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Old 03-25-2020, 06:45 PM   #1
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
The Saga of Cobh Ramblers

I usually end up dropping these fairly quickly, but perhaps this will have more staying power...

The Saga of Cobh Ramblers



Rico Portiere pumped his fists in the air as the players ran out onto the pitch after the Cobh Ramblers extra time victory in the promotion/relegation playoffs. After falling in the playoffs the year before, victory was sweat, but prospering in the new division would be a clear challenge. In the following posts, I’ll bring the story so far up to date


Last edited by Portiere : 03-25-2020 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Text not visible
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:48 PM   #2
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Why Ireland:

I started this save on St. Patricks’ Day and I wanted a semi-pro to Champion’s League challenge. I did this in a earlier version of FM with Aberystwyth Town in Wales. This will be both harder and easier than Wales—easier work permits in Ireland but a lot of other pro teams (whilst we will start the Irish Premiere League as a semi-pro team), and semi-pro salaries higher than the one pro team in Wales offers.
Cobh is a picturesque seaport in County Cork. I didn’t make it there in my short time in Ireland but it looks like a pretty small town (pop of about 12,000 but about 250,000 in the Cork metro area. This was the Titanic’s last stop Cork City fans flood our stadium whenever we have a local derby so at least there’s some potential for growth.
Ireland also plays in the summer, which will be interesting—I’ve done one MLS campaign which felt a bit weird.


The Ramblers
An undistinguished semi-pro team who spent one season in Ireland’s top flight 2008 before promptly being relegated. The Ramblers started with a local reputation of .5 stars, up now to regional and 1 after winning the Challenge Cup in 2018 and promotion in 2019. But still not enough $$ for professional status.


The first three seasons
Portiere joined mid-season in 2017, and led the team to 5th place in the mid-named Irish First Division. In 2018, the team pushed for the promotion spot, finishing third and leading to a promotion playoff match with 2nd placed Longford. More remarkably good performances and kind draws also led the side to the Irish Senior Challenge Cup final also against Longford. In the three matches, Cobh won the Challenge Cup, drew the first leg of the promotion match, and then lost the 2nd.
There was no repeat of the Challenge Cup in 2019, but Portiere’s side won the season opening President’s Cup as well as the regional Munster Senior Cup and a win against Icelandic side KR before losing to FC Zurich on aggregate in the 2nd qualifying round. But the funds from this would be essential to funding a major squad overhaul to compete in the IPL.

Last edited by Portiere : 03-25-2020 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:55 PM   #3
Young Drachma
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Join Date: Apr 2001
I always think i'm gonna setup a long-term FM save in Ireland and never do, so kudos for diving in.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:07 PM   #4
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Context of Irish Football

The power in the Irish Premiere League is in its top three teams: Shamrock Rovers (Dublin), Dundalk, and Cork City. All three are professional with fairly decent wage budgets (Dundalk, who recently sacked their manager, listed a $25,000/week wage budget). I have this set to USD from an MLS save and I decided not to chance since I’m not used to playing in Euro. Limerick, Bray, and St. Pat’s (Dublin) are also professional though with rather more modest budgets, though St. Pat’s can spend a bit more than the other two (probably 15K/week). Waterford, Sligo, Bohemians (Dublin), and Derry City (promoted for 2021) are all semi-Pro like us.


Our context: I managed to talk the board into a about 15K/week budget for 2021, up from 10K in 2020 but we are burning through money and only our UEFA cup cash will save us. And we are still training part-time.


Below us, in the Irish First Division, everyone is semi-pro and probably on 5K/week for wages at most.

Last edited by Portiere : 03-29-2020 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:35 PM   #5
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Half way through the season saw the Ramblers in second position and looking at securing a vital UEFA cup place (essential for the finances to work). Success in the league came at the price of fielding reserves in the two minor cup competitions. A worrying slide against Waterford and Sligo led Portiere to wonder if his smaller squad has hit the wall.


[place holder for image]


In the end, the slide continued, as the Ramblers finished 4th. However, thanks to a lucky set of draws that avoided the top 4, Ramblers defeated St. Patís in the Senior Challenge Cup Final 3-1, though it was a nervy finish, with the goals all coming after the 80th minute. So the Ramblers would get the cash infusion from the UEFA Cup



[place holder for image]
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:11 AM   #6
Portiere
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2021

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Old 04-03-2020, 09:13 AM   #7
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
2021

2021 started with bad losses in the league, an irrelevant cup win(the presidentís cup, the equivalent of the community shield in the uk, but with no $$) and a mid-table position. Then, a huge run in the UEFA cup-after defeating fellow minnows Vaduz (Liechtensteinís champions), we defeated Luzern and Aberdeen to set up a clash with Rosenborg in 4th qualifying run but bad injuries had decimated our team and a 4-1 drubbing in Norway sent us out. Then it was playing catch up in the league, but we went just short of 3rd place. We also lost in semis of the Senior Challenge Cup Final, but our arch-rivals Cork City did the double and let us slip into the UEFA cup $$ with a fourth placed finish.


