Kibworth Bull

We were shining like Aurora Borealis

Hello and Welcome to the 4th part of my Afghan Hounds save – where I attempt to win the Asian Champions League with a squad of Afghan Nationals.

Today we cover the 2021 Asian Confederation Cup and the 2022 Afghan Premier League season.

Continue reading “We were shining like Aurora Borealis”

Kibworth Bull

The bipeds stood up straight, the dinosaurs all met their fate

If you have missed any of the series then you can catch up here. Today’s piece covers the 2nd season of the Afghan Hounds as we attempt to win the Asian Champions League with just Afghan Nationals.

Continue reading “The bipeds stood up straight, the dinosaurs all met their fate”

FM19 · Kibworth Bull

Yesterday you’d forgiven me, But it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry

Good day to all of you lovely readers… If you want to catch up on what has happened previously then all you need to do is click here.

It feels kinda odd to do a retained list when the continental season is still going on, but as the league campaign has finished then it’s the perfect time to move on the players that have no future. I won’t go into the detail here, but the full list can be found on the SI Forum – no one on that list that will get the audience angry..

The transfer window has creaked open and we have a gem..

Jabar Mukhammad is only 16 years old and is already 5* CA and very much up there amongst my best players – he should be the starting RW in my side next year which is tough on Shahar Zia but hey! this is football and only the weak are left behind. Jabar though has a lot of improving to do before we speak about being a wonderkid.. (I can dream)

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David Alikhil is amongst my best Centre Back’s despite on being 1* CA – there really is a lack of quality in this position in the country right now. His heading is really poor but the Marking and some of the Mental attributes are decent and is young enough to improve.

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Rahmat Salehi is purely a back up option between the sticks. He’ll be around until I can find something better.

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The final one for now is Ovays Ziahi, more of an attacking midfielder than a central one but there is quite a bit of the good old stuff in his favour, he’s got a year on a decent wage to show me what he can deliver. I think we are allowed a gamble..

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The biggest news of the month is that we have finally gotten our draw for the Inter-Zone Semi Finals.. We are off to India.

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August & September 2020

No league action until January so our sole focus is being as prepared as we possibly can for East Bengal and we were ready – nearly 31,000 people saw us leave India with the victory thanks to a debut goal from Jabar Mukhammad, we created soooo many chances but we were lacking our cutting edge, but as the home leg is the 2nd leg I am very confident we can secure our place in the final. The only downside is that Souleyman Ahmazadi will be suspended for the game.

Massive progress though is being made off the field and this is what I am wanting to see – the national selectors getting involved and recognising the talent we have at the club – a couple of the boys have come through our own academy too. Jabar Popalzay is only 16 and an academy graduate so to get an U23 call up suggests real potential – he’s my back up RB next season. Anoush Amiri made his international debut.

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The previously missing cutting edge was discovered back in Afghanistan and we find ourselves in the Inter-Zone Play-Off Final at the first time of asking.

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It’s not the Asian Confed Cup final, that is still 2 games away, and talking of away we travel to Persatuan Sepak Bola Indonesia Jayapura who as the name suggests are in Indonesia! It’s another 2 legged affair, but that is all next month.

October 2020

Just before getting on the plane to Indonesia, disaster struck with the news that Mohammad Naqshbandy will be out for 6 weeks with a sports hernia, coupled with a suspension for Anoush Amiri meant we would start in Indonesia with a debutant up front – Milad Nourestani got the nod but he was hauled off at half time as we changed our shape in the 2nd half and managed to overturn a 0-1 half time score to end the 90 with a 3-1 win.

Amiri returned for the 2nd leg and scored the only goal of the game, meaning in our 1st season of Asian Continental football we had reached the final! We have guaranteed ourselves 500k regardless of the result so some much needed facilities improvement is in the pipeline. Omanese side away from home – this will be our toughest test yet but should have a near 100% strong squad for it.

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November 2020

Before the biggest game in the club’s history, a new signing.. Zia Burhani comes in as my official back up goalkeeper for the season, just about to turn 17 and very highlighted rated by the scouts and the coaches.

