I have decided to take a new route on Football Manager by creating a fictional club to manage and create a back story to accompany the save which will be set in Italy which if you already know me is my favourite place for Football so let the story begin.
Società Sportiva Bergamo is the brainchild of Italian businessman Antonio Rigani who is a leading fashion designer born in Bergamo and like most a fan of Atalanta the cities Serie A club who are enjoying their Football under Gian Piero Gasperini. Back in 2010 Rigani got a group of possible investors together to share is idea of purchasing a Football Club and building it up from the lower leagues with the goal of reaching the pinnacle of the Italian game by reaching Serie A. Rigani was not looking specifically for a club in the Lombardy region but after a number of unsuccessful attempts at purchasing a club in the Peninsula Rigani in his words “had given up any hope of purchasing a club”.
The dream of Rigani owning his own club looked a million miles away and then in early 2011 Rigani was approached by Andrea Saggiomo who owned what used to be a Football ground that was built in 1957 that was used by the Italian Military but was now run down and needing major renovation but Rigani could see his dream and maybe blinded by the fact that he was attempting to form a club that would be a direct rival to his beloved Atalanta.
After purchasing the ground and a redevelopment plan in place Rigani and his investment partners formed a Football Club in 2014 and named it Società Sportiva Bergamo who entered the Italian Lower League pyramid in the summer of that year. The club was successful and in just four years through hook or crook had reached Serie D the fourth tier of Italian Football.
With financial backing and a growing support base and a stadium (Cittá do Bergamo) that was under constant redevelopment Società Sportiva Bergamo nicknamed Le Aquile (The Eagles) were slowly becoming the Italian version of Germany’s most hated clubs Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig but with a difference.
Whilst the German Clubs had become disliked Luca Rigini’s Football Club was being praised for it’s long term vision of having a Lombardy region transfer policy that meant that the club would only sign players born in Lombardy much like a certain English manager was doing in Spain with Celta de Vigo adopting The Galician Way a policy based on the Basque only rule of Athletic Club Bilbao.
Oh I forgot to mention not everybody was pleased about the new club on the block and although S.S Bergamo was gaining plaudits they were also developing an intense rivalry with Atalanta that can only intensify in the coming years.
The 2018-2019 saw the club grab promotion to the third tier Serie C on the last day of the season after securing a result against Brusaporto to be crowned Girone B Champions which also saw the announcement that the club would turn professional.
The club will start the 2019-2020 season in Serie C Girona B.
(Le Aquile) The Eagle Has Landed
With the clubs promotion and its professional status applied the clubs board were ready to start phase 2 of their long term vision and their search for a new manager had started way back in December but it was going to be a busy summer regarding the playing staff with the board ready to make sweeping changes that will see them build a brand new squad ahead of a new era in the clubs short history. Andrea Saggiomo is the clubs Chairman and his first job in the role is to appoint a new manager.
The boards Vision had been discussed months before promotion had been secured but now it was time for the board to set about putting their Vision in to action starting by putting a budget in place to make the changes that would hopefully kick start the clubs new era.
After experimenting with the create a club feature within FM20 I realised that you can randomise the squad of players that the club start with so I decided that once I had got the database up and running using the full fat FM Editor alongside the in game editor that I would randomise the squad on create a club and then open the FM Editor and place the randomised players in to the newly created club. ( I did not want to use the create a club option so that I could get the clubs new kits in game. The create a club option defaults to the in game kits created in the create a club so I wanted to use the full fat editor to create the club.
I have signed a two year contract taking over the reigns from the clubs only other manager William Vialli who managed the club in their Semi Professional days. I will inherit the randomised Squad of players ahead of the upcoming season. Ex Ajax player Jari Litmanan will be my Assistant Manager with both ex International players Robin Van Persie and Julio Baptista amongst the coaching staff at the club.
The Clubs board have set out the clubs culture and 5 year plan which is :
- Sign Players Under the age of 23
- Work within the wage budget
5 year plan
- 19/20 Reach Promotion Playoffs
- 20/21 Reach Promotion Playoffs
- 21/22 Work Towards Promotion To Serie B
- 22/23 Promotion To Serie B
- 23/24 Atfempt To Stay In Serie B
A clear pathway set out continue the clubs rise. Along with this I am going to use a transfer policy along the lines of my Galician Way policy on my Celta de Vigo save that will be titled The Lombardia Policy which is set out in the graphic below.
