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[FM21] Hometown Heroes


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Had a bit of a break from FM but have just got back into it and have been reading your updates from the last few pages. Looking really good so far hopefully you can make a promotion push this season.

I was wandering how you go about filling your youth staff. Do you go after personality above coaching attributes/ability or do you go after coaching attributes/ability over personality. I am constantly finding myself torn between the two because although better personalities will probably bring in youth players with better personalities, if they cant coach them and improve them then I'm not sure just how beneficial it is. On the flip side, I'm not sure how useful it would be to have amazing coaches in they are going to be training players that don't have the personalities that will allow them to push to get better.

Keep up the amazing work. Love reading this thread, although it does bring back memories of me struggling at school trying to work out what some of the figures & averages mean!!!

EDIT: Forgot to say how great it was to see Worcester back in a good league. Where are they playing at? Have they moved to sixways like you did?

Edited by Watson156
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8 hours ago, Watson156 said:

Had a bit of a break from FM but have just got back into it and have been reading your updates from the last few pages. Looking really good so far hopefully you can make a promotion push this season.

Honestly, we are not ready yet. Far too inconsistent and too young. We'd have to have a complete rebuild, which, on the back of a poor bank balance, would mean we'd be putting all of our eggs in one basket to stay up and reap the financial rewards the EPL brings. Give me a few years...

8 hours ago, Watson156 said:

I was wandering how you go about filling your youth staff. Do you go after personality above coaching attributes/ability or do you go after coaching attributes/ability over personality. I am constantly finding myself torn between the two because although better personalities will probably bring in youth players with better personalities, if they cant coach them and improve them then I'm not sure just how beneficial it is. On the flip side, I'm not sure how useful it would be to have amazing coaches in they are going to be training players that don't have the personalities that will allow them to push to get better.

Well - I've grown a bit annoyed at this. We have a u23 squad but they don't play in any kind of competition and we still haven't been offered an u18 squad, although I guess that may come when we get promoted so our u18 play in the PL2? Because of that - I've really just got skeleton staff at that level.

However - my normal go to is personality > ability as long as there are coaching badges left to be done, which indicates they may have more potential. There is a cut off, obviously, that I'd sign a coach with good attributes rather than a M.Citizen with 1 for each area!

8 hours ago, Watson156 said:

Keep up the amazing work. Love reading this thread, although it does bring back memories of me struggling at school trying to work out what some of the figures & averages mean!!!

That's why I use Excel, so I don't have to!

8 hours ago, Watson156 said:

EDIT: Forgot to say how great it was to see Worcester back in a good league. Where are they playing at? Have they moved to sixways like you did?

No - still at St George's lane. They'd probably move to Sixways if they made the football league but look as if they're being relegated after just one season at National League level. It's only Stratford who have splurged on a new big stadium really.

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29 minutes ago, HurkaDurk69 said:

How are your set pieces set up?

Good question!

So, I've considered two things - a) we are small and b) we are not very quick

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Therefore, I have these:

  • Defending corners - I get everyone back except Ferencik as I'm not really a counter attacking side but he is by far the fastest player in my team in case I can break. I do need to look at this as we rank 23rd in goals conceded from corners, with 6 going against us. 
  • Attacking corners - I go to the near post to avoid having to lift the ball over a crowd of players. I don't commit lots of players forward as I don't want us caught out on the break. Corners, for me, are not necessarily a viable scoring opportunity.
  • Non-shooting chance free kicks - I don't even send my centre backs forward here as I know we are a ball-playing team so I get the ball back in play as quickly as I can. We have scored from an IFK (24th in league) but that is probably because we just begin another phase of possession.
  • Throw ins - Again, just short to recycle possession. We don't have a standout throw-in taker so I have no need to try anything special here!

 

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On 05/01/2021 at 18:58, _Ben_ said:

It was! What a good memory you must have! I remember a striker called Cristiano who was lethal at the time before becoming a DLP as he aged. That was a fun save! What was your username on TD?

haha mate I was actually looking for it the other day as I remembered enjoying it so much back then. When searching for it I came across a blog by Shrewnaldo who mentioned the Setubal stuff was written by someone called Ben and I thought hang on, I wonder....

