S.C. Olhanense - The Pride Of The Algarve


Dec 19, 2022
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Welcome to the Algarve and more importantly Olhao and my new save with Sporting Clube Olhanense. Not many of you will have heard of Olhanense before but here’s your chance to follow their journey as they work their way back to the top flight of Portuguese football after a 9-year hiatus.

This club is one I’ve been following for 10+ years with family living in Olhao, sadly it’s usually our summer holiday destination so we always go out of season but hopefully that’ll be changing this year! And of course, we’ll be getting a shirt to go along with this save!

S.C Olhanense used to sit quite regularly in the second division of Portugal until a 5-year stint in the top flight where they reached eight position in 2011. Sadly, with some mismanagement at the higher levels and with some pretty horrendous form they found themselves relegated from the second division soon after in 2017.

To add to the misery Portugal have recently restructured their leagues and there is also now an additional Serie A/B level as the third division so they are technically in the fourth tier of Portuguese football. For a team that once has Jan Oblak and Daniel Carrico in their team as well as Jorge Jesus… in the 70’s, I think this is a real challenge to bring them back up to a level of football they can certainly perform at.

So, the goals of this save are as follows:
  • Work our way up to the eventually win the Liga Portugal title.
  • Build a core of Portuguese players and ideally stick to an all-Portuguese staff
  • Become the highest rated club in Portugal
  • Win the Champions League (of course!?)
Now in Portugal we already have a perfect example of the structure we want to build here.. Benfica. With the profit they have been able to make recently and with a long way to go to get up to the top division we can certainly start building the foundations for this to happen.

(Also, I’ve learnt my lesson after my previous corrupt file and have a 5-rolling save in place to ensure this continues!)

Hopefully you want to come on this journey with me and maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two of Portuguese football?
Season 1 – Getting to know the class of 2023…


So, we have a pretty strong base to work with for this level as we are one of only a few professional outfits playing in the fourth tier. One important registration rule to remember too is that 14 of the 20-man squad need to be trained in Portugal, so we’ll be keeping a lot of players around in the first few seasons.

Here’s how the squad looks…


I’ve started the save with the first window disabled so that we can keep the first 6 months pretty realistic and also I find this helps me evaluate the squad a lot better. Especially as I love to dip into the market to pick up some rogue 40-year-old on a free…

I’m going to be working on getting both Maia and Pires contract extensions as they shouldn’t be anywhere near this level so they’ll be a real coup to keep around. I’ll also try and get the likes of Brito, Ezeh, Major and even Dantas to commit to us a little more too, just so that we have a good core in place moving forwards.

Apart from those mentioned above ill be taking a look at the rest and deciding on who to extend as we move further into the season. Ideally ill be playing mostly homegrown players to start with as they’ll be the ones we need to base the team around going forward and then when the window opens we can potentially get some younger players in to freshen up areas we need to.

Board & Supporter Objectives


The expectations are pretty reasonable to start the save with, with the board expecting us to be pushing for promotion/playoffs this year. Also looking at the last two seasons where Olhanense have been flying but seasons being derailed with Covid has meant that this squad can certainly compete at the top of the league.


The supporters are pretty much on the same page as the board so I think we have a good chance of hitting the goals we’re expected to this year!



So, here’s where ill be putting the most work into to begin with. We have quite a few vacancies and I’d like to get these all filled before the season starts (which is still 2 months away!)

These will only be Portuguese staff members (I may just get an English assistant manager if the right ones out there) but we’ll be dominated across the board with some homegrown staff. I feel this is really achievable and also allows us to have to opportunity to bring in some of our players as they go on and retire in future years too.

Now I’ll be working my way through 2022 to the January window and come back with an update on how it’s all been going and how far ahead at the top of the table we are… right?
Season 1 – December 2022

First of all.. welcome back to Estadio Jose Arcanjo and our lovely looking palm trees!


Some Unexpected Transfer Business

So, I may have got a little carried away after a bit of a strange start to the year!

Although the first window was disabled, I didn’t think about the fact that on 1st​ September teams were able to use the free transfer and loan market to boost their squads!

What I didn’t expect was a good chunk of my squad to have offers come in almost straight away so we ended up doing quite a bit of transfer business in September!

Here’s the business that we completed….


Oh, yes before you ask…. I only went and got RICARDO QUARESMA!


So, we basically had an unexpected squad rebuild in the middle of the first half of the season, something that really threw us off and lead to a bit of a tactical change. We started out with a 5-2-1-2 tactic that was working reasonably well with the players we had, but with a few changes and some of the players available to us being more wingers that full backs I decided to go back to my trust 4-2-4 formation.

Here's how the squad looked as we entered January.

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Fixtures & Results


So, we started off unbeaten in our first 5 games of the season with a strong showing in the cup against Moncarapchense from the league above.

The good form continued across October too but as more and more business was getting done and trying to bed in new players, we hit a bit of a rocky patch. It was super frustrating as I was constantly trying to change things up mid-game but nothing seemed to be working until we hit upon the 4-2-4 formation. Thankfully as we ended the year, we looked to be back on track ready for a playoff push in 2023!

And with all that being said, here’s how the table looked at the end of 2022!

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In the next post you’ll be able to see how we kicked on in 2023 and some of the final pieces to our promotion push puzzle come together…
End Of Season 1 – Level 1 Complete… sort of.

So, after a bit of a rocky end to 2022 we cleared the deck a little so that we could make a bit of room on the wage budget to bring in some more players. Thankfully now with the window open this was able to happen as plenty of offers were coming in from our youth players.

