FM21 : WILLEM II TILBURG (THE VELVET REVOLUTION) Eerste Divisie 2023-2024

Welcome to my latest blog post, well Mr Van Skidder is in to his 4th season in management and his first season in the Netherlands managing Willem II Tilburg who after last season find themselves in the the Dutch 2nd tier which is called Eerste Divisie.

Eerste Divisie 

A brief overview of the Eerste Divisie which consists of 20 clubs, who play each other in a double round-robin league, with each club playing the other club home and away. Each club plays every other club once in the first half of the season before the league takes a winter break around the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. The second half of the season sees the same fixtures as the first half, with the stadiums changed, although the two halves are not played in the same order.

At the end of each season, the champion and the runner-up of the Eerste Divisie are automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. Seven other clubs enter the Nacompetitie  promotion/relegation playoff that includes the 16th-placed club in the Eredivisie. The following teams qualify for the Nacompetitie:

  • The club with the best record in the “first period” of the season (after 8 rounds).
  • The club with the best record in the “second period” of the season (rounds 9–16).
  • The club with the best record in the “third period” of the season (rounds 17–24).
  • The club with the best record in the “fourth period” of the season (rounds 25–32).
  • The two remaining spots are filled at the season’s end by the highest-placed clubs that have not already earned automatic promotion or qualified for the Nacompetitie.

If the club that wins a period has qualified for the Nacompetitie by winning a previous period, its place is filled by the next-best club in that period that has not already qualified. Usually, the clubs that qualify for the Nacompetitie turn out to be the 3rd- through 9th-placed clubs in the final table. Clubs in the Nacompetitie face each other in a knock-out system with the number 16 of the Eredivisie for one place in next season’s Eredivisie.

Between seasons 1971–72 and 2007–09 teams could not relegate from the Eerste Divisie. From the 2009–10 season onwards, one team has been relegated from the Eerste Divisie to the Hoofdklasse (then the main amateur league of Dutch football). From the 2010–11 to 2015–16 seasons, the KNVB introduced a third and highest amateur tier called Topklasse, and Hoofdklasse clubs have been able to get promoted to that new division.

Before the 2008–09 season, Hoofdklasse clubs could be promoted by obtaining a professional licence. However, only a club going bankrupt or losing their license could result in clubs leaving professional football. The last clubs leaving professional football in that way were FC Wageningen and VCV Zeeland in 1992, and more recently HFC Haarlem and RBC Roosendaal, who went bankrupt in January 2010 and June 2011 respectively. The most recent additions to the league were AGOVV Apeldoorn in 2003 and FC Omniworld in 2005, expanding the league to 19 and later 20 clubs. However, for the 2010–11 season, the league returned to 18 clubs, as HFC Haarlem went bankrupt and FC Oss were relegated to the newly formed Topklasse. The 2012–13 season ended with 16 teams after AGOVV and SC Veendam went bankrupt. Four teams have been added to bring the division back up to 20 teams in 2013. Achilles ’29 has been promoted from the Topklasse with the reserve teams of Ajax, FC Twente and PSV being added as well.

Since the 2016–17 season there is optional relegation to the third-tier, amateur Tweede Divisie. Clubs in the Tweede Divisie had to announce in mid-season if they want to be eligible for promotion. Only if one of those clubs won the Tweede Divisie championship is a team relegated from the Eerste Divisie.

The remainder of the 2019–20 season was cancelled amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, thus there were no promotions or relegations. Before the cancellation, the KNVB met in Decembe 2019 and ruled that promotion to the second division and relegation to the third were suspended until 2022–23, and that the lowest-ranked Eerste Divisie Jong team will exchange places with its highest-ranked Tweede Divisie counterpart.

Source Wikipedia 

2023-2024 Overview 

August 2023

Our opening game of the season was a home game against Telstar and it did not take long for forward Marlon Scholten on his 1st team on his 1st team debut to open the scoring with a close range finish. Full back Bradley de Nooijer starting the game in the wide midfield strata put us 2-0 up in the 54th minute before an own goal just before the hour put us 3 up and seal a win in the opening game despite a late consolation goal giving us a 3-1 win. 

