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Katsumi Touko The Smith of Pretty Victories.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
When release of the beta was approaching, I saw a tweet in which Miles Jacobson announced FM16 implemented some changes to manager reputation. Since I made a journey(wo)man career in FM15, in which the jump to Inter Milan felt like not very believable, I've thought I could see how it's changed by making a new journey(wo)man save. Will my girl do a jump like she did in FM15?

This year I've decided to load more divisions, with at least one country from ever continent. To make the start a little harder, I made my manager Japanese, a nationality for which there is no leagues available in the game (I'm not using any database).

She is Katsumi Touko (Katsumi because it's closes to Viktoria, as I'm going to use the same images for her portrait, plus one new for the first years, Touko because it was the Japanese family name from the character that I used for the portrait of my first Journey(wo)man save, whose surname, Schmied, is a translation from Touko [Smith])

Original image, by Sakimichan (click for source):

She has studied some coaching courses along college, until obtaining the National A license. Her past experience is nothing, just Football Manager and signing to a local Sunday League. She had to overcome her family opposition to taking the courses and playing in the local amateur league and applied to studying all with little for free time. That hasn't made her lose touch with her young friends, though.

I've made bigger those attributes in FM15 never increased, so she's not **** there if she reaches the top.

What she has not done is studying languages. What she was taught of English in her Osakan school was not useful.

Not shown, as either my keyboard failed or something:
#1 Favourite formation: 4-5-1/4-3-3
#2 Favourite formation: 4-2-3-1
#3 Defensive formation: 4-2-1-2-1
#4 Attacking formation: 3-1-4-1-1

Now, with the end of college, it's time that she starts applying to any low level team that has an available spot.
P.S. Title: Touko = Smith, Katsumi = Victory, Mi = Beauty.

Whoops, I missclicked and originally posted this in the wrong place. Sorry.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Just a couple of days and it was found Cape Town is Japanese Works. Sixteen applications to vacant spots, two answered: both of Cape Town's football clubs.

Which to choose? The one expected to finish the season better. Vasco Cape Town, expected to finish seventh and wishing for a top half finish.

What I find is a team that is good enough to fulfill the objectives, as I'm told by the staff. It lacks depth for the defensive midfield and the wings. The best player of the squad is Armogam.

Coaching is what one can expect from this level, I'd say a better too.

Finances have been going down recently, but things look good. So my first action is to ask the board to pay for a coaching course, which they grant. In four months I'll have Continental C License.

With the good situation, I also wanted to have some quick deals in transfer, as I felt it will be hard to get players fitness up. I decided to adapt to the team and went for midfielders, though I failed to keep the one we had. Also Mxoyana got angry because I rejected an offer and I had to sell him. Everyone wants any offer to be accepted. I think they don't want to play for me. Moeketsi doesn't listen to anything I say. Amorgam also wanted to leave when the preseason was ending and I had to look for another left winger to play as inside forward.

Three of the players coming in were central midfielders, one of them able to play the defensive midfield position. And the fourth is the replacement for Armogam. Also a right winger was loaned.

At the end of the preseason, the financial situation isn't the best but at least if all goes the same we'll end the season with a positive balance.

And the squad is well stocked save for the right midfield position.

I let the assistant to assign captain and vice captains, as his choices were reasonable.
((>10 influence, bravery, work rate and determination plus they will likely see much play time))

I went into transfers soon, when I was thinking on adapting to the team. Mistake. It turned out after a defeat to West Bromwich Albion, expected but in which the Diamond showed great frailty, the friendly against weaker Baltic Rangers didn't go well, going down by a goal and having to change to a 4-2-3-1 to get back into the team. At that point I decided to dicth the 4-4-2 Diamond and the idea of adapting to the team. I will make the team to do what I want. Afterall, great managers force themselves into their teams and not the other way around, they have personality. And with that off went the no wingers needed, many midfielders needed, when I had already done most of the deals. Though there was money to do something in the marked, I didn't want to make too many changes so now we're weak in the wings.

I went at that point for the creation of the 4-2-3-1 formation and the 4-3-3 I like more.

Originally an attacking AMC, but he tended to move too far ahead and we missed a linking player ahead of the midfield pair. Come back against the Baltic Rangers and a very unlucky draw against Hanover Park. Actually not unlucky at all, our forwards seem rather unable to aim and that's what worries... or worried me for the season. I should have used it in some other match to develop it but I didn't.

Used in one friendly, against Glendene Utd. Solid 4-1 win. It worked very well. I would need to replay it but the new badge course is taking the time out to do that.

At that point I decided to finally ditch the 4-4-2 diamond and to use a different formation, which includes the diamond but I hope to reinforce the weak points and work better defensively, possibly by holding more to the ball, the 3-1-4-1-1.

The rest of the preseason was played with this formation, which worked very well in all of them, with barely any need to readjust roles. Ample wins in every friendly.

Now players are a few match fit, but most still lacking time to get in with the run of the season. Close enough, though, to be fit. The main problem will come from the few friendlies we could play, as they don't get rested fast enough for more, that makes them still far from knowing all the nuances of the tactical systems. It is my hope it will not stop us from getting the results we need to meet objectives.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
OOC Notes on format and plans

I suspect one problem from my stories in previous years is wanting to play to have more to say with each that a few games. But I end with half or almost half seasons. That has two effects that go to the negative side of them: because I play slowly, usually just a couple of matches per day, the updates take a lot to come. Instead of not "overwhelming" you with a lot of updates per day, they are so far apart the thing is forgotten or too slow and second is that having so long a time passing in game, there is no space to be developing on how each game has gone and how things are developed to end in certain decisions or happennings, even if I'd want to do that, there would be so many matches that I would end glossing over them or doing no more than mentioning things without getting into a flow of results and performances that can be pictured or understood to then see how the story goes. Why does my character dropped that player? Why is that player signed or sold? Nothing really informative to have a grasp or a feeling of it to see where I'm coming from and going to.
I don't know if in the next couple of updates I will achieve a good step in the intended direction to improve my stories, as this idea has come up after preparing the screenshots for them and I had already played one and a half months (it has occured while reading Brendn's story), but I hope by the new formatting I'm looking for the result will naturally lean in the direction of improvement. Making the story more organic, easier to understand the events, cleaner to read.
I will be turning toward the more usual monthly updates most stories follow for now. It guarantees not getting carried away too easily to play more matches than what can be talked enough about without getting you a too long to read update. It may change if I find some other natural pattern of how many matches or weeks between updates so I have enough to talk about to have updates with proper content without getting to have so much things I should talk about that I end leaving them out.
Putting this in a spoiler to see how the tag works.
Next update should come soon, depending on whether I get the time before going to bed and after watching a couple series I'm watching.
Of course, if you want me to keep the 10 league games / a third of a season / or somesuch time between updates and general way of doing them then I'm willing to do so.

