Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
(Apologies for the lack of activity, work is work and work is piling up)

Preseason 2031/32

A mixed bag again, as we moved towards a 4-4-2 diamond in an attempt to maximise Nuuro Olad Arab's ability in the hole, which didn't turn out too well...

And it couldn't be more starkly exposed in the Cup - Somalifruit are and always have been lower-league so dispatching of them was to be expected, but once we encountered league regulars the ball dropped.

With form like that I'd be surprised if we beat Banaadir, and so it proved.

And for the nth season in a row, we find ourselves in the position of rank outsiders - if I don't get the tactical system in order I could find us proving the bookies right though.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago

Midseason 2031/32



We (Juma Getamesay in particular) started like a bat out of hell, 11 goals in total and 6 for him individually.

Losing to Elman put us somewhat back in our place, but we recovered with another 4 straight wins, right in time to finish the 1st half of the season against the (other) 2 title challengers.

Count on me to overthink it and sit back at home to Heegan then, being thoroughly outplayed and outscored despite Getamesay's best efforts.

We went back to some sort of normalcy against Banaadir, but had to readjust after rightback Yusuf Ali Essa got himself 22 yellows in 15 minutes - fortunately our shift to a makeshift back 3 managed to hold them at bay.
















And so we find ourselves in the mix in this title challenge - could've been much better if we'd just beat Heegan, but it is what it is.


As usual we also find ourselves already with a new youth intake:



Pushing the board to upgrade our youth recruitment has paid dividends, as this 'golden generation' might actually have some semblance of being one.


Robert Ali's the pick of the bunch, somewhat secure technically and mentally, while his burst of acceleration is a nifty attribute to have.

Odd that he's being touted as a ball winner with his defensive ability though, I'm much more keen on playing him as a midfield orchestrator of sorts.


Herve Elmi is a man after my own heart, a striker who loves nothing more than to run around and make an absolute nuisance of himself.

Remains to be seen if I want to break my 2 striker system of runner and tall guy for someone who isn't either, but he definitely makes a hell of a case for change.


I'll definitely sign them both, and play by ear for the rest - some of the others have potential but are let down by either mentality or technical ability.



Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
End of Season 2031/32

3 things :-

1. You'll have noticed the lack of Jume Getamesay's goals - well after losing to Horseed (where we had 2 shots all game compared to their 18) he completely failed to read the room and asked for a new deal.
Swiftly banished to the U20s, though he did eventually get back into the team to great effect.

2. Tony Abdi came back from a hip injury to prove me wrong - I thought he was a poor signing, and the injury should have sealed his fate as far as regular football goals, but Juma's fallout and Dawit David's own injury meant he had 2 positions to play in.
Did pretty well too, chipping in with 3 goals and a couple of assists to boot.

3. It's only 7 games, because despite losing thrice to seemingly crash out of the title race:

Well we were right in the mix; who do we play to finish out the season? None other than Heegan and Banaadir....
Well I never, top going into the final day!


Shoutout to Essa, he might've been gash at defending for most of the season, but he stepped up HUGE in the run-in, 2 goals in 3 to end the season.

God Getamesay indeed, based.
Hell of a way to end the season, effectively a cup final and the latest of winners to boot.

Imagine losing 6-3 in a title-winning season, mental.

Players Of the Season

Well new contract or not, there's no way that Juma is staying out of the team as long as I'm here (which won't be too long I hope).
22 goal contributions in 13 games are phenomenal numbers and at 27 he's right smack in his prime too, a few more years of this could be on the cards.

Found himself sidelined with injury, but David still hit double figures in assists...

But the same couldn't be said for Halgan Askari, just over a quarter of David's tally. Still with an average rating of 7.25 he more than maintained a threat throughout the season.

I had forgot to mention that I signed him at the start of the season, but yes Abdi Deng was released by Banaadir, and now he's beaten them to a 2nd straight league title for himself.
Not that he was good all season (and he was bricking it in the final game) but the technical improvement he brought to our backline was undeniable.

Special mentions go to Naciimo Essa who was gash all season, up to the end of the season where he scored 2 goals and managed 3 clean sheets in the last 3 games; and Tony Abdi who finally came good as a right winger/occasional hustling striker.

So that's 2 down in Somalia, and the awkward midseason-ish Super Cup to go.

David has been deserving of a place here since what, 2 seasons ago? Been a long time coming.

Oh right, yes Mohamed Essa was also stepped up as Fahad Ismail's replacement, with passing ability being a surprise he's brought to the table.

Yeah as you'd wholeheartedly agree by now, God Getamesay.
14 years ago
2 months ago

I think he's done enough to earn a new contract now. Love that getting a last gasp winner to seal the league! Congrats on conquering Somalia!

Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
By DNZY 25 February 2021 - 12:03 PM UTC

I think he's done enough to earn a new contract now. Love that getting a last gasp winner to seal the league! Congrats on conquering Somalia!

Juma's agent approached me for a new deal in previous seasons for a new deal but always stuck with that "Backup + same pay" demand.
Which I agreed to, but it always seemed to lead to a drop in form which costs us big time, so this time I wanted to avoid that.
Of course it's a complete fluke that it ended up working out anyway, I wasn't expecting us to be in the title hunt throughout his absence.

And thanks man, the time to move on is nearing finally.


Preseason 2032/33

An earlier preseason (you'll see why we had one) meant that everyone else was still on holiday, so we have to play each other for a good month.
The rest of preseason was a mixed bag as usual, a 50% win rate being just about ok enough.

Now, why precisely I had to start preseason early:

Hm, turns out we had this short continental competition to look forward to, in addition to (NOT the CAF Champions League, but) the UAFA Arab champions League at the start of the calendar year.

I know I probably played it way too cautiously in a bid to not get blown out - well we didn't, but our performances were pretty dour anyway as a result.

On to the next preseason Cup:

We started well in the group stage having won our 1st 2 games to seal qualification, but it was our 1st real test that saw us fall short - Elman were Elman, and Elman are a team that I've still got a mental block against.

Banaadir were (understandably) well thirsty for revenge and played like so as well.
Naciimo Essa helped them well along the way too, making mistakes for both their opener and the late winner, making Getamesay's best efforts all for nought.

....... With all that said, there's only one reason why I stayed after our league win last season:

Yep, so that's Somalia definitely done, just one thing left to do:

I'd been beefing with the club over this for the best part of a year already, and even though I was going to leave anyway, I would at least make it seem like it was their fault for my departure.

So what next you might ask?

Well at the time of writing there's basically nothing new on offer, so I'll have to wait for managers to get sacked - watch this space.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
You know how I was talking about waiting for a manager to get sacked? Well a quick gander at the Social Feed:
Would you just look at that Youth Recruitment?!
And an agreement to up the youth coaching budget in the interview - truly men after my own heart.

Obviously it's not all a bed of roses, why else would they have sacked such a successful manager:

10 games, no wins and a bloated squad with at least a 3rd of them asking for game time - we've got a rebuild on our hands it seems.

And a rebuild it will be - with no senior staff aside from me I've not been able to have a report of the squad, so I can only base it on the current playing pack:

Doesn't make for good reading, evidently.

We do have a few gems though, Joel Fisher is already a mercurial playmaker, while Christopher Alexander will hopefully steady the ship with his experience.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Sugar Boys - End of season 2032/33

A truly abysmal start in my time here, coinciding with the conclusion of a winless, 0.5ppg season for the club.