We also had an offer from Akwa Utd in Nigeria who wanted to bring in Ezeh and paid all of his wages, so an easy yes from us.

With that we were able to bring in Joao Cardoso on a free, a central midfielder to play alongside our star man Pires. Aswell as Cardoso we also struck a deal to bring in Rushesha on loan from Swansea, a central defender who can also fill in at right back, 2 positions we just needed a little bit of depth in as we had the heavy back loaded season coming up!

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We also had some great news in our first Youth Intake. And yes, you can take these things with a pinch of salt but the likes of Delamare and Pinto have already been given minutes for us as they have come straight into the first team squad!

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The Results...

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So, when I say we kicked on in 2023… I really do mean it! We had a fantastic start to the year and with only league games to play we really got in a good run that saw us climb up the league and really cement out place at the top of the table. Yes, there were a few losses and draws thrown in there but at the end of the day the consistency was phenomenal and we really were able to gel as a team as we came to the business end of the season!

With the top form continuing we qualified for the Promotion Playoffs and was in with a real chance of hitting out goals at the first attempt!


So, with a bit of a strange layout to the playoffs in Portugal, we did actually secure promotion by topping our group with 14 points and stayed unbeaten whilst at it! However, we did lose in the ‘Playoff Final’ as they call it on penalties 6-5. It’s all a little confusing though as despite the loss in the final…. This happened!

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So yes, we have gained promotion to Liga.3 and next year we’ll be trying to push on and complete more of our goals for the save!

All of this will be made a little easier by the extremely generous wage budget of £25,000 given to us by the board!


I think with the amount of turnover in the squad and having to rely quite heavily on loans this year we will have a good rebuild on our hands as we enter the new league!

I’ll be coming back with my next update once we hit the end of the summer window!
Good first season. You lost in the final with the team I am managing. Dont you worry that you lost with them, because they got a sugar daddy.

Liga 3 is as easy or hard as this 4th tier, so bring in like 4 players for the main 11 and that will be alright to get the promotion for the 2nd tier

good luck
Good first season. You lost in the final with the team I am managing. Dont you worry that you lost with them, because they got a sugar daddy.

Liga 3 is as easy or hard as this 4th tier, so bring in like 4 players for the main 11 and that will be alright to get the promotion for the 2nd tier

good luck
Ah that would make sense as they were pretty stacked with talent and pretty much dominated their league section all season!

Yeah i've made quite a few changes (as you'll see in the next post) but not too many high profile moves, more just building around the squad we already have in place! Fingers crossed we can push on for potentially another promotion!
Season 2 – Moving on Up Now!

So, we come into Liga 3 after a successful campaign last season and I’m really looking to push on now that we’ve been able to say goodbye to the staff and players that really weren’t up to much in the first year.

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With the way our pre-season and transfer business has gone we’re seen as 2nd favourites in the league this year so back-to-back promotion really could be on the cards!

Here’s what we got up to…

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So, as you can see there are a couple of familiar faces that have joined us this year. Both Amado and Henrique Pires were no brainers to bring back after their successful loans last year and will play vital roles yet again this year. Ideally, they can help stabilise the core of our team as we begin to fill some of the roles out around us that may not be up to Liga.3 standard!

You’ll be able to see where these all fit in on the squad screen below, but just to point out the likes of Andrezinho and Ze Valente really bring that attacking quality that we’ve been looking for and topping this all off with Rosa on loan as our star man up top, I’d like to think that we’ve made a real strike force for the new season.

Most of the outs this year were the ageing players that would only be bit part players this year and it seemed a bit of a waste to keep them in the B Team when we already are starting to build on the youth intake and grow the club a little more.

So with all that being said, here’s how the squad now looks!

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Pereira has taken the no.1 shirt for the time being but will be battle with Maia for that all year.

Pires has moved over to Right back to allow both Machado and Borges to form a new partnership in the centre of defense. We’ll be using Meira plenty too in rotation along with youth player Aubourg finishing off our 4 centre backs. Azevedo has come in to replace Sampaio at left back but again theres not much difference in quality there so this just allows some great depth all across the back line.

Edson Pires and Cardoso remain in the middle after their dominant performance at the end of last year, with Miccolli and Andrezinho (when needed) backing them up.

Now where the most changes have taken place, we now have a new front 4 at the club. Quaresma is pushing 40 now so although still being a top player, he won’t be getting as many minutes this year. We now have depth with Ze Valente, Major, Rodrigues and Amado all being able to play on the Right. On the left we also have the likes of Andrezinho, Amado and even Vilela too.

Up top we have our loanee Rosa and Soares who will be forming a partnership across the year. We then have Fortes and 18-year-old Petrisot backing them up, noticeably Petrisot will become home grown at club and with 4-and-a-half-star potential this is pretty promising.


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So, although we are still nearly £10,000 under our wage budget this is the current state of the clubs’ finances. I believe until we get to the top divisions, we’re really going to struggle to get any sort of real income in, so building that younger core of the team will be vital to keep us ticking over until we can get that level!

Other Club News

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In some positive news we’ve had the next elections at the club and Daniel Carreira has now taken over the club. We haven’t got any additional income as of yet but this does mean we are now a fully Portuguese run outfit (apart from myself) so we’re really working on the goal of building our entire backroom staff as homegrown!

Oh, and finally… check out these beautiful Joma Kits… re-made via https://fmkitcreator.com/ to model the current kits but with that extra little sauce for our second year!

