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[FM21] Extreme Scottish Lower League - Vale of Clyde


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Nov/Dec/Jan 2030-31

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Results have levelled out over the winter period which was bound to happen, I don't think we're quite there yet be considered title challengers. I still maintain though that we might not be that far off. A few decent signings in key positions over the coming summer and I think we won't be far off.

Only the two loses in the league though and we're hard to beat which is a great building block to start from.

Still top five as we head into the final few months of the season so I'm happy with how it's going so far.

There are rumours of another buy out of the club coming so we might be getting a cash injection soon.

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Youth Intake 2031

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A decent youth intake with regards to personality this year which is very pleasing to see!

The best PA is Gordon McLean, we don't obviously play with wide men though so I will probably use him as a back up striker.

We have Chris McKinnon who will pop straight into the main squad as his CA is already there. He's got great consistency as well so I'll give him some game time next season and see what he can do.

There are a few others that I'm going to sign, take advantage of the good personalities, but I have my eye on John Turnbull in my never ending search for a full back who does the business for me but as I have the editor available and a custom skin which shows the attributes I can already see that his consistency isn't all that sadly.

A decent intake though, very happy with it overall.

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2030-31

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Only just figured out to size the pictures! Hopefully this looks a bit better moving forward :lol:.

A brilliant final few months as we go undefeated in the league with the only defeat coming in the SoccerShop Cup as we bowed out in the quarter finals.

Our league form was so good and with the run in we had we managed to secure a top five finish. The highlight of the league games was the away day to Ayrshire to face Auchinleck Talbot which was a thrilling two all draw which we were lucky to take a point as they had the ball in the back of the net 5 times! Scott Kinsella, a former Celtic youth doing the damage. He's amassed 42 goals this season and is someone who really caught my eye and a possible first money signing in the summer.

As you can see though, we did actually end the season with some silverware as we managed to win the Lowland Cup! The first time we've won it in our history, obviously as we've never previously been eligible until our recent promotion.

We managed to get revenge on Albion Rovers who knocked us out last year in the semi finals as we dispatched them on penalties in the quarter finals and when we drew Cumbernauld Colts in the final I knew the trophy would be ours. We needed penalties to make it happen but we kept our nerve and got the job done. Is there a better way to end a season then by clinching silverware in the last game?

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Season 2030-31 Review

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Well, what a season we've had. We didn't get the Scottish Cup run we wanted but considering the stature of the club we probably did as well as could be expected. Reaching the fourth round in our first year was very much an overshoot.

Our Lowland League Cup win managed to boost the coffers and put us back in the black which is a very pleasing thing to see.

Our season tickets stayed the same but we did manage to increase our average crowd this year which is very pleasing.

We have had constant rumours of a buy out so that may happen over the summer and if it does the first thing I will do is request to improve our youth recruitment as I really want to kick on with improving our infrastructure as I think we can get promotion in the next five years for sure.

 

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Look at the personalities in the squad now. Very pleasing to see we have such a strong minded bunch.

Overall I was very happy with the squad this year, how could I not be? The two Ryan's, the new signings, didn't exactly set the heather alight but they were dependable enough. I might look to maybe get a new left back in though if I can and drop Ryan Haynes to my rotational left back. Murray will be allowed to leave.

Journeyman striker Jim Whyte will be leaving this summer. He's been a great servant for us but he can't cut it at this level and he came to me asking to leave so I won't stand in his way.

 

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Jamie McKenzie was a shoe in to get player of the season as he broke our clean sheet record over the season and had the highest average rating over the season. Leishman actually looks to have had a better season then his average rating would suggest as he bagged himself a couple of awards. On paper his PA is good enough to be playing in League 2 but he hasn't all that impressed me over the season if I'm honest. 

I'll also put up the team of the year for you all to view...

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So, what can I say about the season? It was brilliant. This was the type of season I would be expecting next year so we are definitely ahead of the game with regards to where we want to be.

Only two losses all year in the league was great but it was offset with far too many draws. We will look to keep how hard we were to dominate and look to try to convert some of those draws to wins next year to help keep us up the top end of the table. Our defence was the meanest it's ever been this season in all my years at the club so that's a great place to find myself in considering our promotions.

Very happy with the season and to also add silverware to the cabinet is tremendous. I've not really mentioned it in the review but I'm just going to leave this last image to commemorate our success and hopefully it serves as a mic drop of sorts...

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Nice season, you're edging ever closer to the top. I managed to draw rangers at home in the 5th round of the Scottish cup, and somehow managed to earn a replay at ibrox, which earnt us 600k in gate revenue, getting me out the red for the first time in 8 seasons! :hammer:

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9 hours ago, iGoldenBen said:

Nice season, you're edging ever closer to the top. I managed to draw rangers at home in the 5th round of the Scottish cup, and somehow managed to earn a replay at ibrox, which earnt us 600k in gate revenue, getting me out the red for the first time in 8 seasons! :hammer:

Are you still in the Highland League? Hell of a run that, well done. Hoping for a good run next year and to hopefully draw a big boy, that's the dream.

