Good morning all and welcome back to my latest post on the Alphabet Challenge. This one will be a bit different as I have taken over new club half way through the season and with no chance of winning the title I thought I’d spend a bit more time talking about my transfers and the league itself.
After leaving Chile I was offered a job after around 3 months in my final “C” Country Colombia. Atletico Nacional came calling with a whopping £8m transfer kitty! We took over half way through the season with Nacional coming 8th in First Phase of the League (they were predicted 3rd).
So a little bit about the League structure, it seems incredibly strange to me but here’s what I’ve found out. The League is split into 1st and 2nd Phases. There are 18 teams in the league but in each phase you play 18 games. Confused? So was I so I did a little bit of investigation on Wikipedia and apparently the 18th game is a game against your nearest rivals. I’m not sure whether this game is left until the end or integrated into the phase at some point. Once the phase is complete the top 8 teams enter a play-off, 2 groups of 4 teams who play each other twice then the group winners play a final over 2 legs. Wow that was long-winded! The same thing is then repeated in the 2nd Phase.
The next confusing thing is the Overall End of Season table gets a bit out of kilter as it includes all the games played, so if you reach the play-off and then the final in the both phases you could have played 52 games whereas if you came out of the play-offs you will have only played 36 games. Here is an example of what I mean, this is the previous season
As you can see Deportivo Cali came top playing 48 games, but Nacional only managed 2nd even though they played 52! Totally bonkers to be honest but that what we have to deal with.
In the 2032 First Phase before I took over, Nacional somehow managed to end 8th, but ended Champions as they won the final play-off!
Now to my opening season with Nacional, as mentioned before I took over after the 1st Phase had finished. We had around 4 weeks of a mid-season break to try to improve the team and with an £8m kitty I was confident in strengthening the team. The issue I had was we had no wage kitty so I had to transfer some of the budgets around. I dropped the transfer kitty down to £5m which increased the wages to around £70k
The squad was very thin on the ground. We needed a new GK, CB, CM and at least 2 Strikers. I managed to fill all these positions and add a few extra as well
I won’t run through them all just pick out a couple of them
Ahmed Yildrim was one of the strikers I signed who can also play M/RC. He has really good Physical stats and excellent finishing and first touch
Sifiso Diamini is a tall strong CB who can also play as a DM. His natural fitness is a serious concern but his other attributes made my mind up in spending a decent sum on him
Xuxinha is a decent looking Goalkeeper, rushing out is a bit low but other attributes are really good. He had a very solid second half of the season
Now to the 2nd half of the season and wow it was amazing, we ended up unbeaten in the 2nd Phase, but as we drew 7 of our 18 games we came 2nd . We were then entered into the Group Stage of the play-off which we somehow managed to win due to our better head-to-head. 3 of us ended on the same points, still not sure now how they worked it out o put us top, I’m presuming it was down to head-to-head record.
We then played the final against Deportivo Cali, which over 2 legs we won 4-1
It was a fantastic end to the season and one which provides me with great expectation for next. here is how the overall league table ended
I’ve decided that I wont move onto the next Country until I’ve ended top of the overall league table.
In the domestic cup competition we also managed to win that beating Millonarios in the final
So there you have it, it was a brilliant 2nd half of the season and a great start for myself . We now move onto next season, hopefully I can win the overall league table which will then mean I’ve completed “C” and we move onto the next letter where we only have 1 country which is Denmark.
Hopefully I’ll have the next update up by Monday. Thanks for reading