Aiming to rage at press saying "the next Klopette". Ms Ackerman's journeyman career.

Death Ball

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Aiming to rage at press saying "the next Klopette". Ms Ackerman's journeyman career.

Intro
Because it seems giving a story a short title is an impossible mission for me.

I was initially having the idea of making a Burgos save, since I haven't done one since FM11. But after a third of the season and with the team looking good to overachieve and get in the promotion play offs, I began to lose interest. One factor may be the financial situation of Burgos is bleak, adding a very short squad (this part is a good point, though), which makes me think the future has two paths open: I don't get promotion and the financial status prevents any reinforcements to improve or I get promotion without money to improve it to the next level, go immediately back and find the team stagnant. Plus I short of went too fast through the preseason without actually giving all the proper thought to loans, affiliated clubs, etc.

Then I thought "Since I've made stories here with FM09, I've made two of each: Two Crewe (FM09 and 13), two Burgos (10 and 11), two Championships (11? and 14), two good Serie B teams (12 and 14). But only one journeyman save, which happened to be with a female manager. So I'll make the second of that: a journeyman career, which I'll make woman just because that's what I made it in that save.

I made a woman in the FM13 (The nex Belgian talent. Etc) because I was curious about whethere sexism was considered in the game. Back then I didn't reach a definite conclusion, mainly because I wasn't running it along an equal male manager to follow her steps and see differences. There was only one thing that caught my attention as something I had never seen before, but which might have been because of reputation being in the low extreme of chances to land that job: during her first game as Huesca manager, the fans gave my manager a poor reception. Then again, it was my first serious and lasting journeyman save and all the rest I had started as a club to develop it.

In FM14 I made an experiment creating a set of managers with the same reputation in reloads of the same game at the manager selection point. A male English, a male Belgian, a male Portuguese and a Female Portuguese. I may be forgetting a Spaniard or Italian. The male Portuguese, being the same as the female Portuguese, received one more job offer when he applied than the female did, which means there is sexism. It for sure makes a few clubs more reluctant to hire you, maybe some fans disliking you from the start. Other than that, in my Aurora Schmied game I didn't see any message or news item mentioning anything negative as being caused by her gender.


Manager and game presentation

I loaded countries down to the bottom most division that's in the default database (I have my Spanish loaded and an Italian D which I didn't uncheck, on top of the real names fixes). The countries are: Belgium, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Greece and Turkey. Belgium because initially I was going to recreate Aurora Schmied, Romania because is an Eastern country that uses latin letters, Greece and Turkey because they seem like potential emerging divisions in reality.

Another difference is that the FM13's female manager career I made using only the coach reports, not looking at attributes; but though at first and later at spells I found that interesting enough to be entertaining, it mostly felt rather dull, as I was missing a lot of information. Maybe if for FM13 there already were (or I had known) skins that allowed to not see attributes and see the analysis polygon and preferred moves I might have enjoyed it more. However, I don't feel like testing it and I'll manage seeing the attributes.



I then thought that being Belgium made Aurora start speaking three languages: German, French and Dutch and that could be an extra help I didn't necessarily want. I had begun with Aurora and got two or three job offers, if with the one language manager I got nothing in months I would return back.

I was making Aurora a German, but I found an image I thought I liked more as a protrait for my manager, so changed to that and changed name. The manager I've created is German, born in Jena. Her name is Viktoria Ackerman, twenty years and a month at the start of the game. She only speaks German, her favoured clubs are Jena (local though the game says supporter), Borussia Dortmund (I kind of feel sympathy for that team since Isaw them play well in a match against Atlético in 1997), Chelsea (I've found a lot of things said about how Mou likes to do things being as I like to do them in FM, other than the press management) and Real Madrid (biggest club in the XX century). Favourite formation 4-4-2 because from a brief game I played in Germany I think it was one of the more used formations there, though don't quote me on that.

Her coaching qualification and past experience was what the game suggested selecting unemployed from either Belgium's Derdre Klasse or Germany's 3. Liga (it should have been the later, but I may have gone routine mode and repeated from when I was making Belgian Aurora).







Curiosity

The portrait is an image depicting Mikasa Ackerman, from Shingeki no Kyojin, a series that looked with potential to be great but I abandoned after some chapters because it made me feel a strong vibe of pretentiousness. Or at least acceptance of some snob thesis, like "unhappy ending is automatic quality", in they seem to work so hard to negate any chance for things turning to hope.

I made her German because the name of the character sounded like German to me, so I kept the family name. I chose Viktoria as first name because it was the first German name with i as first vowel I saw.