Season 2 – Mid Season Update

So, the first half of the season has been going aswell as we could have expected it to be! We’ve had a couple of tweaks here and there but overall we have a really nice and settled squad and we’ve been reaping the rewards of it!

Fixtures & Results

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So, we’ve been on a bit of a cup run…. At least that’s what I called it! We were able to beat a couple of sides in the league above which is a real positive as we look to the future in terms of squad building. We did stumble when we played Braga (which is to expected) and they really did wipe the floor with us, but overall we cant really complain!

One thing to note for those of you who haven’t played in Portugal on FM before, This whole run only brought in around £50,000 so it’s really not the type of competition than can boost your budget in any way!

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As you’ll be able to see we were able to take that cup form back into the league and we’ve been working really as a whole for the first half of the season! The pairing of Pedro Soares and Alessio Rosa up top have really been deadly and as you can tell from our results it’s really that core of the team that’s elevated us above the rest so far in the league.

Typically, with all of this being said and remaining undefeated so far, we still aren’t pulling away at the top of the table…

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Our real aim for the rest of the season is to ensure we are in that Promotion Playoff stage and then we will see what we can do in the next group stage!

Again, none of these leagues are as simple as they first seem so no matter what it will still need a real big push to end the season.


Quaresma really has aged in the past 6 months so I’ll be looking to replace him sharpish, even if this means moving Ze Valente out of the centre of midfield. Apart from that this is how the side should be looking as we move on…

Ideally with the way we are sitting so far, I’d like to add a couple of players for the promotion push, ideally a central midfielder and potentially a Centre Back / Right Back cover player to add that little bit of depth. Adding them few additional pieces should really help us keep up this good form we are on!

Other News

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Just a note on the finances as we seem to be haemorrhaging money at the moment, although I’m staying within all of my arranged budgets so I’m only doing what’s asked at the moment!

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But then in more promising news I have agreed a new deal here at Olhanense through to the end of the 2025 season, so it’s nice to see a bit of faith being showed from the board that have recently come in!
Season 2 – End of the season & a time to celebrate… maybe?

January Transfers

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Transfers Out

So, there was a little more business than expected that took place in January, mostly just to bring a bit of depth in but also to add that real quality into areas and building on strengths we already have so it can only be seen as a positive!

We said goodbye to Major, Silva and Claudio very early on in January. All players were unhappy at their playing time and with their contracts ending at the end of the year it made sense to clear a bit of space whilst making that little bit of extra cash to be able to use if we needed it.

It was disappointing the lose Meira too, a player who started nearly all of the previous season, but with the moves we had made in the summer we just couldn’t offer the game time he needed so we had to say goodbye. Although I won’t turn my nose up at £10,000 at the moment!

The only other outgoings were some loan moves to help with a bit of development for players so we’ll see how they turn out at the start of next year!

Transfers In

So in the lead up to the January window I managed to bring in a boat load of youth prospects to start working on our youth set up at the club. This is where Astrom, Vilmar & Hammouche come to play. They all have 5-star potential and will eventually be home grown at club, so a real positive for the younger age groups at the club!

David Oliveria is the only signing we brought in for the first team that wasn’t a loan, and for good reason! He’s a real star that slots straight in as our best defender and allows us to rotate a little more in our back line. This was also backed up with Daniel Frey who comes straight to fight with H. Pires at Right Back, a position I really wanted to strengthen.

The other piece of the puzzle that I managed to secure was Dalla Riva who comes in to play in the centre of the park. The youth prospect from Verona has a real bit of quality on the ball that should help fit that box to box role nicely.

After I knew that Major and Silva were leaving I felt that we needed a bit of back up on the wings and after not utilising it at all so far, I went and scouted out our affiliate club Sampdoria and came across Delle Monache. The young winger has come in at no cost at all and will hopefully provide that backup on both wings when we need him!

The League

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So our great form continued into 2024 (although we weren’t able to remain undefeated for long) and this meant we easily qualified for the promotion playoff stage.

Again, Soares and Rosa ignited their partnership in most games and this allowed us to cruise past most opponents.

So, with all of this, we moved into Promotion Stage Group 2…. Or whatever that means?!

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As you can see the fun didn’t stop at the end of the season as we really pushed our opponents and managed to secure promotion with a couple of games to spare! The whole concept of the playoffs is a little strange to me but ideally (as with any competition) we just went in with the mindset of playing the best XI every game and see where it takes us.

Rosa really was the shining star for us as he played a good majority of April with an Injury. Also the likes of Andrezinho and Ze Valente who have been playing in the middle and out wide have been key parts to our promotion winning squad.

Also, as we celebrated the promotion an additional game popped up in the calendar… the Liga 3 Champions Playoff Final. < You tell me?!


But of course, we managed to win this too, seeing off Joao Ver on penalties (after we missed our first one too!) Capping the season off perfectly and making it a real season the remember!

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So here’s how the final table looked at the end of season 2!

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As you can see, all of our January signings player a role in the back half of the season, whilst also not annoying too many of the players we already had here! A special shout out goes to some stand out players….
  • Pedro Soares – 22 Goals and 4 Assists
  • Alessio Rosa – 17 Goals and 7 Assists
  • Ze Valente – 18 Assists and 4 goals
And finally, a shout to both Tiago Maia and Tiago Pereira who shared the spoils in the net this year. Both had been suffering with injuries but we didn’t notice any difference when the changes were made, so a really shared role for them this year.

