FM20 | THE OTHER ORANJE – SEASON ONEMay 23, 2020
Welcome back to my blog! In this new post i will be showing you how me and The Other Oranje have performed during season one. As you’ve see in my previous post i was not sure about the players i’ve had at my disposal. Most players could be described as mediocre and that is not good when you are trying to achieve certain goals. But there was a bigger challenge for me as a manager then when you get a team with nothing but good players. And even when i knew this season was going to be tough, i never expected to have such an awesome first season here in Volendam.
SEASON ONE EXPECTATIONS
As both the media and our board of directors were expecting a mid table finish in the league i really did not have that much pressure on me. My players might not be great and awesome but they sure are better then being mid table players. In the Dutch Cup tournament they only expected us to reach the third round which is absolutely ridiculous. Just the third round? Are these people actually crazy? I guess so because i will never ever except just getting to the third round. The Dutch Cup tournament is a quick qay of getting European football and i want my team to be known as ‘cupfighters’ ! No matter how strong our opponents might be, every other club needs to fear us so we can advance into the tournament as far as we can. As for my own personal expectations for my first season with FC Volendam i can be pretty clear. I want us to win at least one period (the league has four periods) so we can participate in the promotion play offs. I really want to get promotion to the Eredivisie as possible but i do not see us winning the league with this team. Some other teams are just better then us so reaching those play offs will give us a fighting chance. For the Dutch Cup i have no real expectations except that i want us to get as far as we can.
SEASON ONE DUTCH CUP RESULTS
Like with every other Football Manager savegame i usually use the cup tournaments to give some minutes to my benchwarmers. Here at FC Volendam i have done exactly the same thing. Within my team i have eleven players who are forming my best team. I also have like five players who are on the verge of getting into that first team. So the cup tournament is a way for them to show me what they’ve got. They can also make sure to get some more gametime if they manage to impress me. But the down side of this type of setup is that you never know how your team will perform. When you player with players that normally never play together the automatisms are not there. This means that your team will not get the best out of the tactic i’ve created and this can affect the results in a negative way.
We’ve managed to get to the semi’s baby!
But as you can see on the screenshot above my team did pretty well in the Dutch Cup tournament. Our adventure started with a game against Blauw Geel’38 at our own beloved Kras Stadion. Derry Murkin and Marco Tol managed to get their names on the scoresheet and so we managed to win our first TOTO KNVB Beker match. Our first Eredivisie opponent was FC Emmen in the second round. My team had a lightning fast start because within the first five minutes Jelle Duin scored a goal securing a lead for us. Our loan player from AZ managed to score again in the 21st and 72nd minute of the match which gave us another 3-0 lead. After that FC Emmen scored one goal against but that was it. Round number three was against Roda JC who are in the same league as us. This team was a really tough nut to crack so i was really happy that Zakaria El Azzouzi scored a volley right before half time. Both teams managed to get a few chances during the remainder of the game but as nobody scored a goal we advanced into the quarter finals. With PSV Eindhoven as our opponents we knew this game was going to be really tough. PSV is a title contending team in the Eredivisie and they should be much better then us. But as i stated before, i wanted my team to become cup fighters and that is what we did. We’ve managed to beat a Eredivisie top team and advanced into the semi finals against Ajax. In the semi finals we got annihilated against Ajax. They were stronger and so we lost 5-1. Our run in the TOTO KNVB Beker has been nothing but spectacular and losing in the semi’s against a team as Ajax after beating PSV was LEGENDARY!!!
SEASON ONE KKD RESULTS
With our fantastic run in the TOTO KNVB Beker tournament in our pocket it is now time to look at our Keuken Kampioen Divisie results. As i’ve stated earlier everybody was expecting a mid table finish. When you look at the quality of our player that is a fair assessment. But in the world of Football Manager you can overachieve pretty easily when you are able to create a solid tactic. To be honest during the first season i have been messing about with my tactics quite a lot. I never felt really comfortable with any formation or tactical system that i’ve managed to create. Our results and player performances have been so inconsistent that i never settled on one tactic for a long period of time.
We have secured promotion by winning the league
As you can see on the screenshot above we have actually managed to win the league this season. It has come as a big surprise because i really was not expecting this. I figured that we would end up somewhere around 5th place in the league but as you can see we came out on top. Halfway through the league we already sat in first spot with a five point lead on De Graafschap. During the second part of the season we extended our lead up to nine points initially. But during our last eight games we started drawing and losing so De Graafschap came closer and closer. Eventually our lead shrank to having the same amount of points as De Graafschap with only one game to go. So our latest Keuken Kampioen Divisie really was a title game. The pressure was immense and as De Graafschap lost their away game to Almere City we ended up winning at home against Telstar. Nick Doodeman scored our only goal of the game and thus he secured our Keuken Kampioen Divisie title in my first season here at The Other Oranje.
During the season the amount of injuries have been absolutely crazy. I have no idea if this all comes down to having shitty facilities or just the amount of games we sometimes had to play in a short periode of time. I do know that at one point i ran out of central defenders and so i had to dip my toes into the transfermarket. As we had no finances except a small bit of wage budget i decided to scout for free agents. I was lucky enough to find two suitable players and all i had to was to persuade them to come to FC Volendam. The 20 year old Joerie Church was the first player i managed to sign a contract with us. This lad was on our radar from the start of the season but he had a contract with AZ. I knew i could not buy him as we did not had the finances to do so but i was acutally surprised when they released him on a free transfer at the end of December 2019. For my team this player is actually a pretty decent one so i was extremely please to sign him. He can playe in multiple positions so he will have his use for sure. Our second new player was the 22 year old Mathias Bossaerts. This lad comes from NEC who also released him from his contract so i was happy that we were able to sign him. During his youth period he played and trainer at Manchester City and after that he went from KV Oostende to NEC and eventually to my team, FC Volendam. This players brings some experience as he has played in the Belgium Jupiler Pro League and with his decent attributes he was a real addition to the team. With these two new signings we saved the day and eventually both players had to fight for their spot in the first team when everybody else came back from their injuries.
After winning the Keuken Kampioen Divisie i was in a shock. My team is not ready for the Eredivisie so i will have a tough time of getting the team ready for competing on that level. But i am sure that we will be able to avoid relegation and then we can keep on building an Eredivisie worthy team during the seasons to come. I want to thank everybody that has taken the time to read this post. In my next post we will take a look at the statistics from season one.