This site is not endorsed by Sports Interactive or SEGA and is intended for entertainment purposes only. The views expressed on this site are the views of the individual contributors and not those of Sports Interactive or SEGA. The official Football Manager site can be found at www.footballmanager.com and the official forums can be found at community.sigames.com.
The Zookeeper - A wildlife Journeyman
Everybody knows what a Journeyman is all about and probably everyone who is playing Football Manager for a couple of years played at least one. In addition to the ground rules (no coaching badges etc.) this Journeyman comes with two mayor extra rules:
- I can only sign for clubs with an animal related badge
- I can´t choose the same animals again - So when I coached Benfica, I can´t go and coach Eintracht Frankfurt
When I first entered the job market, I directly saw a few countries that are “animal friendly” and some leagues in the database, that have literally 0 animal related clubs.
Especially the scandinavian and East European leagues seems to enjoy letters more than a good old lion or eagle on their badge, so let me show you which Job applications I sent out and which animals I crossed on my first job hunt:
Just two lions and eagles at the start (probably good to keep both for later…), but actually 3 dolphins, 2 sharks, a kiwi (Hi NZ!) and one eel?!
A few horses, Sofapaka from Kenya actually stole the Puma logo here, hehe. Chelsea seems to be a thing in Ghana and in Mali they like to put scorpions in the badge :-)
First contract signed! We start off in Ghana, near the border to the Ivory Coast in a small town called Dormaa Ahenkro, just short of 40.000 people living here.
We are already deep into the season with only 7 games left to go in the First Capital Plus Premier League which features 18 teams, while we are currently in the 5th position.
The board wants us to finish upper half of the table, so we just don´t have to mess up what our predecessor already achieved ;-)
Let´s see what the rest of the 2022-2023 brings us and then head to to off-season to aim for even bigger goals :-)
I'll be interested to see how this turns out, I like the idea of picking a club based not on money or how good the team is, but on such a meaningless thing like having an animal in the logo, reminds me a little of the time many years ago where I had a save where I only used teams that played in seaside towns lol.
Ok, we actually got the job done. Barely, but a good horse only jumps as high as necessary, right? Talking about animals, I was wondering if we got ourself a dog or a wolf, so I did some research: Aduana Stars crest feature a dog which had fire in its mouth. They also represent the emblem of Aduana people, that is a dog and fire. The Aduana is one of the largest clans of the Akans. My favourite badge in our division has to be the one of Asante Kotoko, because it´s a porcupine! That would be a start for our journey! The crest of the winner of the second division and our new opponent soon is described like this: Ebusua Dwarfs emblem features a crab, that has hold ball very tightly with its chelae for not loosening the ball to an opponent :-)
After we took over at the Stars we´ve been victorious twice, beating King Faisal 5:0 and Karela FC 4:1, but also lost three games. The other two games we drew 4:4 and in an epic last game against Dreams FC 6:6. SIX😕IX!!! I guess I never played a game on FM with both teams having an xG higher than 3.0.
Due to the long transfer window, we managed to get some boys in. Kwame Quansah is already in my heart with 18 aggression and 17 leadership, this guy played over 10 years in the dutch Eredivisie for Heracles Almelo and played for chinese side QD Red Lions in 2016,
before mysteriously disappearing into oblivion, so we took advantage and grabbed this absolute legend from wherever he have been the last 6 years.
New season will probably kick-off in February, so we have some work to do, but I will keep you updated how the squad will look like in 2023.
I am speachless. The doggos firing up big time and won every single game so far.
Kalu Uche is now at 27 goals in 16 games for the Stars and still 5 goals shy of the best scorer in the league Obeng Junior from Hearts of Oak. The Hearts have been our biggest rival for the championship so far, while Dreams FC also are in line for the sweet spot up top.
With half the season still to go, we now want to go all the way and secure the title at the end of 2023, which would be a brilliant way to finish our time in Ghana, as my contract expires after the season.
Besides Uche our two most important players are Emmanuel Gyamfi (Inverted Winger) and John Arthur (Central Midfielder) with 17 and 13 scorer points.
But of course this would not be possible without 36-times nigerian national team player Kalu Uche, who scored 42% of our goals this season.
In the FA cup we advanced to the round of 16 now facing WAFA (West African Football Academy) and trying to get that trophy in our cabinet as well.
Let´s see when we lose or draw, or if this fairy tale continues :-)
The 2023 comes to an end and we are champions of Ghana!
After 24 wins in a row, we drew our first game, repeated this later in the season and even lost ONE match, becoming almost the invincibles of Ghana.
