Good morning all and welcome back to the latest post in my new FM16 challenge “The Ultimate Hero” where I have been set the task of getting all 6 of the Hero achievements available on Steam. To get these I need to gain promotion with a team in the lowest division all the way to the top division. The countries I need to do this in are: England, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Italy and Brazil.
This article will be covering 2 seasons, the reason will be found below, if you follow me on Twitter you will know why!
In the last article I had just been offered the job at German 3rd Division side Hallescher. It was October 2015 and they were sitting bottom of the league with only 7 points from 13 games and were 6 points from getting out the relegation zone. I was relatively confident that with the right tactic and a boost in morale we could get out of this mess we were in. I won’t mess about going into loads of detail, to be honest I don’t see the point for this season. I made no transfers as we had no money and we were dreadful!
As the season progressed we were too inconsistent but we did manage to claw some of the points back and with 1 game to go we had a chance of staying up. We were still in the bottom of 3 but were only 1 point behind Fortuna Koln who had an away game to finish their season, we were also away against Mainz II who had already ended bottom. We had a chance but a slim one! In the end we got spanked losing the game 3-1, it didn’t matter what Fortuna Koln did, we were relegated! And with that I was immediately sacked! Not something I will remember, the whole season was a nightmare. I was pleased it was over and could move on to pastures new and hopefully if I can start in pre-season I have a enough chance to build a decent team with another club
So after the Halle hell I immediately went on the search for a new job, it didn’t take long for an offer to come through and it came in the form of a Spanish Second Division B club Lealtad. They had just survived relegation by winning the relegation play-off, they had lost the first leg 1-0 but won the 2nd leg 3-0 to stay up. I felt it was a good challenge and with a media prediction of 10th (out of 20) I felt we could challenge the top 4 and with that a play-off spot to go up.
So I accepted, hopefully this journey will be better and longer than the last one!
Here is the club information screen of Lealtad
Lealtad have only been promoted to the 3rd tier of the Spanish league system since the 2014/15 season, before then they languished in the lower/regional divisions, apart from the 98/99 where they had 1 rather unsuccessful season in the Spanish 2nd Division B.
Their squad is very small and I had a lot of players whose contracts were running out, I attempted to give as many of them as I can new contracts but a couple of players wanted to leave. I had to go on a signing spree and I did just that. I didn’t have a position preference, I just needed to bolster the squad in all areas. I also had 0 budget and around £1k of wages so had to be thrifty in my signings. Here are my transfers:
And here is a little bit about each player:
Ruben Dario – Defence R/L/C – A decent signing as he can play all over the back 4, not highly rated but will be a good back-up
Alvaro – Goalkeeper – Signed as my back-up to Javi Porron, he will do a decent job if required
Mike Lana – Central Defender – Another back-up loanee, he is tall, strong with good marking attributes
Miguel Diaz – Central Midfielder – A decent playmaker with good technique and vision
Garban – Striker/Right Winger – Signed as my 3rd Striker, offers something different to my 2 other, taller strikers
Antonio Abenza – Central Defender, this guy will be my first choice CB, he has great physical and mental attributes along with good tackling, marking and heading.
Vicente Romero – DM/CM/AM – A really good all round midfielder, who had good passing and vision but also can win a tackle
Yago Gandoy – Central Midfielder – Another really good all round midfielder who has good physical attributes and can also pick a pass
Pablo Inglesias – Defensive Midfielder – This guy will be my holding Midfielder, a really good BWM
Alvaro Cavero – CB/RB – This guy was signed mid-season due to a major injury crisis in defence. He is one for the future at only 20 years old.
So that ALL my signings! And now the squad look healthy
And my tactic I decided to employ was a 41221, it focuses around getting the ball wide and aiming to hit Camochu or Beda up front who are both tall with great heading and finishing attributes.
So with all that complete we went into the league season high on morale, I had a decent looking squad and knew with a good start we could really push that top 4. We started fantastically and after 5 games we were sitting in that top 4. Our away form wasn’t particularly good but we were almost unbeatable at home. Over the course of the season, even with numerous injuries we never moved away from the top 4, our lowest position was 7th and our highest position was 2nd. Albacete, who came top were there all season and ended up winning the division by 8 points. Our form never dropped but we could never get anywhere near them, but at the end of the season we had come 2nd! What a fantastic achievement and with that we entered into the Play-offs for promotion to the Liga Adelente (2nd tier). It was going to be tough, we had 3 rounds of 2 legs to get through to win promotion
We were drawn in the 1st round against Alcorcon who had finished 4th in our division. Over the season we had lost to them both times. 2-1 at home and 2-0 away so I knew it was going to be tough.
The 1st leg was a great game for the neutrals but not for me, we ended up losing the game 3-2 but if we had scored the penalty we missed it could’ve been so much better. Anyway 2 away goals puts us in a good position for the 2nd leg which is at home
In the 2nd leg it was a lot tighter and nervy, at half-time it was 0-0 but on 62 mins Jorge popped up with that decisive goal, we were heading through on away goals. Alcorcon came at us but our defence held strong and we had made it through to the 2nd round
And in round 2 we were drawn against Llagostera who in the B3 division came 4th. In comparison their team was a lot better than ours so I knew we had our work cut out. And in the 1st leg they showed their class. The result was flattering to them in the end as we out shot them but Gila up front for them was amazing in front of goal and he grabbed a hat-trick in a 4-0 win. The dream looked over bar a minor miracle in the 2nd leg
We played really well in the 2nd leg, we dominated the game from start to finish but a 4 goal deficit was too much. A 2-0 win though was a nice end to the season but in the end we fell short.
Overall I was delighted with how the season went, we had exceeded expectations massively and I have built a very good squad. Hopefully next season we can improve the squad some more and go again for that top 4 play-off spot. The board have given me much better budgets this season (well anything is better than £0!!)
So with around £1.6k of spare wages we can definitely get some good players in. The one downside is Jorge is out of contract and won’t sign a new one, he is one of my better players so it will be disappointing to see him go.
So who were my stand out players through the season? Well here is a quick screenshot of the player stats section on my homepage
Comochu up front was amazing scoring 21 goals in 30 games. His strength and good heading meant most crosses were met by him and most of the time the ball was in the net. Espina on the Right Wing bagged 12 goals and 20 assists and was my by far my best player over the course of the season.
So there you have it, after a dreadful first season the second season was a lot lot better but we ended up falling short in our goal of promotion. Hopefully when I bring you my next article I bring good news!
Thanks for reading, if you have any tips or comments for me please leave them on here or message me via Twitter @thafmregen