Good morning #TheJenaJourney fans! Welcome back to my #FM15 series where I am managing German side FC Carl Zeiss Jena. I am about to enter my fifth season in charge of the former East German champions, and we have just been relegated back to 2.Bundesliga.
This will be a very short post – kind of a pre-season preamble if you will. This pre-season is going to be vital for me, I need to evolve things slightly to make sure we return to the top tier at the first attempt. Before we go into all that, let me give you a quick reminder of the rules that I agreed with Paul of www.footballmanagercentral.com
- Attributes masked
- No use of player search tool, all signings must be recommended by scouts, staff or agents
- No use of staff search tool, all new recruits must come through the job centre or staff recommendations
- No downloaded tactics, I must devise my own
So what do I mean by evolution? Well, I don’t think massive changes are needed – we got into the Bundesliga playing a certain way and I think we will get back there playing a very similar way – but I’d like to change the tactics slightly so that the way we play this season might do us well when we get promoted again. Also, I think some of the youth team players are going to be ready for regular first team action. Equally, I feel a few of the lads that have been with me for a while might be ready to be let go. No major changes, but we will tweak everything slightly.
Financially, a season in the top tier has set the club up brilliantly for the future. This is how things looked the day after the season ended:
We were on the verge of going bankrupt two seasons ago, so this is amazing progress. Last season I refused to pay any of the players more than £5k a week and I still haven’t spent a penny on transfers to relegation is not going to hit us too hard.
Contracts wise Berbig, Geisler, Luirink and Marcelo all had contracts that were due to expire. Berbig and Geisler had been with me since day one, but I think their time has come to an end. I have some cracking prospects coming through in their positions, and it is time to let them flourish. Luirink has been a main stay for a couple of years now, but again I think it is time to let some kids get a game. Marcelo, well he just hasn’t impressed in two years and is already agreed a move away from the club.
Players that might step up from the youth team, I was going to wait until all loans ended and see how players have progressed. If I am only releasing four first team players I do not need loads, and I will probably end up making a couple of signings too.
My scouts have been working very hard all year, and I think I will unearth quite a few gems between now and the end of the season, depending on who gets released by their club. I’ve got scouts watching “star” rated players in all the positions for the next two months, all of which have contracts that will expire at the end of the season – hopefully they won’t sign new ones and will get released!
That is pretty much all I can report at this stage. Tomorrow I will be back at the end of pre-season, and I will talk you through the signings I have made, our pre-season fixtures and the tactical tweaks and any other major news.
Thanks, as ever, for reading.