NOT Another San Marino Story 2016

kandersson

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It's back. After my infamous FM12 effort http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/football-manager-2012-stories/87029-not-another-san-marino-story.html I'm finally prepared to embrace The Great San Marino Challenge through a (very) long term save - again!

As famous Sammarinese legend Alberto Rossini I took over both the club and the national team at the very start of the game; these are the main goals of the Rossini Agenda:



  • [*=center] Take the club from the semi-professional italian Serie D (4th tier) to the (once) great Serie A, and then to continental success.
    [*=center]Improve the pathetic standard of the national team - one of the weakest in the whole world - with a long term goal of qualifying for and eventually WINNING international tournaments.

  • [*=center]Improve the club in every possible way - facilities, junior coaching, youth recruitment, reputation - in order to produce better and better SM players and lead the NT to a new era.

  • [*=center]Develop SM youngsters and give them chances to play with the first team as soon as possible, with a long term goal of implementing a strict Cantera Policy - i.e. only playing SM players produced at the club.

  • [*=center]Find the new Alessandro Paolone (my world class striker from FM12), and make him one of the top strikers in the game.


I've already played a few seasons, so I have a lot to post. Not sure about the layout and level of detail of updates, hopefully this can have the same success as the FM12 story :)
 
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kandersson

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San Marino: The Club



After relegation from Lega Pro (the former Serie C) and change of format of Italian lower leagues San Marino find themselves as a semi-professional club in the semi-professional Serie D (national 4th tier, divided in several regional divisions). Which basically means no money, non sponsorship, no TV contracts EVER. Needless to say it's imperative to get back to professional football as soon as possible.

Club and Facilities



A lot of improvement is needed as you can see. From the tiny San Marino Stadium - 5000 seats - to below average youth facilities and basic recruitment, things need to change for the Titani if we want to start a new era for both club and country. Gaining back professional status and playing in Lega Pro is definitely first in Rossini's to-do list.
 

kandersson

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San Marino: The National Team



I was actually surprised to find the NT slightly improved from the start of the decade:



192nd place in World Ranking! Quite impressive as I was used to 208... San Marino legend Andy Selva is still leading the line, while Aldo Junior is still the best goalkeeper in the country. Troubled defender Mirko Palazzi has now a valid SM passport and can play with the NT from the start. Former Titani trainee Matteo Vitaioli provides (some ) quality on the wings. These veterans are current top players in the nation - all playing in the amateur Sammarinese League or below Serie D in Italy...

There are some relatively promising youngsters though. The Benedettini cousins, both GK's, offer depth and some hope after Aldo Junior. Attackers Tomassini and Bernardi could develop into half-decent Serie C players.

This is going to be almost too easy...​
 
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kandersson

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Season 2015/2016: Serie D



Welcome to Serie D, the non-professional **** of Italian minor leagues. Due to all kinds of troubles - from bankruptcy to match fixing scandals and general lack of money - the Italian FA recently changed the format of lower divisions, cancelling the old Serie C1 and C2, replacing them with the new Lega Pro (3rd tier) and 'promoting' the regional Serie D divisions as 4th tier.

Serie D is made of 9 (!) different groups for a total of 171 (!!) clubs, with the winners of each league gaining promotion for Lega Pro. Quality of the teams is generally hopeless (this includes San Marino of course), with the single exception of fallen giants Parma (re-born in Serie D after last year bankruptcy), and of course they happen to be in our group.

League & Cups





That was close. Parma started slowly but finished strong, while the Titani were more consistent throughout the season. An early exit from the Serie D Cup proved to be a blessing in disguise as we could focus on the league, while Parma made it to the final - ended the season without winning a single trophy though. The cup was absolutely useless by the way, with no real bonus coming from it - no promotion and no prize money. The mysterious Poule Scudetto at the end of the year (played by winners of Serie D divisions) also didn't have much value, we still won it nonetheless to celebrate some kind of double.

Transfers & Best Eleven





Only expected to achieve a safe mid-table position, San Marino needed a complete personnel overhaul to compete with mighty Parma, luckily this is pretty much my bread and butter! Despite nearly no budget and thanks to the wonderful non-contract deals (God bless non-contracts!) I managed to put together a very good squad for this standard of football, relying on my traditional recipe on youngsters on loan from parent club Cesena and seasoned veterans with a pedigree. Loanee star Mirco Severini was our player of the year, while striker Claudio Santini was Serie D top Scorer. Veterans like Taddei, Bedin and La Vista (all near their 40's...) set an example for youngsters with their mentality and experience.


