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[FM20] Climbing Up the Salisbury Hill


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Bucky Badger, a 30yo American born in Madison, WI, gives up his Sunday League playing days to earn his National C coaching license focusing on Motivator abilities. He starts applying for available jobs in the soccer world.

The World: Argentina (Premier & Second Divisions), England (Vanarama National League North/South & higher leagues), France (Ligue 1 & Ligue 2), Germany (Bundesliga & Bundesliga 2), Netherlands (Eredivisie & Keuken Kampioen Divisie), Italy (Serie A & Serie B), Mexico (First Division & Promotion League), Spain (First & Second Divisions), USA (MLS), Uruguay (First & Second Professional Divisions)

 

Receiving no offers from clubs, I sifted through the various international youth team offers and selected Scotland U19s.

I coached Scotland to a draw in my first game and somehow drew the attention of the Denmark coach, who offered me the Danish U21s job 3 days before the start of qualifying for the Euro 2021 U21 Championship.

Finished the qualifying group stage in 2nd place after losing at Portugal in the final game. Drew Wales in the Qualifying Playoff. Fantastic start by winning 4-1 at Wales. Held on through a disappointing 1-3 loss at home and won 5-4 on aggregate.

Euro U21s Group Stage: drawn into a difficult group - Belgium (ranked 2nd), Germany (5th) and Slovenia (T - 33rd). Denmark is ranked 16th.

As 2020 comes to a close, I continue to have all club applications ignored, not receiving any interview offers.

 

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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January 2021

 

Euro 2023 U21 Qualifying Groups were drawn. Denmark will be grouped with Armenia, Finland, Moldova, Romania and Wales.

Still no club interviews or offers.

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June 2021

 

Beat Wales, 3-1, in a home friendly but the starting AMR sustained an injury that caused him to miss the Euro 21 Championship.  Followed that with another home friendly win, 3-0 over Luxembourg.

Failed to qualify from the Group Stage of the Euro 21s due to finishing 3rd based upon goals scored. The biggest disappointment came from conceding the tying goal to Belgium late in the 2nd game. A win would have seen us qualify for the quarterfinals.

Desperate to enter the faster paced world of club soccer, I flooded the market with my resumes and applied for all low-level jobs available. I received interview offers from 3 teams in the Vanarama National League North/South. I told all 3 teams that I would leave the Denmark U21s job to focus on the club.

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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July 2021

 

I received job offers from each of the 3 clubs with which I interviewed. After thinking it over for a week, I agreed to terms with Salisbury FC on a 1-year, $61K contract.

Founded in 2015, Salisbury FC (The Whites) are a semi-professional English club that earned promotion from the Southern Premier South last season. The club play at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium (capacity 5000 and built in 1997), possess poor training and youth facilities, basic academy coaching, and a basic youth recruitment network.

I received an annual payroll budget of $612,000 and no transfer budget.

Goals

Fight bravely against relegation

Reach 3rd qualifying round (minimum) of FA Cup

Be competitive in FA Trophy

Odds

Title: 50-1

Relegation: Even

 

The club had 12 players under contract and no staff upon my arrival. I scrambled to sign 4 players prior to first league game. 3 of them immediately entered the starting lineup.

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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August 2021

My managing debut with Salisbury away to Welling began with a 0-2 halftime deficit, but young striker Alfie Cerulli beat the opposing keeper to a poor backpass and scored. Staring at a respectable defeat, George Smith, the young central midfielder who came on as a sub midway through the 2nd half, scored the tying goal on a volley from 25 yards with seconds left in injury time!  What a memorable first game!

That was by far the most exciting moment of the month. 1 win, 3 draws, 4 losses placed us 21st in the table.

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I continued to sign players and adjust tactics. Perhaps too much so. We weren't playing terribly, but we weren't getting results. The atmosphere at the club left much to be desired. I vowed to be less frantic and give the players and tactics a run in the hopes of calming everybody.

The board was satisfied, grading me a C+.


 

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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September 2021

Of course, my decision to go with a set lineup and tactic coincided with the first major injury of the season. Right winger Cole Brown (24yo, 2* CA/3* PA) suffered torn knee ligaments against Maidenhead and was declared out for 4-5 months. With little depth available, I decided to give Brendan Ocran (24 yo, 3*CA/4.5* PA), who I had just demoted from starting DR, a shot at the position. With Ocran starting, we went unbeaten for the rest of the month. 3 W and 1D more than doubled are points in the league and improved us to 16th in the table. The win over Whitehawk achieved the board's minimum goal of the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.

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While the tactics are nothing fancy, we seem to have found some comfort and confidence with them. 

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As the end of the month approached, some interesting rumors started flying:

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The Board is pleased with my leading of the team (B-).

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October 2021

2W and 2L saw us climb to 12th in the league. The FA Cup qualifying match away to Ebbsfleet saw them play shorthanded for the final 50 minutes after a straight red card. Ocran finally gave us the goal we needed 2 minutes into injury time. The FA Cup 1st Round draw saw us sent away to Chorley (2nd in the Vanarama National North). We'll enjoy the ride (and the extra $) for as long as it lasts.

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As I mentioned last month, I may have been a bit overzealous bringing in new players...(but at least I was frugal)

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The board is very pleased with my overall leadership (B).

Meanwhile, the rumors continue...

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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Reply to my thread

>>Thank you for reading. I never really got attached to a save until I started writing it down. Hopefully it helps you feel connected to your save as well.

Because I'm also a fan of yours...

What ever became of Alfie Cerulli? He sounded like someone to watch.

Also what do you think made Brendan Ocran such a good versatile player when slotting in at right back after not making the grade in his previous position?

Also none of the images you are linking seem to be coming through for me. At the bottom of the reply section you can "choose files to attach to your reply" once they download the "+" on the corner of the image will copy it to wherever your cursor is. I always save my screen grabs as JPEG files.

I know you didn't ask, but if it is not working for others this may help.

Look forward to continuing to follow your journey.

Cheers!

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4 minutes ago, DrChristopher said:

Because I'm also a fan of yours...

What ever became of Alfie Cerulli? He sounded like someone to watch.

Also what do you think made Brendan Ocran such a good versatile player when slotting in at right back after not making the grade in his previous position?

Also none of the images you are linking seem to be coming through for me. At the bottom of the reply section you can "choose files to attach to your reply" once they download the "+" on the corner of the image will copy it to wherever your cursor is. I always save my screen grabs as JPEG files.

I know you didn't ask, but if it is not working for others this may help.

Look forward to continuing to follow your journey.

