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Season Twelve, Part 2

Postby Audioslavia » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:37 pm

KT Laranjauzia
(Luja Stadium, Laranjauzia)

1. Iker Saucedo (35, G , AUD)
2. Kemen Arenaza (31, D R, AUD)
3. Fortun Ansotegi (35, D L, AUD)
4. Estebe Antxustegi (32, DM C, AUD)
5. Edorta Mondragon (19, D C, AUD)
6. Ixaka Lizarzaburu (18, D C, AUD)
7. Inácio Castro (19, M RC, AUD)
9. Galin Alejandro (32, F C, AUD)
10. Domeka Zabala (31, M/F CR, AUD)
11. Zorian Linazasoro (25, M LC, AUD)
12. Diego Parrilla (34, M L, AUD)
13. Kieran Lorenzen (22, D L, AUD)
15. Xabat Urrestilla (22, D/M RL, AUD)
16. Nicolò Scarpaci (26, DM C, AUD)
19. Zorian Ytuarte (18, G , AUD)
20. Álvaro Valdovinos (34, F C, AUD)
21. Satordi Bastida (33, F C, AUD)
22. Michel Saint François (18, D R, AUD)
mng. Ramon Goicoechea (62, D C, AUD)

Newly promoted KT Laranjauzia are the only National League team with an all-Audioslavian line-up, and are another team who have been defying expectations this season. Favourites to go back down, the side have instead pulled themselves up to tenth place this season, with young winger Inácio Castro the highlight. They go into this week’s game hopeful of a point against reigning champions Cazadores…

Matchday 20
KT Moreazerua 0–0 Bombarralense
Oljestaden IF 2–2 1830 Cathair
KT Koroatuz 0–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Laranjauzia 1–0 Cazadores Cathair
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 KT Itzalovalle

…and get so much more. Castro’s fifteenth minute cross finds the head of experienced striker Galin Alejandro who powers home for 1-0, and scoreline stays as such until the final whistle. Rook Cathar is furious with his side, who are looking far off the pace compared to last season.
Cazadores Cathair
(El Ruedo, Cathair)

1. Hardcheese (34, G , DAI)
2. Jerquaad (24, D CR, DAI)
3. Aurelio Saez (30, D L, AUD)
4. Bryton Menheniot (26, DM C, APX)
5. Salvador Monterroso (28, D C, AUD)
6. Inteali Koranjo (19, D C, VIL)
7. Creidne Lindauer (28, F C, BRE)
8. Dane Pridgeon (22, M C, COS)
9. Aranha (30, F C, DAI)
10. Olimpia Vidal (27, F C, CMT)
12. Aloha (24, F C, DAI)
13. Cristos Harding (30, D C, EFL)
14. Francis Sutherland (21, M L, HVY)
15. Giorgio Gucci (24, M L, MRC)
16. Christian Armani (23, M R, MRC)
17. Guifré Menez (21, D/M R, AUD)
18. Azaim (21, M C, SHT)
19. Gaizka Etxenoz (27, M RL, AUD)
21. Mikhail Gerardo (23, F C, MRC)
22. Iago Cacho (22, DM C, AUD)
23. Theold Bracewell (29, G , NPH)
25. Jirijii Januaa (39, D LC, VIL)
28. Claudio Casimiro (17, M C, AUD)
Mng. Rook Cathar (49, F RLC, NPH)

Colours: Dark red shirts with black and gold trip, dark red / black shorts, black socks.

Audioslavian Champions: 2
Audioslavian Cup Winners: 1


So where has it gone ‘wrong’ for Caza (for a given value of ‘wrong’, they’re firmly in contention for one of the league’s four IFCF spots)? Well, although Rook Cathar has made signings in the transfer window, the purchases have largely been to add depth to the squad. Azaim and Harding are improvements on previous backup players, but the first team remains unchanged since last season, and the rest of the league has figured out the Caza playbook by now, which Cathar has failed to update.

They were exploited by Laranjauzia last week, who shut up shop and cut off the supply line to Vidal and Lindauer. Surely this week, against bottom-of-the-league Koroatuz, they’ll fare better?

Matchday 21
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 KT Laranjauzia
Cazadores Cathair 2–2 KT Koroatuz
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–2 Oljestaden IF
1830 Cathair 3–1 KT Moreazerua
AC Izotz Zubia 3–1 Osarese Marcadia

Nope. Though Caza take the lead, two goals before half-time stun the champions and they trudge back down the tunnel to be treated, no doubt, to Cathar’s hair-dryer. Casimiro and Azaim take the field in the second half over Cacho and Menheniot, and it’s the former who supplies Olimpia Vidal with the equalizing goal. Caza go off in search of a winner that they fail to find, and the side fall into sixth place behind Oljestaden, victorious over Calcio Sicurezza Elfi.

Elsewhere, Mozi continue to struggle, dominated by 1830 Cathair. A side of Mozi’s stature should really be in the top eight, but they emphatically aren’t. You know who are?
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
(Stadio Oromë, Trentina)

1. Ibrahim Mathisen (33, G , VAL)
2. Pablo Maia (29, D C, AUD)
3. Naim Nabhani (31, D LC, AUD)
4. Santiago Canez (31, D/M C, AUD)
5. Gustav Marinussen (33, D CR, VAL)
6. Fredrik Pettersen (24, D C, VAL)
8. Ethan Floch (32, M C, AUD)
9. Dennis Våge (27, F C, VAL)
10. Qamar Wardak (32, F C, AUD)
11. Indra Söderström (18, M L, VAL)
12. Havelock Hennings (31, F C, AUD)
13. Elijah Magri (26, M C, AUD)
14. Fredrik Skotnes (27, M RL, VAL)
15. Karsten Carullo (30, D/M R, AUD)
16. Dylan Bain (26, D C, AUD)
17. Sergi Cambra (29, M/F C, AUD)
18. Yvete (33, M/AM C, DAI)
20. Santino Romero (32, F C, AUD)
21. Archald Aguilar (26, M C, AUD)
22. Tober Nijboer (29, G , AUD)
Mng. Axel Tufte (52, VAL)

Colours: White shirts with sky-blue trim, white shorts, black socks

Every year, pundits project CSE to go back down to the second tier, and every year they’re made to look very silly. As Sicurezza take to the field against struggling KT Moreazerua, they’re eighth in the table and just three points away from the ChC spots.

Matchday 22
Osarese Marcadia 2–0 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
KT Moreazerua 1–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Oljestaden IF 0–3 Cazadores Cathair
KT Koroatuz 0–0 KT Itzalovalle
KT Laranjauzia 1–4 Shamrock Cathair

The side more than match Mozi and are unlucky not to take victory after Hennings’s scuffed attempt at a finish in the dying moments of the game.
1830 Cathair
(Arena Kirola, Cathair)

1. Goran Stroud (20, G , AUD)
2. Andries Nijland (29, M R, AUD)
3. Minne van Schelven (24, D C, KOR)
4. Stani Gröss (24, DM C, ZRH)
5. Jack Menard (19, D C, EUR)
6. Niko Szubanski (34, D C, BRE)
7. Steve Erickson (29, AM C, HAP)
8. Liam Armstrong (32, M C, EUR)
9. Pristina Shine (33, F C, EQS)
10. Thorsten Kramer (26, M/AM C, STL)
11. Rickson Marañón (31, AM LC, AUD)
12. Leona Rafford (31, D R, NPH)
13. Tucunduvá (35, G , DAI)
14. Aymeric Fortin (25, F C, VLD)
15. Tryfon Vlahilades (25, D L, VDR)
16. John Lomax (34, D RC, AUD)
17. Ainsley Gibson (32, D L, AFT)
19. Puristina Shinra (27, M C, HIN)
20. Dean Sharp (33, F C, EUR)
21. Shakira Handris (30, F C, PFA)
22. Alessio Roda (18, D LC, AUD)
23. Michael Jensen (20, D R, AUD)
24. Armand Cariou (16, M C, AUD)
27. Xaime Medal (22, AM L, TEQ)
Mng. Lee Sharp (70, F C, EUR)

Colours: White and blue striped shirts, white shorts, white socks

Domestic Honours:
Audioslavian Champions: 12

COCANEFA Champions: 5
CopAnaia Winners: 1

International Honours:
UICA Champions Cup / IFCF Champions League: 2
UICA Super Cup / IFCF Super Cup: 2
Cup Winners’ Cup: 1
Tropicorp Super-cup: 1

Audioslavia’s most successful team, 1830 Cathair have come back stronger after their disappointing third-placed finish last cycle. Vlahilades, Fortin and van Schelven are welcome additions to the first team, while young Euran centre half Jack Menard has forced his way into the first eleven and goalkeeper Goran Stroud has proven worthy of the number one jersey foisted upon him by manager Lee Sharp.

After working hard to overcome their seven point deficit to Zozi over the course of those three games before the halfway stage, while fighting it out on the Cup Winners Cup and Champions League fronts at the same time, Cathair have to sit and watch their rivals pull ahead again, with a fallow period of three matchdays without having a ball to kick. Lee Sharp’s squad will get some well earned rest and get their calculators out. They will need to fight back all over again come the end of the season.

Matchday 23
Shamrock Cathair 5–1 KT Koroatuz
KT Itzalovalle 2–1 Oljestaden IF
Cazadores Cathair 1–2 KT Moreazerua
KT Ferramendiak 0–1 Osarese Marcadia
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–4 AC Izotz Zubia

Matchday 24
AC Izotz Zubia 1–1 KT Ferramendiak
Osarese Marcadia 3–1 AS Marcadia
KT Moreazerua 0–0 KT Itzalovalle
Oljestaden IF 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
KT Koroatuz 0–0 KT Laranjauzia

Matchday 25
KT Laranjauzia 1–2 Oljestaden IF
Shamrock Cathair 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Bombarralense 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
AS Marcadia 1–3 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Ferramendiak 1–1 Isle of Kjeligsted FC

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 18 13 3 2 38 15 +23 42
2 1830 Cathair 16 12 2 2 39 13 +26 38
3 Shamrock Cathair 19 12 2 5 42 19 +23 38
4 KT Itzalovalle 19 10 5 4 19 14 +5 35
5 Oljestaden IF 20 10 2 8 33 30 +3 32
6 Cazadores Cathair 18 9 3 6 35 23 +12 30
7 KT Moreazerua 20 5 7 8 16 22 −6 22
8 Osarese Marcadia 19 6 4 9 29 41 −12 22
9 Bombarralense 16 5 6 5 17 21 −4 21
10 KT Ferramendiak 17 4 6 7 24 29 −5 18
11 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 17 5 3 9 16 22 −6 18
12 KT Laranjauzia 19 5 3 11 15 25 −10 18
13 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 17 4 4 9 11 22 −11 16
14 KT Koroatuz 19 2 7 10 19 40 −21 13
15 AS Marcadia 16 2 5 9 16 33 −17 11

Six points is the gap at the top, with Cathair having two games in hand and a slightly better goal difference. Behind them, Shamrock are level on points but, having played three more games than their city rivals, have realistically fallen out of contention for now. Itzi are chugging away in fourth, with Oljestaden in the dizzying heights of fifth place largely due to the exploits of Spijkers, who has become the season’s breakout star. Caza continue to fall off the pace, but who are those teams in joint-seventh place? Despite gaining only five wins over the course of twenty games, Mozi are somehow up into the Challengers’ Cup spots, with Osarese Marcadia having turned things around just behind them, but to their rear are a train of clubs that have played fewer games and are within reach of both Mozi and OM.

At the bottom, AS Marcadia have played the fewest games, and it’s perhaps for that reason that they lie behind Koroatuz, but all the same thirteen place is looking increasingly beyond I Marchetti’s grasp.
(Estadio das Trevas, Bombarral)

1. Uolleys (30, G , DAI)
3. Muuna Kentar (36, D L, MRN)
4. Mario Valentini (36, D/DM C, AUD)
5. Szescõ Erôss (18, D C, PAS)
6. Beck Clayborn (30, D C, BRE)
7. Leon Davis (26, F C, HVY)
8. Tray Mohaupt (26, M C, SPM)
9. Jinpachi Mishima (27, G/D/DM C, HIN)
10. Martí Calderon (26, F C, TEQ)
11. Jordi Valeri (26, M LC, AUD)
12. Daczibog Ketadzic (31, D C, SRS)
13. Vanessa Way (34, D LC, BRE)
14. Cody Fraser (31, M C, AUD)
16. Maxil Girou (34, D C, MRN)
18. Victor Collar (30, F C, AUD)
19. Ambrosia Chance (35, M CL, BRE)
20. Craig Harris (22, D C, HVY)
21. Benjamin Beffa (33, F C, AUD)
23. David Africa (23, G , AUD)
Mng. Guillem Rodas (39, AUD)

Eletti Valligiani and Artiglieria are two teams that exploded up to the top flight of international football and reached UICA/IFCF football in their first season. After a few years, their exits from the top flight were similarly spectacular. Bombarralense had a similarly bombastic (if you pardon the pun) entrance in season ten, finishing seventh and pushing for an IFCF spot until the very end, and followed on with another similarly impressive seventh placed finish last season, but are wary of following the same path as EV and Artiglieria. They don’t look in danger of being relegated this season, but will need some special performances to propel themselves into the IFCF spots for the first time.

Matchday 26
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–0 AS Marcadia
AC Izotz Zubia 1–2 Bombarralense
Osarese Marcadia 1–4 1830 Cathair
KT Moreazerua 2–0 KT Laranjauzia
Oljestaden IF 0–0 KT Koroatuz

And how’s that for something special? Tequilo striker Marti Calderon smashes a late winner to silence the home crowd, whose lead over 1830 Cathair at the top of the table is halved. The Bombers may not be as high in the table as last season, and still have a strange little squad, but they are proving that they can be more than a match for any team on their day.

At the bottom of the league, AS Marcadia’s drab draw with Isle of Kjeligsted puts the light-blues in further trouble, and there’s more on the way for the eastern side.
AS Marcadia
(Stadio di Via Montegrappa, Marcadia)

1. Fortune Cammers (20, G , EFL)
2. Erik Silberg (30, D R, AUD)
3. Amarzi George (24, D L, MRC)
4. Lance Bensom (23, D C, BRE)
5. Antonio Dragutin (24, D C, MRC)
6. Vega Lage (30, D/M RCL, AUD)
7. Simos Arvanitakis (20, AM RL, FHU)
8. Davide Lauri (27, M C, AUD)
9. Caceres (34, F C, DAI)
10. Menderchuk (31, F C, DAI)
11. Corey Aonen (31, F C, VLZ)
12. Giovanni Fanara (31, D C, AUD)
14. Minka Kranevitter (32, M R, NPH)
15. Adão Monserrate (34, D C, AUD)
16. Francesc Monzo (22, M LC, AUD)
17. Jarrod Di Virgilio (29, M/F RL, AUD)
18. Mattia Cicale (22, M C, AUD)
20. Salvatore Del Pozzo (36, AM LC, AUD)
21. Edoardo Del Conte (22, M C, AUD)
Mng. Mauro Bianchi (61, M CR, AUD)

Colours: Sky blue shirts with a black circle on the chest, white shorts, white socks

Audioslavian Cup Winners: 1

Matchday 27
KT Koroatuz 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–3 Osarese Marcadia
1830 Cathair 0–2 AC Izotz Zubia
Bombarralense 2–1 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
AS Marcadia 0–1 KT Ferramendiak

Marcadia are awful in defeat to KT Ferramendiak, and will have to double their win-count for the season so far in order to make up the points in their two games in hand. The strike partnership of Menderchuk and Caceres simply hasn’t been working, and Corey Aonen’s injury is preventing Mauro Bianchi from making any useful changes. The manager’s time at Marcadia will be up unless he can turn things around quickly.

Elsewhere, AC Izotz Zubia bounce back to crush 1830 Cathair at the Arena Kirola in a hugely important game at the top of the table, with Baume and Butler combining for both goals.
Matchday 28
KT Ferramendiak 0–1 Bombarralense
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 1–1 1830 Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Osarese Marcadia 3–1 Cazadores Cathair
KT Moreazerua 4–2 Oljestaden IF

Matchday 29
KT Itzalovalle 2–2 Osarese Marcadia
Cazadores Cathair 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–0 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
1830 Cathair 2–1 KT Ferramendiak
Bombarralense 2–1 AS Marcadia

Matchday 30
AS Marcadia 1–2 1830 Cathair
KT Ferramendiak 0–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 1–2 Cazadores Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–2 KT Itzalovalle
Osarese Marcadia 1–4 Shamrock Cathair

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 23 16 4 3 46 19 +27 52
2 1830 Cathair 21 15 3 3 48 19 +29 48
3 Shamrock Cathair 20 13 2 5 46 20 +26 41
4 KT Itzalovalle 21 10 7 4 23 18 +5 37

5 Cazadores Cathair 21 10 3 8 38 28 +10 33
6 Oljestaden IF 22 10 3 9 35 34 +1 33
7 Bombarralense 20 9 6 5 24 24 0 33

8 KT Moreazerua 23 8 7 8 23 24 −1 31
9 Osarese Marcadia 24 8 5 11 39 53 −14 29

At the top of the table, neither Cathair nor Zozi can afford any slip-ups, but both manage just seven of the possible nine points over these three games, with Cathair still feeling the pain of their derby defeat as they succumb to a dreadful 1-1 draw against Isle of Kjelisged. Zozi, three games later, are held by rivals KT Itzalovalle as their lead is reduced to just four, with Cathair having two games in hand on the men in salmon and silver.

Behind them, Shamrock and Itzi are off the pace for the title fight but are in the box seats for qualification to the Champions League, with Caza, Ojestaden and Bombarralense all on thirty-three points. Mozi and Osarese Marcadia may have played more games than most, but their form has turned around and both sides are fighting to get into contention for those Challengers’ Cup places.
Matchday 31
KT Laranjauzia 2–2 Osarese Marcadia
Shamrock Cathair 1–1 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Itzalovalle 3–0 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
Cazadores Cathair 2–1 KT Ferramendiak
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–0 AS Marcadia
1830 Cathair 5–0 Bombarralense

The National League            Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 24 16 5 3 47 20 +27 53
2 1830 Cathair 22 16 3 3 53 19 +34 51
3 Shamrock Cathair 21 13 3 5 47 21 +26 42
4 KT Itzalovalle 22 11 7 4 26 18 +8 40

5 Cazadores Cathair 22 11 3 8 40 29 +11 36
6 Oljestaden IF 22 10 3 9 35 34 +1 33
7 Bombarralense 21 9 6 6 24 29 −5 33

8 KT Moreazerua 23 8 7 8 23 24 −1 31
9 Osarese Marcadia 25 8 6 11 41 55 −14 30

None of the Cathair clubs are giving up just yet. Cathair obliterate Bombarralense by five goals to nil, with Thorsten Kramer scoring twice, Steve Erickson, Rickson Marañón and somehow Leona Rafford scoring the others. Caza overcome Feri via goals from Frank Sutherland and Olimpia Vidal, while Shamrock have the better of their game with AC Izotz Zubia but can’t find the winning goal. For Zozi fans, their lead may have slipped from four points to two, but the result is very much seen as one point gained rather than two lost.
Matchday 32
Bombarralense 3–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
AS Marcadia 0–2 Cazadores Cathair
KT Ferramendiak 0–0 KT Itzalovalle
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–1 Shamrock Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–1 KT Laranjauzia
Osarese Marcadia 1–0 KT Koroatuz

The National League              Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 25 17 5 3 49 21 +28 56
2 1830 Cathair 22 16 3 3 53 19 +34 51
3 Shamrock Cathair 22 14 3 5 48 21 +27 45
4 KT Itzalovalle 23 11 8 4 26 18 +8 41

5 Cazadores Cathair 23 12 3 8 42 29 +13 39
6 Bombarralense 22 10 6 6 27 31 −4 36
7 Oljestaden IF 22 10 3 9 35 34 +1 33

8 Osarese Marcadia 26 9 6 11 42 55 −13 33
9 KT Moreazerua 23 8 7 8 23 24 −1 31

AC Izotz Zubia make the most of 1830 Cathair’s day off and extend their lead at the top, but it was close. Zozi are knocked out of the Champions League in mid-week and it’s a makeshift side that take the field on Sunday evening to stumble over the line via a goal from Coridai. The other two Cathair clubs both play, and both are solid, with Thor Møller grabbing the only goal of the game away to Isle of Kjeligsted and Creidne Lindauer scoring a brace to defeat AS Marcadia.
Matchday 33
Oljestaden IF 1–4 Osarese Marcadia
KT Koroatuz 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Laranjauzia 1–0 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
Shamrock Cathair 2–0 KT Ferramendiak
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 AS Marcadia
Cazadores Cathair 1–1 Bombarralense
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 1830 Cathair

The National League              Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 26 18 5 3 50 21 +29 59
2 1830 Cathair 23 17 3 3 54 19 +35 54
3 Shamrock Cathair 23 15 3 5 50 21 +29 48
4 KT Itzalovalle 24 11 8 5 26 19 +7 41

5 Cazadores Cathair 24 12 4 8 43 30 +13 40
6 Bombarralense 23 10 7 6 28 32 −4 37
7 Osarese Marcadia 27 10 6 11 46 56 −10 36

8 Oljestaden IF 23 10 3 10 36 38 −2 33
9 KT Moreazerua 23 8 7 8 23 24 −1 31

Zozi are in a strange position. In any normal league, a side being five points clear at the top with two games to play would be pretty confident of taking the title, but Zozi have only two more games to play compared to Cathair’s five, and there’s no doubt as to whether Cathair can keep the pace. A workmanlike win over CSE is recorded, with Xaime Medal beating Ibrahim Mathisen at the near post for the only goal of the game. All Zozi can do is keep winning and hope their rivals slip up, and a tired AC Izotz Zubia defeat Koroatuz by a single Eurico goal to nil.

Shamrock, of course, aren’t out of it yet, and their new look side has only been stronger since bowing out of IFCF football. They sweep Ferramendiak aside with a cool first-half performance with Fergus Sloan and Yohan Miller tearing their opponents asunder down the wing.

In the battle for that final IFCF Champions League spot, Cazadores slip up, though in truth Rook Cathar’s side are fortunate to snatch a draw from Bombarralense, for whom Szescö Erôss, Maxil Girou and Muuna Kentar are in solid form at the back, and only a last-ditch equaliser from Giorgio Gucci is enough for a single point. Fortunately for Cathar’s Cathair, fourth-placed KT Itzalovalle fare worse. Much, much worse.

The National League              Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
10 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 24 6 5 13 20 31 −11 23
11 KT Ferramendiak 24 5 7 12 27 37 −10 22

12 KT Laranjauzia 23 6 4 13 19 31 −12 22
13 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 25 4 7 14 14 32 −18 19

14 AS Marcadia 23 3 7 13 19 40 −21 16
15 KT Koroatuz 23 2 8 13 19 43 −24 14

AS Marcadia are still in the relegation places, but their victory over Itzi, via Simos Arvanitakis’s near-post finish, lifts them up to fourteenth and within striking distance of Kjeligsted.

Further up, neither Feri nor Sicurezza are safe despite having spent much of the season in mid-table. There is a definite divide in the league, here, with eight points separating ninth from tenth, yet only one point separating tenth from the Relegation Playoffs and five separating ninth from Challengers’ Cup football next season.
Matchday 34
1830 Cathair 2–2 Cazadores Cathair
Bombarralense 1–2 KT Itzalovalle
AS Marcadia 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
KT Ferramendiak 1–1 KT Laranjauzia
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–1 KT Koroatuz
AC Izotz Zubia 0–1 Oljestaden IF
Osarese Marcadia 1–2 KT Moreazerua

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 27 18 5 4 50 22 +28 59
2 1830 Cathair 24 17 4 3 56 21 +35 55
3 Shamrock Cathair 24 16 3 5 52 22 +30 51
4 KT Itzalovalle 25 12 8 5 28 20 +8 44
5 Cazadores Cathair 25 12 5 8 45 32 +13 41
6 Bombarralense 24 10 7 7 29 34 −5 37
7 Oljestaden IF 24 11 3 10 37 38 −1 36
8 Osarese Marcadia 28 10 6 12 47 58 −11 36
9 KT Moreazerua 24 9 7 8 25 25 0 34

As with last cycle, Osarese Marcadia’s season ends earlier, having played all their twenty-eight games with four gameweeks still to go. Unfortunately for Le Fenice, they’re defeated at home to KT Moreazerua and will miss out on Challengers’ Cup football next season despite their heroics in reaching the quarter-finals this time out. The season ends on a sort of high, however, as the fans demand Fabio Mancini come and see them after the game, not to complain about the result, but to applaud their player-manager who, from now, will be known simply as ‘manager’. Just shy of his fortieth birthday, the legendary Mancini hangs up his boots for good.

Oljestaden’s win condemns OM to a season without IFCF football, and what a win it is. In front of an increasingly infuriated Izotzazubian crowd, they defeat the title challengers by a single Erwin Spijkers goal to nil. The weekend is ruined for Zozi fans, but Monday evening turns out better than expected. Title rivals 1830 Cathair host Cazadores knowing that a win would decrease the gap to two points. Aymeric Fortin’s brace before half-time looks to put the Capital Club on their way, but their city rivals aren’t done, and pull a goal back through a Cristos Harding header on forty-eight minutes. Cathair, typically fitter than their opponents, begin to tire through the sheer tension and Olimpia Vidal strikes late on to halt the Teatimers’ march.

Nevertheless, Caza lose sight of fourth place as KT Itzalovalle edge past Bombarralense in an equally tight encounter. Taeshani striker Wilhelm Nkitilina Tray Mohaupt’s early strike and sets up Gabirel Zozaia for the winner.[/pre]
Matchday 35
KT Moreazerua 0–2 AC Izotz Zubia
Oljestaden IF 0–1 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
KT Koroatuz 0–1 KT Ferramendiak
KT Laranjauzia 0–1 AS Marcadia
Shamrock Cathair 3–2 Bombarralense
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 1830 Cathair
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi

The National League            Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 28 19 5 4 52 22 +30 62
2 1830 Cathair 25 18 4 3 57 21 +36 58
3 Shamrock Cathair 25 17 3 5 55 24 +31 54
4 Cazadores Cathair 26 13 5 8 46 32 +14 44

5 KT Itzalovalle 26 12 8 6 28 21 +7 44
6 Bombarralense 25 10 7 8 31 37 −6 37
7 Oljestaden IF 25 11 3 11 37 39 −2 36

8 Osarese Marcadia 28 10 6 12 47 58 −11 36
9 KT Moreazerua 25 9 7 9 25 27 −2 34

It’s a huge day at both ends of the table. AC Izotz Zubia finish their season with a victory, and a very hard earned one at that over local rivals KT Moreazerua, who themselves are chasing Oljestaden for that final ChC spot. Thomas Butler is in fine form once again, crossing for Carrick to score the first and drawing a penalty after Marwyn Asterisk grabs two handfulls of his shirt as the young Northwest Kalanian darts into the penalty area. Wilfried Baume converts the penalty, and Zozi will finish the season on sixty-two points. Since the start of the fifteen-team top-flight era of the National League, no championship winning side has ever scored more than fifty-nine. If Cathair can close the gap it’ll be a bitter blow for the men in salmon and silver.

Cathair, though, show no signs of slowing down, and Thorsten Kramer roars his team to a one-nothing win over CL-chasing Itzalovalle to maintain the gap at a surpassable four points. With three games still to play, this is already Cathair’s second best season of the fifteen-team era. All they need is a win, a draw and to not be battered too much in defeat in order to claim yet another title.

In defeat, Itzi lose out to Cazadores in terms of the race for the Champions League, with Caza’s Olimpia Vidal again on target as they beat Calcio Sicurezza Elfi.

The National League            Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
10 KT Ferramendiak 26 6 8 12 29 38 −9 26
11 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 25 6 5 14 20 32 −12 23
12 KT Laranjauzia 25 6 5 14 20 33 −13 23
13 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 27 5 7 15 15 33 −18 22
14 AS Marcadia 25 4 7 14 21 42 −21 19
15 KT Koroatuz 25 3 8 14 20 44 −24 17

It’s an enormous day at the bottom of the table, too. AS Marcadia’s fans chant we’re staying up after defeating fellow relegation candidates KT Laranjauzia, but their party is urinated on that afternoon as Isle of Kjeligsted do something they barely ever do: Beat their local rivals. Challengers’ Cup-chasing Oljestaden are overcome in their own stadium, with fans vehemently booing a poor performance.

Elsewhere, the writing appears to be on the wall for Koroatuz, who lose out to Ferramendiak. Their fans are informed that they should ‘enjoy Tout-Puissant Hasiera away, you *****s’. They are unlikely to enjoy that.
Matchday 36
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 KT Itzalovalle
1830 Cathair 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
Bombarralense 6–2 KT Laranjauzia
AS Marcadia 3–0 KT Koroatuz
KT Ferramendiak 1–1 Oljestaden IF
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–1 KT Moreazerua

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 28 19 5 4 52 22 +30 62
2 1830 Cathair 26 18 4 4 58 23 +35 58
3 Shamrock Cathair 26 18 3 5 57 25 +32 57
4 KT Itzalovalle 27 13 8 6 29 21 +8 47

5 Cazadores Cathair 26 13 5 8 46 32 +14 44
6 Bombarralense 26 11 7 8 37 39 −2 40
7 KT Moreazerua 26 10 7 9 26 27 −1 37

8 Oljestaden IF 26 11 4 11 38 40 −2 37
9 Osarese Marcadia 28 10 6 12 47 58 −11 36

…”AND THE TITLE RACE HAS BEEN BLOWN. WIDE. GOD. DAMN. OPEN” goes the commentary. Shamrock fans are utterly delirious, with long-time hero Alexander Crewe coming off the bench and kerblamoing a rocket of a shot past Goran Stroud for a last-minute winner. Not only does this hinder their city rivals a lot going into the last two games, it puts Shamrock in the title fight themselves. Two wins would see the men in green leapfrog AC Izotz Zubia into first place, but they need 1830 Cathair to slip up again.

They are joined in celebrations by Zozi fans, but the Izotzazubians know that, chances are, one of these teams will finish with their noses ahead.

Elsewhere, Caza’s day off means that Itzi can steal a march on their opponents with a win, which they duly get via Moses Moxey.

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
10 KT Ferramendiak 27 6 9 12 30 39 −9 27
11 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 26 6 5 15 20 33 −13 23

12 KT Laranjauzia 26 6 5 15 22 39 −17 23
13 AS Marcadia 26 5 7 14 24 42 −18 22

14 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 28 5 7 16 15 34 −19 22
15 KT Koroatuz 26 3 8 15 20 47 −27 17

AS Marcadia thrash KT Koroatuz by three goals to nil to finally, finally propel themselves out of the relegation places and all but condemn Kozi to the second tier.

Their cause is helped by Isle of Kjeligsted who, playing their final game of the season, are defeated by KT Moreazerua, whose near-namesake Morea Zozetua volleys home on fifty minutes. IoK are all but doomed. They now need AS Marcadia to lose their final two games in order to stay up on goal difference.

A point for Marcadia in either of their final two games would relegate Kjeligsted but, technically, not yet Koroatuz…
Matchday 37
KT Moreazerua 0–1 KT Ferramendiak
Oljestaden IF 2–2 AS Marcadia
KT Koroatuz 2–1 Bombarralense
KT Laranjauzia 1–2 1830 Cathair
Shamrock Cathair 2–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Itzalovalle 1–1 Cazadores Cathair

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
10 KT Ferramendiak 28 7 9 12 31 39 −8 30
11 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 27 6 5 16 20 35 −15 23

12 KT Laranjauzia 27 6 5 16 23 41 −18 23
13 AS Marcadia 27 5 8 14 26 44 −18 23

14 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 28 5 7 16 15 34 −19 22
15 KT Koroatuz 27 4 8 15 22 48 −26 20

Marcadia’s hard-earned draw with Oljestaden relegates Isle of Kjeligsted, but Kozi’s miraculous win over Bombarralense puts Kozi technically within sight of thirteenth. They will need a huge victory - and/or a huge defeat for either Calcio Sicurezza Elfi, Marcadia or Laranjauzia - to stay up. Who do they play on the final day? 1830 Cathair. Away. Speaking of Cathair…

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 28 19 5 4 52 22 +30 62
2 1830 Cathair 27 19 4 4 60 24 +36 61
3 Shamrock Cathair 27 19 3 5 59 25 +34 60
4 KT Itzalovalle 28 13 9 6 30 22 +8 48

5 Cazadores Cathair 27 13 6 8 47 33 +14 45
6 Bombarralense 27 11 7 9 38 41 −3 40
7 Oljestaden IF 27 11 5 11 40 42 −2 38

8 KT Moreazerua 27 10 7 10 26 28 −2 37
9 Osarese Marcadia 28 10 6 12 47 58 −11 36

Zozi fans know that defeat for Shamrock and 1830 Cathair would give them the league title this weekend. Okay, only the most optimistic of Zozi fans. Both sides win, although the Teatimers leave it late before Pristina Shine pops up in the area to side-foot the winner home for all three points.

Shamrock’s two-nil defeat of Calcio Sicurezza Elfi, with Thor Møller scoring either side of half-time, ensures it will be a three-way battle for the league title on the final day. They will require all three points, and for Cathair not to win, in order to take the title.

In fourth place, Cazadores Cathair play KT Itzalovalle and fail to win, but taking all three points in their final game will certainly put them back into the Champions League for next season.

So. Caza and Shamrock both desperately need a win.

Guess who they’re playing on the final day?
Last edited by Audioslavia on Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Season Twelve, Part 3

Postby Audioslavia » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:47 pm

<EXT: A beer garden behind a very expensive looking bar in Cathair. Shamrock manager ROHAN CAMMERS is sipping on a pint of beer. He’s wearing a Shamrock tracksuit and a pair of aviator sunglasses. He looks ridiculous. Also looking ridiculous is Cazadores manager ROOK CATHAR, sitting next to him, but he looks ridiculous for different reasons. Cathar is wearing a suit. Someone of Cathar’s size should not wear a suit, and someone with Cathar’s short blonde-turning-white hair should definitely not be wearing a cream coloured suit. The only thing not white is his face, which is gradually turning red from the summer heat. He looks like an embarrassed SIberian tiger in an 80s Miami bar. He is holding a stein glass full of beer.

Sitting across from them is Jeremy Jaffacake, who has a cigar sitting in an ashtray and is sipping a glass of whisky. With ice. On the rocks. And an umbrella. And a straw.>

ROHAN: It’s an improvement on last season. Third place, well ahead of Cazadores, fighting for the title. It’s a shame we couldn’t put this run of form together sooner.

ROOK: It’s been a strong season for you, I’ll give you that. You had the measure of us in our first game. It’s a good side you’ve got.

ROHAN: I imagine you’ll be admiring our victory at the weekend, too.

ROOK: {calmly} Don’t push it.

ROHAN: Right you are. You guys have been good as well. You’re five, eight points worse off than you should be, given the team you’ve got, given that you’re pretty much the same squad that won the championship last year.

ROOK: We won the league last year with 57 points. We’re on 45 right now. I’d say we’re ten or fifteen points shy of where we need to be. That said, if we got 57 points this year we’d be… fourth. Which is where I imagine we’ll be after our game tomorrow.

ROHAN: {failing to be as intimidating as Rook) Don’t push it.

<ROOK gives ROHAN a dose of side-eye>

JEREMY: Regardless of the result, will 1830 Cathair slip up against KT Koroatuz?

ROHAN: Honestly, every time I remember that it’s Koroatuz they’re playing I lose hope

ROOK: I really can’t see Cathair losing, or even drawing. Kozi have been poor.

JEREMY: Except last week.

ROOK: Except last week, but that was Oljestaden they’re playing. This is Cathair.

JEREMY: And there’s no chance of Caza… stepping aside? Anything to stop 1830 Cathair from….

ROOK: I’ve told you before. We don’t kneel.

JEREMY: Which is rather why you’ve been under fire after the police brutality incident in…

<For our own sanity, we leave the conversation here>

<INT: The away changing room. El Ruedo, Cathair. Home of Cazadores Cathair>

ROHAN: We’ve been here before, boys. A win away from the title. This time, it’s not in our hands. You might play your socks off this afternoon and scunner them and it mightn’t be enough. But play your socks off you have to. This is the final game of the season. We’ve worked so hard. Don’t walk away from this match with anything left in the tank. You’ve got all summer to recover. Give me your best. Give them your best. No quarter. No regrets. The Shamrock way. Okay boys?

TEAM: *general loud grunting*

<INT: The home changing room. El Ruedo, Cathair. Home of Cazadores Cathair>

ROOK: I swear to fuck if any of you give the ball away I’ll strangle you.

TEAM: Yes boss.

…under way here as Shamrock, in green, attack the goal to your right. Cazadores in dark red are going left…
…down the left and he’s got the better of Marzan, it’s Colm O’Tuathail here for Shamrock! Lays it to the edge of the area where Corby Wheeler is arriviiiiiing SAVED by Bracewell! What a stop that is from the Nepharan. It was hit close to him but he sprawled and beat the ball clear, and it’s a warning sign for Cazadores…
…Cazadores won’t qualify for the Champions League if the scores stay the same, they desperately need a goal. Shamrock won’t win the league unless they score, they too desperately need a goal…
…a goal in Cathair, there’s been a goal in the Arena Kirola, and it’s KT Koroatuz! Down and out? Not a bit of it! Abarrotz Zumalakarregi has scored, they remain in the relegation places, but a large defeat for either Marcadia or CSE or Laranjauzia, who play each other…
…miscommunication there and it’s Sutherland, played early for Olimpia Vidal! Vidal! Pridgeon, it’s through for Lundauer! Great chance this! Lindaueeerrr no! Dragged wide! Oh so close, and the away fans breathe a sigh of…
…reprieve for KT Koroatuz as that goal is chalked off for offside, and it’s a reprieve for Shamrock too but they desperately need a goal…
…GOAL GOAL in Cathair! It’s TWO-NIL to KT Koroatuz! Would you believe it! It’s Val Pavon! As it stands Cathair won’t win the title. As it stands Shamrock won’t win the title! Zozi fans, are you watching? Are you cowering behind your sofa? It’s looking more and more like..
…like-for-like substitution for Cazadores as Menheniot limps off. Azaim replaces the midfielder. It’s a blow for Caza but Azaim is just a dangerous a…
…a dangerous chance here! Frank Sutherland is away, there’s support to his right, he doesn’t use it! He’s past Miyazawa, it’s SUTHERLAND No! Saved well from Bombidillyo! Fans of AC Izotz Zubia rejoice, as do fans of Itzalovalle! It’s not often those two agree on anything…
…make anything of this game so far, as half-time comes and it’s nil-nil. Shamrock and Caza will receive their orders in the dressing room for what promises to be a mouth-watering second half of football…
…second half at Arena Kirola and we have a goal. It’s 2-1. It’s Thorsten Kramer with a captain’s goal. They need two more to seal the lead but, if things stay all square at El Ruedo even one goal would…
…GOOOAAAL! OH WHAT A GOAL Where did that from? Where did that come from?! It’s Corby Wheeler from distance! He had space! He didn’t even look up, he just liked the odds and it’s buried into the bottom corner with Theold Bracewell sprawling. Shamrock are in the lead and as it stands, the title will be going to the Glass Bridge Stadium this afternoon….
…title will be delivered to the winner via helicopter, currently stationed in the centre of Cathair, but will it be going to El Ruedo, home stadium of reigning champions Cazadores, to be given to Shamrock or will it be going, as it so often does back to Arena Kirola?…
…at the Arena Kirola and it’s bad news for AC Izotz Zubia, it’s Thorsten Kramer again! It’s 2-2! Koroatuz’s dream looks to be over but more importantly, for the title at least, it puts Cathair above AC Izotz Zubia but below Shamrock Cathair
…for Shamrock Cathair! Goal! No! Off the line! What defending that was from Inteali Koranjo…
…tackled by Koranjo…
…and again Koranjo keeps Shamrock at bay…
…starting to get a foothold in the game here…
another attack for Cazadores as Shamrock get deeper and deeper into their own box…
…into the box from Pridgeon but that’s headed clear from Osborn…
…clear from Osborne again…
…and Logan Osborn again gets in the way, and it’s a corner for Cazadores…
…another corner for Cazadores as we roll over to the ninetieth minute, Shamrock defending for their lives, every away fan in attendance glued to their phone, to the radio, hoping, praying that 1830 don’t…
…don’t believe it! I don’t believe it! Thorsten Kramer! Thorsten Kramer the captain! How has he missed that! It was straight to him, the defence wrong-footed, and he’s sliced it wide with the goal at his mercy!…
…Kieran Docherty and Aron McKenna on for Shamrock, two defenders on for two forward men, O’Tuathail going off, Rosewing going off, it is Das Boot inside the Shamrock penalty area…
…one more minute of added time…
…thirty seconds…
…just ten more seconds left. Two seasons ago. Two seasons ago Cazadores denied Shamrock a title win with a goal in the last minute of added time. Mikhail Gerardo it was on that occasion, the young Mercedinian, but Gerardo is still on the bench here. Compatriot Gucci isn’t, though, and here’s Gucci, crossed in, headed away by Jawallawalla, Jirijii Januaa gets to the rebound what’s he doing so far forward? Januaa to Pridgeon, Lindauer! Blocked! IT FALLS FOR OLIMPIA VIDAL! VIDAAAAAAL!
OLIMPIA VIDAL SCORES! Cazadores have done it again! Cazadores have denied Shamrock the league title at the… at the…
…it’s offside! It’s offside the linesman… the assistant referee is waving and the referee has seen it! It’s going to be chalked off! The home crowd are silenced! The Shamrock faithful are celebrating like they’ve scored a goal and… and.. and the full-time whistle blows
Rohan Cammers punches the air, Vocani and Crewe leap on his shoulders on the touchline. Shamrock have done it! Or have Shamrock done it? They’re still playing at Arena Kirola…
…at Arena Kirola the crowd roaring their team on. It’s another corner, taken by Rafford, Kramer is there! No! Headed away by Feliu, Kozi clear, it’s back towards Jack Menard… he miscontrolls it! The referee is looking at his watch! The Cathair crowd scream in frustration! Menard boots the ball towards the area, it’s high, it’s met by Kramer but the ball skims off the captain’s shoulder blades, and a deflection and… AND… AND… AND TRYFON VLAHILADES AT THE FAR POST! IT’S A KILLER BLOW! IT’S A KILLER BLOW FOR CATHAIR! IT’S THE LEAGUE TITLE FOR 1830 CATHAIR! The helicopter! The helicopter is changing direction!…

…and ironic cheers from the home crowd. The Shamrock players stand with their heads in their hands. They were so close. Just like two seasons ago they were this close. Just like two seasons ago it’s their arch rivals 1830 Cathair who take the title, and it’s their final-day opponents, their other arch-rivals who have the last laugh. Cazadores 0, Shamrock 1, but 1830 Cathair 3, KT Koroatuz 2, and the league title will be heading there again, and will it be the first of a remarkable treble season for Cathair?

