Generation Guimaraes – #0 – The Introduction

The moment we have all been waiting for the last few months happens at some point tonight or tomorrow (9th November) when Football Manager 2022 has its full release. This means we all start our new journeys into the unknown and I for one, cannot wait for it!

I learnt a lot about my content creation over the past year and found new ways to challenge myself, this leads me to my first FM22 challenge as ‘GENERATION GUIMARAES’ will become a reality as I take a different take and aim on the save which will challenge me season on season.

Firstly though, let’s learn about the club that I will be in charge of.

The Club – Vitoria Guimaraes SC

It’s a name you may recognise over the years from time to time, a regular within European competitions such as the Europa League and they are a well respected club within Portuguese football. They’ve done just about everything apart from winning the top flight.

Founded in 1922, they have been more or less a mainstay within the Primeira Liga with only experiencing relegation twice – once in the 1950s and more recently in the 2007/08 season however, they bounced back straight away in the latter.

Winners of the Taca de Portugal (2012/13) and Supertaca (1988) once each, they have come close as runners up in both competitions numerous times.

Vitoria SC play their home games at the 30,000 seater stadium Estadio d. Afonso Henriques, situated more or less in the heart of Guimaraes. The stadium has also been used for Euro 2004, the Nations League and selectively by the Portuguese National Team.

It’s clearly a club with a lot of potential but it wasn’t necessarily this that drew me to sunny Guimaraes…

Why Vitoria?

This is very much an idea that was fuelled by FM21, funnily enough whilst I was playing another save. Whilst playing ‘The Tangerine Dream’, I sent a couple of scouts on a mission to find me a new young attacking midfielder. Long story short, I signed Tomas Handel from Vitoria Guimaraes and then suddenly my scouts would start recommending a range of youngsters from the club.

Handel in action

I couldn’t help but notice my scouts good work and then as I looked through their senior squads and below, it just stuck in my head that this club could make for a very interesting challenge going into FM22, as a range of ideas started flooding into my head. After a solo brain storming session ranging of numerous wasted notebook pages, I shaped my save goals and ultimately the challenge.

The Save Aims & Rules

With how I want this save to work, I need to be mindful of the squad season on season. As there is a lot of emphasis on the youth setup as these players will shape the first team in seasons to come. Here are the aims and rules to give some context of what I’m trying to pull off here.

  • Squad average age must be a maximum of 23 every season.
  • Disrupt the Top 3 and become a top team in Portugal (Porto, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon).
  • Win the club’s first league title.
  • Win the club’s first European title.
  • Win a domestic treble (League, Cup, Supercup) or a European treble (League, Cup, European Cup)

A lot to aim for but the squad average age must be achieved by the end of the summer transfer window each season – IF THIS IS FAILED, I MUST RESIGN FROM MY ROLE! Safe to say it’s all on the line straight away as I can confirm Vitoria Guimaraes’ current squad’s average age is over 23 – a 37 year old Ricardo Quaresma is currently in the squad for example!

The ultimate top league journeyman

The other four points are to help grow the club and show you can win things with kids despite Alan Hansen’s comments back in 1995…I was only 2 when that happened so probably before some of your times!

This is the kind of challenge I like to set myself and it really tests my FM ability as tactics, training, first team backroom staff all become so key with some of the inexperienced players that may be used.

The Staff Roles (DoF & HoYD)

This save won’t just involve my own work throughout, the Director of Football & Head of Youth Development will have a massive part to play within the setup and shaping the club for the future. I’ll take you through the roles of each to give some insight;

Director of Football

  • Find and sign young players for the U23s – Initiate, Negotiate & Finalise these signings
  • Find and sign young players for the U19s – Initiate, Negotiate & Finalise these signings
  • Recruit Staff for U23s – This includes Hiring and Firing of all staff
  • Recruit Staff for U18s – This includes Hiring and Firing of all staff

Head of Youth Development

  • In charge of outgoing development loans

So it is quite clear the Director of Football will do most of the work with new players but also building the relevant backroom staff teams within the youth setup, which is key to the development of these players. Although one insight I can give you all is, Vitoria Guimaraes do not currently have a Director of Football so that’s already a task on the save start for me!

The Head of Youth Development may only have one role to cover but this is key as some players improve vastly when at other clubs at competitive level opposed to U23s/U19s football.

Those who know my process at a club, I like to build a network of affiliate clubs to aid with this and the same will happen at Vitoria Guimaraes as it works so well in terms of player development.

What’s Next?

Well I guess it will be to start the save! I haven’t done a save in Portugal for years so I’m excited to get involved there as I generally enjoy Portuguese football. It’s going to be tough but this is a bit of me and the kind of challenge I love to do.

For context, I will provide two blogs per season pretty much covering the first and second halves of the season as this should allow good playing time and writing with my current schedule!

While you’re here, DP-FM’s guest blogger @emperor_fm is sticking around for FM22 and will be taking on the challenge of returning Deportivo La Coruna to the big time in Spain. With the current state of Spanish football, could this be Deportivo’s best opportunity yet?

Check out the intro post here – https://dpfmblog.com/2021/11/08/el-regreso-del-deportivo-introduction/

I hope this quick introduction gave you some insight on how the save work and how I look to progress season on season. I cannot wait to get it started! Take care all and I’ll be back soon.

DP-FM’s Scott

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