This is the original image use for her portrait:


Click for source
 
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Death Ball

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There were several jobs available and Viktoria had five of them offering. Only one came back to her with a contract to sign: it was French third division team Colomiers.









It's expected to finish bottom of the league, but with no other choice on the table, she's decided to accept it, under the expectation to avoid the drop.

What she's found is a very small club with no backroom staff. It's she alone to deal with everything in the club and nobody to send out to scout. Plus a very short squad. The only good news is the finances aren't expected to go into heavy debt at the end of the season.









With that seen, there's only a little she can do in her first day in the squad. Only a brief meeting with the owner to set up a press conference, not even a talk with the squad. That is to decide on begin slowly working the fitness levels, decide on a counterattacking 4-4-2 formation - in her job interview she promised to play direct and defensive - and set friendlies. Some will provide 500€, some nothing.





What's known to Viktoria after the first day at work:

- She has to look for an assistant manager, two scouts, a physio, a coach, a head of youth development a U19 manager and assistant plus a director of football.

- Any player brought is better to be on loan.

- Bring two leftbacks, one right back, one centerback, a couple of midfielders, at least one competent defensively, and a winger.

- Not to be too demanding with the players. It's a low level league, on top of not to expect great competitiveness and mental hardness it's where possibly they'd take harder to be ordered by a twenty years old girl. More what she assumes than she knows.

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I added link to the source of the image used for her portrait in the OP
 
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Death Ball

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The transfers were done late, though still before the start of the season. No loans could be done, as no player wanted to play for Colomiers. Only three players were brought in free transfers: two centerbacks, one of whom (Desenclos) will be taking the left fullback position and a centerback (Laborde) that, as it happens, had already played for Colomiers.









((Another thing I did, which initially I had thought to not do, was to offer contracts to the first team players who were fictional. Since I couldn't get enough players to stop the game to generating them, I decided it'd help realism to guarantee I'd not be having different regens each time a player got injured and just for the position I needed. You can tell by them having not a single attribute above 9))

The only issue remaining with the transfers is they got above the wage budget. As it could be expected, the finances screen shows that the projection for the end of the season is less money, but still in black.



Regarding preseason, matches were all played against lesser opposition, trying to adjust a defensive 4-4-2 (one of the promises to the board was to play defensive, the other to play direct) and it seemed to show a small success, with five wins, one draw and one loss; but proved the back is not the more solid. Not to lose hope is that the two new centerbacks came just for the last friendly, which was a comfortable win with only one goal conceded. In the bad news, Filipa, the starting poacher/target man and possibly best striker, got a four weeks injury just before the start of the season.



((I forgot to take the screenshot of the fixtures screen))

The bookies have announced, as it was expected, that we're in for a disappointing campaign.



The other part of the job Viktoria had was to fill the backroom staff. It was hard, specially finding the assistant manager, but in the end she's managed to get what the board was allowing and have at least one physio, scout and coach. Assistant and coach allows the club to have all areas of coaching covered in a light workload.





And to end, as a curiosity, Ackerman's profile shows she's improved a little in some parts.

 

Death Ball

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From the start of the season it was clear who were to be the key players for the team:


Goalkeeper


Defense


Midfield


Striker

Luck has been good in the way of injuries, with only Bengellium (another big man for the team in the opposite side to Voavy) picking two injuries, at the moment one for a month that will see him come back after the winter break.



In the league, there were some results achieved at first, with goals, but also was proven the defense was too weak. A shift from the 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 carried Ackerman's side to a string of poor results in which the team scored first but then couldn't resist the opposition's attacks. Finally, a change to a 4-5-1/4-3-3 started to get a few wins in consecutive matches ((now, I might have had one more if I had not a lapse on concentration and think the last match lost in the league was a cup, with led me to not put on the field my strongest team :x)), to bring Colomiers out of the relegation places.





Individual stats are the expected having players among the most mistakes made, key tackles and aerial challenges. Kouassi being one of the players who's ran the most from his fullback position may not being the thing one'd want to see most. Regarding team stats, Colomiers has the second best run of form in last five matches, but that's the only positive.





And finally, a good piece of news is the finances, while dropping, show improved expected balance at the end of the season.

 

Death Ball

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With the wage budget exceeded, there were no deals to be done during the winter. The only interesting event in regards to new players was the youth intake, that included a few players with good potential. None of them would see a match in this season, though, with survival in the division in play.



The other bit of transfer-like news that was Jamillou was released as soon as he showed in Ackerman's office demanding first team football.