Quote:

| Pos | Inf | Team | Pld | Won | Drn | Lst | For | Ag | GD | Pts |

| 1st | C | Cork City | 36 | 21 | 9 | 6 | 75 | 40 | 35 | 72 |


| 2nd | | Shamrock Rovers | 36 | 19 | 13 | 4 | 80 | 42 | 38 | 70 |

| 3rd | | Dundalk | 36 | 20 | 6 | 10 | 81 | 65 | 16 | 66 |

| 4th | | Cobh Ramblers | 36 | 19 | 4 | 13 | 86 | 78 | 8 | 61 |

| 5th | | Derry City | 36 | 15 | 7 | 14 | 79 | 72 | 7 | 52 |

| 6th | | Bray Wanderers | 36 | 14 | 8 | 14 | 72 | 70 | 2 | 50 |

| 7th | | Sligo Rovers | 36 | 12 | 9 | 15 | 69 | 68 | 1 | 45 |

| 8th | | St. Pat's Athletic | 36 | 12 | 9 | 15 | 67 | 73 | -6 | 45 |

| 9th | R | Limerick F.C. | 36 | 5 | 7 | 24 | 45 | 90 | -45 | 22 |

| 10th | R | Waterford | 36 | 5 | 4 | 27 | 36 | 92 | -56 | 19 |
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:38 AM   #8
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
The 2022 Side

Quote:
Name Style Best Pos Best Role Best Duty Age Ability Potential
Jack Murphy Physical ST (C) Target Man Attack 27 2.5 2.5
Ciaran Woods Physical ST (C) Advanced Forward Attack 32 3 3
Philip Kelly Physical ST (C) Defensive ForwardDefend 27 4 4

Adam Warren Physical AM (L) Winger Support 21 2 5
Derek Daly Leader AM (L) Winger Support 26 3 3
Andy Morrissey Creative AM (L) Inside Forward Support 28 3 3
Ray Mulcahy Leader AM (C) Advanced Playmaker Support 22 3 4.5
Thomas Ryan Leader AM (C) Advanced Playmaker Support 22 2.5 4
Richard Foy Physical AM (C) Advanced Playmaker Attack 23 3.5 5
Sean O'Sullivan Physical AM (R) Winger Support 20 3 5
Jack Byrne Technical AM (R) Winger Support 23 1.5 2
Robbie Dunne Physical AM (R) Winger Support 28 2.5 2.5
Dave Murphy Physical M (C) Deep Lying Playmaker Defend 21 3.5 5
Graham Massey Physical M (C) Central Midfielder Support 21 4 5
Arlen Togwell Physical M (C) Ball Winning Midfielder Defend 24 2.5 4.5
Charlie Burton Physical DM Half Back Defend 24 2 2.5

Lewis White Physical D (L) Defensive Full-Back Defend 18 3.5 5
Cian Mulcahy Physical D (L) Defensive Full-Back Defend 21 2.5 3.5
Roger Eaden Physical D (C) Central Defender Stopper 18 3.5 5
Declan Fisher Physical D (C) Central Defender Cover 22 1.5 3
Keith Connolly Physical D (C) Central Defender Cover 21 2.5 4.5
Evan Douglas Physical D (C) Defensive Centre Back Defend 28 3 3
Adam Waters Physical D (C) Defensive Centre Back Defend 21 3 4.5
Neil Loughran Physical D (R) Defensive Full-Back Defend 20 4 5
Chris Traynor Leader D (R) Wing-Back Defend 28 3 3
Ryan Craig Shot Stopper GK Sweeper Keeper Defend 21 1.5 4
Dean Reilly Aggressive GK Sweeper Keeper Attack 26 2 2






We are flush with talent in the attack. Kelly is star who always seems to convert, Woods a strong poacher with a great ability to take PKs, and Murphy is a solid target man. Daly and O'Sullivan are also good upfront


In the midfield, Daly always seems to deliver and I would rate him 3.5. Morrisey is a capable backup. Lonee O'Sullivan, on the books at Watford, leads the line on the right, Dunne a solid backup. Captain Ray Mulcahy is talented but often injured, which results in Murphy and Massey often starting as dual CMs. Togwell is a solid defense reserve. Foy will join the club in July, and will give us another demension after being released from Reading.



