Lifting Wales #1: a touching test

1: Intro

Let’s be straight, football managers are most definitely not altruistic when it comes to sharing success with other managers. Instead they are tigers, stalking weakened prey ready to dive in for the final death-dealing bite (for this read Klopp in his 5 nil destruction of United yesterday, the 24th October 2021) or they pace around their prey from the shadows and study them for familiar patterns that they can exploit like Bielsa peeping over the fence to see the secret hidden cuts of their upcoming opponent’s gib. I would hazard a guess that they are also disinterested about the development of the league in their pursuit of theirs (and ultimately their club’s) long term trophy-lifting aims.

That said, one thing they definitely do not do is seed their competitor’s teams with their best newgens in the hope of increasing said team’s European stature, increase European competition places and thus improve the league over a period of say 10 years or more.

But that, dear readers, is about to change (in Wales at least). Welcome to my new football manager 2022 save which I have decided to call “Lifting Wales”, where I shall attempt to raise their European coefficient over a period of 10 years or more with the aim of more Euro places, more money and of course, a much better standard of football in the nation as a whole.

2: What is a Euro Coefficient?

Put simply, Euro coefficients are the numbers used to determine how many places a nation has + entry level + the individual club seeding in the various UEFA competitions at the start of each season. They come in two flavours, the “Club” coefficient which is each single club’s score (that also affects seeding) and the “Association” coefficient which is that nation’s total from all clubs, both of which are shown as accumulated totals from the last 5 years of participation, as per these club + association scores for Wales:

Wales Club coefficients
Wales Association coefficient

When it comes to allocating each club’s points, while it starts simple it can get a little complicated as different bonuses are applied but essentially this wiki snapshot is a good summary:

That said, while on holiday recently in literally the same week FM22 was released I decided to have a play around with the FM21 touch version, which although being bloody excellent has sadly been discontinued by SI in the 2022 edition.

The main advantage of testing on fmtouch like this is it very fast to play, with even an instant result button that is perfect for such tests (as I want to get to the European stages quickly each season). In addition, last year’s edition was as close to the full fat version as it ever was, so all the coefficients can be viewed just as normal.

3: Up the Druids!

After some thought and a little Twitter advice from peeps who had done similar challenges ..

.. I decided that the best way was not to choose the most obvious team The New Saints (aka TNS), who smash the league every year and always qualify. In fact I extended this to exclude any of the usual top 4 teams as they were clearly already getting a few points by themselves without any help.

After some research therefore and following my usual historical interest I decided to go for one of the oldest Welsh clubs, formed in 1872 and called Cefn Druids (nickname the Ancients) who for some odd reason are listed as being formed in 1992 in FM!

As this was only a test to see if it was viable I won’t bore you with the regular save updates of who I signed etc at this point and a results rundown (except to say if anyone here ever does a Welsh save please, please remember to sign Jack Wilson from Haverfordwest who scored 37 in 32 in our first season! The boy is a beast in FM21 at least).

After playing for 5 years with 3 cups, 2 x league 2nds and the other league finishes all top 4 to my name, plus those all important Euro II cup entries I was pleased to say that I got this lovely little notification, proving it was indeed possible!

After a little more investigation I also discovered this progress chart (under Europe/nations/nation club coefficients if you want to check it on your save), aided by my Cefn Druids’ results in the Euro competition:

On the same page there is also a qualification places listing so you can see exactly what you get for your points.

4: So where too now?

The full fat version of the challenge is now clearly the way to go, which as it will take a lot longer than this FMtouch test smashhrough should be a really interesting adventure. However I am going to add the guidelines to make it more interesting and ultimately achievable:

1. THE JOURNEYMAN ANGLE: I will reserve the right to journeyman and switch clubs within Wales when I feel the need. REASON: the low amount of money in the league overall combined with the fact the AI won’t know what I am trying to do means it is likely they won’t improve their facilities enough to get better results in Europe, no matter how many good newgens I send them. Therefore I may need to hop around to do saves within saves to advance them.

2. SPREADING THE WEALTH: Try and seed other teams with good, spare players and newgens either free or on loans to enable them to challenge better in Europe.

3. KEEP AN EYE ON THE NATIONAL TEAM: I will have a secondary long term aim to improve the National team with players from the Welsh League, though I suspect that this will only come if I truly do make the league as good as the Premier League, which may take some time! (NOTE: as you would expect, the national rankings and Euro coefficients are entirely different metrics though it would be nice for one to indirectly affect the other come the end of the save).

5: And finally ..

Just to show how pretty darn good the FM community is here is a tweet sent by the top lad Jonathon Foster after I had put out that advice request, absolutely brilliant response, many thanks dude.

So there you go chaps, I look forward to starting the save proper so please join me along for the ride!

Best wishes and happy FMing,

Daz aka @fmheathen everywhere.

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