It was very important to get out of Serie D in the first season despite the challenge of Parma, finances are simply awful at this point, losing money every hour despite very modest wages (mostly non-contracts!). Lega pro won't bring much money either, but it will be vital to claim back Professional status and put San Marino on the map again. It was also a debut for me in Serie D, as the lowest point of my San Marino experience was previously the defunct Serie C2 (still 4th tier, used to be a pretty respectable pro league though...), so I'll add this to my SM resume!​
 

kandersson

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National Team Year 2015



This is what you're all here for, who cares about the club it's all about the National Team!



Relax, it's worse than it seems. And I promise it will get even worse before it gets better. Shockingly missed EURO 2016 can you believe this? Also, Andy Selva retiring at the end of the season, unsuccessful NT staff recruiting and... not much else really.

The great hope:



Left winger Matteo Golinucci, an unusual 5 star prospect from first youth intake. Of course it's 5-star compared to our hopeless Serie D players, so if he could someday become a Serie B caliber player it would be a success (note from the future: he sucks).

Other reasons for optimism:

Serie A side Udinese and their graceful owner Pozzo have now a Sammarinese feeder club from the local league. More interestingly, it's that specific type of affiliation that improves the chances of regens from feeder club's nationality. Yay! Had a holiday test before starting this save and indeed Udinese came up with a very good SM prospect in their first youth intake. (Note from the future: they have not produced a single SM player as of 2020 in my save).

San Marino staff knowledge: it works! Lower league clubs (mostly Serie D clubs) seem to absolutely need to hire my coaches as their new managers, and this has resulted in hopeless Serie D side Ravenna producing a SM regen thanks to my former (Italian) coach that had a full bar of SM knowledge. I don't need to tell you that the regen was absolutely hopeless, but can you see the potential of this? Of course clubs are now poaching my top foreign coaches, but someday they will only be able to poach my all-SM staff...​
 
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meguel

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I've been waiting for this, I tried last year and got to about 2024 before getting bored of dominating Europe without any decent prospects coming through the academy.

Have you got the SM domestic leagues loaded?
 

kandersson

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I've been waiting for this, I tried last year and got to about 2024 before getting bored of dominating Europe without any decent prospects coming through the academy.

Have you got the SM domestic leagues loaded?
Yeah, using claassen's SM leagues. Hopefully I can get SM feeder clubs someday and help their development.

I must say from second season we have been producing 1-2 good SM youngsters each year, obviously the best have dual nationality and reject the call-up for NT... it's ok though, I know how to deal with them (H)
 

meguel

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Yeah, using claassen's SM leagues. Hopefully I can get SM feeder clubs someday and help their development.

I must say from second season we have been producing 1-2 good SM youngsters each year, obviously the best have dual nationality and reject the call-up for NT... it's ok though, I know how to deal with them (H)
What do you do with them? Reserves until their late 20's?
 

kandersson

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What do you do with them? Reserves until their late 20's?
If it's like previous FM, best case is they wait until 22 before accepting a call-up, worst case (i.e. if called by Italy U19/21) is 24. So first of all I'd withdraw them from Italy whenever I can to keep SM as their 'main' nationality.

Then between 18-22 (or 24 in worst cases) I'd loan them out to my foreign feeder clubs to give them playing time and boost their development, while also keeping them under the radar of Italy. Ideally these clubs should be located in unfashionable leagues and countries, in FM12 I had my personal network for defectors, from Czech Republic, to Cyprus and Israel... Keeping them in the reserves at San Marino (beautiful place, sun, sea, clubs, food, tax haven) wouldn't be an adequate punishment!
 
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If it's like previous FM, best case is they wait until 22 before accepting a call-up, worst case (i.e. if called by Italy U19/21) is 24. So first of all I'd withdraw them from Italy whenever I can to keep SM as their 'main' nationality.

Then between 18-22 (or 24 in worst cases) I'd loan them out to my foreign feeder clubs to give them playing time and boost their development, while also keeping them under the radar of Italy. Ideally these clubs should be located in unfashionable leagues and countries, in FM12 I had my personal network for defectors, from Czech Republic, to Cyprus and Israel... Keeping them in the reserves at San Marino (beautiful place, sun, sea, clubs, food, tax haven) wouldn't be an adequate punishment!
Those pesky defectors! Although wasn't the ST Paolone (can't remember how it was spelt) originally a defector? So all can be forgiven if they see sense in the end.