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1 hour ago, metallimuse said:

Are you still in the Highland League? Hell of a run that, well done. Hoping for a good run next year and to hopefully draw a big boy, that's the dream.

I'm in league 2 mate, currently 8 points clear of forfar, with 7 league games to go. It was a great cup run and a lucky miracle tbh, and the most exciting game of the save so far. We're still predicted to be back in the red next season though haha, so still no upgrades for me :(

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Season 2031-32 Preview

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A great pre-season this year as we really steam rolled teams and put them to the sort while enjoying huge possession. The win over Darlington in the Vanarama Premiership being the highlight of the bunch.

Despite our impressive performance last season the bookies are still backing us to finish last with odds of 2000-1, a full 1400-1 worse than the team above us.

The only signing we have made over the summer is making striker Chris Mitchell a permanent member of the squad as he became a free agent. This might be naïve of me but I want to go again with what we have and the new intake that came through. If we aren't challenging to go up this year then I will have to look for reinforcements for next year.

So, as the last paragraph suggests, I'm expecting big things this year. I will be aiming for top 5 again and I'm hoping to mount a challenge for promotion. I don't expect to go up or win but I'd want us to be challenging for a prolonged period this year. 

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July/Aug/Sept/Oct 2031-32

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First year involved in the SPFL Trust Trophy, didn't last long as Rangers reserves battered us to knock us out. How we managed to keep the score line to such a respectable showing is beyond me.

It was much the same against recently relegated Edinburgh City who have dropped down from League 2.

After that we went on a decent run over the coming months and have managed to stay in the other cups including reaching the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup were we will play fellow Lowland League side Pollock so we may end up amongst the big boys and hopefully a money spinning tie in the 4th round if we win.

Sadly, it already seems like we are out of the running for promotion so I guess I was naïve entering into this season. I'll keep plugging away but the goal now is to finish top 5 again and hope for a good cup run. 

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Youth Intake 2032 Preview

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Always promising me full backs. I'll look forward to seeing what the new striker is like. I'm sadly thinking though that with the way the season is going our intakes will just not be good enough anymore until we can improve our infrastructure and facilities.

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2031-32

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A decent run in November gave way to a turgid run in December and January which has left my hopes of a top 5 finish all but dead. I think at this point I'm playing for a mid-table finish now and hoping for a good run in the cups for the financial benefits it will bring.

This is more akin to the season I was expecting last season so clearly last season I over achieved.

Sadly I think I will have to go out in the summer and see who I can bring in on the free market as I don't think the squad we have, despite last seasons heroics, are good enough to propel me up mount a promotion push.

We have done remarkably well in the Scottish Cup this season and find ourselves in the 5th round where we will face Championship side Kilmarnock away, hopefully that will be a money spinner and can bring in a six figure sum. 

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Youth Intake 2032

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Sadly for the second time in this save I will not be signing any of the intake to contracts. The PA is just no longer viable for the level I want to reach.

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2031-32

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A really strong way to end the season and I'm not just talking about our first ever Soccer Shop:Direct Challenge Cup trophy.

We were knocked out quite easily by Killie in the Scottish Cup sadly but it generated us a high five figure pay day so that was the best we could really hope for in a game we were never going to win.

We only lost once in the league in the final months which was pleasing and we turned in some good performances to and really fond some form. This carried us through the cups as we went on to win silverware in the Shop:Direct Cup nearly took us to another Lowland Cup Final but we sadly went out on penalties to what is fast becoming a tasty little rivalry with Pollock. We lost 12-11 with elder statesman Russell Dingwall missing the decisive kick.

And that's how the season finished up, I'll have my full season review coming up next where we'll do a bit of a deeper dive.

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Season 2031-32 Review

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Well...not written this in a while but I'm quite disappointed with the season if I'm honest.

I would of expected this type of performance last year and last season's finish this year so I'm a bit frustrated by the way the year has gone. We did still manage to lift silverware this year and we also had a brilliant cup run so things weren't all bad but our league form was definitely not where I would of expected us to be in year three.

The Scottish Cup run has boosted the coffers massively though and it's also allowed me to slightly improve our youth recruitment so hopefully that will show next season come the intake.

 

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Well with the exception of McKenzie and Mitchell, no one had a stand out season this year. The players out of contract will be allowed to leave this summer and a rebuilding job will be taking place this summer from the free agents that I find.

Kieran Findlay became the clubs all time league appearance holder over the season and despite his PA limitations he is still performing well, his incredible personality is clearly carrying him.