In defense, we are weaker, except for RD where Loughran is a future Ireland international and Traynor a solid backup who is also an ok inverted wingback on the left. Our other top defenders, White and Eaden, are on loan, and no one in the middle has really convinced (Douglas in particular is my highest wage earner but has dropped from a 3.5/4 to a just 3, which is more accurate. I need better scouts). In goal Dean Reilly is better than his rating but not at the top level I need to regularly do damage in the UEFA cup.


The board wants top half of the Irish Prem league, QF in the Senior Cup, 2nd round in the UEFA Cup, and doesn't care about the other competitions. But even though I've held back on my spending, I'm not sure this will be enough to keep the club in the back...

Last edited by Portiere : 04-03-2020 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:43 AM   #9
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
The 2020 table is better than my wildest dreams. We are 10 points clear, and Rovers and Cork have both sacked their managers. We won the Munster Senior Cup with our reserves, and dropped out of the League Cup in the 2nd round


Pos
Team
Pld
Won
Drn
Lst
For
Ag
GD
Pts
1st
Cobh Ramblers
20
16
0
4
61
30
31
48
2nd
Cork City
20
12
2
6
46
31
15
38
3rd
Dundalk
20
12
2
6
44
35
9
38
4th
Bray Wanderers
20
11
5
4
29
22
7
38
5th
Shamrock Rovers
20
8
4
8
44
38
6
28
6th
St. Pat's Athletic
20
7
3
10
29
27
2
24
7th
Bohemians
20
7
2
11
20
28
-8
23
8th
Sligo Rovers
20
6
4
10
29
43
-14
22
9th
Derry City
20
5
5
10
24
31
-7
20
10th
Galway Utd
20
1
3
16
26
67
-41
6



Coming up, the UEFA Cup rounds that will make us financially and key league matches that we will have to navigate with a tired side.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:44 AM   #10
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
I think I've fixed the formatting. Sorry for the hard to read posts earlier
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:33 AM   #11
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
UEFA Cup

We make a good run in the UEFA Cup. After easily turning aside the champions from Luxembourg, I though we were going out after going 4-0 down to Vojvodina away in Serbia, but a strong second half performance set us up to dominate at home. We edged Trabzonspor from Turkey in match that was only close after two away goals from them in the last few minutes at home left us holding on. Then came EPL side Southampton who showed us the true gap between our group of part-timers and a EURO Cup side. The $$ put us about 200,000 in the black, which hopefully will allow us, along with Cup and League prize $$, to finish in the black.

We played our reserves in the league but with better depth, kept our lead.


I'm still struggling with the mechanics of putting in tables
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:49 AM   #12
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
The Table

Quote:
Date Time Opposition Venue Result Competition
Thu, 7/7/2022 15:00 Progres A 5 - 0 EURO Cup First Qualifying Round First Leg
Thu, 7/14/2022 19:45 Progres H 4 - 0 EURO Cup First Qualifying Round Second Leg
Thu, 7/21/2022 19:45 Vojvodina A 3 - 5 EURO Cup Second Qualifying Round First Leg
Thu, 7/28/2022 19:45 Vojvodina H 6 - 0 EURO Cup Second Qualifying Round Second Leg
Thu, 8/4/2022 19:45 Trabzonspor A 3 - 2 EURO Cup Third Qualifying Round First Leg
Thu, 8/11/2022 19:45 Trabzonspor H 2 - 2 EURO Cup Third Qualifying Round Second Leg
Thu, 8/18/2022 19:45 Southampton H 0 - 5 EURO Cup Fourth Qualifying Round First Leg
Thu, 8/25/2022 19:45 Southampton A 1 - 2 EURO Cup Fourth Qualifying Round Second Leg



Maybe this will work?
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Old 04-07-2020, 07:29 PM   #13
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
The end of 2022

At the season's end Ramblers comfortably won the league, with strong performances down the stretch, while also defeating arch-rivals Cork City on the way to winning the Senior Challenge Cup. Maximum prize money and a season far beyond mid-table expectations. On the other hand, Cork made the group stage of the Euro Cup, which should envigorate them. Shamrock Rovers, after a terrible start to the year, land out of the EC spots.

Denmark wins the 2022 World Cup which was moved to Australia.

HTML Code:
os Inf Team Pld Won Drn Lst For Ag GD Pts Form 1st C Cobh Ramblers 36 24 4 8 97 56 41 76 2nd EC Dundalk 36 19 7 10 71 58 13 64 3rd EC Bray Wanderers 36 18 9 9 53 44 9 63 4th EC Cork City 36 17 8 11 77 61 16 59 5th Shamrock Rovers 36 16 7 13 79 66 13 55 6th St. Pat's Athletic 36 14 8 14 54 45 9 50 7th Derry City 36 11 10 15 54 57 -3 43 8th Bohemians 36 10 9 17 47 59 -12 39 9th Pl Sligo Rovers 36 7 11 18 53 81 -28 32 10th R Galway Utd 36 4 7 25 50 108 -58 19

