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12/11/2022 10:04 am  #21

Re: Avornian Football League

Year 67 Team by Team Previews

Dobo (Owner: N/A, Player Captain: Wahwmah of House Taccew, Team Nickname: The Claymen): The defending champions had a happy offseason, full of celebration after having stunned the league with their upset championship run last year.   While also happy, Wahwmah as certainly not allowed his athletes to get fat and happy though, keeping up the intense physical regimen during Training Camp.   Once again, Dobo figures to be a team that relies on physicality and ball control to edge out victories.   They don’t have anyone offensively that they can count on to step up in the big moments to score most of the goals, so it’ll take a team-wide effort of standout performances for Dobo to score more goals than last season (scoring is a real problem indeed, seeing as Dobo already had scored the 3rd least amount of goals last year).   The team still doesn’t have an owner yet, but they do finally have a nickname, taking inspiration from local mythology.   During the War of Immortals (taking place in the beginning of the 1st age), the legend in Dobo states that their god, Dobotitus, created an army of clay figures, designed in his image.   He then sacrificed himself by bleeding out, his blood flowing into the figurines, which came to life.   Through their sheer numbers, they overwhelmed the rest of the Immortals, allowing the clay creatures to become the rulers of the world.   It is believed in Dobo that those clay men (and women) would slowly evolve into humans.  

Silagnak (Owner: Shonnie of House Bochwiller, Manager: Mendo of House Tydent, Team Nickname: The Black and Blues): Shonnie’s reign as Silagnak’s first owner came with sweeping changes.   The first coming from in the way of a new Manager.  The former captain, Borky of House Silvor, is still on the team, but he’s no longer allowed to make decisions after leading the team to an all-time worst defensive showing.   New Manager Mendo has made several changes on that front, even changing the team’s strategy, now employing 5 defenders at a time, which should help prevent so many goals getting scored against them.  However, while that does mean there’s less of an offensive approach, it’s worth noting that star striker Boba of House Coldsteek seems to have spent some time getting stronger physically.   He's always been very fast and athletic, but there’s been times that he’s gotten pushed around a bit due to his skinny frame.   Now that he’s filled out a little, the hope is that he can be more than just a vertical scoring threat, now maybe he can muscle his way into a few goals too!   He’ll need to, because he’s really the only true offensive threat Silagnak has.   Rather than spend a bunch of time thinking about a clever team nickname, Shonnie decided to just use the team colors as the inspiration.   Silagnak, who have long been famous for its heavy physical and brute force approach to football, have already always been known as the Black and Blues anyway.   Shonnie figured why not just let that be the official nickname now?  In any case, since the Black and Blues finally put some effort in rebuilding the defense, it's expected that Silagnak will be a better team next season, it just depends on if the offense can step up, especially knowing that the team has a defensive minded formation now.

Henix (Owner: Gal of House Zakariah, Manager: Dobi of House Almen, Team Nickname: The Firebirds): The brand new Henix football team is taking a very different approach to the game than fellow expansion team Baelanholme is.  Henix has already hired a full time manager, Dobi, who’s never played professionally before.    Dobi’s first step as manager has been to instill a squad that’s confident enough to take chances on offense, wanting to avoid playing it too safe.   He’s certainly going to have to hope they can outscore opponents, because their defense is a bit on the weak side.   Other than Defender Carlin of House Fandanno, who figures to be an excellent tackler and passer, the rest of the defense and goalie are subpar.   The midfield game is so-so, but at least their center midfielder, Endru of House  Adib, is capable of either helping on offense or supplying good pressure on defense.  Forward Ewick of House Poulser is plenty willing to drive right into the opponents defenses, being very physical for that position and has the leg power to shoot from far away.   The Firebirds are likely to struggle this year, having a big experience gap, but there are some set pieces in place.   Even if they’re not expected to contend this year, perhaps in a year or two, they could make a run at the championship.

Jahnsel (Owner: N/A, Player Captain: Derrec of House Smyt, Team Nickname: The Jackrabbits):  Jahnsel certainly was disappointed last year at their poor performance at the end of last year, the big moment getting to them.   However, from what is being said, their captain, Derrec, has been predicting big things from the newly christened Jackrabbits (a local pest that has been a source of annoyance for many a Jahnsel farmer since time immemorial, often responsible for eating many a crop-they sure are tasty though!   Derrec liked the idea of small town Jahnsel being a thorn in the big cities’ sides, being tired of hiring about how weird it is for such a small town with limited resources to be able to contend for the football championship).    Bili of House Yelbow returns of course, but this time, Jahnsel has partnered the short forward with a much taller partner, Jimm of House Tomacka, who’s a promising rookie.   Jimm is 6’4”, very tall for the position, but is surprisingly quick too.   He’s expected to provide some much needed height for those cross passes by the opposing goal.   Between Jimm and Bili, Jahnsel likely has the best pair of forwards in the league, talent-wise (to make room for Jimm, Derrec has volunteered to step back into a midfielder role, still a very important position to be sure).   Perhaps even more importantly, the defense figures to have improved, thanks to a change in goalie.   Nedham of House Velcross is another tall guy, at 6’6”, the tallest goalie to ever start in the Avornian Football League.   He’s pretty green at the position still, usually playing as a Defender, goalie is definitely not a natural position for him to play.   However, Derrec liked his height and wingspan, thinking it could help prevent Jahnsel from allowing so many goals this year.   Nedham will have plenty of eyes on him to be sure, if he succeeds, expect to see more teams utilizes taller men to be their goalies.  If they can get over the mental hump of not letting the big moments get to them, Jahnsel is going to be a big threat to win the championship.

Petorvale (Owner: Benwah of House Ailian, Manager: Hammen of House Tong, Team Nickname: The Hammers):  Aside from the drama involving new owner Benwah, (who, to his credit, has surprisingly not gotten too involved with team building or strategy, leaving that to Hammen.   Not that Petorvale has cared much), not much has changed with the Hammers.   Not much, except for goalie.   For the second straight season, Petorvale has had to adjust to a new goalie.  Barnar of House Mubel surprisingly retired after starting at goal-keeper for just one season, stating that he was still dealing with side effects from the head injury he suffered last year and wanting to spend more time with his family.  Enter Morses of House Knapper, last year’s backup who struggled at the position when Barnar was injured.   There’s more pressure than ever on the defenders to prevent opposing teams from getting too many shots on goal.   Unfortunately, there’s still not much athleticism or skill there.  Manager Hammen has elected to take the old Silagnak approach with his defenders, play guys who aren’t scared to push opponents around and who can do nothing else.   At least the offense figures to be as good as it usually is.  Svontal of House Dors tied for the league lead in goals scored last year and he could do it again.   Ceecil of House Ackerberry has recovered from his injuries from last year and once again should provide support on offense, likely to score a few goals too.  However, the Hammers’ title hopes rest on the defense being able to overachieve.  

Anjocca (Owner: Connavonn of House Duvaloi, Manager: Tan of House Browse, Team Nickname: The Sabercats):  After a surprising 2nd place finish last year, Anjocca looks like a threat to win the championship this time.  The duo offensive threats, Tobyas of House Stonner and Shaggu of House Khaldrem provided most of Anjocca’s scores last season and that isn’t likely to change.   There’s a couple of new starters that Tan wanted to push to give the team a freshening up.  This includes new midfielder Dunne of House Werewilf, a highly athletic guy who’s will be able to handle both ends of the field, he’ll take on the critical center position at midfield.   He’s more likely to get an assist on offense than he is to score, but were his real strength will be is assisting star defender Gailor of House Omakyt on defense.   Speaking of which, the team is very excited about Gailor’s expected improvements, he’s already made waves with his brutally physical, yet smart, play.   With Gailor and Dunne, opposing teams are in for a nightmare if they try to score from the center of the field, their presence means teams will more likely have to try to make drives from the sides of the field instead.  Xaxi of House Pentuna returns, the one eyed goalie had a career year last season and clearly wants to show it was no fluke.   The only other noteworthy change is that the team has a nickname now.  While the obvious pick would have related to Anjocca’s status as a key defense fort protecting the rest of Avornia (Guardians, Defenders, and Soldiers all could have worked), Connavonn wanted to take a play at a local wild beast that he felt would give the team a unique identity.   Sabercats are big, vicious animals that hang around the area.   Incredibly, despite their wild status, Connavonn actually owns one as a pet himself (named Purrcy of all things).  Things are exciting at Anjocca, this could be the best team in Avornia in Year 67.

Baelanholme (Owner: Candor of House Blusal, Player Captain: Shanto of House Sayloor, Team Nickname: The Pirates): Baelanholme and Henix will be compared to each other a lot this year, not only because people are curious as to which of the two will be more successful, but because both are taking different approaches to their first season.   Candor chose not to hire a full time manager due to the fact that managers still actually take up a spot on teams’ 18 man rosters, (He’s been arguing against the rule since he bought the team, the Avornian Football Committee supposedly will be looking into that next offseason), electing instead to make midfielder Shanto his player captain.   Shanto seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but he’ll have to pull a miracle if Baelanholme is to contend this year.   Unlike Henix, who wants to play aggressive offense, Baelanholme has selected a similar ball control, defensive play style like what Dobo employs (not a bad idea, it worked for them last year!).  This is likely in large part due to the Pirates having absolutely no legitimate talent at the forward position.  Shanto is likely the best midfielder on the team and even he’s clearly more defensive minded than he is offensive.  Goals will come at a premium at Baelanholme, so hopefully the defense can hold up.   They’ve decided to test out brand new rookie Lian of House Reddish as their goalie, figuring since the team isn’t likely to contend for the championship in their first season, Lian might as well learn goal keeping on the spot.  He's a pretty good athlete for the position, so he might be able to keep scores low, although the Baelanholme defense isn’t super talented either, so he may be in for a long year anyway.  Either way, the Pirates are keeping their expectations pretty reasonable, just don’t finish in last place, then work on improving next season. 

Leorux (Owner: N/A, Player Captain: Asa of House Waiselen, Team Nickname: The Elves):  There are real concerns at Leorux, many of those issues being directed at the captain.   Asa once again captains the team, though that’s likely only because he’s the only remaining player left from the team’s first season and seniority ended up ruling.   It’s likely that once Leorux gets an owner (no interested parties just yet), he could get axed, as his own skills are starting to decline as he gets older and he clearly doesn’t have any real skill at getting the team off the ground.   The only legitimately good player on the team now is forward Carles of House Yalmount, but teams already have figured out that as long as they keep defenders stuck to him like white on rice, Leorux essentially has no real offensive threat.  Worse, Asa is STILL insisting that an all-out offensive approach is the key to victory, despite the strategy failing miserably last year.  Asa is convinced that the defense is better this time, but we heard this last year too.   As the icing to the cake is the team’s new nickname, the Elves.  Elves are a local mythical creature that supposedly live in the Leoruxian forests, but no adult has ever seen one.   Asa thought the kid friend nickname could inspire younger fans to try out for the team once they grow up, but even if that works, we’re years away from baring any fruit.   Plus, now fans of the other teams have been laughing the silly nickname up ever since.  Nobody expects much out of Leorux, least of all the adult fans, who hate the Elves nickname.  There’s some concerns that their audience isn’t on par with the rest of the league and if they aren’t bringing in money, there’s a chance the Avornian Football Committee may feel they shouldn’t have a team (many in the Federation of Avornian Football already felt that way, which is partially the reason it even exists in the first place).  Leorux is in for another long year. 

