It's all a load of balls.... The Rise Through Europe

BallyC7

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Jobs Update

Unemployed But Not Inactive


December 2024

Italian Serie B side Spezia have made an approach for my services, just days after my resignation from my post at Sampdoria. I don't really want to stay in Italy, so have rejected the opportunity to even attend an interview for the job.

For the 2nd time in my career, I've been offered an international job, this time for the Greece national side. It's not a challenge I'm looking for at this stage in my career and have rejected their offer.

Rudi Garcia has replaced me as manager at Sampdoria within 2 weeks of my resignation. The ex Lille, Roma and Marseille manager will have the inital task of stearing the club away from relegation this season after their poor start to the campaign.

January 2025

Scottish side Dunfermline came forward and offered me an interview. I decided to attend to see what they had to offer. They were willing to let me make widescale changes if I went in there, but when they offered me the job, the salary was only £1,100 per week and I just couldn't justify taking that much of a pay cut.

I applied for the vacant manager's role at FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League. They were currently sitting 3rd in the table, half way through the campaign so it looked like a decent opportunity. Following the interview process, the club decided against offering me the job and have instead opted for Giorgio Contini who offers much more experience managing in the country, having spent 12 years in charge of FC Vaduz.

February 2025

It seems I am in pretty high demand with the international sides as I have been offered another role, this time to manage the South Africa national side. Again, not for me so I rejected.

I applied for the job with German First Division side Mainz. Unfortunately, I wasn't even shortlisted for an interview.

Birmingham City have approached me to interview for their vacant manager's role. I attended the interview but was not offered the job based on the fact I'd asked for a much higher wage budget than they were offering and they couldn't accept that demand.

I applied for the vacanct manager's post at German Second Division side Dusseldorf, who have shortlisted me for the role and invited me to attend interview. The interview went very well with everyone seeming to walk away pretty happy...I await their decision with great anticipation.

March 2025

Whilst awaiting a decision on the Dusseldorf job, I thought it best to keep my options open so kept an eye on the job market. I applied for the role with French side Montpellier and they very quickly offered me an interview. Again, things seemed to go well and as we parted, the chairman said he'd be in touch swiftly...

Scottish side Dundee United approached me to interview for the vacant manager post at the club. I attended and walked away feeling it had been a productive meeting. I will be awaiting a potential offer from the club.

I also attended interviews with Swiss team Young Boys, German side Hoffenheim, French sides FC Lorient and Bordeaux, and Portuguese side Vit.Guimaraes all of which seemed to go pretty well.
 

BallyC7

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Job Offers

Job Offers....


After a few months unemployed, it seems that I'm now in high demand and find myself with a number of different offers on the table....


Team: Dusseldorf
Division: German Second Division
Current Position: 17th
Aim: Avoid Relegation
Salary Offered: £5,750 per week
Transfer Budget: £2 million
Wage Budget: £130k per week

Team: Dundee United
Division: Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership
Current Position: 8th
Aim: Avoid Relegation
Salary Offered: £4,500 per week
Transfer Budget: £173k
Wage Budget: £53k per week

Team: Vit. Guimaraes
Division: Portuguese Premier League
Current Position: 11th
Aim: Mid Table Finish
Salary Offered: £6,000 per week
Transfer Budget: £762k
Wage Budget: £180k per week

Team: Montpellier
Division: French Ligue 1
Current Position: 16th
Aim: Avoid Relegation Battle
Salary Offered: £9,000 per week
Transfer Budget: £0
Wage Budget: £525k per week

Team: Young Boys
Division: Swiss Super League
Current Position: 9th
Aim: Avoid Relegation
Salary Offered: £2,800 per week
Transfer Budget: £511k
Wage Budget: £375k per week

Team: Girondins de Bordeaux
Division: French Ligue 1
Current Position: 12th
Aim: Mid Table Finish
Salary Offered: £7,000 per week
Transfer Budget: £0
Wage Budget: £700k per week



 

BallyC7

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New Club: Vit. Guimaraes



Vit. Guimaraes

Year Founded: 1922
Nickname: None
Country: Portugal
City: Guimaraes

Professional Status: Professional
Training Facilities: Excellent
Youth Facilities: Good
Reputation: National (3.5 Stars)
Estimated Value: £31.95 million

Stadium: Estadio D.Afonso Henriques
Year Built: 1965
Capacity: 30,008
Features: Grass surface, No under soil heating

