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(FM'11) The Gambler


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Monday 5th July 2010

**Sky Sports Breaking News**

The FA have today announced some huge changes to the rules around gambling for people involved in the game. In the past, anyone involved in football has been unable to place bets. But with online betting, crypto currency and underground illegal bookmakers all making the job of tracking these breaches more difficult, the ruling body of football in England has today made a sweeping change to the rules.

With immediate effect, those involved in the game are only prohibited from placing bets on competitions in which their club are involved in, regardless of whether they have been knocked out of the competition or not. The games governing body expect this change to bring about a reduction is suspensions for betting offences, and encourage more open discussion about the topic.

This is undoubtedly a rule change that will be considered controversial by all involved in the game, and will almost certainly cause a lot of debate amongst those involved in the game, as well as those who enjoy a flutter on the football themselves on the weekend.


Tuesday 6th July 2010

**The Cornish & Devon Post (Late Edition)**

AFC Newquay have courted controversy this lunchtime, with the appointment of a new manager at the club. The appointment of 32 year old Neil Hoskins is not the controversial aspect though. Chairman of the club, Marcus Smith, a property developer from the local area, has brought the Welshman to the South West Peninsula Division One West club not only for his managerial and tactical abilities, but to also take advantage of the of yesterday's rule change by the FA.

Hoskins has served a suspension after frequent betting activities while managing in lower league football while living in his home nation. At the time he claimed that he wasn't aware that betting on high level and worldwide famous Premier League teams would count as an infraction while managing at such a low level.

Now Smith is seemingly prepared to let Hoskins betting skills determine the financial future of the club, who are languishing in the 11th tier of English football. 'I've known him for a few years, I sold him a holiday home down here a few years ago after he got suspended. He's often in the area, and has been coaching some kids. I needed a new manager at the club, and with his acumen at the bookmakers as well as on the touchline, we could put some money into the club, and really kick on and improve it's fortunes both on and off the park' Smith told a sparsely populated press event at the clubs Mount Wise Stadium. 'Football in Cornwall could really use a boost, and if this brings the club into the spotlight a little, and moves us on up the pyramid, it's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.'

Smith was asked what kind of money Hoskins will have at his disposal. 'We're not talking mega money in football terms, far from it. We're an amateur club, but if he can use that money improve our financial situation, then we could look at going part time in the near future, improve the ground and some other aspects of the club, and just make Newquay a more viable option for players to come and play in the South West. Who wouldn't want to live here and play football given a chance?'

With only just over a month till the domestic season kicks off, and no staff or senior players at the club, Hoskins will have his work cut out to hit the ground running with AFC Newquay, with or without Smith's cash behind him!


I know, I know. You're sick of me. But you might be in lockdown, and I don't want you getting bored.

Welcome to my latest new story, and revisiting a concept that I tried several years ago, but was wrapped around my attempt to build an actual storyline. It didn't go well, and I didn't enjoy the creative writing side of it.

But the idea has always stuck with me, and always been something I wanted to return to. And here we are.
The Rules
(if I've forgotten anything important that crops up along the way I'll edit this section accordingly)

*The save is using FM'11, with 35 nations loaded, and a extra database to unlock English Leagues down to the 12th level.
*The Real Time Editor is in play, only to be used to adjust the club's finances as needed once a bet is placed and settled. 
*Maximum bet is 15% of the clubs current available Balance. A larger bet will be permitted twice a season, once before Christmas, and once after. No limit, but it's not allowed to skint the club out either. Cannot bet on a competition we feature in, or that any players of ours out on loan could feature in.
*Only in-game odds will be used.
*All bets to be posted on the Friday in game, with betting only permitted on Saturday matches. As odds are only given for match results, then that is the only bet available. Singles, Doubles, Trebles or Accumulators are allowed.

*Managers discretion on how to use the cash. However, it'd can't be done without permission. For example, I can't just turn the club semi-professional, upgrade the facilities, or expand the stadium without the approval of the Board.
*Only Staff that have applied or been recommended can be brought into the club, and only players that have been scouted or offered to the club can be signed.

Let's see how this one goes. Enjoy.
Comments and Questions welcomed as always.

A Note to keep in mind
Gambling on anything above the fun side, a couple of quid here and there for a fun accumulator, is, frankly, a mugs game. Please note, for the purpose of clarity, that no real life money is being spent here. If you have an addictive personality or gambling issues, please don't read on. Help is available, at places such as begambleaware.org and gamblingcommission.gov.uk
Thank you.

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interesting concept! With 35 leagues loaded there is a lot of scope for betting on fixtures. Does the "competitions the clubs are involved in" only apply to the ones the club actively plays in? Or are they prohibited on betting on competitions the club have loaned players to etc?


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19 hours ago, Mandy42 said:

interesting concept! With 35 leagues loaded there is a lot of scope for betting on fixtures. Does the "competitions the clubs are involved in" only apply to the ones the club actively plays in? Or are they prohibited on betting on competitions the club have loaned players to etc?


You'll find that the large majority of the betting will be UK based, as that what UK football fans do for the large part. Would be interesting to dip the toe in the waters elsewhere as well though.

Very good point, and one I hadn't thought of. Not something we'll need to worry about for a while with us being an amateur club, but my feeling is that if this were an actual rule, then there would be something in place to stop a parent club betting on matches a loan player could feature in. With that in mind, I'll amend the rules accordingly, and consider that one added!

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Tuesday 6th July 2010
Let's get cracking then! Job adverts are placed for the roles of assistant manager, coach, scout and physio.

Friday 9th July
Some guy called Michael Cooper has expressed his interest in taking the job that I've been in for three days. Absolute chancer! I don't give him great odds of taking the job to be honest. Cheeky couple of grand on him going elsewhere?

Saturday 10th July
Money update, and there is £43,000 in the bank. That's a lot more than I expected. I thought it might be a good time to strike, nice and early, and ask the Board about going Semi-Professional. No luck though. The Board agree it would be a great thing for the club, but don't believe right now that we could financially support paying wages to the players.

Tuesday 13th July
An invitation to the English Trial Day could be a god send to try and get some players signed up. It might be a tough ask, but with no staff in to recommend or scout any players, it's our best hope right now.

Friday 16th July
Four scouts apply for a job at the club. I'm only allowed one at the club, and offer the job to the best one.

Saturday 17th July
Hopefully, we're now starting to get somewhere, as five apply for the job as the clubs physiotherapist.

Sunday 18th July
I'm at St George's Park today to view the two English Trial games, having to go along myself in the continued absence of a scout at the club. It was very, very busy, with hundreds of clubs from all over the UK and Europe. There was some nudging and pointing when I arrived. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but it's clear that many in the game see what we're doing as some kind of stunt.

That didn't stop me getting stuck in as best as I could with the 70-80 players who were part of the four Trial Squads. It was very clear that both myself and the club were well out of our depth here. One player I spoke to was currently sitting on a contract offer from Real Sociedad. It's a tough sell for AFC Newquay in that kind of company.

Nevertheless, in a big effort, I managed to discuss the possibility with every player there today, though at least one midfielder was being given some treatment for broken ribs when I spoke to him. I was hoping he would go on some painkillers strong enough that I could coerce him into signing a deal, but no joy there.

It wasn't a fruitless trip though. Eleven players were offered deals with us. A fair few of them do have offers to play elsewhere, some around the same level, some at a considerably higher level. If we can get a few of them in through the door, it will be a massive boost to the club. I don't even care what position they are right now, it's not important at this point.

Monday 19th July
A scout has accepted our offer and joined the club today, which is fantastic news, as we can now use his knowledge to try and bring some more new faces into the playing staff. 37 year old Terry Kilburn has never been attached to a club before, but has been scouting for several years on a freelance basis. He is immediately asked to provide reports on any players he already has filed that would be suitable for us, and then told he is going to be sent on a roaming scouting mission around the UK.

Unbelievable news from the ticket office. With the Chairman offering season tickets at just £35 for the campaign, and the publicity that the club has attracted recently, the take up from the population of the town has been incredible, with over 2,000 people signing up for the offer. With up to another 500 expected to be sold, and the ground only holding 3,500 at the moment, we could be looking at some full houses this season. As a result, the club coffers have been swollen to around the £65,000 mark. I wish I'd waited a bit longer before going to the Board about turning Semi-Professional now.

Tuesday 20th July
The coach role has now been filled as well, with Colin Omogbehin taking up that position at the club today. He will be responsible for coaching all players at the club. Unlike our scout, it's not the first time he has been employed by a senior club, previously a player on the books at Stevenage and Luton Town in the 90's, and a Youth Coach for season three years ago with Crystal Palace. He is well rounded with skill sets for attacking, defensive and fitness training.

Later in the day, 25 year old Richard Rawlings joins our backroom team that is now almost complete. It's a first job in football for the Eastleigh born man who will become our physiotherapist.

A late evening staff meeting was productive, with some suggestions for an assistant manager, and some good information on players who could well be interested in playing for us. With no real scope for being fussy, some more offers are sent out.

Wednesday 21st July
In amongst the deluge of emails containing scouting details and rejections from players, finally, there is some good news on the player front!

21 year old centre midfielder Lee Hales has joined the club on an amateur contract. Lee has been out of the game for two years after being let go by West Ham United after three years with them. So he has no senior football experience, and is going to need some time to get match fit, though he did play an hour in a trial game on the weekend where he managed to impress and his file found it's way on to my desk. With excellent natural fitness, it shouldn't take him too long to get back in the swing of things. An excellent first addition to the playing staff.

Thursday 22nd July
There may have been another bunch of rejection notifications today, but we do get another 'yes' I'm pleased to report. 19 year old 6'2 centre back Joe Kennedy had the dream start to his career, as he began with Liverpool. It has all been downhill since there though, as they released him a year early, and a season at Bala Town in Wales didn't give him the first team experience he was hoping for, as he only featured twice in the Welsh Premier League. Not a problem he'll have here, at least to begin with. No promises on what will happen down the line. He's a little raw around the edges, but at this level of football, Kennedy should really develop quickly.

Friday 23rd July
The backroom staff is completed this morning, at least to the current level that the Board will let me max it out anyway. 42 year old Paul Downes has accepted the role of assistant manager, a role he has previously held at both Chelmsford City and Dulwich Hamlet, while spending some time at Redbridge in between as their Youth Coach. It would seem that Downes has a reputation as a disciplinarian, which could of course be a good thing, but could go the other way too.

Saturday 24th July
Keep them coming! Welcome to the club Ian Spencer, an 18 year old left back who joins his first senior club. Has plenty of work to do to his game, but he brings some serious pace with him. The kid could be a sprinter!

Later in the day we fill a spot on the other side of the defence, as 25 year old right back James Ives agrees to join us. James is very defensively minded, and this will be his first taste of senior football. At just 5'5 tall, we will need to be careful how we match him up defending set pieces too.

Before the day is out we bring in another centre midfielder. 26 year old Sam Farrell is a hard working, born leader, the type every successful side needs. I think we might have found our future Captain, ignoring the fact that this will be his first taste of senior football as well.

Sunday 25th July
Less than two weeks till the new season begins, and with no Friendly matches scheduled due to us only just completing the backroom staff and still working on the squad, we'll be going into the new season cold. But we'll be ridiculously well supported as a result of all the publicity and the super cheap season tickets. 2,500 have been sold up to this point!

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Monday 26th July 2010
We continue to be busy improving our squad. We're going to have big crowds to entertain this season. Ryan Hay joins the midfield ranks at Mount Wise Stadium, a Scottish born 19 year old, joining his first senior club. He is pretty defensive minded, but he looks to be able to move the ball around too.

On the more attacking side is 28 year old Hobart, Australia born John Costa. Left footed, and pegged as a bit of a playmaker, Costa could well see action on the left wing for us, as he has enough pace and crossing ability to be effective there. He's been in the UK for several years now, but hasn't played any senior football.

Goalkeeper has been a spot we haven't addressed at all yet. My scout and team have only come up with one name. But while they agree he would be perfectly suitable to play at this level, they don't necessarily agree that he's better than the teenagers that are already at the club.

Tuesday 27th July
We have another Welshman on board. 19 year old Ricky Manship is added to our midfield options. Pontypridd born, and falling down through the pyramid after seeing some playing time at Newport County two seasons ago in the Blue Square South, and then last season with Cinderford Town in the Southern League Division One South & West.

Wednesday 28th July
24 year old midfielder Ollie Harrison is next to arrive. Midfielder is a loose description, as he can play through the middle or out wide on either wing, including the more advanced roles. That versatility could be important in the opening weeks and months where we don't have huge squad depth. It does come at a cost though, as Harrison does have a reputation for being volatile on the park and outspoken off it, and he hasn't played any senior football yet.

6'3 and nineteen year old Russell Sampson adds some of that much needed versatility to our defence. Joining the ranks of players who are joining a senior club for the first time, he can cover us at centre back and left back.

Thursday 29th July
The defence continues to be strengthened. All the best teams are built from the back apparently. I read that in a book. 

6'4 tall centre back Ferhat Selvi is Turkish born to English parents, and could be a rough diamond. While we are quite well covered at right back, 21 year old former Swindon Town prospect Gary Pryde was too good to pass up, and we beat several other clubs to his signature. Further up the park, 28 year old Richie Wallwork is equally as comfortable in the centre of the park as he is on either wing.

We also have a new goalkeeper. I listened to what the staff had to say regarding us going with the teenage keeper. But I decided having a more senior keeper around would be a good thing all around. That keeper is 32 year old Elliot Jackson, a 6'2 tall native of Swindon. He has Football League experience with Oxford United, though that was ten years ago now. More recently, he has spent the last two seasons with Malmesbury Victoria, very much as their back up. In between he has had spells with Cirencester Town, Swindon Supermarine and Highworth Town, but he has played only sixteen senior league games. Will he sink or swim on the South West coast?

Friday 30th July
We finally have a new striker signed up. 20 year old Dewsbury born Andy Mellor seems to have a pretty good mix of size and ability on the deck, and is looking forward to making the move into senior football. He'll want to get up and running in the goal stakes quickly, and try to cement a place in the side before any would be competition arrives to try and take his place.

19 year old Brett Patton joins the ranks looking to play in our midfield, bringing his own little niché as he brings a more attacking set of skills to that role. Unlike many others, he does have senior football experience, spending the whole of last season with Worthing in the Isthmian Division One South, where he played 33 times in the league. That was on a loan deal from Eastbourne Boro of the Blue Square Premier, who cut him loose on his return.

22 year old left winger David Dawson is an absolute wildcard addition to the squad. Why is that? Well, he stands at 6'4, making him a candidate to be an absolute nuisance to smaller full backs who will be matched up against him and have to deal with diagonal cross field passes, or set pieces if they fail to set up properly and take the winger into account.

Saturday 31st July
23 year old Lewis Oliver isn't short on height himself at 6'0. But he is certainly more towards the traditional end of the winger scale than Dawson, bringing his own dimension of being more proficient than most in the squad at sending over a set piece.

We're now just a week away from playing our first league fixture.

Sunday 1st August 2010
We have missed out on another striker that we wanted to sign. 21 year old Rob Lucas has signed for Isthmian Division One North side Redbridge instead, who were able to offer part time football and some cash for playing.

Thursday 5th August
We do get another striker through the door, just two days before the season starts. Martin Prince was the best striker that we have scouted according to the backroom team. He's 20, has a great work ethic and is a real team player. But he is also more than capable of making his own opportunities too.

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Friday 6th August 2010
It's the eve of the football season, and we're making our final preparations for our away match against Holsworthy, a team we're fully expected to beat  after our few weeks of heavy recruitment. The bookies have us 1/3 favourites for the match. Speaking of the bookies......

The Bet
nPower Championship 

Barnsley v Leicester City - Away Win - 13/8
Derby County v Preston North End - Home Win - Evens

Double Odds - 17/4
Stake - £5,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £69,922
Potential Returns (including stake) - £26,250

In the pre match conference most of the talk was around the new signings, if I thought that AFC Newquay could live up to their status as favourites to win the league this season, and what bet did I have in mind for tomorrow......

Saturday 7th August

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Upcott Fields, Holsworthy
Holsworthy v AFC Newquay

New striker Martin Prince had the ball in the net inside quarter of an hour, but it was chalked off, as he was judged to have fouled home keeper Simon Beck as he got on the end of Ollie Harrison's free kick into the box. But midway through the half, he raced through to reach Joe Kennedy's long ball down the park, getting away from defender Ross McCormack and placing his shot past Beck and inside the near post to notch a debut goal. We continued to push on, Harrison missing the target with a shot from range. But at the other end, Matt Challinor weaved into the penalty box, stopped from shooting by Ferhat Selvi, but the ball rebounded to Philip Beard, who sidefooted wide from just eight yards out. Home full back Peter Cameron earned himself a booking before the break, making a clumsy tackle to foil a potential counter attack, but still taking one for the team.

The players were told to kill the game off, and we nearly did within twenty seconds of the restart, Harrison set free on the right, and picking out David Dawson in the centre, but his finish was poor, and right at Beck when either side of him would do. When Challinor pulled a shot across goal and wide ten minutes later, Holsworthy made a change and brought on Tony Pearce. He made an instant impact, collecting a pass from Richard Westwood and producing a finish similar to Prince's to level the match. On the 65th minute mark, control seemed to come back our way, Ian Spencer finding Dawson, who got himself one on one with Cameron. The winger knocked the ball past him and sprinted, Cameron bringing him down and earning a second yellow. I made some changes to get fresh legs on and press home our advantage. But it didn't quite pan out that way, as in the 70th minute, McCormack launched a free kick from halfway into the box, and Scott Plant got away from Kennedy and nodded his header past Elliot Jackson to put us behind. Fortunately, our two subs combined to save the afternoon, John Costa's corner finding teenage striker Stuart Thacker, and he headed home from close range to level the game up again. We couldn't push on though, and had to defend in the final few moments as our hosts won a few corners, the last of which saw the ball drop to skipper Abubakar Kareem, who dragged his shot wide, and we managed to earn a point.

Holsworthy (0) 2 - Tony Pearce (60), Scott Plant (70)
AFC Newquay (1) 2 - Martin Prince (22), Stuart Thacker (76)
Attendance :- 565
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi, Ian Spencer; Lee Hales, Sam Farrell ©; Ollie Harrison, David Dawson (John Costa 68); Martin Prince, Andy Mellor (Stuart Thacker 68).
Unused Substitutes :- Gary Pryde, Theo Burns (GK), Russell Sampson, Ricky Manship, Richie Wallwork.

So only a point to open the season, though I'm not too worried about that. Almost a brand new team, and no pre-season matches under our belts, there is definitely a bedding in period to be expected.

Unfortunately, our bet wasn't even that successful on our first weekend......

Barnsley 0 - 2 Leicester City
Derby County 0 - 2 Preston North End


Derby conceded two first half goals and were defeated at Pride Park, which was a shame with Leicester winning nicely away from home in what should have been the more difficult part of the bet. Never mind, opening weekend for them as well.

Sunday 8th August 
Stuart Thacker became the youngest goalscorer in the clubs history yesterday at the age of 16 years and 153 days. He'll need to keep finding the net though, as he now has increased competition for a spot in the lineup with the arrival today of Steve Magee. The 21 year old six foot striker hasn't played any Senior football up till now in his career.

Friday 13th August
We're home tomorrow, as we host Penryn Athletic, a club who are still trying to bring in a Manager. It didn't cause them a problem last week, as they opened their account with a 4-2 win at home. It isn't holding too much sway with the bookies though, who are making us heavy favourites to pick our first three point haul of the campaign.

Speaking of the bookies, I'm not sure Friday the 13th is the best day to be betting, however.......

