The Boys From Bergamo #FM17

657px-AtalantaBC.svgWelcome to the city of Bergamo, Bergamo is an Italian city situated North East of Milan in the Lombardy region, it’s also the home of Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio who play their football in Serie A, the top tier of Italian Football. The club have never won Serie A during their 110 year history. In fact the club have won very little silverware winning one Coppa Italia 62-63 along with six Serie B titles and one Serie C title. The club play their home games at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia who they share with Unione Calcio AlbinoLeffe. The stadium has a capacity of 26,562 and will be the back drop of my FM17 17.3 final patch save. I have chosen Atalanta for a number of reasons including my love of Italian Football. Atalanta under the guidance of Gian Piero Gasperini have been nothing short of fantastic in real life this season, they are currently sitting in 6th position in the league punching above their weight. The club from Bergamo boast one of the best youth academies in football which the club have built their existence on by investing heavily in youth development.

So what am I hoping to get out of the save,  The Boys From Bergamo? 

  • Continue with the club’s tradition of youth development
  • Use the Ajax youth philosophy model
  • Director of Football / Head Of Youth Development responsible for recruiting players
  • Chief Scout sets scouting assignments along with me
  • I myself will be responsible for recruiting staff
  • I will be responsible for negotiating both staff and player contracts
  • Play an entertaining brand of football inspired by Sacchi and Gasperini
  • Establish the club as a top four side in Italy
  • Deliver the Serie A title for the first time in the club’s history
  • Keep a firm hold of the finances

atalanta job

Club Background

background

Facilities

Excellent training facilities however I want to upgrade our junior coaching level.

facilities

bergamo-stadium-aerial

First Team Squad

A talented first team squad however we have 9 players in on loan, we do have an option to buy on most so I will be monitoring their progress as the season unfolds. We have some fantastic potential within our youth ranks which is an area I will be investing my time developing them, however we have at least 50 players out on loan for the season. I will be looking at down sizing our squads over time as to give better quality game time to the players I believe can take this club to the next level. I don’t see the point in having 15 Goalkeepers over the 3 squads. Season 1 will be all about analysis and laying the foundations for the season’s to come.

squad

The Staff

Like I have said above I will be entrusting my staff with certain responsibilities at the club. These are three of the men who will be working with me at the start of this journey.

sartori dof

costanzi hoyd

zamagna chief scout

Season Expectations

The board have set reasonable expectations of the club for the season ahead.

expectations

20160503_174731I am back in Italy the country that gave me my football education. I am hoping The Boys From Bergamo will keep me busy until the FM18 release. During FM17 I have had short term saves at Eibar, Nottingham Forest and Fredrikstad but with the last patch being released I am looking at getting in to a longer save. I would have actually continued with the Fredrikstad save if it wasn’t for the fact that my youth team was entered in to the youth league but never had any fixtures which really annoyed my OCD streak. With that all behind me I have settled on Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio better known has Atalanta B.C for my FM fix. With some excellent potential in the youth ranks the save promises to be a good one.  It should prove a challenge to keep hold of our star players with the big boys sure to come knocking. So with the introduction over its time to get down to some solid game time.

Arriverderchi

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad (2.2)#FM17

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Welcome to the latest instalment of my Nordic adventure. I have really grown in to this save and enjoying my FM sessions as much as ever. I think just playing a couple of sessions a week stops you going in to a period of not being bothered to play because you have entered the zone of FM overkill. Well that’s how I see it anyway. My last post left us 14 points clear at the top of the table after 15 games and an upcoming Norwegian Cup Quarter Final against Rosenborg to look forward too, I was also fending off a number of approaches for our players,  So how have we got on since?

OBOS-ligaen Results 

August 2017

We got August off to a winning start away to Hødd we dominated the game and deserved the 3-1 scoreline both Benmoussa and Westgaard along with an own goal gave us the 3 points. Next up we played top tier side Rosenborg in the Quarter-final of the Norwegian Cup. To be totally honest we looked like the top tier side and won the game 2-1 courtesy of a brace from Viktor Gotesson.  Back to our chase for promotion and another good 3-1 win at the Fredrikstad Stadion against Elverum with goals by Kaland,Begby and Johansen. Another three points with a 3-0 win away against Haugesund both Gotesson and a Karoliussen double scoring in a 3-0 win. We finished the month with 3 back to back 2-1 wins against Sandefjord (Gotesson 2), Ull/Kisa (Stamnestø, Kaland ), Ranheim ( Kaland, Benmoussa ).  An undbeaten month extends our run to 16 games without defeat in all competitions and strengthens our title challenge.