Cheers!

I thought that I may have been not posting images correctly. I think I have it figured out now, thanks to your help. Hopefully, moving forward, you'll be able to see the images.

 

Cerulli is playing fairly well. I am asking a lot of him by having him attempt to learn a different striker role. He is a Poacher whom I am asking to become a Target Man. He is not playing poorly by any means, but he certainly has room to grow.

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Ocran is a versatile player. He had been displaced at DR by a younger signing to whom I wanted to give an opportunity. He is an accomplished winger so he appeared to me to be the best replacement for the injured player at MR. He has an average rating of 7.03 in 15 games at MR versus 6.76 in 7 games at DR. I'm sure he wanted to prove something to me, and he certainly has.

 

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November 2021

1W and 2D saw us extend our league unbeaten run to 5 and creep up to 11th place.

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The board, delighted with the leadership qualities I was demonstrating, graded me a B+.

With a nod to DrChristopher, I have decided to review a position group each month. This month, I'll review goalkeepers.

  1. Kain McGaughey (First Choice Goalkeeper, 20yo, 2.5* CA, 4.5* PA, English) - Signed from Tamworth on a free after our first 3 league games, he has been a fixture in goal since, playing every league and cup game. He has allowed 22 goals in 22 games with 11 shutouts and maintained a 6.85 average.
  2. Alfie Bonfield (Emergency Backup, 22yo, 1* CA, 2* PA, English) - Started the first 3 league games and maintained a 6.80 average but allowed 8 goals in those games.
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December 2021

5 league games played - 2W, 2D, 1L. Lost in FA Trophy. A bit of a frustrating month, but we climbed another spot in the table. The board is still delighted (A-).

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Added an intriguing signing - Abdi Mohamed (18yo, 3.5* CA, 4.5* PA, Kenyan international with English citizenship) - to the MC mix. He agreed to be a squad player and will provide great cover.

This month, we'll review DL.

  1. Gary Dixon-Maston (Regular Starter, 26yo, 1.5* CA, 1.5* PA, English) - Nothing to write home about (6.62 over 31 games) but he doesn't make any big mistakes. Could be a captain candidate (18 Leadership, 17 Determination) but his Fickle personality concerns me.

I am determined to upgrade this position prior to next season.

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16 hours ago, Lodi Lemmer said:

December 2021

5 league games played - 2W, 2D, 1L. Lost in FA Trophy. A bit of a frustrating month, but we climbed another spot in the table. The board is still delighted (A-).

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Added an intriguing signing - Abdi Mohamed (18yo, 3.5* CA, 4.5* PA, Kenyan international with English citizenship) - to the MC mix. He agreed to be a squad player and will provide great cover.

This month, we'll review DL.

  1. Gary Dixon-Maston (Regular Starter, 26yo, 1.5* CA, 1.5* PA, English) - Nothing to write home about (6.62 over 31 games) but he doesn't make any big mistakes. Could be a captain candidate (18 Leadership, 17 Determination) but his Fickle personality concerns me.

I am determined to upgrade this position prior to next season.

Nice find of Mohamed especially with English citizenship. All the pictures are coming through brilliantly. Great work. You are way above the board expectations too it appears. Vanarama National is a tough league. If you get promoted, I don't envy your battle in that division either.

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January 2022

To start the new year, I was offered a 1-year extension to my contract, which I accepted. I also negotiated a larger raise if promoted and a lower salary drop if relegated.

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The team celebrated with a come-from-behind win with Pat Suraci (23yo, 2* CA, 3* PA), a little used striker who hadn't scored in 24 games, heading in the winner with about 10 minutes remaining.

The next day, Jahquan Springer (Star Player, 18yo, 4* CA, 5* PA, English), the Poacher who was leading us in goals with 13, extended his contract for a year. A few days later, McGaughey, the first choice GK, also reupped for a year.

5 games - 2W, 3D. Felt like it could have been much more, but we climbed another spot in the table and set our club record for an unbeaten streak (7 games). The board is absoutely delighted (A).

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This month's position review is DC. There are 4, and we start 2 (playing a 4-4-2).

  1. Benjamin Bennett (Regular Starter, 20yo, 2* CA, 5* PA, English) - Plays on the left and brings a balanced personality to the squad. He already lists me as favored personnel. I hope he can fill this position for a long time.
  2. Jack Burchell (Regular Starter, 19yo, 3* CA, 5*PA, English) - Plays on the right and also has a balanced personality. Has developed a fairly decent partnership with Bennett in a little more than half a season. If these two can be mainstays, we'll have a solid central defense for years to come.
  3. Billy Roast (Squad Player, 26yo, 3* CA, 3.5* PA, English) - Signed to be a starter but has been relegated to spot starts as the youngsters claimed their places. He likely will be let go after the season as his wage is fairly high and he is starting to get antsy about his lack of first-team time.
  4. Jonathan Tumber (Fringe Player, 21yo, 1.5* CA, 3.5* PA, English) - Hasn't seen much time in the first team, mainly playing with the U23s. His time hasn't really justified his wage either. I likely will look for a cheaper replacement when his contract expires in June.
Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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February 2022

As the unbeaten run in the league extended to 9 games, the rumor mill started churning again...

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The players blocked out any potential distractions as they ran the league unbeaten streak to 13, including 5 straight wins. 6 games played - 5W, 1D. The highlight was beating 1st place Billericay Town away from home. The win away against Braintree ensured that we would not be relegated. The board seemed to somehow get less delighted than last month (A-). No matter to me, as I was runner up for the Head Coach of the Month award.

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The end of the month also saw the club president negotiate a free transfer with Stourbridge for Khari Allen (19yo, 2.5* CA, 4* PA, English), a left fullback whom I had placed on the target list. The president signed the player to a contract promising Important Player status. While I'm intrigued, I'm a bit unsure about changing the lineup right now.

This month's position review is DR. It'll be quick because there's only one player.

  1. Trent Mahorn (Important Player, 20yo, 3* CA, 4* PA, English) - Signed early in the season to start immediately, he bumped Ocran into a winger position, which solidified the lineup, and has led to a fairly decent partnership between the two.

 

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March 2022

A mediocre month - 2W, 2D, 2L - that had highs and lows. The win against Bognor Regis was a record 7th straight win and 15th straight game without a loss. A hard-fought loss in a battle against 1st place Woking seemed to deflate us for the rest of the month. However, we did claw our way into the playoff places and guaranteed a final place of no worse than 13th. The board is still delighted by my leadership (A-).