Other Club News

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So, the board injected a bit of money back into the club to keep us above that -£1 million balance so we’ll continue to keep an eye on what’s going on there…

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With all this balance talk though, this hasn’t seemed to effect their willingness to spend money as they’ve offered a good chunk of money for our wages for next year!

Looks like it’s going to be another window of picking up players on free’s!
Season 3 – Can we make this year another promotion year?

We come into Season 3 after back-to-back promotions and a strong squad in place to really kick on for the third year. The board offered a good amount of money to be able to bring in some quality free transfers and hopefully utilising the loan market will allow us to build a competitive squad for the second division in Portugal.

Before we take a look at the completed transfer business, check out these beautiful kicks for season 3!

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Transfers Out


So, there are a couple of players we’ve let go this year that you will see in a minute have been upgraded in their positions, sadly with this jump from the third to the second division being a lot bigger than in previous years we really did need to make some of the moves. The likes of Sampaio, Rodrigues, Cardoso and Azevedo were just that step below what we needed so I decided to move them on and bring in a little extra income.

All other free transfers were just players at the end of their deals that we wouldn’t be renewing so got them off the wage bill as early as possible.

We also decided to let Pires leave on loan to get some game time that we really wouldn’t be offering this year. The other loans are just youth players with great potential that should benefit with some first team minutes this year.

Transfers In


So, as you can see, A LOT of business has taken place this summer! We’ve firstly upgraded our starting XI with some star quality in the free transfer market and filled out the remaining slots with some top young players in on loan.

Milburn, Boende, Alejandro and Causse are youth prospects so will be moving up and down between the u19’s and first squad this year.

We’ve signed Paz as our new right back along with Nyakossi on loan who will play at both CB and cover the RB position. Mbe Soh has also come in as out new first choice CB after he was released from Nottingham Forest. Then we’ve full revamped the left back position with Romero (now our highest earner) and a loan deal from affiliate club Sampdoria, bringing Giordano in.

I managed to get Le Bris and Sa on loan with a very small fee and they’ll be commanding the centre of midfield this year, with Pires and Andrezinho backing them up. Then we’ve also brought in another Andrezinho (I know right!?) who will be able to fill in both in the middle and on both wings!

Sanca will be our new Right Winger and has some great potential for growth too. We will also be looking to use youth player Alejandro quite a bit as he looks like he could really be a star!


Then finally we’ve added some depth up top with Lescano coming in and versatile striker/winger Ihsan Sacko. As you’ll see soon, one of them has hit the ground running!

Squad Overview

So with all that being said, this is how our squad looks now the window has closed!


And also as we’ve already had some games played before the window has closed, I feel like its worth showing you has well we’ve been playing so far!


Yeah Sacko is the mannnnnn!!!

Club News


So we’re expected to have a real decent season considering we’ve just been promoted. And I reckon if we can really keep this squad together and don’t pick up the injury bug then we could push for some playoff spots!

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We’ve also just agreed another new deal for 3 years with the club so more positive signs moving forward with SC Olhanense!
Season 3 – Positive Signs in January!

So we’ve worked our way through the first part of the season and there’s some real positive signs in our first year back in the second division. We have also been able to do reasonably well in the cup so a little bit of extra money (although its pennies) and more game time for some of our squad players!

Here’s how it’s all gone…

Cup Results

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So annoyingly we didn’t get too much of a run in the Taca De Portugal this year as we were drawn with Benfica in the first round. There was a very clear divide between the two teams so we’ve got plenty of work to do until we really hit the heights of the top of Portugal!

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We had more success in the Taca De Liga where we managed to reach the group phase! Albeit being drawn with Estoril and Porto meant we didn’t get any further, it was still great to beat a couple of top division teams on the way and really looked to help grow confidence for the squad!

League Results

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So we’ve got off to a pretty good start this year in the league and once the window closed we were able to start to kick on and really establish ourselves in the league. One thing I noticed is we had a lot of strikers in the club that we couldn’t offer much game time too and we also had several injuries out wide so we began to struggle and games became a lot tighter.

I decided the best way around this was to try a little formation shift and move to a 3 up top formation with our central midfielders plugging the gaps behind us.


With the mix of strikers up top it really helped us kick on and so far we remain unbeaten in the league with the new formation. We are able to get the ball up top a lot quicker and really overload that middle of the pitch.

We also get the likes of Paz further up the pitch and can whip the balls in to an array of players in the middle! So far so good!

We aren’t blowing any teams away so far, which is of course expected after the jump up the leagues, but we have a great solid base in place!

Here’s how the table looks as we sit nicely on top for the time being…


January Business

We will be looking to do some business in the January window as we now have 4/5 players looking for loan moves and I feel like although we have a stronger youth squad at the moment, we really need to try and get them more developed before they hit first team football. So we’ll be looking to pick up some cheap place holders for now that can help round out the squad for the rest of the season!

Oh and for those who want to check out the whole squad, here’s how we look on the 1st​ January! 😊

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Season 3 – Let the fun continue!

January Transfer Business


It had been just over 6 months since we had an ex star player over the age of 35 join us so it was time…. Cough cough


Yeah we did it! Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is an Olhanense player! With Amado leaving the club aswell as Lescano leaving on loan we were lacking that depth up top. I brought in Silva at first to fill both the wide positions but when the opportunity was there, I couldn’t resist! Auba only wanted 1.2K a week and with his ability still not fallen off the cliff it’s a punt well worth it!

I also bulked out the squad a little with central midfielder Lozano who will fill the hole in the middle aswell as David who will play the role of back up after Borges decided he wanted to leave. All of the incoming transfers were free’s so we were able to help top up the balance a little whilst also being able to become stronger as we face the back half of the season!

