**UPDATED** Inspired by: The road from 2nd Div. B1 to the Champions League

Jake

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**FRESH UPDATES** Inspired by: The road from 2nd Div. B1 to the Champions League

After reading Ronio's story: http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/f61/the-road-from-second-division-b1-to-the-champions-league-t9189.html I decided to have a crack at managing Cultural y Dep. Leonesa myself. (moderators please dont merge the two threads as i dont want to undermine Ronios story, besides my career has only just begun whereas hes now in the champions league)

For those of you not familiar with Cultural (i certainly wasnt!!) they are a small club in the lowest of the spanish leagues, Spanish Second Div. B1. I'm not used to playing in Spain, let alone at this level so i knew i would have my work cut out.

As i write this first post i am half way through the first season. I aim to do a season every 1-2 days and post updates on my progress.

CLUB OVERVIEW:

I quickly set about gaining a knowledge of the club from top to bottom and spent at least half an hour just looking at my players in comparison to others in the league. I reckoned all the teams seemed fairly even, with a couple of clubs having a stand out player, usually a striker or AMC. Pace is at a premium in this league, my quickest player having pace of 14 and the quickest in the league being only 16 (hes on loan from a Belgian team though)

My facilities are average and i have a 13451 all seater, but my average crowd is more like 5000. All my players are pros, which is an advantage compared to lower league management in England. The staff seem OK-ish but i added a scout and 4 decent (for this level) coaches. i also replaced the useless asssitant manager with a Brazilian who seems half decent. Most of my training is 4 star with 3 star set pieces and 5 star goalkeeping.

There are literally zero exciting prospects in my frankly oversized B and U19 sqauds so i will not be renewing many of those contracts when they expire.

SEASON ONE:

I arrived at the club with little knowledge of this level of the Spanish game and without much cheer or expectation from the fans or the board about my arrival i quickly realised it wasnt going to be easy.

The board expect a mid table finish and give me no money or flexibility. The fans seem unconvinced by my arrival and i noticed a crowd of 12 at my first game in charge, a 4-0 friendly win over Sporting Clube Lamengo.....

I decided to exceed board expectation and go for glory. My plan is to win the division or at least gain promotion this season. Then to acclimatise for a season or 2 in Liga Adelante. Then after restructuring the squad i will push for the big time of Liga BBVA (didnt it used to be La Liga??)

I identified my biggest threats to the title as Real Union and Ferrol. I also expected the 'B' teams of bigger clubs like Deportivo, Sporting, Racing Santander and Real Sociedad to mount a challenge.

However with no transfer money (%age of transfer revenue made available was zero as well) acquiring players would be difficult. And I was already just over the wage budget of 9.8k per week. At least the club had no loans to pay back.

I decided to see who if anyone would be interested in coming to have a kickabout down at the Reino de Leon Stadium and wasnt really surprised by the results. My best signings were former Barcelona and Spanish internationals Dani and Gerard. Both brought prestige and experience to the club but did little to improve the sqaud in terms of ability. My other signings are in the screenshot. De Coz, Matej Rapnik and Alejandro Rocamora being the only players of note. All free transfers of course.

In vain i bid £0 for Saviola at Madrid and they accepted but the little tinker didnt want to come to play at 'la culturalistas' as we are known. We'll see whos laughing in a few seasons Javier...

The media and the bookies ahd no faith and tipped me for a struggle, with a mid table finish at a push. As I expected, Ferrol and Real Union were tipped to win the league.

Currently in January of season one I'm top of the league and I've suffered my first defeat of the season (after a 20 game unbeaten run) a dissapointing loss really. The fans and board are loving it. Their only gripe being my signature of striker Fabio Lemes, who may as well be called Fabio Lemon as far as they are concerned. I'm hoping his Brazilian roots shine through soon as i dont know if Dani has the stamina to last the whole season. Ive noticed that the 'B' teams of the big clubs who I expected to push me hard are really struggling, which means I've only got Ferrol, Real Union and new pretenders Ponferradina to deal with.

