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[FM20] Climbing Up the Salisbury Hill


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October 2032

Contract Extension

The month began with an offer to extend my contract by a year with a $7K raise, which I accepted so that we could be done with it for awhile.

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Results & Table

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I imagine the board may have been slightly disappointed about my contract extension after the Wycombe game. We collapsed against Plymouth giving away a 2 goal lead late. We had the better of the game against Sunderland but surrendered a late goal to get knocked out of the cup. We bounced back with a solid win against Forest Green that saw us rise into a promotion place with a game in hand compared to the two clubs ahead of us. If we had held on against Plymouth, we would be sitting in 1st place!

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Awards

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Ainsley had an outstanding month and deserves much credit for our improved attack this year. He seems to be settling into the squad quite nicely and has developed a good partnership with Kevin Scott in central midfield.

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November 2032

 

Results & Table

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We scored less goals in total this month than we scored against Peterborough in one game last month! As a result, we were knocked out of the FA Cup. We had already qualified for the next round of the Leasing.com Trophy so the loss didn't end our trophy hopes. The victory against Burton stretched our league unbeaten streak to 5 games, but our poor performance against Salford cost us a position at the top of the table.

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December 2032

 

Results & Table

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We finally scored some goals late in the month, and we climbed into a promotion place with about half the season to go. We also have a game in hand thanks to a waterlogged pitch that forced a postponement against Peterborough.

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Staff News

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Once again, the board showed their commitment to supporting coaching education by approving a request for him to take the Continental Pro course.

 

Player Leaving

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A shock late as club legend Dan Bartlett (MC), who had been on a month to month contract after not signing an extension, left the club just before the start of the new year. I attempted to begin negotiations, but his agent refused, saying that Bartlett wanted a new challenge. He had not been complaining and, though he wasn't a regular starter, he was still getting time and playing an important role. His departure left us a bit shorthanded in midfield depth as the transfer window opened. I'm not sure how I'm going to address this issue yet.

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14 minutes ago, anagain said:

Got behind but just caught up with your thread. Looking good for a promotion push.

I'd like to think so. I need to address the depth in central midfield after Bartlett left the club during the last week of December.

Thank you for reading!

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January 2033

 

Results & Table

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We started the year off with 2 victories, which saw us climb into the top spot, but a scoring drought saw us slide back to 2nd. I hope we can stay up there after the hits we took during the transfer window.

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Awards

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I hope he can continue this form because we're going to need it down the stretch.

 

Transfer Window News

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While I wasn't looking to get rid of Lee, I don't believe that he is irreplaceable, and this offer will be worth minimally double his value. The sale caused an issue with Fitzpatrick. He better get over it quickly because he needs to fill a hole created by the following sale. (Thanks to a minimum fee release clause.)

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On the plus side, the Nelson signing set a club record for a fee received. It also goes a long way to securing the finances.

 

Board News

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It will be interesting to see the result of this decision. I didn't like him as much as the previous owner, but he was pretty good.

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February 2033

 

Club Takeover

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The owner invested a nice chunk of change and nearly doubled the transfer budget. Now, if he could generate some interest from players on whom it's worth spending the transfer budget.

 

Results & Table

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Not a great month but better than I anticipated based upon the transfer of Nelson. We're still in the title fight, but I'm not sure if we have the scoring ability to stay there.

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March 2033

 

Results & Table

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An unbeaten month extended our streak to 9 games. The defense performed very well, and 6 different players scored our first 7 goals of the month. Brannigan finally scored after being quiet for nearly 8 games to salvage a draw against Gillingham. We continue to hang near the top of the table despite the loss of 2 starters during the transfer window.

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Awards

Chris Ainsley (MC) had the 3rd best goal of the month while I finished 3rd in Manager of the Month voting.

 

International Callups - March

Mohammed Fattal (70 caps/6 goals) - Lebanon - World Cup qualifying

Orrett Fitzpatrick (7 caps/4 goals) and Andre Hearne (18 caps/1 goal) - Jamaica - World Cup qualifying

Keston Robinson (36 caps/1 goal) - Trinidad & Tobago - World Cup qualifying

Tom Phillips (0 caps) - English U20s - U20 Elite League

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April 2033

 

The month began with news of a significant injury to the player we likely could least afford to lose in the final month of a promotion battle.

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Results

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We continued our strong form to the end of the season extending our unbeaten run to 14 games. Fitzpatrick's scored his 100th goal for the club in the Dag & Red match, which secured promotion to League One. Jermaine Honeyghan deserves credit for performing so well in the first 4 games of the month until starting GK Tom Phillips, who was out injured, was able to return for the final game. Our victory against Walsall on the final day prevented them from achieving automatic promotion. When combined with Peterborough's draw against Mansfield, it gave us even better news!

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After the match, the reactions started...

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At the beginning of the season, I had hoped that we might be able to sneak into the playoffs. I believed automatic promotion was out of the question. A championship was unthinkable! Yet, the final table showed us sitting at the top.

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My concerns about not scoring enough were unnecessary. We finished 1st in goals scored. I didn't consider us a strong defensive team, yet we finished 2nd in goals allowed.

