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Thread: AFC Rushden and Diamonds - Back from the dead.

  1. #101
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    Season 11 - 2021/2022

    Premier League


    November





    A much better month! Great stuff.

    It started with Blackburn in which we gave our best performance of the season. One up after 25 minutes soon became 2-1 down, the second a harsh penalty. In the 69th minutes Raffa Trovo stepped up with a 20 yard free kick to give us just our second point.

    Next up a trip to Everton. A real backs to the wall performance brought a goal right on the break. Tommy Bobbins with a far post header. The game brought around two injuries, including one to goalkeeper Baldwin jsut to keep me on the edge of my seat.

    We ended with defeat to Aston Villa. They totally dominated the match, more so from the 37th minute when we had defender Bancroft sent off after already losing right back Mutch on the half hour. With just 14 minutes to go Duarte scored the winner. Overall happy, ten men, totally outplayed, but only beaten by the one goal.

    This month had seen me answer three media questions about the Burnley, Ipswich and Wigan jobs. Denied interest in all three.

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    First win and off bottom hopefully more improvements next month.

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    Haven't looked at this for a while, it's fantastic that you finally got out of the Championship and into the Premiership! Lets hope you can survive

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    Very best of luck in the Prem. It's looking a daunting affair at the moment! Hopefully you can stay in touching distant of safety by Jan, then hopefully try for some more loanee's/freebies for the final push. I'm predicting 15th place .

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    Season 11 - 2021/2022

    End of Season

    Premier League




    Our Premier League adventure is over for now. It was a tough season all in all, could not score enough and conceded too many. We only went down with two games remaining following Stoke winning at Manchester City.


    Highlights from the season:
    • Ending with a bank balance of £30m, will keep the club going for years.
    • League rules meant our stadium was expanded to 12,500 all seater
    • Our first Premier League win away at Everton 1-0
    • Beating West Brom 4-2, our biggest League win
    Lowlights of the season:
    • Conceding 4 goals 10 times, plus one 5 and one 6
    • Players wages rocketing up
    • Being relegated
    The new season is almost here, so far i havn'e lost any major players so we have a good championship squad. Mid table is the boards wish for this season so im sure we can get that, minimum. Have certainly learnt from my mistakes and hopefully if we can win promotion again we wil be in a better position to stay there. A year down the line and £30m in the bank its not been all bad!

  6. #106
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    Unlucky mate I am sure you will bounce back

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Drama View Post
    Unlucky mate I am sure you will bounce back
    I'm hoping so, still have a settled squad and some of my youngsters have improved greatly over the year so my squad has better depth rather than just a decent first eleven. Was never ready for the top flight anyhow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris0710 View Post
    Lowlights of the season:
    • Being relegated
    I'd say! Definitely capable of a better second go.

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    Unlucky on the relegation, but to have £30mil in the bank is really something! I think you will easily go back up and will have loads of money to improve the squad.

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    Season 12 - 2022/2023

    npower Championship

    August to October






    Not exactly the return to the Championship i was hoping for. With a squad almost the same as last year the relegation hangover has continued but a decent October hopefully means we have turned a corner. To keep up spirts we have had a decent run in the league cup.

    The summer saw 10 players leave the club. Carlos Kameni joined Stoke for £160k while Niko Kranjcar retired. The biggest sale was young defender Luke Bancroft. After 99 league games for us he joins Premier League Brighton for £5.5m. Other first team squad members leaving were Bagasan Mulholland to Sheff Wed (£90k) and Jake Bond to Blackpool (£325k)

    Coming into the team over the summer was Damien Cartwright from Everton for £275k and Donimique Paris on a free.

    On the money side we have £42m in the bank and are spending £4.63m per year in salary. Only QPR (£3.44m) and Bolton (£2.97m) are spending less in the Championship.

    25 year old Tommy Bobbins has has hit his 200th league goal for Rushden
    26 year old Clive Baldwin has past 350 league apps for Rushden

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    Despite our troubles in the league the cup has been brilliant. A comfortabel home win to League 2 side Bury brought a trip to Liverpool. A massive crowd of 41,411 saw us take the lead before Liverpool levelled in the 88th minute. We then scored in each half of extra time before Liverpool got a second with two minutes left.

    The Liverpool team featured an £11m French international keeper, an Irish international with over 50 caps, a Swiss left back with 72 caps, £12.5m Croation midfielder with 31 caps, an Italian striker that cost Liverpool £16.25m in 2021 who has scored 24 in 42 Prem games and has 46 international caps and a 22 year old English forward who has scored 29 in 38 for England u-21's. It makes the win more special as they had a good team ot, was not full of 19 year olds.

    The draw for the next round brought a trip to Old Trafford. United had started the season with 7 wins and a draw from eight games sitting top of the Prem when we went there. A strike from our left back after half an hour was enough to win and in the end we had 16 shots to Utd's 8, 6 on target compared to 4. Excellent performance.

    The United side had a keeper ho had not conceded in his three Prem games this year, Mexican right back who at age of 23 has played 44 times for his country. The captain of Ghana captained United (he has 143 international caps). The United starting line up had two 16 year olds and two 17 year olds but the rest had all featured at least three times in Uniteds first 8 Prem games.

    Next up is a home clash with Burnley. A club that have finished in the top 12 in the Premier League for 5 of the last 6 seasons.

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    Season 12 - 2022/2023

    npower Championship

    November and December








    Not the worst of two months overall which included coming third in the manager of the month for december. Two late goals away to Portsmouth got November off and running for us and after losing a close match to Swansea we beat play-off chasing Derby with some ease. After a couple of poor games we started to get some injured players back to fitness which led to 10 points from 12 in December. The game we slipped up in could have been alot worse as we were 2-0 down after just eight minutes. Coming into the transfer window we are smack in the middle at the half way point. 13 points from playoffs and 14 clear of the relegation zone.




    The League Cup ended with an extra time defeat. Such a shame but its been great fun picking up a couple of big scalps. Moving to the FA Cup a tough trip to Bournemouth, second in League One, turned out to be easier than expected. Our good league form continued and we were also comfortable. The draw for the 4th round gives us Championship rivals Scunthorpe at home. Hopefully we can make the 5th round as we are unbeaten in the 7 previous meetings, winning five.


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    Season 12 - 2022/2023

    npower Championship

    January and February






    Once again not a bad couple of months. Some decent results and scoring some goals which is nice. The season is in danger of just fizzling out though as we are too far from the play-offs to make a bid for promotion. Maybe once the new intake of youth come along i will start playing some youngsters in prep for next season.

    One the transfer front two players will be leaving in the summer. Centre defender Kerst Brodkorb who joined on a free at the start of last season has agreed an end of contract transfer to Benfica. In the summer i tried to offer him a new contract but his wage demands were far too high for me. Yes the money was there to honour his wishes but i am not prepared to break the bank for him.

    The second player leaving is Raffa Trovo. Such a talented player and one i didnt want to lose but when Lazio come offering £6m for a player i signed on a free three years ago is great for the club. He is out of contract next summer and wanted £21k pw to sign again and i cannot do that. He will be a massive miss as 144 lge apps, 19 goals and 41 assists in his near three seasons.



    The FA Cup is still going strong for us. Round 4 needed a 90th minute pen from top scorer Sutton to put us through then Round 5 saw a confident win over QPR, a month after hammering them 6-1 in the league. That brings a cup quarter final away to Manchester United. Having already dumped them out of the League Cup i can have hope we will do it in the FA Cup although i doubt it much.

    Thus season has brought us our best ever run in both cups and makes up some what for the mid table league showing.


    The club is currently under a transfer embargo as current chairman Neil Crace looking to sell up. Club director Graham Wilkinson is favourite to become my new boss. ON the finance side we have £38.5m in the bank with a trip to Old Trafford to come. That game was moved for TV giving us a bonus of £250,000. The salary is at £4.53 per annum with still QPR and Bolton below us in the Championship wage table.

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    Season 12 - 2022/2023

    npower Championship

    March






    A mid tale month for a mid talble side in the League. The defeat to Middlesborough came from a late goal but the win over Sunderland featured an even later goal so it evens its self out really. The month revolved around the FA Cup tie really. The rest of our games come before the end of April, four home games and three away. Looking to try and finish 7th, only five points behind Bolton so a good run should bring a much more respectable finish.




    It seems little old AFC Rushden and Diamonds have found a way to beat Manchester United. Thats two wins from two trips to Old Trafford. 3-0 was way above anything i could ever dream of and now a Wembley trip (just our third one win one defeat) against Premier League 10th place West Brom. The other semi final is between Man City and Liverpool.

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    Season 12 - 2022/2023

    npower Championship

    April






    A cracking end to the season in the league, in the end just four points from a play-off place. Five wins and two draws mean we end the season on an eleven game unbeaten run in the Championship.

    Rogan Sutton ended the season as top scorer with 27 in all competitions
    Left back Bill Tierney played the most games - 51
    Rafa Trovo ended the season with 24 assists. A new club record
    Sutton and Andy Reid both had the most man of match awards with eight
    Sutton also ended with the best average rating - 7.41




    So close yet so far in the end. A great performance all round and for us to reach the semi final was fantastic. Going down to to such a narrow defeat hurts but im sure our time will come

  16. #116
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    Had some good cup runs and a Wembley run out. Just have to try and add a few players in the summer

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    August





    A perfect start to the season for us. In a summer that saw us lose three of our starting eleven i was hoping for a decent start but top after four games is great. Pre season was hindered with injury to Tommy Bobbins and he is just about back on the bench at the moment but the record scorer has a job on to get back into the team as last seasons top scorer Rogan Sutton has scored 3 and had 6 assists while new signing Danny Dekelver has hit 5 in six with one assist.

    We started the season with a tight 2-1 win at Nottm Forest, coming back from one down and needing sub Piper to strike the winner. Next up brought another tight match where centre back Paris scored just after the break.

    A trp to Bolton is always tough and winning just two in our nine games against them shows. How wrong was i. Two up through our two before mentioned strikers when Paris put through his own net just on half time. Two more second half strikes from Paris (pen) and midfielder Muldoon. We ended the month with a comfortable win at home to Oldham. Winger Piper hit one and Dekelver twice to put us top of the pile.



    The cups just keep on giving. After last seasons League Cup quarter final run we now have a fantastic home tie with Chelsea in Round Three. To start we beat off League Two Bristol Rovers 4-1, another o.g for Paris but we were 4-0 up at the time. Championship rivals Olham came next and tough game, just three days after we beat them in the league, saw us through with a long range strike from Dekelver.


    The summer saw former captain Gary Halford move from Braga to Southampton for just under £10m and with us having a 50% sell on clause we are in for a big cash injection over the next 24 months. I mentioned above players mving on and Trovo went to Lazio while Broadkorb left on a free to Benfica. Also leaving was left back Bill Tierney after Ipswich met his minimum fee release of £1.8m.

    On the signing front Jack Manswell came in on a free to replace Trovo. 18 year old fromerly with Trinidad and Tobago side San Juan Jabloteh Sports Club.

    Mick Smith is in a replacement for Tierney. Coming from Barnsley at the end of his contract at the age of 25.

    Louis Wotton is on a eason long loan from Crystal Palace as a number two goalkeeper. He spent most of last season here playing 11 times in the Championship.

    Danny Dekelver is an 18 year old forward signed again on a free following his release from Genk in Belguim. Five goals in six games he is looking a good signing so far.

    Finally in comes French winger Ilyes Duval. The 20 year old was released from Auxerre and is cover on the wings as Aaron Smedley joined Oldham on loan.

  18. #118
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    Perhaps promotion is on the cards.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Perhaps promotion is on the cards.
    Hoping so...Have enough cash now to make a real go of the Premier League.

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    Looks like Manswell and Dekelver could be some quality additions, hopefully carry on the early form and back into the Prem!

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    September





    We ended August top of the table on goal difference and after four more games and with September out of the way we are still level on points with only goal difference between three teams.

    We started poorly with a home defeat to Norwich. That was the first defeat for us in the Championship since March 4th. We needed to pick up points in a trip to Charlton as they are going well and we built a 2-0 lead before Charlton even had a effort on goal.

    A clash of the then top two came about with Middlesborough. A goal up within two mins we played superb until right on half time when keeper Baldwin put into his own net. Thats now 6 goals conceded this season and three have been og's. We ended the league month with a win at Leicester. No much quality on show but Lewis struck with ten to go from 16 yards to give us the points. Thats now 11 away games without defeat in the league going back to February.



    Our League Cup run comes to an end with defeat to Chelsea. Despite taking the lead with ten minutes Chelsea had gone 2-1 up and missed a penalty.



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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    October




    Not the best of months but again we are making ourselves difficult to beat. Injuries have ripped through the squad meaning a settled starting eleven has not been achieved this month.

    We started October slightly disappointed by Brighton scoring with just four minutes left to share the points. My birthday brought a cracking game for most people. Within 11 minutes both strikers had scored and we were crusing. By the time we reached the 56th minute we were 3-2 behind when the Morecambe keeping scored an og. The final goal of the day came from Paris with eight minutes left.

    We served up another treat for the home fans against bottom side Swindon running out 3-0 winners. Anybody in late for the Portsmouth game missed all the action with Pomey scoring after just 33 seconds. Our worst 90 minutes was followed by another awful 53 against Watford. 2-0 i make a treble change and the two midfielders brought on provide the assists for Sutton to score within 4 minutes.

    With all the injuries i entered the free transfer market and brought in a new centre back Edward Jabang. Formerly with FC Kobenhavn he was released in the summer and im hoping he will have a bright future with us.

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    November




    Yet another month that so easily could have been better. A brillaint win against West Ham was followed by a shocking display at leaders Blackpool. How they didnt score five or six is amaxing. Before the West Ham win we let slip a lead to Rochdale before letting in yet another 90 + minute goal. We started win defeat at Wigan where 36 year old Robert Snodgrass scored the only goal.

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    December




    Shocker of a month!! Looking at the table though, a game over half way and being 7th is more than pleasing. I see us a a top 12 side in the Championship at the moment but there is some sadness given the start we had.

    December started awful with 1 point from 9 but christmas cheer was back with back to back wins leading us to end the month with some confidence. Two home games that if we pick up 6 points right in the mix.

    Sadly we decided to thow both games away. leading in both we wnt 3-1 and then 4-1 down before scoring late on to make the results look a little better.

    Some concern from striker Reid and full back Smith about lack of first team chances so could well see some movement next month. Our midfield has been wiped out during the month also with 6 of my 8 midfielders out injured or suspended for the last two games of the month. To make it worse it just the little niggle injuries, all one or two weeks!

    The FA Cup sends us to League Two strugglers Chesterfield.

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    Hope you can climb back up.

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    January





    Another poor month in the league that started with some promise.

    A decent draw away at Swansea, after being one down after just 40 seconds was followed with a brillaint win over Bolton, everything we seemed to do paid off that day. Then the bad stuff came. What i thought was an awful display at Oldham turned out to be an amazing display after the way we played against Norwich. Never ever been so downhearted about two results.

    Somehow though we are still in a decent position and well in with a play-off shout.


    The FA Cup was a different story. Hammered Chesterfield and the win over Swindon was more comfortable than the results suggests. For the second time this season we host Chelsea in a cup tie.


    On the transfer front forward Andy Reid was sold to West Ham for £375k while Mick Smith and Neil Howson were released. Also released was loyal servant Bernard Asante. The defender came through the youth system after joining in March 2013 and making him debut in 2016. After nearly 11 years with the club he made 204 league apps and scored 13 times. A brilliant servant who over the last 30 months had become very much a bit part player. I wanted him to go off and find a club and continue a career that includes 19 full caps and 26 u-21 caps for Ghana, scoring once. He has also won Championship Play-Off in 2021, League One and League Two titles in 2018 and 2017 while in 2023 he was a member of the Ghana squad that won the African Nations Cup.

    Coming into the club were three new players.
    • Preben Fiege - a free transfer left winger signed to help with the midfield injury crisis. Former of Lynby he had failed to impress on trial with both Rochdale and Swansea but i certainly feel he has a bright future. 13 Danish u-21 caps with 5 goals he has played 122 minutes for us so far, with one assist and an average rating of 7.40
    • Jai Middleton - another free transfer after his release from Seattle. Just 20 years old and born in England a WP was not needed. His time in the MLS shows he is a goal scoring full back with 3 in 22 i hope he can make the left back slot his as its one of my weakest positions.
    • Willaim Maxwell - a third and final freebie he was released from Coventry after 6 goals in 6 starts and 19 sub apps. A raw player who has until the summer to impress. He is my 4th choice forward currently, playing once in the FA Cup.

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    February





    A nice unbeaten league month, although two wins and two draws. Things started with a credible draw at Middlesborough and then fought back from 2-0 down to beat Leicester 3-2. A trip to Morecambe saw us lead three times but only get a point. We ended the month with a thumping win at bottom club Swindon. Saying that they played most of the game with ten men and scored two o.g's


    Our cup run ended with a big defeat to Premier League side Chelsea. Never in the game, two goals in each half.


    Following the form of my forwards Tommy Bobbins has hardly played this year allowing Clive Baldwin to now become the clubs record appearence holder with 412 apps.

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    Season 13 - 2023/2024

    npower Championship

    End of Season




    All in all disappointed to finish outside the top 6 but we didnt desdeve too. As with last season a good run in the last few weeks saw us fall short. Nobdy is complaining with a second sucessive 9th place finish though.

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    Unlucky mate

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    Whose won what

    Premier League:

    Manchester City - 4
    Arsenal and Tottenham - 3
    Manchester United - 2
    Chelsea - 1

    Championship Title Winners:

    Blackpool and Watford - 2
    Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol City, Nott'm Forest, Leicester, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Burnley and West Ham - 1

    League One Title Winners:

    Preston, Crystal Palace and Morecambe - 2
    Peterborough, Coventry, Middlesborough, Wrexham, QPR, Huddersfield and Birmingham - 1

    League Two Title Winners:

    Swindon, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Luton, Oxford, AFC Rushden, Oldham, Crawley, MK Dons, Chesterfield, Hull, Macclesfield and Colchester - 1

    Blue Square Bet Premier Title Winners:

    Cambridge and Cheltenham - 2
    Luton, Northampton, Darlington, AFC Rushden, FC United, Notts County, Tonbridge, Nuneaton and Stockport - 1

    FA Cup Winners:

    Manchester City - 3Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea - 2
    Liverpool, Ipswich, Tottenham and Newcastle - 1

    League Cup Winners:

    Arsenal - 3
    Manchester City - 2
    Stoke, Blackburn, Burnley, Bristol City, Wolves, Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool - 1

    Johnstones Paint Trophy Winners:

    Hull - 2
    Preston, Colchester, Oxford, Sheffield United, Plymouth, Swansea, Gillingham, Exeter, MK Dons, Chesterfield and Stockport - 1

    FA Trophy Winners:

    Lincoln, Aldershot, Fleetwood, Bury, Torquay, FC United, Kettering, Newport County, Bromley, Dartford, Grimsby, Cheltenham and Kidderminster - 1

    Champions Cup Winners:


    Barcelona and AC Milan - 4
    Real Madrid - 2
    Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal - 1

    Euro Cup Winners:

    Manchester United - 3
    Manchester City - 2
    Real Madrid, PSG, Shakhtar, OM, Porto, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham- 1

    World Cup Winners:

    Italy - 2
    Croatia - 1

    European Championship Winners:

    Italy, France, Spain and Romania - 1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Drama View Post
    Unlucky mate
    Overall just not good enough. Its a time of transition though, more younger guys coming in as over the last two years i have lost 6 or 7 first teamers to bigger clubs. Am confident this year we can go better and get a play-off spot.

    Youth facilites are being improved again and another 58 seats added to the capacity!!

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    Pity you couldn't build on a good start.

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    Season 14 - 2024/2025

    npower Championship

    August





    For a second season running we have had a good start to life in the Championship.

    The opeing day took us to QPR and saw us endure a nightmare start with conceding inside two minutes. The lead last just eight minutes when Belgian forward Danny Dekelver volleyed in from a Fiege cross. The five minutes before and after half time were awful as both Fiege and Wareham went off injured. Goal number two game in the 69th minute through Steven Breen and the match was settled in the 95th minute with Dekelver's second of the game. Although QPR two more shots we ended the match with 59% possession which is fantastic for an away team. The way we passed the ball won us the match with our defence, midfield and attack beating QPR in the completion stats 73 to 57, 84 to 76 and 85 to 63%. That gave us an overall pass completion rate of 81% (compared to QPR 67%)

    Home game number one saw Middlesborough well beaten at the AFC Rushden Stadium. Goals from Rogan Sutton and Dekelver in either half were enough for us. Once again our passing game worked wonders with an 83% completion rate with an overall possession of 61%. According to the stats we have the best work rate in the league and that showed as over the 90 minutes my players ran 188km compared to 111 from Middlesborough.

    I did'nt expect to get much from Birmingham away and how wrong was i. Two up inside 14 minutes from the same scorers as Middlesborough the game was made safe in first half stoppage time though Ilyes Duval. We could also afford a first half penalty miss from Steve Muldoon. An amazing 24 shots to Birmingham 6 went along way to sealing victory.

    Game four brought a clash of the 100% record holders. It was us that started the best and Rogan Sutton scored after 24 mins. Cutting past two players on the right wing he beat another player before curling the ball into the top corner. That goal was later voted Goal of the Month (http://youtu.be/TDdDTJKbimw). Norwich levelled before the break after a poor piece of goalkeeping left Ambassa with an empty net. Overall we were happy to take a point as Norwich whacked the bar and really dominated the second half, particuarlly in midfield.

    The final game of August took us to Wigan where the only first half action was a harsh penalty award to Wigan left Holloway with a simple chance to score. We got level in lucky circumstances with a harmless cross from Sutton somehow diverted into his own net by Wigan defender Kamran Newman. The final goal came with just four to play. A four man move featuring one touch passing left Graham Flynn free inside the box and he slid the ball past the advancing keeper. We should ahve made the most of the ball as we had 62% possession at the DW Stadium but it just wasn't our day.

    Despite being 5th in the table we are doing things right as Danny Dekelver, Steven Breen and Rogan Sutton filled the top 3 spaces of the Young Player of the Month award.

    Clive Baldwin and Christian Lewis are currently 1st and 5th in the passes completion table (92% and 89%) while Dekelver is 3rd in the dribbles per game (3.2). We have three players (Duval - 1st, Muldoon - 7th and Piper - 11th) in the top 11 for the distance covered so far. Leader Duval has covered 64.2km compared to second placed 60.9km.



    Once again we come across Chelsea in the cups. After being beaten by them in both competitions by them last year in hoping for a bit of revenge. We have that chance thanks to two wins against lower league clubs. League 2 Stevenage scored first and last, an og and a penalty, but a goal straight after the break then two inside four minutes put us through.

    League One Plymouth were next up and the results flattered us somewhat. Yes we were the better team and two up when Plymouth pulled one back but we needed goals in the 85th and 88th minutes to seal a spot in round 3.
    Last edited by kris0710; 31-03-2012 at 20:10.

  34. #134
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    Hope you keep it up this time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Hope you keep it up this time.
    Certainly hope so. Playing some good stuff so far.

  36. #136
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    A better season so far Hope the play matches the expectations you have!

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    Season 14 - 2024/2025

    npower Championship

    September





    Optimism replaced by disappointment

    September started with a home match with Morecambe. For the fans a cracking match but despite coming from behind twice the away side struck the winner with just five minutes left. Our first goal from Lewis was later voted third in the Goal of the Month award. After seeing the goal though i thought it was worthy of first place. The overall performance was was well down on recent games so defeat was no suprise.

    Next up away to Scunthorpe looked all the world to be another defeat at half time with us 2-0 down. The final forty five minutes though were superb, so much so commentry used the phrase 'Scott's boys never looked like losing this one'. We needed goals from centre back Edward Jabang and captain Christian Lewis. Lewis, although born in Irthlinborough, Northants now represents Trinidad and Tobago.

    With our tails firmly up Leciester were the next visitors to our place and they scored with their only effort on target. We again gave another good second half showing and our leveller came six minutes after Jack Manswell was sent off.

    The month ended with a poor effort at Sunderland. Danny Dekelver ended his goal drought but that about the only positive from the game. We were already a goal down when Dekelver scored following a rebound from a long range Piper strike.



    The cup run is ended by Chelsea once again. Im getting very board with a home tie against them! A decent performance though shows me we are doing something right. Two goals after the break did for us and just a little bit of quality was mssing.


    Three of my players in the top 15 for pass completion (Baldwin - 93%, Dekelver - 86% and Piper - 85%)
    Duval and Piper are 3rd and 4th in the distance covered at 103.2 and 102.7km.

  38. #138
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    Ouch tuff month :/

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    Season 14 - 2024/2025

    npower Championship

    October to February









  40. #140
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    Season 14 - 2024/2025

    npower Championship


    March




    Its clear to see that the play-offs in the minimum aim now for this season. The next month brings so real tough matches. The last three games of the season are against the sides currently 7th, 1st and 2nd so a top 6 place is not assured yet.

    March was a decent month in the end. Started shakey but three nice wins put us in a great position. Goals are still flowing and only the top 2 have better defensive records.

  41. #141
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    Season 14 - 2024/2025

    npower Championship


    May





    Fifth place, play-off semi final against Watford. We tried and tried to throw it away but vital wins over Charlton and Everton gave us this good finish.

    Going into the play-offs im not all that confident as our record against Watford is poor. Maybe its going to change now!!

  42. #142
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    Play-Off Semi Final

    First Leg

    AFC Rushden Stadium

    23mins GOAL!!! AFC RUSHDEN 1 - 0 Watford - Louis Piper scored following fellow wingers Cartwright shot being parried by the Watford keeper.

    27mins GOAL!!! AFC Rushden 1 - 1 WATFORD - Tamer Driscoll scores an almost identical goal to Piper. A shot from Hooper was well saved but the rebound fell kindly to the Watford man.

    45+2mins GOAL!!! AFC RUSHDEN 2 - 1 Watford - Louis Piper is in dreamland scoring his second of the game. Danny Dekelver ran down the left and drilled a cross along the floor to the back post where Piper was waiting to shoot back across the keeper into the corner.

    HALF TIME AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 2 -1 WATFORD

    65MINS RED CARD!!! Watford have had left back Carl Wooley sent off for violent conduct

    76mins GOAL!!! AFC Rushden 2 - 2 WATFORD - Tamer Driscoll scored the goal of the game with a curling free kick from fully 30 yards. Stunning

    FULL TIME
    AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 2
    WATFORD 2


    My record against Watford now reads PLD 11 WON 0 DREW 6 LOST 5. Going to be a tough ask for the second leg. It is also my 700th game in charge of AFC Rushden.



    Play-Off Semi Final

    Second Leg

    Vicarage Road


    12mins GOAL!!! WATFORD 1 - 0 AFC Rushden - Shane Mountford scores after taking the ball past two defenders and shooting from 9 yards.

    21mins GOAL!!! Watford 1 - 1 AFC RUSHDEN - Danny Dekelver picks the ball up on the half way line, jinxs past one defender and races into the box beofre sliding the ball past the keeper. Game on.

    36mins GOAL!!! WATFORD 2 - 1 AFC Rushden - Mountford strikes again, a cross from the right hits his fellow forward and bounces right onto his left foot. Blink of an eye and the net is rustling

    HALF TIME WATFORD 2 - 1 AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS




    FULL TIME

    WATFORD 2
    AFC RUSHDEN AND DIAMONDS 1
    (AGG 4-3)

    2025 PLAY-OFF FINAL

    LEEDS UNITED vs WATFORD


  43. #143
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    Better luck next time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Better luck next time.
    Having a bit of a squad clear out so hopefully can go better next year. Been a little too loyal to a couple of my players so maybe its about time i used the transfer market rather than bringing through youth.

    Slightly annoyed that after a year of planning and £170,000 paid out the council rejected our bit in increase the stadium by......58 seats

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    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    August




    After 5150 days, 701 games, 392 wins, 136 draws, 173 defeats, eight promotions with six titles i have left my job with AFC Rushden and Diamonds.


    For the fifth time during my AFC career Stoke City have offered me the job and although i am moving to a divisional rival i see this as a step forward. I felt that after taking Rushden to the Play-Off semi finals last season that 14 years is enough at one club. I could not wait another 9 years for a stadium, the new chairman has cut my budget year on year despite the club being in great shape.

    Stoke City started the season with a 1-0 defeat to Leicester City so my first match in charge will be against Barrow in the League Cup. In the time i have been with Rushden, Stoke City have been relegated from the Premier League three times, won the League Cup once and also been runners-up once.

    They have had TEN managers, of which 7 were sacked:

    Tony Pulis - Left 2013 for international management
    Steve McClaren - Sacked in 2014 after finishing 15th in Premier League
    Alan Shearer - Sacked in 2015 after finishing 19th in Premier League
    Chris Riggott - Sacked March 2016, the club finished 3rd in Championship
    Jan Polak - Sacked October 2016 - just 6 months into the role
    Safet Susic - Retired in May 2021
    Nigel Adkins - Left in Summer 2024 to take over at Blackburn
    Mohammed Abdellaoue - Sacked in March 2025
    Walter Samuel - Sacked four months into the job following takeover
    Mark Cooper - Sacked 9 days into the job by new owners
    Kristopher Scott - 10th August 2025 to ?????

    Its certainly going to be a challenge and i have just three weeks until the transfer window slams shut...



  46. #146
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    9 days! wow.

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    Stoke City

    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    August




    The club started the season managerless and lost the opener against Leicester. Ahead of my first league game in charge i made six changes from the side selected on day one. To add to the nervousness the match was against Watford, a side i have not managed to beat in 12 attempts with AFC Rushden. Fear not though a good performance resulted in a 3-1 win and that was quickly followed by a comfortable win at Morecambe.

    Just a day before the Morecambe game number one keeper pulled up injured so an u-18 lad stepped into the first team. Attempts to bring in a loan keeper have failed despite approching 7 players. That ended up costing us eve more a 3 of the 5 goals conceded in the next two games were from keeper errors. Take nothing away from AFC Rushden though, totally battered us from the first minute. New manager Mark Cooper must have really enjoyed it the win as im sure he is bitter following his Stoke sacking after 9 days.


    My first game in charge was a extra time win at League Two Barrow. Really should have won the game well before extra time but a win is a win. Round Two brought another League Two side, this time Stevenage Borough. Much more comfortable for us, two first half strikes then one shortly after the break killed the tie off.


    I ahve joined when Stoke have a decent squad so i am going to bring in some good backroom staff and importantly new scouts to prepare the club for a busy January. Ideally i am looking to have a squad ready for the 2026/27 season by the end of January. That will give the players 18 games or so to gel.

  48. #148
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    whats stokes finances like?

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzz2k7 View Post
    whats stokes finances like?
    Not too bad.

    Balance: £20,000,000
    Transfer budget: £8,710,000
    Wage budget: £432,725
    Wage spend: £338,565

    Due to previous transfers the club has a minimum of £1m per month coming in through installments for the next 16 months

    As its the first season back in the Championship is promotion is not achieved then we will be parachute payments also

    Last year the club lost £1.5m but spent £11m on transfers and brought just £6m in from sales so all in all decent shape.

  50. #150
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    Stoke City

    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    September




    An inconsistant month for us but we are in a decent position for a club not hitting top form. We started well with victory over QPR. A match that swung from side to side, 1-0 down to 2-1 up then back to 2-2. A strike with just ten minutes left was enough to send 17,500 fans home happy.

    A trip to the seaside saw Blackpool donkey Alex Pearce score the only goal after 16 minutes. Should have clinched a point though, hitting both posts in the final six minutes. Another league defeat followed with Middlesborough racing 2-0 up. A goal from my former youth player at AFC Rushden Jonathan Walton pulled one back with twenty to go but not enough.

    We needed to beat Oldham in the final game of the month and that we did. 2-1 up at the break we raced clear in the second half with the 4th goal from Ross Mckay later voted goal of the month.


    We travelled to Championship leaders Brighton inbetween our two league defeats and gave our best performance so far. A goal in each half and a fantastic defensive display giving the hosts just two attempts on goal all game. The 4th round sends us to Premier League Liverpool.

  51. #151
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    Stoke City

    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    October





    Fantastic month in the league. A goal down at Sheffield Wednesday, defeat on the cards when two goals in the final three minutes swing it for us. The 9th minute strike from Wednesday was the only one they had on target all game.

    Sunderland away was another brilliant result. 2-0 at the break we got one back early then our keeper dived to his left to save a Sunderland penalty. Following that once centre back was sent off and with fifteen to go our second centre back was red carded. Then in the 91st minute we strike a leveller from a long throw.

    A home match with Charlton brought around more late drama. We led 1-0 until the 87min when we extended that lead. In the last minute Charlton pulled one back with a 12 yard header then deep into stoppage time we sealed the win. The league month ended at leaders Brighton. Already beaten them in the cup i was quietly confident of a result but not the result we had. A brilliant hat trick from Walton took his tally to 11 in 13 league games. The score flattered us a little but i dont mind one bit.


    A cracking win at Liverpool. Looked over after 1 minute falling behind but a master class from winger Hussey sent us through. Two goals and an assist. Again sticking with the Stoke way the 4th goal came from a long throw. The quarter final draw gives us our first home tie against Premier League side Bristol City.


    I have now been in charge at Stoke City for 16 games, winning 11 and losing just 4 (68% win rate)
    Last edited by kris0710; 03-04-2012 at 09:52.

  52. #152
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    Stoke City

    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    November





    An inconsistant month overall but if i had been offered three defeats and only drop to 7th would have jumped at it. The first match of November was a stroll really other than the lack of finishing. Wrexham were restricted to just two shots, none on target while we needed a near post effort from Hussey to collect the points. The assistant referee also disallowed two second half strikes from Walton.

    Norwich next and my only way to describe this result is karma. In October we beat Brighton 5-1 and the scoreline flattered us massivly. Now the shoe is on the other foot, Norwich scored almost everytime they got over the half way line while we more than bettered their midfield and bossed the game. Our goal came from loanee Louis Piper who had fallen out of favour at AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

    A reaction was needed against Scunthorpe and thats what i got. A second hatrick in five games from Walton plus a neat header from transfer listed forward West sealed a good win. Deservedly beaten at Forest, but when you play 58 minutes with ten men its always hard as Huber was sent-off for a crude challenge. We found or shooting boots in the first half against Darlington, leading 4-1 at the break with another fantastic performance from winger Leighton Hussey. Sadly he was forced off after an hour with a broken shoulder that will sideline him for 6-8 weeks.

    Going to Swansea i rested four players and we lost Hussey in the last match. We have our Carling Cup QF in midweek so was happy to put a couple of squad players in. Overall a good performance really, just a slightly below par defence was met with a better than average attacking performance from Swansea. o.g's dont help and we gifted Swansea the first through defender Edward Hyde.

    On the transfer front we have agreed to sign AFC Rushden and Diamonds centre back Courtney Bangura. The 18 year old has played six times this season and is a player i know well having come through the Rushden youth system in 2023.

  53. #153
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    Great career so far just read the whole thing will be following good luck at Stoke.

  54. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by JojoVillaHursty View Post
    Great career so far just read the whole thing will be following good luck at Stoke.
    Thankyou! Looking forward to the Stoke challenge and hopefully take the club back to the Premier League and then to the top! Big dreams...

  55. #155
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    ONE IS NOT AMUSED

  56. #156
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    Following my stupid loading issues i have had to go back a month to just before the Liverpool league cup match.

    I have holidayed until November 30th and will comtinue from then.

    Here are the results i had originally and the new results:


    Liverpool away Lge Cup won 4-2 now we lost 2-1
    Wrexham home lge won 1-0 now we drew 1-1
    Norwich home lge lost 1-5 now we drew 1-1
    Scunthorpe away lge won 4-1 now won 3-2
    Nott'm F away lge lost 2-1 now lost 1-0
    Swansea home lge lost 2-1 now won 5-2


    Previous 6 lge points from 5 games plus Lge Cup QF place

    Now 8 lge points from 5 games but out of cup.


    Will do update at end of December...

  57. #157
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    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    December and January





    A poor couple of months really and i have to be honest the game not loading for me has dampened my spirts. Having played the first two weeks of December before we had 6 more points than we actually have and won the League Cup QF so faced Manchester City in the semi finals.

    Instead we crashed out in the 4th round and if we had those six points would be in the play-offs on goals scored compared to 6 points behind.

    Maybe an FA Cup run will help my mood!!!

  58. #158
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    At least you only lost a month, surprised you made the move. Good luck

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Drama View Post
    At least you only lost a month, surprised you made the move. Good luck
    Felt i was just too attached to my youth players and that was blinding my judgement. When i started out i wanted to get Rushden back to Blue Square Bet Premier so that has been ticked off.

    Part of my decision i think comes from the fact i am in a chairmans games over at Challenges, Sign ups and Experiments with my club being Stoke also. They are starting to become my second team i think!

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    Fair enough, I am far too attached to King's Lynn to ever leave them on my game I think. I know what you mean about holding onto players theres a few in my team now that really should of been sold but I cant bring myself to do it!

  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Drama View Post
    Fair enough, I am far too attached to King's Lynn to ever leave them on my game I think. I know what you mean about holding onto players theres a few in my team now that really should of been sold but I cant bring myself to do it!
    I know soon enough i will regret it but certainly not ruling out going back one day.

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    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    February and March





    Started off really well in February and to some extent March with only Middlesborough giving us a beating. Then following a goal blitz against Brighton we have really struggled. Our lack of depth in the current squad is costing us but im sure the wins will start coming again.

    Just three points off the play-off place with seven games to go so i see no reason why a top 6 finish is beyound us. Four of our last 7 are against teams in the bottom six so if we fall short we have nobody to blame.

    Disappointed with our youth intake that im only taking on one lad, a 16 year old foward Stewart Bircher.

  63. #163
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    Season 15 - 2025/2026

    npower Championship

    End of Season





    Gutted to fall and the final hurdle. We knew going into the last game we needed a favour from bottom club Darlington if we failed to win and sadly that didnt happen. The hard work starts now though. Expecting between 10 and 15 players to leave over the next few weeks so will be working hard to replace them.

    Very happy for AFC Rushden and Diamonds though, winning the title. The squad has just three players brought in by the new boss so a sense of pride that the players i have help develop over the years have won promotion.

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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    Pre-Season Squad


    As you can see from above during the summer i became the new manager of Republic of Ireland. Following an early exit from the World Cup Owen Coyle resigned after six years in charge.


