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Career The Rising Power of South Africa


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Posted (edited)

Warning: I have VERY poor English, SORRY!!!

 

Background

I have been playing FMM (or FMH in the past) for 10 versions, but rarely had a long career, I stopped at around season 5-10 when things get boring since I have only played the top 5 leagues in the past. I have noticed the South African League (PSL) during my pentagon challenge, managed Jomo Cosmos ( Note: a club named after Jomo Sono, a famous South African football active around the 1970s-1980s, and he's currently managing them in real life and sits bottom of SA's 2nd division). Then, I have an idea of building up a strong South African force in football, why not? Let me take you on a journey out of Europe and into the unfamiliar land of Africa. WAKA WAKA!!!

 

So I checked which league in Europe has the most African players employed, and Ligue 1 popped up. So here you go, South Africa as the main stage, France for exporting SA players, England to get players the big money move occasionally. From experience, clubs from playable leagues interact with my players more frequently in terms of transfers. I only choose three nations as it will slow the game down if I choose more.

 

Spoiler

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Current State

Spoiler

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PSL is not the best but not the worst league but definitely needs improvement. Orlando Pirates is the club I took over, the club with the most history in PSL. Got fairly good facilities there to start with. These three players will be my base to build the team around: Pule is an excellent SS in the league, Mabasa can be a rotation option when Pule is tired, and Peprah might develop into a European standard. Finances: 400k Pounds to spend.

Teams to Watch Out

 

Spoiler

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Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns are the biggest clubs together with Orlando Pirates in South Africa, and the biggest derby is between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates called the "Soweto Derby". Among the 3 big clubs in real life, Sundowns enjoyed the most success in recent years, winning 6 league titles in the last 8 years. Kaizer Chiefs is the most successful in terms of history, winning 12 league titles and over 50 club trophies. Cape Town Spurs, formerly known as Ajax Cape Town (They literally had the same club badge as Ajax in the past), had the Eredevise Ajax as Parent Club and the main shareholder before, the club was sold in 2020 and was renamed and rebranded. Though in the second division at the start of the game, they have the best training facilities and youth academy.

The Objectives

  1. Build Orlando Pirates into a club similar to Ajax, a star factory, and export as many South African players to Europe as I can
  2. Improve Training and Youth Facilities of South African clubs to 5 stars of at least 5 clubs in PSL
  3. Win 8 CAF Champions League Trophies with any teams from South Africa(Currently SA clubs has a total of 6 CAF club trophies)
  4. Increase South Africa League ranking to at least Top 20 (Currently 33rd)
  5. Win 1 Club World Cup with any South African club (African clubs currently have 0 CWC titles)
  6. Get South Africa to win the Africa Cup of Nations at least 1 time, led by AI
  7. Develop as many South African staffs as possible

The Rules

  • Sign players from countries in Africa only (nationality)
  • Can only manage clubs in South Africa
  • No holidays
  • No Sugar Daddy or any unlockables
  • No editor...oh I don't have that anyways

I might add more rules and objectives in the future as I have not tried anything like this before and I don't know if it's easy or not. I will update after every season end to record club results and facility improvements. Specific players will be shown when they "Graduated" from PSL (Maybe a comparison of stats when they are first generated and stats when they leave + Player history). Anyways I hope it will be interesting to you all (this project definitely interest me), Have a nice day!

P.S. I have the thought of posting here after finishing the first season, so the 1st season update will be simplified with fewer data.

A Brief Explanation of South African Cups

Be the Coach Challenge (Carling Black Label Cup): Occur before the season starts, a cup exclusive to Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the first match in the final

Super 8 (MTN 8): Clubs that finished at the top 8 at the end of the season will compete in the MTN 8 for next season

Telkom Knockout: all 16 clubs in South Africa's first division PSL will compete in this tournament

Nedbank Cup: 32 teams are in the tournament, meaning clubs from the lower division will also participate, similar to English FA Cup

Seasons

*You can simply click on the season or competition you want to read, I have inserted links to them. The same goes for Player Factory

 

Player Factory

When players I developed got a move out of my club/retired after spending a whole ton of seasons in PSL (For a later stage of the game), they will appear here as a player report on their career so far and how they improved their game.

 

 

Edited by CZC02
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Season 1 Results

 

Spoiler

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Quite a shaky first season as I don't know who is suitable as my starting 11 apart from a few players. We have won the league on the last matchday winning 3-2 against Cape Town City, also winning the CAF Confderation Cup (2nd tier African club competition). Not bad for a start, but improvements are needed to fix the defence. Most of the matches I have won is like 3-2, 4-3, 5-2...

I did not sign any players during season 1 as the club is stacked with medicore players and is operating over the wage bill, I did sell some for the price of <50k

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We have also imporved Orlando Pirates' youth facilities by 0.5 star, hope this will give us better young players in the next season.