Matchday 38
Cazadores Cathair 0–1 Shamrock Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–2 KT Laranjauzia
1830 Cathair 3–2 KT Koroatuz
Bombarralense 5–1 Oljestaden IF
AS Marcadia 0–2 KT Moreazerua

Shamrock had no realistic chance of getting the league title just a few games ago but this still feels like another title that has gotten away from the men in green. Itzalovalle finish fourth and will play in the Champions League once more. Cazadores Cathair’s attempt at retaining their title never really got going, and they finish fifth.

In being thrashed by Bombarralense, Oljestaden drop out of the top seven thanks to Moreazerua’s defeat of AS Marcadia. For all their early-season woes, Mozi have attained Challengers’ Cup football once again.

At the bottom, Marcadia’s escape is almost complete, but they face a relegation playoff between themselves, Calcio Sicurezza Elfi and the third and fourth placed teams in the second flight: Sobrevolante and Santa Margarida

The National League               Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 1830 Cathair 28 20 4 4 63 26 +37 64 IFCF Champions League
2 Shamrock Cathair 28 20 3 5 60 25 +35 63 IFCF Champions League
3 AC Izotz Zubia 28 19 5 4 52 22 +30 62 IFCF Champions League
4 KT Itzalovalle 28 13 9 6 30 22 +8 48 IFCF Champions League

5 Cazadores Cathair 28 13 6 9 47 34 +13 45 IFCF Challengers’ Cup
6 Bombarralense 28 12 7 9 43 42 +1 43 IFCF Challengers’ Cup
7 KT Moreazerua 28 11 7 10 28 28 0 40 IFCF Challengers’ Cup

8 Oljestaden IF 28 11 5 12 41 47 −6 38 VCI
9 Osarese Marcadia 28 10 6 12 47 58 −11 36
10 KT Ferramendiak 28 7 9 12 31 39 −8 30
11 KT Laranjauzia 28 7 5 16 25 41 −16 26

12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 28 6 5 17 20 37 −17 23 Relegation Playoff
13 AS Marcadia 28 5 8 15 26 46 −20 23 Relegation Playoff

14 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 28 5 7 16 15 34 −19 22 Relegated
15 KT Koroatuz 28 4 8 16 24 51 −27 20 Relegated

National Two                      Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Excelsior Zijweg 38 25 7 6 58 21 +37 82 Promoted
2 CdF Celtade 38 24 6 8 60 24 +36 78 Promoted

3 Sobrevolante 38 22 6 10 64 28 +36 72 Promotion Playoff
4 Santa Margarida 38 22 6 10 50 29 +21 72 Promotion Playoff

5 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 38 20 7 11 49 40 +9 67
6 The Oran 38 19 9 10 64 38 +26 66
7 Laranjeiras 38 16 10 12 51 48 +3 58
8 Hibernação 38 16 8 14 54 46 +8 56
9 Tenth Star Hasiera 38 16 6 16 38 42 −4 54
10 C.D. Portobranco 38 15 8 15 42 43 −1 53
11 Silexhera FC 38 13 13 12 41 41 0 52
12 Corações 38 15 7 16 40 46 −6 52
13 Burdoc Ridge 38 15 5 18 37 42 −5 50
14 Eletti Valligiani 38 12 11 15 36 39 −3 47
15 Crossport Dynamo 38 12 10 16 30 40 −10 46
16 Alistoun Academicals 38 12 9 17 35 48 −13 45
17 Necromarinai 38 8 8 22 30 52 −22 32
18 CdFS Ilheiros 38 9 3 26 26 62 −36 30
19 Sporting Clube Marinheiros 38 8 5 25 31 59 −28 29
20 2130 Calolziolungho 38 5 8 25 32 80 −48 23

Kirola Cup Preliminary Round
Ross Railway 1–1 Lemmitania State FC (1–1 AET) (4–5 pen.)
Glasgar Rebels 0–0 Vidrieros (0–0 AET) (4–2 pen.)
Valens AV 0–0 PLFC (1–0 AET)
KT Ferratzaileak 0–1 Cerejeiras
Orquideas 0–1 Maccabi Hasiera
Coile Owls 0–1 Frecce
Coile Blades 1–2 Viking Hryggur
Calcio Lecho 1–2 Fundición
CF Cruceros 1–0 Deportivo de Puerta Cruz
Steelworks 1–1 Viking Halehavn (1–1 AET) (3–4 pen.)
Clockwork FC 1–0 Glasgar Royals
Valderantia United 2–1 Ceilerden Harp
Kirola Cup
CF Herradores 3–0 Shamrock Cathair
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–1 CdFS Ilheiros (2–1 AET)
Excelsior Zijweg 2–1 Huiszwalluw FC
CdF Celtade 1–1 KT Koroatuz (1–1 AET) (3–5 pen.)
Silexhera FC 0–3 Alistoun Academicals
Crossport Dynamo 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia
Maccabi Hasiera 0–1 The Oran
Sporting Clube de São Jeremías 0–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi (0–0 AET) (7–8 pen.)
Uniao Tortuguita 1–0 Eletti Valligiani
AS Marcadia 1–0 Osarese Marcadia
Sobrevolante 2–1 KT Kanpoldelko
CF Cruceros 2–2 Oljestaden IF (4–3 AET)
KT Moreazerua 1–2 1830 Cathair
Bombarralense 0–3 2130 Calolziolungho
Artiglieria 2–0 Cerejeiras
DDM Dunas Secas 0–3 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
Sporting Clube Marinheiros 1–0 Glasgar Rebels
Viking Halehavn 0–1 Guerrilla Cathair
Valens AV 1–0 Fundición
Ceilerden Rovers 2–1 Clockwork FC
SC Laivanrakentajas 0–2 Crossport Mariners
C.D. Portobranco 2–0 Lemmitania State FC
Viking Hryggur 0–3 Union Cathair FC
KT Ferramendiak 1–2 Hibernação
Iron Brewery 3–3 Kitherwell (4–4 AET) (4–2 pen.)
Frecce 0–1 Valão
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 Tenth Star Hasiera
Santa Margarida 1–0 Reina Del Sud
Laranjeiras 0–1 Necromarinai
Corações 2–1 Sparta Zijweg
Burdoc Ridge 1–2 KT Laranjauzia
Cazadores Cathair 1–1 Valderantia United (2–2 AET) (3–0 pen.)
Kirola Cup
AC Izotz Zubia 3–1 The Oran
Santa Margarida 2–4 Alistoun Academicals
CF Herradores 0–0 Excelsior Zijweg (0–0 AET) (2–4 pen.)
C.D. Portobranco 2–4 Necromarinai
Crossport Mariners 0–0 Artiglieria (1–0 AET)
AS Marcadia 1–1 Iron Brewery (1–1 AET) (2–4 pen.)
1830 Cathair 1–0 KT Itzalovalle
Corações 0–1 Isle of Kjeligsted FC
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Uniao Tortuguita 0–2 Union Cathair FC
CF Cruceros 2–2 Sobrevolante (3–3 AET) (4–1 pen.)
Guerrilla Cathair 1–0 Hibernação
Valão 0–1 Ceilerden Rovers
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 2130 Calolziolungho
KT Koroatuz 1–0 KT Laranjauzia
Valens AV 1–2 Sporting Clube Marinheiros
Kirola Cup
Iron Brewery 0–4 CF Cruceros
Guerrilla Cathair 0–1 Ceilerden Rovers
Sporting Clube Marinheiros 4–1 Excelsior Zijweg
Crossport Mariners 1–0 Necromarinai
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 1–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Cazadores Cathair 0–0 AC Izotz Zubia (0–0 AET) (3–4 pen.)
KT Koroatuz 0–1 Union Cathair FC
1830 Cathair 2–0 Alistoun Academicals
Kirola Cup
1830 Cathair 4–1 Ceilerden Rovers
CF Cruceros 4–4 AC Izotz Zubia (5–4 AET)
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–2 Union Cathair FC
Sporting Clube Marinheiros 3–0 Crossport Mariners
Kirola Cup
CF Cruceros 1–0 Sporting Clube Marinheiros
1830 Cathair 0–0 Union Cathair FC (0–1 AET)
Kirola Cup
CF Cruceros 0–2 Union Cathair FC

It is… the most bizarre Audioslavian Cup final in history. The Kirola Cup is no stranger to second tier teams winning it - look at Osarese last season or Eletti Valligiani in season one of the National League, but to have a final contested by two teams from the third tier of Audioslavian football is, frankly, ridiculous. In a final that is high on drama but a little shorter on talent than you’d expect, Union Cathair defeat CF Cruceros to win the Kirola Cup and qualify for the CWC next season. Unbelievable. The goals both come from Fergus Coren who, at sixteen years of age, becomes the youngest man to score in the final. He’s pretty much the youngest man to play in it.

Cruceros, whose list of scalps include an extra-time victory over AC Izotz Zubia and a penalty-kick victory over high-flying second-tier Sobrevolante! are applauded as they leave the field.

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0-0 AS Marcadia
Sobrevolante! 1-2 Santa Margarida

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2-2 Sobrevolante!
AS Marcadia 3-1 Santa Margarida

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2-1 Santa Margarida
AS Marcadia 4-4 Sobrevolante!

Pro/Rel Playoffs       Pld  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
AS Marcadia 3 1 2 0 7 5 5 National League
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3 1 2 0 4 3 5 National League

Santa Margarida 3 1 0 2 4 6 3 National Two
Sobrevolante! 3 0 2 1 7 8 2 National Two

It’s once again ‘as you were’ in the playoffs, with neither of the National Two sides managing to usurp the top flight teams. A solitary draw for Santa Margarida in their final two games might have been enough to sneak back into the top flight, but it wasn’t to be.
Last edited by Audioslavia on Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Season Thirteen, Part 1

Postby Audioslavia » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:04 pm


Matchday 1
CdF Celtade 0–0 Excelsior Zijweg
AC Izotz Zubia 2–1 KT Laranjauzia
AS Marcadia 1–0 Shamrock Cathair
Osarese Marcadia 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Bombarralense 1–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Matchday 2
KT Moreazerua 2–2 Bombarralense
Shamrock Cathair 0–4 Osarese Marcadia
KT Laranjauzia 0–0 AS Marcadia
Excelsior Zijweg 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia
Oljestaden IF 0–1 KT Itzalovalle
Matchday 3
1830 Cathair 4–1 Oljestaden IF
AS Marcadia 0–2 Excelsior Zijweg
Osarese Marcadia 1–0 KT Laranjauzia
Bombarralense 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–4 KT Moreazerua

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 KT Moreazerua 3 2 1 0 7 2 +5 7
2 Osarese Marcadia 3 2 0 1 5 1 +4 6
3 AC Izotz Zubia 2 2 0 0 3 1 +2 6
4 Excelsior Zijweg 3 1 1 1 2 1 +1 4
5 AS Marcadia 3 1 1 1 1 2 −1 4
6 1830 Cathair 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 3
7 KT Itzalovalle 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3
8 Shamrock Cathair 3 1 0 2 2 6 −4 3
9 Bombarralense 3 0 2 1 4 5 −1 2
10 CdF Celtade 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
11 KT Laranjauzia 3 0 1 2 1 3 −2 1
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2 0 1 1 1 5 −4 1
13 Oljestaden IF 2 0 0 2 1 5 −4 0

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the dumbest thing in domestic football: The National League table after three matchdays.

Who’s on top? Who has the early running? Who’s going to struggle this season? Who effing knows?

Every team in the National League will, at two points in the season, have a four-week break. For some teams this will come halfway through the season, arresting a run of bad form or cooling a hot streak. It may come at the end of the season and force your team to watch the title run-in from the sidelines, wondering whether or not you’ll keep the place you earned throughout the campaign.

There’s also at least one team every season that misses the opening matchdays and instead gets to enjoy an extended pre-season period. No team has ever absolutely needed an extended pre-season period more than Cazadores Cathair have needed this one.
Cazadores Cathair Caza
El Ruedo, (Cap: 42500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 3
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Hardcheese (35, G , DAI)
3. Aurelio Saez (32, D L, AUD)
4. Iago Cacho (24, DM C, AUD)
5. Salvador Monterroso (30, D C, AUD)
6. Inteali Koranjo (20, D C, VIL)
7. Creidne Lindauer (29, F C, BRE)
8. Adrian Toscani (22, AM C, SVG)
9. Aranha (31, F C, DAI)
10. Gerard Colvyn (27, F C, BRE)
11. Giorgio Gucci (25, M L, MRC)
12. Aloha (25, F C, DAI)
13. Cristos Harding (19, D C, EFL)
15. Guifré Menez (23, D/M R, AUD)
16. Christian Armani (24, M R, MRC)
17. Per Frandsen (18, D RL, AUD)
18. Azaim (22, M C, SHT)
19. Gaizka Etxenoz (29, D/M RL, AUD)
20. Kepler Marcel Gouveia de Souza (15, AM C, QUE)
22. Tutayan (30, AM R, TEW)
23. Theold Bracewell (30, G , NPH)
28. Claudio Casimiro (19, D/M C, AUD)
31. Zorion Santisteban (16, M LC, AUD)
Mng. Rook Cathar (50, F RLC, NPH)


VIDAL: SO SOON? ran the headline of the Cathair Herald’s sports pages. Vidal had been at Cazadores for seven seasons at that point, having arrived cheaply from Chromatika’s Lhor Orcas and cemented himself immediately as a first-team regular. It had only been in the last three seasons that he had become a bona-fide star for Cazadores, who had grown stronger at the same rate as their prized forward. No-one in eastern Cathair had dared to dream of another title coming to El Ruedo after their shock championship in season four, but Vidal’s goals - coming from a luxurious supply provided by Francis Sutherland, Bryton Menheniot and Dane Pridgeon, with the marauding Jerquaad and Saez providing service from te wings - propelled Caza to that second title in season eleven.

Last season had been more realistic. A Champions League last-16 defeat to FC Felsenkirchen 1879 had taken the wind out of the sides’ sails, and Caza would finish flatly in fifth, but the new season had, as usual, brought high expectations for the Cazadores Cathair faithful.

And then that Monday morning headline had rolled around. Euran high-fliers Bastion had made a bid for Olimpia Vidal for eight million. The correct amount for a 28 year-old of Vidal’s calibre? Perhaps. Could Caza buy a player of a similar standard for the same money? Perhaps not. Either way, Vidal had decided seven years at Cazadores had been enough, and that was it.

Even the most pessimistic Leon Rojo couldn’t have foreseen what would happen the very next day.

Dane Pridgeon. Gone. Bryton Menheniot. Gone. Both departed to newly promoted Excelsior Zijweg for next to nothing. Both first-teamers, 23 and 27 years old respectively. Caza’s social media team had just about finished its hype video Azaim, for the Sharktail midfielder the club had bought the previous season who had occasionally provided ample cover for both the above players when it was revealed that Jerquaad had agreed terms with title rivals AC Izotz Zubia.

Jerquaad is an enigmatic right-back, if such a thing isn’t a laughable oxymoron. He marauds up the right flank at lightning pace and, very occcasionally, he can bring himself to run back to defend. He’s a very effective player in the National League, however, and was very well liked by Shamrock Cathair when they first bought him into it from Berro Branco. Yes, you read that right. Jerquaad, the Cazadores Cathair favourite, originally plied his trade at Shamrock Cathair in season seven, deputising for Lachlan Faulkner. Faulkner played most of the games in Shamrock’s title-winning campaign before Jerquaad departed for ‘more game time’ (read: sitting on a purple bench instead of a green one) at KT Moreazerua. Faulkner’s career-ending injury came shortly afterwards.

Jerquaad spent one season at Mozi, broke into the first team, and then joined Cazadores Cathair in a shock move in season ten. Cazadores fans figured he’d found his forever-home. lol this is jerquaad tho. AC Izotz Zubia become his fourth Audioslavian team in seven seasons, and of the supply chain that once provided for Olimpia Vidal, only two remained: Full-back Aurelio Saez and left-winger Francis Sutherland, who surely wasn’t about to…

Cazadores’s summer break had been two weeks longer than that of the other National League teams, thanks to their having the opening three weeks off and for having looked tired at the end of the previous season. Because of this, Caza’s fans had seen Hayvnwylde players not show up at other clubs for pre-season training, with similar reports coming from elsewhere in the multiverse. While some of those players were found, Francis Sutherland, the 10m rated left winger, seemed truly to have fallen off the face of the planet. Aurelio Saez *did* manage to make it to Cazadores’s pre-season, to the complete indifference of the fanbase.

Over the coming two weeks, with the first matchdays having been played, Cazadores started to recruit. Smartphones all over eastern Cathair pingitty-pinged along to the experimental jazz fusion of Cazadores’s slick, hollywood-inspired social media videography colliding discordantly with the side’s avante-garde signing policy. A 27 year-old Brenecian journeyman striker smouldered palely at the camera, which spun round matrix-style to reveal his thumbs patently failing to point accurately at the name on the back of his shirt. ‘Colvyn’. A quick whothefuck revealed that his first name was Gerhard and he’d arrived from Old Boys Club as the second half of a deal that would also be bringing highly-rated Euran Bobby Malone to Caza for a combined twelve and a half million dollars. Malone joined AFC Treason four hours later for twelve of that 12.5, meaning Caza had gone out to buy a motorbike and come back with just a helmet.

And Caza had given him Vidal’s number ten shirt.

The next day, a Quebecois teenager’s awkward but enormous gap-toothed grin was pinned atop Caza’s twitter feed. Of the 8 million gained from Vidal’s transfer, five had been given to Montreal Koreana for the services of a fifteen year-old that Caza insisted was named ‘Justin Vegeta’. The internet seemed to think his name was, instead, Kepler Marcel Gouveia de Souza and that ‘Vegeta’ was a high-school nickname the player hoped to use in his professional football career.

Caza fans pieced together what may have happened and began to cringe. Hard.

“What’s your name?”
“Your full name?”
“Just Vegeta”
“Justin Vegeta”
“Yeah, just Vegeta”

Another million of the transfer fee was spent on Adrian Toscani, but however good he looked on the YouTube skills compilation ADRIAN TOSCANI | 4K SKILLS & GOALS | PORTO VECCHIO | DESPORTIVO REMIX, he folded his arms in a slightly weird way on his reveal video. Like he was giving himself a light hug.

30 year-old Tequilo winger Tutayan, arriving on a free transfer, had the looks, folded his arms correctly, pointed accurately at his own name and had some international pedigree, so naturally Caza’s social media gave him a sombrero and some maracas and gave his introduction a deep orange tint.

The retirement of 40 year-old Vilitan defensive rock Jirijii Januaa was disppointing but expected, as was the departure of Mikhail Gerardo to Kempsey United.

The Cazadores side that visited Oljestaden was almost entirely different to the one that had finished the previous season. Theold Bracewell preferred to Harcheese in goal, Giufré Menez at right-back, Monterroso reinstated at centre-half. A 4-5-1 formation replacing the previously preferred 4-4-2. Mercedinian Giorgio Gucci now the side’s foremost left midfielder, with Tutayan on the right and a midfield of Azaim and Toscani. Only Saez at left-back, Inteali Koranjo in defence, Iago Cacho at defensive midfield and Criedne Lindauer leading the line, though now solo, stayed the same.

Fortunately for a very disconnected looking Caza side, Oljestadeh IF were still Oljestaden IF. Lindauer pounced on a mistake from Pelle Juergensen to give Caza the opening goal on nine minutes, and the Brenecian’s 20th minute cross was met by Gucci at the far post to volley home for two-nothing. The early goals masked Caza’s inadequacies, with the home team only managing one goal in response in a blue-dominated second period, with Kasperi Otalainen forcing home a seventieth-minute header.

Matchday 4
Shamrock Cathair 2–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Laranjauzia 2–3 Bombarralense
Excelsior Zijweg 4–3 Osarese Marcadia
Oljestaden IF 1–2 Cazadores Cathair
KT Itzalovalle 3–3 1830 Cathair

The marquee tie on matchday four came the next day, with KT Itzalovalle hosting 1830 Cathair on a breezy Monday night in the mountains.

Itzi, dumped out of the Champions League and Challengers’ Cup after just two games in each - a pathetic turn-out - had a point to prove and, with manager Arnoud Koolhaas in the firing line, provided a performance that should have been rewarded with all three points. Wilhelm Nkitilina opened the scoring, with Alejandro Consuegra poking home after a scrambled corner for two-nil before Thorsten Kramer’s low shot beat Rospide into the bottom corner. Itzalovalle had a penalty shout wrongfully waved off after Jack Menard upended Gabirel Zozaia in the box. Cathair duly scored on the counter in the most Cathairy way possible.

Kramer made it 3-2 to Cathair on seventy-five minutes but Moses Moxey’s immediate reply took the game to three-each, and the final stages were dominated by the team in red, for whom Vilca Hualla was terrific on the left and Moxey his typically undeniable self in the centre.
KT Laranjauzia Luja
Luja Stadium. Laranjauzia, Tzierra

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Iker Saucedo (37, G , AUD)
2. Ysaak (25, D CR, DAI)
3. Kieran Lorenzen (24, D L, AUD)
4. Estebe Antxustegi (34, DM C, AUD)
5. Edorta Mondragon (21, D C, AUD)
6. Ixaka Lizarzaburu (20, D C, AUD)
7. Alessandro Juliana (34, M CR, AUD)
8. Domeka Zabala (33, M/F CR, AUD)
9. Galin Alejandro (34, F C, AUD)
10. Metan Cordean (34, M/AM C, COS)
11. Zorian Linazasoro (27, M LC, AUD)
12. Kemen Arenaza (33, D R, AUD)
15. Xabat Urrestilla (24, D/M RL, AUD)
16. Nicolò Scarpaci (28, DM C, AUD)
17. Inácio Castro (21, M RC, AUD)
19. Zorian Ytuarte (20, G , AUD)
24. Klavdii Davydov (33, F C, AUD)

“What’s that KT team in Audioslavia?”
“Itzalovalle or Moreazerua”
“No, the other one”
“Oh. Ferramendiak”
“No, the other other one”
“Oh it’s.. thingmy. Koroatuz”
“No, that’s not it. It sounds like… it’s sounds like.. like it’s a spoonerism of ’Somehow lousier”
“That’s the one. Are they good this season?”

Except.. except Metan Cordean, arriving from KT Itzalovalle, is talented despite being woefully inconsistent. Alessandro Juliana used to play for Audioslavia and could well be effective. Ysaak is often called ‘Dainer’s answer to Jerquaad’ by people on the internet who think they’re funny, but the truth is he’s a decent player who arrives from Silexhera looking to prove himself in the top flight again.

Last season’s eleventh-placed finish - three points ahead of Calcio Sicurezza Elfi in the relegation playoffs and well clear of the struggling AS Marcadia, IoK and Koroatuz - was an excellent campaign for a team most had tipped for the drop.

Laranjauzia are, once again, preparing themselves for a relegation dogfight. Their three losses so far have been against much stronger teams, with their only other point coming against fellow strugglers AS Marcadia. Matchday five, however, sees them travelling eastwards to Calcio Sicurezza Elfi.

Matchday 5
Cazadores Cathair 2–1 KT Itzalovalle
KT Ferramendiak 3–0 Oljestaden IF
Bombarralense 3–2 Excelsior Zijweg
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 KT Laranjauzia
KT Moreazerua 2–4 Shamrock Cathair

Alessandro Juliana’s legs are a little too old to be playing 90 minutes every week, but the winger-turned-playmaker works his magic on sixty-four minutes for the only goal of the game, meeting a loose ball sweetly on the half-volley and sending it hurtling into the bottom corner. CSE goalie Ibrahim Mathisen is left rooted to the spot, and his team will end the match where they started: One point, second bottom, staring doom in the face.
Oljestaden IF Olga
Hygolje Arena, (Cap: 50000). Oljestaden, Hyland

Domestic Honours - 2
COCANEFA Honours - 1
International Honours - 0
1. Donato Castillo (25, G , EFL)
2. Maas Hadler (33, D C, MRN)
3. Santiago Santiago (26, D L, TAE)
4. Thorian Nielsen (20, DM C, AUD)
5. Da Chong (21, D C, JOV)
6. Pelle Juergensen (24, D/M R, AUD)
7. Bastiaan Makaay (22, M RC, AUD)
8. Tofer Kahlor (28, AM C, COS)
10. Josep Ros (22, F C, AUD)
11. Bertus Verschoor (19, F C, AUD)
12. Krijn Van de Velde (31, M/F RC, AUD)
13. Kasperi Otalainen (31, F C, SVJ)
14. Badminton (38, M C, DAI)
15. Vulav-Izilv Lec (20, DM C, QUS)
16. Helge Persson (25, D C, GRF)
17. Torvald Ebben (27, M C, SRS)
18. Eric Soren (23, D RC, AUD)
19. Eyvindur Vilar-Trom (18, F C, AUD)
20. Numbers Guégan (21, D/M CL, AUD)
22. Maxi Lundgren (34, G , NPH)
29. Dries Van den Bossche (22, M LC, AUD)
91. Cocoabo #91 (??, F C, TUR)
Mng. Tomas Kristofics (43, DM C, PIS)


After matchday five the only team below Calcio Sicurezza Elfi are an 0 and 4 Oljestaden IF. The Oilers are one of Audioslavian football’s Original Six professional clubs, taking part in the very first LigAnaia season wherein they were commendably mid-table and CopAnaia winners. That was all of 27 years ago now, and only two more trophies have found their way to OLjestaden - both Kirola Cups, won in seasons 2 and 4 of the National League era.

This season, the side have been nothing short of abysmal across their opening games. Their defeat to Cazadores Cathair came after an opening day defeat to Itzi and a 4-1 hammering from 1830 Cathair before last week’s utterly dismal 3-0 shellacking at the hands of KT Ferramendiak.

The Oljestaden first eleven is full of buts. Maas Hadler and Santiago Santiago in defence, sure, but Da Chong and Pelle Juergensen too. Cocoabo 91 in attack is occasionally unplayable, but there’s also Bertus Verschoor who, at nineteen years old, isn’t a big enough big man to be effective at this level. In midfield, neither Tofer Kahlor nor Vulav-Izilv Lec are the players they were, Badminton is 38 and also Badminton, and there’s simply too much slack for talented Squornshelean Remnant Torvald Ebben to pick up.

The real gap in the squad is, of course, the hole where Erwin Spijkers once was. Spijkers is a fantastic winger, *but*… he was playing for Oljestaden. The 40-odd million dollars received from Crisisbless has yet to be redistributed throughout the rest of the team, with only Big Fucking Graentfjaller Helge Persson entering the dressing room.

Persson has been made to watch the centre-half partnership of Hadler and Chong from the bench over the opening games, but finally makes his debut on matchday six with newly promoted CdF Celtade the visitors.

Matchday 6
KT Laranjauzia 1–2 KT Moreazerua
Excelsior Zijweg 4–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Oljestaden IF 3–1 CdF Celtade
KT Itzalovalle 3–1 KT Ferramendiak
1830 Cathair 1–0 Cazadores Cathair

After ten minutes, Oljestaden are 1-0 down and going nowhere, Luca Senna having darted in front of Thorian Nielsen to pick up an underhit pass, charge forward and toe-poke his side ahead from twenty yards out.

Celtade have the early running, and Senna almost creates a chance for Valentino Escandon to finish, but Persson blocks the shot at close range and easily out-muscles the Audioslavian for the rebound to the delight of the home crowd.

Oljestaden equalise before half-time through the Cocoabo’s speed and Iñigo Tio’s utter terror at the enormous bird hurtling towards him at around 32 miles per hour.

In the second half, Oljestaden take the initiative and creep further and further forward. On the occasions where Celtade’s Brenecian defensive midfielder doesn’t break either an attacking movement of a nose, they look dangerous, and Cocoabo 91 adds a second on sixty-one minutes before Bastian Makaay doubles the advantage with twenty minutes still to play. Celtade fight their way back into the game but, as the heavens open and rain batters the pitch for the final stretch, their efforts are more and more in vain.

As the final whistle blows, Carmelo MacCowan slumps to the turf, the rain thoughtfully obscuring the tears running down his cheeks. The 16 year-old’s first appearance for his club has ended in a frustrating defeat. He’s hoisted to his feet not by brother Declan or Daniel but by an unwavering defensive midfielder named Finn Townsend.
CdF Celtade Os Celts
Estadio Costa Branca, (Cap: 17500). Celta, Iberra

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Plácido Sousa (34, G , AUD)
2. Iñigo Tio (30, D RC, AUD)
3. Gijsbert Van Buitenen (21, D LC, AUD)
4. Finn Townsend (27, DM C, BRE)
5. Afonso Criado (25, D C, AUD)
6. Daniel MacCowan (20, D C, AUD)
7. Facundo Rosa (19, M/F RC, AUD)
8. Declan MacCowan (20, M C, AUD)
9. Luca Senna (24, F C, AUD)
10. Valentino Escandon (21, F C, AUD)
11. Guillem Serra (23, AM RCL, AUD)
12. Olegário Branco (19, D LC, AUD)
13. Coridai (24, F C, DAI)
15. Vicente Mazariegos (27, M C, AUD)
16. Carmelo MacCowan (16, D/M RCL, AUD)
17. Baillaire Fillar (16, AM C, CMT)
18. Donovan Santiesteban (25, DM C, AUD)
19. Vernon Montesinos (29, D/M C, AUD)
20. Rodolf Sendra (18, M C, AUD)
21. Theodick Paulino (31, M/F L, AUD)
Mng. Jean-Pablo Costacurta-Groove (41, M R, HIN)

Finn Townsend’s arrival at the Estadio Costa Branca made newly promoted Celtade one of pre-season’s big stories. Os Celts had gained promotion with a squad largely comprised of locals and journeymen, and the arrival of the 27 year-old Brenecian, with over 80 caps for his national side, represented the side’s determination to stay in their new division.

Finn Townsend has, after three games, looked every penny of the nine million dollars his side spent on him. Celtade manager Jean-Pablo Costacurta-Groove had gone two million over the player’s valuation to sign him, but if anything it still looks like Celtade got an absolute steal. Townsend, as a Brenecian defensive midfielder, was assumed to have only one gear: “Fuck you”, but given the captain’s armband and put into a team of young inexperience and limited yet determined Serie B standard players, Townsend’s attitude has shifted. Though he’s still picked up two yellow cards across three games, his focus has been on connecting the team and, however hit feelings about losing, keeping everyone focused and positive and working as hard as possible.

The other story in Celtade is that of the MacCowan brothers. Twenty year-old twins Declan and Daniel had a big part in the side’s promotion season, the former in midfield and the latter in defence. 16 year-old younger sibling Carmelo MacCowan has joined them this season, missing the opening day 0-0 draw with fellow promotees Excelsior but making a nuisance of himself as a terrier-like centre-half in the defeat to Oljestaden.

It appears Celtade have the makings of a good defence, and in a few years the three MacCowan brothers could make an excellent defensive trio, but for the side to stay up this season, Finn Townsend is going to have to teach them everything he knows, and quickly.

Matchday 7
KT Ferramendiak 2–4 1830 Cathair
CdF Celtade 1–2 KT Itzalovalle
AC Izotz Zubia 1–1 Oljestaden IF
KT Moreazerua 1–1 Excelsior Zijweg
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 KT Laranjauzia

1-0 down to Itzi with ten minutes to go, Finn Townsend hits something that transcends the name ‘shot’ and enters the realm of [thunder+expletive], c***ing the ball so hard it laughs derisively at Echepare Rospide’s flailing dive on its way to the top corner.

Itzalovalle, however, are not so amused. The side are, after all, trying to challenge for the title this season and they get enough derisive laughter about that, thank you very much. With two minutes to go, Itzi try twice to pass the ball into the Celtade box. Both times, Finn Townsend says ‘no u’ with, successively, a lunging interception and a leaping clearing header that takes him through two Itzi players. He lands on his neck and gets straight back up again, for he is Brenecian the laws of pain do not apply to him. His brain intercepts ouchie signals from his nerve endings like, well, like a Brenecian DM intercepts passes.

Townsend, however, can’t be in six places at once (he’s limited to four) and, in any case, Itzi have access to Vilca Hualla, whose trickery on the left buys Itzi an opportunity. A low cross is aimed at Nkitilina, Carmelo MacCowan dives in and sweept the ball away from the striker’s feet. Zozaia arrives and boots the ball as hard as he can, but Townsend’s foot is suddenly right in front of it, causing the ball to stay exactly where it is and the Audioslavian striker to topple over like he’d just tripped over a fire hydrant. The Brenecian just about has time to turn and sweep the ball out of the area. Moses Moxey heads it back in. Daniel MacCowan heads it back out. Moses Moxey clearly takes affront to this, takes a step back, and volleys the ball as it drops in front of him, watching the ball arc away from goalkeeper Plácido Sousa and into the corner.

Moxey celebrates. Townsend claps his side to their feet once more. They will lose this game, and they know they will lose many more this season. After the final whistle, they will turn their attentions to next week. A home game. Against a team called 1830 Cathair.
1830 Cathair The Teatimers / The Elders
Arena Kirola, (Cap: 77500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 14
COCANEFA Honours - 7
International Honours - 6
1. Goran Stroud (22, G , AUD)
2. Andries Nijland (31, D/M R, AUD)
3. Minne van Schelven (25, D C, KOR)
4. Stani Gröss (25, DM C, ZRH)
5. Jack Menard (20, D C, EUR)
6. Niko Szubanski (35, D C, BRE)
7. Steve Erickson (30, AM C, HAP)
8. Liam Armstrong (33, M C, EUR)
9. Pristina Shine (30.5, F C, EQS)
10. Thorsten Kramer (27, M/AM C, STL)
11. Shakira Handris (31, F C, PFA)
12. Leona Rafford (32, D R, NPH)
13. Tucunduvá (36, G , DAI)
14. Aymeric Fortin (26, F C, VLD)
15. Tryfon Vlahilades (26, D L, VDR)
16. John Lomax (36, D C, AUD)
17. Ainsley Gibson (33, D L, AFT)
18. Xaime Medal (23, AM L, TEQ)
19. Puristina Shinra (28, M C, HIN)
20. Dean Sharp (34, F C, EUR)
21. Anselm Koerner (23, M R, NPH)
22. Alessio Roda (20, D/M LC, AUD)
24. Armand Cariou (18, M RC, AUD)
27. Vann MacMurdo (21, D RC, AUD)
28. Bartolomeu Aparicio (19, AM R, AUD)
31. Eneco Carabello (17, F LC, AUD)
Mng. Lee Sharp (71, F C, EUR)


1830 Cathair are quite good at football. They are quite good at football because of the following reasons:

1: They are based in a posh part of the capital. Their ‘local’ fans are those who work in Cathair’s Grand Forum district, which is entirely comprised of banks and companies that would like you to think that they’re a bank from how shiny their head offices look. If Rugby was a posh-boys sport in Audioslavia, all these ‘fans’ would be at the rugger drinking ale and pretending they’re better than football fans, but rugby isn’t a posh-boy sport round here. Neither is football, of course, but Cathair fans have been trying to force the sport into becoming solely owned by rich wankers. 1830 Cathair’s income is ridiculous, from sponsorship to foreign TV deals to sugar-daddy owners bankrolling their transfers. They succeed through a mixture of that and, usually, being *very* well run on the football side. The board do look for big-name signings but famously have not relied upon them for success. For every 30-something superstar in the Kohev Kungas Vaga or Fôrté Wínrôuge mould they have bought many more smaller names and *made* them stars. Wilfred Lidgley. Romelio Ceballos. Thorsten Kramer.

Thorsten Kramer, nicknamed T.F.K., attracted interest from a team in Eura’s Gold League, rumoured to be Bastion. Whether or not Cathair’s board listened to the utter uproar from their fanbase at the mere idea that Kramer would leave at his peak, we don’t know, but either way the club didn’t go down the Caza route and sell their marquee player. At least not this marquee player. Rickson Marañón, at thirty-three, had done everything he could ever have wanted to do in a Cathair shirt and, with Tequilo winger Xaime Medal now ready to take up that left-midfield spot, Cathair agreed that the time was right to leave. Eura was again the destination, and Revolutionaries secured the playmaker’s signature.

Cathair’s current squad still has their stars, but its a team of players from less established footballing nations. Zeta Reka’s Stani Grōss sits in front of the defence, Hapilopper’s Steve Erickson, last season shifted out onto the right wing from his preferred central position, deputises for TFK in attacking midfield and Vdaran full-back Tryfon Vlahilades has permanently supplanted Fleftic left-back Ainsley Gibson. Despite the World Assembly look to the middle of the park, Cathair have rarely looked more cohesive or more dangerous.

Matchday 8
Excelsior Zijweg 2–0 Shamrock Cathair
Oljestaden IF 1–0 AS Marcadia
KT Itzalovalle 2–2 AC Izotz Zubia
1830 Cathair 4–1 CdF Celtade
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 KT Ferramendiak

Thorsten Kramer’s midfield battle with Finn Townsend is mesmerising. It truly is the irresistable force meeting a Brenecian midfielder that fucking hates cliches, irresistable forces and big-name attacking mids. Kramer is direct, determined to play the ball forward and create danger whenever he gets possession. This, of course, is Townsend’s wheelhouse. Townsend has forged a career in bullying playmakers into playing the ball sideways and falling deeper and deeper into midfield in order to escape his attentions. Kramer does not know how to go backwards. Townsend knows exactly what to do with players who run at him. Kramer knows how to leave terrier DMs on their arse with a turn or a burst of pace or a one-two or a good old fashioned shoulder barge. Townsend knows which of those a playmaker is planning to do at any given time and positions himself to deal with each as they arrive. He also knows when he’s beaten and knows how to recover in time to stop the danger at the second attempt.

