SC Verl – Season #1: Part 1

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first season at SC Verl. In this post we will take a look at the squad and tactics for the save.


With the first transfer window disabled, I had to rely on what I was given and wait to see where I needed to reinforce in January. With no transfer budget and 2.7k in wages, there’s not much I’ll be able to do.

As mentioned in my Intro, I enjoy having a small 1st team and one of the goals of the save is to maintain the 1st team squad at 22 (1st team ready) players. The team I inherited had some decent players for 3. Liga. I mixture of youth, veterans, and club legends.

Matthias Haeder, Julian Stockner, Robin Bruseke & Nico Hecker have been at the club for years. They will the players that I will rely on and if possible I will like to keep them at the club until they retire, with the idea of adding them to the coaching staff.

The club also brought in a couple of experienced players such as Justin Eilers & Zlatko Janjic. They will be slotting right into the starting lineup and hopefully be able to use their professional personalities to mentor some of the younger players.

They also brought in a great amount young players such as Berkan Taz, Julian Schwermann, & Lasse Jurgensen. Some of these young players will be sent out on loan if I can’t find a place for them as they are not ready for the 1st team.

Further down, the youth teams have no depth. Our U19s has no players, I will have to wait until April for our youth intake. Verl II (2nd team) has two players, with some decent potential and I will be sending anyone that needs game time here.

With all that said… in terms of natural playing positions, the team itself is not as balanced as I would have liked. A lot of the players are incredibly versatile, every player can able to cover at least 2 or 3 positions. This is probably the most versatile team that I’ve ever managed in FM.

Versatility may be helpful at times, but at the moment we don’t have much depth in a couple of positions. The immediate problem is midfield, with only one natural central midfield player (Philipp Sander, on loan from Holstein Keil), I am currently scouting the free market for a couple of young midfielders, hoping to bring one of two the second the transfer window is over. In the meantime, our DMs will provide cover in the midfield. In extreme circumstances, Berkan Taz & Zlatko Janjic are able to give a bit of cover in midfield if playing a more attacking role. Left-wing isn’t much of an issue since most of our wingers & forwards being able to provide decent cover down both wings.

Below is the first team depth chart based on natural positions in order of current ability and possible starting lineup.

SC Verl – 2020/2021 Squad Depth Chart


“Philosophy…” The more I say it in my head the less I believe that there is such a thing.

Some of the inspiration I take is from Sir Alex Ferguson as I believe his teams played with such intensity and relentlessness (Man Utd fan here, who would have thought, right? haha). With Sir Alex gone, nowadays I have a couple of managers that I like such as Diego Simeone, Marcelo Bielsa, and Ralph Hasenhüttl, whose Southampton side reminds me of those great Sir Alex teams (especially the fact that they play a 442).

I spent most of this year’s Beta playing with Southampton trying to recreate Hasenhüttl’s tactic. I also work on other tactics that can help us throw off oppositions when they were getting used to our 442. I came up with the following three formations, all with the same idea. Press, tackle hard, counter (nothing new here). How I use these three tactics depends on what formation the opposition will be using. Let’s take a look.

442 – This tactic will be used against teams playing a 4231.

In attack, the two forwards will switch sides though out the game, as well the two wingers. Hopefully, this will create the opposition defense some confusion when marking/tracking players.

When defending, the False 9 will mark one of the CMs with the other being CM being marked by the Mezzala. Our DLP will mark their AM. This will create a sort of 4-1-4-1.

433 – This tactic will be used against teams playing a 442.

In attack, the wingers will switch sides.

No other player duties added when defending.

4231 – This tactic will be used against teams playing a 433 or any of formation that uses 3 defenders at the back.

In attack, our AF and AP will switch places to create some space for our IFs who will also switch sides through the game.

When defending, our AP will mark their DM when the opposition plays a 4-3-3. If the opposition plays with 3 at the back, then our AF & two IFs will mark their center backs. With our CWBs in attack, they should be able to cover the wide areas.

All of it makes sense in my head, let’s see how it goes when putting it to work. In the next post, I will be discussing pre-season and the first half of the season.

Feel free to let me know if these posts are way too long or if you’re enjoying them. Until next time, thank you!

Thank you to all for the support these last few days. Y’all are awesome.


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