Alternate History Sports

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

1/01/2023 2:09 pm  #31

Re: Avornian Football League


Going into Year 68, expectations for who would win the League Championship varied. It was true that Jahnsel wasn’t likely to repeat as champions, but several other teams had kept things competitive last year.  Anjocca, Tomen, Silagnak all had high hopes.   Earch was getting older but were well coached.   Speaking of well coached, Hanuna and Petorvale were led by respected football minds, but had been underwhelming recently, could one of them make a push towards competing for the title?   And what of Henix and Baelanholme, the 2nd year teams?  They had both down well in their first season, one had to wonder where they would finish this year.  Meanwhile, on the other sides of things, the expectation was that teams like Leorux and Dobo, with histories of poor showings, would once again struggle and leave Avornian Football League fans wondering why they even have clubs at all.    Whatever the expectation was, the results of Year 68 were certainly held a few surprises for fans.

Jahnsel: After the brutal offseason Jahnsel went through, fans had no hope for a League Championship repeat and were expecting a bad season.   Just how bad would become evident very quickly, as the Jackrabbits would lose their first 4 games of the season and would suffer another 5-game losing streak midway into the year.    In fact, they would enjoy exactly one winning streak the entire season (a 2 game streak against Earch and Silagnak in Weeks 10 and 11).  The Jackrabbits did at least sweep the series against hated rival, Silagnak, there’s that.   Otherwise, next to nothing went right.  

The offense sorely missed Bili of House Yelbow and Jimm of House Tomacka, only being able to score 25 goals (the league low) a year after setting the Avornian Football League record for most goals ever scored in a season.    The 3-4-3 formation that player captain Derrec of House Smyt cooked up didn’t work near as well as he’d hoped it would.  It’s not like the defense had anything to be proud of either, allowing 36 goals (2nd worst in the league).  New Goalkeeper Tophar of House June performed horribly throughout the year, to the point that Derrec eventually decided to replace him by Week 15 with a better, (if much shorter) goalie.   Perhaps not surprisingly, this switch did seem to make a positive difference for Jahnsel, as from Weeks 17-22, they would earn 9 points (a 2-3-1 record).   However, by then, it was far too little, too late.  

To their credit, the Jahnsel football fans proved a loyal bunch, sticking with the team even as they struggled throughout the campaign.  Less so was their owner, Ryne of House Ewickson, who flat out never showed up to any games (an unheard of act, especially for home games) and it was clear that by the end of the season, he appeared to not give a care whatsoever for the team.  Jahnsel would finish with 20 points, in dead last place.   They are the first team to ever drop from 1st to Worst in a season, a feat nobody would have ever imagined possible, though it’s certainly understandable.   One can only hope things improve next season.

Dobo: The Claymen surprised everyone (perhaps including themselves) with a 3 game winning streak to start the season.   The offense was clicking, having already scored 7 goals in such a short timespan.   This was largely due to 2nd year Center Forward Axsan of House Sleigh emerging out of nowhere to become the first legitimate scoring threat in Dobo’s history.  Indeed, the team would score 28 goals which, while tied with 3 other teams for the 2nd least in the league, is actually a new Dobo record for most goals scored.   One would think that Axsan would easily have led the team in scoring, but one would be wrong.

In the Week 4 game against Chalmblaank, Axsan would break his leg on an ugly and awkward fall trying to head in a goal.   He would miss the rest of the season and his absence was felt immediately, as the Claymen lost 6 straight games, scoring a goal in only one of those contests.  They’d eventually righten the ship to play better but only enjoyed one more winning streak that season, a meaningless 2 game streak in Weeks 21 and 22.  One other big part of their seasonal woes was the defense, which was horrendous.  They allowed 40 goals, nearly setting an all-time mark. 

While Dobo did earn one more point this season compared to last, owner Jephard of House Obuis was not pleased whatsoever with the team’s performance, blaming the player captain, Wahwmah of House Taccew’s game management and lack of player development for the team’s struggles.  He might have had a point.   While Dobo have always played hard for their respected leader, it’s pretty clear that on top of being relatively untalented, they’ve struggled with situation awareness, making dumb errors throughout the year, costing them several games.   The Claymen also had a curious habit in Year 68 of playing up (or down) to their competition’s level.   They were strangely able to earn half of their total points (13 out 26) against the top four teams in the standings, yet several of the teams in the lower half of the standings swept them completely.   The lack of consistent mental discipline is clearly a problem and one has to wonder if Jephard is going to keep Wahwmah as the player captain going into Year 69, especially now that Dobo has finished in 11th place for two consecutive years.

Henix: The Firebirds were a disappointment in Year 68.    There had been plenty of optimism from the Henix fanbase that the team would improve upon its promising first season, where it had finished in 8th place and looked competitive for the most part, especially after setting the league record for ties with 9 of them.  They did avoid drawing so many games in Year 68, they’d only have two this time. Unfortunately, while the Firebirds did win a couple more games than they did last year, many of those ties got changed into losses, with 12 in Year 68, hence why they dropped to 10th place.

The biggest problem, as it was in Year 67, was a leaky defense that seemed overwhelmed in some games.   Left Centerback Carlin of House Fandanno was once again called on to basically perform the work of five men in the team’s 4-3-3 formation, or at least it felt that way with him having to dash all over the back half of the field to make up for his teammates’ blown coverages and other defensive miscues.  The 33 goals Henix allowed feels like it could have been even worse.    The offense sputtered a bit too.  The team’s Striker, Ewick of House Poulser, wasn’t really to blame here, as he had another good season, with 10 goals scored.   However, he didn’t get a lot of help on offense, which stifled his production.   Center Midfielder Endru of House Adib had a down season, not being quite on point with several of his passes to Ewick.   New Left Winger, Roh of House Quake was as seemingly timid as feared, trying to force passes to Ewick whenever the opposing defense put the slightest bit of pressure on him while driving.   Teams figured him out quickly and his predictable “scared” gameplay allowed crafty defenses to position themselves for easy steals that killed a frustratingly large amount of Firebird drives.   To his credit, Ewick kept patient with the young Roh, far moreso than anyone expected him to be, given his brash personality.   Perhaps knowing how skittish Roh is, Ewick acted as a kind of older brother to him, giving advice on what to do and not do in high pressure situation.   It didn’t help Henix win games, but his actions did Ewick’s reputation wonders, making him even more popular with fans than he already was.   He can clearly be a jerk to other teams with his highly physical, trash talking game, but at least he’s Henix’s jerk. 

Dobi of House Almen’s lack of playing experience was a talking point when he was first hired as the Manager of Henix.   While he’s a popular leader within the players, very friendly and buddy-buddy to them, it doesn’t appear that he’s been highly effective in leading the team to success.   There are some great talents on the team, but the depth is very lacking.   While they play hard, the Firebirds haven’t been the most disciplined team around, leading to costly errors.    Owner Gal of House Zakariah is a quiet man, so it’s not clear what he’s thinking about the team’s progress, but one has to imagine that Dobi’s seat is getting a little warmer.  Overall, Henix needs more help than just a few potential star players in order to rise in the standings.   Dobi’s job is to find that depth, it’ll be interesting to see if he can do that in Year 69.

Tomen: Expectations were high in Tomen, as the Rivermen were a team that had been improving year after year, with an effective Manager in Loeb of House Gammiz, and stellar players in Mishakl of House Floddergrove and the Sammsoon brothers, Argill and especially Cragnus.   After a fast start to the season (9 points in 4 weeks, just one point behind first place), Tomen would utterly disappoint their fans with some of the most inconsistent play ever seen in the Avornian Football League.  Outside of the early 3 game winning streak and two small 2 game losing streaks, Tomen somehow never got the same result in back to back games.  The disjointed results meant Tomen quickly fell out of contention and while they never looked overmatched, fans never knew what to expect out of the team that ultimately finished in 9th place.  It seemed that Loeb’s energetic managerial style just wasn’t working this time as some weeks, the team would play like world beaters, other weeks, teams like Henix and Dobo would outhustle them (Tomen got swept by both teams despite both being worse clubs).

The offense was fine, as Midfielder/Forward Cragnus had another great season, scoring 13 goals despite being targeted by defenses all year long.   His inspired play and magician’s touch with the ball definitely kept the team competitive throughout the year.  Center Midfielder Mishakl did a great job as a midfielder in directing traffic, and even scored several goals himself, knowing when to target Cragnus and when to take the ball to the goal himself.  The defense was not near as good, allowing a team high 32 goals.   Argill, the team’s Right Centerback, did his best to lead the defense well, but simply had a down year.   Having been so good last year at being just physical enough to disrupt offenses without committing penalties, Argill just didn’t have a lot of luck with the referees this season.   Plays that he got away with last season were getting called out this year and the results was a few too many penalty kicks given away.   It’s likely he’ll bounce back in Year 69, but this wasn’t his best showing at all.

Overall, the Rivermen didn’t play their best ball, but never got blown out of the water in games.  In fact, despite finishing with just 29 points in the standings, Tomen actually only had a -1 goal differential.  If that meant anything in the standings, they’d have finished in a tie for 5th place instead of 9th.   It really just feels like this team, though rather up and down in performance, was just a bit unlucky this year.   It’s still a lost season, but nobody expects Loeb to be in any sort of hot seat situation, his body of work has long earned him the benefit of the doubt.  But no doubt the team will need to play more consistently next season, if they do, they could bounce right back up in the standings.

Chalmblaank: If the Knights’s fan wanted the team to avoid drama and just focus on winning games, they were sorely let down.  The first half of the season will go down as one of the worst halves the team has ever experienced (other than the 2nd half collapse of Year 65 that cost them a League Championship).   With only 10 points in the standings, they were in last place, already realistically out of the running for the title (being 16 points down).  While Chalmblaank had been competitive, little things were costing them games.   An untimely penalty, a misdirected pass, being out of position, an ill-advised shot on goal with more open teammates nearby, not substituting when they should have been, just a bunch of small miscue was costing the team games.   However, the real problem was the non-stop drama between two people.   It was known that the team’s best forward, Sirge of House Einna, was a talented, but self-centered player that expected to be handed the ball at all times, believe he alone could win the day with his shooting.   However, Manager Deagu of House Sanchor had been trying (and failing) to get it through Sirge’s head that if he allowed himself to pass the pass to open teammates, it would help the team score more goals.   If defenses had more than one player to worry about defending, it’d open Sirge up to get more scoring opportunities for himself.   Somehow, it never crossed Sirge’s mind and he felt Deagu was just targeting him to use as an excuse for why the team was doing poorly when Deagu was failing the entire team by not coaching them up and mismanaging games.  The result was that the two men were constantly yelling at each other on the sidelines, causing a big distraction to the club.  

Before the Week 12 game, Alajandrus of House Capeburgh, the longtime Center Midfielder and most consistent player on the team finally had enough of it and held a closed-door team meeting.   Speaking on behalf of the entire team, Alajandrus laid down the law on both men, Deagu for always throwing the players under the bus when his mismanagement was just as responsible for the team’s losing, and Sirge, for being a self-centered pain in the butt that wouldn’t let any slight against him go.   With an entire squad against them, Deagu and Sirge were forced to admit both of their faults and agree to stop being a distraction to the team.   Perhaps not surprisingly, from that point onwards, Chalmblaank finally started to play much better, going 5-4-2 in the final 11 games to earn 19 points.   While clearly still well out of first place, Knights fans have to be encouraged by the team’s turnaround. 

Sirge would end the year with 12 goals and did do a bit better at passing the ball around more (at least by his standards).   Alajandrus would even get several goals in this season, leading to one of the more balanced attacks Chalmblaank has had so far.    The defense did struggle a bit though.   New Centerback Arlo of House Pixsan was clearly learning the job as he went along, which led to several moments of blown coverage that resulted in too many 1 on 1 shots on goal.   For his part, new Goalkeeper Matrick of House Cattlebottle did his best, but was exposed during the 1 on 1 situations as being too reactive in scoring drives.  Forwards often faked a shot, then simply dribbled up a little closer and shot at an empty goal after Matrick had flown off to the wrong end of the goal, completely fooled by the misdirection.   The Chalmblaank fans, full of wealthy elites, poured boos down on Arlo and Matrick, the only two non-nobles on the team.   To their credit, they handled to criticisms with class and never let it get to them.   That mental fortitude will definitely help their growth as players, so it’ll be interesting to see how next year plays out for them.   Overall, Chalmblaank definitely had another disappointing year, but the way the team (and its manager) improved in the 2nd half, along with the fact that they team ended up with a +3 goal differential (4th best in the league) are encouraging signs that things could get much better in Year 69.

Earch: All eyes (especially the owner’s Seesar of House Romi) were on Dennai of House Endear, the longtime star midfielder who had retired to become the new manager of the Earch Falcons Football Club.  It was known he was a stellar leader on the field, but could he direct from the sidelines?   For the most part, the answer was yes.   Dennai had done well in drilling the basics into the team and the Falcons played mostly mistake free football.   Dumb penalties were rare and the team was well educated on what responsibilities their positions entailed.   However, there was a reality that became crystal clear immediately.   Earch had been declining for years already as the team had gotten older and losing Dennai really hurt as the team as a whole just wasn’t as talented as it had been.   Though they played as well as they could, Year 68 was the worst season in Falcon history up to this point.   The 8 losses they suffered was a new team high (though to be fair, every other team has at some point lost more than 8 games, so on that metric, Earch’s worst ever season is still better than every other team’s worst year).   

Things weren’t helped on defense which saw both Hobbs of House Vinicius (Left Centerback) and Daivan of House Banswell (Right Fullback) miss significant time with injuries, Hobbs with a bad left ankle and Daivan with a relatively bad concussion.  Earch would allow 30 goals, easily the most that the proud franchise had ever given up on defense.   While the injuries can be partially blamed, the fact is that the team needs more depth on the roster on that end of the field.  The offense needs more help too, as Aili of House Fendeleeni (Center Forward), while highly talented and technical with his play, could use another threat on offense.   He only scored 9 goals due to the pressure defenses put on him.    At least the midfield game is mostly solid (very necessary in Earch’s 4-3-3 formation), as Dennai’s replacement at Center Midfield, Neuten of House Claybill did an admirable job in the position, displaying solid leadership and managing to do well at every aspect of the game.  It looks like Dennai picked his successor well, which bodes well for the future.

Earch is definitely on the decline, it appears that Dennai has stayed too loyal to his former teammates and kept the core of the team a year too long.   He’ll need to find and develop new talents for next year.   Neuten’s contributions are promising, but it’ll take much more than him to keep the Falcons competitive.   Seesar will be watching the team’s progress closely, he may understand that Dennai is a beloved figure within the community, but he expects Championships from the team.  

Anjocca: Expectations were sky high for the Sabercats coming into Year 68 and why wouldn’t they be?   Anjocca had finished in 2nd place each of the past two seasons, and with all of their core footballers returning, the reigning King’s Cup Champions seemed ready to finally win that elusive League Championship.   That’s why it was such a shock to see them near the bottom of the standings after 6 weeks, with just 4 points to their name.   It was true that the schedule had been considered a brutally tough start (games against other Year 67 contenders Earch, Silagnak, and Tomen all ended in losses and they’d only tied with Jahnsel), but by this point, Anjocca was already 10 points out of first place.   They’d never get closer than 7 points behind the entire season as the Sabercats were rarely in rhythm all year.   They’d enjoy two 3 game winning streaks, but by the end of the year, Anjocca had 10 losses, the most they’d ever suffered before.  

While the offense had another strong season, Tobyas of House Stonner leading the team with 11 goals and Shaggu of House Khaldrem assisting with 8 more of his own, the defense was a massive disappointment.   Dunne of House Werewilf, a defensively oriented Midfielder, had a tough time staying on the field this season, missing 8 games due to a variety of injuries.  Gailor of House Omakyt provided his usual heavy tackling and physical approach to defense, though it seems referees are starting to watch him more closely, as he got penalized more often and was even ejected from 3 games due to careless tackles causing injuries.   With their absences, opposing teams were getting more shots off on goal.  Xaxi of House Pentuna had long been a steady Goalkeeper, but there’s no doubt this was by far his worst season as a professional, allowing 33 goals.   Perhaps unfairly, him only having one eye will always lead to skeptics wondering if he’s lost his touch anytime he has a bad year.   He’s unlikely to retire at this time though, considering he’d been great each of the last two seasons. 

Owner Connavonn of House Duvaloi was extremely upset with the team’s underperformance.  It’s widely known that the team’s manager, Tan of House Browse, is now squarely on the hot seat.    Anjocca’s two consecutive 2nd place finishes before Year 68 are probably the only thing that allowed him to keep his job, and one would have hated to have been in his shoes throughout the season, knowing he had a very competitive and angry owner yelling at him after every loss.   Connavonn is very likely the most demanding owner in the league and he expects Year 69 to show massive improvements.   The Sabercats do have a solid core of players, so it seems possible that they could finally win that League Championship soon, but this really feels like a missed opportunity for the team.    A similar result next year could result in some overhauling to the coaching and to the club itself.

Petorvale:  Petorvale’s hopes at a championship had taken a blow before the season had started when their star Right Forward, Svontal of House Dors, suffered a serious knee injury.   The hope was for Petorvale to thread water until his eventually return, whever that would be.  However, Svontal wouldn’t be back until Week 13 and didn’t play full time until Week 16, so his 6 goals scored was easily the least he'd have ever obtained before.   Ceecil of House Ackerberry, the Right Center Midfielder in Petorvale’s 4-4-2 formation, tried his best to provide a spark on offense, but it was clear that the Hammers needed their star player back.   The defense surprisingly had performed decently, which for the Hammers was pleasant to see.   In what was the Avornian Football League’s highest scoring season to date, Petorvale only ended up allowing 29 goals, good for 4th best in the league.   Credit has to be given to Norty of House Peaweedle and Cooma of House Niccagua, the Left Centerback and Goalkeeper, respectively.   Norty did a wonderful job keeping the penalty area clear of stray footballs, having some success either launching the ball far enough away to allow Petorvale’s defense a reset or even finding an open midfielder to pass to in order to start a new drive.    Cooma’s large frame did leave him a little slower than one would hope a goalkeeper would be, but he’s proven to had good gut instincts on where an opponent will kick towards the goal. 

By Week 12, Petorvale had just 12 points, a full 17 points out of first place.   Any hopes of a title seemed beyond hopeless.   However, that week, the Hammers hit a remarkable hot streak, as from that week till Week 20, they earned an impressive 22 points (a 7-1-1 mark) just as the first place team started to suffer a lackluster run of their own.    Entering Week 21, Petorvale had managed to shave that lead to just 2 points going into a matchup with hated Chalmblaank.   What a story it would be in the Hammers could pull this comeback out!    Unfortunately, their run ended there, as Chalmblaank would crush them in what likely will go down as one of the most painful losses in Petorvalen history, a 4-0 butt whooping that had Chalmblaankian fans literally laughing out loud.   The embarrassing loss, plus the fact that the team in 1st won their game, meant Petorvale was officially eliminated.   Another bad loss to Earch in Week 22 soured things moreso, but the mere fact that Petorvale even came within 2 points of a League Championship after being down 17 points halfway into the year is a noteworthy story in its own right and one the team should be proud of. 