In the January Transfer window i secured the signature of Fernando Couto (110 Portugal caps!) to add some extra strength at the back (not that i need to stop leaking goals as the screenshots show) The guy is 39 years old but he's still one of my better defenders.



I will update when i finish the first season later tonight.
 
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Jake

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SEASON REVIEW:

Great Success!!!

4th in Spanish 2nd Div. B1
Promoted from playoff system to Liga Adelante
No cups entered at this level.

After a tough first season in the Spanish 2nd Div B1 i eventually finished 4th and qualified for the playoffs. I assumed the winner would see auto promotion but this was not the case. Gerard finished as my top scorer with only 11 goals, but he was well supported by Goikoetxea (10) Dani (8) Rocamora (8) Oscar Rico (7) and Fabio 'the lemon' Lemes with 6 goals. A great season for Oscar Rico saw him topping the leagues assists table with 22 assists!!! My defence was the rock that held my season together, we conceded only 34 goals all season which was a great achievement! The frankly elderly Fernando Couto and young pretender Matej Rapnik forged a great understanding at the back despite the 20 year age gap. Goikoetxea replaced Couto when he needed to go in to day care for a square meal and a catheter change. Goikoetxea took his chances well with solid displays and a 10 goal return!! My fourth place finish was what i expected really but a slight dissapointment compared to my dream first half of the season (undefeated until January) nonetheless i was pleased to be in the playoffs.

At this level of Spanish football there are 4 leagues: B1 (which i was in) B2 B3 and B4. Four teams from each enter a playoff draw which essentially becomes a cup with two teams gaining promotion rather than playing a final.

There were some big sides that worried me slightly. With the likes of Castilla and Cadiz looking like they would pose real problems. i wasnt totally sure of negotiating 6 matches (3 2-legged rounds) and gaining promotion. But i knew that Dani and the boys would give it a good go as they had done all season. Even Fabio 'the lemon' Lemes had found some form during the end of season run in.

My tactics all season had been to pack the midfield with 5 men, one of whom was advanced as an AMC to support my lone striker. When Gerard and Dani were fit the system was perfect and those guys did the business up top while everyone else made sure we didnt concede. (slightly negative i know but very effective) However with the quick turnaround and little time to rest between games i wasnt sure a 34 year old Dani would last the distance, essentially it was 'the lemon' who worried me deeply.....

I opted to stick by my tried and tested system and prayed to the Spanish gods that Dani would make it. before the playoffs commenced the big clubs in Spain announced their retain lists and released some of their younger players. i managed to snap up former Barcelona winger Adria Carmona and also signed a young RB from Haarlem in Holland but he wasnt due to arrive until next season. Needless to say Carmona went straight into the squad. I also tried once more to woo saviola in the hope that playoff football may have upped my status in the football world, but no. hes happy on 70k a week and doesnt fancy a 69.1k p/w drop in his income.....

PLAYOFFS:

My biggest fears were realised when i drew Cadiz in the first round. This was a side who had romped their division and even made a million pound signing. Cultural Leonesa was only worth 2 million as a club!! I couldnt believe my luck as despite being heavy underdogs we smashed Cadiz 6-3 on agg with a 4-0 win and 3-2 loss. The fans were in dreamland and the 13000 seater Reino de Leon Stadium was sold out for our next game against lesser fancied Ejido, we came out 4-2 agg winners. I was getting excited now and sent out my 2 scouts (read: bumbling idiots, these are the men who reccomended 'the lemon' after all) on missions around europe to look for talent in case i did gain promotion.

All i had to do was overcome Aguilas and after 2 tense draws. 1-1 at home and 2-2 away i secured promotion on away goals!!!! The fans and board were blown away and some were even heard to chant the words: Lemon! Lemon! Lemon! in the streets....... i think not.

I still hankered for real firepower up front and yearned for Saviola. He was in my plans (distant dreams lol) for the summer of spending...............