The Bet
Premier Division

Arsenal v Birmingham City - Home Win - 4/7

Scottish Premier League
Celtic v St Mirren - Home Win - 4/7

Dutch Eredivisie
Ajax v Willem II - Home Win - 1/2

Treble Odds - 27/10
Stake - £5,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £72,126
Potential Returns (including stake) - £18,520

Saturday 14th August

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Penryn Athletic

The 'sold out' sign went up for this match yesterday, a full house for our first home match of the season is quite something. Two changes are made, with John Costa starting on the left in place of David Dawson, while Stuart Thacker starts up front, with new signing Steve Magee on the bench and Andy Mellor dropped. Athletic started with five at the back. Good build up work down the left in the 9th minute saw the ball come into the box and Stuart Thacker shoot on the turn, forcing a smart low stop out of visiting keeper John Melia, who turned the ball around the post. Our neat passing was creating opportunities, but we went route one when James Ives cross field pass picked out John Costa in space, but he blazed his shot over. Thacker did the same moments later, and his frustration with himself saw him get booked for a rash challenge. We had the ball in the net ten minutes before the break, Ives curling shot from range might have found the net without any assistance, but Martin Prince helped it on it's way. Unfortunately, he was well offside when he did that, and the goal was chalked off.

Thacker was brought off at the break, as I was unwilling to risk him getting sent off. Steve Magee came on for a Senior and club debut to replace him. Athletic full back Adam Porter shouted for a penalty when his attempted cross hit Ian Spencer and flew out of play, Porter believing it was blocked by his arm, the referee disagreeing. It did start of a chain of corner kicks for the visitors that we would have to deal with though. But we got through that spell, and with the halfway point of the second half approaching, we took the lead. Spencer drilled in a cross from the left that hit Matt Mort at a very awkward height, and Lee Hales reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball and put us in front. Mort was quickly booked for a tug on the shirt of Prince, and we took the free kick quickly, as it was put into the path of Ollie Harrison, but he fluffed his lines and fired across goal and wide. We would pay for that five minutes later, our defence falling asleep with their marking tasks from a throw near the corner flag, and left back Simon Patterson's cross was met at the near post by Josh Blake, who's downward header found it's way between Elliot Jackson and the upright. That was a blow, and I made changes to get fresh legs on as we went looking to get back in front, with both wingers changed. With Athletic striker Nick Madaschi struggling with a knock just moments after being brought on as their last change, we were pretty close to a man advantage too as he hobbled around ineffectively. Sam Farrell's dipping shot just missed the top corner, but an injury time corner would provide one last chance. Ives sent over a flat delivery, Steve Magee flicked it on, and Prince was at the far post to apply the finish, and send the big home crowd home happy!

AFC Newquay (0) 2 - Lee Hales (64), Martin Prince (90+1)
Penryn Athletic (0) 1 - Josh Blake (73)
Attendance :- 3,500
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi, Ian Spencer; Lee Hales, Sam Farrell ©; Ollie Harrison (Richie Wallwork 77), John Costa (David Dawson 77); Martin Prince, Stuart Thacker (Steve Magee 45).
Unused Substitutes :- Gary Pryde, Theo Burns (GK), Russell Sampson, Ricky Manship.

That young Penryn side pushed us all the way there, but we finally found a way through. While it wasn't the thumping that many expected us to produce, a win is a win right now as we still settle into a system and some kind of match fitness. Three welcome points on the board will keep the punters happy. And I was a happy punter myself today as well........


Arsenal 3-0 Birmingham City
Celtic 2-1 St Mirren
Ajax 5-0 Willem II


That Treble always looked like a winner, and Arsenal kicked it off with a pretty comfortable win at the Emirates on the opening day of the Premier League. Up north of the border, the odds on Celtic were very generous at home, and they were a man up when St Mirren went down to ten with only minutes on the clock. The visitors went ahead though, but a four minute double had Celtic in front before half time, and the only concern was them failing to make the game safe with another goal. That meant a wait for Ajax in the late evening game in Holland. They were only 1/2 after losing away to Utrecht in midweek, but there were no concerns here though. They were two up inside quarter of an hour, and added one more before the break. Two more in the second half put the icing on the cake, and over £18,000 in our account. Added to the money from today's full house at home, the club now has a bank balance of almost £100,000.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sunday 15th August 2010
A backroom meeting with my staff produces another group of names of players that could be potential signings for the club, as well as some recommendations for advanced training and set piece setups

Monday 16th August
A new signing arrives today, not one from yesterdays list, but one that had been scouted a few weeks back. 6'2 left footer Danny Howard is primarily a centre back, but can also cover at left back too. We're his first Senior club, and he rejected Frome and Chipstead to sign for us.

Thursday 19th August
Our last opponents, Penryn Athletic, have been placed under a Transfer Embargo as a takeover from a fans' trust gets closer to being completed.

Friday 20th August


The Bet
Premier League

Newcastle United v Blackpool - Home Win - 4/5
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Home Win - 4/6

nPower Championship
Leicester City v Swansea City - Home Win - 5/4

French Ligue 1
AS Saint-Etienne v Stade Malherbe Caen - Home Win - 4/5

Accumulator Odds - 11.15/1
Stake - £15,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £64,330
Potential Returns (Including Stake) - £182,250


No game for us this weekend, so let's make it interesting! I'm using my first of two more extravagant bets, and the one permitted before Christmas. The Newcastle bet is arguably the underdog of the bet, though they drew away to Manchester United last week, which is why I'm happy to include them this week. There is more form attached to the Leicester and Saint-Etienne picks. If this bet comes off, we'll have a bank balance around the quarter of a million pound mark.

Saturday 21st August
Well, that bet couldn't have gone much worse. Both Newcastle and Saint-Etienne lost at home to opposition that they should have beat. Spurs and Leicester City didn't do much better, both held to draws. There's £15,000 we'll never see again!


Newcastle United 1-2 Blackpool
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Leicester City 0-0 Swansea City
AS Saint-Etienne 0-2- Stade Malherbe Caen


Sunday 22nd August
Solihull born teenager Jimmy Harte is the latest player to arrive at AFC Newquay in an attempt to kickstart his career. Capable of playing as a striker or on the right wing, 18 year old Harte is left footed, bringing us the option of him playing in an 'inside forward' role, where he seeks to come in off the wing instead of sending over crosses. Plenty of other clubs were interested, but we flew in under the radar to sign him up.

Our attempt to bring in a Sri Lankan Under-21 International right back who has been released by Chelsea has failed though. We're not taking it personally, Nikki Ahamed also rejected two Turkish clubs as well, both of which would've seen him on lucrative terms.

Friday 27th August
Our attempt to bring in a 21 year old striker who is probably the best we have scouted since I arrived here, has failed. 21 year old Danny Maw, who spent a season with Harrogate Town a couple of years ago, has signed for Hillingdon Borough of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier. Again, we have lost out to a club able to pay a wage, despite that wage being the nominal amount of £20 per week.


The Bet
Premier League

Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers - Home Win - 4/7

Scottish Premier League
Heart of Midlothian v St Mirren - Home Win - Evens

Spanish La Liga
Valencia v Osasuna - Home Win - 4/5

Treble Odds - 4.66/1
Stake - £7,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £57,463
Potential Returns (Including Stake) - £39,600


Valencia are probably the risk in this weeks bet, as this is the opening week of La Liga, and there is no form guide at all. I'd expect both of the UK based teams I've picked to win, though I thought that last week too......

You can get a very generous 7/1 on our hosts Porthleven tomorrow afternoon. They are winless from their opening two, and the popular opinion is that we should stroll to victory tomorrow at the managerless club.

Saturday 28th August

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Gala Parc, Porthleven
Porthleven v AFC Newquay

New signing Jimmy Harte starts on the right wing in place of Ollie Harrison, who in turn takes Richie Wallwork's place on the bench. The other new arrival Danny Howard is also on the bench, replacing Russell Sampson. And I had to turn to the bench with just three minutes played, striker Stuart Thacker injured as he prepared to shoot, and Steve Magee brought on. Over the next ten minutes, we created no fewer than four great chances, including John Costa firing wide when one on one, Jimmy Harte forcing a save from Danny Flanagan, and Lee Hales firing wide from a part cleared corner. Our domination continued, Magee forcing Flanagan into a good low save, while Harte's cross was almost turned into his own net by a defender. Finally, after 37 minutes of almost complete domination, James Ives corner picked out Martin Prince, who's close range header was too powerful for Flanagan to keep out despite getting both hands to it. When Mark Whittle quickly got booked, I thought we had Porthleven where we wanted them. Sadly not, Ian Spencer jumped into a tackle against Frank Evans, who got the ball to Richard Mack, and he moved it on to Jim Butterworth. He kept moving forward as our defence backed off, and then he struck a low left footed effort past Elliot Jackson and inside the post to level the match back up.

That was flipping annoying. But there was more to come. As we resumed our domination from the start of the second half, an Ives corner was cleared three minutes in. Harte chased out to retrieve it, and then kicked fresh air when he tried to hoist it back into the penalty box. Joe Russell latched onto the ball and made ground down the left, carrying on into the box as our two players who were left back in defence couldn't decide which would close Russell down. The answer was neither, and he picked his spot and we were now behind! As we ramped up the pressure once more, this time in search of an equaliser, Michael Smart earned a booking as the tackling from Porthleven got a little desperate at times. But there was definitely one advantage they had over us, and that was finishing! On the hour mark, Butterworth proved it again, his first touch taking the ball away from Hales, and his second curling a shot around Jackson's dive and into the top corner to put us two behind and in real trouble! Not so quietly seething on the touchline, I gave it five minutes so as not to make too hasty a decision, before then moving us into a very attacking 4-3-3. Sam Farrell and Costa came off, Ollie Harrison and David Dawson came on, with Harte joining Prince and Magee up front. As we pushed to get back into the game, Harte curled a free kick around the wall and just wide of the target, before Hales skied a Prince cut back. It was getting late on when sub Curtis Reid became the third home player to get booked when he dragged Dawson back as he tried to raid down the left wing. As the clock struck 90, a Magee effort came crashing back off the cross bar, only for the ball to end up back in the middle of the box for Hales to prod it home from close range. We tried to bag a late, late equaliser, a corner finding Magee's head, and he finally sent one onto the target, only to see it headed off the line. Defeat!

Porthleven (1) 3 - Jim Butterworth (42,60), Joe Russell (48)
AFC Newquay (1) 2 - Martin Prince (37), Lee Hales (90)

Attendance :- 280
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi, Ian Spencer; Lee Hales, Sam Farrell © (Ollie Harrison 65); Jimmy Harte, John Costa (David Dawson 65); Martin Prince, Stuart Thacker (inj - Steve Magee 3).
Unused Substitutes :- Gary Pryde, Theo Burns (GK), Danny Howard, Ricky Manship.

Nineteen shots on goal, and the same amount of corners, and we couldn't find a way to win that match. I'm not a happy Manager. We weren't clinical enough in front of goal, or strong enough at the back, and as a result, we got rolled over.

Jim Butterworth showed my players how to finish today. So much was his impression, that I've asked the Scout to keep an eye on him. Finishing like his today cannot be ignored. Asked about his performance by the press, I told them it was the best individual performance against us so far this season.

August really hadn't been the month we were hoping it would be, with only a single win on the board from the opening three games. Hopefully we can do better with the three games coming up in September. And hopefully we can do better at the bookies as well.


Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
Heart of Midlothian 0-0 St Mirren
Valencia 3-0 Osasuna


At least we didn't fail to find the net at all though! How did Hearts drop points at home to St Mirren? Another bet busts, so we're only one from three at the bookies as well.

Monday 30th August
Stuart Thacker's injury on Saturday wasn't serious we were told. It is now though. His knock on the weekend was diagnosed as nothing more than some bruising, and nothing to worry the 16 year old striker. Tonight however, he broke down part way through our training session, and further investigation has revealed that he is suffering from shin splints. It would normally be four to five months on the sidelines, but we have paid £500 to send him to a specialist, and he should be back in around two months.

2010/11 South West Peninsula League Division One West Standings, Up To & Including Tuesday 31st August 2010

| Pos   | Inf   | Team               |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   |

| 1st   |       | Callington Town    |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 11    | 5     | +6    | 7     |
| 2nd   |       | Truro Reserves     |       | 2     | 2     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 1     | +5    | 6     |
| 3rd   |       | Penryn Athletic    |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 8     | 4     | +4    | 6     |
| 4th   |       | Mousehole          |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 6     | 5     | +1    | 6     |
| 5th   |       | Godolphin Atlantic |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 7     | 3     | +4    | 4     |
| 6th   |       | AFC Newquay        |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 6     | 6     | 0     | 4     |
| 7th   |       | Porthleven         |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 4     | 5     | -1    | 4     |
| 8th   |       | Holsworthy         |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 4     | 6     | -2    | 4     |
| 9th   |       | Hayle              |       | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 4     | 4     | 0     | 3     |
| 10th  |       | Foxhole Stars      |       | 2     | 1     | 0     | 1     | 1     | 3     | -2    | 3     |
| 11th  |       | Okehampton Argyle  |       | 3     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 5     | 10    | -5    | 3     |
| 12th  |       | Camelford          |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 5     | 7     | -2    | 1     |
| 13th  |       | Dobwalls           |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 3     | 11    | -8    | 0     |


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oh dear! I'd be tempted to take some "easy" singles to pad the bank balance a bit. My dad worked for Coral (the bookie not the window company) and I have had a dislike of accumulators ever since I was hanging around there in my early teens.

Not the worst start to your on the field form though. Keep it up! 

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13 hours ago, Mandy42 said:

oh dear! I'd be tempted to take some "easy" singles to pad the bank balance a bit. My dad worked for Coral (the bookie not the window company) and I have had a dislike of accumulators ever since I was hanging around there in my early teens.

Not the worst start to your on the field form though. Keep it up! 

You're right. Unfortunately, the in game odds are not particularly realistic, and what most people would term as a 'banker' are usually 6 or even 8 to 1 on, and can't really be considered as singles in their own right. It's a case of doing what I would do when I bet in real life, and go searching for the value.

On the park, the team is still in the 'get to know each other' stage with no pre-season games, and I'm still more than hopeful that it will all knit together sooner rather than later.

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5 hours ago, neilhoskins77 said:

You're right. Unfortunately, the in game odds are not particularly realistic, and what most people would term as a 'banker' are usually 6 or even 8 to 1 on, and can't really be considered as singles in their own right. It's a case of doing what I would do when I bet in real life, and go searching for the value.

On the park, the team is still in the 'get to know each other' stage with no pre-season games, and I'm still more than hopeful that it will all knit together sooner rather than later.

I get what your saying, I guess again it's the experience of having a bookmaker for a father. I don't see gambling as a one off tipple or a way to win big on 1 event (other than maybe the grand national). To me the only fun gambling is a night in the casino where I put aside X amount of money and say that is my nights entertainment, once it's gone and spent then I go home.

Sports gambling is a process, almost job like to me. If I can win £1 a day, everyday then by the end of the year I've won £365 that I didn't have before. So the "bankers" are what I go for. Which yes leaves me very exposed to losing a large amount of money (the amount needed to return a small winnings) on an upset. But that is the mugs game part of gambling, if it was a sure thing we would all have been doing it for a long time.


A quick internet search brought up

  1. Chelsea

  2. Bayern Munich

  3. Real Madrid

  4. Manchester United

  5. Shakhtar Donetsk

  6. Arsenal

  7. Tottenham  Hotspur

  8. pixel.gif

    Schalke 04

  9. FC Barcelona

  10. Valencia

 As the best ranked teams in Europe based on UEFA coefficient in 2011. 

Which I guess gives you a place to look every week for your "banker" Keep going though, love the concept

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Your 'bankers' method is very similar to one I use myself on 'longer haul' betting projects. But for the purpose of this save however, I've had to go against what I know to make it a more interesting read.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wednesday 1st September 2010
We start the new month with a new signing, 17 year old midfielder Tom Murray. A defensive minded player, who also has some skills with the ball at his feet, it's a new start for the Manchester born teenager, who was released in the summer by Blackburn Rovers after two years as a Youth at Ewood Park failed to see him make a Senior Debut. The youngster is ready to get stuck in at his new club.

The Board at the club are satisfied with how things are going so far, in particular the home win over Penryn Athletic. We have a bank balance well over the £50,000 mark right now, and with two more home games this month, that balance should increase, rapidly if we can add a few winning bets as well.

Friday 3rd September
Tomorrow afternoon we return home to face bottom of the table Dobwalls at the Mount Wise Stadium. We're the huge odds on favourites again, but then that was the case away to Porthleven last time out, and look what happened there. So we won't be underestimating the club who average a goal a game, but have conceded an average of almost four per game so far this season.


nPower League 1
Charlton Athletic v Oldham Athletic - Home Win - 4/6

nPower League 2
Aldershot Town v Hereford United - Home Win - Evens

African Cup of Nations Qualifying Group K
Tunisia v Malawi - Home Win - 2/5

Treble Odds - 3.67/1
Stake - £5,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £51,232
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £27,333


I've had to really go searching for the value here this week, but finding two unbeaten teams at home to clubs yet to register a League win, and at those odds, I really like the chances of winning the bet this weekend. I did still find myself searching for a little something extra to add a bit more money into the pot though, and I think I've found some in the African Nations Cup Qualifiers. Most of the Groups are only starting this weekend, but there is one pool of five nations, and Tunisia were held to a draw last time out away to Chad. They seem to have dominated the game, and Chad had already lost 3-0 to Botswana, who Tunisia had already beaten 4-0! Surely this is a nailed on home win with Malawi only managing a draw when they hosted Botswana?!

Saturday 4th September

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Dobwalls

Three changes are made from the defeat away to Porthleven last time out. Danny Howard comes in at centre back, switching with Ferhat Selvi who is demoted to the substitutes bench. There is a change on the left wing too, with David Dawson dropping out of the matchday squad, John Costa moved to the bench, and Lewis Oliver getting a first chance on the left wing. Up front, the injury to Stuart Thacker means Steve Magee starts, with Andy Mellor coming into the squad as the backup from the subs bench. An early Lee Hales free kick that evaded everyone needed to be pushed away by keeper Ryan Barnes, who then saw his post rattled after a James Ives cross eventually dropped to Steve Magee. The striker then hit the bar with a header from a corner, before in the 8th minute, Danny Howard sent Lewis Oliver into space down the left, and his cross to the far post picked out Jimmy Harte, who headed home his first goal for the club. Martin Prince was booked as we continued to be aggressive. Too much so as it would turn out, Ian Spencer lost the ball on halfway and while he managed to catch up with Mohamed Conteh, the shove in the back wasn't subtle, and he conceded a penalty as well as getting booked. Conteh slammed the spot kick into the bottom corner, and it was all square again. We were back in front in the 28th minute though, a goal kick was headed back up the park by Joe Kennedy, and Magee was too quick for a flat footed defence, latching onto the ball and beating Barnes inside his near post to put us back in front again. But once more Dobwalls showed resilience that belied their spot at the foot of the table, Anthony Farrell escaping namesake Sam in the centre circle, and Richard Burrell evaded Spencer's tackle, and crossed to Dave Hobson, who had time to control the ball on his chest, and then net a low shot to even things up again. Spencer injured himself trying to make that tackle, and had to come off, Ferhat Selvi coming on, and Howard moving out to left back. Ben Bailey and Hobson both dragged shots wide before the break as we were given a rougher ride than most expected.

