Evening all and welcome back to the latest update in the Pentagon Challenge. Have to say I am loving this save so much that I’ve been glued to it all day, instant resulting games means I can play a season very quickly hence the quickness in updates!
So last time out I managed to win the South African First Division with Zulu, it was a really good achievement but now the hard work starts, to continue in the Pentagon Challenge I have to qualify for the African Champions League, to do this I have to win the Premier League! Its going to be tough as Orlando Pirates are far and above the best team in the league. You will see how much better a bit further down!
I know its going to be a tough season, anything other than relegation will be amazing but I have to try and improve the squad to end as high as possible, get my reputation up and move to a bigger and better club. It will be some kind of miracle if I come anywhere near the top with Zulu, finances are too poor to push Orlando Pirates and others.
My first task was to improve the squad, I earmarked a Goalkeeper, a Centre Back, a New Striker as I lost Ace Bhengu and a new Shadow Striker. I managed to sign all with a few extras. I had no transfer budget to play with but was given an extra £12k in wage budget. So here are my transfers
No 1 – Mduduzi Nyanda, signed on a pre-contract from Platinum Star, Nyanda is mainly a RW but can also fill in as Shadow Striker
No 2 – Nicholas Mynhardt, signed on a pre-contract from Kaizer Chiefs, Mynhardt is to be my main striker replacing Bhengu.
No 3 – Reynaad Pierterse, another pre-contract signing from Kaizer Chiefs, Pieterse will be my first choice GK
No 4 – Ousmane Toure, I lost Chabalala who retired so Toure was signed to replace him. Another pre-contract signing, this time from Dynamos
I also made 2 loan signings.
Nguzana will be my back-up striker, a season long loan from Platinum Stars
And Moerane will be my back-up LB behind Mpangase, signed on a season long loan from Wits
So that’s it, no more signings, I feel my squad is now good enough for survival. My squad now looks like this:
Good quality in all areas with some experience and some youth players, I have at least 2 players per position as well.
The tactic I will employ for the season is my tried and trusted 4231, which looks like this:
I am hoping to play quick, countering attacking football, sit back, soak up the pressure and hit them on the break but guess only time will tell!
So with the squad assembled I headed into pre-season, I normally just play pointless, easy friendlies to gain morale and although I did this I also added a couple of bigger games at Home to try and gain some income. Lazio and Zenit at Home created us around £100k in Gate Receipts which was good, overall pre-season was pretty decent, we won the games we expected to and lost the harder ones. Costa do Sol at the end was the only blip, but we played 80 mins with 10 men.
The Domestic Season
Only 3 games but 4 points was a pretty decent start, A decent start as well from my new signing Mynhardt
Another quiet month with regards to games and 2 very forgettable defeats. Very poor to be honest but as we are ranked 16th out of 16 I really wasn’t expecting to win these kind of games
Another 3 defeats, 2 in the league and 1 in the Knockout Cup. I really hoped we could do something in the cups, but we were very poor and deserved to go out, we still have the FA Cup to play in. I expected the defeat to Kaizer Chiefs but not to Wits, morale at this point was awful but we then managed to beat Polokwane City in our final game of the month. At this point we had 7 points from 8 games and sat 13th
A really good month, the win at the end of October raised morale and we continued with 3 more wins in November, our only blip was a close defeat to Orlando Pirates, at this point Orlando had played 11 won 11! At the end of the month we sat 7th
Only 2 games, 1 win, 1 defeat, and we are still mid table, currently 8th
At the end of December I had 4 of my first team squad who were refusing to sign contracts, luckily none of these were Key Players so I decided to set them to release at the end of the season. My Striker Ndlovu who is now 35 has decided to retire when the season is over
An unbeaten month and 9 points from 5 games. This moved us back up to 7th place. And Orlando eventually lost!
Another slow month, 2 leagues games, 1 iwn, 1 defeat. And a close run cup win against Jomo Cosmos where we scraped through on Penalties! The defeat to Vasco was really hard to take, after all our good wins we got spanked by the team 15th in the table.
Another cup win and again it was on penalties, I don’t think my nerves can take another penalty shootout! 2 league games as well and 4 points, we are still 7th which to be honest is incredible. The 2-2 draw against Orlando was amazingly satisfying
What a month!!!!! All the hard work and keeping morale high after poor defeats finally came through, I had one of my most amazing results on FM where we beat 2nd place Kaizer Chiefs 4-1 away! We also progressed to the Semi Final of the FA Cup, our only blip was home defeat to Chippa United, after this we are 7th with 2 games to play. We are already guaranteed a top 8 finish which enters into the “Super 8” tournament next season
A fantastic end to the season, 2 more wins which meant we ended 6th in the league, Not bad for a team who were predicted to come bottom. We also got past Black Aces in the FA Cup to set up a mouth-watering final against Orlando Pirates
Here is how the league table ended, Orlando smashed the league but did tail off slightly at the end. To come 6th in our first season in the Premier League is truly stunning, I’m not sure how much further I can push the team but I’ll keep going at least until a better job comes along, but I still had the cup final to go!
The FA Cup Final
I went into the game with no expectations, Orlando Pirates were on for the double, the only thing I had to grasp at was Orlando had tailed off at the end of the season.
The game was nuts! At half-time it was 3-3, 3 times we were leading and 3 times Orlando had pegged us back. The in the 48th minute on loan Striker Nguzana pounced to make it 4-3 to us, could we hold on? Somehow we did!!
What an amazing end to the season. our first trophy in my second season and with this we were given a spot in the African Confederations Cup (Africa’s version of the Europa League)
After this game the Orlando Pirates manager left, my heart rushed, I had to apply for the job, would I get it? I fully expected to be in with a shot, then the news came though…..
Absolutely gutted, the only good news that came through was my budgets for the season, which were pretty decent for a team with “Insecure” finances
No extra wages but with £1.35m transfer budget I will definitely move some of that over to increase the wage budget. I love taking advantage of the pre-contract market so frees will be what I’m going for
Not surprisingly Orlando Pirates players won both the end of season awards. My stand out player was definitely Mynhardt, he had a fantastic season scoring 12 in 22 with an average rating of 7.47, he ended up playing most of the season as Shadow Striker as another one of the players I bought in Nguzana played amazing up front, he scored 23 in 27 games, I will definitely be trying to re-loan him for another season, or maybe sign him permanently.
So there you have, what a season! Totally unexpected league position and an even more unexpected cup win. Not sure how I can improve on this with Zulu but I will be putting my heart and soul into pushing them higher!
Thanks for reading x