Earch (Owner: Seesar of House Rommi, Player Captain: Dennai of House Endear, Team Nickname: The Falcons): Earch flat out disappointed last season, its offense failing miserably to generate many scoring opportunities, putting all the pressure on the defense.   New owner Seesar has made it clear that there must be improvements in Year 67, he bought a contender and he expects to contend indeed.   Luckily, a talented, (but aging) defense has been given a jolt of live in the form of new left center defender, Hobbs of House Vinicius.   Hobbs is a giant of a man, at 6’5”, offenses will have to contend with the idea of beating this man out for headers, which will prove a daunting task.   He’s already impressing the team with his leadership too, with a maturity far exceeding his young age of 21.  Also helping is the fact that embattled midfielder Daivan of House Banswell (the nephew of Avornian Football Commissioner Ravael) has changed positions to become a defender after Dennai noted his skills at deflecting passes, (which far exceeded his offensive capabilities, which were next to nil).   Earch once again figures to have a rock-solid defense.   On offense, the search to replace former star Dabu of House Namacka (off to join the Federation’s Earch team) was a short one.  Aili of House Fendeleeni  has been in the league for a couple of years already, usually coming in to replace Dabu when he was injured or as a substitution for when Dabu had a bad game (an increasingly common occurrence towards the end of his run last year).  While he doesn’t have the star power Dabu had, Aili may already be the better player.  He can get some air with his jumps, useful in header situations.   He’s not as fast as Dabu was, but he is a better passer and likely more accurate shooter.  Overall, Earch should once again be one of the stronger teams in the league.

Hanuna (Owner: Cyboar of House Eliason, Player Captain: Lellochatnim of House Gull, Team Nickname: The Bluefins): Hanuna had hoped that last year’s disappointing drop in the standings was just a bit of bad luck, as the Bluefins had several key players getting injured at various points in the season.   However, the misfortune has continued as fans learned the fate of one of their more promising players.   Guacheemo of House Siwee had missed all of Year 66 due to a freak leg injury sustained in a fishing accident.   Sadly, he has never fully recovered from the injury, which had gotten infected during the offseason.   After all the time he spent trying to get it better, he ended up losing the limb anyway in the end, doomed to never play football again.    This leaves the main attacking threat as Alfenz of House Mohr, who’s was good while he had Guacheemo around in Year 65.  However, last season proved he’s only adequate by himself and with no other major scoring threats, Hanuna’s offense is in a lot of trouble.   Hanuna’s defense has historically always overachieved, as besides Garlen of House Richenaan (who’s already believed to be one of the top 3 best individual defenders in the entire league) nobody has ever stood out, their good performance being largely because of how well captain Lellochatnim has trained them.  The Bluefins are hoping they can surprise again on defense in order to have a shot.  Lellochatnim is one of the best in the business at playing and coaching at the same time, but the time is starting to come where he may need to step back from the playing field, as training camp is proving that he's clearly declining in quality play.   There’s a chance Year 67 is his final one, though it’s pretty clear the team would just make him a full time manager once he retires.  There’s a feeling of apprehension within the Hanuna fanbase, they feel the team should be pretty competitive, but if the bad luck continues, who knows where they’ll end up in the standings?

Chalmblaank (Owner: Pyppan of House Steelow, Manager: Deagu (Dee-A-Goo) of House Sanchor, Team Nickname: The Knights): Pyppan’s first season as owner is making waves early on.  He’s already removed Frazciscle of House Ailian as the team’s player captain after being unable to lead the team to contention last year (despite Chalmblaank generally performing well), choosing to hire a brand new full time manager, Deagu.   Deagu had played for Chalmblaank in Years 64 and 65, mostly coming off the bench as a defender before deciding to retire last year.    Deagu had always impressed Pyppan with his football smarts (the two have been friends for years now) and Pyppan wanted to give him a chance to lead the team over the mentally frail Frazciscle.   However, this decision may be biting him in the butt already as the team is pretty ticked off.  Frazciscle may made some key mental errors that cost the team critical games the last 2 seasons, but he is still highly respected in Chalmblaank.   Worse, while Deagu is indeed a smart guy, he isn’t a well liked whatsoever, it is known that while playing Deague proved to be an irritating little weasel that would try to undermind his teammates.   Feeling burned at the demotion and shuddering at the thought of having to play under Deagu, Frazciscle chose to retire altogether from football, leaving behind a complicated legacy as a good leader but who’s failures in the big moments will likely haunt him forever.   Losing Frazciscle hurts Chalmblaank’s very good midfielding game, but at least they still have the excellent Alajandrus of House Capeburgh, who’s likely entering his prime now.   He can make drives at the goal, and also prove useful on defense, but his elite passing game is what really sets him apart from the most midfielders, he can find open players through the tiniest of passing lanes.    It helps when he’s passing to Sirge of House Einna, a solid striker that loves and expects to be giving the ball at all times when Chalmblaank is near the opposing goal.   He’s courageous/cocky enough to try a shot from just about anywhere, and he can usually get the ball on target.   Defense is a concern, as for whatever reason, Deagu has chosen to keep the entire aging group of defenders.   They do have a new goal keeper, Ricko of House Aerie, who’s pretty quick and athletic, but seems a bit short for the position, only being 5’5”.   Considering that Jahnsel had picked their new goalie strictly on the basis of height, it’ll be interesting to compare the results these two teams have at goal keeping.  Finally, Chalmblaank has an official team nickname, selecting Knights in respect to Avornia’s legendary Leorux, the legendary Commander of the 1st Battalion that protected the kingdom during the War to End All Wars.   As Leorux and the 1st Battalion all hailed from Chalmblaank, the team feels it’s the most historically appropriate name they could have chosen.  The Knights are at a cross-roads this year, can the new owner and manager pull the team together to finally live up to their potential?   Or will all the meddling end up hurting the team?

Tomen (Owner: Knoan of House Whitley, Manager: Loeb of House Gammiz, Team Nickname: The Rivermen): Contrast that with Pyppan from Chalmblaank, Tomen’s new owner Knoan has taken a backseat approach to the offseason.    Granted, with Tomen trending in the right direction after shockingly contending last year, there wasn’t much for him to address.   Loeb is a highly popular manager not just with the team, but with the entire city, so Knoan has wisely allowed him full reign on running the team, wanting to focus more on the financial side of things anyway.  Loeb has had to provide inspired leadership to squeeze every last drop of potential out of what had honestly been one of the least talented collective teams in the league for a year and half now, all while building up the next wave of athletes.   His hard work is finally paying dividends, as there are signs of some promising youngsters on the team.  Chief among them are the brothers from House Sammsoon, Argill (age 24) and Cragnus (age 22).   Argill, the older and stouter of the two, is responsible for manning the right center back position on defense.  He’s very good at pushing offensive players just enough to derail potential drives without committing too many penalties.   He’s got a cannon for a leg too, and he can blast a football across half the field pretty quickly, useful for turnover situations when Tomen steals the ball and wants to counter with a strike of their own very quickly.   Argill is definitely a good prospect, but Cragnus could be special.   A tall and slightly skinny kid, Cragnus already has elite levels of ball handling ability, mesmerizing defenses with all sorts of little bounces and jittery moves before zooming past them in a direction they weren’t expecting him to go.   While his leg isn’t the strongest ever seen, he has such a nice touch on the ball, that he seems capable of sending any shot to any part of a goal that he wants to.   It’d be nice if he bulked up just a little bit to handle the physical side of football, but there’s every reason to believe that Cragnus will still be one of the best players in the entire league within a year or two.   He’ll be handling an interesting role on the team, acting as a sort of merged midfielder and forward as he’ll assist Tomen’s other great midfielder Mishakl of House Floddergrove with passing and other general responsibilities until the team is near the opposing goal, where Cragnus then takes on striker duty, being meant as the main target on offense to score goals.   There’s definitely some excitement in Tomen this year, they’re not going to surprise anyone this year but now there is some expectation that they can make another run at the title.   The team’s new nickname is the Rivermen, a nod to Tomen’s location by the Tomen River being so important to the city’s trade heavy market. 

Next: Year 67 Season

Last edited by Stickman (12/11/2022 11:12 am)


12/14/2022 12:10 pm  #22

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League, Year 67

Year 67 of the Avornian Football League held plenty of questions going into it.   How would the new expansion teams, Henix and Baelanholme, hold up?     How would everyone else, for that matter, deal with the new, longer schedule (22 games instead of 18?   Now the season goes from early fall to near the end of winter).   What records would stand and which would be broken?   And of course, who was going to be the league’s 4th ever champion?

Leorux (The Elves):  The answer to that last question was certainly not Leorux.   It was widely expected that they were going to be a fairly bad team this year, which next to no talent and a coach that seemed to have to real clue as to how to direct the Elves.   However, the level of horrible Leorux was in Year 67 was mind blowing.   Failing to win their first game until Week 7, (a new record), Leorux would post just 13 points for the entire season, which is also a new record low for points gotten, which is especially pathetic considering Leorux had 4 extra games this year to get over the previous low mark of 15.  In fact, the Elves were very lucky the league expanded this year, seeing as 7 of their points came from the brand new teams, meaning if not for that, they’d have obliterated the points mark with just 6 total.   Embarrassing.  

The worse part was that there was no real culprit here.   The offense was the weakest in the entire league, scoring just 20 goals all year (same amount as they scored last year, which was also good for last place then).   The defense was leaky, allowing 37 goals, also the worst in Avornia.  Even the abilities where stats aren’t kept were lacking, as the team couldn’t pass, couldn’t steal the ball, and had no heart, seemingly giving up on several games.   Asa of House Waiselen, the captain, provided no leadership and it’s plain to see he just doesn’t have it in him to run a team.  The only star on the team, Carles of House Yalmount also had a disappointing season, scoring 7 goals, and was probably lucky to even get that many given how much the defenses hounded him all year, what with having no other players to really worry about.   This was just an ugly season for Leorux, and the fans let them have it.   When people did show up to games (Leorux easily had the worst attendance numbers), the Elves would get battered with boos and hisses.  There’s a real concern that if things don’t pick up soon, Leorux could find itself without a team soon because it’s not bringing much money into the Avornian Football League.  Being such a small city, the only chance they’d have at doing that would be to be a contender, which they’ve never come close to being.   For a team named after a frolicking forest creature, this sure will be a tense offseason.

Dobo (The Claymen): Expectations were high in Dobo, as fans anticipated the team would contend for their 2nd championship.    After 14 games, it certainly looked like Dobo had a real fighting chance, their 23 points being just 3 points behind Anjocca and Tomen for first place.   However, during an important Week 15 matchup of contenders against Earch, things would completely fall apart.   Defender and player captain Wahwmah of House Taccew, guarding against Earch’s Aili of House Fendeleeni, would get faked out on a dribble, causing him to step too far left and then have to quickly react and move right.    In doing so, his left knee buckled horribly and he fell down in agonizing pain.   Aili, long gone at this past and probably not even realizing what happened, scored what would be the only goal of that game, the rest of Dobo being distracted at the sight of their captain down.    Wahwmah’s knee injury would cost him the rest of the season and without their leader, Dobo completely collapsed, only earning 2 more points the rest of the year (a tie each against the expansion teams).

