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[FM21] Will I ever sit on the 'Iron Throne'!? Rags to Riches Northern Irish Style


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Will I ever sit on the 'Iron Throne'!?

It's been a long time since I was here in this part of the forum! I've decided that I want to do something different for a change on football manager, other than the usual English football saves. 

I've always wondered how difficult it would be to compete in Europe in on of the lesser leagues and so I picked Northern Ireland as my destination, partly due to its link with 'Game Of Thrones'. Can I pull Northern Irish football to the forefront of World Football and sit upon the 'Iron Throne'!? Doubtful, but doubts won't stop me from trying!

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The thing that makes this such an interesting save for me other than what has been mentioned, is the fact we have a massive stadium for a club playing in the 3rd tier and we are predicted 8th out of 11 teams. The other interesting aspect is that the players don't earn money here, as we are a semi-pro team with no ability to sign players to contracts due to the lack of money at this level. It's going to be tough, considering anyone can sign our players at any time without our consent!

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and so it begins...

 

Edited by mikenevo
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Targets for this save...

Every journey must have targets, if you have no targets, you have no hope (-mikenevo2020)

There will be 4 segments to this save and I won't consider this save complete until I can check off everything on each list! If anyone can think of anything to add to the lists, no matter how outrageous, please let me know!

Short Term Targets

  • Maximum Team Cohesion
  • Maximum Club Atmosphere
  • Maximum Managerial Support
  • Promotion from the 'Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League'
  • Improve finances

Medium Term Targets

  • Promotion from the 'Bluefin Sport Championship'
  • Win a lower league cup competition
  • Establish club in the 'Danske Bank Premiership'
  • Achieve Professional Status
  • Bring through our first Youth Prospect into the first team.
  • Win a major cup competition

Long Term Targets

  • Win the 'Danske Bank Premiership'
  • Reach the group stages of the 'Champions League'
  • Win everything available in Northern Irish Football
  • Improve our facilities significantly
  • Improve our fanbase significantly

End Game Targets

  • Win the Champions League
  • Win everything available in one season
  • Go undefeated in the league
  • Win everything league game in a season
  • Have a youth player become the best in the world
  • Have the best facilities possible
  • Build a new stadium
  • Sit on the 'Iron Throne' (Best team in the world)
Edited by mikenevo
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The finances at this club are absolutely shocking and they don't look like they will get any better. It doesn't help that we are having a massive pre-season which is costing money, due to ground maintenance and all that. We need to play in Europe to earn some cash, but that is a long way off :( 

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I wasn't joking when I said we had a massive pre-season. I managed every single game myself as I want full input on this save, I'm leaving nothing to chance! There were 2 games before Coagh which we drew against Ballymoney Utd and Dollingstown. As you can see we went on to beat Ballymoney Utd 7-2 in a repeat match! Progress!

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This is the outcome and the reason for such an insane pre-season...

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We definitely pushed our luck against Banbridge in the cup, but eventually we overcame them due to 2 red cards for the bambridge players. However, the rest of the month just couldn't have been better! Our hard work in pre-season can't be more evident, especially when you win 10-0, regardless of the stature of Cookstown RBL. We also had that massive match against Banbridge at the end of the month, much thanks to substitute Mikey Withers who came on to replace a struggling Michael O'Hanlon in attacking midfield. 

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November Update

We started off with a shaky victory over Shankill Utd, then followed up with our first loss of the campaign to Moyola Park. It had me thinking that all our hard work was for nothing, but to my surprise we had an amazing month!

Dungannon never knew what hit them as we smashed and grabbed the victory in the Bet McLean Cup second round, a massive victory over the Danske Bank Premier side in extra time!

It was then goals galore as we took massive confidence from that victory, to beat Limavady 5-4, then smashing Glentorans reserves 8-1 and Linfield's reserves 6-5 in the fourth round and quarter final of the Steel & Sons Cup! That cup now looks more than within our reach as we face P.S.N.I in the semi final, with the other semi final being played between 2 none league sides! I can't believe we are already dreaming of a cup final possibility, even if it is just the lower leagues cup.

To top things off, we beat top of the league Armagh to move top ourselves and followed up with brilliant win over Tobermore Utd!

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Massive injury! :( He has been our best player this season so far... To go and break his foot is heartbreaking for the Distillery supporters. Luckily I've already got another striker coming in on the 1st of January as we are short of natural strikers anyway.

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December Update

You would think that your best player breaking his foot would be the end of your season, but no... We've done extraordinary things this month despite all the odds being against us!

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We just can't be stopped in the Bet McLean Cup, no matter who goes against us! Beating one top division side wasn't enough for us, we had to make it 3! We are clearly superior when it comes to penalties, that's for sure. We then went on to win our first bit of silverware with the Steel & Sons Cup. It was a tough final until they tired late on and we made them pay! The league is going amazing as well, i'm already confident of winning it after everything I've seen so far.

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I couldn't have asked for a better draw as we face Bangor from our own division, who we've already beaten this month, plus the added bonus of a Home draw!

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January Transfers

I made a rookie mistake and forgot to put up the summer transfers, so I thought I'd add those in with the 2 players that just arrived on the 1st of January... 2 very promising players join, a much needed striker for backup + to cover our current injury situation and we've managed to steal a goalkeeper from 2nd placed Armagh!

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Targets Update

I didn't expect this to happen so soon, but we've already started to tick off some of our targets. Having already won a cup competition, we can now officially tick off the 'Team Cohesion' target. The effects that Team Cohesion has in FM are actually massive and you can see that in our performances.