Key Players Performance

Spoiler

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My main man Vincent Pule has saved me multiple times in the season, scoring 29 goals and 13 assists accross all competitions. He played as the shadow striker in my 4-2-3-1. Stats Improved: Dribbling+1, Decision+3, Movement+3

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The second player is Tshegofatso Mabasa, he is not my first choice but filled in when Pule is tired in the SS role. He is an excellent impact off the bench as well, having 18 goals and 10 assist. Stats Improved: Dribbling+3, Technique-1, Creativity+1, Decision+3, Movement+4

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Goodman Mosele has surprised me as I was not aware of him at the start of the season. He pinned his spot down on the starting 11 not long after season 1 started, playing as a roaming playmaker on the right of double pivot. He has pulled the strings well for the team, contributing 8 goals and 6 assists. Stats Improved: Dribbling+1, Passing+1, Shooting+1, Tackling+1, Decision+1, Leadership+1, Movement+3, Teamwork+4, Pace+1, Stamina+1

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Kwame Peprah seems like a real deal after just one season of first team football, he is my first choice striker as a Pressing Forward, banging 25 goals and 8 assists and also winning Young Player of the Season in PSL. However, he might leave the club soon as his training report said he needs a higher standard of play to improve further, hope he is still in Orlando Pirates in season 2 for a taste of CAF Champions League. Stats Improved: Crossing+1, Dribbling+2, Passing+1, Shooting+2, Technique+6, Creativity+2, Decision+1, Movement+3, Pace+1, Stamina+1, Strength+2 

*I have trained my players focusing on decisions, and I believed Peprah has improved so much due to being a starter and mentoring.

 

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Posted (edited)

Season 2 (2022/2023)

Club Results

Spoiler

Our rivalry with Kaizer Chiefs burst out this season as we face our Soweto rivals MANY, MANY, times.

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We won the "Be The Coach Challenge" against them, them beat them 4-2 in the first leg of MTN8 semi final, then battered in the second leg losing JUST ON AWAY GOALS.... and we were beaten again by Chiefs in the league.

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A month later we were humiliated 3-0 again, out of the Telkom Knockout in the FIRST ROUND, great.

But, we kind of got some revenge in January where we finally beat Chiefs 4-2 in the league.

This season, we have quite a smooth run in all competitions apart from the Soweto derbies. I beileieve the squad's quality is a level above most of the African clubs, or the PSL sides to say at least...

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...until we met ES Tunis. Espérance Sportive de Tunis. One of the best clubs in Africa, they are the most popular and best team in Tunisia, having won 21 league titles from 1990/91-2020/21(30 seasons) AND winner of CAF Champions League in 17/18 & 18/19. We did not get past them losing 4-2 away and 1-0 at home.

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We did however, managed to show the North Africans what we are capable of, we dominated the match for most of the time but the end product just isn't there. This is a huge first step for South African football and we will only improve until we take the giants down.

About a week later, a 3-1 win against Golden Arrows clinched us the league title. Orlando Pirates has successfully defended their champions status on matchday 25.

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Moreover, we have finished the season in style by winning the Nedbank Cup, 2-1 win over Jomo Cosmos*. They are a side from GladAfrica Championship ( South Africa Second Division) that had a remarkable cup run to the final, it is just unfortunate that we are their opponents.🤭

* Jomo Cosmos, formerly known as Highlands Park FC, was bought by South African football legend Jomo Sono in 1983 and renamed into Jomo Cosmos. The side is a yo-yo club during 2010-2016, wandering between PSL and Championship, and currently sits bottom of Championship table with Jomo Sono himself as a manager in real life.

All in all, it was a pretty successful season as Orlando Pirates showed dosmestic dominance and winning a domestic double, a 21 point gap between us and 2nd place Stellenbosch means we are more stable than last season, a 16 point improvement. Nonetheless, we have yet win MTN8 and Telkom Knockout. Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns has fallen a bit despite having impressive facilities and being a rich club, while Stellenbosch is on the rise finishing as runner-ups for two consecutive seasons.

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There is a bug on the stage of "Be the Coach Challenge" as we have won the cup but it failed to  display us as the winner.

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Current State

Spoiler

After 2 seasons, taking 4 coaching exams at max, three of my South African staffs has got the gold staff badge, naming Ezekiel Matebula, John Williams, and Fadlu Davids.

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So off you go! I hope you all can find a new job at other clubs, should be pretty easy since there are very few South African coaches that have a higher badge than Silver. The below is my backroom staff at the end of 2022/20223, Xolisa Lubambo, Mpho Erasmus, Joseph Banyani, Karabo Tshepe, and Lauren Tate are all retiring players without a club and I have offered them to be part of the staffs. (John Williams remained as I cannot find a South African player or staff who is interested in being a Prevention physio)

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Moving on to improvements of other teams,

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Nope. No thanks.

SuperSports United* has improved their facilities and is now on-par with the Chiefs and Sundowns, it will be interesting to see if they can produce some serious talents and establish themselves as title challengers in the PSL.

*SuperSports United regularly finish at top 8 of the PSL in real life. They have 14 trophies in total, with most of their success coming after 2004.

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Players' Progress

Spoiler

Youth Integration

Sbonelo Mahapa has come through the ranks and was given a professional contract. The target man does not have the best potential, but his great work rate and determined personality will ensure he is a decent player.