Fixtures & Results


So, we became very inconsistent in the back end of this season. I couldn’t find a formation to suit us well and we also struggled with serious injuries out wide so we transformed the 4-2-4 into a 4-3-3 full time. This did allow the likes of Silva, Aubameyang and our remaining fit wide players to play in a more attacking role in the front line.

With only being able to keep a maximum of a 3 game winning streak going we were very shaky as we hit March and April and the playoff race was really taking its too. One thing I found very beneficial this year was lots of rest for the first XI and playing most of my subs and reserves in our B Team friendly matches. The match fitness stayed reasonably high for all of the players and I feel this was one of the key factors that helped us push in the final months, even if they were a little shaky!

As the season came to the final day of the season, the 2-1 comeback win thanks to the double from Sacko meant the game ended like this….


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Yes against all odds we have managed a 3 successive promotion and are now in the top division in Portugal!!!!!

Firstly, I think this is the fastest ive ever been able to get from the lowest to highest division in the country so I’m super happy with that!

However, I really didn’t think it would be possible and I’m already a little worried about the state the club is in as we hit the big leagues! (We’ll come to this in a minute)


We managed to eventually secure the title even though we really weren’t as dominant as previous years which is really a great sign for the club as a whole. We dug our heels in with a lot of the games near the end of the year and are now reaping the rewards of that with this shock promotion!

The Club

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As you can see, Aubameyang chipped in with 10 goals and really did add that star quality we needed in the second half of the year. A massive shout out goes to our forward line players, especially Soares, Sacko and Sanca who all scored 13+ goals this year! We may not have been as solid at the back but we could definitely outscore the rest of the league!

I’m also pretty pleased with both Lozano and David, both who came in January, and made an impact when we needed it the most so a real positive on that side of things too.

From this squad I’ll be sad to see the loan players leave as we wont be able to sign any of them permanently this year. We’ll also be saying goodbye to OG player Edson Pires who doesn’t want to sign a new deal now so he’ll be leaving in July.

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It’s not all bright lights and shining stars at the club though as we are now over 2 million pounds in debt and that’s continuing to grow! This shows in our budgets for the new year…


So, with just £17.1K available in the wage budget we’re really going to struggle to improve next season. I’ll hopefully be able to offload some wages of the squad players who wont cut it at the next level but this will definitely be a tricky summer!

My next update will be when the summer window closes and hopefully, we’ll have some more positive news as SC Olhanense hit the big leagues for the first time since 2013-14!
Season 4 – First Time Back At The Top!

Starting with some bad news…

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After 10 goals in 14 games last season and as I was planning to start building up front line around him… Aubameyang decided it was time to hang up the boots! Just typical!!! Even though he was 36 he really hadn’t lost too many of the attributes needed to perform at this level, so its super disappointing to see him retire when he could have led the line for us this season!

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Also, as we hit January 1st​ this is the state of the season preview. With the club in nearly £2 million of debt and not much wiggle room in the transfer market things were looking bleak.

This was however until our first MAJOR transfer!

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Yes, you read that correctly…. £9 MILLION! After receiving an offer from Porto for just under £6 Million i thought it was worth offering him out to more clubs and the bidding war them commenced. The board of course accepted all of these deals so eventually we managed to settle on the final offer of £9 million from Benfica!

The best part is he wasn’t even in our plans for this year as he still needs time to develop and gain some first team football. All of our prayers have been answered by the FM gods. I am of course disappointed to lose a top prospect however with the step up the clubs made and the level we are now playing at, this money will be stretched a loooooooooooong way as we enter the new season!

Transfer Business


So we’ve already mentioned Alejandro but we also were able to bring in some more money this window, mostly after replacing them all with a little more experience for the top level we are now playing in.

I would say that Ze Valente, Andrezinho (Winger), David & Maia could have all played roles this year but when we have money coming in that we can instantly use to upgrade their position then it seems stupid to keep them around.

The likes of Oliveira, Pires, Machado and Fortes all wanted to leave at the end of their deals so I offloaded them now to bring any small change back, especially when they were only going to be squad players.

Also we’ve managed to start to loan out some of our homegrown youngsters now to gain some vital first team football so we will see how they develop over the next year! Hopefully being able to use them in coming seasons rather than dipping into the market.


So for the first time we’ve actually spent a little bit of money this year, all thanks to Alejandro of course!

As there is almost a whole squad of players that we’ve brought in I’ll break them up into position groups for ease;

The Back Line:

Plizzari has come in as our new No.1 and is also seen as the best player at the club, so hopefully a great stable base to work from as we fight to stay in the division this year.

Aguirregabiria is a right back who will fight with Paz for the wing back role whilst also being able to cover in the middle if we really need it. Hopefully that wont be the case as we now have Bronn, Quaresma and Silva as 3 of the 4 central defenders at the club. With the latter 2 being home grown in nation and on loan they’re a solid option to play alongside Mbe Soh.

Romero will remain as our left back but to help round out the back line I brought in Martos who can also play on both sides and in the middle, so we have a squad full of defensive cover this year!

The Midfield

Ronan is a star signing for us and can play all across the midfield. Ideally filling the hole left by our loanees last season too. Our big money signing Alarcon will ideally play alongside Ronan in the middle and with his main attribute being a defensive minded player he should help with our more defensive look this season. We were also able to bring in Akliouche who at only 23 has some real potential and is already ready to play at this level. These 3 together should help round out the midfield core in the squad.