We also went out in the 1st round of the post-season Wendol Williams Cup for good measure.

Now in my defence, I wasn't exactly helped by the terrible transfer window we had:

5 players, all arguably starters, all joined just last July, jumping ship this window and leaving our 1st team in a rough state to say the least.

We did sign a couple of our own in fairness:

1st two were signed by my U20s manager before I remembered to turn off allowing him to sign youths - Baptiste is a dud and will not make it here, while James has potential as a targetman, but simply does not have the legs to keep up.
In fact he was so slow on his debut, that I resolved to sign another striker as a result:

Prince isn't exactly great no, but he's both bad enough to not be wanted by another club (so we can finally have a bit a stability in the team), he's good enough to work out in a specific role (targetman with some speed) and the Professionalism will help with the youths as well.

That highest average rating is enough of a sign that there's not much to talk about in this team, if at all.

Ok, maybe Daniel Daley, but he's pissed at me already so who knows if he'll stay for next season.

We also had a youth intake (which contrary to Somalia with occurs with more than half the season to go, only comes through after the end of the season) - not good as a whole, but we did have 1 potential gem signed:

Unpha Monks will start for us next season, that's how bad our backline currently is.
14 years ago
2 months ago

Sounds like a rebuilding job for next season, hoping next season goes well for you!

Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
By DNZY 17 March 2021 - 10:41 AM UTC

Sounds like a rebuilding job for next season, hoping next season goes well for you!

Aye, cheers - heaven knows I need a good start or the team will start revolting again.


Preseason 2033/34

Now before I begin, a bit of unfortunate news:

Yes, after a whirlwind title win last season Gaadiika have gone straight down.
Didn't help that Juma Getamesay fell completely short of his title-challenging/winning form with 0 goals in 7 appearances - frankly it was insane that a man with his ability could rack up double figures year on year anyway.

And it us with this that we begin with this window's transfers:

He was unceremoniously released after the relegation and with a lack of left-footed strikers in the team I decided to take a punt on him.
Will he get goals like in Somalia? Maybe not, but it'll be good at least that he isn't retiring before his 30s.

Raaliyo Aboki was also released, and brought in to start at leftback - he's not actually good, but I'm banking on his sheer speed to cover for that lack of defensive abilty.

Nuuro Olad Arab wasn't released (he even signed a new deal with Gaadiika when I approached him the 1st time), but I had to get him in once their relegation was confirmed.
Not quite the big fish in a small pond now that he's in Sugar Boys (Joel Fisher's the wonderkid here), but he probably wouldn't need to play so much and risk injuries the way he did in Somalia.

The game's the game, I got you a title at least.
Islanders do currently have a terrific prospect in goal, but imagine benching Fitzroy Miller to the point of letting him leave.
Incredible record of 46 goals conceded in 73 league games, needless to say he doesn't need to worry about the bench with us.

Rodney Septus was a bit of an impulse signing, and in footballing backwaters where pace and physicality reign supreme someone who possesses great finishing at the expense of everything else is arguably a luxury player.
Though he could be changing my mind...

Transfers were sorted before the window even opened, so we were well settled by the time preseason started:

Great preseason, 7 wins and 2 draws - though we still don't have good match coherence somehow.
Getamesay was largely poor, but a few opportunistic goals gave him something to work with going into the season.

Max out all the bonuses as usual, especially when you consider that we've got almost 1m in the bank.

Not the cellar dweller tag that I'm used to, but we're (and I'm) expecting to do better than that abomination of last season; at least a win, come on now.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Midseason 2033/34

We started where we left off last season with yet another loss, and after drawing against Wolues it did seem like there might never be an end in sight for our losing streak.
Up came Islanders who gave us our 1st league win in 2 seasons to add to their gifting of their start goalkeeper. It did seem like the start of our resurgence too, in no small part to Nuuro Olad Arab with 3 goals and an assist in his 1st 3 starts.

He was so good that even the Somalia NT boss flew across the Pacific to have more than a few looks at him.

Alas, even that form couldn't last, and once we lost Unpha Monks to a twisted ankle things went to pot. Injured against Old Madrid, we proceeded to concede 8 in 3 games - sure we weren't exactly watertight before, but there clearly was something missing at the back.

So despite our oh so brief run of form we still find ourselves in the bottom half of the table, with Panthers leading and still unbeaten.
The Panthers loss was so annoying too, the stats and eye test had us as the better team, but we still lost.

There was also the first of 2 cups this season, the Terry Evans Cup:

Put out a rotated team, and well...

Now you'd think that with some wins on the board we'd have some respite from all the squad revolt nonsense, but of course not:

I do hate Gladston Prince so much - I've been starting him to try and appease him, but it's clear that even as captain he's got no qualms turning against me - he's getting dropped from here on in.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
End of Season 2033/34

Let's start with some bad news:

Obviously I was far too naive in thinking he was happy with his Hot Prospect status as long as he was starting, but damn I did not expect to have to lose him.
We also lost DM Dwayne Roach to Panthers, but Panthers are runaway leaders so there wasn't any chance of us keeping him.
(I lied, I'd actually completely missed the news about them offing him a contract)

Somehow that didn't didn't derail our season - in fact we went from strength to strength.
I'd say that was attributed to Unpha Monks' return from injury, but even that we still only managed 2 clean sheets in 7 to end the season.
And how did it end - After beating Old Madrid we were only 2 off Panthers when facing each other, they managed only a stalemate - alas we couldn't even achieve that against One Love.
Beating the Champions on the final day was scant consolation.

Finished only 2 off Panthers in the end, though in a 14-game season that might as well be a chasm.
Still, with a midseason squad mutiny that I had to contend with I'll take second.

That wasn't the end of it though, as we did have another cup competition to fight for:

Beating them before their title celebrations wasn't enough, we had to tear them a new one in the very next match.
Joel Fisher had a virtuoso performance to teach our strikers how to finish in the 1st half, and after the break they seem to have learned with another 3 from the pair.

Not that they would bring that over to the semis though....
Islanders opened the scoring with a freak goal, a shot from way out that deflected off Vanterpool's head.
Even then we should've found an equaliser in the remaining 89 minutes, but we probably used up all our goals in the quarters.

Season Review

I'm not completely sold on Aboki being the signing of the season (Olad Arab would've been it had he not left midseason) but there's no denying how transformative he was to our system - wingback madness giving us central midfield numbers.

Fitzroy Miller was the better signing according to the fans - no doubt he was an important signing, but with only 1 clean sheet in 13 (he was rotated out in the last league game) everyone knows he can and needs to do better.

Players of the Season

Joel Fisher the wonderkid playmaker at the centre of the team, bit of a shame he doesn't have a good personality, could be developing so much more in the future.

Daniel Daley is the right sided forward in our strike pair, doubling up as a winger at times.
He was part of that mutiny earlier, but the difference is while Gladston Prince is shit, he's actually not too bad.

Juma Getamesay - God Getamesay - returning to blistering form after an off year in the Gaadiika relegation season. He's basically a mirror to Daley, but with Aboki having the left flank to his own he's not needed to whip in the crosses as much.

Well I had to - Nuuro Olad Arab might have left, but his goalscoring exploits in midfield did give us a decent position at the start of the season and did vindicate my signing him.

