Welcome back to more musings from the Fm Newbie!
If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I am taking part in a hexagon challenge, attempting to win the Champions League on the six different continents. I’d already completed Oceania, winning the Champions League with Auckland City two years in a row. Then I’d moved (briefly) to Al-Jazira(UAE) and then Guangzhou in China. And that was where I’d left it. It was at that point I started questioning the size of the task I was facing. It was a challenge I was enjoying, but with the limited time I have playing FM, thanks to work, girlfriend and life in general, my FM-playing time was limited. I wanted to be successful in a team I loved. Now going back home to Crystal Palace would have been difficult as currently, success looks a long way away. I knew I wanted to go back to Auckland and become more successsful with them. So I split the hexagon save and went back to Auckland…
I headed back to New Zealand with a question: hwo good could I actually make a team in New Zealand, even one with the pulling power of Auckland City. I also decided to go young, trying to get 1) as many youth players in as I could and 2) to get as many varied nationalities in as I could. Because of there being no home-grown rules in Oceania, it won’t matter about the varied nationalities. I know some of you may view this as wrong, but I am hoping to raise the quality of the league by employing this transfer policy.
Thanks to some cracking scout reports, I managed to bring in an influx of players. The majority of the players were the same from when I left, with the exception of Ivan Vicelich who had retired and joined me as assistant manager at Guangzhou. After our O-League defeat, I decided some reshuffling was needed. Here are some of the players I managed to bring in:
My first major signing was Jesse Makarounas. If you’re competant of Oceania & Australian football, you’ll recognise Makarounas as a former player of Melbourne Victory. And somehow I managed to sign him on a free transfer for Auckland. You’ll notice that the wages & value are in dollars, New Zealand dollars to be precise. I like to have the currency of whatever county I’m working in as the currency in game. Back to Makarounas, but throughout pre-season, I fiddled with him to work out his best role. In the end, it turned out to be as a flase 9 in a 4-4-2 formation. He’s a star in the New Zealand league but I’m worried about how long I’ll hold onto him for.
Kris Bright was someone I didn’t sign but is such an important member of our squad that I couldn’t not show you. Bright is a natural goalscorer. In 19 league games this season, Bright scored 17 times. Great consistancy. Much as his best role is Target man, I’ve been playing Bright as an advanced forward, purely to make the most of his finishing attribute (and also because the target man role seems more suited to playing direct football, which is something I won’t do). He scores all sorts of goals, from great first time finishes, to two yard tap-ins to 25 yard screamers. I am looking for his successor as he is approaching the age I like to call the cliff (which is about 34/35).
Lucas Luptak was one of those players that comes into your scouting range right at the end of the transfer window. And I was astonished at what the ratings said. A player who was 19 and was a 4 1/2* player? It seemed too good to be true. So against better judgement, I brought him in. And Luptak hasn’t looked back. He is easily the best left-back in the league and only dipped below an 8 average rating on the very last day of the season in the league. Unbelievably consistant, I’m hoping he’ll be Auckland’s left back for many years to come.
When I returned to Auckland, we won the Premiership quickly (by having the final as my first game), but then disaster struck! We were knocked out of the O-League in the group stage, winning one, drawing one and losing one of our group games. Hawke’s Bay managed to sneak through as a best runner-up by winning their last game. I genuinely feared for my job as I was expected to win the O-League. However, I was given another chance to redeem myself, and headed to the transfer market. Signing mostly youth players, I strengthened massively, bringing in real quality and real potential. In my next update, I will give you an overview of my most promising youth prospects, once a load more arrive at the end of June.
So thank you for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings. You can find me @TheFmNewbie on Twitter and The FM Newbie on Facebook. Please always like the post if you’ve enjoyed it and please retweet on Twitter. Thanks for being with me!