In the rugged land of the North, where icy winds howl and fjords cut through the earth like the scars of ancient battles, there lived a warrior of unparalleled might and valour. Olof, the son of Bjorn, was a giant of a man, his beard a wild tangle of browns and reds, his eyes like glinting topaz, and his heart, a furnace of unyielding courage.

Olof’s tale began in the village of Nordlund, where the clans gathered to feast and celebrate their victories in the longships. From a young age, Olof displayed a fearsome skill with the axe, cleaving through logs and foes with equal fervour. His father, Bjorn, saw in him the makings of a true Viking, and with a proud heart, he gifted Olof his own battle-axe, forged in the fires of their ancestors. With his father’s axe in hand, Olof set forth to carve his name into the annals of Viking history. He joined a crew of brave warriors and together they set sail, their dragon-headed longship slicing through the icy waters. They raided coastal villages, looting treasures and leaving fiery chaos in their wake. Olof revelled in the thrill of battle, the taste of salt in the air, and the camaraderie of his fellow warriors.

But Olof’s destiny was not merely to be a raider. One fateful day, the crew landed on a desolate island, shrouded in mist. There, they encountered a fierce guardian, a colossal bear with fur as white as the snow. Olof took up his father’s axe, and in a battle that would echo through time, he vanquished the beast. He claimed its pelt as a trophy, a symbol of his prowess. As Olof’s fame spread, kings and chieftains sought his alliance. But Olof was a free spirit, and he chose his own path. He set out on a quest to discover the fabled well of wisdom, said to grant its drinker the knowledge of the gods. With his loyal comrades by his side, they faced treacherous mountains and deep, dark forests, overcoming every trial.

At last, they reached the well, and Olof, thirsting for knowledge, drank deeply from its waters. He gained insight into the mysteries of the cosmos, and a vision of a future – where peace, not war, would be the true path to greatness.

Olof returned to his people, not as a conqueror, but as a sage. He helped forge alliances, bringing an era of prosperity to Nordlund. His tale was sung in mead halls and by the hearth fires, a reminder that a Viking’s worth was not measured in plunder, but in the legacy of honour and wisdom. Olof, the mighty warrior, became a legend, his name spoken with reverence, for he showed that a Viking’s heart could be as fierce as the storm and as wise as the ages. And so, his saga lived on, a testament to the spirit of the North, where courage and wisdom were the true treasures of the Vikings.

Fast forward nearly one thousand years to Landskrona, an idyllic, fifteenth century town on the west coast of Sweden. Its rich history spans several centuries, marked by significant events and developments that have shaped the city into what it is today. This report provides an overview of the key historical milestones that have contributed to the city’s unique character and cultural heritage. Its early history dates back to the late 14th century when King Erik of Pomerania founded the city in 1413. Initially established as a fortified outpost, Landskrona was strategically located to defend against maritime threats and became an essential part of the defence network in southern Sweden.

Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, Landskrona played a vital role in Swedish military history. The city’s fortifications, including the famous Landskrona Citadel, were used to defend the southern coastline against Danish and other foreign invasions. Notably, the Scanian War (1675-1679) and the Battle of Landskrona (1677) were significant military events that left a lasting impact on the city. As peace settled in the 18th century, Landskrona began to shift its focus from military to economic endeavours. The city’s strategic location on the coast and proximity to Copenhagen, Denmark, made it an important trading hub. Shipbuilding, fishing, and trade industries flourished, contributing to the city’s economic growth.

The 19th century brought industrialization to Landskrona, with various manufacturing and industrial companies emerging. This period marked a transformation from a small town into a bustling city with a growing population. The city’s shipyards and textile industry were particularly notable. The 20th century saw further urbanization and modernization of Landskrona. The city expanded its infrastructure, including schools, healthcare facilities, and housing, to accommodate a growing population. It also became known for its commitment to green spaces and parks, enhancing the quality of life for its residents.

Landskrona has also made strides in promoting cultural and recreational activities. The city boasts several museums, such as Landskrona Museum and the Landskrona Art Gallery, showcasing its rich heritage and artistic achievements. Its picturesque coastline, parks, and cultural events have made it a popular destination for both residents and tourists. Today, Landskrona is a thriving and vibrant city, embracing its history while looking toward the future. Its diverse population, cultural heritage, and commitment to sustainability have positioned it as a model for progressive urban development in Sweden.


