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Career The Team of the Students - Briosa [ft The Black Hawk tactic]


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Hey guys!

I haven't been here for a while due to lack of time to play, but now with a little more time I'm going to start a save and I'd like to share it with you.

The team will be the Associação Académica de Coimbra, which I imagine many here don't know about. That's OK, if you guys are curious I'll leave a somewhat small introduction to contextualize who they are and their importance. If you don't care, just jump the next two segments of text.






Académica is headquartered in Coimbra, a city right in the center of Portugal with close to 150,000 inhabitants and which is known for its University. They play at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra (City of Coimbra Stadium), which was rebuilt for the Euro 2004, of which he was one of the venues.

I'll use my own The Black Hawk tactic for this one. Probably the first version of it, the restrictions I'll introduce will make it impossible to use the tweaked version for a long time...



Académica, also known as Briosa (which means something like brave, daring, valiant or gallant), and I'll call them Briosa a lot as everyone calls them that in Portugal, is the oldest Portuguese sports institution still in activity and has a very own history and mystique that make it unique in Portugal and perhaps in the world.

Just to contextualize, the Associação Académica de Coimbra (which literally means "Academic Association of Coimbra") was founded in 1887. It was, it is and hopefully will continue to be the students association of the oldest portuguese university, the University of Coimbra, whose foundation dates back to the 13th century (I think the exact date was 1290).

The Associação Académica de Coimbra has always played an important role not only in the lives of the students and the city, but also in various social and even political causes. For example, during our last dictatorship (which lasted about 50 years throughout the 20th century) they opposed the regime several times, facing repression from police forces and political police.

One of the most famous cases of resistance was during the Academic Crisis of 1969. Students were already dissatisfied prior to the entire thing. They demanded the reinstatement of dismissed teachers (you guys can easily guess why the dictatorship removed them) and the democratization of higher education. The whole thing escalated latter and students entered into open revolt when, during an event on the University, the then president of the Association was denied to speak. In the following days, the political police arrested several academic leaders and Coimbra was occupied by military and police forces.

It so happened that that year Académica qualified for the final of the Portuguese Cup. The students went to the Estádio Nacional do Jamor and their demonstrations and protests were in such a way that this was the first time that the final of the Portuguese Cup was not broadcast on television so that the people would not see that act of opposition to the dictatorial regime.




The football team supported their students in that game, symbolically entering with black capes on (image above). For those who do not understand the meaning of this, the black capes are part of the academic uniform, which is the traditional clothing of students in Coimbra. They were showing support and openly defying the dictatorship.



The history of the Académica football team has always had a strong presence in the portuguese sporting scene and an umbilical connection to university students. For most of its history, the squads were made up mostly of students, which is why the team became known as the "Equipa dos Estudantes" - whose translates to something like the "Team of the Students".

Much of the history, tradition and mystique of Académica comes from its connection to students. The team's kit is all black, which is a nod to the students' traditional academic uniform which is also all black. It's said that the Hogwarts uniform (yes, from Harry Potter) are based on the ones from the portuguese students, so you guys can see how they look.

Nowadays the team is no longer made up of students, but maintains a special connection with University students, the very unique Fado de Coimbra and the Coimbra Guitar.

I leave here a video of the brilliant Carlos Paredes playing the very unique Coimbra Guitar. I guarantee you it's the most beautiful thing you'll hear today. Also, this is the soundtrack you hear in the stadium when the teams enter the pitch, which makes it possible to perceive how much the tradition of the students is inculcated in the club and the unique mystique of Briosa.




It's something difficult to explain, but a student who passes through Coimbra will always be connected to Briosa, it's a bond that will never break. It's a team that almost everyone likes, either because they studied in Coimbra or because of what it represents, because of its history and tradition.

In its long history, Académica won two Portuguese Cups (it won the first edition of the Portuguese Cup in 1939, and more recently won it again in 2012) and participated 64 times in the Portuguese First Division, which makes it the eighth team with more participations in the top tier of portuguese football.

Unfortunately, however, in recent years a slow financial decline began, the result of years of consecutive mismanagement, which led the team to accumulate debts and gradually fall down the hierarchy of portuguese football.

And this is where the save comes in.



Académica was relegated in 2016 to the Portuguese Second Division. Despite having been close to returning to the top of portuguese football a couple times, that goal failed and in 2022 the unthinkable happened: Briosa was relegated to Liga 3, which is the 3rd tier of Portuguese football. It was the first time in its history that Académica dropped below the 2nd tier.

To make things worse, the huge debts forced Académica to declare insolvency. A restructuring plan was presented and accepted by a meeting of creditors. As of today, that's how Briosa is doing: fulfilling the restructuring plan while trying to be promoted to the Second Division despite their financial limitations.

The financial debt as of 2022 was of 12,9M. Yes, that's right, € 12.900.000. For a portuguese club outside the Big Three (Sporting, Benfica and Porto) this is an astonishing amount of money.

For this save, that plan was declined. Instead, a restructuring plan so severe was imposed that Briosa had no choice but to turn to the University again, returning to the tradition of the "Equipa dos Estudantes" - the "Team of the Students".

So, what I did was to trigger two narratives in game: "Austerity Measures" and "Asset Striper". Together, they send us to insolvency and initiated financial control measures to guarantee the payment of debts.






First, the Board put most of the most valuable players with the highest salaries for sale. I then took an additional in-game measure that made this situation futile, which was the use of the in-game editor to release almost all players in the main squad. I'll explain the reason further ahead.

Second, a budget reduction was immediately implemented in such a way that it left only € 458k of wage limit, which is lower than the current budget and will force immediate cuts in the team.

I also take the opportunity to say that it is the lowest budget in Liga 3 in game, only equal to those of Oliveira do Hospital and Montalegre, which are also around that amount. Those two are small local teams. This is really a low budget even by the portuguese 4th tier standards - and we are in 3rd tier.

Third, and I confess I didn't expected this one, the Board sold the Training Center and Academy. The impact of this in game is the quality of the Training Center having dropped from 3.5 stars to just 0.5 stars, while the Academy went from 3.5 to 3.0 stars.






The budget issue is clear: the current budget is above the € 458k limit and it will be mandatory to dispatch players to stay within the budget requirements.

The Academy's is a little more complex. In game, star reduction means that training conditions have deteriorated; for the purposes of the story, we will interpret this as the percentage of the Academy that we own - and in the future we will try to recover it as we improve the finances.



As I've said, Briosa will again be the "Equipa dos Estudantes". I'll try my best to use only Under23 players - this is to simulate a team of students, as is expected an 18 years old student to spent 5 years to finish his studies.

Additionally, I'll take an exception of a maximum of 3 players above 23 years old. Take that as if they are studying for a doctorate (LOL).

I'll also try my best to guarantee that reinforcements to the squad come from our own youth ranks, so regens and newgens. Only if we don't have enough players for some positions I'll search for Under23 players that are free or whose contracts are expiring with other clubs.

To guarantee that this is accomplished from day 1, I used the in game editor to release all players above 23 years old from the squad (except 3 of them).

The financial goals are to leave insolvency and to pay all 12,9M of debt. For that matter, we will have an anual wage budget limitation of € 458k (as it was what the game decided). If we exceed that, a tax of 25% will be multiplied to the debt.

If by some miracle we get promoted, the new wage limit will be what the game decides.



1. The squad must be composed mostly of players aged 23 years or less - the exception will be up to three per season whose age may exceed this limit.

2. Reinforcements to the squad must come directly from our youth ranks, that is, regens or newgens promoted in game. The only exception to this rule is if we are short of players on a given position; in this case, players may be hired as long as they are free.

3. The three extra players over 23 years old must already be part of the squad when they exceed that age, that is, they cannot be hired over 23 years old.

4. The annual budget while we are in Liga 3 will have to be less than € 458k. If we ever manage to get promoted, this value will be updated to the new limit defined in game (which is fair, because if we move up, revenues also increase and creditors will accept higher budgets).

5. At the end of each season, the day after the last game, the difference between the wage budget (let's see it as the revenue Briosa generated that season) and the current wage total will be calculated, and the financial debt (the one that starts at 12,9M) will be updated accordingly.

Example: if the season budget was on the limit of € 458k, with the wage budget being € 500k (500,000 - 458,000 = 42,000), the financial debt of 12,9M is deducted by € 42k.

If we exceed this limit of € 458k, the extra amount is added to the financial debt and a rate of 25% is applied on the new amount. Example: if we exceed the limit by € 100k, the deficit becomes 13M; 25% tax on 13M and the debt is now 16,25M.

6. Any gains from player sales are to be fully deducted from the financial debt.

7. Budget constraints will only be lifted when the entire financial debt has been erased.

8. Unexpected developments that are not foreseen may lead to new rules being presented and defined.


I'll present the squad for the first season soon.

Edited by Black Hawk
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Crikey! That’s a great set of limitations 👍

The asset stripper + austerity measures combo has a pretty severe effect on morale, so that’s going to be a challenge through the season 😞 

Good luck / I’ll be following this 

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Chapter I


Guys, here I am to present the squad that will try to conquer the feat of avoiding relegation of Briosa in Liga 3.

Académica had already started preparing for the 2022/23 season. There were players already with verbal agreements, others with pre-contracts and some even with signed contracts. Briosa had planned to attack the season with a squad of 22 players with the aim of fighting for promotion to the Segunda Liga (Second League, 2nd tier), but the financial crisis led to the departure of most of the squad from the first team.

To do this, as I've said, I used the ingame editor to release everyone above 23 years old - except for three guys that are the exception to this rule.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, let's talk about the coach.




The coach is a fool that no one knows who he is. Even his name is silly. Black Hawk? His parents must have loved him very much to give him such a name...

The coach starts with no experience, no badges, nothing. It's as bad as the players that make up the Briosa 2022/23 squad.

Of the original squad, there were only seven players left. Three of them were likely starters in the original squad, the other four were substitutes or alternatives to said substitutes. Now they are all starters, of course; which doesn't mean they're good, but that's all we have...

The three starters who stayed are David Caiado, David Brás and Hugo Seco. They are the only ones over 23 years old.

The first two, blessed them, stayed because they assumed their responsibilities as team captains and refused to leave the boat. Or because I decided it was important to keep the captains. Maybe that's why.

If only I had at the time the brother from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to say to me that "I choosed poorly"... But at the time this looked like a good decision. It wasn't. More on that latter.

The last of them, Hugo Seco, rumors says he stayed because at 34 years of age, no one wanted him. Rumors aside, I kept him because he is the only Inside Forward in the squad.

The remaining four are kids who should not count for anything this year. Let's hope they don't sh*t themselves because now they're going to have to play.

Apart from these seven, the rest of the squad are:


- some youngsters promoted from the reserves squad;

- two new signings that were without a club, they were the only free players good enough that I could reach;

- and three of those grey players that are shown when we don't have enough players on the squad - I don't have any hopes these guys are any good, but I needed players...


But I'm here boring you guys when I can show you the squad and maybe the images even help to better understand the hole Briosa is stuck in.


Briosa Squad 2022/23

[The wages shown on the printscreens are yearly wages]





Bernando Santos



Martim Remédios


Bernardo Santos is one of the survivors of the original squad. He was supposed to be the Keeper #2, but now he will be out guardian.

It's true that from his feet the ball always leaves straight for the hands of the ball-boys and his communication skills are appalling, but he is the best we have - just look at the stats of Martim Remédios...


Centre Backs



João Tiago



Diogo Marques



Diogo Amaro


The Centre Backs are always key to any team. They have to be solid and experienced to ensure the safety of the entire team.

Here, however, we only have three and two of them are only 17 years old. Everyone has visible technical limitations and lack on experience, so I expect a lot of defensive mistakes that will lead to goals conceded.


Wing Backs






José Maria Lucas (shown in gold because he was on the reserves team, not because he is any good)



Francisco Lopes



Romeu Pedroso


The only Wing Back that was left from our original squad was Francisco Lopes, who is supposed to be a hot prospect but right now is a very raw talent.

As I had only him, I had to bring new players to both flanks of my defense. Gabi was one of the signings, he is a left footed Wing Back that can play both sides - this may come in clutch sometimes.


The other two are just to ensure we have someone to play if needed. They were amongst those grey players that appeared on the squad because we didn't had enough players.





Vasco Gomes






David Brás



Diogo Cardoso



Joel Vilão


Here's the five magnificents who will take control of our games, dominate our opponents and assist our strikers!

Dear God, where did I get myself into...