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First Team

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Pule is still Orlando Pirates' best player, having 44 goal contributions across all competitions. Peprah came second, having 41 goal contributions which is earned him a move to ***(See Player Factory). Siphesihle Ndlovu has stepped up and become my first choice winger, it is a huge improvement on last season's 1 goal and 3 assist. He was awarded Players' Player of the season and with his versatilty on the three positions behind the striker, I will have to be prepared to lose him to a European side if an offer is on the table.

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Peprah came third as the young player of the season and is the PSL top scorer with 17 league goals. Pule, despite us knocked out of CAF Champions League in the quarter finals, became the Champions League Player of the Season. Oh thanks for the award by the way. :)

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Transfers

Spoiler

I have finally splashed the cash after one season. Simon Ngapandouetnbu will not be mentioned because the 20 y/o goalie has only started 10 times for us and has no particular impact.

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Ethan Brooks is a 20 year-old box to box midfielder who has excellent workrate and is great at both feet. He is poached from TS Galaxy, a side set to be relegated to Championship in 2021/2022. He's got a good debut season, netting 10 goals and 6 assists.

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Charles Darpoh is a young Ghanaian who has just been given a contract from Ghanaian club Ashanti Gold. My scout discovered him mid-season and the report mentioned the 17 year-old winger with 17 technique is a determined and professional player. 1 goal and 2 assists in 7 appearance as a sub gives him a great start at Orlando Pirates.

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I forgot to mention at the start of the save that the current situation for most South African clubs is like the screenshot below. They have around 70%-90% of local players and most of their first team members are old (age around 28-35). The ability and potential of young SA players are very poor with poor professionalism and work rate. Thus, I usually develop players with at least normal influence(No negative impact like poor professionalism, work rate , etc.) and release youngsters with bad influence even if they show high potential.

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Edited by CZC02
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2023 Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations

*I am not in charge for South Africa national team, they are led by AI.

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Before we reveal the results of South Africa in 2023 AFCON, let's take a look at Bafana Bafana's recent records.

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So now we know South Africa is not consistent at international tournaments, getting to second round will be a sucess for the first step.

Results

Spoiler

Qualifying for 2023 AFCON

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During the qualifying round, South Africa has topped the table consisting of Libya, Malawi,and Swaziland. This is predictable as the three teams do not have a large pool of players to choose from. Two losses from six games, however, is worrying.

Finals

At the final phase, a group with Algeria means we will unlikely top the table, but the likes of Uganda and Sudan can be beaten.

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As expected, 2-1 win against Uganda, 4-0 win against Sudan, and a 3-0 loss against Algeria, with Riyad Mahrez leading the team. They have met the expectations.

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The Bafana Bafana surprised me when they beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in the second round on their home soil. The host have the likes of Franck Kessie, Sebastien Haller, and Amad Diallo, all playing at the top level in Europe. Nice job!

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We are finally stopped in the quarter final only losing to Ghana on penalties. South Africa has overachieved in this tournament.

 

Concerns

Although South Africa has a fantastic run in 2023 AFCON, their player selection is VERY concerning.

THERE ARE NO PLAYERS PICKED FROM ORLANDO PIRATES. NONE. NADA. HOW????

In terms of stats, I believe there are a few players capable of getting into the 23 man squad. For example: Ndlovu, who had a fantastic season, can play anywhere behind the striker, got 20 dribbling, 17 creativity, and 19 movement, and he's not problematic.

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Here is the best winger the South African coach, Brandon Truter has picked:

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I think both of them are on the same level, and Gift Links is just playing in Europe. Even the likes of Pule or Pirates' captain Kwanda Mngonyama may have a chance of getting picked dispite not having the best stats.

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It annoyed me as a coach negelected players from a South African side who just won the domestic double with some of the best local talents. I have no idea how the AI works when players from Sundowns who do not have a better season than us were picked.

That being said, although you have led the national team to an excellent run in AFCON, Brandon Truter. With all due respect, your absence is required.

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Thank you and I hope you will not be seen again as the national team coach.

 

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Player Review: Kwame Peprah

Nationality: Ghanaian

Club: Orlando Pirates (2021/22-2022/23)

Destination: RSC Anderlecht (Belgium)

Spoiler

Peprah is one of the first players I have decided to build the team around at the start of the save. He does not have any negative influence at the club and is chosen as the first choice striker since season one. With regular starts and mentoring, he has excelled and improved alot within 2 seasons. However, he did fell out with mentor Gabadhino Mhango, a 28 y/o striker who is also Perprah's backup when he is tired. He stated that he did not get along with Mhango because there is little to learn from him. Nevertheless, he still managed to get 51 goals and 23 assists in 76 appearances for the Pirates, and is one of the reasons Orlando Pirates win trophies. Peprah has 4 titles in his time in South Africa, was named PSL young player of the season in 2021/22 and won PSL golden boot in the next season. Belgium side Anderlecht has paid 1.2 million pounds for the Ghanaian at the end of season 2, hope he performs well in big tournaments like Europa or even UEFA Champions League.

