Football Manager

Kilkenny City AFC #001: Laying the groundwork

The more I get to play Football Manager 2021, the more I find myself looking at saves, simulations, test environments and the rest.

In working up a scenario for involving Carlow Kilkenny FC (League of Ireland hopefuls, in a few years anyway), I got to thinking about the Kilkenny City save.

For one, it’s based entirely on the history of the club, that moment in time where they resigned from the league in 2008 and, as if time were frozen since then, they’ve been parachuted in exactly as they left.

With creating scenarios for Carlow Kilkenny FC, I began looking at replicating their youth set up, including their U19 teams, training facilities, cups and relationships that have been forged over the past few years.

Treaty United are another example, a club hopeful of filling the spot currently open in the real world for the League of Ireland’s SSE Airtricity First Division.

While I haven’t gone as deep (for the current setup anyway) as recreating the Kilkenny & District League in order to have some kind of feeder system or pool of available local players for the club, I have reworked a few things in terms of giving the club

  • Access to funds in the region of €100,000 for the bank plus a rolling kit sponsorship deal in the region of €10,000
  • Access to “below average” training facilities and youth facilities
  • Reinstatement to Buckley Park, its capacity left at 6500 as per the database (avg attendance is 2-3 figures)
  • The inclusion of a new U19 squad to mirror the setup available to clubs locally
  • Inclusion of correct local media outlets to add a bit of local colour to the game including KCLR,, the Kilkenny People, Community Radio Kilkenny City, Kilkenny Observer and The Football Manager Football Show.
  • Zero players, everyone’s got to come in from the available local market.
  • Granting the club professional status. It’s 2021 after all.

All of this work is done in the pre-game Football Manager 2021 editor; there will be no use of the in-game editor.

One challenge spurs another

The save needs some challenges to get going along.

My intent was (in January when looking at this save in particular) to bring European football to Buckley Park, if even for one night only. That would be mission accomplished, the documentary could end there, the credits would roll and we’d all move on.

Then in setting up the leagues pre-game I thought something longer term might be more interesting, but you’d be talking 20 years longer term. The only leagues I’m playing with are the “home nations” as you might find in rugby – Ireland (north and south), England, Scotland and Wales. Fourteen leagues from five nations all told. No Argentinian wonderkids (we’ll save those for the #FMFshow series), no interest or care for applying for jobs in Germany or Italy.

With the five nations in there, and having had a look at some of the actual FM challenges (check your Steam/Epic profile for details) I figured a decent challenge would be to win a domestic cup or league with a team from each of the five nations, but ultimately end up back at Kilkenny City.

Now, that seems fairly lofty, but it would make for some story.

My intent though is simple. Whatever happens, bring a night of European football to Kilkenny.

All that said and done, let’s get on with the series…

The next post…

Next up in the series (later this week) is the first day on the job – what are we looking for, what’s the tactical fit, how are we approaching pre-season and will we be ready for the springtime kick-off?

Keep me posted?

Now that we’re into February, into the Football Manager Football Show and into the save, I’ll be posting updates on the blog, via Twitter and through the podcast for

PS: You can subscribe to The Football Manager Football Show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or wherever you do your podcast listening.

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