There’s a new country in Europe, and it’s called Aswijan. Created by @chilled_moose, it provides 64 teams in three leagues, three cup competitions, and about 6000 created players. The teams vary widely, from fallen giants Hesef to world-class titans like Aswijan Mailkiy. This will be a guide to playing in Aswijan, in six parts. Each part will examine half of one of the three leagues, continuing today with the lowest league, Liga Dukh. This league is comparable in quality to the Keuken Kampioen Divisie in Netherlands, or the Finnish top league. This week I present the bottom twelve teams, alphabetically, in the Liga Dukh, to help you find a challenge that suits you.
Neim is a seaport, located on the great harbour across from Aswijan CIty. A thriving fishing town, Neim provides a good deal of the food for Aswijan City. Their boats range far across the Atlantic in search of fish. Founded in 1992, Neim Atletik di Aswijan likes to gather youth with potential, develop them, and sell them on. They’ve never been out of the Liga Dukh.
Unsurprisingly, their best players are two youngsters, Bonaldo Estebarena (ST, 22) and Arcibaldo Yoshiteru (CAM, 23). Both are pacey, intelligent players, with a great upside. The team is generally young, with only a pair of 30-year-olds as the senior statesmen. There appears to be a slight shortage of DC and MC players, at least as far as depth goes. Finances are okay, but Neim are predicted to finish 18th in Liga Dukh, which is just about bottom. A good challenge for someone who wants a tough ask, this one.
Ouarrik is a city located in the Rabha Islands on the east coast of Aswijan, part of Elisha state. Known for its tourism industry, Ouarrik is the centre of a vast collection of hotels, resorts, and beaches There are also all the services they need. Their team, Ouarrik Oskat, have played in the Liga Dukh since 1961, only making it to the Principale once, in 2011/12, when they led the league at season’s end. After a couple of undistinguished seasons, they fell back down, where they have remained, securely financed but lacking big ambition.
Christopher Bandyopadhyay stands out as the best prospect the team has, at 16 already the second-highest valued player in the team. A number of other young players are in the first squad, as like Neim, they have very few over 30. Berbiz Pavagi is another great prospect, a fullback with blazing pace, at only 18 he has plenty of room to grow. A lack of wingers may suggest that a tactic favouring the middle would suit this team. Named at 8th, 10-1, to take the Liga Dukh this year, Ouarrik Oskat could be a good challenge for a newer player – good squad, secure finances, a reasonable chance at success.
The first of two “people’s clubs” or “pevos club” as they’re known in Aswijan, these two are owned by the fans. Neither has had great success, but they are popular with the locals in each area, given their power-to-the-people approach. A slightly older team than the two above, PC Ajwab nevertheless have some decent young players for you.
Herve Della Santi is a fine goalkeeping prospect, at 17 already the best keeper in the squad. He is joined on the podium by Bjarnar Stellato (26, ST/AML) and Corbiniano Pappano (28, ST/AMR). With 2000 season ticket holders in their 7000 seat stadium, they have okay finances for the moment, but if they want to climb the league, they’re going to need an expansion of some note. Both the Pevos Clubs will help you find an excellent challenge with a good story – who doesn’t like a fan-run club? With over 100 years of history, PC Ajqab should be a fun story to write.
Founded in 1909, PC Manouza are the other Pevos Club (or “People’s Club”) in the Aswijani system. Owned and operated by fans, PC Manouza have had some success over the years. Without winning any titles of any sort, they’ve quietly managed to get into the Liga Principale and stay there for a while, before falling back to the Dukh.
Two players particularly stand out from this squad, these being Tirone Koke (22, ST) and Yoma Burke (25, ST/Winger). The two are fairly similar, with Koke being the larger and more physical, and Burke being more slender and technical. Financially, the club is where you’d expect from a fan-run club, making it day to day, but not pulling up any trees in terms of revenue. The media expect them to finish 10th, at 12-1 odds to win the league, and it feels like this could be a good team for a player who wants to make some hard decisions about players and money.
Rabaqa is a city in the jungle state of Elisha, with several other cities in close proximity (Uswana, Qashid, Qatnis, Lakhra, and Mufala). Rabaqa Kaduqni is their team, playing in the tiny Parq Ilusio, a 2700-all-seater with 750 season ticket holders. Despite the small size of the club, the finances are secure, and the youth facilities better than most at this level.
A pair of central defenders and a striker give the team a good start on a spine, Campumanes being the striker (Pace, Finishing, Off the Ball), and Lo Sasso and Lamrpros providing solidity at the back. But the quality falls off fairly quickly after that, and this is why Rabaqa Kaduqni are predicted to finish 23rd in the 24-team Liga Dukh. An interesting LLM-style challenge might be possible here, with their tiny stadium and low-value players.
Rayara is a small city on the Laliya Islands in the far north of Aswijan. Stacked with decent players, they’re well-positioned to take a run at the Liga Dukh title, being predicted to finish as high as 4th by the media. At 6-1 odds, they’re one of the favourites for the title. A pair of outstanding wingbacks lead the team in quality, David Farias on the left, and Henry Derocles on the right. Both have pace and good crossing ability, and they’re 25 and 23 respectively.
