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[FM21] Extreme Scottish Lower League - Vale of Clyde


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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2054-55

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Not quite as strong a run as we've been enjoying so far this season but I'm not going to grumble. We easily finished in the top six which is what I wanted after the first round of games and my first update. I think our finish means that we go straight in the Europa League group stage next year so we will be guaranteed better money than we enjoyed in the Europa Conference the other year.

We played some good football over the period and I thought we were unlucky to lose some of the games we did but that how it goes sometimes I suppose.

Over the period as well we managed to increase our full international players to three, we still don't have a full Scottish International yet which is disappointing and something that I'd like to change going forward.

We got put out of the Scottish Cup by Dundee which was a disappointment, especially after in game when I ran my mouth off to the press saying we'd beat them and they'd know they were in a game.

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Youth Intake 2055 Review

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A decent intake this year, not an abundance of talent but a few gems amongst it so I'm happy enough.

Just the four players signed up this year so let's have a look.

First up we have the best PA in goalie Marc Duffy. Excuse his YP number, this was later corrected once I realised the typo. He's got a great personality so hopefully he will be the long term successor to Paddy once he goes.

Next up we have left back David Watson. Sadly the full back spoken about in the preview was a leftie not a rightie but he's got Premiership potential so he was snapped up and will hopefully either have a great career with us or be sold for good money done the line.

And finally we have a couple of strikers in Max Stevenson and James Ward. James Ward has fantastic potential. Premiership level PA and one of the best personality groups so he could be an absolute diamond for us.

 

The HoYD has again got a stay of execution.

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Season 2054-55 Review

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Our eighth season in the Premiership and our best yet.

Our final year at Fullarton Park and we gave the packed out stands a year to remember as we recorded more wins then ever before and finally looked like a side that deserves to be here at this level.

Our finances have taken a hit without European football but we're still in profit. 

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Another solid year from the players and each one to a man managed to play their part over the season to help us achieve what we wanted. 

Paddy was once again magnificent but Robertson performed brilliantly when called upon between the sticks.

Max Kilkolly game into the side more and more over the season as Williamson again blew hot and cold and looked comfortable in front of goal.

We played Iain McDowall alongside Sloan in defence as although Adams is dependable he is has the least PA amongst the centre backs.

Allan Menzies did well at right back in some of the smaller games in stead of Bradley and João Henrique the same at left back, although his CA is not improving as fast as Menzies has.

The midfield was better this year and the AMC's all did really well, plenty of options there.

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A fantastic season to end our time at Fullarton Park. We'll be moving to the near 17,000 Ashely Neto Arena next year so I'm hoping that will be a huge help to our finances as that's really holding us back at the moment. I'd love to improve the training facilities and youth facilities and then hopefully our conveyor belt of talent can really go up a notch. I love the season though. It was really enjoyable to actually be winning games on the regs instead of duking it out hoping for a top six finish. Next year I'll be hoping for a cup final and more of the same.

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Season 2055-56 Preview

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No Betfred Cup group stage this year due to our league finish last season so we actually had a "traditional" pre-season this year.

I tried doing what I usually do and playing a lot of the young kids to see how they perform to give me food for thought for the season ahead but we seemed to struggle quite a bit, I'm guessing due to the step up in class, so I switched to playing a stronger team and things got better.

So a new season, same old...wait, what?

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OMG nearly dropped my laptop! We aren't expected to finish last? :eek:

There has been a sale this summer, the player won't officially leave the club until January though...

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Yes Paddy is off. Strangely he's off in a multi-million move to the Irish league and joining Dundalk. He courted interest from Everton, Watford and Nottingham Forrest but none of them put in bids that matched Dundalk in their structure and heavily incentivised so I wasn't so keen on them. Paddy is off though. Not until January but I won't be playing him as despite him having the most quality I'm looking to the future and one of the other lads will play to get the game time to improve.

 

So, our first year at the Ashley Neto Arena. I'm hoping for a good season. As I said in the last post, I'm looking for another comfortable top six finish and try to do well in the cups and maybe look to now start trying to make cup finals, I think we'll be another five years or so until we can look to challenge for the title. I think just getting out of the group stage in Europe will be the goal, can't see a long run after though as Europa League compared to Europa Conference is a big step up in class.

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Jul/Aug/Sept/Oct 2055-56

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Trying out a new skin to mix things up ;)

A tough literal opening to the campaign this year as I faced two of the heavyweights of the league in Rangers and Hearts but after that we managed to get some results against bottom of the table clubs and managed to find a bit of form to steady us and move us up the league.