Normally, my FM saves link together with a player who I’ve used in previous games becoming my manager persona. However, given the style in which I played FM23 in – focusing on importing African talents in Turkey and then South Americans whilst in Italy, I didn’t feel that I had the appropriate persona to dive into a save in Scandinavia and beyond. So, let me introduce Torbjörn Olofsson…


Once upon a time there lived a boy named Torbjörn. From a very young age, Torbjörn was captivated by the tales of his ancestors, the Vikings. He would sit wide-eyed, listening to his grandfather’s stories of longships, battles, and exploration. The epic sagas he heard by the fireside filled his dreams with adventure, making him believe that he was destined for greatness just like his forebears. Even his name had Viking connotations: The name Torbjörn is boy’s name meaning ‘Thor’s bear’. Torbjörn, written as Torbjörn in Swedish and Torbjørn in Norwegian, is derived from the Old Norse Þórbjǫrn, meaning “Thor’s bear.” It’s currently a grandpa name in Scandinavia, but some ahead-of-the-curve parents have revived it for their sons.

Torbjörn’s room was a treasure trove of Viking paraphernalia. On the walls hung intricate wooden shields painted with fierce dragons and the unmistakable Viking runic alphabet. A helmet adorned with two enormous, curved horns sat atop a bookshelf filled with old leather-bound tomes. Torbjörn would spend hours reading about the legends of Erik the Red, Leif Erikson, and other great Viking heroes. As with some Scandinavian naming traditions, his own surname Olofsson indicated that Torbjörn was the son of Olof, who, before him was the son of Olof. Young Torbjörn really, truly believed that he was the great, great, great, great grandson of Olof, son of Bjorn, the man who he had read tales of.

As he grew older, Torbjörn’s fascination with Vikings only intensified. He yearned to follow in their footsteps, to explore distant lands and leave his mark on the world. He knew his destiny lay beyond the horizon but, much to his sadness, not as an explorer in the same sense as his heroes before him. It was in his teenage years that Torbjörn discovered his passion for football. When he wasn’t reading and learning about Viking culture, he spent countless hours honing his skills on the streets and local fields, dreaming of a future in the sport that he loved and an escape – his own conquest.

Torbjörn’s journey in football management began in his early twenties when he started coaching a youth team in his hometown. His coaching style was characterised by a unique blend of tactical insight, motivation, and a keen eye for emerging talent. These qualities quickly caught the attention of the local football community, and he began to rise through the ranks of the coaching world.  A Scholar of the Game in his pursuit of excellence, Torbjörn never stopped learning. He studied football tactics and strategies, earning coaching certifications and diplomas. His extensive knowledge of the game, coupled with a deep understanding of the human psyche, set him apart from his peers. Olofsson’s reputation grew, and he soon found himself coaching at the professional level…

However, for me, that is where the storytelling element ends. I don’t like to play in third person as I assume the persona of Torbjörn, who’ll likely become known as Thor – for ease of finding the correct letter on my keyboard!

My aims for this save are simple: to venture through the Scandinavian countries, probably not starting at the lowest levels but with an eye on reaching the very top of the game here. Then, ideally, a move south to one of Europe’s elite leagues will be on the cards and I can continue the journey of the Norseman south. To do this, I’ve loaded a broad game world with a lot of extra players and leagues involved, should I wish to make any detours along the way.

Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words about a whole host of things. You can read about some of my work here, should you wish:

–          [FM19] Not all that glitters is gold

–          [FM19] One night in Serravalle…

–          [FM20] Tequila and Mariachi?

–          [FM20] Voltaço

–          [FM21] Hometown Heroes

–          [FM21] Swiss Army Knife

–          [FM22] Matryoshka

–          [FM23] Age of Empires

This year, I’m going to try and streamline my posts into three of four updates per year, with specific focus on:

–          Tactical development, along with in game analysis

–          Player development through training, game time and the new targets feature

–          Transfer business with an eye on statistical analysis to find undervalued players

If any of those things float your boat – hop on board and join me on the adventure of a lifetime! If you would like to discuss my save you can find me here – LINK


  • Ben

    Ben has been a long time contributor to the FM community previously on The Dugout and the SI Forums. He is known for his great in-depth tactical analysis and an increasing level of understanding of data led recruitment. His FM saves are always in-depth and he delivers both his knowledge of the game and great storytelling including a talent for squad building, progressing youth players and finding diamonds in the rough. His saves are really popular within the blogging community. He is also the creator of the popular skin “Statman”

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