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Football Manager Challenges – The Journeyman

Once you get immersed into playing Football Manager, the mind starts to wander, or wonder perhaps. Creative people have come up with many creative ideas playing the game and shared them with the wider community via the forums and social media. I thought I should try to bring to light the many challenge ideas that players have come up with over the years and feature them in a series of articles here at Dictate the Game. What better way to start our journey of the challenges with none other than The Journeyman challenge.

There are many ways to play this challenge. The general idea is to start off unemployed and go on the job hunt. I will try to break down different variations of the challenge section by section. If you have even more variations of this challenge, please let me know in the comments section below.

Difficulty in the Journeyman

Difficulty of this challenge can vary. This all depends on the level you set your manager as when you first start the save. Hard-mode, as some like to call it, would be giving your manager the lowest reputation and attributes available to start the game. With the idea of leveling-up your manager as you go from club to club. Jobs will be scarce at the beginning using these settings, you may find yourself waiting a while for a team to take a chance on you. Also you may do several job interviews before a team will make you an offer. I recommend taking the first one you get, beggers can’t be choosers. You’ll likely end up on a team in the lowest division with the worst finances so buckle in. This will definitely be difficult to right the ship.

Survival Skills

The good thing about hard-mode is that it can sharpen your survival skills. Surviving in the league with the worst resources is definitely a skill, and take solice in simply surviving relegation and avoiding the sack. That in itself will be your most difficult challenge to start. If you can survive the first season, then you can build a squad somewhat in your vision for the second season. However, you probably will still face many restrictions for recruitment, including a limited player pool interested in joining and limited finances. My tip is do your best to survive and try to take coaching courses when the board will allow.

Turning things around at the end of the season in India to avoid relegation. It was a battle!

If you think hard-mode is too time-consuming or too difficult, you can always start off with higher reputation and attributes if you choose. This will give you better prospects to start off and may be more enjoyable for some players. There’s no shame in starting off with higher reputation and attributes, it’s all about enjoying playing the game and experiencing different teams, competitions and countries. If you don’t have the luxury of time, just level yourself up to start off with as high as you like and set sail.

Journeyman Challenge Objectives

The Journeyman is more of an exploratory challenge. There’s not really a clear aim to the challenge other than trying to level up your manager and eventually make it to big clubs to win major trophies. But you can set some objectives yourself. Such as, win all a particular nations competitions, travel to each nation in a continent. Manage in all the continents etc. The possibilities are endless. The Journeyman could even turn into a single club save or a building a nation challenge or anything at all really. That’s the beauty of the Journeyman. Purists will tell you it’s not a real Journeyman if you stick at a club for too long, but I would take that with a grain of salt. Play the game as you want, and let the save evolve into whatever it becomes.

Different Types of Journeyman Saves – Worldwide

A lot may depend on your machine’s processing power. The Worldwide Journeyman is where you could start with all the leagues in the game turned on if your computer can handle it. However, this will cause your game to become slower over time. When I’ve done this type of save, I tend to turn leagues on and off at different times of the year, so new leagues will come into the game when their seasons tick over. There is a chance though that you may miss a window of opportunity to load a league if you’re not paying attention. I tend to re-assess my situation at the end of each season. I don’t want to necessarily jump ship every year, but when I feel like I’ve made enough improvements to myself and the team where I am, then I move on and look for new club opportunities in different nations.

Loki Doki on Youtube does a Journeyman every year I think, and I’ve been enjoying his FM22 Journeyman this year. Check it out if you want to see how a Journeyman saves evolves first hand.

Continental Journeyman

The Continental Journeyman is where you limit your options to only countries within a particular continent. A European Journeyman for example. You would turn on all the leagues in Europe and go job hunting. This is more of a focused Journeyman and will speed up loading times compared to the Worldwide version, but still is quite a heavy database to load and keep in game. So I still suggest toggling things on and off, and you’ll be able to tell which ones to do that with based on the leagues you can realistically manage in according to your current reputation and the teams with vacancies reputation’s.

Domestic Journeyman

The Domestic Journeyman is even more concise, you could focus on one nation and play the entirety of your save there. An English Journeyman for instance. Start unemployed in England and see what you can get. The job offers again will depend on your reputation in game, but the aim for this one will be to eventually win trophies in that country, dominate on the continent and maybe eventually win the Club World Cup (if you actually care about that competition).


  1. Don’t be choosy to start off with, get a job and see what happens. You can pick and choose once you’ve garnered some reputation and experience.
  2. You’ll learn pretty quickly what life is like at a club with next to no resources. Can you take coaching courses? If not, it’s probably best to move on, until your at a club that will invest in your development. The best way to open more job opportunities is to increase your reputation by taking coaching courses, and of course, winning things.
  3. Enjoy the small victories, taking over a team at the bottom of the league and helping them survive relegation is a Herculean-level feat. Enjoy that and let the many losses on the way there slide off your back.
  4. Experiment with different tactics. Learn to assess your playing squad and make tactics that bring out the best in the current crop of players you have. As time goes on, you’ll be able to move some along and bring in others that fit more into the style of football you really want to play.
  5. Keep things simple, amateur-level clubs do well with simple tactical approaches and focused part-time training schedules. Don’t neglect training and work on the weaknesses in your squad which will reveal themselves in each match.
  6. Patience is a virtue, don’t be so quick to jump clubs after your first season. I believe that other teams will notice your non-committal nature during the hiring process, so try to dispell that image during your journey as much as you can.
  7. Look for free transfers, loans and out of contract players when managing in the lower divisions, you can still find decent players through those parameters that can improve your squad.
  8. Use your imagination. Try self-imposed restrictions, like only signing players local to the club or the nation. Only using academy prospects instead of signing players perhaps? It’s entirely up to you.
  9. Take International jobs. I’ve managed Georgia, Luxembourg and Ghana in my Journeymans lately. The latter I won the AFCON with while managing in the lower leagues of India! So anything can happen in International Management, and it can also keep you occupied while in between club jobs.
  10. If you get sacked, don’t worry. Just pick yourself up and try applying for another job somewhere else. Getting sacked is a part of management, and it’s just another opportunity to experience somewhere new.

Got any great Journeyman stories? Share them with us in the comments! In the meantime, our very own Crusadertsar has his famed Total Football Journeyman series which is a fantastic read. Be sure to check that out! Until next time, best of luck to you on your own Football Manager journey!

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