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As the transfer window came to a close, we signed our central defense pair, Bennett and Burchell, to part-time contracts to prevent them from signing elsewhere. I offered each of our central midfield pair to clubs, since they appear unwilling to extend their contracts. One team showed interest in one of them, but he wouldn't agree to the salary offer, so no transfer income.

This month's position review is ML.

  1. Tom Richards (Star Player, 27yo, 2* CA, 2.5* PA, English) - Tom was the first signing I made at the club, being desperate to get a true left winger. He has been a good player this year with 4 goals and 12 assists. He has taken most of our free kicks and corner kicks and has proven to be effective. He's not worth what we are paying him, but we don't have many options. I'm still deciding whether to offer a contract extension.
  2. Tyler Christian-Law (Fringe Player, 29yo, 1.5* CA, 1.5* PA, English) - A natural right winger, Tyler provides decent cover on the left on the rare occasions that Richards needs it. He is the captain from before I joined the team. He lists me as favored personnel, but he is likely in the last few months of his Salisbury career.

Another position in which I will be looking to invest during the offseason.

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April 2022

We slogged our way through the 4 games this month, battling with some injuries and dealing with the pressure of the playoff race. A point in the Havant & Waterloo game sealed a 7th place finish and earned us the playoffs. Jahquan Springer earned a bonus for scoring his 20th league goal to draw level. We'll travel to Woking with a potential rematch against Havant & Waterlooville awaiting us. The board was happy with the performance in the league and remained delighted with my leadership (A-).

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In other news, the new youth arrived bereft of much talent or potential and the takeover rumors continued to buzz.

This month's position review is MC. It may look quite a bit different at the start of next season as the two starters haven't shown any indication of extending their contracts.

  1. Dean Pinnington (Star Player, 19yo, 4* CA, 5* PA, English) - A significant player who contributed 6 goals and 10 assists and a 7.01 average in 51 games played. He is refusing to negotiate an extension because he doesn't believe that Salisbury can match his ambitions. I agreed to a transfer in the final window of the season, but he didn't agree to the salary offered. I'm resigned to losing him this offseason.
  2. Nile John (Star Player, 19yo, 4.5* CA, 5* PA, English) - 4 goals, 6 assists, 6.76 in 52 games. Spent the season learning a Box to Box role. Took a fair amount of corner kicks and free kicks. Also doesn't believe the club can match his ambitions and has a foot out the door. No interest shown in him during the final transfer window.
  3. Abdi Mohamed (Squad Player, 18yo, 3.5* CA, 5* PA, Kenyan/English) - A mid-season free signing who had 2 goals and a 6.79 rating in 20 games, coming off the bench in all but one. He is under contract for another year and will take on a starting role should either of the above players leave. He is an intriguing player who has 6 caps already for Kenya and was called up to the African Cup of Nations this year.
  4. Tyler Christian-Law (Fringe Player, 29yo, 1.5* CA, 1.5* PA, English) - Served as captain because I didn't want to make a change when I arrived. A versatile player who can play anywhere across the midfield, he played more frequently on the outside. He may be brought back if he agrees to a reduced salary and if I can't find a more suitable replacement.
  5. George Smith (Breakthrough Prospect, 21yo, 2* CA, 3*PA, English) - 15 games, 1 goal, 6.79. His contract is expiring, but I may try to resign him at a reduced wage as the assistant coach thinks he's an exciting prospect.
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May/June 2022

Jahquan Springer gave us the early lead against Woking. Young left fullback Khari Allen gave away a penalty to put Woking ahead around the 60:00 mark. The floodgates opened as we threw ourselves into the attack to pull even, and we lost 1-4. Considering that the board expectation was to fight bravely against relegation, and our odds of being sent down were even at the start of the year, I'm very proud of what this team accomplished. I'll work on keeping the important players, replacing the ones that leave, and looking for improved staff members this offseason. The board is very pleased with my overall leadership (B). I'm also proud of earning a National A coaching license this season.

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Jahquan Springer finished 3rd in the league for goals scored with 21.

We got a new main sponsor for our jerseys on a 2-yr, $9.75K p/a deal (up $100 p/a from previous deal).

Player Resignings

  1. Dean Pinnington - The star central midfielder reversed course in late May, agreeing to negotiate if given some promises (playing in his preferred position and role, which is the what he played last year, and strengthen the attacking area of the squad). He also wanted a large raise in salary, to which I felt comfortable agreeing as the payroll budget is going up and I will be releasing some high earners. I jumped at the opportunity to bring him back.
  2. Alfie Cerulli - The target man, who starts on the left side of the striker pair, has worked hard to learn his new role and has scored some significant goals, including being perfect on penalties. He has developed a fairly decent partnership with Springer. He agreed to sign for the same salary as last season.
  3. Brendan Ocran - My assistant didn't want me to bring him back, but I appreciated the way he accepted his move to right winger and played solidly there last season. Frankly, there are many alternatives in the squad for that position either. At the very least, I feel he deserves the opportunity to hold on to his spot. Plus, he accepted a reduced salary.
  4. Trent Mahorn - He performed reasonably well as a right back last season. The lack of options played into this decision, too.
  5. Tom Richards - The starting left winger from last season agreed to a slight pay cut to stay. He led the team in assists, but also in yellow cards, last season.
  6. Jonathan Tumber - The assistant coach recommended I resign him based upon potential. I don't see it, but Tumber accepted a non-contract that won't cost anything unless he majorly improves.

Staff Resignings

  1. Andrew Johnson - Scout
  2. Danny Kedwell - U23s Head Coach
  3. David Martin - Chief Scout
  4. Ian Baird - U18s Coach
  5. Harry Wheeler - U18s Assistant Coach

New Player Signings

  1. Avon Jones (20yo, 3* CA, 5* PA, English) - A central defender, he will replace Billy Roast on the squad and may replace Benjamin Bennett in the 1st team.
  2. Dan Bartlett (21yo, 3* CA, 4.5* PA, English) - A central midfielder brought in as a squad player.

Player Releases

  1. Nile John - I wanted to keep this central midfielder, but he refused to sign because he didn't think the club could match his ambitions.
  2. Billy Roast - Provided cover throughout the defense and the midfield, but he cost too much.
  3. Wadah Amidi - 31yo central midfielder who only made the game day squad a handful of times and saw the field even less.
  4. Zach Dainkeh - Had some potential talent but didn't have a path to a position without major retraining.
  5. George Smith - Pushed out by the signing of Bartlett.
  6. Tyler Christian-Law - Provided important cover on the wings, but at too high a price. He was the captain last season, so we'll see how morale is affected.
  7. Cole Brown - The right winger who injured his knee and created an opportunity for Ocran to reenter the lineup. Never seemed to completely recover.
  8. Pat Suraci - The 3rd striker last season, but he was significantly below the starters. I'm searching for a more versatile replacement.