As the wings were already stacked full of talent, we just tried to build on this with a couple of more high waged star players. These have come from Berko and Brynhildsen who should add real quality out wide. Both players can play as Wingers and inverted Wingers on both sides so add fantastic depth to a position, we are already strong in too!

The Forward Line

Rounding out the squad we have brought in Poveda from Getafe, who is a 28-year-old striker who has scored a few goals in La Liga and hopefully should be our real goal threat. We’ll be partnering him with either Soares or new boy Giuliano Simeone, yeah it’s Simeone’s son…. He’s still pretty young and has the ability to really thrive in the Portuguese leagues! Hopefully we can get all 3 of the strikers firing again to help us remain away from a relegation battle this year!


With all of the new deals we have made we only have 9 players left from our promotion winning squad. This will mean it’ll take a while to get them all settled in and really find our best eleven. However, I do feel that with the amount of quality we’ve brought in we should have a good shot at staying up this year and even more so if we can get the 4-2-4 working again as it has in previous years!

Club News


So after all of the dealings we have made this summer we are now looking a little more positive with nearly £4 Million in the balance. I know this will be eaten away pretty quickly with the higher wages going around, but it’s definitely a better starting place than what we expected at the start of the summer!
Season 4 – Woooaaaahh we’re half way there!

Results so far…


We have got off to an absolute flyer in season 4 and I can’t believe how well its all clicking into place. We are still UNBEATEN in the league and only had one defeat in the whole season in the cup to Estoril Praia.

We’ve also kept our form up in the Taca De Portugal cup so will be fighting to get into the final rounds in the new year.

Our back line has been pivotal so far as we have kept so many clean sheets and its really given us a platform to work from. Especially when it comes to grinding out those 1 or 2 goal wins, we really seem to be able to dominate and control. One point to note is we are still yet to play Porto and Benfica so all things could certainly change in the second half of the season.


So incredibly we are top of the league as we enter the new year! Yes we have teams below with games in hand, but it’s always nice to see that what we’re doing in the transfer market and the coaches brought in seem to be making an impact!

The Squad


So as you can see with the familiarity between each player group we’ve been able to stick with a pretty solid starting XI the whole year. We have made a couple of changes here and there but with the fixture list being far from crowded we’ve been able to keep a strong line-up together.

Both Poveda and Soares having been banging in the goals for us so far, and even Simeone was getting on the score sheet regularly before a long-term injury that’s currently keeping him out.

We have also been able to move the squad around a little and have Silva playing as a box-to-box midfielder, even though I brought him in as centre back cover and hes been thriving in that role. This has also meant that Ronan can play wider and get involved a lot more in attacking situations!

As always, we have a couple of unhappy players that expect more game time (Silva and Mbe Soh) so I think I’ll be moving them on and bringing in a couple of replacements just to keep a bit more harmony in the squad.

In even more positive news we also have our youth setup developing nicely and have these current players looking to push into the first team squad…

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I think Hammouche will be used in the second half of the year aswell as Milburn, just as fixture will no doubt start to clog up the schedule and rotation will start to play a factor.

I don’t expect too much for the second half of this year as we really are flying way above our level at the moment, but if we can get a top half finish in our first year back at the top level that would be fantastic!
Enjoyed the read and nice little sale there to help the club finances, can't complain with that.

Hopefully the second half of the season is as good as the first half.
Enjoyed the read and nice little sale there to help the club finances, can't complain with that.

Hopefully the second half of the season is as good as the first half.

Thanks mate! Appreciate the comment! :D

Yeah i was super dissapointed to lose him as he was already growing so much, but that money has literally funded me and made it possible to get off the foot of the table!

Fingers crossed we keep it all up this year!
Season 4 – The pain of Portugal…



So, our quietest window so far as I didn’t really see much else that we could add to the current squad. Since we were playing well above our level, I thought it was best to just fill holes for those players that wanted to leave.

We were able to bring in £700K for Mbe Soh which is some good profit on the free transfer when we got him a couple years ago now. I instantly sent this money straight out again as we brought in Goncalo Cardoso from Marseille. The £800K we spent here is the most ive spent so far but he really does improve our central defenders core so a real positive step forward.

First teamer Xande Silva also left on loan so his place is being filled by a couple of youth players at the moment just so we can keep our depth in the midfield areas.

I managed to activate the release clauses on Tenconi and Galves, both who currently have 5-star potential so we will see how they develop in our youth setup over the coming year or two!



So as to be expected, the unbeaten season wasn’t to be! The fixture congestion really did catch up with us and February became a bit of a horror month as we didn’t win in 4. The form was very shaky over this period and although we didn’t change the formation I found myself trying to tinker in each game just to grab a goal here or there.

Just as we finally started to settle down again and pick up some results this happened…

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Absolutely gutted as our top scorer Poveda got injured in training and inevitably ended his season! Such a shame as he was one of the key factors in getting our form back on track.

Thankfully the loss of Poveda opened a hole in the squad for Simeone to really come into his own, bagging in 5 of the last 7 games and really helping us push through to the end of the season.

With all these games coming thick and fast we did come up a little short in the cup in the end, sadly losing on the (stupid) away goal rule to Benfica. We were so close to our first final but I think falling at the last hurdle was probably a fair reflection on the quality we had in our squad this year.

So with all this being said, this is how the final league table looked…

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I can already tell that next season is going to be a real battle as our squad really isn’t ready for the next steps yet but I cant complain with that extra cash that’ll be coming in from a European Adventure!!