Who wins the duel? We do, of course. Whoever won, this is true: The first three Cathair goals do not come from Thorsten Kramer.

It’s the second half by the time Cathair get on the scoresheet. Second half substitute Anselm Koerner - usually a first-teamer, but Cathair’s decision to go a more central route in the first half saw Steve Erickson picked in Koerner’s stead - sprints down the right, leaves Van Buitenen on his arse and finds Aymeric Fortin at the near post who flicks the ball over Sousa for 1-0. The game is put beyond doubt within ten minutes as an invigorated Cathair go for the throat. Shakira Handris, preferred to Pristina Shine, finishes a passing move started by some neat interplay between Stani Grōss and Xaime Medal, and it’s Tequilan winger Medal who provides the third, thumping a low cross across the face of goal for Fortin to finish at the far post.

Celtade grab a consolation on 84 minutes via Luca Senna, but Cathair make it four-one in injury time. Thorsten Kramer sprints onto a square pass just outside the area and feints a first-time shot, instead cutting inside onto his left foot. Townsend sees this coming and positions himself between ball and goal. Kramer decides that, 3-1 up and with seconds remaining, he doesn’t have to play the percentages. Townsend is expecting another dummied shot, but Kramer just lets fly with his left foot and just about misses Townsend’s shin. The keeper, wrong-footed, can only watch the ball skid across the turf and clip into the goal off the far post. Townsend throws his arms up in the air in disgust. Kramer glances at him momentarily as he jogs towards the corner flag, waggling his finger at the sky and taking in the adulation of the home crowd.

Cathair’s 4-1 win puts the side second in the table. Who’s on first? No. It’s Excelsior Zijweg

Wait, Excelsior Zijweg?
Excelsior Zijweg The Wee Easy
Vidaak Arena, (Cap: 16500). Zijweg, Hyland

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Yoruyoru (24, G , DAI)
2. Mathew Glassmaker (28, D R, AUD)
3. Jody Mahmud (16, D L, AUD)
4. Bryton Menheniot (27, DM C, APX)
5. Jacoby Gibson (23, D C, AUD)
6. Zackothy Almanzar (26, D C, AUD)
7. Hoyt Alas (21, M R, AUD)
8. Dane Pridgeon (23, M C, COS)
9. Eric Giese (27, F C, AUD)
10. Axel Agard (19, AM RC, AUD)
11. Troy Qaderi (22, M LC, AUD)
12. Folke Bolt (18, M/F C, AUD)
13. Lyndis (33, M/AM C, DAI)
14. Rogier Kuijken (21, AM R, AUD)
15. Rustex Van Heemstra (25, DM C, AUD)
16. Teunis Nijhof (21, DM C, AUD)
17. Tristen Rigger (26, M C, AUD)
18. Kazimir Sliva (23, G , AUD)
19. Pabel Krasinski (19, F C, AUD)
20. Jeroen Beethoven (24, M C, AUD)
21. Inigo Eskibel (16, D R, AUD)
Mng. Christopher Swansmith (69, DM C, AUD)

Excelsior, like Celtade, came up from the second second this season and are playing their first ever year of top-flight Audioslavian football. Their team, like many promoted sides, is largely young and Audioslavian but has had augmentations over the transfer window, notably with the arrivals of Caza duo Dane Pridgeon and Bryton Menheniot, who have been utter rocks in midfield for the side. Oh, and they now have a Daineri goalkeeper too. Natch.

Excelsior are 4–2-2 after eight games. Not usually good enough for the top spot in most leagues, but the National League isn’t most leagues. Excelsior are the only side to have played on all nine matchdays thus far. Were we going on points-per-game, they’d be around fifth.

That’s not to say the side haven’t been impressive though. Last week saw them over-run a bemused Shamrock side that had just come back from beating AFC Treason in the Champions League, and the side have had good results against Osarese Marcadia (a 4-2 win) and Moreazerua (a draw) and look every bit like they’re meant to be in this division.

This weekend, they will stay atop the league, albeit after a dull draw with KT Laranjauzia. Nobody will be watching. This weekend, it’s all about one game. The Derby of Audioslavia. Cathair vs Zozi.

Matchday 9
CdF Celtade 0–1 Cazadores Cathair
AS Marcadia 2–4 KT Itzalovalle
Osarese Marcadia 1–0 Oljestaden IF
KT Laranjauzia 0–0 Excelsior Zijweg
As with last week, Cathair go in at half-time at 0-0. As with last week, Thorsten Kramer has a midfield battle of wits on his hands, but this time it’s against Izotz Zubia’s Nepharan new boy Lothaire Cromwell, a $35m transfer from AFC Treason. Unlike Finn Townsend, this isn’t someone trying to prove they can be a leader for the rest of the team, it’s someone who’s already proven that at the highest level. Their battle is fought in both halves of the field, with Kramer having to get into the trenches on the edge of his own box and Cromwell having to do the same. Zozi are a five-man midfield team and Cathair have followed suit for this one, with Liam Armstrong in the centre of the midfield and just the one striker - the all-action Handris preferred to either Fortin, Shine or Sharp, the latter not even making the bench.

Cathair draw first blood, and it’s Thorsten Kramer again, taking a touch on the edge of the area to buy him a yard of space and side-footing the goal past Breeze at the near-post. Cromwell, however, is not to be outshined, especially with the price tag attached to their shirt, and the Nepharan levels the score on seventy-two minutes, diving onto a square ball just inside the box and scooping it into the top corner with a hooked left-footed shot that has Goran Stroud shouting obsenities at his defence before the ball has even crossed the line.

AC Izotz Zubia 1–1 1830 Cathair

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Excelsior Zijweg 9 4 3 2 15 10 +5 15
2 1830 Cathair 6 4 2 0 17 8 +9 14
3 KT Itzalovalle 7 4 2 1 16 11 +5 14
4 Cazadores Cathair 5 4 0 1 6 3 +3 12
5 Shamrock Cathair 7 4 0 3 9 10 −1 12
6 KT Moreazerua 6 3 2 1 12 8 +4 11
7 Osarese Marcadia 5 3 0 2 9 5 +4 9
8 AC Izotz Zubia 5 2 3 0 7 5 +2 9
9 Bombarralense 5 2 2 1 10 9 +1 8
10 Oljestaden IF 8 2 1 5 7 13 −6 7
11 KT Laranjauzia 8 1 2 5 5 9 −4 5
12 AS Marcadia 5 1 1 3 3 7 −4 4
13 KT Ferramendiak 4 1 0 3 6 8 −2 3
14 CdF Celtade 5 0 1 4 3 10 −7 1
15 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 5 0 1 4 3 12 −9 1

A quarter of the season gone. What do we know about the title race? Look at the table. What does it teach you?

That’s right: Nothing. The way we like it.
Last edited by Audioslavia on Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Season Thirteen, Part 2

Postby Audioslavia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:34 pm

KT Ferramendiak Feri
Burdina Jauregia, (Cap: 85000). Ferramendiak, Herradura

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Jordan Yoda (31, G , AFT)
3. Maren Irigoyen (33, D LC, AUD)
4. Gorka Gurmendi (31, M C, AUD)
5. Rafael Borrego (36, D C, AUD)
6. Andoni Gorrindo (32, D C, AUD)
8. Kemen Goyenetche (27, M C, AUD)
9. Joshua Ferrand (27, F C, AUD)
10. Stanimir Rekawić (21, AM C, ZRH)
11. Ixaka Linda (30, M L, AUD)
12. Fathallah Echavarria (27, D/M LC, AUD)
13. Juan Esteban Corpuz (33, G , AUD)
14. Bardol Yrigoyen (27, D R, AUD)
15. Ximun Arambillet (33, D L, AUD)
16. Xalbador Telleria (23, DM C, AUD)
17. Igon Inurrutegi (23, F C, AUD)
18. Juan Sebastián Rigor (32, D C, AUD)
19. Parketh Barcena (23, F C, AUD)
Mng. Antwan Wangsgard (62, D R, AUD)

KT Ferramendiak have played just four times over the first nine matchdays, so surely we don’t know enough about them to make a judgement, right?

Lol no. This is KT Ferramendiak. They’ll be thuddingly predictable all season and finish in the bottom five. It’s how they roll.

Okay, so they’ve had their moments. In LigAnaia season 12, the year Monarchs somehow won the title in the LigAnaia East, Ferramendiak finished 12th out of twenty teams yet somehow managed to qualify for the Globe Cup, largely thanks to Legalite teams having pulled out of all UICA competition and Audioslavia’s high standing in the UICA rankings at the time. They qualified for the Globe Cup again three cycles later, this time finishing sixth out of ten teams in the inaugural National League season, but since then it’s been nothing but mediocrity from the boys in white. Relegated in season two, promoted in three, relegation playoff in season four, relegated in five, relegated again in six (alongside current league leader Excelsior Zijweg, no less), fifth in the old third division, luckily for them in the expansion season, two mid-table second-tier finishes in a row before another promotion back to the top flight. Last season’s tenth placed finish was their best performance in years, yet they were still ten points off the Challengers’ Cup spots and only eight from automatic relegation.

This season’s squad is largely unchanged from that one, and its that level of cohesion that they’re relying on to keep them out of danger this time out. A three-man central midfield of Kemen Goyenetche, Xalbador Telleria and Stanimir Rekawić is their key to victory. That and hoping their opposition don’t show up.

Matchday 10
Oljestaden IF 0–2 Bombarralense
KT Itzalovalle 2–0 Osarese Marcadia
1830 Cathair 2–2 AS Marcadia
Cazadores Cathair 2–4 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Ferramendiak 3–1 CdF Celtade

Finn Townsend shows up for Celtade, but on a cold evening in the mountains the men from the Costa Branca just can’t get going, and Feri mug them in the opening ten minutes with Josh Ferrand on the end of two crosses. Coridai reduces the deficit after half-time, but as the pitch soaks up moisture their attempts at passing their way out of danger begin to backfire. An error from Facunda Rosa allows Ferrand in for a third time, the striker notching a hat-trick with a sliced shot that bamboozles Placido Sousa, and Ferramendiak take all three points.

CdF Celtade are now 0-1-5 after ten matchdays and are rooted to the foot of the table. They now face a week off to lick their wounds and summon the courage to go again. They will be playing at home on matchday thirteen against a team called AC Izotz Zubia.
AS Marcadia I Marchetti
Stadio di Via Montegrappa, (Cap: 23500). Marcadia, Padia

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Fortune Cammers (21, G , EFL)
2. Erik Silberg (32, D R, AUD)
3. Amarzi George (25, D L, MRC)
4. Lance Bensom (24, D C, BRE)
5. Antonio Dragutin (25, D C, MRC)
6. Vega Lage (32, D/M RCL, AUD)
7. Simos Arvanitakis (21, AM RL, FHU)
8. Davide Lauri (29, M C, AUD)
9. Caceres (35, F C, DAI)
10. Menderchuk (32, F C, DAI)
11. Javier Besoitagoena (26, M C, AUD)
12. Giovanni Fanara (33, D C, AUD)
13. Adam Porro (33, D/M RL, AUD)
14. Minka Kranevitter (33, M R, NPH)
15. Adão Monserrate (36, D C, AUD)
16. Francesc Monzo (24, M LC, AUD)
17. Jarrod Di Virgilio (31, M/F RL, AUD)
18. Mattia Cicale (24, M C, AUD)
20. Angelo Libera (22, M C, AUD)
21. Edoardo Del Conte (24, M C, AUD)
Mng. Mauro Bianchi (63, M CR, AUD)

There was a time when nobody in Marcadia knew who Osarese were. Now they’re provably the best team in the city and AS’s stock has fallen as Osarese’s has risen. They are another team to have made no notable changes to their squad in the off-season which, seeing as they finished thirteenth last time out, is not promising at all. Marcadia live off scraps at the bottom of the table and hope that there are two worse teams than them come the end of the campaign. With Celtade and CSE below them, that may well be true this time out too.

This week they host a Cazadores Cathair side who have gone a very modest 4-0-2 thus far and are looking for a crumb of consistency.

Matchday 11
AC Izotz Zubia 3–1 KT Ferramendiak
AS Marcadia 2–0 Cazadores Cathair
Osarese Marcadia 0–3 1830 Cathair
Bombarralense 3–1 KT Itzalovalle
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–5 Oljestaden IF

I mean, that might have been a crumb, to be fair. Caza are disjointed and directionless, which are two of the only insults you can’t hurl at AS Marcadia as they score either side of half-time and watch as Caza flatly run out of ideas. Their day is opitomised by a late chance for Gerhard Colvyn, on as a desperation substitute in place of defender Salvador Monterroso. The Brenecian controls a through ball at the third attempt, feints a shot, is dismayed to see the keeper stand stock still and, figuring he’d rather the keeper be on his arse rather than stood still, tries to take the keeper out once more. Fortune Cammers doesn’t move. Colvyn seems to decide that the keeper will definitely dive for the third attempt at a shot and chips the ball in the space the goalkeeper would leave behind if he’d dived for the ball. Cammers doesn’t dive. The ball loops harmlessly into his chest and the travelling Caza fans turn the air so blue they could terraform an asteroid.

This new-look Cazadores side are hot, hot garbage.

You know who isn’t hot, hot garbage?
Matchday 12
Oljestaden IF 0–1 KT Moreazerua
KT Itzalovalle 3–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
1830 Cathair 2–1 Bombarralense
Cazadores Cathair 0–1 Osarese Marcadia
KT Ferramendiak 2–3 AS Marcadia
CdF Celtade 1–0 AC Izotz Zubia

It had been Townsend’s interception on the halfway line and his quick pass that had released Facundo Rosa down the right. Rosa had seen Kalactinian full-back Larry Martinez in front of him, feinted cutting inside and instead knocked the ball down the line, his momentum taking him past the backtracking Martinez. Rosa’s cut-back to the edge of the area, Valentino Escandon’s decision to stop the ball and pass it sideways and Luca Sennna’s crisp, curling finish. 1-0 Celtade. A quick glance at the scoreboard. 83 minutes still to play. God damnit.

This is why Celtade bought Finn Townsend, yet its also why they’ve developed Declan MacCowan from a defensive-minded midfielder to an all-action one. It’s simply not possible to sit and defend against a team like Zozi for 80 minutes. You have to keep taking the play to them and you have to pretend that they’re not fourteen times better than you in every way.

Zozi’s three-man central midfield of Cromwell (scary), Deschapelles (o no!) and Eurico (aaaaaaaa) can only over-run you if they can get a foothold on the game. Finn and the MacCowans decide not to let them. Townsend versus Cromwell should be every bit as exciting as either of their battles with Thorsten Kramer, but this time out Townsend is hell bent on making sure Cromwell never even gets the ball to begin with. Declan MacCowan does the same to Deschapelles, keeping him covered when Zozi look to probe in the centre. The attention forces the midfielders to pass out wide when they do get the ball. The attacking midfielder, Eurico da Rosa, is harried by one or both of Carmelo and Daniel stepping up from the back line, with 19 year-old rookie Olegário Branco and the experienced Iñigo Tio formin a tight back-three whenever one of them gets forward. It’s all orchestrated by glances, points and shouts from Townsend.

Zozi are forced down the wings, but they’re just as dangerous there, too, with Thomas Butler (argh!) and Kyran Knudsen (gack!) capable of tearing any team apart. Celtade, however, are resolute, and much to Zozi’s annoyance they keep bloody counterattacking. Valentino Escandon is close to making it 2-0 twice as Zozi start to get sloppy, while Luca Senna rattles the crossbar with a thunderous drive from outside the box.

Celtade tire first, but fatigue isn’t stopping Townsend any time soon. The ball is won time and time again by the midfielder who retains the wherewithall to pass it, rather than boot it, and it’s his insistence on doing something productive whenever he gets the ball that eventually puts Celtade ahead.

This technique goes right out of the window in injury time, whereby anything vaguely resembling a football gets booted into the second tier of the stand without mercy.

CdF Celtade hold on and, almost a third of the way through the season, find their first win. Zozi are disgusted and utterly, utterly knackered. The Celtade team climb the barricades between the pitch and the stadium and whip the crowd up into a delirious frenzy. They are off the bottom. Only one team remains there now.
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi The Northern Marauders
Stadio Oromë, (Cap: 21800). Trentina, Padia

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Ibrahim Mathisen (34, G , VAL)
2. Pablo Maia (31, D C, AUD)
3. Naim Nabhani (33, D LC, AUD)
4. Santiago Canez (33, D/M C, AUD)
5. Gustav Marinussen (34, D CR, VAL)
6. Fredrik Pettersen (25, D C, VAL)
8. Ethan Floch (34, M C, AUD)
9. Dennis Våge (28, F C, VAL)
10. Qamar Wardak (34, F C, AUD)
11. Indra Söderström (19, M L, VAL)
12. Havelock Hennings (33, F C, AUD)
13. Elijah Magri (28, M C, AUD)
14. Fredrik Skotnes (28, M RL, VAL)
15. Karsten Carullo (32, D/M R, AUD)
16. Dylan Bain (28, D C, AUD)
17. Sergi Cambra (31, M/F C, AUD)
18. Yvete (34, M/AM C, DAI)
19. Angelo Guariglia (25, DM C, AUD)
20. Santino Romero (34, F C, AUD)
21. Archald Aguilar (28, M C, AUD)
22. Tober Nijboer (31, G , AUD)
Mng. Axel Tufte (53, , VAL)

When CSE first made it into the top flight, they did so as part of the National League’s expansion from ten teams to fifteen, finishing third to become one of five sides automatically promoted to the top tier. Of the four other teams to have gotten promoted that season, all but one dropped like a stone. Along with AS Marcadia, Sicurezza are the only ones left.

Before their first season in the National League, CSE were tipped to go back down immediately, or at least be part of the relegation dance at the end of the season, whether automatically relegated or part of the relegation playoffs.

They finished 9th.

Still. Next season though. There was no way this team could go two seasons in a row without a relegation dogfight, surely. They finished eleventh. And then eleventh again. And then eleventh again. In four seasons, CSE have yet to have to defend their right to be part of the big show at the end of the season.

This time out they’re 0—1-6 and, as of the start of the thirteenth matchweek, four points adrift of the playoffs. If they’re going to start getting points they’re really going to have to do it now. Let’s see… who are they playing next?

1830 Cathair at home. Cazadores Cathair away.

Okay never mind. Their next games after that are against Ferramendiak and Celtade so, you know, rest up, try not to get battered too hard, all that good stuff, and save your energy until you get to those games you’ve really got a chance at winning. Okay?


Matchday 13
AS Marcadia 0–3 CdF Celtade
Osarese Marcadia 4–4 KT Ferramendiak
Bombarralense 1–1 Cazadores Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–0 1830 Cathair
KT Moreazerua 1–0 KT Itzalovalle
Shamrock Cathair 1–1 Oljestaden IF
Matchday 14
Oljestaden IF 1–0 KT Laranjauzia
KT Itzalovalle 0–0 Shamrock Cathair
1830 Cathair 3–2 KT Moreazerua
Cazadores Cathair 1–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Ferramendiak 4–3 Bombarralense
CdF Celtade 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
AC Izotz Zubia 3–2 AS Marcadia


Y’see, between all their Audioslavian and Vanorian journeymen, Calcio Sicurezza Elfi have this dude called Indra Söderström, nicknamed ‘The Sodastream’ by the Audioslavian section of CSE’s fans. Soderstrom is a proper, actual footballer with proper, actual skills, and his goal is the only one of the game in a media-rocking upset of Cathair. He’s also the source of both the side’s goals against Cazadores, but every ‘upset’ of this Caza team is looking less like a bad day and more like an everyday occurence.

Cazadores Cathair wanted to win the league. Cazadores Cathair are tenth. They’re out of the Challengers’ Cup already, they’re 4-1-5 in the league. It’s an awful, awful season for the ‘other other’ capital club.

City rivals Shamrock are only slightly better off.
Shamrock Cathair Shammers
Glass Bridge Stadium, (Cap: 31500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 2
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 1
1. Bombidillyo (31, G , DAI)
2. Atsuhiro Miyazawa (27, D R, OSR)
3. Aron McKenna (23, D L, TJU)
4. Losduse Albofokh (27, DM C, TIO)
5. Ffibwd yTewgneoll (20, D C, KOR)
6. Les Jawallawalla (23, D/M C, APX)
8. Corby Wheeler (28, M C, BRE)
9. Rod Gordon (19, F C, AUD)
10. Alexander Crewe (34, F C, APX)
11. Rosewing (29, F C, EQS)
12. Derrick McLendon (32, D LC, AUD)
13. Illya Karapetrov (30, D L, STL)
14. Thor Møller (29, F C, VAL)
15. Bryson O'Lara (19, D C, EFL)
16. Txomin Lacouague (34, D LC, AUD)
17. Kieran Docherty (29, D R, BRE)
18. Colm O'Tuathail (26, M L, KSK)
19. Fergus Sloan (25, M L, GRU)
21. Emilia Torgersen (16, AM C, VAL)
22. Thomas McFarland (19, G , AUD)
23. Archer Andrews (21, F C, TJU)
25. Viðar Adriansson (28, D C, GRF)
27. Sho Itō (19, M/F R, SQR)
28. October MacLucas (16, M C, AUD)
31. Alexander McPahan (16, M RC, AUD)
Mng. Rohan Cammers (49, M C, APX)


Shamrock Cathair started the season as third favourites for the title, having finished second in the league twice in the last three years - both times losing it in the dying seconds of their final game. In the transfer window they added solidity in the form of highly rated Tiog DM Losduse Albofokh, a Big Fucking Graentfjaller named Viðar Adriansson and experienced Txomin Lacouague from title rivals AC Izotz Zubia. In addition, they’ve introduced attacking youth prospects Sho Itō and Emilia Torgersen with home-grown young-guns Alec McPahan and Rod Gordon expected to play a larger role in coming seasons.

They started their season against both Marcadian teams, AS followed by Osarese. They lost both. 2-0 and 4-0.

Suffice to say, the promotion of these younger players to the first-team was fast-tracked somewhat for their trip to Bombarralense.

Yohan Millar was dropped - and, indeed, sold outright to Kelsek’s Torbay Thunder - with Sho Itō starting on the right. Of the defensive partnership of new recruit Lacouague and Les Jawallawalla, only the former even make the bench, with Rohan Cammers going for a duo of Adriansson and yTewgneoll instead. TJUN-ia’s Aron McKenna started ahead of Karapetrov, whose form had waned, and Rob Gordon partnered Thor Møller up front, with Rosewing left out of the side despite being fit - a first for the star Equestrian at Shamrock. In goal, 19 year-old Tom McFarland started ahead of Bombidillyo. Even Colm O’Tuathail, who’d been pretty good over the first few games, was dropped in favour of Fergus Sloan.

Sloan’s floated cross found Gordon at the far post early in the first half, and Møller made it two before the break. Bombarralense had the better of the second half, scoring through Rylan Bishop, but Cammers rang the changes again, bringing O’Tuathail and Rosewing on for some added impetus up front, and the Bombers finished the game on the back foot.

Cammers, clearly believing himself to be some sort of footballing genius despite all prior evidence, continued to mix things up. Shamrock won three on the bounce. And then they emphatically didn’t. A first eleven including two sixteen year-olds - October MacLucas and Alec McPahan - floundered limply in defeat to Excelsior Zijweg just before their extended four-week break.

If Cammers had returned with a new plan, it didn’t work. Draws with Itzi and Oljestaden saw the side drop into mid-table, just a point above struggling city rivals Cazadores.

And then, on matchday fifteen, they hosted the city rivals. Reigning champions. Through to the knockouts of the Champions League. Thorsten F. Kramer’s 1830 Cathair.

For once, Cammers fielded what many believed to be his full-strength side. young Tom McPahan in goal, a back four of Miyazawa, McKenna, yTewgneoll and Adriansson. O’Tuathail on the left, Itō on the right, Corby Wheeler the box-to-box midfielder, Losduse Albofokh the water-carrier, Thor Møller up front, partnered by Equestrian striker Rosewing.

Matchday 15
Osarese Marcadia 1–4 AC Izotz Zubia
Bombarralense 0–3 CdF Celtade
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3–4 KT Ferramendiak
KT Moreazerua 2–2 Cazadores Cathair
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 1830 Cathair
KT Laranjauzia 2–2 KT Itzalovalle
Excelsior Zijweg 3–3 Oljestaden IF

There really was no midfield battle to speak of. Thorsten Kramer bossed the game, but Wheeler and Albofokh weren’t stupid. They spent much of the game goal-side of the ball, making sure the Cathair midfield couldn’t pass around them. A tight defensive unit repelled the Elders and, time and again, found inroads on the counter-attack via O’Tuathail and Itō. In the second half, their efforts paid dividends, with an unlikely goalscorer in the form of substitute full-back Kieran Docherty, a Brenecian squad-player thrown on in place of a struggling Miyazawa. Latching onto a looping clearance, Docherty took a heavy touch, watched helplessly as the ball spun into the air in front of him, got frustrated that it wasn’t coming down quick enough, and booted it as hard as he could the second it got to roughly waist level. Stroud in the Cathair goal was unsighted and ill-prepared for a full-back thunder-blooter and could only watch as the ball curled neatly into the top corner of the goal. The only goal of the game. Docherty celebrated like someone who had never even seen an endzone before. Rohan Cammers celebrated like someone who kicked bottles of water in the general direction of 1830 Cathair managers whenever he saw an endzone. Cammers was sent off. Two members of Lee Sharp’s backroom staff were booked.

After the game, after Cammers decreed that striker Alexander Crewe - a beloved Apoxian now a little too old to lead the line, fourth or fifth in the depth chart up front - would be in the dugout in a managerial capacity for the next game. The next game being, of course, the other Cathair Derby.
The executive boxes at the Arena Kirola are luxurious, if a little dated. A row of comfortable chairs face a large window looking out onto the pitch. The glass of the window is so thick it could stop a bullet, which is useful if you’re Jeremy Jaffacake, which Jeremy Jaffacake certainly is. He’s sitting, facing the window, but with a low round coffee table between it and him. On the coffee table there are three coffees, which is [i]immensely satisfying for the table. To the left of the coffee table, sitting on a chair partially facing the table and partially facing the pitch is a small, rugged looking man who is dressed like someone once told him what clothes a 19th century factory owner wore over the phone in a gale. Whatever that factory owner was doing trying to use the phone in highly windy conditions is anyone’s guess. His name is Rohan Cammers. His salt and pepper hair is, these days, more the former than the latter, and has made gains on its slow escape from his forehead. Cammers, it appears, is helping it on its way by growing it a little longer than usual and slicking it back. He probably thinks this makes him look like Kirk Douglas in Wall Stret, but he’s too wiry, his face too jowely and his hair too thin and the result is that he looks like two Iggy Pops at a funeral. And in any case it was Michael Douglas, not Kirk.

Across from him, someone has decided to place one of the reinforced concrete foundations of a suspension bridge on an expensive armchair, wrap it in a black suit and place a polar bear’s head on it. His name is Rook Cathar and he looks like his new year’s resolution was to pull tractors out of swamps with his bare hands in between carbonaras. It’s December.

He’s hench. He’s also the kind of person whose face turns bright beetroot red when going from a cold outside to a well-heated room. Not a great look for someone whose blondness is only accentuated by going grey. When he picks up his coffee he looks like an embarassed sasquatch inspecting a thimble.

On the pitch, 1830 Cathair are making KT Laranjauzia look like Yuba United. Nothing is working for the boys in deep blue. Thorsten Kramer is doing more running than normal to compensate for the players around him, but the end result of that is that he’s out of position whenever Cathair do get going and, without him as an option the other midfielders are looking sideways rather than forwards for their passes, which only makes Kramer try to work harder. Laranjauzia, for their part, are acting like this is their cup final. It certainly will be their only trip to the Arena Kirola this season.

“It’s kind of looking like Cathair might not win this one. What do you say, lads?” asks Jeremy. Shamrock Cathair’s Rohan Cammers rises to the question first.
”They’ve been dire, you love to see it.” he says, looking over at Rook Cathar.
”Obviously any time Half-Six lose, you have to take advantage of it” continued Rohan. ”It raises the stakes for tomorrow’s game”
“Are you annoyed you won’t be taking charge of the team for it?” asks Jeremy.
”I trust Alex 100%. He won’t let us down. We’ve got a game plan, he’ll make the right decisions on the touchline and, at the end, if we get the breaks, you have to see us as the favourites”
“Is that right, Rook?” asks Jeremy, glancing in the bear’s direction.
”Mmm” says the bear. After a couple of blinks, he realises he’s possibly being rude. ”Excuse me, gents. My mind wandered. Yeah of course it’s good when Cathair don’t win. My mind’s on the game tomorrow”
“Shamrock versus Cazadores. Big game. Always a fan favourite, even amongst neutrals. In fact, probably ‘only’ amongst neutrals. For Caza and Shammers fans it’s… it’s much too tense, isn’t it?”
”That’s what they say. When you’re on the pitch it’s a big one, aye, but there are so many huge games in the league. You make sure you’re fit and ready and that’s all you can do. Plus tomorrow with the chance to make up ground on Cathair. Yeah, our lads are raring to go”
“And does that matter for Cazadores?” asks Jeremy, looking over at Rook.
”Of course” says Rook.
“It’s just that, y’know” says Jeremy, pulling at his collar, knowing the words that are about to come out of his mouth. “Looking at the league table right now, it might seem like the distance between Caza and Cathair makes this game a bit… like…”
Rook turns to look at Jeremy.
“…like the gap might be insurmountable already. And that Caza… aren’t really… aren’t really going for the title… this… season”

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 1830 Cathair 12 7 3 2 27 15 +12 24
2 KT Itzalovalle 13 6 4 3 24 19 +5 22
3 AC Izotz Zubia 10 6 3 1 21 12 +9 21
4 KT Moreazerua 10 5 3 2 18 13 +5 18
5 Shamrock Cathair 10 5 2 3 11 11 0 17
6 Excelsior Zijweg 10 4 4 2 18 13 +5 16
7 Bombarralense 11 4 3 4 20 20 0 15
8 Oljestaden IF 14 4 3 7 17 21 −4 15
9 Osarese Marcadia 11 4 2 5 16 19 −3 14
10 Cazadores Cathair 11 4 2 5 12 15 −3 14
11 KT Ferramendiak 10 4 1 5 24 25 −1 13
12 CdF Celtade 10 3 2 5 12 14 −2 11
13 AS Marcadia 10 3 2 5 12 17 −5 11
14 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 10 2 1 7 12 25 −13 7
15 KT Laranjauzia 10 1 3 6 7 12 −5 6

Rook’s response was to verbally put Jeremy on a coathanger, but not as harshly as he could have. The fact was, like a stopped clock or a libertarian politician, Jeremy Jaffacake was occasionally accidentally right. Forget the fact that Caza were only four points off the Champions League places and that the season wasn’t even near halfway through, Caza had been lacking. The side had lost its foundations at short notice and, right now, Rook Cathar felt like he was propping the team up with twigs while he waited for the cement to dry on the new. Tutayan was an out-and-out winger, a guy whose play involved marauding forward and to the by-line, bought to replace a right-midfielder who had always cut inside to bolster the midfield. Full-back Jerquaad had always sprinted into the space on the right hand side, but Jerquaad had also gone. Guifré Menez, the replacement, was a converted winger who had still to adapt to the idea that, when he got forward, the guy ahead of him wouldn’t necessarily be filling the gap he left behind, and so he needed to stay back and defend, which was definitely not his strong suit. The two other guys who could fill in at right-back were also the marauding type, not the defending type, and Rook’s attempts to plug a centre-half into that spot hadn’t worked. Cristos Harding was a centre half’s centre half, Monterroso too old and too slow, and moving Inteali Koranjo out of position would be like using a faberge egg as a doorstop.

In midfield, Azaim was fine, but a downgrade on either Pridgeon or Menheniot. Adrian Toscani was probably an upgrade on the former, but as an out-and-out attacking midfielder he was too often getting in the sorts of positions Creidne Lindauer wanted to be in. Lindauer was still sharp, but still adjusting to the idea of being the lone striker. Besides, with the situation getting worse and worse, the Brenecian’s fuse had started to shorten. Though the goals were still coming, the bookings were starting to drip through into his game too. A switch back to a 4-4-2 would entail picking one of Aloha, Aranha or Gerhard Colvyn next to the striker, and neither of those three seemed a good fit right now. Another option was the guy they called ‘Just Vegeta’, but he’d just turned 16 and wasn’t ready for the rough-and-tumble of the senior game just yet.

Looking at his squad, Rook Cathar got the feeling he could have done more in the transfer window. Having won the league two seasons ago he knew his job wasn’t in immediate danger, but getting to the end of the season without succumbing to a total disaster would be quite the task.

Matchday 16
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 Excelsior Zijweg
1830 Cathair 0–0 KT Laranjauzia
Cazadores Cathair 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
KT Ferramendiak 1–1 KT Moreazerua
CdF Celtade 2–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
AC Izotz Zubia 1–0 Bombarralense
AS Marcadia 0–0 Osarese Marcadia

…whistle has blown at El Ruedo, let’s go down to Rubio Sanchez at the stadium. Rubio.
“Thanks Jeremy. The East/West Cathair Derby has ended and it has gone to form, but Caza did not go down without a fight. A keenly contested first half saw Creidne Lindauer rattle the crossbar from a header. Tutayan terrorized the Shamrock full-backs, almost scored himself on thirty minutes, and finally set up Lindauer for the go-ahead goal on forty.
Caza came out after half-time looking confident but Rosewing’s goal on fifty-two minutes took the wind out of their sails, shooting low into the bottom corner and under Theold Bracewell, who was furious with himself and letting the ball squirm under his body. Within five minutes it was two for Shamrock, Sho Itō with the probing pass, Thor Møller with the control and the lay-off to Colm O’Tuathail, and the Kelssek winger curled the ball neatly round Bracewell for 2-1. Caza rallied, Shamrock countered, and Corby Wheeler almost put the cherry on the cake at the end. It finishes 2-1, Shamrock’s woes may be over, they go up to fourh and, with three games in hand over 1830 Cathair they could be top by the mid-season break. Zozi will have something to say about that tomorrow when they play Bomba. Full time. 2-1 Shamrock Cathair.
Matchday 17
Bombarralense 4–3 AS Marcadia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–0 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Moreazerua 1–0 CdF Celtade
Shamrock Cathair 4–2 KT Ferramendiak
KT Laranjauzia 5–6 Cazadores Cathair
Excelsior Zijweg 2–1 1830 Cathair

Let’s just take a minute here to appreciate that we’re in one of the worst runs of any 1830 Cathair team in recent memory. There had been a victory for the Elders between the defeats to Sicurezza and Shamrock, but they followed the Shammers debacle with a dreadful 0-0 draw at home to KT Laranjauzia and, this weekend, a 2–1 reverse against newly promoted Excelsior Zijweg. The side have no long-term injury worries but are struggling with a number of players missing a match here or there with some sort of niggle and lacking sharpness on their return. Most notably of this group is Pristina Shine suffering two muscle injuries over Cathair’s opening weeks and struggling in front of goal since. Wingers Medal and Koerner remain in fine fettle, but with Dean Sharp sidelined, Shine off form and Aymeric Fortin struggling to shake off an illness, the onus is on Shakira Handris to perform. Its Handris’s goal that opens the scoring against Excelsior, but the Poafmersian wastes two opportunities early in the second half before Zijweg hit back through Lyndis. Handris turns provider, creating a golden chance for Liam Armstrong with a perfectly weighted pass through defence, but Armstrong can only find the keeper’s knees and Excelsior, full of confidence, counter-attack themselves to a 2-1 lead that they will not give up.

Elsewhere, Cazadores have taken their first win since matchday nine, but boy were they made to earn it. 2-0 up after ten minutes through Toscani and Lindauer, 2-2 after twenty-five minutes, then 4-2 down at the break as Alessandro Juliana starts pulling the strings in midfield, most notably setting up Metan Cordean for number four with a cool flick of the heel.

This must be Rook Cathar’s eighth half-time bollocking in a row, but they still have some sort of effect. Lindauer nods home to reduce the deficit but, in landing, the number seven rolls their ankle. The physio is summoned, the player hobbles to the touchline and, to the utter disgust of every Caza fan in attendance, Gerhard Colvyn takes off his tracksuit.

Colvyn hasn’t scored a single goal thus far this season. The closest he came was an assist for Tutayan that kickstarted Caza’s attempt to rescue some respectability after being 3-0 down to Izotz Zubia at half-time (they lost 4-2). Lindauer, and occasionally one of the Daineris, Aloha or Aranha, have been doing all the heavy lifting on the goal front, which isn’t very much at all right now. It’s with some surprise, then, that fans greet Gerhard Colvyn’s three goals in eighty-one seconds.

The hour mark heralds a corner kick to Cazadores, which Aurelio Saez floats deep. Giorgio Gucci improbably out-jumps Domeka Zabala on the edge of the area to send the ball looping back into the box where Colvyn is arriving to bounce the ball over the keeper with looping header. 4-4. Colvyn trots back to the centre circle. Laranjauzia restart, pass the ball back to the defence under pressure from a terrier-like Gucci, who intercepts a casual pass by Kieran Lorenzen. His own pass is instant and into the path of Colvyn who meets the ball fully twenty-five yards away from the goal. With the Laranjauzia defence scrambling to close the gap, everyone expects Colvyn to take the ball forward, but instead the Brenecian curls a low shot into the bottom corner leaving Iker Saucedo flat-footed in the Laranjauzia goal.

Laranjauzia kick off again, but a long ball forward it easily cut out by Inteali Koranjo, who has space to look up. Tutayan is bursting forward. Perfect. Koranjo’s pass travels around 65 yards and is almost entirely along the ground. Tutayan meets the ball at the corner of the area with the keeper in two minds about whether to come and meet him or stay on his line. Unwisely, he does neither, and Tutayan doesn’t even bother to control the ball, instead laying the ball square into space where he figures a striker is arriving. Colvyn is, indeed, there, yet somehow manages to hit the post with an open net, burying a fortunate rebound for the weirdest, and fastest, hat-trick in National League history.

Having gone from 4-3 up to 6-4 down in the time it takes to poach two eggs and glance at a third, Laranjauzia salvage some dignity from the situation via Galin Alejandro’s 88th minute strike. By that time, the away fans had already given Gerhard Colvyn a new nickname. Yellowstone.

In other news, Shamrock have now won three in a row.

Matchday 18
Cazadores Cathair 3–3 Excelsior Zijweg
KT Ferramendiak 0–0 KT Laranjauzia
CdF Celtade 1–4 Shamrock Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–0 KT Moreazerua
AS Marcadia 3–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Osarese Marcadia 1–1 Bombarralense

Make that four. CdF Celtade had a minor turn-around in fortunes that ended the previous week with a commendably narrow away defeat to KT Moreazerua, but they’re utterly outclassed here. Townsend is, simply, off the pace. You can’t give it 100% every game. Physically? Maybe. Mentally? No. Just no. By the twenty-minute mark it’s an exercise in damage limitation. O’Tuathail is unplayable down the left and the unprededictability of Rosewing, coupled with the fact that Thor Møller will *always* score if you give him the ball in the area, means that Finn and the MacCowans have to spend the full ninety minutes suffering. Shamrock are 4-0 up by the hour. Luca Senna side-foots home a consolation late on.

Shamrock are now in second. At the very summit, Zozi win the bigger of the two Herraduran derbies, overcoming KT Moreazerua by two goals to nil - a Thomas Butler strike followed by a late Carrick finish - to inherit the number one spot ahead of a Cathair side who have already reached the halfway point of their season.

Zozi are a point ahead of Shamrock in second. The two will play one another in the final match of the first half of the league season.