Starting by David Brás, the guy who stayed because is our vice-captain. He's not a great player, but has some experience and his mental stats may help our young ones in their development. And yes, I'm aware of his (lack of) Leadership, but with so many changes I didn't want to meddle with our captain choices too.

Vasco Gomes is another hot prospect, or so says my staff. He has some decent stats already, if he grows a bit more the other ones may become decent too. Who knows. But compared to the others, he even looks pretty good, since Latón, Diogo Cardoso and Joel Vilão... Yikes!

Oh, Latón also is one big earner and I don't even know why. To make things worse, he starts with a two years contract, so I really hope he develops and someone take him from here.

Joel Vilão was another grey player that I promoted out of necessity.


Inside Forwards



Hugo Seco



David Caiado



Edmilson dos Santos


In Portugal we have an expression to joke about a group of old people. We call them "Brigada do Reumático", which in a rough translation mean "Rheumatic Brigade". My Inside Forwards are my "Brigada do Reumático".

Hugo Seco and David Caiado are my 2nd and 3rd allowed exceptions to the rule of Under23 players. The first one was kept because he was the only natural IF of the original squad; the latter was the team captain and needed only a bit of training to be a competent IF.

I only noticed latter how much both of them earn in yearly wages, especially Hugo Seco and his € 75k. So now I have two guys with 34 and 35 years of age earning almost 1/4 of the yearly wage allowed and they aren't even that good.

Let's hope their experience help the kiddos developing their skills and to scratch some points here and there.

Edmilson dos Santos was the 2nd signing for this season. He plays both flanks and has some decent stats if we ignore his Shooting. Truth be told, he was the only decent IF available for free and within my finantial reach.





Vasco Paciência



Desmond Nketia



Juan Perea


After the terror of the last printscreens, my Strikers don't look so bad at all. Vasco Paciência lacks mental attributes but has some decent technical ones. Desmond Nketia lacks technical but is a physical beast. Juan Perea is there in case some of the first two are injured or suspended.




So, with this squad I don't expect any miracle. It will be a long, long season where we will lose a lot. I don't know how my The Black Hawk will perform with a squad this weak, but even in the case we end up playing well, I fully expect a lot of errors from my players that will hurt us.

I'm not concerned. Truthfully. The thing is, Liga 3 is an odd competition whose rules help us by giving us time to develop our young players a bit before it's time to fight to avoid relegation.

Liga 3 is the portuguese 3rd tier and has 24 teams divided geographically in two groups of 12 teams: North and South. We are in the South Group.





The first phase, depicted in the image above, is a regular one. Everyone plays everyone, home and away, in a total of 22 games. The 4 best teams in each group go ahead to a promotion phase, the other 8 are divided in groups of 4. In each of these groups, 2 get to avoid relegation, the other 2 are relegated.

So, long story short, we have 22 games to develop as much as we can before that last phase where every game will be a matter of life and death. I don't have any hope in getting to the promotion phase, so we will be fighting for our place in Liga 3 latter in the season.

And yes, we start with 1 point deducted. That happened real life too, it was a punishment for overdue wages and financial defaults.

As for team goals, the Chairperson expects us to... keep fans and media happy...




... or what I like to call it, to smile and wave.

At least everyone is on the same page here.




To finish talking about the players and the squad, just an update on our budget. With all the players that left, we are now inside our yearly budget limit of € 458k. We have a budget of € 404k - budget not found ahah.

Anyway, the wage budget ingame grew to € 528k, we will ignore that for now as we cannot exceed the € 458k as per the rules.

This means we are inside the rules, even with Hugo Seco alone earning those € 75k. The problem I'm already seeing on the horizon will be renewing contracts with some players, most of them will ask for a lot more than what I can pay them.

But that's problems for the future, we will have time for that latter in the season.

I did play five friendly games before the start of the season.




The results are kind of what I expected.

The first two games were against Chaves from Primeira Liga (1st tier) and Trofense (2nd tier). We lost both of them, no surprises here.

Then we won against a small team from what we call Distritais. These are regional leagues, the 5th tier of our football hierarchy.

Then we played against two team of the Campeonato de Portugal, which is our 4th tier. The results show that that's probably Briosa level at the moment. We will fight for every point to avoid relegation by the end of the season, but will be an extremely hard season.

A proper challenge :)


PS: our youth intake will arrive in October, so I probably will post an update by that time to show what the game gives me. As I have so few players, I will probably promote immediately all field players available. Let's hope some of them are proper reinforcements.

Edited by Black Hawk
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Chapter II - August 2022 -> March 2023


In the last update I presented the squad with which we will play the 2022/23 season. As you guys may remember, it is a young and fragile squad, with several players with glaring technical limitations.

The expectation was that the kids would gain experience throughout the Regular Phase, which I remember being a phase in which everyone plays against each other over 22 rounds. The top 4 will go to a Promotion Phase, the rest will play in a Relegation Phase, and that's where I hope my kids will be ready to fight for our lifes.

I was prepared to concede goals from individual errors that would cost us precious points and therefore it was not surprising the bad start in the competition.


The first impact



In times like these when everything seems to be going wrong, a guy holds on with all our strength to what little we can to keep the flame of our hope burning.

In my case, I decided to ignore the results. It was more or less expected that the start of the season would be like this. More defeats, less defeats, one more goal here, one less goal there, but nothing different was to be expected. Our team is too young, inexperienced and, there's no other way to say it, too weak for this level. It doesn't help that that assh*le called Black Hawk wants to put 17 and 18 year olds, who can't even pass a ball properly, playing in a system of ball possession and short passes.

But as I said, I chose to ignore the results and focus on small positive indicators.

The team at times played well. I saw good offensive movements, good moments of possession, games in which we evened the scales against better-rated opponents.

But then, of course, inexperience together with some technical frailties were fatal to us. Defensive mistakes, ball losses in our defense when we were begging our plays, individual distractions that left the opponents with time and space to finish...

A good example of this was the reception to Fontinhas, in a game counting for the 3rd round of Liga 3.




Anyone looking at the result can't even imagine how balanced the game was. We had the ball most of the time, we made more shots, but every time out opponent went ahead, they scored.

When Vasco Gomes, who has been playing as a defensive midfielder, scored for the first time, we were already three goals behind at a time when Fontinhas had made only those three shots, all of them after we lost the ball in our defence.

A good example of a game where we played really well, but we failed to win, was against Amora.




The draw turned out to be a severe punishment. Only the combo of ineffectiveness at the time of finishing and a great performance by Luis Ribeiro, the Amora goalkeeper, prevented Académica's first victory of the season.





Anyway, I can say that we played well but the raw and objective numbers put us at the bottom of the table. Even if it wasn't the point deducted even before the start of the season, Briosa is at the bottom of the table and, let's face it, that was the expected place at this stage of our journey.

But this doesn't worry me too much. As we know, Liga 3 will have a final Relegation Phase and it is for that phase that we have to be prepared. This initial Regular Phase gives us 22 games to develop our young players in order to be ready to fight to avoid relegation in the final phase.

That is the focus and objective.

And speaking of young players...




On the 10th of October, as expected, the first batch of young talents from Academia Briosa arrived. Eight players, of which three are goalkeepers and five field players.

Given our squad limitations, the decision was obvious: I immediately promoted all the field players and, of the three goalkeepers, I called the one to whom my staff attributed the highest recommendation.

Here are the new reinforcements for what's left of the season.









The game ended up giving me what I needed. A goalkeeper with potential, a central defender, a midfielder and several inside forwards to replace Hugo Seco and David Caiado, who are 34 and 35 years old. Thank you Mobile!

It's hard not to get excited about young Vasco Santana. Owner of natural agility, he is good at all attributes, including Technique. Not much worse at 16 than my starter Bernardo Santos. I hope it has the potential to evolve.

Muhamed Torrado is not exactly extraordinary, but he already seems to be better than at least two of the three centre-backs that are part of the squad.

Nicola Saraiva, Apolo Marcelino and Lisandro Neca require some work, but Rosolino Morgado already has attributes at the level of the team's starters. If he develops a little more, he may become a star on this team in a few months - and, who knows, he may give a good financial income in the future!

There are reasons to be hopeful for the future.


Full throttle before the World Cup break

As it is a World Cup year, Liga 3 stops at the beginning of November for three weeks. It's easier to train on victories and that's why the games until this break were key to properly work during these three weaks break.

And how did it go? Good...




... really good!

Our first victory came on 16 October 2022 in the trip to Madeira, against Camacha, in a game in which we naturally demonstrated our superiority over a team from the Portuguese Championship (portuguese 4th tier).

I won't be able to explain if it was because of the confidence of that victory or for any other reason, but when we received Caldas in Coimbra a week later, we got our first victory in Liga 3.




I'm not going to post screenshots of all the games, just a few that I understand were important on this journey.

The reception to Caldas was one of those. Not only because it was the first victory for Liga 3, nor because it was against the then undefeated isolated leader of our South Zone group. More than that, it was one of those games in which our young team have shown they know how to suffer.

By the way, just look at the statistics. We started strong and scored two goals before the 20th minute of the game - and here we have to give credit to Desmond Nketia, who was in the starting line-up for the first time and who, in addition to his goal, provided an assist.

From then on, it was suffering, because Caldas is on another level and came at us with everything they got. It took a mix of luck, opponent's misses in front of goal and a lot of sacrifice, but the three points stayed in Coimbra and Caldas finally lost in the competition.

In the first 20' we did some very interesting moves that show how the tactic is starting to click. A perfect example of this was the first goal, with the ball moving quickly and a lot of movement without the ball.




After Caldas we were defeated again against Setúbal, but we didn't let ourselves down. We narrowly won against Moncarapachense for Liga 3 and Anadia for the Portuguese Cup, and a goalless draw against the young team of Sporting CP allowed us to go into the said break more relaxed.


Ups and Downs by the Réveillon

We had three weeks to train processes and physically recover the squad - which at this stage had many injuries and of important people, such as Latón, João Tiago and Hugo Seco, all of them starters in the first games.

The return put us through a cycle of three games against direct opponents in the fight to avoid relegation. This is the kind of game we have to win, because although it is not achieved in the Regular Phase, the better placed we finish, the more points we will have in the Final Phase (I'll explain this latter).




The balance turns out to be positive.

The said first three games against direct opponents earned us seven points - and it's worth noting that two of those games were away from our home.

The main highlight has to go to the reception at Amora.




It pains me to write this as Amora is my hometown and I really, really love them (on the The Black Hawk tactic topic I did a test save with them), but right now on this save they are dead last. However, anyone who expected an easy victory was wrong. Amora fought fiercely with the characteristic determination of the their peoples and almost avoided defeat.

But the game was very deceiving, as we entered the field winning with this precious goal from Vasco Gomes. The boy was chosen to play as a defensive midfielder, in the role of Roaming Playmaker which, as those who used this tactic already may know, is perhaps the heart of my tactic.

Here his function as a very active midfielder without the ball is visible, in this he appears in the opponent's area to finish with class.




Amora reacted to the goal conceded and tied midway through the first half, a goal they already deserved at the time. It was up to Vasco Gomes to score again to put Briosa back in front of the scoreboard before half time.

We were superior throughout the game and created several changes to kill the game, but the truth is that we missed them and Amora ended up fortuitously scoring in the 89th minute of the game. It was teally harsh and it seemed to everyone that the three points were going to slip through our fingers.

But lo and behold, in the stoppage time, the boy Apolo Marcelino, one of the regens recently promoted in October, was knocked down in the opponent's area and he himself decided to took the penalty. He is 16 years old, but he didn't tremble a bit and was the hero of an epic victory.

This victory gave us a good margin to face the second round - it was the 13th of 22 rounds. It was also the last game of the 2022 calendar year and, as you know, that means the transfer market was about to reopen.

You guy see where I'm going, don't you?





The transfer market opened and on the very first day Coruxo, a Spanish team of a similar level to Liga 3, appeared and offered a proposal for Bernardo Santos.

It is important to emphasize that we have many players whose contract ends at the end of the season and our limited budget did not allow me to meet the demands of many of them. Bernardo Santos was one of those cases. The boy asked for a huge amount of money that Briosa didn't have and we had to go with the risk of losing him in June without any compensation.

He was our goalkeeper and was one of those responsible for some of the good results achieved - and also for this reason his market value inflated to reach € 350.000. Fortunately, the Board allowed me to negotiate his departure, which made it possible to reach advantageous conditions.

We managed to get € 300.000 and 25% of a future transfer, which turns out to be a good transfer considering that Coruxo could have taken the boy for free in six months time. Those € 300.000 will be directly deducted from the financial deficit, as stated by the save rules (I'll make the math of all this by the end of the season).

