(FM22) Tiers of Joy #25 – The Return!

Welcome back! A new club has been found! It hasn’t actually long at all, a week in fact after resigning from Blagoevgrad. When I saw the list of nations I could go to there were 2 clubs that instantly stood out for me, both I have managed at on previous FMs, so when one of those clubs managers were sacked I knew it was the place to go!

No it’s not FC Sion! I’m sure that’s where those of you who have followed my old saves would have instantly thought of. I’m off to Norway with my FM20 club FK Haugesund!!!

What a lovely badge!

I have an amazing time as Haugesund on FM20, they were the opening club in my Achievement Hunter series and had 7 incredible seasons here. I’ve followed them ever since and have even booked a cruise for next year (it should’ve been last year but got changed due to Covid) to visit Haugesund as one of the stops and I will be going to their ground.

So I just had to come back. It is going to be a huge challenge as you will see as I explain the in’s and out’s of the Norwegian League!

HISTORY

As you can see Haugesund have done nothing during the past 20 years. Nothing won bar the First Division in 2038. They have flitted between the Premier and First Division and their highest league finish was 5th in 2028

Since their promotion back in 2038 they have spent most of their time in the lower end of the table, close to relegation but have survived…..just.

This season they are doing just as bad. Currently 15th in the league with only 9 points from the opening 12 games.

A tough road ahead but it is quite tight above us. 18 games of the season to go, plenty of time to turn it around.

FACILITIES/GROUND

The facilities as well haven’t improved over the course of the save. Our training facilities are class as Good which is 3*, our youth facilities are average and we have adequate academy coaching and average youth recruitment. This need improving!

The ground however is gorgeous! Just look at this…

A wonderful little ground that holds just under 9,000 people.

BARMY LEAGUE RULES

This was the big challenge last time, the squad rules for the Norwegian Premier League makes it very tough indeed.

I won’t bore you with all of the above, the main thing is that we are only allowed a total of 30 players in our squad with 25 of them on a part-time or full-time contract. So 25 on part-time and above with 5 players on youth contracts (4 outfield and 1 GK), everyone else cannot be registered.

We have to have 2 homegrown players trained at the club and at least 16 trained in Norway. We also cannot have anymore than 9 non-homegrown players.

25 sounds a lot but it makes the squad very thin. 2 players per position = 22 players. You then have 3 extras. It makes squad building a little tougher even more so when you look at the players I have!

THE SQUAD

The first team squad overall is thin, we have 20 players, 2 of these are in on loan and all of them are on full-time contracts, so technically we have 5 spaces in our 25-man squad to play with, then you look at where these players play.

I do not know why the AI does this but once again we have a club with literally no defenders! We have no natural CBs at all and no natural LBs! Madness!

We have 9 players who can play on the wing and it’s lucky that a couple of these can play as a FB. We have only 1 natural Striker!

So when you look at it that way we need to find 2 LBs, 4 CBs and a Striker. That’s 7 players who instantly have to come into the first team.

If they all come in then we are over our squad limit and therefore have to sell some players.

Luckily we have quite a few young stars in the reserve and youth team who will immediately be promoted.

There are a couple of 5* CBs, a couple of decent LBs and lots of Strikers. Great! The no-so great is the fact none of these are on youth contracts so will all count to the 25-man limit. Time to promote a few!!! What it does mean though is some of those pesky wingers aren’t going to make the squad and will have to either be loaned out of sold.

So clearly there is a bit of work to do on the squad front. There is no way we can survive with just those couple of young CBs so I will need to make a couple of signings when the Window opens in August. This again means some players will have to be moved on just to make space.

KEY MEN

Let’s take a quick look at who my key men are.

Firstly is Italian Attacker Giordano Rossi, one of my best players but his goalscoring record leaves much to be desired. In 37 league games over 2 seasons he’s scored 11 goals. He does look good enough though bar his finishing, maybe he is better on the Left Wing?!

Goalkeeper Asen Andonov is our star man, the Bulgarian, signed from Levski a couple of seasons ago is our highest rated player and top top quality.

Ingve Gya is another star man, he can play either as a centre back, a defensive midfield or in central midfield, for me he is more suited to a DM role, I played a Half Back at Blagoevgrad and I think this will suit him to a tee.

One of our highest rated prospects now and that’s Right Winger Havard Ullandhaug, only 16 and he already looks amazing. One for the future and with so many Wingers already in the first team he may go out on loan for 12 months or so.

At the end of the first season I will talk more about the players, let’s see who excels!

So there we go, it’s great to be back, it’s actually quite nice to have a bit of a challenge, the club aren’t doing the great, the squad needs some work and we also have to work within the crazy squad rules.

Hopefully this time it won’t be as easy as it was in Bulgaria, it would be nice to have a bit more of a tougher challenge, one that takes a good 5 seasons+ to achieve!

Only time will tell.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading.

Steve/LutterworthFox

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