Hello everyone and welcome to my latest post in the Pentagon Challenge. This is certainly going to be a epic write up with so much to say, hopefully I can keep it as short as possible but apologies now if I ramble!
Last time out I had ended 2nd in the South African Premier League with Thanda Royal Zulu, we were also in the African Champions League, this spans over 2 season, and we were currently mid-group stage, I had also been offered the job of Algeria but had a poor World Cup campaign. next up for Algeria was the African Nations Cup qualifying.
The squad at Zulu looks great but I really need to improve as much as I can, the board have offered me a decent budget of £1.4m and around £15k spare wages. I wont really need to spend all my transfer budget but its there as a help if required. My loan striker Mayo wasn’t allowed by Kaizer Chiefs to renew his loan deal so I had to go hunting for a new striker, I also decided to send my 3rd choice striker out on loan so needed another one to provide competition. I also ear-marked a new CM and a new GK.
My signings were as follows:
Signing 1 – Jethren Barr, signed on a free transfer after his release from Kaizer Chiefs at 23 years old Barr will provide competition to Pieterse and also be one for the future
Signing 2 – Nelson Maluleke, a creative MF was something I really needed and this guy fits the bill, signed from Kaizer Chiefs for a club record £350k
Signing 3 – Tebogo Reed, one of my two new strikers, not sure which one will be 1st choice but Reed looks really good for this level, signed from Sundowns for £100k
Signing 4 – My 2nd new striker, signed on a free transfer after his release from Amazulu
And finally Signing 5 – Tebeho Khasipe, I decided to release J.B Ncebeni after he failed to impress and signed this guy as a replacement, he has pace to burn, signed from Sundowns for £125k
So that’s my signings complete, my squad now looks like this:
Its definitely improving and I really feel this year we can provide a sustained challenge to Orlando and Kaizers, we have managed the previous 2 seasons to challenge them but have always tailed away at the end of the season. The board expect us to provide a title challenge and I’m definitely confident I can achieve what is required.
Pre-season starts and I’ve decided to give myself some challenging friendlies, this is due to the early start of the African Champions League, a nice win against Anderlecht and 2 draws against bigger teams is pleasing. What is more pleasing is the result against ES Tunis, 4-1 away from home against the favourites for the competition.
A great friendly win against Stuttgart shows we are raring for the new season. We also won our final 2 games in the Champions League which qualified us for the Semi Final where we will meet Orlando Pirates. We also had a good start to the league season, but we look likely to be knocked out of the Super 8 after a 4-2 home loss to Sundowns in the 1st leg.
What a disappointment, knocked out of the Super 8 even after winning the away leg 3-2 but the most disappointing thing was to lose in the African Champions League, after winning the 1st leg 3-1 I may have been a bit over-confident, we then managed to throw it away in the 2nd leg, losing 2-0 and going out on away goals. Still the original qualification was a bonus and a semi final spot was way more than I expected, we already have qualification sorted for the 2019 CL so I am more determined than ever to win it.
With Algeria we had our first 2 African Nations Qualifiers. The group itself is pretty easy so I’m expected 6 wins out of 6.
We were drawn against Lesotho, Eq Guinea and Zimbabwe. 2 wins out of 2 to start the campaign
A fantastic month where we keep up our unbeaten start to the season, Kaizer Chiefs are languishing near the bottom of the after 4 defeats from 7 games. We also progressed in the KO Cup
We had 2 more games with Algeria and 2 more comfortable wins keep up our 100% record in Qualifying
A poor draw to start the month but we keep up our unbeaten record, we also progressed to the final of the KO Cup
We played out final 2 qualifiers with Algeria and as expected we won both to finish top of the group by miles.
The draw for the finals came straight the way where we drawn against Mali, DR Congo and Angola. Top 2 go through to the Quarters Finals so I’m more than confident of that and more
A disappointing month in the end, we had an amazing win against Kaizer Chiefs winning 5-0! But we lost the cup final to SuperSport then were whooped by Orlando Pirates, we still sat top of the league by 3 points
A great month after what happened at the end of December, 4 wins out of 4 and our lead stretched at the top of the league
The league takes a month break for the African Nations and what a campaign it was! We breezed through the Group winning 3 out of 3, and in the end winning the trophy was a formality, nothing could stand in our way as we breezed by Uganda in the Quarters, scraped by Burkina Faso in the Semi and in the finals we beat Ivory Coast 4-2! What a result and my first competition ticked off in the International Pentagon
After that great win I resigned from Algeria, I shall now wait for another job to come up to continue my International adventure. Now back to Zulu!
What a month, we absolutely smashed our way through the Pre-lim round of the African CL winning the 1st leg 11-0! We lost again in the league but still sat top.
A busy month and a superb month where we qualified again for the Group Stage of the Champions League, we also won 4 out of 4 in the league to stay top.
Another great month, our lead at the top is now 9 points with only 9 to play for, only a matter of time before we are crowned champions. We also progressed to the Semi Final of the FA Cup
The draw for African CL was also made for the Group Stage
A decent draw for us where I’m confident of progression to the Semi Finals
We did it! League Champions!!!!!!! Absolutely unbelievable but one we truly deserved, the draw against Kaizer Chiefs secured the title. An amazing achievement!
Just to add to our amazing month we won the FA Cup to secure the double and started well in the CL Group Stage
So here is how the table ended, comfortable in the end! Absolutely stunning! We managed to do what we couldn’t do the previous 2 season and sustain our challenge. It did help that Orlando and Kaizers were shocking for most the season!
Only 1 game to end the season and it was a fantastic win in the CL. We have now played 3 games and sit top. The other 3 games start in July so will be in my next update
The Groups currently look like this:
A few end of season pieces of news,
Firstly the board have made 2 great announcements.
A link with Premier League Hull and a new Stadium doubling our previous grounds capacity of 5k
And finally a few end of season awards
Central Midfielder Masuko was named Young Player of the Year
And, Attacking Winger Nyanda won Player of the Season, he was absolutely stunning scoring 24 goals.
So there you have it, WHAT A SEASON! One of my best on FM. Now for the Champions League so I can move on to a new Continent. I have decided to move to North America next so to pre-empt it I have added Mexico and USA to the game
Hope you enjoyed reading and I have kept it as short as possible
Thanks for reading