As you can see, the next three games ended in three defeats, not unrelated to the fact that he left. The goalkeeper who replaced him was Vasco Santana, the 16 year old kid promoted in October (print of him previously on this post) who appears to have potential, but is a few clicks below Bernardo Santos.

With such a young squad, I seriously expected that we would break after those three defeats, but behold, the kiddos surprised me with a brilliant victory at Estádio do Restelo.




For those of you who don't know, Estádio do Restelo is one of the mythical stadiums of portuguese football. It is the home of Belenenses, one of only five teams that have already been Portuguese champions.

Belenenses and Académica are two of the most famous teams in Portugal. Despite being both in the 3rd tier of portuguese football (and for different reasons), a clash between these two teams is one of the most beloved classics of our football. That alone makes this game deserve this highlight, but as you guys can see on the printscreen, it was a great and fun game.

My striker Nketia continues to deserve his place on the starting eleven and he was the one who put us ahead by two balls in Belém (the neighborhood of Lisbon where Estádio do Restelo is located). Now, of course, Belenenses is obviously an opponent of another level (at least for now) and they came at us with everything they got; and we, with a partnership of 17 year olds centre backs due to various injuries, ended up conceding a draw.

At that time I feared that we would still lose the game, truth be told. But that wasn't the story to be written on that cold January afternoon.




The fans of the historic Belenenses were still celebrating when our B2B Nicola Saraiva, another one of the regens promoted in October, appeared in the box to give us three precious points that put an end to the sequence of three consecutive defeats.

In this play I just want to highlight the role of Nketia (#19) coming from inside the area to the left flank to receive the ball, then quickly opening the game with a pass to the right wing on the other side of the field.

This pass unlocked everything, as it was on the right side that the space to explore was. Gabi, the right Wing Back, put the ball in the box and Nicolas Saraiva appeared there to score his first goal as a professional at 17 years old.

This is in line with everything this tactic is about: a lot of movement without the ball, the striker leaving the box to support the team, the wing backs very up on the ground and the midfielders exploring the holes left by the movements of the forwards.

This is nice!


The final run

There were six games left to end the Regular Phase, which can be divided into two blocks: the first three against opponents disputing promotion; the last three against teams from the middle and bottom of the table.




Unsurprisingly, we didn't won once in any of those first three games. In Caldas da Rainha we were dispatched by a tough opponent, but at home we still managed to take two points that, let's face it, in our current state they were very well received.

Of the three following games, the cycle began in the Algarve against Moncarapachense. A direct opponent on the table, this was a game in which I clearly expected us to take the three points and I felt that they were within reach, but a disastrous second half turned the 1-0 at halftime to a final 1-2.

Ironically, it was against the strongest of these final three opponents that we managed to return to winning ways.




We had already got a draw away against Sporting B earlier so the victory might not have been a surprise, but in fact it wasn't so much the victory as much as the class our kids have shown. Briosa fought to an even game against an opponent who presented people who should have been playing in the Primeira Liga in their first team.

The victory ended up being guaranteed with the first goal as a professional of another one of our regens of October, this time the inside forward Rosolino Morgado.




And once again I have to highlight the role of our Roaming Playmaker Vasco Gomes with an fantastic assist for the kiddo to finish with his magical left foot.

In the last round we won again, in a game without much history or outstanding reasons besides having finished the Regular Phase of Liga 3.

And how was the balance of this first impact of the new Briosa?





A much positive one! I'm proud of our kiddos, who despite their inexperience, the many individual mistakes that led to goals conceded, the injuries that affected several players and the departure of our goalkeeper in the middle of the season, ended the Regular Phase in a solid 7th place.

But the job is not done. In fact, the work hasn't even started yet, because now begins the Relegation Phase of Liga 3.

Everything that has been done so far is worth nothing if we fail in the last six games.





Fortunately, our final position was quite auspicious, as it allowed us to avoid Sporting B and Belenenses, who seems to me to be the strongest teams from all the ones on the Relegation Phase.

To explain this: the groups of 4 are formed with the teams that ended up in 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th in one, and 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th on the other one. We were 7th, but Sporting B was 6th and Belenenses 8th, so we ended up in different groups.

Also, 5th on Regular Phase starts the Relegation Phase with 8 points, 6th with 7 points, 7th with 6 points, and so on. So, as far as we are concerned, the 7th place in the Regular Phase allows us to start the Relegation Phase two points ahead of the dreaded relegation places.

Real and Oliveira do Hospital are opponents perfectly within our reach. We only go down if we don't do our job. In fact, we could even settle the business early if we beat them at home, which happens in the 1st and 3rd rounds. Two wins in those games and we've already won a margin to manage on the last three games.

But as we often say in Portugal, the best thing is to go "game by game". We will play the first one and the we worry about the next one.


Thinking about the future

The biggest difficulty at this stage of the save is managing renewals for the next season. I lost Bernardo Santos because I couldn't renew with him and I have several starters who don't want to renew. It's been difficult.

Of those who wanted to renew but were asking for obnoxious amounts of money, I risked dragging that decision until closer to the end of the season to see if salary demands become more reasonable. Of course, this is a risky bet, as at any moment other clubs could offer them contracts...

Fortunately, this did not happen en masse. Some starting players are actually leaving (more on that in other updates), but three of them renewed when I started new renewal rounds after the last game of the Regular Phase!






We are talking about three regular starters. Not so much about Diogo Cardoso as he is being used on the starting lineup as much as in the bench, but Vasco Gomes and Desmond Nketia are being Briosa's two best players.

Vasco Gomes is the engine of the team. Secure with the ball, he always delivers it perfectly, offers passing lines to teammates in all areas of the field and has shown an appetite for goals, so much so that he is our second best scorer despite playing as a defensive midfielder.

As for Desmond Nketia, the guy started to score goals as soon as I put him on the starting eleven and his value in actions off the ball is incalculable in the team's offensive manoeuvre.

Keeping them for the next season is the best news of the year.

Edited by Black Hawk
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Chapter III - March 2023 -> May 2023


The three-week gap between the Regular Phase and the Relegation Phase of Liga 3 served two purposes: for the manager to prepare the kids for the next six decisive games; and for the Board to start new negotiation rounds with several players whose contracts were ending.

The renewals posted in the previous update made the manager much more relaxed about the next season. There were several players whose future should pass through places other than Coimbra, but at least the most influential players would remain.

And speaking of influential players, two names should be mentioned: Vasco Gomes and Desmond Nketia.

Relieved by that, Black Hawk prepared the team as best he could for the first round of the Relegation Phase.


Relegation Phase - First three rounds

The first three games included the receptions to Real and Oliveira do Hospital in addition to the trip to the Azores (where Fontinhas is based from). Half of the work to avoid relegation passes through the two games at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra against those two teams, who were theoretically the most accessible opponents in the group.

Aware of this, Briosa's kids went all out for the first match against Real.




Does it surprise anyone that it was precisely Vasco Gomes and Desmond Nketia who guided Briosa to victory?

The kiddos entered the field strongly and tenaciously pushed Real to its defence. The goal did not come early, but finally a good collective move ended with an exquisite cross from left-back Francisco Lopes for a powerful header by Nketia.

Winning from just after half an hour, Briosa never really had the advantage at risk, but the tangential advantage was a risk that at any moment could cause trouble.

The natural anxiety that grew in the stands was transmitted to the players on the ground and some promising shots that would have given the goal of tranquility were missed.

But the goal would eventually emerge. And in great fashion.




Vasco Gomes, the Roaming Playmaker, the engine and heart of Briosa, received the ball from Latón and courageously fired with such conviction that only the nets could stop the trajectory of the ball.

There was a sigh of relief in Coimbra. The first three points were conquered and with them we opened a margin of five points to those behind us.

In the first relegation position was precisely Real, as Oliveira do Hospital also did not win in the first round, having only drawn against what would be Briosa's next opponent.




Briosa's two previous games against Fontinhas resulted in two defeats for the students - one of them by a copious 1-4 in Coimbra, our biggest defeat of the season. Fontinhas, incidentally, is one of those teams that is at this Relegation Phase by mistake.

They finished the Regular Phase in 5th place, just one point shy from the Promotion Phase, so they were now fighting to avoid relegation in a group in which they were clearly the strongest team.

No wonder why they soon took the lead in a game that I felt at the time to be a one-way game.

But Briosa knew how to react and little by little stole the impetus from Fontinhas. The last 15' of the first half were already dominated by our kids and the exponent of that superiority resulted in another beautiful goal from Vasco Gomes - an unstoppable kick from the edge of the box.

The second half was divided without any team having managed to dominate the opponent. The game would be decided on the difference in individual quality available to the two emblems in confrontation.

Ragner Paula decided the fate of the three points, finding his way to the nets of our keeper Vasco Santana in a shot 30 meters from the goal.

Real beat Oliveira do Hospital in the other game, which meant that the margin for them was again just two points. Beating Oliveira do Hospital on matchday 3 would be essential to restore the safety margin in the standings.




And that's exactly what happened in this duel between neighbors (there's some 70 km between Coimbra and Oliveira do Hospital), although the game was much more complicated than expected when the referee started the game.

Briosa entered at full speed and took just 4' to open the scoreboard. A beautiful move of collective involvement with the ball passing through most of the players ended in a deadly assist by Nketia for our captain David Caiado, who isolated in the face of the goalkeeper did not waste it.

The game continued with Briosa being better in every chapter until the fateful 22nd minute.

A midfield duel resulted in Latón collapsing onto the grass, clutching his crotch. Oliveira do Hospital's players did not sympathize with his cries of pain and continued the game, taking advantage of numerical superiority to tie the match.

Briosa's players protested with Oliveira do Hospital's, members of both benches entered the field and there were clashes between the two entourages, but the damage was done: the visitors drew the game and the season ended for our kiddo Latón.




It is at times like these that the inexperience of our team is noticed. The kids, inexperienced as they are, didn't have the emotional control that was required and Oliveira do Hospital was on top of the game until the break, not scoring their second goal by mere chance.

But the football gods, because they exist, are sardonic beings. They did not miss the visitors' attitude in the 22nd minute, and they ended up providing Nicola Saraiva, the kiddo who came on for Latón, the goal that would give Briosa the victory.




The regen Nicola Saraiva, just 17 years of age and serving his first season after his promotion in October, scored his third goal of the season with an exquisite free-kick. What a first season he is doing!

Oliveira do Hospital did not give up until the final whistle, but the result would not change anymore and it was a hard-fought victory for Briosa - sweaty, but crucial.




And crucial because Real managed to draw against Fontinhas. If we had drawn, the difference would have been just two points for Real - who happened to be Briosa's next opponent. Thus, four points gave us a much safer margin to face this trip to Massamá (neighborhood just outside of Lisbon from where Real is from).


One last effort - the last three games

The week that led into that game ended up being a though one for the Briosa family.




There's no easy way to put this: at 35 years of age, only two weeks prior to his 36th anniversary, our captain David Caiado suffered a career ending injury.

Hia decision wasn't immediate, but few weeks later (by the end of June) he announced what everyone expected: his days as a professional footballer have come to an end.




He may haven't fulfilled the potential everyone believed he had when he was a hot prospect on the young ranks of Sporting CP, but he did a career that led him to play in several countries such as Spain, Poland, Bulgary, Ukraine and Romania.

Ended up as team captain of the mighty Briosa - that's far better than most players would be able to.

As far as we are concerned, David Caiado's injury was a heavy blow. In addition to being captain, he was absolutely essential in the team's offensive maneuvers, playing as an Inside Forward by the right flank. In his last game he even scored a goal.

It was therefore without him that Briosa traveled to Massamá for a match that was our first Match Point on the Relegation Phase. Winning would ensure an advantage of seven points with two matches remaining, which would mean our goal was settled.

For that reason, and also to dedicate the victory to David Caiado, the only result acceptable was our win.




Without David Caiado, it was up to David Brás to assume the leadership of the team. And he did it with distinction, scoring the opening goal of the match that left Briosa very, very close to settle the issue.

At this stage the matches are a kind of knockout games. There are very important things at stake and the fear of losing is far superior to the desire to win. As a consequence, games at this stage aren't pretty; they are divided, they are battles.

The time progressed without any change to the result. Mancha Negra (the name of out Ultras, which means something like "Black Spot") was celebrating in the stands the imminent victory, much because Real did not show signs of being close to re-enter the discussion of the result.