A good run in the middle of the season had seen the team rise to mid table, but it was followed by a drop of form in which all the other low table teams began to defeat the top table ones, which made the team go back to relegation places, however a win in the second to last match ensured promotion, and a little reward for Ackerman. She was offered a new contract, but she rejected to negotiate it, waiting for the end of the season.



At that point she requested to start a coaching course, which was granted and is to be completed in four months. She's improved already without it, considered to be decent defensive coach. She's also learn French.





With one match to go, having the team with an already ensured survival in the division, she tried to offer a new contract to Moreau, the goalkeeper. He rejected, which meant the likelihood to find someone of comparable quality is probably nearly impossible. With a club that probably will be stagnant for a few seasons and no replacement for the goalkeeper, Ackerman began to apply to job openings before they were filled. That resulted in the happy board to become unhappy and present her with an ultimatum. So she resigned then.



A final defeat without her at the helm had the team drop to fourteenth position from the twelfth she left it at.





 

Lippo255

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This is very interesting. Must admit i missed the previous female journeyman story you said you did, will have to track it down & have a look.
 

Seano

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Very interesting career. Haven't seen one of these before so best of luck bud!
 

Death Ball

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Thanks, guys. I'm pretty sure I will enjoy this. The updates should not take this long to come from now on, as this one took long because of me having a flu and not feeling like concentrating on the game.

One thing I forgot to mention was that Voavy, who I considered one of the top most important players, the other being Bouscarrat, has missed like a third of the season, half the second leg of the league, because he was constantly away on international matches. I even considered that if not moving on from Colomiers I'd refuse to give him a new contract and look for someone equivalent who wouldn't be missing half the season. Though I ended offering him the new contract, as he's already proven he's quite good for the team. Initially, I was going to stay at Colomiers, but then Moreau didn't accept contract talks and I thought difficulty to get a good replacement, judging from the initial transfer having nobody accept loans and less than a handful of players to choose in free transfers, plus Viktoria speaking French already, it would be a good moment to try moving to a new country in a league with a little higher reputation, learn a new language and get a push to her chances to land a better job later.
 

Death Ball

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The teams that caused the applications to be sent and the board ultimatum rejected to even consider Viktoria. However, it was not long that she's to be unemployed, as a Belgian team, from their second tier, approached her with a one year contract, slightly better paid than Colomiers, though without bonuses.





What she finds there is a semi professional team, like Colomiers was, with worse finances, as it has a negative balance. Not a good thing to start with. Now maybe she began to think she made a mistake leaving Colomiers; but that thought doesn't last long: the club may not be a step forward in terms of status, less in finances, yet it's one tier closer to the top level, it's a new country to learn a new language, which will always help, and the coaching course she's taking will surely help. Also the assistant says the squad is rather good for the team position and goals.





The first look has some clear key men in most lines, though there are a few candidates up front.


Goalkeeper


Centerback


Midfield


Advanced midfield


Striker


Despite the abundance of strikers, the choice for system is a lone striker formation, rather than the 4-4-2 that would have been expected.





The more clear weaknesses of the squad are: lack of aerial powers in centerback positions, though she's found in the reserves a decent man to come into the bench and the need for at least one defensively competent midfielder, once Dessaer is going to be used as the main partner to Caurant. A competent fullback to substitute Sekour would be good to have as well.

To finish, the club has a few coaches of not great quality, but decent enough for the level. The board, during the meeting, asked her to keep the backroom staff as it is and that's what she's going to do. Besides, the club has more staff than the board wants to have, so it's not like she could replace those she sacked. Plus it's unlikely anyone better would come.



________________________________
P.S. - I hate Photobucket not allowing the linking to the simple image. But any other host I've tried is more annoying to use
 

Death Ball

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Preseason

Has been mostly uneventful. With the club in debt, Ackerman didn't want to go on expending and, besides, as happened with Colomiers, the pool of players interested in accepting offers is very small and low quality.

The preseason matches were played against much smaller clubs and they were all comfortable wins by five or more goals, with the exception of the last 1-1 draw. ((This has made it to be my best preseason ever, which by past experience that says preseason goes opposite to the season, means I'm probably in for the worst season ever. I forgot to take screenshot of the results. There's a 8-0, 7-0, 6-1, two 5-0 I think and the 1-1))

The budget were moved all to the wage budget and free tansfers were the aim. Only two moves regarding transfers and contracts were made: the first was to activate the one year extension on Coenen's contract, the other the signing of Fabris and Diomandé. The team needed a defensive midfielder Fabris has the issue of very low decisions (3) and Diomandé looks like a good candidate to box to box or playmaker ((don't have the screenie for Diomandé. 10-15, mostly 11's for dribble, decisions, passing, vision, physicals))





On the bad news, Dheur picked a serious injury that's taking him out of the side for a couple of months.