HTML Code:
Date Time Opposition TV Venue Result Competition Sun, 8/14/2022 15:00 St. Pat's C.Y.F.C false A 5 - 0 Senior Challenge Cup First Round Sun, 8/28/2022 15:00 Shelbourne false H 2 - 0 Senior Challenge Cup Second Round Sun, 9/11/2022 15:00 Bray Wanderers false A 3 - 1 Senior Challenge Cup Quarter Final Sun, 10/2/2022 15:00 Cork City true H 5 - 3 Senior Challenge Cup Semi Final Sun, 10/30/2022 15:00 Sligo Rovers true N 4 - 1 Senior Challenge Cup Final
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:52 AM   #14
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
2023-2025: Becoming Dominent in Ireland

2023 starts with a bang, a win in the president’s cup and a big move to the top in the league. Then, as Champions League qualifiers start, a big dip in the league as we prioritize qualification, and then after a lead, blowing our games in hand to require a win on the last day of the season, which we obtain, defeating St. Pat’s Athletic to see off Shamrock Rovers to retain the league.We play mostly reserves in the cups, and it shows, as we win none, including losing in the 2nd round of the Challenge Cup (albit to Shamrock Rovers).
In the Champion’s League qualies, we destroy FK Zeta from North Macadonia before winning a tough tie against PAOK Athens on agregate and then seeing off MFK Ruzomberok (though we almost blow this in the last 10 minutes). So we are again into the qualifying rounds, this time again Football Club KÝbenhavn. But they hammer us 3-0 away, and a draw at home puts us out, but into the group stages of the Euro/Europa Cup.
We get Arsenal, Basel, and Malmo, and though Arsenal destroy us, we defeat Malmo home and away and draw Basel at home for a credible 3rd position. Not a bad foray.


2024 will transform the club.
We run the league, winning by 8 points but this after playing reserves for the last several matches. This is the start of our total dominance of Ireland, as playing with mostly reserves, we will all three cup competitions (with a little bit of help from some of the other established clubs losing to part-timers)
In Champion’s League qualies, we get tough initial draw with Molde for Norway, probably the best time in the first round draw, but we win 6-3 on aggregate. We then get easy draws against SK Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) and Maribor (Slovinia) setting up a qualifying showdown with Celtic. We hold them to 0-1 in front of 50,000 fans at Celtic Park, but can only manage 1-1 at home, again putting us into the Europa League.
We draw Watford, Leverkusen, and SK Rapid Wien (Vienna). In a stunning turn of events, we take Watford away, Leverkusen at home, and defeat Rapid Vienna twice to qualify for the 2nd round at Watford’s expense.
Our rise in 2024 is in a big part due to our new #9 Keith Nugent, who joins on loan from Chelsea before joining us on a free in 2025. Nugent may not quite be good enough for Chelsea, but he is a legitimate premiere league star and good enough to play for Ireland at 18 in 2024. I think I’m only able to get him because of his nationality, and this accelerates the dynasty.

In 2025 we own Ireland, winning 96 points in the league and all three cups (with our reserves). Our board stops caring about the cups, and I have stopped playing our most Irish matches, vacationing. The arrival of Nugent and then the signings I make with my $$ have given us an insurmountable advantage.
In the first half of 2025, Hoffenhiem dumps us out 2-1, reversing a 1-0 win at home.
In the 2nd half of the season after smashing FK Shakhter Karaganda (the Khazak champions) and VŚlerenga Fotball from Norway, we draw Dynamo Zagreb and I think we’re going out after a 1-1 home draw. But Nugent and co come through 3-0 and we are on to the qualifying round again. We’ve now fallen 4 times in the last leg of qualifying, twice in Europa, twice in the Champions League. Facing Fussballclub Red Bull Salzburg, we win 3-1 at home but Nugent limps off injured and will miss the return. In the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half, Red Bull put 3 goals in. I’m sure we’re into the Europa league but we mount a stunning comeback, putting in a 88th minute clincher to win on 5-4 on aggregate.
We are in to the Champions League group stage and our club will never be the same. 2.3 million for winning the playoff, 8 million for qualifying, 1.75 million for a win. We draw Liverpool, AC Milan, and Spartak Moscow. We stun Milan home and away, with some huge performances from Nugent and English striker Jono O’Brian, draw Liverpool at home and easily make 2nd place in the group marking a fantastic year.

Last edited by Portiere : 04-23-2020 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:14 AM   #15
Greyfriars Bobby
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Congratulations on your success with Cobh Ramblers. I had fun managing in Ireland on FM 15. Playing in Europe with a club that plays its league schedule in the summer gives the season a very different feel, doesn't it? If I remember right, the players get a very short break.

