Football may well have been painted in an unsavoury light in recent months, what with bung enquiries and corruption on an Italian scale, but that hasn't stopped Sports Interactive stopping off at a motorway service station to give us some details on Football Manager Handheld 2007.
The follow up to last year's inaugural Football Manager Handheld, the new feature list means FMH 2007 promises to be more stuffed than a dodgy manager's sheepskin pockets, whilst also being easier to navigate and control.
So while, for example, you can take on far more responsibility than in last year's outing, you can also delegate some of the duties to club staff, such as visiting obscure Eastern European agents.
And whilst the ongoing lack of a graphical match engine is disappointing, the addition of international management, player relationships, board statements and a multiplayer mode should all go some way to addressing the concerns raised in our review of the original title.
Here's the full feature list from Sports Interactive that we found in our brown paper bag:
• Improved player search system – a new player search template has been created to make it easier to find similar players to ones that players may already know.
• Database editing – update all the latest transfers and moves.
• 'Fog of War' has been added – a popular feature in the PC version, 'Fog of War' hides attributes of players who are not well-known. Scouting the players properly will reveal their full stats.
• Improved Media – loads more news items now appear in the game, such as out of contract news, transfer rumours, player form news and more.
• Improved Coach Reports – more detailed coach reports, so they'll give players extended stats information over and above what they can see on the screen.
• Improved Match Events – more commentary during matches.
• Transfer enquiries – the ability to approach other clubs for players and get the actual asking price for a player.
• Club List Screen – now easier to browse around other clubs.
• International Management – for the first time in Football Manager Handheld, if a player does well at FMH 2007 they could find themselves being offered an international job. If they do really well, they'll open up an unlockable International Management mode, and can start the game as a national manager.
• Multiplayer – network play has been included in FMH 2007. Play friendly matches against friends or complete with strangers via wi-fi, using default club teams from the game or export club sides from a saved game.
• Downloadable graphics – add in logo packs and competition badges.
• New skins – two brand new skins, Flexion and SI Blue, plus the old Football Manager Handheld skin.
• Multiple scouts – players now have two scouts.
• Offer players to club – the ability to offer players to clubs throughout the gameworld at a specified asking price to make it easier to sell players.
• Board requests – Interacting with the board enables players to request more funds for transfers and wages and potentially making it easier to sign new players. Or if players aren't doing well at a club they can plead for leniency and more time to turn things around.
• Player Relationships – ensuring the team gels well is now easier thanks to the Player Relationships feature, where player's will let you know how they feel about individuals at their own club.
• New Leagues & competitions – including: A League (Australia), Portuguese 1st & second divisions, Belgian 1st & second divisions, Extra leagues in France, Italy, Germany & Spain, World Cup Qualifying, European Championship and Asian Nations Cup.
Football Manager Handheld 2007 is set to make its debut before Christmas, and will be available via all the usual agencies. Click 'Track It!' to ensure you get first option on the latest news and our review.