 

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Well, Mitchell clearly was a huge factor in helping me keep a steady ship this year and hopefully I can bring in reinforcements this summer who will help him propel the club higher up the league next year.

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Not much more to really say on the season. We had strong runs in the cup's and even enjoyed silverware and winners medals but overall the feeling is one of disappointment and regret. I should have built on last years momentum but instead I listened to my heart and didn't add to the squad and it cost me.

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Season 2032-33 Preview

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A strong preseason has brought confidence back up to a strong level and we're all excited to get the league under way this year determined to give a better showing than last year.

A few new faces have arrived over the summer to add a better overall CA so let's take care of that before we make any season predictions...

Marc Fraser has been brought in to be my starting right back having failed to make the grade at Stranraer and having spent last season on loan in this division playing for Edinburgh Uni and doing well. His lack of consistency is a worry but his CA is far better than most of the squad so I brought him in with the hopes that it won't be too evident this term.

We needed a strong centre back so in came Greg Cunningham from League 2 side Bonnyrigg Rose who finished last but won the playoff to remain in the SFL. His stats don't set the heather on fire but his consistency is very impressive so hopefully that will see him through this campaign and do a job for us at this level.

We needed a better level of midfielder to really take hold of games so in came Duncan Thain and Lloyd MacIver to add a bit more of a creative touch and hopefully spot a pass and spray the ball about a bit more to help us unlock defences this year. 

With the signings I wanted to set a bit more of a solid spine and I think I have accomplished that the best I can with what was available on the free market and willing to come, which at this level is tough to navigate.

 

So thanks to the new signings the bookies actually have a bit more faith in us this year and are predicting us to finish not last but 14th with odds of 250-1 to go on and win the league. Me? I think we can challenge top 5. That's what I'm aiming for and with a bit of luck a strong showing in the Scottish Cup for the cash incentive it will bring. 

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July/Aug/Sept/Oct 2032-33

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What a blistering start to the campaign we had before we went up against some of the bigger teams in the league and came unstuck. It's still been a very strong start overall though with just the two losses in the league and advancing in the cups.

We are still within touching distance of top spot though so I'm still hopeful of a strong showing this season. Our defence have been brilliant so far with the keeper and back four all on over 7 point average performance so far and the rest of the starting eleven all in the high 6's.

Let's hope we can keep this form up and establish ourselves as a top of the table side and be sure to be in amongst it right up to the tail end of the season.

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2032-33

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What did I say previously, definitely starting to carve out a grudge with Pollock.

The only defeat of the period came at the hands of Pollock but that is one hell of a run we've gone on to find ourselves top of the tree and still with two games in hand to hopefully open up a gap. We've been phenomenal in both cup and league and the new signings really have taken us to another level. In saying that though Kieran Findlay has been playing out of his skin this term and he's probably the lowest CA/PA in the entire squad.

We've again managed to get through to the 5th round of the Scottish Cup thanks to again a very favourable draw. We pulled 2nd in League 2 East Kilbride in the 4th round but we were unlucky to actually draw a game with them as they equalized in the 94th minute to break hearts but in the reply at Fullerton Park they had a man sent off after 21 minutes and it was pretty smooth sailing from there and we went through to face fellow Lowland League side Blackburn United, from West Lothian not Lancashire. We've drawn Premiership side Hibernian in the 5th round so I'm very hopeful that will be a big payday, more so than Killie last year.

So as we head into the final third we're definitely in a title race so lets hope we can get over the line.

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Youth Intake 2033

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Another intake and another year of hurt. Nothing to write home about and nothing to get excited about.

Jordan Stafford is the best of the bunch so I'm going to sign him to keep the bench warm and let John Henderson go.

We've managed to get some money thanks to our Scottish Cup appearance against Hibs this season, more on that to follow, so we've actually been allowed to invest in facilities this month so hopefully next year the intake's will go up a notch. For League 2 player I would judge them to have a minimum CA of between 41 and 80 so that's the level I want the PA to be.

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2032-33

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Well after a shaky February we managed to rediscover our form and finish the league in a strong fashion. It came down to a final day showdown with Pollock of all teams. It must have been written in the stars. We were far too strong for them though and we managed to brush them aside and record our highest ever finish in the Lowland League in what transpires will be our last season here barring relegation in the years to come.

We ended up having to face Forfar in the Highland-Lowland Play Off final and after we conceded a late equaliser in the first game, 92nd minute :rolleyes:, we went to Station Park and took the spoils.

We drew Bonnyrigg Rose in the League 2 Play Off and I thought that we would come up short after our first game away at New Dundas Park as we went down 1 nil but in the return fixture at Fullarton Park we rolled them over to secure our spot in the semi-professional League 2 for next season.

