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Career The Ernst Willimowski Challenge - SEASON 2


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Here I will be attempting the Ernst Willimowski challenge. The general idea is to take over a club in Poland and sign a young polish striker who will become my new 'Willimowski'. The aim is to win 5x Lotto Ekstraklasa and win the Golden Boot twice in 7 seasons. The chosen forward must score more than 112 goals for the club before I can take a job in Germany and bring my player with me. In Germany he must score 166 goals. The original challenge post can be seen here: https://fmmvibe.com/forums/topic/44052-ernst-willimowski-challenge/

 

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My chosen club will be Ekstraklasa outfit Jagiellonia Białystok. Despite being an established club in the top division of Polish football, they have never won the Ekstraklasa but finished second in 2016/17 and again in 2017/18. I would be looking to change this and bring home 5 league titles. They do have some honours mind having won the Puchar Polski (league cup) in 2009/10 and also the Superpuchar Polski (domestic super cup) in 2010. 

They play in the famous red and yellow hoops.

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Bialystok is located in the Far East of Poland. The closest club in the Ekstraklasa is Legia Warsawa making this a bit of a derby.

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Season 1

Pre Season

First things first would be to sign a young Polish forward to become our 'Willimowski'. After scouting throughout Poland and surrounding nations, one prospect from Wisla Plock caught my eye. 

Spoiler

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Dawid Kocyła was picked up as our new superstar for €925k. He had pretty well rounded stats and a lot of potential to improve at only 18 years old. I would be retraining him to be deployed as an advanced forward.

Outgoings

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Our first choice striker Puljic was sold to free up some funds as well as some squad players that were deemed not needed. A few youth projects were also sent out on loan to gain some experience. A nice €6m was recouped which could be used to help bring in some new faces.

Incomings

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16 year old centre mid Kozlowski was our biggest expenditure bought from Pogon Szczecin for €1.6m, he had amazing potential and would be a big asset for us in the future. Hinokio was brought in from Stomil Olsztyn for €725k, the Japanese attacking midfielder has the ability to play on the wing or through the middle in the number 10 role. Szelagowski was picked up as a bargain who would play down the left for us. Overall a successful window I would say.

Tactics

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We would be playing an asymmetrical 4-2-3-1 formation with an inverted winger who would drift inside on the left to help out in midfield and also a shadow striker to help out the lone number 9. This formation appears very pleasing on the eye so hopefully will perform well throughout the season.

My expectations for the season are to hopefully push for a European qualifying place and just see how well we can get on in out first season with not the strongest of Polish clubs by any means.

August

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Our first game in charge of the club saw us come out on top in a friendly against Calico B side Venezia. We then progressed to the next round of the cup before a tough start to the league campaign. 

September

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We returned after the international break in good form, picking up our first league win and then another 4 points seeing out the month unbeaten.

October

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After a 3-2 loss away to Pogon Szczecin, the rest of the month was very positive, putting 4 past title challengers Lech Poznan and also progressing in the next round of the cup.

November

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Another unbeaten month saw us move up the table with a draw and a couple of 2-0 victories against Wisla Plock and Stal Mielec.

December

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We saw our winning form carry on into December with three out of three wins. The squad was gelling very well and the tactics seemed to be working wonders.

February 

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After the winter break in January we struggled to return to the league form we were used to picking up two losses and a 0-0 draw against rivals Legia Warsawa. Despite this we still managed to progress in the cup again after a tight 1-0 win at home to Cracovia.

March

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The start of March saw us beaten in the Puchar Polski Quarter Final against lower league opposition Gornik Leczna with a frustrating 1-0 loss. Despite this we picked our league form up and the goals began to return.

April

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We carried on this form throughout April only conceding one goal, with an impressive 3-0 away win in Poznan. A 95th minute winner at home to Cracovia and a steady 1-0 at home to Stal Mielec.

May

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We found ourselves now top of the league at the start of May, three points ahead of Lech Poznan, the team which we had done the double over. All we had to do was match their results. Three nervy 1-0 wins brought us to the final day of the season where Lech Pozanan were still only 3 points behind us. We failed to break the deadlock against Lechia Gdansk in a frustrating game which finished 0-0. Although a point was all we needed for the title. 

Spoiler

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It's official, Jagiellonia Bialystok had won their first ever Lotto Ekstraklasa!

Season Review

My first season in charge exceeded all expectations. I didn't think I would be able compete with the likes of Lech Poznan and Legia Warsawa with their multi million Euro squads and budgets. The defence was probably the main reason for our success, only conceding 14 in the league all season. Solid.

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Dawid Kocyła had a decent first season for us especially as he was only an 18 year old. He finished the season with 7 goals after having played 24 games, most of these off the bench. He finished the season with an average rating of 7.00 which as a striker is very decent considering all his substitute appearances. He was developing nicely and should be ready to be our starting number 9 next season.

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In other news Szelagowski won the Ekstraklasa Young Player of the Season, preforming tremendously as our inverted winger on the left.

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All in all the challenge was off to a great start, I did not expect to win the first league title this early on. Hopefully we can push on next season and do the same again, as well as hoping to qualify for European football through the qualifying path.

Thanks for reading 👍.

 

Edited by bst99
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Cheers for the comments 👍

Season 2

After last seasons success of winning the league for the first time in Jagiellonia's history. We would be looking to replicate that again this season whilst seeing if we could make it into Europe via the qualifying path. Dawid Kocyła is looking ready to become our first choice striker now at only 18 years of age. Hopefully he starts banging the goals in.