Manager Hammen of House Tong had definitely been feeling some heat going into the season from Owner Benwah of House Ailian.  After the year Petorvale had, especially in the 2nd half of the season, that hot seat has cooled somewhat, especially with their 5th place finish being the best Petorvale has had in 4 years.   Now that the Hammers finally have developed some defense, and with a still in their prime core of offensive players, (not to mention the Youth Academy that Hammen started before the season), there’s some real optimism in Petorvale.   If the team can keep up the form they displayed during that 9 week stretch and do that all year long, the Hammers have a chance to contend for sure.  

Leorux: If someone had left the country for a full year after Year 67, then returned in time to read a paper on what the Year 68 standings resulted in, they might be forgiven for wondering if the results were printed upside down.   Jahnsel, Tomen, Earch, and Anjocca, after the 4 horse race they were in last season, now all in the bottom 7 of the league?  Meanwhile… Leorux near the top of the standings…, wait, LEORUX?!   Yes, the Elves, a club that had never before finished above the bottom three places in the standings, would find themselves finishing in 4th place with 35 points (more than the previous two season combined!) and even that didn’t tell the full tale.   For this season truly was a magical one for the oft ridiculed club.  While many clubs fell far behind 1st place early on, Leorux seemed to be the one club that could keep up with them, never falling further than 7 points behind.   At multiple points in time, they were even within just one point behind, including by Week 21.    Sadly, they must have used up all the magic that the Elves had, as they would lose to 11th place Dobo to get eliminated.   A loss to Tomen the following week knocked the team down to 4th place, somewhat deflating the accomplishment.  But for Leorux fans, they’ll always remember this as the year where the Elves finally earned respect within the league as they kept pace with the League Champions and at points of time, they could even realistically dream of becoming the champions themselves.

How did they do it?  It started with Carles of House Yalmount finally having the sort of season Elves fans knew he was always capable of.   With Hemly of House Raber proving himself to be a real nuisance to defenses, Carles was finally able to get some occasional breathing room on attacks, which allowed him to score his personal best 14 goals, near the league lead.  He also developed something of a knack for scoring late in tied games to allow Leorux to squeak by a tough opponent.  While the defense was far from stellar, the additions of Centerbacks Kade of House Nush and Azaroth of House Belock definitely helped the defensive unit keep games competitive just long enough for Carles to pull out a game winner.   With all the improvement the team made, one absolutely must give the team’s Owner and Manager, Herrad of House Hoopmeister tons of credit for turning the culture of his team around.   It was known that he was a big football fan when he purchased the Elves, but his knowledge of the game, his ability to gameplan, and his eye for young talent were far more impressive than anyone would have guessed.    Unfortunately, he won’t be allowed to manage the team after this season, the Avornian Football Committee insisting that he stick to the business end of things as the owner, but for one incredible year, he got to live his dream and lead Leorux to the most success they’ve ever had. 

Critics will be quick to point out that for as uplifting a story as Leorux’s season was, they were an awfully lucky team to have stuck around at the top of the standings for as long as they did.  For example, a controversy popped up in not one, but both of the Leorux vs Earch matchups where key passes late in the game from Earch went straight to Leorux players (the Earch players complaining that both teams wearing red shirts was unfair).  In addition, having several of the top contenders have underwhelming seasons at the same time, plus the fact that Leorux didn’t really have that strong of either an offense or defense as a whole, meant that there are questions as to how sustainable their plan of keeping things close long enough for Carles to win them games in the last minutes really is.   They may have a point, as Leorux ended the year with a -3 goal differential, (they got clobbered more than a couple of times).   In truth, they were an improving club that was expected to at best finish something like 8th place, (and if goal difference meant anything in the standings, that’s exactly where the Elves would have finished) not 4th and contending for most of the year.   The experts are predicting that the team has a falling back to the ground moment next year, but for this one year, Leorux soared high in the skies creating memories their fans will not soon forget.

Silagnak: As with several other teams that had competed for the Year 67 League Championship, Silagnak had high hopes.   The key would be to keep consistent and not experience another drop off in their peaks and valleys heavy history.   Which is why it’s somewhat funny, when all of the other contenders from last year experienced major disappointments, of course Silagnak would be the only one of them that had another solid season.  While they never got closer to first place than 4 points after Week 4, the Black and Blues kept paced with the leaders, always there to provide them something to think about.   While Silagnak generally did business well, usually beating the teams they were supposed to and earning some points against the really good teams, they’re going to strongly regret their performances against Jahnsel (a rival that hated them a whole lot more than Silagnak hates them) and Leorux (the plucky underdogs who didn’t have near the talent Silagnak had).   Going 0-4 in those games can be blamed for Silagnak’s failure to win the League Championship, their 2nd loss to Leorux in Week 20 all but officially eliminating them (they’d officially be knocked out in Week 21 despite beating Tomen).   Nonetheless, for once, the Black and Blues had a 2nd straight good year, and that’s something to be happy about, though the team will wish they’d have finished business properly against Jahnsel and Leorux.

Striker Boba of House Coldsteek had yet another great season, scoring 13 goals.   While that’s a drop off from last year, that’s only because Right Forward Varner of House Patracks provided some much needed assistance on offense, scoring 10 goals himself.   He did have a bad little habit of trying to get too cute with some of his shots, banging the crossbars more than a couple of times, which was really irritating in those close games that Silagnak tied or lost.   Nonetheless, the offense was great in Year 68.   The defense once again was solid, offenses have struggled to get around the five in the Black and Blues 5-2-2-1 format.  With Lenzlo of House Amburs (Middle Centerback) proving that his remarkable rookie year last season was no fluke, and Borky of House Silvor providing plenty of pain of misery to offenses (including a couple of nasty little trips that juuuust avoided the referee’s eye for a foul), Silagnak only allowed 24 goals the whole year, 2nd best in Avornia.  

On a team that’s full of big (and sometimes controversial, given Borky and the team’s owner, the totally not a crimelord Shonnie of House Bochwiller) personalities, it’s easy to forget about the Manager, Mendo of House Tydent.   But the quiet little old man is as crafty as he seems unassuming (with his slightly stooped back and bald, wrinkled head, one would assume he was a scholar of some noble household, not the football manager in the most dangerous city in Avornia) and credit must be given to him for leading the Black and Blues to consistently good play.   He’s never led the team to a Championship, either League or Cup, before, but it feels like it could be a matter of time before that happen, especially with everything clicking as well as it is in the rough and tough city of Silagnak. 

Baelanholme: There have been League Champions that started a season slowly before catching fire to win the title at the end of the season when a fast starting team faltered towards the end.   Baelanholme certainly would have fit the bill for such a team in most seasons, having only earned 4 points in the first six weeks.   However, as the Pirates found out the hard way, those early games make a difference in the standings too, as Baelanholmes slow start absolutely cost them the League Championship.   They couldn’t have known that at the start of the season though, as after a month and a half of play, they were just hoping to avoid the cellar in the standings.   Staring in Week 7, the Pirates definitely hit their groove, with a 10-1-2 record in the next 13 games (the only losses being to rivals Hanuna and Silagnak, that had to sting a bit!) to earn an impressive 31 points and get them within just 1 point of a struggling Hanuna squad that certainly was feeling the pressure of several teams catching up to them and a league filled history of 2nd half collapses that they didn’t wish to add to.   With 3 games to go, Baelanholme and Hanuna had a surprisingly similar schedule left.   Both had games against Anjocca and Henix, but Hanuna would get Dobo for their final game whereas Baelanholme had to deal with a near equally hot Petorvale club.   Completing the task of catching the Bluefins wouldn’t be easy.   And indeed it would end in failure, as Baelanholme would lose back to back heartbreakers to Petorvale and Anjocca to get eliminated in Week 21.   The final victory over Henix was bittersweet, at least they once again got the better of their Year 67 expansion friends but the win put Baelanholme one point behind Hanuna, making the results look a bit closer than they really were.  The slow start, plus the fact that the Pirates lost both meetings against the Bluefins, put the pai(g)n in their campaign as they’ll be left to rue the missed opportunity to stun the league to become champions in just their 2nd season in the Avornian Football League (oh, how they would have LOVED to have rubbed that title in King Mikelangel III’s face, it was known by now that he hadn’t been pleased to find out Baelanholme had gotten a team in his beloved league). 

As for the players involved, there was plenty to be encouraged with.  The offensive combination of Waen of House Harbage (Striker) and Mehcka of House Bhasha (Center Forward) put plenty of fear in the eyes of defenses, leading the Pirates to 35 goals scored, which would have lead the league in most years.  Mehcka’s probably already the more dangerous striker despite Waen holding that position, but he's been just fine with causing mayhem before getting the ball to Waen for an easy shot.   The defense played strongly too.  Shanto of House Sayloor played solidly, keeping the ball well in control to avoid there being too much pressure on the rest of the defense.  Tyfir of House Angelbacc (Centerback) had a great rookie season and it looks like he’ll anchor the defense for years to come.  New Goalkeeper Traxton of House Blackharth struggled at first, a leading contributor to the Pirates’ slow start, but he did improve a bit as the year went along.   Still, he’d better be grateful for Tyfir, Shanto, and the rest of the defense as their hard work definitely made him look better than he probably was, (though his eye for positioning helped him lead the defense into the right positions when needed).   Only allowing 27 goals was a nice little accomplishment for Baelanholme, it seems that building their team around defense moreso than Henix did was the right decision that allowed them to improve quickly as a club.

Overall, losing the League Championship by a single point (to Hanuna no less) hurts, but one has to be impressed by the team’s rapid growth.  New manager Danotto of House Fongo did an excellent job this year building up the young roster and if he can repeat the team’s progress next season, he’ll become one of the most highly respected managers in Avornian football in no time.   If that progress happens, there’s every chance that Baelanholme could win their first ever championship.

Hanuna: Going into the season, it was believed that the Bluefins were looking much better than they had after the last two seasons of underperforming.   But nobody expected Hanuna to burst out of the scene the way they did in Year 68.  Avoiding defeat for the first 8 games, (including a Week 1 win over Baelanholme that ended up making a big difference in the final standings) Hanuna jumped right up to the top of the standings.   After twelve weeks, they had 29 points, for a 9-2-1 record.  They had a solid 7 point lead over Leorux for 1st place in the standings and seemed near invincible.   However… Avornian Football fans had seen this story before with Chalmblaank famously dropping a 10 point lead in Year 65 and Anjocca blowing their own 7 point lead just last year in 67.  They waited to see how long it’d take for the Bluefins to blow it, especially knowing that they did not have a recent history of dominating the league.   After only earning 5 points in the next 4 weeks, Hanuna still looked fine enough.   However, during a Week 16 victory over Leorux, Alfenz of House Mohr (Striker) injured his ankle on a bad fall and would miss most of the rest of the season.  With their biggest offense threat sidelined, Hanuna faded, their lead falling to just one point by Week 21.  Luckily the Bluefins got a good outing against Henix, winning 4-1 and with the right teams losing, had clinched their first ever championship!  It would be the only win they’d get in the final 6 games (though at least Alfenz came back for Week 22 in a loss to rival Dobo). 

Alfenz, before his injury, had a career year, the tutoring that Lellochatnim of House Gull (Manager) had given him throughout the offseason clearly making a gigantic difference in his play, as he scored 15 goals before the injury, tying the all time mark.   His greatly improved passing was important too, utilizing his wing forwards more, in particular Osnardo of House Zahn.   There’s no awards given to players, but if there had been a Comeback Player of the Year award, Osnardo easily would have won it, becoming an expert on creating space with his dribbling and quick movements, opening passing and shooting lanes that he used to full effect.  Garlen of House Richenaan had changed positions to become a defensive minded midfielder and the move paid off.  He still dominated the defensive side of the game with his elite tackling and pass interceptions, but also displayed a rather nice hidden ability to assist the other midfielders in driving the football on offense, his passing game of particular note.  Least anyone think the Bluefin defense was exposed now that Garlen had move up in position, Shend of House Illard (Left Centerback) proved a major nuisance on defense, knocking offenses around with physical play.   Overall, Hanuna led the league on both offense (38 goals scored) and defense (21 goals allowed) for an impressive +17 Differential (2nd all time in Avornian Football history). 

There definitely had been some pressure on Lellochatnim to improve the team, as he carried a big reputation as an excellent coach and football strategist.   Now that he was solely responsible for coaching, it was put up or shut up time.   One would think he put up just fine this season, leading the Bluefins to a pleasantly unexpected League Championship and in the process becoming the first full time manager to win a championship (up to this point, every League Champion was led by a player captain).  There was definitely some drama towards the end of the season, but Hanuna is surprisingly the first League Champion to have essentially led in the standings for the entire season, never spending a day outside of at least a 1st place tie, every other champion having to come back from behind in some way.  This excellent showing is a great moment in Hanuna and now they hopefully can avoid a championship hangover that the last two champions suffered.

Next: Year 68 King’s Cup and Year 69 Offseason Report

Last edited by Stickman (1/02/2023 9:38 am)


1/05/2023 5:30 pm  #32

Re: Avornian Football League

Year 68 King’s Cup

6. Anjocca over 12. Jahnsel 2-1
7. Earch over 11. Dobo 2-2 (4-2 Penalties)
5. Petorvale over 9. Tomen 4-3 (after extra time/a.e.t)
8. Chalmblaank over 10. Henix 2-2 (5-4 Penalties)

4. Leorux over 8. Chalmblaank 1-0 (a.e.t.)
1. Hanuna over 7. Earch 3-0
3. Silagnak over 6. Anjocca 2-1
2. Baelanholme over 5. Petorvale 2-0

2. Baelanholme over 4. Leorux 4-2
1. Hanuna over 3. Silagnak 1-0 (a.e.t.)

1. Hanuna over 2. Baelanholme 5-1

Going into the Year 68 King’s Cup, Hanuna had surprisingly never won a single game in any of the tournaments, nor had Baelanholme (though to be fair, this was only the 2nd King’s Cup for the Pirates compared to it being the Bluefins’ 5th).   So perhaps it’s fitting that the two rivals would only go on to earn a date in the finals together, especially after a tough season where they finished in the top 2 in the standings.  In what disappointedly turned out to be a clunker of a game, Hanuna would crush Baelanholme 5-1, in a game where Pirates’ Traxton of House Blackharth (Goalkeeper) would seem to have a mental breakdown midway into a rough game.   He had passionately wanted to win this game, to get one on Hanuna, so to lose so thoroughly was devastating to him.   For the Bluefins, this victory is the final touch in an excellent season where they won both the League and the King’s Cup in the same year (only the 2nd time that has happened).  Of course, the added benefit of earning a gold coin was icing on the cake.  The gold coin is worth 1,000 papers in currency, this means each player earns about 55 papers.   Considering the league average yearly paper is about 65 papers, this means winning the King’s Cup earned Hanuna almost double the pay for the season, they’ll no doubt be best pleased with that haul!

Their only tough game ended up being in the Semifinals against Silagnak, a thriller of a game that went to extra time and if not for a late goal in the 120th minute, would have went to Penalties.  Leorux’s magical year continued just long enough to squeak past Chalmblaank in extra time, but Baelanholme would put paid to any hopes of a surprise King’s Cup.   Still, this was the first time they’d ever made a Semifinals appearance in a cup, so that’s was another nice moment for the team.  Overall, this was a fairly predictable tournament in the respect that every single match was won by the higher seeded team, which was slightly disappointing for fans.  

Year 69 Offseason

Rules wise, not much has changed in the Avornian Football League.   The only big adjustment was on substitutions.   Up to this point, substitutions were only allowed if players got injured.   However, it’s been decided now to allow teams to switch out one player a game for reasons of exhaustion, ineffective play, or whatever else the reason may be.   Injury replacements don’t count towards that limit, to avoid a weird case of a team not being able to replace an injured athlete just because they already used a substitution.   This will allow managers to be more strategic with their rosters and give the benchwarmers more hope to get into games.  This will be especially useful in blowout situations where a manager just wants to try out a prospect with little risk of them impacting the game too much.

Hammen of House Tong’s idea of creating a youth academy for Petorvale quickly caught fire, as every single team has organized squads for younger athletes that have promise, but aren’t quite good enough to make the team just yet.    It’s been decided that games between these youth squads will take place throughout the year to aid managers in deciding who’s ready for the big time and when.   There are no rules stipulating how many youths can “graduate” into their professional squad, in theory a team could be entirely remade throughout the year, though that’s highly unlikely.   In any case, every club is excited to see how this plays out, the hope is that this program will help teams continuously churn out future stars to ensure the future of football is as great as it is now, maybe even better!

Every team in the Avornian Football League has an official home, as all the teams have completed stadiums, which no dobut is a huge relief for the Avornian Football Committee.

In a bit of sad news, Henix’s Owner, Gal of House Zakariah, passed away at the age of 52 due to a sudden illness.   Luckily, Gal had a son that can take over operations for the team.  Caltan of House Zakariah is like his father, a rather quiet man in person.   However, while Gal was a patient man, more interested in running the business side of things, Caltan is a competitive guy that wants Henix to turn things around, and quickly.   That may spell bad news for their manager, Dobi of House Almen, who was already believed to be on the hot seat after a disappointing Year 68.   If Caltan is who he’s thought to be, he might be a bit quicker to pull the trigger to fire Dobi and move on to a new manager.

Finally, some huge news.  After years of battling it out amongst each other, the Avornian Football League and the Federation of Avornian Football have begun talks to merge the two leagues into one organization!  The Avornian Football Committee, desperate to put an end to the war between the leagues after seeing the upstart league start to have more success signing big name players (as poor Jahnsel can attest) decided that the best way to be rid of the Federation was to agree to join forces with them.   For their part, the merger talks seem to be coming at a good time for the Federation, as their financial situation seems to be worse than expected.   With teams being placed in too small of villages and playing more money than they could afford to, little did anyone know that the Federation was about to cut ties with even more team.   They had 18 for Year 68, but another 3 more were about to fold and many of the remaining clubs were in worse shape than originally believed.   With 15 teams left and no idea how much longer many of them would survive, the Federation decided to quickly accept the League’s terms.   The question is, how will such a merger work?   Avornian Football League Commissioner Ravael of House Banswell is known to not be too keen on the idea of suddenly adding a bunch of teams and expanding the schedule too much, believing that would overwhelm fans.   It’s believed he has suggested a two division format, one for Avornian Football League teams and one for Federation of Avornian Football team.   The Federation, led by their Commissioner, Yoel of House Ramaloon, is believed to be against the idea, worrying that the League would simply treat the Federation teams as a 2nd rate group, casting it aside the first chance they got.    Thus, with the season nearly at hand, the two sides have much to work out before any merger talk is finalized.

Next: Year 69 Team by Team Previews

Last edited by Stickman (1/05/2023 5:32 pm)

     Thread Starter

1/06/2023 9:52 pm  #33

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League Year 69 Team By Team Previews

Silagnak (Black and Blues) (Owner: Shonnie of House Bochwiller) (Manager: Mendo of House Tydent) (Formation: 5-2-2-1): After another good season in Year 68 (3rd Place in the League Standings and a Semifinals Appearance in the King’s Cup), expectations are raising every year.   Mendo has done well at turning the Black and Blues into a consistent threat, but has still yet to lead the team to any championship victories.   Shonnie isn’t exactly putting him on the hot seat, of course, but has been very vocal about expecting a championship, preferably two of them in Year 69.  With the club that Silagnak has, that’s not an unreasonable expectation.

Boba of House Coldsteek (Striker) is still one of the most dangerous strikers in all of Avornia, and it’s likely he’s only just now getting into his prime, (a scary thought for defenders everywhere).   With Varner of House Patracks (Right Forward), entering his 2nd season as a professional, also being a scoring threat, the offense is going to be set to once again be a massive threat.  