 

Short Term Targets

  • Maximum Team Cohesion
  • Maximum Club Atmosphere
  • Maximum Managerial Support
  • Promotion from the 'Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League'
  • Improve finances

Medium Term Targets

  • Promotion from the 'Bluefin Sport Championship'
  • Win a lower league cup competition
  • Establish club in the 'Danske Bank Premiership'
  • Achieve Professional Status
  • Bring through our first Youth Prospect into the first team.
  • Win a major cup competition

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January was certainly tough in the league, but luckily teams below us were dropping points as well. We are still going extremely strong in the cups though which is amazing to see and we've even set ourselves up for a final in the Bet McLean Cup against the mighty Linfield! Bring them on!

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February Update

Other than the obvious, it has been a very productive month! The dream did come to an end in brutal fashion, but I am still very pleased with how we performed against one of the best clubs in Northern Ireland! If only we could have taken it to penalties like the previous 2 rounds! Onwards and upwards...

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  • mikenevo changed the title to [FM21] Will I ever sit on the 'Iron Throne'!? Rags to Riches Northern Irish Style

March Update

We are now wrapping up the season and we've done it! The victory over Tobermore Utd brought the title home and the promotion we craved! We are still in the cups as well which is great, because even though there's not a lot of money down in these leagues, every little helps!

Youth Intake

I've signed up pretty much every player from the youth intake, it was absolutely insane! Although to be fair, it doesn't take much to be good enough to play at this level. I wonder if any of them will still be with us when we reach the Danske Bank Premier :confused:

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OUTPLAYED! But at a cost...

This game was too important to go into without a plan! I kept the formation the same, but I decided to take a different approach with our style of football. The idea was to play a patient game, defending well with all of the back 4 and our central midfield focusing on defending and then relying on our attacking players to counter Glentoran. We only needed one chance and Nick Beta made his first and most vital contribution since returning from his broken foot. You can see from the stats that my idea worked perfectly as we restricted Glentoran to just 4 shots on target. We don't really concede from long shots, so I was happy to let them shoot from further out, but we concede a hell of a lot of goals from not defending those through balls and we starved them of that option.

However, there was a massive cost in this match as we lost James Wright to injury. He's ultra consistent and very important as he can play both central defence and central midfield, wherever we need him! I'm going to need Harris to step up to the plate.

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End Of Season 1 Report

I'm not sure why but a lot of my screenshots became corrupt, so most of them are missing :( 

It was a massive end to the season, with the league already wrapped up thanks to the victory at the end of March, we just had to focus on the cup competitions. It seems really weird to me how congested the fixtures are up until February in Northern Ireland, in this league at least. 

The victory over Crusaders Reserves was difficult, but we put on a real show in extra time and then it was more of a formality in the final, we were almost never going to lose and it was only fitting that Nick Beta who had been out of action for 3 months until recently, scored all 4 goals! What a legend!

We were so close to clinching a spot in the Euro Cup II next season, but unfortunately going up against Larne was just too much for us. Glentoran in the semi final was very tough, but Larne are on a totally different level. I tried to apply the same tactics, but we couldn't stop them even if we wanted to and the scoreline pretty much flattered us, with them having 24 shots to our 4 shots!

Conclusion

Overall it has been an amazing season, I never expected to even get promotion, nevermind reaching the final of every cup and winning the 2 lower league ones. I'm very confident of a back to back promotion now as I will improve the squad and it was easily already capable going off the performances in the cup competitions.

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Season 2 - Bluefin Sport Championship

We have a lot to live up to this season, despite the media writing us off before it's even begun. I decided to focus all my attention in the transfer window towards released players from English clubs, mainly due to the poor talent in Northern Ireland and surrounding areas. It is worth taking note that these are all aged 18 which some may see as a problem, due to the lack of experience, but I see it as, if you're good enough, you're old enough!

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Pre-season was a great success and moving on into the first month of the season, we've had a brilliant start! I'm particularly impressed by our start in the Bet McLean Cup against league leaders Dergview. We didn't turn up to the races against Portadown, but considering a lot of our players aren't familiar with the tactics we use here, I think we can forgive them!

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Season 2 - September Update

For the first time ever we are struggling! We have never lost more than 1 match in a row before, but this month we lost 3!  It was very disappointing to get knocked out of the County Atrim Shield in the first round because there was a 10k price fund for the winner, but it wasn't to be. I suppose it was more disappointing because we beat Ards last season 5-3. Then to follow that up with 2 defeats in the league was very disappointing, especially to Dundela. Our match against Ballinamallard Utd at the end of the month looked to be heading for a similar story, but Nick Beta came on as our super sub and delivered the killer blow! Some how despite 3 league defeats already this season, we are top!

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Targets Update

Short Term Targets

  • Maximum Team Cohesion
  • Maximum Club Atmosphere
  • Maximum Managerial Support
  • Promotion from the 'Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League'
  • Improve finances

Medium Term Targets

  • Promotion from the 'Bluefin Sport Championship'
  • Win a lower league cup competition
  • Establish club in the 'Danske Bank Premiership'
  • Achieve Professional Status
  • Bring through our first Youth Prospect into the first team.
  • Win a major cup competition

Long Term Targets

  • Win the 'Danske Bank Premiership'
  • Reach the group stages of the 'Champions League'
  • Win everything available in Northern Irish Football
  • Improve our facilities significantly
  • Improve our fanbase significantly

End Game Targets

  • Win the Champions League
  • Win everything available in one season
  • Go undefeated in the league
  • Win everything league game in a season
  • Have a youth player become the best in the world
  • Have the best facilities possible
  • Build a new stadium
  • Sit on the 'Iron Throne' (Best team in the world)
Edited by mikenevo
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