august 17

September 2017

A 3-0 home win against Kfum Oslo at the Fredrikstad Stadion puts us on the brink of the title and secures promotion to the top tier. Goals from Gotesson and Kaland along with an own goal win the game for us. A chance to win the title at home to Tromsdalen next however we lose the game 1-2 which is the same result from our first meeting gives Tromsdalen the double over us. The pressure of winning the title shows in our game with Stamnestrø netting our consolation goal. Next up we played Nest-Sotra at home and secure the title with a 2-0 win courtesy of Gotesson and Karoliussen that sends the Fredrikstad Stadion in to celebration. Next we play Premier Division leaders Lillestrom in the Norwegian Cup Semi Final and come out winners after a 118th minute goal from Ludvig Begby that sets up a final encounter against last year’s winners  Haugesund. I was pleased in the way we competed with Lillestrom from start to finish.   With the title secured we go to Strømmen and secure a 3-1 win to end the month with strikes from Gotesson, Karoliussen and Stamnestrø.

sept 17

tab sept

title

title 2

October 2017

We enter the final month of the season looking to keep the momentum going that as taken us to the title and Norwegian Cup Final. I am keen to keep the players focused so we head in to the final in good form. We start with a 4-0 win against relegation threatened Kristiansund with our goals coming from Pedersen, Karoliussen, Begby and Wernersson. Next an away game against Mjøndalen returns a 2-1 win with goals from Gotesson and Brix despite 3 first team players away on International duty. We did have an option of cancelling the game but I decided to rotate the side with the title already won. Sarsborg at home next and another 3 points for us after goals from Karoliussen,Gotesson and Stamnestrø give us a 3-1 win. We draw our next game 1-1 at the Fredrikstad Stadion against Start with in form winger Kaland getting our goal. Our final league game of the season is a 2-0 victory against Notodden with Stamnestrø grabbing a brace playing in the attacking midfield area has a Shadow Striker replacing the injured Karoliussen who plays has an Attacking Midfielder for us in that area. The Switch in roles is something I have tried in a couple of games during the last few weeks of the season.

oct 17

Season Statistics 

Goals in all competitions

  • Gotesson 29
  • Karoliussen 15
  • Begby 9
  • Kaland 9
  • Pedersen 8

Assists

  • Begby 18
  • Karoliussen 18
  • Gotesson 10

Average Rating

  • Begby 7.61
  • Johansen 7.60
  • Wernersson 7.57

Pass Completion 84% Average Possession 63.87%

Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Final Table 2017

obos-ligaen

table final

Records

  • Record Number Of Wins 26
  • Record Number Of Points 80
  • Record Number Of Goals 83
  • Record Number Of Clean Sheets 15

 

Norwegian Cup Final 2017

Cup Final day in Norway and a chance for us to do the double and qualify for European Competition by lifting the cup. Our opponents Haugesund are last seasons winners and despite us doing the double over them in the league I know we were in for a tough game.  A couple of players had slight injury concerns in the week running up to the game however I picked a strong side : 4-2-3-1 GK Jensen RFB Goncalves LFB Wernersson CD Stromnes CD Johansen DLP Stamnestrø BWM Pedersen AMC Karoliussen RW Kaland LW Begby AF Gotesson. The game was a tight affair with neither side being able to convert their chances, at the break I told the boys that I was not happy with how they played to try and get them motivated for the 2nd period although in truth we had played very well without hitting the back of the net. The 2nd half was much like the first with no one taking their chances. On the 65th minute mark I swopped Stamnestrø and Karoliussen around and changed Stamnestrø to a shadow striker in an hope that we could open up the space in the final 3rd. The Switch nearly paid off straight away with the universal Stamnestrø forcing the Haugesund keeper in to a fine save. Then on the 89th minute Viktor Gotesson netted a late winner after good work from Karoliussen and a one, two with Begby. We had done it we are the Norwegian Cup Champions and double winners.

cup final

double

making history

wonder maker

Europa League Qualification

europa lge

New Contract

new contract

Awards

awards

poty

Best XI

best 11

Norwegian Premier Division Eliteserien Final Table 2017

premier-league-inspired-norway-tippeligaen-rebranded-as-eliteserien-1

prem table

Stadium Expansion 

expansion

That brings us to the end of season two and what an enjoyable season it was. Thanks for taking the time to check out this post and I hope you will return soon to see how our preparations for life in the top tier are shaping up.

