I haggle with Alex for a while over the prices of several of my former players. I have around £8k to spend on transfers which is a nice little luxury. I’m instantly put off by his valuation of Left Back Tobias Malm, as he wants close to £15k.
In all honesty Malm never lived up to my expectations in Sweden so I’m not too gutted. We agree that £1k will be enough to prise away both my former roommate Joakim:
And the man with the funkiest name in all of Sweden, Mo Dizzle:
But after speaking to them both they seem unwilling to relocate from Sweden to Volcano Island. I’m disappointed but to be fair Mo would’ve only been a squad player and I just wanted Joakim to rejoin me as my assistant. As I said to my new assistant Roger upon meeting him: “Let’s face it Roger, you’re no Joakim”. He looked very confused.
I do however offer a contract to young Centre Back Stefan Andersson, who I signed for Höllviken and who is on a youth contract so can move for free. He accepts and I fly him out immediately.
My coaches don’t think much of Stefan but I’ve seen a lot of potential in him. He came into our Höllviken side and helped steady the ship towards the end with solid performances at the tender age of 16. He’ll go into our Under 19’s for now and I’m interested to see how he develops.
I decide to take my eyes away from Höllviken. It’s a shame that Joakim and Mo won’t be joining me but it’s time to look at other targets. I look over the Stats from the first stage of our division, the PT Championship, to see who’s impressed at this level so far this season. Enter Gonçalo Reyes:
He’s been playing very well so far this year for Operário Lagoa, who are through to the Relegation stage, so I splash out £1.5k to bring him in. He’s a very rounded midfielder and can make things happen in the final third. He’ll be a good option for Benjamim’s position or I may bring him in for “easier” home games as a more attacking alternative to Jaime Seidi. I also name him “Hurley” for short after Hugo Reyes, as I’m one of the minority that still likes the TV show Lost even after seeing the ending.
Over the first few days as I run around completing the Andersson and Hurley deals I notice that there is significant interest (and quite a lot of it from larger Portugese clubs) in one of our young players whose contract is up in the Summer:
Rúben Miranda is a solid defensive midfield prospect and will definitely have a part to play in my team so I quickly tie him down with a £200 per week deal. It’s probably more than I should pay a player who I don’t see being in the first team right now but I am very excited about how good he can become. I also offer new contracts to my preliminary starting 11 as they will all have a part to play and all of their contracts seem to be up in 5 months time too.
February 1st rolls around and brings with it our first friendly of the mid-season break. We travel to Vitória do Pico, an amateur side not that much smaller than us, and start with the preliminary lineup I selected when I first arrived. We hammer them with shots and we play some good football, eventually taking a 3-1 win. Miguel Oliveira, our starting centre back, opened the scoring with a good header before a 20 yard thunderbolt from substitute and resident utility man João Borges, who I saw in my research shares his name with SCA’s first captain, who scored in our very first match in 1929:
And then a penalty won and tucked away by back up Striker Wilson Dias:
And finally, Vitória’s Macedo ruined our clean sheet by scoring a nice volley from just inside the area.
Our next and final friendly is a home game against Lyngby, a Danish Superliga club, and we start with the players who came on as subs in the first friendly. It’s a risky decision to play the B team as Lyngby are a much bigger side but I want to see everyone before our first competitive match next week, so I also include the other players that I haven’t seen yet on the bench, including Stefan Andersson.
We lose 3-0 to an Ojo header, a Danilo close range shot and a well worked goal finished by Kjaer in the dying seconds. On the plus side it was a very even game and we actually made the best chances, but finishing them was a problem. I have doubts that Dias, the back up striker who came on to score in the first friendly, is capable of leading the line on his own against decent opposition as he’s best suited to being a pest in the defensive forward role and probably isn’t technical enough to be a lone striker.
I regret nothing though. The whole squad’s fitness takes a boost and I get an idea of who’s ready and who’s not. I definitely need another striker, but also another left back as Reis was disappointing and doesn’t look very good in general.
Sadly Stefan Andersson puts in a slightly below average performance after coming on but he still needs time.
And so with only a week to go before our first competitive match I start putting out feelers for our back up left back and striker. It doesn’t take long to identify 2 men who fit the bill: Hélder Arruda, a striker who’s scored 9 goals in 21 games for fellow PT Championship side Praiense, who have made it into the Promotion Stage:
And Chileno, a solid looking left back from Hurley’s former side Operário Lagoa, who are on our level in the relegation stage.
I agree fees with Praiense and Lagoa of £1k and £500 respectively, and enter talks with both players. I offer Arruda a decent contract that should tempt him away, and then go to talk to Chileno. It’s at this point that my chickens come home to roost: it seems that in offering my first team new contracts and offering Arruda a decent deal, I’ve used all of the money available to me and Miguel Borba will only allow me £45 per week to offer to Chileno. I apologise to him and his agent, and then withdraw our bid. I’m slightly annoyed, but never mind. We’ll go back for him later.
Arruda’s transfer goes through the following day, so I think I’m done transfer-wise for the time being. There’s just the small matter of winning matches to attend to now.
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