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[FM21] Hometown Heroes


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8 hours ago, scarp said:

@_Ben_ this is how you properly start the preseason! cbb77318484dac8ef6cc481807b4df2f.png
 

 

5 hours ago, robterrace said:

Looks like the improvement is coming, slowly though. 

I know you may have been asked before, but, is there any chance of sharing the spreadsheet, even if its just the blank.

 

Thank you! A slow build always feels a bit more realistic to me.

Of course - what spreadsheet are you after?

5 hours ago, abulezz said:

As I currently live in Ghana, you have automatically become my favorite team!

This is a fantastic read, and the amount of detail you go into is second to none.

You, good sir, have just earned yourself a Follower. 

Thanks! Ghana wasn't in my plans but it appears that a lot of :Londoners have African second nationalities - and they are willing to come, so why not.

Thank you for the kind words, also. I've long enjoyed the saves of Kafra from the depths of this level so it was time to jump in myself.

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20 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

 

Thank you! A slow build always feels a bit more realistic to me.

Of course - what spreadsheet are you after?

Thanks! Ghana wasn't in my plans but it appears that a lot of :Londoners have African second nationalities - and they are willing to come, so why not.

Thank you for the kind words, also. I've long enjoyed the saves of Kafra from the depths of this level so it was time to jump in myself.

I love that you've read my saves! I am focusing more in-depth this year when it comes to my Academy graduates - hopefully I'll have a good time with it and it'll be an enjoyable read. 

Great job with yours so far!

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2 hours ago, robterrace said:

The youth tracker.

I mean, thanks! I'm not back down a rabbit hole making this!

I will upload, of course, but I'm still working through what I want for this year. I am here right now:

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And if you want to see it with some good data in - here is my best intake from my Guadalajara save.

What I'm trying to do:

  • Look at what type of intake it is. I wonder how much this might link to coaching style
  • Track favourable attributes for development - Det, Pro and Amb
  • Track Intelligence (Anticipation, Composure and Decisions) as that is my DNA
  • Look at those players who are overall more rounded - as we try to play in a distinct way
  • Find some pros and cons to help develop the player
  • Very roughly, see if a player would be best used elsewhere

 

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3 hours ago, abulezz said:

I love that you've read my saves! I am focusing more in-depth this year when it comes to my Academy graduates - hopefully I'll have a good time with it and it'll be an enjoyable read. 

Great job with yours so far!

I tried that last year with Volta Redonda and managed the 'moving on' bit quite well but sadly, I couldn't really keep the updates constant. 

I now have a goal to reach the Premier League before you do!

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August/September 2023

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I really felt that this was going to be a good season and, even though we've introduced a lot of new faces, we haven't really found the form I was expecting yet. We did, Hereford aside, manage to keep the GA column respectable until we went and threw that away at home to Gloucester City - a team we should be beating.

This was also an unsteady time last year so I hope to now push on, settle down, and head up towards those playoff places.

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Something boring but unique about Redditch: It's the only place in England to have a cloverleaf road junction - the A441, A448 and A4189 meet at this junction.

As for what you're doing in FM, looks like an interesting project! I'll certainly keep checking in!

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3 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

I mean, thanks! I'm not back down a rabbit hole making this!

I will upload, of course, but I'm still working through what I want for this year. I am here right now:

bfb8a49fedfc80a592e6a0674df2db47.png

And if you want to see it with some good data in - here is my best intake from my Guadalajara save.

What I'm trying to do:

  • Look at what type of intake it is. I wonder how much this might link to coaching style
  • Track favourable attributes for development - Det, Pro and Amb
  • Track Intelligence (Anticipation, Composure and Decisions) as that is my DNA
  • Look at those players who are overall more rounded - as we try to play in a distinct way
  • Find some pros and cons to help develop the player
  • Very roughly, see if a player would be best used elsewhere

 

This is fantastic. Don't completely understand all of it and how you work out all the averages etc, but when I start my youth only challenge I will be using this to track their progress. 

Good solid start to the season. Hopefully you can have another good showing in the FA Cup this year and push for a play off spot at least.

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18 hours ago, Lenzar said:

Something boring but unique about Redditch: It's the only place in England to have a cloverleaf road junction - the A441, A448 and A4189 meet at this junction.

As for what you're doing in FM, looks like an interesting project! I'll certainly keep checking in!

This is true! Are you from Redditch?

I actually really enjoy the road system and the many, many islands (sorry: roundabouts for those not from the Midlands!) to the extent that I miss them when I'm driving elsewhere.

Thank you - I'm getting pretty invested in the save now.

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17 hours ago, Watson156 said:

This is fantastic. Don't completely understand all of it and how you work out all the averages etc, but when I start my youth only challenge I will be using this to track their progress. 

Good solid start to the season. Hopefully you can have another good showing in the FA Cup this year and push for a play off spot at least.