All in all a great season for La Culturalistas, bring on Liga Adelante!
 
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Jake

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SEASON TWO:

Pre Season:

Well, summer of spending it was not. The bookies, media and even the board had no faith and all expected relegation. I was offered zero transfer funds and a much better wage budget of 40k p/w to try and stave off relegation. I told the board i could do better and got 500k to spend and a 43k p/w wage budget.

I had a huge clearout of over 25 players, all released on a free. i kept Dani and Couto for sentimental value, im sure they are too far past it to compete at a higher level.

I scoured the usual free transfer market and despite being linked with the likes of Viduka, Morientes, Helguera and Guti i never really expected to sign anyone of quality. I was surprised by the players who were interested. My best signing was Mariano Pernia. A top left back with wonderful technical stats. Other signings of note were Diego Tristan, Jorge Vargas, Sergio Matabeuna, Curro Torres, Lauren, Rufete, Brynjar Gunnarsson and Brek Shea. All frees of course. I once again went in for Saviola (i feel like a love struck geek obsessed with the high school prom queen who's so not interested) Of course he insisted on remaining in Madrid and sitting in the reserves. Oh how i wished i could sign a striker of real quality like Saviola to replace the ageing Dani and help out my new pensioner; Diego Tristan. The 'scouts' for want of a better word reccomended Mendes from Juventude in Brazil. Another Brazilian i thought, surely lightning cant strike twice..... i really didnt want another Lemon on my hands. Mendes was acquired for 230k and impressed in pre season, scoring twice on debut in a 3-7 drubbing by Juventus. Hes not a pace man but his strength, finishing first touch and heading are all 15+. i also needed a goalie, and Marcio was bought in for 275k.

I write this with my squad assembled and the transfer window closed. Ive played my opening game in Liga Adelente, a flat 1-1 draw with Alicante. I'm not sure what to expect yet, i have quality in key areas but failed to secure a string puller to replace Gerard. Hes still a good player, but i feel he may not be effective against the better sides in the league. Rocamora is a prospect, but nothing more at the moment. Fran Merida is a hope on loan, but its up in the air right now.

Will update in the january trasnfer window (hopefully tommorow) And then again at the end of the season in a day or two.
 
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Posh_Fan

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just read the original thread by ronio which inspired you. just like his, yours is a great story. i especially like your distant love affair with saviola and your love/hate relationship with fabio 'the lemon' lemes lol.

you seem to have gone for experience and wise old heads whereas ronio went for youth. i guess time will tell if your policy will pay off. i suspect you will gain promotion to liga bbva quicker than he did but you might then go straight back down.

both of you guys have inspired me to start a game at this level. im thinking of playing as Ponferradina (i dont know why, just looks like a cool name) any tips on players? im deffo going in for rocamora after having a look at him. might sign the lemon for comedy value lol.

---------- Post added at 11:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:02 PM ----------

signed dani and rocamora. gerard didnt want to come :(

the lemon is truly awful but ive got him on trial to see what the coaches say.

will let you know how it goes.
 

Jake

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Finally,a reply lolol! ive seen its had a few reads but no comments so far. thanks for sticking your neck out son!! Ponferradina eh? Scum imo, i only have eyes for la culturalistas now.

seriously mate, dont sign the lemon. hes an absolute waste of space. i have only kept him in for a giggle now and then, hes now started whinging that hes not getting enough matches. so i gave him 3 games in a row and he scores 0 goals, makes 0 assists and his best rating was 5.3!!! Even the 40 year old Fernando Couto managed a goal and better ratings in those 3 games!!!

More updates tommorow.
 