Pre Season

First things first a few transfer dealings would have to be done to get some more depth in the squad whilst also selling on a few players who were being monitored by scouts for the majority of last season.

Outgoings

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After winning young player of the season in the Ekstraklasa, subsequent bids of €6m came in from LASK, Greuther Furth and Watford for our inverted winger Szelagowski. After a little bidding war he decided to join LASK for €7.25m. Not a bad piece of business considering he was signed last summer for just €325k - (His transfer is not showing up on the list for some reason). Our first choice CM Pospisil moved to St. Pauli for €9m after being wanted by them and Darmstadt all season. Czech inside forward Tomas Prikryl also secured a move to Germany after being snapped up by Greuther Furth for €6.5m. First choice RB Olszewski saw a move to Spain after a €6.5m bid from Levante was too good to turn down. The rest of the transfers were second team outgoings and sending a few promising youngsters out on loan to gain experience. 

Incomings

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The main expenditure of the window was the young but experienced talent Bartosz Slisz from Warsaw who signed for €12m. He could play as either a roaming playmaker in CM or a ball winning midfielder in the CDM position. Polish wonderkid Ariel Mosor was also picked up for €3.7m, he was sent back out on loan but will definitely have a huge part to play in the coming seasons. Dawid Szot joined for €3m from Wisla Krakow, he would replace Olszewski as our new first choice right back. Tillman and Malone were picked up on the cheap from Germany and would become great first team additions. Youngster Marvin Obuz was picked up on a free transfer from Koln and would slot straight into the right inside forward position. A very exciting prospect, one to keep an eye on for sure.

Overall a very successful window which helped strengthen the squad whilst also profiting a huge €8m in transfer funds (due to the Szelagowski money). Huge for a club like Jagiellonia anyway.

June/July

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A nice 2-0 friendly win to start off the campaign in late June was followed by an action packed July where 8 games were played. An away trip to Georgia saw us take a 2-0 advantage in the Champions league first qualifying round. Unfortunately a tedious game against Piast Gliwice saw us lose on penalties in the Superpuchar final. After holding Dila Gori to a steady 0-0, next up was Greek outfit PAOK. A 3-2 loss on aggregate saw us drop down to the Europa League qualifying path as they were too much for us in the end. In the league we started off nicely with a 2-0 victory at home to Wisla Plock, followed by a couple of 1-1 draws. Was this a sign to come..

August

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Next up in the European campaign was a trip to Hungary. We were too strong for Videoton, winning 6-3 on aggregate. This saw us play Molde in the last stage before the groups. Unfortunately the Norwegian champions just edged it on aggregate meaning we qualified for the Europa Conference League. This would be the first time the club had ever qualified for the group stage of a European competition, never making it past the qualifying stages in previous history. In the Ekstraklasa we were still unbeaten but only picked up one win this month with the other three games ending 1-1.

September

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Our first league loss came to Lech Poznan after the international break. We followed this us with a convincing 3-0 away win in Sweden in our first European group game. Another league loss came in Gdansk before beating them in the first round of the cup 3 days later. 

October

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A solid October saw us go unbeaten in all competitions progressing to the next round of the Puchar Polski whilst keeping our spot at the top of the group after a 1-0 win at home to Brondby in the European Conference League. 

November

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A slow start to the month saw us lose away in Denmark before picking up another two draws in the Ekstraklasa. We turned this around with two 1-0 wins at the end of the month.

December

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We finished off with a very strong December just before the winter break. We progressed again in the Puchar Polski before finishing top of the group in Europe thanks to an away win in Moldova. In the league we picked up 7 points out of the 9 available.

February 

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We stated off strong after the break with a convening 3-0 victory at Gornik Zabrze before another two 1-1 draws in the league.

March

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An action packed March saw Lech Poznan do the double over us. We managed to bounce back from this and beat Sparta Prague in the last 16 of the European Conference. This meant a trip back to Sweden was on the cards in the quarters to play IFK Goteborg who we previously beat twice in our group. We exited the domestic cup to lower league opposition for the second year running, this time on penalties. In the league we picked up some decent results despite the number of games we had to play this month.

April

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We were well and truly into the business end of the season, another month with 7 fixtures. But we smashed it. 10 points out of 12 in the league and a 5-3 aggregate victory in the quarter final of the European Conference. Belgian high flyers Genk awaited in the semis. A solid 1-1 away from home saw us pick up a crucial away goal and all to play for back in Bialystok.

May

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Heartbreak, a late Genk equaliser sent the game into extra time before they got two on the break late on. We came crashing out of Europe but did fantastically to reach the semis alone. We finished off the league campaign with a couple of steady 1-0 wins.

Season Review

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We finished off 4th place in the Ekstraklasa but only 4 points off the winners Cracovia. We had a solid season yet again whilst only losing 3 games. The amount of draws that we picked up due to fixture congestion was our main downfall. If we had turned some of the 15 draws into wins we would have breezed the league. 

Dawid Kocyła had a very solid season scoring a good 28 goals. He finished the season with an average rating of 7.20 which is great for a lone striker. Hopefully he can kick on and do the same next season.

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In other news:

Spoiler

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This was the most appealing out of the many job offers I received. The only job I would take at the minute is the polish job.

Overall a very solid season, a very strong European campaign reaching the semis and solid in the league only losing three. Next season as we finished 4th and Gornik Zabrze won the cup, we didn't qualify for Europe. This would allow us to focus solely on the league and try and turn all those 15 draws into wins.

Thanks again for reading 👍.

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