After implementing a transfer policy with Celta de Vigo it is definitely the way forward for myself and adds that little bit extra to the save. The scouting network will be focused on youth with player development a priority at the club.
The Under 18’s and Under 20 squads will be assembled over the next two years that will then create a clear pathway to the 1st team squad.
We have no clubs that we are affiliated to so that will be another area that I will be looking to develop with local links that could uncover potential signings. I will also be looking for clubs that we can send players to on loan to gain 1st team playing time.
You will notice a Black and Gold theme running through both my blog and twitter account . Obviously taken from the club badge made by @FMLogos_rocheyb and recreated in both the home and away kits that have been made to my exact specifications by @SgtRedPhoenix who also made my managers track tops and polo shirts which I think are all fantastico, along with the 3D kits that I am using in game. And last but not least my managers head from @chilled_moose outstanding face pack collection from her patreon subscription. All the other graphics are made by myself which I enjoy doing and how I like to combine with the way I choose to play the game.
I have inherited a 23 man 1st team squad of players consisting of 21 Italian players, 1 French player and 1 Brazilian all of whom were already based in the Italian Leagues. Within the squad are 4 players on loan starting with Goalkeeper Matteo Soncin on loan from Milan, Midfielder Alessandro Cortinovis on loan from Atalanta and Forwards Flavio Junior Bianchi on loan from Genoa and Pietro Rovaglia on loan from Chievo Verona. The full squad list is listed in the graphic below.
The squad looks well balanced and good enough for us to mount a promotion playoff place using a 442 / 424 and a 4231 formation that will have an attacking mentality using a Vertical Tiki Taka style of play.
We are going to go on the offensive from day 1 and attempt to take the game to our opponents. I will also be using Taget Man – Deep Lying Forward combination to lead the line supported by 2 out and out wingers who will look to deliver the goods to our front two. In the centre of the park we will have a Deep Lying Playmaker alongside a Box to Box Midfielder. The back 5 will consist of a Sweeper Keeper and a defensive line that will consist of a combination of a Full Back, Wing Back, Ball Playing Defender and a Central Defender.
In both Christian Tommasini and Gabriel Charpentier we have two Forwards who can bully the opposition in the Target Man role with both looking very able at getting on the end of chances and holding the ball up to bring others in to the game and with our 2 on loan Forwards in Flavio Junior Bianchi and Pietro Rovaglia we could just have the right balance up front.
Our Midfield looks strong in the middle of the park with both Daniel Casiraghi and club captain Alberto De Francesco looking like the players who can pull the strings. With the on loan Alessandro Cortinovis and both Fabio Castellano and Manuel Di Paola we look to have very good depth. Casiraghi could well be the clubs key player this season if he can avoid injury.
Looking at the defensive unit we look well stocked with good depth in both the Full Back and Central strata’s and its difficult to pick one player out but I think Danilo Quaranta in the centre and Mattia Lombardo at Full Back both look to be players who could be key to our defencive structure. Both of our Goalkeepers look decent prospects despite their young age.
Out on the flanks we have Simone Russo and Manuel Cicconi on the left and Gian Marco Nesta and Francisco Sartore on the right. These are the men who I will be looking at getting the ball in to the front two and then supporting the attack looking for the second ball and getting on to through balls to open up the defence.
The media prediction / bookmakers have got us to finish 7th in the table and 7/1 to win the league which is probably a fair reflection for a club coming up from Serie D. In terms of wages we are spending €47.5k per week with Casiraghi being our most paid player on €3500 per week. I am keen to keep the finances in good order which hopefully should bear fruits alongside our development system and the Lombardia way recruitment policy. I really feel like this club is part of me even though its fictional it’s a club set up ideally how I want it with the transfer policy in place and a clean slate regarding the history of the club. I thinks that enough of an overview about the club so it’s time that I get some game time in and thank you for having a browse.