Now for the new youth intake:

An otherwise decent if unspectacular intake, there is a bright jewel in this bunch:

Who needs Nuuro Olad Arab? Ron Morris is already more highly rated than Joel Fisher, and with pace to add to his technical ability he'll excel as the goalscoring midfielder that the Somali was.
I'll very much look to take it slow with him though, don't want to burn him out.

Matthew Sergeant is only more highly rated than Unpha Monks because of his superior physical ability, but I'll be damned if a centreback with 6 Marking starts for me (unless he's left-footed of course).
Nonetheless he's got something about him, and can get starts sooner or later.

Odaine Caesar looks like a good one, with aggression and bravery making him very suited to that Defensive Forward role.

Seeing as we had nearly 2 million in the back I cheekily asked for improvements to the facilities, and voila, they somehow agreed, along with a stadium expansion to boot.

Lastly, some international news:

Yes I was still managing the Northern Marianas, but unfortunately a run of zero wins in a calendar year put paid to any hopes of me staying.
Circumstances didn't help either - our star centreback was out with concussion in a warmup game and would only be back against the Solomon Islands (by which point we were already out) and the strikers I brought hadn't scored in a year.
Okay that last bit was my fault, but whatever.

This new is important because of what came next:

I'm back in Pakistan baby!
To be honest I only signed up to this because I wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labour - let me show you what I mean:

3 years of constant upgrades of KPT's youth facilities into the country's best by a country mile, and they (we) now dominate the national squad.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Preseason 2034/35

We begin as we did previously, with another annoying departure:

The 2nd player to leave us for Virgin Gorda, despite them finishing bottom last season and 7 positions below us - absolutely brutal loss too, being our best centreback and all.
Nevertheless, we move, and crucially without an external replacement as we look to maintain familiarity.

Preseason did suggest that we didn't need one anyway:

8W1L in 9 games - not much to read into regarding the strength of our opponents, but I'd much happier take the run of wins into the season proper.

There was also the small matter of an ownership change:

Bit annoying that the new guy doesn't buy into our youth vision for the short term at least, because I'm not getting any youth upgrades as a result.

But again we move, into the new season at that:

Top half mainstays this time round - would much rather be the cellar dwellers old seasons past.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Midseason 2034/35

A great start to the season, tainted by the Islanders loss - completely outplayed, and as can be seen by our results since, quite out of the norm.

Nonetheless, a 4 point lead with 7 games to go is normally a very healthy lead in other leagues, but here it's still literally half the season left so I'd be a fool to call the title now.

We also had the Terry Evans Cup to contend with in this 1st half of the season:

B Team doing very well against (albeit bottom side) Old Madrid - Roger James with an effort from the halfway line to catch the keeper out of position.

A very dodgy win, not at all helped by Aboki's shocking challenge and dismissal.
We were poor already and looked to go out with a whimper but going a man down seemed to light a fire under us and we counterattacked with far more purpose as a result.
Debutant Alexander laid the ball off for Daley to finish in an open net, before Daley returned the favour for the (fortuitous) winner.

Apologies to the cup team, but damn I wasn't going to risk letting slip my 1st title in the British Virgin Islands.
Turns out I needn't have worried, with their defence getting caught in possession for Getamesay to break through and score in just 11 seconds.
The rest of the game was easy as you like, with their flat 4-5-1 not exactly set up for basically starting the game a goal down.

Septus did what Septus does and finished with 2 goals and a richly deserved MoTM.

It's only the 2 games that they played, but the B Team found good form to score 6 in 2 games - it's unfortunate that I've already got such a good thing going in the league that they probably won't get a minute, particularly Roger James who actually ended up only playing once.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Apologies for the extended delay, but I'm back for now:-

End of Season 2034/35

We pretty much picked up where we left off at the halfway point of the season - well up to a point, we did trip up against Wolues.
Beating Old Madrid the following match did put us on the cusp of the title - only issue was that we had to beat bogey team and nearest challengers Islanders.
Well we didn't lose (we tried, shat bricks all game), and Islanders' subsequent failure to win their next match meant that:

Ohhhh yeah, 6 league titles now.

Finished off the season with a win and a loss, the final match being an opportunity to play some of the youths, as well as being a sign of things to come...
Despite the win Virgin Gorda (with Unpha Monks eventually wilted to midtable - at least they weren't previous champions Panthers, who found themselves second from bottom in a tight points race from 4th to 8th.

We now have the small matter of potentially making it a treble for the season:

Quarter Finals of the Wendol Williams Cup, and we began with a convincing win against One Love.

... Followed up with an absolute horrow show of a semi, with 3 of our back 4 conceding a penalty and giving new bogeyman Rushedo Caesar a hat-trick.
Virgin Gorda eventually won the whole thing, and still decided to sack their manager after a poor league campaign - a new boss who can properly use Monks and Caesar will be title favourites.

Oh and as it turned out, I still did have another chance at a treble:

Representing the British Virgin Islands as league champion in the CFU Club Championship, I think we gave a very good account of ourselves, with wins against our main competition (Bodden Town!!!) and a hard fought draw against Jamaican giants Portimore Town.

Alas, while Portimore managed to put their opponents to the sword (comparatively speaking), we only just about scraped through both ties so we were always on the back foot goal difference wise. Didn't help that there were 16 groups and only group winners progressed.

Season Review

I can't really complain can I - a double-winning campaign and good showings in the regionals, and we (I) only need to focus on the last cup before moving on.

Players of the Season

Arguably the surprise of the season, I thought Rodney Septus was a lost cause before this season, but a good preseason run set him up for a great campaign.
I didn't expect him to have more assists than goals (he's much better at finishing than chance creation after all), but I couldn't give less of a damn if his 10 goal contributions were all goals or all assists.

Speaking of 10 goals... Juma Getamesay topped our goalscoring charts once again.
What's more to be said about him? He's not very good, but somehow he gets goals.

He. Gets. Goals.

Joel Fisher continues to be the beating heart of our team, and even with new blood they've only either complemented him or provided cover in his absence.
2 goals and an assist don't look like much, but as with most playmakers his game lies in playing the 2nd- or 3rd-to-last pass before a goal.

Ron Morris is the said new blood, and he definitely worked his way into the team on a full-time basis (he's so much better than Baptiste anyway).
That right-sided role in the midfield 3 allows him to play as a winger of sorts as well, though he's still much better making runs into the area, or at least finding space just outside it.

We also had a new youth intake:

Frankly only one of them matters:

Twofooted, good with Passing and Technique as well as good work rate - only downside is a lack of Determination among other Mental deficiencies so to speak.
Not that I can see myself dropping any of my midfield 3, so fingers crossed he's happy with a slower integration to the 1st team via the bench.

Finally, some news on the other side of the world:

I mean, we aren't beating Bahrain so there's zero chance of us finishing top and progressing to the final stage of World Cup AFC qualifying.
No, the only point of this tourney is bragging rights over India.
Well look who we have for our group stage opener:

I mean yeah, no we didn't deserve to win, yes I'dve snatched your hand off for a draw, but my days a last minute penalty, with prolific-ish striker and competent penalty taker Kamran Zameer? We should have won that, absolutely.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Preseason 2035/36

Before we move to preseason proper, let's get the inevitable departure of key players out of the way:

Club captain, (despite putting in good performances) not that good a player (which made me think no one would have an interest in him), I thought he'd be staying for the long term. But no, even he's left.
its impact has significantly been reduced by the emergence of Estavan Norford, but having to find a new captain is going to be difficult given the youth and lack of leadership in the squad currently.
As usual, we stuck with the status quo as much as possible and made no incoming transfers in the offseason.

