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RandoEFC - Another Bloody Journeyman Save (Tusker FC, Kenya)

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It's been a while and a busy few months settling into a new job but it's half term and I'm back with a new Football Manager save.

With the assistance of a random number generator (can't help myself), I'm starting this one in South Sudan, my character this time going by the name of Duaa Solong. Starting unemployed. Mr Solong will wait for a job opportunity to come up during the 2016 Sud Soudan Premier League season. Until then, we have to settle for some background on the league and the contenders to set the scene for what's to come.

The Sud Soudan Premier League is a new and competitive division, taking place in 2009 as a one off competition before returning in 2012 as South Sudan became a country in its own right. 2015 defending champions Atlabara became the first team to win multiple titles following their success in 2013. Of the 12 top flight competitors, Atlabara are the landslide favourites to win the league again at 1/5, Merreikh Aweil FC the next best bet at 11/4.

It comes as no surprise, considering the age of the competition and South Sudan as a country, that the Sud Soudan Premier League is ahead of only the Mayotte Premier League in stature when it comes to top flight competition in the continent of Africa. Starting unemployed in such an obscure competition, Duaa Solong has a long journey ahead of him to become a world class football manager.

More to follow...

Edited by RandoEFC
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Will be interesting which comes first, the league title or your inevitable kidnapping. 

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Sounds like an epic save - didn't even realise such a league existed. Good luck with it, a more patient man than I.

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I took a job before the season started, got loads of players but most of them are utter shite. I have £4/week spare wage budget so I can't hire any staff to help me. Accidentally had the hidden attribute "current ability" enabled from a previous save game when I went to player search and noticed that several players my scouts recommend have a current ability of 1 (out of 200). Think the highest I noticed was about 13 before I hid it again. The league is full of non contract players which I can sign for free without adding to my wage budget as they get paid £0 plus an appearance fee but it seems like I can't even bring those in until May which is over halfway through the season so I'm stuck with what I've got pretty much.

I won my first match 3-0 away from home, took the lead in the next game at home but shamefully rage quit late last night when we went 6-1 down early in the second half. To be honest it looks like the players are pretty much too shit to function properly in the match engine and that all matches will be determined by motivation and possibly tactics.

Posting from my phone, can't remember my team's name to be honest as I didn't load it up today. Even though this league looks to be (somehow) a significantly greater shambles than the Sao Tome & Principe league I started my last long career in, I will go back and have another go at this one and post a proper update tomorrow. I'm not sure where this one is going but after giving up on my last two diaries I'm determined to see this one through xD.

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As I pretty much covered the background for this league and team in the posts above I'm going to get straight into introducing the beginning of my first season in South Sudan. As I can't be arsed with the terrible scouting standards in this league, the transfer rules, nor the ridiculous budget constraints, I've done something I've never tried before and delegated all recruitment (staff and players) to the Chairman and the Head of Youth Development he has brought in. With no transfers allowed until May this has yet to have an impact. We've started the season with a narrow 4-3-3 formation as we have a few decent forwards but not much width in the squad.

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The team that first offered me a job ahead of the 2016 season are Al Merreikh, coincidentally the side I chose for my favourite team completely at random. I can't find a real life badge so I've used the fake Football Manager one. We are 250/1 for the title, but not among the favourites for relegation either, with a predicted finish of 8 out of 12 teams (the bottom two go down). The board expect me to beat the drop and be competitive in Sud Soudan Cup. I gather that around 25 points is enough to stay up usually.

Team: Al Merreikh

Season: 2016

Primary Competition: Sud Soudan Premier League

Media Prediction: 8th

 

February

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Despite throwing away a 2-0 lead and needing a late penalty to rescue a point against unfancied Dream on the opening day of the season, February proves to be a profitable month for us as we take advantage of a favourable schedule to bag 7 points from a possible 9. While claassen from the modding community has done a superb job adding each of these extra playable countries for nobheads like me, you do notice a few creases in the detail such as Mr. A James being apparently the only referee in South Sudan, all of the stadiums just being named after the club and for some reason a lack of home fans at any of these three matches, but Football Manager 2017 was never designed to support these leagues so it's little more than a quirk for me.

 

March

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Another comfortable win against Nile Eagle briefly puts us top of the table at this early stage before we suffer a chastening loss to defending champions and pre-season title favourites Atlabara. Al-Ghazal then made good on their 1/3 odds to beat us at Al Merreikh Stadium. Both games saw us fall to pieces in the latter stages leading to somewhat flattering scorelines for our opponents but we were still comfortably outclassed in both of these games.