On the last of that spoiler:
I think some may think I don't listen to advice or comments, but that's not true. That's a mistaken appreciated I have also blame for. To begin with, it seems my "following" is small and I've had very few comments from other people. When I've had suggestions or advice, I've always listened and considered it. It was something on format, someone said I used too few images, so I tried to increase them. The rest were mostly look into this player or that. From those I listened to all, I discarded one early since it was a known wonderkid (the type of Balanta, Fierro, Barbosa, etc) and he wasn't in my scouts' knowledge. I dislike signing oocly known wonderkids unless they've popped up spontaneously within the game, though is suggested I will at least give a quick look to whether he's been spotted by my scouts and if so I may consider it. From the rest, I followed and signed one of them. The rest I didn't sign them but not because I didn't consider: a few times it was a player for a position I already had covered and saw no sense in bringing one more with the issues with playing time, more often it was the suggested player was too expensive, wanted too much wages or simply wasn't willing to play for my team. However, since the updates are long and the suggestions came early after posting the update, I did so very early within the next fragment, add to that I have almost always ignored the deals I've failed to get and the result is I didn't remember when the time came for the update to mention how I didn't get such player and why or to comment on how or why that advice given didn't happen in the game. So it easily would appear as if I just didn't pay attention and ignored them. And no, I've never ignored any comment from anybody. I've just been clumsy and failed to properly acknowledge it so you knew I do read your comments and take them on board.

I said this in the first spoiler, but next update will come in a few hours given I have the time.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Preseason stuff:

There was something that was needed before the season began: to bring a right winger, as only one player could find it natural to play in the right winger and one in the right midfielder. Looking at the scour reports, there was one choice that was a no brainer: Sipho-Sihle Mtule, not only with abilities in the high end of what we can have, but availabe for no expense on loan and he can play in both right side spots.

But the transfer isn't the only thing that happen. At the end of the last friendly, some players performed poorly and I told them so. Ritchie Sebastiao got upset because of it and demanded me to change my talks and cut them some slack. He became more aggresive and I stood firm, so he went on to the press.

Nobody came backing him up, which was a relief. Sebastiao is young but I feared since most of the squad is as well, he might have some pull with them. More so when while being young, many are still older than I am. That is why I must enforce my authority firmly or they'll ignore me again like Moeketsi during preseason. Then came the press, as Sebastiao had made his concerns public, asking me about the matter. Of course I stood firm, though I avoided to express myself too harshly so he knows that if he comes around I won't be punishing him. But he just got more angry.


African Warriors, one of the teams expected to do better in the league. With a diamond used, I chose the 4-5-1 formation, defensive. It maybe doesn't have the same numerical superiority behind, but it has enough and allows for exploitation of wide spaces. Also, playing away I felt the 4-5-1 would be a little more solid at the back. It proved the right decision with goals coming from crosses from one wing to the other, Kebatho drifting left from his central striker position. Though they pulled almost as many shots, many of them were late and hopeless.

Since the first match went well and Black Leopars started strong, I chose to keep the same formation. It seemed to mostly work with the problem being the lack of attackign strength. Few attacks reached the area and when that happened it wasn't finding good positions. I was happy with drawing the match, though, but Baldé made a mistake in which he broke the offside and so they scored a legal goal which caused us to lose the match. Offensive changes weren't effective.

International break. A good chance to make a friendly to get players up to match fitness, nothing more.

Back to competition. Thanda isn't a bad team, but since the lack of chances created the previous match, I went for the offensive 3-1-4-1-1 formation. It was probably a mistake using a system so offensive away and the result confirms it, thouh it wasn't as clear a defeat as the two goal margin may suggest. The main problem is the attackers' inability to get their shots on target. Many easy chances have gone to waste because they can't hit an empty goal.

We received the second worst team of the league, so I tried the offensive system. It worked well, though at a couple of moments Minalo had attacks that looked dangerous from the wings. Save for those two times that were cut before the shot came, we controlled the match. A chance was given for Sebastiao, who reacted well to the team talk and did just okay.

Last match of the month. Witbank was just below us. The opening match against a diamond made me hope the 4-5-1 would work well, plus we played at their stadium. It didn't and we changed to the offensive system. Petersen's own goal was unfortunate, as that may have hit morale too bad to get the comeback and we ended leveling the match just in terms of shots made. It is clear the 4-5-1 lacks offensive strength to be kept with tweaks when one needs goals. Still I feel a little more work to make it more solid in defence comes first. It's meant as the defensive formation, not the attacking.

Other happenings during this period:
Before the last match of the season two bad things happened: Marumo and Mtule picked injuries that will keep them out until the end of October. Mtule being the worse of the two, as he was the player that showed the more glimpses of ability to create opportunities. Marumo's bad because he is a potential starter and in preseason left me the feeling he might be the one more likely to get the better shots on target ratio.

On other matters, Wambi had become disgruntlet during preseason when I accepted the offer for Armogam and let him go. Understandable since Armogam was to be our best man. With the two wingers brought, he's no longer unhappy.

Table and fixture resumes.

No surprises no Vasco CT players are among top individuals, PoM being too few to consider yet. The ninth place is a bit of a disappointment, not because we should be much higher, that Baldé mistake only cost us one point, but in that our play didn't merit defeat and in the last match perhaps we didn't deserve to lose by two goals. Still, we are where we earned to be.