Fierce Rivals: Braga (Historic)
Other Rivals: Boavista (Historic), FC Porto (Historic), Moreirense (Local), Gil Vicente (Local)
Derbies: Classico Vitoriano Derby (vs Vit. Setubal), Minhoto Derby (vs Braga), Cidade de Guimaraes Derby (vs Moreirense), Minhoto Derby (vs Gil Vicente), Cidade de Guimaraes Derby (vs Vizela)


Previous Honours

Portuguese Premier League: Third Placed (1969, 1987, 1998, 2008)

Taca de Portugal: Winners (2013)

Taca de Portugal: Runners Up (1942, 1963, 1976, 1988, 2011)

Portuguese Second League: Runners Up (1956, 1958, 2007)

Portuguese Second League: Third Placed (1957)

Supertaca: Winners (1988)

Supertaca: Runners Up (2011, 2013)


Looking back over the club's history, the first thing to notice is they have never won the Portguese Premier League title and they have only ever won the Taca de Portugal once, back in 2013. They've also never even made the final of the Portuguese League Cup. The club does not have the largest trophy cabinet and its clear to see it will be a tough task to overthrow the big boys in the country such as Porto, Benfica and Sporting who have dominated through the country's domestic history.


My Contract

I have signed a 2 year contract with the club worth £6,000 per week. I will now be earning half of what I was in my previous role at Sampdoria.


Current League Standing

View attachment 79269

The club currently sit 11th in the Portuguese Premier League with 7 games of the season remaining. We have no chance of pushing on for a European place, and are also pretty safe from relegation. So this season will be a case of seeing it out and getting over the line into the next campaign where I can hopefully start to make my mark on the team.


Board Expectations

At the start of the season, the board expected the club to reach a Europa League qualification sport in the league, but this is definitely not going to happen now. As mentioned above, with only 7 games remaining it's going to be a case of just running the season down into the Summer break.


Budgets

The club currently have a very healthy bank balance of £17.2 million.

They have handed me a transfer budget of £762k.

The board have also given me a wage budget of £181k per week, of which we are currently spending £182k per week.




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BallyC7

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Vit. Guimaraes




Squad Evaluation

First day on the job and again my first job on the agenda is to have a look at my squad. So the first things I notice...


I have pretty good cover across the whole of the back four and central midfield roles

I have two very good right backs to compete with each other

Neither of my goalkeepers are good enough

My attack is pretty weak with a lack of quality in the inside forward and striker roles

Roberto Silva is clearly one of my best players, but he is only here on loan

Ruben Naveda is a very strong centre back for this league

The first team squad has a good foundation of Portuguese players in it, a total of 10

The first team squad is represented by a number of nationalities including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Spain and South Africa

I have a very young squad with 15 of my players under the age of 23

View attachment 79266 View attachment 79265


After having a look at the whole team in quite a lot of detail, some of my key players include...

View attachment 79264

Ruben Naveda
Position: CB
Nationality: Argentina
Age: 20

Solid young defender with good leadership skills. A player with good decision making and a high work rate.

View attachment 79263

Bobby Blose
Position: RB
Nationality: South Africa
Age: 21

Another young player who has already made 5 international appearances for his country. Solid pace for getting up and down the right flank, with good tackling ability when defending too.

View attachment 79262

Roberto Silva
Position: DM/MC
Nationality: Portugal
Age: 18

On loan from Sporting, the teenager is an upcoming talent with some excellent mental attributes. In time with training, I'm confident his technical skills will improve quickly and he could become a world class player.

 

BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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April 2025 Review




April 2025 Review

Results

Portuguese Premier League
Vit. Guimaraes 3 - 0 Varzim

View attachment 79159

My first game in charge would be at home and I was pleased to be able to introduce myself to our own fans. The visitors would be 16th placed Varzim, a team struggling against relegation, and so a good opportunity for me to get off to a winning start. After only 4 days on the training pitch with the lads, I wasn't sure how much they'd have got to grips with my tactics. However, they surprised me and as the game went on, it seemed that the team was becoming more and more confident in the style I'd asked them to play. We got stronger and became more dominant throughout and with 3 second half goals, we secured a comfortable opening win with me in charge. It was also the first win for the team in the last 7 games!