I have never been a user on dugout and have no idea how I came to be reading it back then, I remember loving the counter attacking 3-5-2 though lol

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1 hour ago, LATB said:

haha mate I was actually looking for it the other day as I remembered enjoying it so much back then. When searching for it I came across a blog by Shrewnaldo who mentioned the Setubal stuff was written by someone called Ben and I thought hang on, I wonder....

I have never been a user on dugout and have no idea how I came to be reading it back then, I remember loving the counter attacking 3-5-2 though lol

Yes - both @Shrewnaldo and @F0rzaH used to be regulars on The Dugout and there was some great saves - I think it was probably second, in terms of traffic, to this site for FM fan sites and must have been listed as an affiliate way back around CM01/02 time as that's how I found the site. Fortunately, it all went downhill about seven or eight years ago now whereby the owner just stopped paying the hosting fees and, sadly, everything from there has disappeared into the abyss of the internet!

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2037/38 End of Season Review

I forgot to do the February/March review so have combined it all into one big one - here are our results for that period of time...

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I am absolutely delighted with this finish and improvement year on year. Whilst we didn't quite have enough to make it to the playoffs - I feel that we are not ready yet, as I have alluded to a few times, so I am not worried about more time at this level. In the end, Newcastle had enough about themselves to put behind a poor year last year and Derby returned back to the top flight. There is potential joy for Plymouth who would, surely, be the biggest shock in the Premier League if they make it, but, judging by their squad - cannot help but feel they are little more than a one-season wonder. The Championship will have a distinctly Midlands feel next year as, despite Coventry's relegation, Blues and Villa will join us and WBA after their torrid seasons.

As a team, we have improved in many ways and offer some really interesting statistics:

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We are pretty tight but still concede more than expected (1.2 to 1.12) yet are rather passive in front of goal - averaging just 9 shots per game, yet getting a league (way) high of 57% on target and outscoring our xG (1.87 to 1.42). My tactical style has been, and always will be, about defensive structure first and foremost, which means I'm not prepared to try and double that shots figure, hoping our goals scored will double as well whilst ignoring the relatively solid defence we have.

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Some really strong performances from this squad overall as I've now managed to find a decent balance between squad depth and affording the salary of having a deep squad. My biggest disappointment must be for Carter Vincent-Day, who missed a lot of the season with a succession of big injuries. He's aging and, at 31, may be in line for a last hurrah next season. There was a really positive introductory season for Ollie Weaver as he took over the number 1 shirt. Our goals conceded column was a little higher than I'd have liked this year but I know that bedding in a new keeper was essential here and, as I wasn't necessarily looking for a top season - can rationalise it. There was a good number of minutes for Hunter Maddison and two debutants in Stokes and Roberts whilst Ferencik continues to be an absolute goal-scoring machine.

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I'm a little bit in limbo as I head into the summer as I have lost out on the three Bosman signings I had earmarked, as seen below, and, with an ever decreasing bank balance may be forced to sell before I can buy. 

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On the plus side, we're expanding the stadium and moving to Coventry for a bit - which means, despite the travel, I should get a few more fans through the turnstiles.

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12 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

As a team, we have improved in many ways and offer some really interesting statistics:

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We are pretty tight but still concede more than expected (1.2 to 1.12) yet are rather passive in front of goal - averaging just 9 shots per game, yet getting a league (way) high of 57% on target and outscoring our xG (1.87 to 1.42). My tactical style has been, and always will be, about defensive structure first and foremost, which means I'm not prepared to try and double that shots figure, hoping our goals scored will double as well whilst ignoring the relatively solid defence we have.

I find these figures to be way too high in my save too, too efficient for my liking. 

 

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July 2038: World Cup Madness

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It's normally an aim really late into the save to have an academy player win a World Cup, yet Dewi Bohana and Ollie Weaver are just 90 minutes from that! If they lose, my other player, Ronan Rooney, will win the World Cup, whilst playing for Redditch! Madness!