To be fair, league analysts could point out that Dobo, like last season, had very likely been overachieving, pointing out that the team’s offense was rather anemic.   Indeed, Dobo would only score 20 goals the entire year, tying with awful Leorux for the league least.    This made sense as no one player ever really stepped up to be the chief goal scorer, usually the scoring was truly a team effort and that held true this year with nobody scoring more than 5 goals individually.    However, the truly disappointing part for Dobo was their supposed strengths, defense and ball control, which underperformed badly after Wahwmah’s injury.    Allowing 31 goals scored was a new team worst for the Claymen.   It is true that their goalie, Tumac of House Sashtane, after having a career year last season, reverted back into being below average again, but it wasn’t all his fault.   Once Wahwmah was gone, the rest of the defense slipped in quality too, forcing the overwhelmed goal keeper to deal with far more shots on goals than he was really able to handle.   Perhaps the biggest letdown was that once again, Wahwmah’s brother, midfielder Nahnquan of House Taccew was a disappointment.   He’s very athletic and strong, but for whatever reason, he’s never played to the level he’s been expected to, making several bone-headed mistakes in passes and dribbles.  He seems to be developing into the type of player who relies solely on his natural abilities instead of honing those skills with practice.   But it won’t matter which player gets the most scrutiny, as Dobo overall season will go down in history.   There have been somewhat dramatic rises and drops in the Avornian Football League, but Dobo’s 10 position drop is easily a new record.   Fans of the Claymen hope this season was just a bad break and that the team will be contending in Year 68, but it’s worth noting that last year’s championship run was the only season out of 4 where Dobo had finished above 7th place.     

Hanuna (The Bluefins): Hanuna hadn’t been a particularly lucky team as of late, with several injuries to key players and more than one controversial referee’s decision working against the team.   It was hoped that Year 67 would be different.   Bluefins fans would be disappointed yet again though.   After a nice little 12 point start after 6 games that gave the city some hope, Hanuna would start a terrible 10 game run of unproductive play that resulted in just 4 points in that span (0-4-6 record).  Frankly, the team seemed lucky to get that many points in the run, being outplayed during the entirety of the streak.   The Bluefins did have a strong finish to the season, but by then it was far too late, Hanuna was doomed to finish a poor 10th place. 

The worst part of it all was that the team actually relatively healthy, not losing any major players for more than a couple of games (Defender Garlen of House Richenaan missed time due to rolling his ankle badly, missing 2 games during that 10 game lackluster streak), nor did they betrayed by incompetent refereeing.  The Bluefins just didn’t play well.   The offense was terrible, Alfenz of House Mohr clearly not a good enough player to carry an offense by himself.   He’ll need more help next season.    The defense had always been reliable despite their lack of talent due to captain Lellochatnim of House Gull’s coaching.   Naturally, after overachieving for years, that unit finally had an average to bad year, allowing 30 goals (still 6th best in the league, but a statistic that felt much closer to the teams in the bottom half of the league than in the top half).  Garlen himself was a solid performer, but he didn’t quite play as well as he did last year, likely a result of playing through that ankle injury.    Ultimately, it appears that the time has come for team captain Lellochatnim to retire.   He still played smartly throughout the year, but he did appear to struggle more than usual with multitasking playing and coaching at the same time, in addition to the fact that he’s just not able to keep up with the rest of the players on the field.   He’ll almost certainly be promoted to Manager after this year, but considering that Hanuna has been disappointing each of the last 2 seasons, his lease may be shorter than he’d be comfortable with.

Baelanholme (The Pirates): There weren’t very high expectations placed on the expansion Baelanholme for these season.   This was a good thing, because the first half of the season was rough to watch.   The Pirates’ offense was as bad as advertised, scoring more than one goal exactly once in the first 11 games, (a loss to Chalmblaank).   While the defensive minded game planning was keeping scoring down, it wasn’t helping the team win.    Going into Week 11, The Pirates had only won twice, with 6 points for the season and the team battling Leorux for the title of worst team in the league.   By that point, knowing their strategy wasn’t working and not wanting to finish in last place, player captain Shanto of House Sayloor devised a new approach.   Replacing a defender with forward to create a 3-3-3-1 formation (3 Defenders, 3 Midfielders, 3 Forwards, with 1 Striker), Shanto figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to be more offensively minded.   It actually worked, as Baelanholme would earn 20 points in their last 14 games (a 6-2-4 record), nowhere near enough to contend of course, but plenty enough to jump up a few places in the standings to finish a (for them) decent 9th place.

The Baelanholmen offense never really scared anyone, but forward Waen of House Harbage took advantage of being the lucky guy added to the starting lineup in Week 11, scoring 8 goals despite only starting half the games in Year 67.   He’s an older guy (already 32) but he does have some excellent sense of positioning, knowing just where to pass a ball or where to shoot it.   He won’t be a high level player for too long due to his age, but Baelanholme will be grateful for the time they do get with him in the lineup.   Defensively, Baelanholme did start to allow more goals after opening up the formation to be more offensively oriented, but at least it was expected.   Goalie Lian of House Reddish did the best he could learning on the fly, definitely gaining some much needed education on what he should and should not do in the big leagues.   He’ll very likely improve next season, as will the rest of the team.   Baelanholme accomplished its simple objective of not finishing in last place, they even bested Henix in their series (winning one game and tying the other).   With some improved recruitment of new players, and tweaking of the lineup, the Pirates will be interesting to watch next season.

Henix (The Firebirds): Despite being the more offensively minded expansion team, Henix’s offense started slow, getting shut out in 3 of its first 4 games.   However, once the offense got rolling, Henix managed to net 31 goals, good for a tie for 4th best in the league.  Cocky forward Ewick of House Poulser proved to be the real deal, scoring nearly half of the team’s goals, with 14 total.   Even better, while his physical, trash talking style of play has earned him the ire of opposing teams and players, the Avornian Football League has discovered that Henix games have become well attended due to the young man’s undeniable charisma.    Ewick is shaping up to be a major star and secretly, the Avornian Football Committee hopes he develops appropriately.  It probably helps that the Firebirds’ best midfielder, Endru of House Adib, proved to be a very humble and unassuming man, more than willing to pass the ball in Ewick’s general direction even if surrounded by more than one defender and trust the forward would either win the ball or a penalty by the defense (given Ewick’s personality, more than one emotional opponent were plenty happy to crash into him hard).   The defense was pretty bad, with only Carlin of House Fandanno proving to be any good, with his tackling and stealing being a major reason Henix didn’t threaten the Year 66 Silagnak team’s record for most goals allowed from last year, (Henix would “only” allow 31 goals).  Teams still had far too easy of a time simply passing the ball to the other side of the field, where Carlin wasn’t and getting the cross pass shot on goal to land in the net.   Carlin definitely needs some help with defense. 

Henix never went on any crazy streaky run of games, wins or losses, but they did end up as a weird anomaly.  They would set a new league record with 9 draws for the year (beating out Hanuna’s mark of 7, which actually would have been the new record otherwise), the offense usually being able to make up for the weak defense just enough to avoid many losses.    Incredibly, despite finishing in 8th place, well off of 1st place, Henix would only lose 7 times, tied for the 2nd least in the league.   However, because of all those ties, the Firebirds only won 6 games, leaving a ton of points on the board.    Normally, this would make for a very disappointing season, but Henix will definitely take Year 67 as a very encouraging sign that they can absolutely hang with the older clubs.   With their surprisingly strong record and some very talented players, Firebird fans absolutely feel that with a few more additions, Henix will be in the mix for contention next year in what will be just their second season. 

Chalmblaank (The Knights): For all the drama involving new Manager Deagu of House Sanchor, for the first few weeks of the season, it looked like the decision to hire him was genius, as Chalmblaank would win 3 of its first 4 games (against rival Earch, defending champion Dobo, and against shutting Silagnak out), only losing to red hot Anjocca.    Unfortunately that, plus a random 3 game winning streak at the end of the season after Chalmblaank had already been eliminated, were the highlights of the season.   In those 7 games, from Weeks 1 to 4 and from Weeks 20 to 22, Chalmblaank scored 16 goals.   During the other 15 games, they only score 13 of them.  For most of the season, Chalmblaank’s offense wasn’t very dangerous, through no fault of midfielder Alajandrus of House Capeburgh who had another productive year and held the team together with his play.   Star forward Sirge of House Einna was kept in check by opposing defenses, though he still played the same way he always did, expecting the ball and taking shots at goal no matter how crowded the defense was around him.    It just didn’t work as well as it did last year, though he still led the team in goals scored.  There was certainly some drama between Sirge and Deagu, with the two known to argue a lot after games, (usually due to Sirge’s reluctance to pass the ball and Deagu getting frustrated at the young man, blowing up at him in ways former captain Frazciscle would never have).    Sirge would make his frustrations clear to owner Pyppan of House Steelow, who’s mostly ignored the complaints due to Deagu being in his ear (and complaining about how selfish Sirge was).   The drama will have to end before next year begins, as it’s clear the rest of the team is already tired of the arguing. 

Even if Deagu has a point about Sirge’s selfishness being partly why Chalmblaank’s offense played disjointedly, he has no excuse for the team’s terrible defense.   After allowing the 2nd most goals in the league, it’s plain to see that Deagu held onto the aging defensive unit for one year too long.  The real kicker though, was new goalie, Ricko of House Aerie.   Deagu had started Ricko, envisioning he would use his quickness and acrobatic skills to jump all over the place to block footballs from passing him.   While Ricko certainly tried, he proved to be just too small as too many scores happened because the ball was shot just past his 5’5” frame and the tiny reach that he had.   With all the drama surrounding Deagu, both in terms of him not being near as liked as Frazciscle was, with his fights with the team’s best player, and with the team having suffered it’s 2nd straight season in the bottom half of the standings after choking the Year 65 championship away, Chalmblaank will be very entertaining to watch as they move forward.   Fans though, will be experiencing much anxiety until Deagu either leads the team to a title or gets fired as a failure.

Petorvale (The Hammers): Another year, another season full of tantalizing Petorvale offense full of goals and excitement and distressing Petorvale defense full of goals and annoyance.  Once again, Svontal of House Dors would have a solid season, scoring 15 goals.  His offensive minded midfielder teammate Ceecil of House Ackerberry performed well, leading the Hammers on several scoring drives and even getting a few goals himself, with 6.  Once again, the Petorvale defense was leaky, although to be completely fair to the team’s manager, Hammen of House Tong, he’s gotten the unit to finally start to play somewhat better.  It’s still a below average group compared to the rest of the league, but opponents are starting to have a harder time when making drives.   However, one wouldn’t know that looking at the goals allowed stat, opponents scored 31 goals against Petorvale.  This is primarily because of the new goalie, Morses of House Knapper.  Morses was trying his best, but after 2 years, it’s become very clear that he is a terrible goal keeper, having none of the instinct necessary to prevent scores.   He’s a likable teammate, but he has no future with the Hammers as a player. 

Petorvale never really stood out this season.   They never threatened to contend for the championship, nor where they ever near the bottom of the standings, the Hammers mostly stayed around the middle of the pack, ultimately finishing in 6th place with 33 points.  There are some rumors that owner Benwah of House Ailian is unhappy with the team’s stagnation and one can’t really blame him.   Ever since the team finished in 2nd place in Year 64, Petorvale has finished 6th, 7th, and now 6th again.   If they ever want to improve, the defense must get better in a hurry.   As Hammen has had 2 years to fix the problem and has only made marginal progress, the rumors are that Benwah may be getting to the point where he may fire Hammen.   If not for the chunky former goalie being so popular in Petorvale, Benwah may have already terminated him.    However, with each year that passes with no real improvement, the less love the increasingly fat Hammen gets from the fanbase.  If things don’t change soon, expect to see some major changes for the green team.