Matchday 19
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
KT Moreazerua 1–0 AS Marcadia
Shamrock Cathair 1–1 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Laranjauzia 0–1 CdF Celtade
Excelsior Zijweg 3–3 KT Ferramendiak

The spoils are shared at the Glass Bridge, though it’s the away side, Zozi, who will feel most agrieved at not having taken all three points. With the game poised at 1-1, heading into the final twenty minutes, former Shamrock full-back Jerquaad steals down the right and finds Wilfried Baume in the area. Baume turns, digs the ball out from beneath his feet, runs into a Graentfjaller-sized wall and pokes the ball to Eurico, who somehow manages to put the ball over the bar from eight yards. Eurico is again involved two minutes later, this time breaking into the box, feigning a turn and instead drawing a foul from Ffibwd yTewgneoll who clumsily trips the playmaker up. It is a penalty every day of the week and twice on Sundays, but the referee instead books Eurico for diving.

The resulting melee sees Rohan Cammers sent off. Alexander Crewe becomes the caretaker boss for the second time this season.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 14 8 4 2 25 14 +11 28
2 Shamrock Cathair 14 8 3 3 22 16 +6 27
3 1830 Cathair 14 7 4 3 28 17 +11 25
4 KT Itzalovalle 14 7 4 3 25 19 +6 25
5 KT Moreazerua 14 7 4 3 21 16 +5 25
6 Excelsior Zijweg 14 5 6 3 26 21 +5 21
7 Bombarralense 14 5 4 5 25 25 0 19
8 Cazadores Cathair 14 5 3 6 22 25 −3 18
9 Osarese Marcadia 14 4 5 5 18 21 −3 17
10 KT Ferramendiak 14 4 4 6 30 33 −3 16
11 Oljestaden IF 14 4 3 7 17 21 −4 15
12 CdF Celtade 14 4 3 7 16 21 −5 15
13 AS Marcadia 14 4 3 7 18 24 −6 15
14 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 14 3 3 8 18 31 −13 12
15 KT Laranjauzia 14 1 5 8 12 19 −7 8

Halfway through the season, we finally come across a league table that tells us something about the season we’re watching. Pretty much every pundit worth their salt had predicted the ‘big six’ to be at the top, Oljestaden, Bomba and OM to be fighting for the Challengers Cup spots and the rest to be fighting relegation, and while that’s roughly what we’ve got, there are still a few surprises here and there.

In sixth place, Excelsior Zijweg are, ooh, eight places further up the table than anyone figured they had any right to be, while Caza sitting in eighth place, six points shy of fifth, is a shock that makes Rook Cathar’s seat a little looser, if not in danger of collapsing any time soon despite the man’s weight. Below, Oljestaden IF are sitting on four wins from fourteen games - they’ve been rididculously inconsistent.

At the top, Zozi and Shamrock lead the way, with Cathair, Itzi and Mozi well within striking distance and with a gap ahead of Excelsior in third. Towards the foot of the table, KT Laranjauzia are in huge trouble, having dug themselves seven points deep into the automatic relegation places. The side’s only win came early on against a Sicurezza side that, while sweating nervously, are still confident of staying up, while Marcadia and Celtade will spend much of the season looing over their shoulder.

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Season Thirteen, Part 3

Postby Audioslavia » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:35 pm

KT Moreazerua Mozi
Ibarretako Estadioa, (Cap: 40000). Moreazerua, Herradura

Domestic Honours - 2
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Pendergarst (37, G , DAI)
2. Boualem Ghannouchi (34, D RC, AUD)
3. Asztrik Puskás (30, D L, AUD)
5. Marwyn Asterisk (24, D C, AUD)
6. Dieter Konoval (33, D C, NPH)
7. Kelvin Lisco (31, D/M R, SAR)
8. Koldo Bazterrika (19, M LC, AUD)
9. Koenraad Rijsbergen (22, F C, AUD)
10. Joan Nonhagatte (33, M C, FFD)
12. Umbro (32, F C, DAI)
13. Deitr Konovaal (32, M C, MRN)
14. Gael Texeira (19, M C, AUD)
15. Roc Riva (20, D RC, AUD)
16. Benin Gerrikabeitia (32, D/M R, AUD)
17. Zafarullah Hamdani (24, M RC, AUD)
18. Circe (27, F C, DAI)
19. Trevor Paraoan (22, AM/F C, FHU)
20. Bartolomej Wladmirowić (30, D LC, ZRH)
21. Morea Zozetua (31, M L, MRN)
22. Catheline Voegel (31, M L, NPH)
23. Maren Artetxebarria (23, G , AUD)
Mng. Imanol Andueza (43, F C, AUD)

The Ibarretako Estadioa in Moreazerua is a stadium that, by now, should have been bulldozed and replaced with something that looks more like a stadium. It is a veritable Thesus’s Ship of a football ground, with the northern and eastern stands having been replaced with a mixture of temporary and new seating twenty years ago that has itself been refurbished and replaced twice. The west stand has been replaced by a ‘state of the art’ (for 30 years ago) section and the southern stand remains an awful scaffolded monstrocity that gets ‘repaired’ every few weeks. The home fans in that southern section enter underneath the southern stand and walk through the jungle of stantions to get to the feet of the stairwells, ten metres from the end of the pitch, where the ground isn’t even paved and churns into thick mud when it rains, which in Moreazerua is often.

The dug-outs are also old fashioned. Literally dug two feet down into the ground with a quarter-cylinder of plastic above it. Manager Imanol Andueza has a strange habit. He doesn’t sit in the dug-out. He doesn’t stand on the pitch. He sits on the dug-out, his feet dangling down and obscuring the view of his assistant manager. There he sits, home game after home game, watching KT Moreazerua quietly and dryly collect enough points to keep him in a job.

Mozi started out their professional existence being godawful. For their first ten seasons they were either one of the worst teams in the LigAnaia or an average-to-strongish team in whatever the second division of the LigAnaia was that year. In season fourteen of the LigAnaia they finished eighteenth, and would have been relegated were it not for the league’s dissolution shortly afterwards.

Somehow, at the start of the National League Era, Mozi found their mojo. Teenage sensation Rodger Mariezkurrena marauded down the left and eventually became a Young Galactico, Robbie Guerricaechevarria made himself a star. Iñigo Boogaard and Thijs Bolotin carved out unlikely mid-career niches for themselves, with Sunrisians Iago Cursopoli and Maçã Verdinha becoming the core of the side. They finished second in the first National League season, won the championship in the next after the additions of Azucena Llorente, Bennik Hreidarsson, Vann Dallara and current fan-favourite Dieter Konoval, and that appeared to be that. Mozi were here to stay.

The next four seasons: Second. Third. Sixth. Eighth.

Alexander Kirk, deciding he’d taken the club as far as he could, decided to retire at the age of 68. Jouard Caceres did a decent job in fixing Mozi in the top eight, but the side have bounced between fourth and eighth ever since.

As of mid-season, Mozi are fifth, three points from the top, and have an outside chance of mounting some kind of challenge for the championship. Their current team is… fine? Good in parts. Maren Artetxebarria is Audioslavia’s second choice goalkeeper, and a back three of Puskas, Asterisk, Konoval and newcomer Roc Riva is as solid as you like. Joan Nonhagatte is still an effective number ten despite his advancing years, and up front Koenraad Rijsbergen is, at 22 years old, a formidable and impossibly strong target man. The current fan favourite is a decent Mrii left winger whose name is Morea Zozetua. No, not just for the name.

As the purple-clad Mozi take to the field against Osarese Marcadia, a team struggling to fulfil last season’s promise, they know that, in this second half of the season, they need to put win after win on the board to keep the pace. If they fall behind in teh title race Zozi, Cathair, Shamrock and their ilk will not stop to wait for them to catch up.

Matchday 20
Excelsior Zijweg 3–0 CdF Celtade
KT Laranjauzia 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 AS Marcadia
KT Moreazerua 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3–1 Bombarralense

Rijsbergen’s equaliser, an hour after Isaia Urso’s opening goal, brought the crowd out of their seats and, therefore, brought a cold sweat out of the guys who have had to make the repairs to that stadium over the years. The Ibarretako Estadioa is rocking (literally) for a few minutes, but Mozi’s inability to break down a rallying Osarese Marcadia defence over the final twenty minutes starts to seriously suck the energy out of the area. Imanol Andueza greets the final whistle with a grimace, hops down from his perch and solemnly shakes Fabio Mancini’s hand.

Zozi have won. Shamrock have won. Mozi have fallen behind. Imanol Andueza is gruffly optimistic in his post-match interview, stating that Mozi’s opportunity will come. The post-match interview of Galactico Manager of the Year Fabio Mancini is altogether more positive.

“We’ve half the budget of these guys, and we’ve split the points. I have to be happy with that”

“No. No I’m happy here. I’ll be staying at Osarese for the forseeable future. You’ll be seeing me in the dugout for a few years to come”

<laughs> “No, I didn’t choose the purple lining especially. I’ve had this suit for a while. The jumper’s from a tailor in Osarius. Giovanni Careva’s. They’ve a place in Cathair, too, you should go there”

“I don’t think it’s at odds with my surroundings at all. This is a beautiful ground. It’s… *rustic*, yes, but there’s a charm to it…”

“Yes, I’ll hope so. It’s a great group we have and I think, if we work hard, we’ll deserve a place in the Challengers’ Cup. Champions League? Perhaps not this year.”

“I’ll definitely be here”

“No, thank you
Osarese Marcadia The Phoenix
Stadio Fabio Mancini, (Cap: 21000). Marcadia, Padia

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Saoirise (25, G , DAI)
2. Michael Jensen (22, D R, AUD)
3. Luigi Biagi (30, D/M LC, AUD)
4. Isaia Urso (37, M C, OSR)
5. Raimundo Saade (29, D RC, AUD)
6. Tayaaga Romneir (25, D C, MRN)
7. Jiang Jieren (17, M R, YZH)
8. Mauithay (25, M C, DAI)
9. Louis O'Brien (35, F C, OSR)
10. Garnett Makanza (23, F C, OSR)
11. Lakhan Machaka (33, M L, SRS)
12. Joseph Mayes (23, AM C, AUD)
13. Shinji Teruzuki (24, G , OSR)
14. Caprice Martinelli (34, DM C, OSR)
15. Mattia Di Perna (30, D C, AUD)
16. Lara Auðunsdóttir (21, F C, GRF)
17. Johan Simundsen (24, M/F L, SVJ)
18. Celestina Favelli (27, M CR, AUD)
19. Paolo Marini (33, D LC, AUD)
20. Luca Passini (21, M RC, AUD)
23. Bong Min-Joong (16, M L, QUE)
Mng. Fabio Mancini (40, M C, OSR)

The Osarese/AS rivalry is one of the most interesting in Audioslavia.

Osarese Marcadia are saltmines and steelworks, AS Marcadia are fishing and shipwrights. Osarese are the earth, AS the sea. Osarese are proud of their formation as a club for Osarian immigrants and proud of their increasingly large and loyal Audioslavian fanbase, AS Marcadia are proud of their Audioslavian seafaring heritage, but equally so of their increased Cosumarite and Mrii ex-pat supporters groups. Osarese Marcadia’s are a red ‘darker than blood’ and the black and gold trim of the Firebirds. AS Marcadia are sky-blue and white. They make excellent rivals.

Osarese were formed, as they will tell you twice per conversation, in salt, iron, fire and blood. The workers in the salt-mining and ironworks industry provide the bulk of their local fanbase, the fire comes from the Osarian phoenix, the blood represents where those Osarians came from - refugees from a country in turmoil. The four elements make up their motto: Ferro, Sale, Fuoco, Sangue. While their home colours are the deepest red you can get before you have to start calling it a shade of black, their away colours are always the same. Silver, white, gold, red. Iron, salt, fire, blood.

When Osarese Marcadia built their home stadium, they built it simply and effectively from red bricks and iron. One tier on each stand, with room to expand and space to fill the corners in if they felt they needed it. They likely won’t. Marcadia isn’t a big city and crosstown rivals AS Marcadia are still the club with the biggest fanbase.

When Osarese Marcadia named their stadium, there was only one option. The Stadio Fabio Mancini.

Fabio Mancini started off life as a Hastmead Diamante legend, albeit in an era were Hastmead weren’t qutie the force they’d become. He became a legend for the Osarian national team in short order, followed by a transfer to Darvale’s Grimsby Town FC (it made more sense at the time) before arriving at AC Izotz Zubia to finish the main part of his playing career amidst silverware in the golden era of the LigAnaia. With Mancini in the centre of the midfield, Zozi flourished, winning the LigAnaia and the Champions Cup among others.

At the age of 37, Mancini moved down the leagues to take up a player-manager job at a then third-tier Osarese Marcadia that nobody ever thought would make their way to the second flight, let along the top. And yet here we are. Mancini no longer wears his football shorts on the touchline, instead opting for a cycle of designer outfits, usually from Osarian tailors Giovanni Careva, who he reps often, but not so often as to become annoying. For a man whose name is in sixteen-foot high letters at the entrance of the stadium, he’s quite good at making sure he’s not the centre of attention.

He built the club on the back of aging Osarian stars and journeymen. Louis O’Brien had been Tout-Puissant’s best striker for years. When they got relegated, possibly for the final time, Mancini coaxed him to Osarese. Gaving Mitchell and Lauro Tedesco played for the club well into their late thirties. Garnett Makanza, Isaia Urso, Caprice Martinelli and Shinju Teruzuki comprise part of the club’s Osarian backbone now.

In addition to these firebirds, Mancini has bought carefully and usually cheaply. Daineri midfielder Mauithay is dangerous from the bench, Audioslavian full-back Michael Jensen a diamond in the rough, with teenage sensation Jiang Jieren making himself a star. 16 year-old Bong Min-Joong may have only made two substitute appearances thus far, but could well be a star in the making himself.

On matchday twenty-one, Shamrock Cathair visit the Stadio Fabio Mancini chasing a league title. Osarese are still trying to make up ground to get into the Challengers Cup places they missed out so narrowly on last season.

Matchday 21
Bombarralense 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Osarese Marcadia 2–4 Shamrock Cathair
AS Marcadia 2–0 KT Laranjauzia
AC Izotz Zubia 1–0 Excelsior Zijweg
KT Itzalovalle 0–2 Oljestaden IF

After their early struggles, Shamrock are on fire, and a real gap has opened up between the boys in green, second on thirty-three points, and Moreazerua in third on twenty-nine, with Cathair still having played two games fewer on 25. Keeping pace with leaders AC Izotz Zubia, Mancini’s old club, takes a lot of work and a lot of luck, and Shamrock have their fair share of both in Marcadia.

Garnett Makanza’s finish puts the home side one goal to the good, Corby Wheeler responds with a deflected shot. Tayaaga Romneir rises at the far post to nod home a second for Osarese, but another deflected shot, this one from teenage striker Rod Gordon, puts the game in the balance at half-time.

It takes a very soft penalty for Shamrock to take the lead after forty minutes of being on the back foot in the second half, which Thor Møller converts to make it 3-2. Møller adds a second on 90 minutes to flatter his side. “It was never a 4-2” says Fabio, who nevertheless praises his opposition for their work ethic and wishes his opposite number, Rohan Cammers, all the luck in the world for their upcoming game against Bombarralense.
Bombarralense Os Bombardeiros
Estadio das Trevas, (Cap: 17500). Bombarral, Lusitâninha

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Uolleys (31, G , DAI)
2. Ortzi Iarzagarai (31, D/M RC, AUD)
3. Muuna Kentar (37, D L, MRN)
4. Maxil Girou (35, D C, MRN)
5. Szescõ Erôss (19, D C, PAS)
6. Beck Clayborn (31, D C, BRE)
7. Max Rizzo (24, M/F L, CBP)
8. Tray Mohaupt (27, M C, SPM)
9. Archnique Henderson (22, F C, AUD)
10. Martí Calderon (27, F C, TEQ)
11. Rylan Bishop (21, M L, TKT)
12. Daczibog Ketadzic (32, D C, SRS)
13. Jacob Marley (27, DM C, MUR)
14. Cody Fraser (33, M C, AUD)
15. Leandro Mexilões (17, M/F CR, AUD)
16. Jinpachi Mishima (28, G/D/DM C, HIN)
17. Robbie Bailey (25, M LC, AUD)
18. Victor Collar (32, F C, AUD)
19. Jordi Valeri (28, M RCL, AUD)
21. Antoni Moigne (21, AM R, AUD)
23. David Africa (25, G , AUD)
Mng. Guillem Rodas (41, D/M L, AUD)

Bomba, from their name to their kit to their octopus mascot, are weird as hell. Their twelve-nation ‘WA-select’ squad contains Murphtannian wingers, Mrii pyschoes, confederate memesters, Hinodejin keeper-cum-defeders, Brenecian journeymen, Pasargan wunderkinds and Cody Fraser. Their formation changes from week to week. Their only consistency is that, since they were first promoted to the National League, they have been Proper Good.

Seventh in their first season, seventh in their second season (plus qualification for the VCI) and sixth last season, including a place in the Challengers’ Cup which they are fully taking advantage of. As things stand they are through to the last sixteen, having traversed a group that included Sterling, Other Sabrefell and Baskita.

The Bombers are often mentioned in the same breath as Fabio Mancini’s Osarese Marcadia due to their similar colours, their having come up to the top flight one after the other and entrenched themselves in the mid-table together. Bomba, though, have stolen a yard on their southern brothers, and will hope to do their bit to arrest Shamrock’s march.

Matchday 22
Oljestaden IF 0–2 1830 Cathair
Excelsior Zijweg 0–1 AS Marcadia
KT Laranjauzia 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
Shamrock Cathair 1–2 Bombarralense
KT Moreazerua 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi

Bomba are as weird as Shamrock are strong, and it’s that that gives them the edge. Daczibog Ketadzic, a Squornshelan Remnant famed in his home country for somehow becoming his team’s top goalscorer despite being a centre-half, is played up front. He’s spent most of his time at Bomba as a third choice at the back, but in starting as a striker he seems to have found his calling. His size and strength and ability to trample opposition players in slow-motion is somehow too much for Shamrock, who are without BFG Viðar Adriansson and the experienced Txomin Lacouague, leaving an off-form Jawallawalla and an inexperienced yTewgneoll to collectively fail to do anything about the enormous red number twelve.

With AC Izotz Zubia starting an extended break, this was Shamrock’s chance to create a gap at the top. Instead, they remain second, and 1830 Cathair close the gap with an away win at Oljestaden IF.
KT Itzalovalle Itzi
The Antzerkia, (Cap: 48000). Ferramendiak, Herradura

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Echepare Rospide (22, G , ASG)
2. Jerónimo Marzan (22, D/M RL, AUD)
3. Anxo Osorio (28, D RL, AUD)
4. Moses Moxey (21, M C, AUD)
5. Alejandro Consuegra (21, D C, AUD)
6. Garai Echevarrieta (22, D C, AUD)
7. Arial Skidoomacher (25, DM C, AUD)
8. Wilhelm Nkitilina (23, F C, TAE)
9. Gabirel Zozaia (23, F C, AUD)
10. Dreigiau Parrish (23, AM C, BRE)
11. Gabirel Oteiza (25, M RL, AUD)
13. Zakuty (24, F C, DAI)
14. Jiskastnya (24, F C, DAI)
15. Laurentzi Arenaza (24, M L, AUD)
16. Xabat Legarza (24, M C, AUD)
17. Vilca Hualla (23, M L, TEQ)
18. Eneko Burionagonatotorecagageazcoechea (18, M CR, AUD)
19. Elis Løvland (23, D L, FFD)
20. Reynard Salama (19, D C, EFL)
21. Theo Cosumar (24, D RL, AUD)
22. Vianca (26, G , DAI)
23. Thiago Vinas (30, AM L, AUD)
Mng. Arnoud Koolhaas (39, D C, AUD)

Matchday 23
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 4–6 Shamrock Cathair
Bombarralense 3–5 KT Laranjauzia
Osarese Marcadia 2–3 Excelsior Zijweg
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 Oljestaden IF
1830 Cathair 2–1 KT Itzalovalle

You remember matchday nineteen when Itzi were on 25 points and well within touching distance of the title? It’s now matchday 23 and Itzi are on 25 points and seemingly going nowhere. They put up a fight against 1830 Cathair, as they usually do, but as usual they’re just… not good enough.

There was a dark period in Itzi’s life where they got relegated, leaving Cathair and Zozi as the only two teams never to have dropped out of the top flight. The next season, out of ten teams in the second tier, they finished seventh. They were just woeful.

Ager Alaba changed all that. The likeable Astograthian took the side by the scruff of the neck, put them on a proverbial coathanger, waggled his finger in front of them and gave the team a thorough telling off. While it was feeling sorry for itself, he changed their culture, got rid of the dross, found a tall young man called Moses Moxey and built a proper, working football team around him.

It’s amazing to remember that Moxey is only 21. All one metre ninety-something of him seems to have been around since the stone age. He remains at Itzi, despite interest from elsewhere, and these days supports the likes of Dreigiau Parrish, Wilhelm Nkitilina, Vilca Hualla and Gabirel Zozaia. But not Ager Alaba.

Alaba’s departure opened the door for Arnoud Koolhaas to take charge last season, and the young boss took his Itzi side to fourth place - admittedly two places lower than where Alaba had taken them, and still fourteen points behind Alaba’s new team, Zozi, in third, but still. Itzi were cementing themselves as one of the elite.

This seasonn they’ve remained there or thereabouts, but that early season IFCF non-event of a campaign hit the side’s morale hard. Two games in the Champions League. Two defeats. Two games in the Challengers’ Cup. Two defeats.

Koolhaas has been forgiven by the board, if not the fans, and has been given more time, but one gets the feeling that this Itzi team should be much further north in the table than they are. A change of manager at the season’s end may be inevitable if he can’t at least get his side to the Champions League again - and ideally stay there for longer than two games next season.
PARRISH! It’s there! It’s one-nil! Koolhaas’s men have taken the lead after just two minutes! Cazadores look stunned, in truth they looked half asleep. What *is* happening with this team? Menez slow, nowhere near his man, the Vilca Hualla has all the time and space he needs to pick out the pass, and he finds Dreigiau Parrish to slot home for 1-0.
1-0 to Shamrock after four minutes, this is *exactly* the start they were looking for, it’s Thor Møller with the attempt, blocked by Rospide but Archer Andrews isn’t going to let that opportunity pass by. 1-0, and are we going to see a *five point gap* open up at the top of the table?
The table isn’t looking good for Caza at all. Eighth place as things stand, out of even the Challengers Cup places when, really, you’d expect them to be well in contention for the Champions League.
..Champions League places with that goal! Moreazerua’s equaliser, it’s that man again Koenraad Rijsbergen, he’s found space, he’s escaped the attentions of Albofokh there and that’s 1-1.
1-1? No! Excellent save from Rospide and it’s cleared away by Consuegra, Itzi living dangerously here. Tutayan was *so* close to the equaliser
..since the equaliser you have to say Moreazerua have had the better of this game, Shamrock looking frustrated. Konoval and Asterisk and Konovaal putting a shift in
..shifts the ball wide to Tutayan, he’s got Menez on the overlap, and that cross is cut-out by Moxey and there’s danger here on the counter, Moxey to Zozaia who will run at this defence, Caza are in disarray here! It’s through to Nkitilina! Nkitilina! Goal! 2-0! No! No the linesman is flagging. Oh that’s a close call. As the ball is played… as the ball is played he *looks* onside…
Onside says the linesman! Mozi are through here! I’s Bazterrikaaaaaa 2-1 Mozi! They’ve turned this one around inside the first half…
Start of the second half Cazadores in all black attacking the goal to your right…
…right into the path of Corby Wheeler and he’s got Andrews to his right! He’s Andrews! It’s Andrewwwws no! It flashes past the post. Shamrock starting brightly in the second half..
…second goal to Itzalovalle but that is an *excellent* stop from Theold Bracewell. He’s had his critics this season but, against most other goalkeepers, that might have been a goal
GOAL! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? And it’s a *disaster* here in West Cathair. Koenraad Rijsbergen on the bounce, he’s thirty yards from goal and that is a *screamer*. 3-1, and can Moreazerua go into *second* place….
..places the ball down, we’re 25 yards from goal here, it’s within range for Toscani. It will be Toscani.. over the bar…
…off the bar! And the rebound! It’s 4-1! It’s *Four One*. Shamrock have fallen apart here in the second half, the fans are furious, but it’s a hat-trick for Rijsbergen, Morezerua are going to move up to second place…
..down to eighth place unless they can get *something* here, it’s *all* Cazadores as we move into injury time. It’s Gucci, Gucci to Aranha the substitute, Aranha to Lindauer, Lindauer! Lindauer can’t get the shot away and Itzalovalle will come away with it. Coolly and calmly done there by Moses Moxey. Itzalovalle are on the verge of arresting their losing streak…
…their winning streak is over but this looks like it could be a consolation, it’s Rod Gordon… goal. A speck of a consolation. Shamrock will remain top, but Moreazerua have mugged them here.
Full time. Cazadores have been beaten by, frankly, the better side here. They cannot seem to pick themselves up…
Full time. Boos ring out at the Glass Bridge stadium. Final score, Shamrock Cathair 2, KT Moreazerua *4*.

Matchday 24
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 Cazadores Cathair
Oljestaden IF 2–1 KT Ferramendiak
Excelsior Zijweg 1–1 Bombarralense
KT Laranjauzia 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Shamrock Cathair 2–4 KT Moreazerua

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 19 11 3 5 36 28 +8 36
2 KT Moreazerua 18 10 5 3 28 19 +9 35
3 AC Izotz Zubia 16 10 4 2 27 14 +13 34
4 1830 Cathair 16 9 4 3 32 18 +14 31
5 Excelsior Zijweg 19 7 7 5 33 26 +7 28
6 KT Itzalovalle 17 8 4 5 27 23 +4 28
7 Bombarralense 19 6 5 8 32 36 −4 23
8 Cazadores Cathair 16 6 3 7 23 26 −3 21
Salvador Monterroso hadn’t slept. That had been the case since he was a kid the night before 1830 Cathair and Cazadores Cathair were due to play one another. As a kid, that usually meant the big blue bully coming over, hitting four past his beloved Caza and heading back towards the city, their fans wiping their feet and breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they boarded the train back to Grand Forum Station.

Even now, aged 30, a professional footballer since he was 18, always at his local club, he didn’t like 1830 Cathair. He didn’t like the idea that they were allowed to just turn up in their stadium. It was like Darth Vader just rocking up to the rebel base for a friendly game of chess. You don’t belong here god damnit.

Salvador had fought his way back into the Cazadores team over the last two years. At least, that’s what his mum told him. The reality was that he’d lost his starting spot soon after Inteali Koranjo had arrived, and had only gained it back once Jirjii Januaa had retired. Koranjo was still the guy, though. Arguably the finest young centre-half in the world. Salvador was just there to be big, get in the way and ensure Koranjo only had to be in three places at once, rather than five.

He felt a pat on his shoulder. His old friend Aurelio Saez, another player who’d spent all their career at Caza and were now the wrong side of thirty, gave him a quick ‘let’s do this’. Ahead, Iago Cacho lead the team out onto the field.

Iago, as a defensive mid, was always at the centre of Caza’s play, and so it made sense to give him the captaincy. Though six years younger than Salvador and not a local lad - he’d been born down the coast in Celta - Iago was a definite for the team sheet and would be for years to come, while Salvador and Aurelio were, to put it harshly, replaceable. Iago was a first-teamer for Audioslavia. Aurelio had only made a couple of appearances. Salvador once got mentioned in the same breath as the national team, but the phone call had never come. Now he was 30, it never would. He didn’t begrudge Iago the captaincy, but he and everyone knew that Iago wasn’t quite the guy. He couldn’t bring a performance out of you that you didn’t know was there already. In truth, nobody in this team was truly a captain. Lindauer played her own game. Koranjo was too young. Hardcheese too weird. Menez too boring.

Iago elected to kick off, and as Creidne and Toscani stood over the ball Salvador got the chance to look over the opposition. Aymeric Fortin and Shakira Handris lead the line, Liam Armstrong was there next to Stani Grōss, with Steve Erickson just in front and then that man Thorsten Kramer seemingly staring right back at Salvador. No sign of Xaime Medal or Anselm Koerner. Cathair were going to play it down the middle and rely on the full-backs for the width, which was perhaps why Andries Nijland, a former winger, was at right-back instead of the less mobile (these days) Leona Rafford. Trfon Vlahilades was twirling his moustache on the other side. At the back, Cathair had gone with experience. Niko Szubanski had seen everything as a centre-half, and he was right next to Ko-oren’s Minne van Schelven. Behind those two, Goran Stroud was jumping on the spot, bringing his knees up to his chest, shaking himself loose.

This was it. The hardest game of the season. The one with the most at stake for the fans. Caza versus Cathair. Bring it on.

…and it’s a second corner for Cathair already, sliced behind from Monterroso and Cazadores look nervous. Tryfon Vlahilades will curl it in, Monterroso is there with the header, it’s out to Szubanski. Szubanski to Vlahilades who’ll take on Menez and he’s through! Danger here! It’s Vlahilades to Handris! Handriiiiiiis wide! A little warning there for Cazadores, Cathair are in the hunt for the title…
…title a few years ago, but they’ve been so poor at times this season. Directionless even oh, mistake from Monterroso! Fortin is through! Fortin’s through on goal! It’s 1-0 Cathair! Oh my word what was Monterroso thinking? He feints left, turns, he goes to play a pass out to the flank but he’s so slow and Fortin steals it. That’s *such* a soft goal to concede…
…concede again here as Fortin breaks through! Fortin lays it off to Erickson. Erickson with the cross but that’s cleared from Monterroso…
…tackle that is by Monterroso! Kramer would have been through there but the big Cazadores centre-half has it, and it’s out to Saez…
…Saez with the corner kick, Caza edging themselves back into this game now. The corner’s hit long, there’s Koranjo with the header but that’s into the arms of Stroud…
…save from Stroud! Oh that was almost 1-1! The first touch from Lindauer gives the Brenecian some space and that’s hit well but tipped round the post. Corner to Cazadores…
…another corner to Cazadores, they’re piling on the pressure here, late in the first half. Saez to take, whipped in and that’s cleared by Szubanski… back in from Toscani and… and they need to get that away and AND IT”S IN! GOAL CAZADORES! I didn’t see who that was?! It’s the number five! It’s Monterroso! 1-1! It’s as you were and Salvador Monterroso has made up for his horrendous error early on…

Salvador was shaking as he took a seat in the changing room. The nervous energy from early in the game hadn’t really gone away, and in fact had been replaced, temporarily, by *pure* adrenaline. For a second he tried to think when the last time he scored a goal had been. Three cycles ago? Four?

He glanced up and saw Rook Cathar looking down at him. The two shared a silent nod. No congratulations on the goal, no recrimonations about his stupid mistake. You broke it, you put it back together, I trust you, we move on.

He felt a hand on his shoulder, turned and saw Gerhard Colvyn, still in his tracksuit.
“Good goal, mate” said the Brenecian. “But next time Fortin takes the ball from you, break his fucking…”

…balls like that into the box more often, Caza might not be so far down the table, but Lindauer couldn’t find the finish, the Brenecian will be furious with himself. Still 1-1 here…
…almost makes it 2-1! It’s a sweetly hit strike from Kramer but…
…but that’s saved from Stroud! An audacious leap from Monterroso but the header is straight down Stroud’s throat…
…will be hard to swallow for this Cathair team fighting for another champinship. Still 1-1 as we roll into the final ten minutes…
…final five minutes now, heres Monterroso, he has the attention of Aymeric Fortin and… pfff that’s dangerous, but the balls forward to Cacho… yes… yes Rook Cathar you have every right to be stood up and yelling like that, Monterroso’s made that mistake before. Gerhard Colvyn looks to be coming off the bench. Lindauer does look tired, it’s been a frustrting evening for the striker… here’s Lindauer now. Tutayan. Tutayan forward, pass to Cacho, to Lindauer, Gucci! Great play! LINDAUER! GOAL! GOAL! GOAL CAZADORES! And from nothing, from nowhere, Cazadores Cathair are in the lead! Quick passing play down the middle, Lindauer screams for the return pass, it’s one touch, it’s a swing of the boot and that’s straight into the bottom corner with Stroud beaten!
…final moments here! Here’s Kramer! Kramer bursting forward, Kramer to Armstrong! Armstrong! HANDRIS! AND IT”S BACK TO KRAMERRR… blocked! What a block that is! Kramer’s shot, he’s only ten yards from goal but Salvador Monterroso has *launched* himself in fromt of the ball and it’s deflected off his… well it’s off his bum isn’t it, Clive?

At the full-time whistle, Salvador punches the ground hard, grabs a handful of dirt, holds it to the sky and shouts a loud AAAAAAA at nobody in particular. He briefly considers thinking about how much his arse hurts before he’s hug-tackled to the ground by Aurelio Saez.

Yes, Caza are kind of shit, but balls to it, they’re better than 1830 Cathair for today at least.

Matchday 25
KT Moreazerua 1–1 KT Laranjauzia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–3 Excelsior Zijweg
CdF Celtade 1–2 Oljestaden IF
KT Ferramendiak 1–2 KT Itzalovalle
Cazadores Cathair 2–1 1830 Cathair
Matchday 26
1830 Cathair 1–0 KT Ferramendiak
KT Itzalovalle 1–1 CdF Celtade
Oljestaden IF 2–0 AC Izotz Zubia
Excelsior Zijweg 2–1 KT Moreazerua
KT Laranjauzia 3–5 Shamrock Cathair

Rohan Cammers stands with his hands on his hips. A bruised and battered Shamrock team are strewn around him, exhausted. An hour previous, roughly the same team had come into the same dressing room and listened to Rohan Cammers seemingly list every expletive and insult in the entire English language and designate each one appropriately to each according to their need. Had it worked? Or had Laranjauzia simply remembered at half-time that they weren’t the second coming of Yuba United? Either way, Shamrock had hit five goals without reply in the second forty-five.

Rohan let the room quieten down, called everyone a lucky bastard and then told them the result of the Oljestaden vs Zozi game.

The Shamrock players recovered some of their energy after that.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 20 12 3 5 41 31 +10 39
2 KT Moreazerua 20 10 6 4 30 22 +8 36
3 1830 Cathair 18 10 4 4 34 20 +14 34
4 AC Izotz Zubia 17 10 4 3 27 16 +11 34

5 Excelsior Zijweg 21 9 7 5 38 28 +10 34
6 KT Itzalovalle 19 9 5 5 30 25 +5 32
7 Oljestaden IF 20 8 3 9 25 26 −1 27

8 Cazadores Cathair 17 7 3 7 25 27 −2 24
9 Bombarralense 19 6 5 8 32 36 −4 23
10 AS Marcadia 17 6 3 8 21 25 −4 21
11 Osarese Marcadia 18 4 7 7 24 30 −6 19

12 KT Ferramendiak 17 4 4 9 32 38 −6 16
13 CdF Celtade 17 4 4 9 18 27 −9 16

14 KT Laranjauzia 21 3 7 11 23 32 −9 16
15 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 19 4 3 12 26 43 −17 15
Last edited by Audioslavia on Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Audioslavia » Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:19 am


…as we enter the final ten minutes, a quick reminder of what you could be missing. All five games are being shown at the very same time. If you switch to channel 401 you can watch Zozi take on Itzi, here we have live coverage of CdF Celtade against 1830 Cathair, while on channels 403 to 405 there’s Feri vs Caza, Shamrock vs Excelsior and AS Marcadia at home to Oljestaden. We’ll keep giving you *live* updates as each goal goes in, though, so stick with us and you’ll see the thrilling finale of this game, Cathair 0, Celtade 0, and surely, *surely* Cathair are going to make the breakthrough? Barry?

I mean, Cathair have to win this. They dominated the first game, they’ve dominated this one, they’re the champions, they’re chasing the title..

They did indeed overturn Celtade in the first game but, let’s not forget, that was only in the second half. Finn Townsend was a thorn in their side in the first game and he’s been an absolute nightmare for Cathair today. He has gotten this team really quite well drilled. The MacCowans are looking very solid despite their lack of experience. It’s a lack of attacking flair that has limited them thus far this season. Do you think they’ll…


Ager Alaba’s name rings out amongst the home fans, the away supporters quieter but *defintely* making their feelings known. Miguel?

This is the man who broke Itzi’s heart by leaving. Zozi fans haven’t given him the easiest of times but, hey, look at the team they have right now, look at the league table, he is taking Zozi places

I think the Itzi fans believe that he should have been taking *them* to those same places. Here’s Thomas Butler for Itzalovalle, it’s inside to Cromwell and Cromwell is running at Itzalovalle here… Skidoomacher sheparding him wide, back to Butler, here’s Larry Martinez. Crossfield… Jerquaad’s in acres of space here…

Butler’s gone down

Tom Butler has gone down, Jerquaad knocks the ball out of play. The replay here… he’s been hit after the ball’s been played, *very* clumsy from Osorio who’ll go into the book… we’re not sure if Butler’s going to continue on, he’s a little shaken… Alaba having words with a substitute here, his Astograthian compatriot… but wait a second we have a goal at the Burdina Jauregia, it’s Cazad…


…estaden looking desperate for the equaliser, here’s Cocoabo 91, he’s…


…rgus Sloan evades the tackle and Shamrock attack once m..


..elief on the face of Rook Cathar as Cazadores *finally* make the breakthrough, it’s 1-0 here, and theres been *another* goal at Oljestaden, it’s *3-3* there…


…over to Møller and there’s danger here! He’s got Rosewing waiting! Rosew…


..splendidly taken by Sep Ros, in behind the defence, stabbed under the goalkeeper and it’s 3-3 here! And we hear there’s been a goal elsewhere! It’s… it’s…



..xcellent pass but Wheeler’s *just* a split-second too slow. Still 3-1 to Shamrock though


Unbelievable. Unbelievable. With his *first touch*. The man who raised eyebrows when announced as a Zozi player, the man with everything to prove… it’s Eskuin Nekol from *forty five yards* just… just what was he even thinking?

Rospide was off his line so… so.. but still…

Two goals to the good now, Izotz Zubia. One Astograthian lobs the ball over another Astograthian from almost his own half, and it’s to the pleasure of the Asto-man in the dugout. Huge smile. Huge *goal*.

Oooh oh. A goal. A *goal*.

There is. That *is* a big goal. There’s been a goal in…

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OWAAOALL! CELTADE! CELTADE! LUCA SENNA! LUCA SENNA! Cathair are a goal down with just four minutes to go! Is the title going to be snatched out of their hands? Have *CdF Celtade* just robbed Cathair of the title, Barry?

Finn Townsend is in position already. He’s waiting for the restart already.

He’s squatting just outside his own area like a quarterback, you’re right.

It will be *defend, defend defend* right now for struggling Celtade. Good lord. CdF Celtade 1, 1830 Cathair 0 as we continue.

Finn Townsend is *staring a hole* in Thorsten Kramer*

Thorsten Kramer kicks off, it’s played back to Liam Armstrong. Armstrong… waits…

Cathair are rushing forward

Armstrong with the long ball, it’s out by Dec MacCowan, out to Medal. Xaime Medal, the young Tequilan… he’s made a fool out of Iñigo Tio here, it’s Medal.. the cross whipped in is cleared.. at the second attempt from Carmelo, it’s back out to Kramer! AND KRAMERRR….

….holy shit

That looked like it hurt.

Holy *shit*

Thorsten Kramer…. eyes on the ball as it drops, he goes for the volley, and Finn Townsend comes in from the side and… that’s a knee right in the side of the thigh

I remember that from school

The referee’s bringing out the card… it’s *yellow*

Cathair aren’t going to like that

Liam Armstrong has a fist-ful of Finn Townsend’s collar.


