Hello. A lot has changed since 2017. Assuming you live in an alternative reality in 2022. And follow Modena FC.
In the popular football management simulation game developed by SI, I created a new team for a new type of challenge for myself. I didn’t recreate the wheel or the team. I unchecked a tick in the editor files and then added them back to Lega Pro Girone B as they had been put in to solvency at the beginning of the 2017/18 season in real life.
I looked at the clubs recent history and then added one member of staff as managing director, a certain Mr Juan Sebastien Veron. The reason behind this was that I would bring back a former club manager. Hernan Crespo. Who I brought back to life (in game) and would play as in the game.
The club started with money in the bank but no staff and no players. I hit the recruitment websites and job centres with coaching positions available. And I also went on the hunt for players that had been left out of contract at the start of the game. Along with my one man hunting expedition, I then realised I could look to entrust Veron with scouting and bringing in youth players to the club.
The transfer philosophy was very simple we either bring you in on trial to look at you and you may get signed, we sign you on loan if you are from a “bigger” club or we’ll try and sign you if you were good enough and cheap enough in fees and contractual budget.
The first intake of much needed players saw what we categorized as “old boys”. These were players that were over the age of 30 that we brought in on 12 month deals. The reputation of Veron helped enormously in capturing these guys and this got the ball rolling.
The next lot of players were then dubbed the “kids”. Back in 1996 they would have been dubbed the “Spice boys”. These four players were brought in on loans from Sassuolo and Udinese. Having played this game before I had an idea where I could source good young Italian players that would be in need of game time. Again Veron was on hand to sort out the loose ends and sell the “Project” to these players. (Excuse the dodgy art work).
This method of I seek and Veron seal was a very effective method in the beginning. It saw us bring in thirty players, only two were brought in through actually buying their services from another club. The other twenty eight were either “free” contract deals or on loan.
The money was spent (£825K) on Romario Baro from Porto. Veron had spotted the boy whilst on holiday in the Algarve, and instigated the whole deal. Despite the outlay the deal was seen as a win-win. As it was believed that the boy would use us to gain match time and the club would see a profit once a bigger club had seen him play.
Baro would only play during the 2017/18 season for the club. The reason behind this was that the plan worked. After only 11 matches and making 4 assists in that time for the Gaillioblu a big club took the bait. That club was Benfica. They paid an initial £1.3m with addons it would rise to £1.6m.
Not a great profit. But profit never the less. And for club rising from the ashes every penny was worth fighting for.
The other method we brought players in, was of course Youth Intake day. This brought in 16 players directly into our under 18’s. During 2017/18 we only had one player in our under 18’s as Veron and I had spent our time focusing on the first team rather than the youth set ups.
So in the beginning you can see that a simple approach in seeking players for necessity was followed. And the first youth intake would see the player numbers at the club dramatically increase. At this stage the increase in player numbers would not pose a problem as the 1st team was the primary focus and the youth team were yet to become established.
Part 2 will talk about how a two became four… in the Modena family.