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Player Growth

Spoiler

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Crossing+1, Dribbling+2, Passing+1, Shooting+3, Technique+6, Creativity+1, Decision+1, Movement+4, Pace+1, Stamina+1, Strength+2

Personality: Normal --> Ambitious

 

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2 hours ago, Rob said:

Love how much you have invested in this - you can really tell. Great stuff. 

Thanks! Stay tuned for further update!😉

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Posted (edited)

Season 3 (2023/2024)

Feel free to comment and suggest how I can do better on this save☺️

*The full review of season 3 is now completed

Club Results

Spoiler

Our season started with a win over the Chiefs in the Carling Black Label Cup, Pule doing well as usual hitting 2 goals.

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And as I thought this season would go smoothly, things turned on us. At the age of 31, Pule's form is on and off and it is a serious problem when he is our main attacking output. Here is a situation which I have encountered frequently in season 3, where a lot of chances are created BUT THERE IS NO ONE FINISHING THEM. 13 shots and only 2 on target, against a team with the reputation of half a star.

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You might want to say "Oh didn't you sign someone to replace Peprah?". Yes, a 15 y/o Ivorian who have no experience on professional level.😎🍷

Yet, we still managed to pull something together and had a good run of form. For example:  another win against our Soweto rivals on a cup final.

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Then we head into international break with no football for the whole January-

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Okay how did this happened😂 I literally have no international titles and stayed in Africa for three years starting as an unknown. Thanks for the recognition tho!

Anyways, PSL resumed in February and injuries kicked in late March. That is the most hectic period South Africa clubs could have (March-June), there is a match every 3 days and teams with a shallow squad will fall, naming Orlando Pirates.

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As you can see here we did draw a lot as I was relying on young players I signed at the start of the season to get through this period. I conceeded first in most of them only to score late equalizers from experienced players getting off the bench.

By the way, we met ES Tunis again on the quarter finals. I tweaked my team to be dangerous in the counterattack and it worked beautifully.

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Not the best performance from us but our main striker this season Mhango grabbed the chances as we eked out a 2-2 draw, having 2 away goals is advantageous. It is even better when we are playing at home outperforming the CAF Champions League winner from last season. South African football has finally overcome the Northern power!

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Things got even better after the quarter final, we have been unbeaten for 10 matches and thrashed Moroccan side Wydad AC* 10-1 on aggregate in the semi final.

*Wydad Athletic Club is one of the best sides in Moroccan football, they have never been relegated from the top flight and have the most titles (Domestic and Continential) among all Moroccan football clubs.

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At last, the biggest honor an African football club could ever have is coming to South Africa. Vincent Pule, despite his inconsistency throughout the season, has done the job for us when it matters.💀💀💀

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Nearning the end of season, we have won Nedbank Cup and the title at matchday 30, the very last game of the season!! Mamelodi Sundowns could have taken us down when we lost 3-2 to them in matchday 29, having one point ahead of us and can be title winner if they secured a win in their last match. Welp, they slipped.

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This was by far my most successful season, winning almost every title possible. Although we struggled to find a consistent goal supplier, the team showed resilience when the season comes to an end.

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Here is the league table and you could see we nearly bottled it. Losing a good striker really damaged the game plan and my star player aging did not help the situation. But this also showed how poor the quality of PSL is, there is no challengers for the league title even if I messed it up in the early stage of the season. I definitely have to work on other big clubs as soon as possible to have little hope to imrpove the league standard.

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Am I cursed in the Telkom Knockout? There is nothing I can do to win the cup!

Current State

Spoiler

Three of my staff got their gold badge by the end of the season and you know the rules... GOODBYE!

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Here is my staff set up for next season. Kabelo Mahlasela and Makhehleni Makhaula are recruited as coaches in the free market. Mahlasela, who has an adaptive personality got the silver coach badge straight away. I guess he would "graduate" from the Pirates by the end of next season given he has a natural aptitude.

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The University of Pretoria FC is worth a mention here, they have upgraded their facilities and should be able to produce decent players now.

*The University of Pretoria FC, or as we called them Tuks FC, is a rather young club founded in 2002. They have a unique approach to developing young players compared to other South African clubs. There is the Tuks Sports High School dedicated to youngsters who wished to pursue a professional career in sports. Students who have potential in football will go to Tuks Football Academy, meaning Tuks FC reserves in the game.

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Players' Progress

Spoiler

Youth Integration

Lelethu Baliso is a young center-back who can also play at left-back. At the age of 17(16 when I give him the contract), he has excellent mental and physical attributes. I believe he can also do a job as an inverted left-back if he is to improve his ball control. He is also a future captain material with 14 leadership.

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Mphidisi Mngomezulu...I'll call him Disi. Disi is a central midfielder who can already captain the first team with 16 leadership, higher than anyone at the club. He is very fast and is a beast in mentals, also having a good work rate. Not the best on the ball, Disi can become a box-to-box, ball-winning, or even on the right flank as a wide midfielder if trained properly.