On to preseason:

So close to a perfect preseason, oof.
Comfortably unbeaten throughout, but the relative lack of goals from our (established) strikers is an issue.
Rodney Septus only managed 1 goal in 4 starts, while Getamesay and Daley only managed 1 better.
Roger James took this opportunity to stake his claim, with 4 goals in 3 starts and 7 total appearances - I'm definitely looking to give him a run out for the start of the season.

The league and Wendol Williams Cup aren't the priority this season - they might be great to retain, but this time we need to seal the deal on a Terry Evans Cup win.

League predictions have us at top half as well - we have a settled squad which will put us in good stead, but the overall flux in club form in the league means we'll be expecting more than a few shocks anyway.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Midseason s035/36

An unbeaten 1st half of the season, helped greatly by a league-best 4 goals conceded in 7 matches - Ranelie Morton (a youth entrant last season) has assimilated into the backline seamlessly as a replacement from Troy Telemaque.
A slightly worrying aspect of our season so far is the relative lack of goalscoring personnel - only Getamesay (somehow) has scored in more than 1 match this season. Admittedly it was somewhat my fault for not trusting Roger James from the off and going with Septus despite his poor preseason - James went some way to repaying an eventual faith in him with 2 goals against One Love.

So we go into the 2nd half of the season in the lead, but with Islanders and Rebels showing significantly more attacking prowess so far we need to get our act together in that department as well.

Time for the Terry Evans Cup:

... And time to exit the Terry Evans Cup.
Not a good look for the 2nd string backline, who basically wasted Daley and Getamesay's best efforts - well at least I know that I can't count on them I guess.

So that's Sugar Boys; we also had the smaller matter of Pakistan's World Cup qualifying campaign:

In a word, horrible - both defeats against the MidEast sides weren't surprising, but our inability to beat Laos at least once is extremely concerrning.

Then there's India:

Now far be it for me to think that we deserved to beat them, but with them being intense rivals and having more than enough chances to score, to concede an opener in the most collectively boneheaded way:

Rigged beyond all belief.

We're not bottom for now, but we've completely thrown away any chance of finishing above India, and with the return games against the MidEast teams still to come there'll be even more humiliation in store.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
End of Season 2035/36

Well... The roosters have well and truly come home to roost.
Our inability to score didn't get any better, and if anything it got much worse, not least due to my giving a new contract to Getamesay and a couple of departures - more on that later.
Our defence could only do so much and eventually caved, though conceding at a rate of under a goal a game is still commendable.
We eventually went back to basics and a 4-4-2 with a couple of exciting youth wingers, but that didn't help in the end.

Absolutely mad that we finished 3rd after ending the season with 2 points out of 18.

Now about those strikers:

Best finisher at the club no doubt, but when you're not putting that to good use what's the point?
He's since joined Wolues, where he's continued being utterly mediocre - he's going to score against us the next chance he gets isn't he.

I'm not that annoyed that he left, he was never going to be the clinical striker that we needed and was already behind Roger James in the pecking order - that said a striker's still a striker.

Now, the one striker we did keep:

Hopeless, downing tools after every contract renewal like clockwork.
It got so bad that I decided to get another left-footed striker:
Carlos Jefferson isn't particularly clinical himself, but at least he's got a decent technical ability and could deliver the passes for Roger James to finish - yeah I'm pretty much all in on him as my primary goalgetter.

Such was the timing of the transfer window opening though, that he didn't make an impact in the league - it was all down to the remaining Wendol Williams Cup:

Yeah... No dice here either.
4-4-2 here, probably the wrong choice given our lack of familiarity, but something different was needed given our collapse in the league.
Well at least Septus didn't score eh.

We still had another tournament to go through before we could call it quits on this shitshow of a season:

A fair way off last season's heroics, but we were still not at the standard of Puerto Rican or Jamaican clubs, so it is what it is.

Season Review

Not sure what's worse, the league collapse or the bombing out of both cups in the 1st round.

That Getamesay finished as both top scorer and PoTY despite going on that drought epitomised our season, terrible stuff.

Players of the Season

Ok, as much as I want to rag on the guy, fact is Getamesay did carry us for the 1st half of the season, I JUST NEED TO STOP GIVING HIM NEW CONTRACTS MIDSEASON
Joel Fisher, well he's not the primary playmaker with on Morris around nowadays, and despite his good performances his lack of mentality and Determination means he's not really capable of dragging us out of a rut.
It's why I like Morris more despite his lower end product, he drives at defences more and doesn't shirk as much arguably.
Roger James was our talisman in preseason and I tried to push his inclusion hard throughout the season.
He's clearly an aerial threat, but he seriously needs to stay in the box instead of chasing down long through balls (or maybe our other guys need to stopp feeding him those kinds of balls).

Finally, we had our annual intake (spoiler: it almost makes up for everything bad this season)

Ohhh yeah, he's that good:

Instant starter at RB, Norval Rapley gives us that attacking ability down the right that we've been trying to achieve with half-baked mezzala tactics.

David Remy's not half bad as well, not really excelling at any particular but has enough of an all-round game to trouble defences.
No surprise teams have been enquiring about him - am I going to gift him to my title rivals? Am I fuck.

So that's the club season done, but we still had business in Pakistan apparently:

Yes, the South Asian Football Federation Championship - 2 groups with India in the other thankfully.
We dispatched of our group comfortably, even if the last game was a bit random with a completely rotated squad and experimental formation.

India also finished top it seems, well at least we'll avoid them for the semis:

What gives?
Oh well, they did lost to Afghanistan so they're not exactly unbeatable, so we might have a chance at revenge finally:

Twats, absolute twats.
Not that we deserved to win, but they managed to put 2 of our players out of the game without so much of a yellow card, absolutely bent.

I was hoping that I could jump before I was pushed, but not reaching the final (even if a dodgy draw put paid to that) meant I fell short of their objectives, so I was cut immediately after the loss.

Think that's it for international jobs for now at least, I can't seem to get it to work with a club job as well - well I don't think I can get it working as a standalone gig at that!
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Preseason 2036/36

100% on preseason, lots of goals for the most part, but (partly due to injuries) we weren't as consistent at the back.
Estavan Norford scored a couple of bangers at the start, as did Carlos Jefferson and a couple of youth players, but the key was getting the partnership of Roger James and Getamesay working - looks like it's working too:

Yeah building your team around a focal point be damned, just leave when you want with this non-contract nonsense.

Oh well, we also had a signing of our own anyway:

Muhammad Ullah was released by KPT a fair few moons ago, but as Pakistan manager I was able to catch a glimpse of his ability.
So he was snapped up, but due to him being 16ish at the time best we could do was to give him a long-term trial while the days tick by.
He's finally turned 18 so he's now here officially, so that's the good news.

The bad news is, well turns out he does flatter to deceive a bit - he is defensively gifted, but with next to no physical presence he'll likely get done by almost anyone else in the air.
His performances for the U20s haven't been that good either, which with his technicals you'd expect him to at least make a mark for himself.
Coaches still rate him as the best centreback at the club so he's got that going for him, but in reality he's likely to become backup right back while he continues to play U20 football fulltime.