And, out of nowhere, a misplaced shot from a Real player was deflected by Francisco Lopes. The ball betrayed Vasco Santana. The kiddo remained static and watched, astonished, the ball entering his goal.

It wasn't just the victory fading; it was our season goal fading away.




The draw was not a bad result in itself, as it allowed us to keep an advantage of four points. Also, it meant the relegation of Oliveira do Hospital - this despite they having beaten Fontinhas. It's true, it was a very strange week.

After all, the only way for Briosa to go down would be if Real won their last two games and the students' team didn't score more than one point. It was an unlikely scenario, but not impossible.

For that reason, it was convenient to settle thia in the next game against the already relegated Oliveira do Hospital - mainly because the last game was against Fontinhas and, well, the three defeats against them this year prove the risk that it would be to leave everything pending for the final day, isn't it?




Once again, our kids denoted all their inexperience and let the victory slip away in the final moments of the match - and as in the previous game, it was at 87th minute that the victory eluded us.

This match even started with Briosa in full throttle. Desmond Nketia showed why I prioritiz Pressing Forwards with good levels of Aggression in his attributes when, at the 5th minute, he took advantage of a lack of attention from the opposing defense to put us in front of the scoreboard.




The rest of the game looks like a carbon-based photocopy of what happened the week before in Massamá. Two teams restrained on the pitch, looking more to avoid mistakes than to create goal opportunities, and in the end...

Well, in the end Miguel Rosa took advantage of a ball that our defense was not quick to relieve after a corner kick and tied the game.

It now remained to find out what happened in the other game, because as mentioned earlier, Real would have to win both of their games to be able to steal the Liga 3 spot from Briosa.

And what was Real's result in the first of those two games?





Real was defeated by Fontinhas!

Briosa guarantees the much-desired spot at Liga 3!

I'm not going to lie: it was a long season. There were many moments of doubt and fear. At various times I thought that we would not be able to avoid relegation.

In fact, after the defeat against Fontinhas and seeing Real just two points behind us, and we still having to play at Massamá, I seriously feared that relegation was a very real scenario.

Fortunately, our kids ended up winning it over.

Some moments were better than others, there were ups and downs, we won games without knowing how and we lost or drew others in a frustrating way. We complicated our lives unnecessarily, even in these last two games. But it's done.

This was our goal and it was achieved even before the last match. With all the financial constraints, the young and fragile squad that it was possible to assemble, the frequent injuries, and the losses of our goalkeeper Bernardo Santos and captain David Caiado, it would not be possible to ask for more than this.

Oh, sure, there was one game left to play.




It didn't count for anything and we took the opportunity to rotate the team, launching all the young players who in this final phase of the season were less used.

Fontinhas weren't in the mood to play either on a hot and sweltering May afternoon, so the goalless draw turned out to be the natural result.




Real would end up losing against Oliveira do Hospital in the last game, which also didn't count for anything, and after being Briosa's main opponent in this fight they ended up finishing last.

In the other group of the Relegation Phase with teams from the South Zone, there were no surprises.




Sporting B and Belenenses confirmed their favoritism and avoided relegation at the expense of Moncarapachense and Amora.

I am very upset by the relegation of my Amora. I don't even want to talk about it. Seriously. Let go of me! I don't want to!





Attesting to the immense quality of the South Zone of Liga 3, of which we were a part, the two teams that won the Promotion Phase and therefore rose to the Second League were Vitória FC and Leiria.


Individual statistics

As the numbers will show, I rotated the team many times to give everyone opportunities to shine and develop. Some justified this trust better than others, which was also expected to happen.




Statistics of the most used players, selected in the positions in which they played throughout the season


No big surprises given what has been seen over these updates, the individual highlights are Vasco Gomes and Desmond Nketia.

There's not much to add about Vasco Gomes - I've already mentioned his role as a builder as Roaming Playmaker. The fact that he scored five goals and, with that, he was the second best scorer says everything about his importance.

The top scorer was, of course, Desmond Nketia. He scored with his head and foot on fourteen occasions and even assisted his teammates for three goals - and he could have more if not due to the misses of many of our players at the time of finishing.

Still on the positive, the unlucky captain David Caiado contributed with four goals; the regens Nicola Saraiva (three goals!) and Rosolino Morgado (three assists!); the goals and assists distributed by several players from different positions.

Disappointments were more than expected. The biggest of them was by far Vasco Paciência, who achieved the feat of scoring just one goal in the entire season, but he wasn't the only one.

Hugo Seco, the highest paid in the squad (€75,000 a year) and one of the most experienced at 34, scored just one goal. The same number had Edmilson dos Santos. Both are Inside Forwards and I expect them to score goals, as they are supposed to appear in the finishing zone.

Finally, Diogo Cardoso performed at a somewhat mediocre level, taking into account that at the beginning of the season he was the player to whom the staff attributed the greatest potential. Incidentally, his attributes have almost not develop at all. I expected him to grow over time, but he never did.

Anyway, he will be part of the squad for next season and I haven't given up on him yet. He will have to prove his quality and it will be a decisive year for his future. For the next season he will have more competition and he could lose his place in the squad if he doesn't perform.

But these are matters for the next update, where I will present the squad for 2023/24. Do not be surprised if you notice the absence of many of the names in this year's squad, as there were many who did not renew and forced me to resort to sign free agents.

By the way, already anticipating the new season I took advantage of the fact that I still had two goalkeepers in the youth team and promoted one of them - spoiler alert, Martim Remédios is one of those who didn't want to renew (or at least didn't want to do it for reasonable wagea) and that meant I only had one goalkeeper.





This deserves to be shared because it's fun.

In a previous update I shared how the new batch of regens that appeared in October had eight players: five field players and three goalkeepers. At the time I decided to promote the five field players and one of the goalkeepers - the one that the staff recommended the most.

The other two goalkeepers stayed in the youth team and remained there until the end of the season, when the staff asked me to decide what to do with them. Well, as I needed a goalkeeper for the next season to be a substitute for Vasco Santana, I promoted one of them.

Of the two, I opted for Gonçalo Huja. The decision I made was because in the report it was indicated that he has reflexes, kicking and decision-making as qualities, despite the fact that in general my staff said that they recommended sending him on his way because he would not have the quality to stay.

Well, I promoted him anyway and what did I get?




What I get was this. A young goalkeeper with attributes as good, if not better, than those of Vasco Santana. It remains to be seen whether he will have the potential to develop, but at the moment he is already a very valid option to be part of the squad.

What I take from this is that I cannot trust my staff.


Financial Status

And that's it, we close the season with an update of Briosa's financial balance and debt.





Remembering the save rules, we must end the season with an annual budget (Current Wage Total) below € 458,000.

Briosa's revenues are the amount defined ingame as the maximum budget (Wage Budget).

These amounts are collected the day after the last game and the amount to be deducted to the financial debit is the difference between the two.

The income of player transfers is also deducted from the financial debit.

The budget at the start of the season was € 404,000. The departure of Bernardo Santos slightly lowered this value and gave room to advance with some contractual renewas, in particular those of Vasco Gomes, Desmond Nketia and the October regens. The final budget was € 454,000.

So, let's do the math, shall we?


Budget Balance

- Revenues: € 528,000

- Budget: € 454,000

- Balance: + € 74,000


Transfer Balance

- Bernardo Santos -> Coruxo: € 300,000 (+ 25% future transfer)


Financial Debt

- Initial Debit: - € 12,900,000

- Budget Balance: + € 74,000

- Transfer Balance: + € 300,000

- Updated debt: - € 12,526,000


For a first season, it's not bad at all.

It was enough to reduce the deficit a little and avoid the 25% tax rate and the corresponding increase in debt. This is despite having some players receiving obscene amounts of money which limited the amount of income and prevented the formation of a balanced squad.

Next season we will try to keep the budget within the defined limitations while improving the overall quality of the team with players whose developmenta allow future financial inflows that allow us to reduce debts.

That's the only way we'll ever be able to lift our heads high with the confidence of those who owe nothing.

Edited by Black Hawk
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15 hours ago, AtleticoWolves said:

Fantastic write-up! Kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end. Congrats on avoiding relegation!

Thanks. I try to post a kind of a story so people who may be interested could follow what happened. That's to create some immersion, I personally like that when I follow someone history.

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Chapter IV - Briosa Squad 2023/24


In a previous update I mentioned that the first season would be the hardest on the save. To a certain extent it was true: I had to go to game with a very fragile team made up only of Under23 players who were already part of Briosa's original squad, reinforced only by two players who were without a club, three of those grayish players that appear when you don't have enough players in the squad, and with the 16-year-old regens from the first batch of our youth system.

I didn't initially anticipate how difficult the transition into Season 2 would be. I was surprised throughout the season by the fact that many of the players in the squad did not want to renew or asked for high amounts that our budget limitations could not support. The grayish players I promoted, for example, asked for amounts between €30,000 and €40,000 in annual wages, despite them only serving to fill the bench.

Therefore, the only way I found was to try to renew with the most important ones and give up on the rest. The result was a mass exit that forced me to ask my scout to name players who were free in June so I could replace them.

I begin this squad presentation update by explaining these moves.


Transfers Out


The squad that ended the season had a total of 26 elements. Of these, the majority ended their contract at the end of the season. I gave priority to the renewals of important names that were in that situation, such as Vasco Gomes, Desmond Nketia, Diogo Cardoso and the regens.

The rest, in general, appear in the printscreens that follow.




[The extensive list of departures includes 12 names (but 15 left; Diogo Marques, David Caiado and Hugo Seco do not appear on the list because they ended their careers)]


When I started the save, my first team for the 1st round of Liga 3, at the time against Oliveira do Hospital, was formed by Bernardo Santos, Gabi, João Tiago, Diogo Marques, Francisco Lopes, Vasco Gomes, David Brás, Latón, David Caiado, Hugo Seco and Vasco Paciencia.

Of these eleven players, seven are on the list of exits on the printscreens, another left midway through the first season (Bernardo Santos) and another is not even in the image because he ended his career due to injury (David Caiado). That's nine of those eleven players.

This helps to understand the problem I was in as the season progressed and I realized that I would not have a team for the second season.

The reasons varied.

Players like Diogo Marques, Diogo Amaro or Francisco Lopes ended their contract and, as they were forcibly placed on the transfer list by the insolvency administrator, they did not want to renew (which is understandable, if the club wanted to get rid of them why would they renew?).

Others, such as Vasco Paciência, Martim Remédios, Juan Perea, Joel Vilão, Romeu Pedroso and José Maria Lucas, asked for unaffordable amounts that we could not sustain. I still waited for the end of the season to see if the requirements were lowered, which did not happen.

David Brás ended up accepting a proposal from another club before I was able to renew with him. Hugo Seco (who doesn't appear on the printscreen) received €75,000 a year and I didn't even try to renew.

Some of these losses were more significant than others, but among them there are at least five absolute starters and three that, although they weren't, were used a lot in a rotation system.

Latón and João Tiago were different cases.



[Gimnàstic Tarragona came up with a bag of money for João Tiago...]



[... Briosa pushed for as much as she could get for her departure...]


[... and the agreement ended up being signed at € 350,000]


João Tiago was the leader of Briosa's defense. He had a good season, throughout the year he was a mainstay of security, he helped the regen Muahmed Torrado (16 years old) and the kid Diogo Marques (17 years old), and with that he ended up attracting the attention of Gimàstic Tarragona.

Not going to lie, it was an unexpected loss. I prepared the season with him in mind, I had everything ready to have four centre backs for this season, but money comes in handy and I wasn't sure of being able to renew his contract, which would end in 2024. I played it safe.

It's €350,000 in cash that will come in handy to reduce the deficit - in this case I preferred to value the cash in cash over percentages for future transfers and we didn't end up with any future percentage. Let's hope that the remaining three centre backs do the job (I'll talk about them later on).

Latón was something different. In the first season he was in the starting line-up a few times and a substitute in others, never disappointing yet without impressing. His problem was his wage: €35,500 for a player who doesn't make the difference is prohibitive given our budget limitations.

I was offering him left and right and Paredes was interested. They took him for free, we saved a percentage of 25% of a future transfer - not that I'm hoping for him to develop to earn us a large sum in the future, but whatever comes in will be useful.

And we always got more €35,500 for other players on the budget.


Transfers In


One of the goals of the save is for the regens to supply the main team, but given the departure of so many players there was a risk of starting the season with only twelve elements.

I decided to make my scout justify his salary and give me a list of young players who were ending their contracts - this is an exception foreseen in the rules, that of being able to do signings for free transfers when we don't have enough players.