Founded in 1929, Al Waverant are known for being a Determined team. This is a trait they show the most strongly when playing their local rivals Zaan. With a 20,000 seat stadium and 4000 season ticket holders, they have a solid financial base to build on. Rayara won the Liga Dukh in 2013, enjoying a brief spell in the Principale before falling back to the bottom league. Among the most successful and vibrant teams in the Liga Dukh, Rayara is a good choice for someone who wants to take a reasonably good team up the leagues and challenge for national supremacy.
Mufala is another city tucked into the crowded jungle state, Elisha, this time on the east coast directly. Their club was founded in 1984, though their stadium is much more recent, a 4100-seater built in 2015. 1400 fans hold season tickets.On this small base they have built a surprisingly successful team, financially, with secure finances meaning they are living within their means.
SC Mufala have never yet made it out of the Liga Dukh, and don’t look likely to make it this year either, picked to finish 17th at 24-1 odds to win the league. Their best player is a versatile defender of 25, Hesam Armin, whose technical and mental abilities place him in good stead to lead the team. Fujiwara Carrell, 24, is a striker with some serious talent. Driven personality suggests he’ll achieve his potential, too. That’s about it for standouts, though, this team needs some building before they’ll be headed up.
Athletik Club Sorrun are defined by their core of top players, a cluster of about eight or nine who appear ready to do some hard work in the Liga Dukh. If they can hang on to them all, I think they’re ready to make some noise, perhaps exceeding their media preview of 7th. This feels like a team on the up, to me.
With a 10,000-place stadium (7500 seats), their 4000 seat season ticket base will serve them well. One of the older clubs in the Aswijania system, they were founded in 1897 by a group of English expats teaching at an international school there. They’ve maintained ever since a reputation as a producer of young talent. Runners-up in Liga Dukh in 2012, they kept their place in the Liga Principale by winning the league! Crashing quickly back down from the Regale, they fell back to the Dukh. They regained their Principale place briefly in 2017/18 when they won the Liga Dukh for the first time. Sorrun look like a good challenge for a team to take to the top.
El Akrepler are known for their fierce rivalry with Uswana Society, their crosstown colleagues. Despite beng founded in 1919, they’re one of the lesser-known teams in the Liga Dukh. Their finances reflect their lesser status. Approximately one-third of their seats are taken up by season ticket holders (2500), but their attendance has been shaky lately. Part of the problem is the completely empty trophy cabinet. Built in 1951 with the stadium, it remains resolutely not filled with trophies.
Their team consists of an attacking core mostly in their late 20s. There are also a number of promising youngsters in various positions. This is a club that I feel could exceed their 19th place preview with a good manager at the helm. It won’t be easy, their finances aren’t great and the team needs some work. But it should be a good challenge for someone wanting to find something a little harder.
Zaan are a miners’ club from the far north of Aswijan,. The town was ounded by the remnants of a Napoleonic French invasion force, routed nearby by combined local and British forces. Offered amnesty if they’d work hard, they were given loans. In turn, this assistance built the town of Zaan into a mining centre of great renown. Gratefully accepting the aid, the former soldiers turned to with a will, and Zaan has been known since its inception as a place where hard work can bring success.
The team is somewhat stacked up front, with excellent wingers on both sides, and a few good CAM candidates. Young Uyemura Marusac is a serious prospect at right wing. If they can keep him, he can help lead this team to a much better finish than their predicted 14th. With secure finances, and a growing reputation, the descendants of Napoleon’s lost brigade look set to finally break out of the Liga Dukh.
Picked 11th to win this season, at 13-1, are Zagora Athletik. El Arronka (as they’re more affectionalely known) play in a tiny 3000-seat stadium. They’ve been selling a third to their season ticket holders since their founding in 1954. A team with only minor successes in Liga Dukh, never promoted, they’ve never built a reputation that took much root outside their own district.
Looking through their team, one finds a strong spine from ST back to DC, though their goalkeeping needs work. Not much in the way of wing play, though, only a few able to contribute from outside in. Sadly, there are few prospects, with a dismal youth setup not providing much replacement for an aging team. Picked to finish 11th, I’d say this is a realistic goal for them, though I’d be very interested to see what someone could make of the fundamental strengths of this side.
Early in the 2010s, it looked like Zaratiy were going to end their long time in the Liga Dukh. Winning the Dukh in the 2011 season, they went on to several decent seasons in Liga Principale. Not long after, though, they fell back to the bottom league in 2017. They have a small reputation as a local club. Despite that, they’ve managed to turn limited resources into a strength of the team, somehow.
Dionisio Gyllenhaal is a player just waiting to be named captain. His great leadership and determination to succeed put the club in a great position. Being a team with great pace and acceleration overall, a tactic using those qualities would probably serve well. Zaratiy Oskat maintain a fierce rivalry with their two nearest sides, SC Marrador and Marrafor FC. With the team picked to finish 21st of 24 this year, a new manager will have their work cut out for them, but it could provide a great challenge to someone not wanting to take on the debt of Hesef.
More to Come!
There will be more to come from this series, don’t worry! I plan to provide this level of a look at every team in Aswijan. One of the great things about Aswijan is that it’s so new – there’s not a lot of history been written. And @chilled_moose has shown an admirable willingness to allow others to create in her sandbox. If you take over one of these teams, you could get to be the one who writes the history of the side. Imagine creating legendary players and managers and a backstory for the club. I’ve deliberately provided only the most basic suggestions for club origins, to leave this door open for you.