The defense is as strong as ever, Silagnak’s 5-2-2-1 formation has been a tough nut for opponents to crack.  With Lenzlo of House Amburs (Middle Centerback) leading the charge, getting past this defensive squad is a difficult task indeed.  Lenzlo, already a very fast and athletic guy, seems to have gotten even quicker during the offseason.   That’s good because it’s looking like he might have to pick up some slack.   Borky of House Silvor, a long time physical nuisance (and self admitted dirty player) looks like he’s getting close to retiring soon.   He’s never been a technical player nor a very athletic one, but Borky clearly seems to be a step or two slower and looking a little frailer now.   If this isn’t his final season, the next likely will be.   Luckily, the Black and Blues have a prospect in their Youth Academy that could be ready at any time to step up to replace Borky.  Wels of House Portler also specializes as a Wingback, (part of the 5 in the formation but positioned a bit closer to the midfield) and while about as dirty of a player as Borky, is a bit more athletic and seems to be pretty competent as a dribbler and passer.   His tackling needs some seasoning, which is why he’s projected to stay in the Youth Academy for now.  

Overall, Silagnak has plenty to be excited about this year, there’s a good chance that this is their best team yet.   A championship (or even both the League and Cup championships) is well within reach for this team!

Baelanholme (Pirates) (Owner: Candor of House Blusal) (Manager: Danotto of House Fongo) (Formation: 3-3-3-1):  Baelanholme had been a major surprise team last year, having jumped up the League Standings from 9th place in Year 67 to 2nd in Year 68, not to mention their appearance in the King’s Cup final.  Danotto has gotten a ton of praise for his work on improving his squad as quickly as he did.   Now the question is, can he keep growing the squad to take that next step towards a title? 

The offense should still be great, as the combination of Waen of House Harbage (Striker) and Mehcka of House Bhasha (Center Forward) was highly effective last season.  There is a legitimate concern with Waen though.   Despite this only being his 3rd season as a professional, it’s worth noting that he’s already in his mid-30s, and early reports from training camp are saying he’s looking a bit sluggish.    With Mehcka being such a high level passer, Waen should still get his opportunities, but Mehcka may have to carry him a bit more if the striker is regressing.   Mehcka himself could easily handle the striker duties if need be, but the Pirates really love that he can be a major threat to either score or assist on scoring drives, being a pure striker might make the team’s offense a bit more one dimensional. 

The defense brings back mostly the same group of players, led by Shanto of House Sayloor (Defensive Center Midfielder) and Tyfir of House Angelbacc (Centerback/Stopper).  Tyfir in particular looked highly promising as a rookie last year, his large 6’6” frame caused a lot of mayhap on offensive cross passes and he even scored a couple of goals on corner kick headers.   His expected growth is sure to make him one of football’s most difficult defenders to get the ball past.   Returning as Goalkeeper is Traxton of House Blackharth, but he’s had a worryingly awful training camp.  He appeared to take last year’s King’s Cup loss in the finals rather hard, especially after giving up 5 goals against rival Hanuna, and it doesn’t seem like he’s shaken that memory from his mind, a real problem as goalies need short memories to get over bad play.  With Danotto as his manager, there’s still hope things can be turned around in time for the season, or at least, Baelanholme better hope that’s the case, as they have no good backup options should he struggle.

There are a couple of big question marks for the Pirates, but fans are pretty optimistic that with the star talent on the team, plus an exciting young manager, the team will be contending again this year.

Leorux (Elves) (Owner: Herrad of House Hoopmeister) (Manager: Eddark of House Hoopmeister) (Formation: 4-4-2): At the request/demands from the Avornian Football Committee, Herrad did relinquish his title as the team’s manager in order to focus on strictly being their owner.   However, he’s keeping things in the family by hiring his younger brother (and fellow football fanatic), Eddark to replace him.   Eddark is indeed a passionate football fan, having had many an argument with Herrad over football matters.  His first action as manager was to eliminate Herrad’s 4-3-3 formation with the triangular midfielder and adopted a 4-4-2 strategy, wanting to be a little more defensively sound (he’s well aware of the critics saying Leorux’s defense made their 4th place finish in the League Standings a bit lucky).  

The offensive should still be just fine, as Carles of House Yalmount (changing into a Right Forward from Center Forward) is still likely to be the biggest threat to score goals.   Meanwhile, Eddark spent some time with veteran player Joezas of House Nook (Left Forward) to work on his skills, so that he can compliment Carles more as another offensive threat.   Joezas is a good passer, but his shooting had always been poor for a forward, it’s hoped that the work Eddark put into him will result in more goals from Joezas, which would mean less pressure would be put on Carles to play hero at the end of every game (far too many games relied on Carles scoring late in the contests, so this does seem like a good idea in theory).   Assisting as a pure midfielder now is Hemly of House Raber (Right Midfielder).   After a career year thanks to Herrad’s coaching, Hemly has turned into a reliable two way player, able to assist well on offense, while also helping cover the defense too.  His fitness and athleticism seem a perfect fit for Eddark’s new counter heavy attack plan.   

The defense is still led by 2nd year players Kade of House Nush and Azaroth of House Belock (both Centerbacks).  They had their learning bumps last year, committing a few too many penalties for any manager’s liking, but they are big athletic kids that are highly aggressive defenders.   As time goes on, Kade seems to be evolving more as a player, showing markedly improved football IQ and positioning himself better for easily breaking up offensive drives, but Azaroth is no slouch either.   Overall though, it’s not likely that defense will be the Elves’ strength once again.

Last season’s darlings will definitely not catch anyone off guard this year, as teams are more aware of what their strengths and, more importantly, what their weaknesses are.   Eddark’s going to have to coach the team well to avoid the drop off in the standings that most experts are predicting will happen.

Earch Falcons Football Club, AKA Earch FFC (Falcons) (Owner: Seesar of House Romi) (Manager: Dennai of House Endear) (Formation: 4-3-3): There’s some building pressure on Dennai to get the Falcons back up in the standings after a disappointing 7th place finish, their worst ever season up to this point.  Seesar is really nagging Dennai hard about his roster selections, which to this point has exclusively consisted of Earchian noblemen.   Seesar wants to look past just the high class people of Earch, noting that the Federation of Avornian Football’s Earch team have a much bigger talent pool of people to choose good players from, but Dennai has resisted this so far, being loyal to his fellow classmen.   Perhaps he should have listened, as the Falcons look really thin on talent this year, there just aren’t enough young talents among the nobles to make up for the roster turnover due to retirements.  

Earch’s offense looks about the same as last year, with Aili of House Fendeleeni (Center Forward) being by far the biggest (and maybe only) threat to score.   Dennai did find a young guy in Rhanthony of House Vivilyn to play as Left Forward in an effort to give Aili some help, but early reports are that Rhanthony is just not ready for the big league yet, and would have benefitted greatly with a year in Earch’s Youth Academy (which has hardly any good prospects at all).   

The defense, long a strong suit of Earch’s, looks weaker than ever too.   Hobbs of House Vinicius (Left Centerback) should be a force to be reconned with, but his partner Daivan of House Banswell (Right Fullback) still seems to be struggling with getting back to his former level of play.   Daivan had suffered a fairly bad concussion during Year 68 and still doesn’t seem to be fully recovered, the effects of that injury have lingered a worryingly long time.  He probably shouldn’t be playing right now, but Dennai was desperate to get all his starters back on the field.   At least Neuten of House Claybill (Center Midfielder) looks like he’s made some improvements to his defensive play, (not that he was bad to begin with) showing solid tackling and better positioning to steal passes. 

The newly named Earch Falcons Football Club (knowing a merger could come soon that would include another Earch based club, Seesar wanted to give the team a bold and proud name to differentiate the teams) is in some trouble.  There’s a couple of very good players on the team, but the lack of depth is highly distressing.  Dennai has struggled with finding the next generation of star players for years now and it’s caught up with the team.  While this is Earch we’re talking around, a team that’s never finished lower than 7th place in the League Standings and the team with the most championships in Avornian Football (3, with two League titles and 1 King’s Cup), objectively one would have to imagine that the Falcons will likely finish in the bottom 4 in the standings, any higher placements would be an overachievement. 

Petorvale (Hammers) (Owner: Benwah of House Ailian) (Manager: Hammen of House Tong) (Formation: 4-4-2): Hammen had came up with the Youth Academy concept in an effort to more quickly find new generational talents that maybe needed just a little bit of time honing their skills before they were ready to face the challenges that the Avornian Football League has to offer.   He hadn’t expected to get a superstar right away, but when he heard about the stunning progress that young Garrend of House Jackleton had made with just one year in the Academy, he knew he had to promote the kid right away.   Garrend (Left Forward) could be a special talent, with one of the strongest legs anyone has ever seen out of a forward.   He could legitimately score from 40 yards out and might just be confident enough to try it on more than one occasion.    The hope, of course, is that he’s not the ball hog type, especially with Petorvale having a long time established goal scoring threat in Svontal of House Dors (Right Forward).   Garrend seems like an alright kid, but young guys can be very cocky, he’ll need to reign that in a bit in order to keep the team’s chemistry intact.   Helping out as usual is Ceecil of House Ackerberry (Right Center Midfielder), who’s skills with scoring assists will give defenses nightmares now that he has two legitimate threats to pass to.   If Garrend fits in well and is as good as he’s being reported to be, Petorvale will have a frighteningly awesome offense!

The Petorvalen defense finally made some real strides in Year 68, and got even better during the offseason with the addition of Zephyr of House Emmends (Right Fullback), another rookie from the Youth Academy who looks like a highly physical guy with surprisingly fancy footwork.  He’s stolen a few balls from forwards by kicking the ball out from between the opponents legs more than once.  Norty of House Peaweedle (Left Centerback/Sweeper) will certainly improve from his promising rookie year.   Cooma of House Niccagua was good enough last season to return as Goalkeeper, making him the first Petorvalen goalie to start for a 2nd straight year since Hammen himself commanded the position for a couple of years back in Years 64 and 65.   Comma’s shown great instincts on where a striker will shoot the ball and his huge frame makes getting the ball around him very difficult.  

Overall, on paper, this Hammers team has so much top level talent, that they have the potential to go down as the best team ever assembled in Avornian Football history, let alone for this year.    They will be big favorites to win the League Championship, which would be their first if they do so.   But, that depends a lot on Hammen’s ability to get the talented young club to play up to their potential.   The oversized fan favorite has always been a well respected football mind, but it’s fair to point out that during his reign as manager, Petorvale has always finished in the middle part of the League Standings and gotten eliminated in the Quarterfinals of the King’s Cup.  Will that finally change this year?

Jahnsel (Jackrabbits) (Owner: Ryne of House Ewickson) (Player Captain: Derrec of House Smyt) (Formation: 4-3-3): After a terrible season, which saw the Jackrabbits perform the first ever 1st to Worst in Avornian Football League history, Derrec (still running the team as the only permanent Player Captain due to Ryne’s refusal to care enough about the team to even hire a full time manager) had to make some changes and quickly.   He changed the team’s 3-4-3 formation since it mostly backfired on the team and went with a more traditional and defensive minded 4-3-3 set.   Then he went about working on improving the players on the team. 

New player Casby of House Talgrass (Left Centerback and relative of failed former Player Captain Noman from Year 65) comes in as a promising rookie (Jahnsel has no Youth Academy due to Derrec being too busy running everything else on the team because…. You guessed it… Ryne doesn’t care enough to do any business running).   Casby is a very athletic kid that can run all over the field, though as a defender, that means he risks being out of position a bit.  On corner kicks, he’s been showing a knack for being at the right place at the right time to land a header or two into the opposing goal.   Being a good looking guy too, the lady fans of Jahnsel have taken a liking to him, screeching out his name during mere practices.   Hopefully that doesn’t turn into a distraction because Casby has real promise to become an elite level player that could become a big name despite playing a defensive position that isn’t known for producing superstars. 

Derrec himself nearing the end of his prime years now and looks to be Jahnsel’s best scoring threat, though the Jackrabbits are still really thin on offense besides him.   They’ll realistically be near the league low in goals scored once again.  

There just aren’t very many high level players on Jahnsel anymore, most promising kids in the village have joined the Federation’s Jahnsel squad.   With a merger coming up soon, there’s no guarantee that the Jackrabbits will even exist after this season, since the Federation’s Jahnsel team is likely the better squad anyway.   As a result, this year may be one played purely out of pride and a desire to make a lasting impression, because Jahnsel sure isn’t likely to finish in the top half of the standings, let alone win the League Championship. 

Tomen (Rivermen) (Owner: Knoan of House Whitley) (Manager: Loeb of House Gammiz) (Formation: 3-7-0 to 3-6-1): After the remarkably inconsistent performance Tomen put out in Year 68, everyone is hoping for some stability.   Loeb had always been able to lead the team to inspired play, so most accepted that last year was just an off season.  At least, they did until the end of training camp.  However, the reports have indicated that the team’s looked very lethargic and almost lazy.   Loeb’s kept calm so far, but if the Rivermen start the season as disjointedly as last year, he’ll have to turn up the heat on the team. 

The team’s unusual 3-7-0 to 3-6-1 formation returns, one of the stranger spectacles in Avornian Football so far.   However, with some of the changes to the roster since last year (the Federation’s Tomen team was able to convince a few decent forwards and midfielders to join them), it seems that the rhythm is a bit off so far.   Mishakl of House Floddergrove (Center Midfielder) seems to be the only player that’s with it, having a solid preseason.    Everyone else, though, is struggling, most alarmingly so are Cragnus and Argill of House Sammsoon (Left Center Offensive Midfielder to Striker and Right Centerback respectively).  The Argill brothers are dealing with a recent family tragedy, a fire that caused fatalities to multiple Sammsoon family members.    It’s pretty clear (and understandable) that they haven’t mentally recovered from the incident, and considering it happened just weeks before the season was to begin, one has to wonder if they should have taken some more time to grieve properly.  

One player to watch out for is a new starter at Goalkeeper.    Stilston of House Amago has been in the league for a couple of years now, but has never gotten a chance to start until now.   At 5’9”, he’s the shortest starting goalie in the league, which was one reason he never got his chance.   He’s very agile though, so that potentially could make up for his height.   However, he’s not the most instinctual player on the field, playing very cautiously.   He’s truthfully a below average goalie, but Tomen had no better options for now, so he gets his chance to shine.

Tomen has a talented enough team, but the mental makeup has been all kinds of wrong so far, leading fans to worry that Tomen could be in for another disappointing season.   Loeb is going to have to find some serious inspiration to coach this team up to the standard of play that they’re used to, otherwise this will be a long year.

Hanuna (Bluefins) (Owner: Cyboar of House Eliason) (Interim Player Captain: Alfenz of House Mohr) (Formation: 4-2-3-1): Hanuna is looking to end the recent trend of League Champions failing far down the standings table the year after finishing 1st.   However, their chances took a huge blow during the offseason.   Longtime leader Lellochatnim of House Gull, could be missing up to the entire season, having fallen very ill with a mysterious disease.    Being almost bedridden, nobody knows exactly what happened to him, as he's unable to even talk about what ails him.   In blind hope for a potential return sometime during the year, Cyboar decided against hiring a new manager, instead promoting Alfenz of House Mohr (Striker) to a player captain role until Lellochatnim comes back. 

Alfenz, after having a career defining season, looks to build upon his all-time record tying 15 goal season and looks to be just as impressive in training camp as he did last year.   His main offense help, Osnardo of House Zahn (Right Wing Forward) returns, though looking a little chunky after an offseason of celebrating.   Hopefully he returns to his Year 68 form because that Osnardo was near magical in his ability to find and/or create space on the attack. 

On defense, Garlen of House Richenaan (Defensive Right Midfielder) impressed greatly with his ability to adapt to a new position last year and looks to continue his solid play, already among the best in Avornia at tackling and intercepting passes.   Shend of House Illard (Left Centerback) is as aggressive as ever on defense and should be a pain in the neck once more.  

The defending champions have the talent to once again compete for the League Championship, but the question is whether they can do it without Lellochatnim to manage them.  Alfenz is certainly a great footballer, but is he a great manager on top of being a great player?   Time will time, but at least he’s got a strong team to work with.

Anjocca (Sabercats) (Owner: Connavonn of House Duvaloi) (Manager: Tan of House Browse) (Formation: 4-3-3): One can only imagine what kind of pressure Tan is under this season to get the Sabercats to contend for the League Championship after underwhelming in Year 68.  Despite some recent successes (Two 2nd place finishes in the League Standings in Years 66 and 67 and a King’s Cup Championship, also in Year 67), the only goal that’s on Connavonn’s (and now Tan’s) mind is winning the League Championship.   Connavonn believes the talent is plenty good enough to win the title and doesn’t want to risk the team missing its window of opportunity with near misses.  

The offense is once more led by longtime threat, Tobyas of House Stonner, who’s now considered to be past his prime.   It’s hoped he’s got another good year or two left in him.  Shaggu of House Khaldrem (Right Wing) is still a talented shooter that also can pass the ball well, but more may be expected of him this year if Tobyas struggles.   Dunne of House Werewilf is back as well, hopefully healthy for once, as he's missed time in both of his seasons so far.   He’s great on defense, but is also a pretty skilled passer and dribbler on attacks too.   Anjocca really needs him to stay on the field.

Dunne’s skills on defense has always been valued, but most fans would agree that the main stars on that end of the field are Gailor of House Omakyt (Left Centerback) and Xaxi of House Pentuna (Goalkeeper).   Both can be cantankerous individuals, but both are highly respected in Anjocca for their aggressive, fearless play.  Xaxi wants to prove he’s still got it after a down season, probably more than a little tired of people questioning the one eyed man.  Gailor had a rather bad season in Year 68, getting too physical at times and getting suspended several times.   It’s going to be hard to convince the emotional defender to change everything about how he plays football, though Tan (usually a very hands off coach) is trying to work with him.   Results are mixed so far, as Gailor’s play during training camp hasn’t been great so far. 

For years, Anjocca has been a generally consistently good club, having only once finished in the bottom half of the League Standings.   But the League championship that has eluded them has driven their owner crazy with competitive rage.    Can they finally get the title, before their stars get too old?

Chalmblaank (Knights) (Owner: Pyppan of House Steelow) (Manager: Deagu of House Sanchor) (Formation: 4-3-3):  Year 68 was a year of trials and revival.    After the team found a way to stick together after lots of drama between Deagu and Sirge of House Einna (Center Forward) and the strong finish they enjoyed, Knights fans are very excited to see how well the team plays in Year 69, hopefully with no distractions this year.  

Leading the way on offense, Sirge is sure to get his opportunities to score several goals, (he’ll certainly demand it anyway).   He did a much job at passing the ball around more last year, but there are signs that some old traits are starting to resurface.   If he can bring himself to stay the good teammate he started to become last year, Chalmblaank’s offense will be in good shape.    Alajandrus of House Capeburgh (Center Midfielder) is still considered one of the best dribblers and passers in the Avornian Football League and proved last year that he could score plenty of goals on his own.  

