Antwerp’s January Transfers:
Moataz Abdel Rahman: I always seem to find an incredible Egyptian striker in my FM saves, hopefully Rahman will be my FM17 incarnation. The small fee and high finishing makes the low mental attributes worth the risk.
Jack McBean: Bought as I’m expecting a bid for Zivkovic over the January window, he’s a no brainer on a free transfer. Slightly older than the players we’ve been targeting so far, but his fantastic attributes and a transfer fee of 0 means that we can easily sell him on at the end of the season if it doesn’t work out – or loan him to another Coca Cola team if needed.
Richard Correra: My Uruguayan scout would not stop recommending this guy to me, and despite some heavy interest from PSG, Monaco and Porto I managed to nab him with a slightly increased deal than the one he wanted. Some fantastic stats for his age make him a bargain for 8k a week (with no transfer fee!). A future star.
Antonio Guimarares: The young Portugese CB was bought amongst heavy interest from some of football’s heavy hitters (PSG and Juventus were both interested), so it took a fair amount of cash to land him – up to £6m if all the addons kick in. However his stats certainly make him look worth it, especially his insane physical stats. Will certainly get game-time this season and will probably be in the starting 11 next season.
Pavel Kubik: Quite an expensive fee for a 17 year old (£3.5m potentially rising to £4.8m) but I believe he’ll be a fantastic left-back/wing-back in a few years. The fact that he already has 2 full Czech caps to his name is testament to that. I can easily see him going for £15-20m or playing in the Premier League for our English Coca Cola team in the future – if we can keep him that long.
Ibrahim Frimpong: A buy for a tiny fee, he’ll certainly go off to one of our other teams next season as a squad player. For such a fee this small it’s basically a no risk transfer.
Jersson Salazar: Another Peruvian international joins our ranks (joining Pena and Li). Aged just 19 Salazar has already been capped 6 times by the Peruvian national team, he has some outrageous stats and will be competing for a first team place next season.
Silkeborg’s January Transfers:
Kristian Myhre: An expensive purchase for Silkeborg at over 500k, but one that could definitely make it worthwhile in the future. Scouts for both Silkeborg and Antwerp picked him up as a potentially fantastic keeper. He probably won’t get much of a chance this season but will likely be the number 1 at Silkeborg next season.
Joonas Lehtinen: Just like Frimpong above, he definitely won’t be a world-class player, but he’s a useful addition to the squad, and for the fee involved – is definitely worth a punt.
Antwerp’s January: Not a bad month, did well in the 2 friendlies against some tough Bundesliga opposition before hitting a win, loss and draw in the 3 league games. Seems I forgot to take a screenshot of the table for January i’m afraid!
Leiria’s January: A fantastic month puts us in a promotion spot! The amount of goals we’re scoring and conceding is pretty pleasing and we’re playing some fantastic football. Long may it last..
Antwerp’s February: A fantastic month where we were undefeated in the league. A tough Europa league tie against Newcastle saw us win the first leg 3-1, however we collapsed in the second leg losing 2-0 and subsequently going out on away goals. Normally I wouldn’t mind this but since we’re struggling in the league, the extra financial gain from going through to the next round would’ve been much appreciated!
Silkeborg’s February: 4 wins, 4 clean sheets. Superb! Only 3 points off the Championship stage and the form we’re in means that we should hopefully nab that last place off AGF.
Leiria’s February: An unbeaten February gives us hope that promotion is still a possibility. The fact that we only won one game out of the 4 played though is a slight concern, as is the lack of goals – considering we’re playing 3 out and out strikers 6 goals in 4 games isn’t what I was hoping!
Antwerp’s March: A quiet month, but can’t really complain as we grab 4 points from a possible 6 and seal a Championship group spot.
Silkeborg’s March: Despite beating AGF and winning our last game, a disappointing loss to Velje costs us a place into the Championship group, we falter to a 7th placed finish and we instead go top of Relegation group A.
Leiria’s March: 2 wins including an absolute must win game against Aves keep us in the promotion hunt. I have a feeling this will be very very close come the end of the season!
Antwerp’s April: A truly shocking month puts us rock bottom of the Championship group, 5 points off Waasland-Beveren. It’s clear that large changes need to be made for next season.
Silkeborg’s April: A largely strong month puts us on top of the pile of the Relegation Group, meaning we’re still in with a chance of qualifying for Europe. However a disappointing loss to Randers (despite 2 early goals) in the Quarter Final of the cup is an annoying defeat.
Leiria’s April: A poor April leaves promotion looking slim – being 6 points off promotion with just 3 games left to play.
Antwerp’s May: Much improved from last month despite not making any tactical tweaks (the season was done and dusted as far as I’m concerned) and now I can begin work forming the tactical system for next season, along with using the data my scouts have been harvesting to find the best players to fit that system.
Silkeborg’s May: A good month. We top the Relegation group, putting us into the first leg of the European playoff against Esbjerg – we smash them putting us up against rivals Midtjylland where we narrow fall to defeat over 2 legs. Gutted!
Leiria’s May: 3 wins out of 3 mean we can’t do any better, in a fantastic turn of events Aves played SLB B on the last day of the season – SLB B won 3-1 meaning we get promoted (by goal difference)! A fantastic achievement in our first season with such a small squad.
End of Season: Season Summary
A very disappointing season. I think the other managers had clocked my tactics pretty early on in the season, but due to the quality of the squad we were still picking up points which fooled me into thinking we were still doing well. Despite that we’ve made some quality buys, made a decent amount of profit and still look to be on the right track. The fact that I’ve now clarified our 5 year plan (see the start of the last episode) should mean we’ll have a strong squad next season to hopefully get us back into Europe. The sale of Kim Ji-Hoon to West Ham marks our biggest sale yet (11.25m along with 1.5m after 20 international appearances and a 15% of the next sale clause) and shows our scouting system is working miracles.