Financially, a new sponsorship was signed for 1K less than years before, the board injected cash and the balance improved beyond what the mere injection would justify, making the financial situation look decent.





 

Death Ball

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Another action that Viktoria took regarding transfer-like activity was to offer a new contract to Vanwelkenhyusen. She didn't think he was the best or second best, but after searching the market she had thought there wouldn't be anything worth finding, so se could as well keep a player that, while not the best, was decent. ((Then I saw his report and realized he was deemed unconsistant and that previous season he had been poor))

The last match of the preseason had been a draw against a much weaker team. Viktoria was, understandably, unhappy with that. Hence, Viktoria told them of her unhappines, in calm terms. Then Vanwelkenhyusen, who had been the worse of them all, got angry for not telling him how good he had been. And the next day he went into Viktoria's office in bad mood. There was disbelief and then some angry words from a male voice. Then Vanwelkenhyusen walked out with the papers sealing his release from the club.



That was not all related with transfer activity. The director of football, at the very end of the transfer window, decided to bring two players on loan: a left back and a left midfielder. It was a good piece of business. While Viktoria had decided on not bringing any more players for the sake of the financial health, those were two needed players, as the second choice for leftback was too weak, the first wasn't performing all that well and Amrani was decent enough to hope he'd do well. Also, with Dheur's injury, there was only one valid choice for the left wing, so Janssens would be a good resource to have.







Still, things didn't improve and the greatest preseason turned into the worst season ((ever!)). The good news that Anderlecht had been drawn for the sixth round of the Cofidis Cup, which would give the team a few hundred thousand and that Anderlecth would buy home advantage were drowned by the fact Woluwe was unable to get more than one draw, with the defeats mounting on the morale and Viktoria able only to hold the drop for a short while, before it produced a calamitous string of results, including a record 7-0 defeat. That was followed by a heavy defeat against a team that should have been beatable. In fact Woluwe seemed to be on top, until Coenen made a terrible mistake (he let the ball slip from his hands between his legs and into goal) that gave them a goal advantage and killed any fighting spirit. The team crumbled.

Coenen had been the more blatant culprit, with his frequent errors turning matches that looked to go our way into disasters. Then the rest with their passes at the back of the team mate, breaking good runs into space and great movements, destroying magnificent chances before they could be created. That's how it was. But I thought if I told them that they'd then ask why I didn't make signings or that I was being childish. So I took the blame, bu then they demanded a good result next match. I know I'm finished in this team.

The next match was the cup round against Anderletch, comfortable leaders of Belgium's top division. Impossible mission. Woluwe held for half an hour, even getting the upper hand in the opening stages. But Anderlecht was too much and the first goal fell. And then the morale dropped and more followed. It was clear then that Viktoria would get the boot.







So she was left with no job and the last being one in which she was sacked for bad results. Not the best to hope for a quick new job. She has been left with the regret for leaving Colomiers, more so after learning Moreau, who had triggered her decision by refusing new contracts, had signed a new contract and was still in the club. He could have signed it when I offered him. Season was almost over, as was his contract and he had no offers. "I feel the team won't give me the success I seek". Now it does? It's in the very same spot where I left it!"¹

In the good side for hoping that she won't have to abandon football to get a job that saves her from poverty is that she's close to finishing her Continental C qualification and she's improved as manager.




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¹The Colomiers new manager, by attributes, is probably much better in terms of reputation, which is the definite factor that changed Moreau's mind, I'd think.

- New skin is Vexilium. No changes other than the background image and that I've pasted into it the match in between highlights.xml that I prefer over the one it has, as it allows one of the windows to see ratings and body language. Unfortunately, I've lost the one that allowed it for my team up right and my opponent's bottom right when I deleted the FM14's user tree and now I can only see that in the top right for one team
 
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Death Ball

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It was a long wait, with a few interviews offered but none successful, but Viktoria finally got a job! She had to wait to fourth January: Coruxo, a team struggling in Segunda B grupo 1. Bigger wage than before and with the aim to avoid automatic relegation. 16th place, where she took the team, is the play out spot. A team in dire financial situation that asks her to work with a director of football and keeping the backroom staff already in place which has all the roles needed.













By then she had already the Continental C coaching badge, which she obtained in October. She could ask to study for the B, but that's not something she's going to ask during the season.





What's not too good is the team has a few injuries, all of them severe.



The team offered her a warm welcome.