Earch (The Falcons): Earch had a fairly normal season by their standards.   In what has become a yearly tradition, Earch started the season slow, with just 5 points obtained in the first 6 weeks (1-2-3 record).   Nobody in Earch panicked of course, knowing that the team would get on a good winning streak or two and be right back into contention.   Which of course, they did, going on a 4 game winning streak in Weeks 7-10 and a 5 game winning streak from Weeks 12-17 to find themselves in a three way tied for first place with Tomen and Anjocca with 32 points, ahead of Jahnsel by one point.   The cluster of teams vying for first place was exciting for some, stressful for others, but for the Falcons, this was just another season, having been in this position before.   No doubt, they’d find a way to finish the year strong and the other teams would lose the critical must win games, then Earch would have its 3rd championship and the first for its new owner, Seesar of House Romi.  Only, that didn’t happen.   In those last five games, the Falcons would fail to win any of them, managing 3 draws, but losing to expansion team Baelanholme and more damaging, in a critical Week 20 game against Jahnsel, Earch would get shut out, both because they didn’t score in the game and because they were eliminated from the championship with that loss.  This is the earliest the Falcons had ever been eliminated from the title, last season they had held on until the losing in the 2nd to last game of the season.  

The defense was good once again, allowing 26 goals for the year (5th least in the league and at a lower goals allowed per game rate than last year’s defense).   Hobbs of House Vinicius proved to be every bit the nuisance to offenses that the Falcons hoped he’d be, breaking up several passes in the penalty box with his large frame and displaying plenty of good football IQ by avoiding stupid penalties and knowing when to pass the ball to his teammates after interceptions and when to just kick it far away from everyone else to let his team have time to reset their formation.  Daivan of House Banswell performed a bit better in his new defensive position-he’s good at deflecting passes-proving that his issues from last year mostly were because he was misplaced as a midfielder on the field.   His passing is still fairly awful, though, and more than once did he allow the other team an easy steal off of a bad pass that turned into a goal for the opponents.  Offense had been a massive weak point for the Falcons last year, but luckily the team performed much better on that front, Earch would score 30 times this season.   Aili of House Fendeleeni had a great season, scoring 12 goals and getting a few headers into the net off of corner kicks with his impressive leaping skills.  As a whole, Earch was excellent at scoring off of corner kicks, netting 6 goals off of a player’s first touch of the ball from a corner kick.    Considering that corner kicks have statistically amounted to being responsible for less than 5% of total goal in the Avornian Football League’s history, this is certainly a statistical anomaly, perhaps improved by Aili and player captain Dennai of House Endear both being very tall and athletic guys, able to leap above most defenders.  Speaking of Dennai, despite being in his 30s, he’s still able to run around the field effortlessly, shooting goals, making good passes, playing defense, he can do it all.  His leadership has long been vital to the team’s success and why Earch can contend for a title every season.   However, with another disappointing result for the Falcons, Dennai will have to figure out a way to retool the team next year, especially knowing that he has an owner that expects to be in the championship mix every season.  Despite the team being eliminated earlier than ever before, Earch does appear to be trending in the right direction after an underwhelming Year 66, so there’s plenty to be excited about.

Silagnak (The Black and Blues):  Silagnak was something of a mystery going into the Year 67 season.   This was a team that had set the all time worst mark for goals allowed the previous season, but that had finally gotten several new starters on defense (which was long overdo) and a new goalie that seemed to be competent (Joka of House Bonz was gone, having left to join the Silagnak team in the Federation of Avornian Footall-he played terribly there too), not to mention the team had a new formation involving 5 defenders to maximize protection against shots on goal.    This strategy would prove to work very well, as Silagnak impressively managed to only allow 23 goals for the entire year despite having to play 4 more games this year, the wall of defenders proving a nightmare for opposing teams to get around.   It helps that rookie defender Lenzlo of House Amburs, who had received no attention whatsoever from the football analysts coming into the year, only turned out to be a once in a generation defender, having lightning fast reflexes to deflect or steal passes, the physicality to outmuscle his opponents, and a cannon of a leg to launch the ball the span of nearly the entire field.   Anchoring the center defender role, his presence forced teams to have to try to score from the sides rather than attempt to dribble around him.   Borky of House Silvor, the former captain that had stuck around after being demoted, also had a nice year, being able to brute force the other team to prevent goals (and occasionally commit the egregious foul, it’s just his way of sending a message).   For the first team possibly ever, the Black and Blues have figured out how to use an efficient version of the highly physical style of ball they love to play and it paid dividends.   The offense had been expected to suffer as a result of the team’s new formation, but in another nice surprise, Silagnak still netted 31 goals.   Boba of House Coldsteek had a career year, the already dangerous striker tying his career high of 15 goals and providing several assists throughout the year.  While he’s still clearly by far the biggest scoring threat on the Black and Blues, his improved physique helped him evolve his game from the all out vertical attack approach he’d always taken.   Now he takes more time on drives to allow his teammates a chance to help him out, since he can better handle defenders trying to push him around.   This has helped the Black and Blues’ attack greatly and it’s hoped that with a little more help provided to him, Boba can make the offense even more scary.

All of these bits of good news will provide excitement for the Silagnak fanbase for next season for sure.    Unfortunately for the Black and Blues, they never truly threatened for the championship in Year 67, despite actually leading the league with the fewest losses, having tasted defeat just 6 times.  They would end the year 7 points behind first place, and it was only that close because Silagnak caught fire at the very end of the season with a 5 game unbeaten run (3-2-0 record).   The 6 draws the team had probably made the statistical difference, changing even just a couple of those into victories would have put the Black and Blues right into the crowded mix for the title.  As it is, Silagnak has nothing to be ashamed about, having jumped up the standings from 10th out of 10 teams last year to 4th out of 12 this year.  While Silagnak did have a similar leap in the standings back in Year 65 (which preceded last year’s last place finish), fans are optimistic that the team will be in the upper half of the standings to stay this time.  With another forward to help Boba out and the defenses’ continued improvement, a championship could actually be on the table next year.

Tomen (The Rivermen): At times, Year 67 looked to be the year when Tomen would win its first championship.  The offense was fun to watch as new forward/midfielder Cragnus of House Sammsoon was every bit as exciting as he seemed capable of being, aggressively driving the ball into enemy territory with a dramatic flair of dribbling that made defender him a nightmare.   He’d lead the team with 9 goals, but the number is that low largely because he’s proven to be a very selfless teammate, making several nice passes to approaching Rivermen to allow them the shot at goal.   Given how much attention Cragnus was already earning from defenses, this approach worked wonders for the team, who scored 32 goals for the year.  He proved that he could handle the midfielder responsibilities too, assisting Mishakl of House Floddergrove with getting the ball down the field from their half before he slipped into the forward position once he got close enough to the opposing goal.   Mishakl was his usual jack of all trades self, capable of being useful in any situation, although it was clear he loved having Cragnus around to help draw out some of the pressure teams gave him.  The defense, which had never been a Tomen strength, finally had a solid year, thanks in part to new defender Argill of House Sammsoon.  Argill provided some much needed aggressive play on the defensive front, pressing his opponents hard and usually pushing them just enough to avoid fouls.   With his strong leg, he and his brother Cragnus even managed to pull off one of the Avornian Football League’s greatest ever scores.   Against Petorvale in Week 18, he would shove their forward Svontal of House Dors just enough to throw him off of a drive, steal the ball and, noticing Cragnus was already darting down the field, crushed the football an incredible 75 yards down the field.   Cragnus would chest bump the ball while running, then shoot the ball from over 20 yards out on his second touch.   The football looked like it’d fly over the goal, but it would curve downwards just enough to fall into the net (goalie Morses of House Knapper was way ahead of the goal at that point and couldn’t run back quickly enough once he saw what was happening).   The screams from the Tomen stand roared with an intensity never before heard in a football game after the fans witnessed that goal.   The Sammsoon brothers have definitely been a bright spot for the team.

As for Tomen’s progress in the season, early on, Tomen would have 2 streaks of a draw, followed by 3 straight wins.   This helped them keep things close with an Anjocca team that had been dominant early on.    A 4 win streak from Weeks 13 to 16 would put the Rivermen into first place for the first time.   In Week 18, crowded in a three way tie for first place, Tomen would win that Petorvale contest to top the standings with 35 points.  Unfortunately for Tomen, whereas being in first place after 18 weeks used to mean they won the championship, expansion meant that there were 4 games left to play.  In Week 19, they would lose their 1st place rank with a loss to expansion team Henix, but more heartbreakingly, they would be eliminated from contention in Week 21 after somehow only managing a draw with awful Leorux.   The cause was simple, Cragnus picked the worst possible time to go on a slump, failing to score or get an assist in any of those last 4 games (Tomen wouldn’t even score a goal in their final 2 games).   It was a crushing way to end what had been the most promising season in Tomen’s history.   Still, despite the disappointment, there’s plenty to be thrilled about in the river city.    The team has plenty of young talent that is sure to improve throughout the years and they are lead by what could be the best manager in football, as Loeb of House Gammiz did another excellent job emotionally leading the youthful team and is now expected to be able to get the budding team to finally bloom into a champion in the near future.  

Anjocca (The Sabercats):  For the first part of the season, Anjocca seemed to be near unbeatable, through 10 weeks they had already amassed 25 points with their 8-1-1 record, a full 7 points ahead of 2nd place Jahnsel.   The offense was clicking, Tobyas of House Stonner and Shaggu of House Khaldrem getting plenty of scores off of passes from new midfielder Dunne of House Werewilf.   Dunne also was helping star defender Gailor of House Omakyt anchor the center backfield, the aggressive tackling and physicality proving too much for opposing teams to have much success in scoring down the middle.   It seemed like the Sabercats might finally get their first ever championship after they came close last year.  

However, Week 11 changed everything.  Against Jahnsel, Anjocca would not only suffer a 2-0 loss to the farmboys, but would have to contend with backups as both Dunne and Tobyas would be dealt knee injuries that kept both of them out for numerous weeks.   The now crippled offense struggled from that point onwards to generate many productive drives as the draws and losses started to pile up.  The white hot Tomen Rivemen would catch Anjocca by Week 14.  Earch also came on strong in the middle part of the season, tying Anjocca for points in Week 16 when the Falcons beat the Sabercats.   That same week, Tomen would take over first place, though by Week 17, all three would be tied for first, with the pesky Jahnsel squad just one point behind.   With 5 games to go, Anjocca would still have a chance to become champions, but they would need to dig deep and do it quickly.   But it wouldn’t happen, though the injury bug was partially to be blamed again, as now Shaggu was compromised with ankle pain that he played through, but rather poorly.  With draws to Silagnak and Hanuna and stunning losses to the expansion Henix and Baelanholme, Anjocca was eliminated in Week 21, a fast start wasted as for the 2nd straight season, they’d finish as the league runner up.  Anjocca will particularly rue their performances against the new teams, only winning one game out of four meeings with the Firebirds and Pirates.  With only Dobo performing worse versus the expansion teams, Anjocca will head to the offseason knowing that even with all the injuries they suffered, they left plenty of points on the board that they should have gotten.  With that 7 point lead evaporating, there are some comparisons to the Year 65 Chalmblaank team that had blown a 10 point lead.  To be completely fair to Anjocca, very few teams would have been able to hold off this year’s champion, but history may not be quite so kind as to remember that.   Still, with better luck, perhaps next year will finally be the year the Sabercats make that jump from bridesmaid to bride.  