Individual performances
Stats haven't took note of Baldé's mistake that allowed that goal I mentioned. Hoffman's pass completion is extremely poor and worrying, though most come from long passes, it makes me apprehensive of asking him to distribute short. In general passing is poor, with the worse among defenders. A bit surprised we've not yet conceded any goal as direct consequence of that. No player has still got away in goalscoring, though Kebatho seems to be getting ahead in assists.


The loss per month has increased and if it keeps this way, the team will be in the negative come the end of the season. There is a chance that in January we'll have to try selling a few players.

OOC Note
This way takes a lot more time. From like half an hour to write an update to a full hour or more. Either I find a way to speed it or I'll go back to the previous style though I may do some few touches to speed things.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
October, 2015.

First match is against strong team Amazulu. 4-5-1 is the formation that appears the better to use with the reports.

It worked, only bad luck denied us the victory. We made only a few chances, which was to be expected, got one of the two good ones. They had many shots but none was good. A lucky rebound to score. It is a good result, but since they're the ones who came from behind I feel like I lost the win rather than earning the draw.

International break after that, a friendly was scheduled. In the meanwhile, Mokoro has picked an injury to keep him out for a month.

A friendly in which the players improved their aim. Not happy with conceding a goal.

During the week Ngqobe and Baldé picked new injuries for two and one weeks, respectively.

Despite being away, I chose an offensive tactic based on the staff advice. It works, we give many shots but only one from a good position.

Another week without playing, another friendly. Not happy at all. Again with players shooting like they didn't see and were dazed. Very unhappy we depended on a last minute goal to win.

A match we should have won, but in which a bad defence allowed them good chances and strikers still in evil mook mode. What makes it more annoying is it being their first win.

To make things worse, the same day two players come complaining for the lack of playing time. I promise it to Wambi as he's one of my better midfieldes and I planned on bringing him into the team anyway. I told Mdaki to be patient but he gets angry.

Results, League Table and performances:

As expected, none of my players is among the top three of anything.The defence passing completion is abyssmal. So is Hoffman's. No player is still running with it in regards of goals or assists.

Finances and Board:

Despite the poor results, the board is satisfied. We're still close to the top teams. We keep losing a lot of money each month. It doesn't look good for the next season.

Katsumi Touko:

She's already improving in both sides of her attributes.

Next matches:

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
November 2015

The new month begins with another angry players, as I refused to promise him anything. Surprisingly the rest of the squad seems to be on my side.

In the next match I am planning to use fullbacks so when the press asks I tell them he'll be having his chance.

It's November and most of the squad isn't match fit. Perhaps in the coming international break I should organize two friendlies instead of one.

Playing away I followed with the defensive 4-5-1. The match proceeded very cagey with nobody creating chances but us closer to it. Then a very poor piece of corner defending got them a goal. I moved to an attacking 4-2-3-1 and things improved, though still missed the last pass. Then two came and to keep things as always, the receivers scored on offside. That's the other big issue with this team: the players can't hit a barn from the inside, but when they do, it's because they forgot to stay in the right side of the opposition defence. Wambi was average thorough the whole match, while Mdaki had a poor spell but improved for an overall average.

And then Van Graan wants more first team football. Yay. We have too many useless strikers. It may be a good chance to make a cleanup of them and bring just a couple that know what's the meaning of the woodwork. Anyway, he may well be the better striker we have so I'll make him happy.

What to do seems simple: traing attacking movement for the two friendlies.

Lots of chances. Lots of clear chances. Lots f easy chances. Min 38 0-0. A shot at the keeper and one at the post. Players who're to the left of the goal and aren't able to even direct the ball to the right. Finally a shot is going on target and on goal, my striker throws himself in front. Min 40, a first miracle happens.

I finally get to ask the scouting team to work on finding me some quality strikers in the coming two months. Also a goalkeeper. While none is definitely poor and both Hoffman and Ngqobe are decent for this level, with the latter being too bad communicating, I want to explore whether we can have a point earning goalkeeper.

Seeing a reserves friendly, I set everyone to be available. Marumo picks a new injury of two weeks. He's been very poor due to his past injury. But Van Graan wants time and he's possibly better, so I leave him to the physio and save on protective equipment.

The 4-2-3-1 needs to get more people up for supporting the striker early. Usual disappointing performance, needing a lot of time and chances to get the second goal. The worse is getting the best striker and left back injured.

End of international duty... or not. Hoffman and Moeketsi are not coming back until mid December, which means three or four matches without my main goalkeeper.

Dominated at first, a small change of tactics made the goal. Then they were progressively coming back into the match but never quite managed to turn the tide. Sebastiao and Mtule picked injuries. Given we have perhaps too many players for the advanced midfield position, Sebastiao will be left to the physio while Mtule needs to stay out of the game. Both for two weeks.

Mosaliaga then asks for more first team football. With Mtule's injury he's going to be starting so I tell him that.

The cup draw gives us Royal Eagles.

They were strong favourites to win, but still I'm very disappointed. We dominated the game, no matter what you may think of those stats. We had penty of great chances again wasted horribly, but then in one of their attacks Mdaki tried to keep the ball when it was hard instead of straight out sending it for a throw in, he gave it to them and they could score. People keep saying I should be satisfied, which is more annoying.

Off the pitch things look worse by the minute. We keep lossing more than a hundred thousand euros, almost eighty thousand pounds. December then will be the last month we finish with a positive balance. At least the board is satisfied still.


When we finally have a player in a top 3, is that of the yellow cards.

Seems Katsumi is still the same. The course has not yet finished, which should happen during this month.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
December 2015

The month begins with Mtule and Marumo coming back from their injuries, but then Karkee, the only player able at the moment to play in the right midfield comes asking to move for a bigger challenge.

Luckily, I manage to convince him to wait to the end of the season, he's not one of the excess midfielders I want to offload.

They got a disallowed goal at the start and then we dominated the match. But the strikers should rather be known as fumbles, plus their goalkeeper had a fine day. We had an awesome chance at the end of the match but De Goede, alone with great angle to score, couldn't choose and neither shot or pass and the ball went harmlessly wide half way between the post and Kebatho.

Finally Sebastiao has settled down and is willing to let go of the team talk issue.

And Baldé is back from his injury. I will not start him, I think, but let him come back to fitness slowly.