It's fairly rudimentary to be fair - just an average of their attributes so I can roughly work out who has the best PA when they enter the game and then to see if there is an opportunity to retraining. Essentially, another way for you to see lots of data without me having to screenshot everything and another 'set of eyes' in case I miss anything out.

Thank you - I feel, as you'll see, that we are becoming somewhat of a cup specialist team!

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October/November 2023

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More than a little disappointing, if I'm honest.

We are lacking in the ability to keep the ball out of the net, again, and bereft of any real ideas going forward, which has seen us slide down the table. Whilst this hasn't made my job untenable, the board are, obviously, beginning to question why we aren't in the top half of the table - to which I don't really have a true answer.

Our good perforamances seem to be limited to cup ties where we have, again, knocked out League 1 opposition, in the shape of Bristol City, with the two-legged affair bringing in some money for us. We are rewarded with a winnable away tie at relegation-threatened League One Burton.

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I've just seen this for the first time - which could be great for those 'finer detail' mentoring as it seems to really go in depth with each of those hidden attributes. Sadly, these aren't all positive at this point but it's a nice touch.

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FA Cup 2nd Round Replay

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We have, somehow, held on here. We led and were comfortable until half time but Burton came out and really pushed us in the second half. I'm not sure how we didn't concede, given our performances at times this season.

With an annoying schedule we have just three days until we host Millwall, who are now up to 18th in the Championship.

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December 2023/January 2024

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If we're going to make the playoffs this year, then our push is going to have to be both late and consistent as we really haven't shown that, to date. We have forced ourselves into a bit of a squad issue given our good cup runs, and the annoying replays, which means that a lot of my key players are now jaded.

We aren't far off the top seven but, given we finished ninth last year, I'd like to aim for that as a target, considering that our squad is now arguably stronger.

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February/March 2024

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Same old! Inconsistent at times - woeful to wonderful in the space of minutes.

I guess that this is to be expected at this level. I want to see progress here soon as this is the real kicker in terms of engagement - we're at such a low level that player development is pretty much nothing and that is what I love to focus on.

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13 hours ago, abulezz said:

I can see Menna developing into something good - that Finishing has to go up, though.

Sadly, he didn't like the contract that was offered and has left on a free! My fault, but never mind!

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6 hours ago, Peter G said:

8 different primary nationalities in your youth intake!

 

2 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I am liking all the different nationalties in your youth intake.

Yeah - and me. I've not managed in England much over the last 8/10 FMs so not really sure if this is usual or what...

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8 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Sadly, he didn't like the contract that was offered and has left on a free! My fault, but never mind!

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Yeah - and me. I've not managed in England much over the last 8/10 FMs so not really sure if this is usual or what...

You should try keep note of all the different nationalities and then see if you can tick as many different countries as possible.

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1 hour ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

You should try keep note of all the different nationalities and then see if you can tick as many different countries as possible.

That I will do! Thanks for the idea.

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2023/24 End of Season

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We pushed and we did, on the last day of the season, secure a playoff spot. However, with six teams in the playoffs - there isn't a standard knockout and we faced Hereford in the 'First Round.' This was a step too far and they annihilated us 3-0, meaning that, essentially it was all in vain. We go again next year, looking to finish in the top 5.

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The same as it's ever been. Give the ball to Afoka and he scores. He should have had a hatful more, but that's expected with such poor players. I want it to be evolution not revolution over the summer, but I think this squad needs to be torn apart, realistically.

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Slow, steady, progress. Two more years, maximum, here!

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2024/2025 Transfer Window

Faced with the departures of Tom Hillman, Aron Davies, Filip Marschall, Sean Wilson, Dean Pinnington, Ben Guy and Prince Ankrah - all from the first team - my plans were thrown into turmoil. I had no quality and no depth therefore was a bit more active in the market than first intended. Here are my dealings:

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Darren HardingCorey BrennanScott KinseyHarvey WoodsAbdi QuilnelaFraser MontgomeryLewis ElliotGustav LillienbergDarren Leahy.

in Darren Harding, we really have a superstar. He's listed as 'Promising' and is touted as the next Jordan Henderson - a pretty sure fire sign (in the past at least) that his potential was really good. He'll form a midfield partnership with Smith and King, my old duo, as well as Brennan and the quite mentally-strong Michael Mathews. Harvey Woods has a similar attribute balance to Afoka but is a better finisher so will hopefully set this league on fire. In Kinsey and Quilnela I now have some extra options on the wing and Montgomery, Elliot and DoF loanee Leahy are good squad options, whilst Lillienberg becomes my first choice in a GK search that really hasn't gone well!

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My strongest XI is looking decent for this year, although it did last year too and we really didn't push on how I wanted.

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9 hours ago, scarp said:

Some very quality signings for this level of competition :applause:

 

7 hours ago, abulezz said:

I agree with the assessment about Harding - he seems like he's ready to shine.  16 Passing at 17 years old? Thats crazy numbers. 

