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Mr Tree

Career The "Goal a Mile" challenge goes to Italy - 25 seasons done

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Never enjoyed ITN management during club careers either, so I totally get it. Damn shame about coming few miles short. Sucks big time but still looking ok mate, nothing to worry about. 

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Thanks @Ian @Paul186 and @BatiGoal - it was a frustrating second half of the season but it's only a game :)

We have managed to escape! I hope I'll see Roma smashing it for the next few years cos I have left them with a damn tasty squad of upcoming stars, but I need to get back to my roots...

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Yes, we've made it down to the southern division of Serie C, called Serie C/C :)

And this looks like an interesting club - I'll have more info next time but the only staff when I arrive are... TWO gold coaches!

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On the other hand we're languishing in 19th with a young squad just after the transfer deadline so, there's that :)

Bit of VPL first and then I'll be back with a Latina update!

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Thanks @smoggy90 and @Titjes!

Season Twenty Two

So it occurred to me, while I was preparing my guide to my new club, that I didn't include the usual new stadium picture for the best stadium we're likely to call home!

Rome's Stadio Olimpico:

OlimpicoRoma.png.ce782a70c0a6d53a0c8a156b3c8838fe.png

I didn't think any team or city introduction was necessary ;)

Quite the opposite for my new club, who I doubt many have heard of!

Latina_Calcio_1932_logo.png.f8dc7051a5dd0db45bd63af421e657f2.png

They play at the beautiful Stadio Domenico Francioni:

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Latina was a "new town" made by Mussolini after draining swampland. It's now the second biggest city in the Lazio region, behind only Rome. It has just over 100k inhabitants.

The club had their "glory years" recently, reaching the third tier for the first time in 29 years in 2011 and getting promoted (and winning the Serie C Cup) in 2013. They even finished 3rd in Serie B in 2014, losing in the playoff final to miss out on promotion to the top flight, before going down the apparently traditional Italian route of running out of money and reforming in 2017.

A new club means a new hero:

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I mentioned that I'd inherited a young squad, and aside from six experienced lads plus my designated striker, we had a lot of kids:

Spoiler

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Fortunately their youth system seems decent, but a lot of them are still potential rather current ability, which made the going a bit tough as I had to survive till January without boosting the squad.

My first day in the office - the main reason for taking this picture was to show who my counterpart would be for my first match:

Spoiler

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Fortunately, we picked up our first win of the season immediately, with Pagana also swiftly off the mark:

Spoiler

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Simone was doing well...

Spoiler

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...but the team was struggling:

Spoiler

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Actually we never felt like the worst team - I felt we were playing well and just a bit unlucky. I was looking forward to getting those reinforcements in in January, though!

We improved, although the board started getting a little twitchy...

Spoiler

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I was just about able to pull clear in time. I was going to take a shot of my great form in the run-in, but then we lost two of the last three to make things unnecessarily tight and messy :(

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But anyway, job done. Made some nice signings so I was able to loan out some of the kids, and a few have come back with nice boosts, so the squad is building nicely - hopefully I'll be nearer the top next season. 

The main man did well enough:

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Slightly surprising, but I'll take it:

Spoiler

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And here's how he looked by the end of the season:

Spoiler

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And my profile:

Spoiler

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NEXT TIME - can we get Pagana the support he needs to fire us to a new job?

Edited by Mr Tree

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Many thanks as always, @Paul186 and @samhardy!

Season Twenty Three

We started by dramatically salvaging our place in the Serie C Cup:

Spoiler

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But we swiftly lost the main man for a couple of weeks:

Spoiler

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And our cup reprieve was short-lived:

Spoiler

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We started slowly with 3 losses in our first 10, but if you give this man a few months, he'll assemble you a Serie C winning team...

Spoiler

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And Pagana came back strong:

Spoiler

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And he kept rolling in the new year, emphatically beating his kinsmen and my nearest challengers in our first game back after the winter break:

Spoiler

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I was offered a chance to go back to the start of the challenge...

Spoiler

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But of course I turned it down, and Simone was still banging the goals in:

Spoiler

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We didn't lose in our last 28, wrapping the title up with a few games to go:

2033664518_Screenshot_20200206-212406_FM20Mobile.thumb.jpg.9a7a2209d708425ed9686ec68ea9be19.jpg

But strangely, my stars immediately dropped (I've settled on using the Detailed - Coach Report view to manage the squad) when promotion was secured - my first-choice XI were all 5-star players in Serie C, so the change was noticeable! I didn't mind too much, it gave me an early start at preparing for the step up, and I picked my team on the basis of Potential for the rest of the season - it went well (we kept up the unbeaten run), but we lost momentum a bit, so we got smashed in the Super Cup:

Spoiler

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Didn't help that Pagana got sent off in the first half of the first game, and that I had crucial players on loan from both opponents!

Anyway, Pagana's strike-partner picked up the Player of the Year award, and he grabbed the silver medal for himself:

Spoiler

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But, ridiculously...

Spoiler

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Anyway, my main man was the top dog:

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As you can see in the bottom-right there, he had 28 overall, taking us up to 49 goal-miles earned.