Early in the second half, we were forced into a second change, with Harte going off injured, and Ollie Harrison coming on to take over on the right wing. But we were still well on top, and Ives cross found Oliver, but his downward header was right at Barnes, who wasn't worked moments later when Harrison's shot was wide of the mark. And just after the hour mark, we found a way through, in almost identical fashion to the first half goal, Hales sending the ball down the middle, and again Magee was too quick off the mark for a struggling centre back Mel Wright, and Magee rounded Barnes before tucking in his second and giving us the lead for the third time. A series of corners almost led to us stretching our lead this time, Harrison's deliveries headed wide firstly by Kennedy, and then over by Selvi. In midfield, Hales came off to be replaced by Tom Murray, the 17 year old making his Senior debut. I was very much tempted to pull us back into a defensive tactic late on, but didn't want to give Dobwalls any encouragement when they weren't really causing us too many problems. Howard did pick up a late booking with an unnecessary tackle, but that was as much trouble as we got in, and we are back on the win trail.

AFC Newquay (2) 3 - Jimmy Harte (8), Steve Magee (28,62)
Dobwalls (2) 2 - Mohammed Conteh (15 pen), Dave Hobson (32)
Attendance :- 3,500
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Danny Howard, Ian Spencer (inj - Ferhat Selvi 32); Lee Hales (Tom Murray 75), Sam Farrell ©; Jimmy Harte (inj - Ollie Harrison 49), Lewis Oliver; Martin Prince, Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Gary Pryde, Theo Burns (GK), John Costa, Andy Mellor.

That was a pretty tough afternoon, more so than what we probably expected. It shows we still have plenty of work to do, but the win takes us above Mousehole and Truro City Reserves, both of who we come up against in our next few matches, and we're now up into fourth spot, just two points off the leaders, though there are a couple of teams around us who have a game in hand.

Ian Spencer has suffered a thigh strain, and he is going to be out of action for three to four weeks, which means we might need to do a little bit of reorganising for a few matches. Jimmy Harte is okay though, and it was nice to see him notch his first career goal in only his second match for us. And the Spencer injury was the only bad news of the weekend too.....


Charlton Athletic 3-1 Oldham Athletic
Aldershot 3-0 Hereford United
Tunisia 4-2 Malawi


Get in there! Not only did we get the Treble in for a winning bet, it was also reasonably comfortable as well. Charlton were well in control and playing ten men by the time Oldham had managed to pull a goal back at The Valley, while one tier down the Football League, in the best priced selection made, life was very comfortable for Aldershot against Hereford United. Despite the hosts being down to ten men from the 18th minute, Aldershot scored all their goals in the second half, and I might keep a closer eye on who Hereford are playing, as they look in particularly poor shape right now. The game that was the shortest price, and should have been the most straightforward, Tunisia made hard work of it in Radès. They went in front early, but then shipped two quick goals. They were soon back on terms, but it was after the hour mark when they went in front, and there were only five minutes to play when they finally put the result beyond doubt in the only selection made that didn't see a red card.

That winning bet puts our bank balance up to the £85,000 mark, and very healthy looking. Healthy enough in fact that I felt compelled to make another visit to the Boardroom. There wasn't anything I needed at this point, with going semi-professional still off the table after I asked early in my tenure. But I didn't want to leave empty handed, and asked the Board to consider allow us to Scout further afield than just the UK & Ireland. Clearly, this wasn't required at all right now, we're having to plead with players from England to join us. Maybe it was because they knew it wouldn't make any difference that the Board accepted this request. Small victory for the Manager. I wonder if my Scout can speak French?

Thursday 9th September
It's been a pretty quiet week for us, with nothing of any real note to report aside from a report from the Physiotherapist that suggested Ian Spencer may have an outside chance of being back for the Truro Reserves game, and that Stuart Thacker will be a while away yet from being back in contention for the side.

But we clearly can't afford to have too many quiet weeks. As while we've been busy doing nothing, League leaders Penryn Athletic, who have so far only dropped points when we rolled them over at the Mount Wise, have been busy improving their squad. With mostly teenagers in their ranks at the moment, they have brought four new players in this week, with three of them being in their 20's, and the one that is still in his teens was on the books of a Blue Square Premier club last season, and all are looking like very good signings. Winning this League is not going to be easy, no matter how many bets we win!

Friday 10th September


nPower Championship
Portsmouth v Scunthorpe United - Home Win - 1/2

nPower Championship
Swindon Town v Rochdale - Home Win - 1/2

Blue Square Premier
AFC Wimbledon v Mansfield Town - Home Win - 4/6

Treble Odds - 11/4
Stake - £7,500
Balance After Bet Placed - £78,360
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £28,125


We're not playing this weekend, but there is plenty of football on elsewhere. I stick to England this week, finding some value and, again, that looks like a very nice Treble bet. All three are playing at home against clubs that have yet to win this season, and yet to claim anything from their games away from home. Portsmouth and Swindon Town were initially going to just be a Double, but I couldn't ignore the value of adding AFC Wimbledon in, and made the bet a Treble.

Saturday 11th September
Penryn Athletic continue to strengthen their options, today bringing in a 21 year old who can play on either wing as well as in midfield. I tell my Scout that I need more options from him to keep improving our squad overall. That may have to be my next Board request, asking if we can bring in another Scout to help out Terry Kilburn. No time like the present, and I ask the question, getting an immediate 'yes'. And clearly they don't want me coming back and bothering them again about it, as they are allowing me to hire up to four more Scouts! 


Portsmouth 0-0 Scunthorpe United
Swindon Town 2-0 Rochdale
AFC Wimbledon 1-1 Mansfield Town


*groan* We just can't nail two bets in a row to get some traction with the bookies and money flowing into the bank account, though of course we are winning a few weeks worth of betting money every time we land one, and the strike rate isn't horrible by any means. Swindon Town, probably the one I most expected to bust, comfortably held their side of the bargain, a pair of first half goals at The County Ground gave them peace of mind when they suffered injuries in the second half. But down on the coast at Fratton Park, the leaders of the Sky Bet Championship could not find a way through against Scunthorpe United, missing multiple chances to open the scoring, and then picking up a handful of bookings through sheer frustration when they couldn't find a way. I suppose if there's any consolation to be had, it's not it wasn't just AFC Wimbledon who let me down. They went behind near the break, levelled up quickly after the restart, and then missed a penalty deep into injury time. If it had been that which had lost us the bet, I'd have been much more upset!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 28/01/2021 at 18:37, Mandy42 said:

thought you had turned it around with that inspired Tunisia choice, but unfortunately just can't hit that hot streak! 

You're not wrong you know. Two in a row is still an ambition here ha

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Wednesday 15th September 2010
A job advertisement is placed today as we start our hunt to bring more Scouts into the clubs backroom team. Of course just as we take that step, I have a day where I'm inundated with Scouting reports for players that are available for us to move for. Six players are currently sitting on contract offers to come and join us on Cornwall's North Coast as we try and improve our options, create some competition, and make the most of the current buzz around the club and some media attention that we wouldn't normally get.

Friday 17th September


Premier League
Blackburn Rovers v Fulham - Home Win - 5/4

nPower League 1
AFC Bournemouth v Exeter City - Home Win - 1/2

Scottish Premier League
St Johnstone v Rangers - Away Win - Evens

Treble Odds - 5.75/1
Stake - £7,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £71,483
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £47,250

There's a well worn phrase in betting. It goes something like 'Leave the Old Firm teams alone!' Ok, so it might not be a phrase at all, but it should be. Anyone who has had any kind of regular Saturday afternoon accumulator has definitely lost money on the Old Firm when they should never have included them. But today they represent undeniable value. Are they a sure thing? Absolutely not, they started the season with a 3-0 drubbing at Hibernian. But they have won twice in the League since then, and St Johnstone are doing a very good impression of a side in for a relegation scrap this season. Teamed with two sides who should win fairly comfortably at home tomorrow, we could be in for our biggest pay out yet if the selections are on point.

And if they bookies are to be listened to, we should also be looking at a three point haul tomorrow afternoon. I won't be counting my chickens on that one though, and even if I were able to, I wouldn't be wasting any of the clubs hard earned betting on this League. It's clear that there isn't much to choose between the clubs, and we won't be expecting an easy ride tomorrow away. We're travelling to face Foxhole Stars, who are being pegged as top half finishers, but they're having trouble putting the ball in the net, though they have won their only home game so far.

Saturday 18th September

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Goverseth Road, Foxhole
Foxhole Stars v AFC Newquay

Left back Ian Spencer is out injured, so Danny Howard moves across from the centre of the defence to the left, with Ferhat Selvi moving from the subs bench into the gap in the back four, and Russell Sampson brought into the matchday squad for bench duty, hoping to make his Senior Debut in this one. After initially starting quite cautiously, we soon got ourselves into attacking positions, Lewis Oliver's cross from the left eventually leading to Martin Prince squaring it for strike partner Steve Magee, who's shot was right at keeper Oliver Pitt. In the 10th minute we produced a sharp counter attack from a Stars corner, Oliver playing a one-two with Prince, skinning marker Mike Taylor, and then picking out Magee at the near post to slot home the opener. We would soon be presented with an opportunity to get a second, Prince returning the ball to James Ives from a short throw, and Oliver was brought down by Gary Jones as he tried to reach the cross, penalty awarded. Jimmy Harte stepped forward to take it, and sent it low into the bottom corner to double our lead. All of a sudden, the floodgates threatened to open, Sam Farrell picked out Lee Hales midway through the half, and the midfielder picked out the same bottom corner with a low driven shot. We weren't done yet either, a corner was taken short to Oliver to narrow the angle, and he picked out Magee again, the striker heading home his second of the day from close range, and our fourth before the clock even hit a half hour. Farrell picked up a booking, taking one for the team with a shirt pull that broke up a counter attack. We had free kick chances to increase our lead, Harte sending one over the bar, while Hales blasted his shot right into the wall. But we were caught out ourselves before the break, Richard Hale playing through Aaron Howes, and he slotted the ball past Elliot Jackson and pulled one back for the Stars.

Our hosts lost one of their key players before the restart, Paul Ring taken off at the break. The only thing we took off was our foot on the gas pedal, as we looked an entirely different side in the second half. Sub Jake Defty blasted an early chance right over the bar, and we were lucky they weren't more at it, as we were giving the ball away and looking very uninterested. Harte did send a diving header wide just after the hour mark, before I turned to my bench, the booked Farrell coming off for Tom Murray. At the other end, Howes missed a chance to get a second for himself, sending his shot from the edge of the box wide of the target. Defty pulled another chance wide as he moved across the edge of the box, and shot back across goal. I made two more changes, Russell Sampson making his Senior debut as he came on for an injured Danny Howard, before Ollie Harrison came on for Harte late on after he had been booked. There was still time for Stars to pull another goal back, Defty picking out Hale in the 90th minute and his shot on the turn beat Jackson to make the score look a little more respectable for our beaten hosts.

Foxhole Stars (1) 2 - Aaron Howes (45), Richard Hale (90)
AFC Newquay (4) 4 - Steve Magee (10,28), Jimmy Harte (18 pen), Lee Hales (22)
Attendance :- 556
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi, Danny Howard (Russell Sampson 75); Lee Hales, Sam Farrell © (Tom Murray 63); Jimmy Harte (Ollie Harrison 84), Lewis Oliver; Martin Prince, Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Gary Pryde, Theo Burns (GK), John Costa, Andy Mellor.

That was the kind of Jeckyll and Hyde performance that we might get away with in this Division, but if we're going to progress up the Leagues, we won't get away with, and need to get out of our system. But today, with other results going our way, we've hit the top of the table. If we can have a few more of those twenty minute bursts that we had this afternoon, there's a chance we could get into a run of form and stay there too. Shout out to man of the match Lewis Oliver, who was credited with a hatrick of assists today.

And we now have some extra cash in the bank too......


Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Fulham
AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Exeter City
St Johnstone 1-4 Rangers


Yes sir, come and pay us please! That's by far our biggest win so far, and it didn't cause too much of a sweat either. Blackburn scored a goal in each half while stopping Fulham getting a shot on target at all. Bournemouth had a bit more of a tougher time, especially when they lost Danny Ings to injury, but a goal before the break from midfielder Anton Robinson broke the deadlock, and Exeter couldn't find their way through, and drop down into the relegation zone. North of the Border, there was an early goal for Rangers through Nikica Jelavic, only to see Sam Parkin net a quick equaliser for St Johnstone. But that would be as good as it would get for the home fans at McDiarmid Park, and Steven Naismith had Rangers back in front before the break. He netted a second after the break, and Vladimir Weiss finished the job in the last minute to put Rangers up into second in the SPL.......and our bank balance well into six figures, with just shy of £126,000 now in the pot!

Sunday 19th September
We have signed an International player!! Did you hear me? I said we've signed an International player! For AFC Newquay!!

Ok, lets qualify that, as I may be over-egging it just a touch. 20 year old right winger Sohail Butt is genuinely an International player, he earned his first, and so far only Youth Cap for Pakistan last year. There are many cases of players earning an International honour before making their Senior Club Debut. But Sohail went a step beyond that. He won his Youth Cap for Pakistan before he even signed with a Senior Club! Born in Sukkur, and in England to study, he brings pace, a high work rate, and some ability to cross the ball. It's an area of the park we're seeking some improvement from.

Monday 20th September
We have today missed out on forward Luke Holmes, the former Bury Youth player who has signed instead for Market Drayton of the Northern Premier League Division One South. Once more, we have missed out on a very good player because another club are able to pay them a few quid a week to play. And yet we have a six figure sum sat in our bank account. Frustrating. But not an absolute wasted day by any means.........

Into the club today come 18 year old utility forward player Steve Hodgson, and the much older 27 year old Hersham born English/Ghanaian national winger Fred Musah. Both players are signing for a Senior Club for the first time, coming well recommended by the Scouting team. We are now holding quite a large squad of players, and some of these guys are going to be introduced to the joys of the Cornwall Combination, and some game time with our Reserve side.

Friday 24th September


Premier League
Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Home Win - 4/7

nPower Championship
Middlesbrough v Norwich City - Home Win - 1/2

nPower League One
Walsall v Dagenham & Redbridge - Home Win - 1/2

Blue Square Premier
Eastbourne Boro v Southport - Home Win - 1/2

Accumulator Odds - 4.3/1
Stake - £12,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £114,020
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £63,643

After last week's big win, I've gone bold this week, upping both the stake, and the number of matches. I'd have no qualms about taking each of these sides as Single bets, but we'll need a lot of luck to see all four win and land us another very big payday. But, they are all at home, and they are all playing against sides significantly lower down the League than they are. With a home gate as well, if this bet comes off, we will be close to the £200,000 mark at the moment. But the win is just as important, and there are no foregone conclusions here.

Saturday 25th September
Game day. There is also a Reserve match going on today in the Cornwall Combination, with our second string scheduled to face Porthleven. Several fringe players, including two of our new signings were sent to take part in that game. Two players voiced their concern, one for far too long, and far too loudly. That particular player then didn't show up for the fixture. He'll be dealt with tomorrow. The other did show up, and played a part in the game too. I've no time to deal with them today, we've a very important home game to focus on.

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Truro City Reserves

No changes to the starting lineup for us here, and just one amongst the substitutes. Young goalkeeper Theo Burns is off with the Reserves today to get some game experience in the Cornwall Combination, with our new International signing Sohail Butt coming into the matchday squad in his spot. It's notoriously difficult to judge the quality of Reserve teams, but Truro City have brought two very good players along with them for this one. 24 year old midfielder Joe Broad is a player with some Football League experience with Plymouth Argyle, Torquay United and Walsall. Striker Andy Watkins was also a youngster at Plymouth at the same time, the 25 year old has almost 100 First Team games and nearly 70 goals for City. If we were semi-pro, these are exactly the type of players we'd be looking to bring in, though Broad is getting £500 a week right now! Why am I telling you all this? Well, because there wasn't too much to tell you about the first half. Scott Walker driving a free kick wide, before Jimmy Harte headed against the far post after a deep cross from Lewis Oliver on the left. Back at the other end, Jon Hoyles directed a header right into the waiting hands of Elliot Jackson when he connected with a cross, before the deadlock was finally broken just after the half hour mark. It was very much route one, keeper Dan Stevenson launched the ball down the park, and Ferhat Selvi made a mistake letting it bounce, as it kicked back up over his head, and Andy Watkins raced in on goal, shooting early to surprise Jackson, and putting the visitors in front. Harte picked up a booking, and both Martin Prince and Steve Magee were caught by the offside trap before the break, as we headed into the break a goal behind.

It would be fair to say that I was pretty unimpressed with that first half effort, and I wasn't shy about telling my players that either. 'Full house out there lads, and you can't be bothered? Play like that again in the second half, and next time you'll be playing for the Reserve side. And I'm not joking!' It seemed to do the trick too, as we got our heads down and started to cause City some problems. A lofted pass over the defence sent Prince into space, the striker lifting his shot over the oncoming Stevenson, but his it was wide of the target. The pressure continued, and Lee Hales connected with a Danny Howard cross from deep at the near post, only to nudge his shot wide when he should have done better. But City were now on the ropes, and in front of their small group of travelling support, we finally broken them down. Magee provided the precise through ball for Prince in the 61st minute, and he powered a low shot into the bottom corner, before a move straight from the training ground paid off five minutes later. With a free kick from a dangerous position, Harte waved everyone up into the box, but then caused confusion by shaping to shoot. He did neither, instead slipping the ball into the right wing for James Ives who had moved out there undetected. As panic reigned, and City tried to adjust, his far post cross picked out a totally unmarked Oliver, and he headed home his first ever Senior goal to put us in front. Now City had to try and get on the front foot, and keen to make sure we didn't lose concentration, or numbers, I made a double change, Howard replaced by Sampson, while the booked Harte made way for new signing Sohail Butt. That last move was to protect against a red card, though almost immediately, Magee was also then booked. A final very late change so John Costa come on for Oliver on the left, and we still had time to make the points safe during injury time, Prince battling to win the ball near the dead ball line, sending it back to Ives, and he sent in a first time curling cross that Magee met with a diving header to score ninety seconds into the injury time allocation. That was a much better second half!

AFC Newquay (0) 3 - Martin Prince (61), Lewis Oliver (66), Steve Magee (90+2)
Truro City Reserves (1) 1 - Andy Watkins (32)
Attendance :- 3,500
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi, Danny Howard (Russell Sampson 69); Lee Hales, Sam Farrell ©; Jimmy Harte (Sohail Butt 69), Lewis Oliver (John Costa 89); Martin Prince, Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Gary Pryde, Tom Murray, Ollie Harrison, Andy Mellor.

James Ives claimed man of the match with a pair of assists, as the half time rollicking does the trick, and we put in a superb second half performance to turn the game around and put Truro City Reserves away to remain top of the League with September's fixtures done, and a quarter of the League schedule now played. As a bonus, the fans were delighted to have got one over on one of the biggest clubs in the region, even if it was just their Reserve side. And just to show what a difference a few players can make in this League, after an awful start, Dobwalls have scored thirteen goals in just two matches.

We weren't quite done for the day. It wasn't just the news that left back Ian Spencer is fit to return to training. But also the news of a new arrival as well. 18 year old Ashington born six footer James Taylor can play anywhere along the back four, and was released by his beloved Newcastle United in the summer after three years on a Youth deal with The Magpies. It remains to be seen how long we can keep hold of him, as there is interest from clubs much higher up the pyramid such as Fleetwood Town of the Blue Square Premier. He instantly becomes one of the best players at the club.


Manchester City 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Middlesbrough 2-0 Norwich City
Walsall 1-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Eastbourne Boro 1-1 Southport 


I must have used up all my luck in the second half of that match, as there was none for the bet this week. Only one of the four got their win, and the three others can all make a claim on bad luck. Manchester City and Eastbourne both had men sent off, while Walsall missed an early second half penalty. I think it's about time I started trying my luck further afield.

