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Can anyone please help me solve a problem for some kids with learning difficulties?


Mr Useless

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This is really great ! FM as educational tool, wonderful :D I work in primary schools (5-12 year olds) as ICT-coordinator, and a collegue left recently who thaught use of computer to the kids and they can't find a replacement. I don't have an educational degree, only technical, and I'm thinking of something to use FM for as an activity. So I'm very interested in this story ! ;)

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Love this story, but just had one question. If the boys play one week in the game to mirror real life, what do they do when their players go on holiday? Do they just play for 10 mins that week? Or do they stretch it out scouring the database for new players?

As near as we possibly can, we try to keep up with the week in real life. It's not always possible, because I have a normal life to lead and am sometimes away. But generally, they come round on a Sunday and we play that weekend's match, and continue the game through to the morning of the next match, which might be the following weekend but is often midweek. So, for example, last Sunday we played the match for Saturday 16th January, and continued the game through to the morning of Wednesday 20th January, where we saved it. They will then come around again in midweek to play the Wednesday 20th January match against Chelsea, and we'll continue the game through to the morning of our next Saturday's match, which we will play this coming weekend.

During the close season, they still come around once per week, and we play through the events of that week, which is obviously generally not that active unless we are bidding to buy new players.

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Out of interest, which team are you managing?

We started off in League 2 with Northampton, which is the local League 2 team to here. (I also recommended Northampton to them because I had played FM2005 with Northampton, and the Chairman was very patient in the game, as were the fans, and had low expectations). We were promoted to League 1 in our first season and promoted to the Championship in our second season. We weren't promoted in our 3rd season, but at the end of it we were offered the job as Manager of Wolves, who had just been relegated to the Championship. As Wolves promised much greater resources to use, the boys voted to accept that job. (It was the 6th job they had been offered, and they had turned down the other 5!!!) We are still with Wolves.

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Some of these comments are bringing a lump to my own throat. You really are such a nice community.

I wonder if I might take the liberty of raising two other problems we have - one technical, the other tactical - in the hope that you kind people might be able to suggest solutions.

1. Technical Problem

Probably because the disk is now so well used, we do have problems with loading it, and I'm really terrified that one day it will give up the ghost altogether. The problem comes with the first stage of loading - i.e. from when you first put it in, up until where it comes on the screen with the logo and the War Child bit etc. (Once we've got that far, and you get the screen with the options to "load last game" etc there is no problem). Sometimes that initial stage is taking so long that I give up, take out the disk, and start again. Can anyone think of a solution to this? Is is likely to become terminal? I was even thinking of buying another 2005 game but I assume (and excuse my ignorance here) that by doing so it would wipe out all our records to date?

2. Tactical Problem

This issue is the one that frustrates the boys most of all, and although I am reasonably experienced with this version and later versions of the game, I don't be able to suggest to them solutions that work. Because we have had a run of success, we are finding that in home games, from about the 30 minute stage if it's still all square (or before that if opponents take the lead) the opposition teams shut up shop and go into a mass-defence mode. You know the sort of thing - all 11 players behind the ball, and 3 players swoop on any of our guys who are in possession. And if the opponents have possession, they just move the ball back and fore, and eventually back to their keeper, so we can't get it. The boys all get very frustrated when this happens. I've tried suggesting some remedies to them which sometimes partially work - e.g. changing "Width" from Normal to Wide and giving instructions to focus attacks down the wings, but it's not a total success. Friends have suggested different solutions, sometimes contradictory - e.g. one suggested increasing the tempo whilst another insisted the secret was to make the tempo very slow - and I was also told to increase Creative Freedom significantly. I would be very interested to read what the experts suggest.

Thank you in advance for any help on either issue.

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Some of these comments are bringing a lump to my own throat. You really are such a nice community.

I wonder if I might take the liberty of raising two other problems we have - one technical, the other tactical - in the hope that you kind people might be able to suggest solutions.

1. Technical Problem

Probably because the disk is now so well used, we do have problems with loading it, and I'm really terrified that one day it will give up the ghost altogether. The problem comes with the first stage of loading - i.e. from when you first put it in, up until where it comes on the screen with the logo and the War Child bit etc. (Once we've got that far, and you get the screen with the options to "load last game" etc there is no problem). Sometimes that initial stage is taking so long that I give up, take out the disk, and start again. Can anyone think of a solution to this? Is is likely to become terminal? I was even thinking of buying another 2005 game but I assume (and excuse my ignorance here) that by doing so it would wipe out all our records to date?

