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The Surprise Shirt Challenge - PEC Zwolle - S1 EP1

Well here we go, the start of what I hope to be a wonderful adventure.

If you missed the introductory episode you can catch up Here


We find ourselves in the second tier of Dutch football with PEC Zwolle and we have lofty ambitions, starting with an immediate return to the top flight.

Lets start with how I want us to play.


The Formation

I am keen to try and freshen things up and I will be honest I have never got a 5 at the back formation working. The squad seems to fit this formation so lets see what we have come up with.

We will be looking for a solid three central defenders who will break things up and distribute it wide to the advancing Wing Backs. They will also receive help from a defensive minded Playmaker.

Moving further up the field the midfielders will offer support to the front two with the Mezzala and Box To Box roles.

The front two will be a throw back to the '90s as the "little and large" duo returns.

A Target Forward and an Advanced Forward being the roles.

Now lets check out the key players we have bought in to execute this plan.



We will be focussing on the incoming players as most of the out going players were sold before we joined the club.

As you can see we have been wheeling and dealing in the free market with the odd purchase here and there.

I have highlighted Libasse Ngom as the key acquisition this summer.

A young Senegalese Striker who can also play as an Attacking Midfielder. He was a bargain at 65k

He will be key to our success going forward with his pace and finishing prowess.

Delighted to have signed him.

Johannes Schenk joins us on loan from Bayern Munich.

A young up coming goalkeeper he will probably sit as our #1 between the sticks.

A solid base behind the proposed back 3.

Melayro Bogarde joins us on loan from Hoffenheim.

A natural wide centre back, his experience and ability to play in a back three will be essential for my new system.

The res of the incoming players will fill squad roles and hopefully develop with us with the possibility of breaking into the first team or being sold on for a small profit.


Pre Season

We had a very short but productive pre season as the players got used to the new system.

The results look poor but the familiarity has risen quickly which is the most important thing.


League Rules

There are some unique rules for the Eerste Divisie that we need to go through.

So the regular season is divided into 4 periods. Each of these periods has a winning team, this team is the one that has accumulated the most points during this period.

The winners of each period qualifies for the playoffs at the end of the season.

The Winners and runners up of the overall League will be promoted automatically.


Well the preparations are over and it is time to get the season underway.

August 2022

There is a bot of expectation on this team to bounce straight back up to the top flight.

A quick start is exactly what we will be looking for.

Oh and its exactly what we got. An unbeaten first month with 3 wins out of 4.

Nobody got a faster start than Ngom, who grabbed a hattrick in the first 18 minutes of the season against De Graafschap. He then went on to grabbing 2 more in the month taking his opening total to 5 goals already.

Exactly why I was excited to have him on board.


September 2022

We roll into September with a brilliant chance of winning the first period of the season and securing our place in the playoffs straight off the bat.

Its another unbeaten month with 4 wins out of 5! This month it was Lennart Thy's turn to grab the goals as his partnership with Ngom continues to thrive.

The big target man grabbed 4 goals in 5 games to really get his season started.

This string of results secured us the first period victory.


October 2022

With the first period of the season secured move into the second period and the push towards the half way point of the season.

We suffer our first loss of the season, at home to MVV Maastricht.

It was a poor performance an a really poor way to end the month. Before that Ngom and Thy were proving to be the best strike partnership in the league.

Lets hope this is a blip and not a sign of things to come.


November 2022

November comes around and we need to bounce back from the disappointment of the first defeat of the season. Its a shorter month with only three games to be played.

Our poorest run of games in one month so far as we Win one, Draw one and Lose one.

Two games without a goal also. I would be more concerned if we hadn't put 5 past FC Eindhoven with Ngom grabbing his second hattrick of the season.


December 2022

A very short month as we take almost 4 weeks off between the last game in November and the first game in December.

We will either come back rested or will struggle to get through our recent down term in form. I'm hoping its the former.

Its a poor set of results as we fail to register a point. We have some work to do to get ourselves back on track!

We had a very poor record in Period 2 of the season with us no where near the top of that particular table. Its time to sort this out.


Youth Intake Preview

As always we are keen to produce some local talent during this journey, however we will need a few seasons to set the youth programme up properly. Our first preview proves this.

Its a very poor looking Intake, these will be a focus over time.


Half Way Table

Lets see where we sit in the half way table

We are still on track to achieve our goal of going straight back up but we have some ground to make up on the top two.

Its going to be a big job to turn this form around.


Well thats it, the first half of our debut season. We've seen some decent form and some not so decent form. we need consistency.

We may dip our toes into the transfer market during January but only if it improves the first team.

Thanks for reading and I hope you join us again.




Why not check out our first save of FM23 as we take over at Crystal Palace. We have concluded this save but you can start from the beginning here.

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