All OR Nothing – KAC Marrakech – Introduction

Welcome to a new series which is coming from the African continent. For me, this may actually be the hardest save I have ever had to take on, which I will explain in more detail as we go through the blog today.
If any of you recall the “Wolfgang” era, well this will be very similar in terms of building a narrative. Let’s get stuck into this one and reveal all!

Who Are KAC Marrakech?

Kawkab de Marrakech, is the full name of the club based in the capital of Morocco. The club have been relegated to the amateur division in real life which is not where the club should be, let me explain why. Firstly, the club play at the national team stadium which hosts approx 45,000. This alone should be enough however, another key reason is that the domination is coming from the teams outside the capital and in real life. Their last silverware was back in the 90s when they lifted the African Cup, which is the equivalent to the Champions League but for African teams. A club on the decline and for a capital of a country should be doing more!

Why KAC Marrakech?

After spending some time doing some research, on this club I felt a real connection with the club, mainly due to the fact they should not be sitting where they are right now. I have actually visited Marrakech before, so also know the culture and how passionate the people are about their city. Marrakech is the main tourist destination, so naturally, you would expect the main football team in the city to be one of the big teams competing at the highest level.

For example, we go to Spain, we instantly think Barcelona (nou camp), Italy, we go to Millan, straight away we think about the 2 giants Inter & AC.
After discovering that they are falling out of the top 2 professional leagues in real life and going into the Amateur leagues next season, this was a no-brainer for me! Below is the pyramid set up in Morocco.

The Challenge?

So, if you recall at the start I really wanted to test myself even more than taking on a tier 7 side and using the Moneyball theory to work my way up the leagues. This was, of course, a challenge but I feel like I wanted something even more difficult with more of a realism involved. This challenge was inspired by FM Beth, who went to Swizz and took on a unique challenge, you can view this HERE.

Here will be the rules of the save:

  • No attributes
  • No player search (Relying on scouts & DOF to help you recruit)
  • Developing homegrown talent

So, the recruitment side is where It will be really difficult. The level is not exactly great as it is, I first have to recruit a whole new backroom team (without attributes) and then rely on them to help me bring in talent. This alone will be a big challenge and something I am not used to, let alone having to figure out the rest in a league I have no idea about! To take it one step further, I then have to look to bring in young homegrown players and develop them. So, in the future, they can have a pathway to playing for the national team, so this is kind of a build a nation save too at the same time!

Look at that stadium by the way! No way, this club should be suffering and having empty stands.

The initial challenge will be to get out of the 2nd division. Once, that can be cracked then we have to start competing with the giants of the league such as Wydad FC who are dominating the league. The teams who are successful in the first division are teams from a small town named Casablanca, if we want to compare this to UK terms then, it’s the teams in Manchester/Liverpool who are dominating rather than teams based in London (the capital). I will take the 5-year plan approach on this one and set objectives, which I will reveal all in the next blog.

Who Is Youssef Hadji?

Youssef is the guy who will be taking over at KAC. He is a young man, aged just 30 who was born and raised in the capital city, so he feels the pain. He never managed to make it as a pro but had a real obsession with the game and went to university in Spain (Barcelona), where in his spare time, he would watch Pep Guardiola’s side play in the local coffee shop. He would spend the night, taking notes on his tactical approach and then start to implement these theories via Football Manager! He graduated in sports science and then started to undertake his coaching badges.

In terms of actual on-the-job experience, the Moroccan has only coached the under-16 side of the national team. So, KAC is taking a real risk potentially in applying their trust to a young man who has had no professional experience in the game. However, the board were impressed with the work Hadji did in terms of his tactical analysis theories & how he helped the Under 16’s manager apply these to the young lads at the camp. The youth team shows signs of playing some beautiful football and this is what Hadji wants to install here at KAC. He wants his side to entertain the fans, who have paid out of their hard-working wages to come and support the side. He wants a possession-based game to be applied and to be always looking to be on the front foot and have the courage to take any team on.

Youssef will be introducing himself to the squad (currently 10 players) and have a full pre-season before the team kick off in the 2nd division. There will be a full blog series documenting every step of how Youssef gets on at Marrakech, the next will be a pre-season overview and how the initial few months were for the young man who has taken on one hell of a task!
This is an “all or nothing” approach! This can only go right or wrong, stay tuned to find out more.
That concludes the introduction blog series today, thank you for taking the time to read through this. Big shout out to Scott (DPFM) for the graphics work and FM Beth for the inspo for the save. I am got the blogging buzz back and a challenge which is no easy task!

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