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First Team

Our first choice wingers Zungu and Ndlovu performed well consistently, with Pule scoring goals when he has a good day. It might be time to have a shift on attacking responsibilities and focus on wing play.
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Transfers

Spoiler

Departures

Kwame Peprah and Deon Hotto are the main departures this season. Both of them are crucial members in previous seasons, especially Peprah, the best striker in the league. Hotto, a left-winger left on a free at 31 and I thought young Darpoh who I signed last season could take his place. but no, I had to change the tactics due to the absence of these two.

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Arrivals

I have spent almost £10 Million trying to upgrade the quality of the first team. Some of them have huge potential scattered all over Africa.

*Joseph Quarshire will not feature in season 3 as he is an "end of season" signing.

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Maduka Okoye was supposed to be an upgrade on current first choice Ofori who is aging and not good enough. However, he seems to have difficulty adapting to life in South Africa, conceding 47 goals in 51 matches. Maybe it is just my tactic that has a problem as he has an average rating of 7.05.

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Cedric Hountondji was brought from Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot in France. A beast in the air with excellent defensive attributes, he has formed a good partnership with captain Mngonyama. Hountondji had a difficult start in Soweto, performing badly at the start, but turned it around later on. He made 40 appearances this season as the starting left-sided center-back, scoring 6 and assisted with an average rating of 7.17 despite Orland Pirates' poor defensive record.

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John Gyimah is a young player with immense potential but can only play in the central midfield. He has played 16 times this season and scored 5 goals and assisted once, most of his playing time comes from CAF Champions League against weaker sides. Yet, his poor work-rate could be an obstacle to his development in the future.

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Mduduzi Shabalala came from Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs for £550k. He was brought in to replace the out-of-form Masaba and aging Pule. Shabalala had a decent season with 5 goals and 5 assists from 34 appearances. He is also a solid option as a box-to-box midfielder when needed.

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Adamo Cornet is seen as a long-term successor to Peprah. The youngster bought from Ivorian club Société Omnisports de l'Armée acted as a backup striker to Mhango. He still managed to have 11 goals and 6 assists as a deep-lying forward. As Mhango is out of contract at the end of this season, Cornet may establish himself as the first-choice striker for years to come.

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Dan Ndhlovu was a panic buy in the winter transfer window with Darpoh loaned out mid season. He was mainly a backup at left-back and left-wing but still outperformed with an average rating of 7.41 from 12 appearances. He might be a decent wing-back, but I have no plans for him next season and would be looking to get him out of the club after 6 months of his arrival. HE HAS A POOR WORK RATE.

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Carlington Karuru was signed from FC Platinum, a Zimbabwean side. He has decent potential and can be useful after around 3 seasons on loan.

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Edited by CZC02
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Season 4 (2024/2025)

Club Results

Spoiler

I had a smooth run at the start of the season with 10 consecutive wins, then a few draws but overall Orlando Pirates performed well in 2024. We still lost at the first round of Telkom Knockout but that's alright...we've experienced it before...

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The real challenge started when we are in the group stages Champions League. We are in the same group as league title rivals Sundowns and unable to win against them. A draw and a loss mean we will be 2nd in the group and face stronger opponents in the knockout stages.

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Our first knockout game is the Soweto derby. It was a tough game considering we had lost 1-0 in the first leg but a late away goal sealed us a semi-final spot in the second leg.

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It was May when the Champions League's semi-final occurred and we had no problem there, winning 3-0 on aggregate against Tunisia side Étoile Sportive du Sahel. Sundowns have also made it to the semis but lost to the Egyptian club Al-Ahly. With two South African clubs making it into the semi-finals of continental competition, I think it is safe to say SA clubs have improved compared to before. We will avenge you and bring the cup back to South Africa again, Sundowns.🤜🤛

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At the same time, the league title race is coming to an end as Pirates and Sundowns have a 2 point difference between them and are clear above everyone. With two matches remaining, we lost to Super Sports United and gave Sundowns the lead.

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On matchday 29, things turned around when we won 4-0 against AmaZulu. Sundowns drew against 11th place Chippa United and gave us the lead!

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At this point, we are two wins from two titles: A Champions League Final and the last league match against Cape Town City. We have secured the CL with a 1-0 win against the African giant. Ohh... it's coming... Soweto?🤨

*Al-Ahly Sporting Club is an Egyptian club based in Cairo. They have a staggering amount of trophies, including 90 domestic league titles/cups and 25 continental titles. They are the most successful club in Africa.

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Now, all it's left is the last league match. As long as we win and Sundowns does not win 7-0 or more, we are safe. To strengthen our attack, I have even switched to a 4-2-2-2 with a b2b midfielder partnering my AP.

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YEEESSS! We have done it four times in a row, a 5-2 win to defend our PSL title again. Well done boys. Sundowns came really close to beating us to the league but they slipped it away. We have drawn and lost more this season with better players, it might be the clubs have better quality now than 2-3 seasons ago. Sundowns is now a side proven hard to beat, we can't even scrape a win against them in the league. Chiefs have fallen out of the title race for a while, we might need to help our unfriendly neighbor by giving them better players next season.