Jahnsel (The Jackrabbits): Year 67 for Jahnsel was all about forgetting about last year and just going out to finish the job this season.  After losing the first two games, Jahnsel would never lose two in a row again for the rest of the year, playing high level football throughout.   They would experience many short winning streaks (usually 2 or 3 games) through the first 2/3rd of the season, which kept Jahnsel just close enough to the top of the standings to keep the other teams nervous.  After a Week 17 win over Tomen, they would be just one point behind first place, right by three tied at the top of the standings.    Unlike the other teams, who all mostly limped their way to the finish line, the Jackrabbits would sprint towards the goal.   Starting with that win over Tomen, Jahnsel would win 5 in a row, clinching the title with an appropriate enough victory over the previous year’s champion, Dobo.   Jahnsel had become a champion, the memories of last year’s disappointment washed away in a river of jubilation!  With 43 points obtained during the season, Jahnsel easily set the record for most points a team has gotten during a season, but that’s not just because of the new 22 game schedule.   As the team averaged a net gain of 1.95454… point per gain, that would narrowly break Earch’s Year 64 record of 1.9444… points gained a game (when they got 35 points in an 18 game season).   By that metric, and the fact that they set another league record with 14 wins, the Year 67 Jackrabbits are mathematically the best team the Avornian Football League has ever had.  Not bad for a small town team that none of the big cities had ever truly respected up till now.  They certainly had the entire country’s respect now.

There were multiple reasons the Jackrabbits won the title.   The giant goalie Nedham of House Velcross quickly got comfortable with his new role on the team and performed wonderfully, only allowing 24 goals for the season.   His large frame has proven to be a major obstacle for opponents to shoot the ball around, something not lost on the rest of the league.  Expect to start seeing taller goalies to be the norm going forward.  As good of a story as Nedham is, the real reason the Jackrabbits won the championship is the offense, which is undeniably the best the Avornian Football League has ever had.   The combination of forwards Bili of House Yelbow and Jimm of House Tomacka proved deadly, opposing teams had their hands full with those two running around, scoring constantly.   Add in midfielder and player captain Derrec of House Smyt, a former forward himself, and Jahnsel actually had a 3rd player that could easily score several goals.   The result was Jahnsel easily setting a new record for goals scored in a season with 42, an incredible 9 more goals than the next best team (Anjocca, with 33)!   With Jahnsel always a threat to score goals, the only way to beat them was to outscore them, which teams rarely did.    With Bili and Jimm both being very young still, plus with the success Nedham had at goal keeping, and with Derrec being so good at managing the team, the Jackrabbits very well could repeat next season.   Farm life may be boring, but times have never been more exciting in Jahnsel!

Next: Year 68 Offseason, where a couple of teams look to freshen up their look and the pressure from the Federation of Avornian Football ramps up!

     Thread Starter

12/18/2022 10:57 am  #23

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League Year 68 Offseason

Life in Jahnsel used to be so simple.   Work on the farm (or other small business your family owed), eat a hearty meal, gaze at the stars after a night of cow tipping, and watch the Jackrabbits play great football.   Year 67 had been the climax of a city’s hopes for a title, finally achieving something several much larger cities still hadn’t.    The hopes were there for their beloved Jackrabbits to contend again and possibly even repeat as champions.    Unfortunately for the team, the Federation of Avornian Football had other plans.

The Football War, the so called battle for sporting supremacy between the Avornian Football League and Federation of Avornian Football has been heating up for the last two, especially after the Federation put teams in Earch, Tomen, and Silagnak, in an effort to leach into the rich cities finances.   Thanks in part to the Federation swiping some players, this worked pretty well, encouraging the upstart league to begin to really crank up the pressure.    While the Federation did lose 4 more teams (once again in tiny cities that probably shouldn’t have gotten a professional football team to begin with), two new teams were added, one of them boldly being placed in Jahnsel.   The new Jahnsel team, like all of the Federation teams, offered more money to the League’s players in order to entice them to join their side.   While up to this point, the results had been only mildly successful (Dabu of House Namacka, from Earch, was the only legitimately great player that had switched leagues), for the small town boys, the increased paycheck was an offer that could change their lives.    Unbelievably, both star forwards Bili of House Yelbow and Jimm of House Tomacka, along with standout giant goalie Nedham of House Velcross and a few other players jumped ship.   In the span of just a few days, Jahnsel went from being the most feared team in the Avornian Football League to one of its weakest.  The Jackrabbits weren’t the only team to lose players, (Tomen lost a couple of budding defenders and midfielders, Earch lost a goalie and forward) but they definitely were the most impacted.  The League is now in a rough situation with multiple teams losing stars.   They now start to run the risk of being left behind by the Federation and need to change the trajectory of momentum back in their favor.   

While that was going on, the League had finally gotten some new owners for the remaining three teams with none.   Dobo finally started work on a simple stadium (which takes advantage of a nearby hill, building stands into it) and also a new owner.    Jephard of House Obuis is a local Dobotitus minister that operates the largest church in the kingdom.   He claims none of the funds from the church went into the team’s purchase, but one has to wonder where he got all his money from.   He appears to be a somewhat hands on person and that could be interesting how that plays out with Dobo’s proud player captain, Wahwmah of House Taccew, who’s ran the team uncontested up to this point.  Small town Leorux’s future had been in some jeopardy, given their lack of playing success up to this point.   To the Elves good fortune, Herrad of House Hoopmeister, a rich lumberyard businessman, is a huge football fan (not to mention one of maybe five adult people in the entire town that actually likes the Elves moniker) and decided to purchase the rights to own the team from the Avornian Football Committee.   He’s already using excess supplies from his company to get a small stadium put together for Leorux.  Finally, and most controversially, is Jahnsel’s situation.   Ryne of House Ewickson, owner of the largest farm in the country, had purchased the team before the Federation of Avornian Football swiped most of his best players.    Almost immediately afterwards, Ryne tried to back out of the deal, but money had already changed hands and by Avornian business law, the weakened team was his to deal with.   No doubt put off by the affair, he’s decided that he wouldn’t put a penny down on the team, declaring they could fold for all he cared.   Commissioner Ravael of House Banswell had to spend a lot of time trying to convince the stubborn farmer to not give up on the team.   Eventually it was decided that to make up for the unfortunate timing, the Avornian Football Committee would pay for Jahnsel’s stadium, this being the last time they will finance one, in exchange for Ryne at least trying to put some effect into the franchise.  

In addition, after seeing how popular Baelanholme’s striped jerseys were among fans, a few of the Avornian Football League teams decided to make some updates on their jerseys.    Petorvale abandoned their plain green shirt with white sleeves and went for a hooped green and white shirt, they’ve kept the green pants.  Tomen decided to keep the white shirt, but instead of blue sleeves, went for a more literal play on the Tomen River reference, opting to wear a white shirt with a thick blue line in the middle of it.   Jahnsel’s new jersey is more of a practicality than anything else.   White shirts take a lot of effort to clean and having to hire people to do it every week gets a little costly, (at least in Ryne’s eyes).   To reduce the relatively small costs to clean the jerseys, he opted to change the Jackrabbits look to now wear a navy blue shirt (which was originally the team’s pant color) with white collar and cuffs, deciding those would need cleaned less often.   He decided to choose orange as a pant color, liking the combination of navy and orange, (granted, orange shorts will be difficult to clean too, but Ryne figured people would notice stains less on pants than they would on shirts).  Luckily, Jahnsel isn’t a very superstitious town, so other than fans initial confusion over the new look, it’s gone over fairly well.  

Next: Team by Team Pre-Season Previews (This may be getting delayed until after the holidays, but I’ll work on it while I can)

Last edited by Stickman (12/18/2022 10:58 am)

     Thread Starter

12/23/2022 1:26 pm  #24

Re: Avornian Football League

Year 68 Offseason, Part 2 and The King's Cup

There were two changes that the Avornian Football Committee made during the Year 68 offseason.   The first involves Baelanholme owner Candor of House Blusal’s complaint about full time managers taking up one of the 18 roster spots on the team.   After arguing that with the teams’ trend of hiring full time managers, eventually it will mean every team will really only have 17 players on their rosters, which spends the talent too thin.    The Committee agreed and going forward, Managers no longer take a roster spot (pretty much everybody agrees it was a rather foolish rule anyway).  

The second and more dramatic change will take place after the Year 68 season involving The King’s Cup.    The King’s Cup is an annual tournament that’s actually already been taking place since the very first offseason, back in Year 64.   It’s a knockout style tournament involving every team in the Avornian Football League.   Since it’s held after the season is over, seeding teams is an easy as ranking them by their positioning in the standings.  Each round, the matchups are randomly picked, this is just to provide some drama and not make the tournament easy to predict, (this means the two best teams in the league could face off as early as the quarterfinals, while one of the weakest teams in the league could make a realistic run for the Cup final by getting lucky matchups throughout the tournament).  There are no draws in The King’s Cup, if there’s a tie after the full 90 minutes (plus stoppage time), two extra 15 minute halves are played.   If there is still a tie, the game goes to a penalty shootout, where at least 5 players on each team (sometimes more) will get a one on one shot at the goal.   While some people find the idea a bit of a gimmicky way to conclude a closely contested game, they can’t deny that the penalty shootout does produce a lot of drama.

Up to this point, The King’s Cup had only been played for pride, but that changes this offseason.  In an attempt to encourage players to not leave the League for the Federation of Avornian Football to pursue more money (and so that the League’s owners don’t actually have to pay the players more money during the season), the Committee is putting together a prize of 1 gold coin to the team that wins the tournament, to be competed for annually.

(The would be a good time to finally explain how the Avornian money works.   1 gold coin is worth 10 silver coins.   1 silver coin is worth 10 bronze coins.  1 bronze coin is worth 10 papers, the least most valuable and thus most common currency.   Luckily, this well balanced currency makes exchanging different coins and papers fairly easy to figure out.  The average household in Avornia earns roughly a little over 100 papers a year, while the average football player in Avornia currently makes 65 papers, hence why most everyone in the Avornian Football League still has to work during the offseason).   

Getting the opportunity to earn nearly a year’s wages by just winning a small tournament is hoped by the Committee to earn the players’ loyalty (worth noting that only 1 team will reap the benefits of the moneypot, the other 11 get nothing).  

Having finally introduced this tournament, it’s time to take a quick step back and look at the results of the previous King’s Cup tournaments.  


1st Round
7. Dobo over 10. Silagnak 3-1
8. Leorux over 9. Tomen 2-1 (after extra time, a.e.t)

2. Petorvale over 3. Anjocca 4-2
7. Dobo over 8. Leorux 1-0
4. Jahnsel over 1. Earch 2-1
5. Chalmblaank over 6. Hanuna 1-1 (4-2 in Penalty Kicks)

4. Jahnsel over 7. Dobo 1-1 (4-1 Penalties)
2. Petorvale over 5. Chalmblaank 2-0

4. Jahnsel over 2. Petorvale 0-0 (4-3 Penalties-Took 7 Rounds)

Jahnsel would end up winning the first ever King’s Cup thanks to its strong defense playing extremely well.   Having to play the champion Earch and also a Petorvale team that had the best goal difference in the league, Jahnsel certainly didn’t have an easy road through the tournament.   The final between Jahnsel and Petorvale proved an all-time classic, as neither team could score, though there were several close calls where Petorvale nearly got through.  The game required Penalty Kicks to determine the winner.   It would take 7 full rounds of kicks to determine the winner, the first time it had taken longer than the mandatory 5 rounds.  Jahnsel was never likely to forget that game, nor was Petorvale, who at least had the consolation prize of getting to eliminate Chalmblaank during the tournament.   This tournament was also notable for 7th seeded Dobo managing to surprise everyone by making it to the semifinals, although to be fair, they were drawn the 10th seeded Silagnak and then the 8th seed Leorux in their first two games, so luck definitely played a factor in their success.  Earch’s quick demise was seen as something of a bad look for the new tournament, as it looked at times like they clearly didn’t care as much about winning The King’s Cup now that they had already won the League Championship.   At least they lost to the eventual winners.


