Throwing Copper FM Introduces his new save in this post,

Season 1, Episode 1

Having shown with UD Almeria that the 5-3-2 is an elite formation in Football Manager, I decided that it was time for a new challenge with a new system. Although I’ve not closed the door on a potential return to my Almeria save, winning La Liga in season 2 took the shine away. My love is in building a squad of players and implementing a structure and way of playing. Winning masses of games early on in the journey doesn’t float my boat. Whilst I’ve enjoyed my previous two adventures in Spain, I’ve always enjoyed playing in France.

When planning my next save I had the following criteria:

  1. Not be in the top division
  2. Not be expected to finish in the playoffs of above
  3. Situated in Northern France (plenty of local derbies available)
  4. Be located in a nice town or city in case I get the bug and fancy a visit. 
  5. Nice kit and badge

A couple of sides met the requirements but in the end, I chose Amiens SC.


The northern town of Amiens sits in between Paris, Rouen, Reims and Lille and was home to famed author Jules Verne for 30 years until his death in 1905. From Roman rule, being ransacked by the Normans in 859 and seeing lots of action in both world wars, Amiens has a rich history. However, the same can’t be said when it comes to the world of Football. Despite finishing as runners-up in the 2001 Coupe de France, Amiens SC has never won a competition. The highlight of the club’s 122-year history is gaining promotion to Ligue 1 in 2017, via a second-placed finish. After finishing 13th and then 15th, they were relegated in controversial circumstances when the Ligue 1 season was cancelled prematurely and the team were relegated due to sitting in 19th place at the time COVID-19 struck 

The last two seasons have been spent back in Ligue 2, finishing 10th and 14th.


The club had very good facilities so I have plenty to work with:


  • Training facilities – Great
  • Youth facilities – Great
  • Junior coaching – Good
  • Youth recruitment – average

The facility I’m most excited about though is the 12,099-seater stadium. Built-in 1999, the Stade de la Licorne (The Unicorn Stadium) is a sight to behold. Unique in its appearance, the high sides give it a certain appeal. There’s even a contingency plan to easily expand by an additional 8,000 seats in case of major events or promotion back to Ligue 1.

Stade de la Licorne – our new home


I have a relatively youthful squad of players at my disposal. Only three players are 30 or over, and unfortunately, they’re three of the best players. Our oldest is veteran striker Papiss Cisse (37) who signed for free on a one-year contract and should provide a calm, experienced spearhead to the team. He should still have enough about him to be a 10-goal striker in Ligue 2. With an average age of 23.8, there are some talented younger players for me to nurture. As always, I’ll disable the first transfer window to ensure everyone can impress and prove their worth. Another reason for this decision is that I suffered greatly from a lack of team cohesion at UD Almeria, thanks to the en-masse recruitment of the previous regime. I now know the value of stability and careful recruitment and it’s no different at Amiens. With 10 new arrivals in the summer, the team is suffering from poor cohesion. Something I’ll need to address in the pre-season. 

Let’s look at who is considered to be Star and Important players upon my arrival:

Our Star Player is 31-year-old Gael Katunka, who arrived on a free transfer from RC Lens for his THIRD spell at Amiens. With an impressive career where he played for Chelsea, Fulham, Lazio and Sevilla, I’ll be leaning heavily on the Right Winger to be one of our top performers this season. He’s not getting any younger though, so isn’t a long-term option. He should also be a much-needed mentor to some of our younger players.

Sticking in the attacking third, 19-year-old Janis Antiste is on loan for the season from Sassuolo in Italy. Able to play on either flank or as a striker, it’s a pity there’s no option to buy attached to his loan deal as I doubt we’ll be able to afford him at the end of the season. Unfortunately, he’s out for 4-5 months due to torn knee ligaments, so we won’t get to see him in action until around January. This also leaves us thin in the striker department.

Moving into the defence, Nicholas Opoku is my kind of Centre Back! Big and strong, good on the ball and strong in the air. He also has ‘the brings ball out of defence’ trait, which I love. With Serie A experience with Udinese, he joined Amiens for £450k in 2019. He’ll be a rock in the centre of my defence. Hopefully.
Lastly, we have Regis Gurtner. A 35-year-old who’s been the first-choice Goalkeeper for Amiens for the past 8 seasons. Gurtner is the club captain and a fan favourite, so I’ll need to be careful how I handle him. I’m not a fan of the captain being a goalkeeper but I’m not going to upset the apple cart just yet. He’ll need replacing soon so again, it’s a situation I’ll need to manage well. 


