Post by Dirk Nowitzki on Jun 17, 2020 9:15:23 GMT
ASEC Mimosas - Introduction
After being inspired by Dale and Nick to start a save in Africa for the first time of my FM career, I decided to travel to Ivory Coast and take over ASEC Mimosas, the famous talent factory. I will try to utilize the youth setup to bring ASEC back to winning the African Champions League, which they managed to do once in 1998. ASEC Mimosas play their games in the Stade Félix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan with a capacity of 45,000 people, and the stadium is currently being renovated so it becomes an all-seater for the Africa Cup in 2023.
ASEC play in the MTN Ligue 1, the Ivorian top flight that features only 14 teams who will play each other twice. Whilst ASEC is the biggest club in the country and the board expects me to win it, SO Armée are the current league holders and need to be dethroned. Our biggest rivals, Africa Sports, have slipped a bit recently and haven't won the league since 2011, after which they never finished higher than 4th. Domestically there is the Coupe de Côte D'Ivoire and another useless cup that I removed to make place for more continental games. Those of you who follow the Your Game Discussion Thread may have seen that I created 4 regional continental cups, for North, Southern, West and Central/East Africa. Each cup contains the 64 teams that finished highest in their respective leagues from that specific region. The number of teams can be seen here.
There are 8 groups of 8 teams for each cup, and teams from the same country can not be in the same group. Only the team that finishes first proceeds to the next round, so it is actually not that easy to qualify for the knock-out stage. There are some big differences in strength between leagues, so holidaying to test the cups thaught me that losing just one game can already hurt your chances a lot. The 8 group winners will then play a knock-out stage on neutral grounds (a selection of the largest ones in the region), so each knock-out round is only one game. At the end of the season, all regional champions play each other in a semi final and final, to determine the winner of it all. Besides this, The African Champions League and Confederations Cup still exist, and are both more reputable than the regional competitions. Given that ASEC is already the biggest club in the country, I hope that the continental side of things will keep me interested for a long time.
The ASEC squad is not that strong but certainly has enough depth as the first team squad consists of 29 players. All of them are on expiring deals though, so I get to shape the squad to my likings quickly. Since I mostly plan to rely on players coming through my academy I'll likely keep most of them around for a bit though. I will use a tactic I created at Palermo and is actually made for world class players, but it produced great results and beautiful football so I hope this translates well to African football too.
The board expects me to win the league, which should certainly be doable but with only 26 games there is not much room for error. The cup is deemed unimportant and the board also hasn't put too much importance on the newly created West Africa Challenge Cup, but they expect me to reach the quarter final. In the Champions League demands me to reach the group stage, which is done by winning two rounds of qualification games. This will be a hard task given my bad luck in the draw, but more on that in the next post.