Welcome back, friends!
For our new main save for the blog, I’ve decided to go back to my favorite challenge of all time, in “The Ultimate Football Manager Challenge!” This is a challenge from the SI Forums, and I feel it is one of the best overall tests of one’s football management ability. Let me remind you our goals for this challenge before I let you know how we got started!
The Ultimate Football Manager Challenge
Your manager character starts off as a 20-year-old (or 19, depending on birthday) manager with no coaching badges and a Sunday League Footballer reputation, and he starts off unemployed. You may load any nation you like from the playable nations with no edited databases, and you must win the following club and international competitions in the course of your career:
Barclays Premier League (England), Liga BBVA (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A TIM (Italy) and Ligue 1 (France) as well as FIVE other top-flight divisions of your choice. You must also win TEN cup competitions where top-level teams are permitted to enter.
You also must win the five major continental championships at club level, being the UEFA Champions League (Europe), Copa Bridgestone Libertadores (South America), CAF African Champions League (Africa), AFC Champions League (Asia) and the CONCACAF Champions League (North America) as well as the FIFA Club World Cup!
At international level, you must win the FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup, the UEFA European Football Championship, the Copa America, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the AFC Asian Cup, and the African Cup of Nations.
It isn’t a requirement for the challenge, but I’ve also added the Olympic Games as a personal goal for the challenge, as I love the Olympics. 😀
So, nothing major, just a few competitions and all… 😉
I started on July 1st, 2015 with my American manager, FMChampions DotCom. 🙂 I loaded the nations of England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, The Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, South Korea, and The United States of America. I essentially loaded any nation I could see myself managing in during the course of completing the challenge. I also added international players from every continent, as well as “Players in Continental Competitions” for all continents, so that international competition as well as continental club competitions will remain competitive throughout the course of the save.
The database came out to 75,580 players to start. Each nation (except for the US, which only has MLS) has their top-flight and second-tier league, and England was loaded to League 2.
We were unemployed for quite some time, and we wound up applying at the following clubs before we were hired into a job: Joinville EC, VfL Bochum, Oxford United (twice, they sacked the manager they hired after my first application during my unemployment), Seongnam, Criciuma, Nautico, Leeds United, Portsmouth, Gillingham, Barnet, Bury, TSV 1860 Munchen, Huddersfield Town, Bradford City, Walsall, Shrewsbury Town, Heracles Almelo, and finally Exeter City.
Probably the most interesting thing that happened during my spell of unemployment was Jurgen Klopp has already been sacked at Liverpool. He starts there on July 1, 2015 on the Winter Update, and he was sacked on November 29, 2015 with my Reds 16th in the BPL. 😦 Poor Jurgen. They replaced him with Rudi Garcia. I am not anticipating good things.
The only other hugely interesting thing that I noticed was Gary Neville had Valencia running really solid, to where they were worried about losing him at the end of the campaign. How things change in the universe of Football Manager. 🙂
We were granted an interview at Exeter City on March 2, 2016 and we were hired as the new gaffer on March 6th. I’ll be back with another blog post to explain how we’re handling our first few months in the job, I may save the strategical concept we’ll be looking at on the blog for the first full season, as we’ve been given no expectations for the rest of this campaign. We took over the club in 12th with 11 fixtures remaining, so we’re essentially safe and I’m not sure there’s much I can cover in such a short time that would be strategically relevant to you, to make you a better player. If there is, I’ll mention it in the next post!
As always, you’ll be able to follow along with our progress on Twitter at @FM_Champions, and we greatly appreciate you following the reboot of FMChampions.Com!