We actually had a strong showing in the Betfred Cup this year falling just short of reaching our first major final as we bowed out of the competition in the semi finals at Hampden to the green half of the Old Firm.

Europe has been decent so far. Our group is ok. Obviously we aren't going to top it as Tottenham are far too strong for us and I wondered what level Red Star Belgrade would be but we managed to beat them so I'm confident of finishing second in the group and advancing.

I also had a personal milestone over the period as well as I racked up 1,700 games in management when the Tin Pail faced Belgrade.

Something to take note of as well is that the Ashley Neto Arena is already pretty much packed out to capacity already. Our average of over 15,000 fans each week is the 3rd smallest in the league so fans are back following the clubs and I don't think I've highlighted this in the thread much but the SPL is the ranked the 6th best in Europe and has been for quite a while now. Millions are being spent by clubs each year by clubs so I don't think it will be long until I'm asking to increase the capacity again. Scottish football is booming. It's not just the Old Firm doing well either. Aberdeen, Hibs and Hearts have all won European trophies within the save.

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Youth Intake 2056 Preview

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Another Kiwi striker, I'm not sure how that's come about as I don't have any New Zealand staff or scouting range there.

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2055-56

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I mean, let's not make too much of a big deal about the Tottenham result ok folks? We were never likely to win the match so I played the kids seeing as we had Rangers up next so in that sense, despite the embarrassment of the Tottenham game, I feel I was justified.

A strong period for the club though as we suffered only two losses to top of the table sides. Aberdeen had been on an absolute tare up until January and had been undefeated and I thought they might be on for their first title since the 80's but they've slipped up a bit since and let Celtic back in.

We are looking very strong in our push for top six and European football again next season so I'm very happy about that.

With regards to cup competition, despite the Tottenham result, we have managed to advance ourselves to the knock-out rounds in the Europa League and we are still in the Scottish Cup. I don't know how far we will go in Europe but I'm really hoping we can have a good showing in the Scottish Cup.

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There have been a few sales in the winter transfer window...

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Boyle and former stalwart Adams have left for Ross County and Adeoye has gone to Motherwell.

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The knock out rounds of the Europa League has been drawn and we've got ourselves a tough tie. In saying that though I've not done my homework yet to see how well Monaco have faired within the save previously, but by todays' standards on paper it looks a tough tie.

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Feb/Mar/Apr/May 2055-56

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Well, a very comfortable top six finish as we were aiming for.

In fact, it was a comfortable 5th place finish which will get me European football again next season. Sadly one European place has been lost by the league so 6th place would not have seen my get lucrative European ties next year. Our league form was fine over the period, as expected really. We easily outplayed teams in the bottom half and picked up the wins but we did struggle against the top six sides with the exception of Dunfermline. Who would have thought the Pars would get a top six finish?

We went out of the Europa League against Monaco who were still a very strong side. I'm actually quite excited to be back in the Europa Conference next season as I think that's a level we could actually do really well in again and hopefully go on another long run.

We did very well in the Scottish Cup this year as we went on a great run all the way to the semi finals before going out to the Dons sadly. We're getting better in domestic cups though so hopefully soon we can claim a major trophy for the first time in the next few years. 

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Youth Intake 2056 Review

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Really poor personalities this year out which is a real shame. Some talent to work with this year but nothing to get excited about really. We signed four players to contracts who can hopefully go on and be squad players in the years ahead or at the least be a stop gap if called upon.

First up we have Nathan Houston. A right wing back but the interesting thing about him is he is comfortable on either foot so I might look to train him on the left and use him as a utility player as it would free up an extra space on my bench would could be valuable in the future.

Calum Aitchison was signed as a ball winning midfielder. He doesn't have high PA but he does have a strong tackling stat already so I thought I'd sign him and see what becomes of him.

We also signed another lad for the middle of the field in Dale Charlesworth who has average PA so we'll sign him up and, like Aitchison, see how things work out.

And finally to our second promising Kiwi striker in John Kampman. He could be a strong back up in a few years so he along with Houston are the big hopes this year.

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Season 2055-56 Review

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Well seeing the stats in front of me I've got to say I'm shocked.

Technically our league form was worse than last year, it didn't feel like that playing through. I thought it was a good league campaign this year, a strong campaign but I guess I swapped a few wins against the bigger sides to not losing against the smaller teams. We had some great results in the cups this year and managed to reach the semi-finals in the domestic cups and reached the 1st knock-out round in the Europa League.

