“I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down” – Chumbawumba, 1997.
The end of last season tried to crush our spirit, but we say nay! While Sylvan’s first season in management wasn’t perfect, he outperformed the board’s expectations (regardless of what they decided at the end of the year) and was about 10 seconds away from getting a playoff spot. But it’s time to put that behind us. Sylvan is obviously sad to leave Rupel Boom, but we’ve been offered a great opportunity at Kozármisleny SE. So all things considered these are the key positives Sylvan has to look forward to at our new home:
- It’s a fully professional club in a more reputable division. This obviously means the players should stay fitter, improve more and all those good things.
- The club are newly promoted and only spending £2k of a £14k weekly wage budget so there’s a lot of room for Sylvan to create the club in his vision with nobody to blame but himself if it goes wrong.
- The league structure isn’t ridiculous! A simple 20 team league, bottom 3 go down, top 2 go up, lovely.
What lies ahead.
Long term this club looks very promising. Short term however, Sylvan arrives in Hungary shortly after their first preseason friendly to find the club currently has 12 senior players on the books and 0 staff members. That’s going to be an issue. Oh and our first game in charge is against Dinamo Moscow in two days, so that’ll be a nice little welcome. The board are only looking for us to survive this season, but what are our personal objectives?
Very short term (End of preseason):
- Put together the key coaching staff and bring in some scouts ASAP.
- Use those scouts to put together a squad of 18-20 players capable of keeping Kozármisleny SE up.
- Decide on a formation and playing style to take into the season.
Medium term (End of the season):
- Steer the team comfortably safe of relegation.
- Look for key additions to both the squad and backroom staff where possible.
- Have Sylvan continue his personal development by completing his next coaching badge.
Long term (End of 3rd season at Kozármisleny SE)
- Guide them to promotion to the top tier of Hungarian football.
- Have the club turning a profit by the end of the 3rd year.
- Be in the process of making improvements to the clubs facilities.
So that’s the plan. We’re in this for the long haul, Sylvan has put down a lease on a lovely little apartment and is ready for at least 3 seasons in Hungary (although I’m not saying we couldn’t be tempted away if the right offer appeared). But let’s get going!
Before we can start making additions to the playing staff we need to put together a backroom staff. It’s a pretty hectic first few days but eventually put together something resembling a backroom team. We still have a couple of spots to fill, primarily those involved with the under 19s and a Head of Youth Development but our under 19’s are beyond limited at the minute so they’re not an immediate priority.
It becomes clear now we have something resembling a coaching team put together that Sylvan isn’t quite up to scratch after the jump up in quality from Boom to Misleny, but for the good of his development he elects to continue coaching tactics and defending (his two specialities at this stage of his career). He also heads to the boardroom to request permission to undertake his National B licence, which the board understand the need for and happily accept. So we’ve ticked off one of our short term goals for the year and have put the wheels in motion on one of our season long goals, sorted!
Tactically we’re going to keep it simple again while we get an idea of the team’s strengths/weaknesses in comparison to our league opponents. As threadbare as the squad currently is they are blessed with 3 pretty solid strikers so we we won’t be bringing our strikerless experiment with us to Hungary. We elect to set up in a good old fashioned British flat 4-4-2 for now. We also plan to start with the mentality on counter as we’re likely one of the weaker teams in the league so will be hoping to create a reasonably solid defence and hope that our strikers can make the most of their opportunities at the other end.
So now we have a scouting team in place and an idea of how we want to play we can look to start padding out the squad. Much like last season we often have to go on the scouts initial opinion on a player as we’re primarily looking at out of contract players, plus we’re in a little bit of a rush. We also ask the board to arrange a trial day (for possibly the first time in my FM career) and the results are actually pretty good and a few of them end up being brought in as part of our preseason haul. So far we’ve made 9 additions taking us up to a squad of 21 which seems pretty reasonable on such short notice.
Goalkeepers – Tamas Tovishati.
Despite having two keepers already we do pick up a third from the trialist squad. This is possibly a little unnecessary but Sylvan in the zone and throwing out contracts left right and centre so who are we to stop him?
Defenders – Daniel Fejos (Right back), Akos Marcsek (Left back), Gabor Gallik (Centre back/Defensive mid), Gabor Papp (Centre back).
The club started without anyone truly comfortable at the full back positions and we’re also thin on the ground at centre back so we make a number of additions here. We’ll also be keeping an eye out for further full back additions but for now we’ve bought ourselves time on that front.
Midfielders – Peter Beke (Right Mid), Levente Acs (can play pretty much anywhere across the midfield), Gerjen Ablonczy (Centre Mid), Norbert Iflinger (Centre/Left Mid).
Here we really needed to add some depth in general which I think we’ve achieved pretty well. The team also lacked any true left midfielder so we made a few additions there to the best of our ability with the little information we had. We’re still not entirely happy with what we have at the position (Having a true left footer would be preferable) but much like the full backs we’ve bought a little time to search for potential candidates to fill in at that role long term.
Strikers – None.
As we said earlier, the club already has 3 very good options here so we were in no rush to add people here.
So this is what we’ve put together to try to beat the drop year one in Misleny:
While we’ve not been able to really bite into that wage budget (we’re now spending 4k of our 14k budget) we have managed to put together a squad that gives us a good shot at avoiding the drop. This is obviously only the start and we’ll also be continuing to look for ways to strengthen as the season gets under way.
As this post is getting a little longer than usual due to all the new club craziness we’ll cut it off here. We should return tomorrow with an update on how things went on the pitch during preseason and also play the first 5 or 6 league games to get a better idea of what the rest of the season is going to look like for Kozarmisleny (it’s taken til the end of the post but I’ve finally learned to spell the team name without having to check back). I guess we need a new outro? My Hungarian isn’t quite up to scratch unfortunately, but we’ll work on something. For now, Viszontlátásra!