FM21 : Willem II Tilburg (The Velvet Revolution) Van Skidder’s Journey 2023-2024

Welcome to my latest blog post following the interactive managerial career of my interactive manager Michael Van Skidder who is now embarking on his 4th season by taking over the reigns at Dutch 2nd tier club Willem II Tilburg after three seasons at München 1860.

The Velvet Revolution 

What is The Velvet Revolution? Simple its my philosophy inspired by the great Johan Cruyff’s vision labelled The Velvet Revolution at Ajax which for Cruyff was maligned by boardroom fighting but that laid the foundations for the excellent football seen at Ajax in recent years. 

The Ajax method is something that most football purists will point to as the go to method for building a club philosophy and why not you only live once and surely you want to be entertained 

This is football, right? This is how the game should be played. At its most simple, the winner of a football match is the team that scores the most goals. This is not to negate the importance of solidity, defensive abilities and all-round discipline, especially in games where it is proving particularly tough to score goals. But the fact that the winner of a football match is the team with the most goals means we should approach the game trying to do nothing more than scoring the most goals, right? 

Jack Flanagan

Van Skidder’s Velvet Revolution 

  • Defined playing style implemented from the youth team up to the 1st team 
  • Entertaining style of play with an attacking mentality fast, free-flowing football, with an emphasis on technical ability and tactical knowledge.
  • Investment In Youth nurturing and trusting in to the 1st team 
  • A Dutch core through the club both staff and players 🇳🇱
  • Financial Modelling to protect the clubs future working within budgets 
  • Every player has a price. If we receive an offer above the players value I will accept the offer 

Willem II Tilburg 2023-2024 

After the clubs relegation a number of 1st team players decided that they wanted to leave the club and I did not stand in their way in fact I thought it was a perfect opportunity to both cash in on a number of players who actually got the club relegated in the first place and not only would it boost the clubs bank balance but it also frees up a big chunk of the wages budget. 

You can see from the transfer graphic below that we brought in £22.5m from sales and reinvested just £1.4m bringing in 4 players in to the club who I think will compliment the players who will step up from the development squad. 

The first player joining the Velvet Revolution era was 24 year old Belgian winger 🇧🇪 Jacky Donkor who joins the as part of the Danny Bakker deal from Fortuna Sittard. I then decided to contact Feyenoord to enquire about the availability of a player who i had taken on loan at my old club TSV 1860 München, that player is 20 year old Hungarian 🇭🇺 forward András Németh. Feyenoord accepted a loan deal and Németh decided to leave 1860 and join us on loan with us taking over the loan deal from 1860 (a first for me on FM)  on the same terms which includes an option to buy clause of £4m with loan deal costing us in the region of £1.2m. 

Five days later I signed a player who was on my radar in Germany. 24 year old  Paraguayan 🇵🇾 forward Jullio Villalba from Borussia Monchengladbach for £145.000 which for me is an absolute steal.

Last but not least we signed Belgian 🇧🇪 left sided player Yannick Leliendal who joins us for £100,000 from Genk. The 21 year old gives us good cover down the left side being adept at playing in the full back strata or further forward as a winger. 

Transfers 2023-2024

The Squad 2023-2024

So ahead of the season with all the outgoing players I have chosen a 25 man squad with the players that I think can get us back in to the Eredivise. It is a very young squad but I believe that this group of players can make a strong unit that focuses on each players strengths. We will start the season playing in a 442 formation taking advantage of our strength in depth in the front line. 

You will see that the squad is made up of 20 Dutch players and just 5 foreign born players – Jacky Donkor., András Németh,  Jullio Villalba, Hafid Jahoul and  Kevin Falida. 4 of the squad are Newgen players – Stanley Nuijten, Marlon Scholten, Rodney Pinas and Erik Thyssen.

The average age of the squad is 21 with the oldest player being goalkeeper Boy de Jong at 29., and the youngest being Stanley Nuijten at 16 years old. 

Meet the players : (to view gallery click on one player and then you van swipe to view) 

The Future 

My aim is to first take the club back in to the top tier before taking the club in to Europe with a young squad playing an exciting brand of football with as many home grown players as possible. We will be focusing our scouting network on youth whilst attempting to make our development programme the best. 

I will also endeavour to produce a tactical system that we will call Totaal Voetbal 3.0

Thank you for reading 

Van Skidder 

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