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far

2017 OBOS-ligaen Winners – Norwegian Cup Winners

2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd  (last 16)

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad (2.1) #FM17

img_20170227_234849Welcome  to my season 2 post with Fredrikstad. I have got my head around Scandinavia and have become familiar with all the club’s, players and staff plying their trade in the region. If you have read my last post you will know that I have introduced 5 youth team players in to the squad for this season. Youth Development at the club will define this club’s future. We have not got millions of pounds to spend on recruiting players and paying vast amounts of money on players wages, our current wage bill at the club is less than £30,000 per week and we will more than likely have to reduce that figure over the next few seasons. When I took over the club we had no depth beyond the first team squad but a year on we now have a number of young players filling up the youth team and 2nd team squads with no players out on loan. We have the best coaching set up in the 2nd tier in Norway after wheeling and dealing finding specialist coaches to improve the quality of training at the club whilst remaining prudent in the market. You could say we are operating a variation of the Moneyball system made popular in football by FC Midtjlland in neighbouring Denmark. If you have the patience to troll through the staff filtering out certain attributes you can unearth some gems that can be good and cheap additions to your project. At Fredrikstad Fotballklubb we are building a family that can take the club to the next level and beyond. Our number 1 goal is to reach the top tier and stay there with players developed with in the Fredrikstad Family. I am currently working on a post about the Fredrikstad Family / Youth Development which I hope to have finished soon, but that’s for later so how have we got on so far this season.

OBOS-ligaen Results 2017

April 17img_20170227_234839

After a good Pre-Season we were eager to carry momentum in to the league and first test of the season would be against Hødd at the Fredrikstad Stadion. We controlled the game throughout playing our fluid style of football running out 2-0 winners with goals from both our wingers Begby and Benmoussa in game that our visitors failed to get a shot on target. I gave a full debut to full back Michael Goncalves our recent signing from Neuchatel Xamax. Next up an away trip to face Elverum, we ran riot and ended up winning the game 8-1 with goals from Karoliussen 2, Gotesson 2, Westgaard, Benmoussa, Aas and 17 year old Mike Nergard who excelled in the second period after taking his bow to first team football replacing the creator in chief Karoliussen. Jo Sondre Aas also made a scoring debut. We then returned to Fredrikstad for our next game this time against last seasons Norwegian Cup Winners Haugesund. We made it three wins out of three with a 2-0 victory with both goals from Viktor Gotesson. We dominated the midfield thanks to our midfield pivots Pedersen and Westgaard who both have become rocks in our system. Our next game will be our first big test of our promotion credentials against the bookies favourite for the title Sandefjord away. Again we dominated the game from start to finish and never looked anything less the winners with the ever nonchalant Karoliussen running the show. We won the game 2-0 courtesy of Gotesson and Benmoussa which leaves us with 12 points out of 12 at the top of the table. Next up was the Norwegian Cup 1st round tie at Larvik Turn who play their football in the 3rd Division. I saw this game as a chance to give a run out to a few squad players so I brought in (GK) Dyngeland, (FB) Fossen-Helle, (CB) Ødegard, (BWM) Ludvigsen, (AM) Nergard, (AMR) Kaland and (AF) Aas. We won the game 7-0 with a good solid performance all round. The scorers on the night were Pedersen 2, Kaland 2, Aas and Begby. We returned to league action with a 2-0 win at Kfum Oslo thanks to in form Swedish Forward Viktor Gotesson netting a brace. We finished a busy month off with our 6th win out of 6 in the league at home to Ull / Kisa. We controlled the game from the off and both Karoliussen 2 and Gotesson 2 got the goals in a 4-0 win. So we have got off to a cracking start and although it’s early days we have put ourselves in a good position  with 6 games played in the league we are sat in top spot with 6 wins and a goal difference of +19 and have scored 20 goals and conceded just 1.

april-17

Scorers 

  • Gotesson 9
  • Karoliussen 4
  • Benmoussa 3
  • Aas 3

We have got a passing completion average of 84% and Possession Average of 64.67% in the league at the end of April.

May 17

img_20170227_234903We come in to May on the back of a good first month of the season with our first game of the season against 3rd tier 2nd Division club Follo Fotballklubb in the 2nd round of the Norwegian Cup at the 2500 capacity  Jan Thomas Birkeland stadium. I picked a rotational side for this game to both give some players a rest and likewise give squad players game time and the opportunity to catch my eye and stake a claim for a place in our regular starting line up. We won the game 3-1 with goals from Karoliussen, Begby and Kaland to put us in to the last 32. Back to league action this time an home game against Ranheim who we beat 2-0 with Westgaard and Aas getting our goals. Next an away trip to play Tromsdalen who inflicted our first defeat of the season on us by beating us 1-2 in a game which we probably merited a point from, however we came away with nothing but a consolation goal from Kaland. In the press conference the media are questioning our credentials, I defend the boys and storm out of the press conference and let the boys know the performance was not good enough. We moved on to our next fixture and got back to winning ways with a commanding 4-1 win over Strømmen, which saw Westgaard get a brace along with goals from Gotesson and Karoliussen. An away game at promoted Nest-Sotra. We imposed our game on our hosts from the start and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners with our midfield enforcer Mads Pedersen grabbing 2 of the goals along with a single strike from top scorer Gotesson. We ended the month with a Norwegian Cup tie away against Premier Division Valerenga . Monir Benmoussa gave us and early lead which Valerenga equalised before the break, we pushed hard to get a winner in the 2nd period to no avail despite dominating the play. The game ended 1-1 and went in to extra time were neither side could get a winner. The penalty shootout was a nervy affair however we came through it 8-7.  So we finished the month 7 points clear at the top with just 1 defeat from our opening 10 games.