The Ashley Neto Arena is proving a big hit as fans flocked to it to see us play and as a result meant that our bank balance is finished healthy, the hefty transfer fee we received for Paddy also helped though :brock:.

 

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Young Garry Robertson was meant to be the heir to Paddy in goals and actually claimed the sports writers 'Young Player of the Year' award but Hamish McIntosh actually played a lot of games this year as Robertson spent large parts out injured. Both were brilliant.

Up the other end, long serving one club man Michael Williamson spent a large part out injured and suffered a huge drop in CA. I'm worried that his days at the club could be numbered as a result.

Simon Bell wasn't injured but had a very poor season for us, he needs to rebound in a big way next year or his days could also be numbered. The same fate could also befell João Henrique.

Elsewhere, everyone else did well without really exciting sadly. Maybe that was my fault as I did rotate the squad around quite a bit due to a mixture of wanting to give game time to increase CA, keep players fresh and loss of form.

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Sloany definitely deserved player of the year and I was very happy to see the original Kiwi Max Kilkolly do well in front of goal.

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So a good season I feel. We accomplished a top six finish with relative ease and we did well in the cups, granted coming up just short of my hopes but we still did really well. We're definitely in a position now with the new stadium to start moving the club into the upper echelon's and growing the club to start competing for silverware.

Exciting times ahead for the Tin Pail! 

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17 hours ago, pezza96 said:

Loving this thread, has inspired me to start an orkney save using the same db, 2 seasons in and loving it.

Thanks mate, been one of the most enjoyable saves I've had on FM in many a year. Make sure to check in and let me know how you get on in your save :brock:

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Season 2056-57 Preview

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Betfred Cup has gone well this year and there's also the first round of the Europa Conference qualifiers mixed in there.

There was a lot of use of the younger players in the squad but to be fair the whole squad, barring the recent academy graduates and one or two others, are around the same level so I'm actually starting to think we're a formidable club this year. I don't think we'll be title challengers but I'm thinking we can be a comfortable top five side again and maybe be pushing for third or fourth. 

However the rest of the opinions in the save say...

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...near the bottom again. The highest they've placed us in all our time up here though :brock:

There has been one sale over the summer...

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Henrique had good potential and has had plenty of game time but he's still not moving as fast as I'd like so we've sold him to Motherwell. I thought we'd get more money for him which is a shame but no one was beating down the door for him and we've got plenty of options in the left back role. We managed to secure a future percentage of any sale if he does improve so I was comfortable letting him go.

 

 

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Jul/Aug/Sept/Oct 2056-57

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A solid start to the season this year.

We, thankfully, have managed to navigate our way through the Europa Conference qualifying rounds after trips to Georgia and Iceland have been rewarded with this group. Valencia is obviously a toughie and I wasn't sure what level Sivasspor would be but at the halfway point I'm confident that we will be able to get through to the knock-outs in second.

We didn't make the boards request of a quarter final appearance in the Betfred Cup after we got papped out by the Dons in a mauling. How the board can request a quarter final appearance while also asking us to fight bravely against relegation seems a bit odd to me :idiot:.

League form has been good with Max Kilkolly in fine form. We've had a few season defining moments already with wins against the Jambos and a very impressive hammering of the boys in blue at Ibrox, that was a fantastic day that will stay with the fans for a while to come yet I think.

There is some unrest in the squad as I've been trying to use the full depth of it and playing like the 'Tinkerman' Ranieri rotating quite heavily. Garry Robertson in goals and right back Scott Bradley having the most extreme reactions claiming to feel alienated. Older heads in Davide Mirante and Garry Haining aren't quite at that level but are concerned about their game time. With regards to those two specifically, as consistent as they have been previously, I'm now starting to faze them out gradually due to their limited PA. Michael Williamson up top has flat out come to me asking to leave for a new challenge so he will probably leave in January. A new era is about to dawn at the Tin Pail. 

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Youth Intake Preview 2057

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An exciting write up this year so I have high hopes about how it might turn out, fingers crossed :D

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2056-57

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We managed to secure our place in the knock-out rounds of the Europa Conference so I'm excited about further European football in the new year. The draw has been made but as I'm writing I've actually not checked who we will face but hopefully it's a winnable tie and we can advance to the later stages of the competition. 

We looked strong in the league and up until the game against Celtic in the new year we were actually within touching distance of top spot and I thought if results went our way we might just get involved in our first SPFL title fight but the three league games after the Dundee game has dispelled that thought and now it's a hope that we might actually be able to maybe achieve second and get into the Champions League for the riches that it would bring.