Sunday 26th September
It was an early start for two of my players, who were summoned to get to the Mount Wise for 9am sharp. For Ryan Hay, it was a sharp dressing down and a warning as to his future conduct. He did at least show up for the Cornwall Combination defeat at Porthleven though, coming on as an early second half substitute. No such luck for Brett Patton, who tried to stammer an apology about 24 hours too late, but was stopped very quickly, told to go and collect his belongings, and not to come back. There are many perks to being semi-professional, but there are still some to being amateur too, and one of those is that it didn't cost us a single penny to fire him.

Thursday 30th September
We have half a dozen new applicants for a Scouting job at the club. One of them is Nicky Gayle, who immediately gets a contract offer, and immediately signs it. He is very quickly joined by Stephen Devlin, and before the evening is out, Ted Gilbert also joins the backroom team. We're going to need more seats for the meetings..........

2010/11 South West Peninsula League Division One West Table, Up To & Including Thursday 30th September 2010

| Pos   | Inf   | Team               |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   |

| 1st   |       | AFC Newquay        |       | 6     | 4     | 1     | 1     | 16    | 11    | +5    | 13    |
| 2nd   |       | Mousehole          |       | 6     | 4     | 0     | 2     | 16    | 12    | +4    | 12    |
| 3rd   |       | Penryn Athletic    |       | 6     | 3     | 1     | 2     | 11    | 6     | +5    | 10    |
| 4th   |       | Callington Town    |       | 5     | 2     | 3     | 0     | 12    | 6     | +6    | 9     |
| 5th   |       | Okehampton Argyle  |       | 6     | 3     | 0     | 3     | 14    | 21    | -7    | 9     |
| 6th   |       | Hayle              |       | 5     | 2     | 2     | 1     | 9     | 8     | +1    | 8     |
| 7th   |       | Porthleven         |       | 6     | 2     | 2     | 2     | 10    | 11    | -1    | 8     |
| 8th   |       | Godolphin Atlantic |       | 5     | 2     | 1     | 2     | 11    | 9     | +2    | 7     |
| 9th   |       | Dobwalls           |       | 6     | 2     | 0     | 4     | 18    | 17    | +1    | 6     |
| 10th  |       | Truro Reserves     |       | 5     | 2     | 0     | 3     | 11    | 10    | +1    | 6     |
| 11th  |       | Holsworthy         |       | 5     | 1     | 3     | 1     | 7     | 9     | -2    | 6     |
| 12th  |       | Foxhole Stars      |       | 5     | 2     | 0     | 3     | 8     | 13    | -5    | 6     |
| 13th  |       | Camelford          |       | 6     | 0     | 1     | 5     | 7     | 17    | -10   | 1     |


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In your description of Sohail Butt, after I stopped giggling about his surname. And then stopped giggling about imagining hearing his surname in a Pakistani accent..... Until you get to "cross the ball" it sounds like you are describing one of their cricketers not a footballer, which would probably be more like it! 

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15 hours ago, Mandy42 said:

In your description of Sohail Butt, after I stopped giggling about his surname. And then stopped giggling about imagining hearing his surname in a Pakistani accent..... Until you get to "cross the ball" it sounds like you are describing one of their cricketers not a footballer, which would probably be more like it! 

I thought I could hear someone sniggering at the back! How very dare you disrespect an International Footballer in such a way?! :lol:

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  • 1 month later...

Friday 1st October 2010
With only two Senior matches in the schedule for the month, and three weeks between them, October could well be a month where the focus is more on betting than it is on actually playing. We have an away game against mid table Godolphin Atlantic next weekend, before we host current second place side and nearest challengers Mousehole on the penultimate day of the month.


Croatian First Division
Slaven Belupo v Hrvatski Dragovoljac - Home Win - 2/5

Greek Superleague
Panathinaikos v AO Kerkyra - Home Win - 2/5

Double Odds - 0.96/1
Stake - £15,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £102,850
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £29,400

I did say that I would start looking further afield for better value, and I have done just that today. The Croatian match should be the easiest, top at home to bottom, one club has only lost once, the other has only won once. The remaining one will be a bit closer, though Panathinaikos have been perfect at home so far this season, not even conceding a goal in their own Athens stadium. It's a good price for a decent looking home Double, where I've clearly gone for a higher percentage win chance than a bigger potential profit.

37 year old Paul Rowland becomes the clubs fifth Scout today, and is quickly assigned a task. While we have a good Scouting range that covers the whole of Europe, all the Scouts have now been given a Home Nation or Ireland to work within, as we look to bring in better players still, working on the assumption that we will soon be playing at higher levels.

The Board are happy with how things are going at the club right now, with Steve Magee's arrival pointed out as a positive, though the feeling regarding Brett Patton's departure is more disappointing to the folks in the Boardroom.

Saturday 2nd October


Slaven Belupo 2-0 Hrvatski Dragovoljac
Panathinaikos 4-1 AO Kerkyra


That was about as straightforward as a bet can go quite frankly. In Croatia the leaders continued their excellent start to the season with another home win. They scored twice in ten minutes just after the hour mark, and it was good that they didn't leave it any later, as they went a man down for a second yellow card in the last ten minutes. In Greece, our second selection Panathinaikos moved to the top of the Superleague with a routine home victory, despite conceding a goal at home for the first time this season. Amongst the scorers was former Liverpool attacking midfielder and recent Free Transfer signing, Luis García. A winning bet, and not a huge pay day, but we almost doubled our money on the bet, and the bank balance is now just over the £130,000 mark.

Sunday 3rd October
Teenage striker Stuart Thacker is ready to return to training after missing over a month with shin splints. He actually had a really good start to the campaign, but while he's been out of action, he will have seen several players come into the club, and getting his First Team spot back will not be a given right now.

Monday 4th October
17 year old right winger Matthew Evans arrives at the club today. The six footer who has great acceleration if not top end pace, and very good dribbling skills to go with it, was released in the summer by Stevenage Borough of the Blue Square Bet Premier. Once more, we have nipped in ahead of several clubs who play at a much higher level than us, such as Chorley, Matlock Town and St Albans City.

World Soccer magazine runs a feature on our League in their latest issue, and include some stats within it, one of which shows Jimmy Harte as the player with the best passing percentage in the Division, currently running at 90%.

Friday 8th October


nPower League One
Walsall v Notts County - Home Win - Evens

nPower League Two
Morecambe v Crewe Alexandra - Home Win - 5/4

Isthmian League Premier Division
Cray Wanderers v Harrow Borough - Home Win - 5/4

Treble Odds - 9.13/1
Stake - £15,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £116,424
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £151,875

It's an International Window weekend, but most of the games are being played today and Sunday, and most of the Top Divisions around the World are on weekends off. So I've had to really go searching for value, and happy that I've found some, I'm treating this one as a free hit. We got an almost double money bet in last week, and I'm using those winnings to go for a huge windfall this weekend.

There were plenty of other games that I liked the look of more, but at 1/6 and 1/4 prices, the returns would've meant I'd have needed to select quite a few just to get near Evens. Instead I have three very solid home selections that would all be comfortable Single bets, but I've combined them into a Treble to try and pull in a big payday. Walsall beat Notts County away in midweek on penalties in a Cup. Morecambe are unbeaten at home this season with four wins and a draw from five, while Crewe haven't won away. As you can see, I had to reach deep down the pyramid to find a third selection that I liked, and that presented decent value.

Speaking of the bookies, and there wouldn't be too much value betting on us tomorrow afternoon. We make the short trip across town to the Godolphin Way ground as we visit local rivals Godolphin Atlantic who sit in 8th place in the Division going into the weekend. There is no expectation on them getting a result this weekend, the bookies will give you 7/1 on them getting a win from a visit by the current League leaders.

Saturday 9th October

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
Godolphin Atlantic v AFC Newquay

No changes once again to the starting lineup, but there are two changes amongst the substitutes, with Gary Pryde and Sohail Butt replaced by James Taylor and Matthew Evans, with both hoping to make their Senior League Debuts this afternoon. We had the ball in the net three times within the first ten minutes, with all three incredibly being chalked off, Jimmy Harte flagged offside after netting Lee Hales through ball inside a minute, before Martin Prince was judged to have fouled home keeper Steve Evans as he bundled in James Ives' corner delivery. A deflected Steve Magee shot came back off the upright before Prince was again whistled for committing a foul as Hales fired home the loose ball, the striker losing his temper this time and receiving a yellow card for his reaction. The home side almost caught us out with a set piece, a free kick floated in from the halfway line, and Kevin Munns guided a header towards the top corner before Elliot Jackson pushed it away. Sam Farrell's dipping shot from 25 yards out didn't dip enough to trouble the Godolphin goal, before Prince's strike from the edge of the box was turned around the post by Steve Evans. We carved out one more chance before the break, Evans called into action again to push away Lewis Oliver's low drive, right into the path of Harte, but he couldn't get enough power on his effort and Evans made an easy save from the second effort.

With Hales now limping and Prince another mistimed tackle or outburst away from being sent off, I replaced the pair, with Tom Murray and Andy Mellor coming on in their places. Murray got involved quickly, sending in a shot from 15 yards out that Steve Evans had to hold onto, before Farrell had another go, this time clipping the top of the cross bar on it's way over. We finally got our breakthrough nine minutes after the restart, Ives sending over a cross from deep on the right, and it caused chaos in the Godolphin penalty box, both Murray and Magee having shots blocked before the ball dropped to the other sub Andy Mellor, who toe poked in his first goal for the club from a couple of yards out. Harte curled a free kick wide as we attempted to increase our advantage, Mellor having another effort that was just off target. We did manage to increase our lead midway through the half though, Mellor volleying the ball into the box from a throw in, and Harte popped up unmarked at the far post to literally walk the ball into the net to give us a bit of a cushion on the scoreboard. Despite Godolphin not really posing us any problems, I took the chance to give new signing James Taylor a Senior League debut with just over ten minutes remaining, bringing on the defender for Magee as went to five at the back for the remainder of the game. That did allow the hosts a bit more of the ball, but didn't stop us from being dangerous at the other end ourselves, Farrell's deflected shot from the edge of the box left Steve Evans beaten, but it came back off the post. A successful away trip then, and a very short trip home too.

Godolphin Atlantic (0) 0
AFC Newquay (0) 2
Andy Mellor (54), Jimmy Harte (68)
Attendance :- 583
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi, Danny Howard; Lee Hales (Tom Murray 45), Sam Farrell; Jimmy Harte, Lewis Oliver; Martin Prince (Andy Mellor 45), Steve Magee (James Taylor 79).

Unused Substitutes :- Russell Sampson, Matthew Evans, Ollie Harrison, John Costa.

Nothing too dramatic, and no real issues. It might not have been particularly exciting, but it's job done again and we retain our lead at the top of the Division One West, with Penryn Athletic moving into second place with their home win over Holsworthy, and a home game against Mousehole for us to look forward to at the end of the month. We'll go into that game on a run of four straight wins now.

There was nothing dramatic about our bet either. Though not in quite the same way.......


Walsall 0-1 Notts County
Morecambe 2-1 Crewe Alexandra
Cray Wanderers 1-2 Harrow Borough


While all the games were close, there is proof if it was even needed that looking further afield is definitely the way to go with the bets, as we get another example of how tough it is to find value and winners in the closely competed Football League. Still a missed opportunity of a very handsome pay day though.

Wednesday 13th October
I'm back in the Boardroom again. It's a matter of time before they start locking the door to keep me out of there I'm sure. Once more I'm after more staff for my Backroom, asking for extra Coaches to allow more specialisation in our training. There is initial push back from the suits upstairs, but I tell them that if we're looking to bring in a higher level of player, they're going to expect a higher level of training. That was a clincher, and they sign off on two extra Coaches being allowed into the club. An advert is placed, and we'll see what we can attract from that.

Friday 15th October


Belgian Pro League
KAA Gent v Zulte Waregem - Home Win - 1/2

Italian Serie B
Torino v Triestina - Home Win - 1/2

Double Odds - 5/4
Stake - £12,500
Balance After Bet Placed - £111,401
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £28,125

After last weekends bust in England, I return to looking further afield. We won't get rich from this short price Double from the Continent, but a winner would bring back in the cash we dropped last weekend. KAA Gent are very steady at home, and with Zulte Waregem struggling for goals, this one looks a good price for as close as it gets to a nailed on pick. Further south, the second selection is Torino, who look to continue building momentum to challenge Atalanta at the top of Serie B. There won't be anything straightforward about their home game with Triestina though, a mid table plodder who are a bit of a handful.

Saturday 16th October


KAA Gent 1-0 Zulte Waregem
Torino 0-1 Triestina


It was more straightforward than the score suggested in Belgium, as Gent took the lead early with a first goal of the season for Congo born striker Ilonbe Mboyo as they nudge up to fourth in the Pro League. Also moving to fourth place are Triestina in Italy's Serie B. No hard luck story here, Torino had plenty of the ball in attacking areas at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, but they were very wasteful with their shooting and are now seven points off the lead, and leave us short in our bank account too.

And it's a double whammy for us today, as on our weekend off we lose the lead of the South West Peninsula Division One West for good measure. It's Penryn Athletic who move to the top on goal difference after their 5-2 away win against Porthleven. We do hold a game in hand on them, as do Mousehole, our next opponents, who have pushed up into third place after they beat Okehampton Argyle by the same scoreline.

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On 18/03/2021 at 21:02, Mandy42 said:

Urgh I bet your local  bookmaker loves you, handing over money AND increasing their knowledge of world football all at the same time

It's all part of my plan. Make sure the bookie has enough money for a nice long holiday, and hope his work experience kid makes a mess of the odds.........

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7 hours ago, JohanAlluvi92 said:

Good reading this, maybe try a total goals scored bet at an interval.  its good that only a couple of matches are picked tho.

Hi Johan, good to have you along, and glad you're enjoying the story. 

Other betting options would be ideal, but the game only only gives odds for home wins, away wins or the draw as per the rules set out in the opening post. Believe me, I'd love to try another option, I might have more luck with it ha.

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Friday 22nd October 2010
It's been a quiet week with no game again this weekend, and some time for the lads to get down to some serious training as we try and build on our good start to the season. We could do with a good weekend at the bookies too......


Croatian First Division
Slaven Belupo v NK Zagreb - Home Win - 1/2

Dutch Eredivisie
FC Twente v SBV Excelsior - Home Win - 4/7

Portuguese Primeira Liga
Desportiva Leiria v Benfica - Away Win - 2/5

Treble Odds - 2.3/1
Stake - £10,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £101,653
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £33,000

Slaven Belupo remain top of the pile in Croatia, yet the odds suggest people are still waiting for them to trip up. I'm banking on it not happening this weekend, as they are home to bottom but one club NK Zagreb. A quick look at the League Table in Holland's top tier suggests that the selection of FC Twente to win at home to Excelsior could come with a risk that isn't worth taking. True maybe, but while the pair are level on points, Twente have games in hand as a result of their UEFA Champions League schedule, so I'm hoping that Twente make a leap up the table this weekend. Finally, I take an away win punt for only the third time this season, as I bank on Benfica picking up where they left off last time out in the League, as they won away to Porto.

Saturday 23rd October

Bet Result

Slaven Belupo 1-1 NK Zagreb
FC Twente 1-1 SBV Excelsior
Desportiva Leiria 0-4 Benfica


Another frustrating day at the bookmakers, with only one of the three getting the job done this time around. Slaven Belupo's draw was a real let down, they bossed the game, and when they took the lead right after the half time interval I thought we were going to be good. But their heads dropped when Zagreb levelled the game. It was the opposite in Enschede, where Excelsior went it front in the first half, and Twente then had to chase the game, failing to find the second that looked inevitable when Luuk de Jong equalised with thirteen minutes left. Ironically, Benfica should have maybe had some problems when Fábio Coentrão was shown a straight red card ten minutes before half time. They were 1-0 up at the time, but it didn't hold them back in the slightest as they moved to the top of the Primeira Liga for the night at least.

I need a better success rate at the bookies to keep the clubs bank balance and hoped progression line going in the right direction. The revenue from the home games is keeping us going as much as the bookies returns are right now.

Wednesday 27th October
Not much to really update, though there was plenty going on behind the scenes with meetings to gather reports from Scouts and applications from individuals for the newly created Coaching roles at the club.

Thursday 28th October
We have moved quickly to bring in an experienced striker to try and help us out in our continued quest for a promotion this season. 31 year old Michael Smyth is a Northern Irishman who has been enjoying the some First Team football with a non-League club in his homeland, Malachians. The 5'9 striker appears to be someone who could take us to the next level, is Captain material, and could be the perfect foil for a big striker up front.

Friday 29th October
Now there is a decision to be made as to whether Smyth is pushed straight into the First Team for tomorrow afternoons huge home League match against Mousehole at the Mount Wise Stadium. The bookies have us as overwhelming favourites at 1/6, and believe our squad quality will be enough to see us by the club who come into the match in third place.


Belgian Pro League
Anderlecht v KAS Eupen - Home Win - 1/6

nPower Championship
Middlesbrough v Nottingham Forest - Home Win - 4/5

Portuguese Primeira Liga
Benfica v Portimonense - Hone Win - 1/6

Russian Premier Division
Zenit St Petersburg v Spartak Nalchik - Home Win - 1/6

Spanish La Liga
Real Madrid v Mallorca - Home Win - 4/6

Accumulator Odds - 3.76/1
Stake - £10,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £91,793
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £47,639

So a change of tactic this week. The plan was to do one selection similar to the ones I've been picking, and then several other bankers to just lift the potential pot slightly. That plan was slightly scuppered by Real Madrid, who lead La Liga and host surprise package and third placed Mallorca. They're a decent price at 4/6, and many would still consider Real at home to almost anyone to be a banker, so they're included in the acca.

Saturday 30th October

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium
AFC Newquay v Mousehole

I resisted the urge to push Michael Smyth right into the lineup, but he does start on the bench in the only change to the matchday squad from the win away to Godolphin Atlantic three weeks ago. It was pouring with rain here today, and I'm sure our fans will be hoping that ground improvements such as roof's and what not are high up the priority list for the clubs Board. Right now though, the priority was three points, and a Sam Farrell curler from the edge of the box nearly sent us on our way. Mousehole created an even better chance to open the scoring, Lee Crossley curling a through ball around our defence and into the path of John Alexander, who's finish was poor. At the other end, Martin Prince raced onto a James Ives through ball, but saw his shot come back off the near post. That was the start of us getting on top, Prince sending a shot wide, though we did nearly get caught on the counter attack, a cross from James Croft found Matthew Mills unmarked, but he shot wide from just five yards out, and had to have his head prised from his hands. Before half time arrived, Farrell had another go from the edge of the box, this time hitting the angle of the goal frame.

We'd had the best of that first half without managing to crack the case. Three minutes after the restart though, the ball was in our net, keeper Scott Ilesanmi launching the ball up the park and into our box, Alexander getting to the high bouncing ball in our box and getting it past Elliot Jackson and into the net, but he'd used his hand to get it by the keeper and it was chalked off. Moments later, in an all almost identical incident, Farrell sent the ball into the Mousehole penalty box, and Prince got his head to it to knock it over the stranded Ilesanmi and put us in front. An immediate chance to level was wasted for the visitors when Alexander hooked a volley wide. They had better luck in the 64th minute, though we didn't half help them out, sub Sean Senior sent a free kick across from the left of our penalty box, and defender Martin Phillips found himself totally unmarked at the far post, heading the ball into the roof of the net to level the score back up. With just over 20 minutes to play, I made my three changes, and we got an almost immediate dividend on the changes, Lewis Oliver sending in a cross from the left byline, and newly introduced sub and debutant Michael Smyth put his header just out of Ilesanmi's reach and into the top corner! Our other debutant this afternoon was Matthew Evans, and he didn't manage to find a team mate with a deep cross, before James Ives sent a shot over the bar. We would regret not making more of those chances, with seven minutes to go Sean Yorath sent over a free kick, this time from the right of our box. Alexander got his head to it, Jackson got his hands to it, the post then also had a say in it, the ball coming back off the upright and hit Jackson before creeping over the line and into the net to level the game back up again. We would go right back out looking for another goal, and with five minutes to play Danny Howard's cross from the left found Prince unmarked in the middle, and the striker headed home from close range, only to see the offside flag curtail his celebration, and we have left some points on the table today.