This f*cker returned with a crumpled napkin on which fifteen names were written. For some of the positions where we needed two reinforcements (right Wing Backs, for example) there was only one name. There were five Inside Forwards and Goalkeepers, positions for which we didn't need anyone.

I ended up having to take a chance on the given names without even being sure they had the quality to play here and greatly doubting their growth potential.

There's a saying in my country that when you don't have a dog, you go hunting with a cat. So we are going with a lot of cats.



[Eight new players joined Briosa, all free and Under23]


I will leave player descriptions for the squad presentation. I would just like to take this opportunity to mention that all of them are between 18 and 19 years old and most of them don't have more than a handful of matches in their careers... except for a very special case that I will take the opportunity to talk about here: Tiago Ribeiro, 21 years old, who, as you can see, was without a club.

Tiago is a central midfielder and was not indicated to me by the scout by conventional means. I became aware of him on that phase of the season when teams release some players. I looked at his profile and thought to myself that he would never accept coming to Briosa with our budget limitations, he should ask for much more than I could pay him.

Anyway, I had just gotten rid of Latón, which left me with just five midfielders in the squad and some money left in our budget, and I decided to offer him a contract just to see if I had any luck - as they say, the 'no' was guaranteed if I did not try.

I was willing to pay up to €30,000 a year, imagining that he would ask me for €100,000 or even more given his quality. To my astonishment, he asked for just over €40,000! We negotiated a bit and ended up finding a consensus on €35,000 - that was what Latón earned.

To this day, I'm not sure how I managed to bring this pearl here and how no club from the Segunda Liga or even the Primeira Liga got him.

What I do know is that the kid comes with Primeira Liga experience – he played 29 matches for Paços de Ferreira last season – and is capable of being one of the best players in Liga 3 for the new season.


Briosa Squad 2023/24


Between contract renewals, signings and promoted grayish players, I managed to assemble a squad of 22 players to face the new season.

It seems short, but I prefer it that way to ensure all players have game time. All positions have at least two players, except in the center of defense where the departure of João Tiago left me with only three solutions.

As the scout only indicated two centre backs in the list of fifteen names, I brought them both and had to be creative to find a fourth alternative. I explain this better in a bit.

Most of the screenshots were taken in July before we started the pre-season games.


The Manager



[Black Hawk already got a name]


A year ago, Black Hawk took the team and was virtually unknown. After a season, some qualities are already recognized, namely in financial management, and it even has a regional reputation.

On the other hand, be is characterized as demanding towards its players and undisciplined. The latter has to do with the fact that he regularly contests every decision of the insolvency administrator, in particular the placement of players for sale.





Vasco Santana [Regen 2022/23]


Gonçalo Huja [Regen 2022/23]


The two goalkeepers for the new season are both part of last year's first batch of regens. Interestingly, despite being both from that same first batch, Vasco Santana is a year younger than Gonçalo Huja.

They are fairly even in terms of attributes. I'm not sure who will be in the starting line-up, but the balance is tipping towards Vasco Santana as he already has five months of accumulated experience as a starter.


Centre Backs



Muhamed Torrado [Regen 2022/23]


João Pimenta [New Signing]


Vasco Sousa [New Signing]


The departure of three of the centre backs who started last season has led to a kind of revolution here. The only one who stayed was Muhamed Torrado, a regen that even improved a little compared to what it was when he was promoted.

The other two are reinforcements, they were the only ones indicated by the scout and I brought both.

None of the three are really at the top level for Liga 3, this being probably the weakest sector of the team. It remains to be seen if they develop during the year - if they do not, it will not be easy to score clean sheets.

The unexpected departure of João Tiago left us with just three when the plan was to have four. As I didn't have centre backs on the scout's list to turn to, I had to invent a solution - this one came up between the Wing Backs, as I'll explain right away.


Wing Backs


[Right Side]


Miguel Mota [New Signing]


Rolando Pontes [Grayish Promoted]


[Left Side]


Gabi [Exception #01 of #03 allowed to the Under23 rule]


Bernardo Paiva [New Signing]


The scout indicated me one right Wing Back and two left Wing Backs. The right one I brought him in right away because he's a very good player; of the two from the left, I brought one because I didn't need more.

I was missing another right one. As the scout didn't recommend me anyone more, I promoted a grayish player, making sure to choose one that also plays as centre back - thus covering the two lacking positions, depending on what we need at any given time. If he does it with quality or not, we'll see.

Overall I am satisfied with the solutions. Miguel Mota and Gabi are good, Bernardo Paiva is very fast and has some technique, hopefully he can develop over the season and perhaps at the end of the season he will be ready to take over the position.

That would be fantastic, as Gabi is no longer Under23 and is occupying one of the three exceptions for players over that age. It's time to start thinking about selling him and it would be good to have an alternative prepared.


Defensive Midfielders [Roaming Playmakers]



Vasco Gomes


Macieira [New Signing]


The departures of David Caiado and David Brás forced new captains to be chosen. The choice fell on Vasco Gomes, who, as you will remember, was one of the outstanding players last season.

The kid developed well and is already at a level that allows him to be very close to the best players in Liga 3. He will be the main option for Roaming Playmaker.

To develop in his shadow I brought this Macieira that has interesting attributes for his age. If he improve a little more, he could be perfectly prepared to replace Vasco Gomes who by this time already has interested clubs and I don't know how long I will be able to keep him.


Midfielders [Box to Box]



Tiago Ribeiro [New Signing]


Diogo Cardoso


Nicola Saraiva [Regen 2022/23]


Rudi Almeida [New Signing]


In the midfield I lost David Brás, Latón and Joel Vilão. I managed to keep Diogo Cardoso and Nicola Saraiva, but I needed two reinforcements and that's what I did.

I have already mentioned Tiago Ribeiro, his attributes speak for themselves, he is a very complete player and certainly that of a higher level than Liga 3.

Diogo Cardoso almost didn't improve last year. He was one of the main disappointments of the season. The staff continues to give him good potential values. At this point I doubt he has it but we will try one more season.

But he has to start doing something, as Nicola Saraiva and reinforcement Rudi Almeida are more or less on the same level as him. There will be an interesting fight here for Tiago Ribeiro's partner on the midfield.


Inside Forwards


[Right Side]


Rosolino Morgado [Regen 2022/23]


Apolo Marcelino [Regen 2022/23]


[Left Side]


Edmilson dos Santos [Exception #02 of #03 allowed to the Under23 rule]


Lisandro Neca [Regen 2022/23]


Here... here we have a problem - and it's not a pun because of the kid Apolo (Eh? Eh?).


This is the only position where I haven't brought anyone new. We lost Hugo Seco and David Caiado, but as you guys may recall last year's batch of regens gave me three Inside Forwards. All of them are part of the squad for this year.

Of the three regens, Rosolino Morgado seems to be the most developed and will be starting on the right wing. On the other side Edmilson dos Santos will be the main option, this despite being an Inside Forward not much given to scoring goals - and he is the second exception of the three allowed over 23 years.

The other two regens will have to rotate with them, to see if they are evolving and to evaluate their potential.

As it is easy to understand, this is the weakest sector of the team along with the centre backs. Potentials aside, which I am unaware of, the three regens are obviously inexperienced and any fluctuations in performance will be natural at this stage of their growth as footballers.


Strikers [Pressing Forwards]



Desmond Nketia


Ronaldo Lopes [New Signing]


Carlos Alfaiate [Grayish Promoted]


In the attack lives our goal scorer Desmond Nketia, who if nothing unusual happens will be the owner of the place.

To compete with him I brought in Ronaldo Lopes, who the scout strongly recommended. He's a different striker than Nketia, he's less physical and aggressive, but more technical and with growth potential - or so I hope. It will give alternatives to different approaches in certain matches.

Carlos Alfaiate was another grayish player that I promoted because the scout didn't recommend me more forwards and I didn't want to go into the season with only two options. He has the bonus of also doing the Inside Forward position.

But he should spend more time playing for the Reserves team than the main one anyway.


Squad Analysis


In general, the squad is not far from the one that ended last season. The starting eleven that I predict includes eight players who were part of last year's team, only reinforced by Wing Back Miguel Mota, one of the centre backs (I still don't know which one) and Tiago Ribeiro.

The big difference is that it is a much more balanced squad. Last year, any change to the starting eleven implied a brutal drop in the team's performance. If I needed to change the team during a match, I would hesitate whether it was worth the risk or whether it would be better to continue as it was.

Now I will have alternatives and that often makes all the difference.



[We already have more positive than negative feedback!]


The center of our defense remains the most fragile sector. The three centre backs may even grow throughout the year, but at the moment they are limited. On the sides I'm well served; Miguel Mota is a good Wing Back and Gabi is solid enough.

The midfield has two good players in Vasco Gomes and Tiago Ribeiro, but the rest are still inexperienced youngsters with a lot to develop to become undisputed starters.

In the attack, in addition to Desmond Nketia and Edmilson dos Santos, we only have youngsters who need to improve until they are solid options.


Season Goals


Last season we finished the Regular Phase in 7th place among twelve teams when the expectation was to finish at the bottom of the table.

So, this year with a more balanced squad we can aim a little more, who knows among the top five? Will we be able to intrude between the places to access the Promotion Phase?

We'll see. What is certain, for now, is that the Board's expectations have not changed since last season.



[The Board continues with its feet firmly on the ground]


We all continue rowing in the same direction, aware of the difficulties we face due to the various limitations imposed on us.

And speaking of limitations...



[Our budget for the 2023/24 season is within the €458,000 per year defined as limit]


The departure of the best paid players opened the door for several renewals without exceeding the budget. If you notice the annual wages that appear on the players' printscreens, several players renewed and had, of course, a fair salary increase.

The maximum player wage defined for this season was €35,000 a year, something that only Gabi and Tiago Ribeiro receive. There are some players close to that threshold, but in general all players have modest wages.

At the moment, only Edmilson dos Santos and the two promoted grayish players have contracts expiring by the end of the season so I don't foresee the need for the budget to increase in the short term.


Liga 3 - South Zone


Briosa will once again compete in the South Zone of Liga 3, repeating duels against opponents we already know from the previous season.

However, Liga 3 in 2023/24 has an organization that is somewhat different from what we saw in 2022/23. Instead of 24, there are now 20 participating teams, divided into two groups of 10 in geographical order. This implies that the Regular Phase will only have 18 matches, 4 less than the previous season.




[Liga 3 - South Zone this season with only 10 teams]


There are four new teams in our Series: Benfica B and B-SAD, both relegated from the Segunda Liga; Atlético CP and Sertanense, promoted from the Portuguese Championship (despite this name it is the 4th tier).

I believe that Benfica B and B-SAD will fight for access to the Promotion Phase, joining Alverca, Belenenses, Caldas, Fontinhas and Sporting B in this fight. On the other hand, Atlético CP and Sertanense seem more fragile to me and I doubt they will get involved in that fight.

However, Liga 3 is known for surprises and teams very close to each other so these predictions could go completely wrong.


Regarding Insolvency


There have been developments on the issue of insolvency. As you'll remember, I activated two narratives to force the events of the ingame story: Austerity Measures and Asset Stripper.

Well, one day during this pre-season this happened.




[Ingame there was a businessman investing in Briosa...]


It would be fantastic news if it weren't for the rules defined for the save. This basically got us out of insolvency and got the insolvency administrator out of our club, giving us back authority over our own finances.

Well, this goes against the spirit of the save. There are no investors here; the only way to get out of insolvency is through financial gains provided by annual profits and the sale of players.

That is, to get out of this financial hole by ourselves without outside influence. In other words, when we add up enough ingame profits to get out of insolvency without injections of private money.

And for that reason...




[... and here we go for another ride...]


 ... I activated the insolvency narrative again and a new insolvency administrator was appointed. One more spin!

And, let it be said, the man arrived with strong ideas...




[... and the new insolvency administrator wasted no time at all]


I received these two news, which served to forcefully put four of our top talents at sale. In the following days two more similar news appeared.

At that point I got fed up and decided to fight fire with fire. I put all the players on the transfer list. None escaped.

In this way I established our authority. Did he think he bossed us around? Well, he does, but that's not the essential question. The bottom line is that we have our pride and now if a player leaves, he leaves on our terms, not his.


[By the way, it was a miracle that this didn't backfired, fortunately no offers came up after João Tiago despite several players have interested clubs...]


Preparation Games


I end this (long) update (sorry! Will work to write less next time) with the matches played to prepare for the new season.