may-17

tab-may

Scorers

  • Gotesson 11
  • Karoliussen 6
  • Benmoussa 4
  • Westgaard 4
  • Kaland 4
  • Aas 4
  • Pedersen 4

Assists

  • Begby 9
  • Karoliussen 6
  • Wernersson 5
  • Gotesson 5

Average

  • Begby 7.82
  • Johansen 7.78
  • Stromnes 7.77

June 17

john-arneriise-101117-potrait-r300We opened a short month with an absolute tremendous performance against Kristiansund on their own patch, we ran out 10-2 winners with goals from Gotesson 3, Karoliussen 2, Pedersen 2, Begby, Benmoussa and Westgaard. This result as sent a message out to the rest of the league, we are looking to gain promotion this season and have the fire power to get the job done. Off the field I put an advert out for a coach to join the Fredrikstad Family and 16 candidates applied for the job. After looking at each one of the candidates I offered the job to John Arne Riise the former Norwegian International. Riise accepted a two year contract before going off and sitting his next coaching badge. Back to things on the pitch, we then entertained top tier club Sogndal in the last 16 of the Norwegian Cup. We won the game 2-1 with goals from Begby and Karoliussen to set up a Quarter Final against Rosenborg. We also added Magnus Stamnestø to our squad, the 25 year old Norwegian had found himself transfer listed by Rosenborg for 80k. Stamnestø can play in a number of roles including Shadow Striker, he will give us a number of options to our system. Whilst we added to our squad we also let Mikael Dahlberg return to Helsingborgs after he struggled with fitness.

june-16

magnus-stamnestro

July 17

The opening fixture of the month paired us with Mjøndalen who at the time were 2nd in the table. The Fredrikstad Stadion faithful saw us win 2-0 with Gotesson lighting the game up with 2 goals to take the points. Our next game saw us play out a 0-0 draw at playoff chasing Sarsborg. We failed to break down the home sides stubborn defence in a uneventful game. Next up we beat Notodden 3-0 in front of our own fans with goals coming from Johansen, Begby and Pedersen. We ended the month with a 2-0 away win against Start, with the leagues top scorer Viktor Gotesson grabbing another brace taking him to 18 goals for the season. This month I introduced 17 year old winger Anas Farah to the first team squad Farah looks a special talent and I want him to gain some experience from being around and getting first team game time.

july-17

Stats So Far This Season 

Scorers

  • Gotesson 18
  • Karoliussen 9
  • Pedersen 7
  • Begby 6

Assists 

  • Karoliussen 13
  • Begby 11
  • Gotesson 7
  • Wernersson 6

Average Rating 

  • Johansen 7.82
  • Gotesson 7.76
  • Karoliussen 7.73
  • Pedersen 7.72

Norwegian 1st Division OBOS-ligaen Table July 2017

Has you can see we have had an excellent first half of the season opening up a 14 point lead at the top has we push for promotion. We have scored 47 goals and conceded 7 in our opening 15 games.

obos-ligaen

table-july

Norwegian Premier Division Eliteserien Table  July 2017

An interesting opening few months in the top tier with current Champions Strømsgodset struggling in 13th spot and Norwegian giants Rosenborg sat in 10th position.

premier-league-inspired-norway-tippeligaen-rebranded-as-eliteserien-1

prem-tab

Job Offer’s

I have received a number of job offers in the last 2 months of the season from the following clubs : Wolverhampton Wanderers, Preston North End, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Everton and Stromgodset which I have turned down. I am really enjoying building the Fredrikstad Family and hope to take them to the next level.

Transfer Offer’s

I am spending a lot of time rejecting offers for a number of players including Gotesson who is being courted by French club Nancy who are offering around 250k. Winger Begby has an host of clubs after him including Newcastle United, Metz and Toulouse with offers ranging from 350k to 500k. Full back Wernersson has also been the subject of a number of offers including a 250k bid from Stromgodset. So far I have managed to deflect any offers and hope to be able to hang on to all of them.

Final Word 

Thanks for reading and following my posts about Fredrikstad, I will have another post up over the next week so until then take care.

The Aristocrats Of Fredrikstad Story So Far

2017 OBOS-ligaen  – Norwegian Cup

2016 OBOS-ligaen 4th – Norwegian Cup 4th rd  (last 16)