2014/15 – Pentagon Challenge Season 1 – Thanda Royal Zulu

Hello all and welcome to the first post in my new challenge where I attempt to do the Pentagon Challenge

Before I start I have to make a an announcement. In my last post where I talked about this challenge I said I would be doing the Hexagon Challenge. Due to editor data file issues and Classic mode not letting me add extra leagues I have decided to drop the 6th continent and just go all out for the basic old 5 continental champions leagues, these are Africa, Asia, Europa, North and South America.

I would also like you to note that as with my Alphabet Challenge I will be appointing the best Assistant Manager I can find, I will be in charge of signings, tactics, training, team selection and day to day management but my Assistant will be in charge of the match day for this I will use Instant Result (it has always worked fine for me in the past!)

Season 1 – The Beginning

So I loaded the game and decided I would only load one continents worth of leagues in one go, as South Africa is the easiest country to get a job in I decided to start in Africa, once I win the African Champions League I will then load countries from another continent (probably Asia).

I have also loaded the English Leagues just for something extra I can add to each update where I can talk about their season a little bit.

I created my manager with the lowest possible reputation (Sunday League) so I will only get the lowest of the low jobs at the start. Immediately after starting the game I applied for all available South African jobs and after 1 day I received these job offers:

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All these clubs are in the 2nd tier of the South African Pyramid, after some deliberation and some help off some fellow Twitter people I decided to go with Thanda Royal Zulu.

Here is a little bit about them:

Thanda-Royal-Zulu

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So we are forecast to end 7th out of 16 teams in the South African First Division. The top team will automatically be promoted to the Premier Division and 2nd/3rd will enter a play-off with the 2nd last team in the Premier Division where they play a 3 team league play-off to see who goes up (or stays up).

The board have given me a tasty £175k transfer budget but £0 wage budget. The first thing I did was switch all my transfer budget over to my wages which in the end gave me £7k spare wages. I also released a few dismal players which freed up another £2k.

Pre-Season

The squad itself looks pretty decent, but we are drastically short in defence. We have 0 Right Backs and only 2 Centre Backs. We only have 1 Left Winger and with the formation I want to employ (41221 with Wingers) I will need another LW. I also only have 1 decent Striker and 1 ok-ish youth striker.

So I went all out on a spending spree of £0 but managed to really improve the squad.

First signing was: Tornado Mongale – A pacey, tricky Left Winger who will be a good back-up to N. Ncobeni.

1

2nd Signing: J.B Ncubeni –  My back-up Right Back who at 21 will be good for the future, he need to improve on his jumping and other technical stats but with some good training I feel he will be a good first teamer

2

3rd Signing:  Sandile Ndlovu – Will provide good competition up front. A tall strong Centre Forward who with good supply can bang a few goals in

3

4th Signing: Tonic Chabala – Getting on but will provide experience at Centre Back, he has good attributes but lacks pace

4

5th Signing:  Leiethu Mkatshane – Another Centre Back but a bit younger than Chabalala, he has pretty average attributes across the board but still decent for this divisin

5

And my final Signing: Ashley Volschenk – My 1st choice Right Back and can also play Left Back if required, he has very good attributes to plat FB for me as I want him to mainly defend, he will be a Full Back, not a Wing Back

6

So after all those signings (all done within 1 week) I started Pre-season, my squad looked like this:

squad

Im really pleased with the squad, we have strength in depth, we have experience and also some good youth players. I just need to keep my 2 best players who after a few days of the game were already being courted by other teams. Bhengu seemed fine with me rejecting offers left, right and centre, but Mpangase straight the way started complaining that I was rejecting offers. I basically told him to shut it and get on with it, only time will tell if that’s the right thing to do!

My Pre-season friendlies were a mixed bag, I played mainly teams below me and although our performances were good our results were OK. Our 2 defeats were to Maritzburg who are in the Premier Division, and Royal Eagles who are predicted 4th in our Division

preseason

The Domestic Season

I always like to set myself my own goals/aims before the season starts, although we are forecast to come 7th I really do feel the squad is capable of pushing for a spot in the top 3, Top would be sensational but a place in the play-offs would be pretty amazing.

We had a very inconsistent season, but then again so did every team in the league, at the mid point of the season the top 6 teams were separated by 3 points, mainly because everyone kept beating each other. Luckily for us we were one of those 6 teams, although we were inconsistent we were always there or there abouts at the top of the table. I usually expect the team who ends top to get at least 2 points per game but at no point was there any team that achieved this!

By the time the season was drawing to a close there were 3 teams challenging for the title. There was ourselves, Vasco CT and Golden Arrow, with 4 games to go the top 3 looked like this:

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Santos were 4th but 6 points back so really have no chance of getting into the play-offs.

Our final 4 games were all winnable, toughest was Santos away, Golden Arrow still had to play Vasco CT as well.

In the game we managed to beat Santos 2-1 and Golden Arrows beat Vasco CT 3-2, this meant it was more than likely a 2 horse race for the title. We then played Highlands Park who are bottom of league at Home, the result… 5-0 to us, Golden Arrows somehow managed to lose to Cape Town Allstars 1-0 at Home and Vasco CT lost 4-2, this put us 4 points clear at the top with 2 games to go.

The next game was 14th place Baroka away, the result… a 2-1 win!!! And with that win we were crowned Champions!! Absolutely stunning!

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The final table ended like this:

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Champions!!! What a season! As you can see we were under my magical 2 points per game but still we won the league by 5 points!

The board immediately gave me my budgets for next season

budgets

Not good to be honest, We currently spend £21k on wages so have £11k spare

One more piece of news which is very bad. Ace Bhengu refused to sign a new deal and instead signed a pre-contract with Amazulu. I also sold Midfielder Slyabonga Mkhwanazi for £100k to Valarenga after continuous moaning about wanting to leave!

bhengu sale

So that’s the season over and what a season it was! I fully expected to challenge the top 3 but never in my wildest dreams di I expect to win the league!

So who were my top performers? Firstly RW Nzuzo Luthui was amazing playing 27 games, scoring 13 and averaging 7.47

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Ace Bhengu also was in great form, although he was injured for some of the season he scored 13 goals in 17 starts.

Now the hard work starts in preparation for the Premier Division, expectations will be incredibly low, but I’m confident I can steer clear of relegation.

Finally, my extra news about the winners and losers in England.

End of Season Premier League Table:

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The usual top 6 and a decent 13th place finish for my team Leicester City.

Top Goalscorer with 23 was Sergio Aguero

Top average rating was Juan Mata with 8.05 from 29 games

Manchester United won both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup

In Europe Leverkusen beat Everton 2-0 to win the Europa League and Real Madrid lost 4-3 to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Final

Not sure if I will keep these updates going but thought it something different to add to each update

I really hope you have enjoyed reading this, I have tried to make it a little longer and a bit more in depth than my Alphabet articles. If you have any feedback please leave it on here or message me on Twitter @thatfmregen

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