We had an easy game in the Scottish Cup against lower league opposition and we will face Championship side Kilmarnock in the next round.

Max Kilkolly has been in exceptional form with 24 goals already this season, he truly has taken over from Michael Williamson.

You might notice that our bank balance has jumped up, more on that in the next post...

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Winter Transfer Window 2057

Quite a bit of action in this period so I thought I'd give it a dedicated post. 

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Max left as we have plenty of options up front and he didn't have the best of PA so we allowed him to make his own decision of where he wanted to go after a few clubs came in for him and he chose St Johnstone. Didn't get much for him but there is a sell on clause so I'm sure we'll see a modest fee paid to us in the future.

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Calum was another one who didn't really have the PA to ever really stake a claim for the first team and he moved on for another very modest fee but with a future sell on clause to Falkirk.

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Wee Tam had a decent amount of potential but he's 18 and still trailing behind a lot of others that came through in the same class so we allowed him to leave on a non-negotiable fee of half a million pounds to Motherwell.  

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The big one of the sales this window, left back Steven Wylie went to China to join SIPG for a huge £9m AND a 50% clause of any future sale so hopefully that comes back and gets us a few millions. We have Eddie Moyes ready to step up as a first team regular and both David Watson and Nathan Houston who can play as a back up so the sale makes sense.

 

So with these sales I did actually approach the board and request we expand the stadium as it's packed out every week but they sadly refused it. I didn't ask about improving the youth or training facilities as this would ultimately place more strain on our financial turnover due to running costs which we just can't afford to do until the loans for the Ashley Neto Arena are paid off.

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Feb/Mar 2056-57

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With so many games over the end of the season I've split the last four months this time out.

A good period for the club as we manage to overcome both Croatian side Dinamo and German heavyweights VfL Wolfsburg on penalties to set up a Battle of Britain glamour tie against Manchester City. Unless we can keep it tight and take it to penalties I suspect this is where our journey will end.

I thought we'd be able to make in roads into the Scottish Cup but frustratingly we ended up going out rather meekly to Championship side Kilmarnock.

The league is going well though and we find ourselves back within touching distance of the summit as we head into the top six split. Could we be on for our first ever SPFL title? I don't think we will but to still be in with a chance at this time of the season is a clear indication of just how far we have come I feel.

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Youth Intake 2057 Review

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Well the hype in the preview has not lived up to the actual graduates sadly. Only three players have been picked up.

Derek Hendry has been picked up for central defence. He probably won't set the heather on fire and will be nothing more than a squad player but he's one of the best of an average bunch.

Will Boyd is much the same as Hendry in terms of my expectations.

The best of the bunch is Craig Hutcheon. A great personality and sold potential so we will train him up as an attacking midfielder and hope that he can go on and become a good player for us. He has the potential to be a starter in a few years time.

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Apr/May 2056-57

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A terrible way to end the season as we just rolled over.

Our Europa Conference run came to an end against City in the Battle of Britain. This was to be expected and I thought we actually played well in the game at the Ashley Neto Arena and was hopeful that maybe we could cause an upset at the Etihad but we had the rug pulled out from under us and it was men against boys sadly. At least I can make the excuse that we actually were playing boys with half of the side actually being teenagers.

Our league form was horrendous after that as we only managed 1 point out of 15 with a draw away to Hearts. We were terrible. The league however, from a neutral was incredibly exciting with it going all the way to the last day of the season and Hearts actually taking it on goal difference over Celtic and Rangers with Aberdeen only being a point behind all of them still. I'm hoping that it's as exciting next year and that we can be up in that mix again.

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End of Season Review 2056-57

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A decade in the SPFL.

A good season for us overall I felt playing through. We played some good football, we're in a position now where we have enough talent to rotate the squad around, we made some good sales to boost the coffers, the fans continue to keep packing out the stadium, it was a good season.

We weren't far off being considered in a title challenge. I mean, we weren't if I'm honest but we were only a result or two away at times from being right up there so it was an exciting year for the club.

We had a great run in Europe which was good but sadly the domestic cups again have proved fruitless. I'd love to make a final soon.

 

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A big squad which we rotated around a lot to try and boost as much CA as we could with a view to selling anyone in the future that attracts a decent bid.

The goalie's were all brilliant so I'm not afraid to sell any but preferably I'm looking to shift Robertson as he seems to be the slowest in terms of improving.

The defence were all dependable and my three AMC positions who ever was used did well enough to merit being kept in my thoughts moving forward.

Max Kilkolly this year really stepped up and has become the club's number 9 and even broke a few records...

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Hopefully John Kampman and James Ward prove good understudies next year, Williamson will more than likely be off as he hasn't got any game time and, as I think I've previously written, wants to leave for a new challenge.

 

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Other than Kilkolly and Sloan I would say that the rest of the team could be interchangeable and that's not to say that nobody else was any good but rather that the whole squad performed very well this year.

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So to surmise, a really strong year and definitely one I'm proud of. We are improving each and every year and closing that gap. Hopefully we can continue in this vein as despite the clubs growing bank balance I still don't want to splash the cash as we are still to pay off the Ashley Neto Arena in loan repayments for another 4 years and I don't want to risk our financial status so the board then go over my head accepting any offer that comes in for players and we sell them on the cheap. Hopefully my tactics and style of play can continue to offset the gap in class between ourselves and the bigger teams in the league.

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Season 2057-58 Preview

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A rough ride through the pre-season friendlies this year but luckily it clicked into place just in time.

We played a lot of the younger boys in the Betfred Cup and also for our trip to Moldova in the Europa Conference.

There was a wee moment of history amongst our Betfred Cup games as I hit a major milestone...

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After our European exploits last season we've now been recognised as a top European side...

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...yet despite that, guess where we we're expected to finish in the league?

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How can that be possible? We're ranked the 50th best side in Europe but backed by the bookies to be relegation fodder, there's something not right there. The players also expect a relegation fight and were horrified at my suggestion we should aim for mid-table at our end of year meeting.

This season I'm expecting more of the same. I'm aiming to be challenging for second spot and a Champions League place to boost my finances and I'd really like to make a cup final.

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Do you have the in game editor handy?

If so, might be worth sneaking a peek under the hood at reputations of the Scottish Prem sides.  Might explain why you are expected to battle relegation despite your European exploits.  The European ranking are based purely on your progression whereas home reputation takes other things into account and as you have not won a Major Scottish trophy yet, you will be suffering on that side of things. 

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1 hour ago, Pompeyboyz said:

Do you have the in game editor handy?

If so, might be worth sneaking a peek under the hood at reputations of the Scottish Prem sides.  Might explain why you are expected to battle relegation despite your European exploits.  The European ranking are based purely on your progression whereas home reputation takes other things into account and as you have not won a Major Scottish trophy yet, you will be suffering on that side of things. 

Surely my performance over the past 10 years means something though? I've been top 6 past few years yet I'm still expected to be fighting out relegation each year by everyone.

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1 minute ago, metallimuse said:

Surely my performance over the past 10 years means something though? I've been top 6 past few years yet I'm still expected to be fighting out relegation each year by everyone.

Having a "decent" league position will give only small increments as opposed to actually winning trophies. That's why you are now expected 10th and not last.  

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Aug/Sept/Oct 2057-58

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A poor opening day to the season as we lose out to the green half of Glasgow.

What a great run we've been on since though! Played everyone once and we find ourselves second in the league only three points behind Celtic so could we be involved in a title battle? I don't think so but I'm hopeful that maybe we can stick it out and finish second/third this year.

We've managed to advance ourselves to the Europa Conference group stage and we've got a really easy group this year and we're the clear favourites to advance to the latter stages again this year.

Sadly we've lost a chance to appear in a cup final already as we crashed out of the Betfred Cup on penalties to Dundee in the quarters.

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Nov/Dec/Jan 2057-58

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A decent run over the winter months.

Europe has been easy as I thought it would and we comfortably went through to the knockout stages where we will face a trip to Eastern Europe to face Shakhtar Donetsk in what will be the toughest game we've had so far in this run this year.

The Scottish Cup draw was not kind to us as we drew Premiership opponents St. Johnstone but thankfully we managed to cast them aside as we bid to reach our first major cup final.

The league campaign has been going well but we did have a stumble against Dundee which has cost us our second place effectively. We're playing well still but something that we're lacking this year is a talisman to be finding the net each week, instead the goals are being shared out which is a good thing to see but if we just had that one lethal talisman it would make all the difference. Sadly James Ward is a long term injury and John Kampman isn't quite ready to be a super sub when Kilkolly not on form.

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There has been some minor sales over the winter transfer window, not for much money sadly but we did manage to get future percentage clauses in them in.

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Youth Intake 2058 Preview

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Seems like an attacking group coming through and hopefully the central midfielder is a tackler as I'm starting to think Anton Buckley, my second choice BWM, might be for the chop this summer. He's maturing and not lived up to his potential at all sadly.

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