Thanks both!

I really don't want to 'buy' the league and I'm very aware of over-recruiting, particularly when my aim of this topic is to be self sufficient with my academy - but I've learnt that I need that at this level. I doubt I'll have Harding long but I'll appreciate it whilst I do!

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August/September 2024

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This is a really good start. Given the big changes and how we've started each of the past three seasons and then, to be fair, continued in such an inconsistent manner, sets this year apart from the others. I'm disappointed to drop points to Banbury, who are bottom of the league but, 3-0 down away at, then top of the league, Tamworth, shows just how much we want it this time around. What is more - we have both outshot and out-xG every team that we've played this season.  

Things are looking strong and I'm happy. For once.

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October/November 2024

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I played well into October last night as I was worried about the curse of 'ending a gaming session in the midst of a winning streak' so I'm both a little tired today and elated that we didn't end our streak. Sunderland aside, we have been wonderful in each game and we continue the xG streak - with us not outdoing Chesterfield and Sunderland, but everyone in the league.

I'm even able to rotate for cup matches and against the lower teams in this division - which has been unheard of until this point.

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December 2024: What's different this year?!

As we roar in to 2025, still undefeated in the league, I want to just have a think about what has changed..

1. Tactics

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To get new signing Harvey Woods in to the team alongside old-top scorer Chisom Afoka, I've moved the wingers up and moved the mentality up a notch, too - giving us the most deadly duo at this level. I've also utilised Darren Harding's passing ability and brought a playmaker in to my team - he pulls the strings from deep and gives the midfield a nice balance.

2. Private Chats

I'm trying to ride this wave so the other major change I've made is to jump on anything remotely positive and talk to the players about it. With morale high, we're playing really well and the cohesion is wonderful.

3. Training

Just a tiny tweak that I'm getting, on our part time schedule, one defence (either engaged or disengaged) and one attack (chance conversion or chance creation) into the weekly plans just to keep the shape and the style of play that I want ticking over.

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We're doing really well at the moment and I'm very happy with it!

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January 2025: Player Sale

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Aziz was apparently unhappy for over a year and wouldn't sign a new deal, so, when Plymouth of League One came in, they only had to pay a tiny compensation fee. Aziz was my best player and not only will I miss him, his loss has also upset the whole team who are now blaming for me for a lack of squad depth.

This is not the time for a meltdown...

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December 2024, January and February 2025

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Got a little bit carried away!

We are continuing our absolutely wonderful spell and need to earn just one more point from the next twelve games to break our points record, and, in doing so, will put ourselves in an even stronger position for the playoffs. Sadly, our unbeaten run ended as we got FM'd by Chorley - battering them but conceding an 80th minute goal. One defeat turned to another as we bowed out of the FA Trophy a bit earlier than I had anticipated but that has let us keep up our good league form.

What I'm most happy with is our attacking performances:

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Both Afoka and Woods are taking plenty of shots, which means that my playmaking efforts are working better and they are turning them into more goals than we've ever done before.

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Woods isn't the best converter but his goal tally in unmatched. He has, sadly, just picked up a six week injury that could really dent my run in.

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23 hours ago, Watson156 said:

Looking good so far. One more push and the title is yours!!

I think I need promotion this year.

I struggled massively to sign a GK this summer and now he, and another important player, are moving on:

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The reputation boost is needed as I look to recruit sensibly. 

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2025 Youth Intake

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That. Is. Terrible.

At least I've got a few more nationalities...

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All the analysis is done and kept but this intake will hopefully never been beaten in terms of being absolutely terrible!

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2024/25 Review

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What a season! From 7th last year, I didn't think we'd push on this much and was expected a playoff spot again. However, we've outperformed everyone and, now that I've got a Head of Performance Analysis, I can share with you what is probably my favourite new feature:

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When you've got a relatively quiet defence and a relatively clinical attack - things are always going to go well for you. I've mentioned a few times that I felt like we do squander a lot of chances and that is clear to see here, with Afoka being the main culprit. With 97 goals scored and 44 conceded, we recorded our best efforts yet at both ends.

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We have outperformed the league average in all areas other than shots on target, which further backs up my point, that we are pretty lousy when we get in front of the goal but, on xG and xGA have certainly been worth our title win.

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This season was about the scoring of two men - with a combined 61 goals the Afoka/Woods partnership was unplayable at times. they have, though, been ably backed up by Elliot, Kinsey and Quinela who have been good additions to this team. Aziz Ansah was comfortably the best performer (7.56 AR in the league) until he moved on to Plymouth - but a show of his quality is that he's featured quite regularly in League One for them. We will really miss Lillienberg, who was ever present, as he moves to the Swedish top flight,

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We are moving 20 miles down the road to Worcester to groundshare with their Rugby League team - Worcester Warriors. It's a much nicer, and larger, stadium but I do hope that, soon, we'll be back in our home town.

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