Welcome to the fourth episode of the series.
We have introduced the series, discussed the approach and had our first full season under our belts in the previous posts. I’ve now learnt how to capture and do some basic video editing.
I will now post all of Stefan’s goals on Tik Tok under the guise of FMgoaliegoals (https://vm.tiktok.com/ZML667GX2/) and I’ll show the best ones below.
This post will cover the 2nd season. We are at Ull/Kisa in the Norweigan second tier. Stefan Hagerup has 6 career goals in total and lies in 58th place in the goalkeeper all time scoring charts. This is all about Stefan(Queen Bee). The club, myself and the players(Worker Bees) are of secondary importance.
Pre season Youth Intake
It looks like there is some potential good players in the Excellent Intake. Unfortunately for me the goalkeeper isn’t up to much.
Going into the season I felt I had made some good additions to the worker bee pool. We released a lot of dead wood from last season and had plenty of wage budget wriggle room. I let Marcio the 42 year old back up keeper leave as it looked like he wasn’t going to become staff. I felt we had cover in our recently signed Player/Youth coach Mads Beldon.
We made use of some decent young Norwegian talent on loan from more established clubs to bulk the squad out and made sure to have good players in the key roles(Mezzala, Inverted Winger, Inside Forward and Deep Lying Forward) for winning the set pieces in the tried and tested tactic(4-3-3DM wide) we settled on at the end of last season. Some research led me to a former youth Player from Ull/Kisa called Elias Solberg. He was sold to Juventus prior to the 2021 season starting. I got him on loan and looked like a top quality winger that could play attacking centre midfield.
I also implemented a rotation plan after noticing form disappear during a tough run of games last season. This should get us through busy schedule when the midweek cup games came about as we are a part time club. We signed up the most useful youth players and cracked on with the season.
Start of the season proper
We hit the ground running at the start of the season and I immediately felt that we would surpass last years performance. Stefan was on fire scoring 5 times in seven games. He had already beaten last years total by May! I had tried the encourage shout to help with the body language when a penalty was awarded and it seemed to help.
Thee 2nd goal was a penalty, the 3rd goal in a 3-0 win against Stjordals-Blink
The 3rd goal was a free kick, the 1st goal in a 2-2 draw with Mjondahlen
The 4th goal was a Penalty, the 3rd goal in a 4-0 cup win against Egersund
After a whirlwind Start, Stefan was getting some recognition in the goal of the week competition. The team was functioning well and providing ample opportunities.
He then hit a bit of a barren spell and went 6 games without scoring. I was starting to get some grief from the managers of the loanee’s I’d brought in. It was either lack of game time or I wasn’t playing them in there preferred position. I had one player recalled and others threatened to be recalled so I tried to accommodate and made some short term tactical tweaks.. I was now trying to play my best eleven and only resting players that really needed it. We had lost our first game of the season in the cup against to our promotion rivals and then lost our first league game but Stefan offered me some small consolation. He broke his duck with his 6th goal of the season. It was a penalty, the 2nd goal, in a 2-3 loss to Jerv.
Then there was this……
The goals were flowing the hype was building and legends were forming. Even if he missed a penalty, the lads had his back covered and would knock it in.
Stefan bagged his 8th goal of the season scoring a penalty, the 2nd goal in a 2-2 draw with KFUM Oslo. He was even getting recognition for me.
I didn’t even consider the Job offer. I couldn’t leave Stefan.
We were now more than half way through the season in a three way tussle for the league. The August Transfer window was looming. Stefan went on a seven game streak without a goal. I had offloaded some players that I felt weren’t going to perform or develop and either re-loaned players that left or in positions we needed. This time I had learnt to remove required playing position from the negotiations even if this meant the loan would cost more. It was worth removing the hassle. I had even managed to get Erling Haaland’s cousin in on loan (Jonatan Braut Brunes).
I am always on the look out for Goalkeepers and so I decided to bring in these two likely lads from Argentina. Crivelli was a free agent and Gerth is on loan from Tigre. I’m hoping the competition will spur on Stefan.
I had offloaded a few players and after one deal was completed for a defensive minded player, Stefan in his role as Captain and the only Team leader in the squad came to me to discuss his concerns about lack of depth in the defensive midfield position. I was able to placate him by telling him I was looking to develop the youngsters at the club. I didn’t realise that this was a promise but felt it was reasonable to achieve.
End of season run in
The additions seemed to spur the team on. The Start game produced a clean sweep on the goal of the week award even if one was against us.
There was a three way battle at the top with Sogndal and Sandefjord ongoing throughout the season and in a top of the table clash against Sogndal, it was 0-0 and we got a penalty in the 75th minute. My man Stefan steps up cool as a cucumber and double figures was achieved with goal 10(ten) leading to a 2-0 win.
I was getting carried away again. I was content with Stefan’s performances and the team was flying. We were in contention for the league title and then this piece of news brought me back down to earth.
When I approached Stefan to offer a new contract his agent will not entertain us. He is apparently unhappy with the club. I’m making good progress with the promise of developing the young DM’s but it won’t be resolved until just after the end of the season so it’s still a concern for him. I commit my future to the club hoping it may help persuade him.
Now we are at the business end of the season with the momentum in our favour.
Stefan nabs his 11th goal of the season in a 2-1 win against HamKam. We were 1-0 down and he got us level with a penalty. This set us up nicely for the Top of the table clash against Sandefjord.
He dragged us back into this game after we were getting punished by set pieces going 2-0 down. It’s another award to add to his stash.
This set us up nicely for the penultimate game which we won to seal us the title.
An amazing reward for Stefan after all his efforts this year. Credit too for all the team mates that worked tirelessly to get Stefan the opportunities he needed.
The good news was coming thick and fast.
Stefan was sweeping the awards and accolades up.
The board set out there expectations and they seemed reasonable.
The worker bees also got some recognition too.
The Youth intake preview looked promising again and this time the Goalkeeper is a potential top prospect.
The Norwegian First Division Goal of the year was the cherry on the top.
The promise was completed but Stefan still had a minor concern about depth in defensive midfield. I signed this guy hoping it would placate him. I hope the offer of top flight football and professional training will be enough to convince him to sign on.
Overall a fantastic season. A settled tactic and a team that produced the goods.
I noticed the Inside forward at AMR and the Mezzala were winning a lot of the free kicks so I switched them to the left to hopefully better suit Stefan’s right foot.
Its a big jump up the all time goalkeeper scoring list from 58th to 17th.
I’ll need to look at what we can bring in to the worker pool to improve options and replace the gaps left by the loans returning.
I’ll need to get staff in to fill the gaps and training schedules to help the team.
Thanks for reading. Onwards and upwards.