Due to Deagu’s decision to play non-nobles, the defense was heavily scrutinized by the fans.   Hopefully there will be improvements from 2nd year players, Arlo of House Pixsan (Centerback/Sweeper) and Matrick of House Cattlebottle (Goalkeeper).   Arlo seems to have been working on being more patient on defense, which should lead to fewer blown coverages.    Matrick looks far more confident than he used to.   Often looking like a deer in the torch lights last year, Matrick was often quite jumpy and was fooled on several shots on goal in Year 68.    His improved confidence is nice to see, although one has to wonder if he’s taken it a bit too far.   He and Sirge got into several face to face arguments after a Matrick save, due to the young goalie taunting Sirge after the save, even finger waving in his face.  In a city like Chalmblaank, nobles don’t often get disrespected by non-nobles, and Sirge is an arrogant guy even for Chalmblaank’s standards.   It’ll be interesting if Matrick continues to try his taunting in games, opposing teams will enjoy being finger waved at even less than his teammates do. 

Deagu’s run as manager has sometimes been a bit controversial, as he had a nasty reputation of throwing teammates under the bus as a player and up until the mid-point of last year, was doing the same to his athletes.   In addition, his choice to sign on non-nobles certainly ruffled several feathers within the Chalmblaankian community, with several influential names being so offended that they went to Pyppan about it, to try to get him removed as manager.    For his part, Deagu has taken the stance that football isn’t just a sport for nobles, but a sport for the everyman too (something most cities in Avornia have long figured out, but to be fair, cities like Earch and Chalmblaank have many people with noble ties, they’ve resisted this fact so far).   Luckily, Deagu and Pyppan have been friends for years, but even that friendship has its limits.    It’s known that Deagu has filled Chalmblaank’s Youth Academy with non-nobles, so the fans will have to get used to seeing different people playing for the team as long as the embattled manager continues to run things.   The question is, can Deagu turn the Knights into contenders before Pyppan runs out of patience with him?  

Henix (Firebirds) (Owner: Caltan of House Zakariah) (Manager: Dobi of House Almen) (Formation: 4-3-3):  After a regression that irritated many Firebirds fans, they are expecting a bounce back up in the League Standings, especially after Baelanholme (with whom this club seems to always get compared to) managed to be the runners up last year.   The pressure is definitely on Dobi, who new owner Caltan did decide to spare for now.   But the hyper competitive young man seems likely to make a quick change in management if things start off badly again.  

One person that fans will never get impatient with is star player Ewick of House Poulser (Striker), who’s looking the best he’s ever looked in training camp.   A big season is expected of the highly confident young man as usual.   It will help if Roh of House Quake (Left Wing) has gotten over his timidness.   Ewick earned a lot of praise for his patience with the young winger, and rumor is that he worked very hard on Roh’s mental toughness and goal shooting during the offseason.   A 2nd year leap in quality would do Roh’s confidence wonders.   Speaking of leaps in quality, Endru of House Adib (Center Midfielder) disappointed with his play in Year 68 and looks to bounce back to his Year 67 play, when he impressed with great passing skills and field vision.  

The defense… generally, the less spoken about the Firebirds’ defense, the better it is for a fan’s mood.   One would be forgiven for assuming that Carlin of House Fandanno was the only guy out there playing any defense for Henix, as he’s still the only halfway good player on that end of the field, the rest of the defenders and goalies are considered anything from below average to flat out rubbish in talent.

Dobi been a very buddy-buddy kind of manager.   It's made him a popular coach, but perhaps not a very good one.  Looking at the team, there doesn’t appear to be any hope for the defense at all, leaving the offense to likely have to win a bunch of shootouts if Henix is to improve from last year.  While Ewick is certainly up to the task, he can’t be the only player that the Firebirds can rely on (at least to win games, they can definitely sell tickets to bystanders based on his name value).   Experts are predicting that Henix finishes in the bottom half of the standings again, whether Dobi makes it the entire season or not is the only real question yet to be answered.

Dobo (Claymen) (Owner: Jephard of House Obuis) (Manager: Mothrew of House Greenbend) (Formation: 4-3-3): All eyes were on Dobo during the Year 69 offseason.    It was well known that Jephard was extremely displeased with the Claymen’s performance last year and there had been some head-butting with the player captain, Wahwmah of House Taccew, over Wahwmah’s managerial skills and use of Slap Wrestling to determine who made the roster.    During the Year 68 season, Jephard had taken it upon himself to set up the Youth Academy for Dobo (he’s the only owner that did this, the other teams had the manager or player captain set things up) and expected Wahwmah to make changes to the roster using the kids that were being developed.   For his part, Wahwmah, remembering all too well the days where Dobo was seen as a soft group of wimps that wouldn’t play physical, adamantly rejected the Youth Academy concept, seeing it as no way to determine if the prospects were ready to handle the demanding physicality that Claymen players were now expected to have.   This would be the final straw, Jephard was tired of the insubordination.   He removed Wahwmah completely from the roster, (not surprisingly, Wahwmah’s brother, the often disappointing Nahnquan quit the team in protest), hiring an old friend of his, Mothrew, to be the new full time manager.  

Mothrew felt he didn’t have much of a roster to work with and has been aggressive in bringing kids up from the Youth Academy to try to light a fire under the team.  The entire midfield has been revamped, led now by Kocha of House Nabu (Center Midfielder) and Sindol of House Hattmen (Right Midfielder).  Dobo has long played with ball control and physicality in mind, and Kocha certainly fits the mold.   Nahnquan had always started ahead of him, but Kocha was probably always the better player anyway.  He's not as good an athlete, but is a no-nonsense type that won’t make errors, nor let his teammates get away with making them either.   Sindol is a similar type of player Kocha is, he too was on the bench for years while another bigger guy was started by Wahwmah.   Sindol is no pushover either, and he and Kocha have great chemistry together, getting drives started will be easy.   Axsan of House Sleigh (Center Forward) is expected to come back early in the season (he’s still recovering from a gruesome leg injury suffered last year) and it’s hoped that he will be the lightning bolt to the offense that he began Year 68 as.   The defense has one new player, Deason of House Amabastan, a rookie Left Fullback from the Youth Academy.  He’s less physical than most Dobo players, but is a skilled tackler and will likely stop many a drive with his defensive prowess.  With Tumac of House Sashtane gone as goalie (he was terrible anyway), there’s legitimate hope that Dobo will allow fewer goals this year.

Overall, the Claymen got quite a facelift, with several new players joining and several big names leaving.  It's a new era in Dobo and nobody’s quite sure what exactly to expect this year.  With all the changes, another bottom half finish is likely, but perhaps Mothrew is the leader that Dobo needs to break through and surprisingly contend.

Next: Additional News on the Avornian Football League and Federation of Avornian Football Merger and Year 69 Season

Last edited by Stickman (1/07/2023 10:10 am)

     Thread Starter

1/08/2023 4:59 pm  #34

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League Year 69, Part 1

At first, it seemed that this would be just a normal season in the Avornian Football League.   The first few games had already been played and while there were continued talks for how a merger between Avornian Football League and the Federation of Avornian Football, nothing had been set in stone so most people figured any real news would occur in Year 70.   Anyone feeling that way would be in for a shock.

Between the Weeks 5 and 6 game, a huge announcement was made by the two leagues’ commissioners, Ravael of House Banswell and Yoel of House Ramaloon.  After weeks of sparring between the two over how the new league formation would be arranged, things finally come enough to a head that they had to get King Mikelangel III involved.    The good king, secretly just wanting to see more football, came to what he thought was a fair conclusion.  Since both leagues felt they were the better one, why not just have a series of exhibition matches to determine which should be considered the 1st Division and which would start the merger as the 2nd Division?    To appease any concerns the losing organization would have, Mikelangel III also declared that a system that would punish bad teams in the 1st Division and reward good teams in the 2nd Division would be put in place, though the details of this merit based system would have to be worked out later.  News that the Football Wars were ending in an actual war of matchups quickly spread and got the entire country excited for what would be called the Avornian Football War Games.   Both leagues stopped their seasons immediately to have these contests.

The Avornian Football War Games

A lovely fall day was the setting for 12 football games that would determine which organization of football really was supreme.   The matchups were determined by random draw, not surprisingly each league was to host half of the games to be fair.   All but 3 Federation teams (Meshalketh, Anhkana, and Shadow Riders- a 2nd team out of Shadoma) would get to play. 

Jahnsel (League) vs Jahnsel (Federation):  As fate would have it, both of the Jahnsel teams were drawn together to play at the Jackrabbits’ field.   This game was never really in question, as the Federation Jahnsel team, led by former Jackrabbits Bili of House Yelbow, Jimm of House Tomacka quickly shot to a 2-0 lead within 10 minutes.   With their goalie, Nedham of House Velcross having a good game, the Federation’s Jahnsel team won easily, 4-0.    (FEDERATION 1-0)

Toidana vs Chalmblaank: Chalmblaank simply went into the small Toidana club’s field and smacked the heck out of them.   Sirge of House Einna had a field day with the overmatched defense, scoring an incredible 5 times in route to the Knights winning 8-0!   If the game had counted, it’d have been the biggest official blowout in history. (TIED 1-1)

Petorvale vs Naide: Naide, a city similar in size to Petorvale, serves as a connecting city between Tomen and Hanuna.  They played bravely, but Petorvale was far too good in this game, winning 3-1 with a score that looked closer than it really was.  (LEAGUE 2-1)

Cheppard vs Tomen: Cheppard is another small farming and foresting community located close to Jahnsel and Leorux (the Triangle Cities, as those 3 towns sometimes call themselves).  They’ve had some decent Federation teams and definitely came to play.   Tomen had a rough start to Year 69, and looked a bit lost as the much smaller Cheppard team simply outplayed them in route to a 1-0 victory.  (TIED 2-2)

Silagnak (League) vs Rammsten: Rammsten, a pretty rich community like Chalmblaank that’s located close to Earch, was plenty ready to play spoiler to an ambitious Silagnak squad.   Indeed, they would be the rare team that outmuscled the Black and Blues.   A late goal by Varner of House Patracks salvaged a draw that probably should have went Rammsten’s way.   Due to the exhibition natural of the Avornian Football War Games, there was no overtime, let alone Penalty Kicks, so this game became an interesting wrinkle in the Games.  (TIED 2-2-1)

Silagnak (Federation) vs Earch FFC: Earch was completely caught off guard by the Federation Silagnak team, which most experts would agree is nowhere near as talented as the League’s Silagnak.   By the end of the 3-0 loss, Earch’s manager, Dennai of House Endear, was already blowing up at his players.  (FEDERATION 3-2-1)

Henix vs Goblec: Goblec is fairly small community located between Leorux and Hanuna (in an opening closer to Hanuna) that strangely has two football teams.   Goblec was the original team, but has never been as good as Forest Rangers FC and it showed as a poorly performing Henix club was able to crush them with no real difficulty, losing 6-2. (TIED 3-3-1)

Forest Rangers FC vs Baelanholme:  The other team located in Goblec, Forest Rangers FC is the unusual team to not have the city name as a part of their identity.   It was a competitive game, but despite an awful defensive showing, Baelanholme was able to survive a shootout, winning 5-4. (LEAGUE 4-3-1)

Dobo vs Elkstrom: Football historians will look back at this game as one of the ugliest, mistake filled games a person could ever watch.   There aren’t any records kept on the number of turnovers off of passes, but if there were, this game likely would have had the mark.  Elkstrom plays a fast paced game, so that’s no surprise for them.   But for Dobo, a ball control team, it was astounding to watch the team routinely miss passes and give up the ball to Elkstrom.   A 0-0 result was as predictable as it was boring to watch.  (LEAGUE 4-3-2)

Shadoma vs Leorux: Shadoma is a city that’s further out west than any other with a football team, near the Lake of Shadows near the blistering hot Sandwyrm Desert.  They’re used to the heat, so they didn’t mind the unseasonably warm fall.  Leorux seemed to be affected a bit by the heat, as they looked rather bad on this day.   They were lucky to escape with a 1-1 tie.   (LEAGUE 4-3-3)

Anjocca vs Earch City: Thanks in large part to owner Connavonn of House Duvaloi being in his ear, Anjocca manager Tan of House Browse pushed the Sabercats into playing an excellent game.   Earch City didn’t make things easy, but they just didn’t have enough talent to keep pace with Anjocca.   With a 2-1 victory, (Dabu of House Namacka from early Earch FFC lore scoring Earch City’s one goal) Anjocca clinched the Avornian Football League’s victory in the Avornian Football War Games!  (LEAGUE 5-3-3)

Sporting Club vs Hanuna: Tomen’s other team, Tomen Sporting Club, kept pace with Hanuna in a game that they couldn’t have known was now meaningless.   However, the Bluefins were able to win 1-0 after a Alfenz of House Mohr goal in the 83rd minute.  (LEAGUE 6-3-3)


After the Avornian Football War Games ended, additional information regarding how the merger would work between cities with two teams began to pour out.  The League’s Earch Falcons Football Club and the Federation’s Earch City would operate as two separate franchises.   This was not at all surprising given the disconnect socially between the nobles (who root for Earch FFC due to being allowed to play for them) and common people (who gravitated towards Earch City, whose name was designed to unite all of Earch’s commoner classes into one fanbase over the noble based Earch FFC).   Tomen will also have two separate franchises.  The League’s Tomen will keep its name simple due to the eccentric nature of the Federation’s Tomen’s name (Tomen Sporting Club, though most just call them the Sporting Club).   In Silagnak, any hopes of having two teams flew out the window when the Federation Silagnak’s owner mysteriously disappeared and their manager choose to suspend operations immediately after the War Games.  Shonnie of House Bochwiller, long believed if not proven to be the head of Silagnak’s biggest crime operation, was heavily suspected to be involved, toward he venomously denied it of course.  Thus, the Black and Blues remain the only act in town going forward.   Finally, in Jahnsel, thanks largely to Player Captain Derrec of House Smyt’s work (Ryne of House Ewickson as usual, didn’t care enough to do anything despite being the owner of the team), an agreement was made that will cause the two teams to have a merger of their own, starting in Year 70.   The new team will be called Jahnsel United (due to the unification of the two clubs), the Jackrabbits nickname and history will be kept.   Rather sneakily, though the arrangement was agreed to right after the season start, they waited until after the Avornian Football War Games to announce the merger, allowing Jahnsel United to start as a 1st Division team… or at least it will ensure that if…


In the weeks that followed the Avornian Football War Games, the merit based system that King Mikelangel came up with was finally figured out.    In Year 70, 20 total teams would play, ten in both divisions.   For the Federation of Avornian Football teams, Year 69 mostly amounts to figuring out which 8 of the remaining 14 teams will even join the Avornian Football League (that will be determined in the offseason).   None of the teams will have an opportunity to earn the right to play in the 1st Division until Year 70.   For the Avornian Football League teams, suddenly end of season games would mean something even to the worst teams, as to even the number of teams in each division out, the two teams that finish in the bottom of the standings in the Avornian Football League will be relegated to the 2nd Division for Year 70.   Seeing as this announcement wasn’t made public until after Week 10, several fans are pretty irritated that their teams will have to quickly play catch up with no notice.   However, poor timing notwithstanding, the new Promoting and Relegation system will allow for many more meaningful games to be played at the end of the season. 


Last edited by Stickman (1/08/2023 4:59 pm)

     Thread Starter

1/12/2023 9:20 am  #35

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League Year 69 Season, Part 2, Season Review

Earch FFC: Earch FFC began Year 69 well, beating Tomen in Week 1 to be tied for 1st place in the League Standings.  It would be the only time that the Falcons looked like they would be contending for the League Championship, who simply had a terrible year.  By the time that the Avornian Football Committee announced that the bottom two teams in the League Standings would be relegated to the 2nd Division, there was an acceptance from fans that Earch FFC would likely be one of those team, having just 9 points after ten weeks.   A streak of 4 wins in 5 games during Weeks 14-18 was good enough to briefly take the Falcons out of the relegation zone, but that would be a short lived bright spot as they’ve lost the last three games.   With their Week 21 2-0 loss to Silagnak, Earch FFC has officially been guaranteed relegation next season.   It’s more than a bit ironic that after King Mikelangel III had pushed the merging football organizations to pursue a merit based process to determine who will get promoted and relegated each season, that his own favorite team would be the first club to ever get relegated.

While Earch FFC’s offense wasn’t anything special, they’re currently tied for 6th in the league in goals scored, thanks to Aili of House Fendeleeni (Center Forward) having another solid season.   Rhantony of House Vivilyn (Left Forward) played alright, but as expected that he could have used another year in the Youth Academy as he didn’t seem to provide much of a spark to the offense and was mostly just there.  Neuten of House Claybill (Center Midfielder) showed some growth on his passing game and that helped.  

The problem for the Falcons was their defense, they’ve allowed 34 goals, 2nd most in the league.  Hobbs of House Vinicius (Left Centerback) played okay, but he’s never quite matched the productivity that he displayed in his rookie year back in Year 67.   Daivan of House Banswell (Right Fullback) was horrible, he clearly wasn’t at 100% and after suffering yet another head injury in Week 14, he’s not played and he might not be coming back this time. 

Seesar of House Romi (Owner) has been quiet throughout the year regarding Dennai of House Endear’s (Manager) future, too quiet.   While Dennai is a beloved figure in Earch for the heroics he displayed as an athlete, one has to imagine that he’s coached his final game as the Falcons have regressed since he took over.  Seesar expected a champion when he bought the team in Year 67, but has yet to experience any championship, whether League or Cup.   As competitive as he is, that has to be driving him (and the fans) nuts.

Jahnsel: At the time the threat of relegation was announced after Week 10, Jahnsel was in the midst of a slump, but was still surprising the league, being tied for 6th in the League Standings after a red hot start and not losing until Week 5 (going 2-2-0 for 8 points).  The talent may not have been there, but the team was playing with a ton of heart, led by Derrec of House Smyt (Left Wing), who was having a strong start to the year, with 6 goals.   New Left Centerback Casby of House Danners was proving to be a major pain in the neck for offenses, aggressively running all over the field, making several pass blocks to stop many a drive.  The local fan favorite had even gotten a couple of goals off of headers off of corner kicks.   Things were going well enough that even their unsupportive owner, Ryne of House Ewickson, was showing up for a game or two after refusing to attend a single game in Year 68.     The Jackrabbit fans were plenty optimistic that they’d find a way to break the relative slump and continue surprising the Avornian Football League. 

Sadly, that hasn’t happened lately.   The slump that was hoped to be temporary proved near permanent, as from after Week 4, the team has only earned 14 points, (a 4-2-11 record).   Particularly ugly was a 5 game losing streak, only scoring 2 goals in that time as Derrec’s production dipped.   Ultimately Jahnsel’s offense has only scored 24 goals for the year, least in the year (Derrec being the only member that’s scored more than 4 goals, with 10).   However, the defense, led by Casby, has been very impressive, only allowing 28 goals so far (good for 4th best in the league) and keeping Jahnsel competitive even with the offense sputtering.

Ultimately, with one game left, Jahnsel may be in 11th place, they do have a real avenue to avoid relegation.  They will need to beat a solid Silagnak club that beat them earlier in the season, but if they can do that, it will come down to one other game.   As long as that game doesn’t end in a draw, the Jackrabbits will have earned the right to stay in the 1st Division.   Can the offense come alive in the final week of the season?

Baelanholme: Expectations were very high for the Pirates going into Year 69 after their massive improvement the previous season.   However, Year 69 hasn’t been nearly as nice of a season as the last was for the navy and silver team.   They only won 1 of their first 9 games, though they did somehow manage to tie 5 of those games.   Still, the lack of wins kept the team down in the League Standings and the announcement of a relegation system being implemented didn’t ease anybody’s anxiety.   Pirates’ Owner Candor of House Blusal (who’s starting to earn a reputation for being one of the most difficult owners for the Avornian Football Committee to deal with) was among the loudest detractors of the decision to implement relegation during the season instead of giving more fair notice before the year began.  Perhaps it actually briefly lit a fire under Baelanholmes’ behinds, as the team went on a 4-1 run in the middle of the season.   However, the run didn’t last long, as the Pirates has since gone 1-2-4 (5 points) in the last 7 games to put themselves with just 25 standings points, keeping their status as a 1st Division team up in the air.