Finn Townsend has just grabbed a fistful of… oh no

Oh no

Well, the good news for Celtade is that this fracas is going to waste an awful lot of time on the clock…

Matchday 27
Shamrock Cathair 3–1 Excelsior Zijweg
AS Marcadia 3–3 Oljestaden IF
AC Izotz Zubia 2–0 KT Itzalovalle
CdF Celtade 1–0 1830 Cathair
KT Ferramendiak 0–1 Cazadores Cathair
Rook Cathair looks quietly confident in his pre-match interview. His Cazadores side have won two matches in a row, including the Cathair Derby against 1830, to close the gap on the top seven. When asked if Finn Townsend should have been sent off the previous week - and whether Townsend should even be elligible for selection for today’s game - Rook laughs.
“Finn is an excellent player, and he’s really helped Celtade gel this season, but the fact is I think we’re stronger in all areas of the park. We’ll keep things tight, we won’t give away any silly goals, and I think we should have enough for the three points”

He’s asked if he has a prediction about the final score. Rook Cathair simply makes a thinky-face and states his team, Cazadores, are going to win a tight game by a goal to nil.

Matchday 28
Cazadores Cathair 4–7 CdF Celtade
1830 Cathair 1–0 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Itzalovalle 3–1 AS Marcadia
Oljestaden IF 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
Excelsior Zijweg 3–4 KT Laranjauzia

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference, Mr. Cathar will be answering questions momentarily. Please raise your hand to be nominated. Thank you.

Colton Price, Evening Mariner. Rook, what went wrong tod…
Football. Football bloody well went wrong. Never seen anything like it in my life. Never.

Can you tell us a little about your feelings… about the…
The ref? Shite. I haven’t seen that much inappropriate whistling since the wife put the parrot’s cage next to the bedside table

I was thinking more about…
Of course it turns out I’d misunderstood the original request. I thought she’d said said she’d fancied a cockatoo in the bedroom. Easy mistake to make

Rook I was asking more about…
The double sending-off?

Yeah do you have any comm..

You don’t think it changed the game?
You think I don’t think it changed the game?

Well I…
You think I don’t think our having two centre-halves sent off after six minutes changed the game? When we went from 1-0 up to 5-1 down in forty minutes? You think I think that’s just a coincidence?

Well we…
Monterroso’s red card was deserved. Kicking a man while he’s down. I don’t condone that kind of thing.

And Koranjo’s red?
Kicking a man down is different. Especially when it’s Finn Townsend. He shouldn’t have been sent off. Changed the game.
Matchday 29
Bombarralense 2–1 Oljestaden IF
Osarese Marcadia 2–1 KT Itzalovalle
AC Izotz Zubia 0–0 Cazadores Cathair
CdF Celtade 0–3 KT Ferramendiak

Wednesday night. 1830 Cathair vs Raynor City United. Two of the biggest teams in Atlantian Oceania going head-to-head in the AOCL Final. Thorsten Kramer’s opener, Goran Stroud’s error, Aymeric Fortin’s netbursting equaliser, substitute Niko Szubanski rising at the far-post to make it 3-2, Niko Szubanski failing to keep pace with the RCU winger to concede the 3-3 goal, before Xaime Medal’s 85th minute winner, curled sumptuously round the keeper and into the far corner. Another glittering silver trophy, another accodlate for 1830 Cathair manager Lee Sharp to add to his name.

Thursday night. A post-game press conference. A *victory* press conference. And Lee Sharp takes all of the oxygen out of the room with his announcement. Come the end of the season, he’ll be gone from the Arena Kirola.

Saturday afternoon. Pre-game press conference. None of the questions are about Sunday’s opponents, struggling AS Marcadia. Everything is Sharp. Where? Why? When? When exactly? Son Dean? Also gone. Grandson Alex? On the books aged 16? Staying. Lee says its not up to him. Lee tries to shift the conversation towards AS Marcadia, but the journalists aren’t having it.

Sunday afternoon.

AS Marcadia 4–2 1830 Cathair

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 21 13 3 5 44 32 +12 42
2 AC Izotz Zubia 20 11 5 4 29 17 +12 38
3 1830 Cathair 21 11 4 6 37 25 +12 37
4 KT Moreazerua 20 10 6 4 30 22 +8 36
5 KT Itzalovalle 22 10 5 7 34 30 +4 35
6 Excelsior Zijweg 23 9 7 7 42 35 +7 34
7 Oljestaden IF 23 8 5 10 30 32 −2 29
8 Cazadores Cathair 20 8 4 8 30 34 −4 28
9 Bombarralense 20 7 5 8 34 37 −3 26
10 AS Marcadia 20 7 4 9 29 33 −4 25
11 Osarese Marcadia 20 5 8 7 27 32 −5 23
12 CdF Celtade 20 6 4 10 26 34 −8 22
13 KT Ferramendiak 19 5 4 10 35 39 −4 19
14 KT Laranjauzia 22 4 7 11 27 35 −8 19
15 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 19 4 3 12 26 43 −17 15

At the top, it is tight.

Shamrock Cathair lead. They’re four points ahead of Zozi having played one game more, meaning the league is, once again, theirs to lose. Cathair drop to third with their defeat, five points behind, and will need to maximise their points over their final seven games in order to take the title. Maximum points would take them to 58 - typically a points total large enough to finish first or second, though last season would have netted them fourth place. Well, technically third, as they themselves won the league last year.

In mid-table, Cazadores are 8-4-8 and eighth. Their zero-all tie with Zozi is a commendable result, but does not take them any closer to relevance this year.
Matchday 30
KT Ferramendiak 0–2 AC Izotz Zubia
Cazadores Cathair 0–1 AS Marcadia
1830 Cathair 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
KT Itzalovalle 1–1 Bombarralense
Oljestaden IF 0–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi

Caza’s 1-0 home loss to AS Marcadia is somehow worse than it looks. Cazadores fans don’t generally have a tradition to fall back on when they want to get rid of a manager, but they create one today. Somewhere in the eastern stand at El Ruedo, a fan throws a bottle of piss onto the pitch near Rook Cathar, who barely glances at it.

The weird thing is this. After analysis, the piss doesn’t belong to any of the fans. It belongs to Rook Cathar. It’s tinted blue, suggesting it’s already been treated. Further investigations show that a fan had gotten into the sewage system near the offices at the stadium and collected a urine sample from beneath the manager's office, which he’d then bottled and thrown.

I’ve heard of expressing your anger creatively, but that’s just taking the piss.
Matchday 31
KT Moreazerua 1–2 Oljestaden IF
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 KT Itzalovalle
Bombarralense 0–1 1830 Cathair
Osarese Marcadia 3–7 Cazadores Cathair

AS Marcadia 0–1 KT Ferramendiak

Dear Mr. Cathar.

We are sorry we threw pee at you.

We have decided that your identity is indeed, as hitherto suspected, our lord and saviour Sir Rook of Cathair.

Yours sincerely,

Cazadores fans

Rook Cathar puts the letter back in his pocket and waits for the journalists to stop laughing.

Over in Bombarral, 1830 Cathair win out by a goal to nil to keep the pressure on their rivals - they go a point behind Shamrock, albeit having played two extra games.

Cathair are third in the table. A day later, they’re second.

AC Izotz Zubia 1–3 CdF Celtade

Celtade have only won seven games thus far, but two of those have now come against an AC Izotz Zubia side who will be happy to see the back of them. Senna and Escandon are dangerous throughout, with Rosa and Serra’s supply lines the source of all three second-half goals. Finn Townsend’s ferocity and organizational skills dominate the pre-game coverage, but it’s a muted performance from the captain, whose role is simply to set the groundwork for his team-mates.

Employed as a make-shift right-back, teenage sensation Carmelo MacCowan, the youngest of the three brothers, is praised for his tenacity and ability to make life difficult for his opponents despite being a scrawny wee scamp.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 21 13 3 5 44 32 +12 42
2 1830 Cathair 23 12 5 6 39 26 +13 41
3 AC Izotz Zubia 22 12 5 5 32 20 +12 41
4 KT Itzalovalle 24 11 6 7 36 31 +5 39
5 KT Moreazerua 21 10 6 5 31 24 +7 36
6 Excelsior Zijweg 23 9 7 7 42 35 +7 34
7 Oljestaden IF 25 9 5 11 32 34 −2 32
8 Cazadores Cathair 22 9 4 9 37 38 −1 31
9 AS Marcadia 22 8 4 10 30 34 −4 28
10 Bombarralense 22 7 6 9 35 39 −4 27
11 CdF Celtade 21 7 4 10 29 35 −6 25
12 Osarese Marcadia 22 5 9 8 31 40 −9 24
13 KT Ferramendiak 21 6 4 11 36 41 −5 22
14 KT Laranjauzia 22 4 7 11 27 35 −8 19
15 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 21 5 3 13 27 44 −17 18

Time is quickly running out for KT Itzalovalle, who are relying on a series of disasters from their rivals in order to mount a serious title challenge. Itzi have just four games left in the season and will need to win each one.

Oljestaden IF are in a similar predicament, needing maximise their points from their three remaining games to keep them above Cazadores who, despite being in the middle of their most forgettable season in recent memory (at least we assume so, it’s difficult for more forgettable seasons to stay in recent memory), are only a point back with three games in hand and are the bookies’ pick for at least the final Challengers Cup spot.

At the bottom, Celtade once again drag themselves out of the relegation playoff spots. Osarese Marcadia, surprisingly, fall into them. Fabio Mancini’s men have drawn almost half their games this season, converting three points into one with alarming regularity. The side were gunning for the Challengers’ Cup at one point, but have long since abandoned hopes for IFCF football next season.

At the very bottom, Calcio Sicurezza Elfi have won only twice since the break, are four points adrift of the playoff spots, and have become the favourites for the drop.
…underway here with Shamrock, in green, going from left to right. Oljestaden, wearing light blue, attacking the goal to your left…
…left Naim Nabhani for dead there, it’s Vlahilades with the cross… out by Pettersen, only as far as Koerner… and KOERNER! Off the post! And it’s away! Sicurezza survive, but for how long will they be able to…
…able to shrug off the attentions of Beck Clayborn who brings him down… penalty! Penalty to Cazadores! Lindauer with the turn, Clayborn is flat-footed and that’s a clumsy challenge. It’ll be Lindauer to take. Uolleys bouncing around on the goal-line, will that faze Lindauer? No. No emphatically not. It looks like the striker was actually trying to hit the keeper with the ball, but Uolleys has helpfully dived to his left to avoid it. 1-0 Cazadores as we go into the 20th minute…
…in the 20th minute, it’s Shamrock who open the scoring! Such an important goal, can their extend their lead at the top of the table? Rosewingwith the strike, it’s 1-0 Shamrock!
…almost 1-0 Cathair but no, that’s an excellent save from Ibrahim Mathisen. Pristina Shine can’t quite believe…
…can’t quite believe what’s happened here, Monterroso… what is he doing? It’s a headed backpass but it’s *so* short, and it’s a gift for Archnique Henderson who blasts it home. 1-1 here at El Ruedo! Cazadores will kick off again. Bombarralense are somehow back in this…
…this is a great chance, it’s MØLLER! 2-0! 2-0 Shamrock after only forty minutes! Driven hard into the area, it’s the gentlest of flicks but it takes the ball past Castillo, and Shamrock have doubled their lead…
…take the lead here but no, that’s another good save from Mathisen. Cathair knocking on the door here but CSE are pretending they aren’t in. Corner to Cathair..
Corner to Cazadores. It’s whipped in by Gucci, back out by Erôss, only as far as Adrian Toscani who heads it back in… but it’s cleared away. Toscani’s down… yeah he it looks like he may have landed awkwardly. So close to half-time the boss may try to see if he can walk this one off…
…will walk off at half-time with a three-nothing lead. Is this their moment? Are they going to be the champions once again? Colm O'Tuathail the provider, Møller the scorer again. Shamrock three, Oljestaden zero as we go into half-time…
…second half commences with 1830 Cathair still in search of the go-ahead goal…
…second half commences with a change for Cazadores Cathair. Toscani is off, and we have an appearance from young Quebecois Kepler Marcel Gouveia de Souza, just turned sixteen years of age… very recently it appears. On the back of his shirt there appaears to be… ‘Just Vegeta’. Interesting…
…goal! A reply by Oljestaden! It’s Cocoabo 91 and this might make the second half interesting…
..Thorsten Kramer to Koerner, Koerner back to Kramer, Kramer probing, he finds Fortin! It’s FORTIN! No! off the post, and it’s away from Santiago Canez, and Sicurezza survive another wave of Catharan attacks…
…attacks down the left, here’s Vegeta, that’s a blistering turn of pace, it’s through for Creidne Lindauer! Saved by Uolleys! Lindauer again! Saved again! Oh, that was so close to being 2-1…
3-2! It’s 3-2 and it’s Santiago Santiago! The full-back meets the clearance full on, it’s a *thunderous* strike and McFarland is well beaten, and all of a sudden we have a game on our hands!
GOAL! GOAL! It’s unbelieveable! It’s Indra Söderström! Collecting the ball on the left, they blaze past Leona Rafford. Dennis Våge is arriving into the box but Indra doesn’t need him. I don’t think Stroud was expecting a near-post finish like that, it’s 1-0 to Calcio Sicurezza Elfi, it’s against the run of play, and who could have predicted…
…who could have predicted this? It’s Shamrock Cathair three, Oljestaden IF three! Shamrock have blown their lead! It’s Kasperi Otaleinen, the Savojar, and have Shamrock thrown away a golden opportunity here…
…here’s Vegeta again, he tries from distance OH WHAT A GOAL! From twenty-five yards, it’s curled into the top corner, and have Cazadores unearthed a diamond here! 2-1 Caza!
4-3! 4-3 Oljestaden! And Shamrock really have thrown this one away! It’s Cocoabo 91 once more!
1830 Cathair have created nothing since going behind, it’s looking bleak for the champions here. Only Shamrock’s capitulation is going to keep them in the title race, and speaking of which…
5-3. Shamrock have utterly, utterly fallen apart. Sep Ros the scorer, and this throws the title race wide open
Matchday 32
CdF Celtade 2–0 AS Marcadia
KT Ferramendiak 0–2 Osarese Marcadia
Cazadores Cathair 2–1 Bombarralense
1830 Cathair 0–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Oljestaden IF 5–3 Shamrock Cathair
Matchday 33
KT Laranjauzia 1–1 Oljestaden IF
Shamrock Cathair 3–0 KT Itzalovalle
KT Moreazerua 1–1 1830 Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–0 Cazadores Cathair

Bombarralense 3–0 KT Ferramendiak
Osarese Marcadia 1–0 CdF Celtade
AS Marcadia 1–3 AC Izotz Zubia

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 23 14 3 6 50 37 +13 45
2 AC Izotz Zubia 23 13 5 5 35 21 +14 44
3 1830 Cathair 25 12 6 7 40 28 +12 42
4 KT Moreazerua 23 11 7 5 33 25 +8 40
5 KT Itzalovalle 26 11 6 9 36 35 +1 39
6 Oljestaden IF 27 10 6 11 38 38 0 36
7 Excelsior Zijweg 23 9 7 7 42 35 +7 34
8 Cazadores Cathair 24 10 4 10 39 40 −1 34
9 Bombarralense 24 8 6 10 39 41 −2 30
10 Osarese Marcadia 24 7 9 8 34 40 −6 30
11 CdF Celtade 23 8 4 11 31 36 −5 28
12 AS Marcadia 24 8 4 12 31 39 −8 28
13 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 23 7 3 13 29 44 −15 24
14 KT Ferramendiak 23 6 4 13 36 46 −10 22
15 KT Laranjauzia 23 4 8 11 28 36 −8 20

Nobody at Shamrock can account for their spectacular climbdown against Oljestaden IF, but the side bounce back the next week to officially end KT Itzalovalle’s title hopes which were, admittedly, only mathematical after their home defeat to KT Moreazerua. Nobody has really taken Mozi as a serious title threat all season, but the side have been terribly difficult to beat, losing only five times in 23 games, and with the second best defensive record in the league. With Shamrock faltering and also going deep into the Champions League, nobody is writing off any of the teams except, perhaps, 1830 Cathair.

The Elders have three games left in their season. Three wins will take them to 51 points. They would need both Shamrock and Zozi to lose at least three or their final five matches in order to have a hope of winning the title.

In the middle, Cazadores are still plodding away in mid-table, just outside the Challengers’ Cup places. With Oljestaden having gone on a tear, their chances of IFCF football next season are looking less certain.

At the bottom, two wins for CSE lift them out of the automatic relegation places. The final relegation playoff place could go to any team from AS Marcadia to Bombarralense, while Laranjauzia are looking distinctively doomed at the bottom.

The next two matchdays will be ones to look out for. Two Cathair derbies, with 1830 Cathair taking on Shamrock on matchday thirty-four, with Shamrock hosting Caza the week after.

The end-of-season matchup between Shamrock and Zozi is looking more and more like it will be a title decider.

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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Audioslavia » Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:24 am

Matchday 34
AC Izotz Zubia 2–2 Osarese Marcadia
CdF Celtade 0–0 Bombarralense
KT Ferramendiak 0–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Cazadores Cathair 1–1 KT Moreazerua
KT Itzalovalle 3–2 KT Laranjauzia
Oljestaden IF 0–0 Excelsior Zijweg

Monday evening’s Cathair derby comes after a bizarre matchday wherein every game bar one ends in a draw. On Friday evening. AC Izotz Zubia rescue a solitary point via a late Carrick strike. The two sides set the trend, with Celtade and Bombarralense sharing a nil-all draw in Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff, before Feri and CSE do the same and Caza and Moreazerua share the only two goals of the day, Caza’s coming through a towering Salvador Monterroso header that just about makes up for the bullshit he’s pulled over the last few weeks.

Sundays games see Oljestaden and Excelsior play out a drab nil-all draw, but only after Itzi and bottom-of-the-table Laranjauzia share five goals between them, with the former climbing to fourth place, albeit with only one game to spare.

Come Monday evening, all eyes are on the Cathair derby to save the weekend.

1830 Cathair 0–0 Shamrock Cathair


The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 24 14 4 6 50 37 +13 46
2 AC Izotz Zubia 24 13 6 5 37 23 +14 45
3 1830 Cathair 26 12 7 7 40 28 +12 43
4 KT Itzalovalle 27 12 6 9 39 37 +2 42
5 KT Moreazerua 24 11 8 5 34 26 +8 41
6 Oljestaden IF 28 10 7 11 38 38 0 37
7 Excelsior Zijweg 24 9 8 7 42 35 +7 35
8 Cazadores Cathair 25 10 5 10 40 41 −1 35

Here’s the top half of the league table. It’s almost exactly the bloody same except for one fact. 1830 Cathair are almost, *almost* definitely not going to win the league, and Oljestaden IF have now played *all* of their games and, in order to qualify for IFCF football, now require Caza and Excelsior to get less than two points from their final three or four games.

Oljestaden, understandably, go on holiday.
Matchday 35
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 4–1 CdF Celtade
Excelsior Zijweg 1–0 KT Itzalovalle
Bombarralense 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Laranjauzia 4–5 1830 Cathair
KT Moreazerua 3–2 KT Ferramendiak
Osarese Marcadia 3–2 AS Marcadia

For a team like 1830 Cathair, it’s really not supposed to be *this* hard. After Calcio Sicurezza Elfi’s fightback KT Laranjauzia are eight points adrift at the bottom at kickoff, yet Zorian Linazasoro still manages to open the scoring for the home side.

Cathair hit-back via an annoyed Thorsten Kramer, who scores with a low shot into the corner and sets up Dean Sharp for a second, before Xaime Medal cuts inside and bends a shot into the far corner with the outside of his left foot for 3-1.

1830 Cathair took their foot off the accelerator, and Laranjauzia stole their way back into the game. Alessandro Juliana’s free-kick cannons off a defender’s knee and loops into the top corner with Stroud helpless.

Laranjauzia have the cheek to emerge as the better side after half-time and somehow manage to equalise, Metan Cordean drilling a volley home through a crowd of players.

It’s at this point that Lee Sharp stands up fron his dugout, heads to the edge of his technical area and starts shouting. Cathair, with a touch more focus, go four and five-three up via Pristina Shine and Jack Menard before, with five minutes to go, a symbolic substitution is made. Off comes Dean Sharp, 35 years old, making a rare starting appearance in what will surely be his last game for 1830 Cathair, and possibly of his career. On comes a sixteen year-old striker named Alex Sharp. Dean’s son, Lee’s grandson.

The crowd give the act of pure nepotism a polite applause.

Alex doesn’t come close to scoring. Instead, Laranjauzia ensure the end of the game is a nervy one as they make it 5-4 on eight-six minutes.

While all this is going on, AC Izotz Zubia are painstakingly defending a 1-0 lead - given to them early via Thomas Butler’s trickery and Vesuvia Carrick’s ability to pass a ball into the bottom corner from four yards - against a Bombarralense side that are watching the IFCF door close slowly on themselves. Leandro Mexilhões and Martí Calderon both come close late on, but Zozi hold on take top spot in the league, and all eyes turn towards Sunday’s derby. Shamrock host Cazadores.

Three seasons ago, Shamrock Cathair were leading the league on the final day, but a two-all draw with Cazadores saw them fall behind 1830 Cathair to finish second. To add insult to injury, Cazadores galloped to the league title themselves the next season, with Shammers down in fifth.

Last season, the two Catharan rivals played each other on the final day once more, with Shamrock once again going for the league title. Caza were defeated that day, but a last-minute goal elsewhere again gave 1830 Cathair the league title, consigning Shamrock to second.

Shamrock come into the game missing key players. Midweek’s Champions League semi-final first leg was a gruelling affair, and many of their first team are carrying knocks. O’Tuathail needs to be rested, so Fergus Sloan comes in. Corby Wheeler’s out with a swollen ankle and Losduse Albofokh is suffering from general wear and tear, so there’s a makeshift look to the centre of midfield with out-of-favour centre-half Les Jawallawallah starting in midfield for the first time in two years, while seventeen year-old Emilia Torgersen makes her first start for the club. Up front, big number ten Alexander Crewe is also starting his first game of the season with Gordon and Rosewing both injured.

Crewe immediately sets about reminding the home fans why they love him so, bundling his way past Inteali Koranjo and launching himself at a high cross, sending it back across goal for Møller to bundle in at the far post for 1-0.

Cazadores have had a dreadful season, and many of their fans are just waiting for it to finally end. Ideally they’d prefer Shamrock *not* to win the league, though, so it’s with great joy that they greet Giorgio Gucci’s equaliser.

Shamrock’s Vanorian midfielder Torgersen has had a quiet game thus far, the teenager somewhat overwhelmed by the occasion and the unfair amount of pressure put on her young shoulders, but she shrugs this off in a moment of second-half inspiration, turning Salvador Monterroso inside-out with a cruyff-turn, changing direction quickly to create space for a shot and, instead, playing a lethargically slow reverse pass right into the centre of the area. Møller walks onto the pass and it seems like the sea has parted, with every red-shirted defender utterly bamboozled. Møller slides the ball into the corner for 2-1.

Cazadores fight their way back into the game, but their ascendancy is halted by an injury to Shamrock’s veteran defender Txomin Lacouague, whose knee has been subjected to the scary side of Gerard Colvyn’s boot. Lacouague, a recent arrival from Izotz Zubia, has never been a fan favourite at Shamrock, but that doesn’t stop the home fans dragging Colvyn’s name through the muck as Lacouague is stretchered off.

The stage is therefore set for Colvyn’s transition to pantomime villain to be completed.

On eighty-six minutes, a casually hit backpass from Jawallawallah causes havoc. Goalkeeper McFarland, Shamrock’s Ffibwd yTewgneoll and Caza’s Colvyn are all around the same distance from the ball as it rolls slowly to the edge of the area. McFarland comes forward, but is clearly in two minds and decides to wait on the edge of his six yard box. yTewgneoll races to the ball first but, before the defender can do anything, Gerard Colvyn literally pounces on his back. The pair start a slow collapse to the ground, but Colvyn manages to stick out a boot that sends the ball skittering into the corner for 2-2 past a confused McFarland.

From a distance, and from the point of view of a complete imbecile, you might think that Colvyn and yTewgneoll have had a fair tussle for the ball. Fortunately for Colvyn, Cathar and Cazadores, there was one wearing a black jersey in the centre of the field. The goal stands.

In any other game, Shamrock manager Rohan Cammers might have gotten into a slanging match with the opposition manager. He knows better than that when it comes to Rook Cathar. Cammers directs his anger instead at the referee, who summarily sends him down the tunnel.

Shamrock Cathair 2–2 Cazadores Cathair

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 25 14 6 5 38 23 +15 48
2 Shamrock Cathair 25 14 5 6 52 39 +13 47
3 1830 Cathair 27 13 7 7 45 32 +13 46
4 KT Moreazerua 25 12 8 5 37 28 +9 44
5 KT Itzalovalle 28 12 6 10 39 38 +1 42
6 Excelsior Zijweg 25 10 8 7 43 35 +8 38
7 Oljestaden IF 28 10 7 11 38 38 0 37
8 Cazadores Cathair 26 10 6 10 42 43 −1 36
9 Osarese Marcadia 26 8 10 8 39 44 −5 34
10 Bombarralense 26 8 7 11 39 42 −3 31
11 CdF Celtade 25 8 5 12 32 40 −8 29
12 AS Marcadia 25 8 4 13 33 42 −9 28
13 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 25 8 4 13 33 45 −12 28
14 KT Ferramendiak 25 6 5 14 38 49 −11 23
15 KT Laranjauzia 25 4 8 13 34 44 −10 20

It’s advantage Zozi at the top of the league, but only by a point, though it’s looking more and more like the title race might come down to that final game between Zozi and Shamrock. 1830 Cathair might be finishing down in fourth if Moreazerua win two of their last three matches, while Itzalovalle’s season ends with a miserable defeat to Excelsior, who will now try to overhaul them for fifth.

Cazadores remain eighth, where they’ve been for much of the season, though with Oljestaden’s season over they know exactly what they have to do to reach the Challengers Cup.

At the bottom, Laranjauzia are doomed, Ferramendiak may not escape the same fate, and it’s still a four-way battle to avoid the two relegation playoff spots.
Matchday 36
1830 Cathair 6–1 Excelsior Zijweg
AC Izotz Zubia 5–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Ferramendiak 2–1 Shamrock Cathair
AS Marcadia 0–2 Bombarralense
CdF Celtade 0–0 KT Moreazerua
Cazadores Cathair 3–1 KT Laranjauzia

*heavy sigh*

The ecstasy of a midweek victory over Raynor City United to reach their first ever Champions League Final is followed by bitter humiliation away to all-but-relegated KT Ferramandiak, on a day where title rivals AC Izotz Zubia swat CSE aside and the other Cathair sides win 9-2 on aggregate.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 26 15 6 5 43 23 +20 51
2 1830 Cathair 28 14 7 7 51 33 +18 49
3 Shamrock Cathair 26 14 5 7 53 41 +12 47
4 KT Moreazerua 26 12 9 5 37 28 +9 45
5 KT Itzalovalle 28 12 6 10 39 38 +1 42
6 Cazadores Cathair 27 11 6 10 45 44 +1 39
7 Excelsior Zijweg 26 10 8 8 44 41 +3 38
8 Oljestaden IF 28 10 7 11 38 38 0 37
9 Bombarralense 27 9 7 11 41 42 −1 34
10 Osarese Marcadia 26 8 10 8 39 44 −5 34
11 CdF Celtade 26 8 6 12 32 40 −8 30
12 AS Marcadia 26 8 4 14 33 44 −11 28
13 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 26 8 4 14 33 50 −17 28
14 KT Ferramendiak 26 7 5 14 40 50 −10 26
15 KT Laranjauzia 26 4 8 14 35 47 −12 20

It’s as though the title race ends today. Cathair’s season comes to a close. Lee Sharp will not be adding a fourth league title to his tally, and the likeable Euran enters ‘retirement’ at the ripe old age of sixty-flex. One AOCL, one Champions League, three league titles and a domestic cup. That’s a good turn-around even for a team like 1830 Cathair.

Also waving farewell is Dean Sharp, Lee’s son, who comes to the end of his contract and, at 35, has decided to also ‘retire’. For the final minutes of the game, Dean and Alex sharp are both on the field together, and the strikers almost combine for a seventh goal, but Alex’s header is palmed over the bar by Mathisen.

Cazadores’s win means they are assured of an IFCF Challengers Cup place despite this being the first week they’ve even been above seventh since the first half of the season, and Caza even have an outside chance of taking fifth place with a win in their final match.

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Postby Audioslavia » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:13 pm

Matchday 37
KT Moreazerua 0–0 AC Izotz Zubia
Excelsior Zijweg 2–2 Cazadores Cathair
KT Laranjauzia 4–0 KT Ferramendiak
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 AS Marcadia
Bombarralense 2–3 Osarese Marcadia

…and the final score here, fourth-placed KT Moreazerua nil, league leaders AC Izotz Zubia nil. Zozi increase their lead at the top by a point, and Shamrock now know that, if they are to have any chance of winning the title next week against Zozi, they have to win tomorrow. It will be a match of vital importance at both ends of the table. Shamrock desperate to win, but their opponents are fighting to stay out of the relegation playoffs after having fallen back in. It will be Shamrock Cathair versus CdF Celtade, and it will be *live* on Chan…

…don’t you dare change that channel. Shamrock in all white attacking the goal to your right, CdF Celtade in green. Your commentator is Barry Heathcliffe and, with him, Rubio Sanchez…

…what do you think about that, Rubio?
It certainly was harsh, yes. Townsend has gone in firmly but fairly. The home crowd maybe influencing the referee, here
It is a capacity crowd as you’d expect. It’s a frenetic, exhausting month for the club. Two nailbiters against Raynor City United to make the Champions League final, this game that they *need* to win to keep their title hopes alive, to make next week’s match truly a winner-takes-all encounter, and then, in two weeks time, the Champions League final. Dragan Kryznjak’s Directus await.
They were looking past Ferramendiak last week and paid dearly. It’s made today even harder for them, and with this squad they’d ideally want to make sure their load is as light as possible
Corby Wheeler with the free-kick, whipped in.. it’s bouncing around in the area! GORDON! No! He couldn’t quite wrap his foot around it, and Sousa watches it sail over the bar. A warning there, for Celtade…
…Celtade can counter here, it’s MacCowan’s long ball and it’s Luca Senna bursting through! Senna! SENNA! Stopped! Saved by McFarland!
A warning, there, that this might not *all* go Shamrock’s way…

…given away by Jawallawallah! Here’s Escandon! Escandon to Senna! SENNA! Wide! Ooft, a *let* off for Shamrock!
He should be hitting the target. There’s no excuse for not making the keeper work, there. I agree, that’s a let-off for Shamrock..

..Shamrock having to chase back, here, here’s Luca Senna, it’s over to Rosa… Rosa gets the better of Miyazawa! Rosa! ESCANDON! Blocked by the keeper! And it’s away for a throw in, cleared hastily by Ffibwd yTewgneoll. Celtade are doing their utmost to ruin the Shamrock party, here...

…here’s Wheeler… but that’s too short for O’Tuathail and it’s cut out by Townsend who sprints forward! He’s got options to both sides as he bursts through the middle… he’s past Adriansson! He’s still going! It’s Finn TownSEEEEEEND off the bar! Oh my word what a goal *that* would have been! Struck from fully thirty yards after sprinting half the field…

Shamrock are *really* struggling in midfield. Abofokh and Wheeler have had an excellent partnership this season but they’ve played *so* many games, and that’s caught up with them. Albofokh is still injured. Shamrock have tried.. who have they tried? Jawallawallah? But he’s really not a midfielder any more, they’ve had him in the gym, he’s got a defender’s body. They’ve tried Karapetrov, a full-back, as a defensive midfielder, they’ve tried bringing Sloan into the centre without effect. O’Tuathail is the best bet as an attacking midfielder but that means Wheeler has to drop back, and it’s really not where he’s effective
Should Rohan Cammers be showing more trust in the teenagers, Rubio?
Torgersen has been *excellent* going forward but not nearly robust enough a player for what Shamrock are lacking. Plus, at 17 years old… that’s also the problem with October MacLucas or Alec McPahan. They can play in the centre, they’ve bags of potential, but they’re 16 and 17 respectively, it’s simply too early.
You wonder whether Rohan Cammers’s inability to bag an experienced backup midfielder in the transfer window will come back to haunt him. You wonder whether they could have kept hold of someone like Yohan Millar, the Eastfielder who was so effective in a central role…
You wonder whether Cammers would think about coming out of retirement and bringing himself on
It could be an idea…
He’s 49
An idea for the final two minutes of a game, maybe. If you’re a Shamrock fan which midfelder do you look at buying to…
Finn Townsend
…yes I thought you’d say that. The rumour mill has certainly been turning…

…turning here as Shamrock get through down the left, and here’s Sloan! The cross! Møller! GOAL! GOAL SHAMROCK! It’s against the run of play, it’s so, so cruel on Celtade, but is *this* the goal that rescues Shamrock’s title ambitions![/color]

Shamrock Cathair 1–0 CdF Celtade

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 27 15 7 5 43 23 +20 52
2 Shamrock Cathair 27 15 5 7 54 41 +13 50
3 1830 Cathair 28 14 7 7 51 33 +18 49
4 KT Moreazerua 27 12 10 5 37 28 +9 46
5 KT Itzalovalle 28 12 6 10 39 38 +1 42
6 Cazadores Cathair 28 11 7 10 47 46 +1 40
7 Excelsior Zijweg 27 10 9 8 46 43 +3 39
8 Oljestaden IF 28 10 7 11 38 38 0 37
9 Osarese Marcadia 27 9 10 8 42 46 −4 37
10 Bombarralense 28 9 7 12 43 45 −2 34
11 AS Marcadia 27 9 4 14 34 44 −10 31
12 CdF Celtade 27 8 6 13 32 41 −9 30
13 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 27 8 4 15 33 51 −18 28

14 KT Ferramendiak 27 7 5 15 40 54 −14 26
15 KT Laranjauzia 27 5 8 14 39 47 −8 23 R

Mozi’s inability to beat Zozi means 1830 Cathair are all but guaranteed third place in the league, though Mozi are assured of qualification for the Champions League.

At the bottom, KT Laranjauzia are down and Ferramendiak will join them unless they can beat CdF Celtade on the final day, though they’ll need Sicurezza to lose to Osarese at the same time. A win for Celtade should guarantee their safety as long as AS Marcadia don’t upset KT Moreazerua.

The big match of the final weekend is obvious. AC Izotz Zubia host Shamrock Cathair in a match that will decide the fate of the league title. A win for injury-hit Shamrock will hand them the championship. Any other result will see Zozi win their first league title since season eight.
It’s not so much a makeshift Shamrock line-up today as it is a make-do lineup. Thomas McFarland starts in goal, Ilya Karapetrov starts at left-back ahead of Aron McKenna, who Cammers says needs some recovery time. Kieran Docherty lines up at In the centre of defence alongside Viðar Adriansson, with yTewgneoll suffering from a knock, Jawallawallah well out of form, O’Lara still out with persistent ankle problems and Lacouague injured. Docherty, a right-back by trade, has been filling in at centre-half in training all season and the manager says he’s confident the Brenecian can adapt here. In midfield, Colm O’Tuathail will again play in the centre of midfield, with Corby Wheeler dropping into a defensive-midfield position, with Fergus Sloan on the left and Sho Itō on the right. Up front, Rosewing is out, Crewe is out, Archer Andrews hasn’t made an appearance since February, so there are pretty much only two options for Cammers: Thor Møller, the club’s top scorer this season, and young Rod Gordon. Shamrock’s bench today has an average age of nineteen, and that’s including backup keeper Bombidillyo, who’s 31. Midfielder October MacLucas and AM Emilia Torgersem may well have a part to play in proceedings today.

For AC Izotz Zubia it’s more or less their first-choice lineup. Branadru starts in goal again, with Breeze out with a bruised fetlock. Ceron captains from the back, with Michael Christie alongside, Larry Martinez at left-back and former Shamrock full-back Jerquaad on the right. Tigran Deschapelles and Lothaire Cromwell marshall the midfield, while Kyran Knudsen, Eurico da Rosa and Thomas Butler are the side’s formidable attacking midfield line-up, but there’s no place for Wilfried Baume up front, who’s failed a late fitness test. Teenager Fergus Coren starts in his stead, with Vesuvia Carrick on the bench.

The home side lining up in salmon and silver hoops, the away side, Shamrock, in all green. We are under way in Izotzazubia. Who will step up and become a hero? Who will win the National League? …

…Jerquaad picks it back up, back to Christie as Zozi go through the gears again. Martinez here. Martinez to Knudsen. Back to Martinez, cross-field ball will find Tom Butler on the right. Butler… a burst of pace, Karapetrov’s lost his footing, Butler’s in here! Butler! Cromwell! COREN! GOAL! 1-0 Zozi! It’s the nightmare start for Shamrock Cathair. They’ve spent the opening exchanges on the back-foot and now, four minutes in, they’re a goal down…

…goes down, nothing doing, says the referee. Cammers is incensed, Zozi attack, and here’s Eurico. Eurico to Knudsen, one-two…. he finds Coren! FERGUS CORohh off the outside of the post! Zozi in the ascendency here with ten minutes gone…

…twenty minutes gone, the ball drops for Møller here, but he can’t bring it under his spell and that’s Ceron coolly stepping in. Shamrock just can’t get going here…

…Sho Ito down the right, he’ll find Wheeler… but that’s cut-out again and here come Zozi on the counter-attack! And here’s Fergus Coren… he’ll wait for Knudsen… and what a ball that is from Kyran Knudsen! It’s Butler! Thomas BUTLERRRR! SAVED! AND AGAIN! Saved again from McFarland! And finally Docherty can clear it away, and it’s hearts-in-mouths time already for Shamrock Cathair…

Shamrock Cathair have barely got going as Zozi continue to press, and here’s Lothaire Cromwell. Cromwell to Deschapelles… it’s back to Cromwell who shoves his way past Wheeler, it’s Cromwell…. still Cromwell! Cromwell to Coren! COREN! Wide! i think… I think the goalkeeper got the slightest of touches it’s a corner

…and another corner to defend. It’s Martinez to take… that’s evaded everybody! It’s JERQUAAAAApppffffft that’s an… erratic shot. It’s a good opportunity for Jerquaad but that ball may very well hit Opportunity when it comes down. Or maybe Spirit or the other one.

Half-time here, 1-0 to AC Izotz Zubia, and it has been *all* Izotz Zubia. If Shamrock are to even get back into the game, let alone win, they’re going to need something special. Some kind of surp…

PRAHAHARRRRRRAAAMFMEIO! WHAT A STRIKE! WHAT A STRIKE! It’s KARAPETROV! WOW. WOW. Forty yards. Forty yards and it’s not even an attempted lob, it’s a torpedo. Branadru, unsighted, can’t get across into time and it’s a *bullet* into the far corner from forty yards… the travelling fans are going mad here. 53 minutes gone and it’s 1-1…

TWO-ONE! Two-one to Shamrock! They’ve turned this around within 60 seconds! It’s Emilia Torgersen the substitute! Inherits that bobbling ball, nobody… nobody gets close enough and that’s a crisp finish from 20 yards out, and it’s advantage Cathair! Advantage Shamrock, I should say…

…sixty minutes on the clock, now. Just thirty for Shamrock to hold on. Zozi are still shell-shocked, and that’s badly given away by Deschapelles and here’s Torgerson. Torgerson finds Møller, the Vanorians combining well… it’s Møller! It’s Sloan! Fergus Sloan! Wide! Oooft if they’d have put some daylight between themselves and Zozi… I wonder if Sloan may rue that miss…

…Zozi still struggling, the corner’s defended by Martinez, but it’s out to Karapetrov. Karapetrov puts it back in! Møller! *Saved* by Branadru, who holds onto it at the second time of asking…

…time running out for Zozi who are beginning to dominate possession again, here’s Christie… Deschapelles… Cromwell. Cromwell will look up and find Butler. Thomas Butler’s past Karapetrov again here! Butler! Coren! No.. it’s back to CROMWELL! Post! It’s off the foot of the post, can you believe it? The ball… cleared away, and Shamrock hang on…

…hang on, that’s an awful backpass! Shamrock are through here! It’s O’Tuathall! Colm O’Tuathall can he put it beyond doubt for Shamrock?! BLOCKED by Branadru! Branadru pounces on the rebound, O’Tuathall looks to the heavens, that was *so* close…

…so close now, there’s only five minutes that remain. Shamrock… nervous, falling back further and further into their own area. Rohan Cammers just stands there, staring, *daring* any one of his players not to give it a hundred million percent. It’s Tom Butler on the right. Jerquaad on the overlap, but Butler doesn’t need him, it’s Butler… to Cromwell… CromWEEELLLLLL


…IT’S IN! DEFTLY CUT ACROSS THE FACE OF THE GOAL and in off the post! The number eight has done it! And has the National League just been won by a Nepharan?