Good news come: Hoffman has wn the Best Goalkeeper award in the African U23 Championship. Hopefuly he'll be back in time for the match, though I doubt it.

No. He wasn't available. Thanks, Federations to give him back just after the league break begins. Mdaki is wanted by a club. Tempted to not keep my promise and sell him out for wage space for the new strikers I want. Besides, Shellar is against him playing so I make space and avoid another unhappy player.

We dominate, but the two times they get the ball in the net they were offside. Chabeli picks up and injury by walking. Wambi then gets injured with no subs left shortly after offensive changes seemed to have a chance to work. Before Chabeli had picked up a knock.

We get a bid for Mdaki and it's accepted, while Van Graan is back to fitness.

Sebastiao is back asking for first team football. I'll grant his request as I expect to sell a few players from his position.

Mazibuko, who was the only in good form, gets injured at the hour mark. Oh, they scored a goal and we're down despite domination. I continue my nap. Do I need to explain? A pass that splits the defence and ends in the boots on a lone striker in front of goal doesn't excite me anymore. I feel there's nothing I can do. They've had chances of every type and they miss every one in the most pathetic way imaginable. Ng, whu?. A goal? So we lose by two. Whaddaya mean for us? Stop trying to trick me into having any hope. The longest offside ever has just happened in this match. 35 yards off. Min 78 and I'm in a dilemma. Do we want the morale boost to pass this round or is it better to lose now that there's a break and avoid an humiliating defeat to a top tier team? I'll let the 90 mins, if extra time, we lose. Come on. OH; COME ON!!! NOW THEY SCORE THEIR LAST SECOND CHANCE!

And that's how in Youtube appeared the amusing video of a manager whose team scored and reacted in anger instead of celebrating.

Friendlies can't be set until the last week of December, so only one will happen before league matches resume in January the 2nth.

Getting match fitness to those needing it minus the players who're leaving.

Ngqobe has better stats and it's Hoffman who've been in the matches we've conceded more goals, which means Ngqobe will become from now on the first choice, unless a good goalkeeper is found in transfers.

Things stand the same. Last month we finish with a positive balance.


Stuurman, Chaid White, Kebatho and Ntambi are put on transfer list and offered to clubs, though no interest is had. Chabeli would be added if he wasn't injured, because while has potential, he's a rotation player and is in higher wages than some key players. After that, they're offered for loan.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
January 2016

First order of business: a strong coffee no not sleep through the wasted opportunities. It all goes as always. I change to a 4-2-3-1 at half time. Still the same. I go to a 4-2-4 at 75 minutes and at 89th minute the coffee pays off and I celebrate the goal properly. Then a 4-1-4-1 to keep the result. We're barely good enough to beat the last team, how exciting. Sixth game without losing begins the unbeaten run record for the club.

I didn't mention I'm already able to speak English at a basic level.

Bulu is the less crappy striker from those we could sign. He comes cheap as he finished his contract at the end of this season.

African Warriors

The third placed team at home for the final match of the first half. We can catch up to them with a win. I HAVE A STRIKER! Bulu gets his first chance and he scores and he's not off side! 24 minutes for him to make his first offside movement. This would be great if the defence didn't go to the locker room before the half time whistle. The second half started like the first: Bulu making me cry of joy. And ends the same way.

Half season is reached at just ninth position. But not that far from the top three, so even promotion is still possible.

Finally, the license is obtained. Time to ask for a new course before the balance slips into negative.

The cup draw is good and we get a rival from out same division instead of the top.

Santos F.C.
Match fixing! No, the importance of having a pitch in good condition. The ball bounced in a different position and Ngqobe couldn't get it. Chasing the goal we conceded by not enough caution.

I wanted him to leave. The club could use taking down wages. Mtule asks to terminate his loan again. But he's on no wages from us and so not one I want to part with. Still, it seems the right wing is not that bad so I think this time I'll let him go.

My main scout Mathibe is being approached by everyone. If this keeps up I'll call CERN so they can confirm he's not a black hole that'll eat the Earth. I offered him a new contract to keep him.

Black Leopards
[spoilers]The initial plan doesn't quite work and small changes make things improve. Until Peterson decides Moeketsi is the player he has to mark and allows Nzimande to receive a cross alone. In half time I decide to change things up and bet on a narrow 4-4-2 diamond with Mokoro as left back. It pays off at 51st minute... for Leopards as he decides his defensive position is to the right of the box. But six minutes later it pays off for us as he makes a cross for Marumo to push home.


That leaves us in a bad situation, third from the bottom, just outside relegation and with the only positive of being the better Cape Town team. So the players want to give me the boot.

I tell them that while they may be right, nothing will change if they don't join in the effort. Most take it well. Wambi, Sebastiao and De Goede leave still angry.

Thanda Royal Zulu
I start Van Graan again. He's expecting a promise for first team from two months ago and I want to bring Bulu on fresh when the opposition is more tired. A corner sends them ahead. And Mokoro things defending is placing his body between opposition player and opposition goal and follow like a duckling his mother. I take huge risks with a little over a quarter hour to finish; but I can't see how we can win if my players think football is follow the ball with the only objective of seeing how the opponent makes the control. Last seven minutes. It's suicide mission. Lots of good far post crosses but nobody gets close to thump them in like in the start of the season.

And they've got their way, the board wants a meeting.

They want a win in the next match. Otherwise I'm out. I won't miss the players, that's for sure. It's one of the weak sides, not like the third placed team that beat us 1-0 with luck that they thought to be so bad.

His contract ended and I've not renewed it.

The top 3 is farther and farther and getting there is starting to seem like more than one can hope. Still, meeting the initial goals is still doable if the team picks up form, but then we need to have footballers instead of a kindergarten.

Katsumi Touko

She keeps improving a little each month, which is not bad at all. The fight to stay in the club is in part a race to learn English.


I don't know how the empty spoiler is there. I can't spot any errata with tags.