I am very proud of my team and the season we achieved, even when our cup-run came to an end early in the 5th round against 2nd division side WAFA, which was 100% my mistake by relaxing every starter in that game.
We scored 114 goals, whilst only conceding 22. Kalu Uche is (of course) our top-scorer with 36 goals, but only claimed the 5th place in the Premier League, with Obeng Junior from Hearts scoring 53 goals.
We were playing relly aggressive the whole season, so we got ourself 86 yellows (1st in the league) but only 1 red card, which is a mistery to me tbh.
Next to our star players the 22 year old talent Blanson Anoff had 12 brilliant starts for us, after he was best in training for 6 weeks straight, he gave us 9 goals and 10 assists.
We are now even playing in the the African Champions League after beating Black Horn SC from Mauritius 6:0 and 7:0 and USM Algier from Algeria 3:2 and 1:1. The group-stage draw will take place in 2024 after our departure from Ghana.
It´s been a brilliant time in Dormaa Ahenkro, we got our first 3 coaching badges and a league title, but this is just the start of the journey and I am super excited which club and animal badge will await us next!
We are staying in Africa! Any “The lion King” fans around? Our club is Simba and together with our fierce rivals Yanga we are the most popular club in Tanzania.
So of course our main goal is to get the championship and push our reputation, whilst keeping our rivals down. We play our home games in the 60.000 capacity national stadium located in the capital Dar es Salaam. The season is at halftime and we are 4th and Yanga is 1st, so we gotta change that situation fast. There are a few really decent players in the squad and we even have 1 Million € to spend! Btw: Simba is Swahili for "Lion"
We've done it again! After we lost the first game in a 4-2-3-1 against our eternal rival Yanga, we went back to the formation from Ghana and back on the road to success with the 4-3-3 formation. Of the next 13 games after the derby, we won every single one and only conceded an incredible two goals. Our goalkeeper Aishi Manula played through without competition, in front of him the central defender duo Onyango and Baka did a solid job. The right-back will be our main target in the transfer window because there is a clear lack of quality here. The central midfield is only well positioned in depth. Our main goalscorer (let's just call him Terrence) will be getting good company with the arrival of 21 year-old super-talent Zini from Angola in summer. I am really looking forward to this guy, because multiple clubs from Europe were interested signing him. Well obviously not Real Madrid and Liverpool, but Romanian and Bulgarian first division teams ;-)
Our home games are extremely well attended with a base of 20,000 spectators and up to almost 60,000 spectators in games against the top teams. Economically, we are in a good position and again have almost a million to spend. The rules of the league are relatively simple, there must always be at least 7 players in the squad who were trained in Tanzania, otherwise pretty much everything is allowed. We also brought Emmanuel Gyamfi from Aduana Stars but unfortunately he didn't stand much of a chance on the extremely strong wings. Our squad is big, too big. So our goal in the transfer window has to be class, not quantity. In addition to the league, we will also have to win the Federation Cup next season, we're also going into the preliminary round of the Champions League and we don't want to hide there either.
Love the creativity with this one, do you have an end goal in mind?
Brilliant write up.
Thank you :-)
There might a pretty high number of errors, because English is not my first language haha ^^
Thank you :-)
My main goal is to have a lot of fun and learn about different nations, leagues and of course badges ;-)
But it would be nice to win the Champions League with an animal related club, Chelsea for example is now out, because we already took the lion for Simba SC.
After this season I would like to see where my reputation can get me in Europe, South America or a high class asian league.
Winter Transfer Update
We did a pretty decent job in the league so far, but the two 0-0 draws against bottom teams could cost us heavily, because Yanga is also playing more than decent. We played both derbies in the same week and won one, lost one, now we are 4 points up-front, but Yanga has two games to play. We had some games to play in advance, so we can compete in den Confed Cup, where everything is possible in the last 3 games of the group-stage. Horoya from Guinea was not a real challenge (especially in the away game), but Club Africian from Tunisia was a decent challenge. Now we will face Raja Casablanca twice and Club Africain at home. 3 Games where we have to show our lion mentality or go home after the Group-Stage. We are still in all 3 competitions and all 3 competitions will be exciting till the end this season.
In other news: Zini isn´t the leagues top-scorer anymore with now 27 goals in 23 games, our two winter signings Yakubu and Gabr have both been incredible for us so far.
There are some challenges left this season and everything from 0 to 3 titles is possible, let´s see how it goes.
