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Thread: Football, bloody hell

  1. #1
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    Default Football, bloody hell


    Frigg Oslo
    2012
    Norwegian Second Division Group 4


    Having finally got on the FM2012 bandwagon, and having got comfortable with the game, it's time for me to dive in and make a proper game of it! I have never managed outside of England, and my FM2011 save featured Leyton Orient where we went to the Champions League final. I don't think I will stay with one club throughout this whole save, unless one club really takes my fancy. I intend to win as many league titles in different countries as I can - I might do this by taking small clubs through the ranks, or just boosting my reputation to the point where I am the manager of choice for big clubs. Who knows. Lets just see where it takes me.

    Me - Starting as a Sunday League Footballer.

    Club Reputation - One star club.

    Norwegian Competitions - One star competition.

    Norwegian National Team - For some reason Norway are 5th in the world. Not sure that reflects their skill levels.

    Squad - If my AssMan is to be believed, all of our players are exceptional for this level. However the squad is small, and we're a bit winger heavy given I don't play with wingers in the lower leagues. I will be doing some wheeling and dealing to get in some solid defensive midfielders, a taller target man and a pacy poacher.

    Finances - £250k in the red at this level means we are unlikely to have any money to invest in the squad or facilities for years to come.

    Facilities - Decent enough facilities at this level though, 1500 capacity stadium

    History - Some history but well in the past, nothing recently.

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    Welcome and all the best

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    Good luck with this

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    Welcome to forums and FMCU. Good luck.

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    The disciplinary rules in this league are a bit harsh. A ban after 3 yellows, then after 2, then a match ban for every yellow card. Definitely a league to stay on your feet in!

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    Good club to start with, a reasonably popular around here in the past year. That league's a devil to get out of though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Good club to start with, a reasonably popular around here in the past year. That league's a devil to get out of though.
    Ah really? I've not read the forum much - how have people got on with them? I started unemployed and I liked the club badge, my technique is very sophisticated!

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    Welcome will be following

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    Good luck dude. I had a great career on 02/03 with Kristiansund BK

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    Mid Season Update
    June 2012


    - http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/x...iew_Stages.png

    - http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/x...s_Fixtures.png

    A very interesting first half to the season. We started off playing a defensive sweeper system which just didn't work, hence the first two defeats. After that we switched to an attacking 4231 which has seen the whole team contribute to some fantastic attacking football, smashing pretty much any team in our way. This included a great run to the Norwegian Cup 4th Round, with victims including Odd of the EL (Premier League) and 2 team in the AL (First Division). Eventually we were knocked out by the AL leaders by a late goal, but the run gave me confidence that were we to be promoted we could hold our own.

    Unfortunately I don't think we will get promoted. The downside of being in a small league with only one promotion spot is if that one team is outstanding you stand no chance. Those two early defeats meant we have always been playing catch up to Moss, and in our meeting we could only draw (the only game so far Moss haven't won). I can't see anyone beating Moss, meaning even if we beat them in the return and have a 100% second half of the season, we can still only come second. Lets hope someone finds form and they have a couple of bad days. Still, so much fun.

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    Solid start to the season.

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    With only 7 games to go it is looking increasingly likely I'll have to settle for second place. Meanwhile I have had no new contract offer and there are rumours of a replacement. Is it time to move on already?

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    Youth Intake 2012

    Not the best intake in the world, but there are at least 3 players who might be do well as back up for the future. They are Karl Martin Kjaer, Jens Georg Nordby and Jan Morten Kjolberg, all Oslo born and bred,


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    Offered a new contract for the same money (£775) for a year. Negotiated up to £900 and 2 years. Looks like I'm staying for now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexcharliemann View Post
    Ah really? I've not read the forum much - how have people got on with them? I started unemployed and I liked the club badge, my technique is very sophisticated!
    Bit mixed, I took over when they were repromoted into the Second Division, had a few 'there or thereabouts' seasons and left as I didnt fancy my chances of getting top and going up anytime soon. Cerud took them up to the Premier Division in just a few seasons, and the other guy I can think of might have taken them up as well but that was way back in the Autumn. Definitely shows they have the potential though.

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    Ahh Frigg... Good club, but now you can be the forum's "pun" goto man!

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    I know I'm painting a target on myself but if I read that one more time...

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    Good decision to stay in my eyes.

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    Frigg Oslo
    Season Review - 2012
    Norwegian Second Division Group 4 - 2nd place


    League - 57 points from 26 games isn't a bad haul at all, especially with a 23 game unbeaten run in the middle! Unfortunately we came up against Moss who were fantastic. They were undefeated and only drew 4 games (2 of which were with us) so they won the league by some distance. But 2nd place was a good finish given we were predicted 8th. A goal difference of +45 suggests we are too good for this league so expecting more of the same next year - promotion will depend on how good the teams are that drop down into our league.

    Cup - A cup run we can be proud of, making the 4th round and earning £100k much needed prize money. The highlight was a fantastic 3-2 win over EL side Odd, featuring a stunning hattrick from Christian Stiesen. We also knocked out two AL teams, and we were unlucky to lose out 4-3 away to AL side Ranheim, who won the AL and were promoted to the EL. Christian Stiesen was the competition's top scorer with 8 goals.

    Transfers

    Overview - Some cracking signings mainly on free transfers, with Stiesen and Middtun Lie providing the majority of our attacking thrust. Jukka Vanninen was a bargain at only £50 too! Yes, not £50k, £50! A 35 y/o player/coach, he anchored the midfield well and also scored 8 goals. All the players released weren't good enough. My strategy is to have a small squad (only 19 players this year) but to have quality instead.

    Key Players

    Christian Stiesen - Signed on a free transfer from Viborg in the Danish First Division, he is perfect for this level. Decent pace, decent finishing, some good height and an excellent work rate, he scored 21 in 28 goals, including 3 hat tricks. Average 7.39.

    Jon Middtun Lie - Signed on a free transfer with previous EL experience, he turned in some great performances on the left wing and returned 12 goals and 17 assists in 29 games, averaging 7.66, and was named Fans Player of the Season. Technically he is nothing amazing but he has very strong teamwork, fitness and work rate.

    Martin Vethe - A beast at this level, he is only 25 and had played at this level before, signed on a free transfer. Very commanding centre back with good tackling, heading, strength, bravery and concentration, he is also my vice-captain. Returned 9 goals in 29 games as he towers at corners and averaged 7.29. Interestingly for a centre back he received only 2 yellow cards and was fouled more than he fouled.

    Jukka Vanninen - The previously mentioned player/coach who was also my captain, and with his mental attributes it's easy to see why. Determined, fit, brave, a hard worker and a natural leader, he epitomises the spirit of this team. Averaged 7.24 and 8 goals in 29 games: not bad for a 35 year old.

    Krenar Badivuku - Didn't look much on paper, but average mental and physical attributes meant on the right wing he provided some great performances. 7 goals and 12 assists in 24 games averaging 7.34

    Next Season

    I signed a new 2 year deal in the close season. They left it a bit late but nothing better presented itself so I'll stay here for a bit. Hopefully we'll take the title this year. Junior Coaching has been increased so I am hoping for some better youth intake in October 2013. The next season will depend on how good the teams are coming down. The frustrating thing about this league is if you have one team who are unbeatable and heads and shoulders above everyone there is nothing you can do. Fingers crossed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Good decision to stay in my eyes.
    If the second season goes well I'll agree with you

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    Frigg Oslo
    2013 - Season Preview
    Norwegian Second Division Group 4


    Missing out last time to a rampant and undefeated Moss, I signed a new 2 years contract and am ready to take another stab at it. With some new free transfers I am confident have improved the team, our biggest rivals this season will be Alta who have dropped down from the AL and are favourites. Interestingly we have them in the first match of the season. Some good pre-season results mean we're all fit and raring to go.

    Me - Not much has changed. Interestingly I appear to have a national reputation already even though I started with a Sunday League rep? Not sure if that's a mistake. 20 games won from 30 so far and a +50 goal difference.

    Club Reputation - Still a one star club.

    Norwegian Competitions - The Tippe Ligaen moved up 4 places.

    Norwegian National Team - Norway dropped from 5th to 6th. They had a good run at Euro 2012 though reaching the semi-final before losing 2-0 to winners Spain. They currently sit third in their world cup qualifying group behind Iceland and Cyprus!

    Squad - A decent squad with no real deadweight. Kept it lean at 20 players so there are a lot of utility players. My main focus has been to get players with good fitness, teamwork and work rate, meaning we press all over the pitch, go all out attack and tackle hard!

    Finances - Exactly where we were last year, £250k in the red. The cup run we had helped us hugely here, but we're still struggling.

    Facilities - A moderate improvement in junior coaching.

    Board expectation is Respectable League Position, my odds are 4th favourite at 16-1 and, and media prediction is 3rd. I'll be disappointed with anything less than the title.

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    First job rumour regarding me and it's to Stockport County, 17th in the English BSP. A good sign.

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    Poor start to the new season. Only 2 wins out of 5 in the league, including a 6-3 trouncing by midtable average team Nesodden. I suspect other teams have figured out our tactic of all out attack. Then, out of nowhere, this comes in: didn't even apply to it!



    What to do? Crewe are now in the BSP. They just finished their first season in the BSP, finishing 6th and missing out on goal difference. Great youth set up for a team of their league standing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexcharliemann View Post

    Me - Not much has changed. Interestingly I appear to have a national reputation already even though I started with a Sunday League rep? Not sure if that's a mistake. 20 games won from 30 so far and a +50 goal difference.
    It's not hard to get up to 'national' rep with regular and big wins. I'd be tempted by Crewe anyway.

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    Crewe might be difficult to turn down. How are the finances over there?

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    'Insecure' That said, they still have Nick Powell in the squad and looks like they have some good talent. The stadium condition is 'very poor' but all the other facilities are very impressive for the BSP. They might get some cracking youth. Hmm tough one!

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    Go to Crewe, better career prospects. With the right players you could get to League 1 quite fast.

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    The prospect of a club with good youth facilities was too much for me, so after my isolation in the lower leagues of Norway I pack my bags and head to Crewe Alexandra. After finishing bottom of League 2 in 2011/12 with 39 points, they finished 6th in the BSP in 2012/13 with 72 points, missing out only on goal difference. Although the ground is in a state of disrepair, the famous youth development pipeline is excellent, and the highly rated and versatile Nick Powell is still with the club. My first task is to see how likely it is we can keep him, and if so, discover his best position and then build the team around him.

    The club is heavily in debt though to the tune of £750k and has a bloated wage bill: not surprising with 39 players at the club! At Frigg Oslo my tactic was simple: get a team of players with high teamwork, work rate and stamina, and then play them in a formation which called for pressing high up the pitch and try to bludgeon the opposition into submission. So I won't be afraid to get rid of first teamers who won't fit in with this tactic. Might be a busy pre-season.

    I join them on 22nd May so I have a few months to sort things out. I live Frigg Oslo 5 games into the new season. Seeing as the 2012 season finished in October, I will have gone 10 months with hardly any football by the team I get there!!

    Transfer Budget: £2.5k
    Wage Budget: £11.75k
    Wage Total: £13.08k
    Finance Overview
    Club Reputation - like Frigg, also a one star club. Slightly surprised by that with their history.
    Competition Rep - a one and a half star competition so a step up from Norway.
    Squad Overview - plenty of potential there. I need to decide if I am willing to wait or whether I chop the youth and get in some experienced heads.
    Facilities - the main reason for me choosing to come here. Many clubs in higher leagues would dream of having such good facilities.



    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 14-06-2012 at 22:05.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Crewe might be difficult to turn down. How are the finances over there?
    Awful £750k in the hole. A big sale might be needed to clear it as the chairman looks like he is sticking around.

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    Good challenge though.

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    Crewe Alexandra
    2013/14 - Season Preview
    Blue Square Premier


    It's been a long pre-season, and after 10 months of hardly any competitive football I am raring to go.

    Key Signings

    Adam Blakeman - left back from Bolton Wanderers. Very average but with no glaring weaknesses, should be reliable.

    Jackson Irvine - central midfielder and centre back from Celtic. Looks good defensively with a good work rate.

    Ashley Eastham - centre back from Linfield, where he just won the double.

    Danny Ireland - my new number 1 goalkeeper from Queen of the South.

    Sean Higgins - will lead the front line, joins from St Johnston. Is in his prime and I think he'll be a good signing for this level. Best season was at Ayr, 14 goals in 36.



    Good pre-season friendlies. Lots of them to raise money for the club: we took about £400k in ticket and match day sales in the end helping us to reduce our debt. Hopefully it won't have tired the players too much and at least they're match fit now! We managed to beat 3 Premier League sides along the way and the players seem to buy into my tactical philosophy so it's looking promising.

    Other pre-season revelations include that we lost £210k last year which was 10% of turnover, the board injected £375k to help with running costs, the bookies put us in 6th at 16-1 (favourites Macclesfield and Hereford), the media puts me 3rd, and the board want me to challenge for the title.

  32. #32
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    Lots of friendlies When i ventured into the lower leagues i found that having tournaments features top teams can attract alot of money without having to play so many games, but i guess thats irrelevant now. I just hope you played the reserves in some of the matches!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackJCFC View Post
    Lots of friendlies When i ventured into the lower leagues i found that having tournaments features top teams can attract alot of money without having to play so many games, but i guess thats irrelevant now. I just hope you played the reserves in some of the matches!
    Yep yep. I signed quite a lot of low wages low ability high potential youngsters on youth contracts to bulk out the reserves in the hope that one or two of them might come good.

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    Matches every 2 days in some places! Hope your squad isn't too tired for the season.

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    August 2013




    A satisfying first month if not entirely perfect. A swashbuckling gung-ho first game saw us win 3-0 with Sean Higgins grabbing a first half hattrick on his debut. We came undone in the next match as too often we got caught on the counter. That led to us reconsidering our tactics with a modest 442, allowing us to play our hot 16yr striker alongside Higgins. He's predicted to be a future leading Championship striker so want to get him a lot of game time. In the end we settled into our rhythm, keeping possession, getting early crosses in and looking for the space. Higgins has 5 goals in 5 games, but incredibly is only joint 4th in the goalscoring charts. This is a very open and attacking league. It was a tough match as the first 4 matches were all against teams expected to right up there with us, so pleased to have come through it.

    My young kid O'Sullivan gets goals of the month for a stunning lace shot from 30 yards for the 4th goal against Stockport, I get 3rd in manager of the month, and Higgins gets 3rd in player of the month.

    We also lost £80k despite three large home gates for this level. Even if there were no wages at all we'd still have lost £30k so not much I can do about these losses really.
    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 15-06-2012 at 18:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexcharliemann View Post
    We also lost £80k despite three large home gates for this level. Even if there were no wages at all we'd still have lost £30k so not much I can do about these losses really.
    Thats very common among lower leagues, losses that would occur even with minimal wages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Thats very common among lower leagues, losses that would occur even with minimal wages.
    Indeed. IRL I'm an Orient fan so well accustomed to having no money

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    September 2013




    Decent enough month. Started with a tough match against the bristle Cambridge. They got an early goal that left us always chasing and too much space between the midfield and defence. A nice run of 3 wins saw some great attacking play including another hat trick from Higgins, and saw my 16yr old Dom Yoffe established as his striker partner. Two draws seems disappointing on the face of it, but the 2-2 was a good performance to fight back from 2-0 down (yes, Higgins with both again, 10 from 11 now), and the 0-0 showed we can press well and limit chances created even when the opponent has lots of the ball in our half. 3rd place is promising.

    Sean Higgins wins player of the month for 5 goals in 6 matches, and I come 3rd in manager of the month.
    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 16-06-2012 at 19:29.

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    October 2013




    A frustrating month to say the least where the goals dried up, as Higgins went 6 matches without a goal. Our prodigy Dom Yoffe scored 3, but some of the younger first team players looked tired and the squad needed rotating. We kept things tight at the back to start off with, but some loose defending cost us at the end of the month. The loss to Lincoln was particularly poor given our excellent ball retention and accurate passing, but wasteful shooting from midfield cut off our supply line and reduced the threat. Dropped down to 6th, we need to up our game. My aim is the title not the play offs and we're losing pace. Macclesfield, Hereford and Cambridge are the teams to beat. Next month we play Macclesfield on TV.

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    Always nice to see someone managing Frigg, lost count of how many Frigg related puns I have seen on this sub-forum! Interesting to see you take over at Crewe, should hopefully be able to at least reach the play-off's. I wonder how long you'll be able to keep hold of Nick Powell for, should be alright for a bit if you go up to League 2 first time round I imagine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulHartman71 View Post
    Always nice to see someone managing Frigg, lost count of how many Frigg related puns I have seen on this sub-forum! Interesting to see you take over at Crewe, should hopefully be able to at least reach the play-off's. I wonder how long you'll be able to keep hold of Nick Powell for, should be alright for a bit if you go up to League 2 first time round I imagine.
    Haha I didn't realise they were such a forum legend.

    I'm a bit disappointed with Nick Powell to be honest, he's not really performing. It's the third season, he's worth £275k and no teams have come in for him (although his attributes are improving rapidly!). I guess the problem might be that we are a bit light on the ground in some positions and he can play them all so he gets moved around a fair bit. To be honest though, Dom Yoffe is the guy I am more concerned with keeping. Came through the youth, scored 3 in 5 while still only 15. He's only 16 now but already looking really good, and my AssMan reckons he could be a good Premier league striker:


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    Yoffe definitely looks like a strong league player at least.

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    Well that covers this month's losses at least Only £440k in the hole now...

    In other good news Nick Powell has agreed a 2 year extension to his contract which was due to expire in the summer. It wasn't too hard and he says he is 'relieved' so hopefully a sign I can start to build the club around him and Yoffe (who I have signed to a 4 year contract).

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    November 2013




    The month started off badly losing in the FA Cup to Telford from the league below us. Quite a few players have started to look gassed which I guess is my fault due to giving them 14 pre-season friendlies! Dom Yoffe was sitting out this month with a 5 match ban (second red card of the season for a bad tackle) leaving Higgins to pick up the slack and he did well with 3 goals. Despite some injuries meaning we had to blood in some youngsters, in the league we managed 3 wins and 2 draws taking us up to second.

    We also picked up Marnick Vermijl, a Belgian wing back on a free transfer from Manchester United. Nick Powell came third in young player of the month and Sean Higgins came second in player of the month.

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    In former club news, Frigg went on to win the league with 56 points: 1 point less than I got last year but still enough to get them promotion to the AL.

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    Excellent, back up to challenge for top.

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    December 2013




    A rather quiet month which only had 4 matches - our early FA Cup exit meant we had a week off, and snow saw the postponement of our Boxing Day match to the delight of our player's legs. An easy win in the FA trophy, and 2 out of 3 in the league means we continue on the right course. The only disappointment was a 2-1 defeat away at play-off occupying Salisbury, with our ever present vulnerability to conceding after we have scored taking root. The results leave us in 3rd, although a game in hand means we can go top if we take advantage. Our next match is at home to leaders and goal-happy Fleetwood.

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    Another cash injection brings us back to £400k in the red. I am kind of curious as to what would happen if they didn't. Has anyone ever been managing a club when it goes into administration?

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    January 2014




    Another oddly quiet January as more games were postponed and all my matches seemed to be lopsided. 4 victories (2 at 3-0, 2 at 3-1), and 1 defeat (0-3!) saw us stay just behind Cambridge in the table, but with 2 games in hand and a match with Cambridge in February, February is a real opportunity to grab the championship trophy. The defeat to relegation threatened Ebbsfleet was due to a surprising lack of energy by the team in a cumbersome performance, and in no small part to my right winger Nick Powell breaking his arm, and then the substitute right winger fracturing his arm! More pleasing was a 3-1 win away at 4th place Kidderminster that gave us some day light to the challengers. Still a tight league though, and anyone down to 16th has a realistic chance of making the play-offs. If anyone is to break away at the top and form a small title challenging pact, it is ourselves, Cambridge and Fleetwood.

    I came second in manager of the month, and Dom Yoffe came second in goal of the month.

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    February 2014




    It's getting tight at the top of the league: we are in 3rd place, but 6 points off the lead with 3 games in hand. A postponement due a water logged pitch, another team having a cup postponement meaning our league game got re-arranged, and a couple replay meant we only played 4 of the 7 league matches we were meant to this month. We coped well, with 2 draws and 2 wins. A manic match with Chelmsford finished 4 -3 as 3 times we came from behind - all before half time! The first versus second clash with Cambridge finished in a 2-2 stalemate; a match against Mansfield was played in the hail as we ground out a 1-0 win; and a match against play-off chasing Dover frustratingly finished 1-1 as Higgins blew chance after chance.

    Fleetwood won 6 out of 6 this month and stormed ahead. The games in hand mean it's still in our destiny, but with an ever tiring squad I'd rather have the points. The FA Trophy is an unwanted distraction and I will be fielding the reserves.

  51. #51
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    2014 Youth Intake



    Martyn Brunskill
    Zak Owen
    Paul Lundstram


    A really good youth intake, with 3 players who I think will be here for the long run, and 2 of those can go into the first team straight away. In particular, Martyn Brunskill is already 2 and a half stars and is probably the 3rd best striker I have: he can also play on both wings which is brilliant for how I play. He is strong, good in the air and has a professional attitude: fantastic! I feel him and Dom Yoffe are going to be my front line for years to come, especially as Yoffe likes to play as an advanced forward and Brunskill as a deep lying forward! Like Yoffe, he is also outlined as a leading championship striker of the future. Zak Owen is also a pacy flair player ear marked for the Championship.

    Paul Lundstram isn't quite ready yet but can play centre mid and right back and has good mental attributes. Overall, very happy, and Brunskill could definitely help my tiring squad in the run in!

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    I may have a problem with Dom Yoffe however, getting his 3rd red card of the season. In a frustrating match for us, he thought he'd been fouled. When it wasn't given, he jumped in with two feet from behind, hacked the player down and then yelled at him standing over him! Needless to say he was sent straight off. Due to it being his 3rd of the season and violent conduct, he now has a 6 match ban. Might need to rein this kid in...

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    March 2014




    While this kind of form would be decent enough for most teams, at this point of the season it was disastrous. Six league matches bought 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats. A last minute goal cost us at Halifax, and we simply didn't put chances away and lost 4-1 at Newport where we were consistently hit on the counter attack. That summed us up this month: not clinical in front of goal despite lots of possession, and silly, slack defending from counter attacks and set pieces. The last game of the month saw us 2-0 up and surrender a lead. This means going into the last month of the season that if we win our 3 games in hand (and that's a big if) we will still be 1 point off Fleetwood.

    8 league games in one month will be tough too, thanks to all the postponements and our cup run. The plus side is the FA Trophy final once the league season has finished. I would rather the promotion though!

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    Looking likely you will be in the play-offs this season good luck in trying to get to League two

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    April 2014




    Quite incredible. Just as it looked like the league belonged to Fleetwood, they lost every single one of their 5 games this month and finished as they started on 82 points. Surely one of the first teams to score 103 goals and finish 3rd. As it happened, we won 5 and drew 3, even when fielding a youth team in the last couple games. Two big 4-0 wins started the month, and despite some hairy defending in a couple of draws, we didn't come close to losing a game, and League 2 will be a welcome step up. I'll say a bit more in my season review post, but the future is very bright. I could field a team entirely of home grown players and I think they would be fine in League 2. In the last couple games I played the new pairing of Dom Yoffe and Martyn Brunskill: at the combined age of 31 (!) they looked the part. Brunskill finished the season with 5 goals in 11 games despite being 15. Yoffe finished with 14 from 32.

    My centre back William Ekong won player of the month, left winger Christian Overby came second in player of the month, my 15 and 16yr old strikers Martyn Brunskill and Dom Yoffe came first and second in young player of the month. I managed to win the league without every winning manager of the month.

    FA Trophy final to come.


    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 18-06-2012 at 23:58.

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    No plans for investment of course.

    I notice though that the have cleared my debt. By taking out an £875k loan. Which we are going to be paying back until 2039, the next 25 years. Thanks board.

    Another curious incident. I advertised for a new youth coach, Dario Gradi applied, and naturally we welcomed him back with open arms. Three days later he announces he is retiring in two weeks. D'oh.
    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 19-06-2012 at 00:25.

  58. #58
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    Great final run!

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    Crewe Alexandra
    Season Review - 2013/14
    English Blue Square Premier - 1st place


    League - 90 points from 46 games bettered last season's total of 72 points and got us the title by a comfortable 6 points. It hadn't always looked that easy, with Cambridge and Fleetwood pushing us all the way until they fell to the waste side in the final month, to the point that Dagenham & Redbridge squeeked into 2nd. Fleetwood joined us in promotion through the playoffs.

    Cup - Runners up in the FA Trophy. Our youth team got us to the final, where we dominated Kidderminster but couldn't finish them off, losing 2-1 in extra time. Not overly fussed though, and it gave us some good financial boost with 25,000 turning out for the Wembley final. Preliminary round exit in the FA Cup gave us relief from the fixture congestion.

    Best XI - A rather odd selection of a couple of players including a youth left winger who made 3 appearances. But it shows how many games our players had to play.

    Transfers

    Overview - 6 first team signings, all on free transfers and all did really well. A lot of youth were signed to bulk out the reserves and provide some back up. Christian Overby, my first choice left winger, was released at the end of the season. Although he had a great season, we can get better for League 2.

    Key Players

    Sean Higgins - A fantastic goal return for the 29 year old of 31 goals in 50 appearances - it is likely to have been his best season. He will still be first choice up front next year but I suspect Dom Yoffe will become number one during the season, and he is likely to find it harder than the BSP. Still, his goals took us up and he is already on the favoured personnel list for the club, as well as being voted player of the season.

    Danny Ireland - A free transfer from Queen of the South, he played 55 competitive matches for us this season keeping 25 clean sheets, and even the Australia manager came to watch him. Has had attention from a number of League 1 clubs, as well as Portuguese and Scottish clubs, but I think he will stay.

    Adam Blakeman - A free transfer from Bolton, he was very assured at left back and made 41 appearances. He may not have done much going forward but time after time he made great covering tackles at the back and he will keep his starting berth next season.

    Ashley Eastham - A younger centre back, a free transfer from Linfield where he won both the league and the cup, he brought a winning pedigree to the team as well as solidity at the back. 47 games reflected his importance to the team, and he also chipped in with 6 goals from corners.

    Dom Yoffe - A great first full season for the 16yr old youth product, scoring 16 in 40. He looks a beast and I anticipate him being my number one striker for years to come, even as we go up the leagues. Tied him into a 4 year contract. The only problem is his temperament, with 3 red cards that saw him serve 12 matches worth of suspensions!

    Next Season

    I signed a new 2 year contract at the end of the season and unless an amazing job offer comes in I think I will be here for a while: really enjoying have some good clubgrown youth to work with. Dom Yoffe and Martyn Brunskill have the potential to be this club's frontline pairing for the next 15 years. Next season we tackle League 2, and I want promotion again!

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    Career Overview

    Code:
    Season    Club            Country    Division                Position   Other
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2012      Frigg            Norway   Second Division Group 4  2nd        None
    2013/14   Crewe Alexandra  England  Blue Square Premier      1st        Promotion; FA Trophy Runners Up

    Youth Products

    YP1 - Jan Morten Kjolberg - the right winger who came through at Frigg played 2 games for them last season before he was released. So out of sentimentality I signed him for Crewe reserves as first team backup.

    YP2 - Dom Yoffe - the advanced forward scored 16 in 40 for Crewe last year and signed a new 4 year contract. My staff reckon he could be a good Premier League striker. Has disciplinary problems though with 3 red cards for violent tackles.

    YP3 - Martyn Brunskill - in his 2 months since promotion he scored 5 goals in 11 games. As well as being a deep lying forward he can play on either wing, making this 16 year old invaluable. Also signed to a 4 year pre-contract: him and Yoffe could be invincible in the lower leagues.


    Former Club Watch

    Frigg - claimed the Second Division Group 4 title in the 2013 season with 56 points. Making the big step up to the Adeccoligre (tier 2).
    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 19-06-2012 at 13:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great final run!
    Thanks! More of a spectacular collapse by Fleetwood though!

  62. #62
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    Great work to win the league! Look forward to seeing how you do next season.

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    Crewe Alexandra
    2014/15 - Season Preview
    nPower League Two


    After a two year absence Crewe return to the football league but with a bright future. The bookies have us down as sixth at 16-1, the media have us in 21st, and my board want me merely to consolidate. I am hoping to leave an impression and make the playoffs. I think a bit more tactical sophistication might be required though: I don't think we will be able to bludgeon teams into submission in quite the same way as we did in the Conference. We've made some good signings and definitely strengthened, while our youth continue to make a lasting sizeable impression. So much so the bigger clubs are sniffing around.

    Transfer Budget: £7.7k
    Wage Budget: £24.3k (+£12.55k)
    Wage Bill: £24k (£+11k)
    Finance Overview: £76k in the red. Sponsorship of £32k.
    Club Reputation: Up to 1 and a half stars
    Competition Rep: 1 and a half stars League Two.
    Squad Overview: Looking solid for this level. Strength in depth.
    Facilities: Very poor stadium and pitch condition. Junior Coaching up to 'excellent'.

    Key Signings

    John Welsh - a proven central midfielder with a bit of grit. Started off at Liverpool and Hull, before spending 5 years as first choice at Tranmere in Leagues One and Two, so a local lad!

    Ben Chorley - experienced centre back, started at Arsenal before moving onto Tranmere, and just spent 5 years as first choice at Leyton Orient in League One. Adds a bit more aerial ability to our back four.

    Gavin Hoyte - extremely pacy wing back who made his break through the past couple of seasons at rivals Fleetwood Town. Undecided if he will be a starter or not, but definitely a great option when we need some extra pace and width to our attack.

    George Porter - a pacy right winger and forward from Leyton Orient, who will also add a long throw to our attacking arsenal. Will probably be my first choice right winger although he is a slight risk as despite obvious ability he has not yet performed properly anywhere.

    Pre-Season friendlies - after last year's epic pre-season schedule I cut back and only booked in 5. We won the games we were expected to and no injuries.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackJCFC View Post
    Great work to win the league! Look forward to seeing how you do next season.
    To be fair a club the size of Crewe, with the frequency it has of producing great young players, shouldn't be in the Conference

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    August 2014




    A decent enough month which suggests to me we have no relegation worries and should probably focus on breaking into the top half and developing the youngsters for the future. In the league two wins, two losses and a draw leave us mid table, although defensively we look vulnerable to crosses: the 2-0 loss to Gateshead was 2 headers from corners.

    The most pleasing development was in the cup where we beat League 1 Chesterfield 2-1 away. Then we had Championship topping Southampton at St Marys. We were Chelsea to Saints Barcelona, putting in a very solid defensive display and held out until the 88th minute when they got a breakthrough. Then, my new signing came off the bench for his debut, Cody Macdonald (my new 4th choice striker), who picked the ball up from the restart, dribbled around the whole team and blasted it in at the near post! We went on to win on penalties, and our reward in the 3rd round is a home tie with Arsenal!!

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    Great to see you still have Nick Powell. In my previous save, he was eventually capped at senior level by England, such is his potential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DazRTaylor View Post
    Great to see you still have Nick Powell. In my previous save, he was eventually capped at senior level by England, such is his potential.
    Interesting to hear! Unfortunately for me he has looked like a slightly above average player for the level we're playing at, although he has had a couple of nasty long term injuries that have meant he has never truly settled in. I still think he'll make a great centre midfield playmaker when he finally gets a run.

  68. #68
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    Good job on promotion back to league play. Crewe has no place in non-league! Able to reign in the one young player yet? With all the red cards? Maybe some composure individual training ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Good job on promotion back to league play. Crewe has no place in non-league! Able to reign in the one young player yet? With all the red cards? Maybe some composure individual training ;)
    Thanks. With such good youth facilities though it almost feels like I am cheating: like the odd person you find who creates a club, sticks them in the lowest league, gives the youth amazing figures and then says to everyone "look how well i've done "

    Dom Yoffe hasn't got sent off again yet...although the Martyn Brunskill (the other amazing youth and his strike partner) did the same thing in our first game, hmm. Yoffe is now in the England U-19s, worth £550k and is a "leading League 1 striker"

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    Just played the League Cup 3rd round match against Arsenal. It needed extra time for them to beat us. We went toe to toe and had as much possession and opportunities to score as they did. We actually scored first (Dom Yoffe, who else?), before they equalised with their only clear cut chance of the game. We took it to extra time where they got a flukey goal: we had a shot that the keeper spilled, and it the spill bounced out to their winger who ran the length of the pitch to score. Gutting! But this has got me really excited about this team, I think it's going places. It was an almost full strength Arsenal team.

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    January 2015

    Fixtures
    League table

    Been a bit lazy and not updated for a while - I just got really into the game and wanted to keep going!

    A few major points really:

    -Second place after a run of games which has seen us win eight and draw two, including away to the leaders Exeter.
    -Our rivalry with Fleetwood seems to spur us both on as we both chase a second successive promotion.
    -Lead scorer Sean Higgins was going great guns with 17 goals in 23 matches. Sadly he wouldn't agree a new contract and got the ache with me. I sold him to League One Stevenage for £100k but don't get any of the money.
    -No new strikers required though with youngsters Dom Yoffe and Martyn Brunskill stepping up to the plate, with Cody McDonald and Kerry Robinson in reserve. I have lots of good strikers in the youth team too.
    -Blackburn and Celtic are sniffing around Dom Yoffe, hands off.
    -Nick Powell keeps getting injured which is a shame as he is starting to show form: he creates lots of chances when in the midfield playing AP.
    -Out of all the cups with nothing notable happening since Arsenal.

    Hoping for a second promotion in succession and a good youth intake. Junior Coaching is now 'exceptional'. Oh, and we are £1m in the red....

  72. #72
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    England U21 call up for Dom Yoffe. Can't think of many 17 year olds in League Two who could do that!

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    congrats on the League win, commiserations for the FA Trophy final still a decent run though. At least you don't have too many financial worries any more and an U21 call up for a 17 year old L2 player shows just how much of a talent Yoffe could be one day!

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulHartman71 View Post
    At least you don't have too many financial worries any more
    Actually we do, a million pounds in the red is a bad thing

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    February 2015




    The month started in the usual manner with us scoring goals for fun and dominating with 3 wins. However the last 2 games at home saw a downturn, losing at home to 3rd place and drawing with 7th place. We were dominating the games with lots of possession and passing, but not quite creating those killer chances to kill the games off. We're 5 points behind in the title race now, but still 9 points safe in the automatic promotion spots with 12 games left. Very much in our own hands.
    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 23-06-2012 at 16:51.