The offense definitely regressed, as fears for Waen of House Harbage (Striker) were well founded.   He’s just not been near as effective as he should have been.   It was bad enough that Danotto of House Fongo (Manager) actually benched him for a couple of games, running Mehcka of House Bhasha (Center Forward) as the striker instead.   Mehcka has been having another great year, scoring 12 goals, but has had to deal with defenses making him the primary target to watch out for and that has hurt his productivity as the year’s gone on. 

Looking at the goals allowed stat alone would make one assume that Baelanholme’s entire defense played poorly.   That hasn’t actually been true though, as Tyfir of House Angelbacc (Centerback/Stoppage) and Shanto of House Sayloor (Defensive Center Midfielder) held the center of the field together and were very difficult to get balls past.   The problem was Traxton of House Blackharth (Goalkeeper), whose mental struggles haunted him throughout the year.   He’s another player that Danotto finally had to bench in order to inspire some improvements with that position, but that hasn’t worked at all as nobody has stepped up to take the starting role over on a consistent basis.   They even tried putting Tyfir in as a goalie for a game, wanting to utilize his big size, but he’s clearly a better Centerback than Goalie, as proved by him allowing 3 goals against Earch FFC (a game Baelanholme was lucky to escape with a draw).  However, the biggest factor for the Pirates’ woes has truthfully been in the number of draws the team has had as they’ve only lost 8 games, the same amount they lost last year.   In Year 68, Baelanholme led the league in wins, with 12.   This year, many of those wins have turned into draws and the defense has been blamed the most for all the draws.

Overall, this has proven to be a rather frustrating season and Danotto’s reputation as the next great managerial genius has taken a big hit.  In truth, people were probably too quick to throw that praise out there after just one year, but no doubt his skills as a manager will be scrutinized a lot more from now on. 
Baelanholme plays a critical Week 22 game where the threat of relegation is very real.   Lose that game, and they’d better hope that Jahnsel doesn’t beat Silagnak.   The idea of a League and King’s Cup runner up getting relegated the next season is not an appealing one for Pirates fans.

Henix: Henix had been playing a bit streaky when the relegation announcement was made.   Winning 2 of the first 3 games was followed by an awful 5 game losing streak (getting outscored 2-10 during that run).   All eyes were on Caltan of House Zakariah, the new owner of the Firebirds, and whether he was ready to fire manager Dobi of House Almen.   He didn’t and entering Week 11, the Firebirds had won 2 straight games and while they were near the relegation zone, they seemed capable of at least replicating Year 68’s performance.    However, immediately after the threat of relegation became a reality, the Firebirds immediately went and lost the next 4 games.    Having seen enough, Caltan did finally fire Dobi mid-season, choosing to have Ewick of House Poulser (Center Midfielder) run the team as an interim player captain.   This seems to have improved things a bit, as Henix has since gone 4-1-2 (13 points) since the change, putting Henix just outside relegation… for now.

Ewick had another solid year, being helped a lot by Roh of House Quake (Left Wing) having a much better 2nd season.   Both forwards score more than 10 goals, and along with Endru of House Adib (Center Midfielder) having a bounce back year with improved passing and even a couple of goals of his own, Henix’s offense looks much better, being 3rd in the league for goals scored (31).   However, the defense, long a Firebirds’ Achilles heel, once more rears its ugly head, allowing 33 goals so far.   Despite Carlin of House Fandanno (Left Centerback) doing his best, the fact of the matter is that defensively, the Firebirds are getting worse each season.  They may have to dip into the Youth Academy for new resources to try out next season.

Week 22 may be the most important game in Firebirds history.   With the threat of relegation being very real, Henix has drawn a game with fellow relegation threat Baelanholme (of course, the Year 67 expansion teams will play each other, seeing as they always get compared to each other).   With a win or tie, Henix will live to fight another day.  However, in 5 games, the Firebirds have only even managed a draw just once against the Pirates (and have never beaten them).   The team has played much better lately with Ewick running things, but can he lead them to avoid defeat one more week?

Dobo: Going into Week 22, the Claymen’s Year 69 season has to be considered a step in the right direction, being in 8th place and in no risk of being relegated.  Considering that they finished in 11th place each of the past two seasons, that’s an improvement that will satisfy their hands-on owner, Jephard of House Obuis.   Mothrew of House Greenbend (Manager) seems to have done well in keeping Dobo’s ball control, physical style of play alive that the team is used to, while at the same time, coached them to avoid the mistake-filled play that they had been used to under Wahwmah of House Taccew’s run. 

A large part of Dobo’s improved mechanics can be tied to the new midfielders, Kocha of House Nabu (Center Midfielder) and Sindol of House Hattmen (Right Midfielder).   Both played well, Kocha in particular is proving to excel as a team leader with his no-nonsense approach to football.   Their excellent communicating skills allowed both to usually be in position to steal passes from opponents and then begin drives the other way.  In addition, Deason of Hous Amabastan (Left Fullback) played well enough for a rookie, avoiding the referees’ wrath by playing good, clean defense.   This resulted in Dobo allowing 30 goals this season, a full 10 goals fewer than in Year 68.  

The offense proved to be another matter.   Axsan of House Sleigh (Center Forward) came back in Week 7, but looked rusty for much of the season.  Hopefully, a full season in Year 70 will get him back on track to the threat he was in Year 68.  As usual, Dobo failed to get many scores across and that definitely held them back a little bit.  They need more offensive weapons besides just Axsan.

The improved disciplined approach to Dobo’s play has kept them more competitive and has prevented suffering as many losses as they have historically (the 9 defeats they’ve experienced is tied for the 2nd least in team history, and is the record low for a 22 game season).  Mothrew and Jephard’s work at changing the team culture seems to be working, which is fortunate because many fans hadn’t been too keen on the decision to remove the popular (if ineffective) player-captain Wahwmah.  If the Claymen continue to improve next season, happier days could be had soon.

Hanuna: The defending champion Bluefins definitely had some odds stacked against them going into Year 69, what with the distraction of their manager, Lellochatnim of House Gull, being out with a mysterious disease.   It would eventually become known that he had been cursed with a rare starvation spell by a mage over a fishing bet of all things, which weakened his body dramatically.   The non-evil mages did their best to cure the Hanunan manager, but he hasn’t recovered enough by the end of the year to return to managing full time.   Thus, the pressure fell upon the team’s striker, Alfenz of House Mohr to lead the team in the interim.   To his credit, Alfenz did fairly well for a while.   Hanuna was tied for 1st place in the League Standings after Week 5 and even after Week 11, were still just 4 points out of the top spot.  However, a devasting knee injury to Shend of House Illard (Left Centerback) caused the defense to completely cave in and Hanuna would fall out of contention quickly.  By Week 22, Hanuna sits in 7th place, a result that looks much worse than it should have as for much of the year, they played like contenders.

Alfenz did a fair job indeed as a player captain, but it’s clear that he has no imagination for defense, (perhaps not surprisingly as he is a striker, generally the least defensive position in football) and once Shend was lost for the year, he had no answers to replace him, though he did try with Youth Academy recruit Ullie of House Ran (Left Centerback).   Unfortunately, Ullie was flat out awful, letting far too many forwards past him, to the point where offenses mostly just targeted his side of the field for drives, to great success.   He might not ever recover mentally, especially after the humiliation that Varner of House Patracks from Silagnak put him through in Week 17.   Varner routinely dribbled around him so badly that the Hanunan fans were actually laughing at the poor kid by the end of the 6-1 shellacking after each of his trips and falls.  Garlen of House Richenaan (Defensive Right Midfielder) did his best to make up the difference in Shend’s absence, but with teams mostly avoiding him, he wasn’t about to make near as many steals or tackles as he did the previous year.  Ultimately, Hanuna has allowed 38 goals, a stunning 17 goal increase over its disciplined efforts last year.  The difference in Lellochatnim’s defensive coaching and Alfenz’s is a mile wide, clearly.   

The offense has fared better, being tied for 4th in goals scored.   Alfenz had another solid year, with 11 goals scored while Osnardo (Right Wing Forward) did okay this year, with 7 goals of his own.   Osnardo seems to have lost a step after getting a bit lazy during the offseason, next year could be critical for his career as when he’s properly motivated and in shape, his skills at space creation are highly impressive. 

No doubt, the Bluefins miss their manager greatly, although their drop in the standings seems to have done about as much for Lellochatnim’s reputation as an elite manager as winning another championship would have, as his coaching was a big part in the team’s improvements last season.   Year 69 will go down as a bit of a wasted season, but considering they played well for a while, that might not be the fairest criticism.   The defense needs to get back on track next season though, but Lello’s been rather good at coaching that unit up despite being an averagely talented group, so there’s hope.  

Tomen: The timing of the relegation announcement didn’t please too many people, but Tomen and its fans were probably the most upset.   Who could blame them, with the team being in dead last place at 8 points after 10 weeks and showing very little life at all.   The star Sammsoon brothers, Cragnus (Left Center Offensive Midfielder/Striker) and Argill (Right Centerback) had only just come back the previous week after taking time off early in the year and both looked rusty.   Worse, Loeb of House Gammiz (Manager), long known to keep the team inspired with his enthusiasm and uplifting managerial style, was for a 2nd straight year not having any luck as the team just wasn’t responding.   Though that would finally change after yet another ugly performance in Week 11 against Anjocca (a 1-1 game that the Rivermen were more than a bit lucky to avoid defeat in), as he’d finally had enough.   No one has ever spoken of the two hour meeting he held with the team immediately after that game, but it’s believed that he finally lost the high positive energy approach and ripped into the team for their efforts (or lack of).   Whatever he said seems to have done the trick, because Tomen’s play has been far improved, going 5-3-2 (18 points) in the ten games since the meeting to not only escape the threat of relegation, but to even currently be in 6th place in the League Standings.

A large part of the improvement has been because of the offense, which after scoring just 10 goals in the first eleven games, has gotten the ball into the opponents’ net 16 times since.   Cragnus seems to have finally gotten back into his groove, lighting the league up with his stellar dribbling and shooting.  He's gotten 10 goals for the year, and if he had played this way all year long, probably could have broken the 15 goal all time mark in most seasons.   While Loeb’s meeting probably helped, it really made a difference that he and Argill had taken a few weeks off from football to properly grieve his family tragedy after trying to push past it for far too long.   Mishakl of House Floddergrove (Center Midfielder) kept the team’s attack focused well, being the only player on the team that performed well the entire year.  He’s scored several goals himself and with his solid enough efforts on defense, once again appears to be among, if not THE, best midfielders in the game.  

The defense actually hasn’t been too bad at all.   Since Loeb’s meeting, they’ve only allowed more than one goal twice, against Silagnak (2 goals in Week 19) and Petorvale (4 goals in Week 20), the two teams with by far the best offenses in the Avornian Football League.  Argill in particular has looked like a man with a renewed passion for football in recent weeks, making several huge tackles in opportune times while avoiding the penalty bug that seemed to plague him in Year 68.   Stilston of House Amago (Goalkeeper) has played better than expected.   The short goalie (5’9” in a league that has prioritized height for the position) is a good athlete, which helps.  He's not a very instinctual player, but his conservative approach hasn’t backfired too badly.  

Overall, one would have to had wished Loeb got on his team sooner for its weak start to the year, but fans will at least be happy that the team is responding to his coaching style again.  Maybe Year 70 will be the year they finally get that first League Championship, though the Rivermen might still need another piece or two to emerge as legitimately good starters for that to happen.

Leorux: If naysayers were looking to jump all over the Elves to say they told us that they were lucky in Year 68 to finish 4th and that a decline would happen, their best chance came early, as four weeks into the season, they only had 3 points, good for last place.  A 4 game winning streak from Weeks 5-8 put any end to the critics, as Avornia’s favorite underdogs shot right back up the League Standings and never fell near the relegation zone again.   They would fall out of contention as the year went on, as they tied several games that they might have won last year, but going into Week 22, they are in 5th place with 28 points, near the top of a mix of seven teams that are within 4 points of each other.  

Despite Eddark of House Hoopmeister’s (Manager) 4-4-2 formation being intended to improve the defense, in fact, the Elven offense has actually seen more improvements, as Joezas of House Nook (Left Forward) has elevated his attack game quite nicely, provide another needed spark to assist Carles of House Yalmount (Center Forward) form a more rounded offensive game.   Hemly of House Raber (Right Midfielder) continues to improve year after year, adding yet another wrinkle in Leorux’s offense.  The 30 goals that Leorux scored is tied for 4th in the league, which if that doesn’t change in Week 22, would be the first time the Elves have finished in the top half of the league in goals scored.  

The defense allowing 31 goals has to be seen as bit disappointing, considering the defensive formation that they employ.   They really need a new goalkeeper, as there’s only so much that Centerbacks Kade of House Nush and Azaroth of House Belock (Left and Right Centerback respectively) can really do to prevent shots on goal.  Both are improving on cutting the penalties down, but they could do some work in improving their communication to each other and their passing games each could be better as they both committed more than one passing mishap that led to an easy steal and shot on goal.   Still, with some more experience and improved depth, Leorux will eventually cut down the goals allowed.

When last year’s Elves caught everyone off guard, most experts wrote them off for Year 69, believing a decline was likely.   However, while that technically is correct for now (they’re in 5th instead of 4th), Leorux once again is keeping far more competitive than they probably should be given the total amount of talent on the team.   Eddark is doing well to prove that he’s just as good of a manager as his brother, team owner Herrad, was last year.  With the Hoopmeister brothers’ efforts, Leorux has elevated from a team that looked likely to fold to suddenly having something of a golden era (for them anyway) with two straight top half finishes in the League Standings.   If things keep going the way they are, could a League Championship (or even a King’s Cup Championship) be that far away from being a reality?

Anjocca: The pressure was on for the Sabercats’ manager, Tan of House Browse.   With Connavonn of House Duvaloi’s (Owner) expectations of a League Championship, the feeling was that anything less than a title would not be enough to keep his job.   If that’s the case, then Year 69 will be his final season as a manager, because Anjocca has been officially out of contention since Week 17.   It’s not that Anjocca has played poorly, far from it.   They were able to keep pace for the first half of the year, being just 4 points down after Week 11.   However, like most of the teams in Avornia, the yellow team would quickly get left in the dust behind the league leaders.   It doesn’t help that the Sabercats’ -4 goal differential is one of the worst in the team’s history, as that shows that this failure to win the title has nothing to do with luck.

The offense has only scored 26 goals, as Tobyas of House Stonner (Center Forward) is definitely declining as a performer.  Shaggu of House Khaldrem (Right Wing Forward) did his best to make up for his teammate’s bad year, but he could only do so much.     It really doesn’t help that Dunne of House Werewilf (Center Midfielder), a very good passer and necessary offensive tool for drives has once again had an injury filled season.   He’s only play 17 games this year, which actually is the most he’s made it through in his career, but it’s beyond obvious at this point that he appears to just be a frail athlete.   Anjocca will need to focus much more on its Youth Academy to find a suitable player that can be expected to play because with Dunne seemingly being made of glass, they’ll need to be able to start several games each year.

After allowing 30 goals for a 2nd straight year, Anjocca’s defense no longer has the reputation of being a great crew that just happened to have a bad year.   Xaxi of House Pentuna (Goalkeeper) did his best, but actually had to miss games for the first time in his career after suffering one of the most violent collisions ever seen in Avornian Football in a Week 13 win over Hanuna when Alfenz of House Mohr kneed him in the face by accident when the grizzled one eyed man dove for a football.   He only missed two games, but those two were all Anjocca needed to see that the Sabercats really need to work on finding a better substitute, as the backup they had was terrible.  Gailor of House Omakyt (Left Centerback) seems to strangely be declining as a player despite his youthful age.   Tan had been trying to coach him into being a cleaner tackler to avoid getting penalized so much by the referees.  However, in doing so, he seems to have missed with Gailor mentally, as he has almost seemed afraid to engage with forwards now, leading to ineffective play.  

There’s no question that Anjocca’s position in the League Standings (4th) is certainly not bad at all, though the team has seen a decline in the amount of points its obtained for the last few seasons now.  But Connavonn has proven to be likely the league’s most over-competitive owner in the sport, with extremely high expectations.   He may have to tone those goals down a bit, even if he terminates Tan (which he almost assuredly will) after Year 69.   The fact of the matter is, Anjocca is getting older, and the while Tan has generally done well in coaching the men well, his work with the Youth Academy isn’t promising.    There may not be even one kid in the school that is ready to move up to the big league, and that’s a scary thought considering the need to replace long time stars is fast approaching.   What the Sabercats’ new manager does in the next year or two could have a gigantic impact on the team’s longterm future.

Silagnak: After their elimination in Week 20, and now 11 points behind the 1st place team in the League Standings, one would assume that the Black and Blues perhaps had a down season after playing at a high level each of the previous two years.    However, that assumption would be dead wrong, as Silagnak has 37 points in the standings (a new team high), scored 38 goals (also a team high, and would have tied Hanuna for the league lead last season) and allowed just 21 goals (not only the league best, but if it holds, will be yet another Silagnak best).  The fact of the matter is that despite being guaranteed at least a 3rd place finish (which is, you guessed it, tied for Silagnak’s best), this has been very likely the best season in Black and Blue history.  

The offense was at times scary good, with Boba of House Coldsteek (Striker) scoring 14 goals, Varner of House Patracks (Right Forward) adding another 11 of his own.   Defenses simply had no real answer for those two for much of the year.  Outscoring Silagnak wasn’t likely to happen often either, not with Lenzlo of House Amburs (Middle Centerback) leading the highly defensive 5-2-2-1 formation with his tackling and pass breaking up being top tier in the league.   It turns out that he had some help too.   Borky of House Silvor (Right Wingback) took to the benches after a nagging leg problem kept him sidelined for several weeks.   The solution ended up being Wels of House Portler (Right Wingback) who came up from the Youth Academy and played quite well, well enough to keep Borky on the bench even after he was healthy.   Wels is far from an elite player at this point, his tackling is messy and he’s developing a reputation for being a hot head (which the Silagnak fans love), to the point where he’s gotten fouled multiple times for shoving a player roughly when he feels that they’ve disrespected him (which the Silagnak fans don’t love).  But there is some promise with him, as he’s a good athlete and is much with passing and dribbling than Borky ever was, he’s likely going to be a starter for the next several years, so if he can clean up his game a little bit, Wels will be a huge asset.

Mendo of House Tydent (Manager) has once again done his best to coach his team up the best he could.   It's true that owner Shonnie of House Bochwiller had huge expectations of the club going into the year, but with this being likely the best season in Silagnak history, Year 69 was still a nice year for the team.   What ultimately doomed the team was their performances against Chalmblaank and Petorvale (losing all 4 of the games against them).   They just didn’t have what it took to overtake the top two teams, generally taking care of business against everyone else.   Still, it’s felt like for a while now that Mendo is eventually going to lead the team to a championship.   With most of his star players either being in their prime or having promising starts to their careers, it just feels like it’s a matter of time before the Black and Blues finally top the League Standings (or win a King’s Cup, which they could still do of course).