Portuguese Premier League

Sporting Lisbon 3 - 0 Vit. Guimaraes

View attachment 79158

From playing a team right towards the bottom of the table in our last game, we'd now have to face Sporting who were sitting 9 points clear at the top of the table and had not lost a game all season. Their record read played 27, won 24, drawn 3....so this was definitely going to be a case of me being thrown in at the deep end in only my 2nd game in charge. Although we did suffer a 3-0 defeat here, we actually gave a pretty good account of ourselves and the stats are a clear reflection of a relatively even game. Unfortunately, Sporting were just a but more clinical in front of goal than us on the day.

Portuguese Premier League
Maritimo 0 - 1 Vit. Guimaraes

View attachment 79157

We'd have the opportunity to test ourselves in an away game against 6th placed Maritimo in the next game. Every game this season was going to be a learning curve for me this year, getting to know my team's weaknesses and strengths and this match would be no different. Overall it was a very close game on all the statistics, but we managed to just edge it with a solid 1-0 win, the winning goal coming in the second half from striker Elton Correia.


League Table

View attachment 79156

No change in position since I took over, but pleased to have added 6 points from my opening 3 games.


Player of the Month



Pedro Rebocho
LB

Appearances: 3
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
Key Passes: 2
Average Rating: 7.37

Pedro has looked a threat going forward in all 3 games since I took over, as well as looking competent in defence too.


Injury Update

View attachment 79155


New Club Goalscoring Record

Elton Correia has broken the club record for the most goals scored in a season with his 17th of the season against Maritimo. The previous record was 16 scored in the 2016/17 season, held by Moussa Marega.

 

BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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May 2025 Review




May 2025 Review

Results

Portuguese Premier League
Vit. Guimaraes 2 - 2 Aves

View attachment 79154

As we entered the final month of the season, our first game would be at home to bottom side Aves who were already relegated with 4 games left. They've only acquired 6 points all season, with only 1 win to their name. It was our opponents who took a shock early lead in the 6th minute, when a free kick was floated in and Barros got himself on the end of it to volley home from close range. On 27 minutes, we were level though, Zungu with a deflected shot past the keeper from just inside the box. When Roberto Silva stepped up and banged in a free kick on 64 minutes, it was 2-1 to us and I expected the lads to kick on from here. However, it was our opponents who hit back and equalized when Joao Silva was put through clean on goal and slotted past our stranded keeper. The game ended in a disappointing 2-2 draw.

Portuguese Premier League
Boavista 1 - 3 Vit. Guimaraes

View attachment 79153

Next up would be an away trip to 9th placed Boavista and a win could see us looking up the table with a top half finish in our sights if we get a result in the last 2 games. The first half was pretty close, but neither team was able to break the deadlock. However, the second half was a completely different story, with a total of 4 goals going in....thankfully 3 of them were in our favour as we secured a nice away win. Lucas Joao came off the bench to bag two goals.

Portuguese Premier League
Vit. Guimaraes 2 - 1 Benfica

View attachment 79152

Benfica came into this knowing they were finishing 3rd this season no matter what their final two results were. We, on the other hand, could still jump a couple of places in the table with good results and I was keen to continue impressing the fans since taking, having already got 3 wins from my first 5 games in charge under my belt. Vit. Guimaraes had lost their previous 5 games against Benfica, but you'd never guess it from the way my team played today....they were nothing short of brilliant. We looked good throughout, clearly the better side playing the cleaner crisper football and the 2-1 victory was well deserved as we inflicted only Benfica's 4th defeat of the season on them.

Portuguese Premier League
Olhanense 1 - 2 Vit. Guimaraes

View attachment 79151

Our final game of the season would be an away trip to overachievers Olhanense, who were set to finish the season in 14th position, after being predicted as relegation candidates. Lucas Joao continued his impressive run of form with another goal as he opened the scoring on 17 minutes to give us the lead. Olhanense got themselves an equalizer, before Joao got his 2nd of the game from the penalty spot right on the stroke of half time to restore our lead going into the break. With no second half goals, the score remained 2-1 and it was good to finish the season with a win.


Final League Table

View attachment 79150

Since taking over, my record reads as played 7, won 5, drawn 1 and lost 1. It saw us catapult from 11th to 9th over the final few games of the season and definitely gives us something to build on for next year.

Just look at that record from Sporting Lisbon though as they run away with the league title without losing a single game all season. 31 wins from 34 games....Unbelievable effort!