Staff Releases

  1. Mark Ricketts - Assistant Coach - He wasn't bad. I just thought I could do better.
  2. Emma Constantine - Physio - She was decent, but I wanted someone younger who might improve.
  3. Luke Ireland - Scout - The lesser of our 2 scouts.
  4. Jamie Mason - U18s Head Coach - I wanted to see what else was out there.
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July 2022

New Player Signings

  1. Rubin Wilson (20yo, 2.5* CA, 5* PA, English) - I envision Wilson as a versatile player who can provide cover as a winger on either side. He needs training to learn these roles, but he could become a very important player.
  2. Wilberforce Ocran (23yo, 3* CA, 4.5* PA, English) - Prior to this signing, we had no depth at striker. I believe that he will be able to fulfill either striker role in our system of play.

Staff Signings

  1. Mark Avon - Scout
  2. Ryan Dickson - Assistant Coach

Pre-season Predictions

18th in the league; 11-1 promotion odds; 4-1 relegation odds

Competition Expectations from Board

Vanarama National South: Avoid a relegation battle

FA Cup: 4th Qualifying Round (minimum)

FA Trophy: 1st Round (minimum)

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After an undefeated pre-season, we started with a big away win against Eastleigh. Tom Richards was on the bench due to a carryover red card from last season, but Rubin Wilson had an auspicious debut by scoring the winning goal.

Here's a peak at the squad as we roll into August.

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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August 2022

A frustrating month as we struggled to score and left many points on the field. A comeback from a 2-goal, 2nd half deficit against Ebbsfleet and the victory at Braintree provided a glimmer of hope as we move to September.

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I started studying for my Continental C license.

Staff Signings

  1. Mike Cook - U18s Head Coach

I'm going to start position reviews again. This month's focus will be Attackers.

  1. Jahquan Springer (19yo, 4* CA, 5* PA, English) - An important player who was the leading goal-scorer last season playing in a Poacher role. I'm expecting similar output from him this year. I have given him the role of Vice Captain and sent him to a leadership course. We have a very close relationship. He lists me as a favored personnel, and he is certainly one of mine.
  2. Alfie Cerulli (21yo, 2* CA, 4.5* PA, English) - A breakthrough prospect, but he has started most of the games in my time at Salisbury. I have asked him to learn a Target Man role, and he is slowly making progress. There is a lot of mutual respect between us.
  3. Wilberforce Ocran (23yo, 3* CA, 4.5*PA, English) - He was signed during the offseason to be the 3rd striker. I have high hopes for him.

I am seeking to add one more to the main squad and to find some youth players to develop depth. The youth likely will come through signings as our facilities are poor and our recruitment and academy coaching are basic.

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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September 2022

Not the best month, but we did climb a couple spots.

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On a personal note, I was a bit surprised to be offered interviews from 4 clubs this month: Torquay (Vanarama National South), Fylde (Vanarama National), Cambridge (Vanarama National), and Southend (SkyBet League 2). I turned them down because none of them seem to be great situations and I'd like to continue seeing what I can do with Salisbury.

Our position review looks at GK, which doesn't look much different from last year.

  1. Kain McGaughey (21yo, 2.5* CA, 4* PA) - He is still the 1st choice. In fact, he's been the only choice since he signed early last season. He has not been outstanding, by any means, but I didn't feel an need to search for a replacement.
  2. Alfie Bonfield (23yo, 1* CA, 2* PA) - He hasn't played since McCaughey arrived. This likely will be his last season with the club as my scouts are observing several alternatives.
  3. Gary Moore (16yo, 1* CA, 3* PA) - He was part of last spring's youth intake. He's playing with the U23s since we don't have many players outside of the regular squad.
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October 2022

A successful month with regards to the FA Cup saw us exceed the board's expectations for that competition and earn some much-needed money. A disappointing month in the league saw us create chances but fail to capitalize on them. We're falling away from the playoff places.

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For position reviews, I'm going to combine some areas since not many things have changed from last year. This month will focus on outside backs (DRL)

  1. Trent Mahorn (20yo, 3* CA, 5* PA) - Has been a fixture at right back since his signing last year. I'm not sure he's a long-term answer, but his potential and his Fairly Determined personality have allowed him to hold onto the position thus far. I've been scouting for someone to give him some competition.
  2. Khari Allen (19yo, 3* CA, 5* PA) - Has been getting nearly all of the time at left back since he joined the club. I was about to pull him from the lineup earlier in the season, but he seems to have found a new level recently. He has the ability to make good decisions and tackle well.
  3. Gary Dixon-Maston (27yo, 1.5* CA, 1.5* PA) - He's basically an emergency backup. I reluctantly named him captain at the beginning of the season despite his Fickle personality. I am now regretting that move as he's complaining about playing time and beginning to cause a distraction in the locker room. I probably will release him as soon as I find someone suitable who can cover both outside back positions.
  4. Brian Gearie (17yo, 2.5* silver CA, 2* PA) - A right back who was part of the youth intake. Is very brave and show some ability to make good decisions. Has a decent leadership ability but low determination ability and unambitious personality.
  5. Paul Townsend (17yo, 1.5* CA, 3.5* PA) - A left back with a high work rate and potential to play a wingback role. I'm eager to see how he develops. Currently playing with the U23s.
  6. Alfie Reid (17yo, 1.5* CA, 3* PA) - Another left back prospect but more of a defensive fullback. Decent marking and tackling ability.
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November 2022

I was disappointed not to pull off an FA Cup upset, but I was proud of how we played the rest of the month. Especially since we had to make up some postponed games due to a waterlogged field. We climbed within shouting distance of the playoff places as the middle of the season neared. The board was pleased with my leadership, especially off the field. Jahquan Springer ended his goal drought with a hat trick in the 1st half against Wealdstone and stayed hot the rest of the month, scoring most of our goals.

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This month brings a review of central defense (DCL & DCR). This position area may be the strength of the squad. In addition to those listed below, there are 3 youth who have yet to impress much, though they play on the U23s.