Championship group table:
A bit of a mixed bag. Was very disappointed not to make the Championship group, but we excelled in the relegation group, ending up 2 goals away from a European place (again showing the strength of our model, picking leagues like Belgium and Denmark that mean it’s still possible to qualify for Europe despite a disappointing season). The focus on Silkeborg next season will be to blood any youngsters or players who aren’t cut out for football at Leiria or Antwerp yet. This may also mean a clean out with some players sold.
Relegation Group table:
A fantastic season. I definitely wasn’t expecting to get promoted in our first season. Our transfers blended perfectly with the existing players that were staying at Leiria with an incredible 49 goals between the first choice front 3 of Sabala, Jorginho and Kevyn. Now to send some of our talented youngsters over to get some game-time in the tough Primeria Ligue.
Squad Summary (click the team name for the seasons stats)
Aboubacar Doumbia: Slotted straight into the first team due to an injury to normal left-back Santamaria. Did fantastically, now has a new contract due to Porto sniffing around him. Looking forward to what he can produce next season.
Diogo Mendes: Did well at CCL. May make the move permanent over the summer.
Guillaume Hubert: Didn’t get much game-time – but was only ever bought as backup.
Takeshi Hirashige: Knew this guy would be another level and he didn’t disappoint. Class and expecting a few offers over the summer for him.
Moataz Abdel Rahman: Didn’t get any game-time. Will most likely go out on loan next season.
Jack McBean: Was bought in-case a bid for Zivkovic came in. No bid materialised so he stayed. I still rotated McBean with Zivkovic though due to a horrible run of form where Zivkovic just couldn’t find the net. Was an adequate replacement and impressed.
Richard Correra: Didn’t get much game-time due to a horrific injury that kept him out for 3-4 months. Will be around the first team next season.
Antonio Guimarares: Slotted into the team perfectly, will most likely be in the first team next season.
Pavel Kubik: Didn’t really get much game-time. Might get loaned out next season depending on how I move the players around.
Ibrahim Frimpong: Didn’t get any game-time. Will most likely go out on loan next season.
Jersson Salazar: Didn’t really get much game-time. Might get loaned out next season depending on how I move the players around.
Ricardo Carassa: A fantastic season, may move to Leiria next season, will need to check how each player is progressing to decide his future.
Jose Cedeno: A fantastic season, may move to Leiria next season, will need to check how each player is progressing to decide his future.
Aly Malle: Didn’t impress. Will get released at the end of the season.
Sam Morsy: Felt like he missed a lot of games due to injury, also felt this league was beneath him a bit. Will either get sold or move to Leiria over the summer.
Giambattista Stefanelli: Did much better than I was expecting him to! May very well be back at CCS next season.
Nicolas Tchoumi: Similar to Morsy, was far far too good for this league. Will either be in Antwerp or Leira next season.
Warleson: A strong season. Not sure what the future holds for him yet!
Yannick Cortie: Didn’t get as much game-time as I was anticipating due to the immense due to Cedeno and Carassa. Maybe next season will be better for him.
Joao Lopes: Did well. Undecided on his future yet.
Kristian Myhre: Next season will be his, had too many options this season sadly.
Joonas Lehtinen: Did decently when called upon. May be a key part of the team next season.
Moussa Aka: Was a rotation option, think CCS is the most likely destination for him next season.
Gael Andonian: Was a key part of the team. Did very very well.
Victor Lastra: Was a key part of the team. Did very very well.
Diogo Mendes: Didn’t get much of a chance but did well when called upon, will probably be a rotation option next season.
Valerijs Sabala: What a season. Goal after goal. He’ll be making the move permanent over the summer I think.
Sinan Bolat: Sadly going to be released over the summer, despite doing fantastically for us here. His contribution won’t be forgotten!
Mickael Malsa: Didn’t really get much game-time.
Rabie Issad: Mixed bag, has promise but also a fair few mistakes in him. Maybe a down-grade to CCS for a season would be more helpful for him.
Rayan Souici: Didn’t get much of a chance but did well when called upon, will probably be a rotation option next season.
Diogo Baltazar: Didn’t get much of a chance but did well when called upon, will probably be a rotation option next season.
Joao Lopes: The youngster did well, impressing me on more than one occasion, definitely has a bright future
Coca Cola Stars
Rui Gaspar (CCL): Didn’t get as many starts as I wanted him to get due to the precarious league position we were in for a majority of the season, but i’m still happy with the progress he’s made.
Joao Lopes (CCL): What a season! 4 goals and 5 assists top of a fantastic season for the youngster, including a huge increase in stats. May well be a starter for CCS next season.
Frantisek Machala (CCA) Despite plenty of appearances there hasn’t been the sharp uptake in his stats that I was hoping for. That being said, he’ll most likely be around the first team next season.
Resel Kuru (CCA): Didn’t really get much game-time as I predicted at the start of the season. Might get a loan depending on the amount of home-grown options we get in over the summer.
Frederik Mortenson (CCS) An average season, a few stat increases and a few goals but feel his progress has stagnated a bit.
Join me in Episode 16 part 1 as we go through the 2021/2022 season with Antwerp. There may be a week gap as I’m trying a new format (rather than splitting the season in half with all 3 teams being displayed, I’ll now do a season and cover each teams season individually to make it more readable) and need to get the season completed first!
I love receiving your feedback and any suggestions you may have in improving the series, so head over to my Twitter and give me a tweet!
We also now have our own Slack channel where I’ll post updates, screenshots (that you won’t see here!) and have general chat about the series. You’ll need to get added to the FM slack channel so contact FM_Samo in order to do that, it’s a great addition to the FM community and I can’t recommend it enough!