Fellow Career Mode and Football Fans!
I bring to you my new and improved Ajax career, thanks to the input from the community to help me make this the most realistic possible Ajax career mode.
Introducing the new manager of AFC Ajax, Hans Holmberg. From Sweden, our manager resembles a Sven-Goran Eriksson with balding hair, suit and tie. The goal is to bring total football in a 433-2 formation, with possession, flair and patient defense being our hallmarks. We set sail heading to Amsterdam for what promises to be a long, successful career. (Roll tape on Vikings theme song, Boom!)
Side notes: Latest squads downloaded 4/24, Legendary Difficulty, sliders from Operation Sports. First summer transfer window disabled. The majority of the first season will be simulated; the important end of season games will be played. Going into my second season and beyond, I plan to play most games, but definitely simulated some as well. Amsterdam Arena- capacity 54,000. Starting Transfer Budget $13m Euros. Average age 21 years old. Captain- Davy Klaasen. Free Kicks- Ziyech/Schone.
Amsterdam Arena to be renamed Johan Cruyff ArenA!
Primary Objective: Youth Development. Goals will be set by the board, likely they will be unrealistic, but not question we will focus on youth development out of our Academy. Therefore we will spare no expense to get the best 3 scouts possible.
Continental Success: Also of critical importance is the return to European football and lifting a trophy at the Europa League! We can obviously make a deep run like Ajax are doing this year, but I will specifically focus on not allowing the super high growth players to remain past 83+ rated (roughly). These are objectives I’ve set for myself. I will absolutely be trying to reach the objectives given to me by the board.
Scouts- Only the best! My first scout to be hired is a double 5 star from Netherlands, naturally he is sent to scout the Netherlands. 6 months with focus on Technically Gifted. 3 star/5 star from Austria, sent to Belgium for 6 months with focus on Attackers. Double 5 star from Sweden, sent to Sweden for 6 months with focus on Physically Strong. If Goalkeepers do not appear in the first months, one scout will be recalled to adjust. A strong production line in Amsterdam will have a full stable of Goalkeepers.
Scouting Reports- Several excellent prospects come through the ranks within 3 months. The prized possession being the towering 6’6” Gunnar Axlesson at CF, hailing from Sweden (Also, quite possibly the coolest name I’ve seen so far!). We have another Swedish player breaking through, a RB/CB at 6’2”. One Dutch CAM and one Belgian RM also look to be fantastic young players. All four were awarded contracts by January, with 2-3 additional players likely to follow suit later in the season.
Squad Review- First off a link to the squad and formation I've chosen to start with:
Players that will be moving on, guaranteed, at the end of the season are Boer, Westerman (who’s retiring), Clement and Alblas. I expect quite a few players will be moving on after this season as well, which could include Ziyech, Klaasen, Tete, Singraven, Riedewald, Serero, Younes, Dijks and of course Traore is on loan. I really don’t want any of these guys to go, but it’s very likely we’ll be without at least 3 key players next season. Of course this means we have to replenish the ranks, promoting from the Youth Aacademy wherever possible. Backup strikers do not appear strong enough, loaning out several and bringing in someone as good as Traore is likely. Carlos Strandberg identified as the primary target.
Key Positions to Scout for Future: LB, RB, CB, CM/CDM/CAM, ST I feel the depth out wide is great; our defense is wonderful but likely can’t keep them all. Our fullbacks will outgrow the club, as their growth potential is likely more than we can handle. A pair of young central midfielders will hopefully be in the mix along with another key striker.
I don’t plan to buy anyone in the January window because we already have everyone that was purchased IRL. The only business that could be conducted would be pre-contract agreements. Other than that we will primarily be loaning players out during the January window for experience.
When I do purchase players I have specific criteria, again authentic experience being my main goal
Countries: Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Serbia, South Africa, Belgium, Morocco and Columbia. Heavy focus obviously on Netherlands, this is not a complete list as others are possible but this is primarily where recent players have called home.
Price: Low of course. Young, cheap players that will develop is the key strategy. Sometimes we pluck the best talent from the Eredivise and splash a little bit there, but still should be under $10m Euros. The trend recently has been to spend a little more money ever since the Sulemanji days. Spending has increased since then, but this is not a top 5 league with tons of money to spend.
Likelihood they’ll join: a few former players have a chance to re-join, including Huntelaar and Blind next season. Otherwise we must select from smaller leagues, like the Scandinavian ones and Belgian Jupiler. Once again the goal is to avoid buying from bigger leagues, rather we find our talent from the smaller leagues of Europe primarily.
My Shortlist (Which is long.Not just for the 1st season but long term, contract end dates noted):
Jonas Svensson RB- ends 2021. Denzel Dumfries RB- ends 2018. Desevio Payne RB –ends 2017. Jeremiah St. Juste CB- ends 2018. Felipe Carvalho CB- ends 2017. Bubacarr Sanneh CB –ends 2017. Rivaldo Coetzee CB – starts as free agent. Jan Bednarek CB- ends 2020. Alex Gersbach LB –ends 2019. Guilherme Costa Marques RM/LB- ends 2018. Ludwig Augstinsson LB- ends 2019. Derrick Luckassen CM- ends 2018. Daley Blind LB/CB/CDM- ends 2018. Kristoffer Ajer CDM/CB –ends 2017. Renan Bardini Bressan CAM- ends 2017. Ayoub CM- ends 2018. Louis Schaub CAM/RM- ends 2020. Rafik Zekhnini LW/RW- ends 2018. Sebastian Perez CM – ends 2022 Carlos Strandberg ST- ends 2017, on loan. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar ST-ends 2017. Dragowski GK –ends 2021. Lovre Kalinic GK –ends 2021. Lukas Hradecky GK- ends 2018. Guillaume Hubert GK- ends 2017. Ethan Horvath GK- ends 2021.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Please let me know if you have any feedback at all. Cheers!