Good luck in the knockout rounds of the Champions League!
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:46 AM   #16
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
You're right about the summer, particularly with European competition. I've done an MLS save which has a similar issue with the CONCACAF Champions League starting in February.


This save has been quite fast in getting the team regularly into Europe--I lucked out in a couple of very good Irish players that let me build reputation and $$ to get who I need. This took way longer in my Wales save.
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:33 AM   #17
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
On the treadmill--2026-2030 and groundhog day draws

At the start of 2026, after an outstanding performance in the Champion's League group stage, our reward is a tie with Athletic Madrid. After a 4-2 loss away, all seems lost as time ticks away, until an unlikely goal by a reserve defender in the 84th minute sends us to penalties and we advance even after my best taker is sent off. In the 2nd knockout round, we defeat Juventus at home 2-1 but lose away 3-0. Juve ends up winning the Champion's league. Things are looking up. But as it turns it out this is the best it will be for several long years. In 2026, we almost fail to quality. We start all the way back in the first round, easily defeating Molde, Red Star Belgrade, and CS U Craiova, the Romanian Champions. We draw Czech winners Viktoria Pizen and draw away 2-2. We have a player sent off in the 38th minute, but with our Champions league spot slipping away Keith Nugent rescues us again in the 89th minute and we advance on away goals. We are taken with a fantastic 17th year old winger for Viktoria, Milan Havlik, and trigger his 3.3 million release clause. Money well spent and it will led us to a big Czech contingent as I reshape our side.


In 2026 our draw is Sevilla, Schalke, and Lazio, and our performance is only good enough for 3rd and the EURO cup.
We lose the Senior Cup in 2026 by playing our reserves, the last time this happens (our reserves become that much stronger).

2027 starts by defeating Sporting in the first round of the Europa but we are hammered by Leverkusen in the second. This leads me to start a concerted effort to upgrade the squad.Ireland's coefficient shoots up, and so skip to the last qualifying round, where we hammer Football Club Midtjylland. We draw Real Madrid, Sporting, and Fotbal Club FCSB from Romanian and can't get the job done finishing 3rd.


In 2028, we defeat CSKA Moskow and lose to Arsenal in the Europa League.

In qualifying, we hammer Hajduk in the qualifying round and then draw Juve, FC Porto, and Club Brugge. We top the group and draw...Athletico Madrid.

2029 starts with us going out on aggregate, 3-2. In qualifying we crush Ludogorets Razgrad of Bulgaria before drawing a crazy group: Real Madrid, Juventus and Dynamo Kiev. We win the group with some great play and Juve hitting the bar 3 times, and draw...Athletico Madrid we win 5-3 on aggregate, before going out to Monaco on the last kick of the match.

We gain direct entry in 2030, finishing second to Barcelona in a group with Feyenoord Rotterdam and Leverkusen and draw... Athletico Madrid

Last edited by Portiere : 05-06-2020 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:40 AM   #18
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Our Squad for 2021: In Attack

Our attackers are probably the strongest part of our side, which is a bit unusual for a team that is not in one of the top 5.



Carlos Villarraga is probably the best of the group, a 25-year old Colombian international complete forward who also excels on the right wing, and sometimes will start there. He signed on a free in 2029 from Man United after a great season on loan. 4*. Facundo Piedrais our club captain, a Chile international pocher with a great eye for goal. We signed him in 2026 for 2.1 million from Cerro in Uruguay (all money in USD-I forgot to change it to Euros at the start and wanted continuity). 3.5*. Jan Skoda, a 20-year old wonderkid has already been capped 13 times for the Czech Republic. A complete FW who is also good on the left. Signed in 2008 for 3 million from Slavia Prague. 3.5*. Geraldo Santos is another wonderkid, a 20-year old Portugese complete forward signed from Braga in 2029 for 3.2 million. He just got his first cap from Portugal 3.5* Ales Berka, a 21-year old Czech complete forward has struggled a bit with injuries but did a great job leading the line in 2029. Signed in 2029 for 4.1 million from Viktoria Pezan. Capped 24 times for the Czechs. 3*



Our reserves are also quite strong. Home-grown Irish advanced FW Paul Mahon has 9 caps for Ireland at 22, and is a solid reserve and fills our our CL roster. 2.5*. Croatian international Daniel Barisic (20 years old) and Noway's Geir Hoff are investment players though Barisic is quite good and might get a chance. Hoff will be sold this year. Kingsley Ajah is a 16 year-old development player from the academy and looks promising enough to play at least in cup games and league walkovers.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:02 PM   #19
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Midfield

At AM Left, Milan Havlik is star winger. He scores, he creates, he defends, he does it all. At just 21 he has 30 caps for the Czech Republic, and is a key part of our consistently strong group play. 4*. 3.3 million from Viktoria Pizen in 2027. Federico Barreto backs him up. At 22, Barreto has been capped 13 times for Uruguay and has really improved as a player over the last two seasons. Free from Defensor Sporting in 2029. 3.5*



At AM right, Villarraga often starts hear in a bid to get more elite scores on the field. But Danish international AM Jonathan Hogh is an elite player in his own right. Signed form FC Kopenhaven for 7.5 million in 2029, he has been worth the $$. 4* Preuvian MF Junior Jimenez backs him up. Jimenez has been limited by injury and was not registered for the UCL. 2.5* Instead, Croatian backup striker Barisic is our 3rd choice R AM.