 

Simon Brannigan had a fantastic season and deserves the accolades floating in the rumor mills.

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Staffing Increases Allowed

As a result of promotion, the board has allowed me to increase the number of coaches in the senior squad and the U23s by 1 and in the U18s by 2. They also allowed me another scout. I placed advertisements for a senior squad coach and for a scout. I hope I get some solid applicants.

 

Youth Preview & Intake

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Apparently, Neal Jordan is the "fine prospect" at striker "who has caught the eye." I'm not seeing it. The HoYD was pretty accurate about it being a "very poor crop of players" though.

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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May 2033 (End of Season Review)

 

Season Review

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Awards, Stats Leaders & Team of the Season

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As I alluded to last month, Simon Brannigan was the key player to our success. I completely agree with the fans' choice.

 

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Season Squad Stats

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Commercial Summary

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Staff Moves

Liam Bradley was promoted from U23s Head Coach to Coach on the senior squad to fill the position added by the board.

 

International Callups

Orrett Fitzpatrick (7 caps/4 goals) and Andre Hearne (19 caps/1 goal) to Jamaica for World Cup qualifying

Keston Robinson (36 caps/1 goal) to Trinidad & Tobago for World Cup qualifying

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June 2033

 

Career History

I like how many of you show a history of your career after each season so I thought I would attempt one, too. Here's my effort:

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Board Budget Offer

President Marcus Lewis offered to increase the payroll budget for coaches. I told him that I would prefer to see that money put toward increasing the junior coaching budge. He rejected my recommendation suggesting that it wouldn't make a difference.

The next day, I asked him to increase the youth recruitment networking budget. He initially refused and refused again after I suggested that we should always be looking to improve in this area. However, after I implied that I was owed something after raising the profile of the club so much, he relented.

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Later in the month, I again approached asking for an improvement in junior coaching budget. He rejected me initially but relented to my raising the profile remark again.

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Transfers In

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Signed on a free transfer from Manchester United. Phillips, last season's starter, had a very strong season but was on a loan. Due to the uncertainty of his return, and the lack of GK depth at the club, I took a chance on Garcia.

 

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Agboola was brought in on a free transfer from Sheffield United. I felt like we needed more center back depth. While we defended well last year, we didn't have an identified 3rd DC, which became a problem, at times, with the amount of international callups given to Keston Robinson.

 

Players Released

  1. Bekim Berisha (ML) - I'm looking for a younger backup, but I won't rule out bringing him back, if necessary.
  2. Alfred Nelson (DC) - I believe that I can find better options than him. I also didn't like his Low Determination personality.
  3. 9 youth players who never made it to the senior squad

 

Staff Signings

  1. Natalie Clayton (40 yo, English) - Coach - 2 year extension
  2. Gary Neasham (68yo, English) - Physio - 2 year extension
  3. Leam Richardson (53yo, English) - U23s Head Coach - 2 year initial contract
  4. Gareth Midgley (26yo, English) - Chief Data Analyst - 3 year extension

 

Expectations

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July 2033

 

Facilities Upgrade

As the money from season ticket sales came in, I thought I'd try asking for an upgrade. Training facilities was the only option available.

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While we won't see any benefits from it this season, it's nice to have it scheduled.

 

The Squad & Starting Lineup

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Club Staff

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Many staff saw an increase in reputation with our promotion. The board has been very generous with coaching licenses approving nearly every request that I have made.

 

Results

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We increased the level of competition in our preseason games, which resulted in a much rougher go of it. Missing 3 starters due to the Gold Cup didn't help, though I'm glad they had that experience. We didn't lose our first ever League One game!

Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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August 2033

 

 

Players Leaving

  1. Joel Kitenge - 20yo Swedish midfielder - He was out of contract and left when I demoted him to the U23s after the preseason. He had a good personality (Fairly Professional) but that was about it.
  2. Jahquan Springer - 30yo English Poacher - The long-time vice-captain and holder of the all the club records for league appearances and league goals had been out of contract. He had dropped to 4th choice and hadn't seen much action so it was understandable that he left near the end of the month.

 

Results & Table

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We got off to a fantastic start in the league with a 7 game unbeaten streak. Though we're knocked out of the Carabao Cup, we did reap some good revenue from TV money and a sell-out crowd. We sold out 3 of our 7 home games this month! Springer's departure from the club gave Jon Harrison an opportunity to move up from the U23s. He made his club debut in the 75th minute against Plymouth and scored the winning goal 2 minutes later. 

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Awards

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Hollyoak has proven to be a wonderful signing and has already formed a good partnership with Brannigan up top.

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Edited by Lodi Lemmer
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September 2033

 

Results & Table

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Poor defensive performances saw us go winless for the month. A halftime scolding after a 3-goal deficit generated a comeback to earn a draw with an injury-time equalizer. We stayed on a roll through the first half against Sheffield Wednesday before choking away our 2-goal lead. Against Wigan, we had no heart until the last 10 minutes of the game. Fortunately, we're still in a decent position in the table on the strength of our run in August. Ainsley's goal against MK Dons was named the Goal of the Month.

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Catching up with some threads. Congrats on winning L2. You're steadily rising up the leagues. That good start should help you out in L1.

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