I genuinely can’t believe how comfortable it ended for us and hopefully with a real good look at the transfer market this summer I hope we can build a semi competitive squad that we can give this opportunity a good whack at!

The Squad That Remains


So, here’s how we finished the season! The team really gelled well this year and I feel like with the right additions to strengthen the squad as a whole then we have a good chance to compete again next year.

Sadly I think I will be losing a couple of players with their release clauses in the summer, both Romero and Brynhildsen have low clauses in their contracts and are refusing new deals so that’s something we may need to strengthen too. We have also already had offers in excess of £5 Million for Simeone, who I definitely want to keep around. So we’ll have to wait and see if he gets unsettled.

Sadly, in the current situation we are still lacking the spending power so may well have to sell to be able to build again, but fingers crossed we can keep this core team together!

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Here’s the full squad look for anyone wanting to see…

Club News


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Of course, with this success we’ve had several offers come in but I’m staying put for sure! (And that’s really helping my relationship with the board!)

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So as we enter the new season we have a little bit of money to spend but id imagine we’ll probably be selling first and then see where we are. Ideally if we can get a squad together quickly the better that’ll be as the European Qualifiers come round in less than a month after the window opens!

Let’s see how we do! #SCOLHANENSE
Season 5 – Squad Building & European Football…

Some Goodbyes…


So as to be expected we have ended up losing both Brynhildsen and Romero to their release clauses but I feel as if bringing in nearly £5 million is a great turn out, especially when we didn’t have much budget available so this was to be put to good use! (Even though they left huge holes in the squad).

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So we ended up with a lot of business taking place this summer as we looked to upgrade and build a squad that could handle a lot more games and still be able to challenge in the top levels of Portugal. Due to this we did have to say goodbye to some players we ideally wanted to keep.

Nonge Boende bringing in £1.5M is a good move as he was yet to play for us regularly, but with high potential it is a shame we didn’t get to really see the best of him.

Bronn was going to be our third CB this year but with an offer coming in and as he was looking to run his contract down already, it seemed the best move for the current place were in.

Berko was now 31 and with some value still there I decided to cash in on him. Also the issue of having some more homegrown players at the club started the highlight itself a lot more so I thought it was best to free up some space there.

The likes of Silva, Andrezinho, Sacko, Sanca and even Paz had all shown last year that they weren’t able to make the step up to the higher level when we needed them, so instead of sending them on loan I decided to get rid of them for pretty cheap just to clear some wages out of the club.

All other deals were loans to help with development, I’m especially looking forward to seeing how Hammouche and Delamare do on their loans as they should come back really pushing to make it into our first team!

Welcome to our Rebuild!

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Soares / 500K – We now have a backup keeper who is trained in nation and also can compete for the top spot if he develops a little more. It was an easy pick up to fill the squad up and hit the quota too.


Sibanyoni / 500K – So this one is a little risk. He had a release clause as 500K as has the potential to be a leading player in Portugal. He plays at CB but im also training him at right back too. We’ll see how he develops, but at only 18 he will certainly be in the squad and get some game time too.

Quaresma / 500K – This was an easy one. After his loan last year and being transfer listed we made the move and keep him around the squad.

Vinagre / FREE – Ruben is our new left back, its as simple as that. He has premier league experience and is home grown in nation. It was a really easy and simple decision and im glad we managed to secure him as there was several offers coming his way.

Ze Carlos / FREE – He comes in as our new right back and will fit in straight away. He’s 29 but has some real quality in the attacking roles so helps with that wing back position we play.

Burns / LOAN – Finley comes in from Man City as our 4th​ centre back. A role which means he also wont back it into our European squad but will get plenty of game time in our congested schedule. Also as a young player you never know how well the develop and could mean he gets plenty of game time at the back end of the season.


Prescott / 125K – He is another young prospect who was highlighted by my scouts with a low release clause. Again it is a little bit of a risk but if we can even spin 1 other player for £9M like we have done with Alejandro then we will be flying!

Hedilazio / FREE – Manuel comes in as a right and left winger and will be good backup for the squad. He basically replaces Sacko and Sanca from last season.

Sousa / FREE – Sousa originally was brought in as our new left winger but as preseason has gone on I feel as if he’ll be more suited to that deep lying playmaker role. Again hes a star player who can fill several positions for us so id imagine a lot of game time for him this year.

Sandry / FREE – Now he really is our star signing! His quality and level is way above us at this current time. He’ll be our box to box midfielder in every game we can possibly use him. He seems to have the fitness and stamina to fulfil that role too so fingers crossed we have a real gem on our hands.

Gelabert / FREE – So again another versatile player who can play all along the midfield. He’s really a depth player that will get plenty of time in the league and lower cup matches.


Tavares / £1 Mill – Our new superstar striker has come in for a club record breaking fee and I’m hoping hes worth every penny! As you’ll see in a minute hes hit the ground running and really has the potential to make a big impact in Portugal this year. A real steal for £1 Mill!

Artola / FREE – Another free transfer and another depth player signing. He’s a younger player that can play both midfield and up top so will be used sparingly across the season.

Bustos / LOAN – Nahuel was a bit of a late addition as I realised both Simeone and Poveda are still out with injuries so he’s come in to bridge the gap left aswell as having a bit of quality going forward. Id imagine hes getting a lot of game time off the bench whilst hes with us.

Tavares & Pardal – Both are just cheap youth players that may have potential in future years but we’ll have to wait a while to see how that all goes.