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But, the season's not over yet. There is still one competition, it gathers the best clubs all over the world and determines who's the best on the planet. The FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP.

Strangely, it stopped for 2 seasons after the 2021 edition and is back when we are in the competition. Yet, WHY DO WE HAVE GROUP STAGES??? What happened to the previous single-round knockouts?

Apparently, we now have more clubs in the CWC and only the best clubs in their group proceed to the knockout round. Let me introduce our group to you, Flamengo from Brazil and... BARCELONA.

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THE END.

I have searched up the latest CWC format and here's what I've found.

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Though it is not in real life, this frustrates me when I have to face more competitors and it gave me little hope to win the cup. Taking the in-game results as an example:

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Good old corrupted FIFA...

We had a very good season overall but were beaten at the first round of Telkom Knockout yet again. Stopping at the group stage in CWC is expected, considering Barca is our opponent. I am looking to push for a quarter-final place in the CWC next season.

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Club State

Spoiler

There isn't much to say here because none of my staff got the gold badge this year. Fortunate for them, they survived the chop...

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Players' Progress

Spoiler

Youth Intakes

A goalkeeper named Keanan Malgas graduated from the academy this season. He has decent potential and could replace first-choice keeper Okoye in 3-4 seasons, but an 'inconsistent player' on his coach report is a concern...

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First Team

Zungu, our first choice right-winger is the best performer in the Nedbank Cup and in all competitions, winning the MVP and having an average rating of 7.40. We have got more to be happy about, three of our young players are finalists for the PSL player of the season. We have got some real talents here.

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Sbonelo Mahapa, who becomes a professional football in season 2 seems to be Peprah's successor, scoring 21 goals in 29 appearances. His crossing improved immensely without reasonable explanation which I found quite funny😂.

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Adamo Cornet is a wonderkid I bought last season, he has improved on his game and shared the first-choice striker position with Mahapa. In 36 appearances he has scored 13 and assisted 3. Having 2 strikers upfront might be ideal in the future.

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John Gyimah spent most of his season playing as a deep-lying midfielder and managed to have 7 goal contributions in 35 matches. His average rating might not be ideal, but his passing ability made him an important player throughout the season. Southampton placed 1.5 million for him in January but we've declined the offer to develop him for another season and try to offload him to our league competitors. He's got a poor work rate and I don't like it personally. Might as well make our rivals bad at pressing;)

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Transfers

Spoiler

Departures

The main departures this season are Radiopane, Shandu, and Mhango. Mhango is a 32 y/o striker who fired us to the top of Africa last season. His contract expired and I did not offer him a new one to integrate young players into the team. He has retired by the end of this season. Shandu was my backup right-back who can also play in the midfield. At 30, I did not renew his contract because I wanted to inject energy into the squad.

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Radiopane was the striker I thought could replace Peprah last season. He failed to do so and being a selfish player does not help the team tactics. He's doing pretty well on his first season with Jomo Cosmos, scoring 7 in 16 appearances.

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Arrivals

I tried to sign big-name players with leadership qualities all season but their wage demands are off the charts. So I did not spend much this season with three new players coming in.

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Joseph Quarshie was bought last season and loaned back to his club. He was loaned out this season to Maritzburg City, a club in South Africa's lower divisions. I will be looking to find a professional player to mentor him and fix his attitude and sell him to other PSL if he's still unprofessional.

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Issa Kabore was loaned in from Manchester City, starting 34 games for us, and was rock solid in defense. We had a chance to sign him on a free when his contract expires this July, but he'd rather be a bench warmer in England than play regularly and be the best defender in South Africa.

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Alfred N'Diaye was a quick fix in the midfield. We did not have any defensive midfielders and his experience and qualities helped us. In 32 appearances he got a 6.78 average rating. Not a bad score considering he's playing DLP. His one year contract will expire before next season.

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11 hours ago, StuartM said:

Mahapa and Cornet look very promising, it will interesting to see how good they get mate

Yes, it is! It might also be quite difficult to keep them in South Africa😰

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Posted (edited)

2025 Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations

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*Cameroon's nickname "Indomitable Lions" comes from a rebrand from former president Ahmadou Ahidjo in 1972. "Indomitable" means "Impossible to subdue or defeat". The picture above is Cameroon's mascot Mola the lion.

Results

Spoiler

During the qualifiers, South Africa eased their way by beating Rwanda, Botswana, and Libya in every match.

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SA was drawn with a group containing Algeria again. This time, they don't have Riyad Mahrez as their talisman with West Ham star Said Benrahma leading the side. We have luckily got a 3-0 win against them and are through to the knockout stage.

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South Africa breezed past Togo with a comfortable 4-0 win but was defeated by the host nation Cameroon in extra time.

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South Africa stopped at the Quarterfinals yet again, but the quality of players is improving with the likes of Shabalala, Maela, and Brooks from Orlando Pirates called up and they will be aiming for a semi-final place at AFCON 2027.

U20 Results

Spoiler

The under-20s AFCON is where we discover African gems, but it seems like we've got the best players from the tournament already.