AFC Newquay (0) 2 - Martin Prince (50), Michael Smyth (74)
Mousehole (0) 2 - Martin Phillips (64), Elliot Jackson (83 og)
Attendance :- 3,500
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi (James Taylor 69), Danny Howard; Lee Hales, Sam Farrell ©; Jimmy Harte (Matthew Evans 69), Lewis Oliver; Martin Prince, Steve Magee (Michael Smyth 69).
Unused Substitutes :- Russell Sampson, Tom Murray, Ollie Harrison, John Costa.

We return to the top of the table, but not with the win that we were looking for, and our lead is a slender one. This isn't even close to being over for the one single promotion spot. There are now just two points covering the top four with a third of the season played. We are still unbeaten in five games though, and a lot of the talk after the match concerned the disallowed goal, with many believing that Martin Prince may have been just onside. Unwilling to risk a reprimand or ban, I stayed well out of that argument.

I can absolutely promise you that the players will be doing a huge amount of training on their defending of set pieces in the coming weeks, and hopefully with some new Coaches soon to join the club, we can start improving the core of players that we have and cut out the mistakes that we shouldn't be making and that cost us points. Word is that the fans are a little disappointed that we're not burying some of these teams more comprehensively. Some more cash in the bank might help us progress.......


Anderlecht 4-1 KAS Eupen
Middlesbrough 1-0 Nottingham Forest
Benfica 3-1 Portimonense
Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 Spartak Nalchik
Real Madrid 3-1 Mallorca


The one with the largest price caused us the most concern, with Middlesbrough leaving it to the last ten minutes to score the only goal of the game against Nottingham Forest. Other than that, we were fairly worry free this time around, and a nice pay day leaves the bank balance just short of the £150,000 mark.

Sunday 31st October
Two Coaches have arrived at the club today to take up their positions as we look to kick on over the coming months. First of the two new arrivals is 34 year old Danish attacking expert Henrik Varbøl Andersen, a fluent English speaker who left his last job as a Youth Coach with Silkeborg in the summer, a role amongst several he has also previously held with FC Midtjylland. He was said to be biding his time looking for the right project for his next role, and was talked into this being the one for him by the Chairman after his CV stood out as easily the best we had received when we started looking for more Coaches. His high levels of motivational skills and abilities working with younger players mean he could become a valuable asset and cornerstone of the clubs future progress.

Joining him at Mount Wise Stadium is 30 year old Hounslow born Kevin Nightingale, who is taking up his first post in the game, and was selected for his abilities to Coach defending at a high level, while also sharing Andersen's capability of providing great motivation to players. Nightingale also shares a lot of the tactical traits that I use, so could be a good sound board for me to run ideas by as well.

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South West Peninsula League Division One West Standings, Up To & Including Sunday 31st October 2010

| Pos   | Inf   | Team               |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   |

| 1st   |       | AFC Newquay        |       | 8     | 5     | 2     | 1     | 20    | 13    | +7    | 17    |
| 2nd   |       | Penryn Athletic    |       | 8     | 5     | 1     | 2     | 18    | 8     | +10   | 16    |
| 3rd   |       | Mousehole          |       | 8     | 5     | 1     | 2     | 23    | 16    | +7    | 16    |
| 4th   |       | Truro Reserves     |       | 8     | 5     | 0     | 3     | 17    | 11    | +6    | 15    |
| 5th   |       | Callington Town    |       | 8     | 2     | 5     | 1     | 16    | 12    | +4    | 11    |
| 6th   |       | Dobwalls           |       | 9     | 3     | 2     | 4     | 21    | 18    | +3    | 11    |
| 7th   |       | Holsworthy         |       | 8     | 2     | 4     | 2     | 10    | 12    | -2    | 10    |
| 8th   |       | Foxhole Stars      |       | 8     | 3     | 1     | 4     | 13    | 17    | -4    | 10    |
| 9th   |       | Okehampton Argyle  |       | 9     | 3     | 1     | 5     | 18    | 29    | -11   | 10    |
| 10th  |       | Hayle              |       | 8     | 2     | 3     | 3     | 10    | 13    | -3    | 9     |
| 11th  |       | Porthleven         |       | 9     | 2     | 3     | 4     | 15    | 21    | -6    | 9     |
| 12th  |       | Godolphin Atlantic |       | 8     | 2     | 2     | 4     | 13    | 14    | -1    | 8     |
| 13th  |       | Camelford          |       | 9     | 2     | 1     | 6     | 11    | 21    | -10   | 7     |


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  • 3 weeks later...

Monday 1st November 2010
November is a month of four weekends. The first two of them are free in our diary, before we then play on back to back weekends to round off the month. With all due respect too, both games are very winnable looking matches against teams in the lower reaches, firstly an away match with Okehampton Argyle, before a home tie with current bottom of the table outfit Camelford.

Thursday 4th November
An attempt to bring in former Newcastle United youngster Mark Doninger is doomed to failure, with the 21 year old midfielder not willing to discuss playing on an amateur deal at this point. You can't blame him when he has clubs like Redditch United of the sixth tier willing to put a semi-professional contract in front of him.

Friday 5th November


FA Cup First Round
Peterborough United v Macclesfield Town - Home Win - 2/5
Bury Town v Charlton Athletic - Away Win - 1/14
Farnborough v Morecambe - Away Win - 4/7
Billericay Town v Bradford City - Away Win - 1/8

Accumulator Odds - 1.65/1
Stake - £18,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £120,765
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £47,732


It's Bonfire Night, and I make my selections for tomorrow, hoping for some fireworks in the FA Cup, and the quartet of selections are all from the First Round of this competition. I'm hoping that my chances to bet on the FA Cup will be minimal as we progress, and are hopefully involved in the competition ourselves before long, making it off limits as far as my betting goes.

As for tomorrow, I've selected two very heavy favourites away from home to start with, as Charlton Athletic and Bradford City of League One and Two respectively both take trips to face Isthmian Premier Division opposition, Charlton's task the slightly more difficult with Bury Town in form and second in their League. Elsewhere, League One leaders Peterborough United's price looks very generous at home to League Two strugglers Macclesfield Town, while Morecambe who are involved in the fourth tier promotion race at this point travel to face Farnborough, who sit second in the sixth tier Blue Square South. The price on an away win was too tempting to ignore. If we get another winner, the pay out would be almost identical to last weeks win. At least I'm consistent with that........

Saturday 6th November


Peterborough United 3-2 Macclesfield Town
Bury Town 3-3 Charlton Athletic
Farnborough 0-4 Morecambe
Billericay Town 1-3 Bradford City


Well thanks for bloody nothing Charlton! The League One side chuck away a two goal lead in the second half with a pair of late goals in Bury St Edmunds, with seventeen year old striker Ben King scoring twice to force a Replay at The Valley. The £7 a week striker will get some great publicity from this, and his club will get a great pay day from the match in South London. Us however, we'll get nowt.......

Our League rivals are starting to up their game with some of their signings too. Holsworthy are sat in seventh place at the moment, and they've just signed up 21 year old defender Ugo Udoji, who's previously been on the books of Rushden & Diamonds and Portsmouth, and has Bet Square South experience with Bromley and Havant & Waterlooville.

Tuesday 9th November
16 year old striker Andy Barlow has sprained a wrist after landing awkwardly in training when jumping for a header, and the youngster will miss a couple of weeks of football as a result.

Thursday 11th November
An otherwise quiet week is broken up with a meeting with my backroom staff, and it's clear our Scouting is starting to bring up some players who would clearly thrive at this level of football, with some influence from our Danish Coach at the club too. A few players are targeted and sent contract offers, but we're now starting to reach the ceiling of talent levels for players who are willing to come to the Mount Wise Stadium and play for us.

Friday 12th November


Blue Square Bet, Premier Division
AFC Wimbledon v Forest Green Rovers - Home Win - 4/5

French Ligue 1
AS Monaco v AS Saint-Etienne - Home Win - Evens

German Bundesliga
Bayern Munich v FSV Mainz - Home Win - 1/2

Treble Odds - 4.4/1
Stake - £15,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £105,929
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £81,000


While looking for banker bets, I stumbled across this very nice looking Treble bet that I couldn't resist. Both AFC Wimbledon and Bayern Munich are top of their respective leagues, though probably not mentioned in the same breath together too often. As for their opponents, Forest Green are down towards the lower reaches, making Wimbledon's price look very attractive, while FSV Mainz have been one of Germany's surprise outfits this season, and go into the weekend sat in 5th place after being predicted to be mid-table at best before the season started. As a result, a lot of their players are now attracting attention from bigger clubs. In France with around a third of the campaign played, the top eleven are covered by just four points! Part of that group are the free spending AS Monaco, who host a Saint-Etienne side that are just a point outside the relegation zone at this point.

Saturday 13th November


AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Forest Green Rovers
AS Monaco 2-1 AS Saint-Etienne
Bayern Munich 3-2 FSV Mainz


That is, I believe, our single biggest win at the bookies so far, and takes us up towards the £200,000 mark in the bank balance, which makes me a pretty happy fella today. AFC Wimbledon were the ones who concerned me the most, but a goal early in each half from members of their defence gave them a fairly straightforward afternoon. Not quite the case in Monte Carlo, where AS Monaco took the lead through their hugely experienced Guinea International attacking midfielder Pascal Feindouno. But there was no quit in the visitors, and former French Youth International midfielder Blaise Matuidi levelled before the break. They made me wait in the second half as well, some anxious nail biting going on, before South Korean International forward Park Chu Young found the net with fifteen minutes to play. If there is any club in World Football that you'd like to rely on for a bet to be finished off, Bayern Munich would be pretty close to the top of that list. They gave us a few moments of worry at the Allianz-Arena, taking the lead very early through Ivica Olic, only to concede an immediate equaliser through Tunisian International striker Sami Allagui. On the twenty minute mark, German veteran Miroslav Klose put Bayern back in front, only for Allagui to again immediately respond. Third time was the charm though, as Romanian winger Gabriel Torje scored for Bayern in a lead that finally held, and put some cash in our account!

Sunday 14th November
With thanks to Danish Coach at the club Henrik Varbøl Andersen for the recommendation, we have today completed the signing of 21 year old Danish striker Kasper Hansen. A 6'2 fluent English speaker, he is equally at home using both feet, but more adept still in the air. We were the only club to go in for the player who started his career with two seasons at home town amateur side Albertslund in the Copenhagen suburbs, playing nineteen times without scoring before moving up last season to the third tier Glostrup Albertslund side. That didn't work out for him, and after five months they released him from his contract, and he has been looking for a new club since the start of this year. Hopefully the North Cornwall coast will suit him, and also hopefully, there may soon be another signing to announce.

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  • 4 months later...

Wednesday 17th November 2010
We've missed out on the left winger that I hoping to sign, Basingstoke Town's speed merchant Jide Ogunbote has opted instead to sign for Chippenham Town of the Southern League Premier Division. You can hardly blame the 22 year old Londoner who was formerly on the books of Fulham, Aldershot and Woking, as he will receive £120 per week, something we can't do anything to match at the moment.

Friday 19th November


Belgian Pro League
Anderlecht v KV Mechelen - Home Win - 1/2

nPower League 1
Swindon Town v Oldham Athletic - Home Win - Evens

Taca de Portugal 4th Round
Naval v Penafiel - Home Win - 4/6

Treble Odds - 4/1
Stake - £20,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £167,166
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £100,000

I'd have took this Treble if they were all 1/6 on. Frankly, I'll be stunned if this bet doesn't land. Anderlecht are without their first three choice Senior keepers and a few outfield players too, reducing what would normally be a higher second number to their odds this weekend, despite being unbeaten at home this campaign. My second choice was going to be Peterborough United, leaders of the third tier and home to the bottom of the table side. That bet was 1/6, but second place Swindon at home to the bottom but one side was Evens after Swindon's run of League form has seen them win only one of their last four. In Portugal, mid table Naval are holding their own and keeping well out of danger in the top tier. They're home to a free scoring Penafiel side who would be much higher up the second tier if they could sort out their leaky defence. I'm banking on Naval finding their way through that defence and winning us a tidy sum.

While those games are going on, we'll be competing at Simmons Park against Okehampton Argyle as we look to continue our push towards a promotion that is the clubs singular goal this season. Argyle have started to add some Senior experience to their squad since the season got underway, and while they are struggling to find any consistency right now, they are capable of being a problem.

Their defence could do with someone of the calibre of Irish 20 year old defender Graham Dowling. But he won't be joining Argyle, he'll be arriving at the Mount Wise Stadium in the New Year. With no new contract offer coming from the St Patrick's Athletic side of the Irish Premier Division, who's 'A' side he has turned out for 23 times this season, he has agreed to jump across the Irish Sea and join us on an Amateur deal.

Saturday 20th November

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Simmons Park, Okehampton
Okehampton Argyle v AFC Newquay

One change to our starting lineup this afternoon, with Martin Prince dropping out of the lineup and matchday squad, Michael Smyth brought into the lineup and Danish new signing Kasper Hansen selected amongst the substitutes. A quick start would've been ideal today, and we almost got just that when Steve Magee whipped in an opening minute curler from the edge of the box that was just wide of the post. The tide quickly turned against us though, a Jamie Murray cross was met by a Paul Douglas downward header that was just wide. We were becoming our own worst enemies as we constantly gave the ball away with misplaced passes and players trying to do too much, Jimmy Harte guilty of doing just that as he tried to round keeper Andrew Johnson when a shot was a much better option. At the other end, a Joe Hunt free kick got past the wall only to come back off the base of the upright. We were less lucky in the 29th minute, Sam Farrell giving the ball away in his own half, and Mick Thurgood easily got by Danny Howard and sent in a cross that Jason Johnson headed back across goal and into the net. An immediate attempt to equalise failed, Lewis Oliver's cross was met by Michael Smyth with a header that clipped the top of the cross bar on it's way over. Hunt would just miss the top corner with another free kick effort, before Harte sent in a cross at half time that Charlie Clapham needed the help of Thurgood to keep away from Magee just before the break.

That would be Magee's last contribution, as I highlighted my half time annoyance with a change, bringing Danish striker Kasper Hansen into the fray for his AFC Newquay debut. Still, we were struggling to get on top of things here, Hunt clearing the bar with another free kick effort before Thurgood turned Howard too easily again, and then sent in a shot that only found the side netting. Oliver picked up a booking as we tried to turn things around, getting closer to doing that just after the hour mark when a free kick into the box was cleared only as far as Harte, who's shot beat Johnson only to come back down off the underside of the bar. Ferhat Selvi and Lee Hales were taken off right after Thurgood sent another effort across the face of goal, James Taylor and Ollie Harrison coming on in like for like swaps as we keep the same basic system while trying to press further up the park and get more bodies at the sharp end of the park. With five minutes to play James Ives whipped in a corner, Joe Kennedy trying to get his head to it but being manhandled by Nicky Chapman en route, the ref not seeing enough to award a spot kick despite our players protests. Instead we only got another corner, Harrison sending is over from the other side, Smyth heading it against the bar from six yards out. That would turn out to be our last chance, Harte taking a late booking for the team by tugging a shirt as Argyle set off on a counter attack that could have made things worse still.

Okehampton Argyle (1) 1 - Jason Johnson (29)
AFC Newquay (0) 0
Attendance :- 589
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy, Ferhat Selvi (James Taylor 76), Danny Howard (inj 87); Lee Hales (Ollie Harrison 76), Sam Farrell ©; Jimmy Harte, Lewis Oliver; Michael Smyth, Steve Magee (Kasper Hansen 45).
Unused Substitutes :- Russell Sampson, Tom Murray, Matthew Evans, John Costa.

Well that didn't go to plan at all, and our spell at the top of the table would be a brief one on this occasion, as we are toppled from the summit and back down into third place after our first defeat in the League in six games and our second in the campaign. A win over bottom of the table Camelford means it's Mousehole who go top, with Penryn Athletic also moving past us on goal difference despite being held to 1-1 home draw with Dobwalls. Our fans have got used to us winning, and they have been quick to express their disappointment at the result, and particularly our failure to test their keeper regularly. That might not be entirely fair, we did crack the frame of the goal a few times. Fine margins.


Anderlecht 3-2 KV Mechelen
Swindon Town 3-2 Oldham Athletic
Naval 1-0 Penafiel


That was closer than I would have liked, particularly in Belgium, where Anderlecht had to score twice in the last fifteen minutes to turn things around after KV Mechelen had done the same when they went behind around the half hour mark. Swindon also went behind at the County Ground, but they turned things around quickly and were in front by the mid point of the first half and 3-1 to the good midway through the second. By the time Oldham got one back, it was too late for them to have serious ambitions of salvaging a point. So it would come down to the Cup game in Portugal, and Naval scored in the 26th minute and held second tier Penafiel at arms length from there out, the visiting team failing to register a shot on target, and winning us a nice six figure sum while they were at it. £100,000 has been added to our coffers, and we are now up over the quarter of a million mark in the bank account. We're suddenly being more successful at the bookies than we are on the park.

Friday 26th November


Croatian First Division
Hajduk Split v NK Zadar - Home Win - 1/3

nPower Championship
Middlesbrough v Barnsley - Home Win - Evens

Greek Superleague
PAOK Salonika v Asteras Tripolis - Home Win - 4/7

Treble Odds - 3.19/1
Stake - £25,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £242,416
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £104,762

This one looks as good as last weeks bet to me. A return to Croatia, which was good to us early in the season with Slaven Belupo, but they let us down second time around. They've started to drop down the table now, in part down to the rise to form of Hajduk Split, who we're backing this weekend for the first time. This is our third time backing Middlesbrough, and they are two from two for us, so there's no real trepidation over backing the North East club for a third time. We've bet on the Greek Superleague successfully before this season as well. That was backing Panathinaikos, but with them matched with bitter rivals Olympiakos this weekend, that one is left well alone. Our money is on the current second placed incumbents, PAOK, as they host an Asteras side that are currently pinned into the relegation zone.

While there is no relegation zone from our League, if there were, Camelford would be well and truly entrenched in it. They've been bottom of the Division One West table for the large part of the season so far, and have one of the worst defences in the League. Their fortunes did start to improve in mid October for a period when they brought in a new Manager and some Senior players. But once several other clubs around them in the League matched their recruitment drive, they have since suffered two defeats to clubs nearer the sharp end of the table. We are hoping to make that a hatrick of such defeats tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday 27th November

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Camelford

There are two changes to the starting lineup from the defeat against Okehampton last time out, Ferhat Selvi replaced at centre back by James Taylor, while Tom Murray comes in for Sam Farrell in the midfield. In front of another home full house, we got ourselves off to the perfect start. Keeper Elliot Jackson played the ball out to James Ives, who in turn sent it forward to Jimmy Harte. The wide midfielder made his way infield, and found Steve Magee absolutely unmarked on the edge of the box, the striker sending a powerful low shot under the dive of John Mills and giving us a third minute lead. We almost quickly earned a second, a Harte corner met at the near post by Lewis Oliver, but his angled header found only the side netting. At the other end midway through the half, a Sam Ellis free kick was partially blocked by the wall and the ball was sent spinning towards goal, fortunately Jackson was in perfect position and fielded the ball easily. Moments later Magee missed a similar chance to the one he had already netted, Mills coming out feet first this time, and the shot hit the keepers legs. Within minutes a poor pass from Ives let William Brough in on our goal, and Jackson repaired some recent damage to his reputation with a great block save to keep us in front. That repair job lasted mere moments, as ten minutes before the break Brough brought the ball down from a throw in, and played a pass to Ellis, who unleashed a low, but not especially powerful shot that Jackson was too slow to get down to, and the ball beat him inside the far post to bring Camelford level. That was frustrating, and with only one more chance produced before the break, Harte sending a left footed curling effort wide of the mark right before the players headed off for their half time cuppa, we'd have to consider that frustration at the break.