1st Round
7. Jahnsel over 9. Anjocca 1-0 (a.e.t)
8. Dobo over 10. Leorux 3-2

6. Petorvale over 7. Jahnsel 4-2
4. Silagnak over 8. Dobo 1-1 (4-3 Penalties)
1. Earch over 3. Hanuna 2-0
2. Chalmblaank over 5. Tomen 3-1

2. Chalmblaank over 4. Silagnak 2-1 (a.e.t.)
1. Earch over 6. Petorvale 5-2

1. Earch over 2. Chalmblaank 2-0

As if Chalmblaank’s choking away of the League Championship wasn’t bad enough, they would fail in their effort to get revenge on Earch in The King Cup’s final, simply getting outplayed terribly.   Earch definitely made up for getting eliminated so quickly in the previous year’s King’s Cup by only allowing 2 goals during the entire tournament while scoring an impressive 9.   Petorvale had managed to get revenge on Jahnsel for Year 64’s King’s Cup by beating them easily, but Earch put paid to the notion of the green team getting the Cup by humiliating them in the Semifinals, 5-2.   There was only one game that required Penalty Kicks this time.   For a 2nd straight year, Dobo managed to draw Leorux early in the tournament, beating them before losing in Penalty Kicks for a 2nd straight year, this time to a Silagnak team that nearly got into the final.   Most people agree that the Chalmblaank-Silagnak Semifinal game was the best in the tournament this year, as there was plenty of drama throughout (and more than one Silagnak penalty that went unnoticed, as Chalmblaankian fans loudly pointed out).  The Avornian Football Committee was quite pleased with this King’s Cup, especially with all the storylines going into the finale with Earch and Chalmblaank.  


1st Round
8. Chalmblaank over 9. Leorux 6-0
7. Petorvale over 10. Silagnak 5-1

5. Earch over 2. Anjocca 1-0 (a.e.t.)
3. Jahnsel over 7. Petorvale 3-2
1. Dobo over 6. Hanuna 1-0
4. Tomen over 8. Chalmblaank 2-2 (5-3 Penalties)

5. Earch over 3. Jahnsel 2-1 (a.e.t.)
4. Tomen over 1. Dobo 2-0

4. Tomen over 5. Earch 3-0

Tomen’s victory in The King’s Cup was another example of their Manager, Loeb of House Gammiz, displaying an incredible skill at getting the most out of a fairly ordinary group of footballers, as he’d lead Tomen to victories over a Chalmblaank team that was way better than their 8th seed suggested (and also got revenge from the previous year’s Cup when Chalmblaank eliminated them in the Quarterfinals), the League Champions Dobo, and the previous Cup Champions Earch.   Earch themselves had a brutal run throughout the tournament.  They managed to avoid Penalty Kicks, but had to go to extra time against Anjocca and Jahnsel and seemed to be just a bit too winded to handle the much younger and fresher Tomens.  Hilariously,  Jahnsel and Petorvale faced off for a 3rd straight year in the Cup, Jahnsel winning this time.  The Dobo vs. Hanuna Quarterfinal game will go down as one of the uglier games in Avornian Football History.   It’s known that Dobo and Hanuna have very different religious beliefs and the citizens of the two cities have never particularly liked each other.   During this game, a brawl between the two fan bases occurred that forced a game delay that lasted over an hour and left over 100 people injured.   As the game was set in Dobo (the higher seeded team hosts throughout the tournament), Hanuna clearly seemed shaken by the incident, allowed a quick goal after play resumed, which made the difference in the contest.  While Earch vs. Jahnsel in the Semifinals was an all-time classic, (a late goal from Dennai of House Endear in the 90th minute of the game will go down in Earchian history), the 1st Round produced the two most uncompetitive games in Cup history.   Petorvale dispatched of Silagnak easily, 5-1, but the way Chalmblaank flat out manhandled the clearly overmatched Leorux was almost too embarrassing to watch.   Believe it or not, the game was even less competitive than the 6-0 shutout (new Avornian League record) suggested.  Multiple Leorux players were left crying after the game.  It was ultimately a fun tournament, as 3 of the 4 teams that had been in contention for the League Championship in the final week of the season made the semifinals.

1st Round
7. Chalmblaank over 12. Leorux 3-0
6. Petorvale over 9. Baelanholme 2-1
5. Earch over 11. Dobo 0-0 (3-2 Penalties)
8. Henix over 10. Hanuna 3-3 (5-3 Penalties)

4. Silagnak over 1. Jahnsel 1-1 (5-4 Penalties)
7. Chalmblaank over 8. Henix 1-0 (a.e.t.)
2. Anjocca over 3. Tomen 2-1 (a.e.t.)
5. Earch over 6. Petorvale 4-2

4. Silagnak over 7. Chalmblaank 3-1
2. Anjocca over 5. Earch 2-0

2. Anjocca over 4. Silagnak 3-2 (a.e.t.)

After the disappointing end to its season, Anjocca can at least claim a King’s Cup tournament win in its resume after its hard fought run to the title.   Anjocca had actually never won a Cup match before this tournament, so this victory is a special one for its players (though all of them would have rather had the League Championship instead).   While they were lucky enough to avoid Jahnsel (who shockingly lost to Silagnak in another all time classic of a Quarterfinal.  Considering this was the last time they had most of their stars in a football game, it’s a game the Jackrabbit fans will regret), Anjocca still had to deal with a fairly difficult schedule in 3rd seeded Tomen, a 5th seeded Earch team that had been to the last 2 Cup finals, and a 4th seeded Silagnak that had lost the least amount of games in the regular season.   Needing extra time to dispatch Tomen and Silagnak, Anjocca had their work cut out for them the entire way.  Overall, this was a much more competitive tournament throughout than last year’s, with six games needing extra time and three of those needing Penalty Kicks.  Expansion team Henix managed to win its first ever Cup game against Hanuna, (who, in four years, has still yet to ever win a King’s Cup match), while Baelanhomle at least gave Petorvale a competitive showing before losing 2-1 in the opening round.  Chalmblaank became the second 7th seed to make it to the Semifinals, showing once again that its possible for just about anyone to make a real fun at the Cup Championship.   It’s worth noting that the Knights drew 12th seed Leorux again (“only” beating them 3-0 this time) and 8th seed Henix (1-0 win that took extra time to pull off) in those first two rounds, but you can only play who you’re given, right?  Ultimately, the King’s Cup, while clearly nowhere near as prestigious as the League Championship, is still providing lots of drama that’s keeping fans on the edge of their seats.   With money on the line next offseason, Year 68 is hoped to be the best tournament yet!

NEXT: Year 68 Team by Team Previews (For real this time)

(NOTE: Given that I have all the results already, you probably can guess that I've been wanting to introduce The King's Cup for some time now.   It just took a while for me to find a way to run the tournament without having to simulate another contest.    Now that I found a method that I like, I'll be including The King's Cup results with every offseason report.     Anyway, Merry Christmas and we'll be back after the holidays!)

Last edited by Stickman (12/23/2022 1:26 pm)

     Thread Starter

12/28/2022 2:57 pm  #25

Re: Avornian Football League

Has television arrived in Avornia yet?


12/28/2022 6:54 pm  #26

Re: Avornian Football League

NeoPrankster wrote:

Has television arrived in Avornia yet?

You know, I hadn't ever thought about televisions or anything to be honest.  I'd say there won't be televisions ever, due to the fantasy setting that Avornia takes place in.   However, your question does give me an idea or two for how I could write in an similar way for fans to watch the games without actually being at the stadiums.  That innovation won't be for a little while, but thanks for the question!  Hope you're enjoying the story!

     Thread Starter

12/29/2022 9:16 am  #27

Re: Avornian Football League


Jahnsel (Nickname: Jackrabbits) (Owner: Ryne of House Ewickson) (Player Captain: Derrec of House Smyt): There’s no two ways around it.   Jahnsel, last year’s champions, are going to be much, much worse than they were last season, thanks to the Federation of Avornian Football’s Jahnsel team poaching of nearly every single good player on the team.    The only real question is how much worse.   Derrec is the only recognizable name coming back.  He had moved to the midfield last season to make some room for another forward, but will be returning to the Left Wing position (forward).  The Jackrabbits have decided to lean into the offensive side of things with it’s new 3-4-3 formation that in theory should make them an offense threat.   It certainly would have put fear into defenses’ eyes last year, but with a much less talented and inexperienced crew to work with, Derrec had better hope his offensive minded strategy can score early and often and not leave the defense too vulnerable.   New rookie Goalie Tophar of House June is another tall and lanky guy at 6’2”, and he’s also more used to playing as a Fullback (defender) before he went professional but that’s where the similarities end between him and last year’s goalkeeper, Nedham of House Velcross.   Tophar is nowhere near as athletic and early rumors coming from training camp are that, unlike Nedham, he’s struggling badly with transitioning into his new position.   If lightning doesn’t strike twice, Jahnsel will be in trouble.   Considering that ornery new owner Ryne isn’t being too supportive of the team (he’s already stated on record that he will not watch any of the games in person, “What’s there to watch?  A bunch of sheep boys running around aimlessly?  I’d rather get real man’s work done on the farm!”), and it’s likely the players and fans will want this year to get over with as quickly as possible.

Anjocca (Nickname: Sabercats) (Owner: Connavonn of House Duvaloi) (Manager: Tan of House Browse): After finally winning their first ever championship (albeit a King’s Cup rather than the more desired League Championship), Anjocca seems ready to contend for the real thing this year.   Knowing that Jahnsel suffered an all-time worst offseason certainly clears the way.   Utilizing the common 4-3-3 formation, Anjocca has quality players everywhere.   On offense, Shaggu of House Khaldrem (Right Wing) and Tobyas of House Stonner (Center Forward/Striker) make for a formidable attack and defenses will have their hands full dealing with both of them.  The midfield is fairly solid, thanks mainly to Dunne of House Werewilf (Center Midfielder).   The plan is to have him be more of a defense support guy as that’s what he’s better at anyway.  But if he’s feeling frisky, he can add some more pressure on offense with his good passing game.  On defense, the Sabercats are always grateful for Left Centerback Gailor of House Omakyt, likely among the most aggressive defenders in the game.   Meanwhile, grizzled one eyed veteran Goalkeeper Xaxi of House Pentuna is back again, looking as grumpy as ever.   It’s becoming clear that’s he’s getting older and he could be past his prime now, but if he has another good year, Anjocca will be one balanced team.   Tan, the Manager, tends to be pretty hands off in his coaching and after the year the Sabercats had last year, nobody is questioning his style.  Overall, expectations are high in the fort city of Anjocca.  Connavonn has made it clear that he fully expects Anjocca to win their first League title in Year 68, though even with Jahnsel’s likely collapse, there will be plenty of tough competition to deal with for sure!

Earch (Nickname: Falcons) (Owner: Seesar of House Romi) (Manager: Dennai of House Endear): The Falcons took a blow right after the Year 67 season ended when Longtime Player Captain Dennai shocked everyone by suddenly retiring from football, citing a previously unknown constant pain in his legs.   He had been known to play through pain before, but nobody had realized how much agony he had been through until now, unable to walk anymore without limping badly.   Not at all surprisingly, Seesar immediately promoted Dennai to full time Manager, choosing to trust his excellent leadership.   While it’s clear Dennai will coach the team to playing disciplined, mistake free ball, he’s going to be missed hugely on the field, as it’s likely he was the greatest midfielder in Avornian Football History.   Earch’s 4-3-3 formation has always relied on its midfielders being able to handle running all over the field and passing the ball around quickly.   That won’t be so easy now that the Falcons’ depth at that area is much weaker.  Replacing Dennai is Neuten of House Claybill, who the new manager had taken it upon himself to place under his wing.   Neuten should be ready to handle the demanding responsibilities that a Earchian Center Midfielder, but nobody knows yet if he’s got the natural chemistry with his fellow midfielders that Dennai had.   He certainly is bossy enough to act as a captain.   The defense as usual should be the strength of Earch, with giant Left Centerback Hobbs of House Vinicius and Right Fullback Daivan of House Banswell likely to frustrate many an offense with their skills at intercepting passes.     The offense is still leading by their Center Forward/Striker, Aili of House Fendeleeni, who had a breakout year in Year 67.   He’ll be under pressure to do more as Earch has had some turnover at the forward and wing positions and it could take some time to get them up to speed.   Falcon fans always have high expectations, the benefits/curse of Earch having won the first two League Championships.   However, other than a reliable defense, there are legitimate questions about how quickly Dennai can get his many new players to gel with their teammates, especially now that he can’t get onto the field himself anymore.