The good times weren't over yet as we still had a second consecutive Soccer Shop:Direct Challenge Cup Final to play and we needed extra time but we saw off Blackburn United to claim a historic double!

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Season Review 2032-33

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Well, it feels good to again say 'what a season'!

I was hoping for a top 5 showing and to be able to keep pace for the majority of the season, add a few more faces and perhaps get promotion next year but the stars and planets all aligned and we managed to take the lot this year. It was a great season and it started with us hitting the ground running and finishing strong also. 21 wins in a season is my third best return ever and we were deserved winners this season.

The cup run was a dream with our match against Hibs and you can see the effect it's had on our finances. The majority of that will disappear over the summer though as I've requested to improve our training facilities and the board accepted. On reflection I'm not sure if that was the right move yet as I'm not sure how big an impact the running cost will be when completed but hopefully we can continue with decent cup runs and I'm also pretty sure I will now earn money for my league placings, but that probably won't be much. We've also improved our junior coaching and youth recruitment as I mentioned previously so hopefully that will bear fruit next year and we can start producing players to sell for income.

 

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The defence was so mean this year! 17 goals conceded was brilliant and new signings Marc Fraser and Greg Cunningham were brilliant for me at the back. The big surprise though was Kyle Leishman. I moved him over from right back to partner Cunningham and he had his best ever season in a Tin Pail shirt. So much so that Cowdenbeath were desperate to sign him, he even wanted to go, but I stood firm and said no and it eventually worked itself out. 

Mitchell was brilliant again for me and McKenzie in goal set a Lowland League record with 20 clean sheets this year.

Shanks has since been tied down to a new contract and Henderson let go, the others out of contract face a dicey future as I survey the free markets this summer with the idea again to try to bring better talent into the club as the difference between Lowland League and League 2 I feel will be a gulf.

 

Sadly I didn't get an in game end of year review so I can't post player awards this year so instead here's a view of the honours we have in the trophy cabinet that the game has recognised.

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And a few words from former club favourite Ashley Neto...

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So that's the season in focus of a magical year which has seen us again scale previously unheard or unseen heights. Vale of Clyde, a junior team 14 years ago, have now made it to the Scottish Football League. We'll be fighting it out against some big teams next year and I can't wait to get started and get the team ready for it. I'd love to turn professional so I can really work with the players but I think it might be a bit soon yet. Once we are established and not cannon fodder that will be the next step.

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13 hours ago, Rikulec said:

Fantastic achievement mate. :applause:

Thanks mate. Been a brilliant journey so far. Hopefully we won't go straight back down and can look to try keep moving forward.

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Season 2033-34 Preview

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No preseason this summer as I decided to use the Betfred Cup group games to get fitness up as there was no way we had any chance of advancing.

Despite the fact we had so many losses I'm not too despondent with the results as we actually played some good football and were very competitive in games against teams that are all in higher leagues then we are. I decided to continue playing attacking football rather than try to be cautious as I think over the season ahead we will stand a better chance to survive if we manage to pick up 3 points here and there instead of trying to be cautious and avoid losing.

The summer also saw a testimonial for Kieran Findlay who's been a great servant after joining back towards the start of my reign...

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There have been a few signings over the summer, again all free agents.

James Penrice joined to add competition for places at left back. He's joined from Championship side Queen of the South which is quite a coup for us but he barely played for them last season and at 34 he didn't have many options. He's become our highest earner on £200 a week but we're well within our budget so it shouldn't be a problem.

Stephen Murdoch has joined from Lowland League side Edinburgh City to provide cover at centre back after Lindsay and Brash were let go. His CA was far higher than theirs and hopefully he can do a job when called upon.

Finally, Dingwall wasn't happy playing second fiddle anymore so Stephen Stevenson has joined from Clyde after spending last season out on loan at Highland League side Elgin City were he scored 11 goals in 23 games. He's got decent enough stats and his consistency is good as well so hopefully he can get some goals from the bench when called upon.

 

So, the bookies make us overwhelming favourites to go down which is no surprise. We've got odds of 250-1 of winning the title that doesn't sound all that bad but the team above us, Inverurie Loco's are priced at only 25-1 so yeah, we really aren't expected to do anything this year. Personally, I'd like to think we can maybe finish as high as eighth. I'd be delighted with that but if we finish last then I just pray that we don't lose the playoff game.

So let's start our first season up at these heady heights, mon the Tin Pail! 

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July/Aug/Sept/Oct 2033-34

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Well, I was not expecting this start at all.

I must front up and say though that, after my last post saying I was planning on still playing attacking football, I actually did switch to a more conservative 'positive' approach to my play after the Partick game and never looked back. I thought the games against Stirling, Kelty and Heriot-Watt were winnable games and expected to lose to then second placed Peterhead and actually rotated players due to the packed fixtures yet I still came out of it with a convincing win.