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South Africa U21 got no luck and was eliminated at the group stage. Even though they have promising striker Mahapa, the rest of the team's quality is very poor with most of their stats not over 10. On the other hand, Ghana U21 and Ivory Coast U21 went through to the semi-final. Their squad includes Darpoh, Gyimah, and Quarshie for Ghana (introduced in season 3&4) and Cornet for Ivory Coast.

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Ghana U21 competed with Egypt U21 for the third place and congratulations to them for beating Egypt 4-0 in the end.

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Ivory Coast lost to Algeria in the final and came second.

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Darpoh and Gyimah performed exceptionally well topping the scorers' list, while Cornet is the best player in the 2025 U20 AFCON.

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Edited by CZC02
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Posted (edited)

Season 5 (2025/2026)

Club Results

Spoiler

This is another very smooth season, Orlando Pirates is progressing very well on every front until April. 9 matches in one month slightly damaged the squad depth.

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Still, we secured the league title and Nedbank Cup in late May and we are pushing for the third consecutive Champions League title.

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Here it is! The CAF Champions League Final Orlando Pirates from South Africa against Zamalek Sporting Club from Egypt. The first half of the match remained 0-0. In the second half, Zamalek was down to 10 men and I thought we are going to be crowned champions again.

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But NO, we failed😔The team crumbled in the last 15 minutes and we were beaten...

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This is our season bagging only 3 trophies. but, our league performance improved by gaining 70+ points again. Having less than 20 goals conceded is a good sign that our side is stable in the league.

Club State

Spoiler

Four staff members got the gold badge by the end of the season, but I forgot to release some of them back into the market and they will be my staff members for Season 6.

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Players' Progress

Spoiler

Youth Intake

Ben Makhanye is a goalkeeper with 3.5 star potential according to the assistant manager's report. He can become our cup goalie in a few seasons but his inconsistency will be his biggest drawback.

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Leo Fortune has 4-star potential and already has the ability to compete with our first-choice keeper Okeye. He has good mental abilities like excellent professionalism, work rate, and determination. He will be given chances next season to develop faster.

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First Team

Three of our young players were named in the finalist of Diski Challenge Player of the Season, which is great...but the Diski Challenge is the reserve team...how did our first team players got the award?:laugh:

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Now, vibers, welcome to the Mahapa Show!

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He swooped almost EVERY award for the season at the age of 19, and came second as the league's top scorer, only losing to Pirates graduate Radiopane. Unfortunately, he was not named in the TOTS.

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His superb performance attracted teams abroad, Fulham once bid 14 million for his service in January, and now Spurs and Lens are interested in him.

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Transfers- Departures

*I have to split the transfers into parts becuz I had a busy window;)

Spoiler

There are 7 major departures this season.

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First, Goodman Mosele's place in the squad was taken by Gyimah, so I offloaded him to Marumo Gallants. With his abilities, he will become an integral part of his side.

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Ndah was a useful rotation option, but there are some arrivals this season with better overall ability so he went to another SA side Cape Town City. He did start for the side as the first choice and hope he can improve the club's competitiveness.

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Sam was my backup left back, at 28 his stats are not going to improve further so he went down to a Championship side to get first team football.

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Signing a one year contract last season, N'Diaye was never meant to stay too long in the club. It was a surpise when an English club wanted his service and he accepted it. The Moors from Solihull will be the last chapter of his career after playing in 6 countries. (France, Turkey, England, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa)

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Ofori was once our first choice keeper but lost his place to Okeye from Watford. His contract ran out and he decided to stay in SA and play for Stellenbosch. He is again a backup keeper for his new team.

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Our former captain Mngonyama ran out of contract at the end of last season. Before his retirement, he went to France and is playing for Angers' reserve team.

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Saleng went out of favor as young Darpoh took his place. He was out of contract and I thought some team from PSL would snap him up...but no. He went to Croatia's HNK Hajduk Split.

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...and here is Saverio Kort, who I signed on a free last season. He never played for the Pirates but was worth a mention. I signed him and thought he would become an important first-team player for us, but I mistakenly thought Suriname is a country in Africa.

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Until I saw this. So he was shipped to SuperSports United as part of an exchange deal. Kort made an instant impact for the side, scoring 12 goals and 2 assists in 17 appearances. I wish him all the best.

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Transfers- Arrivals

Spoiler

With the transfer budget of last season + this season (Around 28 million), I spent big on 23 new signings. There is a new policy for signings starting from this season:

1) Young players from Africa will be signed and become part of the loan army for a few years, then they will be sold to South African clubs on a cheap/free. (Something like what Chelsea was doing irl for the past 15 years)

2) Players signed for an instant impact will need to have 3 to 4 years playing at a high level. After 1 to 2 seasons playing for the Pirates, they will be loaned/sold to South African clubs. I hope these policies can improve the competitiveness of SA clubs.

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First Team Signings

I have scouted Nagalo for a few years, but he kept rejecting my contract offer for some seasons. This season, half of my defenders left the club and I finally got the money to sign him for 3.3 million. Nagalo slipped into the starting 11 immediately, forming a partnership with Hountondji. He has a 7.22 average rating from 27 appearances.

