FM16 Pentagon: Forward, Unto the South African Second Tier!

Cape Town All Stars 2016/17

South African National First Division

Preseason

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As you can see, I’ve been quite the busy little (Africanized killer)bee this summer. The club really was in a state when I arrived, with some positions four or five players deep and some (ahem, like DM, which is vital to the tactics I want to use) with no one even remotely capable of performing.

Outgoing was mostly deadwood leaving at the end of their contracts, although our star fullback left to Premier League club Jomo Cosmos for a small bit of cash. “But he was the best player on the team last year!” Well, he was the most able, according to my coaching staff, but he just didn’t wow me. He certainly didn’t turn in the best performances on the team, and in the club’s financial situation 9k+ isn’t meaningless. This actually worked out rather well for me, as this cleared the left back spot for Sidney Mhlongo. Our club captain, Sidney brings pace and leadership to the team, although not much else. That leadership, especially coming from a player who isn’t new to the club this year, I’m hoping will make up for the fact that he can’t even jump high enough to get his studs above the grass.

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Jonas Nangombe is probably the new signing I’m most looking forward to. Aside from the killer mustache, he’s a solid forward who scored a good number of goals in this division last season and is best as a False Nine (which we use) to boot. Jabu Phiri is our other new striker, and also the only singing that we spent money on. I can’t explain that decision any better than you can, trust me.

Other notable new signings include inside forward Sidney Ngobeni(check out those non-competitive stats!), center backs Andrew Sheppard and Fuseini Boakye, fullbacks Lunga Ndlovu and Ntsikelo Hlela, and midfielder Luhie Sibaya(more on him later). We also brought in a goalkeeper on loan for depth and I finally got a defensive midfielder, among other lesser signings.

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A deceivingly impressive preseason. Outscoring our opponents 25-2 over seven matches is a great start, but only our final match against Santos F.C. (our roommates) came against equal opposition. Just about all the important members of our attack managed to knock in at least one (or in Ngobeni’s case, eight in six) goal to get ready for the season ahead. Our loan goalkeeper quickly became our main goalkeeper due to an injury to our number 1 Kops. The defense has been rock solid. Even against lesser opposition they snuffed out what few chances they made almost right away. In fact, the most negative thing I can take away from this preseason is that I have no clear first choice for several positions. With most of my initial first choice and backup players all turning in excellent performances during the buildup, I’m spoiled for choice. I know, I’ll regret saying that. Curse of the manager, and all that.

We start the season off away to Milano United. I hope they have the cookies, cause Werner and his boys are hungry.

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