And finally, the man who made this all happen:

Spoiler

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And my profile after three-quarters of the career have passed:

Spoiler

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NEXT TIME - will we ever escape the barren hinterlands of Rome and find a new home? Or can my talented kids keep up my record of going through Serie B?

Edited by Mr Tree

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Cheers Paulo - how right you were...

Season Twenty Four

Firstly it's about time for a World Cup - and it's glory for Colombia!

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My season started nicely enough:

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Although the cup run didn't last long...

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They tried to tear me away, but I didn't have enough miles...

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Simone was doing alright with Serie B:

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And was I :)

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Meanwhile, a famous name was struggling badly...

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They were my next opponent - pleasantly surprised that the game let me have a last-minute winner :)

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It seems we don't start well but we finish strong - only 3 defeats in the last 27 games saw me coast to promotion (behind a dominant Fiorentina):

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The final league table:

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Unfortunately Simone's season ended early:

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15 goals for the year, taking us up to 64 in total. Unfortunately we seem to be totally buggered now, no clubs in this region at all, and he's not gonna do well in Serie A :(

My loanee star did superbly:

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...even taking the senior prize too ahead of my winger:

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But of course, that wasn't enough to get him in the Team of the Year :(

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Yes, I got mine of course:

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Here's the kid - looks tasty. Why the hell are his parent club loaning him rather than playing him?!

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This guy was a great help too, this year and last:

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One final footnote - alas, my old friends finally lost their top-flight status:

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NEXT TIME - relying on luck really to find us a reachable club to move on to...

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been doing some more research but i really am boxed into a corner here - it's still a long way to any other club (Casertana or Napoli). Pagana's not gonna be good enough to get many goals in Serie A. oops! this career is gonna end up far from successful :(

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Chin up @Mr Tree, all you can do is try to get him as many goals as possible and hope things fall into place but regardless it’ll have been a fantastic journey come the end wherever that ends up being. 

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All good, is what it is, took a couple of wrong turns and some unlucky breaks. Ever since I won the Champions League, it's fallen apart!

I'm 80% through so I'll see it to the end, but kinda itching to try my next save so... We'll see

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cheers Paul. quick update here, i got through a few games but now sidetracked again by VPL so it may be a little while til i can post season 25. the good news is that after worrying how we'll ever move forward, i just went for the "i guess i'll have to surround him with great players and hope they bounce enough goals in off him" approach and it's worked to an extent, so maybe 3 seasons of this can get me within reach of Naples etc.

it's certainly been fun, but i'll probably do a North to South UK one instead next year - a bit more richness of leagues and clubs. Here i'm just getting promoted twice and then struggling, plus clubs are in clusters (with a lot in the North!). no worries, was worth doing, and if you really went for it i'm sure you could get down to Sicily, but it's just a bit of a pain looking up every single bloody club - at least i know the UK a bit!

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Still a wonderful journey Tree. This has been a real treat to watch but ya some things have not fallen in place. Anyways just finish on a high mate.

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Season Twenty Five

We were a tiny club, albeit with a decent budget, so I scrambled desperately to recruit some players to give us a chance in Serie A.

We lost our first game 5-0 at Torino, despite playing quite well, so that was a bit worrying! But we soon found our feet...

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Not only was that a good win, it earned us some recognition...

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And it ended Napoli's unbeaten start to the season :D

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This was a curious message to receive - my young midfielder left confused as to which country he should report to :)

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Per above, I was nestled in just behind my two former teams, which obviously led to a lot of soul-searching on their side...

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You might've noticed above, I got Lencioni back on loan, and he earned some awards:

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Not just young player of the month, but...

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(Jamba was also on loan - what a name!)

Lencioni was joined by my young centre-back in the team of the year:

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And of course, another trophy for my personal cabinet:

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We got knocked out of the Italian Cup though :(

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But Pagana was doing well for himself:

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And youth academy graduate Scaletti started to blossom, joining Nives in the centre of my defence and earning some honours:

1950244531_Screenshot_20200221-155257_FM20Mobile.thumb.jpg.bda0e42fbd97bdf5739120d8de48b4ca.jpg

Pagana maintained his good form (while AP Vittadello was too cool for school)

2129338071_Screenshot_20200221-203412_FM20Mobile.thumb.jpg.4ce19aeeedbd38ab642a2d82abd8a32c.jpg

And our attacking prowess was reflected in the team of the month:

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All this meant that I needed to avoid defeat in a tricky last game of the season, and I did...

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...so I finished...

THIRD! Champions League football is coming to Latina!

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Just 1 loss in the last 13 to maintain the recent record of finishing well :)

My loanees got the top two spots in the young player of the season...

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Plus a clean sweep in player of the season!

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The goals helped sway the voters, I suppose. Somebody get the poor boy a pay-rise!

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And as for my main man, he notched a fantastic 22 goals, taking us to 86 goal-miles overall - a huge and unexpected boost!

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A couple more years like that will get Naples etc on the horizon. Impressive considering this is how he looks:

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(VERY keen observers might notice he earned himself an 11x pay increase during the season too - gotta look after them!)

My profile as we enter the final straight:

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NEXT TIME - can I boost the squad? Can I get Lencioni back?! Or will the raised expectations and champions league football be my downfall...

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