…the away fans are in shock, here. How could this happen? How could this happen *again*?

…the attack breaks down and Zozi come forward, and they’re keeping possession well. Honestly you get the feeling Rohan Cammers wants to come on and tackle someone himself. The clock ticks past the 90…. and 3 minutes. Three minutes of injury time to be played. The Soldaduak Eremuaberria is *bouncing*, Ager Alaba is sat. Calm. The polar opposite of his opposite number. Here’s Lothaire Cromwell, is he looking for another goal? *Good* challenge from yTewgneoll, Cromwell’s dwelled on the ball too long there and Shamrock will break. Here’s Karapetrov. Karapetrov to O’Tuathail. Cammers is yelling instructions. They might not even be instructions, he might just be shouting ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA’. O’Tuathail takes it forward.. here’s Torgersen. Emilia Torgersen who may have thought she’d gotten the winner… Torgersen… finds Møller on the edge of the box. Quick pass and here’s Itō! Itō! Through for Docherty who’s sprinting forward! Kieran Docherty on the corner of the area! The pass! Torgersen’s there! TORGERSEN! BLOCKED! O’Tuathail gets to the loose baaaaa what a ball! CHIPPED THROUGH! HERE’S MØLLEERRRRRRRRRR

OFF THE LINE! Scooped off the line from Larry Martinez! Branadru was beaten by the header! He was in no-man’s land, but Larry Martinez was sprinting back to cover and, acrobatically, he may… he may have just…

Matchday 38
Osarese Marcadia 0–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
AS Marcadia 1–1 KT Moreazerua
AC Izotz Zubia 2–2 Shamrock Cathair
CdF Celtade 2–1 KT Laranjauzia
KT Ferramendiak 0–1 Excelsior Zijweg

The National League       Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 28 15 8 5 45 25 +20 53 Champions. IFCF CL, AOCL
2 Shamrock Cathair 28 15 6 7 56 43 +13 51 IFCF CL
3 1830 Cathair 28 14 7 7 51 33 +18 49 IFCF CL, AOCL (Holders)
4 KT Moreazerua 28 12 11 5 38 29 +9 47 IFCF CL
5 Excelsior Zijweg 28 11 9 8 47 43 +4 42 IFCF ChC
6 KT Itzalovalle 28 12 6 10 39 38 +1 42 IFCF ChC
7 Cazadores Cathair 28 11 7 10 47 46 +1 40 IFCF ChC
8 Osarese Marcadia 28 9 11 8 42 46 −4 38 VCI
9 Oljestaden IF 28 10 7 11 38 38 0 37
10 Bombarralense 28 9 7 12 43 45 −2 34
11 CdF Celtade 28 9 6 13 34 42 −8 33
12 AS Marcadia 28 9 5 14 35 45 −10 32 Relegation Playoff
13 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 28 8 5 15 33 51 −18 29 Relegation Playoff
14 KT Ferramendiak 28 7 5 16 40 55 −15 26 Relegated
15 KT Laranjauzia 28 5 8 15 40 49 −9 23 Relegated

National Two Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Union Cathair FC 38 25 9 4 87 42 +45 84 Promoted, LBCC
2 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 38 23 7 8 79 43 +36 76 Promoted, LBCC
3 Sobrevolante! 38 22 9 7 73 36 +37 75 Promotion Playoff, LBCC
4 Santa Margarida 38 22 8 8 82 50 +32 74 Promotion Playoff
5 The Oran 38 21 6 11 70 51 +19 69
6 Burdoc Ridge 38 16 11 11 63 52 +11 59
7 Tenth Star Hasiera 38 14 13 11 69 61 +8 55
8 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 38 17 3 18 57 57 0 54
9 Laranjeiras 38 15 7 16 54 58 −4 52
10 Sparta Zijweg 38 13 10 15 58 65 −7 49
11 Eletti Valligiani 38 12 13 13 58 67 −9 49
12 Hibernação 38 13 9 16 60 69 −9 48
13 Corações 38 14 5 19 58 69 −11 47
14 Alistoun Academicals 38 11 11 16 55 69 −14 44
15 Silexhera FC 38 11 10 17 51 69 −18 43
16 Crossport Dynamo 38 10 10 18 34 50 −16 40
17 KT Koroatuz 38 9 12 17 41 51 −10 39
18 C.D. Portobranco 38 8 12 18 57 82 −25 36 Relegated
19 Lemmitania State FC 38 9 8 21 48 71 −23 35 Relegated
20 Necromarinai 38 4 9 25 37 79 −42 21 Relegated
Round One
Tenth Star Hasiera 2–1 Kitherwell
Reina Del Sud 0–1 Iron Brewery
Orquideas 0–0 Coile Owls (1-1 AET) (3–2 pen.)
Eletti Valligiani 0–1 Frecce
Ceilerden Harp 2–0 2130 Calolziolungho
KT Moreazerua 1–0 CF Herradores
SC Laivanrakentajas 5–1 Uniao Tortuguita
Lemmitania State FC 0–1 1830 Cathair
The Oran 0–1 Hibernação
CdFS Ilheiros 0–0 Isle of Kjeligsted FC (1–1 AET) (4–2 pen.)
Union Cathair FC 0–1 KT Ferramendiak
Ceilerden Rovers 0–1 Excelsior Zijweg
KT Koroatuz 2–4 Viking Halehavn
Laranjeiras 2–0 Sporting Clube Marinheiros
Sobrevolante 3–1 Valens AV
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 Santa Margarida
AS Marcadia 3–3 Shamrock Cathair (3–4 AET)
Guerrilla Cathair 1–2 Silexhera FC
KT Ferratzaileak 0–1 CdF Celtade
Cazadores Cathair 6–0 Vidrieros
KT Kanpoldelko 2–2 Valão (2–2 AET) (3–1 pen.)
DDM Dunas Secas 1–4 AC Izotz Zubia
Valderantia United 0–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Corações 1–1 Sporting Clube de São Jeremías (1–2 AET)
Oljestaden IF 2–0 Alistoun Academicals
Artiglieria 0–2 Burdoc Ridge
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 2–1 C.D. Portobranco
CF Cruceros 0–4 Bombarralense
Clockwork FC 1–1 Crossport Mariners (1–1 AET) (2–3 pen.)
Sparta Zijweg 2–1 Necromarinai
Huiszwalluw FC 0–0 Crossport Dynamo (1–1 AET) (6–5 pen.)
KT Laranjauzia 0–0 Osarese Marcadia (0–0 AET) (3–4 pen.)

Round Two
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–2 Oljestaden IF
Silexhera FC 0–3 AC Izotz Zubia
Tenth Star Hasiera 0–2 Sobrevolante
Laranjeiras 1–0 CdFS Ilheiros
KT Moreazerua 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
KT Ferramendiak 1–0 Burdoc Ridge
Ceilerden Harp 0–1 Excelsior Zijweg
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2–0 KT Kanpoldelko
Orquideas 0–1 Viking Halehavn
Osarese Marcadia 2–0 CdF Celtade
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 Santa Margarida
1830 Cathair 2–0 Sparta Zijweg
SC Laivanrakentajas 1–2 Crossport Mariners
Sporting Clube de São Jeremías 0–1 Frecce
Bombarralense 2–0 Iron Brewery
Hibernação 1–0 Huiszwalluw FC

Round Three
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 Osarese Marcadia
Crossport Mariners 2–2 KT Ferramendiak (3–2 AET)
Excelsior Zijweg 0–2 Bombarralense
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–1 Sobrevolante (1–1 AET) (8–7 pen.)
Hibernação 1–5 Shamrock Cathair
Laranjeiras 2–2 Frecce (3–2 AET)
Cazadores Cathair 2–1 1830 Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–0 Viking Halehavn

Quarter FInal
Crossport Mariners 0–3 Cazadores Cathair
Shamrock Cathair 3–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Bombarralense 0–2 Laranjeiras
AC Izotz Zubia 0–2 Osarese Marcadia

Cazadores Cathair 3–2 Osarese Marcadia
Shamrock Cathair 0–0 Laranjeiras (1–0 AET)

Cazadores Cathair 1–3 Shamrock Cathair

As a one-off experiment, the majority of the Kirola Cup is played early in the season, with the semis and final being played within five days of each other a week after the Champions League final.

Shamrock Cathair, downhearted from losing the league title to AC Izotz Zubia and the Champions League to Directus, can nevertheless rely upon this season’s incarnation of Cazadores blowing colder than a Polarian who…lefoods freezer repairman. An action-packed first-half ends with Shamrock three goals to the good via Corby Wheeler, Sho Itō and Colm O’Tuathail, who’s making up for having missed a golden opportunity in that Zozi game. Cazadores grab a goal back through Lindauer, and for much of the second half it looks like the second goal is going to come at any moment, but Shamrock fight hard and, eventually, are simply too strong for Caza.

At the end of the game, club captain Alexander Crewe lifts the trophy alongside skipper-for-the-day Colm O’Tuathail. Shamrock, after years of falling short, have won a major final again.

It’s not *quite* consolation for that Directus match though
AS Marcadia 0-0 Santa Margarida
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3-1 Sobrevolante!

AS Marcadia 0-1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Sobrevolante! 2-2 Santa Margarida

AS Marcadia 1-0 Sobrevolante!
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2-1 Santa Margarida
Promotion Playoff        P  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts 
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3 3 0 0 6 2 4 9
AS Marcadia 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Santa Margarida 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 2
Sobrevolante! 3 0 1 2 3 6 -3 1

Once again, the top-flight sides stay alive in the playoffs, but it’s a close one. Only a late goal from Simos Arvanitakis saves AS Marcadia from going out on goals scored.

Last edited by Audioslavia on Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Audioslavia » Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:41 pm

Season 14

AS Marcadia I Marchetti
Stadio di Via Montegrappa, (Cap: 23500). Marcadia, Padia

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Fortune Cammers (22, G , EFL)
2. Giacomo Durán (16, D R, AUD)
3. Amarzi George (26, D L, MRC)
4. Lance Bensom (25, D C, BRE)
5. Antonio Dragutin (26, D C, MRC)
6. Matteo Ercolani (20, D/M LC, AUD)
7. Simos Arvanitakis (22, AM RL, FHU)
8. Davide Lauri (31, M C, AUD)
9. Menderchuk (33, F C, DAI)
10. Casarno Anonno (26, AM C, AUD)
11. Javier Besoitagoena (28, M C, AUD)
12. Commodore Pumphrey (16, G , AUD)
13. Ion Berriex (25, M/F R, AUD)
14. Gabriel Buvalelli (19, M C, SVG)
15. Nicola Figura (25, M C, AUD)
16. Francesc Monzo (26, M LC, AUD)
17. Giacomo Rossi (16, F C, AUD)
18. Mattia Cicale (26, M C, AUD)
19. Luca De Luise (25, F C, AUD)
20. Angelo Libera (24, M C, AUD)
21. Edoardo Del Conte (24, M C, AUD)
25. Alessandro Juliana (36, M CR, AUD)

First XI: Cammers - Durán, Benson, Dragutin, George - Arvanitakis, Buvalelli, Juliana, Besoitagoena, Monzo - Menderchuk

After two seasons in a row of having to end the season with a nailbiting relegation playoff, AS Marcadia rang the changes at the top in the off-season, bringing in former AC Izotz Zubia, KT Itzalovalle and KT Laranjauzia midfielder Alessandro Juliana as a player-manager.

Juliana is primarily remembered for his early-career form. A slightly built teenager emerging from the bench to cause havoc down the wing, his baggy silver and pink shirt billowing in the wind and his blonde-highlighted long locks flailing behind him.

KT Itzalovalle saw Juliana Mark II. Wiser, meaner and squarer across the shoulders, Injuries slowed him a little, but this may have been a blessing in disguise. Without that extra pace, Juliana evolved into a cerebral central midfield playmaker, dropping deeper with age.

By the time he hit 33, Juliana had become a defensive midfielder in all but one detail: He didn’t do much defending, instead linking the play from defence to attack. He left Itzi for newly promoted KT Laranjauzia but couldn’t stop the side falling straight back down.

Today’s Alessandro Juliana has kept the long hair - these days showing a little more forehead than he used to - and for some reason still wears shirts two sizes too big for him. As a manager, Juliana takes to the dugout in a similarly oversized track jacket with his kit on underneath, his hair barely combed. You get the feeling that, even if he hadn’t named himself as a substitute, he’d be wearing exactly the same thing. Alessandro Juliana is no catwalk model, but he’s substance over style. His first press conference, billed at being a quick ten-minute meet-and-greet, got onto the topic of tactics and formations and ended up lasting a full hour. Alessandro knows his stuff. If his players can get over the fact that he looks like a bassist in his dad’s gym clothes, I Marchetti may be able to avoid the dreaded relegation playoff.

In terms of what’s going on underneath, there’s very little to choose from between Alessandro Juliana and his opposite number at cross-town rivals Osarese Marcadia. In terms of style, there couldn’t be a more stark difference.

Osarese Marcadia The Phoenix
Stadio Fabio Mancini, (Cap: 21000). Marcadia, Padia

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Saoirise (26, G , DAI)
2. Michael Jensen (24, D R, AUD)
3. Luigi Biagi (32, D/M LC, AUD)
4. Isaia Urso (38, M C, OSR)
5. Raimundo Saade (31, D CR, AUD)
6. Tayaaga Romneir (26, D C, MRN)
7. Jiang Jieren (18, M R, YZH)
9. Louis O'Brien (36, F C, OSR)
10. Garnett Makanza (24, F C, OSR)
11. Lakhan Machaka (34, M L, SRS)
12. Joseph Mayes (25, AM C, AUD)
13. Shinji Teruzuki (25, G , OSR)
14. Caprice Martinelli (35, DM C, OSR)
15. Mattia Di Perna (32, D C, AUD)
16. Lara Auðunsdóttir (22, F C, GRF)
17. Johan Simundsen (25, M/F L, SVJ)
18. Celestina Favelli (29, M CR, AUD)
19. Paolo Marini (35, D LC, AUD)
20. Luca Passini (23, M CR, AUD)
21. Pearl Morgan (31, AM C, OSR)
23. Bong Min-Joong (17, M L, QUE)
Mng. Fabio Mancini (41, M C, OSR)

First XI: Teruzuki - Jensen, Romneir, di Perna, Marini - Martinelli, Jieren, Morgan - Simundsen, Makanza, Auðunsdóttir

When advancing age and deteriorating knee cartilage forced Fabio Mancini to finally commit to management full-time after three seasons registering himself as Osarese’s player-manager, the former Galactico / Champions Cup winner / World Cup winner / [you name it] stuck the landing with aplomb. Not only have Osarese continued to impress on the pitch with a tight budget and a thin squad, Mancini has adapted to the other changes forced on him by retirement.

Whereas some guys pack on a few pounds when they replace daily training with the pure stress of being a football manager, Mancini somehow looks even better than he did. A friendship with Osarian clothes designer Giovanni Careva turned into a sponsorship with occasional requirements to turn up to photoshoots looking a million dollars (a downgrade for Mancini, who once joined AC Izotz Zubia for a cool $18 million). As such, keeping himself in shape and looking swish has turned into Fabio Mancini’s job, and without the sweat, stud-marks and carbohydrates he’s actually looking leaner than when he was at his peak. It’s not quite useable strength - Mancini admits himself he couldn’t see himself running even 400m these days unless he was being chased - but it’s impressive nonetheless.

Prior Osarese’s first game of the season, Mancini takes to the press conference in another bespoke suit in OM’s colours of black and burgundy. Not a hair is out of place, and the smile bigger and whiter than before. He jokes and winks at the press, confident in his side’s ability to overcome cross-city rivals A.S. Marcadia. He refers to them as ‘A.S. Marcadia’ throughout, eschewing the convention of referring to the light-blues as simply ‘Marcadia’ and his own team as ‘Osarese’, though without going the whole hog and calling his own side simply ‘Marcadia’. It’s… a thing.

By contrast, Alessandro Juliana turns up at the press conference wearing a vaguely light-blue club cagoule and damp hair that had only recently been taken out of an alice band. He looked like a depressed Polish vampire on a 6am jaunt to the cornershop for milk and a packet of rizlas.

Alessandro, like Fabio, was even-tempered and jovial in his press conference, noting the difficulty of having to open the season at home to your city rivals.

Taking place three hours earlier than the day’s other games on the Saturday, Marcadia vs Marcadia lived up to its billing as the opening match of the season.

The National League
AS Marcadia 5–4 Osarese Marcadia
Union Cathair FC 1–2 Bombarralense
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 6–4 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
CdF Celtade 0–6 1830 Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 3–1 KT Itzalovalle

When you look at Fabio Mancini and you look at Alessandro Juliana, it’s difficult to believe the former might be envious of the latter, but when 36-year old Juliana introduced himself as a late substitute, with the score poised at four each after a breathlessly intense eighty minutes, Mancini watched him gallop onto the field like a fat kid watching an ice cream truck go by.

It wasn’t Juliana that won it for AS Marcadia, but he was his nous that found the space in front of Simos Arvanitakis, whose toe-poked through pass to Menderchuk would result in the winning goal, slotted firmly into the bottom corner past a desperately sprawling Teruzuki.

Osarese Marcadia may have had the edge in the Marcadia derby this past few seasons, but it was AS who reigned supreme on this opening day.

Neither Sicurezza nor newly promoted Tout-Puissant were particularly impressed with the game, calling it a ‘conservative defensive bore’ as they combined for ten goals at the Stadio Oromë, with new signing Petra Müthel taking two goals and Indra Söderström either providing or scoring the rest.

Over in Celtade, the question of how CdF might cope with the break-up of the band (that band being Finn Townsend and the MacCowans, now in residence at Shamrock Cathair) was answered thoroughly by a rampant 1830 Cathair that ran riot on the Costa Branca. Newcomer Erik Moselle scored on his debut from the bench, but Shakira Handris was the story, running in four goals at the start of an important season for the Poafmersian. Handris, 32, has always been a bit-part player at the capital club and, with the departure of Pristina Shine, this may be their biggest chance to finally stake their claim to a starting place before age catches up with them.
AC Izotz Zubia Zozi
Soldaduak Eremuaberria, (Cap: 52180). Izotzazubia , Herradura

Domestic Honours - 13
COCANEFA Honours - 4
International Honours - 5
1. Gentle Breeze (33.5, G , EQS)
2. Leonardo Ceron (25, D C, AUD)
3. Larry Martinez (25, D L, NWK)
4. Tigran Deschapelles (25, M C, AUD)
6. Michael Christie (25, D C, SCT)
7. Wilfried Baume (30, F C, VLD)
8. Lothaire Cromwell (24, M C, NPH)
9. Thomas Butler (19, M R, NWK)
10. Kyran Knudsen (32, AM L, AUD)
11. Vesuvia Carrick (33, F C, BRE)
12. Júlia Müller (30, F C, PAS)
13. Branadru (35, G , DAI)
14. Eurico Da Rosa (21, AM/F C, AUD)
15. Fortune Russell (25, M L, BRE)
16. Ixaka Echeberz (29, D R, ASG)
17. Domiku Bergara (28, DM C, ASG)
18. Jerquaad (26, D CR, DAI)
19. Eskuin Nekol (22, M L, ASG)
21. Atole Kaplan (19, D L, KOR)
23. Gustavo Mascarenhas (22, M R, AUD)
25. Inaki Otxoa (21, D C, AUD)
26. Hireild Gudmundson (19, D C, AUD)
Mng. Ager Alaba (47, M C, ASG)

Starting XI: Breeze - Jerquaad, Christie, Ceron, Martinez - Deschapelles, Cromwell, Knudsen, Butler - Müller, Baume

Ager Alaba didn’t take long to hammer Zozi into shape, forming an alarmingly strong side that swept to victory in the league last season and pressed on to the semi-finals of the Champions League. A typically international starting lineup is supported by a cast of various Astograthians and Audioslavians of varying levels of repute.

In the off-season, Ager Alaba didn’t get particularly busy in the transfer market, but did launch a dawn raid on Rozelle for superstar Pasargan striker Júlia Müller and Brenecian winger Fortune Russell for a combined $15m.

Russell will eventually inherit the starting left-wing spot from thirty-two year-old Kyran Knudsen, who is conveniently ignoring the writing on the wall and letting Larry Martinez do most of the wing-play for him from left-back while he meanders inside and makes a nuisance of himself on the edge of the area. Julia Müller, though, changes the game for Zozi in attack. Partnering Valladar striker Wilfried Baume in attack, she’s taken Eurico Da Rosa’s starting spot, with the Audioslavian youngster reduced to impact-sub status which, frankly, suits him.

In midfield, Cromwell and Deschapelles are almost without match in terms of running the show.

Champions Zozi look stronger than ever. Can you say the same about their perennial rivals 1830 Cathair?

1830 Cathair The Teatimers / The Elders
Arena Kirola, (Cap: 77500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 14
COCANEFA Honours - 7
International Honours - 7
1. Goran Stroud (24, G , AUD)
2. Ysaak (26, D CR, DAI)
3. Minne van Schelven (26, D C, KOR)
4. Stani Gröss (26, DM C, ZRH)
5. Jack Menard (21, D C, EUR)
6. Niko Szubanski (36, D C, BRE)
7. Steve Erickson (31, AM C, HAP)
8. Erik Moselle (22, F C, STL)
9. Xaime Medal (24, AM L, TEQ)
10. Thorsten Kramer (28, M/AM C, STL)
11. Shakira Handris (32, F C, PFA)
12. Leona Rafford (33, DM/D CR, NPH)
13. Tucunduvá (37, G , DAI)
14. Aymeric Fortin (27, F C, VLD)
15. Tryfon Vlahilades (27, D L, VDR)
16. Ross Okano (25, D C, KRY)
17. Ainsley Gibson (34, D L, AFT)
21. Anselm Koerner (24, M R, NPH)
23. Devlin Napier (26, D/M LC, KRY)
26. Brannigan Burley (20, M C, AUD)
28. Bartolomeu Aparicio (21, AM R, AUD)
31. Eneco Carabello (19, F LC, AUD)
Mng. Jerome Jaffacake-Phillips (??, KRY)

Starting XI: Stroud - Ysaak, Vlahilades, Menard, van Schelven - Rafford - Medal, Kramer, Erickson - Handris, Fortin

Cathair lost first-team players Liam Armstrong and Pristina Shine in pre-season, with long-time right-back Andries Nijland also departing. In that right-back spot comes Ysaak from relegated KT Laranjauzia, untested Teus striker Erik Moselle and two Krytenian imports to offer the manager a couple of options. Devlin Napier and Ross Okano.

With Lee Sharp having departed to guide Eura to glory in the Cup of Harmony, another former international manager has stepped in, also with links to Audioslavian football.

Jerome Jaffacake-Phillips is, as the name suggests, related to Audioslavia’s least favourite son, and shares his propensity for immortality. For us, his playing days were forever ago, while for him his own-goal while playing for Krytenia against Audioslavia in the group stage of World Cup Whoevenremembers was last Tuesday.

Jaffacake-Phillips, rather than buy his way to the title, has decided to play his cards close to his chest. He, like Lee Sharp, will build a midfield around talismanic captain Thorsten Kramer. Who supports Kramer will change from game to game, with Hapilopper’s Steve Erickson again making a return to the first-team apparently preferred to Anselm Koerner, who provides an option as an out-and-out winger compared to Erickson, who has always been an attacking-midfielder shunted out wide by Cathair. Xaime Medal has been awarded the number 9 shirt and will continue to maraud down the left, while Leona Rafford has swapped the full-back spot for defensive midfield, with the aging Nepharan preferring not to have to chase wingers all game these days.

The new-but-old look Cathair swatted Celtade aside in week one, but find things tougher going in week two.

The National League
1830 Cathair 0–2 AC Izotz Zubia
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–0 CdF Celtade
Bombarralense 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Osarese Marcadia 2–0 Union Cathair FC
KT Moreazerua 0–1 Cazadores Cathair

Four-goal hero Handris skies a good opportunity early on, Zozi punish them with two goals inside the first twenty minutes and never look in real danger. The battle between Cromwell/Deschapelles and Cathair’s three-pronged attacking-midfield unit of Erickson, Medal and TFK is edged by the home team, but Zozi’s defence is formidable, and the champions edge the Derby of Audioslavia.
The National League
Oljestaden IF 1–0 KT Moreazerua
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–0 Osarese Marcadia
CdF Celtade 1–0 Bombarralense
AC Izotz Zubia 0–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 1830 Cathair
The National League
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 3–2 KT Itzalovalle
Bombarralense 0–3 AC Izotz Zubia
Osarese Marcadia 1–0 CdF Celtade
KT Moreazerua 1–1 Excelsior Zijweg
Cazadores Cathair 2–0 Oljestaden IF
The National League
Excelsior Zijweg 0–4 Cazadores Cathair
Shamrock Cathair 0–2 KT Moreazerua
AC Izotz Zubia 3–1 Osarese Marcadia
KT Itzalovalle 3–3 Bombarralense
1830 Cathair 1–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera

Aside from a frustrating performance against newly promoted Tout-Puissant, who grab their fourth point in three games, Zozi look like a force to be reckoned with in the season’s opening salvos. So to do Cazadores, a side bouncing back from a dreadful turn-out last season to win their first four games, conceding none in the process.

Let’s see what we can learn from the league table at this early stage of the season:

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 AC Izotz Zubia 5 4 1 0 11 2 +9 13
2 Cazadores Cathair 3 3 0 0 7 0 +7 9
3 1830 Cathair 4 3 0 1 8 2 +6 9
4 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 5 2 1 2 8 9 −1 7
5 Bombarralense 5 2 1 2 6 8 −2 7
6 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3 2 0 1 7 5 +2 6
7 Osarese Marcadia 5 2 0 3 8 9 −1 6
8 KT Moreazerua 4 1 1 2 3 3 0 4
9 AS Marcadia 1 1 0 0 5 4 +1 3
10 Oljestaden IF 2 1 0 1 1 2 −1 3
11 CdF Celtade 4 1 0 3 1 8 −7 3
12 KT Itzalovalle 4 0 1 3 6 10 −4 1
13 Excelsior Zijweg 2 0 1 1 1 5 −4 1
14 Shamrock Cathair 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 0
15 Union Cathair FC 2 0 0 2 1 4 −3 0

Ah yes. Nothing.

Still, that’s not a great start for Shamrock, is it?
Shamrock Cathair Shammers
Glass Bridge Stadium, (Cap: 31500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 3
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 1
1. Bombidillyo (32, G , DAI)
2. Daniel MacCowan (22, D CR, AUD)
3. Aron McKenna (24, D L, TJU)
4. Losduse Albofokh (28, DM C, TIO)
5. Ffibwd yTewgneoll (21, D C, KOR)
6. Finn Townsend (28, DM C, BRE)
7. Sho Itō (20, M/F R, SQR)
8. Corby Wheeler (29, M C, BRE)
9. Rod Gordon (21, F C, AUD)
10. Colm O'Tuathail (27, M L, KSK)
11. Rosewing (29.5, F C, EQS)
12. Viðar Adriansson (29, D C, GRF)
14. Thor (30, F C, VAL)
15. Bryson O'Lara (20, D C, EFL)
17. Kieran Docherty (30, D R, BRE)
18. Declan MacCowan (22, M C, AUD)
19. Fergus Sloan (26, M L, GRU)
20. Carmelo MacCowan (18, D/M LCR, AUD)
21. Emilia Torgersen (17, AM C, VAL)
22. Thomas McFarland (21, G , AUD)
23. Archer Andrews (22, F C, TJU)
31. Alexander McPahan (18, M CR, AUD)
Mng. Alexander Crewe (35, F C, APX)

First XI: McFarland - C. MacCowan, yTewgneoll, D. MacCowan, McKenna - Townsend, Dec. MacCowan, O’Tuathail, Wheeler, Itō - Møller

Rohan Cammers’s selection as new manager of the Audioslavia national team propelled Alexander Crewe into his first managerial hot-seat, after having twice took stewardship of the team last season after two suspensions for Cammers. Fellow Apoxian Crewe, who played under Cammers for seven years in a Shamrock shirt, has looked to carry on where his mentor left off while also moulding the team into his own image.

He started with a bang.

The raid of CdF Celtade for the MacCowan trio and angry Brenecian thunderstorm Finn Townsend has bolstered a thin midfield and a shaky defence, especially considering the offloading of a disinterested Les Jawallawalla and a rapidly deteriorating Txomin Lacouague. Crewe has opted for a 4-5-1 formation as opposed to the 4-4-2 the side played under Cammers, with Declan, Wheeler and Townsend looking like a formidable central partnership. Losduse Albofokh remains a defensive midfield option, as does Fergus Sloan and Alec McPahan, deputising for fan-favourite Kelssek winger Colm O’Tuathail and the exciting young talent Sho Itō.

Up front, Thor Møller will cut a lonelier figure up front this season, with Rosewing rotating in and Archer Andrews and Rod Gordon fighting for minutes. Just behind, Vanorian youngster Emilia Torgersen will be an option from the bench and may be the future of Shamrock’s attacking three.

Last season’s performance was arguably Shamrock’s best ever, despite ‘only’ one trophy in the form of the Kirola Cup. Champions League finalists and league runners up. Shamrock are desperate for a second title this season and Crewe is quietly confident they can put up a fight.

Cazadores Cathair Caza
El Ruedo, (Cap: 42500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 3
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Juxon Fillar (23, G , CMT)
4. Iago Cacho (26, DM C, AUD)
6. Inteali Koranjo (21, D C, VIL)
7. Creidne Lindauer (30, F C, BRE)
8. Adrian Toscani (23, AM C, SVG)
9. Aranha (32, F C, DAI)
10. Cristian Benitez (21, F C, VLD)
11. Giorgio Gucci (26, D/M L, MRC)
12. Aloha (26, F C, DAI)
13. Cristos Harding (20, D C, EFL)
14. Rasmus Caracole (26, M L, NPH)
15. Guifré Menez (25, D/M R, AUD)
16. Christian Armani (25, M R, MRC)
17. Per Frandsen (20, D RL, AUD)
18. Azaim (23, M C, SHT)
20. Kepler Marcel Gouveia de Souza (16, AM C, QUE)
22. Tutayan (31, AM R, TEQ)
23. Theold Bracewell (31, G , NPH)
28. Claudio Casimiro (21, D/M C, AUD)
32. Tiago Brown (17, D/M R, AUD)
36. Wilhelm Hielscher-Zendagorta (17, AM/F C, AUD/STL)
Mng. Rook Cathar (51, F LCR, NPH)

First XI: Fillar - Brown, Koranjo, Harding, Gucci - Cacho - Tutayan, Toascani, Caracole - Benitez, Lindauer

Last season’s seventh-place finish was Cazadores’s’ worst in the National League since their return to the top flight in season three. Eleven wins from twenty-eight games, disappointing performances in IFCF competitions and almost missing out on a Challengers’ Cup spot to boot. Rook Cathar’s coat was also on a shoogly peg, though to be honest anything big enough to cover Rook Cathar’s shoulders and heavy enough to be called a coat is always going to question the structural integrity of minor domestic fixtures.

Speaking of minor domestic fixtures. The Cross Capital Derby ain’t one of them, and Cazadores are hoping to take their rich early-season form into the derby. New signing Juxon Fillar, one of Chromatika’s metaphorical royal family of football players, has been a revelation in goal for Caza, with new Valladar signing Cristian Benitez impressing with two goals in three games so far. Caza are on fire, and favourites for the tie.

The National League
Bombarralense 0–1 1830 Cathair
Osarese Marcadia 0–0 KT Itzalovalle
KT Moreazerua 1–2 AS Marcadia
Cazadores Cathair 0–2 Shamrock Cathair
Oljestaden IF 2–2 Excelsior Zijweg

Derbies never quite go to form, though.

After a horrific performance in defeat to KT Moreazerua on opening day - Mozi’s only win so far - Shamrock are convincing in their defeat of Cazadores, with Møller and O’Tuathail on target for the visitors and Finn Townsend seemingly possessing three lungs in his fierce pursuit of everything that comes into his half.

Cathar is philosophical about the defeat, noting that the best team won and that Caza have still cause to be optimistic for the season, but those fans who’d seen the side win three and conceded zero in their opening games have had to make the slow descent back to reality.

As long as they don’t continue the memulous ways of last year, their fans won’t be too unhappy.
The National League
Shamrock Cathair 0–0 Oljestaden IF
AS Marcadia 0–7 Cazadores Cathair
Union Cathair FC 1–0 KT Moreazerua
1830 Cathair 0–1 Osarese Marcadia
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 3–3 Bombarralense
The National League
Osarese Marcadia 1–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
KT Moreazerua 4–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
[b]Cazadores Cathair 0–4 Union Cathair FC
Oljestaden IF 2–3 AS Marcadia
Excelsior Zijweg 1–6 Shamrock Cathair
The National League
AS Marcadia 0–0 Excelsior Zijweg
Union Cathair FC 1–2 Oljestaden IF
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2–0 Cazadores Cathair
CdF Celtade 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Bombarralense 2–1 Osarese Marcadia

Oh Cazadores.

Immediately back to winning days against AS Marcadia, smashing in seven goals in a humiliating display, Caza are complacent and listless in their first derby with newly promoted Union, who are three goals up inside thirty minutes and add a fourth as a quick gofuggyerself in the dying moments.

Cazaran fans, shellshocked, barely register the team’s meek away loss to Sicurezza in midweek. By the following Saturday they’ve taken to social media.

“You look at teams like Cathair and Shamrock… those guys aren’t throwing games away. Why does it happen to us? Why can’t we just have a nice, normal 1-1 draw sometimes? You don’t see a team like Zozi getting smashed, do you?”
The National League
KT Moreazerua 5–2 AC Izotz Zubia
Cazadores Cathair 1–1 CdF Celtade
Oljestaden IF 2–3 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Excelsior Zijweg 0–2 Union Cathair FC
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 AS Marcadia

While Cazadores’s fans’ prayers are answered very sarcastically in the form of CdF Celtade, AC Izotz Zubia let a one-goal lead slip to a 4-1 deficit early in the second half as Olentzaro Karazatorre reminds everyone why Mozi got their chequebooks out for the young Astograthian, scoring twice and getting involved in both of Audioslavia NT striker Koenraad Rijsbergen’s goals. Mozi, generally overlooked by pundits this season, add a fifth through Gael Texeira to rub salt into Zozi’s wounds. Zozi respond late on via Lothaire Cromwell.
KT Itzalovalle Itzi
The Antzerkia, (Cap: 48000). Ferramendiak, Herradura

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Echepare Rospide (23, G , ASG)
2. Jerónimo Marzan (24, D/M RL, AUD)
3. Anxo Osorio (30, D RL, AUD)
4. Moses Moxey (23, M C, AUD)
5. Alejandro Consuegra (23, D C, AUD)
6. Garai Echevarrieta (24, D C, AUD)
7. Arial Skidoomacher (27, DM C, AUD)
8. Wilhelm Nkitilina (24, F C, TAE)
9. Gabirel Zozaia (25, F C, AUD)
10. Dreigiau Parrish (24, AM C, BRE)
11. Gabirel Oteiza (27, M RL, AUD)
13. Zakuty (25, F C, DAI)
14. Jiskastnya (25, F C, DAI)
18. Eneko Burionagonatotorecagageazcoechea (20, M CR, AUD)
19. Elis Løvland (24, D L, FFD)
20. Reynard Salama (20, D C, EFL)
21. Theo Cosumar (26, D RL, AUD)
22. Vianca (27, G , DAI)
37. Floriano Côtescassées (17, M L, AUD)
Mng. Arnoud Koolhaas (41, D C, AUD)

First XI: Rospide - Marzan, Osorio, Consuegra, Echevarrieta - Skidoomacher - Oteiza, Moxey, Parrish - Zozaia, Nkitilina

Sitting at the foot of the table, winless and often listless, KT Itzalovalle are having their worst start to a season in living memory, and considering living memory includes that time they finished seventh in the second division, that’s no mean feat.

Arnoud Koolhaas had come into the club in similar circumstances just two seasons ago and had managed to wrest some sense of control, but with every passing week and every pair or trio of points dropped, it looks more and more like he’s viewing the same situation from the other side.

Moses Moxey and Dreigiau Parrish should be the stars of this midfield, crashing hard against the likes of Townsend and TFK for central supremacy, but they rarely seem to be playing the same game, let alone in the same team. The marauding Parrish is rarely within 20 yards of Moxey, who prefers being the most withdrawn of the team’s midfield, often square of natural DM Skidoomacher. The result is a disjointed team that has put in some tame performances so far.

KT Moreazerua Mozi
Ibarretako Estadioa, (Cap: 40000). Moreazerua, Herradura

Domestic Honours - 2
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Maren Artetxebarria (25, G , AUD)
3. Asztrik Puskás (32, D L, AUD)
4. Ronan Stenhouse (25, DM C, EUR)
5. Marwyn Asterisk (26, D C, AUD)
6. Dieter Konoval (34, D C, NPH)
7. Mbdiai Akarenaa (33, M RCL, TUR)
8. Koldo Bazterrika (21, M LC, AUD)
9. Koenraad Rijsbergen (24, F C, AUD)
10. Olentzaro Karazatorre (25, F C, ASG)
11. Morea Zozetua (32, M L, MRN)
13. Deitr Konovaal (33, M C, MRN)
14. Gael Texeira (21, M C, AUD)
17. Zafarullah Hamdani (26, M CR, AUD)
18. Imauka Lkomorak (18, M CR, VIL)
19. Trevor Paraoan (23, AM/F C, FHU)
20. Bartolomej Wladmirowić (31, D LC, ZRH)
22. Catheline Voegel (32, M L, NPH)
24. Oran Coldcross (18, D C, AUD)
43. Zebjan Istanjovich (43, G , SIC)
Mng. Imanol Andueza (45, F C, AUD)

First XI: Artetxebarria - Puskas, Asterisk, Konoval - Stenhouse, Konovaal, Lkomorak, Zozetua - Akarenaa - Rijsbergen, Karazatorre

Nobody’s been paying attention to Moreazerua, and that’s perhaps what makes them so dangerous this season. Their oddball 3-5-2 formation is awkward to deal with, and Koenraad Rijsbergen is an absolute menace up front. The first eleven has been bolstered by two arrivals from the cove in the form of wingers Lkomorak and Akarenaa, the former being used as a sprightly wingback, the latter as the creative influence just ahead of the midfield.

Karazatorre’s arrival from Pyathora Mariners has given the club an extra dimension in attack, where previously they’d relied solely on Rijsbergen as a target man.

Their biggest news on the transfer front, though, regarded the signing of a certain Zebjan Istanjovich, at 43 the oldest non-elven player in the history of Audioslavian football. Istanjovich had initially joined KT Moreazerua for just one season as a teenager, back at the start of the LigAnaia era, and rejoined the club after a string of strong performances for Isle of Kjeligsted in the second tier. Istanjovich’s first season in Moreazerua hadn’t been the greatest, but the fans are more than willing to give him a second chance if Maren Artetxebarria goes down injured.

The National League
Union Cathair FC 3–3 Shamrock Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–1 Excelsior Zijweg
CdF Celtade 3–2 Oljestaden IF
AC Izotz Zubia 1–2 Cazadores Cathair
KT Itzalovalle 1–1 KT Moreazerua

As Herraduran derbies go, Itzalovalle’s one-all draw with Mozi was little to write home about, with the home team going ahead in the first half, being pegged back by a Rijsbergen equalizer and just about shutting out their opponents in the second half for a single point.