The squad has obvious weaknesses at the back and in the middle of midfield. There were a few tries to loan in players, but they were unsuccessful except for Paulo Teles... who got injured for a couple months just after her loan offer was accepted. Not being able to bring anybody else, she was forced to accept her luck and stick with the deal. Director of foorball did his job, though, and right before the end of the transfer window he brought in two more players: Fran Serrano, a centerback with the qualities Viktoria wanted, being good in the air, and Germán Fassani, who being a striker wouldn't be needed, save most being injured.





On the other side of transfers, there was a disappointment in the key leftback, Aitor Aspas, who went on to the press about a row with Viktoria when he had never talked with her. And he did it twice. He then signed a contract for another team. Also Moscardó, one of the few good midfieldersm signed to leave on the end of his contract.







At least, on the pitch things didn't start too bad. First match was a win, with Antúnez scoring his first two goals of the season from the left wing, and there was a draw, though that one was a against competition to avoid the drop.



 

Death Ball

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The season has not been easy at all. With starting difficulties to get the players to understand her, it was hard for them to understand her defensive ideas. It was no help the frequent injuries, in which several important players picked one or two month injuries: Rafa Mella, the best striker, Moscardó, the defensive midfielder, Antúnez, the left winger, Mateo, the attacking midfielder, Aspas, the left winger/fullback and, worse of all, Pazó, who was to be out for three months and return from injury just two matches before the end of the league phase, too late to bring him back to the side when everything was to be decided most likely.

One thing clear, more so when chances of goinf down are not small at all, was to activate extension clauses to the contract of any good player to increase chances to not lose them and have a strong side in Tercera.



And indeed it was so. With a string of poor results, some product of bad luck generally in the form of clearances into the strikers for a robound goal, Coruxo could never got out of relegation places, either direct or through play offs. Fortunately for Viktoria, avoiding direct relegation was all asked of her, so it was good that when she finally managed to get her ideas accross and the defence behan to improve, results began to add points and Compostela stopped getting them, so that put them in the last match one point behind them. A match that was played against them. Being on their stadium, she went for a cautious strategy, make any goal count for a victory and the plan seemed to be working, with Compostela being not a threat and Coruxo reaching their area in dngerous positions; however, the attacks came to nothing through poor first touches, incomplete dribbles or poor shooting. In the end, she had to tell the team to go all out for it, but the goal never came. Coruxo has therefore just done what the board asked and will have to play a two legged play off against a yet unknown team to avoid relegation. It's been so close, in the second to last match we had a penalty for winning that was missed, one conceded costed us the victory in the previous match, the chances lost in the last moment against Compostela... only that one had gone just a little better and we'd be off trouble.

The question comes for Viktoria now: does she stay whatever happens? Resign before becoming a Tercera manager? See if there's any realistic job available? The poor Woluwe adventure and the later difficulty to find a new job are two factors that add to the interviews reminding her of the team not staying up, if they finally get relegated. And let's not forget other teams at this level laughed at her applying. So it is most likely she will stay to try bringing them back to Segunda B.

At any rate, there's the fact she has achieved fluency in Spanush to increase her chances to get a job and she's going to increase them by applying for a new coaching course in order to get the Continental B license.






Defensive, goalkeepers and tactical coaching have gone up, working with youngsters has increased by two. Player knowledge, and motivation have gone up too, while determination, youngster knowledge and man management have increased by two





_______________________________________
Trying imgur again. Uploading may not be as annoyingly uncomfortable as I thought, but getting the images is not comfortable at all.
 
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Death Ball

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Relegation play offs are coming and I know my rivals: Conquense. They finished Grupo 3 with 37 points, two more than us in this group. First leg away and second at home. Last matches weren't bad with the defensive 4-3-3 DM Wide so I'll go for it. We need to keep our goal at zero and any goal will be a welcome bonus.

______________________

It's here. I finally went on for the defensive tactic, no specific match training, I was so nervous when Miguel came to ask that I shooed him away. First choice every position. Pazó I thought was one of the two best centerbacks, but he's been injured for too long to risk it in such important game.

Great first half, we've limited their chances well enough and we've taken one of the handful we've had. Bad news is Gonzalo Suárez seems to have picked a bad injury. 1-0 up, please stay like this!

Great start to the second half! Second goal by Suárez's substitute, Ben Fisk 48'. Conquense's going to go more offensive, I think, but we've kept them well at bay so no changes needed.

50' Come on, not again! It's the third penalty, conceded by Serrano. FERNANDO! He's saved it. Okay, no panic, first serious attack in almost an hour.

