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Dan does the Pentagon Challenge


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Posted (edited)

Swallows are in some position there xD I mean you obviously gun for the title but a draw could win them the league, yet a loss will cost them playing in the Champions League. I'm glad we have a fairly simple remit. Fucking hell.

Just cottoned as well if we draw 0-0 and Sundows lose 1-0, or if we draw 1-1 and Sundowns lose 2-1 etc... Sundowns and Swallows would have identical records. You might actually get a title decided on random choice here.

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SEASON FINALE

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We did our bit and it's 8 wins in 9 for me, and Champions League football is secured!

Sadly, we didn't get the 7 goals needed from Royal AM, or any at all, so it's another title for Sundowns. Their 22nd league title, first in three years. Congratulations to them.

It turns out I was virtually powerless. We ultimately needed to win 9 from 9 and pick up a goal difference over those games in isolation of plus 19, whereas we only managed 11. In simple terms it would've been a miracle if we'd done it, and we did well to get close.

But you have to say it's hard to not have some encouragement going into the new season, so I make a few points of note...

- We 'won' xG in every game fairly comfortably. I do think xG is quite a good measure and it's clear at this point that our build up play in terms of creating chances, and chances created against us, is second to none.

- The squad is going to need a lot of tarting up. We have about 6 players leaving on frees anyway and we're lacking depth in a number of positions. I've taken the decision to put £1mil of my transfer budget into the scouting budget so that we can scout the whole world for players, but I'm thinking of knocking this down to just Africa because I'm finding plenty either not qualifying for a work permit, or really fancying South Africa in general. I think we can attact players from the rest of Africa though.

- We've already found the system I think and it's the 4-3-1-2, probably the system I'm having most joy with. We do not have the depth currently to sustain it over a whole season as we're too lacking in certain positions, but we have the basis for it, and I think with a strong summer we'll win the league.

The quite obvious takeaway is the scouts need to deliver for me. I think we need about 8 signings to pad the squad out. We have 0 foreign players and 5 slots, which is great news. I also see no obvious restrictions in the rules to do with the Champions League either.

Overall, a bright start.

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NEW SEASON PREVIEW - 2032/33

My first full season (hopefully!) at Kaizer Chiefs commences then. We have confirmed CAF Champions League qualification by finishing 2nd in last seasons league. This means we will compete in the following this season, it's quite confusing, there's a few...

DSTV Premiership
The league of South Africa. There are 16 teams who play each other home and away once - fairly straight forward concept here and no league splits etc... so a simple one.

CAF Champions League
The prize. The one we're here to win. The format of this is that it's a 64 team tournament, coming from 51 different countries so it's very varied, albeit tough to qualify for. There's a preliminary round, an open draw, to knock it down to 32 teams, and then another round to knock it down to 16. There is then a group stage, four groups where two each go through, and then the ties fall as expected - quarter final, semi final and final. They're all over two legs, bar the final.

Nedbank Cup
A cup of the top two leagues of South Africa, so 32 teams involved.

Telkom Knockout
A knockout cup for the 16 teams of the DSTV Premiership. Their league cup, perhaps.

MTN 8
A knockout cup for the top 8 finishing teams of last seasons DSTV Premiership. I have to say I find this totally excessive by this point.

Carling Black Label Cup
An annual match in July between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Unsure if this is to be taken totally seriously, and I feel loathed to put this on my overall trophy haul if I win it. I've decided I'll break down my overall trophy count between major and minor. It's a nice curtain raiser I suppose but it's hardly like the two clubs are strangers. Who am I to question them though.

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I want to win as many things as I can but I think winning six trophies in a season might be beyond us xD

I know that I've got a bit of a rebuilding job to do here in the summer, and I even decide to draw up a bit of a list of positions I need to address so I don't miss anything. We have a bit of money, albeit I'm at a phase where it's hard to know who to buy. I've brought in a director of football with good knowledge of South Africa so I had a bit of a go-to to get some players in. We weren't totally blind, but I did realise part of the way through the window that we really, really needed some more players. I ended up bringing in ten, which I think is my busiest ever window as a manager.

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I think we had a good window considering we were forced into sales of key players such as Nasief Baliso, top scorer last season, and Sibusiso Radebe, our most technically gifted midfielder. The majority of the signings were defensive based. Abulele Whelan is an exciting player, a midget number 10 with 20 flair, pace and skill, he should be fun if nothing else. We have built largely around playing 4-3-1-2 which has been as effective here as it was at Gangwon.

In Africa, we draw the excellently named champions of Ethiopia - Ethiopian Coffee FC. That really, really should be a win, but I'm still learning this area, I don't know who the banana skins are yet.

I dive into the Orlando Pirates game, my first ever meeting with them, with a largely undercooked squad. We beat them 2-1. We play well despite the absentees. I call this trophy number 14, but minor trophy number 3 (decided the Malaysian super cup can go into this category as well).

Our proper season starts with another game against Pirates and a triple header against Maritzburg United - two legs of the MTN8 cup sandwiching the opening day of the season.

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Another win over Pirates despite a less than convincing performance. Our semi final looked to be heading for disaster after the first leg but we went 2 up very early on away, added a 3rd in extra time but had to win it on penalties following conceding with the last kick.

Our first two games against Maritzburg and TS Galaxy both saw us reduced to ten men. The Maritzburg draw was particularly annoying, we were hanging on big time and then somehow pinched what I thought was the winner right at the end, only for them to equalise immediately. We showed resilience though I suppose getting points in both games, and have been terrific at home - absolutely slapping three sides in a row and beating a fairly strong opposition in SuperSport.

No point posting the table as it's distorted with games in hand, although Sundowns seem to be our match. It's them we will face next - in the MTN8 final.