We turned on the style with a 5-0 win against TOP Oss on matchday 2 that saw 18 year old Rodney Pinas grab a brace after a super performance from the youngster. Bradley de Nooijer, András Németh and Hafid Jahaoui were all on target to round off a good performance. 

After a goaless first half  on matchday 3 against SC Cambour, András Németh gave us the lead after breaking the deadlock with an 18 yard strike that left the Cambour keeper scrambling to make the save to no avail. Németh turned creator with a lovely defence splitting pass put his strike partner Julio Villalba in to put us 2-0 up in the 63rd minute. Bradley de Nooijer rounded off a much improved 2nd half with a penalty in the 72nd minute to give us a 3-0 win.

Bradley de Nooijer made it 4 goals in 4 games when he got us off to a good start against Jong Utrecht in a game that looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw until late goals from both András Németh and Rodney Pinas gave us a 3-1 victory and our 4th win on the spin.

I could not have asked for a better first month of the season winning our opening 4 fixtures with this talented group of youngsters.

September 2023

We dropped our first points when we drew 0-0 away at Helmond after a frustrating performance that saw us fail to make our domination pay with Villalba, Németh and Jahaoui all guilty of missing chances to break the deadlock. 

We put the disappointment of the Helmand result behind us on matchday 6 when forward Julio Villalba’s two goals gave us a 2-0 win against Roda JC

FC Eindoven were the next visitor’s to the Koning Willem II Stadion on matchday 7 and ended up on the receiving end of a 4-0 scoreline after a double strike from András Németh and strike partner Marlon Scholten had given us a 3-0 lead at the break before winger Yannick Leliendal rounded off the scoring in the 78th minute. 

Our first defeat of the season followed when we lost 2-1 at promotion chasing FC Volendam after a poor performance with the only highlight being 17 year old forward Erik Thijssen getting his first senior goal all be it a consolation goal. 

It was the 17 year old Eric Thijssen who was on the scoresheet again in the 1-1 draw against ADO Den Haag.  It is very pleasing to see the youngster step up and perform well after injuries forced me in to giving him the opportunity to show me what he can do if given the chance. 

October 2023

Matchday 10 was a special day for Hungarian forward András Németh  who was on fire against Excelsior scoring a a fantastic first half hat-trick in a half that also saw both Vincent Schippers and Erik Thyssen also find the back of the net giving us a solid 5-0 win that takes us to the top of the table.   

Almere City visited us on matchday 11 for a game that saw a goal in each half give us a 2-0 win and all three points. Rodney Pinas had given us an half time lead before Jacky Donkor scored his first goal for the club after his part exchange move to the club in the summer.

I have seen enough of András Németh both in my time in Germany 🇩🇪 and so far in the Netherlands 🇳🇱 to realise that the £4m optional transfer fee within his loan contract is worth triggering so I make the offer and Németh agrees terms with the club that will see him join us permanently.

Németh looks to have the potential to be a superstar 

Van Skidder 

Andras Németh 11 Goals

András Németh as hit the ground running with 11 goals for us so far this season. Németh at 20 years old is a forward who likes the ball in to his feet which he then can use his acceleration in tandem with his excellent technique and dribbling skills to compliment his finishing attributes. The Hungarian forward reminds me of Stan Collymore the former Nottingham Forest forward when he picks the ball up and bursts forward. He is already a member of the Hungarian national team and looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

Németh hit 16 goals for me last season at TSV 1860 München before spending a few weeks on the sidelines with an injury. If I can keep him free from injury I think Németh could reach over 20 goals for us this season.

Matchday 12 saw the talented Jong Ajax visit the Koning Willem II Stadion for a mouthwatering clash for our young team to test themselves. The match was a classic with Hafid Jahaoui giving us a good start with an incisive finish but this Ajax team hit back quickly not only levelling the game but going in at the break with a 2-1 lead. It was time for me to to ‘Point the Finger‘ and put a rocket up the arses of our team. 