Unbelievable form really. I don't know if it's sustainable or not but we are playing well and I'm happy, how could I not be? I've got a very slim squad though with only 20 players in the first team set up so injuries and suspensions may play a part as we get further in.

There has been one late signing before the close of the transfer window. The former Old Firm youth player Liam Burt has joined on a free from West Of Scotland Premiership side BSC Glasgow. He's coming to the end of his career but I think I can get something out of him this season and he's already been getting on the scoresheet.

Could we see an instant promotion this year?

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2033-34

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Well for a newly promoted side that run isn't that bad you'd say but it's obviously a downturn from the first few months.

It was bound to happen as the early season form was far above our station. We're still top 4 though so this league is very much still open though so who knows where we will sit come the end of the season. We're by no means out of the play-offs challenge but we won't be winning the league. I think we can safely say though that we won't be worrying about going straight back down anymore.

Sadly we are out of the Scottish Cup though so there will be no big pay day as we went out to Championship side Morton.

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Youth Intake 2034

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Well it's a slightly better intake in that four players are probably good enough to play in League 1/2 but the personalities are poor. I've not signed any of the players as by the time Sloan, Bowden, Black and Gordon reach their PA I will have dreams of playing at a higher level. It's killing me not signing my intakes as I love to work with youth in saves.

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So as we now start making our way up the leagues I should probably put a key to explain my colourful spreadsheets as we now start to work with different levels of players.

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Gold is what I consider the best and deescalates to red. There will also be a salary cap but in place as we get further in as I want to be a financial stable club and not rely on player sales and competition winnings, although obviously being a club in Scotland if big offers come in for players I will need to sell as that would be true to life.  

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2033-34

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I'm amazed at our success this year.

We've been brilliant considering we are a newly promoted team but if we were an established League 2 side I would say we've had an average campaign yet still found ourselves going all the way to the play-offs final. Sadly we lost to Stenhousemuir who have been brilliant this season so I can't complain. We managed to beat 9th placed League 1 side Stranraer over the two legs which I was very happy about.

A full season review to follow where I'll go into a bit more detail about the season.

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Season 2033-34 Review

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Well let's get the usual out the way first, "What a season we've had" :lol:.

It truly was a phenomenal season though. For a Lowland League side to come up and in it's first year finish fourth and make it all the way to the play-off final is unbelievable. We only made four signings, only two of which went into the first team, and kept the players from the Lowland League and do so well is brilliant.

Our season tickets were up yet our average attendance was down which is surprising considering we've never been so high up the pyramid. You'd think the locals would be flocking in. Our bank balance is in a strong place and we've been able to improve our facilities and infrastructure which is great.

The club is obviously improving and moving forward. I don't think I will improve any facilities this year and try and have a strong cup run and try to boost the coffers this season. I think another season and keep the ship steady and I will ask the board to turn professional at this time next year.

 

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The squad was obviously brilliant this year. I've tied down big hitters already for next season and the ones out of contract may still get a new deal but again I need to have a look at possible players I can bring in and then decisions will be made. Possibly we should look at trying to bring in a better calibre of player in the AMC roles but if no ones available I'm happy to go with the same lads again. In fact all over the squad I'm happy with everyone so only if I can bring in an improvement will players be let go.

I suspect that new signing Stephen Murdoch will leave this summer though as he wasn't happy to keep the bench warm this year so doubt he will be willing to sign a new deal.

 

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We had a very settled team this year as I'm working with a very small squad. The only disagreement with this team of the year is I think Cammy Smith should be in instead of Scullion.

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Jaime McKenzie was, again, so dependable between the sticks and easily deserved player of the year. I forget just how young Matthew Naismith is as it feels like he's been with us for 10 years or more! He did so well for us as well and was a delight with his passing.

 

So that was the season. A great one at our first time of playing in this division. We were a positive team and took it to the opposition. I think our league form is a testament to that as we only had 6 draws. We mainly took the game to teams and bullied them to get the three points or we left ourselves open and lost to clever counter-attacking football that picked us apart.

Bring on next year and let us see if this was a fluke or we really are a team to watch out for.

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Season 2034-35 Preview

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Just the two friendlies this season as again I planned to use the Betfred Cup group as my main pre-season warm up as there's no way we would get through the group...but look at those results! We did it! We finished second and went through!

We managed to beat Premiership side Queen's Park 6-5 on penalties and Championship side Hamilton 11-10 via the same means. This was complimented by an easy 3-0 win away to recently relegated League Two side Heriot-Watt who have a thread bare squad still after the mass exodus following their demotion. I was acutely aware of that as I poached six of their team!

So, as I just alluded to, let's have a look at the summer signings. There has been many! Mainly to fill out the squad I must add, only a few have been signed to go into the starting eleven.

Jack Turner is the first of the Heriot-Watt lads to show you. He's young with plenty of potential and been signed to mainly be used as back up for Marc Fraser with a view to hopefully take over in a few years time.

Stuart Morrison is another Heriot-Watt signing. He's a veteran central defender and been brought in as cover.

Sam Morrison, no relation to Stuart, is another Heriot-Watt signing and been brought in as cover for left back. He's at a good age and good solid stats so I've got no worries if he is needed for a run of games.

We also made a loan signing for centre back just in case of injuries so in came veteran Kyle Bradley from West of Scotland Premiership side Troon.

Jaime Munro is yet another Heriot-Watt signing and he is going straight into the team as my ball winning midfielder. Great passing, great tackling, strong work rate, he should be a winner.

Ross O'Connor has come to keep the bench warm for the ball winning midfielder role but he's young with bags of potential again so hopefully he can mature into the role and stake a claim for it in the future. You may have guessed...he's come from Heriot-Watt.

The last of the Heriot-Watt players to join was former Hibs starlet Fraser Murray. He's another veteran at 35 but he's a good technical player who can add another dimension to our attacking three or play in midfield if needed.

Aiden McLaughlin has joined with a view to just giving me more options for midfield or as part of my attacking three. He's joined from Stirling Uni and maybe doesn't have the greatest of stats but he's an improvement on what we had and he was free and willing to sign. So he's in.

And finally, we signed former Rangers youth Zak Rudden just in case we get an injury to either striker that was already in the squad. He's still a decent finisher but got very little mobility so let's hope he can just be the fox in the box and get us some poachers goals if called upon.

Lot's of new faces but pretty much everyone out of contract was let go. A big shake up but most of them brought in for the bench so I don't think it will dirupt the team too much. That's my thinking anyway.

 

So...predictions for the season? The bookies have us as fave's for relegation with odds of 200-1 to win the league. Player's expect a relegation fight. I think...I think in a league of only 10 we can get play-off's again. I really do. I didn't think I'd come up and be in this position, I thought I'd be cannon fodder but with how well we did last year and how open the league was I think we can go out and perform the same again.

Last little bit, but amongst the Betfred Cup group this little news item came up so I thought I'd end the preview with it...

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Aug/Sept/Oct 2034-35

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I should have known I might be susceptible to second season syndrome and it seems to have taken hold. A very tough open to the campaign but with how small the league is we are still within touching distance of the play off spots so all is not lost yet.

We drew the most successful Scottish team of all time in the Betfred Cup, Celtic, to get ourselves a huge payday as we went away to Parkhead. We got battered but that wasn't really the point. The money will be incredibly important to the club moving forward.

Been very tough going so far so let's hope the players can turn it around as the season progresses over the next few months.

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I've really enjoyed reading about your save (been lurking for some time). 

 

I struggled to find a save in FM21 and you inspired me to try a youth only save in Scotland. Just got promoted to the Highland league in my second season with Inverness Athletic. Watching the youth develop at a small club is really my favorite part of FM. 

 

Keep up the good work!

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10 hours ago, davenumber40 said:

I've really enjoyed reading about your save (been lurking for some time). 

 

I struggled to find a save in FM21 and you inspired me to try a youth only save in Scotland. Just got promoted to the Highland league in my second season with Inverness Athletic. Watching the youth develop at a small club is really my favorite part of FM. 

 

Keep up the good work!

Thank you.

I think in a year or two I might come back to a save like this and try again with a Highland team as I come from the Western Isles so I'd like to do it with a team closer to home. I'm hoping in the next few years to have my facilities improved so I can produce decent regens to start being the powerhouse of my teams, it's how I normally play. They just aren't of a good enough quality at the moment. 

I agree that developing small teams up is my favourite part. Even when doing journeymen saves in days gone by once I hit the big time when I'd leave a club I'd always drop back down divisions.

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2034-35

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A much better period for the club and we managed to see of League One side East Fife to advance in the Scottish Cup but the fourth round was as far as we would go as we drew Championship side Livingston and went out. There was no big pay day sadly so I might look to try to invest some of the money we have into my infrastructure as I don't want to be waiting two years before I upgrade things.

We really started to find form in the league but we've not been devastating in all honestly and I think that's down to Chris Mitchell not being able to find the net as often this term. We have managed to climb the table though and we currently occupy a paly-off berth but I'm not sure if we will keep hold of that between now and the end of the season.

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Youth Intake 2035

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A far better intake at last!

Paul Gordon is the cream of the crop and with his PA he could go on and play in the Championship. Very high hopes for him.

The following players have also been signed to fill out the squad: Scott GrantIan MillingtonJacob Duncan who I will attempt to convert to a left back, Zander DempsterJordan McArdle and Ally Ramsay who I'm not to sure what to do with but with his personality and PA I didn't want to just let him go.

Very, VERY happy to get a crop I can actually work with at this level. I'm not planning on entering the transfer market this summer now and hopefully we continue to get players we can work with each year so as I can now start to cultivate more of a youth focused approach. 

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2034-35

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A fantastic end to the league campaign confirmed our place in the play-offs for a second year on the bounce but we came up short again, this time losing in the semi-final to the blue toon.

Stranraer were dominant this season after their relegation last year and were deserved champions.

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Season 2034-35 Review

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Well it felt like results didn't pan out for us as well as last season as I was playing but looking at the tracker it turns out we had a very similar season to last. One more win than last year, a few goals better off scored and a few less conceded suggests we actually had a better season than last! We also got further in the Betfred Cup so despite feeling like we didn't perform as well as last year the stats show we did do better.

The Celtic game was massive for the club and really helped out the bank balance which was great, we're in a very healthy financial position but that will drop significantly over the summer as the board have agreed to improve our youth facilities, work will begin this summer.

Our overall play wasn't as good as last year but I can live with that. We did have a lot of new players come into the squad so it would always take a while for everyone to gel.

 

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Not much improvement within the squad with regards to CA but considering we are a part time team we aren't likely to see massive strides until we turn professional, which I think I will ask for at the end of next season. I know I said this year but with the cost of improving my facilities I think I will hold off as I'm not sure how much that will increase the wages expenditure.

The boys out of contract will probably all leave thanks to the quality of my youth intake this year, it will be good to see more of the kids get into the squad next season and hopefully despite my part time status I can get them improving and playing well. I'm definitely not afraid to play kids.

Being in League Two I've now been able to tie down a lot of the squad to longer contracts which was great.

 

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No complaints with the team of the year, that was the team I played when everyone was fit although Sam Morrison overtook Penrice in the left back berth.

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McKenzie player of the year and Mitchell top scorer is becoming a regular occurrence and rightly so. Mitchell did go through a bit of a baron spell but still is my first choice number 9.

 

So, overall, a solid season and I would go as far as to say that even though it's only been two years I think we can say that we are now an established League Two side. I'm looking forward to next year and with the introduction of the kids I don't think we will be a hugely dominant team but I'm confident again of making the play offs.

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Season 2035-36 Preview

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A good Betfred Cup showing this year but we didn't manage to get through to the knockout rounds this year. Sadly the Hibs game was a home game so we didn't get a big payday either. Let's hope we get a plum tie in the Scottish Cup to help the club coffers.

So the players are being more ambitious this season and think we can achieve a mid-table finish which is very pleasing to see. The board are still asking us to avoid relegation although as of next year in the club vision they are asking me to maintain being a League Two side. Not sure off the top of my head if that's more ambitious than avoid relegation or not.

The bookies are backing us for 9th and offering odds of 150-1.

No signings were made over the summer, didn't even look at the scouting page to see who was available as I've called the kids up and plan to have them rotate in when needed to get game time under their belts.

Zak Rudden and Liam Burt have retired over the summer.

My thoughts for the season, as I said in the last post, are that I think we can achieve the play-offs again. In a league with only 10 teams of around the same quality it only takes a few results to put you right back up their in contention so I'm confident of finishing top 4.

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Aug/Sept/Oct 2035-36

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What a blistering start to the campaign we have had this season!

5 wins out of 5 in August was brilliant and we won the first game of September but then we began to stutter slightly. We fielded a relative B team against Republic of Ireland side Finn Harps and went out of the SPFL Trust Trophy as I hoped to rest the big hitters for the top of the table clash with Peterhead but we were pegged back late on and had to settle for a draw. Draws followed against the recently relegated Stenhousemuir and also the high flying Brora Rangers and Forfar. Can't be too upset as, with the exception of Brora, these are teams I would be expecting to give me the biggest challenge.

Second in the league and undefeated though so let's hope the good times keep rolling. If we're in this kind of position in January maybe we can actually have a title challenge.

We've advanced in the Scottish Cup also and I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a plum money spinning tie later.

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Youth Intake Preview 2036

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Excited to see what type of midfielders are coming through. I'd prefer a more technical, creative midfielder to act as back up to Thain.

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2035-36

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Our solid run continues but we have dropped points and I don't think we will be challenging for the title this year. I think we will definitely finish in the play-offs though.

All the squad is performing well, even the youngsters' when called upon. Mitchell is finding the back of the net and McKenzie is keeping things tight at the back.

We're through to the 5th round of the Scottish Cup after a rather easy run. We've got Premiership side Queens Park in the next round so we will probably be bowing out due to the strength of opposition and sadly I don't think it will be  big pay day either which is disappointing. 