There were also good runs for Abrahamsson (quarter final) as well as Ferencik and Suarez (semi final).

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6 minutes ago, keeper#1 said:

Ireland-USA and Brazil-Wales semifinals?!?!?!

How did the USA do in the 3rd place game?

Brazil won bronze with a solid performance:

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And then Wales won it on penalties:

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Neither Bohana or Weaver played for Wales but Rooney played just under 90 for Ireland.

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2038/39 Recruitment

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Patrick DammanHarrison Valentino.

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A very quiet summer transfer window, despite having some free money from the sell-on clause from Tom Stones. We added Salzburg midfielder Damman to the squad to add some depth at both DL and CM and the wonderfully named Valentino to add depth at CM and both sides of the wings. My big problem is this:

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I've got scouts out all over the shop and have found some pretty decent youngsters but, in the price bracket I'm dealing with, they just aren't going to qualify for a Work Permit. Those that will are massively out of the price range of a club that still loses nearly a million pound a month.

My aim is to ensure that my academy is strong and stocked, although that, itself, is tricky as youngsters aren't able to join until they are 18 and the English youth is massively overpriced. I will continue to develop the youth I have at the club but, whilst my Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching is amazing, my actual Youth and Training facilities are not:

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2 solid signings. I’m surprised you’ve not tapped into the released players from other clubs. Unless you’re doing that already. I’m sure you’d find a couple of youngsters from PL who you could mould that could be signed on frees.

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15 minutes ago, Nottingham Forest said:

2 solid signings. I’m surprised you’ve not tapped into the released players from other clubs. Unless you’re doing that already. I’m sure you’d find a couple of youngsters from PL who you could mould that could be signed on frees.

There really isn't many players about!

Starting this on the Beta means I have that really annoying thing where lots of big u18 squads are just grey players. The youth intake sizes don't appear to be back to normal either:

Man Utd:

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So the sheer number of youth players around is just not what it should be. I'd read that this was save game compatible but it doesn't seem to be for me? What it'll mean is that I really have to  focus on my academy but, when adding Brexit to this, will continue to massively inflate the cost of UK youngsters.

Does it look right to you?

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August 2038: Player Sale

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Keeping a good cash flow is important so Rooney was allowed to move to Italy.

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I've dipped my toes into the market for some academy players: Marlon Yates (£16k from Solihull Moors), Ivan Miekle (free, with a friendly, from Alfreton), Kieran Hutchinson (free, with a friendly, from Glenavon), Joran Rensch (free from IMG Academy) and Mikey Tait (free from NYRB Academy).

These aren't necessarily going to be world beaters but are players I can develop from a really young age as there is, as just referred to, a gaping hole where those 18/19 year old free agents should be.

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July/August/September 2038

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A bit of a hit and miss start to the season. 

A couple of years ago when I made only one signing, that of Elijah Suarez, I felt really confident going in to the new season with a settled squad and that was also the case this year. However, we've really not hit our stride and some of the simple mistakes that we worked really hard to iron out, as a group, have returned.

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However - following the events of last night, my ideology is quickly shifting towards that elite academy and, by bringing back a lot of the tracking devices I used in my Guadalajara save last year. I'm going to wait until I reach the Premier League, hoping that I'll be rewarded with an u18 squad and a competitive league for my u23 but I have some plans in place. However, the board are literally rejecting everything - they feel our facilities are up to scratch even though they are, by far, the worst in the division and haven't seen an upgrade (for Training facilities) since I took over.

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October 2038: Academy Update

As I move towards my goal of being completely self sufficient, it's important to keep track on the developments we are making. Below you can see the first team squad with academy graduates highlighted in blue:

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The top four players, judged by my assistant, are all from the academy and the top six from seven also, which is a great show of what we've tried to do. It's also worth noting that the likes of Bennett and Airey could easily be replaced but the tie I have to my academy players and often the loyalty they have towards me as rotational players, is fantastic.