The Squad

So, here’s how we look as a full complete squad (as you can see, we have played a couple of games so far…)

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End of Pre-Season

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So after the success last year we were drawn in the third qualifying stage of the Champions league vs Rangers!


Sadly it wasn’t meant to be as we lost in extra time of the second leg. Tavares of course scoring 5 in 2 is a real positive sign going forwards! With all of this being said though, this does mean we qualify directly for the Europa League Group Stage now! So it’s time to continue our European adventure….

Also with all the wheeling and dealing and with some European money starting to filter in our balance is looking the healthiest its been in a long long time!

Season 5 – The European Journey Continues…

Since I forgot this on the last update, a new sponsorship and Kit deal has been agreed for the next 3 years so it was time to update them…. And don’t they look beautiful!

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European Journey

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So we’ve really hit the ground running and seemed to have found our level in the Europa League. We started off with some generous ties which did help build a bit of momentum as we entered the Atletico Madrid game. What came next was incredible! We blew them away and really outclassed them, with the game never looking in doubt after Simeone’s 19th​ minute opener!

We also played really well against Southampton in a bit of a ding-dong battle! With that all being said and with 2 games left to play we’re in a really good position to progress to latter rounds and keep that sweet European money coming in!

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Iffy Domestic Form…

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So with all of the European football coming into play and with a much more congested fixture list we started the season off pretty poorly and really struggled to find any form. Of course our arch nemesis Benfica beat us yet again (We also have them in the cup… yet again!!) and we really cant seem to find a way past them.

Also looking at the fixtures the first 5 games did seem pretty harsh scheduling, but we managed to find a way through it all and have settled down a bit more ow. We’re currently on a 10-game unbeaten run and are still in all the cups so there’s of course some real positives there.

Here’s how the league table looks on the 1st​ January…

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Ideally if we want to keep pushing and building on the success of last year, we really do need to get into the Europa League this year. The board aren’t expecting anything more than a top half finish but with the team playing as well as they are at the moment we really could push our way up there and keep the battle going near the top of the table.

The Squad Overview

For those wondering, here’s how the squad looks at the moment.


Annoying Soares seems to want to leave on loan so ill need to bring in another back up goalkeeper… again. And also, I want to try and integrate a few younger home-grown players into the squad, especially with so many games coming across over the 4 competitions were still in.

Martim Tavares has been incredible so far and worth every bit of that £1 Mill that we spent on him. Also, as you can see from the player ratings the squad as a whole has really been performing well and being able to mould them into this formation has been key to the success so far.

I’m going to try and stay out of the transfer market, apart from replacing anyone who leaves. There’s no need to unsettle the squad and only if there is that real strong additional piece to add to the quality we have then we’ll do some business.

In other news with the success in Europe so far, our bank balance is looks very bright!

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Now I’m going to be making the most of a chilled Sunday and cracking on with this season!
Season 5 – So so close….

So, after little business in the January window, I looked to try and build on that momentum from December and really push our way up the league table! It was also nice to be notified early on that we had a player in 3rd​ place on the NXTGEN list!


Our young centre back has really been making an impression and led to Quaresma moving to right back full time so he could be a regular starter for us alongside Cardoso.

European Football

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So as you can see we managed to progress well into the Europa League this year but the premier league challenge against Newcastle was just a step too far for us at the moment. The best way to describe this was in fact in January, where we couldn’t even afford to bring in some of their youth players. So to be able to make a tie of it was a nice sign! It of course brought in some good money to help boost that budget as we hit next season!

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Sadly we also didn’t achieve any great success in the national cups this year, however we are certainly getting closer to that first taste of silverware at the top of the Portuguese game!

Fixtures & Results

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So, we had a very very very good back half to the season. We finally broke the curse and managed to beat Benfica but in typical standard we then couldn’t bear Porto who were on fine form the whole season!

As you can see from the results we ended the season flying high and really had a fantastic chance to not only secure European football but also the league title! It turned out that the draw against Sporting Lisbon with just a few games remaining made us come up that teeny bit short…

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I cannot tell you how gutted this made me feel. It was so typical that it was the dreaded goal difference that separated us from league glory. Although the fact Porto’s season was that impressive makes it a little better.

We also managed a good chunk of these games without Sandry and Tavares so I feel as if we really are starting to see a strong squad coming together now!

Also don’t forget, finishing second also now means we are straight into the Champions League Group Stage! So a really strong look as we head into the new season and the success keeps on coming for Olhanense!

The Team Overview


So this is how we finished the season and this settled XI was used at every opportunity we had. Moran was a winter loan deal that was made and he had a real impact both on the wing and up top in absence of Tavares. We also had Horta in on loan just to add a little more depth in the cup and European competitions.

Tavares with 45 goals and Simeone with 27 is a joke! They were unplayable for a lot of the season and it shows in their statistics. Also Plizzari in goal was a machine too so ill be ensuring we keep all of them around for a lot longer!

Sandry was the star player we expected but he may well be a one season wonder for us as he refuses a new deal and has a release clause for just £9 Million, so id expect that to be taken this summer.

Ideally ill be looking to keep as many of these guys around as I can, so im hoping it actually is a little quieter this summer. We could do with a solid left back cover option, a depth midfielder and a depth striker. So we shall see what we can do!

For those who want to see more information, here’s the full squad look…

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Moving Forwards


I was hoping for a little more money next year but the board has decided to spend just over £3 million on a stadium expansion so we’re stuck with just a little bit of extra money this summer. We’ll obviously be spending every penny…. Because why not?! So, we shall see how we look as we enter our first ever season in the Champions League!