Welcome in. My first Season has been completed. Lets find out what happened with Stefan Hagerup at Ull/Kisa in the Norwegian second tier.
Previous posts can be found here:
Before I started I noted Hagerup had 2 goals already from previous seasons leaving him in Joint 132nd in the all time goalkeeping scoring charts. Also, I didn’t realise 40 year old Brazilian Marcio had 34 goals making him 6th in the all time chart. Stefan’s first target is to hit Double figures, then he’ll have to be top scorer at the club! Highest European Scorer is Dimitar Ivankov with 42 goals making him 4th highest score of all time (thanks to FMLlama for pointing this out to me). Dimitar is a coach in the game and I’d like to bring him in at some point. The Ultimate aim is to get past Rogerio Ceni on 131 goals.
I started off assessing the squad and I found a mixed bunch here. There was a few good old pro’s, a few guys who could cover a few postions, a couple of promising youths and a lot of average players with gaps in their game. I offloaded the dross to Ull/Kisa 2 and highlighted any useful but flawed players by creating notes about their poor consistency or lack of ability to handle big games(these are pet hates of mine).
I had set the save up with a lot of players based in countries of Nationalities I had felt would be likely to produce a goal scoring Goalkeeper(Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, etc). This lead to a lot of free agent offers of all types of positions coming in to the scouting centre. I brought in any promising talent in on trial for a closer look and proceeded to sign any players I thought could improve the team.
1st half of the season
From the very start our budding hero was a wanted man. I wondered how desparate he was and what would he do? This might be a short stay unless I could convince Marcio to keep going.
I started with a Direct 4-4-2 to suit the team and tried to make small adjustments to help attract some free kicks and Penalties.
6 games in the league without a win left us close to the bottom of the league I switched to a 4-3-3 DM wide trying to create an overload on the left side to attract fouls in a position to suit Stefan’s right foot. The form improved greatly. Throughout playing I would constantly review how free kick chances were being achieved to see if I could maximise them. Good dribblers would be required and also players breaking forward through the lines were the optimal choices.
Stefan scored his 2nd of the season on game 13 from the penalty spot against Ranheim.
And he got his 3rd on game 15 against Aalesund banging in a corner.
We were building momentum as a team and climbing the table. I’ll admit I lost some focus and got carried away getting the team performing. Our best striker/back up full back was starting to score regularly and caught the eye of promotion chasing Aalesund who slapped in a whopping 9.5K bid. He was ok but nothing special so I decided to let him go as this is not about him and I didn’t want any unrest.
I’m happy with that business looking at his form after he left. The goals dried up for him and we kept on winning the majority of our games.
2nd half of the season
Stefan was going through a lean spell at this point (being a Keeper meant that there was no news stories about it). I was wondering about long term strategy now, Should we stay where we are as a part time team potentially playing easier opposition but losing players regularly ? Could we mount a promotion push and go for professional status but increasing expectation and difficulty? We had struggled earlier in the season which I put down to playing twice a week regularly with a part time team.
Great form and teams sitting back more lead to slight Team Instruction changes to help us maintain the play off push and I was trying to rotate out my players of concern from the big matches. Our Assistant manager was poached by a Asane to be their manager in our league fighting relegation. Fredrikstadt seemed to be comfortably leading the table and due to my ignorance I was assuming top spot was automatic promotion and the next 4 places were playoff’s. Fredrikstadt then started to stumble a little towards the end and were edging closer to them and could sniff the promotion place(s). The team talks were featuring chance to get in the promotion place(s). I had to remind myself we were massively overachieving but I rarely listen to myself when I have conversations with me.
Stefan finally ended his barren spell with a goal in the 28th game of the season against Asane from a free kick. With a packed stand in front of him and the brightest and lowest positioned floodlights shining in his eyes he fires it in.
We lost to Fredrikstadt towards the end of the season but were were sitting in second. If I’m being honest I made some mistakes towards the end and probably pushed the boys too hard. We went into the second last game sitting 2nd but we lost the last game and dropped to third. We won the final game but it was too late and I realised there was two automatic promotions shortly after. We jumped straight into the playoffs and then lost the Semi against Byrne. It was hard to take even though we overachieved for the season. One win away from being champions.
It was a mixed bag but I enjoyed it and I think we have a platform to improve on. He was quite a good goalkeeper and rarely got caught out of position. He did seem to miss a few kicks but hopefully we can improve with more practise and getting in players that are better at dribbling and breaking through the opposition lines to win more freekicks and penalties. I tried to get him to learn hits free kicks with power but unfortunately he was unable to acquire it.
He wasn’t too much of a threat at corners. I believe this was down to the fact we had poor corner takers(he is 13th corners whilst the takers are 9/10) and his heading and finishing are poor whilst his decisions, strength and aggression are average.
After a few penalty misses I took Stefan off them due to his poor ability. I would only restore him if we were ahead so there was less pressure on him.
If we release a few of the duds and improve the squad I believe making the playoffs should be a breeze.
Mads Belden is coming in as a youth coach/ emergency back up. He has some lovely traits.
It will be interesting to see what quality of youth we can bring in though I’m not expecting a young upstart to rival Stefan just yet.
From next season I’m going to upload the goals on Tik Tok under FMgoaliegoals and I’ll review the full season again here. Thanks for tuning in. See you next year!