I've got a similar save going with a created club from Gibraltar in the Spanish leagues. I tried getting staff for the national team from the big clubs to give them Gibraltan knowledge but they were having none of it. I remember getting a Samminerese player through the Real Madrid academy when I did this challenge and despite the fact he was terrible, I was very happy to see him there.

So far in this save I have seen one Gibraltan produced at my Portuguese feeder club Santa Clara, although again he wasn't very good. We also had a player come through at Chesterfield and after reading this I thought to check whether they had a link with a Gibraltan club, which they do. 3 of the other clubs I've just seen have Turkish parent clubs (Besiktas, Fenerbache and Galatasaray) which is making me think about turning the Turkish league on to increase the chances that one of those teams will produce a regen or two. I have feeder clubs in Spain, Italy, France (Tours FC), Switzerland (Basel), Portugal and even Gibraltar, so hopefully we're going to see someone else pop up somewhere soon. May even try the national team staff route again now the national team has improved to a respectable level.

Anyway, really glad to see you doing this again and looking forward to more updates.
 

kandersson

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Those pesky defectors! Although wasn't the ST Paolone (can't remember how it was spelt) originally a defector? So all can be forgiven if they see sense in the end.

I've got a similar save going with a created club from Gibraltar in the Spanish leagues. I tried getting staff for the national team from the big clubs to give them Gibraltan knowledge but they were having none of it. I remember getting a Samminerese player through the Real Madrid academy when I did this challenge and despite the fact he was terrible, I was very happy to see him there.

So far in this save I have seen one Gibraltan produced at my Portuguese feeder club Santa Clara, although again he wasn't very good. We also had a player come through at Chesterfield and after reading this I thought to check whether they had a link with a Gibraltan club, which they do. 3 of the other clubs I've just seen have Turkish parent clubs (Besiktas, Fenerbache and Galatasaray) which is making me think about turning the Turkish league on to increase the chances that one of those teams will produce a regen or two. I have feeder clubs in Spain, Italy, France (Tours FC), Switzerland (Basel), Portugal and even Gibraltar, so hopefully we're going to see someone else pop up somewhere soon. May even try the national team staff route again now the national team has improved to a respectable level.

Anyway, really glad to see you doing this again and looking forward to more updates.
yeah there's something about seeing a SM player created outside San Marino that just makes me happier than winning a league or a cup :)

Spreading SM knowledge via former coaches turned manager seems to have a lot of potential this time, especially because smaller clubs will often look to hire your staff members as managers when you become a reputable club. I'm breeding Andy Selva and Aldo Junior as future Serie A manager I swear...

One thing you should do to (slightly) boost your chances: add the american MLS. Every year players of all kind of unlikely nationalities are created in youth clubs and MLS academies, in one one year I've already seen stuff like Kyrgzystan, Kiribati and Luxembourg. Seems to be pretty random, Gibraltar or San marino could very well be the next!

Paolone was THE original defector, was close to put him on a strict GK training diet and fine him weekly for his hairstyle back then... very close...
 
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kandersson

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Season 2016/2017: Lega Pro



Back to professional football. San Marino automatically gained professional status after last year promotion, which is very good except for the end of my beloved non-contracts. The former Serie C is made of three different sub-divisions, with winners of each league gaining direct promotion to Serie B, plus other spots available via playoffs. No pressure from the board as they simply asked to avoid relegation and maintain the division.



You could say that I didn't fulfill board's expectations, as the Titani won't play in Lega Pro next season... Bossed the league from day one, and it wasn't even close. Finished 20 points ahead second placed Teramo, and could have been even more as I used many young players for the last meaningless games of the season. Pretty sure Parma would have destroyed this league too. The former Serie C really has become a travesty.

Transfers



No money, no problem. Wheeling and dealing in lower leagues is one of my favorite parts of being a Football Manager: good players beat great tactics, especially at this standard of football. It's really that simple.

Best Eleven



A pretty gifted squad for this standard, especially our attacking midfielders featuring loanee starlets Maleh and Severini (extended both loans from Cesena), and veterans like Turchetta, Paonessa and the old Gasbarroni (he was playing very well before a serious injury pretty much ended his career). Turchetta was our POY (mainly at right winger though), while I also won my personal bet on Martignago, an out and out winger that I trained to be our main striker: he responded well, winning Top scorer award in the process.