Seasonal predictions worry me now, starting to place some expectations on us.

Bookies think so too, which to my eyes just leads us into an inevitable implosion and my dismissal soon after.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Midseason 2036/37

Another unbeaten start, just about anyway - needed an injury time equaliser to stop us from falling to Rebels again.
We were lucky that an injury to Getamesay (to add to the loss of Roger James) gave us the opportunity to unearth some explosive talents.
David Remy you know about, but it is Damiel Fisher who really came through out of nowhere - goals in 5 appearances earning him a national call-up, 2 caps and 2 goals!

Despite the unbeaten start, we still find ourselves behind the utterly relentless Rebels.
Oh well, at least we can push on to finish the season unbeaten instead of melting down from the pressure towards the end.

As usual, the Terry Evans Cup also started:

One Love are the proper whipping boys of the league at the moment, and it showed here - a rotated team with an alternate formation, and they still got comfortably beaten.

Oh and look who tried to tempt fate:


Not our best game - Venton Cain (their lone striker)did what he does (scored in 4 of or 5 previous encounters) and terrorised our defence, but couldn't find his shooting boots this time, while Fisher one-upped his future striker partner for country with the only goal.

We were better throughout, and but for massive defensive gap that gifted Vanterpool the equaliser we'd have a clean sheet to go with the title.
Both sides were pretty comically hamstrung for the final too - we were without 5 starters due to international call-ups, while Panthers played their semifinal only 3 days before this final.

Interesting that we've been ranked Overachievers while the club expected to reach the Final at minimum.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
End of Season 2036/37

The good form continued towards the end of 2036 - apart from the Old Madrid scare we weren't troubled, with the Islanders beatdown a particular highlight.
Well I say that, we troubled ourselves, with a shocking challenge from rising star RB Noval Rapley resulting in a deserved red and 1-match ban at the start of 2037.

Between that time, well we had a transfer window:

That's starting GK Fitzroy Miller, and centreback Ranelie Morton - at least I managed to keep Miller, but not Morton ffs.

It didn't seem to affect our form thankfully, and coming towards the end of the season we were on a 6-win streak, and still unbeaten at that.
Despite all that, Rebels had kept up with us all the way and baefore the final day, they were still in with a shot of winning the title.

Well guess who we play in that final day:

A scriptwriter's dream, this.
Trading punches and wins all season, the league's record points tally of 34 (set by Rebels no less) will be matched at least after this game (if Rebels win or we draw, and surpassed if we win).


Incredible stuff - we dominated proceedings in the 1st half, and despite Venton Cain's best efforts went into the interval 4-1 up.
Rebels - led by perennial thorn in the side Cain - threatened to mount a comeback, but aside from that Williams OG we managed to sail through unscathed and seal a 2nd league title in 3 years.

An extraordinary season that led to many a record being broken - though of course, as good as it is my eyes are only on the one cup competition I've yet to win:

A performance befitting men on a mission, as Wolues were comfortably outclassed.

Likewise with One Love, though our nerves did get to us at times.
Nevertheless, I'm in the final for the 1st time!

GET IN, winning the final at the 1st time of asking.
About as perfect ending you can ask for for this season and my time here in general, a historic domestic treble and doing it unbeaten throughout.

Season Review

Players of the Season
Damiel Fisher was hands-down the breakout star of the season, scoring 15 goals in 12 league starts despite being comfortably the 2nd best striker in last year's youth intake.
A great burst of acceleration coupled with smart runs meant most through balls got to him to put away.

Breaking the club's season scoring record in your 1st full year in senior football, get in lad.
David Remy was the hotter prospect in last year's intake, and thanks to Roger James' departure and Getamesay's injury on Opening Day, had the chance to establish himself as a 1st-choice striker beside his fellow graduate.
Being the Defensive forward, he didn't have the speed that you need to poach goals, but he put himself about and still finished with 10 goals from 12.
The 3rd of 3 starters from last year's intake, Norval Rapley dominated the right flank and finished with 5 assists in 11 matches.
His idiotic red mist nearly cost us towards the end of the season, but I think we can put that down to youthful exuberance.
Playmaking maestro, Joel Fisher dictated play smack in the centre of the park.
4 goals and 4 assists aren't much when compared to some of his teammates' end product, but I'll be damned if I didn't recognise his influence in our game.
Ron Morris sat at the top of the diamond and fed all those through balls to Fisher and Remy for goal after goal.
Amazingly, he only scored his 1st ever league goal this season too - could've sworn he'd had a few already since his emergence in the 1st team.
And shoutout to Fitzroy Miller as well, who was about a good a keeper as we could get when we were in the shitter 4 seasons ago.
I'm just glad I could get him to stay at a goals conceded ratio of 1/game in his time here, a man of his ability deserves better than conceding 22 in 13 in his record.

Lastly, we finish with another youth intake:

Another absolute baller of a midfielder to add to our collection of absolute ballers for midfielders.
Shame I probably wouldn't be able to manage Rohan Morris and have him be our midfield hardman at the base of the diamond.

So er, that's that then, time for a new club.
It's also the 6th nation that I've completed, so time to put them away and load up a new set of 5.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago

Had to be done, to make way for the new leagues if nothing else:

Couple of coincidences with the 5 new leagues - 1 Virgin Islands replacing another, Somalia replaced by its neighbour Djibouti, Samoa replacing the only Oceanic representative in Tonga, Sri Lanka replacing Pakistan as the South Asian rep, and Brunei as the 1st Southeast Asian nation and the 1st with 2 tiers!

But of course, we still had the remaining 5 nations for Stage One:

And one of them's ruled me out from the off already, great.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Well, they're the only club who got back to me, so Domagnano it is!

So a decent club historically, but they've only won a single Coppa Titano this save.

The squad is your typical semipro club squad - bloated with at least half clearly not good enough, but all still with the team due to the non-contract situation.

Doesn't bode well that our best player, well he's not very good I think:

The only full international in the team, Luca Della Valle's a right-footed left winger who can't dribble - says it all really.
I'll going to try and force the square peg into the round hole and play him on the right where his ball control isn't as essential.

Ibrahim Afkir is our best defender with his best years ahead of him.
Not sure I'm on board with that defensive ability though.

At least we have someone reliable between the sticks - Matteo Bianchi has consistently conceded more than a goal a game throughout his career, but with our defence the way it is he's probably not getting enough credit for not conceding more.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Preseason 2037/38

Since I've mentioned how bad the squad was, let's start with how I'm attempting to improve that:

I went back to familiar territory to start with - both Fisher and James were released by Sugar Boys mere days after I resigned (along with Odaine Caesar) and we had a bit of leeway with the foreign quota as well (4 from a maximum of 7 on matchday and 11 in the registered squad).
Bit of a bad sign that they're already one of the better players at the club though.

These 2 were courtesy of the DoF - Creuso was signed by him personally before I remembered to delegate transfer responsibility back to me, while Lazzeri was a suggestion of his.
Intriguing how 17 year olds from an amateur team's youth squad can walk into our starting XI too.

There are basically zero LBs worth their salt in the market right now, so I've decided to play Afkir there and solve the easier RB problem instead.
Muccioli isn't all that fast, but looks sufficiently solid at defending so let's hope that's enough for him to cope.

