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10 Teams to Manage to First Ever Top Flight Promotion on FM22

10 Teams to Manage to First Ever Top Flight Promotion on FM22
10 Sides to lead to an inaugural top-flight promotion on FM 22.


Reaching your country’s top flight for the first-ever time is a special moment in many a club’s histories. A noteworthy club currently enjoying that pleasurable and proud experience this season are Clermont Foot 67 in France’s Ligue 1.

However, below are ten clubs and fanbases who have yet to experience the feeling of seeing their side go toe-to-toe each week with some of their country’s most prestigious clubs. Can you be the manager to lead any of these clubs to a debut top flight appearance?

Plymouth Argyle


Plymouth Argyle FM22

The first of these challenges takes us to South-West England in the county of Devon in the shape of Plymouth Argyle. A port city, Plymouth is famous for being the starting point for where the Pilgrim Fathers on board the Mayflower ship set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in 1620 and established Plymouth Colony settlement in modern-day Massachusetts.

Argyle as locals affectionately call their football club were founded in 1886 and the highest level in the English football pyramid they have played at is the second tier EFL Championship, their last appearance at this level coming during the 2009/10 season. Interestingly, Plymouth is the largest city in England fielding a professional football club to have never hosted top division football.

Here is where you come in, can you lead The Pilgrims to the Premier League and the riches it brings? Currently, Plymouth are in EFL League One, the third tier of English football. In real life, Argyle currently sit top of the division and are mounting a promotion push. Can you replicate this promotion push on FM22?

READ ALSO: Hardest Teams to Manage in Football Manager 2022 

Bristol Rovers FC


Bristol Rovers FC FM22

Staying in South West England for the next challenge, however, 2 hours 7 minutes by car North East of Plymouth, you find the city of Bristol. Two professional football clubs are present in this city with both of them sharing one of English football’s fiercest rivalries. Whilst Bristol City have been a top flight club before, finishing as runners-up in 1906/07, Bristol Rovers have yet to appear in the top flight of English football and this is the second club to play as in this challenge.

The Gas or The Pirates as their fans affectionately call them were founded in 1883 under the name Black Arabs FC, this being a reference to a local rugby union team called Arabs who played in all black kits. The club changed its name to Bristol Rovers in 1899 and first played in the English Football League in 1920/21. Their highest ever classification has been the second tier EFL Championship, which they have played in 10 times, the most recent being in 1992/93.

Having just been relegated from EFL League One in 2020/21, you will start a new save with Bristol Rovers in the fourth tier EFL League Two. Can you lead The Gas to the Premier League and a top flight debut?

READ ALSO: The Best Fallen Giants to Manage in Football Manager 2022   

USL Dunkerque


Dunkerque FM22

Next club in this challenge comes from across the Channel and in the shape of Northern French outfit USL Dunkerque. Founded in 1909, Les Maritimes (The Seasiders), have spent most of their history playing in Ligue 2. This included thirty straight seasons between 1966 and 1996 playing in French football’s second tier.

After a gap of 24 years outside of professional football in either the third tier Championnat National or lower, Dunkerque returned to Ligue 2 for the 2020/21 season after winning promotion in the early-curtailed 2019/20 French football season due to Covid-19. In their first season back in the second tier in over two decades, Dunkerque successfully survived with a 15th place finish.

Can you now kick Dunkerque on further and take the club based near the Belgian border to Ligue 1 for the very first time? Ligue 2 is an exciting league to play in on FM22 with the presence of several underdog clubs like Dunkerque in addition to large, famous or high-potential clubs in the league such as Toulouse FC, AJ Auxerre, Le Havre, SC Bastia and Paris FC.

RELATED: Football Manager 2022 Player Faces MegaPack

FC Andorra


FC Andorra FM22

To Spain next and intriguingly not to a Spanish-located club, the next club in this challenge takes us to the microstate principality of Andorra and to its club which plays in the Spanish footballing pyramid in the shape of FC Andorra. Based in the capital city of Andorra, Andorra de la Vella, the club was founded in 1942 and play out of the recently renovated 3,306 capacity Estadi Nacional.

The third tier is the highest level FC Andorra have ever played at and they enjoyed 17 seasons out of 18 spells between 1980/81 and 1997/98 playing in the third tier. After a period of decline which at one point even saw them drop as low as the Spanish 7th tier, FC Andorra’s fortunes took a turn for the better in December 2018 when current FC Barcelona star Gerard Pique, through his Kosmos Holding Group investment company purchased the club.

After reaching the third tier of Spanish football for 2019/20 by paying a fee to the Spanish Football Federation to take the place of Reus CF who hit financial difficulties and were relegated to the Spanish fourth tier, Pique’s new project has ambitions to continue climbing. The club are now well-established in the Spanish third tier and last season reached the Segunda Division promotion play-offs before losing to Real Sociedad B.

Can you now break even more new ground at FC Andorra? Spanish football has undergone a restructuring for its third tier from 2021/22 onwards. The newly formed Primera Division RFEF comprises two regionalised leagues and replaces the four regionalised leagues that existed in Spain’s third tier previously. The town of Eibar, with a similar population to Andorra, has previously won promotion to La Liga against the odds. Can you follow in their footsteps with FC Andorra?

READ ALSO: 5 Small Teams to Manage in Football Manager 2022 

AS Cittadella


Cittadella FM22

Club number five in this challenge is AS Cittadella from Italy. It's no exaggeration to suggest that the top two tiers of Italy’s footballing pyramid are full of clubs who have in the past hit financial difficulties, bankruptcies and later reformations. Such examples include SSC Napoli, ACF Fiorentina, Parma Calcio, Perugia Calcio and LR Vicenza.

One club, however, which has not experienced this fate is AS Cittadella. Founded in 1974 as the result of a merger between two local clubs US Cittadellense and AS Olympia and based in the eponymous famous walled-city in Padua province, Cittadella are currently experiencing the best period in their short history so far. From 2008/09 to today, Cittadella have spent all but one season (2015/16) in Serie B, Italian football’s second tier.

2020/21 saw Citta come the closest yet to reaching Serie A for the first ever time. The club finished 6th in Serie B, however, lost in the promotion play-off final against Venezia. Having narrowly missed out on a historic first promotion to the top tier last campaign, can you take over Cittadella and lead them to the top flight for the 2022/23 campaign?

READ ALSO: The best Football Manager 2022 Challenges to take on 

SSV Jahn Regensburg


Jahn Regensburg FM22

The next club to try to lead to a maiden top flight appearance are German outfit SSV Jahn Regensburg. Founded in 1907, Die Rothosen (The Red Shorts) hail from the state of Bavaria and are playing at either the same or a level above fellow more famous Bavarian clubs like 1860 Munich and 1 FC Nurnberg.

It could be argued that Jahn Regensburg are undergoing the most successful period in their history. The club has been a member of the second tier 2. Bundesliga since 2017/18 and have not been in any relegation danger since their promotion to the second tier, twice recording top half finishes (5th in 2017/18 and 8th in 2018/19).

2. Bundesliga has some big names amongst its ranks for the 2021/22 campaign including the likes of Schalke 04, Hamburg SV, SV Werder Bremen, 1 FC Nurnberg and Dynamo Dresden. However, can you steal in ahead of all of these big names and win an historic first promotion to the 1. Bundesliga?

RELATED: Football Manager 2022 Logos MegaPack 

Guillermo Brown de Puerto Madryn


Guillermo Brown de Puerto Madryn FM22

We cross the Atlantic for the next challenge and head to Argentina. The capital city of Buenos Aires is where the power of Argentine football resides with famous clubs such as Boca Juniors, River Plate and San Lorenzo. However, for those players looking to take a club from outside the capital and enjoy a fun save, why not drop into the second tier with Guillermo Brown de Puerto Madryn.

Guillermo Brown were founded in 1945 and are based in the Province of Chubut in Southern Argentina and the city of Puerto Madryn. Chubut truly is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires and was famous in the 19th century for a period of Welsh immigration. Guillermo Brown currently reside in the second tier of Argentine football, the Primera B Nacional. For the 2021 campaign, this league comprises two groups, one of 18 teams (which you will play in as Guillermo Brown) and the other of 17 teams.

Faced with the lack of a big population and economy like those clubs based in Buenos Aires have access to, can you lead Guillermo Brown to the top flight against the odds for the first ever time? Once in the top flight, how far can you take the team from Chubut? To an Argentine title, to Libertadores glory?


FC Veles Moscow


Veles Moscow FM22

Back to Europe for club number eight in this challenge and it comes from Eastern Europe in the shape of Veles Moscow. The city of Moscow is of course famous for a whole host of other clubs such as Spartak, Dinamo, CSKA and Lokomotiv, however, Veles are an intriguing new project for any FM22 player who likes a long-term project to stick around with.

Founded in 2016, this is one of the newest clubs in Russian football and has so far enjoyed a meteoric rise up the country’s football pyramid. In their debut season, Veles won promotion from the Russian fourth tier to the third tier FNL-2. After three seasons at this level, Veles were promoted to the second tier Russian Football National League (FNL) for the 2020/21 campaign at the end of the 2019/20 FNL-2 season which was curtailed early due to Covid-19.

On their debut season in the Russian second tier, Veles had little problems adapting to professional football, finishing a remarkable 8th place in the standings. A privately run and operated club, Veles currently play their matches just outside of the city of Moscow in the Moscow region city of Domodedovo. The club according to their website have plans to reach the top tier Russian Premier League for the first time by 2026.

Veles look well on track to achieve this aforementioned objective. So how quickly can you enable them to achieve it? Can you lead them to a debut top flight appearance? Potentially even look at toppling the big Moscow clubs?

RELATED: Football Manager 2022 Real Names Fix

Stranraer FC


Stranraer FC FM22

Our penultimate club for this challenge sees us go to Scotland and to one of the twenty oldest professional football clubs in the world. A club based down in Scottish football’s fourth tier and who are currently the most Western club playing in the Scottish Football League in the shape of Stranraer FC.

Founded in 1870, Stranraer are the third oldest Scottish club based on date of formation with only Queens’s Park FC and Kilmarnock FC being older clubs. With its location in the far-South West of Scotland, the town of Stranraer is just a short ferry away from Northern Ireland. Intriguingly, Stranraer hold an interesting record as being the club with the longest continuous sponsorship on the front of their shirts. Stena Line, formerly called Sealink, has sponsored the club since the 1988-89 campaign.

The highest Stranraer have ever been in the Scottish football pyramid is the second tier SPFL Championship, a level which they have played at for just two seasons. A lot of patience will be required with this save as all Scotland’s SPFL League Two clubs are part-time semi-professional. However, can you lead Stranraer to an historic and unexpected promotion to the Scottish Premiership?

READ ALSO: Teams With the Worst Finances in Football Manager 2022   

Manaus FC


Manaus FM22

The final club for this challenge sees us cross the Atlantic Ocean once again and head this time to Brazil. The lowest possible division one can conduct a new FM save on in this country is the third tier Serie C. It is here where we find the club which you are tasked with bringing to the top flight Brasilerao Serie A for the first time, Manaus FC.

Manaus FC was founded in 2013 reportedly with the support of city councillor Luis Mitoso, who was formerly involved with Manaus’s city rivals Nacional FC. In the 2019 Brasilerao Serie D, Brazil’s fourth tier, Manaus won their first promotion since formation to the third tier. In their debut in Serie C in the 2020 season, Manaus comfortably avoided relegation and only just missed out on a play-off place for promotion into Serie B.

Having well and truly usurped city rivals Nacional, Manaus FC are now the top club in the city and the best club in Amazonas state. So how far can you take them now? Amazonas state has never had a team in Brazil’s top flight and the city of Manaus is located over 4,000 kilometres from Rio de Janeiro, over five hours away on a flight.

This truly is a challenge way out from the hustle and bustle of a big city in much the same way as the aforementioned Guillermo Brown challenge from Argentina. Manaus play home matches at the Arena Amazonas, a new stadium with a capacity of 44,300 which hosted matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It deserves a top flight team playing in it. Can you give the stadium top flight football by taking Manaus to Serie A?

 

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FM Blog: 10 Teams to Manage to First Ever Top Flight Promotion on FM22
10 Teams to Manage to First Ever Top Flight Promotion on FM22
Here's our list of 10 teams to manage to their first ever top flight promotion on FM22. Are you up for this Football Manager 2022 challenge?
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