Season Review 2024-2025
First Division Tanzania
Back-to-back champions of Tanzania! In the league we won the third national title in a row and gave our career a real boost. The only real challenger right from the start was our eternal rival Yanga, who kept coming dangerously close to us or overtaking us from time to time. In the end, the room for mistakes between the two teams is very small here, but with 29 wins we were able to keep it very small. Zini made us champions with a brace on matchday 33 and himself the top scorer with 32 goals.
After this season we will let our contract in Tanzania expire, but it will be exciting to see what our lion kings can achieve here from time to time. I'll be paying special attention to Zini's career and I'm sure he'll be scoring goals in Europe in the not too distant future ;-)
Tanzania Federation Cup
After another great performance in the championship, there was unfortunately another disappointment in the cup. So we still haven't won a national cup, but we were very close this time. Only in the semifinals did we lose to Dodoma Jiji on penalties and thus missed the derby against Yanga in the final.
African Confederations Cup
Our first international tournament was one for the history books. After easily beating Horoya twice in the group stage, we suffered two defeats against Raja Casablanca and Club Africain. Thanks to our strength at home, however, we were able to win both return games against these teams in Tanzania and surprisingly made it into the quarter-finals. Now it was up against the unbeatable Zamalek from Egypt, the league with the highest reputation on the continent.
Meanwhile, Tanzania's league is only ranked 23, so we were blatant outsiders. However, we were a force at home and narrowly won 3-2 before heading to Cairo. Thanks to the away goals rule, we were at a slight disadvantage and received a red card against our striker in the 70th minute. Nevertheless, we held out against the attacks until the final whistle and were able to reach the semi-finals with a 0-0 draw.
In the semi-finals we met our Tunisian group opponents Club Africain again and again we lost the game in North Africa. But thanks to our away goal, we now had a slight advantage and were leading 1-0 until just before the final whistle, before Kanouté converted a counterattack to make it 2-0, final!
Now it was against Maghreb Fès from Morocco and we played the title again in a two-legged game. However, this time on neutral pitches and so we went to Mali, where we were already leading 3-0 at half-time and completely dominating the game. I could already see us lifting the trophy, but the Moroccans didn't give up and reduced the deficit to 3-2, so everything was still possible in the second leg.
Not much happened in the first hour, but then Fès got a penalty, 0-1. 5 minutes later a cross from the right, a Kanouté header and the equalizer! Time flies and we are safe at the back. In the 94th minute, Fes again with a free kick, El Mourabit brings it in, header over the goal! Our goalie Manula has all the time in the world on the goal kick and it's over, we're going to win the Confederations Cup!
Top 3 Players of the Season
No big surprise at number 1. Zini propelled us to the championship with his 32 goals and a rating of 7.94 and showed that he was made for more. He has now completed his first international matches for Angola and is looking forward to a great career
Tepsie played for us in all tournaments and in 34 games with a rating of 7.26. 8 goals and 15 assists make him one of Simba's most important offensive players. As an inverted winger on the right side, he played an extraordinary season.
Luckily the last six months of Ali Gabr's career has been at Simba. With a rating of 7.51, he was not only a pillar of defense but also scored 8 goals from corner kicks.
We are heading to Europe! Red Bull fans, please don´t be sad, but we found our bull not in Leipzig, not in Salzburg, but in beautiful Chișinău, Moldova.
Since its foundation, Zimbru's colours always was yellow and green and the club has won the the national division 8th times, but the last time was in 2000.
Since then Sheriff Tiraspol won the league every year with two exceptions, so everybody should be clear what team stands in our way to a 4 in a row league title.
We play our homegames in the Zimbru Stadium, which is also the national stadium of Moldova. We are here before the new season begins and have some money in the bank to spend before starting in the 1st round of the qualification for the Conference League against latvian side Valmiera. In the Divizia Nationala you are allowed to have 7 foreign players in your matchday squad and an obscure rule for yellow card bans. After only two yellows a player will be suspended for a game and when the same player got just one more yellow he gets banned for another game! So we definetly have to go for a good depth, if we want to keep our aggressive football alive.
Season Update 2025-2026
This season the story in international competition is quickly told, we are eliminated in the first qualifying round against Valmiera from Latvia after winning the first leg at home. A very strong start to the league was followed by a streak of three losses that cost us the top of the table, but after that we came back brutally strong, winning the last 5 games with clean sheets. In addition to the obvious competitor from Tiraspol, Petrocub Hincesti are also making life difficult for us and surprisingly lead the table halfway through the regular season. After 28 match days, 6 teams will go to the play-offs and two teams to the 2nd league.