The rest of the signings were for U19 squad filler (arguably Caeser as well, he's not that good compared to the rest of the team, but with Professional personality I'm betting on some improvement from him over time).
Exits wise... Zanotti was a prospect GK who wasn't going to start over Bianchi, while Protti was so bad as a striker in preseason that I wasn't all that fussed to lose him.
Bit annoyed about Gesmundo though, one of our best players at centre mid and someone who wasn't labelled a destroyer for once - we had to offer him a new deal twice this window to fend off bidders, but eventually he still chose to leave at the 3rd time of asking.

Preseason proper was a bumper one as I tried to find a system that worked. Well quelle surprise, it's back to the trusty 4-4-2 - we did try a couple of others like a 4-5-1 they played with previously, but it's lower league football, and unless we have a baller team we'll play a 4-4-2.
Della Valle has adapted excellently to the right wing, while Fisher has played regularly and chipped in with a number of goals as a makeshift striker.
Rohan James is also going to be a starter at centreback, seeing as our best centreback had been beefing with me all preseason over something that the previous manager did to him - pisstake.

Now, in case you're not familiar with San Marino's league system:

The league's regular season is split into 2 groups, and the top 3 from each group qualify for honestly, needlessly convoluted playoffs - I don't know how it works yet, but looking at last year's results tree it definitely involves a minor and major semifinal.

Anyway, tl;dr I think we're supposed to challenge for a top 3 spot in our group, which looks like a tough ask considering we finished bottom of ours last season.

We also have the Coppa Titano:

Much easier format, 4 groups with the top 2 qualifying for a conventional knockout round.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Midseason 2037/38

Well quelle surprise, it's back to the trusty 4-4-2 - we did try a couple of others like a 4-5-1 they played with previously, but it's lower league football, and unless we have a baller team we'll play a 4-4-2.

As it turns out, everyone but the best teams play a single striker up top - from the pretty adventurous 4-2-3-1, to the outright turgid 5-4-1.

Well look at what these lone strikers have done to us:

Horrible, horrible stuff at the back, with only 1 clean sheet and many a late equaliser conceded.
Oh and the penalties, the number of penalties we've conceded even though we have 2 men to deal with 1 striker.
Even with a very low defensive line, opposition goalkeepers still regularly punt the ball down to their lone targetman to run and have a shot.
Neither Rohan James or Bakaj have any pace of note or sufficient defensive ability to make up for that, so we often just find ourselves caught out by the simplest of long balls.
It's gotten so bad that I'm probably going to follow suit and trot out the 5-4-1 as well at this rate.

There are positives though - with our porous backline forcing our attack to do so much more, the likes of Caesar and Creuso have managed to nab a couple of goals - Caesar in particular top scoring for us so far with 5.

As a result we find ourselves 2nd from bottom, albeit with a few games in hand.
Testing times ahead regardless.

While all this was going on, we also had the Coppa Titano to contend with:

... And same story here.
Porous defence, attack only able to do so much, rinse and repeat.

Fortunately it's a home and away round robin, so we've got another 3 matches to salvage our group stage.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Regular Season 2037/38

Many transfers in the January transfer window:

Lots of ins and outs, a significant number we had our hand forced, and many were of my DoF's handiwork as I conceded my lack of knowledge in the Sammarinese market:

- Giacobbi was a free agent from the San Marino U19s, and given out shitness at the back his signing was completed way before the window even started. (We can gloss over the fact that he's also not a very good defender, or that he only ended up with 1 league start)
- Gennari, Santi, Bianchi, Amici and Della Valle were all the DoF's signings, and to be honest he has quite the eye for a player.
- Cain is the last of the Sugar Boys dropouts to join us, and we needed him too seeing as Quaver Fisher got poached by La Florita. Unfortunately due to his age he wasn't able to be registered before the transfer window closed; and when Creuso also left, well...
- Molinari came in as a last-minute stop-gap. Unfortunately for him, unlike in the leagues before you can't really cover up your lack of ability with sheer speed, so he's been a bit shit so far - nevertheless the Resolute personality and ex-international status will help off the field.

Now for Departures - 3 (including 2 Cayman Islanders and regular starters) left for part-time deals with La Florita.
I guess I'm happy for all 3 that they'll be getting a regular salary instead of only appearance fees, but for us this just means that our best players are probably just going to get hoovered up by them or Tre Penne, basically those who are able to pay part-time salaries.
Creuso left too which is a shame.

We've also come to the end of our regular season:

I've sold my soul to the devil and went with the 5-4-1, and in exchange we managed a 6-game winning streak, and finished with 8 wins from 11.
The football was genuinely turgid at times, lots of camping in our own box, but with Santi's pace we made it work somehow.
Fans aren't too happy though, so that'll be something to work on for next season - maybe don't play a 5-4-1 every game.

But did our 2nd half manage to save our season?

Well of course it did, imagine winning 6 in a row and not managing to climb at least a few places.
Evidently we were placed in the much easier group as well, facing off an underperforming Tre Penne twice and only having to play La Florita, Juvenes Dogana and Fiorentino only once.
Indeed, that top 3 in Group A all did better than Tre Fiori in Group B.

... So, in all its infinite wisdom, San Marino's football authorities deemed a playoff decider necessary, against 25-point Cailungo and 40-point La Florita.
Incidentally, the winner of that decider plays us in the 1st round of the playoffs.

Now of course we've scraped something of a success in the league - what about the cup?

2 very hard fought wins against Fiorentino and San Giovanni gave us a great chance to qualify from the group - all we had to do was to match or better Fiorentino's result against San Giovanni.
Well we drew, and I settled for a draw thinking that Fiorentino was also drawing (the live league tables were showing me that in any case) - well....

Yeah that 'Live' table was clearly bugged to hell and back, because Fiorentino ran out comfortable 3-1 winners - absolute bullshit.

That said, I should've gone for the win, and playing it Man City style when they got relegated in 1996 inevitably has its perils.

Let's end on a positive note at least, with another youth intake:

Despite having much less in terms of youth development compared to the big boys, we've got ourselves a couple of gems - Vannucci looks set to be eased into 1st team football next season, while Colunna looks set to start from the off - heaven knows we need some pace in our backline.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
End of Season 2037/38

While we were waiting for La Fiorita to beat Cailungo (they did) we tried to devise a new system in anticipation for next season:

Bianchi as the quarterback DLP, Afkir beside him as an inverted WB, Della Valle on the right wing, and we somewhat manage to solve our issues up top with Lazzeri supporting the frontman at AM.
As it turned out, the couple of friendlies we tried this out with went so well that we abandoned the hellish 5-4-1 for the playoffs.

It's clear that playing Afkir alongside Bianchi gives us the numbers in midfield to keep possession, and we made it count against La Fiorita.
They weren't out yet, as I finally understood that the playoffs follow a Double-Eliminination format.

Next up was Juvenes Dogana, in a game where neither team's attack could hit a barn door with a banjo.
We somehow won out in the penalties, mightily impressive in our 1st shootout.

An absolute shithouse win that was pretty tarnished by Della Valle's injury early doors, one that would rule him out of the final as well - really bad considering he's our only right winger of any discernible ability.
Again, neither Santi nor Tre Fiori's strikers had any form, so youth target man Gennari came on to great shithousing effect, pouncing on a dropped ball from their goalkeeper.