I think I forgot to mention: I made her preferred team Real Madrid for the most European Cups and Chelsea in part because I normally am Mourinhesque in my managing (save for the press management) and in part as the challenge to want to manage Chelsea for a long period should she get there before Real Madrid calls. I thought Chelsea would be set as one of the clubs more likely to sack the manager in the game, though now that I think about it, in FM15 Mourinho was there until the end. Just as Ancelotti left Real Madrid because he retired.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
February 2016

There is no point in trying to save the job with a completely new tactic. I decide the 3-1-4-1-1 that has been so close to give us some wins is the one to use with just a few tweaks. Milano has the better of the game, but a very lucky penalty that not was lets Baldé the chance to score the winning goal.

And that makes the board satisfied.

Marumo wants first team time. He's right in wanting so but I can't promise him to start ahead of Bulu. In the end I have to offer him away. Whether someone wants him is another matter. Also, Wambi talks with another club and won't be here next season.

I'm also quite angry because the two scouts decided to leave for other clubs and I wasn't informed of this.

Witbank Spurs
We could have won this if: 1) the keeper knew goalies are allowed to touch the ball with their hands 2) balls over the defence were sent OVER the defence and not to their heads.

Another player will leave us at the end of the season. I know, if I stay it will be a tough job to have a squad next season, but this won't give any success.

Highland Park, Cup
Giving thought on how to make the three back formation more offensive I've decided to turn to the 4-2-3-1. Set pieces: where to let opponents alone when in open play they can't be given space without being too obvious. It's with 2-0 down the players begin to make some effort. Somebody can explain what is Mazibuko, right winger, doing being the left most player?

At least the club gets a little money.

Meanwhile, Sebastiao is happy again. So is Tati.

We get the better chances, but they get the goals.

Month summary and off field.

Many players have got their passing rates above 70% and Ngqobe has improved his passing as well.

And the board isn't pleased, as it should be. I'll be honest. I'm fed up with this team. Sometimes I'm just hoping to get the sack after I finish the English course.

Katsumi Touko.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
March 2016

Highland Park, league
Not the best moment to visit the team at the top of the table.

Then their manager goes on saying I should be sacked. I'm tempted to send him to **** or to have a final vent on the players; but in the end I choose to give a polite answer instead.

I begin with doubts, as I've just tweaked a formation that two weeks ago lost 3-0 to this team, though I did take the time to think on it and I'm sure it will work. Still, I remind that loss and begin to feel doubts. But I settle for it as we seem to control the game and the confirmation arrives in the form of Sebastiao and Kwenene scoring their first goals of the season. Do I keep this 4-2-3-1 or I move to the V shaped 4-5-1? I decide for the latter. The second half confirms I made the right decision, as they turn more on the attack and cause several difficult situations for our defence, but they're dealt with well and eventually we add two goals to bring a great result.

Cape Town All Stars, league
We go with the same formation than the past match, with the only change being Mazibuko taking Tati's place in the support midfield role. Apart from a woeful clearance into the chest of the opponent by Pietersen, things go as well as in the previous match.

FC Cape Town, league
Two rebounds with the fullback of the side thinking on oh how will he be amazing in the next attack instead of looking at the ball.

Newtons, friendly
We go with the first team players who need to recover fitness, reserve, young candidates and a few first team regulars. Shongwe scores his first chance, a fine goal in the seventh minute. Next he scores at his second chance. Five minutes later, Mosalitaga or whatever his name is, wastes what would have been a great header assist from Shongwe. Unsurprisingly he gets the PoM award.

Out of field
Players keep signing contracts with other teams for the next season, this time is Stuurman.

After the Highland match Shellar, who had been our first choice for right back position picked an injury that will keep him out for a couple months. Moeketsi had just taken his place.

It was worse to lose Bulu during the match against Cape Town All Stars.

De Goede also picked up an injury in a friendly to recover fitness and is out till the end of the month since day 14th. He's not being used, no big deal.

19th March, Tati wants a new contract after playing one good match and one poor match. I tell him no money in the club. He insists. I tell him we'll talk soon. We've had enough unhappiness, it's not the moment to have another unhappy player. I won't be improving it much. Just £25 base wage, a little increase in appearance and goals bonus and a 30% increase on promotion.

The young intake has a number of very promision players according to the scouts. One of them, Prince Shongwe I'm considering giving some first match time already. To begin with, I hade to give him a first team contract as he'd reject the youth ones.

Maxwell Mbenyane is another player I may use in the first squad at times, as he has pace and decent ability to cross.

In the end, Junaid Pietersen is the only youth candidate I don't sign. It is telling how poor is my main squad that even the more mediocre candidates look like having something they can provide in not much time.

The board gives the club some cash, £90K, but still not enough to give it a positive balance.

Nothing new, really. We keep losing money and it won't improve. I can see us fielding the youth team next season. Not that it would be much worse.

My job is back to be stable. I may make it to the second year in this hellhole.

Summary of form

It's been a while now that reaching that top 3 was clearly impossible and now meeting the expectation of a fifth place looks hard. Meeting the goals of a top half finish is not yet out of the question, though.

Katsumi Touko

Keeps improving: defending, tactical, technique, mental, knowledge, motivating.

P.S. - I still don't know why an empty spoiler keeps appearing.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
April 2016

Mthatha Bucks, league.
A game we were favourites, we controlled, but a penalty by Tati and a ball dropped by Hoffman let them get away with a point. Disappointing.

Royal Eagles, league.
A starting defensive error by Moeketsi let them get ahead early. From there, we looked dominant but with Bulu just back from injury, we have the past inability returning.

Moroka Swallows, league
Just like the last match, it begins with a mistake costing a goal. Then domination and wasting, until Baldé redeems himself with a pass that enables Tati to assist Mosiatihaga for the equalizer. But the end is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. So they can shot on target when the target is our own goal. I hate this team. Moeketsi is about to redeem himself with an assist, but Mokoro realizes is the opposition goal he's trying to head at so he sends it to the crossbar.

Baroka FC, league
Three matches to the end of the league. Mathematically we could still be eighth and we could also get relegated. Realistically tenth is as high as we may look to finish and relegation is highly unlikely. That makes me consider bringing some of those new youths to play some of these matches. But they played the same day and I can't. At half time I chose to tell them they were doing well to avoid making them nervous. First time Hoffman is caught napping. He's rarely interested. Not going to miss him.

