Season 4 – Lusitano FCV, Terceira Liga (3rd Tier, 24 teams)

Transfers

So my wage budget jumped from £17k to £115k per month, which finally allowed me to sign up some quality players to shore up the weak spots in the team, though I had to be careful to not completely destroy the finances.

Have hung on to my on-loan ST for a 4th year also, but was looking for a permanent replacement throughout the season. Released and sold fringe players while the board also sold one of my better centre-backs from under me for £20k.

League

Media prediction: 12th, 16-1

Board expectations: Mid-table

Being able to sign some good players on decent wages meant we dominated the league from the outset. Set records for wins, points, goals, games unbeaten and the kitchen sink.

Won the league with 8 games to go.

League: P46 W39 D6 L1, 1st of 24 and promoted

Cups – Taca de Portugal: out in 5th round to Rio Ave 0-2

Saw off a lower level team in the 2nd round, played very well against 2nd div Covilha in the 3rd, beat another lower level team in the 4th and comfortably outplayed by Liga NOS side Rio Ave in the 5th.

Summary

I couldn’t have asked for a better year and am quietly confident in the squad being more than able to stay up next year.

Still have a good amount of leeway with the wage budget (only spending £35k) so should be able to pick up some additional quality if needed next season. Not having to play at least 13 home growns in the match squad will also help.

Season 5 – Lusitano FCV, Liga Portugal 2 (2rd Tier, 18 teams)

Transfers

Loaned back my ST for another season, and signed up some quality players in all positions to complement the rest of the team. I also picked up a decent Colombian GK as I didn’t feel my current first choice was good or experienced enough. Released more fringe players and loaned out a bunch of youth. Mid-season saw two of my best defenders sold by the board for a combined ~£500k, which was small comfort.

League

Media prediction: 15th, 33-1

Board expectations: Fight bravely against relegation

Had a solid start, with the new signings bedding in well and the goals flowing leaving throughts of relegation a distant memory quite quickly. Defense was good until January when I lost the good ones and had to make do with backups. This meant we started dropping points late in games, which scuppered any chance of a surprise back-to-back promotion.

League: P34 W18 D8 L8 , 5th of 18

Cups
Taca da Liga (Allianz Cup): out in third phase, 4th of 4
Taca de Portugal: out in quarter final to Vitoria de Guimaraes 0-2

Won our way through to the third phase in the Taca da Liga where we were drawn with 3 Liga NOS sides and gave a good account of ourselves but finished bottom of the group despite a win over Boavista.

Got to the 4th round in the Taca de Portugal where we finally beat a Liga NOS team in Estoril Praia before shocking Sporting next round to make the QF against Vitoria de Guimaraes who comfortably won.

Summary

Well I was right about the team being more than good enough to stay up, with some great transfers making us an instant contender. The problem will be to ensure we can stay consistent and actually keep our quality players. The board is far too trigger happy with big offers.

Season 6 – Lusitano FCV, Liga Portugal 2

Transfers

Had another two starters (ST and DL) sold by the board which had me scrambling to pick up replacements. Signed up another bunch of young prospects and sent a lot of youngsters out on loan.

League

Media prediction: 14th, 33-1
Board expectations: Avoid relegation

We won 8 of our first 9 games.

We won 8 of the next 25.

We were sitting comfortably top two until the last 4 games.

The lack of a proper quality centre forward meant that games where we dominated on all the stats we were let down by poor finishing and were just really poor defensively. We only managed to keep 5 clean sheets all season.

It didn’t help that our last 3 games to finish the season were (with us in 2nd at the time) against 3rd, 4th, 6th, all of which we lost, each time seeing them jump above us.

League: P34 W16 D7 L11, 6th of 18

Cups
Taca da Liga (Allianz Cup): out in third phase, 4th of 4
Taca de Portugal: out in 5th round to Moreierense 1-1, 3-4 pens

Again made the third phase of the League Cup, and again finished last in the group despite winning one of our games. The Taca de Portugal was the usual story of pummelling lower league opponents and losing to a Liga NOS team.

Summary

We need a striker. And probably a better GK. And some good defenders. And to learn to see out seasons. I suppose I shouldn’t be so upset but the team has some real quality and we can definitely push for promotion if we could just manage some consistency.

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