With March now done, May is our opportunity to shake up the squad with some signings so in my role as an out and out "first team coach" I will wait eagerly to see whether the chairman chooses to strengthen in any particular areas. As the shame of the other night's rage quit disappears behind me, I am getting some decent enjoyment out of this save so far, with the hands off approach to recruitment and seeing the consequences or benefits of delegating these tasks to my staff while I focus on on-pitch matters is keeping my interest.

Despite the last two results, which threaten to derail our positive start if the players let their heads drop, we sit in 5th place after 6 of 22 matches, 7 points clear of the drop and 5 points ahead of our expected position of 8th.

 

Competitions

Sud Soudan Premier League

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Sud Soudan Cup: Not entered.

Job Security: Secure

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April

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After back to back thumpings and an unsuccessful team meeting, April's rocky start continued as we fired a blank against bottom side Zalan at home. However, a stroke of good fortune in the form of another penalty helped us to a first win in four at Super Eagles and kept us 5th. Another narrow victory at home to 6th-placed Tahrir strengthened our top half standing before we earned a draw in what I assume is some sort of derby with Merreikh Aweil FC. This run of decent results against a few of our mid-table rivals helped us to secure our position in what has become a distinct top five, Atlabara justifying their favourites tag as they scamper into the distance unbeaten.

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May

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Just a couple of games in May, our victory over Young Stars marking the midpoint of the season. The return fixture against Dream, who were backed as one of the favourites to go down but sit 2nd having recently ended Atlabara's 10 game unbeaten run, ends in a goalless draw. With ten games remaining, it now seems unthinkable that we could be remotely troubled by a relegation scrap, and only a big dip in form can keep us from finishing above our predicted finish of 8th.

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After those two games in May, we now have nearly ten weeks to wait before the league season resumes. Now is the time for my Chairman to act as the transfer window opens so I'll be interested to see who he brings in, if anyone. The Sud Soudan Premier League resumes in July, with the second round of the Sud Soudan Cup, where we join the competition, not far behind. With South Sudan offered no qualification places for the African Champions League or the African Confederation Cup, there isn't much to play for in the league as Atlabara have made a title challenge look unrealistic. Even winning the Sud Soudan Cup doesn't get us onto the continental stage but a trophy is a trophy so it's likely our focus could shift that way later in the year. My personal targets are to finish at least 5th in the league and get as far as possible in the cup.

Job Security: Very Secure

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July 2016

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The chairman brings in a few decent defensive players during the summer transfer window which lasts less than 2 weeks, but no game changers worth mentioning. An unbeaten July marks a reasonable return to action after the mid-season break, but a lack of goals cost us the chance of even more points against struggling opponents.

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With seven games remaining, a 3rd place finish would be excellent compared to our pre-season billing of bottom half/relegation strugglers. However, there are tough fixtures to come and it's anyone's game between 2nd and 5th.

 

August 2016

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A really disappointing month in the Premier League, as we get pasted again by both Atlabara and Al-Ghazal. Defeats were unsurprising in these fixtures but the manner in which the players capitulated, picking up red cards and giving away penalties left, right and centre, was poor. A frustrating draw at struggling Zalan and a dire performance leading to defeat at home to Super Eagles round off a rubbish run of results. The saving grace this month is progression to the Quarter Finals of the cup, after we held our nerve to beat Al Nil in a penalty shootout.

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We still sit in the top five with three games remaining which is a good return but the gap to the teams below has shrunk considerably and we have a fight on our hands to hold onto the top five finish that our early season results deserve.

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The Sud Soudan Cup hands us a favourable draw on paper as we host Rapta, the only Second Divison side remaining in the competition, for a place in the last four.

Job Security: Very Secure.

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It'll be interesting to see how quickly you can close the gap on Atlabara, they look to be in a league of their own at the moment.

 

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Outrageous domination. I'm actually impressed that even as far down as this league FM manages to accurately call them as 1/5 favourites for the league title. They had it won 4-5 games from the end of the season which is obscene in a 22 game season.

