Sixth season successes

Finishing 10th in our first La Liga campaign was more that I could have dreamed of given the scant resources at Alcoyano.  As I alluded to in the last post, we would have settled for fourth bottom but instead thrived amongst the big boys.

Rather than resting on our laurels I immediately set about making changes that could help continue our progress.  With some money in the bank and my achievements setting me in good stead I approached the board to ask for investment in both the training and youth facilities.  Whilst I was happy being a wheeler dealer I always like the academy to through a decent player my way every now and then.  Unfortunately in this save I haven’t had anyone of sufficient quality to challenge for a place in the first team, even lower down the leagues.

David Torres was finally put out to pasture after plundering 85 goals in five seasons.  I was confident Nicolas Schiappacasse could fill the void left by Torres so I opted against strengthening the CF position.  I did invest in Javi Noblejas as we were in dire need of a better quality LB.  Salva Ruiz was the lowest rated player from the previous season and hadn’t improved over the year.  Nobeljas brought La Liga experience and seemed a solid option within the budget confines we were still in.

Other additions were Alessane Plea on a Bosman free to offer some competition for the stagnating Javi Rudi on the right wing.

The final two additions were Anderson Michael for £100k and Moussa Aboua for £90k.

Michael has the potential to fill in at right back or centre back and Aboua is a little rough around the edges but I was swayed by his determination of 20 and the fact he is 6ft7.

The season started off well as we adjudted to our new surroundings at Hercules.  Sadly not many fans made the 75 mile round trip from Alcoi to Alicante and we were playing in front of sparse crowds at the bigger venue.  That said, we did manage to scalp one of the big boys in our  temporary home.

Just before Christmas we moved back in the refurbed El Collao.  Whilst it wasn’t the most spectacular, I was happy with our new home and the crowds swelled to the new capacity of 15,000.

With a few games to go we had the frankly ludicrous spectre of qualifying for the Champions League.  We had been unspectacular yet solid throughout the season and had turned defeats in to draws and draws in to wins.

The up side was we were in the driving seat.  The down side was the last three games were Celta, Real Madrid and Villarreal.  I didn’t expect to hang on to fourth spot as Real and Celta were both in good form.  The good news was we were guaranteed European football which was further progress. Well, winning at home to Barca might just be exceeded by winning away to Real Madrid to qualify for the Champions League ahead of them.

This review is deliberately short as I am racing ahead in the game and don’t want to fall in to the trap of behind three seasons behind.

One last bit of news was the welcome news of a potential new ground.  Things are getting interesting in the Valencian hills.

Six season completed means four more to try and win the league and match my ten season mark at Amiens (FM13) and Hansa Rostock (FM14).

Sink or swim

My first game in charge of CD Alcoyano was an inauspicious 0-1 defeat to the unfortunately named Prat in August 2016.  Since then we’ve been on a bit a journey and find ourselves at the top table in La Liga for the first time in the club’s history.   Having secured second place in Segunda it was time to welcome to big guns to El Collao, and they don’t get any bigger than the pride of Catyluna.

4-fix-out Continue reading Sink or swim

Pushing On

I am writing this with the knowledge it will be a shorter piece than normal.  The main reason is that I am pressing on with the save and want to get an update out there before I get too far ahead of myself.

As those paying attention will recall, my last update saw Alcoyano narrowly miss out and a very unexpected promotion in their first season in the second tier.  We made it to the play off final and lost 5-4 to Levante over two legs.  Whlist I was upset at this we were expected to be closer to the relegation places that the promotion mix so it was a great achievement. Continue reading Pushing On

Second Season Syndrome

It was during a conversation on Twitter that I realised that in what I class to be my ‘quality’ saves on FM I have always secure promotion in the second season.  Amiens, Hansa and Antwerp all made the step up at the second time of asking, as did Sudtirol on FM16.

With that in mind, I put myself under some pressure and targeted another elevation this time with Alcoyano.  The first season was as expected; middle of the road with promising signs coupled with serious inconsistency. Continue reading Second Season Syndrome

Anyone for Alcoyano?

Well here we are again, setting off on another journey to immortality (or the dole queue).  Unlike previous incarnations of Football Manager I didn’t have such a convoluted and complex selection process to choose who I was going to manage on FM17.  I ruled out smaller leagues, non-European leagues and Italy, France and Germany on the basis I had recent successful saves in those territories.  This left me with England and Spain and for once I was giving some consideration to picking a team from these shores.  That fleeting thought passed and I decided to pick a team close to Altea, north of Benidorm, where I holidayed this summer and will likely be going back to again. Continue reading Anyone for Alcoyano?

Plan of Attack

With FM17 creeping closer I thought I would draft a brief post on how I hope my CD Alcoyano save will pan out.

alcoyano-shirt

As I detailed in my last post, Alcoyano are in Segunda B (Group 3) which is the third tier of Spanish football.  Having scoped out the competition it appears the big boys in the division are Hercules who have a 30,000 seater stadium and were playing La Liga football five seasons ago.  Just to add some intrigue to the mix our division also contains the B-teams of Barcelona, Espanyol, Real Mallorca, Valencia and Villerreal.  Having had limited experience of playing against B-teams in Football Manager I know they can be highly unpredictable.  Whilst managing Hansa Rostock in FM14 I came up against a Bayern B-team that included Ribery, Robben and Goetze which was a shock to the system.

Continue reading Plan of Attack