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FM21: The English Football League thread


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14 hours ago, warlock said:

Oops, I did it again :D

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March 12, 7 games to go, title still to play for.

You're showing the rest of us up!

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4 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

50 years on, you have picked a perfect year

Another bit of luck, then :). Now that you've mentioned it I vaguely remember the anniversary from your career thread, but really I had no idea. I'll see what we can do about that 15th place.

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40 minutes ago, warlock said:

Another bit of luck, then :). Now that you've mentioned it I vaguely remember the anniversary from your career thread, but really I had no idea. I'll see what we can do about that 15th place.

The reason I remembered was because when I wrote about it,  I thought no way could I take them to that level with four consecutive promotions! I thought it would be a good target for you to aim for - best of luck making (more) York City history :)

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York City, May 2024

With another promotion - and title - in the bag, here's a round-up of the second half of the season:

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After a perfect month in the league in January, I was hoping for steady progress for the remainder of the season. Things didn't go quite that smoothly. Home draws against Wigan and Wednesday were annoying. After a tough run of away games in January, thanks to the EFL's random fixture generator and a couple of matches moved for waterlogged pitches, I expected an easier time of it with 4 consecutive home games. We started well enough but then faltered, culminating in the away defeat at Lincoln. After worrying about a collapse in form for so long, was this it?

But we bounced back in March with 3 consecutive wins - the trip to Bristol was the fixture that confirmed out promotion, and the next game against Gillingham clinched the title. Of course, I expected a downturn in the remaining games as we had nothing left to play for, and so it came to pass:

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The loss to Birmingham confirmed them as runners-up, but we rallied for the last home game in front of another sellout crowd.

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It was another great season for Alexander and Abdul, ably supported by AMR Ben Price. There were notable contributions from new boys LB Macdonald and CB Bird. Brad james led the league for clean sheets with 18.

Preparing for life in the Championship, the board have given me a transfer budget of £3.3m, but a wage budget of just £60k a week, and we're already spending £45k so some juggling will be required - there'll be no million-pound transfers coming in. I've already made the first moves, signing Alexander to a permanent deal for £60k, and extending the loan of Abdul. Millwall wanted more than £2m for a permanent deal but were happy to loan him for another season. Some outgoings will be easy - several long-standing first-teamers are coming to the end of their contracts and will be allowed to leave, sadly including AML Harry Bunn who has been with us since season 1. At 31 years old, and now rated as only a Vanorama player, his time is up.

A tougher decision has to be made about Brad james. His contract is also expiring and I'd like to keep him as a backup, possibly as No 1 if I can't find an upgrade. But in contract negotiations he won't accept anything less than first-choice GK. Throughout FM21 my biggest headaches have been caused by agreed playing time so I'm now extremely wary of caving in to those demands (and have allowed some good prospects to escape because of it).

My shopping list is a long one - a GK, two CMs, one CB and fullbacks at both left and right. I also need a replacement for Bunn at AML, and a backup for Abdul at AMC.

I will say now: if we win promotion to the PL this season, the game is definitely too easy, and probably completely broken :lol:

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1 minute ago, hasdgfas said:

Our first season not predicted bottom!

Europe here you come :lol:

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My save with Yate is done. We started our second season in the Conference well with 10 points from the first four games, before 11 straight losses dropped us to the bottom, ruined player morale and pretty much just had me over it. The squad isn't good enough and I don't have the funds or reputation to improve it - and I'm certainly not tactically adept enough to get out of this rut! The last goal conceded (an attacking throw-in straight to the opposition who then ran the entire length of the pitch while my defenders ran back to their own positions) pretty much summed things up.

Gonna have another crack with Bowers & Pitsea.

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22 minutes ago, CityAndColour said:

My save with Yate is done

No-one can say you didn't give it good go :thup:. Best of luck with the new venture.

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JANUARY 2039 UPDATE:image.thumb.png.3cdf8b044825eac58b9255fe59b01477.pngAn awesome season so far. Our worst loss of the 6 in the League this season is 0-3 at Everton. Everything else was against the historical "Big Six", who are still the strongest in England in 2039. We're looking strong for Europe at the end of the season, but I would like to strengthen by a player or two in January so we don't fade down the stretch again.