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September - October 2016

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Our only game in September sees a dramatic return to form as the team is inspired by a number of new youth candidates. Tala Lokiru steals the show with a goal five minutes into his debut before laying on the team's other two goals. His fellow 16 year old Atem Anyang takes centre stage in the Sud Soudan Cup Quarter Final, equalising for us before seeing his second half effort go in via the post and the opposition goalkeeper, sending our ten men into the semi-finals days after a 2-0 defeat to Merreikh Aweil ruled us out of finishing in the top three. A dramatic draw in our last league game from 3-1 down doesn't affect our final league position of 5th, before our cup run and season is ended in inevitable fashion by runaway champions and double winners Atlabara.

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With nobody able to hold a candle to Atlabara, it's hard to see what is worth aiming for in the coming seasons with no continental qualification spots on offer. However, a solid top half finish and a semi final cup run is a very decent return in my first season as Al Merreikh manager, exceeding the board's expectations in both competitions. I will leave the recruitment to the Chairman and his team over the winter break.

Job Security: Very Secure

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Played another half season on this and on the brink of getting the sack as we're hovering on the brink of the relegation zone. Will post a proper update at some point.

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Any ideas on what your next "preferred" destination is?

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33 minutes ago, Blue said:

Any ideas on what your next "preferred" destination is?

So I looked at the map and chose three neighbouring countries whose leagues were better than South Sudan which isn't hard given that it's the second lowest reputation top division in Africa, but not loads better like DR Congo or regular Sudan which are relatively high up leagues in Africa. Can't remember for certain but I want to say Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

Don't think I should move on until I've won or achieved something in South Sudan though.

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Just now, RandoEFC said:

So I looked at the map and chose three neighbouring countries whose leagues were better than South Sudan which isn't hard given that it's the second lowest reputation top division in Africa, but not loads better like DR Congo or regular Sudan which are relatively high up leagues in Africa. Can't remember for certain but I want to say Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

Don't think I should move on until I've won or achieved something in South Sudan though.

You doing sunday league rep? Sorry if you've mentioned it. I'm just catching up.

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48 minutes ago, Blue said:

You doing sunday league rep? Sorry if you've mentioned it. I'm just catching up.

I think I left it as that because that's what it put for suggested experience based on league. My reputation is like a quarter of a star.

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2 minutes ago, RandoEFC said:

I think I left it as that because that's what it put for suggested experience based on league. My reputation is like a quarter of a star.

Thats the fun way to go around it I feel. To be honest I prefer regular journeyman saves over a pentagon challenge. I feel with no aim as a journeyman makes for more fun. Just to win as many trophies possible.

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4 minutes ago, Blue said:

Thats the fun way to go around it I feel. To be honest I prefer regular journeyman saves over a pentagon challenge. I feel with no aim as a journeyman makes for more fun. Just to win as many trophies possible.

Yeah doing a Pentagon challenge isn't really a realistic career. If you set specific goals you also end up wanting to move clubs as soon as you win a trophy which often ends up being the first season as soon as you've got enough reputation to take big jobs. My Sao Tome, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Algeria, Tunisia save was one of my favourites of all FM games but as soon as I left Africa (for Peru incidentally) it lost its charm a bit.

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Overdue update:

So going into the new season, expectations are pretty much a carbon copy of the season before. Media fancy us to finish 8th again as two of the newly promoted sides have a good reputation compared to us. Board expect a mid-table finish again. Not much point going into detail over transfers unless anyone here is clued up on South Sudan but we've signed a decent full back and a good defensive midfielder.

February 2017

Okay I started writing this post a few days ago when I realised I couldn't upload screenshots anymore so I just couldn't be arsed and carried on playing the game. Just over halfway through this season I was sacked after we slipped to the bottom spot in the league, barely able to score - literally went 8 games without a single goal at one point. Can't be arsed going into further detail.

 

Fast forward to the start of 2018, when I took over at another club in the Sud Soudan Premier League, Tahrir.

 

2018

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That's right, an image of the reputable Tahrir FC's club crest doesn't exist on the internet, but the club colours appear to be dark blue. While I was galavanting with Al Merreikh, Tahrir finished 10th in 2016, narrowly avoiding relegation, followed by a 7th placed finish in 2017, before manager Biar Sebit moved to take on a new challenge with newly promoted Black Star.

Board Expectations

Sud Soudan Premier League: Avoid Relegation

Sud Soudan Cup: Be Competitive

Media Prediction: 10th

Title Winning Odds: 350/1

 

Pre Season

We didn't play any pre season friendlies as even the other teams in South Sudan wouldn't play at our place because it was "too far to travel", and the board wouldn't sanction any away friendlies for the same reason.