Chalmblaank: The Knights were ready to prove that they were a top level team after their goal differential in Year 68 seemed to indicate a talented team that just underperformed.  Indeed, they would do just that.   The defense, something of a weak point in each of the past couple of seasons, finally stiffened up and that has led to Chalmblaank only allowing 24 goals so far, good for 3rd best in the league.  Matrack of House Cattlebottom (Goalkeeper) had almost taken on a strangely arrogant persona over the offseason, many had wondered how would translate over the course of the year.   It turns out, quite well, as his head games seemed to get under the skin of his opponents all year long.   He even managed to get Petorvalen Forward Garrend of House Jackleton ejected from a game after the young goalie got right into his face after a nice save, causing Garrend to shove him to the ground.  Chalmblaank’s fans still haven’t entirely taken to the brash tactics (though that’s likely due to the noble heavy city’s prejudice against non-nobles), but the boos he heard throughout Year 68 have declined noticeably.   It’s certainly helped that Arlo of House Pixsan (Centerback/Sweeper) has absolutely made some strides to improve and he’s made it much harder on teams to get past him to even get the few shots on goal that they can get. 

Chalmblaank’s offense did experience a bit of a decline from Year 68, only scoring 27 so far.  That’s partially been because Alajandrus of House Capeburgh (Center Midfielder) was injured for much of the second half of the year with a groin injury, leaving Sirge of House Einna (Center Forward) as being by far the only real threat to score goals.   Normally, he’d want it just that way, being a bit self-centered and egotisical, but surely even he has to see that he can’t do it all himself, blowing too many drives trying to force a score when he could have just passed the football to another forward or midfielder.   It clearly seems to have driven Deagu of House Sanchor (Manager) crazy on more than one occasion, but after all the drama the two had with each other last season, one has to commend Deagu for keeping things a bit more professional this season.    He hasn’t been nearly the distraction he was last year and in fact has quietly done a fantastic job with coaching the team up to prevent a lot of errors, while doing well at controlling the ball (no easy task with Alajandrus, one of the league’s best ball controllers, out with injury).

The result was that the Knights were able to keep the pressure up on an excellent Petorvale team, keeping pace with them throughout the year despite currently only having a +3 goal differential for the year.  After Week 16, Chalmblaank was only 2 points behind, but unfortunately their form has since declined slightly while Petorvale got hotter than ever.   Despite defeating Silagnak in a difficult 1-0 win in Week 20, Chalmblaank would be eliminated from League Championship contention.   Still, with one game to go, their 38 point performance is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of at all.   It appears that despite several early controversies to his run as manager (throwing athletes under the bus, yelling arguments with Sirge, and irritating Chalmblaank nobles by hiring non nobles to the club), Deagu’s work in the last year and a half has to be praised as despite the noise, he’s been one of the better managers in the Avornian Football League.  If he can keep finding new talents and developing his current stars, maybe next year might finally be the year that Chalmblaank wins a championship.

Petorvale: Year 69 will go down in Petorvalen (and Avornian Football) history.  The Hammers won and won a lot, setting a new league record with 15 victories throughout the season to earn another record setting 48 points with one more game still to go.   Like Hanuna the previous year, Petorvale quickly got to the top of the standings and stayed there for the entire season.   That’s not to say there wasn’t some drama though.  For most of the first half of the year, teams like Chalmblaank, Silagnak, Anjocca, Leorux, and Hanuna were all having good enough starts to the season that Petorvale couldn’t exactly relax.  A 4-game winning streak from Weeks 12-15 was good enough to shake nearly everyone.   However, Chalmblaank continued to hang with the Hammers.   Of course, it’d be hated Chalmblaank, with their arrogant, stuck up fans, that would make life hard for Petorvale.    It appeared this year’s games with them were getting more heated than ever.   Matrack of House Cattlebottle’s mind games got to Petorvale’s Garrend of House Jackleton’s (Left Forward), causing him to snap and shove Matrack, getting himself ejected from one game.   Ceecil of House Ackerberry (Right Center Midfielder) and Chalmblaank’s Sirge of House Einna nearly got into a fist fight of their own after a contested play.   Rumors are even the fans got into it, with incidents in both games involving punches being thrown in the stands.  More than ever, Petorvale wanted to get beat the Knights and get that first League Championship.  In Week 20, after beating Tomen 4-1, the Hammers finally got their wish, having finally eliminated Chalmblaank to become champions (though the fans will also point out that this was the first season where Petorvale swept their rivals, only adding to the sweet victory)!   After the win, the entire team lifted their massive manager, Hammen of House Tong up in celebration (though given his hefty weight, that was a struggle) as he was bellowing out cheers along with the Petorvale faithful, having finally gotten his beloved city a League Championship!

Much credit has to be given to Svontal of House Dors (Right Forward), who was nearly untouchable throughout the year, setting a new league high with 16 goals scored and honestly could have easily gotten more if he had been a greedier player.   Garren had a fine rookie year himself, and score several goals too.   He does seem to have some maturity issues (besides getting ejected in that Chalmblaank game, reports are that he irritated his older teammates with his big mouth), but if he can reign that in, he'll be a great asset for years to come.  Ceecil, always more of an offensive minded midfielder, also had a great season, which gave Petorvale 3 legitimately scary options to score goals.  They’ve scored 40 goals so far, Jahnsel’s record of 42 set in Year 67 is still within reach.  

For years, the Hammers’ defense had been the weak point of Petorvale, but after a surprisingly decent performance last year, the unit has been lights out in Year 69.  Norty of House Peaweedle (Left Centerback/Sweeper) and Zephyr of House Emmends (Right Fullback) were both stellar seasons.   Zephyr in particular looks highly promising, being highly physical, yet with a surprisingly soft touch when reaching around forwards to gently tap footballs away, then quickly maneuvering to steal the ball.  Cooma of House Niccagua’s (Goalkeeper) job was being made almost too easy, though he also played well.  His large frame (6’8” and 250 plus lbs) makes it hard to shoot around him, but when his instincts are on point (they usually are), forget about it.   Petorvale has only allowd 22 goals to this point, good for 2nd best.

Overall, this season has been a dream for Petorvale, who have got to go down as likely the greatest team in Avornian Football history.  Everything went right, as the offense was terrifying, the defense was dominating, and they become the first team in Avornian Football to have obtained more than 2/3rd the possible season points (at 48 out of a possible 66 with one game left, meaning they’ve gotten at least 72% of the possible points that they can get in a year).  Hammen, who two years ago was starting to see his massive seat get warm, has made several great strides throughout the last couple of seasons with his Youth Academy innovation, which is already paying dividends for the club.   The best part is, barring some gigantic tragedy befalling the team, it seems like Petorvale is set up to perform well for the next few years at least, so another title could be obtained yet, (especially since starting next season, there will only be 10 teams in the 1st Division, so it’ll theoretically be easier to win another title).  Times are good in Petorvale, can they be the first team to repeat as League Champions in several years?

Next: Avornian Football League, Year 69, Week 22.  Who will Join Earch FFC in being Relegated into the new 2nd Division?  How'd Your Favorite (or Least Favorite) teams do?   C&C Welcomed as Always!

Last edited by Stickman (1/13/2023 10:36 am)

     Thread Starter

1/13/2023 1:19 pm  #36

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League, Year 69, Week 22 Results

Winter was bringing in nasty chilly winds for the Week 22 games in Avornian (for the most part, Hanuna and Baelanholme’s weather wasn’t quite so bad, but there were no games played there today).    While most of the six football contests held little consequence, there were two that mattered greatly, (three, for those who wanted to know if Petorvale could beat Dobo to break the 50 point threshold.  They would not, earning just a 0-0 tie to finish the year with 49 points, still the all-time mark).

In Jahnsel, with its many low, prairie grasslands, the wind was especially piecing.    The farmboys were well used to this sort of weather, but it wouldn’t make today’s game against visiting Silagnak any easier.   Silagnak might not have anything on the line, but this was likely their best ever team with a highly effective offense and defensive formation that was difficult to break.   Not to mention the fact that the two teams hated each other, Jahnsel for Silagnak’s usual dirty play and Silagnak for wondering why Jahnsel was so upset about a little physical football.  Even with a win, Derrec of House Smyt (Player Captain and Left Wing Forward) thought to himself, it might not matter if Henix and Baelanholme tie today.   Can’t think that way though, can only control ourselves.    And so, in the team meeting held before the game, he gave a passionate speech to encourage his players to fight with everything they had, to do what nobody expected them to do by surviving against relegation.   Next year things would be better with their upcoming merger, they just needed to make it to next year in the 1st Division, then they could make a real run at the title!   All they had to do was beat Silagnak.

Near the mountain who’s legendary bird birthed the city’s name, in Henix, two very angsty leaders directed their squads.   For Henix, the interim player captain, Ewick of House Poulser (Center Forward) did well to look and sound far more calm than he really felt.   He had heard the noise coming from the city, why not just agree to play to a draw with Baelanholme?  Both teams would earn a point, neither would be relegated and nothing would be risked!    It did make sense, especially knowing that if Henix lost and Jahnsel won, the Firebirds would be put into the 2nd Division next year due to a goal differential tiebreaker.  But after discussing the rumors with his team’s owner, Caltan of House Zakariah, they both knew full well that they (and the rest of the team) were far too competitive to sink to that level.   If they were going to avoid relegation, they were going to earn it!   Thus, taking the older brother role he’d be getting used to, Ewick focused the team on an all-out offensive assault on the Pirates, knowing their weak defense could be exploited.

In the other locker room, Danotto of House Fongo (Manager) was worried, very worried.   His team had been slumping again, and he really hadn’t any real answers.   The offense was underperforming, the defense was leaking badly.   He felt that Baelanholme was in real danger of being relegated, and he knew what that would mean.  One year after finishing in 2nd place, only to get kicked out of the league the next?   He had been having meetings with his team owner, Candor of House Blusal about what Danotto was doing to get the team turned around.  Those meetings were never enjoyable, Candor being among the most irritable men Danotto had ever had the misfortune of being introduced to.    But what could he do?   He’d had to bench multiple starters throughout the year for ineffectiveness and that had done nothing.   He thought again, what if he just met with Henix and made a gentleman’s agreement to purposely draw the game?   Both teams could live to fight another day then!   Then Danotto could have another offseason to figure out how to fix his squad.   However, he just couldn’t bring himself to it.   It wasn’t anything like competitive pride or anything, he just was a very paranoid person.   What would stop Henix from agreeing to the deal, then backstabbing Baelanholme at the last possible moment?   Sure, he’d go public to get some revenge, but Henix would just deny that any deal was ever in place and that’d be the end of it (and of his job, Candor had on multiple occasions already threatened to fire him if Baelanholme got relegated).   No, he’d just have to play all his normal starters and hope for the best… he tried to sound confident during the team meeting, but everyone could sense the tension in the air.


Derrec’s message worked beautifully for the Jackrabbits, playing with as much intensity as they’d had all year long.   Everything was clicking, Derrec had already scored in the 17th minute, Casby of House Danners (Left Centerback) was keeping the Silagnak offense at bay and Jahnsel was doing well with controlling the ball.   It was the 56th minute, Silagnak had very nearly tied the game on a shot to goal and was starting the 2nd Half playing much better than they were.   Luckily, off the goal kick, Derrec had the ball and was driving towards Silagnak’s goal.  If he could get just one more goal, he was confident that Jahnsel was going to win this game.  He made a short pass to his center forward, then darted ahead to try and receive a pass to hopefully take his chance.      Moments later, he had his opportunity, as the other forward passed to the right forward who crossed the football through an opening to Derrec.   There was only one Silagnak defender competing with him for the ball, but of course it had to be Lenzlo of House Amburs (Middle Centerback), easily the Black and Blues best defender.   Dribbling the ball past him would be tough, so mid-jump, Derrec decided to just shoot the football on his first touch.   He contorted his body and swung his leg at the ball.    His shot curved around, just past Lenzlo and was heading towards the right side of the goal.   The Silagnak goalkeeper, expecting something from the left side, was caught off guard but had just enough time to dive at the ball…..

Which slipped just past his fingertips, into the front right side of the net for a GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!  

As the Jackrabbits huddled together in celebration, the fans cheering loudly, a woman actually jumped onto the field and ran right towards the players.     The woman jumped onto Casby and plastered a huge kiss on his cheek, (despite Casby having nothing to do with the goal) before being roughly removed by members of the Avornian Guard, (who were in charge of preventing this sort of things from happening in football games, whoops!)    Some guys get all the luck, Derrec thought to himself as he shook his head in amused disbelief.   It didn’t bother him, nothing would today, as Jahnsel was able to hold onto the lead to defeat their rivals 2-0.    Now all they could do was wait for a messenger to teleport from Henix with news on how that game was going.


Any reports from a messenger would at least confirm that the two teams were going all out, trying to win this game.    With both teams displaying poor defense throughout the year, both the Firebirds and the Pirates were going all out on offenses attacks.   Baelanholme had success early, with Mehcka of House Bhasah (Center Forward) having a stellar performance, scoring goals in the 20th and 76th minutes.   For Henix, they had scored just once so far, as Roh of House Quake (Left Wing) had shot at the goal in the 58th minute.  Baelanholmen goalie Traxton of House Blackharth (recently re-inserted into the starting lineup) had dove to block the shot, but it had bounced to the center of the Penalty Box, where Endru of House Adib (Center Midfielder) had been in perfect position to launch the football right back to the goal with Traxton not able to get back up in time to stop him.   However, despite several attempts, Henix just could not get that 2nd goal across, as Traxton was having one of the best games of his season, seemingly mentally on point for once.

It was now the 93rd minute, the 3rd of Stoppage Time (out of an expected 5), time was running out, but the Firebirds were driving.    Roh and Ewick were dribbling the ball around, passing to each other in a frenzied final attempt to get a decent pass off.   Entering the Penalty Box, Ewick passed to Roh, hoping that all the time he spent working on the kid’s confidence would pay off in a big way.   However, right as Roh was swinging his foot at the ball, he was tackled roughly by Tyfir of House Angelbacc (Centerback), the ball sent flying towards the sideline.    For a split second, the Henix fans screamed bloody murder in the horror that their season could be over (word had traveled that Jahnsel had indeed won their game by now).  However, the referee ran towards the tackle, he was calling a rare foul on Tyfir!    Henix would get one more chance to tie the game!

While Roh was penalized, in the rules of football, anyone can take a Penalty Kick in the event of a foul.  Despite wanting very much for his teammate to get the chance to prove he was finally over his timidness and ready to be a star, Ewick knew he had to take the shot himself.   He was the team’s best shooter, and with the relegation at stake, there was no way that he wasn’t taking the kick.  After giving Traxton some mandatory trash talking (hey, Ewick wasn’t about to let the opportunity to get into the frail goalkeeper’s head go to waste!   Trash talking was a big part of his game anyway, to not do it now would make him look worried), Ewick lined up for the shot.   Traxton, irritated about the non-sense coming out of Ewick’s mouth, set up in the center of the goal.   He’d had a rough season, there was no denying that, even losing his starting job at one point.   But he was focused, he was ready, and now he was angry.   There was no way that cocky little jerk was going to score on him, no way!  Traxton would send him and his trash talking mouth down to the 2nd Division, he just knew it!

Ewick moved to take the shot, paused for just a moment in an attempt to fake Traxton out, take shot towards the middle of the goal, anticipating Traxton to leap in either direction.   The ball sprang towards the goal…

And as Ewick predicted, scooted by the goalie as Traxton had leaped to his left, completely fooled for a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!    

And what a goal it was, at the last possible chance!    Henix had found a way to tie the ballgame!    After Baelanholme tried (and failed) to get a super speedy final drive on, the cannon would explode to signal the end of the game, leaving the result a 2-2 draw!   

For all the talk about the teams possibly colluding with each other to guarantee a tie, they got the draw anyway.  (Not that it would stop bitter Jahnsel fans from accusing the two teams of working together, a minor controversy that would eventually die out).  This means that Baelanholme and Henix both will survive to play in the 1st Division next year, while Jahnsel will be relegated to the 2nd Division in Year 70.  

Ultimately, the Avornian Football Committee (as well as the non Earch and Jahnsel fans) were happy with the relegation rule, even if it probably should have been announced at the start of the season instead of half way into it.   With Petorvale dominating the league, it was nice to still have a reason to watch the weaker teams play its final few weeks.   The hope is that Promotion and Relegation will make the game of football all the more exciting.   Judging from this final week in Year 69, one would have to believe it has!

Next: A Very Busy Year 69 Offseason, A King’s Cup to Run, A Merger To Finalize, And Several New Teams To Be Introduced To!   C&C Always Welcomed!

Last edited by Stickman (1/13/2023 1:21 pm)

     Thread Starter

1/17/2023 12:50 pm  #37

Re: Avornian Football League

Hammers take the league! Hammers take the league! 
Good to see that Youth Academy pay immediate dividends. Who is even thinking about the year 68 season and what could have been had Svontal not gotten hurt and missed most of the season? 
Not the champs! 

Seriously loving this series. Keep it up!  

Only the written records of his travels survive.

1/18/2023 6:19 am  #38

Re: Avornian Football League

Balu the Bare wrote:

Hammers take the league! Hammers take the league! 
Good to see that Youth Academy pay immediate dividends. Who is even thinking about the year 68 season and what could have been had Svontal not gotten hurt and missed most of the season? 
Not the champs! 

Seriously loving this series. Keep it up!  

Thanks for the kind words as always!

Yeah, it was definitely a nice surprise to see the Youth Academy concept work out so quickly for Petorvale!  From a canonical point of view, it pretty much cements its importance to the rest of the league and ensures that all teams will be investing heavy resources into youth development in the future (if they haven't already done so).

Yeah, Svontal's injury in Year 68 definitely hurt the Hammers' chances big time, but it's nice to see that they became Year 69 champions to make up for that!   Good thing too, as Year 70 looks like it'll be a highly competitive one with several teams on the rise!

Last edited by Stickman (1/18/2023 6:23 am)

     Thread Starter

1/18/2023 5:11 pm  #39

Re: Avornian Football League

King’s Cup, Year 69

5. Anjocca over 7. Dobo 3-3 (4-3 Penalty Kicks)
6. Tomen over 10. Baelanholme 4-4 (5-3 Penalties)
9. Henix over 12. Earch 3-1
11. Jahnsel over 8. Hanuna 4-1

2. Chalmblaank over 5. Anjocca 1-0
4. Leorux over 9. Henix 2-0
3. Silagnak over 11. Jahnsel 1-0 (after extra time)
1. Petorvale over 6. Tomen 3-1

4. Leorux over 3. Silagnak 2-2 (4-2 Penalties)
1. Petorvale over 2. Chalmblaank 1-0 (a.e.t.)

1. Petorvale over 4. Leorux 2-2 (3-2 Penalties, took 6 rounds)

After the disappointment that was last year’s King’s Cup, Avornian Football fans were rewarded with what has to have been the most exciting Cup to date, with 4 of the 11 games going to Penalty Kicks and an additional two games requiring extra time after regulation. 

Petorvale would indeed win its first ever Cup Championship, though it would be a challenging ride to say the least.   After dispatching Tomen in the quarterfinals fairly easily, a meeting with Chalmblaank was drawn up for the semifinals.   That Petorvale-Chalmblaank game will go down in infamy, but it was also a highly dramatic football game, with several near misses as Cooma of House Niccagua and Matrick of House Cattlebottle (Goalkeepers for Petorvale and Chalmblaank respectively) had lights out performances.    However, Petorvale would eventually win in on a 117th minute goal by Svontal of House Dors (Right Forward) to move onto the final. 