In the middle of the field, things are more complicated and I will have to sell some players because I have a glut. Alexandru Buca is probably the best player, a technical deep play-maker signed from Romania for $2 million in 2029. At 21, he is already 4* He could team up with Christian Briers, a physical CM. The wonderkid from Belgium has already been capped 9 times from them at 19. Other options are AM/MC advanced playmaker Joseph Bull, a 23-year old Scottish international signed for 1.8 million from Rangers in 2029 and Mateo Gaviria, a 25-year old Colombian carrilero signed for a song from Athletico Nacional in 2027. All 3* Czech Pavel Kopriva and Billy Kiely (home-grown Irish) provide backup. I didn't register 24 year old Maximiliano Carballo, who is really good but at just 5'4 struggles in physical UCL battles. I have a couple of other developmental players who will likely be sold and so not mentioned.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:47 AM   #20
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Defense

Our wingbacks remain our weakness. On the left, we have DLs Jaime Melgar from Peru and Viktor Knudsen from Demmark. Melgar is better going forward, Knudsen the better player. 2.5/3*. On the right, Serbian DR Dejan Dobric is a solid but not spectacular 3*. Homegrown utility CB/DR LŠszlů Balogh backs him up. 2.5/3* and is also the first backup. Our two Uruguayan CBs, SebastiŠn Nieres and Alejandro Sosa, are both future world stars at 20 and 18, Nieres is 3.5/4* and Sosa 3-3.5. Our backups are not strong and this is a problem. Most of these players will be sold and not worth mentioning.


GK is so so, Scottish GK John Green is 3/3.5*. I payed good money for Portuguese net-minder Silvťrio but he underperforms his 3.5*, drops to 3* after some bad form, and loses his starting spot.

Last edited by Portiere : 05-16-2020 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:51 AM   #21
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Spring 2031

We again draw our arch nemesis Athletico Madrid in the first knockout round. We start strong, with two first half goals from Havlik and Villaraga. Then its all Athletico. Aramis Suter scores three goals in 20 minutes and we lose 3-2 at home. Away we take the lead in the 6th minute thanks to Villaraga, but then give up two goals in the 2nd half. Villaraga equalizes, and we hit the post in stoppage time, they take the ball down and score. And then again. 4-2 and we are again out, and it feels like we are still treading water. Another season down the drain.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:58 AM   #22
Portiere
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Our bad results lead to a radical approach. We sell club captain Piedra (who has fallen down the pecking order), Carballo, Silverio and a bunch of players on loan and not in the big picture bringing in 154 million USD, and splash the cash.


We bring in five major players:


Danish AM Christian Marcussen (3.5/4) 15.5 million
Brazilian CB Elton (3.5) 15.5 million
German GK Jan Bolte (3.5/4) 19 Million

Dutch LB 21. Ivo Koster (3) 24 Million (to replace Kundsen who breaks his leg in training...)
and, in an astonishing coup
Uruguayan AR Marco Gunaris for 73 Million from Man City (4.5).


Gunaris is world class, and for some reason Man City isn't playing him enough. We get Man City to chip in 88k/week in salary and make him our most expensive player ever. This strains our finances--in the end the board chips in to make sure we meet financial fair play, though after all of the dividens they extracted its the least they could do. But I want to win soon, and he is the kind of player who can help us meet our goals.
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:49 AM   #23
Portiere
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We draw a pretty absurd group: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Basel (ok, that could have been worse).

We start with Bayern away at the Allianz Arena. Jan Skoda sets up Geraldo Santos for an early goal and we hang on as Bayern hits the post and our goalkeeping saves us. Next is Barcelona at home. We play them off the pitch 4-0, 23 shots to 12 and equal possession. I'm starting to think that we could actually win the thing. Two goals from Ales Berka and one each from Elton and Alejandro Sosa on set pieces. Our away match against Basel brings us down to earth. They grab an early goal, and while Santos quickly equalizes, we can't seem to manage a second until Daniel Barisic saves us from disaster in the 80th minute. 2-1.

Against Basel at home, we get three goals from the wings, as Havlik puts in 2 and Gunares a 3rd. We let in a silly late goal but 3-1 is good enough. We have now advanced to the 2nd round.