And just like that, we're in the final - it's not been pretty (only an average of a goal a game) but I'dve snatched your hand off for this midseason:

And I'd snatch your damn hand off for this - CHAMPIONS!
Cometh the hour, cometh the man too - Odaine Caesar had been let out in the cold in favour of Santi, due to the latter's superior pace suiting play on the break. But with Della Valle out, Santi was shifted out to the wing - not that Caesar could get back into the team, as Gennari was rewarded for his semifinal goal.
Well he was poor, and once we went behind Caesar was called upon, to devastating effect with 2 poacher's goals.
But even that wasn't enough, so a final throw of the dice was needed; having come on to shore things up when we went 2-1 up, Giacobbi inadvertently found himself scoring the winner, a great effort from just inside the box to win us the final.

Well if Arsenal aren't getting in IRL I might as well have a go at it in-game eh.

Season Review

Players of the Season

10 goals and 2 assists in 13 starts in his 1st season as a 19-year old, objectively brilliant numbers.
He did fall out of form and favour towards the end of the league stage, but delivering on the biggest stage more than makes up for all of that.

Player of the Season with good reason, a ridiculously consistent midfielder who also chips in with the occasional goal contribution.
His attributes clearly don't tell the full story, despite being technically mediocre he'll be one of the 1st names on the team sheets... so long he doesn't leave.

A revelation of a signing, Bianchi's distribution went some way to leading us through the playoffs, not to mention his setpiece ability (especially penalties, been a long while since I've had a penalty specialist).

Playing on the left all season, Afkir took it like a tuck to water, firstly as a Defensive Fullback then as an Inverted Wingback.
Again, his passing might be gash, but when you've got Bianchi for distribution you just need to be another body/passing option in midfield.
Helps a lot that his athleticism more than makes up for his more advanced positioning, and he's bailed out our snail-paced backline more than a few times.

Lazzeri was another one of our DoF's picks, and he proved to be another great signing.
Looking back at the season it's clear that the midfield was by far our strongest area, and Lazzeri contributed for 4 goals and 4 assists, going from strength to strength to become one of the league's standout creators.

Shoutout to Matteo Bianchi as well, who despite being very, very dodgy at 1v1s, did more than a great job on his line and earning himself a record number of clean sheets.

Well so now the players have gone on holiday:

Unfortunately we've got CL qualifiers in July, so it'll have to be a 3-week holiday instead of the 2-3 month breaks of seasons past.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Preseason 2038/39

Good: We're back in the Champions League!
Bad: Well... our 1st game came 4 days after the players returned from their 3 weeks of holiday.
Needless to say it didn't lead to great match fitness.

What I didn't know was CL Preliminaries being a single-legged affair with extra-time and penalties - guess who made all his subs by the 70th minute.
Incredible heart by the team to play through the exhaustion to prevail after 120 minutes - Vannucci especially clutch for his first ever senior appearance.

Shoutout to Afkir for pretty much ruining his body as well, and with the rest of the team wasn't in the state to play the next round of Qualifying, which quelle surprise was played 3 days after:

Lithuanian treble winners in the middle of their season, yeah we did bloody well to keep them to 2 goals.

So we move - it's not the Champions League anymore but dammit it's Europe, if nothing else we're here to earn some coin:

Armenian league champions Pyunik were up next, and they were definitely more in the mood that Zalgiris were.
On hindsight I might've been too naive sticking with a back 4...

2nd leg was just as much of a struggle, but their forwards clearly saw the aggregate score and decided to have a day off.
Indeed we managed to scrape some semblance of pride with a late Caesar goal, to leave Europe with a win.

Oh yeah, and the coin - this little run netted us about close to a million dollars, which we immediately poured into the training and youth facilities.

With the pre-preseason European adventure out of the way, let's return to real life and the chaos of the transfer window:

Like clockwork, the semi-annual dismemberment of non-contract squads commenced - let's just have a rundown of who we lost this time:

-2 1st team centrebacks (Giacobbi and Della Valle)
-2 1st team rightbacks (Muccioli and Villa)
-a 1st team left winger (Cain)
-a youth striker who would've been in the 1st team fold this season (Gennari)
-a 1st team centre mid (Amici)
(Bianchi was a youth fullback who was comfortable on either flank and foot, but he's a bit shit so I won't be overly miffed at him leaving)

Vast majority were free agents, with the 2 exceptions being the handiwork of the DoF, who also found this window very hard to work with.

-Mularoni and Amici are youth team cover, though I think Amici could get some 1st team play through the season
-Gennari was unwanted by La Fiorita - I think he's more allrounded than Bianchi, and (despite the star ratings) better. It's still Bianchi's spot to lose though.
-Gualtieri is the backup right winger that we've sorely needed last season - pretty shit in all honesty, but physically decent and being able to fill in up top at a pinch means he's good for the bench at least.
-Tralongo is the star signing this window - if all goes well he'll pair with (and replace) Bakaj, though preseason hasn't been kind to him.
-Pedretti is primarily a centreback, though apparently he's also able to cover RB, DM and CM (he's not any good at them of course).
-Blanco was signed after Pedretti, and yeah I'm not feeling him too well.
Not that he's bad bad, but arriving after Tralongo means he's instantly 3rd choice at best, and a lack of versatility also disadvantages him in the bench spot discussion.
-And finally, Marangio is our new staring RB - already faster and better in the air than Muccioli, I see him thriving here.

Preseason proper was a bit of a mixed bag as we dealt with the squad overhaul.
We also pitted ourselves almost exclusively with bigger names (relatively anyway - these guys are Italian and Croatian amateur outfits) to give ourselves a bit of a test, and well the results aren't fantastic.

Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped the bookies from rating us 4th favourites to win the whole thing - it equates to 2nd in the league season and semifinals in the playoffs, which er... Yeah I didn't need this pressure.

At least we avoided La Fiorita and Fiorentino in our group and will only have to deal with them once each.

But of course, as you know the league is already crossed off y list, so let's turn our attention to something that actually matters:

The Coppa Titano groups are out, and pits us against rivals Murata.
I think we should be able to advance, though 2 rival encounters does put some butterflies in my stomach if I'm honest - could be real banana skins.

(And of course there's also the Supercoppa Sammarinese, but that happens after the start of the league so that'll have to wait, along with the closure of the transfer window.)
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Midseason 2038/39

A fantastic start to the season with 2 wins against 2 title rivals beginning a perfect 1st 5 games.
We went a bit off the boil after that, losing out 1st game against another title rival in Fiorentino, but at least ended the year with another 2 wins in 3.

With that great start we find ourselves in pole position to qualify for the playoffs.
Tre Penne recovered from their utter underachievement to lead the chasing pack, while Tre Fiori also found themselves in the mix.
We still have to play them both again as well as La Fiorita, so it's still early doors yet.

We'll move on to the Coppa Titano:

Great win against rivals Murata, with Luciano Blanco scoring on his debut and backup striker Joseph Onuh finding the net after an 11 hour drought.

Scoring in his debut, Blanco's next start was the exact opposite.
He and centreback partner Endri Bakaj constantly lost the hat trick hero Agostini, and even with 2 men up we also failed to make our numbers count.

Turns out Murata are probably going to be comfortable whipping boys this time round, so we do have 2nd place to hang on to if Virtus are to deliver another spanking.
We'll also have to play each other 3 times in this group, to match the 6 games the other groups' teams have to play.