Leorux had never made it to a King’s Cup final before Year 69, but this would finally be their season.   After beating a very game ninth seeded Henix club 2-0, Leorux drew third seeded Silagnak.   Most expected the Black and Blues to dominate the game, but the Leorux-Silagnak match up was one for the ages.   Silagnak did take an early 2-0 lead after just 14 minutes, but the Elves’ defense would hold strong there after.  Joezas of House Nook (Left Forward) scored a beautiful header off of a Carles of House Yalmount (Right Forward) pass in the 67th minute, while Carles himself would get the ball into the net on a rocket of a shot in the 83rd minute to even the score.   Silagnak’s Varner of House Patracks (Right Forward) will likely rue a missed opportunity to regain his team’s lead in the 111th minute of extra time, as, trying to aim his shot ever so perfectly into a corner, hit the upright instead.  Had he just worried about taking a regular shot instead of being too precise, he’d have likely gotten the ball in.   The game would go to Penalty Kicks, which Leorux would surprisingly win easily (given Silagnak’s offensive talents, it's a surprise that they only got 2 of their shots into the goal).

Due to an ugly incident in the previous matchup, Petorvale was know short a major asset for the King’s Cup Final and they missed him, as Leorux was able to jump to an early 2-0 lead in a game that probably shouldn’t have been competitive.   It took Petorvale’s Ceecil of House Ackerberry (Right Center Midfielder) pulling off a goal from a jumping kick and later a header off of a corner kick to even the score.  Even after extra time, regulation would end 2-2 and the teams would be forced to compete in Penalty Kicks to determine which team would win its first King’s Cup.   Ultimately, Petorvale would prevail, 3-2, though thanks to great goal keeping from both teams, it would take six full rounds before the victor was decided.  

It is worth shouting out Henix and Jahnsel for their efforts.  Interestingly, while all teams have been allowed to compete in the King’s Cup, never had a team seeded lower than 8th ever actually won a game before.   Henix was the 9th seed (that luckily drew up 12th seed Earch in the first round) and Jahnsel was the 11th seed, their victory over 8th seed Hanuna means that despite being relegated, Jahnsel at least set a record that won’t be beaten for a long time (thanks to there only being 10 teams in the 1st Division going forward). 

However, all of that will be overshadowed by what will go down as the ugliest black eye in Avornian Football history (at least up to this point).   During the Petorvale-Chalmblaank game, in the 105th minute,  Chalmblaank’s Matrack was able to prevent Petorvale’s Garrend of House Jackleton (Left Forward) from scoring on a nice diving play.   Matrack would do his now customary finger wave taunt to celebrate and get into Garrend’s head.   And get into it he did, as Garrend utterly snapped, running towards the goalie and beginning an ugly fist fight.  To make matters worse, fans from both sides jumped the stands and rushed into the fray (how the Avornian Guard allowed this became a source of investigation during the offseason).   It would take nearly 10 full minutes to finally sort through the mess, a full 40 people were injured during the fray, including both Garrend and Matrack.   Unfortunately, one of those happened to be a distant relative to King Mikelangel III, who had jumped in early to try to break up the fight.  Not surprisingly, Mikelangel III was furious over the incident.   To placate him, Avornian Football Commissioner Ravael of House Banswell would temporarily suspend Garrend from the King’s Cup final (had Chalmblaank not been eliminated already, Matrack would have been too) to await further punishment.

King’s Cups From Year 70 Onward

Now that the Avornian Football League consisted of two divisions, questions arose as to how the King’s Cup would be run going forward.   While an idea was floated that the Cup could consist of teams from both divisions, former Federation of Avornia Football Commissioner Yoel of House Ramaloon (now a member of the Avornian Football Committee) suggested instead that both divisions could have their own cups.   The 1st Division’s King’s Cup could be renamed the King’s Golden Cup, while the 2nd Division’s could be called the King’s Silver Cup.   Yoel felt it would be a good idea to give teams potentially stuck in the 2nd Division for years to have a championship of their own to compete for, worrying that pitting the two divisions against each other would usually just result in teams from the 1st Division always winning.

Ravael liked the idea and so both divisions will have their own King’s Cup.   Winning the King’s Silver Cup would appropriately result in a reward of 5 silver coins (half the prize money winning the King’s Golden Cup awards, meaning the average player earns just over 27 papers each for winning the Silver Cup.  Considering that the average footballer’s salary is about 66 papers currently, that’s a nice chunk of change!), in addition to being considered Cup Champions.  

Promotion and Relegation From Year 70 Onward

The Avornian Football Committee held several meeting during the offseason to discuss how the new promotion and relegation system would work going forward.    Two teams had been relegated in Year 69, but that was only to even the total amount of teams in each division to ten.  Going forward, it’s been decided that only one team will be promoted into Division 1 and one relegated to Division 2.   The Committee felt that it would be a real possibility that a team could bounce around the two divisions too easily, which they wanted to avoid.   So, for the purposes of stability and giving newly promoted teams every opportunity possible to stick around for many years, they went with one team changing per division.   As more teams over the years were to get added, the number of promoted and relegated teams will be reviewed at that point.

The Lucky 8 Teams

One major issue that needed addressed was decided which of the remaining old Federation of Avornian Football teams would be absorbed into the new Avornian Football League 2nd Division, to join Earch FFC and Jahnsel United.   Jahnsel’s merger, plus the sudden folding of the Silagnak team, left just thirteen remaining teams to vie for eight spots, (Earch City, Tomen Sporting Club, Forest Rangers FC, Goblec, Shadoma, Shadow Riders, Naide, Rammsten, Anhkana, Toidana, Meshalketh, Cheppard, and Elkstrom).

The first additions and subtractions were determined by reviewing all the cities that could now have two clubs.   Earch and Tomen, the biggest cities in Avornia, were deemed big enough to justify having multiple teams.  Thus, Earch City and Tomen Sporting Club were the first two teams to be selected to join the 2nd Division.   However, there were two other cities with two clubs, those cities are just small enough to where a decision would have to be made.  

Forest Rangers FC and Goblec Football Club, in the forest city of Goblec between Leorux and Hanuna, made things easy by simply agreeing to merge and combine their resources.   In truth, with Forest Rangers being the far more popular and successful team, Goblec FC probably never had a real chance to win that fight, so offering the merger was their only real hope to survive.  In Shadoma, the arid city near the dreaded Sandwyrm Desert, things would be tougher to sort out.   Shadoma Football Club was the more financially sound of the two teams, but Shadow Riders were probably the more popular of the two.  Success wasn’t a factor, as both had been mid-tier clubs, neither ever seriously contended for the Federation league championship.    Unlike with Goblec, the owners of the two clubs couldn’t come to a friendly agreement, Shadoma’s owner (the first ever woman football owner) found the Shadow Riders’ owner sexist, Shadow Riders’ owner finding her to be difficult and uncompromising.  After both clubs made their case, the Committee ultimately decided with the richer Shadoma, meaning the Avornian Football League will have it’s first female owner, a milestone reached.  

While the two club cities out of the way, the Committee now had to figure out the remaining four teams.    Naide, a city near the Tomen River that acts as a gateway city of sorts- connecting Tomen, Hanuna, and Silagnak- was a no brainer, being currently the 6th biggest city in the kingdom.  Rammsten, a mining city that made a huge mining discovery that has made it a very rich city in next to no time, was the next choice due to the potential population growth that could make it the next great Avornian city.  For the same reasons the Naide and Rammsten were picked, Anhkana and Toidana were eliminated.   Both are just too small of cities to be seriously considered for football teams, (though the Committee did like the idea of a Dobo-Anhkana rivalry, there’s plenty of history between those two cities). 

The remaining three clubs, Meshalketh, Cheppard, and Elkstrom, were debated over for several days.  Meshalketh was finally picked to join, as they were the biggest remaining city.   It doesn’t have a history of football passion within the city compared to the other two cities, but they do have some excellent meat from their livestocks (Which was probably used as a bribe to get Meshalketh in.   Yes, their steaks really are that good!).    Cheppard, being located by Jahnsel and Leorux, has a natural “Triangle Cities” friendly rivalry of sorts with those teams and has 3 times the population that Elkstrom has, so naturally, their civilians assumed they’d get the last league spot.   However, surprisingly, Elkstrom was chosen instead.   Elkstrom isn’t a particularly rich community (and hasn’t been in years), so they were seen as an odd choice.   However, it’s worth noting that Shonnie of House Bochwiller, Silagnak’s owner, was VERY passionate in vouching for Elkstrom.   That might not draw suspicion (even for the rumored crimelord), but it’s well known that Silagnak and Elkstrom have long had a history of being two of the most corrupt cities in the kingdom.   Elkstrom, infamous for it’s “Shooting Star” alcoholic beverage (which is so potent that it’s illegal in Avornia) has long been suspected of supplying the drink to the various crime lords for decades now.   Shonnie likely was paying the city back by getting them into the Avornian Football League.   Regardless of why they were chosen, tiny Elkstrom becomes the 20th and (currently) the final team in the completed 2nd Division!

Team Kits

Finally, a decision was made in regards to uniforms.   For years now, fans have complained about certain teams’ jerseys looking too similar, causing occasional confusion.   That ends now, as all Avornian Football League teams have introduced a 2nd jersey that they can wear to clash a little more with teams that have similar uniform colors.   Admittedly, these won’t be worn too often, so disappointedly, most teams chose not to go all out with their new kits, but some teams did take the opportunity to switch things up a little.  More will come in the next posts during the Team by Team previews.

NEXT: 2nd Division Team by Team Previews (and Introductions!)

Any favorites so far with the new uniforms?  Any you absolutely hate?   Let me know and feel free to provide any other C & C you'd like!

     Thread Starter

1/21/2023 10:51 am  #40

Re: Avornian Football League

Avornian Football League, Year 70, 2nd Division Team by Team Preview

Earch FFC (Falcons) (Owner: Seesar of House Romi) (Manager: Ryckard of House Greaza) (Formation: 4-4-1-1): With Earch FFC’s relegation into the 2nd Division, it was no surprise at all that Seesar cut ties with Dennai of House Endear as manager, who had been an excellent footballer, but a limited manager.   Dennai had good qualities to him as a leader, but had infamously refused to allow non-nobles to join the team and Seesar felt that with Earch City having quite a pick of the litter to choose from, athlete-wise, he wanted a new captain that would not only embrace non-nobles, but make it a priority to utilize them (Seesar, toward a noble himself, came from a family that forced their youth to work for a “living” for a few years to teach them the value of hard work and to never look down at commoners).   His new manager certainly got the point across, as House Greaza certainly isn’t a noble household.   Ryckard was never much of a footballer himself but had managed Earch City in the Federation of Avornian Football until last year, when he took the year off.  

With Ryckard’s arrival also comes a new formation.  Never liking the traditional 4-3-3, Ryckard introduces a new 4-4-1-1 setup, which is basically a 4-4-2 with the second striker playing “in the hole”.   The Hole is expected to play behind the traditional Striker, but is generally the more creative player in the formation.   Aili of House Fendeleeni will take on that role, being Earch FFC’s best striker and a generally creative shooter.   Rhantony of House Vivilyn, a generally alright player that struggled at times last year, takes over the traditional Striker role.   The hope is that the shakeup makes Earch FFC’s offense more dangerous.

The defense, which has been much worse in recent years, could be getting a much needed facelift.  Daivan of House Banswell (Right Fullback) retired after struggling with head injuries, but Earch FFC is excited about Beenju of House Namacka (Left Fullback), a relative of Earch City’s Dabu and is seen as a really solid athlete that can provide some attitude to the defense, as he’s a nasty fellow.   There’s a concern that he might be a likely penalty risk with his aggressiveness, but Ryckard likes his style.   Coming back again is Hobbs of House Vinicius (Left Centerback).  If Hobbs ever plays like he did in Year 67 (his rookie year), the Earchian left backfield could be awfully hard to break.  However, that could be a big ask of Hobbs, ever since he suffered a bad left ankle injury in Year 68, he’s been disappointing.

While most of the players shouldn’t be too problematic with the idea of nobles and non-nobles mingling, there still is the matter of the team’s captain, Neuten of House Claybill (Right Center Midfielder).   Neuten’s a solid player, particularly with defensive responsibilities, and has good leadership, but he’s clearly been a bit hesitant to click with his non-noble teammates.   The hope is that this doesn’t become a problem, Ryckard will have enough on his plate in his first season as Earch FFC Manager, a proud club with a competitive owner that wants to get back into the 1st Division as soon as yesterday.  There’s reason to be optimistic about their chances, as this seems like an improved club, but the competition will be fierce with just one promotion spot available this year.  One final update is that Earch FFC will be donning a new primary kit.   Never a fan of the all red look, Seesar decided to pay complete tribute to the Avornian national flag (A black falcon on a red background) by updating the look to include a red and black striped shirt over red pants.   The 2nd jersey… is less inspired, a plain white shirt with black collar and black pants.  Since it won’t be worn often, fans can get much more used to the red and black stripes.

Jahnsel United (Jackrabbits) (Owner: Ryne of House Ewickson) (Player Captain: Derrec of House Smyt) (Formation: 4-3-3): It’s been a long couple of years for the Jackrabbit faithful, but one would have to imagine that things could finally turn around thanks to the team’s merger with the Federation’s Jahnsel team.   With the sudden influx of new (old) talents returning to the team, even grouchy team owner Ryne (who remains the only team owner due to the Federation’s Jahnsel having none) looks unusually excited, expecting the team to quickly rebound and make it right back to the 1st Division.   Considering that last year’s Jackrabbits only had a -2 goal differential (tied for 6th best!) last season despite finishing in 11th place, it may not be out of the realm of possibility. 

Of all the old stars to come back, fans might be most excited about Bili of House Yelbow’s (Center Forward) return.  The short, but speedy forward was always a vertical threat for defenses to have to worry about.   He should be a problem for defenses still, as he’s probably still in his athletic prime.   His teammate, Jimm of House Tamacka (Right Wing), is a different kind of problem for defenses, his 6’4” frame providing the height that Jahnsel United will love to have.  What they won’t love is Jimm’s injury history at the Federation, he missed time in both of his seasons there with nagging knee problems.   Hopefully, a fresh start is just what he needs to bounce back.   The team captain, Derrec (Left Midfielder) has once again volunteered to step back into a midfielder role.   In truth, Derrec is starting to lose a couple of steps, it appears he’s finally declining as a player.   Nonetheless, he’s a very adept game planner and his high football IQ and field awareness makes him capable of leading the team on many an offense drive.  The Jackrabbit’s offense will probably never reach the heights it did in Year 67, when it set the Avornian Football League record for goals scored in a season, but it should still be very good.

The defense should be fine, with pretty boy Casby of House Danners (Left Centerback) returning, having impressed greatly as a rookie.   There’s some worry that his massive popularity could cause him to have a regression (There’s rumors that this year’s Harvest Dance could be a fiery one for him.   The Harvest Dance is the big Jahnsel festival where the highlight of the night is when all the available women choose which available man they want to dance with.   With marriages often following the Dance, it’s likely the Casby will have a LOT of competition for his hand).   To be fair, Casby’s training camp has gone well, so he may be keeping himself plenty motivated, which would be excellent for United.   Another returnee, Nedham of House Velcross returns as Goalkeeper.  He’s tall, at 6’6” and was so good for Jahnsel in Year 67 that he literally inspired an entire league to consider height as a factor for starting goalies.  He played decently in the Federation, which seems to indicate that he should be just fine in his return to the League.

Overall, Jahnsel United looks much improved and on paper, seems like one of the favorites to earn promotion back into the 1st Division.   The only real worry (besides the usual injury and regression concerns) is whether the team’s chemistry will have been negatively affected by several teammates leaving the team for a couple of years.   But for fans, it really does feel like it’s Year 67 again.   To aid with that nostalgia, Ryne (in a rare moment of him taking control of the team instead of making Derrec do it) has changed the kit back to the classic white shirt and navy pants look.  The only difference is that now the shirts have navy cuffs (which is literally only because Ryne didn’t know the original jerseys had plain white cuffs).   The navy shirt and orange pants are still being kept, but only has a rarely used 2nd jersey.  The team looks like it once did, now it’s time to see if they’ll play like they used to.

Earch City (Commoners) (Owner: Fiddick of House Assaburn) (Player Captain: Dabu of House Namacka) (Formation: 4-3-3): Earch has long been a city with a clear society divide between nobles and non-nobles (commoners), the nobles usually avoiding the commoners when they can and when interaction is absolutely necessary, the nobles will often treat the commoners poorly.  For commoners, years of this societal mistreatment has been up a deep resentment against the rich community.   When the Federation of Avornian Football came around in Year 67, wanting to put a team in the kingdom’s largest city, they found no shortage of football fanatics that were ready to prove a point.   Fiddick of House Assaburn, a working classman that owned the biggest food stand in the city, had enough money to buy the rights to owning the team.   He would make a huge splash immediately by signing popular football star Dabu of House Namacka (Center Forward) that year, who led Earch City to the next Federation league championship. 

Dabu has since taken over as the team’s player captain, starting in Year 69.   So far, Dabu’s skilled as a leader have been somewhat below average, being too lenient on his teammates and not pushing them to their potential.  Nobody that Fiddick has hired to lead the team has ever had a good eye for talent, either, despite the potentially large talent pool to choose from.  Earch City had finished in the bottom 5 last year and unfortunately doesn’t look like a great team this year either.   Dabu himself is by now past his prime, no longer as agile as he used to be, but he’s still a natural at ball control.   Still, Dabu alone cannot win Earch City a title and it’s likely they’ll finish in the bottom half of the standings, maybe even as low as last place.

When it comes to the identity of the team, the nickname was an easy one for City fans.  Being seen as “their” team, the one that really represents the city people of Earch (hence, why Earch City), the fans quickly adapted the nickname of the Commoners, as a knock on the noble centric Earch FFC.  Earch City wears a brown shirt with white lateral lines down the sides (EDITOR’S NOTE:  You’ll have to forgive the “suspenders” appearance, I’m assuming the white lines are only supposed to be on the sides of the jersey and not the front of it).  Since Earchian nobles often accuse the commoners of being a “dirty people”, Earch City decided to run with it and take it as a source of inspiration and pride that unlike dainty nobles, they can (and like to!) get down and dirty.   Wearing white pants that are guaranteed to get dirty in Earch City’s muddy pitch (they are allowed to play at Earch FFC’s arena, but choose not to, sticking with a downtown field that gives their field and up close and personal feel).   Their alternate jersey is about as uninspired as Earch FFC’s is, ironically, they’ve simply went with a plain white shirt and brown pants.   Still, they’re the only team that wears brown, so they’ll stand out in nearly every game they’re in, whether they can win those games may be another matter.

Sporting Club (Athletics) (Owner: Arron of House Kattlar) (Player Captain: Jaxson of House Dharbell) (Formation: 4-4-2): Arron has been a lifelong sporting man, he loves swimming, archery, sprinting, pretty much anything that requires athleticism.   Already a very wealthy man due to family ties, he came up with a novel idea not long after the Avornian Football League debuts.    If football can have clubs, why not make clubs for every sport out there?   Thus, Tomen Sporting Club was invented, a means to give any Tomen youth access to train in whatever athletic endeavor that they so desired.   When the Federation of Avornian Football was looking for a team to place in Tomen in Year 67, Arron was the obvious man to talk to about making a 2nd squad.   While the football team takes on the official name of Tomen Sporting Club, pretty much everyone just calls them Sporting Club to differentiate them from the other Tomen team.   Wearing a yellow shirt with light green sleeves and light green shorts, Sporting Club is a very bright looking team (their 2nd jersey no less so, being a light green shirt with yellow collar and cuffs with the same light green shorts).  All Sporting Club teams, regardless of what sport, are called the Athletics, so there was no surprise when the football team adapted that nickname too.