58' They've been threatening more. Perhaps I should think on a little tweaks. Noooooo! That was lucky, why did we not have it against Compostela? Long shot by Quirino goes in, lots or players in the path and it doesn't rebound off anyone. He was in space. Fine, stop trying to get the ball forward so fast, let the team move up calmly, let's not lose it too soon.

But it's not enough, they're getting to our area. If I tell them to drop deeper they'll be conceding too much space, if push forward they'll expose their backs. Nobody in the bench will make a difference.

88' Why does a football match need to have eighty eighth minute? They get the ball in the area and Quirino manages a good dribble for a good shot.

90' Fran Serrano injured. Great, now I'll have to field out of form and very slow Pazó for the second leg. At least we have the two away goals so a scoreless draw serves us well.

Regarding the match, I'm happy of that first half, but not the second where the plan stopped working, as I was not wanting to let them have so many shots and they came to our area too many times. Still, I can't feel they still needed a touch of luck and that last half hour didn't match our better first hours, so I think the result is not just, we should have won.






While Viktoria was sleepless thinking on the second leg, whether to repeat the tactic, be more attacking, how to avoid a repeat of the collapse after the second goal, director of football Francisco Javier Molina was making his job, activating renovation clauses and negotiating new contracts with general, but not total, success.











Second leg. In good news Fran Serrano didn't pick and injury and I remembered to tell Miguel to focus on defensive positioning for two days. In bad news, Gonzalo Suárez is out for two or three months, so Ben Fisk will be the first choice and Fassani will return to the bench.

Pre-match. No regrets seeing the line up of Conquense. With just a draw and hoping for one goal being enough, they don't seem to be planning and offensive match and we showed in the first leg that we're better when we're not so pressed.

Sigh. Journalist bugging with why I didn't pick Pazó in the starting eleven. He's just come from his injury two weeks ago and we couldn't get him in form.

First half. Good first half. Not as boring as I would have preferred given the lack of goals for us, but as we've looked tame they've not been threatening either.

Second half. They seem to have gone just a touch more offensive, still same formation and not offensive enough. While they managed one or two threatening runs into the area, they lacked the support to think of that a menace, so I did nothing. I merely told my team to not take too long passes forward as Ben Fisk was in risk of being too isolated.

61' It worked! Fisk scored a goal, forcing Conquense to score two goals, which at the moment seems unlikely. So I won't change anything.

73' Nothing was changed and things went the same way, a few shots by either team but low threats. And what we needed! A penalty for us. Álex Fernández scored it! Now it's done! This can't get away.

85' Now it's time to go defensive to ask them to waste time. Let's compensate some changes by telling them not to drop deeper, not to play slower and that's it.

87' Teles is tired. Mateo in just so we can waste half a minute.

90'+1' WE'VE DONE IT!






This is great! We stay in Segunda B. And I've made my mind: I will stay at this club. What a relief! I've been thinking we were a Tercera team next season for so long, but we've got our good form just before time ran out.

So let's look at the player stats. It would be good if people kept their voices down. I think they've improved, quite more goals and assists. Hum, it looks like Álex Fernández was the main scorer before I came. The defensive midfielder. Passing is not good enough. Plenty of tackles, most of them by the centrebacks. Yes, we need a new defensive midfielder to help Álex and the defence.



Board seems just about satisfied. No problem with that, I just achieved what they wanted. But what is this ****? Jury still out for me? I've saved the team from going down! Yes, by little margin but it was just what was asked.





Still, very happy witht he achievement. Though there's a few downers with it: Conquense sacked Moya, board has no funds for my coaching course and it's too expensive for me, not having guaranteed enough months of salary, being a football manager and all. The finances are going down, which is not good; but at least we're not losing the income from being relegated.


We had dinner in a restaurant. End of season dinner to say goodbyes until next summer and celebrate the win. We talked, laughed, drank and sang. I was the first to retire from it, though it was good fun.







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Getting the hang of imgur and how to get the links faster, I found also it allows some editing. It is still slow, but not as annoying to use.
The bad thing is that, sinze the file name is changed to a random one, I can't see by it if the copy pasted link is the right one before posting and seeing the images.
 
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Death Ball

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Let's go over the summer stuff.

Right after the end of the season, there were two very, very tasty positions open from leagues of lesser reputation than Segunda B: Benfica B, who had won the Poruguese Segunda Liga, and Antwerp, who had won Belgium's second division. They were too tempting and Viktoria couldn't help but send applications. That costed her a severe reprimand from the board. But neither was successful, it was specially bad that Antwerp answered, after several days, that the interview process had finished so she'd not be considered. An excuse as if she was a crybaby for being a girl or her assistant's fault for not informing her of the vacancy sooner?