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    2015 Youth Intake




    Another youth intake, and another IMMENSE striker going into the first team squad, step up Michael Hill! Our first foreigner (well, he's Wlesh) through the youth system, he is already 2 stars with the potential for 5. And what gets me really excited is he has a determination level of 19 and an ambitious personality so I hope he will develop well. He is very quick too: only downside being my coaches think he is selfish and injury prone. This means next season my 4 strikers will all be 18 or under, all through the youth system and all destined for the Premier League.

    The other guy to keep an eye out for is Dave McLoughlin: he is 6'4", with 20 for determination, 19 for workrate and 16 for teamwork.

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    March 2015




    3 wins, 2 draws and a loss keep us in second place, which is looking like where we will finish with Exeter pulling away. Plenty of possession, but in the games we didn't win we just didn't create enough good chances. With Nick Powell out injured yet again we lost our creative force in midfield, and with Dom Yoffe injured for the first time up front we lacked the clinical edge. Michael Hill, our new youth prodigy did score 2 in his first start and looks good for the future. Hopefully League 1 is our playing field next year. I am considering not buying any players and just giving the youth lots of playing time. I now have about 6 home grown strikers who could all potentially be good enough, so am going to have to take the axe and trim the squad at some point - trying to develop too many youths in one go may mean none of them reach their potential.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexcharliemann View Post
    Thanks. With such good youth facilities though it almost feels like I am cheating: like the odd person you find who creates a club, sticks them in the lowest league, gives the youth amazing figures and then says to everyone "look how well i've done "
    I didn't even know you could do that!

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    Worrying news with Dom Yoffe: Huddersfield enquired about him, and their manager is now on his favoured personnel lisr! The media reckon I'll accept £2.6m for him, hmm. He has also been dubbed the next Alan Shearer. Definitely want to keep him for League 1...

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    Crewe Alexandra
    Season Review - 2014/15
    English League Two - 2nd place


    League - A very average start to the season was brushed aside from November - February when we looked unbeatable and brushed everyone aside. It even looked like we might claim a second successive league crown, but Exeter pulled away from us as our form tapered off towards the end. We were the top goalscorers in the league though, and comfortable took automatic promotion for the second successive season.

    Cup - Nothing to note except our League Cup run, which saw us push Arsenal to extra time in the Third Round before narrowly losing out. Heroic.

    Best XI - A very young and attacking best XI. Many homegrown talents too, and lots of goals from all areas of the team.

    Transfers

    Overview - Quite a few comings and goings, mostly youngsters being released on free transfers as we focused our resources on the special youngsters coming through. A few players came in on a free but only a couple of them, Chorley and Porter, got regular first team football.

    Key Players

    Dom Yoffe - Fans player of the season. Second full season and he's already leading our front line like a mammoth. Dubbed the next Alan Shearer, he is now an England U21 regular and won the U21 Euros this summer. He has worked hard to add pace and dribbling to his game this season as well as improving his finishing, is a nightmare for defenders once he turns them, and loves to power in the shots. Premier League teams lining up for him. 16 in 31 games with 10 assists, 7.31.

    Martyn Brunskill - First full season for our youth product up front. Inconsistent in front of goal, but makes a nuisance of himself and so often relieves the pressure on the defence by chasing balls down and winning headers, a monster in the air, and dubbed the new Les Ferdinand! 7 in 37 with 11 assists, 6.89. Already had attention from some Premier League teams.

    Gavin Hoyte - His attributes don't look much, but his extreme pace makes him a great option to full back on both sides. He adds an extra dimension and frees up space for the winger going forward, and provides great deep cover at the back. A free transfer from rivals Fleetwood.

    William Ekong - Young Dutch CB in his third season since joining from Spurs. Very solid at the back, a mamammoth in the air. Has been getting interest from Eredivisie teams. 7 in 43, 7.11.

    Kerry Robinson - A poacher and a left winger, he had kind of slipped through the youth intake net, but quietly made a good impression when he got a chance and kept his place on the left. Very quick and seems to get in the right place for important goals. 7 goals in 38, 7.06.

    Next Season

    I signed a 2 year extension on my contract giving me 3 years here. I've always thought I'd spend a couple of years here and move on but I'm really excited about moulding a homegrown team and seeing the potential shine through. After 2 promotions it is a season of consolidation: indeed the board has actually cut my wage budget, which is interesting given the promotion wage rise most players have got. This has meant a few players will have to leave in the close season, and I won't be able to bring anyone else. With the exception of Porter and Chorley, it will be the same side I had in the BSP! I want us to play with a bit more style too so will look to bring this in.

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    Career Overview

    Code:
    Season    Club            Country    Division                Position   Other
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2012      Frigg            Norway   Second Division Group 4  2nd        None
    2013/14   Crewe Alexandra  England  Blue Square Premier      1st        Promotion; FA Trophy Runners Up
    2014/15   Crewe Alexandra  England  League Two               2nd        Promotion

    Youth Products

    YP1 - Jan Morten Kjolberg - released by me, was never going to be good enough for Crewe. Is now playing for Eik Tonsberg in the Norwegian Third Division.

    YP2 - Dom Yoffe - as in my previous post, a monster and will surely play for his country. 16 goals in 31 games.

    YP3 - Martyn Brunskill - as in my previous poster, played his first full season and played regularly, although with more goals than assists due to this aerial prowess.

    YP4 - Michael Hill - welcome to this Welsh striker with lots of pace. Scored 2 goals in his first start and showed enough for me to feel confident enough to release Cody Macdonald and keep Michael in the first team as my fourth choice striker.


    Former Club Watch

    Frigg - a credible 7th place for their first season in the Adeccoligre.

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    Looks like Nick Powell is going to be the first of the young ones to jump ship. Sheffield Wednesday put in a silly bid of £13k and Powell got the ache when I negotiated. His contract is up at the end of this coming season and he won't discuss a new one. Question is do I make him play this year or get what I can and move on. Hmm.

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    Crewe Alexandra
    2015/16 - Season Preview
    English League One


    After two promotions and with no wage budget for new players we are relying on a largely inexperienced and youthful squad. Apart from the three players we signed last year, this is the same team we had in the BSP. Media have us last in 24th, bookies have us 25-1, board wants me to avoid relegation. I think mid-table and a season of developing the youth will be on the cards.

    Transfer Budget: £0k.
    Wage Budget: £23.5k (-0.8k)
    Wage Bill: £27k (£+3k)
    Finance Overview: Abysmal finance, £1.6m in the red and losing around £150k a month. Wondering how exactly we haven't gone into administration yet.
    Club Reputation: Still on one and a half stars.
    Competition Rep: 2 stars in League One.
    Squad Overview: Bags full of potential but maybe a little light on the ground for ability at the moment. Going to be a big season for some of the less obvious youth players coming through. The stars have made an impact, now its time for the more quiet ones to grow.
    Facilities: Junior coaching up to exceptional.

    Key Signings

    No signings at all. Our wage budget was reduced while many players took a pay rise after promotion, meaning we are £3.5k over budget. In fact a few players left, including our reserve keeper, our reserve centre midfielder John Welsh, reserve full back Vermijl and a load of reserve squad players.

    Pre-Season friendlies - A fab pre-season featuring 5 wins and an unlucky defeat. We tried out our new style of play, lots of possession with no crosses or long shots and plenty of short passing. It worked a treat as we defended more solidly, and kept up to 75% of the ball at times.

  84. #84
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    Sounds challenging, good luck.

  85. #85
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    Doing well with Crewe.

    Seen a young O'Sullivan doing well for you ;)

  86. #86
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    Hopefully your financial situation is helped in moving up a league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cerud View Post
    Hopefully your financial situation is helped in moving up a league.
    Nah, it's just getting worse The crowds have increased but so have the wages. I have realised our biggest expenditure is our youth setup - the price you pay for having homegrown talent is you can't buy any in.

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    Having some serious problems with this game - every few matches it freezes when you go into the match. I'm told it's a mixture of an overheating/weak graphics card, and my system memory not coping as the computer is old. Trying a few things, but may have to start a new save if it doesn't work as I can't keep rebooting FM every 3 games

  89. #89
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    So after sixteen games we are in fifth place on 25 points, only 6 points on the lead and our squad of young homegrown youth is growing into its own. Then, in sixteenth place are newly relegated Nottingham Forest. They've approached me with a wage budget three times Crewe's and a small transfer budget - I've never had one! But the youth facilities aren't as good. But then the stadium is a lot bigger and the reputation is a lot higher. My goal for this save is to win trophies at the highest level - and to top it off I did live in Nottingham last year and went to the City Ground a fair bit. Do I stay or go? Hmm, I'm going to sleep on it, opinions welcome!!


  90. #90
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    I turned Nottingham Forest down - I am too attached to these young players at Crewe and want to see how good they can be as a team. Good decision so far. End of November and we are in 6th place, with the best defence in the league having conceded only 18 in 19 games. To top it off, we just played away at the league leaders Exeter and smashed them 5-1! All the more pleasing because I was playing a new, slightly unconventional tactic while still aiming to keep possession for as long as possible, and there was so much movement between the lines that Exeter just couldn't pick our players up. Before this match Exeter had only conceded 15 in 18. The tactic is below - and we played the whole match with a mentality of contain!




  91. #91
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    Good idea on turning down the job. And very interesting tactic, how it's skewed to the right. Looks like it works well.

  92. #92
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    Mainly because I don't have anyone who can do the left properly

  93. #93
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    February 2016



    A desperately poor run of form has seen us quickly drop down the table, always a possibility in such a tight league. Since Powell has left we simply have no creative outlet in midfield, so despite dominating possession in games we simply cannot fashion the chances for our strikers up front. We have lost a lot of 1-0s. So promotion is entirely off the cards this season, and staying up will now be our goal. Then in the summer we need some young creative talent. For some reason the loan market just isn't working for us: no one wants to come. Maybe after our quick rise our reputation hasn't yet caught up.

  94. #94
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    Then in the next game this happens to my star centre back in his 150th game for the club, out for the season. To rub salt in the wounds, the guy who made the tackle, Max Clayton, was my player until I sold him last summer. I bet he took some stick from the fans after that tackle. I wish there was an option to talk to the press and say "what a git!".
    Last edited by alexcharliemann; 28-06-2012 at 09:59.

  95. #95
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    You've got a decent safety barrier in the league at the moment, hope it stays that way!

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexcharliemann View Post
    Mainly because I don't have anyone who can do the left properly
    I have a friend who had made up a tactic based on penetrating one side, packed with wide players (a full back being the only wide player on the other side), with wing back, wide midfielder and winger (If I remember right) on that side. It worked reasonably well surprisingly.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    I have a friend who had made up a tactic based on penetrating one side, packed with wide players (a full back being the only wide player on the other side), with wing back, wide midfielder and winger (If I remember right) on that side. It worked reasonably well surprisingly.
    Interesting! I think you'd have to be very confident in your ability to keep possession though, it'd be a nightmare defensively otherwise.

  98. #98
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    Youth Intake 2016

    So, you remember how I was just moaning I have no decent midfielders and it's costing us dear?




    Absolutely bloody unreal for a League One club. They are both rated already as my two best central midfielders, so needless to say they will be going straight iinto the first team. I can now field a front line and midfield made entirely of my own youngsters, all aged 18 or under, and it be the best midfield/attack in the league. So glad I stayed at this club.

    Next year I just need some defenders

  99. #99
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    Further to the above, they both made their first team debuts in the next match, as deep lying playmakers in the DM position, allowing our wingers to get further forward and support the strikers. It worked a treat. Tom Dunne split the defence with a through ball in the first minute for an assist, scored the winning goal, and got man of the match with 8.8. Jack Cope got an assist, and was the second best player on the pitch with 8.1. I think they'll be alright!!

  100. #100
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    Dunne is quite something!

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