    Back to Stoke we have had a busy pre season with ten players joining and six players leaving. This is the most amount of players i have brought in since the summer of 2011 when i first took charge of AFC Rushden and Diamonds down in the United Counties Premier League.



    Here is a run down of my squad for the new season

    GK
    Kieran Howarth
    Matt Barry

    DR
    Michael Woodgate
    Rob Grundy

    DL
    Joshua Turner
    Josh Magee

    DC
    Adam King
    Edward Hyde
    Zander Gemmill
    Courtney Bangura

    MR
    Ross McKay
    Milan Babovic

    ML
    Jamie Hampson
    Dean Woodward

    MC
    Alex Penney
    Mike Betts
    Thomas Henderson
    Allan Wardlaw
    Dominic Hendricks

    ATT
    Jonathan Walton
    Leighton Hussey
    Dzemal Imamovic
    Peter McDonnell



    Season Expectations

    championship: play-offs
    fa cup: 5th round
    league cup: 4th round


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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    August





    A very nice start to the season all round apart from the injury front. Should have another two points though, battered Doncaster but could not break through.

    The League Cup sees us host league leaders Newcastle United in Round Three.

    Top Three Scorers:
    Walton (3)
    McDonnell (2)
    Mckay (2)

    Top Three Assists:

    Walton (3)
    Wardlaw (2)
    Woodward (2)

    Stoke City Player of the Month:
    Kieran Howarth
    The new 23 year old keeper has started well with four clean sheets in first seven games


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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    Friendly

    August



    Thomond Park, Limerick



    Very good start to life as Rep. of Ireland boss. A victory was expected against lowly Andorra but a win is a win.

    September brings a friendly against South Korea and a qualifier away to Liechtenstein.


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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    September






    Another good month for us, although could have been different. The Crawley match we were crusing 3 up after 30 minutes but let them right back into it.

    The month ended with us a goal down after 82 mins to Sheffield United when goals in 87th and 90+3 minutes won us the match.

    The only minus of the month was the League Cup defeat. A close match but resting a few attacking players looks to have cost us.


    Top Three Scorers:
    McDonnell (6)
    Hussey (6)
    Walton (5)

    Top Three Assists:

    Hussey (5)
    Walton (4)
    Wardlaw (4)


    Stoke City Player of the Month:
    Leighton Hussey
    A month with 3 goals and 3 assists stood in well while Walton was out injured.



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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    Friendly and Qualifier

    September





    Another two wins without conceding is making this a perfect start to international management.

    Expecting to win both i didnt think the South Korea game would go so easily and it set us up nicely for competitive football.

    We have a difficult group with France, Serbia and Czech Rep so we need to win and win well against the poorer countries.

    We are currently 23rd in the World.


  69. #169
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    October






    Not a good month for use but sitting nicely in third and just one defeat so far. Should have done better against Derby, blowing a 2-0 lead and in the next three games we scored first but couldn't build on it.

    We ended strongly with a win over Morecambe but even that was spoilt when star striker Jonathan Walton tells the media he will be leaving when his contract expires in the summer. He was signed from AFC Rushden for £2.1m in January 2020. 229 league apps and 101 league goals later he has certainly repaid the outlay.


    Top Three Scorers:
    McDonnell (7)
    Walton (7)
    Hussey (6)

    Top Three Assists:

    Hussey (8)
    Walton (4)
    Woodward (4)


    Stoke City Player of the Month:
    Leighton Hussey
    Missed 2 of our games but came back for the final three with assists for three of the five goals. Really doing well in his new position upfront as spent last season on the wing.

    Last edited by kris0710; 05-04-2012 at 12:43.

  70. #170
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    Qualifiers

    October





    Expected to beat Moldova but smashing eight past them was brilliant. Set us up nicely for the France game but they outmuscled us during the first half. The second was much more even but down to 4th in the group, only a point off the top.

    We have moved up to 21st in the World Rankings


  71. #171
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    November





    A poor end to the month sadly has left us a little too close to the teams below and far off the teams above. After 7th place finish last season anything in the top six will be a success. The FA Cup draw sees us travel to League One Rochdale at the start of January.


    Top Three Scorers:
    Walton (10)
    McDonnell (7)
    Hussey (7)

    Top Three Assists:

    Hussey (10)
    Woodward (5)
    McDonnell (5)

    Stoke City Player of the Month:
    Jonathan Walton
    Added three more goals this month and half of the clubs goals. Back to fitness now and its starting to show.


  72. #172
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    Friendlies

    November



    Another good win against a poor side was followed by a spirted display against Italy. Been a decent start to life with Ireland but its the qualifiers im most interested in.


    We are currently 27th in the World Rankings.


  73. #173
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    December and January





    You would think i would be happy with a return of 19 points from 27 over the last couple of months but im not. The draw with Charlton felt like a defeat and the Doncaster game was dreadful.

    The FA Cup has been good, wins over League One Rochdale and Blue Square Bet Premier side Tranmere gives us Premier League Southampton away next.

    The January transfer window passed with none in or out for the club although centre back Adam King had requested a transfer as he is not in the team.


    Top Three Scorers:
    Walton (18)

    Hussey (12)
    McDonnell (7)


    Top Three Assists:

    Hussey (16)
    Wardlaw (8)
    McKay (7)


  74. #174
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    npower Championship

    End of Season







    PREMIER LEAGUE HERE WE COME!!


  75. #175
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    Season 16 - 2026/2027

    End of Season









  76. #176
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    Season 17

    Premier League

    End of Season



    Great first season back in top flight. A few very heavy defeats to the big guys but sides in the bottom half were outplayed over and over again.

    I resigned from Ireland in January. Got bored with international management.

    As the season came to an end



    Off to Anfield i go....


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