2. Tactical Problem

This issue is the one that frustrates the boys most of all, and although I am reasonably experienced with this version and later versions of the game, I don't be able to suggest to them solutions that work. Because we have had a run of success, we are finding that in home games, from about the 30 minute stage if it's still all square (or before that if opponents take the lead) the opposition teams shut up shop and go into a mass-defence mode. You know the sort of thing - all 11 players behind the ball, and 3 players swoop on any of our guys who are in possession. And if the opponents have possession, they just move the ball back and fore, and eventually back to their keeper, so we can't get it. The boys all get very frustrated when this happens. I've tried suggesting some remedies to them which sometimes partially work - e.g. changing "Width" from Normal to Wide and giving instructions to focus attacks down the wings, but it's not a total success. Friends have suggested different solutions, sometimes contradictory - e.g. one suggested increasing the tempo whilst another insisted the secret was to make the tempo very slow - and I was also told to increase Creative Freedom significantly. I would be very interested to read what the experts suggest.

Thank you in advance for any help on either issue.

OK, on the first issue. Buying a new disc will NOT effect the game. Simply as your file is seperate and the disc is just the game.

It's like a memory card. You save a game to it and it's there, not on the disc.

The only issue will be you having to patch FM05 up to the required standard (remember the numbers in the top left corner we spoke of)

The second issue, and this is only my thought on the subject, is just a matter of taking your time. Slow the play down, play the ball to feet, take your time. Keep passing in order to find that hole and exploit them!

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If you don't re-install then another disc should work fine with no changes.

As far as tactics are concerned I don't remember anything about FM05 and the dod and don'ts back then. Nor do I remember any such AI behaviour as you describe to be honest. One way to counter unrealistic behaviour is to be unrealistic yourself: Maybe try to man-mark the opposition keeper when that happens. Who knows, it may work.

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IIRC on 05 my way of breaking teams down was play as wide as possible, slow down tempo and drop the defensive line deeper, giving your players more space basically. 05 may also have been the one where using attacking mentalities but ticking 'counter attack' worked a treat, although that may have been 06??

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Thank you for all the help guys, especially about the disk. It's very reassuring to know that if I can get hold of another one, it wouldn't mean scrapping all the boys' previous efforts. I may ask for further help (especially re the issue that Deisler26 kindly mentioned about the patch) when I get hold of one. Can anyone suggest where I might be able to buy one from? I don't suppose shops will stock FM05 any more.

Also, just out of interest, is there a reason the problem is happening (i.e. have I been doing some bad with the disk) and is it likely to get worse?

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Hey Mr Useless,

What a great story! A truly heart-warming way to start the day.

I have the FM05 game somewhere and I never actually played it because there was an admin rights issue on the computer I had at the time. If I can find the game I'll quite happily send it to you - it's practically brand new, but I can't see myself ever playing it.

I'll have a hunt and get back to you.....

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Some of these comments are bringing a lump to my own throat. You really are such a nice community.

I wonder if I might take the liberty of raising two other problems we have - one technical, the other tactical - in the hope that you kind people might be able to suggest solutions.

1. Technical Problem

Probably because the disk is now so well used, we do have problems with loading it, and I'm really terrified that one day it will give up the ghost altogether. The problem comes with the first stage of loading - i.e. from when you first put it in, up until where it comes on the screen with the logo and the War Child bit etc. (Once we've got that far, and you get the screen with the options to "load last game" etc there is no problem). Sometimes that initial stage is taking so long that I give up, take out the disk, and start again. Can anyone think of a solution to this? Is is likely to become terminal? I was even thinking of buying another 2005 game but I assume (and excuse my ignorance here) that by doing so it would wipe out all our records to date?

2. Tactical Problem

This issue is the one that frustrates the boys most of all, and although I am reasonably experienced with this version and later versions of the game, I don't be able to suggest to them solutions that work. Because we have had a run of success, we are finding that in home games, from about the 30 minute stage if it's still all square (or before that if opponents take the lead) the opposition teams shut up shop and go into a mass-defence mode. You know the sort of thing - all 11 players behind the ball, and 3 players swoop on any of our guys who are in possession. And if the opponents have possession, they just move the ball back and fore, and eventually back to their keeper, so we can't get it. The boys all get very frustrated when this happens. I've tried suggesting some remedies to them which sometimes partially work - e.g. changing "Width" from Normal to Wide and giving instructions to focus attacks down the wings, but it's not a total success. Friends have suggested different solutions, sometimes contradictory - e.g. one suggested increasing the tempo whilst another insisted the secret was to make the tempo very slow - and I was also told to increase Creative Freedom significantly. I would be very interested to read what the experts suggest.

Thank you in advance for any help on either issue.

This not issue with the Disc by sounds of it as the game is loading up, this is more PC relating issue. Do you defrag and do Disk clean at on your PC? What size hard drive do you have and how much space left? Also what memory do you have in the machine as these all will perfromence.

I agree with all comments well done and sounds like they are learning all time and having fun. Good to see the game can use for Educational resource and to help others more then just being a game.

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This not issue with the Disc by sounds of it as the game is loading up, this is more PC relating issue. Do you defrag and do Disk clean at on your PC? What size hard drive do you have and how much space left? Also what memory do you have in the machine as these all will perfromence.

Thank you for the advice, Sebbie. I hadn't defragged (didn't even know it existed!) or done a disk clean. But I've now looked up how to do it. When I tried to defrag, it came up with a message that I didn't need to. I have now done the disk clean. But sadly it hasn't made a difference to the problem. I'm embarrassed to confess I don't know the size of the hard drive or how much space I have left - is there an easy way to find out?

Perhaps I can describe the problem better. Apologies if my description will sound childish. When I put the disk in, a little white square appears in the bar at the bottom of the screen, and a light flashes repeatedly in the disk drive to show it is loading. If I am lucky (and this happens perhaps 25% of the time) the light keeps flashing repeatedly for about 15 seconds, the little white square at the bottom of the screen disappears, and the game loads fine. However, much more often, after a few seconds the light stops flashing repeatedly, and just flashes once every 30 seconds or so. When this happens, the white box remains at the bottom for about 20 minutes, before eventually disappearing. (In reality, I often give up before then and start again). As I said, once it does start loading, and gets past the "Kick racism out of Football" and "War Child" messages, to the point where you get options to choose "Load Last Game", it then loads fine. It's getting it going in the first place that's the problem. Is that not more likely to be a disk problem?

I'm so grateful for help on this.

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Thanks Tomer. I've learned more about computers in the last 48 hours than the last 50 odd years. LOL

I did as you suggested. It says - Free Space 35.9 GB. Total Size 70.9 GB.

Is that good, bad or fatal?

That's perfectly fine. The problem must lie elsewhere.

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Sometimes that initial stage is taking so long that I give up, take out the disk, and start again. Can anyone think of a solution to this?

It could be the CD, though this will be proven if Kenny does in fact send you his copy. Alternatively, I've had issues with the CDRom / DVD Drive many times before in the past. Once you've put the CD in you'll hear it spin but literally nothing happens. You can get quite a technical explaination of why this is, but I don't feel it's appropriate.

The only thing to do is to remove it and try again, like you're doing now. Persistance tends to be the winning factor with old hardware / software so I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you consider it like aging joints and limbs, in that it can take a few attempts to get up out of your chair, then you'll know what I mean about dealing with age :p

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Thanks Tomer. I've learned more about computers in the last 48 hours than the last 50 odd years. LOL

I did as you suggested. It says - Free Space 35.9 GB. Total Size 70.9 GB.

Is that good, bad or fatal?

Nothing wrong with that.

I don't know too much about computers myself (I rely on my brother for stuff like that), but one thing I can recommend is that maybe you could try to install the game on a different computer and see if it works.

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Another option could be that the usage on the disc has resulted in it's performance over time getting worse due to scratches. If you get a new disc that should clear up where the issues are but if for any reason you don't get a new disc you could always pay a small charge and get the existing disc cleaned professionally.

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A number of you asked for a progress report when we had played our second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, away to Chelsea. You may recall we had drawn 1-1 at home in the first leg. For this away leg, the boys decided to opt for a defensive strategy, with the back four playing deep, and counter attack turned on. This strategy has sometimes worked for them away to the better teams, forcing the opponents into hitting lots of long shots, which our wonderful keeper always saves. The hope is to keep a clean sheet with the defensive approach, and hopefully grab a goal on a breakaway. The match proceeded as follows:

19 mins: Steven Pienaar, who the boys had signed before Everton had heard of him, tries a ludicrous shot from 30 yards. It seems to be sailing miles wide when it strikes a Chelsea defender and flies in the opposite direction past a stunned Petr Cech. We are 1-0 up, and ahead on aggregate!

22 mins: Chelsea have a corner. Our centre forward, Karadas, is supposed to be marking John Terry. But as the corner is about to be taken, Terry makes a run towards the side of the area and Karadas lets him go. The corner is played direct to Terry, who immediately takes a shot. It hits the defender standing on the far post and deflects in. It’s 1-1.

28 mins: Karadas gets his revenge. He collects a throw in just inside the Chelsea area, and turns. Terry makes an attempt to tackle, but upends him. It’s a penalty. Up steps Rosales (a winger the boys bought for a bargain price in the close season from Ajax reserves). He makes it 2-1.

38 mins: Chelsea cut our defence to ribbons, and put the ball out to Damien Duff running in from the wing. He cuts it back to Kezman. (Remember him? He was a total flop for Chelsea in real life, but their top scorer in this game). He has a simple task of tapping it in. We’ve been pegged back to 2-2.

40 mins: Chelsea’s German international midfielder, Schweinsteiger, tries an audacious shot from 30 yards. It curves like a banana into the far top corner. The boys are stunned – I can see it in their faces which have gone pale. No-one beats our keeper from distance. Or so they thought. It’s now 2-3.

At half time we have a discussion about tactics. The defensive strategy has hardly been a roaring success, as we have conceded 3 goals in the first half, largely because Chelsea have had too much possession. The boys decide to cancel counter attack and to switch to an attacking mentality for the second half.

54 mins: A long ball is played through the Chelsea back four for Pienaar to run onto. As he reaches the penalty area both Terry and Carvalho catch him up and seem sure to dispossess him. But he somehow squeezes between them, and slips the ball past Cech. It’s 3-3, and we are ahead on away goals. But the boys understand this will only apply after extra time. They decide to retain the attacking mentality as we seem to have got on top with it.

90 mins: Chelsea are on the attack and pouring men forward looking for the winner. They take a shot….. It’s charged down and cleared out to our left winger who has acres of space ahead of him. He proceeds almost to their corner flag by which time we have two players waiting for his cross in their area. But his cross misses them both out…….It goes to the far edge of the area where Rosales is coming in from his right wing. He slams a shot across a stunned Cech and into the far corner. 4-3 to us!! Desperate defence ensues for 3 minutes of injury time, but we hang on.

When the final whistle blows, the boys all instinctively hug each other. I must confess that I felt a little tear trickling down my face as I watched them. Normally, after a midweek match, we would play the game through to the following Saturday morning, but that would need to include a reserve team fixture and I can see the boys are mentally and emotionally drained. We agree to call it quits for the night. We can catch up later.

The bad news is that in the Final we will be playing Arsenal, League champs last season, and racing away with it again this season. But who cares! We have reached Wembley!

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that's fantastic!! congrats to the boys (and you of course) on beating Chelski at home. Arsenal smarsenal, the cup is yours my friend!

let the boys know they have the support of literaly hundreds of thousands of people around the world who already think they are amazing.

much kudos to you mate.

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This is one of the Greatest FM stories ive ever herd, I think SI should do something for Mr. Useless and the Kids, nothing to extravegent, but to show thier appreciation for all the hard work that this guy has undertaken!

Many best wishes to you my friends...

Kristof - Serbia

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This is one of the Greatest FM stories ive ever herd, I think SI should do something for Mr. Useless and the Kids, nothing to extravegent, but to show thier appreciation for all the hard work that this guy has undertaken!

Many best wishes to you my friends...

Kristof - Serbia

Very kind comments. Much appreciated.

For the record, I had a lovely PM from SI, I've had lots of heartwarming comments on the thread, and I've been given valuable advice whenever I have raised a problem. I really wouldn't want any more than that.

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I haven't read this entire thread yet (I've only just noticed it) but I just wanted to say to the OP -

I have a 7 year old son with serious learning difficulties and behaviour problems (I'm his full-time carer), I know how hard it is with one child and so I commend you for taking on other people's kids and being a positive influence in their lives. I never thought about introducing FM into my own son's life but may be tempted to do so as he has a habit of quickly latching onto things that engage him. He is obsessed with football so FM may be the way to go...

Anyway, sorry to sort of go off topic, I just wanted to say well played and good luck with everything :thup:

EDIT: That's especially good luck against Arsenal :)

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I have a 7 year old son with serious learning difficulties and behaviour problems (I'm his full-time carer), I know how hard it is with one child and so I commend you for taking on other people's kids and being a positive influence in their lives. I never thought about introducing FM into my own son's life but may be tempted to do so as he has a habit of quickly latching onto things that engage him. He is obsessed with football so FM may be the way to go...

Anyway, sorry to sort of go off topic,

That wasn't off topic at all, Aja. Quite the opposite.

I so admire anyone who is a full time carer. It's much more worthy of admiration than me just giving up the odd couple of hours, as and when I choose. Good luck with whatever direction you decide to take.

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I have been following this thread from day one, and I would just like to say again, well done mate. I shall continue to follow it for however long you keep us updated on it.

It is THE ONLY career thread I do follow as it never fails to make me smile :)

Well done to you and the lads on getting to Wembley, I know that delighed feeling they have right now! :thup:

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I've read through the whole story and all the kind comments and helps and suggestions all the way down here, during which there were sometimes smiles and sometimes tears on my face. It was fantastic.

And one of my best friends is the supporter of Northampton, the team you got stared, and this also makes me feel quite happy.

I started playing this game since CM3, had never thought of the possibility of the teaching function of FM. All the best wishes to you and the kids.

Another question Mr U: have you solve the problem with the "disk" or "driver"?

P.S. I am an Arsenal fan, but wish you luch playing the final against my team.

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It's kind of a little hard for me to read through the whole story with all the kind advices from so many people since i know little about FM,but anyway,I did it and understood.

Really happy for you and the kids.It is definitly an amazing story.

Not to be offensive,Mr U:If you have your own kids,you must be a good father.:)

Also tks to Mr Panes,he recommended this to me.

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