Elsewhere, Cazadores fans rejoiced as goals from Cristian Benitez and Creidne Lindauer were enough to beat league champions AC Izotz Zubia, while the ‘other other other’ Cathair Derby between Shamrock and newly promoted Union ended at 3-3.
The National League
KT Moreazerua 0–0 1830 Cathair
Cazadores Cathair 0–0 KT Itzalovalle
Oljestaden IF 3–4 AC Izotz Zubia
Excelsior Zijweg 3–0 CdF Celtade
Shamrock Cathair 4–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
AS Marcadia 5–2 Union Cathair FC

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Cazadores Cathair 10 5 2 3 17 10 +7 17
2 AC Izotz Zubia 8 5 1 2 18 12 +6 16
3 KT Moreazerua 11 4 3 4 15 10 +5 15
4 Shamrock Cathair 7 4 2 1 16 6 +10 14
5 1830 Cathair 7 4 1 2 9 3 +6 13
6 Osarese Marcadia 9 4 1 4 11 11 0 13
7 AS Marcadia 7 4 1 2 15 17 −2 13
8 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 8 4 1 3 14 16 −2 13
9 Bombarralense 8 3 2 3 11 13 −2 11
10 Union Cathair FC 8 3 1 4 14 14 0 10
11 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 7 2 2 3 11 13 −2 8
12 Oljestaden IF 9 2 2 5 14 18 −4 8
13 Excelsior Zijweg 8 1 4 3 8 16 −8 7
14 CdF Celtade 8 2 1 5 5 15 −10 7
15 KT Itzalovalle 7 0 4 3 7 11 −4 4

It’s rock bottom for Itzalovalle as they eke out a commendable draw with early leaders Cazadores, but the pressure is mounting and you get the feeling that just one more reverse is going to cost Koolhaus his cool house.

Three points north, CdF Celtade and Excelsior Zijweg are both struggling for form. Celtade’s woes are understandable, having lost a slew of their best player last season, but Excelsior were supposed to be kicking on after wonderfully reaching the Challengers’ Cup last season and making it to the group stages this season. With one win from their opening eight games, they may be setting themselves up for a relegation scrap.

In eleventh, Tout-Puissant Hasiera are making a fist of things. The favourites for the drop, TPH are 2-2-3 and banking on the finishing skills of Eastfielder Leonardo Bousquet to save them from a relegation battle.

At the top, no teams are undefeated but Shamrock, having played a few games fewer than their title rivals, are looking strong in fourth, their only defeat coming in that opening-day disaster against Mozi, who sit third.

At the top, Cazadores are undoubtedly in that position due to their having played more games than their rivals, sure, but they have a chance to prove their mettle this coming week as they venture to the capital’s northern Grand Forum district to play hated rivals 1830.
The National League
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–0 AS Marcadia
CdF Celtade 0–3 Shamrock Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–0 Excelsior Zijweg
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 Oljestaden IF
1830 Cathair 2–0 Cazadores Cathair
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–5 KT Moreazerua

Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes the bear, well, he eats you. And sometimes Thorsten Kramer is just unplayable. Benefitting from the inclusion of Anselm Koerner to give him an outlet down the wing, Kramer dictates the play in the centre, slotting Koerner through to supply Shakira Handris with the opener and coming close twice himself.

Caza’s fightback includes a goalbound chip from Toscani that gets hooked off the line by a backtracking Jack Menard, while a frighteningly fast Tiago Brown consistently has Tryfon Vlahilades at sixes and sevens, but Cathair put the game to bed on 70 minutes via teenage substitute Brannigan Burley who dispossesses Per Frandsen, sprints forward and tucks the ball in at the near post for 2-0.

In Ferramendiak, Itzalovalle are utterly ineffective in defeat to Oljestaden, and that’s that for Arnaud Koolhaas’s tenure in charge of the team.
The National League
KT Moreazerua 3–1 Bombarralense
Cazadores Cathair 2–1 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Oljestaden IF 1–3 1830 Cathair
Excelsior Zijweg 3–3 KT Itzalovalle
Shamrock Cathair 2–2 AC Izotz Zubia
AS Marcadia 5–1 CdF Celtade
Union Cathair FC 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
The National League
CdF Celtade 2–0 Union Cathair FC
AC Izotz Zubia 1–4 AS Marcadia
KT Itzalovalle 2–1 Shamrock Cathair
1830 Cathair 1–0 Excelsior Zijweg
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–1 Oljestaden IF
Bombarralense 0–1 Cazadores Cathair
Osarese Marcadia 2–0 KT Moreazerua

Koolhaas’s replacement ends up being KT Koroatuz manager Robert Smith. The former Zozi and Audioslavia defender couldn’t keep his former club in the top flight for long, but with increased resources at Itzi there’s a chance he could make an impact.

The side thrice go a goal up against struggling Excelsior but cannot convert the three points, but a more resolute performance the next week against Shamrock Cathair upsets the visitors, with Moxey finally firing on all cylinders in midfield. If you’d told Itzi fans in pre-season that their first win would come against Shamrock, they’d have been delighted for a few seconds before frowning and checking the calendar.
Oljestaden IF Olga
Hygolje Arena, (Cap: 50000). Oljestaden, Hyland

Domestic Honours - 2
COCANEFA Honours - 1
International Honours - 0
1. Donato Castillo (26, G , EFL)
2. Maas Hadler (34, D C, MRN)
3. Santiago Santiago (27, D L, TAE)
4. Thorian Nielsen (22, DM C, AUD)
5. Da Chong (22, D C, JOV)
6. Pelle Juergensen (26, D/M R, AUD)
7. Bastiaan Makaay (24, M CR, AUD)
8. Torvald Ebben (28, M C, SRS)
9. Kasperi Otalainen (32, F C, SVJ)
11. Bertus Verschoor (21, F C, AUD)
12. Ivan Sandiev (21, F LC, USR)
15. Mauithay (26, M C, DAI)
16. Helge Persson (26, D C, GRF)
18. Eric Soren (25, D CR, AUD)
19. Eyvindur Vilar-Trom (20, F C, AUD)
20. Numbers Guégan (23, D/M CL, AUD)
22. Maxi Lundgren (35, G , NPH)
29. Dries Van den Bossche (24, M LC, AUD)
91. Cocoabo #91 (??, F CR, TUR)
Mng. Tomas Kristofics (44, DM C, PIS)

First XI: Castillo - Soren, Persson, Hadler, Santiago - Makaay, Ebben, Van den Bossche - Sandiev, Otalainen, Cocoabo #91

If Oljestaden versus Bombarralense a derby? Not exactly. This is simply the matchup of two similarly peculiar teams.

Tomas Kristofics has been involved with Oljestaden for a long time, initially as a teenage midfielder bought alongside two other Polarians by former manager Ivan Haarstad, now at true rivals Isle of Kjeligsted. Kristofics would end up replacing Haarstad after the Polarian manager’s ridiculously long run as Oljestaden boss, meaning men from the Polar Islandstates have been running the club for well over 20 consecutive seasons at this point.

Oljestaden are an odd team. A glance at their strike force should tell you all you need to know. One of them, for example, is a Cocoabo. Another, Ivan Sandiev, joined the club in pre-season for a princely sum after impressive performances for Sannyamathland in World Cup qualifying despite having no real experience in high-level club football.

Sandiev, however, has been a formidable presence on the left side of attack, often too much to handle for the league’s full-backs.

Bombarralense Os Bombardeiros
Estadio das Trevas, (Cap: 17500). Bombarral, Lusitâninha

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Uolleys (32, G , DAI)
2. Ortzi Iarzagarai (33, D/M CR, AUD)
3. Muuna Kentar (38, D L, MRN)
4. Maxil Girou (36, D C, MRN)
5. Szescõ Erôss (20, D C, PAS)
6. Beck Clayborn (32, D C, BRE)
7. Max Rizzo (25, M/F L, CBP)
8. Tray Mohaupt (28, M C, SPM)
9. Archnique Henderson (24, F C, AUD)
10. Martí Calderon (28, F C, TEQ)
11. Rylan Bishop (22, M L, TKT)
12. Daczibog Ketadzic (33, D C, SRS)
13. Jacob Marley (28, DM C, MUR)
14. Cody Fraser (35, M C, AUD)
15. Leandro Mexilhões (20, M/F LC, AUD)
16. Cillian Hurdly (17, F C, AUD)
17. Patrick Read (19, D R, EUR)
19. Jordi Valeri (30, M LCR, AUD)
21. Antoni Moigne (23, AM R, AUD)
24. Ben West (18, AM C, EUR)
Mng. Guillem Rodas (43, D/M L, AUD)

First XI: Uolleys - Read, Girou, Ketadzic, Kentar - Erôss, Marley - West, Mohaupt, Rizzo - Calderon

Bomba are an odd team. As odd as you’d expect when you consider that their symbols are an octopus and a bomb. When they arrived in the top flight in season ten most had them as favourites to go back down, but thus far tenth is the lowest down the table they’ve finished, and the club have represented Audioslavia in the Challengers’ Cup with aplomb.

Rodas’s men have taken two Euran teenagers in the transfer window, with Patrick Read coming from Blackfields and Ben West arriving on loan from Falourr. Aside from young gun Cillian Hurdly breaking through in attack, that’s it for changes. The side once again rely on a united-nations first-team to see them through - they will often field a side with no Audioslavian players at all.

The National League
Cazadores Cathair 2–0 Osarese Marcadia
Oljestaden IF 0–0 Bombarralense
Excelsior Zijweg 0–1 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Shamrock Cathair 2–0 1830 Cathair
AS Marcadia 0–1 KT Itzalovalle
Union Cathair FC 1–1 AC Izotz Zubia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–0 CdF Celtade

Oh come on, guys. I set the two of you up as weird weirdos and you go and have the most boring 0-0 draw of the season so far.

The big match on matchday sixteen is, naturally, Shamrock versus 1830 Cathair, and the spoils go to the home side with Townsend just about getting the better of Kramer in the midfield battle. Thor Møller grabs the go-ahead goal after eighteen minutes, with Corby Wheeler breaking through in the sixty-fourth minute to slot home number two.

Elsewhere, Caza win their last match before the mid-season break, while KT Itzalovalle get their second win in a row. Smith’s new-manager bounce is in full effect.
Excelsior Zijweg The Wee Easy
Vidaak Arena, (Cap: 16500). Zijweg, Hyland

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Yoruyoru (25, G , DAI)
2. Mathew Glassmaker (30, D R, AUD)
3. Jody Mahmud (18, D L, AUD)
4. Bryton Menheniot (28, DM C, APX)
5. Jacoby Gibson (25, D C, AUD)
6. Zackothy Almanzar (28, D C, AUD)
7. Hoyt Alas (23, M R, AUD)
8. Dane Pridgeon (24, M C, COS)
9. Eric Giese (29, F C, AUD)
10. Axel Agard (21, AM CR, AUD)
11. Troy Qaderi (24, M LC, AUD)
12. Folke Bolt (20, M/F C, AUD)
13. Lyndis (34, M/AM C, DAI)
14. Rogier Kuijken (23, AM R, AUD)
15. Rustex Van Heemstra (27, DM C, AUD)
16. Teunis Nijhof (23, DM C, AUD)
17. Tristen Rigger (28, M C, AUD)
18. Kazimir Sliva (25, G , AUD)
19. Pabel Krasinski (21, F C, AUD)
20. Jeroen Beethoven (26, M C, AUD)
21. Inigo Eskibel (18, D R, AUD)
24. Vann MacMurdo (23, D CR, AUD)
Mng. Christopher Swansmith (71, DM C, AUD)

First XI: Yoruyoru - MacMurdo, Gibson, Almanzar, Mahmud - Menheniot - Agard, Pridgeon, Lyndis, Qaderi - Giese

Christopher Swansmith’s men took the league by storm last season, qualifying for the Challengers’ Cup playing an old-school brand of kick-and-rush football orchestrated by two cheap-as-chips transfers from Cazadores in the form of Cosumarite Dane Pridgeon and Apoxian Bryton Menheniot. Like Cosumar and Apox, however, the side appear to have gone missing this season.

In short, they have been figured out.

Swansmith’s reliance on the team that got Excelsior promoted and into IFCF football has been the 71 year-old former Audioslavia midfielder’s undoing, and after Itzi’s change in fortunes Excelsior sit rock-bottom of the division with almost half the season gone.

The only bright spot so far has been the team’s progression to the knockout stages of the Challengers’ Cup, going 2-2-2 in the group stage to set up a knockout game with Banijans Kitara AA.

First up, they have to traverse the festive period, with a tricky tie at Bomba coming up.

The National League
AC Izotz Zubia 0–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 Union Cathair FC
1830 Cathair 1–2 AS Marcadia
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 0–1 Shamrock Cathair
Bombarralense 2–1 Excelsior Zijweg
Osarese Marcadia 0–4 Oljestaden IF

Menheniot sets up Eric Giese with a beautiful through-ball to open the scoring for Excelsior, but they’re simply outplayed for much of the second half and Bomba come away with the points, equalizing on the hour mark through Ben West’s far-post finish and taking the lead through and unlikely overhead kick from a defender. Oh wait, the defender was Daczibog Ketadzic. Nevermind. He just does stuff like that.
Union Cathair The Misfits
Shepworth Racecourse Ground, (Cap: 10500). Cathair, Central

Domestic Honours - 1
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Paxton Keenan (31, G , AUD)
2. Hereld Jansen (24, D R, AUD)
3. Caiden Guthrie (29, D L, AUD)
4. Pascual Castel (30, DM C, AUD)
5. Anders Jonassen (27, D C, AUD)
6. Gael Barlow (33, D C, AUD)
7. Joan Soler (23, M CR, AUD)
8. Ronan Fallon (30, DM C, BRE)
9. Mauro Cetta (24, F C, AUD)
10. Hjalmar Boisen (22, M/F C, AUD)
11. Baker MacGeouch (34, M LC, AUD)
13. Hardcheese (36, G , DAI)
14. Callum MacKaye (26, AM C, AUD)
15. Errapel Zalacain (22, D/M C, AUD)
16. Julio MacEwan (24, D C, AUD)
17. Luke Rose (21, M/F R, AUD)
18. Raiden McLean (22, M LC, AUD)
19. Saint Legalese (21, D/M LC, AUD)
20. Fergus Coren (19, F C, AUD)
22. Alessio Roda (22, D/M LC, AUD)
24. Armand Cariou (20, M CR, AUD)
30. Anargyos Zervaes (20, D C, VDR)
Mng. Bastijn Fokke-Rommedahl (42, D R, AUD)

First XI: Keenan - Jansen, Rosa, Zervaes, Barlow - Fallon - Cariou, MacKaye, Rose - Coren, Boisen

“Wait’ I hear you say. “Union Cathair?”

Yes. Union Cathair. This is their first season in the top flight, but in fact you may already have heard of them.

Union became the first ever third-division club to win the Kirola Cup (doing so beating *another* third division side in the final) and duly represented Audioslavia in the Cup Winners’ Cup the season after, putting in a respectable performance. They took the second division by storm the same season and have come to the top flight with a head of steam, aiming to recreate the success of Excelsior last season and force their way into the Challengers’ Cup conversation.

At current pace they’re not quite on for that, but the big teams have their eye on Union all the same.

Union come from a working class area of Cathair on the western side, the catchment area for their fan-base overlapping with (and therefore subsumed by) that of Shamrock. Their tiny Racecourse Ground has been extended to just about its limit but still only seats just over ten thousand. As a result, they’ve been playing their home Series B Champions League games in Shamrock’s ground, often the evening after Shamrock have entertained opponents in the Champions League.

Union have a similar background to Shamrock, built on a sense of community among a group of people, in this case shipwrights, steelworkers and millmen. The side have always embodied a bolshy left-wing stance, as evidenced by their pink and red colours and the subtle (okay, not *that* subtle) leftist imagery on their crest.

Their refusal to wear a sponsor’s logo on their shirt (other than charity organizations) is a relatively new idea and not quite indicative of the club’s roots (they were one of the first Audioslavian teams to demand to be allowed to turn professional and earn money from their endeavours) but it does set them aside from an increasingly moneyed top flight.

The club have made good use of the loan system this season, bringing in former Union striker Fergus Coren, who had been a teenage sensation in their cup win before moving on to AC Izotz Zubia. Zozi have loaned Coren back to Union to get some game time, while Roda and Cariou both arrive from 1830 Cathair on a season-long loan. Neither are available for selection in their game on matchday eighteen.

The National League
Excelsior Zijweg 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
Shamrock Cathair 3–0 Bombarralense
AS Marcadia 2–2 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Union Cathair FC 0–1 1830 Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–2 KT Itzalovalle
CdF Celtade 0–0 AC Izotz Zubia

Union’s supporters being on the hard left does make their rivalry with 1830 Cathair a little spicier than with neighbours or cross-city foes Cazadores, despite Union’s two Cathair loanees watching on from the stands. Blue and white possession is greeted by a chorus of boos, with the loudest reserved for talismanic midfielder Thorsten Kramer.

Kramer doesn’t seem affected, and it’s his burst through the middle that creates the game’s only goal for Erik Moselle, who reaches the throughball ahead of Keenan and squeezes the ball under the keeper for the only goal of the game.
[box] 19
The National League
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 CdF Celtade
1830 Cathair 8–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 0–1 Union Cathair FC
Bombarralense 3–0 AS Marcadia
Osarese Marcadia 0–2 Shamrock Cathair

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 14 9 3 2 30 10 +20 30
2 1830 Cathair 14 9 1 4 25 8 +17 28
3 Cazadores Cathair 14 8 2 4 22 13 +9 26
4 AS Marcadia 14 7 3 4 28 26 +2 24
5 AC Izotz Zubia 14 6 5 3 24 19 +5 23
6 KT Moreazerua 14 6 3 5 23 14 +9 21
7 Bombarralense 14 5 3 6 17 21 −4 18
8 KT Itzalovalle 14 4 5 5 16 18 −2 17
9 Union Cathair FC 14 5 2 7 17 19 −2 17
10 Osarese Marcadia 14 5 2 7 14 20 −6 17
11 Oljestaden IF 14 4 4 6 21 22 −1 16
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 14 4 4 6 15 27 −12 16
13 CdF Celtade 14 4 3 7 9 23 −14 15
14 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 14 3 4 7 17 25 −8 13
15 Excelsior Zijweg 14 1 6 7 13 26 −13 9

The halfway point of the season is punctuated by 1830 Cathair utterly destroying Sicurezza by eight goals to nothing, leapfrogging Cazadores to round out a capital-headed league. Zozi are fifth, a point behind an AS Marcadia team having their best start to a league season in their history. Have they been particularly good? Well this is the side who have dropped points to three of the bottom four and were demolished at home 7-0 by Cazadores, yet who were comfortable in away victories over 1830 Cathair, KT Moreazerua and AC Izotz Zubia, so the answer to that question is a resounding ‘heaven knows’. Marcadia, for years an afterthought, are now the wildcard. It’s a massive improvement.

At the bottom of the table, Excelsior Zijweg have lost seven of their twelve games, along with Osarese, Union, Celtade and Hasiera. They remain bottom by four points due to their absolute inability to turn ties into wins. Tout-Puissant join them in the automatic relegation spots, while Celtade are just about keeping themselves above the line, coping admirably having their squad decimated in pre-season.

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Postby Audioslavia » Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:48 pm

CdF Celtade Os Celts
Estadio Costa Branca, (Cap: 17500). Celta, Iberra

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Plácido Sousa (36, G , AUD)
2. Iñigo Tio (32, D CR, AUD)
3. Gijsbert Van Buitenen (23, D LC, AUD)
4. Donovan Santiesteban (27, DM C, AUD)
5. Afonso Criado (27, D C, AUD)
7. Facundo Rosa (21, M/F CR, AUD)
8. Baillaire Fillar (17, AM C, CMT)
9. Luca Senna (26, F C, AUD)
10. Kausu Dione (24, F C, BNJ)
11. Guillem Serra (25, AM LCR, AUD)
12. Olegário Branco (21, D LC, AUD)
13. Coridai (25, F C, DAI)
14. Josep Ros (24, F C, AUD)
15. Vicente Mazariegos (29, M C, AUD)
19. Vernon Montesinos (31, D C, AUD)
20. Rodolf Sendra (20, M C, AUD)
22. Marnid Volland (28, G , NPH)
Mng. Jean-Pablo Costacurta-Groove (42, M R, HIN)

Starting XI: Volland - Tio, Branco, Criado, Montesinos - Rosa, Fillar, Serra - Senna, Dione, Ros

Last season, Celtade survived for two reasons. Firstly, they didn’t shy away from their opponents, fielding two or three striker in every game and contesting the midfield battle even against the strongest teams in the league. Secondly, they had Finn Townsend, the three MacCowan brothers and Valentino Escandon in the squad.

With four of that gang having been poached by Shamrock and Escandon departing for Townsend’s former employers North Hall, Celtade’s team this season has a very different feel. Commendably, they’re still trying to play football. Less commendably, they’re in the relegation playoff spots and are looking in real danger of going down, especially if Excelsior go back to winning ways.

The side have pinned their hopes on Chromatik playmaker Baillaire Fillar, sibling of Cazadores goalkeeper Juxon. Fillar though, despite her talents, is seventeen years of age. Precisely the reason he watched much of last season from the bench. It’s a lot of pressure to put on the shoulders of one so young, and though Fillar’s performances have shown promise, she’s not being helped nearly enough by those around her. Guillem Serra has gone off the boil since last season, Facundo Rosa struggling for match fitness, and the replacement midfielders of Mazariegos and Sendra haven’t been at the standard.

Fillar has forged an important partnership with Banijan striker Kauso Dione, an early-season arrival from Capitol City FC (not to be confused with the Simulland version), and it’s that that has gotten CdF some points so far, but they’ll need to keep up their escape act for the entire season, else they’ll be on their way out of the top flight.
The National League
Osarese Marcadia 3–1 AS Marcadia
Bombarralense 0–1 Union Cathair FC
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
1830 Cathair 2–0 CdF Celtade
KT Itzalovalle 0–1 AC Izotz Zubia

Cathair prove too strong for Celtade at the Arena Kirola, scoring either side of half-time through Xaime Medal and Steve Erickson. Fillar goes close at the other end late on, bringing a reaction save from Goran Stroud that earns them a corner, but by that time Cathair have done their usual schtick of bringing on the experienced Brenecian Niko Szubanski to close out the game and Szubanski spends the majority of the final ten minutes sweeping up Celtade’s atacks.

The next week’s game is a much more winnable one, with Celtade hosting promoted Tout-Puissant Hasiera.
Tout-Puissant Hasiera Les Coqs
Parc des Revenants, (Cap: 55000). Hasiera, La Chaine

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Futuyna (33, G , DAI)
2. Pol Le Fur (31, D RL, AUD)
3. Aurelio Saez (34, D L, AUD)
4. Vulav-Izilv Lec (21, DM C, QUS)
5. Fayez Shaban (33, D LC, AUD)
6. Timeo Le Duff (21, D C, AUD)
7. Robert Gourcuff (23, M R, AUD)
8. Sean Prior (31, M/F C, AUD)
9. Foster Sivertsen-Bautista (28, F C, AUD)
10. Leonardo Bousquet (30, AM/F C, EFL)
11. Zainal Bilal (24, D/M LC, AUD)
12. Valentin Franck (22, M CR, AUD)
13. Bruno Borges (22, D/M L, AUD)
14. Evan Spencer (24, F C, HVY)
15. Txomin Lacouague (36, D LC, AUD)
16. Carter Morgensen (34, M C, AUD)
17. Cayden Le Hénaff (20, G , AUD)
18. Felix Mina (23, D C, AUD)
19. Caceres (36, F C, DAI)
31. Zorion Santisteban (18, M LC, AUD)
Mng. Reinaldo Schmidt (55, D RL, AUD)

First XI: Futuyna - Mina, Lacouague, Saez - Lec, Bilal - Gourcuff, Bousquet, Santiesteban - Sivertsen-Bautista, Spencer

Tout-Puissant, like their city rivals Tenth Star Hasiera, have always been a yo-yo team. After surviving the relegation playoffs for three seasons in a row at the start of the National League era, they responded to their eventual relegation by bouncing back immediately and somehow taking fifth place in season five, ahead of Mozi, Itzi and Shamrock. A succession of mid-table finishes followed, making the Globe Cup each time, but by season ten they’d returned to their old ways and, humiliatingly, were relegated via playoff defeat to cross-town rivals Tenth Star at the end of season ten.

Tenth Star would follow Tout-Puissant down the next season, but while TSH struggle, TPH found themselves promoted and, now, fighting for their National League survival once again.

The side have capitalized on the loan system in a similar way to Union, taking Zorion Santiesteban from Cazadores and borrowing Txomin Lacouague from Shamrock, who are still paying most of the 36 year-old’s wages. Lacouague, ineffective for Shamrock last season, has been solid for Tout-Puissant, heading the three-man central defensive partnership in a defensive 3-5-2 formation.

The National League
AC Izotz Zubia 2–0 1830 Cathair
CdF Celtade 0–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–4 Bombarralense
Union Cathair FC 1–1 Osarese Marcadia
Cazadores Cathair 0–3 KT Moreazerua

On a day where all eyes are on Zozi completing the double over Cathair in the Derby of Audioslavia, the only neutrals watching Celtade and Tout-Puissant cancel one another out - to the detriment of both - are those bored of watching Bomba score goals against Sicurezza and/or those waiting for Caza vs Mozi to start. Celtade’s one-trick attack crashes against the Hasieran shores, Tout-Puissant’s counter-attacks aren’t fast or accurate enough, and that’s the story of matchday twenty-one.
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi The Northern Marauders
Stadio Oromë, (Cap: 21800). Trentina, Padia

Domestic Honours - 0
COCANEFA Honours - 0
International Honours - 0
1. Ibrahim Mathisen (35, G , VAL)
2. Amalie Asghar (34, D R, VAL)
3. Bernhard Raabe (21, D L, VAL)
4. Thad Verhoek (25, DM C, AUD)
5. Gustav Marinussen (35, D CR, VAL)
6. Fredrik Pettersen (26, D C, VAL)
8. Petra Müthel (21, AM/F C, VAL)
9. Dennis Våge (29, F C, VAL)
11. Indra Söderström (20, M L, VAL)
12. Pablo Maia (33, D C, AUD)
13. Elijah Magri (30, M C, AUD)
14. Fredrik Skotnes (29, M RL, VAL)
16. Dylan Bain (30, D C, AUD)
16. Finnemolo Finnegan-McGillicudy-Herzog (17, M C, AUD)
19. Angelo Guariglia (27, DM C, AUD)
20. Robbie Bailey (27, M LC, AUD)
21. Archald Aguilar (30, M C, AUD)
22. Tober Nijboer (33, G , AUD)
Mng. Axel Tufte (54, , VAL)

First XI: Mathisen - Asghar, Raabe, Pettersen, Marinussen - Verhoek - Skotness, Magri, Söderström - Våge, Müthel

Marcadia has the Osarian immigrants, Hasiera the Mertians, while the mountainous Padian town of Trentina has the Vanorians. Whereas Trentina’s original club, Virtus Trentina, have never gotten out of the fourth tier, Sicurezza surprised everyone by blasting their way through to the top flight as a season eight expansion team and absolutely refusing to go back down.

The side combines journeymen from both Valanora and Audioslavia and uses them to support Indra Söderström, the side’s one boda-fide star. Pre-season saw the addition of Petra Müthel, adding a real zest to the attack, while twenty-nine year-old striker Dennis Våge may be closer to the moon than to Valanora’s national team roster, but is highly rated by the locals as a tireless blood, sweat and elbows striker with an eye for snatching a goal out of nowhere.

The National League
KT Moreazerua 4–1 Oljestaden IF
Osarese Marcadia 1–4 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Bombarralense 1–0 CdF Celtade
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 2–2 AC Izotz Zubia
1830 Cathair 0–0 KT Itzalovalle

Matchday twenty-two sees Våge and co at their best as they mug Osarese in the third minute, with Våge racing onto an errant backpass before Teruzuki can claim it and slotting the ball in for 1-0. Osarese dig their way back into the game but are 2-0 down before the break, with Söderström - nicknamed Soda-stream by the locals - bubbling up the left hand-side on the counter and setting Müthel up to double the side’s lead.

Osarese reply through Garnett Makanza, but Våge is there again with a near-post finish and Söderström adds a fourth at the end, pulling back a square ball at the edge of the box, creating space with a deft drop of the shoulder that sends Romneir to the shops for a paper, and coolly side-footing the ball into the bottom corner with Teruzuki rooted to the spot.

It’s Sicurezza’s final game before their three-matchday break. They’re not even close to being out of the danger zone (such is life at the mid-to-lower reaches of the National League), but they’re in good stead to secure yet another season in the top division
The National League
KT Itzalovalle 2–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
AC Izotz Zubia 1–0 Bombarralense
CdF Celtade 0–0 Osarese Marcadia
Excelsior Zijweg 0–1 KT Moreazerua
Oljestaden IF 3–3 Cazadores Cathair
The National League
Cazadores Cathair 5–0 Excelsior Zijweg
KT Moreazerua 1–0 Shamrock Cathair
Osarese Marcadia 2–1 AC Izotz Zubia
Bombarralense 1–0 KT Itzalovalle
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 0–6 1830 Cathair
The National League
1830 Cathair 1–0 Bombarralense
KT Itzalovalle 0–0 Osarese Marcadia
AS Marcadia 1–1 KT Moreazerua
Shamrock Cathair 1–1 Cazadores Cathair
Excelsior Zijweg 1–3 Oljestaden IF

The National League.         Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 1830 Cathair 19 12 2 5 34 10 +24 38
2 KT Moreazerua 19 10 4 5 33 16 +17 34
3 AC Izotz Zubia 19 9 6 4 31 23 +8 33
4 Shamrock Cathair 16 9 4 3 31 12 +19 31
5 Cazadores Cathair 18 9 4 5 31 20 +11 31
6 Bombarralense 20 8 3 9 23 24 −1 27
7 Osarese Marcadia 20 7 5 8 21 27 −6 26
8 AS Marcadia 16 7 4 5 30 30 0 25
9 KT Itzalovalle 19 5 7 7 18 20 −2 22
10 Union Cathair FC 16 6 3 7 19 20 −1 21
11 Oljestaden IF 17 5 5 7 28 30 −2 20
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 17 5 4 8 19 33 −14 19
13 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 19 4 6 9 20 35 −15 18
14 CdF Celtade 18 4 5 9 9 26 −17 17
15 Excelsior Zijweg 17 1 6 10 14 35 −21 9

It’s a two-week period with no team able to steal a match at the top but for 1830 Cathair, resounding winners over Tout-Puissant and fortunate to get all three points against a spirited Bomba side.

Cathair sit atop the division by four points from Mozi and five from Zozi, but Shamrock could surpass them if they win all of their three games in hand - perhaps with two wins and a draw if goal-difference goes their way.

Caza are making a better fist of things, with their draw away to Shamrock in the Cross Capital derby putting them within a victory of second place - their game in hand on the leaders.

In the hunt for the final Challengers’ Cup spots, Bomba and Osarese sit in sixth and seventh but having played more games than everyone, and it’s not outwith the realms of possibility that, with just a handful of games to go, AS Marcadia could have a serious chance of playing IFCF football next season.

Itzi’s early season slump means they’re in ninth, a point above Union but having played three more games, while Oljestaden are struggling to get even a .500 record.

At the bottom, Sicurezza, Tout-Puissant and Celtade were expected to be fighting it out at this end of the table, but Excelsior’s dreadful win record thus far - just one in seventeen, and that coming early on against Celtade - puts them dead last, a whopping eight points short of fourteenth and nine short of escape from the automatic relegation spots. By now out of the Challengers’ Cup by the hand of Kitara, the only thing Excelsior have to play for is their own survival.
The National League
Oljestaden IF 1–3 Shamrock Cathair
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 AS Marcadia
KT Moreazerua 0–2 Union Cathair FC
Osarese Marcadia 0–1 1830 Cathair
Bombarralense 1–1 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
The National League
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 3–2 Osarese Marcadia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 5–3 KT Moreazerua
Union Cathair FC 2–3 Cazadores Cathair
AS Marcadia 0–0 Oljestaden IF
Shamrock Cathair 3–0 Excelsior Zijweg

Over just eight days, KT Moreazerua’s realistic chances at a second National League title unravel completely, beaten soundly at home by Union and smashed 5-3 by Sicurezza, with Fergus Coren and Indra Söderström their tormentors.

Shamrock and Cazadores both take six points in the intervening time, the former making light work of Oljestaden and Excelsior and the latter scraping past AS Marcadia before a great escape away to Union, coming back from two goals down before substitute Gouveia de Souza, nicknamed Vegeta, comes off the bench in the final minutes to poke home a scrambled winner. Caza’s title hopes are alive and well, as are Cathair’s as they win their only game over the period via a Thorsten Kramer thunderbolt against Osarese.
The National League
Excelsior Zijweg 3–3 AS Marcadia
Oljestaden IF 4–1 Union Cathair FC
Cazadores Cathair 0–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
KT Moreazerua 2–2 CdF Celtade
Osarese Marcadia 0–0 Bombarralense
The National League
AC Izotz Zubia 0–4 KT Moreazerua
CdF Celtade 0–2 Cazadores Cathair
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–3 Oljestaden IF
Union Cathair FC 2–2 Excelsior Zijweg
AS Marcadia 1–0 Shamrock Cathair

1830 Cathair don’t play throughout matchdays 28 or 29, and it’s reasonable to assume their players spend their off-time getting some valuable training on their core muscles by gutlaughing at the expense of their rivals.

First Caza are overturned 2-0 at home to Sicurezza, for whom Våge is on target twice, with Mozi’s misery compounded by failure to beat Celtade.

The next week. AC Izotz Zubia emerge from their own three-game rest to get spectacularly shellacked in front of their own fans by a Moreazerua side hell-bent on proving that form goes out the window in a derby. Koldo Bazterrika rounds out the rout with a cheeky lob on eighty minutes after Rijsbergen and Karazatorre had already put the game beyond Ager Alaba’s men.

Finally, as the cherry on top, Shamrock travel to AS Marcadia on the Monday night and fall to a Gabriel Buvalelli strike, losing valuable ground on the leaders.
The National League
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 Union Cathair FC
Excelsior Zijweg 2–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Oljestaden IF 1–0 CdF Celtade
Cazadores Cathair 0–2 AC Izotz Zubia
KT Moreazerua 0–2 KT Itzalovalle

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 1830 Cathair 20 13 2 5 35 10 +25 41
2 Shamrock Cathair 20 12 4 4 38 14 +24 40
3 Cazadores Cathair 23 12 4 7 37 26 +11 40
4 KT Moreazerua 24 11 5 8 42 27 +15 38
5 AC Izotz Zubia 21 10 6 5 33 27 +6 36
6 Oljestaden IF 22 8 6 8 37 35 +2 30
7 AS Marcadia 20 8 6 6 34 34 0 30
8 Bombarralense 22 8 5 9 24 25 −1 29
9 Osarese Marcadia 23 7 6 10 23 31 −8 27
10 KT Itzalovalle 20 6 7 7 20 20 0 25
11 Union Cathair FC 21 7 4 10 26 30 −4 25
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 21 7 4 10 27 41 −14 25
13 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 21 5 7 9 24 38 −14 22
14 CdF Celtade 21 4 6 11 11 31 −20 18
15 Excelsior Zijweg 21 2 8 11 21 43 −22 14

And that really is that for Mozi and Caza. Sure, there are leagues where being a point off the lead with seven matchdays to go has your fans rubbing their hands with glee (see: all other leagues) but this isn’t one of them. Caza have four games left to play and can attain a maximum of 52 points, which has never been enough to win the league.

Moreazerua, two points back with one fewer game to play, can’t do any better. They’ve scored the third most goals in the league thus far, but they’ve lost more games than struggling Itzalovalle, down in tenth, and can reach a maximum of 47 points - their exact points total last season.

Zozi are a further two points back, but the champions have two games in hand and are at least on course to better their own points total from last season, though whether it’ll quite be enough this time round is doubtful. What’s more, they’ve played a game more than both Shamrock and 1830 Cathair at the top, and it’s looking like the winner of this season’s national league will be between these two old rivals.

By now, both sides have tumbled out of the Champions League. This is the only prize either team has their eye on.
The National League
1830 Cathair 0–1 KT Moreazerua
KT Itzalovalle 1–1 Cazadores Cathair
AC Izotz Zubia 2–1 Oljestaden IF
CdF Celtade 1–0 Excelsior Zijweg
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–2 Shamrock Cathair
Union Cathair FC 4–0 AS Marcadia

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 21 13 4 4 40 14 +26 43
2 1830 Cathair 21 13 2 6 35 11 +24 41
3 KT Moreazerua 25 12 5 8 43 27 +16 41
4 Cazadores Cathair 24 12 5 7 38 27 +11 41
5 AC Izotz Zubia 22 11 6 5 35 28 +7 39
6 Oljestaden IF 23 8 6 9 38 37 +1 30
7 AS Marcadia 21 8 6 7 34 38 −4 30
8 Bombarralense 22 8 5 9 24 25 −1 29
9 Union Cathair FC 22 8 4 10 30 30 0 28
10 Osarese Marcadia 23 7 6 10 23 31 −8 27
11 KT Itzalovalle 21 6 8 7 21 21 0 26
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 22 7 4 11 27 43 −16 25
13 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 21 5 7 9 24 38 −14 22
14 CdF Celtade 22 5 6 11 12 31 −19 21
15 Excelsior Zijweg 22 2 8 12 21 44 −23 14

Thad Verhoek’s 80th-minute defensive howler finally gives Shamrock a break-through, and Alexander Crewe’s men put the game away on 86 minutes to go clear at the top following the Tea-timers’ failure to get anything from their home tie with Mozi, who score through Rijsbergen and hold strong over five final and frantic minutes.

At the bottom, Celtade’s descent towards doom is quelled by victory over Excelsior, the only goal of the game coming in the 91st minute of play with Baillaire Fillar collecting a bouncing ball and cutting in a far-post finish to the frenzied delight of the home fans.

In Izotzazubia, Ivan Sandiev’s fourteenth-minute volley is cancelled out altogether by two similarly sublime goals, the first via a far-post diving header from Vesuvia Carrick, the second a thirty-yard surface-to-soul missile from Fortune Russell that completes a Brenecian-blue one-two for Zozi.

Elsewhere, AS Marcadia’s fine form stutters to a complete halt as Fergus Coren, Ronan Fallon and Baker MacGeouch score a goal, with the fourth coming from a hopelessly placed back-pass from Lance Bensom bypassing the goalkeeper by a good fifteen feet and rolling stupidly into the bottom corner.
The National League
AS Marcadia 0–0 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Shamrock Cathair 5–1 CdF Celtade
Excelsior Zijweg 1–0 AC Izotz Zubia
Oljestaden IF 1–1 KT Itzalovalle
Cazadores Cathair 1–0 1830 Cathair
KT Moreazerua 2–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera

That is only Excelsior’s third win of the season.
That’s also Cazadores Cathair defeating their hated city rivals to go three points ahead of them in the league - albeit having played three games more - and massively dent Cathair’s hopes of another title. Rasmus Caracole is the hero for the men in deep red, cutting inside and drilling an unexpected low shot in at the near post with Stroud stood stock still in total disbelief that someone would even try to do him like that.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 22 14 4 4 45 15 +30 46
2 KT Moreazerua 26 13 5 8 45 27 +18 44
3 Cazadores Cathair 25 13 5 7 39 27 +12 44
4 1830 Cathair 22 13 2 7 35 12 +23 41
5 AC Izotz Zubia 23 11 6 6 35 29 +6 39
6 Oljestaden IF 24 8 7 9 39 38 +1 31
7 AS Marcadia 22 8 7 7 34 38 −4 31
8 Bombarralense 22 8 5 9 24 25 −1 29
9 Union Cathair FC 22 8 4 10 30 30 0 28
10 KT Itzalovalle 22 6 9 7 22 22 0 27
11 Osarese Marcadia 23 7 6 10 23 31 −8 27
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 23 7 5 11 27 43 −16 26
13 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 22 5 7 10 24 40 −16 22
14 CdF Celtade 23 5 6 12 13 36 −23 21
15 Excelsior Zijweg 23 3 8 12 22 44 −22 17

It’s looking more and more like it’s Shamrock’s to lose, but there are still six games to go and the gap is just five points to 1830 Cathair. What’s more, they travel to AC Izotz Zubia next week while Teatimer fans are confident their team can overcome Oljestaden at home.
The National League
Bombarralense 3–1 KT Moreazerua
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 0–2 Cazadores Cathair
1830 Cathair 1–1 Oljestaden IF
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 Excelsior Zijweg
AC Izotz Zubia 2–1 Shamrock Cathair
CdF Celtade 2–0 AS Marcadia
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–1 Union Cathair FC

Caza fans react to news that they’re top of the league with laughter after their two-nothing win over Tout-Puissant, sarcastically chanting we’re gonna win the league in front of an emptying Parc des Revenants.

