Welcome to the (re-)start of my first ever blog series called Dutch Dreams!
As some of you may know, my first save file broke at the start of the 2020/21 season. After some reconsideration I came to the conclusion that simply restarting the save would probably be the wisest decision. All blogs related to the broken save have been deleted in order to avoid any kind of confusion for all concerned.
With that being said, lean back, relax and enjoy this introductory post!
Dutch football had always been associated with legends of the game, both on and off the pitch. For the last five years however, it seemed to be in a downwards spiral it had never experienced before. They missed out on the European Championship 2016 and the 2018 World Cup altogether.
This spiral ultimately led to the dutch first division, the Eredivisie, losing their guaranteed CL-group stage spot for the 2017/18 season. They haven’t been able to regain that spot since.
Some incredible European nights produced by Ajax Amsterdam last season gave me so much joy and reignited my interest in dutch football beyond the spotlights of the European Competitions. It was truly heartwarming to see these guys out there on the pitch, just enjoying themselves whilst also playing some beautiful football against European powerhouses like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.
The Netherlands are renowned for producing world class managers, have a competitive first division, whilst also putting a emphasis on developing youth players. After previous stations in Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and England, this feels like the perfect time to finally manage a club in the Netherlands.
Welcome to Dutch Dreams, welcome to FC Volendam!
The club is based in Volendam, a small town with a population of roughly 22.000 people that is located some kilometres north-eastern from Amsterdam.
Throughout their 99 years of existence FC Volendam have mostly been considered to be a yo-yo club, as they got relegated nine(!) times from the Eredivisie since 1960.
Their last relegation from the top flight of dutch football came in the 08/09 season. In other words, they have been stuck in the second division (currently called Keuken Kampioen Divisie) for the last decade, their longest ever promotion drought.
The club colours are orange and black. Due to the similarities of the clubs colours and the colours of the dutch national team, their nickname is “Het andere Oranje” (engl. “The other Oranje”).
The stadium is named Kras Stadion and has been FC Volendams home stadium since 1975. It can hold up to 7.000 supporters and is close to the city centre of Volendam.
Like many dutch clubs, FC Volendam has a decent youth academy and integrates youth players into the senior squad on a regular basis. This is supported by the fact that they are one of the rather few teams in dutch professional football who have a second team.
This series is called Dutch Dreams for a reason. In this case dreams are referred to as goals, not as mind games going on during ones sleep.
As is often the case with the dreams you and I have, dreams may change or adjust with time. This is no different in this series. Some dreams may suddenly appear, some may be adjusted at some point, some may disappear completely.
There will be some dreams at the start in order to give you and me a rough orientation where we’re trying to go moving forwards.
Some dreams are short term based others are constant or long term.
Our first few dreams are to:
- integrate at least two youth players under the age of 21 into the senior squad each season (minimum: 900 minutes per player)
- achieve promotion to the Eredivisie
- improve the clubs finances
- win the Eredivisie-title
In general dreams can come true in any order, but there are some exceptions to the rule (e.g. you can’t win the Eredivisie without getting promoted to it in the first place).
As for my character, I’ll be taking on the managerial role as José Silva. The by now 35-year-old Portuguese was the star man in my FM19 save with Famalicao. Throughout his career he has been considered to be an elite striker as he could score with both feet and his head whilst also assisting his teammates on a regular basis. Naturally, he always enjoyed playing attacking football much more than anything else. José’s footballing philosophy is rather simple; as long as you score more goals than your opponent, you’re fine. He will try to implement a similar style of football at FC Volendam in order to make the Dutch Dreams come true.
It’s exciting times in Volendam!
Can the former Portuguese international striker bring success to a club that seems allergic to it?
Which dreams will come true in Volendam during his tenure at the club?
What challenges will he be facing along the way?
All of these questions and many more will be answered during our stay! Feel free to join us on the ride! 😀
Feedback is always welcome, please get back to me by writing a comment or give me a heads up on the FM Slack!