The squad is young and inexperienced. Most kids need to pick up some senior football pace to start getting the hang of it. On the other hand, the Regular Phase of Liga 3 will only have 18 matches as we have seen.

For these reasons, I've prepared a bigger list of games than I've ever done before.




[Fourteen prep games; no one can complain we did not prepared ourselves]


Fourteen games. I split the team into two elevens and almost all the players played seven full games. The exceptions were the centre backs, who, because there were only three, ended up with ten games, and poor Carlos Alfaiate who being the third striker only came on as an used substitute.

The results leave me wondering what to expect from the season. On the one hand, we had seven victories in a row including five teams from Liga 3 (the first five games, all teams from the North Zone except Sertanense which is from our South Zone).

On the other hand, we had four defeats in the second half of the pre-season, including opponents from Liga 3 (Vianense and Anadia) and from the 4th tier Portuguese Championship (Oliveira do Hospital, yes them!, and Benfica de Castelo Branco).

Deep down, this goes with what I mentioned before: it is a young and inexperienced team, capable of going from terrible to fantastic and back to terrible very quickly in their performance.

But enough explanations and predictions - let's go to the official games!


PS: someone knows if there's code to center the text and to put colors and things like that on this forum?

Edited by Black Hawk
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Chapter V - August 2023 -> March 2024


I presented the squad in the previous update and mentioned that the quality of the expected starting eleven seemed to me to be a little better than last season, but more or less along the same level.

For this reason, I expected to fight for at least a position in the top five and, who knows, meddle in the fight for access to the promotion phase, that is, the first four positions.


Regular Phase - The First Half


That was my expectation. Honestly, that's what I thought, a feeling reinforced by what I've seen in those friendlies we played, especially the last seven that I showed in the last update.

Then we started the official games and this happened.



[Undefeated in the first half of Liga 3]


I did not expected the high level shown by my kiddos. Their evolution was notorious, I had already realized that at the end of last season, but this, this is something completely different.

The first moment I realized that we could do beautiful things this season was in the first game, which deserves to be highlighted.



[A draw against Benfica B in an exciting game]


At 4' of the game, a long ball by our keeper Vasco Santana resulted in a cry of pain and confusion on the field. The result? The young Benfica centre back José Müller was taken to the hospital on a stretcher with his nose broken in two halves and Desmond Nketia left the pitch after being sent off.

This, by the way, would end up being a nice foreshadow to Nketia's season in this Regular Phase of Liga 3. He was a few ticks below the level he showed last year, scored fewer goals and was globally less influential in the team's offensive maneuver.

We played around 90' with one less player, but managed to bring 1 point back thanks to the brilliance of Tiago Ribeiro. Our midfielder scored a hattrick on his debut for Briosa, showing right from the first game the role he would play throughout the season.



[Tiago Ribeiro signed his first hattrick of his career]


Of course, the stats show the superiority of Benfica B, but it should be noted that we had one player less on the field and the opponent had players like Bruno Langa, Meite, João Neves, Martim Neto or Cher Ndour, all players from Primeira Liga level (portuguese top tier).

At this point I realized that maybe I had underestimated the quality of my kiddos, but I didn't expect what followed. Game after game, I was stunned by what I saw, the guys doing things with the ball that I still hadn't expected from them.

The team recovered from this draw with two expected results: a clear victory over Atlético CP, which had just been promoted; and a draw in the Azores against Fontinhas, an opponent that we had already shown at the end of last season that was not far from our level.

I feared receiving the B-SAD, but we added another clear victory, and the visit to our neighbors Sertanense resulted in another clear victory. At this stage we had four consecutive games without conceding a goal for Liga 3, which was auspicious, but...

... but Alverca was next. They were leaders of Liga 3 and one of the main candidates for the promotion places. Big game in Coimbra. How would our kiddos do?



[An old-fashioned afternoon in Coimbra]


As against Benfica's B team, the game started with a decisive move involving Desmond Nketia. This time, however, it was Nketia who suffered a foul when he was alone behind opponents defense back. The referee had no doubts and their defender Maycon Douglas was sent off.

From then on, it was only Briosa who played. Playing with one more element on the field, our kiddos went up against them. Inside Forward Rosolino Morgado opened the scoring shortly after half an hour and Nketia scored another almost halfway through the second half.



[A nice collective move gave Desmond Nketia the opportunity to confirm the win - and he didn't waste it]


An essential victory that put us at the top of the South Zone of Liga 3 on matchday 6.

I don't know if it was because of the pressure from the leadership, but in the next game we didn't won against the historic Belenenses. It was a frustrating game, we created several opportunities, but nobody managed to score.

We then went to Caldas to seek three more points, in a traditionally difficult ground despite the local Caldas having a terrible season. The victory was quite difficult and it fell thanks to a fantastic goal by our captain Vasco Gomes.



[Captain Vasco Gomes combined with Ronaldo Lopes to score the goal that gave us the victory against Caldas]


Closing the first half of the Regular Phase, we thrashed Sporting's little lions in a high-quality display of all our kiddos.

With the contribution of these six points, we finished the first half of the Regular Phase occupying a surprising first place in the table.





I don't know what is most impressive about this table.

If Briosa being in first place with a team in which the oldest player in the squad is 23 years old and which regularly features at least six players aged 19 or under in the starting eleven.

If Briosa having only five goals conceded in nine games, three of them in the first round, much of this thanks to six games in a row without conceding on Liga 3 matches.

If the presence of Atlético CP disputing access to the Promotion Phase or the misfortunes of Benfica B, Belenenses and especially Caldas - poor guys occupy the last position despite the fact they actually are a strong team.


Portuguese Cup


Let's just make a brief detour here to talk about our campaign in the 2023/24 Portuguese Cup.

We started in the 2nd Round, where we easily beat Esperança de Lagos, a small portuguese team. The victory by only one goal does not explain what happened during the 90'. We dominated, we attacked, we created chances, but it ended up being a thin 1-0.

The draw for the next round was not sweet at all.



[Briosa came close to causing a scandal]


Vizela was ranked 6th in the Primeira Liga at the time of this game. Our task would always be difficult against an opponent who has two players who earn almost as much as our entire squad.

Even so, we went into the game with Briosa's typical determination and irreverence. The potential scandal began to be drawn fifteen minutes from the end when the kiddo Lisandro Neca (the left Inside Forward, regen of last season) was brought down inside the area and Nketia took the penalty kick to put us in advantage.

The goal must have sounded all Vizela's alarms, as they came to us and still had time to turn the game around. We were eliminated with a goal in the last minute of regular time. It hurt.

Still, the good image left by our kiddos remains, who showed their ability to discuss the game against opponents of much greater value and experience.


Regular Phase - The Second Half


The second half of the season is a perfect mirror of the first. For that reason, as in the first round, we started with the reception to Benfica B.



[Briosa did not succumb to the pressure and maintained the safe path she had from the first half of the season]


This time we had eleven players over the 90', but that didn't mean we got a better result.

Incidentally, Benfica B was winning most of time on a game in which Briosa massacred them, but our goal only came in the final minutes thanks to a stunning kick by our midfielder Rudi Almeida. It was his first goal of the season and earned us a point which turned out to be better than nothing.

Curious note about Rudi: he isn't particularly impressing, but his attributes and market value have increased exponentially. If I know anything about Mobile, these are signs that the guy has some hidden potential to develop. To be reviewed in future updates.

Three 2-0 victories followed against Atlético CP, Fontinhas and B-SAD that strengthened the leadership in the South Zone of the Regular Phase. Of these four games in the second round, I can't resist highlighting one of them for reasons that you can already guess.



[On the sixth attempt we finally beat Fontinhas!]


The Azoreans have been some kind of a rival on our journey. Last season we played them four times, with three defeats and a draw, and in this year's first round we drew again.

So I can't explain to you guys my satisfaction for having beaten them at Cidade de Coimbra this time. It was a one-sided game, Tiago Ribeiro and Desmond Nketia gave us a solid advantage in the first half and only at the end Fontinhas managed to do their only shot of the game.

This was just a detour to share the victory that I liked the most in this Regular Phase. Let's move on to more serious things.

When the matchday 13 ended, having won against B-SAD, the table were clear: our 14 points advantage over the 5th placed meant that we were one victory away from guaranteeing our presence in the Promotion Phase.

And the next game would be the reception to Sertanense in Calhabé, the neighborhood of the city of Coimbra where Briosa plays its games at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra.



Clear victory over Sertanense's neighbors in the 14th round of Liga 3]


It was late on the 27th of January 2024. The day dawned cool and it never really got hot, but the persistent rain that was falling in the City of Students brought with it a mild and pleasant temperature.

In need of a victory to ensure our presence in the Promotion Phase, Desmond Nketia scored early on the match, relieving the pressure that fell on the team that thus went on to a dream afternoon.

The second goal did not take long to appear, an own goal that resulted from a defender deflecting a cross from Rosolino Morgado. It fell to Nicola Saraiva to close the result of a game in which Briosa dominated completely.

And in the end, in the end, we celebrated.




[Qualification for the Promotion Phase was achieved with four matches remaining]


This wasn't our goal for this season, but the good performances meant that over time it became something of an "unofficial" goal - unstated, unspoken, but it was impossible to ignore it when we started to open up the lead on the table.

The remaining four games are not of great interest. I took the opportunity to spare the most used players, manage the yellow cards to ensure that everyone would be available for the Promotion Phase, and give chances to the less used kiddos.



[One of the highlights of this second half of the season: the regen Rosolino Morgado in one of his wanderings from the right into the box, here to score against B-SAD]


We ended up suffering at that stage our first defeat in Liga 3 this season, in the trip to Belém. Nothing to worry about, irrelevant in the final table, but nobody likes to lose, so there was some frustration.

It would have been fun to finish this stage unbeatable.




[Briosa concluded the South Zone Regular Phase as clear leaders]


Académica, Alverca, Sporting B and Fontinhas. These will be the four representatives of the South Zone who will be present in the Promotion Phase of Liga 3.

I confess that the failures of Benfica B and B-SAD surprised me. I expected more from them, especially from Benfica B who in other Mobile saves tend to be fighting for the Second League title. It was strange enough to see them in Liga 3; to see them in Liga 3 fighting not to go relegated was most unexpected...




[Our group in the Promotion Phase and respective game line-up]


Our group in the Promotion Phase includes the B teams from Vitória SC and Braga, in addition to Fontinhas who are again our opponents in the Final Phase, as they did last season. They're stalking us.

I don't know what to think of this group. The B teams are always hard to predict. I never know who they're going to the game with, if they'll be reinforced with elements of the main team or if they'll play with the kids. If it's the first option, I'm screwed.

But that will be the subject of the next update.


Individual performances


I finish with printscreens of individual statistics and two events.



[Ten most used field players...]


[... and the ten least used]


As usual in my teams, everyone played a lot because I rotated the players a lot. And as usual in this "The Black Hawk" tactic, the goals and assists are widely spread across all positions, as a result of the whole team attacking in a block and participating in the offensive process.

The goalkeepers do not appear in the prints, but the usual starter was Vasco Santana. He and Gonçalo Huja have more or less similar attributes, my staff gives the same report to both, but I decided to play Santana because he already did last season after Bernardo Santos left.

Even so, Gonçalo Huja played six games in the starting line-up, between Liga 3 and Portuguese Cup. And he played well in all of them.

Carlos Alfaiate appears on the printscreen with only one game played. He was the third option for both the Striker and left Inside Forward so he was never a regular option.

I intended to use him in those four games after the victory against Sertanense, when we already had qualification guaranteed, but before the first game he was injured and was out for two months, so he ended up not playing anymore.


The positive highlights


The funniest thing is that my best scorer is the regen Rosolino Morgado, who, playing from the right of the attack, has appeared with quality in the finishing zones in the center of the box. He even contributed with three assists.

Tiago Ribeiro has also shown the expected quality, with eight direct contributions to goal, and regen Nicola Saraiva maintains his appetite for scoring goals that already came from last year, appearing frequently in finishing zones in runs without the ball from the middle of the field (he plays as B2B).

In other highlights: the two strikers have scored ten goals between them, which is not fantastic but is still a solid record - not least because they have never played at the same time; and the three assists of right Wing Back Miguel Mota, always very active giving depth to our game.


The (not so much) negative highlights


With such a positive Regular Phase, I don't exactly have major negative highlights to give. There are just one or two players that are not yet performing - and the "yet" is the key to this analysis.