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Zebedee

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Really glad Spanish league seems to be fixed now. You're doing really well jdm - one day Saviola will make the switch for you, he just doesn't appreciate what you have to offer just yet :D
 

Posh_Fan

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Finally,a reply lolol! ive seen its had a few reads but no comments so far. thanks for sticking your neck out son!! Ponferradina eh? Scum imo, i only have eyes for la culturalistas now.

seriously mate, dont sign the lemon. hes an absolute waste of space. i have only kept him in for a giggle now and then, hes now started whinging that hes not getting enough matches. so i gave him 3 games in a row and he scores 0 goals, makes 0 assists and his best rating was 5.3!!! Even the 40 year old Fernando Couto managed a goal and better ratings in those 3 games!!!

More updates tommorow.
any more news???????!!

i ended up signing the lemon beacuse him, dani and a useless u19 player are my only 3 strikers with a level of finishing above 9!!! maybe if i play him more he will become better than your lemon, but i doubt it lol.

hope your first season in liga adelante is going well!!
 

Jake

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MID-SEASON UPDATE:

As i write this, the january transfer window has closed and my cultural heroes are just managing to keep their heads above water in 15th place. I expected the likes of Alaves, Sociedad, and Barcelona's B team (they possessed the 2 most valuable players in the league and also the best centre back pairing: henrique and caceres) to dominate the league and i was mostly right. Alaves and Sociedad are running away with it, along with Sporting and Hercules. But Barca B are really struggling and are rock bottom. As i predicted my lack of a quality string puller to replace Gerard has cost me dearly. Mendes despite early promise has also been a terrible signing, and im afraid to say he is considered to be the second coming of the lemon by the fans. So in the final third i have lemon and lemon the second, Diego Tristan, Gerard, Rocamora and new signing Mark Viduka, who has fared slightly better. Rocamora is showing great promise as Gerards star fades dramtically, but its still early in his career and he has yet to properly establish himslef in the team. Tristans lack of physical stats mean he has had little impact and Viduka has only shown a glimmer of his ability. So overall my ability to attack isnt that great!!

My defence of (RB) Lauren (CB's) Rapnik and Vargas (LB) Pernia has been performing excellently. Captain Pernia is excellent going forward and with all set pieces he is deadly. Ex-arsenal Lauren is solid and Vargas along with youngster Rapnik have been fantastic all season and have both scored welcome goals. This defensive stability has made up for our lack of cutting edge in attack.

Its been a very difficult season so far. I have gotten some great results against the bigger and better sides, drawing with Alaves, Sociedad and spanking Barca B 4-1!!! However frustrating losses against lesser opposition have been difficult to stomach.

Once again i got drawn in by the idea of big names and legends, but these expensive acquisitions have fallen flat. So in response ive opted to look to the future and youth. Prospects like Gonzalo Barretto, Nicolas Millan, Thomas Fontaine, Andre Lazzari, Libis Arenas and Nenad Stjepic have all been signed but are too inexperienced to have any impact this season. The lemon is fearing for his place in the team and i have to admit that the lemon and his second coming: Mendes are probably one their way out along with Tristan and Viduka come July. Despite realising my transfer policy hasnt produced results at this level i still couldnt resist going in for fat Ronaldo on a free, but hes waiting for better offers to come his way. I released grandads Dani and Couto, after some great service last season they were not cut out for this level. My scouts are uncovering some excellent young talent in South America but as yet i dont have the funds to bid for their services. Maybe in the summer the board will reward me for avoiding relegation with a decent budget.

Saviola once again spurned my proposals and opted for a new reserve team at Villarreal. One day Javier you will sign for me and we shall take Liga BBVA by storm. A player of your ability shouldnt be playing reserve football. One day Javier.....

The screenshots show my progress so far. I hope to push on in the coming weeks to make our place in the league for next season guaranteed.

I will update in a couple of days.
 

Posh_Fan

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my first season in second div b1 is going like your lige adelante season. just managing to survive!!! ive recently adopted your formation and this has helped but its too late to get promoted this season. Mariano Pernia looks a fantastic player, well done on signing him!!! Hurry up and update me lol!
 

