FM18 | Nine years of club development

It’s been awhile since I wrote the last post about my FM18 save in Hungary. A lot of things has changed. My last post was written after five years of the save. I was able to play another four seasons and the club made big steps up on and off the pitch. 

When you read the “Five years in Hungary” post we finished this post with the first league title in the club history. To be fair, the rise of the club was very fast and unexpectable for me personally.

I didn’t want to move to top tier so quickly and I also didn’t want to win the top tier at the end of the fifth season. The reason was very simple. I like to develop my own players but I knew I will not have good enough own players because of poor facilities, less (and not good enough) coaches and I will have to buy players.

If I’m right at the end of the ninth season there are only two players from the original squad and one of them want to go for a new challenge.

As you may know, I try to use specific transfer policy and I try to buy players from specific towns. As we grow up during the seasons it was harder and harder to find good players within the area but on the other hand, I was able to bring Hungarian players from abroad who were born in this area.

For example Olivér Horváth, Bertalan Kun or Dominik Szoboszlai…

There is still a room for foreign players. Our captain and the best goalscorer in the club history is Bosnian striker Elvedin Pajic who developed into a very good striker and his record is fantastic. He had 109 goals in 137 league matches before the end of the 2025/2026 season.

Elvedin Pajic_ Overview Profile-2

I also brought Sreten Stanisavljevic to the club just for €525K from Red Star Belgrade and he is midfield monster.

Sreten Stanisavljevic_ Overview Profile-3

Back to Hungarian players, I also decided to steal one of the most promising young players I saw in this save so far. Central midfielder János Major was bought from Puskás Akadémia for €2.4M. He made his senior national squad debut against Cameroon when he was 17 years old.

He is also wanted around Europe but I rejected all bids and despite he was unhappy he is still in the squad.

János Major_ Overview Profile

Probably one of my most favourite players so far of this save is a right midfielder, György Benedek. Produced by Debrecen academy spent the 2023/2024 season on-loan with Csákvár and after I scouted him a lot I decided to buy him for €550K.

György Benedek_ Overview Profile

In his first season, he made 34(3) appearances, scored 10 and made 10 assists. In the second season, despite the injury, he scored 15 goals and made 18 assists. I play him as our WM(A) and as he has some traits perfectly suited for a winger he is capable of great runs on the right side.

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Newgens

As I wrote earlier in this post I was afraid of not good enough young players, especially my own newgens. In the last season, I played so far, you can find six players from the previous youth intakes in the first team squad.

If you will check their profiles you can see they are not good enough as you would probably expect. But as I said this is a result of our facilities and other aspects of Youth Intake.

But these players have/had some playing time, especially in the domestic league & cup competitions and I decided to not buy other players. I knew I’m short of central defenders before the 2025/2026 season started. I released two and sold one. I promoted these youngsters to the first team squad and gave them chance.

For example, striker Viktor Kovács is probably the best one of these youngsters. But central defender Róbert Csaba is an absolutely perfect example of a player who will grow up when you give him playing time.

For those who judge a player by star rating, he started the 2025/2026 season with a half star of current ability and two-and-half stars of potential ability.

During this season he became my central defender number one. And he also made Hungarian national team debut. And he could still improve.

Club changes

There were a lot of changes in the past years. When this save started the training sessions were held on the shore of Lake Balaton and we used empty beer plastic cups as woodwork when we wanted to play football matches between each other.

Thanks to our progress and Champions League Group Stage participation we earned a lot of money and we were able to upgrade absolutely everything. We build a new stadium with a capacity around 6 thousand seats. The capacity was already risen up to 9k.

We also improved training and youth facilities to “Great” and our Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching were upgraded to a maximum level.

 

BFC Siófok v Slaven Belupo Koprivnica_ Match Pitch
Summer 2026 – Siófok Stadium expansion up to 12,374

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We were also able to increase the number of our staff members and we have the best coaches in Hungary right now. Many of our coaches left the club during the previous years as they received offer to be managers of other clubs, mainly in the second or third tier.

Every year I try to review my coaches and try to find better ones with better personalities and attributes. One of the last changes was the manager of our U19s squad. When the former manager moved to the club from the second tier I decided to sign former Albanian national team player Andi Lila. I signed him mainly because his Driven personality and I think he could improve his attributes in the future as well.

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This one is, for example, our Head of Youth Development.

Finances

Same as the club moved to a different universe in terms of facilities the financial situation changed rapidly. It was thanks to Champions League prize money I mentioned earlier.

At the end of the 2025/2026 season, we passed the €100M border and it’s obvious we are absolutely independent.

Finances at the end of the latest season after directors payment and stadium expansion and facilities upgrades were paid.

Competitions

We won the first league title in the 2021/2022 season and we won the league in the next four seasons as well. We became the dominant domestic club and we have 6 or 7 players in the senior national team.

We have around 20 players in the Hungarian national teams during every single national break and our foreign players are also in their national teams like Serbia or Bosnia.

Our U19s squad finally started to play competitive matches since 2023/2024 season as the youth team participated in the U19 Division II. If they will win this Division they will be promoted to the first division where they will play with the best youth teams of Hungary.

They also won the UEFA Youth League in the 2024/2025 season as they beat Red Bull Salzburg, Manchester City or Shakhtar on their way to the trophy.

In terms of the domestic cup, we won the Magyar Kupa in 2022, 2023, 2025 and 2026.

The most important thing happened straight after the first league title as we were successful in the Champions League Qualifying Rounds and progressed to Group Stage = money. A lot of money.

And as I wrote above all the money from Champions League participation helped the club to grow up in every aspect.

During the last season I played so far (2025/2026) we managed to go to the Semi Final of this competition. Incredible achievement. We were in the group with Lyon, PSV and Dortmund. And we progressed to the knockout stage from the second place in the group.

We eliminated Juventus thanks to away goals rule and we also beat Sevilla in the Quarter Final as we overcame the first leg defeat. Bayern was too strong for us in the Semi Final and we lost both matches with German giant.

But we received €38M prize money and €20.4M TV Revenue. Almost €60M thanks to the Champions League…

There are also some positive news from Hungary at all ⇓

  • OTP Bank Liga moved up to 13th position in European Rankings
  • League title winner will play Champions League Group Stage from 2027/2028 and one will go straight to Europa League Group Stage
  • One more places in Europa League as well

What next?

The main aim is to force the board to upgrade Youth and Training facilities to the maximum. The first step was made after the latest season and both facilities will be upgraded within a couple of months.

Board also decided to expand stadium capacity up to 12,374 what is the maximum how capacity could be expanded.

If facilities will be upgraded to maximum and I will continuously improve coaches for senior and youth team I’m sure I will be in the best possible place to concentrate on youth development and to fill the first team by our own players gradually.

I also decided to become the Hungary U19 national team manager during the latest season but if I will have time I will write a single post about this chapter of the save…

Until that…

Thanks for reading as always. If you are interested in something let me know there in the comments section, on Twitter or in my #fmrensie channel in FMSlack.

What is Slack? Read this or ask me and others on Twitter for example.

Take care and enjoy Football Manager 2018.

Keysi Rensie

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One thought on “FM18 | Nine years of club development

  1. Pingback: FM18 | A step into international management – Keysi Rensie

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