We start off like a dream against Bayern at home-Barisic scores a fanatic goal, then Sosa puts in a corner and we are 2-0 up after 10 minutes. Then Sosa picks up two yellow cards in 3 minutes and we will play the rest of the match with 10 from 13 minutes. Bayern smells blood but John Green (in for an injured Bolte) stands on his head, then Briers scores from the midfield and its 3-0 at halftime. Barisic scores again and we win 4-0. We've already won the group but face Barca at Camp Nou. We win comfortably, 3-1, with goals from Berka (2) and Gunaris before they manage a late consolation.

6W 0L 17GF 3 GA 18 points. Domination. But will it mean anything at all in the knockout rounds? After reaching the quarters in 2026, we went to the Europa in 27 and 28, w were bounced by Athletico in 29 and 31, and managed a return to the quarters to fail against Monaco in 30 on the last play of the match. Except in 2030, we haven't accomplished much at all in the Spring.

Except away to Bayern we have dominated everyone, and our upgrades on the wing and in goal have been noticeable. Will it be enough, at least for a big run? I'm losing patience with the project, and wonder if a Championship level budget will be enough for a title? (the top teams are spending 33-44 million pounds/year on wages, most of the rest are between 10-16. By comparison, we are at 24, which would put us 8th in the Championship. Ipswich, the lowest spenders in the EPL, are on 49 million pounds/year). With the exception of this year, I generally run a surplus in the transfer market, and my splurge means I will again need to sell if I want to buy anything at all...

Indeed, I have basically no transfer budget to speak us. Joseph Bull has lost his place in the 25 and some other players go out, mostly to balance the budget. I bringing a Polish wonderkid CB who is captied for the CL--our time will remain the same in the knockout round.

Last edited by Portiere : 05-16-2020 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:26 PM   #24
Portiere
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We draw Sevilla in the first round, and open away. In the first minute Mory Camara, who turned us down a few years ago because our stature wasn't big enough, runs through our center backs in the first minute and scores. But the rest of the match is all us. Milan Havlik takes a ball in traffic, turns, and puts it in to equalize in the 22nd minute. Sosa wins a crucial interception and then plays to feet, Skoda takes the ball down the left wing and drives a ball in to the box. Barisic out jumps three defenders and heads the ball off the bar and in. 2-1 after 41 minutes. Our third goal again comes as we win the ball in the back, Gunaris finds Barisic wide and he slots a perfect through ball for Skoda. 3-1 after 46. Toward the end Skoda pass to Barisic who takes it wide and then drives the ball near post where Skoda scores from an almost impossible angle for 4-1. Tie over?


At home Geraldo Santos scores in the first minute and we are cruising. But then they score 2 goals before half time to raise the level of drama. We hammer them in the last 15 minutes, with a hat trick from Havlik and headed goal by Elton. The get another in stoppage time 5-3.



We advance 9-4
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:04 PM   #25
Portiere
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Wantaway Center Back

Elton is making me mad. We're in the quarters of the Champions League, after eliminating Barcelona. All he can talk about is how he wants to join a Barcelona side that is so much stronger than us. He can't possibly wait, he wants to leave right away. I mean, we destroyed Barca. Maybe this is about the bigger paycheck? I tell him to be a professional, and he yells at me and stomps out. The problem is that I don't have another CB of his standard. Elton is 6'6, good in the air, and still mobile. He's a good third choice and can sometimes start if we need someone who is dominant in the air. He is really unhappy and we'll see if he can keep up his performance.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:28 PM   #26
Portiere
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Quarterfinal against PSG

We draw PSG and start the tie at home. After a drab start, PSG pounces on a deflected clearance and winger Velosa slots it home. Not impressive.

The match is pretty dull and while we push a bit at the end it looks like we are going for a loss. We win a throw-in deep in stoppage time but lose the ball-BUT Christian Biers makes an outstanding tackle and then with one touch finds Havlik. Suddenly Gunaris is at the back post and thumps Havlik's perfect ball in. 1-1. Game on.

Away at the Parc des Princes, the first 20 minutes are all PSG but we keep them out. Then disaster-LB Kundsen is sent off for an appalling tackle at 22 minutes, leaving us to play the rest with 10 (both of my left backs seem to do this now and then). But at 23 minutes a long ball comes to Santos at midfield, he plays the ball to Havlik on the left wing who holds it and the puts Santos past three defenders to run on and slot home. 1-0. At 36 minutes we go two up, Gunaris runs down a poor clearance and hits Havlik a prefect ball at the back post. We are winning despite playing with one striker. PSG will need 3 goals to win due to away goals. We give a goal back right at the start of the 2nd half. A failed free kick leads to a breakaway as star striker Rodriguez runs past our center backs- 2-1. At 72 minutes we take a corner, the rebound comes to Velosa who runs by everyone and then Rodriguez heads home. PSG throws the kitchen sink at us but we hold out and advance on away goals. Finally, we break the road block. We are off to play Chelsea who are at the top of the EPL in the semi-final.