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Al-Suwaiq Club have won this competition before, surprisingly, we never have. Both teams lined up with identical 442 formations and these cancelled each other out as there wasn’t a highlight until the 35th minute when Mohammad Naqshbandy put an effort just passed the post – he also had one chalked off for offside just before the half time whistle (correct call..) so we went into the break level pegging. A very nervy second half commenced with both sides picking up bookings until a defensive mix up left Naqshbandy the task of beating the keeper from 8 yards (ish..) and he duly dispatched the ball into the net and we lead with 70mins on the clock.

Our lead lasted 40 seconds…

Nothing much happened there after until the 91st minute when Naqshbandy again scored from an offside position – this one looked incredibly tight but I just about support the linesman’s decision. Extra Time though with 5 players on a yellow.

105th min – deep ball into the Al-Suwaiq box, a trip, a penalty.. Omar Saighani stepped up and POWERED it home.. The causal obsver of this piece will remember that my goalkeepers are down to take the penalties.. I bottled it OK, and made the change.. I don’t regret it so stop with the judgement!

Both teams are absolutely dead on their feet as we entered the 120th minute..

Another ball into the box, another trip and this time Al-Suwaiq have a penalty.. It was slammed home and we were about 80 seconds away from winning the tie..

PENALTIES…

Saighani scored his, but then Naqshbandy and Anoush Amiri failed from the spot – they didn’t miss any of there’s and by the cruelest way possible we have end our Asian Confederation Cup journey!

There feels like there is no justice in the world – 2 dissallowed goals and a 120th minute penalty all went against us. Gutted.

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Pre-Season 2021

After the frustration of the penalty defeat we face a nearly 2 month wait before we can start out 2021 campaign and another title defence.

New blood was recruited in the form of Zohib Amiri, an 18yr old midfielder with a couple of national caps under his belt already – reaffirming my mission statement of getting the best and brightest Afghan’s under my control.

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January 2021

Our impressive Asian Confederation Cup campaign has moved us up 3 places in the Qualification Rankings, still quite a long way to go until we are getting into the Champions League, but if we continue to strengthen and continue to do well in the Asian Confed then we will get there – I am confident on both scores as I think we are capable of winning that cup after coming so darn close last season.

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The sheer frustration of the penalty defeat was partly banished in 45 minutes of the season openener against Shaheen – 5 goals to the good and H/T – the near perfect start. Zaker Saadat scoring more in 29 minutes than he did in 20 matches last season. We went from sublime to ridiculous in the 2nd game, 3-1 up and crusing and we barely scraped a draw out of it, Saywan Mahmodi‘s double a welcome addition – he hadn’t scored in what seems an age!

The club was then rocked I tell yee, when Israfeel Faqiryar damaged his back and would miss the next 2-3 months, our 1st choice LB and player of last season wont be winning the award this year. Yousuf Barkmaz will step in – already near as good but just a bit younger.

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February 2021

Back to the Asian Confed Cup and this season’s comp kicks off with 6 players suspended and our entire starting side 19 and under – we only won 5-0… I say only because we dominated this one from start to finish and didn’t give them a sniff – the bookies can’t see it but I think we can go one better than last year and win this one, there doesn’t appear to be a huge amount of quality in this competition so it’s anyone’s for the taking. 89 people witnessed out reserves lose in the 2nd leg.

When Saywan Mahmodi is good then he is unstoppable, 4 against Oqaban Hindukosh sent us top. We then decided to leave it bleedin late against Balkan Balkanabat, with 10 to play it was 2-2, before 3 goals in 3 minutes make the return leg a little bit more manageable although Bashir Cutrupi did see red. The month’s football action ended with a 1st v 2nd tie as we entertained Simorgh, keeper Zia Burhani scoring his 2nd penalty in a week to secure another 3 points.

Good progress in both the Confed Cup and the Leauge, we just need a good intake and we can call this a cracking month.

It talks of a golden generation once more and it does have some nice features..

