Hello hello everyone! I’m quite sorry that I suddenly stopped blogging and tweeting, personal life changed quite a bit for a while and I spent most of the year totally away from computers. I didn’t get to purchase FM15 until after Christmas, and after spending less than a season doing a save (where I, unknowingly went to Bolton, not knowing their financial issues) I decided to start a save with Roda JC in the Dutch 2nd tier to get familiar with the new game. It turns out that I got used to it quickly and started really enjoying the save. Since I was already 2/3 of the way through the season, I decided to just finish the season out and then start blogging and tweeting my save from the beginning of the second season.
Roda JC – Jupiler League
An incredible season overall. Despite the multiple runs of consecutive wins or unbeaten streaks, we ended up finishing in second due to Den Bosch having an even better season and staying just above us all year. Comfortably through the promotion playoffs, and I’ve taken the club straight back up to the Eredivisie.
The biggest accomplishment, however, has to be our amazing run in the Dutch Cup. When we drew PSV in the third round I was not expecting much, but we dominated the match. The scoreline isn’t really reflective, as we were 3-0 up at one point before they drew level. After the easy win against same level opposition, we again drew the top tier in Feyenoord, which I took as another death sentence. It was a much tighter match than PSV, although we still generally were in control. It took extra time for a breakthrough goal, but we got it early and held on well. Drawing AZ didn’t give me as much dread as the previous two, as I had seen we clearly could hold our own with the big boys, and we completely controlled the entire match. The final was sort of anticlimactic compared to the rest of the competition, embarrassing same level Sparta Rotterdam.
A very solid squad throughout the season, but Plat and Lagouireh were standout performers. Plat was a squad striker who wasn’t even really on my radar in the early season, but after a plague of injuries he got his chance and pretty much took over the first choice spot. 17 goals in all comps is respectable, especially since he spent the first few months hardly playing. Lagourieh was a winger that I retrained as a wide mid to fit into my 4-5-1 system and once he got settled in his new position, he absolutely made it his own. 7 goals and 10 assists added immensely to our success.
Roda JC – Eredivisie
We had a very short preseason, which is entirely my fault for getting too caught up in transfers and forgetting to schedule all the friendlies. All total blowouts against much lesser opposition, simply to build morale and fitness. Fitness is still looking pretty poor at the moment, but I’m still feeling good. Since we won the Dutch Cup last season, we both got qualified for the Europa League, as well as the Cruff Schaal, which is the Dutch supercup.
Another convincing win against one of the top clubs. Even after the first goal things were still nervous, as I had several new signings in the squad and we hadn’t had nearly enough time to get fitness up. They came our roaring after halftime, but we held our ground and eventually caught them on the break with returning loan star Reach grabbing his first goal of the new season. Even with PSV getting desperate, the lads played brilliantly and spend the last 20 minutes in more control than they had all match. Reach grabbed his second right at the end, just to make the scoreline look even better.
Lots of movement both in and out. Shame the almost all of the dead weight went out on frees, but winning the cup last year gave us a huge boost to finances and I really just wanted to be rid of their wages. Ake and Ibe are both very exciting loan signings and I’ll be expecting big things from both of them. I’ve picked out three transfers to highlight, although all of them were important to add quality depth or to improve weak areas.
Kante is the first, who I actually signed in the winter but just arrived in June. He looks like a very promising prospect if I can develop him properly. To be able to grab a young player with that much potential on a free was too good to pass up. I don’t think that Thorpe will be a star player, but he’s already good enough to be a rotation player with potential to be a starter, although despite what the scout says he may already be our second best centre back. Ayite, although getting on a bit, looks like a very good player, and will most likely be a first choice, although Plat(shown above) and our other striker Opoku will provide good competition (or support, depending on the tactic.)
I think I’m going to aim to do 3-month updates with this save, as doing monthly on a blog just feels like a bit too much to me. My computer is a bit of a dinosaur so it’ll probably take me several days between updates, but we will see. I signed a new contract at the beginning of this season for two years, but this is a journeyman save, so anything can happen. Cheers everyone, it’s good to be back it!