 

February

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 1-2 Atlabara

Striker Oliver Makeer scores the first goal of my Tahrir reign and we lead the now triple defending champions at half time against all odds. But we don't have enough about us to hold off our visitors in the second half and we are beaten respectably 2-1.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Dream 1-2 Tahrir

Against a relegation rival, we have the better of the game, and after Dream are reduced to ten before half time, Yai Obure puts us ahead early in the second half. We concede a disappointing equaliser but Amum Abujohn's 87th minute free kick earns us our first win of the season.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 6th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started.

 

The riveting tale continues (probably later this evening) with a March schedule which sees us face several potential relegation rivals.

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Had a bloody good session on this this evening with mixed fortunes.

 

March

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 1-1 Black Star

Ex-manager Biar Sebit returns to Tahrir and almost leaves with all three points before Oliver Makeer equalises in the 92nd minute to rescue us a point.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Super Eagles 1-0 Tahrir

We struggle in front of goal for the second game in a row, but this time we can't find a late response to rescue a point against strong starters Super Eagles.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 2-5 Wau Salaam

Makeer and Abujohn each add to their season's goal tally but shambolic defending sees us pay the price with a heavy defeat at home.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Merreikh Aweil FC 2-1 Tahrir

A forgivable loss on the road but a disappointing month sees us end up with one point in four games. Five mad first half minutes where the hosts scored twice sees us off despite Peter Duot's long range effort giving us a glimmer of hope in an improved second half performance.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 10th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet

Job Security: Stable

 

April

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 4-2 Malakia

11 minutes in, 2-0 down and one click away from a rage quit, Tahrir rise like a phoenix from the flames as Abujohn Bol strikes twice to level the game by the 32nd minute before Amum Abujohn gives us the lead before half time. A red card for the 3rd-placed visitors and Madit Kabashi's first goal for the club in the second half put the icing on the cake.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Al Nil 0-3 Tahrir

A tense first half against fellow strugglers Al Nil is quickly forgotten after half time as Makeer, Abujohn and Yai Obure all strike in the space of ten minutes after the break, Tahrir thrilling the 120 away fans with some scintillating counter attacking play for the second and third goals especially.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Al Merreikh 1-0 Tahrir

There is no happy return to Al Merreikh for me as, despite having the better of the game, we are unable to find a response to the hosts' penalty in the 3rd minute.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 3-0 Young Stars

We host 11th placed Young Stars with the chance to stretch our gap to the drop zone to 7 points. Another tetchy first half ends goalless, but the lads come alive after the break again, with Abujohn firing a 20 yard volley into the top corner at the end of the best passing move that South Sudan has (probably) ever seen. Further goals from Abujohn Bol and defensive midfielder Locapio Mading add gloss to a result that moves us to the dizzying heights of the top half of the table after an excellent month.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 5th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Very Secure.

 

An enjoyable run of results despite me nearly doing a classic Football Manager rage quit at 0-2 down against Malakia looking like a fourth consecutive loss. I've now settled on a strange but effective 4-2-1-2-1 formation with no wide players and instead of standing still waiting to be tackled my players can actually string 2-3 passes together sometimes. We'll be champions before you know it.

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The 2018 season is complete and this is how Duaa Solong fared in his first full season as Tahrir manager:

 

May - Tough Travels

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Al-Ghazal 2-0 Tahrir

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Atlabara 2-0 Tahrir

Familiar feelings in the last two games before the mid-season break as we lose away at each of the top two. We did okay to keep the score down but barely threatened and conceded a penalty in each game.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 6th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Secure.

 

Mid-Season Break

The Chairman gets to work in the one week of transfer window in the middle of the season. Attacking midfielder David Mabior, goalkeepers Bul Duot and Bul Kon, left back Isaac Lado who I worked with at Al Merreikh, and midfielder Emmanuel Riek all arrive and with the exception of backup goalkeeper Duot, are gradually introduced to the starting line up in the coming months.

