And so it begins – finally, and properly, Career Mode has begun. After playing the equivalent of 1.5 seasons with Leeds United, it is time for reality to take hold. No more testing. No more familiarising. I’ve upped sticks and packed my stuff and moved to…
Cambridge United in League 2.
I will admit being tempted to play with Coventry in League 1. Why not play with them? My own club, sitting right there, ripe for a not-Greg takeover, in a FIFA where I finally mean business and finally have the time and the inclination to play a full Career Mode career all the way to a conclusion.
But something told me that I need to keep the spell going in the manner it has been going so far. That means I need to explore regions outside my usual comfort zone of Coventry City. Credit this new resolve to the spirit of Football Manager, where I am approaching Season 5 managing in the Danish lower leagues. FM19 has helped to change my footy gaming tastebuds as much as FIFA itself.
Not-Coventry is the way, and I am followng it.Cambridge Utd’s starting squad and formation will have to change. I played this opening match of the pre-season tournament with them. I dislike 5-3-2 in particular, but decided it was the decent thing to start with what the game had served me.
I recorded the entirety of the match, which I present at the end of the post. It’s a good match, one in which you will at least see me score a goal, and early on too. A good ‘sighter’ for the remainder of the Career Mode, which will hopefully be long and glorious.
A couple of amusing things to look at. First of all, I am of course still playing on the PC platform with a couple of mods. Chiefly the FIFER 2.0 mod, which introduces a raft of changes that inevitably have a few odd glitches here and there.
One of them made me laugh. I’m not usually the sort to start laughing whilst playing football games. Picture me with a face of grim determination. This is a serous business. But when I got Liam O’Neil sent off in the second match, something made me look closer…
I’m assuming this is a quirk of the mod. It might just as easily be a quirk of the game on its own. The thumbnail pic to the right here is what Liam O’Neil should look like.
I can fix this using one of the many modding tools available to me, but I am toying with the idea of not fixing it. How amusing would it be to have an aged grey-haired beloved Italian manager playing in my midfield for the season-or-two before I inevitably replace him?
Actually the joke would wear off quite quickly. I will fix it.
General play is great. The players feel like lower league. Although I am a Master League refugee I still want to see the best part of Master League in Career Mode, to whit, the way you can start with nothing and slowly, incrementally, build your club up level by level, identifying with players along the way and creating epic stories for them and you.
A good example of lower league life here. Regular readers will be aware of my Leeds Utd long-ranger phenomenon just after I started playing FIFA20.
Of course the first thing I have tried with Cambridge Utd is a few long potshots. Here is a clip where the first attempt goes hilariously wayward. My timing and position all wrong. The second attempt – with the same player – goes reasonably close and is a sign of things to come, I hope.
Yes, these players are poor relative to the Leeds players I’ve been playing with, but it is up to me to get the best out of them with some proper footy gaming nous.
I completed the pre-season tournament (didn’t qualify: W1 D1 L1) but have not even got close to the first league match yet because I am methodically going through my squad deciding which players I need in which roles, and fitting them in accordingy.
As ever there are some apparent gems of players not selected in the First XI by the game itself.
I am also taking my time in the transfer market and setting up a proper Scouting network. Money is tight. My goals for the first Season are simply to survive but I have my eye on the playoffs.
Finally here is that full match, Game 1 of a hopefully epic story: