SRL88's Career - December 2014 - Darlington FC
Blue Square Premier
A very, very good end to the month after a shakey start saw us settle nicely in 3rd place in the league, just 6pts off Fleetwood & Northampton, giving me a lot more confidence going forward. The standout game was our win over Barnet in one of those typical amazing first half, frustrating 2nd half performances. I was still really pleased with the 3pts though. The month was capped off nicely with Jordan Mustoe receiving the Player of the Month award and myself finishing 2nd to Paul Sturrock in the Manager of the Month award.
So our First Round draw was anything but easy as we were made to battle for victory over Corby to set up a 2nd Round tie against York, yet again in a cup competition.
Could make a push for the title with a strong 2nd half of the season.
Probably can and all.
Shhhhh don't you know about the forum curse?!
Really strong position to be in at the half way stage
You are doing really well, keep it up
SRL88's Career - January 2015 - Darlington FC
Blue Square Premier
A really solid month for us with just one defeat. We performed admiraly away to Lincoln, but going down to 10 men, losing a man through injury and also 3 other players receiving knocks finally took its tole on the lads. We would be much, much closer to Northampton, but they're are on a fantastic run of losing just once in 12 games so they will be tough to catch.
A really hard fought win over York just 3 days after the defeat to Lincoln, so the lads legs were jaded. The victory ensured that we moved into the 3rd Round and set up a tie against another local side, Gateshead.
Looking like the playoffs unless you can manage a really good push.
Well, Playoffs isnt bad! You still get to fight for a chance at promotion - it all depends on how Northampton do in the final stretch, though.
Just read through this!
A decent stint in Turkey and this season with Darlington looks like another playoff spot, hopefully this time you'll get promoted.
Good read. Just got myself out of this League with Stockport with vey simialr finances.
Im sure you can reach your goals this season!
Im currently 5 or 6pts behind Northampton now after 31 games and sit in 3rd place still (Im at work so not 100% sure). I have Fleetwood next who are 1pt ahead of me and Northampton to play 4 games from the end of the season.
I would feel a lot more comfortable in the play-off's this season than last. It seems like everyone has gelled nicely and they suit the formation, so I am quietly optomistic.
Friday 20th February 2015
In what will prove to be a tense affair at the top of the Blue Square Premier, Darlington travel to Highbury to face over-performing Fleetwood as both teams look to keep up the pressure on Northampton. Darlington's away form has been average over the course of the season, whilst Fleetwood's home form is second only to Darlington in the league. With Northampton playing at home to York, both sides will see this as a must win game if they are to have any chance of challenging Northampton in the run-in for the league title.
What ever the outcome, we should be in store for an excellent tie between to teams flying high this season.
SRL88's Career - February 2015 - Darlington FC
Blue Square Premier
A pretty average month which leaves us off the pace that Northampton have set and will most likely mean that we have to settle for a play-off spot. The results away to Morcambe and Fleetwood wernt exactly bad results, but we needed to win them if we were to stay in touch with Northampton. A draw away to part-timers Dover was especially dissappointing. Our run-in isnt to bad so hopefully we should be able to finish strong.
Our FA Trophy journey continues (although not exactly how I truely would like. We deserved a victory away to Gateshead which set up a 4th Round (Quater Final) tie at Hayes & Yeading. We were pretty average, but probably could have nicked a late winner. Should we win that, we will set up a two-legged tie against Fleetwood in the Semi-Final, with the winner facing either Northampton or Forest Green. Looks like a 'big boys' Final. With his goal against Hayes & Yeading, Jordan Thewlis set a new record for a seasonal landmark of goals.
Any of those going straight into the first team squad?
A few more points in agility and positioning and Parker will be a solid keeper for that level
Bell looks a decent prospect for the level the club are currently at. GL on the final stretch. If you beat Northampton at home could be quite close at the top
SRL88's Career - March 2015 - Darlington FC
Blue Square Premier
A very good month for us in what was a congested month fixture wise. Our players are exhausted thanks to the fast coming games, but we got through them and closed the gap on Northampton to 5pts. The only sore point was the draw with Kidderminster, but I suppose we made up for that with really late wins over Forest Green and then Hayes & Yeading.
The month was capped off nicely with me winning the Manager of the Month award. The game against also saw me take charge of my 100th game in charge of Darlington and Jordan Mustoe breaking the clubs record for most assists in a season. Our run-in is going ot be very tense with the game at home to Northampton being crucial to both sides.
Thanks to our drab draw away to Hayes & Yeading meant we had the hassle of a reply which we came through comprehensively. That set up a Semi-Final tie against Fleetwood. In a pretty even first leg, the return leg was one to remember. In the return leg, we flew out the traps and after 19 minutes it looked like the game was sealed, but how wrong was I. They grabbed a goal back just before half time. I warned the lads about complacency at half time but it didnt do the job, and they scored to take the tie to extra time. In what was an even period, Lewis Young grabbed what turned out to be the winner to set up the Final against Northampton follwing their extra time win over Forest Green.
Good luck in the Play-offs unless Northampton did a bottle job!
SRL88's Career - April 2015 - Darlington FC
Blue Square Premier
An average end to the season which saw us finish 2nd on a very good 91pts. Im really pleased with how we have performed throughout the season so I shouldnt complain to much. The draw with Northampton pretty much sealed both our faits, as we remained 5pts behind the leaders, and out 3-2 defeat away to 10 man Barnet saw Northampton clinch the title.
How We Got Here
Northampton Town FC
So for the 2nd year in a row we lose in the Final of the FA Trophy to the side who won the league. I really felt we stood a chance but it just wasnt to be and we once again fell at the final hurdle. After an even first half, James O'Shea gave Northampton the lead after 61 minutes with a strike from the edge of the area. Northampton then soaked up the pressure and aimed to hit us on the counter, but in the final 10 minutes we were all over them and Lewis Young had a glorious chance from 6 yards out in the 89th minute. A fantastic ball into the box from Alex Butterfield fell straight onto his head but it sailed over. Once this happened, I knew it wasnt out day.
SRL88's Career - The Play-Offs - Darlington FC
Following a successful league campaign in which we broke the 90pt barrier but yet still found ourselves finishing 2nd to Northampton. This meant we were drawn against Crewe in the Semi-Final.
Following a tense 1st leg in which we saw our main defender Jeff Henderson wrongly sent off in the first half, we had an uphill climb. They scored two quickfire goals and I feared the worst, but a slice of luck late on gave us hope for the return leg. Back at the Darlington Arena we set a record high gate receipts as the fans 'flocked' to see if we could overturn the 1st leg defeat and move into the Final....and thats just what we did. Thanks to goals from Dossevi & Langmead, we marched into the Final of the play-offs.
The Final drew us against Fleetwood whom we had recentley beat over two legs in the FA Trophy Semi-Final.
Yessssssssssssssssssssss!!!! Im absolutely delighted. We have won promotion via the play-offs in what has turned out to be my 4th play-off experience in my 4 years in management. The lads played fantastic in the Final and we thoroughly deserve our spot back in League 2.
Congrats!! Football League here you come!
I should have an end of season reveiw up tomorrow evening...but for now I am going to enjoy my promotion in a deep sleep .
We'll done getting promoted, but unlucky about the fa trophy.
Good luck for new season
Congrats on winning the playoffs
SRL88's Career - Season Review - 2014/15 - Darlington FC
Blue Square Premier - Results 1 - Results 2 - Results 3 (2nd - Won the Play-offs)
What an excellent season we had. Our form was that of title winning form, but sadly we had a very good Northampton side to contend with. We stood every chance of winning the league going into the final stretch of games and if we had beaten Northampton we would have sat 2pts behind them with 4 games to go. In the end, we settled for the play-offs which for my 3 years in management (2yrs in Turkey, 1yr in England) I had reached the play-offs on each occassion but failed to win promotion. This time however was different. We battled past Crewe without our captain, top goalscorer and main centre half (all 3 were missing for the play-offs and FA Trophy) and deservingly beat Fleetwood in the Final to get us back into the Football League.
FA Cup (Lost in 2nd Round)
We certainly do love replays in the FA Cup. We played poor at home to York, but battered them away from home before beating higher level opposition in Wallsall to set up a 2nd Round tie at home to Aldershot. We were dominated however and exited a round further than last season. Still no glamour tie for me.
FA Trophy (Lost in Final..........again)
That right, again. For the 2nd season in a row we lost in the FA Trophy Final to the side who had won the league. I was a lot more confident in this years Final as we had been on good form all season and it felt like my side rather than the previous managers. We had some good results on our way to setting up a Final against Northampton, but once again it wasnt to be as they beat us 1-0.
Transfers - Finances
A lot of transfer activity this season but it was needed, and the players brought in played a vital part in our promotion.
The finances are looking a lot better. Our two trips to Wembley in a year have certainly helped but there is still a lot of work to do.
Our top scorer Jordan Thewlis missed the last 6 weeks of the season through injury. If he wasnt then who knows what could have happened. Instead, we saw improved performances by 36yo Thomas Dossevi and Bradley Bubb who increased their goals tally. Jeff Henderson was key at the back and without him in the side we didnt look the same. New captain Matthew Saunders had great influence on the side.
My Top 3 Players
Alex Butterfield - His first full season in the first team and he is turning into a key player. Always manages to find himself in goalscoring positions and a pretty good return.
Jordan Mustoe - Brought in on a free transfer at the start of the season and what a player. 20 assists from the left wing and one of my best buys in my career.
Jordan Thewlis - Back at the club for a second spell on loan, and despite missing the end of the season through injury he was still my top scorer. I will definately be looking to bring him back to the club next season.
Next Season?Code:----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | Season | Team | League | Country | League Position | Notes | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | 2011/12 | Kirklareli Spor | Second Division Group A | Turkey | 5th | Play-Off Quater Finalists | | 2012/13 | Kirklareli Spor | Second Division Group A | Turkey | 3rd | Play-Off Semi Finalists | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | 2013/14 | Darlington | Blue Square Premier | England | 4th | Play-Off Semi Finalists, FA Trophy Runners-Up, | Appointed in October | | 2014/15 | Darlington | Blue Square Premier | England | 2nd | Promoted via Play-Offs, FA Trophy Runners-Up |
Well I have 1 year left on my contract and unless a job offer from a club in a higher league comes in, I plan to see it out. What happens after than I am unsure, but I think there is 1 more year left for me at Darlington and then it may be time to to move on.
Last edited by SRL88; 13-01-2012 at 10:13.
Excellent season and a deserved promotion.
Amazing season, well done!
SRL88's Career - Season Preview - 2015/16 - Darlington FC
League Two:- Mid-table finish
FA Cup:- Reach the 2nd Round
Johnstones Paint Trophy:- Reach the 2nd Round
League Cup:- Enjoy the experience
League Two:- I would be happy enough to achieve a mid-table finish then leave with the foundations set for the next manager...but our pre-season odds.
FA Cup:- Im still craving that money spinning tie away to one of the big boys.
Johnstones Paint Trophy:- If I can reach the Northern Final that would equal a remarkable achievement.
League Cup:- Go as far as I possibly can.
Transfer:- £0 (With room for movement)
Wage:- £18,941 (Currently spending £16,501)
Balance:- -£306,050k (+£211,789k since last season)
Still thin, but its only pre-season and I am in talks with numerous players. The main areas which need strengthening are in central defence, central midfield and upfront. If I get all the players I am in talks with I will be a very happy man.
Dave O'Loughlin - Has been my number one since my arrival which caused a bit of debate last season, but he is key to my success and had a fantastic season last term.
Jordan Mustoe - Quality player, and if he can supply anywhere near the amount of assists he did last season we will be laughing.