Sarfaraz Ali Sakhizada, at 15 is already better than the other keepers at the club and immediately becomes my new No.1

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Mustafa Wadid is going to have to learn the CM role – my concern is that he looks a little lightweight but apart from that there is quite a lot for this level to be pleased with. We now have a good number of AMC’s learning the CM role so it will be fun for me to see who breaks through. Wadid has plenty of time on his side.

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Finally a familiar look to the Asian Confed Cup draw with Istiqlol Dushanbe being the only team not part of this group last season.

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March 2021

March is a fairly odd month – just the one league match, and a grand total of 3 Asian Confed Cup (ACC for future reference) matches. To qualify for the knock out stages we must top the group and with a few suspensions and only 2 available strikers we had some pressure on our shoulders and this showed as we only got a draw out of Altyn Asyr FK Aşgabat – fortunately results went our way as the other match was drawn. 15 year old Sarfaraz Ali Sakhizada made his debut in the routine league victory.

We’ve struggled to show our best this month but finally picked up our first 3 points of the ACC thanks mainly to Ovays Ziahi getting a double from midfield. Our strikers are being a bit wasteful, we’ve only got 3 registered for the ACC and this is potentially going to cause us some problems going forward.

The next couple of months are the business part of the season, we will play all but 2 of our league matches and will hopefully qualify from our ACC group. Right at end of the month both Yar Mohammad Ayoubi and Mohammad Naqshbandy got their first call ups for the senior Afghan side, Ayoubi made his debut, Naqshbandy was an unused sub.

April 2021

9 games in 21 days – 1 every 3 days.. Rotation is going to be the key word used in all meetings this month.

Top of the table clash against Toofan to start things off, we left it late but it’s a very big 3 points, especially as they had a goal dissallowed in the 90th minute. Then disaster! We handed a massive advantage to Altyn Asyr FK Aşgabat in the group stages with a late defeat – we probably need to win the last 3 games and hope they drop points somewhere as only the top team qualify.

Our under 18s have won their 3rd straight title – they have yet to lose a match in the save.

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More proof that we plan to make this as difficult as we can possibly make it in a 1-1 draw against Mawjhai Amu, where we gave away a penalty and the guy that scored it felt so embarrased he then scored an own goal to save our blushes. Vladimir Taalaybek uulu is a name familiar to nobody but he is my hero of the month, 91st minute and he scores the winner against Altyn Asyr FK Aşgabat which means we are level on points with them going into the final game next month – we have to win and then hope they lose – if we get the same amount of points then they will qualify as they have the better head to head record.

Injuries and suspensions are hitting us hard – suspensions always do but thats just the way we play, but this year we’ve had some injuries – most of my best 11 have missed a game or three with a knock and it makes consistency all the more harder. 3 games in the space of 6 days just feels cruel on our boys but 9 points is the rest, we sit 12 clear at the top now, but the team in 2nd have 2 games in hand and we play them next.

May 2021

Oqaban Hindukosh are all that stand between us and our 3rd straight title – we play them twice in May and if we avoid defeat to them and keep picking up the points then the title will be staying in our trophy cabinet for another 12 months.

We had no time to celebrate the away victory against Oqaban as we immediately got on a plane to Kyrgyzstan for our final group game – victory and hope are in order.

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Our victory was routine, but Istiqlol pulled something amazing out of the bag to get a 2-2 draw and we have qualified and our run continues! Epic!! The sooner we are up the rankings the sooner we can attempt to compete in the Asian Champions League.

The most pleasing thing about the Asian Confed Cup progress is that is means we have something to play for in the next few months, the league was secured thanks to a double by Zohib Salem, a young striker that has been given a chance to shine as we sit 17 points clear of our rivals with games running out. Technically we need a point but it’s ours!.

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The 1-0 win over Oqaban Hindukosh meant it was exactly 12 months undefeated in the league and we are 2 games away from an unbeaten season.

June 2021

There is nothing to see here.. 2 games… both won to complete an unbeaten season..

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A record 18 players got selected for the internationals this month.