Tomen (Nickname: Rivermen) (Owner: Knoan of House Whitley) (Manager: Loeb of House Gammiz): The story of Tomen has been one of surprisingly good seasons and the squad rallying behind charismatic manager, Loeb of House Gammiz.  The man has always had an innate ability to inspire courageous (and frankly better than expected) play out of his usually average players.   Last year showed that with a few key additions, the Rivermen could contend for a title, though they fell short after a weak ending to the season.  Cragnus of House Sammsoon had electrified Tomen’s offense with his innovative dribbling skill and ability to handle a rather complicated role on the team (Tomen uses an unusual 3-7-0 to 3-6-1 formation that requires Cragnus to play both midfielder and striker when making vertical drives).   Fans are already salivating in anticipation of watching the improvements he makes as a player in his 2nd season.   Often the man reponsibile for passing Cragnus (and in theory, the other offensive midfielders), Mishakl of House Floddergrove has been the glue to Tomen’s cramped midfield game for years and shows no sign of slowing down, his jack of all trades approach to football has long made him a problem for opponents to deal with.   Argill, Cragnus’ brother and Right Centerback of the team, will lead the defense, which will have plenty of pressure on them as usual from any opposing team that can break clear from the congested midfield.   There’s a lot of excitement in Tomen as the team has moved up in the standings every single season so far and if that trend continues, that would guarantee either a 2nd place finish…. or maybe even the Rivermens’ first ever League Championship.   With Loeb leading the team with his usual spirited guidance, with a still youngish team that’s gelling together, and with possibly the most exciting player in all of Avornia, that dream could be a reality. 

Silagnak (Nickname: The Black and Blues) (Owner: Shonnie of House Bochwiller) (Manager: Mendo of House Tydent): Silagnak, with its new 5-2-2-1 defensively minded format, had greatly improved last year.   The hope is that they’ll finally find some consistency, seeing as they’ve finished 10th, 4th, 10th, and 4th in its history, the fans really don’t want to finish in the bottom part of the standings again.   With their star Striker, Boba of House Coldsteek, coming off of a career year where he finally beefed up a little and was able to handle playing a more physicial game to compliment his fast paced style, there’s always hope that he can inspire just enough big moments to keep the Black and Blues up in the game.   It helps that he’s finally got a talented assistant in Varner of House Patracks (Right Forward).  Varner is a skilled dribbler that seems able to get a pass off into the middle of the field effectively, being able to predict where Boba and any other attacking player will be, (Varner and Boba already have a great chemistry together).   He’s got a strong leg too, but does have a bad tendency in trying to get too cute with his shots on goal sometimes, aiming right for the corners always and hitting the crossbars quite a bit.   Still, with a more balanced offense, Silagnak is looking good on that end of the field.   With five defenders, the Black and Blues are able to crowd and push around offenses and it’s really hard to break through the formation.   2nd year player Lenzlo of House Amburs, anchoring the squad as the Centerback, broke out big time and had an excellent first season, getting around him in particular is a task most strikers dread.   The Black and Blues’ highly physical play no doubt is a chore to deal with, and nobody epitomizes tough guy ball quite like Borky of House Silvor, the Right Wingback and former captain.   Known as one of, if not outright THE dirtiest players in the game, Borky has made a career out of pushing his luck on physical plays just enough to not get penalized by the referees, (though he’s been known to cause a flagrant foul outside of the penalty box to send a message to the other team).  He’s never been the most skilled player and is probably not quite in the right position for the 5-2-2-1 format, but his toughness makes him a fan favorite.   Silagnak’s weakness by far is the midfield game.   The formation already makes it tough for a team to dominate the midfield, but Silagnak’s wingbacks (which are often responsible for handling both the defense and the midfield) are rather one dimensional.   This means Silagnak could run into a risk of constantly losing the ball control game.  Still, with the tough defense and added offensive help, the Black and Blues have plenty enough talent to stay near the top of the standings.

Henix (Nickname: Firebirds) (Owner: Gal of House Zakariah) (Manger: Dobi of House Almen): Year 67 was an encouraging one for the expansion team from Henix, as they always seemed to keep up with the other teams.   Setting a league record for ties, they didn’t even truly threaten to contend last year, but the thought is that if the team’s aggressive offense can keep up the good work from last year, the team should have enough good fortune to turn some of those ties into wins.   The offense is led by the breakout star Striker, Ewick of House Poulser, who’s quickly turned into the cocky bad boy of the league with his constant trash talk (that he thankfully backs up by being a really good shooter).   New Left Wing forward Roh of House Quake is supposed to help the Firebirds by balancing the offense to not just be all Ewick and nothing else, but early reports are that he’s a bit timid for the forward position and might be more happy to just pass the ball when the pressure’s on rather than make any risky drives himself.   That will suit Ewick just fine, but the team manager Dobi really wants Roh to take part in shooting goals too.   Stay tuned to see how that plays out.    The middle of the field is still commanded by Center Midfielder Endru of House Adib, who is expected to continue to be the battery that drives the offense in drives.  The defense is still a concern for Henix, as other than Carlin of House Fandanno, there’s really no talent on that end of the field whatsoever.   Carlin is likely one of the league’s better defenders, as he’s so good at making intelligent challenges for the ball when he slides at other people, without him, the Firebirds would probably challenge for the league record of most goals allowed.    Dobi did a great job last year in keeping the upstart franchise competitive and happy with his laid back and buddy-buddy demeanor, but now that there’s expectations to improve, can he dig into his players to get the most out of his one dimension team?

Chalmblaank (Nickname: Knights) (Owner: Pyppan of House Steelow) (Manager: Deagu of House Sanchor): Chalmblaank looks to push Year 67 in the backs of their collective memories after a frustrating season of bad defense, underwhelming offense, and tons of drama.   At least there’s hope that the first issue could be improved.   Ricko of House Aerie is out as goalkeeper, as Deagu felt he was too short for the position and wanted to copy Jahnsel’s strategy from last season by inserting a taller goalie that could have an easier time diving at shots.    He found his goalkeeper, but at a shock to the entire city.   Matrick of House Cattlebottle is indeed a very tall man, at 6’4”, and he’s considered a solid athlete too.   The problem for the fans is that, unlike most of the other members of the team, Matrick doesn’t come from a family of nobility, in fact, the Cattlebottle family is considered about as low end as a family can get, with little money and even less influence within the kingdom.   The stuck up fans won’t like him, but as long as his teammates do, it won’t matter.   Hopefully they do, because Deagu actually added a 2nd lower classed citizen to the team just weeks before the season is to begin.   Arlo of House Pixsan was inserted into the defensive line to replace an injured player and will take on a Centerback position, in particular as a Sweeper, responsible for “sweeping” up any long balls that get behind the rest of the centerbacks and fullbacks and is the last line of defense protecting Matrick.   Arlo was seen running after a goat by the Knights’ arena.  Running very, very fast.  At 6’2”, he’s pretty tall too for such a fast guy, so Deagu decided to take a chance at him, figuring he could figure out how to play football as he went along.   At least the offense remains the same, as top Striker Sirge of House Einna returns, though his relationship with Deagu is going to be something to watch for, as their fights constituted approximately 100% of the drama in the team.   Sirge is just as cocky as ever, and still seems to believe he alone can solve all the team’s offense problems if they would just give him the darn ball.  It’s known by now that Deagu has owner Pyppan’s full confidence, with them being close friends.   However, if Chalmblaank has a year like the last, Deagu could find himself very squarely on the hot seat real quick, especially after ruffling some feathers by signing non nobles to the team.  

Hanuna (Nickname: Bluefins) (Owner: Cyboar of House Eliason) (Manager: Lellochatnim of House Gull): It was long expected, but Lellochatnim has finally retired as a player and moved onto a role as the manager of Hanuna.    It’s known that Hanuna has seen better days and the expectation is that he’s got some pressure to bring about some better results in a hurry, and he knows it.   Quickly deciding to update the team formation to a new 4-2-3-1 spread, he’s spent the entire offseason working 1 on 1 with individual players, deciding it would be far faster to tutor the players he already has instead of hoping to get lucky with prospects.   Early training camp rumors suggest this was a wise move, as several players on the team seem to be just better in general.   Alfenz of House Mohr, the Bluefin Striker that often has been seen as mediocre without a 2nd Striker to take pressure away from him, looks completely different.  It’s no secret that Lellochatnim spent a month with him alone to work on dribbling and passing mechanics.   Whatever went on behind the scenes is clearly working, as he’s looked far more confident and dangerous as striker.  It will help that previously unknown Osnardo of House Zahn, a Right Wing Forward, is also showing some promise after a Lellochatnim tutoring.   He’s been with the Bluefins since the beginning of the league, but until now hadn’t impressed anyone with his shoddy play.   Besides coming to camp in by far the best shape of his life, he’s looking much quicker than ever and has learned a thing or two about how to create offensive pressure on a defense while not being too impatient about trying to force feed Alfenz the ball.    In general, the attacking midfield game at Hanuna looks much more coordinated than before.  It appears that they will be pushing hard for a ball control approach with five people at midfield, passing to each other several times to open the field up before the two wingers suddenly attack the opposing end with Alfenz, the ball getting passed to one of them in the hopes that whoever gets the ball can make a quick shot at goal.    Garlen of House Richenaan has long been known as one of the best defensive players in all of Avornia, which some of the cleanest tackling the league has seen.   However, to everyone’s surprise, after working with him, Lellochatnim has changed his position from a Centerback to a Defensive Midfielder.   This means that in addition to being defensive minded, Garlen is now responsible for being a part of the five midfielder attack.   However, he’s smoothly adjusted to the role and his natural ball hunting aggression really seems to be working better for him in the midfield.   The Hanunan defense has long had to rely on Lellochatnim coaching them up, but they finally have someone who’s a good athlete back there.  Shend of House Illard, Left Centerback, is very quick to intercept passes and has enough sense to avoid stupid penalties in the Penalty Box.    Overall, there is some quiet optimism that this team is finally ready to step back up to the top of the standings after two years of underperforming.    They’d better be up for the task, otherwise, Lellochatnim might have a short reign as Manager, despite his reputation as a football strategical genius.  