Youngsters Stokes, Roberts and Chance are also there but, in an ideal world, they'd not be part of the squad until fully ready to integrate and contribute - however, we are way off the depth required to do that, yet.

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In terms of personalities - I have a M.Citizen and an M.Pro from the club, as well as a Resolute and several Pro players (not all of whom have turned 23 yet) so I'm not in a bad place. Unfortunately, all of the other M.Pro's have been recruited (but this was essential to start the personality ball rolling) and are coming towards the end of their careers or are beginning to be left behind, ability wise.

 

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Posted (edited)

October 2038: How soon is too soon?

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In the case of loans for my youngsters...

Jackson, above, is a top prospect in goal and has all of the attributes (maybe short distribution with his feet aside) of a top player and I don't want to limit his growth. Therefore, I sent him out on loan and Walsall, a newly promoted Championship side, were interested. Great. He joins my own two keepers and other graduate Martin Sadler, who's at Preston on loan at the moment. As you can see, he's developing well but his performances are really poor:

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Granted - Walsall aren't the best team and they will be inviting pressure but these ratings must be harming his development? In the olden days, the golden rule was 7.0+ would lead to a positive performance and positive development. I'm really reluctant to see my best prospect getting battered weekly and maybe I should have kept him in my academy team to develop to a point where he won't be this leaky. Although finding that optimal point is really tough!

Thoughts?

Edited by _Ben_
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November 2038: Sum up the season

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I think this sums up our season pretty accurately so far!

We're not quite getting it right but coming out of things with more than we deserve.

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October/November 2038

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Despite putting together a nice little run through November - we are still not really out of second gear and definitely benefitted from playing some of the lesser teams in the division at this point. 

October was pretty poor - dominated at home by Portsmouth despite taking an early lead through Vlad, who is now up to 15 goals in 19 appearances, yet, statistically, is only performing around average in every key statistic - not sure on that one! Our best performance of this period was a strong showing against QPR, although, thanks to a late flurry from the promotion contenders, created just 1.45 xG to their 1.83.  We gave away a lead twice against Cardiff before not cutning up against Villa and conceding late against Burnley as we sat in the bottom half with some pundits questioning our standing within the league. November was better, even if we didn't deserve a win over Blues - scoring with our only shot on target that was worth a massive 0.15xG. A bore draw against lowly Leyton Orient before a resounding win away at bottom of the table Ipswich spurred us on. We then ended with a lucky three points against Preston in a game with a combined xG of less than 1.

I'm only a win away from a play off place, but, at this moment, that feels like a million miles away.

Also - it's worth completely ignoring what I said about Plymouth last season - that the playoff appearance was a fluke and they'd never be back. They are a very strong and well-oiled team and, more than likely, will be in the Premier League next year.

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With no competitive fixtures outside the first team, I've got a fair few players out on loan:

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Plenty of progress, but, Musah and Hernandez aside, not a huge amount of quality on the pitch! I think that, should the rest of the season be a success, that Llorente will come back and replace Patrick Dammer in the first team, as he's really not settled into the team his year. Musah is a way off first team football for me but his progress has very much been noted at National North side Warrington.

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January 2039: Loan offer

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This is a massive deal!

It doesn't look like it - but Plymouth are top of the league and nine points clear, have great training facilities and want Roberts to be an important first team player, which he's not with us. Five months, helping Plymouth reach the top flight, could absolutely kick him on and leave us with a proper talent next season.

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2 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

December 2038: Youth Intake Preview

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Pinched a local lad from under the noses of a rival there. Redditch's rep is on the increase!

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10 hours ago, ToMexico!! said:

Pinched a local lad from under the noses of a rival there. Redditch's rep is on the increase!

We are indeed! Currently, there are no Midlands teams in the Prem so we on a par with the best - in standing and not reputation or player quality though.

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December 2038/January 2039

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I mentioned that, in November, we'd started a good little run. That didn't last long. 