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Season Review

It took us a huge amount of time to get over the agonising defeat in the Asian Confed Cup – yes we were still winning games because we were head and shoulders above the rest, our usual dominance didn’t appear to be there, I sensed some aprehension and the hangover still lingers with some of the squad. We still won the league by a country mile but I think this demonstrates just how poor the rest of them are, rather than how good we are.

Goals felt harder to come by, although 4 did make double figures – Anoush Amiri (17), Saywan Mahmodi (13), Zaker Saadat and Omar Saighani (10) – we actually scored 2 more goals this season compared to last so WHAT DO I KNOW!!

Jabar Mukhammad was probably my player of the season – hugely talented for an Afghan I fully expected him to deliver and he didn’t let me down at all – 16 assists and 4 goals in his 29 matches. He’s set fair to be a star for me for the next decade or so at the very least, unless someone incredible appears.

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I used 3 keepers and none of them stood out as my No.1 – I wrote something similar last year but I am not convinced that they are really getting challenged a great deal, all 3 of them are decent keepers with 5* potential, one of them will probably break out and take that jersey but as yet it’s tough to see who that is going to be.

One or two of the older players are staring nervously at the door, I’ve got a big squad of players (56) with 20 of them showing a possible 5* potential so I don’t expect a huge amount of recruitment to happen, a striker or two for definate but it might be time to start culling some of the players who might not achieve the potential.

So another league campaign done, many months now lay before us and next seasons league campaign – in the mean time a retained list is required, and the small matter of going again at the Asian Confed Cup.

Thanks for Reading

Kibworth Bull

Kibworth Bull

Australopithecus would really have been sick of us

Greetings World..

Welcome to the end of my first season in Afghanistan – firstly if you’re wondering what the hell I am talking about then check out THIS which explains the save idea in a bit more detail. This piece will go into detail around the 2019 season for the Afghan Hounds.

Continue reading “Australopithecus would really have been sick of us”

Kibworth Bull

Perfect Perez (at least to me..)

I always feel that the point where a save really gets me is when I start falling in love with regens. I want to use this post to talk about my long term love, Mauro Perez. I am 21 seasons into my work on the Island of Sodor and a constant in this is Sodor born – but with Argentinian lingeage – keeper Perez. 12 years at domestic level, and 16 years at international level.

Continue reading “Perfect Perez (at least to me..)”

Kibworth Bull

Island of Sodor – Every Nation

Background to the Save:

Database : With a lot of help and guidance from @TheFmNewby, I have created a new nation called the Island of Sodor – if you’ve ever watched Thomas the Tank Engine then this will be familiar to you, and if it’s known to you then I hope you said Island of Sodor in a scouse accent – my son is obsessed with Thomas so this seemed a fitting nation – I can’t blame him really as I am equally obsessed, and it also helps that the Wikipedia page has a rich historical story line already invented so it makes my fictional narrative a little bit sweeter. If you’re interested in following my save, then follow me on twitter and you’ll see a nice pinned post that has some old school power point graphics showing what’s going on.

Continue reading “Island of Sodor – Every Nation”
Kibworth Bull

Island of Sodor – 211 to 1

Please welcome the latest guest writer to the Lutterworth Fox empire. (James) Kibworth Bull is a YouTuber turned Blogger. A fantastic writer and I am delighted to add him to the team.

Background to the Save:

Database : With a lot of help and guidance from @thefmnewby, I have created a new nation called on the Island of Sodor – if you’ve ever watched Thomas the Tank Engine then this will be familiar to you, and if it’s known to you then I hope you said Island of Sodor in a scouse accent – my son is obsessed with Thomas so this seemed a fitting nation – I can’t blame him really as I am equally obsessed, and it also helps that the Wikipedia page has a rich historical story line already invented so it makes my fictional narrative a little bit sweeter. If you’re interested in following my save, then follow me on twitter and you’ll see a nice pinned post that has some old school power point graphics showing what’s going on.

Continue reading “Island of Sodor – 211 to 1”