With 20 total transfers in the summer window it´s impossible to show them all, here are the best signings this season:
Intriguing move to Moldova mate.
Yes, probably not the country you´d expect when you make your move over to Europe ^^
There is just one last coaching badge to finish and then we´ll see what other jobs we can get here ;-)
Season Update 2025-2026
We are top of the league, but the season is not finished yet! Practically the regular season is, but now we will face the other 5 teams in the play-offs once each. As we take ALL our 69 points into it, there is still a small chance we might screw this up. We will also be playing our first cup final in our career and the opponent will be Sheriff of course, so we could bag the championship in the 3rd match against them and win the cup just 4 days later against them too. Or we totally lose everything is these two matches, who knows?! Absolute FM move, when we drew bottom side Drochia in week 27 and the equaliser in the 93rd minute was scored by the striker we just released, because he was really bad. Yeah, turns out he isn´t that bad actually….
Season Review 2025-2026
We did it again! National champions for the 4th time in 4 years and in 3 different countries. With a 1-0 in the 90th minute we beat Sheriff Tiraspol and secured the title in week 31. The direct comparison in 5 duels also went to us (3W/1D/1L) As we have still a game left to play, we already signed a new contract with another club ;-)
We went full cup-mode again…. We reached the final, but there we got not one, but two red cards and that was the killer for our cup dreams….
Top 3 Players of the Season
Again our best player is our best goal-scorer and the 30 goals in 25 games could be the start for wonderkid Didier Cissé, who just turned 19. His contract won´t expire before 2029, but he got an exit clause for just 650k, which I bet dozen clubs will be more than happy to spend for him. Season Rating 7.60
Camara won 86% of header duels and got an overall rating of 7.22. He did play 24 games and missed the other ones due to the yellow card bans, we mentioned before.
7.12 Rating for our first choice goal keeper, who is the only local in this Top 3 and probably only here because of that. Before the season it was a head to head between Straistari and his greek challenger for the place in goal and only won because I could safe a spot for a foreign player ;-)
We have finally arrived in a top league! The catch, however, is that we have to leave Serie A immediately as we are bottom of the table and the mood in the squad is at an all-time low. The little seahorses from the port city of Salerno near Naples want to go straight back up to the top division next season. Our challenge is to massively downsize the squad, because we are paying 10 million euros over the salary budget, so we have to sell players first. This will be our second season as a football manager where we won´t win a national championship, but I am really excited for this challenge here in South Italy!
Season Preview 2026-2027
Our summer transfer window have been the busiest of our career without doubt. We spent a total of 7 Million for new players, the most of them joined us as free agents.
Of the new starting 11, there are only 3 players left from the previous campaign, Young Playmaker Antonio Gala from Milan, Goalkeeper Filip Stankovic from Inter and winger Azzedine Ounahi have to make an impact right from the start. With veterans like Jeffrey Bruma or Cyrus Christie there is also a lot of experience.
As I already mentioned we had to sell players to get our finances right and we got the job done. With 26 million in transfer money and loads of wages saved we are now in a very stable position, also getting 15 million € of compensation after relegating from Serie A. There are several painful losses nevertheless, players like Ouwejan as left back, Coulibaly as box-to-box monster or Duda as playmaker will be tough to replace.
Our starting 11 will look like this going into the new season as one of the favorites to promotion. Bologna have the strongest squad in the Serie B and there also a few decent contenders in the league. With Caldara and Briancon there are two experienced Central Defenders aligned with Klünter and Tripaldelli as full-backs. Loum will win the duels before them, with Jensen and Gala designing our offense. Two fast and creative players on the wings with 32-year old spanish striker Caye Quintana being our guy up-front.
Season Update 2026-2027
After the first half of the season we are exactly meeting the requirements of the board, sitting on 4th position in Serie B. This will not gain us automatic promotion at the end of the season with Reggina and Ascoli being (a little bit suprisingly) on top of the table before favorites Bologna and our Salernitana. With Caye Quintana (14 goals) and Victor Jensen (8 assist), both the best goal-scorer and assist provider are playing for our team. Goakeeper Filip Stankovic could keep a clean sheet in 10 of 20 games, but we were already drew 0-0 three times. After just scoring 5 goals in 5 games with 5 points we switched our tactics to positive and shorter passing, which led to 13 of 15 points in the next games and lifting us up to to be a contender for promotion. If there are not more than 14 points between each team, the spots from 4 to 8 will gain you access to the Play-Offs and a third piece of the Serie A cake.