December was a terrible month with the only positive being a win over then-managerless Brentford, who are a strong team this year. We did manage to turn things around as we headed into the new year with a great pair of wins over Blackburn and league leaders Plymouth - showing what we are capable of if we can actually do it consistently. That word consistency came back to bite us as we fell to a terrible defeat to Brighton, who, at the time, occupied spot in the drop zone. They are far too good to be there but we failed to capitalise on their poor morale. We returned to better performanceagainst Stoke but lacked the prowess in front of goal and then a rotated squad were, as expected, hammered by giants Liverpool. We did end the month with a decent win over Sheffield Wednesday but that's only enough to keep us just about in the top half.

We are very much staying still in what is now our third season at this level. That is absolutely ok in the short term but I can't just rest on my laurels and will need to find a way to kick on.

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In the player development area, I've been lucky enough to see lots of these messages:

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Weaver is now up to 'Professional' and this is just confirmation of how important those mentoring groups are.

Another goalkeeper, Martin Sadler, has developed down the different route - that is going out on loan. He's developing really well and is more than good enough for the first team, however, is unable to usurp Brad Rothwell as my second choice keeper due to the fact that his personality is not conducive to being a mentor.

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Jackson Lowe and, to some extent, Luca Box, are my top prospects here so I'm going to ensure that Rothwell is around long enough to pass on as many personality traits as possible. It's strange that the goalkeeper area is the most deep part of my squad, quality wise.

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13 minutes ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Great progress, and nice to see the mighty Argyle threatening to gate crash the top flight. Good luck for the rest of the season mate. 

Thank you!

Very surprised by them - they haven't done anything so far in this save:

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I just presumed that last year would be a flash in the pan and they'd be back at the bottom again this year but I was wrong. It's also nice to see a Cornish manager, Scott Bennett, from Truro, hopefully leading the first Devonshire side in the Premier League.

Shame that none of the other South Western sides are at a decent level as Devon and Cornwall was a regular holiday spot for me growing up and it holds some lovely memories.

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February 2039: Facility work (finally)

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After years of begging, the board have finally given in and allowed us to move to Youth Level 3.

With our, obvious, end goal of being a Premier League club in the next 3-5 years, we really need the infrastructure with our training and youth facilities to be on a par with those around us. 

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March 2039: Wonderkid

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My first wonderkid and he's an academy graduate, too. Hunter is really developing into a very good defensive midfielder!

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2038/39 End of Season

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Another season down and another pleasing end position. No real development in our standings nor any kind of sustained challenge towards the heady heights of the playoffs and the glory that lays ahead of it - but that is fine. Our team is not really stronger than last year but our infrastructure is getting better and stronger by the day and we're building the foundations that'll be needed for a long term empire. Incidentally, our season was, by statistics sake anyway, little better than average and our xG performances would/should have actually seen us end in a lowly 18th:

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Not the strongest of defences in the league and we allow a pretty high number of xG per game - clearly allowing big chances rather than several smaller ones, given the below defensive efficiency statistic that sees us classed as 'quiet.' The defensive picture is great but we are so passive going forward. I think that we have the quality of players so now need to focus on a shape that allows the style that I'm after but just makes us more aggressive going forward.

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It's clear where the issue lies. 21.99 xG and 30 goals for Ferencik but nobody else in double figures with, scarily, just Suarez scoring more than four goals all season. All my advanced playmakers - Abrahamsson, English, Vincent Day, English and Jimenez - have really struggled scoring but have contributed to the assists, at least.

Defensively, we are set. Offensively, the players are good enough. It's now down to the shape an instructions to get this all working!

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1 hour ago, Northernpilgrim said:

Argyle did it! And Austin looks a fantastic prospect for you too. Playoff push next season?

I really feel good for Plymouth! They've become a second team because everyone loves an underdog! Yeah, Austin looks great and I want to incorporate him, and a lot of others, in the first team as I think we're good enough to push for the playoffs but certainly not good enough to be in the Premier League, which provides me with a nice situation where we win most of our games at this level.

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2039/40 Early Summer Recruitment

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Quite an extensive re-arrangement this summer!