Even though the board scolded her so, they went to her trying to open talks to renew her contract. She's rejected it: there's still a whole year and she doesn't want to a longer contract that might deter some better teams to consider paying the release.



Financially, the situation isn't getting any better, with new sponsorships that don't improve the income and only small prize or TV money to receive. The wage rise clauses only serve to make things worse, with a season's loss shy of one million euros.










Oh, great! No taxes, wait, it means losses. Bad news!




It's not "given" it's "going to receive"



That has a consequence that may have Viktoria regretting her refusal to talk about a new contract: the team's downgraded to semi professional. The director of football began immediately to offer part time jobs to all the staff and squad.



And therefore, no matter the expectation chosen, the budget will be basically the same. Then, despite past season, the board wants a minimum of midtable finish so that's what Viktoria promises.





The preseason was scheduled to last five weeks, four weeks being the only other option and considering the poor pitch and training facilities, the time between matches can't be too short, so there's not as many friendlies as Viktoria might have liked. Good thing is that the pitch has been relaid during summer, which should help with injuries.







Finally, the best eleven from history and season. Very surprising to see youngster Matías, who didn't shine during Viktoria time at the club, but seemingly did before. Though it shall be said that he didn't do poorly either, showing to be adequate cover for injuries.







___________________________________
Glad you're enjoying it!
As in previous stories, suggestions will be listened to and given consideration, though not necessarily followed.
 

Death Ball

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With no transfers done by Viktoria, the director of football worked fast to bring a few new faces into the team. A much needed midfielder, which bravery is not as good as Viktoria would have liked, but no complaints considering the club's situation, a young and small striker and a defender who doesn't play in leftback, which was the most needed position in defence, though it's not bad to have him... and Miguel Gómez on loan who's exactly what was needed as he can play leftback, if not his natural.









He also did a fine job renewing contracts, getting Mateo to sign a new one and renewing a few more. Plus Pedro Vázquez changed his mind and has said to be happy to stay.











Only those players who signed for a different team or Salinas, who ended contract and wasn't good enough, went out.



Preseason was good, with only one draw and the rest victories, including the three after deciding to set the pitch to be narrow as Viktoria plans to use narrow formations and wants to help plugging holes in the defence.





However, the financial situation is very bleak. With all the losses incurred in the last season, rumours have started about the team closing on administration, with the board having to take drastic measures such as selling the youth facilities, which has given a brief increase of finances, but they're still very poor, almost two million euros in the red.









I should be nosing into the DoF duties and release the excess staff.

And those rumours have but distabilized the team, with Fernando becoming unhappy by them. He went to Viktoria wanting reassurances on the situation, to which she confessed her duties being limited by board's wishes couldn't do much about it, which made him angry and wanting to make the team go against her. In the meeting she left her ideas clear and she got the support of more than half the squad, including the captain, but dressroom is not peaceful. Worse of all is her only decent goalkeeper is now unhappy with the league about to begin and she's depending on him being professional enough. She spoke to the press stating her trust on the squad professionalism, with the idea of defending them; but then Fernando went to the press speaking of a row with her because she didn't let him leave. Why does he blame me? I'm not the one in charge of transfers and he didn't ask me to be sold, he should say he had it with the director of football!



 

Death Ball

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The season has begun and Coruxo's fixture list has earned the club the nickname of "the semaphore". It has provided the club with a point per game average above one, which would guarantee staying up at the end of the season, but not meeting the board expectation to reach a half table finish, even though after twelve games the team is there.





That was possible even when Fernando and half the squad have been still unhappy after their demands for assurances regarding the financial situation, to which Luciano joined after being fined for missing training for the fourth time, though first with Viktoria in charge and then a second time shortly after. Unfotunately, Luciano hasn't shown the level of professionalism of Fernando and the others and has been placed on the transfer list.





Contrary to the past season, there are some good ratings around the squad, with two strikers coming among the leaders in scoring: Fisk and loanee José Mari, with defensive midfielder Álex Fernández in second place, even if I don't remember so many free kick goals. Youth Pablo was decent during the month Fernando was out with injury. Assists are pretty spread, with Fisk and Antúnez leading.



Financially, the club is in administration and twice has had its debt restructured, which sets it so the balance is raised to zero at the moment and with less red numbers at the end of the season, still too much to compensate with prize money and with no player valued high enough to solve anything.