If you remember the last update, I mentioned that I didn't know who the starting centre backs would be. When the time came, I opted for João Pimenta and the other choice fell on the kiddo Muhamed Torrado, the regen promoted last season.

The problem is that the kiddo had such a bad game against Benfica B on matchday 1, including individual errors in all three goals conceded, that in the next game I switched him to Vasco Sousa. After that we had six straight games without conceding a goal. Do you guys see what happened to him?

But I'm not worried. He's young, he's regen from last year, he needs a little more experience. He will have his opportunities.

Lisandro Neca, the regen who is an Inside Forward on the left, is taking a while to perform, but in the match engine I see him doing interesting things, being solid in possession of the ball, making incisive passes and good moves.

He's young, he's 17 or 18 years old, his time will come. He also only started being on our starting eleven in January. And why, you ask?



Squad chances and Regens


At the start of the season, there were three players with contracts ending at the end of this season. Two were those grayish players who are on the squad just to make up the numbers and the other was left Inside Forward Edmilson dos Santos.

Edmilson already exceeds the rule for U23 players and therefore occupies one of the three exceptions allowed for players over 23 years old. In addition, he was already one of the best paid on the squad and asked for a lot to renew.

I spent the first half of the season offering him to anyone hoping that anyone would take him before January, when the clubs could approach him to sign him for free at the end of the season, to see if we could make some money to help reduce Briosa's debts.

I was losing hope in that possibility when in the middle of December... Unterhaching appeared!





[A miraculous bid for Edmilson dos Santos]


As you can see in the printscreens, I still tried to push their bid to €350,000, which in hindsight was silly because the €325,000 was already more than good. It could have gone very badly.

We ended up closing the deal for €325,000 and 20% of a future transfer, which for a player at the end of his contract was a lifeline that I grabbed with all my strength.

In addition to the sale of João Tiago at the beginning of the season, there's already €675,000 in transfers income this season. Good money to help get us out of insolvency.

I spent the month of January terrified, fearing that some of the most influential players would be taken from me, but only two bids came up for Muahmed Torrado and Bernardo Paiva. Both with values so low that the insolvency administrator allowed me to reject them.

And to finish this update.



[The new batch of regens doesn't look promising]


As usual in October, the new batch of regens was revealed. My staff doesn't put great hope in any player, but judging by the negative feedback they gave me a year ago by players who are being relevant this season, maybe it's best for me to analyze that later.

Anyway, this season I have a full squad, so I didn't need to promote someone right away. I will leave them in the youth system to develop their characteristics against players of their age and at the end of the season I will decide what to do.

I would just like to take this opportunity to highlight how this time there is no Inside Forwards, but there are plenty of midfielders, two strikers and, astonishingly, a left Wing Back! It's so rare to see a left defender as a regen, I'm really surprised. I hope he is good.

In June I will have the opportunity to promote them and see their attributes and at that time we will see what will be the future of Briosa.

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Chapter VI - March 2024 -> May 2024


Don't know if there's people following this, but I'll keep going with my poor english skills 😛

We did a strong Regular Phase and with that it was impossible to not dream with the promotion. We weren't favourites, at least I didn't expected to be here fighting for promotion so early, but here we are and so I wanted to get it.

Did we have the strength to get promoted?




[We were in the Group 2 of the Promotion Phase and these were our six matches]


Just to remind how this phase of Liga 3 works.

All teams play each other, home and away. The first placed gets promoted and will play a final game against the winner of the other Promotion Phase group to decide the Liga 3 champion.

The second placed goes on to a playoff against the second placed of the other group. The winner of that playoff will play against the 16th of Segunda Liga in a promotion/relegation playoff - the winner plays Segunda Liga next season.

Third and fourth placed stay on Liga 3.

So, how did our kiddos performed?


Promotion Phase - Group 2


Vitória de Guimarães B was my biggest fear. They were the second strongest team of North Zone of Regular Phase and had many players of their main team, guys who should have been playing in Primeira Liga, not on 3rd tier.

Braga B was as much of a danger as Vitória de Guimarães B for the same very reason. As for Fontinhas, we know them and there's little to fear here. They are strong, but we have beaten them this season so we were supposed to be able to do it again.

So, first match, away against my biggest fear. How did it went?



[Matchday 1: away at Vitória de Guimarães B]


Really well!

Vitória de Guimarães B didn't even knew what was happening. We were winning 3-0 a bit after half an hour and from there we managed to control the game.

They scored before half time, we scored again at the start of second half. They responded with another goal, we did it again. When they started to react, we reacted to restore our advantage.



[Tiago Ribeiro assisted Desmond Nketia to an early goal that led to a strong victory...]



[... and Lisandro Neca scored the last goal of the game with a composed finish]


Starting this with a win is a good thing, but doing it away against our strongest opponent is even better. Also, the next three games were on our own ground, were this season we had 7W 2D 0L in 9 games of Liga 3, with a goal difference of 20-2.

Also, we did not lose at Coimbra for more than a year and a half. The last home defeat for Liga 3 was against Fontinhas at the start of 1st season of this save, a long time ago. So things looked promising.

Funnily enough, Fontinhas was our next opponent.



[Matchday 2: home against Fontinhas]


Our second win started early with a great shot by our Roaming Playmaker. Vasco Gomes is the team captain and decided that was up to him to show his teammates how things are done.

Fontinhas was never really close to cause any danger, but only on the second half we scored the second goal that gave us a secure advantage to manage.



[A great goal by our team captain Vasco Gomes launched us to a deserved win]


By this time we had an advantage of 2 points to our next opponent, Braga B.

A win against them would give us an advantage of 5 points with only 3 matches left to play. Only a win would be acceptable on that match.



[Matchday 3: home against Braga B]


And we got it much because Desmond Nketia decided to show why he is our main striker. The guy scored only 6 goals on Regular Phase, but has already scored 5 goals in only 3 matches on Promotion Phase.

This was harder than the previous 2 games. Braga B really gave us a run for the win and I can't shake the feeling that was because our star midfielder Tiago Ribeiro was injured at the start of the game.



[Tiago Ribeiro will not play the last 3 matches of Promotion Phase]


This worried me at the time. Tiago Ribeiro is clearly our best player. The guy scored 7 goals playing as B2B this season, 2 of them on thr first 2 matches of Promotion Phase.

But his importance goes far from this, there's things the numbers alone cannot explain. Anyone that has played with The Black Hawk tactic knows how invaluable is having midfielders that don't lose the ball when in possession. Much of our good defensive record this season is explained by him and Vasco Gomes being solid with the ball.

Anyway, we went without him for Matchday 4 knowing that we could settle the promotion right there. We only needed a win and that Braga B wouldn't win theirs.



[Matchday 4: home against Vitória de Guimarães B]


This one was really frustrating.

We attacked, and attacked, and attacked. We went with everything we got. We crossed balls, we tried by the centre, we tried long shots, we tried to penetrate their defense with one-twos and individual moves. Nothing was working, there were always something preventing us from scoring.

And then this happened.



[Vasco Gomes scored with all his anger on his right foot]


Our team captain went to the rescue to score from a way that really explains my mindset at the time: i was becoming restless, I was getting frustrated and irritated. A strong shot, a furious one, and we managed to scrape the three points.

It was the only bright moment on a otherwise frustrating match. We failed to score another goal that would put my mind at ease, but in the end we got one step closer to promotion.

Yeah, I did a combo of Linkin Park puns. We miss you, Chazy.

Moving along.

We needed help from Fontinhas. If they didn't lose with Braga B, that was it. How did our friends from the Azores help?







Yep! They did help us!


I'm not gonna lie, I did not expected this outcome. My team was very young and inexperienced, but they managed to do it. Kudos to them!

Also, my scout deserves a pay rise. The guy only recommended a few names, but all of them played their part on this.

Thanks buddy!

Tha last two matches are not really important to talk about, we were already promoted and I decided to play with my less played kiddos. Still...



[Matchday 5: away against Fontinhas]


[Matchday 6: away against Braga B]


... they gave us a clean run of wins of this Promotion Phase.

The only thing I want to say about these two matches is how my left Inside Forward Lisandro Neca scored in both of them. Remember last update I said he was struggling to perform, but I believed his time to shine would come? Well, here he is!



[Vitória de Guimarães B was the strongest of our group after all! - I mean, besides us]


[FC Porto B won the other Promotion Phase group...]


[... and would face us on the Liga 3 Final]


There were 5 B teams on Liga 3 this season. We played against two of them on Regular Phase (Sporting CP and Benfica) and another two on Promotion Phase (Vitória de Guimarães and Braga).

There was FC Porto left, of course we would play them as the final boss. It was meant to be.


Liga 3 Final


This was a Final. As José Mourinho once famously said, we don't play Finals, we win them. It doesn't matter if we play well, if we have more possession or how the goals are scored. A win is a win, that's all that matters.

Is my team young and inexperienced? Yes, they are. But so are them. FC Porto B had a young team too, so we didn't had any excuse not to win this.

So we went all in...



[Liga 3 Final against FC Porto B]


... and brought the trophy back to Coimbra.

We weren't brilliant. The whole game wasn't an interesting one, the stats really show that. But we started to settle it early on and FC Porto B never had the mental strength to recover from the early blows we inflicted them.



[Lisandro Neca scored for the third march in a row with this beauty...]



[... and Desmond Nketia gave us a decisive advantage soon after]


It took three minutes for us to basically settle the Final. Lisandro Neca (left Inside Forward) and Desmond Nketia (Pressing Forward) were our stars on the Promotion Phase and was only expected they would continue to perform on the Final.

These two goals gave us the confidence to control the rest of the match. FC Porto B only shot once entire game and we even scored a third time just to guarantee that nothing went south.



[Lisandro Neca was on fire!]



[Our people celebrated all night...]


[... and look at that, the Board even decided I deserved one more year, how magnanimous of them!]


My opinion may be biased, but we deserved this one. We played 27 official games. We won 20 times and lost only 2 matches - one of them against a Primeira Liga team at Portuguese Cup.

Now I'm worried we may have bitten off more than we can chew. Are we ready for Segunda Liga? Well, we will see. Now is time to celebrate. After all, we are Liga 3 champions!


Individual Stats


We played 27 times. As per usual, I used a heavily rotating system to ensure everyone had chances to shine. Only my second goalkeeper Gonçalo Huja and the two grayish players that I promoted played less than at least half of those matches.

The first printscreen is from my goalkeepers, the second one from the ten field players that were in the starting eleven most times, and the last one the other nine players. All of them picked on the positions they played all season.






Last update I have talked about most of this numbers already. I only want to say some things after this last 7 games.

First, my right WB Miguel Mota started to be more assertive. He did 5 assists on this last games, ending up with 8 all season.

Secondly, my three main midfielders were great this last games. Vasco Gomes and Tiago Ribeiro scored two times each, the latter despite his injury. Rudi Almeida did 3 assists in the last 7 games, ending the season with 4.

My best goalscorer by the end of Regular Phase was right IF Rosolino Morgado. He failed to score last 7 games while performing 2 assists, but his place was taken by Lisandro Neca who scored 5 times in this timeframe!

Lastly, Desmond Nketia doubled his numbers by scoring 6 times, ending up with 12 goals all season. Was he keeping his firepower ready for the decisive stages of the season?


And know the things that really matter


Do you guys thought the highlight of this update were the Promotion Phase and the Final? Think again!

On the very same day we got our win against Vitória de Guimarães B that settled our promotion to Segunda Liga, immediately after the game I received this piece of news.




This tickled all my senses. Was it what I was thinking?




Yes, it was.

We emerged from administration. Not because someone bought us (as happened at the start of this season and I refused to accept), but by our own means.

I don't know what activated this but I'm convinced there must have been was some kind of prize money following our promotion. That and our extreme control of wages and the € 675.000 in sales of João Tiago and Edmilson dos Santos must have enabled us to emerge from administration.

So, what to do from this?

The very first thing is that we are now in full control of our finances. No more players on sale because the insolvency administrator said so, no more sales of our training grounds (that is already 0,5 starts anyway).

Also, the € 458.000 limitation on our yearly budget is gone. That was one of the rules. Starting next season, we only have to ensure that we don't exceed the budget decided ingame.

All the rest stays the same. We still have a huge debt to pay, so I will keep our budget as low as possible and all the transfer income will be used to deduct to our financial debt.

Speaking of it...




As per the rules, the very next day after our last game I took this printscreen.

We had an income of € 551.000 against a budget of € 393.000. we also did make € 675.000 in those sales that I already have spoken of.

Let's do the math, shall we?