Out go youth player Meikle, for a £1.6m profit and 50% of his next sale, Damman after a season whereby he failed to settle, Sadler going back to Preston where he was on loan for two years, Lopia heads to Coventry to get some first team action, youth keeper Byrne moves on to Forest, Perfecto Jimenez moves on for a £10.39m profit after a surprisingly large offer out of the blue from Bristol City and English heads back to Canada to see out his career.

These gaps meant that I had to bring in some players:

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Aron StefanssonBen RichardsAlex Villanueva

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Three decent players who provide some more depth and versatility to my squad. Stefansson comes from thirteen Serie A appearances whilst on loan at Cagliari from Lazio, who he joined five years ago from his native Iceland. He's another left-footed attacking player but is a step up on on some of thoese around him. Richards signs from Norwich after he was transfer listed but has been on my radar ever since he moved from Brisbane Roar five years ago. He too has experience in Serie A last year, this time with Pescara where he was unfortunately relegated but was also part of two successive promotion campaigns - Championship winners with Birmingham City in 2037 and League One winners with Cardiff in 2038. He too is a solid attacking player with a decent ball playing ability as well as a great Determination level and a great personality. Lastly, for now anyway, Alex Villanueva comes in from La Liga side Sporting Gijon. There's obviously a risk on a youngster with no knowledge of English but he's a very good player and can provide cover for Ferencik up top or even start out wide if I decide to move to a more attacking role.

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I'm always on the look out to strengthen this team but I do feel that, in such a chaotic summer, so far, we could well do with a bit more time to settle in and this may delay our pushes for promotion - but that is fine. 

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July 2039: Player Sale

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As I said, things move very quickly.

No intention of selling Llorente until Palace put in this bid for him. He was grumbling about moving to a bigger club, despite not being first choice with me, so, with a year left on his deal, I cashed in. Now we are down a full back though...

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34 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

I really feel good for Plymouth! They've become a second team because everyone loves an underdog! Yeah, Austin looks great and I want to incorporate him, and a lot of others, in the first team as I think we're good enough to push for the playoffs but certainly not good enough to be in the Premier League, which provides me with a nice situation where we win most of our games at this level.

It's tough if you're a small second tier team. Is it better to have a good season, maybe make the playoffs, and not go up, or is it better to go up, get regularly beaten and come down, hopefully with money to spend strengthening the squad to give a better chance of going up and staying up. Good luck!

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July 2039: Commitment to youth

These kind of transfer windows really make me realise how important youth development is and, at the level I want to get to, how unimportant recruitment can be. I've spent literally hours over the past few days scouting for players, trying to find that hidden gem in the backwaters of Africa and Asia, but, to be fair, I really should just continue to develop what I have here. We have terrible training facilities so game time is the number one improver for these players, therefore, I need to take a calculated risk (and that is that the squad has already been heavily shuffled this summer) and get them first team minutes. 

My first team squad now contains the following youngsters:

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Daniel EjzaPatrick ReeceMason StokesJordon RobertsAnthoneil ChanceKingsford Musah.

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These six players are all graduates of the ever growing academy scheme and join a first team packed with academy players as I really make a push to being self sufficient. Both Ejza and Reece have no first team experience but are quite well balanced for the type of player I want and I think, based on their performances in the youth team, will flourish with first team minutes as well as training with the first team squad. Stokes and, to some extent, Roberts, are used to football here - with both having spent time with the first team last year, although Roberts' loan spell did see him win this league whilst at Plymouth. Chance is another one who has been around for a good amount of time and all of his 38 games are for us. Musah has just returned from a loan spell at National side Warrington and I've fast tracked him despite playing three tiers below us. Whilst he's not the finished article, by any stretch of the imagination - his development has been the main reason behind his promotion and I hope first team opportunities will only assist with it.

These moves allow me to be a lot more free in the transfer market: moving Valentino, underplayed and underperformed last year, back to the spotlight of the MLS for £1m, and, most importantly, 50% of his next sale and allowing graduate Bond to move upwards to Wolves for £550k, again with 50% of his next sale - owing to the fact his game does not suit my style.

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The best thing about the above is that is does not deplete my academy side. I'm still stuck in a quandry that they aren't in a competitive league nor do we have an u18 squad. However - we still have some good depth with the likes of Joran Rensch, a new signing from the IMG academy, joining my own squad:

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1 hour ago, Northernpilgrim said:

It's tough if you're a small second tier team. Is it better to have a good season, maybe make the playoffs, and not go up, or is it better to go up, get regularly beaten and come down, hopefully with money to spend strengthening the squad to give a better chance of going up and staying up. Good luck!

I'm certainly in the first boat! We can become self sufficient with sensible player sales and not getting too attached to any one youth player, which has been a problem of mine in the past. That way, we can afford to stay at the level we are and slowly develop until the time is right so we can avoid a relegation battle in the Prem.

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July 2039: Scouting focus?!

I don't know if you can guess what type of player I've been looking to add to my youth side...

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  • Young - max 18 so that they can spend time in my academy to compliment those who come through the youth system
  • Either footed - so they are comfortable anywhere on the pitch
  • Work permit exempt (holds a UK passport - see Petrie and Fleming) or likely to get one
  • Technical
  • Good intelligence (although not all scouted yet so this list may be trimmed)
  • High potential

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So far, Nwadike looks like the most promising prospect...

Edited by _Ben_
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July 2039: BIG offer

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I rejected this one as it was only a few million upfront but another big off could see me sell Weaver, promote Lowe (who has experience at this level - on loan at Walsall last year) and hopefully use the money to improve the facilities further.

EDIT: I've just accepted this from Real Zaragoza hoping that I can spark a bidding war.

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I'm going to sleep on it...

Edited by _Ben_
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Just caught up with this. Once again, you've created THE thread to follow.

Question: do you still use the stay on feet TI? Your defensive statistics for that last season look really good and I'm getting more and more convinced that SOF is like a "lose this match" button on FM21..

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1 hour ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

Just caught up with this. Once again, you've created THE thread to follow.

Question: do you still use the stay on feet TI? Your defensive statistics for that last season look really good and I'm getting more and more convinced that SOF is like a "lose this match" button on FM21..

High praise indeed - thanks!  I've looked through my threads from last year and, Guadalajara in particular, I've really toned down the death by spreadsheet. Happy for it to come back though!

Yeah - we still use it. I want us to rely more on interceptions than tackles but, if we need to tackle, to not give fouls away or commit and easily be beaten. I've not seen a noticeable negative from it, to be fair.

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August 2039: Youth Squad

For our Carabao Cup first round tie, away at Barnet, I chose to field the youngest team I have ever been able to put out:

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This squad consists of nine academy graduates with new youth team signings Sadeki Da Silva and John Diaz. We scraped through thanks to a last minute own goal but this is a taste of the future for fans of the Reds!

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August 2039: Player Sale

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Sadly, everything with this board has been a fight - wanting new facilities to saying no to big bids. We lose Elijah for £22m and £4m in instalments, which is all profit of course, but still not an ideal way to end Deadline Day.

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July/August/September 2039

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A really strong start to the season.

I'm not able to say whether we've fixed our goalscoring and goal creating issues with a slightly tweaked tactical approach or simply that we no have better players in those creative and goalscoring positions. For once, we are now 'aggressive' going forward 

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There has been some really top quality performances this season - starting with a big win over Brighton, who have the quality to be in and around the automatic promotion spots before a performance away at Barnet where my youngsters did me proud. We followed that up with a win over relegated Derby in their back yard before our B team hammered Premier League Brentford's Z-team in the Carabao with the only blot being a hammering by Watford in between. We continued to show our goalscoring prowess with a really big win away at Forest before a penalty loss to Newcastle.

Villanueva, in particular, has settled really well with six goals from nine and the Championship Young Player of the Month award for September. 

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I have also put pen to paper on a new deal, increasing my weekly wage for nearly £15k p/w:

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