First in September:





And then in October:






And then... AC Viseu and MVV became available, two low table from Portuguese and Dutch second level with okay finances and Viktoria decided to jump ship. There was no date for the club being able to pay her a coaching course, so she decided at the moment she had a chance to land either job. It would be a chance to learn a new language and be one division closer to a top one, with a course in sight and improvement of her career. Besides, though this season Coruxo was doing better than in the past, it wouldn't be hard for the form to drop and be back in a relegation battle, which would cost her her job.





Neither was successful. Viktoria regretted her decision bitterly. But that lasted about a month, as just one before Christmas she was approached by a middle table team from the Portuguese second division. Better than Ac Viseu and a little better than MVV. The catch? It's also in red numbers and without high valued players, so a coaching course is nowhere close in the horizon. However, being one promotion away from top division has made Viktoria decided not to leave the team until A) She's sacked B) Some bigger team comes knocking.





Promises are to keep the director of football, she said she was ok working with one, but since the promise is worded like that, she will be doing business herself. Also, direct football, as they liked it a bit. Not defensive football promise after her previous failures to fulfill that.
 

Death Ball

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So, Chaves, placed tenth in the table, is a team that is overachieving as it is expected to be in the fight against relegation and the board demands Viktoria to end above mid table. Considering how the team has gone it looks doable at the moment, though the late form of the team has been poor. The board requested to "Keep DoF going forward" so that's just what I'm going to do. Then do my own deals.

The stats show a reasonably healthy squad, with a fair amount of PoM's, strikers leading the goalscoring department and the centrebacks adequately protected by the players around them.

The finances aren't the best, with the team in debt, but considering its place that's better than similar debt in a lower level.

There has been some criticism, with Viktoria finding a defender in Vitor Oliveira, from União da Madeira.















The bad part about the squad is the injuries it has. With Joao Vicente injured until end of the year and unregistered, Paulo Monteiro one or two months away from coming back and Arnold, the best player of the squad, out for seven to eight months, that is until September. Only two decent centrebacks among the healthy ones. No sense in going with the team's three centerback formation they've used (a plain 3-5-2). Viktoria's idea was to commit to a narrow formation to occupy the middle of the park, of natural defensive kind, a 4-1-3-2.

Training is going to be based on an individual programme, with coaches that aren't the best and which force Viktoria to work in the fitness category.



Therefore, despite the financial situation and the losses expected, Viktoria decided that there was no other choice than to look for free transfers or loans to bring some players to strengthen the side and improve its chances to fulfill expectations. A better goalkeeper, as Ribeiro, not being a poor keeper, is average, at least one good centreback, a leftback to at least have cover, hopefuly a decent defensive type of midfielder and maybe a striker to provide cover.

And since in Segunda Liga free transfers can be registered any time until end of the year, she started early. She first got international keeper Copa, big wages but worth them, then a good centreback in Eduardo Enrique, who has been very good and got a debut goal, then she could bring the leftback, one worth starting XI, another quality centreback on loan and, in the end of the transfer window, after having tied him for the end of contract, she decided to make come Sidibé from La Liga's Espanyol, as she thought the cover was needed now. Also, despite the financial situation, she ended the contracts of several players who were not attracting any interes and were either not good enough or on too big wages. The club's ended paying their wage per week, but it saves on either bonuses for using them or just taking them in the bench and them getting cranky for lack of first team football. The surprise was making it to the top 3 transfers of Portugal this transfer window with Sidibé, a player who's been poor in the three appearances for Espanyol's first team; something that doesn't worry Viktoria, as Segunda Liga is a much lower league. The downside, obviously, is that the projected balance at the end of the season is worse than when she was appointed, though it was 300K worse at the start of January.

















The performance since taking charge of Chaves has been good. After alternating wins with defeats, there's been a three consecutive win streak in the league, with a friendly in between to keep fitness, which has placed Chaves on ninth place and good spirits. Achieving the goal seems likely to happen, though any ideas to earning promotion are not reasonable as the gap with the third/second (two teams go up, but since the leaders are a B team currently they're the second and third) is too big or so I feel, as I have no expectation to go getting points every match with plenty of wins.





Surprise was to see in the league's stats that in the team charts Chaves is among the top scoring teams. We're also up there in recent form and home form. Regarding individual stats, Fixe has made into the top goalscorers, tied with not shown João Mario, and Jean is there in assists, PoM's and average ratings.





The squad stats show that the team appears to keep the good protection of centrebacks, not improving passing rates, with strikers leading the scoring of the team, Fixe taking a good step forward there and Jean as well. A loan offer was received for Jean but he's too important to let go or think on saving on his wages. Best player of the team and one of the best in the league? No way he's leaving.

 
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