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Youth Intake 2036

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A really solid intake and our first ever 100+ PA academy graduates. The improvements to our infrastructure are really now starting to bear fruit.

So let's have a look at the players signed.

Douglas Flynn has been snapped up with a view to being my second choice keeper but will probably get a lot more game time than Jordan Stafford has ever got.

The first of our two 100+ PA players is Willie Whyte. Sadly his personality is poor so I don't know if we'll be able to get the best out of him at this level as it stands but I'll get him in a mentoring group quickly and hopefully that will make a difference.

Next up we have Ronan Graham who doesn't have any stand out attributes but bags of PA so hopefully we can harness that.

The best of the best is Mick Ross who has a really strong work ethic so we'll start tailoring his training to a box-to-box midfielder and see what comes of him. I would train him as a ball winning midfielder as that's the type of midfielder I'd expect him to be in my team but Will MacKenzie has come along also in this graduating class who also has a high work ethic but already possesses a high tackling attribute.

And finally we have Cieran Agnew who is strong and I can see being a solid squad player for me in the next few years.

 

A great intake and I'm really now starting to question if this is the summer that I ask the board to turn professional as we're now starting to produce players that if we could get them in full time training we could start churning out talented players to sell on for decent money.

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2035-36

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A strong end to the season and until the last two games I was still in the title hunt but sadly it wasn't to be.

We made the play-offs as we were always on course to do but sadly again we have come up short.

We played some great football over the period but too many draws have cost us really. Draws against bottom half teams after we do the hard part and beat the teams who are in and around us.

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Season Review 2035-36

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Another really good season for the club as we did as well as expected in the cups and again qualified for the league play-offs.

We managed to become tougher to beat with only 5 losses in the league but too many draws cost us a genuine chance of actually topping the league. We got more goals in a campaign than ever before and were relatively secure at the back I felt but I think if we can tighten that up a bit next year then I think we could be in with a chance of winning the league.

We had our highest average attendance this season and a few more season ticket holders and the bank balance is secure while we were still able to improve our training facilities.

 

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We've now got a very young squad again which, although bodes well for the future, is probably what cost us with our title push. These next few years will probably be quite transformative and the next generation, now that our academy is bearing fruit, is starting to come through. Once they hit a level of maturity I think we can be a real force. The squads personality is starting to lose it's determination so I'm hopeful I can improve that over the next few years. We need some of these younger players to become more focused so we can have them mentor more and more of the young boys coming through.

 

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The team of the year is absolutely my preferred starting eleven. No surprises with the player awards.

 

Well, three years for the Tin Pail in League Two and we definitely deserve our place. We've taken to the league with ease and constantly find ourselves at the top end and holding our own against teams from higher division in Cup games. It's been a good season and the academy graduates were a real bonus to see quality coming through.

This is the summer that I'm going to ask the board to turn professional. I don't know if they will allow it at this level and also the chairman is now looking to sell the club so that could go against us also. Let's go and find out.

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A club takeover saga has been played out over the course of the summer at the club...

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Well we really don't want Mark Wilson getting control of the club. I'd be heartbroken to take the club this far and be dumped. I'd been planning this save since May/June last year when the leagues were reconstructed.

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One in two chance of keeping my job now :(

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Nooooooooooooooooooooo :eek:

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Phew, although a message from the current chairman after this said he couldn't rule out the possibility of Wilson coming back in :stop:

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There has been some good news over the summer though as the chairman has lined up a senior affiliate for us without us even asking.

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I'm sure we'll be dipping into their youth and reserve teams soon to get some players in on loan.

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Season 2036-37 Preview

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A poor showing this year in the Betfred Cup as we lose every game but we have to be honest and say we've massively over achieved the past few years. We're a League Two side who've punched well above our weight so a run like this was bound to happen at some point. As long as we don't let head's drop and carry the form into the league campaign I'm not too concerned.

There have been no signing's over the summer but we have sold our first player for an actual fee, the first in the entire save all these years in! Jaime Munro has left for pastures new for the fee of £2,500.

The bookies this year are pricing us with the longest odds to come out on top at 200-1 and backed us to finish last in 10th place. The board simply want us to be competitive and the players think we can finish mid-table.

Speak of the board, I asked if we could turn professional but the turned me down. I pleaded with them and accused them of lacking ambition but it did no good so we stay a semi-professional club.

My thoughts for this year are the same as last. I think we can achieve the play-offs again but will maybe come up short again due to our young squad. I don't want to invest in older heads and I'm happy to wait for the squad to mature along with seeing our academy produce better and better graduates, I'm in this for the long haul.

I'll just leave this here as well as another milestone has been reached...

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