Zebedee

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Really enjoying this. Is your inconsistent form because you haven't got a control version of your tactics for use on 'lesser' teams jdm? You're still doing really well though - are you Harry Redknapp with that dad's army? :D Hope the season finishes with you well clear of those nasty four red slots on the table and you can push on in the closed season with strengthening your squad.
 

Jake

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my first season in second div b1 is going like your lige adelante season. just managing to survive!!! ive recently adopted your formation and this has helped but its too late to get promoted this season. Mariano Pernia looks a fantastic player, well done on signing him!!! Hurry up and update me lol!
i think my tactics really helped me in 2nd div b1, so hopefully you can improve on your recent results. Yea pernia has been sensational, sauntering down the left from full back to cross in and regularly slotting home free kicks as well. hes getting a bit restless due to trasnfer speculation but i just appointed him captain and he seems to have settled again.

Really enjoying this. Is your inconsistent form because you haven't got a control version of your tactics for use on 'lesser' teams jdm? You're still doing really well though - are you Harry Redknapp with that dad's army? :D Hope the season finishes with you well clear of those nasty four red slots on the table and you can push on in the closed season with strengthening your squad.
lol yea i feel a bit like a social care worker sometimes looking after all these ageing gents. however i have a good crop of youngsters on board ready for next season so i can ship out my stike force which has had no impact at all this season. i really have been relying on the rearguard action of pernia and co. so much so that pernia is now my top scorer.....

what to you mean by a control tactic zeb? i will be honest, i only have one tactic atm, lump it to the front man and then rush the oppositipon to support him. he usually offloads to my wingers or pernia and they bomb down the wing and get the crosses in. However as my strikers get older and their physical stats decline their effectivenesss in the air has become almost non existent. i have been thinking of saving 2 or 3 different tactics for different situations but havent got round to it. what do you suggest, considering i basically have 4 strikers who are all the same really: old, slow and weak, 2 good wingers, and 2 decent AMC's, with the rest of my team being purely defensive?
 

Zebedee

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Have a read through the match theory part of the TT&F mate as that will give you tips on how to set up a different version of your current tactics. Control tactics aren't quite as aggressive as attacking tactics and are designed to either shut matches down against weaker opposition or to draw out defensive teams without leaving you vulnerable to the counter. That might be why your strikers are underperforming too as control tactics aren't quite so reliant on physically able strikers but on canny ones.

Good luck with the geriatrics (being one myself I can only imagine the aches and pains they have!) - sounds like you've got a good youth setup though so that's promising for the future. :)
 

Jake

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cheers zeb. i have dowloaded the TT&F but of course being 'an FM pro' i didnt need to look at it, i knew it all already......... not. i'll go have a read now and hopefully a new tactic can help ensure survival and maybe catch saviolas eye...

i like the sound of only needing canny strikers, as viduka is still a wily old fox and tristan has flair of 19!! however the lemon and 'lemon the second' mendes are just poo.

yes the futures bright, the futures barreto. hes my new shining light, but doesnt arrive until july or he would probably already be first choice striker at 17 years old!

i will probably get drawn in by the legends that are available on the free transfer list this summer but this time i wont be signing anyone with a strength stat of 3 (tristan) lol.

season will be finished tonight. will update later.
 
Feb 3, 2009
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well done keep it goin im tryin 2 do the same in england with bognor regis lol just in the middle of my 2nd season atm mid table
 

Jake

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i would imagine bognor regis to be a bigger challenge than leonesa. after all ive only been promoted once and im in the equivalent of the championship already. youve got a long way to go to get to chamopionship footy!! so keep trying my friend
 

Jake

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fabio lemes went 17 hours last season, then scored 4 in 6 games during the end of season run in?? hes horrific!!

hes attracting interest from other liga adalente clubs though, strange.
 
Feb 3, 2009
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must b summin about him then im just avin a nightmare atm with the games im loosin by a goal alot atm and now lyin in 17th but there is a bit of a gap between me and the relegation zone....hows ur season goin???
 
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