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As N'Diaye left the club, we lack depth in the defensive midfield role. The Senegalese from FC Porto was signed for 2.1 million and was expected to perform for 3 years. The 29-year-old played 30 games with a decent rating of 6.80.

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Dabila was signed from French side Lille for 2.2 million and became a useful rotation player in the squad. In 22 appearances, he got a 7.31 average rating, proving to be a solid player to rely on.

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Frosler was signed because of his versatility and as a South African. He cost us 3.2 million from Strasbourg but is useful playing on both sides of the defense. He has a 7.34 average rating from 26 appearances and is expected to become our first choice full back in the future.

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Sfundo van Heerdan is a wonderkid from SupersSports United. They wanted 300k for him but I was their club's financial status is 'Insecure', therefore we paid 1 million and Kort for his service. He was loaned back to the club for one season and scored 17 goals and 4 assists in 34 games.

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Cisse is the third center-back signing in this season. The OGC Nice's fringe player got 21 chances in Orlando Pirates and got a decent 6.95 rating.

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Switzerland side Winterthur was paid 1.9 million for Diaby's departure to Orlando Pirates. He has outperformed my expectations, having a 7.27 rating from 29 appearances. I expect him to grow in stats in the near future.

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Sima was a Brighton player since 22/23 season but never broke into their starting 11. We snapped him up on a free transfer and he is a great asset for us. Sima's first season in the Pirates got 9 goals and 5 assists from 30 appearances.

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Serge Aurier is a free transfer and instantly got the first choice right-back role. In 32 games he got 5 assists and an average rating of 7.37. He has a 2 year contract and is unlikely to sign a new deal in the future.

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Loan Army

I will not introduce every player, only those who were believed to have great potential.

Bamo Kone was signed from Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas for 120k. His first loan move to affiliate club Maritzburg City earned him 8 appearances, 1 goal, and 2 assists. A 7.75 average rating could mean he is the real deal.

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Arnold Mateta cost me 5.25 million from Tout Puissant Mazembe. He was loaned out to Tuks FC in the PSL and has 6 goal contributions from 13 appearances.

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Enock Mwepu was a free agent and was signed just to be loaned out. However, I ended up using him as a rotation option. He surprised me by having 10 contributions in 23 games, with a decent 7.08 Av R.

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Ben Aicha is a wonderkid from Tunisia ES Tunis. We signed him for only 727k. He will be a first-team player for us in the next season.

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Other young African signed: I have gone overboard in signing youngsters. Some of them are not good enough and will only block local youngsters' path, I will only sign young players who have the potential to be key players in a PSL side in the future.

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Edited by CZC02
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I love Reeve Frosler. Used him extensively in South Africa and South Korea this year. Great pickup!

 

I also like the idea of overpaying to help build up the other teams. Cool career!

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13 hours ago, hhooo said:

I love Reeve Frosler. Used him extensively in South Africa and South Korea this year. Great pickup!

 

I also like the idea of overpaying to help build up the other teams. Cool career!

I have used a few formations this season and Frosler can fit into every one of them! Btw thanks for reading :)

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Posted (edited)

2027 Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations *again

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Results

Spoiler

We have 6 players called up to represent SA for this edition's AFCON, an improvement to the 2025 AFCON. Ethan Brooks, Shabalala, and Frosler were called up in the past, I did not expect young stars like Fortune, Zulu, and Van Heerden to play for the national team. But I guess their abilities are too good to be wasted on the U21 side.

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Qualifying for AFCON 2027

In the qualifying rounds, SA did well to get to the group stages. Rwanda did not pose a threat, Gabon without Auba is an easy task, but not Tunisia. South Africa cannot get a win from them.

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Finals

Going into Group stages, SA managed to cling a win over other countries, including Tunisia who gave them a hard time.

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It is an easy second round for the Bafana Bafana, winning 2-1 over Mozabique.

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But their journey ended in the Quarter Finals yet again, losing to powerhouse Ghana 2-3 in extra time...

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U20 Results

Spoiler

4 youngsters represented SA U21 side this time, all coming from the Pirates Academy. Makhanye and Malgas were competing for the first choice keeper role, while Mahapa and Baliso were starting without a doubt.

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SA somehow managed to get the first spot in the group stage despite having a worse goal difference... their only loss came from a 3-0 defeat against Ivory Coast, starring Mahapa's backup Adamo Cornet.

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In the semis, they lost to Cameroon 2-0 and 2-1 to Ghana in the Third Place Playoffs...

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Baliso was named in the Best 11 for the U20 AFCON, Gyimah and Osei from Cameroon were also included.

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Overall, this is another disappointing year for South Africans. I thought they could get to the Semi-Finals, the U21 also stopped in the first knockout round. Yet, Brooks and Shabalala still have 5-7 years in their locker, and SA has some serious talents breaking through. Within 4 years, they might develop into a side that could at least qualify for the FIFA World Cup and progress into the knockout stages.

Edited by CZC02
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