Jeff Henderson - He was sorely missed when injured last season and is such a vital member to my side. If fit, he has the level of influence what Ledley King has had at Spurs in recent years.
Best of luck to you! May well be worth trying to get a couple of loans in if you can.
SRL88's Career - Pre-Season - 2015/16 - Darlington FC
Well I dont think I will be doing any complaining fast ha. A perfect pre-season, and although it means nothing in terms of league positions, we got through with no injuries and confidence is sky high. We also made £120k profit in pre-season off gate receipts alone so I am absolutely delighted.
Another pre-season, another mass amount of transfer activity. I couldnt bring Jordan Thewlis back to the club. Apparantley he has no intention of returning and I quickly dropped off his favoured club list. I did bring in some bright, young talents with the stand-out signings being:
Andy Sandell - Had him on loan for the 2nd half of the season last term and he was fantastic so I jumped at the chance to sign him on a free.
Mark Ellis - Quality centre half. Could take the burden off the importance I have on Jeff Henderson at the back.
Ismail Albayrak - A fantastic looking signing. My only problem is if he doesnt settle in England.
Filipe Carvalhinho - Will most likely lead the line for us this season. A lot of pressure could fall onto his young shoulders, but hopefully he will have the impact that Thewlis did for us.
Congrats on the promotion and good luck this year!
Good promotion but no need to beat United in the pre-season friendly.
Congrats on the promotion. Looks like you had a decent pre-season. Hope a successful season follows
SRL88's Career - August 2015 - Darlington FC
What an excellent start to the season. We put in some fantastic performances over the opening months with the cream of the crop coming against near neighbours Hartlepool and away to Walsall. We have played some good attacking football and it showed with the amount of goals we scored. Any worries which I had about Filipe Carvalhinho being to young to handle being the main man were squashed with a fantastic form, cumulating in him winning the Player of the Month Award.
Also, look at the very bottom of the league. Yes, that is Portsmouth sitting there on minus points with their whole squad full of regens thanks to them going into administration.
We exited at the first hurdle in the League Cup which didnt bother me so much because it meant we could focus elsewhere, but we played very well against higher level opposition Rochdale and could have easily won. Plus, I hate losing matches!!!
Last edited by SRL88; 15-01-2012 at 09:50.
Great start in the league.
Looks like your games going well matey, well done.
SRL88's Career - September 2015 - Darlington FC
A dreadful month in more way than one. All our good work in the opening month is undone, confidence has dropped, lack of goals despite dominating and annoying defeats. I suppose I can take heart out the fact that we are still creating chances.
A solid win in the 1st Round which sets up a 2nd Round tie against League 1 Chesterfield.
Last edited by SRL88; 15-01-2012 at 09:49.
Still. hardly a bad position so no urgency to pick it up.
Well done on getting promoted to the Football League, and you've made a strong start too
Poor old Pompey!
SRL88's Career - October 2015 - Darlington FC
We are in the middle of a bad patch of form. Ive held team meetings which go no reaction out of them, encourage them, tell them there is no pressure in games but its doing nothing. We have Pompey coming up and I really hope we hammer them just so we can get a bit of confidence back.
We exit the competition in the 2nd Round against League 1 outfit Chesterfield. We played pretty well and the game didnt really reflect the 3-0 scoreline.
Last edited by SRL88; 15-01-2012 at 09:49.
Definitely a bad October! Hopefully you can pull it together and get out of this bad patch
Not the best of months but still can be turned around very quickly!
Congrats on 200 games in charge!
Bad month but I'm sure you'll turn it around! Not too far off play off's either.
Congrats on the promotion
Decent start in league 2. Hopefully you can start to get a consistent run of form going and begin to move up the table.
SRL88's Career - November 2015 - Darlington FC
An excellent turn around after such a poor October. It all started nicely with a great win away to Burton who were sitting 2nd in the table at the time. We went from there and put in a brilliant performance against Portsmouth before a narrow win over Yeovil who made it tough for us due to the new manager syndrome. The month was rounded off nicely with me winning the Manager of the Month Award.