Player of the Month



Lucas Joao
ST

Appearances: 4 (2 as sub)
Goals: 4
Assists: 1
Man of the Match: 2
Average Rating: 7.68

Fantastic effort this month from Joao with 4 goals and an assist from the 4 games he played in. Two of these appearances he played less than 30 minutes of football in too! Perfect way to stake a claim to be here next season!


Financial Update

View attachment 79149

Pretty healthy bank balance to finish the season on.[SUB][SUP]
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BallyC7

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End of Season Player Stats

Top Average Rating (in relation to appearances):


1st: Bobby Blose - RB - 25 appearances - 7.29
2nd: Abilio Luz - CB - 25 appearances - 7.25
3rd: Bongani Zungu - MC - 31 appearances - 7.12


Top Goalscorers:

1st: Elton Correia - ST - 17
2nd: Gustavo Serrano - AML - 7
3rd: Mauricio Cuero - AMR - 7


Top Assists:

1st: Bongani Zungu - MC - 8
2nd: Roberto Silva - DM - 6
3rd: Marquinhos Cipriano - AMR - 5

View attachment 79129 View attachment 79128 View attachment 79126
 
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BallyC7

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Zungu Named In Team of Year



Zungu Named In Team of the Year

Bongani Zungu has been named in the Portuguese Premier League Team of the Year. Zungu has been put in the team as a CB, although I predominantly utilised him in a central midfield role since taking over.

View attachment 79143

 

BallyC7

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European Update

European Competition Winners 2024/25

Here's the update from around Europe as the major competitions have now come to a close for the 2024/2025 season...


English Premiership Winners: Manchester City
English Premiership Runners Up: Liverpool
English FA Cup Winners: Manchester City
English League Cup Winners: Chelsea



Spanish La Liga Winners: Barcelona
Spanish La Liga Runners Up: Real Madrid
Spanish Cup Winners: Barcelona



German Bundesliga Winners: Borussia Dortmund
German Bundesliga Runners Up: Bayer Leverkusen
German Cup Winners: Wolfsburg



French Ligue 1 Winners: Paris Saint Germain
French Ligue 1 Runners Up: AS Monaco
French Cup Winners: Paris Saint Germain
French Coupe de la Ligue Winners: Paris Saint Germain



Italian Serie A Winners: Juventus
Italian Serie A Runners Up: AC Milan
Italian Cup Winners: Juventus



Holland Eredivisie Winners: Ajax
Holland Eredivisie Runners Up: Feyenoord
Holland Dutch Cup Winners: AZ



Portuguese Premier League Winners: Sporting Lisbon
Portuguese Premier League Runners Up: FC Porto
Taca de Portugal Winners: Sporting Lisbon
Portuguese League Cup: Nacional da Madeira



Scotland Premiership Winners: Rangers
Scotland Premiership Runners Up: Celtic
Scottish Cup Winners: Aberdeen



Champions League Winners: Paris Saint Germain
Champions League Runners Up: Benfica



Europa League Winners: Real Madrid
Europa League Runners Up: Liverpool



European Super Cup Winners: Fenerbahce


Under 19's Champions Cup: Borussia Monchengladbach U19s
 

BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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Rankings




Rankings Update


The Portuguese Premier League has remained in 6th in the recently released European Competition Rankings. The English Premier Division is currently ranked number 1.


Vit. Guimaraes have been ranked as the 8th most reputable team in Portugal this year. Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon were ranked as the top 3 teams in the country.


Vit. Guimaraes have remained in 126th position in the latest European Club Rankings. Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid are ranked as the top 3.

 

JT3197

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A shame it didnt work out in Italy but seems no matter what you did it was going wrong - so many goals conceded! maybe a DMid needed next time to try and break up play?
 
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Sammuthegreat

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Italy sucks anyway. Even though I had some success with Fiorentina I still didn't like the league and would never go back to manage there again.

Portugal, however... I'm glad you took the Guimaraes job, that was the one I'd have voted for if you'd asked (not that I checked this thread in time, but still).
 

BallyC7

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Sep 9, 2017
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Leaving

The End


Hi guys and girls, sorry but this thread is coming to a close as I've bought FM18 and will be starting a new game and a new story on there. Again, I'll be looking at a journeyman save as this has been by far my most enjoyable game ever on any of the FM series over the past few years! Keep your eyes peeled!

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has followed my journey on FM17 and for all your comments and likes along the way. I hope you will follow my new career in FM18 with the same enthusiasm! The new FM18 story can be found here....http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2018-manager-stories/368000-new-beginning.html#post3124829

Cheers!

Chris
 
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