Budget Balance

- Revenues: + € 551.000

- Budget: - € 393.000

- Balance: + € 158.000


Transfer Balance

- João Tiago -> Gimnàstic Tarragona: + € 350.000

- Edmilson dos Santos -> Unterhaching: + € 325.000 (+ 20% on a future transfer)


 Financial Debt

- Initial 2nd Season Debt: - € 12.526.000

- Budget Balance: + € 158.000

- Transfers Balance: + € 675.000

- Updated Debt: - € 11.693.000


So we closed our 2nd season with a positive balance of € 833.000, which enabled for our debt to decrease to "only" €11.693.000.

Dear God, we have a looong way to go. How did we end here...

Anyway, we cut the initial debt in more than € 1.000.000 in only two season on the portuguese 3rd tier. Next season we play Segunda Liga, Portuguese Cup and League Cup. More visibility will hopefully help with an increase on the players market values and the income in future transfers.

The goal for next season will be to keep as many players as possible to ensure a safe season, maybe a midtable position, all the while their market value increases to provide more money in the future.

I don't see the point in selling players now when we are about to play a tier above. I may be wrong about this, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

Let's hope this doesn't backfire.

Edited by Black Hawk
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3 hours ago, Reshetnikov said:

@Black Hawk just our of curiosity: how much cost your players and what's their weekly salary? I see annual salary and for me it's hard to calculate it in mind :D

All players were already part of the original team, our own regens or brought on free transfers.

As for their weekly salary, my best paid players are earning € 35,000 yearly, that amounts so something close to € 671 weekly.

The main team are on € 10,000 to € 20.000, which means they receive € 190 to € 383 weekly.


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Just thought I'd let you know I'm deeply invested in this challenge. I love every bit of it, and your style of storytelling has made me fall in love.😀 All the best. Can't wait for the next update.


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On 28/08/2023 at 23:05, MJ Seomoni said:

Just thought I'd let you know I'm deeply invested in this challenge. I love every bit of it, and your style of storytelling has made me fall in love.😀 All the best. Can't wait for the next update.


Thanks 😊

I'll will post the next update soon.

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Chapter VII - July 2024

Let's go to the new season, I'm eager to test my kiddos against stronger opponents after what they did on Liga 3 last season.
Transfers Out
It's easier to explain this update if we start by those who left our team. Or by those who hadn't left.
We need to sell players. There's still a lot of debt to pay. Nevertheless, we arrived to portuguese 2nd tier and I expect the players value market to increase with more visibility that we had on Liga 3. Also, we need to stay on Segunda Liga, we don't want to be relegated back to 3rd tier.
For those reasons only three players left the team.
[Three players from the squad that won Liga 3 left the team]
You guys may not recall the name "Macieira". It's all right, he was often on the bench and didn't made much to be remembered. After all, he was the alternative to our team captain Vasco Gomes as Roaming Playmaker.
He was brought last season with the goal to develop and be a starter when Vasco Gomes eventually would leave. But... Vasco Gomes is still here and to my surprise it was for Macieira that Magdeburg came.
[Magdeburg made an offer for Macieira...]
[... one that I renegociated as far as I could...]
[... until the deal was sealed at € 250.000]
There were two reasons I accepted his departure. First, Vasco Gomes is still here so Macieira would be another year on the bench. Second, our new batch of regens includes five midfielders, so I really needn't to keep him.
We received € 250.000 and 20% of a future transfer. It was a good deal.
The other two guys who left are those grayish players I promoted a year ago. They didn't impress me, my staff didn't valued them, and they wanted a lot of money to renew their contracts. They won't be missed.
There were some more offers, buy nothing that would change my mind about keeping my best players.
Also, the ones sent on loan are new regens, I'll speak about them later.
Transfers In
Three guys out, we needed three guys.
Unfortunately, our new batch of regens didn't included any right Wing Back (and the first batch didn't too) or Inside Forwards. I needed players, so off my scout went to find players whose contracts were about to expire.
[Only two new players and a lot of regens graduated from our Academy]
He came back with only five recommendations for those two positions. Three of them asked for a lot of money I couldn't match, so I had to accept the other two.
They are... They maybe could... errr...
Let's be honest here. I don't expect them to make an impact. I even doubt their potential. But it was what I could afford and my scout recommended them. Last year he was almost spot on in his recommendations, let's hope he did it again.
I didn't brought any midfielder to replace Macieira as I have a lot of new midfielders now, as I've said. After all, one of the goals of this challenge is to promote and develop our own regens.
Our new batch or regens
Unlike our first season, on our second season it wasn't necessary to promote the regens to have enough players on our squad, so I only did it by the end of the season. They are new faces on our squad for this third season.
There's ten players in what looks like a decent batch. Maybe noone of them will make a fantastic international career, but some may have a good career and provide much needed money to Briosa.
I leave their printscreens from the day I promoted them.
Tiago Pedreira [Goalkeeper]
This kiddo will have a hard time with Vasco Santana and Gonçalo Huja - I remember these two are from our first batch of regens and actually look pretty good, better when they arrived than this Tiago Pedreira.
But as it's good to have a third goalkeeper in case some of the other two leaves unexpectedly, I welcome him. He was sent on loan to learn and to get some experience.
Apolo Agostinho [Centre Back]
Rafaël Leiras [Left Wing Back]
As some of you guys may recall, I only have three centre backs on my team. When I saw a centre back between this batch of regens, I rejoiced. But then I saw what Apolo Agostinho really looks like and... meh...
This is a problem because if some of my centre backs leave, I absolutely will have to bring new players in a year from now.
Rafaël Leiras is very interesting and I now have the chance to prepare to sell Gabi as Leiras could probably be promoted anytime. Gabi is my main left Wing Back, but is already 24 years old and occupies 1 of 3 exceptions allowed to players above 23 years old.
The thing is, Gabi is solid, but not that good to occupy one of those exceptions. I actually tried to sell him all summer, but no one made an offer. No problem, Leiras will develop a bit more on our reserves team and I promote him when the time is right.
Luís Miguel Crespo [Roaming Playmaker]
Iuri Serrador [Roaming Playmaker]
The game gave me five new players on this batch of regens and these two look like good Roaming Playmakers for this tactic. Between the two, Luís Miguel Crespo is the one I expect more.
When I promoted this regens, I looked at my staff recommendations and they gave him 4,5 stars of potential. Dunno if he really has a lot to develop, but I hope so! As Macieira left, I promoted this Crespo guy to our main team. It's the only one I promoted right away.
Iuri Serrador doesn't look bad at all, but his creativity and movement need some development to be able to play on our first team.
Gabriel Parreira [Box-to-Box]
Eugénio Piló [Box-to-Box]
Thomas Valente [Box-to-Box]
Honestly, Eugénio Piló already has attributes that maybe could make him promoted to our first team but I have four B2B midfielders already there, he would not play that much. I sent him on loan to develop a bit more and in a year I'll see how that went.
Gabriel Parreira looks like an agressive and fast midfielder, things who may make him a good B2B. Thomas Valente is not bad in anything, but doesn't impress in nothing.
Joel Pires [Pressing Forward]
Jorge Vale [Pressing Forward]
Mobile finally gave me strikers.
They are both fast and agressive, something I value in a striker in my tactic. They lack unfortunately in Aerial, that's where I will focus on their training initially.
They are kind of alike. Jorge Vale is more selfish and has better dribbling skills, Joel Pires has better teamwork, but there's not much different about them.
I decided to send one of them on loan and keep the other on reserves team as backup in case any of my two main strikers became unavailable. It ended being Jorge Vale the one sent on loan because it was the first that received an offer.
Briosa Squad 2024/25
This time I will not post individual printscreens of my players squad as it would make this update really long. Also, there's little changes to last years squad and I posted printscreens of the two new players and the regens promoted early on this update.
I will post my staff rating of the squad. If anyone are curious about any player, just ask that I post his profile :)
[Squad evaluation of my squad]
As everyone knows, this is just the staff opinion.
Most players are between 1,0 and 2,0 stars of recommendation on current ability. I believe this is in comparison with the level of Segunda Liga, which put us on maybe midtable maybe. It was what I expected.
Both Wing Backs Miguel Mota and Gabi, centre back Vasco Sousa, captain Vasco Gomes, B2B Tiago Ribeiro and Rudi Almeida, IFs Rosolino Morgado and Lisandro Neca, and both strikers Desmond Nketia and Ronaldo Lopes, all those are the better rated, expected as all of them are usually starters.
On the other hand, the ratings of João Pimenta, Nicola Saraiva and Diogo Cardoso are somewhat disappointing.
As for potential, both my goalkeepers and my new regen Luís Miguel Crespo have the best evaluations. All others reach 2,5 to 3,0 stars, which means maybe my team is really close to their potential already.
[The positive remarks of my squad...]
[... again less than the negative ones]
Last season I was happy to announce how we had more positive points than negative ones. Unfortunately, that was based on the Liga 3 level. This season on Segunda Liga we have again more negative reviews.
It's good to know how we have a strong, pacy team that can pass the ball around, but I have to be worried when my staff points out how we are not comfortable on the ball and lack the ability to spot incisive passes and the decision making is not good.
Worst than that, the remark about our training facilities is really worrying. We have a young team that need to develop, both to play and to guarantee future sales and our training facilities don't help at all.
[We have only 0,5 stars in training facilities]
Obviously, that's because the insolvency administrator sold our training facilities. Now we have to invest in them, but the rules state that I only can do it when our debt is erased. That's still more than € 11.000.000...
That's why we have to be clever on our budget management and also to sell players to pay our debt as soon as possible. Only when we start to invest in our training facilities we can develop properly; until then, we are stuck without any evolution forward.
Speaking of.
Expectations and Finances
We emerged from administration last April and the game believes we are gonna buy players. That's only logical. The thing is, the game doesn't know the rules of this challenge. That's why the goals of my Board are crazy!
[Guys, who's gonna tell them...?]
Well, I don't believe this to be possible at all.
Anyway, the Board gave me € 2.000.000 in Transfer Budget. That money will be kept there, I will not touch it or adjust it to my Wage Budget. That's not permitted by our rules.
The most interesting thing on all this is that our Budget was increased.
[Our Budget was increased by 63%]
Last two seasons we had only € 458.000 because of our challenge rules. Now that we are no longer insolvent and with our promotion, that limitation is no longer applied and we just have to manage the budget the game gaves us. In this case, € 722.000.
That's a ridiculous amount to play in Segunda Liga, but at the very least it leaves room to some contract renewals, especially my first season regens whose contracts are closest to expire.
[Black Hawk is already revered on Coimbra]
So, our manager has already some kind of recognition. Let's see if he's able to keep the Board growing ambition.
Segunda Liga
Segunda Liga is the 2nd tier of portuguese football. It's disputed by 18 teams in a single formula of 34 games, all against each other, home and away.
The first two placed teams gets promoted, the 3rd goes to a promotion/relegation playoff against the 16th of Primeira Liga. The last two places teams get relegated and the 16th goes to a promotion/relegation against a team from Liga 3.
There's some names you guys may remember. Porto B and Alverca were our opponents last season. Porto B was already promoted when they played us on the Liga 3 Final, but Alverca had to play two playoffs to get here.
Segunda Liga is known to be very competitive with a lot of teams on the same level, which makes it hard to predict who is going to fight for what.
Nevertheless, I would say Leixões, Paços de Ferreira and Santa Clara to be amongst the best - all of them were on Primeira Liga last season. Farense, Marítimo, Moreirense and Tondela are others to look for.
Last season, Varzim was the champion and got promoted. Varzim was on Liga 3 two seasons ago, which means they were promoted two times in a row. My Board expects us to do the same.
Which takes us to the last point of this update.
This season we play three competitions: Segunda Liga, Portuguese Cup and League Cup. This last one starts late July, so I only had time to do six preseason matches.
[We got mixed results]
I don't know what to make of these matches.
We narrowly won Sertanense, the same team we have beaten clearly last season twice. We didn't won Amora who is again on Liga 3 and failed to win two Segunda Liga teams (Mafra and Torreense).
But then we did this...
[We won against Porto!]
We won at Estádio do Dragão and was not pure luck!
We did a lot of shots, had clear cut chances and more possession than mighty Porto. It was a fun game where both teams tried to score. In the end we prevailed. That's a shame it was only a friendly.
What this game showed is that, on a good day, our team can go toe-to-toe against much stronger opponents, but it is also capable of stumbling against more accessible opponents.
Is it a reflection of the youth of the squad, whose inexperience prevents them from being regular?
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