definitely a hobby - I love the mental side of it, and I love to work with people. I coach a group of lads here and will be doing my initial coaching badges with the local FA in the next year, alongside my full-time job. Then its just a case of staying ambitious and seeing what opportunities come my way, I guess!
German-based FM fan, part-time coach and student of the game/management. Open for debate and discussion!
November update

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.bab187370dd3f78271df19a5927eeb9e.png

There are just 7 matches left before the Winter Break and the situation is not looking great already. The campaign opened well and we had just one defeat in the first 9 matches, but with far too many draws. Injuries to key attacking players such as Maurice Litka, Heinz Mörschel and Lucas Schnellbacher has meant that we have been unable to create or score enough chances. A lack of discipline, most notably from our captain who has already received two red cards, has also hampered our performances. Here's a quick look at the table:

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.f3419119b4a92ba0b126f8e910c5519f.png

Far too close to the relegation zone for my liking, though as you can see, we are only one victory away from 10th spot, and our goal difference is not terrible. It is vital that we start turning draws into wins, however, and climb up the table.

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.1b904e4b5e13982eb760c468b0a5c8fa.png

Just three victories in our opening 14 matches is really not good enough, though there have been some extremely unfortunate moments. We conceded a last minute equaliser against Bayern II having dominated proceedings. We then proceeded to lose to Magdeburg, who scored on a counter-attack from a missed Mörschel penalty. In the last match in October, we also failed to hold on to a deserved 1-0 victory, conceding in the 93rd minute. The defeats against Zwickau and Braunschweig were extremely poor, however, and I have highlighted a few key areas to strengthen should the opportunity arise in January. Mörschel is currently our top goalscorer with 4 goals, all of which have been penalties, and we simply do not have a regular goalscorer in our ranks. If we can add that, then I think we will achieve our desired mid-table finish before really shaping the team next season.

There have been a number of positive developments, though. Okan Erdogan has been developing very well indeed, becoming a fixture in the side and scoring 2 goals. He has even received 4 caps for the Turkish Under 21 side.

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.f3f2a6a2a39e0ad576093ac7339052ac.png

Undoubtedly our key player so far, however, has been Kevin Pires-Rodrigues. Our joint top goalscorer in the league with 4 goals, he has filled in across almost every position in midfield and scored some absolutely vital goals. In need of some pace and movement around him.

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.ef4c7891098b70fc3f978fc1097288d2.png

Meanwhile, Heinz Mörschel had been expected to be our key player. He has so far, however, been limited by injuries and performed inconsistently when on the pitch. I currently have him being mentored by our captain Schauerte, and this appears to be improving some of his weaker personality attributes, so I am hoping that performances will improve accordingly. Whilst his output has been decent, I would expect more from a player of his talent and he is again somebody who would benefit from having some faster players around him with good off the ball movement.

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.89a623aeffca1997a3c1731cb11640e8.png

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.thumb.png.585e2c038895783568294eb05a2c0e0e.png

Summary

All in all, plenty to work on going into the winter break. My key aim for these last 7 fixtures of 2019 is to keep morale level and to make sure we get a couple of wins in key fixtures - easier said than done! From there, we will be looking to add to our ranks in January, most likely with a couple of loan signings, and secure a mid-table finish. Let's see if we can do that...
German-based FM fan, part-time coach and student of the game/management. Open for debate and discussion!
March update

https://content.invisioncic.com/Msigames/monthly_2020_03/image.png.1cd727adcf5704eaf54d9f21dbd06946.png

We're going up to the 2. Bundesliga!

[Editors note: Not really]

Sadly there was no turnaround. The failure to build up any momentum with draws all season escalated into a string of losses and after a discussion with the board in mid-November, I left SC Preußen Münster after just 5 months at the helm. How did it come to this? And where will this story go from here?

I was certainly tempted to restart the save from the beginning of November and replay the games. We were so unfortunate to lose the first game, and from that point there was no saving the morale. This is not something I was particularly keen to do, I would rather stop the save at that point than replay it. Indeed, this is not a particularly rare occurence in the football world and gives me the chance to take a more critical reflection of what went on and apply that going forward.

What went wrong?

Certainly I was unable to coax enough goals out of this team. The injuries certainly didn't help, but maybe there was more I could have done. We had good set piece takers and some decent aerial threats, so perhaps I ought to have focused more on that for the time being than on developing my tactics?

There was also an issue with mentality and discipline, as we threw away several leads and two red cards from my captain.

In terms of the playing staff, we were also fairly limited. We did not have a goalscorer of any shape or form - our best player Morschel was frustratingly inconsistent despite his impressive stats. On top of that, we did not have any particularly good wide players of note and our full-backs had poor crossing stats. The squad is not what I would consider balanced (perhaps explaining their poor form in real life).

What now?

Having decided I wanted to keep going and prove that this was an anomoly, I tried jumping straight back on the horse. My reputation had suffered considerably after this episode and I was being rejected for jobs left, right and centre. I looked and applied for interesting jobs across Europe, from Poland to Holland, from Austria to Belgium. Nothing doing. Then I was approached by a club from England...
German-based FM fan, part-time coach and student of the game/management. Open for debate and discussion!
Well you've gotta aim high, I guess! I suppose you'll just have to get as much grassroots experience as you can and take any opportunity to worm your way into the coaching side of things. I wish you luck anyway!
For me it's currently definitely a hobby - I love the mental side of it, and I love to work with people. I coach a group of lads here and will be doing my initial coaching badges with the local FA in the next year, alongside my full-time job. Then its just a case of staying ambitious and seeing what opportunities come my way, I guess!


Yeah sounds like you've got a good thing going there! To be honest I'll probably just try to work towards a career in football journalism rather than coaching as that seems more tailored to my skills, but who knows!
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