Mbombela Utd, league
This is the team right behind us. Despite playing away, I choose to be aggresive and field a 4-2-4 with the rigth winger being Mbenyane and Shangwe in the bench. A mess over the line and a corner and the team loses morale. One goal from a corner, but then nothing. Three youths had time. Relegation is mathematicaly avoided. Baldé out for three weeks.

Santos FC
A level match with few shots. Kwenene gets the second yellow card early in the second half and I feared they'd get the win; but I chose to keep being aggressive on the attack to seek the win. In the end, both teams have a few good chances, but neither manages to score. The season is finally over.

An extremely poor end of the season that sees us drop to 13th position and a very unhappy board. Probably I will be looking for a new team soon. I feel I got overconfident at the start with the alleged quality of my squad and then an unhappy squad did the rest to prevent picking up form.

Goals shared between many players, but nobody a clear goalscoring source. That's been the main issue. Defensively we've been around average, ninth out of sixteen teams in less goals scored; offensively we're the thirteenth team.

As expected, during the evening the board calls me for a confidence meeting. I have the notice in my e-mail.

Now I wonder. Do I have interest on staying? One one hand, almost every player ends contract and I'll have new players with no past with me. In the other, chances of making a better team with the financial situation seems slim. Do I assist or do I just present my resignation?

Well, I have three options, none of which is one I think Katsumi would do, as two of them are false and I doubt they'd hold, the other doesn't hold and is both whiny and (too) unprofessional. I go for the whiny, at least she's not a liar trying to shun her responsibility in this mess.

I really dislike this guy. I try to tell him I know I made errors, he takes as if I'm talking about my inexperience. He ends giving me the chance to stay, but I need to pick ten points from the next five matches. That means win three and draw one with a new team that will likely be ****.


Her English level is still just basic.

P.S. - I don't think this format is very nice. I wouldn't say it looks clean and neither I think it's approppriate for this concrete one as it may be for many others. Next updates I will see to abandon parting it in spoilers.
Found why the empty spoilers. Closing or opening the color tag inside made it break into a new spoiler.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Good luck getting the points needed, seems like a pretty demanding job :/
Yeah, as things went I don't think you can pick in this past season any group of five consecutive matches in which I picked ten points and considering the plans for next season it will be even harder than that makes it look. Enough that the thought of resigning anyway and trying her luck elsewhere are not definitely rejected yet.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Off season. May - June 2016

My first idea was to let every contract expire and keep only the three players that don't end their contracts this season. But it would be way too difficult to have a half decent side. So I have gone offering contracts to anyone who might be useful on reduced wages and back up status. After the talks, in which not everyone was offered a deal and two rejected it, one because he didn't like to be transfer listed (Chabeli) and the other because he wanted too much (Sebastiao), the end result is we'll keep just eleven players. The rest of the squad I will try to fill with loans.

Work on new players begin as I'm informed of Van Wyk scouting being finished. He looks better than many of our players and he signs on a free on low wages.

But I will not make more signings until july, the reason being I want to try to get as many free loans as I can so the finances can improve.

Season awards are announced:

The season review announced is a faithful report of how things went. Disappointment and no player showing to deserve being first choice.

Season can be started in mid june for seven weeks of preseason or July for four. Given the struggle of past season to get match fitness, I will pick the earlier for more time to make friendlies.

I said we had eleven players with the contracts offered. Make that ten. It turns out Abubakar has had his work permit rejected because he didn't play enough matches past season. Someone should have informed me when I came of that.

During this offseason one news item is a new sponsorship deal, giving us a whooping... £5.75K in three years.

With the start of preseason approaching and loans close to end, I see what loans can be renewed without expense. New leans are asked and accepted by the club for Baldé and Mosiatihaga and rejected for Moeketsi and Mazibuko. Pietersen's club demand £180p/w to be paid. That's one of the smaller wages that can be offered and so I accept that, I also set a £40K future fee for him. I don't try to renew Chaz Williams' loan: he's good only for emergency injury back up and he'd demand time sooner or later, for that one of the promising youths is better.

Four shirts sold abroad. I expected less.

We also get the new budgets.

Pietersen doesn't want to come and he was the best centreback I could have.

With the preseason beginning, I get the staff recommending three striers to scout. I would expect recommendations for every position. Oh well. Now it's time to prepare some new tactic systems and decide on how I want the team to play. This past season I tried to adapt to the club and I think, with so much of the team pending to be signed, I will begin by deciding what I want and then sign based on that. If there are friendlies in June, they will be playing with the players who'll stay and youths, with those leaving filling spaces.

Is it my keyboard having either the left Alt or the F9 key unresponsive or FM16 tends to miss taking some screenshots or is there something wierd with xnview deleting images when converting to jpg? Every post I've had to re load the game to take missing screenshots. I think it's Xnview because I'm 99% sure I had renamed the two that have vanished. I should update it, it's been years since I got it and I never updated it.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Off season. June - all deals done 2016

I tweak the 4-2-3-1 and the 3-1-4-1-1 to make them more rigid. I also turn the one into an offensive formation and the second in a defensive one. I make the 4-5-1 a 4-4-2. Then Mosiatihaga and Baldé accept the extension of their loans, the latter getting the work permit.

23rd June we get the pay out for the league position, though we're yet to receive the prize money. Also that it's been the record low for the club.

Tip: don't renew a player contract with non promotion release clause before july, as it's been activated that of Shellar's and De Goede's renewed contracts.

Before June ends, the board injects cash and we get a small profit from a sold player in the past. That means one thing I must do.

With all transfers done, we have fourteen first team players. We need: one goalkeeper, two centrebacks and at least one right fullback, two left backs, at least four central midfielders, as the two we have are out of contract, and two strikers (one of the two we have is a U19 player), preferably adding one more rigth back or centreback, one or two midfielders and a striker.

Friendlies will be set against the weakest rivals possible to build up morale. The first tests the 4-4-2. As expected, it works as a wide diamond, though it's effective defensively against such weak opposition, I feel as if against not so weak teams the spaces conceded back would be too much. For that, the attacking center mid will turn to supporting.

The first batch of loans and signings, based on players with two good of work rate, teamwork and anticipation done, I will search for a new batch of signings based on phisicality.

When the balance of past season is announced, it can't be worse. Well, it can, but it's very hard: 95% of turnover.