Keeping with the athletic theme, Arron has had a tradition of using Player Captains to lead the team rather than hiring full time managers, believing that a leader should be willing to go through what his troops do.    Jaxson (Right Center Midfielder) took over last year in Year 69 after the previous player captain retired.  He’s got excellent leadership skills and is a decent tactician too.   As a player, his passing game is at a very high level and with his natural good conditioning, Jaxson can run all over the field very easily.  The only other high profile player on the team is their 2nd year Left Centerback, Shuka of House Erlong.   Another good athlete in great shape, Shuka is best known for being a bit of a cheap player, perfectly willing to commit penalties.  Shuka’s generally a rather smart footballer and somehow managed to never commit any of those penalties in the Penalty Box, keeping his dirty tactics to the outside.   He’s also got an absolute cannon for a leg, usually knowing when to launch a ball to the other side of the field to give his defense a chance to reset.  Other than Jaxson and Shuka, it’s not likely that Sporting Club has enough talent to really contend for promotion, though Arron has historically been a fairly patient owner so far. 

Rammsten (Bighorns) (Owner: Hatter of House Maiflay) (Manager: Dove of House Clissard) (Formation: 3-2-2-3/WM): Rammsten is primarily a mining city, mostly forgotten throughout most of the early years of Avornia’s history.  However, ten years ago, near the end of a long day of pick-axing rocks, Hatter would stumble upon the ultimate jackpot when he discovered that his tunnel held crystals.   These weren’t just normal rocks either.   With a pulsing energy that’s just asking to be tapped into, these “blessed crystals” are said to be from Dobotitus himself for human use.  What those uses are haven’t been revealed yet, but rumors are that every mage that has worked with these have been stunned by the potential.   Needless to say, this finding made Hatter a very wealthy man very quickly, as he made a fortune off of all the crystals, essentially retiring on the spot at the ripe old age of 23.   As recently as Year 68, he made the move to buy the rights to a football team in the Federation of Avornian Football.  Seeing how quickly the once near barren Rammsten’s population had been exploding, (not surprisingly due to people rushing to the area from all over to try to get their hands on more crystals), the Federation immediately saw the potential that the city had and happily accepted them into the league. 

In the two seasons that they were in the Federation, Rammsten would prove themselves a solid competitor, although they will be introducing a new manager in Dove (pronounced like “I dove into the water” rather than “I saw a dove”).  Dove, a childhood friend of Hatter, is a huge football fan, and seems like a smart guy with an unusual 3-2-2-3 formation (also called the WM formation due to the general shape that the players’ positioning makes on a board).   Leading the offense is Tarky of House Aglond (Center Forward), who’s fast style combined with his deadly accurate shots on goals make him a huge threat if he’s allowed to get any space to work with.    That doesn’t always happen though, as teams figured out that he can fold fairly easily when defenders crowd him, he tends to chicken out and not be too fancy with shots in those situations.   Considering his injury history, Tarky may be smart to avoid too much physicality, being a bit frail.  The defense’s two major stars are Kackeron of House Baoba (Left Halfback, a position that’s more of a defensive bases midfielder) and Doog of House Tapperton (Goalkeeper).   Kackeron is a remarkably tall man, at 6’10”, but might be more renown for being one of the biggest pranksters in the area, (who’s going to get mad at him, being so huge?).   However goofy he may be in person, on the field, he’s a surprisingly frighteningly competitive guy, using his height well to win many a header.    Doog, having been with Rammsten since the beginning, has impressed with his excellent reflexes, among the best in the country.   He’s pretty patient too, so drawing him off position isn’t easy either.   Rammsten should have a tough defense, which will likely allow them to compete for promotion.

Being a mountain city, Rammsten as a town is well known for it’s bighorn ram population, which did help inspire the city’s name.   Being well known for the sound their huge horns make when the clash into each other, (which sounds like thunderclaps), Hatter decided to nickname his team the Bighorns and has actively encouraged fans to bring any discarded horns that the beast sheds to games to whack them against each other.   Opponents often dread coming to Rammsten due to the annoying noise that loudly echoes throughout the game.  For uniforms, the Bighorns’ main kit is a light blue paired with burgundy pants, Hatter liking the color combination.   The 2nd jersey is an all burgundy set with an interesting white and blue striped patterns on the shirt.  They definitely stand out amongst all the designs so far seen in the Avornian Football League.  

Elkstrom (Rapids) (Owner: Jatson of House Hilloppolo) (Manager: Korb of House Hilloppolo) (Formation: 4-2-4): Bless their hearts, the lovely people of Elkstrom might be some of the simplest, most backwoods people in all of Avornia.  Back in the later years of the 2nd Age, Elkstrom was a thriving city due to the discovery of gold in and around the Whipper Rapids.  Unfortunately, those days are long gone, the gold likely depleted years ago.   This has left Elkstrom without much to offer the rest of the kingdom.   Except for nearby Silagnak, that is.   It’s been known for years (though never proven) that Elkstrom has long been a supplier of “Shooting Star”, an illegal, if profitable, alcohol that’s extremely potent.  As a result of the two cities business arrangement, Elkstrom and Silagnak are considered to be on very close terms compared to most cities.   No surprise then that Silagnak’s owner, Shonnie of House Bochwiller, pushed very, very hard to get his “little brothers” from Elkstrom their own Avornian Football team.

The owner, Jatson, is likely one of the smarter residents of Elkstrom, being one of the few adult men that doesn’t spend approximately 12 hours a day drunk.   He saved up enough money to purchase the rights to Elkstrom’s team in Year 68.   After then Federation commissioner Yoel of House Ramaloon vetoed Jatson’s originally team nickname of Elk, (“The Elkstrom Elk… Isn’t that a big redundant?” “No siree!  We ain’t re-doned nuttin’ yet, that’s why we’s asking yer permission to use the name first!” “…denied”), Jatson decided to nickname the team the Rapids, after the Whipper Rapids, a very fast and dangerous river that naturally every male in Elkstrom has tried to sail across on mattresses at least twice.   For uniforms, Elkstrom has an interesting checkerboard styled outfit, red and white in color for most games.  The 2nd jersey is literally the exact same design, just with blue and white instead.   It’s definitely interesting and rather inspired for such a simple city, but it works.

The Rapids might actually be a rather fitting name, seeing as Jatson’s brother, Korb (Manager), insists on a fast paced, all-out offensive style with his 4-2-4.   Eschewing ball control completely, the Rapids’ general strategy involves fast paced, quick strikes towards the goal.  Unfortunately, it’s not been particularly effective so far, as Elkstrom finished in the bottom three in both of their years in the Federation.  About the only good player on the team is rookie Tum of House Leven (Right Fullback), isn’t even an offensive minded player.  For his part, Tum is a typical Strom tough guy, very buff, very aggressive, and very stupid.   It’s already clear watching him in training camp that he’s going to commit a lot of penalties.   Luckily, he’s got a great gas tank and an excellent leg that can kick start one of those lightning fast offensive drives, so he does have his uses.   Aside from him, Elkstrom really doesn’t have a lot of offer competitively and likely will struggle to win the ball control game with only 2 midfielders.  There’s a high likelihood that they finish in the bottom three again. 

Forest Rangers FC (Rangers) (Owners: Hanck of House Forker and Widi of House Dreng) (Manager: Slaide of House Booshka) (Formation: 4-3-3):  Goblec, like Henix, is another city whose name is based on an ancient spelling, in this case, Goblec is the ancient word for Goblin, a creature that still causes trouble for the citizens of Goblec to this day.   Why someone named the city after the impish creature will never be known, but what is confirmed is that they are a huge source of annoyance for the city.    The western part of the Great Woodlands is where the goblins make their home and they spent their time attacking civilians, eating their crops, or worse, kidnapping people (usually kids).    Enter the Forest Rangers, a band of volunteers who ride throughout the huge forest, rescuing kidnapped individuals and dealing punishment to the heathens.  

For whatever reason, two different football teams existed in the Federation days despite Goblec’s small size.   The Forest Rangers Football Club, named in tribute to the brave volunteers, were always the more successful and profitable team of the two and were the obvious choice for the Avornian Football League to choose.   Often just called the Rangers, they wear a “forest green” kit with a tan sash design from shoulder to opposite hip for their primary.   The secondary kit is just a white kit with a dark green sash, but it’s still overall a unique look that the fans like.

Hanck, a former leader of the Forest Rangers and a shockingly buff man despite being 74 years old, and Widi, the former owner of the smaller Goblec club merged together and amicably combined resources to make the team the best it could be.   Forest Rangers FC’s manager, Slaide, has led the team since its formation in Year 66 and not surprisingly was chosen to continue to manager the squad.   A stern man, Slaide leads with an iron fist, having no tolerance for mistakes.   The offense will be led by third year player, Canton of House Bendakic (Center Forward), a master at the art of space creation with his excellent dribbling skills.   In great shape, he’s a solid captain for the team.   The defense’s best player is the goalkeeper, Vocher of House Ancha, formerly of the smaller Goblec team.  He’s a highly aggressive goalie that is not afraid to charge at a contested ball.  That risky playstyle can get him burned occasionally, but usually, he’s quick enough to stop a potential scoring play because of his aggression.   Talent-wise, the Rangers are going to be among the large handful of favorites to earn promotion, being well coached and having both a great forward and goalie.  

Naide (Cardinals) (Owner: Artchen of House Villasammahl) (Manager: Rockstan of House Sanjo) (Formation: 4-3-2-1): In an ancient time, the place that is now known as Naide was a huge, sprawling city, likely the capital of some forgotten kingdom that was annihilated long before Avornia came about.   Relics of that kingdom still exist today, with unique tall white marble buildings with many pillars that likely served as government buildings and temples to other gods.   Ancient architecture is far from the other highlight for Naide.   The Ministry of Mages, an establishment designed for the purpose of finding those who have magical powers, honing their skills, and even helping find employment in the many cities that need mages for a variety of purposes, is based in Naide.  The most famous place in town, though, is the massive House of Song.   A gigantic, see-through dome, it is filled with full grown trees, a multitude of all sorts of songbirds, mini-streams, even a choir that literally exists just to harmonize all day long, the House of Song is the ultimate tourist trap, easily the most beautiful place in what’s already the most beautiful city in Avornia.   Tourism is the name of the game in Naide, as nobles and rich people from all over the kingdom visit Naide to see the spectacles it has to offer.   Naidens very quickly learned how to fake friendliness and hospitality to visitors for a quick buck or two, but don’t be deceived.   Being located at a crossroads by Tomen (a nice city full of lying salesmen) and Silagnak (a less nice city full of criminals), Naidens are a guarded people, far less trusting than one would assume.

Artchen, the team’s owner, comes from a line of family that owns and operates the House of Song.   An avid bird lover, he’s chosen to nickname the team the Cardinals, after his favorite bird.   Unfortunately, while he’s a solid businessman, Artchen is also something of a headcase, being very needy and demanding (if he wasn’t well known, most Naidens would assume he was an outsider by his behavior).   Indeed, part of Rockstan’s (Manager) job (on top of managing the team) is to follow Artchen around, attending to his needs and consoling him during every one of his many meltdowns.   Frankly, Rockstan isn’t a great gameplanner at all and likely is only still managing due to being a brown noser.    The real manager may as well be Syman of House Dilson (Center Midfielder), who runs the team’s unusual 4-3-2-1.  Syman is capable of leading drives with his top level passing game and stopping drives too with his tackling.  He quite literally can do it all and has, even substituting as a goalie when the Cardinals’ main starter was ill for a game.  Overall, the Cardinals have a pretty solid defense and should do well as long as Syman does most of the leading and Rockstan sticks to being Artchen’s personal secretary.   If this happens, Naide could perform well. 

For uniforms, the Cardinals unsurprisingly wear red, but they actually have a double red primary set, the dark red shirt with a few brighter red lines.   The 2nd jersey might actually be the better looking one, a striking blue shirt with light blue stripes over blue shorts.  

Shadoma (Desert Roses) (Owner: Pharrah of House Patrah) (Manager: Momo of House Chadrack) (Formation: 4-4-2): Shadoma, located by the Lake of Shadows by the sourching Sandwyrm Desert, is indeed a warm area, though the nearby lake does help a bit.   A civilization that claims to have tamed dragons ages ago, Shadomans called them “Shadows” because of the huge shadows that they’d leave as they soared in the skies.   Those who tamed them became known as “Shadow Riders”.   That, plus the Lake of Shadows, unsurprisingly helped inspire the city’s name.  One of the other big claims to fame for Shadomans, is their woman, who are renown kingdom-wide for being excellent seamstresses.  So great are the sales for Shadoman fabric and clothing (a large part of Shadoma’s economy), that the Avornian Football League is already looking to make deals with local seamstresses to make jerseys for all the teams in the league now that Shadoma has a team in the league.  Pharrah of House Patrah came from such a family.  A very attractive woman, she quickly caught the eye of the local football team’s owner.  Despite a near 30 year ago difference, they wed, although he just passed passed away during the offseason, leaving Pharrah the sole owner of the team.   When the choice between Shadoma and Shadow Riders joining the Avornian Football League appeared, she felt that her being a woman might prevent her from getting the chance, so she pulled out all the stops in her meeting with the Committee, even opening flirting with some of the members (not a tactic she likes doing at all).   In truth, any concerns the Committee had about her abilities as a businesswoman were more centered on her age (she’s the youngest owner in the league at 27) rather than her gender.   They certainly didn’t mind the playful attention she was given them, but commissioners Ravael and Yoel were more impressed with her ambition as a businesswoman, and it was clear that she had learned a thing or two about how to run a football team from her deceased husband.  In the Committee’s eyes, Shadow Rider, the less successful and financially sound team, never really had a chance to win out.   

Shadoma wears a deep purple with yellow collar and cuffs shirt, with yellow pants.  Being the only team in Avornia to wear purple as their primary color, they’ll stand out nicely.   The alternate jersey is an odd two colored jersey, with a lighter violet an darker gold.   It’s interesting but fans seem to gravitate towards the primary a lot more.   The team’s nickname sounds cute and flowery, but local citizens know better.   The oddly smallish Sandwyrm Desert, (which is said to have been formed ages ago due to a massive curse placed on an ancient civilization, or so Shadoman legend goes) is named for the massive and terrifying Sandwyrms.   Called “Desert Roses”, by the locals, they are extremely long and thin, hairy caterpillar-like worm monsters with no eyes, noses, or ears, it’s head is essentially all mouth.   When their mouths are shut, their heads resemble an unbloomed flower.   However, an opened Desert Rose’s head is a horrifying sight, as they “bloom” like a flower, the head opening up in ten segments.  They have no teeth or tongues in their dark gray mouth, just a huge black hole that leads into it’s stomach, the Sandwyrm can easily swallow a person whole.   Sandwyrm are among the most frightening looking creatures in the kingdom, but there are some people who find them oddly adorable, much like one finds a tarantula cute (in truth, they are also relatively harmless, so long as one avoid the Sandwyrm Desert, the wyrms will never harm them, being content to stay within their territory).   Pharrah is one such woman that finds them appealing, and thus, after she wed her husband in Year 67, asked him to change the team’s nickname from Sand Warriors to the Desert Roses.   Most football fans simply shorten the name to Roses.

As far talent is concerned, the Roses will likely be better on offense than they will be on defense, as they have no distinguishable athlete on that part of the field.   On offense, the 4-4-2 formation, (devised by the humorously named Momo of House Chadrack, Shadoma’s new Manager) is led by polarizing 3rd year Left Forward, Hansa of House Yahas.   A highly physical and naturally fast athlete, Hansa has a cannon for a leg, his shots on goals are some of the most difficult to block due to the speed and power in which he shoots.  He’s also a well known hothead, capable of blowing up at referees, opponents, and even teammates when he feels he’s been wronged.   Pharrah has tolerated him up to this point, but it’s believed that if he wasn’t so talented, she’d have already forced Momo to take him off the team by now (it doesn’t help that he supposedly tried to hit on her while she was still married, though that’s never been confirmed). Another offensive asset, Bogley of House Aevia (Right Center Midfielder), isn’t great on defense, but is a great set piece on attacking drives.  He’s got a really strong leg and, when not looking for passes deep into the opponents territory, is not afraid to let out a deep shot, being accurate enough to get them on target.   He also might have the best throw ins in all of Avornia, he can launch a football nearly 30 yards, very helpful for getting drives started.  Overall, the Roses will be an intriguing team to watch out for, but their defense is pretty bad, bad enough that it’ll likely prevent Shadoma from earning promotion.

Meshalketh (Wraiths) (Owner: Nacholas of House Ewe) (Manager: Adiq of House Pentuna) (Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond): Meshalketh, west of Anjocca but east of the Sandwyrm Desert, is located in a pleasant, hilly area, with grasses that are highly nutritious, suitable for raising livestock.   Indeed, the farming village of Meshalketh is famous for its delicious beef, chicken, and pork.   Apparently, the local wildlife likes Meshalkethan livestock too, as attacks on the farms have been common since time immemorial.  To combat this, years ago, some genius figured out a way to tame some of the local wolf population and the idea quickly spread.   Today, nearly every single household in Meshalketh owns at least one domesticated wolf pet to act as a sort of livestock protector.  The local football team had been in the Federation of Avornian Football since it’s inception in Year 66, though the team is already on its 2nd owner.   Nacholas of House Ewe frankly looks like he could be part wolf, being a massive bearded guy that has a wolf-like snarl when angry, (which is thankfully rare, as he’s actually very laid back).  A natural competitor, he liked the idea of owning a football team for the sake of wanting to win a championship or two, so he jumped at the chance to buy the team when it was available.   He kept Adiq, who still remains the only manager in Meshalketh’s history.   Adiq uses an unusual 4-4-2 Diamond formation, the middle 4 players, instead of operating in a straightish line, form a diamond shaped pattern instead. 

Meshalketh, in addition to it’s livestock farms, is also famous for it’s haunted hills.   Every single citizen swears up and down that they’ve seen numerous ghosts (sometimes of deceased family members) wandering the hills at night.   This inspired the fans to adopt the team nickname of the Wraiths (the original Meshalketh owner had wanted the nickname to be Wolves, but quickly changed courses when he found out the fans preferred Wraiths).   Their primary jersey is a white and silver striped black shirt with black pants, the team wanting to play up to the ghosts and ghouls like nickname.   The 2nd jersey is an oddity, a white shirt with black shoulder and neck, it almost makes the white part look squarish. 

Meshalketh may be named for a scary ghost, but the football team scares no one.  The only player of note is Offensive Midfielder (the top part of the 4 midfielders diamond shape) Dacki of House Noto.   He’s great at passing and dribbling around defenders, but ultimately has no real talent around him to do much of any real damage.    The Wraiths will likely be in for a long season until they can get some talent around Dacki.

NEXT: Avornian Football League, Year 70, 1st Division, Team by Team Previews

Last edited by Stickman (1/21/2023 10:52 am)

     Thread Starter

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum