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Africa's Newest Project
The History of Army's Vanguards
Army's Vanguards (Tala'ea El Gaish SC) is a top team in Egypt and the champions of their league for the first time in 4 seasons. The recent growth of the club has attracted interest from high quality players, such as Merengues (Real Madrid) winger Martin Albarracin. The big name signings that seem so likely to happen are just what Vanguards need to give them a chance of winning their first ever continental trophy. Just this season, after a narrow win against Ghanaian team Mighty Jets, Vanguards were easily defeated by eventual runners-up Seasiders from Nigeria. Winning the CAX Big Eared Cup Africa (CAF Champions League) is the target for next season.
Right now, the trio of all important players for Army's Vanguards is the Uruguayan pair, striker Agu Baigoria and left-back Micaa Bertolé, as well as Venezuelan left winger Luis Coraspe. Baigoria is the standout player, valued at 8M at just the age of 19. He led the goal count in the Egyptian first division with 179 goals. Bertolé was just as important to the club, he had an impressive 110 goals in the league, placing him in 3rd overall behind Vanguards captain, the cpu A. Dav Mora. Bertolé also led the league in assists with 29 to his name. Lastly, Coraspe may not have been the most influential in terms of goals (68 league goals, 5th place) but he did end up winning the player of the year with an average match rating of 9.00 throughout the league season.
Historically, Vanguards are somewhat lackluster. In their 64 seasons of existence, they have won the league 6 times and the Pyramid Cup just 3 times. Compared to the likes of Club of the Century (Al Ahly SC) who have won the league 10 times and the cup 7 times. Although they have fewer trophies than some of their Egyptian rivals, no team from Egypt has ever won the Champions League or the Confederation Cup. Being the first to do so would make Vanguards the top team in their country, whether or not they have the most trophies.
Vanguards had a rough time at the beginning of the Egyptian league. In season 27, the first recorded season in Egypt, Vanguards finished 15th out of 18. The following season, they were bottom of the table with just 1 win and a total of 13 points. In season 34, though, things improved drastically. Though Tigers Valley were still the dominant team in the league, winning the league for the 3rd time in a row, Vanguards pulled themselves out of the bottom half of the table and into 5th place, with a spot in the Confederation Cup. This was the cause of the transfer of Fabricio Medina Vescarra from Ardillas B to Vanguards. He ended up being the top scorer in the league, but he left the following season to go to Pata Lados in Bolivia. Vescarra's departure casued Vanguards' destruction in the Confederation Cup group stage. They lost every match.
Their first appearance in the Champions League was not much better. Vanguards managed a 2nd place finish in the league, but only managed to earn 3 points in the group stage. They have won the league a handful of times, with this season being one of them. Most of their trophies are recent.
Vanguards is a great team right now, but historically, they have been inconsistent. They may finish in a champions league spot one season, but the next they are last place. It depends on whether the players are willing to stay long term. Right now, one of the key players, Bertolé, only has 6 weeks remaining on his contract. If Vanguards fail to negotiate a new one with him, there could be big problems next season. It is an important project because if they become competitive, they would compete with The Terriers (Huddersfield Town) and DRA (Independiente) in the Club World Cup. If they manage to bring in enough high quality players, they could become the first African team to win the Club World Cup. There are no African or Asian teams with a Club World Cup trophy.

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