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VVV Venlo/Excelsior Open Invitation/Challenge


Rik
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I'v seen many people on these forums talk about the next 'challenge' that they want to take on, but a lot of the time these aren't really tough challenges, but fairly easy ones. I decided that I wanted to take on a really tough challenge, an on scouring the Dutch Championships I noticed that these 2 are available in nearly every setup, and that managers that do take them on tend to leave after only a day or two.

So, I decided to take on VVV Venlo in Dutch Championship 10, to see how well I could do with a club that has a stadium capacity of only 6,000 (Excelsior is 3,500). This means that I have effectively no income other than wheeling & dealing in the transfer market, and a guaranteed struggle for a long time to come.

As usual I sold off the whole squad & rebuilt, with some shocking results along the way. I lost 5 out of my first 6 games, then only 2 wins out of 11, and my reserves even lost 10-1 to Ajax in the cup.

However, what followed this has been a remarkable turn around in fortunes. Shortly afterwards I won 6 out of 7, rising to my current position of 9th (out of 16), and beating FC Twente 9-1, Sparta Rotterdam 8-1 and the millionaires of PSV & Feyenoord 4-1 & 3-1 respectively.

Even with injuries & no expectations, Venlo are great fun to manage & have provided the most exciting results I have experienced in SM. I am aiming for a top half finish and silverware in the future, and hope that the ground will be extended in the future to help me pull this team up from the very bottom to somewhere near the top. I hope other managers will follow me in taking on these minnows in what is a REAL challenge, and this thread is for anyone that wishes to do so.

By the way, it is also a great way to progress to a bigger Dutch team - I have already turned down about 8 job offers.

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