We came out of the blocks like the rocket that I fired at them, putting the pressure on our visitors which resulted in András Németh levelling the game in the 68th minute before Hafid Jahaoui grabbed his 2nd goal of the game just two minutes later taking advantage of a Jong Ajax side on the backfoot to put us 3-2 up and in the driving seat. 

Rodney Pinas rounded off a 4-2 victory with the last kick of the game with a close range shot in the 94th minute that rounded off a superb second half performance. 

Next up was a promotion six pointer against the in form Heracles Almelo and we left off were we finished our last match by piling the pressure on our visitors and getting an early reward for our dominance when Marlon Scholten gave us a 7th minute lead after getting on the end of a superb through ball courtesy of midfielder Calvin Twigt . Goals from András Németh and Hafid Jahaoui gave us a 3-1 lead at the interval. The visitors hit us with a quick goal after the break but we kept our composure and man of the match Németh kept his cool to give us a 4-2 win with his second goal of the game.

We finished the month off with an away trip to Excelsior for a Dutch Cup 1st round game that saw us tear our hosts to shreds with an emphatic 7-1 win that saw both our young forwards Rodney Pinas and Marlon Scholten each grab 2 goals and both Timo Regouin and Kevin Falida open their accounts for the season before Yannick Leliendal rounded off a dominant display. 

November 2023 

We started the month off with a 1-0 win away at Jong PSV after Marlon Scholten broke the deadlock with an incisive finish just after the break. The powerful young forward was a thorn in our hosts side making his presence felt and should have add a second instead crashing a thunderous shot against the upright.  No complaints from me as we never looked in trouble at the back 

Next up we had Timo Regouin to thank for a 1-0 win against De Graafschap when he converted in the 57th minute  from the penalty spot after Rick Zuijderwijk was upended in the penalty box after a run from deep.

Next it was the turn of FC Dordrecht to visit us and after a spirited start our boys were soon on top going in at the break two goals to the good after both Rick Zuijderwijk and Yannick Leliendal found the target. Marlon Scholten rounded things off with his 6th goal of the season, giving us a 3-0 win. 

We ended the month of November off with a 3-1 win away at Jong AZ thanks to goals from Calvin Twigt, Yannick Leliendal and Hafid Jahaoui that means we end the month at the top of the table with Jong Utrecht on 42 points. 

Eerste Divisie Results 2023-2024
Eerste Divisie 2023-2024

Final Words 

Well its been a good start for us especially with the turnover of 1st team players leaving the club resulting in me promoting a large number of players from both the 2nd team (development squad) and our youth team. 

I am very pleased with how the players have settled in to the squad especially Marlon Scholten, Erik Thyssen and Rodney Pinas who have an average age of 17.3 years, but there is another player who I have not mentioned yet and that is left back Stanley Nuijten who at just 16 years old is performing far beyond his tender age when called upon. Our first team squad has an average age of 21 and so far they are heading in the right direction.

The board are eager for us to gain promotion back to the Eredivise by the end of the current season which is our priority. The club are in a decent position financially and a return to the top flight will help us progress both on and off the pitch. I mentioned above that we have now agreed the permanent signing of András Németh who i hope will lead our front line to succes over the next few years and beyond. I myself feel settled at the club and hopefully this season which is my first at the club for those who don’t know I was in Germany with TSV 1860 München for 3 seasons before making the move to the Netherlands were I have a 2 year contract.

I have been reading recently about other FM managers who have developed their own rating system based on what they see as the key attributes for a player to join the club which I have found interesting and something that I feel can become part of The Velvet Revolution philosophy when judging players both in our ranks and when scouting potential signings. With this in mind I am currently developing my own such rating system that will be known as the (TVR rating) that will allow me to micro manage every player in finer detail. Every player will have a TVR rating based on the minimum attributes required by myself to become a player within The Velvet Revolution.

Well thats all for now and I hope you are enjoying the blog so far. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who keep coming back for more and welcome anyone who is new to my blog.

If anyone wants to talk FM feel free to message me either on here or via my twitter feed which you can find here https://twitter.com/wideplaymaker_?s=09 and I will get back to you ASAP so until next time stay safe and enjoy your FM experience.

Van Skidder

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