Oh and Ethiopian Coffee was as easy as I hoped. Should've been more really. We do have a fairly tricky round of 32 tie though in my opinion. We face RC Abidjan of the Ivory Coast. Now while I think we're a bit stronger, the registration timing means we'll be missing a good 6/7 of our squad for those games, and I'm not sure we're good enough to take such a hit. I think we'll go through but I think they'll make us really work.

Early doors impression - Sundowns are the team to worry about.

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PREVIOUS CONTINENTAL PERFORMANCE AT KAIZER CHIEFS

Thought I'd go through what they've actually done continentally so far for some context on what we're actually dealing with here. Actually have no idea and I'm discovering this as I look.

In 2020/21, in real life, they actually lost the final to Al-Ahly of Egypt, which was their only ever final. In my game....

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2021/22 - Champions League - Knocked out of in the group stage behind ES Sahel (Tunisia) and Zamalek (Egypt) despite picking up 10 points. Very unlucky in all honesty, a very hard group and a decent points tally.

2022/23 - Confederation Cup - Went out in the second round to ES Setif of Algeria.

2023/24 - Confederation Cup - Got to the semi finals but lost to FAR Rabat of Morocco.

2024/25 - Did not qualify.

2025/26 - Confederation Cup - Went out to Diambars FC of Senegal in the second round.

2026/27 - Did not qualify.

2027/28 - Confederation Cup - Went out to AFC Jaraaf of Senegal in the first round.

2028/29 - Did not qualify.

2029/30 - Champions League - Went out in the quarter finals to Young Africans of Tanzania. They're better than you'd think but that's very disappointing all the same. Only went through their group with 7 points and 1 win, somehow.

2030/31 - Champions League - Went out to eventual winners ES Sahel of Tunisia in the semis, losing 2-3 at home and drawing 2-2 away. Their best performance in my save. As a side note they've run into Zamalek in the groups every time without fail. Went through as group winners with only 8 points xD 

2031/32 - Confederation Cup - Finished bottom of a group of Berkane (Morocco), AS Vita Club (Congo DR) and Salitas (Burkina Faso). Highly embarrassing performance and was actually the fuckup that freed up the job for me.

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So they haven't really pulled up any trees at all. Two decent CL runs but nothing amazing. For some further context, below are the competition winners;

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The South Africans really haven't pulled up any trees. Three finals, all of the weaker competition, and both lost. While this is a good job in the sense of what's available, it's going to be tough to go all the way.

Surprising lack of variety in the CL winners as well. Only five different winners since the game begun and three of them have won three each.

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PROGRESS (+ TROPHIES!)

So I left it last time with a final on the way and we duly delivered. The MTN8 is ours for this season, following a 1-0 win over Sundowns in the final.

We made no mistake in Africa either. Abidjan were pretty poor and we sailed through to the last 16 - the group stages, which weren't to be drawn until new years day.

To summarise, since that, we've been a pretty ruthless machine, have won our third trophy of the season already, and the draw is to be made at the end of this update.

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The standard game for us is just a nice comfortable win, little allowed against us but generally dangerous going forward, lovely combination play, basically we're everything I hoped we'd be already.

There were two bad results in there. The obvious is the 3-0 loss at Cape Town Spurs. Just one of those miserable days where everything seems to go wrong. We didn't even play terribly but they seemed to take every chance they got and we didn't.

The other is the draw with Orlando Pirates. I predicted it would happen as well. When you look at the ridiculous scheduling around that time, including a very tough game away at Swallows, you don't want an Orlando Pirates side who've just sacked their manager on the back of it. Pirates are having an absolute catastrophe of a season. They were in the relegation zone ahead of that game. They even went down to 10 men in the first half, but with the very last kick of the game they equalised from a free kick and I just knew they were going to. These types of fixtures often defy logic and form and this was a perfect example.

It wouldn't annoy me too much, but Sundowns are probably favourites for the title. They're as relentless as we are.

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But there is a long way to go, we've already beaten them in two big games, and they still have to come here.

Much as it'd be nice to win 6/6, I'm definitely prioritising the league and Champions League over the other cup. Which raises the point for me - if we win the Champions League, I believe there is a club world cup in 2033 and I think I may ride out my time at Chiefs to incorporate that. Don't forget Gangwon are going to be there too.

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It's going excellently on the whole. We've been brilliant. There's a ruthlessness to this team. I think we may need another striker and I have my eye on a South African, ex Orlando Pirates (awkward) who is currently playing for Empoli, but he will cost me a bit of money. My top scorer, Evidence Makgopa (he's been there right from the start, as has right back Reeve Frosler) is 32 years old now with just six months left on his contract (though I will extend) and while he's having the season of his career, we do need a contingency and I often find myself playing attacking midfielders as his reserve. We're 1/2 players light.

The Champions League group stage draw has been made, it's as follows...

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Tough but passable in my opinion. Al-Ahly is a brilliant test - and actually the renewal of a historic rivalry according to the game, which is surely the most miles between two rivals on the game. They're going to be a real acid test.

The other two are tough as well but I expect us to go through.

 

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Career major trophies: 13
Career minor trophies: 3
Champions Leagues: 1/5

 

Honours list:
TERENGGANU FC (8)
Liga Super Malaysia (2) - 2023, 2025
Piala Malaysia (2) - 2023, 2024
Piala FA (1) - 2025
AFC Cup (1) - 2025

Piala Sultan Haji Ahmed Shah / Malaysian Super Cup (2) - 2025, 2026

 

GANGWON FC (5)
K-League (3) - 2028, 2029, 2031
Korean FA Cup (1) - 2031

AFC Champions League (1) - 2031

 

KAIZER CHIEFS (3)
MTN8 (1) - 2032/33
Telkom Cup (1) - 2032/33

Carling Black Label Cup (1) - 2032/33

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