 

July - Back with a Bang

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 2-1 Dream

We return to action against Dream who occupy one of the two relegation spots. Locapio Mading is the unlikely hero as the defensive midfielder curls in two long range efforts in the first half, proving enough to secure the three points.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Black Star 0-1 Tahrir

Abujohn Bol scores a great 83rd minute winner from the edge of the area against ten man Black Star. Six points this month does nothing for our league position but we do open a much larger points gap to the bottom two.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 5th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Very Secure

 

August - Through the Gears

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 0-0 Super Eagles

Super Eagles are still flying high in third place, so a point here is a decent result.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Wau Salaam 1-1 Tahrir

With Oliver Makeer sent off for us after 19 minutes, Wau Salaam are frustrated by our determined defending until they take the lead in the 91st minute. They are then even more frustrated when Abujohn Bol equalises for us in the 93rd minute with a snapshot that he had no right to score from, denying the hosts a win that would have seen them climb above us in the table.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 4-1 Merreikh Aweil FC

A superb hat-trick from Abujohn Bol along with a long range effort from David Mabior sees us come from behind to smash struggling Merreikh Aweil. Five games unbeaten now and relegation threats appear to be comfortably staved off already.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Malakia 0-0 Tahrir

A win against Malakia kick started our season months ago and we survive with a one man disadvantage for much of the game with Yai Obure dismissed just before the break. However, a late red card for the hosts levels the playing field and this one fizzles out into a goalless draw.

(Sud Soudan Cup 2nd Round) Tahrir 3-0 Talanga

Lower League Talanga are our first opponents as the cup gets underway. Abujohn Bol bags another couple of goals and lays one on for young substitute Madit Kabashi as we progress comfortably to the next round.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 5th

Sud Soudan Cup: Into Quarter Finals

Job Security: Untouchable

 

September - Survivalists

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 3-1 Al Nil

David Mabior's first league goal for Tahrir from 25 yards out levels proceedings against an Al Nil side fighting for their survival, but Gatweck Diok and Madit Kabashi each score in the last 5 minutes to secure another victory.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 0-1 Al Merreikh

My former club sit bottom of the league but they sneak victory against us again with the only goal coming from a penalty, just like the reverse fixture. Despite the visiting captain seeing red with 30 minutes left, we cannot find a response and suffer our first defeat since the mid-season break. A win here would have seen us overtake Malakia for 4th place.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 5th

Sud Soudan Cup: Into Quarter Finals

Job Security: Very Secure

 

October - A Dish Best Served Bol'd

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Young Stars 1-2 Tahrir

For the fifth time in six league games, we concede the first goal (an own goal, Young Stars didn't muster a shot on target here). We labour our way back into the game after the hosts are reduced to ten men, goals from Mabior and Makeer turning the game around for us. Malakia's loss to Al-Ghazal sees us move into 4th place as our earlier win against Malakia proves decisive with the sides now level on points.

(Sud Soudan Cup Quarter Final) Al Merreikh 0-1 Tahrir

Another 1-0 game against my former club and another match decided by a penalty. Abujohn Bol buries this one in stoppage time to record some overdue revenge against the club that sacked me a year ago. Elsewhere, Atlabara are somehow knocked out by Super Eagles.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 1-1 Al-Ghazal

The last league game of the season and all we have to do is match Malakia's result to finish in an excellent 4th place. Malakia lose to champions Atlabara (who won 19, drew 3, lost 0 this season) so a point is more than enough for us to retain our position. Abujohn Bol signs off with a penalty for us before announcing his retirement from football.

(Sud Soudan Cup Semi Final) Nile Eagle 0-2 Tahrir

Nile Eagle won the Cup last season whilst also being relegated. Honestly, they're all over us for most of this but we can afford to sit back after Oliver Makeer put us ahead one minute into the game. Our back line holds firm and a late second goal for Makeer sees us safely into the final.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 4th

Sud Soudan Cup: Into the Final.

Job Security: Untouchable.

 

November - Written in the Young Stars

(Sud Soudan Cup Final) Young Stars 0-0 Tahrir (Tahrir win 5-4 on Penalties)

Young Stars come into the final on a high, having upset Super Eagles in the semi finals and beaten relegation on the last day at the expense of Al Merreikh, who they beat 2-0 in their final fixture. They prove tough to break down and although we generally dominate the game, it takes a shootout for us to bring home the first trophy of Duaa Solong's managerial career. We didn't have to take on Atlabara or Al-Ghazal but we did win the Sud Soudan Cup without conceding a single goal to cap a terrific season.