  1. Jack Burchell (20yo, 3.5* CA, 5* PA) - He brings strong Positioning, Heading, Tackling, and Determination to the right side of a good partnership.
  2. Benjamin Bennett (21yo, 2.5* CA, 5* PA) - As the left side of the partnership, I believe he plays better than his scouting rating may indicate. Strengths are Positioning, Marking, and Anticipation.
  3. Avon Jones (20yo, 2.5* CA, 4.5* PA) - Signed during the offseason to provide cover to the starters. I have no qualms about inserting him in the lineup if either of the above players is injured or needs a rest. He often starts cup games in place of one of them. Currently, he is content to be a squad player.
  4. Jonathan Tumber (21yo, 2* CA, 3* PA) - His path is blocked by 3 players who are much superior in ability. I am training him as a right back in an attempt to get him more time.
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1 hour ago, anagain said:

Things are looking up. You can definitely push for those play off spots.

I do love that you have a player named Wilberforce. Great name.

I hope we make a push. A significant factor in why I refused the interviews is that I believe this team is on the brink of some solid achievements.

Unfortunately, Wilberforce has been anything but a force so far this season. Mostly, he's been Wilber-takingupspace.

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December 2022

On the field, we were undefeated in the league for the month. The team gave me a nice Christmas gift in beating Torquay, increasing my confidence that I had made the correct move in turning down the interview with them. While we dropped out of the FA Trophy, we had reached the minimum standard set by the board. We sit 6 points out of the playoffs at the halfway point of the season but hold 2 games in hand. The end of the year sees us on a 7 game unbeaten streak (5W, 2 D).

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Off the field, I was offered 2 more interviews (Oxford, Stevenage) but refused them. I don't want to walk away from this Salisbury team yet. An injury to Brendan Ocran (pulled hamstring, 2 weeks) saw me sign Sam Austin to the squad. For his debut, he bagged the only 2 goals against St. Albans. He agreed to a non-contract as a fringe player, but I believe he can cover either winger position.

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An appropriate signing, as this month the reviewed positions are the wingers (ML and MR).

  1. Brendan Ocran (25yo, 2.5* CA. 4* PA) - Continues to start on the right side.  Uses his Acceleration (14), Agility (14) and Pace (12) effectively to beat opposing players down the line. A bit injury-prone usually only out for a couple days. Hopefully, the recent hamstring injury doesn't become chronic.
  2. Tom Richards (28yo, 2* CA & PA) - The regular starter on the left side. While the scouts say he's beginning to decline, his Natural Fitness (15), Teamwork (14), Flair (13) and Work Rate (12) seem to mask those declines. He is effective at taking corners. He soon may be pushed by Wilson. Many eyes will be on him during the 2nd half of the season to see if we should keep him or let him go.
  3. Rubin Wilson (21yo, 2.5* CA, 4.5* PA) - Frequently comes on in a substitute role to replace Richards late in the game. His strengths are Work Rate (14), Teamwork (13), Bravery (11) and Determination (11). It's probably getting to the time to offer him a contract. He's still training for the winger role, but seems to be adapting well.
  4. Austin - see above. Given his recent arrival, I haven't figured if he may fit into long-term plans yet.
  5. Youth players - 6; none of whom look to offer much promise long-term
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January 2023

This year started the same way that last year did. I asked for a minimal raise and received it. I also was able to get them to drop the Relegation Salary Drop clause.

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Shortly thereafter, Pinnington agreed to a contract extension. I was happy to get him signed. Last year, it came down to the wire.

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Also, I signed a young fullback who will start on the U23s while providing emergency cover for the 1st team. As a result, I chose to release Gary Dixon-Maston, who had been the captain but had a fickle personality and had declined below the point that he could help the club. Of course, this meant choosing a new captain so Dan Bartlett was chosen as the replacement.

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One more early resigning...

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The dismissal of the captain didn't seem to bother the team against 1st place Havant & Waterlooville. The fans must have enjoyed it as twice we took the lead only to concede tying goals. The game winner came with about 10 seconds left in injury time. Frustrating draws against Weymouth and Dorking. We should have come out of those games with more than 2 points. The frustration seemed to show its ugly head against Eastleigh, but we closed out the month on a roll. We are on the edge of reaching the playoff positions. February is going to be an important month. We start with 4 teams that we ought to beat followed by a big match with Dulwich Hamlet.

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I asked the board for a senior affiliate to bring in some income. They agreed it was a good idea but failed to find any suitable club.

Position Review - Central Midfield (MCL & MCR)

Strong but little depth

  1. Dean Pinnington (20yo, 4* CA, 5* PA) - Plays on the right with a Central Midfielder support role. Looks for a pass rather than a score, which matches ability (Passing - 14, Finishing - 4). Also has strengths in Decisions (13) and Technique (13). The highest paid player on the team, he may be overpaid, but he is so important.
  2. Dan Bartlett (22yo, 3* CA, 5* PA) - Was signed to be the 3rd option but entered the lineup early in the season after scoring some big free kick goals. Plays on the left and learning an Advanced Playmaker attacking role. Vision, Decisions, and Passing are all 14. Took as captain after the release of Dixon-Maston.
  3. Abdi Mohamed (19yo, 3.5* CA, 4.5* PA) - The original plan was for him to be the starting partner with Pinnington, but it was fairly obvious that Bartlett is the better player. Has 11 caps with the Kenyan national team without much individual success. Strengths are First Touch (14) and Technique (13) with Passing, Decisions, Vision and Work Rate all 12.

I'm looking to bring in one more as the 5 youth options don't look promising.

 

 

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February 2023

A frustrating month, as we struggled to score and dropped some important points as a result. The loss to Bath and the draw with Margate were especially disappointing even though they were away games. I think our mini-funk played a role in the loss at home to Dulwich Hamlet. On the positive side, we do sit in playoff position with 10 games remaining (though we could have been sitting in 4th) and the board is delighted with my leadership.

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Not much to mention off the field. I continue to send scouts to watch many potential players, but I am becoming more selective about who I shortlist and target.

Position Reviews - Striker (STC)

  1. Jahquan Springer (19yo, 3.5* CA, 4.5* PA) - This poacher is clearly our #1 attacker. He has scored 42 goals in 93 appearances with Salisbury. He serves as vice-captain and has completed a leadership course. He has strong Off the Ball ability (15) and is pretty athletic for this level. Interestingly, he is not a tremendous Finisher (11), which result in some moments when I hold my head in my hands wondering how he missed that. However, when we really need a goal, he generally finds a way to score and, frequently, do so in bunches.
  2. Alfie Cerulli (22yo, 2* CA, 3.5* PA) - Has made slow progress in learning to be a Target Man. Can be inconsistent and doesn't like big matches, but I haven't found anyone to provide him much competition. Each time I'm about ready to try someone else, he seems to go on a hot streak.
  3. Wilberforce Ocran (23yo, 3* CA, 4.5* PA) - Hasn't had much of an impact since signing in the offseason. I know that sometimes the first season with a new team can be difficult so I'm willing to be patient with him. He definitely has the ability to become a solid striker.
  4. Matt Weston (20yo, 2* CA, 4* PA) - Has primarily played with the U23s and has performed well, scoring 6 times in 14 games. He is a bright prospect for the future who needs some time to develop.