Back to back promotions, out of the misery of Serie D and Lega Pro. So far, so good!​
 
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dani3w

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Started very well with those back to back promotions man, always like seeing this challenge, there hasn't been many about this year around.
 

Zlatan Lumic

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One thing you should do to (slightly) boost your chances: add the american MLS. Every year players of all kind of unlikely nationalities are created in youth clubs and MLS academies, in one one year I've already seen stuff like Kyrgzystan, Kiribati and Luxembourg. Seems to be pretty random, Gibraltar or San marino could very well be the next!
Actually I've already seen that happening.
While it has yet to happen on any of my saves so far, I remember seeing said scenario happen in one of WorkTheSpace's video saves as he encountered a Gibraltarian regen in the Colorado Rapids' academy.

Nice start of the experiment so far, you managed to get to the Serie B in only two years, which is quite the remarkable feat so far.
By the way, could you be kind enough to answer this question for me if it's not too much of a bother? (I've always had this doubt), can players get naturalized as Sanmarinese after playing long enough for San Marino Calcio? It would make sense if they did but on the other hand since they play on the Italian system...

Anyway, keep up the good job.
 

kandersson

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Actually I've already seen that happening.
While it has yet to happen on any of my saves so far, I remember seeing said scenario happen in one of WorkTheSpace's video saves as he encountered a Gibraltarian regen in the Colorado Rapids' academy.

Nice start of the experiment so far, you managed to get to the Serie B in only two years, which is quite the remarkable feat so far.
By the way, could you be kind enough to answer this question for me if it's not too much of a bother? (I've always had this doubt), can players get naturalized as Sanmarinese after playing long enough for San Marino Calcio? It would make sense if they did but on the other hand since they play on the Italian system...

Anyway, keep up the good job.
thanks mate, and about players gaining SM nationality... they can't. IRL it takes 25 years to get SM nationality (San Marino is an infamous tax haven with unique privileges for their citizens and doesn't give passports away), and in FM it's simply not possible for a player to gain SM nationality. This is why I always try to find new ways to see more SM players produced at other clubs, a single good player produced abroad can make the difference :)

And yes, anything can happen in those MLS academies. I mean, Kiribati. No seriously, Kiribati!
 

Zlatan Lumic

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It's like Andorra then... (I think it's 20 in real life, but ingame it's still 25 as far as I can remember).

Well, that's a shame... Since sometimes a random Argentinian, Uruguayan or Brazilian footballer might end up playing in the campionato sanmarinese and those could massively boost the national team even if they're players that would be Lega Pro quality at best.

If you allow the use of the ingame editor with your saves, you can actually edit those kind of things (I had to do it with a Catalonia save in FM 2k15 since the author of the editor data forgot to change Andorra's 25 years natualization process) and change it to a more sensible period like 5 years (like Italy and most of the European nations have)...
...Other than that, it's time to suck it up and pray that RNG decides to send you good regens along the course of the project.
 

kandersson

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It's like Andorra then... (I think it's 20 in real life, but ingame it's still 25 as far as I can remember).

Well, that's a shame... Since sometimes a random Argentinian, Uruguayan or Brazilian footballer might end up playing in the campionato sanmarinese and those could massively boost the national team even if they're players that would be Lega Pro quality at best.

If you allow the use of the ingame editor with your saves, you can actually edit those kind of things (I had to do it with a Catalonia save in FM 2k15 since the author of the editor data forgot to change Andorra's 25 years natualization process) and change it to a more sensible period like 5 years (like Italy and most of the European nations have)...
...Other than that, it's time to suck it up and pray that RNG decides to send you good regens along the course of the project.
Nah won't use the editor, not even sure where to find it XD.

Good regens will appear as long as the club keeps progressing and facilities, youth recruitment and reputation are upgraded. After all this challenge is all about improving the club just to develop youth for the NT, if I can get the occasional SM regen from Udinese, from SM staff knowledge or maybe from MLS that's super cool, though the future core of the NT will always be made of San Marino Calcio trainees. Which is also quite cool!

As of 2020 I have at least 3-4 very promising SM regens, not ready to contribute yet but chased by top european clubs. I rejected 8M euros from Bayern for the best one... of course he has dual nationality and no intention of accepting a call-up for SM...
 
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