A Manager’s Story: OFK Beograd Revival | Season 2016/17

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It’s time to continue my fm story. In an earlier post, I explained why I chose OFK Beograd, as well as a plan for return in a higher rank of the competition. But there is a small problem.

I started playing Football Manager 2017. My club is no longer in the second league (FM 16), but one step lower – Serbian League Belgrade. So there won’t be easy matches …

The finances are very bad. Infrastructure is OK, and the players are great for this rank of the competition.

That is why I have prepared new contracts for those who show quality in preparation matches. This proved to be the right move because good results were achieved.

League and Cup

Sixteen teams are fighting for the first place in the table. Top team wins promotion to Serbian First League. Bottom two teams are relegated.

The competition starts on 13/08/2016, and the last match has a chance to 06/03/2017. I prefer the period when transfers take place.

The cup is an opportunity to get some money but under one condition. It must be avoided by strong teams at the start: Partizan, Red Star and Cukaricki.

I was able to achieve a good result of the first season, but there is room for improvement. It takes time for a new tactic and system.


This is a young and talented team (attributes). I would like to praise midfielders who are fantastic. The attack is OK, but the defense misses the reinforcements at the position DR and DL.

First team looks like this: Nikola Matek (GK), Mile Sarenac (DR), Drasko Djordjevic (DC), Milko Novakovic (DC – free transfer), Milos Zlatkovic (DL), Vasilije Djuric (MCR), Nikola Cuckic (MCL), Aleksa Denkovic (AMR), Stefan Jankovic (AMC), Pavle Radunovic (AML) and Branimir Subasic (STC).

OFK Beograd Tactics

There are not many attackers in the team. That’s why I decided that the primary formation would be 4-2-3-1 Wide.

I use 3-4-3 for the attack, and to defend the result 4-5-1. I consider these are the best formations for my team.

Using one system during the season is not smart. It’s important to combine! For example, I usually start with 4-2-3-1 but change to 3-4-3 during the match.

Pitch dimensions and weather conditions are very important for such things as well as the opponent.

It is not good to make this transformation against a strong team on the pitch dimensions 105-70m. If you do not believe it, try.


After 17 games played, OFK Belgrade is the second in the table – 7 wins, 9 draws and 1 loss. Branimir Subasic scored the most goals (8). Pavle Radunovic has 10 assists.

Milko Novakovic is one of the best players on the ground (7.27 Average Rating – 15 games).

I managed to win two important victories in the Serbian Cup. In this way, I have achieved a secondary goal, and that is placement in the quarterfinals.

In the first round, I got an opponent from my league (Rakovica) and won 3-0.

The second round was a bit tougher, because of the SuperLiga team – Radnik Surdulica. It is a club that is two leagues above me and occupy 13th place in the table.

However, they did not justify the role of favorites. The advantage of playing at home and a little luck was enough to win 2-1.

Vasilije Djuric (MCR – 8.3 Rating) and striker Vanja Vucicevic (ST – 8.3 Rating, Loan from Red Star) were excellent in this match.


I have already mentioned the first signing – Milko Novakovic, 28 years old, DC (Ball Playing Defender – Stopper, free transfer).

His salary is 600 EUR p/w and has a contract for one year. The average rating is 7.35 on 26 (1) games played. He arrived at club 11/8/2016.

The next reinforcement is the attacker – Nemanja Kojic, 27 years old, ST (Target Man/Advanced Forward, free transfer).

He played for my favorite club Partizan, which is a big plus.

Salary 275 EUR p/w and contract until 30/6/2018. Average rating 7.03 on 13 games played. He scored 4 goals, and there are 3 assists. A transfer was carried out on 17.12.2016.

The third enhancement is the player who has delighted me – Milenko Malovic, 22 years old, DL (Full Back, free transfer).

The salary is very modest (80 EUR p/w), and the contract is valid for one year.

Average rating 6.88 on 11 games played.

Besides all that, he was a key palyer in the defense against strong teams – Brodarac (7.4), Zarkovo (7.2), BSK 1925 (7.1) and Red Star MML (7.0). A transfer was realized on 17/02/2017.

Transfers alone are not enough for a successful season, but also loans. OFK Belgrade has one strong friend – FC Red Star Belgrade.

So I took this opportunity and brought three excellent players: Sladjan Rakic (DC), Uros Racic (MC) and Vanja Vucicevic (ST).

Another player arrived on a loan unplanned. Michel Vaillant (ST) did not have enough matches in his club, so this was an ideal opportunity for me.

End of Season

At the beginning of the season, I got the following tasks by the board of the club: top half of the Serbian League Belgrade and the Second Round of the Cup of Serbia.

I knew that this team can do more if the right reinforcements appear. And so it was. I won the league and reached the quarterfinals in the cup.

An opponent was Mladost Lucani (2 leagues above). The advantage of the home court was not enough to win. After 1-1, penalty kicks decided the winner.

The season has been a success. A step forward is made but far from it that it will be easy in Serbian First League. Finances make a big problem so some players will leave the club.

The goal will not be a place in the top 3, but mid-table. It is necessary to prepare the team for the final step, which is the placement in a Serbian SuperLiga.

Author: Alen Stefanovic     Game: Football Manager 2017