It’s customary now to see the usual posts get released ahead of the new version of the game containing recommendations for teams you should manage. These are quite often very similar. So taking inspiration from my good friend, Keysi Rensie, I’ve noted down a few ideas of teams you could go on Football Manager 2017, should you want to venture to my homeland, Scotland.
I’ve included one recommendation from each tier (not including the Highland or Lowland leagues, as presumably, they won’t be available to play in without a tweak). A couple of them might be obvious, but will still be a good challenge to attempt!
Scottish League Two
Scotland’s capital now has a third football club in the SPFL, and they are Edinburgh City. After winning the Lowland League last season, Edinburgh City defeated East Stirling in a playoff and became the first club to be officially promoted to League Two since the introduction of the pyramid system. They’d previously attempted to join the league system a couple of times before, losing out to Gretna when Airdrieonians went bankrupt, and to Annan when Gretna themselves ceased to exist.
The club play their matches at the city’s Meadowbank Stadium, built for the Commonwealth Games in the 70s, and used again for the ’86 games.
They haven’t made the best start to the season, they’re yet to win a match, so it sounds like it could be quite the challenge. Are you up for taking the SPFL’s newest club all the way to the Premiership?
Scottish League One
“Ludere Causa Ludendi” – to play for the sake of playing. Scotland’s only amateur club playing in the SPFL, and the oldest club in Scotland. Do I need to give you any other reasons why you should go them in Football Manager?
Okay then. They were the inventors of ‘tiki-taka’ back in 1872. They play at the country’s national stadium, Hampden Park. They’ve helped the production of some players with potential, Lawrence Shankland, Blair Spittal and none other than Andy Robertson, to name a few. After having won promotion via the playoffs last season, they’re now playing in League One for the 2016/17 season.
Can you make it to the Premiership whilst implementing a tiki-taka style of play in a huge stadium with a team of young amateurs?
Finally! Their Scottish Cup hoodoo is broken after they lifted the trophy last season for the first time since 1902.
As Scottish Cup holders, you’ll also have an early start to the season in the Europa League qualifiers. The club crashed out against Brondby in the non-FM world, can you do better than Neil Lennon?
A Premiership club in all but name, as the cliche goes, you’ve got the infrastructure in place, in terms of both facilities and players, to make an instant impact. The pressure will be on from get-go though, as that elusive return to the top tier has so far alluded the club since their relegation a couple of seasons back. Keeping a hold of Jason Cummings and John McGinn could be central to the success you bring to Easter Road.
Bear with me on this one, okay?
It’s the obvious pick, and they have been quite an obvious choice for an FM save for the last 3 years as they worked their way up the divisions. Rangers are now back in the top tier of Scottish football, and if the non-FM world is anything to go by, they’ve got a big challenge on their hands to dethrone Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic.
After their demotion to the bottom tier, they missed a huge opportunity to try and kickstart a youth revolution. Instead of giving young players a chance to play and develop, the club brought in mediocre and expensive older players to get them up the leagues. On FM, everything is in place for you to start this revolution now. Great training and youth facilities, a big stadium with a huge support behind you, and Joey Barton (lol).
On paper, you should be finishing in the top 2 in your 1st season and getting the club back into hallowed European competition. From there, can you wrestle the Premiership title from your arch rivals?
Those are my initial suggestions for a Scottish save on FM17. I’m planning to move out of my Scottish comfort zone on the new game but what other clubs would you suggest with an interesting backstory? Let me know on Twitter!