 

Season Review and Next Steps

Compared to our pre-season billing of relegation strugglers and media prediction of 10th place, just one above the relegation zone, a cup win and a strong 4th place finish is a great season. Next season will bring new challenges though as top scorer Abujohn Bol hangs up his boots and the fans raise their expectations. As I think I've said, South Sudan have no continental qualification spots so unfortunately the Sud Soudan Cup win - Tahrir's first silverware in their short history - won't be rewarded with the chance to compete on a bigger stage. Shrewd acquisitions from the chairman helped us mid-season, as we only lost one of 14 matches since the June transfer window, but he has now employed a director of football to take over these responsibilities and hopefully continue our progress as a club. Hopes of ever being able to compete with Atlabara for the title seem completely unrealistic given that they scored 60 points from a possible 66, maybe if I was able to get the job at Al-Ghazal who finished a comfortable second again I could think about taking them down. If I can't become Atlabara manager though it's highly unlikely I'll win much more silverware in South Sudan and improve my reputation so I'll have to hope that the Sud Soudan Cup success boosts my profile enough to get noticed by clubs in the more reputable neighbouring countries - Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

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2019

It's a snow day on the Isle of Man which means Football Manager will be taking centre stage once again on this cold Friday. Duaa Solong's Tahrir side are preparing for a new season in South Sudan, and fans and media alike have been forced to reassess the previously unfancied minnows in light of their cup-winning 2018 campaign.

Board Expectations

Sud Soudan Premier League: Around Top of League

Sud Soudan Cup: Reach Semi Final

Sud Soudan Super Cup: Not Important

Media Prediction: 3rd

Title Winning Odds: 5/1

 

Pre Season

With transfer duties still in the hands of the board (a director of football now), we signed Mabil Itto (young left back, 3.5*), Bior Arok (teenage centre back, 3*), David Itto (teenage striker, 3*), Abujohn Mayom (teenage midfielder, 4.5*) and Chol Abujohn (backup goalkeeper, 2*). The only outgoing of note was the retiring Abujohn Bol, last season's top goalscorer. With a stronger squad supplemented by a handful of talented new youth recruits, it is easy to see why we come into this season with a lot more backing from inside and outside the club. But can we justify the media's tip of a top three finish and 5/1 odds to win the league, compared to 350/1 last year? Well we actually played a friendly this season, the board forking out for the trip to Al Salam, further evidence of the staggering progress made by Tahrir in recent months.

 

January: Mission Impossible

(Sud Soudan Super Cup) Atlabara 0-0 Tahrir (Tahrir win 4-1 on penalties)

The only game of January comes several weeks before the beginning of the league campaign, and we face Atlabara in the Super Cup, the team that won the title last season with 60 points from a possible 66. The only sensible approach here is to park the bus, hope for a set piece or a penalty shootout. Well, we executed the game plan to perfection. They battered us but not as badly as they have done in the past and we resisted their attack for 90 minutes, before holding our nerve to score all four penalties in the shootout while the champions hit the bar with one spot kick and see another saved by Bul Kon.

Two trophies, both won on penalties and it's fair to say nobody can be going into the new season with more momentum behind them than us?

Job Security: Very Secure

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February: Kick Off

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Super Eagles 2-3 Tahrir

A high-scoring game to start the league season, goals from Abujohn Mayom and Yai Obure giving us a 2-0 lead before Super Eagles peg us back with 10 minutes remaining. Fortuitously, we win the game with a late penalty from Aluong to start the campaign with three points.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 2-0 Nile Eagle

Goals from Amum Abujohn and a Mayom penalty give us a comfortable 2-0 win in our first home game of the season.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 2nd

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Very Secure.

 

March: Stars in Their Eyes

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Black Star 0-0 Tahrir

A disappointing 0-0 draw at newly-promoted Black Star ends our 100% record for the season but stretches our unbeaten run to 9 competitive games.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 2-0 Young Stars

Goals from Mayom and David Itto against ten man Young Stars continues their disastrous start to the season and sees us pick up another three points.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Al-Ghazal 1-1 Tahrir

Al-Ghazal have had a poor start to the season and Obure appears to set us on our way to a first win against Al-Ghazal in my managerial career, but the lead lasts just a few minutes and the game ends in a stalemate.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 1-1 Merreikh Aweil FC

A late equaliser from David Itto rescues our unbeaten run which now stretches to 12 matches, but only one win in March has seen us slip down the table ahead of a tricky run of fixtures.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 5th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Secure.