In any case, at least we did have a cup final to look forward to:

Nerves galore inevitably, but we came through in the end, albeit on penalties.
At least we actually deserved to win it, having dominated proceedings throughout.

Finally, we end on a signing - yes, a signing before the window even opens:

Moses Bakare comes in to provide better cover/competition in our midfield, because our midfield depth is pretty trash.
Granted the likes of Giorgi and Lazzeri are on great form at the moment, but beyond them our quality starts to sink fast.
I'm fully expecting youth prospect Vannucci to leave this window as well, so I very much wanted to get someone else in and integrated before I get blindsided by another 'shock' poaching.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
Regular Season 2038/39

I'm fully expecting youth prospect Vannucci to leave this window as well, so I very much wanted to get someone else in and integrated before I get blindsided by another 'shock' poaching.

Let's just get that out of the way:

He was always likely to leave - he expressed frustration at not starting every match when I was trying to ease him into the 1st team, and even after he was appeased with the game time he eventually refused a contract renewal.
So yeah, he leaves, Bakare replaces him, we move.

Meanwhile Marciano was a mediocre youth striker who was picked up by La Fiorita to buff up their youth ranks, no offence but no big loss.
A youth-focused window:
- Michelotti was the DoF's pick, already ready for 1st team football and still eligible for the youths so that gives us the flexibility to provide minutes for him.
- Not exactly great timing for Pelliccia though, especially being a year older.
Still a pretty good striker all things considered though, and he's also impressed in his appearances so far.
- Valente... Well he's 17, a good passer, decent vision - figured we could take a chance on him.
- Lastly Mularoni was signed just for youth numbers, don't expect him to start senior games.

Back to the league:

An absolutely astonishing 8 clean sheets in 10 games to finish up the regular season.
Not exactly all roses of course - getting torn a new one by Tre Penne, generally being goal shy throughout.

Nevertheless, the table does not lie - 11 points clear, 10 goals conceded, 14 clean sheets, an amazing defensive season.

And of course, we meet La Fiorita in the 4th round of the Playoffs - what this means in real terms is:
- Winner goes to the (Major) Semifinal,
- Loser goes to the 6th round, where the winner then plays in the (Minor) Semifinal.

Either way we'd better win this to save myself the trouble of figuring out who to play.

On to the Coppa Titano:

The poor cup form continued with a dour draw against Murata, before we contrived to concede a 4th goal in 2 games to this guy.
We finally beat Virtus after sending in the regulars, though even that encounter had its own troubles (including a missed Virtus penalty).
At least we finished on a high, comfortably dispatching Murata in our 3rd encounter.

No seeding here apparently, so we get the hardest draw around with Tre Fiori in the quarters.
And if the calendar is to be believed, we're expected to play out the rest of the tournament by the following, which means 3 games in 8 days - great.

Our bid for both competitions has also been dealt a spectacular blow:

What kind of training were they conducting?! An actual broken pelvis for our deep lying playmaker and set piece extraordinaire which definitely rules him out for the season and then some.


Not 3 days later......

Ok, let's at least end on a more positive note:

- I have to say that I don't understand why Bucci was singled out as a prospect - he's not even the best in his intake.
- Ferrucci is by far the actual best talent - it's slightly unfortunate that he's arrived in the midst of an already rich attacking corps, and as such I'll be expecting his departure next season.
Eric Portapotty
13 years ago
2 weeks ago
End of Season 2038/39

The Coppa Titano came calling first, as we look to complete my San Marino Challenge:

A spectacular beatdown after going 2 behind in 15 minutes.
The 15th minute was also when Michelotti began his one-man demolition of the Tre Fiori backline, and along with Gualtieri put six past that hapless defence.

Yeah... The hubris from such an emphatic victory might've cost us this one.
But can I just say how much I hate Endri Bakaj - all the ratings do is look at his strength and say Oh he's one of your better players. What they fail to appreciate is his lack of speed, excessive aggression, inability to tackle and general lack of mental strength when it matters.
He somehow avoided direct fault for either goal conceded, but clearances that fell to opponents, giving away a penalty and eventually getting himself sent off is more than just as bad.
I hate him, I hate myself for trusting him again, and he'll be exiled to the youths until he retires or leaves.

Oh well, another year at San Marino then.

Up next was the league playoffs:

Damn, got outplayed all game and exploited during corners, but we managed to hang on through 120 minutes into penalties.
For what it's worth I was too busy shitting myself to watch the shootout, but we won in the end, so all's well that ends well.

Fiorentino in the (Major) Semifinals, and while being under the cosh again we managed to pull another win out of our arses again.
Odaine Caesar has had a poor season by his standards so far (partly due to playing as a Shadow Striker all season) but came in hot today with a brace.
Long-time nemesis Enrico Crescentini had many chances himself - par for the course as a lone frontman - but current beef with his manager seems to have affected his game.
Like I care, we're in another final.

GET IN, 2 in 2.
La Fiorita won their (Minor) Semifinal against Fiorentino in a double elimination clash, and would've been expecting to improve on their earlier dominant performance to avenge that loss on the final.
Well that's what I expected anyway, but they didn't replicate that performance at all - after our 2 goals in 2 minutes we coasted through the rest of the game.

Let's hope they name their future new stadium after me.

Season Review

Meh, it was an unimpressive cup campaign for us regardless of the semifinal appearance - we'll need to improve substantially if only to convince ourselves of our credentials.

Now this is a surprise, I think there's about a hundred teams in the CL (preliminaries onward) and to be the biggest overachiever speaks volumes.
I suppose that's in part due to our sheer obscurity in Europe, but either way it's good to receive recognition.

Players of the Season

17 clean sheets in 32 games, no matter how good the defence is in front of you, you still have to make the saves when they come.
I was expecting to replace Bianchi with Gennari this season to improve our 1v1 weaknesses, but the man has responded to this threat and turned it up to 11 to carry our slightly misfiring attack this season.

In front of him are Tralongo and Colonna - to think I was trying to ease the former into the 1st team by playing Bakaj earlier in the season, silly me.
At least Bakaj did all of us a favour by getting himself sent off in the 1st Fiorentino defeat, bringing this dream partnership together.

Now in front of them is hands down our Player of the Season - distributor from deep, setpiece maestro, penalty expert.
I'm just hoping his broken pelvis is not a career ender, because my days I probably won't be able to find another dead ball savant at this level.

Della Valle didn't have as influential a season this time round, with injuries disrupting any sort of consistent form he could've had.
5 goals and 3 assists is still a great return though, and arguably it's only the emergence of even better performances from others that made him stand out less.

Michelotti came in in January and was supposed to play youth football, but scoring in his 1st start and then in the 1st minute against Folgore pretty much earned himself starting up top for the rest of the season.
I mean, there's now a bit of a dilemma with the striker corps that we have right now (Pelliccia, Santi, Ferrucci), will be a hell of a task trying to appease them all.
Then again, Santi has been gash this season, so I'm not too disinclined to drop him.

Anyway... To finish up the season:

Nice of the board to have some sense and initiate the upgrade of facilities themselves.
Does mean that we're a bit buggered in finances (then again, still 500k in the black so I don't know what all the fuss is about) so they've rejected my request for increasing the youth coaching budget.

Yep, 2 weeks and they're back, and we'll all be back unfit for another Champions League campaign.

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