Petorvale (Nickname: Hammers) (Owner: Benwah of House AIlian) (Manager: Hammen of House Tong): The story of Petorvale is a tale as old as time, the offense is usually good to great, the defense is usually terrible, and Hammen the Manager gets even fatter.   The ever popular coach of the Hammers is certainly not missing any meals, as he’s now over 300 pounds but just as boisterous as ever.   With mounting pressure from Benwah to improve the team, Hammen spent a lot of time trying to find new prospects to help the team when he came to a realization.    Instead of hoping that some plucky up and comers happen to apply to join the team, then also happen to immediately be good enough to make the squad, why not make up a team entirely of rookies that can learn together?   The big man liked the idea, and so, the invention of the Youth Academy was made.    While it won’t help Petorvale this season, in theory this will make turning rookies into seasoned pros ready for the big time much easier and could make the Hammers a team to watch in the near future, (of course, most of the other teams have already caught wind of this and have been scrambling to set up their own Youth Academies, so Petorvale will only have so much of a head start).   As for the players on the current team, Petorvale looks much the same, except for one major handicap.   Star Forward Svontal of House Dors, always a huge scoring threat, suffered a bad knee injury lifting an anvil.   He’ll get to play this season, but even after a mage did his best work to fix the knee with magical healing spells, it won’t be able to handle the demands of the football field for at least half the season.   The absence of Svontal is going to hurt, but at least Ceecil of House Ackerberry (Right Center Midfielder) returns and should provide some oomph to the attack.   Encouragingly, the defense finally appears to be improving somewhat.   While there will definitely be some pressure on the goalie, they’ll be helped by new Left Centerback/Sweeper Norty of House Peaweedle, who’s a natural ball hawk, (and apparently a legitimate hawk trainer too!) and has a strong leg that can accurate pass the ball quickly up the field.   Morses of House Knapper is gone as a goalie, which was no surprise.   However, this does mean that Petorvale will be starting its 4th different Goalie in as many years, which is rather stunning (and funny, considering that Hammen himself was a Goalkeeper in his brief playing days and still the only man to have started as Petorvalen goalie for more than one year).   Cooma of House Niccagua is one of the largest men to ever step foot on a football field, at an astonishing 6’8” tall and probably 250 pounds of weight.    He’s doesn’t quite have the most impressive reflexes for the position, but he’s certainly an intimidating sight to see charging towards a bouncing ball in front of you.   Hopefully, the curse of the Petorvale Goalie ends with Cooma, because if he’s the answer the Hammers have been waiting years for, and if the team can stay competitive despite the loss of Svontal, Petorvale could have a good season.

Dobo (Nickname: Claymen) (Owner: Jephard of House Obuis) (Player Captain: Wahwmah of House Taccew): After the year that Dobo had last season, it’s fair to question just how good the Claymen really are.   Are they as good as the team that stunningly won the League Championship in Year 66?  Or are they the team that’s routinely failed to impressed, having never finished above 7th place otherwise in its history?    Based on talent alone, there isn’t much to be impressed with, as Wahwmah (Left Centerback) is the only defender that’s considered to be an above average player (after his season ending injury, the rest of the defense played so badly that one really can’t say much about them).   Wahwmah’s brother, Nahnquan (Center Midfielder) has been a sore disappointment so far in his two years in the league.   He’s got clear athleticism and strength, but has never put it together in terms of dribbling, passing, and all the technical aspects of football.   The midfield, which is heavily relied on with Dobo’s ball control and heavy passing style, is otherwise not noteworthy.  The only other notable player is also a question mark.   Goalkeeper Tumac of House Sashtane has really only had one good season so far, (in Year 66), but has otherwise been a below average goalie for years now.  He’s aggressive at charging at a ball when it’s in the Penalty Box, but he’s sometimes too aggressive, which leads to easy shots if an attacker were to get to the ball before Tumac does.   The offense has never been a strength of Dobo’s, in the past, the Claymen have relied on the team being selfless enough to give all the forwards their shots at goal.   While a nice idea on paper, it’s not a threatening strategy when none of the forwards are all that good at what they do.   Meanwhile, there’s plenty of reasons to be concerned with team chemistry.  New owner Jephard has been openly pushing Wahwmah to change his training approach, noting that using Slap Wrestling Tournaments (which the Taccew brothers had been using to build up the team’s physical toughness) to determine who gets on the team really has nothing to do with football playing skills, (plus, it’s known that the local Dobotitus worshippers-remember that Jephard is a minister of that religion- have historically always turned their noses up to Slap Wrestling, considering it barbaric.   It’s possible this fact could be a core factor in Jephard’s disapproval).   For his part, Wahwmah has always been prideful and has refused to change anything, citing that the Slap Wrestling is more of a comradery building exercise that keeps everyone in the locker room close.   Once he knows who’s tough enough to play football, Wahwmah has relied on coaching up the players on all the technical skills needed.   It’s also known that Jephard will be watching this season’s results very closely.   If Dobo struggles again (and more likely than not, they will), he’ll be pushing for a total team rebuild, and that may start with the longtime captain.

Baelanholme (Nickname: Pirates) (Owner: Candor of House Blusal) (Manager: Danotto of House Fongo): After a decent first season where the Pirates played very competitively after a rocky start to the season, it’s going to be fun to see how they grow.   Staring off, although Shanto of House Sayloor did an admirable job as the player captain last year, Candor decided to hire a full time manager for this season (seeing as he’s probably the biggest reason why teams don’t have to use a roster spot for their manager anymore, that makes sense).   During the offseason, young Danotto, a backup midfielder that was often too injured to play any games, worked with several members of the team to work on their mechanics.   Knowing this, Candor choose to hire Danotto full time as the manager.   Danotto will be keeping Shanto’s 3-3-3-1 tactic since the team was already familiar with how to operate that strategy, saving him time to worry about tweaking the roster.   And tweak he will have to because Goalkeeper Lian of House Reddish surprisingly retired after just one season, having decided he didn’t really love playing football all that much.   Replacing him will be last year’s backup goalie, Traxton of House Blackharth.   He isn’t quite as good of an athlete as Lian was, but Traxton has solid leadership qualities, able to direct his defensive traffic to where they need to go.    He’s also a taller goalie, at 6’4”, so he fits the bill for what is now starting to become a mandatory trait for the position.  Assisting him on defense will be rookie Centerback, Tyfir of House Angelbacc.   Tyfir is another tall guy, 6’6”, and he’s got some height in his jumps.   He’ll be handy for headers on either side of the field and even better, he loves getting physical with strikers, being just smart enough to disrupt their attacks without committing too many fouls.   His presence will really help the Pirates out.  Shanto provided additional defensive support as a defensive minded Center Midfielder, but he’s worked hard on his passing and dribbling over the off season so he’ll be better on offense too.  The offense has been drawing a lot of excitement over the offseason.   Waen of House Harbage, a Striker, came off the bench halfway into the season last year and really took advantage of his newfound playing time.   With a full season to work with this year, the Pirates are expecting him to draw most of the attention on attacks, but that’s just what they want in order to utilize a newfound weapon.  Mehcka of House Bhasha is a rookie that shows a ton of promise as an attacker.   He's got a heck of a lot of power in his legs (and he’s left footed too, which could throw defenses off) and is already displaying a knack for knowing when to pass to Waen and when to take the shot himself.  If he lives up to his potential, Baelanholme’s offense might be scary good this year.    Most experts had figured out of the two expansion teams, that Baelanholme would take longer to become a contender as their roster last year wasn’t impressive.   However, with all the improvements the roster has already seen in just one year, the Pirates seem like they have leapfrogged Henix (and several other teams) in promise.

Leorux (Nickname: Elves) (Owner: Herrad of House Hoopmeister) (Manager: Herrad of House Hoopmeister): A team that had never finished any higher than 3rd from last, Leorux has been the most consistently bad team in the Avornian Football League, their status as a professional club being questioned routinely after an all time worst season in Year 67 where they only earned 13 points in the standings (a record low).   Change was needed and a lot of it.   New owner Herrad, a life long football fan, definitely understood that and has made quite a number of waves since he took over as the Elves’ owner.  To the chagrin of many fans, he’s keeping the Elves nickname, but to their joy, he’s not keeping the man who named the club.   Asa of House Waiselen, after years of mismanaging the roster, is off the team altogether, not even being kept as a player, (he’s not very good anymore anyway).   In an unusual move, Herrad himself will take on the responsibilies of being the manager.   The Avornian Football Committee wasn’t too thrilled to hear about this move, wanting him to stay focused on the business side of things, but they’ll allow it for one season, next year Leorux will have to employ a new manager or player captain.   Despite the large amount of work on his plate, Herrad has done rather well in developing players, and there is some hope that the defense (long a source of embarrassment for the team) is finally improving.   Two rookie Centerbacks, Kade of House Nush and Azaroth of House Belock, make their debuts this season.   Both are strong, tall kids, and both are quick to jump all over attackers.   They’ll need to work on situational awareness (both will likely cost Leorux a game or two with dumb penalties) but their athleticism and aggressive play are most welcomed in Leorux.    The midfield isn’t anything too special, but Herrad at least gives them an interesting positioning with a 4-3-3 formation that has the midfielders in a unique triangle formation.   It’ll give defenses a new look to worry about at least.   The offense still has Carles of House Yalmount as its Center Forward.   For years, poor Carles has had next to no help on offense, making it far too easy for defenses to hound him exclusively.    That will be alleviated somewhat this season.   3rd year player Hemly of House Raber has always been a great athlete in excellent conditioning, but former player captain Asa never developed him properly.   Herrad has figured out how to use Hemly’s athleticism in a great way, changing his position from a midfielder to a Right Wing Forward.   The 4-3-3 with Triangle Midfielders approach relies heavying on the Wing Forwards being able to run back and forth on the field, handling both offensive and defensive responsibilies.   Hemly’s history as a forward helped the learning curve a little, but what’s really improved was his shooting.   Part of the reason Asa had kept him as a midfielder was because Hemly didn’t have that great of accuracy with shooting at the goal.   Herrad spent plenty of time working on Hemly’s goal scoring game, knowing Carles needs another threat alongside him to really be effective.  The results could be promising.    Overall, Herrad had quite a busy offseason, but his hard work looks like it could pay off.    The Elves are certainly not expected to become a contender overnight, but for the first time ever, breaking out of the bottom three in the standings looks both possible and realistic.

Next: Year 68 Season

(Comments and Critiques always welcomed)

Last edited by Stickman (12/29/2022 11:30 am)

     Thread Starter

12/29/2022 10:37 am  #28

Re: Avornian Football League

Does this world have a magic base system where they can use portals?


12/29/2022 11:39 am  #29

Re: Avornian Football League

ZO82 wrote:

Does this world have a magic base system where they can use portals?

There is a way to travel quickly using a teleporting spell that only your local and friendly mage knows.  However, it's far from a perfect system, as only one person at a time can be teleported and there's no guarantee that they'll end up exactly where they're supposed to be.  It's possible to be teleported up to a mile away from your destination, which thankfully has only resulted in inconvenience so far, nobody's been teleported to their death or anything like that.   

Due to its unreliability, most football teams don't trust having their players sent by teleporting, preferring more traditional transportation like sailing and horse drawn carriages.  The only exception so far have been when a team has to travel very far to a game (such as from Hanuna or Baelanholme to Dobo or Anjocca for example).  

The only people who consistently use teleporting are messangers hired to quickly warp from city to city in order to announce football results to nearby fans.   This allows everyone to find out the results of an important game within hours of it ending.  

Hope you're enjoying the series!

Last edited by Stickman (12/29/2022 11:45 am)

     Thread Starter

12/29/2022 12:06 pm  #30

Re: Avornian Football League

Stickman wrote:

NeoPrankster wrote:

Has television arrived in Avornia yet?

You know, I hadn't ever thought about televisions or anything to be honest.  I'd say there won't be televisions ever, due to the fantasy setting that Avornia takes place in.   However, your question does give me an idea or two for how I could write in an similar way for fans to watch the games without actually being at the stadiums.  That innovation won't be for a little while, but thanks for the question!  Hope you're enjoying the story!

What you could do is use crystal balls as a hologram projector. Or use magic mirrors like the Shrek movies.


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