With a warning of changes to come if they couldn't get the job done ringing in their ears, my players headed back out to the park, and tried to get themselves back in front, with one change already made at the interval, Lee Hales replaced by Ollie Harrison. It was Michael Smyth that had first crack at that, striking a bouncing ball that dipped just over the cross bar. It was quiet, too quiet, both on the park and in the stands. A 65th minute Harte free kick wasn't cleared properly, and the ball fell to sub Harrison, who's well struck shot was met with a superb reaction tip over by Mills. We continued to press, Harte receiving the ball back on the right after a corner was recycled back to the original taker, his floated cross picking out Oliver, but he couldn't get enough power on his header and Mills easily caught the ball. By now there are just over twenty minutes to go, and we are in complete control. Magee drops out wide to assist Oliver, the strikers attempt at a cross is blocked, but comes right back to him, and his powers past the defender and strikes at goal, Mills well beaten, but the ball thumps off the cross bar and over the top. I sense the growing frustration from the crowd behind me that we are unable to break down this team, and I make a bold call. With a little over quarter of an hour to play, off comes right back Ives, and on in his place comes striker Kasper Hansen. With Danny Howard pinching in, we're now three at the back, and three up front as well. Bingo! Camelford are suddenly over run, and when Smyth drops in close to pick up the ball from a throw in, two visiting defenders go with him as confusion reigns over who should be marking who. Smyth slips the ball between them and into the near post, where Danish striker Hansen is waiting, unmarked, and he buries the ball into the net with a quick shot inside the near post to delight the fans. The work has to start all over again for Camelford if they are to rescue a point at least, skipper George Moises-Garvey sending in a shot from distance that bounced right in front of Jackson, who takes no chances and pushes it to safety rather than catching it. But a third goal looked more likely than an equaliser, Harrison sending a screamer just over, before being played in again by a superb reverse pass by Hansen, the curling shot across goal just the wrong side of the far post. With seconds left to play of the ninety minutes, Hansen waltzed through the defence himself, but just like Harrison he missed the target with his shot. Tempers threatened to boil over during injury time, Howard and Roger Reay both booked for an incident on the touchline that resulted in a fracas. But no one else got involved enough to be punished, and no one would stop us getting back on the winning trail today!

AFC Newquay (1) 2 - Steve Magee (3), Kasper Hansen (76)
Camelford (1) 1 - Sam Ellis (35)
Attendance :- 3,500
Elliot Jackson; James Ives (Kasper Jansen 74), Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor, Danny Howard; Lee Hales (Ollie Harrison 45), Tom Murray; Jimmy Harte, Lewis Oliver; Michael Smyth, Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Ferhat Selvi, Russell Sampson, Sam Farrell, Matthew Evans, John Costa.

Have I been making this difficult for ourselves by overthinking the tactics? Are we good enough to just get through this Division by simply deciding we'll score more goals than our opposition can manage? Would believing that attack is the best form of defence at this level be naïve, or a stroke of genius? I guess there's only one way to find out, and I have to admit to being sorely tempted. Kasper Hansen's first goal for the club, and his first ever in Senior football got us over the line today, and the Danish signing will now be pushing for a starting spot. His goal certainly delighted our fans, who's expectations will rightly be increasing, but they are as happy as me that we got the victory today, citing the amount of chances we created and the teams willingness to fight for the win as their main plus points.

It's a win that sees us move back up into second place, past Penryn Athletic who are well beaten away to Foxhole Stars, but still two points behind Mousehole, who thrashed our next opponents Hayle today, recording a 6-1 win. We visit them in a fortnight, the first of consecutive weekends of League games against lowly opposition, fixtures which make up our only scheduled dates for December.


Hajduk Split 1-0 NK Zadar
Middlesbrough 2-5 Barnsley
PAOK Salonika 2-0 Asteras Tripolis


Routine victories in both Croatia and in Greece, a goal in each half in a game that PAOK dominated in the latter, while in Croatia an early goal had Hajduk in charge, and they then proceeded to miss a huge amount of chances to make the game much safer and improve their goal difference into the bargain. But it was in the North East of England that this bet hit the skids. There were only three minutes on the clock at the Riverside Stadium when left back and former England Youth International player Andrew Taylor was shown a straight red card for a professional foul. But that wouldn't prevent Boro from still taking the lead in the 11th minute through French forward Hassan Ahamada. But just one minute later Senegal International midfielder Mickaël Tavares conceded a penalty that was converted by Uruguayan midfielder Diego Arismendi, and before the quarter of an hour mark Goran Lovre and Jay McEveley had both also netted for Barnsley to make it 3-1. And that was all before Tavares earned a second booking before the half hour mark, and Boro are down to nine men. A quickfire double from Frank Nouble and Jim O'Brien had Boro 5-1 down at the break, as well as two men down. Our bet was long gone, and it meant very little to us when Leroy Lita pulled a surprise goal back for Boro in the second half, it certainly didn't put any money in our pockets this week.

Sunday 28th November
The final League game of the month is played this afternoon at Treyew Road in Truro, where the Truro City Reserve side miss the opportunity to close in to within a point of us, after losing 3-2 against visitors Holsworthy. The second string side of the one of Cornwall's largest clubs had twice evened up the game after falling behind, their second equaliser coming from former Premier League and Jamaican International striker, Barry Hayles. During the course of that second half, Hayles' side were reduced down to nine men. And they would be unable to hold out, with Abubakar Kareem scoring Holsworthy's winner three minutes into injury time. There were ten cards shown in this match.

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South West Peninsula League Division One West League Table, up to & including Tuesday 30th November 2010

| Pos   | Inf   | Team               |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   |

| 1st   |       | Mousehole          |       | 10    | 7     | 1     | 2     | 30    | 17    | +13   | 22    |
| 2nd   |       | AFC Newquay        |       | 10    | 6     | 2     | 2     | 22    | 15    | +7    | 20    |
| 3rd   |       | Penryn Athletic    |       | 10    | 5     | 2     | 3     | 21    | 14    | +7    | 17    |
| 4th   |       | Truro Reserves     |       | 10    | 5     | 1     | 4     | 20    | 15    | +5    | 16    |
| 5th   |       | Dobwalls           |       | 11    | 4     | 3     | 4     | 24    | 19    | +5    | 15    |
| 6th   |       | Godolphin Atlantic |       | 10    | 4     | 2     | 4     | 18    | 15    | +3    | 14    |
| 7th   |       | Foxhole Stars      |       | 10    | 4     | 2     | 4     | 20    | 21    | -1    | 14    |
| 8th   |       | Holsworthy         |       | 10    | 3     | 5     | 2     | 15    | 16    | -1    | 14    |
| 9th   |       | Okehampton Argyle  |       | 10    | 4     | 1     | 5     | 19    | 29    | -10   | 13    |
| 10th  |       | Callington Town    |       | 10    | 2     | 6     | 2     | 17    | 16    | +1    | 12    |
| 11th  |       | Porthleven         |       | 10    | 2     | 3     | 5     | 15    | 23    | -8    | 9     |
| 12th  |       | Hayle              |       | 10    | 2     | 3     | 5     | 12    | 21    | -9    | 9     |
| 13th  |       | Camelford          |       | 11    | 2     | 1     | 8     | 12    | 24    | -12   | 7     |


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  • 2 months later...

Wednesday 1st December 2010
We head into the last month of the year, and it is not exactly the full festive Christmas fixture list that most clubs in the UK have to deal with. There are just two fixtures for us this month, on consecutive weekends in the middle of the month. Both are winnable games, and we are hoping that if we can win both, we can head into the New Year top of the pile.

The Board are very happy with how things are going at the club right now. And why wouldn't they be? We are certainly in the running to get promoted, and our bank balance has swelled to close to a quarter of a million pounds thanks to a few successful days at the bookmakers, and the stadium selling out every time we play a home match.

Friday 3rd December


nPower Championship
Burnley v Millwall - Home Win - 4/7

nPower League One
Peterborough United v Carlisle United - Home Win - 4/7

nPower League Two
Bury v Barnet - Home Win - 4/5

Treble Odds - 3.44/1
Stake - £30,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £215,133
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £133,347

The first bet of December, with quite a few Leagues now on their Winter Breaks and despite mixed results when betting domestically, I've plumped for three home bankers in the Football League. Two of them are top of their Divisions, Burnley and Peterborough United. Two are playing teams much further down the League than themselves. Burnley are probably the toughest of the trio, with Millwall sitting seventh, though they have been drawn specialists, while Burnley have won five of their last six. A good sized bet at £30,000, and a return of over £100,000 profit if the bet lands.

Saturday 4th December


Burnley 3-2 Millwall
Peterborough United 2-0 Carlisle United
Bury 3-1 Barnet


That's a great way to kick off December. Bury had us worried early on when Barnet took an early lead. But it was all square by the break, and a pair of second half goals did the job. It was slightly more comfortable in the East of England, where a pair of goals around the half hour mark settled the outcome early on at London Road, as Carlisle never looked likely to cause Peterborough too many problems. It was far from comfortable at Turf Moor though, where we were made to sweat it out for the bet. Burnley went in front early, only for Millwall to equalise midway through the first half. But midway through the second half, it was Burnley back in front, only to see Millwall to equalise again with only four minutes to go. Fortunately, the heads didn't go down from Eddie Howe's side with our bet very much in the balance. And with only seconds to play in the ninety minutes, they found a goal to break Millwall hearts, and give our bank balance a big lift!

Monday 6th December
We already have one of the best defences in the Division, but an attempt to bring in a player that would likely have improved our options has failed. 18 year old Canadian Youth International centre back Derrick Bassi was released by Middlesbrough in the summer, but as a British passport holder he has stayed in the country. He rejected amateur contract terms from both ourselves and AFC Totton, and remains a free agent player.

Friday 10th December
A quiet week, and we're back in action finally tomorrow afternoon. An away trip to face Hayle in the first of back to back weekend games to complete our 2010 calendar of matches. Predictably we are heavy favourites for the 25 mile trip down the coast. I tell the press that I'm hoping we can continue to see an improvement in our form, but don't answer any questions about my tactical plans for the match.


Belgian Pro League
AA Gent v Charleroi - Home Win - 4/7

nPower Championship
Norwich City v Preston North End - Home Win - Evens

German Bundesliga
Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim - Home Win - Evens

Treble Odds - 3.94/1
Stake - £30,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £318,480
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £148,163

I'm taking a bit more of a risk this week. None of the three teams I'm betting on have won any of their last two matches. All are playing in games that they should really win, but because of their defeats or draws in their recent form, I'm getting better odds than I would normally get on them. It's a risk that if it pays off, would put our bank balance up close to the half a million mark. For me, a risk worth taking for sure.

Saturday 11th December

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Trevassack Park, Hayle
Hayle v AFC Newquay

Despite being away from home, I switch us to the narrow 4-3-3 tactic that we finished the game with last time out a few weeks ago against Camelford. That leaves an odd man out in the midfield, which is Lewis Oliver, who is dropped from the starting lineup to allow Kasper Hansen to join Steve Magee and Michael Smyth up front. In pouring rain and a heavy winter pitch, Ross Linney fired a low percentage shot from range well off target as we approached the quarter of an hour mark of a game that started very quietly. There would be almost half an hour on the clock before the next chance came along, this time at the other end of the park. From just inside the Hayle half, Jimmy Harte dissected the home defence with a perfectly played diagonal through ball that picked out Steve Magee. The striker made a great first touch too, but keeper Matt Johnson is credited for getting off his line very quickly, taking away the angle and blocking the attempt to slide a low shot beyond him. It looked like that would be all the goalmouth action for the first half, but Harte sent a shot in from 25 yards that was right down the throat of Johnson, before Kasper Hansen jumped on the ball when a defender got it stuck around his feet, the Danish striker drawing the keeper out before firing at goal and just missing the top corner.

With weather conditions not really suiting our style of play today, I encouraged my players to be a little more direct if necessary to try and break down our hosts. That immediately saw us have some chances, Tom Murray and Lee Hales having shots blocked before Hansen hooked an effort wide of the target. We weren't having things all our own way however, and Lee Oakes whipped in a 55th minute free kick to the far post, picking out the completely unmarked centre back Ashley Welsh, his header powered at goal and bringing out a reaction save from keeper Elliot Jackson. They would pay for missing that chance just moments later, James Ives receiving the ball right back from Michael Smyth following a throw in, and launching a cross into the box that found Magee, who glanced a downward header past Johnson and inside the far post to put us ahead. Things looked to be going our way, with the game quietening down again in much the way it had started. But then an Oakes cross was blocked behind by Danny Howard for a corner, and the defender was so proud of himself that he forgot to follow up that work by picking up a man to defend the corner. Connor Friend sent the ball into the near post, and Linney slid in front of Howard across the soaking turf, and half volleyed the ball past a helpless Jackson to square the game back up with only a little over five minutes remaining. I made a pair of quick changes to get some fresh legs onto the park, but we failed to create the chance to win this one, and once more we have left points on the table.

Hayle (0) 1 - Ross Linney (83)
AFC Newquay (0) 1 - Steve Magee (58)
Attendance :- 292
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor, Danny Howard; Jimmy Harte, Tom Murray, Lee Hales (Ollie Harrison 84); Kasper Hansen (Martin Prince 84), Michael Smyth, Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Ferhat Selvi, Russell Sampson, Sam Farrell, Matthew Evans, Lewis Oliver.

The fans are disappointed that we couldn't see the job through there, and they are not the only ones. Once more we have failed to pick up a three point haul that was well within our grasp, and all while leaders Mousehole found a late goal to win 2-1 at Callington Town who we host next week, and they have now extended their lead at the top of the table to four points with next weekend marking the halfway point of the campaign.

It's not only the fans that are a bit miffed, the bookies have pushed out the odds dramatically now on us winning the Title this season, and it's hardly surprising with our inconsistent form. The media, who have given us plenty of coverage this season due to our new world way of making our finances, have also started to suggest we may be coming apart a bit, and are questioning if this project will continue should we fail to earn the promotion that everyone assumed would be a given this season.


AA Gent 3-0 Charleroi
Norwich City 1-2 Preston North End
Bayern Munich 1-0 Hoffenheim


Our hopes of pushing our balance up close to a very healthy looking half a million pounds were ruined at Carrow Road, where Norwich City lost to Preston North End in a bad tempered game. The Canaries went a goal down very early, but equalised just after the halfway mark of the first half through the now 36 year old former Arsenal and France forward Sylvain Wiltord. But the damage was done just before the break, Andy D'Urso awarding Preston a spot kick that Paul Hayes netted for his second of the afternoon, before Norwich centre back Andrew Davies was shown a straight red card after appearing to throw an elbow, the second time he has received his marching orders in a Championship game this season. A losing bet caps a pretty disappointing weekend.

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Friday 17th December 2010
Tomorrow is our last match of the calendar year, and we are badly in need of a win, and then hopefully hear the news that Mousehole have been caught in a trap at home to Holsworthy. Predictably, the bookies have us as nailed on favourites, which hasn't exactly worked out well for us all the time this season so far. The backroom staff are keen to point out the positives, and they are that we're better than Callington Town in every possible way. No pressure then.


nPower Championship
Millwall v Coventry City - Home Win - 4/6
Preston North End v Derby County - Home Win - 5/4

Double Odds - 11/4
Stake - £35,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £291,052
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £131,250

A solid looking Double from the Championship in England. First up are Millwall, who are unbeaten in five, the only concern being that they are very much draw specialists, though opponents Coventry City have lost four of their last six. Further north, and Preston have won their last two, which includes a win away to Norwich City that stuffed our last bet and cost us nearly £150,000. They are hosting bottom of the table Derby County, who have lost their last two, struggle at both ends of the park, and are currently nine points from safety.

Saturday 18th December

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Callington Town

Just one change to the starting lineup today, Ollie Harrison replacing Lee Hales as we persevere with the 4-3-3 narrow tactic. We should have been ahead inside ten minutes, Michael Smyth flicking the ball on when it came up the park, and Steve Magee beat Tony Purser to it, Mark Evans stopping the shot with his legs, the rebound going back to Magee who struck it towards the empty net, only to see Purser hack it clear. Evans would come off his line again in the 13th minute to try and collect a free kick that James Taylor had hoisted into the box, but he would get nowhere it, Smyth chesting the ball past him near the edge of the box, and then tucking it in to open the scoring. And we continued to pile on the pressure, Tom Murray sending in a low shot that Evans struggled to deal with, and Kasper Hansen was inches away from connecting to the loose ball. Hansen had a better chance on the half hour after Harrison played him into the left channel of the box, but he lost his composure and fired high and wide of the near post. He kept trying though, and before the break he hit a left footed curler that had Evans at full strength to tip the shot around the post.

A goal to the good at the break, and very much in control, I wanted to make sure that we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot in the second half. But Town did come out with more intent, Charlie Oakley whipping in a free kick that found half time sub Jon Thompson's head, but he couldn't keep his effort down. Town were about to run into problems though, as striker Stanislas Zola collided with team mate and captain, centre back Steve Fitzgerald. The injury to Zola was bad enough for him to be replaced right away, while Fitzgerald would only last another five minutes as our visitors had now used all their subs. They were now shooting from range, Tom Khan not troubling Elliot Jackson with his long range drive. Harrison's shot from outside the box produced a similar result, and I turned to my bench, Hansen and Smyth replaced by Lewis Oliver and Martin Prince as we adjusted into a more solid 4-4-2 tactic. Prince quickly tried to find the second goal to make the points safe, Evans blocking the effort to beat him at the near post. Murray then got a booking, taking one for the team as he blatantly pulled Oakley back by the shirt to prevent a counter attack down our right. Danny Howard then had to make a perfectly timed tackle as another sub Jamie Baxter made his way into our penalty box. Our defensive set piece training served us well in the final minutes, and we should have increased the lead late on, Harrison went for goal unsuccessfully himself though with Prince absolutely unmarked in the box.

AFC Newquay (1) 1 - Michael Smyth (13)
Callington Town (0) 0
Attendance :- 3,500

Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor, Danny Howard; Jimmy Harte, Tom Murray, Ollie Harrison; Kasper Hansen (Lewis Oliver 72), Michael Smyth (Martin Prince 72), Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Ferhat Selvi, Russell Sampson, Sam Farrell, Matthew Evans, Lee Hales.

We won that game far more convincingly than the scoreline suggests, and I'm happy to report that, as we have thrown away far too many points already this season. We reach the halfway point of the season, and the end of the calendar year still four points behind the league leaders though, as Mousehole are convincing 5-1 home winners against Holsworthy.


Millwall 0-0 Coventry City
Preston North End 2-2 Derby County


Preston contribute towards messing up our bet for the second week in a row, this time throwing away a lead at home to Norwich City, and needing a last minute equaliser just to get a point on the board today. Millwall failed to do their part as well, as the recent draw specialists produced another bore draw at home to Coventry in South London. Since the start of the season I have only managed to land two bets in a row on one occasion, and have yet to hit three in a row. Yet, our finances are still very healthy. A few in a row, or even a bit more consistency in the second half of the season would quickly see the club be sat on a bank balance of seven figures.

Saturday 25th December


nPower Championship
Derby County v Burnley - Away Win - 13/8

nPower League One
Southampton v Charlton Athletic - Home Win - 4/7

Double Odds - 3.13/1
Stake - £35,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £263,642
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £144,375

Most clubs are very busy over the Christmas period. Not us though, and that means I have a little more time to look at my bet, and I've arrived at this Double. The form for Burnley isn't the sharpest, they haven't won since the day we last won a bet when they beat Millwall and they helped our bank balance out. They are still top of the league though, and they will spend their Boxing Day away to bottom of the division side Derby County. A tempting price led to me ticking the box on them. They are joined on the betslip by Southampton, who have steadily climbed League One after a slow start, and now sit in fourth place. They do have a slightly worrying trend of following league wins with a draw, but we are betting on them breaking that cycle on the south coast against Charlton Athletic tomorrow, the South London side won only once in their last five, losing the remaining four, and that win came at home to rock bottom Exeter City.

Sunday 26th December


Derby County 0-2 Burnley
Southampton 3-0 Charlton Athletic


Merry Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year hopefully, as we move across the £400,000 mark in our bank account with a BIG WIN today for our Double. No issues for Burnley at Pride Park, a two minute double salvo before the break from Ross Wallace and Kevin McDonald had them in a strong position, and Derby forward Alberto Bueno earned a second yellow card moments into the second half to give The Rams an impossible task. Down on the South Coast, things were just as easy for Southampton, who also scored all their goals in the first half, from Morgan Schneiderlin to start with, and then a Rickie Lambert pair.

Monday 27th December
The vultures are starting to circle and pick up some of our players, with two of our guys offered contracts today. Richie Wallwork has been offered a contract by Shoreham of the Sussex County Division One, and I'm fairly happy to let him go. That isn't the case with right back James Ives, who has been an ever present this season and has contributed four assists too. So the attention from Mansfield Road of the Oxfordshire Senior Premier Division is unwanted. I ask Ives to stay, and he says he is happy to remain where he is. Lets hope his actions match his words if a club starts offering him some money and potentially a part time deal.

Wednesday 29th December
A second club has come in for Richie Wallwork, with Kent League Premier Division club Beckenham Town making their move to sign the 29 year old midfielder. They are joined later in the day by Newport (IOW) from the Wessex League Premier Division.

Thursday 30th December
Our attempt to strengthen our squad with 21 year old attacking midfielder and former Newcastle United youngster Mark Doninger has failed. We are not taking it too personally, as he also rejected Bangor from Northern Ireland too. He has been available for a short time after his contract expired with Sligo Rovers of the Irish Premier Division.

Friday 31st December
Speaking of the Irish Premier Division, we do have a new arrival, as Graham Dowling arrives at the club from St Patrick's Athletic on the deal he agreed with us some time ago. The 20 year old can play at right back or centre back. He's welcomed to the club by Jimmy Harte, who states that his arrival is good for the club.

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Friday 31st December 2010
After a very quiet end to 2010, with just two games each in November and December, the start to 2011 is going to be much busier, with four games through January. The schedule starts tomorrow, with a home New Year's Day date against Holsworthy, who come into the game in sixth place, and held us to a 2-2 draw at their place back in early August. We will be looking to make sure we don't drop points against them tomorrow afternoon, with leaders Mousehole at home to third place side Penryn Athletic.


Premier Division

Manchester United v Liverpool - Home Win - Evens
Arsenal v Aston Villa - Home Win - 4/6

Double Odds - 2.33/1
Stake - £40,000
Balance After Bet Placed - £360,017
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £133,333

Betting wise, we have a very good pot of money now, and I can afford to be a little more conservative with the bets while still picking up a good return if they land. That's a great position to be in. With much of Europe in their winter break, I've gone for a double header in the New Years Day schedule from the Premier Division. Both Man United and Arsenal are home against teams from mid table, while they are sat in the top four themselves. United's blips have all come away from home, while Liverpool's form had picked up, only for them to lose the Merseyside Derby last time out. Further south, Arsenal last lost six weeks ago, and that was against Real Madrid, while Villa have consistently picked up points from the clubs around and below them, but haven't managed to do that against the heavyweights. Fingers crossed that continues tomorrow.

Saturday 1st January 2011
25 year old right back James Ives has committed his immediate future to the club, rejecting offers from elsewhere, some of which included semi-professional deals.

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Holsworthy

Our fairly settled lineup remains just that way today, as our New Year's Day team selection is unchanged apart from one change amongst the substitutes, new signing Graham Dowling replacing Ferhat Selvi in the match day squad. We were very nearly behind as early as the 6th minute though, Steve Hughes and Tony Pearce combining to play in Matt Challinor near the penalty spot, keeper Elliot Jackson quick off his line and sliding out while making himself as wide as possible to make a crucial block. His opposite number Simon Beck wasn't having much work to do, and he'd get an early finish too, though it would involve a trip to the hospital, as he jumped with Michael Smyth for a cross and landed awkwardly, suffering a suspected broken arm. Fortunately for them, they had a goalie on the bench, 16 year old Greg Tilbury. Shoot on sight I told my players, though it was the visitors from Holsworthy that took the advice, Challinor sending a shot on the turn wide and then a free kick over the bar. When we finally got some attacking luck, right back James Ives was the furthest person forward to break up a free kick, but he took too long to get his pass off when we had a three on one. Goalless at the break.

We got the second half underway, and were already frustrated as we started to give the ball away. That frustration led to shooting from range first, Ollie Harrison's shot was high and wide by quite some way, then followed by a booking for centre back Joe Kennedy. We got a bit closer when Smyth crossed the ball from the byline and Kasper Hansen tried to head it down for a team mate, inadvertently putting it on target and making it easy for Tilbury to deal with. Midway through the half, I made all my changes in one go, replacing the booked Kennedy along with Harrison and Smyth, bringing on Russell Sampson, Lee Hales and Martin Prince, while also asking us to play in a far more attacking manner. That seemed to catch Holsworthy unawares, and moments later we broke the deadlock. Ives sent the ball down the right channel for Prince and his cross found Steve Magee, who got plenty of luck when his shot took a huge deflection off a defender, and spun well out of the reach of a flat footed Tilbury and found the net! I resisted the temptation to move us into a more defensive lineup, though Danny Howard nearly changed my mind when he picked up a booking. Prince almost doubled our lead when he nipped in front of a defender but just sent his shot wide of goal. At the other end, we would still need some help from our keeper Jackson, as once more Challinor was played in on goal, and once more Jackson was off his line to spread himself and block the ball as he had early in the game, and we would manage to hold on, with Sampson picking up a late booking for time wasting.

AFC Newquay (0) 1 - Steve Magee (71)
Holsworthy (0) 0
Attendance :- 3,500

Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy (Russell Sampson 68), James Taylor, Danny Howard; Jimmy Harte, Tom Murray, Ollie Harrison (Lee Hales 68); Kasper Hansen, Michael Smyth (Martin Prince 68), Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Graham Dowling, Sam Farrell, Matthew Evans, Lewis Oliver.

Another win, which now takes us to four games unbeaten. We're probably not impressing anyone with the manner of our victories though. That's more Mousehole's style, as they increase their already sizeable goal difference advantage over us to supplement their four point advantage, with an impressive 5-1 home win over third place Penryn Athletic, who are now six points behind us. With eleven games to go, we're going to need to beat Mousehole ourselves and still need some help from elsewhere to drag them back though.


Manchester United 4-0 Liverpool 
Arsenal 1-2 Aston Villa


Liverpool fans would have been hoping that AFC Newquay didn't get rich from this bet, and we didn't. But it was no thanks to their team, who were demolished at Old Trafford by bitter rivals United, thanks to a Wayne Rooney first half double, followed by Darren Fletcher and Antonio Fletcher goals after the break. That early kick-off should have been the easier leg of the Double, but that proved not to be the case, as in the late game, Arsenal found themselves two goals down midway through the first half at the Emirates Stadium, and couldn't find their way back.

Despite that disappointing result at the bookmakers, the Board go into January very happy with my leadership of the club, as we continue to push to try and get AFC Newquay up into the next and more competitive level of football in the South West. 19 year old defender James Taylor is picked out in this latest review as the signing that the Board is most impressed by.

Sunday 2nd January
Truro City Reserves move into third place ahead of Penryn Athletic with a 2-0 home win over Dobwalls at Treyew Road.

Monday 3rd January
Next opponents and fringe promotion candidates Penryn Athletic have today signed a new player, 23 year old left back Bob Masters, who become his first Senior club. He could make his debut against us this weekend.

As could our latest signing, as we bring in a new face of our own today. The Danish Are Coming! Yes, we have signed a second Danish player to the club, and like his countryman Kasper Hansen, he is also a young striker. 21 year old Atik Askari is 5'11, and pretty quick on his feet too. He had been at Danish club AC Horsens for three seasons, released last summer by the club in a cost cutting move after their relegation a year earlier and their promotion right back up to the Superliga. He never played a First Team game for his boyhood club, and has yet to make a Senior appearance. He stated that his desire for First Team football, and the chance to get in on this project at the ground level was why he was prepared to move to England. He also confirmed he had been put in touch with Hansen, who had nothing but good things to say.

One in, and one out, as Richie Wallwork departs Mount Wise Stadium. The 29 year old midfielder has moved to Newport (Isle of Wight), who currently sit in 17th place in the Wessex League Premier Division.

Wednesday 5th January
The quality of clubs moving in for our players, or in this case, player, continues to increase. Boston Town play in the United Counties League Premier Division. They have former Queens Park Rangers and Bristol Rovers midfielder Alvin Bubb amongst their squad, and they are looking to add James Ives, as once again we have to fight to keep our starting right back at the club.

Friday 7th January


FA Cup Third Round
Mansfield Town v Preston North End - Away Win - 2/5
Stoke City v Dagenham & Redbridge - Home Win - 1/6
Fulham v Port Vale - Home Win - 1/6
Sunderland v Brentford - Home Win - 1/4
Leicester City v Morecambe - Home Win - 1/5
Barnsley v Rotherham United - Home Win - 4/6
Manchester City v Charlton Athletic - Home Win - 1/4
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Notts County - Home Win - 2/5
Aston Villa v Wycombe Wanderers - Home Win - 2/9
West Ham United v Luton Town - Home Win - 1/8

Accumulator Odds - 10.46/1
Stake - £75,000
Balance After Bet - £281,933
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £859,500

When you add all those games together, it's the numbers involved that make it look improbable, and not the individual games. Truth be told, they should all win on this bumper FA Cup Third Round day. In reality though, one will almost certainly let us down. It hasn't stopped me using my second big bet of the season though, and if it lands, we'll be a football club with more than a million pounds in the bank!

So surely as a club on the verge of potentially becoming millionaires, we shouldn't have to worry about little old Penryn Athletic tomorrow afternoon? Well, lets hope not. The bookies don't think we'll have any issues, but Penryn boss Stephen Turner does, telling the local newspaper that he doesn't think we're good enough to earn promotion this season, and the main problem is me. Ouch! This guy is not one to spare people's feeling's clearly.

Saturday 8th January

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Kernick Road, Penryn
Penryn Athletic v AFC Newquay

It's not easy to concentrate on your own match, when going's on elsewhere could put close on a million quid in your clubs bank account. But concentrate we must on this 40 minute trip south, especially today against a club that has only just fallen out of the leading group for promotion, and are managed by an individual who doesn't believe we should be there either. To try and catch them out, we switch today to a conventional 4-4-2, Kasper Hansen dropped to the bench to allow Lee Hales into the lineup. New signing Atik Askari is left out of the matchday squad today.

Penryn have won awards for this pitch, but not today, and not their fault, with the rain teeming down. It led to an early turnover deep in the Penryn half, but Jimmy Harte's shot was from well outside the box was easily dealt with by David Palmer. At the other end, Jeremy Williams failed to hit the target from a bit closer in, but from the next chance that came, we would get closer in still. Steve Magee held the ball up from a throw in, and it was quickly worked infield through Tom Murray, and then Lee Hales, who faked to shoot from the edge of the box before slipping a pass through to Harte, who rounded Palmer and slotted the ball into an empty net. As the half hour mark approached, a long hoof up the park found Michael Smyth down the right wing, and he caught Palmer off his line, lifting the ball over the keeper, but just clearing the cross bar. He would quickly get another chance though, defender Adam Nurse was already hobbling, and Hales snapped at his ankles and took the ball away from him and quickly moved it to Smyth. 40 yards out, the striker quickly moved towards the edge of the box, angling his run to the right as a covering defender approached, then stepping inside once and firing a shot across goal and inside the far post to double our lead. We had the bit between our teeth, but over committed, and were caught. Ollie Harrison's cross from the left was caught by Palmer, and he sent Athletic off down their left. Bob Masters found Elliot Lynch, and he in turn played the ball up to Josh Blake. The striker looked like he was well marshalled by two defenders, but he then twisted between the two, got into the box, and smashed an unstoppable shot high into the near top corner. 2-1 at the break.

The players were told how important it was to keep their concentration now, especially with the news that Athletic were reorganising with a pair of changes. They didn't seem to do us any harm though, as Harte almost reinstated our two goal lead with with a powerful drive that Palmer tipped over. Harte took the corner himself, picking out Smyth just yards out and he headed home for his second of the game and our third. We were flying again now, and missed a chance to move further ahead when Smyth flicked the ball on to Magee, who shanked his shot wide. A better chance would also go begging, as we counter attacked and Smyth was sent in on goal, the striker failing to get his hatrick as his effort bounced just wide of the far post. We were counter attacking effectively, and I switched both my wingers to bring fresh legs in to fuel that, though I had a rethink on my tactics when Blake first smashed a shot off our cross bar, before then heading a cross just wide at the far post. Joe Kennedy then took a huge risk by leaving his feet in the wet conditions to make a tackle, which he won, only for the ball to spin to Masters who fizzed over a cross that substitute Jason McMahon redirected onto goal, but was denied by a superb reflex stop from Elliot Jackson. I brought off James Ives, replacing him with Graham Dowling who would make his club debut. He almost immediately found himself mis-matched though, as full back Adam Porter sent in a deep cross from the right, and Ian Rawlings got up above our new right back, and found the net with a downward header to half our lead back down to a single goal, and a bit over quarter of an hour left to play. All of a sudden, we had our backs to the wall now, Hales getting booked, before Rawlings was picked out again in the box, this time by a corner from Carl Reid, but he couldn't keep his header down. With seconds left to play, Porter drove another cross into our box, and Magee headed it out to find Smyth on halfway with his back to goal, and he allowed Nurse to clumsily foul him to win a free kick, and the danger was over. Big sigh!

Penryn Athletic (1) 2 - Josh Blake (33), Ian Rawlings (74)
AFC Newquay (2) 3 - Jimmy Harte (13), Michael Smyth (29,48)
Attendance :- 623
Elliot Jackson; James Ives (Graham Dowling 73), Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor, Danny Howard; Jimmy Harte (Matthew Evans 68), Lee Hales, Tom Murray, Ollie Harrison (Lewis Oliver 68); Steve Magee, Michael Smyth.
Unused Substitutes :- Russell Sampson, Sam Farrell, Kasper Hansen, Martin Prince.

That was a test, and one that we passed by the skin of our teeth. Our reward for hanging on, apart from the obvious three points, is a big closing of the gap, with the news that Mousehole are beaten 3-1 away to Porthleven, who move off the bottom above the inactive Hayle side. The leaders defeat leaves us just a single point behind them now, and with the club's still to meet in mid March.

On the flip side of the coin, Penryn Athletic have now failed to win any of their last three games, and have slipped to fifth in the table as a result. I couldn't resist the chance to fire a response back to opposite number Stephen Turner after his pre-game mind games. I even went out of my way to do it, calling the local press myself to tell them that Penryn had made a big mistake in hiring the guy as their manager, and it would appear to have cost them a shot at promotion this season. If it causes any trouble, I'll claim someone else has clearly made a prank call.


Mansfield Town 1-2 Preston North End
Stoke City 4-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
Fulham 2-1 Port Vale
Sunderland 3-0 Brentford
Leicester City 5-0 Morecambe
Barnsley 1-0 Rotherham United
Manchester City 3-1 Charlton Athletic
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Notts County
Aston Villa 2-2 Wycombe Wanderers
West Ham United 2-0 Luton Town


It looked for all the world as if this huge bet was going to land and make us millionaires. Then Notts County struck twice in the last five minutes to bounce Premier League opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers out of the Cup, while League Two side Wycombe Wanderers had initially found themselves in front at Villa Park against their own top tier opposition, but didn't throw the towel in after falling behind, and converted a very late penalty to earn a replay.

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  • 2 months later...

Monday 10th January 2011
An attempt to mix it with considerably higher reputation clubs in the transfer market had a predictable outcome, and we miss out on 18 year old once capped Eritrean centre back Oliver Nicholas. The former Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United youngster had been kicking his heels for a little while, so there was no harm in us trying to tempt him down to Cornwall. But he opted for Spain instead, where third tier club Unión Estepona are able to offer him a salary.

Friday 14th January


nPower Championship
Burnley v Scunthorpe United - Home Win - 4/7

nPower League One
Southampton v Notts County - Home Win - 2/5

nPower League Two
Lincoln City v Burton Albion - Home Win - 1/2

Scottish Third Division
Berwick Rangers v East Stirlingshire - Home Win - Evens

Accumulator Odds - 5.6/1
Stake - £30,000
Balance After Bet - £252,172
Total Returns (Including Stake) - £198,000

After last time out where we tried and failed to become millionaires all in one go, this week it's back to our bread and butter. These are four very safe looking home wins, or at least, that's how they appear on a Friday lunchtime, but we'll see what a Saturday afternoon has in store for us. All are in the top three of their respective Divisions, and all are on decent enough form where they should be expected to dispatch their bottom half of the table visitors. If this accumulators lands, then we'll be nudging up towards the half million amount in the bank account. But it wouldn't be the first time we've been let down if things don't go the way we expect.

Saturday 15th January


Burnley 3-1 Scunthorpe United
Southampton 1-0 Notts County
Lincoln City 1-0 Burton Albion
Berwick Rangers 2-1 East Stirlingshire


Friday 21st January
After a fairly quiet week, we are ready to entertain Porthleven at home tomorrow afternoon, and we have revenge on our mind. They are one of the two teams that have rolled us over this season, and we're intent on revenge. It's one of only three wins they have on the board during the campaign, and we are overwhelming favourites to pay them back. And we need to if we're to keep the pressure up on leaders Mousehole.


nPower League One
AFC Bournemouth v Milton Keynes Dons - Home Win - 4/6

nPower League Two
Chesterfield v Crewe Alexandra - Home Win - 2/5

Blue Square Premier
Crawley Town v Cambridge United - Home Win - 5/4

Accumulator Odds - 4.25/1
Stake - £50,000
Balance After Bet - £400,457
Total Returns Including Stake - £262,500

After last week's nice win, I go looking for a second successive win for what would be only the second time so far in this save. Now much deeper into the season, League Tables and Form Guides are more reliable tools than they were in the early stages of the campaign, and I stick with the UK this week. I also stick with a fairly basic principle from last week. One very good value home game, which last week was Berwick and this week is Crawley, and a few other 'banker bets' around it to push up the potential returns. Once again it's a very solid looking bet, and with a good chunk of stake cash laid out on it, the potential return is over a quarter of a million, and would take the bank account well over the half million pounds level.

Saturday 22nd January

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Porthleven

Snow and temperatures hovering around the zero mark mean that our 100% home sell out record goes today. They'll be back I'm sure if we get a win today, and they'll miss the debut of the orange ball. Also getting a debut and his professional bow for this one is Danish striker Atik Askari as we switch to a narrow 4-3-3 formation, going for a good win to ensure the missing fans are back next time around. Ollie Harrison makes way for him as we move Jimmy Harte into an unfamiliar for him centre midfield role. There is another potential debutant on the bench, where Fred Musah is selected in case we do need to change things up.

