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[FM09] Dartford F.C. - Light at the End of the Tunnel


dafuge

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Dartford F.C. are an English football club based in Dartford, Kent. After finishing as champions of the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2007 - 2008 season, they compete in the Isthmian League Premier Division. They finished in 8th position in their first season (2008 - 2009). Home matches are played at the club's environmentally-friendly stadium, Princes Park, which was opened in November 2006. The club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working men's club. Dartford's best performances in the FA Cup came in 1936 and 1937 when they reached the 3rd round of the competition. They have also reached the final of the FA Trophy once. (background info from Wikipedia)

Initial Manager Profile

Once again, a club was picked from the lowest playable league in England with the intention of creating a world giant. The initial aim was to win the PL and CL but I am hoping for a bit more than that afterwards. This game was started to try and replicate the career I had with FC United, which was unfortunately cut short.

Again, this is a game I played as part of dafuge's FM09 challenge and was started with the 9.3.0 patch. Unlike my other two career threads, this is a game which I am currently playing so this thread will be updated with season reviews as they happen.

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Dartford - Blue Square South - 2009/10

Predicted to finish 20th, but I just love coming into these situations in this league.

League Table

League Positions Graph

We started strongly and never really looked back, although we had a dodgy patch half way through which allowed Woking to briefly overtake us for spells. Woking then suffered a shocking run in, slipping to third before winning the playoffs.

FA Cup - A fairly generous few draws set up our win of the season against Millwall, which was followed by a glamour tie against Arsenal. This great run has done wonders for our finances, bringing in around £250k which has put our finances in a good state.

FA Trophy - a terrible result against lower league opposition. I played a weak team but we really shouldn't be losing like that.

Setanta Shield - a good run but Aldershot (who have since been promoted to L2) were just too much for us.

Transfers

I pretty much got rid of every existing player at the team and replaced them with talented youngsters. I was quite surprised just how many quality players I was able to sign, which was probably why I ended up signing a few more than I actually needed.

Squad

This squad was just far too good for this league, with an abundance of League 2/1 quality players the only difficult job I had was keeping them all happy (which wasn't easy, especially with three goal-a-game strikers).

Star Player

My captain dominated the league and would have scored a lot more had it not been for the squad rotation system I had to use. He was the winner of the BSS player of the season and the league's top goalscorer, 10 ahead of second placed Rhys Henry (also at my club).

Career Overview

Season    League              Position    Achievements
-------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South   1st         BSS Champions, promoted

Next Season

I'm sure a lot of this squad will make the step up to the BSP so My first job will be to trim it down a bit rather than add to it. I honestly think we are capable of another promotion, so I'll be disappointed if we don't make the playoffs at least.

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Dartford - Blue Square Premier - 2010/11

We were predicted to finish 24th but I had a lot of confidence in my team since my players are all considered to be League 1/2 standard by my coaches.

League Table

League Positions Graph

Pretty much dominated from start to finish, I started playing the reserves with a few game to go so we could have easily hit 100+ points.

FA Cup - once again we had a good run which took us to the 3rd round where this time we got the big money match we just missed out on last season. Man City were just far too good for us but the match made us a decent amount of money which took our finances beyond the £1m mark.

FA Trophy - after a scare in the 2nd round we went on to dominate the final.

Setanta Shield - the final was probably the least dominant of the lot for us.

Transfers - just a few signings, mostly highly rated rejects from the Premier League.

Squad - not sure how this squad will do in League 2 but they are all far too good for the BSP.

Star Player - for the second year running he has dominated the league.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South    1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier  1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners

Next Season

Obviously I'd love another promotion but I think three in a row will be a step too far for my team.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola League 2 - 2011/12

After two successive promotions we found ourselves in the football league and facing our biggest challenge. I thought this could be the first season where we really struggled as our players are getting closer to the league that fits their standard.

League Table

League Positions Graph

At first glance this looks fantastic, but the graph picture tells the full story. We had a slow start but soon picked up and by the half way point we led the league and looked like the best team in the league. We had a dodgy patch with a run of tough games but we improved and went into the final game a point clear, just needing to equal Chesterfield's result to secure the title. Chesterfield, who came from nowhere, won 2-1, we drew 1-1 :(

FA Cup - after a fairly easy first couple of rounds, the third round draw gave us yet another glamour tie, only this time we really hit the jackpot. The match was pretty good, as they rested a load of players we did pretty well and even managed to score a goal with our only shot. The real bonus was the money though, it brought in close to £1m.

Carling Cup - a tough draw where we did pretty well to keep the score down.

Johnstone's Paint Trophy - a great run that was horribly ended on penalties.

Transfers - with the new scouting regions added it took me a while to get my transfer target sorted so I had to wait until January for the new players to arrive. My scouts rated some of them as potential PL players, although it now looks like they are more like L1 standard. This was the first year I really got to to spend the money from last year's game against Man City.

Squad - it is still too big thanks to the abundance of L1 quality players who are willing to join us, so there will be another cull next season as I look to find some Championship standard bargains.

Star Player - his attributes don't look much but he was magic on the wing chipping in with 9 goals and a shedload of assists.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South    1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier  1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca Cola League 2   2nd         Promoted

Next Season

Promotion again would be nice, but this run can't go on forever.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola League 1 - 2012/13

Last season we secured an unexpected promotion from League 2 so this was always going to be a tough season. I had high expectations and kne that my team was capable of a top half finish.

League Table

League Positions Graph

We had a good start but soon settled down in a position in and out of the last playoff spot. It took until the last day to secure the playoff spot and results elsewhere meant we actually grabbed 5th.

Playoff Semi Final first leg - we scored after just 16 seconds which put us in a great position, grabbing a second on the break. Watford were pretty poor and wasted their chances.

Playoff Semi Final second leg - Watford continued to fail to take their chances and we picked them off on the break again to take a surprise win.

Playoff Final - distaster early on as Blackpool grabbed the early goal. Things looked far too comfortable for them in a dull match until the 79th minute as I made a tactical change in an attempt to chase the game. The change worked as we grabbed an equaliser with our only shot on target. Thirty dull minutes of extra time followed until the inevitable happened, penalties. We didn't deserve to get promoted, but it was still a bit gutting to lose like this.

FA Cup - no cup run this year as we were knocked out in an exciting match against L1 Hartlepool.

Carling Cup - the usual early exit.

Johnstone's Paint Trophy - got revenge over Luton for last year, then got knocked out.

Transfers - I spent fairly big this year which might have been a mistake as some of the signings have been disappointing and the club is close to being back in debt after having over £1m in the bank.

Squad - pretty solid in defence but we just didn't have the firepower to dominate this league. Perhaps next year I can find the striker I have been looking for.

Star Player - he's not the same player he was in the lower leagues but he is still just about my star player. I could really do with more than 21 goals from my star striker though.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South    1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier  1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2   2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1   5th         Lost in playoff final

Next Season

We very nearly got promotion against the odds this season, so next season is going to be very tough. I should expect to make the playoffs again at the very least.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola League 1 - 2013/14

Last season we had the heartbreak of losing the playoff final on penalties so this year I was hoping to go one better.

League Table

League Positions Graph

It was a mixed season that saw a couple of dreadful patches of consecutive losses. In the end the top two ran away with it leaving the rest of us to fight it out over the playoff places. We were just about the 3rd best team in the league but our inconsistency was a worry going into the playoffs.

Playoff Semi Final first leg - we just about managed to come away with a win in a tight match.

Playoff Semi Final second leg - we looked comfortable until they scored and ended up really hanging on for the draw.

Playoff Final - we did it again. After taking an early lead we were dominated by Palace, the scoreline actually flattered us.

FA Cup - another great glamour tie that brought in around £500k for the club.

Carling Cup - a penalty loss to L2 Barnet in a competition we never get anywhere in.

Johnstone's Paint Trophy - didn't really bother with this, gives me a chance to give a few players a run out.

Transfers - I tried to strengthen the squad with a few youngsters but a few of them struggled this season. I replaced the unhappy goalie which was a bit of a mistake, the new one has been pretty awful.

Squad - getting there but the quick promotions has meant it is taking a bit of time for my squad to catch up to L1 standard.

Star Player - no one really stood out but this free transfer was my top goalscorer, even if it was with just 22 goals.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South    1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier  1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2   2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1   5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1   3rd         Lost in playoff final

Next Season

Simple - don't lose in the playoff final again.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola League 1 - 2014/15

My previous two seasons have both ended in losses in the League 1 playoff final, so I was determined to end this run this season.

League Table

League Positions Graph

Things were stupidly tight at the top and as Coventry suffered a dip in form towards the end of the season, we were playing well. Going into the last game of the season we just needed to beat Rotherham, who also had a chance of promotion, to finish second. We very nearly took the title as Blackpool held on to a dodgy draw with Luton.

FA Cup - a great run that saw us avoid the big clubs until we met Championship champions WBA.

Carling Cup - uneventful.

Johnstone's Paint Trophy - I put out weak teams to concentrate on the league.

Transfers - I tried to strengthen the squad with some quality but spending £500k on a backup DM was a big mistake. Humphrey was also a waste of money.

Squad - I'm tempted to sell a load and rebuild for next year, this lot won't be good enough for the Championship.

Star Player - my wingers were awesome this season and Perez also grabbed his fair share of the goals.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South    1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier  1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2   2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1   5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1   3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1   2nd         Promoted

Next Season

Survival is all I'm after.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola Championship - 2015/16

After finally gaining promotion to this league, all I wanted to do was survive.

League Table

League Positions Graph

We had a good start but after a poor run of form it was clear that we were going to end up in mid table. Once it looked like relegation was impossible I started rotating the squad and giving all the youngsters games.

FA Cup - it was nice to enter in the 3rd round but we crashed out as soon as we met Premier League opposition.

Carling Cup - much like the FA Cup, the Premier League team outclassed us.

Transfers - the players who got us here were not really good enough, so there was a rebuild of the squad at a slight profit replacing them with talented youngsters who may be Premier League quality in a few years.

Squad - it is very young now but I'm hoping I can keep them all together to take us to the Premier League.

Star Player - probably the best of my signings, he played well in what was our weakest position.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South      1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier    1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2     2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1     5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1     3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1     2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship 14th

Next Season

After our first non eventful season it would be quite nice to get back into the playoffs, although I would be pleased with any progress made next season.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola Championship - 2016/17

After a mid table finish last season I just wanted an improvement on our previous league position.

League Table

League Positions Graph

After a shaky start we hit a bit of form and improved in the second half to secure a playoff spot.

Playoff semi leg 1 - could have gone either way but that late goal gave us a great chance going into the second leg.

Playoff semi leg 2 - we were really hanging on and it was only a matter of time before they got their second goal to knock us out.

FA Cup - just the one tie, ending in a penalty loss

Carling Cup - ditto

Transfers - the usual story, unhappy players were sold an talented youngsters were brought in making a healthy profit.

Squad - I think I've finally got a group of young players who should be good enough for the Premier League in a few years time. If I can keep them together it should only be a matter of time before we can seriously challenge for promotion.

Star Player - I was looking for a bit of experience to bring in to my young squad and found this gem of a free transfer.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South      1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier    1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2     2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1     5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1     3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1     2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship 14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship 5th         Lost in playoff semi

Next Season

The finances are improving along with the facilities at the club, so we really should be ready for the Premier league soon. My aim is to win promotion within the next two seasons, but hopefully within one.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola Championship - 2017/18

Last season we lost in the playoffs so this season was all about a second attempt at promotion.

League Table

League Positions Graph

A poor season. We had a bad start and struggled for consistency until the final third of the season where we got ourselves in a position to make the playoffs, only to have another bad patch in the run up to the final couple of matches.

FA Cup - ended as soon as we met Premier League opposition.

Carling Cup - ditto.

Transfers - we made a decent profit but didn't really improve the team that much. I January I tried to strengthen which helped a little bit but there was still a fair bit of wasted money.

Squad - decent players, good morale but bad results. The only thing I can think of doing is strengthening the defence for next season.

Star Player - him again, but he's reaching his peak now.

Career Overview

Season    League               Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South      1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier    1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2     2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1     5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1     3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1     2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship 14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship 5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship 8th

Next Season

For the first time in my Dartford career we have taken a step backwards. Next season we really must challenge for promotion.

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Dartford - Coca-Cola Championship - 2018/19

After a poor season where we took a step backwards this was going to have to be a good season as we desperately needed to be in with a chance of promotion.

League Table

League Positions Graph

At last we got it right. Although we kept up with them and challenged them for the title, Leicester were just too good and pulled away from us towards the end of the season.

FA Cup - a tough draw saw us exit the cup early.

Carling Cup - our best run ever, but we just couldn't match Arsenal.

Transfers - a very busy transfer window as I got busy trying to rebuild my squad. We picked up a few great free transfers including the experienced Chris Brunt and then in the middle of August we raked in £10m from the sale of two unhappy players. Although I couldn't find anyone decent straight away, it allowed me to scout the world and bring in a few classy players in January. I know £6.5m was too much but I really needed a PL class defender in Torrico.

Squad - with a couple of experienced players alongside a rebuilt defence we had a winning side once again. Further improvements will need to be made for next season but they should be good for survival as they are.

Star Player - he missed a lot of the season through injury but he was a great signing on a free transfer.

Career Overview

Season    League                  Position    Achievements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South       1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier     1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2      2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1      5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1      3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1      2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship  14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship  5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship  8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship  2nd         Promoted

Next Season

Survival and profit are my two aims, the facilities and stadium still need improving so I'm going to have to be quite tight with the money.

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Dartford - Barclays Premier League - 2019/20

After finishing second in the Championship last season this was always going to be a tough season as we attempted to establish ourselves as a top flight side. Survival and profit were the only targets.

League Table

League Positions Graph

We opened the season with home wins over Arsenal and WBA, which made me think we had a good chance of success this season. I was wrong. The final league position flattered us a little bit as after the poor start barring the first two games we looked like quite comfortably like the fourth worst team in the league. A decent run in pulled us up a couple of places but it didn't hide the fact that we were battling relegation.

FA Cup - this came at a bad time for us and we got completely outplayed by the club from the Championship.

Carling Cup - this could be what caused our form after the first two games to dip. I threw the kids out and we lost in an even match, perhaps next year I will take this competition a bit more seriously.

Transfers - I was aggressive again in the transfer market and look to offload anyone who wasn't Premier League quality and broke the bank to bring in hot prospects, putting the club over £10m in debt.

Selected player profiles:

Ferhat Eriksen - one of the few long term servants, he's been with us since League 1 and cost us just £20k.

Adrian Hendrie - signed two seasons ago for a bargain £700k, although he's not really a first team regular just yet he is described as a wonderkid.

Gavin Johnston - similar to Hendrie although not a wonderkid, he was signed in the same year for £425k. Had a shocking start to the season but really hit form late on.

Jermaine Knight - former wonderkid signed on a free transfer after Arsenal oddly released him. I'm still not sure where to play him as I see him as a DM but he's been playing at ML due to lack of competition for the position.

Koen Lennertz - signed from Betis using his £6.5m release clause. Since signing he has become a wonderkid and has attracted bids of £14m from some of the top clubs. He's unhappy about not moving so if the right bid comes I think I will have to sell.

Nicolas Monaco - probably my worst signing. When I saw a wonderkid striker who wanted to join us I broke the bank and spent £9.5m on him. He may well prove me wrong (especially if I sell him) but I think it was wasted money.

Bruno Palumbo - one of the signings that helped us to promotion last season. Plays a superb role as an attacking full back and is also handy from set pieces.

Jiri Sevela - free transfer signed last season, another unhappy wonderkid who may have to be sold.

Squad - as always, it is a young squad that has masses of potential for improvement. We don't really have any major weaknesses but I will be looking to strengthen in general for next season.

Star Player - he missed three months with an injury but still remained my top scorer.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th

Next Season

The squad is going to take a few more years to mature into a European standard team so all I'm after is an improved league position and some improvements to the club's facilities. Our stadium only holds 11000 and our youth facilities are only average so I'm hoping the board does something about this soon.

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Dartford - Barclays Premier League - 2020/21

Last season we were battling with relegation so I was hoping for a decent mid table position this season.

League Table

League Positions Graph

This was a massive improvement as we spent the entire season in the top eight. I wanted to rotate the squad later on in the season but we had an outside chance of making the top four all the way until the final day so we kept the pressure up. In the end we only managed a draw in our final game but Spurs won, snatching the spot from Chelsea on the last day.

FA Cup - we started a good run but then got unstuck against Leeds, it looked like we were going to snatch an undeserved draw only to lose in the last minute.

Carling Cup - in a competition we have never faired well in, we managed to pick up our first piece of major silverware. The run to the final was fairly straight forward, with a great win over Arsenal and a nervy away second leg win over Championship Huddersfield.

The Final - this was a bit of an anticlimax as we made the most of Villa's dreadful finishing to snatch a simple 1-0 win. It also means that Dartford will be in Europe for the first time next season.

Transfers - possibly the biggest transfer window in the history of the club as we made huge profits on outgoing players then went out and blew it all on replacements.

Selected player profiles:

Steve Allen - solid wonderkid centre back who wants to leave, I'd love him to stay but I'm preparing to make a big profit on him. Just as I finished writing this post, he asks to be taken off the transfer list and signs a new contract \o/

Daniel Bryant - the price was way over the top but he was rated as the only player capable of replacing either of the two centre backs I am preparing to lose.

Andy Martin - the man who gave me the money to burn. Five months at the club and he made us a £24.5m profit, he was good but the money was great to have. Craig Griggs stepped up and took his place in the team.

Nicolas Monaco - this wonderkid was disappointing last season but he repaid me for sticking by him. He managed to grab a lot of goals from the supporting striker role, which is unusual for my team.

Nelio - signed to replace Sevela, the wonderkid who joined Real for £20m, I think this wonderkid is actually much better. He had a time when he wanted to leave for a bigger club but I have persuaded him to stay with a new contract.

Saifallah Zitouni - one of the two big money signings who really sparked a turn in the club's form. He was expensive at £30m but the difference it makes with two quality wingers it astounding.

Squad - the youth revolution continues as the squad now boasts eight players who have been described as wonderkids while at the club. We currently have three players who want to leave, all for bigger clubs. All of them have three or four years left on their contracts so I'm going to keep them and hope to persuade them to stay. If not, their values are rocketing so I should be able to make a massive profit.

edit: Allen and Hendrie have both changed their minds and signed new deals, just leaves Lennertz as the only problem.

Star Player - Andy Martin would have undoubtedly won it if he had stayed so there was a bit of a gap to my next best player, the other big money winger.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners

Next Season

Champions League qualification is my target for next season, we unexpectedly came close this season so hopefully we can keep the momentum going and reach the next step. The stadium is the other area I would like to see improved, we are up to 15000 now but that is still well short of what we really need.

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Dartford - Barclays Premier League - 2021/22

Last season we had a huge breakthough with a 7th placed league finish and a Carling cup win which meant we would be competing in Europe for the first time. My aim for the league was to qualify for the Champions League.

League Table

League Positions Graph

A superb result although it had a nervy finish. About half way through the season it became clear we were going to be challenging for the title although as we progressed in Europe we started to fall a few games behind Arsenal. They kept winning and we seemed to keep drawing which meant it went down to the final day. Man City were in a similar situation due to their Champions League commitments and bizarrely we played each other on the final day of the season, after everyone else had played their last game. We needed a win to secure the title and we just about managed to get the result.

FA Cup - a devastating loss to struggling Championship side Swansea. I did mix the team about a bit but we really shouldn't have lost that game.

Carling Cup - after winning this competition last season I fielded the youngsters, who Arsenal made easy work of.

Europa League

This was a step into the unknown and after two routine qualifying wins over APOEL Nicosia and FC Sheriff Tiraspol we found ourselves in a reasonable group on the group stage.

Group Stage - we had qualified after four games but kept up our efforts to finish top of the group.

1st knockout round - a decent 0-0 draw in the away leg meant this was a formality at home.

2nd knockout round - we beat them 3-1 away so this game was just a case of holding on to our lead.

Quarter final - in possibly the greatest result of our history, we beat AC Milan 4-0 in the first leg which meant we could take it relatively easy in the away leg.

Semi final - almost a carbon copy of the West Ham game as we did our best to protect a 3-1 lead from the away leg.

The final - even without our star striker we made easy work of Benfica to lift our first ever European trophy.

Transfers - after the hectic transfers last season we didn't really need to strengthen the team that much. All of the signings were youngsters brought in to cover the first team.

Ryan Caddis - this was the only significant signing, he was Premier League quality at the game of 16 and just looks like getting better.

Richard Hartley - he could be the striker I've been looking for to replace Kennertz.

Squad - I'm still loking to make small improvements but this squad is young enough and good enough to take on the world.

Star Player - he filled the gap that Kennertz left when he made his £40m move to Arsenal. I still think he is better in the supporting striker role but he will continue to be the main man until I find someone better.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners

Next Season

The Champions League is the obvious target next season but I'm also still hopeful that the board will do something about the stadium. It currently holds 15000 which is simply not good enough and now would be a perfect time to build a new stadium, especially since I've been named as a legend at the club.

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Dartford - Barclays Premier League - 2022/23

As Premier League champions, this season was all about our Champions League début. As Europa League champions, we had a great chance of success, especially with our highly talented and young squad.

League Table

League Positions Graph

Man City challenged us all the way but ran out of steam and started dropping points towards the end of the season, which was lucky really as our form also dipped with a repeat of the unnecessary draws that haunted us last season. The final game of the season became meaningless and the results showed that, as we got hammered 4-1 by mid table Fulham and Man City struggled to a draw with Bolton.

Community Shield - it was a tight game in our début but Man City probably just about deserved the win.

UEFA Super Cup - like the Community Shield, it was a close encounter but we were lucky to be on the winning side this time.

FA Cup - we were looking really good for the cup with a solid run until we came undone at the hand of West Ham in the semi final.

Carling Cup - the kids got a tough draw and got knocked out early.

UEFA Champions League

As champions of England we went straight into the group stage in our début season where we were drawn with Barcelona, Dinamo Kiev and Stuttgart. On paper it looked straight forward enough with us and Barcelona as clear favourites to qualify.

Group Stage - it was anything but straightforward as it went into the final day with anyone being able to qualify. We had an easy 3-1 win in Kiev while Barca massacred Stuttgart 8-0 to see us both through.

1st knockout round - we met AC Milan last season, thrashing them 4-0 in the quarter final of the Europa league. This was nothing like that, as we needed the away goal to see us through from the two draws.

Quarter final - the first leg was a classic, with us losing 4-3 at the Emirates. Needing the win we went out and hammered them but only just came away with the win required.

Semi final - we met them in the group stage where we had a win and a draw and they were out for revenge. A 1-0 loss at home made the second leg tricky and although we took an early lead we just couldn't find a winner after they equalised.

Transfers - another huge transfer window and alots of money was spent and very little recouped. The last few holes in the squad were filled though so this should be the last of the big spending transfer windows.

Squad - I'm happy in every position now, so it should just be a case of sitting back and watching them mature and take over the world.

Selected profiles:

Steve Larkin - looked Premier League quality at just 16 so he could be a future star.

Patrik Ahlqvist - not a position I was looking to strengthen after signing Larkin but you can't really say no to a wonderkid like this with a minimum fee release clause of £6.25m.

Raffaele Campana - a wonderkid from AC Milan who I have been trying to sign for some time now.

Ryan Caddis - didn't quite have the impact I was hoping but I'm sure there's more to come from him.

Patrick Keil - another minimum fee release clause signing, stolen for just £10m from Real Madrid. A real quality signing.

Geoffrey Campagne - not a planned signing but with Nicolas Monaco out for three months at the start of the season I needed a quality striker to fill the gap.

Star Player - he ran the show, goals assists, the lot. His average rating looks low but that often seems to happen with the AMC position.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners
2022/23   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Super Cup winners

Next Season

After the heartache in the semi finals of two competitions we really need to improve and make the final or win the Champions League and/or FA Cup next season. I'm also still waiting on news of the stadium as the council have started blocking our expansions leaving us with a tiny 15000 seater stadium.

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Dartford - Barclays Premier League - 2023/24

After two successive Premier league titles we were going for a hattrick although the real target was the Champions League. After suffering the heartbreak of a narrow semi final loss to Barcelona last year, this season was all about that final push for European glory.

League Table

League Positions Graph

It was a fascinating season as Dartford, Arsenal and West Ham battled it out for the title, with all of them holding on to top spot for periods during the season. West Ham lost form towards the end of the season leaving just us and Arsenal battling it out going win for win in what was hyped as an epic climax to the season. It couldn't have been any better, the last game of the season was going to be Dartford vs Arsenal. Things were looking all set for the final showdown as we won eight games in a row and Arsenal winning six, but there was a twist in the tale as Arsenal drew their penultimate game of the season with Bolton. This meant we only needed a draw in the final game instead of a win. We went out to hold them off and came away with a narrow win to secure the title in style.

Community Shield - a first for the club. Like last year, it wasn't a great game but it was nice to be on the winning side in the curtain raiser for the new season.

FA Cup - our search for FA Cup glory goes on as we were soundly beaten by man City in a time when we had a few key players missing.

Carling Cup - we put out the fringe players again but the way we lost was horrible, especially since Eriksen used to play for us.

UEFA Champions League

Since we are still relatively inexperienced in Europe, the seedings gave us a tough group which included the holders and two other tough teams.

Dartford   2-1 Villarreal
Fenerbahce 1-2 Dartford
Inter      1-2 Dartford
Dartford   1-0 Inter
Villarreal 3-1 Dartford
Dartford   2-2 Fenerbahce

Group Table

It couldn't have gone better. Four consecutive wins and Inter slipping up meant we had qualified top with four games to spare, it also meant we were able to 'rest a few players' which somehow managed to knock out Inter.

1st Knockout Round Leg 1 - this was a pretty poor result after our dominant group games.

1st Knockout Round Leg 2 - our class shone through with an excellent display of finishing from Oswaldo Even.

Quarter Final Leg 1 - another tough trip to France, although this one didn;t go as well as the last one.

Quarter Final Leg 2 - almost a carbon copy of the last round as we completely outplayed them.

Semi Final Leg 1 - this was a great result against title rivals Arsenal. Injuries and shocking finishing meant we were able to sneak a win against in form Arsenal.

Semi Final Leg 2 - they absolutely hammered us as we hung on for our lives. You can probably guess who our man of the match was.

Final - a dominant display for which the scoreline didn't suggest. Bayern were never really in the game aand didn't look like scoring as we claimed our first ever Champions League crown.

Transfers - Even was the only key player signed, the rest were just expensive squad players. A lot of players were sold to trim the squad and I should have probably got a bit more for them, Marcelo threatened to haunt us but had a shocker in the Champions League final.

Squad - real quality everywhere although there is still room for improvement. The squad is still young and has a lot left in them but it is still missing a quality main striker.

Player Profiles

Goalie

Franco Di Mauro - possibly a weak link although I just can't find a better young keeper. Maybe I'll have to fork out for a more experienced goalie if I want to replace him.

Defenders

Steve Allen - solid no nonsense defender who has been with us for six years now.

Benoit Martin - one of the hottest prospects in the world and my captain, he's going no where.

Daniel Bryant - utility backup player, he cost £25m due to his potential but never got to reach it due to the competition in the squad.

Patrik Ahlqvist - awesome player, although it was shame he knocked Larkin out of the team.

Steve Larkin - hot prospect who's career is being damaged by Ahlqvist. I won't be letting him go though.

Stuart Hughes - backup who could do with a few games, could go out on loan but rejects my feeder Watford.

Raffaele Campana - in demand left back who we were lucky to prise away from AC Milan.

Midfielders

Adrian Hendrie - a beast of a player who played in both DM and DC positions this season.

Nelio - started to lose his place but still a good DM.

Ricardo Lopez Martinez - signed as a long term DM replacement, shame he got injured though.

Aurelien Laschet - disappointing signing who acted as backup on the right wing and AMC positions.

Ryan Caddis - he was Premier League quality at 16 but has since made slow progress. There's still a lot to come from him I think.

Saifallah Zitouni - real quality player and one of the only signings that wasn't under 21, worth a fortune. We lost him to a three month injury which really made a big difference.

Patrik Keil - great signing from Real Madrid, does the lot from the AMC position.

Jose Manuel - got more games than I was expecting due to the injury to Zitouni, he's a talented youngster.

Strikers

Oswaldo Even - I wasn't sure if he was a winger or a striker when I spotted him but I couldn;t resist signing him anyway. Played as a striker and scored a decent number of goals for his first season.

Nicolas Monaco - club legend who has suffered with injuries recently, I don;t think he has been the same player after his injury hit season last year where he made just 15 appearances.

David Miguel - backup striker who filled the gaps with an impressive goalscoring record.

Richard Hartley - I though he was going to be the next big thing but he was far from impressive in his first two seasons.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners
2022/23   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Super Cup winners
2023/24   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Champions League winners

Next Season

With the challenge now complete my focus is turning to a spell of domination. I want to see these youngsters develop and dominate the world, hopefully to be joined by some of our own youth players (who have all been useless so far).

The stadium is still a big issue, 15000 seats for the three time Premier League champions and Champions League holders is just pathetic. We have around £90m in the bank so I would expect to see a start on a new stadium within the next couple of years, although there is a rumour of a board takeover so that could influence things.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dartford FC - Barclays Premier League - 2024/25

With the challenge completed last season, this was our chance to prove that we were worthy winners of the Champions League.

League Table

League Positions Graph

Once again Arsenal proved to be our closest rivals and once again we spent the season hunting them down, only managing to catch up with our games in hand and overtake them late on in the season. Defensively we have been solid but we are going to have to score more goals if we want to make this league easy.

Community Shield - it should have been an easy game but we had to make the beat of our chances to take a win in this close encounter. Two in a row now after failing at our first attempt.

UEFA Super Cup - this was more like it, a great attacking game where we really got to show our class.

Club World Cup - the semi final was a bit disappointing as we failed to really get the goals, which seemed to carry into the final.

Carling Cup - the Man City game was great but the semi final was a shock as we barely had to get out of breath in the second leg after the awful performance by West Ham in the first leg. The final was much of a formality as we could have scored a lot more to clinch our second Carling Cup.

FA Cup - this was a competition we had never had much luck in, and we needed a lot of it to make our way to the final. The tradition continued as we needed extra time to seal a deserved win over our close rivals Arsenal.

UEFA Champions League - like last year, we raced to four wins in the group stage which meant we had already qualified, which explains the 7-1 defeat as Real Madrid beat our youth team. The route was fairly straight forward, bar the fantastic 4-0 win over Barcelona but we really saved our best for the final. Two in a row now which proves last year was no fluke.

Transfers - I wasn't planning on making any signings but as we were chasing Arsenal in the league I went out and strengthened the squad in January just to make sure. Unless any really promising youngsters turn up I doubt there will be any new signings next season. I think I'll be selling a few players this season, but only if reasonable bids come in.

Squad - getting close to perfection now. With Even taking up the striking role I have been looking for in previous seasons it looks like I have the squad I am after. Barring any major injuries I don't think I will be signing anyone and I'm looking forward to taking some of these players all the way through their careers.

Key Player Profiles:

Michael Grieve - signed for £15m to give us good backup in the DC and DL positions, he has actually been challenging Campana for the first team DL position.

Ruben Dario Lunghitano - signed to give us a more attacking option in the DM role. Signed from Real Madrid thanks to a £15.25m MFRC he looks like a bargain.

Tarek Afaoui - like Grieves, he was signed to give us backup in two positions, MR and AMC. Another steal thanks to a £6.5m MFRC from Valencia.

John Clifford - one of the few promising youngsters still about, he's been snapped up for £7m to provide Caddis backup with a natural winger.

Benoit Martin - doesn't often get mentioned but my captain is a fantastically consistent performer.

Oswaldo Even - the real star of the season and a potential world beater. Worth £35m at 20 it scares me just how good he could be when he peaks.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners
2022/23   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Super Cup winners
2023/24   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Champions League winners
2024/25   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners.

Next Season

With the clean sweep achieved it leaves nothing but the new stadium. With £105m in the bank and an average league attendance of 14980 (20 short of capacity), surely we must be in an ideal position to start building?

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Well done, another excellent career and good read. :)

Good luck with the new stadium, hopefully it will come off soon. I trust you have asked the board to consider it already?

Pretty much every five minutes :(

It gets blocked due to there not being enough room to expand. Why they haven't built a new one yet I'm not sure.

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Brazil - Confederations Cup - 2025

I took the Brazil job part way through this competition and after a 1-1 draw with Nigeria and a 3-0 win over New Zealand I was facing the task of needing a draw against already qualified France.

The squad I had inherited did not suite my tactics well, so I was struggling in a few positions but we still had some great players including an ex striker of mine in Marcelo.

France vs Brazil

With France already qualified they seemed to take it easy, although we were up for this with it being my first game. We got the win we deserved as we were the better team on the day.

Group Stage

The win over France meant we qualified first instead of second, although it only mean the difference in playing Spain instead of England.

Brazil vs Spain (semi final)

The odd goal was just enough for us here as we hung on for the win in a close encounter.

France vs Brazil (final)

It was a surprising repeat of the group game, as we made relatively easy work of France.

International Career Overview

Season     Competition                   Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2025       Confederations Cup            Winners

Next Season

We have four games left to secure qualification for the 2026 World Cup to be held in Spain, although with the current group looking like this it shouldn't be too hard.

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How many seasons do you do a week?

Depends what sort of week it is. In a normal working week I'll get around one done, but if it is during the holidays then I might get through a bit more.

You can see the original dates of the updates, it is pretty much one a week with an extra one fitted in every now and again.

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Dartford FC - Barclays Premier League - 2025/26

With a clean sweep of trophies last season it was always going to be tough to repeat it. We had the ongoing problem of the lack of a new stadium and on top of that we had rumours of an upcoming board takeover.

League Table

League Positions Graph

In our first twenty games we had conceded just one goal, and it was this solid defence that brought us our first dominant league title.

Community Shield - we were extremely lucky to win this one thanks to some great penalty taking.

UEFA Super Cup - this one was fairly straight forward.

Club World Cup - a couple of decent wins, unlike last year. The final was a brilliant match for us.

Carling Cup - penalties saved us once again against Pompey but it was fairly easy getting to Wembley once again. The final was a shocker. We dominated the match and had two perfectly good penalty shouts turned down (the FA agreed with my outburst) before Chelsea snatched victory in the dying minutes. Gutted.

FA Cup - yet again, penalties got us though a match which gained some revenge over Chelsea for us. The final was a bit strange as our last league game was after theirs, meaning we only had a couple of days rest. The fitness showed as we got outplayed and lost our second cup final of the year.

UEFA Champions League - The group stage was tougher than previous years with the tough game coming early. We had a chance to top the group but could only draw, although that gave us Basel in the nest round which I thought would be easy. I was wrong as Basel gave us a really tough game which ended in yet another favourable penalty shootout. A routine win over rivals Arsenal was followed by a superb comeback against Barcelona as we turned around a 2-0 first leg loss to win on penalties yet again. The final was a tight affair where I think we were the better team, even though the stats don't suggest that. A neat finish just inside the second half sealed our third consecutive title.

Transfers - again, I didn't really want to sign anyone but snapped up two decent youngsters in July. My hand was then forced in January as an injury crisis left me with no centre backs at all.

Squad - I'm happy with this squad and will not be looking to sign anyone next season.

Key Player Profiles:

Mike Bannister - after six years at the club, first choice goalie Franco Di Mauro decided he wanted a new challenge. I signed this rather expensive replacement and tried to sell Di Mauro but I couldn't, he then changed his mind and wanted to stay. This has left me with two top quality goalies.

Scott Spice - emergency signing to cover my defensive injuries. He did well to cover for my excellent central defensive partnership when they got injured.

Ryan Caddis - he's been disappointing since his début season at 16, but Caddis is starting to look like the world class player I though I'd found.

Oswaldo Even - just superb, and he hasn't yet reached his peak. When he got injured we really didn't look like the same side.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners
2022/23   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Super Cup winners
2023/24   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Champions League winners
2024/25   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners
2025/26   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions, World Club and CL winners

Next Season

The takeover talks continue and there have even been rumours that the consortium wants to replace me. Hopefully this will be sorted out sooner than later and news of a new stadium will be announced, but after the way things have been I can't be sure.

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Brazil - FIFA World Cup - 2026

Qualifying was nice and simple for Brazil, although I was only managing them for the last four games (which we won).

This brought us a generous draw in the group stage where we would meet Ireland, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand. As holders and joint favourites for the tournament, this group gave us a great chance to progress without really stretching ourselves.

Ireland vs Brazil (group stage)

A real shock result as we were completely outplayed by an Ireland team that boasted five players who have played under me at Dartford.

Brazil vs Saudi Arabia (group stage)

A decent result but not a great performance. Ireland made things interesting by losing 1-0 to New Zealand which meant we just needed to equal their result to top the table.

New Zealand vs Brazil (group stage)

We were outplayed in the first half but after they went a man down we scored and it looked all over, until we gave away a silly penalty. We did well to get back in front and turned on the style late on to make it look a lot easier than it was.

Final Group Table

With Ireland shockingly in consistent it made the group interesting, we were very lucky to top it. Winning the group did us a big favour as it meant we faced Croatia in the next round instead of the hosts Spain.

Croatia vs Brazil (2nd round)

We came out on top in quite a dirty match. Ireland continued their shocks by knocking out the hosts while we face another giant killer in the next round as Greece knocked out Portugal.

Brazil vs Greece (quarter final)

A tight game which was settled late on but the highlight was definitely the first goal, as Ricardo scored direct from a corner. The shocks continue as we drew Scotland in the semi final.

Brazil vs Scotland (semi final)

So close to a massive upset here, things were looking good for use when we took the lead but Scotland battled hard.

Brazil vs Italy (final)

Our route to the final had been a bit dubious but Italy were top quality opposition. Italy were probably the better side but our penalty taking was superb once again. Quite a spooky repeat of the 1994 final.

International Career Overview

Season     Country   Competition                   Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2025       Brazil    Confederations Cup            Winners
2026       Brazil    FIFA World Cup                Winners

Next Season

Next year Brazil go into the Copa America as reigning champions, I think that will be my last year with Brazil before I move on.

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Looks like my second board takeover has finally been completed.

The first rumour

Pretty standard stuff, there always seems to be a rumour of a new manager when there's a takeover.

Things then went quiet for a while and eventually a transfer embargo was put on the club.

The next story

The same name was brought up for my job.

Personal message

He's going to give me chance to prove myself, which should be fairly easy with the way the club is performing. Pumping £180m into the club is great, it means we finally have the money in the bank for a new stadium, I just hope he keeps me on then builds it.

Another personal message

I'd have been shocked if he replaced me, although it is a relief to get it all sorted. Still no news on a new stadium though, just the usual message about space and the council. Looks like I'll have to wait until the end of this season.

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I find it very unrealistic that a new chairman would even consider replacing the manager who brought the club up from non-league and won 3 Champions League titles in a row...

I think the stories are just rumours designed to make the takeovers sound a bit more interesting, I would be very surprised if a manager got replaced in circumstances similar to these.

Sadly that has not been the case in previous versions. I think it was with FM07 where I took Staines from the BSS to the PL, then after my first PL season I was replaced as manager after a takeover. I've never been so angry with the game.

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I think the stories are just rumours designed to make the takeovers sound a bit more interesting, I would be very surprised if a manager got replaced in circumstances similar to these.

Sadly that has not been the case in previous versions. I think it was with FM07 where I took Staines from the BSS to the PL, then after my first PL season I was replaced as manager after a takeover. I've never been so angry with the game.

I remember reading about that and feeling really sorry for you.

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Dartford FC - Barclays Premier League - 2026/27

With the takeover complete and job secured I was looking forward to doing what we do best, winning things. We had the heartache of two cup final losses last season to deal with so there was a bit of revenge to be had this year.

League Table

League Positions Graph

Complete domination in our best league season yet. We lost a few games late on once the title had been secured as I gave the youngsters a few games together.

Community Shield - an unusually good performance in this competition for us.

UEFA Super Cup - we were never going to lose but it took us a while to break them down.

Club World Cup - an interesting competition which brought our biggest ever win in the semi, followed by a routine final.

Carling Cup - a straight forward rout to the final with only Chelsea really challenging us. The final was an awful game which were lucky to avoid penalties in.

FA Cup - we made hard work of some easy games but eventually made our third final. The final was a tight affair which was settled by a moment of genius. Caddis attacked down the right and put in a cross which was met on the volley by my left back, it really was a replica of that Di Canio goal.

UEFA Champions League - possibly the easiest route to the final we have ever had as only Ajax gave us an initial scare. We had a perfect group stage which featured wins for the reserves in the final two games. The final was very comfortable, even with the sending off. I even played a couple of 17 year olds for the second half.

Transfers - the transfer embargo meant I could not sign anyone in the summer but I added a couple of youngsters in the winter.

Squad - superb stuff as a lot of my squad start to hit their peak ages.

Key Player Profiles:

Philipp Schuler - signed as backup but he's two footed and versatile which makes him a useful player to have.

Saifallah Zitouni - still going strong, although he's getting towards the age where I'm going to have to start looking for a replacement for the future.

Nicolas Monaco - his best season for a while, he really shone in the cups.

Ryan Caddis - his goals and assists were so vital to us this season, he's really turning into a class act.

Oswaldo Even - his best season yet as he starts to edge towards a goal a game.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners
2022/23   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Super Cup winners
2023/24   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Champions League winners
2024/25   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners
2025/26   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions, World Club and CL winners
2026/27   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners

Next Season

More of the same would be good but I want to start developing our own players. Alex Clements has become our first youth player that looks like he could make the first team, I'm just hoping we get a few more.

As always, the stadium is the main issue. Our average league attendance was 14976, 24 short of capacity. With a new chairman and £321m in the bank, surely they will build a new one?

I've got the Copa America coming up now with Brazil, I think that will be my last season with them as I'll look for a new country to take to the 2030 World Cup.

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Brazil - Copa America - 2027

In what could be my last year in Brazil, we went into the tournament in Colombia as the holders with a great chance of retaining the title after being drawn with Paraguay, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Brazil vs Paraguay (group stage)

A pretty dominant display as we really made the most of our chances. The fans loved this result.

Costa Rica vs Brazil (group stage)

A convincing display with a reasonable result. Losing star striker Marcelo will be a blow though.

Ecuador vs Brazil (group stage)

In a match that meant nothing to us Ecuador dominated the first half. The game changed when Renan scored a sublime goal after a mazy run. The sending off sealed it for us as Ecuador just couldn't come back..

Final Group Table

The expected three wins took us through easily.

Brazil vs Colombia (quarter final)

After a shocking first half I made a triple substitution which seemed to change things. We then suffered a hammer blow as our goalie turned a cross into his own net with just minutes to go. We had been knocked out by the hosts.

International Career Overview

Season     Country   Competition                   Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2025       Brazil    Confederations Cup            Winners
2026       Brazil    FIFA World Cup                Winners
2027       Brazil    Copa America                  Quarter finalists

Next Season

This was going to be my last year with Brazil but I wasn't expecting it to end this way. I'll now be looking for a new country with the aim of participating in the 2030 World Cup.

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After my sacking from Brazil, I had these three offers

Mexico had no upcoming fixtures, with a wait until December for the World Cup qualifying group to be announced. Since I was looking for a quick spell before the World Cup, this ruled them out.

Holland was the obvious choice, but they were third in their Euro qualifying group looking at a playoff place at best. I also had no players in their squad so this just about ruled them out.

Switzerland however, had a great challenge in prospect. Already sitting in a playoff spot in their Euro qualifying group, they had a chance to upset England while making the playoffs if that failed. This was enough for me, I took the job. No pressure then!

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Could i see a screenshot of Switzerland best player please? Just out of curiosity

Patrick Keil

I've had him at Dartford for five seasons now and although he's coming under pressure for his place he is still a quality player. He used to be described as either footed (not sure why this has changed) and he plays well in the AMC position.

Bjorn Fischer

He's our second best player and someone who I tried to sign quite a while back. He's getting on a bit but should still be able to do a job while I'm in charge.

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Tax free earnings while you are there too can't be bad.

Did Alexander Frei stay in football when his playing career finished. He is the only Swiss player i have ever signed and he was brilliant.

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Tax free earnings while you are there too can't be bad.

Did Alexander Frei stay in football when his playing career finished. He is the only Swiss player i have ever signed and he was brilliant.

He's disappeared, although he is still the all time leading goalscorer with 64.

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Switzerland - Euro 2028 Qualifying

This was the group when I took the job which gave me a chance to upset England and a decent chance of making the playoffs.

Switzerland vs Northern Ireland

We blew any tiny chance we had of topping the group with this defeat thanks to a late penalty.

England vs Switzerland

I was expecting a thrashing so it was good that we held our own for a lot of the match.

Switzerland vs Faroe Islands

We equalled the Swiss record win in a result that secured the playoff place for us.

Lithuania vs Switzerland

In a game that meant very little our finishing was dreadful.

Final Group Table

As expected, we made the playoffs in a draw that contained countries such as Holland, Italy, Sweden and Turkey. We certainly got the luck of the draw as we were paired with Belarus and Italy and Holland met each other.

Playoff leg 1

It was a very comfortable win but the second goal took a while to come.

Playoff leg 2

They tried hard but we were just too difficult to break down. This result means Switzerland will take part in the competition they missed out on four years ago. Here are the qualifying teams so as one of the underdogs we will just be hoping for a kind draw in the group stage.

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Dartford FC - Barclays Premier League - 2027/28

With the new stadium announced, this was going to be our final season in the 15000 seater Princes Park.

League Table

League Positions Graph

In terms of league performance, this was a bit of a step backwards for us. When the CWC came round we fell three games behind which dropped us to second, we then made very hard work of catching the games back up, drawing far too many. Injuries and tiredness seemed to hit us quite badly this season which is odd as it has not happened before.

Community Shield - with our superb record in penalty shootouts last season this was a bit of a shock.

UEFA Super Cup - and it happens again, although unlike the Chelsea game we should have won this one.

Club World Cup - fairly uneventful with a simple final.

Carling Cup - another simple cup run with a terribly dull final.

FA Cup - the replays really hurt us and gave us a congested fixture list but we had an easy game in the final.

UEFA Champions League - despite a shock loss to Benfica, the group stage was easy work and only Chelsea really tested us in the knockout stages. Going into the final I felt nervous, which was unusual, but after taking a 2-0 lead I though we had it in the bag. 3-2 down at half time I was really worried then this happened, it was probably the greatest CL final I have been involved in. The injury to Keil is a massive blow as it means I will be going into Euro 2028 as Switzerland manager without my star player.

Transfers - I probably made a mistake this season in clearing out a load of players who were not going to feature regularly and replacing them with youngsters. We made a decent profit but our squad is definitely weaker now.

Squad - English and home grown players were my aim but the squad still only features three youth players: Forster, Stevens and Clements.

Key Player Profiles:

Sean Forster - promoted to the youth team at the start of the year he looks like a very promising goalie. He got a decent number of games this season due to a 5 week injury to Bannister and performed pretty well. He conceded quite a few goals but I really think he will replace him soon.

Sergio Perez Gonzalez - in my selling spree I accidentally managed to clear out all our reserve left backs, so he was signed thanks to a £4.7m MFRC.

Jerome Russell - I'm trying to find a good young striker to partner Even and this wonderkid could be it.

Adrian Hendrie - this would be his testimonial year and he's performing as consistently as ever.

Ryan Caddis - not quite up to the standard of last season but still pretty amazing.

Oswaldo Even - we rely on him far too much and when he suffered from exhaustion we had no option but to send him away for two weeks. We were literally not the same team without him.

Career Overview

Season    League                   Position    Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2009/10   Blue Square South        1st         BSS Champions, promoted
2010/11   Blue Square Premier      1st         BSP Champions, Setanta Shield and FA Trophy winners
2011/12   Coca-Cola League 2       2nd         Promoted
2012/13   Coca-Cola League 1       5th         Lost in playoff final
2013/14   Coca-Cola League 1       3rd         Lost in playoff final
2014/15   Coca-Cola League 1       2nd         Promoted
2015/16   Coca-Cola Championship   14th
2016/17   Coca-Cola Championship   5th         Lost in playoff semi
2017/18   Coca-Cola Championship   8th
2018/19   Coca-Cola Championship   2nd         Promoted
2019/20   Barclays Premier League  15th
2020/21   Barclays Premier League  7th         Carling Cup winners
2021/22   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Europa League winners
2022/23   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Super Cup winners
2023/24   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions and Champions League winners
2024/25   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners
2025/26   Barclays Premier League  1st         Premier League champions, World Club and CL winners
2026/27   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners
2027/28   Barclays Premier League  1st         PL champions, FA, Carling, World Club and CL winners

Next Season

The stadium move is due to happen next month so that should start a new era for the Darts. I think the squad is going to need a bit of rebuilding as some of my players start reaching their thirties and I'm hoping we get some decent youth players who are capable of the step up to the first team.

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