Welcome! Let’s jump right into it. I am unsure if I’ve spoken about my background in any of my FM saves, so let me briefly tell you. My family and I moved to Miami, FL (USA), when I was 12 years old. I was born and raised in Matagalpa, Nicaragua until I was twelve. Why is this important?
While managing Ternana Calcio in FM22, I came across a Nicaraguan ‘wonderkid’ named Jairo Garcia playing in the MLS for Toronto FC. Finding him such a rarity wasn’t just the fact that Nicaragua has quite a low youth rating but that he was also developed at Real Estelí, one of Nicaragua’s more notable teams. Most decent Nicaraguan players that I’ve seen through my time playing FM have been dual citizens, either from Colombia or Spain, but none as good as him.
This transfer sparked the idea of finding and developing Nicaraguan players to help build the country’s youth rating. I realized this would not only take a ton of time but would require me to manage the Nicaraguan national team. So I decided to find a club where I could focus on recruiting and developing Central American players. That club will be Kiruna FF in Sweden’s 4th tier.
Recruitment will be simple. I will focus all my attention on scouting in Central America. Those of you who may not know what countries are part of Central America are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
This will also include any player born outside the isthmus and players with dual nationality. I will also consider bringing in some of my favorite players from the last few FMs. Such players include Titas Krapikas, Joe Hodge, Florian Kruger, Antonio Palumbo, Alfredo Donnarumma, and others.
Lastly, this wouldn’t be a proper Youth Intake save without developing academy players for the first team.
- Sign Central American players without disrupting the balance of the squad.
- Sign players from previous FM saves, if possible.
- Sign Swedish players.
- Develop homegrown academy players.
After digging around, I found that the most significant amount of players playing outside the Central American leagues, Mexican and MLS, were, in fact, playing in the Scandinavian leagues. Although most of them play in Norway, I chose to manage in Sweden because their registration rules are straightforward. The Swedish FA requires a max of 5 non-EU players and a minimum of 9 players in the match squad trained in Sweden.
Kiruna FF is the northernmost club in Sweden. They find themselves in the Arctic circle alongside clubs like Bodø/Glimt, Tromsø IL (Norway), and Rovaniemen Palloseura (RoPS) (Finland), plus many others in lower divisions.
Kiruna has spent most of its history in the lower leagues of Sweden. They spent a few years back in the early 90s in the 2nd tier. Mainly, they’ve yo-yo’d in the 3rd and 4th divisions. In 2009, they were relegated to the 5th division. They are back in the 4th division after being promoted in 2021.
Lastly, Kiruna’s current squad has a diverse group of players. Which was a surprise to me because of the geographical location. Their team features players of dual citizenship and players from Africa, England, and North America.
- Become a stepping stone for Central American players
- Develop homegrown players for the first team
- Win the Swedish title
- Win a European cup
I will be keeping track of the Central American players that have passed through the club to keep an eye on their progress.
As this save will be relatively long, I want to focus on the club’s finances. I will be using A-FM-Old-Timer‘s finance tool from his FM22 Southampton save.
In the next post, which will be once FM23 is released, I will take a look at the club’s finances & infrastructure, squad, and the tactics that I will be using during the save.