Fans of Shamrock and 1830 Cathair mock them for it as if they were doing it seriously, and then proceed to emphatically not look like winning the league themselves.

Cathair play first, are torn apart by Cocoabo 91 and Ivan Sandiev within the first ten minutes and are lucky to only be one goal down, and spend the rest of the game being shithoused out a point by an increasingly emboldening Oljestaden side. It takes until the 87th minute before the unlikely figure of Ross Okano rises to meet a corner and send it on its way to the inside of the post with a wink.

Shamrock know they can steal a march at the top of the league, but it’s easier said than done against Zozi, form whom Julia Müller is in insistent form, scoring a penalty and a side-footed finish before partial namesake Möller’s late reply.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Cazadores Cathair 26 14 5 7 41 27 +14 47
2 Shamrock Cathair 23 14 4 5 46 17 +29 46
3 KT Moreazerua 27 13 5 9 46 30 +16 44
4 1830 Cathair 23 13 3 7 36 13 +23 42
5 AC Izotz Zubia 24 12 6 6 37 30 +7 42
6 Bombarralense 23 9 5 9 27 26 +1 32
7 Oljestaden IF 25 8 8 9 40 39 +1 32
8 AS Marcadia 23 8 7 8 34 40 −6 31
9 KT Itzalovalle 23 7 9 7 23 22 +1 30
10 Union Cathair FC 23 8 5 10 31 31 0 29
11 Osarese Marcadia 23 7 6 10 23 31 −8 27
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 24 7 6 11 28 44 −16 27
13 CdF Celtade 24 6 6 12 15 36 −21 24
14 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 23 5 7 11 24 42 −18 22
15 Excelsior Zijweg 24 3 8 13 22 45 −23 17

Moreazerua’s late season slump (smashing Zozi 4-0 in Izotzazubia not withstanding) continues with defeat to Bombarralense in a one-sided game, with young striker Cillian Hurdly on the scoreboard for the visitors alongside Daczibog Ketadzic and Marti Calderon.

At the bottom, a player by the name of Finnemolo Finnegan-McGillicudy-Herzog (even though the sound of it is really quite atertsog?) scores for Sicurezza to drag them one point closer to safety.

Osarese Marcadia, previously in contention for a Challengers’ Cup spot, have been dragged down into the relegation battle - such is life in a league where ‘mid-table’ is just three positions.
The National League
Union Cathair FC 0–1 CdF Celtade
AS Marcadia 0–3 AC Izotz Zubia
Shamrock Cathair 3–4 KT Itzalovalle
Excelsior Zijweg 0–3 1830 Cathair
Oljestaden IF 1–2 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Cazadores Cathair 0–0 Bombarralense
KT Moreazerua 0–2 Osarese Marcadia

Celtade bag a crucial win to keep ahead of Tout-Puissant at the bottom, who themselves defeat Oljestaden to widen the game at the bottom to eight points. Excelsior, beaten 3-0 by 1830 Cathair, are now all but doomed, needing nothing less than three wins on the bounce - and other results to go their way - to avoid the drop.

Cathair’s win puts them closer to Shamrock, who lose a three-one lead against Itzi to fall 4-3 right at the death, with Eneko Burionagonatotorecagageazcoechea emerging from the bench to sweep Itzi into the Challengers’ Cup places at the death and ensure no Shamrock fan will be unclenching any time soon.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Cazadores Cathair 27 14 6 7 41 27 +14 48
2 Shamrock Cathair 24 14 4 6 49 21 +28 46
3 1830 Cathair 24 14 3 7 39 13 +26 45
4 AC Izotz Zubia 25 13 6 6 40 30 +10 45
5 KT Moreazerua 28 13 5 10 46 32 +14 44
6 KT Itzalovalle 24 8 9 7 27 25 +2 33
7 Bombarralense 24 9 6 9 27 26 +1 33
8 Oljestaden IF 26 8 8 10 41 41 0 32
9 AS Marcadia 24 8 7 9 34 43 −9 31
10 Osarese Marcadia 24 8 6 10 25 31 −6 30
11 Union Cathair FC 24 8 5 11 31 32 −1 29
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 24 7 6 11 28 44 −16 27
13 CdF Celtade 25 7 6 12 16 36 −20 27
14 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 24 6 7 11 26 43 −17 25
15 Excelsior Zijweg 25 3 8 14 22 48 −26 17

Caza’s failure to convert a number of golden opportunities against Bombarralense in Monday evening’s fixture somewhat dampens their supporters’ spirits, who had made a ‘thing’ out of ‘wErE gOnNa WiN tHe LeAgUe’ chants, but nevertheless with a game to go for them, and many more for their opponents, they are indeed top of the division.

As for KT Moreazerua, they round out a pathetic end to the season with capitulation to Osarese Marcadia. The gap between themselves and the teams below is eleven points, which should be enough to remain fifth, but there’ll be no Champions League football for the men in purple this season, and their fans are utterly disgusted with the whole thing.
The National League
Osarese Marcadia 2–3 Cazadores Cathair
Bombarralense 2–1 Oljestaden IF
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–1 Excelsior Zijweg
KT Itzalovalle 1–0 AS Marcadia
AC Izotz Zubia 2–1 Union Cathair FC
CdF Celtade 1–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Cazadores Cathair 28 15 6 7 44 29 +15 51
2 AC Izotz Zubia 26 14 6 6 42 31 +11 48
3 Shamrock Cathair 24 14 4 6 49 21 +28 46
4 1830 Cathair 24 14 3 7 39 13 +26 45
5 KT Moreazerua 28 13 5 10 46 32 +14 44
6 KT Itzalovalle 25 9 9 7 28 25 +3 36
7 Bombarralense 25 10 6 9 29 27 +2 36
8 Oljestaden IF 27 8 8 11 42 43 −1 32
9 AS Marcadia 25 8 7 10 34 44 −10 31
10 Osarese Marcadia 25 8 6 11 27 34 −7 30
11 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 25 8 6 11 30 45 −15 30
12 Union Cathair FC 25 8 5 12 32 34 −2 29
13 CdF Celtade 26 7 6 13 17 38 −21 27
14 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 25 6 8 11 27 44 −17 26
15 Excelsior Zijweg 26 3 9 14 23 49 −26 18

Having played all 28 games and sitting atop the league, Cazadores’ fans hold a sarcastic ‘league champions’ celebration on the Saturday evening, after their win over Osarese but before AC Izotz Zubia close the gap with victory over Union. At the bottom, Sicurezza drag themselves out of the relegation zone (and dump Union in) with an away win over Celtade that puts CdF in big trouble, especially with Sunday afternoon’s game being Tout-Puissant versus bottom-of-the-table Excelsior. It’s a match both sides need to win - Excelsior to keep their slim survivial hopes alive, Tout-Puissant to drag themselves out of the automatic relegation spots - but the final score is one each. Excelsior are down. Tout-Puissant will join them if they can’t rustle together some points over their final three games.

The big match comes on Monday evening. Billed as a title decider, it’s 1830 Cathair at home to Shamrock.
20 RB Carmelo MacCOWAN AUD
2 CB Daniel MacCOWAN AUD
1830 Cathair
26 CM Brannigan BURLEY AUD
10 CM Thorsten KRAMER (c) STL
14 CF Aymeric FORTIN VLD

It’s the Arena Kirola on a Monday evening in April. As night fella, so did the fog, descending into the stadium and hanging thickly in the air, reflecting the bright white lights back at the supporters. It was, suffice to say, a capacity crowd. Shamrock had demanded the full 12% in terms of seat allocation for their supporters - against anyone else it would have been fifteen percent, but local derbies are capped to fit in security details. Teatimer fans outnumbered them five to one (or whatever the maths is for 85% vs 12%), but the home fans in attendance were exactly that. Home fans. People who could afford the season ticket. Not a bunch of complete arseholes with flares and songs about dead kings, old footballers and bankers jumping out of buildings.

Thorsten Kramer broke through on the left and bundled Emilia Torgersen over as he battled for the ball, drawing indignant bellows from the crowd as the teenage Vanorian midfielder picked herself up, and bellows of approval as she scrambled back and cut-out the resulting pass.

Torgersen was a left-field choice. Bought as a sixteen year-old the previous season, her game minutes could only just be measured in triple digits over the two seasons, with Shamrock ‘suffering’ an embarrassment of riches in midfield - O’Tuathail and Sloan, Itō and McPahan, Albofokh and Declan, Corby Wheeler and, of course, Finn Townsend - but Alexander Crewe had opted for the green Torgersen. Partly out of necessity, with Rosewing suffering from, aptly, a sore wing, Rod Gordon nursing an injury and Archer Andrews recovering from one. Crewe himself had been mooted as a possible partner for Möller up front, but he’d given Torgersen the nod for her energy. She’d chase the ball down if Cathair tried to recycle it. Put the pressure on. With any luck by the time the ball came to her in attack she’d still have her wits about her enough to do something with it.

Torgersen’s attentions forced a mistake from Ysaak, whose pass down the line went directly to O’Tuathail, who burst forward and laid the ball inside to Wheeler. Wheeler turned, opening his body up to the rest of the field, and played a cross-field pace into Itō’s path. The Squidroidian’s first touch was heavy, but it brought the ball past Vlahilades, who scrambled to recover. Recover he did, getting a toe on the ball as Itō attempted to cut back, sending him out to the touchline with his back to goal.

He hears a Vanorian accent and flicks the ball in that direction with the outside of his right foot. Torgersen is there. She’s panting a little after sprinting to get into position, but after almost two years in Audioslavian football she’s been through the mill enough to still calculate the best move. Every fibre of her body moves as if to bring the ball to the left, to the centre of the park, and Jack Menard goes to follow, only for the Euran starlet to find himself intercepting nothing but air as the Vanorian uses her lack of size and strength to her advantage, turning in an impossible short time and cutting inside the defender. Another Vanorian voice calls, and sure enough in the space behind Minne van Schelven there’s a blur of seamroga green and gold. Torgersen’s young, but by this time it’s been drilled into her that she doesn’t have time to think. The pass she chooses, a slow, looping, curling pass into the space in front of Möller, is probably the second or third best option, but as Finn Townsend would tell her at half-time, the fact that you knew that without having it shown to you is why you’re fuckin’ here.

Möller has to check his run just slightly as the ball dips over his right shoulder, and van Schelven’s recovery and Stroud’s advancement forward means it’s a first-time shot or nothing, The right foot comes forward to connect, but it’s one of those shots that is almost always going to go high. I mean what are you going to do, strike the ball downwards as it drops over your shoulder? Legs don’t do that. The hooked volley goes skywards with Stroud flailing at thin air. Shamrock jog back to their positions.

At the start of the second half, Torgersen again tries the same trick, feinting left, darting right, but on this occasion she, the ball and the overlapping Itō are collected by Brannigan Burley.

Burley made his debut for Cathair this season, coming off the bench as a late replacement for Leona Rafford, for whose 33 year-old bones the wear and tear of the regular season has taken its toll. Burley, a box-to-box midfielder rather than a converted DM like Rafford or an out-and-out one like Stani Gröss, whose services Jaffacake-Phillips has required less than his predecessor, has hit the ground running, playing the part of the Cathair midfield’s engine room and giving scope for Thorsten Kramer to save his energy, whereas with Rafford it’d be the Nepharan staying back and Kramer racking up the kilometres. The short, powerfully built Audioslavian has excited home crowds in the Arena Kirola every time he’s taken the field. “Gotta get up early”, they sing, “to beat Brannigan Burley”. He naturaly has the affectionate nickname ‘Zapp’, not only for the name, but for the shock of blonde hair and the penchant for mispronouncing words.

Its his champaggun moment that opens the scoring, breaking through the centre and rolling the ball forward for Fortin, who simply stops and lays the ball off for him as he steams past. Whether Burley knew he had Finn Townsend steaming in to scythe him to the ground is immaterial - the central midfielder simply reared up and smashed the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot from twenty yards, with McFarland yet to set himself.

Crewe rang the changes he could, taking an increasingly laboured Torgersen off and throwing on Fergus Sloan, another left winger, with Colm O’Tuathail moving into the centre. Sloan made an impact immediately, cutting inside and smashing a low ball across the edge of the area to Corby Wheeler, who was able to control the ball at the second time of asking and power it through a crowded box with his third touch, only for him and Goran Stroud to watch the ball thunder off the outside of the far post.

And then Thorsten Kramer was Thorsten Kramer.

Controlling a high ball in midfield, he used his strength to shield O’Tuathail away and found space to run into. Finn Townsend would be next to try to shoulder him off the ball, and would do so, but not before the Teus could get rid of it, poking the ball through the tinest of gaps to where Xaime Medal was arriving on the left. Medal’s first feint brought McFarland to his knees, his second brought a sprawling dive as Medal took the ball past him, and the Tequilo winger finished the move by slotting the ball into the empty net, but not without Aron McKenna sliding in to take his legs out from underneath him.

Medal picked himself up, dusted himself down, and waggled a finger at the away crowd behind the goal.

1830 Cathair 2–0 Shamrock Cathair

Cathair, then, are in the box seat. Two points ahead of Shamrock, and knowing that three wins from their final three games would give them the league title.
Last edited by Audioslavia on Sat Jan 30, 2021 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Audioslavia » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:09 pm

The National League
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–3 AC Izotz Zubia
Union Cathair FC 1–2 KT Itzalovalle
AS Marcadia 0–1 1830 Cathair
Shamrock Cathair 2–1 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Excelsior Zijweg 0–1 Bombarralense
Oljestaden IF 1–1 Osarese Marcadia

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 1830 Cathair 26 16 3 7 42 13 +29 51
2 Cazadores Cathair 28 15 6 7 44 29 +15 51
3 AC Izotz Zubia 27 15 6 6 45 31 +14 51
4 Shamrock Cathair 26 15 4 7 51 24 +27 49
5 KT Moreazerua 28 13 5 10 46 32 +14 44
6 KT Itzalovalle 26 10 9 7 30 26 +4 39
7 Bombarralense 26 11 6 9 30 27 +3 39
8 Oljestaden IF 28 8 9 11 43 44 −1 33
9 Osarese Marcadia 26 8 7 11 28 35 −7 31
10 AS Marcadia 26 8 7 11 34 45 −11 31
11 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 26 8 6 12 30 48 −18 30
12 Union Cathair FC 26 8 5 13 33 36 −3 29
13 CdF Celtade 26 7 6 13 17 38 −21 27
14 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 26 6 8 12 28 46 −18 26
15 Excelsior Zijweg 27 3 9 15 23 50 −27 18

“One down, two to go” is the line, as 1830 Cathair scrape past AS Marcadia via a solitary goal, this one scored by Thorsten Kramer. That evening, Shamrock take on Tout-Puissant in a match of vital importance at both ends of the table. Shamrock need to win to stay in touching distance of 1830 Cathair, and while the game is mired at 1-1 for much of the second half, Finn Townsend pops up at the edge of the area with a looping header into the top corner to snatch a vital win.
The National League
AC Izotz Zubia 2–2 CdF Celtade

There is a third team in this title fight, of course, but Zozi’s season ends a week before the two Catharan clubs, and their 2-2 draw with a fired-up Celtade, for whom Baillaire Fillar and Kausu Dione score, means the league title is all but an impossibility.

The National League
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 0–1 AS Marcadia
KT Itzalovalle 2–1 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Osarese Marcadia 1–1 Excelsior Zijweg

Tout-Puissant can’t get the job done against AS Marcadia, for whom Alessandro Juliana has clearly been of vital importance this season. Marcadia won’t quite be making it into the Challengers’ Cup this season, but another couple good results would see them qualify for the Vilitan Cove Invitational which is more than most fans were hoping for at the start of the season. Rivals Osarese will push them close, but it’s AS who have been the talk of the season.

Elsewhere, Itzalovalle close the gap between themselves and KT Moreazerua to just two points. Having gone into week twelve in last place, looking up at Mozi in third, it’s remarkable how both sides’ fortunes have changed.

The National League
Bombarralense 0–4 Shamrock Cathair

Oh Sunday night. What a night. Shamrock destroy Bomba at the Estadio das Trevas and there’s really little Bomba could have done. Alexander Crewe’s boys (and girls, and pony) are irresistible in terms of their energy and drive. Even the Bomba fans are getting in on the action, joining in with the occasional anti-1830 chant here and there. Bomba, in seventh, have already qualified for the Challengers’ Cup and have had, by their standards, a quiet season. Bomba, too, join in in getting more and more vocal the night goes on, largely due to the news coming from the match happening concurrently in Cathair.

The National League
1830 Cathair 0–0 Union Cathair FC

And of all the teams to throw a wrench in the machinery, it’s the team founded by people who once started a strike by jamming a mill with a hammer and a sickle. Union Cathair, fighting relegation, eke out a point against their city rivals to the horror of the home support.

Weirdly enough though, whether 1830 Cathair can win the title or not is more or less in their hands.

The National League          Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Shamrock Cathair 27 16 4 7 55 24 +31 52
2 1830 Cathair 27 16 4 7 42 13 +29 52
3 AC Izotz Zubia 28 15 7 6 47 33 +14 52
4 Cazadores Cathair 28 15 6 7 44 29 +15 51
5 KT Moreazerua 28 13 5 10 46 32 +14 44
6 KT Itzalovalle 27 11 9 7 32 27 +5 42
7 Bombarralense 27 11 6 10 30 31 −1 39
8 AS Marcadia 27 9 7 11 35 45 −10 34
9 Oljestaden IF 28 8 9 11 43 44 −1 33
10 Osarese Marcadia 27 8 8 11 29 36 −7 32
11 Union Cathair FC 27 8 6 13 33 36 −3 30
12 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 27 8 6 13 31 50 −19 30
13 CdF Celtade 27 7 7 13 19 40 −21 28
14 Tout-Puissant Hasiera 27 6 8 13 28 47 −19 26
15 Excelsior Zijweg 28 3 10 15 24 51 −27 19

On the final day of the season, Shamrock host Osarese and 1830 Cathair travel to Calcio Sicurezza Elfi. If Shamrock win, they will win the league unless 1830 Cathair can make up a three-point swing goal difference. If Shamrock win 3-0, Cathair will need to win 6-0 to get ahead on tiebreakers.

After years of finishing second in the most heartbreaking of ways (see literally any episode of A Tale of Two Cathairs, Shamrock have their destiny in their own hands.
Shamrock’s Galactico Finn Townsend heads a captain’s goal past Teruzuki at the near post to give Shamrock an early lead against Osarese Marcadia, who themselves need a point to be sure of avoiding the relegation playoff they’ll fall into should Calcio Sicurezza Elfi win. Sicurezza though are playing 1830 Cathair, and themselves fall behind to a Tryfon Vlahilaldes long-ranger after fifteen minutes. The goal spurs Cathair on, but has the side-effect of causing Osarese to relax in their game against Shamrock. Colm O’Tuathail almost makes it 2-0 to the men in green, while Erik Moselle does so for Cathair on the stroke of half time.

Shamrock one up, 1830 Cathair two up. If it stays like this, Shamrock will be champions. If Cathair can get two goals without reply and Shamrock can’t win by more than a goal, it will be Shamrock who take the title.

Thorsten Kramer dives in at the far post to give 1830 Cathair a three-goal lead, and Xaime Medal is quick as a flash in fishing the ball out of the net and booting it back up to the centre circle. Sicurezza, by now certain to have to fight things out in a relegation playoff once more, catch their breath and prepare themselves for the onslaught. Pride was at stake for Sicurezza, gold for 1830 Cathair.

Shamrock all but go to pieces in the second half, giving the ball away at every opportunity, failing to put even the most basic passages of play together, as Osarese start to realise there are points to be had. Teenage substitute Bong Min-Joong has the ball in the net and the score at 1-1 for a few heartstopping seconds before the linesman raises his flag, nodding towards a supposed infraction from the winger. A push, apparently, on Carmelo MacCowan, who then proceeds to feign an injury to his shoulder after first glancing at Finn Townsend and watching as Finn mimed ‘oh no my arm is hurting’ from twenty metres away.

Cathair go close to the title-winning goal through Kramer, who blasts an effort narrowly wide after being put through on goal, and Shakira Handris tests goalkeeper Ibrahim Mathisen on eighty-five minutes with a near-post finish that the keeper somehow manages to bat away.

Steve Erickson and Eneco Carebello come onto the pitch for the final two minutes in place of both full-backs as Cathair switch to a 1-4-5 formation, throwing everything they have at a Sicurezza prepared to deny them the title out of spite. Sōderstrōm is their only real outlet as Sicurezza go 5-4-1, and on tw occasion they can break free on the counter. Goran Stroud stands up well and blocks a chipped finish on 88 minutes. He’s beaten in the 90th minute by a curled effort they rebounds off the foot of the post.

Shakira Handris crosses the ball in for Steve Erickson in the final, final minute of added time, and Erickson unleashes a shot which Mathisen can only stare at as it flies past him and cannons off his post. The rebound falls to Xaime Medal, who can’t hook his foot round it and can only send the ball into the side-netting from an acute angle.

The final whistles blow in both games at the same time. Alexander Crewe, Shamrock’s second Apoxian manager in a row, sinks to his knees and throws haymakers at the sky. After years of finishing as runners up, Shamrock are finally, finally the Champions of Audioslavia for a second time.

The National League
CdF Celtade 0–0 KT Itzalovalle
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–3 1830 Cathair
Union Cathair FC 2–1 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
AS Marcadia 1–0 Bombarralense
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 Osarese Marcadia

Goals For, the sixth tiebreaker after points (52-52), goal difference (32-32), head-to-head points (3-3), head-to-head goal difference (2-0, 0-2) and wins (17-17), is the reason Shamrock Cathair sit atop the table after the final day. Had they scored and conceded fewer goals throughout the season, the title may well have been shared. It’s literally the last tiebreaker.

Itzi don’t quite manage to catch local rivals Mozi, drawing away to a CdF Celtade side who have to sweat on another result in Cathair, this time the Union game, where the home side’s defeat of Tout-Puissant Hasiera extends Celtade’s run in the first division for at least the playoffs.
National Two                 Pld    W   D   L    GF   GA   GD   Pts 
1 Sparta Zijweg 38 23 7 8 71 34 +37 76 Promoted
2 SC Laivanrakentajas 38 20 7 11 50 29 +21 67 Promoted
3 Tenth Star Hasiera 38 18 9 11 42 33 +9 63 Promotion Playoff
4 Guerrilla Cathair 38 17 10 11 43 29 +14 61 Promotion Playoff
5 Sobrevolante 38 15 13 10 49 39 +10 58
6 KT Ferramendiak 38 16 9 13 36 32 +4 57
7 Crossport Dynamo 38 16 9 13 37 42 −5 57
8 KT Laranjauzia 38 15 9 14 41 36 +5 54
9 KT Koroatuz 38 15 9 14 34 34 0 54
10 Burdoc Ridge 38 15 9 14 35 37 −2 54
11 Eletti Valligiani 38 14 11 13 36 38 −2 53
12 Laranjeiras 38 14 9 15 39 38 +1 51
13 Ceilerden Rovers 38 13 11 14 31 31 0 50
14 Silexhera FC 38 14 7 17 33 48 −15 49
15 Santa Margarida 38 12 12 14 46 36 +10 48
16 Isle of Kjeligsted FC 38 12 9 17 31 41 −10 45
17 Corações 38 11 6 21 29 56 −27 39 Relegated
18 Hibernação 38 9 11 18 26 44 −18 38 Relegated
19 Alistoun Academicals 38 10 7 21 38 56 −18 37 Relegated
20 The Oran 38 8 12 18 37 51 −14 36 Relegated
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0-0 Guerrilla Cathair
CdF Celtade 1-0 Tenth Star Hasiera

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 2-1 CdF Celtade
Tenth Star Hasiera 1-2 Guerrilla Cathair

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0-2 Tenth Star Hasiera
CdF Celtade 3-2 Guerrilla Cathair

Pld  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
CdF Celtade 3 2 0 1 5 4 +1 6
Guerrilla Cathair 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 4

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 3 1 1 1 2 3 -1 4
Tenth Star Hasiera 3 1 0 2 3 2 +1 3

Top of the group with only one game to go, Calcio Sicurezza Elfi dominate Tenth Star but are floored by a second-half spell which sees Tenth Star convert a sixtieth minute penalty followed by a deflected long-range effort from Lance Burns that leaves Ibrahim Mathisen standing. Indra Søderstrøm, Sicurezza’s life-force these past two seasons, is bundled over in the box on their way to an equaliser, and doesn’t get up for the next three minutes. Dennis Våge steps up for the penalty but, in a rare moment of indecision, strokes the ball too carefully and obviously to the goalkeeper’s right. Slade makes the save, and Tenth Star hold on for the win.

Calcio Sicurezza Elfi’s thirty points - their highest haul in the top flight for four seasons - turns out not to be enough to avoid relegation. It’s the second best record of any relegated team in the league’s short history.

Tout-Puissant, Excelsior and Sicurezza are the three teams making the trip southwards. In their place…
Sparta Zijweg Spartans
Sparta-stadion, (Cap: 12450). Zijweg, Central

As one Zijweg side departs, the other arrives. Sparta have never played in the top flight before, and last season were mired in mid-table while Excelsior were qualifying for the Challengers’ Cup, but the tide appears to have turned.

The city of Zijweg started out as a spring that, if you were travelling directly north from Cathair, was a good place to rest and refuel your horse. The spring became a village, which became a town, largely based around the long stretch of road and the river that ran across it. The discovery of an enormous salt-mine nearby prompted the town to spread eastwards and sprawl into a weirdly Y-shaped city, and that’s where the name comes from.

The two branches of Zijweg are named Baronwater and Saltway, the former named after anglicized bastardizations of the local dialect (specifically the words bronwater, meaning spring), and the latter anglicized to ‘Saltway’ after foreigners kept pronouncing ‘De Zoutroute’ as ‘Chootyrooty’ and laughing.

Baronwater is picturesque in a boring, postcardy way, ruthlessly maintained by the local government and, by all accounts, an incredibly boring place to live. Saltway is, on the other hand, a depressing place to live, full of brutalist architecture and factories, but to be fair it is rarely boring, and away from the urban areas there are as many hills as you could walk in a year and just as many pubs to get drunk in.

Excelsior are from Baronwater, Sparta are from Saltway.

Excelsior are an easy team for sponsors to get behind and an easy club to sell as a workplace to older foreigners looking for someone their wife would like when deciding which club to spend their mid-thirties at.

Sparta are not the sort of team that attracts sponsors easily. Which is arguably why they have such a good following, despite their stature.

Sparta’s stadium is in the middle of a residential area, squeezed in between rows of terraced housing, with two factories close to each corner. One such factory builds motorbikes, the other belongs to Daira, a prominent Audioslavian confectioner. Once a week, the latter factory burns off their equipment to prepare for cleaning, sending the rich smell of smoked caramel up into the night sky. The rest of the time, the stadium smells of burnt oil and rubber. The overall effect is that Sparta are a simple pie-and-a-bovril football team to take your son to on a Saturday morning to watch some local lads give some out-of-towners what-for.

People like Sparta.

The name is just a name. Despite the working class background, Sparta are named Sparta because someone, a long time ago, thought it sounded cool.

Manager Henrik Eastfielder, largely an unknown in Audioslavian football, took the side to the top of the league and kept them there last season. The Spartans will attempt to emulate their city rivals in challenging at the top half of the National League, and will try to avoid the same fate that beset Excelsior this season.
Laivanrakentajan JPS Laika
Persikan Kaistastadion, (Cap: 18500). Laivanrakentajas, Hyland

The second of the three debutants, Laika used to play in the R49 in the old LigAnaia system without ever getting close to the top division. Their highest finish was a heady 27th out of 49 in season twelve of the Anaia era.

Laika as the club’s nickname has two meanings. Firstly it’s a diminutive of the town’s name, secondly it has an association with one of the town’s two main industries.

For centuries, Laivanrakentajas’s shipyards built most of Audioslavia’s naval fleet, as well as a number of yachts and cruiseliners to be sent out to countries around the world. The industry is what the town is named after - laivanrakentajas means shipwrights in the local dialect, which is a tongue unlike any other in the country.

With the coming of the modern age and the rebuilding of the nation after recession, shipbuilding isn’t the industry it once was, leading to a downturn in fortunes for the town. Only two shipbuilding companies remain, one surviving on brand name alone and its apparently notability among rich foreigners whose three gold-plated yachts suddenly aren’t quite enough, the other on military contracts, which only happen when that one scary political party gets into power once every forty years. In the intervening years they twiddle their thumbs, do some subcontracting and take brief sojourns into building artisanal pirate ships for passing wealthy lunatics.

The industry which once employed 80% of the town now provides work for barely 2% of it. The defecit has, however, been replaced.

One company that decided it had use for four abandoned shipyards was Exeter, a private aeronautics firm with ambitions bigger than you’d expect with a name like that (it is, for the avoidance of doubt, named for the idea of exitting terra, not for the sleepy southern RL States town). Owned by tax-dodging billionaire arsehole Moschatos Short, Exeter have been doing extensive and expensive research into automated and re-useable rocket ships, with lofty plans to get to Mars or even further afield.

The result was that, almost as soon as the engineering jobs disappeared in the shipyards, they reappeared in the aeronautical industry.

The football team play at Persikan Kaistastadion, which pleasingly translates to Peach Lane Stadium in English. There are no peaches in Laivanrakentajas.
Guerrilla Cathair The Monstrous Regiment
Highfield Park, (Cap: 12000). Cathair, Central

Following the Union Cathair style - but in a different way to Laivan - is Guerrilla Cathair, a famous club in Audioslavia but one that has typically bounced around the lower leagues. Guerrilla Cathair are an all-female side founded a half-century ago, inspired by the rise to prominence of Audioslavia’s first ever female footballer R.J. Styrn. Since RJ, only two Audioslavian women have managed to make it to the big time: former Moreazerua winger Azucena Llorente and former 1830 Cathair and Mulholland midfielder ‘Flash’ Ripley Morrisson, both with a handful of caps for the national team and solid if unremarkable careers aside from their sex.

Audioslavian women are at a disadvantage compared to the men. Shorter and slighter than their male counterparts and much less efficient at turning hard work and protein into speed, strength and endurance, it takes ten times more effort to even get close to the fitness levels of even the laziest second division player, let alone the required level to compete in the top flight. As such, Guerrilla Cathair, nicknamed the Monstrous Regiment, have always taken the bulk of their playing staff from abroad, where the gap between the sexes isn’t so prominent. That’s not to say they can’t or won’t pick Audioslavian women, and it’s not as if they’re anti-men either - a number of male footballers have turned out for Guerrilla over the years, either as short-term backups or long-term members of the squad. The ones that leave tell stories of the majority-female dressing-rooms being learier and more macho than most male ones.

In response to accusations from shitcake journalists of being anti-men or in some way flouting Audioslavia’s discrimination laws, Guerrilla can point to the men who have thrown on the black shirts of The Regiment, but more often they’ll shrug and point out, calmly, that it’s simply a club that isn’t for men. FC Teussen Stelburg only employ Teus, Ferratzaileak have a Herradurans-only rule, the likes of Sicurezza, Osarese and Tenth Star have always shown preference to Vanorians, Osarians and Mertians respectively. Shamrock have always preferred players from Cathair’s predominantly white east-side, Cazadores have always had a core of players from the west of the city, so why can’t Guerrilla prefer hiring women?

Whether you consider the gender-based signing policy as a disadvantage is up to you. What’s objectively a disadvantage is their other signing policy: No money. While not an amateur club, Guerrilla have always taken a Contro Il Calcio Moderna stance when it comes to money. They refuse to pay transfer fees for players outside of generous signing-on bonuses, and each and every player receives the same wage as one another each season. How high the wage is decided on a players’ vote at the start of each season, with the board having the power to veto the players’ first offer and make a counter-offer. If the counter-offer is rejected by the players, the players are free to either leave or to play with an automatic rolling contract at 107% of the previous year’s salary.

Yes. It’s very bolshy. Even players at Union Cathair, whose crest depicts a hammer-and-sickle and whose pink and red colours were chosen as a nod to their far-left background, look at Guerrilla and frown.

Whereas Union have always been in Shamrock’s shadow on the eastern side, Guerrilla have 1830 Cathair for company. Highfield Park is within walking distance of the Arena Kirola, whose white exterior walls can be seen clearly from Guerrilla’s ground. The stadium isn’t quite in Grand Forum, the well-to-do area of Cathair that houses the city’s vast financial sector and boasts some of the most expensive housing in Atlantian Oceania, and instead lies literally the other side of the train-tracks in Collinan, a district of the city known for its multitude of student housing interspersed with thrift shops, bookmakers and derelict warehouses-turned-breweries, all surrounding a textile mill that once provided the all black kits for the stadium’s previous incumbents Collinan Grove Football Club, who folded shortly after Audioslavian football turned professional. Guerrilla adopted the team’s old colours of all-black, to which they’ve added a dash of pink. In some countries that’d be a statement. As it stands, they’re the third team from the top fifteen to have pink as their primary colour.

In breaking into the top flight, Guerrilla Cathair are pretty far from home. Yet they’ve been taken there by a manager who has proven themselves to be as talented on the bench as they ever were on a football pitch. For the last eighteen months, Guerrilla have been guided by the personification of the very soul of Guerrilla Cathair. A player who never played for the club - instead plying their trade at Cazadores and 1830 Cathair - but who inadvertently had a hand in its formation.

Her name is R.J. Styrn.

Kirola Cup 1st Round
Burnfax Trinity 0–0 Glesca Royals (0–1 AET)
DDM Dunas Secas 1–0 KT Kanpoldelko
Maccabi Hasiera 2–5 Cerejeiras
Viking Hryggur 3–0 Leftfield Steelworks
Viking Halehavn 1–0 Leftfield United
Ceilerden Harp 0–1 Ross Rovers
Ceilerden Rovers 0–1 Garden City FC
Sporting Clube Marinheiros 1–3 2130 Calolziolungho
CF Cruceros 1–0 Deportivo de Puerta Cruz
KT Ferramendiak 0–2 Clockwork FC
Kitherwell 1–0 Fundición
Calcio Lecho 0–1 Albakirk Athletic
Frecce 2–1 Edina City
Ross Railway 1–1 Vidrieros (1–1 AET) (3–4 pen.)
CdFS Ilheiros 0–0 Valderantia United (0–0 AET) (4–2 pen.)
Valens AV 3–0 Leftfield Owls
Lawport FC 2–2 Glesca Rebels (3–2 AET)
Straitport Rovers 3–2 Orquideas

Kirola Cup 2nd Round
Lawport FC 0–5 KT Moreazerua
Garden City FC 1–3 Artiglieria
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 3–1 Valens AV
DDM Dunas Secas 1–2 Viking Halehavn
Laranjeiras 2–0 Crossport Mariners
KT Ferratzaileak 2–1 Osarese Marcadia
The Oran 0–1 Cazadores Cathair
KT Koroatuz 3–1 AS Marcadia
SC Laivanrakentajas 0–1 Guerrilla Cathair
Sparta Zijweg 1–1 Burdoc Ridge (2–1 AET)
Excelsior Zijweg 2–0 Silexhera FC
C.D. Portobranco 0–2 Crossport Dynamo
Hibernação 1–2 Iron Brewery
2130 Calolziolungho 0–2 Valão
Ross Rovers 0–2 Straitport Rovers
CdF Celtade 0–0 Albakirk Athletic (0–0 AET) (3–4 pen.)
Corações 0–0 1830 Cathair (0–0 AET) (2–4 pen.)
KT Laranjauzia 1–2 Kitherwell
Sobrevolante 2–1 KT Itzalovalle
Frecce 2–1 Sporting Clube de São Jeremías
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 1–0 Glesca Royals
Necromarinai 0–3 Union Cathair
Huiszwalluw FC 1–0 Lemmitania State FC
Cerejeiras 0–3 Shamrock Cathair
Santa Margarida 4–1 Reina Del Sud
Tout-Puissant Hasiera 1–0 Clockwork FC
Bombarralense 0–1 Oljestaden IF
CF Herradores 0–1 Viking Hryggur
CF Cruceros 0–1 Alistoun Academicals
Vidrieros 1–0 CdFS Ilheiros
Tenth Star Hasiera 1–0 Eletti Valligiani
Uniao Tortuguita 3–4 AC Izotz Zubia

Kirola Cup 3rd Round
Viking Hryggur 0–1 Alistoun Academicals
Cazadores Cathair 2–0 Tout-Puissant Hasiera
Santa Margarida 3–1 Viking Halehavn
AC Izotz Zubia 0–1 Oljestaden IF
Guerrilla Cathair 2–0 Laranjeiras
Frecce 2–3 Artiglieria
Tenth Star Hasiera 1–2 Shamrock Cathair
1830 Cathair 0–1 Excelsior Zijweg
Straitport Rovers 1–3 KT Ferratzaileak
Sobrevolante 0–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Sparta Zijweg 1–0 Iron Brewery
KT Koroatuz 6–1 Albakirk Athletic
Kitherwell 0–2 Vidrieros
Huiszwalluw FC 0–2 KT Moreazerua
Crossport Dynamo 3–4 Valão
Union Cathair 0–1 Isle of Kjeligsted FC

Kirola Cup 4th Round
Guerrilla Cathair 2–0 Vidrieros
KT Ferratzaileak 0–0 Alistoun Academicals (1–0 AET)
Santa Margarida 1–1 KT Moreazerua (1–2 AET)
Isle of Kjeligsted FC 0–1 Artiglieria
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 Sparta Zijweg
Oljestaden IF 3–1 Valão
Excelsior Zijweg 0–3 Cazadores Cathair
KT Koroatuz 1–2 Calcio Sicurezza Elfi
Kirola Cup Quarter Finals
Guerrilla Cathair 1–2 KT Moreazerua
Calcio Sicurezza Elfi 0–1 Cazadores Cathair
KT Ferratzaileak 1–2 Oljestaden IF
Shamrock Cathair 1–0 Artiglieria

Guerrilla Cathair have never made it this far in the Kirola Cup before, but the all-female team can’t make it past Mozi, who take a break from their awful late-season form and overcome Guerrilla at the death. Koenraad Rijsbergen grabs the first goal, Mbdiai Akarenaa slots in the second.

In Ferratzaileak, Oljestaden progress to the semi-finals once again. Often called a cup team, Olga haven’t troubled the duraglit suppliers recently. After Cocoabo 91 runs riot against lower league Ferri, what price on them reaching the final?

Elsewhere, Shamrock and Cazadores both win, and both are firm favourites to meet in the final.
Kirola Cup Semi Finals
Oljestaden IF 1–0 Shamrock Cathair
KT Moreazerua 0–2 Cazadores Cathair

Ivan Sandiev’s second half finish is enough to separate Olga from Shamrock at the Arena Kirola, while one-man herd Rook Cathar is delighted with his team’s performance in defeating an out-of-sorts Mozi, with Adrian Toscani netting the opener and Creidne Lindauer the second.
Kirola Cup Final
Oljestaden IF 2–1 Cazadores Cathair

Cazadores were looking for their second Kirola Cup win, and to be the fourth successive Catharan club to win the trophy after 1830, Union and Shamrock, but Ivan Sandiev’s turn-and-shot just before half-time cancels out Tutayan’s opener, and Oljestaden take the spoils via the head of Torvald Ebben deep into the second half. This team, who have never won a league title (or even come close), are now the most successful side in Kirola Cup history with this, their third trophy.

The cup team are a cup team again.

End of season awards: Coming soon



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