Welcome back folks, and today I have a little treat for you – the full transcript of an interview in a Serbian newspaper to bring you up to date with the end of season fun and games! Did we finally get ourselves out of the 6th tier? Find out here…

Пуна транскрипција Обилић је менаџер, Цхрис Дарвен, на конференцији за новинаре после меча.

Невспапер: Честитам Крис, морате бити веома срећан? Дарвен: Срећан, лакнуло, уморни, задовољан, поносан. Моји играчи су били блиски и раније, али данас смо прваци овом тешком лиги.
Новине: Каква циљ је био! Дарвен: То је оно што Вуковић је способан, то је био величанствен штрајк од величанствене играча. Са само један минут преостала је био велики циљ.
Новине: Ви сте коначно победио низи 1. Да ли верујете можете да се вратите Обилић до врха? Дарвен: Да, ја се придружио Обилић да освоји Топ Леагуе и нећу отићи док се ово десило.
Новине: Ви сте имали неке веома добре играце ове сезоне? Дарвен: Да, сви нам је помогао да освоји промоцију. Циљеви из Симовић и Лутовац су важни, а голман гостију на Митић је био одличан. Цела Одбрана је била јака.
Новине: Може ли ова екипа остане заједно и да се такмиче наредне сезоне? Дарвен: Као и увек, ја ће изгледати и да видимо ко је гладан да носе мајицу Обилић. Ако су гладни, они остају. Ако постоје различити играчи који су више гладни, онда можда се придруже.

 table (1)

Finally, we have got out of this bloody division! I was starting to wonder if it would ever happen, and when the bookies made us 100/1 yet again I knew we would be in for a tough ride. When we lost 1-0 to Mlad, I feared that we would not catch them up, but boy did we recover from that moment.

The Serbian Swirl has performed like a dream. Solid defensively, with a back four that does not venture forward we (with two games remaining) have kept the most clean sheets in the division. Our very own Pirlo, Slavkovic, sits in front of the back four and conducts the attacking orchestra – five players allowed to go and attack in a strikerless formation. The two wide men remind me of watching Giggs and Kanchelskis in their prime at United. Another veteran, Markovic, has added guile to the central midfield alongside Bajic (or Vukovic towards the end as Baj broke his ankle). At the top of the tree, Simovic has been superb linking everything together and weighing in with the goals.

Finally everything has come together – Guido has written a brilliant article on veterans so I will not try and emulate it, but the addition of Markovic and Slavkovic changed the way we played. These boys cannot run, I thought. Markovic covered 12.9km per game from midfield, superb stats for a 36-year-old. It was the experience they added to my young side that made the difference – we had some tricky games where both of them took the situation by the scruff of the neck and dragged us through. Sadly, they are both retiring in the summer so I will need to replace them.

As expected when you win a title, we dominated the players stats – again, these are with two games to go so they might get even better.

average rating (1)

cleansheets (1)

distance (1)

keypasses (1)

teamkpis (1)

Before this season I was genuinely preparing for another disappointment and would have considered my future had that been the outcome. This promotion has revitalised me and the club. We have grown stronger together through the last three tough seasons, and it reminds me of what I was originally looking for.

Club Culture

The club is completely on the right track, the environment is excellent. All the coaches are now continental qualified and I have picked up my Pro license this season. The players are developing really well now, it is great to see some of the kids in the U18’s improving their attributes to be much better than those that came before them. I don’t need to throw them into the first team squad as quickly as I used to, which helps. I am surrounded by players with good attitudes, and anyone that veers from that is promptly released. We are geared for continued success now. Also, crowds have soared this season. Our average attendance of 637 was 100 better than last season, and nearly 200 more than anyone else in the league. Not bad for the club they expected to finish 8th.

Tactical Approach

Once again we showed innovation and flexibility. With all the 4141 love there has been on FM16, I tried to put a strikerless spin on it and it came up trumps. As with all my tactics there has been a huge slice of luck, but once more it is a tactic I genuinely enjoy watching play. When your shadow striker drops deep, pings it out to the winger then gets on the end of a floaty cross six passes later you have to be satisfied with your work.

tactics (1)


Recruitment has been excellent this season. A mix of “Searching the Stats v2.0” and bringing in lads released by bigger sides on trial found me the winning blend. I replaced the goalkeeper, Drag, with a better prospect. It was hard on Drag, he was superb last season, but Mitic has proven me right with 15 clean sheets and some crucial saves. I also found an excellent left back who has grown as the season has gone on and the signing of Erde for the left midfield spot was inspired. Nine goals, six assists and a rating of 7.64 proved me right. I’ve already mentioned Slav and Marko. As you can see below, eight of the players have started twenty plus matches, two started nineteen and Baj seventeen – we have been consistent in selection which always helps.

So where will we go from here? I reckon we will compete in the division above, whenever we have played against a higher ranked team in a friendly we have kept up. Replacing the two old boys correctly will be vital, and I will aim to replace them with two more veterans. Again, only one team will go up next season so realistically we will aim for top three and see where that takes us.

What have I learned about FM16 this season? Due to the poor graphic capability of my replacement laptop, I enjoy watching the games in 2D. Without watching them this way I would have never switched the attacking full backs to defensive full backs and realised what a difference it made to our attacking. The almost operate like wide defensive midfielders now, recycling the ball quickly and efficiently. I have learned not to be so ageist. Experience helps. Jesus, as a 37 year old myself who still thinks he could do a decent job at a low level in Spain, especially guiding younger lads through matches, I should know this more than anyone. I have learned that floated crosses seem to make a difference. It sounds daft but it allows the winger more time to attack the space. Finally, I have learned that I can be patient on FM. Five seasons completed, only two promotions. This is a long term job and I am going to see it through.

Any questions, give me a shout!