TV money is announced, £124K. Goals I set to the minimum offered, top half finish, to avoid pressuring the players too much.

The third and four friendlies are used to check on the 4-2-3-1 tweaks. It doesn't show glaring weaknesses and works well offensively. It needs to be tested again after the three man defense system is.

Nkosi wants to leave to some other club and he's probably my best central midfielder. The scouts come with a goalkeeper who's better than the loaned Mathekwa, I make an offer and immediately he picks a four month injury... but the keeper Pule rejects the loan, so back to look for a replacement. Pitch size must be decided, I change them to standard from minimum, which makes it two meters longer and five wider.

The coming of Innocent Maela to be a backup for the left fullback position and the release of Matthew Rowell, a decent right back who was on too high wages in the reserves, complete the transfer dealings as I can't find any goalkeeper to improve on Ngqobe. So while the injured returns, we'll rely on the youth goalie Shumana to be the back up for Ngqobe should he get injured too.

The transfers have been as follows:

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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Some good signings there, better hope they settle quickly!
Yeah, that is the main concern and why this preseason I'm setting the team cohesion training sooner and for longer than I usually do. Extra worrying because we need to pick ten points from the first five league matches, which I don't think will be easy.

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
Off season. July (end of deals) - august (end of preseason) 2016

August confidence update says the board is more unhappy with me. Because Sebastiao left the club. I can understand that being bad news as he was one of the better players, but I think they should understand that: the financial situation is not okay and I couldn't offer him whatever he wanted.

I change the vicecaptain, who was Eddie Kwenene and give the post to Keeno Shellar, because Kwenene won't be a regular starter like Shellar will.

Bonuses for the squad, minimun for the cup and I let them have a normal league prize not to make them disgruntled.

Two different offers come from Nkosi, but none is from Haras El-Hodoud which is the one he asked me he wanted to move to, so all is good... except he then gets angry for not keeping my promise. My promise was for a different club! If it was for any club with such criteria then don't tell me this specific club!

So I have to offer him out to clubs and look for some other central midfielder to replace him.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHA! I ask the staff to tell me of similar players to him, I see the list and the first I see is Luka Modric, then Moutinho, Iniesta, Lahm, Schwensteiger... I have to tell them it's about players we can sign. They take the papers and leave. I ponder whether to punch or strangle them. I opt to pester them with a lot of different criteria to filter through candidates. If they don't want to work seriously then they'll have to work a lot more than needed. Idiots. A few candidates show up, needing some scouting before deciding.

Many offers arrive for Nkosi, a few for loans. Do I want a loan? That would give us the chance to recover him for next season. I guess I can well accept them, though on the other hand, I could do with the club having some more money and give me a longer time to be able to request a coaching course again. Still, he's a key player so I'll try offering him a job.

After the initial scouting, there are two candidates that stand out: Mkhwanazi and Sibeko. The former is clear favourite by scouts, while to me the later looks better overall. Also the later is fairly loyal, which is something I could do after all the problems of past season. Then, Mkhwanazi is younger and will be around more than a season. I suppose I'll make offers to both and pick Sibeko unless Mkhwanazi happens to be slightly more expensive.

The cheaper will be Sibeko, not only we don't need to pay fees, he also accepts lower loyalty fee, £100p/w less base wages, lesser bonuses.

Finally Nkosi leaves for Guaraní just after saying he was happy to receive an offerby Shakhter Soligorsk. After thinking about it, I decide to say him goodbye. He is polite and responds well. Not really a surprise, he's a sensible guy. Sebastiao would have been more trouble some, as he'd be as likely to shake hands as to punch my face in.

In the Newtons game, a winger is tired, the other already match fit and we have central midfielder not yet fit, so I choose to test a narrow 4-4-2 diamond. Nkoana is good and can play where Nkosi. Khumalo would make a decent second choice. I'm reconsidering the signing for Nkosi. Luckily I still can cancel them. At the start the diamond seems to work well, not leaving all that space at the flanks that it did past season. We score early and after 16' I see the best play since I came to this club, unluckily Massa sends the header to the post.

Not only I'm strongly considering cancelling the transfers, but Chabeli is out of contract and getting seven hundred pounds per week, the second highest wages, so I'm releasing him too, despite being a good player.

Shellar is promoted to captain and Kwenene to vice captain after Nkosi leaves.

Before the last friendly, we get an offer from a top division team for Keeno Shellar. The assistant doesn't say he's expressed a wish to talk terms... I decide to talk to his agent about a new contract and he's willing to talk. I'll offer him a little above what he asks to improve our chances to keep him.

Friendlies are good, most of them being comfortable victories save a couple at the start. The Idas-Valley was harder than it seems, with two lucky goals involved and Massa picking a two week injury. The last three were used simply for match fitness, with a test of the diamond and two of a 4-4-1-1 (modified 4-4-2 in both cases), this one used for the first hour of the last friendly, after which we moved to a 4-2-3-1.

Before the season begins, we're still in positive balance. But I can't still ask for a coaching course, the assistant keeps telling me to wait a little longer every time I bring up the matter.

Now, we're on to start the season with a squad that by scout reports should be allowing us to meet goals better than past season and I do think this squad is better. While the preseason results are simillar, they've shown a little more solidity at the back and only twice they've squandered chances as badly as they did during past preseason. And only one player (Mokoro) on wages above £500p/w.

First five matches, in which we need ten points are: Amazulu (past season 8th), Witbank Spurs (9th), Cape Town All Stars (14th), Thanda Royal Zulu (5th) and Royal Eagles (2nd). Could be easier or harder, but it's three below half table and two above, with one of the top teams.

P.S. - I thought I'd wait to see what happens with Shellar before shutting the game prior to supper and making the update; but it's very likely that would happen after the next opposition report and, given the importance of these next five matches, I don't want to forget to have a proper look at it. Therefore, cliffhanger.
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Death Ball

May 17, 2009
August 2016

Will Shellar leave? Tune in for the first chapter.

He's made an offer and is talking to him! I guess he doesn't want to unsettle potential sold players before it's official whether he gets him or not. Hopefully this will anoy Shellar and add to our chances to keep him.