Like most of the positions on the team, there aren't any promising players in the youth.

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March 2023

A disappointing month that showed what happens when Springer isn't scoring goals. I'm fairly disappointed with where the season appears to be headed. Right now, we're on pace to finish worse than last season with what I thought was a better team. I decided to give Wilberforce Ocran a run as the other striker this month. Although he scored a penalty against Poole, he didn't do anything else. When I finally reinstated Cerulli to the lineup, Springer broke his goal drought with a brace, leading us past 3rd place Chelmsford. The board's approval, while still positive, dropped significantly.

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I also managed to upset Springer and Pinnington by not strengthening central midfield. It wasn't for lack of trying. A potential loan from our affiliate Reading was rejected by the player. A potential signing chose to go elsewhere because I wouldn't promise him Important Player playing time, which he wasn't good enough to receive on our squad. Springer accepted my apology and gave me another opportunity. Pinning ton reacted negatively.

Since I've reviewed all the positions this season, I thought that I'd give you a peak at the facilities at the club. You may not want to look...it's pretty ugly.

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April 2023

Springer apparently wasn't very upset with me as he signed a contract extension.

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On the recommendation of the HoYD, I agreed to sign 5 players from the youth intake.

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The team responded well to the March disappointment by securing the final playoff spot. 

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The day after we made the playoffs, 2 important players signed contract extensions, which brought me great relief.

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The month's success led to recognition in the HCoM award:

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We head into the playoffs on a bit of a roll. Maybe we can pull off a few upsets.

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May 2023

We gave it a good run, but we continued to have difficulty scoring. The hurt went a little deeper when Eastleigh was promoted after beating Ebbsfleet on penalties in the semifinal and Chelmsford on penalties in the final. I'll try to improve the squad, and we'll give it another go next season.

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End of Season Awards and Stat Leaders

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Squad Stats

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Season Review

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Records Set

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Staff Extensions

  1. Ryan Dickson - Assistant Coach - 1-yr extension - He completed his Continental A license this season and has begun working on his Continental Pro license.

Player Extensions

  1. Brendan Ocran - The right winger agreed to a non-contract with a $425 appearance fee with Fringe Player playing time
  2. Alfie Cerulli - Agreed to a non-contract with a $500 appearance fee with Fringe Player playing time

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June 2023

I earned my Continental B license and received permission to study for my Continental A license.

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Player Extensions

  1. Khari Allen - Left Fullback - Non-contract with $170 appearance fee and Breakthrough Prospect playing time - 53 games, 4 assists, 6.66 (last season's stats)
  2. Jack Burchell - Central Defender - 1-yr extension, $22K, Important Player - 49 (0) games, 1 goal, 6.88
  3. Benjamin Bennett - Central Defender - Non-contract, $300 appearance fee, Breakthrough Prospect - 50 (1) games, 1 goal, 6.91
  4. Avan Jones - Central Defender - Non-contract, $275 appearance fee, Breakthrough Prospect - 11 (24) games, 6.67
  5. Wilberforce Ocran - Target Man - Non-contract, $350 appearance fee, Fringe Player - 18 (20) games, 4 goals, 6.71
  6. Kain McGaughey - GK - 1-yr extension, $21K, First-Choice GK - 54 (0) games, 45 goals allowed, 21 shutouts, 6.85
  7. Dan Bartlett - Advanced Playmaker (MC) - 1-yr extension, $28.5K, Regular Starter - 44 (5) games, 3 goals, 10 assists, 7.15

Player Releases

  1. Tom Richards - I had dropped him from the team at the end of last season. I want to bring in someone younger to push Rubin Wilson.

Players Leaving

  1. Abdi Mohamed - I was very disappointed to lose this central midfielder, but we weren't able to agree on playing time. He signed with Kenyan club Gor Mahia on a free transfer.

New Player Signings

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Staff Extensions

  1. Andrew Johnson - Scout - Judging Player Ability (10), Judging Player Potential (11)
  2. Kyle Fairgreave - Head Physio - Physiotherapy (13)
  3. Danny Kedwell - U23s Head Coach
  4. Ian Baird - U18s Coach
  5. Ryan Northmore - GK Coach - GK Handling (13), GK Shot Stopping (12), GK Distribution (11)
  6. David Martin - Chief Scout - Judging Player Ability (11), Judging Player Potential (11)
  7. Harry Wheeler - U18s Assistant Coach

Staff Releases

  1. Martin Riley - Head of Youth Development
  2. Mike Cook - U18s Head Coach
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July 2023

New Player Signings

Jordan Hamilton - I would like to attempt to convert him to a winger on the right side.

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Bekim Berisha - Brought in on loan from our affiliate club Reading to be an option at left winger after the injury to Rubin Wilson (ankle, 3 weeks).

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Staff Signings

  1. Emma Constantine - Physio - Brought her back after a year away. It was a mistake to let her go.
  2. Alex Baptiste - Head of Youth Development - Working with Youngsters (12), Judging Player Ability (11), Judging Player Potential (12)
  3. Darren Kelly - U18s Head Coach

Staff Leavings

  1. Ryan Dickson - Assistant Manager - Left to become Manager at Hereford. While I was happy with Dickson, I wasn't going to stand in the way of his career aspirations. We received $21.5K compensation.

Pre-Season Predictions

League: 16th (oddsmakers), 20th (media); 11-1 promotion odds, 4-1 relegation odds

Competition Expectations from Board

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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August 2023

New Player Signing - Rayner Silva - Brought in after a number of players were concerned about the central midfield depth.

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Staff Signings - Stephan Morley was promoted from Coach to Assistant Coach after a disappointing response to an advertisement.

 

On the field, a nearly perfect start had the board in disbelief and led to an award for Jahquan Springer and recognition for me.

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September 2023

3 close defeats saw us drop out of 1st place in the league. I turned down an interview with Forest Green, which sits last in League One. I want to see how this season ends after seeing the early successes the team has had.

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October 2023

The month began with an offer for a contract extension. While I wasn't concerned about job security, I'm not looking to leave, so I signed it.

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I signed a new coach to fill the void created by promoting Morley to Assistant Manager.

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A successful month saw us maintain our league standing and surpass the board's minimum expectation for the FA Cup.

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The team has its first leaders in captain Dan Bartlett and Brendan Ocran. They contribute to the very good team cohesion and the good locker room atmosphere. Both of those have impacted our success greatly so far this season.

Meanwhile, Springer continued receiving notice for the strong start to his season.

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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November 2023

We upset Carlisle in their home stadium in the FA Cup, and after the game, they immediately fired their manager. (In our locker room, Dan Bartlett's agent approached me about a better contract. We quickly agreed to terms through June 2025.) Jordan Hamilton, a Nigerian/English DR whom I am trying to convert to MR, scored the game-winning goal even though he his Finishing ability is 1.

I'm excited about my first televised game...and the $ that comes with it!

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We lost some ground in the league, perhaps in part due to match congestion. As a result, I played a team of mostly reserves in the FA Trophy game. It almost backfired, but Springer scored late as a sub to draw. The same team squeaked out the replay at home. Hopefully, the rest for the regular starters will pay off in the FA Cup game and the league games in December.

McGaughey gave away a point against Kingstonian when, after we scored a goal to tie with about 10 minutes remaining and I shifted us to defensive mode, he dallied on the ball and had an opposing striker take it off his foot and pass it into the open net. I hope that point doesn't damage us at the end of the season. While McGaughey has been solid for us, I don't think he would be enough quality at a higher level. I'm probably going to have our scouts focus on potential replacements for him.

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I jumped on another young free signing that I hope will help our winger depth. Though he doesn't have much experience on the left side, I'm asking him to train there.

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I quickly squashed rumors that linked me with Hull. There is no way I am willingly leaving Salisbury this season!

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December 2023

The clock struck midnight on our Cinderella cup run. Down 2 of our regular defenders due to accumulated cards suspensions, we didn’t stand much of a chance against Burton. We set the club records for match attendance (2898) and gate receipts ($60K) so there was a significant financial benefit to getting this far, but would we be demoralized after the drubbing that we took? In the league, it could have been a month that hurt our league chances due to match congestion and little depth. Instead, we shook off the loss and grinded out 4 consecutive league wins to close the gap to Chelmsford.

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There doesn't appear to be much help coming from the youth intake. I'm holding out hope that the central midfield prospect is as good as reported here.

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They were ugly wins, but I still appreciated the recognition.

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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January 2024

The good news...we extended our unbeaten streak in the league to 11 games. The bad news...4 of those have been draws, primarily to teams that we should have beaten. We fought valiantly against Hartlepool as we attempted to advance in the FA Trophy. Unfortunately, our lack of depth meant playing much of the first team in those games, which, in retrospect, I believe cost us valuable points against Wocking and, perhaps, Welling. We did wind up the month with an entertaining win against Margate on what was a fan day, so I hope the attendance improves based upon that. I'm afraid that Chelmsford is too far ahead in points for us to challenge for the title, especially given our difficulty in scoring goals. I am feeling fairly confident that we will hold onto a playoff spot. With a little luck, we could earn ourselves a bye through the first round of playoffs.

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The board are thrilled even if they are in disbelief...

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I was able to extend a couple of key players - Pinnington (MCR) and Hamilton (MR). Hamilton has been a gem, who has performed much better than his attributes would suggest. I had 3 transfer offers for him, but his agent said he would be happy to remain at the club. With an eye toward the future, I added a young central midfielder, who I believe can develop into a good player. If the youth intake isn't going to have talent, the scouts are going to have to find some.

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February 2024

We extended our league unbeaten streak to 18 games and closed the gap to Chelmsford to 2 points. Prior to the Kingstonian game, we had run our winning streak to 7 games. By no means are we playing a "beautiful game," but our grind-it-out style has been effective. The board expectation for the season was to avoid relegation. The worst we can finish is 17th, so we have crushed that goal. We have a home game against Chelmsford in the penultimate game of the season. Hopefully, we can be in a spot to make that game meaningful.

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Thanks to the grit and determination of the squad I received the first award of my career. I appreciated the club President Josh Riches recognizing me publicly for it.

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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March 2024

The outstanding form continued through March as we caught Chelmsford and clinched a playoff spot.

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We also set a club record and a league record in the process

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Dan Bartlett finished 3rd in voting for Player of the Month. I finished 2nd for Head Coach of the Month.

I went to sleep on March 31 hoping that I would not wake up to this success being a cruel April Fools' joke.

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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April 2024

It wasn't a joke. After starting the month with an away win over Hampton & Richmond, we were even on points with Chelmsford with four games remaining and home-field advantage for the remaining game between us.

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We headed to Torquay and Chelmsford hosted Dulwich Hamlet...

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Still even as we hosted Ebbsfleet and they went to Bath...and gave away a late penalty, stumbling to a loss!

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With a 1 point lead, we welcomed Chelmsford to Raymond McEnhill Stadium with the possibility of wrapping up the title! Jordan Hamilton gave us an early lead, and my heart leapt into my throat. Trent Mahorn committed an unnecessary foul that gave them the penalty kick that drew the game.

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It would come down to the final game of the season. Beat Dartford, and claim the title regardless of what Chelmsford did. Springer scored early, and Weston quickly followed with a penalty. It was just a matter of time. A couple meaningless goals, and we had done it! We went unbeaten in our final 30 games in the Vanarama South and in our final 21 games overall!

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May 2024

First, the end of season awards and stats for the club...

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Followed by club news...

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MK Dons offered an interview, which I quickly declined. Right now, I feel that I am too invested in this club to leave for another club. I'd like to see where I can take them.

We will begin renting Silverlake Stadium in Eastleigh as The Raymond McEnhill Stadium does not meet the minimum capacity requirements for the Vanarama National League.

We agreed to a new main jersey sponsorship worth $21K p/a for 2 years. (The previous deal was worth $9.65K p/a.)

We were named biggest overachievers in the FA Cup.

New team records set include:

  1. Most goals scored in a season  - Jahquan Springer (29, previously held by him at 22).
  2. Most Player of the Match awards in a season - Dan Bartlett (15, previously held by Springer at 8)
  3. Most shutouts in a season - Kain McGaughey (29, previously held by him at 22).
  4. Fewest league defeats - 5

Vanarama South records set and awards received include:

  1. Most shutouts in a season - McCaughey (24, previous record was 23)
  2. Top Goalscorer Award - Springer (24)
  3. Head Coach of the Season - Bucky Badger (much to the delight of President Josh Riches)
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Just now, anagain said:

Congrats on the title win. 