Last edited by Portiere : 05-16-2020 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:30 PM   #27
Portiere
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Semi Final against Chelsea

We open against Chelsea at home (they are first in the Premiership but end up 2nd to Man City). After a slow star, Skoda is taken down in the box after Gunaris whips in a free kick. Berka puts it in the left corner beyond the outstretched keeper--1-0 after 37 minutes. Early in the second half Ivo Koster, our other left back, gets sent off for a rash tackle (he's underwhelmed after we paid Ajax 24 million for him) We close up shop but can't get a second goal.

All to play for at Stamford Bridge. We change from our traditional 4-2-2-2 and line up in a 5-2-2-1. Bolte makes a stunning, world-class save from a point blank shot from six yards out that I thought was a sure goal. In the 42nd minute Gunaris takes a ball from a deflected Chelsea cross and feeds Santos who runs with the ball 40 yard down the right touchline and centers for Havlik to volley home. 1-0 and a crucial away goal. Chelsea strikes back almost immediately with a goal from distance. We have a couple of nervy moments (deflection off Sosa that hits the bar) but close things out. 2-1 on aggregate and on the final.

We will take on Monaco, the French Champions on an incredible 104 points. The final is conveniently held at Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Monaco has elite level attacking talent across the front line of their 4-2-3-1. They defeated Benfica, Athletico, and Bayern, the latter 4-0, to reach the final. We will be huge underdogs, but we've played so well we know we can make this happen. Monaco are a very good side, but they are not quite as good on paper as several other elite clubs (Man City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, at least). We can win this--but will we?

Last edited by Portiere : 05-16-2020 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:08 PM   #28
Portiere
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UCL Final--Setting

Its a big first for Cobh Ramblers, as their narrow victories over PSG and Chelsea have them in the first final against Monaco. Moncao has become clearly one of the top two teams in France in this world, winning the 2031 final against PSG, as well as dominating Ligue 1 in 2032, though in the past 5 years they have been runners up to PSG. Since 2017 they are the only other team to have one Ligue 1, with 6 wins in this time span. So we play the defending champions (and the 2030 runners up) in their home country.



We line up in our customary 4-2-2-2. 6 of our positions are clearly spoken for when our first team is available (thankfully, we are pretty close to rested and healthy due to being able to play our reserves in the league and cups whenever we feel like it). Bolte in goal, Sosa and Nieres in center defense, Dobric at right back, and our two star wingers in Havilik on the left and Gunaries on the right. Kundusen gets the nod on at left back as his alternative Koster's form has been poor. For this match, in the middle I start our most defensive minded MF Mateo Gaviria as a water carrier alongside Alexandru Bucă as the play maker. Up front we start Daniel Barisic and Jan Skoda- tough on the three other players who could make a claim to start. We've very much rotated our midfield and attackers on our way to the final.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:47 PM   #29
Portiere
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The final

Monaco controls much of the game in the early going. 15 minutes in Moncao gets their striker through on goal with some slick passing--and Bolte makes a world class save to turn it around the post. From the resulting corner a poor clearance gets turn into the net but is ruled out for offside.



21 minutes in after a back and forth we win the ball in the middle, Havlik releases Skoda down the left, he sends in a prefect ball for Barisic who splits two defenders to slot home .


At 61 minutes we have a free header for a free kick at Sosa heads right at the Monaco keeper. That costs us as a minute later the match is tied, with a stunning build up and finish from the Monaco striker that just beats Sosa to the ball on the other end after some great passing. 1-1. At 80 minutes we take off Barisic and bring on Ales Berka--a fresh striker but also our side's best player from the spot. At 90 minutes, we are all tied.


Monaco has used all of their substitutes, but we have one remaining. Milan Havlik has had a great Champion's League but his 6.2 rating shows how poor he has been today. On comes Villaraga, while Gunaris moves to the left, where I've been slowly training him during non essential league and cup matches. Monaco looks exhausted, and the ref has given out only one card. So I change to get stuck in and move to control.



At 107 this almost costs us as a couple of quick passes gets Monaco free on goal but their exhausted center striker lobs over. Then, at 113 we strike. Gunaris takes the ball on the left wing and leaves his marker in the dust with a stepover. He plays to ball into the box to Skoda who draws two defenders and pulls the ball back to an onrushing Berka, who is free at the top of the six yard box. Into the right corner. 2-1.



They don't mount much of a challenge in the following 8 minutes, and Cobh Ramblers are the CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:22 AM   #30
Chas in Cinti
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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