 

April: Treading Water

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Atlabara 1-0 Tahrir

Yawn.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 0-1 Malakia

One of these weird FM matches. No highlights in the first half. Only highlight in the second half is us on the attack before losing the ball and a long hoof over the top being collected by their striker who scores with the only shot on target of the tie.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Zalan 2-2 Tahrir

A kinder task faces us here and an early own goal gives us the lead, but we fall asleep and Zalan turn things around, taking the lead with a penalty in the 73rd minute before Yai Obure's late equaliser keeps us from a third straight loss.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 1-0 Dream

Dream really are shocking and Obure's early strike is enough to secure our first win in six games.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 5th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Secure.

 

June: Swansong

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 0-2 Wau Salaam

Our worst performance since last season sees high-flying Wau Salaam beat us comfortably at home.

(Sud Soudan Premier League) Tahrir 1-2 Super Eagles

Oliver Makeer scores inside two minutes to get us off to a flyer here but poor defending sees Super Eagles turn the game around by half time and we can't find a response in the second half.

Sud Soudan Premier League: 6th

Sud Soudan Cup: Not started yet.

Job Security: Stable.

 

These last two defeats carry us to the two month mid-season break, and with nothing going on for us in the league this season, I decide to try my hand applying for a few other jobs in better leagues in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. To my surprise, I am soon offered an interview at a top club in Kenya, leading me to call time on my stint at Tahrir, a successful time at an unfancied side that saw us win the Sud Soudan Cup and Sud Soudan Super Cup over the course of a year and a half.

 

Career To Date:

Al Merreikh, South Sudan

- 2016 - Joined Al Merreikh

- 2016 - Finished 5th in Sud Soudan Premier League

- 2017 - Sacked by Al Merreikh

Tahrir, South Sudan

- 2018 - Joined Tahrir

- 2018 - Finished 4th in Sud Soudan Premier League

- 2018 - Won Sud Soudan Cup

- 2019 - Won Sud Soudan Super Cup

- 2019 - Left Tahrir

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Tusker_FC.png

A new chapter in Duaa Solong's career takes us to the Premier League in Kenya, where he takes the reins at Tusker FC, one of the biggest sides in the country.

 

The History: Tusker are ranked as one of the biggest clubs in Kenya, along with fellow giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, with good reason. Since they were founded in 1970, Tusker have been champions of Kenya six times, most recently in 2017, and collected nine other domestic trophies and three Kagame Interclub Cups against the strongest opposition East Africa has to offer. Since previous manager George Odhiambo left to take over at SoNy Sugar, Tusker have taken their time over employing a new manager before plucking young Duaa Solong from the obscurity of the South Sudanese leagues, an appointment that has raised a number of eyebrows.

 

The Circumstances: As far as new managers go, Solong has inherited an almost idyllic situation at Tusker. A season full of surprises has seen odds-on favourites Gor Mahia struggle in mid-table for the first half of the campaign, while Nairobi City FC and Ulinzi Stars sit in the top two positions despite being tipped for mid-table obscurity this season. Two points off the top in third place sit Tusker FC, who were amongst the favourites at 4/1 at the start of the season, and Solong's new side are favourites in many peoples' book to bring the title home at the end of the campaign. Duaa Solong has 14 games remaining to try and take his team to the head of the pack. Outside of the Kenyan Premier League, Tusker were knocked out of the quarter final of the Kenya Top8 Cup by Mathare United, and are yet to enter the Kenya President Cup.

 

The Expectations: The Tusker board expect their new manager to guide their team to continental qualification in the Premier League and the Final of the President Cup. Duaa Solong will be excited at the opportunity to take part in continental competition, having come from the South Sudanese league where there were no qualification spots on offer for either the African Champions League or Confederation Cup. Needless to say, Tusker's new boss will have to make the most of the three weeks he has to prepare for his first game in charge against mid-table KCB.

 

The Transfers: Having brought with him a number of staff members from Tahrir to Tusker, Solong and his team wasted no time adding to the playing staff at their new club. Young winger Vincent Jumaan (3*) and midfielder Patrick Majid (2*) join from Thika Utd, while Director of Football Ojetuk Duot returns to South Sudan to sign young midfielder Biar Lado (2*) from Malakia and Atlabara hitman Aguto Ajang (3*).

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I haven't gone any further with it. Might go back to it at some point and will make sure I update if I do.

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