Thank you. It was a nice surprise as I was pretty sure that we wouldn't score consistently enough to challenge Chelmsford. Our defense kept us close. I was stunned when they lost to Bath and opened the door for us.

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June 2024

Preston North End (Championship League) offered an interview. I was tempted but turned them down ultimately.

Finances - According to the board we are "okay." The club currently sits about $123K in the red, which is better than the same time last year, as the club earned a profit of about $176K last season.

Performance Review by Board

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Squad Dynamics

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I completed my Continental A License course and immediately asked the club to take the Continental Pro License course. They were delighted to agree.

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Player Extensions

  1. Jahquan Springer - STCR (Poacher) - 3* CA, 4* PA - Important Player has been the leading scorer each season that I've been here.
  2. Matt Weston - STCL (Target Man, Support) - 2* CA, 4* PA - Still learning the role, but when he joined the starting 11, we started our unbeaten streak last season. Has established a fairly decent partnership with Springer so far.
  3. Trent Mahorn - DR (Fullback, Defend) - 3* CA, 4* PA - While coaches continue to insist that he is a Fringe Player, he actually has started most of the games.
  4. Jack Burchell - DCR (Central Defender, Defend) - 3* CA, 5* PA - One half of a good partnership, he has been an Important Player during his tenure with the club.
  5. Benjamin Bennett - DCL (Central Defender, Defend) - 2.5* CA, 4* PA - The other half of the partnership. Another player whom the coaches classify as a Fringe Player. He started 43 of 46 games in the league last season.
  6. Avan Jones - DC (Central Defender, Defend) - 2.5* CA, 4* PA - 22yo made significant strides this year. I have no hesitation putting him in the lineup when Burchell or Bennett need a break.
  7. Kain McGaughey - GK (Sweeper Keeper, Defend) - 2* CA, 3* PA - Has played every minute of every game since I signed him 3 seasons ago. He seems to outplay his ability. Though not highly rated, he's the best I have and has been very effective. I'm a bit concerned that next season may be too high a level for him.
  8. Paul Townsend - DL (Wingback, Defend) - 1.5* CA, 3* PA - 19yo who the staff recommended signing to a professional contract after training with us as a youth. I'm not expecting much.
  9. Alfie Reid - DL (Fullback, Defend) - 1.5* CA, 2.5* PA - 18yo who the staff recommended. Not expecting much here either, though he appears to be better than Townsend.

Staff Extensions

  1. Sam Avon - Scout - Judging Player Ability (11), Judging Player Potential (11)
  2. Andrew Johnson - Scout - Judging Player Ability (10), Judging Player Potential (11)
  3. David Martin - Chief Scout - Judging Player Ability (11), Judging Player Potential (12)
  4. Danny Kedwell - U23s Head Coach - Holds a National A License
  5. Darren Kelly - U18s Head Coach - Holds a Continental Pro License - Working with Youngsters/Technical/Defending (14), Tactical (13), Judging Player Ability (11), Judging Player Potential (6)
  6. Harry Wheeler - U18s Assistant Coach - Holds a Continental A License - Working with Youngsters (16), Tactical (10), Judging Player Ability (8), Judging Player Potential (8)
  7. Ian Baird - U18s Coach - Holds a National A License - Working with Youngsters (20), Defending (14)
  8. Alex Baptiste - Head of Youth Development - Studying for a Continental Pro License - Working with Youngsters (12), Judging Player Ability (12), Judging Player Potential (13)
  9. Ryan Northmore - GK Coach - Holds a Continental A License - Distribution (11), Handling (13), Shot Stopping (12)
  10. Casey Sharman - Coach - Holds a Continental C License - Technical (13), Mental (11), Attacking/Defending (10)
  11. Kyle Fairgreave - Head Physio - Physiotherapy (14)
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July 2024

A fantastic start to the month when Bekim Berisha, who had been on loan with us from senior affiliate Reading last season, agreed to sign with us. Berisha was another significant player for us during our unbeaten run last season, as he made the left wing position his. I didn't think he'd have any interest in staying with us. I'm happy to be proven wrong. He already has a fairly decent partnership with Allen behind him. He will remain in the starting 11.

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Since our youth intakes don't bring us much talent, I have been signing young talent to develop. Here are the most recent signings:

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Season Predictions

24th (media, oddsmakers); 50-1 promotion odds, 1-5 relegation odds

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We beat who we should have and hung tough with bigger teams (while earning some much-needed ticket income) in the pre-season.

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August 2024

As the league games begin, here's the current squad.

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There aren't any changes from last season. There are some players who will likely be of little or no help. However, they are on non-contract agreements and cost little or nothing.

 

Results & Table

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We have started solidly and find ourselves in a playoff position. With the exception of the Boston United game, the defense has continued to perform well.

Late in the month, there were some rumors about a takeover, but the club president has squashed those in the past. Right now, though, the owner status says in the process of a board takeover. I'm anxiously awaiting the outcome as I feel that the president and I have had a very good working relationship.

 

Awards

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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September 2024

Results & Table

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The wheels fell off this month. Springer and Weston combined for 1 goal (Springer against Solihull Moors in the final 10 minutes down 0-4) after their brilliant performances last month. Berisha was injured early in the game against Wrexham and didn't return until the Sutton game. McGaughey appeared unable to stop shots from anywhere, especially from outside the 18, reigniting my concerns about his ability to raise his game to this level. The media and fans couldn't understand why I wouldn't experiment with new formations. Several players in the squad expressed their disappointment with the locker room atmosphere. I explained to them that complaining about it wouldn't change anything and that they needed to focus on their soccer. We are outside the relegation zone after losing 6 straight but only because of our win total. Fortunately, the president squashed the takeover rumors so I believe my job is still secure.

Player Signings

Another player brought in for youth purposes

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October 2024

Results & Table

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From a winless month to an unbeaten month. We didn't improve much in terms of putting the ball in the back of the net, but we returned to our stinginess in allowing goals. We are now placed solidly mid-table. We also earned a chunk of change from the FA Cup.

Players Leaving - Rubin Wilson was signed away by Tamworth. I'm disappointed to lose him, but he had fallen behind Jordan Hamilton and Brendan Ocran at MR, having only made 13 appearances since the start of last season, so I don't blame him for leaving.

This month saw me reach a career milestone, but I hope it's just the start of the journey.

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  • Lodi Lemmer changed the title to [FM20] Climbing Up the Salisbury Hill

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