Then another manager appears declaring interest in him. Shellar says he wants to go on loan, but I think I could reject that.

Just before the first match begins, I get the first support from somebody since things have gone badly.

First match: Amazulu. They're strong against 4-4-2, weak against 3-5-2 and concede to assists from the wings as well as conceding most between 15th and 30th minutes. His manager likes cautious buildup and high pressing.

I decide to tweak the 4-2-3-1 control into a 4-5-1 V counter attacking and to train attacking movement, we can't think of anything but getting the win at this point. At 15' I'll change to a more offensive outloof, probably back to the 4-2-3-1 as it's the time they seem to be conceding more goals. There is no luck in those 15' and I go back to the 4-5-1 V just as they're denied by a late block. A minute before half time, De Goede forfeits a great chance for a counter: 2 v 2 ahead, but 5 v 0 at the other side of the pitch... he passes back to the goalkeeper. Halftime. I'm between the 4-4-2 and the 4-3-1-2 reported as stronger. For either I'd just need one sub. I go for the later on counter. If it goes well in defense, I'll make it more offensive after a few minutes. It does good and I go more offensive in the hour mark. Chances start finally coming. Then at 77:01 Shellar makes a penalty among a crowd. Ngqobe is only very close to saving it. Three minutes, walking back?! Bah, 4-2-4 and let's go all crazy for a goal. Nothing. At 87:00 I go back to 4-3-1-2. Three chances ranging from just decent to good missed. Now we can only get one draw, the rest must be wins. The worst part is the referee apparently got the penalty wrong.

Shellar decides to move to Wits. There's only one centreback that is close to be as good as him, but he isn't great jumping. It's a top division team. If I cancel the deal he'll get angry so I'll accept it now that the contract with the other player has been negotiated.

Lukhele replaces Shellar as captain.

Shellar's substitute comes in time for the next match, though I'm not sure if he'll start. What he lacks in jumping reach in comparison to Shellar he makes up in strength... except he's completely out of shape.

I know I have to win every match of next four (minus one draw) to keep the job, but it'd be nice if it wasn't leaked to the press.

Witbank Spurs.

I go with the 4-4-2, something I had decided prior to seeing the report, which says they're the weakest against it. In the first five minutes the ball spends half a second over their goal line, but no goal is given. The first half is of domination for us, with several good chances, but good goalkeeping and a little bad luck denies us. Only concerns are the yellow cards of Kwenene and Nkoana. I suspect the front pair could use a little more support, so I tel Lukhele to be more aggressive in attack. And sub the yellow cards, getting one man down would be disastrous. More than 50% of shots have been on target, which tells of the difference to past season's strike force. Second half starts with Van Wyk controlling the ball 2 yards out of an empty goal so the defenders can tackle him. At the hour mark Van Wyk and Mhahma decide centrebacks on a deep defensive line don't need to be the players most at the back and leave their striker alone to pick a counter attack. He doesn't waste time controlling the ball. Second match we shouldn't lose that we'll lose. A great Bulu header that would have been a goal gets ruled out because Ngcepe was offside. Refs should learn the rules! With ten minutes to go, I again go all out attacking, bringing Mosliatihaga into midfield and in as third striker for Mokoro. I'm convinced most of the offside calls against us are wrong. There's a last minute chance but it's saved.

And so the sack was unavoidable.

Because past year guys didn't know how to kick a ball or didn't want to be professionals and instead spend their time whining.

So it's time to search for a new job. Hopefuly out of South Africa. Only three or four teams are believable targets to get a job at: CEOV from Brazilian Third Division, not applying because their relegation is almost guaranteed; Chunglu Hummel, last and far for the next, 75% of league played, seems there's no relegation, doesn't sound very appealing; Zacatepec, last in Mexican Promotion league but it's after six matches and it was expected to finish midtable... just like Vasco CT; finally, the more attractive team is Crotone from Italian Serie C/C who have not started the season and are predicted third and is probably asking for too much, though it's the team in which the leading candidate has the worst chances so I'm applying.

They don't even consider me, they say the interview process is over. I should have left Vasco without waiting to be sacked.

So I send an application to Zacatepec.

After her time there, Katsumi has earned the Continental C license and has improved in a good deal of things. Not a complete waste of time, though it'd been nice if players had respected her a bit more and those from the first season knew how to kick a ball. Also, she's now a good level of English.

We can see some changes in FM16 I wasn't counting with: Determination and man management have improved, which they didn't in FM15, while Working with youngsters, adaptability and level of discipline remain unchanged as in FM15. Also, learning languages is now a longer process: until FM15 it was 5 months basic, one more month fluid. Now it's 5 months basic, 5-6 more months good, ??? fluid.
Also, imgur has given me trouble past three updates. Photobucket has the annoying edit the addresses or it won't show. Any third free image hosting one can get links easily for the images?

Death Ball

May 17, 2009
September 2016 - ???

Mid september. I'm still in South Africa. Being sacked hurts more than I thought. A lot of interviews, annoying asking how I feel and yadda-yadda, I answer politely but I wish they'd leave me alone. There's no answer. Come 18th I check and I find they've hired a manager but I've had no reply whatsoever. I apply to three teams: Borgossesia, last qualified in Serie C/A with 0 points after four matches, and two teams from Brazil's third division that are first and second of their groups nearing the end. Then Carrarese, which is with 4 points out of relegation in Serie C/B and Henan from China's top division. Carrarese say interviews are over. Henan also fails, so Rehne second in China's second level is sent my application.

5th October, Renhe contacts me with a job interview, which I lose no time in attending. Failed.

During the month, more jobs are applied for, some are rejected without a reply, others at least send one. Another one (Borgosesia) offer an interview but also reject me. The right vision but not the person, they say.

Finally, at 11th November Anyang comes back with a job offer. They're fifth in the South Korean second division, five points behind promotion play offs with a game in hand, a total of three before the end of the season. One of the less imbalanced squads, built for a 4-4-2 narrow diamond lacking central midfield and with way too many strikers.

Anyang has the third scorer of the league. By the goal difference one can see that either he's the only scoring or their defense is poor. I'd like to think the second, after Vasco CT I'd rather not see another team unable to direct a ball.