Note: The board expectation is listed is "mid-table", but that was me pushing it up there mid-season because I think we'll easily hit that. It started as "bravely fight against relegation", which we'll easily beat.

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38 minutes ago, hasdgfas said:

We're looking strong for Europe

I believe I told you so :cool:. Keep it up!

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31 matches in, 7 to go. How's the run-in?

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Still looking strong. 

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tough away matches! The home match with Tottenham is going to be huge for our goals too. We're also in the FA Cup Semi-finals. Another great cup run.

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How are you guys coping with Brexit in-game? First window as a Prem side and can't get work permits for anyone, with English talent being massively overpriced. 

*Please note, I am not trying to be political.*

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1 hour ago, StePratt said:

How are you guys coping with Brexit in-game? First window as a Prem side and can't get work permits for anyone, with English talent being massively overpriced. 

*Please note, I am not trying to be political.*

Yep been a problem for me on last few saves, it's led me to start a new save and only going for British players only. So frustrating and needs to be patched. 

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2038/39 Season Review:

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Not quite the finish to the season I wanted, but we had a bunch of injuries and were in a strong enough position already:

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I guess we need to make sure we have enough depth next season for some extra matches!

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So I haven't been posting here because, uh, I got fired.  After winning League One and going up, Merthyr Town had a takeover.  And there wasn't any money available.  I went into the Championship season with the lowest wage bill in the league, about a quarter of the second-lowest.  And it showed, especially up front.  I started the 2029-30 season by winning my first two games, then went the remainder of August, September, October and November winless before picking one up at the end of December.  By March, I hadn't won again, and was underperforming my combined xG against and xG for by about 15 goals.  So the new board fired me, which was a fine send-off after getting the team promoted from the Southern Premier League Central Division to the Championship in nine years.

I won a couple minor trophies along the way, picked up a bunch of manager of the month and a few manager of the year awards, and I guess it all added up.  Napoli had fallen on hard times, with terrible wage issues and down in 9th.  They hired me, we squeaked into 4th on the last day of the season, and I guess I'm in Italy for the next few years.  I'd like to win Serie A and move on - I have my eye on either the Cardiff or the Swansea job, but I might be willing to take Wrexham in a pinch.  Until then I'm Freddie Keenor, Global Journeyman.

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1 hour ago, Sunstrikuuu said:

I went into the Championship season with the lowest wage bill in the league

Commiserations! I know the feeling - just getting my Championship season underway with York, one of our first games was against re-relegated Bournemouth. The team they put out had a total value of more than £130m while my entire squad is worth about a tenth of that, including the £6m on-loan defender :lol:. Bookies have us dead certs to finish bottom. Gonna be a long season.

Good luck in Italy :thup:

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17 minutes ago, warlock said:

Commiserations! I know the feeling - just getting my Championship season underway with York, one of our first games was against re-relegated Bournemouth. The team they put out had a total value of more than £130m while my entire squad is worth about a tenth of that, including the £6m on-loan defender :lol:. Bookies have us dead certs to finish bottom. Gonna be a long season.

Good luck in Italy :thup:

Total value of Lee Bowyer's Merthyr Town squad in League One this season is £12.1m, counting five loan players valued at £1m or more. 

The Championship is just a rough, rough step up.  If you've done the back-to-back promotions from League Two, which is hard-but-not-impossible, staying up feels rough.  It takes a long time for reputation and income to catch up with promotions, and there's very little allowance made for preseason expectations or past performance.

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Well the Premier League experience is truly underway. How've we done? Errrr.......

Last minute winners and equalisers have cost us dearly. The Villa game was a plain defeat, we weren't really in it and were 2-0 down at half time. Away at Leicester next, 3-0 down and down to ten men after 60 minutes, we lost to an 86th minute Timothy Castagne goal! Heartbreak for the lads. This theme would carry on into our next game. 3-1 at home to Fulham in the 89th minute, we conceded 2 and threw it away.

Against City, we were level going into injury time at the end of the match, before Memphis Depay scored a 91st minute winner. Lots of positives to take from a side that included 8, out of the 14 players used, original League One players.

 

 

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17 hours ago, StePratt said:

Well the Premier League experience is truly underway. How've we done? Errrr.......

Yeah, this looks about right for a surprise promotion like that. Hopefully you can scrap out enough, but it looks like it'll be tough the whole time. Good luck!

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On 12/05/2021 at 22:10, StePratt said:

How are you guys coping with Brexit in-game? First window as a Prem side and can't get work permits for anyone, with English talent being massively overpriced. 

*Please note, I am not trying to be political.*

It's harder to find players from abroad, I've found you can still get some in. If you use the 'ask agent' feature it should tell you if a WP is likely or not. You can also pick up some good cheap talent from Scotland, so it's worth scouting there.

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York City, September 2024

It's been a long summer preparing for life in the Championship. To start with outgoing transfers there were only two of note. First out was an unwanted departure as young CM Jenson Learoyd - who was poised to make the breakthrough into the first team - suddenly drew the attention of a number of Championship clubs. We signed him on a free from Arsenal and he eventually departed for £575k to Sunderland after a bidding war quickly surpassed his £450k release clause. The second major departure came on transfer deadline day as Dundee Utd paid £725k for our troublesome striker Yannick Toure. Another free signing, from Newcastle, Toure had spent almost a year in sulk after sulk, and I'm frankly glad to see the back of him.

There were plenty of others, mainly older players, leaving on free transfers, the most notable of which was AML Harry Bunn who had been with us since day 1 of the save but had been a bit-part player in L1.

In contrast, there were no fewer than 13 new arrivals. About half of the deals were completed before the end of last season:

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The signing of Alexander on a permanent deal after a few years on loan was a no-brainer. He probably won't take the Championship by storm, but after three years as our leading scorer I couldn't say no. McGuinness has been with me in most saves this year and has been a stellar performer so when my scouts flagged his availability for a loan I grabbed the opportunity. Barlow is an ex-Man Utd youngster and is a good addition in the AM roles, while Sessengnon looked a bargain for our problematical RB position. With a number of positions still to fill, there was even more business during the summer window proper:

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I couldn't believe it when I noticed that Southampton were not prepared to offer Vokins a new contract, so he was snapped up. Davenport and Miles were identified as the best affordable solutions for our central midfield positions, and Ben Cottrell is this season's freebie from Arsenal's academy. Lewis Mayo is a 24-year-old Scottish CB who has formed an immediate partnership with McGuinness, but perhaps the pick of the bunch is Billy Crellin, a significant upgrade on Brad James in goal. The final addition was the late signing of Man City's Liam Delap after I decided that Toure was done.

All signings were made with our trusty 4231 system in mind, and the newcomers have settled in well. After a shaky start to a busy opening month we've started to rise up the table:

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The loss to Norwich and draw against Bournemouth were entirely expected - Norwich spent more than £80m in the window and I already noted Bournemouth's multi-million pound squad. It was after Toure's hat-trick against Boro that his fate was sealed - his agent immediately demanded a new contract (just 6 months into a 4-year deal) and was told where to go. Happily, the squad has picked up the goalscoring duties (Heys is the backup to Barlow at AML), although we're perhaps a little too reliant on set-piece goals from our CBs. Sharp-eyed readers will note that we've increased our ground capacity but we're already selling out most of our home matches. In other news, our Carabao Cup run is probably about to end as we face Liverpool at Anfield in the next round, but that should deliver a handsome payday.

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Once again, we're defying the bookies and the media who expect us to finish dead last in the league. We spent less than £1m in transfers - the lowest in the league - and have the lowest wage bill by some distance. I don't expect us to win another promotion, but I'd be very disappointed if we get sucked in to a relegation battle.

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1 hour ago, hasdgfas said:

We're officially a "good" team

Looks like it :thup:. Glad to see someone still playing - the forums have been deadly quiet this week. I've made slow progress with York since my last update, distracted by a torrential rainstorm on Tuesday, the output of which made its way into our kitchen/diner, since when I've been trying to arrange roofing contractors to have a look, produce an estimate, and schedule the work.

Good luck with the Spartans for the rest of the season!

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On 20/05/2021 at 10:32, warlock said:

a torrential rainstorm on Tuesday, the output of which made its way into our kitchen/diner, since when I've been trying to arrange roofing contractors to have a look, produce an estimate, and schedule the work.

the perils of house ownership! I'm starting to work on a search and having to worry about things like that is a whole new world after renting for a decade.

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SEASON REVIEW 2039/2040

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A loss at bottom of the table Newcastle on the last day prevented a shock championship, but we were pretty comfortably in the CL places all season. Very exciting times in Blyth! A great season to open our new stadium, and things are only looking up.

How was our first foray into Europe?

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Uh, very good as it turns out! Some tight knockout ties but then a very comfortable win in the Final. 

I'd like to buy 1-2 stars this summer, but our squad depth is pretty good. Hopefully we can stay consistent next season and finish this off. Very close to "finishing" the save now that we've qualified for CL and finished 2 points off the Prem title.

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1 hour ago, hasdgfas said:

Very exciting times in Blyth!

What a great way to celebrate 20 years with the club. Blyth Spartans - Europa League Champions :applause:

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

What a great way to celebrate 20 years with the club. Blyth Spartans - Europa League Champions :applause:

oh wow it IS 20! I hadn't counted.

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well i finally got bitten by the LLM bug and now im deep in a  youth only guernsey save... it's been quite the ride so far, especially since we've been prime relegation candidates nearly every season :)

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9 hours ago, shadow1812 said:

youth only guernsey save

An interesting challenge :lol:. I wouldn't like to pre-judge, but I suspect you're struggling for decent youth intakes. On the other hand, I see you've been close to promotion in recent seasons so you must be doing something right.

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15 hours ago, warlock said:

An interesting challenge :lol:. I wouldn't like to pre-judge, but I suspect you're struggling for decent youth intakes. On the other hand, I see you've been close to promotion in recent seasons so you must be doing something right.

Your assessment is spot on... but my team is quite poor in the first place so there are at least 2/3 immediate first team candidates every year. But at this low every year we are able to beat teams 1/2 divisions higher in the FA cup. 2/3 rounds in and that guarantees finances for the year :)

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I had forgotten that as Europa Winners I get to be in Pot 1. This has meant a much easier group than I had expected:

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We should qualify from this, either first or second.

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JANUARY 2041:

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Another strong first half to the season. I think we'll go out to Madrid in the Champions League, but we're right up in the title chase again.

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Im planning on a new English save, just not sure who yet. Im currently managing Lyon in another save. 

I dont know whether to go for someone totally different or plump for Sunderland again, they published their retained squad list yesterday and let quite a few players go, not sure if Id like to replicate that in game and do a complete rebuild like they are going to have to do in real life. The squad had a number of players out of contract including, Max Power, Josh Scowen, McGeady, Wyke, Leadbitter, Hume, Maguire. McGeady, Wyke and Hume have all been offered new deals but the rest and others have all been released.

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15 hours ago, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I aint seen much activity in here lately

The forums as a whole have been very quiet for a while. I'm a bit burned-out with FM - thanks to lockdown, I've played pretty much every day from launch so I'm taking some time out at the moment. Will undoubtedly get back to it in a week or so. Just need to find a save that will spark the interest.

Sr Bonito hasn't been around for a couple of weeks so I hope he's OK, but with lockdown lifting now I guess everyone has a lot of life to catch up on. 

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

The forums as a whole have been very quiet for a while. I'm a bit burned-out with FM - thanks to lockdown, I've played pretty much every day from launch so I'm taking some time out at the moment. Will undoubtedly get back to it in a week or so. Just need to find a save that will spark the interest.

Sr Bonito hasn't been around for a couple of weeks so I hope he's OK, but with lockdown lifting now I guess everyone has a lot of life to catch up on. 

Yeah I have been working since July last year. Lockdown was a decent memory but I am glad I have been working as I would of gone stir crazy by now. 

Jogo will come back soon enough.

I might do a Sheff Utd save soon with them being back in the Championship.

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This year has been tough, Dad passed away in August and then me and my wife had Covid in September and it wiped me out, still suffering mild side effects now. Ive worked in an office since the pandemic began too.

FM has been a godsend really, even though Ive struggled to get into a long term save its been great to just zone out and play a couple of hours on the game every now and then. Im in my 2nd season with a Lyon save at the minute and Im enjoying it and try to update on the forums as much as I can. Its just quite hard when no one else is posting and you just feel you are sharing your career updates with yourself lol

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I'm still plugging away at Oxford in the Premier League, but I'm no longer furloughed so have to go to work and can't play FM as much as I want to. 

Currently 17th after 13 games. Lost 8. It's a slog. Hopefully the winter window can provide some quality to my team.

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54 minutes ago, StePratt said:

Currently 17th after 13 games. Lost 8. It's a slog. Hopefully the winter window can provide some quality to my team.

That's not awful! 17th is all you need

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2 Matches to go in the season. At both Manchester clubs. I'm on 86 points, they're both on 80. They both have better GD than I do. So I (probably) need a point. At one of the two stadiums I have never gotten a point from. Here we go.

 

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Any Barnsley fans in here who can tell me how to replicate their moneyball transfer policy as I am looking to start a new save with them on FM and want to try make it realistic.

So far from looking online these are the some of their key factors in their policy.

  1. Mostly sign players who are under 23 years old and move on senior players when you can.
  2. Maybe exploit the partnerships you have with the other clubs that their owners own which are KV Oostende, FC Thun, AS Nancy and Esbjerg.
  3. Work within a strict budget.

Is there anything else I am missing that will help make it as realistic as possible.

What leagues do they usually scout and sign players from ?

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well, we did it

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An incredible performance, although we started to sweat a bit at the end after being up 4-1

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On 30/05/2021 at 12:12, Ronaldo Beckham said:

Any Barnsley fans in here who can tell me how to replicate their moneyball transfer policy as I am looking to start a new save with them on FM and want to try make it realistic.

So far from looking online these are the some of their key factors in their policy.

  1. Mostly sign players who are under 23 years old and move on senior players when you can.
  2. Maybe exploit the partnerships you have with the other clubs that their owners own which are KV Oostende, FC Thun, AS Nancy and Esbjerg.
  3. Work within a strict budget.

Is there anything else I am missing that will help make it as realistic as possible.

What leagues do they usually scout and sign players from ?

This is maybe a question for the actual football forum since you're more likely to get fans of specific teams there? Not sure anyone here is Barnsley-heavy enough to be able to help you.

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Posted (edited)

SEASON REVIEW 2040/41

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An incredible season, with two trophies. A full squad effort too, they split the goals up really well in the League. 4 players with 10+ goals and another with 9. No massive stars, just a solid whole squad.

Guess it's time to push for the CL. Hopefully we'll show improvement there next season, because I'm not sure how much I want to grind through it.

 

Some additional good news though:
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Edited by hasdgfas
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I started again with Torquay after going through a load of different saves and then not playing the game for ages. Love it once I can really get into a save with my local side.

First season we finished 5th after a really poor start to the season and then lost in the play offs.

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Second season has been fantastic though, we've absolutely dominated right from the very start and won the title with four games to go.

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Made some strong signings at the end of last season, bringing in some youngsters released by the top clubs and I'm going to look to do the same again for next season to give us a strong squad going up into League Two.

Was pretty happy with this signing at the end of the transfer window in March, brought him in from Guisley and he had interest from Championship clubs after scoring 11 goals for them this season. Only paid £1k for him and he's already my best striker, and has hit 5 goals in his first 4 games for us including a hat trick in one. I don't think we will keep hold of him very long if he continues in that form but could be a big money spinner for the club.

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