Season 7 – Lusitano FCV, Liga Portugal 2 (2nd Tier, 18 teams)

Transfers

It seems I’m not allowed to have fullbacks, as the board sells them for me whenever I find a good one. Also sold on 6th string midfielder for £100k and reinvested into more fullbacks.

League

Media prediction: 13th, 33-1

Board expectations: Avoid Relegation

Started the season with 3 new members in the back 4, which turns out to have been the problem all along as we became impossible to score against while also scoring for fun at the other end.

I still didn’t have a quality centre forward but my right winger picked up the slack (as he had for the past 4 seasons) and the rest of the midfield followed suit. Only lost twice all season as we strolled to the title, topping most of the stats.

League: P34 W24 D8 L2, 1st of 18 and promoted

Cups – Taca da Liga (Allianz Cup): out in second phase to Belenenses SAD 1-3
Taca de Portugal: out in semi-final to Rio Ave 2-5 agg (1-5, 1-0)

Had an incredibly soft run to the semis in the TdP and were promptly put in our place by Rio Ave, even though they were the easiest side we could have played in the last 4.

Summary

Great season. Shit finances. Should be interesting in the top flight next season. Most times we’ve come up against teams at that level we’ve gotten spanked so I don’t have super high hopes.

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 8 – Lusitano FCV, Portugal Liga NOS (1st Tier, 18 teams)

Transfers

Signed up a couple of fullbacks and a promising DC, as well as digging up a reasonably good centre forward to add to the revolving door that is that position. Also got a good young Danish ST loanee, an overrated French winger, another GK, and offloaded 2 expensive centre forward flops and some fringe players.

League

Media prediction: 18th, 600-1

Board expectations: Fight bravely against relegation

Baptism of fire, with losses to Porto and Benfica in our first 2 games. We bounced back by thrashing Vitoria de Guimaraes 5-0 before going on an impresisvely inconsistent run over the next 20-odd games, practically alternating wins with losses before a late season run of wins saw us jump to the top of the congested mid-table crowd.

New striker was key all season with a league-topping 22 goals getting us results we didn’t really deserve.

League: P34 W13 D7 L14, 7th of 18

Cups
Taca da Liga (Allianz Cup): out in second phase to Rio Ave 1-2
Taca de Portugal: out in QF to Porto 0-3

Decent run in the TdP again but Porto were well beyond us. Could have made the semis again with a more favourable draw. Oh, and Rio Ave can get f*cked.

Summary

Better than expected first season in the top flight, though there is a significant gap between the big boys and everyone else and we are being carried by a small number of players. Finances are also horribly in the red despite strong crowds all year.

Season 9 – Lusitano FCV, Portugal Liga NOS (1st Tier, 18 teams)

Transfers

Signed a very promising young Croat GK and some slightly better central midfielders. Also picked up a really good South African left back. Sold on more fringe players and those who weren’t cutting it at this level.

League

Media prediction: 18th, 800/1

Board expectations: Fight bravely against relegation

Started incredibly well, with 5 straight wins albeit all against the worse teams in the division. We seemed to have a soft draw as we were sitting top 3 for the first third of the season, partly because the big 3 all had several games in hand. Eventually we started to lose against the teams we were supposed to lose to.

And then we beat Porto.

And drew away to Sporting.

And finished 4th.

League: P34 W21 D7 L6, 4th of 18

Cups

Taca da Liga (Allianz Cup): out in 3rd phase, 2nd of 4
Taca de Portugal: out in semi-final to Vitoria de Guimaraes 0-2 agg (0-0, 0-2)

Won our way to the third phase of the Taca da Liga and for once weren’t the weakest team in our group, which meant we finished second in our group behind Benfica.

Summary

The new GK, even though he’s just 20, was phenomenal, turning losses into draws and draws into wins. retained my quality ST and he again topped the league with 27 goals. Europe awaits.

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