We went out on the front foot, Tom Murray sending a shot over the bar after a cross was only partially cleared to him on the left side of the box. Michael Smyth had two cracks at one on ones, but failed to get a shot away either time, not something that Asik Askari was guilty of when he cut inside from the right, but he buried his shot into the side netting. At the other end, Frank Evans progress down the right was stopped abruptly by a well timed Danny Howard challenge. Unfortunately, in the next phase of play, Sam Harris was too quick for the left back, and he went over from Howard's challenge and the ref pointed to the spot. In front of a jeering terrace, Peter Mutch calmly rolled his penalty kick low into the bottom corner as Elliot Jackson went the wrong way, and we were a goal behind. Our response was quick and decisive, as Murray won the ball in midfield and played Smyth in. The strikers shot was pushed away by Bobby Cole, but only as far as Lee Hales who smashed a low shot against the base of the upright, and it bounced out to hit an unfortunate Mickey Byrne on the shins and creep over the line to level the scores back up. Our guests were targeting our left side of the defence now, hoping for another error from Howard. But he stayed solid and launched a counter attack that saw Steve Magee send the ball across to Askari, his header lacking the power to beat Cole.

Still all square at half time, but it was my opposite number who felt the need the make changes, removing penalty winner Harris as they went narrower to try and match us up and prevent us punching holes through the middle of the park. His tactical changes was punished just ten minutes after the interval, loose play in midfield saw the ball find it's way to Magee out on the left, and he sent a low cross into the box again, which a defender was unable to deal with and allowed Smyth to pounce on the ball and slot home our second of the afternoon and give us a lead for the first time. Stick or Twist? Well, it was stick for a while, and we restricted Porthleven's possession and chances, a shot from range by Mutch was comfortably dealt with by Jackson. Meanwhile, Magee flicked a header wide before his blocked effort ran loose to Murray who's low driven shot brought out a superb save from Cole, and an even better tackle from Byrne to prevent Magee tapping home the rebound. Ten minutes or so remaining, and warning shot across our bows taken seriously when a cross into the box was glanced just wide, I decided to close the sweet shop up. All my subs had been used and were like for like, though I did end up pushing back into a more defensive outlook. We still should have added another goal, Askari shooting when Smyth was unmarked in the centre, and Lee Hales dragging an effort well wide. We didn't cave, despite a slew of late bookings for heavy tackles and time wasting. Three more points.

AFC Newquay (1) 2 - Mickey Byrne (23 og), Michael Smyth (55)
Porthleven (1) 1 - Peter Mutch (19 pen)
Attendance :- 3,362
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor, Danny Howard (Russell Sampson 71); Jimmy Harte (Ollie Harrison 71), Lee Hales, Tom Murray; Michael Smyth, Atik Askari, Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Graham Dowling, Sam Farrell, Fred Musah, Martin Prince.

That's a fourth straight win for us, and while the scorelines still don't suggest we are 'dominating' games to any degree, it's nice to report that our threat of dropping points was much lower this time around, though so is Porthleven's league position. At the sharp end, the status quo remains with Mousehole beating Dobwalls 3-0 at home to retain their one point lead at the top of the Division. A defeat, or even a draw for them, would've made our weekend. But actually, our weekend was just getting started.........


AFC Bournemouth 1-0 Milton Keynes Dons
Chesterfield 3-2 Crewe Alexandra
Crawley Town 2-1 Cambridge United


That's a second successive win at the bookies, and pockets us just over a quarter of a million pounds in one trip. It also leaves our bank balance only the cost of a hefty round of drinks away from standing at £670,000. I head upstairs to the Boardroom, where I accept congratulations on the win, both on the park and at the bookmakers. Spirits are high, this was always a project for the Owner and his Board, and the expectation was only to be competitive as a mid-table outfit. But while I'm here, I have a question in mind, and judging the mood in the room, it's a good time to put it on the table (the button is no longer greyed out).

-'We need to think about moving up to the next level now. The finances are good, and we can build on the clubs enhanced reputation to put good foundations in place.'

-We agree, the finances are better than we could have ever hoped for, but this is a new project, and I'm not sure that this is the right move for the club. We could be risking the clubs financial future. It's a no for now.'

-'I have to say I'm disappointed. I thought that we had the same ambitions here, and I'm concerned that we are going to miss an opportunity to capitalise on the clubs big chance to move up the League's quickly and really create a buzz for football in Newquay for years to come!'

-'You know what, you're right! There is a great chance here to really create something amazing. Your request is granted!'

That right there was a magical moment! There is no time frame set for when it will be put in place, and right now there is no Transfer or Wage Budget in place, the screen showing that they will not be released until the season expectations have been agreed upon. But that's okay, just knowing it's going to happen is a huge boost, and the focus will redouble now on overhauling Mousehole in the remaining games of the season, including our away game against them, and hope that we have a new level to play at when the money starts to get filtered into the playing squad this summer if we need to wait that long.

Normally, I'd be moving on to the next bet and game right now, but I think I need a few minutes to let this news sink in.......

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On 10/05/2022 at 09:06, oche balboa said:

As always. Your stories are excellent and this is as well. Keep up the good work 

Thank you Oche. Always appreciate your comments and that you continue to follow my stories. Cheers for that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sunday 23rd January 2011
Our win against Porthleven yesterday means we are now six games unbeaten since late November, which is a new club record run.

Friday 28th January
Our final game of the month is on the schedule for tomorrow afternoon as we travel to face managerless Dobwalls, who had a very good run of results in the mid part of the season after opening the campaign poorly, but have now lost three of their last four and sit in 9th place going into the weekend. With leaders Mousehole travelling to third place Foxhole Stars, can we justify our favourites tag with a win at Lantoom Park and finally jump above the leaders if they slip up?


FA Cup Fourth Round
Everton v Millwall - Home Win - 2/5
Newcastle United v Barnsley - Home Win - 4/7
Queens Park Rangers v Manchester City - Away Win - 4/6

Blue Square Bet Premier Division
Kettering Town v Hayes & Yeading United - Home Win - 4/7

Accumulator Odds - 4.76/1
Stake - £50,000
Balance After Bet - £627,663
Total Returns Including Stake - £288,095

On FA Cup Third Round day, I went for a big return, and just missed out. This time I haven't used all the available stake room that I have as I expect the games to be closer on Fourth Round day, and have included an away game which is rare. However, I still like the look of this bet, and a win here would be our single biggest bet return to date, and would give us three straight wins for the first time over the course of the save.

Saturday 29th January

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Lantoom Park, Dobwalls
Dobwalls v AFC Newquay

The Cornish winter hasn't improved any over the last week, with the weather only just above the zero mark, and sleet being blown across the park by heavy gusts as kick off time arrives. A good number of fans have followed us on the near 30 mile trek inland to the village of Dobwalls, and they arrive to the news that we have kept our lineup and matchday squad exactly as it was for last weeks home win over Porthleven.

The hosts went close to opening the scoring early as Sam Smith sent a free kick just wide of Elliott Jackson's post. Ben Bailey didn't come quite as close a little while later when he rolled his defender and also shot wide of goal. Lee Hales went closer than them both when he marched through midfield and sent a shot skidding off the turf but also just off target. Despite the pitch not being great, we were still trying to play good football, Tom Murray cutting back a cross from the left low into the middle midway through the half, Steve Magee taking a touch before blasting it into the side netting. With the sleet starting to come down a lot harder as half time approached, Colin Knight whipped in a cross shot from the left that Jackson wasn't prepared to take a chance with and touched over the top of the cross bar.

All square at half time, and by the time the second half started the weather had started to improve a bit, and we had a great chance early after the restart that saw Magee run in on goal from the left corner of the box, only to blast his shot right at keeper Lee Tooth who pushed it to safety. A better chance yet arrived within two minutes, as we broke up a Dobwalls attack and counter attacked at speed, Michael Smyth breaking through the middle before slipping a through pass into Murray's path. He drew Tooth off his line and lifted a shot over him, getting a little too much on his effort and sending it just agonisingly over the cross bar. Their keeper was really starting to frustrate us by this point with the hour mark approaching, Atik Askari making ground down the right and feeding a pass into Jimmy Harte, who's cut back into the middle picked out Smyth who struck it first time only to see Tooth keep that one out with an outstretched boot. We were now starting to pile the pressure on, and moments later Hales dropped a free kick from the left into the far post, where Askari was preparing to apply the finishing touch only to be shoved in the back from Mel Wright. The ref pointed to the spot despite the Dobwalls pleas that the Dane had dived, and after quite a wait Harte held his nerve and drilled his spot kick low and hard into the bottom corner to finally put us in front. That goal forced our hosts to come out of their shell a bit, and we would make them pay for that with around a quarter of an hour to play. Tooth's clearance from almost his own goal line was a poor one, Hales headed it back over their defence, and the whole unit stopped believing Magee to be offside. The flag stayed down though, and the striker made no mistake in slotting his shot past the keeper to double our advantage to the delight of our travelling support, and the fury of the Dobwalls defence who once again complained bitterly to the officials. We were now comfortable enough to take players out of the firing line, James Ives and Hales had both been booked, and came off along with Askari in a trio of changes that saw Graham Dowling, Sam Farrell and Kasper Hansen come on and help us see out the game.

Dobwalls (0) 0
AFC Newquay (0) 2 -
Jimmy Harte (64 pen), Steve Magee (77)
Attendance :- 584
Elliott Jackson; James Ives (Graham Dowling 82), Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor, Danny Howard; Jimmy Harte (inj - 90), Lee Hales (Sam Farrell 82), Tom Murray; Michael Smyth, Atik Askari (Kasper Hansen 82), Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Russell Sampson, Fred Musah, Ollie Harrison, Martin Prince.

That was a nice win, as we showed great game management to keep our nerve when things looked like they might not go our way, and then didn't allow Dobwalls a foothold back into the match after getting our goals, despite having to play injury time a man light when Jimmy Harte went off with a knock. A man of the match display at centre back from a fast improving James Taylor is also worth a mention, the nineteen year old from the North East is playing the first Senior football of his career, and is taking to it very nicely.

But my focus after the game was on young Jimmy Harte. The eighteen year old from Solihull now has five goals and two assists from fourteen games for us, but he is not happy. He is naturally a right winger, but with us playing very narrowly he is being asked to play as part of a centre midfield trio, and is making strides of improvement every week. He has come to me to say he isn't happy in his role, and telling him he should see it as a compliment that even though it isn't his position, I still think he's good enough to keep others out of the side as he continues to learn the position. After a temper tantrum got him a stern word, Harte quickly backed down, but I suspect this isn't the last I have heard of this matter. Lets hope the left footer continues his progress in training and game situations and learns to adapt to the role he's been asked to play in.

Mousehole have won again, a 2-1 victory away to third place Foxhole Stars who did their best to chase the game late on, but only ended up with one of their players getting red carded for their troubles. They remain a point ahead of us, and with a far better goal difference, with the Stars now being ten points behind us. With eight each left to play, including a crunch match against each other in mid March, it is looking like a two horse race now for the single promotion spot up into the South West Peninsula Premier Division.


Everton 2-0 Millwall

Newcastle United 0-0 Barnsley

Queens Park Rangers 1-1 Manchester City

Kettering Town 3-0 Hayes & Yeading United


Sunday 30th January
We have another new arrival. I'll never stop trying to bring in players who will improve us, no matter what status or level we are playing at. 19 year old six footer Chris Tingay was released at the start of the season by Chesterfield after two seasons with them that failed to yield a Senior competitive appearance. A centre back primarily, but he can also play on the right and in an advanced wing back role too, quick enough to play there comfortably though not yet a good enough crosser. But the best part of signing him has nothing to with his playing attributes, and everything to do with him turning down an offer of a full time contract from nPower League Two promotion chasing club Bury, because he is excited to get into our project near the ground floor.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tuesday 1st February 2011
The Board continue to be impressed by defender James Taylor, and by everything else going on at the club as well right now. Whether that will remain the case if we fail to overhaul current league leaders Mousehole, well, that could be another story.

Friday 4th February


Belgian Pro League
Racing Genk v Cercle Brugge - Home Win - 4/6

German Bundesliga.1
Bayern Münich v FC Köln - Home Win - 4/6

Turkish Premier League
Eskisehirspor v Antalyaspor - Home Win - 4/6

Accumulator Odds - 3.63/1
Stake - £50,000
Balance After Bet - £572,196
Total Returns Including Stake - £231,500

On paper, this one looks pretty straightforward. Three home clubs playing sides quite some way further down the League than them, and with the home teams in better runs of form. If anything, this trio of clubs are all overpriced. Fingers crossed for a successful weekend as this is all we have going on with no game of our own.


Racing Genk 2-1 Cercle Brugge
Bayern Münich 3-2 FC Köln
Eskisehirspor 3-1 Antalyaspor


In the my head, I was looking at a couple of comfortable four nil wins, and maybe a slightly rougher ride in the Turkish game. Nope. That one was the easier one after they raced into a two goal lead and then saw their guests have a man sent off as well. In Germany however, Bayern were two goals down inside half an hour, and had lost Franck Ribéry to injury by then as well. They needed some magic from Thomas Müller and a towering header from Danijel Pranjic to turn things around at the Allianz-Arena and I was able to let out a big sigh of relief. That wasn't the end of the drama though. I thought we were looking good in Belgium when Genk went in front inside a minute. But Irish striker Dominic Foley chose this game to score his first goal of the season and Genk needed to score five minutes from time through Jelle Vossen to get us a winning betslip.

Friday 11th February
We have a real banana skin fixture this week, as we host third placed Foxhole Stars. We beat them 4-2 at their place back in September, but they have improved considerably since then, though not enough to push themselves into the promotion picture, which is really just a battle between the top two realistically now. Our job this weekend is to make sure they are not running interference on our chances in that promotion hunt.


Austrian Premier League
SK Sturm Graz v SV Ried - Home Win - 5/4

Single Bet Only
Stake - £75,000
Balance After Bet - £529,127
Total Returns Including Stake - £168,750

Despite having all these Leagues and Divisions open in all these nations across the globe, I honestly couldn't find anything that was worth the risk for the value I was being offered. So this week, call me Mr Responsible, which I need to start being more often with us looking to step up a level. I didn't want to lose a chunk of money obviously, and this might be something you see a bit more of.

I think this is the first time I've been linked with a job elsewhere. It would mean a return to Wales, where I was isolated from competitive football after being found guilty of betting on games before the FA changed the rules. The club rumoured to be interested are one of Wales' bigger clubs, and are situated very close to my home town. Newport County are currently marooned in mid-table in the Blue Square Premier, and have apparently been following my progress with AFC Newquay for a while as current Manager at the club Tim Flowers is rumoured to be contemplating moving on this summer. The former Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and England goalkeeper is out of contract this summer, and the South Wales club are said to be concerned that they may not be able to keep him at the Newport Stadium.

Saturday 12 February

South West Peninsula League, Division One West
Mount Wise Stadium, Newquay
AFC Newquay v Foxhole Stars

Just one change for us today in this big game, with new signing and defender Chris Tingay brought into the matchday squad amongst the substitutes, replacing Russell Sampson. The weather has improved, though we are still a long way away from summer temperatures here in Cornwall, but at least we have a full house once again today.

Visiting keeper Gwyn Griffiths had to make a big stop inside five minutes to keep the scoresheet clean, Tom Murray picking out Michael Smyth around 10 yards out, the keeper saving that shot with his legs. He had no chance in the 14th minute though, Jimmy Harte and Smyth involved in the build up, and Lee Hales smashing a 25 yarder into the near side top corner, a real goal of the season contender! Ten minutes later, Hales tried his luck from a similar spot, this time it came back off the cross bar, Steve Magee couldn't quite control the ball as it bounced back to him, but it fell to Smyth who made no mistake to double our lead. At this point, any score was possible, and everyone seemingly wanted to get in on the act, full back James Ives driving a shot into the side netting. Magee had just curled a shot inches wide of the upright when the ball was sent over the Stars defence and he raced onto it, Griffiths racing off his line to narrow the angle, but Magee slipped the shot by him and into the bottom corner for his tenth of season, and left the Stars three goals down at the break, and without their skipper Steve Gregory who went off injured.

I told my players not to let their performance drop in the second half, but actually Stars would come back out in a very offensive setup, though Smyth did miss an early chance to extend our lead still further, Griffiths making another good stop. At the other end, Aaron Howes beat Elliot Jackson to the ball after our keeper charged off his line to deal with a ball down the middle of the park, but the forward then hooked his shot wide of the open net. I made my changes, replacing the booked James Taylor and Atik Askari with debutant Chris Tingay and Kasper Hansen, and also bringing on Ollie Harrison for Harte. For Taylor, it was partly also because he had just tried to shepherd the ball back to Jackson, got it badly wrong, and Richard Hale nipped in between the pair to pull a goal back for the visitors. This game was now far more open than it needed to be from our point of view, Smyth and Griffiths collided going after the same ball, Hansen unable to punish the keeper as he fired the shot wide with the goalie prone on the grass. Instead, Stars would get the next goal, Paul Ring with a deep cross from the right, and Hale looked miles offside, but the flag stayed down and he fired home his second to bring the score back to 3-2! We now looked an absolute mess, and with just six minutes left to play a cross from the left picked out Howes, his looping header beating Jackson, hitting the underside of the bar and bouncing back into the six yard box, where he reacted fastest and beat Jackson and a defender to the ball to bundle it home and bring the scores level to the dismay of a capacity crowd! The Stars had us right where they wanted us, but they were more than happy with their comeback, and they dropped themselves back into a far more conventional setup. Big mistake! With injury time almost up, we won a corner that Harrison whipped into the near post, and on his Senior debut, Chris Tingay met the ball with a thumping header that found it's way by the mass of bodies on the line, and this crowd would go home happy, and relieved, after all!

AFC Newquay (3) 4 - Lee Hales (14), Michael Smyth (24), Steve Magee (36), Chris Tingay (90+2)
Foxhole Stars (0) 3 - Richard Hale (59,76), Aaron Howes (84)
Attendance :- 3,500
Elliot Jackson; James Ives, Joe Kennedy ©, James Taylor (Chris Tingay 60), Danny Howard; Jimmy Harte (Ollie Harrison 60), Lee Hales, Tom Murray; Michael Smyth, Atik Askari (Kasper Hansen 60), Steve Magee.
Unused Substitutes :- Graham Dowling, Sam Farrell, Fred Musah, Martin Prince.

Wow! What a game. And what a way to dodge a bullet too. And what makes it all the more remarkable was that Mousehole also won 4-3 today. They were both 2-0 and 3-2 behind at home to Truro City Reserves, and at 3-3 they were reduced to ten men when James Croft was sent off for a second booking. But Glenn James scored his second of the afternoon and 8th of the season from the 17 year old with just eight minutes remaining to keep his club top of the table tonight.

That was some contribution from new signing Chris Tingay on the occasion of his first ever Senior football game, and the nineteen year old Londoner must have been wondering what on earth he had let himself in for as the second half played out. But his winner makes it six wins in a row for us now, and we're still very much in the hunt for the Title, and it almost feels like it's destiny that it could all be settled on the game between the top two next month.


SK Sturm Graz 3-0 SV Ried


And it wasn't just on the park that we were winners today! On a snowy day in Graz, it was a fairly straightforward win for our backed home side as they swept aside bottom of the table SV Ried and restarted their season after the winter break with a win having gone four without a win before the seasonal gap, although they are still eleven points behind leaders Rapid Vienna, and the damage may be done to their season. No damage to our bank account though, a second consecutive win pays out almost £100,000 in profit, and with the home game profits also taken into account, we now have a balance of just over £700,000.

We have a tough looking game coming up, as we travel next weekend for a rare Sunday game in Truro, where we will be hosted by their Reserve side that have just been beaten by Mousehole.

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