As mentioned previously, there are some talented young players in and around the first-team squad. I’ve picked out four of these who could be a key part of our evolution over the coming season, Two of these players could be vital parts of our midfield for years to come. 

Iron Gomis – what a name – is a 22-year-old academy graduate who I see as an all-action Midfielder. Very good technical ability with physicality to match, he could play in any of my midfield roles. This season I’m going to use his technical skills, flair and work rate to supplement our lack of striking options. He’ll be the starting Shadow Striker. However, I see his long-term future in the middle of the pitch, where he’ll do well as a Ball Winning Midfielder or a Deep Lying Playmaker. 

Mathis Lachuer (21) has been with Amiens for four years and could be a really good defensive Deep Lying Playmaker. I have concerns about his severe lack of strength (and fear of any strong gusts of wind mid-match), but hopefully, he can make some good improvements there to complement his tackling ability. I doubt Lacheur will be in the first team when the season starts, but I’ll certainly look to give him as many minutes as possible. 

The next two players are Mendy and Fofana

Firstly, Formose Mendy, a beautifully well-rounded defender who joined Club NXT, the youth academy of Club Bugge. He’s naturally a Central Defender, however, I think this season I might have to utilise him at the Right Fullback position as I’m not yet convinced by the other options there. He has a few areas to work on before he’s the finished article so I’ll ensure he’s putting extra work in training. He’s also struggling to fit into the core social group so I’ll look at mentoring to hopefully resolve that. 

The other player I’m keen on developing is my SECOND midfielder named Mamadou Fofana! Yep, I have two, the other being a tough tackling Defensive Midfielder. My planned system doesn’t use a Central Midfielder, so I need to either move him forward into the AMC slot or backward to become a Defensive Midfielder. Initially, I thought he might be able to play in the double-pivot but his lack of work rate and technique! I’m not sure that’s the kind of player I want protecting my defence, nor do I think he could fulfil the role. 

This only leaves him transforming into a central Attacking Midfielder. His finishing needs work, as does his general final third play so it’ll be interesting to see how well he can progress over the next couple of seasons. Fofana is also struggling to fit into the core social group so will take part in the Amiens SC Mentoring program. This is often something I overlook but there are some promising young players who desperately need some mental development. 


My philosophy of preferring players with a good physical profile worked well at Girona and Hamburg in FM22 and Almeria in FM23. So, it’s something I’m keen to continue here in France. 

I want players who are strong, fast and brave. Therefore they need to be above the division average for the following attributes:

  • Acceleration, Pace & Agility
  • Bravery & Determination
  • Strength


If they don’t meet all three criteria, they need to excel in one of them. For example, not strong but very quick. Here’s how the first team squad (Goalkeepers not included) matches up to the rest of Ligue 2 in these key metrics:

As you can see, whilst we’re quick and agile, we find ourselves severely lacking in some important areas which I’ll look to address through training schedules and my recruitment policy. 


The supporters want me to play defensively solid football and this suits me down to the ground. In terms of expectations for the season ahead, both the board want me to finish in the top 5 (despite a predicted finish of 11th) whilst the supporters are more realistic and would like us to finish in the top half, which seems more achievable. Whilst we are lacking in key areas and don’t have good depth, I think I have a system which will help any underdog team. If we can finish in, or just outside the playoffs I’ll be happy. I would expect Bordeaux, St Etienne and Metz to challenge for the title this season.

It’s no surprise the team culture that the board wishes to implement is one of bringing players through the youth system. We already have some talent throughout the club and I’ll look to add to that through the transfer market (another thing I’ve neglected recently in favour of quick results). Whether those already at Amiens have enough potential to step up to Ligue 1 level remains to be seen, but I’ll give them the best helping hand I can. 

In the next update I’ll look at the tactical system we’ll be using in Amiens, setting up our recruitment focus and any other interesting areas which might be of interest. 



  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

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