A good win over York, a team who I seem to be meeting more often than not since I took charge. It was an excellent game, really end to end stuff but our class showed and we comfortably beat them to set up a 2nd Round tie against Notts County.
Last edited by SRL88; 15-01-2012 at 09:49.
Hope your November results can get you momentum in the rest of the season and keep pushing up the table.
Much better in November, hope it continues
Going well, but long close pack behind you so can't ease off.
A great month of results there mate, well done. Hope it continues the rest of the season.
A brilliant month compared to September! Brilliant read!
SRL88's Career - December 2015 - Darlington FC
A frustrating month overall, but we rounded things off with a convincing 4-1 win over Newport County. So at the halfway point of the season we are performing well above expectations and sit nicely in the play-off spots. Of course its tight in there and anyone from Walsall up are in with a shout of the play-offs.
Going into Janaury I feel that I need to make a few signings. A striker with a bit of prescence would be welcome and I feel that I need a bit of quality in the centre of midfield. We have 4 central midfielders, with 3 of them being defensive so I could do with someone who could unlock a defence. Thats my priority areas heading into the transfer window.
A solid win over Blue Square Premier side Notts County to help us reach the 3rd Round of the FA Cup for the first time in my tenure which set up a tie with the other side from Nottingham.
Last edited by SRL88; 15-01-2012 at 09:48.
I agree its a frustrating month but not all is lost as your still in play-offs
Atleast you remained unbeaten SRL, thats 1 good thing. Draws are way better than defeats remember.
At the end of this season I might add a recap of the major leagues/competitions and possibly a former club watch!!
He looks a very good player.
Can I just ask, what has happened to Portsmouth? They look royally screwed.
They're league positions show that they had a good first season in the Championship but it went downhill from there. They just missed out on survival in both the Championship and League 1. This shows the timeline of their downfall and they are currently bankrupt.
Their squad is made up of their youth team with only Stephen Henderson the only non-regen in the squad. It looks like they're destined for relegation again.
SRL88's Career - January 2016 - Darlington FC
Just the one arrival in January. I mentioned that I needed to add something different to my midfield and I feel I have achieved that with this signing. Playing well as a DLP.
A good month with just the one slip up against Hartlepool. We have finally been able to take control of games which showed with the results against Shrewsbury and Walsall. We lacked that clincal edge against struggling Port Vale and underperforming Southend, but we got away with the wins to leave us sitting nicely in 3rd place after 28 games. If you had told me at this stage of the season that this is where we would be sitting I would have bit your hand off so I am obviously delighted with our showing. With our form being as good as it is, I am confident enough that we can finish in at least the play-offs this season.
An expected exit at the hands of Championship side Nottingham Forest. We fought well, but ultimately they were to strong and our FA Cup journey was over. The game brought in £70k which was a big help to our finances.
Last edited by SRL88; 15-01-2012 at 22:44.
I think if I was still managing abroad and was offered the opportunity to manage them I would take it, but with me building my reputation up nicely in England in charge of Darlington I wouldnt want to take a backwards step in my career to a side who are pretty much garunteed relegation.
Looking much better after a couple of strong months
Looking good, shame it's not the same in real life.
Leagues looking good mate, first season promotion on the cards, keep going!
Looking good so far,hope you can maintain that form.
SRL88's Career - February 2016 - Darlington FC
A bit of an up and down month, but we lost just one game during February and we rounded it off nicely with a 3-2 win away AFC Wimbledon. Im really suprised at how well we have taken to this league. We have by far the best goal scoring record and one of the best defences. I keep thining that we're going to fold, but we just keep going. Really proud of the lads for continuing our fine form throughout the season.
So close to Plymouth.
In the terms of the league of course, in Geography terms you're no where near. 375odd miles anyway.
A good month there, should never be disappointed with just the 1 loss! 1 point of automatic promotion must be a good feeling that late into the season.